The nine patch sewing continues, assembly line style.
The nine patch sewing continues, assembly line style.
A very quick sewing project during a spare moment. I’ve been wanting some cloth napkins, so I found a couple of blue fabrics and sewed four two-sided napkins.
It is a quilting cotton, so not the heaviest, but doubling it up gives it a nice weight. They were cut at 18″ square, which let me get four squares from each yard of fabric with a bit left over.
It was about the quickest project possible. Just a matter of sewing around the edges, turning them right side out, and then top stitching to keep the hems flat and close the hole.
I’ve already picked out some more fabrics to make more.
Update – 3/29 – Here is the next batch, folded to show the two fabric choices.
I distinctly remember the first time I watched high definition television at home. My husband, as a reward for a new job, got a horrifically large (to me) TV and signed up for an HDTV cable package. Nothing about seeing news anchors’ pores that clearly seemed worth the money to me, and I don’t watch televised sports that aren’t the Olympics, so that didn’t do it either.
And then Planet Earth from the BBC came on. And I never looked back or complained about ridiculously large electronics again.
It was so beautiful, so big and clear. I watched every episode and related show repeatedly. Then Blue Planet came along. I’ve watched it almost every year since. Giant screens and HD and BBC nature shows were meant to be together.
This week, at long last, Blue Planet 2 finally started broadcasting on BBC America. I missed it on Saturday – because apparently I should spend time with my family on the weekends instead of the TV because I love them – but the wonders of on-demand cable meant I could watch the first episode on Tuesday.
And then I watched it again with on Wednesday with my kids.
This is not knitting television. I could not work on even the simple garter lace shawl I normally would have had in my hands because I didn’t want to miss a minute of the visuals.
I actually twice rewound the section with a turquoise wave in slow motion, just to see it again because it was so beautiful. And that was before the surfing dolphins showed up. I want to BE a surfing dolphin.
I do not want to be this bird. Be warned, things are not going to go well for this bird.
Who knew that fish could be so clever?
And then there is this fish, with a life cycle far out of the ordinary, and a face I’m not sure even a mother could love.
I can’t wait for the next episode, knit-blocking as it may be. I may have to watch the first episode again to tide me over until episode 2 is available. The kids can find their own dinners, right? I need to find out the fate of the mama walrus!
I’m trying hard to complete long languishing projects to clear out some space in my craft storage.
I had two lengths of flannel, bought on sale for something minimal like $2 a yard, that I prewashed and folded away and forgot about. Time for lounging pants!
These are about the world’s simplest sewing project. I spread out a pair of knit pants I wear to the gym and cut around one leg, adding in a half inch seam allowance and a little extra fabric because the flannel doesn’t have the stretch of the knit pants. I cut the front down a little lower as fronts don’t need as much fabric as backsides.
Then it is just a matter of sewing up the legs, attaching them to each other, and adding an elastic waist band.
I do my waist elastic a little differently than most patterns would call for. It drives me crazy when elastic twists or rolls or folds, and it always seems to. So I sew the elastic band together in my waist size, stretch it out and pin it around the flannel waist and sew the elastic down in a rollercoaster of curves to keep it in place. Then I fold under the raw edge at the top of the pants a quarter inch and fold the whole thing over and top stitch the edge down. The extra elastic stitching is hidden inside the pants – it is a little messy but hey, these are $5 homemade pants to sit on the couch in. No one is going to be judging my inside waist band. And the elastic doesn’t roll!
I’m not going to hem them until they’ve been washed a couple times, in case they shrink a bit more. If my new gym membership pays off, I may add a drawstring later as well. All in all, each pair took about 20 minutes to sew, and the fabric is gone from the stash, so I’m pleased. Plus they are comfy!
My rug knitting project is also progressing rapidly. Ten big skeins almost gone from the stash! I have about ten inches to go, which won’t take long on these size 15 needles. The steek where the tube will be cut open is really obvious now. And the true joy of steeks is that the color changes happen there, so no ends have to be sewn in.
I’m wondering now why I didn’t put a checkerboard on the ends as well. Though I suppose most of it will be cut away anyway.
It really is using up this yarn. Here’s all that was left of one color at the end of the last color change.
For a long while now I’ve been covering a Matchless spinning wheel from the Schacht company. I’ve spun on a lot of wheels, trying them out, and I really liked the smoothness of the Matchless, as well as its modern look.
The above pic is from the Schracht company website.
The thing is, I couldn’t really justify the expense. My Kromski Sonata wheel is a perfectly good wheel, and has always spun anything I’ve asked of it, plus it folds into a backpack, making it portable in a slightly awkward and heavy way.
