Putting Up The Hay

We got a delivery of hay today from our lovely hay people, and as soon as I sat back down inside the house to warm up (it’s frigid out there!), I realized that tomorrow’s forecast calls for sleet and rain.  This means that all 14-odd 800 lb. bales of hay HAD to be moved down to the back field, lined up on cinder blocks and covered before dark.

This is normally a job that Paul does, but he doesn’t get home in the evenings until after dark.

So I bundled up and grumbled all the way out to the tractor and got busy.

It took ALL AFTERNOON.

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It’s not so much that it is difficult work, but that it is slow going.  You have to be very careful going down the hill with such a heavy load on the spear, and you have to line up cinder blocks for each and every bale.

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I also discovered that the insulated work gloves I got from Tractor Supply for farm work didn’t hold up to freezing temperatures at all.

Thankfully my hand-knit hat kept my head nice and toasty – let’s hear it for wool!

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I finished up just as it got dark, and I even dropped an extra bale in with the sheep.

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I’ve got a pretty big workload ahead of me for the next few days.  I painted Oona’s room but now I have to get it put back together properly.  I started painting our rockers for the front porch and need to finish those:

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Yes, I know it’s all over the grass.  You see, there’s a difference between how I do things and how Paul does things.  He prefers the “put it off until you have everything you need and can do it properly in one go”, whereas I hail from the school of thought of “why wait if I can half-ass it now?”

Tonight I’ll be sewing up napkins for Thanksgiving out of this lovely fabric I found at fabric.com:

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Tomorrow begins the timeless tradition of baking and obsessive cleaning that will take us through to the holiday.

Let’s hope that sleet passes us by, shall we?

A lot of Sewing in the Near Future!

As I frantically try to finish up three Tiramisu dresses I have cut out, I have added more to the sewing pile.

Today I got an email announcing the fall pattern lineup over at Oliver & S.

One of the patterns in particular caught my eye, because it’s a nearly exact iteration of the playdress and leggings combo I used to buy from a certain overpriced Scandinavian-inspired company.

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Look!

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I immediately emailed the link to my friend Lisa and I am pretty sure we both squealed in delight.

All I need are some cute knit fabrics!  Can’t you picture Oona tearing around the house in such a set?

The sizes go up to a childrens’ 12, so even Neve could benefit.

Pretty sure I will be downloading this and pouring over internet fabric stores tonight.

Sewing Camp

Since Susan has been staying with us while we work on getting her house packed up we though it would be nice to have a weekend where we could simply enjoy each others’ company and get some crafting done.

Our friend Tanya came up from Roanoke, and our friends Lisa and Erin came in from town.

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Maddie kept little Marie occupied and happy so Lisa could work on a dress for her.

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Creative mess!

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We had plenty of good food as well, as is to be expected when this particular group gets together!  This was our brunch.  Gluten free crepes with fresh blueberries, maple whipped cream and brown sugar breakfast sausage.

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Tanya made us a delicious burrito dinner with lots of fixings.

We all worked hard on our various sewing projects, but we spent plenty of time chatting and catching up as well.  I’m not sure anyone finished any of the projects they brought, but we all made some good headway on them.

This coming weekend we are having a sale at Susan’s house to clean out all of her stuff.  It will be sad, but good.  She’s moving to a smaller property and focusing on keeping only things that are meaningful to her.

Busy busy busy!

Lonsdale Dress

Yay me!  I finished another dress, and just in time for the beach! (since I bought the fabric especially for its “beachy” look)

This time it was my first attempt making Sewaholic’s Lonsdale Dress.

The fabric is Michael Miller’s “Shore Thing Kelp” in green.

I have to say, I love that whole collection.

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I am really, really happy with how it turned out.

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I only had two problems when putting the dress together:  the zipper was faulty and broke after I installed it completely.  There were a lot of curse words.  I then pulled it out and put in a new one.  This time I was pissed off, though, so I did a sloppier job and therefor you can see the zipper this time.  Whereas the broken zipper had been sewn in beautifully.  Of course.

Then, when I was working on the hem I busted a needle on my serger.  Totally my fault, but still.  Very frustrating. Lesson: don’t sew while pissed off.

This dress is coming to the beach with me this weekend, for sure!

QUILT!!!

I finally finished a quilt!

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I started this quilt at least a year ago as a way to use up all of my cherished (and discontinued) Heather Ross scraps.

It has probably the crappiest binding and top quilting of any quilt ever, but I don’t care.

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I wanted it to be a summer quilt, and I finished it in the summer.  While there is still summer left in which to enjoy it.

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The backing fabric is a king sized sheet from Walmart.  I couldn’t believe I found one that matched so well.

This was my first attempt using the free-hand quilting foot for my machine.  I’ve got an even-feed foot now as well, so I’ll be trying that out next.

Finished quilt!

Squee!!!!

Another Day, Another Dress

I can’t believe i am posting pictures of myself TWO DAYS IN A ROW.

I am so not the kind of photogenic that this requires.

Oh well.  You’ll have to suffer my awkwardness to see the dress.

It’s a pattern I’ve made before but am not crazy about.  As in, the finished product is good, but I have to work with next to no instructions and do some heavy altering.  Last time it came out too long, so this time I cut it shorter.  Too short, as it turns out.  But, as it is a summer dress it’s not too terrible.

The fabric is Moda that I got at my local fabric store.

