Friday, August 26, 2016

Socks....Done!

Ta-da! Love these things. One has been washed and blocked, the other was just finished. You can tell this is hand-dyed yarn, since the new one is brighter...I guess, since I never used hand-dyed yarn before.


And no, I didn't drink gin while I was knitting...this particular sock. But that is a smaller version of the bottle my brother used to make a lamp for me - pictures coming on that this weekend.


And this is a T-shirt my sister fused a faux pocket made of the skirt fabric to, with the skirt I made - cute!


Now to resume the previously scheduled black mesh sweater which needs a sleeve correction. And also I will be making a lampshade for the above-mentioned gin lamp, possibly with the self-adhesive lampshades I found at Hobby Lobby - you apply your own fabric and trim. Now what fabric goes with a green gin bottle...or perhaps I should crochet a lampshade? I did find one in a book! Yet another project for the weekend. What are YOU making this weekend?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Little Styling Help for New Look 6071

So I've been working on the sock every night, but last night I had the disturbing revelation that 3 of my fingers were completely numb on my left hand, and I had an ache up the inside of my left wrist - not the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome!!! I took some ibuprofen and went to bed, and this morning it was a little better, so I knitted while Dean cooked breakfast. (I've said it before - I'm a lucky woman!) Well, then I noticed that both hands had numb fingers, so I think this is more about my previous neck issue, and not carpal tunnel, but I decided to take it to the sewing room and give the wrists a break.

I had in mind to find some T-shirts for an Alabama Chanin project, but would you believe I ran across a project I cut out last year in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. I believe I got this fabric in New Orleans at Promenade, and I wanted the big drapey sleeves from Simplicity 3956 combined with a New Look dress I made before.


I can't tell you how nice it is to pick up a completely cut-out and marked project that's ready to sew - it's like a gift! Now I think the sleeves were too much with the wild print, and I'm wearing this to Dean's birthday dinner tomorrow night, so I was picturing dragging the sleeve through my plate while reaching for my wine, thus I cut the sleeve down to its original size. I think it turned out really nice - I LOVE this fabric! I need your help with jewelry and shoes. Crazy jeweled necklace from Front Door Fashion? Ivanka Trump gray heels? (I discovered a tragedy in my closet - apparently I gave all my black heels away. I had the ridiculously high peep-toes that I wore once in 4 years, so I donated those, but I'm afraid I also handed off 2 pairs of lower-heeled flats that were about 15 years old...Mad Cow moment, apparently...wait, maybe they're in the freezer!)


Now the pattern placement on the back is a little unfortunate, but at least the lighter color is closer to my waist.


And the swayback adjustment was perfect.


This is A more refined necklace with matching earrings that I think I prefer, and these are the Fluevog heels, which may be too wild on their own to coordinate with the print. Your thoughts?


So it was fabulous to be so productive as to get a full dress done in a weekend, but I also paid a visit to Mobile Yarn, to use my gift certificates, and have plans for a new 3/4-length "split-neck" sweater in a darker blue cotton yarn for the coming colder weather. And no, I haven't finished the sleeve on the black sweater, but that's up next after the sock. Back to work on that sock - numb fingers be damned! Hope your weekend and your fingers are okay.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Handmade Gifts

As promised, here's the pinkeep my sister cross-stitched for me.


And here's the silver bracelet from CaitlynMinimalist on Etsy that was made from a letter my Dad sent - how cool and unexpected is that?! (I didn't actually BURST into tears; it was more of a gradual building-up...) I'll post my brother's gin-bottle lamp next week.


And I'll end with a picture Drew sent us of him in his official ROTC T-shirt. This is the casual outfit they wear until they get the actual camouflage outfits next year. The dress blues arrive soon, so there will CERTAINLY be a picture of that! And he actually LIKED doing PT yesterday morning at 6 AM - said it was a great way to start the day. Thank you, God, for answered prayers!


Now where did I put that second sock? I WILL finish it this week!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer Wrap-up

This is Pasta Carbonara that Drew cooked for us, although he forgot to put the Romano cheese in the sauce (apparently takes after his mother in the kitchen), so it looks like hashbrowns instead of pasta with cheese. He's going to be in an apartment this year at college, so he wanted to try his hand at cooking his own food. Yay for self-sufficiency!


We had Lucas's birthday, and I'd say he liked his giant donut pouf!


He also loved the camera dolly system that Drew hand-made for him, complete with PVC tracks. His camera tripod fits on the board, then the camera operator can push it along for moving shots, just FYI.


And THIS was terribly interesting. My donut picture actually made it onto Community Eye Candy at Ravelry - WHAT?! I found out when I started getting all these emails with comments from Ravelers, and wondered what was going on - I feel so loved by the crochet community!


So with Lucas's birthday behind me, I had to catch up on my brother's handmade birthday present. We decided to do handmade gifts for each other, and swap them at the beach when my sister came down to move HER son into college. My brother requested a woodturner's jacket, and sent me a couple of pics of ready-made ones as a guide. The main requirements are a tight elasticized neck, zippered front, and pockets with Velcro closures to keep wood shavings out, and good luck finding a pattern for that! Apparently Butterick had one a long time ago, but it's gone now, so I tried the men's Kwik Sew fleece jacket for the zipper and neck finish, combined with Simplicity 5581 from my stash. I started off on the wrong foot by cutting the back upside down - nice work.


However, I DID do a bang-up job of hiding a pocket, and left a little opening in the Velcro for a pencil.


Yes, I'm wearing shorts under that, and I might have to make myself a shirtdress out of this pattern, which sewed up REALLY quick.


In the meantime, Lucas had drum camp and band camp...he's the front drum punk.


And finally we started our last vacation of the summer at the beach, which made Jake very happy.


