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


Boxy Bags

Well, now that I've dug out the sewing machine and got it working at peak condition, I want to sew. I've been wanting to learn how to make boxy bags ever since I won one in the year I did the Sock of the Month KAL. Last year a friend gave me a pattern, and I bought some fabric, but never got around to it. I finally got around to it. I found the fabric easily enough, but I couldn't find the pattern. Ugh. It's supposed to be with the fabric, but it wasn't. So I went googling and found a wonderful online tutorial on how to make a boxy bag. I made this one last Friday.

I used some fabric I bought a couple weeks ago to make doll skirts. I made the skirts on Wednesday, and had lots of left overs. It has mistakes in it. But it came out okay. Ruth loves it, so I gave it to her.

Saturday I made a second one using the original fabric I specifically bought for making a boxy bag.

It came out much much better. I LOVE this fabric. It's from Timeless Treasures Tree of Life collection.

I've moved right into it. I mean, I've moved a project right into it.

The wildlife are making themselves visible. Yesterday, while I was checking the chemical balance in the hot tub, a beautiful Whitetail buck stepped out of the woods. It walked up pretty close to me. I talked to him a bit, and then he nodded his head and trotted off down the hill. (Cable missed the whole thing-silly dog). I didn't have a camera anywhere near me, which is a shame cuz he was really pretty with a very nice set of antlers.

On Friday a moose stopped by for a visit. I was at my ironing board pressing some pieces I'd just sewn together on the pirate themed bag above. It was set up right in front of the dining room window. Movement attracted my attention. I looked up right into the eyes of a moose. I sort of panicked, cuz the back door was wide open and I don't want Cable chasing the moose. I ran over to close it, just as the moose arrived at the bottom of the steps. When I slammed the door I startled it. It reared back, then ran around to the front yard. I got my camera.

It's not a real big one, as moose go. It's kind of skinny. It's shy too, which is a good thing.

On Sunday we bought and planted a new flowering Crabapple tree. I better get a protective fence around it before someone eats it!


The Victory Tam

The Victory tam is finished.

Pattern: Victory Tam by Rohn Strong

Yarn: Made In America's Wayfarer
Content: 100% wool, fingering weight
Colors: Meadow, Sand Dune, and Mud Puddle

Needles: Addi Turbo circular size 2 and 4

Cast on: June 4, 2014
Bound off: June 14, 2014

Comments: This pattern is published by Made In America Yarns. I don't know if it was not test knit before being published, or what, but it has a LOT of errors in it. I would not recommend knitting it. However, if you must, here are my corrections.

... First of all, except the ribbed cuff, there should be no purl stitches in this. At least, I don't see any in the pictures in the pattern.

…Under Gauge it doesn’t say what size needles were used for the swatch. Size 2 is the answer.

…In Rnd 3 it starts with K11. It should be K1.

…In Rnd 9 it says to purl 8 and the repeat doesn't work as written. It should say K1, (m1, K7, m1, K7). No purls involved whatsoever, and certainly not 8.

...Rnds 38 - K2tog, (k9, k3tog) to last 10 sts, k8, k2tog. (120 sts)

...Work 5 rnds of chart.

...Rnd 44 - K1, (k3, k3tog, k4) around, end last rep with k3. (96 sts)

...Work 8 rnds of chart.

...Rnd 53 - K2, (k2tog, k1, k2tog, k3) to last 6 sts, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1. (72 sts)

...Work rnds 54 and 55 of the chart.

...Rnd 56 - K1, (k2tog, k4) around, end last rep with k3. (60 sts)

...Rnd 57 - knit.

...Rnd 58 - K1, (k2tog, k2) around, end last rep with k1. (45 sts)

...Rnd 59 - K1, (k2tog, k1) around to last 2 sts, k2tog. (30 sts)

...Rnd 60 - (K2tog) around. (15 sts)

Finish pattern as written.

It was a frustrating knit for me. I'm glad it's done.

Facing front.

The back.

Another view

I will be getting this back to the shop tomorrow. I'm going to ask to enter it in this years North Idaho Fair. Despite the frustrations, it came out pretty darn good, if I say so myself.

