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.




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.


Christmas Eve

I will put the knitting content first. Family members who visit my blog, there will be a lot of photos after the knitting schtuff.

I have a pair that I didn’t show you before; Moc Croc pattern from I chose a green color that had a serpent look to them. They are meant for Jody, whose D&D character is a huge croc-alligator-like being. I haven’t tucked in the ends – just in case I have to add length or such.

Also the felted mini-bags (see previous post for the details). Here all in a row sans one because I forgot to photo that one (with the across the shoulder strap vs. braided). In the background is a small Christmas quilt I did back in the 80s. Perfectly sized for a loveseat throw.

I think the sewing in of the braided ends too longer to do than the actual knitting. Very fussy, but I was trying hard to make it neat. I hope they don’t come apart. They felted down very nice. I could have let them go a bit more, but the tan colored yarn that was in 3 of the 4 bags actually started to felt to itself. I pulled it apart, but a few of the bags have tiny creases in them. Not majorly ugly – but something I notice. I would use the yarn again but if I ever make another felted object with it I will put plastic bags in the center and not set the washer on such an agressive super wash setting again.

Christmas Eve at my folk’s house aka no more knitting content
Getting ready to go, I had it in my mind that dogboy Spencer wouldn’t be coming along because my folks have a very small house and it would be jammed with people. But he sensed that we were going somewhere – I don’t know how he figured it out because I was just getting ready to sit on the couch, wasn’t making movements to leave for another 45 minutes. He was so upset that we decided he had to come along. He is our child afterall.

There were already a few of my family members there. I didn’t get photos of everybody but here are a few…. I was asking them to "show me Christmas Crazy".

Then just regular photos – some of them blurry (dang!).

I don’t know who was more happy




I think Jessica because she showed us her

Engagement ring.


It must be a Libra thing

I am a Libra. That means I like balance and for things to be pleasing. I am also a recovering perfectionist and procrastinator. My theory is that that if you are a procrastinator you might be a very strong perfectionist. Take projects like knitting or quilting; if you have an unfinished object (UFO) then that project still has a chance of being perfect. Once it is finished, it is either perfect or more often, not. So, many perfectionists procrastinate the completion of projects.

I have worked mighty hard at giving up on both the perfectionism and procrastination. I finish many, many projects. I do whatever pleases me now, and love my weird ways. When I make a mistake that only I will notice, I try to balance it to suit me and in many ways that just means repeating the error for balance. Sounds weird, but it works. Like if I find that I made a mistake waaaaaaay up on the sock and I am at the toe, I just leave it, but repeat the exact same mistake in the other sock. Balance! And perfect in its own screwy logic way.

The reason I am rambling on about this is that I am realizing why I may have given up quilting in the 80s. The math, and having to deal with the fact that I love random/scrappy quilts but I cannot bear to be totally random.

Hence all the planning. I am heavy into it for the
Wash Day StarsWash Day Stars.

I got my order lickety-split from Anna Lena’s. It is amazing how much fabric can be jammed into a priority "flat" envelope! It was bulging and had already popped open, but the fabrics were fine.

Once I received the fabrics, I had to start figuring out how to get 134 strips (6 of each 22 colors plus two extra strips) out of a possible 197 combinations of 2 colors (allowing for the fact that I would not put a red next to a red, blue next to blue. So I scanned my color choices and numbered them too. Now I am in the process of whittling down puey combinations (pink next to orange). Here is my fabric (25 fat quarters were in the bunch, I already set aside 3 prints that just don’t work for this quilt).
my wash day stars
click for a better view

But this time, instead of worrying if it is "right" and procrastinate the finishing, I will keep plugging away until it is complete and I am sure I will love how it turns out.


Everything old is new again

Still knitting away on my Modern Log Cabin (Mason Dixon Knitting). Here is a more up-to-date shot of my progress:
moderne log cabin
The red will be the last of that side (before border). After the red is complete I still have 2 HUGE squares to do, just to the right. -sigh-

It is so large now that I cannot take it out for public knitting. Back to socks and gift knitting when I am out and about.

***Knitting Content Ends***

Lately a lot of my time is put toward quilting. Not actually doing anything like quilting, mind you, but the all the planning and reading, reading, reading and planning, that goes with putting your toe back into the waters of an old consuming hobby.

Here’s what I have been reading and looking and planning with: heap-o-books
new reading material on the heap-o-books.

another heap-o-books
old stuff from the heap-o-books. I have plenty more, just thought more photos of piles of books would be boring.

Besides all the mental stuff there has been some work/fun too. Like getting out the partially completed quilt tops and getting them ready to be finished. I am attempting to get some very old stains out of some of my double wedding ring pieces. I don’t think they will be 100% gone, but a little bit of stain will look like a nicely aged quilt. That is what I am telling myself.

I have also decided to just finish whatever I have – not resize or anything. Quilts don’t have to cover the whole bed (hang over and all).

And… some of my activity has been the purchase more fabric and books type of activity. Boy, online fabric selection is fantastic! Great deals.

I bought some 1930s fat quarters to make Wash Day Stars. I didn’t buy the kit because I want to change it up a bit. Instead of the yellow borders I would like a nice medium blue, I might also change some of the tones on the solid parts of the stars – orange instead of the purple, or just add orange into the mix. I might change the size up a bit too. From that website I did order 25 fat quarters of 1930s prints – assorted colors. Kind of sight-unseen, but I am not worried about it. That quilt and the store were one of the ones profiled in Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler Magazine. I would link it but the website is horrible – too many pop-ups.

Some serious slobberific quilts and stores in that magazine. I drooled over it all the way to my 3-day weekend in Wausau, and keep going back to it every night to look at the pretty photos.

I have been also studying/dreaming/planning on the quilts in Quick & Easy Romantic Quilts. I bought my copy from Half-Price Books for $3.98. It is worth the cover price of $13.95 though.

There are many quilts in there that I would love to make and the funny thing is, I would want to follow the colors she used – not with the exact same prints, but following the color/tone. Knowing that, it was still somewhat exasperating to find what I was looking for. I guess it was easier than dragging myself to what might be several local quilt stores, but still:

I ended up purchasing more than enough fabric from Thousands of Bolts, Only One Nut.

Here is the quilt:
indigo sky
Indigo Sky

The fabric I ordered:
my indigo sky
My Indigo Sky

I hope when the fabric arrives I won’t have to change anything, but adding some fabric to the heap is a reasonable thing. Just as long as it doesn’t get out-of-hand.

This post is ending soon, I promise 🙂
Chappysmom is having a contest called "Calendar Girl". She is asking that we post photos from November calendars . Here is one from Inner Reflections – from the Self-Realization fellowship (Paramahansa Yogananda). If you love nature photos you might want to check this one out, it has some of the best I have seen – better than the obvious nature choices (IMHO). I have been buying this calendar for several years now.

and to show that it is from November:

Here is a bright one from the calendar, Healing Mandalas:

and to show it is from November