Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great sheep debate.

My uncle did not believe me that there were brown sheep in the world. I googled. Here is a brown sheep....
He got a sweater made out of Cascade Eco Wool for Christmas from my mom in a brown color, and despite the fact that the label said that it was undyed, he didn't believe that there was such a thing as a brown sheep.... And he was convinced that the sweater was olive green. Now olive green sheep, there are not.... Reminds me of the great "lamb, mutton, ram" debate of 2003. All I can say is don't look a gift sweater in the sheep!

If it is not tempting the fates too much, I will say that I am mostly recovered from my surgery. The only thing really left is icky red incisions. Ick. The scabs are coming off, and it is seriously icky. Have I mentioned Ick? Slowly my energy is coming back, being put to the test this week as it is the first week I have been back for eight hours a day. When have I ever had energy for that, though, surgery or not??

Funny story. I, for some unknown reason, made a gyn appointment for two weeks after my surgery. Not my favorite thing in the world, but survivable. Little did I know the operating room people were going to SHAVE ME after I was knocked out!!!! Not completely, just enough to create a strange hair topiary and get out of the way of the 1/2 inch incision that for some reason just HAD to be that low.... So there I am in the paper gown, and as soon as he walked through the door I said, "You are not allowed to mock me for the strange hair topiary. I had surgery and did NOT know that was going to happen." He laughed and said that he learned long ago never to laugh at anyone's personal gardening, no matter how strange. To which I responded, "I didn't do it, seriously!!" The whole thing just added another fun dimension to the yearly visit....

Next post: Tales of Christmas Just Past.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I may have finally entered adulthood.

Shudder at the thought! I found out today that I have to have surgery. Not only is my gallbladder trying to kill me, my appendix seems determined to get in on the action. So next Monday, they are both getting nipped and tucked. How I wish that would mean that I would end up skinny....

However, the surgery itself is not the grown-up part, scary though it may be. No, I had to go get my belly-button ring taken out after having it for seven or eight years. I couldn't get a hold on the little balls to unscrew them, so I went to the place that put it in. Now it is gone. I don't think you can ever be too old for a nose ring, can you??

Friday, November 27, 2009

My gallbladder is trying to kill me.

Sorry for the silence. I think the pressure was too much for me and I choked. I am back to report that my parts are in rebellion, however: This is an image from the Mayo Clinic of what is a close approximation of what I got to see last week in my very own ultrasound. The ultrasound, as an aside, was one of the coolest things I have ever gotten to do! Elizabeth, the best ultrasound tech ever, narrated the whole thing and was the one to tell me that my very small ovaries and uterus look great, but my gallbladder is filled with little stones. There seemed to be more in mine than in the image above.... Looked like about a dozen or more, all lined up like peas in a tiny pod. Strange how my relationship with my insides has changed now that I have seen them....

The original complaint that sent me to the doctor's office was pain in the extreme lower right hand side of my abdomen and awful nausea. I can tolerate many, many things better than nausea, so that is what really sent me running to the copay factory! The pain has mostly been at a four out of ten kind of level, coming up a little higher and going down to nothing off and on, for about the last week, now. Today, after the pig out that was Thanksgiving, it is hurting like crazy, though. I meet with a surgeon on Tuesday, Dec 1, and the nurse at the world's best doctor's office believes that gallbladder removal is in my future. Sigh.

And by the way, ultrasounds are fun, but I highly recommend against recreational or educational CT scans. Wait for medical necessity. Two words: barium milkshake.

There has been knitting news, but since it is almost all Christmas knitting and everyone who is getting a present from me could conceivably read this, the less said the better. I shall share after the gifts are all given. Let me say, though, that I am having a blast knitting the few presents that I have undertaken, and I am optimistic about their completion....

I DID try to finish the lovely olive green Cosima.... (Pardon the blurry picture. You would never guess that I had a degree in the art of photography would you???) There is a reason that one should not put a sweater aside for nine months and then pick it up and start knitting again.... I seriously believed that I was following directions correctly. I had the back and one front piece already finished, so I started with the other side and happily zipped through that and the sleeves. It is a raglan construction, so I sewed both sleeves to the back with visions of showing off at Thanksgiving dancing in my head. THEN.... I got out the front pieces to determine which went on which side.... And they were both the same side. No kidding. I knitted two right front sides. I have no idea how I managed that, especially when it is the dreaded "reverse all shaping for left side" kind of pattern. I have put it aside to let it think about what it has done. WOW, that was silly!!
Ok, back to work. Yes, it is true, I am at work the day after Thanksgiving. There are only four of us in the entire building, and the people I know and love are at the movies right now. I am so loyal....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Apparently I suck at this.

Either that or I am exhibiting a strange rebellion against authority.... Even though I am the one who decided to post every day! Day two and I forgot. I toyed briefly with ideas for travelling back in time or possibly setting the date back on my computer.... I decided, however to just go ahead and 'fess up instead. Indeed, I am crap at blogging consistency!

Sadly, I still have no photos. So I shall knit instead! I may be able to start the stripes on Daybreak tonight!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November: National Blog Post Month

Well, I didn't make it all the way through Blogtoberfest.... It was pretty exciting to post so much, though! And I apparently have a chance to redeem myself in November during National Blog Post Month. I didn't make that up, either.... Found it on the internets....

And I am aware that I owe another SAFF post, but I am going to TRY to finagle a way to get the yarn purchases uploaded so there will be pictures.... Give me a couple of days!

I stopped posting this past week because, honest to goodness, I have been too busy knitting. I can't believe it, but its true! I finished the Christmas present socks. Thank goodness, because they were starting to get on my last nerve. They just went on too long....

Then I started another present, the Bird in Hand Mittens. May I say, worsted weight yarn on size one needles is nothing to trifle with! My poor fingers, so sore.... They are so, so, so beautiful, though! Kate Gilbert is another genius!! I got through one with only grafting and the thumb left, so even with frequent breaks for finger resting they are going quickly!

As a reward to myself for working so hard on Christmas presents, I started some easy, mindless knitting, the Daybreak Shawl. I saw it on another blog and fell in love. The yarn for that one is one of my SAFF purchases, so there SHOULD be pictures sometime this week... :-)

Other than knitting there has been passive entertainment. I read the cutest book: Soulless by Gail Carriger. She has the best voice I have encountered in a very long time in a formerly-unknown-to-me author, and you gotta love laughing out loud in a book about a victorian miss totally missing her soul.... Loved it!! Also saw The Brothers Bloom and enjoyed it thoroughly. Matt thinks that Rachel Weiss' eyes are too far apart, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment one little bit!

Ok, gotta go! Time for Amazing Race!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beginning of the SAFF madness....

So, on Friday The Mom and I got up at 5AM to get ready to get to SAFF as early as possible. Which turned out to be absolutely ridiculous, since we were ready to leave at 6 and had to wait anxiously until I could get into the building at work to leave... at 8! I had left my beloved Kingscot, done but for the ends, under my desk at work when I left on Thursday. Scared the crap out of me. I was ok with it, frustrated that I would have to wait to do the last little bit of finishing, but HOLY COW, not after what my mom suggested. She looked me straight in the face and said, "They won't throw it away, will they?" WHAT??? THROW IT AWAY???? NOOOOOOO!

