Friday, December 28, 2007

one down . . .

one to go. first I have a sleeve to tackle. :o\ I thought second sock syndrome was bad! (for you non-knitters, second sock syndrome is something only knitters suffer from, so you're safe! We get one sock done only to move on to another project and leave the solo sock all alone. I joked once and said I needed to find me a one-legged man. A knitting friend of mine said she works at the VA and could hook me up! What a charity project!)

Anyway. . .I learn something new every time I knit a new project, like, how if I cast on more, I should bind off more in the end. I can't even show how pointy these toes are off the foot! Oh my!
But I finished a sock and that is something. I sit and look at the finished sock and giggle. It amazes me every time. And it's oh so fun.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

merry merry!

o. mah. gawd.
We're gonna get -so- fat!
Ken got this super-duper waffle iron for me this Christmas! And thanks to the wonderful Kelly (and the wonderful Susan for sharing), I have a kick-ass recipe for waffles. The recipe makes four waffles and four waffles takes 3/4 of a bottle of syrup. Ken said, "You don't have to fill every hole with syrup!" and everyone I've said that to replied, "Yes, you do!"
Yes, you do.
Fat farm, here we come!
Waffles anyone?
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

As the heel turns

Hey mom - the tofutsies yarn? It's knitting up VERY nicely. I did an eye of partridge heel on this but somehow the detail of the stitching was lost in the pattern of the yarn. Or I made a mistake. It's probably the latter. I am digging this yarn though. Thanks mom!
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Friday, December 21, 2007

my brain, it's bigger

I love learning something new. I always joke when a new tidbit comes my way, "Ok, I can go to bed now. I learned something new."
Well . . . yesterday I spent the afternoon with my knittah's, Cami and Rhonda. I do wish Rhonda would make a blog so I could hyperlink her too! What a perfectly lovely way to spend the day - knitting, laughing, eating bite sized pieces of cake, laughing some more, eating some more and oh, did I mention laughing? I always come away from Clementine's with a wealth of new information. Yesterday's brain growth still has me shocked!
On to the new factoid.

We got to talking about yarn (big surprise, I know) and I mentioned The Harlot (another shocker!). I'd just read her book, Secret Life of a Knitter where Stephanie writes about her love of the handiwork that goes into each ball of wool. There's no machine that shears sheep. Each ball of wool exists because of someones hands somewhere. I love that too.

The gifts were exchanged and the amazing Rhonda gave me the loveliest of gifts: hand-knit cashmere. Ahhhhhh. A scarf. Hand-knit. Is there any better gift?? Cami got one too and confessed today of sleeping in hers. HA! It's that nice.

Back to the yarn talk. The girls had a debate as to which was the loveliest of yarns. Camilla stated cashmere was so nice. And me? I don't usually think about where my yarn comes from. I don't feel my wonderfully soft scarf and immediately think of a goat somewhere. A goat. I cannot believe this light, fluffy, SOFT fiber came from a goat. Wait - it gets better.

One of them mentioned qiviut (kiv-ee-ute) and said surely this was the loveliest of all yarns. Me, being a new Knitter hadn't heard of this yarn. Here's where I about fell off my chair: it comes from the underbelly of a MUSK OX. Just so you fully appreciate the ridiculousness of this idea here's a little picture I snagged. The most wonderful fibre in the whole world comes from this:

It's true. And now I want to feel it. The yarn, not the musk ox. Can you even??

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

sweater update

Yesterday I threatened to make this sweater a vest. I do not like sleeves. They get bigger as they go along and with 80 some stitches at one point, that's a lot of loooong back and forth knitting.

I must have been grumbling a bit because Ken threatened to hide my knitting needles. "I want you to do something you enjoy!" he cried. I do enjoy knitting. I swear I do! Ignore the knitted brow (ha!) and the cursing and muttering under my breath. This is a hobby I enjoy. It is!

Today, I finished a sleeve. I sit here amazed as I look at my progress. I'm. Knitting. A. Sweater. There's a back, two fronts and now, a sleeve. It's amazing!

