Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reformation Day, Day of the Dead, All Saint's Day

There are a lot of different traditions and events wrapped up in October 31. All Hallow's Eve, the 31st, is more commonly called "Halloween" and has been turned into a pursuit of candy and costumes. But it wasn't always that way!

All Hallow's Eve - All Saint's Eve, the day before All Saint's Day (Nov 1) - is a church holiday. Many Latin cultures still celebrate it under the name "Day of the Dead" or Dia de los Muertos. It's a day to remember the saints who have gone before us, and also Christ conquering death on the cross. It is at the end of the church's liturgical calendar and is a picture of the end of time. It's a day to laugh at death - that mere pause in our eternal lives.

Instead of the beautifully ornate sugar skulls associated with Dia de los Muertos, we created our own sugar-y skulls: cupcakes! I forget where I originally saw this idea....Martha? BHG?? One of you will remember and tell me, right?

Day of the Dead, All Saint's Day cupcakes

And dinner wouldn't be complete without some "mummies" - I'm not normally into the ghosts and ghouls, but this idea was too fun and easy to pass up. OK, you might have to use your imagination to see the little guys peeking out between their crescent roll wrappings. YOu get the idea.
You could tie this in with a study on Ancient Egypt or King Tut if the connection with Halloween isn't your thing.

mummy hotdogs!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adventures with wool

No, I'm not knitting wool. I'm sewing with it! This is completely new to me, and I'm loving it! I thought it would be stiff and clunky to work with, but this wool has a lovely drape and just the right amount of body. The best part is it doesn't fray!

I'm working on a knee-length dress coat for my daughter, Simplicity 2534. Of course, I had to modify the pattern right away - I did away with the gathered skirt and opted for some flatter pleats instead.

wool dress coat
The collar took an hour to sew. It really wasn't complicated; I just went slowly to make sure I wouldn't have to take it apart and redo it. The lining fabric is lying next to the coat up there.
wool coat, back detail
I'm really pleased with how the pleats turned out in the back. I'll have to make the same change in the lining to make sure it lays flat underneath. I'll add a button-on tab detail to the back, too. And that atrocious center crease will get steamed out....eventually.

After another good 2 hrs today, I've got one sleeve attached and the other ready to go. I had DD try this on with one sleeve - she either has gorilla arms or this pattern is whacked. There's a contrast band on the cuff that is supposed to fold back over the sleeve, but it almost almost too short on her not folded back. So my BFF seam ripper undid those cuffs in a jiffy! They're reattached now backwards so they won't have to fold back - and thus the life of the coat just got extended by a year. I guess she's not allowed to grow after that! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Camping and Knitting

The annual church campout was this past weekend. It involves lots of kickball games, dusty kids, tons of food, dirty children, a talent show, filthy boys, teaching sessions, and really grubby little people. Catching on yet? Fun and Dirt are the usual theme. :)

A break from routine was great - it offered lots of time with my family and lots of time to knit! Along with working on my Leyburn socks, I whipped up this easy hat for my daughter. The pattern is called Felicity (ravelry link). Sorry for the dreary at-night photo!

felicity hat

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sock love

OK, I admit I was burning out on the knitted socks. As in a total loss of love for the art form. They're just socks, right? Nobody ever sees them except me. Why bother? It's all the same cables or lace or ribs just repackaged. Blah. Variegated yarns were becoming my bane - just a mottled mishmash of colors with no meaning or direction. Apparently that's all I ever buy! Where are my solid yarns?!?

Maybe it was the recent 10 inches of rain sogging my brain, but the sun came out and I've fallen back in love with little sticks and strings. This great yarn that's been waiting patiently in my stash helped. (Koigu - *sigh* Thank you, Canada for Koigu!)

Leyburn socks WIP

These pastel Easter-egg colors drew me in on a dark November day in Philly, PA. I'm normally NOT a pastel person. So when would I use this? But then I saw this pattern and how those floats danced around and played up all those colors, I knew I had a winner! No cables, no lace, no ribs. I even changed to a girly picot cuff to go with these foo-foo colors. And you know what? It's making me very happy.

(to the knitters out there who are wondering what on earth I did to my picot cuff - yes, I know it's not right. That big lumpyness is a result of just winging it and not following any directions. Socks as artform, yes - but they're still SOCKS. The second one will be better, that's part of the charm, right?)

For Baby

Another baby shower coming up, and this little will be getting another rendition of the handknit Autumn Leaves Cardi with the Tie Top Dress (pattern by Made by Rae).
Autumn Leaves baby cardi with vintage sheet dress FO

baby tie top dress vintage sheet FO
A lovely vintage sheet was used to make this dress! I love those peach bouquets!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sock Pair #7 for 2010

Here's my 7th pair of handknit socks for the year. Three more to go!

I kind of feel like I cheated with these since they're made with worsted weight yarn and #5 needles. But a pair of socks is a pair of socks, right? They'll be perfect as slipper socks around the house!

Pattern: Quickies from "Joy of Sox"
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Multi in "Rockefeller", .75 skein
Needles: US 5 dpns
Start: Sept 14, 2010
Finish: Oct. 1, 2010
size: yeti sized

Friday, October 1, 2010

KCWC - days 4, 5, and beyond

I haven't stopped sewing! Here's the latest children's clothing item I finished: a corduroy "cowgirl" skirt. I used up leftover fine-whale corduroy and decided to spunk it up with a faux petticoat underneath. I know, the picture is pretty rotten, but we've had four solid days of rain and my daughter is pretty loathe to model while mom is being fussy with the camera. There's an elastic waist plus one more tier of gathered fabric. The "petticoat" is pleated to reduce bulk and attached to the top of the gathered tier. And whenever I sew clothes for the kids, I finish all my seams either with french seams or flat felled seams. Fraying fabric is a pet peeve of mine.
It's knee length, which means she won't be able to wear it next year, but for now it's just right with her western boots and the warm Southern Autumn weather.
Next up (Lord willing) will be a wool coat. This one is a bit more to tackle!