Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inch By Inch, Row By Row

Health issues have kept me from feeling much like gardening and the foul weather made yard work unpleasant at best so far this summer.

I scattered a few flower seeds and put in 2 hot pepper plants and two tomato plants, but that was pretty much the extent of the "gardening" that has taken place since last summer.

That became very obvious when I looked over the flower beds and noticed the height and breadth of the weeds!

This morning the Tiny Prince and I set to work weeding.

Only Daddo was awake (he took the pictures) so we filled up the big yellow bucket with Stuff That Doesn't Belong Here a couple of times and sang The Garden Song.

The Tiny Prince loves music!

(Surprisingly, there is no poison ivy, though it used to abound in this part of the yard. Perhaps it has migrated elsewhere.)

Once the weeding was done, the Tiny Prince decorated the front porch with original drawings depicting the history of Western Civilization as outlined in Wikipedia.

He will be submitting photos of his chalk renderings for inclusion.

Sadly, the artwork will probably remain only until the nightly thunderstorm rolls through.

If it's on schedule, that will be right around dinner time.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Run For the Roses

Today was a day devoted to fun!

Around Casa Sheepie, Saturdays are reserved for bringing food into the house to get us through the week, but since we did that on Friday this week, we were able to spend most of Saturday enjoying the parks of Allentown.

We started off by picking up sandwiches at Mama's and headed south. Of course, the pavillion was occupado with a birthday party. They did not invite us to join them.

So we staked out a spot in the shade, spread out lunch, and watched the Tiny Prince slide right into the creek--uh, oh!

Daddo shared his hat, so the Tiny Prince was happy.

We played "ball" (not "catch"--no catching was involved!)

After lunch, we stowed the picnic in the trunk of the car and walked over to the Rose Garden.

Raisins are a good snack for looking at roses.

And the beds of roses next to the grassy paths are just the right height to play Hide and Seek if you are a Prince of 19 months!

Most of the roses are passing their prime, but it's still a lovely place to spend the afternoon.

The aroma is heady.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger.)

There was a wedding.

The Rose Garden is a prime spot for after-wedding photos, but this couple was here for the vows.

Pretty people, all dressed up.

They did not invite us to join them, either.

Since we weren't invited to the main event, we wandered over to the "Old Fashioned Garden" end and crashed a nature photography class. There were lots of people taking pictures of the flowers.

Clearly, they weren't aware of the Tiny Prince's celebrity status.

Good thing! The paparazzi can be so annoying.

Home again, home again, a quick (skinny) dip in the pool, supper, and another day ends.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Tiny Prince Reports In

Tiny Prince here.

Mammo and Daddo ran my wheels off.

First we stopped at the Turkey Hill so Daddo could get coffee and Mammo got me a slushie all for myself--sour green apple--YUM! except that they all laughed when I got Brain Freeze from trying to drink it too fast. "Sips," they said. Okay, I'll try.

Then, we went shopping at that big place I like where the people who sell the stuff give me lots of good things to eat.

I had cheese and a whole beef stick (Mama bought some to take home because I like them so much) and cheese, and watermelon and peach. There was probably something else, but I can't remember.

The grownups were talking about something called the Rose Garden. I don't especially care about flowers, but I heard them say "big lawn to run on" and "stream to wade in" and got pretty excited.

So we drove around looking for lunch we could take there for a picnic, but they said I was looking pretty tired and cranky so we stopped and got burgers (I had grilled cheese) then we got back in the car.

Next thing I knew it was late in the afternoon and I had Bedspread Face! No running. No wading. No fair!

But wait!

What's this?

Right here in the back yard!

Nice warm water, just my size, and 4 lifeguards to make sure I don't drown.

There were popsicles, too. And I'd still be out there turning into a prune, but it started to blow and it got really cool all of a sudden and everyone ran for the indoors because they said it was going to storm.

I really do have a swim suit, but I didn't want to wait, so they let me take off my clothes and get in the pool. Skinny dip they called it.

I just call it fun.

Better than a bath (and I like a bath--except for hair washing).

I think I'll do it again tomorrow.



Fiber Artiste

We have discovered the ball winder.

Right now, it's just another Noisy Toy, but Mammo won't let us play with it alone. ::rats!::

But someday. . .

Just saying.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Hit!

The Tiny Prince has come to visit for a nice long weekend.

He pronounced the little rocker Just Right, and "mine!" (That, and "no" are his two new favoritest words.)

We set up a small wading pool in the back yard, because, lordie, has summer arrived with a vengence! and of course, today is overcast and muggy.

::le sigh::

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Monday, June 22, 2009

We Will, We Will, ROCK You

So, the tiny chair is finished and the Tiny Prince will arrive in just 3 or 4 (depending on his Mama's work schedule) sleeps.

The paint needs a couple of tiny touch-ups where I got a little too enthusiastic with the hammer.

I think it looks pretty good.


