Monday, December 31, 2007

the newsboy hat

I have all this lovely yarn that I have received in swaps that I really must use up. This is another great swap gift. It is wool, angora and silk. I think the silk is what shows up shiny in the picture. It doesn't have quite that shine in person. Anyway, I thought I would surprise my Wisconsin daughter-in-law with this. It should go great with her hair and her husband (my son you understand) said I can't make her any old lady hats. I think this will qualify as youthful. The yarn knit up fast and just slide off the needles. I made the majority of this yesterday and finished the bill this AM. I have resolved to use up some of this great yarn and am glad I did. So many projects can be made with a skein or two and I have been avoiding them for larger things. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the old saying that the best gifts can come in small packages.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A contribution to Green

I wrote yesterday that I was making myself a book bag to take to the library. Thanks to a wonderful swap partner I had hand spun, hand dyed yarn in such a great color. I started out wanting to make myself a Doctor's satchel but didn't have enough yarn and I did want it all in one color. However, I did have enough that with a little combination of yarn I could make a book bag and here are the results. I am thinking of sending it through one more cycle to make it just a hair smaller. I have to keep it big enough to drag home all those large size craft and pattern books as well as my weekly reading material. Thanks again Maggie, I love the yarn and it felted up great!

Friday, December 28, 2007

When you don't have to go anywhere,,,It's Beautiful

Just a couple of snapshots taken at dusk from the patio door. Winter has once again hit Wisconsin. I am working on a book bag to take my books to the library. I am not the most green person around. There are things I am willing to do and things I am not. For example, I am not willing to give up my AC and have my head stuffed up all summer. I am willing and able to have my own garden and buy from the farmer's market. So...the library in our towns gives you wonderful heavy plastic book bags. Because I am there so often they are replaced about every 2 or three months. Here is a place I can go green. I am knitting and felting a book bag so it won't have to be replaced. Hopefully it is true that every little bit helps. I'll post again when it's finished and you can give me your opinion.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One more pair

I just finished what I think is the last pair of felted mittens for this year. This pair is more classic and not as "femme" as the ones I posted a few days ago. I try to make the gift match the recipient. Now I am working on a large tote to handle dragging my books back and forth to the library on a weekly basis. I have some wonderful hand spun yarn that I received from a swap that reminds me of a creamsicle and that is going to be the basis with some other bits and pieces. I love to felt because you really don't know what you have until it comes out of the washer. It is kind of a mystery process. You start out with something that to me is large and usually kind of ugly looking. Soap, water and a little beating up and it comes out beautiful. Come to think of it, life is like that. Often the things that you fear or hate the most come to be the things that are the best thing that ever happened. They just need soap, water and a little beating up. Off to clean my years accumulation of junk hidden in my roll top desk. I have added a picture of the family members. Lady Jane is showing her "svelte" figure and Chewie is asking can I get her just once. (He has found that if he runs at her she takes off to get out of the way. Some times she just stops and sits down instead of running and hiding. In this case Chewie, who does not have the best brake system, ends up running right past her. What a crew. Hopefully the demon Jealousy will soon be gone and I won't have to be petting with both hands whenever one or the other comes for loving.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting Closer

Here is the felted mittens and I have another in the works. Logan's sweater is all packed. Of course I forget to take a picture in the frenzy of getting gifts wrapped. I managed to get the flu again. My son came and said, "Oh, I had that last week." I think that was just before he came and gave me a big hug and kiss on leaving. I also have added a new member to the family. Lady Jane, a rather plump, okay let's say obese cat is now in control of the house. She persists in rubbing against the Chew so that he will smell of her. She also decided that he needed a bath today. Pictures will follow. Right now wrapping takes priority as I lost a day or so there sitting on the throne.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Forging Onward

