My new sewing room is complete, so as promised, I had to share. I had my new table delivered on Friday and I put it together all by myself!
As you can see, it’s not a fancy schmancy crafting table, but just a generic office table. I didn’t want anything special, primarily a metal frame and simplicity. My old table was a wooden, assemble out of the box deal, and after a few house moves over the years, was not going to make it up the stairs here.
My new table is longer, 1.8 metres instead of 1.5. I’ll be able to use the free end for some small scale cutting and crafting, and hence keep it off our dining table. My plastic drawer set even fits perfectly underneath. I love it!
My Singer overlocker (which I actually haven’t used yet, due to my lack of sewing last year) and my Brother BC-2500 sewing machine are all set up and ready to go! Got my pattern and fabric pieces for another soft toy which I might start to tackle tomorrow morning.
This used to be our main bedroom, but we’ve moved the bed to a smaller room downstairs which is a lot cooler and hope to survive this summer. So now I get to claim it as my own.
Behind the door and beside our dressing table that won’t fit downstairs, I have appropriated the space to store my fabric and yarn boxes.
I’ve also taken over the top of the dressing table. I have my patterns in the blue boxes, my craft books and my knitting box which needs a serious tidy up, tripod and iron.
My very tiny selection of craft books, and a folder I popped in some loose craft sheets I found in my sewing room mess. I’ll have to go through them and see if there is anything worth making. I know it’s got some quilting patterns, but that will be a dangerous and expensive road if I decide to take it 😉
Oh hey, I just noticed you can see me in the mirror reflection!
Finally for the rest of the room, I have turned it into a little exercise corner. It’s so nice to get this gear out of our lounge room! At the moment those two boxes that hold my professional cake pans are there until I can figure out where to move them.
So there you have it, my new sewing room setup! I’m very excited to sew up here, it’s so light and open and if I need a distraction I can peer out at my little balcony garden. It will get hot in the summer afternoons but that leaves me with mornings to craft.
Outside of building tables and sorting out craft supplies, I’ve been knitting and am on target to finish that project in 7-8 days. As well as that, the Epic Pokemon cross-stitch has been getting some love during the evenings. Hope to share updates soon.
Until next time, have fun!
Trying something new here. Writing a list of my crafty goals for the year. It’s bizarre, when I’m in a work situation I’ll write lists to keep me on track and be aware of what I need to achieve, but in my home life I rarely have. During December I was making daily to-do lists in terms of housework which helped me get more done but crafty lists? Never done them. Too stubborn, too lazy?
It’s possibly why I tend to lack motivation, why I forget to do something or lose track of time. So I’m going to try this and see how it goes.
What motivates me?
My 2017 goals
Wow, once I started thinking about all this, it really grew. It’s like exercise….might be hard to start but once you do you feel great and can’t stop. Now, I should print out this stuff and stick it up where I can see it and be reminded!
Until next time, have fun!
Ever since my friend Lona sent me over yarn and knitting goodies to get me started, I had wanted to make something for her to show my gratitude. I’ve taken to knitting, to be clichéd, like a fish to water and it’s all her fault. Well, here’s the result of that gift I sent over to her for Christmas. And it was a complete surprise to her. *queue evil cackle*
How do you like my rigged scarf holder? Pegs and kitchen thread and a coat-hanger and strung up using the hooks on the back of the door.
Having completed the lace baby blanket, I definitely wanted to tackle another lace pattern with a little more detail but in a much finer yarn. Got to challenge yourself you know? I searched Ravelry for a pattern furiously and decided on the Orchid Cowl by Jo Strong. While being free was not a requirement, I certainly am a sucker for something that is! It also makes me more comfortable as I can see the pattern before I try so I can judge whether I think I can manage it.
This pattern struck me due to its contrasting parts. It’s got parts of alternating garter and stockinette stitch, which would knit extremely fast, and a reasonably simple lace stitch called spider lace that looked amazing. Some of you know how much I hate spiders but I sucked it up for this pretty pattern. FYI – I HATE SPIDERS!
I cast on a trial swatch to begin and practiced the lace. What. A. Mess. Only my determination got me through after I had to restart three times. It’s like my brain took a walk partway through and I’d end up dropping stitches, or doing one in the wrong order, or forgetting altogether. And then it’s frustrating when you can’t even see where you went wrong and somehow have two stitches less than you should. But I finally got it, and when I did, I could cast on for real.
