Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year

Another year is ending.  A new year is beginning.  Many people take this time to look back over the past year, and look ahead to the coming year.  I am no different - except I'm probably looking back a little farther than just the past year.  The past two years have been really rough - those of you who know me personally know that.  I went from having a great job, or at least a good one, one that I liked to having no job, to having one that is far from perfect.   I went from being in the best shape of my life to the worst.  I went from being pregnant to having the most beautiful little girl who is a joy and a pleasure to watch and listen to and love.  I went from never being sick to being sick constantly.

I had my fair share of trouble the past couple of years, and now I have some health issues that are beginning.  I've been on anti-depressants, gained weight, and now have blood pressure medicine that I'm taking.  This is less to complain, and more to explain where I want to go.  In order to know where you're headed, you have to know where you've been.  So, now you know where I am, so my goals will make more sense.

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions, more goals.  Sometimes I start them in the middle of the year, or month, or just on a Monday.  Have you thought about goals?  Do you want to get healthier, explore a new location, or learn a new skill?  I'd like to do 2 of those - the get healthier and the learn a new skill.  I want to get off all my medications, which really should only take some diet and exercise. I also want to learn to spin on my new wheel.

I want to grow a great garden and cook and bake more at home.  I think it's healthier than anything you can buy.  I want to use what I have, and spend more time with my kids.  I want to clean up our house and yard, and build a playhouse for our kids.  

There is a lot I want to accomplish this year.  Getting a new job is also on my list, but I have less control over that one.  I have been close this past year, and got passed over for internal referrals.  It happens.  So, instead of trying to improve my career, I'm going to improve my life.  What about you?  Any plans for this new year?  It's a blank page, ready for you to write the next chapter.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Catch-up

I didn't get to post pictures of the last few presents before Christmas, but I did take pictures before wrapping them.

Here's the Mallory for my husband's aunt.  I used 2 colors of Vintage, and striped it.  It turned out really well.

These socks were for my FIL.  He really liked them - knowing they'd be warm.  I based them on the Yarn Harlot's Sock recipe.  Little Man picked out the color.

These were the same, just bigger.  Little Man once again picked out the color, but these went to my brother.

I did the same for my husband in black.  I had been promising him socks for a couple of years, and finally just did it.  All of these were out of Classic Wool DK from Paton's.  I made them on size US 6, which in retrospect probably wasn't the best of ideas, but they will work.  I probably should have gone down a needle size or two, but I had the 6's and since that's the recommended needle size, I just went with it.

Now, that was all the gifts given.  Now for the gifts received.  I got a bag full of Cascade Eco +, that I forgot to take a picture of, but it's a fuchsia color.  I love it.  I'll post a picture of that later.  For the other stuff:

My brother gave me a lovely tea pot.  I have a feeling this will be one of a few.  I love it.

This is my favorite.  My husband, in all his wonderfulness, found an antique wheel.  It's a saxony wheel, and I get to learn how to spin on it.  I have to figure out how it works, but I have it, and it's mine.

In my limited knowledge, here's the flyer.  It still has bits of fiber in it from previous use.  I love that.

Here's the wheel itself, and our current make-shift drive band.

I'm still not sure what this piece is, but it looks like a lovely feather.  I think this is the draft hole, where the fiber feeds to spin.  I'll have to do some more research, unless one of you lovely readers can tell me.

And last, but not least, is the treadle.  There are a few issues, like woodworm holes, but I think that adds character.  They're not active, and there's not many of them.  To me, there's just enough to make it endearing.

There was more.  Oh, so much more.  He bought me yarn.  Above, is some Jo Sharp Rare Comfort in Pine.  It's a dark grey-green color, and I have 2 skeins.  Below, is more Jo Sharp, 5 skeins, in Earl Grey.  He unknowingly continued the tea theme.

This is the same, in a lovely ice blue color.  There are 4 skeins of this.  Can't you just see this in a GORGEOUS shawl?

