Scrubs Aren’t Just for Nurses and Doctors

They are for people like you and me too!

I apologize for the lack of makeup and the overwhelming tired look on my face. I finished sewing these pants at 9:40 pm last night. Had I been in my right mind, I would have waited till the light of day before taking pictures. But after sipping on port for the last hour, dragging Dan away from his video game to take pictures of me in my Snoopy socks seemed like a perfectly reasonable request.

Now, for the stats.

Started Saturday, March 29th
Finished Sunday, March 30th
Simplicity pattern #3542
Alterations made:

  • Measured a scant 1/4 inch up from the lower edge of the pants. Redrew line to mark the bottom of the pants. Then, marked 3.5 inches above this line. The area in between was used to make the cuffs. Cut away the cuff section before pinning and cutting the pant section. The bottom edge of the cuff patterns was placed against a fold in the fabric.
  • Shortened pant legs by 2.5 inches, since I am only 5 feet tall.
  • Lengthened the waist encasement to accommodate a 1-inch wide elastic band. (I find them to be more comfortable than a thinner elastic band).
  • Used flat-fell seams throughout.

A close-up of the cuffs & the Snoopy socks.

Note that the cuffs were cut from the same fabric. The bottom of the fabric had this detail.

I love to make my own clothes for 2 good reasons. First, the clothes are better quality than what you can buy at Walmart or at a department store. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to repair ready-made clothes after the first washing. Second, the clothes actually fit me. I have the hardest time finding pants that fit me. Like most women, I do not have an hourglass figure. I am shaped like a pear. Specifically, in sewing terms, I start out as a size 12 up top, blossom to a size 14 at the waist, and continue on to a size 16 at the hips/thighs. I don’t start to thin back down until I get to my knees. Most pants I find start to thin back down once they get past the hips, leaving me look like a person who hasn’t admitted to herself that she recently gained weight and ought to retire the pants she’s wearing.

Today is Dan’s Birthday

Dan is 32 today! (Dan is my DH … though I’m still not sure what the ‘D’ stands for … dormant husband, designated husband, divorced husband, doobop husband).

It took me the longest time to find a picture of Dan to show you. I think I have been taking waaaay too many pictures of cards, food, fabric and yarn. Centuries later when somebody comes and digs up my life, they are going to think that I am a hermit. All I do is take pictures of inanimate objects and Jake.

This picture of Dan wasn’t even taken by me. It was taken by my SIL.

Because Dan does not like traditional birthday cakes (His mother still shakes her head in disbelief. She always tells me that she didn’t raise him to dislike sweets. Something went very wrong somewhere), I made him a cheesecake.

I was almost too embarrassed to show you this picture. I have probably cooked at least 10 cheesecakes in the past 5 years. I’ve even gotten to the point where I have started to tweak the recipe (Don’t tell Dan. His logo is if it’s not broken, don’t fix it). Yet, for the life of me, I can’t keep the top from cracking. I cook it only until it sets. I place a dish full of water underneath. Nothing works. It splits almost every time.

When I showed the cake to Dan, he assured me that he likes it when the cake splits open. He said “It’s a sign of a delicious cheesecake. It’s the goodness trying to escape.” Yep, I’ll keep him just a little bit longer.

Here’s a close-up of the “goodness”.

A New Port to Show off my New Cards

Thank you so much for following me to my new blog home! I truly appreciate it.

I decided to move over to WordPress, using my own domain, for several reasons. Chief among them being that I will be able to create a more professional website here. On Blogspot, I could not list all of my patterns nor could I list any of my pattern descriptions. Here I can dedicate a page to each pattern as I have done with Evie. Additionally, I can create a card gallery and eventually a quilt gallery.

I want a more professional look and to move away from my free blog was so that I will be taken seriously by local yarn stores whom I would like to wholesale my patterns to and to create a good first impression when (I refuse to say If) I publish my first design. The Old Wives Tales states that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. I think this site will better allow me to get off on the right foot.

If you follow me on Bloglines, please update my RSS feed to http://knittedgems.com/feed/. I will try to remember to leave my new address when I comment on your blog, but I just know I’ll goof once or twice.

Enough business jabber, I want to show you the cards I made last night.

First, the goofed card.

I took the time to measure each layer of cardstock and position each one that they were all centered. Only to get all the way done and realize I had stacked them on the wrong side of the card. I tried to just pull the green paper off, but I had stuck it on there pretty good. It wasn’t coming off. So, I cut around it.

I don’t think you can tell. Hopefully, nobody will look too closely.

Then, I stuck a picture of Jake on a card to send to my sister. I hadn’t realized that she never saw a picture of him until I was chatting with her two days ago. Shame on me!

