December 30, 2007


I have added a goal to 2008. It is Joy - or rather more joy. To make sure I reguarly make time to do things that bring me joy. This came about because today I headed into the sewing room, finally. JB went downstairs, all four dogs were downstairs. Even though I had some pattern work to do and that seemed to take forever, I did manage to get some actual sewing done. I have most of the top for the Brown Vogue jumper finished. I figured out that I can slip the dress over my head without installing a zipper so it will be finished shortly. I had forgotten how much cleaning and threading my machines, tracing and altering patterns, and sewing and pressing seams brings me joy. Today I was also able to take the big dogs for a walk to the local latte stand. It's a little over 2 miles round trip. I had no issues with pain - double yea - so more regular dog walking is in our future. Alright, JB is on the phone talking to his parents, so I'm going to head back downstairs and see if I can finish up the brown wool and possibly get the grey flannel pressed tonight too!

December 28, 2007


I'm thinking jumpers. Wednesday I get to go back to work. I say "get" because I'm actually quite excited about it. It's only fun to stay home for a month when you want to - not when you are forced to. Anyway, since I can sit comfortably and sew now - I am wanting to make some jumpers. The first one playing about in my mind is Vogue 8410. I have a nice boring piece of chocolate brown wool jersey that would be lovely made into the scoop neck jumper. I think I would make it knee length rather than ankle, but loverly just the same. I have some great turtlenecks to wear with it.
Next, I just adore Simplicity 3673. I picked up some embroidered gray flannel to make into the full skirted view. Photographed on top of the embroidered flannel is a piece of a darker gray interlock that would make a nice top. I had originally thought the interlock would look nice with the jumper, but looking at the photo I think it might be too matchy-matchy to look good. So, I'll have to find a nice power blue for a top. Finally I have this piece of olive green corduroy that I was thinking might work for the shorter, straighter version of this pattern. What do you all think? Too school girl in corduroy? Are you too old to wear a corduroy print at a 'certain' age? Or should I just make it up and try it, sorta the old "no harm, no foul." If it doesn't look right I've got one more piece of fabric out of the stash.
I now have 4 full days where I don't have to work from the sofa until I go back and get to sit at my desk. Which doesn't look too bad, I might add. I stopped by the office today (one of my first driving alone trips) and picked up a bunch of papers I had printed. Tonight I will photocopy them and get them out in tomorrow's mail. After that my time is completely my own (well except for the anniversary on Monday) until I go back into the office on Wednesday morning.

December 27, 2007

Dudley on Thursday

Apparently, I am a bad doggy mom. Most of the digital pictures are of Beau & Lucy. That is understandable since Beau has my heart. But Dudley is the first dog - he is the old man of the family and he acts accordingly. Dudley is in the front of the above picture with Beau behind him and Abby showing off her belly on the left. I thought I would take a page from Chan's book and share some old stories. When we first got Dudley he wasn't really a puppy. He was 11 months old and the breeder had kept him because she wanted to show him. He is beautiful, however, his front feet really turn out and he's very knock-kneed. So, she got rid of him. We are fairly confident in saying that her adult sons terrorized Dudley because he used to be afraid of his own shadow. Anyway - he was a wonderful dog. One of the funniest Dudley stories I have is the following. We were still living in our old house - it was summer, the back door was open and we had a large fenced yard with a beautiful lawn. Dudley loved to lay on the lawn in the sunshine. Well one Sunday afternoon I had been doing laundry. I had folded laundry for a family of 6 on the living room sofa when JB called me into the tv room to see something. I ended up sitting down with him watching whatever the program was. Mr. Dudley dog would come jump up on my legs then leave the room, then come back and jump up on me again. Over and over he did this. I just kept telling him I would go play in a minute. When I finally got up - the back yard was littered with JB's clean underwear. Apparently Dudley was taking them off the couch and into the backyard and coming to get me after each pair!! It was very funny. Here's a shot of Dudley hiney - heading out the doggie door, we figured of all the dogs, he would be the least likely to use it (afraid of his own shadow) but he was the first one through! Good Boy!

December 26, 2007

2008 Is Right Around the Corner

and I feel like I haven't accomplished much in 2007. So - here are some of my goals for the new year. *blog a little more regularly and a little bit more about sewing :) *try not to blog without photos (failing that one already) *sew with better quality fabric *attempt new things - whether it's knit pattern drafting, or sewing outside my comfort zone *get back into walking the dogs That should do it - we don't want to overwhelm things too much!

December 25, 2007

Seasons Greetings!

Hope this holiday season finds everyone warm, enjoying time with their loved ones and doing things they enjoy. May the spirit of the season last throughout the year.

