Saturday, September 15, 2018

Surgery

I am still recovering from my wild weekend in the East, and haven't done much sewing. However, I do have this accomplishment.



Cardinals are regular visitors to our yard, year round. Because they are big and red, it didn't take very long for the grandson to notice them coming to the feeder.


I bought this silly little bird for my grandson, about a year ago. It has a sound maker inside that sounds like a Cardinal. If you haven't heard a cardinal, they sound like this. Sorry, the video has an ad on the front of it.

On Thursday, it stopped singing. So, today I took my stitch ripper to the seam on the bird, and found the noise maker. Grandad fixed the broken wire, on the inside.

I tucked the box back in and was going to look for some red thread, when I realized that my little guy will be thrilled that his cardinal sings again, and not care about the stitching.


My stitching, now complete.The bird sings again, and the stitching looks pretty good.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Road Trip Preparations

A good sign that I don't go away very often, is how much preparation I put into getting ready for a weekend away.

I spent the morning trying to figure out why I couldn't manage to update the data on my geocaching GPS. Obviously it has been awhile since I went geocaching. I have it figured out now, and I WROTE IT DOWN for next time! I put the instructions in the bag with the GPS. Hopefully that will work.

I also made myself a new purse for the trip. I tried to take pictures, yesterday but it was kind of dull so they came out like this.


So, I tried again, this morning, while the sun was out.


Okay, much better.


A zipper pull that says "Handmade" from Emmaline Bags.

The strap is pieced, to avoid being boring black. I made it long enough to be a cross body strap.


The pattern is Clematis, from Blue Calla, with some serious alterations. I made it 120% larger, then added 2" to the height. I added two zipper pockets, one outside and one inside.


The hot pink lining really suits the bag.


A slip pocket, featuring dogs doing yoga, and a carabiner for my keys.

I also have some travel knitting ready.


Socks for someone, recipient will be determined later.

My garden has mixed opinions about the rain and heat.

The basil is loving it. Tomatoes, not so much.



Morning Glories, to match my bag, are climbing up everything they can reach.

Meanwhile, my little foster is thriving in the sunroom. He found a sunbeam this morning. It is warming his healing hip.




Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A New Project

I am travelling in a couple of weeks.  I decided that I needed a new purse and wallet.

I dipped into my stash and found some Tula Pink for the wallet.


It has cute foxes and bright colours, but it has a problem. For the wallet, I need a strip the entire width of this fat quarter and about one fox high.


If I put my ruler exactly under the first fox, the next one is up about 1/4". As I move across, it gets worse.


It is almost an inch out by the end of the strip. That will look terrible on the outside of a wallet. I think this piece will become fussy cut pockets.

Time for another dive.


My other favourite fabric designer is Laurel Birch.  I have been hoarding this piece forever, and I think it is time it became a wallet.


I have some of the complimentary fabric, and some polka dots that are in the right range. I like the look so far. Just another bunch of pieces to cut, and interfacing for everything, then I can start to sew.

Meanwhile, after finishing the SHAWL, I needed something more soothing.


It is another Baby Surprise Jacket, for another baby newly born. The yarn is Snuggly by Sirdar. The colours aren't my usual, but I like the combination.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Journey of 1001 Nights

Last August, for reasons I no longer remember, I challenged my friend Cheryl to knit a newly released pattern, 1001 Nights by Anne-Lise Maigaard. 

I had knit her Alberta pattern, in 2016, and it was lovely. A LOT of work, but I loved it when it was finished.

This one took a tad longer, especially after I got to the point where I needed to get onto some Christmas knitting, and put it aside for a few weeks. I didn't pick it up again, until two weeks ago. I put a concerted effort into it, and now it is finished. It took me about 350 nights.


I was going to photograph it, hung from the fence, to show you the full size, but the Virginia Creeper has taken over the fence. I need to get my machete out.


There are 2251 beads, according to the pattern. I think I used a few more, if you count the ones lost in the couch cushions.

The yarn is Drops Lace, an alpaca and silk blend. The shawl feels as light as a spider web.



The beads are so tiny, it is hard to see them except in the closeups. I skipped the fancy cast off edge, because I just wanted the shawl done.


Look at those tiny beads, sparkling in the sun, yesterday

When I knit a shawl like this, the comments usually talk about wearing it on special occasions. I agree. It should be worn on Casual Friday, Monday, because it is Monday, basically, any day that needs to be made special.

This picture is for Jean in NZ, lover of gingers.


