Wednesday, October 28, 2015

And We're Back...

Some friends of ours got married on Long Island this past weekend, so bright and early Tuesday morning,
we learned that airport security in Boise opens at 4:30 in the morning.  To be fair, I could have lived without this knowledge, but when you live in a smaller city, there aren't always a lot of flight options.  If one flies out of a little airport, one is almost always sent to a big airport somewhere, and if one is traveling east from Boise, those bigger airports tend to be in a westerly direction, so flying 2 hours west to catch a flight east is pretty standard, but dreadful when one has a sore back.  I did find an airline that would send us through Minneapolis, but that's a once-a-day option.  Still, the perk to a 5:00 AM flight is that one can take a muscle relaxer and STILL be no more groggy than most of the other people on the plane.   However, it does not to wonders for knitting, so
the new begonia shawl did not get a lot of attention.  Or at least not much coherent attention.  

We flew in a couple days early to explore New York a bit--or to rest my back if needed--but Wednesday we walked over 100 blocks (!), winding from our hotel on 33rd up through Central Park, 
 going a few blocks past the Metropolitan Museum of Art in search of a restaurant, through as much of the museum as we could before it closed, then all the way back down.  We slept well that night. 

Thursday I was very sore, but a hot shower and an Aleve got me sort of mobile, so we decided to visit the Statue of Liberty.
You have to make reservations in order to get into the statue or even the museum, but it was such a beautiful fall day that it would have been tragic to be inside, and the tour of the grounds is quite nice.  I am particularly pleased with this photo because it was with my phone and very much NOT a selfie.  I think 20 minutes in Manhattan is all anyone needs in order to understand why selfie sticks are getting banned in many places.  And, while everyone was busy on the ferry taking selfies of themselves against the backdrop of NYC, I saw a seagull in mid-flight reach up and scratch his head with his foot without even dropping in altitude.  That was seriously impressive, and I was probably the only person on the boat to see it.  

I have more pictures, but they're on my actual camera, which I haven't unpacked yet.  We flew home later Monday night/Tuesday morning, rescued the kitties from the gulag bright and early,
 and while Theo would have nothing to do with me yesterday, by 5:00 this morning, he was in need of a cuddle--the first of four so far, and has been keeping my feet warm while I rest on the heating pad.  I think he missed us..... 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2016

October is almost over, so I've been thinking about my crazy goals for next year. I really like the idea of "Me Made Mondays," so that is going to be the big one.  I'm toying with upping the ante to say pajamas don't count, because what I would like this to do is to challenge me to make more clothing, which would MAYBE finally shrink the fabric stash.  And should it be something different every Monday? THAT would really make it interesting.  and how crazy do I have to make this challenge to finally see a dent in the stash?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hmmm....

Do you ever just look around your crafting area and think, "Wow!  What happened here?"

Thursday, October 22, 2015

100 Days!

It's now been 100 days since I lost bought yarn. Why isn't my stash smaller?

Monday, October 19, 2015

And The Truth Is.....

So I'd like to pretend that I'm so organized that I always order Christmas gifts two months early, but I think we all know that's the not really the case.  I worked it out this year because I'd figured out what to do for people who don't get handmade gifts and wanted to order before I forgot what I'd come up with.  But it looks good, right?

I AM ON THE LAST REPEAT FOR THE SHAWL!  I am going to graft the ends together instead of sewing them, which may be interesting, then I'll figure out how the pattern says to join the edging to the main part.  And if I can resist the temptation to set it all aside in order to cast on a new pair of socks, I could actually finish it.....................

 Ahem..........

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It Might Have Had Something To Do With It

While it wasn't the ONLY reason,
let's call it a perk that the ball of yarn was more than half used up and I have now used up another ball from stash and joined the final one to the shawl.  And  now that the new skein is in a big, troublesome snarl, I see why the last one was wound into a ball.....

Friday, October 16, 2015

I Used The Glue Gun Without Burning Myself!!!!!!!!!!


It might have been nice to use that sort of once-in-a-lifetime event to, say, win the lottery, but since I don't gamble (except for not always checking gauge) and have never bought a lottery ticket, that was probably pretty unlikely.  So I'll settle for:
More lollipop ornaments!  There are now 16 of them, and I swear it wasn't just to get 4 quick finished projects.  Partially, of course, but also
to see if this was a good way to use fabric when it was cut by drunk monkeys.  Honestly, both sides are that crooked, and I can't even lay it out badly enough to figure out how they did it.  I'm using 1-inch strips the full width of the fabric for lollipops, so uneven strips don't work quite right for those, but it will be fine for when I graduate to fabric-covered bowls and baskets.  I was tempted to try one now, but that will be a good carrot for when a couple sewing projects are finished.

I'm getting a little extra crafting time this week because I overdid a bit at the gym on Tuesday and have been mostly in bed on the heating pad.  I had hoped for a walk today, but
Boise has been in code red air quality this week thanks to YET ANOTHER human-caused fire that has claimed at least 3 homes so far and is driving Idaho's fire-fighting costs even further into the red.  We live in high desert, haven't had rain in months, and have had a HORRIFIC fire year, so one would have thought people might be extra-careful about fires this year, but no.  Idaho made national news earlier this summer for one bright spark who started a 73-acre blaze because he set his toilet paper on fire when totally surrounded by the brown, dry grasses in the foothills outside of Boise (which you would normally see in the picture).  So, it's indoor only exercise this week, and even that is getting difficult.  So, I've been knitting, and I've even started
wrapping Christmas gifts!  I know--how crazy is that?  But there's a LOT of them, and I've been so sort that for the last 2 days, I could only stand for a while, which doesn't leave time for big canning or sewing projects.  Wrapping gifts, however, works pretty well AND quite a few have to be mailed and the earlier the better for that.  And makes me look really organized, doesn't it?  Provided, of course, you haven't seen the sewing room.....................

