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Wow!

Hi! I've been knitting. And you?

What I'm here to tell you about today is this totally awesome folding table. I don't use the word "awesome" a lot (mostly because I think that I used up my lifetime allotment of "awesome"s between the ages of 8 and 18.) Few things really are awesome, but this might be one of them.

I find the majority of folding tables to be of a utilitarian appearance, at best. "Ugly" might be a better way to describe them. This table, however, I could imagine resting it quietly against the wall in my (non existent) craft room. Because I am a New Yorker living in a compact space, I am always looking for clever things to make horizontal surfaces appear and disappear out of thin air. It's there when you need it, and completely gone when you don't.

I'm not going to bother to steal a photo from AKKA. Just go to the website and have a look There's a video, too. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this table is available in the United States (or Europe). I'm not sure if it's even in production. Maybe by the time I have my craft room, I'll be able to put one of these in it.

Okay, I'm on a knitting deadline for a Spiders' mitten swap. Gotta go!

Just What I Need

At this point, I do not need another hobby to occupy my time. As it is, I'm trying to keep up with my knitting and find some time to learn how to crochet. My sewing has fallen away. I find this unfortunate, but not surprising. I'm not sure why the days seem shorter in NYC, but they do.

I won't admit to enjoying sewing as much as I enjoy knitting, but I do enjoy the ability to make things which I wouldn't normally find in a store (or if I did find them, they would cost the earth). Via Twitter yesterday, I noticed that the fine peeps over at Purl SoHo have released a new sewing book. "Ho hum," I said. "Who needs a sewing book?" I do, apparently, because I want to make everything in it!

weekend-sewing-cover 0227.jpg

(Photo snagged from Purl Soho's website, but saved to my own server.)

Heather Ross has written Weekend Sewing. I have no idea if the projects in the book can actually be accomplished in a weekend. In my experience a three-hour skirt usually takes the better part of two days for me to complete. No matter.

I'm just linking to the post in The Purl Bee about this fantastic book.

It's all I can do to restrain myself from clicking over to Amazon (okay, I did add it to my Wish List) then signing out on a "site visit" in the Garment District for the rest of the afternoon. It's very, very tempting. At this point, the last thing that I need is yet another project.

Why Did Nobody Warn Me?

Yesterday after work, I headed to Midtown to visit M&J Trimming. You see, I have a pair of shoes that will not stay on my feet. These things should not, technically, be called shoes. "Flingers," perhaps. But, "shoes"? I don't think so.

Besides the fact that they don't stay on my feet, these "shoes" (for lack of a better term) are quite cute. Patent leather ballet flats with a trim of grosgrain ribbon.

It was the trim that gave me the idea. What if I had a cobbler sew lengths of black ribbon to the shoes? Then I could tie a little bow that would a) look cute b) keep these damn things on my feet.

So, it was off to M&J I went in search of this ribbon.

Let me preface these pictures by writing that if you need any kind of trim for any reason M&J will have it. Trust me. My first thought when entering the store was "Holy guacamole!" [Especially appropriate for Cinco de Mayo, no?]

M&JTrim01506.jpg

I spent about 15 seconds walking around looking dazed when someone (the manger?) approached.

"Can I help you?"
"Oh, yes. I need some grosgrain ribbon. But first, I need to soak in this place."
"Ok. The ribbon is right here. [Lead me to the 10-foot high Wall of Ribbon]. But take as much time as you need."
"Wow, uh, thanks!" I was totally dazed by the amount of ribbon.

Then I checked out the trim sections. Again, I was completely overwhelmed by the selection. And, again, I stood there for way under a minute before I was approached by an employee asking to assist me.

MoreM&J0506.jpg

So, suffice it to say, the staff at M&J is all over helping out their customers. If you go, you will most definitely be taken care of.

More pictures:

Crystals, anyone?

OoohCrystals0506.jpg

Finally, I'll leave you with the biggest buttons that I've ever seen. Just to give you a sense of scale, those buttons below the large ones are probably about one inch in diameter.

BigButtons0506.jpg

These had to be about as big as the palm of my hand.

Catch y'all tomorrow, with a sweater update!

Subway Inspiration

If you ever want to feel like you need a wardrobe overhaul, please ride the MTA with me. Conversely, if you ever want to feel like a fashion maven, please accompany me on my next subway excursion.

I guess what I'm trying to convey is that the subway, like New York City itself, is the great fashion equalizer. Sure, you'll be able to find a person (or in my case, more than one) who is dressed better than you. On the other hand, look around, you'll also be able to find someone who is, well, fashion challenged.

I guess that what I'm also trying to convey is that I've learned to filter out what my fellow riders are wearing (although I ever saw this guy in person, it might get a little difficult). With the odd exception, of course. This morning, I encountered an exception.

Now, I don't have a picture. I was standing very close to this woman, and if I had whipped out my camera it would have been unavoidably noticeable. In which case I would have had to ask permission. And really, the only appropriate response to "Can I take a picture of your skirt hem and your legs?" is "Hell, no! Get away from me, you freak." So, the image is seared into my memory. Unfortunately, I can't download that memory into Photoshop.

But, she was wearing a cute box-pleat skirt with navy stockings and cute-as-a-button Mary Janes. The fabric of the box-pleat skirt was small, random, vertical stripes. Somewhat like this:

SubwayStripes10502.jpg (this photo came from Fabric Lovers Unite where this particular selection is on sale).

Except not at all. Blues dominated, somewhat like this:

SubwayStripes0502.jpg (thank you Photoshop)


Except for the fact that the actual fabric was more subdued--there was a lot less white.

It got me thinking about sewing again. I picked up a pattern recently for a dress. I haven't had time, however, to explore fabrics. But now I think that I have a plan. And since my classes finish next week (Meetings of one class are, actually, over. The other ends next Thursday.) I think that I can give myself permission to sew.

Fridays are For...

Sewing?

Perhaps. I doubt that I can make this a regular series, but in celebration of the Spiders' triumphant return to Brooklyn General today, I'm talking about more upcoming sewing projects.

Brooklyn General, as you might know, sells wonderful fabric. I certainly have been dreaming about it for a long time. At long last I'm ready to buy some of it to produce something cute for moi!

Sheepishly, though, I'll admit that I'm planning things a bit far in advance.

ButterMeUp0229.jpg

What can I say? It was $5. And, although my sewing prowess leaves much to be desired, I can already think of things I want to change on this pattern. First, I know (without even looking) that I'll need to lengthen the waist. I'm not extremely tall (5 feet 8--172cm, if you're being metric about it) but proportionally a lot of that height must be concentrated in my waist.

I might want to add a seam close to the base of the skirt, just to add a subtle detail. I haven't yet worked this out. Maybe I would change the direction of the fabric below the seam. Maybe I would use some piping at the seam. I don't know. I don't even know how hard it is to do something like that. And maybe, if it weren't too hard, I would add the same detail on the sleeves. Anyway, some advice/opinions from all the real seamstresses out there would be appreciated.


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