Monday, January 31, 2011

You've seen these dresses , but not on these BEAUTIES!

Here's Lil'B in her Christmas version of this dress.       
       Now, Lil'E in her Christmas version.
 Here are the two of them in their Valentine version.  Note that the green ribbon is gone from Lil'B's dress, and the collar is reversed on Lil'E's.
 This is an extra picture that I couldn't resist showing you.
And, yet, another.

 Another sneak peek at my Valentine's project.  I guess it's pretty obvious from this photo what I've made.  There's one for each of the three son-in-laws, daughters, grands (all 7) and one for one of my cousins.  I only purchased one of these fabrics for this project.  The other fabrics were already in my stash.  Some were just remnants.
Now, it's on to take apart the front and back of a sweater that I have started for my oldest granddaughter.  After I went to bed last night, I decided that I don't like it so far.  So........... I'm starting over.
I also have a couple of baby slings to make, sweaters for the second oldest grand, a special project for a photographer friend of mine (pictures later), and a couple of dresses for other people's grands.  Then, it will be time to start Easter garments for my grands.  I will be learning some new skills as I work on some of these projects.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Challenging Myself!

I have decided to challenge myself to learn at least one new sewing/knitting/crocheting skill a month.  I've already begun this, anyway, with the sweaters I've been making.
I have a very exciting new skill to learn when I make Miss J's Easter dress this year.  I am very excited about using the Boutis Provenchal (I think I spelled this correctly) technique that is in the latest issue of Sew Beautiful.  I'll post about the process as I go along.  I do have lots of stuff to finish first, though.
I am going to do some picture smocking, which I have done before, but not much, and not very well.
I am going to do some new embroidery techniques, too.
I am going to learn to do a cable stitch in knitting.
I am going to learn..............??????????????  Give me some ideas.

What are you challenging yourself to do these days?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Sweater Finished and Some Embellishments ++

This is the completed sweater that I have made for Lil'B.  I am slowly learning to understand some of the directions in knitting and crocheting.  I'll have to say that I think knitting instructions are easier (well, so far on the simple things I've made) than crochet instructions!

 I added buttons.  They look like some really weird color in this photo, but they are really the exact shade of lavender as the yarn in the sweater.  I have a huge button collection and seldom ever buy any.
 I added this ribbon and bow to this red sweater that I posted about a week or so ago.  I thought it needed something.  I compared the size of these two sweaters to a size 3 and a size 5, and they match up, so maybe these will work.  I really think the one above is going to swallow Lil'E, but maybe she can wear it next year.  The one below should just fit Miss R.  I have started on another sweater, barely, for one of her big sisters and will make one for the other when I finish this one.  Then, there are the boys to make sweaters for.  I think I will make sweater vests for them to wear at Easter if that is ok with their mom and dad.  I think khakis and a dress shirt and tie with sweater vests would be cute.
 In the meantime, I am working on a Valentine project.  Really the things I'm making do not have anything to do with Valentine's, but it is what I am going to send to my little, and not so little, kids.  I'm even including a cousin in this project.  Below are the fabrics I'm using for these ??????

I went to visit my brother today at the hospital.  He is in discomfort more than in pain, he says.  He is hoping to go home tomorrow.  There has been talk of a nursing home for rehab, but he isn't listening to that talk.  Apparently there wasn't as much infection as they feared there might be, so that is great news!!!  Maybe he won't have to have this dummy hip for so long!  Again, prayers, please.  Thanks to all of you for your well wishes for him.  He is a great big guy, with a great big heart, who works with severely handicapped children.  They need him, and he needs them.  He drove me crazy when we were growing up, but now, he's okay!  Ha!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I've Been Featured!!! An Addendum!!!! Sweater, a crochet beginning and Little Man's artwork

My friend Donna has featured me on her amazing blog, Comin' Home!  She writes about many varied topics having to do with family and home and creativity!!!  Please go check out her wonderful and inspiring blog!!!!  Thank you, Donna!

Here's the sweater that I knitted.  It's a little larger than I meant for it to be.  I had intended to do the whole sweater in the creamy yellow, lavender, and green stripes like those at the bottom and on the back, but I didn't have enough of the creamy yellow.  Soooooo....., as you see, I switched to just lavender and green stripes for the top front and just lavender for the sleeves. I haven't bought buttons, or shopped in my button collection, but I will soon.    

 This is the neck of the sweater I have started for Lil'B.  I think you can see the color change from the creamy yellow to the white.  The sweater will be mostly white with the creamy yellow as an edging.  It took me forever and a lot of trial and error to figure out rows three and five.  I am just learning to read crochet patterns.
 Here is art work done by our talented 2 1/2 year old grandson, Big Little Man.  I haven't found a frame for the white and turquoise painting, yet, but I probably have several that will work.  These will hang in our basement along with his big cousins' art work.

