Archive for August, 2007

The incident of the naughty…knotty yarn

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That sweater looks so pretty…so serene there hanging on the chair. I was so excited to be nearly finished with it until I decided to take out one of the sleeves because I needed to lengthen it and I had missed a few stitches in the pattern that I didn’t understand until I got to the second sleeve. I was inspired by the fact that our five-year-old was actually really excited that I was crocheting her a “pretty sweater” and so I started ripping out stitches, only to discover that it was actually the front panel and not the sleeve as I had thought. So, I continued pulling the yarn thinking that I would just take out the sleeve but it actually started unraveling the back panel! I was so frustrated, that what remains of the kinky yarn lies in a pile of knots; a pile that could easily resemble my body due to the stress of it all.

It got me to thinking that if I were a knitter, I am sure it would take me a lot longer to thrash my yarn in a fit of frustration because the work would have taken me so much longer to complete to that point. Flying knitting needles also seems a more dangerous vision than crochet hooks. I really wouldn’t have been so emotional if I had *made a choice* to rip out all the stitches, but I was really happy to know that the sweater was going to be eagerly received that it made it that much more painful, and a tantrum on my part ensued. Well, I will be back to crocheting it again in a day or two and I am hoping that by the weekend I can be closer to the finish line than I was before today – before the incident today, that is.

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On a happier note, I am also sewing up this adorable dress for the babe. It is a really simple pattern but I have been putting it off because I had to make up my binding. Tonight I got that done and I am going to finish up pinning it tomorrow. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in about a week and it feels strange. I am looking forward to getting this doll of a dress done. Isn’t the vintage pattern just precious?! Can you see the price up there in the corner – yep, that’s right .35. Now that was back in the day!

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Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman

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If you are a fan of children’s books, you should definitely check out Maira Kalman’s world. We bought this book at a library box sale (fill a box with as many books as you can fit for a grand total of $2). The artwork is wonderful and if it doesn’t inspire your children to write/illustrate, it will inspire you!

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The dialogue is quirky, as if someone were taking notes of the random thoughts that decorate our consciousness throughout the day. The illustrations are reminiscent of people in my family…and a circus act at the same time. Hmmm, probably the kind of things one shouldn’t admit so nonchalantly!
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The author has created many wonderful pieces of art with words to boot. I added What Pete Ate to my wishlist. So what’s your favorite children’s book author?

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A galleria of horses

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A 1000 pound horse will eat between 15 and 25 pounds of food per day and, under normal use, drink 10 to 12 gallons of water.

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Regardless of a horse’s actual birthdate, for most competition purposes, horses are considered a year older on January 1 of each year in the northern hemisphere and August 1 in the southern hemisphere.

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They have very large eyes (among land animals only the ostrich has a larger eye).

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Horses require approximately two and a half hours of sleep, on average, in a 24-hour period. Most of this sleep occurs in many short intervals of about 15 minutes each.

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The domestic horse today has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. The oldest verifiable record was “Old Billy,” a horse that lived in the 19th century to the age of 62.

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Pregnancy lasts for approximately 335-340 days and usually results in one foal. Twins are rare. Colts are usually carried 2-7 days longer than fillies.

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“Do you have a hooter hider?”

This question was met with laughter…much laughter. While she had never heard the term, she had a pretty good idea I was referencing a nursing cover. The Hooter Hider aka Bebe au Lait was one of the best gifts I received with our latest addition and because the pattern was so simple, I decided to give it a whirl as a gift.

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Having used mine for many months now, I knew there were a couple features that I would change. The first of those was to add weights to the corners of the fabric so that at the first sign of a breeze, I wasn’t flashing everyone in sight.

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I also added a liner to the nursing cover because the fabric was rather sheer and the liner contributed to privacy, weight and cleaner lines. It reminded me of a giant pillow case after it was sewn up. I wanted a pocket that would be more easily accessible and a bit larger than the triangular corner pocket on the original so I fastened this one to the top. I will await feedback from the momma recipient as to how convenient it is in that location.

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I loved the feature on the original that allowed visibility of baby through the top due to an added strip of stiffness in the hem. I reduced the size of the rings because it tended to scrunch of the fabric when I loosened and tightened the original. I am hoping there will be less room to do so with the smaller rings.

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I really like the way it turned out and I will certainly be making more in the future for friends and family who intend to nurse their little bambinos.

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When I grow up I wanna be a seamstress…

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I’ve started my adventures in sewing now that I have discovered what was ailing my sewing machine. I received my sewing machine as a gift nearly a decade ago now and while I have used it v-e-r-y intermittently during those years, I have not actually attempted to learn the art of sewing.

 

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So, as with most things I desire to know, I checked out some books and started reading. I visited my local thrift stores and began to collect, no more like hoard, wonderful patterns and fabrics. I pulled out my sewing machine, cut fabrics, broke thread, fed fabric to the feed dogs rather than through them, stitched, unstitched, stitched, unstitched, learned the value of backstitching by holding down the backstitch button so the machine feeds the fabric and I don’t have to shove the fabric backward through the machine damaging my needle, thread and fabric all at once! This delusion that I could simply press a button came from watching women with thousand dollar machines on television press their button so carefree-like. Note to self: I do not own a fancy shmancy machine like those women who make money sewing on television and no matter how much I treat my sewing machine like a fancy shmancy machine it will not morph into such.

 

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I did make my own bias tape for this, my first, clothing project. As you can see though, I failed to tuck and fold the bias tape where it ended. Ah, the beauty of knowing that my daughter will never know, or care, that the haphazard seams of her shirt screams, “I was made by a novice!”

 

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Couch ouch

So, I was embroidering a gift for a dear friend of mine who is due to have her fourth babe any moment and…oops…I dropped the needle.

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Yep, right there in the shadowy black abyss on the right. Of course, I had baby girl on my lap…asleep. Well, for anyone who knows me, it is a rare moment that I spend simply enjoying moments of nothingness. So, of course, I had to put baby girl down and proceed to lift the cushion and dig for that which would allow me to stop doing nothing and pick up my unfinished embroidery project. As I was intently digging, I thought about how my hand just seemed to go deeper and deeper into the crevice collector. I thought about how reckless it might seem to plunge one’s hand into such places searching for sharp, pointy objects. And then…

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I found it.

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