Friday, October 29, 2010

Out of surgery

It's done.


It was scary.


It was necessary.


It was a success.


The before:



I liked the whole premise of this jacket.  But in reality, it was simply too big, too overpowering, too heavy, too ruffly.


Post-op:



Me likey.  After it was initially finished and blocked, I whacked off a good two inches from each side.  It still was too big and awkward on me.  It got stuffed in my dresser drawer.  When getting out my winter clothes, out it came again and was a mental thorn in my side.  It took A LONG TIME to knit up and was frustrating that so much time/energy had been exerted for something I did not love.

After much thought, meditation, and plain old "what have I actually got to lose" convincing of myself...out came the scissors. 

First to go was the ruffle around the neck and front.  That was liberating (and the cats liked the pieces I tied into knots and threw on the floor as toys).  Shockingly, just that first alteration made a huge difference in the fit.  It began to hang better.

Next to go was a total of 4 inches off of each sleeve.  I basted up about another inch off the sides to check fit and determined that it was fine without that final adjustment.  



Completed the contrasting blanket stitch, added a silver hook closure, and finished off the side seams again with blanket stitch, and I am happy to report that it FITS and I LOVE IT!

And on that happy note for a successful FO Friday, it is time for lunch because it is also "Jimmy John's Friday."  Yay, #6 with extra sprouts, here I come!


Don't forget to pop on by Tami's to see what everyone else has been up to.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin

It is official, I am slowly becoming one of those people that I complain about.  You know..."the _________ holiday/birthday/celebration/whatever snuck up on me!"  Holidays are typically (with a couple of exceptions) always the same date every year, so why is it such a surprise when BAM! it is there?  


I am now eating crow and quite frankly not finding the feathers very ticklish.  Every year, my children receive gifts from The Great Pumpkin.  Who am I kidding, they know it is me!  The Easter Bunny and Cupid also make an appearance annually as well.  

I don't mean GIFTS...just simple little tokens.  Often, they will be things like the obligatory candy, movie passes or iTunes cards or xbox points or other things like that.  I have fun doing it and I know they enjoy it.  Usually a couple of weeks before the holiday, they will start dropping hints wondering what the Great Easter Cupid might bring this year along with suggestions regarding their current favorite candy.  

I know Halloween is Sunday.  I know that I have to prepare for/shop for/cook for/stuff bags for/plan scavenger hunt for a Fall Festival that will be held on Saturday for our county's Group Homes.  Have I started?  Sorta, but mostly not.  

Finally, last night did manage to stop by the store to pick up what was needed for Great Pumpkin gifts.  But only because it dawned on me that since two have them have to be shipped, they HAVE to go out today.  Thank goodness for next day air super saver.  

Tonight, there will be some serious list making.  The menu for Saturday is set:  mini subs, chips, cookies, drinks, and homemade ultra sinful heart attack on a stick caramel apples.  The scavenger hunt list is in my head.  Prizes have been planned...a selection of board games/puzzles/craft supplies for each home.  The team that comes back with the most items will get first choice of the prize baskets.  

Tomorrow, well, I suppose I should actually go buy all the supplies and games and foods and start cooking/prepping.  

I totally missed WIPW this week, not intentionally.  

Last night was the last Squares Class.  Linda taught us how to do a pretty crochet technique to join and embellish all the squares.  It is super fast and easy.

Below is my freaky alien hand starting a new row to join them.  See that little raised dot by my thumb?...  That is a scar from a wasp  sting I got over 20 years ago.  And the foot belongs to my friend Liz.  Hi Liz!!!  So, although, I was unable to actually post anything at Tami's, I was in fact, actually actively WIP on W, so that is my story.


That's all I've got for now.  Waiting for Wes to come pick me up at the shop, go home, eat corned beef, and start the list making.  

See ya on the other side of tonight (aka tomorrow).

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm too socksy for my socks...sing it with me!


 Yes, I know they don't appear to match, but they do...same ball of Mini Mochi and same pattern.  The real story here is that the right one has been MIA for about 2 weeks.  I love these socks.  I come close to worshiping the ground that my feet walk upon with them on!  Then, girlfriend on the right disappeared.  

I am saddened to have to report that my accusations of theft focused on certain felines in the house, although Wes was more inclined to think it was Mr. Golden Re-Arranger (Jack) that was the criminal.  

I sulked.  I refused to wear alternate slippers (I'm stupid stubborn that way).

Daily, my sweet little kitties have been grilled about the whereabouts of said sock.  They were purr-fectly content to remain silent.  Buggers!

