Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can't Blog - Must Panic

Okay, the yearly "oh-my-God-we-are-leaving-for-Texas-tomorrow-and-nothing-is-done-HELP!" panic is firmly underway in our household. Blogging must wait!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Finished project!!

Early in the year I got a copy of Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby and immediately set about flagging the pages that had projects that I just HAD to make. Needless to say, there were quite a lot of things that I loved. I wanted a lace scarf to wear with my jean jacket and some of my turtle neck sweaters and decided that would be my first project. I had recently received my first few skeins of Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn from Emily Parson and I quickly cast on for the Bramble Leaf Scarf (page 98) in a particularly scrumptious semi-solid in the Deep Teal/Navy colorway from Emily's Layers of Color collection. The colors of the yarn are wonderful. It's mainly a midnight blue with shots of teal and even lavender in it. Yummy!
At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to use this heavier yarn (meaning not lace weight) for a lace scarf. I thought I liked it but couldn't decide. I kept on knitting. I got about half way though and discoved a mistake farther back. I wasn't feeling like tinking back to fix it (a difficult thing with lace if you aren't very careful - which I am usually not) so I put the project away for later. I picked it up again a month or so ago and fixed my mistake and finished it up. I love it and I LOVE the yarn weight with this scarf. I can't stop wearing it!
I made a few modifications to the published pattern. Instead of the French Trellis border I used a shorter border, the narrow point border on page 183 of the book. Also, I only worked the center bramble leaf insertion one time instead of the two repeats called for in the pattern. I worked the bramble leaf insertion chart a total of 36 times.
I only had one skein of the yarn and I needed to make sure I had enough, so I made an overall smaller scarf. I'm glad I did because the yarn weight might have made the scarf more heavy than I would have liked if it had been bigger.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween aftermath

Well, Halloween is over and done and a good time was had by all. Both the good little witch (or is she a cat - depends on who you ask) and the Jedi master Trick-or-Treated until Mommy dropped. Actually, Mommy's ears got really cold and she finally called an end to the festivities in order to thaw them out properly.

The witch costume was recycled from last year - at daughter's request (yeah!). I made the Jedi robe this year. I think it is going to get a lot of use.

I have done quite a bit of sewing during the past month. I finished two nighties for Shel. Both are made of fleece.

Next up, a Christmas party dress for Shelby. She picked out the fabric herself. She's partial to purple and pink and she loves glitzy.

Now I've got to go pack. We're off to Chicago for the weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You Know You're a Mom When . . .

. . . you find out you don't know ANYTHING at all! Here are some of the things I have recently discovered I don't know.
(1) I don't know how to drive. I used to pride myself on the fact that I was a pretty darn good driver. I don't panic in ice and snow. I can get myself out of some interesting ice/snow/skidding types of situations with little to no adrenaline rush at all. The hubby even complemented me once on what a good job I did smoothly avoiding a car sliding around on the icy road in front of us (it was ice, no braking allowed). A driving complement from the hubby is tantamount to winning major driving awards - so I felt really good about that. However, now I find out from the four-year-olds that I can't drive myself out of a wet paper bag.
Munchkins: "Mom, the light is red!"
Me: "No it's not."
Munchkins: "Mom, you just went through a red light!!"
Me: "No I didn't! That red light was for the other lanes. I had a green arrow."
Munchkins: "It was red! We saw it!"
Me: "Okay, never mind."

Munchkins: "Mom, the light is yellow. You need to slow down."
Me: "It's a flashing yellow light on a sign saying a traffic light is coming up."
Munchkins: "Yellow light means slow down!"
Me: "Yeah, never mind."

Munchkin: "Mom, I want to drive home from school today. Give me the keys."
(Enough said.)

(2) I don't even know where we live, let alone how to get us there.
Munchkins: "Mom, this isn't the way home!"
Me: "How do you know? You're only four and can't drive."
Munchkins: "This is the wrong way. We have to go the other way."
Me: "We can get home this way too."
Munchkins: "No we can't!"
Me: "Okay, never mind."

(3) I am either really bad at coordinating outfits or I am color-blind.
Me: "Shelby, those aren't the pants I put out for you to wear. Please change them."
Shelby: "But these are green and they match my green shirt!"
Me: "Change those pants!"
(Shelby is wearing what appears to ME to be an olive green shirt with bright grass green springtime pants. Apparently I can't distinguish the colors correctly because she sees nothing wrong with this.)

Being a Mom must mean that I just get dumber every day.

Since I mentioned the Illinois Jaguar Club in my previous post I thought I would include a picture of my hubby's pride and joy. She is affectionately known as the "other woman".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back from the Wilds of Southern Indiana!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. The unfortunate wish expressed in my last post came true - Shelby finally got sick. So the "whinies" turned into a cold after all. Be careful what you wish for! Anyway, I think we are on the upside now and everyone seems to be feeling much better. Appetites have returned which is always a good sign.

