Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Duh moments

Two dumb things I did recently:

I ordered some buckwheat hulls from an Etsy shop (love Etsy!) to make heat pads. So I made a particularly large one that would sit over my shoulder. I heated it up for only a minute and it was fine, but the heat didn't last as long as I wanted.

So I put it back in...for 3 minutes. Remember, this is a large heat pad, maybe 16 x 20 inches. So I figured it would take longer. Stupid move...

...I set fire to the microwave. No kidding. I had to throw out the heat pad because there were scorch marks and the buckwheat inside was black.

The house smelled pretty bad for a while, and there are permanent brown marks in the microwave, but luckily it still works just fine.

My other duh moment isn't as bad, or as dangerous...just a middle-aged moment kind of thing.

I started work on a new crochet project, a scarf. The first row says: single crochet to last stitch, pl.

I'm wondering what the hell "pl" stands for. I look it up in my big Reader's Digest crafts book. Nothing about pl. I'm thinking...Purl Left? No, that makes no sense. What could pl be the start of. Plural?

Then I realized that's not an "L" like the letter, it's a "One"! As in...purl one?

Maybe I was working a little too hard on that shawl. Which, by the way, Dr. A just loved.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finished Projects

I've been working on the shawl for months now, a little at a time. It is a gift for Dr. A, who had a birthday yesterday. I'll give it to her tonight. I had hoped to finish it Saturday, but still had a good 40 minutes of work to do on it with barely an hour before work. So I decided to finish it Sunday.

And just my luck, the yarn ran out about 5 stitches from the end. Okay, so I have to tear out the whole last row. It was a combo of half doubles, with 9 in one section and 1 in the next. I changed from 9 to 7 and made the 1 stitch a single.

It was meant to be one color, but I couldn't match the first ball of yarn so it's a contrast. I think it looks nice this way. This is a Lion Brand "One Ball Shawl" pattern, free on their site. It's one ball of yarn if a)you want it small and b)you get precisely the yarn they suggest. I added about 6 rows to this--the lighter pink, I guess. Dr. A is from India and is always saying how cold she gets, so I didn't want to give her a wimpy short shawl. I think she'll like this!

The bottom is my purple top. It was so easy to make and I'm happy to say I didn't have to alter it for fit. I just added a little around the v-neck to make it not so deep. Decolletage is fine if I'm out with Mike, but I want to wear this to work and I don't think low-cut things are appropriate for the office. Especially since I sit and the clients stand! No free shows here, LOL!

The fit and ease of use of this makes me want to try another Jalie pattern, but that will be for the future. Right now I'm busy working on some Christmas gifts!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As Good as it Gets

Well, for what it's worth, here's the coat 99.9% finished. Just have to sew up the opening for turning the belt and maybe do a little handstitching to finish it here and there. I could wear it just like this, too.

It isn't perfect by any means, and my old college professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC would probably give it a C- if I was lucky. But hey, it fits and it looks pretty good. I know a few things I'd do differently so it was truly a learning experience. In the long run, the hardest part wasn't the lining, but the hems.

But at least I have a coat for the rest of the fall and any milder winter days!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I haz a cute kitteh

Nutmeg looked so cute cuddling a Halloween pillow (a quickie project I made) that I had to run for my camera before she woke up.

I love the "LOL Cats." I think Nutty would be a good candidate for a photo on that site!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Crafting

I really need to get on this blog more often than I do! It's just that I feel pictures make a blog more interesting and it's a pain taking and uploading them.

I've done some crocheting and knitting and sewing today. At the top is a dishcloth. It's just a simple square, but I wanted to practice something from a book I've got called "Around the Corner Crochet Borders" by Edie Eckman. This border is #10. It alters between chains, double crochets and popcorn stitches. It's hard to tell in the photo but it has a nice, ruffly quality. It took me about an hour from start to finish, and that's mainly because I miscounted the rows of the square and ended up with a trapezoidish thing.

You can see I've made real progress with the knitted blue scarf. Just one more section to go! I've had so much fun practicing new knitting patterns (frankly, most of it's new to me) that I want to start another project soon to practice something else.

The coat is done except for closing up the belt and pressing it. I don't have room in my crafts/sewing/writing room to keep an ironing board set up all the time, so I like to take it out in the living room when I have several things to iron. That'll be soon--it's cool enough to wear the coat now. (I also don't like to keep my iron out with animals running around the house--dangerous!)

What else did I do today? Oh, I cut out and started a simple t-shirt with a v-neck and 3/4 sleeves. I did the shoulders and the sleeves are pinned in place. I also remember to do the stay-stitching around the neck that will keep it from getting all floppy. I think it might be too big but it will be easy to size it down after the sleeves and side seams are done. It's a Jalie pattern. I've never used this brand before and it may be more 'true to size' than some patterns. In other words, large really means 'large.'

