Sunday, 20 April 2014

De-Stashing

Life has been a bit busy lately, so I haven't been spending as much time on my computer as usual. This isn't a bad thing, I've been getting things done around the house. Slowly sure, but progress is being made. I've also been spending more time knitting. For some reason I'm on a knitting binge and don't really feel like sewing much. It's a shame for the partially finished projects that are waiting around for me to find my sew-jo again. But my yarn stash is looking much happier for it.

A friend and I went through my stash earlier in the week. Except for one box of sweater lots that I'm trying to make a decision on, it all fits into my designated yarn cupboard. The box is awaiting a decision as it's mostly 5 ply, and I tend to be an 8 ply or 4 ply girl. I loves me some sock yarn.

The best thing about going through my stash with someone who knows me, knows crafting and knows my crafting style, she really asks the hard questions, but accepts that sometimes 'cos I love it', is a good reason to keep a yarn.

27 balls of yarn later, my stash was looking much happier. I feel I should point out that I went through on my own a couple of months ago and got rid of about that much then as well.

In the interests on honesty, I should also mention that during this process I added 3 balls from my friends stash into mine. I feel absolutely no guilt over this. I got rid of a bunch of stuff I wasn't going to use anytime in the near distant future and stuff that I didn't like or only kinda liked, and made way for three skeins of sock yarn that I love. Well, two that I loved and one my daughter loved. She kept cuddling it and saying 'mine'. I think I'll be making her something with it. Thankfully it goes with another skein I've got, so I have options.

I've found a project for 2 skeins of yarn that my Mum bought me years ago, which I'll blog about when I finish it. Shouldn't be too far away, in 2 weeks I'm halfway through it. I've also found a project for 2 skeins that I'd bought earlier this year for another project, that I didn't end up doing. Halfway through that as well, and a third (partial) skein is also being used in it. I've knitted over 100g of 4 ply in the past two weeks.

This is one of the projects I'm currently working on:


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hungry Caterpillar Dress

A few months ago I finished The Hungry Caterpillar Dress for Guinevere. But I realised I never actually posted any pictures of her wearing it. Which I do like doing, as I send the blog links to Mum, so I can share with her what I'm making.

So, today I got Guinevere to model the dress for me. I think she had fun....




After I took the last photo she said to me, "there you go Mummy, all done." And hopped off the couch to go back to her playing. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Stripy Jumper

A while back I agreed to knit a shop sample for Made Marion. Maryanne picked out a gorgeous little stripy jumper pattern, some absolutely scrumptious yarn, and told me to knit it in a size that would fit my little one come winter.

There is a photo of the design here. I'd take a photo of the copy I have. But it got rather, um, loved by Guinevere when she had a look at it to inspect what I was knitting. Plus I was knitting it while out and about, so I gave it a bit of loving too.

The wool was Rare Essentials, an alpaca/merino blend. So lovely to work with. It's seriously one of the nicest yarns I've ever knitted up.

Now to show you the photos I took of Guinevere wearing it. Unforunately the light isn't great, but you can get a good idea of what it turned out like. I tried to put her in some non daycare pants. But she's at that age where she wants to pick her own clothes, and wasn't having any of it.
It always amazing me how many facial expression this little girl can go through in such a short space of time.







And some of teddy modeling it, with close ups of the roll cuff and collar. I didn't get a close up of the hem, but it's done the same way.

Close up on the roll neck

Close up of the roll cuff

Teddy feeling nice and warm on top of Guinevere's clothes shelves. 

I'm really happy with the top. I love the colour blocking on the front, even tho it meant I had so many ends to weave in, which isn't my most fun part of knitting. I love the roll collar, cuffs and hem on it. It's big enough that Guinevere has some grow room in it, or can fit a couple of tops under it. Plus there is a good amount of grow room in the sleeves without them being too long. 

I wish I'd taken a photo of the side seam, as I was so proud of that. I lined up the stripes beautifully, and you can barely see the join at all.

When I'd taken the photos of Guinevere wearing it, I tried to take it off her, so that I could a)put it away before she got anything on it, and b) so that I could get her to try on something else I recently made her. She clutched at the front of it, twisted her body away and stated, 'Mine!'. Girl's got taste.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New and Improved Sewing Room

I'm never quite sure what to call my sewing room. I tend to alternate between sewing room and craft room. While I do more sewing in here than any other craft, I do store all my other crafts in here. Sometimes it just gets called my room. I'd love to call it my studio, but it just doesn't work in my head for this room, as studio calls up images of windows and light. I have one window, not large, that doesn't get much natural light. So I've always got the light on when I'm in here.

I know I've called this post 'new and improved', but it's not really new. I'm in the same room. But improved, has it ever!
I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm not naturally an organised person. This makes it challenging for me to get my space organised, as I'm never quite sure how best to do it, and do it in a way that makes it simple for me to maintain.

One of my friends however, is a born organiser, and she loves it. She came up last Friday and while our daughters kept each other amused, we spent 4 hours sorting my room out. So 8 hours work, and it was transformed. There is no way I could have done this on my own in 8 hours, not even if I didn't have my little one with me while doing it.
We rearranged furniture so that the room appears more open. Put things into big plastic tubs that I'd bought. The table has been cleared. The floor has been cleared, and vacuumed. A space has been cleared to put objects that make me happy.

I need to go through the drawers, cupboards, shelves and boxes in here, to remove items I no longer see myself using, and put them all in proper homes, fold fabrics, that kind of thing. But the room is completely usable. Plus because it is so tidy, pulling the contents out of one drawer or off one shelf to sort them isn't the massive task that it would have been a week ago. It also makes it easier for me to put things away, as I know where I want them to go, and it's the work of a minute to pick things up and put them away.