Update on my brother

His surgery lasted 4 hours!  It went as expected according to the doctor.  Actually, he said that it didn't look quite as bad as he thought it might.  First, they took out the original hip prosthesis, which required removing it from his femur.  Of course, since May, the bone had grown around this prosthesis.  I don't know if the bone was broken or cracked any as they removed it.  I pray that it wasn't.  The area was cleaned (I hope completely this time!).  Then, the operating room was scrubbed down and sanitized.  Then, a dummy hip, or a non-articulate (which means it doesn't bend or move) separator, was put in the hip area.  This is made of concrete?!? and has antibiotics in it that will seep out from the inside of his hip area.  I truly cannot visualize this device, but I guess that doesn't matter.  He will go home in a few days using a walker? or wheelchair? to get around.  He will have an antibiotic IV for 6 weeks or so.  Home Health Care nurses will come to his house every day.  After 6-8 weeks or up to 3 months, he will have this dummy hip removed and another regular hip prothesis put in.  He won't be able to work (he'll be on an unpaid leave) or drive during any of this time.  He will be well taken care of by his wife and son, even though they both work and won't be at home during the day.  I live a little over an hour away, so I won't be able to go help out very often, but I will go when needed, of course.
He is frustrated, of course, and is just ready for this whole ordeal to be over and done!! 
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

On another note..............I have been knitting.  I have finished another sweater.  It turned out to be bigger than I thought it would.  I'm not sure if it will fit the granddaughter I was making it for or not.  I'll get pictures later today.  I have started on a little crocheted cardigan for the 6 month old.  It has taken me a while to figure out the pattern, which looks so simple!  But, I think I have it figured out, now.
I'm also working on some Valentine gifts.  I'm not making outfits for the grands this year.  I figure the 10 year old wouldn't want to wear something like that to school anyway.  The 8 and 5 year olds can wear hand-me-down outfits that I've made in the past.  It's hard to make a Valentine outfit for a little boy that doesn't look too girly, so the boys can just wear red that day.  The two out in AZ have their Christmas dresses which can double as Valentine dresses.  The collar on Lil'E's is reversible.  The other side has a Christmas motif.  This is worn with a red gingham dress.
 The green ribbon can be taken out and worn with just he red and white smocking on this little red gingham dress.
But, I am making something for all of the grands and their moms and dads.  I hope I get done.  I haven't been working as quickly as I used to for some reason.  I am just not as motivated since Mother died.
I am thinking about Easter clothing, too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My brother's surgery

My brother's surgery is today at noon.  Please keep him in mind.  He's having a hip prostheses removed because of a staph infection and a dummy hip put in.  He'll wear that a few months till the infection is gone ( we hope) and then have a new hip put in.  This surgery today will be his 3rd major surgery involving this hip!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can't leave out Little Little Man and a crocheted hat for Lil'E

If you read my last post, you know that I made Big Little Man some work pants just like dad's from a pair of dad's old ones.  I couldn't leave out Little Little Man (who is 2 mos. old now!), so here's his pants.   I didn't put as much detail in his.  I figure he'll outgrow them very quickly!  Even though, these may actually not fit him for a few more months.  Mom may have to roll the pants legs up some.

 Lil'E needs a crocheted hat like her little sis's that can have a hair bow clipped to it.  Here's Granmomma's version.  Seeing as how I really don't know what I'm doing and didn't have a pattern, it may not work.  Smokey doesn't look any too happy having to model for me again.  He is peeking out between the holes!  Poor Smokey.  For those of you who don't know, Smokey is the University of Tennessee's mascot.  He's a blue tick hound dog!
These and the curtains that I made for my other daughter are all in the mail as of this afternoon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Work Pants for Big Little Man

If you read my last post, you know that I started with these work pants that belonged to my son-in-law.  He asked me to make a pair for our Big Little Man from these.  He actually gave me two pair to work with and I needed both.   There may be enough left to make Little Little Man a pair, too.  His won't be as detailed, though.                                                        
 Here's the result.  As the photograph shows, there are still some rough spots that just show that Big Little Man is a worker just like his dad, even though I used the reverse side of the fabric on the body of these pants!  I used the waist band, buttonhole, belt loops, and button from dad's pants just as they were, except for shortening the waist band, of course.                                                                    
 I wanted these to look as much like dad's as I could so I cut out the inside pocket and kept the grommet, and Cabela tag.  Since I'm not selling these, I figured Cabela wouldn't mind.  It's free advertising, after all.  I didn't show it in these photos, but I left the tag on the inside of the waist band, too.
 I did add some elastic to the back waist band of Big Little Man's pants, unlike dad's, but I thought he just  might need this.  He will wear a belt, I guess, so no one will know.  I took the back pockets from dad's, cut them down and sewed them on with the inside fabric showing. 
I hope my son-in-law likes these.  I'm pretty sure that Big Little Man will love being just like his dad!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Am Doing Stuff........

I have been working on a few projects, but at a slower pace than my "normal" one.  I've decided that I don't really have a "normal" anything, thus the quotation marks! 

