AtoZ Challenge...Stockinette Stitch Speed Knitting

I am a SLOW Knitter and a SPEEDY Crocheter.  This I know from years of starting knitting projects that about half way through become WIP (works in progress) that seldom make any progress.  They eventually are Un-knitted via the Yarn Winder.  Yikes...all those hours knitting ripped out in minutes.
 I truly love the look of knitting....just plain ole knitting which is called 'Stockinette Stitch'.
So, when I get the urge to knit and the project calls for casting on a kabillion stitches on forever circular needles I get out 'Bonda'. 

She and I have a close bond when it comes to Stockinette Speed Knitting. 

For the Cardigan Shrug I cast on every other needle for a total of 25.  This makes a loose stockinette  stitch when using worsted weight homespun yarn. 

Zipping back and forth across the 25 needles for about 15 minutes makes a knitted piece 15 inches wide and 40 inches long.  In about 45 minutes I have three panels made.  Speedy, right?  Now for 'Speedy Crochet' to join the panels which I usually do in my 'Needlework Nest' while watching TV.  All that is left is to Speedy Crochet edging all around and around the armholes to make a cuff.

Modella will model for you as soon as I finish 'Speedy Crocheting'.
That WAS speedy, huh?
PS...I'm gone again...will catch up on Monday!
Thanks for your visit and comment!


AtoZ Challenge...Remnants

Shopping for fabric and remnants back in the days of my Great Grandmother may have been limited to mail order catalogs like W. and H. Walker.  

I seriously doubt she owned a Silk Finished Messaline dress and more than likely never ordered remnants.  Even with the PrePay Postage and the unheard of inclusion of  2 1/2 yards of SILK in each Remnant Bundle for $1.00. 

What she probably did was study every picture and page of this W. and H. Walker mail order catalog and then shopped the local Texas Mercantile for cotton yardage that would make three dresses for herself, Stella and Ella. 

Stella was my grandmother, and in 1917 she probably wished for the '3 for $1.39' dresses.
I am my Great Grandmother's 'Remnant Collecting Granddaughter'.  And like her, I am a 'Picky Remnant Collector' with 100 percent Cottons being my #One Choice.

The Remnant Shelf is the first place I head these days at my local fabric store.   It's not that I really NEED these wrapped bundles....I just really love the way they look in my  Sewing Room and the Basket that reminds me of my Great Grandmother. 
Besides, much like in 1917,  these bundles are a bargin
even without the  2 1/2 yards of SILK!

PS...I'm gone again...will catch up on Monday!
Thanks for your visit and comment!


AtoZ Challenge...QUILT Magazine

 American's Favorite Quilting Magazine!
I wasn't a Quilter during the Winter of 1985, but my MotherInLaw was a Quilt Magazine Collector, and I'm guessing she was thinking about becoming a Quilter.  She was an experienced seamstress with many years of dressmaking for herself and her daughters.  She had the largest collection of 'Polyester Double Knit' this side of Dallas.  One day, around 1995 or so, I was telling her about my Quilting Lessons at the Senior Citizens Center...that story HERE.   We were sitting at the kitchen table drinking IceTea and talking about sewing and fabrics...again double knit...when she remembered her Collection of Quilt Magazines. 
 That was the beginning of my Collection of 1980's Quilt Magazines.  The Winter 1985 issue is the oldest one I have, and if I remember correctly, my MIL thought it would be perfect for a Beginning Quilter.  She was right.  It has also become a Treasury of All-Time Favorite Quilts and Memories of SweetTea, Kitchen Table Visits and my MIL Ruth.
Would you like to collect Quilt Magazines?
I can help...most any except 1980's QUILT!


AtoZ Challenge...Pink Pagoda and The Photo Bomber

I've always been a funky yarn collector, and that is how I classify the Trendsetter Yarn Pagoda.  Collecting it is one thing, but finding a use for it is another.  Finally, I did...find a use as a crochet trim on scarves made for 'Wear Your Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness' during the month of October.
Since I needed to make a bunch of scarves quickly, I set up my knitting machine and organized the Pagoda funky yarn along with the Supersoft Pink yarn.  It was a scarf knitting production line.  It was also a project to photo document for a program I was planning to give on the knitting machine.

I was so intent on keeping up with the number of scarves made and setting up the machine for each scarf I never noticed the 'Photo Bomber'...until now.  How I missed him in the first shot, I don't know, but he upped his bombing in the second shot with puppies....how did I not see that? 

Have you stopped laughing? 
I haven't, but guessed you might like to see one of the finished Pink Pagoda Scarves.
Oh, and the Photo Bomber
He finally got my attention!
Do I have your attention?
Please support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and
take care of yourself....schedule a mammogram.


AtoZ Challenge...Grandmother Otis' Orphan Sunbonnet Sue

I don't have a Grandmother Oatis, but if I did, this orphan block would be a family heirloom and a treasured piece of needlework.  
Here's what I know about Grandmother Oatis from this Sunbonnet Sue block:
* The block was intended to be a block in a quilt for Mrs. Oatis' granddaughter. 
*  It was likely done in the mid to late 1930's from scraps from her own dress.
*The background muslin is more of a gauze and not a desirable fabric for a quilt.
*Grandmother Oatis was not an experienced stitcher.
*  This block was left out of the quilt.
Always the optimist, I surely hope Mrs. Oatis made a second block and considered this one a practice piece. 

