Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here's hoping it is happy and healthy for all of us.

I've decided to take the Knit From Your Stash 2007 pledge. God knows I have enough yarn to keep me going for a few years. And He knows I can't afford to buy anything. Here are the rules. Number 3 is my favorite!

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.

2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

I am going to try SO hard!

Gonna go toast the New Year now. It's 11:57pm. See you next year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas goodies!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful gifts I received from my family. This first was next to my stocking and is very appropriate. LOL!

I was sure this next gift was a mistake. My sister is the self appointed "purple person" of the family. But Mom must've noticed that I like it too. Plus this one has MY color in the border. Pink!

My SIL Mary gave me a bag full of knitting notions and the little scissors and nippers. Not bad from someone who professes to know nothing about knitting. The movies are from my nephew Seth. Just the ones I wanted!

The Cat Who book is also from Mary and the Redwall cookbook (which I love!) is from nephew Alec. The basket and muffin mixes are from him too. Last year's basket was full of hot chocolate mixes. He does wonderful basket gifts!

The knitting books are from Santa. :o)

At last a timer I can actually hear when I'm not in the kitchen! I can even bring it into the studio if I want to. Til now the only kitchen timer we had was in the microwave.

In this last one look at the egg and the tea light lamps on either side. The Santa and angel and reindeer are from Christmases past. They all have different quilt designs painted on them and are so beautiful!

There is also a big box of lace bolt ends from my Sis but every time I go to take a picture it is occupied by a cat. But you will see the curtains the lace will become. Most edible gifts are, um, no longer photographable. LOL!

That's it for now. My hands are hurting from 2 days of no knitting. So I am casting on tonight! See everyone next year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas dinner

It was a wonderful Christmas day! I'm too tired to take pics of gifts until tomorrow. But here are a couple from dinner. Dinner went very well. The prime rib was perfect, the cabernet gravy came out lovely, the veggies were roasted just right and Mary's lemon cheesecake was the best ever. Someone hid the pecan pie before it could be cut. :oD

From left to right are my sister-in-law Mary, my Mom, my dear Alex, and nephews Seth and Alec. We call him Zander so he and DH don't both turn around when someone says Alex.

That's Mary's scrumptious lemon cheesecake and the pecan pie that is now mine, all mine!

That's it for tonight. More tomorrow!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I am still doing a little wrapping. Was up all night baking and making candy. I am filling jars with peanut brittle right now.

My brother and his wife were just here for a visit. He has several acres of almond and walnut trees and Angie is working on a plan to market the nuts and almond flour. They brought me a sample for Christmas. We rounded up all the gifts we've had for them for the last few Christmases we haven't seen them. They got a kick out of that!

I hope y'all have been able to see "Christmas in Yellowstone" on PBS's Nature. Truly beautiful, wonderful and awesome! I've only been to Yellowstone once in my life. I was a teenager in 10th grade, traveling cross country with 2 Girl Scouts, 1 Boy Scout and the troop leaders (Mr. & Mrs. Cicacci). It was an awesome trip with many wonderful memories.

Well my fudge didn't set, darnit! It's a microwave recipe using marshmallows and chocolate chips. Always use FRESH ingredients! Old chocolate chips don't like to melt. Didn't get my cookies made either. But Mary always makes plenty. I'll make mine after Christmas.

Well, time to make a better batch of fudge before bed. Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a good night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Almost ready!

Finished Alex's fingertip-less gloves finally. I borrowed a not-quite-cable stitch from a sock pattern for the back of each glove so there would be a definite right & left, and they don't look so plain. It was a fun project but there has just got to be a way to join the fingers without leaving that hole between them! I really don't like sewing up at all. So, here they are!

Now it's time to make cookies and a fruitcake for mom and some nut brittle and maybe even some caramel corn. And I have to go out and find some stocking stuffers. And I need to quick mail a package to my cyber twin Laura. And... and...

As soon as the tree is all decorated I'll post a picture. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

And then there were...

Two! Seth's pair of socks, finished one by one.

And Zander's socks. Twins! Born at the same time on the same needle. How cool is that!

And now on the circular needle, thumbs and pinkies for some finger tip-less gloves for my dear gardener. Can you say marathon knitting? :o)

Ok. Duty done. Off to bed! Hugs y'all!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sock(s) for Seth

This is the blueberry waffle pattern in dk weight. Took 2 days and I am starting the second sock tonight. Hope he likes them!

Monday, December 04, 2006


I almost forgot to take a before picture of the oven mitts, Some were already in the washer. But here are the rest of them.

