Tuesday, December 22, 2009

you better not pout

my friend, amanda stopped by today with a craft emergency. we decided i must be martha stewart's evil twin - tattooed, knitting, harley riding, cooking, swearing. i'll buy that.

to bribe pay me for my brainstorming efforts, she loaded me up on sugar. but these little beauties are evil. they taste like the stuff inside an oreo. she's promised the recipe. and don't you worry, internet. i will share.

i've already decided weight watchers is on my horizon. again. i've gained ten pounds! think that's not a lot? tape two bags of sugar to your belly and come back in an hour. no wonder my back hurts.

let's get through the hoidays with it's noshings and imbibing and i'll get to it. america's next top model here i come.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i'm no scrooge

but i wasn't going to do any christmas knitting. proclaiming christmas a knit-free zone was one way to lighten my holiday load. i wasn't going to send any christmas cards either. . .funny how these things work. or not.

i mean, i have things on the needles, i am knitting: a clapotis for girl-child and manly socks for ken but i wasn't going to have this mad dash to the finish line, pressured to finish last-minute gifts.

enter exhibit a:

ashley's boyfriend put in a hat request. and i'm doing a gift exchange with some knitters after the holidays. then i found this blog and her felted slippers and it's been downhill since. i have procured more wool in the last week than i can shake a . . .a knitting stick at!

this is the french press felted slipper, before and after. ravelry is the best way to get the pattern, especially after poor melynda was 'harlotized'. i think i've been staring at it too long. i can't even tell if it's cute any more! it needs one more good run through the wash so it's not so floppy but i think it's cute. now to find the perfect buttons...

and one more knitting related bit. can i just say my mom rocks? i asked her if she could knit girl-child a sweater. ashley said, "omg! i love that sweater!" when we were watching a scene from the movie juno. so, i took a picture of my TV with my cell phone, emailed it to my mom and said, "can you knit THIS sweater?"

she took that crappy cell phone picture, bought some yarn, found a squirrel chart and worked her magic:

ashley was squeeing all over the kitchen. i couldn't even get her to hold still for a picture.

well, maybe one.

she absolutely loves it. as in, wears-it-every-day loves it. cried when she opened the package loves it. wasn't going to let me take it to my knitting group to brag on my mom loves it.

thanks mom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

and the gifts keep coming

is there a better way to express your love and affection than the gift of yarn? i think not.
my momma, she loves me. she gifts me with potential. a bag of fibery goodness says, "here you go, let's see what sort of beauty you can create with THIS!"
a bag of yarn. the perfect gift. one size really does fit all.

i can tell it's christmas. and not just because of the parade of gifts.
we finally got our tree up. no one in town had the mini, multi lights! i ended up ordering them from target.com.
ken strung them up and i decorated the rest. we love our tree. it's like a living museum of our lives together. each ornament hand selected either by us or for us to commemorate all sorts of things. decorating the tree is one of my favorite traditions even if it is a lot of work!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

nothing but heaven itself is better

than a friend who is really a friend. -plautus
it's so wonderful when a friend takes time out of her busy day to sprinkle my day with happiness.
thanks, bird. this hit the spot.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

now i know my abc's

holly, over at chez beeper bebe shared an excellent tutorial on creating these wonderfully whimsical, fabric, magnetic abc's.
i was in the process of making a set today when one of ken's co-workers asked if i'd make his twin girls their names.

these are so easy. i made the two names in less than an hour. i've gone one step further in simplifying holly's idea: i use arial black font, all caps and print up the alphabet (or name). in word, if you go to format: font you can select outline. i cut the letters out square, set my machine to a short length and sew, following the lines of the printed letters (layering the pieces according to holly's tutorial). the machine needle perforates the paper, and you just tear it away. ridiculously easy.
i purchased the magnets, and i used scraps of fabric and batting that i had already. so for less than $10 i have a super cute gift idea! and now you do too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

post turkey day post

we had a very low-key turkey day. a few friends and a deep fried bird.
i know.
before you start moaning about tradition, take a gander:
it was, dare i say? they best damn turkey ever.
i'm a traditionalist. i've roasted my turkey in the oven every thanksgiving for probably the last 15 years. i've balked at frying my turkey in hot oil for probably the last 5. but there is something to this deep frying. it presented the most delectable meat, my mouth is watering as i sit here trying to find the right adjectives. it was moist, perfectly seasoned, crispy outside, tender and juicy inside. YUM! but i will say, getting used to the house smelling like a chinese food restaurant on thanksgiving may take some getting used to.
come and get it!
and no holiday would be complete without gram's banana cream pies.
hope your day was filled with all the traditions you love best.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

manly socks

ken loves his handknit socks so much. i thought he might need an alternate pair to wear while his never ending socks are in the laundry.

