March 31, 2009

I am Blessed

When I got home from work last night, JB was sitting on the loveseat playing on the 'puter. There was a box on the coffee table beside him. He looked at me and said, "What did you order now?"
"Nothing." I wonder who the box is from. So I grabbed it and tore it open. (I left one pretty little pendant/charm out of the photo shoot completely.)
The box was from Angie. Go check out her blog. She makes lovely clothing and is a huge Battlestar Gallactica geek. I don't get into
those sci-fi shows so I don't get it, but I won't knock it either. She is absolutely charming and she has a basset hound named Stella. Not that Stella ever gets blog time. Anyway - inside the box? Tons of stuff. Some fun yarn - which Lucy is dying to eat so I'll have to be careful what I make out of it. But it's really soft and fluffy and will make a great scarf.
Next there was the beautiful Pampered Pooch charm square package. I have learned lots of things from Miss Angie using charm squares including the woven coasters and the tissue covers. So there will be some dog themed treats in my future. Although JB suggested a quilt. There was a lovely sign which I will hang down in my studio. It's just a lovely reminder to let inspiration in. I needed that.
The last (or actually the first) thing was a lovely wind chime. JB has wind chimes all over the yard and this one will soon be joining them. Someplace where we can hear it while we are lounging on the deck :) The top is a coconut shell and I'm not sure what all the parts are made out of but there are angels, doves and hearts and gently bouncing together to make a lovely sound.
Thank you Angie - It was a lovely pick me up at the end of a long day.

March 30, 2009

Weekend Recap Preview

So, here's a photo everything that is mostly done. Yes, mostly - there is some finishing work - skirt hooks a hem and some hand-sewing.

In case you're wondering, from the list you're seeing:

*black and white lace skirt - needs skirt hook

*study hall skirt - should really be taken in, needs skirt hook

*blue wrap dress - didn't touch (which is the kiss of death in my world)

*blue skirt remake (really 2 skirts when it's done) - need skirt hooks

*muslin of border print dress- final dress needs hem and the lining stitched down.

March 28, 2009


That's the stack of stuff that got loaded into my car, along with the serger, ironing board and iron. I didn't get as prepped for this Spring Retreat as I did for last years. But I got a fair amount done. I cut and applied interfacing to several projects, then I load the pattern all the parts and pieces, notions - everything into a ziplock back. the prepped projects: *black and white lace skirt *study hall skirt *blue wrap dress *blue skirt remake (really 2 skirts when it's done) *muslin of border print dress I also have all the parts for the border print dress, another version of the WOF 02/2009 #121 dress, and a black and white shirt dress. I plan on taking advantage of the sewing experts in our ASG and getting help with my sheath dress and shirt dress fitting. Judy Barlup is a member of our ASG and she's attending retreat this Spring! Hope to have some finished garments to share tomorrow.

March 27, 2009

Sue's Super Surprise

A couple of weeks ago I was "chatting" with Sue. She got a new sewing machine and then I got a new sewing machine. I've been encouraging her to just play with hers and she's been asking how mine is working. Well she mentioned that she was off to JoAnn's to get supplies for a secret sewing project. I asked about it, but she said I'd just have to wait and see.
Well today I found out. I got an email from Fed-Ex that a package had been delivered. Followed by an email from Sue saying it's there. JB had brought it in and put it on the kitchen table. Thankfully it wasn't heavy!
First there was a beautiful handwritten note (lovely handwriting you have Sue). She said the secret project started just for me, but since JB is home recovering she added a special project for him too. Can you see it? It's an eagle dressed in Philadelphia eagles helmet and jersey carrying a football. I'd guess it's the Eagles NFL mascot, but I don't know that for sure. He loves it. The back is Eagles fleece and there is football trim around the front. The design is cross-stitched by hand and is absolutely perfect.
But seriously - look at mine! First glace makes me thinks it's my boys. But the bottom dogs looks like Abby to me - a lot! So, if I can't identify them correctly I'm sorry Sue (see I told you I couldn't even identify my own dog by their parts). I do know the top is Beau - my heart dog :)
This made my year! I'm not kidding. I've had a crappy start to the year for many reasons and this makes a huge difference.
Also included in the box - a noisy, ropey football and some doggy oreos! Thank you so much - we love it all.

