Sunday, April 13, 2008


No, not Second Sock Syndrome. I thankfully have never suffered from that.


First up I sewed a bottom for a Monkey Bottom Barf Bag for Chunky's teacher Miss Donna. Apparently she really likes the gigantic Monkey Bottom Barf Bag I made to haul his nap stuff back and forth. She was hired after Christmas so I never knit her anything. I knew I wanted to knit her something before Chunky left for public school in Fall, and this will be perfect!


Next, you've probably seen these all over Etsy, and I figured why not make my own? Now that the weather is getting warmer, I won't have my trusty coat pockets to shove my keys into. So I pulled out my sheepy fabric and made myself a key fob.


(No, they will not be for sale. You can't tell from that picture my top-stitching skills need a bit of time to be honed.)

Next, I'm sure some of you have heard of the Sea Socks Cruise. It's basically where a bunch of knitters get on a boat and go places while taking classes from famous knitting teachers between ports of call.

This year the cruise goes to Alaska.

Ok, here's where I'm going to get honest.

I HATE these Inside Passage cruises. I think they're a poor representation of the great state of Alaska. Whew. I could go off into a really long diatribe as to why I think this, but I won't.

But what does this have to do with sewing?


Why this of course. I already made one of these Alaskan Sock bags for someone going on the Sea Socks Cruise this year and I made another one yesterday--for another person going on the Sea Socks Cruise.

I fell in love with this fabric--it's designed by Jon Van Zyle (if you're Alaskan you'll recognize that name immediately) and has the names of tons of different Alaskan cities on there. Pay no attention to the funky seaming there.


The inside I used otter fabric. (Never mind that it's upside down!) I do rest assured that the Sea Sockers will at least be able to see sea otters.

I remember my freshman algebra class taking place in a classroom with large windows overlooking a cove where you could regularly see eagles soaring and sea otters basking. It's no wonder I nearly flunked that class.


My spinning is getting better!


This is some natural colored wool from Smoky Mountain Fibers. It was cheap (I don't want anything too expensive until I get spinning down better!) and is very soft. I'm getting better control over the thickness of the yarn produced.

It's still not doing anything to help my resolve in eventually getting a wheel though!


I was trying to hold off planting until next weekend. But today I'll be starting my colder weather plants--peas and lettuce.

Don't worry about the rest being planted too early if I plant them next weekend. That's the joy of pot gardening--you can control the weather your plants are subjected to. I'm starting to think even if I won the lottery and we bought a house, I'm not sure I could convert to a "real" garden in the ground!

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Anonymous joymama said...

Your friends will be very happy for those bags! Those are way cool.

Chunky's teacher is a lucky girl too getting a bag made just for her.

Your spinning is awesome---hope you get a wheel soon!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

The spun yarn looks great! Imagine how great it will be when you get a wheel!

See, you thought Chunky's Monkey Barf Bag was ugly but the public says otherwise. Its a nice feeling when someone genuinely admires your handiwork!

The Alaska fabric is great. My old boss went to Alaska and refused to do the cruise ship because he wanted to see the real Alaska. He brought me back a gorgeous necklace that he found in one of the local shops. One day, I hope to visit there too. If I had a view of eagles and otters in school, I don't think I would have passed at all!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Nice Sea sock bag! As for the gardening, I think if I won the lottery and bought a house, I'd get a greenhouse put up. Since we're dreaming here anyway....

10:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

That key fob is really cute! My youngest sister doesn't carry a purse - she just never liked them, so she's the same way, with putting everything in her pockets.

I agree Chunky's teacher is lucky getting a handknitted bag!

Alaska has never really appealed to me as a place to visit, because I so despise snow, but your story about the algebra class makes it sound much better, LOL! I never made it past high school geometry (I've always sucked at math and hated it because I sucked at it) - I spent most of the class doing my honors English homework, LOL!

10:55 AM  
Blogger T. Budnik said...

Hey, if you need fibers to spin, I've got a katzah showing up on Tuesday that needs a good brushing. Want me to send along the fur? Muahaha!


10:57 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

The bags are so cute! Love the fob too. Zonda made me one recently with turtles on it. They're so neat!

12:25 PM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

You spinning is getting a lot more even. But you can spin the unevenly and it's called art yarn apparently. I've seen people spin all kinds of stuff into the yarn too. Although I'm not sure how it knits and wears.

