my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the last one

I swear, this is the last BSJ I'm going to knit. It's the stockinette version. I'm about six rows to go. Unfortunately, I ran out of yellow, so this is going to have green garter edging (I'll add some to the sleeves and neckline to counteract roll and balance the look). I'm so over this pattern now. I guess knitting 5 of anything will do that. (It's more than 5 since the light green one was more than half done when I found another ball of green which meant it didn't have to be green and cream.) A seaming party is needed to get these all finished up.

Then what do I knit? I've pretty much decided on Ariann for M-i-L's birthday, but I haven't gotten around to digging out the yarn and swatching. I am planning to cast on a pair of socks as soon as I get my yarn from Ruth. I'm hoping it comes by Saturday. That way I'll have portable knitting for a work trip Sunday/Monday.

Yeah, I'm taking another short work trip. This one's for an hour-long presentation. Normally, my boss goes to these things, but he's going to be at a different meeting. I'm a little bummed because I'm going to Toronto, the city of our Harlot, but won't even be leaving the airport (meeting and sleeping at an airport hotel).

Tonight or tomorrow (most likely tomorrow since LOST's season finale is tonight), I'm going to sew up a sleeve for my laptop using the leftover Michael Miller laminated cotton from my lunch bag. It's too much of a pain to have a laptop bag along with a purse and an overnight bag. This way, I can put the laptop in the overnight bag. (I can also use it with a tote for carrying to and from the office.)

We had a good Memorial Day weekend. Saturday B and I went to the park in the morning and that night we had dinner with the in-laws and M-i-L's mom and dad who are visiting. Sunday, we went to church and then to a BBQ at M-i-L's cousin's house. B had tons of fun there playing with little cousins (including going into the wading pool with his shoes on). Monday, we went to the town parade and then to the pool and then dinner at M-i-L and F-i-L's. Whew we were busy. Didn't help that I overindulged in sun and champagne at the BBQ and went to bed right after B.

The great-grands head out to OH tomorrow, so we're all going out to dinner tonight. B's going to be sad to see them go. He's really attached to his great-grandpa.

Friday, May 23, 2008

for the first time in over three months

I ordered yarn today.

This is coming to live with me. It was dyed by Ruth over at Knitting on Impulse. (I hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed her picture.) To make it up to her, I'll say that you must, must go buy something from her. She's got yarn, notecards of her fabulous nature photos, and jewelry and handknit items at her shop. I love her stuff and would love to go to Whistler to support her at one of the events at which she participates.

She's got an amazing eye for color and is so creative with a variety of media. I really want to buy some of her jewelry some day. If you don't read her, you should!

In other news, I'm taking a slight detour with BSJ #5. I don't think I have enough yarn to complete it, so I'm going to try to stockinette stitch it. Instructions can be found here. I'll report back on Monday.

I'm so looking forward to this three day weekend. My office is closing at three, so I get a head start! Tomorrow, we're going to the park in the morning and then to our favorite fish and chips place for dinner. (M-i-L's parents are visiting from SC and Great Grammy loves to go back to Kearny for fish and chips.) Sunday we're going to M-i-L's cousin's annual bbq and picnic. Monday, we're hoping to try out our pool passes for the first time. Since they're forecasting 80 and sunny, I think we'll be good to go! The weather's looking to be a treat for the whole weekend.
A safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend to all my American friends (and a good weekend even if you aren't in the US)!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

overheard this morning

"Baby brother can't stand my stool."

Well, dude, since you don't have a baby brother, no he can't stand on your stool.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

you can't please all the people all the time.

As I've noticed at a couple of blogs I read, at some point we learn that we just can't please everyone. I'm dealing with someone like that at work, and although we've been bending over backwards and I've been breaking procedure to expedite things, we just don't do things as well as she can. Makes me wonder why they decided to not just do it themselves...

Anyway. BSJ #4 will be getting its buttonholes tonight and I'll cast off. Then, I'll cast on for BSJ #5. I imagine this little jag of mine is getting boring. Sorry about that. BSJ #4 does make a good model though.
I'm thinking, thinking, thinking about M-i-L's birthday sweater. I've got three months, but I don't want to be rushing and stressing like I did over F-i-L's this year (and I need to make sure to make a bigger size than I think is appropriate). I really want to knit out of stash, but I'm not coming up with anything other than a white Ariann. Problem is, I've already knit M-i-L a white sweater. I really need to dig through the bins and see what else I can come up with. (But, don't be surprised if I cast on for a white Ariann for M-i-L.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

just another Monday

I've not got much to say. We had a nice weekend. Weather Saturday morning was fabulous. I finally put together B's soccer goal (gift from my parents a couple of Christmases ago). The little girl from next door, aka Shan-na and "my friend", came over and played for a couple of hours until lunch. Then we went to a church BBQ. Sunday was church, board games, and me making scampi for dinner. Oh, and I cleaned the main floor of the house while B was napping and hubby mowed. I really should do that more often. It's nice to have a dining room table that looks like a table instead of a pile of crap.

