Friday, April 29, 2011

Lacy KIP Bag

Since I got Princess's shawl done, I decided to hurry up and do the KIP Bag sample and send both together, even though Stacey over at Knit Picks told me that it would probably be a while before she could get it posted.  She only puts up a couple of free patterns per month.  So anyway, here it is!
I'll probably go ahead and post the pattern on my other blog in the meantime.  Since the IDP program lets the designer retain full ownership and control over their patterns, there's no reason not to. ☺
And you might notice from the above picture: I've finally lost a little weight!  Five pounds this week, thanks to the green tea.  I'm going to make some iced green tea also; with the weather warming up, I'm not always in the mood for a hot drink.  And I've been taking Zumba classes, which are a lot of fun.  I'm planning on trying out yoga tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes; I'm not very flexible, and I've never taken a yoga class in my life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crown Jewels is done!

I finished Princess's shawl yesterday and got it blocked.  So today we did a photo shoot.  She did really well, so we didn't have to take very many shots.  This one is my favorite, but it doesn't show the lace pattern as well as the others, so it's not going to be in the actual pattern.  I'll send it along for the website, though.  She was pointing at a lizard, in case you're wondering. ☺
 Here, she's showing off the whole shawl...
 And this one will be the main pattern pic.
That flower shawl pin is something I tatted yesterday.  I came up with the idea myself. ☺

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tatting and Knitting

One of my friends showed me a link for learning needle tatting.  Using that tutorial, I made this pendant. ☺
I used a size 3 tatting needle, and sockweight alpaca yarn.  I love how it turned out.  In fact, I love it so much, I decided to try tatting with a finer needle and thread.  Using sewing thread and a size 8 needle, I made this one: 
As you can see, it's smaller than the dime next to it.  I'm thinking I might attach it to a hairpin, so I can wear it in my hair.  But then, I'll have to make more...

And I've finally found some time to work on Crown Jewels!
 Princess is 48 inches tall, so it should be that wide and half as long when it's done.  I hope I have enough yarn.  I've completed six repeats of the lace, and it's about 16 inches long down the center, unstretched.  Here's a closeup of the lace pattern:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Katiee's Bag is done!

Finally, I've finished this bag that my sister demanded over two years ago.
I love my sister dearly, but stripes still make me twitch.  I-cords do too, now.  I'm glad I'm done.  Okay, the vital stats on this bag...
I used 5 skeins plus a tiny bit, of Knit Picks Shine Worsted yarn, and size 7 needles.  The body of the bag is 27 inches long, and 7 inches wide at the widest point.  The drawstring is a crochet chain with beads on the ends, and the strap was made by braiding together four 25-inch I-cords.  The strap is several inches shorter than the bag is, but I figure it'll probably stretch some, so it should work just fine.  I hope Katiee likes it!  I hope Knit Picks does too, though I'm going to request Chroma self-striping yarn, instead of the yarn I used for this one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whatd'ya say we get that garden in the ground?

I started some seeds in February, intending to build garden boxes, and have an awesome garden.  Then life got in the way, and the plants stayed in my kitchen for about a month longer than they needed to.
 In fact, they were in the kitchen for so long that I actually had beans growing, in my kitchen window.
 So this morning I took them outside and got them planted.  It doesn't look like much, but at least it's out of the kitchen!
 I've got three kinds of tomatoes, some corn, beans, cantaloupes, pumpkins and cucumbers.  I hope some of these plants actually survive long enough to produce food.  I'm not a very good gardener.
The bluebonnets are still in the starter tray, and I'm debating where to plant them.  It's too late in the season for them to bloom, but they are perennials and tend to spread out and go wild.  I'll probably plant them out in the front yard if I can find a spot that gets enough sunshine.  The lavender plants all died, so I've started some more, even though I don't know where I'll plant them.  I have two raspberry bushes, which should also have been planted last month.  I know where I want to put them, but I have to get rid of the useless, ugly bushes that are there first.  And it's hard to get motivated to work outside when it's 95 degrees.  Maybe I'll work on that this evening when it starts to cool off...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drive-by blogging

Katiee's Bag is was about 20 inches long in this photo; it's about 2 inches longer now.
 Evellyn Anne is done, and it turned out great!
I don't have an in-progress pic of Crown Jewels, so y'all will just have to wait for that one.

Warning: Political content ahead

I was watching the news this morning as I drank my green tea, and the talking heads said that Obama won't be using his old buzzwords "hope" and "change" for his re-election campaign.  My first thought was that that could be because the conservatives are the ones using those words now, and he sure as hell doesn't want to be considered one of them!  I posted that on Facebook, giggling as I did so, because it reminded me of something Fred might say.  I wonder if he laughs to himself when he posts his zingers on Facebook...

But then the newspeople said that he's picked a new buzzword(Obama, not Fred): "compassion".  Wow.  It's like he's trying to make it easy for conservatives to defeat him.  Conservatives (especially Christian ones) are among the most compassionate, generous, charitable people in the world.  That is probably because we believe it's the responsibility of the individual to help others, rather than depending on the government to handle it.  My husband and I donate between 12 and 15% of our income to our church, which then sends that money out to help people around the world, and locally.  We also donate outgrown clothes and unused household items to a local non-profit thrift shop, which uses the money from sales to support a food bank.  I'm not saying that to brag; most of the conservative Christians I know do the same. 

