September 30, 2008

Head and Shoulders,

Heels & Toes, Heels & Toes. No-Purl Monkeys, Afterthought heels done over 38 stitches (60%), ShiBuiKnits Stone for socks, Louet Gems Copper Heels & Toes 1.25mm needles

September 29, 2008

and the Winner is . . .

A write in candidate suggested originally by Rachelle! I used larger (1.25") self-covered buttons. I used half-ball buttons and covered them with left over dress fabric and a very thin layer of batting. The poor dogs didn't know where to hide - I was pounding the buttons and JB was building deck. I did manage to finish the dress. Lou is wearing it right now (I promise Marji I'll get it back before the week is over). It fits me much better than it fits Lou (as she's a little bit skinnier than I am still). I have a pair of pumps that are darn close to the same color as the background of this dress. They also happen to be linen. So, that's how I'll be wearing it. Pictures to follow.

Very Domestic

JB is a classic over-achiever when it comes to gardening. Planting food is no exception. With that logic in mind, he planted 6 different pepper plants, 2 jalapenos, and 2 other varieties of peppers. Of course, the peppers have been coming in for awhile. Now, there are more than we can possibly use. Anyone have a good, easy recipe for stuffed jalapenos? A little dogpile search told me that I could either pickle the peppers or freeze them. So freezing it is! Also in that photo is the bowl of tomatoes, and 2 straight neck squash.
This is a photo of some pureed, baked squmpkin. The other night I picked another one. One half got baked squash side up filled with pecans, maple syrup, vanilla and nutmeg. The other side got baked squash side down and then pureed with thyme. I have put this in the freeze but plan to use it for some stuffed pasta shells soon.
I'm not sure what's up with all the domesticity. I don't enjoy cooking, although I do it regularly. I'm already thinking that next year we should have way more tomatoes so I can make tomato sauce and homemade ketchup.

September 28, 2008


Red, Yellow & Green tomatoes - from our yard.
Hot peppers too.

I Just Can't Get Caught Up

Last night, after running errands all day - Costco, Post Office, Fabric Store x 2 - I got some time to sit down with the lace. I was actually able to work on it with JB in the house. I got Hint 4 finished up -but I'm still maintaining my 3 hints behind status. It was after 10 pm when I finished and the shawl is getting rather large at this point, so I threw it on the back of the loveseat and took it's photo. I took another picture today - just because the light was better. This photo is a just a few rows into hint 5. I plan on sitting down with it for an hour and then heading into the studio. I'm hoping to finish the Asian Inspired dress today. I am, however, really enjoying working on the lace and once I get started it may be hard to put it down. But really - I'm setting the timer for an hour!

September 27, 2008

I Got It!

After Carolyn posted about Burda World of Fashion stepping up their game we had a wonderful conversation about it. See my co-worker (JD2) tried to pick up a copy when he was at a convention in Boston. Neither he nor his wife could find it, so for an early holiday gift - they ordered me a subscription which was to start with the September issue and has yet to show up. So, Carolyn very nicely offered to pick up a copy and send it to me. I got it last week and have been so busy running around like a chicken I forgot to let her know it was here! I got it last Saturday - Thank you very much Carolyn. I can't wait to make something from it. I also got this yarn (scroll down, it's the pink one) from Miss C. The pink and chocolate dalmatian wanted to see how the deck was progressing, so I obliged. She arrived looking a little tired and in knots, but I soon got her into a more relaxed cake-like position.
Now - I'm currently in the process of making knots again - this time with 2.00mm needles to get gauge - then I'll split her up and start some very simple socks.
Or, maybe I should make a coat for one of the dogs. What sayeth you?
Thank you Carolyn and Camilla - I love both of the gifts.

September 25, 2008

Now I Know Why People Quilt!

Remember this skirt? It's the Up Hill Climb skirt and then I showed you how I'd wear it. Well it's been sitting in my closet since I finished it. I decided that while I loved the lime top, I didn't like it with the skirt. The bright top drew too much attention to my hips - and I don't know anyone who needs that. So, I have been patiently waiting for weather cold enough to wear the skirt with a white turtleneck. Yesterday was the day. I put on nylons and a white turtleneck. Then I slipped the skirt on. It was way too big! Now, I tried it on while I was making it and it wasn't this much too big. I could pinch 2" out of both sides! UGH! Apparently all that weight training and cardio is really working. I think what I plan to do is take the extra fabric out of the center front and back. Mostly because I don't want to take out the zipper. I had to piece the fabric to get enough width for the pattern pieces so there is a seam hidden in those pleats anyway. And since there are 7 pleats across the front and back if I end up losing one - no harm no foul since there will still be balance. So you ask - why do people make quilts - they don't have to fit anyone!!!

