Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spring/summer sewing season is upon us. Miss E has a list of clothing she would like to have along with a stack of fabrics. Perfect way to spend the snowy cold days we had last week. Luckily, she tends to fixate on one or two simple patterns and "gussy" them up with trims or whatever. That means I can assembly-line sew them and accomplish almost an entire season's wardrobe in a single day.
Vital Stats: Simplicity 4208, view C, size 8. No alterations for this shirt. Fabric is 100% cotton picked up at Joann's most likely.

This icicles are now long gone but I thought they were awfully pretty whatever day I snapped this. Location: my back porch. Camera: the crap-tastic Olympus Camedia D-395. Taken mid-day or possibly afternoon judging from the shadows.

And finally, Hubster's new shirt. The project that ate Idunnoville, Ohio and consumed many hours due to the dark fabric combined with our dark house.
Vital Stats: Simplicity 7030 (oop now maybe),View A, size XL, gifted cordoury, buttons purchased at the Stuf*mart. Hubster loves it and I'm not crazy about it.
Things I would do differently if I could: lighter weight fabric for yoke, neckband facings and the underside of the collar. This cordoury is too heavy for multiple layers in those areas, imo. He says it is warm and given the meds he takes, he needs warm at times.
Things I did do differently and plan to repeat: no button or buttonhole on the collar, left off the next button as well. He never buttons up that far (he's a layering man) so why waste time and a button?

I have been knitting on the endless green blob of a cardigan for Hubster. I am now on sleeve island and enjoying it so far. This project will be a Christmas 2007 gift now because I am certain I cannot finish it before the weather turns too warm for 100% wool garments. And that is fine since he usually gets the short end of the stick. I also have a baby sweater on the needles along with the required sock. J was gone today so the sock pic will have to wait until tomorrow so I can use her Fuji camera for a great shot.

Thanks to reader Ruth who blogs over at SewChic, the hunt for Trekking XXL 126 may be over. Ebay has several listed and I bid on one today. We'll know tomorrow if my luck holds out. I think I may be blowing the yarn budget which does not exist but Jane shared with me that 126 is rather hard to come by and I really do love this colorway so a little over is ok this once. If I win this one, then I am going on a yarn diet which is funny considering I really don't buy much yarn in a year (less than $125 in 12 months). Our annual Michigan trip will be coming up soon and I would love to stop at ThreadBear on the way to pick up in person some Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the UofM colorway. Kills my BUCKEYE heart to do it, but R loves UofM and has asked for socks in blue and gold 2 years running now. I figure that if at least one girl is getting something out of the stop, they won't throw a pink hizzy about a yarn store. LOL.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I am searching for a skein of Trekking XXL 126 (pink, brown and white). This week, I bought one from the destash blog and have decided that I really want to do a second pair of socks in this colorway. One pair will be mine and the other pair(s) will be Miss E's. So, knitters, if you have a skein you'd part with or know where to find it, please email me: sewjillquilts AT verizon DOT net. I need to keep the price below $15 if at all possible or am willing to make a tote bag with matching eyeglass case, tissue holder and zippered sock bag (approx 9"x10") as trade.

ETA: 03/05/07- Mia the goddess of the hour has secured some for me. Much bowing and kissing off the royal feet from a distance has begun. Thanks again, Mia. You rock. May the knitting goddesses smile upon you for many, many days to come.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snowy Day, part 2

More snowy day pictures from the camera of J at work. Even though these were snapped away from our house, we have similar scenes every day. Bushes filled with all varieties of birds and squirrels who come to call. I believe this is a red squirrel but with the snow cover, I'm not sure. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting <- that's for you, Aunt Lynn, J says!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I have had to chuckle at the public school kids. In the past 10 days, they have attended class I think 3 days. There is no end to the grumbling now that they will be finishing school in June. (In Ohio, schools are given 5 calamity days) Our girls will finish up sometime in May if not sooner. Reason #1,432 to homeschool: snow days when **I** pick them, not when the district says so. Reason #1 to homeschool: teaching my girls that learning happens all the time. It's priceless.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


This afternoon while fixing lunch, I overheard this.

J: E, if we could bottle your farts as poison for the goverment to use throw in the caves as bombs while searching for Bin Laden, we'd be rich and he'd be dead. The insurgents would beg for mercy and our troops would crown you the Queen. It's just that potent.

