Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{p,h,f,r} vol. 8 - sewing and knitting

I got inspired by Auntie Leila's beautiful shawl that she made for Deirdre and decided to do a post that shows a couple of the things I've been working on now that they're finished.


This used to be a pair of white pants. I ripped out the inseam, reshaped it, and sewed it into a skirt - by hand. Then I dyed it. It has a really neat triangular section at the waist (the pants came like that) which is very flattering to the figure.

I love hand sewing, including darning. I got into it when I was reading Little House on the Prairie to the boys when they were small, and the description of Mary sewing by hand inspired me to try it. I've made a lot of clothes by hand, including a very complicated, tailored suit, and do a lot of my "repurposing"-type sewing by hand.


I'm FINALLY DONE with this project! I got a little too creative and used 5 (FIVE!) different yarns for the front of this shrug, with strands of two different yarns at all times, in different combinations so it wouldn't be too stripy. Bad move! It wasn't hard to just took forever because I had to keep changing the yarn combinations, AND at the same time I had decided not to use a regular stitch pattern but basically wing it so the texture would be nubbly without any obvious repetition. Oy! What was I thinking? Anyway, it's over now (although I may make a different tie) and I haven't sworn off knitting or anything so I'm happy.

I always have a hard time coming up with something funny, probably because I don't have any littles in the house who are a source of unending amusement. We do have 2 dogs who are amusing to us, but I don't want to bore you with dog pictures every week, so this part is always a stretch for me. So this week I'll tell you a funny story instead. I went to music practice with my husband last night - he's in the group that does the music for the main mass on Sundays. Down here that means two guitars (my husband plays lead), a keyboard, primarily to do rhythm, and six female voices, none of them trained, all of them altos with small ranges. They practiced for 1.5 hours last night, doing songs that they have done literally hundreds of times before and it was chaos! People sang off-key, they couldn't remember how the melodies went, the group leader (the other guitarist) couldn't remember what key the singers were able to sing in. The entire rehearsal was like that, and apparently it's always like that. They didn't bother to work out the glitches; they'd just go on to the next song. The amazing thing is, when it's time to actually play during mass, they always sound great - confident, strong, and on-key. Well, hey, I guess if it works there's no reason to sweat the details, eh?


This is my sewing machine. A long, long, time ago in a land far away I used to have an electric sewing machine. Then we moved to the country and homesteaded and I got a treadle, which I loved! However I still had my electric machine and my best friend had no machine, so I gave her the treadle (since she also didn't have electricity). Then eventually my electric machine died and I didn't bother to replace it because I was into sewing things by hand. But I really wanted a treadle machine again!

After many years we found one in a junk store and bought it. It was in great condition and also had the original manual! The first thing I sewed on it was matching aprons and prairie bonnets for my 4 forest grandchildren, who LOVE the Little House books. They literally wore those aprons until they wore out. Since then, although I still sew most of my clothes by hand, I use the treadle for other projects - pillows, curtains, etc. I'm about to start on a big quilting project so I'll be using the machine a lot in the near future.

For more pretty, happy, funny and real things, hie thyself over to Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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