Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Nice Holiday

We had a nice crowd for our Thanksgiving dinner, on Saturday this year. I'd say it was relaxed but, then, I didn't do all the work. Dolly came and sat in the window and supervised. Things are getting under way here.My sister-in-law is showing off the baby had she had just finished. They set the baby on the floor with all of the yarn and let him choose the colors.Everyone's waiting for the feast.
I didn't get any pictures of the turkey or trimmings...... or the equally laden dessert table--my brother made a yummy caramel cheesecake with chocolate sauce. It looks like he's in a bit of post-dinner stupor below.Dolly stayed and supervised the clean up. I took the carcass of the bird home to make soup.It was wonderful to gather together. I sat in the dining room and talked with my sister as she worked and just listed to the ebb and flow of the conversations in the living room (everyone talking over everyone else most of the time). It was great.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for! I am very happy that we have a tradition of setting aside a day to focus on them--and friends and family (not to mention good food!--as I said, a lot to be thankful for!)
Thank you for coming by to visit and comment.
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

not much going on

Winter's settling in. It's storming against my window right now.

We saw the new Harry Potter movie this weekend. Now we can't wait for the final movie. I need that ending. (I found the final book to be difficult, it was full of frustration and anger as the situation developed. I also found the end quite satisfying. This movie covers the difficult half of the book--the part I found hard to read. We did find this movie to be better than the previous two with more detail. I think it is quite well done.)

I spent some time working along on ongoing projects--a few rows on the cranberry alpaca cable knit scarf, I'm back on track with the second round washcloth and have it beyond the half-way point, I worked some on the crewel needlebook. Nothing new going on, although it's very tempting.

I did get a good dose of inspiration and holiday cheer today from the e-zines blogged about by Zakka Life, here. Check it out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finished Objects

Sitting does have it's advantages; I'm getting some things done.I added a lacy edging tot he bottom of the pin doll's skirt. I took some perle 5 that I found nearby--sometimes it pays to not be neat and put things away. I had a crochet hook to hand, too, and made up a lacy edging. I am so much happier with it now.

The lace is a simple one. I crocheted a chain long enough to fit around the bottom of the doll's skirt. I added three more chain stitches for the first single crochet, chain one, of the next row. I skipped the fourth chain from the hook, sc in the next chain, chain 1, skip next chain of the first row, sc in next chain, keep up the sc, ch 1 across. At this point I joined it into a circle.

I could have joined the chain row but it's so easy to get that twisted. By joining after the second row, it was much easier to keep it from getting twisted. The last row was picots. ch 4, slip stitch into the 3d chain from the hook, ch 1, dc in first ch 1 space. Repeat *ch 4, ss into 3d ch from hook, ch 1, sc in next ch 1 space* across. Join at the end, stitch in the two ends, slip stitch the lace onto the doll (or handkerchief or purse or whatever) from underneath using matching sewing thread. Voila!I finished the cable hat. I've just barely begun the scarf. The yarn is really nice, but I did not see it in Knit Pick's newest catalog (the kit was several years old). The hat went quickly--I'd do it again.I also finished the first washcloth. Along the way I lost one of my knitting needles and substituted a double-pointed steel needle that looked about the right size. I put tape on one end to keep the stitches on. This was the easiest of the washcloths, but I really like the spiral pattern. I'm approaching the half-way point on the next washcloth, but the last time I tried knitting I ripped more than knit so I just gave it up. It's #2 in difficulty. I'm doing them in order. Next I'll cast on for #3, but first I think I need to get another pair of bamboo needles. I like them best with this yarn. (I think part of my problem with the second cloth is that I'm using harder to manage cable needles that are slippery.

I didn't do much embroidery this week, I'm really enjoying the knitting for now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retail Therapy

While I'm waiting to be ready for physical therapy, I've been indulging in some retail therapy. I'd actually ordered this book a couple of months ago; it arrived after my injury. Exile is a graphic novel telling part of the story of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, the first book in the series. It tells the story from a totally different perspective than the book. This tale is told by Jamie's godfather and is very different than the book. Way cool.

This has gotten me back into reading the novels (yet again). I've finished Outlander and am about 1/3 of the way through Dragonfly in Amber. There are currently seven thousand-page-or-so novels in the series, so I'll be happily occupied for a while.This is some woolfelt from Vintage Vogue. I have a couple of Japanese books with patterns for making pastries, cookies and chocolates from felt and that's what I plan to do with this. I may also make a companion for Dolly--lots of skin tones here.More from Vintage Vogue, this time from their sale page. Glass leaf charms in two shades of green and clear and 1/2" shisha mirrors. There was a project a while back in Stitch with the Embroiderer's Guild (UK) that I liked and it featured shisha. (issue #66) I have no purpose for the leaves other than I thought that they would come in handy. (holiday napkin rings with some red ribbon perhaps?)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes I've received by comment, e-mail and mail. It means a lot. Everyone has been very helpful, especially my hubby, who is doing everything right now. Coworkers are being very generous with fetching and carrying. Friends are amazing. Thank you all.

