Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Season Begins

I had my small bookgroup over Monday night. We played this:

I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to get ANY answers on this game, but I would say that we got about 30-40% of them, which is enough to stay encouraged and play on. It also helped that we were all fairly evenly matched (all of us lawyers, which is kinda funny).

The only casualty was my kitchen countertop, which cracked from the heat of the crockpot full of mulled wine. I'm not sure whether I have Silestone or Corion, but I wish for granite again. This stuff just can't take the heat.

Friday night is the company formal, so I'll be wearing the crocheted sweater over the stretch velvet dress. I got my hair colored yesterday and the babysitter lined up, so I think I'm good to go.

I'm also planning ds's birthday party. I just saw a post on another blog about a Volcano Cake. I just noticed that my grocery store is carrying dry ice, so I might give it a try. FUN!

Monday, November 26, 2007


I had fun making these guys. Patterns are free ones from Roxycraft. Amigurumi (Japanese for small stuffed doll) are kind of fiddly, but quick. The only frustrating thing was when I had rewound a ball of yarn (Caron Simply Soft) the wrong way, so that every time I stuck my hook in, it split. Next time I'll pay attention and REWIND it the other way right from the start.

This is Rory the Reindeer. The kids really liked him.

Thanksgiving was fun. We had dinner with the family and then did some touristy stuff.

I really wasn't good about using my camera on this trip. The battery ran down halfway through the afternoon.

I helped my brother track down fruitcake ingredients. We had to go to the Indian market for rosewater and then we couldn't find any mace at all. Do you think mace is just too old fashioned to be carried in the grocery store any more?

Dh painted dd's room while we were gone, so yesterday was a big muck out. I took 6 bags to Goodwill, and put 3 in the trash. It looks much nicer and I wish I took some before/after photos. The downside is that I'm going to be making curtains again. . .

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Sunday, November 18, 2007


Do you think this filthy gnarled hand is worth this?

The candle holders are pretty, but my hands just can't take it. I crocheted the red one instead of knitting it, and it was still quite a struggle. It's funny that the pattern (which I'm not really following anyway) calls for 5 yds of wire to make a candle holder and I am using about 18-20 yds. That means I'm putting a lot more stitches into mine and manipulating the wire a lot more. No wonder my hands hurt. I have enough supplies to make some more, but I think I need a rest.

I made the dress today.

It's a basic stretch velvet sheath to go under the crocheted top. I used a nightgown pattern, Kwik Sew 3342.

I added 8" to the length of view A, and I think originally I traced a M through the shoulders and L through the hips. I have a nightgown I made from it that I like. I used a self fabric binding on the neckline and armholes. I decided to steam-a-seam the hems, so I hope they hold okay. The side seams have slits to right above the knee and I will probably dancing in it (dh's company party).

I still have to go back and shorten the sleeves on the lace top and sew in all the ends, which is only a little bit to do.

While I was sewing, I listened to Lori's Podcast interview with Shannon Gifford, which I really enjoyed. I have to admit I missed a few bits and pieces because I couldn't hear over the roar of my vacuum while I cleaned my machines. I think it's going to be worthwhile to give it another COMPLETE listen.

I hope to post once again before I go to TN for Thanksgiving, but if I don't, have a great holiday!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sera Lace Top

Here's a sweater update. My LYS had a few more balls in their attic last week, so I had plenty of yarn. Here it is blocking:

I didn't stretch it a lot, but I was glad to see the lace pattern open up.

But not THAT much!

Thankfully, the design is crocheted from neckline down. All I have to do to adjust the length is rip out a few rows -- easy peasy. I'm going to fix the sleeves right away, but wait until I get the dress made to make decision on the length of the body. I was complaining about how this yarn was too springy and didn't drape, but all it took was a good blocking to completely change its character. I probably didn't need to buy much extra yarn either -- oh well.

Moonvine seed pods. The vine froze last week, but I'm harvesting the seed pods for next year.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Late Fall

It went directly from summer to indian summer here, so it's only now cooling off enough at night for the leaves to change. We've had a couple of nights of freezing temperatures, and then discovered that our heat isn't working due to the bathroom renovation. I love how the consequences of changing things only make themselves known months later. (We are going to have to reroute the exhaust for the heat pump somehow.)

So, in order to combat the cold, I've been holed up in my little room by the gas fireplace.

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick. It's one of those books that you can enjoy as a coffee table book and never make anything from, it's so beautiful. The photos make you fantasize about cozy evenings by the fire with hot chocolate and cookies (it includes a couple of recipes, even).

I've made several hats and small projects from this book, and the patterns have been well written. (Not sure if there is errata for the book, guess I should check.)

I bought the supplies to make the candle holders last January and finally got around to trying one yesterday. I've never knit with metal before and it's a little hard on the hands. My needles were a bit smaller than called for which meant more knitting, which meant running out of beads before the end. (You string the beads first, so if you run out you would have to thread them on the other end and I was afraid of unspooling the wire.) I have supplies to make a few more and I think I'll try crocheting the next one. It will be easier to make it fit, I think.

The lace top is blocking, hope to get a post together on that next week if I can get the dress made over the weekend. The kids' sports/activities schedules are making me feel cross these days -- I want my nights and weekends back . . .


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sera Lace Top Progress

I'm running out of yarn, y'all. I hate that. I bought more than the recommended yardage (of a different yarn, admittedly) but this yarn is so springy, it doesn't drape, so you need more rows to make up the length.

I don't think the fit is too bad (remember I'll be wearing it over a forest green stretch velvet tank dress). I would rip it out if it wasn't so close to fitting.

I'm wondering if I could leave the body length short and try to make the sleeves long. Another option is to find a coordinating yarn, maybe mohair or metallic and make a fluffy hem and cuffs for the sleeves. Another idea I had is to put heavy beads on the hems to pull it all down and give it weight.

I'm going to stop by the yarn shop today and see what they have. (I bought all they had in this color a couple of weeks ago.) I doubt they'll be able to order and get more yarn in time, this party is the last week of November.

I don't have much to show for myself this week. We had houseguests over the weekend and dd got braces on yesterday, so I'm feeling buried under the mess and the laundry and the groceries, etc. Gotta go stock up on soup, oatmeal, smoothies, and Ibuprofen for my poor girl.


Thursday, November 01, 2007


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