the crafty man

It is by losing himself in the objective, in inquiry, creation, and craft, that a man becomes something.
– Paul Goodman

every once in a while david surprises me yet again with a new venture he has undertaken. the other day when my knitting class was on the way out, we found a box on the doorstep from endless, an online dealer of shoes and handbags. of course we giggled a bit about david ordering a purse and i quickly forgot about it.

then last evening while i was writing my blog post, things got awfully quiet in the next room and i wondered what he was up to. when i went through to get a coffee refill, i saw him all set up with supplies for putting together a pair of . . . well, shoes. hmmm.

and of course, my first reaction was, “can i take your picture—pleeeeze??”
(he just laughed and shook his head—why not? anything for the blog . . .)

david has actually been sewing a bit here and there since childhood, when he first asked his mom to show him how to work the sewing machine. he always mends and alters his own clothes; i don’t know that he likes it so much, but it’s a task that needs to be done and he’s capable of doing it himself. every once in a while he takes up a little craft project that involves sewing just to try something new or interesting (one year, he made me a sock monkey for christmas).

i dunno how he managed to run across a kit for making one’s own shoes (well, he’s a heck of a shopper for one thing; not like me), but once he saw it, i guess it captured his interest. and here he is, stitching shoe parts together, hahaha.

it’s apparently not as easy as the package makes it sound (oh, really??), but the parts do look sorta nice, so i’m looking forward to the results. i’m pretty sure though, that no matter what the package says, it’s going to take him longer than one afternoon to get his shoes.

i spent the morning roasting tomatoes for the freezer and getting through some email and paperwork. we’ve got the maze sweater pattern in production now and it’s well on the way to being something we can pass off to the test knitters.

i’ve been so busy that every day i don’t notice til evening that my calendar needs to be changed (i just put it on tomorrow’s date to get ahead of the game a little). i’m dying to start a few new projects but i really really need to feel more caught up on paperwork before i lose my mind. almost there—by tomorrow, i should be able to plan on knitting all weekend, yay.

this evening, beckie, susie, and debby came over to knit, which was an awesome break. we had a quick little dinner from the garden of ciambotta and bread, with pie for dessert and then we all got down to business. beckie ad susie are working on top-down cardigans, debby is knitting socks, and i worked on sewing in the sleeves of my gray maze sweater. i didn’t quite finish that up but i’m almost there.

speaking of which, i am closing in for real on nightingale and i’m pretty excited. i’m feeling like i have only about one more repeat of the pattern left in my yarn cake. we’ll see; i’ll put in a couple of hours later tonight on that and try to get to the end.

see what i mean? once you can see light through the yarn you know you’re in the homestretch. i’ve been putting in some serious late-night knitting time on this project and i think it’s paying off. i might even be blocking this piece by saturday (me hopes so!).

but all that late-night knitting has it’s drawbacks—it’s really hard to get up in the morning when i stay up til 4 am. i was on a great schedule while traveling of going to bed a bit earlier and getting up at sunrise, which i liked. but now that we’re home, we’ve gone right back to our night-owl habits, which don’t suit me as well, i’m finding. my energy during the day has been terrible. i’m going to have to work on that.

the other night i spent the evening working up a little baby cap to send my SIL nan, along with some yarn and instructions so she can copy it. i used some briar rose grace, a 50/50 wool/bamboo blend left over from the tudor grace scarf i knit last summer.

i thought it would be a fun switch from doing just socks. i wrote out a pattern as well, but she gets a lot from looking at the knitting, too. i have to be careful here—baby stuff is so fun and cute and quick, i could totally see myself falling off the deep end and not resurfacing for a while. and i have other things to do right now—i have to save that urge for another year. better to teach mom to knit them i think (though i am having daydreams about knitting a boy-sized whitfield jacket . . .).

today i got a package myself—before i left town in early august, i had discussed with michele at three bags full that i wanted a little tote made from a specific fabric i saw online. she took a look and agreed that she could make one.

it’s just the right size to fit inside my bike basket, so that when i do errands, my stuff is protected from dust and rain and motion (no more DPNs scattered on the road, haha). i wanted something bright and fun to take to the market or transport knitting projects—it fits perfectly.

i have a thing for inner pockets and fun linings and this bag does not disappoint

just the kind of ironic touch i love, hee-hee.
michele’s work is just beautiful—i have several of her project bags and they are made with the nicest quality i’ve seen. she uses beautiful beads for the zipper pulls and her stitching is always so well executed. she has a variety of different-sized bags made up is wonderful fabrics in her etsy shop. these bags were also featured at the dye dreams booth at sock summit, in case they look familiar.

well, i think that about wraps up everything i have to share today—time to go finish nightingale.

34 Responses to “the crafty man”

  1. I’m going to make the assumption that you knit continental style since you knit so fast. That is the one problem i have knitting British style, it tends to be slower.

    Love the bag btw!

  2. btw if I could get my boy to make a pair of shoes instead of play World of Warcraft, I’d be surprised too.

  3. Susan says:

    I really, really like that bag! If it made me knit as fast as you do, I’d buy a dozen!

  4. sue says:

    Ooh I cant wait to see how David’s shoes turn out. What a very creative partner you have there. I love the birdy bicycle bag too, very cute.

  5. Yarndude says:

    That shoe kit actually looks really cool! I can’t wait to see nightingale (I can’t even remember what the stitch pattern looks like) and I LOVE your new bag!