I am working on another sweater.  This one is being made from yarn that I had left over from the blankets I recently made.  I sure hope there's enough to finish.  I actually went to Walmart yesterday and bought more of the lavender.  They didn't have the yellow, though.  I have plenty of the green.  I guess I'll make a trip to a "BIG" city nearby to find more yellow if I run out.  I bought this at a JoAnn's up in the NE.   I know you should buy all the yarn at one time so that you have the same lot number, etc.., but when I bought this I wasn't thinking about making this sweater.  
I like these colors together.  So far it seems to be going fairly well.  I am understanding the directions better this time.
 One of my daughters asked me to make some valences for her bathrooms and her kitchen.  She also wants me to cover a cushion for a bench she has.  Here's the first valence.  This one is pleated with a separate casing across the top.  I love this fabric.  It is tone on tone in a sagey green.  One of the stripes has a shiny sheen to it.
 Here is the pleat from the front side, but....................
 if she wanted to use it the other way around, she could.
 For the other bathroom, she bought this black and white plaid fabric.  This valence is just a straight rectangle with a casing at the top and a hem at the bottom.  I did line it, but it couldn't get much more basic than this.  For this bathroom she has three baskets that need new liners, so I made those, too.  this basket is one of mine and is smaller than hers, but for a photo I thought it would work.
This orange is for the cushion cover.  I don't have the measurements for it, yet.  I did measure all of these windows and this cushion when I was last at her house, but I can't find the piece of paper I wrote them on, so........... I called my daughter.  She hasn't had a chance to get this cushion measured, or
 the kitchen window that this fabric is going to cover.
Little Man's dad, my son-in-law asked me to make Little Man some pants out of a pair of his old work pants.  He is a forester and wears rugged pants like these every day.

 As you can see, he wears them until there's not much left to wear!  But.............
 I think that is I use the fabric inside out, it will work.  I am going to try anyway.  He actually gave me two pair to work with so I think it will work.  Little Man will be so proud having a pair work pants like Daddy's.
So, as you see, I have been busy.  I am just not in a huge hurry like I usually am.
Next, I have some Valentine gifts to make.  Then, it will be time to start work on Easter clothing for SEVEN grands!  I have an idea for only one of them so far.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My First Knitted Sweater and a Prayer Request

Well, technically it's my 3rd knitted sweater.  When I was in 7th grade in 1965, one of our teachers stayed after school to teach some of us how to knit.  We each knitted a sleeveless shell.  I still have mine somewhere.  I learned to knit and purl from her, but not how to read a pattern, etc....  Since then the only things I've ever knitted have been scarfs and, recently, a few hats.  Then, just before I knitted this sweater, I knitted one that I threw away.  It might have worked for a very large stuffed animal.  Darn, I could have put it on the big bear that one of our girls has left here.  Oh well, it's too late now.

I think this will go to our 5 year old granddaughter.  I will probably embellish it some way or other.  I will take pictures if I do this.  Now, I'm working on another sweater that I think will fit the 3 year old.  It will be a cardigan, I hope.  I'm making it in pastels: yellow, green, and lavender.  Cross your fingers for me that it works and actually looks like a sweater when I finish.  I would like to make one for each grand.  I just don't know how long this will take. It may be summer time and they won't need them by then.  Maybe I should make them large enough to fit next year.

Now, I would like to ask you for prayers for my brother.  If you've been a long time reader of my blog, you may remember that he had a hip replacement done in May.  In June he had a staph infection in that hip.  The drs. went back in, took out parts of the hip, cleaned them, drained gunk off his hip, etc...., and then put the hip parts back in.  He was then on an antibiotic IV drip for about 6 weeks.  He has been on an oral antibiotic since then.  In November, his blood work looked suspicious.  It looked better in December, though.  Last week his hip was hurting very badly.  He told the dr. who then scheduled a cat scan.  There were pockets of fluid which they drained, and cultured.  The staph infection is back in full force.  Now my brother has to go through another surgery, this time to remove the entire hip and replace it with a "dummy" hip which will excrete antibiotics.  He will have this "dummy" hip for at least 3 months, during which time he will be on a walker or in a wheelchair.  He will not be able to work or drive, etc.... Then, at the end of 3 months, if the infection is gone, they will go back in and put in a new hip.  He is very disheartened, as you can imagine.  He is concerned about the loss of income, the hardship this will put on his wife and son, the aggravation of not being able to do the things he normally does.  He will be stir crazy after a few days.  It scares me that the infection won't be cleared up this time, then what??????????  So, prayers please.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Southeast Winter Snow Storm's Results

This is a photograph that I took as we drove around after an 8 inch snow storm hit SE TN.  I thought this one was pretty enough to frame, so I printed it, framed it and hung it in our foyer.
Here are more photos that I photographed, and, as you see, I played around with them just for fun.   I       may end up framing even more of them.                  

It's going to be really cold all week, so this will be hanging around.  I love snow, so I'm happy.  We may get more in a few days!This is a major state highway.  As you can see, it wasn't plowed, salted, or anything.  They did work on it last night after dark.

We had 8 inches, which is way more than we normally get.

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