Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Crafting

Not all of my Christmas crafting has to be kept in secret.

My SIL doesn't generally read my blog, so I feel safe in showing what I made for her.

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Here is another fun look at some of the magnets. I really am having a lot of fun making these and choosing images for various family and friends.

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Lastly, instead of wrapping my gifts this year I have made reusable cloth gift bags.

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In addition to the "green" aspect, there is a great functional benefit. I have never been able to wrap my presents prior to flying. TSA looks down on that I guess. Well, if they see something they want to take a look at in my gift luggage, they can just open up my gift bags and peek inside. I don't have to rush to wrap all my gifts last minute.

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Lest you think this seems like an awful lot of work- let me assure you that this is not the kind of sewing that would make your Grandma proud. I rip the fabric to the appropriate size, fold it in half, a seam up each side. Next, a quick "auto" button hole, then fold down the top and seam the casing closed.

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It actually takes me the same time to sew one of these up as it takes to wrap a present. The plan (or hope) is that after doing this for a couple of years I will have enough bags in the appropriate sizes that there will be limited additional bag "wrapping".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yes, Yes, I'm Still Here

I know I haven't been around a lot as of late. I somehow have three months worth of things that I need to get done (wonder how that happened?)

I can't post knitting because I am working exclusively on a Christmas present. I thought I would show you another project that I have been working on, and having a lot of fun with.


I got this idea from my friend Jessica's blog.

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They are magnets, I just love looking at them all in a bunch like that. It reminds me of the symphony warming up- just random snipits of loveliness mingled together.

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And as, always, I am being entertained by Little Sir.

A few days ago I was making breakfast and while I had my back turned to him he started laughing hysterically. I turned around and this is what I see. . .

"Look what I found Mama!"
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"I'm big and can make my own breakfast!"
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Yes, my funny little boy, that is a real life lesson in bitterness.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

I've Survived

I've made it through another quarter. I do have one last thing to do, but I will take care of it on Monday and it shouldn't take more than an hour or so.

As a reward I went with some friends to the Phinney Ridge Craft Fair and the Urban Craft Uprising this weekend. It was a fantastic day. I obviously can't show you what I bought, as my acquisitions were gifts, but I CAN share with you a few things that I would have like to have bought, but didn't.

In no particular order, here are are few of the fabulous things I saw.

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Sprout Jewlery Interesting and modern jewelry that is unique without being over-the-top.

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eight3one I've loved these adorable designs for a while now. "W" was the recipient of the Beetle.

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Steel Toe Studios I didn't draw PBTB, my brother-in-law this year for Christmas, but if I had, one of these would have been a great gift.

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LuCoo Serious cuteness. I would just love to see Little Sir walking (yes walking!) around with this dude on his chest.

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Orange Peel Enamel There isn't a lot in her Etsy shop right now because she has items taken down for the craft shows she is doing, so check out her previous sales to get an good look at this beautiful jewelry-art.

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Go Robot I had a hard time choosing just one item to feature here. Unusual and interesting stuff.

There were so many others, we were so captivated that we forgot to eat! Be sure to check out the vendor list from Urban Craft Uprising for other great indie crafters.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Randomness

I am still working away on Oblique. No pictures, it looks just the same, just a bit longer.

I am stealth knitting a super fabulous Christmas present. It is currently taking up most of my knitting time.

The Duke and I are looking for alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving. We have done something different every year for the past six years and we are not satisfied with anything thus far. Any ideas?

We should be approved to adopt by next Monday! YEAH! If you have been wondering where all the pictures of Little Sir are check out the adoption blog.

I am nearly done with another quarter, if I can just make it about 10 more days. Three classes to go. . .

Hopefully I will have a return to interesting blogging in the near future.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It can't be all knitting all the time

I stole this from Keiauni. Thanks Keiauni!

You highlight what you have done...and leave the others alone.

I think I will annotate mine as well.

1.Started your own blog (several times over)
2. Slept under the stars (it's been too long, though)
3. Played in a band (the Thirsty Ducks - I think- is was a silly teenage thing)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (this is on my adrenaline junkie list)
12. Visited Paris (this is on my travel bug list)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (unreal)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (we're workin' on it. Help Us mightbebabywright.blogspot.com)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (you know, they don't let you do this anymore, glad I got the chance when I was young)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (not a vacation cruise, though, it's on my list as well- Alaska I think)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (more than once, if you can believe it)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (they won't let me)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone .
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (I lived a mere two hours away at one time, and never went. Isn't that sad?)
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (knock on wood)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own (just did :)

Tag, YOU'RE it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Long Lacy Summer? Uh, where are we again?

