July 27, 2007

Stitch & Pitch 2007

The Princess went to the Ball Game with me last night. M and R from our LYS were also there along with R's boyfriend (who according to M whined all night). The photo is for JB who doesn't believe that I ever drink beer. Occasionally - I do. I drank about a 3rd of this one and The Princess who is now 21 drank the rest. We stood up for the 7th Inning Stretch and just couldn't be bothered to sit back down. We did actually get a fair bit of knitting done. At one point during the game, a local Fabric store was giving out gift bags to a certain row in the stadium. Well The Princess decided that she wanted one and she just went down to that row, sat down and collect 4 - one for each of us (See D - I told you, you shouldn't bail on us!!!). Don't feel bad - there were several empty seats in that row and lots of the women sitting there had more than one goodie bag. They were nice bags too, with nice little gifts.

Anyway - here is The Princess striking a muscle man pose with Captain Plastic who had earlier in the game, tripped going up the steps while trying to give her the "Hello." She thought he was creepy until she realized he was all about recycling.

I'd like to point out what The Princess is wearing. It's basically B5029. The same dress that Bonnie made here. She bought it at Nordstrom's half-yearly sale for $40. She loves it and it looks great on her. The difference between this dress and the pattern - the middle rouching doesn't seem to be loose - it's more fixed. If that makes any sense.

By the way - for anyone interested - the home team lost!

July 26, 2007

Just Showing Off!

Camilla asked to see my version of Monkey. Until I figured out that I could knit my socks so they were really snug, I didn't particularly like wearing hand knit socks. I still don't like tall socks. So, I was really happy when Cara showed off her Baby Monkey's, and I shamelessly ripped it off! I made my first picot edge, did only 3 repeats of the lace pattern for the cuff. Then I did my own favorite heel. You can see I have a nice stripe of teal right around the instep. But the reality is that besides the 4 people who read my blog - who will ever notice that? This yarn is the Knit Picks Hawaii colorway that was already wound into cakes and sent to me Camilla.
I started the first sock on July 4th and got all the way to the heel before it was dark enough for fireworks. The sock then suffered. Got hauled back and forth to work in my bag, but rarely saw the light of day. The other day I pulled it out and finished it. I immediately cast on the second sock - but I've only got the picot edge done - maybe I'll take that to Stitch-n-Pitch tonight.
Here's a couple of pictures of the darling little baby socks that I knit for JD2's niece. I just love them. They tickled me to no end to make. They were fast and they have lace! Oh, and since they were for a baby - US2s! Yea Baby! Back to my nice shiny metal double point needles! Loved the whole process - a sock a day and I still went to my day job :) Just for reference I put one on top of one of my pink socks - size 9 foot here! Baby sock on top. Cute, no?
Now I'm going to go sew some snaps and a button on a top that has been laying about on my sewing table. I want to wear it today with some capris. I'm going casual at work - since I'm leaving there at 3 -3:30 for a dentist appointment and then heading downtown for Stitch-n-Pitch. Better get moving!!!

July 25, 2007

Some Friends are the Best!

Today, the little envelope that tells me I've got mail in my work email box popped up on the corner of my computer screen. UGH! I think - more work. Okkey - dokkey, I'll just hover my mouse over there and see what it is. Hmmm - not work, my good friend Claire checking in because I hadn't updated my blog, sent an email, or talked to her in a few days. It was nice knowing the someone cares. My life feels heavy right now. I don't know how to explain it other than heavy. The Musical One has moved out, but hasn't finished moving her stuff or cleaning her spaces. The Princess leaves on her next adventure in 12 days. She is moving to Connecticut to be a full-time live-in Nanny. I'm very excited for her and I'm sad. She is a good friend and a good kid. I will miss The Princess - although I will still talk to her and email her all the time. Wanna hear a great story about The Princess? Well she golfs with my father once a week. They started this when she was in 7th grade. Because grandpa didn't want to miss an changes in the golf schedule with the Princess - he finally broke down and got an answering machine. A couple of years later, he got a cell phone. The Princess, The Musical One and his long-time live-in girlfriend are the only ones who have the number. When Grandpa learned that The Princess was moving to the other Coast, he went out and bought a computer and got an email address. He asked her "if I send you an email every Monday at 11 a.m. will you get it then? It will be just like we're still golfing together." Did that bring a tear to your eye? I have been doing just the tiniest bit of sewing. Last week I helped The Princess cut the backing for her duvet cover and a couple mornings this week have been spent assembling said backing. I have been knitting. My Co-worker, JD2, demanded a baby hat when his SIL gave birth to a baby girl. Being the snotty person that I am - I knit the cutest baby socks (I'll post a photo soon). I hate being told what type of gift to make!!!! I worked on my lace shawl last week and am past the border and have the first 4 rows of the middle section done - can't tell what it looks like, but I have it done! Other than that, I've been sitting in the sun - reading! Thanks for noticing I was MIA Claire - I appreciate it :-}

