Thursday, March 30, 2006

Taxes are done...

The dreaded taxes are finished! And, hopefully will be sent off electronically tonight. How I hate doing taxes! The whole thing is infuriating! But, they are done and now I can go PLAY with my quilting...and my knitting...

Currently working on some post cards to send out Monday and a couple of Postage Stamp Round Robins using 2-1/2 inch squares. Everything is working out well.

Had wanted to get my Project Spectrum photos posted for this month...the colors are RED and PINK ...but, I somehow managed to block off my upstairs computer that has my camera, it may have to wait a couple of days. I'll just post them next week when I post some photos of next month's colors ...ORANGE and YELLOW.

Part of Project Spectrum for me is the postcard exchange and am debating on what to make in those April colors. Have a cool idea using some, we'll see what happens.

Am off to knit for a spell. Began a new project from Knitting for Dummies book and will end up being a scarf from different types of patterns...example: seed stitch...(which is the first one listed - and I can't remember the others.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring Fever...

has really struck! And, along with it this unbelievable need to get organized and clean! What's with that! I know one reason is that my sister is coming to visit in May and I want my house to look awesome...mainly because when she was here last we had only been in the house less than a month and there were boxes everywhere...and I mean everywhere...stacked up to the ceiling with little paths to get through.

Played with yarn today and got all of it organized and really looked to see what I have in those four totes full of yarn...I'll tell you what I have ... too damn much yarn ... just like my fabric ... too damn much fabric, too. But, I have plans for all of it!!! And, of course, I will continue to buy more...that's just the way it is...

Worked on the hat by Dave design last night and got it almost finished ... tried it on and it is too small...but, am not giving up...will recast on a few more stitches and work on it until I get it right.

Am not sure I did the decreasing right - He said he decreases every 10th stitch in each round. I don't know what to do when there aren't very many stitches left - cause it was starting to get a point on the top of the hat...

Monday, March 20, 2006


Seems like this little blog idea may go down the tubes if there aren't many more, since I think books are important and one can never have too many...thought I would join in this time...

My essay:

I hate what happened on 9-11. It just totally screwed up my world...and it made simple things that I enjoyed either disappear or harder to try and do.

The best example I have was that at Christmas we would get a shoebox together of stuff a soldier might need: toothpaste, new toothbrush, socks, candy, book of stamps, stationary, a book to read, - you know the kind of stuff. We would include a little note and Christmas card and let them know how much we appreciated them and what they were doing to keep us safe. We would just have such fun at the store shopping for these little items and it never cost a lot of money - usually under $25.00. Then it was home and time to organize the box, wrap it up and address it to "Any Male or Female Soldier" (depending on what type stuff we got) and off to the Post Office we would go. There used to be a list of APOs that one could send these boxes to and the Post Office always had them available.

It didn't matter that we didn't know the person to whom we were sending the package. It was just a way to say "thank you". I can't tell you how many notes we got back and even a couple of phone calls from some soldier on Christmas day to say thank you and to let us know they enjoyed the package and were sharing with their friends...or we'd hear that that was the only package they got because they had no family. (Funny, we never included our phone number - but somehow those dear soldiers found it.)

The Christmas after 9-11, we gathered all our stuff as usual - never thinking there would be a problem...and when we arrived at the post office we were told they wouldn't take it because it had to have a "person's name on it" and we had to know that person. Well, we didn't know anyone personally...It just took all the joy out of what had become a tradition for us...all because they were afraid that some package might contain something that would harm someone...

Such a sad state of affairs...our trust in each other is gone...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Project Spectrum...

March is the beginning of Project Spectrum...PS is about expressing yourself creatively. This just suits me perfectly - since I am wanting to really experiment with color this year. Each month from March to August will have certain colors to be played is the list...

March - Red and Pink
April - Orange and Yellow
May - Green
June - Blue
July - Violet / Purple
August - Neutrals / Black & White

One of the things we can do is create postcards that we share with each other...and don't you know it all totally slipped my mind until I got a comment from Lolly at, guess I will be working on my postcard this coming week..and it should be fun. Especially since I am working on my creativity not only with color but with learning more about making postcards.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Beginner's Postcard Swap...

These are the postcards I made for the beginner's postcard swap for a Yahoo group I am on. They are called "Forever Plaid" - I used a bunch of Homespuns - and did some crazy quilting stitching on them. They turned out rather nice I thought for a first time attempt at doing these in mass production.

Hat per Dave...

This is the hat I am making per instructions from Dave...I measured around my head = 21"; subtracted 2" = 19" From the crown to where I want the hat to end is 8".

Next I did a stitch gauge and found I was getting 5 stitches to the inch on a 5 needle. Multiplied 5 x 19 and cast on 90 (it was 95 - but wanted to keep it even) stitches. I am doing a K1P1 for 5 inches. Am at 3 right now. Once it gets to 5" I will start decreasing every 10th stitch on each round. Will post other photos as I get more done.


