Well, I've been off my needles since finishing Claponcho (thanks Kathy!) except for a few stray rows here and there. Given that, there's beyond-knitting content here today. You wool freaks can scroll down for my new project and yarn photos.
Thought I would have some time this month to sit down. Wrong. Friends, appointments, lessons, go go go. You all understand. Going camping this weekend up in the mountains and the weekend after we're off to Oregon. Turns out some of our visitors need a place to stay, so at least the house-sitting issue has been resolved.
Reading has also taken up my rare sit-time. First, my copy of Evanovich's Eleven on Top came up at the library. Her books are too much like fast food to read slowly - if you pay too much attention you'll wonder what the heck you're consuming. No, they must be read like you eat McDonald's fries - quickly while still hot and salty.
My next book came highly recommended. For eight years I've been part of a great mom's group. We started with twice a week play sessions, but now with all the oldest kids spread among ten different elementary schools we just do Mom's Night Out once a month. Nothing beats food and laughter among friends. Usually about 6-12 of us turn up and someone always puts the "What are you reading" question on the table. Last dinner talk turned to "fun" reading and half the table was adamant that I try the Outlander series. Walked into Barnes & Nobel right after dinner only to have the clerk swoon over it too. Now I understand - it's a perfect summer read!
So, Clair and Jamie had my attention until July 16, after which the further adventures of Harry Potter had to be explored. Rachel and I did the whole midnight thing, but she's stopped reading at Goblet of Fire (she's only 7 and we agreed it was getting too intense). After having read the first four books to her two and three times each (really!) I'm far too deep into the story to wait for her to catch up.
Next up: Sewing. My guess is a lot of hard-core knitters started with "hey, maybe I'll make one of those scarves - it looks easy enough". Well, my new linen skirt from Eddie Bauer looks appallingly easy to sew and I've decided to whip one up. Famous last words. I don't know how to sew ... yet. The quilts I've made have been total seat-of-my-pants affairs all done with straight seaming. A sale on Chinese brocade got me into JoAnn's because Rachel's been asking me to make Chinese pajamas for her. Thought I'd just take a look at women's patterns too. Just "a look".
OK, so now I've got patterns, but I've been a bit dismayed at the fabric choices at JoAnn's and the two local fabric stores. I bought some drapey fabrics, but to be honest I see two of them as learning opportunities.
Those two on the left were purchased with Emily. I hear by pledge to never again buy fabric while monitoring the exploits of an active 3-yr-old. My judgment was obviously seriously impaired - these fabrics bare no resemblance to anything I've ever worn. In my defense, the selection was pretty dismal. Found that dark red floral at another shop (w/o Emily) which is suited to me, so I'll save that for after the first go-round. The brocade is for the kids. Two other linens are in the wash - one for the wrap skirt and one destined to be a knitting bag ... maybe one of these Amy Butler bags (that one on the right will be matching sleepover kits for the girls):
So, I was bumming over fabric, then it hit me ... I'm going to NYC in Oct (yes, Risa and I are hitting Rhinebeck!) -- there should be fabric there yes? Oh yes! Spent last night online doing research and I was practically jumping up and down by 9 PM. Must visit list now includes Mood Fabrics, Paron Fabrics, M&J Buttons, B&J Fabrics and of course Habu Textiles. I any of you have other favorites on the island please comment.
I absolutely love what Kay did for her Rowan Denim baby blanket label! If you haven't seen Mason Dixon this week pop over - those women are so creative.
I haven't stamped on my fabric creations ... yet, but I do stamp on my scrapbook pages.
For me the value and fun of scrapbooking is making a visual story out of what would be a couple of random photos stuffed in a box. It's been great to hand over finished albums to grandparents and visitors and let them peruse to whatever depth they enjoy. I can walk away and not have to stand over them explaining each photo. The girls love them too of course.
Finished a bunch of layouts last week, but these are my favorites. The edges are slightly cropped by the scanner. This first one's simple, but I wanted to focus on the photos.
There's a bit more going on below, but it was fun to make. I love stamping letters with layers of paint, staining the edges and some of the other trendy techniques.
OK, here's the knitting content for you woolly-heads.
This will be a Philosopher's Wool Kilim Jacket. To be honest, I'm not sure about that tangerine color - looks much more creamy on the pattern photo. I'll start my sleeve and see how it looks.
Check their site for a short movie tutorial about the two-handed fair isle technique. I've been wanting to learn continental anyway, so this seems the time to start.
Not committing to it yet, but this may be my "Rhinebeck Sweater." I don't have Harlot's speed or
crazed intensity abilities, so no last minute marathon for me. This will have be to started right after vacation...
The girls helped me wind in their special, helpful way.
Happy Summer everyone.