Thursday, April 24, 2008

I love Amy Butler

I've linked to the pictures on my flickr page.

I have done a couple of Amy Butler bags before and I've been really happy with the outcome of them, but this bag was different and very much special because of it.

I took the class for this bag at Lavender Lime and I'm so glad that I did. I never would have had the nerve to try this pattern without the class. I've never done zippers before and I've never tackled such complex construction before.

The bag has multiple pockets, three of which are zippered and two pleated pockets. These are new skills for me but I did a good job on it and the instructor at Lavender Lime did a great job walking us through it. I choose two Amy Butler fabrics and a really stiff canvas lining. I'm especially proud that I made it through this project without breaking any needles although my machine and I had a few fights along the way.

I love it! Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walking the Road Alone

Observation on the way to the grocery store..

I couldn't help but smile at seeing a mother meet her little girl at the bus stop. The two embraced and smiled as they discussed the drawing the little girl had brought home from school. The two walked off hand in hand and I was comforted a the sight.

At the next stop, a little boy exited the bus and having no one to greet him, walked down the road towards his home. The comfort I felt at the previous bus stop was immediately suppressed as I watched him walking.

And I couldn't help but wonder if this was some statement of the lives and future of black men, walking the road alone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Catching Up

I spent the majority of the weekend catching up on my reading and podcast/audiobook listening. Of course I'm knitting and roaming around on Ravelry as much as possible as well. You can keep track of my reading on the list at the bottom of my blog. I'm way behind on my reading goal for the year, but I blame it on the knitting. You just can't knit and hold on to a book at the same time.

But the knitting does not suffer I assure you. My projects of choice nowadays are socks and now that Krazy Knitz is having a sale, I'm sure I'll be doing even more socks.

I'll be back at work soon and maybe that will give me a chance to catch up on my reading. Maybe. The knitting bug is a powerful thing.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How Do You Use This Thing?

Today, I pulled my sewing machine out to sew lining for the cabled purse I've been knitting. I choose a really cute leaf patterned fat quarter of fabric that I purchased at the quiting store. I chose the thread. I have to admit that my working thread and bobbin thread are two different colors but they coordinate with the fabric. Threading a bobbin was not in my plans for the day.

I set about to start and realized that it's been so long since I've sewn anything that I no longer remembered how to use my machine. Of course I eventually figured it out, but having to take the time to re-orientate myself made me realize that my sewing skills are suffering and fading. Not that I know that much about sewing anyway. I can do the basic stuff but don't ask me to put in a button hole or a zipper.

I need lessons. Quickly. So look forward to more on my sewing projects in the near future.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Atlanta Trip-Finale

While in Atlanta, a trip to IKEA inspired me to go ahead and start the recycling program at home I've been wanting to for so long. Finally I would go ahead and do it. I purchased 5 bins-2 large and 3 small for the common divisions of trash-paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, tin.

I did some research yesterday into the guidelines here in Chattanooga. I also had to check the schedule to see when the pick-up times are so I can make sure the items actually make it down to the road on the right day. They pick up once a month so I have to be careful I make the pick-ups. Otherwise I've be driving it all to a drop-off center. My intention was to label the bins and put them in the garage in a place that allows easy access. Looking at the website I saw that the city doesn't actually require you to separate the items. As long as they can be recycled, they can all go into the same bag and be put on the road. So, I decided to use one bin (a large one) and keep it in the kitchen for even easier access.

I'm not sure if that's where the bin will live permanently, but for now I think that's the best spot. Plus it elevates the plant for better sunlight access.

Glass can not be put on the road so I'll have to take wine bottles to the drop off center but I'm usually good about reusing other glass jars once empty. They are perfect for pantry organization. They offer great contrast to the store bought glass containers and make maintaining my pantry a little cheaper. Yay for reusing!

So now, what do I do with the remaining bins? Seeing that Atlanta is almost 2 hours away, returning them is just not practical or desirable honestly. So what to do? YARN STORAGE of course.

I took this opportunity to reorganize a closet that holds my sewing supplies. I put the bins in and labeled them for sock yarn, single skeins, small projects (for 2-4 same balls), and large projects (for 5+ same balls). I think this will work perfectly for my stash as I am still quite small in terms of stash. Since the bins aren't clear I can't automatically see what inside, but I'll use Ravelry to keep up with what I have as I am good about taking pictures of my stash.

