Friday, April 30, 2010

32!!!!!!

The 4th month is ending and to be PERFECTLY on track to finish 100 projects, I needed to have completed 33.33333333 projects.  With all my WIPs, I think I might have the 0.33333333 part covered, and just finished redoing the 6 inches of ribbing on the striped top giving me 32 finished projects.  (picture tomorrow)

Ha!  I am close!!!!  Which for me is almost as good as actually BEING on schedule--and maybe better, because if I was actually ON schedule the shock might have been too much for me.  As it is, I am really pleased.  Even with my crazy decisions lately (working on a quilt, doing a mitten garland that is going to require a LOT of little mittens, working on ANYTHING smaller than size 8 needles), I could actually finish 100 projects this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if I do, doesn't it just make you wonder what sort of craziness I'll come up with for 2011????????

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where I've Been

For a number of reasons--being really busy over the last few months, garden season about to hit, and the fact that I cannot seem to rest my injured arm while I'm here--I decided to "get away from it all" for a few days.  Since I was taking my computer & camera, I thought I'd be updating my blog while on the road--not realizing quite how "away from it all" I was getting.  I had picked an historic hotel that specifically said "no phones" and why that didn't translate into "probably means no internet either" for me is anyone's guess. 

BUT, even with all the driving I did get some quality crafting time in.  Mr. Flurry now has a body
and part of a hat
The neck of the old cotton sweater is at 2 1/2 inches of the 6 needed
and the mitten collection is progressing nicely:
I'll be making a run to the craft store to get some blue thread for the white mitten up at the top.  I'm thinking royal blue stitching around the outside will look quite sharp.  On the way out of town I stopped at a Joanns fabric store where I was delighted to find these
Snowflakes!!!!  I think they'll be quite cute on mittens.  There was a bit of a fabric incident while I was there, but I'm not quite ready to discuss that part yet........

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Okay, Enough With the Triangles!

Okay, to make a quilt with 35 blocks, I need to make it through 840 triangles.  I have 162 to go.  I know I'm on the downhill side, and REALLY have comparatively few to go......but I need a break.  So.....
It's new project time!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Really, you seriously didn't think I was going to be all responsible & pull something out of the WIP pile, did you?)

Actually, I wanted to get started on this while I still had the idea in my mind.  I'm making a mitten garland--or at least that is the plan.  I have 4 colors of felt to use--3 blues & a white--and since only one side of each mitten will be visible, I think it will be a great time to experiment with some ideas & techniques.

Theo, of course, is thrilled
and did his very best yesterday to make cutting out the mittens as difficult as possible:
I couldn't even distract him with a little scarf blocking
so I think I have my very first furless scarves EVER.  I'm still in shock.  In spite of my sidekick
I now have 18 mittens cut out.
I have no idea how many I'll actually want, so I thought for once it would be safe to err on the "lots and lots" side.  My arm is still sore, though yesterday it didn't bother me to use scissors.  It does, however, hurt a lot today, so I have spent some time putting together a "project box" for this
an idea that has only recently occurred to me.  I thought a project might be easier to work on if I didn't have to hunt all over the sewing room for the parts every time I had a spare moment or two.  (I'm sure other people wouldn't have needed to lose an entire pajama top or a few pages out of pattern instructions to figure that one out, but today I am choosing to embrace my cluelessness and be thankful I've at least thought of it NOW.)

Each mitten can be different, so Theo & I sorted out some decorative buttons to use on a few.
I found a big tub of very cheap buttons somewhere--nothing I would ever use for actual clothes, but these have been amazingly useful for craft projects.  I picked out things I thought would look good, and we've started our first mitten.  Turns out, sewing buttons on left-handed is much easier than trying to do a decorative stitch left-handed
and my first attempt looked rather sad.  It will be interesting to see which happens first:  left-handed proficiency or my arm healing because I have FINALLY really started resting it.

And........instead of just SAYING I was going to fix a sweater........
I am actually doing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is very exciting for me.  I ripped back the entire neck, and did a K2tog every 6 stitches.  It's hard to really estimate how big the neck should be, but going from 190 stitches to 160 stitches ought to help a great deal.  I should have done this YEARS ago because I have probably only worn this sweater once or twice and I have always really liked it in general (except for that flashing-the-neighborhood part), so after 20 years, it will finally (hopefully) be wearable!

(And you thought I was taking a long time with Fleur......)

Friday, April 23, 2010

FINISHING Friday

Drum roll please...................
The cowl neck sweater is DONE!!!!!!!!!

