Sewing – 15 minutes at a time

It seems like lately I can’t eke out a full hour or 2 to get some sewing done. Then again, even when I manage to find the time, I have a hard time focusing on just one project start to finish. It might have something to do with working in short bursts and having a bunch of stuff started. Or that I allow myself the luxury of flitting around from project to project.

Let me tell you about the past few months of sewing. I have 30 minutes this week. Next week 45 minutes. 3 weeks from now, an hour…. This is how it goes. Bits and pieces of time. What do I do with that time?

15 minutes: I’ll pick up a piece of mending that needs to get done. There is almost always mending that is needed. Maybe I left the last project with a couple of hems that need to be finished or a pocket to be sewn. I can get that done in 15.
30 minutes: I’ll cut out a pattern or maybe piece something today. Maybe I’ll heat up the iron and slap on some interfacing that needs to be done.
45 minutes+: I’ll do all the things I can cram in. Cut, piece, finish…but I probably won’t iron because I’ve found all this time and who wants to waste that on an ironing date?

Last night I had 45 minutes. This morning, I had 15. That’s a whole hour of sewing!!!
I managed to mend a couple of pairs of shorts then I pieced together the bodices on a couple of shirts and capped it all off with finishing the hems. This morning, I managed to finish the hems on a third shirt! I also managed to use up all the serger thread in one bobbin so the next time I get to sew, the first 15 will be spent threading, re-threading, swearing and then re-threading that thing. Still, I managed to get three pieces all done and wearable!!!

HOMEMADE SMOCKY GOODNESS IS MINE!

First up is the last finished. It’s a Dress no. 2 from 100 Acts of Sewing. I think I mentioned cutting out more of these and also buying the new Dress No 3 pattern. This one, like the last one of these I showed off is made of Linen. Unlike the last one that I knew needed pockets, I am undecided about this one. One pocket or two?
dressno2-orange-pockets

Next is one of my favorite patterns and maybe I’ll talk about that again some other day as I’ve made a bunch of things from this pattern. It’s McCalls 5106 (discontinued). I made it with a particularly lush piece of batik that I’ve had in my stash for a while.
mccalls5106-batik

Finally is the one I chose to wear today. New Look pattern 6871. It’s the second one of these I’ve made. The last one was a little short. This one fits nice and I do like it much better. I just wish I had had enough of the fabric to add on pockets.
newlook6871-batik

And we can all thank my teenage daughter for the hilarious photos.

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BUSTER!

I neglected to tell you about the last birth on this farm for the year. Or maybe I should last planned birth. You never know when an accident might happen and I don’t want to anger whatever law/rule/god it is that presides over farm woopsies. Buster was the final planned birth on the farm. He’s the son of my favorite goat, Gypsy. He reminds me of his mom as a kid so much. He’ll follow us around and nibble at our legs then run off. He’s also got gorgeous curls and and really just wants to be pet.
buster1
It’s hard to tell how wee he is but his mom isn’t a giant either.
buster2
His favorite pass time really does seem to be jumping into what ever hay bin he can. Every chance he can get. If he sees edible hay, he is in the feeder. Stinker.

He’s a little bigger now than in the previous photos and his black fluff is being sunbleached a pretty chocolate brown. By this age, Gypsy had started to grey.
buster3
He’s gaining on his mom fast. He’ll be two months on Monday. Just look at his sweet face!
busternow-1
We do plan to keep him but because of his relation to all the angoras, he’ll have to have his manhood altered. Monday he gets separated until he’s old enough for the procedure. My inquisitve happy little boy will get all fixed up and then he can be a goober with siblings Misty and Bleu, once again.
buster-curious1

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Least to Most

Once upon a time I had some minty green linen. It wasn’t my color but it was on sale. I knew I could dye it so I set about with some shibori like dyeing and did it up with a little darker green.
dressno2-linen-green
Only it didn’t cover it all as it wasn’t supposed to. I thought it would be good enough.

