Category Archives: Sisters

Sisters Day

Before I begin I want to apologize for being away so long. It was a couple of days ago when my most loyal reader, who also happens to be my husband and my editor, mentioned that I needed to get another post up, that I realized that it has been almost three weeks since my last post. I could come up with a whole bunch of excuses but that’s all they would be – excuses. Instead I will beg your forgiveness and hope you enjoy this post. 🙂

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.”
― Barbara Alpert

I love the above quote as it accurately describes my relationship with my sisters. Honestly there were not many days of “wishing I was an only child” and those days are long gone, but the rest of this quote describes us.

Last Friday was sisters day. What is sisters day??? It’s simply spending time with my sisters. There are no rules for sisters day because we would probably break them anyway. Sisters day might be two, three, or four of us getting together, but it is not exclusive to us sisters. There might be aunts, cousins, daughters, grandkids or friends involved. Husbands, sons, son-in-laws are also welcome if they want to put up with our shenanigan’s. 🙂

Our activities also vary but since they often include some type of crafting it should come as no surprise that last Friday we spent time shopping at Joanne Fabrics. I came home with fabric to make two sewing projects that I have planned; several skeins of yarn that I have no immediate plans for (but if you knit or crochet you’ll understand that you can never have too much yarn); and a hairpin lace loom. Hairpin lace is a method of crochet that I recently learned of and now that I have the required tools I am looking forward experimenting with new creations.  (Watch for this in future posts.)

One of the sewing projects that I have planned is a do-over. If you are a long time reader you probably remember that despite not being skilled at sewing I usually dust off my sewing machine and attempt to sew something at least once or twice a year. My sister, Kathy, on the other hand is very skilled at sewing and has been teaching my other sister, Jamie and my cousin Abbey for a while now. In September I decided to get in on the action.

Below are wo of Kathy’s recent projects.

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A perfect fit and the dogs name is Daisy. 🙂

 

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This shirt is a pattern she would like us all to try. I really like the style but making button holes is scary.

 

September Sewing

We selected a pattern for a hooded shirt that we all liked and decided that we would each make our own. Kathy had made one for herself and when I tried it on I really liked the look and the way it fit. I was very encouraged when she said it was an easy pattern to make. We then went fabric shopping and each selected our own fabrics. There were so many options and as you will see in the photos below we all had different ideas.

It was a week later when we got together to begin making them. Kathy helped us with laying out the pattern on the fabric, telling and showing us things about the salvage and the stretch of the different fabrics. She also helped with making sure that my fabric was cut properly so I could line up the squares and that the flowers on Jamie’s fabric would all be right-side-up. We also talked about what type of stitch we should use, machine settings, seam allowances, and I assured her I had a ball point needle that she told me I would need.

Before we parted that day Kathy gave us the directions for the first few steps, sewing the front and back together, attaching the sleeves then sewing up both sides of the shirt. If we had time we could complete those steps before we met again. We could also line the hood and attach it if we thought we could do it on our own. If we had questions just give her a call.

By the time we met, a week later, I had completed many of the steps. The body and sleeves were assembled and the hood was lined. I had decided to wait for guidance when attaching the hood. I was glad I waited because I ran into some snags but by the time we parted that day the hood was properly attached and the band around the bottom was pinned in place – ready to be sewn. After that all I would have to do is sew the cuffs on and it would be finished. WOO HOO!

The next day, after I had successfully attached the band on the bottom of the shirt I pinned the first cuff in place and was feeling really excited as I was sewing it in place. I was almost finished! Once I had that cuff finished I held up the shirt and realized I had sewn the cuff on inside-out. Ugh! The seam was on the outside of the sleeve. I wanted to cry.

Instead I got out my seam ripper only to discover that instead of ripping out the stiches I was ripping the fabric, so taking that cuff off and redoing it was not the answer. I talked to my sister Jamie and she said she would probably sew the other on the same way and wear it like it was intentionally done that way. LOL. Since I had quite a bit of fabric leftover from the cuffs I decided to redesign them. It was already messed up so what harm could I do?

Nervously I cut about six inches off both sleeves. I then cut pieces of the cuff fabric that would fit the area that I had cut off.  I pinned them to the sleeves so that the seam would be on the inside and sewed them on. I was actually quite pleased with the results. You will see it in the photo below. In fact I liked every thing about the way the shirt turned out – except the way it fit me. 😦

Before you see the results I want to tell you that the photo of me is not very complimentary (it’s a horrible photo of me). Not only does the shirt not fit well I seem to have a Frankenstein thing going on with my hair. I was hesitant to even include it but I didn’t think it was fair to write about it all but not show the end results. So please don’t judge me on this photo.

 

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Abbey and Kathy
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Jamie and Ruth (Me)

I really learned a lot from this project. Not only about the sewing process but about the way different fabrics act. We all made the same pattern in the same size (Abbey decided not to add the band on the bottom), but each of the shirts fit differently. When I tried on Kathy’s shirt and Jamie’s shirt (it’s a sister thing you know – we grew up wearing each other’s clothes) they both fit me well. My shirt was a better fit on each of them as they are a bit shorter then I am.

Jamie, who had said several times while we were making our shirts how much she liked mine, made me and offer. If I gave her my shirt she would buy me fabric to make a new one, hence the “do-over”. Even though Jamie had mentioned liking my shirt previously, I tend to think her offer had a lot to do with encouraging me not to give up.

