Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Quickie Bag

As a bona fide Bag Wh*re............... one who covets almost any bag, and wants to knit, quilt and stitch each and every one, I welcomed in the newest little bag to my collection.

I think it is certainly the easiest as well! Even if you don't sew much, this bag would be very easily accomplished! She's from the August issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, still on the newsstands I believe. The two dish towels I blogged the other day were the stars of the show, i.e. you skip the whole fabric selection step! Standard size (although the size of the towel determines the finished size of the bag), I found mine at Garden Ridge for the tidy sum of one dollar each. The handles were on sale for 3 dollars so my bag was a 5 dollar wonder.

The first bag was made using the instructions from the magazine. I would love to make this again, but scaling up the size a bit and lining and heavily interfacing it. My bag, while darling, is very squishy and soft and can't support itself. When you add 'things' to it, there is a little more ooomph, but I'd like it to have more structure from the get go.

Cute, no? And what a lovely early morning shot, taken as the bag dangles from my left hand! I haven't found just the right 'thing' to stitch on to the bag front in the center where the two contrasting panels intersect. I had thought to use a couple of my gramma's wonky old earrings but they just weren't quite right.

Nice opening, but I am a BIG bag gal and really would like to have this bag in a larger size. It reminds me a lot of my Mom's vintage knit bag (and who knows where that ended up!)

What IS that peeking out????? It is PINK, you can tell that from the start!

I have lied to myself, lied big and lied well. I promised upon a stack of Elizabeth Zimmerman books that I would not start anything new until the socks were done and the Cable Luxe sweater was off the needles. The socks are (hallelujah) done now, and the sweater is still vacationing in the big 'yummy bag'.

While reading Amy Singer's blog the other day I saw her "Liesl", below-----
That my blitters was all she wrote. Well not exactly what Amy wrote but you catch my drift. I HAD to have that sweater. From glazed eyeballs I purchased the pattern only because I knew I had well (very well) aged yarn in the stash. My stash as I am quick to point out is bare bones so to be able to pull a sweater out on the spot is pretty remarkable. The yarn is 100% cotton, labeled Elite "Newport". Vintage Classic Elite I believe. It's a pretty chunky cotton and I do have some fears of sizing although I did swatch. Really. Sometimes I wonder why I swatch because the outcome may not have any commonality with that swatched piece! The pattern of this adorable cardi is feather and fan and just the most fun to knit. I suppose I should put the live stitches onto a piece of yarn and get a better idea of whether or not this will be a cardi or a boat cover.

Wedding Saturday today, maybe my bride will pose with "Liesl"?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Fragrance

The lavender is drying! I only have one plant, and wish I had more! In this third season it is wonderfully prolific and very fragrant. Is tnere anything quite as lovely as lavender?

For the moment it is bundled near my front entrance, when it has finished drying I'll remove the little lavenderettes and store them carefully.

I think I'll make some special sachets for Christmas this year------delightful!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Please Celebrate With Me!

You've struggled with me------------- watched and been a part of my pain. Oh! The! Pain!

I longed and waited for those long circs to look like the shot above.............. Ready to graft with sixteen lovely stitches of kitchner glory. I have to tell you I've never been happier to sing that mantra, to make the toes close, one stitch at a time!

One down by gravy, one down--------------

Badum-dum! These babies are DONE! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At long last, my Two-At-A-Time Socks a la Melissa Morgan-Oakes are DONE! Thanks Melissa for your support and kindness(es)!

I am going right this very minute to amend my will. I want to be buried in these socks. No Kidding.

Please celebrate with me! Dance in the finally done sock goodness! Can I get a Woo Hoo???

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Definitely the Best Laid Plans. Funny how they always get mucked up in a big way too! Yesterday's location shoot had me out the door at 8:30 and back home at midnight---- a long day. Car knitting was pretty great, I just dug in and got almost done with the toes of the Twilight 2-at-a-Time Socks. Damn socks are going to kill me. I would have had them ready to kitchner but the best laid plan (one) was to take the back road. Well the back roads yesterday were filled with every piece of farm machinery possible going about 3 miles per hour. And on top of that the roads were so extremely windey and bumpy that I had to stop knitting for fear of losing what little breakfast I had remaining. [Note: We came home via the Interstate. Too dark to knit but easier on the tummy. ] I did hit the outlet malls upon arrival and get this--- I found NOTHING! What is the deal with that???? The upside is that it makes rationalizing spending money somewhere else much easier. I'm all about that.

