Thursday, October 2, 2008

Final SP12 package

Hello all of you out there in the blogosphere! I'm sorry that I've largely disappeared but I wanted you to know that I am alive and well. I've just been dying a bit under the start of grad school. I've earned a day off today so I'm finally starting getting back to some things. Hopefully there will be updates on my knitting here very soon but in the mean time I have send out a thank you to my secret pal! I received her final package last week:
A crochet hook key chain (I can totally use that!), a pattern for baby Mary Janes which I've been eyeing and some Zig Zag sock yarn. What a great pal she's been. Now I just need to find time in the knitting queue for all the sock yarn she sent... :) Thank you very much Amy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

No more monkeys doing yoga on the bed!

Hello all! Lots to share with you guys as I've been very productive in this past week or so. However, I have the new and shiny syndrome and the earlier FOs will have to wait for the one I did this afternoon. This would be a sewing FO that I've been wanting to do for months and months now but particularly since I ordered the most fun fabric ever last month that just screamed to be used. So here is my latest sewing creation finished in basically an afternoon:




The pattern is based on Amy Karol's "Simple Tote" from Bend The Rules Sewing. The main fabric is aptly called Yoga Monkeys, aww. I made a few mods to the pattern. Namely I reversed the the wide and length dimensions on the tote and used the same fabric for the entire outside. I made different handles to have the outside fabric on the outside and the lining fabric on the inside of the handles too. I also did not put in a pocket.
I see lots of these my future and highly recommend them to others who are getting into sewing (super simple!). It's the perfect size for a sock WIP!

Friday, July 25, 2008

SP strikes again!

Yesterday I got to come home to a wonderful surprise in the mail:

The yarn is Hacho and made in Peru. I've used the brand before but never in the sock yarn variety so it'll be fun to play with. And aren't the stitch markers cute? My name and a heart, awww! And don't they look suspiciously like the stitch markers I ordered previously from Robyn's Nest (packaged the same way too!). My pal is Canadian so I have a sneaking suspicion that might be where they came from... hmm... Anyways, I love them!
Thanks SP!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Warm babies

I don't remember when the last time it was mentioned on the blog, and I'm certain you've seen hardly any progress shots but last night I finished the Duffel Coat from Debbie Bliss' Essential Baby. And the best news of all? I finished it before the baby outgrew it! Hooray! But of course, you don't really want to hear me talk, you want the cute baby pics so I'll leave it at the fact that it was knit with Debbie Bliss Rialto on size 7 and 3 needles.


Isn't that cute? And to add to the photo-y goodness, look what came to my house today! Unfortunately, only 2 skeins are for me (though a 3rd I'm doing the knitting on, just not keeping it) :( Guess which ones

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baby bib cuteness

Just something to brighten up your day. One of several of my knitting pieces to be gifted sans photo was a baby bib o' love given to baby J of the blue cabled blanket fame. I'm told by his mom that they are absolutely wonderful and fit better than any other bib she has. And as a treat she's given me some photos to share with you all of the bib in action:

Who can resist that face?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lettuce Knits

