Foxes and Rabbits

I have been knitting and sewing a bit, but not a lot to show you. I am in a red and pink mood – probably because February is coming in, but mostly because I love red, and find myself needing pink socks.

Why pink socks? Because. I wear a lot of red, raspberry and pink things – but don’t have any hand knit socks. Not enough hand knit socks for me in any color. I have a lot of sock yarn, but just need to get down to it again.

I did need to shop for the red and the pink though. I picked up a lovely red and grey Cherry Tree Hill named Foxy Lady. Try saying or thinking that without the Jimmy Hendrix voice. Tried more than a few scarf patterns for making the perfect red toned scarf. No go on all of them. Got back on the internet and found this pattern for a stitch called Rabbit Tracks. Perfect! Foxes and rabbits don’t really go together in the getting along way, and similarly, I had to really work on getting them together. I finally landed on the right number of stitches, the right start, the right edging and am making my way along fine now. Here is what I have so far:

To help keep knitting relaxing and more flowing, I find using a small note, pinned to the arm of my sofa where I knit – does the trick vs. something on a magnet board. Of course, this only works for the simple patterns. This one is simple enough to have completely in memory, but I know myself well enough to have it written so that I have a bit of reminder. Makes for fewer mistakes.

Stress-free stuff is important right now. I had a bit of an exciting day on Wednesday. I have a history of racing heart episodes. Nothing to worry about – it is what it is, and I have had my heart checked out many times. I just have a heart that likes to really get ramped up sometimes. Well, this time it raced for too long. I had my sister take me to the emergency center (clinic, not a hospital). Of course by then the racing had stopped (good thing). But my pulse and blood pressure showed that I still needed help. The doctor suggested that I change my blood pressure medication immediately, and come back the next day (Thursday). So that is what I did. I am feeling much better now, but not quite 100%. Just trying to chill a bit and relax with my knitting.

Sewing right now isn’t so relaxing. My dog doesn’t like when I spend too much time with my energy focused elsewhere (computer and sewing). He is okay with my knitting, isn’t that weird? Here he is, hanging off the sofa, chilling out like his mama.

Right now I am feeling calm but sad. Sad because my youngest brother Vim’s dogboy Ace died this morning. They have been pals for a long time. Ace (I liked to call him Acey Security System) was a sweet dog – feisty and big acting like all little dogs are. A true companion. I would like to think that he is somewhere chasing rabbits, or maybe even foxes.

Peace!

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Drunken Beef – drunk cow, mad cow?

Okay, here is the recipe:

My mom gave it to me labeled Roast Beef Heaven

5 lbs beef roast – boneless
3 cans beef onion soup – campbells type, regular size. I use their condensed french onion soup.
1 can/bottle of beer. I use a good imported german beer, the name escapes me at the moment. The directions say to open the beer/bottle and let it sit a while, but I don’t have that kind of patience or planning; I just pour it in all bubbly-like.
1 shot bourbon whiskey (2 oz). You can buy a travel size if you don’t want a lot of whiskey hanging around. I used Jack Daniel’s.

Put it all together, cover and bake at 325 degrees for 4-5 hours. Uncover for the last hour or so so that the gravy/sauce will thicken. Serve on buns, or treat as a regular roast beef. It will fall apart, you hardly need a knife. Yum. It doesn’t taste boozy; I think the liquor just acts as a tenderizer.

Speaking of knives, I managed to carve out some time to iron the quilt pieces. great segway, huh?

I decided I needed to lay them out so that I could see it done up. As a sew along I can check that I have the placement correctly. Right now checking the layout (with the fabrics of the original pattern) is driving me into a brain jam. I wonder if that is what translators feel?

Here is the photo, you might want to shield your eyes a bit if you are color sensitive *grin*:

If you really eyeball it you will see that something is off, and no, it is not the colors – I like it this way – it is that there is a piece missing. Of course, I found it under the last section I picked up.

I might start sewing on it when I finish here, or wait to do a bit tomorrow, but I don’t think I will have it completely sewn up like I hoped. But that is okay because it was just a flimsy desire, and totally changeable.

Peace!

This and That

Casting about for the focused energy to get some blog content. I have been very busy, and willing to share it with whomever/whoever(?) but wireless problems have kept me from getting it done.

Anyway ~ On the knitting front I finally finished both red scarf project scarves. Now I have to dehair them, tag them and get them out – probably by the weekend.

Started up a fuzzy comfy lap robe for Elfgirl. The socks did not fit!. A quick knit on size 13 needles. Well, it should be quick but I am finding large needles very hard to handle. But it is mindless knitting for sure, k3, p3, repeat until all sanity leaves. Nothing fancy, just some nicely colored and very soft Lionbrand Homespun.

