Distractify

Staying distracted and busy is the goal for today. That’s what happens when you’ve been hit with a nasty Norovirus and you have to miss your best friend’s baby shower.

Yeah.

I am so unhappy about that.  Not only did I miss out on cake and fun and seeing Susan in all her giant belly glory, I missed seeing a whole lotta other friends I’ve been missing.

I guess I can take solace in the fact that the puking/diarrhea/fever train seems to have left the station.  Now it’s just lingering hot flashes, dizziness, sensitive stomach.  I can function, but who knows how contagious I might still be?

Maddie had the crud, too.  It’s possible she gave it to me when we met at The Alley Light last Sunday for dinner with our old friend Kim. Or maybe I gave it to her. Either way.

Since the miserable sickness seems to be on its way out I can finally move around and eat, and sew.  Because what else do you focus on when you’re wallowing in shower-missing sadness?

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I re-threaded my serger, figuring I need to practice with it if I’m going to get serious about sewing apparel for myself. As much as I’ve enjoyed making things I’d still put my skill level at novice.  There’s a lot I need to learn about finishing techniques.  And putting together-y techniques.

You know what I mean.

I think my biggest obstacle is a total lack of decent fabric sources locally.  I’d have to trek out to Richmond (okay, that’s not terrible, but I AM pretty lazy).  Ordering online means taking a gamble if you’re not completely sure what you’re looking at. And trust me, good fabric makes aaaalllllll the difference.  Especially if you’re sewing with standard-issue machines, as I am.

Anyway, I worked on a three-quarter sleeve tee shirt today.

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I’m loving the clean edges with the serger. Unfortunately I can’t use it exclusively to sew the pieces together since I seem to be having a lot of tension issues with it.  Maybe because I’ve got the cheapest serger on the market.

Whatever.

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I love this Renfew shirt pattern from Sewaholic for its ease of use and how simple the dang neckline is! I’m pretty happy with how well it turned out, even though my stitching could be better.  I thought for sure when I sat down today that I had a twin needle to work the hemlines, and as it turns out, I don’t. So…….I sewed one line, moved the fabric, and tried to make the next line as parallel as possible.  It’s not bad, but it’s not fabulous, either.

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See? This is the sleeve hem. Not bad, not great. (I did order a twin needle. It’s coming next week).

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The one issue I have with the pattern is the banded bottom hem. I want just a simple, regular ol’ tee-shirt hem.  Again, no twin needle.  What I’ve ended up with is a hem that doesn’t look terrible, but there’s a stretch issue now that’s making it kind of ripply and weird.  I’ll be revisiting the hem on this when the twin needle (and more stabilizer tape) arrives.

I did have a lot of success with Cake Pattern’s Espresso Leggings.  They were super easy to assemble and I had fabric already that I knew would be perfect for leggings (just a standard Ponte de Roma knit from fabric.com).

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I love that they have you put a looped ribbon in the back so you know which side is which.  It looks a little more polished somehow!

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They went together in less than an hour and fit perfectly.

No, you will get no pictures of them on me today, due to the previously mentioned illness. I’m not looking my best right now!

Next I think I want to try Papercut Pattern’s Ooh La La Leggins.  They have more visual interest and look challenging in a very fun way.

Also, I should mention that THIS BOOK has helped me tons.  It’s a great reference for sewing knits, and I need all the help I can get!  If you’re new at sewing knits or, like me, need extra help, I seriously can’t recommend it enough!

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Winter Weekend

More snow!

I know, I’m probably the only person on the eastern seaboard right now who gets excited over seeing snow anymore. Can’t help it.  Even after trudging out in it in the morning to put out fresh hay and again for evening feeding (and to knock the accumulated snow off the shelter) I was still smitten with it.

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The kids stayed mostly in their pj’s all day, snuggled on the couch with hot cocoa and popcorn watching Rise of the Guardians and Bob’s Burgers.

We also spent a not-insignificant amount of time watching the cat, who was watching the birds.

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She knows how to keep us entertained!

I was able to get a decent amount of knitting done on my Shepherd sweater. I’ve got one sleeve finished and I’m about a third of the way done with the second. I can’t believe how slow it’s going.  Not that I am a quick knitter or anything, but man! All that cabling really slows me down.

I’ve got some patterns pulled out that I am hoping to get to work on soon as well. I want to make a few more Renfew tops, some Espresso leggings, and at least one more Lady Skater.  I’ve also got some lovely Moda Crepe that I want to use to make another Lonsdale.

It probably won’t happen today, but it’s an exciting prospect to have it lined up.

I’m also toying with the idea of making a rain jacket with Minoru since I will need one in June, because……and here comes the super big news of the year……I am heading to Europe for 15 days with my sister and middle child!

Specifically, we are flying into Edinburgh, Scotland and staying there for 3 nights.  Even in June I will likely need a light jacket or sweater in the evenings.  My friend Jessie and her family will be there at the same time. We are already looking ahead to having a pint together in Scotland!

We are then taking the train to London (where a rain jacket will be a must) where we will stay for 5 days before taking another train to Paris. Happily, my friend Jennifer lives in London and we will be able to meet up with her while we are there.  We are also lucky enough to be able to stay with my friend Aurelie at her apartment in Versailles for 3 nights.  I haven’t seen her since before Oona was born, so I am crazy excited!

After Paris we are heading to Wiesbaden, Germany to stay with my friend Diana, who’s been there for work since August.

I am still amazed that we will see someone we know in each European city we are visiting!

We’ve got our tickets and our hotels in the UK booked and I can’t even tell you how hard it is now to just wait. I’m throwing myself into my knitting and crafting and garden planning  to stay occupied.

Before we get there, spring will come. The garden will be planted and the bees will be out gathering pollen and nectar. And most important of all, Susan’s baby will be here!

It’s going to be an incredible year!

 

 

First Snow!

Yesterday we finally got visited by Old Man Winter. When it was all said and done we ended up with at least six inches, though we were expecting up to twelve. The sheep have been enjoying the colder weather and when I went out for evening feeding there was a lot of sproinging and prancing, even with the snow!

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Wembley

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Alabama

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Pretty McPhee

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Orion can’t allow me to wander the field without being about 2 inches from my pockets, just in case I’ve brought treats out.

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Lyra

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Sabine and Lucy

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We removed the sides of the shelter after the high winds the last few days did some damage, but it’s still enough shelter to keep the hay snow-free.

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The chickens had ZERO interest in going out in the snow.

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The goats don’t much like getting wet, either.

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Yeardley

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The sun is out and it is very, very bright today.

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Lucy’s been enjoying playing in the snow with the kids.

And now I’ll leave you with pictures of Samantha and Roquefort’s nightly post-feeding frolic.

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