Girls...way more into bodily functions than boys and proud of it.

Just another example of cabin fever gone horribly wrong.

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Deer Socks

Sometime during January, I cast on for these adorable Two Yarn Old Shale socks from Marguerite
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Now, I know Marguerite, like myself, likes to know the specs of a featured project. All I can tell you for sure it that I used her pattern, modified to suit Miss R's demands (2x2 rib in place of the k7,p1 and a short row heel), US 2 dpns and the creamy yarn is Knitpicks Bare sockweight (or whatever they call it now). I think the multi color is Regia Clown left over from a few pairs I knit back in either 2004 or '05...the ball band has long since be lost. These were a fun knit, great for stash busting (or using up those odd balls) and honestly should have only taken me a week at max to finish. But I gave in to start-itis and laid them aside. Not that time was a factor. These are going into R's Christmas '07 pile. Yes, I admitted it. I am already thinking about Christmas.

J works as an adult day care provider now, 5 mornings a week. Lovely elderly lady with Alzheimer's, lovely home in the country with ample photo ops like these:
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White tail deer not more than 15 feet from the large, French doors in their family room. We routinely see upwards of 9 in the mornings when dropping J off. J has named some of them: Clarice, Bambie and Maxwell. Clarice is probably missing her kidneys due to someone liking them with fava beans. (triple point score if you can site the movie with Clarice, fava beans and organ meat)

And I saved the very best for last, just for my dear "sister" Lynn and her hubby, Ed, out west where they claim Cardinals don't go. While this was taken by J at work, we have 10 PAIRS of cardials at our feeder at one time daily. That is along with the tufted titmouse, chickadees, nuthatches, and a slew of other birds I never i.d. correctly. So, BS and Ed...this is for you:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thicket Dweller tagged me for this housekeeping meme. If you decide to do this one, leave me a comment so I can see!

Aprons - Y/N? If yes, what does your favorite look like?

Yes. Like most of my favorite things, I can never choose just one. The top 3 favorites are from my maternal grandmother: a red paisley one, a blue farmhouse type and a blue print with ties. I remember her using them all when I was small.

Baking - Favorite thing to bake: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Maude Wilcox Sugar Cookies and Vermont Cheddar Bread.

Clothesline - Y/N? Yup. Haven't owned a dryer in at least a year, rarely used it when it was here. My girls think towels come in two varieties: stiff as a board or dirty.

Donuts - Have you ever made them? Absolutely! I use a Pillsbury recipe that is almost identical to my grandmother's. One of my earliest cooking memories is helping Nana cut donuts. It was a real treat as a girl to be met with warm donuts on my way to the bus in the morning. They lived next door to us (well, 1/3 mi away. that's next door in the country!) and we always found to-die-for sweets there.

Every day - One homemaking thing you do every day: Laundry.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes. Mainly filled with meat and bread.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N? Just the human type.

Handbook - Tough one. Probably The Complete Tightwad Gazette.

Ironing - Love it or Hate it? Hate it unless I'm piecing quilts or doing garment construction.

Junk Drawer - Y/N? Several unfortunately. One filled mostly with old phone books Hubster cannot throw out.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme? In this house, there isn't one, just that damn dark paneling and nasty carpets picked by color-blind landlords in the 70s. Previous homes have all been done in dark green, wine and beige except the girls' rooms.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? Fixing dinner and enjoying it as a family.

Mop - Y/N? No. Sometimes. (Boy, am I embarassed!)

Nylons - Haven't worn them more than 5 times in the past 18 years.

Oven - Do you use the window or open the door to check? Open the door.

Pizza - What do you put on yours? Whatever we have that I am craving: tomatoes, cheese (tons of that!), black olives, pepperoni and sometimes bacon.

Quiet - Only happens when I'm sick. I dream of having days upon days to sew, knit, cook and listen to music loud.

Recipe card box - Y/N? What does it look like? Pink plastic index card box along with a refridgerator topped with my cookbook collection.

Style of house - What is the style of your house? Um, it's a house without style.

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N? Sometimes. I have a buffet drawer full, we remember them sometimes.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland? Organized. My baking dishes live there.

Vacuum - Rainbow sweeper found on ebay for $75! It was a steal and quite possibly one of my best deals every.

