Sunday, February 22, 2009

Embroidery and stuff

My embroidery machine has been getting a workout this week. I can't post most of what it's been doing yet, but here's one of the baby quilt labels I made.

I blanked out the last name, it's not a big pucker there.

One of the guys on John's pool team has a new daughter, so this is for her. I have one more label to make, but I'm waiting for John's brother (Grandpa) to get back to me with the correct spelling of the baby's name.

I also put a zipper in my purse today.

I'm not sure I really like it yet, especially since the zipper doesn't match all that well. I'll give it a few days and see.

I've also been busy knitting on my stealth project while watching video crack. The crack in question is '24', which we started getting from Netflix after we caught up on all the CSI episodes available on DVD. It's probably a good thing that I don't watch it in prime time, because I'd go nuts from week to week, waiting to find out what happens next. The writers don't seem to think much of women, though. Most of them are extremely stupid, weak/needy, or evil/conniving. The longer we watch, the more we wonder - is there anyone on the planet dumber than Kim Bauer? We're only 4 hours into season 2, so maybe she'll wise up at the series goes on. We can hope, anyway.

This is what happens to flower arrangements at my house when you forget to lock them up away from the cats at night.

For what it's worth, those leaves upset kitty tummies, and the cats give the leaves back in short order. No pictures of that. You're welcome.

In car news, I had to file a claim with the other insurance company myself. They're going to send an adjuster out Monday or Tuesday to look at the damage and give me an estimate. Then I can take it anywhere I want for repairs.

Back to my knitting. We're out of crack DVDs, though, so hopefully we can find something else to watch.

We'll just stay here in the sewing room, Mama!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here's a tip....

If you're in the middle of an intersection waiting to turn left and the light turns red, TURN LEFT!

[yes, my car needs a bath, but hey, it's winter in Cleveland, why bother?]

DO NOT BACK UP, like the guy in the Ryder truck in front of me did this morning. I hit the horn, but not in time to keep him from hitting me. I couldn't back up, even if I'd had the presence of mind to do so, since there was someone behind me. He said he didn't know I was back there. It was 8:30 in the morning, on a weekday, at a busy intersection. Why wouldn't he expect someone behind him??

To his credit, the driver called the police and told them the truth about what happened. He was cited, I wasn't. The only potential problem I see is that the truck was being rented by the company he works for and the policy notice in the truck said it was expired. Not sure who's going to pay for the damage to my car, but I sure hope it's not me! For now I'm going to hold off and see what the insurance companies come up with. I'm guessing I'll get a new bumper out of the deal, but really, I'd rather have just kept the one I had intact.

In nicer news, I guess I'm not your typical girl, because I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I'm even less fond of Sweetest Day, but don't get me started on that one. Anyway, John and I said we weren't going to do anything for V-Day. Imagine my surprise when I got home from my errands on Saturday to find this waiting for me.

I might not be a fan of Valentine's Day, but I'm still enough of a girl to enjoy getting flowers (and a scented candle) from my sweetheart. Thanks, John!! :)

In crafty news, I've been working away on the stealth project, but I still can't post any pictures. Until the stealth project is done, there will be very little crafty content (and probably few posts) here. Sorry, folks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"I'm not dead..."

Update: The universe has decided not to punish my rose plant after all!

Late last week I noticed some new growth on it. I removed all the crunchy stuff and gave it some more water. This is how it looks today. I think it might just make it. Hooray!

As promised, here's the other sewing I did over the weekend. My friend, Beth, gave me a new purse for Christmas, which was handmade by her sister. My old purse had a little zippered organizer area on the back where I kept things like gift cards and frequent shopper cards. It was very handy, and kept those things out of my wallet. My new purse is much prettier than the old one, but lacks that organizer feature. So I made my own:

It was really easy to make, following this tutorial. I made a few modifications, of course. I used the measurements at the end of the page for the card wallet, but made 4 pockets, spaced multiples of 3/4" above the bottom. And the interior and exterior fabrics were cut 6" across and 6.5" down. I think it goes really well with the purse, don't you?

It's impossible to see the prints in the picture, but the green fabric I used is the same print as the brown print in my purse. Pretty cool that I just happened to have that piece of fabric in my stash, huh?

I wasn't sure how long I was going to make my wallet, so I fused a much longer piece of interfacing onto the green fabric than I needed. Rather than wasting the leftover strip, I made another little pouch. This one is lined on the inside with the same green fabric.

It's just the right size for those things one would normally put in the little zippered pocket inside their purse. You know, girl stuff. :)

The only other concern I have about my purse is that it has a snap closure instead of a zipper. I work downtown and I don't want to encourage those with sticky fingers. I'm currently noodling with an idea to add flaps and a zipper to the top of the bag. They won't completely seal the top, but it should add a little more coverage. I hope Beth and her sister won't be offended that I'm tweaking it a bit. I really like the purse, it's just my own paranoia sneaking in.

