A tam, a scarf, and a quickie wrapup of my week

Looks like I’m getting back on the habit of not posting as much as I should–well, phooey.  I even had to go back and read what (and when) I’d last posted, so I could remember what’s been up since then.  Oh, for the discipline of NaBloPoMo!

So let’s see, when last I posted, I was heading to the LYS to pick up some Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca in chocolate brown.  It turned out rather well, and I was quite proud of myself.  Despite browsing for nearly an hour, I came out of the store with only the one ball of yarn and three magazines–not cheap, but I didn’t add to my stash, so it’s totally a win!

The hat for which that yarn was purchased is nearly finished–as is typical for me, all that’s left is the seaming, which it’s been waiting for for a week now. Very sad. Just like the blindingly bright granny square afghan is done except for the weaving of the ends. I really suck at finishing, but I hates it so, I do! And of course, rather than do finishing, I’ve started two other projects–the motif scarf for my sister, and a colorful tam from Knitty.

The scarf is the Snowflake Scarf from the latest Crochet Today (pg 26), and so far I have one motif done (in a rusty red), which isn’t much progress, but the damn thing took me over an hour and I needed quiet to concentrate, so you can imagine how often complete quiet pops up in a standard day. I may try to block off a lunch hour or two this week to try to make some  headway.

The tam is Tam C from the latest Knitty, and it’s my first project ever using a chart. Well, ok, there was a heart chart once in a sampler square, but that was easy compared to this chart, so it doesn’t count. 😉 I started it last night using two balls of the Patons wool that I bought during my felted bag phase; the base color is light green and the variegated is red, orange, green and navy. I already screwed up the first round, but I think I’m getting the hang of holding two strands. I’m worried my stitches might be tight enough to pull it into a scrunchy tam, but not worried enough to start over.

I’ve also been going to the WeHo SnB group (if you can count twice as ‘been going’–it was raining Thursday and I couldn’t make myself walk out the door). It’s hard breaking into a group that’s been together for as long as those people have, but there are a few other people who are relatively new who are in a similar boat, which makes it a little easier. 

I think that’s it for yarn related news.  I could go into my neverending leaking window saga, or the hours I’ve spent this weekend trying to learn content management systems for websites, or my cousin’s wedding in Scotland that I desperately want to go to but so far haven’t figured out how to afford it, or the many interviews we had at work this week for two of our four open positions, but I’d be typing for hours. Suffice to say, it’s been a busy week.

Starting, finishing, and frogging, plus an update on the donated Cookie Monster bag

So obviously, I get a complete FAIL at that whole “trying to post every day after NaBloPoMo” thing. Oops? I blame the holidays, and the accompanying freakout.

I have been knitting and crocheting my way through the stress, although I haven’t finished anymore bags.  Weird, huh? I have a red and white 80/20 booga bag (decreased the stitch count by 20%) that’s been languishing on the needles with only about five rows to go, and the mustard beaded bag is finished except for the icord, which is about a foot too short still.

Paula, Kathie, Steve and BenInstead of finishing those, last weekend I started four–four!–scarves. One is crocheted alpaca (the defunct Lana D’Oro that I’ve been saving for a special occasion for about three years now) and will be a gift for a family friend. One is the much lauded “My So-Called Scarf,” which called to me one night in such a way that I had to start it–it’s currently six inches long, but it’s a beautiful stitch.  The third scarf was intended to accompany my mostly red outfit for my company’s holiday party on Monday, and was made of a very white, very sparkly chunky Wool-Ease.  I used a spiral crochet pattern, and I hated it when it was done–it looked like I was wearing an Elizabethan ruffle, and it was waaaaay too long.  That was Saturday. On Sunday I frogged it and started the fourth scarf of the weekend,  a dc-crocheted scarf of a much more reasonable length. I crocheted up both sides of the starting chain, so it folds a bit; then I sc’d twice in each dc along all four edges in a bright green, which gave it a slight spiral that was much less pronounced than the first one. (That’s me and my scarf in the picture, on the left.) It’s now further adorned with a touch or two of red wine, but it’s barely noticeable.