I made myself a dress/smock out of it and hated it. I couldn’t even finish the hems and pockets. I disliked it that much. So overdyed in a really dark green. That didn’t do it. I overdyed it in deep blue. That didn’t do it. I then dyed it in black. Still not right. I had thoughts of tossing it in the trash and we’d never speak of this thing again let alone take pictures and show you all. Then I decided to do one last thing. I took a spray bottle of bleach to it.

VOILA!
The bestest most favorite smock I own.
dressno2-linen-green2

And ya know, in all my dyeing efforts and tirades, I had ripped a little hole in the back. Not all is lost folks! I made it a patch that makes it even better still.
dressno2-linen-green3

More dresses coming up. When there is a success it always fuels more. Right?
dress-no2

Sonya released a new pattern yesterday. I’m hoping to get a couple more of “Dress No. 2” done by the time No.3 gets here.

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Less Is More

The title up there is for the sweater that I actually finished knitting though it might apply to my blogging. To me, Less blogging means more other things are getting done. Though I couldn’t tell what that more might be. I thought of posting a “catching up, I’ve been gone 2 months” but I couldn’t really come up with too many momentous things that have happened in these past 2 months, though someone will likely remind me of what I couldn’t remember right this minute.

I taught some stuff. I vended at a couple of shows. I cleaned some barns. We have another baby goat. School has ended for one kid but the one that’s being homeschooled is definitely still dragging her feet about doing her finish up work for the end of the year. Obviously I’m not all that tough with her. She’s the one that will be missing out on her summer if she’s doing schoolwork so I’ll let her drag by a bit longer to teach her a lesson in procrastination.

Oh. I also made some yarn and did some knitting. I had a run in with one of the sheep and I hurt my hand which is still bothering me so knitting has been precious and slow at times. Which makes a finished sweater a tiny miracle. I am a champion project starter, not so worried about finishing these things so actually, any finished project is a tiny miracle some times. Still, I thought a new sweater might be cool instead of starting one. No, wait, I wanted to start one too. So I started one and then I decided to finish one. A little backwards from most people but it worked out because I finished a sweater.

We’re not going to talk about the started sweater today – just the one that’s finished. I’ve already stolen enough of it’s spotlight.

lim3-2

It’s all 2 ply handspun.
Top to bottom:
1.Spunky Eclectic Fibers – Standing Stones
2. Hello Yarn – Still Life
3.Southern Cross Fibres – Gunslinger
4. Southern Cross Fibres – Yellowstone
5. Spunky Eclectic – Black Forest

lim3-4

I adore this sweater. I’m not usually a pull over person but this one isn’t thick, it’s long and it fits really well. I made modifications to the Driftwood pattern beyond the Less is More coloring. I didn’t follow the stitch counts exactly because I like to knit 2 different sizes at once. Though I’ve been working on it long enough and made so few notes that I can’t tell you exactly what I did. I would absolutely recommend this pattern though to anyone that wanted to make it.

And just so you can see me looking all bonkers:
lim3-3

Thanks to my teen for the 40+ pictures of me with crazy eyes or moving.

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Babies!!!

Just this past Monday while I was still driving back from the Yarn Cupboard Retreat (which was awesome by the way), two baby girlie goats were born here.
roseie
We bred our Cashgora Rosie to a lovely Angora buck just to see how her udder would shape up (would she be a milker?) and what the fiber would be like on the 75% Angora babies. We also bred our full Angora girl to the same buck. She’s due in a few more weeks and I’m sure you’ll see another blog post about her.

What’s Cashgora fiber? Cashgora is a fiber that results from crossing an Angora goat with a Cashmere producing goat. As of this moment there is no specific breed of goat labeled Cashmere. It’s being worked on and there are certainly goats that put off a more reliable coat of cashmere. When a goat breed is named officially then it’s possible this type of fiber would get renamed or the definition shifted. This is also like Pygora. Pygora is specifically Pygmy and Angora. Nigora is specifically Nigerian Dwarf and Angora.