for those inquiring minds, this is one of the harry potter yarns by opal - hedgewig, i think. not bad, eh?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

happy fall ya'll

ken has a bad habit of cleaning the garage.
i put stuff out there for storage and next thing i know, i can't find anything. i think it's his way of punishing me for entering his sacred domain.
last weekend, i happened to go outside when he was out there cleaning. he had our storage trailer open and i saw my decorations box sitting right there! christmas wreathes, halloween decorations and who knew i had thanksgiving decor? not me!
we cleaned out boy-child's room last weekend. a craft room is imminent! and i've told ken from now on, all my holiday decorations can be stored in that closet.
but in the meantime, this little lovely welcomes guests outside my front door:

happy fall!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

apple grilled pork chops

i think they looked better than they tasted!
fresh-cut rosemary from the garden. stuffed with butter sautéed onions and crisp, tart slices of granny smith rubbed with brown sugar. this should have been delicious. but neither girl-child or i liked them.
but they sure were pretty to look at.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ribbed lace

i know a lot of people have knit this pattern. ravelry told me so. i've knit this pattern! i don't think it's difficult, per se: it's an 8 stitch repeat with a 24 row pattern repeat. it's a combination of increases, decreases and yarn overs that creates this lovely fabric of lace. i remember it being a bit challenging the first time but the end result was a pair of socks so. . .
since then i have tried no less than four times to create these socks again. and i'm not sitting here with a single pair of ribbed lace socks.
i tried once with some beautiful yarnlove. it certainly wasn't a problem with the yarn: silk and wool. for your feet. delicious.
i tried again this summer in seattle with some lorna's laces. again, lovely yarn but the pattern just wouldn't come off my needles.

the other day i cast on these:

and, here we go again. i'm having trouble already. i know what i did wrong but do you know how fun it is to un-knit three rounds of yarnovers, increases and decreases?! ::maniacal laughter:: do you?

but. i will say, i'm a much better knitter now than i was last year when i knit these socks the first time so fixing should be a breeze. right?!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

remember my sister the rock star?

well, she also writes children's books:

the picture is an amazon link.

my sister is a published author. somehow that makes me seem more awesome!

it's been so fun being part of this process with her. i saw the book in the beginning, when it was just a poem or two, emailed to me with a 'what do you think' subject line. i watched it grow into a whole book. with amazing pictures and everything! her illustrator, christine bennett is so imaginative. she put faces to my sister's words. it's a terrific marriage.

if you need an autographed copy, i can hook you up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

national pizza month

october is national pizza month. really. it is. when i found out on chan's blog i said, "to heck with meatloaf! we're having pizza for dinner!"
and remind me next time the good crust recipe is in the food processor cook book.
it was ooey, gooey and delicious. chan is hosting a triple-B contest. supposedly a pizza party gains another entry. i don't know if having pizza for dinner constitutes a pizza party but here's hoping!

speaking of hope. . .
this here is known as my hope hat. i'm knitting it for a friend who has a friend who needs some hope in her life. each stitch is infused with that hope. i believe in that sort of magic.
here's hoping. . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

two little pumpkins

we found a pumpkin patch along the side of the road today while we were out enjoying the day. i picked three. ken was shaking his head the whole time as i looked them over, taking time in selecting just the right one. the gal running the place said it's a girl thing - boys come in, pick their pumpkin and they're gone just about before they get there. to me, they need to be the right height, width, color, etc. and have the right stem.
i haven't carved jack-o-lanterns in a few years. i think it's well past time.

and here's the other little pumpkin i mentioned:
i finished ginger's sweater in the wee hours of the morning and she LOVES it! she gets so excited when i go to put it on. it's a perfect fit. the pattern is the piccolo sweater from the book doggie knits . and it is fabulous! super simple and very well written (the collar instructions carries one little error - switch rows 6 & 7). i am so in love with this book. the little pumpkin goes without saying.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

when knitting goes to the dogs

literally, folks think i've gone pure mad.

first with the hat, now with a sweater. i'm knitting my dog a sweater. of malabrigo no less. it's going to be gorgeous. she'll be the best dressed dog around to be sure.

now, to those of you who think i've gone totally nuts, when little girl Ginger goes to the groomer, she gets all her hair cut off. and when it's cold out, she shivers. and the coldest is yet to come - it snows here. but in this gorgeous wool sweater, not only will she look fabulous but she'll be toasty all winter long. and i get to knit with my very favorite yarn. malabrigo is the most luscious wool yarn i've ever wrapped my hands around.

i'm using the left-over lettuce from the koolhaas hat and a smidgen of girl-child's pornstar pink (bought for her clapotis) to create the edging. they both go perfectly with the hank of melilla i picked up yesterday in zionsville.

i can't wait to show her off!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Absent Tears

post title created using random title generator cause i'm lazy like that.

i've been trying to jumpstart my knitting. since the cool ass hat i haven't really knit anything. i cast on another pair of never ending socks but set them down shorty after and i haven't picked them up again.

so, nothing jump starts my mojo like some inspiration. i spent some time browsing patterns on ravelry but just didn't find what i was looking for. i don't know why i was feeling inspired to knit for my dogs, but that's the direction i headed. i got some doggie knits books form the library. and i knit a doggy hat. i think i've officially gone crazy. i'm knitting hats for dogs. i'm a crazy dog lady. somebody save me.

the funny thing about knitting a hat for a dog is they really don't like hats. at least my three little ones don't. i initially knit this hat for fatboy. he must have a weird head. the hat didn't really work on his head. in this hat ginger reminds me of a cheerleader or something with big fluffy pony tails for ears. grizz won't even come near me when i'm holding the hat. i think he's the smartest one of the bunch. myself included.