This past weekend our good friends Tom and Dar from Chicago came to visit.

We all took a trip down to southern Indiana to scope out a driving route for an overnight trip the Illinois Jaguar Club is planning for the spring. It has been pretty dry here in Indiana this summer (and early fall) so we were not expecting the fall colors to be very good. We were very pleasantly surprised! While not as spectacular as they could have been, the trees did look great. There is still a lot of green around since our weather has been very warm up until the last week or so.

We also saw some covered bridges like the Bean Blossom Bridge near the town of Bean Blossom. This one is really cool because you can still drive through it. Some are closed now.

We didn't really go very far but when you are scoping out routes for a driving event you wander around over a lot of curvy, hilly backroads even though you don't cover a lot of distance. The kids endured being stuck in the car for the better part of two days (quite graciously, I might add).

The parents, however, suffered a bit more. You have to admit that the fiftieth time you hear a song or phrase repeated your brain tends to go a bit numb. Actually, the numbness isn't so bad, it's the searing pain that proceeds it that is a bit difficult to stand! At least we all now know the words to the "Wonder Pets" (Nick Jr. kid's show) theme song. Thank God for small favors, huh?

On Saturday night we stayed in a really cool old inn in Columbus, IN called The Columbus Inn. Of course, not being fully in blog mode yet I neglected to take any pictures of my own.

On the knitting side of life, I am currently working on Jane's Hedgerow Socks in Needful Yarns Australian Merino in the lime-green colorway (#1024).

Friday, October 12, 2007


Okay, so the last month or so has been - er - shall we say difficult? First I had the cold from H*** which lasted over a week and then morphed into something different but equally evil and returned for an encore about a week after my so-called recovery. So a few uneventful weeks go by and my son gets a cold which lasted for over a week. We are just now coming out of it even though he still sounds as if he is going to bring up a lung at any moment. At the same time, my daughter is obviously trying to fight something off because she has entered the "WHINY ZONE".

What is the "WHINY ZONE" you may ask? (You are probably not a parent if you are asking this - but that's okay.) This is the stage that Shelby gets into when she is either (a) getting sick, (b) fighting off the onslaught (except for the emotional effects) of a virus or (c) very, very tired.

I hate the "WHINY ZONE"! I detest it! I'd almost rather she just get sick and be done with it. I, as a general rule, don't like clingy children. (Doesn't mean I'm not loving but I just don't like clinginess.) I'm more the "be independent" type - and my kids are basically very independent. But I can totally handle the I-want-to-sit-inside-of-your-skin-instead-of-just-beside-you tendencies of a sick child. I understand. They feel lousy. They need comfort. No problem. But the "WHINY ZONE" is something else altogether. The melt-down potential is astronomical - not to mention totally unpredictable. For example:

Shelby: "Mommy, can I have more juice?"
Me: "Why don't you drink some water first?"
Shelby: collapses on the floor in a weepy mass (not the typical reaction)

Me: "Shelby, you need to pick up your toys before you go up to bed."
Shelby: "I can't!" collapses on the floor in a weepy mass

Shelby: "I want to help cook dinner, Mommy."
Me: "Maybe you can help next time. This is very hot and might splatter on you."
Shelby: collapses on the floor in a weepy mass

I think you get the general idea. ANYTHING could cause this over-the-top weepiness. ANYTHING! And you never know when it will hit you. One minute everything is fine and the next you're tripping over the sobbing, huddled mass of your child on the kitchen floor

Now, I should tell you that my kids are not normally like this. They are, in general, incredibly good, well-behaved kids. Sure, they are noisy and boisterous, they don't listen or follow instructions very well ('cause it's not on their agenda), they fight with each other and they haven't figured out when enough is enough. But they are not tantrum prone. They never have been. A "tantrum" in our house is a foot stomp or throwing a LEGO block down when we don't get our way. (I know, I am truly blessed.) So this extreme weepy and whiny behavior is really out of character - and it really grates on the nerves. I truly hope I survive it.

Now for more artful content, I thought I would show you two of my older quilts.

Calypso Twist


Sorry for the poor quality of the images. They are scans of photos that I had.

Someone emailed and asked if my quilts had won any prizes. They have won quite a few. I entered a number of quilt shows and multi-media art shows before I was pregnant and won awards in both. Hopefully the kids are getting old enough that I can start spending more time in the studio again . . .

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband's birthday. Happy birthday John!! He's the one on the left with the beard.

I finished Shelby's striped socks earlier in the week.

