Friday, April 30, 2010

a winner and some new tools

I know I'm late to the Fiber Arts Friday party but it's been a busy week here at Chez B.  I usually put this post together on Thursday evening but I was otherwise engaged last the Whitecaps game.  My dentist threw a par-tay at the ball park and it was loads of fun.  Having our local team win...bonus!

I've been noodling around with this Ten Stitch Blanket for the past week.  I know I should be working on my ZigZig Bag but for some reason the Ten Stitch is more interesting right now...and I don't have to pay attention to which direction I'm zigging or zagging.  I've changed the color combination on this thing three times now and think I've finally decided on a color, turqouise, black and white...whatchu think?

Once I got started with the blanket cable needle was pretty annoying so decided I'd try some straights  *gasp*  I couldn't find a short size 8 around here anywhere so decided I'd have to make one.  I headed to the garage with a pair of 14" size 8 needles, found a crosscut saw and hacked off a few inches, twirled em around in a pencil sharpener, hit em with some sandpaper and some clear nail polish and TA DA!!!  Instead of 14" long bamboo needles that I was never gonna use, I have a nice pair of 7" long, size 8 bamboo needles.

They're awesome, just the right size, sticky enough that I don't keep dropping my blanket off of them and very lightweight.  And no more fiddly cable!

So I did my little drawing for the contest from last week's post...I was amazed that three of you actually guessed right...Allison's name was drawn from the soup bowl by our lovely receptionist Barb.
 This is me in the second grade...
don't you just love those barrettes?  Allison, if you'll send me your addy via Ravelry pm I'll get this little prize package to you asap.

Thanks everybody for playing!  It was fun.

LittleDog says:  Sorry peeps, can't talk now, keeping an eye on my kingdom...

Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fiber Arts a prize!

Hello!  LittleDog says Welcome Back... 

 It's been a busy week here at Chez B, spring cleaning is underway and this year's big project is the basement, uh.  Since I need to make room on the shelves down there for a few vintage sewing machines and some totes of yarn a fabric, something else will have to leave. 

Sorting through all those boxes brought a rush of  fond memories - old photos and the kid's elementary school papers.  Even the sale papers from my first house were still down there, bought it brand new, in 1976 for $28,500...can you even buy a new car for that today?!  I think not.

I was amazed that I still had papers down there from my school days.  Can you find me? (click on photo to biggie-size)
Take a guess and you could win this prize...

Learn how to do Card Weaving with a couple of skeins of Serendipity Tweed from Brown Sheep.

Leave a comment with your email and your best guess and I'll throw your name in a hat on, say, Friday, April 30th at 6pm.  You could add card weaving to your repertoire - and who doesn't need another skill?  The book is in excellent condition and all the cards are of Rena's explorations into the fiber arts that didn't take hold.  Don't we all have a few of those?
This was probably my favorite find...
 Jared's first written story.

or this...
a Mother's Day card from Rena.  All the memories of their childhood are special ones for me.  I could not have asked for more awesome children who are now awesome adults.

Have a great weekend everybody.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Be sure to check out Ellen,  Allison, Dutch Hollow, and Holly that participate in Fiber Arts Friday.  And as always Andrea rocks!

PS:  I may have added to the herd this week...

This is a Singer 185J from 1954 and I can't wait to get her fixed up and running!  She's so cute at 3/4 size.

Monday, April 19, 2010

10 Stitches

I may have started a new project last night...

only after doing another section of the zig-zag pattern on that ginormous bag I've been working on for-e-vah!

Over on someone's blog I saw an amazingly simple blanket.  I have a ton of Cascade 220 to burn through and decided that this would be the perfect project for it.  All I have to do is knit 10 stitch rows, turning a corner now and then, until I run out of yarn...
it could take a while, LOL

I've been listening to lots of podcasts lately.  Here are a few of my faves...

Bark N Knit
 Fiber Beat
Hoxton Handmade
KIPing It Real
The Knitmore Girls
The Savvy Girls
Sticks & String
She-Knits Podcast

If you listen to podcasts, which ones do you listen to?  I'd like to find some quilting podcasts so if you know of any of those let me know.  Also, any on a subject other than hand crafts that you think are worth of a books or music or the like.

Progress is being made on the new quilt design...

Thanks for stopping in...hope you all have a great week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

fiber arts friday

Happy Friday everybody!  Thanks to you all for visiting me here. 

It's been a crazy week at Chez B since The Saint has been working 3rd, yes, 3rd shift this week.  It certainly does change the household schedule around!  Try keeping 3 dogs quiet from 6-8pm...

If it's Friday then it's time for Fiber Arts Friday, a shout to Andrea over at Wisdom Begins In Wonder and thanks for getting us all together every week.  It's always great to make a few new friends in the blog-o-shere.

