Hello! It’s been, well … awhile! A lot has changed (job, boyfriend) and yet a lot remains the same (I knit/sew, work on the house, and work). Things are finally starting to find their groove between all of the new awesomeness in my life and I thought it was high time I returned here to begin sharing the fantastic things I’ve been working on as well and provide myself some motivation to keep going and finding time to be crafty each and every day.
One of the projects I began a bit before the new year is a pair of fingerless gloves for the new man. They are a color worked set featuring an octopus with bubbles and windy tentacles … cute!!! Here are a couple of pictures of the progress to date.
And a Close up of the band with all of it’s awesome bubbleness
My last attempt at color work looked great…but went no where as I somehow thought the wristlettes would be stretchy. This time I’m wiser! Knowing that there is nihl to no give in my colorwork I swatched four times to make sure that I got these right. So far so wonderful. They have been super easy to knit up and even when I’ve had to rip back to fix something the stitches stay where they are supposed to and don’t go fraying all over the place. The yarn is awesome!
Here is a link to the Ravelry page, which could use a bit more information, maybe I get back into THAT habit too ; )
I came across these adorable toddler halloween costumes at Old Navy Saturday afternoon. Why don't they make the dragon in my size...I want one! Strawberry Shortcake is also adorable and reminded me of the amazing costumes my mother made for me and my brother growing up making each and every halloween awesome (and birthdays when we got a second costume of the year) which I *will* follow up with pictorial evadenance post unpackingness.
While for me to complain about the mass production of clothes would be stupid seeing that i work in the industry, I will soap box for a moment about special occasion sewing/making like all hallows eve. There is something magical about halloween costumes. We often want to wear them all the time as children dressing up and living out our dreams, and throughout our lives for some of us. We are super visual beings with a need to dress the part, even as the knight sent to save the madien by donning a sword, it matters not that its made of plastic or cardboard. We just need that special item to storm the castle and save the seven realms from certain peril.
While I amn't going to have time this year to bust out the Rouge costume , it will remain on the list with fingers crossed for next year and something else will be complied this year that doesn't include eight to ten fittings ; ) I hope everyone is able to take a few minutes and "make" something for themselves and their little ones (boyfriends and husbands included) to help make Halloween special, even a quick five minute hat or wand to spruce up their fourth time wearing that Harry Potter costume. These are our lives and those projects no matter how complicated provide us with both tales and memories for years to come as well as that tremendously wonderful feeling..."you made that? For me?" [Insert amazingly wonderful grin and for get that camera so you have pictures to remember it for years to come].
Who are you going to be channeling this all hallows eve?
I finally had to say farewell to my Hello Kitty shower cap as the elastic literally fell off and i noticed a hole at the top. Now for someone with 2+ feet of hair i need a shower cap that is industrial strength and can handle the on/off, being slept in, and not develop a colony of mold. So instead of heading off to the beauty supply store i went to the fabric store. I mean seriously, it can’t be hard to just make a new shower cap, right?
Well turns out the answer is no, it’s not hard at all. So not hard i can explain it to you here in just a few short steps, ready?
Step 0: Before you do anything … look for fabric. It was a deal breaker for me if i couldn’t find a super cute vinyl to enjoy for years to come. I found super awesome fabric, and had to compose myself at the $27 a yard price tag. I mean it’s not even a costume!!! Well when i did the math and realized i would only need 3/4 of a yard along with the plan to not have any elastic or trims it turned out the cost was still less then i’d have paid for a new one (especially since the last was from Japan and a plan ticket is a lot more than $25). So, to cross this one off the list ensure you have the following supplies:
- Fabric – I chose a vinyl coated fabric, you want something water proof … and CUTE!
- Matching Thread – I chose upholestry thread as it’s thicker and will stand up to wear better than plain old poly
- Snaps – Sticking with the desire to have less than zero % mold i went with metal snaps instead of elastic
- Color Pencil – for Fabric Marking, i keep a couple of yellow ones around the house at all times
- Twine/String/Yarn – Something to help you draw a perfect circle
- Tape – Anything that will hold the yarn in place for a few minutes with moderate pressure
- Scissors – To cut the fabric and thread, nothing fancy required
- Measuring Tape – To keep your sewing honest, and so you only have to do things once
Step 1: Prep for Circle Time. So what’s the easiest way to draft a circle? unfortunately not what i found on most the internet when i did a couple of searches. The super easy way to draft a circle is with a piece of twine/rope/yarn (i don’t even cut mine, afterwards i roll it back onto the ball). As shown below, take the yarn and tie the end to the color pencil. From the tip of the color pencil measure out half of the desired diameter of the shower cap of yarn (10.5” for me so i’d have room for curlers or rags), take a piece of tape and secure the yarn at the desired length to the back of the fabric with enough room to allow you to draft the full circle.
Step 2: Draft your circle. Now that we have everything setup, hold the color pencil up right without pulling too much on the yarn and draw your circle! Watch that you hold the pencil upright to get a real circle, instead of an oval.
Step 3: Cut it out. Now that you have a super awesome circle drawn on the back of the fabric grab your scissors and cut it from the rest of the fabric.
