Friday, March 27, 2015


Thanks for your kind words everyone!  I am SO in love with the new shawl!!!  And to give credit where credit is due, this is the Raverly link to the Begonia Swirl shawl, which a lovely knitter has chosen to share for free.  Aren't knitters the best?

I've had a bit of an up-and-down (literally) week with the back, so only a tiny bit of sewing:
which was trying single decorative stitches in variegated thread as ties on a table runner with fleece as a backing.  Not bad, though not my favorite.  And the limit of this week's sitting.

Since there's been a fair bit of laying on the heating pad, I took the opportunity to try out the size 17 needles I just bought,
and made half a scarf before having to stop
because I couldn't find the second ball of yarn.  My organization "skills" are just truly frightening sometimes.  I liked the pattern, so I started a second scarf with slightly smaller needles (10) and some of the oldest yarn in my stash:
which has to be at least 12 years old and has long since been discontinued.  It's chenille worsted, so it's a pain for most things, but this loopy scarf is just perfect for it.  This morning I managed to FINALLY locate the second ball of yarn, so with 4 days left in the Mad Dash, maybe I can finish both of them????????????

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Knitting on a Knitting Blog?


So while it would have made sense to stick with big needles and big yarn during the Mad Dash, I became obsessed with the Begonia Swirl shawl (because I'm me and must complicate everything), but I am pleased to announce that I am at the bind-off:
I already added the first 600-yard ball of yarn to my tally, so it's not going to go up by much and I'm nowhere NEAR my 3000 yards, but I am going to have a beautiful new shawl for spring.  The knitters who are knitting 12,000 yards by themselves are multi-stranding, which is great if you end up with lace yarn and decide you don't like knitting with lace yarn, but I wasn't even slightly tempted.  The reason I have so much lace yarn is that I like knitting with it, I like how it looks, I like the softness of the projects, and it would be stupid for me to take yarn I like and waste it on a project I don't like.  So, I'll probably won't even make it to 2000 yards, but that's fine.  I'm knitting something I love.  And it could be finished by the end of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which is more of an accomplishment than you might think.  Immediately after bragging about my bravery yesterday, I seared my index finger with the new mini-iron Andy gave me for Christmas,
which I thought would be perfect to use to baste the runner with some bits of fusible webbing.  And it might have been, but it's really hard to operate with a throbbing finger.  And even if I had wanted to, the runner had developed a furry problem:
This morning--not to lose my imperfect streak--while trimming off a spare thread, I managed to snip the top of the table runner AFTER sewing the backing on and turning it inside out. 
After sticking it down with some Fraycheck, I thought the best solution would be some gold stitching around the edge.  Because I used fusible fleece, it doesn't have to be quilted--which is good, since at this point I'd have probably stitched one of the cats into it--but the stitching will help hold it's shape. 
or the new slightly-curving-up-at-the-edges shape it has now adopted.  I'm going to wash it and hope for the best.  Lets just say that I've learned a great deal about what to do differently with the next two...

When one has been bullied by one hobby, it's always a good time to go spend time with a friendlier one:
which uses up another 100 yards for my Mad Dash team.  Then I thought I'd start another hat using a peach acrylic yarn I'd set aside, when I discovered that it had faded a bit in the sun.   I could still use the yarn for something that didn't matter,
or I could add it to the donation box and move on.  I don't get to count it for the Mad Dash, but another 216 yards of yarn out of my stash with one flick of the wrist.  Not bad.........

I've also got the 5 red and white runners sewn together, and two don't have any problems after adding seam allowances:
Which means that THREE didn't do quite as well:
Oh well.  Almost everyone we know needs reading glasses now, so maybe no one will notice.......

When you've already made a pretty big mistake, it's a good time to experiment.  On Sewing with Nancy, Nancy said that one could use fleece to back quilted tablecloths, placemats, and table runners.  I'd bought some white fleece to try it,
and tried it one one of the runners.  The great thing about fleece is that it doesn't need any quilting.  I decided to stipple it anyway, which was rather interesting.  Because of how the blocks were made, they are very stretchy.  On top of a stretchy batting is REALLY fun, but it works.  And it's ready for some binding tomorrow.  I'll try one with a fleece backing with no quilting, then do some with traditional batting and backing.  Then I'll really, really, REALLY be ready for something new!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'M DOING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now you might have noticed that you haven't seen any progress on this:
That would be because the next step had me worried--trimming off the edges into a smooth curve.  After all that work, taking any cutting implements to it in any way just scared me.  It's sort of like cutting steeks in a sweater, and on Pinterest I'd seen some spicy spiral runners where people had obviously trimmed badly and left wonky-looking runners.  So, it was easy to drift into other projects while this one languished, but I caught myself looking at other fabrics to put together for other versions of this, and decided it was time to gird my loins--at least figuratively, as I think with my hip problems I shouldn't be doing any girding anywhere near my loins--and finish this baby. 

