Friday, January 31, 2014

Music Addiction: Fed

Spotify finally came out with an app that sends basically and music you want to your phone.

The free version has ads which isn't a big deal.  

I did some comparison shopping on wireless speakers and although the Jawbone mini Jambox doesn't sound better than every option out there, it's certainly the best looking of them all by far.

Please find me happily rocking out to Young the Giant (from my home town!), Calvin Harris, and San Cisco

Will it make me sew any faster?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Sunset

Not the best sunset photo I've ever taken, but probably not the worst either.

It had some pretty colors and we caught it as we were waiting for my weekly half hour of knitting to start.

Oh, I mean, my son's weekly half hour piano lesson.  How easy it is to mix those two things up, isn't that funny?

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Skirt - Progress Report

My Alabama Chanin DIY skirt is still progressing along.  Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but it's almost half done.  Only a small part of the upper right is not sewn yet.

I'm liking the look of it and I also really like the feel of it.  The way the fabric feels is actually different after you the all the sewing and cutting.  It has a better drape to it.  I'm excited to finish it and wear it.  The sewing process is slow though and my creative time is pretty limited these days.  It is a blast though and the Olympics are coming soon so that may help me finish it off.

In celebration of the Olympics, we are getting a Tivo.  They are supposed to be easy to use so I'm looking forward to that since our DVR that we have now is simply put horrible.

Meanwhile, I'm catching up on some old shows trying to watch a few things on the old DVR before we kick it to the curb.  I only have 1 more Downton episode left to watch. 

Hope this week ends up being less hectic than it looks like it might be.  Hope that you have a nice week too.  Squeeze some sewing time in.  Just do it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Organizing in the New Year

The January bug bites and organization is on my mind.  Not in a big way of course, since I'd rather create stuff than organize.

Still though, I've put a little effort into making a tiny bit more space. 

Is it just a matter of devoting time to ensure you have a well-curated stash, or how best can you ensure you have just the right amount of tools, fabrics, yarns, create without having most of it fall on your head when you open your closet door?

Ideas?  Solutions?  

There's only so many small scraps of yarn you can hide in jars on your desk, as I've found.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wishy Washy on Washi Tape

Lots of people are obsessed with washi tape

I had picked up a couple of rolls of it but was still warming up to it.

If you look around out there for photos of what people do with it, it's really sort of amazing.

Since it has Japanese roots, I figured I should pick up some in colors that I like more and see if it sticks, har har.

I stuck a bunch of it over the keys on my computer keyboard just for fun.  Good thing I can type.  My little 3rd grader might get a kick out of playing his learn to type game on it now.  Certainly a much better challenge.

Trying to relax on a week night triggered a session of Dawson's Creek watching on Netflix.  Wow, it's been a long time.  This was seriously 'it' back in 1998.  I even love the songs!  Maybe I'm showing my age here.  I should stop now before you lose all respect for me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Antique Quilt: Double Wedding Ring construction mystery

The 1930's double wedding ring quilt that is usually on my bed is missing only a couple of small pieces.  

They are just altogether gone leaving little traces behind.

I have owned this quilt for a good while now and perhaps subliminally known that the construction method was not what I would have done if I was the quilt maker.

Each of the colored pieces were sewn to the next using a sewing machine.  Then the rings were hand appliqued down to the background fabric.  

The pattern is so beautiful that I have considered making one many times.  I have only thought to do a pieced version though.  Hand applique on the edges of both sides of all the rings seems too much work to be reasonable.  I would never finish it! 

It is cool that somebody else finished it using this method.  I guess I love this quilt even more now.  It made me want to to some repair work on the missing squares out of respect of all the work that went into the hand applique.

It's kinda funny really that I never tried to figure out the construction method used on this before.  The quilt and I finally understand each other.  Sorry it took me so long, my friend.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Swiftly moving along

2014 seems to be in full swing for us, moving along quite swiftly, pun intended.

It's the calm before the baseball season storm rolls in with less after school duties and a tiny bit more free time.

Channeling my optimism, I wound up some skinny yarn into a ball.  It's Anzula, sock weight, and I will someday make a Boxy sweater out of it by Joji Lokatelli.  Probably not on my short term project list, but still...on the radar.

I'm not in love with my clover yarn ball maker.  Someday I hope to get a more serious one, perhaps the Heavy Duty Yarn Yarn Ball Winder from Nancy's Knit Knacks.  Will take some saving up first.

In other news, Stitches West is coming up.  If you knit and live in Northern California, it's worth checking out.  I'll be in the argyle sock class with a few of my best buddies.

And a random thought, I found some baker's twine from The Twinery that is to die for that has silver sparkles in it.  I want to wrap everything with it.  Maybe I've lost my mind.  Perhaps it's time for the weekend.

Hope you have a great one

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Alabama Chanin Skirt - Progress Report

Just a quick progress report for you on my Alabama Chanin DIY skirt.

