Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Due to some family issues, everything has been put on hold for a bit... including getting to the post office to fill out customs forms. Sorry for the delay.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Doing a combination of hand and machine on this one. (And trying out my camera settings on my new phone!)
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

New phone!

This is a test post from my new smartphone!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010


So, I posted 3 giveaways without thinking how I'd award them.  Random might choose all 3 people who wanted the same thing!  So, I figured, just keep hitting random until I'd gotten 3 people ("I like them all" would get whatever the others didn't want).  But, luck was with me, and 1, 2, and 3 each hit people who wanted different things!

Without further ado: 

The yarn goes to:

#31 Sara said...
The yarn is really cool!!!

Thanks for the giveaway...
New Hampshire... haven't been much past Boston, but I sure don't envy your weather right now...

The book goes to:
#18 Blogger Mystica said...
I like the book. ! Thanks for sharing

(Sri Lanka? nice! Haven't been further south than Tamil Nadu, but I'll make it across the water some day...)
And the headband goes to the person I chose first, who was going to get the leftover, but who got the wished-for headband anyhow:

#84 Macska said...
These are so lovely! Thanks for the chance to be in to win one of them. :-)
I'd love any of these as a gift, but especially that headband - it's gorgeous.

Have a great Christmas! 

New Zealand!  That's the husband's desired travel destination.  One of these days...

Your prizes will be in the mail after I get your information; as mentioned, due to having to fill out forms when real people are staffing the post office, it may take a bit longer for the international entrants.

Thanks, everyone, for entering; a headband may make its way into my shop in a few days, depending on how many cousins make it into town; if not, then there will be some in the future :) 

And thanks for the birthday wishes for my mother!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Welcome to the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day!  (And my mother's 60th birthday!)

Today there are three options.

I'm giving away a headband, like I'm making all the (girl) cousins for Christmas.  (Knitted with a crocheted flower.)

And I'm giving away this little (4x5 ish) coptic-bound book, handy for writing things in.

And, in case you want to do it yourself, some boucle yarn, in three colors.  I tried (ignoring the label) to crochet with it (about 2 feet of the yellow), threw a fit, and decided not even to try knitting with it.  Maybe you'll have more luck!

To enter, tell me what you'd like - that's all.  Open until the 17th.  Yes, I do ship internationally (but it may take past the deadline for me to ship to you, as I can't use the automated postal unit for international shipping, and the post office is only open when I'm at work).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Watch This Space

I'm still alive!

My hours changed at work (I know, shoddy excuse), so I've been getting home later, and haven't had time to post things before dinner.  In six months.  Anyhow,  I'll be in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway tomorrow, so come back then! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm in the SewHappy bib challenge! 

I completed this bib with the topstitching method.  The back is solid blue dots.  It matches one of the self-binding baby blankets I made recently (which had trains on one side, dots on the other and the binding).  I used cotton flannel and all-cotton batting.

This one isn't complete, so it probably won't make it into the challenge -- I got the wrong kind of bias tape.  (I could make my own, but I'd have to buy fabric specifically for it, as I don't have enough matching fabric, so it's cheaper -- well, it is if I buy the right kind -- to buy it.)  It's leftovers from the recent baby quilt (scroll down a few posts) -- alternating cotton and cotton flannel.

This is the back.  I'll be using brown bias tape around the edges. 

I'll also make embellished burp cloths (from prefold cloth diapers) with the rest of my scraps.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandmother Quilt

I did it -- I went to Sunflower Quilts and got a quilt kit, as I mentioned below.  My dental hygienist sent me there, which entertains me.  Had great fun at the shop, and last Saturday made these four blocks (not perfect, as the corners really aren't exact, but I'm very pleased), and yesterday made four more.

I'm always impressed by the women who can apparently do everything.  With a full-time job, getting home after 6:30, a husband who likes to eat dinner together, and an 8:30 bedtime, on my days off I can either make stuff or do housework/buy groceries/etc.  But the people who do both, and have kids, impress me.  I approve of homeschooling, and, if we weren't in a place full of good schools that I can trust, we might consider it if necessary, but I don't have the self-discipline and organization to do that.  I taught high school, and in a parochial school where we came up with our own lesson plans and lectures (none of that cushy stuff that some of my friends in public schools have -- and that I've seen/used when subbing at public schools, where your lectures and lesson plans are all pre-made by some syndicate!  (And yes, I know, not all public schools do that -- but some very highly-ranked and highly-regarded ones do)), and it was certainly a lot of work!  I certainly can't understand single mothers who homeschool (respect them, yes, but grasp how their lives function, no) -- if you're also having to earn a living for you and your children, how do you do it and also manage to teach multiple levels of children and stay with them all day?  The 1990s Supermom (who had a high-powered job, ran a perfect house, and raised perfect children with no hired help) stereotypically ended up on speed for a reason, I think! 

