more argh

back home in toronto and sherwood is almost finished - just have to do the neck, seam & block! whee! but my 6mm dpns are still mixed up with my wreath project, which i can't seem to find... my lovely husband did a little reno job while h & i were away and i am thrilled beyond belief, but i think my knitting might have gotten tidied up out of harm's way somewhere...

anyway, here is a crappy photo of the almost-done sweater:


oh boy.

totally forgot to bring the wreath with me to mum's, so that is not getting done. i did, however, bring along the sherwood sweater i've been plugging away at for h for the better part of a year. i've done the front & back and am just finishing up the first sleeve, and i thought i'd have a look at the pattern to make sure it's the right length (h is asleep) and... i'm doing it wrong. the pattern repeats with a half-step in the original and a full step in mine. whoops! at least i was wrong consistently from the beginning... ah well.

i'm liking the construction at any rate. i changed it from circs to straights because i prefer them (yes, really!), but i like the 3-needle-bind-off shoulder join, and i like starting the set-in sleeve by picking up stitches along the armscye and knitting down. and the tricky purl-behind-knit that i figured out for the earl-grey socks is coming in very handy on these cables.

even if i am completely wrong, i still like it. except that of course i am certain to run out of yarn. might start haunting others' stashes for a few extra yards of cascade ecological.

(edited now that i am home again and using a keyboard that will allow me to type the letter "h" without use of a mallet)


xmas creeps ever closer

and the wreath is done! well, not really. it's all knitted, now i just have to felt, shape, and assemble it. i am thinking that might be a good project for this weekend when we go to visit my mum. we always end up taking laundry with us anyway, might as well throw one more thing in the machines! at least i have the satisfaction of knowing that the tedium of set after set of petals is over (7 flowers, each with 4 sets, each with 3 petals = 84). it was getting a little old.



the problem with being a sewer is that it makes it difficult to buy clothing... everything is just so poorly made these days it is galling! i bought young h a lovely duffle coat at a nice store and one of the buttons was off within a week, and the zipper was coming loose too... just finished sewing on a new button properly, and reinforcing all the other buttons properly, and reinforcing the zipper. grr! serves me right for having standards i guess.

this is also why i love vintage... things used to be so well made compared to now. sigh. can i be transported back about 5 decades please?


but of course!

just as i am ready to start the last set of petals on my felted wreath, i lose my printout of the pattern... sigh. and the original ravelry link was wrong. but it's fixed now (and here it is, for the record), on track again, determined to finish it this weekend or else. hard to get things done when i fall asleep at 7:30 most days though!

also, i can't believe i haven't posted yet about laura's amazing storage locker of yarny goodness, conveniently located at queen & spadina, i.e. 5 minutes from my office. i have been by three times so far, getting christmas presents, stuff for friends, and stuff for myself of course! basically, a relative of a friend of a colleague (or some such connection) had hoped to open a yarn store, bought $100,000 worth of yarn, and then decided not to open the shop - so there's a lys-worth of yarn going at 25% off retail, and laura wants it all to go to knitters! it's by appointment only, since it's all in a storage unit rather than an actual shop, but laura is very willing to get rid of it all: set up an appointment by calling or emailing 416-389-3866 or simbabee1@yahoo.ca.

she has everything from lana gatto feeling to lopi (which i have always secretly coveted) to tofutsis to a million other gorgeous fondle-able yummy yarns. here's some briggs & little sport (and my first hand-wrapped centre-pull ball - thanks to rosary for showing me how) i got to make surface - i haven't made a sweater in a while because when you need 15 balls of yarn it gets of pricey - but i got all i need for only $20! very happy!

i've had it in my queue for ages, and i'm aiming to get it done... for next thanksgiving. that's realistic, right?


