July 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to Carol and Me!

Today Carol and I share a birthday and are the exact same age (give or take a few hours!). As I have the week off, I am enjoying a lovely cup of coffee in the cool of the morning. Later this morning, I am going to get to meet Sandy of The Queen's Stitch and enjoy some lovely stitching time. She does lovely work so I'm looking forward to seeing her projects and finished pieces, especially the Blackbird Design piece she is working on right now. I plan to start my SBEBB redwork exchange piece but am bringing a pile of things along in case I change my mind! I will post more later! I hope you have a lovely day - I know I will!

July 29, 2006

A lovely, lovely day!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting three wonderful ladies at ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham, NH. I met up with Carol, Barbara and Barbara's wonderful friend Sarah for a little stash enhancement and lunch. This is us outside the shop after we finally decided we'd bought enough. Left to right is Carol, Barbara, me and Sarah. In the "it's a small world" theme, Sarah is from Akron, Ohio which is where my BIL grew up and I lived about 30 minutes away from for a number of years.

I so love getting to meet people that I know through their blogs. You are instant friends when you meet because you have gotten to know a lot about them already through their blogs. We never had an awkward moment and spent a wonderful 2 hours or so going through the luscious piles of fabric, threads and many, many charts that ABC Stitch Therapy has in their shop.

I can't say enough about how nice Marie, the owner and her helper were today, answering questions and to basically take over the shop and gab the entire time. If you're every anywhere near western NH or eastern VT, make the trip to visit because it's a great shop. There are many wonderful models to oooh and aahhh over. They also provide excellent on line service with a very fast turnaround. We all came home with a "few" things and I know I for one was very happy with the day.

Here's what I couldn't resits:

A chart for my fall/Halloween exchange with my yahoo group as well as some fabric and a chart to send with the finished piece, Blackbird Designs' Secret Garden which I have been coveting and a Gloriana silk called Poinsettia to stitch it with since the shop was out of the Turkey Red called for, three Crescent Colours called for in the autumn exchange chart I bought, 10 NPI silks for M Designs Floral Sampler, 3 WDW threads and Birds of a Feather Summer Garden and Spring Garden which come with the fabric included. Carol was kind enough to supply me with a generous gift certificate at ABC Stitch Therapy so my total wasn't as bad as it could have been! Thank you again Carol!

July 25, 2006

Miracle Sock

I am calling this sock the miracle sock because it has survived not one, but two close encounters with The Destroyer. On Saturday evening while I was in the kitchen making dinner, Cowboy ate another pair of dpns out of this sock. Thank goodness I had the foresight to buy two pairs when I went to York a while back. At the rate I am going, I am definitely not going to be in the running for knitting the most socks for the Summer of Socks contest. I will be happy if I can just finish this one pair without any more dpns being ruined.

Cowboy has been acting out quite a bit all of a sudden - I just came down from upstairs, where he was with me for most of the time, and he had taken 1/2 a package of toilet paper I had just brought up but hadn't put away yet from the upstairs bath down to the living room and proceeded to tear it apart. I never suspected a thing.

Why are they always so happy about the destruction they cause? He was jumping up and down like a typical JRT, so proud of what he had accomplished. Hmmm...... I know it's a tantrum because I was working on something and he wanted attention and most likely to go outside. Please someone tell me I will survive this period?

July 24, 2006

Birthday Goodness

Today I had a lovely birthday exchange package from Karen in my mailbox when I got home. I wasted no time ripping into the envelope and here is a picture of what it contained. Karen stitched me the loveliest pincushion/needlebook/thread keeper. It's a freebie design by Blue Ribbon that I just recently saw and her work is just fabulous. The finishing on this piece is so clever. She also included some lovely fabric, two NPI silks on my wish list, the cutest doggie themed note pad that shows a dog that looks a lot like Cowboy with a giant stick in his mouth and the quote says "I'd really like to keep this one". Karen also included a chart by The Cat's Whiskers which I've been coveting. It's called Feed My Soul Stitches and I can't wait to get started. I immediately sat down to look over the chart and directions which are very clear and include photos of the finishing process - fabulous!

Thank you so much Karen!

