Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finished socks for my oldest son, A.J.

Well after frogging (ripping out) the first sock twice I finally managed to get the size adjusted to fit my son in the way he likes his socks to fit. Yes, I know they look a bit baggy around his toes, this is how he wears his socks. *Shakes head* He and I both had a good laugh though when noting just how big the feet look but after all this fellow does wear a size 13 shoe so of course the feet will look big, lol. Most especially since his feet ARE BIG! But as my grandfather would say, he is standing on a good strong foundation. Overall he seemed rather happy with the new socks and said they feel much better then the store bought ones so I am well pleased. Trust me, if he didn't like them he would tell me without thinking twice about my feelings in the matter. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here is a little something I just finished.

I started to make this little dolly dress and bloomers a few years back when I had a booth in a local craft mall selling doll clothing. The store owners went Chapter 11 so I pulled out and still had a lot of doll stuff cut and ready to sew but have been storing it every since. I figure now is a good time to get back to sewing them up only I am going to save them to gift to my great niece for her birthday in the spring. This is the first time I have used my sewing machine in over 6 months. It felt good to be sewing again!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Warm winter socks

It must be winter time because the knitting needles and yarn are screaming out to me. I found this lovely yarn just a few weeks ago on Thanksgiving and had to get it for some cozy warm winter socks. I love it. They are so soft and keep my feet toasty. Yep, I already wore them and have had them in the wash. They came out great. It feels good to be knitting again! I used the "Magic Loop" method to knit them and did my own basic sock pattern of a 64 cast on working a 2k, 2p rib for 6 inches for a fold over cuff though they don't have to be folded over. After I finished the ribbing I reduced from 64 to 48 by doing a k2, k2tog for one row then knitted 10 rows straight stockinette stitch. I worked my heel over 24 stitches of row 1: slip 1, k1 and row 2 slip 1 perlwise and perl across for my desired heel length and worked the traditional sock method of turning the heel, working the instep by picking up 16 stitches on each side of my heel flap and working in alternating rows of reducing a stitch on each side of the foot and knitting without reducing until my stitches were reduced to 48 stitches on the needle then I worked straight knitting stockinette until my desired foot length to the start of the toes then I worked alternate reduction rounds just as before but reduced 2 stitches on each side of the foot for the toe shaping until I was down to 8 stitches and closed the toes using kitchner's ( I am sure I did not spell that right) technique. I am really pleased with how they turned out.

Adventures in Chaos and a finished hat

Hmm chaos and yet a finished item, how can that equate? Believe it or not it worked. Ah the beginning..... The search for the lost cord and no I am not referring The Moody Blues album. I am speaking of a lost sewing machine cord. Last spring hubby was in the hospital in dire straights and I gave orders to my sons just after Joe was released to help tidy the house. Well, my dining room was in sewing chaos and stuff got stuffed into containers and carted upstairs. So I have been assuming for a number of months that my sewing machine cord went upstairs in one of those containers. After I all, I have a clear memory of seeing a cord in one of the tubs and the cord to my Viking Designer 1 was in fact not with the machine so for me it only made sense that this had to be the cord. I sent the younger son after the containers one at a time hauling them downstairs for me to dig through them in better lighting. In them I found all sorts of goodies including half of my knitting supplies and a hat I started to knit two and a half years ago when I broke my foot. The hat was nearly finished yet I had managed to stuff it in one of these tubs and it was forgotten about until the search for the cord. I did located the cord I had remembered about in a tub and assumed it was my sewing machine cord. Well, since I had found that hat I decided to focus on knitting the hat instead of sewing so my machine set out on the dining room table waiting for me another 2 weeks before I decided to plug it in. However, the cord was not the correct cord. Good news, I have found the missing cord for my CD Player that I lost last spring, lol! Argh!!! Where was my sewing machine cord? Oh did I mention all this chaos was going on while I was fighting with swine flu?! My younger son and I spent two hours going through more boxes and containers yet we found no cord. I finally went in that room where I store everything and tore through it all like a bull in a china cabinet. Still no cord! I was getting depressed and figured I would have to contact Viking headquarters to see about ordering a new cord. My son commented that he just could not imagine me not putting that cord with my machine or the supplies for it then he headed off to bed and told me we could give searching a try again in the morning. No sooner then he left for bed when the hubby walked through and pretty much said that same thing about his disbelief that my cord would not be with the machine or supplies. At this point I did not want to hear this. I was so grieved and feeling sick about this. I started to head for my computer and thought, well I have checked the china hutch in the dining room three times already, why not try one more time just for the heck of it. I walked in there and up to the cabinet and realized as I looked through the glass doors that in my frenzy I had been checking the lower area behind the solid doors but here in the upper portion behind the glass was a small three drawer chest with my attachments for my machine in it. I though, "Naw, it can't be that simple." "Dare I even hope!?" So I opened the top drawer and out popped my sewing machine cord like a fake snake from a can of peanuts!!!! So let's see here, in search of my sewing machine cord I have found that cord, the missing cord for my CD player and I found a hat I was nearly finished knitting. Well, I think that was pretty good. And I went ahead and finished knitting the hat!

