Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Favorite Colors

Cidell and I had discussed the flyer for Joann's Black Friday sale and she mentioned she wanted to get the big 120 spool thread holder they had on sale for $14.99. I recently acquired a spool holder for serger thread (and planned to get another with my next coupon) because the cones are just too big to keep in plastic bins like I keep my regular thread, but was ambivalent about a spool holder for regular thread. And incidentally, to put to rest any fears that I am not thinking about sewing day *and* night, I dreamt about serger thread the other night. I had read in one of the serger books that you should switch out spools between your loopers and your needles because the loopers use a lot more thread and that way you won't run out of thread on two cones and have plenty left on the other two. So in my dream I was serging a lot, apparently, and was coming to the end of the spools on my loopers. I was so annoyed with myself that I hadn't switched out the cones, and what was left on the looper cones was more like rags tied end to end than thread and it kept clogging up my serger. Bizarre.

Anyway, I got to Joann and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to thread holder. My thread situation had been having all the spools in a plastic box, but they were pretty much outgrowing the box and I never knew quite what I had. It would be nice to know what colors I have and not have to root through dozens of spools to find the best match. I couldn't find the holders and was a little disappointed, so I asked an employee and she showed me where they were. Yay! I was also able to use my coupon on another serger thread holder *and* the 20% off purchase coupon, so I did well. I didn't get any fabric, only a few notions and the thread holders. Luckily, the Joann near me has only horrible fabric. People show projects made of cute knits that they allegedly purchased at a Joann; ours has no knits at all.

I had just sorted my Fabric Mart buttons--and let me say if you are OCD, and I mean this in the clinical diagnosis sense, not the colloquial sense, I do not recommend you get these bulk buttons because it's very hard to determine in which category to place some of the buttons. In this grouping there were a ton that were similar but not quite the same (and not even interesting to boot!). Unlike that obsessive, dull task, sorting my thread by color was fun! And the result is so pretty!

I thought I'd have more red, I had no idea I had only one spool of one color of orange, I need to stop buying black thread and start buying white thread, and obviously teal/aqua/turquoise is my favorite color because that is the only complete row!


On the way home from Thanksgiving at the parents of a friend, I convinced my neighbor/dear friend, with whom I'd ridden to said Thanksgiving, to stop off at my office so I could pick up my heavy hat block and bring it home. Yay! I decided to start with one of my least favorite of the hoods, which was sort of a taupe-y green in a boring way (the lower most one in this photo). I really didn't like the color much but I thought if I could add a little yellow to it I'd like it better (observe that I have a whole category for yellow-green thread). What could I use? Turmeric! Turmeric dyes everything yellow, even plastic containers, so surely it would add some color to wool. Sure enough, it worked great. I threw in some roving too, to see what would happen. It makes an awesome bright yellow!

I put some water on the stove to simmer, added a bunch of turmeric, and tossed in the hood. That was it. Let it simmer for about ten minutes, rinsed it out and pressed out some water, and popped on the hat block. In From the Neck Up I'd read that you should hold the hat in place on the block with a band of elastic so I sewed the ends of some elastic together and stretched it on. In the morning the hat was still very wet, so I turned on the internal heating element for a little while and the hat dried pretty quickly after that. Unfortunately, the ribs of the elastic left markings on the hat, so I sprayed it with water, protected the hat felt with a piece of heavy wool, and stretched the elastic over that. It looked good this morning.


In home millinery, I have learned from the book, one generally cuts off the brim and blocks the crown and brim separately. I don't have any brim blocks and am kind of just playing around at this point, so I'm going to see what I can do about molding it as one piece. It's very fun.


Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, and on Saturday I made hundreds and hundreds of cookies with my girlfriends. We have an annual cookie baking day and we are out of control. We make nine kinds of cookies, and huge double and triple batches of each: snickerdoodles, rollo cookies, chocolate crackles, peanut butter whirls, sugar cookies, gingersnaps, chocolate chip, lemon bars, and coconut balls. It takes about 8 hours and is completely exhausting but very fun. Sunday night I made myself Thanksgiving dinner to have for lunches this week. Other than the Tofurkey roast, it's quite traditional: mushroom gravy (the secret to a good vegetarian gravy is lots and lots of red wine), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (this year I roasted them with parsnips and onion), cranberry sauce (cranberries, a grated apple, an orange, oj concentrate, and a little honey), and apple-cranberry pie (from Cooks Illustrated with the vodka crust).

In between times I managed to do some sewing. I'm pretty much done with Butterick 4985 in the silk pinstripe. I'm just trying to figure out how *not* to look like a marshmallow in it. And I have a good start on BWOF 10-2008-118 in a silk print, though I ran into a pickle while cutting and found I had miscalculated in my mock layout and did not, in fact, have enough fabric (I came up with a solution). "All" I have left is buttonholes and buttons, hem, and some hand sewing on the cuffs. This should take me a good three hours to finish because it always does when I'm "almost" done with a blouse.


Jacqui said...

You had a very busy weekend. Love your hat! I'm still storing my thread in the plastic boxes. I've outgrown the 4 I have already. My favorite color seems to be brown - I have lots of them! Most of my serger cones are in a covered box. Its amazing how quickly that collection grows when you realize you need three shades of each color.

Christina said...

Girl, you have a lot of thread! The display is very pretty indeed.

Elaray said...

Your thread looks so nice and organized! I been thinking about getting a thread rack. I think I may have too much thread, though. The only way it would work is if I hung several racks on the wall. That would make my cat crazy!

Vicki said...

I think I am a blue, green, teal girl as well. They win hands down. And I don't have any white! Had to resort to cream on the last project when I ran out of white.

Myra said...

I have one of those thread holders, but smaller and like it, but now need another or a larger one. I outgrew a shoebox rather rapidly. My threads run to browns, beiges, pinks (girls' clothes) and some blues. Very little green or yellow/orange. Love the hat!

Alana said...

I've noticed that the amount of acceptable fashion fabric at my JoAnn's has skyrocketed, from zero percent to maybe three percent, but still, a noticeable jump!

Anonymous said...

Oooohhh, I saw that pie recipe in Cooks's Illustrated and planned to make it also, but ended up away from home for Thanksgiving. Would you say it was worth making just because?

Lisette M said...

Your hat is coming along great. I love the way your holder looks, I'm going to find the one I bought a long time ago and never hung because I couldn't decide where.

Amber said...

Hahaha I am SO WITH YOU on the fabric mart buttons. OCD sistahs unite.

kasizzle said...

The hat is awesome! I love hats and have played around with the idea of making them myself but have never gotten as far as you have.