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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Great Tidying Up Project of 2015

The fabric stash is pretty much folded and put away.  There is some overflow to deal with.  Marie Kondo's book does not address tidying up the craft areas unless it is covered under category 5, Miscellany.  What does one do when every little bit of stash brings joy?  I approached this thinking I will have to "debulk" first.  With the fabric I still have one bag of Asian fabric to sort and find a place for and there was some quilt batting that had no choice but to live in my bedroom.  At least it has it's own drawer.  I donated a couple small bags to a friends church.  After folding and rolling my lace, I find I have much more room, but still gave away a ton of doilies that no longer sparked joy.  My cutting table and washer dryer tops were cleared!  Also the back door entry way is  clear!  The dyeing supplies have all found places to live in the home.  I just hope I can find them when I need them. 

My mom has decided she needs to clean and destash also.  The trick to keeping some of her stuff is to get rid of some of mine.  I replaced my coke glasses with the cute Kirin beer glasses that my dad had collected.  My friends also adopted some of her nice things...the cute Irish Coffee Glasses with shamrocks, the Blue Danube cheese plate.  Lots of stuff has been donated.  We both feel lighter already.

I semi-attacked the rubber stamping corner and started on the yarn.  I labelled the bins. One lazy kate and 2 bags of "crap" were given away at the Monday Night Aloha Knitters group.Thank bob for yarn bombers!

I got this idea to deal with some of the many hats I have that fit no known human head or are to scratchy to wear.  Make felted bowls!

3 of them before

5 of them after

They are drying after two 14 minutes agitating sessions in my washer with one rinse.  I think I love them!

I'm loosing steam, as they craft areas are really a challenge.  I have found that by debulking and working toward cleaner counters, that I do have more room for stuff. I have the beads to go.

I haven't stopped shopping, but it has slowed down some.  Some entity out there decided not to allow streaming of you tube through my Sony blu-ray player, so I've ordered a Roku.  I couldn't resist this cute Hermes, sculpted by the artist formally know as moonlight baker.

(the little horsie was created by May Izumi)

Old habits die hard.  I continue to accumulate receipts and such, but I'm better at disposing of some of the junk that comes in the mail.  I can' seem to put the pen back in the pen place after I use it.  So far I've been faithful at folding my laundry.

One last project that may be considered a "tidying" project is a Terracotta Garden which makes use of broken or unloved terracotta pots.  Mine still has a lot of growing to do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Butterfly Cards

I had a fun day making butterfly cards with blogless Forest Maiden.  She will be returning to her forest soon and was able to take a break from her cleaning house in preparation for the summer renters.  She provided lunch!    The stamps are mostly from Stampin' Ups Butterfly collection.  What a lot of fun that set is!  It's always fun to share papers and ideas.

I tried out a new mosaic maker, Andrea Mosaic.  Freeware! Looks like fun!

I made desert, Apple Charlotte.

I watched Trish Yearwood and her sister make this.  I didn't have a charlotte pan, so I used my casserole dish.  I added the zest and juice from two lemons so it was very lemon-y.  I also used half whole wheat bread to make the pattern and cut back on the sugar so it was nicely tart.  

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Fabric Stash Project 2015

It's worse then I thought.  I do recognize these fabrics.  I'm folding them and storing them upright.  I still have a few more tubs.  I resolve not buy fabric or yarn without a project in mind.  The donate pile is actually quite small on this first go around.

I'm reading a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.  I've actually folded my clothes and stood them up, and now I'm folding my fabric.  I'm done with Great Shred Project!  That was very cathartic.  It may be awhile before all my possessions have a place...tough for a crafter.  I really should so something with all the basket-making stuff.  It's a bit moldy but some of it is still good.  I doubt I'll be making baskets anymore. I'm cock-a-roaching the plastic bins from my yarn stash for the fabric stash, trying to resist the urge to buy more storage bins. (One of Ms Kondo's suggestions). The yarn stash will have to be next. I wonder how one stores yarn upright?

I watched this video and liked they way she did it.

I've given up haircuts and massages until June. My hairdresser said "long time no see".  I told her I was re-inventing myself and would see her in June.  I even thought about finding a part time job.  Now that is is really bad.  Of course I came to senses right away when I envisioned waking up and having to show up someplace on a schedule. 

It's been raining recently and the cotton plant is not happy about it.  I discovered that the bolls that have lost their calyx through wind damage do not make good cotton.  I guess they need that protection.  The bolls pop open but the cotton inside is moldy and never puffs out.  Nature is so fascinating.  On a good note, despite the rain, my electric bill has been minus!  The solar project is paying off.