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Just about an inch longer and slightly looser in the skirt and it would be perfection.

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I’m pretty happy with my zipper installation, though.  Except for a small bit at the top, you can’t see it at all.  Practice, practice.

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I had enough fabric left to make a simple A – Line skirt.  It’s on the machine now, waiting for finishing.  I also cut strips to make some bias tape with it for various projects.   If I could have bought this fabric by the bolt, I would have.  The yardage I got was clearly not enough for everything I want to do with it!

Yummy Tiramisu!

A few months back I bought a pattern from Cake Patterns for a dress called “Tiramisu”.

I envisioned a comfortable red dress for summer, and trolled Fabric.com for a good buy on some cotton knits.

I found a color called “Rust” that looked nice online, but when it came ended up being more purpley than red.

But, it felt so nice and soft that even though it was a decidedly more fall color than summer, I decided to forge ahead with it anyway.

And I am SO. GLAD. that I did!

You’ll have to excuse the crappy pictures; I was playing with the self timer on my camera and fighting the fact that there is not one decent place outside to tale pictures where there’s not unsightly overgrowth everywhere (stupid rainy summer).

Also, Susan’s not here to be sure I get some flattering and high quality garment shots, so we’ll just have to deal with what we get.

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Also, excuse the dumb look on my face.  Like I said, I was still playing with the timer, and I wasn’t sure it had set.

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Or we can all just face the fact that I don’t like posing for pictures.  Not because it isn’t fun, but because I am no good with facial expressions.  In fact, I am pretty sure I have This Condition.

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Side View.  Complete with camera glare and thread all over my shoulder!

I have not finished the hem yet as per the instructions on the pattern to wear it a bit first and let the fabric fall and settle a bit.  I also had to take in the size a LOT.

I don’t use knit fabrics a ton, and my first instinct is to generally cut a bit larger than my size, just in case.  With this one, I measured myself and cut to that size, but there was an insane amount of positive ease in this fabric so it ended up hanging on my frame awkwardly.  It’s also a bit heavier weight fabric than I was hoping for, but in combination with the color I think it will be outstanding for fall.  I really want to make more in black, grey and pumpkin color as well as a nice teal if I can get it in a tissue weight.  It’s a great pattern, and now that I have it down to proper size, it’s very flattering and majorly comfortable.   It was also pretty darn easy to put together.

There you have it.

Now go make your own!

 

A Line Skirt

I finally finished a skirt I’d cut out months ago.

Just in time for our first campfire of the season!

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The fabric is a delectable avian print by Joel Dewberry.

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And can I say how much I enjoy having a serger to make nice finished edges?

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The pattern is one of my absolute favorites.  It’s Amy Butler’s Barcelona Skirt pattern, and I’ve made many of them.

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They’re comfortable, flattering and super easy to make.  I don’t know why it took me so long to get this one sewn up.

Shorts for Oona

Last summer or so I started an Oliver & S short set for Oona in some adorable Moda knit fabric.

Before finishing the waistline on the shorts I tried the outfit on Oona and discovered it was going to be WAY too big on her.  So I stashed it.

Yesterday I pulled it back out and finished it.  When we tried it on her again, it fit!

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I’ve yet to use a pattern from Oliver & S that we haven’t loved.

Trying To Craft

Some people say I have too many irons in the fire.

Other people say “jack of all trades, master of none”.

I disagree with both.

True, I have waaaaaaay too much going on for most normal, rational people.  Especially now that it is spring and I am working on getting gardens in, dealing with new lambs and kids, raising new ducks, clearing out brush, managing four homeschoolers and reorganizing much of the house.  It makes it pretty difficult to find time to knit or sew; never mind learn how to use my spinning wheel or loom.

But I think having many varied interests and projects can be a really good thing.  For one, I am never, ever bored.  Not ever.  There is always something that can be done, and always something that can be learned.  I can also generally find something to talk about with new people.

It does, however, make it challenging to find the time to do some of the things I enjoy.  Often by the time I’ve taken care of all the things that need my attention I am too tired for the things I want to do.

But it’s okay, because soon school will be done for the summer and the gardens will not need such intensive care during the day (in fact once the heat hits for real I’ll be doing outside chores early in the morning and late in the evening).  The animals will be in need of more attention, but nothing that I can’t knit in between.

So I have plenty of projects lined up waiting for this magical time of less things to worry over.

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This lovely Joel Dewberry fabric is waiting to be an A-line skirt for me.  I have a bunch of projects waiting to sew, actually, but right now this one is my favorite.

And just what does one do when one’s best friend is a star in the yarn and fiber world?

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You horde all the yarn she makes. (My craft room is looking better now that I’ve got this unit for all my yarn and fabric!)

Oh sure, I get plenty of free samples of her yarn.  The problem is, once you’ve held and petted the yarn it becomes imperative to get your hands on as much of it as humanly possible.  I’ve spent plenty of time trolling WEBS and buying out quantities of JMF yarn whenever I can.

SO there are plenty of yarn projects lined up.

The one I am tackling first is this lovely Honeybee Stole pattern with some luscious yellow Findley.

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Such a fun, light, summery project and I CANNOT WAIT to get started on it!  I have a flowy white sundress it will look perfect with.  Also, this yellow Findley just cried out for it!

I am hoping to cast on tonight – barring a thousand distractions.  It is lace, afterall, and as I have said many a time before, lace knitting and children  JUST. DON’T. MIX.