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Thank you, Mr. Anonymous Cyclist Guy, for providing a photographic metaphor for my June.

OY

YOU GUYS

OY THE MONTH I’VE HAD

I just checked and I haven’t posted in a month.  That’s probably because June was a big old steaming pile of shite.

First, partner’s knee blew up, followed by many doctor’s appointments and the scheduling of surgery for late July.  This meant that basically his whole summer of cycling now had to be cancelled, including the two 1200k rides he had planned and the accompanying travel and fun times.  Fun times in general are going to be in short supply for the summer, as he can’t walk very far without pain and swelling.  A very large bummer for both of us.

This was followed by financial trouble, computer trouble, more medical trouble (mine this time, and thankfully minor), and, inevitably, relationship trouble.  Near the beginning of all this, my doctor suggested I go off my blood pressure meds; needless to say, I’m back on them.

But, as I put it to the doctor the other day, I am coping furiously.  One BIG problem was resolved on Wednesday, and progress is being made on all of them.  I apologize to my online friends for my absence and lack of comments on your blogs–I’ve been reading what you’re writing, but I haven’t always felt able to write anything positive (and positive is what I would like to be with online friends).

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My life currently–some good stuff with some crap getting in the way.  (Yes, as I mentioned previously, I am not a poet.)

So let’s focus on the good stuff, yes?  Let’s see how I did on my list from a month ago.  (And I apologize in advance for my photos, which are even worse than usual this time.)

  • Hack the Blanc again to make a colorblocked tee.

Done!

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Observant readers may notice that these aren’t the knit scraps that I planned to use.  That’s because I had had an idea to make a sort of a muslin (inspiration), and I wasn’t quite sold on it, so I was going to use scraps I wasn’t all that crazy about.  But then I came across this post (scroll down to the black tee with the flowered skirt) and I came up with something that I knew would show off this flowered knit, which I LOVELOVELOVE.

The white and flowered knits were bits and pieces from SCRAP; the green was from the stash, a remnant of a project made so long ago that I don’t even remember what it was.

The white turned out to have some stains, including fold lines, so I used it with the wrong side out.  Also, since it was in somewhat smallish pieces, I had to piece the back again, so I made it a design feature.

018I’m a bit cranky about the fact that I forgot to adjust the neckline to make it narrower after the first Blanc I did.  So it’s a bit wider than I would like, but it’s wearable.  And the quality of these fabrics is really nice, so the top is very soft and comfy.  Win!

I expect to take another stab at colorblocking when fall gets closer; I picked up some pretty cool fleece and sweatshirt knit pieces the other day at SCRAP and I’ve got some more ideas cooking (more inspiration is here).

  • Finish the wallet.

Done!  And, man, is this pattern a BEAST.  Lot of seam ripper action on this one.

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I had to redo the tab on the outside (picture with Shelby above) and my wrist strap turned out to be a bit messier than I would like, but the biggest problem was the final seams attaching the pockets to the zipper.  No matter what I did, I just could not catch all the layers in the seams.  I wound up having to slip stitch some of the edges by hand, and I’m so glad I did that rather than ripping it all out again.

The pattern recommends duck or denim for the “base” that all the pockets are attached to (see the black denim I used in the center of the pic above).  I think things would probably have been easier if I’d used a lighter-weight cotton for that; you don’t really need the extra heft of duck or denim with all those bajillion layers of fabric in the pockets.

And then, after all that, my phone doesn’t fit in the outer pockets!  I can just zip it inside the wallet, but I’m a bit disappointed.  :/

  • Finish my black skirt.  I came across this tutorial for a shirred skirt and used it to re-cut the black fabric from my failed wrap skirt.

Done!  And it worked!

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This was a new technique to me and it’s pretty cool–you just put elastic thread in your bobbin, sew a bunch of rows, and press to make the thread shrink up.  Seems like it would be a super fun project to do with a kid who’s learning to sew.

I ordered the thread Melly suggested in the post and it worked just as described.  My sewing machine seemed to cope all right with the elastic, much to my surprise.  The biggest problem I had was my bobbins running out, as the thread is a bit thicker than regular thread, so you can’t actually get that much of it on a bobbin.  I wound up using the entire spool for the skirt.

I’m really liking this, though I have yet to wear it a full day.  The 3″ of shirring doesn’t feel tight or constricting, but it stays in place.  And the skirt has enough fullness to be comfy, but not enough to get in your way.  Mine hits me at about mid-calf, just where I wanted it, and I’ve left it unhemmed–it feels a bit like cheating to do that, but I really like the drape of the skirt the way it is, so I left it alone.  I’m really glad my original plan for the wrap skirt didn’t work out, as I like this much better.  🙂

 

I’m going to skip making my weekly lists for a while, as I really don’t need to add any more pressure on myself at the moment.  I will be back soon, though, to tell you about my latest project, which is another ambitious one.  I’m not at all convinced that I’m still able to follow a pattern as written.  😉

In the meantime, though, I leave you with some pictures from Thursday’s walk around the fishing pond in Columbia Park.  No birds this time, unfortunately, but there are trees and wildflowers, anyway.  Oh, and the two pictures up top are from the Cascade 1200k bike ride; since my partner wasn’t able to ride it, he helped me run the control at Potholes, a barely-there town near Moses Lake.  We set up in the 76 parking lot and fed about 80 cyclists pb&j sandwiches, homemade cake and blondies, soda, chips, and bananas.

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I hope the weekend is treating you well.  Hello July!

STH

 

 

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