Sunday, January 25, 2015

Almost A Quilt

Boo-Yah!



I did it!

What you see before you is a six foot wide, seven foot long quilt that was completely quilted in one day!

Boom!

I'm awesome...

ish...

As long as you don't look too close.

There may be a flaw or two in my free motion quilting technique.  It took me a fourth of the quilt to get in the groove, and then I was in the groove for another fourth of  the quilt, and then I should have stopped to rest.

But I was in the groove!

I was quilting like it was my job!

I want to finish the freaking thing sometime this year!

So I pushed through the pain.  I ruined my manicure.  I tried to rise.  Thread broke, needles (yes, needles with an s) broke.  Bobbins ran out of thread at the most inconvenient times.  There was not time to eat or hydrate or go to the bathroom.  I had a quilt to quilt.  At one point, and I'm still not entirely sure how I did this, but at one point I actually quilted my special machine quilting foot to the quilt.

Sometimes I even amaze myself with the things I do.

So the last half of the quilt is a little rough.

But that doesn't matter.



Sweet Pea already adores is.

And that is the only thing that matters.

Just binding to go.

And of course, The Queen's crib size quilt still needs sandwiched and quilted and bound.  But it should be a piece of cake after this twin size monstrosity right?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Where I Try To Make A Boring Day Seem Exciting

Today I was in a mood.

I was exhausted.  The Queen was up from 2:45 to 4:30.

Awesome.

Then she got up for the day at 6:30.

Double Awesome!

I felt like I ought to be productive today, but frankly I was tired, and I just didn't want to.

I have a Knit Picks project to knit.  It is a lovely knit.  The pattern is extremely well written.  There is nothing to hate about this project.  In fact, it is almost finished.  By my estimate I have around 20 rows to go and I'll be done.  I'm in the home stretch.

And I just didn't want to look at it.

I felt bad about it.  I felt like I ought to push through and finish it.  But I just didn't have it in me to make myself do it.  I was all out of push.  Out of guilt I decided to tackle a different project that I have been putting off.

Because somehow doing a different project that I also hated made it all better?


I mended the blanket from my bed.

Exciting I know.

This blanket was not the victim of bugs, but rather had succumbed to old age.  Tiny pieces of tan fluff were flaking off.  Each morning we would wake up to more and more debris on our sheets.  I spent ten minutes each day combing tan ick from my hair.  We were certain that if this went on long enough one day our blanket would simply disappear in a cloud of dust.  I cut off the crumbling ends, and then hemmed each side trying to enclose the decay.  I'm hoping there is enough left to cover our bed.

Then I realized there were tons of tiny holes in the body of the blanket as well.  Ever hopeful I attempted to mend those as well.


Each dark spot is a place where I healed our beloved blanket.  I am left to ponder how much is too much?  At what point does this cross the line into insanity?  When does throwing this blanket away become a mercy killing?

I won't even tell you about the flannel sheets I tried to mend next.  Sufficeth to say, we will be buying new bedding when it goes on sale this year.

And since the sewing machine was out I figured I might as well sew together the backs of the quilts.


I may not have blogged this yet, but about a month ago we finally bought fabric for the backs of THE QUILTS.  I looked and looked and looked and could not find something I loved.  Paralyzed with indecision but desperate to finish the quilts before Queen Bean out grows her crib, I did the only reasonable thing I could think of, I let Sweet Pea pick the fabric out.  We got a blue/green chevron for Sweet Pea's quilt and pink chevron for the Queen.  I love how the pink matches the quilt, but I'm not loving the blue/green shade.  It is too off from the blue stars on the quilt top, but Sweet Pea picked it out, and it is, after all, her quilt, so there is that.  When I went to sew the backs together I realized that buying chevrons was a horrible mistake.  My CDO meant I could not let the chevron pattern be interrupted by the seams.  I had to make the pattern line up.  Surprisingly it only took two tries to get it to a place that I could live with.  I was sewing easy straight lines.  I can not imagine how one would sew a chevron dress or skirt without having to be committed to an asylum from the insanity of making the chevrons match on the pattern pieces.

But I digress.

While I was on a productive roll I taped the back to Sweet Pea's quilt to the floor (as shown above)...

added batting...


and one gorgeous quilt top...


And I made myself a quilt sandwich.

I practiced my free motion quilting.