July 18, 2007

Epiphany (why did it take me so long?)

So last night I had an Epiphany. Ever since I agreed to the JB purchase that new flat screen, wall mounted, plasma tv - my sewing time has drastically decreased. Between that and a laptop in the living room - well there is no need for him to ever come downstairs. Granted, I'm getting a little more knitting done - but sewing is severely limited - and I don't like it!!! Here is the list of what I still hope to get finished this Summer - Yea Right. The only good news is that here in the Pacific Northwest, I can easily wear Summer Dresses and skirts through October. I still love Simplicity 3877, even though the Pink Dress didn't work for me. So, I got this blue and white cotton (bottom) and the darker blue. My plan is to use the darker blue for the collar, the facing around the neck opening, and the sash. The rest of the dress will be the other print.
I got my ASG group's approval of B5046. I need to take the skirt in slightly and finish the armholes on the first version. The light green on left will be another top and the black and white is currently planned to be the dress. The pattern is already altered to fit, so this shouldn't be that difficult!
How about a quick, fun and funky skirt from my favorite Kwik Sew pattern? I love these prints and they will be fun to wear. I also bought some beaded trim which I plan to attach over the seam for easy removal later. The top portion of the skirt will be the boxy print on the top and the bottom border the green.
After that - B4978, the short version shown. The fabric on top is the main dress fabric and the greenish blue on the bottom - the lining. I love this fabric. It actually called to me and jumped into my basket when I was shopping. The biggest problem is that it's a sheer! UGH. But I can do this. I love the top in B4996. I have had the piece of teal blue poly silky in my fabric cupboard for years. I think I got it when The Princess was a baby! The other piece is new. The plan is to use the new piece as a wearable muslin and then make it again in the teal. This should add some much needed dressy work tops to my wardrobe - then I'll have to add some hand knit cardigans or learn how to make a lined jacket - but let's work on getting the tops done first!!! Another piece of lingering stash. I think this will make another great Garden Party dress. I hope I have enough fabric. The only change that Simplicity 3774 needs is a little bit more length added, so it isn't too short after hemming. Then I will need to go shopping for a great pair of sandals!

Everyone is talking about M5466. I generally don't wear straight skirts, but this dress has a full skirted version. This fabric is printed on the bias. I think they would work together and be perfect for starting Fall off on the right foot.

Other than leaving JB to his upstairs tv and computer and just sewing - anyone have any other ideas?

July 15, 2007

Sunday Shape Up

Okay - so yesterday while I blog surfing, I read in Sharon's blog that I was encouraging her to get out and walk more. Then this morning, I got a comment from Marji that she was interested in playing too (I couldn't find your email address anywhere). So, as soon as I get a little housework done and make an attempt to cool our un-airconditioned home, I'll figure out the little add your blog list I referenced in my Wanna Play post. Edited to Add - I found where you add the list thing, but I don't know how to make it work. So, since you all can't actually post on my blog, let's do this. You post your Sunday Shape Up on your own blog and leave a comment. I will check comments periodically on Sunday and update my post to link to your post. Will that work? Anyway, My thought is to have a Sunday Shape Up check in and I'll be happy to host it here. I don't really want another blog to maintain, but if Marji or Sharon are interested, I'll be happy to post there too. Finally, I thought we could list our steps per day (I haven't been wearing my pedo since early June, time to start again), any other steps you are taking to shape-up (I plan on getting back on the Ball and Treadmill) and a weigh in if you wish to. Even if you don't want to post your weigh in to the public, I would suggest that you weigh in weekly (old weight watchers habits die hard). Okay - I'm off to take a cool shower, find a fan, then do some more laundry and head downstairs to the sewing room, where it is much cooler!!