Here they are after felting. The mitts are all standing up in a little forrest so I would still have room for the pot holders, which refuse to lie flat anyway. And they all need a good shave.

I wonder if there are any rules about pressing a felted item with an iron? I'm going to try it on the pot holders. I'll let you know if it helps.

Next? Socks I think. Need to knit some gauntlets, fingerless gloves and crochet some coasters too. Then there's the kitchen stuff. Oy!

Is it getting chilly?

I am knitting like mad! I will show some results in a post tomorrow. In the meantime thought you might enjoy this. This is Alex, all comfy and warm in my chair. If it's a 3 cat night in the living room with the heat on then I guess it will be a 5 or 6 cat night in bed. :o)

And of course Percy, my little golden eyed shadow, had to come out and see what Mom was up to.

More later!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pre Thanksgiving update

I've been beavering away at the round robin. Confessed to the group that I had designed myself into a black hole and now considered myself certifiable. I begged them not to send the men in white coats with butterfly nets. I got permission from the end recipient to put the project aside so I can make gifts for Christmas. And you know what? She isn't finished with hers either!!! She says she will have it in the mail after Thanksgiving so I will still be last. But I am relieved that I am not alone for now.

These are the only rosebuds you will see until next year. The printout behind them is what I am aiming for.

I was all ready to put the final leaf on the rosebuds when I discovered I had sewn part of the rosebuds together wrong. Moan! Groan! Drat! Drat! DRAT!!!

So I took 2 of them apart and fixed them so I would at least have two I could show. Now the whole project is neatly packed away in baggies, and all baggies in one big baggy. I am SO glad I did the press&seal packages for all the piles of pieces.

Now to get organized and start on gifts. Oh and clean up the house for Thanksgiving too. For my Canadian friends who celebrated last month, I hope it was a grand feast! And for my American friends and our valiant troops overseas, may you enjoy and find much to give thanks for.

Love and hugs until later...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Painting is finished!

Yay! Pics of the finished painting!

The new back porch. Room for a little table and chairs!

Back of the house. All those windows enclose what was the back porch in the 1920s. That's the laundry and storage area now.

The side of the house from across the street. Remember the before? Huge difference! People walking and driving by stop and say such nice things!

So much more welcoming don't you think?

The parlor looks SO much better! We must put our flag back out!

I almost had the painter talked into painting the fish scale shingles 3 different colors. Some day... :o)

I am so relieved that this is finally done. No more feeling embarrassed. No more telling people to look for the house with all the peeling paint. I'm so happy!

And last, but not least, 4 finished bluebird corner blocks for the last round robin border. There are 4 pinks in the rose, from pale to dark. But my pale pink is too pale. I outline stitched the pale pink parts so it shows the rose better. But I've cut all new pale pink pieces for the rest of the border. Gotta find some little black buttons for the birds' eyes. Progress!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


This is my Press-n-Seal method of keeping quilt pieces organized while cutting a bazillion pieces in a house full of kitties. Each stack of pieces has a number on top of it on a piece of sticky note paper. Works good! Here is a close up of one of the groups.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Trim Painter

Got a couple of great pictures of the painter at work today. He is doing such a nice job!

He has been saving the front porch for last. Maybe tomorrow!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A little more progress

The contractor finally sent his brother-in-law and things are getting better. Still lots to do but he knows his stuff.

Monday, October 23, 2006

More progress

Here are some more progress pics of the house. Went out to have a look today while the trim painters were working. They don't speak much English and the contractor isn't here everyday so when I started seeing some problems it was a little frustrating. Seems the painters didn't really understand what "trim" means when it comes to old Victorian houses. So I got the contractor to come by and get it straightened out. Whew! This is their first Victorian! Maybe I understand a little better why it was so hard to find a painter in the first place.

The board that sticks out between the floor level and the basement (what's that called?) should be painted white. So should the corner boards that cover the ends of the siding. Don't know about more modern houses but on a Victorian anything that isn't siding is trim.

Sun porch is looking better and better. See all the trim that still needs painting?

We also pointed out nails that hadn't been punched and filled, open cracks between the base board and the siding that should have been caulked, places that never got scraped or sanded, etc...

Then the contractor explained that there is a "finishing" crew that takes care of all that stuff. Wish he had mentioned that before! He thinks it should be all done by the end of the week.That will be so exciting! Then Alex can get on with things he has been promising to do, like mending and painting all the screens, mending or replacing old window sashes. Of course I've been hearing these promises for years and years so... Ever hopeful, that's me!

