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I am all finished with Alaina’s Coat it is sooooo cute. Even Paul thinks it great. What a easy pattern and very simple felting. (Karen you need to make this for your girls!)

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My latest project has been trying to create a form to felt a size 2T coat for Alaina, but I knew I would have a hard time felting it to sizeThe coat is for next year so after talking with Emily Ann we figured she will be about a 2T by then. The pattern is by Nani called “Ella & The Legume”. It is so cute I saw it done in pastel colors at Knitch in Atlanta and just had to get the yarn and pattern to make her one.  (If you are going to get the pattern look also on line @ Deep South Fibers there is a correction to the pattern there.)

 

 

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The thought I would share with you the project because it was easy fun and very useful when felting or even knitting.

 

  

MAKING FORMS:

Making forms all came about because my daughter Tracy was mentioning that when I knitted her a sweater she has to much extra fabric under her arms. I thought about this problem and did not know how I could work without trying it on her or having a form. Trying it on her with her living Michigan and I in Georgia seemed a bit difficult. However, a dress form was not out of the question. I did not want to buy a form they cost so much so that left me to exploring making one. I found a great book called “Custom Knits” by Wendy Bernard. She suggests making a form for you with the help of a friend out of duck tape. This worked really great and was an easy and fast way to solve the problem.

 

Making a form for Alaina like this presented two problems. One she is not a size 2T yet and the second and biggest problem was I would never duck tape a little person. She would hate it and never sit still and I would be the Nana that traumatized her at a very early stage!!!!! So with that said I started to think about what could be done.

 

Several years ago I made Santa Clauses out of children’s clothing. They were really cute and I enjoyed making them. I thought maybe I could do that. The next problem would be that they would be all wet during the felting process. Whether during the drying or spot steaming process, they would become damp and limp. Then I thought I could water proof them.

 

Ideas:

1.        Paper Mache ……..not waterproof again. Nope!

2.      Plaster of Paris……not waterproof again!!! Nope.

3.      Water proof the above…..HHHHHmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

4.     Why brother with all the mess just waterproof the fabric of the outfit!!!!!!!!

5.      But how??????????

6.      Buy spray waterproof like the kind for boots and stuff………….too much money

7.       what makes cloth waterproof……………..Enamel Paint

 

So I did I spray painted the outfit with enamel paint and water proof she became. The following are pictures and explanations of the process I used to create Alaina 2T: 

 First step was going to a thrift shop to buy cheap 2T long sleeve top and pants.

 

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Then you need to make the form:

 I  closed the arms with fabric circles to give room for the wrists of the coat. I stuffed the top and the began to work on the bottom.

 

 

 

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I made the same type of circles for the legs and sewed them to the opening. This insured that the legs were round and not pulled together. Stuffing the legs came next but I wanted them to be weighted so they could stand if I wanted.

 

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I put the stone weights you use for flowers in vases in a plastic bag to keep them together and placed them in the legs. I then stuff the legs tight and began to attach the top to the bottom.

 

 

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Next step.

After I stuffed the top and bottom tightly I then attached the two together. I whipped stitched them all the way around.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I can either stand the form up or put it on a hanger in the neck of the top. Depending on now heavy the garment you are felting, will depend on which way you will want to put the form.

 

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Standing on it’s own!

 

Waterproofing!

 

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I put a paper tube from wrapping paper down the back like a spine. This helped me be able to handle the form when I was spraying the paint. I left it in while it stood to dry and will cut it down later so there is room for the hanger too. I painted the form green because that is the color I had on hand. It also made me think of Michigan State. Go Green Go White. But I think I would have rather  had the white. I would pick a color you like and go for it! make sure you get all the spots. Under the arms around the legs around the neck. You want it water proof so it doesn’t go limp or mold while drying.

 

I think it came out rather well. I am just about finish knitting the coat just a front ruffle. I will be felting it next week and will make sure to share the finished project and the coat drying on the form.

 

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Good Luck putting your form together. Let me know how it goes!

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Sorry it has been so long since I been blogging but life got in the way. We have traveled a lot visited family and friends. Had weddings and funerals, cried some and laughed a lot! I have finished several projects and started some new ones. I thought I put up some pictures of the projects and move forward. Glad to be back!

 

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p1020466  p1020453  finished the eleven cross stitches stoles for the wedding. They took a long time but was worth every mintue when I saw Karen’s face!

