Monday, November 23, 2015

Rambling Cable Scarf turned infinity

Daughter #2 has wanted to knit herself a scarf ever since she crocheted her first afghan.
Last Christmas she got some yarn for a gift.

Since then she has been working on this scarf off and on as she needed a break from homework or felt more motivated to get it done. And also in between the craziness of moving earlier this Spring.

As the weather has been cooling off here in MN she pulled it out and we realized that the only thing it needed to be completed was to sew the edges together to make it an infinity style scarf, and then block it.  Both of which turned out to be my job.

This scarf pattern is intended to make randomly placed cables through the 3 columns for a "wonky" type look.  No reading of cable diagrams to follow.  I have to say that daughter #2 is not at all random.  She decided that she wanted each column to cable at the same time. So by the time she was finished her project it appeared that she had followed a pattern.

"To each his own" as my mom would always say.

I still think this is one of the best scarf patterns to start learning cables.


  • Pattern here.
  • First version I knitted of this scarf pattern.
  • 2 skeins of Loops & Threads Impeccable in either Aran or Heather. We threw away the yarn label.  Her next project she wants to make a scarf in Burgundy.  She has the yarn ready to go.  Just needs to decide the pattern and style.
  • Finished dimensions 6 inches wide by 100 inches long. (She can wrap it 3 times shown in the picture immediately above).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Modern Solid Scraps

I tried my hand at a scrappy solids quilt this year.
I've been working on it for a few months here in the new house.
I like it.
A lot.
I might just have to start another one.

  • Inspiration from CrazyMomQuilts and this quilt.
  • Used leftovers from this quilt and the stash.
  • Added the white sashing to make the quilt bigger for us tall folk.  I may cut it down some.  Not sure yet.
  • Won't get quilted for awhile since Lynn isn't taking any new quilting projects 'til after Christmas.  Bummer!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Some Fall Canning

With this new house I  have a new set-up for canning.

My kitchen stove has a flat glass top which is lovely most of the time, except for when you're doing canning.  I have used it for some pressure canning for short amounts of time--i.e. peaches (6 min. at 10# of pressure).  However, I have been nervous about using it for any meats or beans which take up to 90 minutes for quarts.  I've heard stories of broken glass tops with the canner heated for so long.

Plus, let's be honest, I need to do more than one canner at a time if possible.

Earlier, in late summer, I was looking for a camp stove at my local Fleet Farm store. Which for those of you in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Iowa you know how much fun this store can be.

I was looking for a 2 burner stove which runs around $80-100.  My sister, a cousin, and one of my good friends all swear by their camp stove canning set-up.  However, instead of a 2 burner I found a 3 burner stove, on sale for $100.  Regular price $200!  Hubby thought I was a little nuts to get one this big.  However, he did help me set it all up and hook up the propane.

When you own 3 pressure canners like I do, a 3 burner camp stove is perfect.  The short story of the pressure canners is I bought one after we got married, inherited one when Hubby's grandmother passed away (that is the heavy double stacker), and then found another one at the thrift store for about $8 and I just had to replace the rubber ring and overflow plug (another $9). 

Here is the set-up all running out in my garage. 
With 3 canners I am able to can 32 pints in one sitting.  That beats 8 at a time, or even 16 with the double stacker.  This just worked out so slick.

Besides beans I have also recently canned Apple Pie Filling (recipe from the Ball Blue Book)

This is my favorite little contraption to help out with pie filling.
It peels, cuts and quarters all at the same time. 
This one is from Pampered Chef, but I've seen them at Target and other stores too.

Just quarter cut the slices and add them to some salt water to keep from browning.

This year I got apples from Fall Harvest Orchard and tried their pie mix bags.
You can see that different apple varieties produce different colors of apples.  Some are more white inside than others.

Delicious looking!
We made some crisp with the amount leftover that I didn't have room for and it was yummy!

Just last week I canned meats.
Above are jars of venison and black beans (they can the same amount of time) and below some pork chunks.  With beef as expensive as it is around here we've been eating a lot of pork.

I bought a pork loin at Sam's Club for $1.88/lb.  It was 10.21 lbs. for $19.19 and I was able to can 6 1/2 quarts worth of pork chunks.  I think I will go get another one and do it again.

I'm so excited to get our food storage back up to speed.  Canning does take work, but I like being able to just open jars later in the winter and basically have dinners ready to go.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Scarf for Ashlee

My sister-n-law Ashlee and I made a trade this year.
Actually I initiated the trade.
She made this fun porch sign for me for our new house.

