18 May 2007

New toy & new FO

OK, its still a few months before my birthday but since its a combination gift, I got my present early.

Its a gently used Pfaff ClassicStyle Quilt 2027. Its definitely more expensive than I had imagined when I requested a sewing machine. However, since this was a present, hubby wanted to make sure it would be a good long-term investment in a machine that could last a lifetime. Plus, its just technical enough to even interest him. The place where I purchased the machine had great customer service (I went several times to play with the machines on display). They also offer a nice community setting, meaning that they have get-togethers for sewers in the area, free help with sewing projects (since I bought my machine there), and monthly potlucks in addition to a nice selection of classes.

Now, I've never actually used a sewing machine before. I followed the manual to get all set up and I purchased some practice fabric (some $1/yd stuff that is a little scary). With my various work-trips this week, I had not had time to play with the machine. My in-laws came to visit on Wed. and my MIL loved it. She was talking about how I could now make curtains for my house (something I've been talking about doing since we moved here). I told her my plans: practice with the fabric, take a class and in a few months, I can tackle my living room curtains. Pshaw, she said. We went to a fabric store, bought some fabric and matching thread and with her overseeing the project, set out to make new bathroom curtains. It was fun and it was a really good bonding experience with my MIL.

This IDT technology that feeds the fabric from the top and bottom takes some getting used to but I made the curtains without using a single pin, just iron things in place and stick it on the machine. Some of that, of course, was possible because I used a cotton fabric rather than something more sheer or slippery but it was rather freeing.

For a first project, I'd say they're pretty decent.

16 May 2007


Viola, les Twinkles Toes c'est fini!

back view:

Pattern: Twinkle Toes by Cookie A.
Yarn: Opal 6-ply in Caffe Au Lait, used 84g (out of a 150g skein--definitely enough left for a pair of anklets)
Needles: size 4, WEBS bamboo circs (two socks on two circs)
Modifications: Since I had so much yarn, I had these grand plans to make these knee socks. I did increase the length by quite a bit but ran out of steam when the new sock yarn arrived. I increased with YOs at each end to keep with the lacy look of the socks. Since it is way too hot to even think about wearing these, I'll have to wait and see if they actually stay up. My stitch gauge was right on but my row gauge was off by quite a bit (fewer rows per inch) so my pattern looks slightly more elongated than the original but I still really like them.

The yarn that distracted me from my quest to make these knee socks?

Some Artyarns Supermerino in color 123:

and Zen Yarn Garden in Blue Ice:

I purchased both of these lovely yarns from Yarn4Socks as potential Sockapalooza socks for my pal. I'm leaning towards using the Zen Yarn Garden yarn because I think they are more in line with the "calm" blues and greens that my pal said she wants. On the other hand, I think that the Artyarns, with its darker colors, might be more striking. Maybe I'll knit them both up and see. I'm leaning towards a few patterns but have made no final decisions.

02 May 2007

Heels turned

Since hubby drove to & from Orlando yesterday, I was able to turn the heels. woo-hoo! Unfortunately, I did the first one wrong and had to rip the whole thing out because I ended the heel flap (is this what its called?) on a purl row instead of a knit row. I wasn't sure where the error was so the whole thing came out. The second time I caught an error on the second to last row of the turning and was able to fix it. The yarn is holding up well to my frogging & re-knitting.

Here are my heels:

A profile shot:

You can really see the pattern across the top now:

Even hubby likes them. :-) He also said I should make him some house socks--hopefully those won't go the way of the sweaters...

I am very happy with these and am hoping that the yarn holds out for a knee-high sock. I'm thinking increases along the sides so that the lace pattern continues on the front and back. I should have time to work on these over the weekend.