I just finished hammering out a few more Christmas Projects. Actually, I only have a couple left so I can take a nice deep breath and slow down. Logan's sweater will be dry soon and then to just put on the sleeves and sew up the sides. Yea... I also made him a nightshirt this morning but forgot to take a picture. No problem, I am sure you have all seen a nightshirt. The bag holds a special gift for my daughter in law that mowed the yard for me and picked raspberries when I had the bum knee. I bought a new sewing machine over a year ago. It converts to a full embroidery machine and I really haven't had time to play around with it so yesterday I played. I have some things to figure out yet but it is good enough for a Christmas gift bag and who knows what I will accomplish next - if I take the time that is. Wisconsin is having quite a winter. Lots of snow and ice. I don't like driving in the stuff but I have to say it is really beautiful outside. Talk about a picture postcard. I think I will go and made a pot of tea before rolling up some Kahlua truffles I have chilling in the refrigerator. I will take the tea and sit and admire the sparkling landscape. Sometimes I have to remind myself that holidays are to enjoy. Tea and truffles anyone?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What is a Princess?

Jade and Logan have been visiting quite a bit last week while Mom and Dad were in rehearsals and preformance of the Christmas Band. She always brought with her a book called what is a Princess? It says things like a princess is brave. Jade said she was brave. A princess is polite. Jade said she was polite. A princess likes clothes. Jade said she definitely like clothes. We were doing fine until we got to a princess is smart. Jade said, "I'm not sure about that one Grandma." Of course that makes me think she is very smart. Meanwhile, I made her an Elizabethan Christmas dress for her Christmas Performance. I lost the pattern for a while so part of it is by guess but it sparkles like a Princess so I think she will like it. I'm on the sleeves to Logan's sweater and that just leaves his nightshirt and a pair of felted mittens for a friend. I still have some shopping but I keep reminding myself I have a couple of weeks yet. Now I will go and get my cup of tea. Wisconsin was hit with another winter storm. It looks like it is going to be an "old time" winter. right now it looks like a picture postcard outside. Peace and Christmas, they seem to go together.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Winter Hits Wisconsin

We finally got our first storm yesterday. That made it a great day to cook, sew and knit. Here is a casual outfit I made for the princess. I am still working on Logan's sweater so nothing new to report on that front. I am also getting together a package for the Secret Santa Swap. Of course, I forgot some things I have to put in and the package is all sealed so today I will have to try to make a slit in the tape and stuff in the other items. when the kids were little and my husband, who wasn't a ex yet, was home there was nothing that made me feel better then a nice winter storm. I was crazy until everyone got home safe but after that there was such a nice cozy feeling. I still get that. I made cardamon cookies and spritz so the smell filled the house and it was a time to be a peace. When I lived in TX. everyone because upset over a winter storm, even one that I saw as very mild. I think they miss that nice safe feeling of being warm and cozy and watching the wind blow outside. So let it long as the roads are all cleared for work on Monday. Oh, yes that is a real blue pointsetta. I love the new colors.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another gift done

Yesterday I had to work the most of the morning but this skirt is quick so I managed to finish it in the PM. I don't see Jade wearing this much but with her 50's bobbed hair and a pair of saddle shoes she will be retro all the way.

so here is the poodle, or should I say Kitty skirt.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stocking Stuffers

This morning I did stocking stuffers. Well, the stockings will have to be large but I got some bears material the other day and decided that some of the kids would like throw pillows for their teams too. then you can't send two out of three boys pillows for their rooms so construction truck pillows seemed in order. I did manage to get the cat done for Jade's poodle skirt but got no further. Maybe tomorrow. Remember slow and steady wins the race, even when it is the race to get things done for the holidays.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Working away for the holidays

The front of Logan's sweater is completed and I took a little break. The tea cozy went fast...well, except for the felting. I have a nice new gentle washing machine and with less agitation it takes at least one or more times to get my felting finished. If I can continue to turn things out at a steady pace I will be OK. The question is how do you stay steady during the holidays. right now I am struggling with finding a pan large enough to brine the turkey. So far I have had no luck. I bought a 21 pound turkey. Do you think I just might have created my own problem. Everyone said they wanted leftovers so it looks like leftovers they will get....if I can figure out a way to submerse this thing that is.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I was out raking leaves today and it finally hit me. It is almost mid November. I have put in a picture of the sweater I need to finish for Logan by Christmas. That wouldn't be a probelm. What the yikes means is I also have a reto poodle skirt outfit to make Jade, a wall hanging, pillows for a bunch of people, a felted tea cozy.....well you get the idea. the list goes on and on. I must no panic...I must not panic...I must not panic.

