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Episode 30: Garden update and Space Cadet mini skeins baby sweater

Virtual Design board – My Virtual Quilt

Space Cadet Creations Mini Skeins Club

Check out my Instagram for photos of the jumper project!

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
Facebook: Quilt Block N Swap
Instagram: girliejonesadventures
www.champagneandsocks.com



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Episode 28: A Meandering Walk Through my Stash

Mentioned in this episode:

Quilting Lessons: Notes from the Scrap Bag of a Writer and Quilter by Janet Catherine Berlo

Brenda Dayne:  Cast On

Sock Clubs:
Rocking Sock Club by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Cookie A Sock Club

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
Facebook: Quilt Block N Swap
Instagram: girliejonesadventures
www.champagneandsocks.com

 

 



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Episode 27: I’m Back!

I’m back after illness and a serious case of podcast block.

Some things I mentioned this episode:

Dear Jane Quilt – and my Dear Jane Pinterest board

Farmer’s Wife Quilt

My Mug Rug Pinterest board

Closed Facebook group – Quilt Block N Swap

My Instagram: girliejonesadventures

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com
Facebook: Quilt Block N’ Swap



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Champagne and Socks Episode 26: Packing dilemmas

The crowdfunding project I refer to is – Defying Doomsday.

What did I say I would pack?

– fingerless gloves project

– hot air balloon quilt project

– Twelfth Planet Press scarf

– Rainbow bear blanket

Deadlines tea cosy (for The Blackmail Blend prelaunch):

Bit wonky but logo on tea cosy

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Current WIPs in focus

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Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
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Episode 24: Wait, more stash acquisition?

Biggan Design

 

White for blanket borders. And Deadlines logo colours for a tea cosy?

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Space Cadet  

Mini skein club from Space Cadet

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One of a kinds from Space Cadet

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Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
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Champagne and Socks: Episode 23: Glimpsing Old UFOs

 

Current WIPs in focus

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Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
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Episode 17: Not so much with the finishing of things

Orixa by Andrea Rangel

 

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  Hitofude Here is the yarn that arrived just as I finished recording – the darkest skeins are for the Hitofude, the other two were because you can get a discount after a certain $ amount ordered :)

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Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com



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Episode 15: Stash acquisitions and tea cosy knitting days

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Fifi’s Fabricology

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Farmer’s Wife Quilt – my Pinterest board

Baby Sweater – Fisherman’s Pullover in 60 Quick Baby Knits by Sixth and Spring Books.

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Loani Prior Tea Cosy books:
How Tea Cosies Changed the World
Pretty Funny Tea Cosies
Wild Tea Cosies
Really Wild Tea Cosies

My finished Tea Cosy:

 

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Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Craft Circle Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
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Episode 13: Castitonitis, Baby Sweater, Mini Skeins are go!

Loop – 15 Camden Passage, Islington
(The coffee shop I mention is – The Coffeeworks Project and was my best cup of coffee in London – 96-98 Islington High Street)

Fisherman’s Pullover from 60 Quick Baby Knits – I’m using Cascade 220 Superwash

Space Cadet Creations Mini Skeins Club

Space Cadet Creations Mini Skeins Pinterest

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones, Champagne and Socks Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com

 



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Episode 9: An angsty meander through knitted shawl patterns of future past

Downton Abbey shawl is the MKAL by Jimmy Beans Wool hosted through Ravelry

Mini sweater pattern from greensandjeans.blogspot.com

Artisan Corner: Peppermint Bay shawl by Mitenae at knitty.com

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones, Champagne and Socks Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com



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Episode 7: Unboxed Yarnbox and the Edith’s Secret Shawl

Yarnbox Luxe

 

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Edith’s Secret Lorna Laces YarnJimmy Beans Wool

My version on Ravelry

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones and Champagne and Socks Group
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com

 

 

 

 



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Episode 3: Dream in Color Shrug

New finished object

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My blog posts from 2014 about New Years resolutions and craft organisation:
The List 2015
Planning And Meltdown Panic Freakout
Craft Space Organised
An Unexpected Lesson

Yarn Clubs and Subscriptions services mentioned:

Rocking Sock Club
The Cookie A Sock Club
Space Cadet Creations
Mad Tosh Sweater Club
KnitCrate
Yarnbox

Dream in Color Shrug – Ravelry

Join my craft circle:
Email: champagneandsocks@gmail.com
Ravelry: girliejones
Twitter: @champagnesocks or @krasnostein
www.champagneandsocks.com



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One of the first projects I had to finish off when I started working though my knitting WIPs were these mug hugs. I’d had the idea to make them for the end of year Galactic Suburbia Papyrus readers soon after we started our Patreon.

