Friday, December 29, 2006

48 things meme

1. FIRST NAME? Evelyn

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Unfortunately, I was.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? A couple of weeks ago, watching the Return of the King.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It's all right, not quite what I want, but I'm not a teenager anymore so I don't really have time to sit in my room and fiddle around with it.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Sometimes I'm a real pain in the ass, but I think I would be my friend.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This is as close as it gets. I want to start a knitting journal though this year.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I were drunk, single and I didn't have a child, then yes, I think I might.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? My current favorite cold cereal is Autumn Wheat. My all time favorite hot cereal is Cream of Wheat.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Only if I have to, or I really care about the shoes.


13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby is just too good. I also really like vanilla Dove bars that are covered with chocolate and almonds.

14. SHOE SIZE? 9-9.5

15. RED OR PINK? Both.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I think it is my inability to do something if I don't want to do it.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I don't know.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Anyone who wants to is welcome to this meme.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Cropped blue jeans, black knit shirt and no shoes. I also have on my gigantic fluffy bathrobe from my mother-in-law, it is sooooo comfy.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Pagliacci pizza, cheese, black olives, mushrooms and tomatoes after bake with a San Pellegrino Aranciata.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Hubby and daughter re-enacting Madeline having her appendix out on Fiona's new Playmobile people.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I think a kind of purply red. At least that is the crayon I always go for when I am asked to color.

23. FAVORITE SMELL? There are so many. The smell of a beeswax candle, lit or not, is right up there.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? The Pagliacci pizza order taker.

25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it. I like different people for different reasons, so it is hard to pick any one thing.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? This was the first time I visited her blog.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? With alcohol, Chateauneuf du Pape. Without alcohol, probably water.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? I love watching women's curling, some day I will have to give it a go.

29. EYE COLOR? Bluey-Greeny.

30. HAT SIZE? I don't remember, but it is on the big side if I remember correctly.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I used to wear them.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? I'm pathetic, I love ice cream what can I say. If I had to choose just one food though to eat for the rest of my life, I would choose salad. I can eat salad everyday.

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I prefer happy endings to scary movies.

34. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD THAT BE? Same city, different neighborhood.


36. HUGS OR KISSES? Are we talking Hersey's or public displays of affection? Hersey's kisses and hugs for friends.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Ice cream.



40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Overheard in New York, Few Eggs and No Oranges and Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter. There are many more in queue, including Libraries.

41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don’t have one.


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Clicking of knitting needles, whir of a spinning wheel, sound of my daughter's breathing when she is asleep, my daughter singing, cats purring




47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? In a hospital


Friday, December 22, 2006

It's funny...

looking back over some of the posts I have written. There are so many ideas and things that interest me and most I don't end up pursuing. It is kind of sad.

Lots of people have been blogging about Christmases that are memorable and about letting go and not trying to make everything perfect, and not getting grumpy when it isn't perfect.

The Christmas that I remember most clearly from my youth was the year (one of the several) that we were very poor. My mom bought me a one gallon size jar of pickles with food stamps. I absolutely love pickles, so it was a great gift. That was also the year that the power went out. I don't know if it was because an electric bill hadn't been paid or if there was some storm or something. It was beautiful with all the candles lit and the tree with it's decorations glinting in the candle light. I think I was 10 that year.

The next year we went to get our Christmas decorations out of storage and someone had stolen them. I had had the same stocking from when I was born. It was red velvet with a white fluffy top and someone had used glue and glitter to make a big, cursive 'E' on the red part of the stocking. Every year I think of that stocking. It was perfect.

I love hosting Christmas. Having people over and providing for them and seeing them happy makes me happy. It makes me feel domestic and capable. (I spent the first part of my life trying to get away from everything feminine, believing that feminine equaled weak. Now I work to reclaim the fact that I am a woman, but I think I still have skewed ideas of what that means.)

Yesterday was the winter solstice here. I wanted to celebrate, but no one around me seemed interested. I feel the connection to the circle of life and the light going and coming back. I feel rooted in the earth when I think of the solstice. I read about someone having a bonfire. I think I shall try to muster the energy to do that next year. The bright light in the dark. The spark of life. Family and fun around a fire, showing that we keep going even in the dark.

I was going to post a horrible camera phone snap of the sock, but it just isn't going to work out.

A coworker is having me over sometime next week to try out her spinning wheel. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Hopefully it won't be too much fun, otherwise I will just be pining for my own wheel. I haven't had much practice with a spindle. I need to give it another go, and of course by that I mean just practice, practice, practice.

Knitting-wise, I am really looking forward to the beginning of the new year. There are so many things that I want to do. There are several lace projects and at least one pair of socks and a sweater in queue.

I'm not a big new years resolutions kind of person, but I'm thinking of some crafting and hobby related ones. Maybe if I set some goals, I can try some of the things that haven't come to fruition this year. More needlefelting, sewing and knitting. More reading.

