Handiwork

Every girl (and boy!) should know to use both a drill and a sewing machine.  It comes in handy to have both skills.  Earlier this week, as I was trying to see around the glare on the kitchen table, I knew I had to install curtains over the sliding glass door.  We weren’t here this time last year, so I had no idea about this particular angle of the sun and it’s ability to burn my retinas.  I packed up Rex and we hit up IKEA.  It was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday morning, but we made it through with only a few extra items.  We had an early lunch at the sushi-go-round and were home with time to spare before nap.

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Despite fighting for time on the step tool, the curtains went up quickly and without a lot of trouble.  I purchased very basic white-ish grommet style curtains with a white rod and simple bobble finials.

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After Rex went down for his nap, I was able to hem them properly and give them a quick press.

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I left them a bit long in case they shrink when I was them.  I still need to ad tie backs of some sort, but for now they are working just fine.

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While I was sewing, I whipped up a quick envelope pocket style pillowcase for Rex.  He is quite enchanted with his football pillow, even if he doesn’t really use it for sleeping yet.

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Actual Yarn Content

Remember when this blog had yarn and knitting and crochet?  Don’t despair!  Those days are returning, complete with crappy cellphone pictures!

I had a blocking fit the other day and blocked four items that have been waiting patiently for months.  The color in the picture is way off, as is the focus, thanks to the horrific lighting in the craft/guest room.   Once they’re dry and the sky stops trying to drown us, I’ll get some proper pictures.  (Let’s be honest here; You may be waiting a while…)

2014-03-04 15.11.00Left to right: Over theWillamette Shawl, Hintz of Lace Cowl, Wendy Knits Summer Mystery Shawl 2012, Twist Hat

Also off the needles is a Tama for Rex. I’m pretty pleased with this one.  It knit up in 3 days and just needs buttons (which I’ve already purchased).  Once it’s dry, I’ll add the buttons and then try to get in-focus pictures of a busy toddler wearing it.

2014-03-06 20.28.22Size 2 years, knit in Berroco Vintage Chunky.

I have plans for another one of these, but in the short sleeve version and a more spring weather friendly yarn. I can easily see this pattern being my new go-to baby sweater pattern.  I veered away from the instructions a few times on this sweater, but I’ll go into those details when I do an FO post.  In the meantime, you can see all my notes on Ravelry.

There’s also a Super Secret Big Project that’s blocking/drying right now, but I can’t show you that until after it goes to its recipient. I know, I know… The suspense is going to kill you.  Go have a cookie, you’ll be alright.

Loom Love

Since we moved in May, my loom has not seen any action. Partly because I’m waiting on heddles that have been severely delayed (for a variety of reasons) and partly because it’s been a crazy 6ish months. After the cat knocked it off the shelf and into my view last week, I decided to swap out the beginner practice project for something else. Armed with the Craftsy class on rigid heddle weaving, I finished off my practice project and re-warped it. (Only to find I’d warped it backwards. I immediately googled for a solution and was greeted with the word “hopeless”. No way. There had to be a solution. And there totally was. I figured it out and fixed it without re-warping.) 

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I’m using Claudia Handpaint in “Blue Sky” for both warp and weft on the heddle it came with (an 8 dent, I believe).  I’m about 8″ in and am pretty happy with it.  I have a tendency to beat it too hard, so I’m working on practicing my tension. (The bit that looks skewed on the right is from how it wound onto the bars.)  This project is quite enjoyable and hopefully will be beautiful when complete.

On another note: I scored a copy of Get Saucy for $4.24 on Half.com a while back.  It came in the mail yesterday and it’s pretty awesome.  (If I hadn’t tried to set the oven on fire with failed garlic bread, I would have enjoyed its arrival more.)  The always awesome Liisa made us incredible Polenta with a sauce out of it when they visited a while back and I knew I had to have it.  It has sauces, ketchups, chutney, mayonaise, and more. I’m totally looking forward to trying some new sauces and expanding my kitchen skills.

Actual Yarn Content

I promised you actual yarn content and here it is!

First up is the Willamette Scarf I’m working on.

Yarn is String Theory Caper Sock in Earthquake.  I’m nearly finished with the increases.  This is my purse knitting and part of the Stumptown Knits club that I talked about here.

Next up is Liisa‘s Hanukah/NewYear/Birthday sweater.

