Saturday, December 15, 2007

Photos and Captions

I realized today that when I don't update this thing regularly, I end up with a ton of pictures to post! I can't believe how many pics I've taken since I bought my digital camera in October 2006. Now I want a serious upgrade. Something along the lines of the Canon Rebel digital something or other. Anyway, this post will mostly consist of photos and captions. Have fun!

These are some curtains that I just bought at St. Vinnies for $15 all together. They're actually green, not silver. But they're quite beautiful. The ornament came from Leavenworth, WA and my mom got it for me. I can't remember if it was last year or the year before! Oh well.

Some fabric I found online. It makes me smile. I'll not ever buy any, though. Not at $35 a yard!

Some mohair locks I got at the recent spin-in during the gift exchange. I can't wait to learn how to spin boucle with it!

More mohair locks that I got at the Spin-In.
This is what Mary T. got during the gift exchange. It's Potluck in Pumpkin Spice. It's gorgeous!

Mary T's scrumptious apple pie, made with Ace's delicious apples. I had quite a large piece.

I've had a slight obsession for fabric lately. This is a stash that I bought this week. I only needed less than 1/4 of a yard of each to make my Christmas gifts, but I got 1/2 yard of each and will make a patchwork tote bag out of the leftovers.

This is the gift I made for Mary T. this year and why I needed the fabrics. It's a portfolio based on the free pattern on Amy Butler's website. Mine doesn't look quite so professional, but a seamstress I am not! LOL!

Inside Mary's portfolio were four pretty journals made from paper from Bohemia and Fancy Pants. Mary loves to journal and keep track of things God tells her. I wish I would be so dedicated! I had several dreams this week that I'm certain were significant, but I was too lazy to get out of bed and write them down. Perhaps I should make one of these for me and keep it by my bed. Then I would have no excuse! Mary gave me a gift also, but my camera's battery died before I could get any pics of it. Parts of it are beautiful and parts are functional and some parts are both!

This is Janelle's box that is part of her Christmas present from me. The box is from the Dollar Tree and was embellished with leftover fabric and stamps. I had great fun making this and filling it with tea necessities and a handmade ornament. I also found a beautiful antique teacup and saucer for her as well. My pal, Wendy received a similar gift in different colors.

My sewing frenzy also resulted in me getting the above fabric, very loud, very retro, so I can make the pattern shown. I making shirt D and using some antique glass buttons I got at the local antique store.
Some very cute ornaments I found at Goodwill. It was $0.99 for a set of 12. I gave one set to Mary and am looking for happy homes for two of the other sets.

This is the roving that Janelle dyed for me for Christmas. It's dark and moody, which is so what I've been looking for and love! She also gave me a tin of Harney & Sons Holiday Tea. I didn't like it the first time I tried some, but now I've had three pots of it and am wondering if it's too late in the evening for maybe another cup. It is so yummy with sugar and cream! I think I was just having a bad day when I tried it the first time! LOL!
I got this prairie dress from the local antique store for $12 a couple of weeks ago. I was shocked that it fit and that it's incredibly comfortable. The dress is a very light green with little brown flowers on it. It's from Recollections and retails for about $199.00.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Geek Love

I have very little to report really in this post. It's been snowing for two days now. Mary's husband, Jon, has been riding his snowmobile around my yard. LOL!The snow is beautiful, though got a little slushy as it warmed up this afternoon. Still, I've had a blast shoveling my walkway and jumping around in it in the front yard. :) Gus, on the other hand, has not been impressed by it and he dug a hole under the house so he could get into the basement. I have a very silly cat!

So, here is what I've been working on. I just finished a pair of leg warmers that have cute little Space Invaders on them. After I finished these, I thought, "Hmmm... I should make a hat to go with these. And maybe a hat for Frogger and Pitfall, too! LOL! So those are bashing around my noggin'. Maybe after Christmas is over and I've gotten all my gifts done, I will try to do that.

Space Invaders Leg Warmers
YARN: Jaeger Super Fine Merino
NEEDLES: Size 5, 16" circulars
PATTERN: Adapted from the BMP pattern on

I cast on 80 stitches, hoping they'd be only slightly baggy. Unfortunately they are quite a bit baggy and much shorter than I wanted them to be. I wore them today for church anyway and they kept my ankles quite warm, which is the point of them after all.

