Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Sad News

Sadly, my sister lost her 10 year old dog Brandy this week. It was a sudden loss due to complications of a severe infection.
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Brandy (photo taken in September)

On the crafting front, I am still working on the last sleeve of the Banff sweater. I had to pull it out and restart it three times because the ribbing in this nubbly yarn is so hard to keep straight. I decided to just do straight ribbing instead of the section of decrease and increase included in the pattern so that I can actually get the darn thing done this month! Also, finally figured out a new pattern to use for the quilt for my sister and BIL that uses Vikings fabric on one side and fishing/deer fabric on the other. It is a simple style and is based on this Thimbleberries pattern.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finally, Cross Stitch!

Yes, I did this teeny tiny project just to finish something. It's about 2x2 inches. Just something cute.
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Our kittens are now (drum roll) cats! Yes, they were one year old yesterday. They got extra people canned salmon in honor of their birthday (they don't like cat food salmon). Of course, they have no clue why, but they were happy. It's been dark and gloomy for several days, so photos come out pretty bad just now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sweater Progress!

Banff Sweater is coming along. I thought it was time to give you some photos. I can see that a middle of the day photo doesn't show detail well! What you see here is a completed front and an incorrectly done back (where the stitch holder is). It wasn't until I was doing the front that I discovered that I had been decreasing twice on every row instead of once at the beginning. Therefore, I have to rip out the back and reknit. However, the front came out nice and even and clearly raglan. As much as I like darker colors, fixing mistakes is difficult and this nubbly yarn just makes it even harder. I'm waiting for the next nice day. Then I can take my small, portable white resin table outside, set the sweater down and rip back carefully. Given the current heat wave (can you believe it is October?), I'm fairly confident that I have until Thanksgiving to finish this.

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Here is my completed sleeve which I finished on Monday. Again, the ribbing is impossible to see in this lighting, but the raglan shape is clearly visible. I have to bring relatives to several appointments this month, so should get a good way on the next sleeve.
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Here's the decadent Polly. This is her favorite napping position. Doesn't matter where. This chair, my bed, on the floor against a cool wall.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lost A Friend Today

Sadly, I have to report that we lost our little Cuddles today. Solving her medical problems has been a challenge since she was 3 months old, but unfortunately a new problem cropped up that wasn't obvious to diagnose. She was 11 months old. We will all miss her.

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Cuddles laying on brother Bart. Taken Aug. 21, 2007.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summer Trip

I haven't disappeared, but I just haven't done a lot of crafting this summer. I went to visit my sister for a few days and crafted for 3 solid days! Have most of one sleeve done now and will try to get a good photo of it (right now it comes out as a brown blob.). Due to the 2 inch rain, we were still able to have our limited fireworks. Here's a photo!
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One of the multitasking fireworks.

We had a lot of weather, but the storm went right by and hit other areas. Really did a good job of damaging the Brainerd area (North Central MN).
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Taken from the Lake Place. Since my sister and BIL married, this place is only used for visitors now.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Busy Summer, Harry Potter Time!

I know I haven't been updating much recently. Haven't done a lot of crafting although I continue to work on the Banff Sweater. The front has been completed and I have now ripped back the back to where I started to reduce too fast. In the meantime, I did start a sleeve!

The sweater gets put aside after today, for tomorrow I switch back to cutting out pyramids for the Pyramid Quilt while listening to the latest Harry Potter audio book. This entire quilt has been cut to the stories, so now that I need about 300 more, I will continue my cutting! My sister is after me to pick it up tonight (I have a pre-order in at the local Borders store), so she can start listening to it. So, you won't have to wonder where I am at midnight tonight! I get a free poster too.

All but one of the kitties are doing very well. Polly and Bart love to run into the basement. They don't stay long, they get full of cobwebs, but they are happy little kitties when they come back upstairs. Cuddles continues to be a concern. She's been on meds for 6 months and we still don't seem to be further ahead. She still hasn't reached 6 pounds, has another respiratory infection, scratches all the time and has repeat eye infections. Poor little gal. Clearly we still can't quit the steroids, but that is leaving her open for other infections. Anyway, we keep hoping this will clear up SOON!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Still Here!

