Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wow! Both projects completed!

I've been working on both the afghan and wall hanging for so long that I didn't realize how close to completion I was. I'm done! I completely finished the afghan before bed last night, and have all but the finish work on the wall hanging. I'll finish that within the next two hours (nap time for the boys.) While working, a few stitches here and there become loose, and occasionally, I'll skip a stitch. That's what I go back and do for "finish work." I don't worry to much during embroidery, especially cross stitch about that during the project. Like a typo, it's easier to go back and hone in on the odd mistake, while keeping my fast rate, rather than backtracking several times and loosing my momentum.

Now, I have a week for one Hallowe'en costume. Then, I can begin Christmas gifts, and complete one Christmas stocking. The younger boy is too young for me to fret over not having a proper stocking. Next year, I'll make his cross stitch or needle point stocking. This year, he can just enjoy presents in a simple stocking.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No more work on the hat

I've suspended work on the little hat for Vivian. She was born on Sept. 23rd, and passed away early Sept. 24th. I've posted more at the Cottage. This afternoon's work will be on the afghan, and our needlework focus will be on that work for now. I'm going to meet the deadline for this year, and put my energy towards that during this sad time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lessons Learned

Decreases while knitting in the round should not be where needles meet but in the middle of one needle: lesson learned.

Dropping a needle while knitting in the round should not be done preemptively. Knit with all the needles as long as possible: lesson learned.

Don't twist stitches unless one is knitting cable stitches: lesson learned.

Most importantly - Don't knit while too tired to keep from making mistakes. Not quite sure if I've really learned that one, yet.

I've had to pull out all of my stitches from the last few days. I'll try to start again with the hat, half way through.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Knitting my own baby hat

I'm working without a pattern for the new baby hat. I've done about an inch of ribbing, followed by a row of knit. Then an eyelet row in knit, followed by stockingette in the round. I'm decreasing as I feel like it. I never found an appropriate pattern, so I just decided to go along as I felt like it. I may not finish in time, so this may end up as a general charity piece. That takes the pressure off to make it just so.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Knitting a baby hat

I've got some time to finish a second hat for little Vivian. I didn't need all the yarn for the kimono, so this will work out just fine. I'm winging the pattern, since I couldn't find a decent one for anencephaly. I've made enough hats that I should do okay, and as long as it has a drawstring, she should be alright.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Finished, but disappointed

I'm not happy with how my baby kimono turned out. The sleeves don't quite match. I've now learned to pick up stitches in knitting not purling. They just fit too tightly when purled only in the round. It would be a good trick if I ever need something extra tight fitting, though. Now, I'm looking for a matching hat.

Time to focus on finishing the afghan. The ship out date is fast approaching, then end of year projects are next. So much to do!

Monday, August 3, 2009


The new baby wrap/sling has been completed. I've even worn both boys in it, and they love it. Now, I can move on to other projects, including mending my own clothes. Before I know it, it will be time to start Hallowe'en costumes.

I'm nearing completion on the wall hanging, and making excellent progress on both the baby kimono and afghan. August promises to be a productive month!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

At last, the Controller arrived!

After an extensive search, I now have a new foot controller. This is a sturdy, durable metal and should last a long time. Considering how much I love sewing, that's relative. I immediately checked it out, but set aside an hour (sadly, only an hour) yesterday to work on the sling. I should get more time today, maybe another hour or two during the boys' naps. If it rains out tonight's baseball game, I'll get more time to sew then. I'd love to show off my new sling before the next game. At long last, I'm sewing again!

Friday, July 24, 2009

More waiting

I found out that the foot controller is not readily repairable. It will be repaired, but may take another week. It was not loosened wires, but a defunct transistor. I continue to wait on my sewing. It will be accomplished, but may push back beginning other projects.

In the interim, I return to embroidery. I'm almost done with this month's budgeted yarn for the sleeper sack and the afghan, with a week left of the month to go. I could begin some work for profit, but I'm too frustrated with my sewing machine, to settle into it just yet. The for-profit knitting requires learning the kitchener stitch, which requires patience and a clear mind. That will come in time. Better to clear up an old project when one is needing to relieve frustration than to risk adding more.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

I may be able to get my foot controller repaired. Fingers crossed. The fabric continues to gather dust, as I search for the solution.

I begin another gift for baby Vivian, who will be too large when born for the previous sleeper sack. It's going quickly. I may have time for a larger hat as well. We continue to pray for their family at this difficult time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Still searching

My search continues for a foot pedal for my machine. At least the afghan is coming along.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm still searching for a pedal

The task of purchasing a new pedal for my sewing machine is rather difficult. The fabric is getting dusty, while I try to locate my unfortunately unusual model. Who knew that foot pedals could be so different? I despair that in my search I've discovered that this is a common fault for my model sewing machine. I will likely have to make this purchase again and again until I can afford to upgrade to a nicer model.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July begins

One of my errands today is purchasing more yarn for the afghan for a widow or orphan in Afghanistan. I've chosen green on green stripes. While at first I didn't think the contrast was distinct enough, I'm quite pleased with how it's coming along. I doubt that this would be beautiful by American standards, but then, it's not for an American. I take joy in looking at all this green, observing that as I grow in my faith this Trinity season, so grows the afghan in size. After I'm finished, someone else will treasure this to keep them warm, and as a symbol of their faith, albeit a different one. I'm happy that this will remind them of the love of God, even if I don't share their practice. Also, I hope this will show them Christian charity, and be a testament of Christian love.

