Monday, February 27, 2006

Done with reorganizing...for now

OK, I'm officially tired of reorganizing my sewing room. I got a lot accomplished, but I'm ready to move on to other things - there's a turtle quilt to finish, stitching to work on, and my pair of Jaywalker socks to knit.

Here are a few pictures of the almost reorganized sewing room.

From the door
My sewing machine on a Quilter's Dream cabinet, armoire in the front of it, & a small cabinet that holds boxes of tools (quilting, knitting, & needlework) plus my finished needle rolls, fobs, & Pine Mtn pillows in the blue fabric cube.

Quilt wall
The Turtle quilt (ready to be quilted), the ironing station, & some finished projects hanging on the door. (A prepped needlepoint canvas hangs above.)

Armoire storage
Canvas storage totes on top (needlework kits & projects); yarn, batting, quilt tops, & cross stitch fabrics inside. Quilt binding and fabric strips for a couple of quilts hanging on the left. The poodle scarf on the right is my very first stitching project (age 7).

Fiber wall
My stash of Weeks, Sampler, Crescent, Caron, & Rainbow Gallery fibers, plus sewing threads. DMC is in the wooden chest; scissors & other tools hanging below the fibers.

My cube shelves (from Target) hold rolled needlepoint canvases & fabric drawers that contain specialty yarns & queued projects. Basket on the floor holds my spinning stuff (that's still a small stash).

Fabric wall
Quilting fabrics, baskets with sewing patterns & kitted projects, plus bins of beads, sequins, & misc sewing stuff. DP & circular knitting needles in their organizers on the left. Queen Mermaid on stretcher bars in aqua pillowcase.

Yes, I have a lot of stash in this room! LOL! I need to live to be 200 to use it all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Stash pictures

After all of the descriptions about what I bought, I decided it needed a few pictures! (I'm not including the books in here because there are very good pictures already on the web.) Here's all the fuzzy stuff (and the spindle) that I bought at Stitches:

The merino-silk roving is to die's so soft, you just want to dive right in it! Here's a picture of my Maggie spindle all by itself:

...and a picture of the baby hat in progress and the yarn for the booties that I will make to go with it:

A word about the hat: I'm using a wonderful Lorna's Laces Angel yarn - part angora and part lambswool - it's VERY soft! This is the first time I have ever knit with angora and found that the yarn was breaking a lot. I don't know if it is me or whether the yarn itself has a problem. Long story short, I wasn't happy with the tension and ended up frogging half of what I had done. I think I'm back on track now and I really do love the way this hat feels. It's perfect for a baby!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Let's hear it for long weekends...

...can't have too many of them!! I got a lot accomplished and still managed to get some rest.

I am close to "done" on reorganizing my sewing room - it took most of the weekend, but it was worth it. I bought a few more of the canvas storage boxes and a couple of clear plastic boxes from the Container Store on Saturday. I am happy to report that all of the boxes are full, marked, and placed in their designated spots! I now have a FLOOR (read: room to roll my chair!), a top to the ironing board, and a top to my sewing table. I still need to
  • Sort the linen fabrics that are currently in two drawers, but at least it is all inside of the drawers and the drawers can close!
  • File all of the loose fibers that are temporarily in a photo box (not lying all over the place!)
  • Sort (purge) and file about an 1-worth of free cross-stitch and knitting patterns
Next, I need to reorganize my office, but it's a much smaller job. LOL!

On Sunday, I went back to Stitches West. I kept thinking about those spindles and the beautiful rovings I had seen on Friday. Also, I realized that I needed to make something for my niece's second child, due at the end of August. In the Imagiknit booth, I had seen a newborn hat and booties knitted in overdyed angora; I bought the yarn and got the free patterns to make them for the new baby. I bought a spindle from Carolina Homespun and a wool sampler with different colors to spin. I bought an autographed copy of "Not Just Socks" and a couple more skeins of sock yarn (I'd better get busy!!) and I bought a kit for a silk tank top in the Mendocino Yarn Shop booth.

Monday was spent finishing up my sewing room and starting to knit the baby hat. The hat will be my "new start" for the month. After I've finished it, I'll go back to one of the other projects that are in progress.

All in all, a very satisfying "craft" weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Stash enhancement at Stitches West

I took a couple of hours off this morning to go to Stitches West. Last year was the first year I'd ever heard of it and I had to stand in this HUGE line for 45 minutes (on a Saturday) to buy my ticket. This year, I bought my ticket online and went on Friday, thinking that I'd bypass the big line and get in sooner. Well, not quite.

I got there at 10:15 and the line for the pre-purchased tickets was very long (and, of course, the line to buy tickets was short!). On top of that, if you bought your tickets there, you could go right in. If you had an online ticket, you had to have your ticket scanned, hence the long line. Hmpf! So basically. I could have gotten in sooner if I bought my ticket there--totally the opposite of last year! Double hmpf! Something is not quite right with this setup!

Anyway, once I was in, I had a grand time looking at everything! I actually didn't buy much yarn, but I did get some Blue Moon Socks-that-Rock yarn in Mesa and Lagoon. I also broke down and bought a Jordana Paige messenger bag so I can organize the stuff I carry around. I bought some size 0 and 1 circulars for my sock knitting and the "
One Skein : 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet" book. I drooled over the drop spindles at the Carolina Homespun booth and at all the wonderful rovings in many booths. I don't know...I'm really drawn to spinning, but do I really need another craft to do? LOL!

I can't wait to get home after work and dive into my new stash!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Another UFO done!

