My July so far

For my birthday, Chynna dressed in a purple shirt, jeans without holes, hung out with me and plied me with treats of my choice.  I overloaded on birthday carbs comprised of a vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic, a bag of cheddar sour cream potato chips, and a pint of Hagen Daz dulce de leche. I snuck away for a manicure and pedicure. I didn’t get a picture of the birthday balloons that invaded the living room, but a TARDIS teapot vworped its way onto my desk.


Followed by a Knit Picks delivery and a Barnes & Noble gift card.


The 4th came and went with its many evenings of fireworks and sleep-deprived nights. I did manage to display some small measure of patriotism by finishing these socks and making a festive fruit pizza a few days later.


Later in the month, orange knitting happened while I learned the linen stitch. This might be my new favorite way to make dishcloths even though it’s a little more time consuming.


Then some sewing/quilting happened.


Fabric stash was obtained along with a gift of supplies offered by the hubby who believes that if I’m really going to do this, I should have the proper tools.


Keaton seems to think that all I need is him.


I got this.

In between moments of knitting and crocheting, this has been happening.



Pay no attention the cat that is, oddly enough, ignoring me.


Yeah, I think I got this.




More sewing

I found all my sewing stash, purchased more, and then waited until school had started so I would have some uninterrupted days to lay it all out, take pictures of the chaos and hopefully get started on learning how to use the machine.  It’s been YEARS since I regularly used one.  Who am I kidding?  I’ve never regularly used one.

I was convinced that either I’d missed them, or my new machine really didn’t come with bobbins.  The manual says there should be 4. I didn’t see any. I committed to myself to search again, but just in case I went out shopping to see if I could find bobbins for my Brother CS 6000i. The packages at the regular stores says “fits most Brother machines”.  The one shop that had them for sure had a power outage due to a lovely thunder storm that I was driving through.  They couldn’t sell me anything because the cash register is all electric. I get that in our day and age electronic everything is really cool. It makes it easier to keep track of inventory. But, today, when I’m at my wit’s end, having just been through horrid stop and go traffic because the street lights were out, EMS vehicles everywhere with very few people pulling over for them and positive that I was going to sit down and be unable to start sewing because I don’t have a single bobbin. It would have been Sunday and as I don’t shop on Sundays I won’t go back to the store to see if the power is on.  I took a risk at another store and purchased the “fits most Brother machines” bobbins.

It turns out that my machine did come with bobbins, and the bobbins that I purchased match.  I now have a lot of bobbins. I can now make messes like this:


I fiddled about for a couple of days trying to get the tension set correctly and was about to give up when I suddenly stumbled upon the correct setting. I got several squares put together and when I bother to get around to setting up the ironing board to press the seams open, I will sew the rest. These little piles of squares will hopefully become tote bags.  It’s good that I had this small victory because I had a super depressing evening at Knit Night.  An unpleasant person returned to our group and I had to rip out my mother’s shawl yet again.  I’m beginning to think that shawls just aren’t meant to be a part of my knitting repertoire.  Onward on to something else and when I’ve taken a nice, long break from it, I will try again.  I conquered heels on socks, I can do this too.  For now, I need to find room for a fabric stash.

Since I’m going to take the dive into sewing, I’m going to have set up specific days/times for all the various crafts that I want to do. Wednesdays are for Spinning or some such thing. Otherwise, I’ll get overwhelmed and try to DO ALL THE THINGS and then get nothing done.

Did I mention that I’d like to start cross stitching again? Maybe once I get new glasses.




Sewing again

For my birthday, my dear David bought a sewing machine for me.  I had been wanting one ever since Chynna took ours with her when she moved out.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Halloween quilt I started to make last year, but a quilt is not what I want to do first thing on a new machine. I’ve looked up some great tutorials by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. and will make some little bags from fabric squares I bought at Pine Needles in Gardner Village and JoAnns.  I probably won’t sit down and do all this until the kids go back to school and I can be assured of two solid weeks without kids in the house so I can leave the sewing machine up on the kitchen table.

I really need a craft room. A kid has to move out of the house before I get that and I’m not really that anxious for that to happen.

I seem to have lost some of my fabric stash and when I get a bit of time I need to do another thorough search of the basement.

