Monday, October 30, 2006


I made two more pairs of Fetchings. For the black pair, I ran out of yarn. I was trying to use just one ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, but I had to rip back some rows and lose the picot bindoff. So, for the red pair I made them shorter by two rows overall, used a plain bindoff, and then had quite a bit of leftover yarn. . . What is the deal?? These will be gifts for someone, not sure who yet. . .

From my walk this morning:

I dread Halloween tomorrow. It's dh's birthday, so in addition to all the TrickOrTreating and neighborhood parties (we all get together and put out candy across the street where there's a sidewalk, so the kids don't have to cross the road), I have to get a birthday cake ready. I think I'll buy a fancy bakery one for him and bake cupcakes for the parties. I have to come up with an appetizer too. After all the partying, he also expects dinner at the same time as the kids need to be in bed, so it always turns into an exhausting fiasco. I can't wait. . .

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Little Ottobre

I made ds some corduroy pants and a velour shirt this weekend.

I'm not too sure about the pants, they fit him almost like leggings.

Is it just me, or is the pocket placement really low?

The pants pattern is number 19, from Ottobre 5/2006.

The pants in the photo don't look so fitted, but since his measurements put him in a size 92, I used that size with size 116 for length. (He really is 115 cm tall.) I eliminated the fly opening and made an elastic waist, and then panicked that he wouldn't be able to get them on (!!), but they're okay. . .

Then, I made the top from some velour that coordinated, but I didn't have any ribbing. I ended up using some jersey that's really poor quality. I forgot to add seam allowances to this pattern. (People have the audacity to come into my sewing room and TALK to me. . . which causes me to skip steps like this, plus I'm so out of practice y'all.) The top worked anyway without the seam allowances. I made a size 110, I think. Here's the pattern photo, although the number escapes me at the moment, it's from 4/2006.

It's such a relief to get back to sewing again. My ILs were supposed to visit but cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather and bad colds.

I don't know what I'll work on next, but at least I have now justified my Ottobre subscription. . .

Friday, October 27, 2006


This is what dd made at her sewing class yesterday -- pretty cute, huh?

The lessons are at the teacher's house, she has a nicely finished basement and is using a small room finished out like a wet bar for cutting and then has a big table in the playroom for the girls to work on. The light was dismal, I don't think I could have threaded a needle in there. Y'all know I'm gonna be comparing sewing spaces, don't ya?

I feel a little bad that I'm not teaching her, but she likes being with 3 other girls she knows. Also, I think it's easier for someone else (who's not MOM) to be patient with them. I have let dd and one of these girls work on some small projects at my house before too. Just some simple pieced pillows. I've also shown them how to knit a little bit, but they tend to lose patience pretty quickly and move on to something else.

I feel bad that dd is so overscheduled right now. I try to limit the kids to two extracurricular activities. For her this is Girl Scouts and riding lessons. However, I signed her up for math tutoring at a place called Mathnasium. Then, she made it into Art club (which is a lottery deal and only 15 are picked). Now she's taking sewing classes and basketball starts next month. Ahem, how did 2 turn into 6?

These sorry guys are my last tomatoes of the year.

I cleaned out one of the beds this week, since they have a fungal disease that will overwinter unless you get all the debris out. Let's just say I didn't know I had muscles in my hands that could get sore, not to mention my arms, back, feet and legs. It's hell getting old. . .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sewing Again

I managed to get things cleaned up enough to make a Tshirt. This is Jalie 2005. I made the sleeves too long. I used the pattern piece for 3/4 length sleeves that I had adjusted for fat arms and I forgot that this is a slightly drop shoulder T. So, I added a little too much length.

In my quest to get the sewing machine at a level that kept my knees from whacking the table constantly, I managed to make the surface too high for the serger and coverhemmer. I guess I'll get used to it, but right now I feel like a kid sewing at Mommy's table.

Speaking of which, my 10 yo dd starts sewing lessons this afternoon. I don't know who she's taking from -- one of my neighbors called me and asked if we were interested because she had to get 5 girls to commit in order to get the teacher. I'm sending dd with my little Janome Jem Gold. I think it's a great little machine to learn on. Keep your fingers crossed that dd might be CONVERTED.

Anybody know of any good cone thread storage options?

I gotta do something about this.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Misty Garden Scarf

This is the Misty Garden scarf from Scarf Style. I used Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair (3 balls Glacier Bay, 2 of Tundra) on size 10 1/2 needles. Finished size is 80 inches by 8 inches.

It's a good *wear with winter coat* size. I wanted to make it with three balls and didn't have enough, so then, of course, couldn't find any more in the right color. I made no attempt at subtlety, no stripes, just changed color outright. This yarn is h@ll on my hands, I'm so glad to be done with it. The Moonlight Mohair is exactly like Trendsetter Dune.

