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Monthly Archives: January 2009

After getting the back wall to have electricity again, I was able to make the Amy Butler lounge pants about which I was talking yesterday.  Please excuse the ratty green college hoodie. They’re lounge pants, ya know? Click to embiggen.

I made the large size, as I’m in between the large and medium, and they fit pretty well. I am delighted by the way they swish around my feet, but they are definitely made for women who aren’t as curvy as I am.

I have to put all the excess fabric in the back to go around my bum. Next time [oh yes, there will be a next time. These pants are SUPURB. I’ll never need to buy pajama/lounge bottoms again. I’m tempted to make them for the gym], I’ll put in an elastic waist band instead of the draw string. There’s a tutorial somewhere, right?

Excellent, well written pattern. I do have enough to make the matching top, but I’ll deal with that not tonight. I’m going to knit, so there’s actual knitting content on here.  I promise, I have been knitting.

I may not be around as much for the next few weeks as a lot of transistional family stuff is going on. Nothing too bad, just stuff that takes up a lot of time and mental energy.

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Here, Sheryl, are the pirate pillows about which I was talking. I’ve added in Matt’s Christmas Ninja Turtle pillows too. [Head on over to my photobucket account to see them bigger.]

It only takes a yard to make a pillow case, and they look way more impressive than they really are. The longest it’s ever taken me to make one is about 1/2 hour, and those were the pirate pillows. I had to sew more than one seam. The knitting/scissors fabric pillow is Michael Miller fabric brought home as a souvenir from Seattle.

More fabric stash busting: Margaret Bag.

The fabric looks to be South American in origin, and has this fantastic woven detail on each end. I used up almost all of the fabric, leaving just a 1/4 yard more on top of the detail at the other end. I love this bag. The handle is a really nice width, and it hold the folders and other accoutrement I need for tutoring, along with some groceries, and possibly a small mammal. Thanks, Elizabeth, for such a great bag pattern! I plan on making more.

I made it to the quitling shop for the first time today, located in an old Victorian building in downtown Old Town Fairfax. Nice, pretty fabric. Experienced a bit of sticker shock; however, I’m going to equate it to the same kind of sticker shock I had when I started buying yarn outside of JoAnne’s and AC Moore. Preeetty things. I will be going back to get this really cute ‘go green’ fabric, once I decide what I want to make with it.

I did buy fabric to try out Amy Butler’s Lounge pants pattern before I cut up Matt’s childhood sheets. [Dinosaurs. So cute, and there’s more than enough for me to make a matching top, for which I have a pattern.] 40% 0ff, the last of the bolt, and the nice young man rounded down the something + yard to 3 yards, so I didn’t even pay full price there. Nice guy, pretty fabric.

Guess what I’m doing tonight?

Have a good weekend!

This past Saturday, Matt and I went to the JMU v GMU basketball game at my alma mater, GMU. [Matt went to JMU]. Neither of us actually went to a sporting even for our schools when we were students there, so it seemed appropriate that we would go to one when both schools were playing. Matt’s mom won the tickets from her work, so we didn’t even have to pay.

We had a lot of fun, and GMU stomped, JMU, beating the Dukes by over 10 points. I think that says something about my school, even if JMU has way better food.

Of course, I took knitting with me.

I have fingerless gloves, but I wanted something that would actually cover my whole hand. The stash was tossed, and out came the single skein of Cotton Fleece that I’d bough a while ago to swatch for a sweater. I decided not to use the yarn for a sweater, but the left overs were more than enough to knit myself a pair of mittens.

They are actually done, I finished them up a little while after taking this picture. I did, however, knit the equivalent of two pairs, because I had to rip them out a few times to get the fit right. I’m happy with how they turned out, and will use the recipie again in the future.

They go well with my new pink socks, and I have Malabrigo in the same color to make myself a Gretel. I think I’m wanting the bright colors to contrast with the winter. I like it so far.

Making little lap quilts and things-to-put-on- leather-seats-in-the-car-to-keep-my-bum-from-freezing-off present nice stash busting and quilting technique opportunities.

Enter a zigzag quilt. I got the idea from Nettie at A Quilt is Nice. I loved the sea theme she had, and thought that I had something in the stash that would work as a prototype. The turquoise is leftover from the black and turquoise quilt I made for a friend for her birthday. I used that for the plain stripes, as well as for the backing. The 50s Coke fabric is left over from my brother’s eight grade home ec boxer shorts sewing project. He brought the leftovers home for me because he knew that I would use them. Seven years later, I have. It wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought it would be, nor as hard.

I learned that I need to be more fussy about what size my squares are if I want nice points on a machine. The tape and glue method gave me a nice, wrinkle free back. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and am planning to make a large zigzag quilt for my brother when I have worked through my fabric stash.

