Monday, April 16, 2007

Busy bee

I've been busy doing lots of stuff but haven't made time to photograph my projects. Words will have to do for now.

1. Simplicity top (3893)
It's done. It's been done for a week now and has been adorning my dressform ever since. I'm not 100% happy with the results. I chose the shorter sleeve version and now wish I'd made the sleeves longer. I have fat arms and the sleeves are voluminous and stop at the fattest part of my upper arm. Not good. Added to this, the fabric color is not very attractive on me - it's too close to my skin tone and I look washed out. Since it's a low cut top and (I believe) intended to wear over something else, I may see how it looks over a long-sleeved pink top I have. I'm hoping the darker pink will bring in more color and the sleeves will look better layered over the longer sleeves. If it doesn't, then I'll just wear the top under a sweater, which is how I often end up wearing short sleeve tops in the summer because the air conditioning in my office often makes it too cool for me.

2. More sewing
I cut out and sewed up a muslin of the boat-neck version of Jalie 2005. I made the v-neck version before but in a stretchier fabric so I tried a larger size. But the test top was still too tight. Now that I look at the picture, I was thinner then too, which explains why I have to go up yet one more size. I really should get back to the gym. My fat arms could also use a workout.

3. Socks (not the husband-socks)
I put the husband-socks on hold for a bit because I'm almost to the heel and need to measure. There's no rush because my husband won't be wearing them until next winter anyway. So I started a different pair...for me. I picked up three hanks of Socks that Rock at Purlescence a week or so ago. For you non-knitters, Socks that Rock is a wonderful sock yarn by Blue Moon Fibers that can be a bit hard to come by because it's so wonderful. I'd received an email notice that Purlescence just got a new shipment and I just had to have some. One of the colorways I chose is called Little Bunny Foo Foo. I immediately started the sock pattern Monkey because I couldn't wait to see the pattern of colors that would emerge from this yarn. I'm loving it! I turned the heel but realized that I stitched a row or two too many on the heel flap so I might have to rip back, otherwise the instep might be too big. Also, I was incorrect in my last post about not having to block socks. Monkey is a lace pattern and will require blocking, I think.

4. Bonita
I haven't forgotten about Bonita. Now that I'm at a sticky point with the socks, I've turned my attention back to this summer top. The front is almost finished - just a few more rows and then I'll start knitting the back.

5. Backyard project
My husband and I have been working on the backyard for a few weeks now. The yard has been a work in progress ever since we moved in over 9 years ago, but we recently stepped it up a notch in hopes of finally "finishing" it. The yard is not very large, about 25 feet deep and I think less than 100 feet wide. When we moved in, the yard consisted of mostly concrete, some grass, and a wood structure over the patio area that was painted black and covered in a hideous, filthy, green plastic. Years ago we removed most of the concrete and put pavers over a smaller, patio section. We tore down the old structure and put up a redwood pergola with trellises for climbing plants. We also put in a pond with a waterfall, planted many fruit trees, and tried our hand at raised-bed vegetable gardening. But we never finished the landscaping and a sizable area was left to the weeds. The nice thing about DIY as opposed to hiring a landscaper is that the design of the yard has changed as we have changed. At one time we were going to put in grass and a sprinkler system but we've both concluded that we'd rather use the water to grow stuff to eat. We currently have over a dozen fruit trees and bushes already, so we decided to put four four-foot square raised beds in the center of the yard (the half that's not taken up by the patio and pond) and have paths and small plantings take up the rest of the space. The vegetable beds will look a lot like this kit, available through Gardener's Supply for $1150, if you're interested.

It's the exact design I'd had in mind long before I saw this picture, but the picture helped my husband visualize what I hadn't put to paper and it got us to work on it too. Ours will not have as much gravel, nor will there be grass around it. There won't be any copper caps on the posts either. We built our boxes out of redwood (theirs are cedar) for about $40 each and although the home supply store had copper caps, they were $10 each and I just couldn't see spending another $40 per box just for caps. I like the copper solar birdbath, but not the $225 price tag. I had planned to turn a tall, four-sided ceramic vase into a fountain and use that in the center, but the vase we purchased looked out of scale with our boxes, so we've decided to use it somewhere else in the yard. I'm thinking a sun dial might be nice instead. We'll also build trellises similar to the ones in the picture. Gardener's Supply also a great cucumber trellis that would be easy to make.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, jealous of landscaping! I've been thinking of turning my front yard into a series of herb beds.