sewing


I actually finished this yesterday, but didn’t get the pictures uploaded until this morning.

laptop case 2

I kind of just made it up as I went along, but it turned out really well.

laptop case open

laptop case closeup

I used Red Heart SS in Teal with an I hook. The stitch pattern is the block and offset shell stitch (block 27) from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches Combine To Make An Heirloom Afghan (That’s a mouthful, eh?)

I lined the inside with a sweatshirt fleece in a lighter teal and used an invisible stitch to tack it down all the way around. Then I folded it to size and used crab stitch (reverse crochet) all the way around to give it a nice finished edge.

Overall, I love the way it turned out. It fits my laptop perfectly – snug, but not to tightly. I’ve been waiting for a project to use those buttons on for ages, and even though I think they look great on the cozy, I may have to wind up changing them out. They don’t have enough of a lip on them to keep the flap closed securely enough for my taste.

I’m thinking about adding a small pocket to the inside for paperwork/discs and maybe one to the back of the outside for my power cable. I haven’t decided yet. I kind of like the unfettered look of it without pockets of bulging crap hanging off of it. I may just make a separate bag for that stuff. Right now I’m just happy to have something soft and cushy to protect my new baby from dust and scratches.

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I don’t yet feel that the week has started, despite it already being Tuesday. We spent Saturday at my in-laws house learning how to use her GT Xpress 101.   I went and bought all the ingredients for omelets and it convinced me that if I ever have about $180 to throw away I’d like one of those machines. They’re pretty handy.

My mil has a cat. Her name is Seven Toed Pete.

I took a break from cooking to get some shots of Pete because she’s got seven toes

seven toed pete

Isn’t she beautiful? I decided to get artsy like Hammie and take some black and white and some sepia photos. Aaaand, proof that Pete is a seven toed cat in case no one believed me…

petes toes sepia

Fascinating, no?

Yesterday I spent most of the day winding yarn. I was wading through my craft room and found a bag with three sweaters I’d bought last spring. (Yes, it’s so messy in there you can lose entire bagfuls of sweaters.) I bought them at a place here that has clothes for $5.00 a pop (now $5.99, thank you inflation) and they tend to sell out of season stuff for .99 or $2.00. I found three sweaters of the same size, in the same yarn for .99 apiece and scooped them up, only to forget about them after taking the pieces apart. This is what I wound up with:

tweed yarn

That’s the top of my freezer. There is SO much yarn there! I still need to wash it, but I’ve got most of the work done. I like the yarn but it definitely needs a bath because it’s kind of squished from being knit up for so long. I could probably get a blanket out of the amount of yarn that’s here, but I think I’ll make myself something.

I also made myself a pair of flannel pajama pants last night. They’re so soft and warm! I needed a new pair so bad because my yoga pants were annihilated from Moxie grabbing the cuffs. These aren’t quite so long so maybe she won’t grab them as much. No pictures of those unfortunately because I’m wearing them at the moment and no one is seeing my fat butt right now.

On the knitting front; I’ve mainly just been playing around with this little baby sweater that caught my fancy. It’s on size 2 needles and involves lace, so I’m not working on it every day. I’ve mainly been vegetating and trying to decide what I want to do. I’ve been thinking about my art journal for awhile now and making new books. I don’t really know what I want to do…I’m just kind of floundering with a head full of ideas right now. I may pull out my watercolor pencils later today.

Thursday is mine and Paul’s 11th anniversary. I’ll probably just make a nice dinner at home and we’ll celebrate during the weekend in Laughlin or something.

Now, I’m going to get a cup of coffee and try to re-read this to make sure it makes sense…I need to remind myself not to ramble when I’m not fully awake!

This weekend was a whirlwind of crafting.  Toss in a little grocery shopping, some cleaning and I’m ready to go back to bed lol!

I was going to write a post about how I had to wait to take pictures because my husband stole my camera batteries for his remote control car and decided that in the time it would take me to write and complain I could get pictures.  Turns out though that I didn’t even have to do that, because my batteries were a little more juiced than I thought!

Picture 196

I made these last week, but never posted them.  Our dishcloth weekly knitalong on ravelry was the Feather & Fan dishcloth.  I decided to take it one step further and make a dishtowel to go with it.  I’d never done a dishtowel before with the little hanger on top so I just sort of winged it.  I cast on 60 stitches for the towel (54 pattern stitches and 3 border stitches on each side) and just worked the pattern until it was about 12 inches.  For the towel topper:

Row 1: K2tog across.

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: K2tog across.

Row 4: Knit.

Row 5: K2tog three times, K 3, K2tog three times.

Row 6 – 36: Knit.

