Friday, September 28, 2007

Ready and waiting...

...for Sam's new baby girl, when she arrives. Finished the ripple baby blanket yesterday. I have no luck photographing blankets. I do much better with smaller items. Here's a close up of the pattern:
It really feels good to have this one finished. Soon I'll have to start another one. The next one will be in blues. We known my husband's niece/godchild is having a boy in January.

I'm taking a little break from blanket knitting and trying a new dishcloth pattern. I will post more about that soon.

In the meantime I've been taking the plastic big bag (hakucho's big bag)project with me everywhere I have to wait. I get such a kick out of the reactions I get when people realize what I am knitting. Everyone thinks it fabulous and they all say I should sell them...yeah right...ha ha that will be the day! I had a accident today though. My circular needle broke, right at the joint as I was pushing the stitches down the needle. Can't remember where I bought it...guess I'll have to get out the trusty gorilla glue out and try to repair it. Sure hope it works as I really don't want to buy another pair. In the past I have been very successful using gorilla glue to repair my circular knitting needles.

I do have a little news. I finally figured out a way to host PDF pages. Check out my new design page that has all the links to my free patterns in PDF format.

Now, last but not least I want to thank everyone who responded to my plea for advice on buying a laptop. You guys (sorry should have said gals), my wonderful knitting friends, always are such a big help to me. I know I'm incredibly selfish in wanting my own computer. I do have access to a desk top, though quite antiquated (still uses Windows ME) and it does work most of the time. I do need to share it with my husband. My two youngest have their own computer, but they still use ours for homework and it's the only computer with a printer. I would love my own laptop just for me. I could easily find a place to use it I'm sure. There is no place for another desk top. I've just come to the realization that it going to cost much more than what I thought it was going to be. I can still get a notebooks with XP. They are available from various manufacturers including Dell, IBM (Lenovo thinkpad), and HP(compaq). I'm sure there are more. That's definitely an option. I think I'll just have to continue with my research and save up more money. That's the key factor...more money. Hey maybe I should sell my plastic shopping bags ;)

Well, I need to stop rambling. Just want to wish you all a wonderful weekend. Sure hope you can manage to get in lots of happy knitting :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Time well spent

First of all I wanted to let everyone know that, yes, I'm still here! Life has really got in the way of my blogging and to some extent my knitting. Last week between school/family obligations and preparing for our church's harvest festival as well as selling pies all day Saturday at the fair, things were quite busy. I baked a chocolate cake for the cake walk and made a double batch of pizzelles for the bake sale. Then on Friday at church I helped make 50 apple pies to sell at the fair. Normally our local apple orchard donates 2 bushels of apples, all peeled and sliced for the pies, but not this year. They only donated one bushel and we had to purchase the other bushel. To top it off the apples were not peeled or sliced. Needless to say we had to recruit help fast and get those apples peeled and into pies. We manage to do it and the pies really came out beautiful (and delicious) this year. Sorry no photos :( We sold all 50 pies even before the fair ended. That's a record for us. Normally we have a few left over to be sold the following Sunday morning. The pizzelles sold fast, too. Now I know a good item to bake for future fairs. I don't mind the work if it makes money for the church :) No, I didn't knit anything for the fair. Last year I made up a basket of dishcloths for the bountiful basket's silent auction which only got the minimum bid and last springs silent auction's Sakura Cherry blossom shawl, also, only took in the minimum bid. I feel the hand knit items do not do very well considering the countless hours put into them not including the cost of the yarn. I would rather spend time baking the pies and on other baked goods. The 50 pies made $500. I definitely think that was time well spent!!

Yesterday, I came very close to buying myself a computer, a laptop that is. I have been saving money for a very long time in hopes that I would be able to get my very own computer. It seems like I am always competing for computer time and I thought it would be nice to have a laptop for the portability factor. Best Buy had a Compaq Presario laptop on sale that seemed like a really good buy (with great reviews) for the money. I even went to the store to buy one (they had 3 in stock), but was quickly talked out of it by the computer clerk. He told me all the things that could go wrong, from the liquid crystal screen getting hots spots (can't be replaced or fixed) to the keys getting needing a new battery (new ones cost $200) and to top it off he didn't think I would like Vista..too many bugs still. He wanted to sell me all sorts of protection packages which would have made the computer totally not affordable. He suggested that I could get a laptop for the same amount that I wanted to spend, but with XP installed. After looking a bit laptops with XP, there are far and few to be found and not at the same price. I'm starting to think now that I don't even want a laptop now, but there is really no place in my house where I could put a desktop. Was I duped? They are now sold out! I'm sure many of you out there have laptops and with Vista home premium. Can I buy a lap top without all that extra protection? Any advice would be appreciated :)

Now, for some knitting content. I finally finished my husband slippers!
Remember the soles I sewed up:
This is how they felted:
and here are the soles sewed on:I used shelf liner for the non skid soles. Read about it here.

For my skeptics out there (edited 9/25/07) :

My brand new soles (finished 3/9/07)
and here they are today, after being worn:

I wear them as house slipper only. They are not worn outside. I think they have held up very well. I find them very slipping or sliding on hard wood or tile floors. Very easy to sew on. I use double regular sewing thread to attach the sole and have had no problem with them coming off. Even if the soles wore out it would be very easy to replace. For the money I think this is a great option to prevent falls and keeps the felt from wearing out.