Lastly, I offer you a pic of my favorite card.

I had ordered some appliques for an Americana quilt that I plan to start soon (as soon as I finish sewing up a pair of comfy pants for myself). I had a few extras and had heard that iron-on appliques will stick to just about anything. The rumors are true. They will stick to just about anything, cardstock included!

Easter Dinner

I hope you had a Happy Easter!

We had family and friends over yesterday. Both my SIL and BIL came over. My dear friends also brought their son Finn, our godson. We had a simple dinner followed by egg dyeing.

Have I mentioned how much I love my oven lately? It’s the best oven in the world! While my ham was cooking in the big oven, I had my lemon poppy cake baking away in the mini oven at a different temperature. It saved me so much time.

I truly had a wonderful time cooking the dinner up. I was in my element, singing (poorly) along to my CD’s. Dan checked in on me and shook his head in bewilderment.

Of course, the mess all my cooking made didn’t leave me quite as joyful. All I could think of after everybody left was a quote from an unknown woman. “If a woman was to see all the dishes that she had to wash before she died piled up before her in one pile, she’d lie down and die right then and there.”

I should mention that I had already washed and put away the preparation dishes. Plus, the dishwasher had been loaded and ran once.

Rather than face it right away, I hid in my sewing room. Certain I couldn’t handle any large and detailed projects, I opted to hem Dan’s work pants.

It did the trick. It pepped me up enough that I was able to face the mountain of dishes. Dan had thought I would tackle them Monday morning, but there is one thing I hate more than a dirty kitchen and that is being faced with a dirty kitchen first thing in the morning. I’d rather have a root canal.

Evie’s Tag Blanket

I have named the tag blanket pattern after my friend’s daughter Evie. It was her fascination with taggies (she has two tag blankets and one tag toy) that inspired me to alter my XandO cloth into a tag blanket.

After working for a whole week on the pattern, it is finally complete. The pattern contains two full pages of charts. The written directions take up another 8 pages.

Please don’t let the length of the pattern scare you. The pattern itself is not difficult. It was my desire to present the pattern in the most user-friendly manner that caused it to grow out of proportions.

The pattern can be instantly downloaded through The Knitting Vault.

If you are on Ravelry, this link will escort you to my pattern store where you can read the full description and/or purchase the pattern. Upon purchase and payment, the pattern will automatically be added to your Ravelry library.

A word of caution: It is assumed that double knitting takes twice as long as plain knitting. I would assert that it takes three times as long. Double knitting requires a great deal of manipulation with the two strands of yarn being used. Typically, before and after each stitch, one of the strands of yarn must be maneuvered into place. Thus, this project should not be started the night before the day it is needed. Of course, if you do manage to complete it in one day, I’d love to know about it!

Katie’s Doll Quilt and (of course) More Cards

I finished Katie’s doll quilt last night!

Well, there are a few white lies in that announcement. The quilt isn’t completely finished; I still have to tack down the corners. It’s not a “real” quilt either; it’s a “cheater” quilt.

The top of the quilt is just one piece of fabric. The batting is just a piece of flannel fabric. I’m still calling it a quilt, because I did quilt the layers together. They are loosely quilted, but quilted all the same. I just followed any straight lines I could find in the fabric top that went from side to side without meandering. (I don’t trust my machine to meander. Often when I turn a corner on it, the needle gets jammed). Then, I stitched around the hearts that all the My Little Ponies were framed in.

The whole quilt was machine quilted, including the binding. I topstitched it down rather than hand tack it to the back. I imagine with the white fabric on the back side, this quilt is going to require a lot of machine washing.

I tried taking pictures last night, but without any sunlight to speak of, they came out a bit dark. I’ll try again this weekend.

And for cards – I have 3 new ones to show you!

First, a personalized card inspired by my new Carol Duvall book.

Carol had included instructions on how to stamp directly over paper colored in chalk. I don’t have chalk. Nor was I about to color a whole piece of paper in chalk anyway. I want instanst gratification!

But, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the color underneath the bike is yellow. I colored a small section of the red cardstock with a yellow colored pencil to make the stamp pop out a bit more.

In case you’re wondering who I personalized the card for, it’s me. I ride a red bike to run errands and my last name starts with h.

Next up is an Easter card.

I just piled some cardstock up and slapped a bunny button on top. (The back of the button was cut off with an Xacto knife).

Lastly, I give you a Greenland card. Now, I’ve never been to Greenland. And for the record, I have no desire to go. I hear it’s really cold there. I can barely suffer through the Pennsylvania winters without whining once a week.

