Knitting slump turns into stitching

I hit a knitting slump after my Texas visit in April and started cross stitching instead. Maybe it wasn’t so much as a knitting slump as a “I really want to cross stitch, I haven’t done it in years”. I brought home some of Mom’s projects to work on and it really inspired me to pick up a needle.  I have this great floor lamp that Mom gave to me that has a magnifying lens on it. I can adjust the lamp so that it perfectly lights up my crafting space. It kinda hurts my pride to have to use it.  I should have gotten bifocals when I got new glasses this year but my pride got in the way. My Self told Me: Not until I’m 50, dammit. I got great glasses that allow me to drive comfortably, but I have to slide them down my nose to read or knit.  It’s gotten beyond frustrating. I also got a pair of contacts that lets me see on my computer and knit and read ohhhhhhh so nicely, but I can’t see across the room :/  I’ve been near-sighted since the 4th grade and now to find that I have to get two different prescriptions to see both near and far, well, that was rubbing salt in the wound in a major way.

So, anyway, after bringing all this neat cross stitch stuff home I thought I would try to finish some of the projects that Mom had started. And the lamp lets me do that.

So far this year, cross stitch wise, I spent some time working on a Halloween cross stitch that I really like, another Halloween cross stitch I bought and started during another trip to Texas and will soon try to finish a project of Mom’s that she started for my dad. I just discovered while setting up this picture that the shop that sold me the pattern and put the kit together for me put in a wrong thread. That shows how much I’ve worked on this project. Oh darn, that means I’ll need to go to Pine Needles in Gardner Village to get the right color and the two colors I’m missing.

Knit wise, I’m working on Adrian’s scarf and I started a sock for Mom. Her shawl is in time out and I’ve found a different pattern to try. I’m just not accomplished enough to pull off the chart for the Virginia pattern she chose. Maybe later in my knitting life I will be able to do this one. I’d really like to, it sure it pretty and the designer provides excellent pattern support but I just couldn’t get the thing to come out right.  Every other row I would end up with the wrong number of stitches and have to tink back and try again. I will have to get started on it soon if I want it finished for Christmas and for her to be able to wear while it’s still cool in Texas.  I had better hurry.

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.