Tuesday, November 26, 2013

All done!!!

 I finished it yesterday, gave it a soak and it is currently blocking on the floor of my sewing room with a fan pointed at it.  I want to wear it on Thursday to my in-laws for Thanksgiving.  Technically this would have been done a week earlier because I finished the first sleeve and didn't like the fit so I ripped it out and started over.  This is a terrible photo but I was just so excited to post a finished picture.  I keep opening the door and just looking at it.  Maybe I'll put a little space heater in there to speed up the drying...
 I've had these buttons in mind for it all along.  These are fabulous juniper wood buttons I bought at the harbor market in Helsinki.  Note the small bag in the picture.  For some reason all over Europe, they put everything in these little paper bags.  Postcards.  Buns from the bakery.  Small shopping items.  I love them and I SAVE them.  These buttons have been in there since I bought them and the paper is actually stained from the oils in the wood and smells wonderful.  I can't wait to finish off the sweater by sewing on the buttons.
 My brother gave us a bunch of beef for our new freezer and I thawed and made these short ribs.  I'd never worked with short ribs before but I used this recipe and they were quite easy. 

 Here they are sauced before the oven.  I love how all the ingredients are things you already have in your cupboard and nothing special was needed.  I cooked them in my blue enameled cast iron braiser Dave gave me for Christmas last year.
Here they are 300 degrees and 3 hours later.  Num num.  We will be making these again.  And of course it is deceiving how little meat is actually there once it shrinks up and exposes the bone.  I thought about giving the bones to Lopi but I was afraid she'd choke on them or get marrow all over the carpet.
And speaking of Lopi, my little blond dog is slowly turning into a large dark dog.  We've noticed she is growing a darker coat of hair giving her a two layer effect.  In that sense, Lopi is an appropriate name for her because she has two layers of fiber like the Icelandic sheep! ;)

Here she is snuggling up to my heating pad.  Every time I get up to go to the bathroom or get another pop or for whatever reason, I come back to my knitting spot and she has stolen my spot.  Every.  Time.  What a brat, but she sure is cute!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So Close!

Here is my progress on my NaKniSweMo project.  I finished the collar this morning and just have one sleeve left.  I've tried it on and it is going to need some blocking.  I am going to have plenty of yarn left over which is good because I might want to re-do the sleeves.  The length is perfect but they are narrower than I'd like.  I want to get this done this weekend!

Drapery Frenzy

 My parents came for a visit last weekend.  It was nice to spend some quality time with them and cook a little for them.  My super industrious mother and I made curtains for all the windows in the house!
This curtain was already in place.  We did this one when they first came to visit us and see the house back in June.  I'd had this piece of twill/canvas in my stash for YEARS.  I'd wanted to make a bed skirt or a rondastakk bunad skirt out of it but it went to much better use as the curtain for the upstairs deck door.  It has stripes of tan, gray/teal and maroon.  My brother John helped us hang up the hardware and curtain rod. 

This valance was also already in place since June.  This is my kitchen window with its fabulous view.  The fabric has a powder blue grid design with different herbs.

This was the first new curtain from this weekend.  It is not a "new" curtain because technically it is a hand-me-down.  Mom had made these for one of her guest bedrooms and took them down when she changed the decor.  She'd given these to me 2 years ago when I moved to Minnesota but our apartment had vertical blinds throughout so they sat in a bag in a closet this whole time.  They are maroon with flowers but not frilly frou frou flowers.  The maroon coordinates with the maroon in the deck door curtain across the room.  We don't have furniture for this upstairs living room yet so we have boxes occupying the room.  Mom and I hung up my great Grandma Elnora's shelf and put nic nacs on it and were able to clear out a few boxes but I didn't take pictures of the shelf.

This is the curtain in the downstairs man cave.  This plaid was already in my stash and put to good use.
This is the other downstairs bedroom.  This panel was a scrap leftover from a blanket I made a few years ago.

This is the curtain in our upstairs spare bedroom.  We often refer to this as "John's Room" because he sleeps here once a month when he does his Navy drill weekend.  I had my heart set on making a pair of lounge wear pajama pants out of this fabric but it was put to good use as curtains.  I like how the light shines through and the fabric looks sheer with dots.