July 14, 2007

Poor Lucy!

Thursday while brushing all the newly loosened hair due to their recent baths. I noticed that Lucy was limping. Lucy is a good girl, she is so incredibly gentle with people and other dogs that aren't part of her family. I asked what was wrong and she walked right over to me, sat down and handed me her left front foot. We were outside and I couldn't see anything. So I brought her in the house and she laid down. JB and I started looking at her foot and she started screaming, pulling her foot away and even tried to snap at us. Her foot hurt! So, I cancelled all my Friday off plans and took her to the vet. She spent the day in the house with me and the other dogs just being quiet. The verdict is that she has a wart on the pad of her foot. However, she also has several contact and airborne allergies (including, grass, trees, and pollen), so she chews on her feet alot. We have given her allergy shots in the past, but they don't really alleviate the itching for her. Anyway - the vet can't tell right now if the she's limping because of the wart or because her foot is so raw from chewing on it. Our vet gave her a shot to stop the itching and Miss Lucy has to be coned until at least Tuesday. On the way home, we stopped by the pet store for some more cookies and I let Lucy pick a new toy. She's actually doing okay with the cone - even if she looks funny!

July 13, 2007

Okay, I'll Play

Debbie tagged me for her sewing meme - so here goes: 1. What kind of seam ripper do you use? I use this little baby grey one that came with my sewing machine. I love it! It's sharp and I tend to actually unpick seams - not open the seam and rip the stitches. I have several and every time I loose one - I buy 2 more. They run about $5 each through the Viking dealer. 2. What do you use to snip threads at the sewing machine?

Well that really depends on what I'm doing. For normal, everyday vanilla sewing, I use this little pair of Mundial scissors. I have several pairs around the house - by the machine, on the ironing board, on the end table in the living room, and in my knitting bag. If I'm working on embroidery, I use a little curved pair and a pair of reverse tweezers to grab the threads and lift them.

3. What do you use to cut out patterns/fabric?

I'm an old fashioned scissors girl. I like the way they feel in my hand, love the sound they make cutting through fabric. I realize it's not the most efficient use of my time and I'm sure I'll hear about it later when I say the cutting out is my least favorite sewing task, but I do like using the scissors. I've never really been very comfortable with the rotary cutter.

4. Do you stash zippers?

Yes, I try to keep a fresh supply for Lucy to eat :) That's the not real reason I have zippers on hand, but it often seams like it!

5. Which takes up more space in your stash - knits or wovens

Wovens, although they are closer to becoming even.

6. Are you wearing anything today that you made?

Nope - not today. Although everyday this week I wore a skirt that I had made to work and mostly t-shirts that I had made or hand knits. Yesterday I wore the daisy skirt and a white t-shirt.

7. Does anyone else in your family currently sew?

Sorta, The Princess likes the idea of sewing and borrowed my back-up machine. However she just returned it in preparation for her big move.

8. What is the $$ sewing-related (non-fabric) item you bought?

Hmmm, bias tape, thread and buttons for the cotton tops I'm working on.

9. Cutting out, pressing, hemming. Which one do you like the least?

Cutting out. I just don't like the time involved in prepping the pattern for cutting. Tracing, trimming, ironing, laying out the pattern and finally cutting. The others are small jobs to a finish - cutting out seams to be a much bigger job!

10. Do you have any non-chain garment fabric stores in your local area?

Yes, Nancy's Sewing Basket, Stitches, and even though she really isn't a store front, Marsha's Textile Studios is in Seattle. I rarely go to any of these shops, because I hate to drive downtown, but I'll go if we have an ASG function at any of them.

