Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sweater worthy of a parade

I can't even tell you how giddy I am about finally finishing this sweater. The fact that it FITS and, no modesty here, looks AWESOME, is just the icing on the 10 Layer Cake of Incredible.

My journey/whining about this sweater is well documented: started it back in November, had to restart it 3 times for reasons I won't bitch about (again) now, so it has been a learning process for sure. Basically I could have easily whipped off 4 quilts in the hours it took me to knit this thing. Then there is the little matter of cost....knitting is in no way a cheap hobby, and the yarn, buttons and shipping/border duty charges for the supplies for this were....brace yourself...about $180. Would I ever BUY myself a sweater for $180? Hellz NO! If I were to add up the hours spent in manual labour and add that to the cost, this would be a FIVE THOUSAND dollar sweater.

Good thing it looks like a million bucks :)



What do I love about this? Oh, so many things! First off, the pattern. It is called the Golden Wheat Cardigan, by Veera Valimaki. It was so well written (all the previous mess ups were entirely my bad). Sizing was perfect. Then there are all the little details. I love the asymmetrical shape, and the collar....



......the cute little "side seams" that are not seams at all, but stitched in along the body and sleeves......



.....and, this baby's got back!



While the pattern only calls for a few buttons at the top so it is always worn open, I opted to do buttonholes all the way down. I like that I can wear it closed on chilly days.



And I love the COLOR! The yarn was Madelinetosh Chunky in the candlewick colorway. So vibrant and warm. And so soft! Worth every penny.



The buttons. Dang, I love buttons, but these are perfect. I found them after a quick etsy search, at a shop called shop4craft based in Thailand. Great service!



I can basically go on and on about all the things I love about the final sweater. And I am so RELIEVED that after all that time and effort, I have something that I love to show for it. I didn't even block it because I had to put it on immediately. I plan to wear it every day until it is stinky and smelly, probably even longer. Then I will peel it off for a quick wash and wear it some more. Just call me the Lady in Yellow.



If you want to learn more, there are even more details and ramblings on my Ravelry page.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a tale of boobies and buttons

A funny moment to share from this morning.

It is Spring Break here, which means 3 busy kids at home to entertain. I had just stole away to hop into the shower, when 30 seconds later, Big G comes running into to bathroom, "Mom, come quick come quick!" My hair was full of shampoo but I assumed they had somehow taken their unsupervised minute to set the house on fire, so I dashed out of the shower, threw my robe on loosely and a towel over my head, and ran downstairs like a bat out of hell.

To the foyer. Where the front door was wide open.

With the post person standing there, package in hand.

Thank goodness it was a "she".

"She" may or may not have seen a flash of my boobies.

I am sure neither "she" nor I will ever speak of it.

After an awkward moment had passed, I signed the required forms to collect my small package of heaven. Buttons! All the way from Thailand! Gorgeous wooden gems, some of which will be getting a starring roll on my Golden Wheat cardigan, which is FINISHED!!!!!!!!


Off to sew them on, will show the sweater soon. I am expecting a full on parade for finally finishing this beast, so get your best comments of praise ready, I will have no shame in asking for them ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

life is good.

Had a very productive day yesterday! Got both my personal and work taxes done, itemized, and ready to ship out to pay some ungodly sum....


....even had an extra hour to spare. Guess what? Spent it sewing! I had finished off the rest of the blocks for my FFA quilt, so I arranged them and got the rows sewn up. On my way! Just have to sew the rows together and add my fancy border :)



Then I got excited by Jennifer's post about her new sewing machine purchase. So excited that I decided to buy one myself. You read that right! I have been sewing on a cheap Kenmore since I started quilting, and have been reading reviews about different machines. So, last night I decided to take the plunge and buy one. At 60% off, I couldn't resist! It is the Juki TL-2010Q. It has a huge throat so I will finally be able to quilt my quilts without a struggle, plus an auxiliary table to spread them out, a knee lift, excellent tension control and speed control, a needle stop position, automatic thread trimmer and needle threader....basically a million features I never even dreamed of! After having a taste of sewing on a decent machine while at Sewing Summit (they were supplied with some wonderful Baby Locks), I am really excited to have a true quilting machine of my own! Now I just have to wait patiently for it to arrive, and hope there are no major hold ups (or fees) at the border! Do you have a Juki or have you tried one before? I would love to hear about your experiences!
And tonight, I have the treat of being able to spend the evening quilting with a friend. Kathy is the one who got me into quilting a couple years back, and it has been about as long since we have managed to arrange a quilt night! Can't wait to spend time doing something I love with a good friend :) Life is good! Hope you are all having a wonderful day as well!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a house for my quilts

