I wanted an eyelet-style dress, but not in white which seems to be the predominant color of eyelet, especially during the summer. So off I went on a fabric-hunting expedition, but with gas at $5.00/gallon, I only went virtually. I shopped online at Fashion Fabrics Club and bought an excellent burgundy eyelet, more geometric in design than floral. For the dress I used McCall’s M7948; at about $7.00/yard multiplied by 3.5 yards, I got a great deal! (It never ceases to amaze me how expensive Joann’s sub-par fabric is.)
About this fabric:
Thing 1: it’s dry clean only, but I’m confident that I can carefully wash it.
Thing 2: It frayed very easily as I was sewing it. It’s a good thing I’m an experienced seamstress!
The fabric is lightweight, and the dress is billowy and comfortable. But because sometimes air conditioning in the summer is a little aggressive, I knit a simple shawl to go along with the dress. The shawl is the Souvenir Shawl by Maria Samuelsson on Ravelry. It’s a great pattern to use up a skein of yarn that just had to be purchased on vacation (better a skein of yarn than a t-shirt, right?)
It’s a 100% self-made outfit! I love it when people say, “I like your dress!” or, “I like your scarf!” At which point I say, “Thanks, I made it!”
What yarn is this, you might ask? It is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in the February 2020 Pop Up colorway. I bought this when The Loopy Ewe lady was retiring and had a big sale. But don’t worry because The Loopy Ewe lives on! Visit their site, help a new owner of a previously loved LYS by grabbing some yarn!
We flew the coop for Spring Break in a desperate attempt to feel more normal. We boarded a plane and went to visit kid #1 and hubby (and 2 doggies)…for once I only packed two knitting projects, a shawl and a pair of socks.
This shawl was a great traveling companion, easy and fast, especially on a size 6 (US) needle. It’s a great reminder of our family trip to Florida last summer! I dropped the kids off at the jet ski place (don’t worry, they’re adults LOL) and drove about 7 minutes to an awesome LYS in Ormond Beach, Florida, called She Sells Yarn. I’m always pleasantly surprised to find yarn shops in warm places. It was an hour well-spent—“spent” being the operative word!
The other project I brought was sock knitting for my brother. The last time I spoke with him on the phone he offhandedly said, “Hey, I need 5 more pairs of socks.” Ah, the uninformed comments and requests of non-knitters. I told him he could expect exactly two pairs this year, nothing fancy, no cables, twisted stitches, etc. So he’s getting (with love) plain pairs of socks.
This is always my go-to sock yarn, lots of colors and long-wearing.
Someday one of my kids will call and say, “You’re going to be a grandma!” I decided not to wait for that moment to start knitting some little baby things. I started with this blanket in a soft yarn that has excellent drape. It’s machine washable in warm water, but it will need to dry flat. That’s not too bad!
This is an easy blanket to knit, with a 24 row “modified basketweave” stitch pattern, 18 of which are just knit rows. The other rows of this basketweave pattern are a knit 3, purl 3 repeat across the row. It makes for nice texture and something a little more interesting than plain garter stitch. Oh, and the pattern is free! Click the link below!
The blanket measures 28″ x 32″ and should be easy to tote along for families on the go. I recall having a few blankets that were way too large to bring along, so I didn’t want to make this one too big.
For those experienced in knitting for grandkids, what do you suggest I knit next? Follow my blog and make a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to receive 3 balls of Brilliant Blues Universal Yarns Bamboo POP yarn! Winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 8pm MST. I will notify you by commenting on your comment, so stay tuned!
Here I present the end of an era. It’s the end because I started this leftover sock yarn blanket in the fall of 2008. After almost 9 years, a lot of changes have happened. It’s inevitable. The kids grew up, we moved almost across the country, went from a house to a condo, and now we own e-bikes, for crying out loud! Change happens! It is time to knit other things. Or, finish other things, because of the way my year went, with teaching almost a full schedule at school, and then throwing teaching 3 graduate classes for SLC teachers on top of that! I have about 5 projects that are mostly finished, but need a little more attention.
Back to this blanket-afghan-throw thingie. I wasn’t sure how big I was going to make it; I was just enjoying the process. But 8.5 years later, I’ve decided to finish. And by finish, I mean, squaring it off, not adding any height or width to it, and most importantly, edging it in i-cord! The edging, you see, is like a stopper; it prevents me from adding more rows. Smart, huh? Done.
But at the end of this crazy-sock- leftovers-turned-into-a-blanket era, I have a crazy urge to come up with something else “scrappy” because I’ve still got a small tub of sock-yarn leftovers. Maybe in a year I will have a new pattern to show.
I briefly entertained the idea of putting this on Etsy for a ridiculous sum of money. I was thinking something over $2500, just to see if anyone would “bite.” But that’s cheap. Way too cheap. I calculated my labor at $10/hr (hey, I’m a skilled knitter!), 30 minutes per block which takes into account tucking in loose ends and knitting the i-cord edging. So, with 380 blocks @ 30 minutes per block, that’s 190 hours. Multiply that by the $10 per hour, and the labor cost on this blanket is around $1900. That doesn’t include the yarn. And it takes a lot of sock knitting to accumulate a great variety of yarn. (That was my excuse, anyway). So, the next time someone knits something for you, they don’t do it to save money or time. They do it because they LOVE you!
For now I’ll just sit on my balcony on cool mornings and enjoy the warmth of this throw.
Since we’re just coming out of “Finish It In February” month, I feel motivated to get busy working on my original design, “Nine Patch Mitered Square Afghan.”
Check it out here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nine-patch-mitered-square-afghan
I am going to make this 4 squares tall and 6 squares long. It’s going to be more of a throw or a lap afghan. I really like how it’s mixed media (sort of), because it’s knitted, but it looks like a quilt!
I’ve been eyeing some stray skeins of bulky yarn in my stash. What to do with them? Hmmmm…how about a scarf, a crazy sort of scarf in garter stitch where I change yarn every row? That sounds scrappy! So here’s a scrappy end to end scarf called Jackson Prairie Scarf:
Scarf Size: 72” long and 6½” wide
What is Jackson Prairie?
When we moved back to Indiana, we bought 3.5 acres of a cornfield and built a house. An entire chunk of land around there was a treeless area where farmers planted crops. The township was called “Jackson” and the area north of “Sand Hill,” east of the Pigeon River Wildlife Area. A local historian worked at my school as the librarian. His uncle had a farm south of Sand Hill. He said that Native Americans used to keep this area as grazing for wildlife, so deer would be easy to see and track. That’s Jackson Prairie!
(p.s. The hat is an entirely different story. Changing yarn every row means it’s impossible to knit in the round, making not only a seamed hat, but a hat that has many ends to work in. I didn’t write a pattern for that one!)