Pillow Shamming

Made a pillow sham for my sister, who has requested two for their groovy new pad in Palm Springs (smaller than the campus college apartment my husband and I had eons ago), and though I'm going to get to the best fabrics in good time, I thought I should make the prototype and get familiar with the pattern, so that when i actually do sew the ones that really matter, I won't futz it.
The edges of the envelope opening are not my best sewing, and that's the main thing I have to do better next time. Sew straight? What besides my marriage do I ever do straight? ;^) I also learned that the Velcro needs to be placed in four spots, not three, as this one will have perpetual gaposis.
Mr. Kerm was barely tolerating my efforts to get him to look my way and grace the darned thing. He wants his dinner.

Anyway, Pillow Sham #1 is complete! PRET-ty exciting times around here on a Sunday afternoon!
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Egypt--De Land of DeNial

I'm back from the land of denial after some increases on the autumn vest I've been working on for DS started looking wonky. Sat back, took stock, and realized that aside from the actual problems maintaining the pattern with the increases, I was kidding myself that the back was long enough. I'd followed the pattern and stopped straight knitting at around 15" to begin the neck bind-off and start the separate shoulder sections. But heck, it's too short! I know DS wants it to skim the thighs, and the look will be much more sartorial if it does this than if I make it fall at the hip bones. Anyone who knits for someone else had better listen to what the person says she wants if the item has a chance of being worn and loved.

So rip-rip-rip I went, and got the two separate balls separately rewound, the bind-off unbound again, the stitches reinserted on the needle, and now it's time to get the back the right length. Once I've done that, I'll get some help understanding the increase section (on the upper front panels) so that it stays in the mistake rib pattern.

To console myself in the interim, I've been making more little pouches, some from a cut-up PJ shirt that I don't wear (bottoms are great, but tailored PJ shirts with the lapels and all, not my cuppa--that's what old t-shirts are for!) from whose sleeves I made pouches that already had a nice cuff edge for the drawstring top.

DD#3 made a nice pillow sham for some pillows I purchased way back when at IKEA (ready to be covered), which has given me added confidence that I can make DS the pillow shams she's requested for their new 60s era pad in Palm Springs. When she's here later this week (yay! sister visits are the BEST!) I can show her fabrics, both mine and available on the internet) so that the patterns are truly what she envisions. She's bringing me one of her sofa pillows (which I'm effectively recovering) so that I can get exact dimensions. But seeing that DD#3 did hers so sensibly, I know it will be a piece of cake, if I do things carefully.

"Who Loves Ya, Baby?"

Some of you, of a certain age (along with me), remember Telly Savalas in the 70s, and his signature line from his series, Kojak. With that Dum-Dum lollipop in his mouth, he somehow made all the womenfolk swoon, but I was too young to think him handsome. Ewwwww!

His line has stuck though. When I come through for a DD who needs something, or give one of them an unexpected little gift ("happies" my friend Monica calls them), I can't help it--that's what I say. "Who loves ya, Baby?" is almost overdone here at my house!

I've been working away on more lined bags, this time though, in a taller, narrower size for sunglasses. When I got out all the pretty fabrics I've been purchasing from etsy vendors like WhimsieDots and mineymo, DD#2 was smitten and asked if I could make one for her shades, and I was all over it. I asked her to choose a fabric, which she did. And I got all the parts together, sewed it up and turned it right side out, and stitched up the last details. There! Now she just has to come home and find it on her keyboard.

Here are a few other shots of the lovely sunglasses case:

Since you asked, here are some of the vintage fabrics I've purchased recently from whimsiedots:
Aren't those first two just meant for each other?

And here are photos of some of my other glasses pouches, meant for the fall etsy shop to raise funds for TNT again:

. . . With a Little Help From My Friends

I turned my first heel this week, thanks to Queen of Purple Yarn, my librarian friend from school, Kathy. In fact, it was her moral support, a well-placed stitch marker, and sage instructions ("follow the instructions exactly!") that provided the impetus to get my sock past the calf. I met her at Purlescence and with several other happy knitters, I started down the road to heeldom. And then I realized I was messing it up, and had been for some time. Ripped back, and then started finding that I was losing stitches (tiny stitches, sockweight yarn . . . hard to keep control of!). The shop was ready to close, so Kathy helped me get all the stitches back on or "saved" so they wouldn't drop any further.

Cut to the next day when I told myself, I can do this. I carefully used a crochet hook to get the errant stitches corrected, verified that they were all straight, and then followed the Pure and Simple directions. And they were quite straightforward. As Bells and QPY had pointed out, if it seems strange, what the instrux say one should do, just believe them. Similarly, QPY had told me that it would become intuitively sensible as I got further into it. What wise knitters in my world! With additional support from Jejune, I felt I would be able to give it a go, and I did! The more I knitted, the more I could see the plan, and then the triangle started becoming obvious, woo-hoo.

Now to rest on this laurel a little while, until I can get more serious supportive help on the picking up of stitches and finishing the sock. More good advice from Bells came my way on this step, but I am sure I will need moral support and good practical guidance from QPY when I give this part a go. 8^)