Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Queen Elsa

Grace, along with every other girl in the United States, is nuts about the movie Frozen. So Gramma had to crank up the sewing machine so she could have a dress for Halloween. She wanted to sew it herself, but she just doesn't have the skills yet to do a project like this. Heck, it gave this seasoned veteran a few headaches! We're leaving for Mazatlan on Saturday and won't be back until late on Halloween so the pressure is on. She's hard to fit but I took copious measurements and it fits really well. The only problem is, even though I enlarged the sleeve pattern, they are still snug. She's going to be cold trick or treating. I might make her a cape-right, like I have time! I did line the yoke with flesh colored swimsuit lining to be warmer and hide her bra.

Just have to hem it, hopefully tomorrow morning. I have to work two days, pick up Sydney from school, go to my naturopath today followed by last minute purchases, and pack. Guess I'll sleep when we get there. And I had a bunch of stress last week, so my shoulders are so tight it's excruciating. I'll get there, I'm sure. One nice thing, after Friday I'll be completely retired.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Following in my Footsteps

Grace has been bugging me since school let out to give her some sewing lessons. I've been MIA all summer because I made the dumb decision to make my gluten free cookies and sell them at the farmer's market. The market was successful, but just took too much of my time. With working and baking and selling the summer flew by and I never had a free minute to sew, let alone teach someone. But Grace is an extremely creative person and I knew she should be taught.

Our schedules finally meshed and she came over Saturday. I set her up with an easy project-a pillowcase. I first showed her some of the equipment and explained what it was for. When I introduced her to the seam ripper I told her to get to know it intimately because even good sewers make mistakes. She was excited and really eager to learn. She did everything I told her and was super careful. I'm impressed with her talent, she will definitely follow in Gramma's footsteps.

Here she is at the machine. I had to keep reminding her to relax, but she is a good listener and did what I told her to do. She worked on the serger too, she thought that went awfully fast!

Ta da! Finished and looks great!
Then we went out for lunch and I took her home. She immediately raced across the alley to fetch her best friend so she could show off her project. Sierra was almost as excited as Grace. Who knows, maybe next time I'll have two little girls to teach!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Bee in my Bonnet

I absolutely love rag rugs and would have a ton in the house if I had more time to make them. My bathroom rugs had died and I seized the chance to replace them with rugs made from sheets. How much more durable can you get? Big problem, Stan's tender feet objected to them. He's had foot surgery and they are very sensitive.

So I moved the rugs to other parts of the house and bought some memory foam rugs. Very soft, but they wear out quick and the first time you wash them the no-slip is gone. What to do?

I was messing around in my sewing room and I spied all the polar fleece in my stash. "Hmmm," said I, "Polar fleece is soft." So off I went.

We'll see, it's quite thick, but pretty soft. I have a no-skid spray I'll put on the back. Might have to reapply after washing, but that's not so bad. I have enough strips cut for an oblong one too, but I'm taking a small break, the fiber particles are pretty thick so I'll likely be working on it outside. If they don't work I'll give them to my son Steve for a house warming gift for his new apartment.

Monday, June 2, 2014


The dogs and I are sitting on the porch, knitting and enjoying this lovely spring day.

I suspect the dogs are more interested in scouting out something to bark at. Well I just heard thunder, the storm they promised is moving in. Time to go put supper on the table.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Back in the Saddle

Finally got back to doing some sewing. It just seems like life keeps dragging me away from it. I decided that if I had to I'd work in small bits of time, even 15 minutes if that's all I can carve out. That helps and I got one of Stan's birthday shirts done in three sessions. Well, you might call it four-Stan has lost quite a bit of weight, around 40 pounds. He kept insisting that the XL would fit him still. I tried to explain to him that pattern sizes are bigger than ready to wear.