I think if I won the lottery I'd have all kinds of gardens and green houses - including a pot garden, but most importantly a gardener to do all the stuff I don't like!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as we are all dreaming I want a green house attached to my home so that in the winter when the sun is out only for a couple of hours I can go in there and soak up all the rays I want. As for the otters being upside down...well the bag was designed like that! They look upside right when you look in the bag. As for your spinning that looks wonderful!! I like the way that you used the quarter to show the size. Well I don't think that it is too early to start your seeds, I have started marygolds and icland poppies. I am going to start some onion sets here this week. Love, Mom

1:15 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

Love all the sewing!! Especially the Alaska sock bag! I bet those are going to be a hot item :)

1:25 PM  
Anonymous birdie said...

A friend of mine bought a bag just like the one you made at a Christmas bazaar. She paid way to much for it, and it fell apart. Your's is probably much better.
And as long as T is sending you some Corey fur to spin, would you like me to send you some Pig fur? He may not live in Faibanks with me, but his fur sure does...

1:48 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What cool bags your friends are getting! Even if they are seeing the tourista Alaska they are still going, right?

I had a view of the parking lot for Freshman algebra, LOL

2:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

It looks like you've totally conquered your fear of the sewing machine. And your spinning is coming along marvelously!

4:29 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Could you make that Alaska bag a bit bigger? Do you have more fabric? My aunt, who now lives in Palmer again to her bliss and lasting contentment, would absolutely love that for her birthday in July. Let me know if it's possible and can be made bigger. I will totally buy it. :)

7:28 PM  
Blogger janna said...

Your spinning looks great! The wife of a co-worker teaches spinning here, and she's almost convinced me I need to learn....

8:13 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Those are really nice! I have to giggle when I remember what I saw outside my classroom windows~it certainly wasn't nature ;-)

8:28 PM  
Blogger Starfish said...

Okay what's with the suntanned snowmen on the monkey fabric?

I got bit by the sewing bug too but that's over with now that I realized how much I suck at it. Your bag came out great.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

It's not too early for peas outside. They say to start them as soon as the ground can be worked, and if you wait, like I have for the past ten years, the peas just won't grow. They like it cold :).

That bag is very cool, and your spinnig looks fabulous ... even without a wheel. I really admire your skill with the spindle. I have grand visions of myself at the wheel spinning fiber from my angora rabbit or pygora goat, but it's just a dream.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Awesome! Hehe..I've been experimenting with those key fobs too! Alaska bag is cool!! Lucky cruise members! Your spinning is looking awesome BTW! :)

10:32 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

Sqeeeeeeeee! I'm the lucky recipient of one of those coveted sock bags!! I love it! and all the fabulous things that came with it.

Look for it on a cruise ship near you.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

HA! I was just complaining about the soon-to-be lack of pockets for keys and wallets...what a great idea! I just pull ye olde' janitor-jangley key trick that my mom taught me...a big fat clip that can clip onto belt, purse, and/or lunch bag loops. Sure everyone can hear you coming, but I don't exactly work in a library anymore.

Sewing is much less repetitive-action-filled than knitting, I need to remember this as I get all fidgety and nervous and want to throw my book across the room.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Dkswife said...

I just figured you were trying to prepare yourself for a snake attack when you move to your new office! :)


8:13 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

Love the Alaska bag - the print is so fabulous! Hm... I wonder if knitting cruises include qiviut samples....

8:22 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

The sock bag is really cute but I thought for sure it would be lined with fur, you know, to keep the yarn warm? hehehehehe I crack myself up.
Hey, those boat rides are expensive. Everyone I know kept coming back from "Alaska" and crowing about how great it was, so I priced out a trip and $$$$$!!! Trapped on a boat with a bunch of dorks and your only experiences are gaping over the railing with said dorks or crowding into Juneau with aforementioned dorks.
No thanks, I grew up in a tourist town and I don't care for the tourist experience.

9:55 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

your sewing is coming along nicely. my top-stitching still sucks. i *could* work on improving it, but really i figure nobody would be mean enough to point it out to me even if they notice, unless they are jerks.

nice spinning as well.

i hate all plantlife but even i am thinking about growing tomatoes this year.

9:57 AM  
Blogger DomesticOverlord said...

If I ever go to Alaska I think I'll come and 'kidnap' you first. I think the only way we outsiders can see it right is with a local and since you're the best one, I'm making you go with me.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Necia said...

My STR - a sad felted mess!

Chunky's Teacher Bag - Rocks

Alaska Bag - Rocks Even More

Key Thingy - WTH didn't I think of that?

Cold Weather Planting - Hmmmmmmmmn. Not versed enough on the subject to even comment.However, I'm inspired to plant some stuff, just for the boy's sake. Where do you buy your seeds? Where can I get some pots on the cheap in NJ?


1:57 PM  
OpenID bufanditas said...

Your sewing projects look great. Making my own stuff, (when I know how to) gives me so much self-satisfaction.

Personally, I HATE cruises. I just don't see what all the fuss is about.

7:41 AM  

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