September 24, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This is an update on the Stone No-Purl Monkey socks. Obviously, I am working both socks at the same time from the top down. I started on 2.00mm (US0s) to do a little picot hem. I really do a small picot hem - working 3 rows before the yarn over row then 3 more rows and joining. At that point, I switched to 2.25mm (US1s) needles and started knitting away. I worked 4 complete pattern repeats and then slipped 38 stitches onto waste yarn for afterthought heels. I'll let you know how those work out - soon, I hope.

September 23, 2008

Plugging Along

Saturday, I finished Hint/Clue (which is it really?) 3 on the Secret of the Stole III. I am enjoying working on this. For some reason lace really takes a commitment from me. The tv can be on and the dogs can be in the house - but do not let JB be sitting in the same room rattling off lumber sizes and pricing while I'm trying to count how many stitches I need to knit between the YO, Slip 2, K2Tog, PSSO, YO! OMG. I did not have to do any ripping, but I did have to put the lace in my lap and give him "the look!" I am wondering - how hard do I need to block this to get the motifs to stand out? You can see I have it stretched and pinned pretty tight in this second photo. Granted it's dry and the lace will have more give when it's wet, but really - pulled until I feel like the wool will break?

September 22, 2008

Vote Now!

Button #1 Button #2 (this is the covered button)
Button #3
Button #4
Button #5
All the buttons in a row - from left to right, 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5
Personally, I'm leaning toward either #1 or 2 - what do you think?

September 21, 2008

Asian Inspired Linen Dress

Okay - so now it's done but for the buttons, buttonholes & hemming. With luck and a little bit of time, it will be finished this week.
The dress is M5672. It's a very different style than what I'm usually drawn to or inclined to make. I have had the fabric which is a painted linen for quite some time.
I'm thinking of using the red tonal cotton print that I lined the sleeves and the neckband with to make large covered buttons. The pattern calls for 8 buttons on the knee length dress. Opinions? I have set the red on the dress in the second photo there.
I know it won't get finished tonight because we are off in a few to go see Maroon 5, Counting Crows, and Augustana. The girls bought the tickets for our birthdays (next month). Should be fun - chat with you all tomorrow.

September 19, 2008

How Come You Never Miss

something until you can't have it? Today I had to have some labs done. One involved a fasting blood test. What? You mean I can't have coffee! UGH! Really, I'm okay not eating, I often forget to eat until later in the day - but coffee! I never forgot that. In fact, JB pours my first cup before leaves for work. After donating 8 tubes of blood! I then headed straight to the nearest coffee stand. By now it was 1:30 and I was desperate and headachy! After getting coffee, I stopped by Pacific Fabrics. I'm not sure what I was looking for, but I walked around for awhile, looking at fabric. I found some beautiful wool - but at $25/yard it's too pricey for my skill set :) I'll call Kashi or order from Fabric Mart! Anyway, I was getting ready to leave when this brown print knit caught my eye. It was $10/yard (which still scares the beezeesus out of me) and I brought home 4 yards. I'm thinking wrap dress? and hopefully there's enough for a tee.

September 18, 2008

Dogs on Thursday - Soapbox

Let me start by showing you a cute picture of my healthy, loved, well-fed dogs. Now, there are 3 tv programs I stop everything to watch. Well not really - but close. The Closer, House & Bones. Last night's episode had me sitting on the couch with tears running down my face. I don't even know how to wrap my thoughts around to make sense. I wish I could find the
ASPCA commercial which ran during the show.
The gist of Bones last night is that the victim was killed because he was taking photos of dog fighting so he could report it and stop it. Cesar Millan was a guest and the ultimate victims were the dogs.
Strangely enough at knitting last night, Miss D had mentioned she had received an email from Old Dog Haven, because they were looking for a home for an older ChowDog. I know everyone who posts as part of Dogs on Thursday loves dogs. I also know that we all have our own causes that are near and dear to our hearts. So, I would ask - if you are so inclined to knit for someone else - would you be interested in helping Blogless Miss D and myself gather beds and coats for Old Dog Haven? If you are interest - please contact me (email address at side). Also, Nicole has $170 left to reach her goal of raising $1,000 for ASPCA. If you aren't crafty, maybe you could help blow her goal out of the water?
Now - go love up on your pups, give them an extra treat, and do something crafty to nourish yourself today.

