Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kids Say The Darnedest Things...

Reason number one why I love teaching kids...they say what they think, no holds barred.

I have a Saturday afternoon knitting class filled with seven to ten year olds. This group of girls is a real treat to work with. They keep me laughing the entire time we're together and last Saturday was no exception.

One of my adult crochet students happened to be taking a lesson from me at the same time the girls were getting their knit on. As such the little people were listening intently to our adult chatter regarding getting older. In keeping with the subject matter, I mentioned that I would be turning 40 this May.

At that point, one of the girls said incredulously, "You're going to be 40???"

The rest of the girls chimed in, mirroring her disbelief.

To which I replied, "Yes, I am."

Then a barrage of statements from the peanut gallery, "You don't LOOK 40."

"You don't ACT 40."

"I don't believe you're going to be 40."

In response I asked, "Well how old do you think I am?"

The progenitor of this tangential conversation answered immediately, "16."

Her classmates in unison, "Yeah, 16!"

I immediately erupted into laughter telling them, "I love you all more than you'll ever know."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tackling The Twinkle

After much apprehension, I finally purchased one of the Twinkle books. Don't get me wrong, I think her designs are super cute, I just don't appreciate pattern books riddled with mistakes. However, I figured her publications have been in the marketplace for quite some time at this point, therefore corrections should be easily obtained. So with that, I took the plunge and purchased her Weekend Knits book and tried my needles at the little bralet adorning the cover.

Here's my version in more LadyLinoleum appropriate colors...

I'm happy to report that I found only one mistake in the pattern and it was easy to figure out a work around. All in all, I knit this little top up in a matter of hours and was able to bust a bit of my stash in the process. Another win/win!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Adventures in Entrelac

A month or so ago, Samantha, proprietor of Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint, asked me if I would be willing to lead a weekend Entrelac workshop at the store. To which I replied, "Sure, no problem." This statement was then followed up with the thought...Well, I guess I better teach myself this technique! For better or for worse, my theory of teaching tends toward the last minute. Stay one step ahead of the class LadyLinoleum and you will be just fine!

At any rate, I give you my first Entrelac experimentation...

I am a huge fan of red and blue combos. Here, I used various hanks of my own homespun combined with stash yarn. Each tier represents a different ball o' yarn.

The pattern I used (and subsequently taught others how to use) is the Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style. What I thought would be a difficult technique to grasp, turned out to be pretty darn straightforward. Working up a bit slowly at first, I soon got into a groove, moving from tier to tier with ease. Really, the most difficult aspect of this project was weaving in the billions of ends at the completion of the stole.

After blocking, and not wanting to deal with more strings after the weaving in ends fun fest, I opted to forgo the knotted fringe that the pattern called for in favor of a more refined crocheted braided edging.

In conclusion, it is my firm belief that Entrelac is rad.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Far beyond a chip off ye olde block...

Look at my beautiful offspring modeling the hat she knit up for her boyfriend. Oh, and did I mention that this is her first finished knitted object? I taught the young one how to knit only a few short weeks ago. Massive props for tackling a hat her first time at the needles. Speaking of needles...yep, she used dpns. Can you believe it??? That's my girl, fearless to the core!

Look at how even her stitches are! And that cute dangling pompom...

I think she did an outstanding job! I also think that she is amazing (and not just because she is my daughter) because she is always thinking outside the box, unafraid of challenges and well, let's face it, she's got mad skills. Basically, my child makes me look a hack and I have to tell you all that I'm totally okay with this...

Lena, you go girl! xoxo

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My First Shirt!

Oh yes, I actually cobbled a shirt together with fabric, needle and thread!

For me, this is nothing short of amazing. Okay, it took me five weeks to make this piece of apparel in my weekly sewing class. But hey, I deserve a pat on the back for moving through this at times painful sewing experience nonetheless. However, I figured if I could master a yoke, collar, cuffs, setting in the sleeves and actually lining up my button holes, I'd be that much more the skilled seamstress! Check out the parts...

Not bad, eh? In fact, I am wearing my bee-you-ti-ful bee attire today in the office and not one person has uttered that dreaded question, "So, did you make that?"

Now, we all know this question and what evil lurks behind it. Yeah, what the inquirer really wants to ask is, "Hey, why are you even wearing that thing that looks as if it were cobbled together by a chimp on crack?"

Or, "Were you blindfolded (and on crack) while sewing that garment together?"

Or, "Let me guess, that shirt, is it? Yeah, well, whatever it is...could it have been made as a collaborative project between you and a chimp...um, while blindfolded, your brains addled by copious amounts of, um, crack, perhaps?"

Yeah, not one person has said anything remotely like the above to me today. Because of this, I'm calling this top a win/win. Yep, I learned a few new skills AND I actually made a wearable garment!

So, my top looks relatively store-bought AND the best part, aside from the stuff I mentioned prior that is...it has BUG BUTTONS!

It's all about the details peeps.

Sewing is definitely less scary after the completion of this project. Now stay tuned for my foray into quilting...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Two New Patterns!

I have two new patterns in the latest issue of Crochet Today mag! Yay!!

But before I showcase my latest designs, I wanted to give a few woefully belated props to Crochet Today magazine as I believe that this publication is THE best crochet magazine out there right now (and not just because I happen to be a frequent contributor *wink*). Really, the designs are hip, fun and have a wide appeal. I usually find more than a handful of items in every issue that I'd like to try my hook at. And let me tell you folks, that's sayin' something considering our current crafty climate is flood-ded with pattern-alia...the good, the bad and the ugly. Not that I'm not thrilled with the selection mind you! But peeps, there is a lot of blah out there! And I don't know about you, but if I'm to spend my precious moola on a compendium of patterns, I'd like there to be more than one in the lot that I'm itching to make. In short, I'd like to thank the string lord for Brett Bara and the host of talent she has corralled in each issue of Crochet Today mag which never ceases to amuse and delight!

Now, onto the patterns. First and foremost, the Sunny Shoulder Bag!

If you like working motifs and sewing 'em all together, then this be the project for you! The final product is constructed from piles of colorful hexagons, a solid rectangular bottom and wide-ish strap. It's so simple, yet really rather fun! I keep thinking that this bag would be outstanding worked up in linen for Spring...hmmm...

My second design is of the applique variety and a bony one at that!

I don't know about you all, but I think I need a T-Rex skull on the back of one of my jackets...It should probably glow in the dark too. Oh yeah...


Have you obtained your issue of Crochet Today yet? Well, what are you waiting for???