Big News

Some people guessed, yup, I am a grandma again, we are up to five!  My son and son in law are adopting this adorable little peanut.Three years, ever since they got married they have been trying to get a baby and now they have their son. He is a preemie, so is still in the hospital in OH and I won’t meet him in person for a few weeks. Which is very hard, but he is here and adorable and healthy and before you know it I’ll have him in my arms. He is home! He is precious! He still doesn’t have a name. Well, all the officials know his name, but not the rest of us.

It is traditional to name a Jewish baby boy at his Bris, circumcision, usually, that is only eight days after birth. In this case, he will be 6 weeks old. That is ok, I understand the Dad’s wanting to wait. As long as I can hold him and love him, I can wait too.

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Leah

Knitting mishaps and successes

Using the yarn I bought in Virginia, I started a sweater. The pattern was recommended on one of the podcasts I listen to. I don’t think I’ll be taking their advice or do any more patterns from this designer.

p1170222It started out ok, I wasn’t thrilled with how the pattern was written, but I worked through it. Off the bat one of my problems was the complexity of the cable. I guess I’m just not into knitting complicated cables where I really have to pay attention to the chart. When the two cables are mirror image it is even harder to try and memorize the cable pattern.

p1170224I kept at it, the yarn is Sweet Georgia and it is a delight to knit with.

p1170478I finished the body, sure unblocked it doesn’t look very good.p1170479It’s not the irregularities in the cable pattern that bother me so much. (There are plenty of mistakes, I can assure you). It how low the back of the neck is. I’m not young, all the heat escapes from my body through the neck and back of shoulders. Which is why I have so many shawls. But I don’t want a low neck on a wool sweater.

There is a saying, knitting 20 rows beyond a mistake won’t make the mistake disappear. If it still bothers you, take the time, frog back and fix the mistake.  Well at this point I wasn’t sure, but I went on and tried to knit in the sleeves – it just wasn’t working. At this point I decided that this sweater wasn’t for me.

So yes, I frogged it, I will find another pattern. To finish a sweater I will never wear is worse than frogging at this point.

Not all my knitting has been problematic.15202695_10209669533352420_2554442933775435924_nI’ve knit Joel a few hats. Aytan wanted to be like his Saba and wear one of the hats.  Knitting a child’s hat out of bulky yarn is easy to do, so overnight, I made a hat.img_5966It is nice warm wool, good for when he goes skiing in December.

img_5965I put in my label, which is something of a problem, since he tells me it’s now my hat. Even though it’s too small for me.

img_5962One happy Aytan. (and Saba Joel)

Leah

Dresses

I have been sewing dresses, these two are very nice, but the model of the first one is way cuter than the second  model.p1170308Having a granddaughter who really wants dresses is amazing. Doesn’t get better than this.

p1170306Showing off the dress, I think she was giving a curtsy, Sophia the First was a favorite show for a while.

p1170311Shira also announced that she only wants fabric with flowers. Luckily I have some that fits the bill.p1170319She is so photogenic it is scary.  She told me she likes eating the rosemary right off the bush. Ok, I like to use it as seasoning.

img_5907The pattern was for a party dress, I removed some of the fullness from the skirt, she is going to wear this on a daily basis until I make her another dress.img_5912The cumberbund detail adds some flair.

I also made myself a dress, with corduroy I bought at JoAnn.p1170275It is lovely, tiny wale and very lightweight.p1170274A dress with pockets! Always a good thing.

p1170273p1170286Now, onto sewing some skirts and tops.

Leah

Dinosaur!

Aytan asked me for a dinosaur costume.p1160265I found one! I ordered it from an etsy seller, but latter I saw that Simplicity still prints this one. I can highly recommend it.  Together we went to Joan’s and Aytan chose the fabric, green of course.img_5606He is an impatient little fellow, he thought I could wip it up in an hour. Of course he was happy to help stuff the tail. He was unhappy to go home without the costume.p1160267The scales are made from felt, I added strong interfacing, I really want them to stand on their own.p1160268A very well designed costume. with claws on the feet and a seperate hood. There also are gloves, but I skipped those. He will need the use of his hands.p1160270It was a hot summer day when I finished this. Let’s hope it is cool on Halloween.p1160286A very happy Aytan!  He immediately put it on and started roaring. Saba Joel does a good job roaring even without the costume.p1160281First it was a run around the yard.img_5616Then he took his matching dinosaur puppet and we had to go for a walk to the park.p1160288People stopped and looked, which was fine. Aytan just told them that it’s not dark yet, but soon it will be and it will be Halloween.p1160289I like the elastic under the shoe, it did help the foot stay in place.p1160295I just love this dinosaur proudly walking around.

