December 23, 2010

Happy Hollidogs

 Lucy, Abigail & Beau want to wish you a happy holiday.
I told them they could move when they did.
They were less than thrilled with sitting in front of the tree.

It's in the house and has lights.
that's about all I can say right now
we do use a living tree - maybe this year it'll get planted
last year it was only a 3' tree, grew about 2' in the pot in the yard.

Happy Holidays everyone  I hope to be back in this space with more sewing and knitting to show in 2011.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, opinions and friendship with me.
I truly appreciate it.

December 17, 2010

Not Your Grandmother's Gingerbread House

For the past 18 years the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle has been hosting a gingerbread display to benefit juvenile diabetes.

I've lived in Seattle for that long this time - but never knew about it until I saw a clip on the local Evening Magazine last year.  thankfully I was working downtown, or I never would have gone to see them.  Cake Fixation has a blog post with much better photos (2009 are here) - but I'll still give you my favorite photos.

Last year, having been the first year I ever saw them I think those were my favorite and everything else has to live up to them.  This year - the tree house is my favorite.  I love trying to figure out what all the 'building' materials are.  I also loved those trees and reindeer.  I've been to see them twice now this year and I think I'm dragging JB down to view them after my company holiday dinner next Thursday again! 

Does your town have a gingerbread house display? 

December 16, 2010

My Boys

This cracked me up!  We are the crazy people who talk for our dogs.  So - a couple of days ago - Beau walked over the couch where JB was sitting.  Then he did something he doesn't normally do - he used his back legs and climbed on up.

The dogs really aren't allowed on the furniture, but it was hysterical.  JB started talking for Beau - The dialog went like this:

Hmmm, so this is what you do all day?  You just sit here and stare up at that big thing on the wall.  Why?  It's not very comfortable you know.  The couch really isn't long enough for me.  How do you fit?  Hey!  Push over, I'll lay down on you instead.  Quick mom - take the photo - look how handsome I am. 

I couldn't even tell him to get down, I was laughing too hard and taking photos.  He did the same thing the next night.  The dog - he's turning into a couch potato!! 

December 11, 2010


Westlake Center - Downtown Seattle
December 2010

December 10, 2010


ser·en·dip·i·ty   /ˌsɛrənˈdɪpɪti/


1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.

Last month I shared that I bought Sew Serendipity.  I got lots of encouragement to take my favorite quilting cottons and go for it.  I decided to start rather small - or maybe not so busy.  I saw this skirt (scroll down, it's the 2nd picture) in the book and loved it!  Then I was wondering around JoAnn's and saw a fantastic graphic courdory print, I managed to find a home dec fabric that worked with it and a solid for the ruffle.

I don't know that I had good fortune making this skirt.  I made a muslin and then I made another one, once I cut into the fashion fabric I sewed it up according to the second muslin, too big!  took it apart and took it in, a little too snug.  Tore the studio apart to put in new floors and put the skirt in time out.  Left it there for a couple weeks before finishing.  Now it's too big again! 

I wore the skirt on Tuesday.  The top wasn't quite the right color.  And while I like all the separate parts, I don't love this skirt. There is still something that's not quite right about it.  At one point on Tuesday I had the thought that if I took a wedge right out of the center front it would be pefect.  But that's not really a condoned alteration.  Anyway - what do you think?  Honest. 

December 1, 2010

Abigail Jane

Abigail joined our family in January 2000.  She was born on December 1, 1999 - so you know what that means, right?  Today the old gal is 11!  I'm pretty impressed - she's had a hard time or two in her life.  She has a slight bit of arthritis in her left hip, but she's doing well on the meds - no long term kidney damage or anything else.

She had a bit of a rough time with the loss of Dudley - but she's finally starting to snuggle up with Beau or Lucy (usually Beau) every now and again.

Here's to another 11 fabulous years with the grumpy gal!

November 29, 2010


As many of you know - "we" put new floors in the basement.  In order to do that - I had to empty the studio - most of the stuff in bins was stacked in the downstairs bathroom and shower - all my yarn, some projects (that will most likely never be finished) pattern shelves, thread etc. 

Everything but the fabric.  The fabric was emptied from one of the cabinets that contains it - the cabinet moved, fabric loaded back in - then the fabric from the second cabinet was added to the first - mixing everything together.  ::cry::

Finally - we had to move the cabinets again, and all the fabric just literally got thrown on the cutting table.  - here's the current problem.  JB has now decided that we need to repaint, because we don't have any leftover paint to just touch up.  And frankly - it's old and a bit tired.  But that means those cabinets will have to be moved again!  Each has 3 shelves that hold fabric which used to be sorted by color and then either woven or knit.  One cabinet held exclusively dressmaking fabrics - I try not to mix my crafty cottons in with the dressmaking fabrics.  White, brown and grey in one cabinet, red/pink and blue/green along with the cottons in the other.  It's too much!  It's overwhelming and I'm not able to get anything done these days.  ARG!