This morning, while putting my jammies away...

Do I really have to say anything else? 

Fine!...there it was stuck to a nightgown I have not worn in about, oh, let's say 2 weeks, but has been washed, dried and put away.  

My toes were so happy to be reunited with soft sockie that I did a happy dance and wore them with my Birkies today.  

Yep, I'm about a foot away from the funny farm. 


 Remember this?  The Castaway Raft remains in pieces in front of my garage.  I have to learn to say "No, you may not bring home a large raft of carpet tubes to keep for awhile as a reminder of your project and to potentially use as a sled when it snows."  I need to attend Remedial No-Saying Classes.  



 What a sweet, yet slightly p***ed off face.  Ashley, along with 3 of my other babies escaped out the door to the garage last night (which some un-named husband left open).  Sophie, Norman, Amos, and Ashley managed to find a way out of the garage.  No surprise with Sophie, she is a regular escape artist, but Ashley was a surprise.  She normally is the most hidey, skittish, scaredy cat in the world.  Plus she hardly EVER meows, and then it sounds like a kitten on helium. 

When I awoke this morning, she was outside the sleeping porch looking in...and slightly terrified.  Tried to catch her, but she reverted to her usual purrsonality and skedaddled under the porch.  Did some kitty herding and got Amos and Norman back in.  Sophie, well she was on her own...she would return as soon as she reaaaalllly had to pee!

Left the outside door to the garage open in hopes that Ashley would at least hide in there.  She did.  And has taken up her usual residence under my bed (she ran as soon as the camera clicked).


 Look who returned.  Please let me in Meowmy....I've really gotta go!!!


As previously mentioned, surgery on the felted jacket started over the weekend.  This is the contrasting yarn color I am using for the blanket stitch edging.



 Sleeves are edged (had to cut FOUR inches off them) and the rest of the edging has been started.  Hope to finish it tonight while watching mindless TV.



The bracelets are done and ready to be shipped out.  Bella is guarding them from her perch in the living room window.


I will be making a trip to the Post Office tomorrow.  The one on the left is going to Denise, the middle one to Sarajewel, and the one on the right to Laura Jane.  I hope you ladies enjoy them!

P.S.  Found out this afternoon that my favorite sister (okay, my ONLY sister) follows this here little blog on her Reader. Awwww...

P.S.S.  I love you Carrie!

P.S.S.S.  STALKER!

P.S.S.S.S.S.  Just kidding...about the stalker part...in case you were worried.  :)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

No turning back now....

I did it!

The ruffle is off the felted jacket. 

Haven't attacked the sleeves yet, but on first try it already seems to fit better. Pics to follow later...

Mixed bag morning

I just woke up a few minutes ago. 

It was cool outside last night, probably the perfect temperature for the sleeping porch but then again I'll still be out there until it drops into the low teens.  Snuggled under a down comforter and a couple of quilts, with just your nose peeking out results in probably the deepest, most restful sleep ever. 

Seriously! 

Really, I mean it. 

Don't knock it till you've tried it. 

Weird dream last night though. George Clooney, Home Depot, bats (the flying kind), and knitting.

Yep, you read that right. 

Personally, I think it was the blue cheese on my salad triggering the convoluted mess. 

My darlin is out on Geist Reservoir right now. This weekend is a big tourney for him. He left EARLY this morning. Wishing him success in finding the big fish today and tomorrow. 

Time to run...literally. But not until I savor a bowl of oatmeal and a nice cup of PG Tips. Today might be the day to break out the running leggings (hate cold legs when doing my thing). See ya later alligator!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pooped out by a Pink Princess

I am tired, pooped, exhausted, weary, fatigued, tuckered, whipped, you get the idea?


Last night, true to normal kid tendencies, we were surprised by the announcement at 5:30 pm that Madi needed a costume for tonight's XC pasta party/Halloween costume party.  


And not just anything.


A princess.


A pink princess.


Not to difficult to find, right?  WRONG!!!


Went to the Target...nothing.


Went to Halloween City...well they had fairies, Disney princesses, and a couple of pink princess costumes complete with blinking LED lights (???? I have no clue about that one!)...except...NOTHING in her size. The largest we could find was a child's medium.  


Are there NO adult females that want to be a princess???...and NOT a sl***y one???


Okay, fine.  Plan B.  Ran next door to Hobby Lobby (thank you Simplicity patterns on sale for $1.99!) grabbed a pattern and some fabric.  My intention was to do a minimal version of the pattern...no lining, interfacing, blah blah blah.  