But, that said, my goals for the rest of the day:
-bring the workbasket downstairs to corral some of the loose knitting/clothing repair projects
-3 loads of laundry
-find books that are owed to various people (good thing working at the library means no late fees!)
-go to post office (across the street)
-grocery/gas (Costco?)
-plan meals for the next 2 weeks
-water plants (and, if enthusiastic, mow as well)
-call AT&T to figure out why the TV won't work
-only if all else is finished: play!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cricut sale!

Cricut sale -- this is a serious sale!  I'm tempted... although I suppose it's still out of my price range, and I'd probably never use it...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby hat

So many pregnant friends... one's due in October and wants hats, so here's a sweet one with laceweight mohair blend from Yarnorama in Paige, TX, my favorite store (if only it were closer!).(Ravelry link.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby quilts

I've never been good at coming up with colors and fabrics that go well together, and I've always been a sucker for kits of any kind (Himself knows the way to please me -- get me sets or kits or samplers!)  So, when I saw these baby quilt sets at Joann's, I had to get them.

2 friends, one pregnant, one I just found out adopted a newborn five months ago.

I do like the way these turned out.  The doggy quilt is backed with the faces from the center top and bottom panels; the duck quilt is backed with the blue dotted flannel.

I especially like that there's no binding involved, just like the self-binding baby blankets I like making.  No batting either, which I don't mind using, but batting is expensive.  Just turn and handstitch the opening closed.  I don't like handstitching either, and I think it looks better with topstitching anyhow, so I topstitch across the opening and all the way around.  A little stitch-in-the-ditch (nasty hard when one side of the ditch is yellow or brown plush!), and you're ready to go!

I'm thinking of making bibs or burp cloths with the extra fabric scraps.  We'll see.

Of course, what did I do but go out and buy a larger-sized actual (with-binding-and-batting) quilt kit for my grandmother for Christmas...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Christmas birds

Can't find the SD card (that happen to anyone else?), so: here's some pictures of little things I made for my cardinal-loving grandmother last Christmas. I love kits!
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top-down short-row socks

(Pictures forthcoming!)

Back from New York (with the bride cross-stitch not yet finished...), and we went to a yarn shop in Tarrytown:  Flying Fingers

Got some nifty sock yarn and a teensy 8" Addi Turbo needle (I've been converted... there's a real reason they're more expensive; unlike Lantern Moon where I feel you're just paying for pretty, Addi's quality is worth it), and, as I have what I've recently seen described as "startitis," I just had to start my socks right away. 

Problem is, I didn't have a pattern.  I looked in one of the books they had for sale to get a concept of gauge (I don't know off-hand the circumference of your average sock), and I cast on 64 sts on my little size 1 needles, ribbed 1x1 for a while, then realized I didn't want to do any of the patterns I had in my own sock book (using to make something fancy for the kid brother) when I got back to the hotel.  I'm not a huge fan of heel-flap socks, and I agree with Himself that short-row socks "look like real socks," so I had to use my memory for a short-row pattern.  I really do prefer toe-up (use 2 balls, stop when you're finished, and you don't have to worry about running out of yarn -- if you've got too little yarn, you've got short socks!  Rather than having to have a different-colored toe...), but I'd already started, so had to go on from there (hate frogging unless something's become unusable).

So, here is a very generic short-row sock pattern, designed for the experienced knitter who understands the concepts of sock knitting:

co 64, join.

Ribbing: rib 1x1 for as long as you like ribbing.

Top of sock: stocking stitch for as long as you want the top of the sock. 

Short-row heel: k 1/2 a round (32 sts), turn; sl 1, p to 1 stitch short of the beginning of the round, turn; sl 1, k to 1 stitch short of the previous last knit stitch, turn; sl 1, p to 1 stitch short of the previous last purl stitch, turn; continue until there's 16 sts left on what you're working through.  Now do it in reverse: k to the first slipped stitch, k it, sl 1, turn, p through what you just did to the next slipped stitch, p it, sl 1, turn; repeat until you've worked across all 32 sts.

Body of sock: k around until your foot starts to taper.  (I never do the "2 inches before desired end of sock" thing -- it never works for me.)

Toe:  k until 3 sts before halfway around (29 sts at first), k2 tog, k 2, ssk, k until 3 sts before you reach the beginning of round, k2 tog, k1 (end of round), k1, ssk; continue, either alternating with k-all rounds or just repeating this decrease-four round (depending on how quickly your foot tapers!) until 6 sts remain.

Cast off with kitchener stitch. 

Wear your sock!

(Or, if you're not me, weave in ends and make the sock look pretty first, then wear it!)

One nice thing about top-down socks: they're easier to try on mid-sock than toe-up socks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Going to a dear friend's wedding in New York. I don't think this'll be finished by the wedding on Sunday, but it's a ton of fun! She's done some massive cross-stitch pieces in the past, so I think she'll appreciate it.