So - how do you deal with excess?  I think I'll be either donating, giving away through the blog, or selling some patterns.  Now if I could just dress myself .....

November 27, 2010

Why Do you Do It?

So many in blog land - knit, sew, scrapbook, create.  So the reason question is, why? 

I've been giving this alot of thought as I was working on my grey alpaca cardi.  I had started it once, and ripped it because is was a big grey box.  I am spending a fair amount of money to make this cardigan and I want it to be a wardrobe classic.  I want it to fit.  So, I cast on again - this time going from the top down - there are a few things I know about me - raglan sleeves look great on my square shoulders - so I should knit them.  Second - I have a waist - should probably show that one off too.

So away I knit.  Added the first buttonhole, then the second and placement was perfect.  Divided the sleeves out and rejoined the body and that's when I started feeling something wasn't right.  The sweater really wasn't wide enough for me.  It fit great through the back and shoulders, but after that - well it just went downhill.

I knew this in my gut, but I knit on.  And I kept asking friends for advice.  Would they rip it?  What would they do.  I almost had myself convinced to just let it go - but I knew I didn't love it.  I wouldn't wear it.  And not only is there a lot of money invested in this garment, but a lot of time.  I want to love it.  So, on Friday, I took the sweater downstairs and introduced it to my ball winder.  and off we go again - this time, I might add a bust dart with short rows (which is what my gut is telling me is needed) or maybe just add more stitches for width.  Hopefully, soon - I'll have a finished sweater to share.

But please tell me - why do you do it?  Do you rip something that doesn't match the image you had when you started it?   Or do you plod on and hope that you'll love it?

November 26, 2010

Slowing the Season

I won't be out shopping on Black Friday.
I'm taking the "Slowing the Season" Pledge. 
Care to join me?

Slowing the Season Pledge

Please join us in our effort to reduce stress, reduce our carbon footprint, really slow down and enjoy the holiday season this year and in years to come. Exchanging gifts isn’t a big part of holiday preparations. For me and my family, the holidays are not about how much you spend, how much you give or receive, but spending time with loved ones making memories.

In an effort to achieve this goal – I plan to do the following to the best of my ability:
~exchange gifts only with my immediate family;
~give handmade gifts with meaning;
~give supplies to make a something that the recipient would enjoy;
~participate in free, local holiday events;
~buy from local artists whenever possible; and
~try to create one new family tradition.
We're just reclaiming the PEACE and JOY of the season.

If you care to join us in slowing the season - feel free to use my badge (or create your own) and add the pledge to your blog.  Between now and Christmas share little ways you are reclaiming the Peace and Joy of the Season with you family.

Happy Holidays!

November 25, 2010


One of the things that I try to remember on Thursday is all the little things I'm thankful for on a daily basis.  Some of that is really easy - jobs, health, family, home.  The other thing I try to do is find joy in something - whether it's the stars on Macy's windows, the lights, knitting, sewing, or sometihng that just looks pretty. 

Tuesday I had an "ice day" off work.  Monday it snowed in Seattle.  If you live anywhere besides Seattle, you have no idea how the tiniest dusting of snow impacts this City.  We left work at 3:00 and it took almost 4 hours to get home.  I wish I was joking.  On Tuesday the main road through my City still hadn't been plowed, bridges were a mess and they closed the office for our safety. 

At one point during the day - I was doing dished, looking out the window and noticed how lovely the house behind us looked with the sun shining on its dusting of snow.  Isn't it a pretty little picture?

November 24, 2010

Shop's Open

Ready to Ship

I've finally joined the ranks of those peddling their wares on etsy.
These are little project bags for packing your knitting along.
The design is based off knitted dumpling bags - so I call them "sock dumplin's".
They are easier to fit than clothing!

November 23, 2010

November 22, 2010


roughly pinned out
This is tough work - this designing gig.  I've done it a couple of times before - with the pink girly girl socks (I still haven't worn them) and my ravelympics socks.  I've also designed and published a cowl pattern.

Closer - you can almost see what I see
But now I'm working on a shawl.  I can see exactly what I want - but I'm not sure it's coming through in the knitting - of course it might be too soon to tell.  I've only worked 2 repeats of the border pattern.  Trying to work the increases is and keep a lace pattern in the middle is a bit difficult.  I have no idea how I'll write this up as a pattern. 