He also bought me 10 skeins of Adrienne Vittadini Veronica, in a medium grey color.  It's an eyelash yarn, and I'm already planning some fun stuff with it.  I can make several of these, maybe a couple of these, and maybe one of these.

This was the pièce de résistance - lovely hand-dyed chenille DK weight yarn from Kindred Spirits.

There is between 450 and 485 yards per skein.  I'm already imagining an Effortless Cardigan in this.  It's lovely and soft, and hand dyed.  It needs a plain pattern to let the yarn shine through.  It's grey and purple and pink, all in muted dark tones.  It's beautiful.  Didn't he do good?

I also won a contest from Luvinthemommyhood.  I got some Birch Organic fabric in Set Sail and the Flag Day pattern from Lunden Designs.  Little Man will LOVE the resulting quilt.  I haven't decided yet if I want to add more fabric to it to make it a twin size quilt, or make it as is (crib quilt) for him, and then still make him a twin quilt as planned in the Sarah Jane fabric of Out to Sea.  Realize this was ultra exciting for me as I never win anything.  Okay, rarely do I win.  I've won 3 things in my life - once in 4th or 5th grade, when Coca-Cola had those pop-up cans with prizes, I won $5, which was stolen.  Then, at an office Christmas party 3 years ago, I won a Flip Video.  And now this.  I just don't win stuff.  But this was awesome, and all of it arrived in time for Christmas.  This is an awfully long post - don't hold it against me.  I've been so busy with Christmas, and I haven't had a chance to blog much, so I guess I'm making up for it. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Christmas Ever

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  I know I did - we had people a LOT over the 2 days (Monday and yesterday).  And the presents: mostly for the kids, and boy did they enjoy them.  Princess got a kitchen and jewelry and shoes (both play and useful shoes).  Little Man got Legos and science stuff and Mommy finally finished his star sweater.

All the Christmas gifts were well received - loved by all.  That was wonderful.  We had the old fashioned stockings for all our visitors, which included homemade apple butter and pumpkin butter.  I got a call this morning from one of the recipients saying he ate half the jar of apple butter this morning with some Whole Foods bread.

Then came my presents.  Can I tell you wonderful my husband is?  He not only bought me yarn (and a whole box of it) but he created a Ravelry account (dbrown73 - go say hi!) and researched antique spinning wheels for me, but HE BOUGHT ME ONE.  Yes, I got a BEAUTIFUL antique spinning wheel, that works and is mostly complete (the drive band is missing, like most, but easily replaced).  He really researched, asked around, checked out different models, learned about the parts, and then bought one.  The one he purchased was beautiful.  Sure, it might have some woodworm holes in it, and it's old (hence the ANTIQUE part), but it's beautiful.  I think her name is Betty, and I haven't tried her out yet, but I will.  Oh boy, will I ever.  I will definitely post pictures soon.  Here's what it kind of looks like:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Most of you know that I stick mainly to craft-related posts, but I feel the need to write something unrelated this morning.  In light of events that transpired on Friday, I know I cannot say any words that others have not put more eloquently, heal hearts more rapidly, or change anyone's perspective.  However, Friday morning's events weigh heavily on my mind and heart, and here is the best place to release.  This is not about gun control becoming more strict or less strict, or mental illness awareness.  Those are debates for another time and another place, and ones that I would rather have face-to-face than here.  Those are opinions, and everyone is entitled to them, and everyone is entitled to express them.  Again, that is not something I am moved to express at this time.

