Friday, May 30, 2008

Flowers, dates and other stuff


Last post I wished for Lilies of the Valley. This morning, some were waiting on the curb for me on our dog walk. They were even put on a plastic tray for ease of transport. I came back with a car and they are now mine.

A few years ago, DD the quilter and her honey bought a fixer -upper house in Erie, PA. She mentioned that every time they went on a date, they went to Lowe's first to get something for the house. DH picked up on that "date" idea. The only time we go on a "date" we go to Home Depot to get something for the house. Friday night was one of those "dates". He needed new sprinkler heads for the sprinkler system he installed in the back yard. We do go out other times for concerts and meals. They're not labeled "date".


Another work day. I delivered a prom skirt to one of the dry cleaners I do work for. A last minute hem, only 2 layers of fabric. I had another prom dress to alter, which came into the shop 1/2 hour before closing. It needed a hem and the bodice needed taking in a little. Strapless dresses should not need tugging at the whole night. The dress was picked up............1/2 hour before closing. I think that's it for this year, really!!


We had breakfast at a restaurant with DH and his family. We try to do this once a month. It's cheaper than other meals, with fewer schedule conflicts. DS had thought about riding in a bicycle race, but had too many other things to do. He's a serious racer, writing about it in his Bicycle Addict blog. (see sidebar)

I got the Lilies of the Valley into the ground this afternoon. I also finished the back of my Beyond Love T. Two dishcloths joined the gift pile. One has been living in the kitchen, growing slowly while things cooked.

One week until we leave for the wedding, by train. The knitting and crochet projects are organized, yarn is wound, patterns are in bags with the projects. Now to organize the clothes. DH's new suit has been altered. I just need to bring it home from the shop. I know what I'm wearing for the important events. Just need to wash things like underwear.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Knitting, and Sewing and Flowers


I've been working on my Beyond Love t-shirt, which I designed and was originally published as Hearts on a String. I'm using the original yarn, which is discontinued. I knit the original in red SWTC Beyond, a thick thin cotton tape yarn. I knit the 2nd in white for the magazine. They now suggest SWTC Phoenix as the recommended yarn. I'm using purple Beyond. I'm up to the armholes. It was started last September. (Isn't Ravelry wonderful for aiding memory?) I put it aside for things like Christmas knitting, but picked up when simple stockinette knitting was needed. It went to hockey games, etc. It went to Boston with me. I was trying to make sure where I was in the pattern, (the yarn is not easy to read), when I measure the width. Boy did I have width!!!! As I talked on the phone with DH, what you see here reverted to yarn. I also double checked my measurements in my sweater generator program, and adjusted those. Now that the weather has warmed up, I'm anxious to wear it. The knitting is fairly simple, but keeping your place in bumpy, dark colored yarn is not. I'm doing better now that it is my primary project.

My other project is socks, no surprise. This pair is for DSIL the trucker, and another Christmas present. The pattern is Crusoe from Knitty by Marilyn Roberts, because they are stranded. The yarn is from Herrschner's, bought on sale a couple of years ago.

Sewing this week

I've been helping the daughter of a long time customer with a history project. She's 11 years old, and likes sewing, but has no help at home. This didn't have to fit anyone, it was labeled a museum piece. She did most of the work, but I helped where needed. As you can see, she is thrilled. There were times when she doubted that she'd be able to finish it.

The work load is slowing down, and I'm looking forward to sewing a blouse for myself. It's been cut out for a couple of months. I had a little time at the end of one day and got that much done.

Friday flowers

These lovelies are the first I've seen this year. I'm sure I walked right past them many times. Most lawns are mowed and weed killed and all that stuff.

We pass this wisteria on our evening walk. For some reason I hadn't seen it in other years. Dog walking is meditation time for me, where my mind wanders with few distractions.