September 17, 2008

Time Out?

These are all done but the grafting. As I was working my way down the foot, I was seriously considering sending them swimming again~~trip to the frog pond anyone?
Why did I think they might need to be started over - that floppy picot edge. Because these were too small the first round. This time I cast on 12 extra stitches on the foot. I knit the heel flap over 60% of the stitches and knit it for much longer than called for. After that, I picked up 2 more stitches than the slipped stitch edge and reduced them out right away. I continued decreasing the gusset until the original 72 stitches where on the needles.
I like them. Even with the floppy picot. Hopefully the edge won't stretch out with washing. Yarn is Claudia's handpaints - gifted from Chan. Pattern is Mockery socks as shown by Camilla. Needle - Addi Turbo US 0 - magic looped doing both socks at the same time - from the top down.

September 16, 2008

How Do You Dart?

I was emailing Carolyn earlier today and I'm sure I gave her a good chuckle. I can't tell you for sure how many years I have been sewing. But I can tell you that I have always, and I mean always had trouble making a decent dart. Getting it marked acurately, the whole nine yards. So, last weekend I cut out a new dress. It's McCalls 5672 and I'm making View B - the knee length floral version. Darts are pretty important to this dress and frankly after the last two dress failures - I need a winner. That means I needed to come up with a better way to mark and sew darts. On the back, I basted one layer of the dress right through the tissue. I thought this was pretty smart - until I realized I would have to destroy the tissue to get it off. So after gently removing the tissue and repairing it - I needed to find a better way. First, I used tracing paper and my rotary tracing wheel and traced the dart on doctor's table paper. Then I layed the tissue back over the front of the dress and made taylor's tacks at all the circles on the tissue. Placing the cut tissue dart between the marks. Then I took a length of white cotton thread and basted around the tissue dart. You can barely see the white thread over there ----->
After marking the dart and sliding the tissue dart out. I gently pulled on both ends of the thread, drawing the sides of the darts together! Brilliant! Then I offset my needle slightly and sewed right next to the basting thread.
After removing the basting threads - I pressed the darts, using my pressing ham. These are the prettiest darts I've ever produced. Hopefully this dress will be a winner! So far, it's working out ok. I love the fabric which is a painted linen - It's rather heavy so the sleeve lining, under collar and armhole facing were all cut from a red tonal quilting cotton.

September 15, 2008

Could I Get Any More Behind?

Yesterday I finally managed to finish Hint/Clue 2 on the Secret of the Stole Mystery. So you know how far behind I am, Hint/Clue 5 came out this past Friday.
You all know I finished the first hint on the day it was released. Well then The Princess came to visit. And then I attempted to work on the second hint with JB and all 4 dogs in the house and the tv on! Bad move. Somewhere about 20 rows into the second hint, I lost my place, made a mistake and couldn't find it! UGH! So, it got ripped.
I have finally figured out how to be a productive lace knitter with JB home (send him out to work on the deck) and have been slowly working my way toward the end of hint 2. I would continue on with hint 3, but I'm making another dress that will turn out to be completely wrong for my body type! (Will I ever learn?)

September 14, 2008


So, some of you know that JB is extending our deck. He's been working on it rather non-stop since Labor Day weekend. In fact, he's a little bit obsessed with getting this deck built. As long as their is daylight he's out pounding nails - by hand with a hammer - no air tools for this guy! (Mostly because he's too cheap to purchase them, but you didn't hear that from me.) Anyway - what with dinner out with friends on Friday night and the wedding yesterday - it's been a little neglected. So when one of JB's friends called and said he had tickets to the football game today and did JB want to go, he almost said no. JB is a huge football fan - he loves a good game, but in reality he's a Philadelphia Eagles fan and will always root for them and against anyone in their division (which Seattle is). In order to not feel guilty about neglecting his deck project, he was up at 7:30 this morning and outside pounding nails by 8 am. He was a little concerned that it might a little bit early to be hammering, but since I often hear their mowers before 8 I told him not to worry about it. He was able to get about 90 minutes of work in before leaving for the game. I'm sure if it's still light out when he gets home more will get done tonight. He's about ready to start installing the posts for the railings - decking comes after that :)

