Friday, March 31, 2006

More tents

I built a spoked oval tent 2 years ago, last spring I painted it. Of course I don't have any pictures of it completed with the paint. Why? Don't ask me. Cause I'm a dork, and the people who do have pictures of it still have not sent any to me. This is why I have a digital camera now.

Since I am a dork I managed to sew the bottom loops on the walls in a totally stoopid way. So stoopid that I managed to rip two places on the wall panels where the loops were sewed. Agh! Dumb ass! This happened at the end of July and I've been so mad at myself that it wasn't able to look at the rips until last night when I took the walls out of the storage bag to finally repair them. It was not as bad as I remembered. The rips were maybe 3" at the longest and at the bottom of the wall where I could easily sew on a patch, which I did. I took off ALL the loops and threw them away and started with fresh loops and re-worked the bottom edge.

I decided to use the method for attaching the ground loops like I did with the wedge tent. The bottom of the walls have a 12" mudflap, which gets folded towards the inside of the tent.

To begin, I fold the mudflap back so the wrong side is facing the wrong side and the edge of the fold is right where the walls join.

I then sew 1" in from the folded edge.

I turn the walls right side up, bring the flap out from under the walls and hold the folded edge flat towards the bottom of the walls and run a topstitch.

The loops get inserted inside the fold and are secured with another row of stitching.

The finished loop (notice where the loop was originally located, yup, it was too high and was pulling on the fabric).
I usually do three passes total along the bottom and will go back and forth at each loop location to keep them in place. I'm hoping that this will help absorb the strain of the ground loops. That and having spokes that are the right length and center poles that are not too high. All kinds of things that need changing when you are creating your own design...

I have thicker poles and spokes in the works as well.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My view

The rain has come and I'm fine with it. I want it to storm like mad with lightning and thunder all over the place and wash away all the guck on the roads. It does make for a rather gray day, and my view is not all that fantastic to begin with.

But hey, I do have windows and on a cold winter day I get plenty of rays, no winter blues for me. Of course when it is overcast I freeze. This would be the beautiful Hwy 52, traveling north/ south and ending at 7th street, just east of downtown St. Paul. The photo in the middle is of the St. Paul airport (in the distance) and hwy 94 running east west.
Our building lies in the center between a fire department, St. Paul Police HQ, and Ramsy hospital. Lots of sirens.

Wave up at my window next time you drive by!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rogue, week 7?

I think I've lost the plot on what week it is, but anyhow there was Rogue knitting last night. Not much, but I did get the neck done and the shoulders seamed.

I think I'm going to recount the rows, my left shoulder seems to be pulling forward and I'm worried that I'm too short on that side. Maybe once it's blocked I'll be fine, but now it's kinda kitty wompis.
Speaking of kitty...he wants to go out.

And now I leave you with pictures of the bulbs coming up in my garden! I think these are the tulips and hyancinth. I planted about 30 more this last fall. At this rate I should have a garden full of blooms by the end of April. How lovely!

My front garden is all perenials and bulbs. It faces due south so my plants are usually early. Thanks to all of the mulch I still have fresh tyme. Hard to imagine that this is what my garden looked like 2 weeks ago.

The seasons change quickly in MN. This weekend we are expecting thunderstorms and temperatures in the 50's (F).

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ramp up to the weekend

My fitted gown is closer to being done. The lovely buttons from a couple posts ago are all complete and attached to the sleeves (all 32 of them). Now to make the lacing cord and lacing holes, which I'll start on tonight.

I had every intention of finishing both tents this week and I have all of the doors done, but I've had other projects calling my name. Quiet sitting projects. It probably comes from being a bit under the weather. Oh well it is that time of the year for me to get the spring allergy cold. I'll give one tent a good try tonight and see if I can bang it out. It should only take a couple hours of sewing at the most.

Saturday I'm helping a friend make a fitted cote pattern. Saturday night another friend is cooking Thai food for me and we are watching as much as we can of Season 9 of Dr. Who. That should give me plenty of sitting time to finish my gown.
Sunday is cooking, cooking and cooking some more....of course that means eating. So much for that bikini...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No Rogue Monday for me

That will be the second week in a row that I missed. Oh well. I'm kind of enjoying the break. I'm at a place in the pattern that I'm unsure of myself and I'm afraid I'm going to have to take it all out if I mess up and that does not make me want to knit right now.

Instead I'm sewing TENTS! 4 new wedges to be exact. 2 were made in Madison over the weekend, and the two I'm working on now were cut out over the weekend in Madison and now I am sewing them with the help of Bruce.

Bruce is my industrial Consew and I LOVE him! Maybe it's something to do with the hum when he starts up....

My wedge instructions are coming along and I hope to have an article ready for the Northwatch and hopefully a website. It would be completely cool to show up somewhere and see a whole row of wedge tents and find out they used my pattern. Weee!

Lenny likes his tent, but he doesn't like to share with Nehemiah.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Making Buttons

I have been asked before how to make cloth buttons and I decided to make a post dedicated to this process. Please forgive the poor quality of the pictures, it was a late night, not that I minded in the least. (HI JEN!)

The process for making cloth buttons is discussed in the Museum of London Book on Clothing and Textiles. The buttons were found in digs dating from the 14th c. and were used when the fashion for more fitted garments were in use. Here is my method for making cloth buttons.
I start with a disk of cloth approximately 2" in diameter.

I then sew a running stitch along the edge of the disk, approximately 3/16" in from the edge (be careful if you fabric frays a lot). Once I'm back at the beginning I gentle pull the running stitch to gather the button into a smaller disk. I use quilting thread, but you can use waxed linen thread, make sure whatever thread you use is nice and strong.

