Sunday, December 31, 2006
As I was scouting around the house for possible items starting with Z; I came across this antique pharmacy bottle in the downstairs powder room. I have two old pharmacy bottles that were rescued from the trash pile. This one has a cracked glass label. Maybe that is why is was in the trash - but I thought that they were interesting, so I kept them.
I thought I could use the bottle for my Z post - but I had to search and find out what the heck Zingib. meant. The only thing I found that made sense was zingiber and that is ginger. I suppose that it is plausible that pharmacies stocked ginger. It has long been used for medicinal purposes. If anyone knows what might have been originally kept in the jar, please let me know. The jar currently is filled with lavender to help make the room smell a little sweeter.
I've had a lot of fun with the ABC Along this year. I've learned some things and it was a real help when I started my blog last year. I always had something to post. Maybe it made me a better photographer too - and if not better at least more aware of what I know and don't know.
I decided not to post a 2006 finished objects round up. Looking back, there really aren't a lot of finished objects so my list would be a little lackluster compared to others out there. Also, I'm still hoping to get one more thing added to the list! I'm trying to finish my Anastasia socks before midnight tonight and I can added them to the 2006 finished objects. You can view my 2006 Finished Objects on Flickr if interested.
I'm going to start 2007 with a goal of trying to finish projects I've already started and start projects only with the yarn I already have stashed. I will be joining the Rocking Sock Club again, so that is exempt. I can think of a couple other reasons I might buy yarn too - but I'll try hard to stick with the plan.
I also hope to expand my camera skills and become a better picture taker. Maybe someday I can get paid to take photos. Not likely - but I can always dream. Other than that I will work on a few personal things and I will try and be a better person overall. Not that I was bad this year - but there is always something we can do better. Have a happy and safe New Years Eve.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Just before Christmas I received two packages from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The first was filled with a sock yarn splurge that I'll show later. The second was my final 2006 Rockin' Sock Club package. There were two lovely skeins inside. The first was Mustang Sally. This yarn is variegated reds and is so pretty.
The pattern for December was Winter's Eve, designed by Sivia Harding. You can see a sample of a finished sock on Knit Me's Blog. I love pattern. The pattern has a little bit of beading on the cuff and a cable going up the side. Very festive for the holidays. I've never done any beading and knitting - but the results look great! I will have to give this pattern a try.
The second skein is called Rare Gems and each skein is different. Mine is mostly made up of blues, purples, and turquoise. There is also a little shot of pink in one end. Both skeins are the light weight version.
These are the first pictures I've posted form my new camera. I know I have a long way to go to fully figure every thing out. These photos were taken in auto mode. I did have the external flash attached; which seemed to help with capturing correct color. I didn't really have to do any type of color correction. The new camera certainly is fun to use. Hopefully I can continue to improve my skills.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
This square make eight complete. Getting closer one step at a time. This square is in Kureyon color # 164. The tough part is going to be seaming all the squares together once they are complete. The pattern calls for a crocheted border but I've never done any crochet. I do like the crocheted border - it is a scalloped pattern that I think goes well with the short row stripes. So I'd like to learn to crochet for that reason. Does anyone know of a good website or book on learning crochet?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I've always wanted a more advanced camera and be able to control all the settings manually. Plus there are all type of accessories for the camera! You can change lenses, add a flash, filters, etc. And who doesn't love accessories? So I'm very excited about my new toy. Now I just have to sit down and learn how/when/why to change settings and hopefully take some great pictures.
The camera does have a point and shoot feature that I have been playing with the last couple days. So hopefully by Friday I will have some yarn pr0n taken with the new camera.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Thanks to Ang at Angelarea Knits, you are about to learn some things about me that just weren't meant to be known. And if you listen to my husband - six things just isn't enough to cover it. So I'll try and pick out a few key things.
Now the rules say I'm supposed to list six weird things about me and then tag six people to do the same. But I'm not going to tag anyone. If you are reading this and willing to post six weird things about you - please do. But let me know, I want to read about them!
Six Weird Things About Me:
1. I have a fear of bridges. Not of the bridge itself, it's more involved than that. I am actually afraid that the car I am riding in will go careening over the edge and plunge into water and I won't be able to get out of the car and I will drown. If there is ice on a bridge - you can almost forget about me driving over it. When I do drive over a bridge, I walk through steps to get out of the car if it does go over the edge and I keep my finger on the power window switch. You know (well I know; I've read about it) that the power will fail in power windows if a car is submerged in water. The window has to be down in order to swim out. I need to just get one of those little tools that will break a car window and cut a seat belt strap if needed. There is also the pressure from the water that will prevent you from opening the car door. I think the weirdest part is that I've read about what to do if this does happen. My college roommate figured I died that way in a former life. I don't really buy into that; but I'm not sure where the fear comes from.
