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Getting in the Groove

Well, there’s not much crafting going on around here lately. What with getting ourselves re-organized after vacation and then organizing ourselves for the new school year, there has not been a whole lot of extra time for knitting. Combine this with me just bouncing back and forth between all my unfinished projects instead of working steadily on a single one, I have very little progress to show for the last few weeks.

Except this.

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It doesn’t look like much, but it is a finished Twig and Leaf shawl. It’s just not blocked yet. Lace usually looks all wrinkled up like this before it is blocked. The only reason why this one is done is because I had done all the lace before we left on vacation and only had the garter stitch middle to do when we returned. This made it pretty easy to knit on during the few minutes I had during the day or while watching mystery shows at night. Hopefully, I can get this blocked in the next few days, and then I will have something pretty to show you.

Yesterday, I played with yarn a little.

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I woke up on Tuesday morning dreaming about color combinations for this sweater. Yes. I was dreaming about knitting, don’t you? Well, as any creative person should do, I took it as a sign that this sweater needs to happen. So, I dragged out my stash of fingering yarn and took a good look. Mostly, my goal was to use single skeins of fingering yarn that was in my stash that I knew would not make for sturdy socks. The only exception is that giant wheel of gray heather fingering that is probably enough for at least 10 pairs of socks or at least a few sweaters.

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I like the way my swatch looks so far. The light blue yarn is Swans Island Organic Merino and the pink is a skein of Rio de la Plata yarn that I picked up years ago on a trip to California. I think they look good together. What do you think?

Staycation

For the last three years, we have gone away on vacation during the week of July 4th. So, last week, when I found myself at home, it felt a bit strange. Where was all the packing stress and the bags strewn all over the floor? Why wasn’t I doing laundry like a crazy person and planning for a week’s worth of meals away from home in a strange kitchen? Other than a funny urge to just get in the car and Drive, anywhere far, far away, I got over the strange feelings quite quickly.

Instead, I declared that the week would be a staycation week for me. When I said this to the husband (who still had to go to work), his first question was, ” Does this mean you’re not cooking dinner?” Well, yes and no. It turns out that, other than our big Independence Day dinner, I did not do a lot of cooking, partly because our dishwasher broke. It broke 5 hours before our guests were coming for dinner on Thursday. Fortunately, we are well stocked in paper and plastic goods and were able to make do quite nicely. It doesn’t look like the dishwasher is going to get fixed anytime in the next week, so cooking might still be on the backburner for awhile.

So, if I didn’t cook much during my staycation week, what did I do? The first day, there was a lot of shuffling of papers and running up and down the stairs while the boys and I put last year’s school papers, books, and supplies away. Then, I spent a lot of time ordering all the new stuff for the fall. With all the school business taken care of, I went on to what I really wanted to do on my staycation.

Sew.

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Pillows first. The pieces for these have been sitting on the table for what feels like months. It was really nice to finally get them done and on the sofa to admire.

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My skill at sewing in a straight line does not seem to be getting any better, but oh well. They do brighten up the room a little, and I am pretty happy with them.

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I even like the backs.

After finishing all the pillows, I had to do some sewing for our Vacation Bible School crafts, and then I was finally able to work on the June block of my quilting group.

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It’s a fussy block with lots and lots of pieces, but pretty fun to do. I can tell that I have been away from the sewing machine for awhile, though. Apparently, not only do I have trouble sewing in a straight line, I also have trouble sewing along a line. Still, my points are mostly pointy, so I am pleased enough.

In addition to all the sewing, I also did some knitting– enough to finally show a little progress. Since I have so many different things that I am working on at the same time, it’s difficult to see the progress sometimes, but after a few weeks or so, there is usually enough progress made to merit mentioning.

There are socks, plain…

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…and fancy,

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most of a sweater sleeve,

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part of a sweater back,

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most of the lace edging of a shawl,

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and the top part of a top down sweater.

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It turns out that if I stay at home, don’t cook much, and don’t have school to teach, I can get a lot done! This week will be a little busier with VBS, but that will be its own kind of fun. Hopefully, I will still get some good sewing or knitting time in the afternoons or evenings. After all, the dishwasher is still broken. I can’t be expected to cook much, can I?

Piles and Piles

I like a nice pile every once in awhile, especially if it proves to me that progress is being made.  Piles like this make me happy.

My favorite thing about piles is watching them transform into a different pile.

On the other hand, there are piles that stare at me and make me feel slightly guilty, not in a ‘oh, I should do that’ kind of way, but more in a ‘how I wish I had more time to devote to you’ kind of way.

And then there are the piles that I just wish would go away; and they do!  I begin the day with a pile like this and, if all goes well, by the end of the day, it’s gone.

Now that is a really satisfying feeling, but it doesn’t last long.  For some reason, this pile re-appears every day.  Ah well, one can’t have it all.

How do you feel about piles?