26 April 2009

Pin, Stitch, Iron, Slice, Repeat

Dear Mandella,

Today's post would be a repeat of last week's post in which I finished 8 of the log-cabin quilt squares. I spent about 6 hours working those 8 squares today. I also spend another hour getting some sock yarn ready to dye. There's a bit of work to do on those, yet, but I'm hopeful of having them ready for a dye session on this Saturday. I've gotten some new colors to play with, so I'm dying to get at it (no pun intended).

I am only six weeks away from my 50th birthday. We were talking today about perhaps getting the family together to celebrate it, but I'm not sure how all of the schedules are going to work out. Also, my oldest sister and her husband won't be visiting Omaha until July, so we might wait until then because the family will want to get together to see them, too.

In the meantime, I am knitting. I have at last figured out how I want to do the sleeves on the latest pullover I've been designing. Now I'm wondering whether I want to wait before releasing the pattern as soon as it's done because it might be a good one to submit to Twist Collective. I don't know. I've got two friends who are going to test-knit the thing for me. One of them will knit a large size and that will be great because I can work on the sleeves while she works on the body. One thing I'm writing into this pattern is how to adjust it for the best fit, and one item of consideration is how to adjust the width of the sleeve without making the sleeve cap too large for the armhole.

Well, I've got to get some laundry done so that I have clothes to wear for another week of working for the jobs that pay in order to have time to do the things I love. Talk about a boring repeat! :)

Hugs and good knitting to you!


20 April 2009

Emma Thompson and Ellen DeGeneris

This had my laughing my arse off!

19 April 2009

Mysterious Ticking Noise

This is one of my favorite little Harry Potter Puppets moments (on YouTube):

Log Cabin, Aching Joints

Dear Mandella,
Who would know from the little stacks of fabrics on my work table would come these two lovely blocks? I finished eight of them yesterday at my mom's house. Yes, that was after dyeing 18 skeins of yarn. I ache all over, but it's all worth it.
The blocks above are just 2 of the 64 required for the finished, king-size quilt. That does not count the borders which are comprised of long, thin strips of fabric (1" wide, just as the rails in this log cabin block) that will run perpendicular to the edges. If I can get 8 of these done each weekend, then it will be only 8 weeks until the main blocks are done. I figure that if I can get this whole thing put together and over to the quilter by October I'll be doing really well! Sheesh!
There are 17 pieces in each block. Yes, we did the math(s): 17 x 64 = 1088 pieces. Each block will then have 9 border strips; that makes another 252 pieces, and none of that includes the mitered strips on the corner squares. Fortunately, all of this is done on a tissue-paper foundation. Or, not. All of that pinning, ironing, and trimming has given me a very sore right shoulder. *sigh* I'm willing to suffer for my craft!
My home, of course, is a pig sty. The dining room is still set up for dyeing yarn; there are baskets of (clean) clothes in the living room that need to be folded; there are old towels littering the bathroom where I rinsed the yarn this morning and wiped up the drips; and there is an old girl sitting at her computer at 5:00 a.m. who can't sleep because she aches. OK, that and the dog woke up early. I'm going to try to get some sleep again before I tackle some of the clean-up.

Mama's Still Got It!

Here's my mom showing off the bit of quilting she did on a lone log-cabin square I'd stitched up. On Easter Sunday afternoon I added the borders and then marked it so she could quilt it. She's so proud of this! She can't do big quilts any more, but she can still do the little pillow covers.

Dye Works

Come into my house and you'll see this:

Because I've been doing this:

18 skeins, sport weight, machine-washable 100% wool.

13 April 2009

Butter Lambs, Books, and Measuring Length

Dear Mandella,

I hope you had a nice Easter Sunday.  We went over to my mom’s house.  My DH cooked up a pork roast stuffed with Italian sausage and rubbed with spices.  He also picked up a poppyseed cake and some rolls to go with it.  My sister MT cooked up scalloped potatoes and mixed veggies; she also made a cheesecake-type of pie (from a prepared mix).  Oh, and the topper was the butter in the shape of a lamb.  Honestly!  They pour it into a mould of some kind and when it’s set they put in cloves for the eyes and then put a red ribbon around his neck.  They package him on that silly bright green Easter grass and put him in a clear container.  I’m close to having a crisis of faith over this:  If Easter is the celebration of the risen Christ, why are we hacking up the Paschal Lamb for our dinner rolls?