I know Zonda has a bridge phobia too. But I'm not sure if she is as far along as I am.
2. I don't like to drink directly from a glass at a restaurant - I have to use a straw.
3. All the clothes hanging in my closet are arranged by color. I guess the weirdiest part is that the colors have to be in a certain order. I order them according to the spectrum (ROY G BIV). White and black aren't covered by that - so white clothes always hang in the first section and black goes at the end. My husband and I share a closet so his clothes have to be done this way too.
4. You know the screws in the wall switchplates? Well all the little slots in the screw heads must be going the same direction. And, they must be vertical.
I guess by now you might have figured out that I can be a little compulsive.....
5. I'm clumsy. I've fallen downstairs and upstairs (both this year). I will even trip over my shadow if it gets in the way. My husband call me his little ballerina.
6. When things are grouped together - like knick knacks on a shelf or plants in the garden - they must be grouped in odd numbers; usually numbers of three or five.
So, if you are willing - please take this as a tag to post Six Weird Things About You!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
This is my X-ACTO carving set. I think most people have used some type of X-ACTO tool at some time or another. My favorite X-ACTO tool is this carving set. It is made up of several gouging type blades and several cutting and saw type blades.
I was into paper arts and rubber stamping in a former crafting life and decided I wanted to carve my own stamps. So after a little research I decided I needed some white vinyl erasers and this carving set. I took a look through some old crafting supplies and was able to find some of the stamps I actually carved. The stamp in the lower left corner is actually me. I transfer a photo to the eraser and carved it out. Not too bad for an early attempt.
Most of my ink pads are all dried out, but I was able to get a print of the lion stamp. It is the stamp in the lower right corner on the picture above.
I haven't used any of these supplied in a very long time, but I think that I'll keep the carving set out. I'm betting that they'd be a good tool for decorating and carving pumpkins!
Friday, December 22, 2006
This is Kureyon color # 78. I hadn't seen this color before, so I figured I pick up a skein. It is mostly greens with a little purple and burnt orange color.
The shop also had a lone skein of color #88 that I had to pick up. I think the color has been discontinued and I was hoping to find a skein for the afghan.
I also picked up a skein of color #92. It is sort of a muted rainbow of colors. I have been ordering my Kureyon from Webs because of the discounts available, but none of these colors were available.
The shop has a small rack of buttons up by the register and I always take a look as I stand there waiting to pay. And as usual, I found a little something.
There are two of these ceramic buttons and each one is 1.75 inches wide. I think they will be nice on a bag with a loop closure.
Well, only one more Fiber Friday for 2006. This may be hard for me to participate in for 2007 as it is going to be the year of the stash for me. Although I will have new yarn from the sock club and yarn purchases will be allowed to finish a project. So we'll wait and see.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
This is one of the first pieces of North Carolina pottery I ever bought. It is a piece of Raku pottery. After the piece is taken out of the kiln, it is placed in some type of combustible material like straw, sawdust or newspaper. I was mainly attracted to the psychedelic colors. I also like that it has a matte finish. A lot of the Raku potter I see has a high sheen and often a metallic feel.
I bought this vase at the State Fair a couple of years back. I love the green color and shape of this vase. I think that this was done with a Raku technique as well.
If you don't know, North Carolina has an abundance of potters and several pottery festivals. There is even a tent set up at the fair where local potters sell their goods. The Seagrove area has such a festival and you can visit many of the potters at their studio/kiln. Sanford North Carolina has a pottery festival too.
I like the idea of local craftsmen and often try and find special gifts at the festivals. You can find things from very functional and practical to highly decorative art pieces. It is amazing the wide variety of styles and finishes that are available.
I've always said if I win the lottery that I'd take some time and try an apprenticeship with a potter. I would love to learn how to throw pots and use a wheel and master a bunch of different glaze techniques with a kiln.
This is another favorite. It has a neat three sided shape and is made with a salt glaze. Salt glaze usually results in things appearing a little more rustic, but I love how this one has glass melted around the circumference.
