March 26, 2010

The Friday Bunny

Posted in bunny at 10:46 am by peachknits

"We're too sleepy to murder you right now. Come back later."

Hector did attempt to take Zach’s life last week. He chewed  through the charger cord for his iMac, and the exposed wires later ended up shocking Zach pretty badly. We thought Hector was the “good bunny.” Turns out he was biding his time and plotting our demises all along.

March 23, 2010

Spun Out

Posted in spinning at 8:08 pm by peachknits

My spinning wheel is dead. With every rotation the drive band slips off the wheel or the whorl goes flying. So, so frustrated. And sadface.

So…does anyone want to contribute to the “Rachel’s Spinning Wheel is Broken” fund?

So…the spinning wheel isn’t broken, it just decides not to work sometimes. I’d still like a newer one, but that will have to wait. Until then, will just have to deal with sporadic bouts of crankiness from the wheel.

March 19, 2010

The Friday Bunny

Posted in bunny at 8:27 am by peachknits

Thank goodness it’s the weekend.

*Starting something new! Check out Fridays for an amusing, quick, rabbit-related post.

March 18, 2010

spring fever

Posted in quilting at 2:35 pm by peachknits

I have a confession to make: I hate the winter.

Winters in Kentucky aren’t very harsh, compared to, say, Denver or Buffalo or Toronto. And that’s just fine with me. The few snow storms we get, not to mention the months and months of dreary, chilly, drippy weather we endure from late October to early March is more than enough winterfication for me. After December 25 (and sometimes before) I throw in the towel: bring on the sunshine, the freckles and the bermuda shorts. I’m ready for the warm.

These last few days have been delightful, though. Spring in the Cincinnati area is glorious. I’ve noticed my energy levels have gone up, I’m smiling more, and I’m not as grumpy or tired. (I’m a real bear in the winter.) And while my crafting hobbies don’t lend themselves particularly well to the warmer weather (Have you ever tried to knit wool in 90-degree weather? Not so much fun….), the spirit of spring has been influencing my project choices of late, too.

Particularly, my first foray into quilting.

That’s right, I’ve started learning another craft. A few weeks ago, ladybear and I went to Joann’s in Mason (which is a big, big Joann’s–the Walmart of craft stores, even) and selected fabric for our first quilts. We decided to make the same pattern, the free Amy Butler Lotus Quilt. We spent about 2 hours choosing fabrics (it’s a tough task!) and after a lot of hemming and hawing about it, I decided to buy a Singer Simple sewing machine that was on sale for less than $150. Feeling a little guilty about my big purchase*, I drove home, wondering if a quilt was too large of an endeavor for my first “real” sewing project.

I’ve sewn before. I’ve made a few rag quilts (which I don’t really consider “real” quilts, because there’s really no quilting involved; the seams are all visible on one side, giving the quilt it’s raggedy appearance), two Quidditch cape for a Harry Potter movie premiere, and once, long ago, a tiny tiny pillow made from various heart print fabrics, which I sewed in the sixth grade. That was my first sewing project, and I managed to sew my thumb to the fabric somewhere during the process. I’ve always been a little afraid of the sewing machine for that reason.

But I’m being brave and trying again, this time with an actual quilt project. And because spring is in the air, I chose fabrics with nature patterns, in blues, teals, purples, greens and pinks.

Last week, I cut up all 198 rectangles for the quilt top.

And then I arranged them into rows.

My favorite is the pink bird fabric. 🙂

I’ve been sewing a few strips a night and tacking them up on my wall one at a time, like trophies. So far, they’re all straight, and no thumb-sewing has occurred (although it’s still possible at this point). I plan to wrap myself up in my spring-fabric quilt during the winter months and dream of warmer days.

*My guilt about purchasing a new sewing machine was short-lived because, within the next two days, I acquired not one, but two lovely sewing machines, in perfect working condition, from two separate sources. One source was Z’s mom, who owned five sewing machines and had one she never used, and the other was KB’s mom, who also taught me to knit, and is now enabling me in other aspects of my crafting life. I was able to return the new sewing machine and save some money. I am immensely grateful for the generosity of these talented sewers.

March 8, 2010

a busy weekend

Posted in general, knitting at 2:28 pm by peachknits

A lot happened this weekend.

1) I finished a project on Friday that I had casted on for on Tuesday.