Finally, home after also making a surprise "Boo Basket" delivery request that was part of the last minute announcements.  Fortunately, I had dinner ready (mostly) in the crock pot...beef stroganoff.  Whipped up some spaetzle to go with it, ate, and started working.  


At 1:30 this morning, it was finished...but not without one slight issue when I was tired/distracted and had the iron too hot resulting in the front section of the corset melting/dissolving and the subsequent fixing required. 


Tried to go to bed, but too tired/wound up/sore from my afternoon run.  The last time I looked at the clock it was 3:30.  Great...


Got up at 5 to make last minute alterations when Madi tried it on.  


She loved it.  That makes it all worthwhile.  In the grand scheme of things, I actually do like doing things like this.  That being said, however, it seems I like the pressure supposedly exerted by others...clearly evidenced by the lack of work on Butterfly Pullover.  


Bad thing...in my sleepy stupor...I forgot to take pictures of the pretty princess in pink.


Still not gonna share the "snoopy peoples' surprise" :)  The day I send them out, a picture will be posted.  


As far as FO's for the day...


The Flounce scarf is finished.  It was fun, but a classic been there, done that now.  


And now, if you happen to see or sense that I am curled up and napping, please don't wake me up, but do go check out finished projects at  Tami's.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The never-ending sweater

There are only 2 projects actively on needles for this week's installment in the life and times of my knitting escapades. 


Don't be fooled, by no stretch of the imagination am I implying that those are the ONLY 2 projects going right now.  They are simply the ones getting attention this week.  I have a couple of deadlines...probably unrealistic, but hey, I'm not kidding anyone, my deadlines usually are unrealistic!


The first on needles, I don't currently have a picture of, which is okay, because if there was then three people would know what something looks like that they are going to be receiving.  Whew...can I get an award for multiple commas and run on?


So, snoopy people will just have to wait until Friday for a peak at what is coming their way. 


Second, and this is where I become delusional, is the dreaded Butterfly Pullover which can be found in here.


This book has several wonderful patterns.  The pullover is going to be gorgeous.  Three other women in my knitting group are also making it.  Two of them <scowling fiercely> have already finished it and one <growling> even had the nerve to wear hers yesterday.  Good thing I like them bunches!  Kidding aside, they sweaters are truly lovely...great job.  So, not that I am competitive at all <snorting and choking>, but I really really really want to be finished by next week.  


Here is where I am...


  The back and one sleeve are done.  Second sleeve is on needles.  All I have left is the front (with 2 intarsia inserts), the collar, placket, and sewing up.  Somebody wanna jerk me back to reality before I hurt myself???


The other thing this week that IS a WIP but not on needles is blocking the squares from the class I took.  There are 12 squares of a different stitch each.  Six on the board, six waiting in the wings.   Next week, we will be joining them with a fancy schmancy crochet technique.  THEN, one whole Christmas present will be done!  Wow, I under impress myself sometimes.


Amos likes it though...






And don't forget to visit Tami's for a peek at other WIPs.  You won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Think I may be getting older...

say it isn't so!


I am exhausted.


This weekend was so much fun.


My kids will laugh at me for even daring to say that a "knitting weekend" could be exhausting...


But, they don't understand.  Then again, their idea of fun typically consists of x-box games that I find ridiculous, so it is all relative.  


Liz and I took off Saturday morning bright and early for a girl's day out.  Headed to Bloomington to visit a couple of yarn stores there.  It seems as if everytime I go to downtown Bloomington, the streets are blocked/closed for some sort of event.  This Saturday was no exception.  First stop, after going way too far north on the street, we finally arrived at In a Yarn Basket.  Lots of yummy yarns.  We both bought some Flounce yarn.  Next stop was Yarns Unlimited. 


After wandering around both stores, we headed off for Nashville.  Well, that was not a good idea...we both forgot about "the leaf-lookers."  NEXT!  Last stop for us was Sheep Street.  Overall a fun day of fiber fondling!  One of the highlights was lunch at Frenchy's Pub in Morgantown.  Fabulous food and quite hilarious when a group of bikers came in and kept us entertained!  OH MY!  All I can say is Victor Mature!


Arrived back home just in time to literally throw my stuff into an overnight bag, drop Chris off at work and go the Inn for my weekend Knit Inn.  A total of 8 of us spent the weekend in this gorgeous home.  


I taught a class in making knitted wire bracelets.  


