Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Halloween!

And we're in the midst of a Frankenstorm... We've got the remains of Hurricane Sandy, a cold front, and Full Moon tides. (Okay, the tides don't affect us much this far inland, but basically, we have a ton of rain and crappy weather coming.
So we've severly scaled back our usual Hallween decorations - soggy spider webs are just not attractive. Or scary.
We'll do our best - we'll have the inside decorated around the door, so at least it's SOMETHING. But Halloween on a Wednesday just doesn't allow for much time to decorate.
Just getting home in time to see the little ones is an effort.
Pictures of the mummy to come - he has a Halloween dance at school this afternoon, so hopefully the hand sewing survives...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The hats continue...

The bottom one is now finished (the knitting part at least). I still have to duplicate stitch the Peterborough Petes logo on the front.

I can hardly wait...

I still have one more blue stripey one to make, and possibly a couple more. But I am getting a little sick of the hat knitting. I may take a bit of a break after this next one...

There is lace calling my name...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween update

The mummy lives! Well, the costume finally does, at least. We decided on this costume a while ago, and I thought it would be a quick and easy one, certainly compared to the last few years (Assassin's Creed, Robin Hood...) No such luck - this was probably one of the most labour intensive costumes I've made. Probably because I'm an idiot, and put as much effort into these as I do clothes...

But he's my kid, and I like to do things for him. I started with the coveralls - simple Tyvek painters coveralls with a front zip. Then muslin. I bought 4 metres, and had the boy rip it into 4 inch wide lengths. Then we tea dyed it all. Dumped all the strips into a bowl then covered them with leftover tea and coffee when ever I had some. Tossed the strips in the dryer to fray them up and age them even more.

Then it was a case off sewing them to the coveralls. I ended up hand sewing them, so I didn't worry about precision. I also had some cheesecloth that I cut into strips and haphazardly tacked on as well.
The part I'm quite proud of is that it's completely removable and reusable.

I used Velcro dots to secure the pieces that cross over the zipper. (and there are scarf like pieces around the neck to hid the join of the hood. Even the face parts Velcro across the nose, forehead and chin.

The best part? The boy loves it. I'll get modeled pictures after Halloween.

And the funny part was the fact that we had to remove the mummy covered mannequin from the corner of the kitchen. Even though I KNEW it was there, it freaked me out every time I came into the room. EVERY TIME...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


2x2 ribbing is not hard. Knit 2, purl 2, repeat. Simple right? You'd think so... So why do I screw it up pretty much EVERY TIME?? Geez...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dream Stripes REALLY done!

So blocking worked it's magic on lace once again. (I love how this always pleases me...)
I love the combination of stripes and the lace edge on this - I also love how much the MadTosh fingering weight grew, and I didn't really stretch the lace like I've done in the past.

(sorry - I forgot to take my usual before and after measurements)

the points really got, well, pointy - and again, without a huge amount of stress.

I'd like to thank our pumpkins for stepping in to model, as my mannequin is otherwise in use right now...

The blocking pictures really show the actual colours fairly well on this. Who would have guessed that fluorescent lights would show the real colour better than sunlight?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the hats have begun...

I got a huge box of merino-cashmere wool from KnitPicks, most of it slated for Christmas gift hats for nieces, nephews and friends. And when faced with so many colours and options, how was I supposed to do them one at a time?
The cream, maroon and black one is for one nephew who has been drafted by the Peterborough Petes of the OHL - I was going to knit in the logo by stranding it, but the floats would have been huge, so I decided to duplicate stitch the logo on after - but first I have to rip out the whole thing and take out about 40 stitches - I'm not sure what I was thinking...
The middle one is for another nephew whose school colours are royal and yellow, and the blue, blue and yellow is for the girls at the cottage. I need another one of these, and I will relocate the yellow stripe to make it a little different.
Then there's the black and gold, and the red and white...

I may have added yet another one to this pile...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dream Stripes done

I finished up the knitting of the Dream Stripes shawl. While I really love this pattern, it is a case of "you get what you pay for" It's free, and it's not the best written, or best laid out. But it is oh so pretty!

And once it's blocked, it will be even more stunning, I'm sure. That's my goal for this week - get this thing blocked.

I used two colours of MadelineTosh fingering weight - a mottled light blue, and a very dark blue (there are actual colourway names, but I can't find the ball bands right now. I used about half of each skein, so still have lots of both of these blues - they will be put to use somehow.

The colours above are a little more saturated than they actually are. The dark blue is pretty close, but the lighter one is closed to a slate-ish, grey-ish blue. This shawl will be a Christmas gift for our cottage neighbour - her girls both go to a school who's colours are double blue, and Nancy is very involved with the school, so I thought this was a nice tie in.

Monday, October 15, 2012

They're ready for Hogwarts!