December 22, 2007

Bad Bad Blogger

In my rush to get everything finished and out the door last night - I didn't take any pictures at all of the loads of recovery knitting that I completed and gave as gifts to my co-workers at our Christmas Party last night. UGH. So, let me tell you all what I did. First ~ I made Charmed out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran color 611, a beautiful deep red. I had a total of 6 balls. I worked the scarf out of three, but knew that I wanted a version of fetching that would match the scarf. So, I figured that out and had 3 rows of cables running up the back of the hands on both mitts. After finishing the mitts, I completed the scarf will all of the remaining yarn. It ended up about 5 balls long. These were given to the Boss' partner and she loved them. Next Up ~ a narrow version of the Feather & Fan scarf from KPPPM sock yarn. When I started this scarf I had in mind something very long and lacy. I had 2 hanks of the KPPPM in a beautiful pink, blue, purple mix. I went flipping through my page a day knitting patterns and selected Feather & Fan. I cast on for 2 fans wide and started knitting, knitting, knitting. What is it about knitting that makes me ignore my better judgment? I knew exactly what I wanted, but I wasn't getting it with the pattern 18 stitches wide. So, after knitting almost the entire first hank, I ripped it and started over. This time only casting on 26 stitches - narrowing the pattern enough that I was still getting the lacy effect of the feather & fan, but the not the width from having 2 pattern repeats. Much better. I knit each hank and then did a 3 needle bind of on a 4th row of the pattern to join both ends. Love it! So did the recipient. This is the woman who was hired in the Spring as my new assistant and man has she saved the day - without her I wouldn't have had any recovery time at all! Finally - there are 2 male attorneys in our office. I made each of them a version of Dashing. As I am inclined to do, I couldn't just knit them according to the pattern. Well actually I did, I made an entire pair - which I loved following the pattern exactly - but then I ripped them. You see the pattern calls for 32 rows in 4" and I was getting 26 rows in 4" which when you are making a glove makes quite the difference. They were beautiful, a tobacco brown color, merino wool, and almost opera length - perfect for me, but not so much for a man who wears a dress shirt most days! So into the frog pond they went. This pair was closest to the actual original dashing pattern, I just shorted the number of row between cable and did a total of 5 cables - 3 first cable rows and 2 second cables. Placing the thumb on the same round as the 2nd second cable round. I thought they might be a little too tight - But my Italian coworker (after telling me these were great! Now he wouldn't have to ruin his expensive gloves changing his tire) said they were perfect. Of course he was kidding about wearing them change his tire - he might wear them when he calls Tripple A to come change the tire for him! Last up the pair for JD2 - same Dashing, cast on 50 stitches, worked in 4x1 rib, only placing a back and front cable right next to each other going up the back of both hands. These where done if a mottle grey merino. There were also a couple of sewing projects for the boss - but those didn't get to see the camera flash either - bad blogger!!!!

December 21, 2007

Dogs on Thursday - A Day Late

Because I love dogs and love putting packages together for other people, as well as receiving great packages. I joined the Dogs on Thursday, Holiday Ornament Swap. Nicole was my partner and I received her box on Tuesday. When I first opened the box, I saw this great dog printed tissue. How cute is that?
Nicole put a great box together - but this is my new favorite Christmas ornament. Can you see it? It's a fireplace, complete with wreath, fire, stockings and a bone. The bone says the year and the stockings have each of the dogs names on the cuffs. The names are in order of how we got the dogs and the dogs that have middle names - Abigail Jane & Beauregard James - have their full names on their stockings. How freakin' adorable is that?
Also in her box, a very cute yarn wreath ornament, to jars of homemade dog treats (which they love), some cute dog sticky notes and matching pens. As well as PetFinder bookmarks, information about having your dogs' hair spun, and load of Nichole's own magnets and such that match her blog logo. Very cute. Nicole - I love it all. Thank you so much. I hope you and yours enjoy your package as much.
Finally - let me leave you with an actual picture of a dog. Since Beau & I have been recovering together. Beau has decided that he should get to lay on my chaise lounge which is in the front bay window. In the photo you can see my knitting set up on the table behind him, vase of needles, basket of finished knits and currently the table top has stacks of finished holiday gifts. But look at him. Lately - I have to get the spray bottle to get him down - just because it hasn't been comfortable for me to sit there lately doesn't mean he gets to take it over. Goober boy!!!

Stunt Stitcher Shipped!

