September 29, 2007

What's a Girl To Do?

First, I think I owe Miss C an apology. I'm sorry ;} Second, I'm beginning to feel very overwhelmed. This is nobody's fault but my own, and now my plate is overflowing. Maybe I will give in a start looking for someone to help with the housework. In no particular order - here are the things that I need to get done, and soon! Stunt Stitcher Duties ::Make Layered AB Skirt ::Make Simple A-line AB Skirt ::Make AB Apron ::Make Needle Roll, design and make coordinating double pins Pay It Forward Duties ::Make gifts for 2 recipients (I already know what these are) ::Determine gift for 3rd recipient and make Knit One, Tea Two Duties (This is done!) ::Make handmade gift for the person I'm spoiling ::Go shopping for the little gifties and sweets ASG Duties ::determine what I'll be taking to the Fall Sewing Retreat. This is the first time that I have been able to attend. I've paid my money and I'm so looking forward to it. ::Make a faux-fur bear dog toy for the Annual Meeting Silent Auction (it was a request) ::Make something else (still to be determined) for the auction ::Attend a sewing workshop day to help make the Banquet favors DWOA Secret Santa Duties ::Get started collecting dog themed items for a package ::Start on something handmade for the giftee Charity Doggie Duties ::Work on fleece dog beds for OldDog Haven ::Help Miss D make hand knit sweaters in requested sizes for Old Dog Haven edited to add::the link for OldDog Haven. I have just spent several minutes reading the stories of old dogs in foster homes. I don't think I can even put a coherent sentence together about how disgusted I am by some people and the things they are capable of. Holiday Duties ::Start making the gift socks Personal Duties ::Get in to see the doctor, soon ::Get back into workout routine - lately I'm packing the weight on again and I'm disgusted with myself Now - here's the real issue. I h::a::t::e lists. While I love the fact that all those random items are now out of my head, now longer buzzing around in there - saying you need to make me, no work on me, no I wanna be first, hey let's go shopping and get this out of the way. See all that on paper makes me want to go to bed and hide under the covers. No knitting, no sewing, not a pattern in sight, sometimes even without a novel! So there you have it - I'm a freak!

September 28, 2007

Stunt Stitcher - Part 1 - The Goods

Well yesterday when I got home, I found this small but very heavy box leaning against my front door. I'm sure that Keith (our mailman) was grumbling about it the whole time he was bringing it up. Anywho - being the good blogger (HA!) that I am, I ran to get the camera before I even looked for the rip strip that would open that box.
Just look at all the loot that she managed to fold and pack into that box. Amazing isn't it? Along with great fabrics shown in a previous post over at CamillaKnits, she included amy butler's barcelona skirts pattern. You might ask why Miss C sent me all this fabric. I'll tell you - I volunteered to sew some samples of non-quilts using quilting cottons. A few of my favorite things were made from quilting cottons and I don't make quilts. Anyway, I digress.
At first glance my thought were to take this grouping and make a Kimono Needle Roll using that fabulous daisy print as the main fabric and the pink and plaid as the accent fabrics. I also want to design a smaller, double needle needle roll. I emailed the original creator and while her instructions are very loose, she is thrilled that I want to make more and share the project and instructions. I love the crafting community. The link to the original post will take you to the rest of the information about the needle roll - just in case you want to make your own. Next I'm thinking that from the beautiful pink and green paisley for a short version of the A-line skirt in the barcelona skirt. I know that Miss C really likes the look of the apron over skirt, so I'm going to have to measure and figure out what she had in mind. I may also take a look at taking that beautiful peony fabric and making it into the layered skirt.
Next there were a few more AB fabrics. These are large prints with bold, bright colors. They would be fun to wear in the winter. How could you be down in the dumps when you are wearing a skirt out of something this bright? I'm really going to have to pre-wash (yes, I'm one of those), iron and measure these fabrics before I decide what they will be fabulous for. Of course if Miss C would just return my email and tell me what she was thinking while she was cutting! She also included 2 pieces of white muslin for lining the skirts - so there must be enough fabric for at least 2 skirts, right?
Finally, on a totally different subject. I made the orange ginger scones from my Knit One, Tea Too swap partner last night. I have an addiction to dishes - it's very sick I know. I'll post details later. Anyway breaky
this morning was 2 of those little ginger orange scones (I have to share with slobbery dogs - you see they are under the impression that my breakfast is theirs) a banana and nice cup of tea. Yes, I am a coffee drinker, but lately I have been having issues with my tummy and coffee really upsets it while tea doesn't. So thanks again Bethany, because of you ~ the dogs and I had a great breakfast this morning. Hope the move is going well ~ I hate moving.