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Listeners to Galactic Suburbia Podcast can support us through our Patreon page which we started late in 2014. The podcast is free to download for everyone but those who choose to can nominate a per podcast amount they’d like to contribute through Patreon. Basically offering a tip jar for those who wish we had one. We have several levels of perks and all the contributions go towards covering our running costs. We have some milestones which would enable us to grow the podcast (making regular spoilerific episodes a thing, voting on what those episodes will be about, maybe one day doing more live recordings) and the top level supporters get an actual paper fanzine – Galactic Suburbia Papyrus – in which we each write stuff and publish irregularly.

I knew I wanted to include something handmade for our end of year/new year packet. Just to show how much I appreciate the support for what we do. It blows my mind that people are willing to pay for each podcast – thank you to all our amazing patrons, at every level!

I made two separate patterns of mug hugs. And used very cherished leftovers from (mostly) my mini skeins I’ve been collecting all year. I didn’t really know what to do with the extra length after crocheting one granny square out of each mini skein but the yarn is too lovely to not save for something special. And I worked out, by the end of knitting these, how much fun it is to make a completely new colour way by mixing a bunch of colours. The ones with buttons ended up being knit double stranded with three stripes (of the double strands) at a time til I ran out of yarn and then subbed in a new double strand. That made the edges a bit rough, so I knit I-cord edging (I free formed that myself). And the buttons are from my precious button stash. The other three mug hugs were knit in the round. The patterns are in my Ravelry if you’re after those. I modified the striped ones knit in the round for the yarn I was using.

When I started, I only had to make 5 but by the time the end of the year came round that ballooned out to a wow of 8! And I’d like to think that they might be wrapped and keeping warm a nice cuppa, sitting next to some GS inspired cake, out there in the galactic suburbs during 2015.
Alex puts together the mail outs and she used her discretion for the colours and owners. It was lovely to see the pics on Instagram and Twitter this week as they finally got to where they were going.

 

Homemade flat white latte dot art

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Today’s drink: Latte dot art!
Today’s total word count: 1068
Year Total running word tally from (Nov 24): 25 579
Progress on: Year’s Best YA 2013, Garden Project (Operation Cobra) has commenced!!! backyard has been stripped off weed grass and is prepped for patio construction next week, bathroom cabinet culled and organised, pantry culled and tidied, handbag cleaned out. Baby meals and snacks cooked and baked and frozen in the oven.

Related blog posts:

Craft Space Organised
First Finished Object
Finished Object Scarf Gift
Finished Object Hoek Shawl



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December 13   Black Friday Sales

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Well, I tried to be somewhat restrained during the sales at the end of November. I can’t say that I feel bad (that I wasn’t) now that all my loot is arriving.

Fabric:

My favourite fabric store is the Fat Quarter Shop. I get their daily newsletter. That’s not always a healthy life choice. From their Black Friday sales, I grabbed these:

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The fabrics on the left are a fat quarter bundle called Sewing Studio. They will go into my Farmers’ Wife quilt which I think I’m probably still collecting fabrics for, maybe. The ones on the right are just a grab of stuff I liked. The hot air balloons print is for the baby’s room, Paris map!! (I am collecting fabric maps of Paris for some reason – oh yeah, PARIS), tea cups, coat hangers and lingerie for the Farmers’ Wife quilt, coffee for a coffee themed quilt I’ll make Someday Maybe, flamingos for whimsy and more bras on the far end.

Just exciting enough to make me want to start a new project RIGHT NOW.

