Wednesday, December 05, 2007


My amusement at making blocks may be over, but I think Gumdrops are pretty sweet.

It's Amy Butler's Gumdrop pillow. Aside from the 10 lb box of polyfill I had to buy, I used stash. And a pattern.

Hell can freeze over now.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Blocks

Here are my blocks. No pattern really necessary other than the cute designs. There are suppose to be 6 blocks but i miscalculated my interfacing. Must get some more. Hope the babies that I made these for will like them.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

May I introduce you... the gnomes?

Many thanks to K for helping to pick out the backing. It's perfect!

We went to Babies R Us last night to register and I saw some soft blocks and thought "How hard could those be?"

So I made a cube today.

"Cube" being a term that is loosely used in this particular context. It seems that making a cube requires some precision in both cutting and sewing. Patti, these are right up your alley.

You'll be happy to know that I've recovered my sanity after having briefly considered making one of these for each letter of the alphabet.

And look what I did. I've got a bird...
...and a bee.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me....

I've got birthday stuff to report! I had a very happy birthday weekend. Rob was off to Connecticut fishing (that's not why I had a good weekend) so I was expecting to just have a low key weekend, work on some projects, and start painting the baby's room.

The weekend started with Leslie, Rob's biological mom, staying the night on her way to Williamsburg. We went to downtown Silver Spring for a bite to eat and got to witness the excitement of the evening--someone threatening to jump from the top of the parking garage. As far as we can tell, he was talked down. At least that's what we told ourselves.

She left early the next morning and I got started priming the walls of the mini-Maloot's room. I forgot to take pictures, but after priming only 2 walls, the room already looks bigger. Why didn't we do this sooner??? In the middle of painting (read: unshowered, in crappy clothes, covered in paint) my phone kept ringing. It was my neighbor, Cecelia, calling to wish me a happy birthday and to see if I wanted to go to a movie! She caught me off guard, being covered in paint and all, but how sweet was that! She arrived to pick me up bearing this:
and off we went to see the new Elizabeth movie, which was just gorgeous, and it's got Clive Owen in it, so what more could one want? Really, a lovely, unexpected afternoon.

The yarn under the mum is from Stitches, which I went to on Sunday. Here's a close up.
The greyish is yak and silk (yilk?) and really is that shiny, the blue is alpaca, and the plum is merino. I'm sure the knitting gods will strike me down for saying this, but I think I like MD Sheep and Wool a lot better than Stitches. MDSW has more stuff from little shops and independent spinners that you can't get anywhere else. Most of what was at Stitches I could get online. Plus the food at MDSW is SO much better!

I did end up doing a bit of sewing. This little bag was supposed to be for my mom for her birthday, but I liked it too much and it holds my scarf project perfectly, so I have to make another one.
Here's a glimpse of the gnomes.
And Rob came home Sunday afternoon bearing tulips and chocolate torte. What a guy!
And lest you think that my birthday ended on Sunday, there was a box waiting for me yesterday when I arrived home. And holy %$##, K did make stuff last weekend! The first thing in the box was some Egyptian Magic which I think has already changed my life. I've wanted to try this but never got around to picking some up. It may just clear up all the crazy stuff my skin has been doing lately.

And in the bottom of the box was this:
Abi looks underwhelmed, doesn't she? I would be too, if all I had to look at were the horrible pictures that I took of the absolutely amazing wrap the K made for me. Here's a detail shot, which still doesn't come close to doing it justice.
It's linen with silk on the edges and some lace on the other side and it's handstitched at the ends and it just drapes gorgeously and I totally love it! And my pictures are in no way a reflection of how much I love it. Now if only the weather would get cooler again so that I could wear it! Thanks so very, very much.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Holy #@)! I made something!

It's been a long drought, ladies, with my sewing room sitting empty and sad (except for the piles of fabric waiting, waiting, waiting and taunting me everytime I walked in there. But yesterday was the day -- in honor of our fair Erica's birthday, I busted it out.

First of all, I have to tell you how much I love my new purchase. Joann's had cutting tables on sale, and my goodness -- what a different THAT makes! It's higher than a regular table so there's no stooping, and much much bigger than any other table I own so there's no sliding pulling messing everything up shenanigans. Best of all, it folds down so I can stash it in a corner when I'm done.
Thus empowered, I pulled all my piles out and I spent the whole day skipping around from one project to another. AND I actually finished a variety of things, only a few of which I can post -- but I made a skirt (it actually fits, after no small amount of fussing)-- and a special treat for Mr. Oliver's Halloween - a festive car seat/buggy blanket. Yay for breaking the drought!