September 27, 2007

Hey Miss C!

the mailman brought me a very heavy box today and left it on my doorstep. Photos and more info tomorrow. I'm just so excited I had to let everyone know that my stunt stitcher duties will be starting this weekend! Woo Hoo!

Is there a 12-step Program for This?

Before I get into why I need a 12-step program. Let me show you what JB did last night while I was at knitting. He made a doggie door! Yep - made it! This summer when the weather was warmer, we got into the habit of leaving the slider open when we were home, so the dogs could go in and out at will. Now that it's getting colder, we haven't turned the heat on because the door downstairs is wide open. However, we don't want to close it either. So, we started shopping for dog doors. Well, we have 2 very short dogs and 2 very tall dogs - although they are all about the same width :) According to the people who make dog doors a dog is proportionally at wide as they are tall. We have seen this in patterns too - ladies, really. That means to get a dog door tall enough for Beau & Lucy to fit through two large grown men could fit through - at the same time!! Plus, the little dog you see getting ready to go out the door in the photo - he afraid of his own shadow. So we didn't want to cough up the money for a custom door until we knew he would use it (he does). So, tonight he adds a drop down lockable cover for the opening and I get to make a heavy canvas flap for the opening. Then we'll see if little fat man will really go through it.
Okay - so onto the twelve-step program. Every time I go to knitting night - I feel compelled to purchase something. Lately, it's been sock yarn. Quite frankly, I would like to knit something other than socks, but they are small, quick, warm, useful, and extremely portable. But still! See that loverly basket filled with sock yarn hanks? Can you tell which is the newest addition? Recently, I have added the Pink and the Purple (last time I went to knitting). I think the pink is going to become a pair of gift socks. I think the purple is gift yarn for my K1T2 swap partner. I think - maybe the pink. Anyway - that only some of the sock yarn that come hanked - and not in balls. There is still a basket full of sock yarn balls.

Just in case you couldn't tell which was new - here it is before it was added to the bouquet of sock yarns in my sewing space. I love this orange! I don't know why - I'm not an orange person, but this color has been calling my name for weeks. So I gave in. I believe it will make some loverly orange gift socks. Anyone have a pretty pattern to suggest? (Oh, I just remember, there is Koigu I just mail ordered that's upstairs by my knitting chair that hasn't made it to the sock yarn hank bouquet!)

I believe the plan is going to be, to finish up the socks for me on the needles right now and then start on holiday gift socks. If I keep a pair of toe-ups on needles for JB and then work on a big project I should be able to complete something!

September 25, 2007

What I Didn't Get Accomplished Over the Weeekend

Well, here's the photos of Butterick 5046. I shortened the top by 2" from the previous version and reattached the bias trim. I did not shorten the sleeves. And since I still haven't had this on my body, I'm not sure if I shortened it enough. After the initial fiasco with this top, I went shopping with a swatch in hand. The swatch even had the green bias on it. I ended up with a dark olive twill. I washed the twill several times to help soften it and then cut out the pants from the pattern. Even though I had all my current measurements (not the ones I was 6 months ago, or even the ones I want to be) and measured the pattern flat. I knew better. I knew I should have increased through the hips and then straight down. But no, I wanted to get moving on these because I only have one real opportunity to wear this outfit still - due to the weather. So I just plowed on ahead. I did sew it up with 3/8" seams rather than the 5/8" so I added a little bit of space. While I can get the finished pants on - they aren't super attractive. UGH! So, now I need to log much more treadmill time. For those of you who work out - how do you get back into your routine? I am having the hardest time with that. As a Parting Shot - I thought I would share with you what I wake up to on the weekends if I sleep too late. (Anytime after they think they should have eaten, really.)