It should have been finished quite some time ago, but this
stopped me.  Nope--it is NOT a ribbon loin cloth, in spite of what it looks like.  It is the original cowl neck.
which I think looked pretty dopey.  It was possible to stretch & stretch the neck into being a bit more rounded, and I seriously debated about making myself go through the hassle of mangling it every time I wanted to wear it, or to grow a spine and just fix the darn thing.  Since the sweater has been languishing in the WIP pile for quite some time, you can see what a difficult debate this was.  Blame it on the short rows--which in general I think are just darn clever.  Tinking them, however, is about as much fun as elective root canal without anesthesia. 

I decided to watch some old sewing television shows I had taped (back before the digital conversion stopped me from even knowing how to operate normal television, much less being able to record shows anymore), and there is a VCR in our guest room, which was sunny and lovely today.  Theo did agree to join me
but wanted to make it quite clear that he disapproved of the new arrangement.  I made it through three sewing show segments before getting bored, but Theo only made it through one
Unless I'm interested in the project or technique, they are pretty boring.

Still, I fixed the neck, finished sewing the seams, and NOW have project number 31 done for the year!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(triangles?  What triangles?)

It's still early, so I'm thinking about picking up this:
to work on this evening.  It's probably the third or 4th sweater I ever made but I never wear it, because while it came out looking very much like the picture
what was omitted was the picture the split second AFTER this picture was taken, when the weight of the COTTON yarn pulled the sweater completely off her shoulder and turned this into a pornographic photo shoot.  SO, what I think I'm going to do is to rip out the neck and redo it--making it a bit smaller.  It won't be off the shoulder, but I won't be flashing anyone either.  I think that's best.

NOW, the big question is.......is that a "project" or just fixing a project that counted for the yearly tally for sometime in the late 1980s?????

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm In Triangle Hell

I made the mistake of doing all the large triangles first, so now I'm slogging though the 24 little triangles needed for every single block. 


I have been doing a few at a time so that I have blocks moving forward in stages so I can at least see them--and so I don't find myself banging my head on the table (which would of course be cushioned by a pile of triangles)

Of course, I have my sidekick with me....
and has lost a little fur here & there to the rotary cutter, but otherwise 

Yesterday I thought I was getting close to being done, and decided to figure out how many more triangles I needed before I cut out the next strips.  Now, there are SOME points when doing the math is a good idea.  I don't think this was one of them.  After carefully counting the blocks & figuring out how many more I needed, I discovered I still needed one hundred and eighty-six squares, which would need 372 more triangles. 

Oh my.

I think I have met the fabric equivalent of the purple mohair swoopies........heaven help me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 Days Left To Go......

.....and I need to finish 3 projects to stay on track for my goal.

What do we think--more coasters or towels???????  Or throw caution and sanity to the wind and cast on the tweed yarn for the sweater I keep lusting over..............

(And why is that last one the most likely????????)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Much Knitting

Yesterday involved almost NO knitting--thanks to Julia Child and her boeuf bourguignon recipe.  Aside from perhaps Thanksgiving, have you ever spent 5 hours preparing ONE meal?  Well, now I have.  That doesn't leave one with much knitting time--and the frustration gives one a pretty wonky gauge anyway.  Mr. Flurry is making a bit of progress
and the ostrich plume scarf is finished but not blocked AND I have not yet cast on the tweed yarn.  I'm rather proud of that unusual display of willpower on my part. 

Theo does NOT enjoy cooking, so he refused to hang out with me yesterday, but like the smart cat that he is....

he decided to hang out by the yarn stash.  After all, where else am I more likely to turn up?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Finishing" Friday

And I use the term loosely.  Not only did I not finish anything yesterday, I had to dig this out of the closet
as a bribe to get myself to keep working on that darn scarf.  I have not yet cast on, but I have bribed my inner knitting child (who is frankly a serious brat who could use a real spanking once in a while) with the promise that I can cast on as soon as I finish this:
The alpaca vacuum!  Actually, it's looking much better with a lot more knitting and my own secret technique.....................pulling on it really, really, really hard.  I think I'm one row away from starting the bottom edging--without having to set it aside for a really short friend, even.

The majority of Finishing Friday was spent with the project actually farthest away from completion:
 because somehow that seems like a good idea to me.  These are the first 9 blocks laid out--there will eventually be 35.  I admit, I am REALLY pleased with this so far--and probably not just because it's a really idiotic thing to be working on during a year when I'm trying to finish 100 projects.  I like the idea of blocks that create another pattern.  If I were better at embroidery, I'd put some sort of design in the white corner squares being formed.  But....I haven't forgotten the pillow case incident yet.

This morning, thanks to
I was awake at a dreadfully-early time, and since my knitting was in the bedroom where Andy was still sleeping, I decided to allow myself
A new project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And, mercifully, a fast one.  Of course, it uses up the Red Heart acrylic yarn, which has technically never been counted as being part of the stash, so it might be a bit hard to count it as used up from stash,  but at least it's a much faster knit than the sweater I was lusting after......

