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Oh Hai!

8 Apr

Is anyone still out there and reading this??

I know I’ve been MORE than remiss, but I’m feeling the pull to blog again and so here I am. We had a long rough winter here in the Midwest as I’m sure most of you have heard, but now that Spring is on the horizon I’m beginning to sew and dust off the vintage dresses.

Example: here is an outfit I wore to work the other day. As a government employee, I typically won’t go so “vintage” at work, but I had a hot date with the hubs that night to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (my new favorite Wes film) and not a lot of time to get ready in between work and home.

My first work bathroom selfie!

My first work bathroom selfie!

That there is an entirely me made outfit consisting of my FIRST dress sewn from a vintage pattern (which I blogged here) and my favorite hand knit sweater (also blogged here). I had never combined them together before but they made quite a colorful pair! I wore this with nude fishnets; seriously my favorite legwear since they go with everything and are very va-va-voom and my brand new Frye’s.

New Frye's!

New Frye’s!

For the longest time I’ve loved Frye’s but the price tag was always a bit prohibitive; I mean seriously, do you know how much fabric/yarn you could buy with that much dough? But I got this pair for a song and let me tell you, now that I have them, they are definitely worth the price tag. They are quality shoes. I have been pairing these with nearly everything I can since they are so versatile.

Well friends . . . if there are any still out there, that concludes this little post dashed off before I head to work. I hope you have a lovely day and I’ll talk to you soon.

Eileen

In Which I Knit a Tyrolean Sweater

24 Oct

Hiya folks,

Today I thought I’d share with you a recent finished knit. After all my talk about German inspiration I realized that I had just finished knitting a traditional sweater!

Mmm . . . Bobble-y

The pattern is from Sarah Dallas’ Tyrolean Cardigan from the book Vintage Knits: 30 Exquisite Vintage Inspired Patterns. The original has a very sweet flower embroidery in between the vertical rows of bobbles, but it was a little too kindergarten teacher for my taste. I used a great workhorse yarn for this; Cascade 220 Sport weight in the green heather colorway. In fact, this yarn represents a kind departing gift from my place of employment in Tampa. Awww.

Who doesn’t want to look like an alligator?

I know this style isn’t to everyone’s taste. When I finished knitting it, my daughter exclaimed that the bobbles reminded her of an alligator. I thought this was an apt description since the yarn came from Florida! Unlike in Florida, this sweater will get a lot of wear here in the wilds of Ohio. I like it. I think the bobbles lend it a bit of interest and you’d be hard pressed to find a bobble on a sweater in any store these days.

To complete the sweater, I used some dark shell buttons from the stash. Side note; has anyone else noticed that it’s harder to find good shell buttons in the big box stores these days? Why is that? The only luck I have finding them is online or in antique stores. I digress.

So there you have it. Apparently I’ve been feeling this Tyrolean inspired vibe for longer than I’d thought! What do ya’ll think- bobbles are sexy . . . right? Sweater ravelled here.

Peace out!

Eileen

 

In Which I Attend a Wool Festival

26 Sep

The Saturday before my trip to Chicago I attended a wool festival with some gals from my knitting group. For me, a wool festival really signals the return of Fall. This particular wool festival is held at a local dairy farm which also specializes in things like a pumpkin patch, corn maze and, best of all, pumpkin ice cream, so you can see why I feel that way.

This year was a little different for me. Not only did I fondle (and smell, I just love the way wool smells) oodles of skeins of yarn, I also talked animals with those folks that had them there.  I became especially enamored with the small and soft Finnsheep who are now a real possibility on the future farm (closing has been pushed back a week, boo!!). I also looked at angora rabbits for my daughter who is interested in raising them for 4H (and I am interested in stealing their super soft fur!). So that was fun.

Aaaand then I bought yarn. Lots of yarn. I was so good at first too. I got through two out of three tents without spending a dime! Then I got to the last tent and found my favorite dyer; Fiber Optics.  And that was where it started.

I immediately went for this raspberry color. It’s so vibrant and pretty. Do I know yet what it will be? No, but that’s part of the fun. Most likely it will not end up being socks. I love making shawls with fingering weight yarns.

Aaaand then this one jumped in the basket.

It’s actually teal shot through with green. My camera doesn’t do it justice.

And this one too.

This one I thought would be great for Gail when I met her. I love me some emerald/kelly green goodness so I naturally assume that every one else does too! At this point in shopping, I called my husband to tell him that I was 90% sure I was done for the day. I mean, I had gone through two whole tents without buying a thing! So as I’m chatting, this woman comes out of the tent with an armload of gorgeous yarn. I mean, this stuff was amazing. I told my husband I needed to go and I followed her to the source of the fibery goodness.

That was when I found Happy Fuzzy Yarns. And oh boy oh boy was it hard to choose!

