Monday, February 27, 2012

My! How I have changed!

 Not that long ago, my heart would beat a little faster at the mere thought of another knitting book. And, nowadays there are even e-books! (I have quite a few of those, too!) Now I find myself questioning the purchase of another book on knitting! Strange reaction....

And, yes, the bookcase is getting a bit crowded. I have books on lace, shawls, socks, stitch patterns, spinning, weaving, dyeing, tatting.... But, I seem to be getting more picky when it comes to investing in another book of any kind, even a novel. The last novel I bought was purchased at Sacred Heart bookstore in Dallas: "Quo Vadis" took me less than a week to read at over 500 pages. I couldn't put it down! Obviously, it was a good purchase and deserves space on a shelf.

So many books, and magazines for that matter, have much the same content when it comes to knitting design and basic patterns these days. There are exceptions, of course. And, sometimes I do go ahead and buy that book I was just fondling in the book store. (I think I have the basics, and have had for many years.) But, if there are not several projects or techniques that interest me I will just as often put it back on the shelf. The last time I was at Half-Price Books in our area I couldn't find a knitting book that interested me. I did end up buying a book for $6 on drawing and calligraphy. It seemed as though with every page I turned I found something that I wanted to try out.

I come by my love of books from my family who are avid readers. By the time I was 13 I had read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 short stories and 4 novels on Sherlock Holmes.

I really think a love of reading is actually in my DNA. One of my fathers cousins did a family genealogy back in the 1970's and I discovered that there are educators and scholars in our family going back as far as the American Revolution. It makes me wonder how far back into history this family heritage goes. Most of my ancestors arrived in the colonies from the British Isles but we have not been able to pinpoint the exact time that this happened, although the family was already well established before time of the Revolution. I am eternally thankful to have such a rich heritage to draw from. I have a feeling that there were more than a few women in my family tree who were quite talented with textile production as well!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Peroxide for cleaning stains

We have several sets of stone coasters that have become stained and need to be cleaned. I hate to put them in the dishwasher for fear that the cork on the bottoms of them will come loose. Then, I remembered my bottle of peroxide.

I just squirted some 3% peroxide right out of the bottle onto the tops of the coasters. See before and after shots below:

Sewing Corner...continued

I am still trying to get my sewing corner better arranged and contained. In switching back and forth from the serger to the sewing machine I got tired of the cords and foot feeds getting in the way and I needed for my surge protector to be more accessible for plugging things into it.

I slid the two plastic bookshelves a bit apart and laid the surge protector between them. Then, I put a basket on the floor to hold the foot feeds for both machines when I am not using them. Then, I serged the ends of two pieces of wide elastic, added buttons and a piece of elastic cord to use in keeping my cords from getting in the way on top of the sewing counter. I like this arrangement much better.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick Sewing Machine Cover

Instead of buying a second carrying case for my other sewing machine I decided to make a cover for it when it is sitting on the sewing table. When not in use I just put it back in the box in came in and store it in the closet. It takes up a lot less room than if I used another carrying case. If I need to take it somewhere with me I can remove the other sewing machine and use that case.

I got the idea for the dust cover after going thru some old pillow cases trying to find one the right size to line a knitting basket. No luck. But when I laid the pillow cases on the sewing table while searching thru them I thought, "Hey! I could use one of these for a dust cover for my Brother sewing machine!

Just find a pillow case that is wide enough, turn it inside out and pull it over the machine (you might want to remove the spool of thread....and my machine lets you lower the spool peg into the top of the machine so it is flush with the top), allow 1/2" seam, pin where you want to cut, fold the pillow case so that the side seams are together, then cut the fabric, rounding the edges. You could even add a piece of cording to the seam to pretty it up a bit.

Ta Da! Finished dust cover!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Isn't technology wonderful? I am sitting at the Sherman, TX Panera restaurant having breakfast and thinking how much I would like to be in OKC with my mom on her birthday. So, I decided to dedicate this post to her.

She taught me to knit when I was ten years old. When I was twenty I really took off with what she had taught me, along with a little inspiration from Elizabeth Zimmermann.

As you can see from the posts of my finished, and in-progress projects, I am a pretty fair knitter. I credit the 'knitting genes' I inherited from my mom for this, as well as the love of beautiful things and the desire to create.

This photo is of a shawl that mom recently finished for herself while I was visiting her last month. She asked me to work in the ends and block it for her. I have blocking mats and wires and it didn't take long at all to get the job done. Then, my friend, Linda, helped me out by setting up a photo shoot at her lovely house to best set off the shawl. And.....

TA DA! Here it is!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you heaps and gobs!

Monday, February 6, 2012

for the youngest grandchild

Now that I have my sewing room back I am in the sew! First off the machine is a pair of rompers for baby Josh...who will be 1 yr old tomorrow.....sigh...hope they fit him. This view is before the snaps were placed on the inseam and before I made the buttonholes.
This is a view of the facing for the bib....he likes Curious George...
And this shows the buttons....crayon buttons! Love them!

Blocking Table

For years I used the dining table or the bed to block my knitting. Then I remembered I had table leg extensions that a friend's husband had made me back when I was quilting a lot....dug them out of Fibber McGee's closet and put them to use! They raise the table up to waist high on more bending over for long periods of time pinning out my knitting to block it!

I now have space in the dining room to put up the table I took out of the sewing room (which is stored behind a bedroom door when not in use) and, with 'blocking mats' (I bought them at Target...they are intended to be used on the floor for exercise equipment and are larger than normal blocking mats, 19 1/2" square not including the interlocking tabs), and padding on top....I am ready to block a shawl for my mom that she just finished knitting. I will do the washing/blocking tomorrow so it has all day to dry....under the ceiling fan in the dining room!