Oh My Stars and Stripes

Note: It is really hard to start blogging again when you’ve been on a hiatus, but I’m going to try. I’ve been meaning to post more for weeks now, but I keep getting stuck on what to post about. So I finally decided to just dive back in and post about whatever. That means at least the first few posts back will probably be all over the place, but I’m just going to go with it in the interest of getting back into the swing of adding content without getting bogged down in the details. ETA: Sigh. And then I forgot to give it a title

Pic of me wearing a red white and blue American flag-style scarf
Mine is quite a bit smaller than the original, but that’s by design.

I realized the other day that I hadn’t actually finished anything in awhile. I don’t actually know how many projects I have in progress right now, but it’s a lot. Like, more than 10. Maybe more than 20. And that’s just the ones that I know where they are and occasionally pick them up and work on them. So, I knew I had this Protest is Patriotic shawl from Craftivist on the needles, and I decided to go ahead and finish it up for 4th of July because I only had a few rows left to go.

Except…I didn’t get it finished for the 4th, but that turned out to be okay because it was so stupid hot here that there’s no way I could have worn it, even though it is both tiny and cotton. I finished up the knitting a couple of days later, and then I left it on the couch to stare balefully at me until I wove the ends in. Which I finally did last night, and now I have an adorable shawlette, as seen above. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?!

Forever Young

It occurs to me that I somehow have not shown you the majestic costume I put together for Becky’s 5th grade Explorer Museum project. I say “put together” rather than “designed” because truthfully, she did all the research and all the designing. I just made the patterns and sewed the thing together.

Her school does this neat project where each kid picks an explorer and then does a whole living museum exhibit kind of thing (I think it would be even more cool if they did this with a group that wasn’t largely European dudes who were responsible for an awful lot of mass genocide and slavery but I digress). They put together reports and “artifacts” and journals, and then the parents show up and the kids all have to tell us about their explorers. It’s very involved.

Ponce de Leon, proud member of the Ministry of Silly Hats.

Becky decided to be Ponce de León. I may have strongly suggested ol’ Ponce because I was under the misconception that he had the cool hat and 1/2 cape outfit. Not true. His hat is totally dumb, and no cape at all (okay, he’s wearing a cape in this picture, but in most renderings there’s no cape). I don’t know who I was thinking of, but it sure wasn’t Ponce de León. There’s a fairly ubiquitous rendering of the man wearing a chest plate with a fancy slash-sleeve shirt underneath. Several statues of him also show him wearing matching shorts. That Florida heat, I guess.

So we went to the fabric store and picked out a heavy blue-gray upholstery fabric for the tunic/armor, and yellow and red fabric for the sleeves. The kid’s a stickler for accuracy. We got home and I started planning this thing out, and I quickly realized that I had never done slash sleeves before. A quick whirl around Pinterest and I was all set with a nifty tutorial for Snow White sleeves.

We had already decided that the sleeves would be connected to the “armor” rather than part of an undershirt, and after some discussion we decided to go with short sleeves rather than long.  We rounded up a pair of plain black boots (her feet are almost as big as mine already!!!) and I whipped up a quick crocheted beard. I am super, super pleased at how it came out. But more importantly, Becky was really happy with it, which was the goal.

I give you: Juan Becky Ponce de León!

I was later informed that the scowl was because Juan was always in a bad mood and she was trying to be realistic. I told you, stickler.

A couple more shots:

Unicorny Goodness!

Lion Brand recently released a series of long-repeat cakes called Mandala, and it’s pretty gorgeous (full disclosure: I work for Lion Brand, but they didn’t ask me to write this). It’s 100% acrylic, which is not always usually my favorite, but this one doesn’t have that plasticky feel that acrylic can have, and has a nice bounce to it, similar to what you’d expect from a wool or wool blend. I picked up a couple of colors to try out (working next door to the warehouse has its benefits), and decided to use Unicorn to make a new version of my old Sangria Swirl, which I was never super happy with.

 

The original was way too long and not nearly as wide as I wanted. The color was gorgeous, but was stash yarn I’d long ago lost the labels for. So. I’m trying it again with the Mandala, which is quite a bit thinner (the original was more like a bulky/category 5, while Mandala is a nice DK/category 3). It’s working up beautifully, if I do say so myself.

I Don’t Even Know

Okay, so I should blog something good and interesting, but it’s just not going to happen tonight. I *did* have a very productive evening…my new rowing machine came in and I got it all put together AND THEN I rowed for 20 minutes.

Oh! I know what I can tell you about! This Saturday I’m going to be marching in the Morristown St. Patty’s Day Parade with my derby team. The weather forecast is for cold with a side of extra cold, so I’m making myself a nice headband to wear (I already made a lovely ginormous woolly scarf, but no pics of that yet). Gotta go finish it up so my ears will be nice and toasty!

 

That’s a Wrap! And Also a Poncho!

Here I am! I had a bit of a crazy (but good!) week and then was sick all weekend. Bleh. But I’m back now, and I made a thing! [Aw, MAN! Apparently I didn’t upload the files I thought I did. Pictures coming tomorrow.]

A while back I saw this thing on Pinterest (because of course I did), and I’ve been meaning to grab some fabric to make one ever since. So when I was buying the fabric for Becky’s amazing Ponce de Leon costume (more about that in a later post), I grabbed some jersey to make a couple.

They took all of five minutes to make (I made mine with no seams, so no sewing!), and they’re super comfy and versatile. Instructions here if you want to make your own — be sure to check out the link to all of the styling options.

