Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Grace in progress

Because you asked... here is a pic of the Grace sweater in progress. I've just started shaping the neck and sleeves. At least, that's what the pattern tells me I'm doing. With knitting, I lack the intuition that I have with sewing and I have to take their word for it. The color is blue-gray, AKA my favorite color. It reminds me of the beach (where I grew up) and is so soothing.

Color is another knitting hang-up of mine. In sewing and quilting I usually use fabrics that are more than just one color and I look at them as patterns and hues rather than just a color. When I go to pick yarn, I pick the color I like best, which is usually the same thing. Maybe boring. But, knitting in multicolor isn't realy so appealing to me. I'd rather use cloth to mix color.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Suntanned and silly

Did you have a nice weekend? Ours was good, meaning that there was time for relaxing, socializing, and getting stuff done. I have been stripping the paint off our banister for months. Actually, I got just about all of it done awhile back, but I haven't had the stamina to remove all the teeny tiny flecks of paint in thr cracks. Elie got tired of the lack of progress and took over for me. It's OK.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Elie's wildflowers are coming up and they are beautiful! Beebs got a flower press for her birthday (I think from loving Aunt Jocie, but I still need to confirm this) so we put some of the wildflowers in it. Aren't the colors great? Can't wait to see how they come out.

I wish I had some project pictures to post, but I'm just making slow, steady progress on the redwork quilt and the "Grace" sweater at knitty. It's my most ambitious knitting project yet, and it's going fairly smoothly, although at this point I kinda just want to get it off my size 7 needles so that I can make a summer tank with some of the garage sale yarn.

So what do you think of the new background? I was getting tired of the the blah default settings I had going there, so I thought I'd start a theme & have some sort of design to my blog. For those of you who might not know, it's the tumbling blocks quilt pattern. Appropriate, no? I'm just not 100% convinced because it reminds me of an early Windows background, except it has much better colors.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Hooray for the dads of the world, particularly my Dad and my husband!

This year I decided to make my dad something. But what? Hmmm... well I did inherit his ability to break a sweat at nothing (hope sweat doesn't gross you out), so what about wristbands? OK. I went with the wristbands. I went to the store and got some yarn and thought I'd try my hand at intarsia by knitting his initial into the band. Actually, I wanted one to say "sweat" and the other to say "genes" but that either wouldn't fit or was beyond my skill. So I knit and knit and the intarsia went well and I was feeling good about it until I tried it on.

Wow, Dorie. Is your dad Andre the Giant? It's true, to me my dad is larger than life, but this is ridiculous. All you experienced knitters can peel your fingers at me. I did not in any way check the gauge and I ended up with a really big cuff.

But it's useful for other things. Like an ankle band:
(not the cutest picture of my leg.)

Or a bottle cozy:

Or a pet ruff (sorry Edgar!):
Really the possibilities are endless. I hope my dad (who reads this blog--I love that) enjoys his knit item as a token of my love and creative ambitions as well as my imperfections. (I think it could be a bookmark too, as long as your book wasn't too tall. You could wrap it vertically around the pages you have already read.)

And for Elie? I am not going to try to knit him a wristband. I'll take him on a park picnic instead. Enjoy your Sunday.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Kitty Update

I think that I could have called this blog Cats and Cloth and that would have been appropriate too.

Edgar and Hen are good friends, which makes me just so happy. I was worried that they would hate each other and get territorial. So glad that didn't happen. Instead they sleep togther and play together and Edgar obsessedly licks Hen. He is such a doofus. He probably thinks she stinks, cause she does.

Like most cats, they like to help with sewing projects. See how Edgar helps Beebs with the needlepoint that my grandmother (Honeydew) gave her?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pile of yarn: good?

So on Saturday I found a garage sale with an amazing amount of yarn. Someone's mom had a yarn shop, but her health was failing so she went out of business and then passed on. They were selling all the stock and there was just so much of it. Now, of all the crafty people I know, I am not the most yarn-ish person. To the point that this past winter when some talented person offered me some very fabulous green and blue homespun, I declined, afraid I wouldn't use it. (Nuts!) That day, I cast on a hat that went well, and knitting is becoming a bigger part of my crafting life, but I digress... I love finding stuff and this was definitely a find and I got some nice fibers for much less than they would have been. But you should have seen my inexperienced self crouching in this guy's driveway trying to figure out how much of what I might need for a project. I picked an assortment of fibers that I'd never used before--the green-blue is a linen blend, the light blue is angora, offwhite is mohair, gray is cashmere, dark blue is cotton and something and is the only one I have a plan for as of yet. Most are slightly old, I hope I don't find out something bad about that.

My optic mouse is going. It's made it nearly impossible to use my computer for the last three days, so no blogging. I was using my laptop for browseing, but it's not a mac and it's really cruddy and I think it would have demanded a driver if I had tried to hook up my camera.

