20090829

Still Cameraless

I actually have items I want to show to you now, and my camera is still gone. I told Helen earlier this week that I had no more new photos of Nathan to post because I have no camera and I finally caught up with my backlog. This is ridiculous. I literally feel no need to craft, too, because without a camera, my mind subconsciously feels there is no point.

Anyway, very very hopefully I'll have photos to post on Monday of my new cute tape measure and my sewing. My cousin Talena (at whose house my camera is currently visiting) offered to get together on Sunday. Let's just pray that Nathan doesn't flip out and ninja us with his snots like he did yesterday. Babies with molars coming in are not happy campers.

In other news, I am listening to a few new podcasts, but I haven't yet mentioned that I enjoy The Knitmore Girls. I'm not going to say it is my favorite podcast of all time, but it's great enough that it isn't leaving my listing of recommended podcasts any time soon. It features a mother and daughter discussing their knitting, spinning, mistakes, and news. Some things that irk me include that the daughter, Jasmin, can be a bit judgmental and kind of snobby. Now, for those of you who know me, you can all think to yourself... *ring*, *ring* "Hello?" "Hi, this is the pot, kettle. You're black."

They also tend to advertise in their podcast a lot as well as ask for donations to go to things like Sock Summit. But then again, that might just be me being envious, so I tend to let it go. What's good about it? They are both insanely fast knitters. They give good reviews of yarns. Their discussion of buying fleeces is intriguing. They have a great relationship! They used to have Tika from Gives Good Knit guest host. (Seriously, I love her podcast.) Jasmin is a very smooth speaker, which isn't true for many podcasters. They have very good sound quality in later episodes which matters more than you might think to me. Give it a try if you like two people podcasts. For the record, I can say that I listened to the full backlog of episodes which I usually don't, because I found them all interesting.

For all those who are keeping track, I now listen to Manic Purl, Never Not Knitting, Stash and Burn, Gives Good Knit, Knitmore Girls, Knit Picks, Sew Forth Now, and Sticks and String. I've ordered them their by my preference.

Update: Because even my positive reviews tend to sound mean, I'd like to re-iterate that I really like the Knitmore Girls podcast and that the faults I cite in Jasmin are faults that I acknowledge in my own self. It is a good podcast that I enjoy.

20090824

Depression, It Has Me

I crafted tonight. Or, more accurately, I am crafting tonight. It's sending me into a depression spiral that I can't seem to get out of.

The thing is that I have one major problem with sewing (and many other minor problems). That is, I can never seem to place my patterns properly on grain lines. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, but it's super depressing and annoying and hateful. It's okay now that I'm making make up bags and slippers and other stuff that doesn't really hang on the body, but what's going to happen when I make a dress or jacket and I can't true the fabric and cut on grain? It's going to look hideous and I'm going to die of shame. Does anyone out there have advice for getting your fabric to true and cutting on grain. If your advice is pull on the fabric on the bias or slip a thread from the weave or weft free and use that as your guide, please explain more fully. Pulling on the fabric has not trued my fabric in the past, and I can't damn well seem to pull a thread free.

Hopefully later this week I will have some finished sewing projects to post (and a camera to use to photograph them), but until then, it's Linky Tuesday. Like how I just pretended that I always post links on Tuesdays?

Here's some of my favorite crafty finished objects! Let's start with my newest obsession, quilts. I love, love, love this beautiful quilt from CharlotteCarotte. First off, it looks simple and modern. Second, it looks soft. Third, it looks gorgeous. It makes me want to quit with the idea of fashion sewing.

Then, there are the cookies. I love cookies and I always want to be able to make beautifully decorated cookies, but if I could make ice cream cone cookies or starry window cookies, all I'd do is make cookies and charge ridiculous prices for them at craft sales.

You all know I love to cross stitch, but it takes a hell of a lot of time to do the 'good' designs because they intersperse colors very thoroughly to get a more natural looking finished product. And the really good ones that require beads require even more time and energy. That's why this finished mermaid cross stitch is a phenom. If I had made this, I'd frame it and put it up in the middle of the most seen wall in our house and I'd tell everyone that came into our house that I had made it.

Nathan is obsessed with trains, and I'm obsessed with clothes for Nathan. That means I love this adorable Kai shirt made of a very train-y fabric. I'm thinking of how it would look fantastic over some thermal shirts this winter as part of his every day wardrobe. Slip that on over some jeans and he'd look stylish without looking like a tiny little man. Helen has often pointed out that most boys are dressed like little men, and that's true, but the pointed use of cute prints can help alleviate that fact.

When I was younger, my mom would try to teach me to craft and fail. This is due to two things. One, I'm a horrible person learner. I've had fantastic people try to teach me, including my own husband (a patient tutor that many of my friends have told me is extremely patient with those willing to learn), and I can't learn from them. I dislike people telling me what to do. I hate when they keep going on about something I understand already. I dislike telling teachers I don't understand, so I let them stop teaching me when I don't understand the subject matter. I get angry with myself for disappointing people who are attempting to teach me. Two, my mom is a horrible teacher, apt to blame her 'student' for failing to learn or likely to not care about teaching. "You picked out horrible yarn to learn from, and that's why I can't teach you to knit." "I never installed zippers or buttonholes. Your grandmother did it for me. I mostly just made elastic pants." If you can't guess, these two things are probably related. That's why I'm always amazed to see these blogging mothers featuring their child's amazing creations, such as this Wall-E stuffie, or this awesomely chic knitted sweater.

