leftovers and serger

A friend invited my family over today for “leftovers brunch”, which, frankly, is a brilliant idea. I didn’t get any photos of the beautiful food, including some nuts roasted with herbs and garlic that I ned to try to make myself. I also didn’t get any photos of the wonderful people who were there. I did get a picture of our dogs playing.

Rainbow and Docker

They spent a lot of time running around and chasing each other but didn’t find the tug of war toy until it was almost time to leave. Silly dogs.

As I mentioned, I was planning on getting a serger. Well, yesterday the serger I wanted was Amazon’s deal of the day so I ordered it and it arrived this evening!


Craftsy was having a Black Friday sale on their classes so I signed up for a beginning serger class that someone recommended on Facebook as well as a couple of other classes. I still need to order thread, then I can start watching the videos for the serger class. I am very excited!


contemplating sewing

I drove up to San Francisco today to meet my mom at Britex Fabrics. They are moving and were having a sale. I was looking for knit fabrics because I have my eye on a serger and want to make tunics and/or dresses and possibly leggings. I found some knit that I think will work for a tunic/dress.


It has tiny stripes that I hope don’t drive me crazy. Fingers crossed!

I do want to try my hand at pants and leggings one of these days too but the knits with enough stretch weren’t marked down very much and I also don’t want to get ahead of myself.

new sjsa blocks and coco

Note: I wrote this post on 11/11 and hit publish then, but it didn’t show up and I have no idea why!

I received two more blocks to embroider from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. This time they explicitly said I could share photos in progress, so I will!

I only got one the previous time and these seem more complicated. I guess that means they liked my work! I need to figure out what I’m going to do with these ones.

They also sent me a patch. Now I think I need a sewing bag to put it on.

Social Justice Sewing Academy

My cousin works at Pixar and invited us to a friends and family preview screening of Coco. My kids and I have gotten to see Inside Out and the Good Dinosaur this way as well. I feel very lucky that he invites us to enjoy these movies ahead of their release and in the Pixar theater. When you attend these screenings, they give you commemorative tickets with a picture of the character on one side. I still cherish my Sadness one from Inside Out. This time we got Ernesto de la Cruz, Hector, and Pepita.

coco tickets

Pepita was handed to me but Stefan claimed it. I’m okay with that.

catching up

Okay, I have been pretty busy in the past year, craftwise. I didn’t realize it until I sat down to look at all the pictures and update you. All of my project information can be found on my Ravelry profile. Pardon me for not linking individually!

First up, January was all about Pussy Hats for the Women’s March. I made 18 in the end, I think. I gave some to local friends and  mailed others off to far away relatives, friends, and friends of friends). It was a good project for me to throw my energy into in the aftermath of the election. My hats went to the Oakland, San Jose, DC, and Philadelphia marches.

Speaking of hats, I also knit three Habitat hats, one for my older son and two for my nieces.

Then I knit my dog two sweaters, one too big and one too small. I am thinking it’s time to knit him the just right Goldilocks sweater.

In February, my cousin’s daughter had a birthday, so a dress for her American Girl doll was next up.

My younger son already had a hat (a Droste hat, not Habitat, but similar style to Habitat) but I knit him a sweater in the same yarn for our trip to the Netherlands. He is seen here enjoying an amazing hot chocolate on said trip.


While we were there, I decided I needed a hat too, so I knit myself a star-crossed slouchy beret.


In April, a teacher at my children’s elementary school was pregnant and moving away, so, of course, she had to get a bunny before she left.



In May, I taught a knitting class with my Textiles co-lead as one of the parties for our silent auction, so I had to knit a cowl for that.

My younger niece had a birthday in June and asked for a “fuzzy blue blanket”, so I had to oblige, of course!


Last but not least, I finished a silk cowl I was knitting in a beautiful gradient yarn! This reminds me that it is almost cold enough to wear this one. I should figure out where I stashed it once it was done.


Last-ish, actually, because there were some non-knitting crafts. I drew some robots and colored with my water color pencils.

My younger son and I each embroidered something for his 5th grade teacher. (He loves sloths, so he made the sloth for her.)


I sewed a dress that I am not sure I like, but I am glad I got the practice sewing garments. It’s a little too tenty on me and the blue color was an unfortunate choice that ended up making it look a bit like a scrub shirt.


Finally, I embellished and embroidered on this piece of an art quilt that a student at the Social Justice Sewing Academy put together. I liked the message, I hope the student likes what I did with it.


Whew! Lots of catching up! Tomorrow I will share my current WIPs.

taking a break

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and iPad today. I started the day working at my younger son’s school in the sewing class that I have either lead or helped lead for since 2008. I often check my phone while our lead is talking to the kids, if I don’t have anything else to do and I got wrapped up in Facebook and all the (very understandable) hurt and anger that people are feeling and found myself arguing with a friend of a friend in her comments. In that moment, I felt like I needed someone to take Facebook away from me and not let me back on. This afternoon, I decided to be that someone. Obviously, I can still get back on but not having the app reminds me not to check it. Not to get sucked in. Instead, I donated money this evening to the ACLU and to Planned Parenthood and I will participate in other productive ways in the coming months but for now, I needed to step back and breathe.

Instead, I want to focus on the work I am doing to make my small part of the world better: my volunteering for the school. As I said, I have been working in the sewing class since my older son’s kindergarten year. This is my 18th session of the class. I know I am resistant to change but I’m still amazed that i have been doing it so long. One of my younger son’s classmates is in the class this time and he decided to draw his own design for the embroidery. He drew this cute cat face.

arts focus embroidery
M’s cat

I love to see the kids enjoy embroidery. Some of them struggle with it, some do intricate stitches and some, like this kid, have a vision of what they want to make and just go for it. He almost completed it today.

