Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Gets me nowhere!
actually, it gets me into position 29,765 on the list to join up at Ravelry. I know, I know, everyone is doing it, because there are only 18,857 people ahead of me waiting to get in, too. But that is ok. I don't really have time for another hobby related, self imposed obligation. On the upside, there is one person behind me in line.

When will school start?
Oh, it feels like never. This has been the longest week of my LIFE!! It is only Wednesday!! We did go pick up the initial packet for the boys. Now we have homeroom and bus assignments and 6 more days to endure until school starts. INBA is on his favorite WHINE TRAIN. I may burst my own eardrums with a sharp pencil. Eldest is practicing ancient torture techniques on his little brother. I may not survive 'til the weekend. And THEN I realized that I have an obligation tommorw that interferes with knitting at Bloomin Yarns. Ugh.

I do have one more upside, I am about half way through clue 4 on my MS3. True, I haven't touched the Mister's sweater in almost 3 weeks, but I am making progress on little things, though nothing is getting completed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm a Mazda Miata!

You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

STR Spoilage for August

At last, a pattern that suits the yarn!
It is a lovely lace cuffed anklet. I really like it.They included a couple of temporary tatoos. The boys, who love temporary tatoos, were not impressed with the thought of Mommy with a tat. I even said, "Hey, I can be like Aunt Kati!" No, no, no.
Mommies get no fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little Baby Love

A Standard Baby Gift
Burp Rags.
This is my "every baby gets at least one" gift.
I make them out of cute and soft flannel.
They offer almost infinite creative possibilities and what a baby receives is really more a function of my mood at the moment it was created rather than degree of love for baby.
How To
1. Go shopping for flannel. Soft flannel, with a nice pile. JoAnn's snuggle flannel is snuggley, and they have nice sales on it periodically. I like to mix prints and solids that coordinate. White is an easy one, but like for the ones I made last night, I used yellow, but ended up wishing I had some of that apple green on hand. (But I have 1 1/2 yards more of the print, so that may end up happening :)
Oh, you need to buy 1/2 yard of fabric. If you are doing the same on both sides, 1/2 yard is enough, otherwise, 1/2 yard each print and solid.
2. 1/2 yard of flannel would be 18"x42-45"
Cut your pieces in half so that it is 18"x21-22.5"
I am going to assume that you are doing the print and solid combo, so you now have 4 pieces.
(Oh, a little sewing-aside, you could prewash your fabric. I don't. I like the look of washing it after. It does run the risk of the fabrics shrinking at different rates and puckers and stuff. Oh well. I don't like how wrinkled the yardage gets in the wash and it is really difficult to iron it out afterwards. You make your own decision about that, though.) 3. Next, pair up your pieces, right sides together. Now would be a good time to make them the same size. I just use an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter and trim to the smallest piece. Do try to keep it square. I think it is tacky when you try to fold it up and it is all wonky. But then, I am not sure that anyone notices it being off a bit, so I just try to keep it square. (I think it is clear that I am not anal or a perfectionist.)
4. Once you are trimmed up, pin together. The flannel sticks to itself nicely, so you only need a couple.
5. Sew around the edges, leaving a space to turn. I use 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance, depending on which foot is on my machine at the moment. I use the edge as a guide. (oh, and I am lazy, too. The only reason I re-threaded the machine last night is that it was black thread in there. I knew I wouldn't be able to get away with that, but I left the walking foot on, so that gave me a wider seam.) And you want to leave the opening wide enough to get your hand in and pull all the fabric through.
6. Trim your corners.
7. Turn right side out.
8. Poke out corners (a chop stick is fabulous for pointing your corners) and smooth edges. I iron it to make it smooth and crisp around the edge.
9. Close the opening that you turned through. A few stitches by hand are enough or do it with your top stitch, if you stitch close enough to the edge that it isn't obvious that you didn't close the seam (oh, so lazy :)
10. Top stitch. Lengthen your stitch length, it looks nicer.
These ones turned out about 16"x21" when finished.
These are super easy to whip out. The real fun comes with personalizing them. I have done machine embroidery on some. I do it in a corner, sometimes on point (grin) so that it won't irritate a face lying on a shoulder. I do different edge treatments, too. I use my serger to do the seams or I top stitch with decorative stitches on my machine. The leaf/vine stich in varigated thread is nice looking. I have done some with a rag finish- like a rag quilt, I sewed them wrong sides together with a 3/4" or 1" seam and then snipped the seam every 1/4" or so. Then it frays as it is washed. You need to have a top load machine for it to work, the front load is too gentle to make it work! One very obvious example of the difference in washing machines!! (I cannot felt very easily, either :(
It could be interesting to try stenciling on these, too. Hmm.
I have also made them long and skinny, i.e. shoulder width, only because I saw some skinny ones at the store and thought it was a nifty idea. Ultimately, not as useful, I don't think.
Don't be surprised that you have to sternly say to the receipient, "USE IT!"
I have had too many new moms not want to, thinking they are too pretty. Just remind her that it is not nearly as pretty as the baby.
One friend of mine used it for a changing pad and sometimes as a little blanket (when the babe was tiny in the car carrier.) It is really nice to be able to give a useful gift that you know hasn't been given by 8 other people, too.
This post inspired by:
Those bibs she made are too cute. Lucky baby.
And now I have 2 burp cloths made for Shizuko's baby in February! Yea!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


