29 April 2006

The Bins + Silly Knitting

For my birthday Abby gave me this funny book and have been wanting to make something from it since.It has patterns for silly things like a knitted hand grenade, a glass of beer, picture frames, ear muffs shaped like fried eggs and lots of knitted cakes and sandwiches. Abby and another friend who is also a knitter just had a birthday so I knitted the ever-useful apple holders for them! It protects the apple from bumps and bruises when you take it to work or on a picnic and makes the apple oh-so-stylish! Is the A for Abby or for apple? You decide. (Shelley, if you're reading this, I hope you don't feel left out, not getting a letter. I didn't think of embroidering something on the apple until after I gave you yours. If you bring it on Monday, I'll put a letter on yours too if you would like one.) The bobble is actually a button so you can get the knitted apple off of the real apple.

After knitting this pattern, I realize that the book's directions are a bit sloppy. Every decrease is a k2tog and the finishing directions are lazy. The apple holder was to be knitted in 4 flat pieces and then sewn together. That seemed like too much work so I knit it in the round, added paired decreases to make it a little neater and modified it some. I used size 8 dpns and some yarn left over from this project.

I went to the craziest place yesterday! The Bins, aka the Goodwill Outlet. Yes, Goodwill has an outlet. I guess it's all the stuff that hasn't sold in the regular stores and is an inch away from the landfill. I've been hearing about the place from my friend Rosie a lot and finally decided to go see for myself.

It's a warehouse filled with huge plastic bins. Fabric items and books are seperated from everything else but that's as far as the organization goes. People dig through these huge bins looking for treasures and most things are sold for $1.29 a pound! It's insane and a little disturbing. They have signs cautioning the shopper (aka bargain vulture) that there could be sharp objects in the bins. I spent a fair amount of time dreading the used syringe or dead rat I was sure I'd come accross in the next bin. I even saw some "professional" bins shoppers wearing gloves to sort through the stuff. I'm not exaggerating. This is how some people make money. With enough determination, there is some valuable stuff to be found and purchased for $1.29 per pound.

I came out feeling grimy and dirty and $9 dollars poorer. I got several sweaters I'm planning on felting, some linen fabric I'll make into a skirt. a really cute, old apron and one of those woven grass mats people take to the beach. This is what I did with one section of the mat. With some hot glue and scissors, I transformed my old, ugly, plastic planter to the new, improved tiki planter!
It now holds mint and chamomile plants. Come join me for some sun tea later this summer!

23 April 2006

A little progress

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. Life has been insane lately but I think it's getting back to normal, whatever that really is. I still haven't finished my "modern bustier". I think that's a stupid name for the pattern. Does anyone have a better name? I did buy the things I need to finish it and I made progress. Here are the lovely rows of grommets I put in on Friday.All I have left to do is sew the fabric to the knitting. I was scared I was going to mess it up so I put it off for a few days. I think I've mustered up the courage now so hopefully you'll see it in all it's completed glory really soon. The weather is getting so nice that I really want to WEAR it!

I am making progress on my corset pullover. I finished the front and am about halfway through the back. I like how it looks so I'm just hoping that I'll like how it fits. No matter how well I measure and swatch, I'm never really sure it'll fit right until it's all done. It makes me kind of anxious if I think about it too much.
In other news, my grandpa had a birthday this month so my letter H in the abc-along is going to be for Happy birthday, Hugh! That's him in the picture with my uncle on the left and my dad on the right. Any guesses as to how old my grandpa is? The picture is from last year so add a year to how old you think he is in the picture.
He just had a big health workup and the only recommendation the doctor had was that he shouldn't drink anymore. My dad says that the only sign he's slowed down is that he doesn't do very many home-improvement projects anymore. He still drives, has a lovely girlfriend and is in really good health! All that and he just turned 93!!

08 April 2006

Another rainy day

It's been a nice week weatherwise here in Portland. Then I woke up this morning, my ONLY day off this week (I get to work 9 days with only 1 day off in the middle- it's great.) to a grey sky and drizzly, constant rain. That's the worst kind, in my opinion. I have been knitting, though, and I actually have some progress to show off. First, though, I have a pink/red Project Spectrum loose end to tie up. Here is the postcard I sent to my postcard pal.
It's a collage made from magazine pages. It's being propped up by an angel bell that was my grandma's. I haven't seen any mention of it on my pal's blog so I thought I'd post it here since I think it's pretty and I'm proud of it. Hopefully she got it. Sadly, I received not a single postcard in the mail last month but this month's pal seems promising. She has already sent me a recipe for an orange cake.

My "modern bustier" from alterknits is almost finished. The knitting is done and last weekend I bought fabric, ribbon to lace it up with and grommets. I got home allready to finish it and then realized that the grommet setter didn't work with the size grommets I bought. WHY does Michael's place things next to each other that don't actually work with each other?!?! It was very annoying and I haven't been back to Michael's yet to get what I need. In the meantime, here's a preview. The fabric is a really pretty grey-green silk. I initially wanted chocolate brown fabric but the store didn't have a good shade of brown silk and then I fell in love with this color and all was well.

Since the bustier doesn't require any more knitting, I have a new project. It's the "corset pullover" from interweave knits. I've seen pictures of the pattern and have been wanting to knit it for some time and then I just saw that it's free on their website! Here's my progress so far. The yarn is knitpicks shine sport so my guage is really different than the pattern. Luckily I am one of those strange people that loves math.Yellow is my favorite color so I'm really excited that it's yellow and orange month at Project Spectrum. Here are some of those colors around my house.