Row 37: K 3, BO 3, K 2

Row 38: K 3, CO 3, K 3

Knit five rows, BO.

Ugh.  Sorry if those simple instructions take up so much room.  I hate the way wordpress does that.

Anyway.  I was supposed to meet up with my bestest friend on Thursday afternoon, but the cold that Paul’s had was once again trying to thwart me.  I called Shan and bailed and slept most of the day.  That night, around midnight or so I caught her on messenger and we decided to go to our old haunt and have some coffee and crochet.  I’m a smoker, and when our town implemented the smoking ban on restaurants I stopped going to our local truck stop.  We used to be found there at least once a week (like clockwork!) to visit and drink copious amounts of coffee.  It was sucky not being able to smoke there, but it was worth getting some visiting time in with my best friend and starting the afghan we’re working on together!

We picked an absolutely gorgeous project if I say so myself!  It’s called Prairie Star and you can get the pattern here.  You crochet the motifs together as you go and it’s a fairly quick afghan so far!  I suspect that it’ll take longer to see progress as I go lol.

Picture 197

Shan’s doing hers in blues and purples and I’m going a little earthier on mine.  I’m starting to re-think the dark burgundy in the center, but I think it’ll turn out okay.  It needs a little “pop” anyway.  It’s really easy to memorize the motifs after a few, you just need to keep track of where the different colors go.  It’s starting to get big enough now that I need a lot more room to work on it and I’m not even halfway finished!  I can’t wait to see the end result though.

Here’s the Orno Abaci scarf I’ve been working on:

Picture 199

I don’t think it looks like much right now, but it’s quite impressive looking in person.  It’s knit on the bias and I really like the way it’s a straight scarf but it’s stitches are diagonal.  I’m just starting to get in to the color changes that are closer together so I’m feeling good about it now that I’m seeing some progress.  It’s SO soft and squooshy.  I think it’s a scarf I’ll actually keep and wear!

This weeks dishcloth knitalong is the Tribble

Picture 198

It’s a fairly quick little scrubby and it’s fun to see it come together.  It’s exactly like the Tawashi, (which I think I posted a picture of previously) except it’s knit instead of crocheted.  Someone on ravelry posted that she’d put nylon scrubby fabric in the center of hers to keep it puffed out and I think I may do the same with some of the ones I’m making.  It’s a great little pattern for using up extra scraps of cotton, which I have a lot of laying around!

I also did some sewing this weekend!

Picture 200

My mother in law and I keep missing each other for various reasons, so I decided to just start working on my sewing.  Yes, it’s really that pink (which brings to mind Princess Peach, Barbie and bubble gum) but I’m planning on doing some stencilling on it when it’s all finished.  I’m not really using a pattern, but a tutorial I got off of Craftster.  It’s dead easy and coming out very nicely.  It’s the first project I’ve ever put a zipper in (eek!  It was kinda scary).  The t-shirt I used to cut out my pattern was the largest I had and so it’s big even on me.  It’ll be nice and comfy though and I’m looking forward to wearing it when I can’t get warm in this damned house.  I’m taking my time on it and sewing it together slowly.  The body is completely together and now I’ve just got one pocket, the hemming and the actual hood to put on.  I should be finished with it in the next couple of days.

I even took time to mess with my altered book this weekend.  Nope, I didn’t sleep much.

Picture 201

I started working on this page awhile ago, intending it to be for journalling, but I didn’t get very far.  I pulled out my ephemera and rifled through it to find this classic beauty.  The little tag is from Home Depot, I stole obtained a bunch few of the countertop samples awhile ago and they’re great for all sorts of crafts.

I didn’t work on my sweater this weekend at all.  Or my dad’s hat.  I’ve been trying to give all my crafts equal opportunity, but some win out over others.  They’ll all get done eventually though!  I’ve been thinking a lot about tags for my wearables and I’m still stuck.  I don’t really plan on selling my finished objects (most of which I couldn’t even if I wanted to because they’re other peoples patterns) but I’d like a more finished look when I’m giving gifts.  I need a name and Chaotic Crafts just doesn’t seem to ring to me.  Still pondering, I’ll figure it out eventually.

I’m hoping to get the motivation to go through my dining room and kitchen cabinets today and clean them out.  We’ve got so much crap that we don’t use that I want to get rid of.  Maybe then I’d have room for the stuff I want to keep! 

That’s what I keep hearing.  It’s been raining all night and we’ve got three leakes in the roof right now!  One in my *gasp* craft room, one in the living room, and one in the doorway of our bedroom.  I tarred the roof a couple of summers ago and filled all the places that looked damaged, but I obviously missed a place or two!  Frustrating.  Beyond it being damaging though, I love the rain and wish that we’d get rain every day.  I’m living in the wrong part of the country for that though!