March 26, 2009

Contest Answers

Last week as part of dogs on thursday I had a contest. Lots of people played (well eight or ten) and three people got all 4 dogs right. Marjie - I'm sure thor told her the answers! the Princess and Anonymous Miss D. Well Miss D dq'd herself since she has personal knowledge of the dogs (don't worry - I'll get some sock yarn). The Princess should dq herself for personal knowledge but she'll most likely get some malibrigo for the baby knitting she's doing. Don't get excited it's not for herself! And since I'm sure thor helped I'm on the lookout for a new lobster. But this was a hard thing to do without personal knowledge of the dogs. The photos were small and without spending a lot of time searching through old posts. So I will draw winners from everyone who got 2 right and there were two people who got all 4 exactly backwards, so we'll have a little drawing between them too. Look for an email asking for your address :) A was Lucy. The photo on the left is the contest photo and the photo on the right is shot that shows her foot with her head. She is the reddest of the dogs. B was Dudley. He's the only dog with red ears and white on his nose. Abby's nose is totally white as you can tell in the bigger photo of the two of them on my brother's lap - not the couch. C is Abigail Jane. She's the only mostly white dog we have. The bigger photo of her with The Princess was taken when she was younger. her ears have grayed out quite a bit by now - but you can tell her feet are white.
Finally - my boy. D was Beau. He's such a goob. As I told many people when I responded to their guesses, It's often hard for us to tell Beau and Lucy apart when it's dark or if we're half asleep. but that is definitely Beau's nose. Here's a photo of him looking up from the dog yard at me - probably waiting for me to drop him a cookie.
That was hard and fun. Thanks for playing everyone.
Don't forget to check out Dogs on Thursday. They're having a contest too!

March 25, 2009

Koigu Cloverleaf Cables

4::12 A couple of years ago my friend Jessica sent me a lovely box for my birthday. That box contained some beautiful red koigu sock yarn.
Those who know me, know that I love to knit socks. Seriously!
So these were a made up pattern. I started with just the red koigu but didn't think there was going to be enough to make an entire socks. Now there's enough to make Jessi an almost matching pair!
There really is more yellow in the red than it appears in the photos. These are perfect as I like shorter socks. Since I've started wearing my handknit socks more I'm gonna love these!

March 24, 2009


Remember this fabric? Well Carolyn suggested and sheath dress and I couldn't get the idea out of mind. (by the way, when you click on her name, scroll down and read her post on snoop shopping - you won't be sorry.) So, I did some online shopping and bought the brown background fabric and some coordinating print to make a dress. Then, I had to find a dress pattern. I'm not a huge fan of the traditional sheath dress. I'm very pear shaped and I don't really like wearing something that hangs straight from my hips. I tend to like dresses with full skirts, which isn't necessarily the best look either. So, I've settled on B5333 the dress is sheath like, but has an a-line skirt rather than a full skirt. It has a midriff panel which is great place to add embellishment (or not). So far, I've cut it out in muslin. The fabrics are all prewashed and ready to go. Now I just have to sew the muslin this week so I can get the fashion fabric cut before retreat weekend. Or else get the expert help I'll need to make it fit while at retreat. That is the goal. So watch for a finished dress, very, very soon.

March 23, 2009

Any Ideas?

This is yet another version of KS 3337 - what apparently is to become known as my favorite skirt. I counted yesterday and I believe I have 10 skirts made from this pattern. When purchasing the fabric, the skirt you see is exactly what I had in my mind. However - it doesn't work. Rather than add a band of the small dot fabric, the underskirt is an entire skirt. The upper is just the shorter layer. It doesn't work - it's too heavy. I would like to slavage the upper portion, somehow - any ideas?

March 21, 2009

Shave and a Haircut

How about new haircut and color and new glasses?
Not a great photo to show the cut or color, but you can see my new glasses.
I'm happy - hope to have more sewing to show tomorrow.

March 20, 2009

Look - Sewing!

Remember that big box I got from Cami last week? Well it also had fabric in it. I had seen this beautiful Denyse Schmidt leaf print at the Expo. But there were a couple of problems with it. First - the original one I saw was a mustardy gold with brown leaves. Second it was $23/yard! It's a lightweight home deck fabric but I wasn't about to pay that much for a funky skirt. Third, I had just decided that I needed to dress my age. God love Cami, Carolyn, Channon, Jessica, Yvonne, Sue, Marjie and everyone else who said that dressing your age is overrated. Cami mentioned that she had that same leaf print in the pink colorway in the shop, on sale. The checks in the mail I said. Why you're cutting it, why don't you look for something that will look great with it for pipping. So that pretty little brown micro dot is what she sent.
Thursday after getting JB settled and napping I went down to the studio and cut out this skirt. I cut strips on a slight bias for pipping, turned on my iron and headed upstairs to the new machine. Seriously there is a reason everything is in one place. This is the quickest skirt I ever make - there are 4 seams and a zipper. It goes together so quickly.
I did sew the two front seams twice. Originally I thought I'd add the contrast flat, but it was getting lost. So I ripped those seams and added cording to the trim and stitched them up again. Just a reminder - when you are adding pipping to a seam that needs more work done to it, ie: a hem, taped the pipping out at the hem line and there will be a ton less bulk to try and turn, press and stitch. This is one of my favorite skirts ever. I love this pattern. It quick to make and easy to wear. I had thought that the pipping might be uncomfortable, but it's not anywhere on the body that I'm sitting on. It's out of the way.

