knitnana: October 2010

Please stop by my Etsy Shop if you're looking for Nana Sadie Rose items!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The End of October...

Call it Halloween, call it Samhain, celebrate it with costumes and candy, or bonfires, tonight marks the traditional end of the harvest and beginning of the darkest time of the year...so I had the blinds open today to let in as much light as possible. Some in my household took that as an invitation to be lazy:

Once the sun passed from the front of the house, I was able to get a bit more assistance in the sewing studio:
Sewing Assistant #1 really started to get into her duties for the first time in a lo-ong time!

Even the Sewing Assistant-in-Training showed a bit of initiative:

(Sometimes, he shows a little too much initiative, frankly, and I find pins all over the floor - I have taken to putting the pin dish in the desk drawer, but I sometimes forget!)

Yesterday I managed to finish these without a spec of help from the crew:

That pawprint Oressa double-point needlecase looks like this inside:

Today I managed to complete a couple of Teabird Spindle bags and I have two more on order to complete. I should have them finished by next weekend, and then can start on Christmas orders! (Do make sure if you were thinking of gifting something from my shop, that you place your order sooner, rather than later, okay?)

Weekends at Nana Sadie Rose's place are rarely dull.

(But I'm putting in a couple of hours on the second Cat Mitten as a reward for getting some of the NoSoKnit orders finished!)

Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain - whatever your personal preference is! (I'm just happy there is no candy in this house, since Weight Watchers!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Down...One to Go!

Here's the back of the hand
and here's the palm...

Now, I'm going to apologize, because apparently I didn't make myself clear last night. Steeks are not a part of mittens. My point was that most Fair Isle (like my mittens) are knit of "sticky" wool - like Shetland (and in the case of my mittens, Dale of Norway). Sticky wool sticks to itself. A lot. I had no idea how much until I tried valiently to drop stitches down to correct those two mistakes and

The.Yarn.Would.NOT.RUN!!!
NOT.
It was like taking velcro apart. It was like pulling burdock out of your hair...

STICKY.
So you can cut away...unless you deliberately go to work pulling and tearing at it, I don't think those stitches are going much of anywhere while you work to pick up the sides and stitch on that zipper or add in that button band.

Which makes ME feel a lot better about trying it...

And my point about the sewing machine? Well...if in doubt, you sew a channel and cut between it. Sewing machines have been holding fabric together for a long long time.

Capiche?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, NOW I Get the Whole Steeking Thing...

I've been laid low with a fibro flare the past few days...(not fun), and sleep, hot packs, and muscle relaxers have been the order of the days...when not groggy, I've worked on the Cat Mittens and have made a little progress.

Then today, as I picked them up again, I discovered an "Ooops!"

No biggie, I've fixed these things in stockinette socks before, so I gathered my tools and got under an exceedingly bright light:

I had to add that teensy crochet hook (of my mom's - she used to crochet the delicate edgings of my grandmother's beautifully embroidered pillowcases and dresser scarves, so I have a lot of these teensy tiny hooks).

As I tried to drop the stitch down, I suddenly had a revelation! This is why steeking (cutting Fair Isle after it's knitted to insert a zipper, or button band) is really not so fearsome as it sounds - this yarn (Dale of Norway Daletta) is really STICKY! It was all I could do to UN-do my stitches...
But I finally managed and using the teensiest hook, I switched that dark stitch for the light and brought it back up again. And in the process of bring that stitch up, I suddenly saw:
Ooops #2!

So of course, I dropped THAT stitch down, fixed it and brought the light yarn up again...
Not so bad, eh?

Now I'm not 100% certain that this means I'll be trying a big Fair Isle piece anytime soon, but it certainly proves the point that steeking isn't something to completely fear.

Besides, I have a sewing machine and I know how to use it!
*wink*

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Color Knitting!

After a false start (why, no, I'm not particularly good at reading directions, what of it?) and having to reduce my needle size down to a 1.5 from a 3 (!), here is my beginning on the Cat Mittens:

Not quite sure what it is, but I get going in this Fair Isle/Nordic knitting and I can't put it down (it helped that I haven't felt well today, so pretty much holed up and vegged a bit...)

Here's the palm - yes, I've got that waste yarn in there for the after thought thumb (which you'll remember I dislike?)

These are going to be purr-fect with my quilted jacket (hope I can finish them quickly...

Not that the color scheme is familiar or anything?

(((hugs)))

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And Finally: The End of Cat Show Bags!


