Sunday, July 14, 2013

What I've Been Doing These Days...

I have been sewing pretty much non stop since May. I have been staying up till the wee hours of the night, going to work sleepy only to run home to my sewing machine and start all over again. What made this addiction come out full swing well I blame Cal Patch- in a totally good way.

Another crafty friend and I took her dress boot camp class: two days, ten hours of making and I can now make a dress from my own measurements and then some. It has been healing. It has been lovely. There is something that happens when I make thing, the rest of the world quiets and I stop worrying.

I have made 7 dresses for myself and walked two people through making a pattern from their measurements. I have also been sewing baby stuff for friends kids but I will save that for another post.

Here are the highlights. Starting with the first one I made in class to the newest that I made last week.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Your inside look at how my brain works

Apparently I am all about the pattern making up these days but thought you all might have a look into the inner workings of my brain. For reasons slightly unknown I decided to make baby socks...partially because yet again everyone I know is pregnant and then I saw a baby wearing super cute socks and then there is my slight addiction to making socks that I may or may not have mentioned before. One long winter in vermont I made almost 100 pairs. In fairness it was a long cold winter. So I made up this super cute baby sock pattern this weekend. And the thing about socks is that they have to match so you better keep notes. I keep notes on whatever piece of junk mail is close at hand. I thought you all might like to see my crazy note system.
I promise to post pictures of said super cute baby sock and pattern soon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

CallieCo Hand Warmers

I made these for one of my all time favorite person, a true friend in good and bad times. Someone who really knows how to give a good hug.

Needle: size 5 double pointed
Yarn: 2 skeins LB Collection cashmere 

1) c/o 39 place marker at beginning of round (for larger or smaller sizing add or subtract sts by 3) Arrange sts on three needles to work in the round 12, 12, 15.

2) Work in round. K2 P1 repeat to end of row (for these I did a twisted rib knitting through the back of the loop on all knits. This will cause the work to want to naturally spiral a bit. You can knit in a regular fashion to prevent this) repeat pattern for 1" or 6 rows

3) Mini Cable: knit second st first (leave on needle) then knit first st remove both sts from needle, P1 *repeat to end of round

4) K2 P1 repeat for three rows

5) mini cable

repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have 12 mini cables

Thumb opening
Having just completed  a mini cable round move one st from needle 1 to needle 3 so that the thumb opening will be between the two knit sts.

6) Turn work to wrong side Slip the first st P2 K1 to end of row.  

7) Turn work the right side slip the first st K2 P1 to end of round

8) repeat step 6

9) right side slip first st, P1 then mini cable (step 3) till end of row.

repeat Step 6, 7, 8 and 9 until you have completed 3 mini cables.
On the third round of mini cables in thumb opening rejoin work into the round. 

 10) repeat steps 4 and 5 two more times (two complete mini cables past the thumb opening)

  1. 11) K2 P1 repeat for 6 more rounds loosely bind off.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What to knit while stuck in a hospital

I have often thought about writing a book of community crafting projects but lately I think there is a different craft book in my future: projects for sickbed visits.  
There is an art to the perfect hospital bedside project.
 1) Your project should always be washable. Between the stuff in the air and on the floor and the many things that we shall not name that seem to fly from human bodies at time of illness washable fibers are a must.
2) Your project shouldn’t be too complicated. This is not the time to try to count multiple repeat rounds with complicated yarnovers.
3) You need to be able to put the project down at a moment’s notice. This goes with step 2 nothing to complicated, this happen fast when they happen and you need to be able to shove your project in a bag without the whole thing being ruined because you didn’t make it to the end of the row.
4) Bedside projects are completely about the process not necessarily about the product. The goal of bedside knitting is to keep you hands busy and try to quite the mind. Hospitals are all about hurry up and wait projects can help.
5) Always bring more yarn (or material) than you think you could need. There is nothing worse than finishing a ball of yarn and have nothing else to do for hours. I once unraveled most of a project just to be able to keep knitting.
6) I almost always try to give these projects away. There is something too close and intimate for me about them, they almost hold too much of my emotion to have them around.
7) Your project should be manageable. I once crocheted most of a twin size blanket in the hospital. It was an awful project to lug around.
 The projects I have made over the last few years that have worked well: socks, shawls, fingerless gloves and hats. I have also embroidered some but that always feels like it need too much attention.
I made this hat recently for my husband. He was complaining that he needed something made by me to show off all the time. Unfortunately I suffered  stressed out exhausted brain and couldn’t make heads or tails of how to finish the darn thing. I guess point 8 should be that you should always have a friend close by to translate your pattern into sleep deprived brain language. And with that I must say a very big thank you to Molly for helping me to finish this thing up. The pattern is Windschief by Stephen West and it is on ravelry. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Things that make me laugh

