Sunday, June 24, 2007

The dots are taking over my life!

Yesterday I had lots of plans for the weekend. Plans that involved cleaning, cooking, reading, spending time outdoors - you name it. What did I do instead? -I fell victim to inspiration.

I came around this amazing idea in this wonderful blog, which kindly gave a link to this genius idea in this wonderful blog. After all this inspiration, how could I resist!

So I got myself a compass, some paper and a manila folder, and made templates:

Then I made some dots:

The process was super easy, almost meditative. So I made more dots:

LOTS of dots

In fact, I had to force myself to stop.
Initially I was planning to make a pillow, and see how it looks. No need for that, they 're all going to be on the bed cover (a.k.a. cat hair collector). I will hand-applique them, and then add a border etc. -I might need more dots for the border... ;-) I have no idea how to quilt it, I have never made a quilt before. I might make knots instead of actually quilt it, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

Pictured here, with Supermodel Seven

The way that cats insist to be part of each photograph of projects reminds me of car advertisements, where there is always a hot model there, whether it has anything to do with the product or not.

To prove my point, here is another shot, with my newly acquired quilting squares that came on the mail the other day.

200 of them!

I wanted to see and admire each and every one, so I sorted them all according to basic colour. Now, that's archival!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Today after work I met with a friend whose enthusiasm in knitting is inspiring. She is just learning to make socks, and we had a little workshop on short-row heels, my prefered method of making heels. I have tried a flap heel as well, but I have very thin heels and they don't really fit well, so that's what I showed her. If it doesn't work for her, I 'll show her other options (I 'd have to review them first, but that's not a bad thing, is it?).

Although she picked up on wrapping stitches with remarkable ease, she kept getting lost at which stitch to wrap. So I hershowed parts of my own, obsessive (and very detailed) system of marking each and every step of the process. I developed this system about 25 years ago, and it is an essential part of my knitting experience I can't (or do not want to) do without. It is useful for those patterns where 'make two' is mentoned, but I do it for every project, just because.

Snowflakes count for 5, checks for 2: knit and purl

I mean it, EVERY project!

In knitting news, I am almost halfway through the half of the second sleeve on the Beachcomber Tunic (for link, see sidebar), and eager to start the crochet sections.

Also, a while ago I started the ever-so-popular Clapotis, in Noro Kureyon 128. It has been like that for a while, though, as I am now focusing on abovementioned project.

I am following the pattern without any modifications, but for my logging method I have the special assistance of this!

Antique counter, originally used by my mum's uncle, who was a customs officer -I am guessing for the Ottoman government, but I must double-check that. He 'd press the button for every sack that would pass before him. How cool is that!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend highlights

Crafty booty from Flushing

Making a necklace

Sunny was on duty for help

Making (and eating) chips

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Live music

Last weekend I bought a new skirt.

It was on the outside rack of a store in Jackson Heights, the Indian neighbourhood in Queens. I knew I had a winner when I saw this 'Kill Bill' skirt (she wears a long light blue skirt in the last scene, when she kills Bill. heh!), but it was obvious why it was marked down: the stripes were badly, barely seamed, the beads falling apart (it isn't clear in the photo, but there are a few ebroidered viney beads along the skirt). 'No problem, I thought, I can fix it with some knots and straight seams.' The first time I wore the skirt I got caught in the rain, the skirt got very, very wet, and very, very heavy. I had no idea how difficult it is to walk with a wet long skirt! Naturally, after that ordeal, the skirt was in desparate need of repair.

Tonight L. is rehearsing with a new group, playing some smooth, Latin music - and they are really, really good! So, I took a glass of wine and sat by the sewing machine. It is a warm, summer night. The cats gathered around me, at first trying to 'help' and then curled up and fell asleep. It didn't take long to fix the skirt. And then, just as I was about to finish, I paused and realised that I have done all that listening to some awesome live music! Free concert! Yippee!

The mystical communication of cotton

One of the things I have been collecting (or should I say stashing) over the years is cotton squares and small amounts of fabric for quilting or just playing around. Most of the projects I have made over the last year are from this stash. They are fun and an inexpensive way of collecting fabric, even though there isn't much uniformity in what I end up with. And sometimes they can be found in the most unusual of places.

Like this last batch, which I found in a 99-cents store a block away from work.

As soon as I came home, I played a game. I laid them all on the floor and sat in front of them, just staring and trying to imagine what each piece would like to become. It was an interesting experience, as different projects came through my mind as possibilities for the different fabrics, and in a very mystical way the fabrics rejected my ideas. Heh.. Finally, two decided to be cooperative.

So now I have a definite project for this:

And possibly for this:

Hopefully some of it will materialise during this weekend.