There are three different stitch patterns being used - one with a 2 row repeat, one with an 8 row repeat and one with a 14 row repeat.  Whew!  And then there's the increases and how to space them to keep the shape that I see in my mind and will the decreases work and shape it the same way?  I'm also not sure I'm sold on the size of the cast on edge - it's seems wide.  However, I'm pretty sure I'm overthinking it.

November 19, 2010

Keeping the Cowboy Warm

Cold Cowboy!

Some time ago IrishGirlieKnits contacted me about doing another test knit. This is the 3rd one I’ve done for her and I must say – her patterns are stunning! They are well written and produce a fabulous knitted garment. And while you all know that I’ve mostly outgrown the scarf stage and have moved into sock stage with no moving in sight, I did agree to test knit this little one skein scarf.

The yarn is creamy by Kollage and they sent me the yarn. This is the first time I’ve even done a test knit where I had to mail my finished product off. However, the lovely folks at Kollage sent me two hanks of creamy – one for the sample and one to keep. (If you went to Stitches East you didn’t see me, but you might have seen my knitting. It was there!)

Anyway – I first wound the ‘dreamsicle’ color and knit it. This little le Petit Pont is a speedy knit. I think it took me 3 days. The blocking is lovely with the ‘points’ pulled out on the sides as well as on the ends. I believe I over blocked both scarves, so when you knit this – just block it lightly. While I was waiting to hear if I should block it (turns out maybe I should have left it for the pros) I started the lavender version.

Then I decided that while I adore the pattern, neither really matches my wardrobe – so I would send them both on. I am the strange breed of knitter who loves to knit and could never have a finished project to show for it because I have gifted them all away. The exception to this is people ‘asking’ me to knit for them. But I digress.

 Once they both were knit and blocked I decided I really should take some glamour shots and my cowboy was lookin’ cold. So – there you have it! Wow! Wordy post for such little shawls.

November 18, 2010


As usual, I'm thankful for the little things that we take for granted
 - health, family, loving spouse -
but there are a few others this week.

  • Fantastic vets - no matter who we see at our clinic, they know us and they know and enjoy our dogs.
  • Being DIYs.  The new floor is lovely.
  • Spending holidays with good friends.
  • The local "we'll wash your dog place".  This morning I scheduled the 3 stinky hounds for baths on Saturday.  It's $35 each, but since I can't manage to get it done - well worth it.
  • Friends who support my crafts pursuits and push me when I think I can't.
  • Learning that I am capable.
  • clothes that fit!
  • The sights of the holidays - I love the decorations and the sparkling trees.

November 17, 2010

New Floor

Bad Photo
Horrible photo, but how pretty and rich is my new floor?
Better photos after the walls are touched up and the trim installed.
and maybe some furniture besides dog bed, ya think?

November 16, 2010

Temporary Space

So Saturday I got home from my sewing guild meeting to find JB in the basement laying the new floor.  What?  Umm, the floor isn't suppose to go in until next Spring - we talked about that - we agreed, I wasn't prepared.  I had sewing to do! 

So - what's a girl to do?  Well - Saturday I worked on the serendipity skirt.  Then later after JB was busy with his poker peeps - I started sorting and organizing what would have to be relocated to the temporary 'studio'. 

That would be my sewing machine on the dining room table, along with a cutting mat, and a bunch of pre-cut bags.  There is my little caddy loaded down with tools - I keep it filled because it's easier than empting and refilling but it's really convenient for going to retreats and for relocating in the house.  You can see my serger on the floor under the ironing board.  The serger does have a cover on it and it's living on the dining room table to keep dog slober off it for now.  I got a log of bag production done yesterday.  Now to get back to it.

Tomorrow I'll share the new floor - it's stunning!

November 15, 2010

Beignet Revealed

What was I doing?

Long ago I started working on the Beignet Skirt with a little help from my neighbor A. We got the fit fine tuned, and I cut it out of this really old denim that has a tiny floral print. (I’m pretty sure this denim has been around since TMO and the Princess were little.) Yea - it's too cutesy to wear all the time, but I wanted to try it out. The only change I made to A’s alterations was to add 2" to the length, because otherwise it wasn't really long enough for me.

So Friday I pulled it on with a sweater and my boots. It amazes me that I've been sewing for so long and yet - I still don't know what size I am. Apparently yoga will change your body, even though I haven't been doing it for long and I'm not very consistent at this point.

Back Pulled in.

