Friday, September 21, 2007

Mermaid x-stitch

I've gotten a comment that yesterday's photo isn't working. Sorry, I'll get that fixed later today.

In the meantime, here's a photo of my other crossstitch project, Mermaid of the Pearls. I've been working on this lady for, well, a long time. This is the piece I was trying to work on when my oldest dd was born, and it is the one that convinced me that small children do not go well with crossstitch (at least not in my house). So in a way, I can thank her for leading me to knitting. LOL For that reason alone I need to finish her and get her framed.

I had a heck of a time getting a good picture, sorry, I think I was in a big hurry and people kept moving my stuff when my back was turned. She is being stitched on 32 ct. star sapphire linen and looks very nice. I started a new section using some silver braid thread, and I have to say, it is a good thing it looks so darned nice. I really don't like working with the metallic braid. It feels all stiff and crunchy. bleh! But it will be lovely. There are tons of beads on this one and I haven't decided when I'll add them. I think I will do it as I go, otherwise I'll probably miss spots if I add them later.

I'm not a particularly organized stitcher on this piece. I just work on a spot until I can't stand the color anymore and then move to a nearby section with a different color. I'm just trying to keep my interest up so that I don't set it aside again now that I've rediscovered it. Oh, the little mind games we play!

I haven't managed any stitching/knitting of any kind the past few days. For someone who theoretically has an extra hour or two this week (I get to leave work a little earlier when we're on break), I seem to have even less time. Good thing we're on break I guess! I think I'm just squeezing in little errands every day and that is eating up my extra time. Since they are things I need to get done, I really have no complaints. It just seems like I should have more time for knitting or something. Oh, well, I just remembered I've been doing more involved cooking for dinner too. Hmmm. Yep, that eats up some time.

My family eats pretty darned well when I'm on break/vacation. That includes healthier food as well. I don't know how other working moms manage the whole meal thing. It is a real challenge to fit in a good meal everyday, especially when the kids are so picky and Himself is working late most nights and not home to eat anyway.

Fall is my favorite season. I usually get motivated to start all sorts of new things in the Fall; cooking, sewing, knitting, etc. I guess it is a dangerous season as well. LOL This weekend we're brewing up some barley wine with our friends. This should be interesting. I haven't done one of these before and I'm not too sure if there are any changes in proceedure to make a barley wine. I really love trying new things!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wedding quilt

Finally! Here's the photo of the completed quilt square for the wedding. It shouldn't have been so hard, but I outsmarted myself a bit. I got a new online photo thing and thought I would be able to put stuff there and download it here and maybe get it to make me dinner as well. LOL Actually, I just got my photos moved all around and couldn't remember where I had what. Anyway, I finally got it here.

As you can see, I just went with the two shades of blue and I didn't modify the design so that it would match at the two corners. (This was suggested as most of the other designs are symmetrical.) I would have to completely rechart this design and pretty much create a whole new one to get it to be symmetrical. So I didn't. The original design only had borders on the bottom and the right side. I added the border on the other two sides. It is intended to be a corner type piece, but it would be the only one on the quilt, so they really didn't want it to look like a corner piece. I guess they didn't want to 'require' three other people to do corner pieces, but they asked if I would do one. I have no idea what was in their heads at the time. In the end, it looks nice and I can't wait to see the final quilt.

The wedding is this weekend, and I'll be singing in the choir. Orthodox Christian weddings are not like Protestant weddings. They were traditionally performed as a part of the liturgy on Sundays, as I understand it, but are often moved into a seperate service now. (Perhaps this is just in the states, or maybe a 'modern' or local adaptation. I have no idea.) The music is pretty much liturgical and generally performed by a set group, usually the choir. There might be a piece performed as a solo, but it, too, is liturgical in nature. We do not use musical instruments, it is all acapella. I digressed a bit, sorry, but the point was that the quilt is usually given in the fellowship area after Sunday's liturgy. I'm not sure this one is on schedule, but I hope so.

On the knitting side of life, I've been working in a bit of sock knitting this week. I think the Oktoberfest got me inspired with the sock again. I've had some meetings at work and the sock was a good size to take along. I was surprised at the progress I made while drinking beer, and the stitches still look good. LOL Of course, now I'm a bit strung-out on decongestants as my youngest gave me her sinus-y virus thing. So, I could be wrong. Maybe I'll just wear the socks when I'm sick. Hee!