The picture here actually shows the backside of the vase. The little white circles are from where the vase sat on little pegs in the kiln. You can also see how the glass melted around the vase and ended up with little glass buttons at the back.
Only a few more letters to go and I will have made it through the alphabet. I'm almost sure I'll be able to do this before the end of the year. I sat down last night to figure out the last remaining letters and the only thing I'm still not sure about is X.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The yarn appears to be 100% wool and is a nice tweed. She bought ten different colors and began knitting the sweater you see in the picture. She actually knit over half the sweater. The front and two sleeves are in the picture with the remaining balls of yarn.
She sent the project to me with the hopes I would frog it and knit something else. The idea is to knit something that she can give as a gift to her friend as a memory of their trip. I think it is a wonderful idea and agreed. Now the unfinished project is mine and I have been tasked with coming up with making something nice that she can gift to her friend. I'd also like to knit something for my mom with the yarn too. There should be enough for two somethings.
My mom has seen some of the felted items I've made and she knit up and felted a swatch of the yarn for me. I've been leaning to making up a couple felted bags or bowls for them. The first thing to do though, is get the pieces frogged - which will be a job in itself!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The ballband bow presents were a hit! Thanks for all the nice comments. One of the recipients has even asked if I would be willing to knit here some more dishcloths to match her kitchen. She did offer to pay me too. I'm going to try and knit her a few as a surprise over my days off. We'll see how that goes.
Thank you for the ideas on my abandoned project. The kitties will be getting a new little blankie for their bed over the next couple of days. I'm sure they will love it. The love laying on blankets around the house and the part I did have finished is more than enough for a kitty. I wish I's have thought of it!
I also got one more square for Lizard Ridge knit this week. This square was knit in Kureyon color # 95. I did split this skein and rewind into two separate balls so I could control the colors more. I think if I would have knit the skein as it was that the green would be missing. I like the idea of getting as many of the different colors in the skein into the completed square.
This makes six squares complete, which puts me a quarter of the way through if I follow the pattern of twenty four squares. I need to start getting the squares blocked. I won't have any space to do them all at once.
My husband and I are going to a small Christmas party tonight and I've go to take a dessert. So I've got to get that started. I'm making a pumpkin streusel cake. I'm hoping that turns out too.
Friday, December 15, 2006
I have the project about halfway completed, but it has a mistake and needs to be frogged back; probably completely frogged. So it has been sitting in a bag in a closet for over a year. I think I need to decide what to do with it now - the time have come and I want the needles that are stuck in there!
I have two skeins that haven't been used at all. Two skeins is probably what has already been knit into the project too. So I'm thinking I'll save my needles and put the partially knit project in the trash. I actually still want to knit the project. I just don't think I can stand to frog what I have done and start over. It just seems much simpler just to toss the existing part in the bin and start over. Now I just have to get over throwing away perfectly good yarn.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The department I'm part of at the office exchanges gifts too. I joined this department about three years ago just before Christmas. The department is small - three ladies plus me - so exchanging gifts isn't too bad. But the first year I didn't know they exchanged. And it was kind of awkward at the end of our annual planning meeting when the other pulled out gifts for everyone and I didn't have anything to give. But this year I'm prepared. I have some homemade carmel and little candle votives wrapped up with a Peppermint Ballband wash cloth tied in a bow. I thought they came out pretty cute!
Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth from
Mason Dixon Knitting-
Yarn: Peaches & Creme 1 skein white / 1 skein peppermint
Needles: addi TURBO -US# 7/ 8.0 mm
Gauge: didn't check gauge
Other: I used wire edged ribbon to tie the dishcloth to the top of the box
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Now I have two red velour stockings with no purpose. I think I'll save them and use them as gift bags or something.
Project Info (Stocking on Left)
Pattern: based on Rainbow Stocking by Barbara Albright in
Christmas Stockings - 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit
Yarn: Noro Kureyon #87, just over 3 skeins
Needles: addi TURBO -US# 11 / 8.0 mm
Gauge: didn't check gauge
Pre-felting Measurements: 33" long, 10" wide
Final Measurements: 20" long, 7" wide
Friday, December 08, 2006
I'm going to make an attempt to get this project kick started this weekend. I'll have to put down the Kureyon and pick up the Koigu. That isn't a bad compromise at all!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This one is about the size my first one was before felting. I put the finished stocking in the picture to show the size difference. I'm hoping to get this felted and ready to hang over the weekend. I want to get them both hanging up!