First things first.
I made a hat for Eldest. It is a pattern by Lacey's Wool Gathering.
Instead of the 6 colors, I used brown and the hand-dye that the boys made.
It turned out pink instead of red, so INBA doesn't like it- I believe he said that the hat looked "stupid." Yes, I am feeling the love at Chez Mayhem.
Regardless, Eldest liked the hat much more when I told him that it was his (their) yarn.
What ever works, I cannot be proud. Glimpse of Michigan
One of the highlights of the trip was a trip to Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
We love the National Parks and this was no exception.
I will start with the boys and me at the lake shore.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the scenic drive. That is Bar Lake in the foreground and Lake Michigan in the background.

Here are the boys at the tippy-top of the Dune Climb. See that little speck in between the boys? That would be me.
Call me a sissy if you will, but that was one heck of a climb that I made and I felt no desire to go to thinner air. Oh, and that would be little Glen Lake behind them.

Gee, they look like little angels, don't they?
Oh, and this was another highlight. Kati (middle) Kristyn (right) and Annette (bottom) went wine tasting on Old Mission Penninsula and then met up with The Mister and the Boys on the beach in front of the Holiday Inn in Traverse City. Quite a nice photo op.

And then, of course, I didn't take any pictures of my family that I see next to never. Ugh. I always do that. Still, a big shout out to My cousins and Aunts and Uncle. Hey, DoubleE, I am totally serious about the hair of your bison. And Stacey, you need to come to visit me, again. My Aunt gave me wool, my Cousin-in-law gave me mushrooms. I came home with wine and peaches and a cool candle. Maybe a little sock yarn and I might have fallen in love with a new spinning wheel at the Gaylord Yarn Shop. But, I am not sure that any of that can be proven.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Greetings from The Road

A little look at how I endure a car trip. Only 5 more hours...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thinking About Packing

We are leaving in the morning for Michigan. I should be packing. I will pack, eventually. Geesh, we don't leave for another 15 hours!
The Mister took the kids for a hike this weekend. Rachel Carson Homestead, I think. Up the Allegheny, he said.Eldest got to practice taking pictures, too.
So I worked on this. I have a really bad need to be sewing right now. I want to make a quilt. My fabric stash is dwindling (by design) and I have mainly Japanese prints that I want to stop fondling and make into a quilt. I ordered a book to inspire and guide me, but it will arrive while we are away. SOOO, while looking over here, I was inspired even further. No need to remind you what a bag-lady I am.
A couple of hours of quiet time and ta-da! A Whimsy Bag.
You know what the Mister said? He said, "Oh, (as in yuck) that looks like something my mom would wear." In response to my horrified expression he says, "You know, the eccentric old lady that thinks she is fasionable but isn't." After gouging my heart out, he goes on, "Come on, even some of Calvin Klein's work ends up in the garbage, they can't all be winners!"
I like it.
I told him, "Oh well, I am still going to use it. Even if you think it is garbage And I won't tell your mother what you said. True or not."
Wait until he sees that I have some of the pieces cut from this fabric to make ANOTHER one. I may have to be a tacky-old-lady sooner than anticipated just to show him! Yeah, that'll show him.

Mystery Stole 3, clue 3 complete.
My afghans for Afghans project. I have quite a bit, still, of this Andean Silk Twist, I might make some mittens to go along with this. It needs to be to San Francisco by Sept. 21. We'll have to see about timing.
So many projects, so little time.
9 hours in the car tomorrow should allow a little time for at least one project... in the trashy bag. Oh, yeah, it is going to Michigan.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Funny You Ask...

