Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly check in

Hello, Monday. I know, I'm late. I put the kids to bed last night and had every intention of blogging, but I fell asleep instead. 

Blog Stuff:
I didn't do research into the possible Saturday post, but the more I think about the idea, the more I like it. I will probably be mostly M.I.A. until September because I am traveling to Michigan on Thursday, and won't be back until the following Friday (Saturday?).

New from the babies

Mara attempts to say "I love you". Gabriel can say "Rapunzel". Also, does anyone else think it is crazy that three weeks from today is Gabriel's fourth birthday?!?!? I don't want to talk about it.

Crafty things:

I am a little ashamed of myself this week. I only finished one thing! A pair of toe socks for Becka. The second photo has a better sense of the yarn color (and also shows the HORRIBLE attempt at an origami heel that I frogged). The socks will look better on Becka because she doesn't have "Flintstone feet", as my mom refers to the wide slabs I have attached to my ankles.

I also finished my Nerd Wars dissertation. I am a few days early, but I have four Nerd Wars projects to do yet.

In the WIP pile, I have made a lot of progress. Both Skew socks are through the toe. The crocheted project bag is on the last `color repeat, and then I just need to make handles and a closure.

For the coming week:
I want to finish spinning the "spring morning" singles so I can ply it before the end of the month. I haven't done any of Rachel's squares, so I need to do that. I'd like to finish the Skew socks, but don't know if that is practical since I only have half my week this week - the other half will be spent doing only wedding things. I have to spend quality time with my sewing machine tomorrow - notion bag, messenger-style project bag, finishing appliques on bags for Jasmine's wedding, fix TdF bag...

 In the mail:
my new spindle came! Isn't it beautiful? 
The woman who donated it also sent a spindle snack, so I spun that. The spindle spins very smoothly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Undies from T-shirts: a how-to

Happy Sewing Tuesday! I am SUPER excited about today's post - hopefully you will be too.

You know that pair of undies that makes you want to dance around the house when you put them on, because they are that awesome? I know you do. Everyone has them. Except people who don't wear undies... This post will probably be less exciting for you.

Back to what I was saying, before I thought about how sad it is that some people might not have favorite undies. Favorite pair of awesome undies. Best feeling ever when you put them on. Are we back to feeling awesome about our undies? Good. Now it is time for more sad. You know that feeling when you realize your favorite undies now have a hole, and you should probably stop wearing them? Yeah, me too. Happened with my favorite undies.

Rather than be sooooo sad because I can't find this exact cut of undies in stores, I did the logical thing and made new, even more awesome undies! Ready to find out how to do it? Of course you are.

Note: My favorite undies were cotton, and similar to my lighter-weight t-shirts. If your favorite pair of undies are stretchy lace, you might want to check the Happy Seamstress out.

To make new undies, you will need:
An old pair of undies, past its prime
Old t-shirt(s) that are past their prime but still have good fabric
Seam ripper (optional)
Straight and/or safety pins
Sewing machine and/or hand needle and thread

How to:
1. Take your old undies and look at the construction. What makes them your favorite? For me, I loved the seam down the front, the elastic in the waistband, and the way the leg holes were cut. Make sure you know what you want before you start cutting.
2. Cut your undies to make a template. I snipped the waist elastic out of my old undies, then separated the front from the back. You can use a seam ripper if you want things to be really precise; I chose scissors because it was faster and I didn't plan on putting the undies back together again. I set aside the back of the undies, and cut the front down the center. Cut out a little liner piece.
3. Lay your template pieces on the t-shirt(s). Pin the template down in several spots so the pieces won't shift while cutting. Cut around the template pieces, leaving seam allowance.
A couple hints:
-If you are making undies that have two symmetrical pieces to make the front, place two layers of t-shirt together, pin the template on top of both, and cut both pieces at the same time.
-If you are going to run the old elastic through the band and want it to be covered, you can line up the top of the undies with the bottom seam of the t-shirt and run the elastic through the resulting tube.
-If your t-shirt does not have a tube seam at the bottom and you want one, leave enough fabric at the top of the undies to fold over and make one.
4. Begin pinning and sewing, following this order:
a. front center *
b. all the places the front and back meet - sides, crotch
c. pin in the liner-thing at the crotch
d. roll the leg opening hems, catching the liner. sew.
e. thread the elastic into the tube. sew your tube closed - I used a hand needle for this part.
*Do NOT sew the tube closed before you insert the elastic. To avoid this problem, stop sewing as soon as you reach the stitching for the tube.
5. Add any wanted embellishments, like a painted rocket ship in order to make your undies into lucky rocket ship undies.
 6. Slip undies on, and feel like dancing all around your house.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ravellenic Games roundup

Did you miss the weekly check in post yesterday? No, I didn't forget about you. I was saving all the information for today.

With the closing ceremony of the Olympic games yesterday came the closing of the Ravellenic games. You may recall from this post that the games started on July 27, 2012, and ended on August 12, 2012. I challenged myself to do three projects - a full pair of lace socks, a hat with color work, and finishing a blanket that had been languishing in a project bag for a very long time.

