Sunday, November 30, 2008

Finished Object Report

Woo Hoo - finally some finished objects to share! First, a non-knitting project - here are some no-sew kitty beds made from soft and fluffy fleece for the cats at Tabby's Place. Stay warm, little kitties!

Next up is a sweater for my niece Lexi who turned one year old this month.The pattern is called "Lacy Sweater" from Zoe Mellor. It's a fun knit, after you get done the edging at the bottom. That edging seems like it just goes on forever and ever and ever and ever...

Even though this next picture is kind of dark, I think baby knits always look better when modeled by the much-loved baby!

Her mommy brought her down for a "girls day out" yesterday - just little Lexi, and Lexi's mommy, grammy, and two aunts. A good time was had by all!

Last but not least, no finished object report would be complete without a pair of socks....

...or two...

...or three.

That last pair are from the yarn that I dyed at our guild workshop last month.

What will I be working on next? Certainly not these:

That is one of the almost-complete Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang that I was trying to knit. No problem until I got to the cast-off. I am absolutely hopeless at trying to cast off from a stretch ribbing and have the finished product be even a teeny tiny bit flexible. I give up.

So, what will I be knitting?

Yup, more socks!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dogs on Thursday

I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and right there at the top of my list is unconditional love.

Need I say more?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Tree!

A couple of people have asked for pictures of the tree after it is decorated, so here they are. Sorry for the blurry-ness again. I think my camera automatically rebels unless it is pointed at one of the dogs.

Monday morning was spent doing the nerve-wracking task of cleaning the chandeliers (see how they sparkle?), then we tackled decorating the tree. After various aspersions regarding the tree-top angel's questionable parentage and all-around bad character, the curator finally got her to sit up straight on top of the tree. I'm not sure if this is my boss' angel impersonation, or if she is doing the "I am the King of the world" thing from Titanic.

And here is the tree, in all its decorated glory. Ta Da!

Now we just have to keep that sucker hydrated so all the needles stay on until January...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Number One Question in the Museum at Christmas... "Where is the ladies' room?" but that's not really blog worthy, is it? The number two question is "How did you get that tree in here?" Every year, we get a fresh Christmas tree for the Museum's lobby. It's a little early for Christmas yet, but our annual exhibit opens the day after Thanksgiving, so everything has to be in place by Wednesday if we don't want to work Thanksgiving Day.

Anyway, here is the story, along with some (quite blurry) pictures. Here is a shot of the tree on it's way.

How are we going to get it inside?
Just push and shove and heave-ho!
OK, now what?
Everybody grab and hold!

Uh oh, the ceilings are 14 feet high, and the tree is somewhat more than that.
Here is the museum's curator on the left, directing our head grounds guy where to nip and tuck the top branches.

Just a little more over here...

Now she's taking matters into her own hands.

Try the tree again, and it fits! Now for fine-tuning some fine tuning and bracing.

I'd like to be able to say that no trees were harmed in the making of this blog post, but the evidence is on the carpet. Oh, the carnage!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dogs on Thursday

Just look at this lovely picture of the residents of BritKnitterville! See how sweetly they are sitting, posing for their picture, with absolutely no incentive at all. Just the willingness to be calm, obedient little girls and boy.

Well, maybe not. There may have been some bribery involved.

Yep, they're concentrating on a pumpkin spice muffin, trying to figure out how they are going to possibly get it out of my hand while I'm distracted taking pictures.

I found the recipe for these super-easy muffins on Chan's blog, and she got it from fellow pumpkin lover Gaylen. All you do is take a box of cake mix, and mix it with a 15 oz. can of pumpkin, and bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes. That's it! It takes a lot of mixing, and I still didn't get all of the little lumps out, but that's OK. Chan used a Devil's Food cake mix, but since I was in day three of a whopper of a headache the day I made these, I decided to skip the chocolate and used a spice cake mix instead. Yum, pumpkin spice muffins, as easy as 1-2-3!

