Friday, July 05, 2019

Current projects

Lots of projects in-work and finished - I like to keep busy!

I don't really enjoying sewing home dec, but it sure can save you money to be able to make custom items that you'd just be paying someone else to sew for you. We bought a new outdoor furniture set and I knew that come the rainy season we'd need covers but I also figured that it would be a good idea to protect the furniture from the sun, bugs and night-time critters. I found a YouTube video that showed how to make custom covers so I used their method to make a cover out of muslin, which both acts as a summer cover and a test before I buy material for the rain cover. Or maybe once I find out the cost of the fabric and factor in the time, I might find that a purchased one will suffice. We'll see.

I made some design changes on the summer cover that I wouldn't do for the rain cover: I serged the seams (they suggest mock flat-felled seams in the video), used the selvedge for the hem (in the video they make a casing for a drawstring) and the back is not full length. I decided out of cheapness that I didn't need to use up more muslin for a full-size back because the back isn't exposed to the sun and not susceptible to damage from bugs and stuff. So I used scraps or cut pieces to about 12-15 inches or so, enough to hold the cover in place. 

The other home dec sewing I did was to make pillow covers. The fabric has been in my stash for a long, long time and was always intended for outdoor cushions, so I'm finally using it for that. It took longer to hand sew the final seam than it did to cut out and machine sew the other seams. 

I have lots more of the fabric, so I'll either make more pillows or make some cushions for the chairs to our outdoor dining set. 

My spinning wheel has been active. I've joined the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild (GLASG) and also joined the guild's group for Tour de Fleece. Tour de Fleece is where spinners spin during the days of the Tour de France bicycle race - they spin and we spin. It's silly but a fun way to join a group and get a lot of spinning accomplished and maybe win some prizes. Some people set goals to spin for a certain amount of time, like 10-15 minutes a day (that'll be me), other set distance goals to spin a certain amount of yarn - maybe equal to the miles that they race (not me!), and some set other goals to try new techniques or spin new fibers. I'm probably just going to stick with what I've been spinning, though since I did buy special Tour de Fleece fiber I might switch to that.

What I'm currently spinning

Tour de Fleece colorway
I finished the red yarn I was spinning. I plied it and decided it was too loosely plied so I ran it back through the spinning wheel to add more twist. I like it much more now. 

First ply on left; with added twist on the right

My knitting project is coming along very slowly. It's lace-weight yarn and about 800 yards, so this project will take a while. But that's OK, the pattern is very easy and I can knit it while I'm watching TV. This is the Prevarication pattern from Curls 2, by Hunter Hammersen. I've made two other "curls" scarves from her first book. These are great little projects for the lovely yarns I have in my stash.  

I also tried out a new project - candle making. I have quite a few nice glass yogurt pots that I brought back from Europe and candles seem like a great use for them. Though I don't burn candles inside, we do need citronella candles outside to keep the mosquitoes away. So I ordered soy wax, wicks, an aluminum melting pot, and both citronella and lemon eucalyptus oil from on-line and found some instructions on-line as well (yay, internet!). Here's my first batch of citronella candles:

When heated, the wax is clear and yellowish

After cooling it turns a milky white
The kitchen smells like citronella, so be aware if you want to try this! We actually don't mind the aroma. Lemon eucalyptus is also supposed to repel mosquitoes, so I'll try this fragrance next. 

And finally, I leave you with some beautiful views from the San Diego area, where we spent a couple days.
La Jolla

La Jolla

Alcazar Park in Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

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