Thursday, April 02, 2015

A Passel of FOs

Gratuitous photo of spring flowers. 
I had almost forgotten what day it was and nearly put myself to bed without posting. It's been that kind of week and it's not been a bad week, just a busy and productive one. You see, it's spring break and I told Miss Fluffalo that I'd help her paint/organize/clean her room. This has been a long time coming and there has been a fair bit more angst about it than I really want to get into just now. When we got down to it, the actual painting and cleaning hasn't been that bad as far as cooperating with a teenager goes. Fluffalo has been diligent and hard-working, so she's been rewarded with frozen yogurt and will be with a trip to Goodwill later-- both to drop off stuff she no longer wants or needs and to look at fancy dresses just because.

I'm painting her sulking corner. I swear it was her idea.
(If I am very still, no one will see me.)
Her room still looks like a mess, but it's the mess of an organization project that's still underway. We'll get there and hopefully by the end of the day after this posts tomorrow (Thursday). Disney songs and a fair bit of mindfulness are the only thing getting me through this. I'll get to that in a little bit.

Last week, I had some FOs that I didn't post, so here they are:

This is Summer's Hanky, a commission work. I still need to pack it up and mail it out, but it's been washed and pressed and is now pretty much ready to go. This is hand-embroidered with various cotton and metallic threads on what was once one of my husband's work shirts. The 1/4" seams are also hand-sewn.
What I could have improved upon: I would have liked to have used a different stitch for the middle of the wing because the double herringbone made me go cross-eyed. I'd also liked to have done both wings at once instead of one and then the other. If I had to do it again, I'd try to make it more symmetrical.
What I did well: The hems are very neat and I'm very pleased with the color choices and the stitch choices overall. I like that the color isn't flat and how pairing different threads gave each layer of feathers a different look. Also, Miss Summer is happy with what she's seen so far and that's the biggest thing that matters to me. Overall, I like it and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I've also finished a Paisley Fabulous Project Bag for Project Make that matches the DPN roll from late February. I'm very happy with this one, though I want to add a line of stitching through the middle of the casing at the top so that it looks nicer and closes more neatly.

It's actually reversible, but there's a big wide pocket that will just do better as an inside pocket than an outside pocket.

I loved using every single scrap of stash fabrics and I am absolutely in love with the red drawstrings and how they pick up on the red in the paisley. Because the green twill has a nap, the patchwork picks up light in different ways, depending on the direction of the fabric and which way you're looking at it. You can't really see that in the photo, but it really is very cool.

For this bag, I looked at some tote bags I really loved and figured out how the bottom was constructed. The lining tucks all the seams neatly away so that nothing is visible and the bottom of the bag is such that it will stand up with a couple skeins of yarn in it, though not completely on its own. This project was more about refining skills I already have than about learning new ones, but this particular construction is not one I've tried before.

And the Sheep of Unknown Provenance is finally finished! The left was dyed with privet berries and a few leaves and twigs. That's 4 skeins and 7.7oz of fingering weight, fractal spun using the natural colors of the fleece and then dyed. In person, the color is a rich bronze with a bit more warmth than the photo can convey. The right is 4 skeins and 8 oz of fingering weight, gradient spun. This one was too pretty to dye and so I've left it the color the Gods made it.

Because this one is also for Project Make, the making of it has taught me quite a bit: mordanting, dyeing, gradient spinning, fractal spinning, using a drum carder, patience, and persistence.

I'm also working on:
  • Leto in Knit Picks' Shadow and Misti Alpaca Lace
  • Genevieve's Tube Socks in Crystal Palace Maizy Print
  • Iris' rainbow quilt
  • A little something in TARDIS blue silk

Before I go, I want to leave you with This Week's Technique:
  • Mindfulness of emotions.
    It's really hard for me to manage my emotions around cleaning and organization. There have been occasions, this week actually, where I have a complete and total meltdown about something that isn't clean or organized, particularly when it's a recurring or very large mess that I am not in control of. I have OCD and this is how it shows its face. I'm not "a little bit OCD" in the colloquial sense where I'm really neat and organized (I'm not, actually). I have to be very careful how I clean so that I don't binge-clean until I cause myself physical harm.

    That's a long set-up to say that anxiety feeds the compulsion and if I can manage the anxiety, I can manage the compulsions. The audio that follows is part of an introduction to meditation series from Audio Dharma and it's over an hour long, but this sort of thing has been very helpful to me and is worth a listen. This is the way I've been able to re-wire my brain so that I can keep my cool and prevent myself from tumbling into a full-on binge clean or meltdown. I don't always do a great job of it, but my emotions are no longer the boss of me 90% of the time and I've been able to keep the OCD under control. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. 

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