"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

4/23/19

Pinky Pie Apron

My daughters birthday is coming up and I decided to make her a gift. She loves My Little Pony even though she's in her 30's. Some things we never grow out of. I found a piece of fabric with vintage Pinky Pie on Ebay so I bought it and used it to make her an apron. This free pattern is called Garden Party Apron. I found it with Google.


There wasn't enough of it to make the apron entirely of Pinky Pie, so I found a pattern that uses fat quarters. I have a nice collection of fat quarters in my stash.

I learned a lot with this project. For one thing, I solved my problem of straight seams. I Googled and found an item on Amazon that really improved the quality of my seams. It's vinyl strips that stick on your machine like post-it notes called Sewing Edger. You stick them where you need to have the proper size of seam allowance and when you're sewing you just run the fabric against that edge. I can't believe how much nicer my seams are now. The edger is removable so you can move it around as your projects requires.

Another thing I learned is how to sew rickrack. There's rick rack along the pocket edges. It's the first time I've used it and I think I did a pretty good job.



I'm ready to make another blouse. I have the fabric and the pattern. Just need to get started.

I am making slow progress on Margaret Tudor. I finished the right back side piece and I'm now working on the left front side piece. I'm managing to stick to my minimum of working at least 2 hours a day on it. Only missed one day so far this month, and that was because I wanted to finish the apron. I made it up by working on her all day the next day.



I've also started the next Layette set.



Spring has finally arrived at the Parkarosa. The wild flowers have started blooming. The daffodils are up and showing their yellow heads. There are lots of flower buds on the flowering plum. It should open in the next couple weeks. We've had some very nice weather. Last weekend was glorious out. Sunshine, fluffy clouds, cool breeze, and perfect temperatures. I managed to get deck knitting in. Hooray!

Live long and prosper \\//

4/2/19

Layette Set #38

I've been steadfastly sticking to my goal of knitting at least 2 hours a day on Margaret. It's coming along very slowly. Yesterday I had to unknit 9 rows-a whole days worth of knitting, because I discovered a horrible mistake. A missing bobble, knits where there were supposed to be purls, and purls where there were supposed to be knits-all in the same row. Ugh.

The weather was so beautiful this past weekend that Ruth decided to shove all the snow off the deck, then I swept it. We dragged the cushions out of storage, and set the deck furniture up. I spent a couple hours each day sitting in the warm sun, knitting. It was wonderful.

Despite all the time I've spent on Margaret, I managed to get Layette Set 38 done. Just in time. I've got KnitWits this week.



The cardigan


Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Tangerine

Yarn: UnKnown Acrylic
Content: 99% Acrylic/1% Polyester, worsted weight
Color:  Pale Green

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color:  Dark Teal

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: February 6, 2019
Finished: March 16, 2019

Comments: The dark teal does not look right in these photos. It's much brighter, and there's a sparkly metallic thread in it.
The back.



With sunshine. I went with a plain orange button.



The hat



Pattern: My own

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Tangerine

Yarn: UnKnown Acrylic
Content: 99% Acrylic/1% Polyester, worsted weight
Color:  Pale Green

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color:  Dark Teal

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: March 28, 2019
Finished: March 28, 2019

The booties



Pattern: My own

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Tangerine

Yarn: UnKnown Acrylic
Content: 99% Acrylic/1% Polyester, worsted weight
Color:  Pale Green

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color:  Dark Teal

Needles: Circular size 8

Started: March 29, 2019
Finished: March 30, 2019

The blanket



Pattern: Shell edging

Size: 30 by 24 inches

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Tangerine

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color:  Dark Teal

Hook: Size G

Started: March 31, 2019
Finished: March 31, 2019

Close up of edging.



I'm so glad to have this done.



Now on to the next one.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/27/19

WIP Wednesday 3/27/2019

I'm making slow progress on Margaret Tudor. I've done all the math and figured out what I need to do to enlarge the pattern. Now I'm working on the back right panel with size adjustments. So far, so good.



I finished the knitting on the layette cardigan I've been working on too. It just needs a button. Now I'm trying to find time to knit the hat for it. And booties and blanket. I have made a goal of working a minimum of 2 hours a day on Margaret Tudor. I've been sticking to it, but it doesn't leave me much time to knit on other things. Especially since I've been sewing.

I finished my shirt. It actually fits good. I wore it Sunday. Folks got a real kick out of the knitting sheep.



I've purchased some fabric for another shirt. This is SO PRETTY! The colors are so vivid.



I found some leftover green in my stash that I'm thinking about using for the collar. Hope to start work on it over the weekend, since we're supposed to get rain.

