Wednesday, October 18, 2017

{Books and Yarn} I'm So Tired of Socks

We all saw this coming, right?  After however many pairs of socks I've finished so far in 2017 I'm at the  point where I just don't want to do another inch of ribbing, or turn another heel. So I'm playing with bookmarks. 

That doesn't make much sense, since I'm working with the exact same needles and the same weight yarn. But - for the moment at least - this is more fun. I'll stick with it until the novelty fades.

At that estate sale in January, the one that had all of the buttons and zippers, I got a sandwich bag of sock yarn leftovers for a quarter. I thought I'd use it to try some Frankensocks, but since I have no idea what the fiber content is or how the yarns will play together, I don't feel at all guilty about using some of it up this way. (There's also the leftover yarn from all of this year's pairs of socks. I've got plenty of options to play with later.)

I've also got a stack of library books I can't wait to read. The boys are taking another class at the library, which means I've got a lot of time there to get myself into trouble.

Death Overdue by Allison Brook

Being promoted to head of programs and evens at the library where she books is a big deal for librarian Carrie Singleton. It means she needs to change her wardrobe, and that she can afford to move into her own place. Too bad one of her co-workers is furious that Carrie got the promotion and tries to sabotage her at every turn. Even worse, the speaker at her first major event drops dead before he can even make his presentation. The murder mystery in this one is overshadowed by Carrie's new life, which includes lots of shopping and eating out. It's upbeat and a great choice for a reader who wants to escape to a nicely haunted library for a few hours.

The Dead Inside and We Can't be Friends by Cyndy Etler

I read these two books back to back and they left me tied in emotional knots. The first book, The Dead Inside, tells the story of Cyndy's sixteen month stay at Straight Inc.  I sort of dimly knew that places like it existed. but I had no idea... When she was a young teen, Cyndy ran away from her abusive home. Her mother responded by signing her into a cult-like inpatient drug treatment facility, even though she had only briefly experimented with beer and pot. After more than a year of physical and mental abuse, she's pronounced "straight" and sent back to her old high school, terrified that just hearing the wrong "druggie music" or speaking to her "druggie friends" will send her into a downward spiral that will leave her dead on the streets. We Can't be Friends tells how Cyndy overcame the brainwashing and started to live a normal life again. Remember how when we were growing up, Go Ask Alice was supposed to scare us away from drugs? Cyndy Etler's books will leave you scared of the treatment facilities. I'd much rather my teens read The Dead Inside and We Can't be Friends, especially the author's notes at the end of the second book. I highly recommend them both, but they aren't "feel good" reads. They'll leave you upset.

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own.   

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gridding Fabric and Sorting Floss is Not the Fun Part

I didn't want to start a new cross stitch project until I finished the lighthouse. One abandoned project is better than two or three abandoned projects, right?

Then I had the lighthouse finished and nothing else ready to work on and spent three or four days avoiding the task of sorting floss and gridding the fabric. Nowt that the boring part is done, I'm enjoying myself.

The fabric is 18-count, which is harder on my eyes. But the needle is thinner and that's making the stitching easier, once I figure out where to jab through the fabric. My stitches are getting neater, too.

This is one of those little Dimensions Gold kits. I have absolutely no memory of buying it, but it was up in the sewing room and has clearance stickers from Craft Warehouse. And it's definitely something I'd pick out if I was shopping today. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Second Panel

I got the second panel for my project bag done last night. 

The corners don't match. In some spots, they're wildly off...but I'm willing to live with that since I'm making it for myself and after the events of the past couple of weeks I'll be much happier to have it finished and ready to use than to have it sitting in a drawer forever waiting for me to get it right.

Although I do wish my machine was cooperating and I could free motion a really dense stipple pattern that would hide the mistakes...

This post is linked to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Someone Else's Stash of Notions

Remember that box of buttons that I posted about yesterday? I kept wondering about it, especially after I took a closer look at the labels in the picture. The box itself is probably worth something, and I need curved safety pins and bobbins. 

We had to run up to Salem again on Friday and were even on the right end of town, so I stopped by the thrift store even though craft stuff always gets scooped up fast.

Look what was sitting there waiting for me --  

It leaked buttons and needle threaders all over the car on the drive home. I think I've got someone's entire notions stash here and the folks at the thrift shop just wrapped some clear plastic around it to hold the drawers shut and slapped a price tag on it. That's not their usual pricing strategy.

There are at least ten packs of unopened machine needles that will fit my machine, along with some others I'm not sure about. I think the others might work on the Featherweight, but I'll do some research first. None are my preferred size, but there are leather needles and denim needles and ball point needles...all of the stuff that I need once in a blue moon but refuse to make a special trip to town and spend money on.  I'll use those. Or my daughter will.

There are twenty full packages of hand sewing needles -- tapestry needles, darning needles, applique needles, and those wicked curved ones for fixing upholstery. I never ever have enough needles, so these are a welcome addition to my stash.

I've now got all of the sew in snaps and hook and eye closures I could ever need...

I don't know if a needle threader will help with my stitching, but now that I've got a few I'll give it a shot.

Don't forget about the buttons. I counted 190 complete cards of them and didn't even try to figure out how many loose buttons there were. Our mystery stitcher also apparently kept every one of those little envelopes with extra buttons for repairing your garment. They're not old enough to be interesting, but buttons are buttons.

The very specific labels on the drawers intrigued me. No bobbins in the bobbin drawer or curved safety pins, but there were eighteen iron safe nylon snaps in the drawer that claimed to hold them. The machine brush and seam ripper were there as promised.

It would be smart of me to clear out the drawers and fill them with my own notions. I'd feel a bit bad about removing the labels that are already there, but I don't have enough nylon snaps to keep a specific drawer for them.

How do you organize your little notions?


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