Friday, November 02, 2007

another Great Swap package

I was feeling kind of light headed when I had the sinus infection and so once again signed up for a couple of swaps. I have been so lucky with my swap partners and this is no exception. In this swap you were to look at the profile and send things you had around the house. No fair buying anything new just for your partner. i think my partner did a wonderful job. I only wish I could get a better picture of the fabric that is dotted with sparkling stars. Thanks again partner. I already have ideas how to use my wonderful haul.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween 07

Here are Logan and Jade back from trick or treating. There is also a picture of Chewie so was so exhausted after they left he did his mush mouth thing. The final picture is my Thanksgiving cactus that doesn't seem to understand it is a month away from Thanksgiving. No time to work on my sweater with Halloween here but I am thinking you will get a quick preview this weekend. By the time I started the pattern Logan had grown and so I had to order more yarn. Lucky for me in this case I can just add another color because I would hate to try and match more then a year later. I need to remind myself when it comes to yarn I should always get more then I think I need. anyone else have the problem?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A squirrel of his own or almost done

I had scheduled some time off and wouldn't you know it, I ended up sick with a sinus infection and a messed up back. Just goes to show you that some plans are not meant to be. Anyway, I did get most of the things done and I will call on friends for help stripping wallpaper at a later date. Meanwhile while I am getting ready for winter I hung the bird feeders. It took the squirrels about 3 minutes before they found them back up and they are busy hanging upside down and doing their gymnastics to get every little seed. This drives Chewie crazy. Chewie then drives me crazy. It is kind of a round robin type of thing. I don't think it will last for long but I bought the Chew a squirrel that he could catch and squeak. Maybe it will hold his attention for a few minutes. These soft paletted dogs can made the strangest sounds when they want something. Oh, I did start a sweater and will let you know how that goes as I get a bit further along.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

All is not lost

Before falling into bed for my healing nap I managed to finish this dress. I love the little hat. It goes to one of the people I work with for his new baby girl. Every little girl needs something in satin and now they make washable bridal satin. I'm so tickled about washing satin. It makes it perfect for that special baby outfit.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The wind The trash The Chew

I thought I had everything planned. I took off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. I was going to strip wallpaper from the computer room, clean out the garage from the garden mess, dig out the garden and do a ton of miscellaneus things, finishing socks. sewing a gift, starting an afghan. That didn't include the regular like washing cleaning etc. I was even planning on fitting in a visit to a friend on Wednesday. I just knew I could do it all. Of course I woke up Tueday with a sore throat, a dripping nose and all the other signs of a really big head cold on the way. Add to that that we have had some tremendous winds and spitting rain and you know I haven't finshed any of the big projects. I have managed to cover up and fall asleep in my chair after drinking enough hot liquid to make me slosh. I did mush to the store to get a few more boxes of Kleenex. I was really feeling disgruntled when Chewie taught me a lesson. Thursday was garbage day. I think I already told you we have had some really gusty winds. It doesn't take much to figure out that the garbage was blown all over the neighborhood. Now add that I live in a college town. College garbage includes lots of beer cans and beer cartoons. If I was going to take a snooze I had to take Chewie for his walk so off we went. Chewie was not content to pass by a single piece of blowing trash. He had to stop and sniff everything. He seemed to prefer the Miller Lite. I was thinking my cold would soon turn into pneumonia when I realized something. My Chew hates the water and yet he was willing to put up with the discomfort to explore. (I don't think I need to mention he is a young dog). Anyway, the brain cells kicked in and I figured that if he was willing to put up with what he hates to explore the new then I could find something exciting about doing something other then what I had planned.... even if exciting came in the form of hot tea, a good book and a long nap. So now the Chew and I are taking a rest. The wallpaper will still be there as will the garage, the pond and the garden.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Tale of 2 Socklets or Free at Last