Regardless, I was able to spend a few hours out on the lake yesterday and while it was work---- it was delightful! Our groom to be's boat was humongous with air conditioning and a little kitchen, not the boats of my childhood! Our couple treated us to dinner before the sunset shots and I enjoyed a "KickA$$"--- a sublime concocktion of Rum Runner and Pina Colada, side by side. Heavenly! Then grouper fingers that had been dipped in a crunchy coating of cornflake crumbs almonds and pecans and fried, served with a honey drizzle. Amazing. And the side? Fried potato salad, ordered at the insistance of our hosts. It was like nothing I'd ever had before and strangely addictive, kind of like fried cubed potatoes tossed in a mayo-ey dressing and served warm. I did not take photos of my food because the explanations necessary just weren't worth it!

I stumbled to work this morning and managed to get a head start on my desk before coming home this afternoon. Best Laid Plans (two) was to sit and knit, getting the socks finished. Instead I did some laundry (clean underwear is never highly overrated!) and got the house clean. You know me, when the house is clean I'm ready to get creative! My dog-sitter yesterday was a little messy and that makes me crazy. That and the smell of Pine-Sol sets my energy on high flame! HA!

I wandered into the sewing room for a deep breath of comfort ------ a little puttering to boot.

I'm ready to start cutting store-bought dish towels for a tote bag. Above is the 'look' of the finished project including the black handles. It's from one of the magazines this month and right now I couldn't tell you which one! The floral fabric on the bottom will actually be an outer pocket. Cute towels/fabric yes? It feels SO vintage!

Just so fresh and fun! Screams summer to me! I have some old vintage pins that were my gramma's and I think they might be a great finishing touch.

And I hauled out some great fabrics that I purchased at Tammy Tadd's booth in Paducah. I've changed my mind about a dozen times what this will BE when it grows up. Whatever, it will be great.

I have a dress............. it is a classic now (which means I've had it forever and love to bits) that I love to wear in the summer. It's blue with a HUGE Hawaiian design printed over the blue in yellow. Because the yellow isn't 'solid' it translates as an interesting olive-y color. Earrings to match have come and gone many times, somehow this dress has bad earring juju and I lose everything! I found the beads above at the bead shop last week and can't wait to finally get something fun cooked up to wear with the dress.

With that, I really ought to get back to it! Get Knittin'!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Almost a Week Already????

Sheesh.................... it has been almost a week. I told you I was swamped! :)

There is pretty much zero knitting to talk about.
No sewing to talk about.
No nothin' to talk about.

How freakin' sad is that anyway??????????

Since last we chatted I did manage to take an afternoon off and go to B*usch stadium to watch the hometown C*ards get their butts handed to them by the R*oyals. Ack. It was, nevertheless, a spectacular day. Sunny and fabulous, hot dogs and diet Coke were involved, and we had great seats along the third base line. Wonderful!!!! I must comment that I toss out a vegetarian lifestyle for a hot dog at the ball park! C'est la vie!

No wedding this weekend which meant a day yesterday to hang out with friends. The studio was open for pick ups until Noon and then we were OFF. Much rejoicing happened from the entire staff as you can imagine! Right down the street from the studio is another historic neighborhood that has a great farmer's market on Saturday. My bags were full of fresh organic eggs, silver queen corn, delicious cherries (I love cherries) the sweetest cantaloupe, portobellos, tomatoes, and all manner of the most gorgeous fresh veggies! The stars of the day were a cone of lemon and garlic orzo and a paper tube of dried sweet potato pappardelle. Man, I love summer! All in all a truly relaxing day. I didn't even want to drive by the park in case we would happen to SEE a wedding party having location photos taken! No white dresses, no veils, no whining, no pouting, nada nothing!

Sunday morning dawned with rain in the forecast and I just barely managed to get the lawn mowed before it started in. Our planned walk up to the neighborhood local coffee house for brunch turned into a drive. Brunch was magnificent, I could SO be vegan if someone would just cook for me! I had really good 'pork' patties and a fabulous tofu scramble, vegetarian sausage and biscuits, vegan stuffed French toast and some truly spectacular vegan orange cranberry muffins. Along with cups of delicious decaf it was a wonderful morning.

Knitting group next? Man----- does this weekend get any better? Well, it is raining so I can't walk down but I'll get over it!

Day one of the workweek begins tomorrow with a road trip! One of our favorite couples to marry in a few months is having their engagement photos for the summer season taken on their boat at a lake 3 hours away. I have to tell you that I'm looking forward to the drive with knitting in hand--------- a fun time with a great couple taking photos of them on their boat and then we're all going to dinner for champagne toasts and a sunset! While I am not a huge shopper, the area is known for really good outlet malls so I think I may have to stop on the way out of town just to check it out.

