Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Black and White Sock Knitting

I couldn't tell you for sure where I got this yarn. My best guess would be Woodland Woolworks because I used to love their clearance room and that's where almost all of the Regia I've owned came from. What I know for sure is it's been in my stash for a loooong time and this definitely qualifies as a Stashdive project. 

If I'd known how this stuff would look when it was knit up, I would've cast on MUCH sooner.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Finally Stitching After Doing the Other Things

Last week's stitching time got spent finishing my daughter's shawl and hand-stitching the binding down on the scrappy quilt with the blue sashing. When I finally sat down with my project on Sunday morning, I had a hard time putting it down again. 

Another stripe of wallpaper is done, and the left edge of the trunk lid, and a big chunk of the drapes, which you can't really see because it's all white and ecru and off-white... but I can see myself meeting my self-imposed goal for the month and that's making me really happy.

And that mistake I was afraid I made while I was at my stitching group earlier this month? It looks like I was worried about nothing because the lid of my trunk seems to be lining up just fine.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Kinds of Math that Quilters Do

The backing fabric I want to use is 44" wide and I need an odd number of blocks to make the top symmetrical...So how do I size the squares to make the nine-patch blocks so that will all work?

I got that part all figured out and now the question is whether or not I have enough of the light background fabric to make this quilt I'm picturing in my head actually happen. The other question would be why I'm starting a brand new project when I have so many other quilts in the works, but I can answer that. (It's not going to stay my quilt.)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

{Thrift Shop Temptations} Did I Ever Tell You I Wanted a Butter Churn?

Since I was a little girl, I've wanted to own a spinning wheel and a butter churn. As much as I make fun of that tacky Bicentennial stuff we keep stumbling across, I guess it left a lasting impression on my early childhood. Or I read the Little House on the Prairie books a few too many times.

I got my spinning wheel years ago and I got my butter churn at the thrift shop earlier this week. Actually, it's our third churn, but who's counting? The first one is just a crock, without the lid or plunger. The second one, which is technically my husband's, is the glass kind with paddles and a metal crank.

This is the kind I've been dreaming of...

And, yes, I do see that brand new screw and the plywood on the plunger. And, no, I didn't notice that until  I took the pictures. When I'm buying something that I think is old, I rarely spend enough money that it matters whether I'm right or wrong.

I'm fairly convinced that the crock itself is old. For the twelve bucks I spent -- did I mention that the butter churn of my dreams had a green tag and was 75% off? -- it doesn't matter if its a reproduction. I just want something neat looking to sit next to our big old fireplace. I could have spent a lot more for a brand new piece of decor that would look dated in a few months or years.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/12/18}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Quilted, and Bound, and Ready to Hand Over

In March of last year, a gal from the quilting group handed me a stack of 4" squares that someone had cut and asked if I wanted to try to do something with them. Her suggestion was that I sew them all together the way they were.

Anyone who's ever read my blog knows that isn't how I do things. I cut the 4" squares down to 2" squares....then assembled them into 3 1/2" four-patch blocks, then put those together into 12" blocks and added some sashing...

Then it sat because I didn't have a way to quilt it at the house and didn't want to turn it in to have someone else quilt it and I couldn't work up the motivation to stitch in the ditch.

It feels good to finally have this done. Next, I'm going to tackle those pink churn dash blocks.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Deciding to Rip Out Three Days of Shawl Knitting

Remember that shawl I showed you last week? It was half done at that point. 

Now it's a completely different shawl. 

Before that happened, I was done with the stockinette section and half a repeat into the lace. Then something happened. I don't know if I knit the wrong row from the chart or just miscounted, but something went very very wrong and I couldn't make it right again.  I spent a couple of rows trying to adjust my mistakes, then unravelled the whole thing.

A safety line after the stockinette portion would have saved me from that, but I don't use the technique as often as I probably should, especially not on patterns that have been described as "perfect to memorize and knit while you're watching Netflix." The pattern was fine. Nothing about it was challenging. I just had a very off night.

There was no way I was going to knit my way through all of that stockinette again, hoping I didn't make the same mistake twice.  I found another pattern I liked and cast on for that one. A few rows in, I changed my mind and decided to do my own thing, alternating bands of very simple lace with bands of garter stitch and seed stitch.

I liked the first attempt, before things went wrong. I seriously love this second attempt! Doesn't the texture on the right look better?

This is the second time in the past month that I've ripped out a project after spending several days on it.  A few years back, I never would've done that. The failed project would have sat in my knitting bag until the end of time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Things I Find in My Stash...