Fortunately, it was where I had left it and I safely retrieved it. Even if it did get us a late start.

The drive took less time than expected (by me, anyway. How did I have no real memory of how long it takes to drive to Asheville), the perception of which was aided by the fact that I slept for a good solid hour of the trip. Time flies when you are sound asleep!

Ok, most importantly, what did we wear!? I sported my happy rainbow Ishbel. It truly is happy! I wore it as a shawl, pinned with one of The Mom's lovely jewelry pieces. People asked about it all day. They even reached out and touched it. (People who know me know how I LOVE to be touched unexpectedly by strangers.... Where is your sense of personal space, people??) The Mom looked FAB in her Clapotis. I blocked it Wednesday, and it came out SO beautifully... She picked the perfect yarn for it, which I now know is Brooks Farm Four Play. Because people in our class made me go ask. And took pictures of it! She was a complete hit. We were both very proud of ourselves, and of each other....

Once we arrived, we hardly had any time before our class. We made a brief raid on Miss Babs' booth, where my most major purchasing was done lickity-split. More on purchases later.

Took the lace knitting class with Elizabeth Ravenwood. She was very charming. We all received a skein of Knitpicks Gloss Lace, and were left to fight over them, picking from a pile on the floor in a most dog-eat-dog manner.... Luckily I snagged green for me and red for The Mom. Perfecto. I am sure the class was great, but honestly both of us were more advanced than what she was teaching. We immediately cast on and went to town. No new stitches, no techniques that were previously secret. Apparently there is no great secret to lace knitting, we just lacked the confidence to start on our own.... Live and learn. I wonder if we will take any classes next year? Maybe we are better knitters than we ever suspected!!

The best part was that she soaked and blocked the lace scarf we are working on in the class. I had never learned anything about blocking with wires, and I am really pleased to have seen it done. She also shared the source of the wires: welding supply stores. That is pretty exciting, cause stainless steel rod is much cheaper than blocking wires! They sell the stuff by the pound!

After the class and after we had walked around to restore feeling to our cold, numb butts, we did some recon work on the remainder of the shopping situation. I love the yarn at SAFF... The colors are luscious. I end up touching one of EVERYTHING. Ohhh, soft. Ohhh, pretty. (I am newly in love with undyed, fingering weight alpaca. It comes in the most gorgeous caramel color.... Sigh.)

Ohhh, expensive. I know that these are artists. I seriously, absolutely value the work, skill and passion that go into producing such scrumptious fibers. No doubt. But my budget doesn't stretch very far among the land of art yarn. It became IMMEDIATELY clear that my carefully prepared shopping list is out the window. I couldn't afford even one sweater's worth of the lovelies....

Not to worry. The Mom and I held a re-strategizing session over fast food. I will share that with the report on Saturday at SAFF.... :-)

Again, sorry that there are no pictures. I sadly miss my laptop and all my ability to upload pictures. I wish my posts could be as filled with color and beauty as SAFF was!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Recovering from SAFF.

I tried, I really did. I even recruited my mom to bring her work laptop with us so I could blog from Asheville.... Unfortunately, WiFi wasn't free at our cheap motel and I never did quite pull it off.... I am not going to consider that another Blogtober failure for two reasons: 1. I was out of town doing fun knitterly things. 2. I refuse to feel bad about failing at something that NOBODY but me cares that I was trying to do. Seriously, I have enough to worry about. So, in the interest of self-esteem and blog love, I am giving myself a pass! Now I am very happy to be back.... I love my blog!

We had a very good time at SAFF. I took absolutely no pictures, way too busy shopping and learning.... It didn't seem as crowded to me this year, and there definitely seemed to be fewer animals. The only thing that I was really disappointed about was not seeing a single bunny. Quite a few grown rabbits, no babies. Wonder if there is some kind of bunny production issue? Weird, huh? Anyway, I didn't get to hold any bunnies and I was sad.

Other than that, we took it easy and had a very enjoyable vacation. Tomorrow, when I have recovered more (MAN, am I getting old!), I will detail the days, the classes and the purchases. Remind me to discuss the new strategy The Mom and I came up with for the coming year!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All stitched up!

I have sewn the Kingscot together! It is beautiful and fits very well. I wish it was slightly longer and the sleeves were slightly shorter.... But I will be wearing it soon and often! Now I have to sew the buttons on and tie in the ends. Who invented ends, anyway? I think they should be shot.... And tortured.... And then made to tie in ends!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No time to talk....

...I am sewing my Kingscot together!! I stayed late after work today and pinned the sleeves in. Work has all these GIANT training tables. Amazingly enough, not a single person walked by the training room and contemplated having me committed for crafting in an unused room at work, after I stopped getting paid!

Anyway, mere days left until its command performance, must continue sewing.... :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ok, I lied.

I did not post twice yesterday. Nothing that I would blog about really happened.... Matt and I went to see Zombieland, which was hilarious. The Mom and I watched The Amazing Race, which I love. (I evaluate everyone I know by what kind of partner they would make if I were to ever go on that show.... So far, my brother is in the lead for the most likely to be able to climb something or put something together, The Mom in ahead by a mile for the person with whom I would have the most fun, and Ian gets credit for being the most peaceful person I can imagine going with.... We aren't going to speculate what kind of partner I would make....)

See, less than scintillating.

Today I made my copies for my SAFF notebook. With my limited budget, it is much less extensive and impressive than the one I put together for Stitches.... Anyway, I have evaluated the hundreds of things that I want to knit based on a couple of criteria. First, can I afford to get the yarn for this, and would it be the ONLY thing I could get if I chose it? Second, but a very close second, how much have I been DYING to knit this? Third, though being left in the dust by the other standards, I have to consider if I am going to use the proposed project for a Christmas present. (There isn't going to be much of that this year, sadly....)

Here you have the winners from this year's festival, in no particular order:

1. Olivia by Kim Hargreaves. (Photo from her website, since I am jonsing for pictures!)I have seriously been coveting every single finished version of this sweater I see on Ravelry. I have no idea what yarn I am looking for to make it, but I think it needs a little tweedy rusticity. I don't even know what color I am looking for, but rust or eggplant are both colors that are appealing to me recently. Everything I was attracted to during the summer was blue or green. Time for a change!
2. Faber by Norah Gaughan. (Photo credit goes to I sincerely believe this sweater will obtain new-favorite-sweater status immediately upon completion! I LOVE this. I have considered Yowza! What a Skein by Miss Babs for this one.... Will I like a semi-solid for it, though? We shall have to see....
3. Fish Hat, Dead or Alive from Knitty. (Their image.)Dead, of course, because I think that is way funnier! I am making this one for someone who shall remain nameless (no, not you Ian.) for Christmas. I would LOVE to whip out three or four of them before the holiday so we could all wear them for a group portrait.... But I am just weird like that!
That is it. Three projects and perhaps some sock yarn. I think I am being terribly practical.
Now I am off to yell at the tv, because I this silly baseball game is pushing House back. I can't tape it because the DVR thinks House started 24 minutes ago! I am rooting for the Angels just because they are batting in the bottom of the innings and if they score, House comes on!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The headline has nothing to do with the fact that I have now failed at Blogtoberfest. :-( I forgot to post yesterday. I think that the above alarmed exclamation goes along with the seriousness of my transgression, though, don't you? I started posts twice yesterday, couldn't get it to do what I wanted and gave up. I guess starting the posts fooled my memory....