As you know, I’m developing a new pattern knit from King Tut cotton that incorporates the Flight of the Bumblebee stitch.  I’m calling it Sweet Honey.  It’s a woman’s short-sleeved (or no-sleeved if you opt for that) pullover.  I’ve knit up the back of it, but I’m not sure I’ve knit enough.  If I measure the garment flat I get 6” from the start of the armhole bind-off to the top of the garment.  If I hold it up so that gravity can have its lawful effect, I get 7”.  I think I should go for the latter, don’t you?  After all, the garment hangs from the shoulders.

Fortunately, I am not knitting this for myself.  I’m knitting it in size 36 which means it goes faster and I’ll find my errors more quickly.  This small size fits a lovely woman at my LYS so I will have her try it on tomorrow when I stop by there on my way to the stationery shop.

So, as I am giving that project a brief rest I have been working on a short cardigan for my sister MA.  The Opera Shrug that I’d knit for her was too tight in the shoulders, and she’d wanted something that came around to the front anyway.  Thus, I’m using Cascade Venezia (worsted weight) and I’m knitting up a simple cardigan and incorporating the same lace pattern used in the Summer Sunner pattern.  I am hopeful this will be pleasing for her.  Of course, I’ve also started in on another pair of socks (a kind of no-brainer for knitting – the waffle sock pattern).

Would you believe I also got some yarn prepared for dyeing?  After our noon meal at my mom’s I did a bit of mending (for my mom and for a friend) and then took some of my 8 oz cakes of Henry’s Attic Sport weight (washable merino) and reeled it off into 4 oz skeins.  I have 18 of them to dye now.

On top of that, I’m very near the end of my umpteenth reading of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (by Susanna Clarke), one of my favorite novels.  Her writing is so rich in detail that I discover something new each time.  Oh, yes, I know how it all comes out, but it’s the journey one takes in the reading of it that is the most fun.  I love her structure, I love her characters. (Plus, I learned a couple of years ago that the author knits.  I have great regard for anyone who knits and writes so well!)

Alas, it is a drizzling Easter Monday here.  I would rather be at home, reading and knitting.

Hugs and good knitting to you!


12 April 2009

It's Official

You Are Coffee

You are highly ambitious and goal oriented. You feel like there isn't enough time in your day to get it all done.

You are outgoing and creative. You love talking with people, thinking up crazy plans, and then acting immediately on them.

When it comes to caffeine, you'd like a refill. You can almost always use an energy boost.

Life is too short. You're going to get as much out of it as you can. You live for today.


You Are a Lynx

You are a quiet observer of the world around you. Your wisdom comes from listening carefully.

You've always been extra sensitive and aware. And it's made it difficult for you to fit in.

You see past people's outward personas. You are able to penetrate a stranger's soul.

What you've learned about people is both beautiful and ugly. And you keep these secrets to yourself.

07 April 2009

For the love of knitting and the internet

Dear Mandella,

I was sitting and knitting one afternoon at my LYS (String of Purls). Well, actually, I was sitting and knitting a bit as I chatted with Sally who works there. I'd finished early at the stationery shop so it was natural that I'd go across the way and get in a bit of calming knitting.

Anyway, this nice guy came into the shop. He was visiting from out of town and he wanted to bring back something nice for his wife. She was a knitter and she also taught knitting classes. Well, Sally and I had a hundred ideas for him, but he didn't have a lot of room for packing up three great projects (we suggested Anne Ginn's Circle Vest, among other things), so he bought some nice yarn.

Here we are, a few days later, and I'm looking into the String of Purls forum on Ravelry. The guys wife posted a nice note about how he'd stopped in, etc., etc.

Now, isn't this great how the internet has brought all of us together? You can shop, you can blog, you can stop over at a knitting site and leave a nice note . . .

This was one of those days when I needed a happy ending. No, it's not because of Kutner's suicide on House (I realize he's a fictional character, you see), but because it's been cold and I've been tired and I've been grousing about having to work and clean house (gawd, our home is a pig sty again!). Would you believe I came home early today and cleaned one of the bathrooms just because (1) I didn't want to take a nap (it would mess up my sleep) and (2) it had been driving me crazy? Yep, today was a day for happy endings.

Hope you're well. Hugs to you and Dave,


R.I.P. Kutner