Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween...again...

So, today is Halloween. Not feeling particularly Halloweeny. Tricks and Treats were on Thursday in our town...and you have already heard me rant and rave about that. ;-) Hold on, there's more...

We ran out of candy pretty early in the game. Apparently, when your town holds the "holiday" two days early, and yours is the only town doing this, kids from all the surrounding towns are trucked in to participate in the festivities for an extra boost of sugary goodness. Didn't think about that when we bought our candy...instead, we thought about how few kids have come by in the past few years, and we actually bought less candy than usual... Oh, well. It is what it is. Sorry kids. (rant finished)

Today was a pretty good day. Got an early start, got most everything done, had a nice lunch out with the Hubster, then went for a long walk in the park. The last of the leaves are still holding on, and some of the trees are still beautiful. Some are barely covered, and some looked downright chilly with no colorful blankets on their branches. The weather was cool, but the rain stopped this morning, and the whole walk took about two hours (out and back), which is pretty normal for us on this walk. I stopped to take that photo at the upper left when we reached the half-way point...winter sure is coming!

On a brighter note, here are the salt 'n pepper shakers I painted to go with the bowls...not too shabby! They are baked and boxed and put away with the bowls they now match, and I have purchased some anti-bac hand soaps to add into the gift presentation for these. Now all I need are a few pot scrubbies or dishcloths, and "Voila!," my Christmas "shopping" will be nearly complete! Of course, there are still gifts to buy for those nearest and dearest to my heart, and I am looking forward to that.

In Knitting Knews, you all know that I have taken a break from the stockings to work on a couple other projects, and my Cardigan and Socks are coming along nicely. I am also planning to cast on a hat and some gloves, and some little toys for more gifts. So, I will try to keep you posted without giving too much information away to my recipients!

Off now for a cuppa tea, and a nice sit down in front of the telly!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

THURSDAY? Really????

So, Happy Halloween, Everybody! I would tell you that on Saturday, when it is actually Halloween, but it seems that I would be a little late for my home town if I see, the city I live in has decided that, since Halloween falls on a Saturday...which might make it convenient even for families to trick-or-treat without the rush of get-home-eat-dinner-get-costumes-on-go!...well...isn't it logical, then, to have Trick-or-Treat ON THURSDAY????

I mean, if Halloween falls on a Friday, and there is a home-town football game, well I could see that logic...although the kids that are affected by High School Football games are probably too old anyway, but they might be going with younger brothers and/or sisters...ok. But it falls ON SATURDAY this year! That means that even the folks worried about kids out after dark could be appeased by daytime trick-or-treats...that means that even if the event was scheduled for 6-7:30 (as it is every year that I have lived here), presumably there would be a greater percentage of parents who do not have to work, and perhaps the holiday tradition could be less rushed and more enjoyed...that means that those of us who are passing out candy would not have to feel rushed to get home from work and get the evening chores done before we could settle in to “oooh and ahhh!” and “That’s a great costume!” over the kids we know in the neighborhood.

I mean, I like Halloween...and I like trick-or-treat, even when it's rushed...and our kids went out for candy long after they were probably too old...and I have nothing against the tradition...but THURSDAY? Really???

OK - rant over. sorry. thanks for listening.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled blog...

In Knitting Knews, I finished one-and-a-half projects, and started two. The "a-half" project is pictured to the right, 3 of 5 stockings are finished. Well, technically, that one in the middle still needs some afterthought embroidery, but other than that....ummm, and the lining I plan to put in the stockings...these three are finished!

Originally I had only planned to do 3 of them, but now I am pretty sure I have to do at least two more...but the last two will be smaller and less complex, I think...and they may be I may not be able to even post blog photos until after they are gifted. All-in-all, I am having a blast working on them, and I am even eager to sew the linings and get them completely together!

In other Knitting Knews, I also finished the Candy Cane Socks (more pix at my Ravelry Project Page) in Plymouth Happy Feet, color 4:
I started a pair of Thuja socks (but done in fingering weight, Plymouth Happy Feet, color 18): And I cast on the Holly Cardigan, designed by my friend Cheri or c2knits (Tamaty Tweed in Forrest, worsted, cotton):
Zoe Kitty likes it already!