I'd show you a picture but my battery ran dead taking too many ice shots. (no need to comment Clementine! :oÞ) I'm hoping to put this sweater together this weekend. Maybe. With a little help from my friends?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pacers 93 Raptors 104

This is a view of our lounge in Conseco Field House tonight. We went to a Pacers game. No, we're not basketball fans (GO COLTS!) but the beer was free and cold and you should have seen the dessert tray! They had chocolate shot cups for heavens sake!

Ken's company has this suite for the season and tonight it was all ours. Well, ours and 20 of our closest friends. Good times.
I even got a little knitting in. :)
Cami - TAG! you're it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

sleeveward HO!

Thanks to a day at Clementine's, I've made tremendous progress on the blue cardigan! She performed what we called a back alley abortion - it was a seriously nasty procedure. One that shouldn't be considered lightly or done without parental supervision. You could be scarred for life! (Ok, I'll get off that soapbox now! Are we still talking about the sweater??).

I couldn't have done it without her!
Excuse the crappy camera phone picture, it's all I had to capture pure genius at work. (nice kiss, eh?)

We frogged 15 rows of work. A whole afternoon of knitting but, as Cami pointed out, "For the same price you get to knit it again!" HA! Turns out if I'd just done what Rhonda said to do in the first place, all systems would have been go right off. I'm still not sure how I did it, those right slanting through the back loops, double somersault, full pike decreases but knitting is like that. Magic. And I'm hooked. Pun intended. Though that's really more of a crochet pun but I guess it works here too. The joke wouldn't have worked at all if I said I was needled so hooked it is.

Sleeves are next! And I know I'll feel like I'm almost done once I get the sleeves finished and really I'll be very close but then I have get to do my first ever button band with double yarn overs and everything. I may need a drink. Or two. Or seven.

And Cami? Don't even complain one bit about this picture. Remember, I know your super secret password and have access to that slanty face picture and I didn't post that. See what a good friend I am? :

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

rainy day ramblings

o. my. gawd.

I don't know if I'll make it through another midwest winter! I may need to get a sun lamp or something! Today was so grey and foggy and rainy. I'm needing a little vitamin K or D or whatever it is the sun gives.

I have been knitting today. Knitting and watching a marathon of Sex and the City.

However, the blue sweater is on hold. I was working the decreases for the right front neckline and I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. Rhonda and my mom both tried explaining the correct decrease to me, all to no avail. I feel like I've never knit before! The needles felt clumsy in my hands and now where there should be two perfect rows of decreases, there's one perfect row and four (albeit even) twists. :o\ I'm such a perfectionist I don't think I can leave it the way it is and I just don't have the heart to undo all the work I did today. Damnit, damnit, damnit.

At least I was watching some good TV. Ahhhh Mr. Big.
Ken has gotten smart - tonight he looked at what I was doing and asked, "Are you taking something apart or putting something together?" As in, it's ok for him to bother me if it's putting something together, but better he not if I'm trying to un-do something. Gotta love that.

So for now, I'm knitting my Christmas socks. The ones my mom would have knit for me this year had I not learned how to knit. See what happens? I master rib cooking and now we never go out for barbecue. I cook a mean fettuccine alfredo so now Olive Garden is out. I learn how to knit and rather than get wonderfully hand-knit socks from my mom for Christmas, I get balls of yarn. I should just keep my talents to myself!
But it does feel good to share.

The girls at my Christmas party fought over my Santa ornament. That made me feel good. My director had it at one point and was upset when someone took it from her. I said, "I know where you can get another one!" I think there were four girls total that said they wanted one. Not a bad day.

We got our tree up and for the first time I have two trees - one in the formal living room and one in the family room. Even though I hardly ever go in the living room it's fun having a tree in there. It has white lights and teal and silver ornaments to continue the room's colors on the tree.
The family room tree is our hodge-podge tree. I love it. Colored lights and all our collectible ornaments. Every ornament has a story and it's a tradition to relive those memories every year. Maybe my favorite tradition.

