Saturday, November 14, 2020

Wow, nearly two years.

Two very difficult years and many changes. Let's look forward to 2021 with optimism and hope for the future. Let's hope that family and friends are well and healthy. Finally, let's celebrate the smallest of victories each day.

I hope to be writing here more often. I like the "old school" nature of the written word and still photography. It gives me an opportunity to think and reflect.

Photo: Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year New Project

Today I began the restoration of my 1921 Singer sewing machine by taking the first layer of dirt off the iron stand.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

When not sewing or knitting...

These are a terrible photos. I haven't mastered a smart phone photo by any means, but this project is finally finished. It started out as a 1980's stereo/TV/drinks cabinet that we purchased at the local second hand furniture store. When we got it home, it stank so badly of cigarette smoke that I washed it with de-greaser, then TSP, then mineral spirits and then I parked it in the sun for the entire summer. This fall it came inside to be sanded.

It was painted mouse grey and I left the light blond "wood" finish on the inside.

Just as I was about to move it to the living room as our new TV stand and DVD storage unit, the octopus moved in.  (I do not accept responsibility for this, I was left totally unsupervised.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Two Firsts

A long time ago, well really,  last May? I think?? I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was there that I bought some lace weight yarn from Wales. Reflecting on this, the purchase was idiotic, as it would have been easier to go to Wales than Maryland, but I saw it and I had to have it. No amount of rationality came into the equation. At any Sheep and Wool Festival, I am deep into yarn crazy.

I have never knitted lace before and I have never knitted a shawl before. So, why not do two things at once! Oh, and let's make it a Pi shawl too, just to up the anti. This is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Camping Pi Shawl in early September, nearly finished and the day before I ripped it all out, rewound the yarn, and started again, on larger needles. (Take that run-on sentence Grammarly.)

This is the pi shawl two months later cast off of 4.5mm needles but unblocked. The yarn has yet to convince me that it's all going to be worth it.

Three hundred pins later... I exaggerate...but only a little, the shawl looks like this.

Okay, now I can see it. Will I knit lace again? Probably, I have one full skein left over. Will it be any time soon? Probably not, I have several projects in the heap shame that need to be finished first.

Next project? Something that has been sitting in the utility room for nearly 10 months. I need to make room for the newly purchased project that is sitting in the front hall. Rereading myself, I am beginning to think I might have a problem or two.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Time flies and there went the summer and the fall. Our family has undergone some changes and they required time and adjustment. My blogging falls to the last item on my list when this happens. It doesn't mean that sewing stops, just that the documentation of the sewing stops.

Here's a bit of catching up. I've made two things this summer. The first is a Cape Breton top made in traditional blue and white French terry.

Second, I tried a new pattern, a tunic shirt in a cotton print. The pattern is Kwik Sew K3799. The fabric was labeled Gutterman "ring-a-roses".

I had three problems with the pattern, but still, I had good results.

I found the pattern length for the front and back of the shirt is not drafted properly. The front and back are different lengths and so I needed to pay attention and cut both pieces evenly.

Also, the sleeve placket should not be cut out as indicated on the sleeve pattern piece.  I followed my tried and true method of sleeve plackets instead and got a better result. My tried and true method can be found on the web also.  Angela Kane has a very good variation of the technique I used and she has a free pattern for the sleeve placket too.

Finally, the cuff and collar assembly as stated on the pattern sheet was very awkward.  I used a more familiar "standard" method of cuffs and collar for faster and better results.

I have to say that I love this pattern and the long tunic shirt is perfect for working about the house in just leggings and a top. The shirt is comfortable, roomy and covers the bum. This pattern is going on the use it again list for me.

 Finally, I did some non-selfish knitting. These are some new bed socks for my husband.

So onwards and upwards, let's hope some more writing gets done on this blog. I have tidied up the sewing room again. I now have an empty work table right in front of the window which gives good daylight for close work. My desk also now has a space for a laptop computer and all the extras that go with that item.

The other thing I did was separate the project stash from the sewing and knitting tools.  It's a pile, a pile of guilt, a big, no, A HUGE pile of guilt, but there it is on the floor. Now, I have to look at it and choose something to finish.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I'm ready for Christmas!

 I never specified which year. Did I?  This is my Julehue, a stocking hat with Scandinavian color work in grey and red. The pattern and yarn are from Stoff & Stil. I can't seem to find it on their website any longer, which is actually not surprising as Easter has passed a week ago.

This is an example of my enjoyment of the crafting process. We travel a lot and my house would be cluttered with bits and pieces of souvenirs had I long ago figured out that craft supplies such as yarn and fabric make great travel souvenirs. In fact, I enjoy them three times over.

Firstly, what fun is there to be had to find the sewing stores and yarn shops in various places. They generally are off the beaten tourist track and you find yourself in the shops and neighborhoods where people live and work. It is lovely to sample the local flavor of color and patterns. And finally, working out what you'd like to buy and make and wear. This hat is from Copenhagen, Denmark, remarkably the only European city which I would visit a second time...or third...or forth. Don't get me wrong here, I am just not a city girl. Once is enough for me for most cities, I prefer trees and flowers to signposts and sidewalks. This hat or the supplies for this hat were bought in Stoff & Stil in Copenhagen on the last weekend in October. We had just enjoyed walking past Tivoli gardens and watching the kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. Ducking in the door of Stoff & Stil immediately pushed us into Christmas or Jule. What fun! It was cheery and homey and comfortable and I found this hat and had to have it. So that is enjoying one of my Copenhagen souvenirs the first time.

Next, I got to make it. The pattern was in Danish and the process of sorting out the language and the wool together brought back more memories of Copenhagen. Yes, it took most of four months to make this hat, but crafting for me is no longer about piece production and a blog post every week. It is about the process and each step of the process from gathering the tools to weaving in the ends. This is the second enjoyment period. I tend to make this a long as possible and this is why I have a hoard in my sewing room.

Finally, I get to enjoy the hat by wearing it every winter and again remembering Copenhagen and the entire process of creating my own version of Julehue.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Land Girl's Sweater

I have finally finished another sweater project. That's two sweaters in one year! For me that's a lot of knitting. This is the Land Girl's Sweater by Rowan Yarns. It is one of their free patterns on their website. I purchased some Rowan Felted Tweed yarn in the Celandon (mossy green) color on a trip to London previous fall. I got to shop at Liberty of London for my birthday and this is what I chose as my present.

This pattern is actually called the Land Girl's Moving Cable Sweater and the two rows of double cables are suppose to wander away from the center panel and back again with the widest part of the wander just about at the bust line.

Because I am a larger lady, those wandering cables are not going to wander about my bust. I brought those cables straight up the front of the sweater. Also, I cannot just follow the directions, there is always a variation on the theme and this is my variation. I also lengthened the sleeves the original sleeves stopped at the elbow and mine stop below the elbow away from the bust.  Directions are general guidelines, right?