Monday, August 3, 2015

Corner-to-Corner Afghan

I made a corner-to-corner afghan for the previously mentioned spare bedroom makeover. It's a yarn hog, but very soft and comfortable, with just enough texture (thanks to the pattern and the yarn I chose) to keep it visually interesting.

 (I have yet to get photos hung back up after painting. Shame on me!)

I'm definitely a blanket person. So much so that I should probably change my name to Linus considering how often I am snoodled up in one or dragging one around the house. There's just something unbelievably comforting and relaxing about nesting down in a nice blanket, and I have them all throughout the house for easy access!

For commercial yarns I am a HUGE fan of Lion Brand Homespun. I love the stuff! It's very soft, very cozy, and because it's an acrylic it still launders easily. I'm all about being able to just fling stuff into the washer and dryer willy nilly. I used Quartz, Cream, and Baroque for this.

I had a few skeins of Quartz in my stash and then had to go hunting all over ravelry, etsy, and ebay to find enough to finish the afghan. The newer lots have a lot of blues and pinks that are nowhere to be found in the skeins I had, and it was a chore tracking down the older stuff since these variegated yarns don't have dye lots. One was far too blue for my liking, but thankfully it's not glaringly obvious in the finished piece.

To border this I went around with a row of DC and then a simple large scalloped border consisting of 1 SC, skip 2, 7 TC, skip 2, and so on. In the corners I used 10 TC. It lays nice and flat despite what those outside pictures are showing.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Yep. I'm a big ol' blogging failure.

Let's try this again!

It's only been, oh, a year since my last post.

I purged and reorganized a disaster of a spare bedroom/craft room. I took before pictures. They're insanely embarrassing. They're also the reason I wasn't able to accomplish nearly as much as I wanted. It's pretty hard to sew when your machine is buried behind a mountain of crap! The space needs some more finishing touches and then I will share the absolute horror show. My productivity has absolutely shot through the roof now that I can find and access all of my supplies though. Who would have known!!

Make and Make More 2.0 firing up soon.

The biggest motivator for getting the space under control was this gorgeous fox collar that I found at an Antique Store in Texas during a business trip.

Isn't it beautiful?!

It is unbelievably soft and needs to be placed on a lovely wool fall/winter coat ASAP! I am not finding any commercial patterns that are calling my name so it's going to be a whole bunch of pattern drafting to get the vision to come to life.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A sewing delay and some polka dot shoes

So much for my grand sewing plans. I got blindsided by a stomach bug and was down for the count for a while. No eating meant no energy, so I just wanted to sleep instead of being right next to that buzzing needle. It's probably for the best, I sewed through my finger once and weak and sleep deprived would be a sure fire way to make that happen again!

I did make some progress on the April Rhodes Staple Dress that my silky sheer floral was ear marked for though. I'm tall and leggy with wide shoulders, a muslin is a must (with the exception of knits, I just throw in some length and call it good), so I yanked out some hideous thrifted sheets and butchered them right up. Alterations made I started in on the real thing.

Other than hemming (and pressing!) it is complete. That fabric is a pain in the butt to work with and I don't know how I want to hem it yet, I fooled around with a few different methods yesterday but I'm still not sold on any of them. I need to just bite the bullet and pick one. Regardless of how I proceed I'm sure there will be a few curse words! Then it's on to a slip before I can share it without also sharing parts of me better left unseen haha

I've got some new shoes at least though! These are a pretty blatant copy of the ones that Amy from The Idea Room shared over at The Polka Dot Chair.

I grabbed some navy tennies from Target, a bottle of white fabric paint, an ugly pencil and just went to town.

The Husband walked in to me bent over them at the kitchen table dipping and dotting away and said they "look neat." For a man of few words, who doesn't notice much of the things I DIY that's some high praise. I'm pretty stoked with them too! I didn't use any sort of grid or pattern like Amy did, I just free handed the little polka dots on there. I may spray them with some sort of sealer just to help them hold up for future use, but they came through the day at work unscathed without any sort of protection.

