life

I'm alone in my house this afternoon for the first time in 10 weeks.
This feels weird.
This feels wonderful!
Last week, my sister and I road tripped to Orlando Florida to see my mother and my other sister who lives there.  We had been self isolating in our homes for 8 weeks so felt that it was safe.  It took us 16 hours only stopping for gas (wearing gloves while pumping) and the occasional bathroom stop.  
The drive was well worth it.  
Still self isolating while at my moms house with the only time out going to Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  We went as a pack (3 sisters) delegating only one sister to retrieve the items (while wearing masks and gloves, of course).  
My mom is doing well.  Well, when I say well I mean the same.  She has spent over the last year in her living room in a hospital bed with vascular dementia.  However, she is so darn sweet it makes our hearts big.  We don't take for granted the time when we get to see her, touch her and hear her sweet voice.  
On the road trip to Florida, I started the Missoni Accomplished sweater.  That's the one up there on the left.  It looked a little small, so I wet blocked it and sure enough my suspicion was correct.  It was a little small.  My gauge was off and I couldn't remember if when you have more stitches do you get a tighter fit or a looser fit.  After consulting my friend Kim, it was confirmed... a tighter fit.
So, I cast on the larger size and I am hoping it will fit.  I know, my stitches look terrible.  I am trying something new (YIPPEE!) and knitting the color work in both continental and english.  Two handed knitting... something I have never attempted.  It felt great regardless of the job I was doing.  I'm hoping this will block out some of the imperfections.
I'm knitting from my stash.  
I miss Classic Elite.  
I really enjoyed their yarn.

Happy Long weekend friends!  

miromesnil

My latest knit slid off the needles last week, and I am in love.
I don't think I have made myself a knit that I haven't had to layer in quite a while.  Well, at least since Turtle Dove.  And this unlayered knit feels like silk against my skin.
I think it could be the combination of the yarn and the knit.  The drape truly feels dreamy.
Miromesnil offers several different possibilities: long or short, fitted or oversized, pleated at the front or/and at the back, with fitted or bishop sleeves, long or 3/4", and with flat or tightening finishing ribs.  SO many possibilities.
I think my version is mid-length, oversized with long bishop sleeves with a rib.
Increases and German short rows shape the yoke and give a beautiful stitch look.
Although I don't mind the tubulars bind off, I did not do it here as written in the pattern as I could not get the tightness I wanted.

Pattern:  Miromesnil
Size: M
Yarn:  Modus Operandi Fingering 3 skeins, olive  Modus Operandi Lace 3 skeins olive
Needle Size:  US 7 and US 8

tag your essential worker

I am so slow to show this gorgeous yarn that has been keeping my mailbox happy these last few months.  If you are like me, mail is an exciting thing especially in these times.  

*I look at the mail in the mailbox.  
*I wonder if I should just let it sit there.  
*I come back to the mail donned with my gloves and paper bag.  
*I throw all the mail into the bag.  
*I stare at the mail and wonder if I can really wait to open those beautiful blue boxes.  I can't.  
*I wipe down the blue box.  
*I grab my scissors to cut the tape.  
*I open the box.  (Tissue is covering the yarn so I still can't see it.)
*I remove my gloves.  
*I wash my hands and my scissors.  
ALL the while with anticipation as to what the contents are.  

These are weird times.  And this is the excitement of the days the blue box arrives.  

This company is so wonderful and is giving away 1000 crates to our heroes working as essential workers during this time.  Do you know a doctor, nurse, postal worker, teacher or other essential worker that may need a special treat during this time?  You can tag them here on Instagram or here on Facebook and Knitcrate will message them with a code to collect their free crate.  
This was April's Knitcrate.  2 skeins of a fun yarn sporting a little sparkle.  I DO love a little sparkle.  Not sure what I will make with it, but the Diamond colorway will definitely make it onto my needles soon.  
March had me ooooing and ahhhhing over this yumminess in it's Crate.   100% baby alpaca yarn,  super lightweight and incredibly dreamy.  I received colorway Ancient Pines and the knit pattern is the Decumani Hat and Cowl.  A unisex pattern perfect for a project on the go.   
February's membership knitcrate contained to skeins of Audine Wools Shine Sport.  350 yards 80% Superwash merino, 20% Tencel in Sky colorway.  Another duet this time as a Hat and Handwarmers.
I'm sure those handwarmers will be a summer travel project.  If we ever get to leave the house.

