Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break

My sister
and her husband
retired, a few years ago, to Peterborough. A lovely town with lots of 'big-city' activities. At least they seem big-city to this, now, small-town girl.

So each year, after winter has passed, Fred
and I take our 'spring break' at my sister's house. All winter, I host the hordes that come to ski. Cooking, cleaning and washing bedding. Once spring arrives, I go to my sister's and she hosts me. She takes superb care of me; being her guest is a great antidote to having played hostess here at home for the last several months.

We shopped, ate out and watched movies on their 52 inch TV.

Of course, the three hour, each-way drive is great for knitting.
Thursday at Knit Group, I cast on this Mohair sock, to have it ready for the trip. A fast knit, it is now almost ready for the toes. And without my 'spring break' it wouldn't even be started. "Thanks sis."

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Latest Style

Christie's jacket is done and it fits!!! The style is trendy, it looks good on her and she seems quite pleased Actually more than pleased she says as she reads this .

And, what do 12 year old girls like for breakfast when they visit Auntie?
Bagels, peanut butter, bananas and enough chocolate chips to make a smiley face.

Life with 12 year old girls is such fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pushy Jacket

Today's post was to be about Christie's jacket and Abi's Bolero. But no more.

This spring, I have seen many short-sleeved, waist-length jackets, buttoned with one or two 'honkin' huge buttons. In fact, that perfectly describes Christie's jacket, currently in my sewing room. Yesterday's Owen Sound newspaper showed a photo of the city's feminine mayor wearing one of these trendy jackets. I've seen them in catalogs, stores and on the net. I've seen them in fabrics plain, patterned and plaid. This morning as I went for my walk, I saw a gorgeous one in a store window, downtown.

"Hmmm" , I thought "Could I replicate this trendy style in knitting?"

And now, further delaying the jobs I set for myself today by checking my emails, I see this. One of Berroco's new FREE patterns, called Nimbus. (Sorry, Blogger wouldn't let me link directly. Look on Berroco's web site under free patterns)

OMG!!! This is so cute. So cute in fact, that I see it pushing it's way to the front of the line. Gueues mean nothing to this baby! It intends to be next! I can't wait. Of course I will finish Christie's jacket and Abi's bolero. There are deadlines after all. But as soon as they're finished, Nimbus, the pushy jacket, awaits.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Survivor has been a two week disappointment. Last week - pre-empted for basketball!! Who the heck watches basketball?? Then this week, a change of day and it turns out to be a re-cap. As Julie from the Needle Emporium says in her blog "Just give me new content. "

This girl can only stand so much disappointment so it's a good thing the knitters didn't disappoint today. Well, really. Do they ever?

Ingrid wearing another wonderful creation knit from Koigu wool, brought her felted bag.
Remember it from two weeks ago?
And Sharon has started a scarf
with this beautiful yarn

that her husband gave her for her birthday. I want a husband like that.

Pat is taking a break from the knitted toys and has been knitting baby clothes.
I think the pattern could be called 'vintage'.
But we weren't totally without toys today. Nell is working on an outfit for this little baby.
I have mentioned in the past that all Nell's knitting goes to a mission in Toronto. Nell's comment is always " It will make some little girl happy."

And Wilma is working on this little dress.
My camera bleached the colour. It's actually is a beautiful shade of lilac.

No Survivor tonight. Will 'I' survive?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coming Along Nicely

My two, make-it-for-someone-else?? projects are coming along nicely.

Overnight, Christie's little coat has gone from this

to this
Whether it's my age, or the number of years that have passed since I last sewed clothing I don't know, but it sure seems to require much more brain power than I remember. So I only work on it for a couple of hours at a time. Still, all that's left to do are the sleeves, button holes (Yikes! Do I remember how to do them?) and hems. Done in time to give to Christie when she comes back for a weekend visit. Modelled shots next week.

When the brain starts to ache from figuring out the sewing, I relax with Abi's now-memorized, lace- patterned bolero.
The first sleeves is completely done. See the little points on the lace edging?
Aren't they cute? Blocking should make them more pointy. I really want them to be a visibly, pointy feature. So if blocking doesn't' sharpen them, I will have to think of some other way. Starch, maybe?