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I also grabbed some fabrics from Jinny Beyer from her sale. My mum and I went halvesies on postage and ended up picking the same yards for 3 out of 4 of our choices (8 yards to the flat rate postage). The two prints on the end on the right are the ones we differed on. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the fussy cutting techniques I learned this year from Beyer’s Solstice quilt and so I bought more of her mirror image fabrics and some border pieces. Not quite sure but I might try some of her other stars in her big book of patterns with fussy cut piecing. The thing that makes the Solstice Quilt work, though, is the accompanying fabrics she ties in to the fussy cut pieces. Shall be intriguing!

Yarn:

I actually ended up being rather restrained on the yarn front this year.

  • Firstly, we all know I don’t need any more yarn.
  • Secondly, I don’t need any more yarn.
  • Thirdly, Deb and I have plans for our own knit along thing next year with a whole heap of indie yarn companies we want to try so I maturely decided not to add more stash to the pile when I already feel yarn overload.

Yeah, I dunno, weirdly I was in some kind of ruthlessly realistic mode that Friday. Also, I screwed up one of the sales pretty early on and decided that was it from me for the buying. And, that’s the third year in a row with that particular store that my Black Friday experience has been less than awesome so … I might sit next year’s out. HOWEVER, look at the most gorgeous yarn I bought from them … so …

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The middle skein is Tough Love Sock yarn in Snapdragon from SweetGeorgia Yarns and I’ve been eying off that colourway for YEARS. It’s just divine! I kinda feel like it should become socks for me but then I’ve been disappointed with the socks I’ve been making of late. Maybe a shawl? (How many shawls does one person need, do you think? Is it more or less than 26?)

The two skeins on the outside are a whim that I bought, to try something new (I’m in a yarn rut, have I mentioned this previously?). The yarn is by Yarn Love in Elizabeth Bennett (Merino/Silk/Bamboo blend) in the colourway … wait for it … Fairy Tale. TELL ME how you don’t buy that??? Again, socks?? Meh. I’m in a knitting rut too.

I think I’m only waiting for one more parcel of yarn.

Artisan Jam

And not yarn, not bought on sale or on Black Friday, but that finally arrived – OMG artisan jam!!! OMG.

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This is by Just Add Moonshine and OMG. Deserves a post of its own. With tasting comments.

 

Today’s drink: San Guillermo Costa Rica by Five Senses (no photo!)

Today’s total word count: 408

Year Total running word tally from (Nov 24): 13 795

Progress on: TV watching (Doctor Who, Jane The Virgin), Dream in Color Shrug, decluttering the dining room



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September 1
Current Mood: (bouncy) bouncy
   Worldcon Trip: Debrief Series part 2

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Dealers Room, Knitting Project

For me, a lot of a con is about the dealer’s room. LonCon had a really great one and Farah was amazing in both helping out with us being able to get stock to the con and also in organising the way the room worked once it was go. There felt like there was plenty of space for all the dealers and on top of that, there were amazing installations and exhibits peppered throughout.

Here is a pic of us setting up – Sophie very kindly held the banner up for this photo. It feels like such a short time to have accumulated so many titles already! Of course we also had FableCroft titles on the table and it was very squooshy! I guess soon we’ll need to think about getting a double table at these things! Mindboggling!

Long before we were even in the headspace for LonCon, Fran suggested that the Locus table and the TPP table go next to each other so we could mind each other’s table when needed. It was a FABULOUS idea and even though I suspect they minded my table more often than we minded theirs, we had such a great time we have decided we *must* do this every con. It was perfect. Plus, otherwise cons are so hectic, we’d not get to spend as much time with the Locus crew. And the baby met Fran (in her Galactic Suburbia tshirt, is it not the cutest?)

 

Our table was actually near this installation of one of my favourite Iain M Banks’ books. I stared at it so long that I think it’s time to reread Use of Weapons.

 

Ahead of LonCon we were bandying around ideas for the dealers room. I’m pretty sure it was Tansy who suggested we knit a scarf in the Twelve Planets colours – inviting people to come on over and knit a row, maybe switching to a colour they liked on whim and the scarf knit up however it did. And then we take photos and Instagram the scarf progress. I tried to make this work a couple of other ways but ended up choosing this yarn which I’d conveniently bought when I was on holiday in Sydney earlier this year. A mad dash request had Alex popping in to the same store in Melbourne to buy their last skein and squeeze it in Tansy’s bag to bring over so we had two skeins. For those asking, the yarn is Manos Del Uruguay: Alegria in the colourway Locura Fluo. (Incidentally, Manos Del Uruguay is a very cool not for profit organisation that gathers women in coops across Uruguay to handpaint this yarn and bring economic and social opportunities to rural women. Alegria means joy in Spanish.)