One of the kids said to me that embroidery takes a lot of time, and old people must do it because they have a lot of time on their hands. I told her that I embroider even though I don’t always have a lot of time because it just feels good to make things. It really does, it feels good to make things. So that is what I am going to do: make things and breathe and work on helping the kids at my child’s school appreciate the enjoyment of handwork and making things. Just because.

For those of you who came to this from Facebook, you can always comment here, or email me, or follow me on Instagram, or text me. I’m not hiding.

and then someone ELSE barfed…

…and it was me. No post yesterday, I spent about 36 hours either in my bed or on the couch. I got through the last two episodes of Master of None, although I fell asleep in the middle of the last one. That is no reflection on the show, just that being sick was wearing me out. I enjoyed the whole season quite a bit. I hope he makes more.

This morning I wasn’t feeling that much better but I did have energy to start moving around again, and my energy slowly returned during the day. I enjoyed the leftovers from the Thanksgiving dinner that I had missed. My husband brought me home quite a spread. I ended up eating some of it for lunch and dinner. The rest might have to be breakfast because we are having second Thanksgiving tomorrow. Yum!

I got to work on our holiday card. I wanted to draw something for our card this year and peace has been on my mind recently, so I tried to make a peace zentangle.


I am not sure the peace sign read well enough and I decided I didn’t like either the colors or patterns I had chosen, so I tried a more traditional winter scene route.


I ended up feeling like there were too many trees (which my 13-year-old son thought was ridiculous). Also, I smudged one of the trees with my thumb. So I tried again.


I was happy with this but not ecstatic. Then I had an idea to try something with one of my coloring pages.


This is not my final piece but it is along the same lines as what I ended up using. I’m pretty happy with the one I chose for the card and I like this one, maybe for a holiday profile picture!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or Thursday, if you are not in the US) and that you weren’t too sick for the turkey, like I was. I finished a knitted item today, but I want to block it before taking a picture to show it off. Hopefully tomorrow!

rainbows and LEDs

It rained a tiny bit today! Probably not enough to really get excited about but there was a lovely double rainbow after the tiny rain shower.

double rainbow at school

In other news, I cut felt, threaded conductive thread onto needles, waxed the thread, and prepped a few of the LED cuffs for the kinders who might have a hard time with the sewing.

prepped LED cuffs

I am excited to see what the kids do with this project tomorrow! I hope to get some pictures to share.

2012 FO Round-up

I only finished 15 17 knitted, crocheted or sewn objects this year, and none of them sweaters!

basket for mom silvery scarf The orange ruffles were for Kristi, apparently binary cable hat Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set Annis FInished Memorable Yarn bag Snowball likes it! Yarmulkes for sale! It's Warm baby zg's bunny Finished Fitted Mitts crown for tyrion my jogless jog Finished chemo stripes teacher gifts Gingerbread house ornament

I’m noticing that only two of them are for me (the binary cable hat and the tapestry cowl) and I can’t find one of those two (the hat). Darn. I think that’s because I knit two shawl/scarf things that ended up being for other people (lintilla and annis) even though I thought they were going to be for me. Also, I have several sweaters on the needles for myself but none of them are getting finished.

The last two items pictured never got shown off here. I made bird ornaments for my children’s teachers.

teacher gifts

And a cute (if I must say so myself) gingerbread house ornament for a friend.

Gingerbread house ornament

I really like they way they all turned out. I wish I had set aside more time in December for sewing ornaments. Next year! (Maybe.)

I attempted to calculate the yardage of yarn currently in my stash but my spreadsheet program and Google docs both refused to read the file that Ravelry exports. I’m going to say that’s the universe telling me that I don’t need to know. I’m actually glad because 2012 was supposed to be my year of not buying yarn except at Stitches and I know I didn’t stick to that. Also, I didn’t finish many projects and no sweaters so that means not a lot of yarn leaving. Let’s just agree that I probably have too much yarn and leave it at that.

NaBloPoMo round up

I missed four days this time around. Also, I talked a lot about not having anything to say. Sorry about that.

In knitting news, I’m up to round 58 out of 67 of the chart from hell. It’s 67 rounds of non-repeating colorwork with 110 sts per round. That is ridiculous. I am not sure why I even decided it was a good plan. Actually, I know why, the cowl is gorgeous when it’s done! I hope mine will be.

In Textiles news, my mom finished putting together both quilt tops and backs (thanks, Mom!) and the kids and I put the back, batting, and top together and they have worked on quilting both. They are, as usual, big into the beads for embellishment. They have one more week to work on them and then the quilts come home for me to pretend I’m going to bind them until a couple of weeks before the Arts Focus show. At least I know myself, right?

We got our Christmas tree today and then went off to the JCC for a latke cook-off. Gotta love a multi-cultural family, right? We didn’t stick around to see who won but in my mind there was one clear winner. Although, it’s hard to make a bad latke, I think. There are just less good ones.

See you next November! (Or before, I really do hope to keep up with regular posting but I know myself, as stated previously, and I’m not good at that.)

NaBloPoMo Day 25: sewing as fast as I can

This is what I did today.

arts focus quilt

That is half of one of the two quilts I needed to put together for the kids to quilt on Thursday. I did manage to get all of the squares neatened up, ironed, and trimmed to the same size with a lot of help from my mom. She has also volunteered to finish putting them both together. Whew!

In knitting news, I am up to row 41 on the 67 row chart for that cowl. I’m actually enjoying working on it again! Also, I want to be able to wear it this winter. The real test will be if I hide it away again when it gets to the point where I have to kitchener all 110 stitches. Yikes. I will worry about that when the time comes, though.