Monday, January 11, 2016

January Projects

Common Threads met at Margareth's on Thursday.

Three of our members have been participating in a class at Davidene’s called “Stitching Society.” I’ve shown off some of their projects previously. Janet is working on this appliqué. They’ve been making needle books, notebook covers and various other items using flannel and/or wool with patterns, motifs and templates from the class. The class meets once a month.
Birna has been making some fun hats, like this Ninja Turtle:

Susan brought this bobble sweater to ask our advice. It’s lovely, but very scratchy. She wanted to know if there was any way to make it softer. She has tried fabric softener. We suggested wearing a turtleneck under it. Any more ideas?

This wrap of Susan’s was designed to be worn with the reverse stockinette side out, but Susan liked the stockinette side better. The only problem is the edges keep curling the wrong way. She’s trying to figure out how to get the edges to curl out if she wears it with the stockinette side out.
Karan used a multi-colored sock yarn to weave this scarf:

Susan and Margareth (both weavers) made a tour of Margareth's weaving studio.

I was working on the Ugg boots to Dolly’s Valentine Outfit. They were the last component of the ensemble, and here it is, finished:

I got inspired (aka “carried away”) while participating in the January KAL in the American Girl Knitters forum on Ravelry and ended up making up an overstuffed chair and ottoman for Dolly using a pattern I bought years ago and had never used. It’s Simplicity 8641, out of print now, but Etsy and eBay still have it. (If you go looking for it, there is another pattern with the same number, some kind of costume. Make sure you’re getting the doll furniture.) I found the chair difficult, but persevered and got it done. There were places you had to stitch something on the outside to something on the inside, and it was hard for me to see what I was doing. The ottoman was easy. I haven’t done much in the way of clothing sewing in years, and this wasn’t as straightforward. Still, I’m glad I did it. Miss Daphne will enjoy it when she gets it for her birthday.
When I posted in the KAL, I showed the required finished outfit first and said Dolly had just come back from an outing on Valentine’s Day. This is what followed:
Look what came for Dolly while she was out!

Dolly's plans for the entire afternoon: Sit by the fire with her knitting, a nice cuppa and her chocolates, watching the entire BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" (all six hours) with that dreamy Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. [Sigh!]

Dolly likes to share. Would you like a (very small) chocolate?

(I’m getting the feeling that Dolly is my alter ego.) 
The box of chocolates took some engineering. I started with this pattern for making the box. As I was putting it together, I covered it with satin. The glue gun got a workout. The base for the chocolates is styrofoam from some packing materials, which I covered with satin. The “chocolates” are large black beads. I used appliqué pins with their white tops painted black with a permanent marker to fasten the bead to the base. The beads are pushed into the styrofoam, making an indentation. The fireplace and fire was provided by my iPad. The cup of tea is…a cup of tea (teabag cut down to size), and the “cookies” were kibble borrowed from Sunny and Rocky. I used two 4” dpns with beads stuck on one end of each for knitting needles. The balls of yarn are balls of yarn, of course.
I had a lot of fun doing this, in spite of the difficulties with sewing the chair but I think the photo shoot was the most fun. I took a lot of photos for this before the outfit was finished, but my favorite is this one, where I caught Squeekers having a look.

He saw me in the window and came to beg me for peanuts, but seemed a bit intimidated by Dolly standing there. The wig brush arrived, and I found it did a good job on Dolly’s hair, which is now soft, smooth and tangle-free.
Here’s the Ravelry project page will the information on pattern and materials.
There was a full skein of the darker yellow left, so I’m going to try making a cardigan to go over the outfit, matching the hearts and kisses pattern around the bottom. Stay tuned….
In other news, we’re having a Spin Along next month on the Knitting Community if anyone wants to join in.
Where? Right here, in the Knitting Community Spin Along.
When? Noon on Friday, February 5 - noon on Monday, February 8, 2016, in whatever time zone you're in.
Equipment: Spindle or wheel. (If you want to use the pencil method to spin, that's OK, too.)
Materials: Any spinable fiber. (Dryer lint, anyone?)
No prizes, no pressure, just spinning together and sharing what we’re doing.

What's on my needles:  The little cardigan to go with “Dolly’s Valentine Set” and still the crossover cardigan for “Dolly’s Out for Shopping” outfits for Dolly. The Trickle Socks, waiting.
What's on my Featherweight: Ready to work on the last two blocks of the Kaleidoscope Quilt. Hopefully this week, but I have to clean up my fiber studio first.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley, from Audible. Still reading The Other Harlow Girl by Lynn Messina on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Gato Negro Malbec 2014. Very nice.
What's my tip of the week: I clean my toilets frequently, at least once a year, whether they need it or not. They can be hard to clean while still full of water. You don’t have to turn off the water to your toilet and empty the tank to get rid of the water in the bowl. Just get a dishpan full of water. (The water you used for washing the dishes is fine, just make sure you have taken all the dishes out.) Dump the water into the toilet bowl, and almost every bit will disappear down the drain. I think it’s the sudden force. It will stay that way until you flush again, giving ample opportunity to scrub that year’s worth of gunk out of the bowl.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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