Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I've decided that 2009 will be The Year of the Loom. I've neglected my loom in a hideous fashion over the past year or two. No more! I shall weave many things!

In other news: my end-of-year mileage total? 1025.6. Not bad...

And finally, even though I did not make this little gem, I thought I'd throw it up here anyway. I found Caitlin, who owns Rebound Designs here in DC, and had her create a purse out of an old Winnie the Pooh book for my sister for Christmas (Pooh was her favorite thing in the whole wide world when she was little). It didn't come cheap, but who cares...this thing is awesome.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Weavette bag

So this is what I made with all those little squares: a felted bag! I actually made two, one for my sister and one for my friend Sheila. I think they turned out pretty well. There's even a square-covered bit of stiff plastic on the bottom.

Close inspection will reveal why I don't sew. I really am no good at it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I finally, finally did it!

Four years ago I did something unpleasant to my achilles tendon and had to spend the entire summer in an aircast, which I affectionately called "The Boot." At the end of my long, drawn-out summer of physical therapy, my therapist suggested running as a way to keep the tendon conditioned, which seemed totally counter-intuitive, not to mention against everything I believed in. I do not come from runners. I was already somewhat of a black sheep in my family for regularly going to a gym and lifting weights.

But I thought, what the hell. So I started slow. Very slow. I think for the first few months I gradually went from "running" for 30 seconds out of every five minutes, at like 5mph, and every time I ran I'd up it by 15 seconds. Clearly it took a while to work up to running nonstop for half an hour. But eventually I did it, and then I decided to start keeping track of my miles.

That first year, without even trying, I logged 820 miles. So I decided to go for 1,000 the following year. This sounds like a lot, but really it's only 250 every three months, so under 100 per month.

That first year? I tore my rotator cuff in two places, had surgery, massive amounts of PT, a frozen shoulder, ANOTHER minor trip to the hospital to take care of that, and lots of time away from the gym. I don't think I even managed 500 miles that year.

The next year? Another bout of achilles tendonitis. Here's a tip: when you damage your achilles, you need to be VERY VERY careful when you go up an incline of any kind. So, another summer in The Boot, and I logged perhaps 600 miles. This was last year.

This year, 2008, I decided I would be injury free and I WOULD hit 1,000. And guess what? I did it! Saturday morning I passed the mark, and am now sitting pretty at 1,002.8 miles. I might be able to get to 1,030 or 1,040, depending on my level of sloth. It was 16 degrees out this morning, so the sloth won out.

Maybe now I can relax.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Weavette progress

Pushing through the pain, I finished all the squares for this project over the weekend (these little looms have SHARP spikes). Here they are all laid out in the correct shape. Any guesses as to what it's going to be?

I'm now sewing everything together, my very least favorite part of any project.

Monday, October 27, 2008

And a sweater update

One arm done, the other arm about half done, and the body needs about another inch.

Pin loom

The last time I made anything with my Weavette looms it was a total pain in the ass, but ultimately worth it because my niece apparently liked the little purse I made. But I broke TWO needles making the thing. What a difference wool makes! Unlike cord, wool has some give, so instead of pulling the needle through with a pair of pliers, I am able to gently pull it, with no fear of bodily puncture. Anyway, here are the steps to pin loom weaving. This is a semi-secret project, so I won't say what this will ultimately be, but anyone who knows me will take one look at the color of the yarn and know I'm making it for myself.

First you warp the loom, going back and forth, then turning the loom and going back and forth again, then turning it back to the original position and filling in the gaps.

Then you fill in the gaps in the other direction with the needle.

And voila! Many little squares that can be sewn together. This is a 4" square loom.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sweater progress

So far I have most of the body and most of one arm done. Not the best photos ... it doesn't really convey the extreme yumminess of this alpaca yarn.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Next project

I've FINALLY found the perfect pattern for my huge pile of alpaca. This is so yummy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Check it out

Interweave Crochet started a reader gallery and put out a call for pictures of stuff that people have made from the magazine. So I sent in a bunch of photos, and they liked one ... the black flower choker from many moons ago. So check out page 9 of the Fall 2008 issue. My chin and neck have been published!

Monday, September 15, 2008

More bobbles

I finished with one set of bobble squares and have moved onto the next. However, I'm not sure I have enough of this fuzzy white yarn. Adjustments may need to be made.

Anyway, here's a little demonstration of how hook size makes a huge difference. The square on the far left is the first one I made, with the same size hook as all the previous squares. It's hugely huge and will need to be frogged and redone. The middle one is done with a hook that's one size smaller. Now I had the right width, but it was still too tall. So I adjusted the pattern and removed two rows. The third square will work, once it's been blocked. I still don't know how these are going to look together, but whatever. It's nice to use up the stash.

