Sunday, April 23, 2017

slow mo socks

So I took a bit of a social media break for Lent. I am not Catholic but I do like to try and do Lent. I find I learn something valuable each time I do.  This year was no different. I learned a lot about my motivations. I found that I didn't really miss facebook except for friends and family who actually post things about their real lives. I did not miss at all, even a bit, the memes and videos and junk that clog up my feed.  That bit I could do completely without.  Which is why Instagram was so hard to give up for me. But even Instagram has a bit of a disconnect sometimes in the personal-ness that I crave.  When it comes down to it, nothing is a substitute for real life relationships! The thing is, in my real life I am pretty limited when it comes to crafty folk that I click with so I try to piece together podcasts, instagram, facebook, ravelry to make up for it.  I think that's pretty common really.

Anyways! Just a little explanation of where I've been for awhile.  I did get some knitting done.  Not as much as I thought I would really.  I started this pair of socks on Christmas Eve to join along with Dani (Little Bobbins) Christmas Eve Cast On.  I decided to try out a new heel on this pair, a pattern by Nathan Taylor called Sockmatician's Toe Ups which you can find on Ravelry. I've also linked the pattern.  

I just have to say that I did not at all get what I was doing in this pattern!!!  I really only followed the heel part of the pattern so that's all I can speak to.  This was my first sort of traditional heel flap gusset type heel and it did not make any sense to me!  I think if I had done one previously it would make more sense because now that I have done these it makes sense.  The first sock luckily I put in a life line, I ripped that heel back probably 3 times. 

At some point it finally clicked for me what I should be doing.  I did knit these concurrently to try out that method, not sure that is really my bag.  I don't get second sock syndrome, in fact, I think the finishing of the first one is so exciting it spurs me to finish the second quicker.  But, I am very, very happy with the outcome on these.  They fit so well!  I will definitely try the heel again, they fit so well and look great.

This next project I actually started while I was at the coast for Scott's 4th Angelversary.  I find it comforting to be on the beach on that day.  It's just a hard day no matter what but going to the beach that we loved makes it easier.  Listening to the ocean is healing.

I had Rocky with me again this year, by now he's familiar with the routine.  He pretty much napped the whole day while I looked for agates, journaled and knit.  I bought this yarn last year at the little shop in Crescent City. It reminds me of the redwood trees all along Highway 101 in Northern California.  I'm calling this shawl my Humboldt 101 Shawl.  The pattern is Whispering Pines by Molly of A Homespun House, I've linked the pattern.  It's been really nice to work on something with a bit bigger needles that is growing pretty quickly.  After the slow mo socks it's perfect!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Georgie girl

This little turkey cat just has to be in the middle of everything!  So this my sweet kitty girl George.  Last weekend I had cut out 6 project bags and was sewing them production line style and she was putting a kink in the works at every turn!  Here you can see her laying right on top of my fabric.

As if that were not intrusive enough, as I was sewing she would put her little face through my sewing machine!  Inspector George!  I would gently push her back which I assume she interpreted as affection because then she really came through the machine seeking attention :) Silly girl

So today is much of the same except today she keeps getting into my chair when I get up to iron something!  Gotta love her πŸ’—πŸ’—

Sunday, January 29, 2017

sewing update

Okay, fair warning: there are lots of photos in this post! Sorry about it.  I've taken too long of a break and now need a bit of a catch up.  

First, a word about the break. I discovered that my blog was being spammed, which did no harm really.  But it did discourage me.  I thought real people were reading my blog but it was just computer spam and grody porn links.  I guess seeing the number of "readers" go up made me feel like I was connecting with other crafty people. When I found out that wasn't the case it made me feel sour to blogging.

But! I'm not going to let it keep me down.  I know my Mom sometimes reads and maybe a handful of real I'm going to get back to it.

So even though I haven't been blogging I have been very busy crafting!  Yes, yes.  I am not going to share every little thing but here are some favorites.  I have a knitty friend in my bible study who I noticed did not have a proper project bag.  I sewed one up, realized it was too small, and made another bigger. I kept the smaller one as it is perfect for socks!  
Mom: if you can tell in this picture below - the bottom bit of this bag is the fabric I was telling you about.  You can click directly on the picture to make it bigger. It's like a thicker cotton and natural.  I really love the contrast.

I have a window box above my sink in the kitchen that George likes to jump up into.  I made a little kitty mat for her to make it a bit more cozy.  I used some of my very favorite hoarded fabrics. Grin 😊There's little piggies and all fun whimsy.

And there she is in the window box, Miss George herself.

