Saturday, December 25, 2010

A very merry Christmas!

We've been having a little fun at my house today. Mr. Daisy and Youngest Child are setting up a race track in the dining room and Daughters Three are watching a movie. Me? I'm playing with Walter, my new Nabaztag Rabbit!

It's days like this when Mr. Daisy says I'm pumping the handcart to Hummeldom . . .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Still here after all these years!

Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know I had a blogaversary back in November. Six years ago, in November of 2005, I started this blog to talk about knitting:

What's on the needles, what I wish I was working on and what I've learned in the process. Probably that there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I want - and still get a nap.

Well, that's still what's keeping me around the Internet. Still knitting, still swimming, still spinning, still reading and, now, still weaving. And still wishing for a nap.

I've had fun meeting some of you readers out there and still more fun following some of you on Twitter. 
Thanks for all the kind words and great suggestions over the years.

This week, I've been delving into the world of fruitcake - using the Fabulous Beekman Boys' recipe - and fulfilling a last minute request for a Christmas stocking.

Fruitcake photo from
Their Generous Fruitcake recipe is full of the fruit and nuts you might like - no oddly colored cherries! - and is very easy. My edition made one large fruitcake and eight small loaves. All are currently wrapped in rum-soaked cheesecloth and mulling away in the refrigerator. All except for the one loaf Mr. Daisy and I ate on Friday! Very good but it could use a little sweet something -  icing perhaps? - to cut the rum. I'll let you know what I decide to do.

Merry Christmas Mr. Daisy!
Although this is not our traditional stocking placement . . .

Mr. Daisy reminded me that he never had a "real" Christmas stocking so I made him one! 

I used the free Cascade Christmas Stocking pattern and the odds and ends of either Cascade 220 or Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted  from my stash. It did take a bit of time - I took it here and there to work on - but it turned out very nicely and I would rate it as easy to medium.

 I may even decide to make another one - but after Christmas!

I did have time to round up a Saturday Seven. 

It was finally time to pull out all my winter skirts and try them on. Three of today's Saturday Seven were hand me downs from my mother in law from several years ago and it was time to let them go. One teeshirt from behind Youngest Daughter's bed, a set of note card dividers, a turtleneck and a bottle of floor cleaner. Goodbye, clutter!

I was roaming the interweb the other day and ran across this video over at Eating Out in Tokyo with Jon. Although I love holiday music and switch to the Christmas radio stations as soon as they show up on the dial, I've heard this holiday song from Slade. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What is a picture worth?

Thanksgiving has come and gone. 

There were relatives . . . 

pies . . .

eating . . .

Saturday Sevens . . . 

Knitting of Pop Up Paws (otherwise known as Flip Top Mittens), 

open . . . *

shut . . .*

And, starting today, hockey!

Naps will be taken!

* Repeat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sew What!

The past two Monday nights I've been taking a sewing class using patterns from Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear by Kay Whit.

I'm still not finished - I had to put away my sewing machine so that someone could sleep in my sewing room over Thanksgiving! - but it's been a great experience. I've learned how to sew a much better zipper than I've been using since high school and a much better way to adapt patterns. The actual skirts in the book are fairly simple but there are patterns for dresses and coats as well.

Part of the class involved making ruffles so I'm thinking my Christmas presents will have lots of them!

Thanksgiving at our house was very relaxed - lots of eating, visiting museums and trips to the movies.

I also had some time to finish up the Hedgerow Socks.  

If I had made them any longer - I would have run out of yarn!

Fancy a bite?

I also had some time to start a pair of Pop Up Paws for Mr. Daisy. Middle Daughter decided to knit a pair for herself and I thought I should give them a whirl as well. I'm not so crazy about the finger sections - they are a little rough and ready - but Mr. Daisy always wanted a pair.

I've also picked up Youngest Child's quilt. It's still waiting for the edging but one Christmas Present down, five more to go.

The pattern is called Little Bits from the Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by 
Joelle Hoverson.

When you have to clean house for holiday guests, you end up with a lot of odd things to give away. Two trash cans, a basket, two sewing patterns and two tee shirts. Good bye Saturday Seven!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just in time for the holidays . . .

