Archive | September, 2011

Not Much Happening

29 Sep

Not much to blog about anyway.  The kids are very active in school and extracurricular activities.  It’s keeping me on my toes and the time is flying by.  My wrist is hurting a bit because of a sweater that I’ve started for Gianna.  It has a lot of cables and purling and it’s causing some strain.  So I’m only knitting about 4 rows a day.  I’ll post pictures soon…  We are kinda “winging it” with the pattern so I’m not sure if it will be what we envision  or not.

My Doodla postings have not been great, but they continue to be fun to do.  Here are the past 6 days.

For the picture I entitled “The Geek” we were given the two partial rectangles from which I made the tops of the guy’s glasses.  Here’s the winning entry for that day.

“Court” is a very good artist.  I really enjoy what he comes up with.  We can name the drawing whatever we want.  Do you see the “lines” in common?  My glasses and his shirt?  Cool huh?

In my drawings above, the one I entitled “Happy Flowers” was drawn from the four random circles and the crescent shapes that I turned into the mouths.  For “Barnyard King” we were given part of what I drew as the rooster’s top hairs.  For “Quilting Time” we were given the very odd shape that I made the thread out of.  It’s pretty challenging.  There are great drawings and average drawings.  But I continue to learn and try to draw new things.  It’s a lot of fun and I look forward to each day’s doodles.  You can check out other drawings for today at


Interesting Developments

24 Sep

Last year I knitted this sweater.

It was a little big last year and really big this year.  So I unraveled it and dyed it in a pot of KOOL AID!  I used three Berry Blue and one Grape per skein or 1.75 oz.  Here’s the results.

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It has a mottled, teal, purple, bright blue thing going on .  Some of the original shows through in small streaks here and there.  I think it’s going to knit up wonderfully.  I’m anxious to knit up a swatch and see how it looks.  It’s not completely dry yet – still damp from last night.  I’m only doing a skein at a time and I have 10 skeins.  It will take me a good part of the weekend to finish dying it all.  Interesting… very interesting.

I’ve started a plain, old cardigan for Gianna.  It’s in teal heather wool.  I’m making up the pattern as I go along so I’m doing my fair share of ripping.  I just had to rip back two inches because it’s too big under the armholes.  I’ll post pictures of that tomorrow.

Speaking of Gianna, she got one of the lead parts in this year’s 4th and 5th grade musical.  She had a lead speaking role last year, but this year her part has a solo.  It’s a fun part – the villain.  🙂


Now I’m Finished

18 Sep

Again my 10yo was the photographer.  I don’t know how she can take pictures with an auto-focus camera and get them so out of focus!  But this is the only picture that even came close to being in focus.

Today’s a lazy rainy day.  I started a stocking cap.  We won’t need those for a while but it’s a quick, easy two day knit.

I’m making cumla in honor of my son’s 13th birthday which is tomorrow.

My son is cranky because he had a sleep over last night.  I don’t know why they call them sleep overs since no one sleeps.  Even with a 2 hour nap, he’s emotional and cranky.  Ugh…

I Should Be Finished

17 Sep

I should be finished with this sweater but I’m afraid I have to take out the front and neck binding.  I either didn’t pick up enough stitches or I bound off too tightly because it rides up on the bottom.

It’s not blocked yet.  It will look even better once it’s blocked I think.  I don’t think blocking will make that front band lengthen enough though.  Bummer….  Only a few hours work I guess.  Off to frog…

Knitting and Quilting

16 Sep

So I’ve been thinking…. Just why is it that this knitting bug has taken over my life and the quilting  bug has had such an abrupt and sudden death?

The answer is:  I don’t know.

I truly don’t.  Quilting doesn’t appeal to me anymore.  I feel like maybe I plateaued.  (That doesn’t look like it’s spelled correctly – but I’m going with it anyway.)  I was piecing the same types of quilts.  Quilts with squares; quilts with triangles; quilts with rectangles.  And my skills weren’t getting any better!  My points were not perfect.  My blocks were not always to size.  In fact, I think towards the end there I was getting WORSE instead of better!  I also have a short attention span so when I got to the parts where I needed to do the same piecing over and over again, I wanted to move on to a different project.  So I did.  And then I never went back to the original project.  Hence the term Quilting UFO – UnFinished Objects.  I have a gazillion of those.  I lost interest.  Then finally, I’d get so far into a project – sometimes even to the quilting stage – and think, “This isn’t how I envisioned this quilt coming out.”  So I couldn’t force myself to work on it anymore. Why continue?  I don’t like it.

So I got burned out… too picky… I just stopped enjoying the process.  That’s probably the main thing.  I became indifferent towards the art and the craft of quilting.