And in return she wanted a knitted infinity scarf.

I love trades.
It makes me happy to give something that I love to make in return for something someone else loves to make.
It's a Win-Win all the way around.

I just sent it off last week.
Sorry, Ashlee that it took me so long.
It's not that it was difficult.  I just kept getting sidetracked.

Here you go!

Ahhh, my helpful model (daughter #1)
And yes, she wanted me to actually take these goofy pictures.

  • Pattern is Meringue Hand Knitted Cowl (before the updated version) from My Little City Girl.  I have to say the first version pattern was a little difficult to read and follow.  Hopefully the second version really is easier.
  • Yarn is Red Heart Soft in navy. 
  • Porch sign idea from HERE.
  • I think you can find some of Ashlee's stuff here. Check it out if you live in the Casper, WY area.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A round of baby swimsuits

I haven't made any little baby swimsuits for what seems like years.
Honestly, I don't think it has been that long, but it seems like everyone was having boys for the longest time. And while I'm not opposed to making little swimsuits for boys, not everyone (or every dad) can appreciate a Speedo on their little guy. (Mostly I make them for a fun reaction!)

However, we might be back in baby girl mode now.
I recently made 4 sets of baby swimsuits and it was so fun.
My girls are done with any pink.  I may be the only one of us who ever wears any pink anymore.

Anyway, I had a fun time sewing up these teeny little suits for my friends and family and the new babies.

Size 2T suits.

Close-up of the texture of these BRIGHT pink suits.
No more embellishment needed.

Nothing like a good little skirted suit for the princesses.

I photograph these suits on my hand so you can get the ide of how little they are.
This is a 1T size suit.

Size 24-36 months

Love, love, love a good ruffle bum swimsuit for little girls!!

I have to say my friend Jenny, who received this purple suit, was dying!!.  She is having her first girl after 2 boys and she couldn't be more happy.  She told me she wished this suit was smaller so that she could bring her new daughter home from the hospital in it.  She's due the end of December and lives in MN--even if it did fit that might not be the best idea Jenny.


  • Purple suit pattern is Kwik Sew 3606.
  • Other 2 suit styles are Kwik Sew 2512. I've had this pattern for years! It appears that Kwik Sew no longer makes any baby swimsuit patterns. 
  • Swimsuit fabric from the stash.  Bought from the thrift store when I find it.
  • Used a 2.5 Stretch Twin Needle for the topstitching.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Can you be a sweat shop when sewing for your own family?

My youngest 2 children do NOT like to wear jeans.
I'm not sure how they are related to me.
I love a good pair of jeans.
Either way, they have to wear long pants some time, especially living in Minnesota.
Daughter #3 is currently 12 and absolutely won't wear jeans.
It is leggings or nothing for her. No lie.
At least my youngest son will unhappily wear jeans if all else is dirty.
But if he has a choice, sweat pants are preferred.

So a week or so ago I de-stashed and sewed all at the same time.
It was like a mass production site in my basement.
It felt great to sew.  I haven't really sat down and done a lot for a few months.
But then I did get to thinking, can you be a sweat shop when sewing for your own family?

After all was said and done I made for her
  • 1 pair black sweats
  • 2 pair black leggings
  • 1 pair red leggings
  • 1 pair green leggings
  • 1 pair orange leggings 
  • 3 pair of blue leggings
Seriously, if she even remotely complains about not having any pants to wear I might have to hurt her.

Another set she wore for her "Anabeth" costume for Halloween.
She is currently super-obsessed with the Percy Jackson series.

My son got 2 pairs of black sweatpants and so he is super happy.  Almost all his other sweats have been turned into shorts because he had either wrecked the knees or they were turning into capris for him.  Not a good look for 9/10 yr. old boys.

  • Favorite girls' legging pattern is Kwik Sew 1591.  It is out of print, so you could try KS 3476 or KS 3958.  The thing I like about this pattern is that there is no side seam.  Front and back are cut together.  Sews up super fast!  Also, the leggings aren't super skin tight.  I don't love that on girls.
  • All the knit fabric I used for her was from my stash. However, I can't decide if I actually made a dent in my knit supply or not.  Sad!
  • The sweat pant pattern I use most often for the kids is Kwik Sew 2617. I use this pattern for flannel pajamas as well.  It is, of course, out of print as well, but it appears that 3786 is their updated pattern version.
  • Black sweat pant fabric from Jo-Ann's.  Use a 50% off coupon as it is a little pricey, but it washes up really nice.


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