Saturday, August 23, 2014

One little, two little, three little sweaters.

If at first you don't succeed, try again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

I like to have a knitting project to keep me awake occupied while I'm a passenger
 in the car.  Over the past winter I knit this sweet tiered sweater for Finley
while we racked up a few thousand miles on our car.

  It's a simple pattern, knit in one piece from the top down.  When you're done knitting
 all that's left to do is weave in the ends and sew on the buttons.  No seams!
( Lisa Chemery's infant and toddler pattern available here. )

I'm allergic to wool, but the clerk at our local yarn shop assured me
2 strands of this gray wool blend yarn would knit up
 into a soft sweater comfortable for any child.

Encore Tweed color T789/ Lot #49686

Enter the Bean Theory.

In case you aren't familiar with this theory, here it is:
 When you plant beans, you get beans.

When I asked Little Finley Bean if she liked the sweater, she had no qualms
 about telling methat it wasn't very snugly.  And it wasn't purple or pink.
  I couldn't argue with the snugly part, since my nose was itching and my eyes
 were watering the entire time I was knitting the sweater!
  As for the color, I realize now that a soon-to-be 4 year old
 has very specific likes and dislikes.

 Little Maggie Bean is too young to voice an opinion, so I knit hers
 with super chunky acrylic yarn.  Her mommy bean is partial to gray and black,
 so I chose the color to appease her taste.

Lion Brand Hometown USA color 150/ Lot # 11917

Chicago Charcoal is the perfect color for toddling around in the big city.

Then I started on a pink sweater, only to discover (when I was halfway finished)
that the rest of my pink yarn was a different lot number,
 aka a slightly different shade of pink.

Honolulu Pink
Lion Brand Hometown USA color 102/ Lot # 14417

I searched the world over and could find no more yarn in the color I needed.  I even visited
the company website, but they would not ship a specific lot number of yarn.  Soooooo.......
I ripped apart the pink sweater and started a new sweater in the prettiest shade of purple.

Minneapolis Purple
Lion Brand Hometown USA color 147/ Lot # 12087

Did I learn my lesson with the pink yarn?
Why no, I did not.

I was more than half done with the sweater in the prettiest shade of purple when I realized
the rest of the yarn was a different lot number and had more of a blue tint.
 It was 1:30 am, and I prayed my tired eyes were deceiving me, but in the early morning light
 I could clearly see the new yarn was not the same.

  Waaaaaa!  Waaaaaa!  Waaaaaa!
It all looked the same when I bought it!

I searched the world over, once again, and could find no more yarn in....
(y'all join in the chorus now)
"The prettiest shade of purple!"

Can you see the difference?
Well, now that I've posted a photo on my blog I can.

By this time I was ready to toss the blankety-blank sweater into the dumpster,
 but being the recycler that I am, I decided to carry on and donate the sweater
to a charitable organization.

I knit the last tier with the new lot number of bluish yarn, hoping for a sort of ombre look.
 Wouldn't you know, I had to join a new skein for the last four rows of the sweater.
  It was the same wrong lot number.............
but the color matched the yarn I used to knit the top 2/3 of the sweater!!!
 What?!  What?! I'd add one more what ...(along with a few choice words)
but this is the largest font available and a G rated blog.

 Seriously.  Am I on Candid Camera?!!!!

Sooooooo, I ripped out the bluish tier along with a few handfuls of my hair
 and finished the entire sweater in ........ 

the prettiest shade of purple.

And all the beans lived happily ever after.

Lion Brand published this free pattern for the cabbage roses I used to make the brooches,
so they've somewhat redeemed themselves after the lot number fiasco.
I knit the roses and leaves with size 1 needles and fingering weight yarn.
My flower petals curl in instead of out, but I'm a do-it-my-way kinda gal.

  I found the simple leaf pattern at Buttons & Pickles .
I made a smaller size by omitting rows 9-16
 and then joined 2 leaves (wrong sides together )
to make a sturdier leaf.

