Ready for lunch

The day after Thanksgiving, my family usually hits the mall.  I do not.  I enjoy the calm and the aloneness and do whatever I want that doesn’t involve cooking any more complicated than hitting a few microwave buttons.

Today I got to sew all day.  On Wednesday I finished adding the final sashing  strips to my king sized Growing Up Odd top.

Just checking the size

Today I pieced together a back for it.


Now I just need to get a king sized piece of batting and I will take it to school to pin baste.

Then I used this tutorial and some scraps of canvas I dug out of the fabric closet to make a lunch bag.  I think a dark color would be more practical, but this is what was on hand so I figured I could try it out and then decide if I wanted to make any changes.


The scrap canvas is actually leftover from the ironing surface I made a while back, as you can see in the picture above.

It turned out really cute, and just the right size.

I sewed it pretty much as the tutorial directed, except I cut the notches for the bottom corners a little bigger to give it more width, and I sewed my own straps.  I also improvised strings by braiding some cotton yarn.

I tested it out and it fits everything I need it to, including the Pyrex container I use when I take soup.  Come Monday, I am prepared.



It may be time to say goodbye

I started quilting about five years ago. When we moved to Oregon, the recession recovery hadn’t gotten very far and most of the schools around us were going without librarians.  No job openings meant a lot of time on my hands.  The first year, I knit six blankets, and volunteered at my sons’ school, and got a little bored.

Then I was at a Goodwill and I found this bright pink sheet covered with cartoon fairies.  My niece was very into making little fairy houses in the garden and collecting little sculptures, so I bought it and pondered it and decided to make her a little quilt.  And a new hobby was born.

But really, this wasn’t the start of my quilting, but more of a restart.  Back in my 20s, I did a few quilts, mostly strip pieced quilts following the “Quilt in a Day” patterns.  I know I made an Irish chain one among others.

And then I made my mom and dad matching throw sized quilts to go with their matching couches.  The couches are long gone, and the house they went in, and one of the quilts disappeared, but one of them has hung on until now.

However, I think it may be time to finally let go:


This quilt has gone from covering my dad during naps to being our TV room picnic quilt, to its current role folded up and covering the dog’s bed.  It has been camping and to parks and the roof in kid forts.

It has had a good long life and been faithful and hardworking, but the end is near.  Overdue might be more accurate.


Can it still be called a quilt when the batting is gone?  As well as most of the original color?  All of those pinks used to be burgundy.


I feel a bit bad about how much abuse this little collection of squares has suffered, but boy, it certainly had a full life.

How do I dispose of it?  I sort of feel like it needs some ceremony.   Maybe my son can learn taps on his clarinet? I’m pretty sure I’ll get some resistance if I try to gather all the family for a formal goodbye. . .



Yarn dithering

The newest shawlette, not yet blocked

I can’t settle on a new knitting project.  A finish of a complex multi-chart lace shawlette led to a binge knit of three identical cowls that are destined to be Chrismukkah presents.  They were about as simple as a knit can be – stockinette tubes.  The excitement was in the yarn.  A fluffy mohair silk strand held together with a linen cashmere.  It made for an almost weightless piece of cloth.


The unblocked presents-to-be

Since then I’ve been scouring my Ravelry favorites, trying to match yarn and patterns without success.  The two just aren’t meeting up.  I’m not sure what I really want to make.  Nothing too complicated, but not just another cowl or scarf.  It needs to be something I can knit while watching TV.  It needs to be from stash yarn.  I’m leaning towards thin rather than thick yarn.  The yardage isn’t right, or the pattern is too expensive, or the color doesn’t work.  I’m stalled.

I even started a scarf tonight, but ended up unraveling it all.  The yarn combo I came up with just didn’t work.  I will have to keep trying.


The failed scarf yarn choice heading back to the bins

In digging around I did come across a handspun silk scarf in progress that I last remember knitting on six years and two house moves ago.  It was really buried!  I will add a few inches to it while I ponder my next start.



Fine lines

I’ve been wanting to try a tutorial I found at Art with a Needle for a while, and this weekend, with the family gone for long stretches and the mornings cold and foggy, I’ve had a free period of time to experiment.

I didn’t have a plan in mind when I started – just wanted to get the technique down.  But now I am enjoying what is emerging from the cloth.  I think it looks like a map, with a small town growing in the center and less developed sections on the outskirts.  Each line I add is another road going in.  Sort of what is actually happening in the area I live, with the farms and fields rapidly being replaced by housing developments.

The blue isn’t very map like though.  I may try again with more earth tones and then embroider in details: buildings and trees and landmarks.

The tutorial has each slice going across the whole length of the fabric, but I cut the pieces into pieces and added in extra short lines throughout as you can see in the pics below.

It shrank as the lines were sliced and diced, so I added in more fabric at the bottom and right side.

I think I’m finished.  It is all in one piece again anyway.  I would like to have a few more lines in the busier section, but there isn’t really space for complete width slices, and anything else would entail far too much seam ripping.  Maybe I can make a very detailed modular section next time to get the spacing right for an embellished map.


There are some puckers and other random weirdness, but for a first try, I’m happy.

It will be a decent size wall hanging when it is quilted.  White lines on the white lines?  Or blue lines crossing over all?

The process sure makes for a thread filled back.