Monday, October 5, 2009

visiting indy

i like it when friends come to visit. besides getting to play hostess with the most-est, i get to tour my own city. i've lived here (collectively) more than ten years and i've never been to the speedway.

indianapolis, among other things, is known for it's racing: the indy 500 each spring, gathers race fans from all over the world. later in the summer, nascar does it's thing at the brickyard. yesterday, i was the one taking the turns on the famed track. and while i'm no race fan, i enjoyed myself immensely.

perhaps it was the company. my dear friend nansi and her husband, mike came from pennslyvania for the weekend. mike is a race fan. he was quite pleased to visit the brickyard and i think us girls had more fun watching him grin from ear to ear than taking in the sights ourselves.

we debated the felony charges we'd face if we busted through the fence and drove around the track ourselves against having a nice dinner out and somehow dinner won.

saturday afternoon we tried to drive downtown to see all the wonderful architecture and monuments indianapolis has to offer but all the routes were blocked off for the circle city classic: an annual, weekend long event held downtown. so instead, we hit the steak sale at marsh before heading home to relax before dinner. we decided on the friendly tavern in zionsville for dinnner. next time, i'll remember to check game schedules. there was a notre dame game AND and iu game. to say it was loud in there would be a gross understatement. but the food was good so it wasn't a complete loss.

sunday after the track, we came home and just relaxed. we watched a movie before dinner, had some wine and then enjoyed (if i don't say so myself) the best damn steak ever. girl-child and jimmy came for dinner. i think jimmy was a hit with nansi. and i know girl-child loved my friend. she told me so. but really, what's not to love? we laughed until late, then said our good-nights, knowing we'd be parting ways early in the morning.

today, my house is altogether too quiet, just me and the pups. finally having my dear friend here gave me the perfect weekend. thanks for coming, nansi. i miss you already.

Friday, October 2, 2009

friday giveaway

Rambling Along is giving away a $50 AJ Wright giftcard. I get another entry by blogging about it but if you run over and join it lessens my chances so you all just need to stay home!

I'd actually be just as happy if someone I knew won. How sick is that? Go forth. Register. Win!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

koolhaas redux

jared flood of brooklyn tweed is pure knitting genius. i've been a long-time admirer through his blog - his knitting, spinning and photography are just so inspiring. when i knit his koolhaas hat the first time last year, i was smitten. but now i'm 100% in love. this pattern looks complex but knits up so easily, and it creates this amazing lattice that honestly makes me look like a much better knitter than i am. how can i ask for more than that?
if you're a knitter and haven't made this hat yet, well shame. on. you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009


i'm finally halfway done with my modern quilt wrap. it's seriously the finest thing i've ever knit. and i'm not just talking yarn weight. it's absolutely lovely. and halfway done.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

and now i know

i've been knitting socks for more than a year now. i've knit probably half a dozen pair. some have been on double pointed needles, some magic looped on one long circular needle but up to this point always one at a time and always from the cuff down. after spending a week with the fabulous two-at-a-time sock knitting ms g i was seduced into knitting socks two at a time, toe up. she made it look so easy. plus she gifted me with this fabulous yarn. how could i refuse?

and easy it is! i learned judy's magic cast on. i like it!
but i'm not sure i like working on one long needle.
there are some knitters who hate double pointed needles. and while i agree, sometimes it does feel like wrestling a porcupine, knitting on one long circular, for me, isn't any better. it's just different. i'm glad to have this new technique mastered but did i love it? not really. and now i know.

as a portable project, one at a time works better for me and i swear it's faster! i always laugh at knitters who say one way takes longer than the other, because really, isn't it the same number of stitches? but i swear, two at a time felt like it took forever!! surely i can knit two socks one at a time in less than 16 days!

and i'm not crazy about the afterthought heel. it's easy enough to work but i do like a good heel flap. when you knit socks from the cuff down, once you cast off, you're done. with this, i cast off both socks late last night, then spent all day working just one heel. it's done. mighty pointy, but i know how to fix that next time. this heel does seem much less bulky, so less likely to bunch up out the back of my shoe. that's a plus. and now i know. but i'm done with only one. it will be at least one more day before i have a finished pair of socks.

i guess besides all the whining, the point of this post was to encourage you knitters to reach outside of your comfort zone and try something new. you may like it or not, but at least you can say, " i came. i saw. i knit it and now i know."

Monday, September 7, 2009


justin moved out of the house last year. but recently he and his girlfriend jessica got an apartment together. when girl-child moved out i made her a cookbook scrapbook of some of her favorite recipes. justin requested the same. but he said, "go ahead and put some gross stuff in it too, since it's not just for me."
so justin and jessica, here is your cookbook with gross stuff included.
i bought this paper pack a few months ago, not having a clue what i was going to do with it. i was worried it was too girlie for this project but since justin now has his own girlie, i think it's perfect!
thought handwriting each recipe was a nice touch too.
♥ mom
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