I will have to post twice today to make up for it!!

Anyway, the headline refers to the walk that we TRIED to take the Maggie-dog on yesterday. We got up, bundled up against the chill (HEY, its not nice to laugh at me!! Here 50 degrees is COLD!!), and got all the way to the first corner, being dragged behind the multi-colored butt of our favorite mutt. Then, right before sniffing out the messages at the first corner, her favorite spot for picking up missives from the day before and leaving her own little telegram for the neighbor dogs, she went on COMPLETE alert. Hackles up, straining to go the wrong direction, serious alert. I turned my head, and 20 feet away stood the Sasquatch of husky dogs. Ok, it wasn't THAT big, but it was larger than the huskies I am used to dealing with, and its size was exaggerated by the hostile stance it had taken, like nothing I have ever encountered in person.... I have run into the occasional loose dog in my time, and discretion being the better part of valor, have steered clear... Those dogs were probably just goofy-guy dogs with no evil intent that I unfairly judged to be scary, but my momma didn't raise no fools. I am not sticking around to find out! This dog, on the other hand, had its head down and its laser beam gaze locked on my tasty little morsel of a doggie like it was a robot dog programmed to kill.... We immediately turned around and DRAGGED our loudly protesting dog back to the safety of the house. The scary dog stayed RIGHT behind us to the end of our driveway. I thought there was going to be bloodshed, seriously....

Once we got the dog inside, and the scary dog was distracted by the dog-pee bulletin board across the street, I spent a silly ten minutes chasing the cats around the yard until I could get them all inside. What can I say, they are cats, they don't know that I am running behind them for their own safety!

That was our big adventure for the day. I will post about today later, promise!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

must.... have..... pictures.....

I am really tired of the pictureless posting. I have therefore stolen a picture of my NORO colorway from the internet. Sadly, you will have to imagine the way it is working up as Ishbel for a while longer, but take my word for it, it is SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPEALIDOSIOUS. (Can you tell I am operating under significantly less headache now?) The first three stitches were done in a very dark steely grey. I LOVED it, but started to worry that it was going to be too dark for Meredith's taste. However, I have gone through light grey, ocean blue, lavender and green now.... The colors are so beautiful and harmonious. Sigh. Noro love! I can't wait for the pop of the bright turquoise! I did some more work on it yesterday before the nightmare began with my head, but decided to prudently leave it alone for the rest of the evening.

Now I am all about SAFF planning. We leave next Friday morning! One week to go!! Tonight I am going to FINALLY block Kingscot's sleeves to get that done. I am also going to make a valiant weekend attempt to finish the Norah Gaughan jacket that I have almost finished for The Mom so that we can be sort of matchy-matchy one day! Of course, one is blue and has no openwork at all, and one is red and full of lacy holes.... But since they are both Norah and both made by me, WE will know we are matchy-matchy!

What patterns in my queue should I get yarn for?? That is always the biggest question! Miss Babs, here I come!

Who am I kidding?? ALPACAS and BUNNIES here I come!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Holy cow.

SOMETHING is giving me a nightmare of a headache. It is a toss up between the orange juice that I had this morning and the two new drugs that I started today.... Normally, I would not blog about the demoralizing, mind-numbing agony I am in right now, but it is Blogtoberfest, and I am trying REALLY hard to meet the challenge. So, you the readers, have to suffer through belly-aching. Because seriously, my head hurts so badly that I can't formulate a sentence that isn't about that.

Tomorrow, if I am still alive, I will talk about knitting. Maybe how I love Noro.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Take two flu shots and call me in the morning....

I can say that I seriously don't recommend getting TWO flu shots, in two separate arms, in the same day.... But now I should practically be bulletproof!!

Almost called this post "An ode to Dr. Emerson." She is fully awesome, as Rino the Hamster would say. She listens better than any doctor I have ever been to.... I went because I didn't feel like the Zoloft was doing the trick any more. I have really been struggling for the last couple of months.... And since I can't spend the next four years in bed with the covers pulled up, no Barrett-Brownings here, I needed to do something about it. She has changed me over to Prozac, which I start tomorrow.... We shall see. Good news being that since it is the same class of drug as the Zoloft, there shouldn't be any adjustment to it or any withdrawal from the Zoloft!

She also discovered that my blood pressure is shockingly high. I almost called this post 159/107, which is today's scary number. She is worried that I could have a stroke. And her worry makes me worry. I have become convinced that I can feel the pressure about to blow in my carotid artery! (I am cursed with a good imagination and a relatively clear understanding of anatomy....) I start a new drug for that tomorrow, too. (Just what I needed this month, when I shouldn't be spending money- lab tests and new prescriptions.)

Anyway, maybe I will be feeling better soon. More energetic.... for the walks that we are going to be taking with the doggie in the morning!! (Good for the ole' blood pressure, doncha know!)

In knitting news, MAN am I missing the ability to upload pictures! I have already gotten to the lace rows on my Ishbel, which is what a two hour trip to the doctor's office will get you, and this is the very most lovely multi-colored yarn I have ever worked with. It is like the ocean at night! I love it so much that I actually considered using the work copier to scan it and email it to myself. Now THAT would have been a great picture, huh?? I couldn't figure out how I would explain what I was doing if someone walked in on me.... :-)

I have decided that what I want for Christmas is Best Buy gift certificates, so I can get something going, computer-wise. I am lost without it.... RIP, sweet computer!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yet another WIP.

I felt dangerously close to finishing the Kingscot cardigan, and so I had to cast on for something else! It is a sickness, I tell you.... My justification was that there is no more knitting to do for Kingscot and the socks in progress are hurting my fingertips after working on them all day yesterday. That is pretty good, as far as justifications go, I feel!

So, what I started was another Ishbel for a Christmas present this time. It is going to be GORGEOUS! I am making it from a color of Kureyon Sock (S150) that I bought for me, but I think it will work well for Meredith. It is so pretty... blues and greys and turquoise.... I am going to covet this as I give it away.... But she is worth it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another boring post without pictures....

I am starting to bore myself, babbling about knitting without anything to show for it!! While I did finish sewing on the button-hole side of the button bands, and seriously contemplated actually blocking the sleeves, I still have no ability to upload pictures. Frustrating!

When I discarded the idea of bestirring myself to block sleeves, I picked up the Christmas present socks.... Turned the heels and did both heal flaps. I have begun to despair of ever knitting a heel flap without a big hole where I start knitting in the round again. I even did the trick this time where you make one and knit it together with the first stitch on the next needle, and no luck. I am going to have to stick to lacy socks, so you can't tell the hole wasn't on purpose!!

Nothing else happened today, so I shall sign off.... Working from home is nice, but definitely is less story-worthy!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

All knitting is done!!

Ok, button band number two finished. I started sewing it on before bed tonight, but since it was taking absurdly long, I have given up and taken allergy medicine...

