Taming the yarn

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The DK acrylic stash was tipped out onto my sewing table yesterday so that I could wind it up into magic balls. I excluded the fairly intact cakes of Lion Brand Mandala and two balls of Bamboo Pop, and the cottons.

It took me hours. Maybe six? A couple of hours in the morning, followed by a walk and a coffee at a local coffee shop, then another couple of hours, then dinner, then another couple of hours. I even recaked the ones I had wound previously so I could retie the magic knots and detangle.

The very satisfying result! 30 cakes of varying size weighing a total of 2440 grams. This equates to approximately 7173 metres of yarn!

Today, I swatch for a new project.

Two more days off = two more projects

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Two more days off = two more projects

The bird bag I showed you last time was very gratefully received by my coworker. And the buffalo plaid hoodie is comfortable and cosy and I was wearing it constantly the last couple of days.

I have now added another garment to my wardrobe….

This is a mashup of a sleeveless summer top that I invented a couple of years ago and the dolman sleeved top with the ruching from last year. I literally taped the two homemade pattern pieces together and ran this up.

The flared hem drapes nicely at the sides. I narrowed the waist area slightly and made the sleeves three-quarter length.

I accidentally started cutting the front neck without a seam allowance so the neckline is a bit deeper too.

Note the new haircut – shortest sides ever – a proper undercut! And professional colour!

My other finish was a backpack made from fluffy pink chenille. Not your average bag! I had a remnant of it, and paired it with a fleece remnant for the lining. Pulled a couple of coordinating zippers out of the stash, and some curtain grommets. The only thing I needed to buy was a couple of large silver D rings.

It took me a while to figure out the best number of grommets and I was concerned that the two thick layers might be a problem, but it all came together well. There are two very large inside pockets so that everything doesn’t just get mixed up in there.

My last conundrum was a strap and in the end I decided to use some acrylic DK yarn, made into icord with my little machine, and crocheted into a chain with my biggest hook.

Ta dah!

Success!

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Following my knits blitz on the weekend, I successfully achieved one of my goals. I frankensteined a hoodie from three different types of buffalo plaid.

It was so freeing just picking pieces that were big enough to lay a pattern piece on and cut something out without worrying about it being perfect.

Another finish today was this bag. I bought the fabric this week for this project as it’s for a coworker and the bird print will be perfect for her. I just happened to have a piece of vinyl that was the right size- all I had to do was square it up.

It’s lined and has a pocket with an attached D ring, which is handy for a knitter’s project bag to hold stitch markers.

The crochet cardigan is on hold for now. Did the front bands and half of both sleeves and tried it on and decided I wouldn’t wear it with the light orange and yellow. So I’m going to frog back to the shoulders and hopefully get more of the burnt pumpkin colour. It’s Hobby Lobby yarn and they don’t ship to Canada but I’ll work it out somehow.

Working the next three days and hoping I feel better. Haven’t felt right since Sunday and work was an effort. Tummy still over-sensitive. Wish I could just carry on making stuff!!

Flash the stash (fleece version)

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It’s been an enjoyable weekend. Last night we went to our first hockey game in years and had a good time. Unfortunately our local team didn’t win but the visiting team did deserve their victory, in our opinion.

Today, friends came over for a potluck lunch. The theme was Asian, because it’s Chinese New Year so I thought that was appropriate.

I made General Tso’s tofu, rice and stir-fried vegetables, our friends brought potstickers and soup with noodles, and we had two desserts as well. Our monthly potlucks always leave us stuffed to the point that we often don’t eat dinner!

I used the recipe from Nora Cooks for the tofu and it worked out well.

This evening I spent a couple of hours in my sewing room. I pulled all the fleece/chenille/jersey knits out of the cubbies and sorted them all.

The photo above shows it all dumped on the floor!

That massive pile is made up of (a) remnants that I brought home from work (when we get to the end of a bolt and there’s less than a metre left, we roll them and discount them by 75%), and (b) remnants from projects that I’ve made, which means that those pieces are odd shapes and sizes.

Once I had sorted them, the chenilles and knits went back into their cubes and the fleece was heaped on my cutting table. I then took a look through my sewing patterns to see whether I could Frankenstein an actual garment from it all.

