Baby Blanket for Baby Coulee

My coworker Sarah is due in February, so there is a baby shower on Thursday. I made this little blanket for the new parents.

I think this is the first baby blanket I have hand monogrammed and I’m quite pleased at both the chain stitch and how swoopy the C is. I did not draw the C, but I grabbed it from one of the alphabets I had squirreled away.

The theme of the party was Space Dinosaur Cowboy and I was trying for all three things, but JoAnn’s was not connecting me with any cowboy stuff. But I did like the stars and then the not-at-all concerned dinosaurs hanging out in the snow.

I ended up making the bias binding. When I do that, I always make extra because it’s a really mood killer to come up a few inches short of bias binding. (How do I know? Because I’ve done it.) But then what to do with the extra bias binding? I had the idea to poke two holes in the plain brown wrapping and make a bow with it.

Speedweve Darning Loom Holder Finished

When I bought my little loom, it came in a plastic bag I had to cut open to get to the loom and accoutrements.

This means that all the things fall out of the bag all the time.

I did some measuring and sketching.

And then I made my own pattern.

Et voila! The holder is finished. It has a handle and an off-center example of what the darning loom can make.

Inside we have a few things to hold things in place.

One pocket for each part of the loom and a center pocket to hold the long needles, the bands, and that thing I don’t know what to do with. I also sewed a piece of felt onto one pocket to hold some of the shorter needles.

Everything comes together nicely.

I’m quite pleased with how this turned out. Now I need to make one for my bigger loom. To do next time: carefully center the front image and watch a tutorial for best practices in attaching snaps.

The Proper Stacking Order for Multiple Layers

Well, I nearly had my holder for my darning machine done, but it turns out that stacking the filler between the two things that are supposed to go on the outside means that when you go to flip it, the filler is on the outside.

I got out the seam ripper.

Much like it’s not a building project until you have to stop what you are doing and go to the hardware store, so is it not a sewing project until the seam ripper comes out. Thank goodness podcasts are there to keep me company.

Attempt No. 2 will be better.

Can we also talk about how much I love this see-through ruler I was first introduced to in a pattern manipulation class. It’s so much easier to measure things and make them square.

Speedweve-Style Loom

Internet advertising on Instagram did a good job targeting me. I saw a reel of this little device, and after some obsessive research, I bought two of them, one big and one small. Mine is not as nice as the one I would have bought from Snuggly Monkey, if they had them in stock. And I may yet upgrade. We shall see.

Essentially, the device is a loom that allows you to weave a bit of a rug over your holes. Here’s a sock with two holes in the heel.

Setting up the warp yarns. (I used sashiko thread for this one)

After that, you weave the weft yarns back and forth, reversing the direction of the hooks after every row. You end up with a little checkerboard that looks like this:

My first attempt shows some shoddiness, but that’s what first attempts are for, no? At the last row, you remove the loom and tack the loops from the warp yarn down on the sock (otherwise you are left with a little pocket) and then weave the ends into the sock.

I wasn’t sure if the darn would me distracting to me. It does add an additional layer to your sock. I’ve found that I can feel it when I first put the sock on, but after about two minutes, my body adjusts and I don’t notice the rest of the day.

Hooray for this fun new thing! I’m excited to see what else I can do with it.

#YearofStitch Sampler No. 2: The Patriarchy Isn’t Going to Smash Itself

Aside from the message, there were some other fun things in this sampler. I loved the curtain made from embroidery floss just hanging out after being woven through straight stitches. I also enjoyed getting the chance to embroider script (hard!) and keep working away at my satin stitch. (It took forever!)

I also learned that when filling a diamond with French knots, it’s best to start from the middle and work outward rather than doing the edges first.

A close-up of my satin stitch. It looks rough, but I’ll get the hang of it. I outlined in backstitch, which I don’t think was the best choice.

This was a great sampler! I had a lot of fun! Thanks, Badass Cross Stitch.

Badass Cross Stitch: Year of Stitch Sampler #2: The Patriarchy Won’t Smash Itself

You may recall that I was tracing this pattern on New Year’s Day. It has come to pass that I’ve completed it!

I did some experimenting with thicker thread and found I didn’t love it. But I am glad I did the experiment.

Because I traced a circle around the outside of the pattern, I embroidered over that circle with a sampler of the stitches we learned: backstitch (I attempted to do a Morse Code message) whipped backstitch, stem stitch, chain stitch, and couching.

This was a great way to start 2022.

Lace for my Wedding Dress

This summer, I was rummaging around for something having to do with the wedding, when I found this stretch of lace. In college, I started tatting it with the idea that I would add it to my wedding dress (or even design and sew my wedding dress). At the time, I had no plans to marry, so you can see how enthusiastic I was to finish it. (Also, you can see that I wasn’t good at joining the segments.)

Having now married in a dress that I didn’t make and that didn’t work with this lace, I wrote a note about the genesis of the lace and put the lace and the note in a free box near me. Hopefully someone will do something fun with it.

Sewing Chores Done

I bought four pairs of pants in September and I have finally accomplished hemming them. (I marked them up the first weekend I had them, so it was getting out the sewing machine that was the impediment.)

I also sewed up the cloth napkins I embroidered. I learned that it’s best not to embroider into the corner, like I did with the green, because sewing the top and bottom halves of the napkin together will make another border and it won’t match the one I’ve embroidered. At least not with my freehand method.

This was me practicing a blanket stitch and a blanket stitch wheel.

The New Work From Home Space

This three-day weekend, my last until Memorial Day, was spent getting the new work-from-home space in order.

I installed shelves and bulletin boards and assembled my new desk. It’s an adjustable standing desk, and here you can see it from the working side.

Here is the at-home side.

I bought two keyboard trays, one for working, one for personal use. But I forgot to check to see if they would both fit under the desk. They did not. I engineered this solution, buying a length of wood, cutting it into two pieces and offsetting those pieces from the for-work keyboard tray. It worked.

What didn’t work was not accounting for the crank handle on this side. I ended up moving the keyboard over far to the left. In that position, I have just enough space to turn the crank fully. Here’s the desk in the seated position.

Installing those keyboard trays was a two-person job. They were really wiggly. Luckily, Matt came and held the brackets steady while I screwed in the screws.

I have no more desk drawers and my shelves don’t put things in easy reach, so I bought this caddy at Ikea. It can roll to either side of the desk.

If I want, I can store the chair and the Ikea caddy under the desk itself.

I ordered bookends from Etsy. Those will be shipped.

I’m glad I could make both sides work and I’m looking forward to seeing how the new setup works from day to day.

I Build Some Shelves For Above-Washer Storage

Et voila! Shelves. I cut a leftover piece of wood from the dryer platform in half (with a handsaw balanced on top of my recycling bins because I was too lazy to get everything out that was needed for the circular saw), installed four of those handy braces I’ve been using forever, did some drilling, and now there are shelves where there once were none.

Here’s a close-up view.

In keeping with my laziness, I’m not going to paint them. The bare wood fits with the utilitarian nature of the laundry area.