They kill something. This weekend, thankfully, it was just a few of their toys. The most current casualty was their brand new sheepy toy. In the front, the pink blob is the sheep Lucy picked out when she had surgery in July. It made it a long time! The really gross part - they still love to play with the empty toy shells. Silly Dogs!!!

September 23, 2007

Some Days are Just Like This

I have had a long, long weekend. Thursday I wasn't feeling well and came home from work early. Friday, I felt better. Went to Weight Watchers were I WI 3+ pounds lower than my last WI when we got back from Maui, but still above Goal+2 - UGH. I went with my neighbor and then we went to Costco. Where I spent way too much money - but thankfully, other than the 12 pack of croissants, I didn't buy junk. After I got my groceries put away, I sat down in the sunshine on the front porch with my sock and glass of water. The sun had me nodding off before I could even complete one round on my sock. So - I thought I'll just come in, take a short nap and then make chicken noodle soup for dinner. Right! I slept until 5:30! So no homemade soup. I had a fried egg sandwich for dinner and JB had left over pork roast, squash and beans. Saturday, I can't even tell you were Saturday went. We vegged on the couch for most of the morning. I made oatmeal with fresh blueberries for breakfast. JB cleaned the floors while I worked on catching the laundry up. We walked the dogs. He ripped his Eagles coat on a mailbox. He worked in the yard. I mended the coat. He ordered pizza for poker. I fed the dogs then picked up the pizza. He played poker. I surfed the net and went to bed at 10. Sunday - woo hoo! Sewing time! Spent the morning on the couch watching football. Made pancakes for break with raspberry syrup. Made chicken taco stoup for dinner. Finally got downstairs. Finished the pants that I was working on to go with the green wrap top (pictures to follow). Don't love them. Thought they would work okay, but the green bias is too different to the pants. I don't think they will work at all. Will be looking for opinions when I finally post those photos. Thought I would press some funky cotton prints for a quick KS3777 skirt. Pressed my fabrics. Got my pattern out - the pieces weren't in there. Now where could I have left them? Searched through the cabinets and finally found the pattern pieces. Now it's time to go make biscuits to have with the stoup for dinner. Hopefully I can at least make progress on my socks!

September 22, 2007

Rockin' It

Well I have been very neglectful in getting to this. Sharon nominated me way back when. And then Bonnie nominated me a couple of weeks ago. I have been neglectful in updated and posting this because I don't know who to nominate. Nominate for what, Rockin' Girl Blogger. I'm thrilled and honored.

I'm going to nominate the following blogs:

Claire. Claire is a personal friend. I find her determination to get a doctor to give a shit refreshing. She's showing woman everywhere that they can stand up and be heard!

The Princess - well because she is The Princess. I would nominate The Musical One if she blogged, but she doesn't. I miss The Princess but it's not like she's gone. She started blogging to let me know what she is up to way over on the other coast. I am so appreciative of blogging friends who have gone to "visit" her blog, leave comments and make her feel welcome.

Camilla. She has become a real friend. She approaches life with humor and grace and isn't afraid to have people laughing with her. She is incredibly brave for home-schooling and then starting up her own quilting/yarn store with (from what I understand) no help from a bank. Rock on!!

Leslie is A Friend to Knit With. Her blog is great, I love her completed projects. Her absolute delight in her children and spouse. She (along with many of the others I have nominated) makes an effort to reply to each comment I have ever posted on her blog and takes the time to answer questions. Keep any eye on her, during the school year, her Cookie of the Week is worth checking out!

Cass has a very dry sense of humor. She is a talented knitter, designing patterns and creating as she goes along. This is remarkable to me as she is also a fairly new knitter - afraid of nothing. She has a very cute UbberDog. You know me I'm a sucker for a hound.

Since I am limited to 5 and I know that the others I would like to nominate have already been nominated, I'll stop here. But let me say - given unlimited nominations - I would also include: Carolyn; Beki; Shannon; Linda; Teri; Nora; and Nicole.

Now Bonnie, will you tell me how to add the cute little button?

September 20, 2007

I'm Sick!