Something Witty About Buttonholes

You know how sometimes you go to the fabric store for one thing (okay, so like ten things, but not all of them were for me, I swear) and while you’re there you find the perfect fabric for a project you didn’t even know you wanted to make? So that happened the other day and now I have a new sweatshirt wrap skirt.

I’d originally planned to fold over the top and run some elastic through, but it turns out a yard is exactly the right width to wrap around me with plenty of overlap, and also i have a pretty enormous collection of buttons, so I thought it would be fast and fun to just graphics a couple of pretty buttons and make a couple of buttonholes and Bob’s you’re uncle.

I picked out a pretty purple velvet button for the “visible” button (which no one will ever see because it’s not a really fitted skirt and also I kind of fucked up the waistband because I’m a lazy sewer and I knew no one would ever see it anyhow) and a flat mother of pearl button for the inside. Then I sat down at the machine and put the right foot on and adjusted all the settings and…nothing. I mean, not “nothing”, but no buttonhole, just a knot.

Consulted manual, made minor adjustments, still nothing but knots. Thankfully, I was testing on scrap fabric so my skirt was still intact. Now, of course I’d already decided to wear this skirt — this one, not some other skirt — tomorrow, and I’m leaving for Boston first thing, so I needed to get it done.

So I bit the bullet and handsewed the damn buttonholes. I hate hand sewing. Hate it. But I have to say, doing buttonholes wasn’t nearly as bad as, say, hemming pants. And they’re not the prettiest thing I ever sewed, but I think they came out okay.

 

Make’n’Tell p2 Day 1&2:

image

Super seekrit knitting project. I’m using Lion Brand’s new Shawl in a Ball yarn, and am really enjoying working with it. It’s a bit tough to rip out, though. I mean, not that I make mistakes. Not me. Nooooope.

Also, Red My Lips 2016 has kicked off.

image

On the one hand I kind of feel like I’m cheating because my default color these days is red (Stella from Elixery). But then I thought about it and decided that since I pretty actively support and espouse the ideals of Red My Lips even when it’s not April, it’s all good. #supportsurvivors #ibelieveyou #ok2share

Make’n’Tell Day 15: New and Renew

Another twofer today, since I missed a couple. I’ve been really overwhelmed since last week and I’ve been doing a lot but not making a lot.

Tonight I attacked my mending pile and got everything done except one shirt that it’ll be easier to run through the machine.

image

Not only that, but I designed and swatched a sweater! It’s actually been on my to-do list for awhile now, but it got bumped to the top due to a seekrit (for now) thing at work. I’m super excited about it, and will do a longer post about it in the future. For now, here’s a little sneak peek:

image

Make’n’Tell Day 10: Pedi on My Piddies

Spring has begun sprunging here in the Northeast, so I’m back to flipflops for the duration. Which means I need more than basic red on my toes. It’s been awhile since I did a fun design, so hey, there it is. It’s really subtle, which I’m not sure if I’m pleased with or not. But I’m not changing it now!

img_20160311_081725201.jpg

ALSO, I re-did the two rows I ripped yesterday plus a few more, and have now completed the first mosaic section. YAY ME! (I’m actually writing this before it’s done. Let’s see if I’m prescient or just indulging in some wishful thinking.)

And in other, non-makey news, I have a big hole in my mouth (no, you don’t get a picture of it). This one tooth has been a problem for YEARS. I’ve gone from fillings to root canal to post & core with crown…and the other day the crown popped off and I swallowed it. Ulp. To make matters worse, my beloved dentist (who did all the recent work on the tooth) hurt his back a few months ago and hasn’t returned to dentistry. So I went to his associate, who tells me the reason the crown fell out is because the tooth broke, and now there’s not enough tooth to mount a crown on. My options are: gaping hole, bridge, implant. Oh, and by the way, the remainder of the tooth needs to come out and it’ll have to be a surgical extraction because the root has fused to the jawbone. GOOD TIMES. Good, very expensive times.

Now, my aforementioned beloved dentist would totally cut me a deal on the implant (or bridge, but I’ll probably eventually go implant b/c it’s lower maintenance and only a couple hundred bucks difference which at that point isn’t worth quibbling over), because he’s awesome like that and even though it’s not his fault he always took responsibility for when his dentistry didn’t stand the test of time (seriously, though, it’s not him — it’s this tooth). But the new guy has no reason to do that, which I totally understand — it’s just irksome because I’d be going to my guy if he was available.

On the plus side, though, it’s not at all painful, so it could definitely be worse. I mean, it’s going to be painful when I have the extraction, so I have that to looks forward to, but at least it’s not an emergency type situation. Small favors and all that.

Make’n’Tell Day 9: The Little Things

image

No post for yesterday. I swallowed a crown and, well, dealing with that took up most of my free time.

Today I just did a couple of rows on my shawl and a rough re-work of part of the tattoo I’m getting started Saturday. You can see a bit of the full rough under the tracing paper — the tat is going to be quite a bit different from my sketch, but I’d planned for that going in so that’s fine. I met with the artist last week, and I’m really excited to see how he reworks my ideas. We’re doing the line work Saturday, then we’ll fill in the color in a few weeks (I have to make sure I schedule for when I’m going to have a couple weeks off derby — don’t want to risk falling on it fresh!).

On the shawl, I screwed up the last two rows I did. It’s in the mosaic section, which really doesn’t read strongly with the yarns I chose, so I’m not sure it’s worth it to rip back. OTOH, if it does end up being more obvious, like maybe in the light where the solid is more gray than pink, it will always annoy the hell out of me. Sigh. Time to do some un-making.