Erica, I hope you had a beautiful birthday yesterday. I missed you! Please post all the wonderful things I know you bought at Stitches!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fiber Fest

Well, I took the plunge and have made these 4 things to be (hopefully) sold at the FiberFest in East Aurora this weekend. I have a good friend who paints wonderful animal pictures, water colors and oils, who has participated as a vendor in the show for at least 2 years. She has done well selling her paitings there and she graciously offered to take a few of my things to sort of test the waters.


back of both boxes

That meant the pressure was on to put my money where my mouth is. It was a bit difficult to come up with sheep related themes but this is the end result. 2 collage boxes and 2 knitting bags.

Bags have knitting related charms.
I am on my way to Boston tomorrow but I'll let you know what happened next week.......

Posted by Patti

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Santa Fe Teaser

The first is what I came home with. The second is La Lana Wool in Taos--a wonder I didn't come back with more.

Though I need to say that Rob is an enabler--I have 6 more balls of yarn than I would have without his input.

It seemed like it had been far less than a year and a half since K and Patti and I had been there. It was so great to be back. I posted more pictures here and you can check out my other post here. We took so many pictures! And had a ton of fun. I'll have more pictures of treasures to post soon.

I do just want to mention that I am still creeped out by the fact that I could tell that a spider was crossing the road as we drove by at about 50 mph.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Moving on...

Things work out much better when I stick with knitting projects where the gauge doesn't matter.

Case in point: I finished the Hanami shawl last week.
It's hard to get a good photograph of a shawl.
Allow me to be less-than-humble and say that I absolutely love it! I'm definately going to use this yarn (Handmaiden Sea Silk) again, it's just so soft and so nice to knit with. The pattern wasn't dificult, and it really didn't take me that long (I started in mid-July). So nice to have a success following a, well, less than successful project.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Swatches are big fat liars, or a message from the Knitting Gods

I went up to see my friend Deb and her brand new daughter, Haley, last weekend. Do I have pictures of Haley? No, I do not. But you can see her and her sister Kayla here. Suffice it to say that they are both adorable and sweet and lovely.

I was working on a little kimono sweater for her all summer (which should not have taken all summer and I finished the Friday night I got to PA but we won't discuss that). I swatched for it. I made gauge. I stuck with the newborn size because I know I knit loosely. I had the perfect ribbon for the tie.
It turned out wide enough to fit Deb.
Deb was gracious, said that it'd be fine after layering a Tshirt underneath it, blah, blah. (Oh please--you'd have to layer so many Tshirts under it that the kid wouldn't be able to move!)

But really? This is a sign from the Knitting Gods. And I'm listening. See me, Knitting Gods? I give up, my hands are in the air, I surrender. From here on out, new babies will get hats or quilts. No more articles of clothing to be worn below the chin.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Sunny Friday To You!!

Sunflowers from the farmer's market......

Friday, August 03, 2007


So, in an effort to stop missing Oliver I have roused myself long enough to take a picture of the shawl...which Erica requested a long time ago. I am just finishing my second skein of yarn so I figure I'm not even 1/2 way there. I do like kinitting it but wish it went a little faster because I want to use it NOW. I have no knack for memorizing the pattern so I have to keep the directions right in front of my face.

This is the bracelet K made for me. The pictures do not do it justice. (I can't seem to get a close up without it being blurry..any suggestions?) It is really lovely and antiquey looking. The locket opens and is quite deep. Whose picture should I put in it??? Thank you, K. I love it!

We are taking a baseball trip this weeknd to PA. I'm hoping to find some fabric shops and Chuck has promised a stop at Schopps(sp?) Grove. If I'm really good maybe I can work Renninger's in too. Have a great weekend...Patti

Monday, July 30, 2007

New things

Whilst you are all in your own worlds--Kristen in Proposal Land, Amy and Patti in Oliver Land--I'll just keep sewing and posting and keeping y'all (hopefully) amused.

I may or may not have told you I bought the Bend the Rules sewing book. I really like it, but I'm not sure why. It's not like she says anything revolutionary or earth-shattering in the book, but she makes it all sound so do-able and unrarefied. And I think that's where I get stuck with sewing sometimes, that it's all got to be perfect and done a certain way (though goodness knows I don't actually follow through with that). And there are lots of neat little tips in it--like how she never prewashes fabric for quilts because then when you wash the final product it gets that neat wrinkly old look. Who knew?

All that to say that the book was my friend this weekend. Stacey, my friend Deb's sister-in-law-of-bug-quilt-fame, had her baby a month early so I was totally unprepared. Not that it's likely I would have been prepared if she'd gone on time, but.... So I whipped up 2 bibs from the bug fabric, with white-with-red-polka-dots flannel on the back.
What refused to be photographed were the snaps--they're set-in snaps, not sewn on. The book convinced me this was not hard to do, and lo and behold, it wasn't, so look for more snaps in the future.

Another project in the book was little zipper bags. I improvised and made a big zipper bag (12 x 14") for toting around knitting projects and broke out the zipper foot for the first time. Pretty nifty device! The bag also features the other new thing I've found--printable fabric. There's the fabric I printed before, as well as an ee cummings poem I just did this weekend. Both were washed and they held up fabulously!
It's even lined.

