Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sewing, Knitting, White Fluffy Things

Living in Texas, I have been appreciating lighter weight woven summer clothing, linen being one of choices. I was out on etsy looking for handmade linen clothing and found a beautiful jumper. It was designed to be worn with a tee shirt and leggings, and was darling. It was more than I had at the moment to spend, but one of my friends gave me the challenge of : "you can make that, you sew." :) Nothing like a challenge to get the creative juices flowing. I have several A-line dresses here and laid them out on the table, on top of some paper. Traced them, added a seam allowance, increased the size of the armhole, made a V-neck, added a pocket, and an asymmetrical hem. I went to JoAnn's Fabric and found linen, it was on sale and I bought it for a great deal of $17!!!

As I was getting ready to cut the dress, I had a thought, "maybe I should do this first from a sheet?" Good idea! So, I went scrounging around the sewing room, decided not to use the sheet, but to use a piece of white shirting. I didn't care, at that point, about it draping, it was after all the prototype.

I did get it sewn and the pattern did work, with a few tweaks. Then, I looked in the mirror and thought, I look like the Michelin man in this thing! The fabric had enough polyester in it to cause it to stand straight out from my body! I had to fix this.........Mind you, this was only to be a prototype.

So, I sewed on some doilies, thinking that would help, adding weight to the fabric, maybe it would hang instead of sticking out. Nope. Then in the middle of the night, when all people are to be sleeping, I was thinking of this thing(no longer jumper). I decided to dye it purple, I had cotton dyes! It became purple the next day, I also added tie dying to the effect. WELL, I knew this might happen, hoped it wouldn't, but it did.

The sewing thread was polyester......... It stayed white. My doilies took the dye beautifully, but the white thread looked terrible... Groan... visions of seam rippers danced in my head and it is just a prototype....... 

I thought about using a sharpie marker and coloring the thread. Hahaha!  I thought about leaving it, I thought about tossing it in the trash, or wearing it inside out, :)  and I thought about fixing it right. :) Even though I will probably only wear it at home and it is THE PROTOTYPE. Haha!

The next day, I went to the store and purchased purple thread and came home and started ripping and ripping and ripping and ripping, did I mention I used a zigzag stitch? I ripped out the center of each doily first and then replaced that portion of stitching with the purple thread. Next I ripped out the outer portion of stitching and replaced it with the purple thread.

I have to admit, the hours and hours were worth it. I have made the real one now and am enjoying wearing it.

I am taking part in a knit-a-long on Ravelry, with the Curly Girl group. The project has to be something for your head, hands, or heels. I have had the pattern for the Sheeps Heid pattern on Ravelry sitting on my desk for several years. The pattern is written by Kate Davies, here is the link.

This photo is from Kate Davies Ravelry listing and it is a Kate Davies Photo.  It is a picture of her, and her beautiful hat, not me or my hat. :)

Here are my little bags of yarn. I purchased Madeline Tosh yarn for the project, they had mini skeins available in their store when I was there one time with my friend, Debbie. 

Now this picture, below, was taken at Barnes and Noble, in the CafĂ©. We will go there to get Starbucks sometimes. We did that on Friday, because the drive thru and parking lot at the regular Starbucks was closed, they had just resurfaced it. 

Anyone have an idea of why there are these white balls, that look like they are handmade from cotton balls, hanging from the ceiling?  They look like giant snowballs, but it is 100F outside. Are they helping us cope, reminding us that winter will return? Hmmm.........

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beautiful People and Beautiful Things

April ended in a stressful and sad time for me, as I had to say good-bye to my precious mom and friend. She was a confidant and advisor, a wonderful woman of God who's faith kept her strong all the way to the end, or should I say to the new beginning of the rest of her life. :) I will miss her, her words of wisdom and faith, her encouragement, and her friendship. I know though, that she is in a much better place, with our Lord and Savior.

I traveled to NY to help set up the plans for Mom, with my brothers.  One day, my oldest brother and I went to the First Presbyterian Church of Babylon, to speak with Mom's pastor.  On our way past the Education building we saw this beautiful tree in full bloom.  What a joyful sight.  Truthfully, I have no idea what type of tree this is, but it was so beautiful that I had to take a picture. If you know the name, please leave a comment, as I would love to know.

My brother was kind enough, he is used to humoring his sister in this way, to hold a bloom so I could get a close up picture.  It was just beautiful.

The church building, which I have pictured on here before, is always beautiful to see. History tells us that the tall steeple used to lead, and still leads, fishermen back to port. The clock in the steeple does have a bell to ring the hour.  This was the building I was married in, by the way, 42 years ago. :)

What was sooo pretty about this time, was the wreathes on the front door.  They were so pretty, full of spring flowers and colors.  Just loved the look against the white doors.

And here is my magic yarn ball shawl!!!!  (and me peeking out behind it, hahaha!) I love how this shawl turned out and cannot wait for it to turn chilly again, so I can wear it.  I suppose, I could turn the air conditioning down to 68 so I can try it out.  Hahaha!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magic Yarn Ball Projects!

