Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hobby Leads to Job

Dave built himself a toolbox for his motorcycle then built a few more for friends. I've mentioned this before, but the backyard hobby for tinkering around in his shop has turned into a small business. He sold a few online, via a motorcycle user group and Craigslist, then with the help of a friend (webmaster John Corso), started selling boxes off of his own website. One thing leads to another - business license, sales tax, LLC, liability insurance, incorporation, etc. The next thing you know, you have real obligations.

Certainly, you have a stack of outgoing mail.

The shipping department

Dave was recently featured in a magazine article and this month has been especially busy because of the exposure. He has sold over a hundred boxes and is still getting orders. 

I guess it is hard for some people to stay retired.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Laptop Case - Fail!

We were going on a trip over Christmas break and I wanted a padded case to protect my laptop. I looked around online but was unsure about materials and sizing. So I made one with a zipper top, using fleece interfacing to provide additional heft.

It's pretty...

but the computer wouldn't fit!  It was too small!
I used a flimsy freebie bag inside of my daypack for the trip and it worked just fine to keep my laptop from getting scratched up. Since I'm not planning to get a smaller computer, I hacked up the sewn case into a smaller bag to protect a rolodex I carry back and forth to work. 

Alas, it is also a bit of a fail. The rolodex fits perfectly but when I put it into my work bag and put my work bag into the drawer at home where I keep it, the drawer wouldn't quite close! 

I am using it now for a longer term knitting project that I have going, so I guess it will be useful after all. It just took a few tries to get it right.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Luna Tote Bag

Our niece, Luna, is a serious ballerina. She has been studying ballet for nine or so years and is one of the students in her class who is often able to answer the teacher's questions about the music, composers and choreographers of many of the world's famous ballets. As a reward, she is allowed to wear a colored leotard for practices, a break from the usual regimental black leotard and pink tights.

We got her a red leotard for Christmas and wrapped in up in a custom gift bag. Maybe she can use it to carry her toe shoes!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spring Forward Socks - Again

I have made these socks before and always knew that I would use the pattern again. The lace chart is simple and easy to memorize but still makes a fancy looking fabric. Every other row is a plain knit row so the knitting goes fast. 

The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the 217 Laguna colorway; the pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty Summer 2008. I did as other knitters on Ravelry suggested and centered the lace pattern by moving it one column over on the chart. These were knit from the toe up, using the following techniques: Judy's Magic cast on, short row heels, twisted knit ribbing and Jeny's Super Stretchy bind off.

Thank you, Dave, for taking the pictures! These are going to Lauren, who appreciates hand knit socks.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Union Jack Mats

I made a couple of placemats for Dianne to celebrate an upcoming fiber tour/vacation she will be taking to England. The placemats were finished in September but I held on to them and wrapped them up for Christmas. 

The original plan was to make her a tote bag but the first block came out way too big. Dianne's plan was revised as well - the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will be relocating the Textile study rooms, resulting in their group decision to delay the trip until the collection is back on full display.

I worked out the pattern (paper pieced) and achieved better diagonals on the second one. The union jack is such an icon - it was a fun design to mess around with.

I made one more small mat (8 1/2" x 11") for good measure. I was on a roll.

Monday, January 07, 2013

January Bee Blocks

Here are two blocks for the Cheer circle of the do Good Stitches bee. Our group had a break in December but we are now back at it for January. This quilt will be assembled by Claire and will be donated to the Linus Project. 

The blocks were made from this tutorial. It is well written and super easy to follow.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Rivercat Socks

Rivercat Socks
I made these socks last winter while Katherine was visiting and was just able to grab a couple of photos before she claimed them. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (Byzantine color way) and the pattern is Rivercat from Knitty.