This hat is a double knit hat designed by Nancy Lindberg and it is my very first ever attempt to make a double knit piece. My younger son has adopted it. The colors are not quite the masculine shades of blue I had called in to request from my local yarn shop which were picked up for me by my loving husband while I was laid up in bed for 6 weeks with a broken foot. My son does not mind the light colors and says it is soft and comfortable which is all he cares about.

Time for an overdue update

I really should update this blog more often. Life gets a bit crazy around here at times. A few years ago the hubby and I entered what can best be described as the medical years of our marriage. Between the two of us we have been pretty efficient at providing the local doctors with nice healthy incomes. So with the various sudden medical crises that tend to crop up on us it leaves me little time to give thought to updating this blog. As I raise my right hand, I swear to do better at keeping this updated.

Now when I last posted I was taking a break form my knitting and quilting for a while to work on my counted cross-stitching. I have my long term project that I have worked on and off on for 12 year, the "Fairy Idyll" which is is now very nearly complete. I was hoping to have her done by the end of this year but I have a need to set her aside again until after the new year. This is a bit wrinkled right now but you can see the general idea here. And below the fairy is my progress on a piece I am creating based from my great-grandparents 1899 wedding photo. I used a software program to create the chart for it. I need to do some work to fix one of the great-grandfather's ears but this too will have to wait until spring for me to get back to it. The colors for the great-grands piece do not show up well when I photograph them for some reason. I am sure it is a lighting issue. I will try to get a better photo another time.

It is now winter time which for me means back to knitting and hopefully quilting. I was working on quilting that "Shoo-fly" quilt a while back but ran into a disaster. While I sat in a chair hand-quilting in a hoop, I had large portions of the quilt draped over the side and on the floor. Without me realizing it, the dog was sitting down there and he chewed some holes into the the top layer of the quilt! I will be able to repair it but I have to wait until I am able to do so in a calmer frame of mind. I get mad all over again every time I see that quilt! So for now I am keeping it tucked safely away.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Retireing from knitting and quilting for a while

What, retire you say, how does one retire from these hobbies and still feed their creativeness? Simple switch hobbies. ROFL! I am actually not trying anything new. I am just picking up on an old hobbie I used to love but abandoned some years back. I am returning to counted cross-stitching. I actually used to design charts of counted cross-stitch and hand painted needle point canvases for a local shop in the 1990's but that work took over so much that I rarely had time to actually sit down and stitch anything for myself. There are times when I do actually miss designing and selling but then I think of all those long hours I spent at it and think meh, I would rather design and stitch for myself. There are so many designers on the market as it is. I even have a few favorite designers. Theresa Wentzler and Nora Corbett both have outstanding designs and are particular favorites of mine. I am still working on the Fairy Idyll design Nora Corbet created for Mirabelia more then a dozen years ago. In fact I am posting my progress here. This is the main project I am trying to complete at the moment. The beadwork in this design is down right gorgeous. I am also working on a special project. I took my great grandparents wedding photo from 1899 and imported it into PC Stitcher and created a nice cross - stitching chart with it. I can hardly wait to get this made. I am hoping it will turn into quite the masterpiece and an heirloom to be passed down.