As a wife, a mother, a sibling, a friend, I cannot pretend to know the grief those in Newtown, Connecticut must be feeling, nor do I honestly want to imagine it.  I know I have experienced loss, and even the loss of a child, but it does not compare to their experience.  This atrocity affects everyone around the world, not because of its geographic location, but for two main reasons.  First and foremost, it attacks our sense of mortality and humanity.  It brings home the reminder that we all perish, and we do not know when.  Secondly, it was an attack, a blatant evil attack, on innocent lives.  This was pure evil attacking pure innocence. That disturbs even the most unshakable.  I grief as a mother, for those who lost their children.  This hits me hardest.  To have your child ripped away in such an unceremonious manner is a burden not many can bear.  The thought that there are Christmas presents that will not be opened in a few days' time, that Christmas pageants will have missing characters, that parents were robbed of the chance to hold their children once more and say "I love you" tears at my heart.  I hope that you, as I do now, am reminded that life is short, and to hug a little tighter, kiss one more time, hold a little longer, and whisper "I love you" a little more often in coming days.

All that said, my thoughts are turned to another Parent who watched His Child die.  He also sent His Son off one morning, and was separated from Him as well.  God sent His Only Child to earth, to live in this mortal coil, and to one day perish.  I am sure that Mary also felt a bittersweet moment when she first held her baby boy.  To love Him so deeply that you feel as though your heart would break from all the love, and to know that you must give Him up to the hands of evil and cruel men one day.  I know that feeling as well (without the cruelty) - but her firstborn was something extra special.  Let us remember God suffered a deep loss, that we might gain.  It does not answer any of our questions, the "why" or the "how,"  but there is One who knows more than we could ever hope to learn.  It does not stop the parent or friend from grieving for their loss.  Grieving is what we should do.  I also pray that God, in His infinite mercy, wisdom, love and justice, is holding all 20 of those children in His arms, cradling them.  And just as He has gathered those children together, He has looked into the face of that evil destroyer, and said "depart from me; I never knew you."  I also pray for all you, that you may remember lessons forgotten, memories buried, and turn to Christ this Christmas season.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stolen Moments

I'm a stealth knitter - I knit whenever I can, whether I'm supposed to or not.  I knit in unusual places, like the bathroom and while sitting in traffic.  I know, that can be dangerous, especially in Atlanta traffic, but I am careful.  I hate wasting good knitting time, and I've learned I can get a few stitches done at a red light, and even more when there's a line of cars at a red light.

Now, I'm stealing knitting time for myself.  I have Christmas knitting left to do, but most nights, before finally going to sleep I steal a little time for myself.  I quietly work on Gemini for me.  I doubt I'll get it done for Christmas, but a row here and row there add up.

I also now have the yarn to make a Mallory cowl for myself.  This one might get done for Christmas.  If I hurry.

I finished another sock, cast on for the match and now I'm about halfway done with it.  I also think I've given up the idea for the kids' quilts for Christmas.  Oh, the quilts are not going to be abandoned, and I still want to work on them.  As a matter of fact, I got the sashing needed for the squares.  But, I'm being sneaky - I'm hoping to have at least the tops done, and show them off while family is here.  Then, perhaps, if she's not COMPLETELY oblivious, my grandmother will offer her sewing machine to me.  It's a lovely 1940's Singer sewing machine, complete with cabinet storage and foot treadle.

I think it's black, or maybe green, and old, and simply wonderful.  There are no bells and whistles on it, and it probably needs to be cleaned, but I think it's adorable.  It makes straight and zigzag stitches, and I think there's a buttonhole foot for it, and not much else.  It's simplicity itself.  And that is what makes it perfect.  No computer screen to die, or microchip that will get fried during a storm, or thrity-thousand moving parts that could break and cost me an arm and a leg to replace.  This machine has seen a lot - two children growing up, night shifts, recitals, at least one war, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren.  This heirloom is one that should stay in the family, and be used lovingly.  I don't know if I'll actually get it or not, but it's nice to hope that I will.  I'm not the only granddaughter, nor am I the favorite.  I'm okay with that - I've known that for the majority of my life, and have accepted it.  But, I am the one who does more crafting and I even finished one of my grandmother's projects.  She had started a crewel project ages ago, and I finished it sometime in high school I believe.  It was a simple embroidery floral pattern, as a wall hanging.  It's probably in storage somewhere, and I may drag it out if I can find it and hang it up somewhere.  Maybe in Princess's room.  But, in the meantime, I'm going to hope that I get this machine, and I can finish my quilts on it.  I possibly could finish them on my machine, but the problem is that the feeddogs don't work as well as they should.  Something's wrong with them, and that's affected the tension.  I make it work, but I don't know how it'd work with the 3 layers of a quilt.  I guess we'll see when I get there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


There's been good news and bad news around here.  The good news is that I've been busy on Christmas.  The bad news is that I haven't made nearly as much progress as I had hoped, and I haven't had as much time to blog.

