Making : lots of knitting things! Cooking : A few different things for Drinking : coffee to warm me. Reading: The Beekeeper's Secret - Josephine Moon. Enjoying this one. Trawling: Ravelry for blanket patterns. Wanting: it to rain so I can test my new wiper blades on the car! hahahaha... Deciding: on a plan of action for BJ's birthday. It's tricky with this kid. Think we have found a great solution that will be exciting for him. Enjoying: knitting a jumper again. Waiting: for my new niece/nephew... can't wait. About 6 weeks to go! Liking: the cool educational history books I found at the second hand bookshop for BJ. Loving: my chickens & our first egg! Woohoo! Pondering: knitting patterns for a baby Listening: Lady Antebellum - 747 Considering: birthday gifts for our 2 boys... Buying: wool Watching: Chicago Fire season 1 - for the third time... Hoping: for more great days at work with lovely customers & lots of patience for them. lol Marvelling: at our 25 years of marriage! Cringing: at the sudden coldness. Smelling: beautiful flowers that were given for our anniversary. Wearing: many layers Noticing: more people are knitting now it's getting colder. Knowing: it's still getting colder & colder. Disliking: being sick last week, but recognise the need to take some time out. Opening: cards given to us for our anniversary. Feeling: happy & excited for Chris & Lexi, having just moved into their own home! Hearing : the chickens right behind me when I go out into the orchard. Love it! Celebrating: Our 25th Wedding Anniversary this month! Wow! But Yay for us! Pretending: that Aunty Sheila isn't leaving soon.
I have really crossed over to the dark side... the woolly dark side.
I have always been a one thing at a time crafter. I used to cross stitch flat out. Always finished one before starting another.
With my knitting over the last few years I have had 2 on the go at once as usually I have a small project like a cowl or socks that is travel sized for carrying with me.
This week I have got rather over excited. Mad even!
Saturday I finally got started on a baby blanket for a gift after much umming & ahhing over what design to do. It's coming along nicely.
The sock yarns that I caked up last weekend I also finally made a decision. I used the very technical way of asking BJ to hold 2 of the balls behind his back & I picked one hand. That is a regular method of choosing in our house so why don't I get to actually use it myself. I did! I am even trying a new pattern for socks including cables!
Crazy knitting lady is doing 2 cable knits at once!
If that wasn't enough of a job with both of those, one of the pages I follow online has a May Sweater Challenge. Ok, so I am in Australia & we don't wear sweaters! Jumpers yes. Sweaters no. So after much umming & ahhing again over yarn colours I went with this & cast on this as well! It got so cold this week suddenly that I needed some fresh new woollies to pull on. I did actually bother to get the oldies out & give them a wash but there's always room for another.
So stay tuned for updates! I wonder which will be finished first!
Also I am pleased for Thimble-Its. I have a hole in my finger from all this knitting so the thimble-its are saving me some pain...
This is some beautiful wool that I bought for myself last year.
BJ was in hospital & I got to go for a walk into town when Stuart came up to visit for a few hours. I nearly didn't get this one. I left the shop but turned back to get it after all. It is gorgeous. 50% alpaca. What's not to love right?
Definitely will be a little bit of luxury on my feet in autumn winter.
Can you believe it? I even tried a new pattern. Fish Scales & Fairy Tales Socks. (I think I picked them because I liked the name!) They are not my regular super duper mindless sock pattern. I did have to think about this one a bit more & ummm... actually have another pair of socks going at the same time which were my mindless knitting moments. I hadn't done that before with two pairs going at the same time but it is useful. Rainy days & movies where all the lights had to be out were definitely the mindless sock knitting time. That was Monday! And Sunday! And Saturday!
So this time a stretch knit for me. It's only a t-shirt actually. But I had to start simple. I also had some fabric that I got as a remnant from that spotty shop. Cost of around $2.50 which is good to ruin isn't it!
Last week I learnt a lot doing that jacket thing for BJ.
This week I learnt some more.
Don't use this poly-interlock knit fabric is the first & most important. It ladders. You would think it was a pair of stockings. Ladders without even sewing. The edges just ran.
No matter what I did I couldn't get a nice edge on it to neaten the raw edges. The practice pieces went well. Fortunately I could turn the first 2 sleeves into practice pieces too as there was just enough horrid stuff to make 2 more sleeves. Sleeves & hem are now not over edged. Isn't going to matter as I can't save it. The ladders in the hem were already going around the pressed edge. (it's ok remember! It's only $2.50! )
I hadn't done a neck bias edge before either. Looked good. I think I did a good job of that. But my head wouldn't fit through. I did unpick a bit & restitched it with a different stitch to give a little more but that didn't help & the stitches snapped on one attempt over my head. (2.50!)
When I finally had all pieces together badly I found I had almost got the sleeves the same length! Go me!