He came back from mushroom hunting (it's morel season in Montana) just after I finished the shirt. When he tried it on partly assembled he threw it over his shirt, which didn't give us a true estimate of fit. It was huge on him! So back down to the sewing room to do some remodeling. Fortunately men's shirts are relatively easy to alter. I took close to 6" out of the chest and sides, plus raised the shoulder seams by about 1 1/2". Looks better now.

The other shirt is cut out, but I'll dig out a smaller pattern and recut it. Stan is happy at least one of his birthday shirts is done-his birthday was in December!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hats, Hats, Hats!

So far, I have all the Yoda ears stiffened and drying and I just cast on for the last hat. I have the hats for the boys' siblings done as well. I can't wait until she gets all the hats! She thinks she's paying for them, but they're going to be a family gift.

Her oldest is twelve so I figured he wouldn't be too keen on Yoda so I made a basic hat in his school colors.

The only girl is 8 I believe, so she gets lavender.
Now I must apply myself so I can mail them this week yet. She wants them for Easter so that would be enough time. Oh, I did send the first one off to get an idea of size, and they loved it! And it looks soooo cute on the baby. I'll see if she minds my sharing pictures.

Monday, March 10, 2014


My adopted daughter-in-law sent me a picture of the cutest Yoda hat and wondered if I could make three for her youngest boys by Easter. I found the pattern on Ravelry and set to work. The pattern was written by a gal in New Zealand and she used a DK weight yarn. Not finding what I wanted I went with worsted and made some pattern adjustments. One is finished and I'll mail it today. I made the newborn size for her six month old and if it fits him I'll know where to go. If it fits the two year old I'll reduce the stitch count even more. Then from there I can figure out what the six year old needs. Sure glad I have time!

It's a fun pattern to do and sewing on the ears was a lot easier than I expected. They are stiffened so they stand out a bit.
While I'm waiting I'd better finish some WIPs that are nudging me. Have a stole almost finished and I'm experimenting with a sweater for me. If you're interested in the pattern just go to Ravelry and do a search. I love Ravelry! Oh, and while I'm sharing the love, I have to thank The Yarn Box for putting up a link to my crochet Swiffer cover. That was so nice!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


All that snow we got last week is gone.  After several days of extreme cold and record amounts of snow (check out the picture on my previous post), it warmed up quickly.  Then the water started to run!  The whole state is under a flood watch, but we definitely got our share.  The tiny community south of us got a lot of water from an overflowing creek, then Manhattan was blessed from that same creek.

These are pictures from KBZK Bozeman News station.  The woman on the canoe is floating down main street!
The waters took out about a three block area of downtown.  Many businesses and some homes have been affected.  The hardest is going to be our little grocery store.  Just a Mom and Pop business, they are going to be devastated.  Not sure if they have flood insurance-that is extra on your policy and your community has to participate in the national flood program, which our county does.  The mayor is talking to the governor to get it declared a disaster area so they can all get federal aid.

But I have to be proud of my little town-Blackhawk!, a gun accessory manufacturer that just moved to Manhattan about a year and a half ago, gathered up all their employees and heavy equipment and pitched in alongside the emergency teams.  They managed to get all the water pumped out of the park (on the left in the bottom picture) and over to an area that could drain.  Then they drained all the basements.  Now comes the cleanup-today there was a huge dump trailer outside the grocery store and it was heaping full of damaged materials.  A bank that hasn't even broken ground for the branch they are opening here provided lunch yesterday and a dear couple that own the famous Sir Scott's Oasis provided Friday's lunch.  Stan and I are hoping to help out this week, even if it's bringing lunch to the helpers.

Draining water from the grocery store's basement.

The little grocery store. (Where the windows are)

The lady is from Manhattan Bank, probably touching base about cleanup.  Manhattan Bank is very community minded.
Thankfully, our house wasn't touched.  We live on the north side of town, and the railroad tracks prevented the water from coming our way.  It was a little dicey getting home since both roads out of town are on the south side of town.

This isn't a precedent.  I understand the town floods every so many years.

