Saturday, December 29, 2007

I changed into nice clothes last night before starting dinner, then worried that I was probably going to dump something down my front while I was cooking. It happens way too often. If I had my new chicken apron done, I could've thrown it on over my new top and skirt, but it wasn't done and wasn't likely to get done any time soon...and somehow it clicked that the apron wasn't going to sew itself...

And I've got an apron now!

The instructions for this thing are extremely vague. If I didn't have some experience sewing clothes, I don't think I could've pulled it off. It took me three tries to get that stupid flounce to fit right. I don't rip seams out and redo them if I can help it, but since I'd taken the cute packaging apart I was determined to get a cute apron out of it.

I don't love the way it hangs on me, but it'll cover my clothes, which is what it was supposed to do in the first place. (Okay, I did have a couple of delusions that it would make me look all cute in the kitchen, but that's probably going to require more than just an apron.)

And here's the Rabbit Proof Scarf --


My original plan was to keep going until I ran out of yarn. Then I figured out that my 50 gram skein actually weighed 70 grams and had to make actual decisions about when to stop.

I've hit the point where I cannot face counting another nineteen rows of lace weight garter stitch, so I guess it's done.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Halfway into the Sasquatch Shawl, I stumbled across a thread about using sock yarn for shawls and read the distressing news that nylon/wool blends won't block. But I'd already fallen in love with the way the color and the stitch pattern were getting along together, so I kept going. How badly could it possibly turn out?

By the time I cast off, I had a short ruffly blob and little twinges of panic were starting to nibble at me. So it sat and sat some more, because if you don't try to block it or felt it or sew it together, you can keep telling yourself that it's going to work out just fine.

Last night, I wove in the ends and spread it out on the living room floor and guess what?


Seems like you can block this stuff after all!

Pattern: Bigfoot Shawl (from Wrapped in Comfort by Allison Jeppson Hyde)
Yarn: 3 Skeins Patons Kroy 3 ply
Needles: I can't remember -- whatever size the pattern called for.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In case I had any doubts about it being December, the DVD player doesn't like the kids' brand new DVDs -- or the other DVDs that I know should work. And the microwave doesn't seem to come on at all -- but even though it doesn't light up or make microwave noises, the food gets hot. Needles to say, I'm now terrified of the thing!

And the kids have been playing a three day game of "How far can we push Mommy before she winds up in a padded room?"

On the bright side, microwaves and DVD players are relatively inexpensive (at least compared to new wells and month long hospital stays) and I seem to have won the game with the kids by sending them to bed early.

And I've got my own Christmas toys...

That's enough sock yarn for six pairs, two new sock knitting books, and a set of Harmony DPNs. Not pictured are Knitting Nature, a bunch of quilting notions, and enough fabric for an entire quilt. Or the wonderful surprises from Bill that I'll be posting about later.

And when I signed into Ravelry last nigt, there was a message asking permission to use my picture on the pattern page for Garter Stitch Stripes. Which probably isn't a big deal, but it makes me feel like a "real" Ravelry member.

And I stayed up late with my Mystery Stole...


I can't decide whether to shorten it or keep going as written. If I shorten it, I get to do the short rows and wing quicker. If I don't shorten it, and it winds up as long and unweildly as the Rose Garden Stole, I'll be really annoyed.

After reading through the Ravelry thread on lengthening/shortening, I'm as confused as ever. Maybe I should just got knit on the thing.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I am in possession of a strawberry cheesecake from Costco. My husband's favorite kind of cheesecake. The kind of cheesecake they said they wouldn't be carrying again until after the holidays.

It's enough to make me feel like a competent homemaker and not a flake who, after doing the same dumb thing at Thanksgiving, didn't stock up on diapers a week or so before the big last minute shopping frenzies. Costco actually wasn't bad -- everyone was in the toy section at Walmart where I had to be too, because Heath was desperate to spend the $5 gift card from his Sunday school teacher.

It's not quite enough to make up for the total stranger who walked up to me next to the pie case and wanted to know if Quinn was feeling better since he'd thrown up in church on Sunday. I'm not even sure if my new apron is enough to make up for that one.

Isn't it going to be cute? I've been wanting something like this for quite a while now, because I always slosh water down my front while doing the dishes. And I get to make this one myself. And I had a 40% off coupon, so it was only eight bucks. And it has a chicken on it.

I'd rather be sewing an apron than wrapping those last few presents. But I don't think rest the family would agree with those priorities, so as soon as I'm done typing this, it's time for another round with the tape and scissors.

I've got an hour before the rest of the family shows up and, except for the wrapping, things are pretty much as done as they're going to get.