You aren't going to believe this, but the group that I attend on Wednesdays, is having so much fun making magic yarn balls that we have continued to make them for 3 weeks now!  AND we still have more yarn to use........ Don't know if that is a good thing, or an obsessive thing, that we STILL have more yarn waiting to go into our Magic Yarn Balls.  It does mean that we all have a lot of yarn, though.
Here is the show-n-tell from the last couple of weeks.
Edee has made a long asymmetrical scarf, she based her knitting on the Hitchhiker scarf on Ravelry.

Vickie whipped out her scarf right away and encouraged the rest of us to get going on our new balls of yarn! Isn't this scarf pretty??

This is my shawl, from that giant ball I posted about in the last post. I may actually have too much yarn.  I hope not, but I don't want a shawl to my ankles.  Why? Well, I would probably trip on it. :) It would be warm though.
Below is a shot taken from further away.

We are having so much fun with this project and we are glad we did it.  I have 2 more large balls wound and another one started.  Plus, yarn sitting around the house with the new idea of "OH, I can put that in a magic ball." 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Finished Lacy Vest, Finished Cameo and Magic Yarn Balls!!!

Here is my finished Lacy Vest.  I used handspun yarn for this vest, gifted to me by my great friend, Debbie!!!  I wrote about the yarn in this post, this is the link,.
I am actually getting my crochet skills back.  It has been so long since I have crocheted clothing.  Actually, before I started crocheting the potholders, I don't think that I had crocheted in about 15 years.  I really thought that I could pick up that hook and just fly along like I had before.  Nope....... 
 I had to call my daughter and ask her how I had taught her to hold her yarn.  Then on my last visit to  my mom, she was crocheting something and I was able to watch her!!! After all, she is the wonderful person who taught me in the first place.  So, gradually, I have been working on my crochet skills.  I did rip out a bit of mistakes in this vest, as I got used to reading patterns again.
One day, I was so confused, that I asked a couple of gals who I help with knitting.  They were so excited to be helping ME for a change!!! LOL!  I was glad they were helping me too!
Here is Cameo!  I finished it.  I guess I should actually say, that this is my version of Cameo. Here is the link to the Cameo. I changed the lace portion of the scarf, used the Little Leaf lace pattern(in garter stitch), and then did a version of the Feather and Fan lace pattern.

Last Wednesday, at our spinning group, we started a FUN project! We decided to go through our yarn stashes and bring in unwanted, or better yet, yarn we didn't know what to do with and couldn't get rid of.  You know, the yarn that sits in that bucket, drawer or closet, that you love seeing, but can't imagine why you bought it, or why you bought 17 skeins when you only needed 12???  We also brought in those little portions left over from completed projects.
While we were playing in the yarn, we decided to call this a Friendship Ball of yarn. We have used yarns from our friends and it is extra special for that reason.
Below is ONE table of the yarn brought in by 7, yes only 7, people!!  Actually, this is 2 tables, we pushed 2 tables together!  LOL!! But, wait......

Here is the second table, the run-over table.  It is a card table, but was chock full too.

 We wound and we wound.  We all had our own idea of how long we wanted a color to be.  If a yarn was thinner than we wanted, we found something to compliment it and wound two or more strands together as one.  We had so much fun.
Some of us, like Laurie in the center of the above picture, wound HUGE balls. Some of us, like me, wound separate little balls.  I did this so that I could remember what colors I had used.  :) I have a shawl project in mind for mine.
This is my collection of little yarns.  Because I had decided that I wanted to use as many jewel tone colors as possible, most of what I used was from my stash, and I supplemented with other yarns. I have a mixture of wool, acrylic and cotton yarns in here.  I didn't use the gray to the right though, I decided to put those to the side for the next project.
After laying my little yarns out to rest, I organized them into an order that I liked.  I tried to have 3 balls of each colorway, so I spread each colorway a bit apart.
I then started attaching the ends together, by using the Russian Join. I also added long sections of blank in between the rows of my colors.
When done, my Friendship Ball of yarn weighs about 1 lb.  :) Here it is placed next to a 3.5 oz ball of yarn, so you can see the size. 

The funny thing about our Friendship Yarn project, is that we were having so much fun, that no one wanted to stop. But, alas, our time was up and we had to clean up and head for home. We decided that we would pick up where we left off this week and maybe another week after that. 
If you haven't done this yet, you might want to give it a try.  :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Penguin, An Owl and a HUGE Ball of Yarn

February is another month of birthdays for our family! Our oldest granddaughter, Nicole, turned 16 this year.  Where has the time gone?   One day, when she was out on Pinterest, she saw a cute French penguin and she showed it to her mom. Her mom, showed it to me and the rest is history.  :)  I found a pattern for a similar penguin and then added the mustache, scarf and beret.   This little guy stands about 5 inches tall.
Then, on February 14, Claire turned 13!  She loves owls, and I wanted to make her a fun owl.  Lots of fun colors for her owl.

My birthday was in January and I have a very good friend, Debbie, who lives in Minnesota.  She sent me two gifts!!! One gift is this wonderful skein of her handspun yarn and I immediately wound it into a ball of yarn.  My swift doesn't hold the size skein that it was, so I put the yarn on two chairs and wound it by hand.  I love this yarn!!!! Thanks, Deb!!

