Saturday, December 05, 2015

Where did my year go!?

It's has been a really awful year.

Well not completely, but for the most part 2015 will not be in my book of times to remember fondly.

I did have the great blonde bombshell months.  Platinum blonde for the win.  But holy crap, high maintenance.  And then my position at work was eliminated and regular visits to the salon were out.  That much blonde is just hard on hair, and no trims is also bad. Eventually the color difference got the better of me and I tried to dye it.  I do this all the time, but this time the dye didn't stick to the blonde bits. So I tried to strip the color, fail.  Only one choice - a goooooood hair cut.  I went to a salon, told that stylist - the damaged bits need to go, but NO bangs.  Last thing she does? You guessed it.  I HATE growing out bangs.  Long layers are bad enough, but were a necessity.  Bangs are just a misery.

Over all the hair cut isn't bad.  My hair is much better now and I can face growing out the layers and have my beloved bob back.  The bangs, however, already fill me with dread.

On to better things - KNITTING!

I am making another Baby Surprise Jacket.  This one is a commission knit, for a very good friend. I have 3 rows left before the bind off.  I could have finished it hours ago, but I'm just sitting here looking at it.  I have no idea why, but I LOVE making this little masterpieces.  I even enjoyed the never ending, bulky acrylic, Adult Surprise Jacket I made (and then gave away - it didn't fit me).

I have approximately 8 pairs of socks in various stages of completion.  I would like to finish those this month.  In fact I'd like to finish all the WIPs and start the new year fresh.  Unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day so that just isn't feasible.

It would be nice to make a good dent in them though so that will be my goal.  I should make a list and then check them off as they get finished.  It always feels so great to watch a list of to-dos dwindle. Plus I'm sure my mother would like to have the three or four objects I'm working on for her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I did some more wool dyeing this weekend.  A while back I lost all my dyes in a move and while at a fiber fair I found a sample kit of Greener Dyes so I bought it. I didn't use the dyes then.  Dharma had a sale and I bought some of their dyes which I know I like.

Long way to saying, I finally tried the Greener dyes.  I'm sorry to say this was not a pleasant experience.  I dyed a pot full of locks peacock blue/turquoise.  The color in the pot was lovely.  Then I started rinsing, and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing.  Today is the third day I spent soaking and rinsing and the dye is still pouring out of the fleece.  It has gone from deep turquoise to robins egg and still the dye is pouring out of the fleece.

At this point I'm just disgusted. I really see no choice but to keep rinsing the dye out, as I'm unwilling to use it or sell it this way.  But I'm sick of standing over the basin running water over the fleece and I hope to heck it isn't going to end up felted in places and unusable. What a waste of my time.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Guy who?

Just a short rambling post.

I've taken out and knitted the same two rows on my 'Square necked Cardigan' all day.

I decided to give myself a break, dyed a pot full of wool - which doesn't seem to have come out as I'd planned.  It will be going up, as intended, on Etsy either tomorrow or this weekend. I like dyeing, but I couldn't ever do a real shop.  I'm not disciplined enough and I'd never get the same thing twice.  

Then I decided to make the rice pudding I've been promising myself for months.  I went looking for a recipe I could throw in the slow cooker and after I got everything started I decided to read the reviews.  I never read them first, I alway trust my own instincts on the recipe being something I'll like. However, sometimes I read them for the amusement.  

I have to admit that my personal favorite are the negative reviews where they changed everything (or several things) about the recipe and it didn't come out well.  Once you have made more than two substantial changes to the recipe it's not the recipe's fault if its bad.  

Come to think of it, I've seen it on knitting pattern reviews as well.  I've been known to make changes to patterns to suit my personal style but I'd never blame the designer or the pattern writing when the funny fit is because I removed all the shaping and used fingering weight yarn instead of worsted weight.  But that isn't true of everyone. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Back - Again

There has been knitting.  I've finished several pairs of socks and even a sweater. Except I'm still looking for buttons for the sweater. 

