Saturday, October 14, 2017

Valor in good company

Valor, standing for the right.

It took four hands, two chopsticks, and my largest crochet hook to switch out Valor's feet. I'd put on as much of his armor as I could without help, but the dark elastic slightly stained his arms, so we're holding off on armoring him until I can make him a skin-colored undershirt with elbow-length sleeves that will prevent staining.

I now know why knights had pages to help them get dressed. It took me the better part of half an hour to figure out what goes where and get it arranged properly. At first I had his gaiters on his arms, and I couldn't figure out what to do with the two long "belts" until I looked at the pictures on the company website. They wind around his gaiters.

Close-up of his sword. I don't know if it's big enough to be a claymore, but it's definitely a two-handed sword of some sort. I looked on Wikipedia and ended up more confused than when I started.

Valor with Legolas and Gimli. Gimli seems a little suspicious, but I think Legolas is glad to have another elf on the team.

Valor and Celeste. I don't know if she's playing a battle hymn or a Celtic lullaby.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

He's here, a day sooner than I expected!

No pictures yet, because he's sitting blind, bald, and naked on the dining room table. I had to run to Michael's to pick up more kneaded eraser to use as eye putty. Middlest is in the middle of things (tee hee) otherwise engaged at the moment. But here's a picture of his box.

And here's a picture of all of the stuff that came home with me from Michael's.

Fall-themed "art" that will go on my desk at work, two different brands of kneadable eraser, a package of washi tape with musical notes, and a small mannequin that will go to one of my dolls. I just don't know which one yet.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Valor is stateside, and through customs.

He's somewhere between the post office in Chicago and here, with delivery scheduled by 8:00pm on Friday.


Monday, October 9, 2017

We have a tracking number for Valor.

The email said "delivery" tomorrow, but I think they meant "shipping" tomorrow, because the EMS number is coming up empty. So maybe I will have a doll at the end of the week?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fore and aft.

The front of Justice's shirt, showing the silk bow at her neck.

The back view, showing off the buttons.

The back view with vests and shirt.

The front view, as she models no more pictures, please, I'm late for an appointment.

And with no pretense at modesty whatsoever, I am in love with her socks.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Halfway done with her second stocking.

The first fit like a dream, which made working on this one oh so easy. I'm almost halfway through the heel flap and would love to begin the heel gussets before I go to bed, but I'm thinking it's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

There are buttons sewn on Justice's shirt, and half a snap in place.

I've been going back and forth with the doll company. There have been delays, but he's scheduled to ship out on Monday the 2nd. Korea is gearing up for their Thanksgiving celebration. This is my first order from Withdoll, and it I've been significantly reassured that Middlest knows them to be a highly reputable company.

I'm having a few sinus issues. The antihistamine is working, but not as well as I would like. Still, I'm thankful. Without it, I'd be dealing with a full-blown sinus infection about now. Heading to bed shortly.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Houston, we have a vest! And bloomers!

The back view of the vest.

The back view of the bloomers (with the tails of the vest flipped up). I modified that shorts pattern I bought from DG Requiem's Etsy shop.

And the vest front, with her arms flopped out to either side, showing how nicely the vest flares out at the hip.

I have since begun a peasant blouse for her out of leftover quilt fabric. Right now Justice is back up on my dresser with Blessing and the tinies, wearing her bloomers and an inside-out blouse, vest halves tossed onto her lap. Theoretically I could have finished it tonight, but realistically I was done.

I've also measured her and roughed out a schematic for a pair of knee high stockings, but I haven't chosen the yarn or swatched. It feels great to finally have her in something of my own making. Middlest had generously loaned her a lovely pair of slacks, hoodie, hat, and Chucks. And I am ever so thankful. But I couldn't really see who this one is when she was wearing borrowed clothing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Catching up with y'all.

Since my post ten days ago, I've frogged that vest back (which I thought was black, but turned out to be navy blue, verging on midnight blue) and whipped up a new one in the same dark green as the first vest half. I did not like the feel of the fabric. The blue yarn needs to be worked on 5-0's or maybe 6-0's. I've cast on the front, worked three rows, and set it aside for a few quick household chores.

I saw something at Knit Night that I want to get for Blessing's yarn basket. I even have a picture of it, but my phone is sulking in the charger.