Now, to begin the mitts that go with it. Wish me luck.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Skirts Sewn

I spent the day, yesterday, sewing. Well, technically, it was part of the day. The other part of the day I was working on my machine trying to get it to work. It didn't want to sew at first. Then, when I got it sewing, it didn't want to sew correctly. I did a lot of adjustments before it finally starting behaving properly. It was an educational time.

I learned quite a bit about my sewing machine, which is a Ricarr. You may not have heard of this brand. It's an all mechanical machine. No electronics in this baby to toast. It's a basic work horse machine, which is what I want. Something that can hold up to my abuse. Heh heh. Anyway, when it's working properly, it's a dream to sew on.

I also learned how to use this baby.

I bought it last week when we were in Wallace. One of the vendors in the street fair was seeking a new home for it because she never used it. Quilting is on my list of things I want to do when I retire, and she was asking a very reasonable price for it. I snatched it up. It's called a QuiltCut Fabric Cutting system by Alto.

I love this weird contraption! My sister sent me 4 pieces of French embroidered lace trim, and instructions on how to turn them into doll skirts. I used it to even up the edges on the lace trim, and cut my linings with it. It is awesome if you want to cut straight pieces of fabric. I'm so glad I stumbled upon it.

I made all four skirts yesterday. The plan is to knit sweaters to go with the skirts. These ones have white lining. I think they're gorgeous! I will enjoy making sweaters to go with them.

The fourth one is my favorite because I love the design embroidered on it. It has a black lining,

and clearly, I've got a sweater for it already made.

I was surprised how much fun I had making them, even though there were times I was very frustrated with myself (I sewed one of them inside out at one point. Argh!). By the fourth skirt, I was doing pretty darn good.

I think I mentioned I had another red wig for my dolls, but I hadn't taken a pic yet. Well, this is it.

It is cold and wet today. It's raining. I was planning to putter in the yard, but I guess I'll change my plans. Knitting is on the agenda instead.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday 6/11/2014

June just started! How could it be almost half over already? How about a WIP Wednesday post? Oddly, I don't have much on the needles right now. Not as much as I usually do, anyway. I only have 2 projects on them.

This is the Victory Tam.

I started it last week. It is a model/test knit for the shop where I teach knitting. It's the first time I've been asked to knit a model for them. I feel quite honored. The project is a kit they are thinking about bringing into the shop. So far, I'm not happy. The pattern has 3 major errors in it already, and I'm not even half way done. I looked ahead in the pattern and I can see there are more errors coming. Sigh. I will probably email the publisher about them. I like the yarn though. It's nice to work with.

I have been working a little bit on the mukluks.

I've got a heel! Still not happy with my workmanship though. I tend to make the floats too short when I change from one needle to the next. Gotta figure out how to overcome that problem.

This little item, a doll sweater, is technically still a FO even though it's off the needles. I need to sew a snap set on it, and do some blocking to finish it up.

It's an experiment for my doll clothing line. I used a very simple lace pattern in the neck ruffle with beads in it. Don't know if it fits the doll yet. Afraid to try it on her.

My rhododendron is blooming wonderfully this year. I'm so happy I didn't succeed in pulling it out 3 years ago (or was it 4?).

Ignore the weeds around it. I can't get on my hands and knees to pull them out. My knees haven't healed completely from the fall in Times Square. It hurts like heck to kneel on them. So I have a problem and an not sure how to solve it. Anyway, at least Rhody doesn't seem to mind the weeds. She's looking awesome this year.

I love this shade of pink!

Live long and prosper. \\//


New Doll Stuff! Yay!

I got some new doll stuff. I ordered 2 short red wigs for my Prudence. One arrived last Friday.

I love this wig! It looks awesome on her. I bought this wig on Ebay from Juju's Dolly Mall. It's a Monique Gold "Jojo" in Carrot Red. I have a second wig that arrived yesterday. I purchased it from a doll group member. Haven't taken pics yet.

I have a new doll. This is Serious Intention Ellowyne.

She's my very first repaint. That makes her one of a kind.

Click on pic to embiggen

Her face has been repainted by Peggy Foggio of  Westport Dolls. Peggy did such a beautiful job. I love the way she does the eyebrows and lashes. One look at those violet eyes and I HAD to have her.