First Up - Amy Butlers A-line skirt. Now I know that many of you love this skirt. I am not one of those many. I am a girl, and I'm made of curves. The only 'darts' for shaping and fitting this skirt are incorporated into the side seams. That isn't enough for my figure. I tried and tried to make this work, ultimately cutting the size extra small and just making it work. I cut the fabric on the cross-grain so that the rows of paisleys would run vertical instead of horizontal - this was deliberate because I didn't want a line of paisley pointing to my hips!
Next - Apron side A (with side B turned back to show) over the A-line. This was a cute and fun little project. It was quick to make, even if I don't understand the purpose of wearing an apron over jeans. The added extra to the apron was topstitching around the entire garment with heavy blue cotton thread. It pulls the blue from both prints and adds just a smidge.
This is the back of the apron - side B. I made no attempts to match the pattern. If I was making this again - I most certainly will. However, this will be hanging from a ceiling and most likely being enjoyed by Camilla kids as they get taller - before they fill out and get hips! For another version, I would probably add the banding to both the front and the back of the apron pieces and just gather a little bit more into the waistband. To my eye, this side looks like it's missing something without the red bands running down the edges under the bow - in this picture those red bands shown
in the photo above are in the back.
The final skirt is the layer skirt. This one was really easy to make. Deliberate raw edges, although the instructions have you make a conventional hem in the bottom - huh? Why would you hem it when you have raw edges at each layer? Okay, so I didn't hem it. I ran another row of stabilizing stitches above the hem, cut the the hem off and then ran the skirt through the washer and the dryer. Again, if making this for actual wearing purposes there are tons of things that would need to be done differently.
All in all, I enjoyed making these skirts and I hope that Miss C is happy with them.

December 15, 2007

Just Another Photoless Post

Well I've been busy recovering, and it's hard work. These last 3 days I've had more pain then when I first came out of surgery, I don't understand it, but then I guess I don't have to. It must mean I'm healing. I have a package almost ready to head off to Crazy Miss C, full of finished Stunt Stitcher obligations - finally! I feel like such a bum about that taking so long. I have also finished a boat load of handknit holiday gifts. I only have 2 more to finish. Some fingerless mitts based on Dashing, I have my copy of Nicky Epstein's knitting on the edge out to find a different cable. I made one pair of Dashing almost completely according to the pattern and I think they are too long. I made end up remaking them after I gift them. Since they are for a co-worker this is doable. Today, I am going to sew - even if it means that I have to break out the pain pills again! I have crafts to finish people - there is a holiday coming up. I also have 2 swaps that I committed to, both essentially with Christmas deadlines, and I've done no crafting for my partners. This is not okay. So, once JB heads into the dealership to work on a car for a friend, then I will round up the dogs, plug The Santa Clause into the dvd player and get down to business. Happy sewing, knitting, crafting, decorating, relaxing - or whatever it is you do to bring you happiness during the holiday season. Also, if you are so inclined, head on over to Chan's blog and welcome Sissy to the family. She is a beauty!

December 12, 2007

Beau Is Finally Feeling Better!

eta: I LOVE MY VET! I just got off the phone with the vet herself, not one of the techs, the vet who did Beau's surgery. The first thing she said was "you can exhale now." She got his path report back today and it was a benign tumor of blood vessels. Completely harmless, completely removed. She then stayed on the phone long enough to ask how he was doing and how I was doing. It is so important to have a vet that you trust. How do I know you ask? Oh, wait, let me start at the beginning. On the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend - we found an egg sized lump on Beau's back. He saw the vet on Monday, and while she assured me it was nothing, it was not a fatty tumor, but she was sure it was most likely a blocked gland. Essentially - he had a pimple under his skin. Even though it was nothing, she thought it would be best if we removed it, especially considering it had appeared out of nowhere and was quite large. So, he was scheduled for surgery on December 7th. I was able to very carefully drive him to the vet and one of the techs helped him out of the car. Of course he was "absolutely charming" for her. For me he would have pulled me right into the vet. His 106# pulling me along with him, I'm sure whimpering in pain. He came through his surgery with flying colors. Now, when you look at him you can say "that's some bad haircut Beau." (If you watch House - at the very end of the credits, these two cartoon character's pop up and one says "that's some bad hat Harry.") Luckily for Beau, we are recovering together, so he's been able to stay in the house with me all day long. All the dogs are loving it and I'm glad, because it's been cold! Anyway, this is how I know he's feeling better. This morning after eating, he ran downstairs (normal) and went outside. But, he stayed outside for about 45 minutes, walking around, checking the perimeter of the yard, and baying at shadows moving in the woods. We don't have the path report back yet, but he's feeling better :)

