Sunday, June 24, 2012

One for You, One for Me

A sudden mood of "getting things done" came upon me today, and one of the things I applied it to was some sewing projects that have been piling up.

I started with the hem on a hanging that is used in church during Holy Week (the week before Easter). It was given to me after being used this year, and I was told it didn't need to be back until next year. I thought I'd beat the deadline. :)
I used a standard blind hem (I just love that stitch.)

That's one for "you."

Next I decided to tackle a belt I bought a while ago that was just too big to use. I was always reaching for it as if it would fit this time, and then realizing that no it still didn't.
Then one day I noticed that there was a second set of grommets a little further back and it occurred to me that this belt was made to be adjustable. So I cut the buckle out of its original location and moved it to the back grommets:
Turned out great and fits like a glove! (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

That's one for me.

Next up was a pillow cover for someone at church. (Long story version--someone else at church approached me about this sewing project because she had agreed to do it but it wasn't getting done, and it had been a long time and she was feeling guilty. I know that feeling. So I said I would give it a go.)

I think it turned out nicely:
I was given a sample to follow so I could just make it the same size. It's one of those covers that just overlaps in the back (no zippers or buttons). I was given a cotton dress to use and I used the trim along the hem for the edges.

That's two for "you."

And then I finally mended a long sleeve T I had gotten from somewhere and then noticed that it had several holes in the sleeve seam.
A few hits with the sewing machine took care of that.

That two for me.

Having gotten all those projects out of the way, I started to play with the block for the county fair. I'll talk more about that another time...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Long-Awaited Finish and a New Start (and Restart)

Once there was a pair of socks...almost. I worked on these last year on our trip to Kentucky. (You may recall this is the project during which I broke a needle on the trip and lost my notes about modifications...twice.)
I did not put the socks in time out--this is not why they waited so long to be finished. I had planned to use them as a sample to demonstrate my invisible cast off (or bind off, if you prefer).
Project Stats
Started
: 6 Mar '11
Finished: 16 Jun '12
Pattern: Hourglass by Bev Elicerio (free)
Materials: Apple Laine Apple Pie in Arizona colourway, 2 skeins ($21.67)
I've made several socks since then and each time considered using them for a demonstration, but never did. I  finished them and wore them. This morning I finished up my zigzag socks (I'll show them later, don't worry, but I don't have pictures yet) and finishing them just made me think that I couldn't wait any longer to finish these orange socks. I'll make a swatch to demonstrate the cast off method.
Meanwhile I'll enjoy wearing these (well when the weather's a little cooler, perhaps) and the memories they recall of my trip to Ottawa where I bought the yarn.
Straight forward short-row heel.
I'm not too crazy about wearing lacy socks (I don't like the look of the skin showing through) but I'm hoping that they will prevent my feet from overheating in them. Surprise, surprise...wool socks are warm. And, I know, I am a woman of cold feet, but there is such a thing as too warm. (It starts at "hot and sweaty"--no one likes that!)

Also, the colour of the yarn is way too crazy busy to let the pattern show, so it's not a great match of pattern to yarn. But it was the pattern I wanted to use at the time and the yarn is still very pretty.

Now that these are done, I can turn my attention to another pair that I started the other day:
I'm hoping to avoid the "too busy" thing by mixing a variegated with a matching solid.
It looks a little stripey, but there are patches of solid colour as well. I'll keep the pattern simple just in case. Not that I know what I'll be doing. I got as far as the toe plus a few rows but it was too big. Now to decide whether to go down a needle size or cast on fewer stitches?? I'll let you know...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jacob Have I Loved...

I told you about the wonderful adventures that my zig zag sock had as it accompanied me to New York City. Before I left, I had decided to not take the matching sock because I didn't think I needed to refer to it and didn't want to risk losing it. At some point in the trip I realized I couldn't really think of where the first sock was. But I put it out of my mind; I was on vacation!