Hope that life is grand on your end of the screen!!

I'll leave you with the back of the dress last week----- the wedding gown of the week as it were. I still feel bad that knitting bride didn't happen, but because of many raised eyebrows at the description of the dress, well I'll show it to you here! Strapless ivory satin, no train--- very simple and pretty dress. The 'coat' was allover lace, long sleeves with a short train that snapped on and off, the snaps hidden by covered buttons.

Next week---- there will be a knitting bride, I promise!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I was up reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllly late last night. In a Monday of proportions only formerly matched by MONDAY----- it was, well it was a day and a half. You know, there are just some days when the pile on your desk doesn't seem to get any smaller, every problem looms large, and the phone rings off the wall.

By the time I decided that if I didn't just stop, I'd work round the clock (the nightmare of sometimes working from home) there was only one thing to do. Maybe two things to do.

Knit a couple of rows on "Twilight" while having a restorative cup of tea. And then restored as much as was going to happen, head to the sewing room. Definitely my safe space, my creative zone. Even when I am not being particularly creative I stop in that room and sit down for a minute to soak it in.

At long last, the quilt that has been languishing on the table has been finished!!! Simple machine quilting and some machine buttonhole stitching around the quilt elements------ ahhhhhhh. The photo is a tiddle fuzzy, I apologize and blame it on the late hour. Nothing fancy or intricate, but happy and fulfilling and FINISHED! It hangs on the ever changing wall by the front door as the official greeter. The quilting is some playful echo quilting around the 'leaves' and stippling in the center surrounded by simple channel quilting on the border.

In the middle of my workday, Mister Mailman (who is a complete dope, an under used word if ever there was one) rang the bell and handed me a package. Yay--- nothing like a package to highlight a day!
Inside was the completely adorable necklace I bought from fellow blogger Jen Duncan's Etsy shop! I enjoy Jen's blog very much and peeking in her Etsy shop is always lots of fun. "Journey", how cute is this piece? I had been stalking it for a few days when I decided that it just spoke to me. "Journey" not only documents my own personal path, but it celebrates a new adventure I'm working on. The necklace will be worn absolutely, but when not on me, it will hang in a hallway vignette so I can enjoy it daily. She arrived tucked in sweet pink tissue paper in a pretty kraft box with Jen's label--- I'm a sucker for lovely packaging. It also arrived with a wee little surprise......

Such a happy little pink magnet! Too cute! Right now it is residing on my fridge which to that point had been magnetless or undadorned. The little flower seems to add a bit of sparkle to not only the refrigerator but the kitchen itself. Thanks Jen!

"Creating in the Midst" arrived on Saturday on my way out the door to the wedding. This is the small self-published volume from the creative mind of Melba McMullin. "Creating in the Midst"
is "a 40 page color paperback guide organized into 12 weeks. Each week offers a focus, a list of practices, and sharing suggestions. There are colorful blank journal pages peppered through out the guide for you to expand on the practices as well as a place for you to document your journey." Along with the book comes the group that explores the process of creating 'things of your passion' when you are in the middle of life. (That defines us all!) The group will go through 12 weeks of "sustaining conscious joy". With small chapters including little exercises all work together. With chapters such as "collect your joy" and "count your blessings" I'm looking forward to working intentionally through the 12 week group and feel as if it will be a really positive experience. The first group will begin on Sunday, July 12th. Melba writes the blog "Just be Connected, a Home for Creative Bloggers" that is always really enjoyable. Melba is having a little contest to give away a copy of "Creating in the Midst" on her blog right now. The fun little perk that came with my book was the cutest little beaded wire daisy bookmark---- it just makes me smile!

I'm yawning today but there is nothing like a finished project to make you smile! I can only imagine the celebration when the socks come off my needles!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knitting Bride-- MIA

I'm sad and I know that many of you will be too, there are NO knitting bride photos this week! How sad is that? We had a very short day that was jammed packed and running late and it just didn't happen. Sigh. I did get a couple of rows done in the car but once we arrived at the wedding it was off and running.

I can describe it for you however----- the sweet bride wore her hair in a french twist secured with a comb that was her groom's late mothers when she was a little girl. Her wedding gown was a very simple strapless off-white satin, fitted, to the floor. Over the gown she wore a coat of lace, long sleeves and also floor length. The lace coat had a short train that could be snapped on and off and it attached at the waistline. While it was not my favorite dress this, or any, season--- I'd have to give her originality points as I sure haven't seen anything like it.

