Archive for July, 2007


Monday, July 30th, 2007

I’m quite a bit behind on the Mystery Stole. I am currently working on clue 3, but only by a few rows per day.  I’m really not sure where my time it going, particularly as I’m not sleeping a lot.  As judged by the nap I took today…


The worst part is that I feel like I could sleep for another few hours.  Instead, I am eating toast that I’m not actually hungry for.  If you live near a Trader Joe’s, you should try the multi-grain San Francisco Sourdough bread.  I eat it toasted with butter.

Part of my usual knitting time has been taken up with sewing projects.  I finished the yellow linen pants Friday night, but I haven’t had a good opportunity to photograph them yet.

Another good chunk of time has gone into Africa, and obtaining things that I need to take with me.  Every time I take something off the shelf though, I get a nasty little twinge at the added weight and bulk that I am obviously going to end up carrying.  Yikes.
Moom’s socks are progressing.


This picture was taken yesterday, and I am nowpast the decreases and into the main cuff pattern.  When I finish them…


I can start these. The disconnect between making socks for myself even while I won’t be able to wear them until March is not lost on me…

I want a coat.

Friday, July 27th, 2007

But first, I want a dress out of this. (If you haven’t been out to Superbuzzy yet you should go now. They mostly have Japanese cottons and they’re all fantastic.)
Winking owls!! Apparently The Sneak agrees with me in thinking that they are too adorable to pass up, because *she* then sneakily slipped a dress request into the conversation.

I obviously seem to have a list of projects piling up, but as long as I get a day or two to myself this week I should have some finished things to show.  Sewing is, after all, quite instant gratification for a knitter.  I plan to finish the yellow linen pants tonight, but the reason I currently want a coat during 80-degree weather arose from this morning’s trip to Haberman Fabrics.

Now let me just say that I prefer to visit the Fabric Gallery in general.  Both are excellent stores, but as a general rule I feel better about giving my business to the smaller and less accessible businesses.  When I go into the Fabric Gallery I find a high ratio of things that I like or would consider using in a project to the total quantity of stock.  (Not to mention an excellent collection of easy-to-browse buttons).  In Haberman Fabrics, I found that there was a much smaller ratio of things that I wanted to the total stock available.  They had tons of buttons as well, but they were not easy to look through.  Many were kept behind a counter where they were difficult to see, and others were close to the ground where an older customer may have difficulty seeing them.  To be fair, Haberman’s specializes in wedding materials and I am certainly not looking to make any fancy dresses.

When that’s all said and done…did that stop me?


Grey linen for a pair or pants.


Purple/maroon linen for a pair of pants.  Yes, it’s not *really* a purple.  However, I see a burgundy/purple and a burgundy lavender and a central maroon stripe.  Label it whatever you wish, and post it in the comments!!  (Moom, you know that “purple” is a relative term.)

Not when confronted with sale linens.  Nope!!

I have contrasting blue thread for the grey pants, and matching purple/maroon thread for the striped ones.

I even forced Moom to buy herself a bit of fabric, because anything with crocodiles and birds and goat-things and shininess is too good for me to let her pass up.


That was all a pretty good haul, but the real test of my self restraint came when I noticed this:


sdfkljfKLJSFDKLJ GAH!!  Blue/orange/rust/gold/grey UPHOLSTERY FABRIC.  I love upholstery fabric.  Unreasonably and beyond all comprehension.  Did I buy three yards to make a long jacket?


No.  At $50/yard I could only handle half a yard, otherwise qualified as “just enough to make a travel bag”.

Africa first.  After that, I’ll definitely have to make a trip back to the store for coat materials.  I doubt that they’ll still have this one, but hey…wouldn’t I look stupid with a matching jacket and carpet bag??


Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Courtesy of feministing, go look at this.


Also, I’d like to mention bloglines. I realize that this is nothing new to most of you.  Actually, it’s not really new to me either.  I’ve been hearing about it for a long time now.  I even made an account the other year.  That would have worked out quite well for me, except for one small glitch.  I never subscribed to anything and I never checked it.

Now that I actually have a list of globs blogs connected, it’s amazing.  You can see how many new posts (or edits) each blogger has made since you last checked, and you don’t have to wait for 5,000 kajillion different pages to load.  I do miss seeing people’s backgrounds, but if you click on the name of the blog it opens up in a new window.  (Some feeds just give you a partial entry, anyway.)

Tadaa!! Maybe I’ll have a little more time and energy for writing my own posts, now that I don’t have to check everyone else so frequently??

Oh, by the way…Rosie is a button.  What should I do with her?  I was thinking of making a bag, but if I made a really crazy shirt (or something) I could attach her to that too.  She is a Travel Rosie leading me to believe that a bag would be ideal, and I might ask Suzanne to make me a necklace if I can’t think of anything else.


