Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Knitting Adventures

My sewing machine is lonely, and I seem to be on a knitting bent right now.  I seem to keep skipping around, but things are getting finished.

Last week, I made another Charlotte Bonnet for a friend's new granddaughter.

I was surprised that grandfather was more pleased with it then grandmother. I guess the baby will be her grandpa's princess.

I have been carrying a sock around all summer. It has been to the west coast and back, to meetings, and waiting rooms. Today, I finally got the first sock finished.

I learned some time ago to never let the needles get cold before casting on the second sock, so the first 5 rows of the second sock are done. I am not trying to make them twins, because the repeat in the striping is rather long. These are for the Christmas box.

Every summer lately I have worked on a challenging knitting pattern. I think it helps improve my skills for simpler pieces. Last summer, I worked on Alberta.

Summer is nearly over, so I need to get at my challenge piece. This summer I have chosen 1001 Nights. 

These are the yarn and the beads I have pulled from my stash. I think I don't have enough beads, but I have enough to get started. The yarn is an alpaca lace weight. I have challenged my friend Cheryl to join me again this summer, and she has accepted the challenge. It is always fun to have someone to knit with, even if it is by email.

The rain has brought lots of flowers to the pots in the backyard.

These lovelies are about 4' high and give off a lovely send at dusk.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


We have had precipitation on 65% of the days in 2017. That is more than every other day. Since it rained over night, and again just now, I am starting to feel washed away. The flowers are fairly happy. This is one of the post on my patio. However, the tomatoes would like way more sun. They are seriously stunted.

So, with all this rain, I obviously need to learn something new. So I borrowed a book from the Quilt Group Library.

One of my friends had recommended it, so I am trying it out. The first thing the author tells you to do is make a test piece to get to know your foot. She suggests you use muslin. Since I am not good at following directions, I used a couple of 10" squares for my box of large scraps.

I discovered that my needle is not in the middle of my foot.

I quilted three straight lines, two using the left side of the foot as a guide and one using the right side. The foot sits a small but noticeable bit to the right of centre. While I can't do much about the foot, now that I know this, I can figure out where to place the needle to be able to use either side of the foot as a guide.

Next up, I quilted across my lines, to make sure the foot was feeding the fabric evenly.

That looks perfect! At least I don't have to adjust for that.

I decided to use a bit of my new knowledge to start quilting my New Brunswick piece. I echo quilted around the maple leaf in the middle.

That looks pretty good. Not perfect, but better than some of my past efforts. You can see the maple leaf on the back.

One of the things the author suggests is making marks on your walking foot to aid in knowing where to turn, so your lines are even. She suggests using nail polish. Good, because I have lots of that.

Periwinkle might not be the best choice, but it occurred to me that I have the perfect thing for marking the foot.

You can get these where Sally Hansen Nail Polish is sold. It is a fine point marker, with nail polish.

I have a pile of quilts in need of quilting, so I can practice the different ideas in the book on lots of UFO's. This book might be just what I need to get some of them done!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Oh, Pshaw

I went to get my keys out of my bag the other day, and ended up with this in my hand.

Not good, at all. Some how or another, the stitching has come out at the end of my zipper, creating a problem.

I am not sure what caused it. I had noticed that the stitching was coming loose, but never when I had a needle at hand, and I would never remember when I did have a needle.

I had to unpick the seam in the bottom of the lining, so I could unpick the seam at the other end of the zipper, to put the zipper slide back on. Then, I closed the opening in the bottom, and hand sewed the zipper ends back together, since there isn't room to use the machine without taking the whole thing apart.

It doesn't look too bad. I can live with it. I suspect the zipper slide might have been catching the stitches, so I am being careful to close the zipper gently. While I had the bag apart, I added a fabric loop for a carabiner, to hang my keys on. I somehow forgot to do that when I made the bag.

Meanwhile, this week's other crafty project was renewing our high chair. Over the last many years, a multitude of small children have sat in the high chair, and the paint had become badly chipped while the vinyl cover was in tatters. No more!

It looks like new, now. It just took a can of spray paint, some upholstery vinyl, some heavy batting, and a staple gun. My grandson thinks it is great, and his parents are impressed.  I managed to get a shot when the floor wasn't covered with Cheerios!