Wednesday, July 19, 2006


The bridesmaids bags are totally finished, and I'm wrapping them up. Just in the nick of time too-- I'm giving them out on Friday! I have stuff to do, but here's some pictures. I think they all turned out really well! It took me only one bag to really get into the hang of attaching the handles. I thought about adding some chains to make the bags more portable, but never got around to it. So clutches they are. I put some ribbon around the inside edges of the bag to cover up the stiches that occur while they're being secured into place.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Completely Off Topic

Today I stopped by the Socrates Sculpture Park, right near by where I live and work. It was a beautiful day. Some of the sculptures were really interesting, some were ho-hum, but one was AMAZING. In the middle of an empty part of the field, there was a lone pay phone installed. Where the usual "directions" for using the phone are listed, instead there was a list of about 10 different numbers for pay-phones. Above it (and I paraphrase) said: "The more ways there are to communicate with one another, the more alone we feel."

I looked at the numbers. Picked up the phone. Dial tone. Put it back down. Looked around. There wasn't really anyone there. Picked the phone back up. Laughed. Put it down. Considered calling my boyfriend. Then I seriously looked at the list of numbers. There was the N/R/W platform in Times Square, there was the lobby of the Empire State Building. I didn't want to call NY. I wanted somewhere more random. More interesting. Just a street name in Milwaukee, WI. Bartlett Street (hmm.. I think).

The phone started to ring. It's around 4:20 in the afternoon. I figured no one would answer. All of the sudden, I was wrong. I was talking to some guy. Some guy who thought I was a lunatic. It was awesome. I didn't even find out his name. He asked me a bunch of questions, I explained where I was. He doubted me, of course. I probably would too. But I definitely made his day more interesting. Gave him a story to tell. And I smiled all the way home.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

miss busy- bee

All my bags are beaded. I think I might try my hand at beading other things when my extensively long list of things-to-do needs another thing-or-two added onto it. In August my learn Italian goal, and my knit cute bags from my bridesmaids goal will be accomplished, or at the very least irrelevant, and I don't think that learning to play the guitar will be enough to not do.

So! Next step is the lining. I was planning on buying pretty blue fabric to go with my wedding "colors", but I'm lazy and never officially made it to a fabric store. Luckily, I have a quite sizable stash of fabric to go along with my sizable stash of yarn (I knew my pack-ratish tendancies would come in handy someday), and I had this pretty pink fabric that at one point I was planning to use to make an adorable bag . I still have plenty of fabric left for my bag...don't you worry. And some lovely contrasting orange fabric for lining as well. Unless this was origionally my lining fabric for that as well. It was so long ago, it's hard to remember...

After many initial mishaps (I hate cutting shiny fabric), I finally cut 4 pieces that I believe are the right size. Then I used my trusty rusty chalk (one the perks of being a teacher is that there is often chalk on-hand) to mark the .5" seam allowance. The bag lining only gets sewn 3.75", and the rest gets tucked under the latch after being ironed as far as I can tell. I still have to trek off to M&J fabrics (and that's one of the perks of living in NYC) to get the hardware, but all in good time. For now, the fact that I managed to get this all marked up, pinned, folded and ready for the sewing machine is enough of an accomplishment for now!

Friday, May 12, 2006


So, I've been a slacker on both the knitting fronts, and the blogging fronts, but now I'm back, and even with the pictures, as promised! Bo-yeah.

So, what happened was is that I knitted my fourth (just enough for bridesmaids gifts... So much for one for myself and one for my mom and one for everyone who ever smiled at me...). Somehow I kept messing up one of the cables on it, I kept frogging it and reknitting it. I must have redone it about 3 or 4 times. I was exhausted and frustrated with it. But each time I made the decision that it looked "good enough" I got annoyed with myself, because I really wanted these to turn out as-perfect-as-possible for my girls. But that tricksy little cable is all fixed up now.

After just sitting on the knitted pieces for awhile now, I decided to start blocking them the other night. I blocked 2, but I have two more to go. Let me just note, for the record, that they look AWESOME blocked. The pattern really highlights the cables, and the yarn I'm using is really well suited for the pattern.

