Friday, November 30, 2012

On Schedule

I said I would have this finished by December and I have only today left to get it done. I still have a little rabbit and the very simple outside border to complete before it will officially be a done deal-minus, of course, the name and birthday of the little grandson expected on or around the 20th. I am also behind on the 2nd season of Downton Abby so I am pretty sure I know what I will be doing tonight.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Late Fall Doldrums

I have got two empty wheels. That just doesn't happen around here. I can't even remember the last time I picked up a drop spindle. Somehow spinning has stopped being a part of my daily routine and I don't like it.

Even worse, the loom is sitting right next to the wheels and it is equally dusty. This project is almost done and I have no desire to finish it.

I need a little inspiration. The Yarn Barn of Kansas puts out the world's best weaving catalog. If they can't jump start me, no one can. As for those empty wheels, I need to pull out the drum carder and start making batts again. That ought to do it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yay Me!

We have all had the experience of having gift knits go bad. This faux Noro scarf was intended for a male recipient that was horrified by the idea of wearing something that had stripes of raspberry pink in it. I put it away in the place bad knits go to die and forgot about it. On Thanksgiving, the subject of my lapse in color judgement came up and when I retrieved it to show it off in all its horrible glory, I realized I liked it. It looked great with my new fleece. Now I need a hat to match.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Clun Forest Rainbow

The Clun Forest that I have been working on for 2 years is finally done. Washed, dyed, spun, plied. Done.

It's very wild and wooly stuff. It has an unusual elastic feel about it. I love the way it took up the dye. At this moment, I have no idea what it will become. Sadly, it will have to wait until the new year to get its turn in the knitting basket. I am still overwhelmed with Corriedale socks. I am happy, however, that I have another box full of this type of fleece-already dyed and ready to be spun.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ready When You Are

The Christmas baby knits are done. Now all we need is the Christmas baby for these cute little socks. I'm a December baby, so is Dad to Be AND Mom to Be. All of us in a row. We can't wait to see where the new little falls in the line of pre-Christmas dates.

The Easy Peasy Newborn Hat got a pompom instead of an icord wiggle at the top. I am very proud of this pompom. I haven't made one in years and it was a bit traumatic.

While we are speaking of holiday knits, look what followed me home the other day. I think I deserve some mindless dishrag knitting. I am also using it as a diversion to keep me away from the 2012 Advent Scarf KAL. I have very fond memories of making mine last year but I really, really don't need the stress or the scarf.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


All this baby talk has made me start thinking about the things I made Way Back When for my own babies. I was a knitting machine in those days cranking out things right and left to keep my little ones warm. The problem is that I can't find them. Anywhere. I could find a few of Daughter's woolies but these were not her baby things. Sons #1 and #2 also had plenty of handknits but where are they now?

I did find a bunch of pink mittens in kid sizes but not a scrap of any infant knits. I remember making them-or did I? I am going to have to pull out the photo albums now to prove I'm not crazy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Elf as a Verb

Elving. I have been seeing that word all over the blogosphere lately. Everyone is in a frenzy to get holiday projects finished. I was avoiding all that this year until I decided on a whim to dye some yarn for some baby items just in case Grandson-to Be shows up before the holidays.

I am so glad I gave in to the temptation because I found the cutest baby sock pattern. I was not up for anymore booties so I went to You Know Where and found these. They have a lovely twisted ribbing right where you need them in order to keep them on the baby-I hope. Not having a baby handy only lets me guess but I am hopeful.

Friday, November 23, 2012

So How Was It?

This is how good it was. I always gauge the success of a holiday by how big a mess I have to clean up and by the look of my kitchen, we had a grand time. I love cleaning up after everyone is gone while reliving the day in my head so let's go back and start from the beginning.

On Wednesday, The Mister and I took not one but three trips to the grocery store to get everything we thought we needed. He still had to make another trip on Thanksgiving morning. In my defense, I have to cook for a vegan and someone who is gluten free. That is hard. I spent a good 20 minutes reading every margarine label in the store trying to find one that was milk free. Ditto for everything that may contain wheat.

 By Wednesday night the fridge was so full you couldn't find a thing. I could hear it groaning in the next room.

Since I couldn't find gluten free stuffing in a mix, I had to prepare the wheat free bread the night before. That involved mixing up corn bread and toasting gluten free bread cubes. It was quite a production.

 My wedding china had to be washed. After keeping it in storage for almost 35 years, I have just started using it. I am pretty sure Daughter doesn't want it so if I don't use it, no one will.

The Thanksgiving linen needed washing also. We set up 4 designated eating areas so that's a lot of tables to cover. The trick is to keep the cats off of them until the guests arrive.

Mom's ceramic turkey and Grandma's cut glass pickle and jelly bowls are also washed and ready to be filled. Whoever shows up first gets this job. This year it was Son #2.

