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February 27, 2003
yarn search So here's

yarn search

So here's a question: I am still trying to knit/design a sweater that Leo will really like. There have been rounds of negotiations,
perusals of various yarns, patterns, etc. And here's the deal: Single color, in a neutral shade, about 5 st/inch; a simple stitch
pattern is okay, e.g. vertical or horizontal ribs; reasonably fitted (have the right sweater to measure). Here's the good news: Decided
the yarn can be more lavish, though must be rugged and washable to a reasonable degree. Want something smooth rather than fuzzy. Oh,
and must not get too saggy like many pure cotton yarns.

A tall order? Perhaps. Give me your suggestions, though.


06:53 AM
February 25, 2003
fast pants photo shoot

fast pants photo shoot


05:28 PM
fast pants Okay, so

fast pants

Okay, so I cleaned out my closet a bit this morning, then took a couple of things to try to foist off on my playgroup buddies. One T-shirt, it was agreed, was just too Bobby Brady. But the wise Margo said it would make a cute something for a kid. Came home, successfully put down the sleeping Ella and whipped out these before she woke up... and blogged it, so you know it didn't take long.

You too can whip out these fast pants (and matching hat!) in virtually no time. Take one adult T-shirt. Cut it off straight, right below the sleeves. Lay it out flat and cut a triangle out of the bottom about 3 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Turn it inside out and sew up one leg and down the other, using a small seam allowance. Trim if necessary and zigzag the edges to finish. Because the T-shirt was hemmed, the bottom is already finished. Turn your attention to the top/waist. Still inside out, turn over a smidge and make a seam, then turn over another three-quarters of an inch to make a casing for the elastic. Sew this down, leaving a small opening to run elastic through. Measuring off an existing pair of pants, cut an appropriate length of elastic, plus a few inches. Run elastic through casing, check to make sure the waist is going to fit, and sew or knot the elastic together. Done!

For the hat: Cut sleeves off as close to the shoulder seam as you can. Cut sleeves open at seams and lay flat. Trim sides of sleeve off so hat is appropriately sized. Mine measures about 9 inches across finished. Either cut straight up or with a rounded shape, but avoid taking any off the top as the length of the sleeve is pretty short for a hat. With right sides together, sew the two hat pieces together, then zigzag the edges to finish.

This particular ensemble will fit kids between maybe one and three, depending on how big the kid is and whether the pants are meant to be long or capri-ish. A larger men's T-shirt could be used for a bigger kid, or a large kid's T-shirt for a newborn. Love the stripes, but, hey, a beer logo across the butt might be a good look too. If you make some, send me a picture!


01:37 PM
February 22, 2003
update I haven't fallen


I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... I've just been busy with other things. My mom was here for a week and spent a lot of time casting on and ripping out. She did leave with a good start of a sweater in the Noro Cotton Kureyon that I started with ages ago. I haven't been knitting it, so I gave it to her. Hopefully she'll get something done with it.

I got some GREAT yarn for my summer Knitty project. I am so excited to start it, but I have to figure a few things out first.

I've been editing all the patterns for Knitty. They look great and you'll want to knit a bunch of them. Look for them early next month.

My Colinette detailed bits and pieces toddler coat is in the finishing stages. Pictures soon.

I've also been contacted by a knitting store that wants to carry print versions of my Haiku pattern. So now I am trying to figure out what to call this little pattern enterprise and how I want to lay it out. Very exciting. I guess this makes me an official professional knitwear designer...

In other fish to fry, I saw the webpage of an installation a friend of mine in Chicago put up and was struck by the quilt potential for one of her pieces. So now we're collaborating on making a quilt. If I can just figure out how to do it, it'll be smashing!


05:17 PM
February 14, 2003
stripy hat I had

stripy hat

I had a couple of questions about the pattern for this stripy hat. I can't say that there's much of a pattern to follow, but here's what I did. This is a kid's hat, you could easily make it for an adult though. Got bits of yarn sent from Kerrie :). I'm not sure where she got them, but you could easily take bits from your stash or dye with Kool-Aid or whatever.

