New Computer, New (consistent!!) Posting

Well, hopefully consistent. But definitely more than has been going on-my old Lenovo x120e got a whole glass full of water spilled into it, and refused to even power on. I tried to hold out until my birthday/tax rebate time, but not having a computer at all was pretty awful, and I gave in and treated myself to the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, which is a big upgrade from my old one. The screen on my x120e was admittedly pretty awful, which made editing photos for this blog a pain. On this one, however, the screen is gorgeous, and having a touch screen has been surprisingly handy.

But enough computer chat. What have I been up to since the death of my old laptop? Quite a bit, although I was not taking photos very consistently, since I had nothing to upload them to. So the picture coverage is a bit spotty.

Like I apparently have no picture of the making of this shirt? And I made this quite a while back, since there's no weight bench in the background of these pictures. In any case-just using my basic longsleeve shirt pattern, with contrast cuffs, collar and placket. Next time around I may slim down the arms on this pattern a tiny bit, but then again, my arms keep growing, so maybe not.

 I found some plastic canvas at the thrift store right before Christmas, so I decided to make some little needlepoint ornaments. I have plenty of crewel yarn hanging around for it. I charted out some portraits of my two cats. I think they came out pretty well, I just wish there was more contrast in the eye area on Barry (the orange and white cat)
And here's the finished ornaments. I must have used different dark green on Wharton's and not noticed. But they came out pretty cute! And went right on my tree.

I've been really interest in combining sports and athletic wear with traditional 'craft' processes lately. I've also been learning crochet a little more fully, so I got it into my head to make crochet shorts. I started sketching, and decided to stick to a simple granny square pattern at first so I could figure out how to shape it into shorts. I still want to do something with more shaped squares eventually.

So I needed a variety of yarns, as cheap as possible, since this is just a test. The cheapest way seemed to be to just buy an old afghan for a few dollars and pull it apart. I don't really need to buy full skeins of worsted acrylic, it's not very nice for much else. Unfortunately, the only before picture of the afghan I took was this crummy instagram. So apologies for that. Take my word for it, it was very ugly. 
 And a few days later, it became these! The making was pretty simple. Four granny squares to start, then join the front and back halfway down, then made a crotch gusset (may not be necessary if you don't have thick legs/butt like me) then join on the sides.

 Then round and around each leg, and around the waist.

 The is the back view, in the middle back I used treble instead of double crochet, to sort of create a 'yoke' also to accommodate my butt. Honestly, though, it's still a little short in the back, next time I might also add a short row of double crochet just there as well.
And the front. It's lined with a pair of old bike shorts. I carefully tacked it in by hand with lots of separate small tacks so the stretchiness is preserved. There is probably an easier/better way to do this though I imagine a machine zig zag or serger stitch would not look very good.
 I also wondered, "Is it possible to cross stitch on spandex, or would it constrict the four-way stretch too much?" Then I figured, if the cross stitching was done with the fabric stretched the same amount as it would be on the body, it should work. I picked out a simple pattern from an old book I have.
 I had found at the thrift store a while back a cross stitch kit with 'waste canvas.' The idea is you stitch through the canvas and fabric, then 'pull' or unravel the canvas out from underneath. No picture, but I stretched the shorts over some cardboard, and basted the waste canvas onto it. Then stitched through both and pulled the canvas away. 
 When the shorts are unstretched, the stitching does look a little puckered and odd.
 But, once they are on, it looks much more normal. We'll have to wait and see what happens when I wash them though.
I tried to find a bigger piece of waste canvas, and was having a hard time finding any. It turns out that the world has moved on to water soluble canvas! And thank goodness because pulling the waste canvas was a giant pain. No plans for this yet, but I sure I'll think of something.
Last thing for now, I've been making up a neat shirt with some medallion/border print material I found. I was planning on making it long sleeve, but I lost the fussy-cut cuffs, and don't have enough to cut more, so I think it's doomed to short sleeves.

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