On the good news front, last weekend we went to my family Christmas party.  We haven't been in 3-4 years, so it was nice to see all who showed up (not everyone did, which is normal).  They changed it from a Sunday in December to a Saturday in December, which makes recovery for us a little easier.  However, since Hubby let his license expire (he thought he had to renew next year), this meant my 7 hours of potential knitting time was cut to 0.  I drove THE. WHOLE. WAY.  The drive itself wasn't that bad, but with 2 small children in the car and a grumpy hubby, it made for a less than pleasant trip.  I should clarify, lest you think he was angry about something in particular, that his grumpiness was somewhat understandable.  He had a headache, the sun was blaring down on him the whole way there (exacerbating his headache), and he couldn't drive.  He happens to enjoy driving, to an extent, and to be unable to drive, not unwilling, changes things.  It's like anything else - the one thing you CAN'T do is the one thing you WANT to do.  After some ibuprofen and a little nap, he was in better spirits.

Quilting is proving more math than I anticipated.  Also, a little slower than I had hoped.  My original vision for Princess's quilt has changed slightly, and requires more funds for more fabric.  In the meantime, I hope to start on Little Man's quilt, but I sort of need his opinion.  I could do it on my own, and I'm sure he'd be fine with it, BUT...he's at an age where he wants to be involved.  I'd rather keep him in the loop than not and have him interested (potentially for longer than normal) than just do it without him.  It sounds like a lot of hassle, but with this kid, you pick your battles.  He's a highly independent and strong willed (read: STUBBORN as the day is long - a summer day, that is), which has a good and bad side to it.  Learning to pick your battles with him, as with anyone, is key.  He also enjoys Mommy-time, and who am I to refuse my child that enjoyment?  There will come a time when he wants virtually nothing to do with me (except when he needs money or car keys), so I'm relishing what time I can get now.  Besides, working with him is a lot of fun.  He has a very creative imagination and can carry on wonderful conversations.  He asks lots of questions, and he enjoys talking to me.   I enjoy it too.

I haven't taken any pictures recently, so nothing really new to show you, but I will share this lovely one with you I took a few weeks ago:

You can't ask for a better picture, now can you? :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rearranging and the Great Cookie Bake-off, part 1

I've been crafting a LOT, which is why I've been quiet around here.  I have 3 more Christmas gifts to knit, and then I'm still working on the 2 quilts for the kiddos.  In the meantime, here's all but two of the finished gifts:

Little Red Riding Cowl (in pink) for my grandmother

 Malabrigo Rasta Chunky Cowl (seed stitch) in Ravelry for my mom

Malabrigo Rasta Chunky Cowl (for some reason I can't find the pattern I used) for my MIL 

Catherine Cowl for my dad

Surprisingly, Little Man took these pictures for me.  Not too bad, given it's his first time behind a camera.  Here's a fairly decent picture of Skelf as well:

It's not my preferred picture, but I have to say, he did a good job.  I have also finished another Mallory cowl for my husband's aunt, and I just cast off socks for Hubby.  I have 2 more pairs of socks (DK weight, so fast knitting) and a scarf to do.  There are 26 (almost 25) days until Christmas.