Off to bed before I sew it on like a mobius or something! I hope to finagle a way to get a picture of my superior button-hole knitting skills within the next couple of days!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where in the world is Jennifer's cardigan today??

Went to Charleston this morning with the Mom. She had to meet with a lawyer who is going to help with a mock trial workshop she is giving.

Which meant that I had LOTS of time to knit on the button band for the Kingscot. It truly is the most tedious, annoying thing I have ever knitted, this button band.... But I have to admit that Norah is a genius! It is SO beautiful! This evening, watching Sunshine Cleaners and two weeks of Private Practice on the DVR, I sewed the left front on the sweater. It is perfect! No puckering, just all flat and lovely. I just think it needs to be steamed to have the same texture as the rest of the pieces.... Tomorrow, I shall embark on the adventure of knitting the half that has button holes. Wish me luck!

The Mom and I had planned to do some tourist-y things, but we got down there and changed our minds, collectively. It was 90 degrees and the humidity must have been 95%. That is not that hot for here, but it felt miserable, like swimming through hot soup, and we just couldn't take it. Going to lunch at Cortile del Ray was considered, as well as going back the coastal way, but after much debate, we came home and didn't spend any extra money. (Every dollar we spend before SAFF is a dollar we can't spend AT SAFF!!)

So, basically we took a four hour trip to have coffee at Starbucks. Sounds just like us!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Well-traveled cardigan.

Took the Kingscot to work with me today, just to keep some variety with my deadline knitting. (Not that the Minimalist hasn't been going to work in my purse every day, but you know, we are talking about something different that I did today!) And then I took it to Barnes and Noble on my lunch break. Then back to work without letting it out of the bag. Then home. At least it got some fresh air, I guess.

I am hoping to get the button bands done this weekend, though this is possibly the most tedious, annoying knitting I have ever done.... I will NOT let the button band torture make me hate this sweater!! I just simply refuse!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I just found out that my ex-boyfriend, who I have very mixed feelings about having broken up with, has been married since 2007. There is nothing else I can say about this without veering into melodrama or making my friends worry. Sad.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How could I already be out of things to say??

It has only been seven days! Could I possible have totally run out of things to say? Let's see.... Can't post pictures. Already did my "only two good things about Wednesday" post. Knitting on a pair of socks that are a present.... Nope, I got nothing. (And knowing me, running out of things to say is an extraordinary situation!!)

Let's try random babble about my life, shall we?

Went back to work today after making like a giant ground sloth all day yesterday. Maggie-dog even looked at me like I was impossibly lazy, and she sleeps all day! Just what I needed though, so I don't feel guilty. Work was busy, busy, busy. Which is a good thing. Another day, another dollar closer to a new laptop!

I am so out of things to share for Blogtoberfest that I will tell you all my shameful secret: I watch America's Next Top Model. It is true. Art historian, knitter, junk tv watcher. I can't resist it. The pictures always come out so DIFFERENT than watching them being taken! I blame the photography degree. That is my story and I am sticking with it!

Ok, off to bed. We are getting up at 6AM to go for a W-A-L-K with Maggie dog. She will be so surprised! She loves the W-A-L-K. Doggie love!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

RIP, beloved video card.

This post was going to be about my mixed feelings regarding variegated yarn. I have been thinking about that a lot today, for some bizarre reason. It was either that or talk about the weird, weird dreams I have been having about men from my past.... But maybe we shouldn't go there!

However, there has been tragic news in the Shameless blog land:

Sadly, I believe the video card in my laptop has gasped its last.... I am very sad. Especially since I can't replace it anytime soon! My brother, much more of a computer genius than I am, despite my IT job, says that it would be more expensive to replace the video card than the computer is worth.... Sigh.

At least all the information seems to be safe. I did manage an online backup before I lost all ability to see what was happening inside its little brain... That is why you aren't witnessing wailing and rending of hair here at Jennifer's house!!

What this ultimately means is that there will be no pictures in my blog for a while. My mom's desktop has VISTA, which hates my blog.... No matter what I do, I can't seem to successfully arrange pictures when I am working from this machine. Maybe I will be able to get something uploaded to Flickr before too long and then I could get them to the blog from work. I believe some strategizing is in order..... (See Jennifer twirl her metaphorical mustache....)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall descends on the Carolinas.

With a thunk. It has been summer right up until October 4th, now it is cold and rainy. This is the sick day view from the back door.... We had to DRAG the dog outside before she exploded!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend progress!

I actually got lots of things accomplished this weekend, even if I finished none of them. Not completely, anyway....

Yesterday, I worked on the Kingscot. I sewed the shoulder seams and put the neckband on, which looks great if I do say so myself! But let me say, I will freaking LOSE MY MIND if this sweater is too small when it is finished.... Just letting you know. I started the button band immediately.... But that is boring, so.....

I started a pair of socks for Christmas when I got home!! They are going to be so beautiful! I will show them later, since this blog could possibly be read by the recipient.

And then, to keep from actually finishing anything, I blocked my Ishbel! Here it is in progress: Then, in progress with blocking's arch-nemesis, the cat! How kind of her that she was laying on the towel, not the shawl! But doesn't she look like there would be blood if I tried to move her??
Went to a party at Susan and John's last night. They are great, seriously. They always have an incredible mix of people there, but they all know each other and tend to talk to each other, mostly professors from Francis Marion and their families. I am too shy to start a conversation with a group of people who are already cozily chatting with each other, so I spend most of those parties feeling like I am gazing through a window at something I want but can't have.... That could be depression speaking, too, but mostly it is the pathological shyness that I have had since grade school. Sigh. To lighten things up a little, here are some pics of the festivities. First, Mom and Susan:

The the family dog, Weezie (I didn't name her!!), enjoying the new hardwood floors! Gotta love a happy dog.

Lastly, here is Buttercup, enjoying the newly discovered cat hammock that the recliner creates. She is so pretty!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I think my brain is trying to escape.

You know you are hopelessly dependant on caffeine when you get a headache by just waiting until 1PM for your first Pepsi. I think my brain is trying to escape from my left eye socket to go seek out caffeine on its own.

Tomorrow, I have big knitting progress to report and party pictures to show..... Tonight I am going to bed in hopes that my brain will be happy INSIDE my skull tomorrow....

Friday, October 2, 2009

TGIF. Seriously.

Well, the week from Hell is almost over. Adding insult to injury, I had a Lifeforce appointment today. That is the appointment that my health insurance insists on and can drop me if I don't comply.... Where they tell me I am getting old and have gained ten pounds (true story) and my blood pressure is going to give me a stroke.... Next appointment, February. Something to look forward to, I guess.
I took my Kingscot to work with me today so I could get a good picture of it laid out before the seaming. Which I obviously didn't get done last night. (Have I mentioned that I am not having the best week??) (Or that the people at work think I am nuts?) But it looks and feels great, and I am ready to get it done!! Best of all, it is really hard for the non-knitter to find the mis-twisted cable!! You can't even see it in the photo. That makes me so happy!
Here is the reason that blocking is so hard to accomplish in my house: Caught red-pawed! That is where the sweater was blocked and why they were banned from the premises during the process! Isn't she cute, though? Right now, she is kneading like her life depends on it against my 3%-higher-body-fat belly. It is her way of making up for my icky week! I love a happy cat.
I leave you today with a gratuitous dog picture, just because that ear sticking up cracks me up!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Minty fresh OR the only people I will give forty dollars to poke me with a sharp stick.