Well, it's summer down-under where Bells is hosting an informal little knit along dedicated to lace.

She has a lovely smattering of the finished lacy projects from the participants.

While it's summer in Australia, it's cold and rainy here. I haven't knit myself a sweater for over a year. What's a Duchess to do?

Knit a nice warm lacy sweater, of course!

It's Oblique

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Must Have Boots

I am not a shoe person. I probably have fewer pairs of shoes than most men. I'm good with a pair of tennis shoe, two pairs of crocs (black and brown,) two pair of short dress boot (black and brown,) two pair of dress shoes (black and brown,) and a couple of pairs of flip flops and sandals. Yep, that's it. I know, super boring.

SO. . . now you know how big of a deal it is that I saw a pair of rain boots and HAD TO HAVE THEM. I bought them right then and there. I've never done that before.

So, here they are. . .

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Don't you love it! Stockinette stitch printed on the boot. How could I resist? And I love the colors! Added bonus- now my feet won't get wet during mine and Little Sir's walks this winter.

BTW- they came from DSW and are made by On Your Feet.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

THS- Class of '97

I have yet another FO to share.

I have an experience I want to relate.

I even have a video tutorial on how to Navajo Ply to post (if I can figure out how to get the video from my camcorder to my computer- sorry Mom. The driver isn't compatible with Mac OS- very frustrating!)

But I am doing none of this because it all involves more brain power than I currently have in my reserves. So I give you this instead.

So, my darling friend "Lucy Westenra" emailed me the meme. She never does anything like this, so I thought it deserved its own blog post. Also, it means that I don't have to email a bunch of people.

If you went to THS you should know what I'm talking about, and I invite you to play along. If you didn't, well, I invite you to play along as well. It's good to remember those painful years periodically so that we appreciate our lives now a bit more.

Fill this out about your SENIOR yearof high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!! REPOST with name of high school and graduating year in the subject box.

1. Did you date someone from your school? Yes, and those of you who were there will affectionately remember him as "Butt Head" - a nickname I hated and refused to adopt. I think I kind of got a Yoko Ono reputation for that (among other things- yes I was aware, I just didn't care.)

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? Yes, I did, much to mine (and everyone but his) surprise. He, on the other hand, had known for quite some time. Patience is a strength of his.

3. Did you car pool to School? No, I was lucky to get myself to school on time (or at all.)

4. What kind of car did you have? I had a white Honda Accord that only could fit two people most of the time. I practically lived out of it.

5.What kind of car do you drive now? This question isn't about our Senior year! Lucy, did you throw this in so you could mention your awesome car and make us all jealous? Well it won't work on me, I love both my vehicles (even if they aren't Audis) I drive a navy blue Hyundai Vera Cruz most of the time, however, twice a week I am sans baby and I get to ride my Piaggio BV 200. I love it!

6. Its Friday night...where are you (then)? Senior year. . . probably in M's basement.

7. It is Friday night...where are you (now)? Oh, I get it- it's a comparison. OK Well, if by "night" you mean before 7:00 pm when we have to be home to put Little Sir to bed, then probably out to dinner with the Duke and the Little One. If you mean after, then I am watching Numbers and knitting in my living room.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? I worked at my parents' business (sporadically.)

9. What kind of job do you do have now? Domestic Executive by day, MBA Student and Entrepreneur by night.

10. Were you a party animal? We managed to have fun without ingesting illegal toxins or doing anything that, if caught, would be anything more than a misdemeanor. Well, except for the mail box thing, and stealing that blinking road block, those might be worse, but we didn't get caught, so it doesn't matter, right!?

11. Were you considered a flirt you think? No, I wasn't self aware enough to be a flirt, that came later.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Not my senior year, no. I gave up Madrigal Choir that year. It had ceased to be fun.

13. Were you a nerd? Oh, most defiantly.

14. Did you get suspended or expelled? We were too smart for that. If we didn't want to be in school, there were better ways. . .

15. Can you sing the fight song? Yes, but I won't!

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)? "Ms. Laforge - Drama teacher who devote her life to us." Viva LaForge! We loved her then, now that we are adults and we really understand what she did for us, we are humbly astounded.

