Friday, September 28, 2007

Kitchen Week

I bought and planted this angel trumpet a couple of weeks ago. I used to have a tree-sized one when I lived in Houston, so we'll see how it does here in GA. The freezes are more severe here. I love these because they are fragrant at night and the bats get in them. It's pretty darn cool to see a bat fly out of one the blooms. . .

It's been more of a foodie week for me. I made jelly and it's pretty good. It has some tart apple flavor and not only bland sweetness, which is what I think of apple jelly typically.

I still have a peck of apples left. I think I'll make some applesauce and freeze it, plus a pie or two.

For dd's Social Studies class, they are having a *feast* today and each kid is supposed to bring a food from Europe. I made madeleines yesterday. I had to buy a pan from Williams-Sonoma, but actually I've wanted to make them for a long time and this was the excuse I needed. (I had to buy the pan, it's a SCHOOL project !) There is no leavening, you whip up the eggs and sugar in the mixer like a spongecake. But, since I only used one pan, the baking was slow and when I got to the last couple of batches, the melted butter had settled out to the bottom and it was a mess. The first few batches were really good though.

And in proof that dd really is becoming more like me, she just finished the second Harry Potter book before she left for school this morning. She has been reading obsessively this week, since she was home two days with an ear infection. She took Book 3 in her backpack to while away the spare moments today at school. Makes a mom proud, you know?

I'll finish the second Molly Weasley sleeve today and start swatching for the body of the sweater. I've been a little distracted since I just got my Ravelry invite and I've been playing over there. Have a good weekend. . .


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I'm making jelly today, as soon as I run the jars through the dishwasher. I'll boil them too, but I'm kind of the belt-and-suspenders type when it comes to botulism, etc. I don't really LOVE apple jelly, but I have two pecks of apples to use up and you don't have to PEEL the apples to make jelly, hence the appeal (nyuk, nyuk). . .

Dh brought the apples back from the cub scout camping trip -- they didn't get lost, which is a relief. Ds was completely obsessed with the campfire, along with all the other little pyros.

Here's the first sleeve of the Molly Weasley sweater:

I had to buy more yarn of course, two trips so far. I was thinking this would be a great stashbuster, but it takes a lot more yarn than I realized, particularly since I'm doubling it. Really, really, fun to make. I'm going to be bored on the sweater part. . .

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Cub Scout Flag

I had a request from a commenter (thanks! I love comments) about the Cub Scout flag. I never know what others are interested in, so I wasn't going to post about it, but since you asked. . .

And I hate to post this photo since it has the kids' faces in it, but it's the best one I have. Dd is supposed to teach me how to use the *blur* function in some photo editing software she has. It's on my to-do list.

Basically, I used the yellow ripstop nylon from JoAnn's as the base. I think the finished size was about 28" wide by 24" long. I searched and searched for a Cub Scout logo embroidery design (was willing to pay even) but couldn't find anything. I printed off this Cub Scout logo from the BSA site. I used the photo transfer paper (also from JoAnn's, check the quilting department) to print it. The only trick here is to remember to mirror image the design. My printer (a Lexmark about 4 years old) has the feature under *Options*. You have to use cotton or poly/cotton for the transfer, so I couldn't put it directly on the nylon flag fabric. Actually this worked well because I was able to hide the back of the embroidery I used to put on the pack and den numbers.

I bought a spool of navy grosgrain ribbon, about an inch wide and folded it in half lengthwise and applied it around the edges. I did this to strengthen and stabilize the edges. I cut short lengths of the same ribbon, folded them in half and stitched them on for ties on the side and top of the flag (2 on top, 2 on side). This way it can hang from the side for regular use or from the top as a banner in a parade. (I think the boys are marching in a parade next month. . .)

That's basically it. The boys signed it and drew on it with fabric markers at the meeting. I still haven't seen what the other den's flags look like, so I don't know how this one compares with respect to size, etc. . .

Here's my proud Cub Scout. The first meeting was at our house and he was so excited having all the kids over. We have sold about half of our popcorn, whew! He loves pulling the wagon around and selling. I hope we can sell the rest tonight and be done with it.


Thursday, September 20, 2007


I think this shrug says *Hello. Look at my huge boobs!* I guess I should have known better. It's a style that's not gonna work on a heavy, busty, shortwaisted figure. Okay, I'm wearing my walking clothes in these photos, but I also tried it on with a form fitting black top and I'm still not convinced.