Thank you for coming and reading my blog and especially for commenting on it. I just set up Google analytics. It has a map with litle dots (like pins) that show the city of origin of people who visit my blog. My favorite day so far was the one when there were pins in Sweden, Finland, New Zealand, France, the UK and a scattering in the US. I love love love how international this is! I have had visitors from 4 continents so far. I doubt that I will ever be visited by someone in Antartica, but I hope to be visited by someone in Asia and Africa some day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh dear

It has been a week since I last posted. I've been posting less frequently because I know it is much more interesting when there are pictures. But, I suppose some text without pictures is more interesting than nothing new at all.

We lost power during the big storm here last Thursday. It was gone for about 17 hours. I have a friend who is still without power. She and her family are staying at different peoples houses over night. What fun.

I started the socks for Fiona last week. The colors are perfect. I just turned the heel of my very first sock. It is magic. A coworker showed me a lovely way to pick up the stitches on the side of the heel flap. I feel like a real knitter!

Last week I made a point of taking my knitting with me everywhere even when I didn't think I would have time. I pulled into a Starbucks drive through that was quite backed up. I pulled out my knitting (and turned off the car). I felt like a real knitter!

I went to pick up some take out food. It wasn't quite ready yet, I pulled out my knitting and instantly dropped a stitch. I fumbled in my little bag for the crochet hook I have for just such emergencies. My little bag then spilled all around my feet. I recovered the stitch, although in the process of recovering that one I lost two more. All stitches were recovered. My little bag repacked. I knit three or four stitches and the food was ready. I felt like a crappy knitter.

I always hope that when I knit in public it will inspire someone else to pick up what they have set aside, or get someone intrigued enough to learn how to knit. It isn't that I think I am an inspirational knitter. I'm not. I think I may have finished six or seven things in my lifetime. The reason I hope to inspire people is that I think knitting is so engulfing, so amazing, that if everyone would do it, they would see how incredible it is and then there would be world peace, or something.

Christmas is looming. I hope to have all of the handmade gifts done. The socks may end up as a post Christmas gift. A scarf for someone was finished. I have 1/4 of a face cloth to finish. A special knitted item, that cannot be described because the recipient may read this blog and would know, has yet to be cast on, but it is doable. I have the fabric for a doll's quilt and some kanzashi barettes a la Spangle and my little mochi. It will all work, somehow.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Alex and his hat

I finished the hat for Alex in early November, I think, but didn't get it to him until late November. Now, in the middle of December I am finally posting pictures. Hurray!

This was the hat I knit three times. It was knit from Colinette Graffiti in Blue Parrot. I don't remember what the needle gauge was.

Today I started knitting my first pair of socks for Miss Fi. I was lucky enough to get the Fig and Plum colorway from Yarntini in 100% superwash merino.

It is absolutely lovely. It is so springy and pinchable. The colors are perfect. And she sent me a yummy little pot of Chocotini lip balm as a gift. Thank you Jessie!

Last but not least, I took this picture a few weeks ago.

It was such a beautiful morning and I wanted to share it with everyone. If you squint your eyes and tilt your head just so, you may be able to make out the partially snow covered mountains on the horizon. I wish you could actually see them.

Off I go to work on those socks!

p.s. I received an email back from the chocolatier Michel Cluizel. Here is the full text.

After asking the Cluizel family, the assured that prior to working with a plantation, they request a written engagement that their plantation is not using "children, who are subject to slave labor conditions".
We try to get all the necessary guarantees that human rights are respected.
Thank you for your concern.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sick and tired...

on a couple of levels. I have had a wretched cough for almost five weeks now. I am on three medications. I am so run down.

The Iraq war is horrifying. So much death and destruction. I never wanted the US to go there, and yet I feel like we can't leave until we somehow fix all of the horrible things we have done, but it seems we make it worse by staying.

I have also been greatly saddened by the loss of James Kim. I followed the story, and thought of writing in the guestbook on the website, but I could think of nothing comforting to say.

At the same time as I was biting my nails over the Kim family, I read of the loss of a 12 year old girl on Amy's website.

I never wanted to have children until my brother had his son almost 8 years ago. It opened a door for me that had been very securely shut. I have a three year old daughter and my husband and I are trying to having a second. I fear losing my child(ren). War, mistakes, accidents, life. I can't tell you how many times I've been baking with my daughter or reading a book to her or grocery shopping with her and I have thought how what I am doing would be impossible for a mother in Iraq or Darfur. There are days when I feel like I've had a crappy day, and I just need a gingerbread latte to make me feel better, what a load of crap. And yet my feelings and my life experience are valid. How can someone find balance in all of this?

I love chocolate. Michel Cluizel 72% Noir is a dream come true. There are times when I feel like I need it, almost like medicine, probably more like an addiction. There are children who are working in slave labor to produce chocolate. I just sent an email to Michel Cluizel to ask about their sourcing of chocolate.

I am a vegetarian. I feel guilty about the eggs and cheese that we eat. I don't really feel too guilty about the honey, though. I don't think I have the energy to do what needs to be done though to change.