While I was in Toronto mainly to do this
(That's graph theory for any one curious. My talk was on random graphs and the probabilistic method and the picture is the sample space for all graphs of order 3), I'm sure you are wondering what kind of yarn I walked away with.
While I had every intention of spending Saturday afternoon durring the free time yarn shopping a group of my friend's was going to Wonderland and as I love big scary rides to death, I just could not pass up the opportunity to go. So I was left with about an hour of shopping time Sunday morning before I left. I dug up the phone book and as it turns out there was a yarn store just a few blocks from where I was staying that I walked mere meters from on several occassions. And of all the yarn stores in Toronto I happened to luck out and have it be this one
It was quite the honour to get to go inside. Unfortunately it really is about the size of a large closet and there was a class going on so I couldn't see the back half of the store where all the dk+ size yarn was but I did get to swoon over all the beautiful sock and lace yarn they had. It was rather amusing because just after I stepped in two ladies came in from out of town and one looked to the other and said "I can't believe I'm actually in this store", lol. I tried to explain that to the other conference goers and exactly what a "legendary" yarn store is but they really didn't buy it. But we know :) There were three things that walked away with me.
Some koigu. I've been wanting to buy koigu again for a long while but every store whose had it has never had colours that really inspired me. These ones absolutely did. Then there was more sock yarn
Socks That Rock lightweight in Atomic #6. Yes, I know I have an order of STR coming my way but I couldn't pass it up. It spoke to me and so I had to take it home. And then immediately cast on for another pair of socks (help! I have so many unfinished pairs!)
Not what I was expecting at all once knit up but I dig it :)
Then there was a kit. Not just any kit. But THE kit for the Tulip baby sweater made out of Dream In Colour Classy. It takes quite a few colours so they wind off just enough of each colour for you so that it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. I've been feverishly knitting on it since I got home and in three days it looks like this (please ignore all the yarn bits hanging out)

Now, it's supposed to be 6-9 months but we all know I'm a reckless knitter who never swatches yet always uses the recommended needle size despite the fact that I know I knit ridiculously tight. So it looks more new born-ish. Thankfully there's a girl baby coming in September. I hear that babies tend to come newborn sized so it should be just great :)
So yes, that was the most important part of my trip to Toronto. Fun no?

Monday, July 14, 2008

SP 12 question backlog

Hmm... it seems I have a backlog of secret 12 pal questions to answer. I had all sorts of great posts planned for the past week and then I get to my conference and there's absolutely no internet access. None at all for the whole 5 days. Needless to say there were many unimpressed students over that fact. (Though the rest of the conference was just lovely! I had a splendid time) So I feel that i should catch up on posting by giving the question answers first:

Question 3: What do you consider the perfect amount of stash?
Well, that's a very hard question because there are lots of things to consider. Firstly, I need to be able to store it in my room which has room for about a shelf and two plastic bins of yarn. It should have all the main colour families in every weight of yarn. And in those weights, the appropriate amount for a project of that type (i.e. a sweater's worth of worsted, 1200ish yards of laceweight for a shawl). And ofcourse bonus sock yarn in all the funky colours.

Questions 4: What yarn (that you don't have/haven't used) would make your stash "complete"?
I'm sure it's a pipe dream but I'm love some Wollemeise sock yarn and enough sea silk for a decent sized shawl.

What yarn do you never want to be without?
In sock yarn, Lovesticks and Yarntini. In other weights, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, I go to yarn of choice.

Question 5: Where is your favourite place to go for vacation/holiday?
Me, I'm a fan of the cruises. Once you've been on one, it's hard to not want all of your holidays to be on one. I've been on two caribbean, a Mexican Riviera and a Greek Island cruise.

Where is one place you'd like to go?
Just one place? I suppose the top of my list would have to be Paris. I love French and am a hopeless romantic.

Monday, July 7, 2008

SP package!

Hello all you readers of my dreadfully neglected blog these past few weeks :( But I have some fun posts lined up for the next week. But before that, I got some definitely awesome mail the other day from my secret pal. Hooray! Totally made my day.
From top left, clockwise: gum balls, cat door hanger, kitty playing cards, cat figurine, DIC Smooshy, coloured pens, cat stickies, a basket and floating candles.
What a great package! Thank you so very much SP. I especially adore the DIC. I happen to have a skein of that colour in the stash so perhaps this will be destined as a pair of Cookie A. knee highs? Who knows, but I'm excited!