It’s the Yogini Bolero from by Wendy Bernard.  I’m knitting it in Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool in color 113 Smokey Black. I’m to the part where she needs to try it on for length before I continue.  There’s a lot of “at the same time” in the beginning of this sweater, but otherwise it’s a quick and pleasant knit.

Finally, I’m working on a new sweater for the husband.  He requested a Dude Sweater.

It’s simply 16 rows of ribbing right now, but it will grow quickly. It’s knit in Cascade Yarns Eco Wool (just like his last sweater) and he’s already excited.  I’ve promised this one will take less than 2 years to complete.  (My goal is to get it done while it’s still cold enough to wear.)

I have a few other projects going for classes I’m taking at the shoppe, but they’re not far enough along yet to take photos.  Perhaps next week…

Goal Board in Under 30 Minutes

In an effort to combat pregnancy brain, I wanted to make myself a pretty wipe-off board that was easy to use.  I came up with the idea for a “today’s goal” board, because somedays, one goal is enough.  This project is seriously easy and fast.  It took me longer to pick out the supplies than to actually put it together.

(P.S. It’s also magnetic!)

Supplies:

  • 12″ x 12″ frame
  • 12″ x 12″ metal sheet (optional if you don’t want it to be magnetic)
  • 12″ x 12″ dry erase sheet
  • Stickers or vinyl letters of your choice

How to:

  1. Remove all the glass and backing from the frame and set aside.  You will not need the glass, do with it as you wish.
  2. Add your letters to the dry erase sheet and decorate to your liking.  I used clear quilting rulers as a guide for my lettering. Remember, your frame has a lip on it, so be sure to measure how far in it will extend (in my case, it was 1/4″) and account for that in your letter placement.
  3. When you are done decorating the dry erase sheet, assemble your goal board in this order:
    1. Dry erase sheet
    2. Metal sheet
    3. Spacing or cardboard sheet (this should have come in the frame originally)
    4. Backing board
  4. Stand back and admire your work.

Tips:

  • My dry erase sheet was slightly larger than 12″ x 12″.  I used a paper trimmer to trim off the excess 1/8″ from two sides to make it fit properly.
  • Make sure your backing sheet (with the stand or hanger) is facing the correct way up in relation to your dry erase board before securing all the tabs.
  • Go easy on the decoration.  You still need room to write!

Books + Yarn

Today I’m contemplating some books (among other things).  Since pay day is still more than a week away, I’ll just have to lust after them from afar for the moment.

By Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule… Rhythm of Family and The Creative Family.  (They also have some great sites/blogs like Rhythm of the Home and Soule Mama.  I love how involved their children are and admire their farm.  I don’t think I want to go that far back to country life though.)

In response to a clutter cleaning conversation with a friend, she recommended The Emotional House.  I think we’re going to band together and tackle some cleaning over the next few months.

I started the Demiluna Shawl last night with some yarn gifted by a friend.  Meliae is finished and waiting to be blocked.

I haven’t been to the thrift store in weeks.  I’m feeling the need to go.  I also need to finish up the newsletter mailing list for work, get the webby stuff together, and rig a large light box for taking photos of samples.  Anyone figured out how to stop time yet?

It’s All Square

In recent years, I’ve loosely participated in a crochet block of the month group on Ravelry. I’ve made a few squares here and there but never really finished all of them. This year, I picked some skeins of Plymouth Encore Worsted out of the stash and I’m doing my best to keep up.  Here are the squares I’ve finished so far.

January’s square is Maggie’s Square by Drew Emborsky.

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Ravelry Project Notes

March’s square is SmoothFox’s Starburst Flower Square by Donna Mason-Svara.

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Ravelry Project Notes

April’s Square is the Lace Petals Square by Chris Simon.

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Ravelry Project Notes

(February’s square isn’t playing nice with my color scheme, so I’m looking for a replacement.  It’s a beautiful Pineapple Blossom square, but should really be done in a solid for the best effect.)

So far, I’m very pleased with how these are turning out.  They seem to be a perfect weekend afternoon project when all I want is a little mindless crochet, some instant gratification, and (usually) some SciFi on the tube.

I’m also playing catch-up with the 2010 squares in a softer palette, so you’ll get to see a different color scheme than the one pictured above.  You know I can’t do the same thing for a whole year…  More squares to come in the future if I don’t get distract… oh look!  Something shiny!