Sunday, December 28, 2008

A wonderful bag

One of my best gifts this year was from quilting daughter Julie. She made me a medium size knitting bag. The bottom is about 11x4" and 9" high. The inside has lots of pockets.

She also made one for her sister to use as a lunch bag. We are supposed to get hard bottoms for the bags, but the supplies didn't reach Julie in time.

If you would like a similar bag, contact Julie at for more information.

I've started the second birthday sock. Here's the lace cuff.

I'm having a rather lazy week. My shop is closed and I'm going in occasionally to do specific projects. Lots of knitting time. I've kitted up my next two projects. I have to finish the pattern for the sock. I didn't write the toe part.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

Family celebration was on Friday 12/26. All gifts were well received. I wasn't sure about the hats. Most of them were worn for the rest of the day. The older kids also wore their hats all day. What do you get teen age boys? Fleece hats worked this year.

Most of the men got handknit socks. I have one picture, of MB opening his hat, with Dad's socks on his arms. It reminds me of the year that we gave mittens, which were worn when opening the rest of the gifts. Grandpa said they couldn't be taken off.

One guy got fingerless mitts because he lost one from last year. He can take photos with them on. The pattern is free on Ravelry.

Christmas day was quiet, just the two of us. Lots of knitting happened. I did make one mistake on a gift for DH. I bought him some long underwear in size small!!. He's 6'2". He hasn't worn small since I've known him. They've been exchanged. While I was at the store, I wandered into the kitchen department. I made spritz cookies for the family cookie exchange and my cookie spritzer broke. While I was there, I found the neatest things for a little girl who'll turn 4 years old in a couple of weeks, her own kitchen tools. There is a measuring cup (1/4 and 1/2 cup), a rolling pin, and a whisk. I didn't see anything else. but these seem well made and fun.

I've finished one sock for a January birthday. It's the same pattern as the last pair where I ran out of yarn, but the look is quite different. I put the color values in different places. The foot is twisted becaus I haven't closed the toe.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Down to the wire

I said I wouldn't do this! I said I was finished last Thursday! Then I looked at my gift list. Grandkids and one daughter were giftless.

After the Christmas pageant with 2 grandkids, I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics. I knew they carried Patons SWS with stripes and I had one ball in my stash. That's why I started the mitts in the last post. The scarf was finished Tuesday. I can see why everyone is knitting this pattern. I might do another one with more contrast. That really finished the knitting. In the last 2 days, I have sewn 8 fleece hats for grandkids. The hats that were mailed arrived in Illinois today.

At work, I'm working on a special Tallis for a customer. She painted images on silk. I get to sew them to a length of silk and put buttonholes in the corners for the special knots. I'll get photos when I work on it next time.

This will be a quiet holiday for the two of us this year. Family festivities are on Friday at our son's house.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am a lemming

Cuffed socks update
These socks did not want to be knit! I ran out of yarn twice and just gave up. I'll wear them where the foot doesn't show. I like the pattern and have started again for Peg's birthday. There's not much to show yet, due to Christmas knitting.

Why am I a lemming?
I've jumped on the wrist warmer bandwagon. Jeff lost one of the mitts I made him last year. At least they weren't hiding in a closet. I've put the pattern on Ravelry. The yarn is Aussi Wool, a worsted weight yarn, knit on US #5/3.75mm needles.

When I saw my niece in November, she expressed interest in..... wrist warmers. I don't know if I'll see her again this year, but I'm ready. This pattern is called Stulpen. The yarn is Regia 6-ply, knit on US# 3/3.25mm needles.

I needed a gift for Jan. Guess what. More mitts. These are Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes. Yarn is Patons SWS stripes in Natural Plum. Needles US #7/4.5 mm. This was a one day knit!

Continuing the lemming thread, I'm knitting her a scarf, the Noro striped scarf from 2 colors of Patons SWS. It's simple and really fun. I'm not working full time this week, so should have it ready for the family celebration on Friday.

It's colder than blazes here, so good for knitting. I did go out Sunday to see grandchildren in a Christmas pageant. Lots of kids in costumes! Each group sang a Christmas song or two, connected by a little story telling. My favorite participants were a horse and a cow. They were in the group that sang "Away in a Manger". Their Mom was stage manger for the program. I do have group pictures, but you had to be there.

I've been sewing fleece hats for gifts. That's part of why I'm in my shop this week. No sewing machine or thread at home. I'm in for a couple of hours in the morning and then gone.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I murdered a quilt

Remember that new serger I bought? I had an old quilt at home and decided to make a cover from it. Protection was needed, because I had a scheduled lesson from my dealer, and weather in this part of the world tends to be rainy/snowy right now.

The lesson is another story. After owning a serger for at least 25 years, I knew my way around the old machine. In the 2 weeks between purchase and lesson, I had gotten fairly familiar with the new machine. I didn't learn anything at the lesson, and probably knew more than the person scheduled to teach me. Oh well, that's sort of what I expected, but you never know until you try.