You know, I spent the whole day at Oktoberfest knitting a sock. A couple of people asked about it and said "cool" or whatever and moved along. I worked on the sock in a room full of artists, for Pete's sake, and I must have had three people say "You know, you can buy socks..." Seriously. What snots. Oh well. I know what a hand knitted sock feels like and they will just have to suffer along in their handmade sockless state.

Is that cruel of me? Naaaaah...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Eine Prosit, eine Prosit der Gemutlichkeit!

Well, we sat under canopies of hops & Himself was in heaven. I can't tell you how many pictures of hops and hop vines he took. Even he was impressed with how many pictures were on the camera. He decided that he might have been a bit 'tipsy' at the time. Really? You think?

We got to the Oktoberfest at about 1:30 pm and left at about 8:00 pm. That was quite the day. I never get to go out like that and not be the designated driver. It was a crazy day. The even was sponsored by the Washington Beer Lovers group (That's WA.B.L. - wobble, if you will) and it was a pretty nice event. My only real complaint was that they started out with a German oompa band and ended with a reggae band.

Are you kidding me? It is OKTOBERFEST. If people don't want to hear the polkas, let them go hang out somewhere else. It isn't Oktoberfest if you're listening to R&B, Ska or Reggae. Sorry. I can be a real purist. And the girl in the Halloween German Beer Maiden outfit? Good grief! (We're talking the Naughty Beer Maiden outfit, not a 'real' dirndl.)

While we did have an oompa band, there was a lot of loud singing and carrying on. When the other bands started playing, it just got loud and hard to talk. Fortunately, I had something to occupy myself with.

I managed to get in quite a bit of sock knitting during the day. You know, until I was knitting the purls and purling the knits. Then it was pretty much time to admit the beer had won. Still, I more or less doubled the length of the sock that day. While my friend and I were knitting, we had one whole person stop by and ask what we were working on and compare styles, etc. The gentlemen were playing senet (you can see the board behind the beer mug above) and they must have attracted more than a dozen people by the table to see what they were up to. Granted, knitting is pretty recognizable, but I thought it was kind of funny.

I really only dropped one stitch, which I found before I finished that needle, so it was an easy fix. But I missed the k2,p2 count a couple of times on one round and just decided it was better for me to stop. I don't expect these socks to be perfect, but I was obviously too distracted. Not really toasted, though I wouldn't have passed a breath test, that's for sure.

The event hosted about 37 breweries and each entrance fee bought you 12 tasting tokens. The mugs were marked at the 3 oz. level, so that equaled one taste. If you wanted a full mug o' beer, it was 3 tokens. You could buy additional tokens and advance ticket holders got 3 more tokens. The mugs were glass for WABL members and plastic for non-members. More than you needed to know? LOL Anyway, it was fun trying so many different beers and many of them were either Oktoberfest brews or other beers brewed specifically for the event (and therefore not available anywhere else). That always makes me feel special.

All in all a good day of friends, german food, good beer and knitting!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fabulous Friday

Wow! I can't believe it is finally Friday! Woo-Hoo! The end of the quarter, around here, so most of the students will be gone for two weeks. I'll miss them. I only had one graduate, but I no longer knit gifts for everyone. That was too much pressure and I imagine most of them really didn't appreciate the time and effort, though some did. Anyway, I hope the grad finds his way out there. He's a good 'kid' and was a pleasure to work with.

It is another grey day here in Seattle, though not as foggy as yesterday. At least not yet. LOL We got an elliptical machine a few weeks ago, did I mention that? (Floor model on sale, great deal) Anyway, I've been trying to get myself on a schedule to work out. This week has been my overall best effort, but today I am all sore from my success. The tired achiness combined with the grey weather just makes me want to go back to bed and sleep until noon. I thought exercise was supposed to make me feel better - ha! I know, I know. It takes a while. Still, a nap sounds sooooo good.

I got a little knitting done last night. It was tough to work in, but I managed. All of the neighborhood kids were in the house down in the play room (also the exercise room) last night. Himself has set up quite the irresistible corner full of electonic drum pad, keyboards, and microphones. It is an attempt to get the girls interested in playing music, we'll see if it works. All of the equiment is his, but he's not using it at the present time, so since we had to put it somewhere he figured we might as well let the girls have go at it. Every kid in the neighborhood wants to come play on it too. I suppose it is good for all of them to play some music, even if they don't know what they are doing. (although I think one boy's mom teaches piano & he plays a bit). I happened to choose that time to call my mom, however, and that was a wild conversation. She kept asking what all the noise was. I was just trying to find a quiet place to talk.