Get this--- I have an injury that causes pain while knitting! Really, while doing just about anything. My right wrist had been bugging me for a few days and there is just no strength in it at all, but arriving home early from the wedding on Saturday found me at a neighbors house helping to paing the siding of their house. The result is a wrist that is just (as my gramma Ruth would say) powerful painful! 600 mg. of ibuprofen later it is at least bearable. And primed with enough wonder pills I even managed a few rounds on "Twilight". I'm trying not to stretch my measurement from the back of the heel to the point where I can start decreasing for the toes, and if I'm correct I think I'm within 3/4 of an inch or so. Woo Hoo!

While sitting here last evening waiting on some images loading up to the lab, I found myself Second Lifing. I don't get there very often anymore but I saw on Ravelry that one of the knitters there had finished a knitters hangout in her new sim. FABULOUS I say, I was so impressed with her skill, and what a really cute place! There is a spinning wheel (that works) in the back of the room and a computer desk that can be connected to Ravelry---- what more do you need in real life OR Second Life???? The sim was created by Lisa, Knitting Gypsy on Ravelry. I'd hook you up with her blog, but she is without one. Just in case you are now or planning to be on Second Life, the SLURL is

Ravelry on the desk computer, how incredibly cool is that??? You can actually log in---- log on to a computer location from inside a computer location. It makes me feel very low tech and bordering on inept. (I want to own the outfit, tres cute!)

And SL me, spinning. I admit I got a kick out of it! It was a very short stay and back to waiting projects for me.

Sunday afternoon found me at knit group, a lovely diversion from my desk even when I had to leave early. Yoel enchanted me with her knitters post-it notes............ they crack me up and I love them. You can use the link to check them out---- thanks Yoel, I have one of each tacked to the sewing room door as we speak. I still think I should use them all over the house, like police tape! The whole custom sticky note thing has my head reeling with possibilities!

Once again, where in the world did the weekend go? This one sped by faster than usual. If I didn't work on weekends I'd be more depressed than ever! I'm working on having a great week and hope you all join me in doing that very thing!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Knit Proud!

Don't miss the really great Knit In Public aka KIP website -----

---it is not too late, find a group to knit with on WorldWide Knit In Public Day!!! Knit alone in public if you must! Just rub your sticks together and add a bit of yarn, you know you want to!

Feel free to take the button as well! Get Knittin'!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Most Amazing Vegetarian Spaghetti

The day before the grooming appointment! Little girl dog is always talking back!

Oh don't give me that sad puppy dog look! It doesn't work!

I can't even believe it is raining again. Thunderstorms even. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrows weather is good for our bride------ bless her heart. Seems she is having a few issues with her future father in law (who also happens to be marrying them in his church). Personally I'm thinking it might not be such bad karma to kick this patoodle in the butt with a pair of really pointy shoes.

It is a great afternoon to stay out of the rain and in the a/c (bless a/c) and whip up some great food. I'll need to stock up on a really good dinner because tomorrow, after my breakfast of toasted mini-wheat and vanilla soy milk is gone there may not be real food in many hours. (How sad is that?) I'll be shutting down the computer, as in turning it OFF and wandering up to the sewing room for the afternoon, having a nice meal to look forward to at the end of a Bliss Slice will be fabulous!

Okay, so the recipe is a composite (tried and tried again) of a few interesting recipes, with a few twists of my own. The result? Spaghetti so amazing you won't believe it---- and vegetarian to boot!

Veggie Panko Spaghetti

  • 2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs (in the Asian aisle) No substitutions!
  • 1 pound of excellent 'local' spaghetti (you can use dried if you can't find fresh) I've made my own for this dish and while it is quite nurturing, good local pasta does the trick for me
  • 1/2 cup+ of really really really good quality olive oil -- I find that I might need a bit more oil, depending on the dryness of the Panko and how many veggies you use
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips (I like to use a mix of red and yellow peppers if I have them both)
  • 4 nice fat cloves of garlic
  • 8 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch of thin asparagus, break off the tips and cut in half lengthwise
  • *other veggies you have fresh, beautiful and on hand
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a pinch (or to taste) of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a lovely deep skillet, heat up about 5 tablespoons of the oil (don't let it get too hot) and toss in the panko breadcrumbs. Move them around until they have crisped nicely. Remove to cool.

Start a big pot of boiling water for the pasta, add a tablespoon of kosher salt. Put the pasta in to cook for the recommended time.

Into the pan, add another few tablespoons of the olive oil and add in the red pepper, the shallots, the garlic and the asparagus tips. Saute until things are nicely done, a bit crisp but soft and the shallots translucent in color. Add the red pepper flakes towards the end of the cooking time. Remove from the pan.