Haven't done a lot of needlework this past month. Just one of those things. I have nearly finished the front of my Banff sweater and will post a photo as soon as I can figure out the safe place I put my camera. After I worked on the front, I realized that I made a major error on the reducing on the back (it's a raglan sleeve), so have to rip it out and reknit where the decreases are. I have spent a lot of time working on my cooking blog, so be sure to visit that (

Yes, of course, here is a kitty photo (and you thought there wouldn't be any) so that you can see what they look at out the back door. With the weeds (now gone) and shrubs, little chipmunks and bugs torment our kitties. Unfortunately, with the heat wave, the door has been closed, so they spend more time causing trouble at night. Cuddles is still on lots of medicine, but has had significant improvement in everything except growth. I think she is going to remain a runt, but hopefully a healthier runt. Alice, the next sized kitten, is almost a pound larger than Cuddles now. You can see in this photo how much smaller her head is compared to the other kittens. Anyway, they are all a handful (in most cases, two handfuls).

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The BackDoor Kittens: Polly, Cuddles, Alice and Bart

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Kitties, Kitties, and Kitties

Yes, well, I haven't accomplished much this week except for about 3 hours of knitting on the Banff sweater. That is coming along nicely. I have roughly half of the front complete now. All the quilting gets put away after this weekend for a couple of months, so you'll see more crochet and knitting stuff for awhile and hopefully a return to cross-stitching.

I've been spending some time this week cleaning up my blog. I love the new Blogger features and think I've managed to label every post now. I have to go back yet and fix broken photo links. June is devoted to cleaning out my emails plus getting that painting done so that I can get my new furniture!

I'm spending more time training kittens. It's a slow process. Nobody seems to truly know their name except Cuddles, although Polly is a good runner up. They don't ever want to come unless it's for dinner. I've only trained individual kitties in the past, not a herd of them. I need a cat wrangler.

Up until now, only Polly and Cuddles have been in the basement under close supervision due to remodeling. On Wednesday, a fast storm system came through. I was almost to the driveway when the sirens went off. Not being dumb, I just ran into the house and got all the kitties downstairs. We had lots of wind and rain, but the tornado was across the river this time around. Kittens ADORED being in the basement. Couldn't get them out for an hour after the 'all clear.' They didn't even want supper. Some of my groceries melted, since I didn't want to take the time to put them away during a tornado warning, but I just used them the next day.

This was an eventful day for the kittens. That night, they discovered: a mouse! The hunt started with Alice and Sylvester at around 10:30 p.m. under the vanity in the bathroom. At around 3:30 in the morning, the band of hunters swelled in numbers and moved suddenly, with lots of banging, to my bedroom closet. By 5 a.m., the kittens (all 5) had surrounded the mouse in the living room. Success! They slept the rest of the day, not even wanting to break for supper. Tired little things. It's hard work being a kitten. There is at least one more mouse.
Here are 4 of the kittens looking intently at a chipmunk.
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Do you HAVE to keep doing that? Bart and Polly are sick of the camera.
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Here's a story on the weather.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cutty Sark

I was so sad that to hear this morning about the near loss of the Cutty Sark in a fire. I've always been interested in historic navel vessels and this is one of the few that I have actually seen and touched. My sister and I were in London in the Fall of 1995 (just before I started losing my vision) and were trying to get to the Royal Observatory (Greenwich mean time). We learned to ask folks and bus drivers for the scenic route. The bus driver dropped us off at a weird black, round thing and said 'go through there'. We went in. There was an elevator. Ok.. this is weird. Middle of nowhere and there is an elevator. A really big one, easily holding 30 people. Elevator opens and there's a guy there. Turns out that you walk UNDER the Thames River from here. So, we go 4 or 5 stories down and sure enough. A very long tunnel (anybody who has been to Logan airport in Boston can visualize this including the occasional leaks of water). So, we walked and walked and then there was another manned elevator to bring us up. On the other side was the Cutty Sark in drydock. It was closed, so we never got to go on it. But I did touch it! So, hopefully they will be able to fix her. She was a beauty.