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Are You Sitting Down?

I am working on a knitting WIP! 
I started this shawl 2 years ago, and I think I might have set it aside because knitting 28 32-row repeats of edging is incredibly boring.  Frankly, quite understandable if I did.  BUT, I picked it up again this week and have now done SEVEN pattern repeats, so there are only 7 pattern repeats left, and then some sort of join and it will be finished!  Leaving me only 20 WIPs to finish.  ONLY....

Saturday, October 10, 2015

It's Saturday

This morning I did some tidying, and under normal circumstances I might be canning today, but the record-breaking heat is continuing, so I'm going to wait until it isn't almost 90 degrees--which might be Monday.  So today,
I'm working on a new ornament.  I saw these at Art in the Park, and thought they were adorable.   I came home and found a tutorial on YouTube, because I was too lazy to figure them out on my own. 
The stick posed a bit of a challenge.  I thought they would be lollipop sticks, but they're too thin.  I found a cookie stick that was the right thickness, but Andy cut them in half for me as apparently when one puts cookies on a stick, it's a long stick.  I didn't know cookies were now a thing-on-a-stick, but they do work well for this.

It's a glue gun project, and I (of course) promptly burned myself, and I've already glued one to my cutting mat, but I'm slowly getting the hang of them.  Sort of.  And it's a relatively quick project, which I sort of needed after those dreadful scarves.   Fast, simple, and something that can be done in a single day. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ta Da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TWO scarves, washed and blocking:
and we're just going to pretend like they're lying flat, okay?  I've been happier with finished projects, but I am really happy they ARE finished projects.  In fact, I was so excited that I cast on a new Begonia Swirl shawl in the yarn I'd put in my birthday box:
One thing about trying to work through stash before buying more yarn, I'm hoping that by the time I make it through the 10 skeins of this I started out with (an incident involving the end of my first year of cold sheeping and a discontinued yarn--we try not to talk about it much.....), I'm hoping that I will have learned that variegated lace yarns almost ALWAYS look better in the skein than in the finished project.   But maybe it will look good on THIS scarf.  I'll wear it anyway because I love the colors, but there were probably better choices of yarn to stockpile......

I also spent a little bit of time with
the latest colorwork ornament.  Being October, Christmas is coming soon.  Of course, being a crazy-unseasonably warm 88-degrees today,   To give you an idea of how odd that is, the garden should have been killed off by frost by now.  IS there even such a thing as fall shorts? 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hallelujah! At Least, Sort Of.........

The good news:  The grey scarf is done.
The bad news:  it rolls BADLY.  I altered the pattern to include 2 rows of seed stitch on the sides and to eliminate the dreaded tubular cast-on, so for a while I was kicking myself that my version had somehow caused the rolling, but I started doing Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off on the maroon one, and it is rolling as well, so it's just the pattern.  I'll block them severely, but blocking never stops rolling due to how a pattern is done. But it's too late to do anything about it, so I'll just hope they like tubular scarves.  I bought the yarn because it was a silk blend with lovely drape, but I might add a scrap from my washaway stabilizer (which is starch) to minimize the rolling a bit. 


In other project-going-badly news,
the top-stitching is looking pretty messy when it crosses over the wales of the corduroy.  I think a second row of top-stitching will even it out, but reinforced stitching would also make the pockets (you know, the ones that will be right over my breasts) a bit of a focal point.  Maybe I should finish the rest of the jacket and see if it still bothers me?  I'll admit, if it's something that doesn't show, I can accept "close enough," but I do hate seeing errors.

At least there has been one VERY big (and surprising) crafting victory:
 Instead of using fusible webbing and the iron, I used my glue gun on Sunday to make 8 more kimono ornaments,
and ended up with no major burns!  Usually the only time I can manage such a feat with the glue gun is when it isn't plugged in.  Frankly, I like the finished items better when done with webbing rather than glue, but this was certainly faster.  And it got me two quick finished projects to count, and considering I still need 34 finished projects before the end of the year, this is my favorite part.....

I wonder how close I have to get to missing my 115-projects goal before I'll willingly dive into the WIPs bins--which is sort of the point of such a goal in the first place............?


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Not Going To Panic Just Yet

Yes, the wedding for which the scarf is intended is indeed this month, but I'm trying not to stress today.  Tuesday I went to the gym, THEN made and canned 20 pints of chicken soup--plus freezing some--so yesterday I really needed to rest, which involved a mind-numbing amount of knitting.  Or maybe that was the pain medication.  At any rate, I'm almost done with the 4th 24-row pattern repeat (out of 5).  Of course, I still need to fix the first scarf as well, but I am trying to talk myself down from the ceiling here.  After all, one has a year AFTER the wedding to still get a wedding gift to someone without being a complete twit.  Emily Post said so, though maybe not the "twit" part.

So this morning,
 
Theo and I are having coffee in the sewing room while I finish the first batch of top-stitching on the new jacket. 
This isn't a very accurate picture of the color, so let me just say that I'm really pleased how the pink thread is looking against the purple.

I was hoping to finish another project or two before September ended, because I am now officially 8 projects behind, but it didn't happen.  With any luck, the garden--and all associated bugs and vermin--is about to die or hibernate, and we can ignore each other's existence for a few lovely months.  I don't know which I mind more--that I am completely blood-thirsty when it comes to those nasty little voles and the big brown slugs, or that I am totally and utterly losing the battle with them.