This is Momo, the latest guest at the Arts and Socks Kitty Spa. Momo is here to recover from hip surgery. Note the catfood all over his cone. He doesn't quite have the hang of cones, yet.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Socks

Since the blog is called Arts and Socks, I feel that socks should make an occasional appearance. I started these socks, so I would have something to knit while working the election.



The yarn is Stitch Please Sapphire Label, in Psychedelic Onyx.  I love the colour, and they are for me!

As I was nearing the end of the second sock, I happened across an article on sock toes from Kate Atherley.

I was intrigued, so I decided to give some of her suggestions a try.


The sock on the left is my usual toe, the sock on the right incorporates Kate's suggestions. The second toe does look smoother.

I started the toe decreases at the beginning of the sole stitches, instead of the middle, and I didn't do the setup stitches for the toe grafting. I must write this in my book, so I remember.


Although they look alike, the socks are not identical twins. The yarn was a self striping yarn that has two skeins dyed together, to make it easier to match the stripes, but I didn't set up my heel correctly to centre the rib on the instep on the first sock. I corrected that on the second, but I don' imagine anyone will notice.

This morning, we had toddler cardinals in our yard, taking flying lessons. I caught a picture of one, although they are very skittish at this age.


 Cute, isn't he/she? We have two families of Cardinals that visit our yard. I expect the parents are happy that the dogs keep the yard free of neighbouring cats, so their babies can take flight lessons safely.

BTW, the 1001 Nights shawl is finished. It is awaiting a dunk in the hot tub! Since that means some house cleaning is required, I hope to show it later this week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Couple of Throwbacks

Some years ago, before I began blogging, we went on self guided tour of the west. We went to Saskatchewan and Alberta. We swam in a saltwater lake, we climbed mountains. It was all wonderful.

As a souvenir of the trip, I bought a quilt kit at The Sugar Pine Company in Canmore, Alberta. I was a new quilter, and the quilt was probably way out of my league, and it sat, in my sewing room for months. When I finally finished it, I loved it. I still do.

First, the inspiration.


This is Lake Louise. The man in the picture is assembling an alpine horn, to play across the lake. We heard that he was travelling around the world, trying to play his horn in as many mountain locations as he could.


And this is my quilt. It turned out quite well considering I had no idea what I was doing. I kept going to the local quilt store to buy another tread to match the fabric. It is free motion quilted, something I had never done before. The kit was by Castilleja Cotton. It is a testimony to their designs that it turned out so well.

As souvenirs go, I think it was pretty special.

Meanwhile, I resurrected my 1001 Nights Shawl. I started it at the end of august, last year, so I am determined to finish it before a year has completely passed.


I have 4 more rows to go, then some 900 stitches to cast off. The pattern suggests a crocheted picot, beaded edge, but that isn't happening. I don't think it needs any more beads. After I block it, I will do a closeup, of the beads. There are over 1000.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

New Shorts

I made a pair of shorts for my little guy, this week. The fabric was way too cute, not to.

I used a free pattern from Oliver+S, called Sunny Day Shorts.

The fabric compliments the back pack I made him, before he was born. This is the back pack fabric.



This is the shorts. Summer foxes, on a camping trip.





I've made lots of shorts over the years, since my boys got two or three pairs, every summer until they refused to wear Mom made shorts. So I thought I would share a few tricks, which I find makes the project quicker and easier.

After I sew each seam, I cut the seam allowance in half, and overcast the edge. I also use the triple stitch to reinforce the crotch seam.


Nice clean finish, and the shorts will easily survive frequent washing. You can see the triple stitch on the right side of the picture.


In turning up the hem, I first baste a line of stitches where I want the first fold. Then I fold the fabric along the basting line, and zigzag close to the edge of the fabric. Then I measure and turn up the hem, and stitch close to the fold. The zigzag doesn't show on the outside, and the edge is nice and flat.

The pattern called for a rather complicated method of adding the waist band. I went for quick and tidy. I sewed the waist band into a circle leaving a one inch opening near the "top" of the band. I stitched the seam allowance open, and trimmed it. I folded the waist band in half, and sewed it to the top of the shorts (making sure the fabric would be right side up, when I turned it up), and overcast the edge.  Then I ironed the waist band up, pressing the seam allowance toward the shorts, and edge stitched the seam allowance to the shorts.


See, all nice and neat! All that is left is to feed the elastic through the hole on the inside of the waistband.


I leave the hole in the back open, in case he grows and I need to put in a longer piece of elastic. Because the seam allowance was stitched down, you can't even tell.


Ready for action!

I plan to make more, but right now, I am out of elastic, in the correct width.