Don’t worry, you still have 49 days.

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Alright. I have to admit that as of two days ago I have entered into the beginnings of what we’ll refer to (delicately) as a state of Pre-Departure Africa Panic. Sophisticated, no??

I have more than a month left in the US to get my crap together. That should be comforting. (Just say yes just say yes just say yes.) I’ve been doing really well, procrastinating on that constant urge to Start Panicking by shamelessly ignoring packing and the French language in general. I do realize that what is Smart and what is Easy are two very different things.

It’s really kind of stupid, what set me off. It’s almost embarrassing to admit to it. I’ve been having those horrid “realistic” dreams, in which you basically carry out mundane or idiotic tasks from your everyday life in what is perhaps unrealistic detail. Like, making a sandwich. Or piecing a quilt square. Or driving a car.  Or speaking sternly to small (or large) children who absolutely refuse to behave.
Two nights ago I had a dream that I’d forgotten my departure date, as well as having overslept. I hadn’t packed a stitch, hadn’t prepared, didn’t have money, I just got on the plane and left. I arrived in Sénégal with myself and nothing else. I wandered around for a while panicking, until Jess appeared (Hi Jess!! Expect some really obnoxious and–perhaps–frantic phone calls before the month is out) and helped me figure out how to find food.

Okay okay, alright!! Subconscious, that’s enough. Nothing like a good kick in the pants from your own nervous system to make things happen. Now I’m wandering around with a slight nagging sensation, like being followed by a little hedgehog that knaws gnaws at my toes when I’m not looking.

But hey. Even while I know that the PDAP is only going to increase over my remaining time, I plan to look at the bright side of things.


I now have my own personal portable Rosie!!

The only question now is what to do with her…


Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

It has been impossible to post lately. While Summer YAG is happening, it is impossible to get anything done that doesn’t involve Summer YAG itself. Last week I made nine vests in a day and a half on top of my usual responsibilities. After spending all day child-wrangling it’s difficult to do anything more than stare at walls when I got home.
I did manage to obtain the rest of my quilt materials (except for the backing and the binding, which I plan to deal with post-Africa). I also couldn’t post while reading Harry Potter, but as for the past few days I have no excuses. Finally, I have proof that I’ve been…fiber art-ing.


The feather and fan socks are finished.


I still have to hide the ends, but it’s hard not to be lazy when it’s hot out. (For the record though, today was rainy and cool so who knows? I may hide the ends yet.)

I also finished a skirt and top, as I think I mentioned in the last post. Funny thing, that “memory”.


I look happy, don’t I??


Perhaps this is a better view for me.

I also have pretty new scissors with which I have been cutting quilt pieces at the speed of light.


Take a closer look:


Ginghers. These are the scissors that we use in the costume shop at school. I swear that they cut through anything and everything. They’re a little pricey, but very much worth the money if you sew. These are the 8″ dressmaker’s shears. All of their scissors cut cleanly all the way to the tips, and this size even comes with a handy little case. (Yes, I’m preparing to travel, why do you ask??) I particularly like that they come with the plain metal handle. Very nice.

Finally, I have the quilt pieces.


The large light triangles are the background color, and the main color is underneath the little triangles. I could not find more of fabric 5, and fabric 3 is only available in fat quarters (aa#%()*RETUIODFJ*$ I wanted to use it as the main color AND the backing. Lousy lousy store. They could have made so much money off of me. I would have bought a whole bolt if they’d have let me!! I guess you can’t ask that much from corporate chains, as they just don’t care about my personal happiness…)

I still need to cut my small triangles in the background color, and then I can split it all up into individual square groupings. 36 pieces to a square, and 36 squares to the quilt. I have decided to use only 30 squares, partially because I don’t need an enormous quilt and partly because I don’t have quite enough fabric. And partly because it’s my first quilt and I know how bored I’m going to get…

Merlin’s Pants.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

It’s hard to believe that Harry Potter is finally finished. It has taken nearly ten years and it’s amazing to think back on the response, and how the whole thing grew.

(Don’t worry, no spoiler’s here.)

I was eleven years old when the first Harry Potter book was published, and kept age with Harry until the wait time between the books began to increase. There was something special about being the same age as the characters in the books and being able to relate to them.

When it’s all said and done I’m glad the books are finished. It’s tough to wait for a story to be completed. But now what?? It’s also hard to accept that we’re no longer waiting for something that once seemed like it would never end. There is no longer a point to making conjectures about the plot or about who’s going to die.

All in all, J.K. Rowling is a genius and I have little more to say about it except that “Merlin’s pants” is the funniest exclamation I’ve heard in ages.

I finished the yellow linen shirt and the matching blue (cotton) skirt Thursday night, but I have not had the chance to photograph them yet.