I think the moral of the story is pretty obvious.
Check your lot numbers!!!
But beware, even if they're different, the color may be the same. 
And if they're the same, the color may be different...........
Oh, forget it!  Knit everything with variegated yarn.

Obviously I was not compensated by Lion Brand Yarn in any way, but if they'd like to ship
me a crate of yarn to keep me busy this winter, my email address is available on my profile.  :)
I will say, however, that the sweaters pass the snugly test, they're machine washable,
and will withstand the hottest dryer setting.  Or so it says on the label.
The label with the lot number.

I'm having a lot of fun knitting up fall fashions for the little beans.

Thanks for visiting,
DeeDee (as I'm known to our grandbeans)

Will they be Barbie sweaters after laundering?
Or perhaps my vintage sock monkeys will be sporting snugly new sweaters.

I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life * Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House * Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style * Wow us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson * Share Your Cup Thursdays

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Garden tales.

During the decade that we've lived in this house,
I've found a few buried treasures in my flower beds.
Mostly I find peanuts buried by the neighborhood squirrels.
The thing that annoys me is that they pull out perfectly healthy
flowers from my pots and replace them with their winter snacks.

So far, they've left our window boxes alone.

Do you remember my blindingly bright turquoise bicycle?

After 2 years it's finally starting to fade and rust is coming through the paint.

The birds pecked apart my pretty straw basket liner, so I replaced it with
 a discount potted plant a few weeks ago.  When I went to water it the other day,
 I noticed what appeared to be a huge mushroom growing under the leaves.

Nope, not a mushroom.

A cheeseburger.

Now, this presents a real mystery.

We are gluten free in this house so unless somebody was secretly eating a Big Mac
and stuffed it into the plant to avoid getting caught, it was stashed there by a squirrel.
  Unlikely, you say?

Oh, you haven't seen the Iron Range squirrels in action!
I've watched one of them haul a corn cob across our busy street........and survive!
Although, unless it was wearing a rodent back pack, I do wonder how in the heck
 a squirrel got its hands on a cheeseburger and delivered it intact to its hiding spot.

I guess it's just one of the unexplained phenomena here at 911.

The thieves have also removed half of the flowers from this pot.

My wine barrel has remained untouched by the little critters,
although something is eating the sweet potato vine.
It appears 3 of those somethings are nibbling on my daisies.
Oooo, that sounds kind of risque.  hehe

My Annabelle hydrangeas never let me down and seem to
be immune to all the hungry bugs in my garden.

Knock on wood!!!

Speaking of wood.....

Our robins have been extra busy building nests in the trees,
 on the fence, and under the garage eaves.
Oh, no! It looks like something took a great big bite out of our fence!
I have come face-to-face with a woodchuck in the alley, but I think they prefer
their snacks at ground level.  Can you picture a woodchuck wearing mountain climbing gear?
Yodel ay hee hoo!

My clematis is at its peak right now.

I've let the perennials do as they please in front of our garage,
which was a floral shop back in the 70's.  Imagine the short walk to work!

My next garden surprise was even more unwelcome than the mischievous squirrels.

As I was snipping off a spent rose, a Japanese beetle reared its
ugly horned head out to greet me.  Eek!  After conferring with Dr.Google,
I'm feeling pretty discouraged about the next few years of gardening.
It seems the garden pests have a 3 year cycle of eating just about anything green.  ugh

Earlier this summer, I dug out the 3 blades of grass I coaxed to grow under
our giant mock orange shrub and replaced them with hosta from our shade garden.
As you can clearly see, it's a work in progress.

As I was sifting through the soil, I unearthed a little piece of history.

Isn't it adorable?

I'm guessing this cute little car (about the size of a quarter) belonged to
 the original owner's son, which would make it almost as old as our 93 year old house.
Finally, a buried treasure worth keeping!

Thanks for visiting and be on the lookout for supersized McSquirrels!