There are ways in which we conserve. We recycle. We compost. Then there are ways in which we are profligate. Going out for coffee everyday. Buying too much crap.

Maybe I shall institute stream of consciousness Friday.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The mittens are done!

I posted the story, and a couple of pictures, of the mittens on Knit the Classics. Here is the link.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow day!

Happy to be in the snow!

Dada wants to make a snowman, I want to stomp on the snowman!

The results of a lot of hard work with very powdery snow.

I'm still here

Things have been busy with the Thanksgiving holiday. We went out of town. We arrived back in town just in time to be snowed in for two days. You would think that would be prime knitting and blogging weather, but not so much. It was fun to get out and fun to hibernate.

I have lots of pictures to share and will post soon.

It's almost December!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mittens, mittens, mittens!

I came across this website where they are looking for 300 pairs of mittens for children in New York.

If you can, please knit, crochet or buy a pair of mittens and donate them.

(My skills at html are very limited. The link above will take you to the site, or the button down on the lower left, but I don't know how to make the image in this post link back to the original website.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

WIPs and stuff

First, comes Storm. I started a gauge swatch eons ago and stopped. Colinette Parisienne isn't the easiest thing to knit with. I bought it with the intent of making a fern lace scarf just like they had at the shop. The more I think about it though, that is not what I want to do with this yarn. I want to make a stole, and I have no idea what the pattern should be. Yes, I already said it was difficult to knit with and I don't have enough to make a stole. So, should I buy two or three more skeins? Should I find a pattern first? I've noticed that when people knit with this or Kidsilk Haze they don't really do too many different stitches. Should I put it in my stash and let it sit for a while? Should I just make the fern lace scarf and call it good? I was even thinking of making one of these (okay, I can't find the link now, but basically it is a cabled neck warmer with some buttons) with it just to do something. I just don't know.

A friend gave me the book, Knitting for Peace, for my birthday. I had been talking to her about all of the amazing charity knitting I was reading about online. I have also wanted to knit a pair of mittens for Fiona. This book has a nice, simple pattern in it. Fiona picked out the yarn color. I would have expected her to pick a bright color, but she always came back to the natural colors. I also picked up the packet pictured below of Brittany US3 dpn. I've become more fond of metal needles lately, but I thought I would give these a try. They seem much smoother than bamboo. I really like them. The yarn I'm using is Lamb's Pride. I should have plenty left over to make a pair of mittens to donate.
This is also my first time ever knitting in the round. I had no idea that it would be so floppy at first with needles going every which way. I almost poked myself in the eye twice! Here is Fiona modeling her first partially complete homemade mitten.
From a different angle...

You can't tell that I am rather proud can you? I just never thought I would be able to do something so cool and useful! I did change the pattern a bit from the book. The pattern says to use US7 needles with worsted weight to get a tension of 4.25 stitches to the inch. I knit up a gauge swatch and it was way too loose for what I thought a mitten should be. I measured Fiona's hand and realized that her hand was smaller than the instructions for the smallest mitten. I kept trying needles until I got the gauge I wanted, 5 stitches/inch and then, decided to follow the pattern. I did stop the ribbing early because it didn't seem quite right, but now looking at the photograph it looks a little odd, but it seems to fit just right.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Posting under the influence

Here is the fourth try at the knitted lace ball that I am making for the ornament swap over at Knit the Classics. I found the pattern here. I was going to do the fancy ball with the mexican lace insert, but like I said this is my fourth try and I have to rip it out. I will try the basic version. Reading lace and short rows in the yarn is hard for me at this point. I don't have enough experience yet to tell where I have made a mistake.

Here are the two finished face cloths. The bottom one is missing the yarn over holes on the decrease. I was going to rip it out, but I decided that I don't mind that it is quirky. The recipient probably won't care either. The green is bound to be two more face clothes for another person. I will wrap them up with a few other yummy bathroom goodies.

The reason I title the post "Posting under the influence" is that I have had a nasty cough for a week and a half. I went to the doctor a few days ago and was given a medication (guaifenesin, an expectorant) that I have had in the past. Yesterday I started itching. Today I broke out in tiny hives all over my arms and legs. So now I am on two different medications that make me sleepy. The doctor said I should stay home for a day or two so I can get well. I can't even tell you how many days of work I have missed lately because I've been sick, or Fiona has been sick. I am a little afraid that this might push my boss over the brink and I might lose my job. Sigh.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The bulbs are in the ground!

I didn't have to garden at midnight, but it was getting pretty dark by the time I was done, and it rained the entire time. I was really afraid I wouldn't plant them and that I would have wasted $50 on bulbs, not to mention all of the guilt and frustration I would have felt. In the October issue of Living, Martha showed how to use hardware cloth to protect your bulbs from squirrels. I didn't go quite as far as she suggested, making a box of the stuff, but I put a large sheet of it over the bulbs, then covered the whole thing up with earth. I think it will work. It was supposed to rain 2-3 inches today, so there haven't been any squirrels scavenging yet, but I expect them to come. I planted tulips, narcissus, oxalis, grape hyacinth and lots of crocuses. Unfortunately I did not keep the packages with the names, nor did I mark where I planted what. I don't care, though. I will have a lovely corner in my garden next spring.

