June 1, 2008

Two Blocks

I got two done that are passable.

There was a lot more yard work today. The guys who came to pick up the yard waste wanted an insane amount of money so we sent them away. We've got another guy--who gave us his price upfront--coming next week.

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May 31, 2008

What's Up

We've been working on the yard. We're going to go ahead and sheet mulch (thanks to reader Andi who gave me lots of good advice) the whole thing and not worry about planting anything until later. Right now we're clearing all the fallen canes and big stuff. We've got some people coming tomorrow to haul off all the yard waste. We've gotten cardboard down with a small bit of bark chips in one corner of the yard. There's a LOT left to do. We've got calls in to some local arborists to see if they can dump some wood chips here.

I'm still working away on the Merino Lace socks. I'm just finishing the gusset decreases.

My sewing has been languishing. I was doing really well with the Dear Jane quilt-along. In fact not only was I completely up to date as of mid-April, I won the contest for people who were up to date! And have only finished one block since then. I went to a little sewing bee on Monday and brought all my Dear Jane stuff with me. I had blocks prepared to sew already. I started stitching and felt like I had never done it before. It was awkward and uncomfortable and the results were shit. I'd show you a picture but it's just too mortifying. Last night I ripped out the really embarrassing parts and managed to finish a block. It's okay but no masterpiece. I'm half-way through another two blocks. They're getting harder just as I'm feeling less confident. I know I just need to work through a few to get the feel for it again. In a sea of 225 blocks no one will notice the wonky ones. It's dark now so I'll get some photos for tomorrow.

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May 20, 2008

Catching Up

Let's see. Where was I?

On Sunday I got to have a free luncheon aboard the MS Westerdam. This was promotion for Craft Cruises. I have been thinking about doing an Alaskan cruise for a family trip. I've never been on a cruise ship before and was really curious. The lunch was really nice and it was very interesting to get a chance to see the range of accommodations. It was also hilarious to see how tacky the decor on the ship was. I created a Flickr set of all the gold-gilt kitschiness.

That evening Wes and I went to see Dr. No. I won tickets through the Seattlest blog. It was the first time I saw the whole movie. It's funny because there are so many iconic Bond moments in the film that I think we all recognize. There were also many laughable moments in the film with over the top acting, bad effects and other 60s silliness. I think the whole audience enjoyed the experience.

There are these sheep with arrows spray-painted all around Seattle Center. Does anyone know where they lead?

I woke up at 3 am on Sunday night when I suddenly remembered I had a class to attend the next morning in Port Gamble! I could not get back to sleep as my mind raced thinking about what I needed to do to prepare and worrying about what other important things I had forgotten. I finally fell back to sleep around 4:30 and got up at 6:30. Yuck. At least it was light out. I got myself to Port Gamble pretty quickly and easily.

The Artful Ewe is moving up the street from the old fire house to the old meat market. Heidi's new space is big and clean and bright and it was completely empty still so there was plenty of room for all of us to spread out. I don't know if I can say anything more about taking a class with Judith that I haven't before. She's knowledgeable, funny, immensely talented and born to teach. I left in the evening very sad that I wouldn't be joining everyone for the second day of class.

So, let's see...what else? The two Monica tops are done. They are for Wes's cousin's daughters in LA. I'm working on my Merino Lace socks. I'm thinking about pulling another project off my hibernating list. Maybe it's finally time to get back to Frost Flowers and Leaves? I'm also completely behind in my sewing. The Dear Jane quilt-along just keeps on moving. I'm behind several weeks and many blocks by now. Must make some time for hand sewing soon.

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April 19, 2008


Dear Jane block, reverse applique

One ply silk from Chasing Rainbows, one ply coopworth loosely spun

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April 15, 2008

Jane So Far

I realized while creating this mosaic that I have accidentally repeated one block already. D'oh!


April 11, 2008

Where's My Crafting At?