Whew! I am tired now! I don't know if it was the rant or all the knitting, but I am gonna sign off! Knit in Good Health, people!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Do!. . .

I like them, Sam-I-Am! Weddings, that is! One of the many hats I wear is Wedding Coordinator at the church I attend. Basically I make sure the heat/AC are on when needed, and that the chairs are arranged correctly (my Hubster helps with this - yay!). . .and I run around the building before the wedding, making sure the bride has what she needs, and the groom has what he needs. . .and that everyone has their flowers. . .and that everyone knows where to go and when to go there. . .it's a great hat to wear, and I think it fits well! I love weddings, and today's was another beautiful one, yay!

Before the wedding, when I got out of bed and started the laundry today, each time I returned to the sofa to knit and spend a little more time waking up, some version of this scene kept greeting me. . .
It's pretty difficult to wake up when you have sleeping cats to look at, and even more difficult if one (or BOTH!) of their warm little bodies makes it onto my lap! But today, they just curled up with each other. I thought it especially funny in this shot that the little cat was snuggled up to the big cat's butt. . . Silly Kitties!
The other thing that made my heart sing today is Fall. We are nearly at the tail end of the peak of color that fall leaves brings to our corner of the world, and it has been spectacular this year. Some years, it seems the color is very mute, but this year, the colors are popping all over the place! Even the trees who have mostly shed their "coats-of-many-colors" are creating vivid, flaming pools at the base of their trunks. There was some strong wind this morning that has brought down many of the leaves, but these past 5 or 6 days have been beyond beautiful!
And then there's the knitting. . .here is stocking #3 (of 5). I have just started the heel, and I am having a good time adding all of the 5 colors that I bought for this project to this one! Forgive my "phone photo," which is still a bit dark, even after Photoshop, but I am happy with how this one is coming along. . .a little more "flashy" than the others. . .I hope she likes it!
When I finish three stockings (and I feel like I am within all my deadlines for the Christmas knitting), I plan to cast on another sweater for meeeeeeee! It will be Holly, by c2knits! She is a local designer I know, and her work is fantastic! I will be using Tamaty Tweed (cotton, worsted) in a deep green color.

The other item I will cast on is another pair of socks. . .they may be a gift, tho, so no details here until after the Holidays. . . ;-P I hope your Holiday Knitting (if you are doing any) is right on schedule!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's in the Bowl!

Yes. I said, "It's in the Bowl." I did not say, "It's in the Bag," because I am not talking about bags. I mentioned last time that I need another hobby. . .so, well, I picked up another one last night (and Monday, too).

You see, I have these plain, white pieces of dinnerware in my basement. Serving Bowls and Platters, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Desert Plates and Cereal Bowls, and a couple of Mugs. They are from a project a couple years back, and I still have them. Every year I think to myself, "Those would make nice Christmas gifts, all painted and perhaps personalized. . ." And the thing is that I have the paint, and the brushes, and the paint pens, and all the supplies I need for the project. . .yet, still I had not actually done anything with them. . .just too many other things vying for my time, I guess.
Then, on Monday, I started to take inventory of my supplies, and I started the project. I finished painting 10 large-ish serving bowls last night, and I baked Monday's batch (to make the paint permanent and food-safe) this morning. I will bake the Tuesday batch tomorrow. . .what do you think of the finished results?My original idea for the serving bowls was to write on the bowl what might be inside, or to divide the bowl into quadrants with a season represented on each quarter. Kind of like a "bowl for all seasons" that you just turn so the appropriate food or picture is showing. Some of my paints were really thick, though, and the flow was tricky. . .so I opted to rely on the paint pens as much as I could. Over all, I am pretty happy with how they turned out. ;-P

In Knitting Knews, I am still plugging away at the Stockings. . .feels like they are taking forever, but I know in my head that it has only been a little over a week. The stranded knitting makes me crazy, but I think I am getting more used to it. I just cannot like the puckering, and I don't seem to be able to carry those strands loosely enough. sigh! Perhaps a little blocking will help? Not sure, tho. . .this is super-acrylic yarn!

Eventually, I will feel like I have mastered two-color knitting! Until then, I will keep on practicing, I guess!

By the way, Christmas is coming! I hope that you have started your Christmas Knitting and other projects (if you have any planned), and that you will Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I think I need another hobby...

