Thursday, November 30, 2006

I SEW haven't quit knitting!

But I have been sewing a bit more than usual (it's just so quick!)... Last night I took some photos of the Cabin Kitsch pillow, or Girly Pillow as I have dubbed it. Here is the front, photo taken without a flash, which makes it a bit fuzzy, but captures the warmth of it better:

Here are some close ups of the ladies:

And below is the back, in case you have to be a little more... ummm, prim, you can just flip it around and hide it from disapproving guests:

The beauty of that fabric with the girls on it is this: There are 3 or 4 other great girls to choose from. Expect more Girly Pillows in the near future.


And for the kids, I whipped up a little something different. I am considering this a prototype due to some unfortunate stretching and warping of the pinstriped material, which much to my frustration was just a little stretchier than the white. I still like it though... And I will make others.

Changes that need to be made, in addition to avoiding stretch at ALL costs are as follows:

1. Shallower crayon pockets. I had to run a seam across the pocket panel halfway down because I know that little fingers wouldn't be able to find a crayon once it had gone down in. Mothers, I've got your interest at heart; I know you don't want to be digging crayons out of your kids apron pockets all day.

2. More colorful! This one looks like a crayon apron for a mental ward or something. Boring.

3. Number of crayon slots should match the number of crayons that come in the standard crayon box. Anyone found a box of 9 crayons out there? I also could make some for the boxes with more colors, like the 24 box for the sophisticated child artist.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My "slimming" pantyhose are cutting me in half!

Here's a bulldog eating my head:

Sometimes bumps and lumps are better than feeling like a sausage...

I made another pillow last night, one that I like even better but neglected to photograph. Let me just say, though, it is Cabin Kitschy and it is fantastic!!

I also have about 1 inch of a vivid blue Odessa... maybe this one I will keep for myself... or maybe not.

And I finally picked back up the second Jaywalker and turned the heel. It was in the front of my mind on the plane on the way to New York, but for some reason when I came home I lost my steam. Now that the heel is turned and the decreases begun, perhaps I'll be able to maintain some momentum through to the end.

There's also a holiday boutique on Saturday that I'm supposed to be attending with my wares, random and picked over as they are, and I'd love to be a powerhouse and whip up a bunch of stuff... I just don't know what to whip on... or when, for that matter.

We'll see.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Okay, yeah, I made this...

I made it last night. Here's the front:
Here's the back:

But that's not what's on my mind; it's just what I did.

Here's what's on my mind: Changing a man. Adjusting his behavior. They tell us we can't do it, and we shouldn't want to. Some women try. They say or think things like, "He's so hot, if only I could control his schedule, his libido, his language, his laundry". Other women, like me, try their best not to try to change anything.

I like my man the way he is, all football and racecars, all beer and meat, all these things that men are that women might sometimes want to change. I don't. I never did. I like those things about him (and all of the other things he is which help to make him whole). So tell me how am I supposed to feel when I find that he has adjusted anyway in the natural course of our life together?

Another woman might be thrilled that she's managed to prevent her man from hanging out with his friends watching football for almost a month straight (or possibly more?). I feel lousy. True, my plan came up first and it involves my family members and an anniversary, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a considerate man like mine would accept these plans with grace and even enthusiasm. But when the football invitation comes up just ONE DAY TOO LATE, how can I feel good about his having to tell his friends, "Sorry guys, I'm going to a musical with my in-laws"?

I want to climb to the nearest rooftop and scream, "I DIDN'T DO IT ON PURPOSE!!!!" I don't want to be that woman, nor do I want to be mistaken for her.

It's not that he's changed in essence. The football is still there. But in order to prevent my man from adjusting any more than necessary, I'm going to have to put a moratorium on Sunday plans for a while. Mom. Dad. No more family dinners on Sundays. For now.

Am I the first woman to marry a man and feel the need to prevent changing him? Love is a big responsibility, and I fear I have wielded mine carelessly. Senor, next Sunday, no girly stuff. Only football and racecars, only beer and meat.