I've always loved Lilies of the Valley, since I was a little girl. They grew at the rental house we lived in then. No houses since then have had them. I have lots of shade n0w, and they would do well here. Just have to find some for me. This patch is a dog walk picture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lazy? Weekend

I got much knitting done. I really needed to decompress after the prom dresses. I finished the swatches for the TNNA (wholesale trade show) Great Wall of Yarn. It's in Columbus, OH the first weekend in June. This is where yarn store owners and other needlework store owners go to see the new yarns and place orders. I swatched 4 yarns this time. The yarn in the upper left is made of Bamboo and Bison down. The white swatch is silk boucle. The multicolor swatch is crocheted from a Prism ribbon yarn with metallic sparkle. The mutant sock is Acquerello form Aurora yarns.

Memorial Day celebrations consisted of a picnic at the home of DD the artist. She has a small home, so hosts an outdoor party. Now that the kids are adults, my contribution to a family party is small. This time we were asked to bring ice and chairs. I have only 2 pictures. This is littlest grandchild and his mom.

I also got a good picture of my dogwalking companion Bronte. She's still learning how to behave in a crowd of people. It's hard when you live in a small pack with only 2 people.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm Done with Prom Dresses

Finally! I like to help the girls realize their dreams, but it is a lot of pressure to meet the deadlines. Things don't always go smoothly. The fabric isn't always the best for the dress they want. Some of this is a budget issue. These dresses are expensive and the price will go up for next year.

The burnt orange dress is trimmed with a line of gold sequin trim and sequins and bead are scattered on either side of the line of trim.

The red dress is very simple with rhinestones at the top edge and trimming the front. I made a tie-on cummerbund with very long tails. The girl was very slow to come in for fittings and I wasn't sure exactly where she wanted the hip band. This way she can adjust it herself.

Friday flowers
This time I'll show some things in my yard. I don't have a lot of flowers. I have lots of shade and I'm working on more shade plants. We do have annuals, but I'll show them later.

On one side of the front porch, we have these Rhododendrons. We have white ones on the other side, which bloom later. When we bought the house, the space was occupied with pine tress which have been decapitated to look like bushes.

This white bleeding heart plant is new this year. I had pink bleeding heart plants, but they didn't come back this year.

ABC-Along -J
This family photo was taken about 30 years ago. Besides me, there is J, J, J, J, J, J, and J. As you can see scouting was very big at our house. Adding together the years I spent in scouting as girl, and the years I spent as a parent, over 30 years of my life was spent in that pursuit. I enjoyed all of it, but when the last duaghter dropped out, I moved on to other things.

Another historical gathering of the clan occurred when I graduated from college in 1983. It appears that DH took this picture. I started back to college in 1976. There has been at least one family member in college since that time. When I graduated, out two oldest were in college. Several of them took time off and went back. One daughter waited a long time to start and is working in a field unrelated to her degree. Degree total from 6 of the 7 people pictured: Phd - 2 + abd, Masters -4, BA -6. Not bad! The youngest and her sister to her right both have PhDs in Psychology and teach at the college level. DS is working on his in Statistics. Finish date unknown. Other degrees are a MBA, BA in Fashion Merchandising and Business, BA in Studio Art.

I figured that I had gone to all of their graduations, They should come to mine.

Knitting is happening. TNNA swatches, socks for another Christmas sweater, and a sweater for me! I'll get some pictures of those this weekend. I'm still decompressing from the prom stuff.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back from Boston

Friday Flowers

I was in Boston last Friday. Here are some of the flowers that were still in bloom when I left. Lilacs and Dogwood are found on our daily dog walks. The lilacs are mostly finished for this year. They seemed to last longer than usual. This pink dogwood is a on street we don't often walk down. The dogwoods are still in bloom, but there are more leaves this week.

Prom dresses part 3

One dress with vest and tie delivered.

The other two dresses are finished. More pictures next time. The stripes are 4 individual fabrics sewn together. I got smarter when I did the vest and foundation pieced the fabrics to the vest body.