B's been really sweet. We've been chatting a lot at bedtime. Telling little stories and things. He's been super cooperative.

Not much sewing or crafting was done. I am nearly done BSJ #4, the all cream version. Next will be the yellow and green version (with cream if there's any left). Then I'll be done with the Shine sport.

I really, really want to do some sewing. I've got lots of plans for summer dresses and I really want to start one. I'm not sure I want to get into that involved a project in the evenings, but I have been planning on an apron since I made my sister's two summers ago.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Here in NJ (although, I'm not in NJ this exact minute), we have a lot of restaurants that are BYO. NJ limits the number of establishments that can have liquor licenses (certain # of licenses per a certain # of people which I could probably google, but I'm sure you care less than I do). The licenses can be very difficult to obtain and very expensive. A lot of smaller restaurants simply forgo a liquor license, but NJ allows you to BYO (we usually bring wine or beer, but people also bring spirits). Bringing beer to the fish and chips place is easy. We have four different coolers (we love to tailgate, and apparently I love parens). I've been embarrassed recently when we bring a bottle of wine. Something about hubby lugging our favorite vinos around in a plastic bag has a low class hint to it. Well, we are low class no more. I sewed up a little solution to our problem.

I got the fabric at back in March for $3.49 a yard. I only bought the one yard because that's usually enough for a couple of totes. The tote on the left is a little big. It was supposed to neatly handle two 750 mL bottles for those evenings when we go out with others. But the bottles swim in this thing. I didn't have any on hand to test with, but I might be able to put two 1.5 L bottles in it, party time! At the very least, I can put some sort of ice pack in when we're drinking white. The smaller one snugly fits a 750 mL bottle, for when it's just the two of us. (Well, sometimes we bring wine when B is with us, but he still prefers unfermented juices.)

The totes are pretty basic, just lined rectangles. The handles are more of the lightweight webbing I had (silly me, bags are lined in black with brown handles). I was really lazy with these. Last summer I made a wine bottle gift bag for M-i-L and put a round bottom on it, giving a much nicer shape. I may need to improve my design and do a smaller, two bottle tote. I do have a bit of fabric left.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fabala's sock

I finished the drawstring bag for my Nano last night. So far, it works pretty well.

Funny thing about this gift. Last week, Hubby was talking about going shopping and I said I didn't really need anything (because I don't), but that I would love an ipod Nano. He off-handedly stated that I could use his old Dell DJ. I was a bit put off by that and when he came home from shopping he asked if we had a lot of wrapping paper, because he bought something big, I was really stumped. So, of course, it was all just a ruse to make sure I was really surprised (and I was, even after I saw the charge on our bank account that was about the right amount). It was nice to get what I wanted without knowing it was coming!
Today's our 8th wedding anniversary. We don't do gifts for it, mostly because it's so close to Mother's Day and then Father's Day isn't that far off. But, Hubby cancelled my return to the gym and my cooking of dinner so we'll all go out. (My foot is healed and I can wear shoes again.) Of course, with the money we spent on food and wine this weekend, we did plenty of celebrating. Honestly, one of the reasons I married him was because we have so much fun together and really feed into each other's irresponsibility ;)
If I remember, I'll try to post the poem I wrote for our wedding from home tonight. I don't have a copy of the final draft on this machine.
On another note, B says he wants a baby at our house, a baby brother. Ruh roh.

Monday, May 12, 2008

cold, wet and wonderful!

Let me just say that the weather was just complete and utter crap all weekend. We barely spent an hour outside all weekend, but it was still great. Friday, Hubby and I met on the train and drove down to N Wildwood in the rain. Dinner at the Lobster House with champagne. Saturday, I got to sleep in past 8:30 (that never happens when B is around). We went out for breakfast, took our time getting ready and hit our favorite winery (not that we've been to the others in the area) for a tasting. After that we wandered the shopping district in Cape May and had a late lunch. Then a nap at the condo and a late dinner at JP Prime. We slept in again yesterday and had a late breakfast and tried to sit on the beach, but it was just too cold and windy. So we packed up and headed home after lunch. Dinner with M-i-L and F-i-L and B was great. B was so excited to see us. I got the best cuddles and hugs and kisses. B made me a cute little basket at school and Hubby bought me this:

