Monday, March 30, 2009

Sewing Projects: Practical and More Practical

Last Sunday when Chris left for work he said he needed a bag. When he came home I had this just about finished. I made it up as I went along, and it turned out only a little crooked. Sewing this way is like skipping right to the fun part. I used some corduroy fabric that I already had, and decided to turn it inside out so the outside of the bag would be smooth. 

Here is Chris on his way to the Spuyten Duyvil beer store, bag ready to be filled with bottles. The whole bag used recycled materials: the corduroy is cast-off pant legs from Chris making a pair of shorts, and the strap is one of Chris's old belts. To disguise the seam of the pant legs, I ran a zig zag stitch over it in gray. The color combo ended up coordinating with pretty much his whole wardrobe. 

I've hemmed a few pairs of pants, which I am inordinately proud of. I got the idea that hemming pants was the hardest sewing project ever when Jeanne and Joanne's Sewing Room in Wilmington ruined two pairs of my pants by hemming the legs at different lengths. Seriously J and J, how do you do that? So obsessively comparing one pant leg to another throughout the process, I've now hemmed jeans and corduroys. I also hemmed a pair of dress pants using a blind stitch hem on my machine. This tutorial on machine blind stitch hem was very helpful. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Newborn Hat

I knitted this hat for a newborn baby whose mother recently helped me with a freelance article. My Nana gave me the pattern, which was written for the volunteers who knit baby hats for newborns at Mary Immaculate Hospital. I was born there, and both of my grandmothers volunteered there for years. The pattern is no-nonsense, and it was only two days from casting on to finishing. A better knitter could probably dash off one of these hats in one sitting. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wandering Cable-Knit Scarf

This cable-knit scarf has been to Ocracoke, Bluefield, and New York, and that was all before it even came off the needles. In keeping with all of the projects I've knitted that required paying attention, it took me forever to complete it. 

But lucky for us, there were still plenty of freezing days for C. to enjoy his scarf in New York. He has a way of tying it that's all his own; it involves multiple wraps around his neck so he doesn't have too much scarf hanging out. 

The pattern for this scarf at Knitting Addiction calls for cashmere yarn, but I found a nice merino wool that feels good. This was only the second project that I blocked after knitting, and now I'm converted. Washing and blocking makes the final product so much softer. I discovered this by accident when I dropped my own scarf on the damp ladies room floor at Brooklyn Brewery

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our first Nor Nor'easter

A nor'easter ripped up the east coast this week and for us that meant waking up on Monday morning to about six inches of snow. This was the view from our back door.

(By the way, check out our neighbor's new fence on the balcony behind our shed. We saw them working on it, and for a day or so we watched nervously and wondered if they were going to put up a solid wood fence. They had the power to block out, oh, half of our sunlight if they did. Thankfully they went with chain-link!) 

The wind was blowing the snow around, so it was piled high in some spots like here on our picnic table. 

It was funny to have a nor'easter bring snow instead of rain, 40mph winds, and beach erosion. You know, like the one that came through the Outer Banks the week before our wedding and had me glued to my computer constantly updating Saturday's forecast.