Stay healthy in this flu and cold season. I will try really hard to post again with in the next 2 days!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I was pretty nervous about the reunion. Honestly, if Mike hadn't agreed to go with me, I wouldn't have gone.

And I ended up having a really, really good time. My only complaint was that the DJ was playing the music too loudly. Hey, these are old friends I haven't talked to in decades. Could we have a little quiet so we can hear each other? What' s up with blasting music at weddings and other occasions, anyway??????

The funny thing is that the friends who were dearest to me back then were just as sweet now. I haven't seen my friend Marion in about 30 years, maybe more. Same with Ann Marie. It's been 10 for Judy and probably 20 for Barbara. And we just picked up talking to each other as if it was only a few days ago that we were last together.

They are all gorgeous. A few extra pounds here and there (a lot on me, LOL) but thank goodness for hair color and good haircuts. Nobody has to look 'middle-aged'!

A few guys sat with us, too. They were the nicer fellows. I only got snubbed by one guy, but I don't care 'cause I didn't like him 40 years ago, either. (Judy said maybe he just didn't recognize me. I don't think so.)

One guy, Mark, fell the day before and broke his jaw! And he actually showed up at the reunion, God Bless him. I told him I hope he feels better soon.

Have to say that we all looked pretty good for mid-50s. Some of the guys who were just so-so back then turned out quite handsome. (None as cute as my husband, LOL! Who, btw, is 2 years older than me and went to public school.)

If you've read this far (I love you if you did) the scoop on the coat is that I didn't finish it. It was far too warm for it. But I did finish my corduroy blazer, which was just perfect for my outfit.

I've also found that I have enough fabric to make a belt for the coat, which I started on today. It will work better for keeping out the cold than the button, I think!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not so sure about this

The bad news is that I'm not really sure I can finish the coat by tomorrow.

The good news is that it's supposed to be in the high 70s, making it far too warm for the coat, anyway. So I think I will concentrate on the blazer, since that is part of the outfit I'm wearing.

I'm having trouble with the coat's hem. I've made hems before, but never involving a lining. I finally decided I'm going to let both hang independent of each other. (In other words, the lining and coat will each have its own hem.) I just have to be sure the lining is short enough that it doesn't show.

Still haven't decided on a belt or a button. I think this coat would look great with a wide leather belt in dark brown, but of course I'd never find such a thing.

I will be sooooo glad when this is done! I want to get working on my Christmas projects!

(PS--let my daughter try on the wrist warmers. Did I post that already? They fit just fine and I'm up to the thumbhole round. I think it will be a breeze from here. Hopefully, those are not 'famous last words.'

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday and Coat

I'm pretty late to the Works for Me Wednesday party (better than 200 people ahead of me with great ideas), which is linked here:

but I just came up with an idea worth sharing over there. I have been lucky to find Southern Living Annual Cookbooks for really cheap at either garage sales or the thrift store. Today, I was going over some recipes trying to find ones that are good for freezing. What do you know? In the index of the SLA books they have both "Freezeable" and "Make Ahead" categories! Hooray, all I had to do was go down the lists and check off what looks good.

Having things categorized works for me!

And on the coat front...I sewed in the sleeve hems today. I'm happy to say they aren't too short (I shortened the pattern before cutting it out) but fall just about at my wrists.

I'm seriously considering, if I have enough leftover fabric, making a belt and forgetting the button. We'll see.

Be sure to visit "We Are That Family" for "Works for me Wednesday" and lots of great tips!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The lining is in

I'm happy to say the coat lining went in without a hitch. As you can see from the top photo, I've just started topstitching it, and it needs ironing big time. But I think I might actually finish this puppy before Saturday. That's assuming the button doesn't throw me off. (It only has 1 button. I might think of doing more if it works out right.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ginny Baby

Here is the Ginny Baby Doll I found. As I understand, she hails from about 1965. Looks pretty good for a girl almost as old as I am!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Sunday

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend. It's windy out today but the weather was very nice yesterday.

On the creative front:

I'm up to a point with the wrist warmers that I think I'm going to have to have Katherine try them on. She still won't really know what they are (gloves? mittens?) so it will be a semi-surprise. But for what the yarn cost and all the work, I'd hate to have them come up too small. I just need to check about where I want to make the loop for her thumb.

For my mother's scarf, I'm past the plain stitching in the middle and started on the fancier sections.

The lining for the coat is sewn and ready to put in! I'll have to be sure to concentrate on it so I can wear it to my reunion next Saturday.

I only have to do the hems and the green jacket I started last winter (!) will be done.

For the record, I'm tired. Dinner's lowing and slowing in the oven--venison. Ick. My husband and older son can have it. I also have a skirt steak or two to make for those of us who don't like game.
(I will, however, give the venison a taste to see if the BBQ sauce it's been cooking in for the last 4 hours kills the gamey taste.)