Friday, November 27, 2009
The evening before Thanksgiving I had finished this skirt that was a promised birthday gift for my eldest daughter. I had given her the pattern, fabric, thread and zipper in a gift box at her birthday celebration. I wanted her to approve of it before I went ahead and made a skirt for her. She had been complaining that she couldn't find a "pencil skirt" for work similar to what I appeared to be wearing in a lot of her old baby pictures. Back then we just called these "straight skirts" and even the skirts on most of my dresses were cut straight.
Do you know how LONG it's been since I made any clothing? It has been 15 years at least I think because that's when I stopped making clothes for my 2 eldest granddaughters who are now almost 19 and 21. While I can't recall what I had for lunch yesterday, it appears I haven't forgotten how to sew clothes. The hardest thing was remembering to use 5/8" seams and not 1/4 inch! I do have to admit to leaving the pattern pinned on the fabric for a day or so, just in case I would discover I had messed it up somehow.
The fabric is a polyblend from JoAnn Fabrics and it raveled something fierce, so I had to machine zigzag over all the seam allowance to make sure the skirt wouldn't ravel away! I liked the pattern (McCall's 3830) because there was no waistband to deal with, just a facing. And I put in a zipper! I'm so proud of myself.
However, I feel very dumb for not getting a picture taken of her in the skirt after we determined the hem was okay. Duh......
But she said she loved it and it looked cute on her!
I'm almost done with all my "promised projects". I just have one more pillow to put together and then I can get busy on Christmas gift things. The grands like to get gift cards, but this year I am trying to make them each some little thing to go along with the gift card.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
When offered the choice, she chose a pillow and it's taken me some time to get it finished.
I used this design for her older sister, my #1 grandchild, and I plan to do one for each of the remaining 5 grands as their graduations approach. I will try to use the appropriate school colors as I have with the first two. I have 3 years I think before I need to do another one.
So, now I'm off to work on a skirt I promised I'd make for our eldest daughter - where we are going for Turkey Day.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Walking around the yard though on this chilly day, I discovered that my paperwhite bulbs are blooming! I suspect in colder areas of the US, these don't bloom until early Spring, but here in California they are a late Fall treat.
SOME people pot these bulbs and give them as gifts at the Holidays and they are a nice fragrant surprise when they bloom in January. Someone gave me a pot of them years ago and I enjoyed them so much during gloomy winter days when the skies were gray for days on end.
Well, now I must get back to finding that box, sewing on my daughter's skirt and I also have two pillows to assemble.
Hope your weekend has gone well......
Friday, November 20, 2009
However, I CAN knit and so I returned to an unfinished pair of scarves I abandoned last February when I made a mistake that I couldn't figure out how to correct. I was knitting two scarves at once - different colors - same pattern on one set of long needles. A couple weeks ago I pulled them out of the hassock they were stored in and gave them another look.
I pulled one off the needles and pulled the knitting out until I was below the error I made. But then I couldn't figure out where in the pattern that row was. I lost patience and frog-stitched (ripped out) the whole 14" of scarf I had originally done.
I began it again and very shortly began making the same stupid mistakes. So - more frog-stitching and a little internet surfing and I found this reversible scarf pattern. I'm not saying I didn't have to do anymore reverse knitting, but I have managed to finish my first Christmas gift!
I'm taking a chance (pretty good) that my granddaughter's don't read my blog and won't see this scarf. However, I am NOT saying which grand it is for, but I love how it came out. It's not in the least bit frilly, which I think she will like. It is rather sporty and will be warm!
If you are interested in this pattern, you can find it at: http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/scarves/nancyswooleasescarf.htm
She used Wool Ease yarn for her scarf, but I used Red Heart Collage in color Crimson Maple. I added 3 Knit stitches on both edges to make a bit of a border and I slipped the first stitch of each row. I just kept repeating the easy reversible pattern until it was 50 inches long. It took about one and a half skeins.
If you decide to try it, have FUN! I sure did! It knit up really fast! Fast is good!
It has the neatest picot type edge built into the pattern, so there's no finishing except for tucking and blocking. I wasn't able to get it blocked into an exact square, but the gal whose blog I found the pattern on said " i hope you understand that this blanket was not intended to be square in shape, so if you are blocking it to maintain a square shape, it may naturally take on a more elongated diamond with use - i would encourage you to simply let the shape be what it wants to be, as baby blankets tend to be folded and wrapped all the time anyway.
Also, depending on the yarn/wool you chose to work with will impact the outcome of the finished piece."