 Here is the ball of yarn all ready to go.  This color below is closer to the real color than the one above.

The skein measured about 440 yards of yarn.  I have decided to make a crochet vest pattern that is from Lion Brand. Here's the link to the pattern.  The pattern was written by Doris Chan and she has some very beautiful designs.

These mittens are beautiful!! They are the other part of my birthday gift.  I absolutely love them! Debbie, you are an exquisite knitter and spinner.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Remodeling, Light Weight Gray Scarf, Every Last Yard

When we were remodeling the bathroom and laundry room downstairs, we put in pocket doors.  I LOVE my pocket doors.  But, to do that we had to rip out some of the old paneling on the walls, what a shame(not!). I don't miss that paneling one bit. :) But, in doing that, we ended up having to rip the carpet off of the stairs, darn(not!). I don't miss that either. Haha!
But, to my surprise, probably not my hubby's surprise though, cause he is very experienced in remodeling, having done it professionally, we didn't have a nice find under that carpet.......
First off, the crew that installed the carpet must have used about 2,000+ staples in the pad under the carpet and then about 2,000 nails in the carpet! At least it felt like that many, I don't' think we counted.  Of course, in ripping out the carpet those little buggers stayed in the wood.  Yep, for us to have to walk on.... Finally one night we spent a couple of hours and removed all of them. Yes, we. I helped. I do help with these projects, when I am allowed. LOL!! Sometimes my help isn't always help. LOL!
So here are the steps after the crazy staples and nails were removed. Hubby did have to sand the wood and make it pretty. Then we had to go to the big box hardware store for paint and sealer.
After painting every other step, so we could still travel down there, my studio is down there after all. He finished the painting. Aren't the stairs wonderful????  I am so happy with them.

I am having fun knitting, and crocheting, light weight scarves! Here is one of my newest triangle ones, listed on etsy.  It is made with cotton yarn and has glass beads along the bottom edge and 3 larger glass beads, one on each corner.

For me, I finished my Every Last Yard sweater.  It was designed so that you could use up all the yarn you purchased for it, by saving up enough yarn at the end to bind off and be done.  It is knit from the top down.  I love the lace pattern at the bottom of the sleeves and sweater body. Well, I did have an entire skein left over, but that is ok. I used Brown Sheep yarn.

Here it is! I love wearing it!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Knitting Hats, Fingerless Gloves and a Monkey!

To finish out the theme of the Christmas knitting, here are a few more projects that I made. This hat and fingerless gloves set were for Claire. She loves, no LOVES, astronomy and I have been on the look out for something to make, or even buy, for her having to do with astronomy.
When I decided to make the hat sets for Christmas, I went to JoAnn's to purchase the yarn. To my surprise I found this yarn! It is Woolease Thick and Quick and its color name is Constellation! Those little specks are a silver thread, making the hat look like a starry sky.  The pattern is named Avery and on Ravelry, here's the link.
Here are her handwarmers. I used my pattern Topless Mitts for these. I did use a size smaller needle for hers. I like them better on the smaller needle.

Here is the picture of Rebekah's hat. I did finish it, even though this picture doesn't show it finished. (I forgot to get a finished picture...) I loved making this hat, with the leaves on it. It is worked in the round, which yes, that means I purled the whole thing. I couldn't believe I did that, but I wanted so much to make this hat for her. She likes gardening and working in her yard. The pattern name is Seedling.

I wanted to make coordinating hand warmers.  So I used my Peek-A-Boo hand warmer pattern and left off the lace and then put the leaf pattern on it. To my surprise, it worked! The second hand warmer has only one leaf.

This is my newest project for me. I finally made myself a Jacobus Sock Monkey Doll.
I kept thinking about the movie character Gracie Lou Freebush, from Miss Congeniality, played by Sandra Bullock. How she was a rough and tumble gal, who dressed up and became a beauty queen. I knew my sock monkey was going to do the same thing. Sooooo,
Meet Miss Gracie!
I designed her clothing myself. There isn't a pattern for them. The designer of the doll, had patterns for clothing and the dress is similar, but hers was made from fingering/sock weight yarn and knit sideways. I wanted to use up stash yarn and what I had to use was a worsted weight yarn.

                        She has a pretty hat, with crocheted flowers and a ribbon down the back.
And she has bloomers with lace on them.

Now she has a knitting bag!! One of my friends, Sharon, said she needed a knitting bag and made one for her. Yes, it has yarn in it. :)
As part of my birthday, the UPS Store guy had bought tickets for us to go see Garrison Keillor! Such a treat!!!! We have been listening to his radio show, off and on, since we lived in Minnesota in the late 1970's! So, we drove over to Richardson, TX, (where we used to live) and went to the Eisemann Center to spend the evening with a great story teller.

The theatre was packed and he talked, and sang, for the better part of 2 hours. It was a wonderful time and I am so sorry that he is retiring.  I will miss hearing his stories.  I have enjoyed listening to him and am glad that I could go see him before he is retired!