As always, Skid had to inspect the fabric-stash box

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Adventures of Purple Pillow

One of the most constant presences in my life has been my beloved (and coveted) Purple Pillow. It was given to me by a friend of the family, sometime in the late 1970s. It has my name on it, and it is handpainted by another friend of the family, who has a gift shop in which the pillow was sold.

The little pillow had been laying around in my room for several years, without a serious use but being unable to get rid of it as it seemed like a useful thing - and it had my name on it. Until sometime in the mid-1980s I used it as a sleeping prop. At first I just put it between my elbows, so that the top arm wouldn't be hanging too much when sleeping on my side. After that it has found many more uses to make my sleep comfortable, and soon after I got my first sewing machine, I bought some purple silk and made two matching pillow cases for it. Ever since then, its name has been Purple Pillow.

It has been with me ever since, in all kinds of trips, sleep-overs, camping trips etc. It has ALWAYS been with me. The original filling has been replaced with feather and down, and other kinds of maintenance have been dutifully and lovingly performed as needed. In the last 20 years I must have slept without it no more than five times - and every time it was uncomfortable, Purple Pillow missed sorely. Purple Pillow is also very coveted. Everyone who sees it, thinks it's a great idea and asks if they can have it. Naturally, the answer is always 'No'!

Sadly, yesterday morning Purple Pillow had an accident... Skid needed to express herself, and part of her discontent landed on the edge of poor Purple. I only found out when I went to bed, so I had to put it aside, doomed to an uncomfortable night. So today, first thing after work was to cut open the inside casing (the one with my name on), which has certainly run its course.

Due to its many holes (which result in feather loss), it has now been retired, and a new, plain one took its place.

And here it is, in it's rightful place: my side of the bed!

Good night, everybody!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Sometimes I 'm so obvious...

You Should Spend Your Summer at the Beach

You're a free spirit who is always thinking of new ways to have fun.
And you don't just love summer... you live for it.
So, you really should blow off your responsibilities and head to the beach!

Monday, June 11, 2007

I belong in Fall

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Does this mean that my favourite season should be Fall, or that my personality reminds of Fall?
Does this mean that my favourite season should be Autumn, or that my personality reminds of Autumn?

I like "Autumn" the best :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Of course I would run out of yarn!
Note to self: next time check not only gauge and number of skeins, but YARDAGE requirements.
Yet another case of reinventing the wheel, albeit with some delay... heh...

Luckily, last night, when doubts already were niggling my mind, I did a search online, and found this lovely person on eBay who had exactly what I needed, same dyelot too. I had bought the yarn in Edinburgh, so I knew that my chances of finding the same dyelot would mean paying in pounds. sigh... Crisis averted, problem solved; sweater price: soared. Double sigh...

Sunflowers for a rainy day

It is gloomy today, not really what one would want for a Sunday morning. Needing a dash of sunshine, the next best thing is another mosaic. I love making those things!

Originally uploaded by ListmakerKat

This is from the solitary sunflower that found its way to my home, from a whole bunch delivered to a co-worker. She couldn't take them all with her, and didn't want to leave them alone over the weekend, so she generously offered them to the rest of us.

I love sunflowers, love their personality, and vibrant colours. This one reminds me of a girl wearing a bonnet, tightly tied under her chin. I also love how my new camera can take pictures almost from contact.

Obviously, no knitting news. I have reached the irritating stage in Beachcomber Tunic where I begin to wonder if I will run out of yarn or not. Aaaargh!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


No real knitting or otherwise crafty progress worthy of talking about.
Meanwhile, here's what cost me a week's salary in vet tests.

The vet seemed good, but turned out to be the golddigger type (more, more tests!!!). I don't think I 'll be going there again.

Thankfully, Seven seems to be fine. Must go snuggle her NOW.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Glamour in the rain


It's been one of those weekends. Too hot on Saturday, overcast and not hot enouch on Sunday. So what else can one do in one of those weekends?

Silly question..

The results:
Beachcomber Tunic: back and two front halves: check!

Seven approves

I decided to make all the knitted parts first, and then do all the crochetted parts next. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I still don't have the right size hook.
It went pretty fast, despite the occasionally screechy bamboo needles. When I knit without looking, which is most of the time, I guide the needles with my left thumb, but the right tip always rubs on the side of the left needle. The unfinished edge of bamboo needles occasionally sqreech a bit, which I find very, very unpleasant. Hopefully the sleeves will be finished soon and my ordeal will be over.

No other project was even touched during the past week. I really am in a hurry with this project. I did manage, however, to make a very yummy Spanakopita, that was eaten in much less time than it took to roll the dough:

Yum, yum, yummer!

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