Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A little bit of Christmas knitting

Think I can have this done by Christmas?

Clapotis 2

It's the start of a Clapotis scarf for my grandmother, which I started over the weekend. I'm into the straight row repeats now, so this is the part that can just go on cruise control. It's narrow enough that I can get a row done whenever I have a spare minute. I even had it with me at 'Legal Issues for Supervisors' training and worked on it during our "Go get water or go to the restroom" break (today, volunteer supervision; tomorrow, world conquest. One step at a time, people.) I think I can get this scarf done if I make a conscious push to do so.

Clapotis 2

The yarn is nice stuff. It's RYC Luxury Cotton, which is 2 plies of cotton and 2 plies of viscose/silk. It's a little splitty, but show me a cotton that isn't. The viscose/silk plies give it some sheen without being gaudy, and it feels like it will have a good drape once it's finished and blocked. Hopefully in 13 days. :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Handmade holidays

I had a most awesome day off yesterday. First off, Sarah's in town for the weekend, so it was awesome to see her for the first time since July or so. A group of us got together yesterday morning to decorate onesies as a baby shower-ish gathering for Jolene, and we had a blast being total craft geeks. Yay for my days in college making letter shirts for APO; blanket stitch FTW!

After that, it was off to tea. Now, I have always had a picture in my head of what "going to tea" involves. Etiquette. Straw hats. Hoity-toity-ness. Tiny sandwiches. Pinky fingers sticking out. You know... proper, snooty tea.

The place we went to, Teavolve in Fells Point, was not at all what I was expecting from a tea room. It's not formal; there were people in there with laptops, everyone was wearing jeans. We each got a pot of whatever tea we chose, and a scone with clotted cream and raspberry preserves, 3 sandwiches and a deviled egg, and a little dessert plate at the end. We ended up being there for almost 3 hours, and despite the fact that this was one of those days where caffeine reacted badly with my nervous system, it was a lot of fun.

We had our handmade gift exchange, and to all those who saw the socks Sarah made for me and didn't think they would possibly fit, I say this:

Socks from Sarah

Sarah, they are DEAD-ON! The yarn is Socks That Rock in Pallas Athena, one of their new Raven Clan colorways. I know she said what the pattern is, but I was busy admiring them and convincing everyone that my feet are actually that small. They came wrapped up in this bag that she made, which has skulls on the outside and is shiny purple on the inside. And there were also some yummy hand-dipped chocolate mint candies. Hot. ;)

Bag from Sarah

Thanks, Sarah, for being a fantastic gift buddy!

Monday, December 03, 2007

My own worst enemy

A couple of months ago, I decided to take up sewing. I had a successful tutorial afternoon, I felt stoked about it, I came home and revved up my sewing machine, and it just wasn't working right. The top thread was leaving these HUGE loops on the underside of the fabric, so the bobbin thread wasn't being held by anything, and I ended up with a messy tangle of thread that wasn't holding the fabric together at all. It did the same thing over and over, and being as clueless about sewing as I am, I didn't know what to do to fix it. It's a 30-year-old Kenmore sewing machine, and the thought had occurred to me several times that, hey, maybe it's just plain broken.

Then Erin came up with an idea for the group of us to do a handmade holiday swap. I took it as a sign that I should take another crack at the sewing machine over this past weekend. I changed the needle, I put in new thread, I tried every tension setting, but it was still doing the same thing. The top thread had absolutely no tension.

Because genius me had it threaded through the tension wheel incorrectly.

*headdesk* (I needed something more emphatic than *facepalm*)

So, um, it works just fine now...