Here is a close up of the fabric.  It just looks like mens' 1950's pajamas.  I like that this way I get to see the fabric and the colors every day instead of putting them in a dresser if they were pajama pants.

Here is the window in my sewing room.  Note the fabulous view.  This valance was made with a funky fabric I'm pretty sure I got at the Cancer Garage Sale last year.  We also hung up these blinds.  I am so loving this room!  And I love that we used all this fabric from my stash.  And eventually if we have kids or decide we want something different, I can just make new curtains.

We did go and buy fabric for the rest and I have to say we did a great job in the purchasing department.  Joann Fabrics is one of my favorite stores because you can use their 40% off coupons on non-sale items.  They were already having a Veterans Day sale and all drapery fabric was 50% off.  It was $40/yard regular price so we would've paid $20/yard for everything.  We looked but nothing jumped out at me.

Then we took a field trip to SR Harris.  Dave drove us because it was rush hour by the time we headed out there.  They put monthly coupons in the paper or you can print them online.  All their drapery fabric was $20/yard on the tag and then everything is always 50% off the tag price so it was actually $10/yard.  The featured coupon this month was luckily all regular $20 drapery fabric for $8.49/yard instead of the $10 price.  We bought fabric for the downstairs living room window, the downstairs walkout sliding door and our bedroom.  All told we spent a total of $140.  I was pleased.

Here is the downstairs walkout door curtain.  It is linen with rayon vine/leaf embroidery and I got it for $8.49/yard.  It is beautiful fabric and for real linen, it was a steal!

Here is a close up of the fabric.

Here is the downstairs living room window.  This was a woodblock style print of cherry blossom flowers.  It is one of those magic colors that changes depending on the light.  The darker color is kind of a charcoal gray/dark purple and the flowers are taupe.  It was 60" wide so we just cut it in half vertically to make the panels and turned the edges under.  We traced the valance from the upstairs window curtains and made a new one out of this fabric and backed it with muslin.  The sheer is from the second set of red curtains Mom had already made.  These went up a real treat and I can't believe the difference they make in the room.
 Here is a close up of this fabric.  This was $10/yard and we got more than we thought we'd need so I'll make some pillow covers out of the remainder.  I thought a coordinating dog bed for Lopi would be nice but Mom said it was too nice of fabric for that.  It is a beautiful polished/burnished material that was nice to work with.  Luke helped us with this hardware back in June and until now, we'd had some aqua hand-me-down sheers from my sister hanging up.  I'm saving those for a rainy day. 

This is a terrible picture of our bedroom curtain.  We hung a blind and curtain rod up in this window and then made these batik panels.  Eventually I will get around to making a tie-back for these panels.  I have an experiment I want to try involving a knitted beaded I-cord.

Here is a close up of the fabric.  SR Harris has the largest selection of batiks I have ever seen in one place and I have a weakness for batiks.  The price can't be beat either: $15/yard but actually $7.50/yard with the 50% off sale price.  This print was blue/taupe with vines and pomegranate-y florals.  Love love love it.  I'm already wanting to go back to SR Harris to get more batiks and they also had some bee-YEW-tiful printed linen like we saw in Estonia.  Fabric bliss.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

NaKniSweMo progress

 Here is my sweater progress as of yesterday around 1500.  I divided the work between the front and back after this picture was taken to make the arm holes.  I've also either been on the couch on call or sick for the last week so I've gotten a lot done in 6 days.  To get the correct gauge, I'm using a size 9 needle and the first half of the work was 2:2 ribbing and stockinette which moves along quickly.  It took a while to set the cable and seed stitch pattern sneezing and squinting through my watering eyes but once I had everything lined up, it has moved along at a steady pace.  I am working on my 4th ball of Patons Classic Wool.  I realized when I was taking the pictures that the scale isn't readily apparent so I brought in my measurement consultant...

Lopi volunteered to lay next to my sweater for scale.  What a good helper dog!