Mending

There is still very little crafting going on around here, as I continue to spend most of my time on my new job, or recovering from my new job, or cocooned on the couch watching inane television programs so I don’t have to think about my new job. No energy left for sewing or spinning or picking up stitches so my sweater will have sleeves.

However, I did manage to do some darning on my felted slippers.

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I’ve knit the Fuzzy Feet slipper pattern a multitude of times. My go-to yarn for this is Lamb’s Pride worsted, a combination of wool and mohair which usually felts beautifully and wears like iron. Something went awry in the machine felting this time, and the felting density was uneven. Throwing them back in the machine stopped having any effect – it was apparently as felted as they were going to get.

Since I wear these slippers without paying much attention to what is good for them, the bottoms tend to wear out first. Usually this takes a year or so, because they’re so tough, so even wearing them outside on the cement walkways doesn’t do much for quite a while. But these slippers just haven’t lasted the way they usually do.

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As I’m not spending much time knitting, I didn’t want to have to make another pair already, so I darned the bottoms instead where the yarn was starting to wear thin.

And I finally got to use the sock egg thingie I picked up a while back!

Horizontal stitches first, then weaving back and forth vertically and the worn spots of both feet have an extra layer built up again.

As you can see, I didn’t make any attempt to hide the fact that these are darned. If I was worried about a sophisticated slipper appearance, I probably wouldn’t be wearing these fuzzy feet slippers at all.  My criteria for slippers is all about warmth, nothing about appearance.

I really need to get on those sweater sleeves now. . .

Time?

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It may be time to get a new basic cookbook.

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My  parents gave me this cookbook when I went away to college. So, more years ago than I care to recall correctly. Lately, my sons have been using it to make cookies. Which may explain its current state, although I’m sure some of those stains are from me.  I at least kept the pages in order though!

Betty, thanks for all the help over the years.

Other things I’m calling time on include the Papa sweater that I’ve attempted three times.
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All of those pictures are the same yarn.  It fascinates me how it can look so many colors in different lights.

But in all of those pics, the yarn, no matter its color, is in the shape of an ill fitting mess.  Just not the pattern for me or this yarn.  So many increases in such a short space left weird puckers that looked even stranger on.

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So attempt #3 is now back to its primordial yarn form.

3D061B3B-C1D8-4952-9AFE-9E8E35F0F67DI’m consoling myself with my at-last-blocked purple sweater.

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Woodfords turned out to be a light, comfy everyday cardigan that I will wear a lot.  The yarn, Silky Wool, stretched in length quite a bit in the blocking, and I still wish I’d used a size down in the needle for a denser fabric, but the sweater is still great, and all those many, many ends are finally sewn in, both from the pattern and the knots in a couple of the skeins.

Now back to shifting through Ravelry for the next project.

Winter celebrations

The first day of Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice coincide this year, which means it was dark enough to light the candle very early this evening.

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My husband went all out on the latke making.

Meanwhile, my oldest son made his annual pretzel treats, this time with a new “recipe.”  (I’m not sure melting chocolate caramels and pretzels really counts as a recipe, but it’s tasty!)

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There were also mutant pink snowman that he made with the help of a silicone mold. I’m not sure anyone is going to be brave enough to eat them.

The kitchen may never recover, but we’re going to eat well for the next couple of days.

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Happy Hanukkah!  And bring on the longer days!

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Ewe and I

I spent the day yesterday at a wonderful new-to-me yarn shop in Chehalis with my fiber friends – Ewe and I.

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It is both yarn shop and cafe, so we used it as our landing spot and drank many cups of tea while we split off in small groups to check out other nearby businesses.

I highly recommend the Sisters quilting store as well.  Maybe wear sunglasses – the fabric is bright!

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So much Kaffe Fassett.  The choices were mind boggling.

Lunch back at the yarn store was as lovely as the fiber choices.

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Definitely a town to return to.  It is already on the calendar.

Pointy elbows

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For some reason my husband has lately been drilling holes in the elbow of his dress shirts. Only on the right sleeve. He must be in the habit of leaning on that arm on his desk. So today I’m cutting up shirts because I can’t bear to waste all that cotton.

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It appears to be addicting because I’ve also got into my closet and found some shirts that I don’t wear anymore because of stains I couldn’t get out and started in on them as well. I really am going to have to start sewing again one of these days and actually use this fabric.

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Power tools

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Lately my crafting has involved saws rather than sewing machines.

We’ve spent the last month having our yards, front and back, totally redone.  New patios and paths, and a multitude of new plantings.  It was all finished just in time for it to be too cold and wet to really be useable.

For most of it we threw money at people to do the work.  But I wanted to put some effort in, beyond the plant buying, so we are making the various privacy screens ourselves.  (Not the posts, though.  That was another task we farmed out to the people with muscles and stamina and post hole diggers.)

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The people at Lowe’s got us started with the cedar fence boards, cutting the 5 1/2” boards into 2” and 3 1/2” boards.

We then stained them what was supposed to be a neutral sort of pale brown but turned out to be very orange.  I also didn’t think there was enough difference in size between the two boards.  So, back to Lowe’s for more boards, colorless stain, and a second attempt.  This time I ripped the boards myself, using uncut 5 1/2” boards and making ~1 3/4” boards.

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This is the new privacy screen around our window in the back.  Too pale?  I didn’t find the right brown yet I guess, but at least it isn’t orange.   It still needs trim on the edges and the post tops cut off, but I’m happy with it.  There is a star jasmine and a climbing rose which will be trained up it on both sides to make it even more private.

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The second one we finished today, except again for the post cutting.  I figured the orange boards didn’t matter as much in the front where I won’t be sitting in a patio chair staring at them, so we used those we’d already stained for the screen around the garbage cans.

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My son “helping” during the photo shoot, in between holding boards for me to screw into the posts and sweeping up sawdust.

We have an 8’ wide screen to build on the property line so our neighbor won’t have to stare at our trailer, the screens where the hot tub will eventually go, and a small screen blocking the view of our air conditioner still to go, but we’ve worked out the kinks in the method, so they should go quickly if the weather holds out this week.