Today I also finished the Feather and Fan socks.  It is too dark to photograph them at the moment, but I’ll try to do so soon.  The vine handwarmers are still waiting for their thumb bits, but that should happen soon as well.

In the time being I am finishing some old things and starting some linen pants, as well as doing NOTHING after a long two weeks.

Enjoy Harry Potter 7, everyone!!

Do NOT say “fabric stash”. Just don’t.

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

You were all very close. No one got them both right, but everyone got at least half. Half being one, anyway.

I based the colors off of 5, but 3 is my favorite. That is a relative term, of course, but 3 is the print of which I attempted to order a full bolt.*


As you can see, I have shifted my colors a bit. I loved the light colors, but I decided that I wanted to keep the background in the tans. White would have been too much of a contrast for my taste. Things have to be muted and well blended, or very bright and contrast-y. I’m very picky about whites.

The cream/tan fabric at the far left will be the background. I can’t get more of five as the main color, so I’ll probably use the fabric to its right (purple with flowers). I suppose I should have checked before I coordinated everything, but that’s just not how my brain works sometimes. Oh well.

I have to go to bed. Now. However, I can’t promise not to buy the rest of the fat quarters in color three tomorrow…no one else could possibly need them. I’m not really obsessive, it’s just that I only post about obsessive moments. Shut up.

*It didn’t work. They only sell it in fat quarters. Soooo unfair.


Monday, July 16th, 2007

I did it again.


Why do I take my wallet with me when I go places? Completely stupid. I got through the quilt store and Jo-Ann’s with plenty of quilting materials…but I forgot to buy the one thing I actually needed. Clasps. I guess I can’t finish that skirt tonight after all!

I do still need a few more materials for the quilt, but I’m getting there.

Just for the fun of it, think of the fabrics as 1-12, starting with 1 at the far left and 12 at the far right.

Which fabric did I choose the rest of the colors from?

Which is my favorite?


Sunday, July 15th, 2007

It’s true what they say.  It’s really really true.  You know, the thing about “for every step forward you’re three steps behind”?  I know it’s not that exactly, but it’s something to that effect.

I’ve worked a lot all week = I’m far too sleepy to take pictures and process them, and I’m behind on my mystery shawl.

I have a lot of sock yarn = I’m refusing to knit socks.

I’m almost finished with the skirt = I need clasps, and I might redo the top portion to make a wider band.

I made most of a shirt out of the yellow linen = the stripe of skirt fabric in the middle is a denser weave and I’m taking out all the main seams so I can stretch it.

It’s all getting there, but I’m a perfectionist.  Could anything possibly be more frustrating?  Whatever happened to letting things go and taking time to relax?  Maybe I should go do some yoga.

WAIT. I forgot to do laundry.  And I could make another seam on that shirt tonight. Or cut out and seam that extra piece I want to hide in the skirt closure.  Maybe I’ll just knit to the end of the sock decreases and finish Chart 2 of the shawl before bed.  Or I could make my lunch and clean up some of the dusty messes of college crap objects I’ve been ignoring.  Don’t I need another travel project, or thumbs on those handwarmers, or shouldn’t I make some sketches for that quilt I want to make and I and I want to finish that book tonight and I need a new bike bag so I could make one or wasn’tIplanning ondrawingmoreinsteadofjustsittingbecauseIreallylikeartand–
I think I just found my problem.

Long, long, long day.

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I’ve got to stop taking my photos in dark rooms at night. It really doesn’t turn out so well.

My two week child-wrangling job started this morning. I got up at 7:45 AM to go down there and pretend that I’m useful. The nice little secret is that the job really starts tomorrow, now that the kids are somewhat settled in.

I guess I would have done more today, but I never want to step on people’s toes. I have a few very definite jobs which give me all the time I need to be “in charge”. The trick is that I’m a better leader than follower, but it’s hard to get me there. I think…

Anyway, I take 80 children (is it less this year?) and make them do ridiculous things for half an hour every morning before we divide them up. Otherwise known as warm-ups. In my opinion, this is one of the most important parts of theatre, and one of the most overlooked areas as well. The most basic training techniques that are out there. It’s a lot of fun, although they don’t always realize how important warm-ups are. Meditative, too. Only if you’re serious about theatre? To be fair, most of them are there mostly to play and have fun.

Tomorrow I have the added bonus of PretendingICanTeachAWorkshop.  Okay, so it’s really no different from what I normally do, just more official sounding.  I have to admit that it will be nice to have 45 minutes to myself, to do whatever I want.  Oh good.

I’ll try to sneak in with another post soon, with some knitting and sewing details.  Here’s a taste:


Partially completed Africa/Travel skirt


The beginnings of something mysterious.  In fact…it’s Mystery Stole #3!!  I couldn’t stand to be left out, and even better it came out of the stash!!  That’s probably a first.