It’s Sewing, And I Helped

Do you remember the Shake and Bake commercials? The ones where kids said “It’s Shake and Bake, and I helped?” I felt like the kids in those commercials this morning when I brought out my sewing projects and directions to make sure I understood them.

It started innocently enough. I figured I should read through the project to make sure I understood everything while my mom was around to ask questions. That very quickly led to her cutting out the projects, so they would be ready for me when I got around to making them.

While she did this I stood around knitting and drinking coffee. I’m helpful like that.20190321_0849281513163270167118370.jpg

After she cut out the fabric she decided she should get started on making one to make sure it wasn’t tricky. Then it got out of control. She decided to keep going. She had me pin the bags, cut the notches for the curves, and iron them (you know, the worst part). She showed me what a zipper foot is, so now I know what to look for when I go through my sewing stuff to see if I have one.

I’m now the owner of two cute small project bags. I used the pattern Li’l Knot Bag from Indigo Bird Design. The pattern has three sizes. I made small this time, I think I’ll make a medium bag next time. This size is perfect for socks or other small projects (my Green Bay socks are already in the Hawkeyes bag).20190321_1140301633940026528833313.jpg

You might recognize the fabric as the fat quarters I bought last weekend in Winterset. I am glad I’ve used them already. I don’t want to develop a fabric stash issue, as I already have that with yarn.

Yesterday I thought it was silly that I brought two sewing projects and three knitting projects with me on a 48 hour trip. It turns out that was close to the right number of projects. I haven’t touched one of the knitting projects, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Fiberpalooza

Today is one of the best days of the year. It’s Fiberpalooza in Winterset, Iowa. Every year Ivy and I head over to browse the yarn market, wander around the little town square, and eat fried pickles.

The market moved this year to the gym at the middle school from the gym at the elementary school. There was more space, which meant more vendors. In the end, even though there were more vendors, I ended up buying from the same people I usually buy from. Ivy did too, actually. We are old and set in our ways.

I went over board on yarn purchases. I’m now 187 g in the hole for my yarn diet. I need to get knitting on my WIPs so I get back in the black soon. 20190316_1436285070698841640051620.jpgThe yarn on the left is from Fiber Cuiro and Sundries LLC. It’s a Romeldale/Suri Alpaca blend. It’s lace weight, but I’m going to pretend it is fingering and make a wrap out of it. Probably. Or I’m going to put it in my wine cabinet/yarn storage cabinet and look at how pretty it is for years. Only time will tell.

The rest of the yarn is from Yarn Geek. I love her yarn. I already have a skein of it in my stash, and I made socks for John from her yarn last year. I went into her booth and all self-control was lost. It started when I picked up two mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket. Then I saw the Rainbow Dashing (just left of the mini skeins) and knew I needed to take it home with me. I was trying to convince Ivy to buy more mini skeins when I saw the sparkly yarn (it is much more sparkly in real life than in this photo). I said “SHUT UP!” like a loud passionate teenager and grabbed the yarn. I may have said that while the dyer was having a conversation with Ivy about the mini skein options. After I reached over, clutched the yarn in my hungry grasp, and held it close to me, I explained to Ivy and Sarah (the dyer) that I was overcome with yarn love and was not yelling shut up at them. Being yarn nerds, they were understanding.

After the fiber festival we headed to the town square. They have a wonderful cafe that we eat at every year. We always start with fried pickles. Two years ago they switched from pickle chips to pickle spears. We still haven’t recovered from that shock. This cafe is where Clint Eastwood and Kathleen Kennedy ate in The Bridges of Madison County.  If you are a mid 1990s film buff that tidbit might be exciting to you. Personally, I care more about the pickles. 20190316_1145361661947229707001221.jpg

After our lunch we walked around the square checking out the shops. The old county jail is now a shop carrying hand-made goods. The last time I was there I found a kitchen towel that featured knitting. This time I found one for my other love – reading. I don’t really need another towel, but this is a really absorbent and soft towel, so I felt justified bringing my 1000th tea towel into our house.20190316_1437268362933261523165712.jpg

At Heartland Fiber Co. I wasn’t tempted by much. The store was crowded with knitters in for the festival, so it was hard to wander around. I was going to walk away without anything when I discovered a basket on the floor filled with random bits of yarn. They sell yarn leftovers for $0.10-$3.00 depending on the size. I splurged on 3 balls and spent $3.25. I loved being able to pick up a few yarns for the blanket for less than a mini skein. I’ll be searching for fingering weight in the basket every time I visit their store.20190316_1435452839623490959629519.jpg

We ended the day at Ben Franklin, a store where I always find random things that need to come home with me. Today it was a googly eye chip clip. How could I possibly say no to that? I also picked up some fat quarters to make some project bags or stuff in my drawer and forget I bought until I find them next year and make Kathleen take them. 20190316_1435235529541052004340250.jpg

It was a wonderful day in Winterset. I now need to go knit furiously until my yarn diet is in the black. I would grab some pretzels to snack on, but the bag is giving me a dirty look.

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! It’s rainy and gloomy here, so it is perfect knitting weather (says the woman who will happily knit in any weather). I’m planning on sipping tea and knitting most of the afternoon, but I’m pretty sure the kids will make sure that doesn’t happen.

