Friday, February 26, 2010

Crafstylish Beret, Elgin Vintage Fashion Show and more....

Some quick hits for today:
1. The cutout beret was featured in a Craftstylish magazine late last year, I wanted to write about it at the time, but I couldn't find an online image and promptly forgot about it. Here it is again, with all the directions, etc. Instructions call for felt, but I'm tempted to use some faux suede in my stash.
2. The Midwest Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show, now a once-a-year event, starts tonight in Elgin. I really had a tough time trying to decide to go tonight or tomorrow.

The advantage of tonight:
* express train to my destination from downtown Chicago
* shoppers dressed up in various vintage outfits, all competing fervently for a free pass for next year's show. Outfits are great conversation pieces. I remember one couple that used to come as a World War II boyfriend and girl each year. One year, it was army uniforms. The next, dress up for a night out. Yes, they did win at least once.
*cool stuff (somehow all the mint-condition red shoes and hats in large sizes seem to go in the first hour) that you won't see the next day (duh!)
*live music, dancing.

* train rides add up to at $16 round-trip
* train ride home is all stops, plus I need to transfer to another train in another station within minutes or wait another hour
* it's cold, dark outside this time of year

Advantage of going Saturday:
* $5 all-day unlimited pass on Metra (our commuter rail system)
* cheaper ticket admission
* leisurely shopping
* Sunshine!
*Dealers more willing to negotiate

Saturday's downside:
* all-stop trains
* best stuff is sometimes gone
* almost library quiet in the show...ugh!

Anyhow, I've decided to go tomorrow. I'm looking for patterns and yarn! Yeah, the knitting vintage fever has gripped me. Over and out, friends, have a great weekend.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just a Bad Foster Mother (to a dog)? Not Eloquent Post on A Stitch in Time Sweater

Last night I was all set to write a post on being an iPhone knitter. It was to be a sweet little post about how wonderful it felt to sit on my bed, knitting a sweater, logging the rows on my StitchMinder app, checking email, reading different blogs while listening to my radiator clank and wet snow drip, dripping on the windowsill outside. Really romantic.

But now I just feel the dog (above) that I'm taking care of temporarily. Yes, I'm a foster mother to a beagle. I don't know if I should name her? She's just a canine...out of control. Ok, I requested cute little dog who doesn't bark (got that), low maintenance (not so sure about that part)...but did I know she would jump on me constantly (I hate that!)? Did I know that she basically has to go to bathroom moments after she eats? Did I even know she also leaks mere seconds after drinking water? No, no, and NO! This dog has had....four accidents in the last 48 hours. Four! I'm ready to...hurl. Yes, I'm ready to hurl. First accident was inside the crate No. 1. Accident number two, nameless pupster did number two on the kitchen tile. Number three? Combo of No. 1 and 2 in THE CRATE. Yeah, I had to wash her this morning. Yuck. Then nanoseconds after I cleaned her and inadvertently ignored the "I gotta, gotta go. Take me on a walk!" dance, she did no. 2 in the office.

For the moment, nameless puppy (she's two years old, still a toddler in her canine world) is in the crate and has been there all day. I'm not dying to let her out...only to let her jump on me. This is a roundabout way to say, maybe this dog isn't for me? Never mind I haven't had her chew anything significant in the last two days. Never mind she hasn't barfed as dogs sometimes do....I'm just ready to hit "Return to Sender." I can only cope with so many mishaps in a 24-hour cycle.
does that make me a bad foster mother?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Top 10 Sewing Jokes: Still A Hit Nearly Two Years Later

I don't have anything relevant to say today. I'm knitting and not sewing, which means the serger is uh, getting dusty and I'm not practicing threading it. I know, I know! I'll regret it earlier. It was going to change my life in 2010. Well, it still can...once I lift it out of the box. If it snows...I'll practice. With a bottle of beer. I promise.
In the meantime, a reprise of my 10 top sewing jokes, an apparent hit according to my blog statistics tracker. Tell me if you agree.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What Does It Take to Learn How to Thread Viking HuskyLock 936?

I'm afraid the answer is a drink. Or a couple of drinks. I feel intimidated by my Huskylock, which is incredibly funny considering I'm a proud owner of a well-used Viking sewing machine (736 series). Anyhow, this new Huskylock,* or at least new to me, has been sitting in my home for two months, virtually untouched. Ok, I did take it into Vogue Fabrics for a lesson recently. Have I practiced threading since? No, my excuse has been a cold, a long-lasting one. Even in the recovery stage, I've yet to break out the serger. I'm afraid of the creature. It's not the knife section. It's those lower loopers. I'm certain I could thread the upper loopers just I like I would a sewing machine...but the three lower loopers. Ay-Ay-Ay! Would a drink (preferably a Guinness, of course) loosen me up enough to give it another try? Or would I just get frustrated, have another Guinness and get depressed? If had enough beer, I'd be under the table getting cozy with the sewing machine and serger pedals!

Give me your thoughts. How did you learn to thread your serger? I'm thinking I should do what newbie knitters do...they have someone else cast on and off indefinitely until they are confident to do it on their own or they are FORCED to do it by themselves or be very, very bored!

And for the millinery-inclined among you: check out these cloche-brim hatblocks (MBC3, toward the bottom of the page). Nifty....

*Btw, did you know Husquvarna sewing machines are now made in China? Yes! As you can imagine, the quality has gone way down. My Huskylock was one of the last sergers made in Sweden. I'm so thrilled to have a quality machine. I'm sad that Viking, once a quality manufacturer, has gone downhill.....