Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hand Sewing Rocks

I just have to say, when all else fails, and you want a fast project, turn to hand sewing.

I bought this dress up doll from Sew Main Street a while ago, and haven't bothered to sew it up until now.  I think it will be an Easter gift for the Princess.  The doll is done - I finished her up this morning. The clothes are still waiting to be sewn, but I'm working on something for mommy.  Maybe when that's done, I'll pick up the clothes, blanket and bag to go with the doll.  I couldn't get the doll to work well on the machine, so I went with hand stitching it.  It worked out just fine.  I was surprised at how nicely my stitches came out.  It's not perfect, but that's part of the charm.  It will still be a pretty dolly with clothes, and it'll still be handmade.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On to another

I finished the Daisy Wrap this weekend.  It was actually Friday night.  I was surprised at how quickly the edging went.

I haven't been able to block it; I should have over the weekend, while I had the space, but I forgot my blocking wires and pins.  Then, last night, I tried, but I don't have enough space here to block it. I will have to rely on The Whole Nine Yarns to block it for me, or give me the space to block it.

I was out of town this past weekend to celebrate my birthday!  I am now 23.  Haha!  Far from it, I can assure you.  Some days it feels farther behind me than others.  I did celebrate a bit, but not like I would have back then.  This year, we went to the annual shearing of alpacas up at Adonai's Alpacas, so we got to see our buddy Job again.

This one is kind of hard to see - my camera lens fogged up that day.  That day was hot - this day, it was COLD!  The weather's been crazy, and we're all suffering.  I've had the good sense to wait on planting my garden, so all my seedlings are safe.  I'll wait until after Easter to plant them.  But back to the alpaca farm.  Poor Job - he was one of the first ones to get sheared.  He wasn't thrilled with it, but he hardly made a sound.  His undercoat was beautiful.  Hopefully next year, everything will work out for him and he'll grow bigger and his coat won't break.  He had a stressful early life, and it's hindered his development.  Fortunately, he's loved a LOT (as are all their alpacas - they are treated VERY well) and another year of extra special care and he should be back on track.  He got a blanket after shearing, since it was cold and wet and rainy that day.  But I got birthday yarn!  It's a lovely alpaca/corriedale blend, and I can't wait to dye it and make something from it.  Oh, and I got something else for my birthday:

my very own CPW!  For those of you unfamiliar with that, it's a Canadian Production Wheel.  The yellow color is one indication, as is the tilt tension.  I'm waiting on her to be delivered (she's at my in-laws now) and she needs a little TLC to get her up and running, but we got her.  She's in good shape - most of the parts are original, with the exception of the bearings and that unusual peg.

No one seems to know what it's for.  It just sits there, in a hole.  This is a new peg - if you remove it, you can clearly see that it's a new piece that's been painted to match and someone just stuck it in there.  I've asked around, and no one seems to know what it's for.  It could have been for a bobbin to ply, it could have been for some form of distaff.  It could be there just to make you ask questions. I find that in old things like this, usually the simplest explanation is best.  I'm going to keep digging until I can find something out, and work with it.  Until then, it's not necessary to spin on it, so it can stay.  How was your weekend?  Oh, and did I mention it was COLD?  Like so cold it was FLURRYING last night!  Brrrr!  Stay warm!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And again, I'm behind.

I have no pictures, but the Daisy Wrap is close to being done.  I'm finishing up the last repeat, and then I have the edging to go.  I just have to figure out how to block it and photograph it, before turning it over to The Whole Nine Yarns.  It looks kind of like this:

It's just more wrinkled and a little darker.  I think they did this one in the light grey of Metalico; mine's in the platinum color (a darker grey).

I'm also working on a doll for Princess.  It's from Doohikey Designs.  I tried to sew the doll on my machine, and that didn't work so well.  So, I'm planning on hand sewing the doll.  The dresses will find their way to my machine, I'm sure, but the doll is so many curves, I think hand sewing will be easier.

Starting a new job really wears you out, especially when pollen season starts early.  I've been exhausted and although I've been working hard on the wrap to get it done before Stitches, I'm tired.  I think it's about bedtime.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Crafty Weekend, not exactly as planned

I had great intentions this weekend - don't we all?!  I had hoped to make huge progress on my wrap, get a couple of things sewn up, and possibly even attempt a little painting.  I didn't get it all done, but I did make baby steps.

Pardon the messy table - that's what happens when you paint and Modge Podge.  My lovely SIL and brother sent some cutouts that I requested for Little Man's room.  I then painted canvas boards and created one-of-a-kind artwork for his walls that will match his new decor.  In case you can't tell, it's actually a pirate theme, but all kinds of water/marine stuff works too.  He also has a black pirate ship that I found cheap (about $10) that will go in his room, and my MIL is painting him an oar to hang up.  Once the quilt is complete, the walls painted, and the room arranged, it's going to look awesome.  He may be 13 before it's all done, but it will be awesome.  I hope it won't really take that long, but you never know.

