Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The birth of a new obsession

Any socknitter (or any knitter or crocheter) has stash. You know, those leftover bits or balls of yarn that you just can't throw away.

Then I came across The Heathen Housewife's blog. Wow! What patience! I've got to do it too.

While on, I saw these squares. And they're crocheted! With my patience (or lack of it) I can do these faster.

I am really very good at starting new projects. Starting them. Finishing them is another story. So, I am starting my SYSSA ( Sock Yarn Stash Squares Afghan--whew!) Let's see how far and how big I can go.

Two thing I have to remember:
1. Use only superwash yarn. I have to be able to throw it in the washer and dryer.
2. Use only fingering weight yarn from stash, leftover, etc etc.

A dilemma: If I do run out of leftover stash yarn(huh?), I'd have to knit up more socks to get leftovers. Should I be allowed to use a fresh ball of yarn??

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Woven (but crocheted) neckwarmers:
(c) Vicki Suan, Dec 2008

I can't stop making these. They crochet up so quickly.

hook size US I (9) 5.5 mm
any worsted weight wool. I used 1 skein Debbie Mumm's Traditions , 148 yards with plenty leftover. My neckwarmer was 29" long.


sc = single crochet
ch = chain
sp = space

I chain 23 (or any odd number you like, more or less, to make it wider or narrower).

Row 1 : Sc in 2nd chain from hook. Sc in next ch. *ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next. Rep from * until you reach the last ch. Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: Sc in same sc below, sc in next ch 1 space. *ch 1, skip next sc, sc in next ch 1 space. Repeat from * to the end of row. ch 1, turn.

Repeat row 2 for as long( or as short) as you want. Make it a scarf or a neckwarmer as pictured. A longer scarf will use up more yarn. You may need more than 200 yards.

As with my neckwarmer, when I reached 27", I did my buttonholes (there are 2).


I did the pattern over the next 4 sts. Ch 3, skip the next 3 sts, and continue in pattern up to 7 sts before the end of row. Do another ch 3, skip the next 3 sts, and continue in pattern.

For the next row, when you reach the two ch 3 spaces, think of it as just 3 stitches and just continue the pattern over them.

Repeat row 2 for another 2 rows and finish off. Weave in ends and sew your buttons. Fold the scarf over your neck as pictured. As it overlaps, you will sew the buttons where the buttonholes fall. (sorry, I'm not very good at drawing a schematic).

Note: This is a rough draft and is not pattern tested. I welcome questions, suggestions, corrections, etc, etc.

As 2009 comes, I hope to share more free patterns. I am so inspired by the thousands of Ravellers who share their patterns freely on Ravelry. They are so generous.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas !

Sunday, December 21, 2008

...And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace, good will toward men.

...Luke 2:8-14

"...and that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." (Linus says)

Friday, December 12, 2008

What am I going to do with all these berets?

the Mystery Beret (Meret)

the lace beret

the same lace beret, just flat.

I've also knitted 7 more for Yolo Wool Mill to be sold tomorrow, some basic, some with stripes, some with cables... all knitted using local wool.

We got hit with the flu bug, inspite of having had flu shots. I had 3 kids sick all at once, with Emily (the youngest) recovering first. Danielle got strep and TMJ (what a combination). We spent one night at the emergency room because of severe ear ache.
Matthew handled it like a man (boy!). Joel got it and then, me. And it is still lingering. It seems that the older you are, the harder it is to get rid of it.

Joel and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last Dec 10th.

My mom and dad celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary today!

Danielle turns 19 tomorrow.

December is one busy month.

Friday, December 05, 2008

While visiting Rumplestiltskin, I found some yarn. Boku is very similar to Noro but about $3.00 cheaper. I couldn't put down the Sockina yarn either, although I haven't knitted a pair of socks in ages.

Ravelry is truly a wonder. I can spend hours here browsing patterns. I came across a beret pattern called MERET (for Mystery Beret). So far, I've knitted two already and I want to knit up more. Quite addictive.

Here's the blue, slouchier version.

A smaller version for Emily. (Wait a minute! this one looks like one of those octopus/ starfish thingies from the deep, complete with tentacles) Both berets do need to be blocked.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My little girl, Emily, who just turned eight, is spinning. She's creating these wonderfully chunky, slubby yarn that I'm going to hand dye and knit into a hat for her.

When I started spinning, I got really frustrated because the only yarn I can spin was this uneven, slubby, chunky stuff that I thought was totally imperfect. My teacher told me to enjoy that kind of yarn because once I got better and better as a spinner, my yarns will be the finer, more even variety (which was fine with me). But where's the fun in that?

Now, I crave the funky, chunky stuff. That is hard work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

apple hat with worm

apple hat with worm
Originally uploaded by SuanKnits
An apple hat for Emily, complete with a worm.

fruit hats

fruit hats
Originally uploaded by SuanKnits
Another set of baby hats that I donated to the Mad Hatters of Sacramento. These hats were sent to Babetta's yarns for donation

Baby cardigan

lornas baby cardi
Originally uploaded by SuanKnits
Here's a baby cardigan with ladybug buttons. I got the pattern from a website that I can no longer find. This is a Lorna Miser pattern.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pictures from Camp

We went camping last Sept 5-7 to Scotts Flat Lake in Auburn, CA. Up north on Hwy 49 then east on Hwy 20, 60 miles from Sacramento. The last few miles was a long winding road to the lake. The campground was reserved by our church, First Baptist Church of Elk Grove, and there were about 54 families there.

