Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beginning of Winter

There is one lonely sunflower in my yard that the squirrels planted. I think the original seed came from the birdfeeder. There's also a sprig of wheat or straw that came up with it. Of course, it's in a weird little corner where it's invisible unless you go back there, sort of a nice surprise.

This poor little bee has been hanging on since the weekend. I think he got too cold and couldn't fly anymore, so he's just been hanging on to this basil plant. We had a freeze last night and I can't believe he's still there. Ds and I check on him every day, and he's moved from one leaf to another.

I completed my Socktoberfest Socks.

The knitalong was just what I needed to keep motivated. It's nice to make both pairs at once too. I typically make one from start to finish and then do the other. It seems faster to do both at once.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Make some Hippie Jeans - Tutorial

This will be the extent of my Halloween costume sewing this year. Dd wants to be a hippie, so we bought a faux leather vest, some granny glasses and a peace sign purse at the costume shop. I am using an old pair of jeans to make into some hippie bell bottoms.

These are a pair of Limited Too jeans that I've always hated because the fly cover doesn't lie flat and it always looks like her zipper is undone. Good item to use for a costume.

Cut along both inseam and outseam up to the knee. It was easy to see the knee on these because she's worn them for at least two years.

Trim seam allowances. Please do this. If you don't, then the sewing will be a nightmare and you'll break a needle. Ask me how I know.

Choose fabric. This yardage sort of looks like the print used as trim on her vest. I wanted to use the pink strip, so I cut that section out. It was about 10 inches wide and that determined the width of my triangles to cut. I measured from the top of my cut outseams and inseams to the hem of the jeans and got 14 inches, so I added one inch to that measurement. My rectangles were about 10 X 15. I halved them lengthways and cut a mark in the center to find the center of the triangle.

The cut triangles. The grain goes straight across.

Use a jeans needle.

Sew in the triangles. The important thing here is to make sure you sew both sides from the same direction. Top to bottom (even though it's against the grain) is easy because you can lop off excess fabric when you finish if one side grows on you during the sewing.

Clip out jeans seam allowances at the top of the triangle. This will save you heartbreak and broken needles and allow you go get a neater look when you sew the second seam. Make sure to pull your print fabric seam allowance back out of the way and start sewing right on the jeans seam line when you begin.

The finished triangle. Use a rotary cutter to trim off excess fabric into a smooth curve. I added a 1/4" seam allowance so I could serge and hem the edge.

Press the serging under.

Topstitch the hem.

Done! Groovy. . .


Friday, October 24, 2008

Party Time

Tonight is a *trunk or treat* party at ds's karate school. It's a potluck and then the kids trick-or-treat out of car trunks in the parking lot. So I made cupcakes to bring.

And I decorated the back of the minivan, where I'll hand out candy. I think there's a contest for the best decoration. I'm planning to hang up the skeleton on the door handle, so he'll dangle down and out, but if that doesn't work, I can sit him up back there.

Many of my Halloween things (fog machine, etc.) require electricity, which won't work in here without an adapter. I got some battery powered lights to put into the Jack O Lantern gourds.

My car was a disaster, so this party forced me to clean it out. Wednesday night when we were driving back from a riding lesson, out in the dark in the country, we almost hit a deer crossing the road. Ds had an open box of Cheese-Its lying on the back seat and they flew everywhere, so things were looking really bad back there. . .

Another fun crockpot project, caramel apples. This was really easy to do, but allow plenty of melting time if you are using the crockpot instead of the stove. I washed and stemmed my apples, put the caramels and teeny bit of water in the pot, an hour early so it would be ready when ds came home from school.

It's much harder to decorate them than I expected, rolling didn't work well because the caramel came off in the bowl, so we ended up sprinkling them.

We were meeting some kids to play on the cul-de-sac and wanted to share them, so they were still a little gooey after 30 minutes in the fridge.

I was out letterboxing one morning this week and saw these pretty things. Anyone know what they are?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Greenjeans Sweater

At last I finished this cardigan, just in time for cooler weather. I think this is the first project I've knit where I actually have no knitting mistakes. Usually something jumps out during the blocking process, but not this time.

It doesn't fit all that well. I should have sized down for the top and shoulders and up for the hips, but I went with the proper hip size and it's a little saggy on top. I'm planning to machine wash it and that should make it get wider and shorter since it's mostly cotton. More info on the project at Ravelry.

Details of shoulder. I'm finally getting better on the finishing details.

Here's a closeup of the cabling on the sleeve.

