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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A little crafting, with a side order of anarchy.

I cannibalized a placemat which I'd bought to make into needle rolls when I lived in Fort Worth and my needle stash (particularly in the smallest sizes) was growing almost every payday. I've been wanting to make Blessing's corner on the top of my tallest dresser a little more Boho/gypsy/faerie in style. (The placemat which has been serving as her area rug for the past month or so certainly helps.)

I've also been wanting to make a sign for the clipboard I bought several months ago. My printer is having opinions, and I'm not in the mood to figure out what's wrong, so I finally settled on a grey background and black type, printed in greyscale with no drama, thank you very much.

Here is blessing sitting on her new cushion. Her breakfast tray has been set alongside the wall, where it might not be noticed by inspectors from the Bureau of Alchemy on their semiannual rounds. Yes, she eats in her lab. (Yes, I eat at my desk at work.) I've made an alternate sign: Do not feed the librarian. Because sometimes it's not so much about turning things into other things as it is reveling in the sight, smell, and sound of books.

In knitting news, I got all of those pesky ends woven in on the sleeve of Avery's sweater, and I made significant progress while at church today. I plan to do a little more knitting before going to bed tonight.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Still life with feathers.

Several years ago, when I only had one or two dolls, Fourthborn and I explored an upscale fabric shop on the service road along the PGBT (the Bush) named Fabrique. It had bought the stock of Kay Fabrics when they closed up shop. I bought some Dior grey silk duppioni to make trousers of some sort for Faith. (Ahem: still yet to be made.)

Today I took in the Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon (above) in the muddy green colorway that I bought after knit night on Thursday.

I came home with a yard each of muddy green silk dippioni (which reads as bronze or gold in these pictures) and iridescent cotton voile, plus several yards of lace and trim, and one yard of amazing stuff from trimmed-down feathers. I'm not sure how I'll use the latter, but it called my name. (Trust me, this all tones wonderfully, regardless of what you're seeing on your monitor.)

Middlest and Fourthborn helped me get some patterns printed in the right scale from freebie PDFs posted on DeviantArt. Lots and lots of trial and error.

I had a deliciously long nap this afternoon, so there's time to work on Avery's sweater before going to bed for the night. Although there's time to try out a pattern for thigh high stockings if I have thread in the right size.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Progress. Really.

About every inch or so, I turn the sleeve inside out and weave in the ends. As you can see, I got halfway there when lunch was over. As soon as all but the last (yellow) end is woven in, I'll turn this right side out again and knit some more.

I just thought any knitting muggles might be interested to see what the inside of a Fair Isle sleeve looks like, in contrast with the delicate patterning that appears on the outside.

Justice's new eyes are scheduled to arrive at work on Monday. While we're seeing which (if either) of the new pairs suit her better, I'm going to have Middlest adjust Harmony's right eye. She's gone a little cross-eyed sometime in the past couple of weeks, and I just noticed it last night.

I hope to have more progress for you tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Restrung and ready for adventure!

I never figured her for a blonde with chin length hair, but she likes this wig. And long hair might tangled get up in her crossbow. She didn't want her old eyes. So she's borrowing a pair from Middlest until the order I just placed with Mint on Card arrives. I don't know that she'll like them any better, but they'll fit somebody.

I love how much softer her features are, now that she's gently washed and restrung and clothed. Her outfit is also on loan from Middlest. I think her style will be a pared-down Boho/gypsy look for dress-up and overalls or leggings and boots for when she's working.

Personality read: intelligent, tender-hearted, innocent but not naive, determined. While all of those qualities would suit someone named Mercy, I think this one is Justice. We think she's claimed the crossbow, et al, that arrived in yesterday's mail, with the same polite firmness in which Celeste claimed the harp.

I need to grab the sunglasses that were mistakenly sent along with Honor's glasses, and see if they're supposed to be this one's ... nope. They swam on her face, but they fit Celeste perfectly; she looks as if she were channeling Melody Gardot.

I've since found Justice's brother, Mercy. And the name of Harmony's brother: Valor; he's the one I put on layaway Friday night.

I'd been looking around my room, trying to remember where I put the knitting bag with my Alice Starmore book of Fair Isle patterns. Yesterday I came out here into the living room and asked Fourthborn, "Is there a grey knitting bag on the floor by your chair?" There was. Which means that after dinner I can bring the third sleeve on Avery's sweater to the point where I stopped on the second sleeve (I'm almost there) and figure out where we go from here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

When the arsenal arrives, the doll will show up.

A crossbow, a quiver, and a waterskin walked into a bar. Said ouch. Dollar for scale.

I've ordered Egon the Elf Knight from Withdoll. He'll be here in several to many months. Steadfast will be glad to no longer be outnumbered fifteen to one.

I'm home at ridiculous o'clock after watching Wonder Woman. Loved it.

Going to bed now.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blessing's little corner of the world.

It's expanding. I found an old picture of Beloved in his prime and Squishy as an adolescent, and I hung it on the wall when Middlest and Fourthborn were out of the house, so the banging would not exacerbate Middlest's migraine. I also took the ribbon off the Moroni replica that I bought in the gift shop in Nauvoo last summer. If I remember correctly, the first Moroni atop the original Nauvoo temple was more like a weather-vane, unlike the standing angel which graces most modern temples.

Eventually I will find another spot for my alarm clock, white noise machine, etc. But for now doll-scale items are peacefully coexisting with human-scale items. It might be visually jarring, but it's expedient and practical.

I made more progress on the third sleeve of Avery's sweater at Knit Night. I'm done with the pale green lattice pattern and ready to do the next one. But not tonight. I just took my evening meds and enjoyed a mug of buttermilk and a handful of ginger cookies. After dinner I had what I suspect was some wicked reflux. I wish there were a way to carry a flask of buttermilk for times like that. It settles things down like nobody's business.