Saturday, May 30, 2009

Late night Saturday Night!

Why? Today was Mulch and Meatballs: 2009!!

What? You've never heard of this before? Well, last year, Oldest Daughter graduated from high school and we had an Open House for her. A lot of yard work, fence painting and a trip to Maple Tree Helicopter Hell.

This year, Middle Daughter is graduating and she and her two Besties are having a combined Open House - at one of the other girl's house!! Yea, we are free! But we are paid them back today by spending the day at their house, weeding and mulching. Ten cubic feet of mulch. And then making meatballs - 300 made and cooked and two hundred more to bake tomorrow. After all that work, it was all we could do to choke down some wine as part of our "wine tasting/pizza dinner."

We look so sad!!

I forgot to mention that I picked up two skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to make a pair of Fetchings for my sister-in-law's birthday.

It's a gorgeous deep red - I think it will make a nice present.

Finally, there is actually a photo of this week's Saturday Seven. Seven books plucked off my bookcase to make room. Several were book club picks from year's past - several are ones that I'd recommend - but not ones I'd keep.

Off the rummage sale! See you next Mulch & Meatballs!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Films

What a day! Swimming, running, grocery shopping, laundry, errands - whew! I'd hoped to be sitting out on the (newly cleaned by Oldest Daughter) patio with a glass of wine right now but Mr. Daisy has decided to mow the lawn. That means I'm inside.

I had a great trip over to Borealis Yarns today. It's graduation season you know and I thought I might make a few chenille wash cloths as graduation gifts. I'll be giving some cash with them, never fear! Anyway, I picked up some Crystal Palace Cotton Chennille yarn - crystal pink, sage and mauve - and I'm thinking of using this washcloth patternor perhaps this more "fun" washcloth pattern from

I bought colors for girls but I might go get some orange or green for boys. Luckily, graduation isn't until next week!

In the meantime, enjoy a look at this cute video:

This link should get you there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday - again.

This week lies in the great valley between "last day of classes" and "finished with finals" for my teen aged daughters. Theoretically, they are studying but mostly, they are getting on each other's nerves.

So, I've been trying to stay out of their way and get a bit of laundry done. I've been hoping to go see Star Trek for, oh, the third time but real life has been interfering as usual.

Laundry brought this Cool Wednesday to mind. No one uses diapers around here anymore but if I did, I would do this:

Make your own (or my own) cloth baby diapers!

Knitting-wise, I think this is one cool tool. I've been thinking about making some baby hats and this would make things a bit more exciting.

Think of it as the new summer movie: "Stripenator III: The Rise of the Random Stripe Generator."

The Third Cool Thing of the Day: I'm a Pittsburgh girl at heart. I wish I could raise bees but I don't have enough room here in Saint Paul. These guys have the right idea. I think I could get this shown at my local drive in movie:

Bee Force: Breaking Training II.""

Saturday, May 23, 2009

If there are no photos of a Saturday Seven, does it exist?

Yes, indeedy it does. Seven long-sleeved shirts from myself, my daughters and my husband. Photographs don't matter - it's Memorial Day weekend, after all! - and I've got other things to do.

This morning I went swimming at our local outdoor pool. It was opening day and the fountains were on, the sun was shining, the lifeguards in place and the popcorn popping. Despite this, after the local swim team left, I was the only swimmer in the whole complex. It was a very odd feeling!

I've worked my way down to the final edging of my Swallowtail Shawl; now I am getting a wee bit worried about running out of yarn. The shawl pattern calls for for one skein of Misti Alpaca Lace - 437 yards - and my yarn choice - Yukon Hand Dyed Sock Yarn from Pagewood Farm - has 450 yards. Talk about eking it out to the end!

I just worked past the "nupp" section of this pattern - it's a series of five "bobbles" each made out of one stitch. It's an Estonian knitting technique and creates a bumpy surface. I think I just like to say it. Nupp. Nupp. Nupp.

Luckily, Oldest Daughter brought the boxed set of Bones: Season One home from school so I'll be able to have some late nights knitting.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

And if you are in the Twin Cities area, I recommend the 12th Annual Civil War Memorial Day Walking Tour on Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Oakland Cemetery. This two hour walking tour is an interesting look into the Civil War history of Saint Paul. It's free but they do ask you to bring your own water. We have attended in the past and are going again this year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday films

Okay, so I am a bit disorganized right now. Oldest Daughter is temporarily at home while she gets her summer apartment put together. Middle Daughter has almost graduated but seems to have taken it all to heart and is either weepy or very grumpy. Youngest Daughter is looking for a job. Youngest Child just wishes school was out! Me, I think I need a vacation already!

In the meantime, I've been taking advantage of the good weather and biking a bit more to get ready for my June triathlon. It's in that spirit that I present:

The Bike Race.

