Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time Flies

Time flies when you're having fun, they say. Well, time also flies when you're busy. And since my last post I've had just one day without "extra" activities. There's been a quilt club meeting, two days of quilt workshops, another 8 hour quilt club meeting (just sewing), and another 9:30 to 4 p.m. quilt club day. Probably so much activity because I belong to two quilting groups. It's all fun, but sometimes gets to seem like too much.

Especially when the same stretch of time included two string ensemble rehearsals, two Messiah orchestra rehearsals, a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and a wedding plus reception. Fortunately I didn't have to play at the reception, just the rehearsal and the wedding. By the way, it was a lovely wedding. Our pastor commented to me, "This is one wedding I'm just happy to be part of!"

After a very mild November we had a beautiful snowfall yesterday, big, fat, fluffy flakes. And today the sun is shining brilliantly on the clean new snow. What a gorgeous sight!

I started one new project yesterday and a second today. Dear Son #2 has two daughters who each celebrate a December birthday. I usually make something quilted or knitted for them. There was a very attractive "Aran Waistcoat" pattern in Mary Maxim catalogues. When it disappeared from the most recent catalogues, I thought I'd better order it before it was no longer available. It came a few days ago, and yesterday I had time to begin. The first version is for
the younger girl, whose birthday is on the 17th. I'm changing the pattern in a few ways: I'm knitting the two fronts and the back all at once up to the armholes. Then I'll separate them and finish the fronts and back separately. Saves sewing the side seams when the vest is finished. So this is the smaller vest, taking up both needles. It's a light blue/dark blue twist, but comes out looking mainly light blue. It had to go down a half size in needles ( 4 1/2 mm rather than 5 mm) because the kntting seemed just too loose on the 5's.

In following the pattern, the "backside" of the cast on became the right side of the knitting. I wonder why patterns are often written this way. The instructions were to knit 6 rows garter stitch, then a row of knit with increases, and then begin row 1 of the pattern. Following that makes the cast on come out backwards to my way of thinking.

In order to avoid that, I began with row 2 of
the pattern, and that puts what seems to be the right side of the cast on on the right side of the knitting. Don't you think the nice little stitches on the bottom of this second picture look better on the outside than the bumps of stitches on the upper picture?

Well, maybe it's not too clear in these
pictures. I had to use the "memory stick" on
my video camera to take these, since the
battery on the new digital needed to be re-
charged. The colour is pretty poor, and I
even lightened them up in the iPhoto program.

The last pic is a really neat needle for sewing up knitted items that I bought some years ago from "Philosopher's Wool". The needle has a turned up point that makes it so easy to slip in and out of knitted fabric. I took a class at a Sewing and Crafts Alive Expo on how to knit a "Philosopher's Fair Isle". It was great!!! Learned how to knit fair isle with one colour in the right hand, and the other in the left, and not just strand the colours, but actually weave them together behind the knitting. The wrong side of the knitting looks as interesting as the right side.

Ann Bourgeois and Eugene Bourgeois are the originators of "Philosopher's Wool" and their fair isle technique is available in a beautiful book, "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified" published by Martingale & Company, ISBN 1-56477-311-6.

I'm using the "tapestry" needle as a cable needle, since I've never bothered to buy a cable needle. This sturdy needle for sewing together knitted fabric works just fine.

This morning I went to our local wool/fabric shop and picked up a darker blue for the older granddaughter, and started working on the one also, since her birthday comes up first, and I have to have this vest ready to mail by next week Friday. Wonder if I can finish it on time!

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