I'm also working on a hat that I've adapted from a scarf pattern on It's black with green binary code. A guy I recently met on Firestream said I should "be uber geeky, learn binary and have it spell out a message." I am giving the hat to my brother... (I don't think he's ever read this blog, so I'm sure it's safe he won't find out about this) who works at Microsoft. I was thinking of putting "Microsoft Sucks!" or "My other computer is an Apple" But after much research for an easy way to convert such slogans to binary, I have settled for a random selection of ones and zeros and hope that if anyone sets about reading it, it doesn't say something like, "My foot wall chicken is." Anyway, here's a pic of the progress of said hat.

Other things I've been doing is enjoying my Christmas tree and seeking out fun decorations. Below is a pic of my tree as I spun my camera around while snapping it. I thought it looked pretty cool and tried moving my camera in different ways to get different light effects. Then, I was at St. Vincent de Paul's to seek out some fun Christmasy things and found these adorably ugly dolls. I'm thinking they're from the fifties or sixties. I totally love them, despite how hideous they are. I've always been against that super giant headed little children image, like precious moments. They always make me wonder if they got stung by a bee and they're having an allergic reaction... Hehehe... The last picture is of the snow falling in my front yard. There's an image just right of the tree that I'm not sure how it got there or even what it is. Might just be glare coming from the porchlight. Or it may be an angel. Who knows? But I like it.

One last note: My dear friend Ace stumbled across a terrific site called, Antiblog by fallingblox. The site takes knitting into geekdom and makes it even funner and cooler than it already is! His disclaimer and description of an antiblog is hilarious and worth the time to read. Double knitting is something I've always avoided because it involves a tremendous amount of thought. After seeing his Crow II scarf and Dragon Hat, I think I will have to try my hand at it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Totaling the Turkey

Another super busy weekend that started with the joy of what my coworker calls, "Totaling the Turkey." Mary T. cooked and boy was it tasty! We had turkey, ham, three kinds of stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, stuffed celery sticks, and grandma rolls. Mmmmm.... Mary's mother brought some delicious jello molded goodness. And there was pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate mousse pie. And real homemade whipped cream. Delicious. I took my knitting with me in hopes that I would get something done, but Mary's mom brought a Charles Wysocki puzzle and I spent the entire evening working on this 1000 piece insanity. But I finished it! YES!I also decorated my tree (which I bought on Wednesday) and decorated the rest of the house. This is a little tree I made after seeing a similar one at Starbucks.

I also put decorations up outside, which I had never done before. It was very fun, but very very cold. It's been regularly in the teens here and not getting up much past the mid-20s during the day. Brrrr....

Yesterday I did what I always avoid doing. I went shopping on Black Friday. Yes. What struck me was how totally dead it was. Fred Meyer wasn't crowded. Goodwill was a little on the crowded side, but not too bad. It was strange. Mary's husband was even sent home early from Costco because there weren't any customers! Anyway, I made a killing at Goodwill and bought some clothes, a pair of Doc Martens, Christmas ornaments, a purse, a necklace and pin, and some other decorations for less than $25. I was happy.

Also this weekend I finally made it to Moments to Remember and The Streets of Bethlehem. I have tried every year since I moved here to go and I always forget about it! LOL! Despite the super cold, I had a great and wonderful time. It started with the tree lighting at Safeway, where they were giving out free cider and cookies. Then the standing in line for the Streets of Bethlehem. This is a living nativity that takes place down one of the alleys downtown. Centurions guard the alley entrance and beyond is a host of angels singing. Gabriel stands on a tall podium and gives comfort to a frightened Mary. Then the three wise men tell of the star and how they have been following it for so long. Further on is a market with fish sellers and goats and rugs. An innkeeper turns away a weary Joseph, but offers him and his wife some shelter in his stable. More angels sing as the wise men finally find the end of their search in a manger. The baby Jesus is quiet and content to listen to the voices singing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nature of Night in the Snow

This weekend has been chalked full of fun and exciting things! First off, on Saturday, Mary T., her youngest son Jubal, and I headed off for a fun day at Central Washington University where they were holding the annual Nature of Night interactive exhibit and the Bubble Planetarium. I got Jubal jazzed up by telling him that there was a dark tunnel you had to crawl through to get inside the planetarium. And indeed there was. Mary and I were both happy that we did not wear dresses that day! The planetarium was incredibly interesting and if you've never gone into one, you should. It's a great big gray parachute-like bubble that gets pumped full of air with a fan. It's quite large and can seat about 25 people inside if they sit in a circle. Inside is a projector that casts the stars onto the inside surface of the planetarium. Dr. Palmquist simulated what the stars would look like that evening, starting at 6:30 pm and going until 6:30 am. Then we visited with a Great Horned Owl named Samantha, who was injured by a car and lost one eye and is blind in the other. She was very patient with all the children and all the noise. We also made batwings and learned about the noises that bats make, and looked at how light is reflected in animals eyes. The eyes of mice shine pink when light is shone into them, and the eyes of rabbits shine red. We also learned about putting icing on star-shaped cookies. Very very important.Jubal and Mary making batwings.

