Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sewing Bug

Yesterday I got the sewing bug. Actually, when we were in TN in June I bought some patterns for bags that you can make. There was an entire store devoted almost exclusively to purse/bag patterns. So I got those patterns out yesterday and dove into my stash. This is what I came up with.

This bag has 3 outer pockets on each side and I am using it for my leftover sock yarn lap robe project. I followed the pattern to a T, but if I make it again, I will substitute a heavy craft foundation for the quilt batting to give the bag more structure.

I also made a Couch Caddy -  you know, one of those things you put over the arm of a couch or chair to hold the TV remote, pencils, etc. This one is for my recliner and I like it a lot.

DH returns home today, and I think the house is ready, although I have no idea what to cook for dinner. Haven't had to worry about that for about 10 days. I guess my vacation is over. Time to do dinner diving into the freezer!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What I Did on my Vacation

Trillium in Door Cnty
It's been an interesting week. I baked, put away apple slices for winter pies, cleaned the house, visited a friend in Waupaca, took a day to Door County, and did mending that has been hanging around for years ... yes folks ... that's years. I started a new black top but ran into a roadblock with it. Can't understand the pattern. Maybe some of you will be able to decipher it. It appears that there should be a zipper, although the pattern doesn't even mention a zipper.

My vacation ends tomorrow, as that is when DH returns. Actually, I'm ready for him to come home. He takes this trip every year, and I always enjoy the first 2-3 days he is gone. Then I start to feel rudderless, without the centering that a spouse provides. I don't feel guilty saying this, as he says the same thing. He enjoys his time away at first but begins to miss me in the middle of it. I think he just tires of all the potty humor a group of men seem to produce.

My sewing room/office/studio
The Bay Lakes Knitting Guild is holding a design contest for its members, and I started that this week. I chose the stitch pattern - Flame Chevron from one of the Barbara Walker books - and knit a swatch. Blocked it for gauge and then unraveled it for yarn amount. A 6" X 3" block requires approximately 14 yards of lace weight yarn and I have 1600 yards available so I think I will be good. I have cast on and started a sweater vest/tunic. I'll post pictures when there is something worthy of a picture.

And for one more picture, let me share my favorite beach in the whole world. It is on the Oregon coast just south of Seaside. Now known as Oswald West State Park, when I was growing up, it was called Short Sands. There is about a mile hike down to the beach through old growth forest, skunk cabbage, and fallen logs that have been there since I was a kid. Love that place!

It is in a cove so the winds funnel in there, which attracts surfers today. A stream runs into the Pacific at this point, and as a child it was fun to play in it, dam it up, float logs in it .... you name it. If you are ever in Oregon you should go see this beach. The most serene place along the coast.

Monday, September 23, 2013

While the Cat's Away...

Fascinating how much you can get done when you are alone. Somehow planning your day around another person's schedule eats up time like nobody's business. DH left on his fishing trip Thursday night, and over the next 3 days I cleaned the house, baked 2 loaves of sourdough bread, sewed a new nightgown (what a treat to sleep in something new last night), and went to an apple orchard for apples for pies.

Yes I did some knitting too, but mostly spent the time "taking the house back." It hadn't really had a deep cleaning in 6 weeks, as the surgery left me without the energy or strength to do anything but the bare essentials.

I also completed the October calendar quilt this weekend. The crosshatching seemed to take forever, but in reality, it just took a lot of time to tie all those little knots on the back. As per usual, I did it all backwards: appliqued the large pieces first and THEN did the crosshatching. Duh!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Once a Year He Goes Fishing

That's right! Every fall the DH goes West for fly fishing with a bunch of guys who have been traveling to Idaho/Montana area for decades. He takes a week off from work plus the weekends on either end, and he drives out - does the trip in 2 days. That's a good bit of driving.

I mention it because it is a vacation for me too. No cooking, no planning around someone else's schedule - just me. I always look forward to this week, and once it arrives, I spend the entire time feeling like a ship without a rudder. I have a mental list of all the things I hope to get done while he is gone, but imagine they will not take more than a couple of days.

I cleaned the master bedroom, 2 bathrooms, and the sewing room today. It felt good to do some housework after not being able to do much for the past 6 weeks. Time to get caught up. I didn't write about the fact that I had a total knee replacement early in August, and it is only now that I have felt up to housekeeping. We have a dog, so the dog hair was ankle deep - well, not really - but it seemed so. Tomorrow I will take on 2 more rooms.

I'm not excited about any of my knitting projects at the moment. Don't know why - they are just there and need to be finished. Maybe this week...maybe....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Last Inch or So

Have you ever noticed how the last inch of a project seems to take for ever? Why is this? I am so close to finishing the pieces for a new sweater - a kimono style sweater where the pieces are all rectangles. The sleeves have been in the works for about 2 weeks, and the end seems never to be reached. As they are set-in, drop shoulder sleeves, they are to measure 12". It seems as if they have been measuring 11" for about 10 days. Why don't the last few inches finish as quickly as the first?

This  pattern is a free to download from Caron that I found it on Ravelry. 

I am doing it in green and will knit the collar, which is added after the pieces are seamed together in a lighter color green.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Victoria Jicha's Tales of a Knitter: In-Patient Therapy Has Begun

Victoria Jicha's Tales of a Knitter: In-Patient Therapy Has Begun: Just home from my first appointment, and they are going to work me hard. The PT says I have made good progress, but she wants me doing more ...

In-Patient Therapy Has Begun

Just home from my first appointment, and they are going to work me hard. The PT says I have made good progress, but she wants me doing more for strength and stamina. Sounds good to me, as I tend to wane towards the end of the day.

On the knitting front, I started a new super-long lace cowl that can be wound around the head two or three times. It's an easy knit and easy to take along for work in the car or appointment waiting rooms. I didn't have anything that was easily transportable, so this fills the bill nicely.

Over the weekend we went to an Estate sale in Sturgeon Bay, and I wish I had been a weaver. The sale included 2 looms, a table top and a floor loom, and shelves and shelves of yarns for weaving. There was an Ott light floor lamp that I scooped up for $25 and two bags of beautiful, quality yarn, one of mohair and the other wool, that I bought for $5 each. All in all, it was a good Saturday shopping spree.

One of our Door County activities is to take Jessie, our dog, to Murphy Park just south of Egg Harbor. She loves chasing a ball in the water and retrieving it. Needed a picture for today's post, so you get DH and Jessie. She runs out and fetches the ball back until she is too tired; then she brings the ball back but takes it up the beach into the grass and lies down. Then we know she is finished and ready to go home. If we try to quit when we want to quit, she refuses to get in the car. Smart dog! She has us well trained.