I've also made progress on several afghans.  This one is my current favorite.  There are several patterns using this stitch on Ravelry but I started with the pattern I found at Lion Brand's website. 
I'm using the large amounts of yarn my father got for me.  This will be nice Large afghan for the couch or a bed.

I've also started putting together the top with these blocks.  It took a long time and several failed starts on a nice assembly method.  This is a simple slipstitch join that 'zips' the blocks together.  Because the backgrounds are not all the same it give a nice edge to the blocks. 

And since there is still MORE acrylic yarn to be used up I'm designing (and I use the term loosely) this afghan to use up all the remaining bits that aren't big enough for the other projects or have already been used more than a fair share.  It's a simple SC row increased on both ends so that the stripes will grow from the corner.  When it's as wide as I want it I'll change to increasing on one and and decreasing on the other until it's as long as I want and then decrease on both ends until there are no stitches left. 

The other item I've finished this past week is some card weaving.  This is just over 2.5 yards about 1/2 wide.  It's quite pretty I think and I'm going to use it and another wider pattern to trim a dress that I will wear for my historical recreation group. 

In addition finishing up a few WIPs I'm thinking that I should put together a set of projects to start and finish this next year.  I want to finish the purple and blue Philosopher's Wool sweater and many pairs of socks and a couple of Starmore sweaters that are sitting in my stash.  I plan to put together a list and a timeline and see if I can stick to it for 6 months. It will be good to find the patterns and yarn and get them in a place I can find them.  Too often I can't find either the pattern or the yarn and I waste scads of time and motivation looking instead of doing. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

And I was doing so well

But then, well, life happened, as it is want to do.

Work got weird (weirder, really) and then my position was eliminated.  So I've been stuck at home looking for work for the last two-ish weeks.  I'm doing everything I can to keep from getting bored.

I've finished a couple quilt tops. Put one on the quilting frame. I started a couple more quilts with fabric that's been aging for several decades. I unknit some yarn that my father bought me at a sale and repurposed it to a new sweater (which might become an actual pattern).  I sewed some undies.  I made some nice tool carriers.  (Craftsy might be the devil) And I even cleaned my apartment, including the bathrooms and put most of my stuff out of boxes (from the moving) and away.

Today there was some more sewing insanity and I baked bread.

I am working on the quilt for my mother (Christmas present from her children) and I decided I should do something with all the odd bits.  I thought this postage stamp block was a good idea:

I will see how many of these little 4"x4" blocks I can finish before I'm out of fabric or patience.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Shocking News!

There has been more sewing.  I finished a fencing coat for a friend, a handful of quilt blocks, and some weaving.  But not one stitch of knitting.  I'm enjoying all the productivity.

The weather has become very nice.  It's going to become very hot and humid soon, but in the mean time we are enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I'm planning some pots of flowers for the balcony.  There as been some grilling in the other apartments near ours.  It makes me wish I had a grill.

Most of the unpacking is done.  Still a lot of putting things away that needs to be finished.  Some of the putting away involves sorting and reboxing yarn and fabric.  I don't see that happening real soon.  It would be really nice to have that done, but it's down a long way on my list of projects. I much prefer getting some of the WIPs finished and off the list first.  It does make the piles smaller!

I was on Ravelry today and looked at my WIPs list.  It's horrifying, really.  And my sewing and weaving lists are just as bad.  So the sorting and reboxing will have to wait.

Next time, a post with real content.  I promise!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A finished object!

I started sewing this quilt in 1999.  It was a mystery quilt, where you bought the fabric but didn't know how the quilt would turn out before hand.  I finished all the blocks but when it came time to put them together I was really not happy with one of the fabrics I chose.  They sat in a box for all these years.  After this recent move I decided I really needed to finish it so I found the last issue and set about putting the blocks together.

I was missing one edge block, and one fabric needed to make that block.  I did find something close in my stash and made a new block.

I think that since I moved this project as many times as I have the fact that I had all the borders, all but one of the blocks and all but one of the fabrics in the same place is pretty amazing.  The block and fabric could both be here.  But this project had waited long enough and I was disinclined to spend too much time looking.  