These days I take laughs where I can get um. Kitter...that would be cats that look like Hitler is one of those things.

I don't think I would sleep a wink if that was my cat, but he sure makes me giggle. of course the whole thing is even sillier because his name is snowball! what kind of undercover agent (clearly he is an undercover agent) is named snowball. maybe it is deep cover. Maybe I have been watching too much brit mit (British Mysteries).
I made it through all 17 seasons of midsommer murder last year when my mom was in the hospital. I don't think it feels right to watch with a new Barnaby. I also love the Inspector Lewis series, I never got into Lynle but give my insomnia time there may be hope. Of course I also watch all the Agatha Christie shows and have heated debates about the best Miss Marble, who is your favorite?
And then there is the new Sherlock and Foyle, oh how I love Foyle's War. I was clearly born in the wrong time. I think I would have done well with a victory garden and darning...well I wouldn't care for all those bombs.
Clearly we have sunk to a new leave of rambling. The northeast is due for a big storm tomorrow so made there will be lots of crafting. Here's hoping.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is a craft blog right?

Emotional turmoil aside this is a craft blog right? I have actually been crafting up a storm lately.I have had a lot of hurry up and wait time where my hands need something, plus I haven't been a great sleeper which has lead to a lot of late night knitting while watching British mysteries on netflix streaming.
My sister-in-law had a new wee one last summer. I tend not to make a lot of things for my husbands family partially because my mother-in-law is a retired quilting machine and the families cup runeth over. So when I make things I try to knit and crochet them. I made baby Kathryn a very sweet dress which I will share later. My sister-in-law doesn't sew or knit and I think she tends to be a bit overwhelmed by handmade gifts, but this time she whispered "can I make a request?" And really who is going to say no to someone that just gave birth 6 days prior.
She had found these booties on pintest and really liked them. It took me a bit to track them down but they are a Bev Galeskas patten that you can purchase through interweave or through the link on ravelry.
I think it is a decent patten but really could use a good copy editor. It is a bit hard to follow. Even though the skills needed are all basic the pattern is confusing enough that I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner unless they had someone skilled near to help them.
I felted them in the machine, I ran them through a hot wash 3 times although the first time they got trapped in a sheet so I am not sure if that one counts.

I was not all that excited to make these but I am quite pleased with how they turned out and I am really happy with the pictures I took this morning.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I confess to being a bit trepidatous about posting again for fear of what might come if I actually started speaking the thoughts in my head. Maybe the dirty secret of caregiving is how uncaring you feel after awhile. There comes to be a point of numbness.  Yeat's said "too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart" this is the dirty secrete of caregiving. The simultaneous feeling of deep passionate sadness and the coldness that comes when you have felt too much pain for too long.

But that isn't what I came here to say tonight! No I came here to say I went to see a play tonight and spent two hours laughing and it was marvelous. I saw an elementary school production of Oliver. A old coworkers daughter was in it. It was fabulously awful. About 30 eight to fourteen year olds stumbled their way through. You could see the devas and dodger stole the show. The program, which was printed like a real playbill will bring me hours of enjoyment. Afterwords the children were filled with excitement so much so that you couldn't help remembering that moment in your life. They gave autographs in awkward handwriting of a newly learned hands. It was perhaps the most fun I have had in two months. I am thinking of only seeing elementary school productions from now on. I laugh for two hours for 10 bucks that's cheaper then a movie in New York City.