This picture is from a 1956 encyclopedia that came with the purchase of this house. The son, for whom the collection was purchased for many years ago, thought he could live without the knowledge.

Tag Vote

My XandO design started out in life as a not-a-blanket. It then morphed into a dishcloth, but was found to be too heavy. Then, it tried to be a washcloth, but it was too big. Now, it is auditioning for a tag blanket title.

I asked Dan what he thought of its new purpose, but he didn’t quite understand why one would put tags on the outside of a blanket. It didn’t make any sense. Tags are supposed to be sewn on the inside of clothing. So, clearly, he isn’t any help.

So, I need your help.

With tags?

Or without tags?

The idea for turning my XandO into a knitted tag blanket came from my friend’s daughter. We attended her christening on Sunday.

For her gift, I had purchased a tag blanket from BabyLoveBlankies, since I didn’t have time to make her anything. She started playing with the tags on it right away. Her mother told me that she has a taggie toy that she plays with when she’s laying down in her crib. And here I had just bought it because I liked the fabrics.

The christening card in the pic above is made from my button stash. I just used Zots dots to glue them in place.

To perhaps encourage my card fetish, my MIL sent me down a present with Dan’s early b-day present. (Thanks, Mom!)

It’s full of great ideas! I can’t wait to try the weaving and frame techniques. Since I have enough birthday cards made for everyone’s birthday this year and a few even for next year, I think I’ll start on mini holiday cards, like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

XandO question mark

Thank you to everyone who wished me good health! I managed to escape the worst of it. It took me a few days to get rid of the sore throat and the weak feeling, but I am grateful that it wasn’t any worse.

During my time away from Blogland, I got a bunch accomplished. The XandO thingamabob is finished. I have almost completed a doll quilt, cheater style. And I cooked … a lot. I am a firm believer that good, hearty food always cures what ails ya. So, I made a beef stew, pork with sauerkraut, danish rolls for breakfast, and butter cookies for snacking. Sorry, but I have no pictures of the quilt (since it’s not finished) or the food. I never remember to take pictures of the food. By the time I am ready to serve it up, I’ve spent hours in the kitchen and all I want to do is go sit down and enjoy my hard work.

So, I’ll just show off my XandO thingy.

I’m not sure what to call it anymore. It’s too big to be a dishcloth or a washcloth. It’s too small to be a blanket. It might be perfect as a burp cloth or a baby stroller lovey. Despite my naming problems, I am still working to type up the pattern. By the end of it, I had gotten into a rhythm. I actually enjoyed knitting the last 8 rows, so long as I didn’t have to knit another one until the next blue moon came around.

50 Cent Placemat

I found this placemat being sold “As Is” for 50 cents. You can’t see it real well, but there are black smear marks on the back side.

I brought it home and cut the top corner two cupcakes out using a box cutter. I then smoothed out the edges with an X-acto knife.

I raided my card drawer for two blank cards and Zots dots (adhesive dots).

Voila, I present you with two birthday cards!

I’m clam-happy (happy as a clam) with how they came out!

On a personal note, Dan has been battling the flu for the past week. He came down with the flu on Wednesday. He stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday. By Saturday, he was starting to feel better. On Sunday, we met up with friends for brunch and Lost Abbey beer (It’s Beer Week in Philadelphia. Normally, we don’t start drinking before Noon. Honest.). Monday he went to work, but stayed drugged on Sudafed. Yesterday, he came home early with a high fever again. Today, he is back at work. But, today I woke up with a sore throat. So, if I’m MIA from Blogland for the next few days, you’ll know why. More importantly, you’ll know that it’s All Dan’s Fault.

A X and O Washcloth

I was rooting through my WIP basket last week and found a half-finished washcloth. It was more than a quarter of the way completed. I had enough yarn to finish it. I could think of no reason to leave it sulking in UFO land.

Then, I started to knit on it and remembered quite clearly why it had ended up in the UFO basket in the first place.

Remind me to never double knit anything ever again. Ever.

Well, maybe not ever.

I might double knit again as long as the following rules were enacted: one yarn only (no switching between colors) and one side knit at a time (slip stitch technique rather than knit two sides at once technique).

I do love the way double knitting looks.

This is the back side of the washcloth. It has been knit in all reverse stocking stitch and plain stocking stitch. As you can see, there is no curling. It lays perfectly flat.

So, the dirty secret behind this washcloth is that is wasn’t supposed to be a washcloth at all. It was simply going to be my swatch for a X and O baby blanket. Unless the blanket knits itself, it will never be. I’m exhausted just trying to complete the “washcloth”.

Here’s a pic of the front side and the reason it’s titled X and O.