Sunday, March 16, 2014

A week without knitting

(well, mostly without knitting - let's not get crazy now)

Last week's marathon knitting was not sustainable. I know my limits, and it's fun to test them sometimes, but I also know when to stop. So this week, I knit a few rows on my sock-in-progress each day,

I swear they're getting longer...

but otherwise cast the knitting aside for some other pursuits.

Instead, I:

worked on my jean quilt

The quilt requires 80 of these 8"x8" squares. I'm stacking groups of 8 and binder-clipping them to keep track; so far I have 6 stacks down and only 4 to go. The black fabric in the first picture is for the backing. It's polar fleece from Joann's Fabric, and my plan is to hand-tie the quilt-top to the backing using white thread once it's assembled. Since the backing is fleece and the denim top is already heaving, I'm skipping batting. The edging/binding is under debate - I'm a bit concerned that if I went a full quilt-binding route, my little sewing machine wouldn't be able to handle stitching through all of the layers. My other thought was to sew the edges wrong-side-together and turn inside out, and then do a wide (mostly decorative) running stitch around the border with the same thread used for tying.

organized my jewelry

No before picture, but just imagine all of that strewn on a dresser and you'll get the idea. Eventually I'd like to make something pretty to hang my necklaces and earrings on. For now, I figured repurposing this unused filing system would do the trick. 

bought flowers, baked, and baked 

Spring is coming, but it can't get here soon enough! I found some freesia at the grocery store, and I just love how it fills up the house with its scent.

The little pastries are Eccles Cakes. I got the idea from Kate Davies, who recently Instagrammed a picture of an authentic one. It is such a very British desert, and was quite an adventure to prepare! I want to document my experience with the recipe, so I'll try to get another post in this week with the full details. In short, they were quite tasty and I would definitely make them again (but it's not worth your time to hunt for currants if you can't find any locally).

The cake is my absolute favorite chocolate cake, which happens to be flourless and thus gluten-free. It is dead simple to make, rich, and oh-so decadent. If you want to make some, I highly suggest inviting some friends over to share. It is excellent on its own and also pairs quite nicely with whipped cream & berries. yum!

performed more Wilton's dyeing experiments, aimed towards finally making a Color Affection

Before - dyeing the blue & tan to coordinate with the yellow
The blue and tan yarns are both Vally Yarns Charlemont, a Merino-Silk-Nylon blend. The tan took the dye wonderfully, but the blue stayed very close to its original color. I may find something else to dye to get the burgandy-purple color I was aiming'll be a while before I start knitting this project, so I have time.

The yellow yarn was my first Wilton's experiment, stashed here.

and spun up an ounce or so of fiber on my drop spindle. 

I'm getting faster and more consistent, but it would help if I didn't spin for a week and put it away for a month. I have too many hobbies. In related news, Craftsy just had a flash sale and I scooped up two spinning classes - From Fluff to Stuff (basic spindling) and Spinning Dyed Fibers. I'm very excited and will let you know how they go once I get a chance to dig in.

All in all, it was a very productive week! This week, it'll be back to knitting-as-usual :-)


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