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June 28, 2002
what's new? I haven't



what's new?



I haven't updated for a while because I've been busy, but there's lots that's new:


My Mom was visiting and brought me some glorious old knitting magazines from the 60's and 70's. Her recent knitting focus: Darling sweaters like the one she knit Ella with ruffles -- A minnowknits pattern.


The seedy bulky baby bibby is done! I have gone against all the "bee" votes and sided with Shobhana -- it needed bigger buttons. I put the white ones on, but then I found some others that are even better. Picture soon!


I have been Kool-Aid dyeing again with enough yarn for a whole sweater. My dye lot: for each 8oz. skein, 5 pkgs Black Cherry, 2 pkgs Grape, and one mixture of 1 pkg Mandarina Tangerina and 1 pkg Strawberry Starfruit. It's looking good, but I think I still might need a bit of a companion yarn to round out the sweater. I haven't started knitting yet.


I found another knitting store within walking distance of my house! I had seen the name a few times, but it's a bit off the beaten path and I had never actually found it. Not a huge selection, but hurrah for Helga's! They're open Mondays too, so now all days are covered. She was intrigued by the Kool-Aid thing, so I'll have to take my fruity stash over some day.



I have cut out all the pieces for the girls' jackets and have one almost done. It's pretty big, but the girls will grow!


I am working on a new baby sweater with some furry yarn and the blue Kool-Aid yarn, with a scalloped design. I am imagining that it will receive some silver starfish buttons as it looks sort of watery.


When the time presents itself, I'll get more details and pictures up!

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10:54 AM
June 19, 2002
Jacket Pattern I think



Jacket Pattern



I think I might use this pattern for my jackets. It's a little different, but has a little something.

With the introduction of polar fleece, it's really hard to find a lined jacket pattern anymore. I only found one lined jacket pattern
for kids, but it was boxy and straight -- it might be the one I already have! I'll make these lined/reversible anyway... it just seems
silly to buy a pattern you have to alter. Ah, well. I'm not quite ready to strike out on my own in pattern design (unless it's flat and
square -- savvy readers will have noticed that all my patterns are flat and boxy!).

So these will be the floral print on one side with the pocket green and the cuffs rolled up so the green shows. On the reverse side, it'll be the opposite. Probably need buttons rather than snaps as that works better with reversible things (you don't have extra snaps sitting there on the outside because buttonholes go both ways).


And thumbs up to sewingpatterns.com for having a ton of patterns online in one place, including the hard-to-find Burda.

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08:49 PM
My Knitting Basket Jennifer



My Knitting Basket



Jennifer asked in her question of the week what sort of bag we used to
hold our knitting. Here's mine:

I picked it up at a thrift store. I like it because it's big enough to hold a reasonable sized project but not huge, it's lined and
has a little pocket for darning needles or other small stuff. Oh, and it has handles and a lid to keep kids and cats out.

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08:41 PM
Vote for Favorite Button!



Vote for Favorite Button!



I am nearly done with the Seedy Bulky Baby Bibby and am now at the all important button selection phase. These are the leading
contenders at this point. Which do you like? The sweater is for a boy, if that makes any difference. Leave your opinions in the
comments section below!


Results coming soon to a sweater near you!


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08:34 PM
June 17, 2002
Stupidly Simple Project You



Stupidly Simple Project



You too can make your own faux batik T-shirt in just minutes! You could sell these at Dead Shows if there were any any more. Fun for the kids, too, in those oh-my-god-it's-summer-vacation moments. These aren't exactly works of art, but a quick and dirty (actually very clean) craft. How about a baby's onesie and matching hat with dragonflies or dinos or whatever it is that happens to attract you?

What you'll need:


*colored cotton t-shirt or whatever (dark colors work best),


*foam stamps (available at all major craft emporia -- made of foam, about 2-4 inches big, or make your own out of foam if you want
to),


*Sunlight dishwasher detergent (or similar... you want a liquid/gel detergent with BLEACH for the dishwasher, not just dishsoap!)


*some sort of old brush to paint it on with.


* a piece of plastic or cardboard to put between the layers of the shirt

All you do is paint a thin, even layer of the detergent on the stamp, trying to avoid major blobs of the stuff in the crevices of the stamp, then stamp carefully on the fabric. Repeat as desired. Set it in the sun (or the corner) to dry. When they're dry, run them through the wash. Voila!

Essentially, you're just bleaching out localized areas of the fabric. So don't wear nice clothes when you do it, and be aware if you overdo the amount of stuff you put on one area, the fabric will be weakened.

Pictures coming soon.