A Beautiful Bride

I have known the Bride since before she was born. Her mother has been my friend since we were in 5th grade. JB took his camera and took a ton of photos. He was not the official photographer - but he likes to play one at large social events. It's the perfect way for a shy guy to get by. The wedding was beautiful, the couple was very happy, the weather was lovely - I wish them a long, happy marriage. Congratulations guys!

September 11, 2008

Momma's Boy

Sunday I made my way into the studio to get a little face time with my sewing machine. JB was working on the deck - there was pounding, concrete being mixed, drills running, the compressor going - all sorts of noisy stuff going on. Well my dogs are big babies - especially Beauregard James. Once I let them in, he came right over to the studio space and laid down behind my chair. There isn't a whole lot of room for standing around in my studio. There is approximately 3 feet between the sewing desk and the cutting table behind it. In the first photo you can see how much space there is because his head is touching the trash can and his back feet are under the cutting table - barely! The best part - he was completely unwilling to move. So, once I sat down to sew, I had to very carefully negotiate around him. As I said he was unwilling to move. In fact the first time I got up and stepped over him to get to the iron - he lifted his head to give me a dirty look. You might ask why he was glued to me like that. Well - because the big scary noises were outside and he needed me to protect him. Or at least make him feel comfortable enough to sleep! For more cute dog photos - go check out this weeks Dogs on Thursday.

New Projects

Some of you may remember that my friend Channon had sent me some yarn. It was all knotted up. She sent it because I had mentioned that I wanted to try louet gems and she has some she currently had no interest in using. So it arrived at my house. The ginger is the louet gems that Chan sent. There was only one hank/cake of it. So after untangling it (and it wasn't bad at all). I took it up to Great Yarns! to find a coordinating yarn. This is what I came up with - it's ShiBui. Last night at knitting I got some no-purl monkeys started. I started on 2.00mm double pointed needles and made a pretty little picot hem. I read somewhere that if you do the picot on a smaller needle, it won't be so floppy. I have now transitioned to a 2.25mm needle and started the pattern. (Cam, I just can't make myself go up to the 2.50mm US1 needle - Don't laugh too hard when I have to rip it again - okay?) So - that's how I spent my night at knitting.

September 9, 2008


After knitting a wrap for latte girl, remember it? Well I finally picked up a hank of yarn to make the same wrap for latte girl's mom. I purchase a creamy white sterling silk and silver yarn. it was knit using Susan Bates Crystallites - the yellow ones. I don't remember what size they are and after my work out I'm feeling too lazy to go look! Because I thought the pink Cascade 220 came out a little small, I cast on 167 stitches or 30 more than the pattern called for. I then followed the pattern exactly. It's a very simple pattern that works up quickly. Blocks beautifully and produced a wrap that is light, airy and warm. I also hope it will be comforting. On Sunday, we loaded the dogs into the Jeep and grabbed the wraps to head off to the latte stand. We stopped and talked to latte girl and I gave her both shawls, explaining their purpose. I asked how her mother was doing (she has a good attitude, but chemo bites) and how latte girl was doing (she's hanging in there, mom's good attitude is really helping her).
Monday when JB got coffee, latte girl was there. She had delivered the white silk wrap to her mom. Her mother was thrilled. She was shocked that a customer would knit something for them. We just hope they bring a little comfort and warm as she deals with a horrible disease.

September 8, 2008

Can Anyone Identify This?

