Sunday, August 19, 2012

Finished Color Affection

I finished my Color Affection almost two weeks ago.  I'm not happy.  The border of the third section just isn't stretchy enough.  I followed the pattern and twisted the yarns at the color changes without cutting anything.  I suspected that the border wasn't stretchy enough while I was knitting.  But since so many people had knitted this shawl, surely it must be okay.  Here's case of not listening to your guts and ending with something you just want to stuff under the bed and forget about.  I don't even want to look at it.

the unstretchy border
I going to frog the damn thing!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bucket Bag

During one of my restless nights, I finished a bag that a started last month. I had been eyeing Tom Bihn's Swift knitting bag. It was designed in collaboration with Knitty in 2007. It's got a great shape, no zippers on the main opening to snag your yarn, clear interior pockets, and a couple of key fob thingies to hang your keys or the little stuff sack that comes with the bag. I would love to get one, but can't justify the $90+ shipping price tag. There's also a smaller version called the Little Swift that's $80.

The Swift

Here's my version: 

I found a pattern for a similarly shaped bag on Sew, Mama, Sew.  The original pattern is a cute reversible bag, using calico or quilter's cotton.  I bought some outdoor upholstery fabric for 50% off.  For the trim and handles, I used duck cloth, and ripstop nylon for the interior lining.   I copied the Swift's vinyl pockets, but also added an exterior zippered pocket and a water bottle pocket inside the bag.

It's a little small, only about 15" wide X 11"tall.  I may make a bigger version and gift this prototype to one of my sisters.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


That tooth that broke off in my mouth right before our family vacation?  I had my surgery on Monday, so now that tooth has been extracted and replaced with a post for an implant.  I'm not going to go into details amount my oral health.  I am, however, going to rant a bit about a call I took during my post-operative Vicodin haze.

My phone rings while I was laid up in bed.  Of course my son hands me the phone, never mind that I'm all fuzzy from drugs.  It was someone from the English department of J's new school.  Cindy (I think she said) asked how I was, and I admitted that I just had oral surgery and was a bit loopy from drugs.  Fine, she'd keep it short.  She then proceeded to say that she wanted to set up J's English Language Services.   Isn't that like ESL (English as a second language)?  I told Cindy that English is the only language that J's ever spoken and that his parents (that includes me) and siblings are all American-born.  She was all confused and asked how long J has been here.  I informed her that we moved to Illinois two months ago.  No, no.  How long has J been in the country?  Excuse me?  Didn't I just tell her that we're ALL AMERICAN-BORN in this family?  Are you basing this solely on our Chinese surname?  Don't you have his transcripts?  I was sooo annoyed.

On top of this experience, I had a similar one at the the DMV.  Though, they don't call it that in Illinois.  I think it's just the "license office" or something like that.   I wanted to pick up applications for our Illinois car registration and driver's licenses.  There was one line for each request.  Since no one was standing at the registration window, I went there first .  I got the forms I needed and asked if I could also get the forms for licenses too, since the man was sitting right next to the license woman.  He asked his colleague and she passed the papers to him.  I also asked if there was a list of acceptable identification papers, since every state is different.  The woman then looked straight at me, handed me a piece of paper and told me that if I had a foreign passport, I needed XYZ too.  Why the *^*%$$# would she assume that I was foreign?!  Because of my Asian face?

I've been keeping an open mind about my new home, but so far, Illinois is not looking very pretty to me.  We have to pay $340 in school fees just for the honor of having two children attend the local public schools.  That's not including any extra-curricular activities.  

Ok.  Ranting done.

On a happier note, my kids and I flew back to my home state of New Jersey to visit my family.  We spent a lazy week with my siblings, my nieces and nephew, went to the beach, to Six Flags, shopping...

Island Beach State Park, our favorite beach

I got tired of my swallowtail shawl and started another one after listening to Brenda Dayne rave about her Color Affection in her last podcast.  I cast on just a few days before we left and am almost done.  My only regret is that I should have bought new needle tips and used my longer knit picks cord.  Right now I'm using an old pair of fixed addi turbos in size 6.  The shawl is getting progressively wider and getting all bunched up on the needles.