February 27, 2009

Gifts

a few weeks ago, I missed my Wednesday night knitting group. It was rather sad, one of the woman who works at Great Yarns ("C") and doesn't normally work Wednesdays was working that night and I didn't get a chance to see and visit with her. However, C brought gifts for me. C's mom sewed. She is currently cleaning up her stuff and paring down. So, when C ended up with a bunch of patterns, C thought of me! C passed along to Miss D - a handful of vintage patterns - mostly aprons, but there were a few slips tossed into the mix.
I think this is my favorite patterns. The envelops says "Compliments of Penney's." Seriously. Did Penney's either used to have a fabric department or did they give patterns away?
These two are very similar, artist style smocks. The one on the right has a hotpad pattern that matches the applique on the pockets - probably fits right in too!
I didn't spend a lot of time looking for dates or looking at the pattern tissue yet. But this was a really neat gift - even if I never use any of the patterns to make anything. I did just about cry however, when I saw C a few weeks later and she mentioned that her mom had tons of vintage patterns. Dresses, skirts, you name it - and she donated them to the big blue truck that comes around. She did say she would give a look through her garage and bring me any that didn't get tossed into a big black garbage bag for donating.

February 25, 2009

Weekend Knitting

So this is what I worked on during my long weekend of visiting family. I employed my strategy of bringing my knitting into restaurants to keep from eating too much - it worked occasionally. First up - Happy Socks for JB, basic toe ups, 2x2 ribbing on the top, after thought heels. When we started the weekend I was barely past the toe box, now the waste yarn is in for the heels. These were easy to work on while we were going over the pass - no pattern to pay attention to. Unfortunately these do not count toward my 12 pairs from stash yarns.

Next - another pair to be gifted Christmas 2009. These are a learning process. They are the strong heel which is a top down heel and is new to me. It was designed to let self-striping yarns continue their striping. I had just started the increases when we left. I have now finished the decreases and completed half of a pattern repeat down the foot. The pattern is 6 stitches and 8 rows. These are stash yarn so they are pair 3 toward the 12 pair goal. Finally, a stretch to get these to count toward the 12 pair goal. I have been wanting to try the Red Heart Hear & Sole sock yarn. I know, but still. A week or so ago it was on sale at the local buy everything here store - buy 2 get 1 free. So I bought 4 balls, but not for myself. I sent it off to friends. Since my goal is to use yarns from stash or not actually purchase any new yarns - I'm counting this because technically it was free! I'm doing something new on this pair. I cast on way more stitches than I normally do so the toe box looks really wide. I started with 24 stitches on each needle. I increased every row to 36 stitches and then every other row to 44 stitches. I've just started the straight rows. I'll use the toe-up, slip-stitch heel and gusset and do a little picot hem at the top. These will be dropped into the purse for downtime knitting since they are so thoughtless. So - lots of driving and downtime, but not much to show for it.

February 24, 2009

Busy Week

Because Monday was spent in the car all day long (seriously). Can anyone explain to me why it took 6 hours of drive time to get there on Saturday and 8 hours driving to get home on a Monday? Seriously! I felt icky all weekend - nothing really wrong - just off. Anyway, that means I didn't get a lot of knitting done on the way drive home.

So - my week looks like: Work Tuesday through Friday. I traded my Friday off for Monday off.

Saturday, going to Puyallup for some retail therapy. It's the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. I'm on the lookout for cute knit prints for some tops and maybe some wool for skirts. I have never really sewn with wool and would like to try it :)

Then Saturday night is poker. Which should be really fun because I'll be getting home late and JB has to work. Hopefully nobody will show up too early. I'll be doing housework on Friday night in order to get ready. I also need to get a bath for the dogs in - although we're heading into the "Rainy Season" so it's kinda pointless.

So, the photo? You a Harlot reader? Well she's Canadian. She has talked about Screech before, so with Cami planning a visit, she asked me to find it. It's just Rum from Newfoundland. It may be my coping method to get through this week :) Hope yours is good.

February 21, 2009

Photo Meme

I was tagged and being the trouper that I am, I decided to play along.
The rules, go to your 5 folder in your Pictures directory, and then post the 5th photo.
Amazingly enough the 5 folder was labelled Christmas 2007 and the 5th photo was of Lucy.
Next it says to tag 5 people, but I won't do that.
I will be in Canada until Tuesday, so while there will be knitting there will be no sewing.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone.