I think I might give it away, but can't really think of any good subjects. I'm sure it will become clear who needs it as the holidays approach (too bad it's not red, so I could donate it to the Red Scarf Project).

Work continues on the sewing room. I think it'll be done this week. ILs are coming for the weekend, so there will be lots of shopping and no crafting (or sewing room move-in) around here.

I bought some purple Koigu for another Crapotee. I love the one I made last year from Knitpicks Gossamer, so I want to repeat it in a different color. It's either that, or start back on the Kiri Shawl, which is going to be the Lacevember project.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Brown Sweater Again

As much as I hate to, I must add Knit Picks Main Line to my list of *Never Again* yarns. Sigh. It's so inexpensive and I like the colors. However, the care instructions, which I naturally disregarded, are Hand Wash Only. I tried letting the sweater dry flat, but as cotton typically does, it remained stretched out. You have to put it in the dryer to make it shrink back into shape. Well, when you put this yarn in the dryer, you get pills. Ugly, ugly, ugly. I have not tried a sweater shaver yet.

I'm wearing it around the house today, because it's cold, but it looks like something the dog dragged in. I haven't given up on this pattern -- I'm thinking maybe I'll do a remake in Tahki Cotton Classic, because it wears and washes really well and comes in a billion colors.

Well, at least this cheers me up.

A custom fit. Hmmm, I'm not planning to, but what if I get a new machine? Does anyone know if the footprints are similar?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Field Trip to

I finally made it. When I moved back to this area two years ago, I had grand plans to make it to Fabricdotcom for their twice annual warehouse sale. But it seems like something always came up -- I was out of town or the kids had a ballgame. This time I told dh that I was planning to go and that he was on his own with the kids for the morning.

Here was the line when I arrived at 8:55 am (the sale goes from 9:00am to 2:00 pm.)

I'm guessing there were at least 150-200 people in front of me. Some of these folks had big carts with them. I learned a few things: 1) take someone with you to stand by your cart so you can go grab bolts, (kind of a tag team deal), 2) people grab stuff fast, so try to be there early, 3) everything good is gone by 9:30.

I was in search of some silk dupioni for my bedroom curtains and I was excited to find bins with several rolls for sale. However, somebody grabbed my color first. I'll admit I was tempted to trip her and shove her over and fight her for it, but she had a kid with her, so well, I restrained myself . . .

I bought some olive corduroy (pants for ds) chocolate brown cotton/lycra stretch jersey, and some white prequilted knit, suitable for dyeing. I also got a coffee mug, a cute mini iron, a tomato pincushion for dd (who is going to take sewing lessons soon), and a free measuring tape for completing a survey.

Here is a picture of the cutter measuring my fabric:

Massive table, huh? Also notice the yellow sheet to keep us from pillaging.

Another interior shot:

They had all the *regular* fabric wrapped off with shrink wrap or covered with tarps to keep us out of it. I think all fashion fabric was $3 yd (what I bought). There were silk scraps by the pound (crazy quilter's delight y'all) and cotton prints by the pound. I saw quite a few people buying cotton prints, more quilters I suppose.

There was quite a bit of home dec fabric too, but the silk was all I was interested in.

I got to meet Kristl, and took a picture with her, but I'm telling you, I look like h@ll in it, so I'm too vain to post it. She looks cute, I promise, but I'm too lazy to crop, sorry. The Evil One wasn't there.

It was fun, but you've gotta get up early in the mornin' and put on those running shoes if you're gonna score.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Green Socks

They are finished, yay! We don't even have to knit an actual pair of socks to participate in Socktoberfest, but I couldn't stop myself. Stats: Lanett Superwash, which appears to be Norwegian, but I bought it in Knoxville on the way to knitting camp this summer. Used size 1 needles, pattern is 5 stitch pattern (yarn over cable) from Sensational Knitted Socks. I can mark off my New Year's resolution for knitting, which was to try toe-up socks.

Will I make them again? Probably not, but I want to wear them for a while before I rule it out completely.

Are you wondering how I got those socks knit in a week? Possibly it was because I've been hanging around home while my carpenter works:

He just cut out the hole in the table to sink the sewing machine. I am beside myself, he has been working so hard and he wants to do it right! Dh gave him a little bonus because we suspect he underbid the job quite a bit. It's taking a lot more time than he had anticipated. I picked out a light natural stain for the finish.

I've got a lot of cleaning up to do (sawdust in my stash, ick) but the final result will be fantastic. I might be sewing by next weekend.

Last, I have a little excursion planned for the weekend. (Hint: it involves fabric shopping). I hope to have some interesting pictures to post for you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Socktoberfest Again

I'm not going to bore you with another picture of the lime green socks -- I'll wait until they're FOs (getting close, I promise).