And the thing is, knitters are just awesome people. We had a sign about the project which people asked about. Sometimes the sign wasn’t up and people still asked about the knitting. We tweeted and instagrammed and people came over specifically asking to knit on it. It was like a compulsion – I am knitter, must knit on this project.

Here is Louise who started pretty early.

There’s different styles of knitting, you know.

Sometimes we had some dropped stitches, here’s Anita painstakingly picking up one.

People *had* to just knit a row or two. I loved the passing conversations.

Some people told me how they had managed to integrate knitting in to work – seriously!

Eventually we got a proper knitting seat set up and some people came over to relax and recover with a few rows before heading back out into the fray.

Brenda came over to tell us that we’d joined the Knitting Force by knitting at Worldcon and then showed off the gorgeous knitted jacket she’d made.

Sometimes the scarf just chilled out, amongst the books.

And sometimes, I got to chat with people I know from the internets (Twitter). Here’s Elizabeth studiously knitting a few rows.

Everybody has their own bunch of people they fangirl over. Here’s one of mine – Adrienne Martini who is KNITTING ON MY SCARF! Ages ago I reviewed Adrienne’s book Sweater Quest in which Adrienne does something obsessive and consuming and totally something I would love to do (knit an Alice Starmore sweater exactly according to the pattern, yarn and all) and at the same time shows she is smart and funny and someone I totally wished I could be friends with. You can imagine my inner squee to discover she was pulling some time on the Locus table and I got to chat to her. A lot. And I love her. And here she is knitting on my scarf!!!

Another squee moment as Maureen K Speller is knitting on my scarf and we’re having a lovely chat. I love Twitter and getting to meet people over time in 140 character spurts.

Things got unhinged, as they do towards the end of the con. Here we are on Monday right before we began packing up. Keffy had only just recently started knitting! And I’m still waiting to see how the trip to Lapland went, Keffy!

So uh. Seriously, I thought we’d knit this scarf over Worldcon. I vastly underestimated how much work we’d be doing in the Dealer’s Room which was a hubbub from beginning to end. Plus panels, book launch and other commitments, what was I thinking? But it was such a great project both for meeting all the knitters at Worldcon – so many people like me! Taking knitting into panels and carrying projects around with them! I loved seeing what other people had on the needles. And I love love love the idea that knitters across the world and across cons are going to leave a few of their stitches in this project. We’ll take it along to all the cons we’re at and see how it grows over time.



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This week’s blocks were a breeze to make simply because I’d done all the planning weeks ago. How GTD of me! I made one whilst mainlining Emma Approved on YouTube and the other I made during our regular Kaleidoscope Skype meeting on Monday night.

First up, the blocks.

City Life Holds No Glamor is this title of this week’s letter by MRs A. B. D.

This block is called “Flock” and is block 34. And it was one of the hardest ones for me because after, gosh, 10 years or something, I finally cut up this fabric. I’ve been admiring it for years and so unsure what project to use it in but so scared to cut it up. It’s so so pretty. But. I don’t think I am a fabric collector. Or if I am, it’s ok to collect the fabrics inside of my finished quilts. And. There’s never going to be the perfect project for fabric you swoon over. There will always be the fear of cutting it up. Something can be finished or perfect but not both. And this project is a bit about just sucking it up and getting on with it. About progress. About consistency. And about working on something towards the end point. Therapy, if you will. I have a lot of fabrics I’ve collected over time that I want to just have large squares of it framed and I realised that the number of quilts you can make and have like that is one. So … you know … Get Things Done already!

