Monday, January 04, 2016

Last minute crafting

The plans.  Sometimes, they go awry.

I was kind of late to the game for being organized for Christmas this year.  So, I started a hat for my grandmother at the last minute.  As you do.

It was gorgeous, light blue Malabrigo.  Like butter.  Fun to knit.  Would work great with her other recent handknits.

\Grandma's First Hat

Then I realized it was hand-wash only.  Not nursing home friendly.

But my cousin has blue eyes and this would look great on her.  And she lives where it snows.  So, once I finished this hat, I took a second look at my yarn options and went for Plymouth Worsted and Cascade Pacific and came up with this.  If I were to do it over, I would have done it differently (helix from the start).

Grandma's Hat

My even more last minute crafting is new stockings.  I realized that no one went to the attic to get the stocking box this year.  So, I bought new ones.  There was not much selection at the big box store at that point.  And then I zipped over to the craft store for dark red perle cotton and sewing needles.  My ambition was to add snowflakes or flowers or something great, but then I started doing their initials and remembered what my actual skill level is.  And I went with slightly wonky, but mostly legible initials.

Modified Stockings

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Elf Shoes for the girls!

On the one cold day we had this winter, the girls realized I had elf shoes and decided (remembered) they needed some of their own.

Elf Shoes for me!

Mine are from 2008. I still had more of that yarn, including an un-started 2nd skein.  So, using all stash yarn, I made them slippers.

Elf Feet

It was pretty straightforward.  But now was the tricky part.  Our old washing machine was great for felting.  But I knew the new one could go awry - after seeing the great elf sock disaster of 2014.

elf socks

This time, I stuffed the socks with other stuff - dishtowels, socks, etc and put each one in a pillowcase.  And just washed on a regular wash cycle, Hot water.  This time, they did not felt enough and I had to run through it again.

Elf Feet 2

On the 2nd cold day of winter, after the socks were knitted, La was wearing my elf shoes and said she didn't like how the wool felt on her feet.  El feels like hers are too big.  But from a technical standpoint, they were a success.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

More sewing with El.

For pocketbook 2.0, the feature list includes:  a zipper, a curved bottom, and two handle shoulder strap.

She got a blue sewing machine for Christmas.  Now we're figuring out where to set up her sewing table and I'm thinking about what projects will be fun and useful.  We know a couple of babies, so fat quarter quilts.  My folks could use some new placemats and my nephew brings cloth napkins.  Our main things to work on are consistent seam allowances, locking seams, turning corners and remembering to put the presser foot back down.


The machine seems to be pretty good.  I was really missing some of the features of my machine, like a light, the threader, a zipper foot, and seam allowance markings.  But what it does, it seems to do well.

El sewed the tubes for the straps, and then we needed to switch back to my machine once we got home.  And, um, switch sewists.


My first stab at the curved bottom was not curvy enough.  I had her draw a line on the inside with a washable Crayola marker and sewed along those lines and it was finally good.  Also, the inside edges are just pinked together, not hidden.  Should be good enough for this draft.  Also, I need to figure out how to do zippers better this year.

Again, she's happy with this pocketbook and using it regularly.  Also, I let her cut up some Kaffe Fassett stash for the body.  Cause I'm nice and I love her.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sewing with El.

This fall, E decided that she wanted to sew one afternoon.  She was 7 at the time.  I think everyone else was at a teenager movie, so we had some time and attention available.  She sewed a bunch of pieces of fabric together. Scraps that I had near my machine, left over from something else. image

She was having fun.  Then realized she wanted to make a pocketbook.  For a 7 year old whose mother carries her wallet, she has a lot of pocketbooks already.  She decided she wanted one that had a crossover strap, a pocket on the outside, and a flap that folded over and buttoned.  She drew a picture of her idea and then we picked out some fabrics from the stash.  She had a thing in her mind and went for it.

The sewing itself, though required a little more precision and technical skill than she has right now, so she supervised and I sewed a lot of it together.  And she added a sewing machine of her own to her Christmas list.

We ended up with this:



She was really happy with this.  Sometimes, you go through the trouble of making something and then there's something about it that you don't like and you don't use it?  This bag was in heavy rotation.  Until she thought of pocketbook 2.0.  The adventure continues.  Stay tuned.