17. Where did you sit during lunch? I usually went home for lunch, sometimes I was in Neves' classroom, but it could get pretty deep in there. I preferred the quiet alone time, or time with my sister.

18. What was your school's full name? I'll skip this for privacy reasons.

19. When did you graduate? 97

20. What was your school mascot? WHITE Buffalo

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? "not for a million bucks" Amen to that! It was an emotional, hormonal, exhausting experience.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? Senior year, Prom. . .one of many arguments. . . sadly, no, I do not. But I do still talk to my Prom dates from Sophomore and Junior year, in fact, I talked to one of them a couple of nights ago. (Hi, J. Do you read this?)

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? "no freaking way. Even if (The Duchess aka Mina) begs, I'll fake sick again!" What ever! You'd do nearly anything for me if I begged. You love me. Besides, what would you do without me to annoy you periodically. Your life would be so boring! :)

Thanks for the flashbacks, indigestion, creepy crawlies, trip down memory lane, Lucy. I'll get you back in 8.5 years!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dying Desire

I hadn't had my dye pots out for over a year. . . A YEAR! That's not normal, so the Queen and I decided to remedy that problem while she was up.

We mostly dyed fiber, as we were on a spinning high from Oregon Flock and Fiber, but I did throw a little handspun in there.

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On the bottom there we have the handspun (BFL) and some Corriedale roving that we threw in one pot with some weld. I really like it, but I've decided that I'm not really into natural dyeing. It takes a long time, and frankly, I'm more into the vibrant colors.
The other two are superwash Merino that I overdyed. I do love overdying. You never know what you are going to get.
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This is also some superwash merino leftover from a project that I spun the fiber undyed. (My mismatched stripes handspun socks.) It isn't a lot, maybe 2 oz, but it was fun, because I felt like it was OK if I messed it up, I left quite a bit of white on purpose. I am excited to spin it.
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I didn't realize it until just now, but Mernio seemed to be the favorite fiber of the day. The blue and green is Merino. The green/ gold/ black is Targee.
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And a llittle bit better view.

Do you notice something unusual about the colors. . . like there is NO RED anywhere in all of it. I decided I needed to expand the color range in my fiber closet. It was kind of hard to stay away from the red, but I am delighted with the colors!

Again, it feels good to be doin' my thing again. Thanks to the Queen for getting me there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A New Leaf?

Could it be that I am actually becoming disciplined in my knitting? Heaven forbid!

I do have three more FO's to show you, though. (Weird, I know.)

The first two I actually cast on in the last few days, but don't think I'm falling off the wagon or anything. These are the hats that Bop and Megan won from the last Yarn of Yarnnation.


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This is Megan's hat. She asked for brown or pink, she got both! The brown is Jo Sharp's Silkroad Aran (wool/silk/cashmere) in color Venetian. The pink is an alpaca silk blend that I spun.
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This is Bop's hat. The black is the (sadly discontinued) Jeager Chamonix. (angora/merino) and the turquoise is Brown Sheep Bulky (wool/mohair) in either Turquoise Depths or Tahiti Teal, not sure which.

The patterns are my own as far as any basic hat pattern is anyones.

Bop, if I can manage to remember it, you will get yours Sunday. Megan, yours will go in the mail either tomorrow or Friday.

The long lost shawl is also done. I had to try four of five different bind off techniques before I found one that was stretchy enought (ended up being p2tog, slip st back to left needle, repeat- and yes, it had to be a purl, not a knit, strange, no?)
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Here she is unblocked.

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And pinned out, blocking.

She is knit with Jojoland's Harmony. I'm pretty sure it's colorway HC02- but it's difficult to tell from the ball, and I have lost the ball band (I know, I know "bad knitter," what ever, I'm just happy the shawl isn't still lost.)

I will take better photos in the next week or so.

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The special baby boy vest is also coming along. I am enjoying creating a new pattern again. My brain hasn't been capable of such a task in such a long time. I think I will make this a free pattern on Ravelry, but no holding your breath. No promises as to how long that could take.
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All right then, I feel so normal, posting all about knitting. One might actually think this was a (gasp) knitting blog! Life, while still very busy, seems to be setteling into a new normal at last. It feels good.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finishing Spree

Are you all being kind in not hounding me to get my act together and tell you who the winner of the hand-spun yarn is, or have you just given up on me? I won't complain in detail about my life right now, but let me tell you, it's crazy.

Anywho- what you all really care about. . .

drum roll please. . .

the winner is. . .