Chair: $10

Yellow paint: 2 cans @ $3.29 (saved for another project)

Primer: 1 can @ $3.29

Orange Paint: 2 cans @ $3.29 (1 saved for another project)

Wood putty: $2.99

Sandpaper: 2 kinds: $2.99 each

Padding for the seat: $9.98

Hardware: $4

What am I forgetting?

Oh, yes.

Fabric from my stash. Part of a "rainbow" swap from years ago.

I'd venture to say that this "fat quarter" cost me more in grief and angst than the rest of the chair, materials, sweat, labor and stress.

But isn't that what swapping is all about?

Film of the Tiny Prince on his throne, coming soon to a blog near you.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Stand Corrected!

Upon careful reading of the local rag newspaper, I discovered that though it seems it has been raining daily forever, the 41 days referenced earlier this weekend are not consecutive days of rainfall, but rather, days of rainfall since the beginning of April.

So 50% of the time for 11 weeks, not 100% of the time for 6 weeks. Like it matters!

Oh, and it's clouding up.

I managed to finish the "matching" booties for the pink cabled cardigan today. The pattern is one I have used (and blogged) before.

They are quick and easy, though there is seaming.

So, another entry, Infant 2-piece Sweater-bootie, is finished and in the box.

(I save all the blocking for the end.)

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Day 41

We are being held hostage by the weather. Today marks 41 straight here in eastern PA when the skies have opened and spit upon us.

Even when the sun makes its (very brief) appearance, it's still raining. Like yesterday.

We are growing webs between our toes. We are building an ark. What the heck is a cubit, anyway?

Of course, nasty weather means that no gardening is taking place. It means that a lot of Front of TV Knitting is.

Here's the latest FO--for the fair,

Pattern is was at the Interweave site. It's called Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater (well, duh!) and is knit seamless from the top down.

One small modification I made was to install a buttonhole instead of a snap as I find buttons slightly easier to fasten than snaps on newborn necklines.

Yarn is Zenith. This one got mixed reviews from me.

Using the suggested needle size (3.5 mm) I got a wonderful cloth. It's very soft and great to touch. However (isn't there always one?) it is so loosely plied that it is extremely splitty. That means that I often left one of the (very thin) "threads" (there are 6 of them) behind and didn't notice until several rows later, causing 1) fits and 2) a need to drop the stitch back to the offending row and hook it back up with a size 3 crochet hook.

Not fun.

Fortunately, the yarn is very forgiving and (at least to my eye) the repairs don't show.

Were I choosing a washable wool DK weight yarn to buy for another project, it probably wouldn't be this one.

Were I shopping the stash? Well, 11 balls (in 4 colors) remain, so I guess I'll be seeing a bit more of this down the line.

Oh, and I plan to make a pair of bootie sandals with what's left of the pink.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three-Piece Done!

There was almost exactly enough!

I feared that I would run out of the Soft Baby (the variegated) before I ran out of sweater, and I really wanted to make a matching cap so that I could call Infant 3pc. Sweater-cap-blanket finished for another year.

That's why I picked up the ball of Plymouth Dreambaby DK (the yellow trim). It's a good thing that I did! The leftover Soft Baby weighs in at 8 grams. I used about 18 grams of the Dreambaby.


Particulars on this one: Yarn is Plymouth Dreambaby DK in color 0104 and Red Heart Soft Baby in color Laddie.

Pattern for the hat is "my own" (see below). Sweater pattern is an old Carole Barenys one that I printed out 5 years ago. It's similar to one at her site. (Aren't the booties cute?)

Both the hat and sweater were knit on size 4 needles.

Hat Pattern:

Cast on 70 stitches, join being careful not to twist. Do several rounds of garter stitch--k1 round, p 1 round then switch yarns and start stockinette--k all rounds--to about 3" from the cast on, decrease at 7 points, finish off. Pick up 3 stitches between the garter and stockinette and make i-cor for 12". Repeat on the second side. Weave in ends.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Orange You Glad It's Friday?

The weather finally cooperated!

I know this looks like some kind of strange hanging sculpture, or maybe a set of funky windchimes, but it's actually the Tiny Prince's throne.

It stopped raining long enough to get two coats of paint on the rocker. Tomorrow (24 hours) I'll do a third (and I hope final) coat.

Now, I'm debating (yet again) the seat cover.

No, wait! I've settled on the fabric, I'm just deciding whether or not to quilt it first to make it sturdier.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have many projects to face.

Countdown for the fair has begun and I am no further ahead than I was this time last year (though, truth be told, I have at least identified projects I want to knit up).

The loom remains sadly unwarped.

I have a wall of yarn that would be the envy of a small LYS.

And I can't get started.

If it stops raining, I'll throw the first coat of paint on the little rocker. If not? I'll finish a small project or two.



The Mittnz, They Rock

Nancy G sent me this picture of her 9 completed pairs. Love the stripes.

How are your pairs coming?

I've started collecting prizes (there will be NINE winner drawn at random). I think this year's winners will be pleased.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Productive Sunday

Weeds pulled, plants planted, and oh, yes, tiny rocker primed.

There was some seriously bad/ugly finish on the little guy. Some sort of nasty varnish, I think. Shiny, drippy, missing in spots and "croc"'d--you know, looking a lot like snake skin, only not so much.