Yes, there was a meltdown the next day when he couldn’t wear the costume to school. Luckily, soccer started that weekend and a new interest started. No, he hasn’t forgotten about the dinosaur, there is simply fun things in life to keep him busy.

Leah

Beaches

P1150346We have great beaches in Los Angeles, even if I’m not much of a beach person, and certainly not one to go into our frigid waters.P1150368I’m happy to go and be the photographer, while the young uns have fun.P1150364This year Cameron is in Mommy’s arms, by next year he’ll be right there in the water with his brother.P1150375This needs to be on a greeting card.13654298_10155023528138696_4373776791536798562_nOk, I wasn’t even here, I took the pictures from my Dils feed. But it’s a great picture of grandma and Shira heading to the ocean.13620280_10155023529083696_2046588395318681502_nWhile Atyan plays in the sand.P1150488I did go the the beach with Yish and Yoch, we just walked along the water. And burned our feet on the sand during the 1/4 mile hike down to the waters edge. Not only are LA beaches beautiful white sand, for the most part they are pretty wide. Not sure how they prevented development right up to waters edge, but in Santa Monica they succeeded.P1150369Santa Monica Pier on a hot July weekend. We rode the new Expo line from Palms to Santa Monica, it was lovely. The train was full of weekend beach goers.P1150345Somebody got very creative. I understand someone does this on a large scale up in Ventura.P1150343What a balance, not only in the structure, but in the shape and textures of the rocks. Better than many an art piece I’d find in a museum or gallery.P1150493Sometimes it’s nature that provides all the beauty all on it’s own.

Leah

Best reaction ever

The weather is getting warmer, its dress season not just for me but for my granddaughter.P1140646I’ve had the fabric in my stash for a while and enough trim left over from the skirt I made for myself.P1140649Even from the back it’s cute. I’m never quite sure which way to overlap the fabric when installing the zipper, oh well.

As cute as the dress is, this is exactly the kind of reaction I was hoping for.P1140705Ok, maybe not sticking out her tounge.P1140706P1140710 P1140711 P1140708 P1140707But this kind of joy and exuberance.P1140713 P1140716Oh yes, this kind of appreciation will guarantee many more cute dresses.

 

Leah

Woodland critters

I just wasn’t happy with the bear-fox, so I went ahead and did some surgery and he became a fox-bear.P1140204Nose is a little sharper. Also gave him a bandana, which he will probably lose as soon as the baby gets its hands on him.P1140205This is an improvement but I”m still calling him a fox-bear because he is simply too bear like. I looked at the photo on the pattern and realize that so be it. Their version looks very similar. I was so excited to find this fox pattern I didn’t look closely to see that it wasn’t that fox-like.

So back to Barbara Prime, her animals are very well designed.P1140202This little fox, who looks foxy got his bandana.P1140203The shape of the head, the ears. I should just stick with her patterns.P1140206Two friends, now, I’m thinking that the bandanas need to be a tad larger.

I’m having so much fun with these animals, and they will make wonderful centerpieces at the baby shower. I’m making more.P1140199Raccoon is in the works!  I have sewed something as well, that will be for another post.  Not sure what I’ll do with all of these when the lunch is over. I may keep a few, I have a feeling the older grandkids may want some of them.  That is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, it’s back to knitting!

Leah

Quilting news

P1120046I don’t know if you remember this quilt that I finished in the summer. I never said what happened to it. It is a gift for a special person, there were reasons why she only got it now.P1130579Yup, it’s for Shira!P1130578She does love it, even if that means walking all over it with her shoes on. She slept very nicely under it as well.P1130581Sometimes it’s scary how photogenic she is.

I have been working on quite a few quilting projects lately. Both guilds I belong to now do challenges. Valley MQG asked us to use th

Kona cotton color of the year, highlight Yellow.  It wasn’t easy to find, it still isn’t, it is selling out everywhere. Maybe because it is a much better choice than making a political statement with baby pink and blue like Pantone did.  Anyway Sew Modern did have charm packs and I split one with a friend.P1130050I also had a charm pack of rainbow solids, which is perfects since LAMQG is having a challenge with solids only. Score! One quilt for two challenges.

