Monday, March 30, 2009

Melanie's Closet is BACK!

Don't forget to pop in, there will be wool covers, cotton cloths, custom slots and more.
I will be stocking at 9am Pacific March 31st.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My husband bought me a sewing machine!!
Totally girly I know, but I am surprised and excited. My kids have killed my sewing machines.

I had a Brother machine that needed repaired, but the part and installation was going to cost more than the machine itself so I stored it. I got a cheap Kenmore thing that it weak and slow and VERY basic. It lasted me a long time. then the kids got it. They used my good shears to cut the cord from the pedal (it was unplugged, don't worry!) and that was repaired but the most recent is irreparable. They snapped the spindle that holds the thread. It was only broken at first, so I put it back and rigged it so it would stay... but then they snapped it off again and lost it. Do you understand how much it pains me to see a simple and inexpensive to be sure, but perfectly good machine just sitting there. Unable to use it for the silliest reason of nowhere to hold the thread?
The Kenmore, while still in use, needed the case that I was storing the broken Brother in, so the poor broken thing was left out to collect dust. The kids found it. They removed the case around the bobbin, then the bobbin, then some moving part from the inner workings. Lost. Gone. No fixing "gone".
I have a serger that I was certain I was told could be used with one needle, to sew in a pinch. I think that serger hates me. I have read the manual and watched the video and no matter what I do, it snarls up or stops working altogether. It hates me.
For a while now I have been complaining because I see projects EVERYWHERE that I can't finish. Some I couldn't even begin. Baby needs new soft shoes, husband has two pair of ripped pants, middle son needs a hole in a shirt sewn before he makes it big enough to be a second neck hole. My kitchen curtains needed hung for privacy so they have gone up on the rod with nothing but a hand-done stay stitch. I could use a new skirt... the baby could use some new diapers. All the thing I couldn't do because I had no sewing machine. It was driving me batty.
I must have been pulling my hair out often enough for my husband to notice because he showed up yesterday with a sewing machine. The sewing machine I wanted! it was refurbished, but since I only sew for our family and not as a business, then that's peachy with me. it's so good to have a working machine again!!!
He's bought me flowers (seriously rare of him) and a sewing machine. And a house, not to forget our nearly-home. Just waiting on the escrow to close.
So he sits on the couch after I get over the squealing and hugging phase of the surprise and says " So, I suppose you're wondering what I did...."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Secret revealed

I'm not so sure now that announcing I had a secret was a good idea. Seems I had people wondering if there was a new family member to welcome in a few months, lol.

Melanie's Closet is reopening on March 30th. There will be wool covers, dish cloths, booties ad much more!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Such Faith!

My dearest friend K (we'll leave it at an initial. Is for fun) has such faith in me that she looks past my obvious faults and failings. She called tonight to tell em of my dream job - a position opened up in Ravelry. I could die and go to heaven if I worked there! K nearly had me convinced that I could qualify, but then I went to the site and read the requirements. Maybe I'll be more positive if I take it step by step.

Alright, I could answer emails. I am a mod on a couple of boards and I was a receptionist at an ISP for a while.

Hooking up designers and teams to profiles... if someone told me what that meant I could probably do it. Directing them to help... I think I could do that too.

Assist with invite issues YES I could do that!OK, looking better.

Ravelry work forums... I have no idea how to navigate those. They confuse the bejesus out of me. I'd rather deal with a knot in my mohair.

Ad feedback and competitors, check. I am fair to certain I cold do that!

I can feel the tone, but I am not familiar with much more than the pattern search function.

I can work on my own or with a team! Woohoo, one more plus!

I even have the cute dog. Two of them! Three, soon.

Sigh. Oh, how I wish I could apply for that job. But sadly, my skills are leaning more toward "Why are you wasting our time you sucky non tech savvy dweeb?" and further from "Dude! Why didn't you write to us sooner!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pssst.... I have a secret

You'll find out on March 30th.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Custom Fingerless Glove Pattern (intermediate/advanced)


I wouldn't mind seeing how a beginner does as well, but no pressure.

I need a tester or two for this pattern. Or, if you happen to make them and want to tell me how I can improve the pattern, please leave your suggestions in the comments sections of this post. For the first 5 to email me a picture of your gloves, I'll send you a little Thank You to show my appreciation.

*One skein, any weight yarn you wish
*the hook appropriate for it. It usually has a hook size on the label, but if not you can make a gauge swatch. For the right effect the pattern should be snug and not full of gaps.
*A needle for weaving in ends

Pattern Stitch-
*sc in center dc of shell, shell in next sc* (shell is 5 dc)

Beginning chain is in multiples of 6 +1.

Measure around your arm where you want the glove to start. Use your gauge to determine the length of base chain to the nearest multiple of 6. Chain 1 more for a turn-ch.

1)sc in the first ch from hook,* skip 2 ch, 5dc in next ch (shell made), skip 2 ch, sc in next ch* Repeat from * to * around. Join to first sc, ch 3, turn.

2)2dc in same stitch as ch 3, *skip 2 dc, sc in next dc (center st of shell), skip 2 dc, shell in sc* Repeat from * to * around. Finish with 2 dc in the same st as ch 3, join with slip stitch to 3rd ch in ch3. Ch1, turn.

3)sc in same st as ch1, *shell in next sc, sc in center st of next shell,* Repeat from * to * around, join with slip stitch to beginning sc. Ch 3 turn.

Alternately repeat rows 2&3 til you reach your wrist. I suggest you try it on every so often. Once you reach the length you want, we'll start the gusset increases.

