Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fun Hurts

I was SO sick with a cold yesterday that I can’t remember the last time a cold had me down like that. And then we went sledding and I hit my tailbone so hard on a bump that it hurts like crazy when I get up from sitting. I had forgotten how thrilling it is fly down a hill at lightning speed. In spite of all that, I managed to finish my skirt and get most of the way through a top.

My skirt:



This skirt is McCall’s 5390. I love, love, love it. I might have to put it on later when I don’t have to go out in the snow anymore. Obviously, I am going to have to make a top to wear with it…

This is my top so far. I had some facing problems and got as far clipping the curves before I discovered things just weren’t right.



I’ve decided to do away with the facing and try to come up with a creative solution. I am probably going to trim away some of the fabric, stay stitch all over again and use some bias binding.

This is our cat, Mouser, out helping us sled:



She didn’t offer to actually go down the hill with us, but she was there to hang out. She also helped the kids build this snowman:



Hope everyone has a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wardrobe Refashion for 2010

I decided to do Wardrobe Refashion again. Current signups close on the 31st. It could be the answer for my desire to reduce my fabric and yarn stashes. Of course, it doesn’t explicitly say you can’t buy new fabric or yarn. That is in the gray area where it is just left up to you. I am signing up for 6 months. Wardrobe Refashion isn’t even hard for me, because I don’t buy new clothes all that often. I tend not to like what I find in the stores, so I like to make my own.

My Pledge:

I Kathy pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings!

Signed Kathy.

And the button:

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Sewing and Knitting

My skirt has been a little more challenging than I thought. I’m still working on it today. I was hoping to have a fabulous picture of it to post today, but I won’t. The pleats were pinned, taken out, ironed, pinned, taken out, ironed, pinned, and then sewn. I hope I like the fit of the skirt, because it looks great and I’d like to make it again and again. We’ll see.

Instead of fun skirt shots, lets have vest shots:



I love this vest and I can’t even wear it yet. I’m using Patons Classic Wool for it and it just has a nice, soft feel. The thing I hate about using merino is that it can be horrible about pilling. This isn’t the merino, but soft = pilling sometimes. Hopefully this stuff won’t. I’ve only used it for felting in the past.

I found a wonderful crocheted poncho on the DROPS site the other night, but it is only in kids sizing. The largest size is for 12- 14 year olds, so I think I can size it up enough for me. I am not as good at figuring things out for crochet with my brain, so I may have to go with the experimental method. That would be where I start it and rip it out when it isn’t right.

This morning when I was sewing, I came up with the idea of not buying any yarn or fabric until February. I thought it might help me whittle the stashes down. It pertains more to the fabric than the yarn. I am really good about not buying yarn, but I have a real fabric weakness. A few years ago, I had no fabric stash to speak of. Now, I have a fabric storage problem. However, I do feel like I’ve been doing some serious damage to it since school let out for the holidays. Here are the nightgowns I made the girls for Christmas:


Sunday, December 27, 2009

What I've Been Up To

The day after my last post, I got sick and couldn’t even lay in bed and knit. I felt nauseous most of the day and just slept. It felt worse than being pregnant. That morning I had been happily playing at the sewing table, and half an hour later I went to bed. In the evening I was at least able to sit in the chair and watch tv. I didn’t feel well enough to walk across the room and get my knitting, though. The next morning I was almost myself.

Anyway, here are the Solstice gifts I got for the girls:





Aren’t they adorable? I love them for the dark, gothic look they have. They are in a plastic sleeve, so the strange stripes of color aren’t real. We are going to hang them up in their room. I bought these on Etsy from the The Black Apple. I love Emily’s creations.

I decided to go ahead with sewing a project a day while we are off from school. I’ve done pretty well with it so far. On Christmas night, I made myself a denim skirt. Today I am making myself a skirt from McCall’s 5390. I will show pictures of it tomorrow. Before Christmas, I made myself a top that didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. It is very off putting because I had really looked forward to wearing it. I think it is too short and can’t think of any way to make it look better. Right now it is set aside until I can bear trying to wear it. Maybe it isn’t really as bad as I thought it was.

Before Christmas I got the trainer for my bicycle. I rode it 20 minutes the first day and decided to jump it up to 40 minutes the next day. That was a HUGE mistake. My legs felt fine, but my backside hurt so bad that I couldn’t get on it again for days. I haven’t been on the bike since the middle of the summer. Bicycle seats are one of those things that can do you in if aren’t used to them. Now I am working up to 40 minutes from 20. And then on up to an hour.

