Friday, July 29, 2011

The Flip Side

I love all the suggestions of embroidered shapes on the table runner instead of buttons--I think that will work much better.  I've been working on the reverse side, which I had originally planned to appliqué as well, but I started messing around with stitch options,
found one I liked,
then found a second one I liked,
and I think they make a nice contrast to each other.  
I think Theo likes it as well...
It's interesting to stick only with primary colors as I've never really done it, but it definitely feels very cheerful and vibrant.  Now to pry the cat off of it and get it sewn together!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Night And Day

So, guess who I got an email from this week?  The new Husqvarna dealer (Twin Falls Sewing Center in case anyone needs a great dealer).  They were just checking to make sure everything was working as it should.

Okay--I think I have just the slightest case of hero-worship now...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

To Button or Not To Button?

I thought it only appropriate to start Craft Weekend with some embroidery

and I think Theo is thrilled.
I can't blame him--I'm pretty thrilled to have Jeeves working again, but so far, laying on kitchen towels doesn't have the same effect on me.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Next up, I started working on a table runner for my friends for whom I recently made the primary color placemats.  I haven't done much with applique, but I like how it looks with the decorative stitching instead of satin stitching around the edges. 
Now I'm stuck, though.  I can't decide if I should add buttons
or just leave it with the main shapes.  I'm going to make this reversible, so adding buttons to one side might not be a great idea for the opposite side, but I don't know how flat it really needs to be.  So, what do we think--buttons or no?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Actual Finishing on "Finishing Friday"

Whoo hoo!  After a marathon canning day on Thursday, I did absolutely nothing yesterday except craft.  Okay, and a little laundry. 

I decided I needed a quick project after all the non-crafting activity of the last 2 weeks, so I dug some of the novelty yarn out of my stashdash basket and:

we have a "feather" boa for the costume basket!  I am a big fan of costumes and Halloween and murder mystery costume parties, so new costume ideas are always welcome.  Now I just need the dress to go with the boa or the courage to wear a boa in public. 

I also finished yet another scarf:
which doesn't look like much right now because it hasn't been blocked and this one will need some SEVERE blocking to look good, but I think it will be nice.

That's 4 projects finished from the "dead heat" basket, and I still have the whole weekend before me........ 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Almost Bought Yarn

Elann.com has new sock yarn.  In case you haven't noticed my mentioning them over and over and over, I am a bit of an Elann groupie.  I've never bought a yarn from them I didn't like, and that says a lot as it's online and I have had troubles with Knitpicks with hating a few of their yarns and colors always being WAY off from their website pictures.  But Elann?  Never.  It doesn't help my case that they are such wonderful folks that when I discovered on lace skien had multiple breaks over a year after I bought it, they gave me credit for it.  They didn't have to--I knew the rules, and it was such an unusual occurrence for them that I sent it back so they could maybe find the problem in their supply chain.  Customer service above and beyond expectations ALWAYS makes me a loyal customer, so I'm even more susceptible to them.  So when I saw that they brought back the Sock It To Me sock yarn, I was almost lost.  I teetered.  I pleaded with my adult self that I really AM out of self-patterning yarn (not just stripes), and running low on bright colors.  I begged.  I whined.  I pouted.  And I hid the credit card.....

BUT, my adult self held firm, and made a deal with my childish yarn-lusting self:  When I have finally knit up NINE of the 14 pairs of socks I have yarn for in my stash, I can buy new sock yarn.  And two are even in my "dead heat" stashdash basket.  And that has appeased me.............for a while...........

Unless they bring back this
colorway, then all bets are off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rats

So after being gone for 4 days, the garden is.....well, let's be nice and say "ready for some attention" ("stupid mangy pain-in-the-arse monstrosity" was my first choice) Sigh....what I would really like to do this week is to lock myself in the sewing room and craft my little heart out now that Jeeves finally works.  What I am going to do is to garden/can like a maniac today and tomorrow, then maybe I can take Friday and Saturday as a crafting mini-vacation.  For the first time since I don't know when, we do not have anyone coming over for any reason all weekend.  Not to be anti-social, but WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crafts on Vacation

Traveling with two men, there's no way we were going to be browsing knitting or sewing stores, but our weekend did turn into quite a "tour of historic crafting."

First, while on the Pendleton Underground Tour (highly recommended--I'll be adding more info to my main blog), we saw this:
It's a trade blanket made by the Pendleton Wool Mill.  Those black stripes are how many pelts it represents--this one being 4 pelts.  Wool as a form of currency!!!!  It turns out I don't have a stash after all--I have a nest egg.  This may have been my favorite part of the entire weekend!