Last night I also finished another square for Lizard Ridge last night. This one is Noro Kureyon color #89. The main colors are red, pink, and blue. I think this might be the only colorway I have that has any red. I'll have to look for some more. I like the red. The blue in the picture is a little more vibrant than it really is in the square. The blue is mixed with red and pink and isn't nearly as solid looking in person as the picture shows it to be.
I can't wait to get the square done for this blanket and get it all put together. The pattern calls for a crocheted border. I'm not sure I'm going to try that - I've never crocheted before. But I still have a lot of knitting to do before that becomes an issue.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The pattern has you change yarn after every 6 rows. So, I've been knitting each square from both ends of one skein. For the purple and green square (#87) that meant that several colors that were in the skein didn't end up in the finished square. Color #87 also has a pink, turquoise, and a bright blue color that didn't show up in my square. I like the way the square came out though. I'm planning on using the leftovers from each skein to knit more squares. I did end up splitting the skein for color #131 and rewinding so that I did get more color variation in that square. If I didn't rewind for that one I would have missed out on all the blue and green that is there.
I joined the Norovember KAL to use up some of the stash I had built up of Noro yarn - quite specifically the overflowing pile of Kureyon that is in my stash. For some strange reason, I just can't seem to get enough of this stuff. I really do love the vivid colors and watching the stripes emerge as I knit. I love the texture of the finished felted fabric. Kureyon and sock yarn are my addiction. And it is starting to get out of hand.
So I though the KAL would be a good incentive for me to use some up. First I made the felted stocking and started a second. Then I decided to use up some of the stash for the Lizard Ridge Afghan from the recent Knitty. I have knit a total for 4 square so far for lizard ridge. Including the two stockings and the squares, I used up about 11 skeins of stashed Kureyon.
After I finished that fourth square, I went back to the stash to decide what color to knit up next. But as I started going through the stash I just couldn't bring myself to break up any of the remaining colors in the stash. If I did that - I wouldn't have enough of each color to knit the originally intended projects I plan to knit! Then what would I do with all those odd balls that were left? So I did what any addict would do - I bought more!
That's right, I bought more Kureyon. Twelve skeins to be exact. (But aren't they pretty?) Each of these lovely colors will be another square for Lizard Ridge. So the KAL did not help me bust the stash as intended. In fact, I ended up with a one skein gain overall. Certainly not what was intended (head hung low). I guess I should be grateful that it didn't cost me more.
I think that 2007 will be the year of the stash for me. I have yarn stashed for all kinds of projects and have a long list of things I want to finish. So I will likely add a yarn moratorium to the list of resolutions that will get made at the first of the year. Just as long as you understand that doesn't include my membership in the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club - I can't give up that!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Well we finished our project! We got most of the work done over the Thanksgiving holiday. We did seal the tile and caulk around the edges this week. We did forgo a large traditional Thanksgiving dinner to do all the work, we ate frozen microwave dinners instead. But I think the results were worth it! This project has been on our list of to do since we moved into the house 3-4 years ago.
We used a 4x4 inch travertine stone for the main tile and used 2x2 inch glass tiles for an accent. The photo on the left shows how we finished off the edges of the large area. There was actually about 4 inches of wall on either side of the cabinets. So we edged each side with border pieces that resemble a picture frame edge and covered the area to the baseboard. I really do like how it finished it off - but the border pieces were the most expensive of all the tile.
The trickiest part of the whole project was getting the glass tile to set level with the stone. The glass tile is thinner than the stone tile and required more adhesive to build it out from the wall. And the messiest part was the grouting. We do have a wet saw which made cutting the tile very easy. Although the saw did create a mess, luckily we did all the cutting in the garage.
I really like the framed out part above the cooktop. The glass tile really sparkles under the lights of the cooktop hood. Hopefully it won't be hard to clean up cooking messes and splatters. The sealer we used was supposed to seal the tile and grout from staining -so hopefully that won't be an issue.
The only thing left to do is find some type of replacement for the wall switch plate covers. The white just doesn't look right. I'm thinking I might looks for some stainless steel covers to go with the appliances.
The project was easier than I thought it would be. I would definitely do tile work again if needed - especially when you consider all the money you save on labor.
This was our first tile project and I think it came out pretty good. There were a few miscalculations and cutting mistakes - but everything was correctable or hopefully something no one will ever notice.