I then sew a second running stitch along the edge of the smaller disk, the gathers make it very handy to place the stitches evenly. Carefully pull this row of stitches and you will get something that resembles a round button.

To close the end of the button I simply sew some whip stitches back and forth and then knot the end securly. (sorry for the fuzzy picture)

Here is what it looks like from start to finish. The finished button measures 1/2" diameter.

When sewing it to a garment one would make a shank, which consists of several loops of thread from the garment to the button that are then held proud of the surface (approx 1/4") and wrapped with the sewing thread and secured.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Project update

Since the roads were treacherous I decided to stay home and not go to the "East side fiber enabelers guild" so there was NO Rogue night. Shock and horror!

However I did finish two projects that have been hanging over my head. One I love the other I'm kind of unsure. I finished the small felted bag to hold my phone. I used the left over wool from the large felted bag and guessed on the size. It probably could be a bit smaller, but the size is not bad. I think it looks adorable.

I've been wanting to make a dog sweater for my friend D since I saw a pattern in Cast On. I got the measurements for D's dog and knit up the sweater, but I'm not sure if I'm happy with it. The directions didn't make a lot of sense and seeing that I don't have D's dog at hand I couldn't really tell if it would fit or not. Luckily Nehemiah was a "willing" model....

I'm hoping that the back isn't too short for a Pomeranian, according to my measurements it should fit great, but I do want to find another pattern. Now I need Charlie's measurements.

SNOW day

So yesterday I woke up to this:

And this:

And the cats, who wanted to go out, were greeted by this:

Needless to say their response was this:

I had every intention of going into work, I only live a few miles and could make it, but then I saw images of buses jacknifed on the highway, the highway that I drive, less than a mile from my house. The clincher was when I saw the snow plow in the ditch. staying home. I watched DVD's and worked on a new fitted coat. Good times!

Friday, March 10, 2006

I have made Fire!

Damn I do NOT need to be in the office is far too nice! Sun is shining and it's damn near 50, in March, in MN. I'm surprised that people are not running naked down the sidewalks.

Last night was so mild that I decided to build a fire outside in our portable firepit. It was lovely. We had a nice roaring blaze for a couple of hours. I made charcloth (finally!). Got my tin from Pix, poked a hole in the top, cut up linen and Viola! I should have enough char cloth to last for the entire camping season. For those of you who don't know, one would use char cloth to start a fire using flint and steel. It is very empowering and extremely impressive!

I also finished another balaclava for the boy to take on the trip to Ol' Mis. We should be getting snow just as they are leaving on Sunday.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The toque was tried on H and he loves it and it fits him perfectly. I wove in the ends and added the tassle. I think it turned out cute.

I used a Voyager hat pattern that I purchased a LONG time ago. I knit it out of this luscious hand spun wool that I purchased up in Minot. Lovely!

The pattern is by Smoke and Fire and can be purchased through them. The pattern originally had you knitting the hat flat and then sewing it into a tube. I thought that was dumb so I knit it in the round (as you do with hats) and elongated the top until I thought it was long enough and then tapered the end and added a tassle.

I added my instructions for making this hat in my Ravelry page, please access them using the following link.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Head gear

Balaclava is finished. Finished the ribbing around the face this morning.

Wonder if I can get another two-three done by Friday? I used Patons Classic Merino Wool in Black (00226). The pattern is the same as the helmetliners I made last Fall for Operation Helmetliner.

Monday, March 06, 2006

2 x 2 ribbing

For those who love to knit, sometimes it's not the results that drive your passion, but the process. I think this is why it's so easy to give things away when they are completed. You knit a part of yourself into every item and the pleasure you get is seeing it enjoyed by another.

You can imagine my delight when I received the following question on Friday. "Would you be able to knit a bellaclava for me before next weekend?" YES! I cast on this morning and already have 2 inches of 2 x 2 ribbing, need another 4 before I start forming the head. Hopefully he won't need it, but I'm glad he is preparing for another possibly cold Gulf War. I just wish I had time to make one for each of the guys who are going.... I would just need to make 4.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cats and bathrooms

My cats are bizarre. Not the most original statement I know, but there it is.

They demand entrance to the bathroom each morning, especially after our showers to converge upon the tub and lap up the water. Nehemiah is especially fond of drinking out of the soap dish. We don't actually keep soap in it so I'm not worried.
This morning I found both of them in the tub. Please ignore the state of my grout. Thanks.

My cats are bizarre.

Nehemiah is very cute though. Little tubby, but cute.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So much for number 1000....

I worked a bit on the Boysenberry felted socks last night, but not as much as I would like since I needed to de-clutter the sewing room. There are boys coming to sew garb on Friday and Sunday and I wanted to get a leg up on getting some of my things done, and clean up the debris. Mostly I got some linen ironed, picked up the room, put away some garb, threw away trash, got some boxes off the floor and did some general maintenance on one of the sewing machines.

P purchased a circa 1950's Singer portable off e-bay a few months ago. The belt was pretty well gone and the fly wheel kept slipping. I saw he bought a new belt so I replaced it, blew out the dust, oiled everything up and it works great. It's a little on the slow side, but certainly a functional machine. It will be a great loaner machine.

Tonight is Folk Moot so I will bring my socks with me and should have them ready to felt by the time I get home. I can, hopefully, hand them off to Niklos at the event on Saturday.

Edit: Done! Had to felt them twice, but they fit Padruig so they should fit Niklos. Yay!