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July 13, 2014

From Sally — Rocky Mountain Hi!

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 7:50 pm

While Susan went to Knitting Camp, my husband and I drove to Boulder, Colorado to spend time with our daughter and her husband.  We’ve rented a house in Nederland, a small town in the mountains above Boulder.   We are just off the Peak to Peak Highway.  (Yes, we are very close to where almost a dozen people have been hit by lightning in the past few days.  Yikes!)

I hope to get a lot of writing and knitting done; I’m close to having at least one F.O. to share in a few days.

In the meantime, I needed to wind a skein of yarn.  I can’t imagine a more picturesque view for ball winding!

July 8, 2014

From Susan — Getting Ready to Get Ready!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:07 pm

I am trying to get organized to leave for Knitting Camp on Thursday morning.  I feel like a lazy slug and just want to lay around.  I am motivated by looming deadlines so tomorrow evening will see me in a more frenetic state!  I am going to Camp with my knitting peep Kim (Sally has other plans this year!).

I may not have much to blog about until I return next week! :)

July 3, 2014

From Susan — Progress!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:53 pm

I really do love my new sewing machine!  Every time I use the thread cutter, I love it more!  I worked on my dress today and got the binding onto the bodice.  It should be easy sailing from here!

I will have less time to sew and knit for the remainder of the weekend.  Somehow I got talked into TWO holiday dinners for the 4th!  I am not one who thrives on entertaining but I will buck up and do my hosting duties.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

PS – in response to Bekah: the pattern is ancient and very plain.  The tucks in the neckline are not part of the design.  I tried on the bodice and it gapped at the neckline so I added the tucks (and the gathers at the armhole) for a better fit.  I don’t always need to tinker that way but did this go around!  I will add a belt which I usually do as well.

Ebay has it!

PS to Pru: “Never give up.  Never surrender.”
Galaxy Quest

July 1, 2014

From Susan — I’m a Little Biased

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:09 am

I finally used my new sewing machine and I love it.  Love, love, love.  It is a dream machine.  Yes, there is some getting used to, but it is set up like my other machine in many ways, so it is not completely foreign.

I bought fabric to make a work dress.  I use the pattern often, so each time I try to change things up a bit so the dresses aren’t identical.  With this new version, I decided to use bias tape to finish the neck and armholes edges.  I needed a bias tape maker of a size I did not own and could not find.

The internet came to the rescue!!  DIY Bias Seam Tape Maker!!  It really works!  I already had a super long needle and cranked out my own little package of perfect seam tape.

I hope to have this bad boy wrapped up to wear next week.  OTOH, my knitting is stalled.  :)   Call it the summer doldrums…

June 25, 2014

From Susan — Knitting a Crinkle Top

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:21 am

Have you ever seen these in a store?

They are absolutely teensy but fit [young, skinny girls] when they are put on.  That is the story of my Window to my Soul.  It looks like a child’s sweater but does fit when I try it on.  The problem is, I am not sure how big it will get when it is blocked.  And it is only the lace section that does this.  The stockinette skirt should behave normally.

I think I have about 3 more inches to go before the stockinette, but who knows??  ;)

June 21, 2014

From Susan — Just Saying “Hi”

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:30 pm

My knitting is slow with nothing to show.  My sewing machine remains a mystery, though out of the box it has not been tested.   I just wanted to say hello :) .

June 16, 2014

From Susan — Après Birthday

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:26 am

Thanks to all for the birthday greetings.  Surly sent me a JibJab card that said that for a 24-hour period, everything revolved around me:

It was a very nice thought, but not exactly true!  My husband and daughter both worked all day, and the older daughter was away on a trip.  The good news: my dad was in town so we could celebrate Father’s Day and my birthday all in one.  It was very nice.  Except for the part when my brother forgot it was my birthday!!  Bad, Bad Barry!! :)

My husband did “buy” me a lovely birthday gift:

Isn’t he thoughtful?  The Myth: He knew I needed and wanted a new sewing machine.  He spent hours and hours researching, and then combed the stores to find a brand new Janome 3160 QDC.  The Reality: He heard the news as a fly-by report, “BTW, you got me a sewing machine for my birthday!”  “Okay, Hon!”

He did buy the flowers :) .  But, hey.  I would much rather pick out my own sewing machine!!!

June 15, 2014

From Sally — You Know You Want To . . .

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 10:30 am

Wish my sister Susan:



Thank you for being the best big sister in the whole wide world.

June 13, 2014

From Susan — A Summer Knitalong!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:19 am

As Sally mentioned, I stumbled onto the Window to my Soul summer cardigan and thought it looked both cute and flattering.  I, too, had some Madelinetosh in stash, BUT it is also in the color Cousteau.  I just thought that was too matchy matchy!!  Plus, I have 6 very consistent skeins and saw me making something bigger with it.

So, off to the Yarnery for me!  I purchased some Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering in the color Gwynn Oak.  Oh my.  This color is OVER THE TOP and I love it!!

And here is the best part: I don’t care.  I don’t care that my increases look like crap, I don’t care that the yarn is stripey, I don’t care if the skeins match perfectly.  It is FREEING!   I can just knit a long without a care in the world, especially since Surly shared her smocking tip!

I also have an FO.  I made a small shawlette out of the Shiny Penny (Grinning Gargoyle Seda Sock) that I bought at Yarnover this spring.  The pattern is called Cinnamon Stone by verybusymonkey.  I loved the ornate center wedge:

It was fun to knit and finished up quickly.  Again, kind of an autumnal look for this time of year, but…

Hope you are enjoying spring/summer so far.  Our weather has alternated between gorgeous and torrential downpours.  All better than polar vortex!!

June 5, 2014

From Sally — New Tricks for an Old Surly

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:41 pm

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented about Thor. All of your comments were very much appreciated; we still miss him (and think we hear him) every day.

As for knitting, it’s not been great. I worked for weeks on a long cardigan and now I don’t think I like it. I am not even going to show photos of it. Maybe later, when I’ve had time to think about it.

In the meantime, Susan I suggested I try a pattern she’d seen, Window to My Soul, designed by Joji Locatelli. I loved it, and I thought that my Madelinetosh Pashmina in the color Cousteau would be perfect. Not only that, but I have what may be perfect buttons, purchased a few years ago at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. (The pattern calls for more buttons than I have, but I would compensate by only placing buttons on the bodice portion of the sweater.) This photo is a little dark; it was hard to capture the color of this yarn.

As you can sort of see from my photo (and from the pattern page if you clicked the pattern link), one of the design features of this sweater is a smocking stitch. I’ve always liked how smocking looks, but it’s a bit of a pain to do. You slip stitches onto a cable needle and wrap your working yarn around those stitches, and then work them. But wait — someone figured out how to do smocking without a cable needle. It’s brilliant.

I’m not sure who figured it out first, but there are several youtube videos that show the technique. Here are two of them:

Video One
Video Two

It’s one of the things I love about knitting — there is always something new to learn.

Somewhere, an old dog is laughing at me.

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