Odds and ends

Well, it’s been raining.  If you’ve heard anything about the current drought in California, you won’t be surprised to hear me swear that I won’t complain about the rain this entire season!  We’re enjoying it so far.  We’ve been going on rainy walks in search of puddles, followed by hot chocolate.

The really fun thing about rain is the gear, and going out in the gear.

Boy in the rain.

Boy in the rain.

Last week I was sad to hear that my closest sewing + knitting shop, Pincushion, is closing.   I managed to make it over today between the gym and preschool pick up.   I was happy to find that it is still open for a few weeks.  I wish I’d made it to the shop more often, but it’s so hard with the little ones.

Sad...

Sad…

The discounts are quite deep, and there’s still a good deal of stock.

There are good deals to be had.

There are good deals to be had.

Cascade Heritage Paints

Cascade Heritage Paints

Fabric!

Fabric!

More yarn!

More yarn!

More yarn!

More yarn!

More yarn!

More yarn!

More yarn

More yarn

I left with just two balls of Cascade 220 Quattro for baby knitting.

The red one!

The red one!

But later in the day, I went back to choose fabric for a quilt, which is to be my niece’s wedding gift next June.  Nothing wrong with an early start, right?  I’ve chosen a very simple large patchwork pattern, and the Wee Girl helped me choose from blues and greens, the bride and groom’s preferred colors.  I think it’ll be a cute and nature~y quilt!

This was my first time shopping for a quilt.  The first two I made were from remnants I had in my stash, so this made me a little nervous!  I think they’ll go together fine, as long as I place them carefully.  Although I do see quilts with arrangements that I just don’t understand.  I might be too strict about what goes with what….

A quilt-to-be!

A quilt-to-be!

This evening I started what’s become a holiday tradition for me; snowflake crochet!  My grandma used to make these for my mom for Christmas, and now that she’s been Heaven for several years, and I now have some basic crochet skills, I’ve taken on the torch, or hook, as it were.  My first one or so are usually kind of funky, as I get used to the tiny stitches again, but I catch on ok.

Snowflake season!

Snowflake season!

Almost ready

I had a huge urge to do a sewing project today, but of course there’s a lot of prep involved before you actually get to the sewing. AND a mom never knows how she’ll feel after finally getting the kids to bed! Today I was exhausted and didn’t have a lot of oomph after bed time!

However, I managed to locate all the necessary materials and trace the pattern onto craft paper.

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I’m still getting used to this style of pattern and the rotary wheel/tracing paper, but it went better than last time.

I’m going to make this jumper from Simple Modern Sewing, a very cute Japanese pattern book translated into English.  I bought this cute, simple fabric at Pincushion on Union Street in San Francisco:

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But I will make it shorter. That length on me wouldn’t look too good, I think. I think just below the knee is the most flattering spot for my dresses or skirts to hit.  I think mine will be more fitted, less roomy, than the model wears it.  The first pattern I tried from this book turned out so huge!  I learned that I need to follow the finished measurements, rather than the book’s definition of what the sizes mean.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to get to the sewing!

Sewing inspiration

Words cannot express my love for Kinokuniya bookstore in San Francisco’s Japantown.  They have a fantastic English-language section, and the section of crafts books!  Oh!  My!  Word!  I really shouldn’t tell you how awesome it is, because if you’re reading this, you’re likely a crafty person like me, and you might hightail it over to Kinokuniya to buy all the crafting books that I want!  So in a way, writing this post is really dangerous for me.  :0

But, as a public service, I will let you know that Kinokuniya has the most amazing craft book section of any bookstore I’ve been to, and that is saying something.  The books on knitting, crochet, felt, amigurumi, and especially sewing abound!  The other day I picked up these two gems.

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I’m relatively new to machine sewing, and I’m brand-new to my sewing machine (Christmas 2013 gift!), so the book on mastering your machine is very useful to me.  And!  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 1) it’s written by a Bay Area local, Nicole Vasbinder, and 2) published by Interweave Press, whose magazines I really love.

Simple Modern Sewing has a ton of cute, simple (ohh, I do hope they’re simple!) garments which I could actually picture myself wearing.  Sadly, many of the translated Japanese clothing pattern books feature enormous garments that would look so silly on me, as petite as I am, so I was happy to find this one that seems to have clothes that are more fitted, or at least, can be easily changed to be so.

I’ll be toting Simple Modern Sewing along with me tomorrow to the opening of a new San Francisco sewing/knitting shop called Pincushion, in hopes of scoring fabric to make one of the cute blouses as my first project from the book.  I really hope that Pincushion turns out to be a good shop, because I could use a great source for fabric close to home!  http://pincushionsewandcraft.com/