August 27, 2008

Great Yarns Bear Party

This is Fontelle, she makes the bears happen.
She coordinates getting the bears donates and distributing them for clothing. Front and center in this picture are my friends D and R, I'm not sure where M slipped off to. Apparently, even with good camera equipment, I can't take a decent photo.
This is another Great Yarns regular. She's an overachiever, like most of the bear knitters.
This year, she clothed 4 bears and boy are they cute!
Here's another pair of the regulars. They are big fun - I enjoy hanging with them at knit nights. K (on the right) made her first item ever making it up as she went along.
Too bad I didn't take a better picture of their bears - they were precious.
Here's my attempt at a group shot. It's a large group of volunteers that knits for these bears.
There is a girl who is 7 who dressed a bear as well as couple of men!
These bears are set aside for the action. There are some bears that are so well dressed that
they are set aside for the auction as they money they will raise is better spent than giving
the bears away. My 2 favorites are the bear dressed in a nightshirt, he has a stocking cap, a letter to Santa and a Christmas stocking. the one of the far right is a polar bear - he's dressed in a beautiful blue hoody, pulling a sled that has a baby bear wearing a matching sweater.
Too cute!

August 26, 2008

Knitting for Others

For some reason lately, I have no desire to knit for myself. I would much rather knit for others. A couple of weeks ago now, JB came home and told me one of the girls that works at the latte stand he frequents regularly found out her mom had a terminal illness. In his next breath he said, I don't know what to say or do to help. That's the problem, really, isn't it. None of us know what is appropriate to say or do. Thankfully - most of us haven't been in a similar situation. Being the little joiner that I am, I had agreed to knit along with a knitters garden (ravelry link) to make a super easy triangular shawl. I cast on for this on Monday night, using Cascade 220 in a very soft, light pink and US 13 needles (a size smaller than called for). I finished it on Tuesday night while watching Monday's episode of The Closer. I will say that it's a little bit smaller than I anticipated, but I'm taking it to knitting tonight to see if it will block bigger. I might also pick up a drapier yarn in a light green to make another. Then the green would go to the mom and the pink to the daughter. I hope these shawls will bring them comfort as they deal with what's ahead.

August 25, 2008

Erin's Bears

Here are three of the bears that I outfitted for Camp Erin. I believe you have seen the little one wearing the purple and cream dress with the bow in her hair. You've also seen the bikini bear - but now she's got a beach blanket/sarong. My last bear was another laying down bear. So I made some bloomers out of some Cascade 220 that I bought to make a felted purse. (we call all tell how well that played out - no need to be nasty.) I also designed a little jammie top. There is tiny white ribbon threaded through eyelets at the waist, ankles and neckline. I also made a buttonhole for her tail to show. This week at knitting we will be having the 'bear party.' If you knit a bear, it is due on Wednesday. There will be champagne and snacks to celebrate another year of bear making and the kick off to another successful camp. Wish you all could be there, I'll take photos.

August 24, 2008

Prince Mugsy

My friend Chan had to make the hardest decision of her life this past weekend and say Good Night to her Sweet Prince Mugsy. This is a very sad time for her - but I am so proud of her for making such a difficult decision. My heart is with you.

Second Guessing Myself

Today I am working on making Butterick 4648. I have had this pattern hanging around for awhile. I also want a new skirt. I measured myself and cut it out yesterday. I also had to piece the fabric because the front and back are cut in one piece. I didn't want to cut it on the cross-grain, because I didn't want the flowers oriented the way they are in the photo at the right (which I forgot to rotate).
Knowing where my widest spot is, I sewed the pleats deeper, by about 2" so they would release after my hips.
Now, I think this may be a bad idea. Unfortunately, I have topstitched all the pleats with lime green thread that matches the little lime green flowers.
Stepping away and looking at the front pinned on Lou it doesn't feel that awful. However, when I was sewing it, I just have the worst feeling. Like these darts are gonna let go right where I am widest. Either than or it's gonna look like a drop waisted dress from the 80s (you know where the bodice went to the hips and then the skirt was gathered on). So, I'm asking you - should I push forward and finish this Lou is totally not me these days. She's a little bit slimmer and shorter! The biggest problem I have is that I have 2 skirts in my closet. Not literally - I have more than 2, but they are only made from 2 patterns - Simplicity 5914 and Kwik Sew 3337 and I want something different. That leads to poor design choices for my body shape. UGH! I want this to be easy and not take all day, but then don't we all?