I sanded the parts down using this fabulous 3M product (package tossed, sorry) that was sort of like really coarse sandpaper on steroids.

Took that finish right off!

Then, I sprayed the whole thing with an entire can of primer.

There was a smalll change of plans in that the paint I bought to start (yellow) magically changed to orange (okay, I bought more paint).

If the weather holds, that's on the agenda for tomorrow. Painting, that is. I have two cans.

Then I'll rebuild the seat and put the whole thing back together with new hardware.

I can't wait!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Unfinished Business

And a bit that is finished.
The shawl that I have been working on is finally in the Finished category.

I gave it a good soak in warm water and a little Mrs. Meyers' lavendar detergent in the washer, then rinsed and spun it and spread it out on the pool table to dry.

That opened up the Feather and Fan border quite nicely.

There's no photo of it being worn. It's still quite damp.

This one will become a fair entry, then will be mine. It will replace a Homespun (LB) shawl that I made a few years ago. It's wool, you see, and thus warmer and more substantial.

I believe I will wind up donating the other. I have no need for two shawls of this heft.

Particulars: Self-"designed" pattern--garter stitch base (cast on 36, increase 1 stitch every row to about 6'), Feather and Fan (or Old Shale, if you will) edging (after adjusting the stitch count to accommodate the repeats) for about 5", go back to the "wing tips" and fill in the triangle-shaped gap with short rows. Bind off with attached i-cord.

Other objects that remain On The Needles include the throw that I am making for the living room. (The Other Half just noticed that "those colors are the same as the rug in our living room." Ya think?)

I am slowly approaching the end on this one. It's about 56" across and I want to do a border to bind it off, so I'm researching (in Victorian Lace Today and Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls) methods of doing an attached border.

Truthfully, I still have several hours of quality time to spend with this one before it's finished. One round takes 30+ minutes.

Stay tuned.

And this would be a baby sweater that has me sweating. I have enough yarn to finish it, but not enough to make the matching hat (this entry will be for "3-piece infant set-blanket, sweater, cap") so I added some solid yellow for the neck and will make the hem and sleeve edges in yellow as well. Hopefully, there will be enough of the Red Heart Soft Baby to at least trim the cap.

If not, I will be very sad, because I don't want to buy any more of this stuff!

And on a personal note: Thank you to those Gentle Readers who have left me notes regarding my health. I will know more on Monday and will share as appropriate. Fear not.


Friday, June 12, 2009

But I Needed Them

/whine mode off

I have been wanting to expand my weaving library (if a copy of Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving can be called a "library") for a while.

When the opportunity to self-indulge afforded itself, I was right on it! (Mind you, I haven't re-warped yet--still trying to decide on a project.) These books were not on sale (my usual criterion for book buying). They weren't even discounted! How bad is that?

Weaving Made Simple is very readable. Funny (yeh, a bit), irreverent (um, yeh, that too--a sidebar titled "We can't all be Vera Wang" caught my eye). It's step-by-step instruction that I wish I had owned in January, but I'm willing to backtrack and let Liz Gipson take me through the steps.

Seventeen (only) projects, and all of them quite simple, may not fill my whole weaving bill, which is where Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom comes in. Betty Linn Davenport (author of the Hands On book mentioned above) offers all sorts of interesting "stuff" that should keep this beginning weaver busy for years and years.

I can't wait to get started!

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Square Circle

My dear friend L who originally put me on to Touching Tiny Lives. (Her nephew, Ken, is the founder. You can read his story by clicking this link.)

This week, she linked me to Square Circle. I have spent some time reading back issues of the newsletter and being moved near to tears. I invite you to check it out. It's a small world and small people seem to suffer the most. There are many ways to help. Perhaps you could start your own Square Circle?

And other squares? I made a couple waiting my turn yesterday and needing something mindless afterwards (when I wasn't napping. These are cotton, though and will be facecloths, not blankie squares.

I'm digging through my wool for possibles.

It took me a while to find a reference, but wool is the fiber of choice here. Acrylics can be used, but only in the "better" (it's clearly a matter of degrees!) homes where lighting and heating isn't done with open flame.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Out of Commission

I have been MIA this week due to workload and health issues.

Workload is likely not to be resolved im my lifetime (or my grandchildren's) because some people will remain "in need" forever. The health issues are slowly being resolved.

Case in point: A couple of months ago, I started my annual round of visits to all the doctors who look after aging women's bodies. Yeh, that round.

One after the other, they "found" things that needed further checking. Bits and bobs of flesh have been removed and sent for further testing. So far, so good.

This morning was what I hope was the last chunk cutting. This one involved several steps, some mashing, some placement of "guides" and finally, the administration of some really good drugs and some comparatively major cutting.

Since I pretty well slept through the whole thing, I can't tell you exactly what happened. The last I remember is being wrapped in warmed blankets. I will tell you though that in my dreams, I save the whole world. I don't remember how or from what, but rest easy. You are safe!

You're welcome.


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