If you recall Scarlett and I went to visit one of her co-workers who has two beautiful wolves...Spirit and Shadow. We enjoyed our visit very much - even though I have to admit to being a bit nervous. Once we were seated, they came into the room...and then they began to smell each of us from the tops of our heads to the bottom of our feet. I could feel their breath on my skin. Once they had finished smelling us - they went and found a spot to lay down. They were awesome. Neither of us will never forget our first experience with them.

Knitting for Dummies...

Seems that this book has attracted my attention...While in Concord stopped at Borders and they had "Knitting for Dummies" on sale at 30% off - which made it $15.39 to be a mail-in rebate for $5.00. Now $10.39 is a good price for it...

Admittedly, I have been knitting for many years - but, it doesn't hurt to go over the basics again. And, I am so glad I bought the book. Already in Chapter Two - there are some very cool stitch patterns that I have never seen and there are instructions on how to do them. They suggest grabbing a ball of yarn and doing the swatches to see what they look like...and I am going to do just that. I have some left over yarns that would probably go to waste so I might as well use them to start a knitting journal of stitches.

But, today is the day to start working on the craft room / office upstairs before me sister comes to visit. I need to have the house done by May 13th. And, there is just this one room to finish!!!

So, off I go...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Quilt Guild Day...

Today was the monthly meeting of one of the three quilting guilds I belong to. I do enjoy this particular guild...the women are nice and extremely talented. I also happen to be the program chairman for this guild...and today's program was our annual silent auction. This is where you bring in quilting stuff that you no longer want in hopes that someone else will take it off your hands and actually pay money to do so. The money we raise from this event goes to our guild and to a state guild.

I lucked out - actually did better than lucked out. I sort of went along and looked at the bags that had no bids in them...and if it looked like something I might want I bid on it. One package had two patterns in it that I wanted and a few quilting books that I didn't particularly want but I won the bid - and just took what I wanted out of it. The rest of the books someone else wanted so it worked out okay. Also got several small packages of fabric - some had serveral pieces that I wanted and then a few that I didn't want - so, I passed those on to the Charity Quilt chairperson.

But, the best was the ziplock bag full of bindings - already cut...and ready to sew on. YEA...and since I am making a wonderful scrappy quilt - these bindings are perfect.

So, all in all, it was a good day...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Discovered lace yarn - better yet - discovered that I own some! It happened while at the Elegant Ewe when I decided I wanted to buy a pattern for lace knitting - the woman at the shop suggested a pattern called Feather and Fan Lace Scarf...which I bought (the pattern looks familiar and I'll bet I have one that is similar somewhere in my books - but, I wasn't going to go searching). I then asked about yarn and she showed me this lace yarn...and lo and behold, I own some of that. Quite a bit actually!

My friend, Mike, left it to me when he passed away several years ago...(whew - that was harder to write than I thought it would be...) He left me some wonderful yarns and two is a floor model which I have no idea how to set up or use and the other is a triangle loom. He knew I would be the one that would appreciate it and maybe even learn how to use them.

Now I am on a mission to find someone to teach me how to use them...especially after all the things I saw at both shops on Monday.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yarn shopping...

Yesterday was my day to find new yarn shops. On the way to Concord got to stop at The Fiber Studio. They were not open but they actually opened the shop for Tammy and I. What an awesome place! Just beautiful yarns and samples of gorgeous items that had been either knit or woven. Ended up buying some Lamb's Pride Bulky that I am going to use in an attempt at making a felted purse. The color is Mulberry and very pretty.

Once we got to Concord it was off to The Elegant Ewe. Great shop! I was in heaven...for the second time in one day! Bought some lovely red sport weight 100% Alpaca Wool for the snowboarder's hat I am going to make for Scarlett. It feels so very soft...and I think this will be a great yarn as she seems to dislike 100% wool as it makes her itch.

Knitting was a passion of mine when I was in my early to mid thirties and I used to knit beautiful sweaters, dresses, coats and afghans. But, then life took over and I went on to other things - like quilting. So for the last maybe twenty years I have not done much with knitting other than some cotton wash clothes, a couple of mild weather sweaters (cotton yarns) and a few afghans from some older yarns that I had. (In case anyone remembers companies like Brunswick and Unger to name a few)...and I have to admit that I am like a little kid in a candy store when it comes to yarn shops. Knit shops in the area I lived in Tennessee were not even available. The year we moved here to New Hampshire a knit shop opened up.

I am flabbergasted by the gorgeous hand dyed, hand painted yarns...the alpacas - you just name it and I want it in my collection. The yarns are so looks at yards now or grams (not number of skeins). Patterns are now written with, it is like an entire new ballgame - but, guess what - I'm here to play!!!!


Dave was talking about organization - so, here was the comment I posted. Since I had been wanting to talk about how I keep all my stuff together - it was just easier to post my answer here.