Alas, another of my errands is purchasing a new foot for my sewing machine. I did not get a chance to sew yesterday after all. I hope this is the only thing that my machine needs, and not further repair.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

At last!

I have arranged for help this afternoon so that I can sew the sling. I'm over the moon. I love sewing so much. Well, so much that I started a blog! Hello? What an obvious thing for me to write.

Thanks very much to my friend for helping me with this task. It's easy to do other needlework around the children's schedule, but not run the sewing machine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Frustrated with the Helmet Liner

My gauge is either too tight or the pattern is too small. I was rather suspect of casting on merely 84 stitches. I'm setting it aside for now to start the afghan. I have other charity work to accomplish, rather than struggle figuring this out in the summer heat.

I still haven't found time for running the sewing machine. I'm just going to have to hire help. It's been quite frustrating asking for help, and not getting any. I need to break down and create an incentive for others.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Helmet Liner Update

I was skeptical about how fast the helmet liner could be accomplished. However, I'm pleasantly surprised. It's going quickly, and I forgot how much fun it can be to knit in the round.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finished the hat

I finished the baby hat yesterday, and now the set is complete. I may make another set, but we're still waiting to see how the baby does.

I began the helmet liner yesterday. I made the gauge swatch, the first one ever. I've never before made a piece where it was necessary. I've been holding back, making items where it didn't really matter. I'm taking the plunge with this one, and hope that I do a good job. It's silly that I've knit for this many years without ever checking my gauge, but I've been cautious about it. It's time to get over that hesitation, and expand my skill set. After that, I cast on the stitches. Here's hoping I can knit quickly enough to make the June 15th shipping deadline.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frustrated with Time Management

I'm frustrated with getting time to sew. I just don't know how to get more help with the children. If only I could arrange for some help, then I know that I could get the carrier done quickly. It would make taking care of my younger son so much easier. Although I've asked, I keep getting rejected. I'm sure that I'll get some help at some point. It is quite frustrating to have others volunteer to do things I enjoy (like clean my house), but refuse to help with the children, so I can sew. I seem to be alone amongt my friends and family in my love for needlework.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Finished the Sleeper Sack

Last night I finished the sleeper sack for little Vivian. When I showed the Vintner, he was overcome with emotion. He hadn't realized that it was a burial garment until he saw it. He mistakenly thought that she would be a disabled child, not that her birth defect was fatal. We had a few precious moments together, appreciating the gift of children.

We give this to her, and her family, out of our love for her. Even though her life is to be very short, she is loved for who she is. We have such compassion for her family. She deserves the best that we can give: the softest, the most beautiful.

Afterwards, I started the matching hat. It's also of bamboo/silk yarn, but this is a crocheted, long hat for her. If I have enough yarn left after this, I will crochet some matching booties. We're now prepared for her arrival, should it be this summer. If she waits until the early fall, we'll have time for a larger garment, to fit a full term baby.

If you are compelled to contribute along similar lines, please see the sidebar. Bev's Country Cottage has many links and patterns to start you on your way.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Yarn

Today, I purchased the supplies for the June charity knitting of a helmet liner. It's a variegated army-colors yarn. It should blend in well with the modern camo uniforms of the army. I also purchased the beginning yarn for the afghan for Afghans for Afghans. It's two shades of green for the green striped afghan. Both yarns are 100% wool. See the sidebar for the links for these projects.

I have yet to make time to sew the baby carrier. I'm too busy caring for the baby! The cut and pinned pieces are sitting beside the sewing machine.

Also, the last skein of silk/bamboo yarn is wound into a ball, and I'm starting the sleeves of the sleeper sack today. I hope to finish these sleeves quickly - this week - assuming the boys go to sleep at decent hours. If that goes well, then I should be able to start and finish the helmet liner by the 15th of this month. If I make the June deadline, then I'll have time to make another layette set for the baby, in case they make it to full term. I'm not really planning getting time for that until July. Full term would be early October for her baby, so I have plenty of time. I'm not taking on any other charity work, because I'm committed to having the afghan ready for autumn shipping. Winters start early in Afghanistan (compared to Texas) and this is the #1 charitable goal for 2009. This is the same pattern that I used in January and February for the limb wrap and lap blanket I made for disabled veterans. It will go rather quickly, once I begin, so I know I will make the deadline (unless I get detracted by other goals - again!) Here I was thinking that I'd have little demand for my charity knitting at New Year's resolutions. Ha!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cut and pinned

The baby carrier is cut out and pinned. Now, I only need to baste and then sew. Once I make some time and have the children occupied, it should go quickly.

As for the sleeper sack, I'm waiting until the first to resume work on it. I'll go back to the yarn store, and have them wind my next skein into a ball. The Vintner declined to assist me in that, so that I'll defer to them. I have finished the body, and lack only the sleeves.

Coming up next is the liners for soldier's helmets, finishing my eagle/flag wall hanging, afghan for charity, children's Hallowe'en costumes, matching mittens for my boys and a cousin and embroidered Christmas stockings.

This does not include the for-profit needlecraft. Those go on another blog.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Laying Out the New Pattern

Today, I iron the fabric, and lay out the pattern on the new sling for the baby. When, I'm not quite sure. I'm using the McCall's Baby Carrier.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sleeper Sack

The current project here at the Cottage is a sleeper sack for a friend. It's a beautiful pattern for a sad time. Right now, I'm focused on knitting for others. I should finished this piece soon, and then return to other projects that were put on hold, once this emergency came about.