March 31, 2008

Coffee Swap Weekly Topic #1

This Week's Topic:
Browse around some of the other blogs of participants, and find one person who enjoys a similar roast coffee to you - share something interesting about them that you find on THEIR blog, and tell us what you've been working on knitting or crochet-wise this week!
Well as I was searching through blogs of other players I found out that Prairie Girl and I have very similar taste in coffee - from the roast to the flavors - very similar. I recently found Cinnamon dolce and I really like just a splash in a vanilla latte.
Prairie Girl received a package from Darcy which contained an antique wood crochet hook. She has been busy making up stories about the women previously who worked with that hook.
As for what I've been knitting - well I took the pinwheel baby blanket to the retreat and I'm now on the second ball of yarn. While I love the repetitive process of just knits and yarn overs - something is wrong, wrong, wrong in the life of this blanket. It will travelling to knitting this week and most likely meeting an untimely demise!

March 30, 2008

Big Fun!!

If you have never had the opportunity to park yourself in a room with a group of women of various ages and sewing experience, lots of different machines, and more fabric than can be sewn in a month - much less a weekend, you have to find a way to attend. Just sayin' I'll update Friday with picture once I'm not feeling too lazy to change Lou (the dumb, dumb, dummy). So Saturday morning dawned far to early after being up far too late. There was some serious laughter going on, along with sewing, we made up an entire new set of 7 dwarfs (but that's a story for another day and I'm afraid it's not funny if you weren't there). First thing I did was to finish the Swing Bag, then I pulled out a gallon sized baggie with the fabric for the skirt cut, the lining cut, appropriate thread and the cut top. I had messaged Saralyn over on ravelry and she said there wasn't as much room at this retreat location and to come prepared. I took that as prepared - and planned, cut and bagged too many project. This first one is a crazy fun skirt from that Simplicity pattern. I did line it. It takes about 3 hours to sew - start to finish. After that I made a little Santa Monica Tee from Textile Studio Patterns. I love this little tee, and am not sure why I don't have more of them. It's quick, easy and flattering. That's all I got done on Saturday! Sunday was a short day. First up - a simple tee-shirt from some polka dot fabric that has been around for a long time, so long in fact that it has a little 'stain' from being in the cupboard. If it doesn't wash out - then I'll attempt to tee die the shirt. It's cute and took no time at all once I decided to use the serger as the serger was intended.
My last project of the weekend was another skirt from the same Simplicity pattern. Again lined. This time I made some straight grain binding and sewed it to the hem of the skirt. Just for a little added - whatever!
Another cute cotton print - this time it's covered in daisies. I have white tee shirts in the wardrobe already and a couple of pink ones cut, along with a yellow one.
So - watch for more matching tops in the coming days!

Hats Off

Once upon a time my friend Chan wrote a post about her friend Anne and a project that is touching her life more than she would like. Her project is SubLYNNminal Healing. Ann was asking that soft hats be knit for her cousin. Well - since I only seem to knit for others, how could I refuse? I made the pink hat in a very soft merino wool. It has a seed stitch bottom band which overlaps and closes with a very pretty button. Ann said that Lynn's head circumference is 24" and I tried to knit for that, but these hats feel huge! However, they are soft and warm. The second hat knit from a very cute pattern which I found on ravelry. I think it's called the Amanda Hat and if you're on ravelry it can be found here. Both hats were knit on 6mm needle, in the round. I cast on according to my gauge and knit away. I hope they fit. They will be handed over to the mailman tomorrow.

March 28, 2008

Retreat

Okay, she here we are after dinner on day 2. I got here around 11 a.m. on Friday and it was snowing. After getting set up, I got 2 aprons made. <--- That photo is the apron that I volunteered to send to Sharon. Technically, I made 4 aprons since both of them are completely reversible with pockets on both sides. Next up - was the Amy Butler swing bag. It was made from blue and brown floral quilting cottons. I added some interior pockets thereby eliminating it's reversibility, but it's also finished - and for me! After that I made a lined cotton skirt from that funky print shown there. The skirt is finished and the coordinating knit tee is mostly done, but I managed to stretch out the neckline a little bit and it will need a little more work. But since I brought everything pre-cut and ready to sew, I didn't bring any extra fabric. The last project that I am hoping to get mostly finished before heading home on Sunday. Is another lined cotton skirt. This time from the pink daisy print. The pink and yellow cottons are both tee-shirts, cut and ready to sew. We'll see how far I get. Gotta sew!