You guessed it.... The week from HELL included a visit to the dentist. I have two cavities. I have celebrated by getting Krispy Kreme donuts. (Oppositional personality disorder? Who, me??)

And the week isn't even over yet!

I tried earnestly to get a picture at the dentist's office, but they didn't leave me alone in the room for even a minute!! I wanted to do the covert picture snapping while alone so the hygienist didn't call the guys in the white coats to come and get me for documenting on film the semi-annual cleaning of the teeth.... I didn't know if they would believe my story about the blog needing visual interest....

On the bright side, I previously thought that my computer had gone to the big scrap heap in the sky, but my brother performed some kind of miracle resurrection. All it took was the laying on of his hands. No kidding! For him, it came back to life. I am too happy that it is working to be irritated that it made an IT liar out of me!! (My mom said "Isn't it great to have an IT expert in the house?" the other night..... And she didn't mean me!)

New duties at work, which is GREAT news. I am pleased when they can give me more to do. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the cube when I don't have anything to do.... I am helping with the documentation of the service desk processes. It is a bonus that it is something I even LIKE to do. I am such a nerd!

I blocked the back of Kingscot last night. You should all be very impressed that I pulled that strategic feat off in this house! First, I had to find something big enough to spread out the whole back. My blocking board is less than 24x24", so that was out. The ironing board, despite my fantasy of its dimensions, is significantly more narrow than 24"! I managed to set up an old card table with towels and pin it out.... (Wow, did the back grow when wet! I pinned it to the right length and width, but that was by doing the OPPOSITE of stretching the piece.... Hopefully it drew up some as it dried.)

Then the fun began. I had to find some way of keeping the cats off of it! I tried shutting the doors to the kitchen with the ironing board inside for the fronts, but when my brother couldn't figure out why the door was shut, he decided there must not BE a reason and left it open. Cat fur on the wet wool. (Which is salvageable but not ideal!) This time, I put it in the den where we watch tv, and cats immediately decided that it was absolutely THE most desirable spot for lounging in the entire house.... I battled them back for a couple of hours before bed, then carried cats to other rooms, one at a time.... Elaborate warnings were given about leaving the den cat-free.... And SUCCESS! A significantly less furry sweater piece.

As a matter of fact, tonight after the blog posing is done, I think I will sew the shoulder seams!! Sweater love.... Pictures won't be far behind.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Well, I signed up. I don't know exactly what the story with it is yet, and I may be the most boring person to blog every day in October this year.... But I have been looking for some motivation to blog more regularly, and there it was! So, I am going to give it a try.

On the knitting front, I am plugging away on the Minimalist. I should finish the first front piece tonight! Hopefully I can get the next one done this weekend.

Tomorrow, the Blogtoberfest inaugural post....

Monday, September 28, 2009

False start.

And I blame my mother! I tried to start Weight Watchers today.... I was doing pretty well. I hadn't had a Pepsi all day. I had Special K for breakfast. I ate spaghetti with marinara sauce for lunch. No sugary snacks. No off-the-wagon behavior. Then my mother, who was supposed to start with me today, brought home an ooey-gooey home-made apple cake. Diet shot all to hell. Sigh.

May I say once more what a miraculous difference blocking makes? I thought I loved Kingscot before! Now it is the most beautiful, soft and drapey thing ever knit. Seriously. I can't wait to sew it together. If only I could find somewhere to block the back.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alpaca makes my nose tickle.

But look how pretty it is!! This is the Minimalist Cardigan, and I can't WAIT for it to be done! I am going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this sweater!! The color is almost right in this picture, but I can't capture the beautiful variation in the blue/green. (Interesting thing that I didn't pick up on until after my last post, btw.... Blue-y and green-y both passed the spell check without a blip.... Just thought about it later and marvelled.) There are threads of electric blue and strands of a green that is just bottle glass. I am really pleased with the yarn for the price. Heck, I would be thrilled with the quality and pulchritude even if it had cost more.... Especially since it was a Christmas present and I wasn't the one paying for it.... :-)

Here is a shot of one piece of the long-awaited Kingscot Cardigan: This one is REALLY hard to photograph with any degree of reality or loveliness. I got one pic that looked like it had blue warts.... Scrap heap for that one! On the other hand, this is actually a pretty good representation of the color. Just slightly more grey than navy blue, just a smidgen lighter than midnight. How I love color.... It really is quite beautiful. However, I would much rather be knitting than seaming, so it has been moved to the back burner. I need to do something about that soon.... I want to wear my new sweater! Even if it is 89 degrees at 8PM today!!

Here is some knitting fun. My mom started a knitting club sort of thing at her school. (This is at the coffee shop, however. Way better than meeting at the school on Saturday. This ain't Breakfast Club!)She teaches International Baccalaureate students, and they have to do so many hours of service. It is required that they learn something new and at the same time do something for someone else. So, we are meeting weekly to teach them to knit so they can make scarves and helmet liners for soldiers in Afghanistan. I don't know about them, but I have been having a blast! It has taken me to the age of 38 to have high school students think I am cool.... There is probably something a little sad about that....

I leave you with a slightly blurry image of pure cat attitude. Man, she is a great cat!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Je ne parle Francais.

I don't even think Je can even spell Francais. I have been giving serious thought to trying to teach myself French. No kidding. It is like my Mount Everest, I tried French and failed my sophomore year in college..... I SERIOUSLY sucked at French. I still have dreams about sucking at French. We don't even want to discuss how long ago that was! And I think it is what is mostly holding me back from getting my PhD. Pathetic, non? For art history, I have to have either French or German for the Masters and the other one for the PhD. Guess which one I chose at UNC?? Anyway, I have been feeling seriously like I am going nowhere in my life, and maybe that would be a step in the right direction. They have books just for reading competency, after all....

That goes hand in hand with my unshakable belief that I can learn anything from a book. It isn't always true, I reluctantly concede. I was forced to admit defeat on Networking for Dummies when we got to hexadecimal number systems, but I am undeterred. Dogged determination goes a long way in the face of certain failure, don't you think?? Besides, I don't think a Nobel prize winner in hexadecimal numbering could teach me hexadecimal numbering. They give one in that, don't they?

On to knitting news: All pieces for the Kingscot are knitted.... I just need to block it, my obvious favorite part, and sew it together. Instead of that, I immediately cast on for the Minimalist Cardigan. That was last Sunday (the 13th?), and I am almost finished with the back. I have no idea why everyone hates moss stitch so much.... I find all that swinging of the yarn from front to back to be kind of hypnotic. And I LOVE the fabric it is working into! It is so pretty and blue-y green-y! I love knitting so much....

Pictures to follow- I have recently been too lazy to take pics during the day when it is even vaguely possible to get a good image!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Processed Cheesy Goodness....

After a long day at work (computer virus madness, don't ask), it is so lovely to come home to tuna casserole and postcards! I got Grenada and Venezuela. Wolfgang ROCKS!! :-) (Though he didn't have anything to do with the casserole... that was all me.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

What has four eyes and knits until she can't bend her index finger?

