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Monday, December 17, 2007

Sparkle season

Our days have been merry and bright around these parts.

We had four holiday parties in five days, including a particularly crazy one, marathon Christmas shopping and, of course, back-to-back viewings of season four of "The Wire." (We're actually getting HBO for season five because we can't possibly wait for it to come out on Netflix. And I've always had a moral opposition to paying for premium channels, so you know I must truly love this show.)

My family is coming into town tomorrow, then the fiance and I are splitting our Christmas break between Boston and Pittsburgh. (Thank you, Jetblue!) Even though it's our fifth Christmas together, we've never spent the day together, so that's kinda sorta special.

So onto the making! When sweaters get you down, it's time to turn to the sewing machine. Enter Built by Wendy.

I absolutely adore this pattern - it was fun to sew, not terribly complicated and fit perfectly. And since I'm sort of a dimwitted seamstress, this was a real shocker. I'll have it easier next time around thanks to the darling Marie, who was my Spiders Secret Santa and bought me a fabulous Olfa rotary cutter and cutting board! (And a pom pom maker to boot.)

Here I am, coy and fuzzy! I like that the fabric calls to mind ornate drapery or fussy wallpaper.

All the season's best to you and yours, dear blog readers.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Finally, a sweater I can finish

This is my kinda sweater. About three inches tall and completed over the course of two episodes of "Sex and the City." (Poor Jon. He hears the theme music and literally groans in disgust.)

I'm going to my first-ever tree trimming next week, and the hostess specifically requested something handknit. Enter Ravelry: sooo many adorable patterns for tree ornaments. But this one really captured my eye, mostly because it includes the teeniest, tiniest raglan shaping.

It's the tiny sweater pattern from Everwhelming Liz. I struggled a little with the pattern -- didn't realize it was knit in the round for about 14 rows, dimwit that I am -- but the results are very cute. And she has a cute little sock pattern that's probably next on m'list.

Obviously, I'm knitting little ornaments to avoid the trapeze jacket. Cannotfacethesecondsleeve. Hopefully these will get me out of my rut.

Or these will. Inspired by Veronique, I ordered a "Built by Wendy" pattern for the Simplicity site. And shipping is free! (Seriously, free shipping is the reason for the season.) I picked out some darling-if-loud Dandy Damask fabric by Michael Miller at Brooklyn General. They're open on Mondays during the holiday season. (Extended hours are also the reason for the season!)

And this is a good thing, since our old friend Fabric Sav-a-thon is closing! I stopped by today, thinking maybe I could pick up some cute Christmas-y fabric, and the place looked like a bomb had gone off -- and all that survived were elderly women (and me). Patterns were just 99 cents, but I had to elbow fabric-crrrrrazy ladies to get even a peek. And those women were surprisingly strong. Then once I did get my grubby hands on the patterns, I realized they were mostly scarecrow Halloween costumes, quilted vests featuring woodland creatures and Jessica McClintock evening gowns. Not my speed. There might be some real bargains on notions or knick-knacks or craft supplies, but I wasn't in a scavenger place.

Now, we all know that I have a rather mixed history with FS-a-T. But it's sad to see an inexpensive option just disappear.