Monday, March 31, 2008

Clicking Needles Heard in Suburban House

I guess it is sort of disturbing that our house is still considered the burbs.  I mean we're really a city to ourselves here two blocks from New Orleans proper.  Eh, whatever.

There has been knitting going on here recently.  Not much, and not really worthy of much mention but it is indeed happening.

It's a sock.  I'm not showing off the whole thing because it has to be ripped back to the heel.  I am really not happy with the weird pooling going on.  It's actually more like a long stripe for some reason.  So it's got to go.  I'll simply do an all stockinette foot.  This yarn is Fiesta Boomerang, seriously lush squishy and nice to knit.  One of my favorites.

Spring break is over.  Marky Mark is driving my car an hour to the place where it will be serviced (reason enough for me personally to get a new car but the bank account disagrees)   And it is quiet.  I can hear the appliance noises, the breeze blowing, things I thought had simply stopped.  For scheduling reasons we were unable to go anywhere during the break but next time I am not going to waste the chance to get out of town.

I'm off to attempt to clean up around here a bit.  Rabid monkeys must have broken in here and done all this mess.  It surely could not have been anyone in this family.  Everything is out of place.  And I so want to get something creative done.  Oh well, I know the housework is not going anywhere but this week is shaping up to be a busy one and the disorder has already gotten under my skin so I guess I better at least attempt to make things civil.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I think he likes it

Yesterday was Marky Mark's 47th birthday.

He complains at any and every single event that I should not waste money buying him anything.  Making him things, however, is okay.  I could tell he was disappointed that this one was not done in time for Christmas.  (Christmas morning here was kind of ugly, he was seriously out of sorts and it was no fun)  He had hinted that he needed a blanket when I told him there was something I had made under the tree.  Since it's been put away for over a month it was a case of out of sight, out of mind for him.  

I think he forgot about it, although part of that makes me chuckle because he watches the evening news with his feet on the huge-ass apple butter making copper pot that this has been in since August and did he notice it has been empty?  Probably not, but now he will and he'll put it all together.  (His focus is on the outside world, plants and dirt so when he's done digging for the day he comes in and plops down with out realizing what's changed around him some days.)

He really was happy when he opened the blanket, and I am glad.

Marky Mark is a man of few smiles.  

Yep, it's long enough!

This one?  I guess he was a little giddy!  PeeWee wanted to make a tent with it right away.  They ran off to her room and made one.  It was pretty darn cute.  She's as happy as he is it's finished!

Spring break here this week, not much other stuff going on.  Lots of laying around, lazy lazy lazy.  I am itching to get things moving in the new sewing studio but with a houseful of kids that's not happening right now.  I'm hoping for a little Daddy/Daughter time before Monday and then hopefully I will have something (anything) new to show off.

And how did he get to be 47?  When did that one happen?  Then again, when did I get to be 39...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Color can be subjective

In one of my printmaking classes in college the professor told a girl her print looked like a WalMart shower curtain.  Keep in mind that in the late 80's that could not be taken in any way other than completely negatively.  WalMart, KMart and the like had no designer stylists at all.  I think I remember both the print and the comment because it was so scathing.  So keep this lovely black and white in mind when you think about my "ugly couch" knitting.  Because it really is ugly.  The kind of ugly you just have to love, like an ugly baby.

This puppy turned out big.  Over 6 ft both wide and long.  This round table is 6ft and I smooshed the blanket to keep it on there.  It really does need the additional edging.  The curling is not working for me.  The finished look of white all the way around is going to bring this one from "ugly couch" to cool ugly.  At least for me it is.

I hope Marky Mark has a good birthday Tuesday.  Having forgot one a few years ago, I feel the need to shower him with love.  He's not big on gifts and this blanket having been in the closet for the last few weeks will be completely in the out of sight/out of mind category.  Good thing I am married to the absent-minded landscaper!!

I like it.  It may fit the ugly baby category and feel free to speak up about that.  The yarn was on sale.  I most likely would have chosen something quite different but I really like this one.  And it's basically big enough to use on the bed, though it's meant for couch cuddling.  It replaces a somewhat ratty crocheted mess, well loved but seriously in need of retirement.

I knit this with some close out Classic Elite Two Two yarn, which is both soft and lovely to knit with. I have no idea what the colors are, but I used a lot of this stuff.  I bought 54 skeins of it at less than $2 a skein and used most of it.   

So there.  Finally some knitting.  And a FO at that.  I have some socks I started but instead of jinxing my progress on those I'm keeping them to myself for the time being.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm cranky.  If you want to go somewhere happy, go ahead.

Why is it that some knitting websites and magazines are full of crochet projects?  It really bugs me.  When I want to crochet, I'll look for crochet, thanks.  Not cruise through knitting patterns, (and dangit, especially in magazines and books!) looking for something to knit and finding only crochet.  Grrrr, it really bugs me.  I'm cranky, did I mention that?