Here are this week's Socktoberfest questions.

Where have your handknit socks been?
I would like to be a smartie and say *in my drawer, of course.* I live in the south and only wear the wool socks when it is below 70 degrees. They have been camping, skiing (heavenly), shopping, basically everywhere with me in the winter. Cotton socks I wear in the spring, but once it gets hot, I wear sandals with no socks.

I once knit a pair of cotton footies for a friend who had breast cancer. She was a sewer I met on an email list and the group put together some gifts for her and her children. She emailed me that the socks were comfortable and kept her feet warm during her treatments at the hospital. She died over a year ago. I often think about her and her family.

What is the furtherst they have traveled?[sic]
I took them with me to Brussels and Paris (the top of the Eiffel Tower). It was February, and we walked and walked and walked. One pair was starting to felt a bit when I left, so I quit wearing those (it was getting a bit tight). I really hate throwing them out, even when I should. . .

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Toe Up Socks

I finished the first one, and it fits pretty well. I think the second one will go quickly now that I figured out and practiced the short row toe and heel. The provisional cast on is very fiddly -- I can't really see any advantage over the design of a top down, unless you had really large feet and ran out of yarn all the time. There's no way I could have used the entire ball for one sock, unless I wanted to do some calf shaping, and I don't. The only time I ever ran out of yarn was with Koigu and I learned to buy 3 skeins instead of two.

I was reading Wendy's Book last night about why she prefers toe up and it's basically because she doesn't want to kitchener. I keep a small cheat sheet in with my pattern that shows the steps, so I don't have to memorize it. It's not a big problem, really. BTW, the book has some cute sweater patterns in it.

Yesterday's sunrise. (Blogger wouldn't let me post yesterday.) When I turned around I could see a small rainbow. I haven't often seen sunrises (I accidentally typed *sunset* if that tells you anything) because I like to sleep until daylight. I think my body is programmed that way. I would be in big trouble if I lived very far north.

I was glad to be home this weekend, but it was one of those weekends filled with parades, carnivals, pony rides, bouncy castles, popcorn, cotton candy, and petting zoos. I was too dumb to know to park close to the finish line of the parade, rather than at the start, so dd and I had to hike all the way back to the car after one of the carnivals. My feet still hurt. . .

Last night I spent some time looking at the October Burda WOF and there is a jacket calling my name. I hope to be sewing again by the end of the month.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sewing Room Update

This is the corner where the sewing machine table will be. I'll have lots of overhead storage, I'm thinking I'll put serger thread up there.

Mondo cabinets -- I'm so excited. I think this will be a double fabric cupboard.

This is the other end of the sewing table. I also had some cabinets installed under the window and they are very wide, you could sleep there. . .

*When are you going to make the seat cushions?*

Here's the sock I started.

I knit the short-row heel last night, and it went okay. Not perfect, but okay. I have some concerns, though. How are these going to fit without a gusset for the instep? I have pretty flat feet, so I think they will be okay for me, but if you had a high instep, the flap heel seems to make more sense. Also, I'm used to using a slip stitch pattern on my flap heel for extra durability. These seem pretty flimsy in all stockinette. I'm going to have to put them to the wear test and see how they hold up. Reserving judgment for now. . .

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oy, What a Mess

This is the second time I've started Kiri this week, and oh it is so messed up. I blame it on the fact that ds is home from school sick this week. He is not so sick that he lays on the couch and sleeps, but does feel bad enough to want to climb into my lap when the fever chills make him cold.

So, I decided to put it away and start a new sock. I'll post a sock pic tomorrow, Blogger isn't cooperating right now. It's funny, if I post early in the morning I have fewer problems with uploading photos, but it's too dark to get natural light to photograph a project -- frustrating.

Take a look at this towel that I used to block the brown sweater. (You can click for a closeup.)

See all those yellowish spots? The yarn, Knit Picks Main Line, is crocking just a tad. I didn't notice it on my swatch because I laid it out on a navy blue washcloth. Now I know to use white so I can check for this.

My carpenter was supposed to deliver more sewing room cabinets on Tuesday, then called and said Wednesday. Wednesday I didn't hear anything. . . I'm guessing it will be Monday. You know, this must be why these guys go into business for themselves. They can't work for someone else -- you have to show up on time every day.

I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls this week. It was wonderful -- like a more modern day (1970s) version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's a memoir of a girl growing up in poverty with a manic depressive mother and alcoholic father. It's fascinating how the kids use their wits and smarts to survive and thrive in the harshest conditions. I had stayed away from it because the author appeared on Oprah, but a friend recommended it who loved it. She was right.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Socktoberfest -- Flash your Stash

Here's my second Socktoberfest entry. I store my sock yarn in a Lantern Moon basket. I try not to buy any more yarn when the basket is full.