That is right, a Shameless Knitting Nerd in new glasses. Apparently, as I approach 40 (gasp) I am in need of constant correction! Here I am in my new specs. I like them when I am at home, but am weirdly self-conscious when out in public.... What you can see, though, is that I feel pressure to groom myself while wearing them. Maybe it will lead to good things....

Since last we spoke, I broke a toe.It continued to turn black, and I am feeling seriously whiny about it, not that anyone is giving me any sympathy at all. I am so pathetic.

I have also continued to knit and knit and knit on the Kingscot. There isn't anything to show except for a big, featureless pile of blue knitting since this color is so hard to photograph, so I will spare you until I get it to a more completed state. I am so close to being done with all the pieces, but MAN are these sleeves boring to knit!! I am doing them both at once on straight needles, and thank goodness it will all be over when they are done.... I am pretty excited despite my lack of current motivation....

While I have been on vacation, ending after today, I have crafted my patootie off.... Seriously, I have barely left the house! I worked and worked on the aforementioned Kingscot and I MIGHTLY resisted casting on anything new. I really, really wanted to start Feather and Fan socks for the KAL, but I promised myself that I would be faithful to only one sweater for the duration!

I didn't say ANYTHING about sewing, though. It took me two full days of my vacation, but I finished my mom's birthday bag! Whoopie!! To make up for me being sick on her birthday, I also made her a pineapple upside down cake, which we ate like piggies. No photo, we ate it too fast!

I am also ALMOST done with a Lickety Split Bag by Made by Rae out of this fabric: Please excuse the quality of the picture. It is laid across my knees in the car while I waited for my mom to come out of the grocery store. :-) I will post better pics when it is finished, this week. It is taking about four million pins, and I gave up working on it right before Matt and I went to see Extract.

The movie was funny, cute and not terribly memorable.... But we had fun! That is the point of labor day, right?? And vacations! I love vacation. Sigh.

I leave you today with a picture of the very strange flower growing in my yard. There is only one of them, and we have NO idea what it is.... But it is kind of pretty.... Hope you all (the legion of readers waiting for me to post) had a great weekend, and got extra time off!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How did I forget?

Remembering things I never should have forgotten was the theme of my weekend...

First, I FINALLY got the software to download the contents of my iPod to my iTunes so that I could synch them up.... About four years ago, I had a catastrophic hard drive crash which necessitated a new computer, ergo new iTunes. If I had synched the iPod with the new computer, it would have wiped out all the music on the iPod in favor of the shiny new (read: empty) iTunes library. It has been sheer laziness that has kept me from doing anything about it since I did some research a while back and found out which program to use.... It took WAY longer than I expected, but I am synched once again!! I feel so... together.

During the process of weeding out the duplicates (3G worth!) after the hours long download from the iPod, I remembered how much I love music. I do occasionally forget that, strange as it may seem.... The radio stations around here SUCK, seriously, so I don't get excited day to day by the car trip to work.... And I fall out of the habit of listening to my own favorites sometimes. Shameful, really, since the music is at my fingertips daily. But, as I was deleting three copies of things like Girlfriend in a Coma by The Smiths, I had that falling-in-love-again feeling with music. Sigh.

All brought on, in a round-about fashion, by the Indigo Girls. You see, when I heard they were coming, I thought, Ohh, I have to get their new album. If only there was some way to put it on my iPod. Gee, I guess I will have to finally spend the ENTIRE weekend getting that darned thing downloaded.... See how that works?? Now I have the new album (I don't care. I know it is a CD. I still call it an album. Deal with it.) just waiting to be imported. I am overcome with music anticipation! I guess I am drawing out the experience, since I bought it yesterday and didn't get it done....

And in the midst of all that brouhaha, I finished the Mockery Socks and went back to my lost love, the Kingscot Cardigan. How did I forget how much I love the sproingy yarn? How did I forget how well it is turning out, despite my mis-turned cable? How did I forget what size I am making?? Anyway, I am back in love again with that knitted piece of lusciousness.... And motoring away to have it completed in time for SAFF. I finished the back, which was almost done when it was callously cast aside in favor of sock knitting, and started the front yesterday. Matt and I watched Cloverfield, which was so intense that I positively FLEW through three inches of ribbing for the left front! I was so wound up when it was over that I did three more inches before going to bed!! (I may rue that decision, being here at work at the crack of dawn, however.)

I love knitting. I didn't forget that!

Friday, August 14, 2009

They are coming!

Indigo Girls are coming!!! I was at Starbucks this morning, knitting and inadvertently eavesdropping, and heard someone say that they would be in Charleston in September. (It was inadvertent. Seriously. Who can knit quietly alone and not hear the conversations going on around them?? It is not like I actually like that kind of thing.... really.) I politely asked her where they were going to be and what the date were.... I am so excited, I love the Indigo Girls!! And when I googled, I found that they will be in Cary on Sept 27th, which is even better! I can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Strange days.

If it tells you anything about this week, I had to ask someone yesterday if it was Tuesday.... because I couldn't remember having lived through Monday. Is that pathetic??
Good things about Wednesday:
1. I could win one hundred and eighty-six million dollars today in the lottery. Don't laugh. It could happen.
2. There are only two more days left in the week to get up and get dressed for work. Getting dressed and actually going are the hard part... Once I am there, it is all down hill!
Sorry, that is all I could think of. I thought there were going to be more.

I have started the mental countdown for SAFF, which I am pretty excited about. T-minus twelve weeks and counting! I have some decisions to make, quickly. First, what will I wear? Everyone was wearing lovely handknit items last year, and I felt very left out! I have the Beachcomber Tunic, whose bloom has not worn off, so that will definitely be making the trip. Tunic love! I also have the Kingscot cardigan on the needles, which I am now feeling a desperate urge to finish. I think socks may take the back burner for a few weeks.... Though I am still lovin' me some socks! And I have all that great new sock yarn to use..... See Jennifer get distracted that easily by shiny new yarn.

Second, what will I be wanting to buy at that point? And what will I have the budget for? Fingers crossed for that winning Wednesday lottery ticket!! This weekend, I seriously need to sit down with a spreadsheet and figure out what I ALREADY have the yarn for and get some thinking done as to what is a yarn want and what is a yarn need. Don't be silly. There ARE yarn needs! Seriously!

To the end of determining immediate yarn needs, I have made an essential purchase. I finally broke down and bought Kim Hargreaves' Breeze. I love every pattern in the book except for the one on the cover. And the hats. For some reason I have no interest in hats.... I finally couldn't resist. The new Classic Elite books and the Non-Norah Berroco books will just have to wait, 'cause I can't afford any more books, but I HAD to have Breeze. With a passionate longing. And now it will be mine! When it is finally shipped from Webs.
Here are my two MUST knit patterns, Frankie and Devon:
Frankie is a boyfriend sweater. Look beyond the silly styling for a moment. (I mean, seriously! Is there anyone out there that can picture me dressed like a French spy from WWII??) This is a sweater that calls out to all my hermit, nesting ways. Anything that I can throw on with my (momentarily ailing) overalls wins in my book, and this may be the quintessential overall cardigan. (All of which says a GREAT deal about my sense of style!)
And, as a child of the eighties, I am powerless in the face of Devon. I shamefacedly admit that I considered if it would be possible to make it fall off the shoulder even more.... Do I really want the stripes, though? Will I look like a blue whale in horizontal eighties stripes? Thoughts for future yarn-shopping-list days.... Happy daydreams of future knitting!!
Now I am off to plot strategies for saving money until October! I love SAFF!