Have you ever had that pattern that you make a lot harder then it should be? I certainly did that with these socklets. It all started when I joined a KAL and found out I couldn't figure out the pattern at all. Not being one to give up I decided that what I needed to do was knit a practice pair of toe up socks. About 2 weeks later, one lost knitting needle (Thanks for the loan Stacie) and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 tension headaches I have finished. I don't know why I am so stubborn and can't just fold once in a while. It is something I am going to have to work on. Meanwhile I am off to a couple of new projects. One is sewing and the other is crocheting. Areas in which I have much more competence. I know. I have knit things that are much more difficult but for some reason my mind just didn't want to go around these so it is time to put them in the wash and call it quits. My mother would have said they were almost the finish of me. My area is targeted for severe weather so I ran out and picked some flowers. I think the colors look nice with the socks and it got me outside for a few minutes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Failure and being a savey saver

I have started to get busy crafting again. I joined a KAL making socks in the Firestarter pattern. I am an abject failure at this sock. I wasn't big enough so I decided since I have never done toe up socks maybe I better do a simple pair first. I am putting on a picture of my second one and there are tiny little holes in the toe area. I give up. This sounds like something that I need to work on when the snow blows and I am happy to be curled up in the recliner instead of something I want to toss so I can get outside and finish up the work in the garden. Meanwhile see my $0.69 vest that I made for Melissa. She is a teacher and I thought she might like to wear it to school. Actually it is $2.38 plus tax. Both the fabrics come from the Good Will Store. they sell any piece of fabric for .69 and both the outside and lining were purchased there. I love seraching through their bins. I found this after Christmas last year and ran into it while I was seraching for some fabric for a baby gift. I forgot all about it but that only makes it more fun. It is like getting a gift. If you haven't taken time to check out the resale shops you might make the effort. I am always surprised at the treasures I find.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Way too Small

I was working away on my first toe up sock and thought I finally had a running start. The last laugh is on me. Although I managed to figure out the toe it is way way too small for my wide foot. I think I will take a break and find a pattern for a toe up that fits a male foot. If I can get that down I can do some adaptations on the pattern for the KAL. Meanwhile, the weather stays beautiful so what I really should do is go outside and work in the yard. This may be my favorite season but it also is the harbinger of winter, not a time to garden in Wisconsin unless you want to make snow carrots. Here is the toe before I make it into a nice mess of crinkled yarn. five starts and then too small. Do you think I ought to be learning something from this?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

finished the shawl and on to the sock

I finally managed to finish the shawl I was making my neighbor. Okay, so I didn't block it but she will have that done in a nano second. I have also been working on some socks for the Firestarter KAL but I can't say there are going very well. So far I have pulled them out five times. Maybe it is take a break. Maybe I should just break the knitting needles. I let you know what I decide.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The cool weather makes things go faster

I really needed to have the "shot in the arm" of cool weather. I am a real lazy bones when the weather is warm and especially when it is humid. The cooler evenings have helped me get more done on the shawl for Phyllis. I need to get it done before the October winds bring down the leaves so I am working away. I have also started a KAL with my friend at peaknits so I am under the gun so to speak. I have accepted that I may be starting when everyone else is done but that's okay. I have yarn that is so squishable that it will be fun to work with one I get going. Meanwhile here is a picture of the shawl or I should say 1/2 the shawl. You knit it in halves and then knit it together. I think it is done that day because of the pockets. At least this way I know I reached the half way point.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Autumn Day

There is one word for today and that is MAGNIFICENT! The breeze is past crisp, the air has the smell of fall and the color of the sky is Indian Summer even though we are only into September. It is time to start doing more blogging. Last night I had Jade over for a Girls night out. She said I could only take the one picture and maybe tomorrow when she had another sleep over I could take another. I think that was a hint but it didn't work. She was happily playing with her friend when I left her house earlier today. I love Autumn. I have juicy Macintosh apples in the refrigerator. I am thinking of stews, soups and meatloaf. Best yet, it is time that I was soon settle down to doing more crafting. I won't be fast at first but I have started on my neighbor's shawl. She picked the pattern and it is certainly easy enough. The problem was the yarn. I would have never guessed it would be so difficult to find a soft pink in an ultra bulky. I finally manged though and have started so hopefully when the winds blow in Wisconsin this winter she will have something to snuggle in like a warm hug. There is a busy couple of weeks coming at work but then I should be back to the computer on a more regular basis as I finish up the work in the garden and hunker down for the cold days to come.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Large Vest and lots of Grape Jelly