Ending with a Sadie in the out-of-print fabric Kitty City, and the cutest darned Violette Halloween Cat circular needle case I've ever made...
(If you would like to friend Nana Sadie Rose on Facebook, there's going to be close-ups and detail shots of the Violette this evening...(see the box on the sidebar, if you're interested!)
;)
My Saturday has mostly involved working on these, a few other odds and ends, and getting started on orders from NoSoKnit. I've had a great deal of "assistance" from The Tonk, who thinks I should foresake everything else for him...The Meezer, having 6+ years experience as Nana Sadie Rose's top cat, knows that when the sewing machine is running, kitties need to find other means of amusement (she spent her afternoon snoozing).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bags and Socks and Mittens and Kittens

A busy week, and it's time for Red Hats tomorrow night! I haven't gone in a couple of months so am looking forward to that.

I've finished a couple more bags from the National Capital Cat Show:

A knitter decided she had to have two Mavis bags!

And I think she chose well, because these two are delightful!

I'm about to embark on another project (no, no, no startitis here...and Denial is a River in Egypt!)

That's Cat Mittens which Jocelyn made and I've been debating upon the yarn I'd use...I decided to go with the yarn called for (Dale of Norway Daletta), in colors to match my lightweight winter jacket (sandalwood and black). I picked up needles from Yarn Explosion and ran into Becky from my favorite (now closed) yarn shop...she's working there part-time while in the USA...it was so good to see her!

And tonight, I cast off (finally?) a pair of socks so I'd feel a bit more virtuous about starting another project:

Those are Berroco Sox in that fushia/brown colorway. I picked this up in June at The Crooked Stitch when we went down to Rocky Mount for WWKP Day. This might have stayed in my stash the least amount of time of any sock yarn...Or maybe not, considering the Berroco Comfort Sox that I picked up in Vermont and had on the needles the same day?

Anyway, The Tonk was very interested in the finished socks...

I think my Mommie is wonderful to get me such a nice 'sox lunch,' don't you?

No, Tonk...you're not going to eat them!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Carole asked what was in our freezers for this week’s Ten on Tuesday post. I only have a small freezer on top of my fridge, but I do keep it pretty packed most of the time...and nowadays, it's stocked with far healthier options than I ever used to keep on hand!
1. Gorton’s Grilled Salmon filets: these little squares are just 100 calories, and became a staple meal when I was actively losing weight on Weight Watchers. I adore them, as they’re a quick, but healthy main dish on any night when I’m really pressed for time.
2. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers: I use them with a Sandwich Thin as a bun, again, for a quick dinner
3. Oreida Potatoes O’Brian: 1 cup= 1 WW point (when “fried” in a pan with cooking spray) and makes a good side with either entrée listed above.
4. Fresh ginger root, ready to grate
5. Chopped green onions, read to toss into any dish, including omelets
6. Whole green peppers from last year’s CSA waiting for me to stuff for a main course
7. Frozen berries: all kinds – I buy when in season and freeze for quick additions to fruit salads all year
8. Frozen asparagus – again bought in season (it’s my favorite vegetable)
9. Various frozen soups, stews, chili: leftovers that I store in single servings to toss in my lunch bag, or to pull out for quick reheating on a crazy night for dinner…I make these all year long on weekends just for this purpose
10. Freezer packs for my lunch bag
I also keep some WW frozen dessert treats in the freezer – things like ice cream bars and Smart Ones chocolate brownies or Key Lime dessert cups. I like them and they keep me from wanting to make up something far heavier in calories and fat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Things We Save Give Us Blatant Hints of Who We Are

It's been another working weekend for me, I know that probably comes as no surprise to you all, right? I spent most of it working on my client's books, but managed to also get in a little bit of sewing time, hit the post office to ship out cat show bags (I'm *almost* finished with those orders, soon to start on NoSoKnit's orders!), and still managed to spend a little time at my KnitIn (Sunday afternoon knitting group) with Lynette! (She's new...keep fingers crossed that winning the doorprize and enjoying so much good company will keep her coming every month?)

In between chores, when I simply had to take a break from the computer or the sewing machine, I've been going thru odds and ends of things, hoping to actually get a fall yard sale together (who am I kidding, I'll end up tossing whatever I can grab onto the driveway apron, and hope I have the presence of mind to toss a price tag on it first - and I'll be lucky if it happens to be even half that organized!)

I came upon a stack of Christmas magazines (those that fairly scream at you that they have hundreds of gifts for less than $10 that you can make in plenty of time to have them wrapped in handmade paper and trims and under the tree before Santa arrives? Yeah. THOSE magazines).

Most of them I was able to say, "nope, you're not staying and cluttering up my space a moment longer."

And then there was this one:
If you can't read it - that's Better Homes & Gardens Christmas 1982!