how does this happen

two months ago i thought i was so organised and ahead of the game for christmas... now it is barely a month away and i have so many things left to do! everyone has their lights up on my street and i haven't finished the felted wreath... i keep getting distracted by new projects (an asl "i love you" vest for h, and a pair of socks, and returning to an old sweater project for him that i set aside last spring) instead of completing the time-sensitive ones i should really get cracking on! also, having craptastic health for the last 60 days has really not helped. but there is a light at the end of that tunnel i am beginning to think; physio last week really made a difference, and i'm doing that again tomorrow (note to self: find receipt from last week's session & submit to insurance). here's hoping they fix me; i am dying to repaint, and open the living-to-dining archway (as i have talked about since we moved in) - at least i have cleared out some closets, took bags of stuff to goodwill, and "de-fragged" my piles of projects-on-the-go. now, where's my celebrex...


they snick! they doodle!

so i decided to try again, this time using a combination of lard and butter, and i noticed that the recipe calls for baking soda and i am pretty sure that last time i used baking powder (that's the first thing i reached for this time, too). in any case, they are perfect! and great with a cup of tea!


too cute!

this morning i brought h's new thuja socks up to his room and he
promptly took off the socks he was wearing and said "i want wear black
socks mummy"



time, it's on my mind

i almost forgot this morning that i was toying with the idea of doing nanowrimo again for the first time in years. i think the real challenge this time will be just to find enough minutes in the day. i do have a grand plan to take iron supplements with oj 30 minutes before breakfast (for better absorption) every day, so maybe that will be my writing time? hmmm...

anyway i've just finished making a giant vat of soup and doing all the dishes (which somehow didn't get done yesterday or friday, more hmmm) so i think i've earned a writing break! just as soon as i've got tonight's giant roast ready for the oven.

white bean & kale soup with italian sausage

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 lg onions (i used 2 medium-large and 1 ginormous one), minced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 kilo italian sausage, squeezed out of the casings in little bits
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 lg cans diced tomatoes
4 cans white kidney beans, rinsed well
1 bunch kale, chopped and washed
8 cups liquid (water, or water + chicken stock, or add some white wine)
salt & pepper to taste

heat the oil over medium flame in a GIANT pot. add the chili flakes; swirl until they give the oil a bit of colour. add onions, sautee a few minutes till translucent; add garlic and cook a few minutes more. add sausage and herbs, stir and let simmer about 10 minutes. add tomatoes in their juice, simmer a little while longer, then add the well-rinsed beans (really rinse them well!)

bring a separate pot of water to boil and blanch the kale (to get rid of the bitterness). drain the kale and add to the big pot.

finally, add the stock/water/whatever and simmer until all is well combined (say another 15 minutes). season to taste with salt and pepper. voila! serves 100.


happy hallowe'en!

presenting: the empty child! he wore the gas mask most of the night, but then decided it would look better on a pumpkin.


wha happint?

i had a stay-at-home-mum day yesterday as h is sick (booooo) so i did my favourite stay-at-home-mum thing - baking cookies! thing is, they taste okay, but... well they're meant to be snickerdoodles, but they neither snicked nor doodled. instead of being crinkly cinnamon snaps, they are puffy cinnamon domes. which i shall certainly have no trouble polishing off quickly, but... i wanted snickerdoodles! i know i have read thoughts on "proper" snickerdoodles and how they must be made with [insert fat here] but i don't remember which was preferred - crisco? lard? i used butter and i am sad, and normally butter never makes me sad.


holy 1970s batman

board-game-closet obsession continues... experience the fun of learning to communicate more effectively! it's ungame, a very i'm-okay-you're-okay, me-generation type of endeavour. instructions include "if you felt lonely this week, take a vacation at cheerful chalet" on the "hang up" squares, or on a "tell it like it is" square you might draw a card that says "when was the last time you cried? why?" that's about as much fun as it gets!


