Monday, April 25, 2016

Me Made Monday

It's cooled off to be more like a normal spring, so today I'm wearing the new peachskin jacket:
which had to be ironed this morning.  Seriously?  I guess the paisley fabric pretty much spoiled me--it doesn't wrinkle AND doesn't pick up cat hair.  I think maybe it's a good thing that I have several more months until I can buy fabric--it might take me until then to figure out how to smuggle cat hair into the fabric store to test any and all new fabrics before buying.  And then I'll probably have a really easy time not buying fabric once they ban me from the store...........

Friday, April 22, 2016

Maybe a Finishing Friday

This was an exhausting week at work.  Good, but exhausting.  I was back in the main store 2 days for piano training, and the other two days in my store, I sold two pianos--bringing me to three total.  Guess that was good training.  The fun this is, selling pianos is like working at an animal shelter.  I really  like the people who bought them, and I'm so excited about the pianos finding good homes--it's just the most fun thing ever. I didn't get a picture of the first two pianos, but this
found a home on Wednesday.  Thank heavens.  This beauty only arrived in my store on Monday and I was already trying to justify two pianos in our house.  However, it is going to have three little girls to love it and I get to have it in the store for three more days before it goes to its forever home.  Win-win.

Yesterday was the second full day of training on pianos, and when we took a lunch break, I was just feeling so overwhelmed that I dropped in to the Bernina dealership because I just needed to be around fabric or yarn.  Luckily (depending on how you look at it), I still haven't used the fabric I bought there on my last visit, so I was good and only came home with these
which I'm hoping will work for the two current table runner designs.  I was remarkably proud of myself for such restraint.  Now that we have two incomes again, it could have been ugly.

If you're surprised that the Begonia shawl isn't finished yet, let's just take a minute to recall how freakishly wide the edge of a shawl really is:
The cast-off used in the pattern isn't stretchy enough when I do it, so I had to rip back and start over, but even after all this, I still have all this
to work through.  Which explains why
 I would be going for a little instant-gratification today:
It's been so long since I embroidered that I forgot the top stabilizer for the first towel and had to pin it on.  And it took two tries to get my embroidery designs loaded to my card
though I seriously think the first try was a computer error.  For the towels, I'm using the designs in blue--they're a new one color design set I bought in March and haven't used yet.  I loaded one other towel design and some free-standing lace ornaments.  That should keep me busy for a while.  And I swear I'm not doing this just to finish something today, though it does help..............

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Strung My First Cello!

....and broke my first cello string.  It's much trickier than it looked when someone else did it.  But I got the second one on without issue and even got it tuned.  And I've sold two used pianos now, which is a lot like working at an animal shelter.  Not all used pianos are capable of even being tuned, so they're hard to come by and need to go to a good home where they will be loved and taken care of--and I have to say, both pianos went to great people.  I'm really exhausted by the time I get home, but I am enjoying the new job.  And
this morning I even had enough time to start sewing the new blocks together.  If I do them all in order and keep them chain pieced while ironing, I think I'll be able to put them together how I laid them out.  This is the theory, though I've noticed sewing theories tend to blow up on me a lot.  I wonder if this is what it's like to be a chemist?

I was really dragging this week, so I rested all day Sunday, but these
are my next projects.  The home decorating fabric is one of the earliest fabrics I purchased, and has been earmarked for a jacket for at least 8 years.  Not a fast project or a good stash-burner, but I am really excited about using up one of my oldest fabrics, which makes me feel better about the stash.  And a new scarf which will be my stoplight/I'm really tired knitting.  I'm not sure if we'll be able to continue the handmade Christmas gifts program as we've been doing it, but this year is Andy's year, so I can stockpile a bit and see how it goes.  Besides, once I finish with the teeny-tiny lace yarn of the Begonia Swirl, big yarn on big needles will be SO exciting!  And will distract me from immediately casting on another shawl.  Now that I have a place to wear them, I should be more excited about sweaters, but it's supposed to reach 80 degrees by tomorrow, so sweaters just aren't doing it right now. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Me Made Monday

It's getting harder to remember what I have worn for MMM and what I haven't, but I think I haven't worn my new tunic:
which you would actually be seeing if my arms were longer.  BUT I TOOK A SELFIE!  And it wasn't just a shot up my nostrils!  On Friday I decided to cut my hair short for spring, and this is what the lady who cut it came up with.  It took a few days, but I like it.  And I'm rather proud of myself for trying a new hairstyle.  I'm not very good about that.  I'll do shorter and longer, but it's generally about the same.   And this makes exactly TWICE where a stylist's ideas for my hair actually worked.  Not bad for 45 years............