I'm sorry.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Technical Difficulties

These photos were supposed to be at the END of the photoessay below... but I couldn't get it to work... so now the end of the wedding is before the preparations. Fanchapstick... If you have the wherewithall, scroll down to the post below and read it first. It will have a better flow.

Best. Cake. Ever.

Mr. and Mrs. Gr-Strong. Don't ask.

Senor Fuerte bought me a rose while picking up the bridal bouquet. What a guy!!

They were there. So was she. And there were firecrackers and bathingsuits. Long Story. And here is how it ended. With a wedding. Many many years later. Mercifully, all the gentlemen were in a different kind of suit this time.

He was still there. Lookin' all warm and cozy.

She was there, too. In her new hat. Courtesy of me. Better than the first. Much better.

We looked at photos and went to dinner. And they were married. And we had fish (except for me, I had steak)

In the end, we went home tired and satisfied. It was a big weekend. Next time, we're coming to hang out on the couch and not move. And swim in the pool. Or the jacuzzi.

Congratulations, Monte and Barbara! Well done, and do well!

Another Strong Wedding: A photo essay...

(they held their hands up at the same time without prompting)

THE NEW DOG-IN-LAW: Trepper (short for Intrepid)
He loved me inappropriately, and I had to break his heart.

AT THE UNOFFICIAL REHEARSAL DINNER: The Maid of Honor and her Big Beer

GETTING READY: Senor, the Bartender

THE BOUQUET: You know, the thing the bride carries.

THE SAND CEREMONY: Symbolizing the mixing of lives. 'Cause no one should have to try to separate blue and black sand once it's been mixed.

More to come...

Print O' the Waves-- Photographic Proof

I believe this is 5+ repeats into Print O' the Waves... I'm having a pretty good time. My Addi Turbos work much better than either of the others, so I'm doing more knitting and less adjusting for the needles. I have had a bit of trouble with stitches appearing and disappearing, and try as I might, I cannot figure it out. This repeat through I am paying extra attention to which row I am working when the extras appear (if they appear). And while I have REALLY HONESTLY tried to identify the mistakes in order to fix them (I really really did), I cannot find them, and that is why my left RS edge looks a bit wonky:

So, as slightly disappointing as it is, I'm going to have to chalk it up to beginner's bad luck and keep on truckin'. I hope that after blocking and the addition of the borders, I won't be able to tell. And if I can't tell, no one else will be able to tell... right?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meet a New Friend of Mine

This is "Dorothy's Revenge", a new design by "Not an Artist" at

Named by


I know, it's nerdy, but I feel like a B-List knitting celebrity right now (that's a good thing)... I'm not sure whether or not to be concerned that I am nearly as proud of this achievement as I was about garnering a college degree. Perhaps luck is more thrilling than years of hard work... that's kinda sad, but USC never sent me yarn in the mail, so maybe that has something to do with it...

Look forward to seeing my own version of Dorothy's Revenge as soon as this pattern is published. Thank you so much, N.A. Artist!!!!

Print o' the Wave: State of the Union

2 repeats in. There are three extra mystery stitches on the end of the right side rows. I don't know how they got there, but they started as two and then grew to three but have not increased in about 7 or 8 rows... I'm hoping that means that it was just a mistake or two and not a chronic misreading of the pattern.

I also have not made peace with my needles. I cast on with some interchangeables (not Denise, I forget the brand, it's the one they sell at Michael's), but the joint where the needles attach has such a ridge that my teeny tiny laceweight yarn wouldn't slide over it. I spent more time moving stitches than knitting. Not cool. I have since switched to some long aluminum straights, but they are so heavy that I fear a landslide will bring me down... perhaps a trip to the knit shop is in order to pick up some circulars with a nice smooth transition... I think once the combination is right I'll be moving right along.

Also, I'm a bit disturbed by how very blue the yarn seems to be now that it's knitting up. In the ball is seemed very mild. I'll be sad if the only thing I can wear my fancy shawl with is jeans...

Picked up a set of circular Addi Turbos at the yarn shop. They seem nice and smooth, and it seems to me that many of my favorite bloggers sing their praise. They weren't free nor in the neighborhood of free... but I have signed up for a big undertaking with this shawl and the only way to get to the end is with sticks that don't fight me! I will let you know tomorrow how the Addi's and I get along.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Finished Objects!!!