Bedroom portion of Clementine Suite.

Sitting room of Clementine Suite.

Garden view from Clementine Suite.
Staircase in entrance.

 The Library

 The Library

 Dining Room

 Terrace

 Library view from Terrace

 A bunch of tired Knit Inn ladies...that's what happens when you stay up until 2am knitting and talking.

Bracelets

It was such a treat to stay in this beautiful and historic home...made even better by spending the time with old and new friends!  


And just in case I hadn't already thrown myself under the bus enough...here's the photographic evidence of Friday's Salad Stuffing incident.








Friday, October 15, 2010

Epic Fail Friday

What on earth is going on?


It is as if the world has gone out of kilter.  This Friday is turning into a Monday. 


Yesterday and this morning, I was fretting because we had not received a reminder call about providing salad for tonight's XC Pasta Party.  DH and I stopped and picked up stuff to make it and this morning were frantically chopping and throwing it together to take with us to work and drop off after. 


Got the first bowl ready and I went to get "the book" to look up the address. 


Now let me first say, that yesterday I had my calendar up on my desktop for quite a while double checking dates for upcoming fishing tournaments, Group Home picnics, and Family Weenie Roast.


Yet, I still managed to fail to notice that our salad responsibilities are NOT tonight, but are NEXT Friday.  So, when DH was informed this morning (as he was helpfully slicing cucumbers), he started laughing, grabbed the camera and started snapping pictures of me cramming stuff back in the fridge.  He said he wanted pics that I could post here (not gonna happen) as proof! 


I wonder if I could vacuum seal the HUGE salad and save it?  We are not going to be home much over the next few days to eat it. 


We tease each other constantly and always have a good time with it.  Now, since I told on myself, and DH and I will be using code words to indicate the joke (his for me will now be salad),  I have to share his funny of the week.  My code word for him is now bathroom. 
Wednesday, while at Luca Pizza for lunch, he went to the bathroom.  When he finally came out he was laughing.  Asked what was up.  Turns out when he went in, he thought it was odd that there was no urinal, so went into a stall.  Fine, until the door opened and in came a woman with two small children.  He was in the LADIES room!!  He hid in the stall until they finally left.  He made me promise I would not blog about it in Wednesday's blog.  However, it is no longer Wednesday and I have already thrown myself under the bus with salad, so he gets to join me.  Misery loves company right???


The roasted pumpkin seeds turned out pretty good.  I tossed the seeds in melted butter, spread on baking sheet, sprinkled with kosher salt and roasted at 275 F for about 20 minutes. 


Knit-wise have not managed to get much accomplished.  The manly cowl is now finished.  The only difference between Wednesday's picture and now is the addition of two more rows and the bind off, so no new pic.


This weekend is going to be fun and full of lots of good times.  My LYS will be having the Knit-Inn at the Inn at Irwin Gardens.  We will be spending the night, knitting, eating, visiting, and generally having a great time.  Dinner is going to be at Zaharakos.  I will be teaching the attendees how to make knitted wire bracelets.


And now, the winner from Monday's giveaway.  As there were only 3 comments, it seems sort of silly to me to randomly pick just one, so Denise, Sarajewel, and Laura Jane will each receive a bracelet.  Thanks for your comments.  Please e-mail me with your shipping address information, silver or copper preference, and bead color preference and I will get busy...likely this weekend!


Don't forget to go by Tamis to check out the Finished Objects completed by people that know how to read a calendar better than me!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All sorts of WIPW

Lots of things in the works, both fiber and foodie related this week.  

We are still working towards getting the freezer and pantry filled with homemade foods.  The dehydrator and sauce pots have been busy.  

Somewhere I had read that pumpkin (canned) may be in short supply this year.  I have wanted to try making fresh pumpkin "goop" but have been a big chicken.  What is really the worst that could happen?...my compost pile would have yucky, icky pumpkin bits added to it.  


Start with a purty lil pie punkin


Cut 'er open.  Use a serrated knife and make your life easier.  Oh, and do not say "uh oh that hurt" or your hubby will come see what you did to yourself this time.


Scoop out the guts being sure to get all the stringy bits.


Cut halves into pieces that will fit in a microwave safe bowl.  Pour in a couple inches of water and cover.  Ignore the spots on the microwave tray...I live with piggies that don't know where the dishcloth is. Normally, I would have used plastic wrap to cover, but as noted above, I live with piggies that also like to put the empty plastic roll box back in the drawer and not write it on the list, so an inverted pie plate works also.