The past week the weather has been wonderful. We had several sunny warm days in the upper 50's/low 60's. The snow is melting like crazy. None is blocking the windows and we've even got a bit of bare ground. The frost has come out of the driveway. Just a matter of time before stuff starts blooming.

There's still a lot of snow on the deck. Daughter Ruth actually went out and shoveled a small amount off the deck for the cats. They wanted to go outside onto the deck and lay in the sunshine but there was so much snow. She shoveled around one of the chairs so I could sit out there with them and knit, which I tried to do. The sun was very warm, but the breeze was so cold blowing across all the snow in the yard I gave up and went back inside, with freezing hands. Another week and it should all be melted off and then I can drag the cushions out of storage and set up the deck furniture properly.

Well, that's it for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/10/19

March Already

It's March. What happened to February? The year is going too fast.

I finished the shirt I was sewing.



I learned some things while doing this project. For one thing, just because the pattern says it's a particular size doesn't mean it actually is. This shirt did not fit me when it was done. It was way too small. Couldn't even button it. It was devastating. I googled and learned that pattern sizing is not standardized in any way shape or form. I looked at the measurements on the pattern envelope but didn't take measurements on me. I just assumed the store bought size and the pattern size would be the same. My bad. I would have known it wouldn't fit. I will check that from now on.

It's not a complete disaster, though. It fits daughter Ruth, so she's happy. She got a cool new shirt.

It had been close to 30 years since I've sewn something like this. (except the top I made for the Star Trek cruise which I did not blog about, but it was completely different.) I've been sewing crafty type stuff which doesn't require making sure it'll fit. I forgot so much about garment sewing. Had to relearn almost everything, plus new stuff cuz I'm a plus size now.

Also learned some things about my sewing machine. It is one cool machine. I'm very happy with it. I have a Ricarr, which is a Japanese made machine.



My husband gave it to me for Christmas  in the early 2000's when I still had the shop. I had planned to get into heavy sewing and my old Montgomery Ward machine couldn't have taken the stress. It's not a fancy machine. Totally mechanical. No electronics to it at all, but that's why I love it. I just wanted a good heavy duty basic machine and that's what my Ricarr is. It'll sew through 9 layers of denim. It will handle stretch fabrics, the softest silk, and anything else I can throw at it.

It was definitely the first time I've made buttonholes on this machine. It has the coolest buttonhole making foot. You just put the button inside it, start sewing, and it makes a perfect buttonhole. I did 8 buttonholes in half an hour-and that included messing around with a scrap to learn how the thing worked. Totally mind blowing.

Anyway, I actually enjoyed making the shirt on this machine. Not to be defeated, I have acquired more fabric with adorable knitting sheep on it.

Who knew there was so much fabric out there with knitting sheep on it?

and a shirt pattern that will be the proper size.



I popped into Joann's and got some proper fusible interfacing for the button plackets and collar, and bought some really cute fabric with cats on it for a tank top (pattern arrived Friday). It's in the dryer right now. I'm planning ahead of the shirt.

I have been knitting too. Doing at least 4 hours a day. I've got both back thistle panels done on Margie T and I'm almost done with the first front thistle panel. It takes me about 4 hours to do one thistle pattern repeat. I'm making less mistakes too, which is always a good thing.

Every so often I have to take a break from Margie T and knit something mindless, so I'm working on this cardigan for another KnitWits layette set.



Look! No bobbles or yarn overs! I'm loving the color combo.

Since the weather has been unseasonably cold lately, I've been putting sweaters on Zoey.



It was getting into single digits at night and she's practically hairless. This is keeping her toasty when she goes outside to do her business. She loves it. I've never seen a dog who loved wearing sweaters so much. She's positively joyful after I put one on her.

Today the sun is shining and it's actually feeling warm. It's actually above freezing and the snow is melting. More snow is predicted for tomorrow and Tuesday (damn it!) but at least it'll get above freezing during the day. Come on spring!

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/23/19

WIP Update

Just a quick WIP post. I have been knitting on Margaret Tudor for hours this past week, but haven't made much progress. I'm doing the first thistle panel and it has not gone well. All I have managed to finish is 3 repeats of the chart. There are supposed to be 5+ repeats in each panel.



It's a little more difficult than I remember. I keep making mistakes and having to frog back. I've re-knit this thing 3 times so far. I get just about finished with the 3rd repeat and I'd find a bad mistake down below near the beginning. Man, I'm putting a lot of hours into it for not much progress. Today I finally got past the spot I always find mistakes at and made real progress. It's only a few rows, but it sure makes me feel better. I think I'm getting to know the chart now. I have all the symbols memorized so I don't have to refer to the abbreviation list any more. Things should start going better.

