Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Making my list, checking it twice

I've had a fairly productive weekend/start of this week.  My boyfriend has recently started grad school, which means that I go from seeing him 2 nights a week + weekends to maybe 1 night + weekends.  I fully support his furthering his education, but I'm already a little tired of "not tonight, I'm studying".  I've been done with school for a few years and I'd like to keep it that way.  Anyhoo, him being in grad school means I suddenly have a lot more time to knit.  And this weekend plus yesterday proved to be pretty awesome for that.

So I'm able to cross 2 cupcakes off my list!  And the woman who ordered them is picking them up tonight so I'll have some cash for the holiday season....or to put in my savings account.  Now that I'm going to be getting a small but regular income, I'm going to try to start putting some back in savings.  I spent about 80% of my savings on Good For Ewe and then just living after my last paycheck stopped and this one started and I know it's going to be a very long time before I can rebuild it.  But it's so worth it! Wow- gone off on 2 tangents already... I wonder where this blog post WON'T go!
I also finished crocheting the animal bed that I showed you in the last post.  These things are super fast and take up that yarn that you're never going to use.  Plus it goes to a great cause, which gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that's better than any sweater.  If you have strange stashings, I strongly encourage you to make a few of these!
Madeline isn't looking forward to the blanket going to the shelter- she's claimed it as her own. (She's extra fluffy right now- she has her winter coat on)
I also made Rob's christmas stocking the other day!  I'm seriously excited about being able to cross 3 things off my list over 2 days.  Gives me hope for the rest of it.  Anyhoo, Rob is a big boater- he loves everything about them.  In his spare time (which is kaput thanks to grad school) he rebuilds boat engines, which I think is super hot.  So since our 2nd date at the Sailing Club I have thought that if this thing went anywhere, I would love to make him a nautical themed quilt that he could keep in the boat or the man-cave or whatever.  I still haven't given up on that, but I thought I'd do something much smaller- there's no way a new quilt is getting done before Christmas.  Maybe next Christmas.  So as I was thinking what he could use that's handmade that was small (tissue box cozies and decorative pillows aren't really his thing) I thought...Christmas stocking.  I got on etsy, ordered the 2 boat fabrics and then dug in my stash for a solid color to match. 

The thing that perplexes me about sewing is the sheer quantity of the prep work.  With knitting, you check your gauge, you make sure your math is right, wind the yarn in to balls, and that's about all the prep work that needs to happen.  (Perhaps that's why it's so easy to start dozens of new projects in the blink of an eye). Sewing is a different beast.  First you have to iron your fabric.  Then cut out your pattern.  Then make sure it's going the right direction on the fabric.  Then pin it down and cut it out.  So you've got a solid 25 minutes of prep and 9 pieces of fabric.  Sew together the 3 main bits of fabric that form the stocking.  3 minutes for both sides of the stocking.  Turn under the edges of the brim, sew. 30 seconds.  
The pattern didn't call for it, but I added fusible fleece to the inside to bulk it up.  I just felt that a stocking made of just 1 single sheet of quilting cotton wouldn't be around a terribly long time.  So I added an extra step- cutting the fleece and fusing it on.  20 minutes. Then I sewed the brim and hanger to the inside of the stocking so it would flip out on the right side with the sail boat on the brim going in the right direction.  10 minutes of pinning, checking, 30 seconds of sew, 45 minutes of seam ripping and swearing.  I had pinned the wrong side in- and the wrong side of the fabric was showing on the brim.  
The funny part?  I made that same mistake 1 more time before I figured out how it needed to go.  It was a little easier to rip out the second time.  I walked away, had a cup of tea and went for a run before I attempted it the third time.   But the third time was the charm, and I turned it out, ironed it, and called it a day.  Here it is with my stocking.  But for now, it's wrapped and under the tree. During our 8 days of Christmas, this will be gift #1.

And lastly, I spun some yarn!  I actually started this batt out of sheer boredom during the ice storm of LAST FEBRUARY!  That's right.  This spinning project is really old.  So I've been working on it a little bit a few times a week for a couple months now and yesterday morning I called it done.  I really love it.  I've been working hard to get a more balanced handspun yarn, and this is probably one of my better specimens. It's a heavy fingering weight (which sounds so dirty) and there's 261 yards of it, so not really enough to make socks.  What would you make? 


Christine65 said...

You've been a busy bee recently :) Love the yarn (I've only done spinning two of three times in the last month). With that yardage, would it make a cowl or neck-warmer? Would look very pretty in a feather & fan-type pattern.

Alicia said...

Stocking looks great. I second the cowl idea, maybe something like Horseshoe Lace, Sea Foam Mobius or Elanor


Paige Darling said...

Thanks for the comments Alicia & Christine! I do love the idea of a cowl, but it's not exactly the softest yarn I've ever made, and I'm finicky about what goes around my neck. That being, I do love cowls, and I'm sure it's nothing a little conditioner can't help.