It's amazing how many things get finished when death is on the line - oh, no, that's "The Princess Bride."

It's amazing how many things get finished when cleaning the house for Thanksgiving is on the line.

I needed to put my my rigid heddle loom away for the holidays. So I decided to make a bag for it. The large bag holds the loom and the little bag holds the heddle, the shuttles and the pick-up stick. 

I also found time to finally sew on the button on the Mr. Greenjeans sweater. Not my original lovely button but an okay substitute.

Also - remember this?

I finally finished it as well. I really like the loom - not so much the cotton yarn. I'm looking forward to making another shawl or scarf!

And this? You know, the Little Bits quilt from two years ago? Finally, I picked it up from the quilters, Two Quilting Ladies, today. I'm going to put the binding on next weekend and then I'll take a photograph. 

And the Hedgerow Socks? I'm decreasing for the toes! Excitement!
And there is even more knitting going on around here - 

Middle Daughter is home from school for Thanksgiving break and she is knitting! All those years and she never wanted to knit anything. All it took was a "good friend" who needed a hat. 

Oh, and that Saturday Seven? 

More tapes that went to the rummage sale at Youngest Boy's school.

Things at Chez Daisy are getting tidier every day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snow, snow and snow.

Bah. I like snow as much as anyone else but it did interfere with my plans to mulch the garden this weekend.

Luckily, most everything was picked up because of the "Quidditch fest" we had on Halloween weekend and as long as I can still get to the bird feeders, I'll be fine.

I'm not resisting temptation any more on the Citron front. Yes, my second skein of Sumptuosity arrived this week and I am champing at the bit.

As soon as this blog entry gets finished, I'm casting on and settling down to watch Coraline with Youngest Child. I loved this movie and my book group read it last year but we just haven't sat down together to enjoy it yet.

I thought I might get finished with the Hedgerow Socks as a 21st birthday present for Oldest Daughter

- yes, she is that old! - but the cold that swept through my house cut down on all productivity, knitting included.

Today's Saturday Seven went out last week to my son's school's rummage sale. Bye bye books and tapes!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I can't believe I forgot!

I have so few finished items lately that I can't believe I forgot to list one.

Some time ago, I picked up some Cascade 220 to make a set of a hat and mittens for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's service knitting project. I originally planned on the Ruth Hat and Mittens from Norwegian Handknits: Heriloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum

Alas, I was stuck away from the book one night (it was in my knitting bag, in my car, with my husband at a meeting) but I did have access to the pattern for the 3 a.m. Cable Hat. So that's what I made. I'm still planning to do the Ruth Mittens with what is left of my two skeins.

The cables are very easy and the clever decreases allow the cables to continue all the way to the top. I doubled the Cascade 220 so it would be a bulkier hat.

De-gnoming the garden (and other places)

Well, I can only hope any gnomes in our garden escaped via the Saturday Seven bags this week. My son's school is having a "kids stuff" rummage sale next week and I've been collection and sorting old story tapes, books, comics, cds, etc. just for them. Two bags so far - yeah!

Although I did have to block the door of my bedroom this morning when Youngest Child was peering in through the cracks and trying to come in, claiming that "The Triceratops you have in there is my favorite toy."

 This was a triceratops hand puppet which had been under his bed for more than a year and it was too small for his hand but, apparently, I will be denied giving it away. At least until he isn't watching . . .

Collection #1 of Saturday Seven items:

The less dusty side of my weekend involved Alpacas!

The Upper Midwest Alpacas (UMA) had their 2nd annual Fall Fiber Festival yesterday from 9 -4 p.m. and GFMelissa and I ran over to Hopkins, MN for about two hours. Showing her Good Friend Stripes, GF fronted me some money - I forgot my checkbook - to buy some absolutely lovely yarn from All for Love of Yarn, a local yarn hand dyer with an Etsy store. 

I bought this absolutely gorgeous Sumptuosity yarn (70% baby alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere) in the wine color way.

And one skein of  Soleful Fingering Weight yarn (40% alpaca, 40% superwash merino wool and 20% nylon) in a light green/2 of a kind colorway. 

