Friday, June 27, 2008

New things

I made the most of my one day off yesterday. I made three bags, got my oil changed, got my wheels rotated and balanced at Costco and shopped there, bought an air filter, got my brother to remotely work on my computer, which was acting like a nightmare, opened the computer and blew out a pound of dust, checked paint prices, finished my sock and started a new one. Phew!

This bag is a custom order for my friend's mom. Sorry for the tiny pic:

handbags, totes

These two are just for fun. I had only been making custom items lately for sale, so with an upcoming show, I decided to add a few pieces. These are both new styles:

handbags, totes

handbags, totes

I am working on these socks, just for me, but I'm kind of over the yarn at this point. I'm just trying to get the second sock done so I can move on to a yarn I like. They are wool, yellow and gray. This is my first pair. There are a few itty-bitty mistakes on the first sock, but nothing too noticeable. Mark wonders why I don't just buy socks instead of spending weeks making them. Well, I DO buy socks. But there's just something special about having hand-knit wool socks, and the yarns available are so pretty, you can't buy socks like those. That's why, silly.

knitting projects

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Be a man

Hey, guys. You know how when you get a wound and you have to wear one-of those skin-colored Band-Aids, you feel all girly and feminine? You know how everyone thinks you must be gay because of it?
Well, now I have a solution that will allow you to nurture your machismo and protect your boo-boo: The Nexcare duct tape bandage!


Look at that guy with his hammer and tough-looking wound cover! So, please, no more sissy skin-colored bandages, fellows.

Upcoming show in Albquerque, Frida-style

I'll be selling here!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Brea Bag

I've finished my new purse. This is knitted from a free commercial pattern and not for sale. I can't wait to use it after all the work I put into it, but I guess I have to wait for fall.
It's made from gray alpaca yarn and lined in fabric.

handbags, totes, knitting, Brea Baghandbags, totes, knitting, Brea Baghandbags, totes, knitting, Brea Bag

And, randomly, here are pictures of my backyard, which I think looks pretty right about now:


Saturday, June 21, 2008

What I've been up to

I have been working on a few custom orders. Here are pictures:

Plaid tie-strap handbag, a custom request:

handbags, totes

A chocolate and pink rose apron:


Eiffel Tower handbag. This was a request for something I had made and sold before.

handbags, totes

I've also been working on these socks, but my wrist started to hurt. I think because it's tiny and tight, but my wrist is better, so I'm ready to start again.

knitting projects

And the Brea Bag I wrote about below is nearly finished. I'm sewing the gusset in and then I'm going to make a strap and line it with fabric.

knitting projects

Here's what it will look like eventually:

Brea bag

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'll have the bologna, extra water

Strangest thing I've seen in awhile: Mark standing at the kitchen sink, wringing out his sandwich. That's right. You're confused, but it is exactly as you're picturing it. I guess he had a baggie of lunch meat in the freezer and then had it in the fridge to thaw and the ice turned to water and ... you get the picture.

Then it was: 1. take a bite 2. spit it out in disgust and declare it the worst thing he's ever eaten 3. repeat 4. repeat again

Catch-up time

I've been absent for a bit. I went on vacation to Scottsdale. That's right. Albuquerque's not hot enough for us. Sorry, but 95 is for weenies. Show me a man who enjoys golfing in 110 degrees, and, well, maybe he and Mark can get together.

We stayed at the Renaissance in Scottsdale. I guess it used to be THE place, but it's been replaced. So it was pretty darn cheap. Our expectations were low, but it was just amazing. It was a bunch of casitas, all spread out among grass and beautiful flowers. Bunnies grazed and bounded about. We swore the bird sounds were just tape recorders in the trees because it was too perfect.


Our suite had a private patio with our own hot tub, too!


A few pictures of us, taken right before I dropped and broke my camera.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Upcoming projects

In terms of making things, I've really been focusing on myself lately. To be honest, I'm a little burned out on the business. Sales are slow, and that makes me unmotivated to promote, which is so time consuming. This, in turn, makes sales even slower.

For a while, I took a break from making things just for me. Lately, I've been focusing only on personal stuff, like items for me or gifts for others. I have been doing custom orders only for my business. Obviously, lots of items are for sale, but I haven't been adding to my stock lately. I have had a handful of custom requests lately, and that's nice.