Both projects are moving towards the finish line and lookin' good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Revival And A First

As a teenager, I loved to sew. Four years of high school 'Home Ec' taught me so much about sewing and tailoring that I made all of my own clothes. In my twenties, as a 'stay-at-home' Mom with two young boys, I sewed clothes for the entire family. Even the then-popular Leisure Suits for Fred. While the kids napped, I sewed.

Then the world changed. The kids grew up. I got a job. The economy became 'global'. I haven't sewn clothes for many, many years.

But when Christie was visiting and shopping, she tried on a wonderful little spring coat. Waist-length, in a lovely teal-ish blue, with two LARGE buttons down the front. She loved it and it looked great on her. Her wide, isn't-this-awesome smile disappeared before my eyes as she read the $98 price tag. Even her new-found babysitting riches couldn't cover that.

Once she returned home, I decided to replicate the coat for her. Fortunately, the style must be très 'au courant' as there were several patterns to chose from. I was even able to find fabric in the same shade of blue. Today, I have revived my sewing skills. So far it seems to be like riding a bike - no tumbles yet.

And while a revival is taking place indoors, outdoors, it is a first. For this year, anyway.

My 'Little Book Of Firsts' tells me that in 2008, the first day of drying clothes outdoors was April 15th.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I've Been Asked

Regular readers know my philosophy on knitting for others - Don't Do It. Unless asked. As I posted here, too often have I seen 'those' looks when the hand knitting gift is presented.

Guess who read that post? My darling DIL, Kim.
That very same evening, I received a 'request' for a little bolero.
Grand daughter Abi's
first communion takes place on Mothers' Day weekend.

Her lovely little dress has no sleeves. In many parts of Ontario, a sleeveless dress on Mothers' Day weekend is appropriate attire. But in Hearst - well, let's just say (and cover your ears if you don't want to hear it) - snow.

During number one son, Charlie's
first year in Hearst, he spent Mothers' Day weekend cross-country skiing. So a sleeveless dress could be a problem.

The search was started for a child's bolero pattern, and they are not easy to find. Or at least, one that appealed to me was not easy to find. Eventually, I settled on this one from Elann -with a few modifications. The sleeves will be 3/4 length and the body will be shortened to just under the chest line.

Then the search was on for yarn. I was told 'off white'. Since that runs a pretty broad spectrum, I sent north one ball of yarn I had chosen, for approval. It was returned. And in it's place, I was sent Sirdar Snuggly.

I chose 5mm needles to make the lace 'pop' and so far, everything is looking good.
Tonight when everyone is home from school/work, I will double check some measurements, and then it should be just a short sprint to the finish line. Yea. A finished product for me. Quite rare these days.
Thanks for asking, Kim.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shopping Is Hereditary

When I mentioned in this post that niece Christie was a shopper extraordinaire, I knew someone in this house would roll his eyes and ask " I wonder where she gets that from?" You think she inherited her supreme shopping skills from moi?

Maybe. You see, last weekend, Riverside Yarns called my name. I was in Owen Sound for other reasons. Not to shop at the yarn store. Not to buy yarn. After all, why did I need yarn? I still have un-knit yarn from last spring's B.C. trip. And from the 2008 KW Knitters Fair. Oh yea. And from the 2007 Knitters Fair too. So I don't need yarn.

And right now, on the needles, I have my Easter Top. Skinny Ribs. A lace Bolero for my grand daughter Abi's first communion. And, I mustn't forget Loden - still only two-thirds done, thanks for asking.

Obviously, not only did I not NEED yarn, I don't NEED another project at the moment. So why did I do it? Why did I persuade myself that I NEEDED to go to the yarn store?

I blame it on the shopping gene that Christie and I share. And this is what I bought.
Ten balls of Vienna. The same yarn I used for Shalom. This time in shades of reds and purples. Just enough yarn to make the February Lady Sweater. I convinced myself that it was OK to buy the yarn because FLS has been in my ravelry queue for some time now. And of course, because, Colleen (smart merchandiser that she is) had it pre-packaged, priced at 50% off and right inside the front door. Who could resist?

