all that remains

I’ve been a little bit busy these days.  Working, sewing and knitting.  I’ve been places, seen people and done things.  Busy, busy, busy me.  I’m nearly ready for Christmas, family, vacation, and REST.

Here’s a peek what what I’ve been doing.  First up is a gaiter.  A gaiter is a neck warmer that is closely fitted to the neck, as opposed to a cowl which tends to be a bit bulkier.  This gaiter is also my first attempt at color work where two (and sometimes more) colors are knitted on the same row.

 

Here is what the backside looks like:

(sorry that it’s a little blurry)

I also made this cowl last Saturday (all in one day!):

It was made with the yarn (pictured in the top) called Misty Alpaca..which is sooooooooo soft. And warm. And cuddly.  It fits loose enough for me to pull it over my head.  It works really really well on these very cold winter mornings.  (The temps here for about the last 2 weeks have been at 20 or below, most mornings starting off in the single digits.)

And now that my neck is warm, I’m think you’ll want to see the Puppy Dog Quilt….so, here it is.  I finished it last night at about 10 PM, all that remains is for it to be washed.

Here is a close-up of the face.  I chain-stitched the mouth on (after drawing it free hand).  The only major change I made to this pattern was that I decided to make the eyes and nose “raggedy-edged” like the rest of the blanket.  The original pattern had you creating these nice and finished “disks” that would be stitched to the face, but since this is a rag-quilt, I decided to make the eyes and nose fit the rest of the quilt. 

This is one of the paws.  The original pattern had a single line to make the “toes” but I decided to put little hearts there.  Cute?

Here is puppy sitting up.  When I stand up and hold the blanket up, it is nearly as tall as me.  I sure hope Gabby likes it.  We’ll find out on Saturday!

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getting ready

I am officially getting ready for the holidays.  I do realize that today is December 16th, but better late than, well, later.  I made some progress on the puppy dog last night and I hope to have it completely finished this weekend.  I have 4 more sections to “quilt” and then I get to start assembling the sections together.  I have finally come to the conclusion that Betsy (my sewing machine) does not like harsh work environments and if I stick to a 1.5 hour at a time working plan we should do just fine.

I have the books for Olivia sitting in my living room and I just need to wrap them.  No problem.

I have placed a hold on my mail and newspaper…so hopefully neither will accumulate needlessly in my yard proving that I’m not there.

I mailed my sanitation bill (all of $2.32) today.

I will be “purchasing” Kris and Jude’s present today and Mom and Dad’s presents today – making these the final things I need to do.

Ready or not, Christmas Holiday 2010, HERE I COME!

Oh, and I was accused today (by my co-worker across the hall) that I am not festive enough today.  So I have garnered my Christmas Reindeer PEZ dispenser, filled it with candy and am ready to PEZ anyone around (at least until the candy runs out).  I think this is festive enough.

falling in the attic

I had to skip work yesterday because on Sunday I fell down in my attic.  Nothing serious, just a sprained wrist and a huge bruise on my … right hip.  What was I doing in my attic, you ask?  I’ll tell you.  On Sunday afternoon I was in my “office” watching season 3 of West Wing and just hanging out when it suddenly dawned on me that I was cold.  Colder than I should be.  Then it dawned on me that the bathroom fan was making a lot of noise.  Then it hit me that there are two windows in my attic – one in front and one in back – and one of them was open.  Which would totally explain why I was cold and why the bathroom fan was rattling.  So I decided to do something about it. 

Now, one of the features that I love about my house is the front porch.  I can never decide, though, if the porch was designed as part of the house or if it was an add-on.  Interestingly enough, the ceiling of the porch is about 2 feet lower than the ceilings in the rest of the house.  This is most noticeable from the attic.  When you go  up there, there is a huge recess in the beams where the front porch is….which is also where the open window was.  Instead of walking on the beams, I decided (rather stupidly now, I do confess) to walk on a board that must be older than dirt and well, didn’t hold up.  And down I fell.  My right hip landed squarely on the main lengthwise beam of the house and I managed to not fall through the front porch ceiling.  And I eventually managed to close the window.  Warmer, quieter house…bruised ego and … *bottom*.

What did you do this weekend?

being ignored

I’ve been so tired these last few days (dreaming about spiders and other stuff) that I’ve been ignoring the puppy dog blanket.  Actually, that is only partially true.  I have been tired, but, and this is a big one, my machine has been…shall we say “finicky” lately.  (I’m trying to be polite and nice, a change in tactics that may prompt better service from the machine.)  I am at the point of sewing the pieces for the puppy’s paws, and there are two lines sewn to indicated the “toes” of the puppy, and I thought “how cute would that be to sew those lines as hearts?”.  And I did.  But only on the first one, because by the time I got to the second one problems started to abound.  What I think is happening this time is that the needle is hitting the presser foot and is causing the needle to do strange things.  So I gave up and put the machine back in time out.  I’m beginning to think that my machine and I will never grow out of the toddler stage in our relationship.  Oh how I wish it would just grow up and let me sew what I want.  Why does it have to pitch a hissy-fit each and every time I go to sew? Why?

In other news, I am progressing on my super-secret-Kate project.  I’m about 1/2 way finished.  She will be so proud of me…I can just feel it. (I do have one confession here, Kate.  What I am knitting is not for you, it is for me. I just want you to be surprized when you see it.)(Sorry I had to break it to you this way.)(Really.)

dreams

I had a dream last night in which a spider (a small, black, furry one) jumped on me.  I woke up slapping myself to get the darn thing off.  There was no spider.  But then I couldn’t sleep anymore.  I’ve been exhausted all day.  Sometimes I hate dreams.

On a happier note (happier for my tummy and not my pocketbook), I discovered that Gingerbread Mocha Frappaccino’s are quite yummy.  Mmmmmmm.

time out

I started in on the puppy dog blanket (pattern here) last weekend and had to call my emergency sewing help line (aka Kate).  She couldn’t figure it out either.  I was using test material and the tension of the thread was totally off.  My machine is new to me and I couldn’t figure it out either. So I ended up taking the machine in on Tuesday to JoAnn’s and the Viking lady helped me out.  Seems like it was just a dull needle (who knew that needles should be changed every 8 hours of sewing?  Not me, and not my mother either).  Anyway, we got everything totally squared away and off I went sewing merrily along until…

…until Saturday.  I woke up, started sewing and then realized that the bobbin was about to be out of thread.  So I took it out, wound some more thread on it, put it back in, and boom!  The machine started acting up again.  I re-threaded the machine, I took out and put back in the bobbin and I even put a new needle on it (even though it was no where NEAR 8 hours of sewing time) and nothing.  The tension on the bottom was completely off.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  I put my machine in time out.

For the whole day.

When I came back on Sunday (today), I took the bobbin out, put it back in and re-threaded the machine and..voila!  It was working properly again.  Let this be a lesson to you: if something isn’t working right…place it in time out.