Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Success Is Spelled G-R-A-C-E

I can't say thank you enough to sweet Grace!!  Without her suggestion I never would have tried seaming a sweater with the sewing machine.  I thought about it but decided that the fibers and stitches would stick in the plate and bunch up into a clump that would possibly ruin the fabric. 

 You can see how uneven the stitches are on the bottom half (side seam) compared to the top sleeve stitches done on the machine.

Then Grace came up with tissue.  Did you get that?  Tissue!!  She said put tissue under the sweater pieces which makes the whole thing slide right over the plate and stitch together smoothly.  Works!!  You can see from the pictures that the sewing machine seams are much smoother than my hand stitching.  I plan to take out the hand stitching and also sew that seam with the machine.  And further, I have never been happy with the blue sweater I finished last year.  The seams look awkward and uneven so I will re-stitch them with the machine as well.

Grace, you are amazing!!

Don't you love it when after years of doing something one way you find another way that works much better.  I'm never too old to admit that I don't have all the answers--yet!  My Mom always said, "I plan to learn something every day I'm here."  When she left us she was probably the smartest person I know.  Even her great-grandchildren would "go to Granny" when they had a question about anything.  Let's all vow to learn something new every day!!

Other events:
Garden is growing well but suffering in the 108 heat.  We are using TONS of water!
Lunch and shopping with DD today promises to be hot but fun.
Wendy Johnson's Summer Solstice Shawl is on chart B.
Weight Watchers has led to a 10 1/2 pound weight loss.  Slow but going in the right direction.
IRS course is over.  Must sit for test in July.
Macy and Max had a bout with fleas.  We won!!

I've had too many baths.  I'm not talking to you lady!

I don't know about you Max, but I feel better! 

Life is good!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Putting It Together

Seaming a sweater is a bit.. of a problem for me.  It is my second least favorite thing to do, right after holding an entire one-piece sweater in my lap while knitting, and trying to drag it around with me.  I decided long ago that knitting a sweater in pieces is the smart thing to do.  I can easily carry one piece at a time, making the project flexible to transport and cooler to knit in the hot Texas weather.  But then there is seaming!!

I love the big blue cardigan with the rolled collar that I knit last fall, but it did not go together well.  The yarn was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.  The fantastic yarn knit up beautifully and is soft and comfy and an enjoyable sweater to wear.  The seaming--not so much in the enjoyable category!  It split, pulled, stretched unevenly and generally was a bit.. more than difficult.  It still doesn't look good and I'm wondering if I can stitch it with the sewing machine and make it all better.  

I have tried several methods of seaming:  mattress, horizontal, whip stitching, three needle bind-off.  None is perfect and a couple of them are terrible.  I usually end up using mattress stitch which is never ideal for shoulder seams.  I need to take a class on sweater joining.  

Anyway, it's done and two projects have taken the place of the long-running Lace Edged Cardi.  Here are Lace Edged Hat which I am calling "Snow on Ice" (can you see the glitter?): 
 and a simple sweater with a large collar that promises to rival Lace Edged Cardi in time consumption:
I'm a fool for punishment but life is good.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Moving Along

Please pardon the blurry pictures.  I don't know what is happening with my camera.  

The last sleeve of Lace Edged Cardi is moving along but, sadly, not finished due to work interventions.  I really need to finish this sweater because I have another waiting in the wings.  You heard me right, the person who swore off time intensive projects just last week has been bitten by the sweater bug again!  The attacking project is Velvet Morning from  I'm thinking I can use a DK weight yarn and a smaller needle and have a yummy, slouchy sweater for fall.  (Clearly my printer needs attention as well as the camera).
Work requirements have kept me from finishing the current project.  It is continuing education time again and I am not in the mood for it!!  It brings to mind my CPA friend who talked about retiring, as I do, and went ahead and did it, as I have not.  He said that when one reaches retirement age and is still sitting in classes and taking tests it is time to quit. 

I have also spent time in the evenings working on the garden.  It is really too hot so the little veggies are not doing much.  I just keep babying them and hoping they will live.  At least the carrots have done well and the bunnies have not figured out a way to get through or around the fence, so I'm having success in something!  

Life is good!