sexy terrorist gear

there's a completely amazing scene in the 1982 thriller who dares wins that has to be seen to be appreciated. this early role for the always incomparable judy davis (after my brilliant career, but two years before a passage to india catapulted her to international acclaim) styles her as a glamourous-but-dangerous radical, an heiress who is not afraid to kill in the name of peace. when she isn't planning protests and hostage-takings with her underground liberation front "the people's lobby," she's performing a brilliant broadway-type anti-war musical number that brings to mind the 1979 kate bush bbc christmas special (another thing that must be seen to be believed).
anyway she and her undercover secret service lover are heading to the underground lair, where samizdats are churned out on mimeographs and peaceniks train at target shooting.
and glamourous, dangerous judy davis as frankie leith is wearing this:

yes, it appears to be a slouchy mohair handknit with a giant squirrel on the front.

stickin' it to the man! i think i need to chart that.


a couple of things on the go

am working slowly but surely on a few things for the wee one - hat and mitts are done (and much loved!) and i'm thinking of submitting the pattern (once i'm happy with it) to petite purls, and an asl "i love you" vest which i hope against hope will be ready for school photos on monday! if petite purls wants the hat, the asl love you vest may wind up being the first pattern i try selling. once i work out the kinks.


malabrigo giveaway!

yarn and kisses is giving away some lovely malabrigo today on salihan crafts - check it out and comment on her blog for a chance to win!



i'm making the thuja socks for tg, and it occurred to me - casting on 44 sts in worsted is perfect for a grown person, but if you cast on that many in fingering it would be right for a little guy! i cast on yesterday and just finished the first one!



a package has been shipped that i can't wait to open... but with so many
projects already on the go (and a left hand that does *not* like
knitting fingering weight) maybe i should just set it aside for my own
xmas stocking?


country living

am up visiting my mum in my old hometown today - tomorrow we will drive to the cottage and back for the traditional thanksgiving feast! mum has been baking up a storm. meanwhile, i have been knitting, numbness notwithstanding! young h lost a mitten within minutes of me digging them out for the cold weather (i never sould have let him near mittens without strings), so i decided to knit him a new pair, along wit a new puppy hat, since the puppy hat is his all time favourite! mittens are done (well, i still have to do te string beofre i hand them over) and i am about halfway done the hat. i've been taking manic notes (i think i have perfected the puppy nose this time) and i'm contemplating writing up the pattern and maybe selling it on etsy to raise funds for our parents' group. we'll see. i may need to recruit some test knitters first.


i must be losing it

ok it nearly killed me to do this... may still do a little more photoshop tweaking? in any case here it is, xmas card 2009 - mainly cozy but with a hint of the spooky, a la coraline (or anything by tim burton, really). i was entertaining the notion of doing a stop-motion short all in cookies, but now that i have slaved for about a billion hours for one photograph, i think that plan may be on hold.


happiness and cheer

ok my left arm is tired from the (small!) amount of knitting i did this weekend, but i decided to press on and finish a project i started last week: the xmas cards (i am the crazy person complaining that the bay didn't have their "christmas street" section up and running in september, whilst everyone else groans if they hear one measly carol before the end of november).
i had a bit of heartache with this earlier in the week, when in my reduced-motor-control state i bumped something and broke it in two, and then my poor husband was subjected to a self-loathing rant. but i decided that if i didn't get it done today it just wouldn't happen, so here we are.
a few work-in-progress photos to tantalise you:

oh, and this one:


long time no post

wow, it's been a while since i posted, but i haven't been getting much done. i had some x-rays done last week, and they show degeneration of the cervical spine, and c-curve scoliosis further done. my left shoulder is 2" higher than my right shoulder now, and the end result is various aches and pains, muscle weakness, and numbness/tingling in my left hand. so, not much energy for crafting.
but i did finish this sock!



i've been having weirdness with my left hand/arm, so i'm going to be laying off the crafting for a bit. unless i can think of brilliant things to do one-handed. maybe back to quilting for a bit? i don't think i need my left hand much for that...



it fits!!