Anyway - even with help, this skirt is too big. One thing that has finally been beaten into my hard head is that I look better if my clothes fit! Now I'm not talking skin tight - but 2" of ease at my waist is not a good look for me. I find that I push my stomach out when I'm standing in an effort to help keep my skirts up. Not sure why - they aren't going to slip past my hips any time soon! But - still.

In the second photo - the one on the right - I have pulled all the extra to the back of the skirt and it looks so much better! I have a lovely piece of brown brushed cotton and 12 perfect buttons - so I'll make it one more time. I love the shape, the buttons didn't gape, it was comfortable. I'll take 2" out of the front only including the sides seams - because the back fits perfectly!

However - this version - is now going in the good will pile. I won't even take the 12 buttons off it first!

November 12, 2010

Hit or Miss?

Ever since Angie posted all the photos from the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2010 Line.  I have loved this skirt.  I needed to have one of my own.  I had a pink tweed from long ago and thought it would work.  I threw it in the washer and dryer, then I underlined it with some lavender batiste.  I added 6 inches to the length.  I lined the skirt with a green lining and added the fringe selvedge edge to the lining - but it's short enough that I'm the only one who knows it's there. 

I started with the same ol' same ol' Kwik Sew skirt that I have made at least a million times.  It works.  It's fairly full and fits my hips well.  I always feel fun, flirty and feminine when I wear skirts made from this pattern.
I finished the skirt last weekend and when I showed JB his comment was it looked like somebody's curtains.  I wore it to work on Wednesday.  I wore a cream turtleneck and for most of the day I had a light green cardi on too - but then I got hot.  The other reason for making it longer - was so that hopefully it would work with my really cute heeled wingtips.
So - honestly - is it a hit or a miss?  Honestly.  You won't hurt my feelings.  Truthfully - the skirt is heavy and I felt 'dumpy' and 'frumpy' all day.  JB said it was cute when I was dressed for work, but later he asked what the knitting gals had to say - they said shorten it - about 3".  So I'll try that.  

Again - I'm asking for honest opinions here - work or no?  and if not - why not?  Thankee.  

November 11, 2010

Dear Sweet Dudley Boy

My friend R made this necklace as a combo birthday / condolence gift.
It's my Sweet Dudley Boy as the angel he always was.
The head is just spot on Dudley Dog.
I love it - Thanks R.

November 10, 2010

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn

I have lots of friends.  Thankfully they all get the 'yarn' thing.

This lovely purple Alchemey Sock Yarn is from The Princess.  (I'd link to her, but she's busy going to school full time, work full time and apparently updating her blog is not a priority!)

This yarn has already told me that it wants to be a variation of the Uncle Frank socks that I just finished - even though it came with Cookie A's book.

Next - S. who works at GY bought me a lovely hank of the Kollage Sock-a-Licious.  She actually let me pick my yarn because she couldn't decide what I'd want - but really - I just love sock yarn.  I love knitting socks.  So it doesn't really matter to me because if it's not a color that I love, I'll still enjoy the process and then I'll gift them - so double the gift.

Finally - last week I got a box from BubblesKnits.  With more sock yarn.  Sadly - Bubbles has decided to close her etsy store where she was selling her lovely hand-dyed yarns.  I've traded for her yarn, I've bought it and I've bene gifted her sock yarn.  I don't know what she named these colors as they came without labels, but I know that I will love knitting with them and I'm pretty sure - none of these socks will be gifted. 

November 9, 2010

Patterns and more

Last month Mary showed some great vintage patterns on her blog.  And then - then - she offered to give them away (Mary - I think I owe you postage!).  While we were away last month a box arrived at my door.

I was amazed at how many patterns were shoved into that flat rate box.  The practically burst out when I opened it.

Really lovely, vintage patterns.  However after last weekend of sewing - I'm not sure why I would ever try a pattern other than what I know already fids.  But looks at this one - McCalls 7015.  I adore it.  I think I can take a page from Carolyn's book and just overlay my TNT a-line skirt pattern (Simp.
5914) and use the parts that fit from my TNT and incorporate the design lines from this stunning pattern and end up with a winner.  Right?  Right?

Also in the box was 9 balls of the lovely Lang Golf cotton in a lovely sunflower yellow.  There is 125 meters in each ball.  That should be enough to make a lovely little summer cardi for next year - dontcha think?

Mary said she was sending yarn because she was sure my stash must be dwindling with the all the knitting I've been doing lately.  Mary - JB spewed water all over the kitchen when I read that!  He said - Thanks for nothing!   But it's okay - I love it all.  Thank you.

November 8, 2010

Double Arg!!

