Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Faithful April

I'll be joining Justine@Justine's Cross Stitch for Faithful April

Justine used to work on just one project at a time but we serial starters have converted her to a multiple WIP lifestyle and now she's trying to bring her dozen WIP's down to a more palatable number by dedicating all her stitchy time in April to just one project. She'll be working on the Cut Through Rocket by Bothy Threads.

I think this is a brilliant idea, and although I usually lose interest in a project after about two weeks, I'm going to give it a shot.

I have three projects that I keep going back to... the hard part is to pick just one! I would dearly love to finish one of these three this year. Dare I aspire to finish two this year???

Fall Fairy by Dimensions

The Castle by Teresa Wentzler
Curiosity by Janlynn
I think I'm going to go with Curiosity by Janlynn. Its approximately half done, and therefore should be the easiest to finish. If I can get through a couple hundred stitches a night (haha, unlikely) I could theoretically finish this in a month.

Also in April, I'd like to finish a quilt top I've started and make a couple pairs of linen pants and shirts for Ragnaok.

Game. On.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Crafting Attention Deficit Disorder

I've been suffering from CADD (Crafting Attention Deficit Disorder) today. 

It all started yesterday during my work's town hall meeting. I spent the hour and a half meeting doodling in a notebook, coming up with ideas to modify my current garb to look a little cooler. 

So I came home full of ideas today and set up my dress form.

As you can see, the corset that I bought to go with this dress doesn't really work out so well. Oh gee, I guess I'll just have to make myself a new dress, so that I have something to wear with my corset. Shucks. ;)

Then I was distracted by the patches I am attempting to embroider. We've been through three iterations so far. 

I think the last one looks the best but I am considering a slightly different shape to better accommodate the dragon. 

While those were stitching out, I finished up the last few of the blankets for DollsforAlzheimers.

I have a full box now, at least sixteen of these doll sized blankets, so I'll ship them out soon. I was able to reduce my fleece stash from one overflowing bin to about half of a bin.

There are eight pieces of fleece still in here, but I have plans to make crochet edged blankets out of them. The yarn that I have set aside to use is in the bottom of the bin.

But wait, that's not all.

I started to lay out this quilt to be sandwiched. The patches are still stitching away here. They take a while.  

I realized that I needed to iron the backing fabric and piece it together to get a large enough back. But my ironing board is still in my car from making surcoats and sword covers last Saturday.

So I had to clean up my sewing room a bit, or I wouldn't be able to fit the ironing board back where it belongs. 

And that's when I came across these, in one of those "oh, shiny!" moments. These are cut offs from a quilt I've already  put together. 

I have a GREAT idea for what to do with these - a strip quilt!

To finish up a long story, my ironing board is still in my car.

I guess I'd better go get it, I'm going to need it to work on my strip pieced quilt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I spent a day at the courthouse today. This is my view from the Juror Room window. 

It wasn't all bad - I was permitted to take a crochet hook into the courthouse (knitting needles not allowed through, FYI), and spent about an hour and a half on my shawl. That is until I ran out of yarn and realized I had forgotten to pack an extra skein.

I'm not quite sure why the left slide has so much slope to it, I'll have to investigate a bit and make sure I'm putting enough stitches in that side. It's possible that blocking will fix the problem.

Anyhow, the rest of the day was frittered away with kindle books, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, window shopping on my favorite crafty websites, and an attempt at cross stitch which failed when I figured out that the small kit I had didn't include the needle like it was supposed to. Note: Small scissors NOT allowed, nail clippers are. I think, however, that I will pick up those completely encased Clover or DMC brand thread cutters for the future. They are pendants with little slots for cutting thread.

They started sending Jurors home before lunch but I was one of the lucky few who got to stay until the end of the day. None of us even made it into the courtroom, sadly. As long as they're going to keep us all day, it might as well be interesting!

So my plans for tonight include sorting out how to embroider the patches with the Akron Dragon.

My first test patch - As you can see, this needs a little bit of finessing.
 And working on this oldie but goodie - The Castle by Teresa Wentzler.

What are you doing for WIP Wednesday?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

 After a weekend that felt as busy as my work week? Boy do I need some down time.

This past week I was only able to play around with a few things.

I tested out embroidering leather on my embroidery machine. I'm very happy with how it turned out and am cautiously looking forward to playing with the red leather that I picked up at Badon Hill last year.

 I finished another skein of this scarf. This now totals three skeins of yarn and I'd like to do three more to get it to a good length.

And finally, I slow stitched this crochet edge fleece blanket. I really like how the rainbow yarn came out. It's just a small blanket using some leftover fleece, but its one more thing out of my stash and ready for someone to use.

I had a very busy weekend with an all-day sword-smithing event yesterday, during which I sewed 25 sword covers and added bias tape to a Dagorhir member's surcoat. Today we had church and a birthday party for a friend's one year old son, who was obviously worn out by the end of it but was a trooper and I think he had fun.

I just got home a few minutes ago and I only have a couple hours to relax before I have to go to bed. If I'm not too tired to stitch after a hot shower, I'm going to attempt to work on this Life if Beautiful block next. I'm having a little trouble deciding what colors to make the other two butterflies.

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

One Monthly Goal Finish

I "finished" this blue and white scarf, by which I mean that I discovered that the double layer of yarn hurt my hands to work with, as it is quite stiff. I finished the row I was working on and called it done.