Lots of folks are providing their personal photos of the Cutty Sark at the link below.

[edited to add] Here's a 2 links to photos of the Greenwich foot tunnel that we went through. Apparently, there are more foot tunnels than this!

Royal Observatory/Greenwich stuff (pronounced 'Gren itch')

Other ships I've been on: USS Massachusetts, USS Missouri, USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), USS Bowfin (sub), and seen, but not touched USS Arizona.

To keep this craft related, here's the quilt that I was working on while in London (it was done section-by-section by hand so it was portable. This is my very first completed bed quilt. I should redo the photo. I had a poor quality digital at the time. Anyway, have a great day!
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Garden Maze

No, no quilt today although I'm working on quilting. I took some photos of the things growing in the yard yesterday and thought I would show you.

First we have the new iris plants (planted last Fall).
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The Cinnamon Ferns are totally taking over again. Gotta pull a whole bunch this year as they have spread 1.5 feet beyond their little brick barrier. They look great now, but come July, ick.
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Yes, we didn't bob the chives again, but they still work well. I like chives in salads for the slight oniony taste. These are more than a decade old and planted in a half whiskey barrel. You wouldn't think they'd survived Minnesota cold, but they do. Look pretty too. My favorite colors are purple and green.
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Here's the Rosemary Shrub. I can barely taste this stuff, but we use it in biscuits, turkey and focaccia. It has its own wagon as it needs to be brought into warmer places when it gets too cold. By June, we'll take it off its wagon for several months to be part of the patio decor.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


My sister Patty went fishing during the Minnesota Fishing Opener this past weekend and look what she caught! A big ol' Northern. This one is 5 pounds. She caught two others, both a decent size, but a little smaller. I didn't get any photos of Bill my BIL with any fish, although I know he caught some too. Look at those teeth! So, what does this have to do with Needlework? Not a darn thing (pun intended) other than last year, I finished knitting my blue socks in that chair behind her last year (I know, weak reference, but it's all I can manage. Hopefully, I will have as impressive of photo to present later this year when I go fishing. Finally, before you ask, yes, my sister and I look very much alike except she has blondish hair and blue eyes and I'm a brunette with brown eyes. She is also a hunter and a terrific gardener (with my BIL) and is growing 6 or 7 different varieties of tomatoes this year. Her needlework hobby is primarily making doll clothing (I featured a few examples a few months ago). So, congratulations Patty!! I'll try to find a celebratory recipe for you!Image Hosting by

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Hate Losing Weight

Now, don't get me wrong. I really want to be down into my proper BMI range. It's the clothing. I am currently about 8 lbs. from the next size down of clothing. The jeans I have now keep sliding down all the time. They don't actually slide off, but they feel like they will. Yes, it's true, it's a fashion statement nowadays, but nobody needs to see my butt. I'm not much for sewing clothing, but I definitely need to get these under a needle and do something about that waist! I'm working hard on this, so that I can fit into my Independence Day shirt by 4th of July. I can get it on and button it, but the gaps would be a little embarrassing. I go to fireworks every other year, and this is the year!

Anyway, today was very hot, but otherwise pretty pleasant with a light breeze this afternoon. Yeah, ok, 80 isn't that bad, but I whine anyway.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Banner Border

It's a lovely day outside and I've been in and out. Did a little sewing too! As mentioned before, I am doing the Courthouse Steps quilt in 3 sections (easier for me to quilt). I finished the scrap border for all 3 sections today, so this project is done until after the painting in June. Then I can quilt it. This weekend is the fishing opener. I still have to get my license. Caught my first Northern and Large Mouth Bass last year.
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Here's a closeup. Haven't pressed it yet. I had just enough dark fabrics to finish the border. Lots of leftover sashing fabric. I already have a purpose for it though, so not a problem.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Pattern is Sonnet Collection by April Cornell.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Climbing the Courthouse Steps