If you have any interest at all in historic clothing (though not going back beyond mid-1800s--this is the Oregon Territory of the Old West after all), do yourself a favor and visit the Union County Museum.  It's got a very lousy website, unfortunately, and it's only open from Mother's Day to mid-October, but we spent two hours there and could have easily stayed longer.  They had some fantastic hand-made laces
a lovely day after the wedding dress (as I believe it was called)
 a beautiful old spinning wheel,
 a hand-embroidered silk christening gown first used in the mid 1800s
which may not seem like a lot to people on the other side of the country or in Europe, but when you consider that Americans didn't even SEE Oregon until the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) and that Oregon didn't become even a territory until 1848, this is pretty much as good as it gets for history out here that isn't about Native Americans.  (They had some terrific moccasins and beaded artifacts as well, but they were harder to photograph.  The grass baskets were my favorite--the craftsmanship on them was astounding, but I couldn't get zoomed in enough through the lens.  Great stuff though)

It is my understanding that the clothes and items in the museum were donated by local families as residents, so they all had local histories.  These:
are wedding dresses--complete with shoes
 as well as this great hat and coat.

Great day wear and "regular" clothes:
evening wear,
beaded handbags,
fantastic hats,
this wonderful shop display

even a great Barbie costume display with an accompanying documentation by the lady who spent her lifetime compiling this--which would have taken at least an hour to peruse all by itself.
A wonderful loom,
a great crazy quilt with wonderful hand stitching
(and I am trying hard to not let this thing inspire me to embark on some hand quilting odyssey that would take me the next five years),  a fur cape that once would have been quite fashionable and now makes one wonder just a bit..........
but maybe not so much as accessories with faces:
I realize it was a different time back then and fur was considered quite fashionable, but REALLY?????  Do you really want to be staring into those eyes all the time?  Did they name them?  Did muffs ever get into fights with other muffs?  It does make one wonder.........

We're Home!

No sewing, not too much knitting, but lots of fun.  Pictures to come!  I have to go do some of that pesky laundry, as Andy and I had a discussion and decided naked is not really a way of life.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

4 and a Half Skeins Finished!

Remember when I said I had probably put way more yarn in my stash-dash basket than I could reasonably expect to knit?  So far I've finished two scarves and used up 4 1/2 balls from my basket.  The newest scarf:
 and the next one already on the needles:
and the first ball of the gift vest.
the entire thing is not part of my basket (thank heavens--cable needle, size 5 needles)--just this one ball.

Shall we just stop pretending that I'm not trying to finish the entire basket by September 1, no matter how idiotic this might be?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jeeves Works!!!!

After cherry-picking yesterday, I finally had a chance to give Jeeves a test run, and decided it would be fitting to try to finish the summer towels that I had started a year ago when I found out that Holland's Sew Shoppe had sent Jeeves home with more problems than he went in with.  I stabilized, hooped, and everything was going along swimmingly until
I apologize for the blurry pictures, but until I actually take the time to A) find my camera manual and B) figure out how to focus said camera, I take a lot of blurry zoomed pictures.  It's a much smaller jump,
but it's still a jump.  Now, I have a LOT of faith in Larry at the Twin Falls Sewing Center, and Jeeves had certainly improved, so I took several pictures, explained the problem, and emailed them to Larry so he could look at it when he came in today.  I turned Jeeves off and set everything aside, because I wanted to confirm with Larry what he might need to see if I had to take Jeeves back to Twin Falls.

Then my phone rang.

Even though the shop is closed on Sundays, Larry was going out of town for two weeks starting today, and didn't want to leave me in the lurch, so he was following up on his day off.  He had looked at the pictures, and just by looking at it, told me that a jump in embroidery like that could be caused by EXACTLY two possibilities.  Either the hoop had been bumped OR I had a data packet transfer problem.  Being a thorough sort of chap, he had already checked and adjusted my machine and had already fixed some other issues that were happening, so he knew there were no other options.  Incidentally, when I had told him I left everything as I had hooped it in case he needed to see it, he said there was NO WAY that this was being caused by hooping or stabilizer.  Take THAT Hollands bastards!  Larry was able to walk me through possibilities, had me wipe the writable embroidery card I was using, and......
Jeeves is sewing like a CHAMP!  I did a second towel without any problems
and was so excited that I did a dish towel just because I could:
Working with the new dealer is just a night-and-day difference to the rudeness and incompetence I have been experiencing for a year with Hollands--everything from the new shop actually taking an inventory of what I brought in with the machines to letting me know when my machines were ready to actually knowing what they're doing and actually fixing the problem instead of creating them.  I just still can't believe the whole nightmare is over--and I admit I may have just the slightest case of hero-worship going for my new dealer.....or maybe a not-so-slight case........