The back section is too wide, I don't know if you can see the excess bagging at the lower back in this side shot. And the lower edge is pulled up around into the neckline by the ribbing, so it feels binding under the arms.

I love the yarn and the pattern is a free one you can get online or on the ball band. This is the first knitted item I've made with this yarn. I've used the regular Simply Soft for several crochet projects. It's a decent quality acrylic and fairly affordable at $4 a skein for 150 yds. The shrug was supposed to take 4 skeins, but I ended up using 6. I'm not sure why I used so much yarn, except my gauge was a tad tight.

When I saw this yarn and the pattern at the store, I thought why not? -- cheap project, only $16 invested (until I had to go back and buy 2 more balls), I love the color of the yarn, the shading is so pretty, etc. But you still can't help but be disappointed if you don't like the finished item. The color matches the team colors of the football team dd is cheering for, so I had this vision in my head of wearing it to the games when it cools off. Now I don't know. . .

On the bright side, I have one more bag of yarn cleaned out of my stash closet, so I can get back to the Molly Weasley sweater. The yarn I ordered for the body is backordered (which sux because the only reason I bought from this vendor is because their website said *In Stock*) ahem, so I've been waiting a bit to get started.

Dh is taking ds camping with Cub Scouts this weekend, so dd and I will probably do some incredibly girly stuff like go to the mall and have pedicures or something. Can't wait.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Leaving the Pond

The babies are growing up. I took these to school on Friday for *Sharing Day* -- whatever happened to Show and Tell? -- and when we got home two of them had decided to climb out of the water. They sit on the dry plastic walls and their tails just disappear and then they're ready to jump away.

The frogs are about as big as my fingernail. I've been freeing them into the flowers and I'm sure some birds are having tasty snacks about now. ..

I've been cranking out dishcloths while I mull over the Molly Weasley sweater. I ended up buying this pattern. I liked how the sleeves lay so much better. I ordered some pink/lavender Cotton Classic for the body. Oh and BTW, Debbie, I am making this for Halloween, I should have said. Otherwise it would be a bold look for me to pull off. ;) I'm also thinking of making the housecoat, it would just take some calico fabric and seam binding, a very simple project.

I'm hosting a cub scout meeting this weekend, and I promised to make a den flag. I've had no luck finding embroidery designs, so I printed off a clip art cub scout logo to do a fabric transfer onto the flag. I figure then I can embroider the pack and den number on. I seem to remember that the transfers only work well on cotton - so I need to figure out whether to buy some cotton instead of flag nylon. Maybe I can applique on the piece with the transfer. . . So, that's the project for the week and I'm off to JoAnn's today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Molly Weasley Sweater

I really loved this crocheted sweater in the HP Chamber of Secrets movie. So when I got the Charmed Knits book yesterday, this was the first thing I looked at:

Okay, does she look like like she's smuggling a potato up under that sleeve cap or what?

Geez, I just can't bring myself to make that. Look how nicely the sleeve cap lies in the first photo, a still from the movie. It has a curved shape, like a typical sleeve cap but it's not forming an egg like the pattern from the book. I'm trying to decide whether to just make a shrug rather than a cardigan. She's wearing an apron over it in the movie, so it's hard to see what the rest of the sweater looks like.

There's this pattern you can buy too, but I can't tell if that one is attached to a cardigan or not.

I'm going to think about it for a while. I have a ton of multicolored Tahki Cotton Classic left over from the vest I made a while back and this would be a fun way to use it up.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Absorba the Great Bathmat

All right, no guesses, but here is Absorba the Great Bathmat from Mason Dixon Knitting. I'm falling in love with that book all over again. I made a dishcloth last night and just started on some linen handtowels for the new bathroom.

I haven't measured the finished size of the bathmat, but I made mine a little bigger than the pattern (7 garter rows on the log cabin strips, rather than 6). I used every bit of the yarn (3 cones of Peaches N Cream double worsted weight cotton, color Ecru). I used my size 15 Denise needles and the minute I was weaving in the ends my needle fell on the floor and the dog crunched it up before I realized what was going on and . . . I'm emailing them for a replacement.

Looks like I'll be working on bathroom projects for a while. I have three windows that need coverings or treatments. The question is whether to sew or knit or crochet something. Lace would be nice on at least two of them.

The air repairman was supposed to show up yesterday and didn't. I have a new Ottobre Woman, so a bee in my bonnet to get some patterns traced, but it's way too hot up there still.


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