Friday, September 07, 2007

The lizard that 'owns' our pond

Dear Blog-

Today, on 'The Sorenson's Wild Kingdom', we have a photo of the lizard that owns our pond. This is a very fierce lizard that chases away all other lizards that dare to come near his pond, and then goes back to sunning himself on a rock and guarding his lizardom. The mesquite beans that you see on the ground in the background are a great favorite with bunnies and all manner of squirrelish things, and are almost gone now.

Well, Blog, I didn't think I would be posting here this morning. I thought I would be working on my FI mitts, but that project is just not working in it's current permutation, and changes will have to be made. We will talk about all that another day. The idea was partly inspired by this...

Here is my Fair Isle felted bag design (pattern for this and several other recent projects should be available on the pattern page over the weekend). I did this with Cascade 200 and some Noro Kureyon, and was really pleased with the result when felted. After a few years of making felted bags now, I am more excited when adding new twists with color and texture. The plain felted bag is getting to be pretty dull.

Originally I was going to put this bag up on etsy for sale, it was never intended for me or for classes or patterns. And then the LYSO saw it and wants patterns, and when making up my list of classes for the Winter quarter at the shop I decided that in the interests of preserving sanity during the festive Holiday season I ought to do most of my classes as projects I have already taught, or already designed. So it is going on the class list. And I have someone who wants a private lesson in this project. Here it is after felting...

I am really taken now with putting leather handles on my bags, I just feel that it gives them a much more finished and professional look. My expression is that it makes the difference between hand-crafted and homemade. Which means I have also added the much-dreaded lining step to the process.

Last week while waiting for the handles to arrive I went out shopping for lining fabric for this bag and the Mitred Squares bag, and you know how that is. My problem (as it always is in fabric stores) is that I have a very definite idea of what I want, and it is almost never actually in the fabric shop. Last time this happened I wanted a printed lining fabric for a tweed jacket I was making. You would have thought that I as asking the store clerk to strip down to her knickers, get up on the cutting table, and sing selections from Britney Spears using a top hat and cane. She was just aghast! Printed linings? Oh, no! We don't sell printed linings here! Printed lining fabrics are only used by hookers!

Here is another thing about Tucson fabric stores that really tweaks my nose, other than the whole 'lack of imagination' thing. The big fabric stores are only on the other side of town. Never mind that Tucson has been growing to the west for the last 20 years. This means that if I am struck by a burning desire to find out if the larger JoAnn Fabrics on the far side of town might have printed linings, one must pack food and water to last several days, gather one's loved ones about one and kiss them good-bye, and then spend $85 on gas to drive to the other side of the moon to the fabric store. Only to find that they might not have what you want. What did you say? That I should call ahead and ask? You must be kidding! Not only would it be a miracle if they actually answered the phone (during the 14th ring you are starting to wonder if some outraged shopper has finally been pushed beyond her limits and gone in there with an Uzi, and all personnel are laying dead on the floor while she laughs maniacally), if they should actually answer the phone they don't hesitate to make it perfectly crystal clear that they are not, under any circumstances, going to look for something for your lazy self. They (unlike yourself, who has nothing more pressing on your agenda for the day than make crank phone calls) have better things to do. Know that they already have it at the other store? Don't ask them to have it sent over. Trust me. Just don't. Listen, I went to a schmanzy women's college in Virginia. One of the first things you learn is how to deal with haughty sales people. By out-haughtying them. Raise your eyebrows and give them the look. But the well-preserved ladies in Papagallo have nothing on the women who work in the fabric stores of Tucson.

This time all I was asking for was a quilting cotton in a foulard print that matched this bag. Was that really too much to hope for? Apparently so. I settled for this orange cotton print, and I am not unhappy with the result, but it just wasn't what I had envisioned. But I found linings that worked, took them home and washed them, and then had the two lining fabrics and the cutting mat lying out on the dining room table for several days. Then last weekend, realizing that elves were not going to come in the night, measure the bags and cut out and sew the linings for me, I broke down and did so myself. In the meantime, my handles arrived. And here is the finished bag...

Which brings us to the mitred square bag. This was designed for a class at Kiwi. I used Kureyon here as well, as I know you have already spotted, and loved working out how to make the design work, as well as seeing the squares happen.

I love this bag deeply and desperately, and have to give it up for a month or more in order to leave it in the shop on display. This strikes be as being rather cruel. Someday it will be mine again.

Well, Blog, I must go shower and dress to play Knit Dr and then embark on our day of fun. See you later-



Blogger Windyridge said...

Love the bag.
You might get lots of hits as I recommended your "Observations..." blog on my blog today. You gotta post more, I love your stuff. You should write a book.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

Amen to that comment. And I love those bags, but the orange-lined one particularly doesn't want to let my eyeballs go. Wow, is that gorgeous. And you notice how the shades of red-and-orange come out looking like smiley-face icons? You did notice that, right?

4:05 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

MMM I love the little bag! I haven't felted much but want to try more. I have a couple of felted things on some old blog entries, but I love yours! Hope to see you at something local (found you thru Ravelry but have met you in Kiwi)

5:22 PM  

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