on the needles

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Odds and Ends

First some updates and other random things:

1. Icing or freezing the silly putty does help it come off the blanket. It kind of peels off. I think I will be able to get 99% of it off of my daughters knitted blanket. However, we also discovered silly putty smeared all over one of her handmade authentic Amish quilts too. I'm not so optimistic about being able to get that clean. :(

2. There will be no more silly putty in this house.

3. My mom continues to do well. Her genetic testing came back clear so that means my risk of breast cancer is not increased. We also think she may be able to get away without doing any chemo! That would be great!! We will know better about that in probably three weeks - waiting on yet more tests of course. But so far her prognosis is good enough that she has decided to go ahead with her plan of getting a dog. :) She is considering a Leonberger.

4. My dear daughter just read me "My Friend is Sad" by Mo Willems. She is actually not really reading but repeating the book from memory. It's her favorite book and hearing her "read" it was the cutest thing ever. She also has a stuffy nose which just adds to the cute factor.

5. Some pictures of my nephew enjoying his Vestee that I knit for him.

My SIL says that every time they go out someone will ask her where they can get a sweater like that. She says - you can't. :) Here is my Ravelry page for the sweater.

6. Carrie asked about the bio of Edith Wharton I am reading. Well - all I can say is TEDIOUS. It's one of those bios where the author obviously did a TON of research so they are going to make damn sure that they put it ALL in the book. If Edith Wharton subscribes to a magazine then you will also get a list of every other famous name that also subscribed to that magazine. If Edith Wharton takes a road trip then you will get a list of all the towns she drove through on the way to her destination. There are detailed descriptions of every garden Edith Wharton ever visited complete with the names of every plant grown there. Really, I don't know why I persist in finishing the thing - sheer stubbornness I think. I greatly prefer biographies where I feel like I get to know the person I'm reading about, get to understand more about who they are, not just what they did. This bio falls into the "what they did" category. :(

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Monday, February 25, 2008

One of the Nicer Things

You may remember that last year I mailed a lady named Jo-Anne a big old box of yarn odds and ends. Around Thanksgiving Jo-Anne sent me this picture of the bears she makes from all of the donated yarn. These bears went to children in Hati.

Getting this picture was one of the nicest things that has happened lately. I think it must be my good yarn karma coming back to me just when I needed a little mood booster. And all I had to do was mail some leftover yarn - Jo-Anne does all the hard work!

If you have some odds and ends kicking around that you's like to donate, you can contact Jo-Anne by clicking on her name.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...

During the great Kitchen Remodel of the Summer (and unfortunately also Fall and Winter)of 2008 I knit quite alot. To keep my sanity. :)

Here's one of the FO's - a baby blanket for my nephew. This is the only picture I got of it all finished up, when we gave it to him on Christmas.

I used Jojoland Rythym in two different shades. I think I cast on about 272 stitches and just started mitering. A full pack of yarn made two squares with enough bits left over of each to make the edging. My favorite square is the one on the bottom right corner. I just like the way the colors aligned for that one. You can read more about the blanket on my Ravelry project page.

I made a second blanket the same but in different colors for my daughter.

She promptly ground some silly putty** into it so I don't have a pretty, all finished up picture of that one. Sigh.

Anyone know how to remove silly putty from knits? I was thinking about putting it in the freezer and then sort of breaking the frozen silly putty off. I have memories of my mom doing the same thing for a cherished pair of overalls of mine when I was a kid. I had silly putty all ground into the butt. You see, I had taken the silly putty to the dinner table with me. Knowing of course that I wasn't supposed to have toys at the dinner table, I cleverly hid the silly putty by sitting on it. Unfortunately I failed to think my plan through. Warm kid butt + silly putty = disaster. All I knew was that silly putty was the awesomest thing ever and I was not going to be parted from it for one second lest it fall into the hands of my evil sibling. I'm pretty sure my daughter had the same sort of idea when she took the silly putty to bed with her.

**And for the record, I TOLD Hubby that silly putty was a BAD idea.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me :)

I thought you guys might like to see my simply wonderful Hubby's latest creation.

I recently found myself crusing fountain pen sites and wishing I had mucho dinero to spend on a fancy pen when suddenly it occured to me (duh!) that my Hubbs could make me a pen just as nice. And luckily for me my birthday was coming up so he couldn't resist when I demanded a new pen. :)

Here it is (balanced on the book I am currently reading...):

Hubby's pens write much better than most of the fountain pen brands out there. And since it is made to order, I get to pick the materials. :) This one is acrylic with platinum hardware and a medium nib. I decided to use the converter so I can fill it with liquid ink rather than using cartridges. I think liquid works slightly better than cartridges - better and smoother flow. You can read more about the pen at Hubby's blog Beads and Coves.

It's nice for both of us to get back to blogging and crafting after our long spell of stress which got in the way. I hope it is a sign of things calming down in general.

I'd like to thank everyone for their supportive comments about my Mom and also for just generally welcoming me back to the virtual world. It truly means more to me than I can express.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Yeah - I'm Back :)

I realize I haven't posted in a few months (although I have been reading all of your blogs!). One of the reasons for the long silence is the construction on our kitchen that started in JUNE and only finished two weeks ago. This was a job that was supposed to take 6 - 8 weeks. I never would have thought that a kitchen remodel could be such a horrid soul sucking time sink - but ours certainly was...

Well, at least the kitchen is finally 99.9% done (we only have to paint the celing and re-hang a few pictures). Here's what held us up for six months:

Yep, a measly pair of sliding doors. You would think that sliding doors had been done before the year 2008. In fact, you would think that sliding doors are pretty commonplace. Well, if you were our construction company than I guess you would be wrong. Apparently fabricating and installing sliding doors is something akin to inventing the wheel.

I won't bore you with all the details of what went wrong etc...- I'll just say I am mighty glad to have our groceries off the floor and out of our entryway. After the doors were finally in place, Hubby and I installed the shelves.

So here is the finally finished product:

We have a matching closet in our family room that will contain the kids games, puzzles and the like.

The silver lining to this six months of serious hassle and expense is that we have a really kick ass kitchen.

The other big reason I haven't posted is that my Mother has breast cancer. This is her second bout with it but we thought it was over for good since the first time was 15 years ago. I don't plan on posting much about my Mom and her situation. It feels too much like an invasion of her privacy to make all of her trials public by posting alot of detail about them. I'll just say that she is doing really well so far. She has had her surgery and will start the chemo in a few weeks. So this is a long process that our whole family will be going through. If anyone reading this takes a second to send out a positive thought for my Mom I'd really appreciate it!

And since I like to try to end on a good note...here's another photo of my beautiful Clementine. I am so grateful for her snuggles and companionship these days! There's a reason why English Toy Spaniels were historically called "comfort dogs".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Clementine hopes everyone has a comfy Valentine's Day.