Sunday, September 3, 2017

Back to Bloggin'

Dear readers,

I'm sorry to say I've been very lax in posting these past two years.  It has taken me quite some time to turn the corner on my grief of losing my late partner of 12 years, J.  I also had a 'bout with a serious illness (all is well, now).  I feel like perhaps I can start posting now.  If you have experienced the loss of a family member, spouse, partner, parent or (god forbid) child - I have found certain things helpful.  A therapist, a widow's group, friends, travel; for podcasts, I liked "What's your grief?" and for books, for me (and I have probably read enough to get a Ph.D in grief) I particularly liked A grief obseved by C.S.Lewis, and Second Firsts. I also liked the (Joan) Didion books, and could appreciate Cheryl Strayed's book on the PCT but not until after a year had passed for those memoir type of readings; I needed some perspective.

Two of my favorite quotes are "No one told me grief felt so much like fear" (C.S. Lewis) & "Grief is sneaky, very sneaky  . . but life is sneaker and more alive than grief could ever be." (Second Firsts).  Although when you are in the raw mix of emotions, any quotes feel trite.

So back to the point of this blog:  I have been doing all kinds of craftsy things, and meeting my fiber goals.  I've been an active (somewhat) member of the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinner's Guild.  I have learned to weave on a rigid heddle and spin (see pictures below).  I've even been spindling, and finally I have a Mirrix tapestry loom BUT have not been successful (yet):

I've been doing all kinds of knitting, mostly hats as gifts (more on that in a later blog) and am finishing up a sweater now.  On Ravelry my name is pammieandtheps, here is a teaser but again, I will do a blog post on my adventures in knitting:
My sewing has taken a back seat to my other fiber goals but I've made a two skirts and a four blouses.  I've even made some bad forays into bra making (one successful -- one not so much).
My skirt, a rugged linen from stash, followed by a lined sequin skirt - which I completed last minute right before a party:

In other fiber-y things, I even started rug making (latch hook -- remember that?).   Yes, perhaps I've lost my mind!

Dear readers, I'm not ashamed to tell you I know a whole lot more about sheep than I ever used to.

I hope you all are well, and I've been diligently reading my bloglovin' with your wonderful posts.

See you all very soon (A presto!),



Friday, July 10, 2015

Treadle Built and Consultation on Paint Colors

Dear Readers,

I finally turned the Singer 201K which I bought off Ebay and had a English Voltage belted motor into a treadle.  And, it actually works once I replaced the belt on the treadle and took out the old head.  I've tried to fix the veneer all year, but without good results.
I know many of my readers suggesting staining the piece, and that was my preference as well.  But I used so much wood filler to fill in serious cracks and missing and damaged veneer, my thought now is that I am planning on painting it.   That said, I wouldn't mind a few opinions with the paint colors.   I'm leaning toward the blue due to the contrast although it is very muted and doesn't come through perfectly in the pictures.  I was thinking perhaps a darker vintage-er green (such as a dark artichoke) might work as well.  Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

Dear readers,

Does absence make the heart grow fonder, or, does it grow more distant?  I hope the former.  I apologize for the long absence.  My partner, J. passed away unexpectedly over the Holidays on the East Coast during a visit.  That, with a medical problem he struggled with all last year, left no time or energy for blogging.
Zombies Anyone?
But, now, after an extended absence I am back with a series of posts to show you what I've been up to.  I also have converted a Singer 201K to a treadle, later post on that to follow.  I also bought a spinning wheel from a friend, but have yet to quite spin anything.  

In the photo below, I've displayed all the projects I've completed (in two cases the projects are in progress), appropriately staged on J.'s piano, as usual:
Let me go over the knitted hats, woven scarfs, and cowls, first, with more posts to follow.

First, the Zombie BBQ Felicity Hat -- yarn appropriately named from Lorna's Laces Worsted.  A two day knit from cast-on.   I made it slightly small (cast on 70 stitches) -- next time I might make it slightly larger.  The Ravelry information can be found HERE.

Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.  Now, if I can just get some life skills!

Second, the Metalico Fresco Slouchy Hat, on Ravelry, made with Metalico yarn that I had left over from another project.  The Ravelry information on this project is HERE.
 Easy, soft and with stash yarn -- yeah!!

This project is Honey Cowl made with Madeline Tosh Midnight Pass Yarns (which my dad jumped that bridge in his car in Sarasota back in the day (it is no longer there)) from A Good Yarn in Sarasota.  Super easy, but kinda boring.  Still, I loved the result.  The Ravelry information is found HERE.

Next, I started making these for both me and  J., but really only finished mine -- my first pair of socks!  The Cow Springs Hiking Socks, made with Lorna's Laces Worsted.  I love the heel on these socks.  Fabulous!  The Ravelry information can be found HERE.

Finally, from my good friend and weaver, Allyson -- she wove a scarf from this fabulous chenille. The scarf is patterned after the first 8 bars of the melody of the song Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables. She surprised me with it after a movie, which brought tears to my eyes, 'cause that is how I roll now.  Perfect scarf for jeans too.  I love it!!!

More to follow -- I have shorts, tights, a v-neck knitted sweater and two knitted pillows.  I am also in love with the new Jalie patterns.  Before that I need to do some stash busting I think.   My sewing and knitting are slow, but I'm in no hurry.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Equinox and Inspiration.

Dear readers,

Today is the first day of Fall.