It's almost bedtime, so I'm going to surprise everyone, myself most of all, and not even think about fighting the urge to fall asleep.

Night, y'all.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Black, right?

This is the yarn I am using for the second half of Justice's vest. Photographed in the very bright incandescent light of my bedroom.

This is what I saw as I sat in Relief Society this morning, photographed in the very bright fluorescent light of the classroom.

That's not grey. And it's not Prussian blue. What it is, is darkest navy, almost midnight blue. So I guess I may be forgiven for thinking it was black. And it will still look wonderful with the dark green of the first vest half.

And now if you will excuse me, I have knitting to do.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


The finished but as yet unblocked doll vest, part one.

I'm eight rows in on the second piece, which is black, which means that I'll have to slow down and work with plenty of light if I don't want to botch it entirely. Even though I now know how to modify the pattern, the second piece may take as long as the first one did with all of its frogging, recalculating, and intermittently patient slogging.

I'm going to try to put in two more rows before calling it a day.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

So maybe worth 500 words.

Justice's first vest half, ready for the I-cord ties and bind-off. That tiny spot dead center is intentional. A tie from the second vest half will pass through it to adjust the fit at her waist.

You ask, was it a royal pain to pick up a loop from each garter stitch bump all along the top edge? Yes. Yes, it was. The designer (as we've previously established, not me) is brilliant. But right now I kinda want to pelt her with marshmallows. Big fluffy ones. Not little fossilized ones. (Because my kids asked.)

I picked up the stitches for the armscye bind-off before church and during Sunday School. I finished it and wove in the ends during Relief Society. I will probably start the ties in a few minutes, although I doubt I'll finish before bedtime. At some point I will need to pick up stitches around the other three sides and finish them off, but I am severely tempted to cast on the second vest half instead. And I may end up redoing the armscye bind-off. It's a little more snug than I would like. Maybe that will be my reward for slogging around the borders of this vest.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mostly fixed.

The side panel is done, and most of the ends are woven in. My final task before crashing last night was to pick out the woven-in ends at the shoulder and frog back to where I have two separate sections. Tonight I'll adjust the length of the shoulder straps, fore and aft, and finish it out properly.

Today has been mostly about napping and quilt blocks.

I did buy two patterns online, one for a Victorian walking dress and the other for a steampunk outfit. She credited my shipping and sent me PDFs.

Can't. Wait.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Knitting progress, of a sort.

I worked the first vest all the way to the waist, then tried it on Justice to see what needed tweaking. I ended up frogging it all the way to the armscye, eliminating the underarm increases, and now I'm creeping slowly along to the waist, improvising the central decreases and making notes so I can replicate this on the second half of the vest.

I'm still having fun. I'm definitely learning a lot. And I'm heading back to my knitting now.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

So, this happened today.

TheKid (my junior attorney) came up to my desk right after I got there and said that he and his daughter had been out this weekend and found a book she thought I might like. She's six, but apparently she's pretty impressed that some grownups still play with dolls.

The book was originally published in 1957. This is a 1985 reprint. The story is charming. I handed it to Fourthborn to read after I got home from Knit Night, and she noticed that some of the pages had been cut out. So I consulted the Google & Thummim, and there's a whole series of these books. About half of them are still in print and available, presumably, through Amazon.

There has also been a bushel of knitting on the doll vest, which I want to get back to, so this is all you get for now.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Out of sorts.

I spent I don't know how long gathering up my laceweight from my studio, random bags, project bags, et al. And then I sorted them roughly by color. There are ten of them.

Three in that bookcase. The other two shoe boxes are filled with sock-weight yarn.

Six in bins on the bed, at least for the next hour or so. And one more in my studio, filled entirely with bright yellow Gloss Lace yarn, the rest of which is in one of those boxes. While I was sorting, I found a ball of black Rowan Fine Lace like I'm using for the darker green half of the doll vest.

I really could use a couple more shoe boxes, but this will do for now. This is going to make sweater design ever so much easier. No idea why I didn't think of it sooner. I've had my yarn sorted by weight for ten years or more. (Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a stash.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

These are the yarns that I'm using.

Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace (100% merino) in Leaf. Rowan Fine Lace (80% baby suri alpaca, 20% merino) in a discontinued shade of medium-dark green. The pattern is Cat Bordhi's "Investments" from Reversible Knitting. There's still not enough to photograph in a way that would make sense.

I paused the dark green at the end of row 53 and am playing catch-up with the light green.

Gotta go. The yarn is calling.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Still nothing to see here.

There are now 46 rows in the dark green and 40 in the light. I'm still enjoying the project. It's one where time goes all wobbly. Individual rows take just a few minutes. Adding noticeable length seems to take forever, and then bang! it's there.

I'm resisting the temptation to grab Justice and my 10 to the inch graph paper and my tape measure and start roughing out a sweater for her. I'm hoping to have this vest nearly done by the time my new umbrella swift arrives next week, so that I can plan her sweater and not feel like I'm cheating, or that I have too many plates spinning.

I'm also resisting the temptation to buy another case of clear shoeboxes and sort out all of my laceweight by color. It would certainly make it easier to see what I have, and where there are gaps to fill in.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Swift to its close...

One of my favorite hymns. But little relation to the fact that I just ordered a wooden umbrella swift that doesn't have to be clamped to a table. After 33 years, my blue plastic and metal swift just wants to collapse in a pile on the table and bewail its decrepitude.

My Knit Picks order arrived at work today, and I just wanted to jump into the middle of all that yarny goodness and get high on wool fumes. These colors are so beautiful. Particularly the greens.

Regarding the two-part vest that I'm knitting, I finished the 40th row on the light green piece, and as soon as I post here and on the main blog, I'm going to put in a few rows on the dark green piece before calling it a day.

No pics ~ of anything ~ at this time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nothing to see here.

34 rows done in the light green; 25 rows done in the dark green. A batch of fat-free (and hopefully not flavor-free) banana bread cooling on top of the stove. I'm going to try to hit 40 rows on the light green before I crash.

The vintage velvet ribbons came today, and they're gorgeous (as usual), and I don't feel like photographing them right now.

All my pants are sassy pants tonight/

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thus far no childbirth words.

I'm working both pieces of the Cat Bordhi reversible vest, one per 0000 circ. I've completed 25 rows in the pale green (the same one I used for the lattice pattern on Avery's sweater) and 22 rows in the darker green. I find it interesting that the latter is hairier, and there are random bits sticking out all over. The pale green is quite smooth. Both are a pleasure to knit. I think the texture contrast will ultimately prove as satisfying to the eye as the color contrast.

I've thought a little (a very little) about how I want to paint that letter B for Blessing's corner of the world. On the one hand, spray paint is fast. On the other, it involves going outside. Which involves putting on a bra. If I go with a craft paint from my studio, then I have to decide on a color (the spray paint is leftover from repainting the mirror frame in the master bathroom, so I know it will fit in) and decide where I want to paint, and wait for it to dry, then spritz it with sealer. Spray paint is one and done.

This would probably be a good time to open the box with the sandpaper and smooth some edges. It's out here in the living room, and Fourthborn is awake. It's also almost 11:00, and I could get away with stepping out on the front porch without getting dressed for company. Bonus: I could spray the wasp nest and the hornet nest when I'm done. Pretty sure those beasties are sleeping as soundly as Middlest right now.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

For future projects

Went back to Hobby Lobby tonight with tape measure in pocket, to see if the black wrought iron candlestick I spotted a couple of nights ago would be tall enough, and solid enough, to serve as the base for a floor lamp near Blessing's new chair.

It is, but it's still not right. So I may be buying some dowels and wooden beads to mix with my stash of vintage wooden spools and build one of my own design. I did find a red ?silk? lampshade

And a small(ish) B to paint for her wall. I am a happy camper.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Oh, snap!

Unless Middlest wants me to sew on a fifth set of snaps, Avery's sweater is done.

I tried it on Justice this morning, and the shoulders fit perfectly, but it's about two inches too large in the chest, and the sleeves need to be both narrower and shorter. I've made notes on the Evernote page, and I'm thinking that the best option for her is a top-down sweater with a circular yoke. That way I can fit as I go.

