Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of December Catch-up

I've been quiet this month, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy, busy, busy. Made these adorable elf clogs (as seen on Allsorts), and work continues on the crochet throw made from the crap yarn. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to watch the pile of crap yarn diminish and see the, surprisingly, pretty throw develop! I am trying to get the second sock done for Cheerleader and I am working away on a beautiful burgundy "Rosebud" cardigan for myself.

El Guapo gave me all three knitting/crochet books that I asked for for Christmas, so I am set for the New Year.

There has been a mad spate of baking around here lately as well, but I don't find any good photos to post right now.

Have you made any resolutions for the New Year? I have decided that I kept last year's resolutions pretty well and I am going to just continue in that trend.

This is my last post for 2009, which turned out to be a pretty horrible year around here. Here's hoping 2010 is much better! (Actually, even just a little better would be much better). Wishing you a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Gluten-Free Pie-in-a-Jar! As seen on Posie Gets Cozy. I made peach and cherry.

A new crochet project, another attempt to use up the tail end of last summer's crap yarn. I found the stitch pattern on a blog (Sarah London Textiles) and made a sample but couldn't figure out the entire thing - so was thrilled when I found Reader's Digest Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches - because I found a very similar stitch pattern in there that took just a little tweaking. It's called interlocking block stitch, if you want to know, and it makes for a very dense piece of crochet!
Another view, earlier in the project.

The patchwork strip quilt I started to use up all my old fabric scraps.

Another view. I haven't measured it yet, as I am still undecided about a border. I have two large pieces of fabric which may work for the backing and that would determine whether there is a border or not. I am pleased with how it is turning out, but it is on hold during Christmas as I have knitting and other crafting projects in the works. And really, this quilt top has a Spring feel to me. (Forgot to mention that I got the idea for the strip quilt after looking at One More Moore).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fingerless Mittens

I got the pattern for these darling fingerless mitts from {a-black-pepper} . They are the Emerald Fingerless Mitts and were easy and fun to knit. I took three pictures, because it is only by compiling all three in your inner eye that you will know what they really look like. The above photo - of the mitts blocking - shows the detail somewhat.
This photo shows the most true color.
And this photo shows how nice they look!

Now, until such time as I get some size 4 dp needles, or some new sock yarn, I am between knitting projects, so yesterday I cut all of my years-old fabric scraps into 2" strips and I am now in process of sewing them together to make a strip quilt. There is a method to this - if I am completely out of fabric scraps - it's time to shop for fabric, isn't it?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Knitting Bones; Knitting Cardigans

Big moment around here! Here is the fruit of my post-surgical, lay-about-the-sofa, past two-and-a-half weeks! My first knitted cardigan! Yay Me! I did make a couple of alterations to the pattern, namely I changed the neckline and ties to 4 rows of stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch, as I wanted it to curl; also, after consulting with Cheerleader, I decided to make the sleeves 3/4 length, rather than having them bell out to a wide, full length. Cheerleader thought this looked better - not so old ladyish (she's 16 now - :HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHEERLEADER: so anything I wear must, by definition, be old ladyish!).
And I leave you with a photo of Ripple, looking as she has for much of my recovery period! Who knew when we bought a neutral colored sofa that the dog would blend so well? If not for the colorful blanket, she would be too easy to miss.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not a Sign of Hipocracy . . .

Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see . . .
Now, I had noticed that the back yard was making me feel very serene all summer, I had not realized that is was so sincere, however! But just look at the evidence . . .
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! And it grew in our very own back yard. 126 lbs!

* On an unrelated note - the second sock is finished and the sweater is progressing famously!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Knitting and Vicodin

Ahhhh! Another sock, half a pair - isn't it lovely? Warm and woolly and an interesting texture and color!
Look at the kitchener stitch I used to graft the toe together - seamless! (The yellow line is the grafted line).
This is my week - the reason it didn't matter that I've only got one half the pair of socks finished! I won't be needing the other half until the end of the coming week and I'm turning the heel on that sock now.
You know how with pain medication - like Vicodin - there is that little warning: MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS use caution when operating a car or dangerous machinery? Should be another line: also use caution when knitting a sock! But I managed to rip out 6 or 8 rows once I switched to ibuprofin and all is well with the sock now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Ecstasy and the Irony . . .

