Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This and That

Fiberly Friends
Congrats to Fiberly Friend Liana for garnering several first prize ribbons at the Iowa State Fair. Also check out her other sewing endeavors, along with knitting and crochet. Oh and today is Liana's birthday.

Carolyn sews. Mardel sews and knits. Pam, Kathryn and Peggy have photo albums of their amazing sewing accomplishments. There's more talent among the Fiberly Friends, but no blogs or albums.

I haven't done any sewing since pre-reunion, but have got a fair bit of knitting done. There's the Sea Silk scarf.

I finished the Alchemy bolero. I started it Saturday, while we were in Denver, documented my progress on Thursday, and finished on Saturday at home. The instructions for kntting the bolero were very good, but they skimped on the details, like providing a schematic of the garment shape. I ended up with a little 2.5 inch piece under the arm shaping, which fit when sewing together, but was just odd. There was no indication of the number of crochet stitches needed - so it probably would have been done sooner were it not for starts and stops on the three rows of single crochet. The edges are a little ruffly, so I think I'll block it a bit.

I picked up the Forest Stole again. It looks like it is going to be about 50 inches. Lace is so scrunchy before blocking, it's hard to tell for sure, but it looked long enough for short me.

Attaching the edging was a little odd to read, but is pretty interesting. I pick up a stitch along the edge, but instead of knitting it, the yarn is pulled and two rows of edging are knit from it, then the extra pulled yarn is cinched in et Voilà! attached edging.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

One Skein Secret Pal Reveal

What I got
Yesterday I came home to a package from my Secret Pal - a cute felted black. I'm always searching for a small bag for dinners out and this is just the ticket. Thanks, Megan!

What I gave
It must be karma because I made a bag for my buddy, too. It's from Bags: A Knitted Dozen and knit in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It's now happily in the possession of Alice.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Trip Report

We are back from our trip to Denver to attend the Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1976 30-Year Reunion.

The Sheltons

We stayed at Hotel Shelton, AKA Mark's parents' house in Aurora. It was a great visit. Edith is a sewist, though "resting" at the moment as she works on a crocheted afghan from stash yarn. Bob is a retired Air Force pilot, who always has some great stories to share. We really enjoyed and appreciated their hospitality.

The Breakfast
Fiberly friend, Patti's 40-year reunion was also on Saturday, in Broomfield, so we planned to meet for breakfast. It was good to see Patti and Norm again, as well as her sister, Val and friend, Shari, whom I had met in Chicago last year. It was a treat to hear about Patti's youthful exploits from others in the "big group." Patti was wearing her lovely lilac top knit from Plantation yarn that had aged in her stash for 10 years.

The Yarn Shop
Only one fiberly stop on this trip, which happened to be less than a mile from Hotel Shelton. Knitting Habitat, in Aurora, is a very inviting yarn shop. My sole purchase (for the entire trip!) was yarn spun and handpainted by Lonesome Stone in Fraser, CO. The colors in this yarn have changed to my eye several times as I look at it in different lights. The smooth yarn is alpaca while the bouclé is mohair, wool and nylon.

The Reunions
Class of '76
I have to admit, I didn't hold out high hopes for the reunion - except for Mark and organizer Lars Walberg, I didn't think I'd know anyone who was attending. However, it did turn out to be an enjoyable evening (despite being crammed, along with the other 80+ classmates, into a 10'x10' space to get our class picture taken). I was surprised at the people who I did remember and who remembered me, though I couldn't tell you or them what class or group we may have had in common. I guess that's to be expected after 30 years.

Dan and Dorie
It has been since the 10 year reunion that Dan and I have really stayed in touch and ten years since we last saw him. Two years ago he and Dorie married and they are now expecting twin boys. We had a wonderful time meeting Dorie and spending a long lunch with Dan, Dorie and Mark on Sunday. Too bad, I forgot my camera, but hopefully the pictures Mark took on his phone will turn out.

Randy sat in front of (or behind) me in Mr. Miles psychology class and we've been friends since. Again, it's been ten years, but we just picked up where we left off at dinner Sunday night.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's a shirt...

