Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Watermelon Moebius Cowl


My favorite model - Abby, my youngest
I'm knitting again!  Not that I really stopped, but 2 surgeries in 2 months did weigh me down a bit.  I thought I would just sit in bed while my ankle healed (no weight bearing for 6 weeks) and knit, read and eat bonbons.  Not so.  Turns out I can't stand just sitting and would spend time taking excursions to the first floor to scavenge for food or hobble to the car to pick up kids, then return exhausted because it's hard to get around on crutches.  Oh well, that's past now and I am happy to announce that I can walk now without overturning my ankle and breaking it.  So on to the good stuff!

One book I did take the time to read was Cat Bordhi's A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting,  which contains brilliant creations all using the Moebius concept.  I am fascinated with the never ending Moebius single-side (one surface).  Even more fascinating is the cast on and knitting of a Moebius in which you knit the right and wrong sides continuously without turning your knitting.  Both sides (or the continuous one side, depending on your point of view) magically flow from you needles.  I love it!  My teenage daughter, on the other hand, won't look at it because the concept freaks her out and questions her concept of basic 3-dimensional logic.  But whatever logic you follow, go with the flow and have fun.

Abby and her chicken Chelsea hope you have fun!
Oh and I found a great youTube video that explains and shows you how to cast on and knit.  One requirement is using a long circular needle that is at least 47" and 60" long.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Charted Lace Shawl -- First Timer Jinx

Because I was stuck mostly in my bedroom after ankle reconstruction surgery, I thought it would be the perfect time to tackle my first charted lace shawl.  This blurry picture is probably my 6th restart.  As I continued to reread the chart, I kept realizing that I needed to make corrections.  For instance, I didn't realize that the even rows needed to be interpreted opposite of what is written.  And I missed that the odd rows had switched to knit.  How many stitches was I supposed to have?

I've made it to the second chart and now am stymied about how to/where/etc. work the repeats.  Almost made it to that point but had to frog it again.  I will keep at it and keep everyone informed.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Failure! Procrastination! Perhaps --- Defeat? Never.

Oh Mom!

Ok, I have ignored common sense and once again set myself up for failure.  How, you might ask, or perhaps you don't care.  But I must expound in any case.  In my defense I have been busy with normal kid and family life.  Added to that I have also been out of town to help my sister who had emergency abdominal surgery.  And then there's that little matter of ankle surgery that I had a couple weeks ago that banished me to our second floor.  Oh, and did I forget that we have no kitchen and our first floor is under construction?

These are but excuses.  I could have blogged.  I should have blogged.  Instead I found every reason to not write.  If you don't do it, then you don't have to worry about failing in your effort.  No success when you accept defeat by non-performance.

Enough of this!  During my avoidance maneuvers I have been mulling over my situation.  And weighing my predicament.  As well as realizing the obvious--to me anyway.  I don't like wallowing in my self-made pity party.

So I need to write.  regularly and often.  I will organize this blog as my wandering through the world of knitting and sewing and upcycling/refashioning.  I am a novice, I must admit.  And I will show my defeats and victories and everything inbetween.

We're banished?
Except for guest appearances.

I am also toying with the idea of resurrecting a blog I quasi-started a couple years ago before I knew what a blog really was.  I think I wrote a total of 2 posts.  That blog will become my down to life blog.  The house remodeling, the chickens, my family, even the weather--like if it continues to snow into July this year.  

Now, I need to go look for pictures to add to this post so that it isn't boring. 

Please come back to visit.  I have some awesome sweaters that I got from eBay.  And I found a great skirt that I want to turn into a dress for my 16 year old.  And I am starting my first shawl using a graft no less.  Savvy even agreed to be a regular on the blog.   

Stay tuned.  

Savvy says: I was bribed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Featherweight Sewing Machine is Back!

 At the end of January I left my little sewing machine with our local sewing machine repair man, Mr. Brown.  His eyes sparkled as I carried in the machine that my mom bought around the time I was born.  He called it a "210" and asked if I was a quilter. (I'm not . . . yet).  For all you non-quilters, the featherweight sought by quilters for reasons I haven't discovered yet but hope to.  As I left that day, Mr. Brown told me he would be gently with the machine.

I have had my mom's Singer for three or four decades now.  If I'm not mistaken, my mom let me have it way back when I was pregnant with my now 40 year old first born daughter.  Back in those days, maternity clothes were almost non-existent.  Sears was the only store I found that had any maternity clothes and those were not only poorly made but also downright ugly.  And there were no maternity jeans!!!  Rather than go without jeans, I found some stretchy material, "borrowed" my mother's Singer, cut out the front of the pants and voila! I had maternity jeans.

My Singer came home again on Tuesday, all spiffed up.  And not only did Mr. Brown the sewing machine repairman treat my baby gently, he also gave me two boxes of attachments to keep me busy.  Who needs a computerized sewing machine.  I've got my featherweight and gazillion attachments.  Thank you Mr. B!

Now that I think about it, my Singer should finally have a name.  Penelope sounds just right.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Days Inspire Mittens & Hats

 Last month I went to one of the local thrift stores and bought a dozen wool sweaters.

Part of my cache of sweaters.