Here, at last, is a picture of the September Month of Softies doll. She was done a while ago, but I never had time to get a good picture. This is actually a picture my husband took.

I think somebody likes her new doll. : )

And last but not least, the Halloween costume. From the front...

And from the back...

I am rather proud of how the hair turned out. I bought some sage variegated roving. I was going to try to do a thick/thin sort of a thing on my drop spindle, but it just wasn't looking quite right. I was sitting in my car waiting to go into an appointment, and I thought, what about felting it? So, there in the car I pulled off a piece, licked my finger and started rubbing the roving between my fingers and then on my jeans. Instead of spit curls, she got spit dreads.

Sadly, I am going to have to rip out half of the washcloth I just finished. I had quickly jotted down the pattern one day, missing a YO and a k2tog. I kept wondering why it didn't look quite right. Next time I will stop and check the original pattern.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Am I evil...

yes, I am." (Metallica)

On Wednesday, when I took the day off it wasn't completely a whim. It was my birthday. I went to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast, then my favorite yarn store, then a bookstore that I had received a birthday gift card for, then a coffee shop (I live in Seattle, could you tell?), then a fabric store. It was wonderful; however, I received a call at 2pm that Fiona had a fever of 102.1. I had to go pick her up from daycare. I can't tell you how angry, frustrated and selfish I felt at that point. I just wanted to cry. When you are a parent you are never off duty.

Fiona and I have been home for the last two days. She had a fever off and on yesterday, but not today. Her daycare stipulates that a child must stay home at least 24 hours after its fever has broken, with good cause. I was a bad mother and took her shopping at IKEA on Thursday. I didn't let her play in the kids area, but she loves trying out all of the chairs and the beds in the grown-up area. Today we spent the day alternately playing and organizing my massive pile of crafting supplies that were to be found in bags of various sizes all over the house.

We had to go to the daycare center this evening to drop off payment for the month of November, so it wouldn't be late. I had been feeling tired and grumpy all day (I get that way when I am trying to get something done and am constantly interrupted.) On the way home, I decided that I wanted a coffee. I only drink decaf. I ordered a decaf gingerbread latte, as a special treat. They made it larger than I requested, but that was ok with me. I was drinking it, it was yummy and I started to notice that I was feeling "better." Hmmm. Yep, they made it with regular espresso instead of decaf. I think I will be up for a knitting marathon tonight.


As I mentioned I finished Alex's hat. I haven't given it to him yet. I can't wait and will post a picture. I started to knit a swatch of the Colinette Parisienne. It is pretty tricky. While at the yarn store on Wednesday I picked up a couple of skeins of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille. I am going to knit some washcloths for some lucky folks this Christmas. As I was sorting my craft stuff I came across a scarf that I had started for my sister-in-law last year, but lost interest in, no time like the present. I am doing random rows with super chunky yarn. I like how it is coming out. I also fiddled with the poncho that I knitted for Fiona this last spring. It only has some crocheted (sp?) edges that need to be done.

I bought the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. I like all of the little projects that I can do. I plan on making the patchwork backing for the glass clip photo frames (bought some while I was at IKEA), putting in Fiona's school pictures then giving them to relatives. Her pattern and fabrics for the oven mitts look like so much fun. I only own one potholder, and it was made by a young cousin about five or six years ago.

I found two used Martha Stewart books at the book store, one on gardening and the other for Christmas. I'm kind of excited about some of the crafty things to do for the holidays ahead.

Ok, it's the caffeine folks. I feel like I could go on and on.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On a whim

I asked for tomorrow off. My boss said yes. A whole day, eight glorious hours to myself. I want to knit, read a book, have coffee with a friend, garden, clean house, go shopping, sew, go out for breakfast, and get a pedicure, and get a massage, and...ok, take a deep breath. I am going to knit, and garden, as for the rest, well, it is only eight hours.

Lack of Pictures

I wish that I could post more pictures. I just don't carry around a camera,
and as my husband says, I let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Here is a picture of Fiona with the jack o'lantern that she sort of drew the
face for.

I just spent the last 35 minutes winding one hank of the Colinette
Parisienne into a ball. I kept going back and forth between asking "What
have I gotten myself in to?" and "I can do this!" (referring to knitting a
lace pattern). I'm going to make a scarf in a fern lace pattern. Here is another lovely camera phone snap.

This is a lovely post by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. yarn harlot, including pictures of her incredibly beautiful wedding shawl.

I forgot to mention, Alex's hat is done! I washed and blocked it, so it will take another day to dry, but it is done!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006 when does my weekend start?