March 19, 2009

I Wanna Have a Contest

Name The Dog, by body parts only. I've been posting photos of my dogs with Dogs on Thursday for more than a year now. How many of you can identify them by just a photo? So, here's the contest, if you think you can identify any of my dogs by the bit of body part leave a comment - but not the answer. Please make sure I have a way to contact you - either by responding via email to your comment or leave an email addy in your comment. I will email you and then you can send me the answer. Here's the dogs: A: B:

C: D: edited to add: photos run left to right in rows (I can't get the letter to go over the photos!) Also, here's a hint for everyone. None of the photo letters match any of the dogs names. For example: B is not Beau. Have fun - g

March 18, 2009

Happy Feet?

I think these socks look a bit too big and if I were wearing them, I would rip them and reknit them. There are problems - for example the ribbing around the arch is too close to the ball of JB's foot; the afterthought heel seems to long and pointy to me, but JB says he likes them and they are comfortable. The yarn is Plymouth Happy Feet 90% Superwash Merino and 10% Nylon. Knit on a brand new HiyaHiya labeled as a US0, but in reality it was a US1. I'm a bit irritate about the needle being mislabled. I don't particularly like using 2.25mm needles, I really like the nice tight fabric that using a 2.00mm needle creates. Plus - I've now decided that JB is no longer hand-knit sock worthy. Seriously! When I got home from work on Monday he had been doing home improvement projects, touching up the red paint in the old dining room. I noticed a little dot of red paint on the floor and he cleaned it up with his socks! No - I'm not joking. Seriously not hand-knit sock worthy. Plus, as soon as you put wool socks on in our house - they are covered with fur. Oh - and since I bought this yarn last month it doesn't even count toward the 12 pair goal.

March 17, 2009

Mojo Rising

This is the first thing I have ever made from Burda World of Fashion. It's 02/2009 #121. I did not cut the dress on the bias, the fabric is printed on the bias - deliberately. I bought 5 yards of this rayon fabric 3+ years ago at Pacific Fabrics when I was attending the Everett Neighborhood Group Meetings of my local ASG. I do not remember how much I paid for it. There are a few things I could have done differently on this dress, but it fits and not too snugly. I have a pretty floral knit to make another and I think for that one I will use the 2 piece sleeve. I the future - I need to grade up through the hips on WOF - I would be more comfortable if there were more room. Also, I didn't understand the directions on inserting the elastic in the neckline casing. There isn't suppose to be elastic all the way around, just the sleeves and the center front neckline. I traced a straight 44 (now I can't remember and I don't have time to go look) as it was as big as the pattern went. According to my measurements, that's big enough for my bust, but my waist needed to be a size bigger and my hips 2. Like I said it fits - but . . . I did add width to the sleeve. So far I haven't added elastic at the sleeve hems and I don't believe I'm going to. With elastic the sleeves would fall at a really funny place. Now they aren't so bad but in the future - length as well as width would be good. Hoping to hem it this week then I'll get modeled shots.

March 16, 2009

Her Name is Chan-non

Friday the UPS man rang the bell. Apparently the dogs bell didn't go off because I was downstairs and didn't know anyone was here. When I came upstairs to start dinner - I saw a box on the bench in the entryway. I was very confused I didn't order anything and I didn't recognize the name on the box. JB's wallet has been in the upstairs bathroom since Wednesday so I know he didn't order anything. Well I very gingerly opened the box - I mean who was sending me something? Well it was Channon. The first thing I pulled out of the box was paybacks for sending her some less expensive sock yarn with aloe. So she returned the favor and send me some Sock-Ease also with aloe. Also is the box was the this lovely hank of sock yarn from the Alpaca Yarn Company. The color way is called Potluck and I'll be very interested to see how this knits up. I can never figure out when it's hanked what the multi-colored yarns will do. Will it stripe? Pool? Who knows the answer?
So, here's the full contents of the package -minus the really cute card with the daisy on it. There was one more item in the package - it was a jar of pumpkin butter. You see Channon and I share a love of all things pumpkin. Tomorrow morning I believe there will either be pancakes with pumpkin butter or toast for breakfast.
Thanks Channon - It's great. I'm sure you'll know as soon as I start knitting with it.