The rest of the closet houses my sewing machine and notions and a table I pull out when needed. I added two baskets; one for large notions and patters, the other for WIP knitting. And of course, my knitting books are there.

Now I'm tired and off to clean and dust the house before I die from allergy attacks. Here's hoping your home is organized and dust free as well!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Story Continues

Knitch did a fantastic job hosting the Yarn Harlot this weekend. The event went quite smoothly and although there were at least 2 signing sessions and 1 store copy signing session, we were still able to get to talk with Ms. Stephanie quickly and we weren't rushed along as I thought we might be. The shopping and knitting time beforehand were great and the knit-in was fantastic, especially for the winners of the raffle that benefited Knitters Without Borders.

I am usually a very unlucky girl and since the money was going to charity I decided to be a little more generous and buy 10 tickets ($20). Don't you know I was blown away when I won 5 balls of Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn. That's a hundred dollar value! So, I'm very happy and more than ahead of the game at this point. (Picture of said yarn in the previous post)

GailR may be disappointed to hear that they gave away a $300 ball of lace weight yarn. I'm not very familiar with lace knitting so I did not retain the name of the yarn but it's the rarest yarn available. It was a tiny little ball but the yardage was quite generous and it felt quite lovely. The winner let me pet it a little.

So what really blew me away was the prize to end all prizes (in my opinion at least) and I am still in shock that unlucky me was the one to walk away with it. I won TWO days at the KNITCH CABIN in North Georgia for ME and FOUR FRIENDS. My very own knitting retreat! I'm shaking again just thinking about it. The value of this one...PRICELESS!

So, the moral of this story...good things sometimes come to those unlucky, unemployed people who donate to charity. OR small gambles sometimes pay big.

Again, thanks to Knitch for a fabulous time and to Stephanie who made me laugh and I'm sure I will enjoy the books. (No, I've never read her books before.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Yarn Crawl 2008-My Stash Grows and Grows

So much happened on my trip to Atlanta this weekend that it's impossible to capture it all in one post. So I'll have to post in pieces. I and four friends ventured to the Atl to see the Yarn Harlot. But more on that later.

I'll start with the Yarn Crawl portion of the trip and outline all of my purchases and wins (more about this in another post!!!). These are not in order of store visited but in order of picture uploaded.

Knitting Emporium-Kennesaw,GA
1 skein Colinette Jitterbug
2 balls Laines Du Nord Cleo
Book-A to Z of Crochet

Why Knot Knit-Atlanta,GA
1 skein Araucania Ranco Sock Yarn
1 skein Noro Kureyon
Knit Klips
Project Bag

Yarn Harlot/Knitch Event
Raffle Prize-5 skeins Noro Sock Yarn

Krazy Knitz-Dalton,GA
1 Addi Turbo Needle
2 balls Fortissima Sock Yarn-Teddy Bear
2 balls Cascade Fixation
2 skeins Antuco Cotton

4 skeins Claudia Hand Painted Sock Yarn
1 skein Mountain Colors Hand Painted Sock Yarn
1 Sock Guide
Book-Yarn Harlot
Book-Things I Leaned From Knitting
1 Addi Turbo Needle
1 Bag ground Knitch Coffee
Black Purse Handles

More about the raffle later. YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT ELSE I WON!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chattanooga Festival of Writers

I attended my first writer's conference this past weekend. It was a great conference and I walked away having learned a lot more than I expected.

The main portion of the conference consisted on four session times with three discussions to choose from during each session. I attended "The Memoir:Telling Your Story" (John Sedgwick), "Writing the Short Story" (Ben Fountain), "Freelance Journalism: crafting a Career, Finding Your Niche" (Nancy Henderson, Sean Price, Nancy Hatch Woodward), and "Tips to Keep the Reader Reading" (Will Akers)

As you can see I chose to attend talks that covered just about everything you could write. And there were other sessions that I wish I could have fit in but with seven sessions choices and only four time blocks, I couldn't do it all.

The festival itself started Friday night with a reception dinner and keynote address by Ben Fountain. Saturday was the main day with breakfast, two sessions, lunch with keynote address by Allen Wier, the final two sessions and a book signing. I avoided the signing as my budget is limited at the moment and all the authors have so many good titles to choose from. I was sure I would be tempted to purchase one of everything, so I stayed away.

As far as gems of knowledge I pulled from the sessions I attended, I'll post those tomorrow.

Links to some of the authors: