Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Laptop Case is Finished!

Actually, it's been finished for a couple of days and I am just getting around to posting about it . . . . I've had a sock knitting catastrophy, a black out (the electricity, not my brain), an emotionally distraught daughter. . . you know . . . life just got in the way.

So here it is-- drum roll please:

It is not perfect, but I love it anyway. Here are the problems I need to correct if I am going to make a pattern to sell:

1. It is too tight a fit. I need to make it wider. I'm hoping this one will stretch out a little. (Hmmm -- maybe Pete will let me get a Macbook Air . . . only .76 of an inch thick and $3,098 for 1.8GHz. Yeah, right.)

2. The finishing was difficult -- more than what most people would be willing to do. I wanted the design to wrap around and match up (which it does! Hooray!), so I only had one side seam which I stitched it by hand with strong linen thread -- the kind used on braided rugs. I was left with backing showing through, so I then hooked matching wool strips where needed -- a major pain in the you-know-what, since it was all sewn together and couldn't go back on the frame. I have some ideas on how to make that easier.

3. Although I like the opening on the short side for this, my own personal laptop case, I think people would find a case that opens on the long side, like a briefcase, easier to use.

4. The built in handles are probably not a good idea. I reinforced these with some strong stencilling plastic, but I think most laptops are too heavy and need leather or wooden handles.

That said -- look at the lining! Don't you just love it?

It is all stitched in by hand. (I was the best hand stitcher in 7th grade home economics class at Fair Haven Middle School. Thank you, Miss Johnson.) I tacked the bottom to the hooked part so it won't turn inside out whenever I take the laptop out.

I am pleased as punch. Now I just wish I had somewhere to take my computer so I can show off the case.

Also -- I received my prize from Lana of Honeysuckle Lane. She had a giveaway after posting for the 100th time on her blog.

Arent these lovely?

They remind me of Alice in Wonderland. I love the deckled edge and the softness of the printing. They came just in time, too, because even though it is almost February 1, I haven't written my Christmas thank yous yet!

You can see more of Lana's work on her website and on ebay, too. Everything Lana touches turns to gold. Her artwork is always thoughtfully conceived, beautifully executed, and technically perfect. And she is as sweet as can be. Thank you, Lana!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

EEK! I've Been Tagged!

Miss Smarty Pants Betty at primitivebettys has tagged me. I have to tell 5 things about myself then tag 5 friends. (Betty's a smarty pants because she made fun of my attempt at sock knitting.)

So -- here are 5 things I'm sure you are all dieing to know.

1. I taught myself to rug hook using a partially finished rug that my maternal grandmother had started, using her hook. I hooked so tightly the burlap fell apart.

2. I LOVE Deadwood, the HBO tv series. I thought I would hate it, but, once I got past all the profanity, I discovered it is probably the best bit of television writing ever.

3. I was the 6th of 7 children -- the youngest girl in the family.

4. I value integrity in my friends more than anything else.

5. I am a very good cook and a great baker. (I had my own catering business for a couple of years before my daughter was born.)

Okay -- so now I tag:

1.Lorraine of Piecake Primitives

2.Jackie of TFC Folk Art

3.Barb of Thimblefolk

4.Lana of Honeysuckle Lane

5.Sylvia of Sylvia Anderson

Sock Progress!

I went to knitting night at the library again and started on my first sock! Look at all those knitting needles! It's a wee bit awkward using that many needles, but I am actually enjoying it. I need to knit 8 inches of ribbing before I get to the tough part -- the heel. Stay tuned. . .

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Resolution

My daughter (sometimes known as Hurricane Clara) is headed back to college today. I spent the first couple of hours after she left cleaning up the aftermath (not quite as bad as Katrina, but close)and restocking the larder (she finished the milk last night and didn't tell me, so I had to open a can of evaporated milk for my coffee this morning). But since I finished with all that, I have been pacing the house and eating things I shouldn't. Pete, too, is wandering around looking a little lost. We miss our kid. Just as it takes a little while to get used to having her home again, we go through withdrawal each time she leaves.

But -- I have my resolutions to fill my time! Although I had some ebay group launches to participate in this week and have been hemming several pairs of jeans for Clara, I am making progress on my laptop case, and have other unfinished items lined up and ready to be worked on.

My second resolution this year (the first was finishing up several of my UFOs) is to learn how to knit socks. Socks and sock yarn are all the rage in the knitting community these days. I am not an advanced knitter, even though my mother taught me how to knit when I was around 8 years old. Here's a pic of the only knitted item I have from back then.

It's a top for my Barbie doll. Just a little boxy and a little bright. I keep it on my bureau . . . I smile whenever I see it.

I also knitted a lovely little peach colored sweater for Clara when she was a baby, but never anything for myself. Knitting never came easy to me -- I'd get very stiff and end up with my shoulders near my ears. But last year, Clara wanted to learn how to knit and, lo and behold, I could do it with ending up in a fetal position.

When Barb and I started vending at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival we met a woman named Toni from The Fold in Marengo, Illinois. She always has a long line of customers snaking through the building and she always has a smile on her face. What does she sell? Sock yarn! The most gorgeous sock yarn you can imagine. So this year I bought a skein and promised myself I would learn to knit socks in 2008.

Here's my yarn.

It's called Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The colorway is Gibson. Normally, this wouldn't be my first color choice, but it was the end of the Festival and Toni had just about sold out of the 1,000 skeins she had brought along! (That's probably why she smiles so much.) So I bought what she had.

Last week I joined a group of knitters at our local library led by my friend Christine Henson of Now and Zen Yarns here in Greenport. So far she's had me practicing on small, double pointed needles. I'm hoping I'll start on socks this Tuesday. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Giveaway! Painter of the Past

January is turning into the month for giveaways -- and good thing, too -- since it is so cold and dreary. My talented friend Suzanne, Painter of the Past, is nearing her 100th post on her blog and is giving away a bunch of nice treats. Go here to leave a comment and be added to the drawing: Painter of the Past.

Suzanne also has a website to visit: Peartree Primitives

Tell her Sarah sent you!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Eclectic Artisans Valentine Launch

Starting this Sunday, January 13th, The Eclectic Artisans (a small but select group of the finest artists on Ebay) will be hosting a Valentine launch on Ebay. Look for a variety of items inspired by the most romantic holiday of the year! Search TheEA -- and search often!

And thanks to Lana Manis of Honeysuckle Lane (http://www.honeysucklelane.com/)for creating our beautiful banners!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Giveaway! Sylvia Anderson

The very talented Sylvia Anderson is having a Valentine's Day giveaway on her blog. Go to Sylvia Anderson to enter and to see some of Sylvia's amazing work.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Honeysuckle Lane Giveaway

Our lovely friend Lana at Honeysuckle Lane is having a giveaway to celebrate her 100th post on her blog! Go take a look and sign up for one of her beautiful handcrafted treats. Click here: Honeysuckle Lane

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Isn't it funny how pets are drawn to hooked rugs like metal to a magnet? The minute I put a rug on the floor, Cairo has to sit on it. Here's Cairo sitting on my paisley laptop case, half-hooked, two nights ago.

And here he is today, sitting on it again -- completely hooked!

Yes, I am proud to say that I have the whole thing hooked. Now I just have to put it together and line it. And voila! (or "wallah" as my friend Jean would write.) I'll have a usable laptop case. I am extraordinarily pleased with it -- and with myself!

Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Unfinished Objects . . . everyone has some. I have many. And my rug making resolution for this year is to finish at least half of my rug hooking UFOs. So over the course of the next few weeks I'll be posting pictures of my various unfinished projects, in the hopes that I'll embarass myself into finishing a large portion of them.

So here's the first one -- my favorite:

This is my laptop case. More paisley. Aren't the colors scrumptious? It was inspired by a piece of fabric by Moda called Chocolat -- the name guarantees its deliciousness. (Is that even a word? Who cares? I could eat this fabric.)

So the nice soft cushy rug will be on the outside of the laptop case, and I will line the inside with the cotton. And we'll see how long it takes me to finish it. . . . And, since I've never seen a hooked laptop case anywhere else, we'll see how long it is before every hooker on the web is making laptop cases, lol!

I'm going to put another log on the fire (it is freezing here today) and sit and hook on it right now!

Stay warm,