I was absolutely not going to get into one of those "finish all my WIPs before the end of the year" frenzies, but it happened anyway.

First, I was going to finish the things that just needed felting, or seams, or little things like that. So there went half the WIP list.

Then I started picking up the Sasquatch shawl, and somehow knit my way through 300 yards of sock yarn in two and a half days.

And now it seems silly not to finish the Rabbitproof Scarf and get it over and done with...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm having such a great day!

Finally got my eyes open enough to look at the clock and realized that I had to have four kids and myself ready and out the door to church in fifteen minutes...

Quinn went into a coughing fit and by the time I hustled him out into the hallway had already thrown up on the church carpet...which I didn't notice, because I was focused on the mess on the hallway floor...

The Sunday school teacher grabs me by the shoulder to stop me from walking back into the church with my skirt caught up in the back of my underwear...

I'm thinking maybe I should go back to bed before anything seriously awful happens.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today has been my day for finishing the Christmas projects. Except for one last button that I need to find and sew on, I am done!

The button is for the flap of Dad's iPod cozy -- one of the few things I swore I'd never ever knit, but he's getting an iPod for Christmas, and has been having so much fun with it and its accessories and is so hard to buy for, it seemed like the perfect gift.

The eye pillows are stuffed and whip stitched together. I started out trying to follow a pattern by a big name designer, but didn't really like her patchwork and while I was digging through my stash and trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do for mine, I came across a bunch of one inch squares left over from my unfinished tea pot quilt. Two nine patch blocks side by side were about the right dimensions, and then I still had squares left over, so I did a strip of them across the back. And then I felt like I needed a layer of batting in there, and if I was going to go to all of that trouble, I really should quilt them... The only thing from the published pattern I did follow was the size.

I've wanted to make something like this forever, but was intimidated by the flax seed, which sounded hard to find and expensive. It's cheap. Really really cheap. Almost cheaper than the powdered sugar I bought for the mints we also made this morning.

Grandpa's mittens are all seamed up --


Pattern: Flip Top Mittens by Debbie Bliss, from Knitting Daily (minus the embroidery and bobbles!)
Yarn: Bernat Camouflage
Needles: Denise size 7

And since I was on such a roll, I decided to seam up that little purse from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It's still going to get a lining, but it's no longer a curling tangle of reverse stockinette and I cord.


Now I can try to figure out what I was working on before I put aside everything else for the Christmas stuff.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I ordered this yarn from Elann years ago, planning to make myself a Booga Bag. But after I finished the other two felted bags I'd had planned, my own bag never happened.

Then I saw the pattern for the Buttonhole Bag and thought maybe it could be one of those, but I never got around to casting on until a couple of weeks ago.

Before I got a chance to felt it, the washer broke, but it's sort of fixed enough for me to wash clothes, so --


I'm not sure if I like it if if I'm just glad to have used up the yarn.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I got up with the chickens this morning and finished Garter Stitch Stripes, which has far more ends than any project should. But it's worth all of the finishing if I can get a sweater this cute out of three partial skeins of Red Heart Super Saver.


It's an easy knit. The stripes are kind of entertaining and don't require a whole lot of concentration. And the pattern is sized to fit all four of my kids....guess I'll be making a bunch more of these!

I also wove in the ends of my Buttonhole Bag and tossed it into the wash before the kids were up, then we got all of our schoolwork done before a new friend came over to quilt, and while she was here I started two presents I've been planning and finished them except for the filling I need to pick up in town later this week.

Oh, and I cast on those mittens that should be easy but have been making me nuts.

I'm exhausted, but feeling a lost more optimistic about getting things done by Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I've been keeping a dead woman's sweater in our freezer for over a week now, and my husband has barely said a word. I really need to remember that the next time I'm tempted to complain that he's not an enabler.

I picked up the half-finished sweater at the same estate sale where I found the old quilt. It was so wonderfully soft and pretty that I had to bring it home and make it a shawl. But it's mohair, and it's fairly determined to stay a sweater, so I keep it in the freezer and struggle with it a few rows at a time. Doesn't help that it's crocheted and I can't figure out quite how it's supposed to unravel. Just when I got one stitch pattern deciphered and started making some fast progress, it went into an edging.

I suspected when I bought it that it would probably be difficult, but I want it. And I found the perfect pattern last night while I was flipping through Wrapped in Comfort to find the page I needed for the Stained Glass Sasquatch.

The sooner I defeat the mohair, the sooner I can cast on. And I really should get it out of the freezer before Bill gets annoyed by it.

