Thursday, April 30, 2015

Number Two!

Having spent an hour in the pool followed by an hour or so of gardening,  I needed to take it easy today. So......
I finished Spicy Spiral runner #2!  And ironed the 4 remaining strata this evening with hope in my heart...........

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And I Botch The Next Project

Some time ago, I had cut out some blue microsuede that's been around since probably 2005,
and after the latest bunch of table runners, I thought I'd take a break and stitch up the outfit.  The pants are done except for the elastic in the waistband, but the top was a bit more problematic.  The interfacing on the neckline didn't work well with the fabric--so much so that I ended up tearing it in a couple places to make it work.  THEN, since it had worked with another top of the exact same pattern also in microsuede, I decided to use decorative stitching at the neck, hem, and sleeves.  And THIS is where I made it into an only-around-home shirt: 
It worked perfectly on the test swatch.  Yes, I even did a practice run on this fabric, and it STILL managed to go badly.  It's even worse on the hem--all wavy and puckered--which it didn't do on the test piece, of course.  I think I might have enough of this fabric left to do a second shirt--I'll check before adding the sleeves to this piece.  One thing about decorative stitching, while one CAN occasionally rip it out, one usually damages the fabric. 


Luckily, knitting doesn't involve decorative stitching of any sort.  I've recently finished another one-row scarf,

in what may or may not be the last of this yarn.  My tally on Ravelry says there is another skein and a half, but I remember having some question about that when I added it, so it may not exist.  But a new scarf for the gift bin DOES exist now!

I even spent some time with the latest stamped cross stitch project:
because my hand is a bit tired from knitting.  Because sitting still is just NOT an option.   I even cast on a new project last night
to work on while Andy and I watched a Great Courses dvd I had borrowed from the library.  While the introductory lecture to Zero to Infinity: A History of Numbers is a testament to the horrible "tell them what you're going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them" plague that struck college public speaking courses in the early 1990s and would make corporate meetings Power-Point nightmares until the practice was mostly tossed by smarter minds, the first two real lectures have been pretty interesting for those of us residing in Geekdom.  The Alice Starmore sweater is a bit too involved for geeky lecture knitting. 

I'm making a Lacy Bowknot scarf with some sock yarn leftovers.  A smarter knitter would have checked to make sure I have enough yarn to do this, but I like to live on the edge.  You know, who wants to do math before watching a lecture ON math?  Because that makes sense in my world.

AND, guess who just got her Valentine's Day gift?
Isn't that cute?  It's hard to see in the picture, but the cat (complete with reading glasses) is knitting!  I think the frame was actually much harder for Andy to make than the scrollwork picture itself.  I'm going to hang it in my sewing room.  This makes 2015 a pretty good year for us on Valentine gifts.  Some years we're both more than 6 months late.  And then there's Andy's birthday clothes from last year that aren't actually started..............

Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm Ahead!

It's April, the month is not over, and I have 49 finished projects!  I'm ahead!  I'm mature!  I'm planning ahead!  I could make my 115 projects goal easily!!!

So, I have taken this feeling of hope and euphoria, and taken it to die where it does for every knitter:
an Alice Starmore sweater.  Fingering weight yarn, size 2 needles, charts for every square inch or sweater, including underarm gussets.  Did I say sewing was slow?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

10 Days Later................

Whew!  I'd like to say that we'd been off traveling or doing something exciting since the last time I posted, but the truth is far more boring.  I had to finish up our taxes, get a lot of work done in the greenhouse and in the beds, have been racking up some big walking mileage, then this weekend with two parties and dinner guests, I didn't even have enough time to rest & stretch my back, so yesterday I was exhausted.  I know--I need to be more vigilant in doing what is right for my back, and after an interesting episode this weekend of watching 2 60-year-olds with heart problems chug down a bottle of wine each while complaining about cardiologists, trust me--making good health decisions is our new driving force around here.  :)

There has been some crafting:
The remaining three table runners are finished, laundered, and in the gift bin, and
I don't even want to discuss kimono ornaments for a while.  I am, however, probably all set for ornaments to give away this year.  One would hope. 

I still have the 2 remaining Spicy Spiral table runners to make, but I'm thinking of taking a bit of a break from the table runner marathon and working on some clothing projects for a bit.  And maybe some knitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Friday, April 10, 2015

Did You Think That Was a Lot of Ornaments?