Above is Nora Corbett's Fair Idyll design in progress.

And below is my great grandparents wedding photos also in progress.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mr. Frodo

People hear me talk about this goofy fellow all the time. How can I not? LOL! He is such a fun and funny little dog. We named him after the main hobbit character in the J. R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy due to the mere description of hobbits in general. If you think about it hobbits are small, big hairy feet. Pekingese dogs are small and notorious for their big hairy feet. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. The thing about our little Frodo is that we believe he is a tad confused about being a dog. He rooms with 3 cats, 2 of which have photos on this page as well. (I misplaced my photos of my youngest cat and need to track those down.) He seems to respond to us best when we yell out "here kitty, kitty." Yes, I have to say he is confused. However when it comes to the term "lap dog" well this is whole separate thing altogether and he takes his job as "lap dog" extremely seriously. It actually gets a tad annoying at times to have to constantly remove him from ones lap when trying to accomplish stuff about the house. He has also made life very difficult for me to work on hand quilting. I like to hand quilt using a small hoop rather then at a quilting frame. This requires the bulk of the quilt to reside in my lap. This measure usually means Mr. Frodo is not allowed on my lap so he sits as close to me as possible and whines at me the entire time until I give in to his ear piercing demands and put the quilting away and make my lap available to him once again. He is my constant companion! :)

Our Lady Galadriel

This has to be the sweetest cat I have ever encountered. She is extremely loving to everyone she meets. The thing that is so unique about this is that Galady was a very feral cat when I located her in a local no-kill shelter. She was extremely wild and avoided everyone for most of her first year in our home. My oldest son was the first one in the family to really begin to establish a friendship with her. Our Siamese has never been happy about this addition to the home and the two are mortal enemies. Yet somehow, Galady has manged to find her way and avoids Sophie at all costs. The fact that Sophie is blind has made this a little easier for her. Galady has a tiny, tiny meow but a purr that can be heard in the next room. She seems to have taken to my husband the best and is constantly camped out on his lap or on his computer desk blocking his view of the monitor. She has grown a lot since these photos were taken and weighs in well over 20 pounds. Yes she needs to go on a diet but try telling her that. lol!

Sophie the Siamese and my sewing companion

This is a typical day of sewing or at least it was before Sophie became blind. She rather enjoyed camping out on my sewing machine and especially crawling under the lights in the machine for "sun bathing." At the time that she was doing this I rather found the behavior quite annoying however now that she is blind, she is unable to make her way up on the cabinet let alone the sewing machine. I would much rather be spending the day chasing her off of my sewing machine then having her blind. She does really well though at getting around the house and even manages to continue to strike fear in the other pets and chases them at will. I think Sophie is clueless that she is 12 years old now, lol.

A tribute to a wonderful old dog "Duncan"

I often speak about my pets with people I talk to daily. I think many of us that have had a number of pets over the years know all too well they are not just animals to us but are family. My youngest son was just saying the other day that he could not imagine our home without them. Sadly this big guy Duncan is one that we had to put down in May 2003 due to Cushing's Disease. He was only 8 years old. He was such a big lovable oaf. We still miss Duncan deeply.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


January is nearly gone and another Valentines day will soon be on us. I found this photo of my youngest son Jared from last school year at the Valentines dance and decided to post it to commemorate Valentines.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Free Standing Lace Work aka FSL

I decided to try my hand at digitizing lace over the last few months and have finally created a piece that I am actually quite happy with. I am sure it is due to the excellence in the program I used for my digitizing. I have tried the expensive software the "big boys" make. I found after about 4 grand later having used their software then upgraded their software that I just wasn't happy with their so called "professional " software. I have instead converted back to using a wonderful program called "Embird" and have found that even after adding the additional modules to the program, this is a better , more versatile program that seems to "think" like I "think" and is far less expensive in the long run. You can located this wonderful software by going to http://www.embird.com/. Now as to the piece I made. This is a bookmark that I created and gave as gifts to a few friends. They really seemed to like it.