Ta-Daaaa!! It's done, it's done! No more guilt! No more sitting on the sofa looking at it feeling bad... no more seeing it added to the mess in the living room. And IT'S SO FREAKIN' CUTE!!!!! I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I did my first kitchener's stitches on the underarms (thanks, Senor, for the narrative help), and it's my first garment with set in sleeves.

I modified the placket neck and the sleeve and hem edges. They are meant to be seed stitch, but I was afraid the difference in yarn guage between the yellow and red yarn would cause the edges to look too bulky. So I did my edges in ribbing, and instead of casting on the extra stitches for the placket, I knit the neck opening straight and then picked up the stitches afterward. This helped with the ribbing and with the color change. I'm pretty pleased with myself for figuring out how to change it without fouling things up.

I just hope it fits the baby!!!!

I also tried out this felted fortune cookie pattern (I apologize for not remembering where I found it. It was a free pattern on-line somewhere). It worked pretty well; it was definitely easy. I want to try it in a more fortune-cookie-ish color, and I might try putting a zipper in the next one. It could be a little coin purse or something. This one is closed with a snap... perhaps for wrapping Christmas bling? We shall see...

Here's another:

Another Odessa!!! I like this one a lot! It is knit with Cascade 220. I am going to knit one for myself soon, and I think I will add an extra inch before the decreases... on a account of my giant noggin... I mean, my giant brain. ;)

Also, let's not forget that there's been a specially requested gift hat for my favorite sister in law... which I will not show you yet. Sorry. Must maintain at least a little surprise!

And finally... just to drive myself crazy, I cast on an epic project yesterday. After completing the baby sweater I just couldn't help myself. I felt so invincible. I've done something drastic folks. I cast on Eunny's Print 'O the Wave shawl.

This is the end
My only friend, the end

There's not even enough of it to photograph yet... Geed!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mail Call !!!!

I just won my first blog contest!!! I correctly guessed the gender of a blogger's baby, and then my name got chosen out of the "Hat"! I'm going to be getting some yarn in the mail, from a stranger, how cool is that?! And what's more, I got my blog name on another blog-- it's such an amazing feeling to know that this blog is now exposed to all you other lovely knitters (no offense to my non-knitting friends and relatives who read me, of course. Remember, you all get the benefit of actually knowing me ;)

Thanks, Brynne, and congratulations!!

Through the euphoria, though, I find that I do have a weird sense of guilt that I won, and now no one else will be getting a secret bundle of yarny goodness in your mailbox... Is this Yarn Survivor's Guilt? I guess it's a good thing I got killed in Sock Wars, 'cause if I can feel this way about taking yarn from you all, imagine how I'd feel if the rest of the Sock Warriors were dead and it were just me left...

It would be nice if we could all be yarn winners, wouldn't it? I am genuinely half-sorry that we can't... So I will have to pay my joy forward, now, I think... I am setting my mind to coming up with a fun contest for you all...

... but I'll have to get back to you, 'cause I need to now go do a little victory dance!

(Knitting comment due on Monday. New Odessa. Felted Fortune Cookie. Christmas Gift hat... lookin' at you, Amanda!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Number X

Well, I didn't make it to 2 pounds this week, but I did drop 1 pound TO the number X. I worked out a lot last week and tried to eat more sensibly, which I did mostly successfully.

X-1 by next Monday.

In other news... I made my weekend's worth of aprons:

And a reversible apron...

Assuming you were likely to purchase and/or wear an apron, which would you choose?

Many more to come...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another update

IT'S GRANDMOTHER PURL'S BLANKET. This is before the sewing began. I think that is my square third from the left third from the bottom. It's hard to see the green and purple, but it does appear to be probably mine. Yay!!


