April 2010

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Buzzy Tree

We’ve been singing Laurie Berkner’s Buzz Buzz at the top of our voices. And the bees in our yard are enjoying our flowering cherry tree so much the tree is constantly buzzing with activity. I’ve counted three, maybe four different kinds of bees!

flowering cherry tree in bloom sargentii

bumblee bee in a cherry blossom bee in a cherry blossom

The boy and his sister have been singing their own song, flower snow in the summer, while dancing under the petal breeze. There’s nothing like spring in Maine to remind you of the intricate beauty and mind-boggling enormity of creation.

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Some pictures from our walks in the last week or so. I missed shooting the snow we had last Friday because I was driving through it. A bit annoying at this point after nearly two months of nothing. But spring is decidedly here and we have once again lucked out of mud season. (Last year we had plenty of snow but didn’t have much of a mud season because it just stayed cold until June I think.)

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I’m a member of a group on Ravelry that challenges each other to try new one-skein projects each month. One of the new things we are trying is moebius knitting. See the mathematical definition of moebius. You probably played with paper models of these at some point in school. If not—get out some paper, scissors and tape and have some fun with math!

I used some unknown soft acrylic yarn I have had for ages to try out knitting a moebius shape. Here is the resulting cowl modeled beautifully by my friend Linda.

moebius mobius cowl knit scarf

And laid out flat. It’s hard to tell but there is no wrong side since a moebius strip has only one side.

]mobius moebius cowl scarf knitted

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This is third in a series intended to show the steps from fiber to finished item. You can click on following the fiber under categories to see them all.

The fiber: handpainted blue-faced leicester top in a colorway called “blush” including pinks, peaches and a bit of yellow with some natural white showing through. I received this in a trade so I don’t know who did the handpainting.

handpainted blue-faced leicester BFL spinning wool pink peach yellow

the plies: three singles on the bobbins ready to be spun into yarn

three singles of handpainted BFL ready to be plied into yarn

the yarn: three-plied sport weight yarn, about 110 yards

sport weight handspun handpainted BFL wool yarn

the project: spiral legwarmers inspired by Spiral Bedsocks, a free pattern from Vintage Purls. Full project details on Ravelry.

hand knit legwarmers made from handspun yarn

These legwarmers were actually done last month but it took this long to get the girl to pose for a picture. Now I have about fourteen of course. That’s first position there, in case you’ve forgotten your ballet steps.

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Please excuse the over-abundance of photos and text but I’m pretty proud of this project and I want to show you all the details. First I have to admit that this is a long neglected Work-In-Progress. I actually cut out most of the fabric for these outfits LAST YEAR! Generally you can’t get away with that when making clothes for kids but luckily my kids have mostly grown taller and not all that wider. I did make a few changes. The dress got an extra ruffle for length and I changed the bodice shape completely. I had originally cut out a button up shirt out of the fish fabric for the boy and then decided not to sew it as it is miserable, nigh on impossible, to get him to wear a dress shirt. So instead I opted to let him wear a polo (only slightly less miserable) with shorts sewn out of the brown plaid from Michael Miller and embellished with the fish and seahorse fabrics from Heather Ross’s Mendocino collection for Free Spirit ’08.

The Dress:
little girl's summer dress Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorses plaid

Teeny pocket bound with bias binding cut by hand:
Heather Ross Mendocino pacific fish pocket on seahorse little girl dress

Piped double ruffle:
piped double ruffle on girl's dress schoolgirl plaid

schoolgirl brown plaid Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorse toddler girl summer dress

Ruffled cap sleeve and covered button with elastic loop placket:
ruffled cap sleeve covered button elastic loop placket little girl dress

The dress is my own pattern. It is fully lined with the bottom ruffle attached to the lining. The cap sleeves were made by folding a long marquise shape in half and gathering the cut edges into the upper armhole which is deep enough to allow wearing over a close fitting long sleeved shirt. The elastic loop that holds the placket shut was made from a color matched hair elastic—one of my favorite tricks—easy to sew and usually makes the dress “I do it” friendly. Except for the little pocket on the front the dress could easily be worn with the placket in the front. The dress could also be made reversible as the manner of construction makes the inside as neatly finished as the outside.

Now for the shorts:
boys shorts sewn with Michael Miller brown and aqua plaid Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorse pockets

Pocket detail:
cargo pocket on boy's shorts Heather Ross Mendocino pacific

I used a commercial pattern for the brown plaid shorts and added flap topped cargo pockets made from the Mendocino prints and trimmed with the bias cut plaid. The placement looks low on the hanger but seems fine when worn with an untucked shirt.

The boy and the girl intent on a new Leapster game.
brother and sister matching Easter outfits orange brown aqua

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