This was only my second time camping and our first time as a family. We forgot a lot of stuff, like a lantern, and a thick tarp underneath our tent, or even an air mattress (we know what to bring next year!). The camp, however, has bathrooms and hot showers. Our church provided the food as well, for 2 and a half days. For the fee we paid, it was a bargain. Fellowship was great and made me appreciate the people who put this together year after year.

This was the view each morning I woke up:

Lakeside view with Matthew and Emily:

The first picture has great potential for a landscape quilt. After watching Nancy Zieman's video, I might be able to tackle this.

On a frustrating note, one of the checks I wrote was fraudulently used to access our checking account. They copied the bank routing number and account number on the bottom of the check and reprinted 3 new checks under their names. They then proceeded to write checks totalling $1,900 all over Sacramento, Modesto and Turlock. I didn't find out until 5 days later when they zeroed out our checking account. Fortunately, the bank accepted that it was fraud and we were able to get our money back.

Two lessons I learned from this:

1. When buying from a new, small, relatively unknown store, like Anna's Linens, use cash. Don't use a check or even an ATM. I've never been to Anna's Linens but when I wrote a check on the 18th of Aug, the fraud started happening on the 22nd.

2. Overdraft Protection is not really a good thing. The 3rd and last check this guy wrote was an $1,100 check to Home Depot. Even though he has already zeroed out my checking, Overdraft Protection covered it and transferred the money from my Savings account. What the heck!

I filed a Police report but still have not heard from the cops. I don't blame them though because of their severely depleted personnel and the fact that this is not a violent crime (although I feel very much violated).

So, Ladies and Germs, do be careful!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I did some charity sewing in the month of August. Back in August, 1998, I had a miscarriage. I same across Newborns in Need and donated some knitted and crocheted burial gowns, blankets and hats. I lost track of my contact person at NIN, Anita, who used to work at the Preston Youth Correctional Facility in Ione, as teacher, seamstress, and head of the CA NIN branch. She might still work there but there isn't a NIN branch in CA anymore (that I know of).

Anyway, here are some items I've sewn and donated to the Methodist Hospital here in Sacramento:

My little Emily says they look like little angel outfits (they are!!)

preemie hats (stretchy, knit fabric)

Preemie blankets, about 18" square, no batting, flannel backed.

Preemie isolette shirts, lined.

The patterns from all of the above are from the Newborns in Need website (for sale).

Most of the fabric I got at the remnant section at Joann's. Even a small piece of fabric can make several outfits. Most were discounted and marked down.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm burnt out on sewing bags (-lol) so I'm back to making quilts and sewing stuff.

Here are some baby booties (for my hubby's nieces who are having babies soon).

Can you imagine the hundreds of tiny pieces of fabric (no smaller than 2 inches) I sewed together to make this quilt? Most were leaders and enders, scraps, leftovers from past quilts, etc. It was a long but fun process. This will serve as a floor quilt for my kids to lie on while watching TV.

and this one's a rug. I'm painting a non-slip rubber backing on its back (available at Michael's).

And finally, my watercolor quilt, started months ago, just now finished. It's a quilt-as-you-go type, done with strips sewn diagonally. I don't know if I will do this again. There are just way too many other patterns to go through in this lifetime that I don't see myself repeating patterns. Way too many.



Friday, June 27, 2008

Some finished bags

Here we go...

another one, brocade this time

and two, in Oriental prints

this one is a little taller

and this one is for Emily, her Bratz fabric. She added the embellishments.

The designs are my own.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I've been sewing summer tops. This is from Simplicity pattern 4589. Very easy to make and I love the way it fits.

The August 2008 (issue 93) issue of American Patchwork and Quilting has this pattern for a tote bag using dishtowels. What fun to make!

and here's two more, using different dishtowels from Target. These bottom two are not from the same pattern. These are my own.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Finished Project

I was a little apprehensive about this project, this being quite large and not my usual purse or handbag sewing. I've had this loveseat for quite a while. The foams and springs are fine. It's just the covers that are getting ragged and pilled. Then, I read about going green and making slipcovers. I borrowed some books from the library, found a couple I "needed" to buy and keep, and went from there. I still waited a few weeks and finally, jumped in. I finished it in one weekend. The usual slipcovers go from $60 to $90 depending on size. I spent $29.95 on the home decor fabric (from Ebay, of course). The labor, though, would have cost me $400 (that is, if I was to pay myself, he, he).



Yellow walls and yellow sofa... YUP! I love yellow, what can I say ;-)

My mom, who's an excellent seamstress, and my husband, Joel, were quite impressed.

I also taught myself to sew dresses, using patterns ( I like Simplicity). I've since made several summer tops for me and a dress for Emily.

And of course, the usual purse or two:

and Flowers:
A rose from the backyard

some Columbine.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Just Pictures

My front yard

Tiny 1.5" squares!

9 patch scraps

2.5" strips