There was crocheting at the cookie booth. :)

After all that was done, I can't really remember what all I did. Hmmm... Anyway, moving on to Sunday. It snowed. This season's very first snow fall, and it's been beautiful all day! When I awoke this morning and looked outside, hoping to see a white blanket of snow, I instead saw a very wet blanket of leaves. Bummed that it hadn't snowed yet, I went about my business of getting ready for church. By the time I stepped outside to walk the 1/2 block to my church, it had started snowing and already was sticking to the grass! It did not stop after that and after a few hours, it was sticking to the road and sidewalks, too! I was so happy!Hollyhocks in the snow.

Little orange flower

Cozy afternoon.

My Keens advertisement pic. LOL!

After church was an incredibly wonderful Thanksgiving potluck. I had turkey. I had mashed potatoes. I had sweet potatoes in yummy candy sauce. I had deviled eggs. Mmmmmm.... Then Mary and I went to her place and knitted while our friend Cindy S. and her children visited from the west side. Cindy used to come to our Monday Night Knitters group, but her husband got a great job with the railroad and they had to move to the west side of the Cascades. It was great to see her and her two children. Jubal was quite excited to have a playmate this afternoon.

Right now I'm reading an incredible book called Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. The man is amazing in his truthfulness and humility. I'll talk more about this book when I finish it. If you haven't read it, get it, read it, and smile.

This upcoming week is a short week for me at work. Only three days. Yeah! That means much more time for more important things... like knitting, and creating Christmas presents, and digging out my ornaments and my Christmas tree. This is certainly my most favorite time of year. I can do without summer. And that terrible month they call February when I get depressed and spend money and time lying in a fake sun booth getting a tan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spinning Madness

On November 12, Mary T., Janelle from Janelle Knits, Wendy M., and I all piled our fiber, our wheels and our bodies into Mary's Suburban and headed for the beautiful countryside of Kittitas County. Was it the annual Veteran's Day Spin-In at the lovely log home of Terry Niles? Oh yes. Was there excellent food to be had? Yes, yes. (I will say, I hate nuts, especially walnuts, but the creamy pumpkin pie-thing was so incredibly delicious, I didn't care one bit that there were walnuts in it!) The gathering was a bit smaller than in the past, but it was a great time and I learned all kinds of amazing things about natural dyes, a subject of which I am in serious ignorance, and got to spend time with all my favorite people doing one of my favorite things.

Mary T. worked hard on her Bazaar Socks and finished the heel. Janelle spun some perfectly prepared and super bright "Pastels" from Louet Sales. The colors were so NOT pastel, though apparently that is the name of the colorway! LOL! Wendy brought her wheel, but instead worked on beading snowflakes for her Christmas stocking. I worked on some wool (that is all the information I have on the fiber content) that Janelle dyed. I spun half a bobbin, then Navajo plied it to see what it would end up looking like. I totally enjoyed it and the colors are going to be quite fun. I think I will knit legwarmers from it. I have a couple of pairs of legwarmers that I knit, but would like something bright and cheerful to wear.

This is some of the fiber that I was spinning.

This is what it looked like spun up.

This is the Barbie doll that presided over the spin in. The clothes were all dyed, spun and knitted by Terry Niles (whose vest appeared in Spin Off Magazine!). I love the little drop spindle!

In other news: Demon Hunter's new cd came out on the 7th and I was all excited to go pick it up at Fred Meyer. But when I got there, they had sold the last of them. I will have to wait until next pay day to get it. Darn! I have heard some of the songs and they are amazing! The message is what gets me. Always positive. Always looking upward toward God. And if you ever get a chance to check out Ryan and Don Clark's (the lead singer and guitarist for DH) business, Invisible Creature, you should. It's a graphic arts studio in Seattle that does covers for bands like Falling Up, Zao, He Is Legend, and Dead Poetic to name a few. Anyway, it's interesting and the art designs are awesome!