There's a two-piece vest in the reversible knits book that Osaka and her mom gave me when we went out to Tennessee this spring, and I think I'm just going to cast on with something and see which doll it fits. Between us, Middlest and I have roughly 50 dolls. It'll fit somebody.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The ribbon is on. The snaps are not.

But Fourthborn and I have done the grocery shopping for this week, and the second load of darks is in the washer.

Once the snaps are on (which will probably be before I go to bed), I want to try the sweater on Justice to see where it would need tweaking in order to fit her.

My hands are itching to knit something for her before Valor arrives and I start drooling over his armor. I want to spend some time with my Nicky Epstein books and my Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries to come up with a sweater that's both practical (crossbow and questing gear) and feminine. Of my three SD ladies, I think this one is a true steel magnolia; she's definitely the only one who is fully human.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Blessing now has a chair!

It came in a box roughly two and a half feet each way. Not heavy, but super awkward. I was able to squeeze it into a large knitting bag.

Chair + afghan + needlepoint lumbar pillow + serendipitous ottoman.

Blessing resting in the chair with a book.

Blessing discovered by the Pukifees.

Chutzpah decided she'd rather pester the armadillo, and Praise just wanted to cuddle.

I think Blessing might be rolling her eyes. I need to cross-stitch her a tiny sampler that says "keep out of the reach of children."

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Avery's sweater is done. And a faceup I liked

Last night I pinned it for blocking like this, in order to bring the bottom edge into submission.

This morning before church, I pinned it like this, to tidy up the shoulders and neck edges.

And here it is on Middlest's brat, Avery.

When we were at the dolly birthday party yesterday, I saw a doll whose eye makeup really pleased me. Fourthborn has done the majority of my dolls' faceups, either when I bought mine new, or when they were hers. And I've wanted fairly conservative makeup even for my bigger dolls. But I'm thinking that Blessing could do with a bit more color. Not these colors, and not this intense, but I liked how this doll's faceup worked with her costume.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I may have ordered another chair.

I definitely finished the second shoulder on Avery's sweater, and I've picked up the stitches for the neck ribbing. Before I get to work on that, I'll make myself graft the underarm seam. I go through periods where I think Kitchener stitch is really cool ~ it is pretty magical ~ and others when I think it's the devil. The first underarm seam had a fairly high PITA (pain in the neck) factor, chiefly because most of the stitches had sunk down into the prior row and required a lot of coaxing to get back onto needles and facing the right direction.

Kitchener in worsted yarn on fat needles is pretty much a piece of cake. Kitchener on 0000 needles is not.

I hope to have a pinned-out-for-blocking sweater to show you in the next day or so. And a chair for Blessing to show you sometime around mid-week.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


One wooden box, missing its lid. I don't remember buying this or receiving it as a gift, so it probably belonged to First Wife or Mother-in-Love. A little water damage on the bottom.

Drawer knobs from Hobby Lobby.

Feet installed, with the metal knob bases flipped 180 degrees on the bolt to make a more substantial join to the box (and also to cover those little white nibs where the previous feet were broken off).

Inside view.

A red leather circle cut from an old Franklin Planner that I've been saving for "someday". I stitched it to a square of cotton quilt batting, which I then arranged over a circle cut from some of the upholstery foam that padded the legs of Celeste's chair while in transit.

The finished footstool. About an hour of my time and less than $7 in new materials.

Feeling pretty pleased with the whole process.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Halfway there.

Actually, more than halfway there. Probably somewhere between three-fourths and seven-eighths there.

No knitting today. Looking forward to some tomorrow throughout the day.

Friday, June 30, 2017

First shoulder is done!

Phone is in the charger, so no picture for the moment, but I am ridiculously pleased with how it looks.

I also stopped by Hobby Lobby after dinner and picked up three small ceramic knobs that will become the feet of a footstool or ottoman. Hoping that that will be a one-day project. I have two small slabs of upholstery foam which were swaddled around the legs of Celeste's chair while in transit, and heaven knows I have plenty of quilt batting. The trick will be finding a scrap of upholstery-weight fabric that tones nicely with the feet and the lidless round wooden box which will become the base. I'm hoping for a MacKenzie-Childs-on-Prozac look: boho chic but not overdone.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


This awkward shot is of the underarm, neatly Kitchener-stitched together. I did this at my Dallas knit night when I discovered that the color I wanted for the next colored band had not made it into my knitting bag (or had possibly been kidnapped by aliens; I lose a lot of needles in the car that way).