I decided that I HAD to do the JoAnn Etc. thang and take advantage of the quilting fabric for 50% off. I have been eyeballing a particularly wild lap quilt done up in Kaffee Fassett collection fabrics. Very wild. I decided to do my own eyepopping version. Here is a link to the original kit Ring Around the Posies, designed by Cheryl A. Adam. Even though it is shown folded, all the colors are showing. That photo is a bit dim, my copy is very vivid.

Mine is interesting – here is what I have so far:

I need to iron all the blocks, and then start sewing them together to make the top, and then of course add the borders, etc. So basically I have it partially done. I should be able to finish it up, or at least be close by this weekend. That is the plan anyway. I am really liking it so far because I wanted it to be very unique and crazy. I am a big fan of red and green, which are the main colors of my living room.

I am actually doing the work in my sewing/computing room! It isn’t completely the way I like it but it is slowly getting there. A few weekends ago some friends came over to help us put together one set of shelves. I asked if they would help and I would cook them dinner. They fell for it. *grin* I served up what I call drunken beef (beef roasted in onion soup, bourbon and beer), roasted potatoes and carrots. Delish!

I am now slowly filling the shelves – still have to decide what books get packed up and stored in the dungeon haven for centipedes basement, and which get donated or sold. The room is still a mess, but I am used to that; have even found that it helps with the creativity. That is the little fib that I keep telling myself ~ kind of like placebo, and I am crazy enough to allow myself to go along with it.

Here are my lovely half-filled Ikea Expedit shelves (the unfilled parts aren’t shown):

We have a set in black that are going to be put up in the living room. More moving things around and such.

I hope you are all having a terrific time doing the things you love.

Peace!

Susan

Triple

The scarf hanging over the back of one of my ratty office chairs is the one that will go to the Red Scarf Project. I had started it out as a cable pattern, but it was too bulky. It hurt my hands to knit it too. Just couldn’t continue so I ripped it out. The photo is kind of dark – the lighting in my cave house is poor today.

Went on a mad search for something that would be good for guys or gals, and perhaps reversible – seeing that scarves don’t stay with their public side out much. I found the one row handspun scarf pattern (the 10-12 entry) of Yarn Harlot’s to work out well. I have enough yarn to make two, so that is the plan.

On the chair is a near-finished project. A small bag from the Winter 2006 issue of Quilts and More magazine. I bought the fabric yesterday and did all the cutting right away. I find if I start a project as soon as I get the materials home then it is more likely to be finished, or even started. If it languishes in a bag, or gets tucked away – out of sight, out of mind – also that perfectionism/procrastination thing tends to switch on.

I need to find a button for the bag – either do a fabric covered one, or go on a search back at the fabric store. In front of that bag is the fabric for the 2nd bag. Same big print but a different color, and for the main part of the bag. I will get going on that one today and hopefully have both done so that I can take care of the button thang at the same time. I would love to find something to go along with the funky/vintage feel of the fabric. I also need to decide if I need/want to top stitch along the top, or just tack the lining in and hope that the firm interfacing will keep it looking tidy. My top stitch skills are seriously lacking, and it would be sad to wreck something that isn’t too shabby right now.

If I ever make more of these, or any other bag I will need to use a less stiff interfacing. This one was a bit difficult to work with. The directions didn’t specify, and I had some trouble finding one that was firm and not fusible.

Getting back into sewing/quilting I am discovering that although I am a pretty clever person, there is something weird about my mind in that I have a hard time following text directions for cutting out fabric. If there isn’t a diagram, I have to think long and hard about it. Don’t know why, but this whatever it is really makes cutting out projects slow going. That is okay, because it isn’t like it is a race or anything like that – it is just time consuming. I don’t make too many mistakes cutting, so that is positive. But it kind of makes my brain hurt. *grin*

These bags will be for socks, or other small knitting projects. I don’t really need them, but I had to make them, you know what I mean? Another thing that is helping me get back into the sewing arena. I used this project to try out my new sewing gadget – a walking foot. Kind of pricey for such a small thing, about $25. I could have gotten it cheaper online, but I wanted one right away. It takes some getting used to. It runs clanky and a bit crooked. I had some issues with the fabric getting jammed too. But I don’t think that is necessarily because of the foot, perhaps the feed dogs? I should get my machine cleaned and adjusted. And after a few more projects decide if it is time for a new one. Nothing too fancy, but I need certain features that this machine doesn’t have. This one has had a good run. My first serious beau bought if for me waaaay back in 1980. Vintage! *grin*

My year is starting out pretty good – project wise, but I find that I am curiously reluctant to do any teaching. I just want to chill out at home, make things, hang out with friends, cook, listen to music, read, watch DVDs – just be and live. I might hold off on scheduling any students until February. We shall see.

Peace!