My knitting/crafting life has been very compartmentalized the past few weeks.

I started working on the Auburn Camp Shirt in Jaggerspun Zephyr (Ice Blue). I swatched on 2s but it was too loosey-goosey. I've switched to 1s. I've been working on a sleeve but only while sitting at the computer. Lace-weight yarn, size 1 needles and using the computer while knitting means I only have about an inch and a half of my sleeve done so far.

When I go out to knit I bring my Tailored Scallops. I have both sleeves and a good bit of the back done. It's a super fast knit but I don't seem to work on it while at home.

My evening sitting-front-of-the-tv project has been the ripple afghan. I don't have a photo but I've made some fair progress this week.

I've also been working on my Dear Jane blocks. These are all hand-pieced.

This one doesn't look so crooked in person. I also got gunk from my iron on the white part as I was pressing the final seam. Bah!

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April 4, 2008

Throw Another Block on the Pile

Dear Jane Block B-4 Chris's Soccer Field, foundation-pieced by hand on a lightweight non-fusible interfacing. I realized when I it was all done that the outermost sashing was supposed to be in the other fabric. I'm not changing it because I am thrilled with how well this block turned out.


March 28, 2008

Snow and Sew

Fear not, my knitting friends. My Go With the Flow socks are galloping along. I have one and a half socks knit. I have also been working on some sewing stuff though.

My newest Dear Jane blocks.

B-1 Bachelor Buttons
Hand reverse-applique.

B-3 Mirror Image
My first curved seams, hand-pieced.

We had a movie night tonight.

My Friday Night
17 hexagons completed during the movie.

52 done in all.

And it snowed today! I was shopping on the eastside. I walked out of the mall and it looked like a well-shaken snowglobe. Huge, fat snowflakes pouring out of the sky. It's all gone now.

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March 25, 2008

Only Good Things to Report

My Go With the Flow socks are both going and flowing.

My latest and hardest Dear Jane block came out pretty well.

23 pieces! Woof.

I had a group of friends over on Sunday for crafting. Amanda is trying out English paper piecing. She handed me a stack of paper templates. "Here," she said, like a dealer, "why don't you try it?" And, like a junkie, I was immediately hooked.

My dog is still really cute.

She is HUGE. People keep asking me if she's part Great Dane. I'm hoping not but she is definitely a very tall girl. And sweet as pie.

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March 21, 2008


I didn't feel like picking up the stitches for the last band on my Tangled Yoke last night when I got home (On size 0s. Yuck.). Instead I grabbed some of my Dear Jane supplies and made a few blocks. I had them all cut and marked and ready to go.

I was so happy with how these two came out I completed the current block for the Dear Baby Jane challenge too.

I think my hand-applique has vastly improved over the last few blocks. If I do say so myself.

Okay, okay. I'll go finish my sweater.

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March 11, 2008

Reverse Applique

Yikes. I just tried my first hand reverse appliqued block for Dear Jane. I realized way too late that I should have used a dark thread to match the brown fabric. Instead it looks a bit like Frankenstein's monster in the stitching department.

In real life, it doesn't look so bad. The flash really highlighted the crooked, ecru stitches.

From a distance it looks just fine.



January 21, 2008

Sewing, Knitting, the Usual

I took a class on how to use my sewing machine this weekend and it got me all fired up to sew. I finished the quilting on my son's spider quilt. I just need to bind it. I wanted to watch a movie but I also wanted to keep sewing so I pulled out my Dear Jane stuff and knocked off two blocks.

These have the most pieces I've done so far. The second one is not as wonky as it looks in the this photo. It would be nice to actually scan in all my blocks so far. Trying to take a dead on photo is hard without casting shadows.