I am very pleased to announce that I finished all three projects, and that they all qualified for medals. Yay!

My first FO was Mandi's rainbow hat.

A few days later, I finished lace socks for my mom.

And a full day and a half before the games ended, I finished my last project. The Blue Baby Blanket:

You might recall that I finished the blanket with no recipient in mind. Well, it turns out that my brother just met his two month old son on Friday - and I found out I have a new nephew this evening. The blanket will be traveling with me to Michigan at the end of the month to be given to him. 

Also, you might recall that I played the Games as part of Team Yarn Therapy Zone.

Much like we did for Le Tour de Fleece, we donated prizes to be drawn for those team members who crossed the finish line. I donated a custom project bag, which I plan to start tomorrow. There were many prizes on the list of 37 that I was quite fond of, but one that I had particular longing for. Every time someone mentioned the prize listing, I would look and always stop at the first listing. I was so sure that my name would be called near to the last, if at all, and that the prize I really wanted would be gone before it was my turn to choose. 

The first name was called - it was not me. Kevin picked a book on learning to hand spin. The second name was called - BunniPhish! Me! I got to choose second! I didn't even have to look at the list to know what I wanted. Perhaps you recall my tutorial about making a Turkish spindle? Perhaps you even remember the picture of the two Turkish spindles next to the Russian spindle. Well, those spindles were listing one - whoever chose that prize got to choose either the gorgeous walnut spindle or the fanciful key lime spindle.

Which one would you choose? Leave me a message on your choice, and why.

 I will keep my choice a secret until the Sunday after it comes in the mail.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sewing Tuesday - 2

Hello Tuesday! I hope you had a good week - I did.

I finished up the bag I donated for the Tour de Fleece prize.  

The bag has a cotton exterior and corduroy interior. There is a kindle fire pocket, an 8"x5" zippered pocket, a 5"x5" zippered pocket, and a cell phone pocket. It has a zipper closure at the top.

Sorry, this is a really short entry. I am exhausted. Better next week. I promise.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly Check-In

Hello, Sunday! It is time that time again. 

Blog Stuff:
I started Sewing Tuesday, and I liked how it turned out. The next installment should be pretty good, too. I am mulling over having a regular Saturday piece, too. Undecided on whether to have three days a week scheduled, though. I need to do a little more research on my idea first.

New from the babies

I saw Mara, almost 2, decide to share without prompting. I set down a handful of cherries for each child on the coffee table. Gabriel was on the couch playing with a helicopter and didn’t notice. Mara picked up a cherry, brought it almost to her mouth, and then looked at Gabriel. She walked over to the couch and said, “Here,” holding the cherry to Gabriel. My heart melted a little bit. 

Crafty things:

This area is going to be a little stark this week... Next week's should be more full. I have started several projects since the first.

Finished the project bag - more on this on Tuesday.

Two Ravellenic challenges completed! Mandi's hat and mom's socks:

For the coming week:
I need to finish the blue baby blanket. I will finish spinning the blue merino singles. I need to do two of the squares for Rachel's afghan. I want to finish a project bag that I am crocheting. I started the skew socks and want to get past the toes for both.
In the mail:
For Tour de Fleece, I was on a team that decided to do prizes withing the team. I donated the above project bag; Bobbie Joe donated alpaca. I won a one-pound lot of alpaca!
I think it will look beautiful spun into a single to be plied with the white alpaca Peta gave me a few weeks ago. Now I just need to get a metal cat/dog brush so I can flick card my fiber.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Crafting

For the past few months at about this time, I have been writing what WIPs I want to finish during the month. This month, I am going to to it a bit differently. I have quite a list of projects to tackle, but not all of them are WIPs. Some of them are just ideas. I'll put the things without pictures first:

-I need to finish that project bag A.S.A.P. Hopefully tomorrow.
-I will be making another project after the Ravellenic Games end.
-I would like to piece together half of Steve's quilt top.
-I want to cut the pajamas for Mandi's kids.
-I am making a mitten garland for a barter, and would like to finish that this month.
-I need to finish my Nerd Wars dissertation. In other Nerd Wars news, I have figure out 4 of the 6 challenges today: my Ravellenic WIPs for one, a bag I am making for a swap for the second, a market bag for the third, and a pair of toe socks for the forth.
-Make a quilt top for Craft Hope - Project 18 so i can finish the quilt and send it in September.

There are 3 new square patterns for my CAL, which means 4 more squares. If I can manage to do one square a week, I will be great. The patterns are Shape shifting in 12Moon Granny Square, and The Crocodile Flower.

I am going to participate in a KAL during August and September to make non-vanilla socks with self-striping yarn. I plan to use the pattern Skew with this yarn, and will be casting on sometime this month.

For the Ravellenic Games, I have two projects to go - Diagonal Lace Socks for my mom, and the blue baby blanket.

Hopefully all will go well, craft wise, even though I will be travelling at the end of the month for a wedding. Wish me luck; I will need it.