I like the idea of using one block and making changes by playing with the colors. I decided to use a tried and true block, one that doesn’t have too many half square triangles. P1130051Churn Dash. I made this out of charm squares I won as well. I really wanted to see how this block will work using a 5″ charm pack. It works very well as long as your goal isn’t a 12″ block.  It comes out more like 11.5″ which is fine for me since I’m repeating the same block, not making a sampler.P1130052Ok, I’ll admit it, it is very hard for me to stick to just one block, so every so often I threw in a checker board.P1130079I gradually moved onto the other colors.P1130089I am not a big fan of the rainbow. I wouldn’t have chosen this if I were buying fabrics for the project. On the other hand, aside from buying the Kona Highlight, I set my own challenge of only using the other charm pack and not including any other solids in my stash.P1130208I ended up being very pleased with the final result, now to figure out how to quilt it.

 

Leah

A lot to be thankful for

I love home tours,  sometimes it’s just going to open houses in the neighborhood and sometimes it’s a chance to see wonderful historic homes.  A friend gave me two tickets for the Pacific Palisades annual home tour. So I grabbed another friend and off we went.

P1120578I took this picture out on the street. Of course we weren’t allowed to take pictures of peoples private homes. What surprised me is that a few of the homes were at the top of a hill, with no view of the ocean.  Off in the distance is the Palo Verdes Peninsula, behind the tree on the right Catalina Island sparkled. P1120579Here you can see the tip of Catalina in the distance. It takes bright clear days for the island to be visible. Even though this isn’t my daily view – I am so grateful to leave so close to this.P1120581An amazing thing about Los Angeles, or in this case, Santa Monica, look at that large swath of white sandy beach. Many of our beaches look like this, not some skimpy 2″ of sand with massive high rises. Sure we are getting more tall buildings near the beaches, but our beaches are wide and spacious.  I don’t swim in the ocean here, way to cold for me, but I love a day with a walk along one of these beaches.

Thanksgiving is here. A uniquely American holiday – yes, we have all kinds of traditional food, but it’s wonderful as a nation, that we take a day to simply be thankful

 

IMG_3919I had seen an image in a magazine of using winter gourds as flower vases.  I hope to remember this next year so I can buy them before Halloween, very few remain in the stores by Thanksgiving. I found some! Bought some supermarket flowers, and even used some uncooked cranberries.IMG_3920These gorgeous gerbera daisies are from the local supermarket, what a find.IMG_3921In preparation for all the food, Aytan came over and helped me layer the pot with sweet potatoes, apples and brown sugar.  I didn’t light the stove until the pot was full, he did want to give a stir with his little stick.IMG_3922Then we found a You Tube video on how to make a turkey mask. I helped some but he did most of the work.IMG_3923As I mentioned, a lot to be thankful for.

Leah

PInk flowers

I needed to make Shira another dress, I found a very cute fabric at JoAnn’s, green and white. those are my colors, but Shira loves pink, maybe purple.

P1120558Pinks and grays and blue, can’t go wrong, and it’s big bold flowers.  The lining makes for a very clean neckline without facing poking out.  P1120559Putting in small sleeves isn’t easy.  I ended up with a few tiny pleats.  Oh well, this is a dress for a very active 4 year old. She won’t notice. I need to keep my couture elements on clothes for myself.P1120563The sleeve band also posed a problem, I admit, I made this one quickly, of course there are ways to both insert the sleeves and put on the bands that would have been much neater. I made the mistake of following the pattern instead of my intuition.  I do like how the skirt flares and the gathering is only in the front, under the front panel.P1120562Which is cut on the bias. Sure the pattern called for plaid, in which case cutting on the bias would give an interesting design element. It doesn’t make a difference here, except, bias is stretchier, so just in case, I cut this and the lining piece on the bias.P1120564Final hem, not level all around.  Again, so what.P1120568At lest the inside is neat and clean, with serged seams.

And the reward for this quick sew?IMG_3894A very happy granddaughter, holding a ‘flower’, it’s just a three leaf clover, but what a lovely prop  next to the big bold 60 style flowers.IMG_3896She is getting big! I made a size five and it fits perfectly. IMG_3895The skirt has room for twirls.  Why she is holding onto a spider her brother made at school – I don’t know. Hey photos are always better with props.IMG_3897I told her that she should wear this on Thanksgiving. We’ll see if she has the patience to wait that long.

Leah