But I promise, I won't start it until I finish all some of these.
And unless Fred forces me to have a DNA transplant, this habit of shopping when I don't NEED anything will probably happen again. We are who we are. Eh Christie?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group and Survivor

March Break meant fewer of us at knit group today. But that didn't mean less knitting.

If we had a prize for productivity, the winner, this week, would have been, Sharon. She had a few days off work and pulled out her weaving loom. You creep into a corner when a fellow fibre artist brings this to show and tell.

And in close up.
Obviously, weaving is faster than knitting.

Doreen is wearing the vest she completed with last week's newly-learned skill of mattress stitch.
It fits you well, Doreen, and we all recognized her the knitters trade mark.

The other Doreen, made a lovely 'mistake' scarf.

She mistakenly put in a few rows of garter stitch and rather than 'rip', decided to make it a design feature. (Haven't we all been there?)

Joanne made another easy peasy scarf.
Lovely colours, Joanne

Remember Wilma's baby sweater from last week? Here it is finished. And to show the size difference between adult and baby, we placed it on Wilma.

Nell, a master of crochet, was intrigued by Marlene's cro-hooking and decided to give it a try. That double-ended hook has stumped our master and she will have to wait for Marlene to help her out.
And what about Survivor? The cross-tribe alliance seems to be working. But they apparently take March Break. No Survivor until next week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping.

I had forgotten how much twelve year old girls love to shop. Especially when the purse is bursting with baby-sitting money, just waiting to be spent. We've been shopping and hot tubbing. Shopping and cake decorating. Shopping and swimming. Shopping and theatre-going. Shopping and volunteering.

The local economy has taken a real boost since Christie came to visit and the local merchants thank her, I'm sure.

Knitting has been minimal, but Skinny Ribs is nearing the bottom.
Next step, after Christie goes home and the house seems too quiet to be healthy, will be the top-down set in sleeves. Not a new venture for me, but if I can make them look good, then definitely a new outcome.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun With Family

My niece, Christie, has come to visit for a few days during her March Break. Her original intention was to ski but she arrived without any ski equipment: Living south of here, where there is no snow, she thought for sure there would be no skiing. Maybe it's just as well, because we have lots of 'girl' activities planned.
We started the day like this.

After lunch, we went to Marlene's, from knit Group, for a cake decorating lesson.
Such fun. Thank you so much Marlene for teaching us how to do this. We think these cakes look pretty good for a first attempt.

And the icing on top of our icing, was Marlene's condo's indoor pool.

A great day. Having a young girl in the house is such fun.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy March Break

Happy March Break to all my Ontario readers.

Don't forget to pack your knitting.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Wow! Marie at Sel&Poivre says it's something in the water. Or maybe all the yarn runs down hill to Meaford. Whatever the reason, productivity was high this week.

As we met today, Megan laid out this.
Can you guess? EZ fans will recognize it as one half of a Rib Warmer. Megan purchased the wool last week, when Southampton came to visit.
Today she got busy and mattress stitched the pieces together.
And before we left, she modelled it!!
Looks great, Megan.

Bonnie is smiling as she works on her sweater.
And no wonder. Look what she finished this week.

Wilma, also is in a 'baby' mood. Isn't this cute?
And Sharon too. That's a hip colour for a baby, Sharon.

Poetic Pat brought no stuffed toys today. Instead she had several strips of granny squares she is putting together for an afghan for her grandson.
Here she appears to not be having any fun.

Then I think someone whispered - think of 'Sue from Southampton'. Look at the reaction.

Our creative wonder, Ingrid. What is that she's making?
Even she doesn't know what it might end up being. But look at the yarn. Isn't that wonderful?

Marlene is almost finished another cro-hooked afghan

and Doreen learned to do the mattress stitch. "Look at that."

Remember Nicki's 'amorphous blob' from a couple of weeks ago?
Blob no more.
A wonderful piece. The pattern was a free one from elann.

And now off to settle in for Survivor. Who goes tonight? Will the cross tribe alliance work? I was not surprised at last week's pick. She was a bit annoying. But then, so is Coach.