Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just in time for winter to be over

I started the Penny sweater last winter (Rowan pattern, Biggy Print Yarn, Pool Party colorway). I saw the yarn and sample at a Super Bowl sale last year. The sweater took no time to knit due to the super bulky yarn and large needles but it sat in pieces in my craft room for a whole year as I avoided piecing it together. I bit the bullet today, printed off mattress stitch instructions and VOILA! I have a new sweater. It's kind of rough around the edges but I think it supposed to look that way. I used the lovely shawl pin purchased by my husband from Scout's store to close it (Click picture for close up.)

Last weekend's knitting:
I finished Clog # 1 (Fiber Trends Pattern, Big Kureyon and Paton's Merino yarn) and side one of the Trellis bag for ITEIII.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sewing and the pups

Back to work after four days off. Tough to do! I'm up to my eyeballs in proposals - not my favorite part of my job to say the least. Anyhoo, I'm taking a quick break to woof down a baked potato and thought I'd post some random photos.

My oldest daughter is a big Bengals fan and talked me into buying Bengals polar fleece last fall to make Herschel a dog bed for his kennel. The fabric sat in a bag all this time even though my daughter and son have been bugging me to make the bed. Well, for whatever reason, last night was the night. It was a quick sew project. I added some batting in between the two layers of polar fleece and then quilted the bottom. (Doesn't my dog's nose look hysterical in the bottom photo? It reminds me of those greeting cards with the exaggerated facial features on animals.)

Also recently, middle daughter made one of the polar fleece blankets where you cut strips and tie them together all round. The fleece was adorable; The pink fabric is polar fleece with rainbow ribbon sewed all over it and the green was a plush fleece. Once again, Herschel had to get in the picture. My dogs LOVE blankets!

The following pictures show a very old project. Specifically, this is a blanket I made when my son was a baby - he's now almost 13 - but now, the blanket belongs to the dogs. My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby in May and I think I'll make one for them using some cute flannel. All I did was pick a front fabric and coordinated backing and one letter of batting in between. I just did the little tied "quilting" but if you're a quilter, you could just as easily do that. As you can see, the blanket folds into a bag. I remember keeping the blanket in my car for those unplanned events. I have no idea what Martini is sniffing!

Finally, a picture of my brother and my daughter taken at last weekend's cheerleading competition. (Debbie, he's the "good" one!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back Yard Tag

Last year, someone (I'm sorry but I forget who!!!) started a back yard tag game. I don't think she called it that but that's how I thought of it. Basically, people posted pictures of the view out their back door. It was springtime, I think. So I thought it would be fun to do the same thing in winter.

Here was the view out my back door last week the day after the snow and ice storm (we subsequently received 6 more inches of snow on top of it!)

And just for fun, a few shots out the front door. See the ice clinging to all the trees? Beautiful but very dangerous:

So consider yourself tagged and post a picture of your back door view!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Time for a Springy Dress

After the last few weeks of snow, ice and daytime high temperatures in the teens, I'm ready for spring. According to my husband, we have received another 3-4 inches and it's supposed to snow for the next 18-24 hours. (I'm in Atlanta where it's a balmy 45 degrees.)

So, I do what I do everytime I'm at one of these cheerleading competitions and I'm bored.... I get online and buy stuff!!! First, I added to my knitting needle collection with an order to Knitpicks. And of course, I overbought to make sure I got the "free" shipping for orders over $45. (BTW, if they have a promotion for free shipping on orders of any size at the moment, do not tell me.)

Then, I purchased supplies for a new dress. I purchased a cute halter dress pattern from McCall's (free shipping and all patterns $6.99 through end of day today and some Kaufman fabric from I'm picturing the black / pink polka dot for the main fabric and the pink will be the bodice lining. I may also make some pink piping. Cute, yes? Here's what it will look like:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mini Vacation

What a contrast. I headed to Florida to spend a few days with my parents. I was lucky to have four straight days of sunny, 75 degree weather (sitting on the beach in February is such a cool concept!!!) But then I came home to this nonsense:



The upside is the kids get a snow day and probably one tomorrow, too, and I got to cancel a three day business trip out west. I am still trying to catch-up from my few days off work and the reprieve will help! (Actually doing some work instead of blogging will also help.)

While in Florida, I was fortunate to meet up with Debbie. My mom and I joined Debbie and her mom for a fun lunch. The chatter never stopped. She is a delight and we found we had so much in common - I think we might actually have the same children. (I meant to take our picture and completely forgot in the midst of all the chit chat!) At my request, she brought some of her uber-creative bags and wow! They are even more beautiful in person than on her blog. My mom is STILL raving about them.

It was a lazy sort of trip. My parents and I didn't really DO anything - mostly sat around chatting, playing cards, visiting with friends and the 4:00 happy hour every day was quite a nice diversion from the usual day-to-day busy-ness of life! Oh, and the knitting... I made my mom the beautiful lace dishcloth designed by Marie (very fun designs for dishclothes). Don't look too close as I screwed up midway through and in spite of ripping out a few rows and counting, double counting, never quite recovered. But what's my motto boys and girls??? "It's JUST a dishcloth." That's right. I left the mistakes in it and told my mom to ignore them. I've never been accused of being a perfectionist. LOL!
I also started on an afghan. I am using a pattern from Lion Brand and rather than the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, I am using Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in the Brown Rice color. The afghan is comprised of five panels that are ultimately sewn together. Because you don't knit the whole afghan at the same time, it's a nice portable project.
I also started my bag for the International Tote Exchange. I am using a Nicki Epstein pattern that is in the Knitted Flowers book and also in the Vogue Winter 2004/2005 issue. I am using Patons Wool.
And what does one do when it's 30 degrees and snowing/sleeting? Yup! Find a pal and cozy up on the couch in front of the fire.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Twin Hats

2/13/07 Edited to add above photo. I "wrapped" the hats in translucent chinese take-out containers (50 cents from Michaels!)

While watching the Super Bowl, I finished up the second hat for twin girls that were born last Thursday. They each weigh about 5.5 lbs so I made the newborn size. They are made out of Cotton Ease (sugar plum / banana cream / pistachio and bubble gum / vanilla/ pistachio) and I used a pattern from the book Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson (LOVE this book!)

Super Bowl Yarn sales and other stuff

Many of the yarn stores near me had Super Bowl sales today. I found some great deals last year but didn't buy much today. I picked up this beautiful purple cashmere merino blend (50% off!) from which I intend to make myself a pair of cabled fingerless gloves.

Also picked up some Paton's wool at Michael's for my International Tote Exchange partner. I'm attempting Nicky Epstein's Felted Rose Bag. This pattern looks tricky. Hope I can do it!

I finished my daughter's fingerless gloves last weekend. I was not crazy about the fit on me. They were a little loose.

Debbie sent me her recipe for chicken lasagna which I made yesterday. YUM!!! It has a white sauce, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan in it and was delish. Plenty of leftovers for another dinner! I also went on a cookie baking binge and made chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. These recipes are my absolute favorites. Both are chewy cookies.

I also made a new chili recipe yesterday that we'll eat while watching the game today. It contains sausage and ground beef and is a bit spicy. It's called Boilermaker's Tailgate Chili.

And finally, a puppy picture. On the left is Martini and on the right is Herschel.