JB planted straight neck squash, butternut squash, and pumpkins. This is what we found growing in the squash mound. It's obviously a squash of some sort - but what sort? It's definitely not a pumpkin, although it has ridges and seeds like a pumpkin. But the top and the 'guts' are nothing pumpkin like at all. Also, it started out yellow and pumpkins begin life green.
This is what the innards look like. You can see the fibrous goo in the center is dry, but the seeds are large and pumpkin like. Also, there's not much flesh to this little squash. Is that because we let it get too big?
I cleaned it and baked it and we had it with dinner. It had a mildly squash like flavor, but nothing I could put my finger on. Nobody got sick - so I guess it's all good.
Did we get some sort of weird squmpkin? Does anyone know what this is? I've got more if you want to cook up your own.
edited to give credit where credit is due. I had been discussing this weird growth with Miss D when I met her to knit last Friday, and then we were emailing about it earlier on Monday. This is the reply I got from her after describing it: "Maybe it's a squmpkin?" Phrase coined by Miss D.

September 7, 2008

and this is how I'll wear it

The skirt is last week's "Up Hill Climb" skirt. Otherwise known as Butterick 4686. I can't tell you exactly what changes I made, because since I started blogging, I've all but neglected my sewing journal which sits on my cutting table to remind me of what I was doing when I left off a project. I know that I added 2"at the waist, cut this about an 1" longer and sewed the pleats down 10" top stitching them. I put in a lapped zipper and then added a tab thanks to Summerset via Carolyn. Before shutting down the studio last weekend. I went looking in the cupboard for lime green knits. I don't know why I have them, but I have two pieces. This one was the best match to the lime flowers that you can no longer see in the skirt. The pattern is NewLook 6753. This was super easy to construct. I cut it out yesterday, applying fusible bias to the front and back necklines straight away. I used fusible bias in the hem, which appears to have a little ripple, which I'm hoping is an optical illusion or will wash away. I plan on throwing a black cardigan over the whole lot, wearing black sandals and in the winter changing sandals for tights and boots. I'm pretty happy.

September 6, 2008


How cute is this picture? My friend Yvonne awarded me with the Dog Lover Blog 2008 award. There are no rules, the only requirement (according to me) is that you love dogs - especially your own, and you share your blog with them. I know this frustrates my friends to stop by for the sewing (remember when the header said "GMarie Sews?") or knitting. But I love my furkids and they get lots of days too. I am sharing the award with a few of my dog loving friends, but leaving some so they can share too :) So, in no particular order, I would like to present the following friends and their furbabies with the award: Chan, Nicole, Sharon, Marji, and The Princess.

September 5, 2008

It's Official, The Neighbors Think (know) I'm Crazy!

Miss C owns a brick and mortar yarn and quilting fabric store. She stocks the entire line of amy butler - well I guess that's not technically correct, the carries the complete older lines, she doesn't have the full line of the new stuff. Anyway - click on the link to her blog and you'll see that she just got some new fabric delivered. She is a quilter at heart and a sock knitter. Anyway - I left a smart comment about how quilting cottons are so much more useful than for just quilts. I mean seriously people - think outside the box. That lead to a phone call which evolved into a discussion of the fact that I have in fact sampled the quilting bug. This is by far my favorite quilt top. It's only a top as it isn't quilted. And while you can't tell from the photo - it's huge! Bigger than king size. It's a top that I made in a class and actually finished. I has 12 different fabrics from dark to light. I went from white to a dark rose. Here's a close up of the center of the quilt. The blocks tessellate (meaning they are all the same, just rotated to fit together). This was a fairly easy pattern to sew and it is all straight seams and nothing was 'inset.' I had remembered last night that it was assembled in straight rows, but looking at it I can tell I was wrong - it was assembled in diagonal rows. There are 2 blocks that repeat throughout the quilt. The large (3") solid square which is then surrounded by 4 little 4 patches. The strategic placement of colors in the 4 patches create the elongated "X" for lack of a better description. So, why do the neighbors think I'm crazy? Well at 7:10 this morning I was walking around the yard in my robe. Abby was in the front with me and we were looking for a place to hang the quilt so I could get a photo of most of it. The neighbors where on their deck having morning coffee. They already love our yard - I'm sure they will enjoy the quilt all day. See - when I threw it over the arbor, I didn't completely unfold it and when I tried to pull it down - it got stuck on the cross bar! So - it will stay there until I drag a ladder out to get it down. So - in the end I have made a few quilt tops, but I don't enjoy it. I have a hard time matching fabrics. I agonize over it, questioning every choice. I don't enjoy putting the blocks together and obviously I have no desire to finish them. I would much rather take a beautiful piece of quilting cotton and make a skirt or pillowcases!
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