well, it fits me at any rate! earl grey is far enough down the foot that
i tried it on and it is lovely! and my feet are big enough that i am
confident that it will fit tg as well. yay!!


sock party

after a near-tragedy in which i lost a dpn (from a set of 4, not 5, so no backup) from the thuja socks i just started, i managed to find it again - outside, in the grass, by the side of a busy road - by retracing my steps. yahoo! and, i have for the first time ever just turned a gusset heel on the earl grey socks by yarnharlot. woo! progress progress progress!



not sure how that happened... a conversation at work about patrick swayze's death led to a discussion about cult classics and first memories of seeing movies... i slept through all the disney classics as a tot, but the first movie i really remember seeing in the theatre was a local community hall screening (that's what you get when you live in the middle of nowhere) of play it again sam with de düva: the dove when i was maybe 8? or 10? i begged to go because i was mad for humphrey bogart at the time.
the other early memory i have of movies is magic shadows on tvo, and i was very please to discover just how easy it was to find the opening



it kind of amazes me to think that rosary and i have been friends for this long without actually knitting together. we've talked about knitting in an abstract way, but i never actually saw her knit until last night. whoa! she is fast! and she can wind a beautiful centre-pull ball on her thumb in no time! and seh can identify just about any yarn in my house) on sight! i am in awe, and madly jealous. crazy.
in other news, i cast on thuja last night and worked on it this morning and somehow even though i've got only an inch done managed to pick up an extra stitch somewhere. sigh.


more tired than i have ever been

not counting when h was first born. lots of horribly long days and not enough packing-a-nutritious-lunch and getting-dinner-on-the-table, so i have vowed to make up for it this week - have added to the freezer stash with beef stew and mac-and-cheese with broccoli and individually-frozen-servings of beef/barley/vegetable soup. iron deficiency, you are on notice!


i'm either crazy or brilliant

probably crazy. not my fault, it's crazy week at work.
anyway, this crazy is xmas-flavoured, which is the best kind.

yes, not only bought, but wrapped. i bought a bunch of cheap xmas fabric and ribbon on sale for half price at fabricland! i hate how much paper gets wasted at xmas, but i also hate gift bags. they're alright, they have their purpose, but i want to unwrap something with a bow, dammit. so i figured out what size rectangles would wrap the most common-sized gifts (books, standard boxes they give you when you buy a shirt or something at the bay), cut my fabric into those sizes, zigzagged the edges, and ironed with spray-starch. voila! even if i get hit by a truck tomorrow, xmas won't be ruined completely, as long as people know to look on my closet shelf.


home again, again

back in town again after a long weekend away - a much overdue visit home to see mum, nicely timed to avoid the horrible hateful airshow (hate it as much as i do? call 416.263.3653 to let them know! so many people hate it that they set up a special complaint line, yet it still drones on... sigh).
i freestyled a few garter-stitch leaves to go with the felted poinsettia wreath i am knitting. whee! i made 3 holly-esque ones, and 3 smaller, more generic "leaf" types. and here's how i did it:

holly style:
cast on 2
row 1: k
row 2: k front and back of each st
row 3: k
row 4: k front and back of st, k to last st, k front and back of st
repeat rows 3 & 4 till you have 12 sts; repeat row 4 again so you have 14 sts
next row: k
next row: dec 1, k to end of row, dec 1
repeat these two rows until you have 8 sts in a row
continue knitting in garter for an inch or so
next row: k front and back of each st
next row: k
repeat these two rows until you have 14 sts
next row: dec 1, k to end of row, dec 1
next row: dec 1, k to end of row, dec 1
next row: k
repeat these last two rows until you have 2 sts
k 2 tog and bind off!

generic leaf
cast on 4
row 1: k
row 2: k front and back of each st
row 3: k
row 4: k front and back of st, k to last st, k front and back of st
repeat rows 3 & 4 till you have 8 sts
continue knitting in garter stitch for another 3 or 4 rows
next row: k to middle of row, k 2 tog, k to end
next row: k
repeat these two rows until you have only 2 sts left
k 2 tog and bind off!