Speaking of the camera, I followed a link from whipup to the tilt shift photography group, and it is just so cool. People are taking pictures of scenes that are actual size and then doing photoshop tricks on them to make them look like photographs of miniature toys. I told Elie about it on our morning drive into town and he thought it was pointless, but I'll be darned if he wasn't hooked by the ride home. It has art meets science, his favorite thing. The technique messes with your depth perception: in a picture taken of things which are far away, everything is flat and in one plane, but in a photo of a miniature, the object is rather close and different parts will be indifferent planes.

Anyway, we're excited because there are so many good thinks to take this sort of picture of out here in the rural midwest. If this weekend is sunny maybe we'll give it a try.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Being Ambitious

I found another swap to join via whipup, and it's right up my alley too. The Quilt Block Swap sounds like lots and lots of fun, and I can see myself doing it for many months to come. But that doesn't start for me until July. Until then I have turkey feathers' Finish What You Have month to keep my busy.

I am really really really going to try to finish the quilt. I started working on this redwork quilt for Beebs 5 and a half years ago when she was still an infant. Honestly, I've been making slow and steady progress, but I'm really ready for it to be done with it now. It is so close to completion that it almost kills me. I've embroidered each of the 31 redwork squares, I have pieced all of the Irish chain blocks, I have pieced all of the filler pinwheel and star blocks and I have added a border. I am already one third of the way through hand quilting it too, so really, the end is in sight.

Sometimes I wish that I had finished it earlier so that it could have spent all of this time decorating her bed, but truthfully, I think it has grown to be a better quilt this way. I've made artistic changes that I might not have made had I done it quickly, and Beebs has been able to watch the process and participate is deciding which animal we should add next and which block goes where. The quilt has already gotten a bit of use too. Since I started the hand quilting in November, its home has been on the back of the couch. It gets pulled fown in its safety-pinned form for Saturday morning cartoons and storytimes.

We shall see.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lactating Softies & Backtack III

It seems that I have a theme, at least a softie theme, and that theme is nipples.

Meet Nursie Bunny, a gift for Batya's eldest, who was just dethroned by a baby brother. Nursie Bunny is a momma bunny who snugly cuddles two (coordinating) baby bunnies in her arms, and when the baby bunnies are hungy, she can feed them with her snap nipples and they can nurse with their snap mouths. Nursie Bunny was inspired by the tens of similarly designed nursie bunnies made by my mother and her La Leche group when I was a kid. They sold them as a fundraiser at the area conference. Nothing like knowing your audience. Anyway, Batya and I were kids of that group and now she's a leader herself, so it's a fitting present.

And did you see how discreet she is? I bet you didn't even notice that she was nursing when you first looked at this picture. That's why we have a close-up.My mother animal theme flowed right into Backtack. Mo of lemongardenia received this little kitty with four button nipples and a blue button nose. It was so much fun making this gal for Mo because her color palette is so cheerful & I'm pretty keen on blue myself. Five is such an odd number of buttons, though---I'm glad Mo liked their placement!

Now I'm on the prowl for another swap. I seem to get to them just as they are closing. And I really want to do the Puncushion Challenge as well. I actually made a fruit pincushion in May, but never took the darn picture.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stagnant blog <> stagnant life

I've missed by blog in the last week and a half, but life has been so busy and wonderful! Let me recap:

First, let me give a blog welcome. My oldest, dearest friend Batya has a baby boy. Hooray! He is totally adorable. We love him.

And, my backtack project was posted on Wednesday. Hope you enjoy it Mo!

Allright, let do this chronologically. We adopted a new kitty. She is the kitten I've always wanted, and we named her Henrietta Pussycat, but it's become Hen, which I think is good.

Then, my mom came to stay with us for a week, yeah! It was so much fun. We almost never get visitors out here, so it was just so nice to have her come and stay with us. And Mom brought her fluffy kitty to come stay with us while she builds her new house, which means that the cat was her carry-on and when we booked the flight we had to check for "Cat In the Cabin Availability" which is just so funny.

On the day that my mother arrived, we threw a large formal garden party in my yard. Formal events are not usually my sort of affair, and we don't do a great deal of entertaining, but our mow-every-other-day neighbor told us off about our wildflowers & we had to do something. Pictures later. The party was a success. Mom and Beebs and I spent the majority of the next day lying down in the shady grass. Beebs made a tent under 2 chairs.

Beebs didn't have school this week, so she and Mom played scrabble and went to the pool while I brought home the bacon. It is nice to have family around, and sometimes I really envy people with grandparents down the street, but I guess Elie and I are too adventurous to stay close to all those folks. Elie's mom may move out here though, and that would be good.

Mom and I went shopping and did projects and sketched out my bathroom and drank tea of the porch. We thought about going to St. Louis, but settled for another cup of tea.

Project A: Curtains for the study/office/den
Before: a white sheet that I also used as a tablecloth at Passover draped over a rod. It's still pretty.WIP: The colors in this were so perfect. I got it on eBay.

After: I still didn't want to cover up my leaded glass. Now the room has pattern!