Tomorrow DH and I are going to an Oktoberfest without the girls. They are going on a day-trip with friends & their dd. I think everyone will have a nice time. I don't have to be the designated driver this time, either, and that almost never happens. I think I'll leave the knitting at home. Or at least in the car...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to school

Oh Jinkies! This week is INSANE. There's just no other word for it. Hopefully, you, wherever you are, are immune to the insanity that seems to be taking over here. Every single day this week has seemed like it was one week long, all in 24 hours. So, here it is, Thursday and I feel like I should be preparing for Oct. 1 already. I thought maybe it was just me. Nope. Virtually every grown-up I talk to is experiencing the same weird time/space thing. Mind you, it doesn't mean that it is a bad week, in and of itself, only that time is not working properly. At all. Well, okay, it hasn't really been a great week for me either, but yesterday was decent and it was still a week long. Go figure.

It took me two days to find enough time to weave in the 5 ends I had for my washrag! Good grief! That's ridiculous, isn't it? Ah. Well, I keep hoping each new day will only be 1 day long and that I can get some stuff done for a change. You'd think week-long days would allow more time to accomplish stuff, but so far, no go on that one. Just keep swimming... (Thanks to Dory for that one, it does help on days like these. LOL)

Anyway, last week we got the kids off to school and it was quite an adventure. My girls are in the back row on the left, and in the front with no sleeves. The youngest was so excited to be going off to school, I didn't get a hug or kiss or even a wave. She all but ran up the steps to the bus. >sniff< I'm glad she was so excited, but mommy needed a hug and a kiss and maybe a wave too. LOL I'm glad it all went well. Day 2 saw some crying from the youngest once she was in class, missing her mom and all, but by Day 3 she was fine again.

The oldest had a rough couple of days, but seems to have recovered her interest in school again. I'm very grateful for that. We were looking at some serious emotional upsets for a while and I was considering the possibility of counseling for her. It was frustrating because we couldn't identify any specific cause for her anxiety about school & it was, quite frankly, driving me crazy. Day 1 didn't start out so good for her, but by this week, she was fine again. She lays the credit for that at the, erm, paws of the "puppy" she plays with before school each day.

"Puppy" = 9 month old rottweiler/shepard/great dane mix. He's already the size of a big shepard, with a bit of the bulk of a rottie. SWEET, sweet dog. I should try to get a picture for DD#1 to keep with her. I love this dog & they seem to have a special bond. Too bad he isn't ours. (Of course, I might be less enthused with him if I had to take him for walks and clean up after him. I'm used to cats, dogs require different efforts that I'm just not used to.)

Ah, well off to see how the day shapes up. Seems that we've got a bit of fog out there today. All I can see is one uniform shade of pearl grey. I kind of like it, but it'd be even better if I could just go curl up for more sleep. And a book. And some knitting.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finished two things!

I can't believe how long it has taken me to post this week. It has been a crazy week! Not bad, just really busy/chaotic. I have no idea when things will let up, but I swore I would not let today pass without posting. Sometimes you just have to resort to swearing. LOL

Here is my competed quilt square. I finished last Friday, as I had hoped, and was quite happy. Himself scarpered off for an evening with his music friends, and the girls invited themselves along. I wanted to stay home to work on the square. I was determined to stay up as late as necessary to get it done. Turns out, since everyone left me home all alone, I had no distractions and I had it done by 10pm. Not too bad (I get up at 5am weekdays to head off to work, so 10pm is really late for me!)

I used only two shades of blue on this piece, instead of six, and I think it looks pretty nice. As expected, I'm now thinking about my other crossstitch project that is sitting around in limbo. I guess I should work that back into my life on a regular basis. It isn't going to stitch itself, now is it? And I am about a third of the way through this one. I love these mermaids!

On Sunday we went to visit our dear friends who live over on the penninsula. The oldest DD fed the goats and chickens, played with the cats and dog and climed way too high up a tree for my comfort. In other words, she had a blast. The other DD stayed in the house most of the day. She doesn't like the big dog, although it is a well-behaved big dog. I sat and visited with church friends and knit up one of these.

The colors were picked out by the youngest & she is delighted to have her own washcloth. I'm glad she is so easy to please (sometimes). It was a perfect project for the day. I was all happy to get back to my knitting, but I didn't want to work on anything that required too much thought. This was a nice simple project and I literally bound off the last stitch as they lifted the gate to drive off the return ferry. Talk about perfect timing.

I had to rip back part of the slipper. It seems I failed to pick up the correct number of stitches for the side and top of the slipper. I've got them now, but I just haven't had time to sit and knit on them. I'm sticking with the safe and mindless knitting for now. More washcloths. They make nice gifts.