So, I knit.

And I crochet.

And I needlepoint.

And I paint.

And I play with clay.

And I play with wire and metal.

And I write.

And I Scrapbook...which is what I did with some of my Scrappin' friends last night! And I got quite a bit accomplished! Yay! DD's album did not have some major "Senior Year" stuff in it, so that was Priority One...and I am proud to report that I was able to complete 4 2-page layouts (that's 8 pages!) in my 6-hours!

Another friend did 20 pages! (I think she may be an overachiever...shhhh!)

I can, of course, say that because I do not have a problem with the overachieving. I do not have several hobbies that are constantly competing for my time. I do not make myself crazy, trying to be perfect at every single one of them. I do not fill all my "free" time with little things so I won't fidget. I do not constantly bug my friends by fishing for compliments on the various craft projects I complete each week.

Yeah. Right.

I am plugging right along on the Christmas Stocking Project. This is just the first one, and I plan on making at least 3. Possibly 5, and maybe more! Yes! I will make stockings for EVERYONE! And they will all be stunningly beautiful! Bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

Hmmmm, I seem to have gone a bit mad. Perhaps I need a hobby...

Knit (and craft and live and love) in good health!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Short on Words Today. . .

Hard to believe, I know, but there are not many words today. There was, however, a lot of crafting going on in my house over the past few days! Here are the row counters and stitch markers (some of them anyway) that I worked on for a recent, large special order:
And a new 20-row counter that I plan to list soon:
In Knitting Knews, I have finished three projects:
My Mockery Sweater (Knit Picks Palette in Fog; Knit Picks Shimmer in Happy Dance)
The Not Just For Chemo, Reversible Cloche
(Lorna's Laces, worsted in Flame)
And Tot Toppers' Mod Circle Hat
(Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Superwash in tan with accent color hand-dyed by me).
Love it! So quick, yet so stunning! Now I need to find a little baby...not a problem at my church! Then, I believe, I will make another!

So, busy, crafty week; think I am getting a cold, hoping not. Planning to get to bed nice and early this evening so I don't miss knitting tomorrow. . .

I hope the rest of you are Knitting in Good Health!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Living on Lightning and String Cheese...

I don't know what has happened over the last couple weeks, but my Saturdays seem to have taken on a life of their own! My kids grew up and moved out (for the most part), and I have actually gotten BUSIER! Haha! I guess at least I am not walking around in a daze, wondering who I am after all these years of mothering...that's a good thing! Sometimes I am walking around wondering who the Hubster is...or who he has become (!)...but for the most part, I know who I am and I like me! So...Yay! And the me that I like has many interests, probably at least one hobby too many, and lots of people around that build me up and keep me sane!

But on busy Saturdays like today, where I am not even near ready to sit and relax until after 8pm, I am so glad that I also have diet soda (Wal-Mart's version of Diet Mt. Dew) and string cheese! I love it for a non-crumbly snack when I am in front of the computer. They stay out of the keyboard, without all the calories of, say, Ben & Jerry's! lol

Just like last week, today was laundry and cooking, shopping and seeing friends, and today I had a bonus! I played with some new charms, crafted Friday night of polymer clay, made especially for a special order! It was so much fun! I had a special order for stitch markers with socks and hats, and this is what I came up with:

White, gym socks that can be "worn" with anything...the customer said she had no color preference for these (I have four, for stitch markers), so I will make them up with different colored seed beads, and they will look great on any sock-in-progress!

By the way, my Candy Cane Socks are still in progress. I have almost made it through a second repeat of the lace part on the leg, but no new photos. Sigh! But, they are getting there!

The other item I worked on last night was some hats for the other set of stitch markers. I have pictures, but they are even fuzzier than the sock pix, so I am not putting them up until the markers are made, and I can photograph them in natural light. I need every little help I can get to get good shots of this small stuff lately! My customer talked about a "set" of hats to use as markers while she was knitting hats, and I tried several. I had success with the stocking cap, beret, top hat, and baseball cap (BTW, the baseball cap turned out to be my personal will understand when I get a good shot of it!) I found out that I did not have the patience to make a cowboy hat yesterday. I may try again eventually, but on this scale, I just had to roll the "brim" part so thin that I had trouble making it do what I wanted it to do to look like a cowboy hat. Oh, well.