Boston area for knitting classes

Last weekend I taught 2 classes for the Baa Baa Black Sheep Knitting guild north of Boston. I have no pictures of the classes. I taught Knit to Fit in the morning and Blue Ribbon Finishing in the afternoon on Saturday. I flew in on Friday afternoon with a little time to see the city. My hosts chose to take me on a "Duck" tour. This is part of the "Duck" fleet on land. They are WWII amphibious vehicles which tour the city and then go into the Charles River for a water eye view.
The pink duck shows the water view.

I had a comfortable hotel room,but I should have been given a shoe horn with the room key. The room was sort of a triangle shape. The sink is behind me in this picture. I presume that the hotel upgrade didn't quite have this room in mind when they did it. It may not show in the 2nd picture, but there's not much room between the refrigerator and the sink. There's even less room to get around the big desk chair and then the corner of the bed. Once in the room I was OK, but half of the lights didn't work because there were not enough outlets.

The bed was comfortable, the hot water was hot. I could have made coffee in the room and ironed my clothes. I did use the hair dryer. I had everything that I might expect, but it didn't all fit nicely in this odd room. Also, the hotel had a nice breakfast included in the fee. I really didn't spend much time in the room anyway.

I was home on Sunday afternoon. I'm now planning for the next trip, a wedding in San Francisco in June.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Prom Part 2, Stuff I've knit

On the knitting front, I've finished another toy for the Guild competition. This is from Fiona Mc Tague's book Knitted Toys.

I also have been knitting a new pair of socks. Rainbow socks by Susanne Kitzmann, originally found on Mag Knits, but now available on her blog - in English! Yarn is Kroy Socks Stripes, knit on 2.5mm Harmony needles from Knit Picks.

I've delivered another 3 prom dresses this week. All made from scratch, a dream and a picture.

Doesn't she look happy.

This actually hooks in the back, but the girl is thinner than the dress form.

And, finally, another dream dress.

Note the date on the back of the dress. I had it done at our local embroidery shop. I didn't attempt it myself. The girl has hips bigger than her bust, and the dress form doesn't quite measure up.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

OK now, where was I? ABC-Along I is for...

Time flies when you're busy. At work, it's prom time.

When I last posted, I gave you a sneak peek of a little girl sweater. I still haven't finished the pattern, maybe later today. The yarn , again, is Aussie Sock. Main color is Spanish Fiesta. Contrast color is Cherry Tomato.

I finally finished the Christmas socks for my Son. If he reads this blog, I hope he forgets by Christmas. The yarn is Regia 4-ply in short colors. The leg is an adaptation from Charlene Schurch's Sensational socks book. I worked an 8 row pattern, she wrote it as a 12 row pattern. I may try it again, her way.

Our guild has a toy competition in May,
with the toys being given to charity. I used a pattern from a New Zealand woman's magazine. It has lots of pieces to be sewn together, but I don't see any other way to do this one. I sewed a little and stuffed a little, and it turned into this! I had a little trouble, because I was missing one of the braid ends. I reknit it. It still hasn't turned up.

I'm knitting the Rainbow socks by Susanne Kitzmann, which originally was on Mag Knits. I don't know where the pattern is now. I using Kroy Socks in a Stripes pattern.

Prom time - I have a few pictures. This prom dream started with a green dress and a picture.

We also did a vest and tie for her date.

I is for Intarsia. The picture is the back of the SWAK Knitter's Vest. I loved it the minute I saw it, but it didn't fit my budget. One Christmas, DH and I exchanged catalogs, with wish list markings. I had marked this vest. He ordered it from patternworks. When I opened it, I pulled out the pattern and he said something about green yarn being back ordered. I was mystified. The pattern was for the 12 Days of Christmas, a cardigan. I loved that too. Sweetheart that he is, he contacted patternworks, explained the problem, and ordered the yarn for the Christmas sweater too. I quickly finished the vest and wear it often. It won Best of Class at the Ohio State Fair one year. It took 6 years to finish the other sweater, but I wore it last year. Pictures of the cardigan are on Flickr.