Thursday, August 18, 2011

August Quilt Blocks

Here are my quilt blocks for August. I think they design is called "Martha's Star". I tried two color combinations, one with a green & white center and one with red & white. I prefer the green & white, but am amazed at the change of focus that comes with changing the colors.

This is the stitch length knob for my sewing machine. I took a picture of it to remind me to look at it! These blocks were all sewn with the longest stitch length-4! I usually sew blocks with a 3 or 3.5 stitch length.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

T-shirt neck Ribbing Removal

My great aunt loves t-shirts, but hates the ribbing around the neck. It used to be that she would take her shirts to a seamstress who would do the work for her. This week she brought her new shirt to me.

In theory, I knew that this job could be done. --Remove the ribbing. Turn the neck fabric under twice and sew.--But, I had never done this before and I was full of trepidation! After all, this was my great aunt's recorder orchestra t-shirt and I didn't want to mess it up!

A quick google search was unfruitful. Lots of people showed how to add a contrasting neck after removing the ribbing, but I didn't find any that just turned the t-shirt fabric under.

Out came one of my old and almost dead t-shirt--the '93-'94 MHC physics t-shirt that features "Fred the scary grad student" on the back. I used it as my test. I was pleased to see that there was enough stretch in the shirt fabric that the job was pretty straight forward. I took a deep breath and proceeded to cut and sew my aunt's shirt. And it worked! Now to get it back to her so she can wear it! :)

The details: I cut the ribbing off close to the stitching on the back of the neck. At the front center I cut ~3/8" below the lowest line of stitching and curved it to meet the cut at the back. I then used pins to mark the fold line, 3/8" from the cut edge, and ironed the fold. From the inside, I made the second fold to hide the cut edge and pinned it roughly every inch or inch and a half. The blind-stitch foot with its center vertical part made it easy to keep the stitching straight. I used a long stitch--3.5-- on my wonderful, old elna supermatic.

And, I finished the hat for my son. I think that his choice of using the dark green and variegated green yarns in an alternating pattern worked great! I love how these worsted weight yarns knit up so quickly! This hat was on and off the needles in less than a week. That is amazingly fast compared to the months of sock knitting for my husband's size 13 feet!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A little bit of this...

A little bit of this...a little bit of that...

One of the discussion groups I follow recently touched on the topic of French Spindles. A few youtube videos later and I went off and whittled myself a spindle. This particular spindle is very light weight and doesn't spin very well. Maybe I should invest in better tools!

With my husband's socks finished, I have started (and finished) some other knitting projects. This one, in worsted weight acrylic, went on and off the needles last week. It's a "slouch" hat for my oldest daughter. She loves yellow. She hates wool. I had this yarn in my stash--it's leftover from my niece's Harry Potter scarf years ago!--viola! One hat ready for winter!

Here's the hat on my head. I think it looks better on my daughter, but she was already in bed by the time I took this photo!

And here's the next hat. This one is a simple k3, p2 ribbed hat for my son. The neat thing is his choice of colors. He told me he wanted a turquoise colored hat. I had him point to things that were in the right color range and then went to my stash to see what I could find. After a few false starts, he chose this very dark green and very light variegated green. When I started talking about how to use the yarns, ie. what kind of striping he wanted in the hat, he very clearly told me how he wanted the two colors woven together one after the other. I was skeptical, but knit a little color swatch. It looked great! Now the hat is underway! Hooray!