I've also been working on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

I got it started to take to Long Beach with me thinking it would be easier to work on than my Bayerische socks (which also got worked on this weekend). Silly me. Dark gray yarn with garter ribbing on an airplane at 6 am. There are mistakes. Many mistakes. Some I was able to fix. I also have some serious gauge issues with this project. I ended up finally getting stitch gauge on US2s instead of 5s. But my row gauge is very compressed. I'm going to have to make a lot of adjustments when I get to the yoke decreases.

I've got to run to work. He's a cute doggy photo for you.

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September 16, 2007


This weekend was all about squares.
I joined a Ravelry group making mitered squares to assemble into blankets for Afghans for Afghans. I made my first square last night.

It's leftovers from my FI Cardigan. Even after all the squares I've knit, I still enjoy making them.

There was also a lot of sewing. I had friends over on Saturday night and I got many more units done for my Shadow Star quilt. I also did a lot of prep for Dear Jane blocks. That made it very easy for me to pick them up and sew them tonight.

That last one was my first attempt at hand-applique. I tried using a freezer paper template and don't know how I would have done it without it.

Wes came up with a new idea for our family--Screen-Free Sundays. A day with no tv, computer or video games. The children protested. In fact, my 7 year old cried (you may see a trend here). To distract them we went to the South 47 Farm in Redmond. Wes and my older son went through the corn maze while my younger son and I went on a hayride. Hayride, by the way, means sitting on hay bales while you inhale copious amounts of tractor exhaust. Lovely. We bought some squash. We looked at some goats. We had kettle corn. [This reminds me that I am briefly interviewed in the new Cast On. It was recorded at Stitch 'n Pitch so I sound a little funny trying to make myself heard over all the noise. I mention this because I see kettle corn has become a dominant theme in my life.] When we got home Wes made apple pie with our older son and playdough with our younger son while I sewed. We had dinner together. We had all this free time. We talked to one another. It was crazy.

As soon as the kids were in bed Wes and I sprinted to our computers.

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September 5, 2007

The Thrill of the New

Sorry guys, it's more sewing. It's still all new and exciting to me.

Cute little bucket holding some fabric scraps. You may recognize the cows. I only broke one needle!

Another Dear Jane Block. This one came together very quickly and my seams are all nice and straight.

I'd show you the Tangled Yoke I started but my gauge was too loose so I'm ripping out and starting over. I also seem to have knit and ripped the same dozen rounds of my Stashbuster Spirals. I'm just starting to increase for the gussets.

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September 3, 2007

I'm Stashbusting! In Spirals!

This is a nifty little pattern.

I'm using up all my solid sock yarn scraps. They look too dull in the Sock Scrap Blanket. I love taking all these little dribs and drabs and making something attractive and useful from them. It does a number on your yarn though.

Knitting from both ends of three balls of yarn simultaneously creates some serious snarls.

I hosted another sewing get together yesterday. It's so much fun. We were all working on different kinds of projects. Sasha was knocking out these lunch totes and placemats at light speed. Amanda was in the home stretch on her Joel Dewberry throw (she even shared her scraps--I love those scraps). Molly was making a hooded towel for her baby.

I worked on my Shadow Star blocks for a while then started work on a quilt designed by my 9 year old son. You didn't know he was a quilt designer? Neither did I. When we were at the art museum last month in the textile gallery he said something really casual and off-hand, "something something the quilt I designed something something."
"Huh? You designed a quilt?"
"Yeah. In math class. It was a spider."
"Can you show me? We could do it together as a project."
"I just design 'em. I don't make 'em."

I may be biased but I believe the kid is a fricking genius. Even though I have to make it myself. Now my younger son wants a Pikachu quilt. Oy.

And one tiny bit more on sewing. I made two more Dear Jane blocks on Friday night. These are both pieced by hand. I'm definitely improving with each block. I'm very proud of the second one. It looks a little skewed in the photo but that's due to bad photography. It's actually very square. It's the most pieces I've done in a block by hand so far.

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June 29, 2007

Dear Jane

My second Dear Jane block, hand-pieced, is a vast improvement over my first.