Thursday, March 29, 2012


When DS1 said his hands got cold trying to type in his office, I volunteered to fashion fingerless mitts for him. I say fashion rather than knit because I wanted to get them to him before next winter.

I took apart this thrifted merino wool sweater.

Then I measured his arm to where he wanted the cuff to come and unraveled the sleeve from the top down to two inches below that point 11" (13" finished). Then I picked up the stitches and knit 2 x 2 ribbing for two inches. I bound off in 2 x 2 on needles one size larger than I used for the ribbing to make it stretchy.

Next I created an opening in the sleeve seam for the thumb and reinforced it above and below the opening. 

When I tried them on they were a little loose in the wrist and palm, so I turned them wrong side out and took in the seam allowance using a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


It's FINALLY been raining - running off the eaves, filling the ditches and puddling the driveway - rain. We usually get the bulk of our rain in December, January and February, but those months were sunny and warm. Now that the flower bulbs and fruit trees are in bloom it starts raining, and HARD!

Ceanothus Silk moth

Found this guy on our front step when I got home from town today. I don’t think he’d been emerged for very long, his wings were a little wrinkle-y and he sat and shuddered a lot. The thing was the size of a small bird! He hung around long enough for me to grab the camera, swap lenses and take this picture. Then he flopped away into the wet grass, out in the pouring rain. I wonder if he's going to be able to dry out like he needs to in this weather.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fabric In, Fabric Out

I try to keep the fabric stash limited to the storage in my sewing room. I'm pretty maxed out at this point so I've promised myself when I bring in something new, I TRY to take something out. 

I went through the existing stash and pulled out 10-15 yards I was willing to part with. Either I'd used them a half a dozen times or knew I would never use them for whatever reason. I donated them to the local 4-H. They're participating in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge. What a great way to get the kids involved in community service AND learn how to sew.

For more information about contributing to the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, visit their website here.

Quilter's Estate Sale

I was up early that Saturday and arrived well before 9:00. Doors were already open and the place had a happy feeding frenzy of quilters busily browsing the large piles of fabric and UFOs on the tables. It felt like old home week because I saw quilting friends I hadn't seen in a couple of years. We all acted relaxed and casual as we chatted and browsed and put selections in our bags, but there was an unspoken excitement, a silent hyperventilating going on in that room.

This was a lifetime of collected fabric, tools, totes, notions, books, patterns and more. I focused on background prints and greens for the Star Struck Again quilt. More than once you could hear quilters laugh and say, "This looks remarkably like my stash at home." And it was true for me too. The fabrics were those wonderful calicoes and small prints popular in the late 1980s and 90, the same era most of my fabric is from.

Of course I sorted by color and prewashed everything. The wash water for the green load was so dark I could've used it as a dye bath.

I was browsing the piles and piles of projects half started; full-sized quilts, dolls, teddy bears, patchwork clothing, wall hangings, embroidered pillowcases, tea towels, bibs, and more quilts, when the woman who had put the sale together came over and said to a few of us at the table, "I'm glad you-all can use this stuff. I figured you'd know what to do with it. It was my mother's and I don't have a clue."

Underneath a table full of navy blues and  crisp greens I spied a storage box full of solids. It probably didn't look like much to a someone who doesn't quilt, but it was full of quality white and natural muslin as well as solid butter yellow, pale green and soft pink. I got 20 yards of quality natural muslin, the kind that's hard to find these days.

I overheard several conversations about our stashes at home. One woman said, "Yeah, my kids've made me promise to get rid of mine before I die. They don't want to deal with it." When I checked out, the cashier was the granddaughter. She said, "That was Gran, she was real good at starting stuff..."

When I got home I estimated how much I had by weighing one yard of fabric, then weighing all the fabric and dividing by the weight of the one yard. Sixty-four yards. Even if I bought it for 8.00/yd at a store today that equals over 500 dollars.

March Temps

The wood stove is going and the house is cozy. I'm sipping tea, eating a cinnamon scone and blogging. Life is good.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Star Struck Again

I'm still home on disability and I still feel dizzy and motion-sick most mornings. Despite that I've been trying to get back to quilting, but the ability to choose colors intuitively seems to elude me. I started another Star Struck quilt last December, but it's been really slow going. I decided not to worry about how long it's taking me and use it to work my way back to quilting. Maybe when it's finished I'll look back on it as my recovery quilt.

I used to be able to pull fabrics for the color palette without a lot of thought. But this palette has seen a lot of trial and error. Turns out this green has too much black in it, this background makes the one next to it look dinghy, or is too busy, and this calico is so dated I'd be embarrassed to use it... so I've given myself permission not to use some of the prints I originally cut out and to discard pieced blocks that won't work. I'm ignoring the nagging feeling that I'm being wasteful and that I'm not as efficient as I used to be. *shrug* I feel like a beginner quilter again, trying to learn color confidence.




 I took out a lot of the print backgrounds and phased in more neutrals. It's made the green stars stand out more and I like it better.

Here's the EQ draft. It's intended for my car, so there's no time frame. Good thing!

Water Bottle Cozy

I wanted to practice stripes in the round and found this cute pattern on Ravelry.

Some knitters choose this type of project because they want to use up bits of left over yarn. In my case I actually went shopping for remnants and found several fun colors of wool at Legacy Craft Thrift.

I needed one more bright color so I over dyed this gray-blue.

While searching YouTube for a video to remind me how to join knitting in the round I accidentally discovered there's a way to create a 'jogless join'. Instead of the color jogging up a row at the change point, they appear to be in line.

I studied those and experimented with different methods. It worked!

It keeps the water cooler and I love how it feels in my hand.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

That Spunky Kitty

What's this lump under my rug??

She crawled under there herself, and even when I playfully stepped on her, she stayed. Company while in my sewing room...