February 20, 2009

Fit for a Princess

2::12 After my mini-rant the other day about knee socks with skirts, here I am modeling a finished pair of knee socks with the skirt I wore all day. Of course, what else would you wear with knee socks?
Specs:
Elegant Ribbed Stockings from Favorite Knits
Started: January 31, 2009
Finished: February 18, 2009
Needles: US 4,
5 & 6s
Yarn: Trendsetter yarns Merino IV Batik, 5 balls!
Cost: You don't want to know! Seriously. I had a gift certificate for the yarn, it was still $8/ball. I also needed to get 3 new addi lace circulars so I had needles long enough and in the right size for this project. So you all know that I spent more on the needles than the yarn, right? Thankfully, these needles will see lots of use in sweater making.
Extras: 2 yards of ribbon to run through the eyelets at the top of the socks. However, I didn't take into consideration how long these socks are and really - each sock needs 2 yards of ribbon. So, I'll be purchasing more.

February 19, 2009

$2.99 Worth of Happy

Monday while I was out running errands, one of my stops was the pet store. We were out of their small morning cookies and that's not acceptable. Lucy hasn't had a new toy in awhile so I went shopping. She loves anything small enough that she can tuck the entire toy in her mouth. Her favorite is a hedgehog - but they were out of the tiny ones. So I got this bunny. Dudley got it first, but he doesn't play with them for long and certainly not after the big dogs have slobbered it all up!
Lucy wasn't waiting very patiently for me to take the pictures. As soon as I said ok - she snapped it up!
Shortly thereafter, I took the bunny from Lucy and gave it to Beau. He's a big chicken and won't take the bunny from Lucy. Most of the time, when they are grumbling over a toy Lucy ends up with it. I think if you click the picture you might be able to see the tiniest bit of white bunny between their lips!
For Beau the game is really about teasing Lucy and getting her to wrestle and chase him. He'll keep more of the bunny out of his mouth and walk around squeaking it. He'll also often put it down just out of Lucy's reach and pretend he isn't interested. Lucy will wait for a bit before she lunges and the wrestling begins again.
Lucy likes to make music with her toys. Once she has punctured the squeaker then she doesn't care and Beau can play with it all he likes. Once Lucy shows no interest in the toy, that's when Beau will kill it! $2.99 sure gives them a lot of happy - no matter how short lived.

February 18, 2009

Sewing in my Brain

The other day while bopping around online, I ran across this very cute skirt designed by AnnaMaria. Ya'll know I love crazy print skirts, but I need some more solids. So, I'm been mulling this over in my mind - for days now - seriously! I have made Simplicity 5914 enough times now that Carolyn would call it a tried and true (TNT) pattern. (She will be so proud reading this - to know that I'm not considering a new pattern, but using it as a jumping off point.) So, the basic lines of the a-line simplicity are the same. I've done inverted box pleats before - I think I can do this. So, now to find a nice, boring respectable solid in the fabric cupboards. Finally - a bit of a rant? Is any one else disturbed by the second photo of the "Study Hall Skirt?" I think it's fabulous, but when the kids are in high school - should we be selling sexy?

February 17, 2009

Do You Knit Fast?

Somebody asked me the other day if I knit fast. I don't particularly think so, but others might. The speed of my knitting comes from the freaky way I knit. Unfortunately I can't photograph myself knitting - so . . . These socks were started on Saturday night - barely. I'm working on US0s over 90 stitches per sock. This pair is cuff down as I'm wanting to learn a new heel. Of course, I'm working both at the same time. Once I got past the 1x1 ribbing they started going much faster. So far, I have knit 3,240 stitches. Wow. I have spend 2.5 hours working on these. If I divide the number of stitches by the minutes spent knitting - to date these average out at 21.6 stitches per minute (3,240 /150 = 21.6). Is that fast? Personally - I don't think so. Fast would have the better part of these socks done by now. Fast would be turning the heel and headed down the foot. What do you think? How fast do you knit?

February 16, 2009

The Beauty of Fat Quaters

Nice fabric/quilt stores will sell fat quarters. Some will even sell them in coordinated packs that are packaged quite nicely - will a little bow or something. Saturday on my way home from the ASG meeting - I stopped at Pacific Fabrics and picked up this package of fat quarters all tied with a bow. It was less than $20. Here are the 6 different fabrics that it contained. Funny thing is I could see two of the all over prints as skirts. Bet you can't guess which ones.
Anyway - I didn't look through them so while I did buy a length of a beautiful rayon lycra knit to make a dress I didn't buy any cottons for fun and funky skirts. Remember over my holiday vacation I decided I needed more solid skirts! Anyway - an hour, some batting, a good steam iron and my new rotary cutter and I had 2 sets of 6 coasters. These are the woven coasters that were highlighted as part of Sew, Mama, Sew! handmade holidays 2007. I have made several sets from dog prints, but this time I wanted a nice grown up print.
While I didn't get the Burda WOF patterns traced (I need a sewing friend to help me take current accurate measurements), I did make a easy halter dress and these coasters. Hope your long weekend was productive.