I've been up in my sewing room playing "What is this and why do I own it?" Sometimes I find bundles of vintage pillowcases that I've never seen before. Or yarn or fabric. 

This little needlepoint kit has been plaguing me for years. I don't ski. I've never been to Timberline Lodge. So why did I pick this up? (There's a hazy half-memory of a thrift shop in the early days of my cross-stitching passion.) Why have I held on to it for so long? I was never going to stitch it. 

A while back, I saw it again in the bottom of an old sewing basket and told myself that it should really go in the donation box.

 It wasn't until the middle of the night that I made the connection. The Timberline Lodge is the Overlook Hotel. Not my favorite incarnation of the Overlook, but haunted hotel needlepoint can't be a bad thing. I had to wait until morning to go up and make sure it was the right ski lodge.

And now I'm happily stitching away on The Overlook Hotel.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Finally, Some Actual Quilting

Look what I spent Sunday morning doing! 

It's been a long time since I did any freemotion quilting at all. The last thing I did on Mom's machine was the Nancy Drew quilt. I do like the longarm, especially the part where I don't have to crawl around on the floor and pin baste, but I always got better results on my Janome.   I've usually stuck with my own machine, except for projects that were too big to comfortably handle on my own machine.

Hopefully this is the first of many quilts I'll get done this year, either by driving up to use Mom's machine, or by getting the Janome fixed, or switching to another of my own machines. Not quilting at all isn't working for me. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

I Started the Year by Losing My Planner

These early days of 2018 are off to a good start. I've got lots of goals for the year, which include making better use of my time and maybe jumping from project to project a little less. I've been doing a lot of that over the past couple of years. Life gets hectic, then when I get some free time I start something new. Which isn't a bad thing, I just need to finish more of the big quilting projects.

Just before New Year's Day, I lost my planner. You know -- the one that's got the goals and UFO lists and everything else in it...something that I really kind of need right now. I've searched for it and waited for it to turn up, both with no luck.

I guess this settles my debate whether to start a new planner or to use the other one until it's filled up, but I really could use those lists that I was making during the last days of December.

On the bright side, the new one has a pretty pink cover and I've got a pen in the  same color that I'm using for page headers.

Do you keep a planner? Do you have any tips for keeping track of your planner?

Saturday, January 06, 2018

That Thirteen Year Old Box of Cross-Stitch UFOs

Want to see what was in it? 

My 13 year old box of unfinished cross stitch

These are the most exciting projects, but there were some others that aren't as photogenic. If you want to see all of it, and me looking like a deer in the headlights while I'm sorting through the box, there's a video.

I found this weeks ago, when I was digging around for the kits and then didn't go through it until now because I thought it would be good for a video and blog post. There's stuff here that confuses the heck out of me. Please keep in mind that I packed it all away while we were moving down to this house, when I had an eight year old, a five year old, a six month old and was just pregnant with the new baby....which all culminated in a month of hospital bedrest, both houses being broken into, and, a bit later, kidney surgery for my youngest. I'm proud of myself for remembering my own name after all of that!

I knew I'd left projects unfinished. There are a few that aren't here with the rest. I'd messed up on them, so it's possible that they got tossed back then.

I remember starting Woodland Walk, the sampler in the upper right hand corner. That's actually the last project I was working on and everything was going well with it.

Now that I see it again, I remember working on Stonehearth Hutch. It's a shock to see how much progress I'd made before setting it aside. It seems like something went wrong with stitch placement, but there's got to be a way to salvage that last corner.

Sanctuary is a pleasant surprise. When I was looking for the kits, I knew I had that one (which it turns out wasn't a kit after all.) I didn't know that I'd started it or made so much progress.

The little garden scene in the lower right hand corner is a mystery. It's on my favorite fabric. I've got the pattern and all of the floss. No one else around here would have stitched it, but I don't think it was my style even then... So I'm confused. All of the back-stitching (and there's a lot of that) is done on the finished part.

Considering how much stitching I'd been doing at the time, this isn't bad at all. I'll finish all four of these projects, and they look like they can be finished...depending on what problems I find when I take a closer look at Stonehearth Hutch.  There's also a lot of gridded fabric for projects I didn't start, and a lot of stuff  I had kitted up, but considering how much the price of supplies has risen, I'm counting that as a win.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/5/18}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Route 66 Socks

Here's my last finish of 2017 -- 

Yarn: Patons Kroy, Route 66

If I'd really pushed myself, I could have had these bound off before the clock struck midnight on the thirty-first. But there were other things I wanted to be doing with that time and these aren't part of a group project or challenge. They count for 2017 because that's when I did all but a couple of inches of the knitting.