The funny thing is that when I went to photograph it, it is stiff enough that it folded into this awareness ribbon shape. Out of curiosity, I looked up a list of awareness ribbons to see if this scarf would mean anything.

I came to the conclusion that I have my choice of meaning, based on the blue and white ribbons. So this scarf is a combination of blue for human trafficking awareness and white for ending violence against women. Seems appropriate. Now that's decided, I've retired this scarf to the donation box.

I have put Library Kittens away for the time being. I far surpassed my goal of 700 stitches last week.

At the beginning of last week

I'm close - oh so close - to the halfway mark for this project, and it still needs a decent amount of back stitching.

Last but not least, here are the finished blocks for the quilt I am working on, meeting my One Monthly Goal. I've decided go ahead and cut some more Dresden plate blades. I think this quilt needs to be bigger and I have a large stack of 6 inch squares to use up.

On a different topic, I've lately been looking around at the craft supplies I have and wondering how long I could go without buying new projects. Not self control wise, but how long would my supply of happy things to do actually last me? I'm predicting it might be years really. I'm thinking of trying an experiment. I can work on anything, with no limitations on what I'm allowed to work on except that there can be no purchases. Eventually I'll have to cave and buy more quilt batting, and garb supplies wouldn't count since I don't stockpile those.

It's nothing I'm committed to yet, just this curiosity that I have bumping around my brain right now.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Library Kittens and Loot

I feel like I should be posting a little bit more often, but there hasn't been much going on crafty-wise here. I just completed a 48 hours in 5 days work week and have been too tired when I get home to do much. 

Last Saturday I did progress a little further in my next Life is Beautiful block.

Other than that, my go-to project this week was Library Kittens, with a personal goal of 100 stitches per night this week. I think I made it already to 700 stitches but I still have a couple days to go. It's all approximate of course, since I am not stitching this in 10 x10 blocks.

Since I put in so much overtime this week, I allowed myself to splurge on a little loot. This is three skeins of yarn that I intend to use to make a Juliette Shawl.

I like this shawl pattern because its closed in front. I attempted to make it previously using a heavier yarn than recommended and it just didn't work out. I have picked up this thin, beautiful yarn to give it another go at some point. Instead of changing colors every few rows, I opted for variegated yarn. I know you're all shocked about that ;)

I also picked up a couple more cross stitch patterns during HAED's sale. Two of these are Minis and one is regular size.

Mini Autumn Queen by Brigid Ashwood.
Look, COLOR! I love the COLORS!

Guardian Angel by L.A. Williams

Mini Coppervein by Ruth Thompson
HAED "regular" patterns are getting larger and larger these days, with most of them being released somewhere between 500 and 700 stitches in one direction but I don't really want all my stitched projects to be that large which I why I opted for the minis. They'll be about 10 x 13 inches when done and Guardian Angel will be about 12 x 16 inches. And yes, I plan on STITCHING ALL THE THINGS.

My weekend plans include helping a couple of our Dagorhir members make Akron Surcoats, eating caramel apple pecan pie, and spending several hours pretending to catch up on laundry while I continue working on Library Kittens. How is your weekend shaping up?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

One Monthly Goal - March

Its past time to set my One Monthly Goal for March.

The Year to Date Recap

In January I wanted to completed one AoTH quilt block. This one only needed the satin stitching and hand embroidery.

Results were unsuccessful. I spent most of the month planning the Best. Birthday. Party. EVER. and so I do not regret that I didn't meet my goal.

In February I wanted to finish this quilt.

 And I succeeded but I didn't like the technique or the finished product. This quilt still has no home. It's somewhere between baby and crib sized but isn't appropriate for kids due to the raw edges.

Which brings us to March. I was having trouble deciding what my goal this month should be - sandwich and start quilting Scattered or the Kaleidoscope quilt? Go back to AoTH? Finish my Life is Beautiful block? Add borders to the DP9 quilt?

I finally settled on finishing this pile of blocks. Its an easy goal. Probably won't take me more than an hour if I actually sit down long enough to complete it.

And then I must decide if I want to make more blocks or if I want to use alternating "solid" squares. So part of my OMG this month is to pick a layout for this quilt and either (a) cut more dresden plates or (b) start piecing the top.

What is your OMG?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful

The drive home was nerve-wracking last night. Freezing rain turned sleet turned snow over the course of the hour it took me to get home. I could see the ice forming on the roads.

It was expected to drop 3-6 inches of snow over the course of six hours but as I guessed, the roads were more or less clear for the morning commute today and we received significantly less snow that they said we would. Sadness. Still no snow day for me this year.

Last night and tonight I've been adding some rows to a shawl that I started not too long ago. This is based on the free Road Trip Scarf Pattern by Zelna @ Zooty Owl.

Her pattern has all double crochet but I thought I'd add a little dimension by inserting some half double crochet rows on the back loop. I think it was seven rows dc, then three of the hdc, four rows of dc, and now I'm back to hdc. I will probably alternate four rows dc, three rows hdc, until its as big as I want. I'm planning on shawl size instead of scarf size.

I'm still slowly making progress on the blue and white scarf and the pastel dragon scale scarf. When I am organized enough to take a lunch to work, I can get about half an hour of stitching in on my lunch break.

I find myself a little scattered lately, not really focusing on any one project but flitting from project to project without any real motivation. I'm hoping to settle down soon, as I need to attempt my One Monthly Goal for March if I can ever decide what I want it to be. Anyone have any tips for increasing focus?