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An Extended Vacation

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Hi guys! I know it’s been forever & I know I keep saying this will stop happening – but who am I kidding! I’m a student, & life is always insane!

I graduated from college in May & moved home to live with my parents for the summer. At home, I got a full time job & pretty much did that for 4 months, while packing & getting things ready for my big move 8 hours south for graduate school! Now, the time has come for me to make the big move, & unfortunately my MASSIVE craft collection can’t come with me.

My apartment in my new hometown is tiny. Like so small, it doesn’t even have a real closet or a full-sized fridge. That’s right, I’m going to have to survive with only a mini-fridge for a year. Yikes! Anyways, the lack of a closet or ANY storage for that matter makes it really difficult for me to take my bins & bins of yarn, embroidery thread, sewing machine, craft books, etc. with me. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad this makes me.

Ultimately, I hope to get a two bedroom apartment I can afford & keep the rest of my years in graduate school. That way, I’ll have a bedroom AND a craft room… & a living room & kitchen, which I’m not really used to having in separate places either!

I also feel the need to apologize for my lack of crafting & blog updating this summer. I’m not really sure what happened. For the first month of summer, I remember being so elated at being a college graduate. I sat in the sun & tried to tan [‘tried’ being the keyword], I read lots of books, I crocheted, & I bugged my dad to help me clear a space for my sewing machine. I was so gung ho about having 5 whole months off! Then I got a job, & all that went out the window. All I did after that was sleep, eat, shower, & work. & now, it’s suddenly September & I’m moving out of state in a few short days. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! Hell if I know.

 

One last thing – On August 5th I had almost 600 views on my blog! That’s super crazy for this blog, especially because I haven’t been updating it. Over 400 of the views were said to be brought here by Facebook, but my Facebook page hasn’t been getting much traffic lately so it couldn’t have been from there. Many of the views were only for my one post, the Sharpie Mug post, which isn’t all that uncommon, but typically if people are brought to the blog they look around a little & other pages [home & about] get some hits. I guess I was just kind of confused & wondered if this is a common thing. Was it some sort of spam? Could someone have linked to my page & I have no idea? Am I just worrying too much when I should just be enjoying my small spike in views for a day? I know. I can’t help it.

 

Thanks for reading guys. I’m taking my knitting needles & crochet hooks with me to graduate school, but no yarn. That means I have hope that some crafting may occur at some point this year. Otherwise, I’ll see you in a year, when I have a new apartment & ample space to frolic & craft in!

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Summer has arrived!

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So this is going to be a long post. There were a few things I’d been meaning to post about when I had the time, but that ‘few’ turned into a lot more very quickly. I’ve been neglecting this blog a lot more than I thought I had!

First, I finally took some good pictures of the scarf that has recently become the bane of my existence. The pictures turned out great & it looks fairly complete – but it isn’t. I keep thinking so too, but it probably needs a foot or more to make it a decent scarf. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot more work that will go into it after it’s completion [note the tails on every row & the curling]. Either way, at least this is proof that I’ve been spending every spare minute working on it, & I haven’t given up [though I sometimes wish I could].

So, it’s coming along & I think it’s pretttttty. It’s just tedious & time consuming. Crafting should never feel tedious & time consuming.

Next on my list: I told you all months ago that my dad was going to make me a thread holder for my sewing space, & he did! It looks so great! He obviously had a lot of fun with it, because he spent lots of time making it especially functional & stylish – it even MATCHES my sewing machine! He made it so that there are about 4 shelves of thread/bobbin storage, & 3 bigger shelves to hold jars of buttons, etc., & the very bottom shelf we made into a ribbon holder/dispenser. Anyways, I really love this addition to my crafting collection, & I’m sure it will get years of use.

Here it is along with the entire sewing corner. I recently did some organizing & cleared out the drawers of the desk so that it could hold my sewing accessories & other crafty items. I also placed my sewing/crafting books next to my printer on the right [since every other bookshelf I own seems to be overflowing with movies &/or other books!].

Most days tho, my sewing area looks like this, with my sewing machine all cozy in it’s cover. Hopefully that will change very soon. :]

So, I’ve always really loved thrift stores, especially for the cheap, good books you can buy. But recently, I discovered the hidden treasure of buying fabric from thrift stores. Some thrift stores have specific ‘notions’ areas, which are my absolute favorite. When my parents were here for my university’s Mom’s Weekend a few weeks ago, we went to all the thrift stores in the area & I bought TONS of fabric. This time around, I mostly just got scraps [fat quarters & the like], but I also have a huge roll of tulle & other fabrics that I found at thrift stores in the past.

The only issue with scraps is that they’re just that. They’re too small to do much with & many of the patterns I want to try need larger cuts of fabric. So, I’ve been considering my options & I think I might just have some fun sewing pieces together & making things out of the pieced together fabric. But I’ll keep you posted.

A few months ago, I successfully followed & pattern & sewed my first item. It was a simple little reversible bag, & I think I did pretty well considering it was my first time. I think I printed the pattern out wrong [I don’t think I did it at 100%] & I didn’t choose especially attractive fabric, but it was just practice, so all of that is okay. The good news is, I didn’t sew any handles together or something like that [though, I nearly did, haha]. I got the pattern here.

The last thing I wanted to post about were the gifts I made my best friend Jessica for her birthday this year. I knew I couldn’t afford anything serious, so I figured some cute, handmade gifts would work, && they did! They actually turned out way better than I expected, I was pretty excited. I pretty much everything about it was made my hand, except for the frame of the embroidery. I made the mat for the frame myself, as well as the roses on the frame. So fun! :] I got the pattern for the cow here.

