Thursday, March 13, 2014

Checking In

IMG_5082

Still around, being a bit productive.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February In the 'Bag'

The month is almost over - its been a busy one. Well, a hectic one. I've got busy busy plans for the last 7 days until we hit March, so I figure I'll post a bit about the past three weeks now.

Two weekends ago I accompanied my youth group on our annual trip to Sacramento. I'll pull pics off my phone and do a stand-alone post later, but for now I can at least document the handmade I gave the 6 young adults to battle the cold of Sacto.

Fleece and Wool cowl

Wool and fleece cowls (wool suiting from stash, fleece is a two tone brown houndstooth from JoAnns)

After that weekend, I promptly came down with a vicious cold that kept me in bed for 4 days. Luckily, most of those days I wasn't supposed to work. I *was* supposed to be in Laguna, but EJ covered that while I slept 18+ hours a day and drank juice and meds.

I have one more FO - my Amy Butler Weekender Bag.

Cat for Scale

Supplies have been in my stash for about 2 years, and I was given the pattern as a gift about 2 1/2 years ago. I spent most of January working on it, taking my time. It's truly  not a difficult pattern, but getting the actual bag shell assembled took me about 4 hours, all told. I'll do a stand alone post for this one as well at some point.

Finally, I've been frantically knitting when I 1) have been at home, and 2) when I haven't been sick (LOL).

 Ravellenics Project 2014

This is a re-start of a vest pattern/kit from 2010 - it was my Ravellenics Winter Olympics project back then, too. I will seriously NOT get it finished in time for the closing ceremonies, but figure it will be 'ready to go' by mid-March. Not that the weather out here is amenable to woolen knits this winter!

OK, more later :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Last Weekend of the Month

There has been a LOT of sewing this weekend (like, a lot a lot) BUT I don't have any finishes to show for it. Progress, definitely; but most of my progress pics are shapeless lumps :)

Weekender Bag IP

Weekender Bag. Lots and lots of steps, I started cutting it out on Thursday (I was daunted but told myself, "Just 20 minutes," and broke the cutting into small bites); lots of ironing (homemade piping is not fun when made of upholstery weight fabric); extra cutting (I can't count or follow simple directions at times); Sunday I made the 'hidden' interior pockets (not part of the pattern); and today I got the top and bottom made and joined, and put the outside pockets together. There are multiple parts left before the bag is assembled (and then more before it is "finished"), but I feel good about my progress and confident I will have it done next weekend!

Baby sweater IP

Pink blob that is becoming a baby sweater for a coworker-I-didn't-know-was-pregnant-but-like-well-enough-to-knit-a-surprise-sweater-for. It should be done sometime this week.

Stacks of Strips

Finally fit in some "fun and easy" sewing - got some strip sets sewn for my low volume quilt :)

Purfect Caturday Curl
Lots of these cute&furry lumps laying around the house, can't do much about them :) I also got my sorbetto (v.2) all but hemmed...and found out its another wadder :( So its now hanging in my  hallway along with v.1 (wadder) and I made some notes on what to change for version 3. Maaybe I can salvage the second one, not sure.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monthly Projects Update

Due to unforseen events, and an illness, I've been able to make scattered progress on my projects so far.

I had planned to spend this long weekend (4 days for me, off on Tuesday due to the holiday) cutting, piecing, and assembling a quilt top. I managed to iron the fabric on Saturday night (in two bursts, then had to rest for 2 hours in between), then slowly slowly cut all the fabric Sunday - Tuesday. I actually thought I made great headway on Sunday (with 59 cuts of fabric to sort), but it must have been fever-induced because I started Monday with 49 pieces of fabric remaining :( But everything is cut now.
Low Volume Quilt FabricLow Volume Strips
Friday night....                                                  Tuesday night

My Great Granny is patiently waiting in a box, as all those strips got cut before I fell sick, and I'm hoping to use one of my JoAnn's coupons to purchase the solid for the top (again, dependent on getting my low volume top done).
Great Granny IP

I spent a lot of frustrating time knitting on Monday night (when I was lucid enough to work on something, but too easily tired to stand up and cut fabric). I've knit and re-knit these mitts a total of 6 times, FINALLY got them done (one is slightly larger still but has the right stitch count - at this point I DON'T CARE THEY FIT. And, they're for me). Still need to get the floss to embroider them (again, JoAnn's trip I'm not able to make yet).
Knucks IP

I also pounded through 2/5 of my knitted hexi blanket this month - then got stuck on this one pattern (I'm drafting them all myself) and have knit and frogged one square about 5 times now. I think I now have a winner - just need to finish this one, knit 3 more of the same, and its smooth sailing through the last 2/5ths of this project! (no pic, too tired to fiddle with one)

Also spent some time (in my car, while waiting for someone) sewing up the arms of my fair isle sweater; now I need to graft the armpits (no needles with me) and sew in the zipper - and maybe stabilize the neckline somehow. I also pulled out my stashed fabrics et al for my Weekender Bag (v.1 - the sedate version).