But now it's done and we can sit back and enjoy. I have a slide show that shows before and after photos as well as some progress shots I didn't include here.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Pattern: based on Rainbow Stocking by Barbara Albright in
Christmas Stockings - 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit
Yarn: Noro Kureyon #80, just over 3 skeins
Needles: addi TURBO -US# 11 / 8.0 mm
Gauge: didn't check gauge
Pre-felting Measurements: 33" long, 10" wide
Final Measurements: 20" long, 7" wide
The main thing I changed on the pattern was the recommended needle size. The pattern suggested a US#8 and that just seemed too small to me. I always knit on larger needles for felted items, so I switched to a US#11. Otherwise the pattern is just a basic sock with a short foot. So I really didn't follow the pattern - but I did get the idea for a felted stocking from the pattern.
The more I look at this color, the more I like it. Although it seems that it is not a color that is available anymore. I only had four skeins. One skein became a square in my afghan and the other 3 became this stocking.
Tile Project Update: The good news is that the project is almost complete. We grouted the tile on Sunday. We are waiting until tomorrow to seal the stone tile and caulk around the edges and then we get to issue a big DONE! stamp to this project. I'll take pictures and post the finished results once we get the sealer finished.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
He wouldn't come out of his shell while I was around. You can kind of get an idea of his size in this picture. My foot is a size seven.
Tonight makes the beginning of my kitchen tile project. My husband and I are hoping to have the project complete by Sunday. I'll post some updates when I can and of course pictures of the finished project will be up as soon as we finish.
Well this is the day before Thanksgiving - So I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving or if that doesn't apply, I just hope you have a great weekend.
Friday, November 17, 2006
I'm finishing up my second Anastasia sock and have to decide on a pattern to start as soon as those are finished. Earlier this week I ordered Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks for some inspiration on what to knit. I also have a copy of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns on the way just in case I'm inspired enough to figure out my own sock pattern.
Trying to write up a pattern would be an industrious use of some vacation time I have coming up. Between my vacation days and the days off I get for the holidays, I will be off work three weeks at the end of the year. At least one of those weeks will be filled with family commitments and holiday stuff - but the other two will be all mine and I'm hoping for a lot of knitting time.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I haven't blocked the square either - I really like the bumpy lumpy texture as it is now. I don't think that will help when seaming blocks together though. I'm not sure how practical a wool afghan is that can't be washed. If it does get finished it will probably be hung on a chair or put in a drawer. It definitely will have to be kept away from Sherman. All his slobber would probably felt the entire thing.
I have no idea how long this will take to finish. I hope my log cabin afghan isn't an indication because I only have one square done for that. I've been thinking about not finishing the log cabin with individual squares, but just building on the one I have done. I'm hoping to work on that when I take some vacation over the holidays.
But back to this afghan... I'd like all the square to be different, so I think I'll just do one now and again when I have some Kureyon out for other projects.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I found four skeins of Noro #80 that I got as part of a Kureyon grab bag I bought on the cheap. I figured I could use one ball for a square for Lizard Ridge - but what to do with the other three skeins. The colors really aren't something I'd want in a bag or anything. But I remembered I had a pattern book that had a felted Christmas stocking. So I decided to start with that.
The pattern I started with was in the Interweave Press book Christmas Stockings - 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit. The pattern itself was called Christmas Rainbow Surprise. The pattern calls for 265 yards - so I figured I had enough to give it a try.
The pattern called for knitting the stocking on US#8 needles,, which seems a little small to me for an item that is supposed to be felted. I decided to use US#11 needles instead. This thing came out BIG! Right now at the longest point it measures 33 inches. We'll have to see how much it shrinks in the washer though. I hope to get it felted this week. Hopefully it will look good enough to hand on the mantle this Christmas.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Here is the latest addition to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rocking Sock Club. They are taking sign-ups for the 2007 Club now if you are interested. I've really enjoyed the club this year and plan to participate next year too. I love getting the surprise packages and working with the yarn.
This is a new color called Pink Granite and is the medium weight variety. So far, it is my favorite color of all the ones I have from the club. The pattern that was included is a faux cable design called Marble Arches with a short row heel. The skein is approximately 5.5 ounces/380 yards. Here are the requisite close-up shots.
The skein starts with a nice ivory white color and progresses to a soft dusty pink color.
The pink finally turns into a nice charcoal color.
I hope to cast on with this yarn soon. I'm starting to get that dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed that too many projects are waiting to be finished or even started. I'm going to have to get busy and start knitting.