Well, maybe not quite that easy here in Britknitterville... A certain dog, who shall remain nameless, likes to "help" in the kitchen. OK, I'll give you some clues. He's a boy, has long gumby-type legs, and his name starts with a "C" and rhymes with Schmooper. Yup, it's Cooper.

He is absolutely obsessive when it comes to food, and he likes to surf around the counter tops to see if there is anything that his freakishly long legs will allow him to reach and pull down. Fortunately the oven has a control-lock feature that prevents Cooper from turning the oven on inadvertently. However, it does not stop Mr. Cooper McStretchy-Legs from turning the oven off. I didn't realize the oven was off until the timer buzzed, at which time I turned the oven back on and left the muffins in there for another 10 minutes. The result was two dozen muffins that looked and smelled delicious, but had the consistency of modeling clay. They are so easy to make, I'll definitely make them again, but next time I'll watch Cooper like a hawk.

Oh well, at least Emma, Tara and Cooper like modeling clay.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who would have thought...

...that this...

...after a little bit of assembly and felting...
...would turn into this?
Cool! Or I guess I should say Warm!
11-20-08: Edited to add the link to the pattern!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

They're Baa-aaaack!

Who's back? Take a look!

Can you see them? Those smudges in the sky? How about now? Yes, the Snow Geese are back!
They were flying right over the house this morning. Normally I hate all things winter-related, but who could hate a snow goose? Sure, when the Snow Geese arrive, full-blown winter is sure to follow. Winter, that most hated season of the year, with the dreaded snow, the cold, the snow, the darkness, the snow...and did I mention snow? Hateful stuff. Can't stand it. But Snow Geese are another story. Their devotion to their spouse, their quirky "honk", the way they sometimes fold their wings and "tumble" out of the sky... that's a site to see, let me tell you.

Welcome back, little friends. Safe travels!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dogs on Thursday

Mr. Bones Update!

My niece sent me a Mr. Bones update, and I thought I would share it with all of my Dogs on Thursday friends. Go to this site, and watch his adoption video. Have a box of tissues handy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Settle in for a long one...

Finally, time to report on my Stitches adventure. I have the morning off work today, so I have time to settle in with a mug of coffee and just ramble to my heart's content. First of all, why do I have a morning off? One day this summer I came home from work and found two huge, gigantic, enormous, really, really big piles of stones at the end of the driveway. Mom & dad had their driveway re-done, and they had to have a good portion of their driveway stones removed to get down to a solid surface, and since they just live right around the corner, and since my driveway has been looking a little skimpy in the stone department (where do all of those stones go? seriously - they just seem to disappear over the years), dad had the guy dump them over here. Yay! Free stones! All I had to do was spread them around a bit. No problem, because I have dad's old 1940-something Ford tractor. Woo Hoo!

Looks pretty cool, huh? Well, it's not. It's an evil, vile beast of a machine. If your legs happen to be a little too short to comfortably reach the clutch, and if you are moving stones around for three hours straight, it will take your left knee and chew it up and spit it out. Technical diagnosis? Torn meniscus. I had an MRI this morning to see the extent of the ass-kicking injury my knee has suffered.

But I digress. This post is supposed to be all about.... STITCHES!!!
PattyAnn and I had a great time. The shopping, the classes, it was fabulous! I met the lovely Nancy, which was great, but missed Chan, which was a huge disappointment. I took two classes, one with Jane Slicer-Smith on Mitred Square Socks. Here is my little tiny sample sock:Cute, huh? Tara doesn't think so. She's saying, "Please, someone, send help. My mommy is making me wear a sock!"

On Sunday morning I had Ginger Luter's class on Modular Triangles. That class was fantastic. I have so many ideas floating around in my head after that class. Here are the mini samples we made.
Quilters will immediately recognize that green & tan one as the "Flying Geese" pattern. Love it!

Now for the shopping. I made a solemn vow to myself not to buy anything that I didn't have a project in mind for and could cast on before the end of the year. Unless it was on sale. Or something I had never seen before. Or something that maybe I've seen before but might not ever see again. Or something that I really, really, really liked. Or something that... well, you get my drift.