Organization - is that a word??? Actually, I am very organized…

I have a bookcase that is devoted to quilting, knitting, and cross stitch books, patterns, etc. I keep loose patterns that I download or buy indivually in a loose leaf notebook.

I am planning on making a knitting journal complete with: photo of finished project, info as to needles used, stitch count, and one wrapper from the yarn. Until I get time to get the journal rolling, my blog is serving that purpose ... not just for my knitting but also my quilting as I am way behind on all that journal stuff too.

I have a quilting journal that has photos and if I’ve entered them into shows; if they won and what was won.I have a sheet I made up that I will be glad to share with anyone who wants it if you send me an e-mail.

I store yarn in four totes in craft room/office area - these four totes are full of yarn…can’t squeeze another skein in there.

Currently bought or yarn I am planning on using soon is kept in a lovely red tub by my chair in the living room. That is also where I store my needles in an ugly needleholder which is going to be replaced as soon as I have time to quilt one.

I also have a tin which holds holders, counters, etc.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Hat...

I am knitting a hat. Sure, now that winter is damn near over I've decided to knit a hat. Hey, at least I will be ready for next winter which usually arrives long before I am quite ready for it. I am following the instructions I received from Dave. Using Wool-Ease in a color called Blue Mist. It is the yarn Scarlett picked out for a hat - but the pattern she likes calls for sport weight yarn - and this is worsted weight. I can proudly say it is turning out wonderfully! Didn't get a lot done only knit while I watched the new show "Top Chef", which I think might be added to our weekly viewing schedule.

Dave also was explaining how he knits both pairs of socks or mittens at the same time...that is not how I have been doing it and I think I am going to give that a try. I do not use those little nasty double pointed needles - I actually knit on circular needles using the magic loop way of knitting socks. (You can knit mittens the same way). So, next trip to the yarn shop will mean an additional circular needle in a 3 and 5.

Off to a party for Scarlett's work tonight. It is the annual holiday party - but, one will note that it is held in March this year. Last year it was in January...seems everyone wants to have a party - but have too much going on at the holidays. Works for me..

Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring Cleaning...

And, it isn't even spring, yet! But, I have been in a cleaning frenzy around here lately. Actually, it is more of an organizational thing - like finishing up the last of the move up here and getting things in their place. The closet (actually a bedroom converted into a closet and dressing /exercise room) is just about done. Have a few more small boxes to go through and I am planning on doing that today.

Last night we went out to dinner at our "newest" restaurant. The food was good and if they can build a crowd of regulars before we get the chain restaurants in here this year, they will survive.

Came home and watched "Survivor". Really don't know why we are watching it this year. We don't relate to any of the people on it and have no favorites that we want to see win. But, it seems to be a Thursday night tradition...what can I say!

Did manage to watch WALK THE LINE. Thought the acting was good and actually enjoyed the film. Think it gave insight into the lives of both Johnny and June.

We also rented NORTH COUNTRY and will probably watch it tonight which will give me more time to knit on the socks.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

New Socks...

Began knitting a new pair of socks for Scarlett immediately after the Knitting Olympics ended. The yarn is a 100% acrylic and I think I am actually going to get both socks out of one skein of yarn. It is a varigated worsted weight yarn and the colors remind me of a painted desert.

But, that's not the big deal part of this - the big deal is that they are knitting up beautifully and aren't huge! Mainly because I did a stitch gauge swatch. I started out with the 5's - then went to 4's - and finally 3's - I got my stitch gauge of 5-1/2 stitches to an inch on a 3. The socks feel soft yet tight and warm...does that make sense???

When I took my first class on sock making - I was not getting the gauge and my socks fit but they are a little loose - meaning just a tad big ... think wear with another thin pair under them and use for snowmobiling or really frigid New Hampshire days. My teacher (a really nice guy) said that I was close enough to gauge - and that the really important thing was to learn how to knit the socks...which I agree was the important thing at the time.

When I mentioned the fact that I am knitting with worsted weight on a 3 to the lady who runs one of the yarn shops I go to - she said I should used the 5 and cut back on the number of stitches - maybe I will try that with the next pair and see how that works...but I'm not too sure how to go about that and figure out my decreases and my heel flap.

Any suggestions...

Friday, March 03, 2006

This and that...

Crazy! That is how I would describe my life since last Thursday. Besides finishing up the Knitting Olympics - I battled a broken tooth. Finally found a dentist taking new patients (we have a terrible shortage of dentists that are taking new patients in our area - so, if you know some nice bright dentist that needs patients - send him to New Hampshire!) and was given an appointment for Wednesday. Yes, I know - almost a week later. But, the problem is fixed! I now have a regular dentist...and am no longer in pain!

Still cutting 2-1/2 inch squares and am almost finished with the small stash of fabric that I was using...maybe today.

Working on fabric postcards and blocks for a friend - so, this will be done this week-end and off in the mail on Monday. Started a new pair of socks for Scarlett from some lovely multicolored yarn and am already way past the heel on the first sock.

Life is good!