Priorities

I started packing for 2 weeks in Denmark.  I’m afraid that’s not enough yarn….

Here Sockie Sockie Sockie…

I discovered something while cleaning. Be careful not to spook it.  It was sitting all innocently under the dresser, unfinished and scrunched almost unrecognizably.

A hapless sock.  Not really yet a sock.  About 1/2 a sock.  I remember learning the toe-up cast on.  I remember turning the heel in a van on our way to Phoenix to work at the renfaire.  I remember thinking it would be the perfect travel project.  And somehow, this little sock never got finished.  It’s not even second sock syndrome.  I don’t know if there’s even a word for this sort of reckless abandonment.

Bacchus Socks, knit in Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn.  Color: Bark Cloth.  I have fallen in love all over again.

Poor Little Socks,

Would you like to come to Denmark with me?

Crossing Things Off

I am a woman of lists.  Order – that’s what I like.  I know what I have to get done, I prioritize, I maximize efficiency.  And then I crash for awhile in a state of complete chaos before reorganizing my thoughts, replenishing my energy, and starting it again.

I write lists for everything.  Groceries, errands, cleaning, knitting projects (by order of most importance) and crafting goals.  Right now, I have an ongoing list for what needs to be done before I go to Denmark (cause, you know, I leave for Denmark in 6 days!).  And, it is extremely satisfying that over the past few days I have managed to cross off several big projects on that list.

1: I finished the 2 afghan squares I needed:

March – decreases

April – cabled motif

2: I finished the second hat for a client.  The order was 2 hat and scarf sets in his favorite team colors.  You say Co. Kerry the other day, this is Co. Mayo:

I am currently about 1/3 off the way finished with the corresponding scarf, but I wanted to finish the hats before I left.

3: Paint wings, since I have a show on April 30th and then almost continuous shows after that.

These are not quite finished.  The painting is finished, but obviously I need to add the ribbons and embellishments, which I will *hopefully* complete by Saturday.

4: I finished my taxes and sent them off.  Just waiting now.

5: Sewed a ton of coffee cozies:

These do still have to go on etsy, although some of them are up now. here, here, and here

So, what’s left?

Well,

1: I have to make tons of plushstaches for the Other Brother.  They move like wild fire!

2: Update etsy with all of the cool stuff I’m producing

3: finish the wings

4: clean the house

5: pack

6: pick out a travel project.  Or two.  or 3…

7: Print more business cards (hopefully using my new logo)!

I can hardly contain my excitement.  I love traveling, and this totally beats road tripping to Virginia for the holidays.

Is there anything I should do/see there??  I will be in Arhus, Denmark for 2 weeks, and spending a weekend in Montpellier, France.

All Tied Up Part 2

So, I left you 2 weeks ago with most of a skirt.  And then my sewing machine took a big giant crap and left me muttering filthy language in it’s general direction – and for most sewing machines.  And maybe the ties as well.

Since last week, I have finished the tie skirt and now have photos for you!  The quality of the photos may not be all that great, since it is my day off and no one is in the house to take them for me.  I sort of set my camera on a stack of books, hit the 10 second timer, and dived into position.  Hence,  not having any photographs of my face.

Making the Waist Band:

For starters, I had to decide what sort of waist band I wanted.  I drew a couple of sketches of one that buttons (too school girl), one that tied (hehehe), or elastic (ick).  I liked the idea of tying it closed for added security.

Second, I went through my bins of fabric (of which there are many) until I found a suitable color and fiber.  I emerged with a dark green, heavy, slightly stretchy piece, which had just enough fabric for one skirt band – so no mess ups!

I cut out a slightly curvy strip about 5 inches wide, which tapered at the tips.  I gathered the ties slightly before pinning the waist band in place and took it to my sewing machine.

Once that was done, I folded the waist band over and pinned it on the back side.  I did not pin the “tie” portion of the band, since I liked the idea of it fluttering instead of being heavy and bulging.

I sewed that in place, slowly. If you have a temperamental sewing machine, don’t use heavy fabric for this portion.  The five-ish layers of fabric will catch it up enough.

Once that was finished, I tried on my masterpiece, and realized that there were about 3 too many ties at the waist to fit me.  I was drowning in it.  (Enter several more expletives here).  I sat there staring at it and folding it for a while, trying to figure out how to fix it without ripping back and otherwise perfect waistband.  This is what I came up with:

I took a pair of sharp scissors (I can’t find my sheers anywhere!) and carefully snipped away 3 ties at about the halfway point.  I cut just after the seam that attached them to the skirt.  Then, I carefully and meticulously pinned the skirt back together, making sure the match up the seems left by the absent ties.  I took it to the sewing machine, and slowly stitched it back together.  It worked like a charm.

I actually like this better than I like the dress I made.

Well, yesterday was my friend Brian’s birthday.  To celebrate, Odin, Ellette, and I went over to his house.  We fired up the grill and played board games for the evening.  Rose gave me a bag that our friend Trish had left at her place for me.  Inside, I found these:

Looks like more fun tie ideas will be coming out of this blog.  If you have any ties you would like to contribute, let me know and I will tell you where to send them!

