Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Finding "The One"

This post is going to be dedicated to my wonderful husband, because he will be reunited with me this Friday. For those of you keeping track, this is over a week earlier than originally planned. He finished his project at work, and with nothing to really keep him in New England, he is finally joining me in So Cal. Not a moment too soon. To quote "When Harry Met Sally" (1989)- "when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." I really want to get on with the rest of my life.

When you're single (and I was single a very long time, just ask my mother), people give you all kinds of really useful advice, like "you'll meet him when you least expect it." So I'm supposed to just lower my expectations and the perfect man will appear? I discovered the real key to finding "the one" was to search for the one person in world who thought that all of my worst traits (as reported in several polls of ex-boyfriends and rejected love interests) were actually charming, endearing personality traits. For example:

Fault: I talk too much
Husband's take: I know how to carry a conversation

Fault: I'm bossy
Husband's take: I'm independent and strong

Fault: I become obsessed easily (e.g. buying 20 skeins of yarn just after learning to purl)
Husband's take: I'm not afraid to commit to things I'm interested in

So, my advice to all those looking for the love of their life, find the person who tastes your awful cooking and says, "Wow, you're so creative! I would never have thought to combine chocolate chips and pork!" That one's definitely a keeper.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Breakthrough at the Office

Well, as usual my weekend was spent working on things around the apartment. One exciting thing is that I think I made a breakthrough on decorating the home office. Unlike my usual decorating process, which is a bit more trial and error, I am trying to really think things out before I start buying, sewing, and hanging. This is made somewhat more difficult by the fact that we are currently renting (but hope to buy in the next few years, or sooner), so we have tried to keep our furnishings rather neutral.

Filing cabinets are generally ugly. That's no big secret, but when decorating a home office this can be a real problem. Thankfully, we found this cool cabinet, which looks like a stack of leather suitcases.We got it in black to go with the black leather office chair. Our desk was made by my father, and is a craftsman style made of yellow pine.It's very small and spare, which is great, but the computer doesn't just "hide away" like they always seem to do on those decorating shows. So, the black Gateway is part of the decor, like it or not. I plan to hang this grouping of black and white photos with white mattes and black frames.As you can see,I still need to get two more mattes. The biggest problem has been choosing a futon cover. I want something that won't be overwhelming on a full size futon. Also, I want to coordinate with the black/white/tan color scheme we already have. I think this simple pillow ticking might fit the bill. To add a punch of color, I have a large wooden shelf I want to paint a dusty reddish/orange, making it look somewhat distressed, and I plan to make pillows for the futon with the same red and the already established black and tan. If there's enough room, we also want to hang a map of the world, preferably one with an antique look like this.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Settling In

It has been awhile since my last post, but alas, I've been busy preparing to teach my fall classes and trying to get some projects around the apartment done before classes start. After completing the living room curtains, I've started on a more difficult project, the kitchen chair cushions. I've had the foam for the cushions for over three years, so this is a project that's been a long time coming. The old cushions are worn and don't match the rest of kitchen stuff at all:
That blue country check look fit my 90's, more country style of decor. Our new theme is much more "french country", with a more glamorous edge (at least that's my goal). Also, I wanted to pick up on the theme of our collections, which include glass grapes, ceramic fruit, as well as a still life oil painting of fruit. So, I will be making some box cushions using this fabric:It is Waverly "La Frutta" in antique. I plan to make yellow sides and piping on the cushion to add a punch of color, and have an elegant cord tie (maybe in yellow or tan?).

I actually did do some knitting as well, and the Knit.1 tank is coming along nicely, although more slowly thatn I would like with all these other projects going on. I finally purchased the summer issue of Interweave Knits and am thinking about doing the Seaberry Shell. Reviews are mixed, but I think I might give it a go. I also had a lovely time meeting up with the "All Things String" group in Orange. I definitely plan to try to make it a weekly thing. Hopefully that will mean more progress on my knitting!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wild, Wild Life

Today I went to the zoo. The animals were fantastic to watch, especially the monkeys and birds. I got a really close look at this gorgeous bald eagle.
The only odd part was the pre-recorded commentary and songs that went along with each exhibit. I assume they are meant to educate and entertain children as they go through the zoo. They had these wonderfully cheery tunes about how the earth is dying and we are all personally to blame. I'm all for teaching conservation to children, but do we really have to give them a guilt complex at the same time?