We made it to the Halloween party and the birthday party. The dog has dog food. The laundry is done. There are still dirty dishes, but fewer of them. The house is still messy. I organized Fiona's drawers and pulled her summer clothes. I opened all the mail, sorted the bills, recycled 20 pounds of junk mail and envelopes, but I haven't actually paid the bills.

I haven't had a chance to knit or sew all weekend. But I did put together a crafting activity for the kids at the Halloween party. It went really well. I printed out masks in the shape of a bat, cut them out, and provided glitter glue, sequins, buttons, scraps of fabric, yarn and some roving in various colors. The kids really seemed to enjoy it.

I have a declaration to make. I will plant the bulbs I bought next weekend. It will be my number one priority. Period.

Tomorrow at lunch there is a knitting circle. I can't wait.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Third time is the charm

So I tried the hat on Alex last night. It was too small. I think I must have been smoking crack when I came up with the number of stitches the first time and then the second time I added on based on the first number of stitches. This time I have totally redone the math. I am casting on 53 stitches instead of the 35 (!) the first time and the 42 the second time. Yes, I'm sure you all know now that I haven't a clue as to what I am doing.

I told my hubby last night that if it didn't fit this time I was going to stuff it, sew up the end and call it a softie. : )

I'm a little overwhelmed today. The house is a disaster. Almost every dish in the house is dirty. There are at least four loads of laundry to do. Various preparations for a Halloween party tonight and a birthday party tomorrow. The dog is out of food and has been living on dog biscuits for the last day and a half. Did I mention the bills? Argh.

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Friday WIP update

I am to the point in Alex's hat where I should start the decreases. The last time I knitted I was talking to someone about something and ended up purling a row, where I should have knit it. I took that apart last night, put it back on the needles, but I wasn't sure which way the stitches should go on the needle. I knit half way across and thought, geez this is so tight, I looked and could see that the stitches were all twisted and then I noticed that I had dropped the second to last (or first depending on how you look at it) stitch, so I had to undo what I had done, take it all off, turn the stitches around and pick up the dropped stitch. Whew. Now I am worried that it is still too small. The yarn I am working with is beautiful, but it is a bit stiff. I think I want to try it on him before I start the decreases and the finishing, just in case. Third times the charm, so they say.

I so want to start on my scarf. I just can't wait to sit down in the quiet of the evening and wind the hank into a ball by hand, just getting to caress the wool, a promise of the scarf to come.

I also have something that I am working on as a present for someone, so I can't say much about it, but I am excited about it. It is small, but it is also a first attempt at a new craft. I am doing something to a one of a kind thing, so I think I will do some practice pieces first.

I had an idea for placemats the other day. I saw this tutorial on leaf printing fabric. I was thinking of taking 16" x 20" pieces of felt in a pumpkin color, doing leaf prints in bright yellow, red and green or brown and then running some rick rack about an inch in from the edge on all four sides.

I really like this hat. I love how it comes together at the back. Maybe someday.

When I told Fiona that I was going to knit her a pair of socks she was very excited. She told me I should also knit her a pair of mittens, a scarf and a hat (she doesn't really like the Silly Cute hat, I don't know why). She also saw a little wool bear I had made for someone else and she wants me to make one for her.

My bulbs aren't in the ground yet. Soon. Maybe this weekend if I am lucky.

End of week meme from Pea Soup

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 - in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?

At these advances Winterbourne goes back in his shell, telling her that he has engagements which will force him to go back to Geneva the very next day. Daisy is greatly piqued by this information. She thinks him horrid - and not without reason, for his conduct and demeanour have led her to believe that he is interested in her. There can be no other reason for his sudden departure than the presence of another woman in Geneva! Daisy has, of course, unwittingly hit the mark and Winterbourne is bewildered by her perspicacity and also by her 'extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity'. Finally, she tells him that she will stop 'teasing' him if he will promise to come to Rome in the winter. Winterbourne, whose plans already include visiting his aunt in Rome at that time, has no difficulty in agreeing.

Ok, that was actually paragraph three because there wasn't a fourth. It is from Daisy Miller by Henry James. It is an extremely overdue library book.

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching?

My office whiteboard.

3. What's the last program you watched on TV?

I can't remember. We don't get any channels on our TV, we just watch DVDs. The last downloaded TV program I watched on our computer was the Daily Show, or maybe South Park.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.

9:25. It is 9:27. That is crazy!

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?

The HVAC and This American Life from WBEZ and Public Radio International

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?

I was walking from my favorite bakery, the Essential Baking Company, to my car with an order of Mille Grane toast with raspberry jam and butter and a double grande decaf latte. It is a beautiful morning, cloudy, but with a warmish wind.

7. What are you wearing?

A three quarter sleeve v-neck sweater that is celery, olive and light blue, dark jeans, light blue socks with a boxy geometric design that includes sparkly blue thread and last but not least my black Birki clogs (they aren't sexy, but they are comfy and keep my feet warm and dry).

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?