I'm finally feeling like I may get better. Last week I felt it would never end, but I can feel improvement now.

I'd forgotten much about using crutches. Or maybe I'd never noticed some things. They're very noisy--you can't sneak up on anyone! They're especially noisy when they hit the bathroom floor in the middle of the night because you didn't prop them up carefully. Didn't know my hubby could move that fast.

They fall over all the time. And they're sneaky. At my brother's they'd been sitting quietly against the wall for about fifteen minutes before crashing over. I try hard to find corners to lodge them into, but it's not always easy. Where I need to be doesn't always have a corner and when I find a secure place, the crutches will be blocking the cupboard door or drawer that I need to get into.

Which leads to a serious point about using crutches. They are not stable--you provide the stability and balance. They are just an aide to take weight off of a limb. If you ever need to use crutches, you have to be sure of each step and of your balance at all times. Crutches won't catch you if you begin to fall.

The weight taken off your limb ends up on your hands, wrists and forearms. I'm finally getting used to it and don't ache as much. Another reason to keep up with that upper body strength. Walkers use the same muscles for support. They're more stable but less mobile, imho.

If you have cause to use crutches or are around someone who does, a couple of tips: pockets, belt bags, backpacks, (things that securely attach to your body) and bags with handles (that can be gripped along with the crutch handle) are your friends. They enable you to carry some things (a glass of water is impossible, but a sealed bottle of water can go into a pocket or bag). Not too much or too heavy, but I use them to get papers to the copier and my lunch to the microwave. Trying to carry a ream of paper back to my office was a bad idea. (I made it but it was touch and go.)

Throw rugs are your enemy. Think of them as walking on ice. Get rid of them for the duration.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


To stave off boredom while sitting last week, I began a whole slew of projects that I'm rotating between, sometimes a row or section of one then moving on to another. I'm restless.This is a hat, knit with cables in an Alpaca yarn--very soft. It was a kit from Knitpicks from my stash. This is a lacy washcloth and below is another. I have cotton (also from Knitpicks) for a third...which is perfect since the pattern book has three different patterns. The cloths are knit with short-rows. You can see I've learned my lace-knitting lessons--I'm using markers and lifelines, even for something this small. The good thing is that I've learned enough now to be able to figure out where I went wrong and fix it. The not-so-good thing is that I go wrong way too often. This is the completed flower from the needlebook I began way back when and then let languish. I've begun the second flower.
Last is an easy but slow pillowcase project. The first one came to me stitched, with the second stamped case and a few tangles of green floss and perle. I'm using those threads along with some more greens from my stash to satin stitch the leaves. I'll need to get to a store for the variegateds used for the flowers and for some thread to use to crochet the edgings. What color do you suggest I use? Variegated greens is an obvious choice but I'm just not so sure...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back at It

Here's Dolly having a zen moment at the very nice Gasthaus Motel in Monroe, Wisconsin, on our too-short trip last week. I had fun sitting at my brother's kitchen table, in his comfy chair, on his couch, in our motel, in our car. Sitting is where I'm at right now. (Hubby sweetly planned, shopped, packed, loaded the car, unloaded the car, loaded the car, etc.)And here she is, blinded by the flash, as she visits with my brother and sister-in-law. Below she's eyeing the chocolate tart my brother made for his youngest's 21st birthday. Yowza! (The tart was every bit as yummy as it looks--my brother is an awesome cook.)Birthday boy's in blue, watching his brother make lunch. It was sunny and bright, lovely weather.My sister came up for the day. She's diligently sewing labels on completed quilts. While visiting N and I wound yarn into balls (some mine, some hers). She knitted away on a sweater, that's probably done by now. I did some gauge swatches on borrowed needles (I didn't have the size the pattern called for) but my gauge was too large and I had smaller needles at home, so I pulled out some embroidery. We were busy!Here's the birthday boy, again, trying to escape the camera. Hah! got-ya!And I have a finish. Or thought I did. Looking at these pix, I think I need to add a row of lace at the bottom edge. This is a Pin Cushion Doll and Strawberry Emery from Makeit by Sewing Chest Designs. I've had the pattern and half doll and emery kit for ages. I tried to sell it several times this summer and no one grabbed it. Then, at one of the sales where I was supposed to be selling, I bought a bunch of perle 12 and at home I came across some linen and found a verse I liked better than the one in the original design. I decided to stitch it myself.Here's the verse on the skirt before assembly. I had it all done and was just finishing when the doll popped out and I had to undo quite a bit of the skirt and then redo it, my way this time. Still and all, it didn't take too long to assemble.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

taking a break

I'm off for a few days of vacation. No computer, no phone. Just family. Maybe a garden or zoo if we can find a wheel chair for me. This past week has been quiet--I've been back at work and doing anything on crutches takes twice the time, so I've had less time and energy to stitch. I completed 1-3/4 kissing pillow tops while handing out trick-or-treats Saturday and at doctor appointments.I've been working on my cross stitch half doll off and on. I haven't taken any photos. I'm still enjoying those from my visit to Cantigny.See you all next week!