Monday, August 10, 2009

If you comment....

and don't hear from me, it is because Yahoo is doing something MAJORLY WACKY when I try to go to my email..... Plus, I don't know if anyone ever gets my replies, anyway. I have never, ever gotten an answer back to a reply..... That could be a coincidence, but I dunno. Anyway, I love all you commentors, and I do TRY to reply.... :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Note to self-

Self, you know better. Never stop taking Zoloft without talking to the doctor. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER abruptly start taking Zoloft again after four days. You know that you will taste metal in your mouth for three days. You know that you will spend three days feeling like at any second you will throw up. You know that you will spend a week eating everything in sight, just trying to find something that tastes good.... Why do you do this to yourself, Self?? Knock it off!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I am a makin' fool!

Ok, distraction over.... Torchwood is gone for the rest of the year, and after all that, do we even want it to come back?? Only if Jack comes back, is all I can say!!

Roughly in the order that I completed/worked on them, here are some recent projects. First, the finished, in-action shot of the Amy Butler Patchwork bag that I made for Vickie's birthday. She uses it all the time, which makes me happy! I think it came out so well, despite my lack of skill with the digital camera. I haven't made any progress on mom's bag since the piecing, but it is at the top of the sewing queue!

Next, finished Nanners. I was sad not to win anything in the Ravelry KAL, but it was a fun pattern, and I am pleased with the finished object.Learning to get the fit right is ongoing.... At this rate, though, I think everyone is getting socks for Christmas!

This past weekend, I made my first project from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross... The Everything Tote. Have I mentioned how I love my sewing machine?? It is made out of lightweight denim and polka-dotted quilting cotton for the lining. I failed to discover, however, that the yardage requirements in the book are wrong until AFTER I got back from the fabric store. It required more sewing ingenuity than I though I had to get this bag out of roughly half of the material called for....
I didn't have enough fabric left after cutting out the main pieces to cut whole handle pieces in either the main fabric or the lining.... I didn't even have enough of the lining fabric to get two whole handles OR the pocket piece cut. I cut four half handles out of the denim and two half handles out of the polka-dots. Then I used some green quilting cotton that I had on hand for another project to get the pocket and the remainder of the handle linings cut out. You can see the green lining peeking out from under the binding, which is an effect that I ended up really liking!
I really wanted the polka dots to show on the underside of the part of the handle that shows, so I cut the green handle pieces into four pieces and sewed them to either end of the half-handles of polka-dotted fabric. If that makes any sense.... The green shows up like the binding under the sewn-down edge of the handles and the dots show under the un-sewn.
All this courtesy of the fact that I didn't follow the directions for the binding. On purpose. I read blogs where people complained that if you fold the binding twice and then try to sew through two separate pieces of it for the spot, it is nearly impossible. Not to mention that you get tiny, skinny handles that are goofy thick. So, following the advice of sewers more talented than I, I only folded it once.... I will repeat the modification when I sew my next one!
This one is for Thia's Bat Mitzvah.... I love it so much that I am having trouble giving it up, so I know that I will be making another one! As a matter of fact, I went and got the fabric for another one, ENOUGH fabric this time, today after work!!
By the way, it is well neigh impossible to buy a Bat Mitzvah card in Florence, SC. Seriously. I have looked extensively. Found two Bar Mitzvah cards, but not a single one for the ladies.... Frustrating!
Here is a very dim picture with a sleeping Maggie and the sock-in-progress: She is obviously indifferent to the beautiousness! These are the Mockery Socks, found on Ravelry, which I am making an attempt at modifying to toe-up. So far, successful. It is an easy, subtle pattern, and the yarn is great. It is Trekking XXL in the loveliest pastels..... Fingers crossed, this one seems to fit so far, too!! I am rushing them off the needles so I can work on my August KAL socks..... It is true, it is an obsession!
To close, here are more pictures of my lovely bag, which I have to give up all too soon. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I can't seriously be the only one....

Could I?? I have been reading my faithful list of blogs all day, and nobody has mentioned Torchwood on BBC America. Am I the only one geeking out????

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I heart my sewing machine.

It is true. Every time I use my sewing machine, I just love it more.... I know that it wears me out. I know that I neglect it, leaving it in its case for shameful periods of time. Heck, if the American Craft Council ever heard the way I treat the poor thing, they would probably send around the Serge Protectors to take it away to a better home.... All for its own good. But today, I remember how I love the silly beast, and I vow to do better! I will use the 200 tutorials and patterns that I have collected in the past few weeks. I will keep the machine lovingly covered, protected from all manner of foreign matter. I will make beautiful things! I promise this time.... I will be worthy of you, sweet machine!
On that note:
I found a great Tutorial by Oh, Fransson! that showed how to neatly and systematically piece a random-seeming quilt block using freezer paper. I love that tutorial! It was clear and systematic... and worked like a charm!
See? Here is the block for the bag sides for my moms Pieced Patchwork Bag by Amy Butler. The first picture is the blocks all cut up, waiting for my sewing machine to do its magic! I finished piecing and ironing today, but that was all I could handle.
When I went to the store for my supplies yesterday, I was seduced by a bolt of olive green linen. I was powerless to resist its' lure. Since my Socialite Dress pattern hasn't come yet, I was also forced to buy a Very Easy, Very Vogue pattern to go along with the three yards of loveliness that came home with me.... The first weekend in August, that pattern and I have a date!
I have been plugging away at the Nanner sock, number two. Since the fit is so bad, I am having trouble maintaining any enthusiasm for the job. Only the promise of getting to start another pair has kept me going. I have a black-ish skein of Dream in Color Smooshy that I think would make a lovely, squishy, well-fitted pair of Nanners.... I am using it like the carrot at the end of the stick!
My mother and I have gotten completely obsessed with the first season of Heroes. We were the only two people who watched Studio 60, which came on opposite the first season, so we hadn't been able to get into it until now. My brother bought the first season yesterday, and we are currently in the middle of episode number 7.
Other than that I have only a bit of gratuitous fun to offer:
1. Maggie and the new (empty) dog food bag from today's groceries.
and 2. A pale imitation of the scene that was outside my back door the other morning.
I just couldn't capture the incredible sparkle of the light on the dew before the light was gone.... It would have made a GREAT picture, but this one will remind me....

Friday, July 17, 2009

How have I developed another obsession?

So, I promised a post about the fantasy sewing I have been doing in my free time.... I started out by rushing out to Barnes and Noble to get Sew Everything Workshop on my lunch break before vacation so that I would have the resources that I needed to make the Amy Butler quilted bags I was planning. (Great resource, by the way!) It has a bag in it that I just love, a shoulder bag that she made in a kimono print that looks cute and simple. I think it was all down hill from there....

Now I am obsessed by bags. I have bought patterns:
This is the Lickety Split Bag by Made by Rae, which she just yesterday urged me to get before she goes on maternity leave and I would have to wait.