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08:44 PM
Monday, Monday For those



Monday, Monday



For those with an interest in genealogy or old pictures, you may remember that I posted that I had just picked up a few more pictures
for my genealogy project on

May 20th. Imagine my surprise when,
out of the blue last week, a woman contacted me whose great-grandfather is the man standing on the right in this picture! My
father-in-law only knew he was a cousin of some sort. Cool.

Lest think that the vortex of coincidence is swirling so mightily that you'll have to sit down, she didn't contact me because she saw the blog... that would have been too weird. She got my email address through a string of relatives because she heard that I was doing some genealogy.


I've done next to no knitting all week, or what I've done, I've had to rip out. I've been working on the seed stitch baby sweater and didn't really think much about the seed stitch lining up properly when it came to the bib. I did an even number of stitches on the bib, knit the thing, joined it, saw the mistake, k2togged, and went forward for about two inches. But I decided I couldn't stand it and ripped it out. Plus, I didn't like the way the row where I joined the bib to the body looked.

Here's the deal: Since this is all one piece, the front is knit top down and the two sides are done to just below the armpit. I've knit a separate little "bib" piece that connects there and flaps up and buttons. To do this, you line up the bib and the body sides and you knit 4 stitches together off two needles on either side with the bib in front. No problem, but they seemed a little funny because of the thickness of the yarn. Any tricks to this?


I really should be able to finish this soon and am ready for another project. After almost buying some Noro Kureyon on Ebay for a raglan henley for me, now I haven't seen any in colors I liked for a couple of weeks and have been beat out on a couple of auctions. Ah well. Sooner or later it will come.

I did, however, buy some chunky wool/cotton boucle (but not too boucle) yarn to dye. It should arrive in a day or two. Figured I'd
try the Kool-Aid first and see how it did. It doesn't have a very high cotton content, and I'm hoping that the cotton is wrapped around
the wool somewhat uniformly. My theory is that the two fibers will take the color differently and that will make for a much more
interesting yarn. If the Kool-Aid looks bad, then I'll go for the real Procion dyes. I have friends that have been wanting to tie-dye
for the kids anyway. And I want to tie-dye yarns, or course!

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07:01 AM
Sock Boots Aren't these



Sock Boots



Aren't these great? They're made by Regia. The best price I've seen is at YarnStash.com. Not that I knit socks. Not that I wear socks.

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06:49 AM
June 12, 2002
Beautiful Jacket Seeks Home



Beautiful Jacket Seeks Home



Feast your eyes on this wonderful jacket that I found at the thrift store! It is all handmade. Back is lined, with Holly Hobby fabric, no less. All edges are decoratively finished... AND it has meticulous hand embroidery on it, of the sort that has not been seen since the '70's. Including this Three Bears scene on the back. Oh yeah, and one of those cool tags that reads, 'Specially Hand Made by Linda'.

Unfortunately, it is too small for me to wear, though believe me I tried! It would fit a petite woman. It's abut 15 inches across the shoulders (they're set in, though), 18 inches across the chest, and 17 inches long.

You will need to think of something very good to trade me, because this is just so appealing. But I do want it to have a good, appreciative home. You'd think it was a puppy I rescued, not a jacket! I may decide to just keep it until one of my kids can wear it, but go ahead, tempt me!

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07:33 AM
seedy bulky baby bibby



seedy bulky baby bibby



Say that four times fast! Here's the Bulky Baby (see free patterns at left) that I'm knitting in seed stitch. I love the way it looks -- and seed stitch is so obedient! It lies flat and plumb with no prompting or tugging. Anyway, I'm eager to move on to the button selection part, but I want to wait until my buttonholes are done so I can see if they work.

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07:13 AM
teddy bear Here's a



teddy bear



Here's a photo of the little knit teddy bear that functions as a zipper pull on one of the fabulous European thrift items I picked up. It makes a simple dress so cute and chic. The dress is brown and rust.

I could see extending this idea in all sort of ways... Any sort of little knit critter could be attached to either a home-made garment or a store-bought one. Imagine a little elephant on a hooded fleece sweatshirt. Or wild little dollies that were attached in a jumper pocket so they could pop in and out.

Just make sure your critters are firmly attached and drool-proof!

Oh, and if you're the type who likes to knit tiny little things like this with OO needles, drop me a line... maybe I can trade you something atrociously bulky for it!

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07:00 AM
More Funky Pants Stacey



More Funky Pants



Stacey over at urban gypsy said she wished she had some flat pants of her own... you could certainly make them adult size, but I make no promises as to how flattering they will be! They would be comfy though. If anyone really wants to make they for an adult, let me know and I can figure out the pattern! I'd love to see them on an adult! But I don't promise not to laugh!

I used to have some very low crotched pants I got in Africa. They were shaped more like a triangle or trapezoid with the small part at the waist and the legs sticking out holes in the bottom corners. Felt a little silly wearing them here, but they were comfortable.

