Monday, August 30, 2010

The Antique 4-H'er -- Knitting and Sewing

(Sorry I haven't blogged for over a month! Our computer was on the major fritz, but it's all well now, thanks to a lot of work (and a lot of cursing) on Clay's part. I can finally download pictures, update my Ipod and print out things!)

I love having a project; I think it is because I loved my years in 4-H. In the Pine Ridge 4-H Club, the finest 4-H Club in Jackson County, to be exact. I loved the meetings, talent shows, judging and demonstrations, but mostly I loved the projects. I took a lot of projects, from Weather to Food Preservation to Garden. I was never one of those whizz-bangs who brought home a bushel of purple ribbons; I'd often have a critical error on a project and earn a red or white ribbon. Inserting a zipper made me drop out of the Clothing project; I ended my run in the Foods project when I was foiled by yeast breads. But the love of learning something new, creating something and sharing it with others is something that has stuck with me.

If I were still in 4-H, this summer I would have received an green ribbon (incomplete) on my Garden project, but I'm reasonably sure I would have won the grand champion ribbon for my Weeds. I probably could have scored a blue ribbon on my sewing, if I were in Division I or II (tote bags and skirts with elastic waists!), but I still have trouble with zippers. I've had some blue ribbon moments in the kitchen this summer, too.

And you know, blogging is a lot like keeping your green record book -- a place to record what you did, how much you spent (time and $) and what you learned.

I guess I am just an antique 4-H'er.

Here are my summer projects, starting with Needlecraft:

Hugs and Kisses Baby Afghan

Made from Knitpicks Simply Cotton Organic, worsted weight, in malted milk; size 8 needles. This was the first time in a long time that I had followed a pattern exactly and used the yarn the designer suggested (I usually opt for something much cheaper than recommended!) The pattern is so sweet, and the afghan is cute, but this cotton just didn't wash up as soft as I had hoped. And because the fabric is knit on the bias, it didn't want to block out into a nice square -- there was always one little wonky corner. But, I took it to the fair, and it got second place! This is a gift for Baby D --may he always be blanketed with hugs and kisses.

Little Red Riding Hood Ensemble

I really loved this little poncho pattern, which was a free tear-off at Michael's. Not so sure about the sizing, though -- this was supposed to be the 6-month size, and it is huge. I waited to give it to Baby Bella until the fall, and sewed up this little Red Riding Hood skirt (see? elastic waist) and stenciled the onesie to go with it ("What big eyes you have" --get it?) I took this little sweater to the fair, too, and got 3rd place. (Caron Simply Soft and Size 7 needles)

Turquoise Sweater and Dress

I made this same sweater and dress in pink last summer; this turquoise one is for Baby Gabby, quite appropriate for a little Psi Ote legacy. The sweater is knit in one piece then seamed up. I don't remember where I got this pattern -- I think is was another free store pattern -- and I have misplaced the yarn label. I do know that I got it at Hobby Lobby and that they don't carry it any longer -- I went looking, as I wanted to do a little hat to match. I don't know if you can tell, but the sweater buttons are covered with the same fabric as the skirt.

Sloane's Yard of Bricks Quilt
This may be my favorite quilt ever. No fussy piecing and happy colors! This is a reasonable facsimile of the Bricks in Bloom pattern, which I found at the Moda Bakeshop; I couldn't print off the pattern, so I sort of winged it. The fabrics are from a variety of places; I just went looking for some nice pinks and greens. I made Sloane's name applique by hand, but next time, I'm going to try using the Cricut. Pieced and quilted by machine.

I have blue material to make a baby boy's quilt in the same pattern, and I like this look so much, I am considering making another pink one, twin bed-sized, for myself. Sounds like a big project!
Tomorrow, Home Furnishings.