Friday, July 18, 2014

Waiting Is Hard!

My computer is completely dead - the motherboard is fried. My brother is giving me his old one when he's finished transferring his stuff to his laptop, but I will still have to get my things moved to it, so I don't know when I will have a working machine again. Boo. Since I'm not spending my time online I've been getting lots of stuff done. My spinning wheel has been getting lots of action and the yarn I spun is really good - the best I've done. I spent a few days dyeing some fiber and it turned out really cool. I've been knitting more for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup than I have in a really long time. Before the computer crash I had loaded my ipod with lots of podcasts, some of them new to me. I'm glad I did, too. One of them will be deleted - halfway through the first episode I listened to they got too annoying and, really, if you work with yarn at all you should know what "ombre" is and that it's different than "hombre" and "umber". Most of them are great, though, and when I get back on ITunes I'll have loads of new episodes to listen to. Sorry no pictures again. Hopefully soon I'll be able to show all of the things I've been making. Until then, have a great weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Technical Difficulties!

My computer is having some issues right now- it won't turn on. Once I figure out how to fix it or post pictures from my iPod I have some finished projects to share. Until then, well, it will only be text from Khloe's tablet. Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summertime Knits

The weather is finally warming up here. I actually got to spend some time starting my tan. Two of my latest knitting projects are perfect for summer. The first is a shawl called Japanese Garden Shawl. It was designed by Wendy Johnson and was a fundraiser for aid to Japan when it was devastated by the hurricane and tsunami a few years ago. It was gifted to me and sat in my queue, waiting for the right yarn. I was surprised to find that the right yarn was some bamboo that I'd spun at nearly the time that the pattern came out.

The yarn is a bit thick in some spots and too thin in others - bamboo is tough to spin - but I'm really pleased with the finished shawl. The bamboo is light and cool to the touch and the lace pattern is beautiful and simple at the same time. The other project has been waiting to be made for years. The pattern, Montego Bay, was in Interweave Knits and I loved it. I bought the yarn, Sea Silk, for the pattern - the first time I've bought the specified yarn. Well, it sat until a couple of weeks ago. I decided that I must now have my scarf. It was a super fast knit and looks so cool. >br/ >

The yarn is made from a blend of silk and seaweed. It's so soft and smooth and shines like you wouldn't believe. I've worn it around town and it's light and airy and makes me feel glamorous. I'll be making a few more of these - I have another skein of this yarn in a black/brown colorway and a couple of other yarns that will look great. Lately I've been watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix. I really enjoyed one called Ultrasuede about the designer Halston. I love the clothes in it, especially the early ones. I've been browsing etsy and ebay for patterns but they're kind of expensive. It made a little sad though. When I was little my aunt Carolyn used to wear Halston perfume. I loved her so much - she was beautiful and glamorous and made me feel special. I've missed her over the years - she and my uncle divorced so I didn't know how to get in touch with her. I hope she's well. Okay, that's all for now. Maybe soon I'll have a sewing project to share - if the darn hem doesn't kill me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Latest Projects

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted anything. Sorry about that! My allergies and a black mood have been kicking my butt - not to mention track meets for my girl and lifting weights with my boy. I realized that I hadn't shared my finished beaded stole with you! It was started in January and went on hold for a bit in February when the crochet hook went through my finger (my finger still hurts, too, because the hook grazed my knuckle) but I finished it on time to get my Astronomy OWL for the House Cup. As I was knitting I realized that the pink yarn wasn't working for me so I overdyed it and it's perfect now. What do you think?