What are your favorite traditions?

christmas card

It's too cute not to share. Plus I was sick of looking at "jane's" belly. :)
merry, merry!
Christmas 2004

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Past

While looking though some old photos I came across this little gem. Obviously scanned as this was before the days of digital cameras. In my house, anyway.
I -love- this picture of Ashley. It is just so HER. Justin in his Power Rangers jacket (everything really DOES come back, doesn't it?) waiting for his turn to talk to the big guy.
Taken in '94 at the Indianapolis Zoo.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

if you show me yours...

A certain knitter I know (*cough* CAMI *cough*) had the nerve to say to me, "I like the little Santa and all but really, when are you going to post on your blog again?" Lets go have a look-see at HER blog and see how many days pass between posts over at Camilla Knits. You go ahead. I'll wait here.

I think I win that game. She totally tried to blackmail me. I finally gave in (cause that's what people close to her DO - it's self preservation as "Boris" informed me) and said, "I will if you will." Well she did, so I do...

Here's what's been making me pee my pants lately:

there's just nothing better than pee-your-pants funny, is there?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Craftiness

Originally uploaded by imelly

I feel like it's finally Christmastime.

I made this for an ornament exchange I'm doing with my Pampered Chef team next weekend.
I bought the pattern from Little Coon Creek a few years ago and TORE my house apart today looking for it. I found bits here and pieces there but no pattern. Luckily, I had enough pre-cut pieces, I found the website, looked closely at the picture and guessed at the rest.
Now I need to go clean up the mess I made looking!

Merry merry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Music - Eva Cassidy

God I love youtube!
My brother, Russ mentioned this artist to me then I read reference to her in a novel I was reading. Isn't that the way it goes?
I love music that touches me. Today, it's Eva Cassidy. Sadly, her story has a tragic ending as Eva died from Melanoma in 1996. It's our loss, to be sure.
But how wonderful she can live on and continue to touch souls with her songs. I'm so glad to have these little bits of her.
enjoy -

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ken is workin' the ladies

For Cami. And this was while it was still light out:

Workin' the ladies for Cami, or Clementine, depending.
He's still out there. In the cold. In the dark. The lovely man that he is sent me in where it's warm. I said, "I love you more than anything!" as I stripped off the seventeen layers I was wearing to stay warm. We've been at it since 1:00 this afternoon.
I love you, Cami but not this much. ;) melly should never be outside when the frost comes! Two nights in a row. I routered for you. I handled big power tools!
The good deed is done and I have four ladies lined up in the back of my truck.
My husband is a god. He rocks. I told him doing things like this makes people have hope. Hope that there are more nice people in the world if there are two friends that can stay out in the cold all day for one mighty Becher.
See you tomorrow.

Pay it Forward Handmade Style

While doing my usual morning reading, I stumbled across Shannon's blog and found a Pay It Forward challenge. What a great idea.
I love making stuff. I love making stuff for other people. I don't love swaps. People don't follow through or don't send stuff near as nice as mine (can I BE so modest? -lol-).
So here's the snippet I pulled from Shannon who got it from Jacqui who got it from Maggie get the idea.

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

So come on out of the woodwork to get something fabulously handmade by me! It might be knit, it might be paper crafted, it might be whipped up in my kitchen. You just don't know! But I promise you'll like it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It may be ugly but it sure tastes good

My mom has a somewhat partial opinion of me, I think. It happens when you're the favorite, you know. She admires my knitting, my sewing even my family. And my pie crusts. She thinks I have perfect pie crusts. I called her today and told her they were ugly. She wouldn't listen. I know she imagines me with perfectly golden, flaky crusts. She's got some imagination, that mom of mine.
Here's the truth. I was going to say in black and white, but it's a color photo but somehow that doesn't have the same ring to it. I think that phrase was actually meant more for print and not photos anyway. I digress...
Sorry to spoil your image of the perfect daughter, mom but my pie crusts - they are ugly.
But we don't care because they'll soon be filled with the most wonderful banana cream pie (from scratch!) as soon as my husband gets back from the grocery store. I need more flour. My mom and I decided together corn starch probably wouldn't work. On another day, possibly. But you don't mess around with Thanksgiving Day Pie. Not in our house, anyway.