But! In bag news! Remember the sparkly blue bag that I made for the silent auction at the holiday party? Well, thanks to my boss, and to the other people that got into a bidding war, the bag finally sold for $100! More than any of my other donations have ever made! It went to my boss, who was out of town at the time so I had to bid for him (which was a little weird). He brought it home when he got back to town, walked in his front door with it slung over his shoulder, and his little two year old daughter took one look at it and reached out her hands while declaring, “Mine!” to the shiny bag.  So!cute! I saw her yesterday at the department holiday party, and sure enough, she had it slung over her own shoulder where it was carrying her treasures. Best spent $100 ever, if you ask me. 🙂

Omigod sewing!

It’s still true–I hate sewing.

I braved Valley traffic to go to Jo-Ann’s last night after work, where I was rewarded with a renewed stock of magnetic snaps.  Woot! I, um, bought them all.  I had to! Three packages of three snaps each, for only $1.29 per pack?  Hells yes! I also bought three different fabric squares/remnants for possible liners, needle and thread, a thimble (so glad for that one!), a roll of stuff to iron seams instead of sewing (another woot!), a bottle of liquid seaming stuff to avoid sewing (didn’t actually use this one), a button I didn’t use (too small), and a crochet magazine.

I got home, had my yummy pot roast dinner, watched Jeopardy, and then pulled out the ironing board. And then dusted it, because it had been that long since I’d last used it as more than a hanger for plastic bags. The iron, also rarely used, still worked the way I vaguely remembered, so that was cool.

Then it came to the lining part. I’d printed directions from HelloKnitty.com–they didn’t help much.  My first attempt failed, because my bag is oval, not square, so the liner was too small.  Good thing I bought spare squares! My second attempt went better–I layed out the fabric, put the bag on top, folded the fabric, then cut around the bag. Unscientific, but I hate measuring tapes. I folded seams, ironed that nifty stitch witchery stuff to glue them together (not a very strong glue, unfortunately), popping it into the bag over and over for a trial and error approach to getting the right size.  Got it close enough, then attempted to sew actual stitches over the glue, to make it extra strong.  Ha! Did one side seam, remembered why I hate sewing, and decided the second side wasn’t worth it.

A Date With Cookie Monster purseI added the magnetic snaps to the lining (woot! easy peasy!), then put the seamed up lining in the bag, and pinned the top to the inside edge of the bag–nearly perfect size! Woot! (Good thing in the end that the glue wasn’t that strong.) Then came more sewing, since I couldn’t just leave the pins in the bag–phooey. This is where I was very glad I’d purchased the thimble. In the end, the stitch was uneven and very ugly, but did I care? No! It was finished, the lining was attached, and I’d only lost one needle in the process! (I found it later.)

A Date With Cookie Monster purseThen came the shiny button embellishment for the outside.  The button I’d purchased was way too small, so I pulled out the pretty plastic “jewels” from last weekend and found a pretty blue one that worked nicely.  Then I had to glue it to the pin-back, except, I had to find the glue gun.  (It was in the storage box on the top corner shelf of my closet–joy.) I don’t know why I keep using glue guns, ’cause the glue rarely holds.  The jewel popped off the first time I tried to attach the pin to the bag, so I had to add layers and layers of hot glue around all the seams and along the top of the pin back.  It should at least last through the auction–I hope.

In all, not including the trip to Jo-Ann’s (where I didn’t buy yarn, btw–go me!), it took me 2.5 hours to line that stupid bag. OMIGOD do I hate sewing!

Panicking

Every year at our company’s Winter Celebration, we have a silent auction for charity, for which people donate handmade items, particularly knitted items and ceramics. Every year I spend way too much time worrying about what I’ll donate, what yarn to use, what pattern, etc.  This year is of course a knitted handbag.  My boss adores the fuzzy blue one, so that’s what I’ll donate.

But this year, I couldn’t find anything on our intranet about the deadline for donations.  I finally gave up today and emailed the charity committee–a mere six days before the party, because I’m a procrastinating idiot.  They’re setting up the preview tables tomorrow morning, so I have to hand over my donation first thing.

Gah! Start the panic! It still needs a clasp! (Which I don’t have!) And a shiny button! (Which I may or may not have!) And worse, the Aura, while awesome and shiny and super-cool on the outside, makes the inside equally fuzzy, so really, it *should* be lined. But I’ve never lined anything in my life, and I don’t think tonight, after I’ve (hopefully) survived the holiday crowds at Jo-Ann’s, is the perfect time to learn.

I have until 8:30 tomorrow morning to figure this all out.  Holy crap, what was I thinking?!