I imagine when she compared this first attempt with other more experienced sewers, she realized that her embroidery stitches could be neater and the pencil and ink lines could be followed more closely.

 I bet on the second one she figured out that three strands of black embroidery floss was easier and neater for stitching lettering, fingers and bows. 

My favorite thing about her signature is the way she wrote grandmother as two words...both capitalized.  I hope she signed the second one the same way...don't you? 

If you look closely (click to enlarge)  the gauzy background is fairly transparent and has age spots.  This is typical on old quilts that have been stored in a cedar chest or wrapped in plastic. 

Both of those emit gases that not only leave spots but rot the fabric.  Better to store quilts in a cotton pillow case or acid free paper and boxes.

I used three strands of embroidery thread and made those spots into flowers.  Next, I trimmed the original block down a bit, added a border of 1930's hexagon flower blocks.  Backed it with muslin, hand quilted and stitched on floral binding.

Thank-you Grand Mother Oatis.
It is my pleasure to save your Sunbonnet Sue Album Block.
Are you kin to Grand Mother Oatis?


AtoZ Challenge...Needlepoint Pocket and Pansy PhD

First, I confess I did not stick one needle through the needlepoint canvas of this stunning day lily needlepoint.  It was repurposed from a framed needlepoint picture found at a flea market.  I cannot pass by any needlepoint pieces at thrift shops, junktique stores or flea markets.  My first thought goes to the person who put in so much time and effort, and my next thought is..."I have to save it".  Therein begins it's path to becoming a PhD...Project half Done!

Now for earning credits...with the Needlepoint de-framed,  it is lined and ready to be a bag pocket.  Next came the Bonda BagBody. It takes less than thirty minutes to whip out a BagBody on Bonda.

I cast on Bonda with 'Waste Yarn' and knitted the front first... keeping in mind the placement of the pocket, and that I wanted the section for the pocket to be knitted in black so the pocket would blend.   I also wanted to repeat most of the colors in the Lily Pocket...which worked out perfect for using up several PhDone skeins of yarn.

Once the front was knitted, consideration was given to what would be the bottom of the bag and the color that would wear best and also fit the scheme of the bag.  I think the burnt orange worked out great.  The 'Tweedy' looking yarn was perfect for the main color and there was more than a PhDone skein.  Bands of the coordinating colors in varied widths complete the back of the bag. 

 As you can see...I finished with crochet.  Crochet is such an easy and quick way to finish a knitted piece, and I love the mixes of textures it gives to the overall look of the bag. 

That's why I chose to do the strap in the 'Afghan Stitch' aka Tunisian Crochet.  It makes for a sturdy strap as well.

Now for the decorating!!!!

With the Fall colors in the Lily Pocket being carried out through the knitted bag body, it seemed a perfect time to use the fall fabric I had in my stash for the lining. 

It is machine stitched to the bag and then a running stitch of perl cotton to give a decorative look and to give the crocheted edging and bag opening stability.

More decorative touches are added with the Crocheted Shell Edging done in a DK weight yarn, and my FAVORITE  embellishment of the string of beads sewn to the strap. 

Not only do I SAVE needlepoint by others, I needlepoint, too. 
Still earning credit towards my Pansy PhD.
Are you working on your PhD?


AtoZ Challenge...My Mandala Mania

AtoZ Letter M

The word 'mandala' itself means 'circle'...a Hindu/Buddhist graphic symbol of the spiritual universe.  For the modern western world a mandala is the "psychological expression of the totality of self" (Carl Jung).

For me, it became an opportunity to express myself in fiber, which morphed into somewhat of an addiction.  Hard as I tried not to be a 'Mandala OverDoSue Maniac', I could not stop myself from going round and round with my favorite crochet hook 'J' and a mixture of yarns and other fibers.  Would Jung have a field day with my psychological expression of self or what?

After several months of maniacal crocheting, cramped fingers, and aching shoulders, it ended with a collection/gallery of table centerpieces.  I did rugs, too, but that's another letter.
What's your 'Modern Mania Mandala' of Self Expression?


AtoZ Challenge...Libby LuLa Loom

AtoZ Letter 'L'

The Libby LuLa Loom is made for a specific style of weaving called Twinning.  Twinning is an ancient weaving technique that has virtually disappeared in most industrial nations. 

In the US few people are familiar with twinning unless they make baskets or twinned rag rugs.  If you would like to learn more about Rag Rug Twinning and it's resurgence in America...HERE is a U-Tube video.

I make rag rugs and table runners and was drawn to this weave because it covers the warp completely and creates a more interesting texture than the typical over and under basket weave. The other thing is using fabric strips for both your warp and weave.  As a quilter/sewer/crafter, I have lots of scrap strips.

