Sunday, January 28, 2007


I have been continuing to work on the red cassock. I've been doing a bit of handstitching, and now I'm working on the buttonholes. I'm handstitching those as well, but I found some beautiful pewter button from Steve Millingham's Pewter Replicas. Even though he is located in England, his prices are so reasonable that even with overseas shipping and an abominable exchange rate, the buttons usually work out to be less expensive than what I can find over here.
The cassock is madder red wood lined with linen. All the hand stitching is with linen thread.


Thursday, January 25, 2007


It's taken me awhile to come up with a resolution. At least one with a reasonable chance of success. I'm resolving to be better organized.

Ha! I hear you laughing again! It's true! It appears to be the one skill I have that I can share and help others with. Thus I'm trying to be better organized.

I'm working on getting the Calendar together for Gardner's Company. I didn't realize how busy we could be until I started working on it. We could be pretty busy the first 6 months or so of the year. If we do all of the major events at Jamestown that's 4 trips.

We had our Yule event last weekend and I have to say, I was horribly unhelpful in getting this event together. Poor Carla did the lion's share of it, from the murder mystery, organizing food, and coordinating the site and sending out the announcement e-mails to unresponsive members, and determining who's coming (which you need to know to do a murder mystery). My total contribution was getting the Father Christmas gifts together, and even then, Carla helped pick things out. I was a putz. So, that's part of the resolution. Get my act together enough to be more helpful in coordinating and organizing at least our own events!

Wish me luck!

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thank you!

Thanks to LornaJay I figured out the twist in my garters. It's funny, you can see where I changed my stitches and the twist disappears from the garter. I evidently need some expert guidance before I tackle anymore knitting projects. Bad habits are hard to break, and just the way I was wrapping the yarn over the needle made the difference in how the garters turned out. So, it took 3 or 4 rows before I would remember wrap away from me, not toward me, without thinking about it. I'm hopeless.
The funny thing is that I find myself reaching for the yarn and needles. Maybe another pair? Really, a person only needs so many pairs of garters, and I already have a beautiful knitted pair from my friend at Knitiot. Maybe I need some different yarn .....


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Progress Report

I finished one garter, at 30 inches long. Considering the stretch factor, I'm sure that's plenty long. As you can see, I've started on the next one.
As I was cruising along on the first garter, I realized I had no idea how to stop knitting. How do you end these things? I did a quick google on knitting, and found this site. Where I learned it's called binding off and there is a proper way of casting on. Anyway, I successfully ended the first garter and I have proceeded to the second.
But notice the twist in the second garter. If the dog toy wasn't holding down the completed garter, that sucker would be all twisted up as well. What's up with that? I know it's something I'm doing, because a friend's knitted garter isn't doing that.


Saturday, January 06, 2007


Well, I think this is knitting. A knitter I am not, but in a fit of ambition, I decided to try to knit a pair of garters. This is about 2 hours of work. It took three starts and then the yarn was so overworked it was a mess until I got past it. I am so not a knitter.
Considering Yule is in about 2 weeks, I'm not sure I'm going to get a pair of garters done in time. So its a challenge.
Jim looked at it this morning and said that Heather would be done by now. Heather is a friend of ours who knits very well. I just laughed and agreed, she probably would be done by now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Secret Project No. 2

This is a Capote coat made from a 4-point Whitney blanket. It is a fairly simple pattern - the body is all one piece. You attach sleeves and the hood and you have a Capote coat. However, what you don't realize until you try to jam two layers of 100% wool blanket under your presser foot is that Whitney blankets are thick. THICK. At least 1/4 inch in a single - yes single - layer. It does compress under the foot, but you are struggling to push this through the machine. Had I been a smarter cookie, I would have cleared off the treadle machine and used it. I think it would have worked better.
Anyway, the coat is for when Jim goes to Cowboy Action Shoots during the colder months. Around here most clubs stop shooting in December, January, and February, but there is one club that still holds monthly shoots during the winter. So he will get to use it. Maybe. It's been in the 50's here lately.

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Secret Project No. 1

Well, this is one of the secret Christmas projects, in a somewhat finished state. It is a knock-down bed, but it is missing the slats that will form the base for the air mattress.

I got the idea for a friend of mine who was cobbling together a sort of platform for her air mattress for Pennsic. While it worked, it wasn't pretty or easy to put together.

This bed is made out of poplar and is painted with Lexington Green milk paint. I have one coat of satin finish polyurethane applied but it needs at least one more coat. We going to use the slats from her other bed for this one. Then it will be done!

I learned a few things while working on this project. I suck at mortises. I really need to practice chiseling. Keeping your chisels sharp helps a lot. I learned how to sharpen my chisels, but I probably need to stop and sharpen them more often during a project. Wood filler hides mistakes. I do need to invest in better mortising chisels - apparently there is a difference in chisels. I hear you all laughing at me! Anyway, the bed works and is easy to put together. I used my own knockdown bed as a guide with a change or two.

I did get some cool loot over Christmas, specific to this project - three of Roy Underhill's "Woodwrights Shop" books. I've only had time to sort of flip through them at this point, but I think they are going to be very useful and informative.

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