This is my latest zipper pouch make.  The natural/off white is cotton duck so it's really sturdy and nice. Then I just did a strip of a favorite print and crochet cotton trim.  This has gone into my storage box to sell at a later date.

This next project was one of those ones you don't really see coming. But it had to be made!  After I took down all the Christmas decorations the house was a bit bare (not really). Right now is like limbo time for holiday decorating.  There is still snow on the ground so Spring doesn't feel right yet but I'm over Winter..... So!  I'm just putting up colorful stuff that makes me happy.  

Last year I made a similar pattern for a pillow and really love it.  I figured out some larger measurements and voila!

Here it is up on the mantel.  Sorry the lighting is pretty much crap as the sun has gone down.  I know it's hard to see but the main fabric is the most delicate pink and I bound the quilt with black and white stripes. Oh yeah, you can see the pillow on the chair on the right that inspired this quilt.  I have to say it's super easy but the effect is striking (to me).

Welp, I think that's pretty much it for now. Next time I think I'll share more knitted items because I have been up to that as well.  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

giving rusty chairs new life

I've started a project that is kind of exciting and out of my regular wheelhouse. Kind of.  It involves rusty chairs and spray paint.

It all started really by buying this house.  That has a dining room.  And space. And I have friends. That I like. That may want to come over sometime.  It's kind of around that time when you invite peeps over that you realize you need chairs for said peeps to sit on.  While I do have a good amount of chairs (6), what if friends bring friends?  What then?!  You need more chairs, temporary chairs.

So, I found some old rusty fold up chairs that are actually really sturdy.  I thought maybe I can give them new life?  Pretty paint, perhaps.  Yes!
Here we are at the beginning after a bath, drying in the sun that lasted a couple hours this morning.  One is very, very rusty and the other is on it's way to very, very rusty.
I sprayed the chairs with a rust primer by Rustoleum.  One can covered both chairs!  They already look so much better!
After the primer dried I sprayed two coats of color.  I picked two really bright, fun colors that I like.  That way if I find more grody chairs I can just pick a bright color and they will match without having to be exactly the same.  Now I'm waiting for the paint to dry and catching up on podcasts.  I figured I'd cover the top with the most paint then flip them and spray the bottom a bit.
Here are the dry chairs:
So, now that I have them inside the house with good lighting I can tell that I missed spots on the pink chair.  Does it bother me enough to buy another can of spray paint??? Not sure yet. I also need to find rubber feet for the ends of the chair legs as a few legs are missing them.  But!  Don't these look better than the rusty grody chairs at the beginning?  I would actually feel comfortable sitting on one of these, which was the point.

What I learned: 
* When the can says don't spray on a windy day, it means it.
* Good lighting is key to full coverage
* pick colors that are fun!
* Patience, patience, patience. Waiting for the paint to dry is key before touching!
* Don't give up on grody rusty chairs, paint can do wonders

Thursday, October 27, 2016

all the sparkle

Good morning! I'm just popping on here this morning to say hello and share my sock progress.  It's a rainy morning so light is not great....but you can see all the SPARKLE! This yarn is so fun, each color is super vibrant and the glitter thread in it stands out so well!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

lots of little things, a catch up

I didn't mean to take a long break from blogging, but it sort of happened.  I've noticed that when I have a lot on my mind that it's hard for me to keep it light here on the blog. So what I thought I'd do to kind of ease back into the routine is show a few pictures from the last week.

Last weekend I drove down and visited my Mom for the weekend.  Every year about this time I really love to go to a pumpkin patch.  I love to go with my Mom because she is not daunted one bit by my excitement, she mostly eggs me on! ha!  There's a fruit stand outside Red Bluff that does a pumpkin patch and then sets them out for you to pick from.  There is one in Chico that people were raving about last year but it was a huge disappointment so we went back to the tried and true fruit stand that we love.  
I got a bunch of tiny fun pumpkins that I took to the office to share and then kept these large ones for my house.  Mom had given me this step-stool, and as I was taking it out of the car to put in the house I thought the pumpkins would look fun on it! 

I took my little mouse along to show Mom and also finish knitting up the dress.  Mom decided her name is Hortence!  ha!  Here she is amongst some Fall decorations in my house.  Isn't she cute?

Awhile ago I planted some Red Hot Poker plants, but since it was the end of the season I fully did not expect any blooms.  I was walking through the back yard yesterday and what did I find?  A little bloom!!!!  Oh how my heart leapt. Just love this. 