Marky Mark's blanket has stalled.  I think it is simply done.  With the kids off of school until they go back on the 31st there's not likely to be much time to sneak in knitting.  And the entire month has snuck away from me.  I want a do-over for the last few weeks.  I've been too busy to even think straight.  Getting that edging done before Tuesday is just not likely.  It'll be fine though.  And I promise a picture of it.  Should be doable tomorrow, if Marky Mark would just go away from this house.  He's been working on our yard for almost two weeks now.  If he could do this without being underfoot, I would be thrilled.  With him home all day the conversation is running thin.  And trying to sneak in either secret knitting time or even a picture has been about impossible.  I'm trying here.  Tomorrow I will run him off for a while.  I really need to.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not Knit

I've been stitching here lately, just no knitting worth showing.  I think starting and ripping back the same sock 722 times does not make it worthy of a photo.  I can't seem to get a good pattern going and am not interested in knitting up a sock in a pattern I just don't like.  So there.  I guess I am simply in knit rut land.  Eh, that's okay.

I did manage to set up my sewing studio.  You have to use your imagination here in tie picture because there is a table and sewing machine in the spot PeeWee is occupying.  And some shelves with fabric along the right.  Very happy with my set up.  Not sure Big Brother is though, he had spread himself out pretty good in there.  I had to round up his goods and take over.  His stuff is still in there, it's just contained now, something I am not sure he is thrilled about.  Sorry buddy, we have to share this house.

This room makes me happy- its a tree house kind of room, those windows are great.  I do look out at a sea of rooftops but am okay with that.  You can tell from this picture this is a 20's house.  Oozing with charming little things while the wind whips through those windows in the winter and heats up that room in the summer.  This time of yearr here and I am ready to go get the screens from the attic.

And look at what is new to PeeWee's wardrobe thanks to the new sewing setup!  Yep, very happy with this new setup indeed.  My friend Robin thought out loud that the birds from the quilt would be too cute on a t-shirt so there they are.  I'm working out the kinks with this but mostly happy with the whole idea.

PeeWee wore the green outfit on St Patricks Day.  Marky Mark's family is Irish and we're Scotch-Irish, so while a true Irishman might way we're not Irish,  I know it means some time in Ireland even if we're Scottish.  I mean the group who moved there did it in the 17th century, so I guess there's got to be some Irish in the mix.  (I've now written Irish enough times it looks like I spelled it wrong, so if I did, please excuse that.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Must Knit Socks

I dyed this yarn a while back with Christina for one of our crafty days.  I cleaned everything up in my yarn closet a while back and it's been peeking through it's container smiling at me for a while now.  Even though it was in the 80s yesterday I still want to knit wool socks.  Must be something wrong with me.  Today it's cool and dry and gorgeous, perfect spring weather.  

I'm planning on winding this up in a bit and casting on something fun.  The yellow to red combo reminds me of warm weather and spring flowers.  PeeWee and I planted our nasturtium seeds a few weeks ago and they have sprouted much to her delight.  She's going to go crazy when they start to bloom!  Nasturtiums are my favorite thing to plant.  We grew up with them in our front flower beds, and my parents have them still every year.  

Today is the St Patrick's Day parade in our neighborhood.  It is completely something I can absolutely do without but I think we are going.  We were invited to a crawfish boil across the street from my in-law's house, where we lived next door for a few years.  So I do feel obligated.  And here I was looking forward to a lazy day with just me and my sewing machine.  Darn.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Delicate balance

Has everyone had a few weeks like I have?  Kind of winging it but it's somehow working?  Much harder to do anything than it should be?  Whew, I am beat.

No knitting.  Knitting plans in place though.  I'm trying to sneak in secret knitting time to finish up Mark's blanket without him seeing it.  He knows it exists, but his memory is not exactly focused on things like that so I am good to be able to please him with it.

Finished the second needlepoint ornament and dropped it off for finishing.  Needlepoint seems to be soothing and distracting enough for me right now.  I'm not proficient enough at it to be able to let my mind just wander while working yet.

Crafty Wednesday was plaster play.  That was fun.  Nothing is complete yet, so another picture free post here.  We haven't actually gotten together since Thanksgiving and we all needed it!  Messy messy messy, we're going to wrap our stuff up before Easter so pics then, I promise.

Maybe I'll throw this in just for fluff:

A post with no pictures is kind of boring, I do know that ;-)  And I do love ruins.  This is from a destroyed house open for tours of it's incredible house ruins and gardens, Afton Villa in St Francisville, LA.  