I may shoot an email over to the dyer to see if she still has another skein of the Sumptuosity as the shawl I was thinking of using it for (Citron from Knitty)  needs two skeins.

The rest of the show was absolutely chock-ful of lovely fiber as well. At the Winterwind Farm booth, I bought some hand dyed yearling mohair goat locks in a spinach-y kind of green 

Mmm, tasty!
but everything in the booth was very tempting.

I would recommend a trip to the Alpaca show next year!

In my everyday knitting, I've been toddling along of the Hedgerow Socks. After a disastrous attempt at knitting at the movies on Friday (the movie "Red" was very funny but too dark to knit at!), I've ripped back a row and am now about mid-foot.

But when I went to take a photograph, I found a lost trick-or-treater.*


But I gave the socks a shake and sent her on her way home.

*With a nod to This Boy Knits.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Walking Dead!

We had a neighborhood Halloween Party at our house today. 

It was a great day but I am exhausted.  Lots of Harry Potter themed fun - we played Quidditch! - and pretty healthy snacks but I am asleep on my feet now and looking for my pjs.

Since we had to clean out the garage for the party (it was the "Leaky Cauldon" where we served food), I decided to put my old wetsuit out to pasture. 

Too big for me - but maybe someone at a rummage sale will want it. A pair of pants, a set of sheets, a men's polo shirt, a boys teeshirt and a boy's fleece will also be magically whisked off the St. John's Rummage Sale as well. 

The Seventh Item? A duffle bag from the garage but it is getting washed right now. I think they were multiplying out there - you'll see more duffle bags next week!

To keep you in the holiday spirit - some of my favorite "undead" crochet designs come from La Fee Crochette. She is the author of Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make which I highly recommend! 

Happy Halloween!

Zombie group
Originally uploaded by la fée crochette

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mmm, yummy.

I'm so glad I went to all the trouble of cooking up some fresh indigo to get . . . 

beige yarn.

Yep, a very non-blue shade of tan.

There was a little tinge of blue on my fresh yarn but it never got any bluer than that. It's nice tan yarn but it is not blue. So far, I'm zero for three on my natural dyeing experiments. 

One thing I've been working on lately is my pair of Hedgerow Socks (but done 2-at-a-time style.) I am getting very tight on my remaining yarn - this is why I should have waited for GFMelissa to return my Toe Up 2-at-a-time book! - so I may have to step out for a ball of similar sock yarn to use on the toes of the socks.

I've mostly been working late at night when I can indulge in some low-brow sci-fi entertainment - watching Battlestar Galactica! How did I let this series get by me? And it's perfect to knit to . . . lots of action and no subtitles.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grumble, grumble, grumble

You know that commercial where the "older" woman is asking, "Where are my keys?" Mine would go, "Where is my button?" Last Sunday I bought a lovely handmade button to complete my Mr. Greenjeans sweater - and promptly lost it!

For one whole week, I've been putting off my blog posting because I wanted to finish the sweater. On Monday, I made a skirt. Should I blog? No, I'll wait for that sweater to be finished. By Wednesday, I've begun turning the heel on the Hedgerow Socks. Should I blog? No, I'll wait for that sweater. Today, I've been harvesting indigo and getting ready to dye yarn (Remember that lovely Bellingen yarn I won in the Vestuary contest?) - well, heck. I still can't find that button!

So - here it goes.

Skirt -

Crappy photo but a cute skirt from Sew What Skirts. I love this book - it's very simple sewing but fun.

This one is called East meets West - I used a imported Japanese cotton for the main body and an all-american calico for the bottom portion.

Hedgerow Socks - 

I forgot to take a photo but I got a complement on them at the Minnesota Knitters' Guild meeting!

Dyeing -

Stripping indigo leaves takes much, much longer than you would think. Tomorrow, I'm doing the actual dyeing using the instructions from here.

Sweater -

Finished but waiting for a button. Grumble, grumble, grumble . . . 

Saturday Seven?

Three pairs of shorts, a pair of pajamas, man's denim shirt, a rug and a pair of hockey skates. And they are already out of there but its very hard to make rooms for skates in my laundry room. Grumble.