When the pasta is al dente, drain well.

Add the final bit of oil (2-3 tablespoons) to the pan and heat gently. Add the well drained pasta and toss until lightly shining with oil. Now tumble in the remaining ingredients; the veggies, the toasted panko and the parmesan.

I like to garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and a bit of extra grated Parmesan.

Serve right away to very lucky guests! Serves about 4 with a nice green salad and some crusty whole wheat bread.

Have a great weekend, I'll be back next with Knitting Bride!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meme & FO's!

Before I get to work with the meme that Yoel tagged me with----- I do have some happy fo's. Above is the "Kimberly Bag" from Amy Butler. I have a pile of brights that I think I'm saving for totes or other projects, I wanted this one to be neutral (I live in black for work) and yet happy and 'me'. Aren't the handles fun? I should have snapped the lining, it is hot pink with circles of different colors. Great bag------ very VERY sturdy, the handle construction alone will be the springboard for every fabric handle I do going forth. The shape is great---- but for me anyway-- this is a smallish bag. Once your wallet and a few goodies are in there this baby is done.

So--- I am nothing if not dutiful---- how many times have I said that??? :) This is for you Yoel!

1.) What was I doing ten years ago?
  • I was living in Honolulu Hawaii raising my last child, now 23. I hated Hawaii then, if I had only known then what I know now but isn't that what looking back tends to do???
2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
  • 1. Feed the dogs
  • 2. Get to the Galleria for some skin care
  • 3. Try to get the machine quilting done on the ever present wall quilt-- I really want this one to be done!
  • 4. Read some more of Deepak Chopra's new book
  • 5. Go for a walk. That really should be number one on my list I guess that is very telling that I list it as an afterthought, I'm so bad!!
3) Snacks I enjoy:
  • Yoel says that her favorite snack is cucumbers with ketchup, which I guess explains why she is so thin! My favorite snacks are never healthy, or rarely. The healthiest I can go is fat free cottage cheese and whole wheat crackers. My favorite would be caramel Bugles or M&M's. Are M&M's a snack or a complete food group?
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
  • Invest it leaving a small bit to:
  • pay off debt for those I love, including myself--- fantasies can start at home after all
  • buy a house somewhere in Arizona or in Florida. Rather diametrically opposed locations but that is where I am right now. Hawaii would be great but I don't think with the way the world is heading I want to be so remote.
  • Self-publish my book NOW instead of waiting a bit
  • set up an organization that helped those in need. Like healthcare & education
5) Places I have lived:
  • Wichita, KS
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Orlando, FL (and Oviedo)
  • Chicago, IL (actually Lincolnshire)
  • Carbondale, IL-- Go Salukis!
  • Del Rio, TX
  • South Jersey
  • Upper Marlboro, MD
  • Minneapolis, MN (Lakeville & Apple Valley)
  • Honolulu, HI (Hawaii Kai and Ko'o O'lina)
  • St Louis, MO
6) Jobs I have had:
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Chief Cook and Bottle Washer- underpaid during and after
  • Regional Sales Rep for a now defunct cosmetic company out of NY, NY
  • Sales merchandiser for Neutrogena
  • Instructor for Cuisinart
  • various and sundry volunteer positions
  • freelance writer
  • Creative Director of a photography studio
So there you have it!

WOO HOO------- Twilight is coming along. I actually thought I was further along on the foot of these socks. Perhaps it was just my eagerness------ the longing to be finished. Have I mentioned these have been in progress for just way too long? Please ignore those toes badly in need of a pedicure!

And I will close with my new table runner, seen in progress earlier. Is it not just the happiest summer runner ever? Love it with a big bowl of oranges on the table.

Lovely, I almost seem productive!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Knitting Bride a la PiR2d

Saturday's bride was absolutely gorgeous, and as sweet and innocent a bride as we've had in, well maybe forever! She was anxious to pose with my knitting, doesn't she vamp up Pi Are Square quite well??? She doesn't knit (as most of my brides don't, sadly enough) and when she asked how to hold it and I had placed the needles, smiling with a "Don't let the stitches fall off those needles!" her eyes opened wide and she gasped saying "ohhhhhhhhhh I'm so afraid of it!" That, dear blitters, was a first! Scared of knitting, news at 11! :)

She was so gorgeous, and her wedding gown one of my favorites so far this season that I wanted to share another photo with you. Even though gowns with straps of some sort enchant me, this dress was lovely. I'm telling you, only one of my skinny mini brides can rock out this mermaid shape so beautifully. The flowers were also really gorgeous, beautiful roses in shades from cream to the fuschia, her bridesmaids carried tied stems of hot pink gerbera's.

