Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Mystery Crochet Along, Fabric Diet and Home Renovations

I have decided to have a fabric diet this year. That means not buying any more fabric, just using what I've got. Of course, I will probably need to buy some batting, backing, & binding. When I'm buying fabric for a new project, I often neglect to buy what I need for binding and backing. And of course, I really don't have room to store a large supply of batting, so that is purchased on an as-needed basis. And I will have to buy fabric for the graduation quilt for my great nephew, Jordon. Otherwise, I'm going to try and drastically reduce my fabric purchases this year. The reason for this is that I really need to get some renovations/repairs done on my home that have to be a financial priority. My bathtub hot water tap was running continuously (not just dripping), so I got that repaired this week. Soffit, fascia and eavestroughing will hopefully get done this year (I'm waiting for the estimate to see if I can actually afford it). And I really want to get the sewing room in the basement done. I had the electrician in to give an estimate for moving the lighting fixtures from the wall to the ceiling. Ceiling fixtures are more efficient and walls are for hanging flannelette sheets for design walls. I won't get that estimate until some time next week.Then there's going to be some drywall repair. The previous owners finished the joints with strips of wood instead of drywall tape and mud. And the floors are just bare concrete. So I want to put in some proper flooring, which should make a substantial difference in how warm it is down there. And I need to put up some shelving to store all my fabric, etc. So, I've got my work cut out for me. Once my sewing/crafting area is done, it will be so much more pleasant to work down there. It will be warm and organized. 
But staying on a fabric diet is not easy. Fabric is my drug of choice. I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember this song:
"When I'm feeling low and blue, all I gotta do is look at you. You can make me feel good, yes, you can." That's how I feel about fabric. Except that I feel even better when I actually buy the fabric. So I've already cheated on my "diet." I placed an order this week with Keepsake Quilting. Have you tried them out? Their clearance prices are really clearance prices and kind of hard to resist. And of course, I ordered the Jinny Beyer 2015 BOM quilt kit from Craftsy, but that quilt is part of this year's planned quilts. It's going to be for one of my sisters who turned 60 this past year. I have 4 major quilt projects planned for 2015: that BOM, a swoon quilt for the sister that turned 65 last year, finish the pixel quilt for the sister that turned 50 (yes I'm a year behind in getting these quilts done, but better late than never) and Jordon's graduation quilt. In case you're wondering, I have 5 sisters altogether plus my brother's widow, who is like a sister. 
And honestly, I wasn't planning on any big yarn purchases this year either. I already have so many WIPs and UFOs. Except that there's this really yummy colour of Red Heart Super Saver called Blacklight that I've fallen in love with. I have a great weakness for variegated yarns. And I love loud colours, the louder the better. And set off by black - how much better can you get? You can have a look at this yarn here: Red Heart Super Saver Economy. I just have to figure out a project for it...
Last night on facebook, I thought I had found it. The Crochet Crowd shared a post about a Mystery Afghan Crochet Along (there's also a Knit Along for you knitters) sponsored by Yarnspirations.  I've considered joining a Mystery Quilt Challenge, but just haven't had the opportunity to do it yet. I've also been wanting to join one of The Crochet Crowd's crocheting challenges. So, I get mystery, challenge and crocheting: exciting! You can order the kit in a choice of 9 different colourways, and get 15% off to boot, or you can choose your own yarn. So I was going to choose my own yarn and use Blacklight as my main colour. I would need 5 balls of Blacklight. Unfortunately, my local Walmart only had 2 balls and they weren't even the same dye lot. <sigh> On to Plan B. I spent half of my lunch hour trying to decide what Plan B was, and ended up with this:
Nothing at all like Blacklight, but you notice I used some variegated yarn anyway. I like this colour family. I considered various other options, but this one just kept calling to me. Stay tuned and I will post as it progresses. The challenge doesn't start until February 10th, which hopefully will give me a chance to get this done:
(Why is it that the picture on my viewfinder looks better before I take a picture than after? Maybe it's time for a new camera???). I have a new great niece or nephew due in February. I have the Scrappy Shine quilt if it's a girl, but I need something in case it's a boy. Initially, I was going to make a boy's quilt, but then I remembered this afghan. I started it 7 or 8 years ago and figured maybe it was time to get it finished. Unfortunately, it does not work up very quickly. The yarn (Bernat Baby Coordinates) is not a pleasant yarn to work with. It has one shiny white strand in with the blue that tends to separte from the rest of the yarn. It's also a pretty dense pattern, so requires a lot of "hooking" to get much length finished. It's kind of discouraging spending on evening crocheting, only to have added an inch or two to the length. So I'm sort of hoping that the baby is a girl. LOL!
Meanwhile, I've fiddled around taking selfies of me with my new yarn. 
Seriously, I'm not much good at taking selfies. I usually end up with a glazed eye look, like in this one:
This is actually mild compared to some selfies I've taken. 
The nice thing about digital cameras is that you can see the final result - and delete if so desired - without having to pay to get the film developed.