I couldn't do something for one, without doing something for the other.  I cut out a doll for Princess.  This doll is from Doohikey Designs; she comes with 3 outfits and a headband.  There are extra flowers for the owner, so they can match.  It was simple enough to cut out - I hope I can handle all the curves!  I know I'll have to take it slow.

In other craftiness, I am back up to where I had to rip out the Daisy Wrap, and I'm trying to make progress on it.  Of course, I was doing fairly good, and then I sat down to blog.  I'm now off to try and get one row done before I have to get ready for work...that always slows crafting down, don't you think? :)  Enjoy your day, and may it be a crafty one!

Friday, March 08, 2013

In case of emergency, buy glass.

This has been a crazy week.  I've been working some overtime, and found a huge mistake close to the beginning of my Daisy Wrap.  Here I was, chugging along on the second repeat of the pattern (there's 5) and I started working on row 4.  As I looked at the chart (sometimes WAY more helpful than the written pattern, I'm finding out), I realized that back on the first repeat, I didn't make a treble CLUSTER - just a treble stitch.  For those knitters-who-wouldn't-crochet-if-their-lives-depended-on-it or those-who-just-can't-get-the-hang-of-it, that's a really tall stitch, and in a cluster, there's supposed to be more than one.  So, I ripped back.  It got seriously frogged, back down to row 4.  It was slightly depressing.  But, I'm happily moving along, when I have the brain power to work on it, which is usually a little bit in the mornings and at lunch, and occasionally at night.  I'm hoping to catch it up on the weekend.

I've been trying to find small crafty things to do though, ones that don't take much time and can make me feel good.  Call them instant gratification candy of the craft world.  One thing I'm working on is a simple floral bouquet in a glass vase.  I know - not that exciting.  But you know what?  It will give me something pretty to look at on my desk.  I have tons of plans for things, but when you work late, it's hard to fulfill any of those plans.  I'm hoping that the late nights will end soon, and I can pick up a few more projects to complete (not start, just complete) and share with you.  So, when all else fails, break down, buy some silk flowers, a glass vase, and some rocks, and make a nice centerpiece.  Your inner craft person will thank you.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

It's all fun and games, until there's a crack.

First, I have to show you the Spiderman cookies Little Man decorated.

Didn't he do an awesome job?!  Not bad for a 6-year old.  I started one for him, gave him a guide as to where to put the lines, gave him the icing bag, and let him go to town.  Oh, and if you want a GREAT sugar cookie recipe, head over to Sweet Sugar Belle and get hers.  And the frosting.  Invest in some meringue powder for the frosting - trust me, it's worth it.  It doesn't matter if you just want plain round sugar cookies with great frosting for a party, or if you're going to invest the time to do colored frosting and decorate the cookies within an inch of their lives.  She has hands down the best recipe for the cookies and frosting.  They are not too sweet, the cookies stay soft (if you like them soft - if not, there is no hope for you), and the icing makes a BOATLOAD.  Prepare EVEN with the half batch to have a large container for the extra.  The good news is, you can store it in your freezer and just stir it back up to revive it.  It'll last practically forever.  But all bets are off for a zombie apocalypse.

Here's the next item on the list:

This is the Daisy Wrap from Blue Sky Alpacas.  It doesn't look like much right now, but it is 20% complete.  There are 5 pattern repeats for the Small size, and I've done the first one, and I'm working on the second one.  I hope to have it complete by the end of next week, or the week after, depending on how much time I can devote to it.  This does, unfortunately, require some concentration, which means I have to pay attention.  It is lovely, and the yarn is yummy, and the pattern is quite simple, but again, does take concentration.  It's been set aside for my Cloudy Day hat, which I had to rip back again.  I'm not sure that the bobbles are coming out right.  I have to research that, and see what's going on.  They all pop backward.

Speaking of popping, I was putting Little Man to bed last night, and he was playing as usual.  He always loves to play with Mommy, and I can't say I blame him - he's a lot of fun.  I was trying to get up from the floor, and he was trying to jump on his bed.  His head met my nose with a lovely crack. Then a stream of blood started.  Fortunately, nothing is broken, just bruised, and he was very sorry.  He really didn't mean to do it; it was an accident.  I now feel like I have a cold.  That was not a good way to end a Monday - with an ice bag and some Witch Hazel.  On my nose.  Was your day better?  Hopefully it ended better!