I'm making some headway on quilting projects in anticipation of packing up everything for the painting in June. I'm just afraid of losing some of these big pieces and I HATE ironing things again. I started this Courthouse Steps quilt at a quilting class last Fall. I'm using some of the 37 yards worth of fat quarters I won at a now closed quiltshop. This is actually a really slick pattern. Easy to do. I particularly like the sashing. Still to go is the pieced border. Now, since I've already decided that I want to quilt this using a walking foot, I'm leaving it as 3 pieces to quilt. Not quite sure how I'm going to attach the pieced border sides. I may just have to hold off on the side borders until the main pieces are connected and then quilt them seperately. If you are interested in this pattern, it was a Moda University pattern originally, but it should be easy enough to find instructions on the Courthouse Steps (Log Cabin variation). The sashing is just strips with 9 patch blocks (note: inner 9 patches have different light/dark layout than sashing 9 patches).
Here's the layout so far.
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Closeup of layout. My flash really drowned out the pattern of the fabrics. That sashing is NOT a solid, but a very pretty yellow Moda.
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Even though she is not in the pot, she is never far from it. Here's Miss Polly (formerly Potsticker) watching the world go by. Most of the plants will be going outside soon. It will be nice not having to sweep or vaccum dirt all the time.
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Saturday, May 05, 2007

More Kitties

I've been spending way too much time on the computer lately and not enough time working on crafts. So, it's time for some kitten photos. They are now 6 months old and all but Cuddles has been fixed.

This is a near daily event. Kittens at the back door looking hard at stuff. While we other places for them to look, this is a particularly good vantage point to watch not only the comings and goings of the chipmunks, but also the feral cat that lives in back (we call it the musk ox). We added stools for watching. Saves on the screen.
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Sylvester, Bart and Polly

I have no shortage of computer help, but I wish they could help set up a web page for me! Cursor chasing is the latest game. Only Bart doesn't join in (he doesn't seem to like the computer fan and stays away).
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Polly helping me surf

Polly's little eyes kept closing and closing while waiting for me to go to bed (yes, she is one of my personal bed cats). Suddenly, her little head just plopped down, totally out. I took pity on her and shut down and took her to bed. Unlike Sylvester, who will wait for nobody, Polly doesn't want to be in a room by herself. I should add that she almost never goes into pots any longer because she doesn't fit. Despite all her practice names (Mittens, Julie, Potsticker), she comes to Polly pretty readily. She also adores the game of throwing the yarn ball up the stairs and chasing it down. Since she just got spayed, the vet says she can't run up/down the stairs for awhile, so in the meantime, she goes into my bag and pulls full skeins out, drags them over to the stairs and waits. I got the hint, Polly!
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It's tough to be a kitten.

If the computer is on, Cuddles is usually on it as well. Since she has occasionally slid off, she wedges herself into the palm tree and then sleeps. Alas, our Cuddles is not a thriving kitten and not only is still battling the mange mite problem (which has finally improved!), but she also had ear infections and eye infection. She's pretty stoic about her meds, and does seem to be on the mend. She's the feistiest kitten despite her problems, but I'm hoping that her growth will recover when this is all done. On the other hand, she still fits nicely on the back of the computer, while none of the other kittens do.
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Cuddles at work testing the computer for adequate heat capabilities.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sweater Knitting!

I'm still suffering from recurrent allergy and lack of sleep problems, therefore not getting much done in the crafts. However, I do have some progress. I've now finished most of the back of my Banff sweater, just need to do the left shoulder. I've moved my needles to the front part while looking for my shorter circulars to finish the other shoulder and start on sleeves. My plan this week is to finish the back and front this week. The neckline and sleeves will take awhile because, of course, they are also oversized. So, lots of progress. I'm also working on getting most of my quilting stuff packed up for the painting to occur in either May or June. Sadly, I am having more and more trouble with vision, but as long as I can thread my machine, I will continue to quilt. I need to add more lighting, which will help. But it really is telling me to stop buying fabric. All this packing is helping. I finally found the missing ball of yarn for my purple sweater. It's all knitted, I just needed the yarn to sew it up. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend. It's supposed to be hot and sunny.