Laurie wondered if I got caught in the storms... Uh, no. It was 'beautiful' in Oakland, i.e. sunny and so humid and hot it was uncomfortable to breathe. The boys and I were heading home, Wednesday, I guess that was, and we are cruising along Blvd. of the Allies and I look out my window and say to the boys, "Wow, looks like it is raining in the South Hills." Sure enough. We took the Liberty Bridge and Tube and West Liberty Ave. and as we drive up into Dormont it starts raining. But we drove out of it and I was amazed at how wet it was as we made our way home!
Yesterday, it quit raining before we left in the morning and it didn't start again until after we got home.
Today, no rain until we had completed our week of camp. While inside Costco in the Waterfront (on a mission to pick up the Mister's contacts and the boys favorite lunch of pizza-as-big-as-their-head) it poured! But, when we were done, it was mere sprinkles. Then we were off to Century III to get $49 glasses for Eldest. It was blue skies when we emerged! Too much good luck if you ask me. Or it could just make up for last month when we had a playdate and an impromtu storm drenched us in a matter of moments. I'll take it as make up.

Oh, did you notice that I had to go buy Eldest another pair of glasses? He lost his. Um, sometime between the last day of school and last week. I would think that if a pair of glasses is set aside and not worn for 8 weeks, the glasses would be in the same spot when one goes back to get them. This is not the case in our house, apparently. I gave up and bought him the cheapest pair I could find. The optical shop where we bought the original pair (with our vision insurance) wanted $250 to replace them. That was some sort of discount, too, yeah, right. Seeing (heh) that he is going to be going back to the optometrist in 5 months or so, I couldn't really stomach $250 bucks, 'cuz you know that means that his script would change and I would still be spending more. Ugh, do I sound like the worst mom ever? c'mon, he could care less that he lost them and he doesn't think that they do much for him anyway... (of course, he is 7 and it makes no difference that his eyes are bad enough that he wouldn't pass a driver's eye test without them... yes, he needs them, no matter what he thinks.)

Change of Subject

As far as FairIsle goes, it is not hard. Not at all. Actually it is way too much fun to have with yarn. So, your worries should not be your ability to accomplish knitting with 2 colors, your worries should be if you feel comfortable enough with your knitting obsessions to endure the concerned looks from love ones as you giggle and squeal with glee at each completed row and repeat. Of course, they don't look nearly as concerned if the object is destined for them. Funny that way.

Tonight is Knitting Night... that means an inordinate amount of laughter in the local bookstore.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Whatcha been doin'?

I guess the way to get your friends to call is to neglect your blog. Laurie said, "I don't know what you have been doing because you haven't posted." I just wanted you to call.

This is a little of what I have been doing.
Staying up late. I mean, working on the Mister's sweater. Isn't it lovely? Yes, I fondle it late into the night and even spent a morning in a cafe in Oakland working on it.
I didn't go to Oakland just to work on the sweater, although that would not offend me, the Boys are at Art Camp at the Carnegie this week. It is unbearably humid here lately, hello, August, and it doesn't make me want to roam around like I would like to do if the weather didn't suck so bad. *whew* I also spent some time in the library, knitting and looking at knitting books. The room with the International Poetry has some very nice leather chairs, fyi. Oh, and I went over to KnitOne and knit for an hour (and bought some Kaffe Fassett sock yarn :) one day, too.

So, I finished the Baby Cable Rib socks for Vicki, too. I think she will like them. The Kaffe Fassett yarn will be for my sister's pair, I think. I am sorry, but dark blue socks do NOTHING for me. The only reason these were completed is that they are for small feet. ugh. Sister will have to deal with some stripes.

And this is the Mystery Stole progress. I took all these pictures in very bad night time light because Laurie didn't know what I was doing so I had to post :)
This is starting into clue 3, I am a bit further now.

a lovely little close up.

gotta love the bead action.

Ok, this was this afternoon. INBA likes to help me with the laundry (yes I am encouraging this with every fiber of my being.) And once it started, he sat down on the floor to watch the clothes being washed. I thought, of course, "Man, I wish I had my camera!" He sat there so long, I said, "Hey, INBA, can I go get my camera and take your picture for my blog?" Vanity always wins. "Sure," he says without looking at me and continues to hang out, watching the laundry spin.

He was fascinated by the mechanics of the machine, the way the water stops and starts and that he could see the clothes becoming wet.

It is pretty amazing. Thanks for the picture.