I've started the large version of the graph for the new quilt.  Why is it that things look better small?  Seems like when you blow them up they just don't look as cute.

Anyway, my fiber concerns this week are what kind of fabric I should purchase for this...

doesn't it make you think of summer?  I haven't sewn anything wearable for myself in a while so I think it's about time.  Ah, time...why don't I have more of thee?

All the dogs got a trip to Rena's Dog Park last night.  Only took about 15 minutes to wear them out..they are out of shape, just like their owner...

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Start with a little sketch on 4/inch graph paper
then transfer it to 1/inch graph paper.  

Once I get the larger size drawn up I can start cutting fabric and putting the centerpiece of the quilt together. 
 I'm using instructions from Cindy Walter's Snippet Sensations...first time using this technique...wish me luck!

The whole process is driving LittleDog crazy...
...he doesn't think he's getting enough lap time, LOL

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


That's how many stitches I had to bind off last night.  It's finally finished though...
Cameron's Blankie.  His Mama liked it.  I'm glad to have it out of the house!  I was having homicidal thoughts toward this blankie at the end.  Remind me to never, ever make another blanket.  It was way too much knitting of the same color for my taste.  And the center of it was poochie and I didn't like that at all.  I believe I should have used a larger needle in the beginning instead of using a smaller needle like the pattern said.  Live and learn.

The top two pics are the most accurate color.  Those were taken with the flash on.  I think it's pretty but I wasn't thrilled how the acrylic yarn refuses to be blocked.  Also remind me to never make anything with acrylic yarn again too, will ya?  blech

It's been stormy here the past couple days.  We got hail and heavy rain today along with some pretty stiff winds.  The Saint snapped the above pic about 30 minutes after the storm rolled through here this morning.  That's hail, fortunately not the ping pong size hail they got in Holland today.  All is well at Chez B though, unlike for a few of our friends...sending good thoughts to my knitting peeps down Battle Creek way...looks like they really got socked last night.

Thanks for stopping in.  Hope you have a great day!

ETA:  This post is part of Fiber Arts Friday hosted by Wisdom Begins In Wonder.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hi, I'm Ally, and I'm a sock-a-holic...

I finished a pair of socks this afternoon that took me for-ev-ah!  I really don't like this yarn, it's too thin (had to use size 0 needles) and the color is boring.  I won't be making any more tan socks.  bleh!

The socks turned out ok, I guess...
my favorite part of a sock is the heel...not sure why, it just is.  The little wedge that's created when you do the turn most especially so.
couldn't wait to get them Kitchener'd and get started on the next pair...

do you think that's a problem? Anyway, the new socks are in Lorna's Laces, Watermelon (which, I think is discontinued).  If not for the fact that I had to trash several yards at the beginning of one skein due to knots, I'd really love this yarn.  I do have some other things to finish, like Cameron's Blankie...

Only 10 rows to go until that's finished but that is 10 x 400 sts...phew!   When the rows include terms like DD and k2tog and ssk along with a few yo's it gets tedious.  It's so hard to knit all those things accurately when you're trying to watch NCIS!  Have I mentioned that Abby is my favorite character on that show?  I find her fascinating.  And isn't this super cute!  I could combine my love of the show with my love of crafting...

I guess I'd better get to knittin.  Everyone have a stellar weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate all the nice comments.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

quilt planning and it's spring

First I have to actually see it, as I never know if what I see in my head will actually look good to my eyes...
 then wash and dry the fabrics...
 looks like they could use some ironing...and it happens that I have the proper tool... 

I find ironing to be a meditative activity.  Perhaps it's because my Grama taught me how to properly iron men's shirts, exactly perfectly, and when I use the iron I have good thoughts about her.  Of course I didn't just start right in with the shirts...I had to learn how to properly iron a man's hankie first.  You can't imagine what a precise procedure that was.  You first had to shake it out straight, lay it down on the ironing board, iron, fold in half, length-wise, press the fold, fold in half again, length-wise, press the fold, fold in half in the other direction and press, and once more in half and press.  When you finished you had a perfectly square, very flat hankie.  There was no room for error.  My Grandfather was the Principal of a high school and he liked to look his best ever single day.  His socks and his tie always matched.  My Grama even ironed his boxer shorts!  How's that for a dedicated wife?  She was the greatest Grama ever!

Spring is arriving here in West Michigan.  It got close to 80 today and I couldn't wait to get home so I could take off my shoes and socks.  I guess I'll have to throw a coat of polish on the ole tootsies tonight so I can wear sandals tomorrow.

Hope everyone has had a great week.  It was awesome to get so many comments on Parker's Quilt.  Thank you all so much for the kind and supportive words.  Y'All are awesome!

LittleDog says have a wonderful weekend...

A pug in a blanket, LOL

ETA:  This post is part of the Fiber Arts Friday over at Wisdom Begins In Wonder.  Go check it out!