I reckon this might work:

View C with the short shaped hem, pocket and hood instead of collar. I’ve made this pattern more than once now so I’m familiar with it. Can you see the back and front in the large check with the sleeves in the smaller black and white and the hood and pocket in red? Wacky maybe.

I’ve also grouped some pinks together, and some red/black/white, and the peace sign print with two solids, with a view to making something usable. I think the pinks would make good PJ pants.

I’m too sleepy to actually start sewing tonight but the next chance I get I may start on that buffalo plaid sweatshirt idea.

Happy Friday!

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It’s a gloriously sunny day today. The last couple of days of sunshine have been very welcome after the fog and cloud of the previous couple of weeks.

Work was quiet today and I got to leave early so I unexpectedly have a free afternoon.

So, how should I spend it? I guess I could add to the Elevation cardigan which has a sleeve and a bit left to do.

I think that each time I change to a new colour I have to get used to it and get over the thought, “Does this work or does it look terrible?!” So I don’t always want to crochet on it.

I could go for a walk in the sunshine. My logical brain is saying that’s what I SHOULD do.

I could go downstairs and play with fabric.

Or lift some weights.

Before I make a decision, I’ll show you what I made with the coffee-themed fabric from the stash.

Each bag has two coasters, a bag of coffee beans and a bar of chocolate inside. I had to fussy cut the fabric just right so didn’t bother looking up a tutorial. I’ve made a lot of bags like this before.

Looking forward to a fun weekend. We are going to a hockey game for the first time in years. And friends are coming for a potluck on Sunday. Hope your weekend is awesome!

Scrap-burning

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Remember that massive pile of scraps I tipped out onto my sewing table yesterday?

I started picking out bits by colour and building new fabric. I started with black, then moved on to pinks and purples, then blues.

This is very satisfying! I burned through 5 thread spools and 11 bobbins that were low on thread.

And this is what’s left.

A small pile of not-too-tiny scraps and some decorative selvedges. I did toss the tiny scraps into the trash.

I think I should tackle my fleece remnants next!

Fabric fun

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Since my yarn stash flash, I was considering doing a fabric stash flash, but that isn’t quite what I ended up doing this afternoon.

The quilt cottons had got a little out of hand. I’d been rooting around in the bins, taking things out, putting them back, and generally making a mess of the shelves, so today I had a bit of fun sorting them out.

I originally put two colour groups in each bin, e.g. purples and pinks, blacks and reds. But some bins were getting too full and the lids didn’t close. So I had to review.

The above groups are new to the stash. Obviously there’s no rush to use up the Christmassy ones but I grabbed them on sale after Christmas.

The snowman panel and odds and ends of the coordinates have been in the stash for some time. Must use! And the blooming ocean panel and coordinates are absolutely fabulous and I will come up with a project for those soon.

I have a massive piece of the purple so it’ll make a good quilt backing. The “cut sew repeat” print pulled me in just the other day. That would make a great bag lining. And the animal print is cute as heck!

And these are just a few more that made me go Ooh!

All tidy! The green thing top left is my pattern box, which is just a cardboard box covered in fancy fabric. Next to that is a bunch of stuff I’ve made which I need to assess again to see what I really want to keep.

The lowest shelf in the photo has the water bottle for topping up my iron and bags of elastic, cords and zippers.

Then I set up my sewing table for some scrap attacks. I tipped my bag of scraps out, put a cutting mat, rotary cutter and scissors on the left of my machine, and the iron and pressing mat on the right, and grabbed my thread and bobbins. Scrap projects are a great way to use up spools that don’t have much thread left on them.

A bit of sewing followed and currently I’m at this point. Building new fabric from scraps focusing on the black and white ones.

This is obviously going to be an ongoing project as the pile of scraps is huge!

This crocheted amigurumi was my weekend project. I used a free pattern that I found via Ravelry but adapted it to be Edna Mode from The Incredibles. The person I made it for was delighted!!

And that’s my crafty catch-up! Excuse me while I go and cook dinner…

Sewing FOs

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I only just got around to taking photos of these PJ pants, but they were finished before Christmas. I made them for Mr Fixit and didn’t want him to know I’d made them.

I used this pattern which I’ve had for a long time…

The blue tie dye ones are French Terry so he’s been wearing those to sleep in. The thin fleece ones with a Christmassy vibe are more for lounging in. I was surprised that the inside leg on the pattern piece was only 30 inches so extended them a couple of inches. I didn’t want them to be too short, as that was his main gripe about the shop-bought ones.