My Soria vest is going well. Right now I am well into the band of color work at the bottom. I love color work.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Makes Me Tired

Preparing for Christmas is such a tiring thing. Staying up late to finish projects that can only be done when kids are in bed, wrapping presents, etc. ad nauseum. I felt accomplished when I finished the Manchester United scarf and got it in the mail. In fact, I felt so good about it, I started a project for me. Just like that. Here is the scarf:



And this is the beginning of Soria:



Soria is a pullover vest in the new Knitty. I don’t think I’ve ever just seen a pattern I loved and started it. Generally, I make myself finish some other huge project first. This time, I had some yarn in stash already, so I didn’t have to buy all of it. I saw the pattern on Saturday, got the yarn Sunday, and cast on for it Monday. My goal is to finish it as soon as possible. Just because I can. I’d like to finish it by Christmas, but I think that would be pushing it.

I decided to go for that making one thing every day during our vacation. So far, it has worked out pretty well. I have 2 nightgowns that only want sleeves and a tablecloth for Christmas. Tonight I want to finish the nightgowns after the kids are asleep. And maybe kick out some pillowcases. Starting tomorrow I will be able to work on my sewing projects during the day because they won’t be gifts for the kids. It will be nice to get some things sewn up.

I intend to knit a bunch of stuff from my Ravelry Queue. I put stuff on my list because I want to make it, but I don’t always look there for my next project. And many of them are small projects. There is at least 1 sweater on that list that I actually have the yarn for. For now, I want to concentrate on the small projects, though.

Last night we had a solstice celebration. I made egg rolls and some other goodies for dinner, and we had a candle we lit to burn all night until the sun came back up. I believe it will last for another 10 solstices if I never use it for anything else. I way over estimated how big the candle would need to be. I had a gift for each of the girls. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Came Knocking...

Winter has definitely arrived here. Last week it was bitterly cold, this week we are getting snow. It is wet, heavy snow. The kids will definitely be able to build a snowman with this stuff. It’s 3 in the afternoon as I write, and it has been snowing since about 2 am. We still have tv, but the internet is not working.

My work on the scrapbooks is coming along. I figured out how to put the pages together and made the covers. And I got started cutting out the clip art I downloaded. If there is school tomorrow, I should be able to work on them. Knitter #2 is way too smart to trick or fool. She always wants to know what I am making and who it is for.

School gets out for Christmas this Friday. I am thinking about seeing how much sewing I could get done over Christmas Break. Maybe a project a day. I have fabric for a lot of small projects. Tea towels, bags, skirts, aprons. I could probably put together a little girl’s dress in a day. My fabric stash is way worse than my yarn stash and it would be nice to make the things I planned with the fabric.

This morning I got the bikes up on the porch before they got buried in snow. A good thing, because the neighbor that plows our drive might not have seen the little ones. Mine is big and red, so it wouldn’t be an issue. And I am going to be bringing mine in the house pretty soon. I ordered a trainer from Bike Nashbar after my brother mentioned getting one. When the weather got bad, he started riding his bike in his garage. I’ve never gotten the hang of riding my bike, so maybe riding it in the house will work out for me. It has huge tires and my old one had pretty small tires. Anyway, I am very excited to get the trainer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Decorating

What is it about decorating for Christmas that makes you want to harm your offspring? This morning when I was getting the tree and lights ready, I sent them to clean their room. The only spot I could see that was cleaner was about 2 feet x 2 feet. No one got a reward for cleaning. After they got done decorating their share of the tree, I forced them to put on boots, pants (they were wearing dresses), and coats. And then I shoved them out the door to play in the snow. By that point I didn’t want to see them for a good long time.

Today, I actually began to wonder if I was supposed to put up our tree today. It was, of course, trouble with the lights. I keep the tree lights with the tree. Half of them worked. I found more lights, and half of them worked. However, in some cases 2 halves make only 1 half. I plugged the 2 working strings together and they worked. I put them on the tree and then only 1 of them worked. I finally settled on 2 different sizes of colored LED lights. Good thing I caught that after christmas sale last year!

I am still not finished decorating the house, but it is nice that the tree is done. This is what I played with later:



I love making wreaths. After a little dismantling and some putting back together, I had this:



I used a couple packages of garland to fix up my wreath. I was sick and tired of seeing the wicker. The big bow is something I made a long time ago.

Now I feel in the Christmas spirit. Listening to Christmas music all morning also helped. There is now no reason to not get into my Christmas projects with gusto. Especially since Brent brought home a new color ink cartridge for the printer today. Girly scrapbooks, here I come!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

And the Work Commences...

At some point this afternoon, I began to wonder if I was making the best use of my crafting time. I spent about 3 hours searching out and copying free clip art for the scrapbooks I want to make for the girls. I think I did well. We will see if it is enough to fill up 2 little books.

Here is the Manchester United Scarf I am making for my niece:



I have decided I have spent enough time playing the perfectionist game and will leave the black stripe the way it is. Future black stripes will have only 2 rows so I can avoid the yucky mix I have in the edging.