Complain loudly about how slimy/gross the stringy seedy stuff is and your hero will come clean them for you.


After 15 to 20 minutes the pumpkin flesh will be soft and tender.  Let it cool a bit, then scoop into a bowl.


Cooked pumpkin


Puree with blender, mixer, food processor, or whatever floats your boat until it is smooth.  One pie pumpkin will provide enough goop for one pie.   I froze ours (then vacuum sealed it) and will use it for either pie, pumpkin bread or pumpkin cake.   The seeds got spread out on waxed paper (should have been paper towel but same problem as noted with plastic wrap) and are air drying.  We plan on seasoning and roasting them tonight.  (Crazy thing is I HATE pumpkin pie!!!)


Mama Z's Spaghetti Sauce

 



I grew up in Northwest Arkansas...right next to an Italian community (Tontitown).  At an early age, got spoiled to the yumminess of homemade pasta, sauce, and rolls.  My favorite places to eat were Venetian Inn (rolls to die for that I have the recipe for), Mary Maestri's (now closed :( ), and Mama Z's (sauce that will renew your spirit and is shown above cooking on my stove...mmmmm, snagged that recipe too!)  It was time to restock the freezer with sauce.  I make fresh pasta as I need it.


This is and isn't a WIP.  Yes it is off needles, but there is something wrong with it.

It is supposed to have FIVE petals not four.  That is what I get for knitting while exhausted.  Toying with the idea of frogging it.


And another off the needles project that is currently a return WIP.  This is a felted jacket made with Cascade 220 tweedy yarn ( Starlet #003).  My knitting buddies and I all made one earlier this year.  I have felted this sucker about four times and the jacket length is fine, but the width (even after whacking 2 inches off each side and sewing it back up) is still about 1/2 again as big as I need...and the sleeves are long enough for a monkey.




I like  this jacket, really, but frankly, am soooo over it in its current state.  Sooooo, it is going under the knife, so to speak.  Plan on cutting the ruffle entirely off, deconstructing the whole thing and altering it to actually fit me, shorten the sleeve (also removing the ruffle) and then adding blanket stitch to all the edges in a contrasting chartreuse greeny yarn.  If THAT does not work, then my scissors will fly and I will have pretty tweedy orange coasters!


As usual...camera out, so Amos and Norman must "help"


Shhh, this is a surprise for my BIL.


Manly cowl done with Mini Mochi held double.  On the last few rows.


He is getting his very own cowl, because I made the "Burberry Inspired Cowl" above for myself, then made a pretty soft/smoky blue one for my sister.  BIL broke his ankle and got housebound.  He was cold inside and kept stealing my sister's cowl and making comments about how nice, soft, and cozy it was, but a little girly.  I like him...I love him...he is a great BIL, so he gets a manly surprise.


Any suggestions on other ways to salvage the jacket would be welcome.  It physically hurts to think about completely destroying it.  Tried giving it away yesterday, but no such luck.


Pop on by Tami's to check out other WIP. 

Also, don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post for a chance at a bracelet.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm not old enough for this!

Today, 19 years ago...my baby boy Alex was born.  


He tried to be really early (wasn't due until the end of October/first of November).  
A couple of weeks before this date, pre-term labor put me in the hospital.  At the time, I was living in Dallas.  This little scare prompted my Mother to make her one and only airplane trip in order to stay with me while I was on bedrest with a terbutaline pump at home. 

Alex wound up being a chunk of a baby, and am now thankful that he was a little early.  The doctor had anticipated over 9 pounds at term.  


Before he was born, he was affectionately referred to as Lumpy.  That later changed to a morphing of his name into:  Allie, Alliebobander, Allieandro,  Al-pal, Dubalabex (as a nod to "ubby dubby" language from PBS' Electric Company), and the occasional Zander.  

As the first born grandson on both sides, that little boy was spoiled rotten!  Of course, he was the smartest, cutest, best baby in the whole wide world. 


His cheeks were impossible to resist.


His hair so blonde and curly, that people honestly asked if it was bleached and permed!


My firstborn...my heart was stolen by him.


And now, my baby love is a young man about to embark on the journey of his life.  He leaves for Basic Training (Army) in January.  My heart stays in my throat with every thought of what this involves and can/will mean.  I cherish him, adore him, respect him, love him with a profound depth, and am proud of the man he is becoming.


Happy Birthday Lumpy!























I love this man/boy!
(P.S.  Don't forget to visit Monday's post to enter giveaway)

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