So it's a bit tight. I actually posted my pictures on a sewing inspiration group I am in on facebook. Well the brains trust there soon had me pointed in the right direction on what the issues were & tips on how to do different things. Turns out I wasn't imagining how awful the fabric was as it was a common problem with this stuff & one lady even returned all hers to that spotty shop for a refund because the ladders were terrible! And if I had wanted ladders I would have gone to Bunnings not Spotty!
Well here is my picture, taken by an 8 year old. From his perspective it's probably better. My chins are gone. I think the 8 year old was the most impressed with my attempt. That's pretty sweet.
So as a result I will try again, with it's matching pattern. Just because I have to. I can't let it win. I have some more remnants to use, or some super sale pieces to practice on. Like I say to the boys constantly, you won't get better if you don't practice something & you can't just give up when it is a bit hard. So I had better make a point of doing what I say occasionally!
Making : pillows. Cooking : food gifts Drinking : less water now it's cooler. That's bad. Reading: Book of Lost Threads - Tess Evans Trawling: pattern inspiration Deciding: what to make for a friends freezer. Wishing: I knew more stuff about stuff. Enjoying: having chickens. Waiting: for eggs still... Liking: challenging myself to try new things. Wondering: whether I can do this "sewalong" or not... Loving: school holidays! Pondering: what to do over the holidays. Listening: to audio books while I craft Buying: not much Watching: giving Mad Men a try. (no, not quite into it at the moment!) Needing: some extra enthusiasm when I have the time to use it for the right things. Wearing: my nice cozy hand knit slippers from last winter. Noticing: how crisp the days are getting. Disliking: snap fasteners on stretch fabric. Hearing: some rain at last. Celebrating: will be celebrating a little next month so invitations have been written & mailed or delivered. Yes! Written invitations! No facebook event for this one! :-) I'm going old style.
Yes, it's finished! Not well, but finished. I tried a lot of new things which was interesting. But really in the great scheme of all the sewing I have done, I have probably done it before but just never known it was a "thing with a name"! lol
So I learnt -
Twin top stitching but without a twin needle! ( I now have a twin needle to experiment with!).
Getting to know stretch fabrics.
Re-learning how to read dress making patterns.
Getting with the new pattern phase of PDF patterns!
Snap fasteners are rotten.
The front panel isn't even, but I can see what I should have done to get it all matchy matchy.
This was a project for a sew-along, so lots of people were making it at the same time & it's very encouraging.
I definitely should have done the sleeves in plain black.
The collar in the picture isn't sitting right.
I have an overedge stitch on my regular sewing machine that makes a nice edge not unlike an overlocker. It does a good job when someone is too scared to learn how to use an overlocker.
Snap fasteners come off & make holes in garment.
Well that is good & bad. But at least it wasn't some super expensive fabric. I had it ready to learn with so that worked out ok. I expect to make a lot more mistakes if I keep trying. But that's ok, I have picked up some good remnants from Spotty so it's not going to make me cry if I ruin anything. As I tell the boys, you have to keep trying so you learn & get better at something. Once isn't enough.
I had been putting off doing the tracing of this pattern. It's a jacket for BJ maybe, if it works. It's purely experimental at the moment. I am not used to sewing with knit fabric for one thing. Stretchy fabric has a mind of it's own.
I was pleased to get this far anyway. It looks right so far too. That's a good sign. I won't get any more done for a couple of days & do need to sit & concentrate. It's all a fun challenge though.
I had another crazy idea. You know how these things come to you at crazy times? Usually when you have so many other things that should be done first.
My brother & sister in law are here from New Zealand at the moment.
My niece got engaged a few months back.
After some chatting about things, my niece & her fiancee still love Marvel Comics.
So what better than a couple of pillows with Marvel characters all over them. I had to fussy cut to try to highlight different characters for one than the other. It's a pain when the pattern repeat is only small. Oh well, we got there & had two pillow covers done & ready. I have actually got them off the inserts as I think that they may pack better. We'll see how they go.
We've had a lovely rainy weekend. Some beaut rainbows & some awesome thunderstorms.
Lots of time in there then to finish knitting my rainbow socks. I love this wool, though it doesn't show as bright here as it really is. Teamed with the black for highlights I love it. Winter is coming & sock season with some new socks won't be far.
This crazy chicken lady is loving hanging out with her chickens. They dodged the rain today for some play time made themselves cozy in the dirt we filled in last weekend under the fence to keep them in. It's worked at least. My little buddy Snowy lets me pat her a bit now which is pretty cool.
BJ was asked to another birthday the other day. I shouldn't have got excited at the prospect should I? I was though.
Only because I wanted to make another cushion!
We went through the fabrics to see what we had that BJ would be happy enough with to give his friend. Fortunately this large print of Star Wars comic covers was a winner. I had actually purchased it recently with this child in mind. So that was lucky.
This time BJ wanted the name on it too. So I went to print it up this morning while trying to work out where I would place it.
A lightbulb moment!!!
Sometimes those moments are good & sometimes they are bad.