I am a bit rusty to say the least.  It wouldn't be unreasonable to say I suck at it.  I got to a place where I felt I was ready to try it on the big quilt.  I sewed about three feet of quilting, and then I ripped out about three feet of quilting.

I need to practice some more.

I'm starting to get excited about these quilts again.  There is a point in the middle of making a quilt where I start to hate quilting.  And I wonder why I think I want to make quilts.  But now, when it is looking, and feeling like a quilt, I'm at the part where I remember why I love quilts.  And by the time I'm done (in a reasonable three to five years) I will be all excited to make another quilt.

In the mean time I'm gonna sit on the comfy couch and knit myself a sleeve.  I'd take a picture, but it is dark, and the yarn is nearly black, so it wouldn't be much of a picture.  Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll show you in a month or so.  Since that seems to be the new turn around time for blog posts.

Really need to have that intervention with The Queen about her sleep habits...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Moment of Silence

So I cleaned my closet the other day.  And I discovered this...


WHAT THE CRAP IS THAT????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is HOLES!



Freaking insect chewed HOLES in my favorite Malabrigo sweater!

*sidenote* My nails look fan-freakin-tabulous */sidenote*

I don't even know how to deal.  Do I darn it like a sock?  Do I frog that sleeve and reknit it hoping the new yarn doesn't stand out too much?  Do I frog the entire sweater and knit a bunch of blue socks?  Do I just wear it as is and call it post-apocalyptic chic?

We must have a moment of silence for our beloved sweater.  You were taken before your time. To avenge the fallen, and protect the survivors, our house is scheduled for demolition next Thursday.

I know it sounds drastic, but it is the only way to be sure.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Still Alive

So it turns out that I'm not 19 anymore.

I can no longer exist on five hours of sleep a night.

I can not function on naps alone.

Man I miss college. At least back then when I was up at three a.m. I was dancing with my friends or playing poker.  Now I'm up at 3 am trying not to make eye contact with the world's cutest baby, lest she take that as a sign that it is time to bust out the elmo activity table and Par-tay!

My ability to combine words to form a coherent sentence has been seriously compromised, as seen by my last few blog posts.  I am disturbed by how many typos and instances of improper verbage were given the green light and published.

It might be time for an intervention with the Queen.


Until she realizes the importance of a good night's sleep I'll be in the corner crying, and possibly hallucinating from sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Shawls Need To Become A Thing

I haven't seen the floor of my bedroom in days.

It's been covered in the most squishy lacey goodness.


Gaze upon the glory of this gorgeous stack of freshly blocked hand made goodness.


I kinda want to roll around of them.

Naked.

But I won't.

Because they don't belong to me.

And by that I don't mean I made them and I'm giving them away as presents.  I mean they actually don't belong to me.  They were made by the talented women in my knitting/crochet group.

I have become the designated blocker of my group.

Lets just take a moment for those who know how much I LOATHE blocking to sit and laugh.

Yes,

Life is funny.

I hate blocking with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.  It feels like laundry.  And we all know how I feel about laundry.  I was just telling The Greatest the other day that I would support being a nudist if I didn't actually have to look at random naked people.  Therein lies the tragedy of my life.  I want to wear clothes, I just don't want to be responsible for the maintenance of said clothing.

But I love my yarnies.  I love them with the passion of TWO thousand fiery suns.  So cheerfully blocking their items isn't a hardship.  It is a joy.

The only hard part is giving the items back.

They all want to live with me.

They told me so.

Good thing I have a shawl of my very own to keep me warm.


Pattern:  Ubiquitous Kate

Yarn:  Recycled cotton yarn from a Goodwill sweater

Needles:  Size 4, probably my knit picks Harmony because I like how the bare wood looked with this shade of army green.  I do match my needles to my yarn when I can.  I'm a little insane like that.

Modifications:  I didn't do the ruffle on the top edge.

Review:

Love.

That's all there is to say.

Love.


It is smooshy, and soft, and warm.

I love the subtle chevron texture.

I love the ruffle.

This was the shawl I started late at night, when I thought I had grabbed a soft grey color but it turned out to be army green in the light of day.

I could be sad about the color switch, but I actually love the color too.  (Plus I used the grey to make my Clare de Lune so it all worked out for the best.)

And in the interest of full disclosure.  I love to wear it with my jammies.


