Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I Made a Pair of Socks

I am deeply pleased and proud that I persevered with knitting socks.  I got the idea years ago, got nice green yarn and double-pointed needles, a good tutorial, and sank beneath the waves of confusion and tiny stitches that never seemed to make the sock bigger.

I got myself a live mentor (thanks, Christy!  hasta la vista, youtube) and started over with a new pattern for Ben.  His favorite color is green and his feet were cold back in January when I started up the socks for him.  He does really like the socks, but now that the weather is warming, I just hope the extra inch will be enough to keep him in these socks next winter.  If not, they will go into the box of special clothes to wait for Phoebe.

Now I want to get sock yarn for Genevieve.  My vision for knitting has enlarged enough for socks for my family, possibly a baby sweater, but nothing bigger than that.  Knitting is still too slow and I have too few minutes of sit-down-and-knit to satisfy my desire for results.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From Easter and the Day After

Just before Easter, I had a vision of a butter-yellow skirt.  I managed to whip it out before Easter morning.  It's from the "misses' playsuit pattern" circa (I'm guessing) 1940s and I lined it and added side seam pockets.  Of course, using what I had on hand meant smallish yellow buttons and not enough for the waistband.  But I like it.
 I finished the lining bottom with a yellow scallop, cutting away the excess.  A little tedium for all that prettiness!
 And a few weeks before that, Genevieve and I put our heads together and planned an Easter dress for Phoebe that matched hers.

 My girls.  
 Also at the last minute, I dyed eggs with purple cabbage.  I used white eggs, putting uncooked eggs in water with chopped raw cabbage and some white vinegar.  After 15 minutes of simmering, the eggs were still white.  So I left them soaking for hours, checking occasionally and pulling some out as they took on the blue.  The deepest blue came almost 12 hours later.

My contribution to Easter dinner was a lemon meringue cake:  a "lovelight chiffon cake" from Betty Crocker's cookbook, lemon curd between the layers, and Italian meringue over all.  I wanted to borrow a kitchen torch to brown the peaks all over, but since nobody I know had one, I bought one!  (With two nicely-timed coupons from Bed, Bath & Beyond - but yikes, the towering aisles of that store give me the creeps)

 And the next day, we ate the leftover cake for my birthday.  We let Phoebe go at it, laughing because it looks like her first birthday but it's not.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sewing to Help My Knitting

 My knitting needles were stuffed in a bag, and now that I'm getting traction with my knitting, I was frequently trying to see what I had to see if it matched the projects I had in mind.  I finally realized I could, you know, organize them once and for all.

I borrowed some ideas from Auntie Leila, limited myself to my scrap bag with mostly blues and reds with a some sunshine yellow, and made this wrap thing.

 It works well and I love to look at it.  Ah, satisfaction!

Then I noticed a rip in the corner of my ancient knitting bag which was handed down to me from Grandma Weaver.  I thought I would mend it, but oh my, even my love for mending couldn't ignore the rotted fragile fabric.

So I made a new bag for the wooden handles.  I limited myself to blues and loosely organized the from dark to light.  I love looking for magic in my scrap bag!  Once I pieced the strips, I zig-zagged over each seam with a small yellow zig-zag, anchoring the pieced fabric to another piece of fabric.  Then I lined the whole thing with fine-wale corduroy left from this skirt.

It's been in steady use and I like it.  When I took these photos, I was still working on Ben's socks.  They're done now, and I'm off on a poncho for Genevieve.  Wheeee, knitting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Season-Spanning Outfit for Phoebe

My friend A gave Phoebe a sweet little fascinator headband.  I wouldn't have thought I wanted to put a headband on my baby girl, but oh my goodness, this one is charming and just right.  I made an outfit just to go with it.

It's functioning as a jumper right now in chilly weather, with a collared onesie underneath and tights.  Hopefully she will wear it like a top with bloomers in warm weather.  If this works, I will be so pleased at this stylish way to stretch a baby wardrobe.

I used this 1970s pattern, making the top a little longer and adding rick-rack trimmed ruffles to the bloomers, but those were the only modifications.

I did buy thread to match the elusive chartreuse color of the fabric - the fabric is from Jo Ann's and I've bought it several times over the years because I like it so much.  However, everything else came from my stash, which is why one of the buttons is similar but not matching.

Phoebe and Grandpa.  Melt my heart.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Currant Caraway Scones for Breakfast

Well, good grief.  We have been so sick at our house!  Everyone, I'm sorry to say, and even as I type this, the baby has a stuffy nose and Ben has a sore throat and fever.  But that is manageable compared to the stomach flu that went round and round for two weeks, starting when my husband went down with the real-deal influenza.

So you can understand why I've been so silent here, just keeping up with the dailies which included lots of laundry and lots of special diets for the sickies.

I do have a backlog of photos, so let's see if I can kick out more posts soon (oh, and my laptop died and now I have a new one, so I had to struggle through that thicket, too).

Let's start with simple and quick:  these are "currant" (raisin) scones with caraway seed, split open with slices of mellow pear and nutty-sweet Irish cheddar (Dubliner), drizzled with honey.  Can I get an amen?  Yes, a wonderful breakfast with thanks to Martha Stewart for the idea.