August 23, 2008

Dish Rag Tag, The Sequel

Again this year, Emily is hosting dish rag tag. This year the rules are slightly different, the teams slightly larger, and the boxes slightly smaller. The race started on August 15th, with Emily mailing out all the boxes. They went first to the team captains, who opened the box, found a ball of cotton, the "official pattern," and a treat of some sort. After knitting the official cloth - you restuff the box with a new ball of cotton (which must be used by the recipient to knit the cloth) and treat. The object is to get the box through the team, each person knitting the official cloth from the ball of kitchen cotton in the box and back to Emily fastest!
Have I ever shown you all my mailbox? I swear JB is from white trash stock! He has a small collection of old wood stoves around the yard doing various jobs - this one happens to hold the mailbox. Our mailman loves it - he says there is nothing else like it. In a good year, that flat part holds a pot of flowers - this year one never got placed there.
Anyway - yesterday, I saw Keith pull up to the mail stove. After he drove off, I grabbed the camera and went to check the mail. Yep - there's the little box, right there. Mail check at 11:50 am.
I put the box on the kitchen table, unloaded everything, took a really dark photo (sorry). That's the box, with the cloth knit by my captain, a new ball of kitchen cotton, a food treat and a cute little sock blocker wearing a cute little sock.
I then sat down on the sofa and knit my heart out. I used the worst possible needles - there was so much drag between the yarn and needles I'm not sure how I got it done, but I did. It took me less than 90 minutes to knit the cloth, print the new label, stuff the box, and tape it closed again.
Last night I have 2 couples over for dinner - Prime Rib, crash potatoes, roasted cauliflower and broccoli. I had a loaf of rustic bread that I threw in the oven to warm when I took the roast out, but I forgot about it. After a quick house cleaning and a jump in the shower, I ran to the post office and got the box sent off to Angela. I hope she likes the cloth and treats.

August 22, 2008

Read Anything Good?

When The Princess got here, she handed me a book. The book is The Dog Walker by Leslie Schnur. It was a quick, easy read with a fairly predictable ending.
As with most things I do, once I start reading a book I tend not to do anything else until I finish it. That is both good and bad - cook dinner? Nope, I'm reading! Work-out, vacuum, walk dogs - Nope, I'm reading! See not always a good thing. I do manage to make it to the office when I'm involved in a book. I also manage to get work done - but mostly because I leave the book at home!
So, if you're looking for something cute and easy to read - check it out!

August 21, 2008

To The Dogs

This week has flown by. I can't believe it's Thursday already. I'm pretty sure all I've posted about all weeks has been the dogs. If you don't believe me, just scroll down.
This is Lucy ~ trust me on this one. Sometimes I can't tell them apart, but it's her.
Beau, being bothered because I'm taking photos. For more dog photos, check out Dogs on Thursday

August 20, 2008

A Minute

It has been a whirlwind visit by The Princess. It truly feels like she's only been home for a minute. We have been very lucky this visit, first we knew she was coming. Second, in an attempt to save money, she spent most nights at home. Tonight we all went out to dinner. I bet you all thought I only had 2 daughters. Well unbeknown to me - we have three. That would be The Musical One, Miss L, and The Princess. Miss L is the one we call whenever the dogs need sitting. She is invited to all birthday dinners and makes and appearance on most holidays. She is the same age as The Musical One, but friends with both girls. So far, we have been required to take her out for her own birthday dinner.
Our waitress offered to take a photo of the whole family. That would be JB, me, The Princess, The Musical One, and Miss L. We will miss her when she goes back to The Littles, but it was nice to borrow her for a minute.

