Is this as gross as it seems to me?

Seen in the store in Florida, press on french pedi toe nails!  Ewww!  You mean people would consider gluing fake toenails to their feet? Why does that completely disgust me?  Why don’t fake fingernails bother me though?  Is this just a Florida thing?  Why am I wasting brain cells on this?

Uh, I said a left turn!

When one works domestic trips, one must be open to change.  Since this is clearly not Florida, we were rerouted.  I don’t really mind the changing destinations (that’s just the way it is) but I must point out that St. Louis is a great deal colder than any place in Florida.  Any why does that building under my window look like a Lego?  I’ll pretend the snow is white sand beaches and won’t go outside.  That should do me on this short layover.

Slippery slopes and such

So I’m innocently perusing blogs and I see this post at The Purl Bee and I think “Self, you have very tidy friends and those coasters could be a handy and welcome host gift.”  Hmmm.  I could combine these coasters into a Valentine-esque theme and just run with it.  Since my crowd and cutesy don’t go together, I thought of one of the striking color schemes at Saidos da Concha (a very pretty blog that will make you feel like you live in an ugly hovel – I digress).

Anywho, I thought I’d use red, white and turquoise for my coasters.  I suppose if you keep scrap fabrics you could use those, but I throw that stuff out after a project and went to the store to buy some fabric and red felt.  I bought four fat quarters and used about a quarter of the fabric pieces to make the coasters.  I mashed up this coaster with this coaster and went with it.  Please note I don’t have a walking foot since I’m not a quilter and these worked out  just fine without spending the extra hundred bucks on that foot.  An easy project that I sewed up assembly line style while watching a football game.

But what to do with all the extra fabric.  I don’t like extra bits sitting around and there are only so many coasters one can use.  I know, heart pot holders to complete the theme host gifts.  I now went back to the store and bought cotton batting and bias tape, taking this project out of the $5 range into the $15 range.  I used up a much greater chunk of the fat quarters making up those four pot holders.  But guess what?  I’ve still got some fabric left.  Will those fat quarters never end?  Oh they will, trash day is coming up.

Random post

Because my latest crafty efforts are on the camera at home and I’m three time zones away without having loaded the piccies on my laptop, today’s post will be called random for good reason.

1. I made some kick ass tomato soup (don’t leave out the brandy).

2. Did you know your library has audio books you can download and you’ll never have to leave the house?  I’ve downloaded a few and my latest was The Maltese Falcon.  I listened to a goodly portion of that driving around San Francisco, which as you know, is where the book is set.  Love that.  As a bonus this book is on the NEA’s The Big Read list to inspire adults to get to reading.  Even cooler.

3. Cowls are this season’s slouchy hat.

4. There are a couple interesting museum exhibits coming up around these parts – “Pulp Fashion” at the Legion of Honor in February and “Balenciaga and Spain” at the de Young in late March.  Yay!

5. I hate Uggs.  Are they the new Croc?

How’s that for random?

Srsly

Yesterday my trip was cut short because of the incoming snow and ice storm.  Honestly, this is pretty much the first time one of my trips was made “better” for any reason.  I thought I’d hop on the first flight west and didn’t particularly care where the plane was going, as long it was going.  I ended up in sunny Los Angeles humming that Randy Newman song as the plane taxied in.   I then scrounged a flight north and this morning I see the ICE HAS FOLLOWED me!  This horror show is the backyard’s frozen water feature.  I guess it’s an ice sculpture now.

Experimental knitting

What the hell is experimental about knitting?  It’s a pullover for heavens sake.  Ooh wacky.

Ah, but look a bit deeper.  It’s a top down, set in sleeve knit simultaneously sweater.  Wha?  Splain it to me Lucy.

Well I was faced with a bit more time off than I expected due to a VERY unfortunate sickness I picked up in my travels.  It was so unfortunate that I went to the doctor for some massive drugs to set myself right.  Modern medicine worked, so knitting happened.

When I felt well enough, I picked up my Knitting From the Top and while leafing through saw the top down set in sleeve chapters and thought I’d go for it.  I’d done top town raglan cardies, pullovers, hats and socks but never a set in sleeve from the top town.  Interesting.

KFTT is a must have in my opinion if you’re a sweater knitting person.  My problem with the book is that you’re constantly flipping to other chapters  because the directions are more anecdotal than logically linear.  These are not blind follower instructions.  So I read the chapters through, used many bookmarks and made notes (that’s a first) and began.  I unravelled a UFO in garage storage in a nice chunky weight for instant bang for my knitting buck.  Luckily it’s a nice soft cormo that I think my sister and dyed up ages ago and am now putting to a proper use.  You know I love cormo.  I knit up a big swatch and made my calculations.

My progress has been swift (thanks to 3.5 st/inch) and there really is no better way to understand this top down process than to just do it.  You start at the shoulder with an invisible cast on and do short rows.  The sleeves are picked up after 1/3 of the armhole has been knit and then you continue on from there in the usual top down fashion.

My aesthetic plan for this sweater is pretty modest.  I want it to end up as a big comfy sweater that can be worn in place of a sweatshirt.  No fancy patterns or geegaws, just stockinette with ribbing at the end.  A good rustic sweater that will get used.  That’s the plan at this point.

Baby talk

 

One of my friends is having a baby boy this spring and I thought I’d see if I could come up with a baby blanket.  Now I have several prejudices about baby items – nothing overly cutsie and nothing “ye olde” style (aka expensive grandma crap, sailor suits or matching parent/child outfits).  See, these are not unreasonable ideas.

I like the idea of the Moderne Baby Blanket, but I didn’t want to make a hodgepodge.  So I opted to make a more linear progression blanket.  My yarn choice was the washable/dryable Lion Brand Cotton-Ease and after taking these pics I washed the blanket to make sure the colors don’t run.  They don’t.  The colors of the blanket are in the ballpark of the nursery colors tropical theme, so that’s a plus.

I’m ambivalent about the finished blanket.  The colors look kind of like a rainbow, which is not what I was going for.  I wanted to use more muted colors, but Cotton-Ease just didn’t have enough of the colors for my vision.  I picked the colors that worked best and called it done.  Aren’t baby blankets just big rags anyway so I should just gift it and let it go….right?