I'm joining the party at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday

Sunday, July 20, 2014

It's a cool, cool summer.

So far, our summer has been pleasantly cool and that's fine by me.
I just love cool nights when I can sleep with the windows wide open,
with a lightweight blanket or quilt covering me.

As you can see, I've got plenty to choose from!

Today is day 7, the last day of my vacation.
We had our kids here for the all-class reunion festivities and parade last weekend,
 followed by a short road trip during the week with lots of pit stops at antique shops along the way.
I think the cool weather during our drive through Wisconsin influenced my vintage purchases.

  Here's what I found.....

Classic blue & white "cutter" quilt as I've heard them called, stitched entirely by hand.
I honestly don't think I could bring myself to cut it up for pillows,
even though it's stained and the seams are coming apart.

Lap quilt pieced from wool and flannel. 
It's not vintage, but the colors are perfect (I think) for bedroom #3.

Here's a sneak peek of the "before" room.

The reveal should be in......oh, a year or three.

I confess, the unsavory wall color was chosen by me to match
an antique love seat and rug that are no longer with us.  That's a whole nuther story.
Who in the world painted the bed metallic bronze?  Oh, that would be me, too.
As you can see, there's lots of painting to be done.

Once again, I've purchased all the vintage accessories before I've chosen a paint color.
I call my design style, "Putting the Cart Before the Horse Decor".
I build the room around my favorite things.

As I was uploading photos, I came across this one taken right after I bought the bed in 2005.
I think it was $20 and we had to pull all the vines off the thing as the seller had been using it
for a trellis in her garden.  If I bought the bed today I would've just washed it up and called it a day!

I don't know why I took the photo, but until I uploaded it, I never really looked at it.
 I got all choked up when I noticed our little Fergie
 walking in the snow in the upper right corner.

Okay, onto the rest of my recent finds.

Oh-so-sweet crib quilt.  My favorite.

It's my goal to start sewing quilts and I'd like to start with one like this,
only with random fabrics, no actual design to it.

Another simple tied quilt.

This is the oldest of the lot and it's hand quilted.

I found 3 of the quilts in one booth in a wonderful shop in Cumberland, Wisconsin.
The owner was closing out and all of the items were marked.....
75% off the already low prices!!!  Yes, yes, and yes!
The others were very reasonable finds in the city of Spooner.
Both towns have shops that are well worth checking out
if you happen to be in that area.

A few weeks ago, I removed the shirred curtains from my old wall cupboard
and I replaced them with chicken wire to create a display space for my vintage quilts.
  My plan was to search for a few more quilts to fill the cupboard,
but I never dreamed I'd hit the jackpot in just one trip!

Here's the new look for my old cupboard.
I'm happy to say our daughter found the drawers,
but I still need to find some knobs.

Behind the cupboard is one of the newly painted gray walls.  I'm glad to be rid
of the beige walls that I've lived with far too long!  Although I love the weathered wood,
I've been contemplating painting the cupboard white.

Below are some of my inspiration photos from Pinterest.

Oh, I do love this white cupboard in an all white room.

   Crazy in love with this one.

Pretty cabinet in a pretty room.

Fun red cabinet from Petticoat Junktion.

Helen Philipps blog.
I like the white painted chicken wire and the heart, too!

I found one more item as we looped back into Minnesota through St.Paul.

  I found this simple leaded glass window.  I made a super-low offer
 because there's a small crack in one piece of glass near the bottom.......
and the dealer agreed to my price!  It was too good to pass up.
He even said I could return it if it didn't work out.  Huh?
No need to worry about that.

Well, all good things must come to an end.
It's back to work for me tomorrow and it looks like our
cool summer nights may be over until fall.
It sure was nice while it lasted!

Until we hoist the a.c. units into the windows,
I'll be utilizing my many vintage fans that still work.
I've nicknamed this one Slice & Dice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Come join the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants What's it Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Thoughts from Alice Sundays at Home

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