Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pint-sized Aprons

The grandkids love to wear aprons when they help me in the kitchen. That gave me the idea to make them pint-sized aprons for Christmas.

I made them exactly the same, and they're reversible.

Cayson wore his while he opened the rest of his Christmas gifts. Then he asked if he could 'help do dishes'. His Mom liked that!

And lots of growing room.

Christmas 2015

Cayson with his Peanuts Gang coloring and activity book.

 "Thank you G'ma."

Evan's gift. I wish you could see his face! So excited.

Hollin's gift. He received two copies of this book. Sometimes the Amazon Wishlist service doesn't work so well.

Nathan's gift. Granted, these two books are anima stories, but he had them read by the end of the day and passed them to Hollin.

I love it. Every get-together my husband captures the brothers comparing game notes, computer game that is.

I almost always forget to grab the camera and take pictures of my husband, the family photographer. Thank heavens for tripods. Hollin and Kim left for their new home in the Tacoma area a couple weeks later. We're going to miss them!

Friday, December 25, 2015

White Christmas

Just a light dusting, enough to make the forest around our home look like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Non-Skid Soles for Slipper Socks

At my weekly knitting group we talked about different ways to stop knitted slippers from being so... well, slippery. One of the members asked why you couldn't stitch rubberized rug nonskid to the bottom? So I thought I'd give it a try.

I traced the outline of my foot onto paper to make a pattern. Then I cut a left and a right out of the nonskid.

 I hand stitched them to the bottoms with two strands of sewing thread and buried the knots.

They're great! And it might make the slipper bottoms wear a little longer. During our Christmas visit with the kids, I did the same for Evan's slippers. He's so effusive, he said, "Grandma! This is AMAZING! Thank you!!" No more slipping on the hardwood floors.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stars of Valor FO

I hadn't planned on gifting this year's Quilt of Valor for Christmas, but it's December and I was sooo close, I decided to jump on it.

Applying the binding.

A quilty friend recently described a RWB quilt she was working on as 'not-in-your-face patriotic'. I like to think this one fits that description. I love the striking combination of colors in our flag, but some Quilts of Valor are a little too-too, if you know what I mean.

Merry Christmas and THANK YOU to the service man or woman that receives this.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Card Trick Finished

Some projects take awhile to come to completion. This one sat as a top for most of the summer, waiting for the right fabric for the last border. Then it came together rather quickly and I gifted it to a local non-profit as a fund-raiser quilt for 2016.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Another Sweater Adoption

I found this hand-made Irish Aran in the local thrift store in late October. I love the color!

It's a Cleo Ltd, made in Dublin. It's made of that hard-wearing, somewhat scratchy yarn. I took it home with me. I gave it a good soak in luke warm water with some shampoo and it sorta softened, but not really. Maybe that was why such a beautifully made sweater was abandoned. Then on the first cool day in October I tried to wear it, but the bind off on the turtleneck was soo tight, it just about ripped my head off trying to take it off.

Then one day a thought came to me. I could take out the binding and a row or two of knitting and rework it with a stretchy edge. It worked nicely; it made the turtleneck a little shorter, but now I can take it off with ease.

 I did an Internet search on Cleo Ltd. sweaters and once I converted the Euros to dollars, found out it sells for about $200.00. (!) At first I thought that was a huge amount to pay for a sweater. Then I reasoned that the woman who hand knit it might've gotten 50% of the retail. A hundred dollars for her time and talent suddenly didn't seem like very much.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Swatching Orlon

I was gifted orlon yarn and began swatching.

The first sample, I used three strands held together using US size 5 needles. The resulting fabric would've worked for an adult cardigan, but was a little stiff for a baby.

Then I swatched with 2 strands on US size 3 needles.

It was lighter and finer of course, but it curled badly and was still stiff. First I steam blocked it, less curl, but not wonderful.

Here it is after I wet blocked it. It lays much flatter, but I found it didn't soften and was still stiff. Now I know I don't want to knit baby things from Orlon.

At least not this Orlon.

ETA: As a result of these posts on working from coned yarn, I received a very helpful comment from Tired Teacher. "Watch the YouTube for Navajo Knitting by Lucy Neatby: I think it would work perfectly for these large cones and you wouldn't have to create separate balls to knit with it." Thanks for the tip!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

There Ought to be a Name for It...

