Saturday, August 22, 2015

Off to College

Well, we are officially "empty nesters". Baby boy is off to college. 

His car was all packed and ready to go on Wednesday. He fit everything in his car so he decided to go by himself on Thursday. Really no need for two parents to tag along.  I would have liked to have gone I suppose to help him carry some boxes and unpack a little but he wanted to do it himself, and that is what I need to let him do more. Do it for himself. 

We had to pose for some photos. 

One with the doggies, too. 

He looks so happy! Yep, that IS a huge box of Oreos in the front seat. His dad did that. 

And he's off. Good luck, Buddy!
Have fun!  Be safe!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Just in from the Wisconsin State Fair

I asked Pam (my step-mother-in-law) to take some photos at the Wisconsin State Fair so I could see what my curtains/fabric panels looked like in the Sheep Area.  Awhile back, I wrote a post about a big sewing project I had completed for Pam.  I made six double-sided fabric panels which would be hung up around some sheep pens at the fair.  They were basically like big pillow cases and I made a casing about an inch down from the top so that a wire could be inserted into the panels to hang them up.  Turns out decorating your sheep pens in an extra special way is some sort of contest, but I did not know that when I first made the panels.

I have not heard yet if Pam won the prize for the best decorated sheep pen, but her ewe named "Destiny" got a first place prize for "ewe lamb".

Here are some photos from the fair (Thanks, Pam!)

A little blurry but you can see the fabric panels. 

I love seeing the sheep in their special costs, jackets, wraps?  I don't know much about sheep or showing sheep. 

Looks like the fabric panels were handy for information to be displayed as well. 

Pam and her brother, Greg, both showed some sheep.  Like I said, Pam's sheep is called Destiny. The other sheep are Butch and Sundance Kid.  I am not sure which sheep is which in the photos above.  Sun Dance Kid was awarded Reserve Grand Champion.  Butch and Destiny were both awarded first place in their divisions. 

I should learn more about sheep. I just see sheep and see potential yarn. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Recycling Plastic Grocery Bags

Fabric Holder to Store and Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

Months ago I printed out some tutorials on how to make this project. Our internet service was down one Saturday a few weeks back so I could not consult the patterns I had seen. I decided to just wing it!  

I used a rectangle of fabric that measured 13 inches by 18 inches and stitched up two ends, right sides together, so I had a tube that was about 6 inches wide and 18 inches tall. At the bottom edge, I folded up a narrow hem two times, stitched it up with some top stitching, but left a small opening. In the opening, I inserted a 6 inch length of elastic (1/4 inch wide).  After that, I stitched the two ends of elastic together and closed up the opening with some more top stitching. 

On the top edge, I folded over a wider hem.  To make a loop for hanging, I folded a piece of ribbon into the hem and then did some top stitching to hold it all together. I need to work on an easier way to stitch in the ribbon but I am really happy with how this turned out. 

Ta dah!  I insert my plastic grocery bags in the top opening and then, when needed, pull them out of the narrower opening at the bottom. 

The holder can hold at least a dozen plastic grocery bags. We have it hanging on a coat rack in the laundry room which is between the kitchen and garage. When I have go out in the yard to pick weeds or pick up doggie doo doo, it's so handy to just grab a bag. 

These would make great gifts, don't you think?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Socks for my Baby Boy: Take 2

Here's a sneak peak at the socks I am making for Zach right now. This is Wisdom Yarns "Chicago" colorway. I love colorway; nice shades of blues/grays/browns.  I don't think I will finish these for Zach before he moves into the dorm at college in just a few  days, but I think they will be great to send in a care package when they are done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Socks for my Baby Boy

Finally done!

These are the socks I was calling my Ben and Jerry's Socks because, in the first few of knitting, the colors reminded me of the colors on a carton of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream (below).

As I was knitting these socks, I thought the socks looked a little wide for me. I measured my son's feet and it turns out his big ol' feet are not that much wider around than mine.  I asked him to try on the socks a few times as I was making them and I made the heel flap longer than I ordinarily do, thinking it would help him get the socks over the heel area of his feet.  The socks fit him snuggly and we decided that casting on a few extra stitches would have worked a bit better. This is Wisdom Yarn in the "Seattle" colorway.  After I finished up these socks, I cast on another pair in the "Chicago" colorway.  So now I know how many stitches to cast on and also how many rounds to complete in the foot portion.  It took me a few tries to get it just right on the Seattle pair. 