Looky what I bought!! Isn't it BeaUtiFul? It's my first purchase of :REAL: yarn - Alpaca/Wool blend and it is delightful. One and a half pairs of socks into knitting - and I am trying a real, honest-to-God sweater. Ecstasy . . .
Because beginning next Monday (the 5th of October), I am going to have a bit of time on my hands. See the unsightly bulge on the side of my foot? Can I just say, owwww! So, there will be one full week of me sitting on the sofa with my poor surgically repaired foot elevated and then a couple of weeks of very little activity. How better to spend my time, than finishing the aforementioned half a pair of socks, and beginning a sweater?

So, the ecstasy part of this post is the knitting and how much I really enjoy it. The irony follows: I have been crocheting for a very long time (20+ years) and I can't tell you how many people have commented on my "knitting." I have spent years trying to describe the difference between crocheting and knitting and explaining to people that I didn't really know how to knit. So, forward to two weeks ago - my total knitting experience was approaching 4 weeks when Cheerleader brought a new boyfriend home. He saw me on the sofa working on the first pair of socks and said, "Oh, you crochet?" WHAT?! Most of the universe doesn't know that there is such a thing as crochet, they figure any project involving yarn is knitting, but a 17-year old boy sees me knitting and assumes I'm crocheting? Is that weird?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever . . .

And I'm not talking about the dog, this time! I just finished my first knitting project - woooot! A nice, woolly pair of socks for Sunshine.

Speaking of things of beauty - look at these hibiscus blooms from the back yard! I took these photos last week and I think they're mag!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Knitting is the new crochet!

I've been gone awhile, I know. I've heard some complaints, and yet. . . I've been BUSY!!!! Remember several posts back when I said I thought I'd learn to knit since I had such a wealth of yarn (though most of it is crap)? Well. That's what I've done. I learned to knit! And, I looooove it.
Here is a photo of my first sock - which is still in progress, but I expect to finish by the end of the week.
If you ever think about taking up knitting - first read Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. If she doesn't convince you how totally cool knitting is, no-one will.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I hate getting ready to go camping. And I hate cleaning up after camping. But I LOVE camping!

Especially when there are nice surprises. There are three campgrounds within 1 1/2 miles of each other along the South Santiam River. We had previously camped at two of them and enjoyed ourselves very much. So it was with some fear and trepidation that we started noticing campgrounds with full signs as we headed up the mountain! And sure enough, our favorite campground was full.
Now we had a decision. Drive further, to the third campground and risk finding it full, or drive back 1/4 mile to the first campground of the three (which we had never been to) and see if there was room there.
We drove back and found one. empty. campsite. ONE! So we set up camp. And now I have a new favorite campground. It was absolutely perfect. It embodied all the reasons I love Oregon! Really, one can't ask more of a campground than that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Meet Echo.
. . . and Faery Mae.
It goes against principle to make a doll and not make dolly friends. So - even though my girlies are too old for dolls. They each got one all the same. Echo is Sunshine's new friend and Faery Mae is Cheerleader's companion. Good thing I had girls, I feel sure that boys would object to all the doll making and giving that goes on in this household!

A group picture before the orange friend is wrapped in birthday gift wrap and mailed to the big birthday girl!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthday Doll

My dear friend's little girlie is turning 3 on the 19th. I thought this doll from Stitched In Time would be the perfect gift for her. After getting started, I noticed a theme. For her first birthday, I bought her a Tigger suit - orange and black. Last year, for her second birthday, I made her a retina burning baby doll using Hunter Orange Polar Fleece (I am sooooo frustrated, I know I took a photo of the doll, but I can't find it!); this year, I am making another orange doll. I hope the little darling likes orange! I'm already planning next year's orange doll!!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Ah, isn't it lovely?

I did it! From a stash of extremely ugly yarn, I created a warm, functional, rather beautiful blanket!

Truly, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I followed Lucy's (of Attic24) pattern for the floral squares, but varied the sizes and I also used her pattern for the scalloped edge. Thanks Lucy.

