Tag Archives: crafting

A Little More Better

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I keep ending up with unfinished stacks.

Stacks of laundry, unread books, unfinished work, and the mental press of things I (should already have done) need to do.

There’s also a pile of fabric scraps and a cutting board that’s taken up semi-permanent residence on my living room floor. Did I mention I’ve taken up another crafting hobby?

This actually breaks a self-made rule I made about a year ago in an attempt to stay focused on the ones I’ve already got. I’m a dabbler, and my joy comes from the doing. But it would be nice to have something completely finished for once! From today’s count I have:

  • 3 spindles half full of different yarns
  • 1 draped, pinned, basted but not sewn nightgown
  • A stack of mending
  • 1 crocheted scrubby half finished
  • Half a dozen cloth yo-yo’s to make into a necklace
  • A drawer that I (attempted) to paint that needs to be re-done so it can be used in a display

On the the one hand it’s reassuring to have lots of projects going. If my wrist acts up from crocheting, I can switch to sewing, or take a break from cutting dozens of tiny squares out for English paper piecing. On the other, I feel almost…guilty? I don’t have expertise in any of the crafts I’ve taken up. I’ve got a beginner to intermediate skill level in each, with a broad knowledge of how they interconnect.  Is it more rewarding to do a deep dive into one craft to get a feel for it? I’m debating taking a couple classes in garment construction so I can draft my own patterns, and I’m always on the hunt for folks who know how to use their antique Singer sewing machines and want to share.

The last thing I want to do is make it into work though, and start warbling about ‘subject matter expert’ this and ‘synergies’ that. Nah, I just…want to do a little more, better. And if making a quilt top out of 1.5 inch diameter hexagons doesn’t mean having a little more patience for the better part of a year I don’t know what does!

 

Fix it: quick and dirty shoe-in

That was a bad pun ya’ll. I fixed my house slippers. Have you ever noticed the way slippers are sold in whole sizes, or as a small/medium/large? Why is that? My feet are ‘Large’ but my large is a US 10.5, and in the slipper world Large equals a size 10. Cue sad face.

That’s all to say that I have one magical pair of slippers that fit and are comfy, and I refuse to let them go anytime soon. The rubber soles have been cracking and shedding all over the house, so I ripped those suckers off.

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When I went to trace the outline of shoe onto the new sole, I realized I don’t actually have tailor’s chalk, which would be a crying shame except..

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I found a way to make do.

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Next go round I’ll try a sturdier material, but sewing two layers of felt together did the trick for now. I doodled around on the sewing machine to create traction on the soles, and then super glued it all together. Pro-tip: keep an eye on the proximity between glue and the carpet. Nothing happened! Don’t panic! Just an FYI. Ahem.

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Whorld domination

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I’m obsessed.

It’s a lot like pizza in a way–even badly made yarn is knit-able, which means it’s good yarn. Instant gratification.

This is a good thing because I’m definitely a novice at using a drop spindle. Earlier this week I finished spinning a bunch of blended silk and merino wool roving that I got at Yarns, etc.  I could barely wait for it to dry after the final rinse to help the fibers bind together, so I literally brought the skein to work with me and sat it on my lap so it would dry faster!

Then I wound it all up and it became my stress ball for the day.

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Yarn, beautiful yaaaaaaaaaaaaaarn

Now I’m knitting it all up into a pair of finger-less gloves in preparation for the coming winter. Which thankfully isn’t here yet, so I started working on the gloves while sitting in the middle of a rose garden, lucky me!

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Beautiful surroundings while I continued crafting.

While the gloves are being completed I still want to practice spinning…so I went to the store and came back with a MASSIVE bag of wool. So, to fund my growing hobby, I’m selling what I make!

Next on my to-do list: whorld domination, otherwise known as plying.

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The purse is cursed

Before it all went wrong...

Before it all went wrong…

I measured everything in triplicate, created an actual pattern piece instead of free-handing the design and the damn thing still turned out cattywampus.

I measured everything in triplicate, created an actual pattern piece instead of free-handing the design and the damn thing still turned out cattywampus.

Completed :)

Completed 🙂

To summarize: one side is longer than the other, the inner lining is noticeably smaller than the outside, and stitching can be seen where it oughtn’t on the inside clasp attachment. All we need is an outraged gentleman with a cracked monocle and a terrible first date type situation to round things out…

On the bright side, it does actually fit a credit card and/or ID, keys, and (barely) a tube of chap-stick.  Since it’s adorable, and can in fact serve its stated purpose, I’m gifting it to my awesome older sister.

I think the main culprit for any sizing issues can be linked to the material used for the outside of the purse–it’s surprisingly heavy duty and thick, and I neglected to iron down the seams after turning it right side out.

In general, I am opposed to ironing. And dry cleaning. Well, and most household chores, but it is in fact possible to have an entire wardrobe full of items that don’t require the aforementioned hated activities. (I regularly do laundry, if inquiring minds were wondering).

Aside from any lingering frustration over its imperfections, this was a fun piece to work on, and it was inexpensive too.  I bought the metal clasp at Jo-Ann’s Fabric store for two bucks and change, and the outer fabric was a gift. I’ve got about two yards of the gorgeous red and blue patterned cloth left so I’ll either be making a skirt, or practicing my purse making skills some more. Or making a fifties styled apron. Oh, the possibilities!