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm On The Last Patterned Row

 I'm a bit sore today, so I've been resting on the heating pad and working on the Begonia Swirl: 
which is REALLY close to being done.  I'm on the last row of the pattern, though there's still a really long purl row to be done, then the elastic bind-off, but I'm still really, really close to being done.  Then I'll have used one entire ball of yarn for this month.  Whew!  What will I do with all the freed up space????

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Feline Friday

My day off was mostly spent with the cats alternating custody of me:
 Calisto is still new at Sewing Interference, but Theo is nothing short of a pro.  As soon as I looked like I might grab something else, he was ON IT.  I think they miss me. 

I did manage to get the new blocks sorted
pinned, and ready to be sewn:
 I'd hoped to finish the chiffon jacket,
but there's a part that isn't working, so I think I'll be hand-sewing that part into place.  Maybe I can get that done tonight or tomorrow.

Eventually (because this was Theo's favorite part), I got this
ready for quilting.  I think just a little stitch in the ditch is in order here--I don't want stippling to distract from how much I love this print.

I even finished the day with my table mostly cleared off, so I almost started cutting out the next project,
and I have this BIG container of fabrics prepped and ready to go right outside the sewing room door, but I really wanted to start a new jacket with some of my oldest fabric.  I spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of it, because 25+ pieces with home decorating fabric isn't an easy project, and I have been pushing myself to make clothes I could actually wear to work, but I decided I'm creating stress for myself rather than enjoying sewing, so if I'm still wanting to do it tomorrow, I'll start cutting out the jacket.  My hip still can't take wearing normal pants, and there is quite a bit of moving around, so I decided to try hospital scrubs for pants--they're durable, have elastic waists, and some sort of look like slacks if one removes the oddly placed tags.  They work like a charm, so I've ordered several more pairs and can now sew without being stressed out and desperate for clothing. I'll bet I can wear sweaters with them this fall as well..................

Thursday, April 14, 2016

He's On To Me

Theo has discovered my secret morning crafting time, darn it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

9 Months!

While I'm struggling a lot more with not buying fabric than yarn, today marks 9 months since my last yarn purchase.  Not that I'm knitting enough to shrink my stash or anything, but in the past, being busy actually encouraged my yarn buying.  I'm not sure how that works out, but perhaps buying yarn (which does take MUCH less time than knitting) made me feel like I was knitting when I really didn't have time to do any knitting. Maybe on Friday I'll line up some traffic light knitting--I once made almost an entire baby sweater while waiting at stop lights.  Sure, it was over the course of an entire year, but it certainly beats sitting there.  I don't have to wait in traffic very often, so I think it would be more of a sock or hat sort of thing, but all knitting is good knitting.  Except maybe mohair........

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Just a Few Minutes

So I get home from work between 6:30 and 7:00, which doesn't leave much time for crafting, especially because I'm tired and we try to get at least a one mile walk in after dinner.  Last night I was so tired that I was in bed by 9:00. Since I'm a morning person in general,  I'm getting up early so I can get my stretches and physical therapy exercises done, and if I don't take too long to get ready, I think I can squeeze a bit of crafting in before leaving for work. Today I got two more strip sets sewn, and I'm ironing a few before I need to leave.  The cats haven't yet caught on to the morning program, so it's possible I could actually get a fair bit done this way.  15 minutes without kitty help is probably as productive as one hour WITH assistance,  right?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Me Made Monday

Some of us can sew.  Some of us can take decent selfies.  I've decided I'm really better off with the former because I get clothing out of it.  However, that means that while I did figure out something to wear for Me Made Monday today,
 I don't have a picture yet and I have to leave in a few minutes.  In 2007 I made the long version out of yellow gauze.  This is the skirt that prompted the pattern comment, "Cute skirt, but pattern written by sociopaths with dyslexia," so I think it was so traumatic that I never took a picture of the final skirt.  Anyway, the more accurate picture would be of me continually tripping over the blasted thing anyway, but action shots are hard for a knitting blog. 