As far as sewing funky pants goes, check out Pavelka Design. She has some really fun patterns, particularly for you quilty types. I bought the "Overwows" pattern in my size and kid size, but I haven't made them yet. At certain points I envisioned making some for myself with raw silks and brocades, but fancy overalls aren't something really missing from my wardrobe.

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06:34 AM
June 5, 2002
Flat Pants Tutorial At



Flat Pants Tutorial



At 2:15 I posted that I was thinking about making some Flat Pants to go with the WIP and maybe there was some appropriate fabric out in the garage. Well, there was. By 5:30, the pants were done and everything was put away! And that's with two kids underfoot, mind you! So I'm not lying when I tell you they're easy.

Use this helping, friendly tutorial and sew along!


First, cut out the pieces. It's easy to change the size. Just add or subtract some length. Leave plenty of wiggle room in the center panel, because there's no shaping for the tochis.

Since the lighter fabric I was using has a lot of open space and big graphics, I thought about where I was cutting. I made an impromptu pattern piece out of a sheet of paper so I could center the graphics before I cut. Take the seam allowances into consideration when you do this.


I made pockets for these. Cut out squares. Fold all edges over 1/4 inch. Fold the top edge over again. Stitch around the edge on the machine. I centered them on the pant legs (figure out which end is up!), pinned them (this is the only time I pinned anything!), and stitched them down.

Sew on the cuffs to the bottom of the legs. I made an error here. I turned and seamed the cuffs at this point. This means that the seam shows when you roll the cuffs. Not awful, but don't make this mistake yourself! Sew the cuff to the leg. Finish the open edge of the cuff by turning under and stitching. Press the seam toward the cuff. You'll come back to it later!


Now we assemble ze pants! Sew the center panels to the first leg. Add the second leg. Press seams toward center. Finish by zigzagging both together at outside edge. This prevents fraying later. (A little tip: usually you sew with 5/8 seam allowance, then trim the seam to about 1/4 inch and finish the edges. I just sewed these with a small allowance, so I didn't need to trim a lot of fabric off, and could finish them neatly. Don't do this on other patterns unless you modify the pieces when you cut though!)

Hold the pants so everything lines up, with the pants inside out. Starting at one cuff, sew up the leg, across the center and down the other leg. Snip the corners and finish seams. Press. Hooray! You're almost done!


While you're at the iron, press the cuffs toward the inside to just above the seam. You might as well press the waistband as long as you're there. The pants should still be inside out. Press 1/4 inch toward wrong side. Turn again to form 1 1/2 inch waistband and press. You may want to pin here. Sew along the lower edge of the waistband, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through. Attach a safety pin to the elastic and run in through the waistband, gathering as you go and being careful not to twist the elastic. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Sew up the hole you left.

Now go back to those cuffs! From right side, stitch along the previous seam between the two fabrics catching the back of the cuff. Add a second row of stitching if you like. You're done!

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08:26 PM
A Tale of Three



A Tale of Three Sweaters



Sweater One: The Rex Sweater. It's done! I'm Still not completely satisfied with the neck, but I figured I'd finish it and then sit on it for a while.


Sweater Two: I've started one of the Bulky Babies with the remaining orange Pronto. The bibbed one this time -- and in seed stitch. We'll see if I can stomach knitting a whole sweater k1,p1... This is a baby gift. After posting the Flat Pants the other day, I've been ruminating on making some -- I think I may even have some great fabric to go with the sweater out in the garage. Now if I can just manage to make the sweater and the pants for the same sized baby!


Sweater Three: We just got in the mail an absolutely beautiful sweater that my Mom knit for Ella. It's a great yarn, a great stitch pattern... and she finished it so neatly! And a darling hat with a ruffled brim to boot!

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02:15 PM
June 2, 2002
Weekend Update I amended



Weekend Update



I amended the Flat Pants pattern. If you already took it; check back. It's even easier. Sounds so simple I want to sew some myself!

I ripped out the collar of Rex's sweater again. I think I may need to start the collar earlier. There just aren't very many stitches to play with since the gauge is big and the sweater is small. The raglan decreases gobble them up 8 at a time. Maybe today I can make it work. At least I got to rip out the one cable that I turned backward. I didn't want to rip the whole thing out for that, but it was really bothering me.

Made an interesting summer salad last night: the idea came from a comment in Food & Wine. Chopped tomatoes and watermelon with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and rice vinegar. You could add a little mint or basil or watercress. Anyway, it had never struck me before, but tomatoes and watermelon look and feel a lot alike. Wouldn't want to eat it all the time, but a fun change of pace.


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06:21 AM