 

p1020445 Sweater for Debbie! And now long did that one TAKE to get to her????!!! Forever! but she was great about the wait. This was the first sweater I ever did in the round and cut with steeks. EEEkks it is hard to cut your work! But I think it came out great. It is from the book More Big Girl Knits.

 

p1020219 a quick request from a friend to make a christmas sock for a new daughter in law.

 

p1020390 Rose bud hat for Alaina from Itty bitty hats. She loved it and knows she is just to pretty for words. The pink sling was a present for Mommy made two; one gray and one pink so Alaina could ride around all snuggly!

 

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Last picture of Dad with Alaina days before he went home to be with God! We sure do miss him!

 

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Christmas in Chicago, Detroit, Marquette, then New Years in Florida. Then back up to Marquette for furneral and then Bay City for Wedding. The coldest was 31 below the warmest was 78 and many plane stories to tell of canceled flights, getting flights, not having the right gates, wind on the runways. But all worth it when your with family and good friends! Was gone from December 19th (home a day here and there maybe) back January 16th. Glad to be home for a while!

 

 

 p1020213 watercolor of Alaina for our 2008 Christmas card. Had a great time painting this one. Thanks to Judy it came out great!

 

Can’t find other project picture right now. Made a white sweater for Alison’s mom, painted a kitchen table and bench, dyed several silk scarfs, knitted wrist bans for Karin and finished and published mom’s poem book!

 

So now you know where we have been, seen, loved, and opened gifts at!

 

Put on my needles a light blue cotton swing jacket for Carol, lace shawl for Emily Ann, and bubble pants for Alaina. Organized my project for the next six months. Have them all lined up in the craft room and ready to go.

 

Glad to be home back to the grind and looking for Adventures! Hello 2009!

EM

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Hello Everyone

I know it has been a while since my last blog entry but I have been a very busy girl. Since I last wrote I have visited back home in Michigan, had Emily and Alaina visit here for a four day weekend, finished Tracy’s brown Ana Sweater, finished the Mystery Stole 4, worked on several cross stitched shawls for the wedding. I have also put on my needles a red sweater for Debbie instead of the shell from More Big Girls, a white lace cardigan for Alison’s mom. But the most fun I have had is hand dying and had dye painting silk scarves for Christmas.

 

So to catch you up on all the happening I thought I would just take you through some pictures.

 

The third week in September Emily Ann and Alaina came to visit. We had a BALL! There was:

 

Bath time.

 

Nap time:  

 

A Visit to the “World of Coke”

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went out to dinner, out for lunch, and lots and lots of shopping!!!

Alaina was so good and we had a great time together.

 

 

I then went to visit up north to attended the “Reaching Higher Gala” I had a great time and was able to help raise some much needed funds for a wonderful organization.

 

My daughter Tracy meet me at the airport and whisked me away to the Detroit Zoo! I had not been to the zoo in years and loved it. The weather was on the chilly side. I have become a true southern gal. But the animals were all out and running around. We meet up with Carrie, Sarah, and Ali. We had a great time together and closed the place down. I thought they may have to go find us and drags us out.

 

 

 

We Saw:

  Loins

 

 and Tigers and

 

  and Polar Bears OH MY

 

 

 

We ate Indian Food at Priya My favorite Indian place to eat ever! What a treat!

I visited with my three dearest friends. Patsy, Kathy S. and Karen.

 

I went to Lunch and had dinner with Karen then I went to Karen’s knitting class at one of my all time favorite knitting stores. Ewe-Nique Knits

 

  I had a wonderful time and so miss Karen. But good friends always keep in touch!!!!!

 

Karen had a surprise for me she had got me a gift certificate from “Stonehedge Fiber Mill” in East Jordan Michigan. Which I thought was wonderful but then found out that I had just bought some of thier yarn at the “Knitch” in Atlanta for Debbie’s red sweater. I did not even know it until I got home. All I knew is I loved the touch and the color. Should have known.

I am Knitting the Bountiful Bohus by Chrissy Gardiner it is in the book More Big Girl Knits. This is one great book. It really helps with sizing and making the best looking piece possible. the sweater is done in the round then you cut steeks to create the opening. This is the first time I will ever use Steeks. Wish me luck. I will have to take some pictures and write about this one!

It has been soft and just great to knit.

 

I have also been have a great time making dyed scarfs. I have really enjoyed the results some are more free form, others are hand painted.