Monday, June 23, 2008


*Warning, long picture heavy post*
Well, it seems like it's finally time for a long over due post on my trip down to Montreal with the side trip to Kingston as it's definitely been a highlight of the year so far. I must say that getting there was adventure enough. Straight from convocation I went to the airport and hopped on a plane to Toronto. In Toronto I hopped on the down town shuttle bus and went to the bus depot. AT 9:15 pm I got on a bus and arrived in Ottawa at 2:00 am where I had to transfer buses. By 4:30 am I was sufficiently sleep deprived but safely in Montreal. After blindly turning down streets I managed to find the residences on pure lucky guesses wanting no more than to sleep, only to find that they'd lost my reservation for the first night despite the fact that I had the confirmation saying I was book from the 1st and an email conversation with the place informing them of my odd arrival time. The night clerk was kind enough to eventually give me a room on the condition that I came down to sort things out with the day clerk as soon as I woke up.
The first two days I spent at the Canadian Mathematical Society summer meeting attending and chairing meetings. Not terribly exciting but I enjoy the people that I'm working with so all's good. The Tuesday night we got to go to the student social which was a boat cruise. It was nice enough but spoiled a little but by rain and the fact that the music sounded like it came from a bad nineties prom, but I digress :) Afterwards we found a sports bar just in time for the last 3 seconds of the third period hockey playoff game but were treated to two and a half periods of exciting over time so that was fabulous.
But the really exciting day was Wednesday. At about 10:00 in the morning I was waiting to be picked up by Robyn when I was spotted by her friend Angela who she was also picking up. We'd never seen pictures of each other but apparently my bag full of yarn was a dead give away, lol. I then got the lovely privilege of visiting her online yarn store in person at her house. We picked up her sister Amy, and off we went t Kingston to visit the Yarn Harlot.
In Kingston we first stopped off at the Michaels as they apparently do not exist in Quebec. I was very confused at first why they were so excited about this specific Michaels, but that made sense. As it turns out, there is reason to be excited about that specific Michaels as it sells fat quarters. Who knew? I stocked up on fabric :) We then went to the LYS where I picked up some On Your Toes sock yarn in a bamboo blend, some new sock yarn and some Misti Alpaca Lace. Yum.
Now, while that was all very exciting, the real exciting part came next. Chapters!!!! We arrive at the Chapters an hour early for the event and go check out the set up. Please try to contain your giggles, but this is how many chairs they had set up:
Yah... right. As people filled the seats like hot cakes the store eventually caught on that they might just need a few more chairs. They managed to about triple the number of chairs and started telling the still droves of people coming that they had no more chairs. Somehow they managed to find another 20 or so chairs but people were still sitting on the floor and standing.
After much waiting
The moment finally arrived
It was the Harlot. And I have to say that she was everything that I ever expected and so much more. She's witty and endearing. I got to hear her say arse :) But more than anything, she was very relatable. She sounded like she was having a casual conversation with all of us which I totally appreciated. It was amazing at one point when someone asked how many of us were knitting socks and almost the entire crowd raised a sock. This whole knitting subculture still baffles me at times. The sock I was knitting on, featured a bit below, attracted much attention from the older ladies sitting around me and the girl beside me asked if she could feel it at one point durring the talk, lol. Only amongst knitters...
Afterwards as Robyn had her little one with her we got to get out books signed first and I got my photo taken with the Harlot
Then it was time to pack up and say good bye to some very fine knitters whom I'm very glad to have met in real life:
Me and Robyn
Sean, Amy and Robyn
Magda (who joined us at the Chapters event) and Robyn
There was also Angela who I don't have a picture of from that night but played tour guide for me the next day and took me yarn shopping at Ariadne Knits. We got to stay around on the couch all afternoon and knit. It's a very lovely store and the owners are super nice. I highly recommend stopping by if you're ever in Montreal.
Me and my sock
The sock
My haul! Hooray!
Looks like a yarn filled trip no? Thanks to all the hospitable Montreal knitters who made my experience so much better! For anyone who wants more pics go see Robyn's entry.

SP12 Question of the week #2

As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

I'd have to say that the part of the summer I always looked most forward to is summer camp. I used to go to Girl Guide Camp every summer and positively loved it. The crafting, the singing, the campfires, the hiking and the canoing. Oh the canoing! How I desperately missed doing that. The food was always delicious and every year I made really great friends.