Now about those cookies...I'm going to throw together a spreadsheet listing out the differences in the ingredients, because I'm that kind of baking nerd and I live in Excel.  It won't be hard to do - just toss all the standard ingredients up and put the measurements underneath.  Then, time to compare with each taste of cookie.  It's amazing what taking the same ingredients and changing the ratios slightly can do.  We finally baked what was left of all 6 previous cookie doughs, and baked the big one as well, so we have 7 different types of chocolate chip cookies.  No, seriously.  We have 7 different kinds of chocolate chip cookies - and I had to STOP myself at 7.  There are probably THOUSANDS of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, and I limited myself to only 7.  BTW, thanks to all the ladies in the Luvinthemommyhood group on Ravelry for passing their favorites along to me.  As we've tasted the cookies each week, Little Man has rated every one a "10".  Let's face it, he's a kid who loves chocolate chip cookies, so it's not like he's really picky.  There were a few he wasn't a fan of, probably because they weren't baked so well (sometimes I got them a little overdone).  But, they are all good.  No lie, really.  Trust me, I tasted each one with him.  And then some.  *grins*  Once I have that spreadsheet done, I'll post links to all the recipes, and even post the spreadsheet, so you can see the comparison.  It should prove rather interesting.  Oh, and here's a picture of the first of the quilt blocks for Princess's quilt:

A lot of them look similar, but each one is unique.  I'm still figuring all this quilting stuff out, and I'm working with all I've got.  We've talked about rearranging some furniture, so that maybe, just maybe, I could eventually get my grandmother's old Singer sewing machine (from the 1940's or 1950's) out of storage and start sewing on it.  That's the machine my mother learned to sew on, and made all kinds of dresses, pants, formals, and anything and everything else she made before she was married.  It's a basic machine, not a lot of bells and whistles, but I like that.  I don't need 250+ embroidery stitches.  I just need a machine that won't un-thread itself every 20 inches or so.  I'm still working on making good, solid, straight seams and not sewing too fast to ensure that the seams are straight.  Let's hope that rearranging will work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I now only have 5 Christmas gifts left to complete.  There are 27 days until Christmas.  I may be able to make it, but 2 of those 5 gifts don't have to be actually finished, as they are for my children, and they aren't that interested in the gifts anyway.  They may be belated Christmas gifts.  I do have some travel time coming up, which should help complete at least one of those final 3 and get started on another one.

I'm taking a cue from the Yarn Harlot this year, and I've made a Christmas Planner spreadsheet.  Sure, it may sound a little Type-A, but it helps tremendously.  I've got my gifts in there, my food, my stockings (we do old-fashioned ones, and I like to make sure everyone has one - they actually come out more like gift bags, but one of these years they might actually be in stockings, or shoeboxes, as in days of yore), and my Christmas card list.  I can keep all the pieces together this way, and hopefully just use it year after year, unless someone moves.  It's easier than manually transferring all the names and addresses to a new planner each year, and it will also be easy to do a mail merge for labels for the cards.  Yes, I know - it's not exactly handmade, but let's face it - how many people actually send out Christmas cards anymore?  I don't get all that many (not that I ever did, but I did get more than Charlie Brown) and most people would rather send an email than an actual card or letter.  I'm not doing the whole "Family Letter" thing - to be honest, there haven't been that many changes in the past year to write about.  Maybe one year, if we have a HUGE year full of massive, major, life-changing events happen.  But for now, everyone just gets a picture of the family with Christmas wishes.

The presents for my kiddos are quilts.  Here's the interesting thing: I'm the first one in 2 generations to do this.  The last one who actually quilted by my knowledge was my great-grandmother, after whom I'm named.  Go figure - I've picked up a lot of her stuff.  I've been working with my sewing machine, which is about 8 years old, and although it was expensive at the time (over $300 on sale), it's a cheap machine.  I have to keep the tension on 0 in order for it to work; otherwise, the thread is all screwy on the back.  But, it does what it needs to in order for me to start these quilts.  I'm learning as I go, mainly because 1) no one else in my family does this and 2) I could take a class if it weren't for 2 big deciding factors - time and money.  I could possibly squeak out the time, but the money is another issue.  Perhaps one of these days I can take a class, and then I'll figure out all the things I've done wrong.  Or maybe, I'll wait on the rest of the quilt tops until after the first of the year, take a class, and then complete them.  I started on the one for Princess, and I can tell there's some issues with the pieced blocks - squaring them up will be a trick and a half.  But, if I can make some mistakes, learn from them, and fix them, then so much the better.  I like learning experiences.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stealth Knitting