February 15, 2009

Can I?

So, I took the Amy Butler Sun Surf Halter and lengthened it. After making the version for Miss C I kept thinking that I really liked it. But the length was weird, more tunicy than I like and way too full for a shorter top. I didn't try the version on that I made before mailing it off. So, I wasn't sure how it was going to fit me. Last weekend I was digging around in the cotton cupboard and found the left over Amy Butler pink floral print. I really liked this fabric but there was only enough for the back. Well that wouldn't work, so I kept pulling things out. I finally settled on this red mottled cotton which pulls the red from the pink. I used the pink print for the border and tie. I added 6" originally to the halter pattern, but then ended up taking 4 inches off before I added the border which finished at about 4." My belly is still smaller than my chest and hips. Looking at the photos, I think I could have straighted the side seams a bit rather than left the a-line shape. I wore it to dinner tonight with a little ivory cardi. I got one compliment from one of the other wives. And I asked her to tell me truthfully if it was a flattering style. I'm still not sure so I'm asking you - just because it fits, is it a style I can wear?

February 14, 2009

Forced to Purchase Sock Yarn

Friday I was playing hookie from my life. I hibernated on the couch with knitting until nearly noon - when I finally took a shower and started moving. After taking care of family banking responsibilities - I headed north to Great Yarns! to pick up the last ball of yarn I needed for The Princess' socks I'm making. Well . . . . while the yarn is on hold for me, it's not being held at the store. As many of you know the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is this weekend and it's essentially in my backyard. And that's where my yarn is! I had talked to Miss D and she was going to meet me at Great Yarns for a little visiting and knitting. But now I didn't have anything to work on because I didn't think that far ahead. So I went digging through the sock yarns looks for something fun but somber for JB. The Plymouth Yarn Co. Happy Feet fit the bill. There are 192 yards in each 50gram hank for only$6.50! So two hanks and a Hiya Hiya 40" US 0s later I am now working my way up the foot in 2x2 ribbing. I'm getting 9 stitches to the inch and working these socks over 76 stitches. I hate that I have so much yarn in the house and had to purchase some. I didn't even have my gift certificate with me! So - these socks won't even count toward the 12 pairs from stash this year. But at least I had something to work on and JB will have warm feet. Happy Valentine's Day everyone - hope you get spend it doing something you love with someone you love.

February 13, 2009

One Pair, One Needle

In a forum on Ravelry we were chatting about knitting two socks at the same time, magic looping the needle. One woman asked - one loop or two? for the life of me, I cannot figure out how you would do this with only one loop - so I told her I would take photos of how I do it. Works the same with toe up or cuff down socks. You have half of each sock on one side of the cable - dividing the sock for top of foot and bottom of the foot. Usually, these both have the same amount of stitches. For this pair of socks, I am using a 47" Addi Turbo Lace needle, the cable is red. I have used a knit picks circular as small as 32" before, but it's tight. When I start knitting, I always put a stitch marker on the first sock. Just one - and it doesn't matter where, it's just there so that if I should put my socks down in the middle of a round, I know which way I was headed. If you click on the photo, you can make it bigger and see the details. In the first photo, I'm at the begging of a round and not ready to knit. Both needle tips are together at the right of the work (as you look at the photo). In order to knit, I'm going to pull the needle from the bottom of the socks out enough to move it around and get it into position to knit. In this photo, I have stopped knitting halfway through the first sock. You can see there are loops on both the left and the right of the socks. The loop on the left keeps the stitches of that sock from coming together. Here I've finished the top of the foot portion on both socks, but haven't pulled the needles around to be ready to work back. It does seem like there is a bunch of pushing and pulling of needles around but no more than the fumbling that I was doing with 3 double pointed needles holding my sock and a working needle. Plus when I'm transporting socks on a long circular needle - the worst that has happened to me is that the loop keeping one sock in two halves get pulled all the way in. That's super easy to fix! Much easier than picking up dropped stitches because they've fallen off a double pointed needle. These knee socks are a future gift. They were started on the 31st of January, but then because I didn't take into account how much the 'fabric' would shrink when stretched around a leg and how horrible it would look stretched. So I riiiiiped them out and cast on again adding an additional 8 stitches. This time, rather than measuring when the fabric was flat, I measured when it was on my leg. For me, the benefits of knitting both at the same time are huge. First - these socks are long and I know I would never knit the second if they were knit one at a time. So, when I finish I am done! Second, any changes made to a pattern are done to both socks at the same time. Third, it takes me about a week of singular focus to make a single sock. Amazingly enough - it doesn't take me much longer than that to make a pair.