2 friends of my son are ready for Hogwarts! They asked if I could make them school robes -

they had bought the badges, so it was easy to whip up the robes and add the colour in the lining.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of these costumes!

The best reward of course was seeing the boys' faces when I brought over the finished robes.


Now on to my own kid's costume - Mummy is about to make a mummy...

Friday, October 12, 2012

still loving the dots!

My POP blanket is still going strong - 60 blocks and counting.

I still crank out a block every now and then, when I need a quick fix of knitting, or I have a spare hour (or less).
I'm still not sure how many blocks I will make - I'll really have to lay them out and see how big it will be before I make any decisions. I'm having fun making them, and this was never a project with a time limit, so I'll just keep making blocks until I tire of them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween comes first

I know I've said I've started the Christmas knitting, but the Halloween sewing has to come first...
I've been asked to make a couple of costumes for some friends - and on top of my son's costume, I'm going to be a bit busy.
Son has decided on a mummy - we're going to go a step further, and make it a costume he can get in and out of, rather than wrapping it directly on him as a one time thing. So we start with the paper painters coveralls, and wrap those. Of course, first we have to tea-stain the coveralls and the wrapping, and abuse the muslin I bought for wrapping, so it looks old and like it was dug out of a pyramid. My son is all about authentic looking...
Then there are the two Hogwarts robes I've been asked to make - One Gryffindor, One Slytherin. They bought the badges, but the robes were over $200 each. So they pulled the puppy dog eyes on me and I caved. I've got to stop doing that...
This pile of fabric will be the robes.

We matched the trim colours fairly well to the badges.
I'm hoping there are no last minute requests - but knowing the boy's friends, if it's anything like last year, there will be some last minute costume making... and as much as I complain... I love doing it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dream Stripes

More Madeline Tosh - this time in fingering weight.
It's going to be Dream Stripes in two shades of MadTosh fingering in Thunderstorm and Mourning Dove.

One word.

Friday, October 05, 2012

finally, FINALLY, one for me!

I make a lot of pajama pants. A lot. For a lot of different people, including myself. Everyone else gets pants in fabric that reflects their personal tastes. I've made pants using fabric that shows every sport from basketball to golf, baseball to soccer. I've made fish themed pants, dance themed, birds and music. Basically, if I sew pants for you, and you have an interest, I've probably found fabric that reflects that.
For myself, I've found fabric that I like. Nice florals, stripes, holiday themed, but never could I find anything that reflected my passion - knitting.
Until now.
Yep. The Quilt Store got in some sheepy themed fabric. And one of them was knitting sheep. KNITTING SHEEP, people. Now, it was a quilt fabric, so most people buy a metre at most. Then there's me. I took three metres, enough for a pair of pajama pants and a pair of sleep shorts, as well as a few bags and such. The pajamas cost way more than I would pay in a store, but c'mon, KNITTING SHEEP!

Wouldn't you have bought it all, too?

We're heading north for the Thanksgiving weekend tonight - hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

small projects finish fast

Another Sweaterkits project, also bought at the Kitchener fair this year.

It's the mulberry beaded silk shoulder shawl, in a spectacular tonal blue mulberry silk with beads.

Originally, this was bought along with the blue Bamboo velvet hat, and I planned on giving it as a set, but now I'm not sure. This piece stands so well on its own.

It hasn't yet spoken to me as to who might be the best recipient for it.

I have someone in mind, but I want to check with her mom as to whether or not it would be appropriate. This piece needs the right dress under it to really shine.

Keeping it for myself is of course, always an option...

Monday, October 01, 2012

Starting my Christmas knitting

Actually, I started knitting for Christmas around January - that's when I started knitting socks for this year's gift box. But now is when I start matching up names on my list with potential gifts.
I'm in pretty good shape - I have lots of socks and scarves and shawls for potential gifts.
This year so many of my nieces and nephews are starting new schools or teams - some college, some high school, and one in the OHL, I thought slouchy hats in school/team colours. Some will be a little more subdued, some will have the logos/names knitted right in. (I'm pretty good at recognizing those that will wear their affiliation up front, and those that won't...)
SO my first step was KnitPicks - and a whole slew of Cabretta merino/cashmere fingering weight to get these going. I"m hoping it arrives before the Thanksgiving weekend, so I can get these started. In the meantime, I did finish one hat, but I'm on the fence about it.

It's the Morgan Hat from Knitty. It's the style of hat my boss loves and wears, so I thought it would be perfect to match the scarf I wove him last year. I love the wool - Madeline Tosh DK (I'm new to the MadTosh bandwagon, but I'm here to stay!), It's okay, but maybe not the best. I need to do some tweaking - loosen my seaming, maybe to get a little more "give" around the band. We'll see. I still have time to figure something out if it doesn't work...