Game of Thrones is back on air.  It is so tough waiting a week for the new episode and I cry for more when the episode ends.  The series is diverging from the book and so far the changes are all good!  But Justified finished it's run.  No more Olyphant to watch, sigh. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Anything but Lazy Kate

I could not wait to spin all my cotton to try out my Anything but Lazy Kate.  I had my first bobbin of cotton wound off on 5 plastic bobbins and had spun about 3/4 of a second Hansen Woolee Winder bobbin full.  I made a 3 ply and have yet to soak and dry it.  The Kate really worked well without any additional tensioning.  I may ply a second skein before finishing the rest of my Ewa Beach cotton.

Very little knitting has been going on.  I wanted to make a hooded cowl after watching Seventh Son.  Jeff Bridges has a cowl that has a nice drape and reminds me a lot of
The one I use the most does not form a nice hood.  I found this pattern on the LionBrand site
by Lion Brand Yarn and Number 4 sister was nice enough to pick up the Thick and Quick with some coupons.   The contruction intrigued me so I knit it up.  Two skeins.  Face has been blurred to protect the hopelessly paranoid.  It's basically a garter stitch rectangle.  Instead of binding off I folded the piece in half and grafted the end off.  With the beginning yarn, I sewed up the sides.  It made for a pointy hood and something very wam and cozy.  Not for Hawaii, though and not very drapey.  It was fun to make. 

I found a quilt I made a while back, back before I knew much about quilting.  It was a sad thing with a folded over border, that didn't even have batting all the way to the edge.  The fabric is a bit spotted and the quilting bad.  There are a million puckers.  But it is one of my very favorite patterns, Storm at Sea and it is nice and soft.  So I decided to trim off the weird border and bind it, and use it.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Catching Up

April 1 I will be coming up on 10 years blogging!  A decade!  I started this blog when I had lots to whine about.  Now that I'm pretty much retired, there is not much to whine about.

What there is, is a whole lot more time to think about gardening, housecleaning, and exercising, which is still not happening as much as it should.  There is a little more walking and so far two zumba classes.  I'm thinking about giving up my regular massages since the price went up again and go prn.  I've also giving up regular haircuts, for a while.  I'm contemplating using that money to join the Y.  In a year I can get free membership through my health plan.  I'm not really the gym type, but I'm willing to give it another try. 

It's be a revolving door of sisters the last month or so.  So nice to have them visit mom and help her with those things she cannot do anymore at 91.  She can still do plenty though.  Her garden puts me to shame!
Her honohono orchids are doing exceptionally well this year.  They are so fragrant!

On the knitting scene there was another Giro and another Cadhla Shawl.
A friend brought some Romney yarn from NZ for the Cadhla Shawl.  She has another Cadhla I knit with Pima Fresca Solid by Queensland Collection that she says is her favorite shawl and requested another.  This yarn is way warm for Hawaii! I used my last bit of Noro Aya for the Giro, my third one.
I did a little Wilton's cake dye dyeing on some Romney locks.
My kind of dyeing...non toxic and done with kitchen supplies.

I finished 3 quilts.  2 are large lap quilts and one is baby quilt size.  I used up my flower blocks from the 2014 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop and made a pieced backing.  The pattern is called Garden Path and is free from McCall's.
The two pink and green ones are called Summer in the Park.  I arranged the blocks in different ways and used only two Amy Butler prints and white.  The smaller one has a flannel backing which really showed up the machine quilting nicely.  The machine quilting was done by Barbara Alama. After seeing her fabric stash I'll feel no shame when I look at mine, lol. 

I had fun making my own quilt label with a rubber stamp and sharpie.  Ironing the fabric on freezer paper really helped.  I heat set the label before hand stitching it on.  Next time I will sew it into the binding. 

I'm still spinning cotton.  It's a long term project.  I can't wait to try out my Anything But Lazy Kate.  I may just have to interupt the cotton spinning and ply!  This cool gadget was a birthday gift for my wonderful and enabling sisters!  Aren't sister grand?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Marietta's Circular Jacket, pattern

Marietta’s Circular Shrug (not tested)

This shrug like jacket starts at the outer edge and is knit in the round until the underarms.  At that point the back flap is continued until it is large enough for the arms.  It is joined to the top with a 3 needle bind off. 

Material:  Berocco Ultra Alpaca

Needles:  Size 7, 16 inch.  Two size 5 circular, 16 inch. (or one size 5 circ and one needle holder)

Gauge: I'm bad at gauge swatches.  Ultra Alpaca is a lighter worsted.
Picot Cast on:  Knit Picot CO. 
Start with 5 stitches.  * (BO two.  Place remaining stitch back on left needle .  Cable CO 3 stitches.) Repeat from *.