sock success!

well, i haven't actually *finished* a sock or anything, or even turned the heel, but i have finally mastered the dreaded purl-behind-knit (aka "CL") in yarnharlot's earl grey sock pattern. woo! the trick is that after you purl the second stitch on the left needle,you lift the whole stitch along with the right needle over to the back before moving on to the knit stitch. i am probably not describing it very well; i am just happy it works! and happy there aren't too many of those in the pattern.


two words: stretchy cast-on

the dreaded ujein is finally finished! i realised that because of the pattern, i couldn't pick up and knit extra at the bottom without making a mess of it all. so i did a nice stretchy long-tail cast on, knit an extra couple of inches following the pattern, and grafted it on. argh.
stretchy cast-on!! stretchy cast-on!! i can not stress this enough.
also, if you are making this out of something springy instead of something drapey, knit it longer.
other than that, it's great!


mmmm... raisin bread

sunday's raisin bread experiment made me want more (there is never a point to making less than two loaves of bread at a go, as you inevitably want to eat a full loaf with butter on whilst it's still hot from the oven). i used a recipe from delia smith's christmas, which appealed to me because there is only one rise, and the whole thing start to finish is no more than 2 1/2 hours (as opposed to days, like the wonderful new york times no-knead recipe). that means you can actually make bread in the evening after work! but although it was good, it didn't have the richness i was looking for - it was made with whole-wheat flour and water, and i wanted something more! so here's the recipe, so re-written as to be unintelligible, but using one magic step i'd never heard of before delia, and still very quick.
magic gas-oven raisin bread
4 1/2 cups unbleached hard wheat flour
3 oz tap-hot water
1 tsp + 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 package yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded and still warm
2 lightly beaten eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups raisins
butter two loaf pans (9" x 5" x 3") and set aside.
here's the magic bit - set your oven to 150F and place the flour in a glass bowl to warm. dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the water; stir in salt and set in a warmish place (i.e. on the gas oven). wait 5 minutes, then turn off the oven. wait 5 minutes more till the yeast is spongy.
take the flour out of the oven and stir in salt and cinnamon. dissolve the remaining brown sugar in the scalded milk.
dump the yeasty liquid and eggs into the flour and stir. dump the sugary milk in and stir vigourously with a big wooden spoon.
dump the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead for 5 minutes. roll out into a big rectangle, sprinkle with 1 cup raisins, and roll up like a jelly roll. knead a bit more to distribute the raisins.
cut the dough in half. working with one lump, roll it out into a rectangle about the size of a standard sheet of paper (8 1/2" x 11"). sprinkle 1/4 cup raisins over 2/3 of the surface. fold the empty third over the raisiny bit, then fold over once more to cover all the raisins. place fold-side down in a buttered loaf pan. repeat with remaining dough and raisins.
(alternatively, you could use 1/2 cup chopped nuts at that point.)
brush the tops of the loaves with a bit of milk and set in the still-slightly-warm oven to rise. leave a light on to help them.
after 1 1/4 to 2 hours (i waited 1 1/4 hours following delia's instructions last night, and 2 hours tonight simply because i was putting h to bed), turn the oven on to 450F (this another magic gas oven bit, one that i made up myself - because gas ovens get hot right away. if you're cooking with electric, you'll want to take the loaves out and preheat the oven). after 10 minutes, drop the heat to 375F. after another 30 minutes, you will have two lovely loaves - one to eat right away, and one for breakfast tomorrow.


comfort food

maybe it's not good to bake when you're sick - or maybe it's just not good to share potentially toxic/contagious baked goods - but i spent saturday afternoon baking peanut butter cookies and raisin bread. mmmmm.