Sonya!


Sonya, don't bother sending my your address, I think I can just throw the yarn in your direction and it will get there well enough. (For those of you who don't know, Sonya and her hubby Miles just bought a house about 1/2 a mile from Yarnnation. YEAH!)

Now onto the state of the (Yarn)nation.

I have been very fidgety with my knitting as of late. I have got out yarn, looked through books, wound yarn, knit swatches, but nothing was sticking. I finally figured out that I had so many WIP (works in progress for those non-knitters among you) that I was unsettled. I knew it was time for a finishing spree. I will do a proper WIP round-up here in the next week or so, but in the mean time, I just started pulling projects out of my basket and finishing them.

I now present, and unprecedented, THREE Finished Projects

1.
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The Regia K. Fasset Socks. I am so happy with them that I didn't bother to take them off after I took the pictures and they are presently employed keeping my tootsies warm.

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The gusset.

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Eye of the Partridge heel.
The colorway is Landscape Earth

2.
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A pair of longies that I am likely going to list in my Etsy shop, but may keep for my brave sister the Princess. She is considering cloth diapering her next baby (due in the spring! I am so excited!) The yarn is Cascade 220.

3.
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And last, but never least, the never ending scarf has actually come to an end, nearly two years since it began.

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For those of you who haven't been around that long, or who don't have the memory of an elephant, I died the main yarn. It is Cascade 220, I believe. Who can remember that long ago. The edging is Brown Sheep Superwash.

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Also, this project has the unique distinction of having once been a finished project, then once again becoming a WIP, then a UFO, and now finally, a FO, once again. After I finished knitting it I just thought it needed something else, so I decided to crochet ruffle on one side of it. Well, we all know how much I like to crochet, and that is how the poor scarf, through no fault of her own, ended up in the UFO basket for so long. But now she is revived, and I love her!

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And here is Little Sir, doing a band-up job of modeling it for you all. Yes, he thinks he is quite hysterical. Mama agrees!

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Then, after three finished object, I didn't feel so scattered and I thought I might be safe to cast on for a small little project. It is a vest for a very special little baby that is on his way!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wow! Fiber. . .

Thank you all for your kind comments about the latest Yarn of Yarnnation. I know it was kind of long, my imagination gets carried away some times. Remember to leave a comment on the last part to be eligible to have the happy fiber come live either in your stash closet or your coat closet (as a hat or fingerless gloves or something.)

Now, as far as newcomers to the stash, some of you might know that The Queen, The Princess, PBTB, and "W" just got back from Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. It wasn't the best trip, as The Princess' gall bladder decided to malfunction big time while we were there, but yarn and fiber were still procured. I was very restrained, though, the closet is getting a little crowded.

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This is Sarah Anderson's Great Balls of Fiber- enough for a long sweater. Superwash Merino/Alpaca.

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This is what the Princess picked out for me to spin for her. It's also the Merino/Alpaca. I am spinning it into a Navajo plied sock yarn for her.

I was a little dissappointed with Sarah Anderson's selection this year. Not that it wasn't all beautiful, there just wasn't very much of it. I asked her about it and she said that she just hadn't had the time and the weather hadn't cooperated. Ah well, I can't really complain, The Queen and I did a great deal of damage to both our wallets and her inventory!

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If you want to see a WHOLE LOT of Socks that Rock, visit the Queen's blog in the next few days. I found her holding dozens of skeins of yarn with a wild, crazed look in her eyes. We had to do some deep breathing to bring her back to her senses. The smell of vinegar can do that, you know. Next time we'll remember the smelling salts.

I was wooed by this one "rare gem" skein. I didn't intend on buying any yarn, but how could I resist this? I mean, really!

And the reason I had no intention of buying yarn. Oh that would have been the previous day's trip to this enchanted little place.

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Here you choose strands of any color and fiber your hearts desire and have it spun together onto a cone, ready for use!

If you are a knitter, crocheter, or weaver I suggest you visit as soon as possible. In the mean time, visit their website, where they sell pre-spun cones.

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This is a wool/cotton blend that will be a sweater for Little Sir.

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This is a wool/nylon blend in a sock weight.

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Mohair/wool in lace weight.

Yes, there will be return visits!

Now before I sign off, I want to be sure that you all visit Princess P. to wish her a speedy recovery and also to read all about the BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR!

Last but not least, you can also visit the adoption blog to see pictures of the adorable cousins together.