This block is called “Hill and Valley” and is block 46. The lady in Paris fabric I bought at the craft fair trip just gone. So that has barely hit the sides of my stash. The other thing I’ve realised is, you can’t buy more fabric if you’re busy not using the fabric you already have. And there’s so much more beautiful fabric out there to buy and own …

This week’s letter from Mrs A. B. D. is all about how she loves good honest moral hard work having previously lived in Chicago and how she doesn’t miss it. I dunno that I am looking forward to the day America tires of jazz, as she yearns for, but I do agree that there is much to enjoy about watching the slowly changing landscape. That’s something I realised my soul misses, living in the suburbs of Perth which are flat and boring. And I only discovered this after visiting Tasmania and finding so much to drink in from the surrounds.

In other things I finished this week, Block 9 in the Solstice Quilt:

This one nearly broke me because of the lack of a good white pencil on black which meant all the pieces weren’t marked quite right. I bought a chalk pencil at the craft fair but I’m not loving that much more.

And something else.

I’ve been working on this sock for quite some time. I cast it on straight after I finished the socks I made for Deb. And … yeah. So, the sock knitting project for the year (knit as many as I can) was basically about picking kinda mundane sock patterns and the yarns I’m happy to gift away and then knit in the dark whilst I catch up on reading. I would both move theough my stash, make yummy socks for people I love and also get some reading done every day. I have carved out some time in my day for reading by, ahem, getting into bed at about 1am, a bit early for me, and then reading for about an hour in the dark whilst knitting. I can do pretty straight forward knitting without looking at the work.

But it turns out for me, that a lot of the enjoyment in knitting comes from playing with the yarn as it unravels and turns into the fabric. The enjoyment comes in watching the pattern of the colourplay reveal itself. And you miss all of it when you knit in the dark; you become completely disengaged from the piece. And I guess I’m a process knitter. So I stopped working on the sock completely for ages. Which is a ridiculous response. Lately I’ve been grabbing the project as I run out the door in case I have the opportunity to work on it somewhere else. And it’s progressed. I’m packing the sock for the weekend away and I’ll be finished with it pretty quickly.

And finally, my travelling projects. I am going to be travelling and this is what I’ve packed. I hate to be bored or to find myself in any moments where I have nothing to do but could have done something if I’d planned for it. So here are all (some) of my current projects all GTD’ed up. I have to say that in sitting down and cutting out all the blocks for the Farmers Wife ahead of time a couple of weeks ago was a bit of an epiphany for me. The envelopes in the top right hand corner are the last of those but when I get back I’m going to sit down and do another month ahead again. The ability to just grab one and have everything in there for the block ready to go has been awesome. And having it made me realise the value in planning for crafting.

I’m really a fly by the seat of my pants crafter, cutting materials up as I need them because that end of crafting is not the fun part. It’s the chores and it doesn’t feel like recreation or down time. But there are moments when you aren’t up to crafting, like if your eyes are tired, and they make good times for prepping ahead. So for travelling, I prepped little ziplock bags with everything I need for the project. So above, I have the pattern, the yarn and the needles/hook and any other tools, all in there for easy grabbing. And all the pieces have been precut for the quilt blocks as well. And there lies a week or two of happy crafting because all the thinking is already done for me! I’m going to start setting aside some time each week to do this regularly. It’s the “think and plan” bit of GTD and means projects won’t stagnate going forward! I can’t wait!

Happy Friday!



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The latest block in the Jinny Beyer Solstice Quilt kit was a long time in coming. I must admit that I don’t enjoy the circular sewing as much (this does not bode well for my project sitting on the design wall to be finished – the New York Beauty). The other reason it took so long is because I’ve become obsessed sewing the log cabin alternate blocks. I’m driven to do nothing but sew them til they are finished. *shakes fist* The will be finished! I’ve completed 3 of the 12. 9 to go and I don’t seem interested in working on anything else really.

These fabrics photograph so well, I don’t think they look quite as spectacular on the design wall.

Course when I said I’ve been doing nothing else, that wasn’t entirely true.

MINISKEINS! OMG I LOVE miniskeins, I can’t get enough of them. So I’m making this blanket, each miniskein makes just over one of these granny squares. So colourful. At some point, I will have enough squares and I will have to stop collecting miniskeins (though once you get into a collecting jag, it’s so hard to stop – I keep forgetting I’m no longer collecting for my monochrome quilt for example). The rule is that miniskeins must be converted to squares as a top priority so that I DO NOT amass a miniskein stash.