Meanwhile, Blue and Max get the birds' eye view from the top of the bookcases.

"Come on, Max, let's play!" "Go away, kid, you bother me."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

No clever title today

Maybe I'm flattering myself that I *ever* have clever titles, but it's my blog and I can flatter myself once in a while. :)

A week or so ago, I picked up some Kollage square knitting needles, since I've heard they're supposed to be easier on your hands. I have recurring issues with my hands, so I thought I'd give them a try. The web site says most people need to go up a size to get gauge, so before I tried them on my current sock project, I thought I should test the gauge. I'm using US size 2 (2.75mm) needle on my socks and I'm getting about 8 stitches per inch.

So knit a tiny swatch with my Kollage needles, which are US size 3 (3.25mm). Too bad the yarn is so dark, but that's about 8 stitches per inch, too.

Then just for grins I knit another tiny swatch with some round size 3 (3.25mm) needles and got 7.5 stitches per inch.

So they're right about needing to go up a size. I don't think I'll switch needles mid-project, but I might try my next pair of socks on the square needles. Too bad they don't make a pair of square circulars big enough for my stealth project. Unfortunately, they only go up to US 10 (6mm). I'm using a size 10.5 (6.5mm) on that project. The next US size is 11, which is 8mm. That's a big jump. I doubt the 11 would work.

On a slight tanget, who came up with this US sizing chart anyway? It makes no sense. And I just did a search on knitting needle conversion and the UK sizing chart is just as bad, but the numbers run backwards. The metric system makes much more sense.

Yesterday I spent *way* too much time monkeying around on my computer working on another stealth project and my hands were killing me today. Stupid mouse..... So no progress on the sock or the existing stealth knitting project.

Instead, I embroidered a bunch of shirts for a friend of mine. I got them all folded and ready to photograph, then I left the room for minute.

Just inspecting these shirts, Mama. They pass!

Here they are without my assistant.

The top shirt is lighter than the others because it's a different brand/style. After I finished those, I did some more sewing, but it's bedtime, so you'll have to wait for my next post to see that.

Just one last thing. Emma has a request:

Please hide the rubber bands from Papa!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New blocks

Tonight was Dear Jane night, and I finished this block, which is I-4.

I'd already pieced the triangles, but I did the curved applique pieces on the center square. When I got home I put all the pieces together and also re-did the one block that I'd done in the wrong fabric, J-4.

That puts my block count at 68. Once I re-do the triangle I did in the wrong fabric, I'll add the total piece count over there, too.

Next Thursday is quilt night with the girls from work, but we'll probably be working on a baby quilt or two.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

That's what I get

Remember my pretty rose plant? Remember how I boasted that mine was the only one that had survived?

The universe decided to smite me for it.

I forgot to arrange for someone to water it while I was in California and now it's all dead and crunchy. It's not too obvious in the picture, since these plants don't really turn brown before they dry up. But it's definitely dead. I'm sorry that it had to pay for my pride and thoughtlessness....

You may have noticed that there aren't any quilt or knit pictures here. I had been busily knitting away on my stealth project, and I'm making progress, but I can't show you pictures of it. I haven't made any progress on my 2nd sock since I got back from my trip, and there's been no other sewing or quilting progress, either. I *did* clean my sewing room the other night. But even though it's a lot cleaner than it was, it's still not tidy enough that I want to post pictures for everyone to see. Sorry.

Since we got another foot or so of snow, I'm certainly not going out any where tonight. Maybe I'll try to do something bloggable. I'd really like to get that stealth project done though. It does have a deadline, after all. The good news is that tomorrow is Dear Jane night, so hopefully I'll have another block to post after that. I've been known to take my knitting to Dear Jane night, but I'm going to try to stick to doing Dear Jane stuff there.

In other news, this happened in my parents' home town. I still have a few relatives who live within the municipal water supply zone. Some of the others live a little farther out, so I'm not sure where their water comes from. As far as I know, everyone's fine. Still scary, though.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

There's something you don't see every day

Thank goodness!! I was getting ready for work on Friday and saw this in the kittens' room and the hallway outside it.

They were looking at this.

That would be a man on a ladder with a BLOW TORCH, melting the ice in the gutters of the house next door. I watched him light it with his Zippo and everything. I was sure I was going to come home to a burned out shell next door and was glad I'd put the pet alert notice on the side door. The houses are really close together. I probably should have called the fire department, but didn't think of it at the time.

He didn't burn the house down, thankfully. I think he ran out of propane, though, since this is the view of the roof this morning.

The things some people think of.....