In order to have more money to spend on yarn, we decided to skip the expensive convention-center-hotel type breakfast and bring our own food. I brought my trusty-old Breakfast of Champions - Carnation Instant Breakfast. I carefully packed milk in an insulated bag with lots of ice, and as soon as we checked into the room, I put it in the mini-fridge. Sunday morning, I got ready for my nutritious breakfast... ...and found that the milk was frozen solid.

OK, time for Plan B. Some nice rice cakes... ..and some delicious hotel coffee!

What are those floaty bits? I'm sure it's fine... just try it. [Siiiiipppp] Eeeeew, eeeeew, eeeeew! The hotel is trying to call that vile liquid "coffee"? Blech! The frozen milk goes into the mini microwave, and after several "zaps" and lots of breaking apart milk chunks with a spoon, in goes the Instant Breakfast, and viola! A frozen concoction! It looked a little nasty, but it was pretty good!

To reward myself for being so thrifty, I might have gone a teensy bit overboard in the sock yarn department:
Maybe not, though. Can one ever have too much sock yarn? I think not. Most of it was on sale, too. The four 100-gram skeins of Sockotta were just $5.00 each. How could I pass up a bargain like that? I couldn't! The only non-sock yarn purchase was some of that recycled silk stuff.

Hey, we all could be a bit more "green", so I was just doing my part by buying recycled yarn. It was my duty as a citizen of the earth!

Whew, that was a long one. Unfortunately, I have to get ready to go to work now.

Happy Wednesday!

Stash Reduction!

Not mine, though. Nope. Every bit of my stash is absolutely necessary and will eventually become a pair of socks or some other knitted garment. I only have to live to be around 250 years old, and I'll be able to use every last bit of yarn in my stash.

The Stash Reduction Sale is going on over at Stephanie's blog. Beautiful yarn at super prices. As if you needed an incentive to buy yarn, Stephanie is using the money from the sale for income generating projects for the families of the children she sponsors through Children International. Great yarn, great prices, great cause--get on over there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home from Stitches!

Mommy's Home, part 1
Originally uploaded by Brit Knitter
Whew, what a day and a half that was! I'm going to blog about the classes and the stash enhancement, but right now I've got to go and spend some quality time with Emma, Tara and Cooper. I took this video walking up to the back door so you all could see how much they missed me!

Mommy's Home, part 2

Mommy's Home, part 2
Originally uploaded by Brit Knitter
Ooops, that was the wrong video. Let's try this one.

Oh, ummm, I'm sure they missed me. They're just hiding it well. Yeah, that's the ticket - hiding it well...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sad Dogs on Thursday

What has sweet little Tara (aka Tata, Tatty McTatters, Tattoo) feeling a little down in the dumps?
Her mommy is going away for the weekend! For the first time ever in Tara's whole life, mommy will be going away one day and staying away all night and not coming home until the next day. (The reality of it is that Tara, Emma and Cooper will probably not even notice I'm gone. My sister will be home, catering to their every whim.)

Yes, it's been almost 4 years since I spent a night away from the dogs. The last time I was away was when I was in the hospital for three days after back surgery, and that was before Tara joined the family. Besides, a hospital stay shouldn't really count, right? Nope. This time, I'm doing something fun! My friend Pat and I are going to Stitches East! Leaving bright and early on Saturday and not coming home until Sunday!

We planned this trip months ago, and it seemed like it would never get here, and now, it's here! I'm so excited. I even ordered Moo cards from Flickr to give to new people I meet, although I probably won't really give them out. They're really nice, though...see?

I just love that there is an eeensy teensy portrait of my dogs on the back. How cool is that?

I'm so excited, I just know I won't get any sleep on Friday night. Yes, I'm looking forward to the classes and the marketplace, but I'm even more excited about getting the chance to meet Chan and Nancy in person. Is anybody else going to Stitches?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

What an exciting time for our country. I am finally proud to me an American again!