I had a dream about finding this sweater/shirt at a store and really liking it. I knew it was my size, but it was so incredibly tight. I thought, well, it must be the fashion. Then I was talking to a sales person and they said it was only made in small and medium. (I am no where near a small or medium). Oh, I thought, and checked the tag and sure enough it was a medium. I was rather sad.

9. When was the last time you laughed?

This morning. When I went in to say good morning to my daughter she crawled up into my lap and then she pushed back on me, so I laid down on her bed and then did a sit up with her on me, then she pushed me back again. We both thought it was pretty silly.

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?

White board, metal shelves and cupboards, hideous putty colored paint that sucks the very life out of the room.

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?

Four or five days ago at about 830pm (well after dark), I saw a boy who looked to be about 12-14 years old standing next to a six lane road. He threw something small into the street, waited for cars to pass, then ran out and picked whatever it was up. He just stood in the little strip pavement that is not a lane, but is part of the street. He wasn't even standing on the sidewalk. He was wearing dark clothes. We were outside a restaurant, so I thought maybe he was waiting for someone to come out or pick him up. I waited for about 15 minutes. I was just so afraid he was going to get hurt. I called the police to go check on him, to see if they could help him or give him a ride home. I hope that I wasn't being a busy body.

12. What do you think about this meme?

I must admit I've wanted to do one for a while. This is thought provoking.

13. What's the last film you saw?

On DVD, Click. In the theatre, Little Miss Sunshine.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?

Pay off the bills. Replace everything with environmentally friendly stuff. Setup college scholarships for the children of all of our friends. Buy a house for my brother and father. Go to school. Setup a scholarship for kids from the high school I graduated from (it is a school where no one is really expected to go to college). Travel extensively. And the list goes on.

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

This is tough. The one thing that keeps coming into my mind, and it isn't pretty, is that I have been molested, raped and fondled at different times in my life by five different people. I used to wonder if I had a sign on my forehead or something.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt - what would it be?

Every child would be loved as much as I love my daughter.

17. Do you like dancing?

I think so, yes.

18. George Bush?

I despise him. He disgusts me. That he is in office and people still believe in him and his policies makes me feel physically ill at times. My favorite anti-Bush bumper sticker reads "George W. Bush is a lying sack of shit." I think that is enough for now.

19. What do you want your children's names to be, girl/boy?

The other names we were considering for Fiona were, Athena, Genevieve, Catherine, Sophia, Ian, Liam, Ethan, and Aidan. There were others, but those are the only ones I remember.

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Yes. I would love to live abroad. I spent 3 months in Japan, does that count?

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?

I'm not really expecting there to be God or heaven, so if there was, I guess I would hope that he would say good on you for being true to yourself.

22. Who should do this meme?

Anyone who wishes to.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I haven't posted for a long time because I wasn't sure if I should and then I wasn't sure if I wanted to share.

Last Tuesday a dear friend went in for a prenatal visit and found out that her baby had died. She was 29 weeks along. She gave birth to Addison Cooper on Thursday. He weighed 1 pound 11 ounces and was 14 inches long. He had long, perfect feet just like his daddy. His hands made me think that he might have played piano one day. One of the first things I saw was his right ear. It was just so perfect. His funeral is tomorrow.

Miscarriage and stillbirth aren't talked about enough in our society. It needs to be out there, not to scare prospective mothers, but to make it easier for people who suffer through this awful thing to get support and understanding. I was lucky enough to have been present for my friend during her labor, along with her husband, another friend and the midwife. Every woman needs a doula, especially a mother laboring to deliver a child who is stillborn. She needs the support and love of her family and friends. Just being there to listen, being present, being yourself is so important.

Here are a couple of webites that were helpful
and the MISS Foundation.

Sands had a section on clothes that were made for babies who die. That part really got to me. I felt that I had to make something special for Addison. I knit a hat (actually two, so the family could keep one) for Addison. My friend wanted to keep the blanket he was wrapped in at the hospital, to make a little shadow box memorial for him. They were so great at the hospital. They did ink footprints and then did a little plaster cast of one of his hands and one of his feet. They also took pictures. She and I were talking about what to put him in, in the casket. She wanted to put him in something warm but wasn't sure what. I was able to needlefelt a papoose kind of blanket for him from natural Corriedale wool roving and secure it with some left over yarn from the skein for making the hat. I feel a little weird talking about the "crafty" things that I did for him, but it was so important to me. It was my way of saying "you were loved."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An adventure

The sewing machine repairman was able to do his job. My but he was an odd duck. He told me after he got there that I should just go about my business, but he ended up calling me to the machine or engaging me in conversation about every 90 seconds.

Last night I decided to jump in and work on Fiona's costume. It was wonderful. It only took about two hours total to figure out the measurements, cut the fabric, gather the crinoline-like material, and put it all together. I bet if I knew what I was doing it would have been even faster! : )

I definitely need to take some sewing lessons. I found a class here that I think will work for me.

I finished Alex's hat, hurray! It was too small, boo! But I've already started it again and I'm about 2/3rds done, hurray!

