Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fabric hangover....

I think the best way to describe this past weekend would be: Fabric Bender.
(Note: I've been trying to get this post written for 2 days. I'm on vacation and I keep getting distracted, thinking of other things to do... sorry)

Friday evening I finished turning all the fabric circles rightside out for my niece's blanket. I sewed them together and now all that remains is the mind-numbing process of hand stitching to tack down the edges of the circles.

Preslee's blanket in progress

Preslee's blanket back

I used the tutorial from Sunshine's Creations for Mock Cathedral Windows. The fabrics are mostly fat quarters and a few scraps.

Turns out tacking down 4 circular edges each on 56 circle/squares takes some time. Especially when a person keeps getting distracted....

Then, still Friday evening, I copied a tank top I have and sewed this from the pillow case from a set of t-shirt sheets I bought for the fabric.

tank top 2 dyed

That took me up until about 12:30am...

Saturday, I started a knitting project (no pic yet... )(yes I still knit)(sheesh). Then I suddenly decided I wanted to dye the shirt I made Friday, so I did that (see above pic). Then I wanted to try reconstructing a t-shirt I never wore, so I made new jammies.


The shorts are from the t-shirt sheets. I didn't have a pattern for either, but I did borrow schematics from the shorts in the summer 2005 Interweave Knits.

Then I liked that one so much I made another:
Reconstructed t-shirt

Made from an old white t-shirt I never wore. I dyed it using a method I call "way-too-lazy-to-do-it-properly" method:
I soaked the fabric, put it in a microwaveable bowl, filled the bowl with water, sprinkled dye powder on the water, didn't stir it and microwaved it for 2 sets of 3 minutes on high.

I really liked the results. Then I noticed the back:

recon t-shirt back

I don't know if you can see the skull there, but it was completely unintentional...

Sunday I made another copy of the tank top from Friday. While working on that top tragedy struck.

Photo HERE. I figured you should be warned before you see the picture. It's not for the faint of heart. Maybe. Depends on how you feel about sewing injuries involving needles. And fingers.

Somehow I managed to get my finger while I was zigzaging my edges. I thought I had just pinched it so I instinctively put it in my mouth, which scratched my lip, which is how I realized I had a needle through my finger.

Amazingly, it's totally fine now. I have a couple of spots where the needle went through, but other than that, nothing! That doesn't mean I didn't almost faint at the time.

And, I finished the shirt
Tank top

Back to the fabric bender:

I had been wanting to make a twirly skirt for my friend's daughter for a while, so I started figuring that out. I wanted to use fabric in stash, so I planned to make a tiered skirt. Then I got the idea to do a patchwork skirt but I didn't have enough scraps to do the whole thing scrappy. I ended up using a combination of two different tutorials: the Tiered Skirt tutorial at Kuky Ideas and the Patchwork Circle Skirt from Just Tutes.

Tiered Patchwork skirt

It was very well received by my friend's daughter.
Tiered patchwork skirt in use
Her exact words were "Lori, I LOVE my skirt! I love my skirt Lori. I LOVE my skirt!! I love the skirt you made me." off and on all day yesterday... I love when someone loves things I make for them!!

Now I have a couple of little sundresses in progress for my sister's little girl. I haven't seen them since Christmas, but I'll get to see them on Friday. I got some cute cotton prints on sale at Walmart and I'm planning to sew up a bunch of baby sized sundresses for both of my baby nieces.

And now, I need to work on the blanket. Unless I can think of something else to distract me. Like my knitting. Or Harry Potter. Or a sundress....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Threads

Sleeveless top

I have this, er, phobia about cutting into "good" cloth. I'm always afraid that I'll wreck it somehow. Cloth out of the remnant bin? no problem. Fat quarters? no problem. Recycled cloth from thrifted clothing? no problem. But somehow, if I have gone to the fabric store, picked out material, taken it to the cutting table, had it cut, washed it, dried it, ironed it... Somehow it takes on this Big Deal Don't Wreck It thing.

This top is made from a dupatta that I had from when I lived in Pakistan. I had dyed it in a bucket that was too small, which resulted in an almost tie dyed look. The pattern is New Look 6515.

Sleeveless top (back)

I followed advice found on the internets and used the size closest to my measurements. In a perfect world, this would have worked out. As it was, If I had bothered to read all the instructions I didn't realize that the pattern had 4 1/2 inches of ease. Which is a fairly significant amount. Considering there is a zipper on the side seam to allow you to get into the top.

Sleeveless Top (side)

I worked on this all evening last night. If I had a proper table (or any sort of work surface) for cutting, it might have been quicker. When I finished it was about 12:30. I tried it on and was, well, in a word: disappointed. I followed the directions for finishing the arm cyes but it made the shoulders point out somehow. I took out the stitching I had done, redid it this afternoon and now I'm at least okay with it. It's not my favorite garment ever, it's definately too big. But, overall, I like it. Ish.

Last week, I used another dupatta to make a skirt:


I don't wear skirts that often, but it's so breezy feeling that I kind of think I might if it gets really hot again.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some sewing to do. I'm finally working on the blanket for my sister's little girl Preslee.

blanket pieces

Sunday, July 22, 2007


All those people who preordered, waited in line for 12 or more hours, who scrambled to get The Book yesterday...


