Knitting, Sewing, and all Things in Between

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Pink Rose from ReallyHandmade.comIt has been a busy few months here in the Alan house! We have had lots of visitors, made new friends, vacationed at the beach, hiked Mt. Hood, gardened almost every day, and have visited park after park with Emmerich. In between all of that, I have been sewing lots. Along with my pattern editing work, I have (somehow) found time to make new shirts, tank tops and dresses for myself, along with some clothes and a hat for Em. There hasn’t been time to take photos of it all though! Or at least not time to take photos of it when I don’t look like I’ve been run ragged at the end of day. Yeesh!

Double Delight Rose by

Our yard is bursting with roses and hydrangeas and we are always adding more plants. We have a huge garden plan that will likely take us 5 years to accomplish, but slowly things are changing out there. I’ll take some pictures to share once a large project of removing sod begins sometime this week. These roses will actually be removed, which I’m a little bit sad to see go. They smell heavenly, but were never pruned very well so they have odd shaping and slowly little bits of them are becoming diseased. I’ll plant some lovely new roses elsewhere in the yard. Do you have a favorite type of rose?

One big task that I did accomplish early this summer was going through my sewing patterns. You know that stack of patterns that you have saved for a good 10 years and occasionally you look at them and think, “Whoa, that is super ugly”, but then you pop them right back into your stash? Yeeeaaaah. I gave away a bunch of patterns after posting about this process on Instagram, and I have another bag of them waiting to find a home. I could probably get rid of at least 2 dozen more, but it’s hard to let them go when you maybe might have a use for different pattern features here and there.

Sorting Patterns on

After going through my patterns, I also dove into my fabric to decide what I wanted to sew this summer. I had not bought new fabric for myself in probably almost a year. At least if I had purchased anything for myself, it amounted to less than 3 yards of fabric. That is unheard of for someone who sews! It was time to remedy the empty space on my stash shelves, and I found beautiful rayons and cottons at Mill End that would do the trick. Looking at this photo, I’m happy to say that only 2 of these fabrics are yet to be cut up and sewn, but they are next on my list.

New Fabrics by

I did manage to knit up a cozy shawl (it’s called The Lonely Tree on Ravelry), but of course I made a rather big mistake. Oh knitting! I love you, but darn it if I don’t always make some kind of big mistake with anything other than hats. When I finished knitting it, it looked awfully small, but friends told me to block it instead of immediately frogging it.

Unblocked Shawl by ReallyHandmade.comSoaking Knitting by ReallyHandmade.comBlocking a Shawl by

Blocking helped a lot, but it’s still much smaller than I wanted it to be. I used a lovely bulky alpaca yarn my mom gave me for Christmas a good 2 or 3 years ago, and I thought this would be bigger than it turn out to be. Well, my mistake is that I used way too small of a needle! I somehow misread the directions and for some dumb reason I used 8mm needles instead of 11mm. What was I thinking?!

Blocked Shawl by ReallyHandmade.comLonely Tree Shawl by ReallyHandmade.comLonely Tree Shawl by

It is super warm thanks to the bulky yarn, but again, it’s nowhere near as large as I wanted it to be. It’s one of those things where I like what I’ve made, but I’ll never use it much or appreciate the work that went into it if I don’t frog it and redo it. Now I have to figure out how to straighten out the yarn once I frog it. I’m so scared of it getting tangled up!

Lonely Tree Shawl by

I’ll share some sewing creations soon! I am off to finish another dress. You have to love when you finish a project in the season where you can actually wear it, right?

  • smlinTampa

    That’s beautiful Amy! I can see it over a black casual evening dress! Get your husband to take you out and take it for a test drive😀.

    • Ooo lala I like that idea! Ha! Thank you! I really want to wear it, but of course I make it right as real summer weather starts. I’ll have to hope for a cool evening!

  • Michelle

    I think you can do radical pruning on roses. Not sure, but I remember watching a house on my walking path take their bushes from 4 ft to a tiny stump near the ground. If you want to save and relocate them. If you don’t… I’ll take them and try it 🙂

    As for the frogging, I rip and create a hank of noodly yarn (what it looks like right before you put a skein on the swift), use contrast yarn to tie in a few spots, then give it a soak and hang it to dry. Good luck if you decide to do that.

    • Hi, Michelle! I did try relocating 4 of the roses, and I gave some of the others to neighbors. Unfortunately, because they were growing so closely together, it wasn’t possible to save that many roots. I’ve water and watered them, and I also added potting soil, blood and bone meal to the hole I dug, but they look pretty terrible. I’m trimming them all back today in the hopes that will encourage something besides dead leaves!

      I had another person email about a Niddy Noddy. Ever heard of it? I’m totally buying one. I’m too scared of getting the noodly yarn all tangled up!

      • Michelle

        I always thought of a niddy noddy as a spinning tool, but yes I could see it being helpful with frogging yarn. Although I’ve gotten in the habit of just waiting until I can go to my LYS knit night and I use their swift (or ball winder if I’m not worried about kinks) to aid my frogging. You have to go kind of slow, but it is basically the reverse of winding a ball of yarn. And requires your own tools or the kindness of an LYS. My fingers are crossed your roses will pop back for you. We lost an established rosemary plant/bush this year when we moved it. I’m waiting until the fall damp to replace it.

        • I love that idea of using the swift to help with frogging, but I don’t currently have access to a swift. Although there is one that has been sitting my Amazon cart for a few weeks, ha!

          Yes, I hope the roses survive. They are looking pretty terrible right now, but I pruned them and I think the eyes are beginning to swell. Hopefully they will make it! Also, I cannot wait for fall planting. I need RAIN!

  • Cryden

    Wait Noah likes her?!?!?! I thought he just felt uneasy