And I've got some extra motivation to burn through some of my fabric stash!
This cedar chest is full. I just donated an entire garbage bag full of fabric that I didn't see myself ever using in the next decade and I still can't close the lid. The following day I see a challenge from Sally at The Quirky Peach pop up on my blog feed....perfect timing!! Summer Stashbust 2014 here I come. I (like most of us) have a list of things I want to make, the challenge will be to do it from my current stash and stay away from spending hours gleefully wandering through JoAnns or browsing online. My wallet will also thank me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Preparing To Fire Up The Sewing Machine

I, like I assume most sewers are, am obsessed with Project Runway. More specifically, I am obsessed with Mood. If you are near one I sort of hate you a little bit. Unless you want to become friends and take me on a grand adventure to that glorious store. Then I take that back, I love you. We can also develop a plan to kidnap Swatch. That fat little dog wants to come home with me, I can tell.

I entered the only fabric store around me in search of a lovely lawn or voile for my next project, a certain dress from Pattern Parcel 3 that everyone and their mother is cranking out. Dear, dear Joann....why must you dash my dreams? I bet Mood wouldn't let me down like that. Mood would offer 40 glorious choices that meet my criteria and then make me bacon and waffles.

What I ended up with was a sheer silky floral. I didn't want sheer because I didn't want to line it. I also don't generally like florals because they mostly remind me of grandma couches. Not a good look. I saw this fabric the moment I walked into the apparel section and talked myself out of it. I had a plan and I was sticking to it! I couldn't get it out of my head and ran right back after striking out with the plan and snatched it all up.

I must say, I do love it! Hopefully it sews up nicely and will work well with the pattern.

Joann's knows how to keep me happy though. Sales! This time around it was an hour and a half of bliss flipping through the Simplicity book because all their patterns were $1.99. You better believe I was all over that. All the patterns I picked push $20 regular price so that is an amazing deal. 8 patterns for $16 instead of $160? Stoked!

Now to decide which to make when I am finished with my dress and the Moneta Sewalong.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Aran Afghan

I always struggle what to get my Mom for Christmas.  She doesn't ever need anything, she doesn't pamper herself and never seem to has much desire to. If badgered into providing a want it's intangible 'mother answers' like a clean house....that she will then never accept help with. Her simple way of living is a pain come gift giving time. I love giving gifts so I see that as a personal challenge.

Then I got the idea for an afghan. I get from her my affinity for snuggling in a blanket and a horrible ability to deal with temperatures below those of the surface of the sun. One of the few things she will do for herself is sit with a mug of tea and a crossword or sodoku book. A luxurious, cozy afghan to add to the mix seemed perfect.

With her obsessive redecorating and repainting a neutral color was a must. With a flame point siamese and a mostly white jack russel as her primary cuddle bugs the benefits of an off white to hide any shedding was apparent. How do I keep a large, unexciting colored afghan from appearing plain or boring?  Texture! And lots of it!

I stumbled upon this free pattern from JoAnn Fabrics. I loved the mix of popcorns and cables. I also tend to have numerous projects going on at once so I loved that the different panels and edgings allowed multiple points for me to tie off and end and put a project down. Of course I needed to add my own spin to it. It's quite the sickness.

The larger cable panels call for 3 cables but I went with 4. There were supposed to be 2 large panels and 3 small panels but I added an additional one of each. I knew I wanted it larger than the finished size shown. While gauge isn't important in a blanket I also crochet tightly and knew that would work against me as well.  Bumping up the width by just adding on seemed like a nice solution.

I didn't even worry about the length specified, I just kept holding it against me until I was happy with the length. And I had an idea in mind for my own top and bottom edging. While I think the fringe is pretty it didn't seem like a practical choice. Pets and fringe? Laundering and fringe? I felt that I could make it better.

What I went with was a self drafted design of mini bobbles (I have no idea if the stitch has a real name, I alternated single crochet and triple crochet stiches and liked the look) and added popcorn stitches in a diamond pattern. I think it matches the remainder of the blanket really well.

It was really well received and has lived right on the back of the living room sofa ever since, which means a lot! Any time I swing by there seems to be someone all snoodled up in it.