It's almost 25% done and I'm still really REALLY getting a kick out of working on it. 

Because the paint color is almost the same as the background fabric, it is strangely easier to work on in the evening with a lamp rather than in daylight.

It's easy to cut out the pieces though on the weekends during the day so that is sort of how I'm sorting out the sew/cut work.

Maybe I'll finish it up over the Winter Olympics or something.  I'm already looking forward too that.

I think that the Alabama Chanin Company will soon come out with a non-hand made line of clothing that should still be made in the USA but will probably be more affordable.  I'm really looking forward to checking that out.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter

For Christmas, I'm not the easiest person on the planet to shop for, but yarn is always welcome. 

Between my little sister and my DH, they gave me a sweater's worth of yarn from Brooklyn Tweed's yarn line called Shelter in colorway Thistle.

I have not swatched for the sweater yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  I want to make this pattern called Greenwood that is a pretty simple looking cowl neck pullover.  

Some impressions on the yarn:

It is super squishy and lofty.  It will probably be very warm.  I has a lot of bounce and personality, more than most yarns I've seen.  The color is out of this world. 

It did break when I first put it into my yarn ball winder, so I think it is quite delicate.  I don't knit super tightly so hopefully it will not break during the process of knitting.

I noticed an unusual amount of VM (AKA veg matter, AKA hay or other prickly scratchy stuff) in the yarn.  I guess I'll try to pick it out it as I go although I'm still not totally sure what to do in truth. 

The yarn is otherwise very nice so I will press on. 

Call me a sucker for a good shade of purple and an nice bouncy yarn.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

As a quilter or a knitter do you find that time passes too quickly?

I constantly feel like I could use that 8th day of the week, or that 25th hour where nobody bothers me and I can do some creating.

Because it feels like time flies and also because I am having so much fun these days, I decided to start a One Line A Day Journal.

My rule is that I try to capture whatever happened that day that was good.  I don't write about the bad, annoying or sad things for the most part.  I often write about the boys because they have so many good things going on right now.  Much more so than the adults.  I do record when I finish a creative project though.

I started this last February.  It has a page dedicated to each day of the year.  In another month or so I'll have the treat of reading what happened to me last year on the same day of the year.  I'm looking forward to that. 

Perhaps I will bore my DH to tears.  Perhaps he will fall asleep faster?  Perhaps he should be thankful that I only have one historic year of information at this point! 

For less than $15, it's been a lot of fun for me.

I have even taken it on trips with me.  Once I was sick and asked my DH to write in it for me.

Is it too much if I make a beautiful taupe quilted cover for it?  Maybe with a little applique of our house on it? 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quilts Japan and Patchwork Quilt Tsusin January 2014

I look forward to seeing the first issue of the year come out from both Quilts Japan and Patchwork Tsushin because they have the calendars in them.

Some years I pick up a second copy for my mom because the calendar is so knock your socks off incredible.

Other years I cry over quilts that just don't speak to me or photography that could have used some help.

This year both calendars are a bit on the so-so side.  You can judge for yourself, but I'm not sure I'm over the moon about either of them.

The issues themselves are a different story.

Quilts Japan #156 is an incredible issue.  It's full of the bright primary colored floral prints that I love and have collected for a while.  The quilts are bold and beautiful.  This is one of my most favorite issues.

Patchwork Tsushin #177 was lukewarm for me.  It has a lot of holiday projects as well as some whimsical designs with pom poms and ric rack.  Not my personal favorite, but somebody with a sweeter cuter aesthetic might really love it.

Either way, it's nice to kick the year off with some Japanese eye candy, that's for sure.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hope that your new year was full of joy and peace.  We had a great holiday in general and relaxed for once.

I'm still working away on lots of creative projects.  Progress is more tortoise than hare, but progress is progress.

My Alabama Chanin DYI skirt is almost 1/4 done after a road trip of working on it and some evenings watching movies.  It will probably be a while before it is actually done.  I may have to have a small party whenever I get another quarter of it finished.  I'm also thinking of playing around with some embroidery on the waist band just for decoration and to have some fun.

Some movies I saw were good, some not so much:

The Internship - feel free to skip it
South Pacific - time to re-watch this movie is always now, I could watch it all day
The Perfect Game - awesome, inspiration story of a Mexican little league team, highly recommend

Next up for me is The Lightening Thief.  I hope it's worth seeing.

I'm also knitting my first KnitSpot knitting pattern by Anne Hanson.  It's a sock pattern so very portable called Waffle Cream socks.  I'm knitting them for my DH.  It's a lot of 1x1 work, so slow, but looking ok so far.  Photos of that soon.

As for my theme for 2014, I think it will be Finishing.  I have so many incredible projects that deserve to be finished, let's see what I can do to put a fork in a couple big ones. 

Wish me luck on that.  It won't be easy.

You have your theme picked out?  Broken any juicy resolutions yet?