When I cut the new serger cover, I was on a roll, and cut a new cover for my hemmer. At this point, I realized that the quilt had been in good shape except for the binding. It was sewn by hand by my great grandmother and was near to 100 years old. It probably wouldn't have held up in use on a bed, because of the age of the fabric. Here's a close up picture. The hemmer still needs binding on the edges. I'll use unbleached muslin, but didn't have any in the shop that day. All I had was bleached muslin, which was too white. For the serger, I reused the quilt binding. If the edge gets raggedy, I'll redo it in unbleached muslin.

Sock Rufflectomy
A while ago, I showed you the ruffle for a gift sock. It was a beautiful ruffle, a great idea in theory! Then reality hit. A ruffle that size would not work on legs that walked, and that's the only kind that socks are good for. Also, the ruffle was too wide for the sock. Think, ...think...think... I could remove the ruffle, knit a new version, and graft it back to the sock.

So that's what happened. Remove the ruffle and put the sock on the smaller needles used for the ribbing.

Knit a new lace cuff, using the lace edge from the ruffle.

Graft new lace to the sock from the under side, so as to keep the purl turning ridge. The surgery was successful, and I can knit the second sock to match.

More knitting surgery
My favorite warm mittens, knit from an Anna Zilboorg pattern in Magnificent Mittens, and lined in alpaca, had holes in the thumbs from the leather leash used in dog walking. Last year, I darned them, but they neede repair again. Light bulb moment!!! Leather patches! (actually ultrasuede). Now applied over holes, and can be renewed as needed. The beads are fake pearls, which I don't recommend, because the finish wears off. She called for glass beads, I had lots of pearls.

Birthday present, or Read the Instructions!!
I saw these sock blockers online at The Loopy Ewe for a really good price. I ordered one in each size. Why was the price so good? When I opened the package, I had one sock blocker in each size, not one pair! Had I read further on the website, I would have seen the warning about the pricing.

I twisted the arm of darling husband who didn't know what to buy for my birthday, and he bought them for me. He also said,"All right, buy another set just the same." The order has been placed.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

X is for...

X is for ... Bridge supports
This is the Alsea Bay bridge, seen as we drove from San Francisco to Portland, OR a few years ago.

DH Loves trains. We have this sculpture in memory of his grandfather. Lots of X supports!

Birthday socks finished
These socks will be given to one of my grandsons. His favorite colors are green and orange. The pattern is Binsenkorbchen by Stephanie van den Linden. Yarn is Knit Picks Essentials.

Back to work tomorrow. I've enjoyed my 4 days off. I even did some of the things I've been putting off for lack of time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

W is for...

I got this from Claudia

Sandy issued a challenge:

* Go to your Sixth Picture Folder then pick your Sixth Picture.

* Pray that you remember the details.

* Tag 5 others.

Not being a meme-er, I'll go so far as doing the first and the second.

The owls are part of an extensive collection belonging to my brother in law living in Vancouver, WA. I spent some time with them around teaching at TKGA Portland last September.

W is vanes.

This is on a local garden center. I don't know if it really works.

The steam engine weather vane is on our garage. DH loves steam engines.

Knitting gifted
All the gifts made in the last 2 months have been given. Two pairs of socks were birthday presents. One Christmas stocking was given on Thanksgiving. Youngest daughter and husband were in town from Florida. They gave out Christmas gifts early, so I decided to reciprocate. This morning we went out for breakfast and gave out Josh's grey socks, the book "It Itches" by Franklin Habit, and a bag of potato soup mix. I'm still working on Vitor's socks 1 1/4 sock done. I might finish by Sunday night, the goal of one KAL I'm participating in. They'll be given next Sunday morning at breakfast.

New toy pictures.
My new laptop. It does what computers are supposed to do. The top is connected tot he bottom. It runs on Windows XP, which means that my business software runs like it did before.

My new serger. This will not be my everyday machine, but an extra that does the fancy stuff. It does a beautiful rolled hem and cover stitch. It does a chain stitch and chain and serge at the same time. There are 20 stitch variations, using up to 5 threads. It has 5 needle positions and 3 loopers. A LED display helps with the settings etc. I will have either a repaired machine or some toher simpler machine for everyday use.

Cute grandkid!
They were given the piano. He's started lessons from someone at church. This is in addition to the tuba and trumpet he already owns. (Yes, they're real! Small size, but not toys).I don't think he 's had lessons on the other instruments except from his father.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at his house. There were about 25 people, 2 turkeys, and loads of food. All the women and some men in the family are good cooks. I got to bring Diet Coke, as usual.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yes, I've been knitting

V is for....Veils
One of my sewing customers sells embroidered wedding veils. She gets the embroidery from India and needs the combs and labels attached. Folded veil fabric is on the left. I trim the top and use the extra tulle to wrap the comb. Finished veil is on the right.

I had a problem with Josh's Christmas sock. I used up all the yarn. I knew that my local store had more yarn. Monday lunch time was devoted to this errand. The socks are now finished.

Vitor has a birthday coming up and his socks are started. I'm not working this Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll have more knitting time. These are his favorite colors. I hear that his bedroom has been painted green and orange.