It isn't large, because even though I had plenty of some colors left, I had run out of others, but it is perfect for what it was intended - cool evenings on the patio.

Now, since I have such an embarrassing wealth of ugly yarn, I have decided to learn how to knit. It's frustrating for me as I have spent hours and hours and hours . . . crocheting, so that it is as easy for me as walking or breathing. This knitting thing, though! It's like learning to juggle while learning to ride a unicycle.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Sunshine!

My baby is 14!!!! How did that ever happen?

She usually asks for this cake for her birthday and I have to admire her taste. That is pure Semi-sweet Chocolate Ganache poured over the top and sides of each piece of decadent chocolate cake. Way back when I used to have a cake business, this cake (in its regular incarnation, not gluten-free) was my biggest seller. I used to sell whole cakes, plus individual slices at the Corvallis Farmer's Market and the Monmouth Tea Festival (before it ended).

Today is also my dad's birthday. Happy 76th Dad! It took a little engineering having Sunshine on my dad's birthday, but where there is a will, there is a way!

Here is a picture we took in Aigues-Mortes, along the Mediterranean in France. This was the prettiest shop I have ever seen - all Nougats, Meringues, and darling cookies and candies. Looked like a never-ending birthday party.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Impediments to Crafting

The dog isn't the only trouble I have when it comes to crochet. I sat down at the computer for FIVE MINUTES to figure out how I wanted to edge the Babette Blanket. I decided on a simple granny stitch with a final shell stitch. So, to get on with it . . . where did the blanket go? I had it spread out on the floor awaiting my final decision? Oh. Cheerleader is trying to squeeze in a nap under it. And look at Ripple! It really ticks her off when someone else is in her favorite spot on the couch and hogging the new blanket, to boot!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

All Things Floral

So . . . much crocheting this week. I must admit, I am very pleased with how this is turning out. Just shows you shouldn't judge yarn for being ugly and nasty - it may have something beautiful inside just waiting to be released . . .

People have been walking past commenting on the sunflowers in the vegetable garden.

This is the view I see when I look out the bathroom window. We didn't plant any sunflowers this year - just so you know. The bounty is 100% thanks to the scrub jays who call our back yard and garden home.

These are my current favorite flowers. Kent Beauty or "Hop-Flower" Oregano. Aren't they lovely!?

Back to the hook and yarn. I'll keep you updated as the Babette style, join-as-you-go, garden flower blanket progresses.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ugly Duckling Story

Several weeks ago I responded to a Craigslist ad and bought two garbage bags of really cheap yarn. Cheap in more ways than one:: it was very inexpensive; and it truly belonged in the garbage bags! Really crappy stuff!

The gal who was selling it told me she had bought it to make hats for the homeless. It made me wonder how she could hate the homeless soooo much? Did she really believe that they should be grateful for hats made from such ugly, nasty yarn? I tried to get a good photo of the stuff - see the red yarn? Crocheting with it is like crocheting 1970's shag carpet that has been on the floor of a college rental and never cleaned! It squeaks when you work with it. All of the yarn is acrylic and it is in some of the most eye smarting colors!

But . . . I like a challange. Also, I am not quite ready to spend real money on real yarn yet. I still have some experimenting to do before crocheting a masterpiece. So, I challenged myself to make a pretty (or presentable) patio throw with the stuff. I put together the best combinations of colors I could with what was available and I started on a "join-as-you-go, Babette-style, Granny-Square Flower" throw. Say that three times fast.

Hm. This picture is blurry. Could it be that the colors were causing the camera trouble? Or was it me? Okay. Because I, basically, have a positive outlook on everything and I like lists, I decided to come up with a list of good things about this yarn and throw.
1. It was practically free;
2. If it had cost actual money, I wouldn't be willing to use the throw outside, on the patio, of an evening when it is chilly;
3. There is a certain satisfaction in making something functional and even, pretty, from something so ugly and crappy.
4. I just like to crochet!

Sunshine was bored and pulled together a blindingly outrageous outfit the other day. I had to document it for posterity! Yikes!