So, I'm ok with it's slightly wonky shape. I think it would be nice to cover a baby in a carrier or carseat. Even maybe it would work nicely in a bassinet. She told me that one she gave to a friend's baby has been laundered many times and is still looking great.
If anyone is interested, the pattern can be found at JC's website which is here. When you get there, click on "Knitting patterns" and then scroll down to find the Bias Blanket knitting pattern. Oh, and I didn't use the yarn she recommended in the pattern. I used Caron's Simply Soft in color "Baby Bright Ombre". It's very soft.
If you give this pattern, I think you will find it..... Fun!
Monday, November 09, 2009
See those little spiderwebs in the center? I just LOVE this lace. I think maybe I will have a big problem actually using this lace. LOL....there were two hanks for sale and I think I might just have to go back and buy the other one if it's still there.
This lace really intrigues me and I'm sure it was machine made. I've crocheted some pretty complicated patterns in thread but something like this I would not begin to attempt!
So lucky I found it!
P.S......my newer camera would NOT take a fine detailed picture of this lace - I am really upset. I had to use my old Sony camera that takes floppy disks only! Doesn't it do a great job on closeups?
Sunday, November 08, 2009
I finished the owl and frog block on the evening of November 2nd as I was watching television. I have to say that I was a bit surprised at the design of the last block, but we must remember that these designs are from the 1930's (I think) and reflect farm life in that era. I loved doing the eyes of the from using buttonhole stitch!
I'll be setting this blockset aside until after the first of next year before I try to put my Farm Quilt together. However, I thought you might like to see the fabric that I will be using for the alternate blocks of my quilt.
I had the Farm Quilt design set for some time when, one day quite unexpectedly, I finally found the perfect fabric to use with the designs. I immediately used the fabric to match up with a DMC floss color (355). When I got home, I bundled the fabric, thread and designs together and put them in a 12" x 12" portfolio until such time as I felt the urge to start the embroidery.
Surprisingly, I found this fabric in the craft department of our local Wal-Mart. It is very nice quality with a nice tight weave. It is called "Pleasant Valley" designed for "Exclusively Quilters" from Classiccottons.com.
I will be re-visiting this quilt in January, but now it's time to get on with finishing up some promised projects for family. I've a pillow to finish for one grandchild that is long overdue. Then I promised my eldest daughter I would make her a pencil skirt. Then it will be on to projects I have planned for family Christmas gifts. And, right now I also continue to knit scarves!
I also have a make-do pincushion to get done before our local CQ stitcher's Christmas luncheon. I'm the one who posted the challenge to the group last January or February and I'll bet that I'm the last one to get done with my pincushion. My delay is in part to the fact that I knew what I wanted to use as my base, but I spent months looking for it. I finally gave up because I think I may have sold it in the 4 garage sales we had when we were planning the move that didn't happen. It was a pewter cream pitcher from my Mum's (Lulu-see my other blog) pitcher collection. I know I downsized that collection some back in 2007, but I cannot believe that I actually sold that pitcher which was a piece of passenger railroad serviceware.
So, I must get stitching - not to mention both the cat AND G are asking me what's for dinner!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I'm still not sure what project I'll move on to doing in place of these blocks once they are all finished. However, I DO know that I won't be putting them together until after the first of 2010. I've got too many things going here. I'm playing catch up on a couple gifts that I promised and then I need to begin on Christmas gifts. I'm hoping to make a few tote bags for gifts this year and I want them to be unique to the individual, so I think I'll be doing some more embroidery quite soon!
Last week I began knitting a scarf for one of my granddaughters for Christmas and I am about 1/2 finished with it. I only work on it when I'm watching tv in what we call our "lounge" for lack of a better name. It's a new to me pattern with only 3 pattern rows that repeat. You'd think that would be simple enough, but I have to stop and count about every 6 rows in case I make a mistake. Good thing it's only 36 stitches wide! I've also had to pick up 2 dropped stitches so far. Knitting with older hands is challenging!
Our small Tuesday crazy quilt group had this weeks meeting at my house today and it was a good one as is usually the case. I need to do a bit more stitching and then beads on the parts of the heart shaped box that Beth will then construct for me. I love the colors in my bedroom (eggplant, teal & gold), and this box will be a welcome addition when it takes it's place on our bookcase headboard!
I've a plan now for the 2nd block I'm doing for Kate's Africa project, so I can begin stitching & embellishing those two blocks and get them off in the mail to Kate.
Back to Stitching!