Wednesday 14 February 2024

Back to the start, or maybe come full circle, or who knows what


That was the first ever photo I posted to my instagram account @yarnlab. Way back in March of 2015.

And this is the first ever photo I posted to my new one, @sara_yarnlab, February of 2024.

In an instant today I lost almost a decade to the interwebs.

There is so much time between those two photos, so much life lived, tears cried and joys shared. So many stitches knit, and ripped and woven and torn.

And yet I don't think I'm much different than I was then. Maybe I can achieve what I am setting out to this time.

That first photo is of some yarn, recycled from a sweater and dyed on my stovetop, with food colouring. I had these grand plans to sell recycled and redyed yarn at markets, and I even managed to do so a couple of times.

Here's a photo I took just a month earlier.

I had just come back from a trip to Hawaii, for the Wanderlust Yoga retreat (festival?) where I had discovered something about myself. I really wanted my life to be a more creative pursuit. 

I was desperately unhappy at grad school, with anxiety attacks and depression and who knows what. I was taking some much needed me time, and all I wanted to do was create and plan a life after my doctorate where I could spend my time being creative. 

(grad school me)

I was on a beach in paradise and spinning yarn on a drop spindle and in bliss. I can still look at that picture and feel it. Deeply.

But I had to finish my degree first, or I would hate myself for giving up.

And then months later we found out we were pregnant with the twins.

And we spend the next 7 or so years on that treadmill, speed turned up to max, running to keep up.

And just as things started to settle, around November 2022, I began to think again about my goals and what I wanted. I focused on a mantra of 'if not now, then when'.

Look at me, smiling and out running and wearing wool and motivated AF.

And then Bam, kick me in my soul why don't you. I got f*ing cancer!

Yet I still produced videos and knitting and goodness. I met the YouTube goals (more on those later) that I set for 2023, I chugged along, motivated and strengthened by what I wanted. By the end goal. 

And just like on that beach with that spindle, I can see what I want and dang it I'm going after it. 

And did this post make any sense at all? Maybe not to you, but to me it did. 

(Some singles waiting to be plied)

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Mad Hatter Quilt Block - Art East Quilting Co Mad Quilt Party


Friends I pieced together some cake today.

From pieces that have been sitting on my table since I want to say mid November.

From a block of the month that I promised myself I wouldn't get behind on (so much for that).

I also finished putting together the Mad Hatter (I may need to stick a 10/6 price tag on his hat later on).

These blocks are from the spectacular Art East Quilting Co. and their Mad Quilt Party annual quilt along. The fabrics are all Tula Pink True Colors by Free Spirit Fabrics, so you know you can't go wrong there.

And sure, do I have another quilt kit similarily themed?

Tula Pinks Mad Hatter's Tea Party Quilt

But I am a sucker for a good block of the month, and for starting way too many projects without finishing them. So you know, how it goes.

I've already finished month 2, the March Hare and his pocket watch.

And month 1, Alice, of course. 

The kit and pattern have been spectacular so far, highly recommend. And they leave me drooling over their most recent offering, the Folk Art Sampler block of the month.

But I need to be a good crafter who is working down her stash not up, so I'll hold off on that for now. But if you're interested, please do go check it out! Actually, it's only $45 Canadian dollars for the pattern, one block each week....... show restraint Sara. 2024 Folk Art Sampler Here 

For now tho, I will behave, and get to work on catching up, I believe the Door Mouse is up next.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Starting as I plan to go on, and Half Circle Christmas Tree Napkins

 Merry Christmas and a Happiest New Year! Ah and doesn't it feel like a breath of fresh air after what a year 2023 was?

I'm still honing down my plan and project list for the new year, but for now I shall get started in the manner I mean to go on. By finishing a project to completion and getting at least one to do, done!

These are a full set (18 in total!) of half circle, sometimes called Christmas Tree napkins. They are terrible simple to make, two half circles of fabric, sewing right sides together, turned, pressed and topstitched.

You can find tutorials all over the internet, like this one on YouTube from Shabby Fabrics 

I had never seen napkins like these before, and the project certainly wasn't on my radar until I cam across this bag at a local thrift store.

I don't know if its clear in the photo but the bag was labeled "Christmas Napkin - Pattern and Cut Outs" and it was priced at only $1.50. I mean how could I not! even If I used the fabric for something else.

Inside were 18 each, precut red and poinsettia fabric half circles, a fabric template and an extra half yard or so of red fabric. I brought it home and promptly sewed one up as a test, and tossed the bag onto my to do pile and that was that.

How very typical of me!

 So January 1st, I figured I still had red thread on my sewing machine, may as well get this project wrapped up. I paired and pressed each set.

Stitched them all together with about a half inch seam (they weren't cut the most exactly so I figured a margin for error was best). 

I turned and pressed again and topstitched and folded and pressed again.

More ironing in the first two days of the year than  I would normally get to in a month. But a quick cardboard folding template really sped things up (highly recommend!).

I folded half green side out, and yeah I can totally see why they are called Christmas Tree Napkins.

And half red side out, turned like a cone they provide a cozy home for cutlery at your place setting.

And I packed the whole lot of them into a bin for next Christmas! 

Ah well, what else is January for if not for finishing Christmas projects you had planned to get done before Christmas. Anyways we didn't host this year, but next year should be a full house, and we'll put these napkins to good use!

After a wash and another pressing of course.

Hopefully your holidays were lovely, and fulfilling. I'll see you here again tomorrow with a belated Christmas knitting project!