It's done, it's done, it's DONE!! I finished the second Tish needlepoint with the white background! See:

I've been calling her "Woman with Pots 2" because I couldn't find the stitch guide that listed the real name. Now that I have found it, I can call her by her official name: "Santa Fe Series #2" (nope, that's not an improvement).

I also finished knitting the teal scarf, but there won't be a picture of that until I figure out how to photograph a scarf without having me in the picture. LOL!

Now I can concentrate on knitting my socks. I'm going to look through my newly-organized queue of stitching projects and find another UFO to finish. My plan is to knit in the evenings and stitch during lunch times. The stitching will go slowly, but at least I'm stitching again!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Organizing frenzy

This weekend, I did not accomplish much on actual projects, but I did rediscover some of my stash!

For several months, I have been unhappy with the state of my sewing room. It's in the smallest bedroom in the house. While I should be thrilled that I have an entire bedroom for it, it's still a small space and keeping it organized when there is so much stash (LOL!) is a challenge.

About a month ago, I moved all of my cross-stitch charts into a new 5 drawer filing cabinet in our bedroom office. That freed up some floor space in the sewing room where the charts used to be stacked in plastic boxes. I still had a lot of projects that were kits or that I had kitted up in preparation for stitching. I had fiber, yarn, and quilting fabric spilling out of drawers and bins, stacked on my sewing table, and crammed into the armoire. It was out of control!

This weekend I went to the Container Store and bought four small canvas tote boxes. They are now full of cross stitch kits and are stacked on top of the armoire. Several plastic storage containers with things I use infrequently now live on the top as well. Doing this made room inside the armoire to store yarn, batting, and linen, with some space left over. (Yay!)

I also un-kitted a lot of projects (the ones I had kitted myself)
that I know I won't get to very soon. This means that I can put those charts into the filing cabinet, freeing up more space in the room. I still have to sort the fibers and "file" them on the fiber wall, put the linen in the linen drawers,cycle out the Aida, and put away any embellishments.

I also replaced my rolling carts with wooden cubes and fabric "drawers" from Target. I stacked 3 together to make a 6 cube unit and put fabric drawers into 4 of the cubes. These now hold the projects that are in the queue, some quilting patterns, my specialty yarns (sock and scarf), and my Q-snaps, hoops, and other stitching tools. In the open cubes, I have a box for my Anchor threads, a box of the fibers to be filed, and my rolled up needlepoint canvases. My DMC floss chest sits on top of the cubes.

I have now found most the floor, the ironing board, and part of my sewing table. I have a bunch of stuff to file and magazines and books to put away, but I'm feeling so much better about my space! I'll post a few pictures of my newly organized space when I'm done.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Finished the aqua scarf! least the knitting part! LOL! I still have to add the fringe.

The scarf is about 75 inches long (taller than me by 12 inches), so it probably doesn't need fringe. However, when I started it, I was in the beginning stages of learning to knit and was still following pattern instructions to the letter. The pattern told me to cut the fringe pieces before casting on, and that's what I did. Rather than waste this cut-up yarn, I'll go ahead and add the fringe.
(Yes, my Virgo is showing!)

On to the next scarf!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Making progress...

I'm working away on my two scarves, trying to finish up. I'm almost done with the aqua one. Here's a picture (it's really hard to take a picture of a scarf in progress...)

I have about another 6 inches to go before I run out of yarn.

I decided to finish up another needlepoint UFO before moving onto a cross stitch project. Here's what it looks like now (gee, another one with a while background!):

So, I'm about halfway done with the background. Once this one's done, I can frame it and hang it with another picture in the series.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yarn store field trip

This weekend I decided that I wanted to start another pair of socks as my new project and finish up a couple of smaller projects that I had started quite a while ago. Since I needed the yarn to start a new pair of socks, I had to go shopping!

I've been meaning to check out this newer yarn store in San Jose, Commuknity, but had just never gotten around to it. So, Saturday off I went to visit the store. Wow, it's huge! It has lots of open space, comfy couches, a large workroom, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. And, of course, it has very nice selection of yarns!!

I found some Trekking XXL yarn that I have been reading about in other blogs - Communknity had just received their shipment and had lots of colors to choose from. After a small amount of agonzing (should I buy only one skein or should I buy two so I can have the next project ready to go? What colors should I buy!?), I bought one skein of "purples" and one of "blues." I also bought
Cat Bordhi's two books on magical knitting. They had some fabulous knitting needles, but I decided to spend my money on yarn rather than needles, at least for now. Besides, I need to save some money for Stitches West later this month! :-)

I'm going to try the Jaywalker sock pattern by Grumperina using the purple Trekking yarn and two circulars - I cast on the first sock yesterday and am working through the ribbing section. I am also going to finish a teal and blue scarf in Moda Dea Cheri (garter stitch on size 17 needles) and another scarf in aqua and purple Athena paired with aqua Rowan kidsilk haze (yarn-over pattern on 15 needles). I might also get to one of my small cross stitch projects, too, but I really want to finish these to scarves first!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

January Project Recap

What I finished in January:
  • Kokopelli needlepoint (see "Happy Dance...")
  • Knitted black and silver shawl in Paton's Glitterallic yarn (straight knit stitch on size 15 needles)
  • Winter Foursome cross stitch pillow (by Pine Mountain)
  • 2nd sock in my first pair of knitted socks! I used Regia yarn in the "Passion" colorway and I used the basic sock pattern from Cat Bordi's "Socks Soar on Two Circulars" book.

    The striping doesn't match, but who cares?! I finished them and they are warm!

My next challenge will be to pick my next project. Should I start another pair of socks? (Can't have too many socks!) Or should I pick up one of my cross stitch UFOs? Decisions, decisions!

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