Strawberries Added for Stability

I’m one of those people who perpetually is putting holes in their jeans. Rather than throwing them out and constantly buying new jeans, I’ve been trying my hand at mending. I usually find a  fabric that’s pretty and patch the hole with that, if there is a large one. I sometimes just sew it back together if it’s a small rip, but I like being able to add to my jeans in this way.

When a hole ripped in in one of my favorite pairs of jeans, I knew I could save them. I finally got around to pulling out the needle and thread the other day. In the beginning they looked like this.IMG_0009

It had originally been just a small rip that I had sewn shut using a matching thread. Then, a hole started to rip around the seam. I would need to unpick the original seam to open up both of the holes.

IMG_0022 copyOnce I got both holes opened up I had to decide what fabric to use to patch it. I was torn between some blue calico-like fabric and some white strawberry-dotted scraps. I ended up choosing the strawberry fabric since there was less of it left and I could possible use the blue for a small project later on down the road. (A DPN cozy maybe?)

Now that I had the fabric choice sorted I just had to gather the rest of my materials. I generally use thread in a color close to that of the fabric(doubled over for strength), and a square of fabric. This time I added my mini three inch embroidery hoop so that it would make the hand-sewing easier.

IMG_0075The first step was to sew around the hole using a small back stitch. I cleared away any loose threads before beginning as well.

I decided, as I was working, that since the fabric below the hole seemed rather thin, I’d add some embroidered strawberries to add more points of connection to the fabric below.

IMG_0077My embroidery skills aren’t that great so I wasn’t sure how well they would turn out. I originally thought I would do one large one but I ended up five small ones because  I just couldn’t  make the larger ones look even remotely close to right.

I love my new pants and it’s amazing what you can do with an hour here or there and some scraps of fabric.


This Has Gotten Away From Me

After I finished  my super secret project (pictures coming soon). I found my needles relatively empty, so I grabbed their equally lovely fraternal twin; my hook! I pulled out my Rugged Ripples Afghan (By Stephanie Gage). I was partway through working a row of light green. I went up and back with rather quickly, and as I hooked my way along, I could clearly tell (even though I am but a novice hooker) that something was terribly wrong.

So, I did what I had to do. I unrolled it. Now, you might be wondering why I keep it rolled up all of the time. I have always done that because it’s rather… huge. Anyway, I unrolled it and took a good look at it. Sure enough, the ripple pattern was starting to get all wonky. Rather than unravel all 226 inches of work (I measured, it’s 113 inches each way), I decided to mark out every stitch repeat using clothespins and rubber bands and a random twist tie since my split ring stitch markers have a tendency to pop open at the slightest suggestion.

IMG_8878Of course, as soon as I laid the blanket out on the living room floor, it attracted its biggest fan. Persephone. She just loves it. Of course, she’s fond of all of the soft things that come off of my hook or needles, but there’s just something about this blanket…

She haughtily surveyed me as I worked, counting out every twelve stitches. As I said before, I marked them, mostly using clothespins. Well, about halfway through it was just too much for her to bear, and she had to attack.

It quickly became a photo shoot of the elegant huntress, and that is why I don’t have any pictures of what I discovered to be the problem. I had added about six stitches that weren’t needed and they were throwing off the ripple pattern every second row. I’m planning to very carefully decrease them away. It’ll create gradual lump along the edge, but hopefully, when I add a border it won’t be to noticeable, and besides, with over 17,025 square inches of blanket (yes I just did the math), I don’t think it’ll be that noticeable.

All I can leave you with, is this last picture of the mighty predator, and the request for crocheting mojo, and finding worsted weight yarn scraps mojo.


A Pile of Rocks

It was Monday or Tuesday or so when I decided it was high time to get my seeds into the ground. I had been home from college for at least 72 hours, after all. I dug out the seed packets I had bought myself to celebrate reaching 50,000 words in my novel back at the beginning of March.

I’m surprised I held out as long as I did. As soon as the seed isles pop up in Walmart and Lowe’s they begin their annual springtime siren call. I have to go browse, even just for five minutes, every time we end up there. And since it’s the only grocery store (Walmart, that is, not Lowe’s) within a half hour of my college we end up there a lot (unfortunately, but I digress).

Back to the garden. I headed out into what I lovingly call our ‘Maximum Security Prison’ (I should have taken a picture of it, shouldn’t I?), our garden. Long story short, my mom went a little crazy with the chicken wire to protect our berry bushes.

I got down on my hands and knees and spent a few hours tilling a  little corner with a trowel for my radishes and carrots. (The Tomato seedlings I’m nursing won’t be going in the ground for another 2 weeks)

After getting the veggies in the ground I started planting my dye plants.IMG_8832 I first planted some Marigold seeds by the path past our (tiny) grape arbor and wood stove, then, on the other side of the path I planted  some Calendula (also, apparently known as ‘Pot Marigold’) next to our porch. I have never planted Calendula and was intrigued by the shape of the seeds. Something to remember, perhaps for a book idea, later on down the road?


Anyway, by the time I was done all I had to show for it were knees and hands that looked like these and a pile of rocks (dirty foot for scale).

I can’t wait to see, though, the fruits of my labors begin to break through the soil. The first should be the radishes in a few days or so.


I’ve been knitting since sixth or seventh grade, that’s, let’s  see… seven or eight years. (Really?) I would describe myself as an advanced-intermediate knitter.  I  can handle pretty much anything the average knitting pattern can throw at me.

So, when I decided that I was going to knit my mom the BLT Shawl (By Cheri McEwen) for Mother’s Day I figured it would be a breeze.  Sure, it’s been a while since I knit lace (since, Thunderstorm) but its nothing I can’t handle right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Well, nothing was wring with the pattern itself or the instructions. They were clear and the result is lovely. For whatever reason, my brain did not want to remember or understand the first lace motif. It’s simple, but it just didn’t connect.

IMG_8815The lace had knocked me back on my arse, simple enough. It was slightly startling, to struggle with my knitting. I had figured that I was at the point where knitting was something I had a firm grasp upon. Rather like a well trained horse or experienced musician’s grasp of the scales.

After a few false starts and some mild cursing I got it down and the knitting has flowed since (which is a good thing, since Mother’s day in the US is Sunday, May eighth).

It’s given me something to think about, showing my knitting some respect. I’m not as smart as I thought I was, or at least, there’s a lot more knowledge than I realized. I’m glad this pretty little pattern decided to give me a kick in the pants, because I needed one. Knitting is a give and take relationship with a infinite well of knowledge to explore and respect.