We've been doing our part to boost the economy. In the last 2 weeks, we've bought a new refrigerator, a new laptop for the shop, and a new fancy serger machine. All of the above were working, but had serious problems. The serger has a broken gear, hopefully repairable, but I can't work without one. I've wanted this type of fancy machine for a long time. The refrigerator had a broken door hinge and was 20+ years old. Possibly repairable, but don't tempt fate on life expectancy. The computer works fine, but the screen is attached to the keyboard only by a couple of wires. I'll try to get some pictures soon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Knitting along, U is for...

Christmas stocking
The Christmas stocking is finished. Here's the progress picture. The stitch pattern is from one of my Japanese books. The basic stocking is a pattern I've been using for family stockings for 35-40 years. This stocking is #26 in the series. Within a family the stocking colors alternate red, green, red, green. Each stocking is unique. The guys get stripes of some sort. The gals get something more pictorial. Since no 2 are alike, the series can go on as long as I'm able to knit. Here's the finished stocking.

U is for... undressed trees
The trees have been partying in their prettiest clothes, but now it's time to go to bed for the winter. They drop their clothes at their feet, or sometimes they are scattered further about. Soon they'll all be naked and asleep.

Excitement at work

A couple of months ago, the truck that empties the dumpster had an accident. It seems that when they raise the dumpster, the truck is put into neutral and the motor gunned. When the truck is in reverse instead, this happens. The hole was covered with plywood for quite a while, while insurance was worked out, bids were gotten, etc. One day work started. When all the damaged wall was removed, it looked like this.

There are 4 roof supports in the picture. I watched the wall be put back together. The original hole took 15 sheets of plywood to cover for the night. The building houses a car repair garage, so had to be secure overnight. Finally, the work was finished. The whole top of the all was repaired and tuck pointing was done. There's a new glass block window to the left.

Sweater progress
My Noro sweater body is finished, and
the sleeves are started. I worked really hard to finish the socks by the Sunday deadline for gifting, so it grows slowly. The band has been redone. I misread the pattern and picked up too few stitches.

Monday, November 3, 2008

October socks are finished

I must have been crazy to think that I could knit 3 pairs of socks and a sweater in one month. The sweater still grows, square by square. The orange socks were to be finished by midnight Oct. 31 for the challenge. I didn't make it. In reality, I had 3 more hours because the time deadline was Pacific time. I was too tired. I just needed the red rolled cuff at the top. I thought that the orange yarn had short yardage, only about 300 yds. so I worked on both socks in parallel. One from each end of the ball. The socks are toe up, and I just kept knitting. The pattern chart has a 1 1/2" repeat. The first stopping point was shorter than I like, so I kept on going. Legs are now 8" long!

The other socks were a birthday gift for daughter Jen. I used a pattern from my new Japanese books, but it really dosen't show up in pictures. Her birthday is 10/26, but I knew that I see her at the family Great Cookie Caper on November 2. Knit. knit. knit. The party is in Erie PA, 2 1/2 hours from our house. Knit, knit, knit. We got to the house, and she wasn't there Good! When she walked in, I had about 2 rows of toe to finish. Keep knitting. I showed my sister how I set toes up for Kitchener stitch, and worked that. I wanted to wrap the socks in fabric like Fleegle shows on her blog. Forgot the fabric, but the Caper is held at quilting daughter's house. Fabric was borrowed. Mission accomplished. Socks on the hoof!

Next project is a Christmas stocking.

Sewing project of the week was a tango dress for a customer involved in some sort of dance show. This is a one time thing for her which involved free dance lessons. The dress is black knit with purple sparkles. The skirt has 8 gores so it really flows and moves. I'll be cleaning glitter out of the shop for months, but the dress sure is pretty.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

T is for..., Socks finished and other stuff

T is for....
Tailor's thimble, the only kind I use. As a seamstress, a thimble is used everyday at work. The picture is a little blurry, but you can see that there is a hole at the top. The side is used to push the needle through the fabric.

The leaves are so pretty this time of year, I have taken lots of pictures. Here are a few. I rarely see oak leaves that are red, usually they are brown.

I've been
sewing dresses for customers. There have been a lot of them recently. I like that! It brings in cash. One of my customers is a young violinist who need performance clothes suitable for a teenager. The dress with the blue skirt is new, but I've been storing the fabric in my shop for 2 years. It's taffeta with black velvet flowers. The top is stretch velvet.

I also altered a dress from a couple of years ago. It had gotten too short. I show before and after pictures. The skirt on this is silk duipioni. She needs dresses for less formal performances too. I showed a short dress with a ruffle last post. This one now has a bubble skirt. Finally, the camera was held straight. I have a leaning dress form, but this one isn't it!

We have finished socks. LE's birthday socks are finished. They're a stealth project, because I hope to sell the pattern. but I can show enough to see that they're done!
I show all the leftover red yarn. Really didn't think I'd make it. You can see the feet and the ribbing. Yes, the pattern is black.