I want to get back to this:

Halloween quilt top cropped



It’s a Halloween thing

Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate for and the Halloween theme seems to dominate most of my crafting this month.

These are the socks I have been working on for the past couple of days. You may recognize them from last year. If I’d been blogging for longer I bet you would recognize them from the year before.  🙂

I finished one of them and if I have some crafting time leftover after HPKCHC and Nerd Wars,  I might cast on for the other one. I don’t feel the need to finish things by Halloween, I just like working on them during the season.

This is the cross stitch I’m going to work on later.

This is the quilt I’ve been working on as I reacquaint myself with my sparse sewing skills.

I got to decorate for Halloween a bit early because we were cleaning and organizing the basement in the middle of September and figured I may as well keep the holiday decorations out. Danica commented that it looked like the house vomited Halloween. I was a teensy bit hurt by that. I admit that I’m a bit more sensitive to my childrens’ criticisms than I used to be. Chalk that up to a hellacious summer that I am very glad is over. Honestly, the rest of the year can bite me and should just go ahead and let the door hit it in the ass on the way out. Moving on.

Personally, I think the house looks great and I’m going to dig out the purple and orange lights and put them up soon.

You know, I think I have some Halloween roving/batts around here somewhere that I could start to spin.

I love Gardner Village this time of year, they really go all out with the decorations. The place is covered with decorations. The two older step kids went hiking so David and I took the younger ones and Danica’s boyfriend, Justin, there for some treats and some fun. We followed that up by a visit to the Kennecott mine. Eliza looked cute in her purple and black dress topped off by my witches hat. You can see Ninja Stuart peeking out from behind the witch.

Because I need more stash

Because I don’t have enough things to craft and because I don’t have enough stash, I’ve added quilting/sewing to my multi-craftual existence. I’ve wanted to get comfortable with sewing for a very long time. I don’t particularly want to sew clothes, but I would like to be able to make a project bag for my knitting or perhaps a quilt.  A quilt, you say? Well, don’t mind if I do.

I had a great time picking out fabric:

I hauled my sewing machine and the fabric up to a friend’s house, Meli, who kindly and patiently got me started. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered.

We cut some small squares, but I just wasn’t happy with the little squares. I wanted something bigger that would be a lot easier to piece together and make me do less sewing show off the patterns of the fabric I chose. We cut bigger squares and things started coming together for me. Meli talked me through sewing together one row of squares and I took the rest home to finish up.

Can I stop here for a minute to ask why in the hell do I type “guilt” first and then have to backspace and retype “quilt”?  Every. Single. Time?

I added some of the border and then the sewing machine stopped working. I had a flashback to the time in my life when I first learned to sew, taught by a dear friend that I am, sadly, no longer in contact with. I used a an old Viking machine (given to me by my MIL) that would only work for someone who wasn’t me. Whenever I sat down at the thing, the thread would suddenly break or gob up under the fabric. She would sit down at it, adjust nothing and the thing worked perfectly. I left it behind when I moved into my new house. I ventured up to Meli’s house again and she put the rest of the border on for me.

The current sewing machine had only been used a few times in the last 10 or less years so I figured that servicing probably wasn’t needed but a bit of a cleaning might be. A few helpful youtube videos later and the thing was working again. As an aside, the laptop monitor and phone also started to work properly but the dishwasher stopped working. Do our appliances get together and coordinate these things? Is it a predictable rotation? When the dishwasher starts to work again, what is next on the Broken List?

Meli had loaned me a seam guide but I gave it back to her when I went up to her house. I’ve ordered a seam guide and when it arrives I’ll start the back of the quilt.  Meanwhile, I’ve put the small squares we cut earlier (along with the small squares that came in a Halloween charm pack that Meli gave me – squee) into the shape of a table runner and I’ll zip those through the machine as well. Meli may have created a monster, I’m thinking of getting a zipper foot for the machine (I’m sure it came with one, but the accessories are all long gone, probably lost in the move) so I can fix a favorite makeup bag of mine.

It was fun doing a little sewing again and the meager skills I’d acquired (and then abandoned) 20+ years ago came back.  I assume with practice I’ll get better. I don’t know that I could say I’ve really enjoyed it, but I do feel a bit of satisfaction with my progress. I may or may not have purchased more fabric because, you know, one can never have too much stash.