I hate being sick and I'm a big whinny baby when I'm sick. Worse than any man - ever!!! Also, I'm so completely and utterly responsible that even though I woke up this morning sick to my stomach, unable to eat anything, with a headache, fever and feeling dizzy I went to work. Maybe responsible isn't the right word, maybe stupid is. But I had work to get done and I hate schlepping my work on others in the office. We all have jobs to do and while we are all capable of doing most of the jobs (except dispensing legal advise) I know that when I shuffle stuff from my desk to someone else's the end result is that my work gets done but whoever is helping me, well their work doesn't get done. That is absolutely no fun - so I try not to do. I know how not fun it is because it often happens to me. Also, I skipped knitting last night and JB and I went to the pet store and then out to dinner. Where I sat and knit on a very portable holiday gift for several hours. I had one drink early in the evening, so I'm not suffering today from a bottle flu, but I do still guilty having gone out last night and then ending up sick today. The reality is that I think I ate something richer than I am used to and that is what's making me sick. Well that explains the stomach ache, but not the fever. On another front I actually have other blog posts to get to. Bonnie & Sharon have both nominated and I haven't forgot. I also have some sewing to show. for now I'm going to lay down on the couch with my sweet, weak tea, my book and HGTV on the idiot box. I was able to eat some toast. I hope we have Chicken Noodle Soup for JB to make me later :)

September 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Sunday dawned wet, cold, and dreary. Due to that fact, not much got done. I did manage to get JB out of the house for Breakfast - my favorite meal to eat out. The one where I throw all my normal good, healthy eating habits out the window. This past Sunday was no exception - I had biscuits and gravy - Yummy!!! We went to County Village, a very cute little shopping center very near our house, which we always forget about. After eating, because it wasn't raining yet, we did a little shopping and picked up a few free squash from one of the shop owners who grows more food than she can eat. I started Holiday shopping and picked up some stuff for my Knit One,Tea Too swap partner. Who by the way I sent a little package to last week. When I replied to her email, I gave myself away, I'm hoping she's like Cass (scroll down) and didn't go look. Anyway, as soon as we got home, JB started a fire. Crappy photo above. You all know I have big dogs. They are afraid of the fire. They hate the noise it makes - big babies!! I then planted my hiney in the living room with him and knit all afternoon. I worked a few rows on my lace, which has to be done very carefully and with nothing but absolute concentration! I worked on his new toe-up socks, and I worked on the second sock of my new pink pair which you haven't been introduced to yet. Finally, I thought I'd answer some questions - Claire asked what a "spilling spree" was. Quite frankly - it's not very exciting, it's when JB started and couldn't stop spilling stuff, starting with his drink, then my mug of tea (breaking the mug in the process), the next morning it was his coffee cup - with coffee which then knocked over the creamer container. Not very exciting. We didn't let him handle anything after that. Cami asked if I was using the 'widdershins' pattern from Knitty for my toe-ups. Well no, I started with the cast on that Camilla had emailed to me. That was all she gave me for the first pair, after relentless taunting. Thankfully, I had the issue of Interweave with the article on Toe-up socks. So, away I went. I cast on, increased until I had enough stitches and then started k2p2 ribbing over the top of the foot, ss on the bottom. Just after the ball of his foot, I switch to ribbing all around the foot for about 1.5", then I'm just about in the right spot for the short-row heel. Unfortunately, I did not like the look of the short row heel in Interweave. Then I just continued on with k2p2 ribbing up the leg until the sock was long enough. So, now I want to know what short-row heel Miss Shop Owner uses. I need a different one, or else I need to try gusset, heel, and heel flap from the wrong direction. Finally - this last picture is for The Princess (who is actually knitting something - go look - there is photographic proof!!!). On Sunday, because the weather was so ugly, I had a horrible urge for chocolate chip cookies. I don't bake - I make very flat cookies. So I talked JB into making cookies. These are the first cookies he has made since our kitchen remodel was finished (more than a year ago). He puts nuts and coconut into the cookies, they are thick and fluffy and very yummy! The Musical One came over for dinner last night and managed to get a cookie or two, but there won't be any left for The Princess by the time she comes home to visit - but maybe we can talk JB into making another batch while you're home :)