Step 4: Slit! Since i decided to forgo the elastic and use snaps instead i need a slit that i will finish off with some self bias tape. I cut a 3.5” slit with 45 degree angles to allow me easy access for setting the bias tape.
Step 5: Binding Off. To clean off the slit i cut strips of the fabric 2” wide for a 1/2” finished width. Once you have set the tape tack the top edge of the triangle to keep the tape flat (skipping the detailed bias tape instructions as there are about 2 million videos online :)
Step 6: Tuck, tuck, tuck. Without elastic we still need to reduce the total head opening size. Shirring is out as this is super stiff fabric, like shirring a fully lined corset – pass! So i went with tucks! I started off with 1” total reducing tucks every 1/2” and had to step it up a bit in the middle to hit my target head circumference of 21.5”.
Step 8: Bands and Snaps! After the tucks i cut out a head band section measuring 23” long by 3” wide. This allowed me to set the band like a bias tape with a 1/2” seam allowance and a finished 1” band. I tucked in the ends before finishing off with the machine and then hand sewed the ends shut. Final touch was a few snaps set at 1” to allow for adjustments
Step 9: Your Done! And in my case it’s dark outside. It amazing how time flies while hand sewing. I have given it a whirl both right side out for a quick shower and wrong side out for an overnight conditioner treatment, both with fantastic success. It sure is nice to not have to wear a towel and syran wrap for those anymore. Also the bicycles and awesome dots make this dressy enough to totally go outside with … at least for the mail ; )
The stove is here! It’s so ridiculously exciting i can barely believe it that i will finally be able to eat pasta at home again. Luckily stoves seem to come with some pretty rockin instructions so i will just cover a couple of tips instead of a massive start to finish and remind everyone of a couple things: a) TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY before working on any wiring, you never know… b) Read the instructions. And i mean really read them BEFORE we pull out a single tool. You never know, step 15 might provide you with a diagram of what you did in step 3 or may tell you to undo what you’ve done and isn’t it nice to know these things from the start?
I am skipping the electrical part as this will be slightly different for each stove purchased, please refer tot he manual and previous posts about wiring duplexes. Remember, these are just giant, fancy duplexes that can pass a bunch more energy around, so all of the principles of wire stripping and setting are the same.
Basic Gas Piping Connections 101:
First thing to do is check that you have all of the supplies that you need: Gas Piping Tape, appropriate Gas Piping for the extension you are adding, Gas Piping “Goup”. Note that i kept repeating the word Gas in all of those. This is important as Black Gas Piping is different then other metal pipes and you will need to ensure that you get the right supplies to protect you from any Gas Leaks.
Step 1: Turn off the gas coming into the house. This will ensure that you don’t blow yourself up or die from gas poisoning, kind of important to enjoy the stove once you’re done
Step 2: Prep the existing Gas Stub for extension. Remove the cap placed on the extension, or old pipe if you are disconnecting a previously installed pipe setup. Place a small amount of goup onto the extension threading and then wrap two full passes of the Gas Piping tape over the goup and threads. This will provide a secure connection between the pipes ensuring there are no leaks.
Step 3: Screw on the first piece of the extension. Since i wanted an easy to reach shut off valve before the flex pipe to connect the gas to the stove i decided to add this extension of a 90 degree elbow and a 6” section of pipe to help elevate the shut off. So far it’s been super handy for all of the stove repairs.
Step 4: If adding the extension as i did, repeat the steps to cover the threadings on the pipe extension and then screw together using a couple of wrenches to ensure a tight seal. While you want it tight, you don’t have to kill yourself, that’s that the tape and goup are for.
Step 5: Lastly before the flex pipe we will goup and tape the threadings on the pipe and then attach the shut off valve to the extension. From here it’s the same thing of goup, tape, attach all the way up the way up to the stove, easy!
As we hit this milestone things are in a good and steady groove within mi casa. No, things are no where near done, but somehow it is all starting to come together. This week, with the help of my new best friend the oven, bread and cookies were baked and life returned a bit back to pre-move normalcy. I am really enjoying the oven and just need to get the stupid broken knob fixed. Oh well, something has to be on the fix it list at all times right?
Also to celebrate the milestone (and offer me a bit of flexibility) the week numbered posts are goin’ the way of the dino…to be only seen in the archives going forward. Oh don’t think this means the end of the house updates! In truth it’s more so i can bombard you with all sorts of other things about the house that have nothing to do with progress and not feel guilty about the blogging and lack of items i’m able to check off the to-do list at the end of each week.
Some existing news … i ordered my flooring! I went with a stranded poplar in 4” wide planks which happens to be 100% recycled. The flooring is a beautiful deep red/brown/black with different highlights throughout as is produced by Eco Timber – Last Dance.
The idea is to run this in a single direction the entire length of the house to mimic the original fir flooring that was in the home when i purchased it. We are still figuring out if this is a project we want to do ourselves or just pay someone else to do. Unfortunately if it gets added to our “family” list then i may not have a floor until Christmas (yes, it’s not even Memorial Day yet!) which, while not the end of the world, is a lot longer then i would like to have to wear shoes at all times in my own home. So many things to figure out…