As I got older I think the one thing I looked most forward to is, and I'm told lots of people relate so no laughing, buying school supplies. I'd drive my parents insane bugging them to go as early as possible. All the new pens, fresh paper, clean binders, it's inspiring. I still adore that like crazy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quilt love

Today's scheduled blog post of my Montreal forays has been pre-empted yet another time because of a very special piece of mail that arrived at my house today.
As any regular blog reader knows, I've recently started quilting but as early as last fall I started wanting to learn how to sew and went looking for sewing blogs. While not many have held my interest there are two that I love and follow closely. The first is Amy Karol's Angry Chicken which is very popular in the sewing circles. The other I found by link hopping through sites, Jody's Because I'm Me.
She's a mother of 5 with a sixth on the way who she home schools. She's also a crafter, mostly quilts and baby garments, for herself and for her etsy store . There are many reasons why I love reading her blog. One would totally be about me. I'm an only child who's always dreamed of a big family. I love ready about their outings, trips and family traditions. She speaks of them always so fondly and I find it very heart warming. I love her blog because I think her quilts are gorgeous. They are fun in style, design and colour. But I also love her blog because of the great sense of humility she gives in her writing. She's not afraid of talking about what is going wrong, and I don't mean in a venty way, but in an honest discussion of her hurdles as a crafter. The outcome is always spectacular, but she talks about her work in such a way that I relate as a new quilter/sewer and I don't feel intimidated. I do believe that it's well worth the read for any one here.
But what does that have to do with today? Back in March she was blogging about a quilt that had been giving her a particularly large amount of trouble mostly due to an appliqued butterfly. From the last blog entry about it (the first linked entry), she was a bit disheartened with how it turned out. But I was absolutely captivated by it since the first time it was mentioned on her blog. She first considered giving it away in a blog contest and I must admit that my heart dropped a bit knowing that it would be going out into the world and the chances were slim that it was going to me. Then I didn't win the blog contest but as it turned out she gave away a new prize and this quilt wound up in her etsy store.
I kept telling myself that I shouldn't be spending the money. But I kept going back to the etsy site and there it was every time. And each time I longed for this quilt. And that's not usually how I am to still be thinking about it two months later. It soon became clear that the world was doing every thing in it's power to get me this quilt :) and I would never be happy with myself unless I bought it. So today this showed up:

And I'm not letting it out of my sight. I absolutely adore it. My favourite things in life are funky socks, sweaters and blankets. All comfort items. I really don't know what it is about this quilt but I can't think of a single I've bought that I've been this enamoured with.
Thank you so much Jody for making this quilt, it may not have turned out how you wanted it, but I thinks it's perfect.

SP12 Question the week #1

SP12 question of the week #1 (Canadian spelling version!):

What is your favourite summer time drink?
Strawberry margarita hands down. But on a cold day, hot lemonade :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I know I have other posts to make, but I couldn't resist this meme that Amy and Robyn were doing:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Jenna
2. What is your favorite food? Perogies
3. What high school did you go to? Westwood
4. What is your favorite color? blue "Just another...."
5. Who is your celebrity crush? patrick dempsey
6. Favorite drink? strawberry margarita
7. Dream vacation? Europe
8. Favorite dessert? mint choclate chip ice cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? professor
10. What do you love most in life? freedom
11. One word to describe you. independent
12. Your flickr name. mathgirl85 (searched for as math girl 85)

1. jenna, 2. perogies, 3. The Big Tree, 4. Just another...., 5. McDreamy getting dreamy, 6. Tipsy, 7. "La mia casa รจ il mare e con un fiume no, non la posso cambiare", 8. Mint Chocolate-Chip, 9. beauty = truth, etc., 10. zero gravity, 11. ms. independent, 12. 100 Ways of a Wanderluster

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm back!