What I thought would be a straightforward project ended up being quite a learning experience. I was actually hoping to get Tom's shirt completed so he could wear it to dinner Monday (our 24th anniversary). Between working with a new pattern, with new (to me) techniques and 30" fabric, it just didn't happen. But it's done.

Some time ago on reruns of Sew Much More, Janet Pray demonstrated her techniques for making a man's dress shirt. Of course, it didn't occur to me to record it till later and it hasn't shown since then. So I bit the bullet and purchased her pattern. from The Sewing Place. I had to make some significant adjustments for size. To fit Tom's neck, I used the largest size (3XL), but to fit his chest I had to use 3 sizes smaller (L) and then I shortened the sleeves shorter than the smallest size). Fortunately, the pattern was drafted well enough that the changes were pretty straightforward.

The instructions were written well and the pictures were good in demonstrating the techniques. The seams vary in the pattern depending on which part you are sewing, so there is no trimming involved. The pattern employs the "burrito" technique for the yoke, collar stand and cuffs, which results in clean even facings and minimized the sewing, since the edge-stitching also completes the joining of the facings.

It took longer than I had hoped, but I learned a lot. The next two dress shirts for the cruise should go much faster. Then I think I'll go back to making fun dog shirts.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I'd been pretty good about sticking to my knitting after I started the Forest Stole. And progress was made.

Then I admit, I needed a little instant gratification, so I started the little purse kit I bought in Hood River.

Then I was "enabled" by Dianne and we took a trip to Dublin Bay Knits in the Pearl to check out their sale. Through the power of suggestion (and store samples), I came home with Louisa Harding Accessories and yarn to make a hat...

...And Alchemy Yarns Bolero.

Then I received a call from KnitPicks on Tuesday: Could I do a quick turn on a project for Monday? The yarn on arrived in Wednesday mail and will go off to Vancouver today.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reunion duds

The Dress
Between the time span from my last fitted top and working out for 2 years which changed my upper body, it was certainly a learning experience making my reunion dress. But through the fitting and design alterations, the dress is done.

It's Vogue 8182, made from a fine cotton I bought at Mill End. My short stature combined with a low bust point, and, I think, a less drapey fabric than the pattern called for necessitated minimizing the gathering and shortening the "cumberbund."

The reunion is in ten days, so I should have a proper picture then.

The Shirt
Laying out patterns is my least favorite task, and Tom's shirt is giving me fits. It's actually not the laying out, it's the fabric. We found several shirt fabrics on this particular trip to Mill End, but I decided to start with the 30" fabric. Let's just say this is another learning experience. Having ironed the pattern on to freezer paper, I set out to cut out the pieces. And, of course, discovered I didn't have enough. So off to the store I went yesterday. As I laid out the new piece, I noticed a 6-inch "stripe" that is lighter than the rest. Man! I was going to buy yet one more yard, but have just decided to use it as is. Now it's a design feature - especially since I've matched the pocket to the lighter stripe. So on I forge.

Clean dogs

On the whole, being clean is not hight on our dogs' priority lists. The only water they like is the stuff they lap up from the numerous dog water bowls around the house. Nevertheless, they were subjected to the shower and it just exhausted them. Poor dogs.

Of course, once rested, Cody reverted to Mr Bossy Boots.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A near perfect day

Today is why we moved to Oregon.

It started with some sewing. I finally finished the moulage to put on my Uniquely You dress form. It's been uniquely someone else since I got it and not terribly useful for fitting. Then I began the altering of my party dress for my high school reunion (the first try wasn't entirely successful, which prompted the moulage project). It's looking pretty good on my dress form that is now uniquely me.

It's Cody's birthday
After a little breakfast, we took the 13-year-old birthday pup and his cohort to Mary S. Young park and met up with lots of other dogs. Of course as far as Cody is concerned everyday should be his birthday, as he tells us daily. (When the cleaners were here, we all took refuge in the my office. Tom laid down and Cody laid down right next to him.)

The hot days in July are soon forgotten on a day like today. For the second day Tom and I spent some time on the back patio. Because it was so perfect, the only sound aside from the occasional plane overhead and a blackbird now and then, was ths sound of the wind rustling through the trees. Even the air-conditioners didn't come on. Tom read. I read. I knit the seasilk scarf and listened to my iPod. Perfect.

Thanks, Dianne!