Somehow I managed though. This one is called “Purple Kale” but I thought it looked more like a Scotch Thistle. The green and purple together I guess could look a bit like Barney the Dinosaur, but I just love them together so I don’t care. I’m pretty sure that this may end up being a Multnomah.

When I was checking out of her booth, this somehow jumped into my hands and before I knew it, it was paid for. I hate when that happens.

This one is called Macaw and it’s a merino tencel combination. It’s very soft and shiny! I love the colors. I don’t think they look like a bird, but they do make me think of Florida.

Then, thinking I’m finally done, I quickly walk to the exit when suddenly these beautiful hanks of pure alpaca jump out at me. There were only two skeins left of the most heavenly charcoal color. So I had to buy them. They were quite inexpensive for the yardage (650 yards!! For $24!!) It was crazy. And they were the last two. You understand my plight right?

Do you like the buttons? There was an amazing button booth there and I had to severely limit myself (probably a good thing) since she only accepted cash as payment. I chose these mother of pearl ’20s beauties. I think they look great with the charcoal wool. I’m planning some sort of drapey cabley cardigan and using these buttons for it. I just have to find the right pattern!

So. Wow. It’s been a spendy week over here at the basement. To be honest, I haven’t spent that much on supplies all year!
Hope ya’ll enjoyed seeing what I got. I can’t wait to get started making things out of this yarn! Suggestions for patterns greatly appreciated ;)

Eileen

This n’ That

13 Sep

Folks I apologize for the disjointed turn this ol’ blog has taken of late. I’m sure things will settle down after the move (two weeks ’till closing, squee!!!) but for now here are some pictures of bits and bobs.

This little guy is Karl. Karl Marx. It’s sort of an inside joke but he’s a real love. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that he will be living with us for the long term. We’ve now rescued him from his original owners twice after they’d decided both times that they just couldn’t keep him and that putting him in the woods was the way to go. I know, heartless. He seems to like us, well me, quite a bit, which is very smart on his part. He enjoys a good purr and is still very playful. He has one serious draw back though, and that is that he likes to play with yarn. Our other cat largely ignores yarn so this is going to take some getting used to on my part.

Speaking of yarn, I’ve been a knitting fool lately. I made this darling baby hat for a coworker (haha, underneath the hat you can see my issues of Hobby Farms Magazine, Mother Earth News, and my Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog. Wonder what’s on my mind lately?).

This is the Aviatrix pattern. I crocheted the simple rose because it really looked like it needed some embellishment. I used a pink glass button for the chin strap. I can’t wait to give it to the Mom to be!

I also made these a while back but was surprised to find that they were not blogged.

Aren’t these the coolest? I wish I could say that they were destined to grace my little hannie-poos this fall, but I gifted them to my dear friend (who blogged them here) as I know she could put them to good use.

In sewing news I finished my daughter’s quilt and started one that will grace my bed. I’m really loving how with quilting, you don’t have to worry about fitting, though I will say I do miss making garments. On that topic, I’m excited to say that I’ll be meeting the lovely Gail when I travel to Chicago and she has graciously offered to go on a fabric store crawl with me. I’ll do a post soon with the patterns that I’ve chosen to buy fabric for!

Until next time!

Eileen

 

Finished Project: Forest Path Stole

6 Sep

I’m a gal that likes a good challenge. Earlier this year, my friend Andrea asked me if I’d like to participate in a mini-knit-along with her. The objective was to knit the Forest Path Stole. If you are a knitter, you know that this is a pretty challenging stole. For those not in the know, it involves not only lace which is notoriously finicky to knit, but it also involves a technique called entrelac. Basically, entrelac involves knitting a base row of triangles, then picking up stitches from these triangles to knit squares in one direction and then doing the same on the way back. The rows of squares build up to make a basket weave pattern. So anyway, this shawl was no joke.

Mine isn’t quite as substantial as the original as I only had a limited amount of my yarn of choice. I had to knit a lesser amount of rows and I omitted the bottom, top and side borders. Despite that, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out and it’s great to cover the shoulders with while reading a book in bed with the fan on! You’d be surprised at how warm a simple knitted lace shawl is!

Here is a close-up of the lace pattern. You can see how the rectangles are oriented to make a basket weave pattern. There were also four different lace charts in this one pattern but after knitting them so much, they became a bit more routine. Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes!

Of course I couldn’t resist wearing it in a silly fashion. I’m a pretty silly person by nature actually (I love a good pun).

Our Lady of Knitted Entrelac Lace

I’m currently working on another knitted lace shawl which has been languishing in my knitting basket. I’ve suddenly decided that I have TOO MANY projects sitting around in half-finished states around the house and I’m working mightily to remedy that. I’m going to limit myself to one “upstairs” project; sewing related usually since that is where the sewing machines are located and one “downstairs” project; usually knitting since it’s a project I can do while watching re-runs on Netflix!