February 12, 2009

Who's Your Doggy?

Dudley?
Abigail Jane? Lucy Lou?
Beauregard James?
for more doggy goodness - go check out the other doggy Moms

February 11, 2009

Isn't this Fabulous?

I just love the TNT series The Closer. Thanks to the newest thing on the block - the DVR, I can watch it every week regardless of what else I have planned. I love the way she dresses and the way she talks. Occasionally I am pissed beyond belief with the storyline - did anyone watch this week? Pissed! Anyway - the other day while trolling around ravelry I found a group of people who get together on the boards to discuss the show. One lovely lady was so inspired by <----- that cardigan worn by Brenda on the show that the she figured out how to make it. Here is her version. The original cardi was cashmere the knock off is alpaca. I think it's wonderful and I believe it might be next on my "to make" list. Seriously. I don't know what color, but I know that I love it. So - do you watch any tv that inspires what you make?

February 8, 2009

Not Feeling It

I said earlier this year that I wasn't feeling the love for my studio. Apparently I'm just not feeling the love for sewing at all! Yesterday, I headed down into the studio. I wanted to play with the Sun & Sand tunic - I have tree trunk legs, so I'm pretty sure I can't wear it as a tunic. Because the style calls for something very slim on the bottom (including the legs). I had some of the pink and brown print left from stunt stitcher skirts made way back in 2007 -- but only enough for the back. Well that wouldn't work. So, I dug around in the cupboard and came up with a red print that matches the red outline leaves in the AB fabric. I lengthened the pattern by 6" (it already fairly long) and cut lining for both the front and the back. I cut the ties from the pink print and once I have the pieces sewn together I'll determine the length and cut contrast bands. But instead of finding thread, rethreading the serger and sewing - I just stood there, waiting. Waiting for what I don't know. But I couldn't get motivated to turn around and just do it. Hopefully today the desire will strike. In the meantime, my creativity has been being channeled into socks. At least I'm creating something.

February 6, 2009

Delivered!

February 5, 2009

Dudley on Thursday

February 4, 2009

I Don't Have Much

But I do have the February Burda World of Fashion. My coworker went to Boston last year for a convention and I asked him to pick me up an issue. He looked all over town and couldn't find one so when he got back he ordered a subscription for my birthday. This is the first issue I have felt really, really excited about. One of the first things to catch my attention was this wrap over blouse #123. I remembered I'd bought this sheer pleated gauzy type fabric when I was in New York last year and I think it would be perfect. I'm pretty sure I even have blue linen to make a coordinating skirt.

Thank goodness Sharon mentioned the need to add seam allowances when tracing.

The other designs that caught my eye are below. I don't have fabric in mind, but I do have fabric :) So - what are you making from this issue?

February 3, 2009

Velveteen Friends

The Internet and the world of blogs is a wonderful place. I started my blog so that I could comment on a friend's blog. Then I started being more productive with my sewing. Then I started blogging my knitting (which has now taken over my life), and my dogs. In expanding my topics - I have met many new friends, I have planned vacations specifically to meet "friends" I do not know. This thought has been running through my head for awhile.* Virtual Friends are like The Velveteen Rabbit. They aren't really real - you can't stop by for a cup of coffee or give them a hug at knit night. However the relationships we build - they start by leaving comments, responding to those comments, sharing emails, phone calls, and letters - are very real. Our Virtual Friends are loved we wish them well on their birthdays and anniversaries. We worry about them when they are dealing with tough times in life. We call them when we have our own stresses and they know exactly what to say. So thank you all for becoming "Real" in my life. Hopefully I will be able to plan a vacation to meet you too. *A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a blog where the writer was talking about having just put her beloved dog of many, many years down. She was telling of what a lovely wonderful dog it was and how her family had loved the dog so much it became real - it was a real member of her family and putting the dog down was like burying a child. I sobbed while reading that entry. I commented and had an email conversation with the author. I thought I had saved her to my favorites - but now I cannot find her.

February 2, 2009

In the Mail

Not to me this time, but from me to Camilla as a shop sample for Clementine's Dry Goods. This was a super easy top to make. Only the front is lined. All the shaping comes from the drawstring in the front and the elastic across the back I don't quite understand this type of top. I mean - what do you wear with it? It's so full at the bottom that I'm thinking you need something slim. So would you pair it with skinny jeans, shorts, or a straight skirt? Also - looking at the photo - it would appear that I lucked out with the placement of the large circles in the print. It felt so good to get back into the sewing room. Miss C - going out in the mail to you today. Hope it fits. If not, bring more fabric and we'll do it again :)
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