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Too many.

X's - Do you keep a list of things to do that you cross off? Yup. Drives the girls nuts.

Yard - Y/N? Who does what? We all help mow, everyone helps in the garden when I can nab them quick enough. I plan the garden and flower beds, dictate hedge trimming time and call the tree-triming guys (my dad and his employee) when the trees need it.

Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task before going to bed? Tidying the bathroom. I'd love a tidy kitchen first thing in the AM but that rarely happens anymore.

Thanks, TD for the tag. This was one meme I had to stop and think about. ;o)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sewing Still Life, Series 2

Freshly mended jeans belonging to Hubster. One pair had begun the day sporting a single patch and by breakfast's end, had 3 new ones. We never seem to find time to head to the thrift store together so these will have to do a while longer. With spring around the corner, these will be his around the yard and tinkering with cars jeans. Stains won't hurt them in the least.

Happy now, Lynn? LOL.

And Emily, who gets queasy at the thought of buttonholes, really they aren't any worse than kitchenering a sock once you learn how. The first buttonholes I ever made were done on Kenmore machine that had a special attachment with templates for the buttonholes in darn near every shape and size one could dream of. It made beautiful buttonholes and is honestly the mark for all machines I've owned since when it comes to buttonholes. The worst part of buttonholes for me is getting them all lined up exactly the same on the button band. Athena and I haven't quite come to an understanding about that. Largely my fault for not paying enough attention while sewing and not doing them more often. As long as they aren't cut in the middle yet, a seam ripper, good light and time will correct the errors. Learning to put in zippers was much harder for me but that too just takes practice.

No, the shirt is not done yet. In fact, it is exactly how it was the last time: awaiting sleeves, a collar and neckband along with the buttons and buttonholes. I had intentions of working on it this morning but then the family started moving about, making noises about breakfast and whining about school so my attention was diverted. Maybe tomorrow. There are many things I want to sew, spring clothes for E, some dress-up play clothes for a pair of princesses I know (Hi, Princess G!), new curtains for the bathroom. There is mending to be done yet but it's kept this long so more time in the basket won't hurt it at all.

Knitting is slow going right now. I have startitis, like many other knitters right now. As if 7 projects on needles were not enough, the urge is overwhelming. This multiple WIPs at once is a relatively new thing for me. Used to be when it came to knitting, I was a one project gal all the way. Even when it seemingly never-ending like the sweater I knit my kid sister in jr high or high school. I drug that thing everywhere with me to knit: the bus, school, choir practice, anywhere in the car. I swear it still took me most of the winter to finish. She wore it for years, then we passed it back and forth for a few more years until we were all sick to death of the pale blue, boxy thing. The temptation now is seeing what so many other uber talented knitters are doing, the yarns they choose and the changes they make to the patterns. Often I knit things because I cannot picture how the directions work out to form xxx or because I want to try something new. You bloggers are feeding my sickness here. As long as I can fight the temptation to buy yarn, it will be ok.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sewing Still Life Series 1

Some time ago, I was given several "hanks" of fabric suitable to use for Hubster some new winter shirts. This is the slow progress of making a man's shirt using a dark plaid corduroy, poor lighting and general dis-interest. Now I remember why quilts and children's clothing appeals to me so much: simple, fast and painless. Much less marking too. Lord, I hate marking for sewing! But Hubster needed new winter shirts and the thrift store is so disorganized, sewing them from free fabric with a free pattern makes the most sense. Only cost so far has been the $1.24 for buttons. I could have dug around in the button jars but I know there are not 9 matching (or even close) 1/2" buttons that would work. Besides, I was at Stuff*mart anyhow so rather than make a second trip, just picked them up while there. Maybe I would like working on this shirt more if there had been enough yardage to match each piece properly. There was just enough to squeak out all the pieces. So far, they match up fairly well...thank heavens for small plaids! Hubster does not care if it is done 'right' or not, just so he has a new shirt without a shredded sleeve.

We are alive and warm despite the frigid Artic air. Today, I think the high was 14 before the wind chill. One venture out the door was enough for me this morning. The bird feeders needed filled, Hubster should not be out in such cold air and I wanted to see just how tough I am. WIMP. I bundled up before going out and still froze in the 4.5 minutes it took to fill both feeders! WIMP! Oh well.