What are ya’ll working on these days? Anyone busting out fall projects yet?

Eileen

The Lost Month

22 Aug

Folks, it’s been an exciting month here at the Basement. I think you gathered from my last post that a little homestead is in the works. In fact, I meet with the loan officer on Friday to arrange various appraisals and inspections before we can close and the house that we have a contract on becomes ours! I’m a nervous sort when it comes to big deals such as this one, so please send me and my family your well wishes that things run smoothly!

Anyway, for those of you who have been in my shoes, you know that house hunting takes up a considerable amount of time (which is why I’m so glad that it seems that the end is in sight). I apologize for dropping off the map, but what with the search and all, I haven’t had the time or really the gumption to do much blogging, because really, who wants to hear about house hunting?

That’s not to say that nothing has been accomplished around here, crafty wise. Another drain on the crafting front is saving every penny possible for the impending move which means crafting from the stash. I recently pulled out a sweater pattern and the yarn that I purchased years ago for a little zipped cardigan for my son.

This is the creatively named “Child’s Zipped Jacket” from Debbie Bliss’ Celtic Collection booklet. I raveled this project here.  Unfortunately for both me and my son, he has decided that he no longer would like to wear this sweater. This is unfortunate for him because I’m knitting it anyway and darn it, he’s going to wear it! I’m using various stash yarns, but the one most used is Knit Pick’s discontinued yarn Telemark. It’s a lovely DK weight wool and will be hard wearing this winter. I’m thinking I might line the jacket; has anyone ever lined a knit jacket?

I also pulled a project out of the UFO pile and have been working on it here and there in the few snatched hours I’ve had. Those of you who have been reading for a while may recognize it from this post, but I’ve finished the top of my Scrappy Vintage Nine Patch Quilt.

Scrappy Goodness!

In this picture the top is hanging over the edge of the standing quilt hoop that I found at a local thrift store for the low, low price of $5. Have I mentioned before that the thrifting in Ohio is amazing? But I digress. I bought this kit at the first (and last) quilt show I’d ever gone to. I say the last because man, within three hours I think I bought enough fabric for three quilts and a gorgeous handmade basket. Dangerous, those quilt shows! Doesn’t it look loverly though? All that remains is making the quilt samich; for those not in the know its when you sandwich the batting between the quilt top and the quilt backing fabric and stitch them all together. It’s great fun, and I’m thinking I’d like to do this by hand. I really would like to get this quilt finished before the big moving day because I already have a great place picked out for it to hang in the new home!

Well folks, that’s all for now. Thank you for those of you who have stuck with me. As things settle down, expect to see more regular posting and less sporadic crafting!

Eileen

It’s a Rambling Sort of Post

19 May

Pshew, what a week! I feel like up ’til now, I’ve had nary a moment to sit down and write. At work I’ve been attending a “Seminar for New Managers” which was surprisingly eye-opening. One of the things we were made to do was come up with a vision statement for our lives. Once I’d articulated this, I wasn’t too surprised to find that in taking this job, I’ve moved away from what I see as my life’s work and it forced me to set goals to work towards to get back on the right track.

Yet Another Daphne and Delilah

I think for the most part, my life is in good balance. However, I crave a job where I feel like I’m helping others,particularly the young, and while, in some small way, I’m helping a very select few in the current job I’m in, I’m not serving the cause for the greater good necessarily. Anyway, it’s something to work towards. One of my favorite lines in a song from my current favorite band The Avett Brothers is “Decide what to be and go be it” and is exactly what I need to do, now that I’ve decided. Ha ha, I don’t think my work had intended for me to come to this conclusion, but I’m very grateful nonetheless.

Kai-Mei Socks

Otherwise, once I got home, I worked non-stop on the corset. Wow, what a beast that has been! Of course, I had to make it harder on myself by completely changing the pattern which was supposed to be a single layer corset but I turned into a double layer for more firmness. I also have a tendency to read instructions, only to completely disregard or forget what I’d learned later! Because of this, I inserted the “pips” side of my busk in incorrectly and had to rip out all the tiny sewing machine stitches to get to it, cut another frontspiece for the busk and reinsert it. Finally, I found out that a grommet setting tool would set me back $20 when I’ve spent a goodly amount on this costume already and decided to use my eyelet pliers and place eyelets there instead. It’s serving its purpose, but the backside of the eyelets are now catching on the laces and I’m ardently hoping they hold out long enough for the ball.

Shaelyn Shawl

I’ve since finished the corset and gave myself a day off from sewing to regather my strength and fortitude because I’m really going to need it for the dress! I’ve finally settled on a bodice and skirt pattern from the Truly Victorian pattern company. I decided to figure out how I’m going to embellish it before I get to sewing as I don’t want anything up in the air later down the line. So today means a trip to Joanns to buy embellishments and interlining.