Today I took it to a local shop to have it machine quilted.  It won't be cheap, after the paying for the backing, batting and quilting, but I'm delighted to have it finished, even with all it's flaws.

ETA - the pattern is Evening Stroll, the last clue was published in the Quiltmaker, Sept/Oct 1999 issue.  

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A little sewing

I have a number of quilting projects in my pile of works in progress.  One of my favorite projects is Block of the Month quilts.  I have a disturbing number of them.  One of the issues with moving is that things get shoved into boxes and sometimes lost.  I'm still missing my good sewing scissors.

They will show up.  But in the mean time I've been organizing the sewing area, finding and sorting tools and projects.  Once the space was useable I rewarded myself with time to work on a couple of blocks for this quilt:

After I finished the first block I wondered where to put it so I didn't lose it while I continue with the sorting and stowing.  As usual, this led to some wondering the internet where I found a website that showed a 'block book' for storing the blocks.  I found fabric (doing more sorting and stowing as I went) and made this: 

The 'cover' is quilted fabric/batt sandwich, not fancy or heavily quilted.  The inner 'pages' are flannel, which because of it's nap, holds the blocks without pinning.  I didn't do anything to the the cut edges of the flannel so I will probably have some issues with fraying eventually.  But I will deal with that when the time comes.  

It turned out so well I'm making another for additional BOM projects that I'm working on.  

And how was your week? 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Just a little knitting

In the interest of not falling into old habits I'm writing even though there isn't much in the way of knitting content.

It was a quiet weekend filled with more unpacking, sorting, and putting stuff away.  Way too much looking for stuff, though.  That is the worst part of moving, relocating my things.  I decided to stop at the little quilt shop near my new place.  It's very nice and had many lovely and inspiring projects and fabrics.  I fell off the no new stuff wagon and bought a christmas quilt kit.  I really like the old world santa art and they had a nice sale.  Perhaps I will manage to get it sewn up by next winter holiday.

They also had this lovely item that made me think of my mother.

She loves both daffodils and yellow.  This project would be much too fussy for me though so she will need to find someone else to make it for her. 

Before I can start the lovely santa project I need to finish some other things I have in my project stash.  After hours of looking I finally found the project and most of the tools.  Then I had to get the sewing space cleaned out.  It had become a landing pad for a lot of things that hadn't been put away yet.  I'm still missing a lot of other tools but I had a great time doing a little sewing.  Brightened my weekend. 

Just so you all don't have wool withdrawal here is the first sleeve of a new cardigan. I've cast on the second sleeve and will be able to join the sleeves and knit the yoke soon.  The body is done as well but getting pictures off my phone is not as easy as I think it should be.  The pattern is Autumn Fire from Knitty.  It's almost too warm to wear it here already this spring, but fall is coming so I'll be ready when the time comes.  

Trying hard to get as many of my projects in progress done as possible.  Then I'll have to try hard to keep the project creep from happening, again.  Startitis is not my friend.  It's so hard to ignore the lure of new projects.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Where have I been?!

I've been having life.  All in all though, life is going well.  

I took a new job, moved, lost job, moved, acquired new job, moved and in between these there were the prerequisite 'life happens' bits as well.  Some of this happened before the blog became so neglected, but all the change and upheaval compounded.   

I've settled, in my own place and in my mind, and it's time I got back to taking care of this blog.  I enjoy doing it, but when I felt like I didn't have time to do what I wanted to do, I put things off until I found more time, which just never happens.  

I'm currently in search of a new car.  I'm torn between getting a second Toyota Prius or a Honda Fit.  I loved my old Prius.  I'm not sure that should preclude shopping around since I have the option, and the Honda is available in a color that is almost purple.  Test drives will happen Saturday.  Then I will take time to decide.  No reason to hurry the decision since I'll keep the car for at least a decade, if past experience is anything by which to judge.  

And now - time to run off the dream land