Socks! If my sock yarn stash and fabric stash were to have a fight, I’m not sure who would win. The fabric is older and wiser, but there’s a LOT of sock yarn.

These are my basic sock recipe for this yarn, which is Elann Esprit Print. It’s the stuff I’ve been using for Matt’s feet, and I took a girly color way out of his stash to use for my own. I think I had maybe 6 yards left over, total. I like a sock that uses up almost every last inch. They are about an inch shorter than I would normally make them, but, being cotton, will make a nice edition to the spring/fall sock wearing months when I need socks, but not wool ones.

It seems I’m knitting quite a bit of cotton right now. The only active thing on my needles is a Lady Eleanor.

I’m knitting it out of Noro Matsuri. It’s about an 80/20 cotton wool blend, so it’s a lot softer than other Noro yarn I’ve felt, and it’s a cabled construction, something I’ve never used before. It does have a lot of knots, two or three in a ball of yarn, but I’ve learned that it’s to be expected with Noro.

About a third of the way done, and I’m loving the color changes. There’s a neon pink down at the bottom, and I thought it would look horrible, along with that blue, but the other colors mute the brightness. I can’t wait to get this done- it’s going to look great with my black coat.

The yarn for this didn’t come from the stash. Webs was having their annual year end close outs, and I was able to get the yarn for a reasonable price. Happy Christmas to me.

Are you knitting/sewing/crafting/updating only from your stash this year? How do you balance stash knitting and casting on with what you’ve just brought home [from the store or from the post office]?

Wow! I guess it is- or it’s at least close enough to count.

I usually spend the first few weeks of the new year assesing. Life, relationships, and stuff.

Stuff is what I’m working on right now. Crafting stuff, personal stuff, the stuff we own. The past year meant a lot of moving and rearranging for quite a few family members. Realizing that being in one’s mid twenties isn’t an indicator of impending death, but I don’t want anyone to have the job of going through everything I own and trying to decide what to do with it.

Going through everything in the house and getting rid of that ugly cat statue and things we don’t use happens seasonally. I’ve moved often enough that I don’t like or need to have a lot of stuff. Matt and I both tend to hang on to things because they might be useful down the road [like when we’re no longer in the postage stamp known as our apartment] or because of sentimental value.

That doesn’t really apply to my crafting supplies. I was looking through my fabric, and paints, and yarn, and karmically? How did Stephanie put it – spiritually – I have too much of it. There’s two yards of a fabric my mom bought for me for Christmas presents when I was THIRTEEN. It’s been waiting for the right project. I can’t keep holding onto things because I’m waiting for just the right thing, and then going out and buying new stuff for immediate projects. Ridiculous. I bought it because it was meant to be used.

So, my plan/goal/assessed tweak is to use as much stuff as I already have to make things I like, or would make a nice gift. The idea isn’t to use it as a highlight or focus point, and end up with even more scraps of things, but to use it all up. Frugality.

I’m not saying I’m not buying more yarn and fabric and other supplies as needed, or if I really want them. What I am saying is that I’m going to focus on what I have, instead of what I want to have. The possibilities are endless for the materials I’ve collected, and the internet has so many FREE resources for patterns and what not, there’s really no excuse for me not to be busy using what I have at home.

I’m really excited by the idea. I’ve alreay finished two things this year made completely from things I had at home. It’s a good feeling. Granted, I’m not ‘supporting’ or ‘stimulating’ the economy with this, but I’m making my home a more economic place, a place full of open spaces, clean lines, and light hitting open spaces on the walls. [None of this is possible at the moment, as my fabric stash is being cataloged and assigned to a project, and my husband has a thing about open surfaces- as in, they shouldn’t exist. We’re still working on that.]

This year is going to be a good year. I’m pulling some things from last year on my list of things to tweak. I’m not a fan of resolutions, as they seem to have a time limit. Tweaking? That’s something that should be done for one’s whole life. The focus just shifts.

Last year I said I would start training for our backpacking trip to Europe. I starting this in October, which coincided with Elle getting engaged and asking me to be in her wedding. That’s double the motivation, and I’m starting to see results. I’m going to continue this this year.

I knit three sweaters last year! Mr. Greenjeans, February Lady Sweater, and the BSJ. I have two sweaters quantities of yarn I LOVE, and that are rewards when I meet my physical fitness and nutritional goals.

I totally bought yarn and fiber. There was much goodness to be had.

Didn’t blog more, but will try to do this this year as well. Especially as I fiddle with my new camera. XD

I was more fearless last year: trying new knitting things, going out for new jobs to which I wouldn’t have applied, and tiny every day things. The more I practice, the easier it gets. Sometimes. Something else to work on.

This year, I want to continue to grow, by myself, and with the important people in my life.

Here’s to 2009!