Zach wore these socks for a few days around the house and I noticed he kept jamming his toes in to the toe portion of the socks.  When he did, the heel portion was not sitting in the correct position at all.  After looking at the socks, I could tell I had made the foot portion about 15 rows too long!  He was a bit bummed because he wanted to wear the socks in his shoes and he said he could not since they did not fit just right (they were lumpy and bulky).  I found it ironic that I made them too long because I kept complaining that the socks were taking forever since they were intended for someone with size 12 socks.  Turns out I could have stopped knitting a lot sooner.

I unraveled the toe portion on both socks and then ripped out 15 rounds since I should have started the toe decreases 15 rounds sooner.  I think they are fitting much better now.  I did make a mistake on one of the toes.  On the first toe repair, I was very mindful to ensure the toe decreases at the side of the foot lined up with the gusset decreases but, on the second sock, I completely forgot about that. I think one of the socks sort of feels twisted for my son when he wears it since the decreases don't line up. I did not have the heart to rip out toe #2 a second time so I am contentedly knitting away on his "Chicago" socks, confident this next pair will fit even better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Warm Fuzzy For The Day

Yes, I've been knitting.
"Knitting what?" you ask.
Socks, socks, socks!

I decided that my "Ben and Jerry socks" (posted about them previously) were a little too wide for me but they will fit my 18 year old son.  I am finally working on the toe decreases. Let me tell you, making socks to fit a male with size 12 shoes is quite a commitment!  I am going to figure out how many stitches are in these socks.  You will be astounded. I'll post about them soon.

I've also been sewing lots and lots of pillows. My Etsy sales were light and steady in January through May (not complaining... I was pretty burned out after the Christmas rush!), but my sales have doubled in June and July. Who knew? Maybe folks like to have dog bone shaped neck pillows in the summer when they take road trips or going camping? 

I am always tickled when an Etsy buyer takes the time to write to me to tell me how much they like the pillow they received.  I loved this message so much I decided to share it.

The other day... a lady from Canada wrote to say: 


I just wanted to drop you a line and say THANK YOU. I purchased this item a while back when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and was facing thyroid surgery. I finally had the surgery last week and this pillow was a saving grace!!! It's perfect and comfortable and since I couldn't move my neck from side to side those first few days, it kept my neck stationary without hurting my ears like the U-shaped airline pillows. Also, the handle helped because I can't sit up quite on my own, so I grab the handle and use it to force my head and body upward. It's been a great help. 

Just so you know-- the Thyroid Cancer Society of Canada actually tells its patients to purchase a "dog bone neck pillow" for surgery and recovery. Since I couldn't find it anywhere in stores, it led me to your shop. I think you should definitely include this in your information! If you'd like I can email you the page from the book that recommends the dog bone pillow.

Again, THANK YOU so much for making this. It was so worth every penny I spent on it.


A very nice warm fuzzy for my day!

Friday, July 24, 2015

What Do Ewe Think?

I recently finished up a sewing project for Pam.  She is my step-mother-in-law. She just bought a sheep named Destiny. Destiny will be in the Wisconsin State Fair soon and Pam wanted me to make six double-sided fabric panels for Destiny's pen at the fair. The panels are six feet wide and 15 inches long. 

Above: a finished panel. 

Above:  you can see there is a channel or casing where a wire can be inserted for hanging the panel. 

Super cute fabric right?

I used some blue painter's tape which is not too sticky to mark one inch and two inch intervals so I could stitch the casings. 

I used my Baby Lock machine "Molly" for this project and it worked great.  

This project was challenging for me just because of the volume of fabric and the size of the panels.  Pam sent 12 yards of fabric. The six foot panels were wider than my work table, too. 

I have some leftover scraps and I am looking forward to making something else with this fabric. Pam found this fabric on I think the fabric is called "Do Ewe Knit?"