I managed to get a pair of socks for the baby out of the leftover sock yarn from Socks #2. They don’t spend much time on baby’s feet, however.

And there this is this quilt. It’s a scrap quilt and it’s going to be the map of the Tokyo Subway from Oh Fransson. But this first block has such a long story! I thought I would be able to easily sew this without marking the squares, if I cut them all correctly with a quarter inch seam and sewed straight. I took the pieces of the first block with me to Conflux last year and then on to Tehani’s house afterwards, where I stayed for a bit of a rest up. Well, I realised about halfway into this block, at Tehani’s, that I was not in fact sewing straight and that the squares didn’t line up. So it went into the suitcase and then into the back of a cupboard for a while. A long while. Until I was doing some GTD around the house and realising that really the next action was to unpick the sewn block so far and start over. To cut out a proper template, suck it up, mark each square and move on with my life. Which I did. And then voila, block 1 below, I sewed the two halves the wrong way round. Sigh!



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March 23   Crafterly Update

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I’ve been posting these blocks of my current quilting project on Facebook as I finish them but here they are all in one place. These are the individual blocks of the month from 2013 Jinny Beyer block of the month quilt – Solstice. C bought me the kit for my birthday last year and I was so hoping to work on just one block a month as they got emailed out to me. It seemed like such a reasonable goal. Unfortunately, I got carpal tunnel with the pregnancy and ended up not being able to sew at all for most of my confinement. This was very devastating – being cooped up at home with time on your hands and being expected to loll about on the couch watching TV and NOT being able to craft!

The other obstacle with this project which I now know I should have tackled differently is that at the very beginning of the project, before the first block, Jinny sent out the in between block pattern which is a basic log cabin with a fussy cut internal square. You have to make 12 of them and the instructions suggested making them up whilst you wait for the first block. I took that to me, finish these before you make the star blocks. And that would have been well and good had I been machine sewing and not hand sewing because 12 log cabin is actually more than 1 month of hand sewing. And it took me a long time to let go of finishing these before starting the project. (I’m still sewing these damn log cabins!). But I’m very proud of myself for wading in and attempting this project. Yes I made mistakes on the fussy cutting but making mistakes and having a quilt is much better than never starting for fear of failing, I ended up buying some extra fabric for the fussy cutting and now I can cut away with error room to spare.

Block 1

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Block 6

Block 7

Here’s a close up of the fabric that is being fussy cut for the details in the stars (colour not quite this purple in real life)

And the fussy cutting – cutting out exactly the same diamonds etc across the fabric to produce the extra patterns when sewn together. I’m thoroughly enjoying this process. It requires precision and exactness but the payoff is amazing. I’m hoping to do this by myself in other projects when I’m finished this one.

And!!! Because the socks in 2014 project plods along, here is Sock Pair # 2!!! A gift, so clearly not my size!

These are made from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Rocking Sock Yarn, with a Mille End in mediumweight. I’m not sure I’ve knit in medium weight of theirs before and I was surprised by how much leftover yarn I had even with making these socks in a few sizes bigger than mine. I love this colourway so the baby is getting a pair of socks from the leftovers!



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March 4   Birthday Weekend

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I have the sad, sorry withdrawal come down that follows a birthday weekend. Luckily for me, I’m going out for a work session this afternoon which means I get to to try out another cafe (I’m behind on those posts too). Course, the come down means I had a great time!

I wasn’t really sure what was happening with my birthday this year. I didn’t organise anything. It’s kinda sad how the older you get, the less shiny and exciting your birthday becomes. I knew that there was a family dinner organised for the Friday night but C kept telling me that my present would be given to me then, not on the day, and in the calendar, he had a mysterious note “Tell Wife a Secret”. No matter what I tried, he refused to give away any hints! I had a meeting with Julia over Skype late Wednesday night and as soon as I hopped off, it was Thursday, and my birthday and he revealed the secret: he’d taken a day of annual leave to give me a day off. He’d remembered that I had a philosophy of not working on my birthday – something I picked up from the crew back in my Wetlands days. We’d all take annual leave on the day and frankly, if you can do that, it’s a really nice thing to say to yourself – I give me the day off! So C gave me the day after off and stayed home to look after the baby on Friday and sent me off “wherever”.