in other news, i met the walrus just won a daytime emmy award! i have a feeling things are going to get veeery busy around work for a while...


sick again? say it ain't so...

booo... we have to cancel our trip to the zoo today. but being sick is the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa with my knitting and a movie, two of my favourite things.
in other news, we're getting in the hallowe'en spirit by getting started on h's costume - he is going as the empty child from doctor who. he needs a white shirt (got it), burgundy sweater vest (got it), grey woolen pants (got it unless they are outgrown), grey woolen jacket (i think?), and of course a gasmask.



well i may have thought i was done with ujein, but no. the seaming dragged on tediously, and it's not really possible to even guesstimate how it fits until it's seamed. so when i tried it on yesterday... well it was perfect, except that my cast-on for the triangles was not sufficiently stretchy. there was no getting it on until i ripped out the bottom. now it fits fine, but i need to do some sort of super-stretchy bind-off. gah. and i think i'll knit it down a little longer too, just because i can.


time for a to-do list update

to do list:
- hat for baby ellington - done and sent!
- placemats/napkins - napkins are done, placemats are cut & pinned
- kitchen curtains - not started
- xmas cards!! - not started, but i have a plan
- pullover for h - it's around here somewhere
- wrap cardigan for me - ditto
- xmas other stuff (tree skirt, finish embroidery on stockings, wreath?) - wreath is begun!!
- knitting needle roll/project bag - done!
- curtains for living/dining rooms - not started
- squid curling sweater for h - not started
- living room slipcovers - not started
- cottage stuff - curtains, quilt - still working on the fabric
not on list:
- malabrigo ujein - done
- socks for tg - started - maybe these actually count on the list under "xmas other stuff" ?
ok maybe i am not the most productive person in the world, but i think that is not too bad? especially since at least some of the "not started" items require buying more crap rather than stash-busting.


oh, come on.

maybe i'm crazy, or have a strange sense of humour. but i thought this post was hilarious, and obviously not meant to be taken seriously. much like bonsai kitten. and i clearly love knitting as much as the next person (although my experience with angora was a let down, but that's another story). so then we come to the comments. yikes! relax, spinners. you are not successfully defending your craft, you are showing yourself to be humourless kooks. yeesh. she even apologised. relax!


my favourite year part two

here is the rest of yesterday's post that just got too long and rambly.
it started out as an intro to otto preminger's the man with the golden arm with frank sinatra, which is the inspiration for today's knitting needle roll. in addition to being great and groundbreaking etc., the awesome 1950s graphics work well for the craftiness - in this case, the golden arm is reaching for a needle of a different kind.

i cut out the arm out of paper, pinned it to my fabric, and basted around the edges to mark the pattern.

then i cut away the fabric inside the lines leaving a 1/4" allowance, turned the edges under and pinned it to the lining fabric.

i used a standard machine zigzag to sew the pieces together. fiddly work.

then, i put it all together. basic needle roll dimensions - the main black fabric is 12" x 36" the green lining is 11 1/2" x 35 1/2" and the pocket piece i cut 11 1/2" square. i hemmed one edge of the pocket piece, then placed it on top of the main piece & lining. the edges are just folded in by 1/4" twice, which holds the pocket in place as well as finishing the edges. then it's just a matter of sewing the channels an inch apart to hold the needles. download the full tutorial (pdf) here!


