July 2020 Round Up: Wind Up and Pitch

This has been a month of finishing, finishing, finishing: disciplining myself to finish old projects so I’m ready for new ones! It’s been a month of transition as well, since a month that we started by ice fishing:

Ended by going for a swim.

Knitting

I finished Ringle at the beginning of this month! I wrote all about it here, but I can add that it remains very comfortable and I have worn it often.

Sewing

Finishing the knitting was easy; forcing myself not to start more knitting was difficult. But my repair pile was getting out of control, and old projects were piling up of various kinds. I was feeling overwhelmed. They all seemed to involve needle and thread, one way or another, so I got stitching.

First I did some work on holey jeans. Jared has enjoyed wearing his repaired jeans so much that he wore new holes in them. I was emboldened to make these new fixes more visible.

I also worked on my own jeans some more. I’ve learned the hard way that more fitted jeans need an exterior patch. And better to have the patch made of sturdy jean fabric than to try to match the stretchiness of tighter jeans. Jeans that fit more loosely are suitable for interior patches. I think they look cooler.

The jeans on top fit more loosely, and so were suited for an interior patch. The jeans below are on the tighter side, and my careful interior patch in stretchy denim wore right through. Nothing will get through this new exterior patch.

After dithering for a bit, I did decide to bring mending to our friends cabin rather than new knitting. I didn’t pack any warm socks, but brought out five pairs of socks that needed darning – so if I wanted warm feet, I had to darn.

I’ve gotten pretty good at making a solid darn, adding further rows to the weave after the basic structure. One new angle this time was having to darn heels. That was interesting because there are fewer stitches below the hole than above to sew through. But since purl stitches have two sort of levels to them which are off-center from each other, it was simple enough to sew through both levels below and one level above. There was also the complication of darning over slipped stitch floats on the heel flap.

Darned heel from the inside
Outside
Interior side view

It was a fun puzzle. We’ll see how long these darns hold up. Several of these were second repairs, so you can see why spinning for new socks for myself is on the near horizon. I’m just wearing through my socks. I’m planning on reinforcing those new socks, though, with preventative darns based on my wear patterns in old socks.

Favorite socks are worth darning three or more times.
Duplicate stitch darning, which I use on thin spots that are not yet worn through, shows me where I’ll add reinforcement to new socks.

Also in the sewing category: I finally finished the placemats.

These were actually an excellent cabin project; I’ve brought them out a few times. I’ve gotten awfully speedy at backstitch through four layers. And the really important part is: I am now able to get Stringbean to set the table!

One last item under sewing: I’ve had the signatures printed for most of the month for the next few books I’m binding. For some reason I’ve had trouble making myself get around to sewing them together. But I made myself work on it today, again instead of starting more knitting!

I must be enjoying all this sewing, because on Saturday I did a bunch of washing, ironing, and cutting for a new sewing project:

I bet you can guess what they will be. But I’m making myself finish sewing those books before I pull my machine out.

Spinning

All this wind-up has been gearing me up for a big beginning: Tour de Fleece started on Saturday! But I’m getting ahead of myself. I started by finishing off last month’s 51 Yarns studies, which were all about butts and tips and rewinding.

I was keen to get a head start on next months studies. July is all about silk and luxury fibers, and I have a larger than usual amount to sample, so I started in June.

This is some lovely bombyx silk that I spun over the fold.

Since TDF started, I’ve been working on the other two silks in my sampler pack: Muga and Pedencal. I’ll tell you all about them when they’re finished and swatched.

I’m glad I decided to wrap some things up before really diving into new things. We wrapped up homeschool as well, and it’s good to feel one is moving into a new season. For me, that’s meant a season for spinning and sewing, and being outside as much as possible. It’s sad that we won’t get to see our families this summer, but we have many blessings to make our time special up here.

Tomorrow is Canada Day. It’s supposed to be 21 degrees C here. I want to go swimming! I hope you are well and keeping safe this summer, and finding ways to enjoy our beautiful world even in crazy times.


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