Monday, September 29, 2014

Pillow Cases

Part I:
When I went north to see my Mom this summer, I bought four pillow case kits to make for the grands.  The twins get butterfly prints that are coordinating, but not the same.  Those are done.  Also got Mr. O one done for Halloween.  That's a BIG deal at his house, so thought it would work.  Also got some animal print fabric for a second one for him.  My problem now is Miss V.  I bought a kit, but I really don't like the fabric.  Think I'll be making it up, but giving it to a store to donate to the pillow case challenge.  Tomorrow's goal--to go through my stash and find something purple and blue that I know Miss V will like!

Part II:
Miss V was easier than I thought she would be--found some dragonfly fabric she actually picked out when she went with me on quilt store shop hop in June '13. Now all six are completed.  From left to right they got to Miss V, Miss E, Miss K, not sure, and the last two for Mr. O.  He has to play catch-up as the girls have been around longer to get more pillow cases!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Miss K's dress is ready

It's August and that means school is just around the corner.  When Miss K was here for Grandma Camp, she picked out a t-shirt fabric that has flowers and butterflies embossed on it for her first-day-of-school dress.  I'd made the pattern for her earlier, but as a top, so it needed a little extra to get the right length. I used my handy-dandy Accuquilt 2.5" strip cutter to cut a couple of strips, sewed them together, serged the seam, hemmed and then attached to the dress with my gathering foot.  I really love the fusible 1/2" knit tape from www.emmaseabrooke.com to put around the hems for the sleeves and the neckline.  I can't wait to see her later this week to see how she likes it.

PS  I got Miss E's second pair of capris done, too.  They're shamrock green and go with the top I made her during her Grandma Camp.  This may be a record--two outfits in a single day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Getting Miss V Ready for Her First Day of School

It's that time of year again--getting close to back to school.  I'm excited because I've done more sewing earlier this year than in a long, long time!  The dress on the left is Miss V's first-day-of-school dress, which has become a tradition.  She picked out the pattern and the two fabrics, and as always, her taste is impeccable!  I've also made her a top and capris. The top is a turquoise and white zebra print and the capris are the turquoise, both in knits.  I really love sewing for her as she is so appreciative of each and every outfit!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer!

The summer school class is over and I'm finally free to turn on my creative side.  I have so many different projects I want to do between now and September!  I've already started sewing for the granddaughters and I've been doing some knitting as well. I'm going to take a class in Portuguese knitting soon--it looks like a great technique to use when knitting ribbing or doing a lot of purling.  One of my projects is to knit face clothes for each of the grands.  Have two done and two to go.  Actually I've started on the third one.  So much to do and so little time!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fixated on Socks

I figured by now I'd be knitting sweaters, but I got sidetracked.  I fought the urge to get into slippers and socks, but it didn't last.  Now I'm hooked.

Maybe I can blame it on Craftsy.  They had this free class on short rows, and the topic absolutely fascinated me!  When I was watching I was envisioning doing bust shaping, and then they mentioned sock heels.  That made sense, but I still wasn't hooked.

Next I was in a bargain bookstore, and guess what I found.  That's right, books on knitting socks.  I bought them because they were great books for less than $20 for the lot.  I read some and learned a lot, but I still wasn't hooked.

I was in Austin on business, and happened to visit Hill Country Weavers.  Now that's an amazing yarn store, let me tell you!  I was impressed, bought some really pretty fingering yarn, and decided to visit the website and bookmark them.  When I went to the website I happened to glance at the upcoming classes, and guess what I found.  A class that was on a Saturday that followed one I had to be in town for business anyway on knitting socks toe-up with short row heels using the magic loop method.  One of life's "meant to be" moments, for sure!

The picture above shows the finished product.  There really are two and I wear them as slippers all the time.  They are comfortable and wash well.  Since they're mostly wool, I don't stick them in the dryer.  Now I'm working on my first real sock-yarn sock using a merino and nylon blend on size US#2 (really small) circular needles.  The first sock is about finished.  It's a little bigger in the foot than I wanted, but it's a live and learn process.  I'll probably make its mate a little smaller, but I'll wear them with pride.  I'd love to make pairs for the grands for Christmas, which seems a long way off now, but truly isn't.  We'll see if this sock love affair lasts. . .but for now, I'm having a ball and I'm hooked!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Madness--Not Enough Time for Fun!

Let me make it perfectly clear that I am in no way, shape or form a sports person, so March Madness to me means tax time!  Not only do I collect stuff for our taxes, but I organize my Mother's which includes information on the family farm.  Never thought I would have to know about corn and soybeans and fertilizers, but sometimes I do.  Anyway, between this and the "real" job I don't have near enough time to get fun things done.  Most of my sewing projects take lots of time, and with the traveling I'm doing I just don't get it.  That's what I like about the knitting I've taken up again, though, as it is very portable and I can do as little or as much as I want at a time.

Current projects (I can never just have one going--anyone else like that?):

  1. My first pair of socks made from a merino wool/nylon blend in a beautiful blue/green variegated sock yarn
  2. A doll sweater and tam I need to put buttons on for someone's May birthday
  3. A doll dress I need to add a button to and block
  4. A lacy scarf I'm knitting for a friend that is about finished
  5. A self-designed geometric quilt made from earthtone/earthprint fabric
  6. A set of placemats to quilt
  7. A tumbler quilt for my nephew in dark batiks
  8. Borders on a quilt for my niece made from bright batiks
  9. Quilts for the twin granddaughter's beds
  10. ETC.
Some of it will get done before the rest, but I'll just keep plugging away!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Expanding My Horizons

It's completed.  Just in time, too, as the party is tomorrow.  What, you ask?  A real life hand knitted sweater, that's what.  The buttons actually come from my Great Aunt's collection I inherited, so could surely be classified as antiques. It's almost hard to believe I did it.

Years and years (multiple decades) ago I used to knit.  Other things came along (grad school) and knitting was one of the casualties.  Eventually I gave all my knitting paraphenalia away, but did keep the crochet hooks.  Along came last fall when I saw my daughter loom knitting hats for gifts, and it made me a bit nostalgic.  A gift certificate later and here we are--a finished sweater.  Will I stop here?  No, I am actually pretty hooked (maybe I should say needled).  I have a few more projects in various stages, have bought some books and Craftsy classes, and am amazed at so many things.

Changes, lots of changes, have occurred in the last 30 years in the knitting world.  The plant based fibers are amazing. . .bamboo, nettle, hemp, linen and cottons abound.  Some wools can actually be washed now, and even though I'm sensitive to some still, I can knit with merino and other washable wool, especially when blended with things like silk.  That never happened before!  The tools for knitting have changed a lot, too.  Needles are made from bamboo and many different trees.  The metal ones I have are so much smoother than the aluminum ones I used in the past.  I'm knitting with interchangeable tips on circular needles, too.

Maybe I should change the name of the blog to Grandma loves to sew and knit!