Before I leave you with the funnies thing I've seen lately, I'm tagging Claire, Carolyn, Shannon, Sharon, and Linda. So, here it is, the funniest thing I have seen lately, this is an ad for Comcast Internet and it was in Everyday, Rachael Ray's magazine. The ad says A Jumper in a Jiffy - make a kid's outfit in seconds without sewing a stitch. The little girl is wearing a paper grocery bag with the bottom cut out (quite badly, I might add) and straps added with duct tape! Isn't that cute?

July 12, 2007

My Husband's Better Than Yours!

So last night I went to Great Yarns for knitting in the garden and the Bear Kick Off Party. There were significantly less people there this year, but fun was still had. I did not bring stuff to work on Bear clothing, but I did bring a couple of bears home and will make them some cute clothing. Upon arriving home - I came in the front door instead of through the garage. so I had a minute to come in before the dogs all figured out where I was. Beau found me and I reach down to rub his head - wet! Silly dog must have run through the pool again and just came back into the house. The Lucy came over - wet, Dudley - wet, Abigail - well she was wet too! Because it was so warm out yesterday (my car said 103* when I got off work - really it was in the 90s), JB decided to give the dogs a bath because it was still warm enough they could dry. He washed them all, cleaned their fountain, cleaned their pool and then took all 4 dogs for a walk to help them dry in the heat before he turned them loose so they weren't soaked and rolling in the dirt! So I have 4 clean dogs - who now are shedding like mad! But I guess you can't have everything - right? funny story about the bears. I just tucked them into the top of my bag. When I got home, I put my bag on a dining room chair and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Beau comes strutting into the kitchen with a bear in his mouth - totally proud of himself. Silly dog - those bears aren't toys!

July 11, 2007

Just a Quick Check In

I've managed to do the handsewing on the dress from last week. I need to shorted the zipper using Summerset's technique for finishing the too long zipper. I just need The Princess to come over. I need her help with a couple of thing - however if I don't see her before Saturday, I'll have the girls at my ASG group help. The things I need help with are: 1~ getting a complete set of measurements (taken by someone else) to repadd out the dress form. She's a little bit bigger than I am. 2 ~ pinning up the hem on the dress. Of course if the dress form matched me, I could do it myself! Some day - soon. Last weekend I worked on this Butterick pattern. I really like the look of this top and I managed to find the exact fabric that they are showing in the View A/E - which is what I started with. I have it done to hand sewing. I really don't enjoy this part so why I am recently actually adding hand stitches that the patterns don't call for? Anyone? Here's my delima with this pattern. The length. My hips (like most women) are bigger than my waist. In my case, they are also bigger than my bust. I'm not sure that having a top that ends right around the fullest part of my anatomy is the most flattering way to go. Again - my ASG girls will come to the rescue. I'll take the digital camera and post photos afterwards. Tonight is Knitting in the Garden - with a twist. It's time for charity knitting again and tonight is the Bear Knitting kick off party. I posted about it last year, but I'm too lazy to go look it up. Now - I'm off to get ready for work. Pack my knitting back, figure out what I need to purchase tonight (nothing!) and go to work. See you all tomorrow ;}

July 8, 2007

How Big of an Idiot am I - Part 2

Well here's a progress report on my lace wrap. I have been working and working on it in bits and pieces. I finally got past my issues with rows 5 and 6. For some reason I was doing something wrong and would end up with the wrong stitch count on row 6 every time. As I finishing up with the final row 16 of the border yesterday, I realized that instead of working the right border and then the left border 5 times across the width of the wrap - I was just working the left border. I was trying to decide if I should rip it and start over or not. My friend D and I had been talking about entering handknits in the Fair this year and I was considering this piece of lace. When I noticed that somewhere in the middle of the 3rd pattern repeat I lost count of my rows and knit the same 2 rows twice. I'm sure you can't tell - but I have my finger pointing at the f'd up spot. I can't believe I did that! Maybe I'm not meant to knit lace - I will win if it kills me. Also, I wasn't keeping track of the rows with any sort of system. I was just trying to remember where I was at. Obviously that wasn't working for me. So as soon as I got up this morning (after taking the above pictures) this is what I did. Yep! I ripped it out again! I will dedicate a row counter to this project and work on when I am able to pay more attention. I won't guarantee that it will be done for entry in the fair - but at least the borders will be right now! Since there was no knitting going on this morning. I grabbed my dress which still needed handsewing and all the dogs toys that needed mending. I started on the toys and this is what I got to deal with. Lucy, laying as close as she could get just waiting for me to finish with each toy. She really didn't care what it was - she just wanted it. Beau is on the bed behind her.
This is the look that Beau gave me when he saw that his 'big bear' was next. He was licking his lips - just waiting for me to be done. Of course, big bear got thrown to the ground when I was mending hedgie - only because Lucy wanted it and he wanted it so he could tease her! MEN!