Who knows, at the rate I'm going, I might even break out the button holer in a few weekends!

And then hell will freeze over.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thank you!/ Me, indecisive? /Rockin' my world!

Thank you.
There are some people who always seem to do the perfect thing. K would be one of those people (I think she was taught well). I got home tonight to find a lovely little package waiting for me. Along with a yummy smelling bar of soap and a CD, there was this:
Now, here is the conversation I had with myself, just so you know what a ditz I am:
"Wow! what a lovely necklace! It's so cool! A little short though. But it should be OK. How do I put it on? What the...she attached the toggle to the rest of the necklace and forgot a loop for it to hook into. Well, I can fix that, but I'll have to take a picture and tease her about it......"


"....Erica, you're a dumbass. It's a bracelet, for christ's sake!"

And indeed, it is a bracelet. With lots of channeling of saints and good stuff, but that's a story for another day.
Me, Indecisive?
Remember the Hanami shawl I was going to start? And the yarn I picked out? Well Debbie Bliss Pure Silk pills like all get out, and was already quite pilly an inch into the thing. I just couldn't see spending all that time on a shawl to get a bit pill out of it. So I returned that yarn and got this:
Erica-blue cashmere. Fabulous and I was assured it wouldn't pill. I decided do it in this color, all cherry blossom symbollism be damned.

Well, at least until I went to Portland and went to Knit Purl. Wow, drool city! If you ever go to Portland, go here. Amazing yarn, they're so nice, they offered me iced tea and were just ready to chat all day. That's where I found Sea Silk. It's silk and Sea Cell, which is made from kelp. I got it in Pumpkin, but the pictures don't really do it justice.
It's more of a gold with a pink overlay. It's fabulous to knit with, shows of the pattern so well, and I just love it. So this is my Hanami yarn and I'm sticking with it!
Rockin' My World
You think this is just an ordinary sheet of paper, don't you? But it's not! It's a fabric sheet for inkjet printers! And this is a sheet of fabric that I printed from this picture.
All I have to do now is peel off the backing and wash it. Can I tell you how exciting this is? I can make labels, I can print out phrases... Woo hoo! I got it from Joann's.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A "See You Soon" gift

The Center for Family Research at GWU, where I worked through grad school and afterwards, is closing in the next month. This means that many old friends are moving on to new adventures. My dear friend Mignon, who was also our genius grants administrator, is moving to join her family in Texas. I made this for her so that she has something to hang on the wall of her new office when she gets down there.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Behavioral change

I feel like I need to preface this post by saying that I have NO explaination for my recent fascination with lace and shawls. There is NO good reason for this abrupt shift from bulky yarn and size 13 needles to lace weight yarn and size 5 needles (every project I'm working on right now is on size 5's.). None whatsoever. But I'm oddly thoroughly enjoying this odd change in behavior.

Here's one shawl I"ve been working on, from the Folk Shawls book. I'm using chocolate brown Helen's Lace that I got from Lint in Portland.
And here is what I just abandoned it for. At least you can be assured that my short attention span hasn't changed.
The pattern is from Pink Lemon Twist. I don't even remember how I happened upon her site or that pattern, but when I saw it I knew that it was the pattern I needed to work on now. It's called the Hanami shawl. Hanami is the Japanese word for looking at the cherry blossoms. Here's how far I've gotten.
Well, I did only start last night. It's this lovely lavender-grey silk that probably isn't captured at all in the photo. Can you see the beaded cast-on? That totally rocked my world and I wish I'd known about it for my brown shawl. But if you think I'm going to rip out all the brown to put some beads in.....

And a bit of sewing. After that 6.5 Stitches quilt that we all know and love.
Rob and I both think that the bare linen part needs something. I think I've figured out what, but just haven't had a chance to do it. I've been working on something for a friend who's leaving GW which I'll share with you in another post, or will add to this one later.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rock A Bye Baby

This is how I spent my week. I had so much fun!
I decided it was time to get the cradle ready for Oliver's first visit to East Aurora-date to be determined-but I wanted to make sure I was ready.

I loved the baby quilt I saw at 6.5 sts and thought this would be an opportunity to try a similar one on a small scale.

I recovered the bumper pad that came with the cradle and made sheets because I couldn't find any ready made that were the right size. I just made them like a big pillow case with extra room at the bottom opening for tucking in. I also thought a couple of wet proof pads might help out since I only made 2 sheets. I came up empty handed when I tried to find the water resistant pads for them so I used inexpensive placemats cut down and covered with fabric and a layer of thin batting. Doesn't that sound cheesy? Honestly, no one would ever guess so don't tell.

One more little project will complete the cradle and then we will be already for our babe's visit.

Patti aka Nonna