Measure around your wrist, then measure around your hand at the level of your thumb knuckle's widest point. Use your gauge and the differences between those measurements to determine how many increase rows you need.
For instance, I needed 2 inches of inc. and that was 6 pattern repeats to increase. Keep the increases in line because they are a gusset and will shape your thumb I found this easiest to do by making my increase at the first stitch in the row.

Gusset Increase-
1)In the first shell of the row, instead of a regular shell, dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc. Continue on with your regular pattern stitch for the rest of the row.

2)Continue in your regular pattern stitch for the row until you reach the last shell, the dc, ch1 shell. Sc in the first ch-1 space, shell in the next ch-1 space, sc in the next ch-1 space. Finish in pattern.

3)Make one row in regular pattern.

This increases your shell count by one shell. Make the increase as many times as needed. (for mine, I needed 6 more shells to make a 2 inch increase so I repeated the increase rows 6 times.)

Separating the thumb gusset from the body of the glove now.

1)Work row in pattern til you reach the center shell before the gusset. ( 6 shells before the end for me) Sc in the center of the shell, ch 5, join with slip stitch to the first sc. Ch3 turn.

2)2 dc in the same stitch as ch3, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch, shell in next sc. Continue in pattern around.

Body of Hand-

Continue in pattern til you reach the desired length. You can leave the scalloped edge the way it is and cut yarn or you can add the mile-a-minute edging I used (edging pattern below, do not cut yarn yet if you wish to edge) It will add three rows of length, so take that into account if you are planning to use it.

Thumb Rows-
Attach yarn to any shell center stitch. Continue in pattern til reaching the ch5. Skip 2ch, sc in next ch, skip 2ch, and then continue in pattern. join with slip stitch. Work rows 2&3 of pattern til desired length is reached. If you want to edge it, this will add three rows to the length. If not, cut yarn.

Mile-a-minute edging (optional)

1)Working with wrong side facing (you are looking at the inside of the glove)You may be starting with row 2 OR row 3 from the Arm section. Either is fine, simple start this row on sc or dc, whichever you need.
*Sc in the center dc of shell, ch 2 dc in sc, ch 2* around. Join with slip stitch to beginning. Ch 1, turn.

2)*sc in sc, 2 sc in each ch 2 space* Repeat from * to * around. Join with slip stitch to beginning sc. DO NOT TURN.

3) Ch 7, dc in 4th chain from hook, ch 3, dc in same stitch as beginning chain. *Sk 3 sc, dc in next sc, ch 4, dc in 4th chain from hook, dc in same stitch as dc on sc row. * Repeat from * to * around, join with slip stitch in chain 3 of beginning chain 7. Cut yarn.

Since you've been trying the glove on while making it, it should fit like a .... well, you know, a glove. Weave in the ends with your needle. Voila, DONE.

Back to work!

I started crocheting with my lace-weight wool. It's such a pretty varigated purple that I would normally have used it long ago.... I'm confessing, I love it, but I was afraid of getting more headaches the way I did last time I worked with lace weight. Such tiny work, small hook, itty bitty stitches. I took into account that I had been wearing ill fitting contacts at the previous attempt, so I mustered up my courage and started working with it.

It sucked. I mean, the wool was great, I couldn't get anything to come out right. I was forcing myself to not think about the house or the upcoming surgery on my middle son, so I didn't give up. The day of his surgery, I got sick. No, really, I was fine, then the night before I got a tickle in my throat and BAM woke up sick as a dog.Which is funny to me since my dogs are almost never sick. I used the lace work to keep me from being bored out of my skull while ill.

We got a call that we are not moving into our house this month. It was a 14 day delay, then 18, now we are waiting 35 days to move in. I am getting back to my crochet, there is no way I'm putting it all on hold that long. So you can consider this post the first of many between now and the new house.

Speaking of crochet, I bet you are wondering what I made with the tiny hook and lace weight wool. Admit it, you want to know. Well, it was like this~ I saw a pair of fingerless gloves that I kept coming back to even though I couldn't afford them. I pouted each time and checked to make sure no money had magically appeared in my account or wallet. Nope. So I consoled myself that there was no way that pattern would fit my giant mitts.
Then I realized HEY STUPID, you're a freakin' veteran hooker! I've crocheted for 18 and a half years, I've made countless patterns on my own. Why couldn't I come up with my own fingerless glove pattern that would be sure to fit my manly size hands?
It was simple (like me) and I love them. I made a gauge swatch in a pattern of 5dc shells and sc, then counted out my foundation ch and began my very own gloves.
They fit well, but one was a slightly tighter tension because it was the second glove and I was more confident then. I was thinking of felting them just a touch to shrink them up to fit a little better, but I am reluctant to screw with all that lace work.
In the end, I am ok with the sore fingertips and strained eyes, it was worth it.

I want to apologize for only one glove in the picture, but I do have two hands and one of them needs to be on the camera. So, no apology to you. I did good to not wash it out or blur it by breathing.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Melanie's Closet is being put on hold for a little while while my family and I move. I might take the time to make one or two small projects IF I have the time. (which I am sure I will during my son's oral surgery this week)
We are taking the time to get our rental home cleaned, organized, and mostly packed up so that when we get the call from our realtor with the official move in date, we can be ready to go.
Sadly, this leaves very little room for crochet or knitting for a couple of weeks, but I GET A HOUSE!!!! and in my opinion that makes up for the lack of yarny things. For a short time.
Having my mom here will also distract me I think - until SHE misses her yarn as well, then we're both doomed.