I'm Late, I'm Late, For a Very Important Date

Twice a year the Chapter of the American Sewing Guild that I belong to (The Greater Seattle Chapter) has a Retreat. I have belonged to this guild for almost 5 years now. My neighborhood group is fabulous and the entire chapter is wonderful. Anyway, the first time I was ever able to go to retreat was documented here. I had a great time, but had no idea what to expect. This weekend is the Spring Retreat, and while I'll miss JB and the dogs - I'm gonna have a great time! This time, I have spent the week leading up to retreat cutting things out. I feel prepared. That, ---> over there --->, Yep, that's my trunk loaded down. I'm taking my sewing machine and serger along with a slew of pre-cut projects. The pre-assembled projects include: 2 Aprons, 1 handbag, 3 skirts, and 6 knit tops. I also have with me linen for a dress, muslin to try out a shirt dress pattern and another piece of knit for a top. Ms. Carpe Acum has offered me the loan of her computer so I can let you guys know tomorrow how far I've gotten on my lofty sewing goals! Gotta run, the doors opened at 9:31 (right now) and I've still got an hours drive ahead of me!

March 27, 2008

Fast DOT

First a little background. We didn't get Dudley until he was already 7 months old. He was a very, very good dog. He got out of a friend's completely fenced yard when we'd had him about 10 days and got lost. We looked and called and drove around for days. He would go back to the house every night and howl, but wouldn't go in when the guy opened the door. Anyway, he was 'in the wild' for about 4 days. Poor Baby! Ever since we got him back he has inhaled his food. Just walks up and sucks it up in 20 seconds flat. For years now we have been trying to slow him down. I was telling The Princess about his new bowl and she wanted photos. The first one is Mr. Beau waiting not so patiently for his breakfast to be put down. He was telling me right before I took the picture that he was starving - doncha know? Here is Dudley's new bowl. It's called the 'Break Fast' and so far it really works. The first night we put it down, Dudley tiptoed up to it and then jumped back. Then he very gently put his nose in and when it touched one of those pegs sticking up - he nearly wet himself trying to get away from it. He has now decided that the bowl won't hurt him, but he still doesn't really like it. He is now the last one done eating and we have to watch and make sure the other dogs don't eat his dinner.
He chasing food around the pegs, then stops with his mouthful and chews a couple of kernels and swallows the rest - then does it again. This bowl won't stay on his mat - so he chases it around the room until he can get a mouthful. He is chewing a little bit more than before. Of course my friend D said last night at knitting that the studies show that the teeth of dogs who chew aren't any cleaner and/or healthier than dogs who inhale. So apparently, we are torturing him with this new bowl for nothing!

March 26, 2008

Last Bit of Diversionary Tactics

Okay - this is truly the last of the diversionary tactics. Right now there is no sewing coming out of the studio, but there is cutting. Friday I'll show you what I've been doing and where I'll be until Sunday :)
So the pictures - yep socks! These socks were gifted to The Musical One for Christmas. I asked and asked but never saw her wearing them, nor could I get her to send me a photo.
When she was home for Easter I told her to take my camera and take a picture. The first one is what I got! K.I.D.S! Anyway - I don't for the life of me remember any of the information. It was a self-striping sock yarn knit on US0s. I knit the socks one at a time on little tiny double pointed needles.
When I saw this photo - I asked her if they always slouch like that - she said yes, but I like them that way! Maybe next time I'll knit her the Burning Rings of Fire socks - they are cute and look like they are suppose to be slouchy!
Pre-Sewing on Friday - actual sewing on Sunday - I may be silent on Saturday unless I can borrow a computer.

March 25, 2008

Just More Illusions

that something is coming from my sewing room.
I had to do quite a lot of searching to find out when I had purchased the yarn for this sweater. The original post is here - yep - that's January 2007! That means it took me 15 months to complete this sweater. Unfortunately - it's still not wearable. It need a bath.
The sweater itself was easy enough to construct. It was knit on medium sized needles - I believe they were Us 4s, 5s, & 6s. I had most of the back done and the most of the fronts as well when we went to the Grand Canyon last year. I actually took this with me for car knitting.
The sleeves were all stockinette, knit both at the same time on a l-o-n-g circular needle. I still haven't even tried it on, but it fits Lou just fine so it should fit me. Now, if I could just get motivated to finish the brown polka dots - which have been hanging around just as long!

March 24, 2008

A Litte Distraction

I did manage to work a little bit on my dress this past weekend, but not enough that it looks any different than the last photo. (Well that's not entirely true, I got the sleeves set in - Yea Stacy! and the lining sewn to the neckline. I also found out that the same way you roll and turn a garment to sew an armhole seam in a lined sleeves garment works on a garment with sleeves - another yea.)
Okay ~ here's the distraction. A cute little sweater for a friends new baby boy who can be seen here (scroll down). I can't remember where the pattern came from. I started sometime in early November and had all the pieces constructed before the end of the month. It is made from ivory cashmerino aran so that means it's white and hand wash - for a baby - what was I thinking? Oh well, I'm sure the happy parents will love and use it.