 

 

I also finished the Ana Sweater for Tracy. Thank God! It really came out nice and so very soft.

 

 

I finished the sweater just as the car came to pick me up for the airport to head home. I was so glad to have it done. The truth was that I had to finish it I had no more room in my suitcase to take it back. Done Done Done.

 

So this is what I have been up to. Hope all is well with you take care.

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I had a great time last Friday at Gale’s Art studio! Gale has a small independent dyeing studio in Stone Mountain GA. She teaches there in small class of four people or less.

 

    

 

My class was 10:30 am to 2:30pm with open studio after. I learned a whole lot and enjoyed myself very much. We did acid dying by first soaking the yarn, roving, and scarves in Citrus Acid. You can also use white vinegar as the acid too.

 

 

I really love the scarves we made. After soaking the silk scarves in citrus acid you bunch them into a glass bowl and heat on high in the microwave. Then take the bowl out and squirt your selection of dye on the scarf.
Then back into the microwave for 45 sections and there you have a beautiful scarf. Mine looked like flowers! It was great!

 

  

 

I enjoyed the learning and the day with Gale. If you are interested in join her for her dying classes or felting you can get complete information about her groups @ – gale’s art fiber- and look under “threads” topic ‘classes in Atlanta” on Ravelry or feel free to email her at galesart@mindspring.com or contact her by phone 404 457 4015

 

 

 

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I am having a great time knitting the digestive system. The pattern has a few flaws but they are easy to overcome. It is really interesting to see what comes next and how it is attached to the next. But the wildest was the small intestines. Who knew it was 7 yards long. That’s right 21 feet, or 252 inches long! That is a lot to knit six stitches. So, I remembered when I was little making long long long tubes with a simple loom. Off to Michaels I went and got one. I was able to chain the 21 feet in one day and not pull my hair out while doing it. Here are some update pictures. I am working on the Esophagus it is 12 inches long! Then on to the tongue. All I have left is tongue, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. (Maybe mine had gallbladder surgery and we don’t have one. No I’ll include it because it is the only thing that has some interesting color to it.)  The pattern can be found @: “Strange but Trewe”

 

 this is the beginning of the project. I have the Anus and Rectum finished.  

 

The pink with white lines is the Large intestine.

 (you can see the little loom I used at the end).

 

 As you move up the large intestine you get a little bigger and that is the colon. Now on to the Appendix. That is that little nob at the end of the colon. Then the 7 yards of small intestine, I just finished the stomach and started the Esophagus. I noticed that all this flows together so you could roll a marble straight on through. (This reminds me of the time Peter swallowed my mother’s Cruifix off her rosary. We went to the ER and they said it should flow on through. The whole time he had it working it’s way down, he would tell people that he had Jesus in his tommy. They would say don’t you mean your heart and he look them straight in the eye and say “Nope, they say he is just about here now” then point! )

 

The Pancreas, Gallbaldder, and Liver are all add ons to the process. This all interested me as I moved a long so I looked up several sites about the process. Here is a really good one “Your Digestive System and How it Works”. I found the whole thing really great fun! 

 

 

 

UPDATE!  Finished the project! I think it looks great and was great fun!

 

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It seems lately that I have become obsessed with lace and cables patterns. I am bored by stockinette stitch, going crazy with changing colors in intarsia, and not interested in felting things in this heat.  Knitting the intricate patterns and watching them unfolding has really been quite satisfying. I have been home a lot this week waiting for the Comcast repairman to really come. I have waited a total of 16 hours in three days. (never showed and my phone still doesn’t work) This is another long story you really don’t want to hear. Which brings be back to cables and lace. I have been working on projects while waiting. I also have been shopping (just a little) on the internet for yarn and patterns. I have spent some time looking at patterns in the books I have, and sorting my stash to see what I can use. Maybe, I should have to stay home more often. (right, not)

I first thought I would make everyone folk mittens for Christmas. But now that I am burnt out on changing colors after working on the trial baby carrier, I have decided to make shawls or scarves with lace or cables or both. These are the patterns I have been looking at to do and some of the books I have either just purchased or took out of my library to use.

First I really enjoyed making the lace sweater top from “Rowan Knitting and Crochet magazine Number 43”.   

 It really looks nice on:

              

The book is really nice and has 37 different patterns. I think that the Rowan pattern magazines are really well done!