PS: Sundays have proven too difficult to write a Reconstructed segment.  I will be moving this activity to Mondays.  Also, we will most likely be taking a Reconstructed break while I am in Denmark.  Because you know, I’m going to DENMARK in 7 days!!

Random Friday

  • I just witnessed my cat “marking her territory” by the back door.  But inside the house.  I wonder if there’s an animal that makes it onto our porch.  I did spot the massive raccoon hanging out on our steps when I left the pumpkin out…
  • Ellette and I spent the afternoon making a “gnome garden” which her friend Zoe gifted her on her birthday.  It’s adorable.
  • I finished two vests – well, mostly:

  • I don’t actually like the shaping on the bottom one or the color sequence of the top one – so I’m not sure what to do about them.
  • I will probably end up carrying them with me from show to show until someone takes them from me.
  • Or tells me they are hideous and burns them.
  • Until I tweak the shaping design, no pattern will be available.  I have two more balls of scraps to turn into vests, so hopefully in that venture we will see results.
  • If you want one of those vests let me know.
  • Last night, I made this:

Side A

Side B

  • I can’t decide how to make the scarf.  I have another hat similar to this and an additional scarf as well
  • But knitting is on hold.  I put a hole through my forefinger on my left hand.
  • I am almost done with March’s afghan square.
  • And April’s.
  • I leave for Denmark in 10 days!!
  • I leave for DENMARK in 10 days!!!

It’s A Good Things Cats Have Nine Lives

This morning, I awoke rather drearily, stuffed my knitting in my bag, and headed off to work.  After a slightly busy morning, I decided to take my morning break.  I grabbed a cup of water, a croissant, and my WIP, and sat down at the counter to continue the monotonous background of reverse stockinette stitch.  However, when I looked down at my knitting, I discovered this:

That’s right – a big gaping hole!!  My cat had chewed through the fiber in the middle of the night, when it was laying innocently on the chair and I was sleeping soundly in the other room.  I don’t get it, I’ve left yarn projects all over the house before and the only thing that cat has done is cuddled up next to them.  Or, if I leave something blocking, systematically pull out the pins and scattering them all over the table.  But this – this is pure carnage!  This cat is so lucky she’s cute!  And really, I think it’s only that it’s Ella Rae Classic, because when I arrived home from work, I found this:

Yeah, across 3 rooms and around a couple of table legs.  I muttered something about skinning the cat and using her fur for yarn as I wound the ball – of Ella Rae.  It has to be Ella Rae because there were 2 knitted items strewn across the couches in the living room (where this innocent ball was resting), and 2 knitted vests in the dining room (where this ball ended up), along with a ball o Debbie Bliss, and a bag of yarn in the studio (in which the table was standing that ended up tangled in yarn).

So, now comes the moment when you ask yourself what saved this guilty, troublesome kitten?

Well, I received a package today, that looked like this:

Cascade 128 Superwash – 13 skeins!

And, at work today, an appreciative customer gave me a gift:

A hand pull Pavoni Espresso Machine.

So, if you’ll excuse me.  I’m going to make myself a drink and unwind by winding balls of yarn.

Do Not Look Behind the Curtain

I said don’t look!!

Instead, look at this:

Skirt #12 by Norah Gaughan – one of my favorite designers ever.  I want to marry her.  This one is knit in Queensland Bamboo and I absolutely adore it.  The color is “Celery” and it is way brighter than in the picture ( I was initially worried it would be too green).

Ok, so that’s not doing that great of a job at distracting you from the glaring absence of the tie skirt from last week.  You see, one sewing machine had a broken needle (and I have no replacements at hand) and this:

had me saying all sorts of curse words as it decided it just wasn’t going to catch the stitches through the ties (it worked on other fabric, just had a vendetta against the ties).  So, in a display of mature integrity, I took a steaming hot shower and watched cartoons with the little one and finishing the band on the skirt until Odin returned from errands to tell me what was wrong with the machine.

Before he could actually get to it, however, my moods had been up and down all day until I realized I was getting a headache.  Then, I realized my teeth were hurting, which at first I thought was odd.  Then, when a dark spot formed on my right eye I made the horrifying connection that I was getting a stress-induced migraine.  I used to get migraines a ton as a child, but once I reached 18 years, they sort of faded.  In the past year, I have had 3, which is just annoying.  I pre-empted the migraine with some medication (the only time I take it) and some homeopathic stress-relief tincture.  I attempted to socialize a little bit, but eventually had to have a lie down.  It was at this moment that Odin decided he was going to work on the sewing machine – right outside the bedroom door.  I wanted to strangle him.  In another moment of maturity, I took some homeopathic sleeping pills and knocked myself out.

This morning, I ripped out the band of the skirt and knit it on smaller needles (I was drowning in it) and then blocked the piece.  I also cast on:

The March Square for the Tech Square Afghan, as well as April’s:

Please ignore the fact that it is only March the 21st and April’s square is much farther along than March – which hasn’t really even been cast-on yet.  You try picking up 244 stitches from a provisional cast-on without loosing focus.  I needed a project I could take with my to an after-school activity.

If this all hasn’t satiated you yet, I have also written out and uploaded the Flower Faery Dress pattern from Ellette’s birthday:

Which is available for your proofing here.

For now, I am off to see the wizard about dinner.

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