The beer. It cools.

The games. They wait.

To be continued. . .

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Friday, November 16, 2007

death to crocs

uploaded by imelly
Just got back from the podiatrist - official diagnosis: plantar faciitis. I knew that.
She said crocs are as bad as flip-flops, they really offer no support whatsoever. :o\
I'm currently in my tennis shoes waiting for my new orthotics to arrive.
I feel like an old woman.

The story behind the picture:
Susan got orange crocs for her birthday. My envy nearly consumed me so I got my own pair - the pink ones (and black mary janes, and pink ballet ones for Roo. It's a sickness, I tell you!). Lisa gave us such a hard time for our "hideous", "gross", "UGLY" shoes, so for her birthday, Susan and I got her a pair as a gag gift, really. Hers are the blue ones. See how worn they are? She LOVES them! She has two pair now.
Resistance is futile.
Sorry Lisa! (all this was before The Official Diagnosis)

testing out Flickr's blogging option

NOW baby's got back

I need to pace my excitement!
If I call three inches above the ribbing progress, what am I going to do when I get two sleeves added to this thing? Pass out, probably. -lol-

I'm knitting a sweater. It's crazy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

F is for:

I love Autumn. For so many reasons. It's like a miracle, watching the colors of the leaves change on the trees. I'm always amazed at the deep reds, bright yellows and flaming oranges where only green was before. The sight of fall color has literally taken my breath away before. I love it!
I caught sight of something on a tree near my house that wasn't visible when the trees were in full summer splendor. I could tell, even from the road, that it was someones names or initials in a heart, carved in the bark of this tree. I knew I wanted to take a picture of this. I've been thinking about it for a few days, so yesterday I pulled my little car off the side of the road and snapped this picture.
There was a branch casting a shadow, darnit. I can photoshop that out later. Isn't this a fun picture? I wonder who they were, WHEN they were, if they ARE.
This next one was a surprise shot. I went cruising down my favorite road with the top down yesterday, a rare 60° November day and saw how the sun was coming down on these trees, lighting them on fire. I again pulled to the side of the road but I had to walk for a bit to get close enough to get the shot. I wanted to stay and take more but my top was down, the keys were in it and my car was getting our of sight the closer I got to the trees. I've got to get better at this whole pull-off-the-side-of-the-road thing. But this was so worth my nervousness:
I love Fall, don't you?
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm no longer monogamous

In my knitting, anyway.
I've got another round dishcloth in the works for Susan and I've started my first ever full-sized sweater! That's two things going at once! I guess I -am- a knitter!
Pictured is the start of the back with 2 x 2 ribbing. It's for Ashley. It's going to be FABULOUS!
Thanks again for the needles, mom. Size 7 is just what I needed!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

my mom, she rocks

I got this package in the mail yesterday from my mom. She cleaned out her needle stash for me and sent her duplicates! See how much she loves me? :)

I was floating around on that little bit of bliss yesterday until I realized she sent me my Christmas socks early. See them there on the left? They're that bulky thing up there that suspiciously looks like a hank of yarn. I have to make my own socks now! -tears- That's what I get for learning how to knit. :o\ Cooking worked much the same way. I hardly ever get out for a good meal now that I'm such a Betty in the kitchen.

But the yarn is lovely. It's made from Chitin fiber? (not to be confused with chitLin -lol-) Ever heard of it? Me neither. It's YARN made from shrimp and crab shells! But it's soft! Really! I wouldn't kid the internet! Can't wait to play around with it.

Thanks, mom!
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007


remnants of the creative process

the leaves fell over night. happy fall, ya'll.

birdhouse painting on my dining room table
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