With Size 7 needles, CO 80 stitches using the picot CO

Join to knit in the round.  Place markers at beginning and halfway point.  K2P2 for 2 inches, slipping markers as you go.

Change to size 5 needles. 
K2P2 for 1 inch. 

Decrease row and bind off for armholes .Bind off 4 stitches.    K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before marker, P2tog.  Bind off 4 stitches.  K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before end of row.  Pick up front loop of first bound of stitch and purl it together with the last two stitches.  This prevents a gap in the armhole.
Turn to work the back section back and forth.  Begin wrong side of back with new size 5 needle. The rest of the stitches (top back) are left on the original needle. (the remaining stitches can also be slipped to a stitch holder)  P2,K1 in pattern to the end of the row.  Continue in pattern as established for 3 ½  inches.  End with right side row. 

With right sides together do a 3 needle bind off with top back. Knitty has a nice tutorial. 
Weave in ends.

Closure as desired. 

The yarn for this hand spun version is a smaller gauge then the Ultra Alpaca.  I CO 72 stitches.  It was a bit snug.

For the first try I used a DK bamboo, CO 144.  This was more stitches then necessary, and made the pattern fussier.  The CO row was not quite stretchy enough (German twisted CO)   CO very loosely or over two needles.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coming Up out of the Darkness, Post by the Drama Queen

Nothing makes me fall into bitter despair more then a virus.  Somehow that internal waging of war takes a lot out of me and leads to weird, paranoid dreams, feelings of worthlessness and general whining.  To compound matters, my creative efforts were total busts!

No pattern Bubble Skirt for Marietta.

I had no elastic, so tried using fold over elastic and beading elastic. I gathered the bottom too much and the top not enough.  I will try this again, because it is darn cute!

Just not enough layers and too see through.  I will definitely try again, as Marietta has the shoes and the tights!  Perhaps I'll even try a leotard if I can find the right stretchy fabric.  There is a tutorial that makes it seem so easy!

I found a nice recipe for Ginger Tea which helped my sorethroat.  It wasn't bad with a shot of bourbon either!  It helped me sleep! 

My only accomplishment was to read a whole book.  This may be a small miracle.  I rarely read any more unless it's a craft book or pattern.  Gone are the days when read 6 books a month.  The book was Bundori, by Laura Joh Rowland.  It is a murder mystery that takes place during the Tokugawa era.  It's actually the second book in the series, so now I'm reading number 1, Shinju.

About day 5, my energy and sense of hope returned.  My sleep cycle returned to normal.  I'm resolved to move on!

I finished spinning my white Giant Angora. These really cute bunnies are raised by Dr. Albert Mina, a vet on the Big Island.  I am tempted to get a bunny, but the amount of grooming they require, not to mention the mounds of poo they produce...oh my, lol.  I wish I could find that funny blog post I read once about a lady who didn't spin, got the rabbit first and never did learn to spin.  She basically said everyone and everything in the house was covered with angora. 

I ended up with 46yds, 26 grams of 2 ply.  I decided to try spinning this without combing since it was so clean.  My last two spinning adventures and watching DVDS blogless Sandy loaned me, hit home regarding fiber prep.  Don't be lazy!  Get those short cuts. noils and VM out  before spinning, and the resulting yarn is much nicer.  I have to give up holding on to as much fiber as possible and throw out the stuff that is not good.

Marietta would like a circular shrug out this angora.  I am reading up on the anatomy of a circular shrug and it sort of makes my head feel like it's going to explode.

So on to something cute and mindless!  The Infamous Hanging Basket!

100% Acrylic 
Size K
This used just a little over half a ball and came out rather tiny.  I'm going to make another with Super Bulky  and size N hook as the pattern suggests.  
 I won this yarn at Stitches Midwest and it was not fun to knit.  However it took to being crocheted quite nicely and I think,  the best that acrylic has to offer (lasting an eternity and being totally color-fast) will work well in a bag.   I envision a larger one to hold spare toilet tissue rolls and replacing my well worn, faded bag ladies.  Perhaps bag ladies will be obsolete when Oahu bans the plastic bag. 

Another successful project was replacing the button on my gear shift which had cracked off.  There are youtubes for everything!

My car still locks in park, but  the handy dandy screwdriver trick should get me through to next weeks appointment.  That can be a more complicated problem unless it's just a fuse.

Add:  One other successful project for Marietta finished before the dread plague set in.  The Hunters Cowl, somewhat like Katniss Everdeen, only knit.

I didn't not write the pattern down and 14 inches of i-cord times two, was so boring!  Also the Wool-ease was quite splitty to work with.

Of course, now she wants the bow and the leather jacket.