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Crafting Manifesto

So, trying to break up my goal posts (LOL that still cracks me up) across the month.

I'll start by saying I tried a LOT of new things last year - hand quilting and  machine quilting are probably the top two skills I worked on.

This year I have both skills I'd like to develop AND projects I'd like to complete (note: COMPLETE, not "start and stick in the closet").

PROJECTS for 2014:
Low Volume quilt (from "Sunday Morning Quilting")
Great Granny 'afghan' quilt
Scrappy trip around the world
Leaders & Enders quilt in (hopefully) yellows & blues
Flying Geese quilt
Tula Pink quilt (stashing for this one, currently)
EPP hexagon quilt (stashing for this one too)
Blue & Amber links quilt
Christmas Cactus quilt
aand, a couple gift quilts (for Christmas time)
Houndstooth blanket (crochet)
BAU vest (knitted, stranded/steeked)
Scrapbooks: wedding, honeymoon, 10 year book

SKILLS to build:
Free motion quilting
Hand quilting
Applique - I have a project slated for a mid-2015 gift giving and would like to sharpen my skills before I start it!
Learn to paper piece
Fit pants to my measurements
General garment sewing skills
Piecing curves

And, about mid-year I would like to have all my craft stuff out of the living room and taking up a much smaller footprint in our shared closet.

Most of the projects I've identified I have sitting around (PIGs), as well as a couple that I'm stashing toward - with the Quilter's Run and general 'gotta visit the fabric store' trips throughout the year I need to have a couple things I'm stashing toward! The gift items are also ideas only, no fabric set to the side yet.

Since I was so focused last year, I think having a list to refer to/check off for 2014 may help me be super productive for a second year in a row!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January Sewing Goals

So midway through the month I should probably post my crafting goals for the month.*

1) Continue cutting down my scraps. I was So Proud of how I had cut down all the leftovers from August-now. Then we packed up Christmas and un-packed our regular house stuff....And I found  a whole pile of fabrics left from my arsenic & old lace, bento box, AND latte/log cabin tops. And felt defeated. EJ reminded me of how well I've been doing (after he realized all this "random fabric" wasn't all for one project LOL) and I started back in with it.

2) Cut fabric for my Great Granny top. Yep, QAL from 3 years ago, found it last summer. I've got most of the strips cut now, need to buy my neutral but that has to wait until:

3) I cut and piece my Sunday Morning low-volume quilt top. I've been stashing for this since last spring with the plan to make it in 2014. I briefly panicked a week ago (NOT ENOUGH FABRIC), then went through some of my scraps and am now assured I have Enough. This is my big project for the month, and I'm hoping to spend MLK weekend on it.

4) Tie and bind my latte quilt, one of last year's UFOs that is almost complete.

5) Sew two tops: one sorbetto, one Simplicity 3835.

6) Knitting: buttons on a pair of mitts, embroidery on another pair, complete my hexagon blanket. Oh - and sew up the arms on my fair isle sweater.

7) Cut out and begin assembling my Weekender bag, will need it mid-February.

*MIA this week due to unforeseen family stuff, but everything's OK now.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Goal Post :)

The word I picked to focus on this year is Fearless. I wasn't sure if I was going to pick something this year (last year I didn't, consciously, but my word turned out to be Productive), but then mid-December it came to me...as it usually does toward the end of the year.

In early 2012 I decided I was going to "own" my 40s and 50s - as I tell the teens I work with, I survived my childhood, spent my 20s recovering from that, my 30s figuring out who I am/coming into my own, and expect to OWN my 40s and 50s (and the jury's out on my 60s just yet - I'm waiting until I get a bit closer to make a decision!). They always seemed to appreciate that, and it is truly how I feel about the next two decades (give or take a couple years now).

So "Fearless" seems to be at the heart of the next year for me. I've grown in many ways over the past two years, with my health, my skills, my abilities.

So in light of that I'm setting a few modest goals for myself this year - and will most likely be adding a few more as the year progresses. I'm breaking them down this year into RPG/D&D terms, because it sounds fun to me LOL (fyi: the difference between intelligence and wisdom is that with the first you know what happens when you stick a fork into the outlet, and with the second you know not to do it; I think all the others are self-explanatory)

* Strength: do 5 pullups in a row
* Constitution: log 200-250-300 running miles
* Dexterity: get into weekly yoga practice
* Intelligence: clear out WIPs/PIGs, home organization, finish up menu planning & recipe binder
* Wisdom: get into weekly meditation practice
* Charisma: explore other areas of my career field