I actually got quite a bit of knitting done as this was the wedding where Murphy's Law ruled. If anything could go wrong, it did. And then some!

Is that giant rose in her hair the best? Very Carrie! Look at that sweet girl in the photo above............. you would never know that this is the last time before her wedding day is pretty much in the toilet. That sound you hear is her dreams going down the drain fast.

The wedding was okay; I can deal with overbearing and irritating church ladies whose primary job is to manage weddings. After the wedding, the bride wanted a very quick down and dirty time of formals with the family in the church, and we don't normally do many anyway. Location photography was going to be wonderful and the couple had looked forward to it of course. The Cliff Notes version is that the bus broke down and was 45 minutes late in arriving with the replacement vehicle. Once you get that far behind in the schedule it's pretty hard to make it up. The replacement vehicle had a slow breakdown after the first location which caused us to have to sort of skip to the end of the day. The third bus arrived and took them to their reception. No chair covers............ the reception was on the very lightly attended side, and the best part? Or the worst part, depending on how you look at it----- the reception was held at a well-known and very nice loft building downtown so they were well above street level. The also well known exhibitionists chose that evening to, well do what exhibitionists do. Quite naked. Quite in your face. I'll leave out the really graphic details (knit group was screaming). The bride who is as I said earlier sweet as pie was----- less than enchanted. There was much crying and wailing in the ladies room. I feel horrible for her, and am quite glad that most of our weddings are wonderful events.

Because I spent more than my usual bit of time waiting I was able to knit four rows on the Pi Are Square shawl----- that doesn't sound like much until you remember that I've done my last increase in the body of the shawl and there are a lot of stitches on the circs at this point.

Other than knit group ***which was a lovely Sunday as always*** I've been face down in work and things probably won't change a great deal. Ack. I am delighted not to be using $4.00 a gallon gas to go to the studio for a few days and can work from home. If I schedule my time well I hope to get that new Amy Butler bag done and putter around a little bit. Otherwise I'll be most creatively hung!

Yoel, bless her heart tagged me with a meme------- I'll get to that tomorrow!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I've Become My Mother--

No photos--------- and when I tell you that it is because the planets have lined up in my favor and I have a mowed lawn, an empty laundry basket, and a gorgeous clean house and I spent the afternoon with knit group---- all at once---- you will forgive me. Won't you?

I do however have a confession to make, one that while shocking is a bit funny at the same time. I have always suspected that I have become my Mother, but there were still things 'outstanding' that I knew made me safe from the total absorption thing.

No longer. Let me explain:

My Mother (bless her soul) has been gone for years now and I miss her dearly. I've always said (and to her face when she was alive) that she was just about the cheapest woman I'd ever met. I mean so tight she squeaked. Che-ap. Let me tell you what I did and you will rise up and call me Mama!

I recently purchased some lovely underpinnings of the brassiere category. Sweet they were with good old underwire and a bit of lace on the straps. I bought 3 of them because they fit so well and looked so good in the bargain. Way, way before their time was up to be relegated to the scrap heap, the underwires began to poke through their casing, first causing pain to one armpit and then the other. That has happened before and I squinch the wire back through and tack back the end of the casing where the wire has worked it's way out. I really didn't think anything about this, as I say it was a repair I've done many times before. When the straps began to make my lovely bra's beyond annoying--- the straps fell down my arms constantly even when they had been adjusted to be as tight as possible, I was really pissed off! Those unmentionables had not seen their fair share of use, it was way too early for them to give up! After several weeks of pulling and shoving on the straps, and looking stupid in the bargain, it was time to do something about it. So, I went into the sewing room and did a bralteration!!!! Taking a pair of scissors I removed a slice of about an inch on both straps. Then using a nice tight and flat stitch, an elastic stitch actually, I butted the two ends of the cut straps together and stitched over the edges. The resulting straps may not have been as beautiful as they were before but I don't parade around in my undies anyway, who really cares? The bras have returned to their wonderfully serviceable state and I saved about $120.00! Woo Hoo I say!!!! Thrifty AND green!

Being the good bargain hunger I did what any self-respecting woman would do! I parlayed my savings (still green but of another sort!) into wonderful bargain! (Doesn't that sound better than to say that I spent the money I saved instead of buying new bras???) I purchased a new subscription from Schoolhouse Press for "Wool Gathering", now in it's 50th year. Wool Gathering is the little flyer began by Elizabeth Zimmerman. An excellent purchase all the way around. Then I purchased some new quilting fabric, some thread and a jelly roll strip of fabric as well. All that wonderful investment and I still have not spent the $120.00 I would have blown on new bras just because the dumb straps decided to go south. Literally. I am still on the hunt for more easily justifiable bargains, it is the least I could do!