 Since then I've been deconstructing the sweaters, felting some, toying with others, and even undoing a scarf that I made because it didn't turn out like I envisioned.

Cut apart and ready for new action.    
Too short, too blah. Needs to be something else.

 I think I was just waiting for inspiration to hit.

And then it started to snow and snow and snow and voila - inspiration hit!  My mind unclogged.  Finally pieces began to fit together.  No lofty, cool objets d'art just simple, useful mittens and hats!

Here are the beginning, the finished product soon to follow.

Pinned together, waiting for stitching.

Beginning of a mitten.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Hat - Piece of Cake

I just finished my first hat!  It really was easy peasy, don't know why I didn't try one before.   Just started a two color, double knit scarf.  That's where you knit one side in one color and the second side a different color at the same time.  I had to look it up, being somewhat of a newbie.  Cast on the stitches holding both colors so that the cast on stitches each have a strand of each color.  Then you knit each color in the stitch separately depending on whether you are on the right or the wrong side.  Hasn't been too hard but I'm only a few rows in.
I love how this hat swirls like fruit sherbet.

    See you later,


Saturday, January 29, 2011

You Must See This!

Lucy Neatby recently designed the Udderly Divine Bag.  Patternfish just included the pattern for the bag at their website this past week so it is literally hot off the press.

It really is a usable bag knitted in the round.  Check out Lucy's variation should you wish to use the bag as a knitting bag.

Visit Patternfish to see more pictures of the Udderly Divine Bag and take the time to look at her other designs that are beautiful as well as striking because of her choices of colors.

Please leave a comment letting me know what you think about this bag as well as her other designs!

Enjoy,     Gail

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Great News! A New Give Away!

Hey, I discovered a new give away.  Finding My Aloha is hosting a $30 gift card give away to CSN Stores.  Frankly I wasn't familiar with CSN Stores but found out that they have over 200 online stores that sell almost everything from home decor to tools to luggage.  So get on over to Finding My Aloha and join in for a chance for a $30 present to yourself.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Change Sparks Interest & Good Stuff for You!

           Shake things up.  Especially if what you're doing is not working. So as of today, I'm revving up my posts: providing free patterns and tutorials,  supplying particulars for giveaways and showcases, pictures of works in progress and finished work (like the cowl I'm wearing in the shower), as well as any other interesting tidbits I may find along the way.

So if you're new and stumbled here by accident or are checking to see if I finally got my shit together, please give the changes a chance.  Why?  Because it's Gail!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sweater Project Progress

 This is the original sweater from the thrift shop.  The style is not something that I would ever wear but I thought it would work for my first project.  Actually I scored a dozen sweaters that day and thought this would be the easiest to work with first.  I'm not really feeling that way right now but will persevere because in the end it will probably be ok. 

Originally I thought that the body of the sweater would make a nice purse.  Once I cut the body, basted the sides together and felted it, however, the shape seemed a bit too long and narrow for a purse and the pattern too businesslike to become a market bag.  So, once measured, it turned out to be a good size for a laptop computer sleeve.  Now it needs to be sewn together with a lining and padding to provide some protection for a laptop.  Then all that remains is to decide what kind of fasteners to put at the top so the computer doesn't fall out.  It would be great to have feedback from visitors out there.  Possibilities include Velcro, buttons with wool corded fasteners or snaps(?).   

Please excuse its present state.

The arms of the sweater yielded a scarf.  The arms were sewn together with the hope that they would felt nicely into a free flowing scarf.  Alas, that didn't really happen and I ended up sewing the two pieces together more tightly and I am not happy with the line that now appears in the middle of the scarf.

It is actually more pronounced in person.


My thoughts then are to hide the unsightly seam is to somehow use the soft backing that I have to put on it to cover it.  I need to play with it some more.  Also I thought that because the scarf is not real long, that it could be used like this picture and I would add either  hidden snaps or a nice large button making it more like a cravat.

                        Thanks for visiting!     


Monday, January 10, 2011

Always Late But Working on It

Last week I tried to post but was waylaid by a stuck button.  But that's not an excuse.  It is a new year and there's lots to do, including turning a new leaf!  And to that end, today the girls were at their viola and violin lessons on time!!  Quite an accomplishment for me and one that I plan to continue as the year moves on.

After reading several of the blogs I follow I decided not to make resolutions but rather set goals instead.  So here goes.

Projects currently in progress:

  • A hat for Abby.  This is my first try at knitting a hat so it's a simple simple pattern.
  • While we're talking about Abby, finish weaving in the ends of the quasi-infinity scarf so she can wear it this winter.
  • Add a soft lining to Abby's cowl so she doesn't have any scratchiness next to her neck, poor child.
  • Embroider or needle felt "Sam" on the little orange purse I made for my granddaughter.
  • Sew a soft back on the scarf that was re-purposed from a thrift store sweater.
  • Finish the laptop sleeve also created from said thrift store sweater.
  • Have all the above projects finished by the end of next weekend.
  • Continue writing the mystery novel I started in November as part of NaNoWriMo (not to be completed by next weekend.

I would love to hear what projects you all have cooking right now.  So leave a comment below.

Ta ta for now.    Gail