As always, if you are interested in ordering a Knitcrate use the code FKW20 to receive 20% off of your first Knitcrate!  The code works on all crates and truly does make a happy mail day!  The extra effort opening the box is well worth it!

quarantine crafting

Knitting has been happening and I actually finished a sweater.  More on that later.
In between cooking, cleaning, baking and knitting, the craft closet has been opened.
I have been wanting to make this soap for a couple of years.  And how cute!  Right?!  
It is so gosh darn easy, too!  You literally melt the goats milk soap base in the microwave, add honey, and pour into this mold.  
And voila!  Soap!  I thought that would be a great little something to give with a mask! :)
Of course, "potholder maker" is still a title of mine.  
And then, the Rit dye came out and Liesl and I did a little tie dying.  Looks like I spilled my coffee, but that was intentional.  It's all over the fabric and is rather cute! I promise!

We did some other tie dying as well.  A white sheet to make tie dye masks.  They are in the works.  I'll be sure to show as soon as I finish sewing.

It's amazing to me how many items can be used in the house to keep us all entertained.  If we don't have it, we improvise.  Sure feels good.

one lovely sweater

Hi Friends! I hope you are all staying well. Hard to believe this self isolating has been happening at our house for 6 weeks.  It all seems like such a blur.
I wanted to let you know that One Lovely Sweater is finally over on Ravelry.
I couldn't be more thankful for the wonderful women who test knit it for me.
And if you would like to purchase the pattern, I am offering half off... enter code "onelovelyday" at checkout.
xx, leslie

she's baaaaaaack!

Hiya friends! Well, with more time on my hands, I decided to dive back into YouTube.
If you want to take a peak, you can watch me show the masks I have been making, show my potholder obsession or talk about my knitting projects.  I am grateful to have my kids home for the push and the tech help! :)

making masks

So, chances are, if you sew, you are making masks. Or, you are thinking about making masks. I started to make a few over the weekend.  Right now I'm just making masks for my family and friends, but I will certainly make them for a facility if I hear of any.   I know they have strict guidelines for obvious reasons.
I think I have done the research and know exactly what it takes to be an ideal mask for this time.

I wanted to share where some of my favorite information came from and share some thoughts and tips from along the way.  I am SO grateful to all the people who have put together Youtube tutorials and shared their tips.  
First off.  What I learned from The Fabric Patch is that fabric alone will not prevent Covid-19 from entering into your nose/mouth.  Your mask needs to have some sort of non-woven layer involved.  Luckily I had non-woven interfacing in my fabric supplies.  You might, too.  I'm pretty sure it's hard to get your hands on it now.  The Fabric Patch videos give great substitutions for interfacing.  
I've seen some people make a mask that has a pocket where you can insert something (like a coffee liner) every time you wear it.  That just seems like another step I wouldn't want to have to do.  Because I didn't have much interfacing,  I purchased this from Staples.  I'll let you know if this is a good substitution after it arrives.  
I really like Mimi G Style video on Youtube.  She shares her printable template,  with step by step sewing instructions.  Her template is for an adult size.  However, f you are looking for other sizes, I saw this video which has template in 4 sizes.   

If you don't have elastic for the head piece, The Fabric Patch mentions a few alternatives.  I found it funny that one of the things she said to not use was yarn. ;)  You can, however, use shoelaces, grosgrain ribbon, bias tape or even make your own strips for tying.  

Mimi G Style does not mention a nose bridge in her video which I know is an important part of a secure fitting mask.  The Fabric Patch recommend a few things that you can use to build this part of the mask.  One she mentioned was an aluminum pan.  I was happy to have a few aluminum pans.  She shows you how to cut and fold and then sew through this tin at the bridge on the mask.   However, I was petrified to sew through it with my old girl.  I haven't had my machine serviced in like forever and thought this isn't probably the time.  (Obviously.)  So, I sewed along the edge of it and after a few (a lot) repetitive bends it ended up snapping in two. 

Then I tried this brass fastener.  I thought it was a brilliant idea from our contractor.  (On our kitchen job, more on that later.) However, I thought it a bit fussy maneuvering my way around that circle.

Jewelry wire has been my favorite so far.  I cut an 8" piece, folded it in half and then folded the ends in and covered with duct tape so there wasn't anything sharp inside.

I also tried a twisty tie.  Nice to sew around but she doesn't have that much strength.  I also saw where pipe cleaners work well.  Too bad I threw a bag away not too long ago.  Ugh.

It seems as if I haven't sewed anything in years, and was happy to use my friend to friend labels from name maker.  They always make things look a bit more finished.  

And here I am ready to go.  Just not sure when I will go.  I seriously have not left the house (only to walk the neighborhood) since March 16.

Stay home.  Stay healthy, friends.