I woke up at 6:00 on Thursday and started in on the vegan dessert. The first one went off the deck and into the woods as the apples proved too dry to make a decent crisp. The Mister was sent to find better ones.

Cookies were also made but I underestimated the time needed to pull this off. There was a bird that needed to go in the oven and I am now starting to panic.

 At 10:00 the bird goes in the oven and I am relieved. The rest of the meal is all downhill from here.

The calm before the storm. I set up every table I can find and begin to cover it with food.

But first we have some wine.

Back in the kitchen there was a lot of peeling going on.

Then like a flash, it was all over.

Snowplow Sam showed up to scare the bejeezus out of the little nephews.

Dear Daughter-in Law showed up with a work of art for dessert. It was as good as it looks. Maybe better.

I ate too much dessert but now I want some more. I am happy there are leftovers.

It was a lovely day-family and food, what else is there to be thankful for?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I worked my fingers to death finishing the Thanksgiving table runner Daddio and I had been working on right before the storm interruption. I think I have a permanent hole in my needle pushing finger. I do have "protection" but I find it awkward especially when I am in a hurry. I worked late into the night on this one and thanks to Ken Burn's Dustbowl on PBS I have it finished in time to slip onto the table today for Thanksgiving dinner. I am keeping it far away from the gravy bowl.

I can see an improvement in my wavy line machine quilting. I figured out that I needed to mark the lines (duh) to keep them straight and to put the lines closer together. I also figured out how to not have to start and stop a new row each time but to do it continuously instead which saved a lot of time.

This fabric collection is really gorgeous. I wish I had the money to go buy more but with Christmas right around the corner, I need every spare penny I can get my hands on. Mini just got released from the car hospital at the tune of $900. Little Old Doggie had an eye infection last week that set me back another $400-but enough grumbling. Today I am just thankful that Little Old Doggie and Miss Mini are back where they belong, here with me.

Here's wishing all of you in the USA a very happy gobble day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Crazies

It was one of those moments of temporary insanity. I had tons of stuff to do but I just couldn't resist the impulse to do something I knew I didn't have the ability to do-dye yarn.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you already know what's coming next. I am going to do some serious whining.

I thought that I might make some Christmas yarn to make my grandson-to-be some holiday booties and a hat in case he shows up before the 25th. He is due on the 20th of December and wisdom tells me not to expect him before Christmas but just in case, I would like to be ready.

I spent some time studying red and green dyed holiday yarn on Etsy before I got started but the pink I was trying so hard to avoid made its presence front and center as soon as I got started. I am a real dope at dyeing. I just couldn't figure out how to keep the red from bleeding into the white that had to separate the green. Red and green are a horrible mix.

My birthday is in a couple of weeks and I think I am going to be treating myself to this.

 After dyeing the original 90ish gram skein (which actually consisted of several small skeins of leftover sock weight Bare) it looked like this. Not too promising.

After reskeining it looked better. In fact, I liked it.

Pink showed up and even turquoise but it still says holiday to me. The verdict is still out, however whether this will be baby items. I think swatching will decide its fate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Daddio Update

Daddio's quilting was put on hiatus for a while due to Sandy. He was safely inland with a friend while I was off whimpering in a corner. As you can see, this past week, things have gotten pretty much back to normal at Chez Daddio.

We finished up his Disappearing Nine Patch in the Smooth Sailing collection by Connecting Threads. We have learned to use the walking foot to make wavy lines, a trick I learned from Cabbage Quilts.  The difference is that she uses the darning foot to make the lines in a free motion style but since I am so terrible at it, we just use the walking foot and wiggle it a little as we go.

We did the same thing on these little table runners. This simple technique is just Daddio's speed and he really enjoys helping me pull the fabric through the machine.

Last but not least, he has been a busy little elf making hexies to stick onto a wreath. This Christmas, everyone will know a quilter lives at his house!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall Has Fallen

The view up my driveway is unmistakably autumnal this morning.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, fall has finally arrived.

As if there isn't enough leaves in the yard...

I feel compelled to put fake ones elsewhere.

 The Halloween jack o'lantern is disguised as a plan old pumpkin in the front garden. It's hard to believe the squirrels have not found it yet.

Most of the clay pots have been emptied....

..but a few brave herbs are hanging on for dear life.

The outside kitty huts have been stuffed, covered and plugged in.

They even have a heated feeding station this year. I've given up trying to get them in the house. They wailed like banshees the whole time we had them in for the Hurricane That Wasn't.

Just look at that sweet kitty. You would think they would love to curl up in front of the fire or on a warm bed but noooo......

 The surest sign that the weather has taken a turn is that my new crock pot has finally come out of the box and is in regular use. Who needs Yankee Candles when you have a pot of soup cooking?