As you can see, it's about to spill over, so that means I am on a yarn-buying hiatus.

Here is everything all spread out. There's some Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Schafer Anne, Socks That Rock, Cherry Tree Hill, Lorna's Laces, and Koigu KPPM (the ones that are wound). The others still have their labels on, I have some Fortisimma Cotton, Regia stripes, several Elann and a couple of Knitpicks. The only yarns that I hate are the Lion Brand Stripes and the Wildefoote. I need to give them away because they are living in the bottom of the basket right now.

Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns? Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern?
I buy the yarn first and then choose the pattern. I have lot of self striping yarn, which will be knit into a plain sock. I WANT to start buying more solids and knitting them up in fancier rib or lace patterns.

Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time!) I would like to say this is so, but I have knit up most of the yarn that has significant meaning, so I see the sock and think of where I bought the yarn. Some of the yarn I have in stash is the crap that I don't want to knit with and tend to hold onto. My tastes have changed quite a bit -- when I started knitting socks, I liked self-striping yarns and now I don't. I knit up the good stuff pretty quickly, and it's been a good exercise to pull out my stash and see some goodies I'd forgot about.

Every stash tells a story!

*Where did all that yarn go?*

Monday, October 09, 2006

Space Camp

It was a blast! Heh.

Really, we had a great time and I highly recommend it. We stayed in the *Habitat* which is a big concrete and steel building with *pods* that sleep 6 campers. The bathrooms had signs that said *Waste Management*, etc. -- very cute.

We made and shot some paper rockets.

We also made and launched hot air balloons made from crepe paper and liberal use of glue sticks.

We had a fantastic instructor, who you can see in the photo helping the boys with the hot air ballon. I think all the girls (especially mine!) wanted to take him home.

I have never been particularly interested in Space Stuff -- my eyes glaze over whenever I try to read an article in the paper about the space program. But it was nice to get a child-targeted overview of the program. It was at a level that even I could understand, instead of hearing blah-blah-blah. We saw two Imax movies -- one about the Mars rover and the other about the moon landings.

To make this fiber-related, I wore the brown sweater (dirty mirror, ugh!) this weekend.

I'm going to block it today. I love how it came out, it's like a soft, comfy sweatshirt.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


It's Socktoberfest time!

I wasn't planning on making socks this month (Kiri shawl) but how could I resist? Socks are my hands-down favorite thing to make.

I really had fun answering the first questions.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
My mom has been knitting socks for years and gave me a pair every Christmas. All of my siblings want plain black socks, but I am the only one who likes a little color. Here are some that my mom has knitted for me.

The red and white striped pair are cotton. The red entrelac and the white lace ones are from the SpinOff Socks Book. I also have many pairs of plain black and brown ribbed cuff socks that she has made over the years.

Really, I learned to knit because I loved my mom's handknit socks and wanted to make them myself. She showed me how to get started, things like casting on over two needles (on DPNs) and how to join them to work in the round, etc. I also hung around the socknitters list at yahoogroups. I think the best thing for me was the tutorial from the Socks 101 Site.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
What would you have done differently?

My first pair are these footies, also from the SpinOff Socks book.

The yarn is Noro Iro and I barely had enough to do these, seems like maybe there was a yard left over. It was a great way to learn how to make a sock quickly on big needles and not get tired or bored. They are a wool/silk blend and I sometimes sleep in them or wear them around the house -- they once saved my life on a cold camping trip. I would have made them just a tad longer if I had enough yarn.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
My favorites are Koigu KPPM, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, and Socks That Rock.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I knit mine cuff down on DPNs. One of my New Year's resolutions was to try toe up, 2 circs, and/or Magic Loop, but I haven't done it yet. Maybe this knitalong will inspire me to try a new method.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Flap, tried short row once and it was a disaster (frog pond).

How many pairs have you made?
This is what I could find, but it doesn't include cotton ones, or some that are in the wash. . . I'm guessing about 25 pairs over the past 3 years.

I've never had a problem with Second Sock Syndrome. I guess it's because I'm so eager to get to wear them.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm so Behind

So, I guess I've got nothin' for ya today. I've finished one sleeve of the brown sweater, so I need to knit the second sleeve.

Had to go out of town to a funeral this weekend, so today I'm catching up the laundry and housework, etc. It's just going to be one of those weeks. I'm also getting ready to leave again on Friday. I'm chaperoning a girl scout trip to the Space Center in Huntsville. That means we are doubling up on after-school activities to make up for being gone this weekend. Do you think I'll get the second sleeve finished this week? That's the big question.

The other question: Will I hear from my carpenter??
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