These little booties are so cute. I first saw them on Sooz's blog. I'm really tempted to try making them. I also found a tutorial for a patchwork and chenille quilt for a doll, a good Christmas gift for Miss Fi. And this wrap, how cute (and easy) is this?

Oh, and the pièce de résistance, I discovered Colinette Parisienne at Weaving Works. They had it knit up in a fern lace scarf. It was so beautiful. So, now I am going to knit something for myself for the first time ever.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm finished, almost...

On Saturday night I finished the September month of softies doll. Hurray! I still had to finish her apron. What is a baker's daughter without an apron. I also let my daughter play with the doll. She was much loved, to the point that I don't know how long the doll will hold up. She has been named Rebecca. I hope to get her picture posted in the next couple of days.

I went to the Washington Arboretum on Saturday and bought bulbs galore.
They were half off. I left with two medium bags full. I can't wait for
spring to come!

Fiona and I hit a pumpkin patch on Sunday morning. It was just the right size. Not too big for a preschooler to get tired of walking around in and not too small that we might as well have gone to the store. They also had some hay bale mazes and a bean pole maze that Fiona thought were fun. One of the pumpkins is covered with lumps that look kind of like peanut shells, it definitely has the creepy Halloween vibe going. We bought an entire wheelbarrow full of assorted pumpkins. It may be a bit over the top, but I'm really in the mood for Halloween this year.

I was brave yesterday and learned how to thread my late grandmother's Pfaff 130. I was able to sew about six inches and then it conked out. I called a repairman. He will be coming to the house on Saturday. I have never used a sewing machine in my life, so this is going to be quite an adventure.

Friday, October 06, 2006

WIP Friday

Well, life has intervened again and my craftiness has ended up on the back burner. So the September Month of Softies doll has been sewn. I started to cut out the pieces but was interrupted by having to go to bed. What a pain. I have come up with several crafty ideas though in my "spare time". I think I will have to buy/make a book to put all of my ideas and plans in, so that I will stay organised and, most importantly, not forget anything. I haven't touched my knitting since Tiff Niff decided that it would look better spread around the room.

I am hoping to go to the Seattle Arboretum and pick up some bulbs to plant. I bought a few crocuses last year, but they never made it into the ground. This year I swear that I will plant some even if I have to stay up until midnight.

No, I stuck a bead from Audrey's necklace up my nose.

If you pick your child up from daycare and notice that she has the sniffles, and you say, "Oh, you have the sniffles?" And then she replies, "No, I stuck a bead from Audrey's necklace up my nose." I have something for you to try before you head off to your pediatrician or the ER. They taught me this at the ER last night. Hopefully you will be able to save $500 dollars and do this little trick at home. Have your curious little monkey lay down. With your finger, close the nostril without the bead (or whatever), ask monkey to open her mouth, seal your lips around her mouth as if you were giving CPR and then blow very hard. The little hot pink bead from Audrey's necklace will smack into your cheek along with some snot. The reason that the blowing hard works is that the vocal cords will snap shut and the air will be forced out the partially or completely blocked nostril. Of course, if there is bleeding or a bad smell or an uncooperative child or you just don't want snot on your face, go see the pediatrician.

I really thought my posts were all going to be about crafty stuff and not about medical stuff. I am considering going back to school though and pursuing a medical degree, so, maybe it isn't so outlandish that these things come up.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

After taking my shower this morning, I looked in the mirror and said WTF is that?! The top half of my left eye looks like it is awash in blood. Apparently a little blood vessel broke just under the surface of the white of the eye. It may change colors like a bruise and last as long as 10-14 days. It doesn't really hurt, it just aches a little. And it looks awful!

I finally got started on the Month of Softies doll face. It is coming along quite nicely. I didn't remember to take into account the stuffing though, so her features will be a bit off, but that is ok.

I'm pondering the next project from Month of Softies. It has to be black and white and orange, but other than that it can be any kind of softie. Hmmm.

A couple of weekends ago we went to Elliot Bay Bookstore. They were having readings of banned books and they had some tables of banned books in different parts of the store. I picked up a copy of Fahrenheit 451, something I've often thought of reading but never got around to doing so. If I hadn't read that it was written in the early 50's, I would never have thought it was an older book. Here is an interesting tidbit, a short run of the first edition was bound in asbestos. I think I will need to re-read it to really absorb it. I was reading in a candy-book/escapist sort of way.

I'm also reading Positive Discipline, Positive Discipline for Preschoolers and The Brothers Grimm Complete Fairy Tales.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Does she look like the devil incarnate?

No you say? Ah, but looks can be deceiving.

Yesterday, I arrived home in a rather frazzled state of mind. I carried a half dozen separate things in from the car at once. As I came into the house I set my purse here, my craft bag there, the mail over there, the grocery bag in the kitchen etc. The dog needed to be let out. I needed to throw in a load of laundry and, of course, check to see if any of my favorite blogs had been updated.