... when one knitter de-stashes yarn and gives it to another knitter, who comes home and puts in her stash.

One of the women from the library knitting group offered me more than 12 CONES of Orlon yarn, probably from the '60s. She used it on her knitting machine, so it's a little fine for knitting on needles. But it might be fun to wind 2-3 balls and hold the strands together to make sport wt or DK yarn for baby sweaters.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Christmas Potholder

My DIL and I went to the LQS the day after Thanksgiving. I needed blue fabric for my QoV border. While we were there, she got inspired to make the potholder in this pattern.

We agreed to get together for a sew day at her house a few weeks later. We made a trip to JoAnn's for insulating fabric and then back to the house to sew.

I didn't take a picture of the one we made that day, but she sent me a picture of the second one she made on her own. I like how she featured the snowman in the upper corner. Well done!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Table Runner Repair

Spunky, our cat, refuses to sleep on the soft, heated bed we made for her. She'll sleep on just about anything else, that we don't want her to sleep on. So it was no surprise that she took over the autumn table runner - but only at night when we couldn't catch her. It became so dirty, I had to wash it.

Which led to the two main felt pieces shrinking at different rates and some of the felt leaves bleeding color onto the light background. Argh.

I took the main panel off the background, washed it - more than once - to get rid of the color bleed, and then stitched it down again. It was easier than making the whole runner a second time.

Monday, November 30, 2015

FGS 1 of 2

Finished my first Flying Geese sock! So elated! You’d think I’d discovered the new world.

 I've been weaving the ends in as I knit, but MAN, there are still dozens to go.

Fair Isle Sweater Kit

When I was at my friend's house going through her yarn stash and being gifted coned yarn, we came across this sweater kit.

I've only read about these and here was one live and in the flesh! And she GAVE it to me!! She said I was more likely to make it up than she was, she couldn't remember how long it had been in her collection.

These were readily available in the 1960s and 70s, when Fair Isle sweaters were popular. I just Googled it and couldn't even find one on eBay. The wool is 'jumper weight' Shetland wool in a lovely heather green - and no moth holes!. The colorwork  portion is done for you and buttons are included if you want to make the cardigan - and it comes with complete instructions. I guess they figured the colorwork would put knitters off from trying to make one themselves. Some knitters - like me - think that would be the fun and interesting part.

I feel like I own a piece of textile history.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Color Catcher Sheets

Due to the drought in California, we're on restricted water use. In an effort to reduce the number of loads of laundry I do, I've been combining the darks - blues and greens with the reds and oranges and always adding two color catcher laundry sheets. Of course this means I'm going through color catchers a lot faster.

I've been using Shout color catchers for years, but at almost 6 dollars a box, I wondered if there was a better way. I thought I remembered someone at guild talking about making your own, so I Goggled it.

Sure enough, all you need to do is make a solution of water and washing soda - not baking soda - saturate some pre-cut muslin squares, dry them and then use those in your wash. You can read about it here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Napkins

While looking for more star fabric for the border of my current Quilt of Valor, I found more than a yard of a pretty poinsettia print and decided to make napkins.

As I cut them out I realized I've had this fabric for more than 25 years. I bought it at a 40% off after-Christmas sale. What have I been saving it for?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flying Geese Socks Update

I've been plunking along on my Flying Geese Socks (FGS), trying again and again to understand the color work created by short row shaping. Then one day, the unusual method finally clicked and I started turning out contrast triangles.


As I finished each one I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Then I actually found myself wondering what had been so difficult!

Back after heel's been turned

I'm remembering again why knitting is called a brain art.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ladybug Nine Patch

This last summer there was a terrible fire in our area, many, many people lost their homes.

The local quilt guild wants to give a small quilt to all the K-2 graders in the affected area.

 I was glad to give this nine patch quilt to help some child I'll never meet, feel a little more comforted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Autumn Table Runner

This pattern is sometimes called "The Ten-Minute Table Runner", but seriously, this pattern is fast. It took me under an hour.

It's a gift for my Mom for Thanksgiving.