I love her hair too. Such a rich deep auburn.

This is what she looked like originally.

She came nude. I'm not sure I want the original outfit. It's not one I really care for.

The earrings I won in the photograph contest arrived too. I got gold hoops,

Pink ovals,

and green ovals.

I'm having way too much fun with my dolls.

The weekend was a busy one. Saturday morning I had a meeting in Wallace, Idaho. I recently joined the Inland Northwest Freethought Society and we met up with the Missoula Area Secular Society for lunch. It was a fun meeting.

There was a street fair going on that day, so we wandered around town a bit too. Sweet Hubby took this photo of me while there.

Wallace is a very pretty little town squeezed in between the mountains at the Idaho/Montana border. It was used in the filming of the Pierce Brosnan movie Dante's Peak.

After Wallace, we headed home to get Cable, then went over to brother-in-law Dan's house for a party. My nephew, Nathan, graduated from high school last week. It was time to celebrate. I enjoyed it immensely. Lots of family was there, and the weather was gorgeous. There was lots of good food and conversation to be had by all.

On Sunday we worked in the 'garden'. That fenced off space that I have grown a veggie garden in since we first moved here. My back can't handle the work involved in maintaining it any more, so we're turning it into an orchard. We plan to put some fruit trees and some berries in the space and mow around them. Pulling weeds is something I just can't do much of. A friend gave me some Raspberry starts and we worked on getting them planted.

The weeds were pretty thick and tall. Sweet Hubby mowed the whole space. Then he rototilled a place for me to plant the Raspberries. I dug holes and whatnot. I got them planted but I was exhausted by the end of the day. My back does not like me digging holes. I'm looking forward to having Raspberries to eat though, probably next year. Now we need to get some fruit trees.

The weather is gorgeous this week, so far. I'm gonna spend as much time as I can on my deck before the oppressive heat arrives.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Sweet Niggles

I've been working on a pair of socks that will be my next free pattern. I finished them over the weekend.

Sweet Niggles Socks

Pattern: by me

Yarn: Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious
Content: 70% Merino/20% Nylon/10% Silk, fingering weight
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Neon Now
Content: 75% Wool/25% Nylon

Needles: Addi Turbo circular size2

Cast on: February 22, 2014
Bound off: May 30, 2014

Comments: The stitch pattern in these socks is a lot easier than it looks. It was a lot of fun to knit. I will be having the pattern test knit soon. When that is done I will be posting the pattern on my pattern blog.

I love the way the colors change in the variegated yarn. It's a very bright yarn, but the dark purple tones it down some.

I will enjoy wearing these next winter.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Knitting Doll Hats

I am not real happy about how my wool felt doll hats turned out, so I decided to create a knit one instead. This is the first prototype.

Knit Hat with Wide Brim

Pattern: Not available

Yarn: Cestari Heather Collection in Natural
Content: 75% Cotton/25% Wool, dk weight

Needles: Addi Turbo circular size1

Cast on: May 24, 2014
Bound off: May 25, 2014

I like the hat, but it is not what I had in my minds eye. The brim is too wide, it doesn't curl up the way I want it to, and the hat is just a little snug on the dolls head.

So I made a second one. I used a size larger needle, and put a couple less rows in the brim.

Knit Hat with Slightly Narrower Brim

Pattern: Not available

Yarn: Cestari Heather Collection in Natural
Content: 75% Cotton/25% Wool, dk weight

Needles: Addi Turbo circular size2

Cast on: May 25, 2014
Bound off: May 29, 2014

I LOVE this hat! The brim curls just like I want. However, it's still a bit wide. So the next one I will take out a couple more rows in the brim.

The hat research and development project will continue.

We're having gorgeous weather this weekend. But the pollen is too thick. I go outside and a few minutes later I have an asthma attack. I'm having a hard time staying inside though. We don't get many days like this in north Idaho. Sigh.

My 5 Ebay listings have ended. I sold 3 of them. I think that's pretty darn good. I've been retaking photos of the red beaded dress to try again.

The hat has been added to the outfit. It really sets it off nicely. I'll be listing it later this week. In the meantime, Amber is enjoying the lovely weather.

Live long and prosper.\\//