Well, I'm back from my wonderful trip to Montreal and back into the daily grind. Lots has happened in the last week. Grad, traveling, knitting icons, meetings, new socks, quilting, knit bloggers, yarn purchases, fabric purchases,... and I just don't know where to start. So we'll try to break this up into several posts over the week. Consider this a re-entry hello and I'll give you a few samplers of what's to come :)
First, this is the last record of me pre-being a university graduate:
Awww! And here is me having just received my degrees and medals from the chancellor, the dean of science and our president/vice-chancellor Lloyd Axworthy (of the ex-minister of foreign affairs fame):
And we ofcourse can't forgot the obligatory pic with the family:
So yeah! I now have my degrees. I only wish I could say I was at the half way point to being finished university but I'm not, atleast 6 years left until the PhD and counting!
Straight from graduation I hopped on a plane and headed off to Montreal where I had a wonderful time at the Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting and general sight seeing. As I've been there doing the tourist-y thing 3 times before I really didn't take any pictures of Montreal itself except this one which I fell in love with on the first day as I walked to the conference from the residences, I think it's incredibly sweet:
So much to say but I can't possibly say it all in one post so here's a sneak peek at what to expect this week her chez mathgirlknits:


But that's not for right now. I'll tide you over with a meme I was tagged for by Robyn:

1. What I was doing 10 years ago: Just about finished grade 7, very interesting right? I imagine studying for exams and counting down the days until band camp.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
-Go to step/body link at the Y
-Read more of the bridge book
-Mail off papers to the U of M
-Sew two more strips onto the quilt blocks
-Blog (check!)

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Fuzzy peahces, sour cream and bacon chips, dill pickles, freezies

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
Travel, move out of the city, get more cats :)

5. Places I have lived:
Winnipeg, Manitoba

P.S. Big hello to my upstream secret pal if you're hanging out blog stalking!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Two squares down, 22 to go

I must admit a piece of shocking news. There has not been a stitch knit chez moi for the last week. And it feels horrible :( But I've been super busy with the quilting and finishing my homework. And now I have two weeks to sew all of the blocks. One week will be gone as I'll be in Montreal all of next week for a conference. That means lots of knitting travel time. I'm also staying an additional few days to sight see and get to two special knitters. I assure you it will be a barrel of fun and I can't wait to tell about all the antics that I'm sure me and Robyn will get into :)
But the quilt! So prior to my wednesday class we remember that it was my homework to cut all of the strips for the quilt. Which took forever. And possibly a tiny chunk of my finger with it as I should totally not be allowed to use anything as sharp as a rotary cutter but what can you do right? Here is how this all looked:

There were pieces of things everywhere I tell you! I don't I'll ever get all the fabrics bits out of the trailer (I spent the week at the cabin for some piece and quiet). Then this past Wednesday was the class where we learned about the actual piecing of the quilt. I unfortunately forgot my camera for the class so there are no WIP shots of the first few blocks being made but I promise that for the upcoming few. As she wanted us to piece an entire square in front of her in class I did the first two squares on their own piece by piece. And I have to say, I heart the 1/4' foot on my dewing machine. I don't think I'd have any hope of sewing a straight line otherwise. These are the first two squares:
I'm still sticking with the diamond pattern so a little peek at just two sitting next to each other to give a bit of flavour:
I do love how these colours are working up together. I think it will be a very beautiful first quilt for me. Outside of my usual colour zone but I truly do like it. And for those who want a peek at the back side:
The next 22 squares are being done at once assembly line style. We'll leave you hanging with what exactly that means and I'll give a little step by step when I get back.
Mean time, wish me luck at convocation on Sunday and a safe trip to Montreal. I might not update until I'm back on the 7th but hopefully I can sneak something in. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SP12 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? MY favourite yarns are pretty much anything by Debbie Bliss, Lovesticks Self Striping sock yarn, Yartini and I like trying things with different blends. I freely admit to being a yarn snob and as a general rule of thumb do not use acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? At the moment, scattered in boxes all over my room. I was given a needle holder for christmas that I need to find...

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Intermediate. I'm self taught since June of '06

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have an amazon and Loopy Ewe wishlist which you can email me for the link if you'd so like.