Now I'm actually going to be scrambling to figure out new embroidery projects to try, because I had frankly given up all hope by now.  I think Theo had as well.  I forgot to warn him that there could finally be embroidery going on, and I'm afraid the shock was simply too much for him..........

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Only Perk To Being Sick..........

 .....is the guilt-free knitting time.  The blue Foreign Correspondent scarf is done,
and I'm already a little over halfway on a scarf for another niece:
which means I've already used up FOUR balls of yarn in my Dead Heat stash-dash basket, which has me giddily thinking that I just might get through all of this:
before the end of August.  Boy, good thing I decided to be more realistic about my goals, isn't it?????

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Good And The Bad

Jeeves is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But, after 4 hours of driving it's actually too late to set him up for a test run, and tomorrow morning EARLY we're going to pick cherries with a friend, so stand by for test-embroidering Sunday night!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Drats, I'm Sick Today

I suppose it's possible to get a cold in the summer, but I think we can't rule out the shock of the Husqvarna saga finally being over.  I'm planning to drive down to get Jeeves tomorrow, so I hope I feel better then.

In the mean time, I finished the blue scarf!  I have another Finished Project!   Only 58 more to go.....

Rats, that doesn't sound nearly as exciting.............

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Than A Year Later, Jeeves Is Really Fixed!

It's been more than a year since the problems with my Husqvarna Platinum 950e surfaced, and after 10 months of working with the incompetent and rude Holland's Sew Shoppe, the lovely people at the Twin Falls Sewing Center finally have found the problem (the one that Holland's continually asserted didn't exist) and have fixed it.  I have asked the new dealer to report the exact details to the dealer manager from the VSM parent company.  Not that I think they actually are that concerned about how dealers treat customers, but I'd like them to have to go forward KNOWING how I was treated.

In the meantime, I have been so discouraged with all of this that I haven't even considered the possibility that I'd have a working embroidery machine again, so I can't even think what to embroider first.  Towels?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stash-dashing!

I have a new obsession,

and it is called the Foreign Correspondent's Scarf.  Possibly my fascination is just because it's not pink, but I spent all of Finishing Friday with it.  It's other big draw might be that the yarn for it (besides being delightfully soft and blue), comes in 109-yard balls, which would normally irritate me to no end because it means lots of splicing, but I can only change that stash tally on the right when I use UP a skein, so I am willing to splice in order to be able to brag that I have already knit up 109 yards from my "Dead Heat" stash-dash basket. 

and if I'm knit that much already, maybe I really could knit it all up in two months....................

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1

Today is a significant day.  Want to know why?

1.  It is the start of the mid-point of the year, which shows us that I am behind on my 111 projects goal, and probably impossibly behind on my 25,000 yards of yarn goal.  I might have to start considering being--and I shudder to say this--"realistic."

2.  It starts the "Dead Heat" stashdash on Ravelry, which will run until August 31, and I have compiled an impressively crazy optimistic basket of yarn to knit up in two months.

3.  In the crafting world, it is time to get serious about Christmas crafting, which in my world usually means that it's time to decide I should make 5 quilts and 3 sweaters between now and Christmas.  Stand by for insanity updates.

4.  It is Finishing Friday, so I am crafting to my little heart's content.  Which is knitting today, because it's easier to knit outside than it is to sew.  It's only 83 today, so I am enjoying nice weather while I can.  

5.  This marks a new era in Husqvarna dealings.  Last year at this time, Holland's Sew Shoppe was cheerfully breaking my machine as they tried to "fix" the original problem.  Currently, the Twin Falls Sewing Shop GODS are updating me regularly, have located the problem, but found a small hiccup when doing their testing process (you know, that one responsible dealers do after repairs), and are actually FIXING the problem before giving my machine back to me.  Jeeves should be fixed, tested, and ready next week.  Do you think the staff will understand if I hug them?  Seriously, I'm going to try very hard not to burst into tears of relief when I pick up Jeeves and this nightmare repair saga is over.  

6.  I now have all this yarn I can play with
and I can do something besides that pink sweater!!!!