baby’s first handspun



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?

with great resolve

I love new year’s resolutions. What I love even more is setting myself up to succeed at them. For me, this means telling people about them, making resolutions that are (mostly) about process rather than product, and having ramping resolutions that help me build habits and stamina.

1. Spin more! My first try was quite encouraging so this shouldn’t be too hard.



2. Sew any/more. This also shouldn’t be too difficult, and I will talk more about my recent acquisition soon.








3. Be in the habit of sketching (even a tiny bit!) 5-or-so days per week by the end of 2014.

4. Publish more patterns in 2014 than I did in 2013, paying particular attention to streamlining my process.

5. Use my lovely 1992 Tolkien diary/day planner regularly, because this will allow me to do ALL THE THINGS without getting overwhelmed.

mistakes were made

Some of you may be wondering what happened to the lovely blazer whose sleeves I was lengthening. Well let me tell you, nothing but DISAPPOINTMENT and LIES.

I ripped out the hem and lining of one sleeve. While I was turning the piece around to reach the other sleeve, I noticed that the lining was only tacked down in a few places at the bottom. “I can just pull the sleeve inside out! That will make this whole thing so much easier,” I thought, and congratulated myself on my brilliance.

Behind the cut is a photo of what greeted me in the lining of the jacket. It is behind a cut because it is full of what Google has led me to believe are spider eggs, and I don’t want that to ruin anybody’s day. (Too late, say the spider eggs. We already ruined yours! Mwahahahaha!)

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shower curtain to tab-back curtains

I fell in love with shower curtains. I’m trying very hard to move into the flat across the hall, but there’s electrical work that just can’t seem to get done, so I’m stuck doing things like falling madly in love with shower curtains, and turning them into something presentable for the new place. 

Step 1: Buy yourself some cloth shower curtains to cover your windows. Like so. 


Step 2: Examine the back of your curtain. There will likely be a wide band at the top, with evenly spaced slits for hanging. (If not, mark a band 3-4″ wide, and mark “slits” approximately 6″ apart.) Use the following formula to determine how much ribbon you will need to make tabs for one curtain. 

Magic formula of pixies and fairy dust: number of slits per curtain x (the width of the top band+2)





Step 3: Purchase 3/4″ ribbon of the length you need (plus 10% to be safe) in a similar fiber as your curtain. This ribbon will be the tabs, so be careful to use a matching ribbon if you don’t want it to show on the public side. 




Step 4: Cut the ribbon into pieces 2 inches longer than the top band. Cut the ribbon on the bias to prevent it from fraying. 



Step 5: Finger press the edges of a ribbon strip down, lining up the ribbon over the pre-existing slits. 



Step 6: Flip the ribbon over, and (using a matching thread in at least the bobbin) stitch both ends to your curtain with the world’s tiniest seam allowance, the top band will likely have a seam you can use as a guide. Repeat until you have tabs along the top of your curtain, spaced approximately 6″ apart. 



Step 7: Trim the stray threads off your curtains. Hang your curtains and admire them! 




The slits are slightly visible, if you wanted to cover them up you could stitch a ribbon along the top. 



The bottom of these curtains is what I fell in love with. Seriously, none of the proper curtains were this pretty, and shower curtains will fit my new windows better. 



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.