I finally finished that vest I started. Bummer. I shrunk it and it still is way too big. Eureka, I got a great idea. There is a woman at work that it ought to fit. I think I will take it in and give her a surprise gift tomorrow. I know I will never pull it all out and maybe it will be something bright for her day. If not she can give it to the Goodwill and I will never know. Besides finishing the vest we went to the County Fair yesterday. The kids always have to have their share of rides, games and junk food before school starts tomorrow. I came home exhausted and was going to start on the shawl I am making the neighbor when my son called. He said they had a neighbor who had grapes and wasn't going to use them so he told Jared to come and pick them. I wasn't going to turn down washed and stemmed grapes so I went off to their house. They did have lots of them. I brought some home and made grape jelly. The kids are going to do grape juice using my old easy can recipe and make some wine. I love the way the house smells when you are jelly making. Yum, the neighbor with the grapes, the kids and myself will have that wonderful touch of summer this winter when the winds blow. Making memories is always better then doing nothing.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

More Lazy days

It's raining outside, not that we don't need it but it does make it a perfect day to curl up with a good book. I have scads of tomaotes in the garden but the big ones don't seem to want to turn red. Even the green zebras are taking their good natured time to ripen. My pepper plants on the other hand are going crazy. They really like the hot dry weather. I was just curling up with a good book today when I had some unexpected company for breakfast. Jared had taken Logan fishing. (He insists that the rain is the best time to go) Logan cast and his fishing pole ended up in the water so after Jared waded in to get it he stopped at my house to use the dryer. It was the perfect time to make some pancakes and give them some of the peppers. I also had the chance to give them a shampoo that came in from Prairie land herbs. If you like herbal products this is a definite must visit site. I haven't tried a link in this newer formant so hopefully if you click here you will find it. If not I will try again later because it is really worth a visit. Now, I am going back to being lazy. Summer will be over one of these days and the projects will be posted but for now I will bake some zucchini and put my nose back in my book

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The sights, sounds and smells of summer

The gentle breeze wafts the smell of the sweet flocks in the open patio door and it is hard to believe that summer will soon turn to fall. The spring flowers and early roses around the pond have given way to Black-eyed Susans, lilies, coneflowers and even a few Hollyhocks. It was a wonderful weekend to let the wind play with my hair while indulging myself in the last Harry Potter Book. Okay, so I might have shed just a couple of tears to see it end but I know I can visit him any time by opening a book into his world of magic. I discovered Harry the first year he came out and thought it would be something like my old favorite the Hobbit. It wasn't, but Harry had his own way of gripping your heart. How wonderful to be the author and have those characters live in you mind. Oh, great news! Chew had all the tests and he passed them all with a negative. He is heartworm, Erlickia, bacterial free. He has taken off about 6 pounds since I got him and is, as the woman who brought me Napoleon said, a stunning Shar Pei. He likes to hide where the bittersweet climbs the fence and peer into the neighbors yard looking for their dog, Bear. I threw in a few pictures of the garden around his area. The flowers have almost grown over the witch's ball and have covered the dancing bronze fairies that twirl in the spring flowers. No knitting or at least no yet this weekend but there is cucumber salad and tuna salad melding in the refrigerator. Ah.h.h.h. The lazy days of summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The vest is coming along

Things are looking up. I called to tell the company that they forgot to bill me for my Internet service and they told me I had this month free. I can bend my knee enough to sit down and type on the computer and Izzy is happily cleaning my floors while I sit. You would think I would have finished this while I was doing all the sitting but for some reason I seemed to be more hooked on reading. Summer is never my best time. I like crisp breezes and chilly nights. You will most likely see a lot more work from me when fall comes stealing in. I do think the vest will turn out fine and I am prepared to shrink it a bit with a good hot wash. More later