I've been haunted by the idea of dead women's WIPs since this summer when I came across a partially knit aran sweaer at an estate sale, still on the needles and with the pattern. It was creepy. I buy yarn and needles at estate sales and thrift shops all the time and have never really thought about who didn't get to finish what they started, but the partially finished sweaters get to me.

(No, I didn't adopt the aran, which was made of Red Heat Super Saver.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Well, the appliance guy has been here twice, the second time with reinforcements, and the washer still won't fill with water. But he's ordering parts and will be back soon.

I suppose it's a good thing that the machine died before I had a chance to felt my Buttonhole Bag. If it'd been the last load I ran, I never would have had the nerve to felt again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My big goal for December is to make it through the month. I've abandoned all plans of finishing the Christmas knitting, or getting a few more of my own projects done before the calendar rolls over into 2008. Instead, I'm going to focus on survival.

I don't know how this month got so busy, or why I have so ridiculously many things going on, but there seems to be something every day from now until the end of time. I was going to put off getting the stove fixed until after the holidays, because it was a button I didn't absolutely need. Then another button failed, which made me feel better about waiting a couple of weeks to see if it was going to keep losing a new number every couple of days.

So the washer died. That our family of six can't go a couple of weeks without. A couple of days has just about done me in, and if the guy can't fix it when he comes tomorrow...

I don't want to think about how ugly that would be.

Now that today's scheduled chaos is over, I'm looking forward to snuggling up with Garter Stitch Stripes. Maybe I can get through the neck shaping and cast on for the back.

If I had energy, and hadn't just hauled all of my fabric scraps back out to the sewing room, I'd try some little owls.

Friday, December 07, 2007

There's a new Knitty?! Already? It doesn't seem possible that it's time for a new one, but I'm not going to argue.

I can't believe how many patterns I've just fallen in love with, especially since my dial up connection isn't letting me see pictures of most of them.

Ice Queen makes me think I should learn how to knit with beads. It also makes me want to click over to Elann and order some Silken Kydd. So far I've resisted the temptation, but just barely.

I don't know if the babies truly need Doddy, but I want it for me.

Jeanie...with those wonderful floating cables....I don't have wonderful enough words for it. Or the yarn.

Laughing Carrots is in the queue, but do I wish it came Quinn-sized. And was a pullover.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

the sky is falling...

Saturday was supposed to be a nightmare of ice and snow. Ladies at the quilting group were talking about it on Thursday. My parents called to warn me about it on Friday. I'm sure if I'd watched the news, they would've warned me too.

Nothing happened.

Now, we're supposed to be having the storm of the century. So we've battened down the hatches, stocked up on water because when the power goes so does the well, found the candles and oil lamps...and so far so good. The power went down for a few hours this afternoon while we were at church having the kids' ornament exchange. So they decorated ice cream cones with green icing in the dark while I called around and tried to convince someone with electricity to keep my poor freezing chicks until it came back on.

It's back now and I hope it'll stay that way. I've got plans for tonight that do not involve sitting in the dark and jumping at noises, or chasing screaming toddlers around by candlelight. I have mittens to cast on and 2 1/2" strips of quilting cotton to cut, and a bag to sew, and slippers to quilt...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It practically followed me home....

On the way up to Costco yesterday, we passed a sign for an estate sale. There wasn't a good opportunity to circle back, so I put it out of my mind until we were on our way home from grocery shopping with only half of what we needed because Leif had the most spectacular meltdown of my entire parenting experience. And by then, I really needed the distraction, so we followed the signs off the main road and into a run down trailer park.

Estate sales down here are fun, the kind where someone apparently takes a roll of masking tape and slaps a price on anything that doesn't move out of his way. This one was being run by a dealer, but it was still worth the detour. I bought a handful of crochet hooks because I still want to try to figure out that whole amigurimi thing, and a half-finished sweater made from some lovely soft yarn that I've got to make into a shawl.

And I drooled over the three old quilts, but I'm cheap and twenty bucks is out of my budget.

They had some old tools that looked neat, but I don't know what actually qualifies as neat or what it should cost, so I passed those up and mentioned them when Bill got home from work.

Turns out the neat old tools really were neat and well priced, so I headed back first thing this morning and spent eleven bucks for two hand drills and an old milk can and this --


They still had all three quilts, but this was the one that demanded to come home with me. I don't know why. Lone Star is far from my favorite quilt pattern, down below Irish Chain, or Dresden Plates, or baskets, or even Sunbonnet Sue.

But this one wanted to come with me and I feel weirdly protective towards it. When the dealer referred to it as a "cutter quilt" I cringed. This one isn't going to get hacked into hot pads and place mats.

(I guess this qualifies as a Show and Tell Friday post, even if it all happened a day late!)


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