I'd like to know what percentage of his $1million+ income Mr Obama donated to charity last year.  And I don't mean political campaigns, or fronts.  I mean real charities.  Since he doesn't go to church, I assume he doesn't tithe to a church.  But he could still donate other places: Wounded Warriors, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.  I won't assume he doesn't make charitable contributions, but I would like to know where and what percentage.

And one of my friends pointed out that what he considers "compassionate" might not be the same things that we consider "compassionate".  He has said before that if one of his daughters "made a mistake", he wouldn't want them "punished with a baby", so he would probably consider it compassionate to abort his own grandchildren if they were conceived at an inconvenient time.  Is this the kind of "compassion" Americans want? 

An easy way for conservative candidates to counter this new buzzword/strategy would be to disclose the percent that they donate to charity(along with all the other documents they're required to disclose), and ask Mr Obama to do the same.  And they should also ask the question: what is his definition of compassion?  Lets not fall for this trick again.  He was elected on his platform of "hope and change", but he never really explained what those words meant to him.  Make him explain himself this time, candidates!  Don't just sit down and say "Darn, he picked a good word, and we can't do anything about it."  Don't let him get away with being vague.  Call him out on his record, on his words, and on his actions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New patterns are up on the pattern blog!

I had fallen pretty far behind on updating my pattern blog.  I finally got Evellyn Anne and Julia Lynne posted today.  I also put up a free dishcloth pattern.
I designed this Buttonheart Dishcloth for a dishcloth swap; I got to spoil "buttonheart", so I decided to make it personalized.  It's knit in the round, from the center out.  The buttons could be left off, but they're great for scrubbing, so why would you want to? ☺  I used half a skein of Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton" to make it.  For the pattern, click on the link over there → that says My Pattern Blog.
And I finished the blue Evellyn Anne blanket!  It's soaking right now, so you'll have to wait for a picture.  Now I need to focus on the Crown Jewels shawl; I had said I could get it done in a month, and the month is half-over.  And of course, Katiee is bugging me for her bag....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Haven't really felt like blogging...

I just remembered that I was going to try to blog more often....and I haven't since last Thursday.  So...what shall I blog about?  Since this is my mostly-knitting blog, how 'bout I start with that?

I'm nearing the end of the blue Evellyn Anne blanket; almost ready for the ruffle.  Katiee's Bag is over halfway done, and stripes still make me twitch.  I haven't made much progress on Crown Jewels, because I've been so busy with those two projects.  I did a couple inches on the second Winding Road sock at Knit Night yesterday.  I have too many projects going on, and not enough time to get them all done.  As soon as I get the blanket done, the shawl will be top priority, since it's a sample for Knit Picks.  After that's done I need to start and finish on the Lacy KIP Bag sample.  And once I get Katiee's Bag done I need to finish writing the proposal for it and get that sent off.....and time is flying!

I've also been trying desperately to get organized.  It's not going well.  Every time I think I'm nearing the end of a project, I see that the kids have undone half of it, or totally un-organized some other room.  Someday I'll be organized.... like Kitty tells me, "Mommy, when I'm grown up, you won't have any more kids."  Yes, darlin', that's true.  Hopefully I survive to experience that.

Speaking of Kitty, she turned four last weekend.  She had a fun birthday, with lots of cake, and a bunch of great presents.  Fortunately, she's easy to please when it comes to gifts.  I can hardly believe she's really four years old already.

Okay, I think that's enough for now.  I'm gonna go knit on that blanket.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Julia Lynne is up!

My latest pattern is up on Knit Picks!
This cardigan is sized for girls: 2 to 10.  The one Kitty is wearing in the above picture is size 4.  The pattern can be found here:  The price is $1.99, and I highly recommend the Comfy cotton blend yarn; it's perfect for this project!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Still tryin' to get skinny.

I realize I haven't blogged in a while about my weight-loss journey...but that's just because there hasn't been much to say.  I am still going to the gym almost every day.  I quit drinking.  I've started drinking green tea to unwind in the evenings instead of wine.  I haven't lost any weight.  I don't have more energy; as a matter of fact I have less.  But I am getting stronger; I was able to carry a non-working 32-inch tv out to the curb last week, by myself.  And my jeans fit a little looser, but not loose enough to switch to a smaller size.  My face is a little thinner, and my chin is a little less...double.  So, although I am starting to look a little better, I'm frustrated that it's taking so long for so little results.

I started working out in December.  It's been over four months, and I still weigh 170 pounds.  I want to weigh 110.  I was 110 when I got married.  I was young and thin, but not strong.  So it might be a bit unrealistic for me to expect I could get back to that.  I would settle for 120 if I have to.  For right now, I'd be thrilled with just seeing any number lower than 170 on the scale.

Friday, April 1, 2011

State of the Knitting...

I'm still here; haven't fallen off the face of the earth just yet.  Hubby is recovering from his surgery, and I've been busy taking care of him.

I have gotten some knitting done in the meantime.  I've been working on the Evellyn Anne blanket in my friend's yarn, and I'm about halfway done with it.  I love how it's turning out.  I need to find out just what this blend of yarn is, because I want to order some for other projects.

The yarn came for my sister's bag, but I decided two of the colors just weren't right.  Knit Picks released new colors the day after I ordered, and two of the new ones look perfect.  So I just had to make another order.  I'll use the blue and cream yarn for something else.  So I'm waiting for the new colors to arrive before I can start working on that.

I'm also waiting on the yarn support for my Crown Jewels shawl; I expected it to be here by now.  Guess the mail is slow this week, or my mailman is incompetent, which is entirely possible.

So I'll just keep on working on Evellyn Anne, and try to get her done quickly.