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And What Do We Have Here????

A finished scarf?
                               --Nope

The long-suffering Fleur finished?
                               --Nope

A finished quilt?
                              --Nope

Even yet another set of Christmas coasters finished?
                              --Nope

Know what we have??????

An overwhelming desire to start something new!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Unexplained Phenomenon

This

is a miracle of physics.  I work on it and work on it and work on it, and yet it never grows longer.  Ever.  It just exists.  And sucks up my knitting time--like a little alpaca vacuum.  We'd be looking at finished project number 30 if I hadn't stumbled across the black hole of knitting...... 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Note To Self

NOTE TO SELF:  If I'm going to try doing math for the blog post, it would be best to write it BEFORE the white chocolate martini........


71 projects to go!

(however, 31 does sound much better........)

:) 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Good News and the Bad News

The GOOD news is, there was crafting on Finishing Friday.  The BAD news is, I broke my own rule.  Remember how I said that Finishing Fridays were for working on projects that had been in existence for at least a month?  Well............
 my sidekick and I decided to start a new project Thursday night.  And not just ANY project.  A nice time-consuming and totally inappropriate for this year sort of project:
A quilt!  And just in case you're thinking, "Well, that might be okay after her recent quilting success," this is the first block:
Notice anything  unusual?  Yep--first block, first mistake.  I think that's a record even for me.  

I did ultimately get it straightened out, and finally managed to get 4 blocks to come out correctly, which will look something like this:
though not likely in the near future....

I did eventually decide that it would be a good idea to at least attempt the second elephant pillow case
which turned out much better, but not perfect

So, I think it was both a problem with the machine & just not a very good design.  Still, the pillowcases are done and I'm going to call it "good enough."  And finished project 29. 

31 left to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Which We Learn........

She who is smug is about to get her arse kicked by a project.

In today's sad little tale, we begin with the Christmas quilt.  Finished, quilted, the binding on....all that was left was to wash the obligatory cat hair off of it and iron it.  Which is when we discovered:
a glass head pin that had been sewn INTO the quilt.  This picture was taken during the removal process--right before the small hole was created that allowed the head of the pin to make it out.

Chastened--and somewhat encouraged by having finished two more sets of pillowcases,
I thought I'd tackle the 5th and final set......and get a bit more creative.
which is when the embroidery machine decided to get a bit more creative as well.....
Yep--that's how the design came out.  Sometimes it is possible to bump the machine or do something that will affect the design, but this wasn't one of those times.  So, either the design is really poorly done (a strong possibility since it was a freebie) OR the embroidery machine decided I needed to be taken down a peg or two (frankly, also a possibility).  I haven't decided if I should just close my eyes & do the second one and hope for the best, or bag it and start over.  Since pillowcases come in pairs I might do a second one just for the heck of it and throw in a bonus set that WON'T make the poor kid think he has double vision, but I think the embroidery machine and I need a little time apart.....

To redeem myself, I did some knitting.....

or, a lot of knitting.  Remember this scarf?  I didn't either, to be honest, but in spite of a big snarl that came out of the center-pull ball (which I'm not ready to talk about), it is done.  I'd block it today, but at the rate things have been going, I'd probably felt it into a G-string for a Barbie.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep--you read that right.  25 projects done.  Completed.  Finished.  Now, some of you may be thinking that I have spent the weekend making a desperate push to finish short, quick projects in a pathetic attempt to get back on track, and to that I say......Well, duh.  

First, we have the April Project of the Month.  Taking the half-yard of fleece that was tucked away in the project bag, rounded off the corners
(which requires the latest in high-tech equipment as you can see), then did a narrow hem along the border using some decorative stitching
which doesn't need to be done as fleece cannot ravel, but I like the look better than a raw edge.  The timing is perfect because some friends just had a baby last week, so.....
It looks a bit funny because the clear water-soluble stabilizer is still there.  This is my first time using this plastic-looking stuff
and it's a bit strange to work with.  It's nice that it's clear, but it also has a bit of a smell...well, more of a stink, really, When I bought it at the fabric store, I even had to explain to the clerks what it was, so it might not be popular stuff.  Sewing gods willing, when I wash the blanket, it will have dissolved just like the normal stuff.  So, that is project 23.

Project 24 and 25:
personalized pillowcases for nieces for Christmas gifts!  I think they turned out well--in spite of a smack by the Sewing Gods
when I received a reminder why one does not actually leave the embroidery machine unattended.  Luckily, I caught it before it got too bad, so with much swearing and my longest-handled seam ripper I was able to undo this snarl and save the pillow case.  Theo took it much more calmly than I did. 
So...I am at 25 projects for the year,or 1/4 of the way to my goal with just over 1/4 of the year gone.  This really might be doable--as long as I stay away from the quilts..............