Thursday, my actual birthday, I had breakfast with my sister and mum and then hung out at my parents for the afternoon. I madly rang around local day spa places near my home to see if somewhere could fit me in. I had no idea what to do on my sudden day off and I didn’t want to waste it.

The Urban Day Spa in Rockingham could fit me in at 10am and I got to sleep in (after doing the 6am baby feed!) and then roll out of bed and head out for a full body massage. Hidden upstairs in the cafe strip on the foreshore, it’s a very lovely day spa. The massage was excellent – I was so sore from baby lifting etc – and the mood was dim lights and music and so relaxing. And then afterwards, they served refreshments on a balcony overlooking the ocean. I was still so very sore but definitely more relaxed.

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Afterwards, I headed to the Kent St Deli, a street back, and my favourite local place, to have a couple of uninterrupted hot coffees. It was very busy and not the most pleasant place to hang and the service wasn’t really as good as it’s been before, nor the coffee. But nonetheless, I hung out for about 2 hours, drank coffee and juice and ate lunch and worked on my PhD quietly. And even though technically that’s working, it’s been such a long time since I could sit for two hours and just work without stopping, following through processes, jotting down notes and actually developing a methodology for my stats collecting. And not being able to do such things had been stressing me out. I had a really great time working on my PhD.
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I was still sore and still had time to spare so I headed home to have a long luxurious bath (this particular bath bomb made the bath look like the pee of someone who needed to badly rehydrate!). I listened to Norah Jones and read a book. Divine!

And then! I still had some time before we had to leave for dinner, so I finally sat down and tackled the stumbling block on my quilt project. I’d stalled back when I was pregnant due to pregnancy brain meaning I could no longer fussy cut without stuffing up and my carpal tunnel eventually stopped me crafting altogether. It’s taken me this long but I finally got back to it. I had to recut one template and then fussy cut those 8 diamonds and then a bit of sewing over the weekend and voila! Done!

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Then it was time to head up to family dinner. Everyone came along and they had all pooled my birthday money to get me one giant day spa package omigosh! You know the kind that has EVERYTHING and you have to be there for like half a day! Oh yeah! Now to decide when that day is going to be! I cannot wait! And we had dinner. And Cake:

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Because it was a public holiday on Monday, we got a long weekend as well! We checked my post box on the way to dinner and I discovered my swift had finally arrived! So Saturday, I managed to work it, and wind up yarn!

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This should keep me going for a while:

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That’s a couple of balls of sock yarn for the year of sock knitting, one scarf and the TPP pink shall be a shawl.

 



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Flickr doesn’t seem to be playing well with my computer this evening but if it were, I would be showing you my latest pair of finished socks and the first half of a new flamingoes mitten project.

Many things I have learned from my knitting this week.

1. I often leave projects 75 % finished

2. This is because I like to start new things and also because once I can visualise the finished work, it’s like I finished. No surprises left.

3. This means that I have a lot of WIPs in the back room that probably only need stitching up or like 3 hours of work to finish up.

4. Technically all this frenzy of finishing things is a release of pent up guilt for the cast-on-itis frenzy of whenever that was several years ago

5. And that I shouldn’t feel bad when I start a bunch of projects because there will be points in my life further down the line when I will be in finishing-things-up-mode and it will all come out in the long term wash

6. Except really, I’m in avoidance mode and it might be that when I want to avoid something really scary or requiring lots of internal energy, I knit. A lot.

7. And now I finally understand that whole baby bootie thing (circa 2005?)

8. All this time I thought I’d lost my knitting mojo and all I was was less unhappy than I was at that time.

9. Except I’ve kinda missed this intensity of knitting. I really kinda like it.

10. I wish I could sustain it in more chilled out periods of my life.

11. I still haven’t written my vows – well, we’ve got the commitment bit sorted now but I have to write my personal preamble.

12. And a tonne of other things are outstanding. I go from one extreme to the other – wedding planning is just a bunch of to dos on a list to Holy Crap I have no idea what I am doing and I am so far behind

13. But I’m trying fair isle for the first time in my life and also knitting my first mitten. And I am going to have a bunch of warm things to wear in Europe in Holy Crap just over two weeks.

 

 



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