Dirty hair, no make up.  How's that for keeping it real?

But see how the ruffle twists around just so?

I need to live in a time when shawls are worn by everyone everywhere.  I *puffy heart* this project.

In other news, The Greatest tackled a project of his own the other day.

He does all the Christmas decorating.  I'm not complaining.  I love it.  He decorated ten trees.  Everything inside the house is covered with garland and lights.  The outside of the house lights up the entire block.  You can probably see our house from space.

But it wasn't enough.

He couldn't control the urge to decorate any longer.

The Christmas spirit was too strong.

He decorated the baby.


The intervention is Friday at 6:00 for those who want to help.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Same Old Same Old Post About Nothing

Ever have so much to do and feel so overwhelmed and stressed that you just say "Screw it" and watch American Horror Story while you blog?

Yeah, that never happens to me either.

I'm so behind on my blog.

We had Halloween.

There were costumes.

We had Thanksgiving.

There was pie.

We had a first birthday.

There was cake.

And here I sit, too tired to construct a coherent story to tell.

Let me distract you with the cute.






Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Success

It was cold(ish) again today.

The sky was the most lovely moody grey.  The children feared it would rain on them as they walked to school.  But I knew better.

It rarely rains on the surface of the sun.

While I carefully wrapped the baby in a blanket to run to Lowes (another day, another repair to the sprinkler system) I didn't need a coat.  There was a delightful chill(ish) on the breeze, but a light sweater was all you needed.

And I've got an entire shelf stacked high with light sweaters for such an occasion.  Today I wore Walpole.  And I looked fabulous.  Nevermind the fact  that I haven't washed my hair in five days.  Which might be why there isn't photographic proof of how fab I looked.  In my defense, my hair goes to the bottom of my butt and takes forever to dry.  I'm too tired to deal.  See yesterday's post about being up from 3:30 to 5:00 AM.  Repeat uneartly sleep schedule for almost a year.  And yes, that means yesterday's pictures were taken on day four of unwashed hair.  Go ahead and scroll back down to look at them.  I'll wait.

I was rocking the slicked back look wasn't I!

Just keeping it real around here.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my dirty sink full of dishes.  Confession:  I don't have a dirty sink full of dishes.  I make the kids wash the dishes every.single.night.  Parenting has to have a few perks right?

Anyways...the chill(ish) in the air also meant it was time to bust out the hand knit socks.  And I just so happen to have a recently knit pair just waiting for this day to come.  It took some doing but I did manage to take some pictures of my feet.  No shampoo required.


Pattern:  Easter Bunny Socks

Yarn:  "Easter Bunny" self patterning sock yarn by knitpurlgurl.etsy.com

Needles:  Size 2



Modifications:  Not really a modification, but the main yarn self stripes into bunnies.  You use coordinating yarn to knit the ribbing, heels, and toes.  I was given green and pink coordinating yarn.  I decided to stripe them for the rib, heels, and toes.  It looks better in real life than it does in photos.  I do like how my heel turn is pink on one sock, and green on the other.  In hindsight maybe I should have knit one sock with pink ribbing/heel/toe, and one with green ribbing/heel/toe.  I probably would have loved that.  I'm starting to hate hindsight.

Review:  These socks are AMAZING!


This yarn is "self patterning" so as you knit the bunnies were supposed to magically appear.  I'm not a huge fan of gauge but for this project having spot on gauge was not just important but freaking vital to the success of these socks.

Luckily for me, I had spot on gauge.

Unluckily for me, my spot on gauge was useless.

I tried and tried to knit perfect little bunnies, but the pattern kept shifting to the left, leaving the bunny ears flapping in the wind, and making the faces look slightly melted.  Not a good look.

But I could not be defeated.  After all...BUNNIES!


The pattern suggests you should tug or tighten just a little to line up those bunnies.  I tugged and tightened my heart out, and magically...BUNNIES!


Worth every moment of frustrated tugging.  In fact, once I got the rhythm of it down, those socks flew off the needles.  I finished the second sock in one day.

True Story.

The Greatest saw me casting on for it during the Queen's first nap.  And later that night he watched me put on my finished socks.

"Wow, you are a really fast knitter!"

It came as a complete revelation to him.

It is like he doesn't know me at all.

Good thing he is so darn good looking.

Otherwise there are days I could cheerfully strangle him in his sleep.