Sunday, October 25, 2020

A year of projects and a recently completed UFO

It's been almost a year since I posted on this blog. If you follow me on my Instagram account: lori_sews, then you have seen my projects over the last year. If not, then here's a round up of projects and some related crafty purchases, from most recent to oldest.

First, a finished UFO. I started these pumpkins probably 15 years ago (actually 2 pumpkins and 1 gourd). I got as far as stuffing them and had all the leaves and stems cut out and interfaced the leaves. I carefully had stored all the pieces with the pattern (McCalls 4189) in a ziplock bag. Why didn't I finish them sooner? I don't know. They sat on the top of my sewing bookcase for almost all those years and then went into storage while I was in Germany. After moving back and unpacking they again went to the top of a bookcase. I saw them the other day and thought it was time to finish them and enjoy them! 

I made the small and medium pumpkins - the large size must be huge!

I tried out some tapestry weaving. This is sort of a sampler, designed as I wove, just to try out some different shapes and techniques. I used a Hokett loom - handmade looms by Jim Hokett, who unfortunately no longer makes them. I have a small (7x8) and medium (9x10) size; I used the small one for this project. 

Small and medium Hokett looms

I finished knitting some socks. These were my "work" socks because I knit them during Tuesday lunchtime knitting meetups with other knitting employees at work. But since the pandemic, I've been working from home, so these became my Webex socks - I knit them during reviews and other meetings I attend remotely when I need to listen but don't need to present or take notes. As other knitters may find, knitting actually helps me focus and listen to meetings and keeps me from wandering off to check email or do other work. As long as it's easy knitting and not lace or complicated patterns. Now these will become my work-from-home-socks during the winter.

Regia sock yarn, just a simple stockinette

I've started on a new pair of work-socks, which I am also calling "Webex Socks" I'm knitting these for my husband.

More Regia sock yarn. I have a lot, but it's the best for socks in my opinion.

Weaving in progress - I'm working on a Christmas-themed band on my inkle loom.

I bought a new spinning wheel last summer. It's a Daedalus Starling XL electric wheel, made of carbon fiber and 3D printed plastic. I absolutely love it!

Wool/silk blend 

First yarn made on the new wheel - it was a freebie fiber they sent with the wheel

I also bought two new looms this summer! My weaving guild was thinning out their rental looms and selling them to members at a great price. I couldn't resist. They're table looms from the Mountain loom company (now since closed). The large one is a 28" 12-shaft and the small one is an 18" 8-shaft. I cleaned them up and now they're ready to be warped. 

A thorough cleaning!

Fleece prep. I'd resisted buying a whole fleece for a while because of the work involved in washing and combing, but I gave in and started with a 1 lb fleece from the Deboulliet breed. I washed half of it and then combed it and discovered that it's actually quite fun - well, the combing part at least. When you comb, you pull align the longest fibers and then use a "dizz" to pull them into a long roving. The shorter fibers that are left behind can then be carded into batts.

Drying the washed fleece

A big decorative button I bought in Latvia came in handy

A basket of roving and batts of the shorter staples

I did a lot of spinning in July when we had "Tour de Fleece" - it's when spinners around the world get together to spin during the Tour de France bicycle race (usually virtually and this year definitely virtually). The race was postponed but we spun anyway. Here's what I spun:

Merino/silk blend on my drop spindle

I liked this action shot!

Alpaca - I actually just finished spinning this today

Some finished wool yarn.

Machine embroidery. I finally tried out the embroidery on my Pfaff Creative 3.0 by embroidering a muslin bag to store some of my Blue Face Leicester fiber.

Sewing! I made some pajamas. And some more pajamas. I do hope to make something other than pajamas but I needed them.

My "go-to" pattern for pajamas: KwikSew 2811 

My other "go-to" pattern for pajamas: KwikSew 2821

A new serger! This is the Babylock Triumph - a combo coverstitch/overlock. I have used my Evolve coverstitch/overlock for 18 years and it's still great but showing its age. I'm keeping both though.

So much bigger...and whiter. 

I'm knitting a sweater. It does have sleeves and they are done. I "just" have to pick up and knit the border along the front and neck edge, then block the pieces and sew everything up. My least favorite parts of knitting! But I do need to finish so I can wear it this winter. 

More spinning. I tried to make thicker yarn than I usually spin. 

More sewing. His and hers NASA-themed sleep pants. Yes, more pajamas!

I sewed the pajamas because I wanted to use the fabric remnants to make masks:

Some sock knitting:

Regia sock yarn

Outdoor chair covers. The last sewing project I showed on this blog was the large cover I made for our outdoor couch. I finished the chair covers a few months later - yay. 

I almost forgot my other big purchase last year (I did make a few, didn't I?). I bought a Sailrite sewing machine. I didn't take any photos of it though, and it's put away in its storage case and very heavy, so I'm not going to get it out now to take a picture. It's a great heavy duty sewing machine. I bought it because sewing the cover for the couch pushed my Pfaff Creative 3.0 to its max - at one point it stopped and I got a message saying it had to rest! Now if I have anything heavy weight, I'm using the Sailrite. Here's a picture from the Sailrite company website:

And finally, here's a weaving project I completed during a course I took at Stitches SoCal last year. It's called "clasped warp" weaving.

That's it! Just a few projects this last year. I have so many more project lined up, of course. I had to make a list because my head spins when I think about what to work on next. Do I warp the loom to weave some towels? Sew a top (NOT pajamas!!)? Finish my mini quilt? I did work more on it, but I haven't sewn on the binding yet. I have a Christmas-themed embroidery project queued up. I want to finish prepping the other 1/2 pound of fleece because I bought two full fleeces this summer (yup, I did). I have some singles to ply into yarn. I'd like to make some Christmas candles using some empty yogurt pots and maybe use the band I'm weaving to decorate them. 


  1. It's nice to see a post again! Sadly, while I can see the first page on IG accounts, now if I try to view an individual post, all I get is an IG/FB login screen :-( of which I have neither. Anyway - nice to see you've been busy with new projects! I really like that clasped warp scarf(?).

    1. Thanks! The clasped warp scarf was made on my rigid heddle. The trickiest part is warping and keeping the two yarns straight. I should try it again before I forget how to do it.

  2. Just catching up on your blog and, wow!, lots of great projects and new "toys." Looks like you've been having fun.