Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back Home

The hubby and I are settled back in after our fabulous trip to Philadelphia. What a beautiful city! We were only there for a few days, so we tried to pack in as much activity as we could.

A lot of our tour was on foot - the weather was beautiful and it's more convenient for stopping into shops when you see something you have to have. One night, we splurged for the delectable fare of The Pub and Kitchen where we had a culinary experience with the cheeses. Oh.My.Word. The things they do with cheese! We also did a lot of shopping. There are great shopping districts in Philly, and though we didn't make it through them all, I think we hit the highlights. I picked up some cooking tools and comic books (at the Wizard World Comicon...more on that later). I found a great artist supply shop and some handmade paper. My favorite stop, though, was Nangellini's Art Gallery. It's mostly a fiber arts gallery, with beautiful hand knits and art yarns. I bought more than half a kilo of yarn. =) Yay!

Of course, we visited most of the historical sites. It was beyond moving. I have ancestors that were very active in American politics from the very beginnings of this nation, and, to hear their words repeated in a place with such significance to the birth of our country...

The comicon was really cool. We found a pretty rare Doctor Who figure (the Face of Boe), and I bought my first comic books. I'm more of a sci-fi girl than a comic book fan, but, the ones I bought were more political than superhero. Well, I suppose they're a mix of the two. =) The costume contest was great. The MC was hilarious, and his rapport with the judges and the contestants was what really kept the contest from getting boring (it took a long time to get through all of the awesome characters). Seriously, a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man made out of duct tape (suit had cooling and hydration systems)!?! It was beautifully made. Another pair made Spaceball soldiers' uniforms from garbage cans...the pair with the giant hair pick, combing the desert..."We ain't found sh*t." Beautiful.

It was a great trip, but it's good to be home. I have a garden to finish planting and a cute ami to wrap up (hopefully, I'll be sharing him soon). My mom is going to be staying with us for a while, so I have that going on, too. I'll be a busy bee this Summer for sure!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lace Shrug (in detail)

I picked up this gorgeous yarn while I was visiting Salem, Mass. last Summer. I began several projects with it, just to end up frogging them. The yarn was begging me to find a project worthy of it.

While browsing patterns I came across a few shrugs and boleros that were okay, but were either too heavy for Summer wear, or used too much yarn, or both. It was easy enough to figure out how they were all constructed. A shrug is basically a rectangle that is as wide as you are from shoulder to shoulder, and as deep as the measurement from the nape of your neck down to the top of your bra strap (after blocking!). For me, this was 15" by 10". Then, you edge that rectangle with a row of sc stitches. Add a loop to each of the short ends that will fit around your arms (40 stitches with this yarn and hook, but I could have gotten away with 35 as it did stretch), then add a border that goes around the neckline, under the arms and around the back. Add a border around each arm hole, and, voile, a shrug. It was so easy, I could have cried! Of course, not using a pattern, I somehow ended up with one arm hole being exactly 5 stitches larger than the other. I swear that I counted! It screwed up my border a bit, but, I'm guessing no one will be examining my garment for flaws, and it will go unnoticed by everyone but me. And, I really don't care as it didn't make a difference in how it fits me.

I did learn a little lesson about dye transfer, though. I made the mistake of wearing this before I washed it, and the combination of sweat, deodorant and fiber dye left me with funny-looking armpits. Like the time I went to an Aerosmith concert in Chicago and wore a pair of new jeans. It was much hotter than I had expected it to be, so I stopped and bought a skirt. When I went to change, my legs were blue! Luckily, a bit of soap saved me from too much embarrassment (on both occasions).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Than 50 Projects in 2011

Since I started another list, I left off all of the old completed projects. I even shelved some of the ideas that hadn't been brought to life. I change my mind a lot. What sounds like great fun on one day can quickly lose its luster. Anyway, when you include finished objects from the previous list, I hit 50 as of this morning. Yay!!!

1. Spin silk/bamboo/merino roving
2. Green Day Heart Grenade Embroidery
3. Political Embroidery
4. Octopus Embroidery
5. Decorate Light Switch/Cover for Bedroom
6. Corduroy Pencil Case
7. Peace Embroidery
8. Atlas Shrugged Embroidery
9. Batik Quilt
10. Water Spirit Doll
11. Steampunk Elf
12. 'Gibbous' Dress
13. Grilling Apron for DH
14. Corduroy Skirt
15. Victorian Corset
16. 'Gibbous' Top Hat
17. Vest
18. Tenth Doctor Doll
19. Fabric Cuff Bracelet
20. Mini Journal Pendant
21. Green Fairy Doll
22. Inked Leather Sketchbook
23. Rag Quilt for the Kitty
24-28. Small Leather Journals for Shop
29. Ribbed Headband (crochet)
30-33. Scrappy Yarn Hats
34-35. Journal Pendants
36-38. Journal Keychains
39. Steampunk Magpie Necklace
40. Spin 'pink toffee' roving
41. Spin 'coffee and cream' roving
42. Large Leather Sketchbook
43-45. TARDIS Journals
46. Artist Book for the DH
47. Spin Variegated Blue Roving
48. Spin 'Coffee' roving
49. Lil gets a new look
50. Alter Dress (so it actually fits)
51. Travel Journal for MIL

52. Crochet Market Bag
53. Stencil Over Stain on Gray Tee
54. Lace Bolero

55. Leather Bookmarks