The latest addition to my library is “Victorian Lace Today” by Jane Sowerby. There are several great lace patterns. I heard about the book when it was reviewed by Kelley on the Knit Picks podcast. She makes me want to buy every book she reviews. I think she is there best salesperson! 

  If you go to the link you can see several of the patterns inside the book.

 

 I think I will use several for the Christmas scarves. I got the book from Knit Picks and also order some lace yarn for a shawl pattern I just got. They have several very nice lace yarns in wonderful colors this year.

These are a few of the projects I think I will make as gifts.  

 

While visiting projects on Ravelry  I found two shawls I just loved. They both were from a designer that only sells on the internet. The patterns  are from Die-Wollust . They are from Germany but sell their patterns in several languages. I got the “Ornamental shawl” and the “Art Nouveau shawl” both are very beautiful. The patterns, however, are done in charts and i am a written directions kinda gal. I have been spending several hours putting them into written form. There are several debates about charts vs. written directions. I have preferred written lately. There is too much looking back and forth for me and I am always losing my place. This way the rows are numbered and color changes between the lines really helps me keep track. I know it takes a great deal of time to do it but I think it is worth it because the project goes quicker for me, I don’t lose interest in the project, it is much, much, much easier to carry around with me when I am on the go, and I can always use them again when I make the pattern in the future. This is what my written directions look like I do them in a word document. I have done them in excel in the past but like this format better:

Row #

Border

Instructions

Border

Done X

 

 

Cast on 145 from Crochet cable

 

 

 

 

Purl row and all Wrong side rows throughout the pattern

 

 

1

(K2tog, yo1,)2, k1

(k2tog, yo1,)5, k1, (yo1, skp1)2, K25, (k2tog, yo1,)2, k1, (k2tog, yo1,)3, k3, (yo1, skp1)5, k1, (yo1, skp1)2, k5,  (k2tog, yo1,)2, k1, (k2tog, yo1)3, k3. (yo1, skp1)3, k1, (yo1, skp1)2, k25, (k2tog, yo1)2, k1, (yo1,skp1)5

K1, (yo1, skp1)2

 

3

Repeat border throughout shawl

(yo1, skp1)4, k2tog, yo1, k2, (yo1, skp1)2, k24, (k2tog, yo1,)2, k1, (k2tog, yo1,)3, k2, (skp1,yo1)3, k2, (yo1, skp1)2, k5, (k2tog, yo1)2, k2, (yo1, skp1)3,k2, (yo1, skp1)3, k1, (yo1, kp1)2, k24, (k2tog, yo1)2, k2, yo1, skp1, k2tog, yo1)4

Repeat border throughout shawl

 

 

I format the page to fit 5.5 wide by 8.5 long so that when I print the page they can easily fit my Chart Keeper which is another handy dandy tool I got from Knit Picks. (after reading over this you would think I was an advertisement for Knit Picks, I am dropping them a line and see if they would like to sponsor my blog :O) LOL)

 

I have chosen a lace yarn called Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn It is 70% Baby Alpaca, 30 % Silk. The color is steel gray tweed, called Cumulus. It is really much nicer in person then the picture on the web. I am also going to make this shawl for my sister Yvonne. I am just waiting to see what color she wants. I hope she chooses soon before I get more into my Christmas knitting and time gets short.

 

The Cable book I have been looking at comes from my library again. It is called, “Inspired Cable Knits” by. Fiona Ellis.    There is a blue sweater that has been on my project list to make for a while. My dear friend Karen bought me some wonderful yarn from “Stonehedge Fiber Mill” in East Jordan, MI. The yarn is a chocolate gray and I thought this would be the perfect project to use the yarn. I have been saving it for something wonderful. I think it would look really great with jeans. So that project has just moved up on my list to do. I don’t think I will be able to start it until after all the Holiday knitting is done. It is better to work with this yarn when it is cooler out anyway.  

 

My next adventure project will be to do some dyeing. I have gotten some sock blanks and plain yarn to dye. This will be my first try in a very long time at dyeing. I did some back in the 80’s when I spun a lot but really have not done any dyeing since. I also want to knit up a sweater to felt and dye at the same time. I want to paint with the dye and see what happens. I will make sure I document the process to share. I need to make a trip to Old Time Pottery for supplies. Anything you use to dye with can not be used again for cooking. It is best to have equipment just for dyeing. But I will save all that for another post.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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