The Brea Bag that I reported on below is coming along nicely. I'm excited for the end results. It's amazing how you look at all the detail and think it will be so hard, but it's really not at all. I guess it might be hard to invent the pattern, but it's not hard to follow it. I think there's a part that's going to confuse me coming up on the gusset, though.
Here's the bag I'm talking about, but it's not the actual one I'm doing. Mine's gray.

Brea bag

I plan to line it and make a fabric strap for it.

Onto the next thing:
I was looking for fashionable knit patterns and found this book called "Runway Knits" by Berta Karapetyan.

Runway Knits

It's full of great patterns, some of which are so finely knit that it seems they'd take a decade. For my first one, I chose this A-Line Jacket, knit from a very bulky yarn on large needles. This should go fairly quickly.

Runway Knits

I love the huge buttons. I chose Burly Spun in light gray, and had to up my needles from a 13 to a 17 to get 2 sts./inch. They recommend Karabella Puffy, but that would run me $130, where this will run me around $60. My yarn isn't as variegated, but I'll have to live with that.

More as I get going!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Two-wheeled fun

Remember when you were a kid and you rode a bike? Remember how the tires never even crossed your mind? Remember how you never, ever got a flat tire in your entire childhood?

So naturally when you bought a bike decades later after not having one all those years, flat tires were the last thing on your mind. And although you live in N.M. and see goatheads all the time, you never for one second thought one of those tiny little things could take down an entire bicycle, right? I mean, surely at this stage in human advancement, a bike could trump a goathead.

Boy was I wrong. And unprepared. And very unknowledgeable about tires. Luckily, I got my flat on the tail end of an 11-mile ride. I was pretty close to home. That night, I bought this clear, gooey bottle of stuff to insert in the tubes to seal them. The next day I spent a disastrous 45 minutes squeezing out 1 oz. of the stuff (out of four that I needed), most of which ended up oozing out and being wiped up with paper towels.

An avid bike rider at work offered to show me how to change the tires. Another cyclist recommended pre-filled Slime tubes, which I bought at Wal-Mart. Little did I realize that -- LUCKY ME! -- my bike requires extra-long valves, which even a pro bike shop didn't carry.

They created a sort of jerry-rigged alternative for me and filled them with goo for me, but I still have to go out and change my own tubes on BOTH tires and IT'S SO UNFAIR!! When it comes to tires, I suddenly revert to a very old-fashioned point of view: I think men should always change women's tires. Bike, car, whatever.

But, I guess if I'm going to ride a bike in N.M. -- you know, me against the goatheads -- I'm going to have to suck it up, right? And get dirt under my fingernails. It will look good with my helmet.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Babies, babies everywhere

A while back, I wrote this post about dyeing the yarn and making a sweater for my friend's baby.

I have finally completed my project! Here is my little sweater and hat. I dyed the yarn myself and knitted this, which was a very long project. I swear that I've been working on this project in some way or another since February. It is made from a wonderfully soft cotton called Henry's Attic Island Cotton IV. It comes undyed.

Shannon's baby sweater and hat

It follows the directions for dyeing and knitting in "The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing" by Linda La Belle.


In the above picture, you'll see a green sweater. That's the first version of the sweater that I knit. For that one, I used Cottontots by Bernat. This one and the booties are going to my brother-in-law and his wife, who are also expecting. I've shown you the sweater before, but now I've added booties. Alas, the booties may be for a smaller baby than the sweater is for.

Lance's baby sweater

Are these not the cutest things you've ever seen? Ever!?

Lance's booties

As for my friend, here are her other gifts. She had requested a diaper bag and picked this fabric. I forgot to press it before photographing, which makes a really big difference. It's wrinkled.

Shannon's diaper bag

I decided to attempt a diaper changing mat that she could take with her for use on public diaper stations and such. I wanted to use Minky on the inside because it's so soft, but someone who knows more about babies than I do suggested using plastic so she can clean it easily between washings. They sell sewable plastic at the fabric store, but it was really awful to work with. I used the Minky with the plastic on top. This didn't turn out as well as I'd like. The plastic is wrinkled and crooked, but it's usable for a while. For an easy closure, figuring the new mom will be juggling a baby and a diaper bag and dirty diapers, etc., I made a loop with elastic so she doesn't have to mess with wrapping ties around and around and tying it. Smart me!

Shannon's changing mat
Shannon's changing mat
Shannon's changing mat

I also finished up some bags for friends, but silly me, I forgot to take pictures. That makes me sad because I like to have pictures of everything I make.