Well folks, I am participating in a very fun, very fast Knit-Along with Larissa of Stitch Marker

(Sorry, I still haven't figured out how to do links to other blogs)

The idea is that everyone knits the same pattern but embellishes it their own way. My concept is this: I straighten my hair everyday to get rid of the curls that many tell me I was blessed to be born with... whatever, guys! Curls are a pain in the neck! BUT, sometimes I do miss those silly curls, so I made a hat with red curls. They are felted i-cords, but I don't think I felted them enough, so they are a little limp at the moment. I plan to remove them, felt them within an inch of their lives and then put them back on the cutest hat ever. Thus I present you my (nearly) completed "Meathead":

Isn't it cute?! Senor says it makes me look like a Hershey's kiss, which I think is totally true, though you can't really tell in this photo:

The pattern is very easy and quick (maybe 2 hours to make the hat), and it only took me one skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky (the yarn is doubled). Here's a photo of my leftovers:

Here's a close-up of the curls:

Thank you, Larissa, for letting us play!! I will send you an official photo of the Meathead once I get the curls felted better... but so far, I have had a great time!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun new project.

Yes another project. But these are gifts and kinda need to be done soon. I'm not saying for whom they are intended, but I will say this... I am having a great time knitting these gifts for you, mystery people. These people, as far as I can remember, have NOT received knitted gifts from me in the past... that's all I'm saying. They have not been photographed, not that I could show them yet anyway, but I hope to get them finished and in the mail very very soon so that I can share them with all of you fine people. They are being knit up lovingly with some Berocco Pure Alpaca that I ordered-- I love it!!! This is Definitely my favorite yarn of the moment! I'll share the colors... how about that?

I'm using the "Pastel Pink" (above) and the "Dark Chocolate" (below).

I also have a skein of the Fuschia (though this photo is not very faithful to the color) for another of this fascinating new project for another lucky recipient (Senor, you be quiet. They ARE cool!).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You know THAT number?

It's different for each of us. It's that number that each of us uses to fill in the following sentence:

Well, at least I'm still under ______ pounds.

Last night I discovered that I can no longer use mine. I have passed it, the scary number I've always looked down at as my bottom rung. (Someday when I'm finally happy with my figure, I shall write a memoire called "As My Bottom Rung".)

I passed it by a pound, guys. That is a tragic thing to discover, but it's also a wake up call in a way that vain attempts to avoid the number never really were. Even at X minus 2 pounds, I could still hang on to the fact that I wasn't there. Now I'm there, and there's nothing to do but climb the ladder and leave my bottom ringing behind me.

Last night I ran at the gym. I borrowed a Yoga video from the library... I'm a little worried about the chick on the cover doing a handstand while touching her head with her toes. I hope I haven't inadvertently picked up a "Contortionism for Dummies" video. I picked up a salad to bring to lunch today, and I will not pour the salad dressing on the salad but dip my fork in it the way they taught me at Weight Watchers. At lunch today I am also hoping to go pick up a resistance band at Target. It seems like a fun workout toy, and fun is definitely the way to go for me.

Onward and upward, my friends!

This week I am at X + 1 lbs. By next week, my goal is X - 1. I'll let you know.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Some other project updates, and a suspect photo

A simple ribbed scarf made with two bargain bin yarns, cotton tape by Tahki and something else curly-squirrely. Finished and sold already.

The placket neck pullover... going steadily.

And now the odd one... I think Wombat has been watching "The Ring" too much or something. Mom, keep an eye on him 7 days from Saturday... if the t.v. goes to static, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!

Fun with Alpaca

First, there was the scarf. The intended project at time of yarn purchase. A gift for brother's girlfriend (to match her new snowboard) on her birthday.

Here's a close up of the stitch pattern, which I borrowed from the Yarn Harlot. This is her reversible, one row repeat scarf pattern. Loved it. So quick. So easy. So squishy!

Then, since the yarn was so wonderful, and there was plenty left, I decided to cast on for a hat... this decision was made at a red light. A long red light. The design was my own...

(As you can see, the Weebis was with us this weekend. Fun was had by all until he puked on my arm in my sleep... yick!)

And then, there was still a little left over. Newborn hat it is!

(the top was made with some leftover Lion Brand Homespun)

And, as a final insult, I made Wombat wear a baby shrug I once made. See how sheepish he looks?