September 17, 2007

Busy Saturday

My local ASG chapter put on a fabulous educational event this past Saturday. We had a full day with Dana Marie of Dana Marie design co. While I have new quite figured out how to add just the right amount of embellishment to make something pop but not be over the edge - I think I may have some ideas now. I did purchase some patterns from her as well as her book and some stamps. Of course I didn't get the stuff that I would really need to embellish an piece of clothing, like the fabric stamps or the discharge paste, but she's having an open house in November and I think most of our ASG will be attending that too! I can always spend more money there. By the time I got home, I was very, very tired. I told JB he could take me out to dinner on Saturday or brekky on Sunday and I gave him two choices for each. Then he went on a spilling spree, so at 8:30 I fixed dinner. I have pictures that go with Sunday - so I'll update that tomorrow. While sitting on the couch, I cast on and started another pair of toe-up socks, both on one circular for JB. Camilla will you quite pretending to be a busy shop owner with a gazillion kids and tell me how to do a heel? I don't like the last one I did, so I need to know what you did. This time I did your "Rock and Roll" increases and they worked great and went fast. I'm almost ready to add the extra shaping through the instep (which is just ribbing all around the sock) which JB likes. This pair is chugging right along! Okay - I'm past out of time, gotta get ready to go to the place that allows me to attend seminars, purchase stuff (I may possibly never use) and work on handcrafts until I can't feel my fingers or my eyes cross! Have a great day everyone.

September 14, 2007

Playing Dolls?

It almost feels like playing dolls. This taking clothes off the headless/nameless Dummy (Blogfree Jessica - you're falling short on this job). I have had a rough week and learned a few things. First - when you are really trying to get your weight back in check after seeing photos of yourself on a beach in a swimsuit - don't resort to a bloody mary to relax after a particularly taxing day. Alcohol and weight loss - not a good mix. Wednesday morning I was down a good bit. Wednesday I had an adult beverage with the ladies at Knit Knit and Thursday I had a bloody mary with dinner with JB - Friday morning, up 6#! So, I thought I would distract you with finished objects - even if they are old. That Sweater up there was started in the summer of 2006. I got all the pieces done, sewed the sleeves in, finished the neckline and set it aside. Yes, for a year! I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago, got confirmation from my Knit Night gang, finished the seaming, steamed it and I've already worn it. The picture is horrible, but the ribbing on the front waist forms a "V". The skirt in the next picture was finished last summer, too. It is embroidered denim from JoAnns. I can't remember the pattern number and I can't find it quickly, so you are all out of luck. These two pieces have been intended to go together since the sweater was started and I'm glad they are both finished. They both pass the wearability test (now that I've done some anchoring around that picot edge!).

September 10, 2007

Knit One, Tea Too

Bethany was my "Super-cool Tea Swap Partner" to quote her. And she's right. I can't remember if it was Thursday or Friday when I came home and found this little box on my doorstep. Last week, the days all ran together.
I was trying to get a good photo of the return address - where Bethany sharpied through her name and wrote "Your Tea Swap Partner." Inside that box were these fabulous goodies. Everything was nicely wrapped and the yarn (which I wouldn't unwrap until I had the camera handy) was even tied with the bow!
It's hard to see everything but, there is a super cool hand-made teacup stitch marker, some Constant Comment tea (which always reminds me of my Grandmother), a wonderful peppermint soap.
The yarn which I couldn't unwrap until later was this fabulous Seacoast Handpainted sock/lace yarn in the color Raspberries. I can't wait to wind it and start making something.
Today - after getting home from the most horrible day at work ever. I found another box on my kitchen table. I squealed! I was so freakin' excited! I cut the box open, found the card, then went to find the camera before I could continue! Ya know you're a blogger when . . . In no particular order - a fabulous Jasmine Tea Infuser. The top is a green tea cup. I have wanted a tea strainer for a long, long time!
Next the cutest little honey pot I have ever seen. I'm pretty sure that Winnie the Pooh would be jealous. I tried to sneak in a picture of the stitch marker from the earlier package.
There were - tons of teas! Lemon, Holiday Spice and Tangerine and Peach tea bags - all from the English Tea Store. Currently I have Tangerine & Peach in my mug while I type! I'm quite enjoying it.
There was also Orange Spice loose leaf tea. This will give me a reason to use that infuser! Finally - Ivy Cottage ginger orange scone mix, a great shaped mug from The English Tea Store and On-line Supersocke in the color Summer. Here's a picture of all the goodies and the mess I made on the kitchen table. When JB asked why I got all this stuff, I explained about the SWAP. He said, "that's really nice, what did you send her."
My heartfelt thanks Bethany. You have made participation in my first SWAP ever magical. Thank you :)