Knitting the socks for my hubby is taking longer than I had anticipated, because I have to do it while he's not around.  He's not always the most observant of individuals, but I don't want him to get suspicious either.  He does occasionally ask, and the one time I don't want him to, will be the one time when he will.  I'm almost done with the first one, and I hope to get a picture next week.  I'm using Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's sock recipe in her Knitting Rules book.

You know what's funny?  I actually have these exact same socks.  They were the first socks I ever knit.  They're big, but so comfy, and they're perfect comfort socks.  When it's grey, and rainy, and cold, those are the socks I love to grab and put on.  Happy weekend - this weekend's going to be filled with Thanksgiving preparations.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gift Time

I’ve figured out sometimes I have to get what’s in my head out, and until I do, I can’t do anything else.  So, here it goes.  I’ve been thinking about Christmas, and how to make this a handmade Christmas.  I’ve done a good job so far, but I’m coming up a little short for a few people.  The list looks something like this:

  1. My mom: cowl – finished
  2. My dad: cowl – finished
  3. My MIL: cowl – finished
  4. My grandmother: cowl – finished
  5. My uncle & aunt: cup cozies – finished, except for detailing
  6. My hubby: socks – started
  7. My FIL: ???
  8. My SIL: cowl – started
  9. My brother: ???
  10. Friends’ son: scarf – not started, but all pieces waiting (pattern & yarn)

Then there are my two lovely children.  I’d love to work on sweaters for them, but I still have at least 3 more gifts to knit up.  I’m trying to figure out how long my hubby’s socks will take.  They’re DK weight, and I’m knitting them on US6’s, so they should (in theory) go quickly.  In about an hour, I’ve completed the cuff on the first sock.  That’s 2 inches, including the cast on.  That’s a pretty quick knit.  

I was reading the Yarn Harlot’s blog from 2006 where she started knitting a sock a day.  In reading that blog post again, I realize that I’m sure I can fit in a few basic socks between now and Christmas.  Maybe the kids will get socks as well.  I might, just might, be able to squeeze in 5 pairs of socks, a cowl, and a scarf before Christmas.  This includes cleaning the house, prepping menus and food, Thanksgiving, and decorating.  I’m making great strides, even while working.  I take every opportunity to knit on a gift and I’ve put my sweater(s) on hold.  Gemini will be on hold, as well as the Owls sweater that I finally got the yarn for…and several other sweaters.  Gemini right now is kind of at a “boring” part – it’s all stockinette stitch until the increases.  I’ve also decided to make longer sleeves, knowing full well I’ll have to decrease since they are designed to be fuller cap sleeves.  I’m not too worried about it right now.  Right now, it’s all about the Christmas Gifting.

Friday, November 09, 2012


I’m terribly behind in blogging.  I know.  I keep meaning to post something, and either forget, or don’t have time.  And sometimes, to be honest, I choose not to.  I choose to knit instead.  So shoot me.  But, here are some interesting pictures for you.

This one is my Cloudy Day.

There used to be more, but I lost track and stitches came out, and I wasn’t thrilled with the bobbles, so I ripped back to the brim, and started again.  It takes a lot of concentration, since every row is patterned. 

This is the beginnings of Gemini. 

It’s much farther along now.

The lace pattern was actually pretty easy, and if I hadn’t screwed up somewhere, I wouldn’t have had to rip back to the end of the lace pattern and start all the increases again.  That cost me about 3 days.  But, I still might get it done by Thanksgiving.

This is the Catherine Cowl. 

It’s done now, but needs to be blocked.  It’s out of Royal Alpaca from Blue Sky Alpaca.  Isn’t it lovely?  The yarn is soft and yummy – it makes you want to cuddle it. 