I bought Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross so that I could make an Everything Tote after seeing about a hundred pictures on Flickr. I am LOVING that bag....

I have downloaded patterns:
This is the Margaret Bag by Oh! Fransson. Isn't that adorable?

I have ordered patterns:
The Multi Tasker Tote by Anna Maria Horner is on its way to me now. I am thinking this one will be cute in the polka-dot fabric that I bought for the Amy Butler Market Bag that ended up not being polka-dotted.

All that is not to mention the Socialite Dress that I ordered and the full-sized shirt dress pattern that I downloaded from Stitch, a special edition of Interweave!! And don't tell anyone, but I MUST MUST MUST make the Yard Sale Wrap Skirt by Heather Ross, too.... Good thing I have the pattern now, huh?

This weekend I am going to go home and make the second quilted bag. For that purpose, I printed out two tutorials on how to piece quilt tops that I thought would be helpful for the sides of the bag. Now I have been giving quilt tops the eyeball. Stop me before I download again!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Almost finished objects....

I had a terrible first day back at work. Wage garnishment, spilled coffee, pseudo ephedrine.... Need I say more? Instead of talking about the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day from HELL, I shall show some happy nearly finished objects. Sounds reasonable, right?

First is Ishbel. I love Ishbel. It is a happy rainbow of a project, at a time when that was very welcome knitting! I made the small size for the stockinette section and the large for the lace, the opposite of what everyone on Ravelry seems to be doing.... I am such a rebel! But the lace is the pretty part, so I wanted more. This turned out to be a slight tactical mistake, since I ran out of yarn three rows before the end of the last pattern section. Damn. I ordered what I considered to be the closest colorway from Webs (cause, like a ding dong, I didn't record the number from the colorway ANYWHERE....) and set it aside to wait. Have we talked about my lack of patience?
Long story short, when it came, it was WAY off from the colors. Thank goodness for the not-quite-local yarn store, because they had the same colorway when we stopped by there post-zoo. Pshew! Now I have an extra skein of untouched Silk Garden Sock, with nothing to do with it.... I was thinking maybe if I stick to BOTH sections in the small measurement, I could get an Ishbel Christmas present out of it. Especially since I am poor now.... Sigh.

That is not to even mention the 98.9% of the original color that I have left from the mere three rows that I had to use it for!! Ah, the possibilities!
In the meantime, here is my "In Progress" shot of my Nanners, taken for the KAL on Ravelry. How did I survive before Ravelry?? Now that I look at it, doesn't it look like a giant yellow boomerang? This one came out pretty tight. I am not ripping out, however, since I can get the silly things on my feet.... Ripping is saved for totally-can't-use-this-for-anything-short-of-a-coaster size, not my-look-how-that-stretches-unattractively-over-my-ankle size! I am rocketing along on the second sock, loving the pattern because it is SO easy to memorize. I may make a pair of black Nanners just for fun when I am done, maybe in a slightly bigger size.... Sock love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Savoring the last moments of vacation.

And I mean the last moments. I go back tomorrow, and it is almost 10PM the night before. Sigh. Where are my lottery winnings? Why, oh why do I have to go back??

So, to recount the last two weeks. First, let me say that the only way to make the words "massive gum infection" sound good is to hear them instead of the words "root canal" and "that will be $1000, please." The antibiotic took care of the infection, and the tooth is fine. Thank goodness! I felt bad for a while, and the week left me feeling like I had been rolling boulders up hill all week, but it was survivable. And after Friday, vacation started!!
Right after work on Friday I had to go to the fabric store so that I could get the stuff to make two, count 'em, TWO Amy Butler Patchwork Bags from In Stitches. Vickie and my mom have birthdays that BOTH fell during my week of vacation. Of course, there is no way that I would want to start quilting by making my very first quilted piece, say, with a pattern, or something where the pieces all line up, or even with directions for piecing a quilt, like a rational person. No, I would like to start with instructions like "pieced randomly" with no information whatsoever on how you do anything but assemble straight lines.... I did some winging it, maybe the worst quilting ever in the history of machine quilting, and surprisingly seem to have pulled it off. Thank goodness that busy fabric hides a multitude of sins! Above, see the pieced and quilted side panels for the first bag. It is the one for Vickie.... I worked on this one for days, and honestly didn't have time to get more than hers done. She seems to love it, and Gavin helped me with the "needle machine," which was adorable! Mom's will be blue, and I PROMISE that I will work on it slowly while I am working!! Sewing is always harder work than I remember....
We went to the beach on Sunday, no pictures because I forgot my camera. Sand, sea and hot sun. My mom and I have decided that we are going to get one of those canopy/gazebo thingies that so many people had before we go back, delicate flowers that we are.... I got a wicked sunburn on my feet, 'cause they were sticking out from underneath the umbrella shade. Oh, and the joys of a hot, cranky seven-year-old an hour from home....
So, Friday, no bright yellow yarn in the mail.... I was impatiently awaiting the Jabbersocky from Liberty's Yarn for my Nanner Socks, and wanted it to come RIGHT NOW!! I have no patience whatsoever. Since Saturday was 4th of July, I knew it would be at least Monday before it came, so I started a sock with my pretty Silk Garden Sock that I got in Charlotte. On size zero needles. You may see where this is going. That's right, I started knitting a pair of socks so thick and dense that they would have held water. Could have stopped a bullet with that toe! It was going to be a sock sculpture!! FROG!
And immediately, I took that lovely sock yarn and turned it into a happy rainbow Ishbel! How could you not smile working on that?? I will tell the saga of finishing the Ishbel in the next post with a finished object picture....
Jabbersocky yarn came on Tuesday and I have gotten one sock almost done. Also more on that in a later post. Love the yarn, seriously!
Wednesday we took Gavin to see Up! It was fully awesome. Who am I kidding? We used Gavin as an excuse to go see a kid's movie matinee in the middle of the week.... :-)
Thursday was a trip to the zoo, yet another excuse for grown up fun in a kids venue. We got very, very lucky that the weather was mild, since an outdoor excursion in July can be a little iffy down here. We had great fun! We entered through the Botanical Gardens.
That part was a little lost on Gavin. I managed to find the flamingos RIGHT off. Had you any doubt?
And Mom and Gavin got to feed the giraffes by hand. I wish I had a better picture of that, because they were RIGHT there, it was completely incredible! You would have thought I was the seven-year-old! Or that I was the one feeding them.... (Spawned some mighty weird giraffe dreams later in the week, let me tell you.)
Started to feel a little icky on the way back from Columbia. Spent the rest of the vacation sick as a dog, (I don't understand that phrase, by the way. Just can't think of another way to convey that I have the summer cold from hell and have barely gotten dressed for the last four days of my precious, few and far between, vacation days. Blah.) I think there may be cerebra-spinal fluid leaking from my nose. How else could my nose be running at this rate? Could my head actually be producing snot at this rate?? Surely not! Oh, well. Survivable, but makes for a dull vacation post, huh??
Tomorrow, I will post about all the fun sewing-shopping I have done obsessively over the past couple of weeks! My love for sewing and toe-up socks no no bounds right now!!