I do wear a helmet as well as a safety I.D. bracelet. Just like the MG motto: Safety Fast! Or to take it down to my level, Safety Middle of the Pack!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Poetry and Plastic and a Cool Wednesday

This entry may be pretty far removed from knitting but it does have some really cool items I thought you should know about. And it may turn into a regular Cool Wednesday kind of feature . . .

First of all, my husband clued me into this great project, The Poetry Society's Knit a Poem project. Knitters who sign up will be assigned a letter (that's right, one letter from one word of the poem!) and the whole poem will be revealed at the end of the year. They still have some unassigned letters and are getting ready to release the templates this month. I've signed up and I'm looking forward to what's to come.

The second item is poetry in a more "concrete" form. Saint Paul Public Works Poetry Contest, Everyday Poems for City Sidewalks, is starting up again. This one is only open to Saint Paul residents but if you look here, all the information is out there and it's a really neat program. As the city replaces sidewalks, they print the winning poems around town.

The third Cool Wednesday item is a great tutorial on fusing plastic bags to make sewable material from So She Sews.

Fused Plastic Owls
Originally uploaded by SoSheSews

She makes and sells all kinds of cute goods from recycled material and encourages people to try it themselves. I'm thinking purse liners for knitted purses!

Enjoy the lovely weather and, remember, wear sunscreen!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Surfing the week

I saw this on another blog. I ran across Andrew's blog when he Twittered about homesteading and raising chickens. I don't believe he has anything to do with knitting.

I also like the idea and decided to continue the poach. Enjoy my simple life.

Listen to this

Watch this

Buy this…for your husband …

Buy this…for your wife …

Eat this

Drink this

Learn this

Visit this.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

A back loaded week.

I should really work on getting those blog posts spread out more evenly through the week but somehow, the start of the week just rushes by. And it isn't really full of anything exciting for a blog post, either.

My Minnesota Knitters' Guild board meeting (meeting new board members and discussing projects) was pretty much the highlight. Oh, and maybe my Masters Swimming. I'm getting ready for both an open water swim and a triathlon so I'm trying to up my workouts and not worry about the events too much. GF Melissa does all the worrying for me!

Oldest Daughter is getting ready to come home from school for a short while before she moves into her new sorority house apartment. I'm not too excited about her new home's security arrangements but I'm hoping she knows she can always live at home should things not work out. There! That should get her making new keys and lock boxes before you know it!

In the meantime, I'm using her bedroom to store a few newly-chosen, freshly "hand me down" garments. A skirt, three long-sleeved tops, a polo shirt and two men's shirts. Just like mother used to make give away!

And, in case this blog's Saturday Seven has given you ideas about better ways to cut through the clutter without things ending up in the waste stream, I recommend the new Brenda Dayne Cast On series, Make Do and Mend.

I love the idea of mending something instead of throwing it out so I am really looking forward to this series. And I am really coveting Brenda's Lisle sweater.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Things that gross me out.

I was standing in line at my local grocery store this afternoon when I looked down at the feet of the girl standing in line in front of me. She was a teenager, standing sullenly behind her parents who were chatting with the store check out clerk.

She was in her stocking feet. No shoes. Just socks. No shoes in hand. She had to have walked through the parking lot and into the store that way. All I could think was, "Yuck - o." And, "If she was my kid, I wouldn't let her get back in the car like that. She'd have to ditch the socks."

Another thing that disgusts me out is that one of my wristlets is a little longer than the other. I didn't notice this at first as the hand spun was very active - kind of "roll-y" in fact. Now, this means cutting the cast on edge and removing a few rounds and then binding off. This just - well, you know what it is. Hrumph.

I can only wish my shopping was like this Friday Film:

As she says, "Could anything be simpler or more convenient?" I think I would need to buy a suit, high heels and hat before I could go shopping.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Winter Mitts and Summer Sun Dresses

I finally finished the Basic Fingerless Mitts - obviously not in time for Shepherd's Harvest - but it's still plenty cold here in Minnesota and I am sure I'll be able to use them.

In the meantime, I read about this great sundress giveaway and it gave me hope for summer. I was just wishing I could find some cute dresses that fit real people. (Can you tell I am feeling old and grey and out of shape?)

So on to the contest link from Grosgrain Fabulous - a sewing blog with glorious ideas. The dress is from Heather over at Loose Teeth Vintage. She's an Etsy vendor who designs vintage-inspired clothing. Really cute stuff!

Basically, the way to enter is to great a blog link from your blog to the the Grosgrain site. So, have at it!

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Party, party, party!

An early start earned me some lovely plants from the Minnesota Friends Plant sale

- including some bloodroot and lavender cotton for dyeing fiber.

This is one giant sale - I think most people think it's going to be like a yard sale but they fill the grandstand at the State Fair.