I also finished the Horcrux socks today. This pattern was written by Susan Pierce Lawrence for the Six Sox KAL. I made these using Regia Bamboo in color 1061 on US 1 dpns.

Okay, for those of you who know, I realize that these are MONTHS late of the Six Sox KAL deadline. I sort of went on a sweater knitting jag this summer and neglected socks completely.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finally Recovered!!

I think I have finally recovered from our trip to Indianapolis. Doing the zoo and the children's museum (apparently the largest children's museum in the world) in two days was exhausting but fun. We saw some great things and have many left to see next time.

We saw some interesting colors and textures at the zoo. A cleaner shrimp, starfish and anemones.

We also saw lots of cool things in the desert area. The only picture I got was of this cactus.

I did manage to get one pair of CIC socks knitted during the weekend. I sent three pairs off on Monday for the CIC September sock challenge. Two pairs were the chain link socks pictured earlier. The other pair is a plain, purple stocking stitch sock made with Lion Brand Wool.

I started another pair of socks for CIC but my daughter, Shelby, saw me working on them and appropriated them for herself. This pair is made with a pink/maroon/tan/brown variagated Patons Classic Wool.

I just finished writing thank you notes for the kids' fourth birthday party so now I'm off to do some knitting before bed!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Just Joined CIC

I just joined the CIC-knit group on Yahoo. For those who don't know, Children in Common-knit is a group of knitters who make knitted items for children in orphanages in Russian and the former Soviet Union. The knitted items are then delivered to the orphanages by parents who travel to the country to adopt a child. They accept all kinds of knitted items: socks, vests, mittens, sweaters, etc. All items must be made of at least 50% wool or animal fiber. To learn more about CIC you can visit the Children in Common website. You can join the CIC-knit Yahoo! group by clicking on the link at the right.

I'm off for a fun-filled weekend in Indy with my family - zoo, children's museum, restaurants, shopping! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Welcome to my blog!!

I have been considering starting a blog for quite awhile and I've finally decided to just jump in. I am a quilt/fiber artist, wife, mother to 4-year-old boy-girl twins and a university chemistry professor (part time). So, since I don't keep very busy, I decided I needed another activity! Hopefully this blog will help to keep me motivated and organized.

Here is a picture of my little angels with their favorite friend.

My quilting/fiber art has taken a definite back seat in my life over the past four years but I think the kids are finally getting old enough for me to get back into it. Here are some examples of my art quilts:

18" x 18"

Unexpected Results
15" x 20"

19" x 18.5"

For the moment I have been satisfying my creative urges through knitting. I taught myself to knit a little over a year ago and I can't seem to stop! Some of the projects I have completed in the last year include two pairs of toddler socks for the Children in Common project.

Pattern: Toddler Chain Link Socks pattern from the Six Sox KAL (designed by Deby Lake)
Needles: Size 2 bamboo dpns
Yarn (blue socks): Patons Classic Wool in Denim Marl for main color and Patons Classic Wool in Winter White for contrast
Yarn (pink/purple socks): Lion Brand Wool in Flower Garden for main color and Sensatons Bellezza Collection Tesoro in Lavender for contrast

I made myself some basic socks (my first pair of socks) using Kim Goddard's Basic Sock pattern.

Pattern: Basic Sock Pattern
Yarn: GGH Marathon (I don't know the color but I love it)

I also made a pair of Chain Link socks for myself.

Pattern: Chain Link Socks pattern from the Six Sox KAL (designed by Deby Lake)
Needles: Size 1(US) dpn
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock "Water" for main color and Fortissima Socka "Black" for contrast

Ian (my son) got a pair of socks:

Pattern: Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd
Size: 4- 8 years (6.5" finished foot circumference)
Needles: US2 bamboo dpns for cuff and US1 bamboo dpns for remainder
Yarn: GGH Marathon, color #723 (bright turquoise tweed)
52 stitch cast on

I made myself a tank top using a pattern from Sirdar.

Pattern: Sirdar Duet Pullover
Size: 10
Needles: US4 and US6
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine (100% cotton), color #18 (sage green)
Modifications: Increased the length by 3 inches.

Here is the Katia Fanny Cardigan by Katia of Spain:

Pattern: Katia Fanny Cardigan (free pattern from Elann)
Size: 33.5" bust
Needles: US 5 Bryspun circulars
Yarn: Katia Fanny (50% silk/50% rayon), color #7 (cream)

The Eyelet Cardigan from Blue Sky Alpacas:

Pattern: Eyelet Cardigan from Blue Sky Alpacas
Size: Small
Needles: US 7 Bryspun circulars
Yarn: Blue Sky Dyed Cotton (100% cotton) in color #618 (orchid)