It's only slightly lighter in real life. I've worn it several times because I'm so happy with it. I've been making bracelets, too. I love bracelets - they're probably my favorite jewelry. Sadly I never got any friendship bracelets - they started being popular when I got out of that age group. Here's what I've done so far:
This one is fairly easy. I got the idea from Pinterest - a zipper edged with lace. I added a thin row of glitter because I like glitter (and have lots of it in the craft stash). It's fastened with a lobster claw clasp that hooks onto the zipper pull.
The bottom one is also easy - a zipper with the tape cut off. It's the same clasp as the above one. Both of these still zip, too, so a smaller wrist could unzip it a bit to make it fit. The top one is some of my favorite buttons - gorgeous shells that are pretty weighty and beautiful. The full bracelet looks like this:
It was pretty simple to thread some thin cotton through the holes. I got the idea from a blog but didn't add anything else because I wanted to show the buttons. I couldn't capture the colors, though - pink, violet, gray, white shimmering together. You can imagine, though, if you've seen abalone shells. They're very similar. I experimented with some flowers:
because all of the craft sites and blogs have amazing zipper flowers and I love them. The bigger one has a pin back on it so I can put it on a hatband or jacket. The smaller one has an alligator clip so it can go in my hair. I will be making more of these - they're not too tricky and I have a bunch of zippers from an auction haul last spring. One of the boards I follow on Pinterest is all zippers so expect more "toothy" things from me! One of Khloe's friends had a baby last Friday. Yes, she's too young, but it's not my place to be judgy. Sunshine (her real name) is a sweet girl so I made a pair of socks for the little guy:
I wanted to make some purple ones but, darn it, I couldn't find my little ball of purple sock yarn. (I know it's here somewhere!) We'll be going to visit them in a few days - we don't want to be rude and come over right away while she's still settling into motherhood. We got her a set of supplies, too - lotion, soap, powder - and if I can I'll pick up a pack of diapers because the little ones go through them like crazy. Finally, my mom got Khloe and me a rubber band loom. I'm still figuring it out but before long you'll be seeing lots of creations from it. I know they're for little kids but I think the rubber band bracelets are really neat and I know that people have been making all kinds of other things with them. (I love looms of all sorts. I have several hand-sized weaving looms and a beading loom. I'm aching for a bigger loom to make scarves and stoles but it will have to wait for a bit longer.) Okay, that's all for now. I have another button bracelet to finish and some sewing to work on - and loads of other works in progress. See you all soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

While I'm Creating

I've been bitten by a creative bug lately - all of the craft sites and Pinterest are bombarding me with inspiration. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a toddler right now so my house is covered with half-done projects. So while I'm finishing I'll share a picture of some sweet sleeping babies:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend of Shows

I usually don't get out much beyond the grocery store (starving teens eat so darn much), but this past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. On Saturday, the Prairie fiber Arts Guild held a yarn and fiber show in Chillicothe, the town where my parents live. Eric made sure I had enough gas in my car for the hour drive, and Kerry and I hit the highway. I dropped him off with Grandpa and Mom and I checked out the show. It was small but really nice. I forgot to take pictures, darn it, but we met loads of vendors (one who made amazing Fimo buttons and I didn't get a card darn it) and met a baby ram. I picked up a few things:

some lovely silky merino from Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts

a gorgeous purply BFL braid from Leading Men Fiber Arts

and a super cool fossil pendant from a man named Phil Krumholz - his card says Art to Wear but he doesn't have a website sadly, his jewelry was gorgeous.
Sunday brought the rock and mineral show here in my town. It's held every year but this was our first time going. I took Khloe and one of her friends and we had a ball looking at all of the pretties. We picked up a few treasures:

Khloe got a geode, a slice of stained glass-like stone, and a piece of chalcopyrite from Mexico.

I got a little stone egg for my collection

and some little purple polished stones that may become pendants with some knotting or wire wrapping. There was a "fossil dig" for kids that was boxes of pebbles full of polished stones and shark teeth. Each of the girls picked out something. I would have chosen one of the very large teeth if I could have - they were neat.
I was pretty worn out from all of that socializing but it was great. I also learned something, especially at the fiber show. One of the vendors was selling handmade jewelry - pretty stuff. It was all the kinds of things I've made over the years. I looked at her prices and it hit me - not everyone can make things. I have a rather easy time figuring things out and tend to undervalue it as a skill. I need to appreciate my talents more and not consider myself "less than" someone who can sing or who has amazing people skills. I tell my kids that everyone is special and has their own special skills. It's time to listen to myself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dolly Clackett Dress

I have another new dress to share! It's for the Dolly Clackett sewalong Roisin makes beautiful dresses and the sewalong is to celebrate her upcoming wedding by making dresses in her style. This is from Mc'Call's 6859, a vintage pattern from 1963. I really like how it turned out. It looks a little wrinkly in the picture because Khloe was in a hurry to get done - it got rather chilly while we were out. It fits great and I got several compliments while we were out.

The fabric is from Wal-Mart. It's a light weight cotton. I lined the top with fabric that I cut off of a too-long slip. It was the first time I lined something that didn't call for it and I did pretty good. It has a zipper up the back and I used the instructions on the zipper package to sew a lapped zip instead of my usual visible style. That's all for today. I have another dress about half done and will be sharing it soon.