July 3, 2007

Mail Love

Remember Camilla from the comments? She cracks me up and her blog is pretty funny too. This is the first time I 'met her - and she just happened to be having a contest. Apparently, I actually knew the right answer - go check out this post. Well lookie what came in the mail from Camilla today? I was so freakin excited - a package on my counter! Now to find new sock patterns! Come this winter - I'll have the best dressed feet! Although they may look silly with my skirts ;} Anyway - those 2 cakes in the ziplock baggie. The note on the outside of the card says they are Knitpicks Hawaii. I don't know knitpicks. I tend to knit very loose, so what size needle would you suggest?

Here's a close up of the pretty yarn. The note says "P.S. I'm 'de-stashing' some personal stash, too - hope you don't mind the two balls of knitpicks 'Hawaii' I threw in!" How could anyone mind that? Thankfully, just Sunday night I grafted the last toe on my Trexing socks. JB - bless his heart - who rarely notices the small details. Took one look at my feet, which were wearing the newly finished socks, said they don't match. Nope - Fraternal Twins! I haven't made enough socks with these new fun yarns to know how to line the start up to make sure the pair comes out an exact match, but I like them anyway! They are nice and snug on my feet and because of that I love the way the little railroad ribbing pattern shows up. This is a super easy pattern and since I recently purchased Sensational Knitting Socks I learned a few new things too - like moving the stitches around on the needles so the top of the foot maintains the pattern when you divide for the heel and then moving them around again to have even number of stitches for the toe! Silly really - you think I could figure that out with out a book telling me it's okay! Anyway - back to the purpose of this post - Thank you Camilla! I love the package and the yarns.

July 2, 2007

Photograpic Proof

See, I actually do sew. Lately I've felt a lot like Marji when she states "just as soon as I recover some sewing mojo, which has just Vanished into thin air. Anyone seen my sewing mojo floating around?" I have felt exactly the same way. Friday afternoon I was at home and the sewing machine was calling my name. I had cut out Simplicity 3774 before we even left for vacation in May. I traced a 14 through the bust, tapering to a 16 at the waist out to a 20 through the hip! I made an adjustment to the back pieces for a sway back - taking just a 1/2" out of the center back per Nancy Zeiman's Fitting Finesse. I made view A, but added the cap sleeve rather than the longer, full sleeve. Next time, I will need to adjust the bust dart. Since this pattern has a waist band, the dart is really short and wide. For me, it's still too long. I may try to divide it into more than one dart.
Also, and this makes no sense to me at all. But the pattern instructions have you self-line the bodice and waist pieces. But you sew them together then attach the sleeve. Well, if you have two pieces, why wouldn't you sandwich the sleeve seam between the two? That's what I did, then turned under the seam allowance on the lining and handstitched in place. I will do the same thing to hide the skirt seam. (Again, not done on the pattern.) This dress fits okay and feels very feminine. All that I have left to do is the final handsewing - attaching the lining to the zipper and the skirt seam. I will need to add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper and hem it. But it's fun and will get worn this Summer and into the Fall. Finally, on a knitting note - I have figured out the lace! Woo Hoo! I have 8 rows of the last border repeat and then I'm onto the center panel. Hopefully this will go faster. I gotta say - this little piece of tiny knitting is making my hurt like nobody's business! Here's a picture of the first wound ball and the remaining skein - isn't it pretty?
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