Monday, May 23, 2011

Prom season is ending

Yesterday I wrote about rhinestones on dresses. This is one dress. It started with a few stones on the sides. The girl had taken all of the stones off the center. I had to replace them all to cover the glue marks. The small stones are stick on stones, which are easy to apply. I use a razor blade to peel the backing. The stones stick to the blade and are easy to place on the dress. I have no idea how well they stay put.

The dress is lying on a table. It also has rhinestones on the center of the ruffles at the top.

I like this dress better. It had no rhinestones on it to start with. It also needed extensive alterations for fit and style. It was strapless, but she wanted a low back. You can imagine what would happen if you leaned over and there were no straps. Luckily the dress came with optional straps. Most of these stones are the glue on kind. The edge is sewn on and starts at the center back. If you make the picture bigger, you may be able to see the small gold rhinestones.

Both dresses are short. That seems to be the fashion this year. I make a lot of money on prom dresses, but I'll be glad when things calm down again.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rain, rain go away

Graduation (PhD style)
It rained on my son's graduation party! He had reserved a pavilion in a local park, so it wasn't a total washout, but at about 50 degrees and misting, it was RAW and uncomfortable. Hamburgers and Hot dogs were served, along with chips and cupcakes.

Winter coats were the fashion of the day. The setting was beautiful, but we didn't stay long. It was just too cold.

We have grown a large crop of mushrooms, due to the continual rain. They are starting to die off with a day or so of dry weather. Here's a close up.

We had breakfast with son's family this morning, and DH was asked if he had thawed out yet. It was the last breakfast of the season at the Marine Corps Gunny Hall (his father-in-law is a long time member).

The blue socks are finished. Beads show up better in real life. The didn't qualify for Ravelry's Solid Socks group although the color reads as semi-solid. It also reads as blue and green. The do count for the Crystal Palace Knit With the Palace challenge. They also count as a sock/yarn combo that has been in the pipeline for a couple of years. I'm glad to get them finished. They also are part of the Spring Stash Dash. That finished 2 of 6 original projects for that challenge.

The next pair of socks is a SKA mystery project by Janel Laidman, in an earth color for Solid Socks. I actually have clue #3 done on one sock and am waiting for clue #4. This is a fun pattern, partly because Janel included lots of interactive links. the pattern was originally titled 5-22-24-13-7-12-19-15-9. If you followed the key on the pattern (literally a key picture) you were led to a clue that said A=5. The title translates to Artichoke. There have been a number of artichoke links as well as links for her cast on and the wrapping technique.

It's been rhinestone week and my fingers are glue covered. This year I'm adding rhinestones to prom dresses. Glue on stones gets on to my fingers, even though I actually apply the glue with a toothpick. I'll try to get a photo or two when I go to work tomorrow.

We got a photo from our neighbors as well as a request. Could we feed their dogs? It seems they've been raptured! The rest of us are still here and have to do laundry and mow lawns as usual, at least until the Mayan end of the world next year.
How God is Managing the Rapture.

I'm up to 12 scarves and I still have bulky yarn odd balls. I'll keep going. The September guild meeting is the collection deadline. I don't do a lot of charity knitting but this one appealed to me and the timing was right. I used up about 650 yards of yarn and finished 9 balls. I'm also donating 10 balls to another guild project, freeing up much space in my yarn drawers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Missing sock and other stash reduction

Sock Mystery
The missing sock mystery is still not solved. I bought more yarn and knit a 3rd sock.There is enough leftover to knit another pair. I keep waiting for the missing sock to turn up. The pattern is Knotty or Knice by Chrissy Gardiner. The yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Silk.

Blue socks
Once upon a time, I knit a pair of wonderful socks that shrunk when I washed them for blocking. Crystal Palace replaced the yarn and I've finally knitting the replacements. The pattern is Moonchild by Adrienne Fong. The new yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Superwash. I've used 8/0 clear AB beads.

These socks actually don't qualify for any prizes. I had hoped that they'd work for Solid Socks, but was denied. The Crystal Palace blog has a contest using their yarn. It was time to stop petting it and start knitting with their yarn.

Both pairs of socks are part of my Spring Stash Dash challenge. I'm also working on the gray sweater.

Mother's Day was celebrated with all available family. Thirteen of us invaded BobEvans at 8:00 in the morning. The rest of the day was quiet.

Guild project
Monday night our guild had a speaker as part of our charity knitting. She represented women2women-knitting4peace. Among other projects distributed in third world countries, she talked about skinny scarves given as rewards to kids who do things like show up for medical exams. I was looking in my stash for bulky yarn for another project. I found many single balls not suitable for beginning knitters. With big needles and bulky yarn, I can knit a scarf in a couple of hours. so far I have 6 of them. I'm aiming for 10 scarves. I may do more if I have the yarn.

Tomorrow, our son receives his PhD. This is the third PhD in our overeducated family. We're not going to the ceremony, but will gather at a local park for burgers etc. I din't ask him, but I'm presuming that he is marching and making his teenagers watch.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Miracles and mysteries

Mother of Bride
Success on the first fitting! It was just a blouse, after all. I didn't write down the pattern number and it's gone to the customer. (it's an easy Butterick pattern with pull on pants and a couple of blouse options) I didn't have the camera to take a finished photo.

I made a few changes to the pattern. I put an underlay under the buttons and loops. (matte gold buttons). since this is a blouse I didn't want skin showing.

Also, the pattern showed sleeves with a contrast band and a 1 1/2" hem. I used a wider band and folded it to eliminate the hem and give a better look.

Another short deadline miracle!

This week's sewing miracle involved a 3X prom dress and a girl who needed 10" added to the bust. Mom did buy fabric that was a close match. I added a stripe from top of dress to hem on each side. I also had to adjust the bust shaping (twice) and make new straps for what had been a strapless dress. The optional straps that came with the dress were too short and there was no way this dress was staying up without straps. I just wish they had bought the bra before the first fitting! Luckily strap shortening solved that problem. From now on, if you don't have the bra at the first fitting, there will be a large charge for the alterations it causes. I should have done this years ago. I guess I'm getting less tolerant of ignorance as I age.

I've been working on green socks. I finished sock #1 before Easter dinner. It has gone walk about! I've been looking since Tuesday night and today I finally ordered replacement yarn online. Two more balls will give me enough for 5 socks, which guarantees that i can make a pair of what's left over. It also made more sense than ordering one ball of yarn and doubling the price with postage. I didn't see any other sock yarn that called to me, one of the disadvantages of having a healthy stash.

I have been plugging away on sock#2, hoping that finishing it will cause it's mate to appear. It's been very frustrating and discouraging. The possibility exists that the sock went somewhere it won't come back from. I will finish it sometime before bed time tonight. Then I can start another sock and wait to see what happens by the time the new yarn gets here.

Easter Dinner
There were 7 1/2 of us at dinner. DH came down with the flu and didn't participate. He gave it to me and one daughter, so it was a less than productive week. All is better now. It's been about 5 years since I hosted a holiday meal. The dining room is where remodeling things tend to land, tools, things moved to open up the work space, etc. It was available for a week or so after Christmas until the next project started. I couldn't even take the tree down, because I need to spread out the ornament boxes to put things away. It didn't help that the tree was surrounded with tools and things.

I did finish the pair of mitts for myself. This used up the majority of the yarn from DD#3. Besides it only took a couple of days. I keep forgetting how quickly heavier yarn knits up.

Today the Tivo machine took a break from sports and showed us some opera. Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West.
I was not familiar with this one, but the story is simple and the ending unexpected and a little unrealistic, as often happens in opera. I'm glad we have more opera scheduled.