Oh man, this cross stitch frame is a long time coming!  Oy vey.  You may not remember that I have been working on the Storytime Sampler by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, because it's been a million years since I've worked on it.  Yikes.  The thing is, I was hoping that Harry Potter would be one of the frames.  I was waiting each month, hoping he would be the next story.  Since I've been so slow at stitching this I've been able to see the work others have done on Instagram.  I had made up my mind to just stitch the pattern the way it was written, just go with it.  But, I kept thinking of Harry.  There was one lady who replaced another frame with Harry and I thought, I should do that.  But, then I felt conflicted about copying her.  I started the September frame which was Black Beauty.  Then was distracted a couple months.  When I picked it up again I realized that the train already in that pattern could be the Hogwarts train!  As I started to think more about it, I realized I could pick parts from other patterns and frames and mix them together to make Harry.  I used one of the empty frames in the pattern and played around with colored pencils until I came up with this:

It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it because it represents one of my most favorite book series.  I'm glad that I deviated from the pattern :)

This next picture is a two-fold project picture.  Since I finished Hortence the mouse I allowed myself to cast on some socks!  Yes!  I don't even know why I am so strict with myself project-wise because I've been longing to knit socks for weeks.  So, I took yarn with me to Mom's house and the second I finished the dress for Hortence I cast on these socks.  I wanted to add a little texture and luckily remembered the Hermione's Everyday Sock pattern stitch so that's what I've been working on knitwise.  I bought this fabric at the quilt fabric store in Chico and this morning made it into a needle cozy.  I had been wanting to make one using these poppers as closures.  I also added a bit of batting and quilted straight lines.  Sorry it's sideways, not sure how to fix that.  I just love this fabric, it will be fun to use it every day on with these socks.

In other news, I think I may be out of the non reading brain fog caused by grief.  Before my husband passed 3.5 years ago I was a bookworm.  After, I could still read but my attention span and retention was just not there.  It's slowly been coming back, thankfully!  I read an entire book in one night last Friday at Mom's house!  Crazy.  I had been wanting to see the movie The Girl on the Train and Mom gave me the book to read before seeing the movie.  I read the whole thing, that night.  It's funny, now that I've read it I'm not sure I want to see the movie - ha!  

Sorry this was so long to catch up, and such a long post.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

off to a good start

I have a couple of finishes to share with you this week.  Lately, I've been in a stitching mood, like cross stitch.  Mostly because I want the finished product, ha!  I really love the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery patterns and follow them on Instagram.  Right now one of their new patterns is Trick or Treat Costume Club.  I dig it, but know for myself I need a quicker project.  I saw that there was a smaller pattern similar to the bigger one in the Halloween special issue of Just CrossStitch magazine.    
It turned out so cute!!!  I was going to just clip it on this little pedestal I have on my entryway table.  But, then I remembered seeing some people make little cushions with little patterns.  I did add rick rack around the edges and a ribbon loop.  So, the magazine pattern had a light grey fabric but I could not find any grey cross stitch fabric locally and was too impatient to order any! ha! Due to using black I had to rethink the black bits in the pattern.  So the girl's costume I did a light grey and then the bats I decided lime would be fun.

 So this next project I finished yesterday.  It's funny, while I was knitting socks I was trying to hurry up and finish so I could start a little animal.  The last week I've been hurrying to finish this little mouse so I can start socks! ha
I've made this pattern before basically.  It's the Mrs. Bakery Bear pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast.  In the previous incarnation I altered the bear pattern to a kitten.  I thought I'd be making another kitten when I started this pattern.

I think I've said before that I feel like a pattern "speaks" to me while I'm making it.  I know that makes me sound crazy.  But, while I'm knitting, crocheting or sewing a doll or animal I start to think of it's story.  Which then influences how the stuffie is made.  This one did not really have a story, which is why it took me until I had finished all the pieces except the nose and ears.  She also does not have a name yet which is also unusual for me.

I'm really pleased with her nose.  I followed the pattern for the bear and thought I'd see if I could make it pointy like a snout.  I did a couple extra decrease rows and that worked!  Then, I stitched the light pink across the point several times to fill it in and then went round to shape it.  The little smile is really what made her personable!  

And the ears.  How sweet are they?  The modification I made on these were stitching them in stockinette instead of garter.  I knew I was going to line them so I wanted the outer part of the ear to be more like the rest of the body, which is stockinette.  I thought about lining them with felt but then changed my tune to fabric.  This has the tiniest rosettes.  I sewed some half circles into the middle of the ear and then pulled the edges towards the center to kind of gather the ear, then sewed them to the head.  I think it worked well.  I'll update once I get the dress finished.

So, I know it's Fall but today really feels like Winter already!  We've had rain, hail and currently it is 40 degrees out!  Brrrrrrr.  I did catch this rainbow in my back yard!  It was a full rainbow but since I was pretty close could only get a portion.  So pretty!