There are MORE.  A total of 36 in progress, to be exact.

Every time I cut fabric for something, I cut a strip or two for my kimono ornament box:
which allows me to play around with matching fabrics and makes for less ironing (ALWAYS a consideration in my life).  While this has many good aspects, lately it has also meant that the box was getting very, very full.  THEN I got the idea for these,
 because so many of our friends play music (I think the clasp stitching needs to be in gold on the next ones, don't you?), and while I was getting the music fabrics out, I ran across the silver fabric
which really looks good with two blue and silver fabrics...........and by the time I stopped pinning I had 36 ornaments in progress.  And not a huge dent in my kimono ornament stash.  Ahem........

I think one of the things that added to so many ornaments in progress is that I had my craft table to myself.  This is the official sign of spring around here.  While Theo is still willing to join me for his latest game,
(catch the stick through the laundry basket), outside is much more exciting than inside.  And as many of my spring plants are still in the kitty protection program,
this works out well for all concerned.  I am even considering getting something else cut out while I am without kitty assistance, but want another stab at using my new mini-iron now that I have these:
One set will go in the nifty little side pocket our ironing board cover has, and the others will remain in the sewing room for when I use my iron and possibly that darn glue gun.  You would be amazed at all the things one can't do without using the index finger.

Yesterday was a pretty bad back day, so I spent a lot of time with the new scarf,
which turns everything it touches purple.  It's an acrylic, which I thought were more color-fast, but the new purple tinge to my bamboo needles is even more pronounced than it is in the picture.  I'll see what a vinegar rinse does for this scarf when it's done.  Otherwise, it might be turning homeless people purple soon.......

Monday, April 6, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

And On To April!

I managed to squeak both both scarves in under the Mad Dash wire, giving me
2090 yards for my Mad Dash team (which luckily had some faster knitters, so we made the 12,000 yard mark) and 34 projects for the year! 

Of course, what I wanted to do was immediately cast on more lace, but I would REALLY love to see a physical reduction in stash this year, so I cast on a one-row scarf instead:
The yarn is an acrylic that I've had for a while, and generally I only use acrylic for baby clothes, but I really like this colorway.  AND it's been in my stash probably 9 years, and this scarf will use it all up--and hopefully make a great gift.  THEN I can revisit the lace thing..........

The two runners with fleece for a backing have been finished and washed,
 and while they turned out okay, I'm not overly thrilled with the bottom one with the decorative ties.  The stippled one was certainly the bigger pain to actually MAKE because the fleece was so stretchy, but it certainly looks best.  I'll have to think about this before trying it again.  The next ones,
are being stippled with the regular batting sandwich.  The first one I used bits of fusible webbing to baste, and the one in progress now used basting spray and pins.  Honestly, I prefer fusible fleece to both, but it's not practical for all projects and I am trying to learn to do this.  The final one might get the fusible fleece just to make it easy on myself, but I am getting better.

Now that the weather is warm, Theo has better things to do, but Calisto is enjoying the "cleaning" of the sewing room:
More than I am, to be honest.  I am trying to be really good about cleaning off my crafting table at least, which made it easy to start cutting some new kimono ornaments last night:
I even ironed the next strip sets for the second spicy spiral runner.  The first one has been laundered and the fusible fleece with no quilting worked beautifully, so I'm almost ready to tackle the next two.  Almost..........

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ways To Celebrate April Fool's Day in the Knitting World - Part VI

*  Publish a free pattern on Ravelry, and the next time someone asks you for a chart, make one using Roman numerals.....

*  Walk into your local knit night and announce that with Global Warming, soon no one will need knitwear at all.

*  Take a small ball of yarn with you when you go out for sushi, and start knitting with your chopsticks while waiting

*  This:
* or this:
* Call your local police station to report a tip on a local yarn uni-bomber, but specify that he does occasionally dabble with acrylic 4-ply

*   Confront the local quilter's guild for encroaching on your craft-store turf--if possible, with a catchy background score by Bernstein.

*  Take your knitting out in public, and the next time someone says, "I would never have the patience for that," tell them the doctor says it will keep you off the medications and maybe the shock treatments....