Here in the studio I cast on to knit this.

The free pattern is here

(Can anyone tell me how to make URLs into live links?)

I'm doing seed stitch instead of ribbing and I'm doing it all in one piece so there aren't any side seams to sew up. I also want to pick up and knit the sleeves from the top down for the same reason. And I want to do a shawl collar instead of the hood. So far I have 2-1/2 inches of seed stitch. That's miles and miles! And kinda of boring too. But the Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky ( feels wonderful!

Tomorrow I will set it aside and get back to the last round robin. Honest!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

So much to share!

So much going on right now! The guys working on the house. Alex's 71st birthday. My slipper pattern for Fiber Trends and on and on.

Nobody responded about pictures of the house in progress so... Here's what has happened so far, starting with some "before" pics.

This is the side of the house with the enclosed sun porch. Pretty sad. You can see the dilapidated side steps that have never been safe to use.

The side of the living room. You see the living room window and most of a dining room window. Part of it is hidden by the enclosed sun porch.

Another view from the side of the living room. You can see the bay window poking out on the left. To help you feel the scale, those are 10 foot high windows and the ceilings are 14 feet. That horizontal line below the window is the floor line, with basement below.

Now for some progress pics.

The side steps are gone...

and new ones being built.

The back porch is gone...

and a new one is begun! The stairs are wider than before and the tiny little landing will be a nice little deck.

And the new decking on the front porch. Alex did that himself! All primed and everything.

And Rufus the overseer.

And now for some knitting!

Alex had been fussing about our beat up, worn out bathroom rugs. Guess what I made for his birthday? This is my version of Absorba from Mason*Dixon Knitting. As a quilter I just couldn't bring myself to do it all in one color. It is so thick and squishy! Alex loves it!

And another rug from the same book. Came out pretty good. I learned so much I want to do another Absorba when I can get some more of that double worsted Peaches and Creme.

And of course Merlin had to approve the new rugs.

And finally...

These are the new sample slippers for my Fiber Trends pattern. We decided to do a double sole so it would be softer. They came out real nice I think.

In the works now are the long suffering Round Robin, casting on for the Lion Brand Danbury Hooded Sweater Jacket (I am using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in what they call Emerald but to me is Forest Green), casting on socks for my doctor and trying to keep my hands off my experiment with the log cabin afghan from The Knitting Experience - Color. Between that and Mason*Dixon I am, for the first time in my life, enjoying garter stitch! Never liked the look of it in garments but now I have a useful place for it.

Well, that it for now my adoring fans. Hope that keeps you busy for a while! :o)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Time flies...

Hi all! Just had a whirlwind visit from my best buddy from British Colombia. After years of online visiting every night, we finally meet in person! She was traveling with her neighbor, Shirley.

Lois & Shirley left this afternoon. Half of yesterday and half of today. Such a short visit! :o/ We had a great time and could have spent days trying to cover everything. Yesterday they got here earlier than they had planned which was great. We spent the afternoon mostly doing show and tell and chattering, When Alex got home we had pizza and relaxed a bit before they went back to their motel for the night.

Today we started really early. We walked all the way down to the water, looking around in shops on the way. We had lunch at my favorite waterside restaurant. Lois and I split a crab and shrimp Louis and Shirley had a patty melt, and we all had a small bowl of wonderful clam chowder and fresh warm bread. It was wonderful!

Then we walked all the way back, looking at the scenery, reading the historical markers. We stopped at Mary's house (Alex's sister) for a quick hello then came home so Lois could check her email and they could use the restroom before they hit the road. We waved and waved until the car was out of sight. They didn't see me cry. :o)

Here are some pics.

This is Lois and me in my living room, getting ready to go out and walk around town.

Lois getting her Mac fix at my desk.

Lois and her traveling companion in front of my sister-in-law's house. Yes, the really is a house under all those morning glories. They help to keep the old place from falling down. They thought my house was a terrific museum. They just had to see Mary's house to see a real museum!

Lois gave me 3 bottles of her fabulous homemade blackberry cordial. Really YUM stuff! Alex and I had some after dinner. SO good!

In other news, we finally have a painting contract! Scaffolding should start going up in about a week. He's going to rebuild the back porch and the side steps too and there will be new decking on the front porch. I am so excited! I've waited for this for 20 years and was starting to think it would never happen. God Bless my Mom for this wonderful gift!!!

I took some before pictures of the house. Should I wait until the painting is all finished to post the "before" pics along with the "after" pics? What do you all think?