Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunday in NYC

Kind of got a Sunday off. Took a friend's daughter up to Columbia, she's attending their summer program. Went in by train with all the happy crazy people going into the Gay Pride Parade. The train was mobbed.

Took a cab up (Man! That cab driver made good time) then stood in line for few minutes (I have to say, Columbia sure had their act together) and into the dorm we went. I've been my share of dorms these past few years and these were quite nice. Your own room in 2 floor suite with 3–4 rooms per floor. Rooms were a decent size with air condition (lucky girl). I left her to set up room, she was one very excited young lady. 

Then I decided to walk downtown, to look for some place to eat and get my train back home. Walked past St. John the Divine, so beautiful. Was thinking of stopping but just kept going. It was a beautiful day, low humidity and sunny, just a great day for walking. I walked down to 72 St. subway by then I was a bit hot and sweaty. So I found a diner to eat at then a short hop on a subway to Penn Station. Nice day off with some exercise to boot.

Just wanted to share something from my walk downtown. I saw this beautiful blue door with black scroll work. The color was so beautiful. I think it help that it was against all that white.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Upcycling: taking something that would be thrown out and making something out of it just as good or even better. 

I've been always fascinated with upcycling. I think it comes from three things: 
  1. my parent's no throwing out policy [ ". . . it still good, you can use it." as they weed through my trash] 
  2. love of old stuff 
  3. fear of being a hoarder. 
So I'm giving upcycling a try as I attempt reduce my many piles of stuff.  Using up my yarn is first on my list and I've been making stuff with what I have and not to buy any new yarn (I've already failed in that task). 

Project 1: Not a upcycle project but my attempt to make piles of yarn smaller, I started with WG's yellow socks, I'm on sock 2 and it's looking good. I guess toe-up sock has just enough challenge to keep me interested and but not make too much mistakes. Self-striping yarn rules!

Project 2: My bag (pocketbook, handbag whatever you call it) is always a mess, especially with the cords and the chargers all tangled up in a ball. So I decided to make a cord bag for myself. I frogged (took apart for you non-knitter) a red wool shrug I made years ago that I never wore (too hot for me these days). Decided to use a seed stitch pattern knitted with 2 strands, I love the beautiful simple texture the seed stitch pattern creates in bulky yarn. I knitted in the round for less seaming (yeah! for me, two less seam to finish) I also gave it a flat bottom in stockinette stitch and tucked in corners. On the inside, I lined it with a rice bag, gave it a lime green zipper with red trim. This turns out to be a double upcycle project (shrug and rice bags). I'm thinking I may be making up more to sell on Esty, stay tune.

Front view

Inside view

Offshoot from my cord bag project: Another thing I collect is vintage trim and I got an idea while I as constructing my cord bag, zipped pouches bags using my vintage trim, rice bags, and contrasting zippers.

Flat view

close up of zipper and trim

I want to try out a tote idea I have with the rice bags and some upholstery webbing (I told you have have a lot of stuff). More to come.

Project 3: have not started yet but will be constructing my secret collaborative blanket for a special Star Wars character. Got the pieces, got the idea how to combine applique, patchwork, crochet and knitting together. The upcycle part: still need couple more square and I may just repurpose some old shirt to make a couple of crazy patchwork squares. Stay tune for sneak peeks of it coming together. 

Other ideas in the the upcycle que: turn old mens dress shirt to sleeping shorts, old hole-y sweaters patchwork blanket,  vinyl banner (our grand opening banner) tote. I hope I can get to at least one of these ideas by the end of the year.