March 23, 2008

Spring Fling Coffee SWAP

In my need to belong - I'm joining another Swap. This really is fun, if you've never Swapped, you should try it. This time I'm doing the Coffee & Yarn Swap
Coffee
1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground? Whole beans, but just because I don't have a grinder. 2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non? Leaded, because otherwise what's the point. I like a light, fresh coffee. 3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up? I just bought Peet's house roast and an organic light roast for the house 4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both? Mostly for pleasure. 5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers? I love flavored coffee, vanilla being my all time favorite. I also really enjoy the sugar free syrups in my coffee 6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup? A big ol'mug. 7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it! My perfect cup of coffee - the house is quiet, hubby is still sleeping, the tv is off and all the dogs are settled on their beds - snoring! I have some knitting and my coffee - the only thing that makes that better is lights on the Christmas tree twinkling. 8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company? Snickerdoodles! Yarn 1. Do you knit or crochet? Knit 2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with? Sock yarn of all types, marinos, cashmere - blends. 3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now? 2 pairs of socks, 1 hat, a lace wrap, a twin set, and a baby blanket. 4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash? Pinks, reds, blues. I don't know that there is any color I wouldn't purchase. 5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest? Wood, Addi Turbos regular & Lace. I'm not fond of plastic needles. 6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan? 7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with? I would probably fire up the credit card and bring them all home - but if I could really only choose 1 - the sock yarn. Spring 1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are? The weather is pretending to be Spring one day and more Fall like the next. 2. What's your favorite spring flower? Do you have one? Daisies 3. What do you most look forward to about springtime? Being able to sit outside by the pond, knitting and drinking (coffee, beer, whatever) 4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day? First I run my errands with the top down on my car and get that out of the way, then I come home and get a nice glass of water and sit by the pond to knit. 5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up? I live in Western Washington - are you kidding - this happens all the time. I knit under a blanket on the couch! Odds n Ends 1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles? Stove shaped cookie jars 2. Are you allergic to anything? Nope 3. Do you have pets? 4 dogs 4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in? Knit Tea was my first; then the DOT Holiday 5. List 3 of your favorite blogs - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them. DiaryofaSewingFanatic, Carolyn inspired me to start sewing and she always encourages me to take my time and do my best; Chan Knits, Chan is funny and supportive and she gets life with hounds; and camillaknits, Camilla just cracks me up and is fast become a true friend.

Happy Easter!

(As an aside - everything I think "Happy Something" it doesn't matter what it is I hear Frosty's voice saying "Happy Birthday!)
I have been wanting a cake plate to display pretty cakes of yarn that I haven't gotten around to knitting yet. But - with four big hound doggies, a cake plate isn't the most practical idea.
Friday while doing more Cinderellas (grocery shopping this time) I found this beautiful wire Easter basket. It was on sale for $8! Since my sewing room has lots of wire items, I thought it would work. So now I will display my yarn cakes in this cute shallow wire Easter Basket.
Hope everyone who celebrates has a beautiful Easter. And that everyone else has a fabulous day. g

March 22, 2008

Cinderella, Cinderella

I spent the day pretending to be Cinderella. My friend Y, coined the phrase 'doing Cinderella's' for when you are doing chores. (By the way go visit it's her boy Jackson's birthday!)
First I cooked breakfast, then I walked dogs, after that I spent hours moving furniture and cleaning floors, leather, glass and wood. Now I'm exhausted!
It's hubby's poker night and I usually spend the evening with my sewing machine. This night, I made a cup of tea and a pan of gooey brownies and I'm going to sit on the couch and do work-work.
Tomorrow I can spend the entire day with the sewing machine. The laundry can wait and be done in bits and starts during the upcoming week.

March 21, 2008

Ta Da

Pattern: Argosy, modified to become a triangle
Inspired by: Chan, as evidenced here
Modeled by: My Friend D (Great Yarns! in the background)
Yarn: ShiBui Sock in cream, 5 hanks + 3 ounces
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, 47" length, US 4s
Time: 1 month

Who Does That?

leaves the house without knitting, that is? Apparently, I do. This morning I left to run a few errands and then have lunch with JB. Well when I got to the Dealership - they were about 30 minutes from being ready leave. And me with no knitting. That's when I remembered the box in my trunk. See it? Remember this post? Well I ordered enough sock yarn to make about 8 pairs of socks shortly after that. It was delivered to my office where it lived for several weeks, then moved to my trunk. Does anyone remember when I broke one of my pretty little SoxStix? Well just last week I went and exchanged the broken one for a new one and I just happened to have them still in my handbag. Lucky huh? So, while I was waiting for the guys to be ready to go to lunch - I was able to start on a sock. The yarn is knit picks Essential Sock Yarn in Meadow Multi. I cast on 62 stitches on US0s and am working in 2x2 rib. However, I'm thinking that the colors might show better in a 1x rib. I'm just thankful that even when I'm not prepared - I'm prepared!

