Live! With Vogue Knitting

We knew we were in the right place when we found the yarn-bombing.By the time we got there at 10:30, an hour and a half after the Vogue Knitting Live! doors opened, the marketplace was swamped, with shoppers crowding into every vendor stall.By the time we left 8 hours later - taking only an hour out for lunch (BJ's Brewhouse, fantastic!) 
and another 45 minutes for the lecture on antique knitting by Franklin Habit (very interesting, funny talk; very bad cell-phone pix) -we were sore-footed but very happy.And when I got home? Hubby had gotten me the best present of the day, even better than the huge stack of quilting fabric my buddy had gifted me that morning -

 a 5-power, LED lighted, magnetic-base magnifier for my bobbin lace.
It's intended for woodcrafters, but it will work just fine for my purposes.
Hooray! Now I'll be able to see the butterfly's teeny-tiny tatting threads!


Grand Girls

I love cell phones and their ability to send - and allow me to get - grand baby pictures from around the country, almost instantaneously. While at Vogue Knitting Live, I received a picture of Leia at the San Diego Zoo and Addison, camping with her daddy in Colorado (and learning to p** in a bucket for the first time. She didn't believe her mom and me when we told her that was going to happen.)
 That's my girls!


What Friends Are For

aka "Doing Our Part For The Economy."

We're not calling it 'shopping' or 'enabling' or even 'enhancing the stash'. Thursday's Craft Shop Crawl was done strictly as a way to show our support for local shops; it was our patriotic duty. Yeah, hubby didn't buy that one either. But the three of us had a great time visiting yarn shops - my $3.53 total-price-including-tax haul 

book stores, both new (Mysteries to Die For) and used (Bookaneer) -$5 used book with some great projects 
a new-to-us quilt store called Cotton and Chocolate (how perfect is that??) -where I picked up a few items, including the sew-on tags below, and their extensive list of classes.  Definitely plan on going back to C&C.
Then we hit Joann's, where I cleaned up on the remnants rack again, getting most of this for 75-80% off. Over a yard of fleece for less that $3.50? Quilt-able cotton fabric for $1.00? I'll take it! It'll join the growing pile of Christmas gifts-in-the-making I have stashed in the closet. 
Our last stop was our great local bead store, Creative Castle, because they had the great good sense to stay open until 8 pm. I was shopped out by that point, but my buddies made up for it. 

All in all, it was a fun, patriotic day. And a great warm-up for our trip to Vogue Knitting Live on Saturday . . . .


Seven Months

Look who's seven months old! 

Seven months and one day, to be exact. This was the first time we've been able to put Leanne on the floor, on her belly, without her making a fuss.
Suddenly, she loves being able to do push-ups, flip over and pull herself (no crawling yet) where she wants to go. 
And it probably helped that cousin Leia was right there, ready to play.  The two of them were having a great time, right up to these faces - 
which translates pretty easily, I think, into 'put the camera down, grandma, we've had enough!'


Bobbin Lace

I didn't get much bobbin lace done over the summer - my teacher was on vacation in Denmark and Norway - but since we got returned from Colorado in mid-August, I've gotten back into it with a vengeance.

Last night I finished a new pattern that I worked completely on my own, beginning to end.  I love the twisty, curvy lines of the 'trails'. 
There are a few areas that could be improved on (not 'mistakes'; they are 'design decisions') so I've started another of the same pattern.
It's a bit hard to see the two different shades of orange. Hopefully, they will be more distinct when this is finished. 
I also started a new project in class last Monday. I didn't realize I'd used the same colors until I looked at these photos.
This one is more complicated, with no written instructions, just the pattern symbols (which can have multiple meanings) and verbal directions from my instructor. That makes it tougher for me when I get confused or start a new section, since I need to wait for the next class to get clarification. Or I could add another bobbin lace class to my schedule. 
Guess which option I took? You got it - I'm starting a second class on Tuesday mornings at the Scandinavian Center in Thousand Oaks. I think I may be hooked on this stuff.  



Hubby took Leanne, almost 7 months, out to visit his mother. 

Leanne was her usual, wiggly self, so the pics are a bit blurry. But having pictures of Great-Grandma feeding her youngest great-grandchild?


From Unloved to Fabulous

What to do with cute t-shirts that Leia flat refused to wear? Why, make dresses, of course. 

I loved this Tinkerbell shirt, with its blue sparkles, and really thought Leia would too. Wrong. But now that it's a dress? 
She doesn't want to take it off.

Unless it's to put on the Elmo dress. 
Same thing with this shirt; it's bright, colorful and Elmo's one of her favorite characters, but she wouldn't have anything to do with it. 

Add a skirt of pretty paw prints - that just happens to match the skirt on big sister's dress - and she loves it.
This is the second of five dresses I'm making Naia from fabric she picked out.
She likes anything to do with animals, including teeny tiny paw prints.
 And look what she wore to school today - 

I think she likes it. 


Exercise Girl

Leia and PopPop have a morning routine. 

They have breakfast - waffles for her, scrambled eggs for him - do their exercises and go for a walk. 
This is supposed to be done while gramma sleeps in, but that seldom happens - Leia loves to sneak away from PopPop and wake gramma up. Little stinker. 
This morning I was awake enough to grab the camera as they got going.
They've done this so often that Leia has her own stretching belt and "her" spot on the carpet. 
She really gets into it. 
Stretching, bending, giggling twisting; everything PopPop does, Leia does. 
 And her reward? 
A miles long tour of the neighborhood, with PopPop doing all the work.


Quilt in a Day

Or more accurately, quilt top in a day. The trouble started 2 or 3 (4?) years ago when Ellen, her Texas friend, Ann, and I spent a day shopping the bead, yarn and fabric stores in Ventura. 

I found this jelly roll, in "my" colors, and just had to have it. I had no idea what a jelly roll was, or what one did with it, but home with me it came.

Fast forward to July, about a month before I got my new sewing machine. Kaity posted about a quilt top she made in less than a day, using jelly rolls, and included a video of quilt races. I was hooked.

I've gotten a little smarter as I've aged, so rather than using my perfect - and expensive - original jelly roll for my first try, I went to Joann's and picked up two coordinating jellies. 

First I mixed up the strips so I'd have a more random pick of colors and patterns. 
Then I miter-joined each of the 40 strips to its neighbor, giving me one loooooong strip that was 1600" - over 44 yards. 
The next part was definitely the hardest. Without twisting the fabric, you're supposed to join the start and end of the 1600" strip and sew them together, right sides facing. You end up with a piece 2-strips wide and 800" long. (No picture of that part; it was late at night and I was too tired to think of photos.) 

You cut the end apart, then fold the bottom up to the top and - right sides together - sew them together again, this time getting a 4-strip wide piece that's only 400" long. 
Lily, of course, was helping me every step of the way. 
 Fold it again - 8 strips wide. 
And again - 16 wide - 
until after the 5th and final fold, you have a piece that's 32 strips of random stripey goodness. 
Cat included for scale (and because I couldn't get her to stay off the d*mn thing.)  
The almost-final step is ironing all the seams - and learning -again- that steaming your fingers hurts
And the final step? 
Start worrying about how to attach the batting and backing, and get this baby sewn up.