January 20, 2010

Knitting is New

Filed under: knitting — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:44 pm

I’ve wanted to learn to knit for years.  I’ve tried several times, and just couldn’t get the hang of it.  Maybe I needed to try a different method, or not give up so quickly.  Whatever.  This past summer and fall, I made a promise to myself to learn to knit.  I checked out books from the library and watched videos on YouTube.  I practiced, ripped, practiced and ripped.  And I’m finally feeling confident that my knitting will past muster.

Basic knitting, that is.  I’m not ready for fancy stuff yet, but that’s okay.  For me, knitting is a relaxing hobby, something that I can do late in the evening and not worry about making a fatal mistake.   Like when I catch a dress bodice in the serger and cut a huge hole in the middle of it. 😦

So, here are a couple recent projects.  First up, wool soaker pants for my 14 month old.  And yes, one leg is just slightly longer than the other, but not as much as the picture shows, they were just laying a little wonky.

These are made of Paton’s Wool from JoAnn’s. I have some very nice wool from my local yarn shop that I’m using to make another pair, but I wanted to test my skills with something that didn’t cost $14 a skein.

I used the Sheepy Time Pants pattern.  Very nice pattern, lots of pics and helpful instructions, especially for a novice knitter.

He has already worn these a couple of times and I’ve washed/rinsed them once, so they are starting to pill just a bit, but this yarn was easy to work with and I really like the color.

I put a band of seed stitch around the cuff.


The other major knitting project I finished recently is my first pair of socks!  I used a toe up, magic loop pattern found on a blog called Streets and YOs.

I used a self striping wool and nylon blend yarn from a local discount store.  Again, I have a very nice dark green wool yarn from my LYS waiting for me, but I wanted to work out the kinks with the less expensive stuff.

The first sock turned out a little big around the leg, so I did fewer calf increases on the second sock and it’s a tad bit snug, lol.  And both socks have too many holes at the heel.  I did short row heels, and I can see that I need to really practice these and maybe get some help at my LYS next time.

The toes were easy.  I chose toe up socks so I didn’t have to do any tricky moves to close the toes and also so I could try the socks on as I went.   That was especially helpful as I wanted knee socks.  I’m pretty tall, almost six feet, and wanted socks that actually went to my knees.  I’m also a plus size woman, so making my own socks seems the best option at this point.

As far as knitting goes, I’m working on another pair of wool pants, and dish/wash cloths made either with cotton yarn and/or crochet thread.  I plan to do this scarf next and then this sweater.  The sweater will be a huge challenge, as I have to upsize the pattern considerably.  Hopefully I can find some help on Ravelry.

Sewing wise…I have a tulle ballet skirt to make for a bday gift by Sunday.  A couple of dresses.   And a pillowcase for my mom’s “wedge” pillow that helps her sleep in an  elevated position.  And upcycling some skirts I found at the thrift store for me. And…And…And…the sewing to-do list is never ending!

January 13, 2010

A Christmas Present: Singer 201-2

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , — Lady M Quilts @ 11:15 am

This is what my darling hubby bought me for Christmas.  It is a 1938 Singer 201-2.  Isn’t she lovely??

She came with several attachments.  A ruffler, a zipper foot, a bias binder, a rolled hem and the long one on the left that I’m not sure what it does.  It looks very interesting and useful, though.

The paint and decals are pristine.  It’s almost as if she sat in a closet for most of her life.  And the scrollwork faceplate just makes me smile everytime I see it.

The stitching is lovely.  The 201-2 is a straight stitch only machine.  Even on the “straight” stitch, a zig zag machine stitches will be just slightly off center.  But a true SS machine like the 201 will make stitches that are precise and truly straight.

This is not the best picture of the stitches my 201 makes.  This is stitched on a lightweight denim and I think I need to change the needle.

This brings my total number of vintage machines to 5:  three singers (this 201, a 415 and my 501 Rocketeer), a Remington Singer clone from the 50’s and the Elna Supermatic.  It’s just so hard to resist a lovely old machine that needs a caring home.

One last pic of her shiny Singer badge.

Well, enough drooling, lol.  I have several dresses to make and some skirts from the thrift store to “remodel”.  Plus we start back to our homeschool co-op tomorrow.  Next time, I’ll share some of the knitting I’ve been doing.  🙂

January 6, 2010

Disappearing Nine-Patch Table Runner

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 9:06 am

This is the table runner I made for my father and his wife for Christmas.  I used my current favorite easy quilt block, the disappearing nine patch.  The runner is approximately 18″ by 40″.  My camera cut off the end…

I used only fabrics from my stash! Yeah!  The other challenge with this gift was to make it fast.  I had a hard time deciding what to make for them and only came up with this idea at the last minute.  So this runner went from an idea at breakfast to completely finished by bedtime the same day.

The main colors are browns and reds, which are the same colors in their main rooms of their home.

For the quilting, I free-motioned all over.  I haven’t done much quilting, and it shows.  But I’m improving!!

On the back, I put a row of blocks down the middle.  I wanted it to be reversible…bright and bold on the front and more subdued on the back.

Next up on the sewing table is a quilt I bought at a thrift store.  It was tied, but I really like the colors and the size is perfect for my 5 year old daughter’s bed.  I’m machine quilting it and it’s about half done.  Hopefully I can get it finished soon!

But today, my mom is coming over to visit, so I have to get some dishes done and the hide-a-bed couch vacuumed.  It’s been a while since we pulled the bed out and I’m quite sure there will be debris lurking down there!

Have a great day!

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