So my room is totally usable, inspiringly so (according to spellcheck, that isn't actually a word, but it's the only one I can think of to describe how my room currently makes me feel towards my crafting). I've managed to keep it completely tidy since Friday. I've finished one UFO, made progress on another, cut out and partially sewn a skirt from stash fabric (using all of it too) and found about 70 things that don't need to be in here.

We didn't take a before picture, and I'm kicking myself for that. But picture a table piled with stuff, on, under and around it. There was a walkway to my computer and sewing desks, but really, that's about all the usable/visible floor space there was.

This is what it looks like now:

View looking in the door

Yarn storage and drawers that need organising

Giant stack of plastic tubs

Usable worktable, currently there is even less on it

Sewing table, with two boxes of yarn beside it

Cupboard with fabric and random craft bits, smaller cupboard is (full) of UFO's

Computer desk/workspace

Shelves of fabric and books and bobs

I've got quite a large space, and there is a lot in here. I would like to make it a bit more open. But I now have some wall space to put up posters I've had nowhere to put for 4 years. It just feels so much more peaceful in here. 

I should stop raving about it, I just can't believe how good it feels. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Short of Creative Time

I realised a few days ago that I hadn't written blogged in ages. Not since half way through my 31 Days of Unfinished Projects. Which I did do a little more on, but there were no more completed projects in October.

I have done some craft work in the past three months, I've even managed to finish a couple of things. And by couple, I mean about 4 small things, 3 of which were crochet washcloths. The main reason for this is I haven't had the time. I started working 4 months ago, instant loss of a whole bunch of time, then when you factor in there are lots of people on leave this time of year, I'm working even more. My husband also moved to another city for work, so during the week, I get to solo parent. A typical day currently is get up, drop little one at daycare, work, pop home for lunch, occasionally have time to put on washing or do some other housework task, back to work, pick up little one from daycare, go home, make dinner, spend time with little one till she's asleep (about 10pm) while trying to get some things around the house down, do the things that are needed to be ready for work/daycare in the morning then it's sleep time for me. Eeep, makes me exhausted just reading that. But it doesn't leave very much time for me.

I'm also working on a new project for me, right now, habits and decluttering. Which uses up what time I could find to create in.

I'm hoping in the new year, work will be a bit lighter, so I'll have some more time. In the mean time, 'real life' gets in the way of my being able to create.

I did finish a UFO this morning. I had decided yesterday, after talking to a friend who has a friend expecting a baby, to crochet her up a little baby hat. They're simple projects, don't take much time or wool and are so simple that I can do them in my spare minutes when I wouldn't be able to do a project that requires me to look at a pattern. Plus I think every baby needs handknits, especially if it's something made just for them. I decided which colour I was going to make it in as well. This morning, while slightly rearranging a cupboard to more easily get to the things that I use most frequently, I came across a nearly finished baby hat, in the right colour. It was tucked in the back behind a box. Why it was in there, I have no idea. 8 minutes later (yes, I timed it), I had a planned project completed and a UFO I didn't even know I had completed. Plus it used up an entire piece of ribbon from my trims drawer. So it was kinda stashbusting too. Yay :)

Pink Baby Hat

Now to go continue with resetting the house for the week ahead.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Day 18-19: Dress Hems and Early Nights

I didn't write yesterday as I was working all day, then I had the house to myself for the entire night. The rest of the family went up to my mother in laws, I didn't go as I had work at 7am today. So I made myself a nice dinner and sat down with a good book. About 20 minutes after dinner, I realised I couldn't see the page properly, as I could barely keep my eyes open. So I toddled off to bed, at 7.30, while it was still light, and went to sleep. Oh it felt so good.

I had another craftless day yesterday. But the day before saw some progress made on the baby blanket and on the hem of my teal dress.

As I'd also just worked out that the state of my worktable influences the amount of sewing I feel like doing, I cleared some of the table off. To do that I had some bits that needed stored. But the drawer that they should be stored in was a mess, overflowing with papers. So I cleared it out. A large shoebox of paper recycling later, that drawer is much tidier, has much more space, and the bits on the table have been put away in their home. I still have a scattering of papers across the table, but they'll get sorted in the next few days. I'm currently still looking at my now organised drawer and smiling.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Day 17: A Craftless Day

It's happened the past two Wednesdays, I get to the end of the day and realise that I haven't done any crafting. It's not a long work day, I'm finished by 11am. But there are groceries to get and put away. There are 4 extras to feed for dinner, so cooking takes longer, especially as there are usually two options, meat and vegetarian. I also tend to do a bunch of my housework on Wednesday. So it's more a house day than a craft day. Even though I do spend some time in my sewing room, it's normally around looking after the little one so her Daddy can run his role playing game.

While my worktable was clear, my husband used to come into my sewing room, sit down and talk to me, something he hasn't really done in the past. He'd usually stand in the doorway to talk to me. Now that there is less visual clutter, something that really doesn't work for him, he is happy to come chat. It's quite nice.

I've also noticed that over the past few days my worktable has slowly gotten itself covered. I seem to have a habit of putting things down on it, as it's a clear and available surface, well, it was, currently isn't. And thinking about it more, the amount of time I've spent working on projects seems to have decreased as my table clutter increased. Coincidence? Who knows. I think it means that I'm going to have to make more of an effort to organise my sewing room. Which really should involve some destashing, as seriously, I could go for years on what I've got in here.