Last night I cut out the elf doll pattern:



And this morning, after much looking, I found the nightgown pattern. It says you need 2 1/8 yards of fabric. As I recall, the night gowns were really long, so it will be easy enough to shorten them about 6 inches. The ones I already made are floor length on the girls.

And look who we got a letter from!



It is SO exciting to get an actual letter from Santa. Way cool!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

I was going to get a picture of the scarf to post, but I didn’t think of it when I got home. It’s occurred to me that I need to get on it if I want to get stuff made for Christmas. This afternoon I was reading Angry Chicken and she mentioned she’s been making gifts. For someone who prides herself on making lots of gifts, I am not doing so hot this year. I intend to get to work on that as soon as I get done with this post. And tomorrow. I can get some stuff ready tonight at least.

We had a double whammy of bad news today. None of our fixes for the hot tub have worked. It is the pump. Fortunately, pumps can be repaired. Our other bad news was on my husband’s unemployment. It has been cut and we now have to live on less than $1000 a month. I am glad the house is paid for. I am pretty sure we can live on that, but if not, there are things we can cut back. Somehow, Christmas always seems better when I feel like we are desperately poor. Making cool stuff for the kids gives me a feeling of triumph. A bit like I’m sticking it to The Man.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ripped It

Today we made a little shopping foray, so I took my scarf project along with me. I ended up ripping it all back to the end of the garter stitch so I could do a garter stitch edge. Less thinking required at each end that way. I wanted it to be some mindless knitting, afterall.

I’ll have to get some pictures and get it up on Ravelry. My internet connection has been my excuse for not getting stuff like that done over the past 6 months, so now I must do better.

I also bought some felt and flannel today for a doll project. Last night I found the coolest dolls at Wee Wonderfuls. I may make both of them elves. In my house, there is no making just 1 of anything. Hopefully, I can get them done for Christmas. I think I need to get things done extra early this year because school gets out a week before Christmas. I’m not knitting the girls anything. I’d like to make them pajamas/nightgowns, but I need to locate the pattern again. Then I will have to see if I have enough fabric to make them. I don’t really want to buy more fabric. It might be fun to piece some stuff together to make them.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Love My High Speed...

I can’t express to you how exhausted I am. And I have basically done nothing today. There is a cold wind that has been howling outside for most of the day. I felt sorry for the guy from Wildblue that came to put in our satellite today. But I am loving my high speed internet. I went wild this afternoon, reading blogs that I haven’t read in months. My feet are icy cold, though.

We must be starting a new round of sickness in our house because Knitter #3 went to bed at her own request at about 5:30 tonight after crying and saying her tummy hurt. She asked me if she could go to bed. Poor baby. And my husband has a sore throat. He probably has the bug that stole my voice earlier in the week.

We do have the needed parts for our hot tub if we can just put them in. Well, we hope they are the needed parts. There is always the possibility the pump is bad. I really hope that isn’t the problem because it is supposed to get REALLY cold this week and I am worried the heat lamp will burn out on us. If we get the problem fixed, I guess we will find out how long it takes the tub to heat up in cold weather. I expect it would take 2 or 3 days this time of year.

Perhaps a night like this would be a good time to start reading a book with a lot of snow and ice in it. I checked out Smilla’s Sense of Snow from the library a few days ago. I have the movie, so now I will see if there are any similarities or if they changed any important facts. Sometimes novels made into movies bear little resemblance to the novel. What I really dislike is when they change a few important points. Like when The Firm was made into a movie. In the movie, the main character cares about being a lawyer. In the novel, he just cares about making of lot of money so his family will never do without again. To me, that ruined the movie. That and casting Tom Cruise in it, heh heh.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's Cold

I can’t believe it is already December. The year is almost gone again. Maybe I will make some resolutions for the next year. I like making them because they give me something to work towards and I enjoy that.

Monday, I got the scarf I am making started. I am pretty sure that person has never seen this blog, so I am not worried about talking about it here. I am wondering if I should rip back a bit on it and change the edge. Right now I am slipping the stitches, but it is starting to look like it might roll more than I would like. If I rip it back, I am going to use moss stitch for the sides.

This week has been total craziness AND I lost my voice for two days. The best news all week has been the internet guy is going to come on Saturday and there isn’t currently any nasty weather scheduled to mess it up. Our dial up connection continues to be a joke and I am not going to even attempt to post any more pictures until we have a better connection.

The weather has suddenly turned seasonal on us and it is freaking cold out. It wasn’t until the past couple years that I started to hate the cold so much. And I need a warm coat to wear out and about. I have a coat, but it doesn’t come clean when I wash it. Any bit of dirt that gets on it is there to stay. I haven’t seen any I like so far. Coats look ugly as sin this year. It is supposed to be 13 degrees here next Tuesday morning, and I am NOT looking forward to it.