Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas is over!

So it turns out the holidays are a lot more stressful when you're not a kid! (Who knew!)

But Christmas with my family was great, Christmas with Tall/Dark & Handsome's family was great, the gifts were all finished in time and I only had to re-wrap a few due to the cat chewing all the corners off the gifts. 

I made quite a few gifts this year, but only one really big one. I made quite a few fancy dish cloths and wrapped those up with some artisan soaps, I made hats for T/D&H and my dad, but the masterpiece of the year was a cashmere lace scarf for T/D&H's mom.

His mom is a little obsessed with cashmere. She reminds me every time we see her that she wants me to make her cashmere sweaters. It's not going to happen. I haven't finished a sweater for myself (that wasn't to promote Good For Ewe yarns) in years- I'm not going to start making sweaters for other people that cost more than my mortgage payment. This particular 50g hank of cashmere came from a trip to Scotland about 5 years ago. It's a hand dyed hank of Mongolian cashmere that was dyed in Wales by a very fancy dyer.  It was a little out of my price range but still...I had to have it. And I got it home and put it up on some pedestal where whatever I made had to be perfect and wonderful and use every inch of it! 

So it had been sitting in the stash for 5 years. It was getting to be a burden every time I went down to the stash to do some digging. And November 1st, it told me what it wanted to be. It's a very simple stitch pattern on a small hook, so while it's technically lace, it's very dense and darn it, used all but .5 yards. It blocked out beautifully and was well received.  It's not a sweater...but it's probably the nicest thing I've made this year. All 38 hours of it. 

I've got a couple new-ish WIPs to also show you today. I'm trying really hard to design a pattern a month for Good For Ewe. Some months it happens, some months it doesn't. I have a feeling this will be a 2-monther. It's a cabled & lace boat neck pullover to promote the lace yarn, which I am holding doubled so it doesn't take quite so long. I really like it, it's just not growing very quickly. I'd like to have it done for a yarn show (knitting camp) the first week of February, but I absolutely need it done by TNNA in June. I have a couple other patterns I would like to have done by then too.
And lastly, the quilts.

Last week our office offered a few incentives for people to work on Christmas Eve. They had me at "low call volume" and I took in a couple movies, knitting projects, ironing board, rotary cutting mat, loads of fabric and my new Kaffe Fasset Scandinavian Quilting book (and a cornhole board and bean bags- you never know). I felt like a dirty cheater for cutting out 2 quilts (a baby quilt and a Queen sized quilt all in Batiks- I'm so excited!!!) without my helpful Miss Madeline jumping in the middle and attacking the rotary cutter, but I'm amazed that during my long shift I managed to cut out all the pieces for 2 quilts. That would normally take me weeks in real life but with few interruptions and the knowledge that I had to stay in my cube all day, it went down pretty easily. The pink one that's already 3 rows in is for a baby who is due on January 15th but I really doubt that the wee one will stay put that long. The mom has a last ultrasound Wednesday so I need to get cooking on putting this one together. I have tons of fabric scraps going into it and a yard of this pretty, barely patterned pink. The bottom will be periwinkle paisley flannel which I've had stashed for a few years and recently unearthed. I don't think it will take that long once I actually sit down and work on it (sewing machine is too loud to bring to work, regardless of low call volume).
And here is my Batik quilt! Well...sort of. The picture of it in the book I thought was really kind of ugly, tons of blue and orange patterned fabrics that were all really busy. You couldn't even see the individual pieces that went into it- just looked like a heavily patterned mess. I decided to go with mostly pastel batiks and I think they should be simple and different enough to make a really cool but not overwhelming quilt top. We'll see- I have to finish a couple other things first. 

I'll keep you posted- this baby quilt needs to go down and quickly. 

Monday, December 15, 2014


So it's been a while since I blogged. Life gets a little crazy sometimes, and it's been a good kind of crazy. I get behind with things like blogging and then realize there's so much to say that I don't know where to start, so many projects, so many things to say and it's just...overwhelming. So if there's anyone still out there reading, here's the 2014 Cliff Notes of Paige's life.

1. It's been a bad year for legs in our house. In February, Madeline had an accident of some kind (we still have no idea what happened) but she lost the use of her front left leg. Structurally, it's fine, but there is nerve damage and since she can't feel it, she won't use it. Due to her heart condition, I am very hesitant to amputate because it's very likely that she won't come out of the anesthesia. She carries her dead paw around and kind of does this wounded soldier crawl on the bed and the couch. It only slowed her down for a couple weeks and she's back into all the same shenanigans that she was before her accident.

Tall/Dark & Handsome broke his leg and tore a bunch of tendons in early March. He had surgery and got a large plate in his leg and a few screws and pins and spent the next three months on the couch. It was a difficult time for both of us. He's doing much better now but not moving quite as quickly as he used to.

2. After a 9 month mortgage hell, we finally closed on the house in May. We began the real work on it the next day and even though it started a little late, we had a great (if somewhat unorganized) garden and more veggies than we knew what to do with. I bought a dehydrator, cooked a bunch and froze it, and learned to can. It was quite the undertaking and I loved every minute. I have expanded the original garden area and will have twice the space next year. We also dug up what remained of the shrubs and replaced them with flowers, mostly started from other people's lilies and my dumpster diving adventures at a local nursery. We saved hundreds and the beds *should* be amazing next summer.

3. I found real (not temp) employment at a software company in Carmel. I'm not rolling in cash by any means, but it was enough that I could quit working at the nursery every weekend and I now have some really awesome insurance, which is always a good thing. They also know about Good For Ewe and are not only okay with it, but super encouraging. It's a great place to work and I couldn't be happier with both of my jobs.

4. Good For Ewe is still around and having a fantastic season. We've expanded into AZ and CA (finally!) and are growing every month. I'm still trying to design a new pattern every month. Some months it happens, some months it doesn't.

In short, it's been a great year. Busy, but really interesting. I've made several new and good friends, and finally been able to return to Sunday afternoon knitting group. The holidays are upon us, and I've been knitting, crocheting, weaving, sewing, quilting and canning for gifts. I need to get back into the habit of blogging but I'll work on that.

For today I'll just leave photographic evidence that I have actually worked on something this year, and wish you all Happy Holidays, I'll be back- I promise!