August 19, 2008

The Dog "Party"

The Princess is home visiting for a minute (well, 5 days really, but it feels like a minute). Yesterday she was hanging with her dad (not JB) and went to Three Dog Bakery. She brought home 4 little pupcakes for the a late birthday treat.
So, here are all the dogs lined up on beds and The Princess is holding all 4 pupcakes over their heads. They all had to do a trick before they got their treat. The trick was dependant upon the dogs ability.
Lucy spoke and then stood up to get hers. She put the entire cupcake in her mouth in one bite and I think she might has swallowed it whole.
Beau did off. He's really good at this- especially considering this is a tasty treat and there are other dogs in the house. His cake is between his front legs and he had to wait for two things - 1) for JB to take the photo; and 2) he has to look at the person who put him in "off" not the treat he's suppose to be ignoring. He does this well. There is no photo of Dudley getting his pupcake, but he's behind Beau eating it. Abby did dance. The poor girl really had to work this trick. Because the camera wasn't firing fast enough to get it. She would go down and the shot would take. But dance she did and then she got a cute little pupcake.
After filling the dogs with a sugar high ~ she left again. Not for good, just to go out with her friend. She goes home before dawn on Thursday morning - see, so really we only had her for a minute.

August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man

Dudley Dog is 10 today

August 17, 2008

Ooops!

Remember this skirt? I love it! I wear it often, although I'm not really a red person. I had pre-washed the fabric prior to cutting and the red bled a little into the white. It really wasn't noticeable, but it bothered me. So, today I plunged it into a sink full of luke-warm water and some dye remover product. All would have been fine, if I hadn't gotten side-tracked with cleaning up the yard and then holding lumber so somebody (coughJBcough) could build the extension for our deck. Well, when I finally made it back into the house, I about hyperventilated. My skirt was a light orange! Ooops. There were still some spots of red. So I rinsed it, and did it again. Trying to get rid of all the red. Then I rinsed it again, threw it in the washer and dryer. It is now a very bold printed orangish brown. The white however, is really bright white! So, I think I'll be pulling Kashi's card from my wallet to see if I can get another red length of this fabric and trying again. Anyone know of a good way to keep red from bleeding. In case you care - this is how my skirt looks now:

August 16, 2008

Beat With a Stooopid Stick

That has to be what has happened to me. There is no other explaination. You all have seen the mockery socks. They were introduced here with an update here. I have been knitting away at them a row or two here and there between other projects. Just the other day, I said to Miss C: Are hanks getting smaller, my knitting getting tighter or my foot fatter? You know I have been plugging away on the mockery socks, I haven't even finished the gusset decreases yet and I feel like I only have a third of the yarn left to finish the foot. Well we discussed this for a minute and then moved on. (The answer by the way was all of the above.) That night while watching the Olympics, I finished the decrease rounds for the gusset and decided now was a good time to try these little beauties on. Well guess what? Yep! They don't fit. I can get them on, but it's a struggle. So, yesterday after finishing Clue 1 and running errands, I set myself up outside and had a little undoing party. You would think I would know by now. Everytime I try to ignore the advise of Camilla and Charlen Schurch my socks are too tight and I have to rip them. If I'm going to knit pretty little socks on US0s, getting 10+ stitches to the inch, I need way more stitches to fit around my foot and over my heel. Last night after ripping them, I restarted the pretty little things. This time I cast on 12 more stitches for a total of 84, still on my US0s. But this time, they will be even prettier - because now they have a picot hem :) Maybe someday I'll learn - or they will quit beating me with stooopid stick.

August 15, 2008

Clue/Hint 1

The dogs and I spent the first half of the day in the living room. I was busy knitting the first clue on the Secret of the Stole, catching up on old episodes of Army Wives and they were busy snoring! With a few breaks for coffee and food - I got all 64 rows done! I'm pretty sure there isn't this much completed on my Malibrigo Lace that I started last year. However, the really nice part about this lace pattern is that the alternating rows are just purled back - with the exception of a garter border. That meant I could autopilot through those rows.
I decided to use the bronze lined clear beads. They add sparkle, but because of the color of the lining the blend in with the creamy latte color of the cashwool. I had thought I might go down a needle size and cast on with US3s but didn't like it, so I ripped and started over on the US 4s.
I can see definite rows in the pictures, but just knitting it and looking at it, I can't identify a design yet. There is a theme to these Secret Stoles, but since I'm not a good mystery solver, mine will remain a mystery unless someone else spots it and tells me what it is :0) happy knitting everyone.