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I been off the computer for a bit but hopefully am back and ready to go. right now I am obsessed with Izzy my irobet vacuum. I have been under all kinds of bills, mostly vet and dentist and so the money went there and not for fun things. I was at my youngest son's and he had purchased a robot vacuum. Now I figure that I started vacuuming about age 10 and that means I have been doing something that I really don't like to do for 51 years. I had to have one. I found a nice refurbished one on the Internet and decided to give myself a treat. I LOVE IT! The problem is that instead of just letting it go I am busy watching it run. I guess that will wear off soon enough and I will leave it to its own devices. It docks itself on the charger when it's done so there is really no reason not to just come home and have the house vacuumed but I can't leave it alone quite yet. Kind of that dropping off you child the first time at the babysitters. I've started a shawl for my neighbor and will be posting more on that as well as my rather large vest. I didn't think the knee surgery would throw me off as much as it did. So off to check the garden and raspberries and to the pet store for more treats. Chewie really likes his treats.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oh well, I like my vests big anyway

See what you can get accomplished when you are stuck with an elevated knee. I had my surgery on Thursday. I have read 4 books, did this much on my vest, taken a few "side trips" and am still slow. It wasn't the surgery. considering the Dr. said it was worse then it had looked in the MRI, it really is not much to put up with. Unfortunately, I had a nasty reaction to the non-steroidal anti-inflamatory before I got the the surgery and my stomach is still giving me fits. That leads me to the big vest. No, I haven't lost that much weight, although it would be nice to take some off and not eating is sure to make me drop a few pounds. I did a swatch, well it was kind of a swatch. I wanted the vest size to fall in between the upper two sizes on the pattern. I decided that a size bigger needle would do the trick. I forgot that cotton and linen, the blend in the yarn, sort of stretches. I'm big but not as big as this vest. I like it anyway, I will wear it because I don't have the energy to go yanking and I really might like it that big. There must be something wrong but I just don't have the perfect gene. I will fool around with this and make it work. Meanwhile back to my chair and I will let you know how it comes out.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unbelievable Gift

I have the most amazingly generous secret pal 10. Well she is not so secret anymore but she is amazing. Here is the package she sent. It isn't impossible for me to get to the shop she co-owns and I have to plan a trip one of these days because it looks like "home" to me. Check it out at Now on to the gift that range from hand spun yarn, that she dyed and spun just for me to special shampoo and doggie treats to make package for Chewie, who by the way is wiggling with delight. (well, maybe not about the bath) She has sent just "tons" of herbal soap that I love and a wonderful package of all kinds of herbal products. I have popcorn from Iowa. A kit to make mittens. Knitting needles, a Cocoa package from Penzi, you name it she has thought of it. Secret Pal you are wonderful and if I were a tad closer I would have to see if Chewie liked that kitten. Take care and do stay in touch. I will be blogging about what I make out of all the wonderful things that you have sent. I am even getting weak on spinning so maybe we can chat about that one of these days. May you be blessed with pals who are half as great as you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Slip Sliding Away

Time has really gotten away from me. After I banged up my knee everything seems to take so much time that I haven't been blogging like I should. I am doing some knitting and wanted to get this on so my secret pal can see that I have started something with the wonderful pick yarn she sent. It's a vest called Iris. I will be a bit slow but it will get done. Right now I am ruinating because I seem to have come down with a cold and that means they will probably put the surgery off for a week or so until my nose stops running like a sieve. Patience, I need to cultivate patience! Off to get the clothes out of the dryer and wish my sons Happy Father's Day, or in the case of the youngest, Happy Birthday, Happy Father's Day. Have a great day, both of you.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

the last package is ready to go

I have put together my last package for secret pal 10. Hope she likes it. I always enjoy secret pal. I have been so very lucky in the people who got my name and I hope the ones I have had the opportunity to spoil feel the same. Now off to the post office tomorrow.