I'm starting 2018 with what's pretty much a clean slate. There are unfinished quilts and needlework projects, but they've been unfinished for so long that they're deeply within UFO territory. It's the projects that just sort of halfway straddle the years that I can never figure out how to classify.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

{Books and Yarn} Say No Moor

One of  the plans for this year was to take the yarn I'd stashed for sweaters that will never be and knit some of it up into shawls. I'm wearing the Snoqualmie Wrap a lot these days and loving how nice and warm it is. 

While I was searching Ravelry for patterns I could use with my Caron Cakes, I stumbled across a group with the goal of knitting at least twelve shawls a year. I can do that, especially if I'm knitting with worsted and bulky weight acrylic from my stash. 

Then I went to Michaels with my daughter and she pointed out that this 439 yard skein would make a pretty shawl. So I bought it with the intention of making that shawl for her...because any excuse for buying cheap yarn...and then, because all of the yarn was forty percent off, I bought a couple of other pretty skeins to make shawls for myself. Four shawls from new yarn and eight from older stash...that'll work!

Say No Moor by Maddy Hunter

It took me a few pages to get into the latest Passport to Peril mystery because the book opens with an explanation of what bloggers are and why a group of them is participating in Emily's latest tour. Once that bit is out of the way, the book picks up speed and is the usual entertaining, disastrous adventure. Emily and her usual group of clients are always fun to read about. Shortly after the group checks into the Stand and Deliver Inn, one of the owners dies and the other is arrested for his murder, which leaves Emily and her friends struggling to keep the inn going and solve the murder...and keep the bloggers happy so that their online reviews don't destroy Emily's business. 

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

{Thrift Shop Temptations} The Things We Can't Have

I've spent the past week convincing myself that it would be cheating to call Christmas Storybook Land our museum trip of the month for December. I could twist the rules enough to allow it, or just give myself permission to take the month off because lots of things don't happen during the holidays. 

On Friday, I drove us up to the Bush Barn Art Center. It's one of the options that I was saving for a month when I was short of time and I picked that one because, unlike the museums which don't change, there will be different art in a few months. Turns out they're closed from Christmas until the first of the year, so we didn't get to see any art. We'll go next week when they're open. 

What do you do when you can't look at art? Go to thrift shops, of course...

I always look through the vintage books because sometimes there are Nancy Drews hiding there. One of my sons fell in love with this old book, which someone had "repaired" by gluing upholstery fabric over what was left of the original cover. 

Want to guess what the book inside is? 

I was sure it was going to be a bible, but instead of that it's a hundred year old book about adolescent mental health with red paint (not blood, I'm sure) staining the title page. Now I'm feeling guilty about not giving in and buying it for him, but this thing is not worth three bucks, no matter how cool he thought it was.

We also saw the brightest, most ruffly crochet bunny ever. Someone worked hard on that!

I dug through all of the craft stuff at two different stores and found two kits worth falling in love with. Realistically, I'd probably never stitch the hummingbirds and I think someone else had already started it, so that one was easy to leave behind. That mill pond, though....I really wanted that one. And I would have bought it if there'd been more to the kit than just the outside packaging and some leftover yarn.

Who prices these things? That was the same shop where I found the really nice kits on Halloween for ninety-nine cents each. Today, kits that didn't contain enough to qualify as a kit were three dollars each.

A needlepoint kit that's missing the canvas is worth even less than an old psychology book covered in upholstery fabric, right?

Monday, January 01, 2018

My New Year's Resolution

I am going to get my Janome fixed and working properly Either that, or I'm going to set up one of the vintage machines and learn to use it. Because this is getting ridiculous. 

It's been a year since I was able to free motion quilt on my machine. I've tried every trick I know and asked for help and nothing fixed the problem. Every time I sit down to sew, I wind up fighting the machine. Do you think that's why I've done so little sewing in 2017?  The knitting and cross stitch are fun and tempting, but I like sewing too. 

Last week, I made a thing and wrote a post, then I quickly deleted the post because my finished project was sad and miserable. (It did wind up on Bloglovin and apparently when you hit publish too soon it's there and stays there.) 

The plan was to make a thrifted piece of needlepoint into a simple zippered notions bag. There's absolutely no reason why that shouldn't have worked. 

The Janome disagreed. I swore at it and it beeped at me and came unplugged four separate times and the whole thing culminated in a broken needle. 

This would have been such a cute little bag if the layers hadn't kept shifting and the machine hadn't kept expressing its opinion. I love the idea of what this should have been enough that I'll take it apart and redo it.


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