Here is a better shot of the sleeve and the yoke. My brain wanted to move on to the next pattern, and my body said NOPE!

So everything is tucked neatly into the knitting bag for tomorrow, and I'm heading off to bed almost an hour and a half sooner than the past two nights.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It all adds up.


Chair again.

Back of the chair.

Chair + girl.

Chair + girl + harp

I am over the moon. And I need to email the artisan, let her know that the chair arrived safely, and show her the last picture.

After which I am going to refuel and get back to work on Avery's sweater.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

No pics today.

We were at the dentist's long enough that I couldn't get back to my office before it closed. So tomorrow I will get to open the box with Celeste's new chair in it, and tomorrow night there will be pictures.

Unless you want a shot of the pint of ice cream I just emptied to (A) celebrate happy teeth and (B) console myself for no new doll chair chez nous.

Heading back to my room to work on Avery's sweater.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Knitting progress

Eight rows of pattern on one half of the yoke.

The chair for Celeste is supposed to arrive at work tomorrow. I'm hoping it does before I leave to get the kids and head out to our dental appointments.

Brain is saying, Hey, we've made some good progress on the yoke of Avery's sweater. Let's stay up until it's done! Body is saying, Are you NUTS? We have a job, remember? That place with the nice people and the great deli on the parking level? The place that gives us money for electricity and hot water and Nutella and yarn? Nope. We can do one more row, and then it's lights out. Capisce?

(Thanks to my friend Tan for the spelling lesson.)

Over and out.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Side chair ordered. And silk charmeuse added to the stash.

We went back to Fabrique this morning. I bought 3/8 yard each of a rich peach, a warm caramel, and a dark chocolate, plus seven spools of thread. Pictures ~ maybe ~ later, as my phone is updating, and I've tried to upload the picture to Blogger. Twice. With no success. (Right now my phone is updating FB, and we're 97% there.)

Side chair is coming from an Etsy shop and should be here sometime next week, as this is an in-stock chair and not a custom order. It will be Celeste's perch when she plays the harp. I am so jazzed to have found it.

I also scored that pier glass at JoAnn at 50% off when I dashed in to get ergonomic seam rippers for Middlest and me. Probably more MSD scale than SD. Right now it is hanging out on the dresser with Blessing and her alchemy shop, but that space will eventually be claimed by an armchair, once I find one I like at a price I'm willing to pay. Or a tutorial to make my own.

Did I mention that on Wednesday we found a gorgeous piece of handmade paper at Asel Art Supply which I think I will be using as wallpaper for Blessing's area? I'm thinking of getting an oversized piece of foamboard and creating a wall with a chair rail. Largest size I've seen is 40"x60" at Office Depot.

Note to self: research traditional heights for chair rails and/or wainscoting. I would like to make this suitable for both SD and MSD scale. The scraps could go for Yo-SD size, maybe?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

En garde

Here is Justice in her new eyes, with her crossbow, keeping watch over the dining room table while Celeste takes a nap.

I love love love those eyes.

This is the yarn that came home with us last night: Juniper Moon Findley in colors that match the fabric which followed us home on Saturday; three hanks of Malabrigo Lace (the one on the left is for Fourthborn, who was delighted to discover that she isn't allergic to it, and the two on the right are for the Adamelli twins); and Malabrigo Merino (lace) for Harmony, because it tones with her hair

Hoping for more progress on Avery's sweater before I call it a night.

Monday, June 19, 2017

We've got eyes! They're multiplyin'!

The new green eyes from Mint on Card were in my mailbox shortly after I got to the office this morning. I wasn't expecting them until this afternoon, but apparently they arrived on Saturday.

And here's a picture of Celeste with the aforementioned shades, channeling Melody Gardot.

There's been minimal progress on Avery's sleeve today, but I intend to do something about that before bedtime.

Middlest does not expect to have time to put Justice's new eyes in until sometime on Wednesday, and I'm fine with that. It gives me time to pick up a box to store spare eyes. Because I have a feeling that I will be accumulating quite a few of them over the next few months as I swap out acrylic eyes for glass ones.