In other other news: I have fallen in love with the Flickr group wardrobe remix and have posted a few pics of some of my own remixes. Not only is it fun to see what kinds of things people are wearing out there, it's inspiring. Inspiring to my own wardrobe that is mostly Goodwill, handmade, or Old Navy (because ON is cheap and I have a card there.) and needs some fun and excitement as I move a bit away from my black phase. But also inspiring to my checkbook. I have found some incredibly expensive items recently at Goodwill: a Dale of Norway $400 sweater for $7.99, a 100% cashmere $200 sweater from Bloomingdales for 6.99, Doc Martens in nearly perfect condition for $4.99. I have always loved thrift store shopping, but always felt a little "orphan" like because of it. I have gotten over that for the most part because of living on my own with a minimal paycheck and having to pay rent, utilities and everything else myself, and because of awesome friends like Mary and Susan L. who encourage the 7:00 am Saturday rush to garage sales and keep their eyes open for the All You Can Stuff In a Bag for $3 sale at St. Vinnies. So anyway, here's a parting shot of my wardrobe remix for 11/14/2007. (Note the awesome bag that Matthew made for me for my birthday!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Queen Mary of Ellensburg

It's true. Ellensburg has a queen. A Queen Mary T-. Long live the Queen! Hehehehehe... A find at the local bookstore, Jerrol's, has given both Mary and I a grin that was much needed. Especially the daintiness of the crown compared to the straightforwardness of the yellow market apron! LOL! In the '50s women did housekeeping in heels and pearls. Nowadays we've upgraded to Keens and crowns... :)

Speaking of Mrs. T-, she has been busy busy busy! Besides the homeschooling, collecting firewood out in the wilds of Kittitas County, and cooking up a storm (some flavorful AND beautiful edibles, I might add) she's been finding time to knit! The item she has just completed is so awesome, I might have to steal the pattern from her and knit one for myself. Not that I'm a die-hard Volkswagon fan. It's just that whole granola thing that makes me smile. Here is her seven year old modeling this killer hat.
Remember the Bazaar Socks I knit with the blue and brown Debbie Bliss yarn? Well, Mary fell in love with them and has decided to knit a pair also. She's using two shades of purple in Cascade 220 superwash. The result is subtle (as subtle as these purples can get) but very fun. (The colors are much brighter than my camera would capture. )What have I been up too? Well, I just finished the Cameo Capelet from Crystal Palace Yarns website. The colors are great, but I had to take it out and start over a couple of times to get the gauge right and to make it fit me the way I wanted. I hoped to use up all the yarn I spun to make it, but had a whole skein left over. So I knit a pair of matching wristwarmers to go with it. It's very comfortable and is warm without making me feel like I'm in a straight jacket, which some of the shrugs I've knit sort of feel like. EEK! Anyway, here are some pics of the FO (finished object).

I also just completed two scarves, one from some bulky buttery softy merino I spun like ages ago and a fun little scarf with a very big button from yarn I spun from a $1 grab-bag of random bumps of merino and CVM wool. I'm not posting pictures of them just yet. I'm working on a hat to go with them (another hat. Yes it is true). It's almost finished, but I wanted to show it all off together.

Recently I've subscribed to Interweave Knits newsletter, Knitting Daily. What I've noticed between it and several blogs is the prevalence of UFOs... No, not the kind that leave crop circles or fly across the corner of your vision simply to tease you into thinking you might have seen something. No, I'm talking about the ever-evil... UnFinishedObject. *sigh* Knitting Daily had the gall to create a poll asking about how many UFOs are hiding in baskets, closets, and under the beds of knitters worldwide. I decided, against any kind of proper judgment, to participate in this poll, I pulled out those abandoned articles and discovered I had only seven. Now I have only six because I felt somewhat guilty about that buttery merino scarf. I don't write about this to set any of you into a panic. I simply thought it odd how many other knitting bloggers were also peeking into their stashes of UFOs. Maybe it's just that time of year when we're indoors a bit more or we've been going through various hiding places to find our holiday gear to display and have had to go through our UFOs to reach it. I don't know. But there is my confession. Six castaways. I am certain that four of them will never reach completion since I cannibalized the yarn to finish them for various other projects. LOL! I refuse to commit to the other two, though one is supposed to be a Christmas gift this year.... Oh... Oops... Actually, I forgot about....