I am busy knitting away on two pair of new socks (my first and I love them!!).  BTW, I absolutely love my knitted Funky Grandpa Sweater.  It's been hot but I've been wearing it as much as possible!  Who knew -- that I would knit sweaters I actually wear.
Above, Funky Grandpa sweater, blogged here, my painstaking sewn princess seam blouse, Butterick 5678 blogged here, and pencil skirt fom my sloper, blogged here.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about some Fall sewing.  I see the trends as plaids, dark florals, and bomber jackets, to mention a few -- here are some pictures of Fall inspiration (yes, I guess I need to link this blog to Pinterest):

Beautiful, but pricey bomber style jacket form Anthropologie, link here,   I love it!  But at 440.00US I think I can make just as good a version (plus, bombers present problems for my figure - reverse triangle/apple).

Below, from the blogger, Zanita Morgan - mixing plaid and dark floral - fabulous.  I don't think I could pull this off.  I love her blog and I'm not one to follow fashion blogs.
Below, I love this 1940s fashion from the STARZ series Outlander - Wonderful women's suit, I wish I had a better picture, but that jacket is fantastic with the detailing.
 Interesting use of plaid from Sarah Jessica Parker -- although this is a bit literal for my taste.
Dear bloggers, what are your inspirations right now?


P.S.  I'm thinking of starting a travel blog -- for my friends/co-workers I have a series of travel guides for certain cities (Monterey, Oahu, Olympic Peninsula, San Diego, Jacksonville), and if so, I am considering monetizing it -- something I would never do for this hobby/love of fabric arts blog.  Or, maybe because my sophistication/expertise level is much higher for travel?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dr. Who Scarf and some Alaska photos. . .

Dear readers,

I apologize for not posting more frequently.  You've probably been wondering what I've been up to.  Well, life, really.  Extensive traveling for work (DC, Alaska, Monterey, Seattle and San Diego), and battling a really bad sinus/chest infection that just wouldn't go away.  So, I'm back - taking some time off this Fall, and hopefully -- BLOG ON!

Below -- six months of working with Acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby (not fun!) but a good rendition of the Dr. Who Scarf (free pattern from Dr. Who Scarf website.
 Just in time for Halloween this fall!  Obviously, J. is not that excited to pose (although he does love the scarf).
Did I mention we've been having a heat wave in California -- average temps 85 degrees or so -- our hottest summer in Ventura since 1931 (and we don't have air).  So on each of these trips I was expecting cooler temps (and failed!  It was an exceedingly hot and beautiful summer everywhere).

I've got quite a few projects in the works -- a vest for J. (UFO right now), need to make/finish seersucker gray vest and skirt before Fall, the Madeline Tosh Honey Cowl (about 30% finished), a new pair of socks in the Lorna's Laces Spats, color way (below).  This will be my first pair of socks.  It's finally just in the few days cooled down just a tad and I feel that I can get my sewjo/knitjo  back.
 Here are some pretty pictures from Alaska! Below, some riverbed hiking near Exit Glacier.

I had a horrible head cold coming on a the time, but still went hiking.    I think I was infected by some cruise passengers staying at lodging in Alaska (well, I always blame the cruisers).  This is down in Seward (which is STRONGLY recommended -- previously I've always headed North and not on the Kenai peninsula).  I was supposed to do a fantastic hike called Harding Ice Field  -- but it turned out I was just too ill.  Darn it.  I had about half my gear with me too for some short backcountry.   If you are interested in Harding Ice Field, I thought this was a great blog post/Description of the Hike.
 Above, a gorgeous hike just outside Anchorage Alaska at Eagle River Nature Center.  The roads were being worked on so most of this longer hike we didn't see hardly anyone.   The picture is at Echo Bend Campsite (we did Albert Loop, the older Iditarod trail (Crow Pass Trail to Echo Bend) and then return via Dew Mounds.  Wonderful.
This is down in Seward near a place really fun for families (well, that's what it looked like) for camping called Miller's Landing on Resurrection Bay.   This would be the view outside your tents.
 Above, my lodging -- which was reasonable in price and really brilliant.
 I did a short cruise (3 hours or so) and saw some whales!  This was a pair, I believe, of Blue Whales.
I was really just enamored at the wonderful town of Seward and now must to go back!


Friday, June 13, 2014

LA Blogger Meetup tomorrow

Dear readers,

I'm so ready to meet all the sewing bloggers at the LA Sewing Blogger Meetup hosted by Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy.  Thank you Erin!

It's tomorrow at Cafe Midi at 11:30.
We are going to have lunch and visit The Fabric Store although Mood is closed for remediation of some earthquake damage.  BTW, the said earthquake occurred about two hours after the last time I visited Mood - and of which I had a premonition that was very strong (& I don't really even believe in premonitions)).   Perhaps I felt the vibrations.

So excited -- more posts to come and hopefully some good pictures as well!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fetching Fingerless Mitts -- A Tule Fog companion.

Dear readers,

While I procrastinated on the buttons to my Funky Grandpa sweater,  I started an easy but gorgeous fingerless mitts patterns.  Why fingerless mitts?  Well,  I've given all my mitts as gifts - with the exception of one snug pair.
I finished the pair above on the flight to and from DC from LAX (holding a Kalapawai Market Coffee Cup, Kailua, HI).
 Here are the mitts above (with the cowl behind them).  The pattern is Fetching.
Here was my initial cowl -- which I still love and have not blocked.  I have worn it a dozen times at least.
The yarn I used was Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran in Moss.  It is a silky alpaca, wonderful and I love it.  One pattern note is that I recommend binding off with a smaller ribbing on the needle.  My are a bit loose at the fingers (and I took out the design originally with the pattern as far as the little ribs on the bind off).

I'm meeting with some of the LA Sewing Bloggers for a meet up next Saturday -- so I'm pretty excited!  I'm still trying to get my sew-jo on!