Mom------ thanks! As always, you were right. Don't buy new what you can make new, I hear you loud and clear Mom. I hope you're okay about those things I "found free" along the way!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Bride Cometh

If it is Saturday there must be a bride in the mix! A previous comment here on the blog said that I must be busy this month with the bride thing. Amazing to me, weddings are an enormous business around the world and we are crazy busy 10 months of the year. It used to be that June was THE month for weddings. Here in mid-America, June is actually not the most popular month anymore and has been replaced by October. When you think about it, October is lovely with it's brilliant foliage and normally cooler temperatures so it does make a good choice. Last October the temps were hotter than a monkey's butt and we all wondered why we were doing a wedding every five minutes! The spring wedding thing has been tested this year without a doubt. There may indeed be global warming but you'd be hard pressed to prove it to my brides! Since wedding season really got going in early March, we've had ONE wedding day that was sunny and delightful! Today will not change that fact, we're expecting some pop up storms in the mix and hothothot.

There should be a lot of knitting in the mix today because of what looks like a bit of waiting built into the day in spurts here and there. I'm counting that as a bright spot!

Thanks for the comments and many emails that I received yesterday. My blitters can rationalize anything and I love that! When it comes time to make it okay to do something really BIG, you know that you'll be the first people I go to!

As it turned out, I mowed the lawn early in the morning knowing that I wouldn't be able to get to it until next week--- the joys of a busy schedule and a rotary mower! After a very small bit of work I headed up to the sewing room and dug in. When the tornado sirens blew and the rain came down so hard you literally couldn't see out the windows, I had a momentary pause. So, after determining that there was not a tornado barreling down my street I pretty much just ignored the whole thing and kept going.

I'm making the "Kimberly Bag" from the very talented Amy Butler. LOVE THIS BAG! I have to say that it is my first Amy pattern and I'm very impressed with the quality of the product and the clarity of the instructions. Even a novice seamstress could manage! When it comes to interfacing I knew that I was a big fan but I have come to discover that Amy is a total interfacing freak! I put much more interfacing into this bag than I would have thought to do. Mind you, it is a very constructed bag, very shaped---- but there is MAJOR interfacing with loads of iron on and some Timtex to boot. I'm not done yet, sadly, but ready to put in the zipper and the lining so I can see the end of the project coming fairly soon.

Once again, I bump up against the fact that I really don't like to follow directions. (SURPRISE!) Miss Amy, I'm giving it my very best shot------- truly.

Because I've been completely lazy about hauling out the camera (I really, really need one of those cute little digitals instead of the big old Canon) to take pics of wip's-------

I make that up to you by bringing you one of the best joy photos in the world.

There is just nothing as joyful as a giggly baby girl pulling a frilly frothy dress up over her head, showing those amazing baby toes and a cute little baby belly!! Love it! Sadly, this joy can't be enjoyed (in public) past the age of 18 months or so.

"Twilight" is about half way down my foot making me realize that soon (ish) I'll be doing toe shaping and then those socks will jump off my needles. Talk about woo hoo!

"Kimberly" bag should be done in another couple hours

Pi Are Square will be traveling with me today to grab here and there for a few quick moments of knitterly Zen.

Enjoy a fabulous day, do nice things for yourself, and keep your dress down where it belongs for heaven's sake!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Flowers

I bring you the photo of the bridal bouquet because stitch-wise, I got nothin' baby! Nothin'! Not that I don't have a finished project and progress made on others believe me............ I just haven't drug out the camera for NON work related things. It seems to be an effort I just can't get after at the moment, sorry.

The bouquet is gorgeous though, isn't it? Remember, I see bouquets every single week and this one was exceptional. The stems were wrapped well and the overall design was well balanced so as to be 'carry-able', that is not too heavy. I hate the bouquets that are created in that 'old school' plastic handle thing, horrible! The base of this all white beauty was baby's breath, followed by tightly packed layers of very tight, fresh flowers beginning with powderpuff carnations. Layers followed; roses, pearl centered stephanotis, and more roses, with the top knot of tight roses in bud. I just loved it!

I bring you the contrasting bouquet. It is made from jeweled polyester flowers. And it is blue. Enough said I think.

Tomorrow brings another day of bride wrangling, which means that I can try to take an afternoon off ahead of the big event. Shall I work down the feet of "Twilight", plug away on the Pi Are Squared which has had it's last body increase worked............ maybe start one of the new Amy Butler bags that have been patiently waiting since Paducah? Start that new little quilt using the "cherry baby" fabric I've been wanting to get to?? Or will I clean the house and mow the yard? I know what I want to do, I guess we'll see what wins out, the want to or the need to.