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This has been a busy month again for kitties. The kittens are now 6 months old and are getting spayed/neutered. Cleo was done last month. Kindof a slow recovery, but she is fine and actually much happier since spaying. I don't suppose going into heat over and over is particularly fun for her. Sylvester was done last month with no problems at all. Had Bart done and he's developed 2 abscesses. Poor thing. He is on antibiotics. Monday, both Polly and Alice were spayed and both are doing very well. Putting off Cuddles' surgery until we get this mite problem completely cleared up. She is still scratching, scratching, scratching, but the veterinary dermatologist says it takes 2-3 months to solve the problem.
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Featured Kitten: Alice (surrounded by my quilts and afghan)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring Has Finally Sprung

I'm happy to report that all the snow melted yesterday and we have Spring back again at last! I've been rather busy this month, and just haven't had a lot of energy for working on my projects. I am making the supreme sacrifice (yes, this is killing me) of cutting my cookbook collection in half. We're talking better than 400 cookbooks, cut to less than 200. This is a big ouch for me, but my space just doesn't accomodate all that I bought. It's Ebay and Half-Price Book's fault. I need all my books to fit into 2 bookshelves, and it just isn't there yet. So, that's what I've been doing. I'm not sure if we (Mom and I) will have a garage sale or if I will just load all the books up and let my sister and her DIL sell them at their garage sale. I have until June to decide that.

Today I'm working a little on finishing up some blocks. I want to get the strips done and pinned before putting away because this will be a quilt-as-you-go-strip project or it won't get done for a year. I'm also making some progress on that Banff Sweater. I've finished the area where I can just plain knit-in-the-round, but now I have to differentiate between front and back for the raglan part. This is going slowly because the kittens are not good at staying in your lap while knitting and Polly (yes, that is the Potsticker's name!) loves to run away with yarn balls.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Non-Craft Post

Yes, this is a totally non-craft post, but I'm so excited. Some months ago, I spent eons talking myself out of buying something. Finally, caved and then Amazon was OUT!! Wahhhhh!! Ok. I whined about that for a few weeks and then discovered the item on Ebay. I immediately bought one. It came today. I'm doing happy dances all over the place! Here's my find!

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In case you haven't figured it out, I'm a total Garfield fan. I'm not excessive (I have only a couple of Garfield trinkets), but this was sortof an ideal useful item! The jelly donut is a cup warmer, so this is a great treat for me while knitting or crocheting. For quilting or scrapbooking, I have a special cupholder (Creative Memories) or I end up with scraps in my cup. It's true, I have way too many coffee cups, but I tend to mostly drink out of only 4 cups. Now 5! Anyway, happy dance, happy dance. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rectangular Granny Afghan is Finished!

I'm happy to report yet another project completed! This time, it's the Rectangular Granny Afghan that I made for my Dad. This is really a nice take-a-long project until it gets too big (then you need a rolling cart). Anyway, I did 50 rounds using an H hook of Red Heart yarn in dark thyme, celery, and black, with leftover white yarn filling in (different brands). I did a final round of sc. Final result is about 55x70 inches (will update when I actually measure it-kitties sleeping on it right now).
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If you are interested in this pattern, Erin has provided step by step pictorial instructions on making it. Thanks Erin, this was a great pattern!

Cuddles is feeling much better despite still itching. She's back to beating up her brothers. Here she is assisting in removing the plastic winter window insulation. We weren't ready to remove it yet, it still being the heating season, but it's good to know that she is a helper cat.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not Too Much Happening

I'm getting a lot of crocheting done on the Granny Rectangle Afghan. Two nights with a relative in the Emergency Room does that. I am really glad the members of my little crochet/knitting group talked me into getting that rolling cart for my knitting/crocheting. Made it very easy to tote my huge project with me as I got to sit for hours, then move to another waiting room and wait for hours. I am not complaining, mind you. I just wish there was easier access to good tasting coffee in the off-hours. They didn't even have Diet Coke.