So, now I’m FINALLY caught up on blogging about the crafting I did this semester. A few of the things on my list for this summer are:

1. FINISH THE  SCARF.

2. Make mom this shrug [in a cream color].

3. Work on my granny square blanket.

4. Make dad fingerless gloves.

5. Make things for my Etsy stock & open my Etsy

6. Have fun!

I’m off for now. Once Upon A Time will be on soon – I’ll watch it while I spend some time working on that scarf.

Avoidance

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I should be studying for exams that I have this week, but I’m procrastinating. Not on purpose, really. I have my notes, study guide, & book right in front of me, but I can’t seem to focus. I’m tired & all I want is a nap, but I know that would solve nothing. So I’m blogging instead!

I got my sewing machine yesterday! It got to my parents place on Thursday, I think – a whole four days before the estimated delivery date. I wasn’t supposed to get it for another two weeks, but my neighbor from home was coming down to this area this weekend to visit her best friend before she had her baby & brought it down with her. It was great, because I also got to spend some time with them over coffee & catch up – something we don’t often get to do, even when I’m home on breaks.

Anyways, the machine is wonderful. As beautiful as I thought it would be, but much much bigger than I originally thought, which actually came as a pleasant surprise. I was worried it would be small & difficult to use because of it, but the size is great & I especially love the large sewing area. It’s so so so easy to use – I knew the basics of how to wind a bobbin, insert a bobbin, & thread a machine, but I had never done any of it before. It took no time for me to get the machine threaded for bobbin winding, & then threaded for actual use. Some other things I really like is the thread cutter on the side – it’s so simple & once you cut the thread, the top & bottom threads stay up there & out of the way – & the pedal! Other machines I’ve used have super sensitive pedals & no matter how gently you press on it, it takes off. This one is much more my style, & I can sew slowly if I need to.

I’m excited that it fits so well & looks so great on my desk. It’s the perfect sewing area, since I never use this desk for it’s typical uses – I do all my homework, internet surfing, eating, etc. at the table in the kitchen.

Before:

After:

I’m really looking forward to transforming this area into a fully functional crafting corner. I have a desk in my kitchen that I’m mostly using for storage/counter space, so I want to empty a few of these drawers out & transfer the stuff into the kitchen desk so that I can keep all my sewing/knitting/crocheting/embroidering/etc. supplies right here. I also want to get rid of the weekly planner board [that I never use anyways, as you can tell], & hang the thread shelf organizer dad’s making me there, as well as a corkboard or something similar for idea/designing space. I actually already found something that I would really like to make for this – it’s a hanging wall caddy that has pockets on the top half and cork panels in the bottom half. The pattern is in the Sew Retro book that came with my machine, & it doesn’t look difficult. I can’t wait to go find pretty fabric for it!

So overall, good experience so far with the sewing machine. I’ve really only played around with different stitches, different lengths & widths, & practiced practiced practiced. So much so, in fact, that I already went through a whole bobbin & had to wind a new one! I’m pretty bored with that & really want to make something, but I was unprepared for the machine to come so quickly & don’t have all the materials I need, like interfusible facing, measuring tools, etc. So, for now, I’ll be practicing on the cheap fabric I found in the clearance bin at Walmart, & maybe try a practice pattern with it & w/o facing.

 

Back to studying. UGH.

New Beginnings

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With the new year & a nice long break from college, I’ve been doing TONS of crafting, among other things, including lots of exploring & finding beautiful blogs dedicated to knitting, crocheting, & sewing. I thought about how I didn’t want to forget all the wonderful new things I have learned in the past few months, & would love a place to showcase all my projects, as well as blogs I love & patterns I would like to try! So, “The Yarn to Tell” was born!

A little about me: My name is Danielle, but most people call me Dani. I’m in my 4th year at a university in Washington studying psychology, & I’m working toward going to grad school for cognitive psychology. I play clarinet in the marching and pep-bands at my university. I live alone in a cute little studio apartment with my cat, Artie. I love coffee, crafting, cooking/baking, reading, && spending time with friends & family. I enjoy spending most of my free time at home though, watching TV, reading, & knitting/crocheting.

I began crocheting when I was pretty young. I don’t know remember exactly when, maybe middle school? I just remember mom having a hook, an old teach-yourself booklet, & a skein of yarn that I used to learn with. Not long after, I bought myself knitting needles & learned to knit as well. But the real learning didn’t begin until this past summer, when I picked up a crochet hook, bought some yarn, & told myself I would learn to read patterns & make all the things I had been dreaming of. At first I struggled, but when it clicked, it really clicked, && I had so much fun! I loved the look of knitting & re-learned that as well, & by winter I had decided I would forgo buying presents & instead make them. It was lots of fun, & everyone loved their gifts.

My latest completed project was a Gryffindor scarf a friend wanted me to make her, as well as a late Christmas present for a friend, which was a headband in her school colors. Next, I want to work on an infinity scarf for myself, as well as a slouchy hat for another friend. I’m considering opening an Etsy shop, but I want to have a stock of work I can sell, rather than having to make everything to order, at least until I see how heavy the next semester will be when it comes to school work. I hope I can though, because sometimes it’s depressing to make all these things without sharing them with the world, which is another reason I was glad to create this blog.

I can’t wait to explore WordPress & find some blogs to follow. I also can’t wait to start uploading my favorite pictures, patterns & projects to share with all of you. I hope you find something you like about my blog once it’s more interesting!