Thursday, December 20, 2007

Handmade Christmas

I'll have to admit, I have pretty much decided not to make handmade gifts for Christmas over the last couple of years. But.....I seem to end up with making a couple of gifts, and really enjoy the process since I am not over-extended. We have 365(!) days in a year and in the past I was working like the devil during the month of December trying to get things done. My most favorite blogger, Yarn Harlot, has been posting this month about her holiday knitting schedule....whew! Glad that's not me! But I did make a tablerunner and set of coasters (no photo!) for my hair stylist, and an Amy Butler bag for my daughter's law school roomate:


I will be making more of these bags, this one went together so well. I used simple canvas for the underlining support, which made for a soft yet substantial bag and handle. This pattern comes with directions for two sizes: handbag and tote. I made the tote and the size is perfect for me, tho I plan to make the handbag size for a summer purse, I think :-) I did not feel that any closure was necessary, since top seems to come together nicely on it's own.
What's next??? Wrapping gifts, of course!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Almost like a religious conversion!

Okay, okay......I drank the Kool-aid! I now know the advantages of making a muslin....who says you can't teach an OLD dog new tricks! Making the muslin made making my coat a pure joy:

1: Having made the muslin once already, the directions were so much more clear the second time around

2: I could sew happily away knowing that the fit would be spot-on, unlike my pre-muslin days when I would sew away holding my breath *hoping* the fit would be adequate

When I can, I hope to try/learn something new when I sew, with both quilting and garment-making. This time, the skill set attempted was to 'build' out the cap of the coat sleeve with a sleeve header. Easy-peasy, and makes all the difference in the world in the way the coat hangs off of the shoulder.


I need to thank Lori V from the Sew Forth Now podcast for her show on making muslins...
she does a great job each week getting out the information that we who sew need to hear!

I do have some knitting content in this post .....

These are the hats I've been making from smariek's pattern : the gray one is knit from Cascade 220, the green one from Moda Dea washable wool, and the cream is Lion Brand cashmere blend.
Since this photo was taken, I have reknit the crown of the green hat, making it less 'cone-shaped'. I guess I lost track counting the cables! I would have reknit the gray one too, but my daughter took it back with her to Chicago after Thanksgiving :-) This is a fun, quick pattern!

Friday, December 7, 2007

under the wire

Gee, thought I'd better post an entry before a whole month goes by between posts! Yes, this is a busy time of year, that's for sure :-) Since today is my day off, I plan to get some gift shopping done, begin setting out the decorations and put up the tree. Last night I baked 5 doz cookies for the public library cookie walk fundraiser....snickerdoodles this year. They turned out OK, not sweet enough for me, tho! I have been sewing and knitting as usual. I made a muslin for the coat I mentioned earlier, and have cut out the coat fabric and laid out the lining. I am using a flannel-backed satin for the lining for some added warmth, and since the fabric is an upholstery-weight woven, I am debating the need for fusible interfacing. The jury is still out on that one. I am knitting some cute cable hats, and a diagonal-rib scarf. No gift-knitting this year, and I'm glad. If Christmas gift knitting isn't done by Dec 1, then it ain't happenin'!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Baby sweater


I had such fun knitting this little baby sweater for my friend Deb, who is expecting a baby girl ANY DAY(!) now. I used a pattern from a Knit It magazine from last year, and picked up the yarn at Arcadia Yarns in Chicago when I visited there over the summer. On the needles now: a cabled hat using the washable worsted wool from Moda Dea and the Cutaway Cardigan from Chic Knits, which seems to be taking forever. Since I am knitting it in Knit Picks Merino Style: strawberry red, I had hoped it would be done to wear for the Christmas holidays, but no way! I'm still having elbow pain, so I have slowed down my knitting somewhat. But not altogether, of course!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Darling daughters

My knitting friend Deb mentioned to me last Monday at Caribou where we meet with a group of knitters each week that I have not yet posted a picture of my daughters! How could that be?? So, here you are, Deb, a photo from this last summer at The Bagel, one of our favorite spots for breakfast in the Lakeview area of Chicago. Kristen is on the left, and Libby is on the right :-)

Simplicity 3775



I am getting ready to visit my daughters in Chicago in a couple of weeks, and thought it would be nice to have a new dress to wear the evening we go to the theater. This pattern has been so favorably reviewed on PatternReview, so I gave it a try with some lycra knit from JoAnn Fabrics. I am happy to say it fits perfect! All I need to do to finish it is to put in the hem on the sleeves and skirt edge. It was a fun sew....much more enjoyable than shopping for a dress!






Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SewMuchKnitting.....Not!


















I have had to take a break from my knitting needles due to what I think is tendinitis in my left arm. I'm not sure it is coming from the elbow, or from my neck but it hurts! Since I knit some every day, resting it has made it feel better already. I did knit for about 4 hours in the car on Sunday when we drove Kenny back to CMU, but that's when I knew I had to take a break....ouch! So, in the mean time I'm visiting my sewing machine again.
What you see above is a paper mock up of the medallion square that I am setting some Block of the Month (BOM) blocks around. We made these blocks as a group activity with my quilt group the Loose Threads.
And above that you can see the medallion block fused, and I've started machine-appliqueing the berries. I am happy to say that the majority of the fabric for this came from my stash (some of those reds are OLD!). I have a sewing weekend planned in Nov. with some quilting buddies, maybe I can get some of the quilting done then!




Univ. of Mich Football



Here we are heading over to the U/M vs. Purdue game last Saturday..... after an early morning tailgate. Too bad my daughters couldn't join us to make it a family affair, maybe next year. We were able to meet up with some old dental school friends that we hadn't seen in MANY years, and that was the highlite of the day....well, that and a U/M victory!

Pur-who?????

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Life of a High-Schooler



Such a busy weekend! My 16 year old son Matt was voted the Junior Class Representative for Homecoming week at his high school. So on Friday night my husband and I got to escort him on to the football field at half time. Then on Saturday, Matt played in the conference varsity tennis tournament, and helped his team take first place! He grabbed second place in 4th singles and an Honorable Mention for post-season conference honors. I'm a proud mama!
You can see how silly brothers are when they get together....my older son is a junior at Central MI Univ
and came home to support his brother, and did a bang-up job video-taping half time for me!

These pictures were all taken Saturday night after tennis
and before Matt left to join his friends for dinner at
Ruby Tuesday's and then on to the Homecoming Dance held in the high school gym.


CHAMPS!!






Sunday, September 30, 2007

American Stitches Sewing Expo, Novi, MI

Here I am at the Sewing Expo on Friday with my buddies Barb and Sharon, I'm the one in the black tee.....and we are pictured with Chloe Dao, winner of Season 2 of Project Runway! Chloe spoke on her experiences with Project Runway, her history in sewing and design, and what she is doing now. She is charming, and her story is one of hard work and patience. She is still sewing in her mother's dining room(!), while forging ahead in the fashion design world.



And here we are having lunch.......I love a tail-gate! Also, the fourth sewing buddy to join us was Margaret, and here she is joining us for lunch. It was a lovely day spent with dear friends, and now I am inspired to find more time in my week to SEW! I managed to score some fabric for a coat, exactly what I was looking for.


The one on the left is actually more blue than green, I plan to use Simplicity 4403:
and the lovely wide-wale corduroy on the right is more orange than brown, and I hope to make one of the shorter jackets with the wide collar as you can see with Butterick 5087, or perhaps a nice corduroy jumper!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Green Gable

Here is my Green Gable tee blocking on the dining room table. I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Buttercream....such nice yarn to work with! I plan on using it again in the future, perhaps I'll make the Rusted Root :-) I don't have a picture of me wearing it yet, I'll post it when I get one taken. This tee is a little big in the neck/shoulder area, but fits great through the bust and everywhere else. I'm considering a crocheted edge at the neckline to pull it all together, but not yet sure. I did run it through the washer once since (it washed beautifully), and blocked again to dry. We'll see when I try it on again!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's on my needles......


On my needles right now is a pair of socks........I think I might keep
this pair! I'm not exactly sure about the yarn I am using, but I
think it is Lorna's Laces sock yarn. At least that is the ball band that is
laying in the bottom of my sock knitting bag! The color is skewed on my
monitor, actually the yarn is a beautiful teal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Here we go!

I'm quite excited to enter the blogging community after reading so many after the
last few months! Also, I received my Ravelry invite this week (look for me: PattyP), and posting my info to that site has me motivated to write to my blog. So....here we go!