I have 5.5 more rounds to finish so will be posting that completed project soon!! This tote frankly, wasn't particularly useful around home, but wow, it works great for waiting rooms with space! If you do afghans in one piece (as opposed to motif-by-motif), or adult sweaters, you may find this tote handy for taking it with you. I still would primarily use my softsided briefcase as it takes up much less space, but it's nice to know that this does work nicely. It is inexpensive and is sold both at Joann's stores and online.
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Joann's Craft Essentials Rolling Yarn Tote

On the kitty front, we're having a lot of troubles with Cuddles and constant scratching. We are treating her for mites and the main living area for fleas (precaution since we know mamacat had fleas). Thankfully, I don't have to treat my craft areas! She looks terrible just now with so much of her undercoat scratched off. She will receive her 3rd injection next week. I hope we are over the hump. Too much stuff for such a little kitty. Cleo-Claudine (mamacat) had her spay last week. Slow recovery, but she is good now. The two calico kitties hiss at her like they think she is a new cat. The other three just assume it's Mom. Oh well.

Everything that comes into the house becomes a new toy. The latest is the vanity purchased for a basement bathroom. There are usually two in the bowl. The plastic is still on the vanity providing a slight bit of protection, but actually they use it to better leap up onto the sink. Here's Alice in her wild-cat phase. They really like it when I turn them around in circles on the smooth ceramic.
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I had a quilting class last week that features a scrappy modified Courthouse Steps which is a Log Cabin variation. Here's a photo of a few of the blocks that I've finished. This is primarily a stash quilt from fat quarters won a couple of years ago. I'll have to supplement with some of my other stash. I bought a very pretty beige-touch-of-yellow sashing for this to keep it bright.
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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Crochet Swap

Finished my swap and mailed everything. Here's examples of the two 8 inch squares that I made. The one on the right is slightly curled, but that goes away after a day or so letting the yarn settle down. I used the same flower pattern that I used in Mom's afghan for the second sans the leaves. This was fun. I hope to participate in another!

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Here's the Potsticker (temporary name). As much as I wanted to call her Mittens, I have now bowed to family pressure to come up with a 'better' name. So, I'm working on it. I'm thinking something Russian or Celtic. She has very thick, but short fur. She loves her pot, but it's clear that she is going to outgrow it in a couple of months.
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Now, before you think we have only one cat in a pot, here's Alice in a hanging pot. I thought that she leaped from the computer, but later saw her climb the palm tree and leap from that. Unfortunately, she is likely to be a smaller cat than out Potsticker, so will be able to do this for longer. We are still puzzled as to how she got on top of the Grandfather's clock. The shell hanging is supposed to be in the bathroom, but the kittens were trying to climb it (lower hook) so temporarily relocated in this area.

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Finally, Cuddles takes over the top of the computer. Trying to keep her off is really hard although I keep trying. It's warm. It has a preinstalled toy (the leaves of the palm tree).
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finishing Up A Swap

I'm working like mad to finish squares for my crochet swap. Yes, I'm going to be late, but I want the squares right! I didn't realize until I put the squares together to mail (1 each of 2 different designs) that I had used 'soft white' on some and 'bright white' on others. So, I've been speedily recrocheting the soft white ones (since the instructions were to use a pure white). I've done many, many swaps and this is only the second time I've ever been late. I hate that.

Several reasons why I am not on the computer as often lately is that I hate to keep waking up sleeping cats. They all love to sleep in the computer chair including Cleo-Claudine (Mamacat). If I put them down, at least one hops on the back of the chair waiting for me to stand up to turn the computer on (so they can quickly take over the chair again). That's what Bart here did. He gets his photo taken for doing that.
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Here's what I usually find. One or more cats sleeping on the rug on the chair. By the way, Allison (the little calico you see pictured here) hates getting her photo taken. When she hears me turning on the digital camera, she runs. I guess I flashy-flashed her too many times, ya think? Pictured here are Cuddles and Allison. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wreath Wallhanging Done!