He's doing his Leonardo DiCaprio impression during our boat ride with the family.


This was a cool sunrise...


and with Chrome settings like we used in Lower Antelope Canyon.


Got some kayaking done with my sister...


and swapped birthday gifts with everybody. The big problem with the jacket is that I didn't interface the zipper guard, so Scott zipped it up into the zipper so far that I had to cut the dang thing out to get him unzipped. And the neck was so large I had to put 3 darts in it to make it hug his neck - arghhh!


Now one thing I neglected to get pics of were the pin-keep my sister cross-stitched for me, and the bracelet she had made out of our Dad's signature - that deserves a post of its own, and I'll give you a link to the lady's Etsy site who does those. And Scott turned a pretty green gin bottle into a lamp for me, which will be its own post, since I need advice on choosing a lampshade. It's very cool swapping homemade gifts with nary a gift card in sight!

So my BIL is also a woodworker, and I decided to try another jacket using my own draft of a collar instead of the Kwik Sew, to see if it would fit better. This one turned out much better, but Scott claims not to want an updated version for Christmas - we'll see if that zipper rubs his chin so much that he changes his mind. And by the way, this jacket was made in a record 4 hours!



It fit Joe perfectly.


And this is one of his own pens. Now both of them promised me pics of the jackets in action in their workshops, so I may have to start an Etsy business! The ready-made jackets go for $55-60 on the internet.


Once that was done, I started making Drew some dishrags for his apartment, and decided to crochet them instead of knitting them. Apparently I'm not good at HDC, so I abandoned that for some SC and DC - pitiful! I did get 2 finished by the time we moved him in, and forgot to get pics of the other one, which looks much better (different pattern).


And with 2 days left in the week before moving up to college, I made my sister the skirt she requested last month. She wanted a longer, more gathered skirt like we used to wear in the early 90's, and she couldn't find one in stores, so I found an old Butterick pattern I had in the stash, though I didn't really want to make 8 buttonholes.


One reviewer suggested faux buttons and changing to a zipper, so that's what I did. While we were at the beach, we made a run to Pensacola Joann's for fabric, but forgot about getting the buttons - doh! Oh well, this is what I ended up with. I don't think you can see the fake button placket...


but it's helping hold down the zipper, which I free-handed in there - could've used more time to make it look a little better, I'm sure!


And the rest of the front is sewn closed except for the bottom below the last button. So she tried that on once before I put the waistband on, and I was actually sewing the waist closures on in the car headed to Auburn, so I hope it fits!


And that is why Jake is sad, because Drew went back to school, and maybe why I was so wildly productive in the sewing room all week, trying to keep away the looming depression.


But it wasn't ALL depressing - this was a proud moment when he officially joined the ROTC.


And we stayed busy assembling furniture for his apartment.

This is pre-desk...



and post-desk!


We made sure to leave him with a couple of momentoes of our summer - I'm curious to see if they're still sitting there next time we go to visit - heehee.


And so now it's back to school for Lucas, and work for us - boo. Maybe I should try finishing the second sock now....

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lucas's Big Birthday Surprise

But first, I had to finish the baby blanket for a Japanese cousin. It turned out nice, and I went to mail it at UPS, unaware of the prices I was facing. Did you know that it costs $138 to mail a package to Japan with a tracking number? Luckily, the US Postal Service option tracks it till it leaves the US and only costs $38. I think DHL or some other shipping company would've been a little cheaper, but good to know for future shipments! And yes, the blanket made it without getting lost, and I got some precious pictures of Haru with it.


So this came through an email from Lion Brand, I think, and they actually offered the pattern for free! Now this is precious because Lucas has a YouTube channel called Broughnut Doughnut (shameless plug, but don't click on that unless you're a fan of violent zombie films!), and his original "channel art" was that very doughnut from The Simpsons (of course, now it's an RPG launcher, I think - can't make one of those).


The only problem with this is that it's crocheted, and I haven't crocheted since I was about 15 years old. Of course, I hadn't knitted in years either, and I picked that back up! Pulled out my grandmother's McCall's Needlework Treasury, and that was all I needed to get started.


Okay, by the time I got THIS far and had to join colors, I had jumped to YouTube. Pencil drawings can only get one so far in life.


Now I was working on this while Lucas was at summer camp at University of Houston for two weeks, but I had to take a little break for the Blue Angels show at Pensacola Beach (they're tiny in the center)!


Dean took a nice pic of Drew and me at The Gulf afterwards.


And this was after a huge rainstorm at sunrise.


Speaking of storms, THIS was during a really crazy thunderstorm the next day, and Jake nearly jumped in my lap.


Okay, here's the completed donut flat. I ran out of mustard yarn, so had to use tan yarn at the end, but that makes sense anyway, since it's the inside.


So you put the ends together and whipstitch, stuffing as you go...


Halfway stuffed with fiberfill...


And the final donut - yay! This actually felt like really frosting a donut, because I had one arm inside smoothing out stuffing while stretching the outside to get the lines even.


Here's the bottom view.


We now take another break for a new Mexican restaurant which serves a Coronarita, which I've never seen before. Anybody ever have one of these? The tiny beer bottle slowly drains into the margarita - sort of an odd taste, and honestly more trouble than it was worth.


And finally, with SPRINKLES!!!!


I knitted most of these on the plane going to pick up Lucas in Houston; even sat in the airport for 3 hours knitting before it was time to get him, and no, I didn't get any funny looks....why do you ask?


This is a mighty big donut, and honestly weighs about 10 pounds, I think.


So tasty!


So now I'm all fired up on crocheting, and have a bath mat in mind for Drew's new apartment - shhh! Oh wait, I've got to finish that second sock first...