To get a range of colors from Kool-Aid: mix maybe 4 packages of KA with a bit more than a cup of water. Put 1 TBSP. mix into one cup, 2 TBSP in a second, 4 TBSP in a third and 8 TBSP in a fourth. Add water to the cups to make them 3/4 full. Think I'd use coffee cups. Add wetted mini-skeins (maybe 15 yards each) of LionBrand Fisherman's Wool to each one. Microwave 2 minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes. If dye hasn't all been absorbed by the yarn, nuke it again. Allow to cool, then rinse. Do a second batch of four in another color. Wait impatiently for them to dry. Put them in the oven with only the pilot light on.

Lay out the mini-skeins starting with the darkest of the first color, then the lightest of the second color and so on, ending with the darkest of the second color. Cast on with the first yarn an appropriate number of stitches for your head. In this case it was 82 since it was worsted weight and the hat's about 16 inches around. I worked it flat with a seam up the back, but round/dpns would be fine too.

Work in ribbing of choice for the first color, when it runs out, switch colors and switch to stockinette. Work in St. st. for approximately 3 inches. When a color runs out, switch to the next one, but always switch at the beginning of a row and keep leftover bits nearby.

If you are working flat, k19, ssk, place marker, k2 tog, k36, ssk, place marker, k2tog, k to end. Purl back. On all following RS rows,
make a decrease on either side of each marker. Purl all WS rows with no decreases.

When you are down to your last few stitches, run the remaining yarn through all the remaining stitches, pull snug and fasten yarn. Sew up hat. Use remaining bits of each yarn to make tassel.


06:01 AM
February 13, 2003
old quilt, new quilt

old quilt, new quilt

here's my quilted quilt! still unbound on the edges, but Squib has talked me through the binding process and if I ever get a spare seven minutes, i'll get out the sewing machine.

I think the quilt looks great, though the flowery border was the quilter's idea, not mine. A lesson to be learned about collaborating with someone whose aesthetic vision is unknown. They're not oppressive or anything, I just prefer less representational things and I didn't make that clear enough.

that said, i still think the quilt came out well and am dreaming of future quilts. using the pre-cut squares and the interfacing takes a lot of the intimidation out of it if you've ever thought about making one, or just want to play with colors a bit -- try it! (check out the post below about a discount if you are ordering from C and S.)

i'm thinking on my next quilt which may be an off-kilter log cabin of some sort. of course, we don't have a log cabin. it's more of an adobe bungalow...

and though tradition says red center for the hearth... maybe terra cotta would be more appropriate. hee hee, i guess it might be fun
to make a highly symbolic quilt -- using colors from the house and environment. if it ever stops raining i'll sample some colors.
(what a wuss i am, it's been raining for two days -- two days out of the whole year and yet already i find the inconvenience a

i still like the idea of the pixel quilt; i still think an image of a face would be cool, but i've played around with some images and haven't found a photo that has the right amount of detail and contrast that i like well enough to bother capturing on cloth in perpetuity. a dorky snapshot just doesn't quite have the symbolic weight. i toyed with a couple of ella sleeping, but there's not enough contrast to make the image really readable at low res.

More recently, on my walks about town, i've started thinking it would be fun to use an image of something industrial that is part of our daily landscape. there's this big elaborate pipe thing/shutoff valve that i pass by every day and i often find myself wondering about it's design and whether it's solely "form follows function" or did someone put some aesthetic thought into it? it's actually kind of pretty. it's new and has been painted with what i assume were some aesthetic choices... or maybe 12 inch pipes come blue and the valve wheels are red factory direct? anyway, i've been meaning to snap some photos of it and things like it and see where they took me. telephone poles... construction cranes...


08:30 AM
February 10, 2003
pictures here are some


here are some recently finished objects:

in the works now: a bulky cardigan/jacket for eleanor. given its bulkiness it's going really fast. trying out a few things here and there. may install zipper.

and my quilt is done! i have to figure out when i can go fetch it!