I'm very tired of large projects right now. I made 3 cardigans over the summer/fall and now I want to make socks and smaller things for a bit. I have an idea for a felted letterboxing backpack. I haven't felted anything in a long time, but I have to remember I am usually disappointed in that area, so lower my expectations if I go forward.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Fun

Is that the most pathetic looking thing you've ever seen? The candy corn sweater is a little tight, I'm going to rework it, but I took these pictures when I tried it on her and they were so funny.

Socktoberfest week 3. The heel flaps and turns. We get the next clue on Wednesday.

We've had warm beautiful weather and my petunias are flourishing without the extreme heat. Look in the shadows at the yellow butterfly. They were swarming all around, but moving too fast for a good photo.

Dh ripped out my tomatoes and okra this weekend. I roundup'd (yeah, I know) the weeds, so next weekend he can till it up and I can plant some lettuce, carrots, spinach, etc.

Here is ds shooting a corn cannon. It was hooked up to a propane tank, and you pushed the button to shoot a corn cob at a target. This was at a corn maze/pumpkin patch out in the country. The maze was really fun and amazingly intricate. They design it on a computer and use a GPS to cut it. Of course, there was a letterbox hidden in it, which we found. (I got my 100!)

Here he is loading up pumpkins for the trip home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stone Mountain

Here's week two's progress on the sock. One of the socks is turning out solid navy, the other has some spiraling of green and yellow. I keep waiting to get some more color on the plain sock. The pattern is simple and nice looking, although when I began I didn't realize there was an option for a version with cables and I cast on the wrong number of stitches.

We had a great weekend at Stone Mountain.

It is quite a hike. On Friday, we took the tram up and down, but Saturday we hiked up against a hard wind. The kids really loved it and it is an amazing geological feature.

Saturday evening we watched the laser light show. Quite a crowd, but our hotel was near enough to walk over.

There's an antebellum plantation you can tour, and the dahlia society had a lovely garden there. We picked up a few letterboxes and geocaches. My goal was to reach 100 letterbox finds, but one of the ones we found is unlisted and I can't count it, so I'm stuck at 99 until I can get out again this weekend. (The only reason it matters is that the website I use for finding clues has restrictions on some of them so that you can't see the clues unless you have a certain number of finds.)

The kids are at an age where they bicker and slap at each other constantly, but other than that it was a nice (in-town) vacation. I guess the new word is *staycation*, although it pains me to use it.

I need to start thinking about Halloween costumes. I bought a pattern and fabric that dd picked out for a pirate wench costume. Now she wants to change her mind -- at least I haven't sewn it up yet. Ds will be Indiana Jones. He has a hat, whip and pants, but needs a shirt, belt, bag, and possibly a leather jacket. I might try Goodwill for the jacket, or else he can go without. The kids get out of school early today, so we might shop a little bit.


Monday, October 06, 2008


I decided to participate this year, and I'm making a Mystery Sock this year.

Here's the first week's progress for the cuff. The yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot, which I've had for so long I don't remember where I bought it and I've lost the label. It's very subtle, which I like, but so dark I'm having a hard time seeing the stitches. Each week a new part of the pattern is provided, hence the mystery.

I'm still slogging along on the cardigan, which isn't fitting so well. I think I should have just made a simple pullover.

Dh brought me these goodies from Budapest, so that gives me something to play with in the kitchen this week. I made some chicken tacos in the crockpot this weekend, but they also had salsa and chipotle peppers in them, so I'm not sure how much fire the paprika added.

Dd rode in a horse show this weekend. I fed this pretty pony some clover from the yard. What a sweetie.

This new barn we're riding with has lots of friendly calico barn cats.

The kids are out of school for a teacher's workday on Friday, so we're going to spend the weekend at Stone Mountain looking for letterboxes and going to the Pumpkin Festival. I guess it's called an intown vacation. We're staying at a hotel in the park, so we'll be able to watch the lightshow. And maybe it won't be so hot this time. When we went in July, everybody just wanted to go home and cool off.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I made this dog sweater last week. It's finally getting cool enough to need it. I've been trying to wait to make sure she's not going to grow any more, but decided the cold weather was coming and I couldn't wait.

Such a little trembly shivering thing. . .

I woke the model up from her nap for the photo shoot.

Ooh, sunshine.

If you want the construction details, the Ravelry Entry has details. I forgot to explain how the sleeves work. Basically I knit 5 stitches on waste yarn and put the then 10 stitches on dpns and picked up two at each corner for a total of 14 stitches. Then I knit about 4 rows and bound off. Exactly like a thumb hole on a wrister.

For extra cuteness, here's my friends new kitten, Bella. What a sweetie!
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