This is a snapshot from the Gallatin Historical Society showing the flood in 1928.  Identical to the picture from Friday except the trees are smaller.
So pray for the folks around the state-Livingston, a small town 50 miles east of here has been declared a state of emergency already and many communities in the eastern part of the state have evacuated.  Summer can come any time.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Like a Lion

March certainly did come in like a lion. It's still storming as I write. It's not quite as bad in our little town, we're far enough away from the passes we don't usually get as much snow. We were supposed to go to a funeral in Bozeman this morning, but the sheriff issued an "essential travel only" warning. This never happens here-schools never close even if the temps are way below zero.

Our poor deck furniture probably thinks we'll never use it.

So I'm baking to keep the house warm. And yes, those cupcakes are "safe" for me. Pizza later.
A warm up is expected tomorrow and it will be thawing by the middle of the week. Some of the snow piles around town are over 15 feet high, it'll probably be July before those are gone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Will I Get It Done?

One of my favorite barristas is having a baby in a few weeks. My friend Sherry and I are invited to her shower, which is Friday. I threw yarn and needles into my suitcase and started a sweater while we were in Mazatlan.

What better place for knitting and morning coffee?

Panting a little, but getting there. I'm doing the sleeves together, my second skein of yarn seemed to have a subtle difference in color, so I thought if wouldn't be as noticeable. So far I can't see a difference, I think it was how it was wound. The yarn is so old the labels are gone. I bet it's over 20 years old.
The yarn is a pompadour, usually I don't mind working with it, but this one likes to twist, the air is dry and the yarn sticks to my dry fingers. I'll be glad to be finished.

I'm giving her one of my hankie bonnets and some booties from my stash, too. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures when the little girl is born.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Second Home

We consider Mazatlan our second home and we are very happy to be here this week. Especially since the temps in Montana are -25°F all week!  We have a son house sitting so we can enjoy without worrying about our house or the dogs. They are having a balmy winter down here-low 80s every day. We'll take it. Not planning anything too exciting, made it to the supermarket yesterday, maybe el Centro tomorrow and dinner in town on the weekend. Mostly lots of relaxing, beach walking, eating and knitting.

The view from out patio. We prefer to be up a few floors  to see the ocean, but this was all that was left. This is very convenient anyway, a short jog to the bar, pool, and the beach. And no stairs!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One More Gift

When Stan's mom passed away I ended up with most of her sewing supplies, which included her small fabric stash.  She was a frugal soul, and if a dress wore out she would dismantle it and use it for other projects.  I'd been wanting to make something for the siblings and grandkids to remember her by, but didn't want to make 14 memory bears.  So I got the idea of making "dog bone pillows," neck pillows for napping or travel. 

They do look like a dog bone and are pretty comfy.

They don't take too long to make, but when you have a few to do...

Such a frugal soul, she made the pattern out of a newspaper.
New year's day we had a family Christmas get-together, and after all the other gifts were opened I dumped the bag of pillows out on the table and told them to pick one.  They scrambled for them, sister Norma recognized two of the fabrics that had been part of her own clothing.  They were a great hit!  Only thing was, I miscounted.  I had to make one more for the niece in Oregon.  I finished that this morning while I was waiting for some fabric to wash.  Next project is two new dress shirts for Stan-his birthday present.  I bought the fabric and gave it to him on his birthday and now I have to get cracking on shirts.

Now I should be taking down the tree but I'm getting the lazies.  I baked all morning too, and I might get supper made, but I doubt anything else is going to happen.  Maybe a little knitting while watching the British sitcoms on PBS-our Saturday night tradition.

Stay tuned, we might be zipping off to Mazatlan in the next few weeks if we can get out ducks in a row.  I am ready!  We were waiting for Irene to finish some medical things, but decided we could go in the spring with her and just the two of us could go now.  We wanted to go for our anniversary in October, but life got in the way, so we can count this as an anniversary trip.  Think we even have a house sitter!