So, I pulled out my beads and other bead supplies, and was immediately frustrated because the thread I got was too thick to fit through the eye of my super-dooper special beading needle. I broke a needle before I ended up switching to a normal sewing thread for my beading needs. It seems to be working fine so far.

After looking at my bead options:
Blue seed beads:
Translucent seed beads:
Blue swvorski crystal beads:
Clear swvorski crystal beads:
and inspecting my blocked knitted piece, I decided to go like this:

1st row: alternate blue and translucent seed beads on each side of cables.
2nd row: in the center of each cable, alternate crystal beads, otherwise continue with seed bead rotation
3rd row: repeat 1st row.

It's turning out really pretty... Well, at least in my humble opinion.

I still have to: 1)block the other two bags 2)find material to line the bags with 3)buy hardware for the bags.

Not too shabby. Unless I visit slackerville once more that is...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

good things come...

to those who knit? Yeah, too corny, I know.

But I'm knitting my fourth! That means even if I stop at the end of this bag all my beautiful bridesmaids will get one. However, I really want to make one for myself as well...and if that's not inspiration enough, I don't know what is.

I want to take a picture of my stupendous progress, but I fear it would just look the same as the pictures I've posted so far. Not doing anything but actual knitting isn't too picture-inspiring.

But soon I promise! After I block (pictures galore!), I'll start beading. A brief trek to Michael's last week scored me some pretty beads to play with for now. I was going to wait until I went to M&J Trimmings to get the beads and the hardware in one swoop, but I can't resist buying shiny new things when they're so close. We all know of course, that shiny objects make the best pictures... then I'll buy the material (or use some pretty material that I own).

It all feels so close! Progress is in sight, and I'm loving it! Maybe this could get addictive...

Monday, March 27, 2006

maybe the girl just needs some boundries

With a deadline, I've been doing pretty damn good. I've started on bag three this week. With four bridesmaids, I can just make one more if I want... but I kind of want one for myself. And I should probably make one for my mom too. And my future mother-in-law. Hmm... I wonder how far my yarn will take me. I might as well use it all up. There's no way there's enough yarn to make anything else worthwhile.

And here is one of the finished pieces, and the one I'm currently working on:

And here is a detail of the cables. It's a nice easy knit, and the cables make it interesting. I can't wait to see how it looks with the beading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

one down!

I've been working on the best friend bags and I have one knitted up! My plan now is to make...uh... 7 more. I still need to block the first one, but it looks pretty good so far. The yarn is so soft and it knits up really nicely. Because of the ribbing, I don't think the fact that my gauge is off is going to hurt much once it's blocked up.

For a secret santa this year I received the stitch n' bitch knitter's design journal. I haven't done any designing with it so far, though I have designed (well, scarves) in the past. However, I'm hoping it will motivate me to finish more projects, because there's a "Things I've Made" section that I've been using with these projects. Many years from now people will be able to look at my journal and say "wow, amy started a scarf for j in 2002, and finished it in july 2006. impressive."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

a blog begins

Most original title ever. I've taken up knitting again, this time with the goal of actually finishing projects. I have two on my needles now: a sweater for myself ('s Tempting) and purses for my bridesmaids, my mother and myself ('s Best Friend Bags).

My big problem though, is that I lose interest in my projects before I ever finish them. I find something else that I want to knit. I get frustrated that I can't figure something out. My damn gauge isn't right (my current dilemma). I need to get something that I will totally get tomorrow but tomorrow never comes (guess how long it will take me to get the ribbon for Tempting?). Hence, my knitting *is* the neverending story.

Hopefully no one will name it MoonChild.

My gauge swatch that should measure 4 inches that measures 4.5 inches. And I do NOT have smaller needles. I think I'm just going to suck it up and hope that because it's a bag and not a sweater the messed up gauge won't matter in the final product. And you know it totally will... The yarn is 100% baby camel from SchoolProducts, generously donated by my friend C.

The beginnings of Tempting. 100% acrylic (groan, but I have a lot). Now that I've finished the easy part, and "started" a second project, it will be easy to put off the makings of the sleeves (I'm thinking of adding long sleeves. Short sleeve sweaters confuse me) and the shaping of the neckline. This is going to take willpower.

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