My baby blanket:
- is almost finished. Not too much more to do. Should be finished soon.

I thought the following was interesting enough to pass on to those of you who like my ball band toilet paper cover. There is a brand new book coming out that has all sorts of cute patterns for more toilet paper covers. I got a kick out of it... a whole book dedicated to toilet paper covers...I thought I was the only weird one out there. I know I love mine and the ones in the book look like they would be fun for kids bathrooms. Some things never cease to amaze me :)

Now, I have to get going and catch up on everything including all my tagging assignments. I've been tagged by 4 of my knitting friends for various things or exercises...I will get to my assignments eventually...right now I'm still playing catch up. Hopefully everyone will understand. Happy knitting everyone:)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A beer cooler or in my case...

...a brand new knitting basket. Last week my husband's company had an outing for it's employees and they gave out these beer coolers as gifts:
My husband took one look at it and told everyone: "My wife will be using this for her knitting!" He was so's much more serviceable as a knitting basket than a cooler, don't you think? It would never work as a cooler...too open; your ice would melt in an instant :) I love my new knitting basket!

Look what's inside:
I'm knitting this ripple baby blanket for my friend's daughter's baby, a girl, who will be born in October. The pattern I am using comes from an old Leisure Arts leaflet #64, published in 1976. The pattern is super easy with only one pattern row to really worry about. The yarn, Bernat's Softee Baby, is so soft and cuddly.

Lastly, yesterday I felted my husband's slippers:
They are still wet and I have no idea how long it will be until they are completely dry. I am so glad I waited until he was home (and could try them on) to felt them, as they felted really quickly. If I had let them go any longer in the washing machine, I don't think they would have fit him. He is very please with them and they fit (with plastic bags) perfectly. They both are really the same size. They just appear to be two different size due to the angle, trust me :) Once they are dry, I'll be sewing on some non skid soles just like the soles I put on my clogs.

Guess that's it for now. Happy Knitting :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

A clodhopper and a half

Here are my husband's birthday slippers finished and ready to felt:
They sure are huge, measuring 16 inches from heel to toe! I'm behind with my schedule...I didn't get to felt them yesterday as I had planned. Now I need to wait until I have the time to fiddle with them during the felting process. My husband doesn't mind that they'll be late as he knows I'm making them for him and he probably won't start wearing them until it gets a little cooler. I'm just happy that they're finished and I can move on in my other knitting ... a baby blanket :)

The following pictures are for Deb (better known as knottykitty). She left a comment for me:
At 10:40 PM, September 06, 2007, knottykitty said...

"Your felted clogs look great! Would you believe that my pair are STILL sitting on the table waiting only for the bottom seams, because I kinda don't know how to seam them? All they need is those dumb seams to make them ready to felt--maybe you could post a picture on your blog of how you seam the bottom of yours! I'm sorta lost on that part.... :)"

Well, Deb, here are a couple of pictures to show you how I joined the two sides of the soles.
The pictures are really awful and it's rather hard to describe with words. First, I joined the inner sole from the bottom, then lastly the outer sole. The pattern says to use a back stitch. With my needle I picked up part of the stitch on one side starting at the heel and sewed it to the other side, then I move back to the right, insert my needle and sewed anther stitch. Essentially I am doing a backstitch with the edges butting, not with the right sides together as is traditionally done in the sewing of fabric. Instead of whip stitching it together - doing a back stitch prevents the yarn from getting pulled in the felting process. You want to keep it as flat as you can, but remember felting really hides any imperfections. I also didn't worry too much about the looks of the sole because I will be sewing the non-skid soles on the bottom. I am not at all claiming that this is the proper way to do the's just the way I interpret the pattern. Here's the clogs with the soles sewn up.
Hope this helps, Deb. Good luck putting them together! Give it a try and let me know how you make out :)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blame it on Ravelry

There are no finished knitted items to show you this week, mostly because I have had a few knit-less nights (horrors) due to ravelry and an evening meeting. This past weekend I spent too much time on ravelry adding projects to my notebook. Because of the limits of my flickr account I had to hurry up and move all my old pictures into ravelry so I can now upload new ones. It doesn't matter to me now that I can't see all my picture in flickr, because now I can see every one of my project pictures on ravelry. Love it, love it!! (I had started using flickr for my photos when I first started my knitting blog...but then reached the limits of the free account so stopped and just used blogger.) Ravelry is fabulous, beyond words to describe how wonderful it I have to find more time to "play" :) My boys are making fun of me...they are equating it to a "computer game". Little do they really know ;)

What I do have to show you is a WIP - Fiber Trends Felted clogs (slippers) that I am knitting for my husband's birthday September 11th. My goal is to have them ready to be felted by Sunday and hopefully they will dry faster this time :) ( fingers crossed) I have one done and I started the second last night. I love this pattern! Ingenious!! My husband wears a size 13 shoe, so they are really huge. I am using Paton's classic wool merino in a dark brown color called Taupe. Hopefully I can get them finished soon! More later....

happy knitting :)