Apparently - I'm new to sewing.  At least that's how it feels some days.  I'll share my later, but suffice it to say that finally (yes finally!) I got it through my thick head that I only need extra room at the fullest part of my hip.  But - and apparently this was news to me - NOT at my waist.  DOH!!

Now that I've managed to get past that - and tell you all - wanna share what your biggest sewing doh was?  I have an extra issue of the October 2010 Burda Style that I'm willing to send to somebody who shares a really funny one! 

November 5, 2010

TTL Mystery

I am a sock knitter.  I want to knit other things, but so rarely do.  But it's okay - I love knitting socks, I love gifting handknit socks, and I really love wearing handknit socks.
So - when TTL (Through the Loops) offered her mystery sock pattern for Socktober - I knew I had to knit it.  I was very good and managed to get each clue done the week it was released.  I knit my socks with my favorite method - 2 at a time, magic looping.  And they were done in the month.
While we were driving around on the birthday trip I was finally able to finish the 4th clue - the gusset decreases and foot.  So - when they were tasting wine and I was wandering the grounds of the beautiful Quail's Gate (careful it has music - sorry) I knew I had to get JB to snap some photos of my finished clue 4.

The little house was perfect - in an very Alice in Wonderland Way.  The sock on my other foot is my Pink Dalmation Charade - which has been done for years.  But my new maryjanes are perfect for showing off handknit socks and walking around all day - win/win!!

November 2, 2010

Sew Serendipity

This is not the post I had in mind for today, but it's the one I'm sharing.
A couple of weeks ago I bought this book.  I have long admired skirts made from this book.
And most of you know I have a long standing love of the crazy print skirt.
And as much as I love the styling in the book and on Kay Whitt's blog -
I don't think I can pull off the 5 different print skirts. 
I might try making up her pattern, but I think I'll do it one print at a time.
The eye candy in this book is fabulous.  It's fabulous bedside glancing through.
If you're looking for inspiration - this will provide it.

November 1, 2010

Mini Birthday Vaca

On Friday the 22nd we drove up to visit my SIL in Canada.
JB decided we would drive straight through without stopping except for gas and maybe a bathroom break.
It was my birthday - I was less than impressed.

Saturday we did some shopping - I got about 4 new turtlenecks, a couple of t-shirts
some jeans and a pair of green cardis.
I also did a fair amount of knitting.

On Sunday we loaded into SIL's car and drove around to the wineries.
The Vernon/Kelona area is becomimg more and more known for their wines.
I don't drink wine - so I walked about with the camera and knit.

Me, JB, SIL.
Why do I thrust my hips forward when I stand up?
I swear I am not nearly as barrel chested as I look.  Ick!

Monday was JB's birthday and after stopping for a lovely breakfast
we drove straight home.
It was snowing in the pass - we drove the sportscar, not the SUV.
But other than a bit of slipping and sliding it was an uneventful trip.

All photos - except the one I'm in - were taken by me.
Next - I have some finished socks (lots of them again).
Birthday pressents and maybe, maybe some sewing to share.

October 28, 2010

Guest Dog

I know nothing about this boy.
His mama had a very thick accent
I know he was on the hunt to chase deer out of his vineyard.
He was adorable!

October 21, 2010

Think Pink!

Since I have no new photos of my dogs and no sewing to speak of
we're going to skip DoT and send you directly to a contest.
Photo from Pampered Chef
You - yes you! - could win these lovely plates.
Anyone who knows me - know I love a pretty plate.
JB has threatened to start giving mine away if I buy anymore.
So - I managed to work out a trade - one of my new sock dumplin bags in exchange for the plates.
However - to win them - go to Knit Tea and tell her what your favorite PC item is.
You can also link to a product who's proceeds benefit Breast Cancer.
Good Luck!

October 20, 2010

Parade Float

I'm joining in Bark 'n Knit's Parade.  Here's my entry: 
From the back:  Grey alpaca sweater in the brown and blue bag; pink cashmere stockings (still need the ruffle) in the daisy bag; beaded socks in the dog sock dumplin; red lace in the paw print triangle; lace stole in the dark green bag; My dog walks all over me cowl in front of the sweater; Christmas Socks redux; mystery socks; and modern quilt wrap.  Not too shabby!  I actually thought there were more floating around

WIP Float

A few close -ups:
Grey Alpaca Cardi
Modern Quilt Wrap
Red Lace

Since taking the group photo, I have finished the purple socks and
am half done with the cowl.
The stole has been swatched;
the mystery socks will be done sometime before the end of the year.
I plan on taking grey and modern on a road trip this weekend.
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