5. What's your favorite scent? Vanilla, lavender. I can't handle overly floral smells.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Huge sweet tooth. Too many favourites to name. Let's see: Jelly Belly jelly beans, fuzzy peaches, pop rocks, toffiffee, chocolate covered pretty much anything, sour soothers, red licorice,...

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I also crochet and am learning to sew and quilt which is quickly turning into an obsession. I have a drop spindle but have had disasterous results trying to teach myself and will need someone to show me.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I will listen to pretty much anything but have a soft spot for jazz, broadway and lounge music (think Billy Joel)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Blue, pink, purple, black are my favourites. I can't stand orange, yellow on it's own, brown or bright greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Live with my parents and two cats: Misty & Mittens.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Everything but ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? It's probably not a hard guess from my blog that the answer there is socks.

13. What are you knitting right now? Socks, finishing Mystery Stole 3, baby sweaters

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Absolutely

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circular, aluminum or metal

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Since the great room clean I think the oldest that's survived is from last summer

18. What is your favorite holiday? Whacking Day and Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Fabric, cat figurines, small flutes, Le Petit Prince in foreign languages, yarn :)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Fitted Kits, Classic Knits by Erika Knight, any of the vogue Stitchionaries

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Fair Isle

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yeppers. I have a women's size 8 foot. 9 inches long.

23. When is your birthday? May 10th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? mathgirl

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let the quilting begin

Sorry for the late in the week post, I've been staying at the cabin and didn't get pictures lined up in advance. It was a nice week, relaxing. If not cold in the unheated cabin when the temperatures were dipping below zero at night... But I'll live with that as long as I have ample comforters and lots of peace and quiet. The mail today brought me some good news. On June 1st is my convocation and I found out that I'll be getting the gold medal in mathematics (honours) and the gold medal in statistics (4-year). Something to smile about. I don't get people who don't go to their convocations. I wouldn't dream of missing mine. After killing myself for five years to lead up to this point, I want to be handed those degrees, not get them with bills in the mail...
I'd say there was lots of knitting going on but that would be a lie as I've been playing with my new toy, the sewing machine. This weekend after butchering a yard of two kinds of fabric because I was completely unable to measure the pieces correctly I have wound up with a cute little clutch purse. The button fastener is a little off centre but other than that I am extremely happy with it. It's really more of a little girl's purse but I do have a little girl in mind that will hopefully love it. It's all flannel fabric so it's very soft. The pattern is the "Artsy Clutch" from the Bend The Rules Sewing book by Amy Karol. Cute no?
Now, having had the machine for just over two weeks that must only mean one thing, I started my quilting class yesterday!!! Oh it was wonderful. There are 8 of us in the class, though one lady won't be coming until next week. I believe that I'm the youngest by atleast 20 years but they're all so nice. And the instructor is wonderful too. Today was very much so the math lesson. The quilt we're making is a log cabin quilt. Therefore it's a little math figuring the make sure you're cutting the pieces in the appropriate size increases. We learned how to figure how many strips we'd get per metre of fabric so how wide of fabric of each kind. I'm doing my blocks in four colours with two shades of each of the main colours. Well, five colours I suppose as I have a centre block in a different colour. Here's the sketch of each of my blocks (note, not really using orange, that was just the only other shade of red in the pack of pencil crayons)
See the fun calculations? Most people are doing two colours but as I was done all the calculator work much before the others I was able to play around with colours and noticed that with rotations I could get a cute triangular pattern, this is how it'll look pieced together:
There are 24 blocks (4 by 6) each nine inches square. Needless to say that it's a lap blanket size for my very first quilt. Some are tackling like double or queen sized bed sized blankets. Considering that we get two weeks to sew all of our blocks (and I will be gone for 6 of those days), that is so far out of my reach at the moment, I don't want to think about it. but I'm happy with what I've done. Here's a sneak peek at the colours:
Homework for this week: Wash and press the fabrics, pre-cut all of my strips and sort by strip letter. I'm excited!