Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Fun...

I spent last weekend, which was one of the hotest Chicago has had this year hovering around 98F at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, just a short walk from my apartment. It was a great afternoon:

Blue Skies, Good Music:


Not to mention Flatstock 9 , where I picked up these:


There were so many great artists there, and I could have spent much, much more if the budget allowed. The sea dragon is by Warnick Art and the other two are from Leia Bell. I love them, and can't wait to hang them with the rest of my [very small] collection...

Napramach progress and some packages to unwrap next time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


So, Napramach, the ill-fated Olympic Project, is knit as two sides and which are then crocheted together around the outside edges. Here's where we are at the moment:

A front and a back....(unblocked, and photographed at night, so please excuse the camera shake)...

Side by Side

"Wow, all that intarsia", you might say..."I bet there are a few ends that need weaving in". Well, my friends, you would be correct:

Second Piece

But wait! Did I mention that this was my first Intarsia project? Ever. Well, it is. And, during a trip to my local yarn store, I asked for some advice. Can you guess what I was told? Here's a hint:

What's This?

If you guessed that my friendly LYS assistant told me that I needed to cut a separate piece of yarn for every block of colour that was separated by TWO OR MORE stitches of another colour, you would be correct again. That's right, I feel like a fool. This advice resulted in MORE THAN 80 yarn ends to weave in on my first piece, not to mention, major tension issues. My only consolation is that by the end of the first repeat I had deduced that something was 'wrong', and figured out a better way...

First Disaster

Look at it! What a disaster...can you believe an 'expert' gave this advice??? I know the next two repeats are far from perfect, but they are a hell of an improvement on the first. I've decided to rip out the whole piece and reknit it. Now I've had some experience, my tension is MUCH better, and I've also realised that I should be catching the long strands of yarn (the ones over the centre of the repeat), so they aren't just left hanging around. Lonely.

What a lesson...I'm glad I learned on this piece, and not an actual sweater. I also know to make a gauge swatch IN THE PATTERN, not just the yarn! I'll cross that Olymic finish line eventually.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Setting Sun...

This is my usual evening view...

sunset 1

sunset 3

Tonight, at last, this was an additional view...


The Olympic project is FINALLY taking shape...details next time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I have issues. Spatial issues. I’ve recently moved, and am still trying to get everything set up and situated. I have what was referred to by the leasing agent as a ‘multipurpose room’…supposedly able to be used as an office, spare bedroom, etc etc. However, I doubt it could ever be used as a bedroom, as the HVAC is situated in there and is fairly noisy. I'm planning on using it as the craft room. So…here is what it looks like currently - gah, what a disaster:



It is small, but the main problem comes with the actual layout:

Spatial Issue #1: The two doors you see. The one on the left is the coat closet, which I would like to keep fairly clear of general storage, and only for winter coats, hats, etc, plus the ironing board etc. The door on the right is actually the HVAC closet, so access to that needs to be kept open. **Little Annoyance: Why have they used two completely different doors side by side? It upsets to my virgoan sense of symmetry!

Spatial Issue #2: is that there is no door between the ‘room’ and the hall, so when you enter the apartment, this is literally the first thing you see…an entrance of sorts.

I’m tossing up between two looks- one with a fairly modern Scandinavian line, and the other a bit more eclectic. Of course, all of this needs to be done on a tight budget. I need to keep the shelving you see- it is relatively new, and required for all those boxes. I am planning on making a fabric cover for it out- maybe a fairly plain calico with some appliqué or a basic stencil. My only new purchases will be a desk, chair and maybe a couple of wall mounted shelves. So, I think the desk will dictate the feel of the room. To that end, I have narrowed it down to two possible candidates. They are both relatively narrow, which is a requirement for the position of sewing/craft table in this space. While the first one is slightly more my aesthetic, with the very simple, square lines, the other one has simple ‘turned’ legs- a bit more farmhouse style. Like a lot of people, I have a thing for mixing styles. I can see the second style paired with a very modern style chair.

I'm off to Ikea on the weekend and will hopefully be coming home wiht a desk (and some extra shelf pieces). I'm also planning a trip to the swedish shop here in Chicago to see if I can get some ideas...I'm fairly inspired by this candlestick I just found on sale at West Elm...I'm not one for bright yellow, but this has really taken my fancy. I think it is that 70's/swedish thing...maybe I've been listening to too much Abba?? Hhhmmm, maybe that's my REAL issue?


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I've Been Thinking About It....

Oh my goodness- I did it. I finally bought a blocking board. I’ve been thinking about it for ages, as using my bed doesn’t cut it (I don’t have a spare bed, and as much as I love knitting, I draw the line at sleeping with a project while it blocks) and until recently had a hardwood floor. The couch is out of the question as my cat is drawn to damp yarn, for some reason, and likes to lie ALL OVER IT. My poor Maki scarf never got a proper blocking, and could do with one. Plus, I have a number of projects on the go at the moment that will need some serious blocking. I found the large Sew E-Z board on sale at Guardian for only $45, so finally bit the bullet and did it. I should have it just in time to pin out my current project (the poor neglected Olympic Project)…more on that later.