Picked up this afternoon (a day after the craziness). 40% off jacket price. Total time spent waiting?

90 seconds, the bulk of which was taken up with the elderly woman ahead of me in line not being able to hear the cashier.

Good thing I just got to the straight stocking stitch section of my (not so) Beaded Cami.


I spent my afternoon with the book propped open, knitting round and round... Ahh...

If only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow...

Mom Update
Mom has an appointment at the cancer clinic on July 31 and then a biopsy follow up with her surgeon on August 2. She isn't sure if the appointment at the cancer clinic will just be an evaluation or if they will actually start treatment. They told her to be prepared for a 3 hour appointment. I'm hoping to be able to take that week off to go with her to her appointments. I have most of my vacation days left, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers for her.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bored? At work? Me? Nah....

Yesterday's Craft magazine blog had link to The Peace of Paper's Kusadama Flower origami made with sticky notes. What was I supposed to do? Not make them? I had absolutely nothing work-related to do had a temporary lull in my hectic day so...

(exclusive surreptitious cell phone photos!)

In progress Super Exciting Action Shot! Ooohh... The fold! Ooohh! The Uhu glue*!

Completed flower. The paper clips are to help the Uhu glue do its bit.

Completed flower bottom

After I finished making my flower, I noticed this note. It was stuck up underneath the overhang on my desk (the reception desk). Not sure who it's from but... aww...
(one of my coworkers is convinced it's from a certain other co-worker. she senses
intrigue and secret romance in places it never existed...)

*How much fun is it to pronounce "Uhu Glue"? You can say it "Yoo Hoo Gloo" or "OOO Hoo Gloo". Either way! Fun!**
**I promise I wasn't ingesting any glue.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In which I potentially bite off more than I can chew, so to speak

Friday evening I finished spinning a 4 oz chunk of the alpaca while waiting to go see the Transformers (btw: awesome).

I think I need bigger bobbins

I started plying it while waiting for the (very late) boy. Why do women always get the bad rep for not being on time? ehem. Anyway...

I finished plying it Saturday morning


4oz Alpaca, 2 ply, approx. 224yd/105m. It turned out to be a very even approx. worsted weight. I'm really pleased with it. Not sure what it will become yet, but I have more to spin so we'll see... I'm thinking maybe a vest or something.

Saturday morning it was 20C/68F at about 7am. By 10 it was 30C/86F and sunny and humid. So, of course, I decided to prep some wool for spinning. Who wouldn't? I didn't get signed up for the Tour de Fleece* but I had planned to try this for a while. I have about 24oz of wool roving (unknown breed) from Custom Woolen Mills. I plan to spin it up into enough for a sweater.

Not sure if I've bitten off too much here...

I dyed all the wool at once by just setting the pots outside in the sun (thus not heating up the house too much).

I was glad to see the color turned out in this picture. For some reason it is extremely difficult for my camera to capture. Before dyeing I split the roving into approx. 2oz strips. I used a mix of forest green, denim blue and a little bit of a light brown. I don't think I would have been able to produce this color if I had tried for it, but amazingly it is exactly what i had been imagining. It's an almost solid deep teal/blue/green. The slight variations in the intensity blend well together, if I do say so myself. Especially since it's nearly accidental... ehem.

I was a bit impatient to get going on the spinning, I wanted to do a test to see how I was going to spin it.



By late afternoon I was able to start spinning (who are you calling impatient? huh?)(haha) and spun up one of the strips.

2oz, approx. 114yards/104m. It's fairly even, which I was happy about and about a worsted-ish weight.

One down, 11 to go...

One more shot of yarn p*rn before I go try to cool off:


*I was going to link to the Tour de Fleece site but a quick Google search turned up more than one Tour de Fleece. Who knew?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mom update

My mom finally got her biopsy results, and the news is pretty much what we've been expecting.

The cancer is not a "new" cancer in that it actually spread from when she had breast cancer 13 years ago. They have determined that too much of both lungs is affected by the tumors/lesions/cancer and that it is inoperable. However, the doctor sounded optimistic that with chemo she would be able to have another 2-3 "reasonably healthy" years. (Not sure what he meant by "reasonably healthy" but we'll take it.) The doctor will be registering my mom as a cancer patient so that she can get oxygen supplied by health care. Hopefully that will at least help ease her breathing somewhat.

We're not sure when she will start with chemo or what kind of chemo, but I'm hoping they get it all moving sooner rather than later.

Thank you all for your concern and your prayers. My mom thanks you too.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

good intentions...

I've been meaning to post about my Canada Day long weekend. I have the post all thought out, I just need to get the pictures done.

That may have to wait a bit. I got invited to join Ravelry!!* (EEEE) I had put my name on the waiting list quite a while ago and they are adding people as they are able to. I anticipate losing whole weeks to surfing over there (my screen name or whatever you want to call it is subloke, same as on craftster). I will get something going here soon, promise.

In the mean time, still no update on my mom's biopsy results. Hopefully soon.

*if you are still waiting for an invite, I'm sorry if this is rubbing it in.