Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to Knitting

We had a nice visit in Aiken this weekend with Ashley and David. Their home renovation is coming along. We could see big changes since our last visit! The drive gave me a chance to get back to work on the Christmas stocking. It is almost finished! This has been a big learning project for someone who has not worked with intarsia or made a sock. I know there is room to improve on my technique, but I'm pretty well pleased so far. I have "turned the heel" and we're coming down on the toe. Not many rows left . . .
Ashley took me to the LYS : Barbara Sue Brodie's Needleworks in downtown Aiken, S. C.
I really liked the shop and the ladies were VERY helpful. All the yarns are arranged according to color. I had not been in a shop arranged this way . . . what a beautiful rainbow of colors and fiber!
I could have spent hours in there. They were getting close to closing time, but did not rush us at all. There were so many great options for a new project. . . we found this luscious light mint green yarn by Classic Elite : Premiere. It is 50/50 Pima Cotton and Tensel. I have plans for a lacy blanket. More to come on that!
This shop also has an abundance of needlepoint canvas and fiber. What a find!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blue Bedroom

Finally, I find time to write this post on the blue bedroom project. The goal was to make a bedskirt and two Euro-shams to add some interest to this otherwise boring bed.
Ashley found this fabric for me. It is made by Braemore textiles. I haven't been able to find the name of this pattern.
I made the gathered bedskirt in 3 panels and used bedskirt pins to attach the panels to the top of the boxspring. I have found this to be very easy and provides flexibility so that the length doesn't have to be "exact".
Look at this mess!
The Euro-shams are 26" sqares with 4" ruffle and basic cording. Here I am attaching the cording to the top side of the pillow.
One good turn deserves another. So now I'm looking for just the right artwork for the wall above the headboard. And . . . thinking that a duvet would be nice. However, I still think this is a good start to putting this room together.
Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Busy Weekend

I was out of the office on Friday and devoted most of the day to working on the pillow covers for the blue bedroom. One done, and the other is close. I've only broken 3 sewing machine needles so far. No wonder I procrastinated on this project for so long!
I did some mending and button sewing. Finally got the buttons on the Baby Surprise Jacket. Not to bore you with one more picture, but here is a proper picture with the buttons. Yeah!
Philip and I took a little time-out in Charleston on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate our anniversary (number 31 - but who's counting?). We enjoyed the "camellia walk" at Middleton Gardens. The guide was very informative and the camellia "trees" were amazing. Some of these camellias were brought to the Middleton's from France and planted in the 1700's. There is also a "new garden" of camellias that was planted in the 1930's. It is like walking through a camellia forest. I had never visited there before. It was worth the trip. In about 2 weeks the azaleas will be in full bloom. I highly recommend a visit if you're a plant-lover.
The picture below shows one of the original four camellias brought from France and planted in the 1700's. The plant was damaged by Hurricane Hugo and has been reduced to about one-third the size it had been.
Below, Philip is standing next to the trunk of one of the very old camellia plants.
Alba Plena, a beautiful white specimen.
We also visited Hyam's Nursery on James Island. (They don't have a website.) This is also a wonderful place to visit (and buy plants) for those who get excited over springtime and planting.
We purchased a wire basket to repot our Staghorn Fern. He has outgrown his little orchid box. These ferns are so peculiar that I didn't quite know what to do with him, so I decided to try a larger basket with a liner. I planted him in a 50/50 mixture of spagnum moss and potting soil. Hope he likes his new home.
We are back home now and I intend to get the other pillow cover finished pronto!! I'm ready to put up the sewing machine for a while - I better get a few new needles, too!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

A HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad!!! We celebrated his 76th birthday last night here at Chechessee with spaghetti dinner and birthday cake. This is the Terrific Tiger Birthday Cake that MaryGrace made for her grandaddy. She is a talented baker . . . Bakerella watch out!!
Momma with the birthday guy.
Ashley , Philip, and Momma . . .
Bryce, Patsy, and Susan . . .
Ty, Tony, and David . . .
Did he blow them all out??
We had a great time celebrating together! Many, many wishes for your birthday and the years ahead!! We love you!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Goodbye, Winter . . .

One more beautiful camellia, Nuccio's Gem.
Hello Spring!!! We found some yellow jessamine in the yard this past weekend, the azaleas are blooming, and we've had a few beautiful days with highs in the 80's.

I am more convinced than ever, how "down" I get in the winter. A few days of warm weather and sunshine, and I feel like new. More energy. . . it sure is great. Such weird things get me excited . . . like seeing new growth on the ferns and the plumbago that I thought had been killed by the cold weather.

I had a great day - very relaxing and very productive. First, I had a follow-up with the orthopedist. My fibula has healed and I can gradually resume activities. (Thanks once again to all who helped me out over the last 2 months . . . I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful family members and friends!)

I ran a few errands, then spent a few hours relaxing on the dock, enjoying the sun, watching the porpoises, and reading/knitting. After getting in the proper frame of mind, I came in to work on a sewing project that I have put off for months. I am making a bedskirt and pillow shams for the blue bedroom. The fabric is a floral with some blue flowers on a cream background.

The bedskirt is done, I will wait and post pictures after the pillows are done.

Hello Spring!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pink and White Surprise

I am finally finished (minus buttons) with the ever-entertaining Baby Surprise Jacket. This is my second BSJ. I learned a few things with this one. 1) Gauge is VERY important to the size of the finished garmet - surprise! surprise! My gauge was about 7 stitches per inch which yields about a 12month size (my estimate). I will use this for a baby gift. It's a good thing babies grow. 2) I decided to use some striping in this because I realized that I would not have enough yarn to complete the project in the original cream colorway. So, I ordered some pink and placed some stripes - pretty randomly. Alas, I am quite pleased with the result. I joined the KAL at Ravelry and picked up a few good ideas there. 3) Changing colors toward the end of the pattern (where 10 stitches are picked up on each side and "stitches on hold" are brought back into the lineup - about row 101 - will place the new color along the bottom of the sweater and along the button bands.
Here is a picture of the infamous BSJ on the needles. Who could imagine this will be a sweater?
A little further along with the magical "folding" done. Voila!! A sweater!!
The lighting in this final picture is not great. I will try to replace it with a better picture. The colors in the previous pictures is more accurate. Nevertheless, here is the completed BSJ. I had purchased 3 small pearl buttons. They are too small , once again - due to the gauge. I will find some larger ones.
To recap: Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere - size 5 needles.