Libby LuLa Looms are handcrafted one at a time, and feature adjustable wooden peg bars for length and width choices.  Metal rods run the length of the loom and ensure a smooth straight edge as the fabric strips are wrapped around them. 

Overall size is 47"H x 28"W which will make a large rug approximately 25" x 42".

The companion 'Easel' completes the loom and for me was a must as I prefer to stand while working on the loom.  The Easel is also handcrafted to match the loom and is a separate order. 

HERE is the link for more information and/or to order a Libby LuLa Loom on Etsy. 

My first project was a 'Twined Table Runner' made of denim.  It was 12 inches wide and 48 inches long.  A formidable first time project to be sure, but that's my OverDoSue thing.  I was very pleased with the way it turned out and quite satisfied with being able to weave again.
Twinned Runners & Rug Gallery
Don't these Runners & Rugs make you want to do
The Libby LuLa?


AtoZ Challenge...Knitting Quotes

AtoZ Letter K

I don't know what the question is, but the answer is YARN!
I said to myself, I need to do something besides knit today...
Then I laughed and laughed!
Any questions asked while I am counting stitches will be answered with
It started out as a harmless hobby.  I had no idea it would come to this!
I Knit...What's your Superpower?


AtoZ Challenge...Juxtaposed Jane

AtoZ Letter J

 Several years ago the opportunity came my way to take a Dear Jane Workshop and Lecture.

With the lecture and introduction came instructions not to think in terms of completing or even come close to making the 225 blocks in the Dear Jane Quilt.

Rather, concentrate on the techniques that the Instructor Brenda had spent hours and hours in making patterns of the 4 inch blocks...which rolled over into several books, a CD, a line of 1860's reproduction fabrics, and more.

I bought the Books, the CD's and settled in to the workshop with my Featherweight Sewing machine and all the tools needed for workshop quilt making.  I fully intended to make my Dear Jane as close to the original as possible.  Didn't happen!
List of Alterations of my
Dear Jane 1860's Quilt
1. Used 20th Century fabrics rather than 1860's reproduction prints.

2.  Flip flopped and angled blocks rather than row by row.

3.  Reduced number of blocks from 225 to 10 of Jane's and a couple of mine.

4.  Pieced mine on a 1950 Singer Featherweight rather than 1860 Singer Treadle.

5.  I juxtaposed myself and Brenda with a 20th Century Photo Transfer
as my signature rather than an embroidered signature and date.  
Here we are fabricated and stitched on my Baby Jane Memory Quilt!
6.  And lastly, the Juxtaposed Dear Jane and Baby Jane.
I jux-ta-pose this works for Letter J?


AtoZ Challelnge...Invention-Shoulda Shark Tanked It

AtoZ Letter 'I'

You have heard the saying "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"...right?  I'm pretty sure that was the basis for the invention of the 'Swift/Skein Holder' by some guy whose arms and hands went numb after hours of holding up a skein of yarn while his wife wound the yarn into a ball.

Just in case you are unfamiliar with the Swift, here's a swift synopsis...it is a tool used to hold a hank of yarn while being wound into a ball.  It has an adjustable diameter so that it can hold different sizes of hanks and rotates around a central rod.  Generally made of wood or metal unless you have a vintage one made of whale ivory...highly collectible and if ever you find one...swiftly swift that Swift up!

Swifts are not used very much in the textile/fabric industry, but more so by knitters and crocheters.  
When not in use for winding yarn, my swift is sheathed in it's cover and mounted on the sewing work table.  Needless to say, I am not into hanks of yarn right now, but I am in NEED of something to wind yards and yards of fabric strips into a nice neat roll...like a quilters jelly roll. 

So, here comes the Mother of Invention.
TaDa...the 4T-SSR...short for...ToiletTubeTubTop Swift Strip Roller.
Here are the steps to making one...just in case you don't want to wait for mine to be patented,
produced and marketed. 
Materials....1 toilet tube (without toilet paper); 1 round plastic lid (best if lid has a raised rim, but not imperative).  Step 1.  Mark and cut out circle for tube in the center of lid.  Step 2.  Hot glue tube to lid on top and underneath with an inch or so of the tube sticking out on the under side.  Step 3.  Slide the tube/lid over top of Swift and secure with clips.   Now you are ready to ROLL!!! 
 #1.  Attach the strip...right side out...to the tube with a straight pin making sure it is above the strip so you can remove it when finished rolling.
#2.  Gently stretch the strip out with bottom edge touching the lid lip.  It is easy to hold the strip between two fingers so it can slide through without twisting.  Notice the pile of stripping below...this distance allows for the strip to straighten out and unfold as you roll.
#3.  Turn the handle on the Swift to begin rolling.  Brace your elbow against your side to maintain level rolling and tension on the roller.
#4.  At the end of rolling...remove the clips and the straight pin and slide the roll off the tube.
Tie and Label
Be sure and maintain the center as it slipped off the Toilet Tube!!
So it will fit on the 4T-SSR Stand!!!
What do you think...Shark Tank or Toilet Tank?


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