Anyway, as promised here are the finished living room curtains. I took these in the evening, so they turned out a little dark, but hopefully you can see them OK.
Here's a close-up shot. Aren't the blue stripes striking? And as you can see, with the blue band at the bottom they now reach the floor. Next, I will tackle the bedroom curtains. Stay tuned to see the apartment decorating progress.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Sun Always Shines On TV

lyrics by Aha

In television, poetry, and urban mythology, it's always sunny in California. In real life, California has overcast days. Yesterday was one of those days, and I am learning that the averages I looked up at really aren't all that useful. I'm sure people are tired of hearing me say, "but it's not supposed to rain in July in California", or "it's not supposed to be humid in summer in California." All-in-all, though, it's a beautiful place.

In crafting news, my curtains are done! I even put weights in so they "puddle" nicely on the floor. Tomorrow I will buy the holdbacks and take a photo of the glorious finished product.

Also adding to my good mood is a new yarn purchase. I couldn't justify any significant amounts of yarn, since we just moved and may move again before April. However, I always need baby gifts and I tought some wee hats so go with the fleece blankets were a necessity! Thus, some baby cashmerino was needed (really, it was).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yarn Over, Yarn Over

I finally did a yarn over! Yes, it's true. I'm the most pathetic Amazing Lace contestant ever. I didn't even know how to do a yarn over until over halfway through the summer. To be fair, in my introduction I made it clear that although my projects technically had intentional holes, they were certainly not the best examples of knitted lace. On the Schachenmayr top I've only been working on the sleeves, which don't even have lace. My Knit.1 tank top has eyelets (i.e., intential holes) for ribbon above the keyhole in the back, and I did them yesterday!The tank top is coming along pretty well. I'm pretty sure I can finish it quickly, if I have the chance to work on it for an extended period of time. First I need to finish my living and bedroom curtains, though. Here is the tank top progress shot:

Unfortunately, I missed knitting in Orange last night, which would have been a great time to make progress on my tank top. Yesterday was one of those days where you're better off staying in bed. With the covers over your head. Completely motionless. Yeah, it was that good. Today will be better, I think. My office furniture is arriving, so I should be able to unpack my office boxes, and maybe, just maybe, I will finally feel like I am getting closer to being settled here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

All Sewn Up

Lately, I've been doing lots of sewing, much of it by hand. The casual observer who knew what to look for would know this. I have lots of tell-tale needle pricks in my fingers, from feeling for the needle coming through the fabric. I consider them badges of honor. My curtains are nearly done, my madras top is finished, and l only have to sew the bindings on my baby blankets. Not too bad, if I do say so myself!

When I seem to be succeeding at a particular craft venture, I always get carried aways and want to start 6 or 7 new projects. Nevermind that the one I just completed took me 3 years, or that I have several projects already in the qeue that are currently being woefully neglected. A true crafter (be it knitter, crocheter, sewer, quilter, or all of the above) can't help but be attracted to the possibility of the next new project. I just bought the summer issue of Interweave Knits and there are a few new clothing patterns I'm itching to buy. I'm trying to stay strong, but I'm not sure if I can do it. These are just too cute! What's a girl to do?

McCall's 4783 is a very retro skirt that is good for using up a yard or two of nice fabric. You can even do the yoke in a contrasting color, if you don't have enough or just for interest.

Simplicity 4122 would be great for my NewCaliforniaLifeStyle. I've seen these types of blouse in a lot of the stores. They're cool in the hot weather, but fun and not at all revealing (so OK to wear to work)

Finally, the cropped version of this jacket is to die for! This is Simplicity 4109, a "Built by Wendy" design. This would be really stylish and professional in a fun print or a rich solid.
I'm trying to be strong and not start anything new, but it's been very difficult. Maybe if I use fabric I already have it would count as stashbusting.....