Pattern: Emerald Fingerless Mittens
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
Started: March 2, 2010
Finished: March 5, 2010

Notes: These mittens flew off my needles. I was crunched for time, because the recipient’s (Lady Bear Crafts) birthday was on March 5. I was literally casting off about 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet her for birthday dinner plans.

This was a fun pattern, and the tweed gave the mitts an interesting texture. I’m not sure the bobbles are as defined as I would like them to be, but that’s probably just personal pickiness. If I were to knit these again, I’d probably choose a smoother yarn, and I’d make boobles instead of bobbles, as the author of this pattern suggests. Plus, I just like saying boobles. 🙂

2) I attended a birthday party for Rachael and saw Alice in Wonderland.

Rachael and her boyfriend Brian at Red Robin

Lady Bear Crafts (a.k.a. my friend Rachael) turned 25 on Friday night. We went to Red Robin, where I ate an uncomfortable amount of food, and then we went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. My consensus? It’s a fun movie, though bleaker than I would have liked, at least visually. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonam Carter are exceptional, as usual. I even liked the girl who played Alice. The plot fell a little flat, but then, I’m a harsh critic of plots. I’d say go see it, if you’d like to be reasonably entertained. It’s no epic, but it’s at least amusing and witty, and there’s plenty of insanity to go around.

3) I did the birthday thing with Mom and family.

Happy mom.

Mom’s birthday is March 10, so we decided to throw her a little impromptu birthday get-together. We ate at Cracker Barrel, then went back to the house for some awesome cake that my sister Lynleigh made.

Lynleigh is going to culinary school at Cincinnati State this summer to get her pastry chef degree. She’s already awesome at making cakes that also taste amazing. I mean, I can’t even make a cake that doesn’t lean to one side.

4) I watched the Oscars at an Oscar party.

My friends Geoff and Terry hosted an Oscar party in their beautiful home. I wish I had taken pictures. (My camera was with me, but the battery was at home, plugged into the wall.) We filled out the categories ahead of time and competed for a prize. I didn’t win, but I did get 13 out of 24 categories correct. Not bad for someone that hadn’t seen most of the movies in question.

The Hurt Locker was the big winner for the night, and I was surprised to see how much the Academy (and several celebrities) snubbed Avatar. That’s really okay, in my book. Avatar was a great visual and technologically advanced film, but it had. no. plot. None. I don’t think a movie sans plot deserves the top award our society bestows upon cinema. But that’s just me.

Some other things I learned from watching the Oscars:

  • At least one crazy thing will happen during the night. This crazy thing can vary in the degree of craziness, but it will most certainly puzzle and confuse the audience, and it will end with an awkward musical ushering of the winner(s) from the stage. This year’s craziness was the woman dressed in purple who inexplicably appeared onstage beside the winner of the short documentary award. What was she saying? Why was she up there? We may never know. (Or will we? Read this.)

When I'm an old woman, I will wear purple...and make loud, crazy-ass speeches at the Oscars.

  • There have only been 4 female directors ever nominated for Best Director, and Katheryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever accept the award. She looked absolutely stunned when she walked up there, as if she could hardly believe it. I was really happy for her. I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker, but with all of the accolades it received last night, I’m definitely planning to now.

I'd like to thank the Academy, and the cast, and my crew, and my dog....

  • Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin still got it.

Is that a banana in your Snuggie, or are you just happy to see me?

  • Holy cow, is it appropriate for me to have a crush on a gay man? Because Neil Patrick Harris has my heart after that opening act.

Wait, can I do that part over again?

  • The Oscars are still waaaaay too long. Although this year, it seemed as if they cut back on the commercials. It’s thoroughly appreciated.
  • Interpretive dance WTF?

5) I cast on for Haruni, a lace shawl.

Like I said, a busy weekend.

March 4, 2010

guess what Peach is knitting

Posted in bunny, knitting at 3:47 pm by peachknits

I’m knitting a special something for a special somebody. Can you guess what it is? (Sorry for the untrue colors . . . that’s fluorescent lighting for you!)

Hint #1:

Bobbles!

Hint #2:

Gusset!

I’ll reveal the finished project on Saturday.

Knitting has been coinciding with my mission to capture the Perfect Rabbit Picture. Attempts thus far have been mostly unsuccessful. My bunnies have camera-dar and can sense when I’m about to snap a picture; they shift or hop away at the most inconvenient time, resulting in a sub-par image.

My attempts:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

These last two aren’t so bad:

We’re working on it.