Today, my second day back at work, something caught my eye as I walked through the parking lot. When I looked oh my goodness!! it was my sock.
Laying there on the ground at the edge of the lot, very forlorn and looking lost. Poor thing!
I must have had it on my lap one day while knitting during my lunch break and didn't notice when it fell out of the car when I got out. I feel like I have to make it up to it somehow--it had to be out there for at least 10 days!

What I did do, however, was to take it home, brush off all the grass and vegetation it had collected and throw it in the microwave for a little bit in case it also collected some bugs. It's a pretty sturdy sock so I think it will be ok. After all the ripping and reknitting I did on it, I think we have a bond strong enough to weather an incident like this.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Knew York Knitting

I was gone and now I'm back.

We took a whirlwind trip to New York City. Or it felt like a whirlwind because if there was something to do, we did it. Somewhere to go, we went. Something to see, we looked.

I took along my zig zag sock...the second one of the pair. I knit on the drive to the airport. While waiting for the plane.
While flying in the plane.
I was getting pretty far.
Once we got to the city, however, I pretty much stopped knitting. I did not carry it around with me all day as we went gallivanting. I might have been able to manage if I didn't have the camera with me, but it was just better to have my hands free and eyes available. And we really did not have much waiting time or down time to use up anyway.

Friday we took an afternoon break after a very full morning (that lasted til about 4:30). While the others napped, I settled myself on the chaise longue at the window and knitting while looking out at a bit of Times Square.
When it was time to go home, I knitted some more at the airport and on the plane until I got very close to the end, but even closer to the end of my yarn.
No worries, however. I have a bit more yarn from the first sock (that's why I didn't knit the first ball right to the end) and I really think it will be enough to finish this last stripe or get me close enough that it won't matter.

What did I do then?

I pulled out a second set of sock yarns and started a new sock. Here it is when it is just far enough that you can see the toe part emerge. By the time we landed I had finished the toe.
(Yes, my yarn is wearing "support hose," little sections of old
nylons. It keeps them from becoming a mess--especially important
if you're carting them around.)
Troy asked me do the driving on the way home, so that was the end of my knitting.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tie One On

I remember telling you about some linen/cotton blend that I bought on a trip to Chicago. I wasted no time in putting it to use.

Holding two strands together, I started a perfectly simple shawl of stocking and reverse stocking stitch stripes. Lots of increases and a half as many decreases make a very pleasing asymmetric triangle shape. (Remember those "scalene" triangles from geometry class? This is it.)
The pattern was perfect for the type of knitting I have needed recently: easy, repetitive but still interesting. For those who might knit their own, I did 19 repeats of the 12-row pattern and it ended up being 48" across and 9" from bottom tip to top edge.

Here's a close up of the knitted fabric:
Project Stats
Started
: 18 May '12
Finished: 23 May '12
Pattern: Rollercoaster Triangle by Birgit Schneggart (free)
Materials: Araucania Lontue (7 Fire Fly Combo), 2 skeins ($24)
I was so intrigued by the mix of cool grey, warm orange/yellow and burnt pink. Holding two strands together mixed up the colours a little more than one strand would  have, but there were still plenty of spots where colours would match on the two strands and give a clear spot of pure color.

And what do you do with this little oddly-shaped scarf? You can wrap it around twice so it would nicely fill the gap of a coat:
I just whip it around my neck and leave the ends loose under the front. (The coat should hold it in place.)

Or you could just tie the points in the back and have one loop hang around your neck:
This would work if the weather's not quite so cold or you have a long low gap on your coat.

It's a little small, but if you were inclined, you could wrap it around your shoulders and pin or tie it in the front.
It would be a nice little coverup for a thin strapped dress for a summer wedding, perhaps.

I'm a wool person, but the linen/cotton blend is crisp and smooth, and certainly not itchy for those who are bothered by such things. I don't think it will be quite as warm, but I think that will be a good thing for the person I'm giving it to. I hope she likes it!

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