December 8, 2007

Maybe Being Out of Commission

isn't sooo bad.
This is what the office sent me. A beautiful arrangement in a winter themed snowman pot. Very cute.
This is what JB brought when he came to see me at the hospital. They are lovely and look how cool that vase is. He couldn't find an arrangement he liked, so he picked a loose bunch, bought a vase, begged the florist for a ribbon and some water and arranged it himself. It really is lovely. This is what The Musical One brought when she came by. It is a wonderfully fluffy, soft teddy bear. Beau & Lucy both think it should be theirs but dog slobber ruins bears!
This is what The Princess sent me. A wonderful tin of Lavender & Chamomile Tea along with lavender bath salts. I'm sure she'll enjoy using the bath salts when she's here at Christmas. This is what my boss brought when she and her partner came to visit me in the hospital. Flannel PJs. Originally they had picked them up for a Christmas gift, but since I'll be living in loose flannel pants for a while longer, they decided I needed them now! Look at how cut that print is. Of course they couldn't remember where they bought them. This is what I bought for myself! After seeing Debbie, Belinda, and Teri's version of Ottobre tops, I had to have this! Look how cute - tied up with a piece of stretch lace. I love it. Does anyone know if these are all the issues of Ottobre Woman available?

December 6, 2007

Dogs on Thursday - Photos!

First up - Miss Lucy. She did not know what to think about this slimy stuff between her toes, but let me tell you she didn't like it! Next - Dudley stuck 2 feet in. His little legs are so short that it was easier to get both his feet then trying to get just one. Beau positioned himself so that 2 feet were easier than 1. So both boys got a pair of prints and the girls only got one. Finally - the doggy equivalent of The Princess got to put her stamp on the sidewalk. Then it was the humans turn. You can see that we are very brave - I just dropped leashes and put the dogs into a sit/stay. The bloods listen - the bassets not so much.
Stolen from Summerset here's a couple of parting shots. Recently we bought Miss Abigail one of those tiny little round doggy beds. She doesn't like sharing with anyone and she really likes being curled up - perfect answer - nobody fits with her and she can curl up and be warm. Well yesterday - Lucy decided she wanted to sleep in the little bed. I was so amazed that her very large doggy body fit in the bed that I braved going downstairs to get the camera. When I got back she lifted her head and gave me this look. Do you think I was bothering her? If you're done now - I think I'll go back to sleep - hrrrmpftttt!

December 4, 2007

Having A Hard Time

doing nothing. However, the way I've felt these last few days aren't encouraging a great deal of activity. Thank you all for your well wishes and support. It really means a lot to me. So, I'm doing a fair bit of reading, lots of blog surfing, a good bit of internet shopping (for myself and holiday gifting), tons of knitting, and a little bit of sleeping. Yesterday, Beau decided he needed to check on me and make sure I was okay - but putting his big foot right on my abdomen. I yelped, JB jumped up, started to yell at the dog, but I stopped him, Beau didn't mean to hurt me. For the rest of the evening, every time I even breathed heavy Beau would get up to check on me and make sure I was okay. Today, JB went back to work. He carried the laundry basket downstairs for me - just so I didn't get the bright idea to bring it down myself. I am going to do my best to just leave it there in front of the washing machine. He's getting a little desperate for jeans, but heavy jeans might be a little too much. Holiday knitting is coming along and I just keep adding to the list - since I seem to be doing nothing but sitting and knitting. Here's what the list looks like: *Red Debbie Bliss cabled scarf & fingerless mitts {scarf half done} *KPPPM Feather & Fan Scarf {1/4 done} *JB's Holiday Sweater {body done to start of sleeves} *The Princess Gift - done! *Purple socks for a friend - done! *Scarf for The Musical One {needs to be blocked} *Socks for The Musical One - done! I have a couple of sewing gifts that need to be completed, but they will have to wait until I can bend in half. Enough whining. Again, thank you all for your well wishes, you have no idea how it has brightened my days :)

December 1, 2007

I'm Not Looking for a Pity Party - Warning - Too Much Information to Follow!

but I thought I'd clue everyone in just in case you all were wondering why I wasn't sewing! I haven't been feeling very well lately. When I last had blood drawn my hematocrit was 21. That's really low, dangerously low. Anyway, my doc sent me of to see and OB/GYN who did a few tests on Tuesday and decided that I need to have a little surgery on Friday. The little surgery turned out to be a hysterectomy (by my choice) as it was the only option that would solve all of the female issues in one fell swoop! So, yesterday morning I checked into the hospital and they removed all my girly parts. I may be laying a little low for the next little while - at least until I'm off narcotics. Everything went just fine and I'm home now, laying about with the dogs, knitting and just basically taking it easy. It won't be easy for me to be still, but I'll do the best I can. Camilla - the stunt stitcher skirts are almost done! Hopefully I can finish them up and have them out to you soon!!!!
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