Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It's been a bit since I last posted, and that's because I've been feeling like there wasn't much to show you.  Not that I'm feeling dull or even disenchanted with any of my current projects--But.  I'm stuck in the crafting doldrums where I'm awash in a sea of WIPs and although I keep working on them, I don't seem to be getting anywhere.   For example:

1.  There's the Celtic cable sweater, which needs half a sleeve and a zipper.  Except that I'm procrastinating on finishing the second sleeve because I suspect I need to do something different with the increases on the first one (which looks a little odd).  And while my last zipper experience was ultimately successful, it was quite annoying.  There's no reason this next one should be nearly as fussy- I don't have to deal with steeked edges and I have thoughtfully armed myself with the copy of Vogue Knitting from the library so I know how it's supposed to be done.   But it's fussing and sewing rather than knitting, and so I keep putting it off for an evening where I have the mental energy and patience to deal with it.

2.   The Mexiko spring socks- nothing wrong with these at all.  I'm on the leg of the second sock, nearing the cuff.  I keep checking to make sure I haven't inadvertantly made the leg of the second sock twice as long  as the first since that's how long it seems to be taking, but really, it should be done soon.

3.  After the first two projects, I've hardly touched the bamboo fine gauge sweater.  Which really is taking a long time, not least because I'm not working on it.   I've promised it a couple of weeks as primary traveling project after the socks are done.

4.  And then I could not resist the new yarn.  I broke into the new Encore skeins for a pair of mittens.  Make that two pair. 

Oh, and two more pair that I did before the Webs trip and hadn't gotten around to posting a photo.

5.  Another item cutting into crafting time has been books.   I'm up to 66 for the year, about ten of which have been in the last two weeks.  Okay, there was a holiday weekend in there.  But still.  Among the new reads were "The Hunger Games", which Toni-in-FL among others has recommended to me.  I enjoyed it, but I had some trouble turning off my inner science geek, because I kept finding myself wondering things like, 'how does the economy of this place work exactly?'.    I will certainly be reading the sequels, however. 

And if there are any Harry Dresden fans out there, I highly recommend checking out a new series by Benedict Jacka.  I just read the first book, "Fated", and I'll be headed to a bookstore shortly to pick up the next one, "Cursed" which was just released in the US.   It's an urban fantasy set in London, and the first book is a Dresden-esque tangle of magic and mystery.  In addition to the twists of the plot, I like the setting-  the main character lives in Camden Town, a place I remember fondly (I've been to a couple of musical events at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society)  and many of the other London settings are likewise familiar and fondly remembered. 
Camden Town in 2001.

6.  There's a house project too (of course) which I started a month ago and need to get back to.  And that's in addition to the pool, which was looking pretty good Memorial Day weekend--and since then we had a heavy fall of pine pollen that turned the pool green and days of rain that have filled it to overflowing and wash out the chemicals almost as fast as I can put them in.   Also,  I haven't had much chance to run the filter since I have this niggling feeling that it might be better not to be messing with an electric pump in a downpour.  No doubt I'm overly persnickety about these things.

7.  And because of course the thing to make projects go faster is to start something new*, I've started a sewing project.   Mom, you may want to sit down before reading this.  I'm making myself a new summer top.   Okay, that doesn't probably sound shocking to most of you, but my mother gets this look in her eye sometimes, and I look down and realize I'm wearing some article of clothing she made me.  Possibly when I was in high school.  Certainly prior to 1995.  And the last time I actually went out and bought new things was in the early 90s (I remember because I was going on vacation to Florida and realized I didn't have enough warm weather clothes for a week without doing laundry).    Now it's not like I haven't got anything newer than that- there have been a few souvenir and freebie T-shirts, and I get the fallout from my sister's wardrobe (she's a genius at finding great stuff in thrift shops and rummage sales).  But something brand new?   It's been a while. 

Anyway, sewing being new and interesting, the furry contingent has been fascinated.  Both Biscuit and Cookie helped me cut things out.  Cookie decided that after the excitement of cutting fabric, he really needed a little lie-down.  (He's  a much more mellow sewing assistant than Biscuit.)
 Cookie assesses the comfort of the pattern.

Biscuit launched a fierce assault on the interfacing  and I had to take it away from him.  (And he was so over-excited he bit me.)  Ironing is less exciting, particularly since we aren't allowed to attack the electric cord.   There was the keen observation of the sewing machine (I had to take great care to ensure that no paws, whiskers or fingers were sewn).  And as a bonus, Biscuit sat on the directions so I couldn't read them.     Pinning is boring (I unsportingly shut the drawer so the pincushion could not be batted or threaded needles eaten), so he wandered off at that point.  Now, I tend to be a deliberate seamstress (I don't really much practice sewing compared to other crafts), but with all that help, is it any wonder the top is going slowly?

*Besides, how else was I to get my list to seven items**?
**Seven is traditional*** for blog lists.
***I have no idea why or who started it. 


  1. Ah, the kitty-as-sewing-assistant is a grand tradition! You no doubt remember how much help I got from mine in January when I was making my med-faire costumes. Can't wait to see the final project.

    And thanks for the new author info! I've downloaded the first book and am looking forward to it.

  2. They look so helpful! Calisto's favorite sewing game is to take all the pins out of the pin cushion and drop them on the floor. It wasn't so bad at my old house because it had Berber carpet, but here it's basically a guarantee of pins in feet.

  3. Remind me to tell you sometime about my spinning teacher, whose white cat climbed into the cooling dyepot and dyed itself green.