So what's coming up around here?  I'm not even sure.  I've left lots of open free time on my calendar.  I'm hoping to work in a lot of creative time to keep me happy.  I'm in the mood to watch a lot of movies, hang around with the kids and stay as relaxed as I can.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's still stitching...

So I finished one needlepoint ornament, which I sent off for finishing without a picture and I am working on another one, a New Orleans icon from back in my day, Mr Bingle a very cool guy indeed.  Needlepoint, while never a favorite of mine, requires a lot of concentration.  The only thing I ever finished before Katrina was a pillow which flooded before I could send it off to be finished.  I figured that was a sign.  I've already mentioned my mother had more than one needlepoint shop in her many careered life and I have been known to paint a canvas or two to pay the rent in college, but stitching them was never my thing.  I'm happily working away on these now, just to keep my brain busy.

I'll be casting on for some socks this week, I'm on the hunt for the perfect pattern right now, with a few on the short list.  I just enjoy the socks too much to not be working on some.  I never meant to discard knitting with this break, I just wanted to keep my brain very occupied.  I have set up a little sewing studio in part of a room and have some plans to whip out both the art quilts and some summer wear for me and PeeWee.

Much better than my kitchen counter set-up!

Ah, to have a real working studio.  One day.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and well wishes for PeeWee.  She is finally on the hospital's calendar, though we are waiting to hear if we are traveling to California to another hospital  for this procedure.  That would be up to the surgeon, so if he says go there, we will.  It's called a cardiac catheter.  It is invasive and but we've done it before and it was relatively complication free so I am keeping my faith in the doctors that this one will also be. (not an easy task)  It's the first step towards her next open heart surgery, which will likely be within the year based on what they have seen in the last few months.  This test will tell us much more information they need to determine that date.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Knitting break

While I dearly love knitting, I have been itching to do some other needlework lately.  It's starting to get warm already and while I have a few projects lined up I am ready for a bit of a break from the knitting.  Not to say that doesn't mean I will post this and go cast on for a new project, just that in general here at Mom's house things are in a rut.

I signed up for an online class from Joggles.

It's a small art quilt class, and aside from the fact that I now have more fabric to store, I am so far enjoying it.  I have another few classes I am up for, including one that begins today, all of which focus on different stitching techniques.  

I'm hoping to come away from this refreshed.  Things here are moving a bit too slowly for my taste.  We've been sitting for two weeks waiting for PeeWee to have some tests scheduled, frustrated that it has to be done at a different hospital than we go to for safety reasons.  Not that our hospital is anything but the best, she has to have a pediatric cardio-thorasic surgeon in the building for this one, since there is a small risk of them needing to open her up if something goes wrong.  Our pediatric cardio-thorasic surgeon moved about a year ago and there is some down time when recruiting a great replacement.  Which leads me to the fact that this test is the first step towards her next open heart surgery, which will be coming up soon.  She's doing great, but she has grown 30+ pounds since they fixed her so there is maintenance that needs doing.  

Not to worry, that's all down the line, and a huge tangent I just went off on.  My point is I need some extra mental stimulation.  Knitting, while soothing, doesn't always engage my brain in a way which lets me lose focus and forget things I have no control over, which you just can't help but worry about.  So the classes are hopefully going to get me moving in a different creative direction for a while.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The sand was cold on my toes

Nothing like a few days away to restore my faith in mankind.  

Destin is a great getaway spot.  Lots of relaxing, beautiful beaches, the constant breeze, the works.  Not a bad place to wrap up two pairs of socks and Marky Mark's blanket.  I was glad to have brought just what I did, the rest would have been in the way.  

I promised pictures...
First thing in the morning! I love a sunrise and on the water? Yep, it makes me happy

Sock 2 of the first pair, good around the house socks, so cozy. Gryphon's traveller yarn, so cushy and comfy. They are finished now but I was too busy relaxing and doing nothing that I never got a beach picture of them all done!

The sock enjoying the view... it was gorgeous. The weather was chilly but mild. Perfect winter getaway style.

And the second, finished, sock from pair two. These are the Colinette Jitterbug sockettes, short little ankle things. Wore them already.

Another 'know I am thinking about those of you in 16 feet of snow right now' shot. Yeah, I am a brat.

We were serious stitchers this weekend.  Everyone was either needlepointing or knitting and lots of projects were finished.  It was fun.  Hanging out in PJ's and eating takeout what just what the doctor ordered.  And just what I needed.

I'll have pictures of Marky Mark's blanket but I must be stealth about it.  He's working home this week and I want to surprize him with the finished product.  I still need to pick up and finish the two sides  of the blanket's ribbing, something I figure I can sneak in before the end of his month and his birthday.  But dang, a blanket that's over 6 ft wide and over 7 feet long?  A lot of work and a lot of satisfaction in having it finished.  I want to spread it out to get the full shot.  Soon, soon, just let me finish that ribbing.