Fortunately for me, this wasn't such a bad one. I needed a Star Wars font. Google & Pinterest are my friends. The only thing I couldn't remember was how to actually get them into Word. Google my friend again!
As you can see I have squeezed the name into the top piece of the comic. It isn't obvious this time, not like the last Star Wars pillow. The child was turning 6. This child is turning 9. So lets have a little play. I am waiting now until after school to see if the boys pick the name out easily or not.
ETA - This pillow was a hit. They were fascinated to find his name on it. Kind of stopped them in their tracks I think! lol
Once again, I have "sucker" stamped on my head! Really had to twist my arm of course! NOT!
I started a while back at work on a few days when it was abysmally quiet. That didn't last long & I have got sick of carting it back & forth so I just got stuck in over the weekend.
It's an odd design with the pattern on the fabric but you don't have to stitch all of it. You can choose your own colours too. I had a bit of a play with a variegated one & a couple of others. It's not fantastic. There are some parts I would have done differently if I did it again. I guess that is often the way though with this sort of work.
Cooking : lots of food with zucchini. See some favourite recipes here that we have enjoyed. Making : stuff for the school fair Drinking : water Reading: Book Of Lost Threads - Tess Evans Trawling: sewing patterns Wanting: to get through more books that are on the shelf & have been for ages. Looking: at what I need to do next Deciding: what to do with zucchini next! Wishing: I had a fairy to come & cook tea Enjoying: listening to BJ learning new piano tunes. Waiting: for when DJ can have lessons. Liking: the cooler nights. Ahhh... sleep... Wondering: where February went! Loving: having the chickens in the orchard! Listening: to DJ sing crazy made up songs. Considering: what to make for next years fair. Buying: all sorts - piano books online this week. I'm excited about that! Watching: Our Girl season 1. For the third time Hoping: Season 2 of Our Girl is out soon. Needing: some garden magic. Anyone want to pull weeds out? Getting: winter boots. Can't wait to wear them! Bookmarking: sewing stores Feeling: clever that I made tomato sauce from our harvest.
Another party coming up in a week, but while I printed up the name for the other one I did this one. So, got stuck into it & sewed it up. Actually it took a little longer this time.
I wasn't happy with the zips I had put in. Or rather how I had put them in. I just couldn't get them pretty enough. Not for my liking anyway. So I did a search & came up with this tutorial which was exactly what I needed to refine my work. It worked a treat & made the whole bottom look so much better. Six year old's won't care either way, but it is still nice to learn something. Improve things, you know. So we have different front & back for this Star Wars cushion. Should be liked too I hope!
ETA - This was a hit. Apparently it will be something he treasures forever. awww... nice...
Just to add to the busy crazy time that has been this week, why not throw in a class dog!
Oh I was excited on Friday evening to find out that DJ had this weekend to take the class dog home & record it's exciting weekend with us! I guess it was nice that we had things to report about other than making a fence!
Daisy Dog had 2 birthday parties for our family members to attend.
& of course the fair. So yes, DJ had to carry her to school. The family all walked down. I went down at stupid early o'clock to help set up our craft stall though it was half done the day before.
Daisy & DJ at the craft stall in front of the slippers that Gran & Aunty Sheila knitted for the stall.
DJ & Daisy with the stand for the hamper prizes.
DJ & Daisy dressed in the costume that DJ got in his show bag.
It was a massive day. The fair was a huge success as usual. The boys had a great time. I was flat out on the craft stall. It was good fun really.
OK, a report on my stuff. Success or not?
Peg bag aprons - all gone!
Fabric cover notebook holders - all gone.
Souvenir tea-towel tote bags - just over half gone I think. Also hopefully networked a little to try to get hold of some more. hehehehe
Hanging hand towels - not many gone at all.
Framed inspirational pictures - all but one lonely one gone. The last one was never going to go once it was all that was left. But the target audience of the school kids was a success as mostly they went to kids. Good price & trendy product currently.
Fabric Baskets - Half went... happy with that.
So there you go. If you need some ideas for your own school, that may be a help!!!
Some time back I saw an advert for some printables. You know the sort? You see them in every home decor store these days. Foxes, deer, inspirational quotes - you name it. I got this set of prints online. They had a really good deal. Combine that with some frames from the op shops & bingo!!! You have some really cheap & effective cool pictures ready to sell!
Yes, the fair... sigh...
ETA - these all went, fast... the animals first. I had a few more than what are pictured & I have one lonely one left. Super impressed.
Somewhere in all the madness that is sewing stuff for the fair, I manage to pump out a little bit of knit, usually on an evening when I have an hour or so finally & I stop myself from sewing & I watch a show on iview or The Great British Sewing Bee. (there are some good English dramas on ABC at the moment).
Yet another pair of After Thought Heel socks & another colour way in the Cascade Heritage Paints yarn. One of my absolute favourite yarns for socks. Knits up beautifully!