My quilts have been accumulating, and generally they have sat in a big old pile in the end of our couch in our family room. I have been contemplating how to store them. I wanted them to be displayed, without talking over the house and to ATTEMPT to make them look tidy (the "pile" never quite stayed that way!). So, the other day I made a trip to Home Sense....man, I love that store. Basically a big Winners/ TJ Maxx full of discounted home furnishings (drool). Being across the city, I don't make it there often, but this time, I hit the jackpot and found, among other things, the perfect home for my quilts!


A large rustic looking wooden sideboard, with glass doors to show off the colors of my quilts. And PLENTY of room for more :)


This thing is a tank....was quite comical to anyone watching us get it into our house. Don't think we will ever be able to move it from this spot. I like how it fills in this wall, too. I also got the blue basket there. And no, my family couldn't turn off hockey for one second while I snapped the photos!


Otherwise, it has been a week of doing "have to" instead of "want to" projects. No real quilting or knitting to report. And today, it continues, with this haphazard pile....tax time! How is it that my dog always wants to lie down in the midst of whatever I am trying to organize?


A crazy thing to note- it seems spring has hit Winnipeg much earlier than normal. It was my husband's birthday over the weekend, and while we normally celebrate it surrounded by snow, temperatures soared into the mid 20s (about 75F), and everyone was out in t-shirts and flip flops. Unbelievable!
We die-hard "Winterpeggers" know that an April snow storm is never out of the question, so I feel like I am enjoying the sunshine, all the while looking over my shoulder wondering what punishment lies in wait in payback for this treat! In the meantime, I plan to take time to enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the really long post where I ramble on about a million things.

Well, hello there!

It has been a crazy week or two over here. First order of business: looks like I am finally hacker free. What a pain in the arse! They basically used a virus to disable my antivirus program (but make it look like it was still working), then went into my computer and changed all of my passwords and security questions on my email, etc. They then sent an email out to my contacts saying I was stranded in Scotland and needing money. I was able to get back into my email eventually, having Yahoo revert to older security questions, but all of my inbox emails and contacts had been deleted. So the past week has been spent taking in the computer for a thorough virus cleaning, then trying to set up some new emails and transfer over whatever I could.

The week prior to that, my credit card number had been stolen, so I had to cancel that and call a million places to update...you know that song and dance. I was a bit worried that the two might be related, but it seems like things are all stable now. Throw a wicked ear infection into the mix that lasted 2 weeks and made me deaf and caused the whole right side of my face to go numb so that I thought I was having a stroke, and add a few "extra" work days on top of THAT....well, can you see the kind of crazy I have been experiencing? If I wasn't on so many antibiotics I would have downed a whole lotta wine, let me tell you! But all seems on the mend now, yippee! Let's hope that is the last of the sh*t for awhile!

So, my new email has been updated on the contact page, but just so y'all know, you can now reach me at:

ocdcrafter{at}gmail{dot}com

That said, I can't get my Blogger account to associate with my gmail address, so any time I comment on people's blogs the replies are sent to my old yahoo account. Anyone know how to fix that? If not, I may have to change my email address yet again to a non-Google product. Grrr!!!


Anyways. On to the crafty stuff!

Well, as you can imagine, not a whole lot of crafting done these past few weeks. I am picking my way through some long term larger projects, so here is my progress.

Far far away twin quilt top for The Middle Child. For those who asked, I am using the Fussycut Fairytales pattern by Kate, modified to twin sized. I am done 22 of the 30 blocks I need for the top:


Granny squares. Now up to 14 blocks, these being my newest ones. I am entertaining the idea of a double bed size quilt here.....if I don't lose interest along the way.