Her name is Fabala, after the main character in Wicked (otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West). Mainly because they're both green and don't like water. I spent last night loading her up. The pink behind her is going to be a little drawstring case.
I have to say I only had very mild guilt about being away from B for most of Mother's Day and that started when Hubby said he felt bad that B wouldn't have his mom at church yesterday. Of course, yesterday was Pentecost so the birthday party for the church (red balloons and noise makers) made up for my not being there!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

brown bagging it

I try to bring a lunch to work most days. My office is in SoHo and every deli and restaurant around us has become so expensive in the 12 years I've worked here. Seriously, the cheapest lunch I get is $8. Usually, I bring a frozen entree, a can of soda, and two pieces of fruit. Usually, I just use a plastic shopping bag and stuff it into my work bag. However, since I got a big orange purse for Christmas, that holds my necessaries including a small knitting project and my camera, I've not been carrying a larger tote to work and have had to carry my lunch separately. Nothing's so classy as carrying a plastic grocery store bag with your purse! I did use some plain gift bags, but they fall apart quickly. I had thought of buying some vinyl but nothing struck my fancy; then I saw that some stores carry laminated cottons in cool prints. Sign me up for that. A Michael Miller Daisy print came to live with me in March. Last night, it became this.

It's a little big for most days, but I could carry my knitting project in it if I wanted to carry a smaller purse. Hubby thought the fabric looked like wallpaper, because it's laminated. He thought the finished project looked really cute.

I had planned to do handles from the same fabric, but screwed up the first attempt and then realized that some lightweight webbing I had matched really well. (The webbing was used to tie up a comforter I bought at Target a while ago, no plastic bag there.)

I have some left, maybe enough to do a more tradional sized lunch bag, to carry in a larger tote if I ever go back to that.

I've got the sewing bug! I really, really want to make a double-bottle wine bag tonight. I'm a little conflicted though. I think Hubby feels lonely when I'm crafting in the office and he's in the tv room all alone. But, he does get me to himself all weekend, since we're going dow the shore for our anniversary.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

buttons galore

I brought in my button purchases to share with you. I know, I'm tres exciting.

From L to R: stars for the green and yellow BSJ I posted recently (BSJ #1), I have 8; plain white for BSJ #2, which I haven't posted but which is cream, yellow and green; and little sailboats for BSJ #4 which exists only in my mind (will be mostly cream with minimal amounts of white), I only found 4 of these.

I was thinking of using the teddy bears for a BSJ, but we'll see. I might just save them for something else (I have 8). The red ones are for a future me project; I have 6.

I finished this last night. It was over half done from Christmas-time. It's going to my little sister. She bought the fabric two years ago. I hated the fabric. It's a loose weave and the fibers shed like no one's business. It's really hard to cut, too. I have some in burgundies to make myself a bag. I think I'm going to go with a more simple tote.

Tonight, since I have 12 1/2 yds of fabric showing up at my house, I complete that skirt. Fortunately, I don't have to install a zipper. Unfortunately, I can't just slap on the binding tape like I thought. It's too narrow to be an elastic waistband.

Monday, May 05, 2008

user error

Well, I figured out what was wrong with my sewing machine.


Sewing machines do not work well when one does not them properly!

BSJ, buttons, and stash

BSJ #3 is moving along nicely. I should be binding off for the collar tonight. The green's a bit off in this pic. It's more sour apple than the cool mint shown here. Knitpicks shows it very accurately (according to my monitor and under these fluorescent lights).

I went to Joann's this weekend and bought a lot of buttons. I was good, I only bought buttons and some binding tape for a skirt that needs a waistband, a zipper and a hem. Usually when I got to Joann's or any other craft store, I buy at least $40 more than what I went in for. I was going to sit here and list what buttons I bought, but that's no fun. I'll take some pics tonight.

Just remembered, I have the buttons for this one with me! Too cute. I wish I could have found more than four, but that's all I saw.

The place was a madhouse. They were having some sort of fabric sale.

Speaking of fabric. I'm going to be in trouble tomorrow if I don't get home before Hubby. I bought 12 1/2 yds of fabric to make myself two dresses. Since my sewing machince still doesn't work, I'm going to be in trouble.

I've been so good about not stashing yarn for the last three months, but I've bought 32 yds of fabric since mid-March. Granted, 7 yds was ordered to re-cover our dining room chairs, a couple of yards are for totes (1/2 yd of laminated cotton for a lunch bag and 1 yd for a wine bottle tote), the rest is supposed to be clothing for me. I haven't finished sewing a piece of clothing in almost a year.

If my sewing machine is not up and running an churning out clothes by Labor Day, I'm going to start selling off my fabric stash.

Friday, May 02, 2008

apple green and manos

Here's BSJ #3, all in apple green, hanging out with the swatch for my Manos vest. The lace is simply cell stitch from the stitch a day calendar. I've cast off stitches for the scoop neckline, but I'm not sure I like and I put it down during LOST last night.
I really wanted to do drop garter stitch (where you wrap 2-3 times on one row), but I couldn't get it to work in the swatch. Each time I did it, the rows got narrower on the left-hand side.
I had to rip it all out Wednesday night and start over. When one knits a gauge swatch, one should really measure the gauge before determining how many stitches to cast on. I took it off the needles and found I had over 50 stitches more than I needed!