Using my dressmaker's curves,
I started cutting point to point, and, having to take one break for some deep breaths, I have:
a table runner ready for backing!!!!!  Since this is the first one, I'm going to use fusible fleece for the batting.  Thankfully, the runner doesn't require binding--one sews the front and back together, then turns right side out.  Maybe in the future I'd try bias binding, but one step at a time............

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mad Dash Dashed

So, remember the bulky sweater that I was using for the Mad Dash to rack up some yardage?
I was zipping along on the front until I met the designer's math errors, followed by,
According to the pattern, the front plackets are supposed to be worked in a 1 by 1 rib while the rest of the sweater is in seed stitch.  Well here's a news flash:  those two stitches don't always have the same vertical gauge--especially in bulky-weight yarn.  The sweater is being put in the Project Protection Program right now until I can work on it without the desire to stab the designer with my sharpest dpns..........

I still have the Begonia shawl, which I love but is laceweight, so in the interests of making SOME sort of showing for the Mad Dash, last night I cast on
YET ANOTHER chemo cap.  It would have been yarn out of my Mad Dash box had that not involved finding the right sized needles, as my hip was sore by then and I didn't feel like getting off the heating pad. 

Today was better, so in the spirit of Finishing Friday I added the buttons to my new jacket,
and is now hanging in my closet.  Normally, it would be the perfect jacket for right now, except that we are already experiencing record-setting warm (and dry) days, hitting 71 today.  Global warming is killing my gardening, to say nothing of the wardrobe complications.

Then, in the interest of getting stuff off my crafting table (to say nothing of those 115 finished projects I need for the year), I cut the final blocks for the red and white runners
 which ended up coming VERY close to evening out, and laid out 5 runners:
A more meticulous person would have KNOWN how many blocks she needed, or figured out how to make them come out even, I'm sure, and probably have made the bottom runner actually symmetrical, but unless you are stumbling across this blog by accident, we all know that I'm no such thing.  A meticulous person might also have foreseen this:
which is what happened to some of the nicely-laid-out lines when those pesky things called "seam allowances" were added.   The good part is that my stippling attempts are definitely NOT going to be the most noticeable issues a couple of these runners have.......... That DOES take the pressure off....................

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

4 More Ornaments

Can you tell I love these?

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Jacket Is Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in the washing machine now, so no updated picture.  I haven't picked out buttons yet--I might wait until I'm off cold medication for that.  I came down with the mandatory I've-been-on-an-airplane cold on Thursday, so there was no Finishing Friday here.  More of a nyquil-induced-napping-Friday, which just isn't as catchy.  I did feel good enough to do some knitting,
and am now to the neck divide of the front of the Mad Dash sweater.  I'm also into the edging of the Begonia Swirl shawl, but it pretty much still looks like just a noodly yellow mess, so no picture.  Ideally, I'd be working entirely on the sweater as it's on big needles and with bulky-weight yarn and could free up a lot more space in the sewing room, but spring has officially moved in to Idaho, and 65 degree days does not really make one reach for the wool........

I'm up and around a bit more today, so after finishing the buttonholes, I sewed the final (I think) 3 blocks for the red and white table runners,
as well as completing the sewing on four new kimono ornaments,
all of which will go in the gift bin for Christmas.  I swear I'm going to be on top of things this year and not run out of ornaments.  Now if I just don't misplace them or "organize" them into oblivion..........

Speaking of which, I just got this over-the-door hanger from Amazon,
and found this file organizer
at TJ Maxx Home Store.  I am trying to make the sewing room look a bit nicer WITHOUT misplacing anything, which would probably be a New Accomplishment in my life.  Someday I might even be able to clean the sewing room without burying the crafting table.................

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Almost done!

I still have some hand stitching to finish, the facing to stitch down, and most of the button holes to do, but I might just squeak this in under the one year mark.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Travel Knitting

I'm not sure what my excuse would be for the rest of the week, but Thursday we flew to California to visit Andy's parents and just got home Monday night, so the only crafting here has been some travel knitting:
Since I'm trying to do 3000 yards for the Mad Dash, a lace project was a spectacularly bad idea, but it's really portable.  This is the Begonia Swirl shawl, and it does make perfect travel knitting.  Now, of course, it's all I want to work on and I have some bulky yarn to get back to--which has all been a pretty moot point as since we got back I've been busy with cats, unpacking, laundry, etc.  But I am hoping for an actual Finishing Friday this week!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Stash Numbers

February ends as a not-too-noticeable month:

Yards of fabric used:  3.1
Yards of yarn used:  1318 (which includes the 315-yard skein sold)
skeins of yarn used:  7

Projects completed:  8

But with 90 more projects to go before the end of the year, somewhere there should be a noticeable difference in the sewing room, right?