March 20, 2008

Spring Dogs

There is nothing very Spring like about these dogs - let me tell you! They S-T-I-N-K! They are dirty and smelly. Hopefully with Spring upon us, it will be warm enough to bathe them this weekend. The problem is - it's not just about bathing the dogs. Everything gets cleaned at the same time, carpets, dog beds, dog blankets, dog toys, bare floors and dogs! As anyone with more than one dog can imagine ~ it's quite the undertaking. The pictures have nothing to do with being lazy stinky dogs - but rather how squished up they get when sleeping.
I mean really - other than Lucy, does anyone look comfortable?
In the last photo Lucy got a new stuffed bone. She has already broke the squeaker so the toy doesn't hold as much interest. But Beau was looking at her and she was just laying there growling. Don't come any closer buddy - it's Mine! I've gotta teach that girl to share :)

March 19, 2008

Seeing Spots

I love this polka dotted fabric. Absolutely love it! However, I am hating working with it. I'm about ready to throw in the towel. Those of you who just give it up and never finish a project - how do you know it's time? I don't really want to be a quitter, but this is making me crazy. First - it's poly. It's beautiful, chocolate brown with pink and cream polka dots I have added cream pipping to the midriff band, sleeve hems and neckline. I am lining the dress with cotton. There are 2 reasons for this - First, so I don't have poly next to my skin and second (and more importantly really) to give the dress some body. Any advice would be appreciated - meanwhile I'll just keep plugging along at it until my desire to stitch anything is completely gone!

March 18, 2008

A Good Trade

Once upon a time I purchased 5 skeins of Rowan 4 Ply Soft to make a sweater to go with the cute daisy skirt I made last Spring. Unfortunately, I didn't have the fabric with me when I was shopping and the wool purchased - while lovely was too pink. Thanks to the magic that is Ravelry and a Monday holiday, I photographed and inventoried all my fiber. Since I was no longer sure what this pink yarn wanted to become - I listed it under the "Will Trade or Sell" header. Low and behold, I got a couple of messages. One lot of fiber I sold and the other - this one - I traded. This is what I got in exchange. This lovely pink Sundara sock yarn. This is destined to become a pair of socks for me. Apparently I am only allowed to have pink hand knit socks. This grey Regia sock yarn is destined to become a pair of earl grey sock designed by Stephanie (otherwise known as the Yarn Harlot). I think these will be a nice change from the boring rib socks I usually make for JB - because nothing breaks up boredom like endless stockinette and cables :) Tonight is knitting at Great Yarns! look for finished object pictures later in the week.

March 17, 2008

A Bit O' Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day. May you all enjoy green beer with good friends.

March 16, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I have been meaning to share the pictures that JB took of the eclipse - how long ago now? He actually got out his seldom used tripod which was a birthday gift from both of the girls and took several shots from our driveway.
My favorite of all the photos he shot 'raw' an unfortunately, I don't know how to make a JPEG out of it so I can share. Frustrating.
Anyway - I do like these. Funny thing is - he doesn't like them. Ever since he switched to Cannon camera from whatever brand he was using before he hasn't been happy with the photos he takes. I think he takes remarkable shots and just keep encouraging him to do so. He's never happy!
MEN!

DOT Spring SWAP Q&A

How many dogs do you have? Four. What are her/his/their names? Dudley & Abigail are Basset hounds; Beauregard & Lucy are bloodhounds. What are her/his/their favorite toys? Anything that makes noise. What are your favorite treats? sock yarn, sock yarn, new pattern books, and jelly bellies. What are her/his/their favorite treats? cookies and bones. What are her/his/their/persons favorite colors? Seems to be all about pink lately. Also, pink/brown combos. What allergies do you and/or your dog(s) have? None.

March 15, 2008

Some Days

I have lots of words and no pictures. Lately, I seem to have lots of pictures, but no words. Friday night JB and I went to Applebee's for dinner. Work has been busy and stressful and I needed a night out. I took The Princess' Pink socks which have been cast on again. I have no finished the first of 7 1/2 pattern repeats - on both socks! Today we ran errands. Including a stop at Village Yarn & Tea where I picked up 3 hanks of Cascade Sierra Quarto in color 81 for a new baby who's sex will remain anonymous until arrival.
When I got home, there was a little patch of sun shinning on my hardwood floors and it just looked like the perfect place for a photo shoot. Hope you had a little sunshine in your life this Saturday.

March 14, 2008

She Of Little Words

Modified Argosy
After the first week of knitting
Finally cast off - but not blocked
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