This is leftover stash yarn from a shawlette, and it’s getting made into cup cozies for Christmas.  Should I get a prize for alliteration?  Christmas Cup Cozies Can Cajole Candice.  There.  I have no idea who Candice is, or why she needs cajoling, but there you have it.  My stab at alliteration. 

I’d like to get a sweater done for me each month between now and Christmas.  I got my Skelf done for Halloween, and I’d love to have Gemini done for Thanksgiving.  I’d then adore completing my Owls sweater for Christmas.  I guess I should mention that the rest of my yarn for that one finally came in, and I will purchase the pattern this weekend, along with one for the kiddos. 

Have you decided on any projects for Christmas?  I did, and I already started knitting!  I actually have 4 gifts already completed: two chunky cowls, a Little Red Riding Cowl in pink, and the Catherine Cowl.  The rest of it will be the cup cozies, a scarf (maybe), the sweaters for the kiddos (maybe), another Little Red Riding Cowl in blue, and socks for Hubby (maybe).  It depends on how much I can cram in.  I may need to rethink the sweaters for the kiddos, and put them aside until later.  They may be belated Christmas gifts.  One might turn into a birthday gift, since Little Man’s birthday is in January.  Just so you know, there are 46 days left until Christmas.  Use your time wisely!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Creepy Critters

I hope everyone had a great and safe Halloween.  We had a great time taking Little Man and Princess trick-or-treating.  They had a blast.  So, I did finish Skelf:

Here it is blocking.  I haven't had a chance to get pictures of it on, but soon.  A week or so ago, we did make Cookie Recipe #4.  Here's the picture of what's left:

I have figured out that staging is everything for pictures.  Don't they look delicious?  So, these were really good.  I was slightly skeptical, but they turned out well.  More on that later.  I'm exhausted due to all the trick-or-treating with 2 small children and winning a costume contest.  Here's the makeup I did:

Realize that was at night, just before we went out, so it had been on all day.  It's still not too shabby.  This was the real prize:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I finished Skelf yesterday.  Okay, technically I still need to block it and sew on buttons, but all the knitting is finished!  Yay me!  This is the first "grown-up" sweater I've completed.  I did make a top-down raglan when Spud and Chloe had their knit-a-long a couple of years ago, but this is my first REAL adult sweater.  Like with written out directions for each size and no math required.  It was terrific.  I love the pattern - Ysolda writes them so just about anyone can follow them.  The directions were very clear (even if I didn't read them very well the first time around).  I did add some to my project page, and will finish adding notes later.  Here are a few pictures before blocking:

My only problem now is where to block it?!  I have hardwood floors throughout my house, except the bedrooms, and I work during the day, so I have to block things either at night or early in the morning - when half the people in the house are sleeping.  Sometimes more, but at least half.  That leaves few possibilities.  First, there is the ironing board:

As you can see, it works GREAT for Little Man's sweater (now it's not scratchy).  The sleeves dangle, but I'm not as worried about them.  The problem for my sweater - it's wider than his.  This means that either a) I could only block half of it at a time, or b) it might stretch funny.  I can use a drying rack, one of those old wooden dowel zig-zag racks to cover it, but again, it might stretch funny from the spaces in between the dowels.  I would just go get some of those puzzle mats from the exercise section of a local big box store, but I really don't have even the $20 to spend at the moment (payday is Friday and we're watching our pennies for Christmas).  So, I have to decide how to block it.  In the meantime, Hubby helped me pick buttons for it and we decided on these:

Aren't they lovely?  They will add just a little sparkle to the top of the sweater.  I had planned on using these terrific ceramic buttons I found at an antiques mall, but after looking between those and these, these buttons won out.  Oh, and once Little Man's sweater is dry,

he's going to shine! :)  What are you working on?  Anything new?  Anything finished up?  It's going to be a great day, so let's get started with a lovely chat.