August 14, 2008

Non-Dogs on Thursday

So last night, I got home and fed the houndies early. It was Brier's SeaScare parade. Brier is (by it's own definition) a small, suburban, residential town. The total population is about 6,500. Every year on the second Wednesday in August, they host a parade - it's getting better. We were busy keeping the dogs calm while we were eating and missed a few good photos from the beginning of the parade. JB is generally in charge of the camera (it is his) and won't leave me all 4 dogs to go get photos. The first parade entry up is our neighbor on his motorized laz-y-boy. Seriously! He added a motor and wheels to his favorite recliner. His wife says he's considering building another one so they can tool around together. They are very active in MEOW - which is a local cat rescue. Personally, I have no interest in cats, but I won't hold it against you, if you do :) Next up - this one was very funny. They had added a shark skin to a vehicle and in the sharks mouth a pair of legs was hanging out. Somehow, they had rigged the shark up to spit blood out it's mouth. Gross! In front of the shark was a woman walking around with a sign that said "Have you Seen my Child." But again, JB won't walk around to get the photos.
The last photo of the parade he took was of this van decorated with all sorts of shoes and bags. I'm just curious - when you have clued shoes all over your vehicle - do you just park it the rest of the year or do you drive it with shoes all over it all year?
We ran into a couple on our street. The Princess used to have a crush on their son. We ended up hanging on the corner visiting with them, watching the parade. There are several very noisy 'exhibits' in the parade, including a group of vigilante pirates (who support children's hospital - I think). But they fire guns. They are fake of course, but still very noisy. Between the bagpipe band, the firetrucks, guns, and loud exhausts - Beau is one very unhappy dog during the parade. He decides that he hates me and I cannot be trusted. Obviously not, since I walked him up to the noisy hell. This is the one time of the year when we take all 4 dogs - it's hard to walk 4 dogs anywhere. The short dogs are running the whole time we are moving and the big dogs are pulling.
The local Basset Hound rescue always has a few dogs there that need relocating. The dress them up and walk the parade route. We missed them while avoiding the bagpipes and never went back to see the dogs. However, because we were the crazies walking around with 4 dogs - we got asked a couple of times if Dudley and Abby were available for adoption. Before you all get upset with me - we said no! Once we got home - I grabbed JB's camera and played a little bit in the fading light. This is one of my favorite photos - although it is a little blurry because I used neither flash nor tripod.
So, without any dog pictures (for pictures go here) that's my Dogs on Thursday post.

August 13, 2008

Fall Knitting

From the Fall 2008 Issue of Vogue Knitting here is my list of must knits: First up: Potpourri by Tanis Gray. While blogging around the other day, I found out that Eat.Sleep.Knit has a kit containing all the materials to make the design in the magazine. The problem is, I'm not sure I want to make them in this colorway. I took a class a couple of years ago to learn how to do this, and it's about time to put the knowledge to work. And frankly - I.love.these! Wouldn't they look fabulous in colors to match my wool coat? Next up: Greenland by Robin Melanson. I really like this little top. I think it would be easy to wear. It's knit out of blue sky alpacas melange. In my quick search, kpixie (second link) had the best price and the colors are great! For my size, this is still an expensive sweater - taking 15 hanks at $8.50/hank. UGH! Pretty though and will get knit.
Last Up is Neutral Territory by Gayle Bunn. The problem with this cardigan is that is made out of a bulky yarn. I don't need more added bulk. However, it would be nice to have in the office. My office is the same as everyone else's - terminally frigid. During the summer it feels as if we are working in a morgue, it's that cold. So a bulky cardigan would be fabulous.
Have you picked up an issue yet? What's on your must knit list?

August 12, 2008

Somethin's Still Not Right

It's not a great photo, but you can see the wrinkling at the center back. Above the seam. The back seam is easily .75" higher than the front seam. When I wore the dress, JB pulled the shoulders up and out - following the angle of the back - approximately 1" and the back laid flat. So, I unpicked the seam and the serged finish and had JB pull the back down until it laid flat - again following the angle of the back.
Thankfully, this time I basted it. I tried it on this morning - braless (oh the shame) and the front fits fine but the back has issues. I'm tempted to just sew the original seam back in, and let the back drape like a cowl. Using it as a design element.
I love this fabric and would hate to have to wad it up and toss it.
On a different note - this is what I wore to work today. It's a version of the Carolyn skirt with a yellow KS tee. The knit fabric was a little thin, so I double the fabric in the top. This is easy to wear and feels springy and fresh.

August 11, 2008

It's the "Twins" Birthday

This was their first birthday and Lucy was really unhappy with the hat.
She ate it later :)
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