Sunday, August 30, 2009

We are blessed with cooler temperatures this weekend and with September only a day away I'm really getting excited for fall to arrive. I've been working on Heroine nearly exclusively and finished the body last night. I've had major issues with row counting on this sweater. I don't know if my clicker is getting bumped in the bag or if I'm just brain dead but all 3 pieces I've knit so far have had to be ripped at least once. Thankfully it's a fast knit so it wasn't heart wrenching to tear back 10 rows and reknit them. After the fact I discovered I'd misplaced one of the buttonholes on the left front. I had already finished the piece when I discovered the mistake and there was no way I was ripping back that far. Since the jacket is felted and the buttonholes aren't technically functional, I decided to duplicate stitch over the errant buttonhole and will hand sew in the correct buttonhole after the jacket is felted. Hopefully I won't regret this decision. I steam blocked the parts and stitched up the shoulder seams just in time for Quinn to claim the jacket for her afternoon nap.I'm now knitting the sleeves and have decided to do both at the same time. This slows things down a bit, but when I'm done, I'm done. I have to be careful when I set my work down to be sure not to stop between the two sleeves as it's really hard to tell which sleeve I stopped on.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A change of perspective

Two things happened yesterday. Well, that's probably an understatement. Lots of things happened. One pretty big bad thing happened early in the day which set my mood switch on "very bad". And it stayed stuck there all day. Then, in the evening when I had time to sit down here at the computer and scan some of my favorite blogs and catch up for the week, I came across this post on Crazy Aunt Purl's blog. She talked about how it's so easy to dwell on the negative, but sometimes what we really need to do is concentrate on the good. So in that spirit, I've decided to post ten things that make me happy rather than whinge on about the bad stuff. Here goes, in absolutely no particular order....

10 things that make me happy.
  1. Knitting. Who couldn't have guessed that. It not only makes me happy, it makes me calm.
  2. My cats
  3. My garden
  4. Audiobooks and podcasts. Listening to someone else tell me stories is a joy instilled in me from when I was a wee sprout and mom would read Nancy Drew to my sister and I.
  5. Cozy mysteries. Sure someone died last week, but we REALLY need to plan this town dance!
  6. Chocolate. The more the better. I don't think I've had a day without at least a bite of chocolate in the last year, at least.
  7. My friends, family and my hubby
  8. Sitting on my porch with a gentle breeze blowing and Garrison Keillor on the radio
  9. My huge collection of sniffies (perfume oils). BPAL though art my love.
  10. Getting a package in the mail. Am I the only one who gets a thrill when they see a brown box at the door?
Next time you are having one of those days and you feel like Eeyore or Oscar the grouch, try Laurie's trick and take a few minutes to think about the good stuff. You might realize things maybe aren't all as bad as they seem and there's still good around you.

Much peace to you today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A lot going on

It's been busy here. Summer always seems so full. The garden harvest is in full force. I've done 16 pints of tomatoes and 7 pints of pickles. We froze peppers, lima beans and okra. For once the zucchini has been coming in at a nice slow steady pace, about 1 or two per week. I'm not a fan of frozen zucchini so it's nice when it comes in so that we can eat it right away. We did dehydrated tomatoes this year which are super tasty. I'm out of canning jars so I think I'll end up dehydrating or freezing any more tomatoes that come in. We are starting to get kohlrabi (only planted one row.) Our cranberry beans, brussells sprouts and broccoli are all looking great (although we are having problems with some kind of caterpillar eating the leaves so we have to keep up with spraying. The red calypso beans are apparently extremely tasty to bunnies. The little rabbit ate all 16 plants clear down to the ground! At least he hasn't touched anything else so I guess I can live with it.

On the crafty front, I have been industriously working away on a myriad of projects.

I finished the foulard.Egh, not thrilled with it. Being knit on the bias it stretches like the dickens and just looks sloppy to me. It's also much smaller than I expected, even though I made the large size. It'll be fine for keeping my shoulders warm, but it's not a pattern I would knit again.

The sweatshirt jacket I bought the pattern for at Quilt Odyssey is coming along spl
endidly.The body is finished and I wore it embellished to work this week.Here you can see all the embellishments that need to be finished and applied. I need to make somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-90 yoyos. The Clover YoYo makers have been a godsend. I made the first few yoyos the traditional way and had decided it wasn't worth the hassle and was going to skip the yoyos all together. Then mom introduced me to this gadget. Wow, you can't believe how easy it is to make yoyos. I can make 3 in like ten minutes. If you need to make yoyos, I HIGHLY recommend them.

After knitting laceweight yarn all summer I suddenly got the urge to knit somet
hing heavier. I think the fact that September is just one page away has me longing for fall! Ever since I saw it in last winter's Twist Collective, I've had my eye on Heroine. Suddenly I decided now was the time to make it. I purchased Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Current and got started right away.This jacket is knit at a larger gauge then felted down to size when it's completed. I was careful to swatch and measure before I started since felting is such a finicky process and I would hate to put all that time and money into a project and not have it fit! I had to adjust my needle size down and knit the size larger than I first thought, but I think this should work (fingers crossed). After only two day's work I'm halfway up the back. I'm pretty sure I'm going to need to order more yarn since I'm having to knit the next larger size, so this is my main priority knitting at the moment. I want to get far enough along to see where I stand and try to order more yarn right away while I might still be able to get the same dye lot.

I was a big winner recently! Our local grocery store gave away a gas grill and yours truly was picked the winner. I was tickled pink since only a few weeks before I was lamenting to C how much I would love a gas grill, this on a night when the charcoal grill was refusing to light. I'm still getting the hang of cooking on gas and am still a little nervous I'll blow myself up.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Quilt Odyssey recap and One Pretty Thing

This weekend was the Quilt Odyssey quilt show in Hershey. It's become an annual tradition for mom and I to attend. This year it looked for a bit like we might not make it due to car trouble, but in the end we were able to go and had a great time. The show was excellent as always. This show always includes modern quilts as well as a selection of antique quilts (my favorites). Much of the show did not allow photography, so I didn't get any pictures. There were some absolutely stunning exhibits of outstanding craftsmanship. My quilting is firmly grounded in the utilitarian and I don't aspire to 12 stitches per inch in hand quilting. But I sure can appreciate the skill required to achieve such fine results. Even some of the machine quilting could take your breath away. The merchant mall was fun and tempting as always. I was a pillar of restraint and walked away with only a nifty compass type tool for drawing every size circle imaginable and this gorgeous button jacket pattern. Mom and I are both planning to make this sweet tog. I was on a mission to get wool quilt batting for the quilt kit I completed from last years show. Didn't find any at the show, but was able to order it online. We topped the day off with lunch at Houlihan's and some shopping at the Hershey Outlets. Despite getting soaked in the rain, it was a truly enjoyable day.

Looking for a daily dose of crafty inspiration, check out One Pretty Thing. This blog became an instant favorite when I discovered it some time ago. I always stop by at least once a week and always find something I would love to make.