my favourite year part one

ages ago i decided i wanted to live in the 1950s based on two factors: movies and music (later i added clothing and furnishings to that short list). specifically i decided that 1957 would be the ideal year, based on the bachelor party (most awesome soundtrack ever, according to my dim memory), the man with the golden arm, and the release of on the road (i know, typical. whatever).
that was my "existential period" i guess. i do think the 1950s are completely under-appreciated as a decade - everyone thinks father knows best and the cleavers, and forgets the incredible jazz scene (1959 is acknowledged to be the greatest year ever musically, with the release of landmark records by miles davis, charles mingus, ornette coleman, john coltrane, etc.) and intellectual rumblings without which the 1960s would never have happened. rosa parks took a seat in 1955. and what is truly amazing, is that the intellectual movements of the time were noticed by popular culture - cf funny face (which also came out in 1957). no way would any of the big studios today make a film that acknowledged the underground.
but i digress.
the man with the golden arm blew my mind away in particular because i was never a huge fan of sinatra (i think most of his appeal should rightly be credited to nelson riddle) and was not expecting such an amazing performance (oscar-nominated) and such an amazing score (also oscar-nominated). it is the story of frankie machine, a musician and heroin addict just out of jail and trying to escape his old career of dealing cards along with all his other bad habits. released in 1955, it is the first in a slough of ground-breaking american films that even today make you stop and think they were allowed to put this on screen back then? it was the man with the golden arm along with a few other films which forced the motion picture association of america to dismantle the production code that had meant decades of married couples sleeping in twin beds etc. i remember the first time i watched the philadelphia story with my dad - halfway through, i said that i was rooting for jimmy stewart's reporter character to get the girl, and my dad said it was impossible - she was divorced, ergo could not end up with anyone but her ex-husband - otherwise it would imply that she might have sex with more than one person in her life. when the mpaa code changed, all of a sudden there was an influx of films like golden arm and bachelor party and lolita - even my favourite xmas movie the apartment features extramarital sex as the main force driving the plot, and more importantly, fran kubelik is still considered a wholesome girl worthy of the protagonist's affections despite the fact that she has been carrying on with a married man.
ok i think this post is getting too long. this is the film part of filmcraft; tomorrow i'll get to the craft.
meanwhile, enjoy the gorgeous title sequence.


necessity is the mother

getting lovely new notions and being unable to find my blasted tapestry needles resulted in improved storage of stash becoming a priority. also, a little round box presented an opportunity.

first, i worked on the inside. i cut circles from a cereal box, just smaller than the inside of my box, and covered them with fabric.

putting glue all around the edge and then sticking down small sections on opposite sides is the best way to keep the fabric smooth and neat.

then, i cut strips to cover the inside sides, with little smips along one long edge to make it fit neatly around the curve at the bottom.

the insides taken care of, i moved on to the outsides. to make the box stronger, i cut strips of corrugated cardboard from another box to go around the outsides, and held them on with a bit of masking tape.

then i traced the top and bottom on the corrugated cardboard, and taped those pieces around the outside (not attaching them to the fabric-lined box). i used a serrated knife to cut the cardboard, so it wouldn't get all squashed.

once you've taped the outer corrugated pieces together, take them off the fabric-lined box, and cover them separately.

then, i cut a much bigger circle of fabric to cover the outside. i spread the glue evenly all over the carboard so it wouldn't gloop through the fabric weirdly.

notice how the circle of fabric for the outside is big enough to wrap all the way up the sides and lap over the inside - pull the fabric as snug as possible on the bias, and the natural bias stretch of the cloth will help it lie relatively flat. put glue all over the indside of the corrugated cardboard shell, and push the fabric-lined box inside. it will help the outer layer of fabric stay in place.

and voila! a neat little box, just the right size for pins, cable needles, stitch markers, and all the other little bits and bobs that are always going walking.


ooh, me happy

how lovely are these? sustainable indian rosewood seaming pins and cable needles, from the little knitting company. i've been coveting them for ages, and was really excited to see how cheap it is to ship them from the uk, and how great the exchange rate is right now! last spring i splurged on a pair of lantern moon needles; for almost the same amount (including reallyfast shipping!), i just got these cable needles and pins, plus two sets of 14" straights. heaven!

i'm wishing i bought more stuff for gifts etc., but the whole package was so reasonable i don't feel bad about making another order at all.



ok, it is probably more accurate to say "1/2 of cuff of sock-to-be" but i'm just happy to be snappy.