Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ragnarok is on the Way

Welcome back for what is probably my last update Pre-Ragnarok. We're taking the Smidget with us this year so I'm sure it will be an adventure camping with a nine month old.

The QAYG panel is complete. I just realized that this is a terrible picture as it does not show the colors accurately. Please note you can't even see the green next to the blue . But I've already dropped this off at my church sewing group so I am not able to get a better picture and I'm quite glad to be rid of it.

I've finished three Joy's Journey blocks and started the fourth. I'm quite enjoying how every block is different.

There has of course been some pre-Ragnarok prep. A set of arrow covers for a friend and some water bottle carriers for an associate who commissioned them. The black carrier actually has two embroideries on it, a first for me.

I have two more carriers to finish and some garb I'd like to throw together for the little dude. I picked him up some shorts and solid colored onesies so he'll just need a little tabard to throw over top and he'll be all set. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Crochet the Day Away

I'm afraid the time got away from me over the last month or so. I've been working on a couple projects here and there as the Smidget allows, but no earth-shattering progress so I've been hesitant to write a post. 

I finished a second square of my Joy's Journey afghan. This is still an easy-peasy mindless project, perfect for throwing in a few stitches here and there. 

Below is the afghan from 100 Afghans to Knit and Crochet. It is called Reflections on the Go and its a fun motif project. I've been joining them along the diagonal and weaving in ends as I go and I'm happy with how its turning out. I went down a hook size from the recommended size.

My two current crochet projects are another square of Joy's Journey and a butterfly Amigurumi from Beetles Bugs and Butterflies. I have an idea of who I'd like to give this too, assuming of course that I ever finish it. 

I'm also attempting to get this really super annoying quilt out of the way. This is a QAYG kit that I picked up from my church's sewing group. I have discovered that I loathe this kit and will never ever do another one. I've had it for three months and this is as far as I've gotten. Here's hoping its done soon.

The cross stitch has been put away as the Smidget is starting to be mobile and I'm going to have to figure out the best way to be able to work on it on occasion and still keep things like scissors and pointy needles away from his every curious grasp. Anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


While working on the Mighty Samurai, I was annoyed to discover that I had misplaced the metallic threads. 

Which means that once I got to the part where I wanted to work on the metallic part, I put it away, sooner than I had planned. And then I spent two days going through my sewing room, looking for the little baggie of gold thread that I knew was there.

I did eventually find it, but not before I has moved on to another project. The Princess and the Dragon has made an appearance. Ideally, I'd like to finish the page before I move back to the Mighty Samurai. Or maybe I'll work on both :)

I have allowed myself ONE STASH PURCHASE since January - I know, I already have SABLE, but I was really excited when Dimensions released this kit. It used to be a HAED but I didn't pick it up before it was retired. The artwork is by Ruth Sanderson and its called Spring Fairy.
I'm happy with the new Dimensions patterns. They're printed on glossy high quality paper now and they aren't double sided, so each quarter of the pattern has its own sheets. I wish I could go back and trade in all the kits I have for new ones. The only thing I don't like about this pattern is the face of the fairy looks pretty awkward, so when I get there I'm going to see what I can do to modify it.

By the way, this weekend is April's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, so make some time to delve into your favorite stitchy projects this weekend and know that the stitching community is joining you in spirit!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Happy Spring?

We are FINALLY looking at warmer temperatures this week, with a promise of ~60 degrees F by Thursday. I'm so looking forward to it, I've been dying to take the Smidget out to the park but its just been too cold.

We're doing a bit better. I never dreamed that once he was six months old that we would still be having sleep problems and that I wouldn't have a grasp on all things domestic and maternal.

He's back to sleeping for most of the night, waking a few times to eat, which is way better than the every hour. I'm even getting to sleep in my own bed *knock on wood* instead of trying to find a way to safely cosleep elsewhere, because that was the only way either of us was getting any sleep at all.

There's a book I came across and I'm pretty sure it saved my life. It's called "Sleep is for the Weak" by Emily-Jane Clark of I purchased the Kindle edition and read it when I was up late with Smidget, unable to go to bed.

If it wasn't for the occasional coarse language, which I completely empathize with, I would hand hardcopies of this book out at every baby shower I ever attended from here on out, for all eternity.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 13:

"You rock, shush, sing and feed a baby in a quiet room for hours and hours every evening. You are desperately lonely but never alone. You are constantly busy but nothing gets done. There is no time or space to think, talk, rest or breathe. The exhaustion is relentless and all-consuming. You are tired and miserable but at least you are FUCKING CONSISTENT. You are on the verge of a breakdown, but that is okay because you are sticking to the damn ROUTINE. Considering all of this, there is a good chance your ‘calm environment’ is well and truly buggered. So it is time to try the unthinkable. To go where no Supernanny has ever gone before. Gina Ford may well have ‘contented’ kittens at the thought of this, but to hell with it… Forget B.ED.T.I.M.E. Give consistency the finger and tell the routine to do one. Take your baby into another room, watch TV, have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Enjoy your baby, enjoy being with your partner and CALM THE HELL DOWN! I guarantee the world will not end because you strayed from the bedtime routine. Trust me, your baby will sleep (eventually). You have not failed. Your baby is consistently content and healthy and you’ve avoided losing your shit. I’d call that a success."

This chapter hit home because I spent SIX WHOLE WEEKS trying to put the Smidget down EVERY NIGHT at the same time and all that we accomplished is that I sat alone with the baby in the bedroom for 4-6 hours per night starting at 8 pm EVERY NIGHT desperately trying to get him settled into a routine and to sleep at a consistent time. For my sanity's sake, we eventually gave up on that. If you have a Sleep Thief of your own, I strongly recommend you get this book and read it on a weekly basis. If you don't have a Sleep Thief and you just want a laugh, get this book and read it anyway.

On to the craftys.

I have decided to make my Joy's Journey afghan as set of smaller squares rather than one large square. The yarn is stretchy and it was getting distorted as the rounds continued, so I finished the first one off at 15 rounds or just about 13 inches across. The edges were still curling, so I decided to try my hand at blocking for the first time ever.

Before Blocking
I used a spray bottle with water to dampen the block, pinned it to the foam that was part of my Christmas present (FYI, the hubs got these at Harbour Freight, they are much bigger and much more affordable than the ones sold in specialty shops) while using the quilting rulers to square it up, and allowed it to dry. Because its acrylic, I didn't want to try to steam block with an iron and risk melting the fibers. I did do a couple passes with my hair dryer but it seems the Smidget has a low tolerance for consistent whiny hairdryer noises and he started fussing after a minute or so.

I'm pretty pleased with my experiment and may even block my crochet items on a regular basis. I figure I need twenty blocks to make a good sized throw. Since I'm using stash yarn, I'll have to check and see that I have enough on hand.  I do want it smaller than my C2C, which is too heavy and unwieldy to be used for anything except on the bed.

I am also working occasionally on a cross-stitch project that has not seen the light of day in a couple years at least. After getting tired of the grays in Guardian Angel, I resurrected the Samurai project.

Starting point
 I've mostly filled in on the right side, completing the branches and leaves and working to fill in the sun.

I'm finding numerous errors as I go but it looks fine to me so I won't be ripping anything out. Once I finish the sun and get the backstitching on the branches, I plan to continue on the Samurai proper. Working with all those pretty colors will be a cheering task.

Happy Spring to you all!