Encouragement and rationalization happily accepted!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


It seems that life right now is at a critical point. Politics, the economy, the world stage, fuel prices........................ wow. I can't help but believe that we can all make a difference if we collectively put good juju out there. Imagine. Simply imagine.

In an effort to keep things a bit 'lighter' (while still giving a serious nod to the state of things) I stand and applaud S*x in the City!

No spoilers here................. just my very honest reaction. When the movie was over and I had laughed, and cried. When I had consumed a box of Milk Duds, half a bag of popcorn and most of a diet Coke. When I had kicked one of two men sitting in front of me in the back of the chair and muttered an oath because he was insensitive and profoundly loud and stupid. When the last credits rolled and I drew in breath.........

I absolutely LOVED it. You know, it will sound ridiculous when I tell you that it might be one of the best movies I've ever seen! I might have to see it again before the DVD comes out. Mind you, I don't buy movie DVD's routinely, I probably own about 4 of them to include Gone With The Wind, Under the Tuscan Sun and a few others----- but I will buy this one. I am a huge fan of Carrie and the girls and have followed them since Day One but my movie partner never really watched S*x and really enjoyed the movie as well.

So there you have it. Visualize peace and send good juju to the universe ---and go to the movies!

I have knit a bit, and finished my cheerful quilted table runner, I'll trot them out very soon. Thanks for all of the comments and emails with best wishes for my first blogversary, I appreciate them very much!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Happy Blogversary to Me indeed!!!! My first Blogversary with Knitting Contessa, and it's been a great deal of fun! Actually, it is very hard to believe it has been a year---------wow. I'm taking a bit of stock and deciding what might be in store--- more Knitting Contrisstmas perhaps?

Thanks to the Blitters, and the Bwilters (blog reading quilters???) it has been lots of fun!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Last Knitting Bride of May

As much as I loved the bride and groom from last Saturday's wedding---- it was a tough day to be a Bride Wrangler. On a lot of levels...... we'll just let the dirty details go.

That is sweet Mrs. H, before the wedding, in her suite. I have to say that she was not only lovely on the outside but breathtakingly beautiful on the inside---- where of course it matters! The beautiful bride and her handsome groom were married in a hotel ballroom and the ceremony was held across the wide expanse of hall. Thankfully, we engineered a lovely private 'first glance' for the happy couple and could then escape for a few hours of location photography in between the crazy stuff. The lovely bride is holding Pi Are Square----- still a wonderful piece of fluff knitting. It has proven to be wonderful to just be able and pick up for a few quick stitches. The only thing to remember is the front parade of yarn overs that separate the round body from the triangular front sections. Easy peasy----- wonderfully Zen. You can see the line of holes marching through the knitting next to her right hand in the photo above. She started out the day tired, poor baby and sat for the knitting portrait---- but you can see more of her wedding gown below.

Her dress was lovely, I'm especially fond of the NON strapless variety. They have a more classic appeal, and because every dress in the world is strapless these days, they are 'different'. Of course they fit so much better too and there is a lot less 'grabbing of the girls' to make sure that they are firmly ensconced in their tulle and lace prison. Mrs. H's dress was allover lace with a very flattering one inch satin bow tacked in the center front and trailing around back to give a pretty diagonal leading line. Her bridesmaids were loads of fun and wore fabulous shoes and pretty cute dresses, very 'cocktail-y'. Do check out the ink of the matron of honor! Woo----eeeeeeeeeeee. I discovered at the end of the day that her ink was all 'alcohol related' and that was why she no longer consumed alcohol I could only smile. You should see the sides as well as the front!

Knit Group was absolutely fabulous yesterday, the day was bright and warm and there were no shortage of laughs (as always). A wonderful option was presented to me that quite frankly I had never thought of! Instead of actually knitting 'Twilight" the long suffering Two at a Time socks, I could have PAID a stunt knitter to actually make a pair for me! Heckfire, I could then have presented them as my own with no one being the wiser. Somehow this option sort of intrigues me! We did have a very good conversation about tattoos, maybe we should all go together to get one?? How much fun would that be! I'll take the photographs!

After taking a couple hours this afternoon from studio madness to see S*x and the City---- yay--- I'll be stitching on the binding for my bright and happy table runner. For some reason, I can't wait to have it finished and placed on the dining room table.

It is after all the small things in life that bring us joy!!!!

We all need more joy!