Anyway. Baby pics. Rosie belongs to my 9 year old and she’s already named the 2 babies:
misty-hide
Misty
hidingbabies
Who likes to hide a lot

bleu-1
Bleu
bump
Who is curious and in my face (or the face of the camera). She’s also the healthier of the two. Misty had a hard time on Monday but Bleu is rip roaring and ready to go. Hopefully Misty will catch up quickly.
both-play
These two are darn cute when they can play together.
both-hiding

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Can’t knit…

CAN’T KNIT!
Holy cow. Can’t knit.
Can’t knit.

That’s what keeps going through my head. I injured my left thumb wrangling sheep last week and I can’t knit. It’s excruciating to just think of it. I tried every little way I could think of to do it and it just isn’t happening. Oh, I can still spin but the knitting isn’t happening. Even spinning, I need to limit the time. My spinning method now can only be called the Claw…
Maybe more on that another time

Back to the issue at hand. What is a girl to do? I sat there and whined about not knitting. Certainly that works but it loses it’s charm fast.

Then sitting at Port Fiber this past weekend, looking at their wall of Hockett looms I remembered that I had one too. I used it a couple of times to weave wee color samples but never bothered to set it up for tapestry. I’m traveling again this weekend so I wonder if I could set up a tapestry project to do instead of knitting.

Yes. Yes I can.

This is my kit:
togokit
This is what’s in it:
tapestrytogo
The project with extra threads to finish it off, the warp for another project (can’t have just one), and a wee spindle with fiber to make yarn for the next project or even this one should I run out of the blues.

It’s just a simple doodle with no rhyme or reason really.
tapestrydoodle
If you make it out to the Yarn Cupboard Retreat this weekend, you’ll see me with my little loom or spinning on my MegaSAL project
lil-bit

PS
If you want a Hockett loom – see Port Fiber Or contact them directly for different sizes and woods. We don’t carry them here at Spunky Eclectic but I’m looking into other brands of small tapestry looms so stay tuned. We do carry Schacht and Glimakra ones that are lovely though a little bigger.

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I get around.

Well. I used to get around and it seems as though this year I will be getting around again. I don’t mean it in the filthy sense but in the leaving my own neighborhood sense. I’ve pretty well stuck close to home while the kids were young but they’re older now and they can help take care of the barn yard more. In fact, there are some days they do all the chores. It’s such a relief to have that help some days. I’m even planning on teaching the teenager to run the shop this summer so I won’t have to close the shop every time I leave. She knows how to spin, crochet and weave so I’m hoping she’ll fit right in.

What all that means is that I can do a few more workshops and teaching engagements away from home.

Wanna see where I’ll be?
teaching2015

April 11-12 Port Fiber in Portland Maine (All the Color, Longdraw truth or dare, and All the singles yarns)

April 18-19 at the Yarn Cupboard Retreat in Syracuse NY (All the Singles Yarns, Longdraw truth or dare, Woolen vs Worsted Throwdown)

May 16-17 – Minnesota Shepherd’s Harvest (All the Color, Longdraw truth or dare, Woolen vs Worsted Throwdown)

June 27 – Teaching Corespinning/Plying (full day) at WEBS in No. Hampton MA

September 12-13 – Rhode Island Spinner’s Guild – (Sock it to me!) at Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

October 15-18 – Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool – (The Yarn you Want, Textures for Traditionals, Get Fleeced, Gotta Have Shades, All the Single Yarns, and
It’s so Fluffy I could Die) – Rhinebeck NY

I’m working on others like Philadelphia and I’ve booked at least one for next year in New Jersey. I’m still running around with Spunky Eclectic at 4 more festivals plus trunk shows at the Yarn Cupboard in April and The Rhode Island Spinner’s Guild in September. Should make for a busy year. I’m working on some new classes and new samples even for the older classes. I’m making gobs of yarns and that’s what it’s all about, right?

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