baby’s first handspun

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It is immensely satisfying to go from the first picture to the last picture. Right now knitting is not being very satisfying, because I’m too busy to spend a good chunk of time on it. Everything is inching along, giving me the illusion that nothing is happening. Perhaps a couple weeks from now I’ll suddenly have knit the attached lace border for a shawl, or have some very late Mother’s Day socks, but somehow I can’t get myself to believe it, especially since my other projects (hand-quilting a bag for my spinning wheel so I can take it to guild meetings (more on that later), re-upholstering 3 chairs and a bench, unpacking a staggering number of books, adding variety to my diet) all seem to be coming along just as slowly.

I thought spring was about fresh starts and relentless growth, what the hell happened?

Wooly Collections

Due to a family emergency, I missed pretty much everything last week, except for a series of dull plane rides to Arkansas and back. I pieced the quilt top (Birdcage on a Chain by Anna Maria Horner) over the course of spring break, and finally got around to adding the border. Now it’s big enough that the only way to get a proper photograph is for me to lay in my loft and hang it down.

birdcage on a chain, with border

birdcage on a chain, with border

I also found some lovely vintage wool. This is a grey dress (probably a wool blend), of which there may be pictures soon.

gendora juniors wool dress

gendora juniors wool dress

international ladies garment worker's union

international ladies garment worker’s union

This is a 100% wool pullover, fully fashioned with a narrow stranded yoke and three buttons. The fashioning is quite prominent and pretty, I’ll try and get a photo when it’s actually light out.

stranded yoke on vintage eddie bauer sweater

stranded yoke on vintage eddie bauer sweater

It has a hole under one arm, and a worn spot under the other, which is apparently worth a $6 discount.

hole in the armpit of the (lovely) wool vintage sweater

hole in the armpit of the (lovely) wool vintage sweater

I love the inside of stranded work. Someday, I may have to knit and inside-out stranded sweater for myself, but I might get too many  odd looks and annoying comments if I were to wear it in public.

inside of the stranded yoke

inside of the stranded yoke

Hopefully, these will flesh out my woolens collection a bit, which (probably surprisingly) is rather sparse.

I think I just felt bad on behalf of my mediocre second-hand sofa.

The quilting is coming along, albeit slowly. I cut the pieces in several batches (months ago), and lost the template for some pieces in between, meaning that the piecing is…finicky at best. This is probably not helped by the fact that I haven’t so much as touched a sewing machine in years.

School just started, so I’m trying to come to terms with the useless bureaucratic assignment of the quarter. I think this one’s going to be rewriting all my notes in a “journal”, along with 150 words of reflection for each class session, and 5 related images. Because heaven forbid I not need my notes organised in such a specific manner in order to learn. School pisses me off for many, many reasons.

To comfort myself (literally), I bought a new couch. It’s still second-hand, but much prettier than the old couch, which was saggy and an odd green, dingy yet bright at the same time. Atop it is what will hopefully be a sample, for a design I might actually share someday. There is no photo of the entire couch, because there’s an unconscionable amount of stuff on the back and arms of it, generally of the well-it-doesn’t-really-have-anywhere-to-go-so-I’ll-just-set-it-here variety, which could be fixed by a larger coffee table and more storage space, but I don’t have room. So my couch (which is really more of a loveseat due to the aforementioned lack of room) will continue to have rumpled blankets, schoolwork, a tape measure, books, and lots of knitting on it, and I will continue to pretend that it’s in the setting it deserves.

knitting on the new and improved (purple) couch

knitting on the new and improved (purple) couch

I am possibly altogether too pleased with myself.

This is a post from a happy Layli.

sheet as quilt backing, with matching perle cotton

sheet as quilt backing, with matching perle cotton

This is a second-hand queen-sized 100% cotton sheet, which will become backing for a twin-sized quilt. Atop it is some the perle cotton I plan on using for the ties & quilting the border.

sweet peas fabric, with matching vintage pillowcase

sweet peas fabric, with matching vintage pillowcase

On the left is a second-hand 1.5 yard-ish cut of cotton, with a vintage pillowcase that would make excellent trim/contrast for whatever I make out of the first.

plaid flannel in jewel tones

plaid flannel in jewel tones

This is a nigh-unphotographable 3-yard-ish cut of gorgeous soft flannel, also second-hand. The colours are accurate here, but it looks much fuzzier than it is.

plaid flannel in jewel tones, close-up of pattern

plaid flannel in jewel tones, close-up of pattern

These colours aren’t accurate, but the pattern is.

Buying only clearance, remnant, and second-hand fabric is how I justify & afford sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and occasionally (very sloppily) embroidering.

In which I make decisions of questionable soundness.

Since I have a serious case of not heeding my own advice, this is what my floor looked like when I went to bed. (Why yes, I did have to move my couch to get it all to fit on the floor, and climb into my loft to photo it all. I am nothing if not dedicated.)

finished laying out my Birdcage on a Chain quilt

finished laying out my Birdcage on a Chain quilt

I’m trying to piece it, but my sewing machine is giving me serious shit, to the point where I’m considering hand-piecing it. Eep.I have hand-pieced a quilt before, it was an awful t-shirt quilt that I never finished. And while this would be much more enjoyable, I think I would rather knit. Particularly as I’m considering hand-quilting it already. Decisions…

I’m off to go fiddle with the tension again, now that I’ve given my machine a bit of a time out. I’ll probably take a long walk if it’s still not behaving.

Don’t be me. Don’t make irresponsible crafting decisions.

Case in point: deciding to lay out a large quilt in your studio flat when even 2/3 of it clearly won’t fit on your floor. Particularly as it’s late at night, and you have not left a path to the kitchen, bathroom, and ladder to the loft where you sleep.

Don’t do this. Take my word for it, just don’t.

laying out my birdcage on a chain quilt

laying out my Birdcage on a Chain quilt

(Birdcage on a Chain by Anna Maria Horner with random fabric I have)

It’s so pretty, and looks exactly like I hoped, but don’t be me. Don’t make irresponsible crafting decisions.