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.