06:59 AM
February 6, 2003
sharing the love I

sharing the love

I just got a very positive email from Elizabeth Pastore of C and S Fabrics from whom I purchased my quilt squares. She was amazed by all the visitors referred to her by The Domestic Sphere and has offered 10% off orders over $25 to all my readers as her way of saying thanks. Use the coupon code FOREVER on your order to receive your discount. Cool.

I chose some mottled purple handdyed fabric for my quilt backing, along with a three-inch black border. It's being quilted by Sue Vanderveen, The Backcountry Quilter. I am eager for it's return.


01:09 PM
million dollar outfit Okay,

million dollar outfit

Okay, I did a little
checking. Looked at some Indian Dupioni and at the new Sanskrit 2 available at href= "">Art Fibers. That great recycled Sari silk but overdyed to give it more continuity. I think I like
the gold tone, coupled with a gold silk. For a knit sleeveless top and a full length lined silk skirt sure to win you much praise, we
are talking about maybe $400. Fabric, yarn, notions are about half that. All top of the line, of course.


06:39 AM
quilt show I heard

quilt show

I heard a bit on the radio the other
day about "The Quilts of Gee's Bend", a museum exhibition that's doing a current tour. You can hear the show and check out some links at
NPR. Gee's Bend is/was a very isolated African American
community in Alabama and I find the quilts quite compelling and inspirational. They're vibrant and dynamic -- if a well-executed
prototypical quilt can be likened to classical music, these are definitely jazz.

If you are in a city this show is visiting, check it out! I am thinking about whether I can manage a trip to one of these cities at the right time.


05:30 AM
black/white Carping the diem,


Carping the diem, I started right in
on my knit bodice with the variegated black and white yarn. I did a modified version of "">Haiku: closer fitting, no box stitch and only a couple inches longer than the
armholes. I've been thinking about how to attach a non-stretchy fabric to a knitted piece. I think I will probably put a bit of elastic
into the skirt so that the whole thing doesn't stretch and look bulky. Hmm. Eager to finish it up and see how it worked out.

The process of knitting this got me thinking about an adult version. With a top made of the Recycled Nepalese Sari silk, and a skirt made of some fabulous silk -- or maybe even some sari silk. Maybe making the top separate from the skirt would be the right way to go in this instance. Of course, I would need a Patrona to carry out this project. The kind that goes to televised award shows* or something. If you or somebody you know is this sort of person and would like to fund this project (one for me, one for them... I'll find a place to wear it!) have them contact me!

*It dawns on me that I actually do know people that go to televised awards shows, but they really weren't the people I
was thinking about...


04:35 AM
this week in knitting

this week in knitting

I had another math lesson all written up, but now it's vaporized in the ether... maybe I'll find it somewhere. I swear I pasted a copy...

As to what's on the needles these days... half a scarf knit in some of the Point 5 from Kerrie and another stray skein that I bought a while back.... and still another version of my Knitty spring sweater, which is what the Knitting Math 101's are loosely based on. Coming soon to an issue of Knitty near you!

Recently off the needles: Two hats. One for Leo in black wool and a stripe of Point 5, felted. The second in many shades of pinks and oranges with some bits that Kerrie sent in a trade way back when.

In mind: A summer top or vest for Ella's friend Ynez's second birthday. Next week, so I better get moving. I am also thinking back to a pattern I saw somewhere... maybe a Melanie Falick book at the library? A dress with a knitted bodice and a sewn on fabric skirt. It was supersweet with dupioni silk or something. I am thinking of something slightly more everyday. Have to scrounge around and see what I can come up with. Maybe some black/white Peaches n Cream and a skirt of some Zebra print cotton? Wonder if I still have that P n C? I do have some really cool buttons in black and white.... The wheels turn.

Oh, and in one of those 'everybody's doing it' moments, I made a sockdog today.

Pictures coming soon.


04:20 AM