March 15, 2009

Not A Sock

More thanks need to go out to Camilla, Clementine and Debbie Bliss. A couple of Springs ago, I had the idea for a skirt. It was a lined black and white graphic print made out of my favorite KS skirt pattern. The lining was nice white muslin, edged with handmade lace. I found a great black and white print fabric. Washed and dried it, but didn't cut it out. I did cut out the lining. I even sewed it together and then hemmed it. In the process of hemming it, I used a wing needle to make little holes all around the bottom to make the lace right on the bottom of the skirt. I bought a book of crochet lace patterns, but couldn't find one that fit the idea in my head. Then I saw the new Debbie Bliss Spring 2009 magazine. There was a pattern for a beautiful lace edging on a shelf. It was fabulous. Here's where Cami came in - we were talking and I told her I bought some Trekking to make the lace and in the box was 3 balls of Rowan 4 ply cotton. I love this yarn - it's soft and really white. I was reminded tonight that it is cotton and going to be put on a washable garment. So, I worked up these little swatch samples and tossed them in the dryer. The front sample was knit on US 2 and 3s the second sample was knit on US 3 and 5s. I'm thinking that I really like the 5s the best - but I'll know for sure after it comes out of the dryer. The plan is to get some lace knit quick - enough to go around the skirt, wash it up then attach it to the already made white lining. The skirt will be hemmed so that it falls right above the "faggoting" portion of the lace. Look for this to be worn at an office near you soon.

March 14, 2009

More Thanks

I might have mentioned at one time or another that one of the things I want to do in 2009 is learn to do fair isle. There are distinct advantages to having a friend who owns a yarn and fabric store - fiber at your whims. Wednesday, I got a box containing lots and lots of this pretty spring green frog tree alpaca - enough to make a cardigan. With enough balls of aqua thrown in to make a two color fair isle yoke. Now to find a pattern. I think I might try something really new with this project - maybe steeks? I want either a traditional yoked fair isle pullover or a yoked cardi. Anyone have pattern ideas? The put up for Frog Tree Sport Alpaca is 130 yards per 50 gram ball. I have 11 balls of spring green and 4 aqua. I'm looking forward to finding something for this.

March 13, 2009

Behind on Thanks

Some you know that The Princess went on a yarn crawl before coming to visit last weekend. And some of you even know that I left a few snarky comments on her posts about said yarn crawl as well as very detailed message about what would be an appropriate gift for a knitting mom.
Well, as you can see, my boy Beau thought the yarn was for him. Thankfully he only likes really expensive mohair yarn and this is not that.
This is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Nantucket Red. This is yarn that I cannot purchase locally and there are four yarn stores within 10 miles of my house in any direction. Seriously - 4!
So, I'm thinking that the kid did good. Should be a nice way to spend a few more days nursing JB - who's finally figured out how to manage his pain rather than chase it.

March 12, 2009

Pairs on Thursday

This week for Dogs on Thursday, I thought I'd give you pairs.

dudley and abby (don't they look a bit ying/yang?)

Henry and Fred of Vee Dog Knits who's mom is apparently snowed in again
Beau & Lucy

March 11, 2009

Keep the Good Vibes Coming

JB had shoulder surgery today.
We knew it was coming, we just didn't know it was as bad as it was.

It seems that he tore his bicep tendon and the rotator cuff was shredded. The surgery took longer than anticipated and now we'll find out how well he does at following orders. 6 weeks in a sling except when doing PT. 6 weeks he can't lift anything! Will I make it 6 weeks without killing him?

(For the record, he's been home for less than 3 hours and he's watching QVC and the game show network already.)

Comfort for Chan

Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs is a Rachael Ray recipe. I love Rachael Ray, I think she has some good ideas. Some of them need work. This was a good idea that needed work. Put a pot onto boil for whole wheat spaghetti. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a large skillet and coat the bottom with vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, drop in sliced snow peas, red bell pepper, scallions, ginger & garlic (I added asparagus and water chestnuts). Stir-fry about 2 minutes, then add spinach. When wilted add soy sauce, sesame oil and cooked pasta (having reserved some of the pasta water). Toss around to heat through, adding pasta water to make a sauce as desired. Serve with toasted sesame seeds. The original recipe has baked chicken meatballs. Personally, I think she makes them too big, I think they should be tiny and bite sized. I did add the meatballs, but I did not photograph them to save Miss D. Please see the original recipe (linked above) for amounts and real directions. This is a fairly quick meal to cook, easy and good. Personally I think there needs to be more veggies than pasta - but adding the asparagus and water chestnuts were a good idea.
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