Over the weekend I got a lot of knitting done, though not all on what I would have liked.  The hat I made for my dad for Christmas was too short, so I had to go get more wool and I started the Marsan Watchcap.  It’s a simple enough hat in a twisted rib, but I love the decreases for the crown.  It looks really nifty.  I’m about a quarter of the way through that.

I also started this weeks dishcloth knitalong.  It’s just a simple feather and fan dishcloth, but I decided to go a step further and make a dishtowel to go with it.  I love the idea of hand-knit dishtowels, but this is the first one I’ve made.  I’m about done with it, and then I can actually start on the knitalong part lol.

I worked until the wee hours of Saturday morning on my sweater and made a decent amount of progress.  I’m doing Bombshell from Big Girl Knits and it’s a top-down raglan.  I got to the join and I’m working in the round toward the bust now.  It’s a teensy reminder of why I hate knitting for myself…it feels like I’m making very little progress even when I knit on it for hours!  I’m heading towards 300 stitches around right now and have another 100 or so to go before I start making the bust shaping.  Sigh.  If I finish it though it’ll be a gorgeous sweater.  I just hope I can find a skirt or flattering pair of pants to wear with it so my hard work won’t be in vain!

I’ve decided that I’m going to start posting a few tutorials.  If I can get my camera rigged up on it’s tripod in a flattering position (with enough light!) I’ll do a couple of videos.  Simple stuff like how to do mattress stitch on stockinette, grafting, stuff like that.  When I get a chance to find a good sweater to recycle I’ll post about how to do that too.  It’s just that I started thinking about it and once upon a time I’d go looking for tutorials and find links and then boom, dead link.  If I make tutorials there’s one more out there that people can find.  Makes me feel like I’m doing a little to give back.  Either that, or I’m bored lol.

My mother in law told me to give her a call this morning when I got up.  I mentioned to her that I wanted to start making some light weight hoodies to wear around the house and now she’s got her motor revving.  She wants to go to Walmart this morning and pick up some fabric and set her kitchen up as a sweatshop impromptu sewing room.  I guess I’ll pour myself a fresh cup of coffee and ring her up.  Chances are she won’t want to go out because of the weather, but if she does, I’ll be gone for most of the day.

I spent most of the morning playing catch up and I’m finally done!  For today anyway 🙂

The first one is just a little victorian style candy cone.  I used glittery felt and ribbon.  I’d like to do some really intricate ones one of these days because I always thought they looked beautiful on a tree, but I don’t have a lot of fabric at the moment.  Well, I do, but I need to go through it because it’s all tossed together and I just didn’t have the energy to rifle through it today.

The second, third and fourth are just painted wooden ornaments.  Our friend Jennifer that came to visit brought them for me and I thought they’d work well for my challenge since I did have to paint them.  My favorite is the snowman because after I painted his body white I covered the still wet paint in glitter and then brushed it off.  She brought two others as well but they were so pretty that I didn’t want to cover them up with paint.

The last one is a little fair isle stocking that’s knitted flat and then sewn up the side.  I’d never done fair isle straight and it was a lot of fun.  I had a great time changing the colors around and adding stripes to make it my own.  You can get the pattern here.

I’m happy that I caught up with my challenge.  I’m the type of person that can’t stand to make plans and then give up on them.  I was feeling a little down that I was making such a big deal over it but I sucked it up and just did them and now I’m back on track.  Now…what do I make tomorrow?

When I first got high speed internet I spent hours upon hours compulsively watching videos on youtube and listening to music on online stations (and podcasts!)  Hey, after about eight years of dial-up, wouldn’t you?

As the new wore off and I knew that my high speed wasn’t going to magically disappear I stopped searching for so much new stuff to watch, but I noticed a youtube update in my inbox and decided to go browse for a few minutes.  This video popped up when I searched for “knitting”.

It’s a little long, and unless you love the Benny Hill theme song you may want to keep your volume off. However, having never been around a knitting machine in real life, I was completely in awe while watching. I know it’s been sped up, but I read the comments and the woman who posted it says it takes her about 45 minutes to make them and around 30 minutes to sew the seams up. So fast! Personally I prefer NO seams at all on my socks so it’s not really something I’m looking in to trying but I’ve heard wonderous things about making sweaters in a day. How cool is that?!

Eventually there are a lot of little (and not so little) goodies I’d like to get to aid in my complete crafting destruction crafting lifestyle. Such as:

A spinning wheel. I’ve never used one, don’t really know a thing about them, but I want one nonetheless. I like using a drop spindle, but it usually takes me ages to not only spin, but ply, get it off the darn thing and actually DO something with it. The last stuff I spun is still sitting on my spindle and I haven’t touched it in probably a month; mainly because I know I still need to spin enough to ply it, then spin the plies together, etc. etc.