It is said that “practice makes perfect” and “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again” so that’s how I will be spending some of my time over the next week or so. Keep your fingers crossed that you will see an updated post revealing great results (and a better hairdo LOL).  🙂

Thanks for reading.

Have you ever tried sewing?

Do you prefer to wear prints or solids?

 

 

 

 

Loom Knitting

If you have become frustrated by attempts to learn to knit, or crochet or even if you haven’t tried to knit or crochet but would like to learn to craft yarns into lovely things like hats, scarves and even afghans, loom knitting might be the answer.

I come from a crafty family – my grandmother, my mom and my mom’s older sister Ruth had all seemingly mastered the arts of knitting and crocheting among other things. My Mom’s younger sister Donna and my sister KC both do beautiful cross stitch and KC is sharing her skills in sewing by teaching any of us who want to learn – my sister JB and cousin Abbey now sew as well. Apparently despite attempts by Grandma, Aunt Ruth and Mom to pass on the art of crocheting to their offspring, it seems that I am the only one who was able to pick up the craft.

Recently my sister, KC, picked up a set of round knitting looms and found a video tutorial (linked below) for making hats. She discovered how quick and easy it was and decided we (sisters) should get together for a hat making day. It was a few weeks before we could schedule a time to all get together and in the mean time KC had made several hats on her loom. She also taught her grandson (I think he is 8 years old) how to make hats on the loom and he was planning to make them for several of his friends at school and his teacher. One day when visiting my dad KC was telling him about the craft and since he seemed interested she bought him a set of looms and a couple skeins of yarn. He called me that evening to tell me that he completed his first hat. 🙂

Last Thursday was hat day. The group included sisters KC and JB, along with my cousin Laurie, her daughter Abbey and Aunt Donna. Six of us in all and all having various experience with attempting to crochet. It was fun to listen to their stories of have they had tried to learn the craft.

“I can make a long chain,” Aunt Donna said “but never was able to turn.”

Laurie told us how patient Aunt Ruth was when trying to teach her, but how she ended up tearing it out to try again, and again, and again…

KC and JB agreed that Mom was “not so patient” when trying to teach them and they too had to undo the work over and over and over…

While Mom taught me the basics, how to make a chain, how to turn, and how to make a single crochet, I have mostly taught myself. It’s taken a lot of practice, a lot of trial and error, and A LOT of frogging, I have used stitch diagrams and nowadays I use online tutorials and videos. Learning to crochet is not easy.

Loom knitting on the other hand is pretty easy to learn. We spent about 4 hours together on Thursday. KC did most of the teaching and I helped when I could. We probably spent as much time talking and laughing as we did knitting and we took a lunch break, but by the time we left everyone had at least half of a hat finished. KC forwarded the video link to everyone so they would be able to view it if they had questions about how to finish their project.

If all of these people, who have struggled with learning to crochet, can pick up loom knitting so easily I figure it must be worth sharing. Below is the video link for the hat making tutorial. The second link has a chart for making different size hats.

I decided to include a third link which is a finger knitting tutorial. Finger knitting is much like loom knitting only using the fingers on your hand rather than a loom with pegs. If you are curious about loom knitting but aren’t ready to run out and buy a loom you might want grab some yarn and try finger knitting.

Thanks for reading and Happy Crafting! 🙂

 

 

 

http://www.loomahat.com/how-many-rows/

 

Well Said

If you read K.C.’s comments on this recent post https://donteatitsoaps.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/challenging-my-skills/ I have to say I couldn’t agree more. “Sisters Rock!” Without question the greatest gift(s) my parents ever gave me is my 3 sisters. I have also been blessed with 4 daughters and while growing up, they, like me and my sisters, had their differences, it gives me great joy to see them so close as adults.

With that being said, I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes about sisters.

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.”
Barbara Alpert

 

Challenging My Skills

This time of year, when the darkness and cool temperatures dictate that I spend evenings inside, I tend to spend a lot of my time in the evenings crocheting. I usually make simple things like cotton wash clothes (which my husband loves to wash with) and hot pads, scarves, and slippers like my mom use to make.

A few weeks ago my sister showed me a pattern for some boot type slippers she liked. I looked at the pattern and discovered that they were knit. I told her that I would not be able to make them since I do not knit. A few days later she showed me a crochet pattern she found for a similar slipper. It looked a little more complicated than I was use to, but I told her that I would attempt to make them, so she bought the pattern for me.

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Crochet Pattern

When I got the pattern, I went to my yarn bins, and I pulled out a couple of skeins of worsted weight yarn. I didn’t have any of the real soft yarn that the pattern suggested to use, but I decided to  use what I had on hand for the first attempt at making them.

The pattern was well written and had pictures that were very helpful, but even so I had to go online and watch a video to learn to do a reverse single crochet (a new stitch for me). Other than that stitch, I did not find them to be difficult to make.

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Finished Product

I did not have 4 buttons that were exactly alike, so I chose similar buttons all the same size. I thought this might add character to them. Since my sister has smaller feet than I do, I made a size medium for her. They do not fit me, so I am eager to get them to my sister to see if they fit her, because to me they seemed pretty small. I bought some soft yarn today, so I think my next project will be a pair of these in size large.