Edited to add that Karen also sent me a lovely bookmark which I had already but into the new book I started. The blue colors match the cover of my book perfectly! :-)

July 18, 2006

Stitching Progress

Thank you everyone for sharing your wonderful and funny horror stories with your assorted four legged and two legged children! All is right in Cowboy's world for now as I went and got some new chew bones. I will share some new pictures of him I took last night once I get them uploaded.

I was able to accomplish a fair amount of stitching last week and completed one gift and started another. I can't show you that progress but here is a picture of my HIH Halloween Medley piece. I also need to get back to my CHS alphabet series as I really need to complete another letter to keep on track with this. I probably won't get much stitching in today as I am going to dinner at my boss's house after work.

Have a great Tuesday and stay cool! Our weather here continues to be hot and humid but there is hope that it will cool down a bit tomorrow. I'm ready for that!

July 16, 2006

Bad dog, Bad Dog, Whatcha Gonna Do?

This is what happens when you leave a JRT home alone too many nights during the week. I came home from a jewelry party on Friday evening to find this. My wonderful Ruby Slippers yarn from Heide.

It was a really busy week with something going on every evening after work so my walks with Cowboy were pretty quick. Plus, I was out of rawhide chew toys and evidently he had decided he'd had enough. Over the last two weeks, I've lost three pairs of underwear, a pair of shorts (he ate holes into the pockets for the treat crumbs I use for training) and now this!

And not only did he get into my SRT, he also got my in progress sock and ate the dpns out of it! So I had to make a trip to York yesterday to get replacement needles, pull out my sock - luckily I was able to pull back to the green color band and reknit the purple - and it took me 2.5 hours in my sweltering upstairs room to rewind the STR yarn into a usable ball. I hate the terrible twos.

And just to make matters more interesting, the obedience trainer left me a voicemail on Wednesday: "I'm making up Cowboy's graduation certificate and I really think it would be great for him to continue his training. I have another Wednesday night class that just started and it's really small and I think it would be great for Cowboy to keep going - and I won't even charge you." ................Okay, you can stop laughing now................ :-(

July 10, 2006

I couldn't resist

I lasted three days but this morning I wound my STR Ruby Slippers into a ball and if I have enough energy tonight, I will cast on for the first sock. I am going to try the butterfly pattern from the Fiber Arts Butterfly and Trellis pattern my Knit Sock Kit Swap partner Heide sent me. This will be my first foray into lace knitting but I think this is a nice basic pattern that should challenge me to expand my skills. Thanks again Heide!

July 9, 2006

Summer Sock That Actually Counts

Here is a picture of the latest pair of socks I've started that will actually count towards my tally for the Summer of Socks KAL. I started them on July 6th and this is my progress as of Saturday. I am knitting them with KnitPicks Simple Stripes yarn in the Partie colorway on size 2 dpns. The difference between this yarn and the STR that I was working with is amazing. This yarn is much coarser and feels so much rougher in my hand compared to the STR yarn. But these will make a fun pair of socks that will be a gift so I think they will be fine for basic socks.

I also spent most of Saturday and today crafting my bag for the Knit Sock Kit Swap. The photo is of the first one I made. It came out great and I think it's adorable. The problem was that it was too soft and floppy so I made an identical bag using a heavyweight fusible interfacing that gave the bag much more body so that it now stands up straight instead of sagging in the middle. I will keep this one and use it as a fun summer purse.

My bag is now ready and I've gotten the yarn, two patterns and two of the goodies I am going to include but some items haven't arrived yet. Depending upon the time frame for receiving the other items, I may send the bag with what I have and then forward on the other gifts when I get them. I'm so enjoying having recieved mine that I don't want my giftee to have to wait to long.

July 8, 2006

Super Galah Mail Day

Super Galah is a phrase used by my BIL to describe something super fantastic and it was definitely appropriate for what was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. This was sitting on my porch. The smallest box contained items I ordered for my Knit Sock Kit Swap partner so I can't show you what was in the box. The box at the back contained more Spunky Eclectic yarn that I couldn't resist because it was on sale. But the brown box at the front is what made it such a super galah mail day. It was my Knit Sock Kit Swap from my partner. When I finally finished opening all the goodness in the box, this is what it looked like:

I was lucky enough to have the incredibly talented Heide as my sender and she really did a fantastic job of creating a bag especially for me. She used all the colors I love, red, purple and green, and included hearts which I adore. You will also see her skills in the beaded fringe around the top of the heart which I'm just amazed by. This is such a wonderful bag. It has a great lining fabric with a pocket to hold needles or other small items and is the perfect size. Heide included a really great sock pattern by Evelyn Clark of Fiber Trends called Butterflies and Blossoms and some yummy Socks That Rock yarn in the Ruby Slippers colorway. Oh how I love this yarn! I will definitely be keeping these socks for myself. She also included some great purple stitch markers, a set of my favorite Brittany DPNs, some really yummy chocolate that I will have to restrain myself from eating all at once and a package of metal yarn needles which are definitely a step up from my usual blue plastic ones! And there was a wonderful sachet bag of lavender - one of my favorite scents. Thank you so much Heide for putting together such an incredibly thoughtful and fantastic package. I can't wait to start knitting my very own pair of "ruby slippers".

July 6, 2006

Sock finish and stitching start

This is a photo of the pair of socks I finished using Socks That Rock yarn. I really, really, really love this yarn. It is incredibly soft and a real pleasure to work with. Unfortunately, these socks can't qualify for an official Summer of Socks pair as I misread the blog and thought the official start date was June 1st when it was in fact June 21st! Oh well, I've started a new pair and they will count towards my tally - once they're finished that is!

I also started two new cross stitch projects - one I can show and one I cannot. I went to a stitch in at my friend Nancy's house on Saturday and she was showing me all the wonderful projects she has started. By the time I got home, I had the bug to start something new so I went through my charts and decided to stitch something for Halloween. I chose HIH's Halloween Medley as I thought it would be a quick and easy stitch. Here is my progress as of last night. This is what it will look like when it's done.

I am thinking I will either frame it as shown or I might try my hand at making it into a wall hanging. I am on a mission to increase my Halloween decorations and I thought this would make a good start. I love Heart In Hand designs, especially their Halloween pieces.

July 5, 2006

June Wrap Up

First, thank you everyone for your kind comments on the new look. All the credit goes to the designer as she was the talented person who put the template together. I do like the waves - very Maine and very summery. Now if the weather will just cooperate, I might get to the beach this weekend. I'm getting quite the farmer's tan at this point.

It's a few days late but here is a brief round up of what I accomplished in June:

1. Started and finished stitching F and G of the CHS Alphabet series.
2. Started and almost finished my first pair of summer socks. I actually finished them last night so they don't totally count for June. But, I have one Christmas present already finished!
3. Stitched to a total of 2,500 plus stitches on my HAED Storey Keeper.
4. Started and made good progress on CHS Dainty House Wren.

The only thing I did not have success at was my reading. I did read 1/2 of The Shipping News and I still have till this coming Monday to finish as we ended up moving our discussion date. I haven't started any of the three library books I got two weeks ago and they're due to be returned next Friday. I'm hoping that I can renew them if I don't get bitten by the reading bug.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with what I did accomplish. I'm not putting any pressure on myself so that the doing gets lost in trying to achieve the goal. I need to choose the next pair of socks to start for July and I'd like to choose a Christmas ornament to start. I started a HIH Halloween piece for me which should be a quick stitch and I am about 3/4's of the way done with a stitched gift. I need to go to my LNS this weekend before I can finish it. I'm out of one GAST thread I need and the beads to complete it. Plus I need to make a pillow form for it so I'll need to look for appropriate fabric-maybe tomorrow night at the s&b at the quilt store.

I've finally decided on a pattern for my bag for the Knit Sock Kit Swap and I've received one of the things I ordered, should get another this week in the mail and then the last few items I plan to include should ship on Friday if all goes well. Now to just get the bag made! I heard from the person that has me and she is already finished her bag! She was planning to send it off so I should have a wonderful new bag to show off very soon.

July 4, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

My town's biggest parade is the 4th of July parade and today's was even bigger than last year's I think. Last year I watched from the end of my street but this year I walked in the parade. What a difference a year can make! LOL It was a lot of fun - warm and sweaty just as a 4th should be with lots of kids and candy and tired feet. Another of those neat things about living in a small town - traditions are maintained and you see faces in the crowd you know!

As you can tell, I've been swept with the "new blog" fever as well. I used one of the wonderful templates you can find here. I still have editing left to do but I am liking the new look. There are several others out there with new designs and I love them all!

I hope you had a fabulous 4th - it's back to work tomorrow but it will be a short slide to the weekend as tomorrow is Wednesday already!