But I kept looking at it, and asking questions, and kept my eye out on the Ravelry forums, and a couple weeks ago a used one came up for sale and I succumbed.
A week of obsessive UPS tracking and I came home from running errands to find it on the front porch!
The seller had taken off the treadles to fit it in its original box, so my son helped me with the few assembly steps needed. There were a few false starts where we had to take off screws we’d just put in place until we got it right, and one truly brainless moment where we tried and tried to figure out where the extra black piece went until we realized it was the bottom of the screwdriver (yeah, I may not have a lot of mechanical aptitude).
The lazy kate went together much quicker.
But soon enough it was ready to spin!
Low light shots of both sides. It is maple with a few walnut touches.
And the first single on its bobbin:
This is my first double drive experience, and there will be a bit of a learning curve as I figure out how to make adjustments in tension. It was a big leap forward when I figured out I had the bobbin on backwards which was preventing any take up of the spun fiber onto the bobbin (sheepish head shake).
But I’m very happy with its performance, if not necessarily mine. It treadles smoothly and quietly, and came with four whorls for as wide a range of ratios as I will ever need. There was also one high speed bobbin in the box for spinning really fine lace weight, and I have the option to buy a bulky flier for extra thick yarn if I want to make that someday. It also converts to scotch tension for stronger take up for long draw spinning.
I’m going to hang on to the Sonata for a while for travel, but my long term plan is to replace it with a smaller Ashford Joy which also folds up, and then I should be set for a lifetime of happy spinning.
I go through stages where I binge on books, to the point of neglecting a lot of the rest of my life. As an adult, it tends to happen in times of stress. Craft binging doesn’t have the same stress reduction effect – I can still think and sew or knit. Reading is pure escape.
The last month or so has seen a lot of reading. I’m not quite sure what the true stressor is – there seems to be a constant low level. Trying to juggle work and home is part of it, and the election sure isn’t helping. But it means that the WIPs have been gathering some dust.
A small amount has been accomplished. I made a couple of trips to my sister’s classroom to use all the tiled floor space to pin three finished quilt tops.
I added some more rows to my Volt wrap. One and a half colors to go – so 24,495 more stitches.
And I filled a bobbin and a half with more of the red fiber I’ve been working on sporadically.
There was also a yarn sale at Little Knits that resulted in a bit of stash enhancement in the sock yarn category.
That is pretty much it on the crafting side of life. No finishes, just some baby steps further down the road.
One more picture to share – the kids went back and forth on whether they were too old to go trick-or-treating but the real outcome was never in any doubt. The lure of the sugar was too strong.
In case there was any question, yes, I am definitely the kind of mom who steals candy to eat from her sleeping children. No Snickers or peanut butter cup is safe from me. They suspect, but have no proof. 😏
Our Easter is fairly low key. We generally put more emphasis on Passover – our Easter celebration is about the egg hunt.
Saturday we dyed eggs. There was only one fatality, and nothing permanently dyed that we didn’t intend.
Our eggs aren’t fancy – basic dye tablets and dunking. The boys don’t have the attention span or artistic interest in fancier decoration options. But we all like bright!
And the extra dye didn’t go to waste. I used it to color some more of the gray merino/alpaca that I have so much of. (I’m currently on bobbin three of the bag I over-dyed red earlier.) The blue/purple dyes broke, but I always like that effect.
I’m envisioning fair isle mittens or hat, mostly gray but with color bands. More spinning to do.
In the afternoon the sunshine departed and the hail arrived. I left the sugar bingeing boys to their dad and Harry Potter movies and went to work on the purple floral quilt. I’d already stitched along the edges of all the navy lines. The big squares are too large to leave unquilted. I tried some big free motion flowers in the middle – big fail. The were off kilter and amateur looking. I picked all that out and went with my usual loops. I will practice the flowers for another day.
I’m always torn with the quilt backs with which color thread to use when they are pieced together with very different fabrics. Although it looks white in the pics above, that part of the quilt is soft yellow. The rest is a yellow green and two different purples. So what color should go in the bobbin? I went with a purple, since that was the largest expanse, and it didn’t peek through with the navy thread on the front, but it shows up more than I like on the back. I like my thread more unobtrusive. On the front I’m changing thread colors depending on the fabric, but that wouldn’t work with the back given where the fabric changes fall.
I was only two and a half squares away from finishing when I ran out of the purple thread. So close! I ran to the store but it was closed for the holiday, so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.