Sorry for the rambling post friends, it’s been that sort of week, but I intend to write up a few posts so I’m more “regular” next week! Have a great day and weekend!

Eileen

P.S. There has been a lot of knitting of little things around here recently, the pictures of which I’ve inserted into this post. The links for the patterns are here, here, and here.

Just in Time for Snow!

18 Feb

Right about the time I finished up my 1940s Jeans, I finished this little vintage cabled cardigan.

Mmm . . . mustardy

Ever since I first laid eyes on this sweater via Vintage Vixen, I knew I must have one of my own. She has worn hers with so many amazing outfits and I really admired the versatility of a sweater like this. I was especially suprised by how much the mustard color caught my imagination as it’s not a color I typically wear.

The pattern is free and courtesy of the Victoria Albert Museum. It’s entitled “A New Design in Cable Stitch” and can be found here should you want one of your own! I checked my Ravelry page and this little number took me about a month total to complete from start to finish. That’s with everything else I have going on! I used Knit Picks Palette in, you guessed it, the mustard colorway. It’s a fingering weight yarn but I find the more I knit these vintage patterns, the more I don’t mind knitting with such skinny yarns as they tend to avoid the “made at home” look.

Peek a Boo!

The only modifications that I made to this pattern were shortening the ribbing by 10 rows on both the body and the sleeves (which I sort of wish I had not done now, but oh well) and as I did the increases on the sleeves I continued to cable them once enough increases were made to enable that. Does that make sense?

All in all, I’m really, really pleased with this sweater and I foretell that it will get a lot of use here in the frozen wilds of Ohio ;)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to work on the shirt I’d wanted to a few weeks back. My best friend is having a baby in about ten weeks and I’ve decided to make her a baby quilt. I’ve been cutting triangles and other shapes like a madwoman and think I finally reached the point where I’m ready to sew it together now. I hope to be able to show at least some finished blocks some time this week. I’m using boy-ish 1930s prints for the quilt and using, what else, but a vintage quilting pattern for my inspiration! I can’t wait to show it to you all!

Until next time,

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #15

12 Feb

Folks, yesterday was a new kind of cold for me. When I awoke, I looked out the window to see snow covering everything in sight. It was very pretty and the sun was shining and the snow was sparkling- so deceptively enticing to this recent Ohio transplant from Florida!

We were invited to a luncheon party and I figured my wool socks, new sewn 40s jeans (more on those in another post), short sleeved shirt with new handknit sweater atop (more on that in another post as well!) were enough for the short trip from front door to car, from car to party and back again. I topped it all off with my nice, thick Pendleton 49er and away we went.

As we trundled out of the house Wow! The cold was so . . .stark it just sucked the breath right out of me. We all quickly scuttled to the car and cranked up the heat. We noticed that the car thermometer stated that it was 18 degrees out! Yikes.

Post party chowdown, several attendees decided to go for a walk in the lovely snow. I was apprehensive at best but again was shocked at just how positively chilling the weather really can get. By the time we got to the little park a mere block down the street, I could barely feel my ears and had my hands shoved WAY down in my pockets which was doing very little in the way of keeping them warm.

It was then that I wished I’d brought along these:

Mmm . . . Angora-y

Isn’t this a darling set? Nothing is quite so charmingly vintage Winter to me as a little angora set. This pattern can be found at this website. She also has an Etsy shop featuring affordably priced vintage knitting patterns should you be so interested.

Here’s a decidedly un-vintage me modeling mine shortly after I cast off the last mitten.

Stay warm friends!

Eileen

Busy Bee

15 Dec

Here I was thinking I’d have all this free time but what I’ve managed to do is the following:

Lots of baking- one batch per night!

These cookies are not all the cookies I’ve made this week. I’m averaging a batch per night of a different type of cookie. These will go into goodie bags for my co-workers and our neighbors, with some saved for us and Santa of course!

Decorating. We went to a charming little Xmas tree farm this weekend and chopped this baby down. This is the first time any of us had done this. It was fun though I couldn’t help feeling a little bit guilty!

Nutcrackers and Smokers

As an homage to my German heritage, I arranged this little German tableaux on the mantle. These are my prized nutcrackers and smoker men that I inherited from my Mom. The carving behind them is a lucky thrift store find from the Black Forest which I thought suited them just fine!

And finally . . .

Making presents. These particular socks are for my GIANT brother in law who specifically requested wool socks for when he comes to visit. Unfortunately for me, the kid has size 12 feet so these took a while! There have been other knitted gifts as well but those are either in the mail or not yet photographed! Funny how when I’m working on gifts for others, all I can think about is what I’m going to make for MYSELF once I’m finished. Alas- the daughter and hub require mittens so it is not yet to be!

What have you been up to?