An honest to goodness sewing table. Something large enough to cut fabric on one area of it, while still leaving room for my sewing machine and accessories. I’ve put off really doing anything about this because of room, plus not doing much sewing lately. But if I don’t have room, why would I sew? It’s a catch 22.

Proper storage. I know it’s not a “tool” per se, but it has it’s place. I would love some enclosed shelving to store yarn/fabric/notions in. Living in Arizona, the dust never stays outside. I pulled the carpet up in our dining room when re-decorating and there was SO.MUCH.DUST. That’s just what filtered down through the carpet in the years this place has been around. The stuff just sticks to everything, including the walls. I thought I’d be clever and paint one of our bedroom walls black. Thus far I’m regretting it because you can see every speck of dust that lands on it. Anyway, back on topic, I’d LOVE some proper storage. Something clean and neat that you can see through.

A large area to pin out/block knit items. For now, most of my stuff gets pinned out on towels laid down on the floor. The towels protect the project from any random dog hair that may be on the floor, but not from the dogs walking all over them! We don’t have a lot of doors in our place, it’s a pretty open lay-out, so I use the bedroom when I know whatever I’m blocking will be dry before bed-time. It’s a little tricky.

There’s a ton more stuff, but I think I’ll stop there for now. I mainly wanted to post something (because I felt like writing!) but didn’t feel like updating with a lot more pictures of “THE COAT” unfinished. I am happy to say that I finished the left front and am halfway through the right front since I last posted about it. I’m starting to think I may actually have enough yarn to finish the sweater, and that makes me very very happy! I am thinking about taking a day off to just work on some random things though. I need a break I think.

Congrats to anyone who actually made it through all that babble! You get an e-cookie!

The last two projects I’ve finished have put the idea in my head that I should pamper myself today.  A hot bath, good smelly soaps and hot tea with a good book!  It would certainly help after such a nasty night. 

I met the rudest, nastiest old man last night at Walmart.  I’d done a weeks worth of grocery shopping and my cart was overflowing.  When this man came up behind me in the check-out line I offered to let him go ahead of me seeing as he only had one item.  I said, “Excuse me, but I’ve got a LOT of stuff and if you’d like to go ahead of me you’re welcome to.”

I thought it was nice, but instead of a “thank you”, I heard “Yeah, pshhh….you DO have a lot of stuff!” as he sauntered past me and threw his tube of antifungal cream on the belt.

Now, normally I don’t speak up in public.  I’ve had people run over my foot with their cart, push me out of the way and literally during a Black Friday sale I had someone elbow me in the gut for the last rocking chair.  So I surprised myself by saying out loud, “Gee, you’re WELCOME!”

He looked taken aback and muttered a quick thank you.  He then got to experience my full wrath after looking at the cashier and saying “Young people these days!  Not a polite bone in their bodies!”

Oh.  My.  Expletive.

I went in to a bit of a tirade and told him that I’d been polite from the start by offering to let him go ahead of me and that HE was the one that didn’t know the meaning of the word polite.  I saw him look to Paul the cashier for some sympathy and Paul just looked at me, nodded his head and said I was right.  Crochety Old Man grunted, grabbed his tube of cream and stalked off.

A long explaination of why I need a pampering day, but wow…I just couldn’t believe the gall.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, look at some pictures!

I was feeling artsy when I took this picture 🙂  These little face cloths only measure about 3.5″x3.5″, but they’re thick and cottony soft and the texture will make for a fantastic face scrubbie.  I got the pattern from this neat little five piece bath set and I decided to make several.  I’ve got a peppermint face scrub that is begging to be squeezed onto these babies!

A few days ago I mentioned these fantastic hair turbans my mother in law has for wrapping your hair in after a bath/shower.  Well I finally got around to making a few and here’s the results!

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  But when you open it up, wrap it around your head and tuck the tail into the attached elastic, it becomes a different animal! 

Never again will I struggle to keep a big bulky towel on my head after I wash my hair.  This bath turban is small but absorbent, stays on snugly and now I won’t go through so many towels!  My hair is down to just about the middle of my back and this holds it all in.  I’m thrilled with it and all it cost me was an old towel and a little elastic, both of which I already had.  I love it when I can make something out of things I already have.

Well, I guess that’s enough for now.  I know I was long winded and blathered on quite a bit, but I haven’t had much sleep and there’s a teensy part of me still seething about what happened last night.  It’s time to go run a bath now and try out my new handy dandy scrubbies and turban!

Happy weekend to all!

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