Approximately an hour passes from the time I first walked in. I go back upstairs and there on the floor is the ball of yarn for Alex's hat. The gauge swatch (thank God it was just the gauge swatch) had been separated from the needles. There were various lengths of yarn strewn about the living room. If that wasn't enough, the ball of yarn had a bunch of dog hair stuck to it. (I can't remember if I mentioned that I am kind of a slob). Where was this delightful creature from the picture above at this point you ask? She was rootling in my craft bag, that I had set down on the sofa by mistake, looking for her next bit of fun. All I could do was point at her and say "CAT! CAT!"

I have noticed that knitters tend to be dog people. I think I know why.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An idea...

I was thinking about the patchwork cotton chenille duvet cover. I was originally just planning on buying new chenille, but I think it would be even better to find a couple of twin or full size chenille bedspreads and cut those up to make what I want. I have to admit it makes me uncomfortable to think about destroying something to make something else. I would love to have a large center panel like this...
or this...

After looking around it looks like many people make chenille patchwork blankets for children.


I've been reticent to blog, as I feel like I have to do this very well, and that I can't just jot something down and accept it. So, I am here today to break that pattern. I think I will probably do lots of short informal posts interspersed with the occassional long post.

I saw several bumper stickers on a car yesterday as I was driving to work. The one that caught my eye said "Give war a chance" (one caveat, there were three small words in a separate bubble that I couldn't read). There were several other stickers including a Marine Corps emblem, a peace sign, and one that said "SECURE OUR BORDERS." I was just stunned. I still am.

As for WIP, the Month of Softies doll's legs and arms are finished. I ran to the fabric store last night after Fiona was in bed and bought some lovely violet embrodery floss for the doll's eyes. I have come to think of her as the baker's daughter. I know there is a story of a mean baker's daughter, but that is not who this doll is. If I have time, she will have an apron and some oven mits.

I began the gauge swatch for Alex's hat yesterday at lunch. The yarn knits up more beatifully than it appeared in the skein. That's always a nice surprise.

The poncho is still waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

I have a couple of ideas for future projects. I want to try knitting socks for Fiona. I have a couple of coworkers who are very excited to mold me into a dpn-less sock knitter. I think I would like to try both ways, but I'm getting ahead of myself. My other idea is a patchwork cotton chenille duvet cover. I love the look of cotton chenille. I would love to have a cotton chenille bedspread, but we never really make the bed (we are avowed slobs) and we have a king size bed. So I thought it would be fun to piece together squares of various colors and textures and then sew a king sheet on the back and stuff the comforter in. Any comments on this idea would be appreciated.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Silly Cute hat pictures

Here is the original Silly Cute hat worn by Ellison.

Fiona is modeling her Silly Cute hat.

Fiona found the fabric for the Month of Softies doll

Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by craftydabbler.

After dinner last night, we went to the fabric store. I just couldn't wait until the weekend to go. She was randomly pointing at things on the shelves as we were walking through the store then she suddenly grabbed this one and it almost fell off the shelf. We both agreed this would make a lovely softie. I'm even wondering if there is some way I could make some curtains for her bedroom from it.

You can't see it from this picture, but the arms are traced and one is half sewn.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A beginning...

Sometimes I say I knit. I've made a scarf. The entire thing was seed stitch with yarn that was about 5 stiches to the inch and the scarf was about 8" wide and about 5' long. A little big and tedious for a first knitting project. Then I finished a hat for a baby with tiny cotton yarn on size 3 US needles. I have a poncho for my daughter that I have been working on for about 8 months, and by working on, I mean leaving sit in a bag 98% of the time.

Two friends have recently given birth. For the first I bought some yarn to make a hat, but never got past the gauge swatch. The second friend gave birth just last week. I decided three days before the baby was coming to knit a hat. I went to the yarn store and picked out a fluffy yarn, 2-1/4 stitches to the inch, then went home and without a pattern knitted a hat. It is very Dr. Seuss/Elvish. When Fiona, my 3 year old daughter saw it, she asked me to knit one for her. And miracle of miracles, I finished it last night. I will post pics soon.

I have a tendency to start crafty things and then not finish, but blogs, like Soozs and Wol & Zo are really inspiring.

I am going to finish that poncho, right after I finish the baby hat for the first baby. I want him to have something he can wear when he goes off to college. : )

I also like needle felting. I made some adorable ladybugs with dots and numbers, on the bottom, for counting. I got the idea from this website. I started to make a rabbit for an Easter basket stuffer last year, but I didn't finish in time, so the bunny is languishing in my craft bag.

Little pumpkins and jack o' lanterns for Halloween will be my next felting project, I think.

A Month of Softies is calling my name though. I haven't sewn since I was 10, but I'm going to give it a go.

Oh, and did I mention collage? I've been really drawn to it in the last month. Here is a little daily inspiration.

Yesterday I found the A Year of Color group, so now I want to do more photography. I was lucky enough to be at the birth of my friends little girl and to be the official photographer.

Did I mention I have a full time job and a three year old?