It is suddenly 75-80 degrees, which is unseasonably warm for us, so the two remaining jackets and the new yellow cardigan are sort of pointless right now, though it might cool off a bit later in the week.  That doesn't help for Me Made Mondays, but at least I could wear them.  I could wear a shawl today except that I'm at the main store today and there is no place for me to put hand knitted lace to keep it safe if it got too warm, so THAT is not going to happen. 

Real life interferes SO much with crafting.............

Friday, April 8, 2016

Crafting Friday

So while there is still a black tank top to be finished, I started my morning with this:
I had read that to preshrink precuts, one should steam them with the iron.  I have also read that wizards use owls as a postal system and that true princesses can feel a pea underneath any number of mattresses, and while I'm not exactly sure about the pea thing or whether owls really would ever carry packages, I am pretty well convinced that steaming strips doesn't really shrink them.  I could have paired the unshrunk strips with cotton batting and just hope for the best, but I have enough trouble with quilting without throwing unpredictable shrinkage into the mix.  So, I sent them through the washer and dryer in a lingerie bag, which works pretty well as long as you don't mind ironing a bunch of VERY wrinkled strips
and have a pattern that doesn't require strips to be exactly 2.5-inches wide.  Oh yeah--what could possibly go wrong here. 

The strips are set for after-work sewing, but since I had today off,
I cut out and started the butterfly jacket.   I was too sore to actually finish it today, but it's started and aside from one spot, it really isn't a difficult pattern.  The fabric, of course, is a nightmare even when stiffened, but it's better.  And I really do love wearing loose jackets like this, so I'm kind of excited about it. 

The new job is going pretty well, I think.  I am getting pretty decent with looking up inventory, though yesterday someone came in asking about reeds for a practice chanter for learning bagpipes, and I was so stumped that I couldn't even figure out how to look that one up in the system.  Luckily, I can call the main store for things like that.  Tomorrow is my first day on my own.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We've Reached That Time of Year

It's 40 degrees this morning, and will be an unseasonably warm 80 by the end of the day.  I used to fret that I didn't have and appropriate clothing for such temperature swings, but I have now decided that there IS no appropriate clothing for 40-degree swings.  For Me Made Monday I opted for the first 25-piece jacket I made:
which is, incidentally, not warm enough for morning and too warm for afternoons.  But it looks spectacular in my closet, don't you think?

Tomorrow I have the day off, so I'm hoping to get some more sewing & quilting projects prepped.  I'm so exhausted by the end of the day that I haven't been sewing in the evenings after I got the jacket finished.  I need VERY simple projects when I'm tired, and while I still make an awful lot of stupid decisions, trying to lay out fabric while tired isn't one of them.  Not anymore, at least.  Or not this week.

It has now been 102 days since I last bought fabric, and there was a moment this week when I thought this might be a problem.  Those of you who sew have probably heard that Hancock Fabrics is going out of business.  Those of you who have been in one of their stores in recent years probably won't be surprised by this--I know I wasn't.  However, they were the only local place to find nicer apparel fabrics like gaberdine, wool anything, sheeting, etc. Gabardine on clearance might have really done it for me, but if you visit their website, you'll find that the liquidators have everything marked up HIGHER than anything has been for years.  Even patterns, which are almost always on special somewhere for $1-$2 are only half off, and they have bins of those things to clear out.  So, I'm not even tempted.  Between their constant upselling, fabric consistently being cut crooked because their counters didn't have scissor-guides and humans cannot cut straight, getting shorted yardage repeatedly through their website, and their stores not carrying a nicer thread than Coats & Clark, I rarely used them anymore anyway.  When I use up enough fabric to legitimately need to find more apparel fabric, I guess I'll be checking the internet--or whatever the new communication tool is in 2025......

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Almost 48

Okay, so new jobs interfere a LOT with sewing.  Who knew?

I had the day off today, so along with a three-mile walk, making a LARGE pot of spaghetti sauce for lunches for most of the week, I finished the black jacket:
which is actually much darker in real life and covered in cat hair--they DID have a lot of sewing time this week, it seems.  Another 2 and 3/8 yards out of stash, so I'm just short of 48 yards for the year.  The shirt ran into a bit of a snag, so we might need a bit of time apart--which probably works out well since I won't have another day off until Friday. That should give it plenty of time to think about what it has done.