An 18-month Shawl

I knew this shawl had been hanging arounf for a while, but I did not realize I had started it in February 2019. That means it took me almost 18 months, ignoring the fact that it apparently took three attempts to get started, from start to finish.

Not that I worked on it consistently, of course. I was focusing on it for a while, especially when it was small and a row took under 10 minutes.

Once I ran out of the pink, which was some hand-dyed Knit Picks Shadow Bare that I had dyed with drink powder, and moved on to the white, the rows started taking longer and I started getting bored more easily. It started getting set aside for longer intervals, though it did get dragged along to sports practices.

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Growing ever so slowly. #knitting

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Once I ran out of white and hit the blue, the rows were taking at least 30 minutes each. Not to mention the sheer amount of markers I needed and how paperclips get tangled into stitches so often.

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Adding in color number 3 in the shawl. #knitting

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Still, I kept dragging it along whenever we went out, because that is how I could force myself to work on it without getting distracted by other things I’d rather be doing.

But sometimes I would be able to focus at home while doing other projects that didn’t require my full focus.

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Projects on projects today. #knitting #stickers

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It eventually got to the point where each row was taking an hour, so I tried to fit in partial rows whenever I could.

Don’t even ask how long the picot edge binding off took. It was spread over days, possibly even weeks. I honestly can’t remember at this point because it took so long. But it is finished, it is giant, and it is up in my Etsy shop.

I had originally intended to write up the pattern for this, but I don’t think anyone really wants to make a shawl this big that takes this long. Maybe I will revisit it and make some adjustments to reduce the size and write it up smaller.

A pink and white shawl propped up on various items in a large spiral, showing off the immense size.

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Masks, Masks, and more Masks!

Back in March I set out to use all the cotton fabric I had in my stash to make fabric face masks to donate. I pulled every bit of plain cotton I had out and ironed it, then set to work cutting as many mask pieces as I could.

I didn’t have much of the thin elastic for ear straps, so I made as many of those as I could, and then started making the ones with tie straps. The best part of that is they are completely adjustable and can fit very snugly, no matter what your head size. I’ve had littles as young as 2 wear the same size I do.

As the experts began suggesting everyone should wear non-medical masks when leaving the house, I changed from exclusively planning to donate to selling them as well. Through selling them, I was able to buy more fabric that I could dedicate to making more masks and then donate one for every one sold.

A little less than a month after starting the project, I was able to send a box of 66 masks off to the Sew Together project put together by the shoe company Tieks. I was still awaiting some fabric at that point, but I wanted to be sure I got what I had available sent out.

Once I finally got the last batch of masks finished, I decided I was only going to leave them up on Etsy until the end of June. I just got the box sent off today, so now I have the final count:

127 donated, 42 sold through Etsy, and about 60 sold through Instagram/ text/ kept for myself (having trouble counting it up, and probably forgetting about some). So in all I’ve managed to make probably 230 masks, and now I’ve taken some time off from sewing. My poor little machine definitely needed a break.


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Countdown to Christmas

Technically doesn’t start until a week from Friday, but that means you’ve still got just enough time to make an advent calendar. This one only took me parts of two days last week. And then waiting for the numbers to be delivered.

I started by figuring out the placement of the pockets, which are 4 inches by 4 inches, and then I created strips for each line. I folded the top edge down half an inch and stitched it with a zig-zag stitch. Next I centered the strips on the green felt and stitched along the bottom of each row before flipping the whole thing over and drawing the Christmas tree outline with a Sharpie. Then I cut the tree out to make it easier to fit through the sewing machine to sew the side of the pockets.

I sewed the lines in between and on the ends of the strips that ended inside the tree outline. I left the ones that go over the edge free until after attaching the tree to the background fabric.

Next I sewed the trunk of the tree to the background, so it would be behind the bottom of the tree.

After pinning the outside pockets out of the way, I sewed the entire outline of the tree down. Everything is sewed with a zig-zag stitch to flatten the edges.

I sewed the remaining pocket edges down and added a star for the top.

I finished the whole project off with a backing (of purple muslin because it was the only plain woven fabric I had that was large enough to cover the whole back) and a wooden dowel for hanging that was slightly too short.

I added a screw to each side, which worked out well anyway for attaching the string to hang it. I had ordered stick-on felt numbers, so all that was left was to stick them on when they arrived. Now we just have to figure out a way to hang it for December 1.


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