I’m continuing to work on my sweater. I’m finished with both fronts and I’m currently working on a sleeve. I have lost all of my sweater mojo and haven’t even looked at it in a few days. That is probably because it has been nice out, and who wants to think about wearing a super bulky sweater when the weather is above freezing for the first time in months? It is tempting to put it aside until next fall, but the thing is huge and I don’t want to store a WIP that big for that long.

I’m rocking on my rollers. I am pleased with these colors together. I have about a half-inch to go before I can start the heel of the second sock.20190313_1423022440835111082407631.jpg

Jess and I started our Green Bay Packers sock KAL last weekend. These are the only thing I want to work on. I’m only a few stripes from starting the heel of the first sock. I told myself I couldn’t work on these again until I was done with the heel on the rose city roller socks. Time will tell if I stick with that or not. 20190313_1423414381552339425820002.jpg

I hope you are enjoying your projects and making progress on them.

WIP Wednesday

I had the whole day to myself, thanks to a dentist appointment and in-laws that love to babysit. I had planned on getting a lot of knitting done, but I got sucked into other projects and didn’t even pick up my needles. I’m making some progress on my projects, but not much.

I started a new pair of socks. I had to reschedule Jess and the start of our Green Bay Packers KAL, so I cast on a pair of Rose City Rollers. I wanted a fast pair of socks so I have free needles next weekend when we start the KAL. The yarn I’m using was a scarf until two weeks ago. I knit the scarf for John years ago and he never once used it, so I decided it could find a new life as socks and I could clear out something from the closet. 20190227_2017507248305064538664895.jpgThe yarn is Strand Yarnworks in the Cigars and Cabernet colorway. The heel is random sock yarn from my bag of fingering weight yarn for my scrap blanket. I don’t love the combination, but I don’t hate it enough to rip it out. I think it will look better when it is complete.

My sweater is moving along. I have about 10 rows left on the back. I’m sure the front pieces will fly. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that.

Instead of knitting today I spent my time tearing out messed up seams sewing. I made a Fen Shirt, as the I loved the Fen Dress so much. I like the shirt, but if I make it again I’ll make it longer. I’m tall, and the shirt is a little too short for my taste.20190227_1942364849034781141051578.jpg

After finishing my shirt I made some cold reliever bath bombs. I used lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils in the bombs (thank goodness for Pinterest, I know nothing about essential oil blends). They smell wonderful. I left out the food coloring, because I don’t like sitting in food coloring. We are on our third cold of the year in our house, so I think we will be using these soon.20190227_2009497326086627035105918.jpg

I also spent some time feeling extra awesome about my dress after my cousin Claire pointed out what great taste I have. It is rare that something I wear is actually fashionable, so it is nice when it happens.

I hope you are having a good week and making progress on your works in progress.

Creativity Abounds

I haven’t been knitting as much lately. Winter has wreaked havoc on my hands, and there are days where knitting is painful to my dry hands. Because of that I’ve been exploring other creative outlets.

Last weekend I made bath bombs. I love bath bombs, but can’t bring myself to spend $5 on something that lasts 20 minutes. Money is literally going down the drain when you use a bath bomb. It turns out bath bombs are crazy easy to make. I had all of the ingredients in my house, so I didn’t even have to buy anything. 10 minutes after pulling up a recipe on Popular Science I was cleaning up as my 7 bath bombs dried. 20190221_191604.jpgI will be making these again. Since making this batch I’ve purchased a big bag of citric acid and more essential oils on Amazon. I’m sticking with my silicone baby food container for now (there was a time when I thought I would be making all organic baby food for the kids, then I realized I need sleep), but I might upgrade the molds at some point.

On Sunday I had a chance to be creative in a way that was new to me. I went to a painting class for a friend’s birthday party. It was so much fun! They gave us canvases with a sketch of a fox and a butterfly on them, then walked us through how to paint them. I’m happy with how my painting turned out, and I hope to put it up in my craft room someday (when I have a house that isn’t a glorified tiny home).

There was a slushy boozy punch, which really helped the festive atmosphere and relaxed my perfectionism enough to allow me to paint.

Tomorrow the kids are spending the day with John’s parents. My plan is to sew a shirt. After my success with the Fen Dress (which I’m wearing today) I want to start another project. I cut out the pattern for the Fen shirt last night and plan to iron the fabric once it’s out of the wash. With any luck I’ll have a new shirt to show off tomorrow night.

I hope you are staying creative this winter! Do you have any crafts you love that you think I should try?

I Made A Dress

One of my resolutions this year was to make, thrift, or mend a clothing item if I need a new one. I hadn’t sewn a garment since I was in college (20 years ago), and that was pajama pants (not a difficult thing to make).

I’ve started attending a new church (OK, fine, “sporadically attending” would be a better way to phrase that). People at my new church dress up on Sundays, and I don’t have many dresses. I decided to go crazy and make a dress.

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I made the Fen Dress by Fancy Tiger Crafts. Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it done? YES! I’m looking forward to wearing it for the rest of the winter. I used flannel, so the dress is nice and cozy. It’s basically pajamas I can wear in public.

I made lots of mistakes while making this dress, several you can probably see in this photo if you are an avid sewer. I have a hard time loving crafts that I’m not immediately good at. I did enjoy the process enough to want to sew more. I would like to get to the point where I’m OK at sewing. I don’t know if I’ll ever advance to zippers.

The Fen Dress pattern comes with a shirt version of the dress. I think I’m going to make that next. I want to see if the process goes better the second time I make the pattern.

Do you sew? Do you have any easy sewing patterns you would recommend? What is your favorite thing to sew?