Tardy Thanks

This is a craptastic picture of two very pretty 'dishrags' sent to me Grace. I was lucky enough to find an opening on her blog for Pay It Forward. I was very excited to arrive home from vacation to find a package mixed in with all the mail. So excited, in fact, that I opened it before I went and said hello to the dogs. Thank you Grace, they are loverly and have already moved onto my kitchen sinks :)

September 7, 2007

Hawaiian Monkeys Visit Maui

Remember this post? This is when I received the KnitPicks sock yarn from Camilla. I printed out the pattern for Monkey Socks from Knitty and cast that first one on July 4th. We were at a BBQ at our doctor's house and he kept asking that it get dark before I finished a sock! I didn't get that far, but I did get to the heel flap before I couldn't see anymore. I then immediately cast on the second one, but with everything I was dealing with to get The Princess moved, my tension was a little tight and the second sock had to go swimming. Camilla then taunted me, privately - in comments and email - to try toes-up and both socks at the same time. I got a little distracted because I'm not one to let a challenge go. Relaxing again while working on the toe-up for JB. I finally cast-on for the second monkey again. Just working it in sporadically. I finished the gusset shaping on the trip to the races a few weeks ago. Worked on monkey on the trip to the Airport. Here is the second Monkey - down on a rocky beach watching the rest of our group snorkeling. We don't like to get wet, so we stayed on the beach and finished the toe shaping. It's amazing what a few minutes of stolen knitting (it was stolen because every time JB would see me working on this sock instead of his, he would call me about complaining that his socks were taking forever!) The next morning I took the Hawaiian Monkeys and the camera for a walk on the beach. Finding a nice dry patch of sand, they decided to lounge in the sun for a minute or so. They really didn't like being covered in sand, and you should have seen the looks I got while trying to snap a photo! A couple of days later, I took JB, the socks and the camera to back to the beach. I wanted some great photos of the socks playing in Maui. It was super windy that day and I hate having my photo taken. The older I get the more I see my mother in photos of myself. Not necessarily a good
thing. I can't get past that enough to just smile and have a good time.
Anyway - JB isn't the finish knits photographer that some of your husbands and kids are.

But here they are - finished Monkeys in the KnitPicks Hawaiian color way. Yarn courtesy of Camilla, Pattern - Monkey from Cookie A as published in Knitty. Time to knit 3 socks - 2 months - give or take a week!

September 6, 2007

What do a Trip to the Races, a BaseBall Game and a Long Flight

Have in Common?
That's right! Plenty of uninterrupted knitting time. After knitting, and knitting, and knitting on the never-ending toe-up socks. They are finished.
They are made from Austermann Step in colorway 15. My co-workers all think they are too girly for a guy. But JB likes them.
This picture was taken our first full day in Maui. I wouldn't let him leave the hotel room until he tried the socks on to determine if they were long enough. After this - we (I use that term loosely) went snorkeling. We had a very long hike over a lava flow to get to a beautiful secluded inlet where everyone snorkled and I sat on a rocky beach and learned a new 'stretchy' cast off.
He hasn't tried the socks on again since I cast them off and I'm hoping the cast off was, in fact, stretch enough. I love how Miss Cami talked me into trying toe-up socks. She sent me a link for a fabulous invisible cast on and then just left me to flounder! I hope you are helping your sock club members a little bit more. :)
I have since found instructions for toe-ups with a gussett and heel flap. I ripped out a pair of socks I made JB a couple of summers ago, they are next to be cast on - right after I finish the 2 new projects started in Maui! Oh, and I'm very disappointed to say that they only place I could find to buy yarn in Maui was Ben Franklin - I can get yarn there at home!!!!! Silly Island!!

September 5, 2007

I'm Back

I'm exhausted today. I had a wonderful time, but now it's back to reality, darn it! Maui was beautiful and we had a great time. Photos and more information to follow - just wanted to let everyone know I was home safe :)
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