Yes, another project done! I completed this Wreath Wallhanging as a gift for my brother. It's about 28 inches square. The greens were purchased new, while the rest is from stash. The pattern is from a Mystery in Quiltmaker Magazine (2001?). I have actually made a 2nd top of the same pattern for me, but will have to quilt it after I've finished the crochet swap which I have to mail on Monday. What is nice about this small project is that it gave me an opportunity to try out some quilting motifs that I would like to use on larger bed quilts. Both were surprisingly easy to do by machine, although I may change the ribbons just a little bit. I have to check with my brother as to how he wants to hang this--I think he actually has decorative clips so no sleeve or tabs may be necessary.

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The center motif came from a Helen Squire in Helen's Copy and Use Quilting Patterns
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The ribbon motif comes from Quiltmaker Motifs volume 3.
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[edited to add] This pattern is now separately published by Quiltmaker and is available at their website. The title of the pattern is Yuletide Wreath.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baby Afghan Completed!

Even despite illness, I managed to finish the baby afghan! I need a better photo. No matter where I try to take a photo, I can see dirt from the potted plants (all due to the Potsticker who insists on sleeping in plant pots). I haven't washed this afghan yet, so it's not a problem.
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Here's the details. The afghan is 32 x 32 inches. I knit loosely, so used a size 7 circular needles. The finished product used 2 skeins of Bernat Sweet Stripes in Candy. While the pattern is not new and unique, it's easier to print it off from the Bernat site, so I'm providing a link for the pattern details. It's free to join.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Getting Bigger!

Hi all! I'm still sick, but actually accomplishing a litte. Visited the doc and have drugs. Hopefully improvement will occur soon. I've been working on the baby afghan and that's coming along nicely. The edging comes out so nice! I have to take my brother to his medical appointment, so will get another 2 or 3 hours on it tomorrow. Nice, brainless knitting. I needed that. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Knitting notion organization can be a challenge. One of my current problems is that my storage solution for my circulars isn't working for me any longer. I have too much stuff and the container (a 4 inch ring binder with plastic see-through pencil cases) takes up too much room for what is stored inside (circulars). At the time, there were not really storage solutions for circulars, but a recent visit with the Patternworks catalog has brought up a few options for me to consider so that I can leave my bookshelf space up for books.

Here's what I'm considering that is premade. The least expensive is $18 and is this square, floppy holder. This is exactly what I do with the binder already. The problem is, I don't think it holds enough 'pages' to contain my variety of needles. My 32 inch circulars would have to be turned twice to fit. Patternworks does sell empty pages allowing you to use you own 'container.' Maybe I should adapt the cross-stitch zipper bag I bought that didn't work for me into something like this? Hmm. Still doesn't really help my 32 inchers.
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This one has some cool design features I really like despite the expense ($39). There's no zippers to deal with, easy open/close, cool fabric covering. Will easily hold multiple needles (you know, 16, 22 and 32 inch). The quilting gives some stability to the 'pages' so they aren't flopping around. It's also something I could potentially make myself using some fabulous quilting fabric on the outside and being sure that I have enough space for the 32 inchers. It appears to take up a lot less space than my current storage system. Still has the problem of curling every time you take it out.
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The final option ($20) that I'm considering is this one that hangs in the closet. Closet space I have. I don't have to have needles immediately at the ready; my closet is certainly close enough. I also like the fact that by not recurling the circulars into a pouch, I don't have to restraighten them for every project, thus they would last longer. However, I can help but think that it potentially could be easy to pull more than the needles I want out. Anybody ever try this? This is one that I can also make myself.
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Ok..more kitty photos! Here's what I have to contend with while computing. We are forever cleaning up dirt as a result of visitors in the plants. This one prefers it as her personal sleeping space. She does however, prove that she will make an excellent computer cat. Also, she has shown a definite preference for afghans over quilts. It's that fluffy Homespun, I'm sure.
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Finally, the naming issues. Look at this adorable kitten. My Mom named her Mittens. It took me a while to warm up to Mittens and now I like it. Now my sister wants to name her Julia. So, cast your comments folks! Should she be a Mittens or a Julia?
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