Today, I got dinner and a show - a burger & fries and a sheep shearing! - over at Shepherd's Harvest Lamb and Wool Show.

I must have a knack for crowds.

Visitors came thick and fast to the Minnesota Knitters' Guild table once they found out it was the check in place for the Ravelry Meetup at noon. I helped hand out buttons and then went browsing . . .

I think I found my soul yarn.

Briar Rose Josephine yarn. It is so soft - 75% coopworth/25% mohair - and 275 yards of DK weight. What to make, what to make.

I did start a pair of basic fingerless mitts to wear but I only finished one. This was the Oak Lichen fiber that I spun up at the MKG Retreat back in March.

Here's my one-handed Twilight impression:

And it's a pear as well!

The party continues tomorrow with an afternoon spinning class over at Shepherd's Harvest.

Saturday Seven - easy stuff but . . . I just don't remember if I've used this one before. You see, sometimes I stockpile Saturday Seven photos in preparation for hard (read "busy") times. I set up three or four photos way back in April and I think this is the last one. Maybe. I searched for the image and didn't see it so I'm assuming this is the one I assigned to this weekend.

A pair of pants, four tee shirts, a belt and a belt hanger. Off to a rummage sale.

Enjoy your Mother's Day weekend!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Okay, okay, I'm back

I've been pretty lazy about blogging this week. First, Mr. Daisy and I went to the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Hard Hat & Black Tie Gala on Saturday night. It was lots of fun and the dinner was delicious but, whew, I just don't stay up late anymore! Then, on Sunday, Mr. Daisy and I hit the Gateway Bike Trail again. Even better than dinner out!

Then gardening, swimming, concert going, etc. You know the spring routine!

But there are even more great things happening this week -

First off, Dear Mr. Daisy and I are going to see the new Star Trek movie tomorrow night - bought the tickets already! I used to absolutely love this television show although I've been a little bored with the newer incarnations. This one looks great!

Second of all - the Friends School Plant Sale. Great plants, nice chance to donate money.

Third - Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. All weekend, lots of fibers, yarns, spinners, weavers, classes - fun, fun, fun! I'll be there early on Saturday to scoop up a few deals and then back on Sunday for a spinning class Hmm, yarn.

In real life knitting - it's still the Swallowtail Shawl. I'm almost going to be sad to see it go - I feel like it's my buddy shawl!

And finally, what is probably the best part of the weekend according to Mr. Daisy, we're going to see Bruce Springsteen in concert on Monday. Not crazy about all of his music but I haven't ever seen him so it should be a lot of fun.

I love this contest - Lorna's Laces are some of my favorite yarns - so I thought I'd pass on the info:

(This was first posted by Jocelynn Brown (The Detroit News) on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 1:46 PM)

Be part of "Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting" book giveaway

Like many crafts, knitting can be done either alone in the comfort of ones home, or with a group of fellow yarn enthusiasts where lots of warm memories are shared and created.
Knitwear designer Lorna Miser, founder of Lorna's Laces, specializing in hand-dyed yarns, has put together an inspiring book of knitted projects that weaves together precious moments of comraderie between knitters.
The book, titled "Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting: Celebrating the Gift of Knitting with 24 Beautiful Patterns (The Crown Publishing Group/$24.95), features a variety of projects, each with its own story. Among patterns to choose from are scarves, a child's hoodie and poncho, socks, a heart-shaped pillow, a lace vest, adult-size suede-soled slippers, a bunny rabbit, and a woman's sweater. Skill levels range from easy to intermediate, and the items are designed with yarns that are just as varied as the projects themselves.
One of the more fun projects, that doesn't require a single stitch, are the "homemade knitting needles," made using a wooden dowel and Polymer clay.
If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of this book, just email me at and tell me a STORY about one of your most memorable group-knitting experiences. Please put the word "knitting" in the subject line, and remember to include your name and address.
Good Luck and Happy Knitting!!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

May I Day?

Yes, I may. I give myself permission to enjoy being stay up late, enjoy knitting and enjoy new yarn!

This is the latest shipment of Scout's Swag Sock Club. I was pretty down for a while because I thought I hadn't replied to the invoice. In fact, I even sent some sad, "Where is my sock yarn?" emails to Scout. But ta da, the yarn arrived!

Yellow & Purple Orchids in the Como Conservatory, in St Paul, Minnesota
Originally uploaded by michele123m

And this is the flower photo of Orchids that inspired Scout's Swag. She used the themes of Project Spectrum from East - May/June - and made a lovely, cheerful skein of yarn. Socks? Baby sweater? Hmm.

Until then, I'll enjoy working the rest of my Swallowtail Shawl.

It has a lovely diagonal grid pattern going on - I'm still not to the edging - but I love the flow of the pattern.

Since the weather is fine, I'm going to go hang some laundry out on the line. This is definitely not my Laundry Room featured in this week's Friday Films.