I hope that one day, Paul can teach our children well or at least filter my instructions well. I can already tell that I'm more a teacher like my mom.

20090819

I'm Melting!

Before I get to my rambling, anyone have any good recommendations for where I can buy some Malabrigo online? I'd like lots of color choices, and good photos of the yarn.

Woah, I bet you guys didn't even miss me, did you? If you did, I'm sorry and I have legitimate excuses for not doing anything in August.

One, I'm still down one tape measure. I wonder if Nathan just ate it. At this point, that idea seems plausible.

Two, it is hot out. (I'd make a joke, but every joke I could make sounds incredibly joke-y as if I'm mocking jokes about heat, so let's just say we're in the middle of a heat wave in Philly.) No scarf knitting in heat waves, since the scarf is now about four feet long and made of heavy yarn.

Three, my camera is at my cousin's house. And as I always say to Helen, "If you can't take pictures of it, you can't blog it. And if you can't blog it, it's like it never happened." So, why knit if it never really happened?

Four, the library is my doom. I'm getting book after book after book from it and stuffing 'em into my brain.

Five, Nathan is on the verge of both walking and talking, meaning I'm spending a great deal of time bribing him with food and toys and wondering how I'm going to cope when he walks and talks. He already has a good handle on making his will known with his single non-mom, non-dad word, "GOOOOO! GOOOOOO! GO! GO! GO!" and Indian war-cries. (There is nothing on Earth more hilarious than having your son get incredibly upset and go into an Indian war-cry.)

Six, I'm too lazy to take out pieces to sew stuff.

Seven, I'm really focused on the success of Helen's food blog. She's gotten links from a number of awesome food blogs in Philadelphia and from a store she reviewed! I publish Paul's recipes there occasionally, so check it out. I'll be posting a Tarte Tatin recipe soon, I hope. If you live in or near Philly, you might even consider subscribing since Helen does restaurant highlights and reviews.

Eight, I'm dreading the return of television season since I always fall behind on watching my shows in October and I never catch up until July.

Nine, I spend about an hour or two a night washing dishes, surfaces, cleaning up toys, doing wash, cleaning the bathroom, scrubbing floors, etc.

Ten, I still love computers. I need to love them less. I also need to stop fantasizing about owning The Sims 3. And buying a PSP, PS3, and XBox 360. (If I ever bought those three machines within the same year, you might as well give this blog, my Twitter feed, and my Flickr account their last rites.)

Anyway, I still love you all. When it gets cooler and I feel more ambitious and I stop obsessing over my library, I plan to come back to you. I need to knit Shalom after all.

20090805

Crafting is hard. Let's go shopping!

(Note: I'm blogging this because Jenn is not online right now, and we don't really call each other. Like, ever. Whenever I do call her, and it's not because we have plans that day, I start the call with, "nothing is wrong," so she doesn't think I'm bleeding to death or that Pobox has exploded.)

Jenn has been trying to talk me into taking up sewing. You know, because between knitting and beading and cooking and blogging and photography, I probably don't have enough hobbies these days. I told her, "If I have a cute girl baby, who I can get away with just swaddling in a cute fabric sack and calling it a dress, I will take up sewing, but I don't see it happening before that." But you know it is. Someone proposes an idea, and you dismiss it, and then you start thinking about it....

I'm not ready to take up sewing. But I may be ready to take up that gateway drug, fabric buying.


(Thanks, spool blog, for the pic)

My bed is from IKEA (ok, my apartment contents are from IKEA -- ooh, and not to digress or anything, but the new catalog came today!!!) I got one that's padded all the way around, because, let's face it, I'm a klutz, and I bruise more easily than a ripe peach. It has this delightful green fabric cover, which I love, but it's 7 years old, and my bedroom gets a ton of sun, and, well.... it's faded. It's getting to be a pea soup green instead of a grassy spring green.

I've seen all those home makeover shows, and I know that all I need to refresh this piece of furniture is some cloth, an iron and a staple gun. That is easy! I know how to staple!

(Another digression - a friend recently unearthed some high school pics of me refreshing my bedroom furniture with paint. Thanks, Sassy. You were such an inspiration to me in my youth.)

So, Jenn, when do you want to hit some fabric stores?

Summer Downtime

Don't you love how every knitting blog in the whole universe is suddenly either shutting down, talking about gardening or sewing, or simply discussing vacation plans?

I've not been knitting much myself. I keep going on the sock, but I appear to have lost my tape measure to one of Nathan's daily playtimes, so I need to order another one (or two or three). It is way too hot to knit on a long wool scarf that weighs a lot. Truth be told, Nathan has been so active and whining recently, that by the time night rolls around, I just want to read a book or my blogs and then go to bed. I do read a lot now. That library reserve feature has revolutionized my life once again.

I haven't been sewing or cross-stitching either and I miss both. I might close up shop on the computer early tonight to cross-stitch. It's a quiet activity that allows me to focus on the television, so I can watch things like the third season of Gilmore Girls in peace.

What's up with you, internet? Have you been shutting down for the summer too? Going to the shore? Or are you knitting away like some of my friends?