Hold it!

Wow, I have been busier than a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest, which is my excuse for not writing anything of substance for the last two weeks. I’ve had several good ideas for topics, but I’ve been focusing on finishing Jojo’s Monster Socks so she can wear them before it gets too hot, and the few spare minutes I’ve had, I’ve dedicated to that endeavor.

It took me two weeks to finish the second sock because I had a case of “projectus interruptus.” Last weekend the girls presented me with a challenge – they each needed to make a dress out of bags they’d collected from ComicCon for Spirit Week at their school (the theme was “Earth Day/Week”). Sami used the existing structure of a single bag, and added a few strategically placed pleats and a button to create this:

Sami’s ComiCon Dress, out of recycled bags

Ok, I’m obviously going to need a different photo. I’ll have her model it for me when we get home.

Jojo, on the other hand, had a more elaborate scheme. Last year, for a similar project, we’d purchased a dress pattern which we never used but kept (and remembered where we kept it). Last weekend this pattern was pressed into service to create

Jojo’s ComiCon Dress, out of recycled bags

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I am easily the world’s worst seamstress, which meant that something that would take a semi-competent person a few hours to complete takes me an entire day. But do you know what? I had a blast! Due to technical difficulties, I had to do most of the sewing on Sami’s dress, but Jojo sewed most of hers, leaving me to take care of cutting out pieces and offering advice. Luckily, she didn’t have any terribly tricky issues, and the dress was finished before sundown on Sunday.

Luckily, the sewing thing really only comes up once or twice a year, so now I can return to my knitting.

Learning Something New

This has been a very educational week. I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at a class that was required for me to continue working in my current position. On Wednesday I took – and passed – the exam, and I can say with confidence that I now know more than I ever wanted to know about computer security issues and how to mitigate them.

To celebrate, on Thursday I stopped by Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach and picked up a few balls of Mochi Plus yarn in order to finally learn how to knit entrelac. And I have to say, it’s going pretty well!

Entrelac Scarf knit with Mochi Plus Neptune Rainbow yarn on size 7 needles.

This pattern is like half project/half puzzle. I (uncharacteristically) enjoyed the fact that when I started I had no idea how this was going to work. I’d seen photos of the scarf “in-progress,” so I sort of understood what the stitch configuration would be, but I was still surprised by how it all comes together. I’m not going to tell you that part… you may enjoy the surprise as well.

Another thing I learned from this scarf is that THIS is why straight needles still exist. I’ve been using circulars almost exclusively for quite a while now, but found that with all the twisting and turning required on this scarf I was dealing with a big tangly yarn/cable/needle mess. As soon as I could, I switched to my straights, and all was well with my little knitting world.

In another uncharacteristic move, on Friday I actually sewed something. Check it out:

These are two little project bags that I made. Each one took 1/2 of a Fat Quarter of fabric, and are quite reversible. My sewing skills are such that I was amazed that the entire project – not counting the trip to the store to get the supplies – took only about an hour. Now that I know a) how easy they are to make; and b) how much of the yardage the drawstring channel and seams take up; I’ll make some more that are a bit taller/narrower/bigger in general to accommodate the various sized projects I work on.

We interrupt the knitting…

…of the February Lady Sweater to bring you hours of sewing on a costume for ComicCon (for Sami, not me) in a 100+ degree kitchen allllllll day Sunday and after dinner Monday, and I’m still not done. I got to the point where I needed to pin the zipper into the back of the shirt at Midnight. Since it’s been years since I last sewed a zipper in, I felt that embarking on this particular adventure whilst tired and feeling more than a little gross because of the heat in the middle of the night was ill advised. So I turned off my sewing machine, unplugged the iron, and took my bath.

I’d meant to take a photo of the kitchen table where I’m doing my very best impersonation of a seamstress, but after I’d finished bathing, it was 1:00am, and I was so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open. Hence, no pictures of her outfit. I do have it with me today, buy it’s all the way in the car, and I’m not, so tough.

I do, however, have a picture of the February Lady Sweater, with her half-a-sleeve.

February Lady Sweater, as of this morning. I have about 25 more rows to do before I even consider trying it on to check the sleeve length (I decided to do full-length sleeves).

The past two nights, as I was sewing away, pricking my fingers on pins (and swearing) the whole time, I longed to knit on her. But Sami is hard to refuse, and I’d feel really badly if her costume only made it to being “nearly finished” by Sunday. I told her that someday, when she becomes an angst-filled teenager, she may attempt to claim that I’ve never loved her. When that day comes, I will remind her of this project and the extreme heat that coincided with it’s making. Not to make her feel guilty. Just to give her proof.