And here's the unholy mess that is the back of these things.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Inkle weaving

My husband's aunt either gave or long-term loaned me (I have never really known which) an inkle loom, but I haven't been all that interested in making long bands, which is really all you can do with this type of loom. But then I got the latest edition of Weavezine, an online weaving magazine that's showing a lot of promise, and there are two pretty cool things in that issue: a bag that's somehow created out of a long band and a zipper, and shoelaces. I love the idea of making shoelaces for some reason, so last night I tried my hand at making my own heddles and warping the inkle loom. Here are the results. Obviously this won't be shoelaces, but at least I'll see if I like it enough to continue. One of the main things to recommend the inkle loom is that it's extremely portable.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Summer projects

My husband decided that he wanted a ripple of his own for use at the cabin, and since all I had left in the stash bin were hideously ugly colors, I said ok, since most people won't lay eyes on the thing. I've used up all the grandma colors now (literally ... his grandmother gave me pounds of mauve, yellow, and pink) and it's long enough to cover a double bed, but it's still not long enough for him to cover himself completely. But that'll have to wait until I get more leftovers. It's actually not nearly as hideous as I was anticipating, given the poor color choices I had in front of me. And every nine colors I did a stripe of chenille, which sheds all over the place but is nice and soft.

And then I discovered that I have seven tons of shades of white left over, so I'm in the middle of doing a white-themed, bobble square blanket. We'll see if it turns out at all. Otherwise I guess I'll have at least 24 cotton squares to give away as washcloths.

I haven't been a total slacker this summer, just maybe a 75% slacker. Oh, and these pictures were taken with my fancy new Blackberry phone, which I really don't know how to use yet, which is why they're perhaps a tad too dark.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another felted bag

I'll admit it: it's been a lazy summer. I haven't done much, and what I have done isn't in any kind of shape to take a photo of.

Except for this. My good friend Raquel demanded (pleasantly) that I make her a felted tote bag. This one was felted properly and came out SO much better than my bag. I was sorely tempted to keep it for myself, but you really don't want to incur the Wrath of Raquel, so I handed it over last night.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Finally faced the felting fear

I cut holes in the messenger bag over the weekend, and it didn't totally fall apart! This thing has been hanging over my head for AGES, and now it's finally done. I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Monday, February 11, 2008

All over but the felting

Over the weekend I finished the strap for the messenger bag and put the whole thing together. Now I just need to find a top-loading washing machine so I can do the scary felting...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Messenger bag -- progress!

I made good progress on the felted messenger bag over the weekend.

Some finished blocks:

Some more (at this point I had seven balls of yarn hanging off the thing...that was fun):

And the finished piece with all the ends woven in:

I'm now in the middle of doing the strap/sides. Then I attach it all together. And then comes the totally scary part of agitating the hell out of it in hot water. And THEN comes the really scary part of cutting HOLES IN THE FRONT FLAP. Eek!

Monday, February 04, 2008

I finally figured out this sock thing

Here's a pair of socks I made for my husband. And they've been through the wash once too. I finally know what I'm doing!

Do you want a pair? If I know you (and I like you!) and you think you might want a pair of lovely crocheted socks, leave me a comment with the measurement of the circumference of your foot around the ball. Is it closer to 8, 8.5, or 9 inches? And also, how long is your foot is from the tip of your big toe to the end of your heel? Oh, and tell me if you want a long or short ankle. Go to this site and tell me which yarn floats your boat. If you hate all those yarns, suggest one to me. Must be sock yarn, or fingering weight.

And some point in the relatively near future, look forward to a surprise package in the mail!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Messenger bag

Trust me, this will be cool when it's done. It's going to be a felted messenger bag.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I finished my first real pair of socks a number of weeks ago. The heel is pretty saggy, but still, they're more or less sock shaped.

And then last night I finished my second pair of socks, in fun pink and green. I think by the second one I'd finally figured out what the hell I'm doing. The super-cool green and purple witch sock was made for me last year by my sister. It's for contrast. I like the crocheted socks just fine, but I must reluctantly admit that knitted is better when it comes to socks.
However, I can finish a crocheted sock in a week. I'm not sure I would EVER finish a knitted one, so I'll be continuing to make the slightly inferior crocheted version.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I made a rug

It's smaller than it should be (of course) but I kind of like it. I ended up putting it outside the door to my condo. I got the pattern from my new book, Crochet Me. There are a lot of possibilities for huge thick circles made from Red Heart Super Saver.