29 June 2010

hello i love you

hey there little guy Look, it's a squirrel! He was hanging outside our bedroom window a few days ago. I have absolutely no crafting or cooking or traveling or outside-my-house photos to share, but hey, isn't that squirrel adorable?

I've actually been doing some sewing lately (as the stupid weather is not so stupidly hot lately) but it hasn't been going very well. I've been learning a lot of things that will serve me well in the future but are really frustrating in the present. For example, deciding "f--k* it, I'll just wing it!" when you're altering a men's button down shirt for the first time and have zero idea what you're doing is actually, surprisingly, not a good idea! Especially when the men's shirt is not quite big enough to do what you want to do with it, and you end up taking apart almost the entire thing, and you decide "hmm perhaps I will turn it around, shirts that button up the back are adorable!" and then you make eight other stupid decisions to try to make it work, and also fitting shirts is hard and sooo depressing when you are perhaps frustrated by the size and shape of your, you know, self, and also sewing darts is so hard and why can I not properly draft a bodice sloper with an accurate bust point and on and on an on. Basically, learning things is hard sometimes! I do not like to be reminded that I am not actually that good at sewing clothing. (Yet!) For now, I have decided that I am going to not work on that stupid men's shirt refashion for at least a week, and in the meantime, I will sew some easier clothing (tank tops and shift dresses, I think) and also sew some quilts and bags and things I'm actually really good at sewing. I just found out I'll be able to participate in Craftacular in August, so I have approximately 500 things that I'd like to sew before then. So I will sew things I'm good at (or things that are easy) for awhile and then maybe eventually I will finish that stupid shirt.

And also, I will continue to enjoy my summer! It has actually been pretty great so far. Kira visited, which basically made my entire summer, and my sister is visiting this weekend to look at apartments (because she and her boyfriend are moving here, which made my entire year!!!), and Nathan somehow continues to get more awesome, and summer classes have actually been pretty okay (I'm learning how to create book indexes, which is seriously really nerdy fun), and yeah, things are sort of great. Awesome!

* (a) I think it's so dumb when people censor curse words on their blogs but (b) I realize that not everyone loves cursing as much as me, so maybe I'll do this for awhile? We'll see.

26 June 2010

blue + white

oud delftware Look, it's Delftware! (Delft ware?) I found it at a thrift store on Thursday. I didn't know what it was, but it said Made in Holland and it was blue and white, so I bought it. After a bit of research, I identified the bottom marking as Oud Delft, which is apparently good but not the best? I don't know. I don't really collect delftware or any other pottery, so this is all very new to me. It's not in great shape (bottom is chipped, interior is sort of cracked and stained) which means I will not feel bad at all about keeping it instead of trying to resell it. I really want to start a vintage resale shop (on Etsy or as a standalone site), but it so far it is very hard to part with the pretty things that I find. And also I don't actually know enough about glassware or pottery or anything like that to be able to properly identify whether something is vintage and/or valuable, so there's that too.

Anyway. I am settling into summer, which is nice. I'm mostly caught up on school, I've done a bit of thrifting, and I'm hanging out with Kira tonight and tomorrow! Exciting stuff, dudes. I hope you're doing well too.

05 June 2010


future cowl, originally uploaded by marinatina.

So I started knitting a cowl on circular needles a few days ago, and I am kind of in love with knitting in the round. (Originally typed "knitting in the rough," which sounds... dirty?) This was taken the second day I worked on it (first day was entirely casting on, which was super tedious), and I'm already much further. Knitting in the round moves super fast, apparently? Or maybe it just seems that way because you don't have to constantly stop to switch needles.

It will eventually be a cowl. It's knit in stockinette stitch, essentially. I didn't consult a pattern, and I based the number of stitches on how many I could fit on the needle with the amount of yarn I gave myself to cast on. Lesson learned--probably allow for more yarn than you think you need, because this ended up slightly smaller than I planned on. After casting on once to see if I could actually knit in the round and then ripping that out to cast on for real, I could not handle the thought of casting on that many stitches a third time. Hopefully it'll fit over my big head! If not, maybe I can give it to someone? It's knit with a ball of yarn I bought for a dollar (or $3 maybe?) at a thrift store. Probably acrylic, but I really really love the color.

Anyway, fun stuff! This weekend will mostly be schoolwork and hockey and a housewarming party, but maybe I'll have time to do some sewing tomorrow morning. I'm really really loving this summer so far.

03 June 2010

things i have done instead of doing my homework

1. Grocery shopping (Woodman's!!!)

2. Dishes (most but not all)

3. Cleaned my bedroom (moved some furniture around, rearranged + refolded all my clothes)

4. Found a Pad Thai recipe for dinner tonight (at this blog, Chez Pim, which looks pretty great)

5. Watched a lot of episodes of Real Housewives of Various Locales (well, NY + NJ) and also Law and Order: Criminal Intent

And the homework I'm avoiding? Reading 2 more articles and then writing a 250 word response to those and a few other articles + chapters. Ugh.

01 June 2010

a few words about knitting with plastic-bag yarn

1. Are you sure you want to? Don't you have a friend with a dog who needs the 300 million plastic bags under your sink?

2. Really? You don't want to try fusing it so you can sew with it? Look, here's a tutorial from Etsy! Oh, who am I kidding, fusing plastic bags sucks too.

3. Okay, that's not fair. Fusing plastic bags & knitting with plastic bags are both fun. Infuriating, but fun.

4. Here's where I'm at so far in my [possibly insurmountable?] knit shopping bag project:*


Let me tell you, those first few rows suuuuuucked. But then it got less sucky; my shiny silver thrifted knitting needles helped, for sure. (Though the silver is starting to flake at the ends, which makes me sadface.)

5. That's actually pretty much the only advice I have--the first few rows suck ass because plastic bags have zero fucking give, so every damn stitch is a struggle. Ha, you can tell I'm annoyed, look at all those curse words! But really, the first few rows suck, but if you keep going (and try to keep the tension as loose as you can**) it gets much less annoying. So stick with it! (Or quit, whatever makes you happy.)

6. There was one other recommendation I had, but fuck if I can remember it... I've been cutting pretty wide strips of plastic, which I think will end up making the bag more sturdy. There's a bunch of good tutorials for how to cut bags and prepare them for use as plarn (pardon me while I vomit, but that word just makes me crazy). Really though, just cut off the handles and the bottom seam and then cut them into strips that are 1" wide. Or wider, or maybe less wide if that's what you're into. Tie those strips together and start knitting. I do a slip-knot*** kind of thing that makes a pretty seamless knot. Oh, and use grocery bags! You could probably use other bags, but grocery bags are so easy and you or someone you know has 500,000 of them cluttering up their house.

7. Also, you should be smarter than me and find an actual pattern to use instead of just winging it. I really need to learn how to increase stitches, I bet that would make it way easier to knit a shopping bag without a pattern.

8. I think that's it?

*I am not even going to show you the terrible things I made when I tried fusing plastic, but trust, they were awful. I have been considering trying it again though, I have a seriously ridiculous amount of plastic bags under my sink.

**Unless you usually knit with a low tension (loose? knit loose? is that a thing?), then probably just proceed as normal. But seriously, plastic has zero give, so do yourself a favor and keep the tension loose.

***Did you hear one of the guys in Slipknot died? I saw that on some gossip site and spent at least seven minutes reminiscing about my poor music taste as a youth. Oh Slipknot and [other band names redacted so you will still be my friend], why did I waste so much time listening to you?