Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yarn Along with some sewing thrown in....

I am still working on the hobby horse for James' birthday. I hopefully will finish the main body of the horse by tomorrow- just the nose left to go. Then I have to get the ears done so I can felt it. Then comes the putting it together part. I am having a dilemma with James' horse about the bridle. I did put the bridle on Xander's but mostly they just use it to tie each other up and wrap it around the wheels of their ride-ons. So it is very tempting to not knit the 9 yds (yes 9 yds....) of i-cord to make the bridle. I could pretend that I will do it when he is a bit older but let's be honest that would be a lie. If it doesn't go on now it probably never will! So bridle or no bridle.... that is the question of the week?

Reading wise I have been reading pure trash. Every once in a while you just have to do it! I finished up Yarn Harlot: Free Range Knitter and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work but fr now I wanted some more real quick and easy reads. So Diana Palmer and Nora Roberts it was... pure, fluffy romantic quick reads. I am feeling the desire to reread the Secret Garden so that will be next on my list- I just have to rescue my copy from my mom's house. Actually I need to make a book run on my mother's house b/c she has stacks of my kids books that I need to get and bring back to my house. Xander is getting old enough to sit through chapter books so I am looking forward to reading him all the classics and all my childhood favorites. Plus I have a huge collection of ladybird books that I think he will enjoy (assuming mom didn't give them all away....). On Friday I am set to pick up all the books from my Usborne book show so I am really looking forward to sorting though all those. I am going to keep many of them for James' birthday and Christmas but a few I am sure will make it onto the bookshelves before then. Plus I want to preread some of the story collections before reading them to Xander to make sure they aren't too scary- the Grimm fairy tales in particular. So basically I have plans for a lot more reading to come.

I haven't gotten much done knitting really this week because I have been working on the valances and shades for my bedroom. This was my first time making roman shades so it was quite the adventure and challenge. I have one shade and valance completely done and the second one underway. I was thinking about doing a tutorial on how I made my shade and valance but the reality is there are plenty of really great tutorials out there already so nothing that I could improve upon. I used this website: very heavily. She has excellent instructions on making roman shades and plenty of step by step tutorials and photographs for us visual learners. I did make some modifications to her classic roman shade by using battens only on the down folds which worked out ok. If I had to do it again I would go ahead and do the battens on every fold but you can get away with it on only the downfolds if you don't mind doing some straightening every once in awhile. I also didn't like the idea of slitting the hem to insert the weight rod so I stitched in a buttonhole before I did the hem. That way the weight rod slides right into the hem and I don't have to worry about frayed edges- not that you really would since I used a blackout lining but it the perfectionist in me coming out.

Frank doesn't love the fabric on the valance because he thinks it is too fussy but I like it. It has seashells and sea life on it so it brings in that beachy feels and it brings a little more blue into the room. I felt like I was getting too much green going and i needed to bring back that aqua feel. I felt pretty good though when I saw the exact same curtains in country curtains for $10 more per yard than I paid! I definitely saved money by making my own but the shades still ended up being pretty pricey. I used a home decorator fabric because it was the only thing that I found that really suited my color scheme and also because it has the stain and fade resistance built in but that meant the the fabrics ranged in the $15-20 range and for a 60in shade on a directional fabric you need a lot of fabric. It's hard to see in this picture but the shade has a aqua green coral print on it which could really only be cut in one direction. Then I had to buy a whole roll of cord for stringing the shade plus the hardware and the blackout lining (which I got 50% off) but let's just say it wasn't cheap! I could have probably gotten something at wally world for a whole lot less but it wouldn't have matched as well or had that custom look. I also really needed custom fit shades with the blackout lining so that I can sleep during the say when I am working. So we'll call it a compromise. I spent more than I wanted to but I got exactly what I needed (and wanted). Now I just have to finish the second shade by Friday so I can put them to use before work!


Kaylana said...

Hi! Just stopping by with the Yarn Along.
Have a great week of reading and knitting!

Alittlebitsheepish said...

Maybe a ribbon bridle? Save all that work doing the i cord and if it becomes a nuisance you can always take it off without feeling like hours of work have gone to waste.
Sometimes reading trash can be great :)

Emily said...

I like the previous comment about using ribbon over an i-cord. I think if this pony didn't have a bridle, it might cause a problem between the boys.

The valance looks great! I am so thrilled your room is coming together the way you want it to be. Looking forward to seeing it all together.

Jess said...

I can't wait to see your hobby horsey! I agree about the ribbon.
Skip that i-cord... said...

hmmm...having two of my own, i think everything has to be the same. truly. otherwise someone will notice. lol