How is knitting different?  It probably isn’t.  Right now it’s pretty new to me.  I’m self-taught (same as quilting).  I thoroughly enjoy “figuring stuff out”.  I love a puzzle.  “How did they do that?”  “How does this work?”  I loved that about quilting too.  I don’t like to always follow the rules, but instead I like to figure out MY OWN way of doing things.  Since knitting is fresh and new as far as crafts for me, I’m still at that stage – figuring out how to do things.

It’s all about the process.

“I’ve never used that yarn before. I need to try it.  How is Yarn A different to knit with than Yarn B?”

“I’ll probably never wear a shawl but people say the lace patterns are difficult to knit.  I better try one.  I can always give it away to someone.”

“I can whip up a hat in two days maximum.  There’s not a lot of time invested and I can experiment with different yarns, stitches, needles, etc.”

Will I burn out on knitting?  Yep… probably…  just like I did with quilting.  I might be a little obsessive in my hobbies because I jump in to the deep end and learn to swim from the get go.  But for now,  I like it.  I still do a little sewing and quilting.  I made purses with Mia.  I am thinking about making some pajama pants for the colder months.  I do still enjoy making things.  But I’m not sure I will be able to dive into the quilting deep end just yet.  And I’m fine with that.

More Progress To Report

13 Sep

I got the second sleeve on my cardigan.  Whooo!  Hooooo!  That only leaves about a skein of yarn for the body (about 5″ worth) and then pick up and knit the front and neck ribbing.  I think I can be finished with that sweater this weekend.  I’ll be wearing it next week for sure.  It’s a short sleeved sweater but the sleeves come to my elbows.  It’ll be perfect for early-fall here in Illinois.

What else do I do to keep busy?  Every day I post a picture on  It’s a great way to start your day.  Here’s how it works.

  1. You must have an iPad.  The app is free but you can buy different width virtual pens for $0.99.  So of course, you need those pens!  I also have a stylus so I don’t have to draw with my finger.
  2. Every day Doodla posts a squiggle.  It can be a series of lines or shapes.  Then you have to draw something incorporating those shapes.  You can’t erase any lines that you screw up on but you can erase and start the drawing over from scratch.
  3. After you’ve drawn your picture, you give it a title and submit it.
  4. Then you get to vote on everyone else’s drawings.  It’s a checkmark (I like it) or X (don’t like it) vote.

Here are my last few entries.

An artist – I am not.  But it’s a lot of fun!

The dog (first one) was today’s.  Not my best.  But the squiggle I was presented was the curved line that begins at the top of the dog’s head and extends to what looks like a nipple under the dog’s leg/paw.  So that’s the only thing I could think of.

Yesterday’s bedbug was drawn given the shapes on the wings, the body and a “J” that extended from the body.

Now, obviously, there are some really talented artists drawing doodles.  I’m just having fun and trying to awaken my inner creativity.  I learn from the “good drawings” – like how to shade with dots – and I learn from Internet line drawings.

Check it out!


11 Sep

Dan has his tennis ball gun working!  It’s amazing!  We are going to make a youtube video of it this afternoon and I’ll post the link on the blog here.  It’s quite cool.  He’s ready for Phase II which is to modify the barrel to shoot a softball.  We will have our own version of a pitching machine soon I think.

I’m plugging away at the latest sweater.

I turned the flash off on the camera which makes the lace stitches really pop but makes the color look royal blue instead of the darker blue that it actually is.  I kind of screwed up picking up the stitches on the left sleeve there.  But you can’t tell when I tried on the garment so I think I’ll leave it as it.  We’ll see how much it bugs me.  I have a lot more of the length to go – 5 or 6 inches!  It’s a long cardigan. I will like the length but will dread picking up the front border stitches to add the ribbing around the front and neck!  It takes me an hour to pick p the sleeve stitches.

Gianna’s first softball practice is today.  Dan is making his famous “Roast Soup” for supper even though it isn’t quite soup weather yet.  The older kids are coming here for supper.  It’s one of their all-time favorite meals.  Cory has been coming over for Sunday suppers because that’s when we have “the good stuff” – steaks, roast, etc.  I think he makes the rounds to his various relatives’ houses to get free suppers all week.  Mia quit her Sunday job so she can start coming over for suppers now too.

Cory continues to succeed in school.  He’s getting straight As in his classes so far.  I’m glad he’s sticking to it.  He’s excited about succeeding and is determined to get good grades this time around.  Maybe the Army did wake him up in that sense.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  My sister called from working in Kentucky.  She scored a Men’s Medium CASHMERE sweater at Goodwill for only $2.50!  It’s a cranberry color (awesome) so I don’t have to overdye it.  I’m going to try to unravel and reuse the yarn.   $2.50!  🙂