One of the things I’m loving about knitting, is that it is just so fascinating. All it is, is wrapping and looping yarn in different ways and it can create such complex, fantastic and beautiful designs. I’ll be walking past a person wearing something knitted, and I say to myself – I know how that’s done, or what that stitch is. I was over at my bestie’s place a few weeks ago and she showed me her knitting attempt. The stitches kept changing from stockinette, to garter and back and to moss stitch. She was just perplexed how it was happening because she swore she was doing the same thing. The awesome thing was I could read the knitting and see what was happening. Don’t worry friend – my first attempt was exactly the same and we still need to have that knitting lesson 😛
I used one skein of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the colourway Orbit. You know I love ya when I use sock yarn I had put aside for myself, but since we both love the same colour, I figure I can always buy more 😉
It’s a beautiful variegated yarn of blues shades and it’s soft and delicious to touch. It’s of fingering weight (4-ply) but does seem a little thinner compared to typical Australian 4-ply. I didn’t like how it knit up using the recommended US 7/4.5mm needles, my gauge looked really gapey. The knitting gauge on the yarn suggests 2.25mm – 3.25mm. Rather than finding another yarn to match, I adjusted. I really wanted to use this due the colour and it’s weight. Lona doesn’t live in a crazy US state where the winter temperature drops to stupid degrees, so I wanted something she’d happily wear when she needed just a bit of warmth, and would give a lot more flexibility on the times during the year it would be appropriate.
I ended up using 3.5mm needles. It allowed the stockinette stitch to appear solid but let the lace really open up still.
The beauty of this pattern is that a lot of people have made it and shown their pictures and results and changes on Ravelry. They were really helpful when I was making this. One of the suggestions was starting part way though a stockinette section so that you can more easily join the ends to make the cowl. Otherwise you have to try join a stockinette and a lace section and it can get a bit tricky.
I thought I’d show you a bit of my process for this project. I realised with all the different sections of the cowl, I was likely to get lost and I wanted to make sure each section was uniform. Really simply, I drew out the pattern onto paper and placed tally marks for each row I would complete. When I did it, I would cross that mark off. It reduced the thinking needed, no remembering numbers, just mark off that row.
SS – stockinette row, knit one row, purl the next
G – garter stitch, knit both rows
Lace – Spider lace is a repetition of 8 rows, with each row being different. So on this page I had 5 repetitions of the lace, with 8 rows each.
This is only part of the pattern….I had another page just like this. Maybe I won’t need this in the future, but it just made it super easy this time!
So, here are the changes I made to the pattern.
New things learned:
Blocking the cowl was really easy but time consuming. Having learned a lesson from my first scarf, I needed to use many more pins to avoid the points I got. More pins = less pull from the yarn. I went through my two cases of blocking pins and realised that dressmaker pins would work just as well and are cheaper. Wish I’d discovered that before buying my second set of blocking pins.
You can get an idea here just how many I had to use, there’s like 19 on that top side of that small portion of the cowl.
It was a ridiculously hot day and it was dry in no time at all. Oh, I can actually be grateful to summer for something. That’s a first!
To end off, this took me three weeks to knit at a fairly decent rate and I thought it perfect for my second lace project, learning something new and challenging myself with something more complex than before. By the end though, it felt easy. I do think I need to make one for myself because I love it so!
If you made it this far through this enormous post, I hope you enjoyed the journey, and;
Until next time, have fun!
Just a quickie post today. Monkey made it to the US on Christmas Eve. I was pretty impressed that the package did make it in time especially at Christmas, though I was severely disappointed by the tracking. It arrived before I was even told it had left Australia. But it got there so that’s what matters.
We popped onto Discord, a gamer chat program and Nut, Lona’s nickname for her little boy, gave me a gasp and a “monkey!” before the faintest call of “thankyou” as he had run off to play. Wonderful manners though, I highly appreciate a thankyou!
Check out this cuteness!
Oh my gosh, it’s almost as big as him!
Thanks for sending through some pics Lona, I love seeing him play!
Until next time, have fun!
Once again, the earth has rotated around the sun and we come to the end of the year. It’s been a bit of a meh year for us, Jason’s had a lot of change at work and I’m still looking for a great job after the last one was not the place for me. I’m positive 2017 is going to be good. But blog wise….it’s been a great year for me. I challenged myself to do more, and in 2017 I want to do even more.
Here’s a few things I done or achieved during the last year (or rather since I got back into it in May)
So what are you doing for New Year’s Eve? I’m going to be watching some horror movies with the husband, eating homemade pizza and drinking bubbly until we get too tired. The classic evening for us!
But for now, let’s finish off 2016 with some cookies! A celebration in sugar!
I love fireworks. We are lucky enough to see our local ones from our balcony, so I always rush over to watch when I hear them exploding. They just feel me with awe at their beauty. These cookie fireworks are ALMOST as good.
We watch the clock for when it strikes midnight, and what is a New Year’s Eve without a glass of bubbly.
Until NEXT YEAR, have fun! I hope your 2016 ends wonderfully, and let’s all look forward to 2017 together.