The epic sweater. Started this puppy in November, restarted it in January after a big oops, and now have the body done and am working away on sleeves. It actually appears to fit and may even end up being wearable! Stay tuned. On a related note, we are getting an early spring here and all of the snow is melting, so by the time I finish this it will be time to pack it up for summer!


Lastly, just wanted to share what gobbled up much of my last weekend....The Hunger Games trilogy. Have you read these books? I loved them. Devoured them all in 3 days, bi-passed sleep and fully neglected my family to do so. They don't call me OCD for nothing! Can't wait to see the movie later this month!


Well, that should have you all caught up on me. How are you doing?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

hacked!

I have been badly hacked. They have deleted all my contacts and emails from both my personal and OCD e-mail accounts. If you got an e-mail from me, no, I am not trapped in Scotland, and I do not need your money! Block my addresses from your accounts, and I will update a new one on the "contact" page here, soon!

So sorry!
the "real" Kristie

Monday, March 5, 2012

more.

Like I needed more fabric.



But look what followed me home. Big chunks of fabric, justified as quilt backings. They were on sale, after all! And the perfect grey dot....for only $5 per meter!! It would have been wrong not to gobble up that deal. Wrong, I say!

The gingham I bought thinking it would be the perfect back for my Children at Play pinwheels...but not working for me. I continue to dislike this quilt top! Maybe I should just pack it away for a couple years instead of trying to resurrect it! On the plus side, I can see the gingham pairing well in color and style with my granny squares!


Oh yah. And then there was this:


The lastest DS quilt line from JoAnn's, and probably my favorite yet. Greys and yellows?!? Yah, baby! Courtesy of my fabric mule, Kaelin :) She keeps me in supply!

One more big stack of Flea Market Fancy reprint on its way, then....well, the plan is to stop buying fabric for a bit. We'll see ;) I really have a hankering for some of that Vintage Modern.......

Friday, March 2, 2012

fly, butterfly: a memorial quilt

My husband grew up in a small town; the kind where one group of 25 kids go through K-12 together, so they get to know each other pretty well. One of his classmates was Rebecca. I have met her a handful of times, and by some luck of fate she found me online via this blog and we chat from time to time. She is one with a golden heart- when I started to knit last year, she sent me a surprise package of knitting gift tags in support.

Last week I read the terrible news that Rebecca had suffered an unexpected stillbirth of her second child, a daughter. As a parent, or just as a human being, I am sure none of us can imagine anything worse than losing a child.

She has been on my mind and in my heart, and I wanted to provide some comfort. In the obituary for Olivia, they mentioned that donations were being accepted for a bench in a local butterfly park in her memory. "Fly, fly our little butterfly," the notice read. From these words, inspiration for a butterfly quilt was born. Something the family could keep in memory of the baby that they could not.



Simple. Grey for the grey skies that they are facing. A smattering of cheery pink butterflies making their way across the sky...and one wee butterfly veering off on her own path. Framed in a binding with cheerful flowers, to symbolize hope, a silver lining. Pink loopy quilting, like butterflies in flight. A few words incorporated into the loopy quilting...."Olivia," "fly" and "love."


More fluttering butterflies abound of the back, a great print by Valori Wells which was literally in my very first fabric order a couple years back....been hoarding it for awhile waiting for the perfect project.



The back also has a label and a quote, which I thought both lovely and appropriate to the situation:

The butterfly counts not months by moments, and has time enough.
-Rabindranath Tagore


I hope that the quilt can provide a small bit of comfort for Rebecca and her family during this heartbreaking journey.


Quilt stats:

Finished size: 26" by 31"
Design: inspired by this quilt. Butterflies from this template, raw edge appliqu├ęd.
Fabrics: backing is Valori Wells Monarch, front scraps of Nicey Jane, Hunky Dory, DS quilts, Children at Play. Grey solid from local quilt shop.
Binding: Children at Play Meadow
Quilting: loopy stipple in pink cotton thread (note- tried this with my feed dogs up this time as I have seen others try, it worked great!)
Label: I used this product (first time, and I was quite pleased with it!)