This isn’t a great shot but it was evening and I forgot to get a daytime picture before taking this coat to work. The colour is a deep magenta.

This fabric is called Nubby Boucle and is 100% polyester. It’s retailing for $50 a metre so the only way I was going to sew with it was to do a display project for work. I get to bring it home after a month.

Sewing with this fabric was mostly straightforward though I did break a needle when it had to get through four layers. And if I made it again I’d only interface the part of the front bands that’s hidden inside. I ended up having to trim back some unsightly white interfacing that was showing when the front of the coat flipped open.

I was also surprised by how narrow the sleeves were. My arms are pretty average and yet there wasn’t much room, especially if I wanted to wear a sweater underneath. Note to self: if I make this again, make the seam allowances smaller.

The instructions include three buttons and buttonholes. I thought I’d stick with just one button because I wanted it to drape nicely if I was moving around and sitting/standing. As the button I chose is huge I opted for a piece of cord to make a button loop. Much easier than sewing a buttonhole.

I fully intended to play in my sewing room again today but life got in the way. I stayed up late last night so slept in late this morning. Then I spent an hour taking down the Christmas decorations, tossing out the poor dried out tree, and vacuuming up ten tonnes of pine needles. And then I had to make a meal plan for the week and go out for groceries. And then it was time to make dinner. I had some help. We made sushi and miso soup and tested out a recipe from the VegNews magazine – Spiced Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Buns – which were as awesome as they sound and have about eleventy billion calories in them. Divine!

I think the rest of my evening is going to involve reading a Dean Koontz book from the library.

Beautiful day

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Beautiful day

Mr Fixit and I have been out walking the last couple of days. Today was gorgeous. Two degrees above freezing, and the sun was brilliant, and we didn’t even need full coats, just puffer vests.

There’s still a lot of snow and ice about so you have to be careful not to slip.

It felt good to burn off some of the heavy lunch though.

We had a lentil and chestnut loaf, roast potatoes and veg with gravy, and I also baked an apple mincemeat pie to finish off the mincemeat in the fridge. There was enough food for lunch AND dinner! Which was great, as I needed to finish sewing a coat and I appreciated not having to stop in the middle of things to cook a meal.

Flash your Stash 2023

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Flash your Stash 2023

Every year on Ravelry there’s a Flash your Stash thread in the Yarn and Fibre forum. As no one else had started one by today, I did it myself!

It’s already attracting some flashers and as I spent a happy hour in my sewing room pulling everything out to take photos for that thread I thought I’d blog about it too.

I grouped things for separate photos as the stash wouldn’t fit on my sewing room table all in one go! I started with my cardigan-in-progress and the ongoing dishcloth project.

I have three sweaters planned for the coming months. No specific patterns picked out, but my brain is turning over ideas in the background. From left to right: Scheepjes Truly Scrumptious, Wendy Husky Super Chunky, Michaels’ Craftsmart.

This pic is mostly plant fibres and blends. The packs of white cotton were bought for dyeing. I did a bit but then forgot about it for a few years. The colourful balls top left are my new ones, Scheepjes Softfun.

These are worsted weight acrylics that aren’t dedicated to a particular project. The Craftsmart skeins on the left would work well for a blanket sometime. The grey ones are what’s left from my recent sweater and beanie. The two big cakes are new (J√§rbo Cookie).

And then there’s all this DK. A lot of Stylecraft Special, some Lion Brand Mandala, etc. Plus my new Universe Christmas cake on the left which didn’t really fit in any group.

I need to plan a stash/scrapbusting blanket or something because these DK yarns have been hanging around for far too long. Maybe with a big hook and multiple strands.

The first day of a new year does seem to focus the mind on organisation. I asked ds3 if he would move all the Lego (we have a LOT) from the family room to its usual spot under ds2’s bed. He did it and has proceeded to clean up a lot of other stuff in there. This is great because we have fitness equipment in there and we needed more room to use it.

I’ve decided it’s time to get rid of the piano, and ds1 has an electric guitar that’s been sitting gathering dust for years.

Tomorrow is housework day. The Christmas tree is shedding needles like mad so I’m going to vacuum (again) and will plan to say goodbye to it next weekend.