Bless you both, Kate and Dave!
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Thursday, May 20, 2010


Here, so I'll be able to find it (and you will too!), is my great-grandmother's spoonbread recipe, altered to include whole corn:

2 c. milk
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 T butter
1 small can corn

In a double boiler, scald milk, add cornmeal and salt, and cook 20 min. or more until it's pretty firm.

While it's cooking, beat egg whites until stiff.

Remove pan from heat, stir in egg yolks.  Add drained corn.

In a well-greased souffle pan, fold in the egg whites and the corn mixture.

Bake at 350 for thirty minutes or so.

It's good!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's your dream car?

If it's just expensive fancy cars, my dream car is..
(And that's actually not so expensive anymore, now that they're all 12 years old.)

But the car that would just tickle me so greatly to have is a Trabant.

I lived in Germany for a year, and spent two weeks with a family in former East Germany.  They spoke fondly of their Trabi, and I ended up writing a school paper from their stories -- taking the engine out and into the house with them in the evenings in winter, carrying around a set of strong rubber bands and electrical tape for repairs, actually speeding once when the spring holding up the gas pedal broke (brilliant engineering, there)... But really, I do love them.  Their style's so much like my second favorite car, the HM Ambassador in India.

Best thing?  You can get them quite cheaply these days.
Here's an ebay listing.

From the description (translation): "both autos are more or less driveable."

And (at least right now) for 10 Euro the pair!

Do you have a silly dream car?


So I meant to come back and post again, but for the past three days I've been surfing all of Sew Mama Sew's giveaways!  I've subscribed to many new blogs (note: if your blog only puts the title or a line or two in the feed, you have to be exceptionally fabulous for me to keep you.  I like full posts!), and I've entered many giveaways -- only for things I'll actually use, so if you're coming back to see me from your giveaway post, it's because I liked your stuff, not just because it was free!

The only one I'm actually mentioning is a giveaway by Sweet Tea Mom, because they're the cutest potholders ever.  I've made some cute ones myself, and bought some cute ones, and skipped over many giveaways of ones that weren't cuter than what I've already got... but hers win!  Go see them :)

(Not that all the fabric giveaways aren't awesome.  Just these really are great potholders!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back and Berries!

I know, I've been gone a very long time!  I oversaw a massive move at work and was so exhausted every night that I didn't make anything at all for four months... going a bit crazy by then... and I've only just now begun picking things back up.  Made two inkle belts for the boss and a coworker, since part of the move involved a spreadsheet, the use of which threw out my wrist, leaving me with only weaving or stitching as craft opportunities.

We spent this past weekend at my grandparents' place in the country.

Picking dewberries.

They tend to make your hands red. (That's Himself's hand over by mine.) They have nasty prickly thorns -- my right arm still looks like I've got measles, with little red welts all over it -- but they're worth it.

They lead to great preserves.

1 cup sugar
1 cup berries
put them in a pot over medium heat and stir until it starts to look like syrup
put them in a jar and process as normal.

No pectin, no added water, no anything else.  Just goodness!

(Other options: jelly, jam, cobbler, pie, or straight up and fresh off the bush.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back from Christmas

and well recovered!  Hawaii was excellent, and gave me time to make things I wouldn't have had opportunity to otherwise.  For what must be a record, I actually finished everything I was making for people, and made a few extra things in the bargain (the tea wallets proved such a big hit, several unintended people got them as well).  Himself will have to wait until his birthday in February for his sweater, but, as he doesn't remember he's getting one, it's all well and good. 

The best gift story of Christmas:

the Tuesday before, my grandfather said that what he'd like for Christmas was, "a white scarf, not too long, like we used to wear in the Army."  He was Army Air Corps, stationed in Okinawa at and after the end of the war.  (With good timing, he graduated from West Point in June of 1945.)  He's not overly easy to get things for, and the photo book I'd had made for him didn't turn out at all, so I figured it was worth a try.  Drove all around town that night and the Wednesday, finding out that not only did no store have a white scarf, but no store had a man's scarf at all -- everyone was sold out.  "Like we used to wear in the Army" stuck in my head, so I called around to some army surplus places in town, and all they had was Army Green.  Everyone I'd mentioned the request to, though, instantly said, "have you tried Col. Bubbies?"  I called them up, they said they had a few, and that if I came down early enough on Christmas Eve morning, they'd still be open.  So, a pleasant drive down to Galveston (with the King's College guys singing to me on the radio - very nice) later, and I had what was actually a white scarf like he used to wear in the Army -- actually an Army Air Corps scarf!  (A bit yellowed around the edges, but still good.) $5 later, and I was set. 

I gave it to him with an explanation on Christmas, and he seemed somewhat tickled, but not overly excited -- a bit tired, I'm sure.  The next day, though, I found out that he'd mentioned the request to someone else, and that the someone else had gone out and gotten some snazzy silk or cashmere scarf from Nordstrom's or something... and that mine was preferred, because it was literally exactly what he'd wanted.  He put it on, and I saw him smile the best smile I've seen from him in probably three years.  Definitely the best gift of Christmas.