Also today, drumroll please! I finished A Mockery of a Sweater! I thought I had buttons, but the ones I was thinking of are too big, so I need to go shopping! Hehehehehehehehe...shooooppppping! Haha! And I did not get a new photo, because I still need to block it into submission...and buy buttons...but you can see the latest photo of the thing here. I will do my level best to have photos up for you by Wedesday, because I hope to wear the thing to work on Tuesday, I hope! I hope! I hope! I hope! I hope!

So today has been another good and busy Saturday. College Girl is home again, and she is doing well at school, we are very proud. I hope that you all have things in your life to be proud of, and that you are making the most of every moment you have!

Knit in good health!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keep your Fork...and your Spoon...and your Knife...

So, I have been busy, but this is really what I want to share today. I heard the following story in church once, and I loved it. I hope you like it too.

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal Illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued. " I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'.

Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork...the best is yet to come". The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

I found the story online here, so I copied it to share with you. It was one of the first things I thought of when I received my tiny knife, fork and spoon charms from CatChic on Etsy, as I planned what kind of knitting jewelry they would become. How cool to always be able to have your own silverware with you...especially with the holidays looming!

And, since I nearly always debut my new designs here, I really wanted to share the new counters I made yesterday with you all first! What d'you think?

Medium 20-row counters in the photos above and below.Small 20-row counter in the photo below.
So, save your fork, y'all! And knit in good health!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

And they called it Kitten Love...

"Awwww kitty love!"

That's what College Girl texted me after I sent her this photo, taken on my phone early on Friday!
The cats are finally all in on this relationship! Yay! The Big Cat is not as keen on the Little One as she will be in a few more days, but she allowed this! It's funny, they both like boxes...I thought it was strange that Chloe liked boxes...none of our other cats have...then Zoe...Zoe! Funny, funny Zoe! And she likes boxes, too! Go figure!

Today was a busy Saturday, and I am not finished yet, but I wanted to take a minute to blog. Busy is my best description of the day, but it was fairly typical for me...bacon and eggs breakfast for me and the Hubster; Laundry, mostly done by about 11am (I woke up at 7, true to form!):
There was some baking when the Hubster said he had a taste for Pumpkin Bread (turned out waayyyy yummy!):
While the bread was in the oven, the Hubster and I went for a little walk in the neighborhood. It was a perfect day for a walk...not to hot, not too cold, just a light breeze, and some of the trees are starting to turn. contented sigh!
And there was a little knitting. This is my Cardigan, based on the knittingfool's sweater wheel patterns. I have the fronts and backs and one sleeve done and pieced together, and it is great! Fits perfect! The only thing making me cringe a little is the way the pattern causes such a bias to the fabric. Once I finish and sew in the second sleeve, I am gonna block it into submission!
See, at the bottom of the picture, I have already started the second sleeve, and I am making steady progress. This is the longest I think I have ever knit on a sweater (fingering-weight yarn and all!), but I am still loving the process. I have not checked to be absolutely certain, but I think I even HAVE buttons for this in my current stash of buttons! Yay!
This afternoon, we also went to babysit the Puddle Jumpers, and that was, as always, pretty fun. Someday, when our kids give us grand kids, we are gonna have a blast with them! I hope they don't live too far away by then, but I guess that even if they do, it will just be a darn good excuse for us to travel a bit!
The last picture I took today was another "Kitty Love" shot! Here are the Big Cat and the Little Cat all curled up on every cat's favorite Dad! I hope that you have some cuddle time in your weekend too! As for me, I've still got a couple loose ends to tie up before I turn in. I will sleep well tonight, I am sure!

Knit in Good Health!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And the Winner IS. . .

CORRIE, of the Standby-Go blog!

insert applause here

Congratulations, Corrie!

more applause here

Corrie, I do not have your email addy, but am going to check out your blog to see if I can find it. Otherwise, I will leave a comment there. Alternately, email me (prettyknittyjewelry [at] yahoo [dot] com), and we will figure out how to get your booty from my house to yours! Congratulations again!

(See, I told you it would be a short post. . .)

yet more applause. . .

Really? Haha! Knit in Good health, people!