  6. Josiane says:

    Oh, Anne, can I shout a big YES to a boy-sized Whitfield jacket?!!! And can I ask for a pattern that would go to a 10-year-old size? The oldest of my nephew is 8, and I’d love to see him wearing it for more than a few weeks – kids grow so fast… If you ever do a pattern for this one and need a test knitter, I’d be *really* happy to do it for you (any size would be fine with me: I have a full range of nephews from soon-to-be-born to 8 years old!).

  7. Josiane says:

    Sorry, I meant to say that David’s shoes were awesomely cool, but I got distracted by the boy-sized jacket… So: David’s shoes are awesomely cool!

  8. livnletlrn says:

    Cool shoe kit. My 11 y.o. knitaholic dau. is also interested in making her own shoes and just yesterday picked up the book Simple Shoemaking from our library. More info at the website http://www.simpleshoemaking.com .

  9. livnletlrn says:

    oops – the book is called _Crafting Handmade Shoes_. The website is http://www.simpleshoemaking.com .

  10. Kim says:

    I absoluely LOVE that David is trying to sew those shoes! You have to love a man that sews. ;)

    That bag is beyond cute!

  11. GeekKnitter says:

    That bag-liner made me laugh right out loud… I may have woken my husband!

  12. Barbara-Kay says:

    A bike basket like that is almost enough to entice me to save for a bicycle. They sure weren’t that fancy when I was a girl!

  13. Jocelyn says:

    I love that bag! I may have to put something like that on the Christmas list… And I love the pictures of D making shoes — what a fabulous thing to do. Have you guys tried making cheese yet? I don’t know why, but it just seems like that kind of thing you’d enjoy. :)

  14. dajknits says:

    I have never heard of ciambotta. I am making it tomorrow night, what a great use of summer vegetables-thanks. Gosh maybe you should have a link to your recipes…

  15. Jody says:

    Well that’s pretty nifty–you and David make quite the creative couple! I hope you’ll post progress and finished shoe pics. I might have to check out that website. And that bag is SO cute-and perfect for your bike.

  16. Ragdoll says:

    Please give us as many ‘David’s shoes’ updates as you can! I’m loving this.

  17. Linda says:

    I can’t wait to see Davids shoes. the kit looks really interesting. the bag for the bike basket is great. My stull falls all over the place too. I don’t have a car so my bike is my workhorse!

  18. Hattie says:

    That is the cutest bag!!!

  19. glenda says:

    Well after todays post I now know it’s true!! I’m in love with you guys. David sewing shoes and your bike basket… well… I just really like knowing that you and David are out there somewhere making this world a very interesting place to be.

  20. Erin says:

    I LOVE the make-your-own-show idea! My honey is going to be getting that kit for his b-day now.

  21. Erin says:

    show=shoe

  22. Rosemary McN says:

    Is it any wonder that your nephew loves the socks? Wish you would publish the kid patterns (ok,ok we know you’ve plenty to do. Just sayin’…)
    Also, Anne, the Lace Club kit from Wooly Wonka Fibers came yesterday and Birnam Woods is a total beauty. Just thought I’d let you know. Happy weekend!

  23. Rachel says:

    Oh, please do make a boy sized pattern! There are so few interesting boy patterns and that one would look wonderful on my boys.

  24. Michele says:

    thank you, Anne!

  25. Mitty says:

    That bag lining is Fun with a capital “F”! My husband just asked me what I was laughing at! I am going to play devil’s advocate and say that it’s more fun to design the baby garments while you have a sweet baby boy in the family to wear them. He’ll grow so fast. (You know you wanna…)

  26. Sarah R says:

    Hah! Took me a minute to figure out what the lining was picturing! Too funny!

    So…David feet are all well and good…but I miss the baby feet!

  27. Julie Rappe says:

    I’ve been looking for that chicken fabric! Where did you find it? And hey, I’m totally intrigued by the shoes. We’ve often moaned that if someone would make us a kit, we’d make our own renaissance faire shoes. :o)

  28. Elizabeth in VT says:

    LOVE THAT BAG. LOVE THAT BAG. LOVE THAT BAG.

    David’s shoes remind me that somewhere I have a 1940′s/1950′s “homemaker”-type pamphlet that has directions and a multi-size pattern for women’s GLOVES – the ones with the seams on the outside.

    My sons, now adults, grew quite differently: one grew tall and then gained weight to match his height; one put on weight and then grew into his weight. But they both outgrew sleeves before any other part of a jacket. I’d like to make the heretical suggestion that you knit the sleeves from the top down, and keep yarn handy so that sleeves can be lengthened.

  29. Lynn says:

    I have a box bag made out of that chicken and egg beater fabric except my chicken fabric has a green background. I loved it for the irony too!

    And I think cute baby patterns would be awesome! They’re so cute! :)

  30. that bag is fantastic!

    tell david not to let the shoes get the best of him. the second one will seem much easier! :) i’ve made them before (at a convention where our simple rep was trying to sell them to us for the store…). it gets easier.

  31. Stephanie says:

    I had no idea such a kit existed, that’s so neat, and I can’t wait to see David’s results – also I adore your chicken bag. The inside, as you note, is just perfect :)

  32. Katrina says:

    I look forward to seeing the end results of those shoes and that bag is very cute!

  33. Nan says:

    Can’t wait to see David’s selfmade shoes…
    Thank you Anne the cap is really cute, oh, yes knitting for Micah is so fun.

  34. Tara says:

    Fabulous bag, really. I miss having a basket on my bike! It was so practical.