I gave the needle case to my friend Phyllis and she loves it. That makes me very happy. Now I'm inspired to do some more sewing. Early last year I ordered a couple patterns and some cotton fabric to make myself some tops. I'm going to start one of them. This is the fabric. Knitting sheep, seems so apropos. I pre-washed it yesterday.



This is the pattern I'm going to use.  I will start cutting out pieces tomorrow, I hope.


There's shorts in that pattern too. It would be nice to have some matching shorts to go with. Maybe in a bright red corduroy. I love corduroy. Haven't had any in my wardrobe since the 80's.

The winter storm I was expecting at my last post didn't happen until a couple days later. We had another one last night that dumped a few more inches. Ugh! More is supposed to come in the days ahead. I am so tired of snow. Records of snowfall for February are being broken all over the area. Temps too. Usually in February we get 40's during the day and 20's at night. We've had several days were it didn't even get above freezing during the day, and single digits at night. Hey Spring! We're ready for ya!

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/17/19

Sewing Project Finished

I finished my sewing project. This is a case for storing circular knitting needles.



The pattern I used is an old Butterick Pattern B5006. I found it on Ebay but it's also available on the Butterick web site. The outside is from a remnant I found in the stash. It's from Timeless Treasures Tree of Life collection. I used this fabric to make a small knitting bag for carrying small projects called the boxy bag a few years ago.

The pockets are made with some quilting fabric I bought for another sewing project that I didn't get to yet. It's supposed to be lining for a tote bag, but I liked it for these pockets. The background fabric is something I found at Joann's a few weeks ago.

There are 12 pockets in this little case. Every one of them with curved corners. I got pretty good at sewing those corners by the time I got to the 12th one. It will hold a lot of needles.



As sewing jobs go, it's not my best, but better than I expected. Except the top stitching. I am so terrible at top stitching. So I won't show it to you.



I had planned to make this before Christmas for a gift, but life got in the way. I will give it to the recipient next time I see her. Better late than never.

We have a lot of snow. We're having a sun break today, and then it's supposed to start back up again tonight. We are way above average for February snowfall. Right now there's about a foot of it on top of the garage. It's not slid off yet. I hope it doesn't do what it did that year it all sailed off halfway across the back yard slamming into a small tree, knocking it down, as well as breaking the heat pump.

I have been working on Margaret Tudor. I started the thistle panel. I got about 30 rows into it and frogged it. It was so sloppy looking as I learned the various chart symbols for stitches along the way. I finally caught on to it (the chart), so I ripped it out and started over. It's looking much better.



The stitch definition is great with this yarn. It's easy to split though because I'm using very sharp pointed needles. I think it's an Addi Turbo lace, if I remember correctly. I will have to be more careful so I don't make a mess of the yarn.

I spent part of this morning trying to take pictures of the birds eating at the buffet. It is very hard to get good pics of Chickadees. They don't stay still for more than a nano second. I did get this Black Capped one, which isn't too bad.



I got a good one of a female wood pecker. Haven't seen her mate around though. I hope he's okay.


I had 3 Magpies this morning eating at the suet cages, but they flew away every time I tried to approach the window to take their pics. I've got lots of birds right now. Besides these, I also have a large flock of Purple Finches, a pair of Nuthatches, and something new for us - three Dark Eyed Junco's. What is not here is Pine Siskins. I wonder where they went?

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/13/19

WIP Wednesday February 13, 2019

It's WIP Wednesday and I have something to post.

I finished 4 panels on Margaret Tudor, which I haven't taken pics of because I didn't want to. After the 4th panel, I started another layette set because KnitWits.



I have 3 pieces of the orange and teal fleece so I'll be working with those colors for awhile.

I also started a sewing project. I intended to sew this before Christmas because it was going to be a present, but then life got in the way so I'm doing it now.



I'm about a fourth done with it, and I'm very proud of how it's looking so far. I got the outside part done. It has 4 pockets in it, plus a strap, and a velcro tab for closing. My best sewing job in a long time. I'm making a circular needle case. Only 10 pockets left to make. I found a very old McCall's pattern for it on Ebay last summer.

The last few days it has been snowing, and snowing, and snowing. It's a good 3 feet deep in the back yard. The snow falling off the roof is up about a foot above the windowsills.



The freeways and highways are in various stages of being opened or closed because the conditions are so dangerous. We didn't even have knitting yesterday.

Right now the sun is shining, giving us a much needed break. More snow is expected tonight and for the next week. Winter is making up for the mildness of it's beginning. We're okay. There's lots of food in the house, and I've got tons of knitting, beading, cross stitch, and sewing projects that I can do.

Live long and prosper. \\//