And it's not going out the door. Nope. It's not.
There is an entire section in this magazine on having a "Prairie Christmas" - granted the patchwork on the sweater is too dated to think of recreating, but I do think the doll furniture made from wooden thread spools is cool (really, I have a granddaughter now, I just might get in the mood to make some of this cute furniture and also stitch up the quilted coverlet and canopy for her, too! I even discovered some wooden spools in my aunt's boxes tonight: ok, I didn't find them, The Tonk did, but still, there's a handful of them, and I know I have more in my mother's things...). And you're right, I'm a packrat. I freely admit it, and was trained by one of the best - my mom! If it might come in handy she kept it, and while I've made a dent in some of the stuff I've hung onto over the years, I've still more than earned my merit badge in "just in case I need it!"

The things we keep say much about who we are...for me? I'm a frustrated minimalist - a packrat who longs for simplicity. Living in a Victoriana-rose-bedecked house and aching for Shaker-styled modern. I am conflicted. Always have been. I need six houses to decorate so I can satisfy every part of who I am!

But frankly, the reason I'm keeping this magazine, is this quilt:
made from wool scraps and embroidered with a feather stitch all along the patches. I've loved it since the day I first saw it back in 1982.

Do you see? In that photo on the right-hand page? A wooden bowl of yarn with bamboo needles! And the multi-colored doily? It's crochet. I LOVE IT. LOVE.IT. And since I want so much to really learn crochet, it makes some sense that I might try to make that...

I can't help it. The weather is turning, it's getting cooler, downright chilly, in fact. And when that happens, I start digging into my stash of stuff: yarn, fabric, magazines...if I had a fireplace, I'd be sitting in front of it, knitting, piecing, learning crochet...

Okay, I'll admit it: if I had a fireplace AND the time!
*wink*

Just as an aside: I'm just beginning the decreases on the second Marsan Watchcap, so I'll be sending Lynne my two hats and some other goodies for the sailors on Shanti's ship. Have you made yours yet?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swap Delights!

I participated in a Stitch Marker Swap over on the Chronic Stitches Group on Ravelry, and Kimberly was my partner...
I was so surprised to see so many lovely stitch markers, the hearts (both kinds) are my favorites, just on general principle, dontcha know, but everything is delightful...

Especially that tin - it's a Vintage Sewing theme (like that wouldn't melt my heart or anything, right?) - but the neatest thing is that Kimberly makes these and will begin selling them in her Etsy Shop on Monday, October 18. I just love mine, and I can promise I'll be scouting out her shop with holiday gifts in mind...

See the back of it?
Sheepie!

Thank you, Kimberly! I love it...now I hope when you get yours from me, you'll love what I sent!
(((Hugs)))

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Contest...Link



Monday, October 11, 2010

There's Knitting to Share...!

Remember that I was knitting a hat for Shanti's Mom's project? Well, I finished it:
I love my model, don't you?
and a side view...

And finally:
The close-up. Can I tell you how much I love this yarn?
Oh. Here are the details of it all:
Pattern: The Marson Watch Cap
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (Superwash!) in BLACK
Needles: size 7 (I used Plymouth Bamboo circulars and Plymouth bamboo dpns as the cap got smaller and smaller at the top.

Notes: None. LOVE this pattern, love the yarn, love the needles. There's enough love here, that I might just have to dig in stash and see if I have enough yarn to make another hat. Because, I think our sailors on Shanti's ship deserve the very best.

Don't you?

Now...I'm also ready for tomorrow: heading back to work, like I haven't been working all weekend, right? Well, I'll also be stopping by the Post Office with these:
This isn't all I did this weekend, I have one very large order that is going to require a much bigger box than the post office provides...and I have to finish that order, too. Also there are boxes heading to the purchasers of a couple of my Quacker Factory sweaters (size 1X) that were sold on ebay this weekend...(yes, there are more, and yes I'd love to sell them).

I'm now heading off to bed, with this:
The best eye candy I can think of right now. My favorite? Some would think St. Brigid, and it's hard to say "no that's not it..." because all the years I thought if I ever got my hands on this book that would be the only sweater I'd want to knit.

But then I saw Eala Bhan. I wonder if a feminine, multi-mini buttonholed cardigan with flared hips and cables front, back, on shawl collar, and down the sleeves makes for a good first sweater.
(Probably not, but then, have you ever known me to do things by the easy route?)

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Day of Perfection: 10-10-10

Ok, not quite, as I had work to do...but I certainly helped to make today the perfect day for a certain Tonkinese kitty. I felt he was owed quite a bit of attention as he had to make a run to the vet yesterday. Seems someone (me?) has brought fleas into the house and he had a bad case of worms...(the vet thinks they might have already been with him when I adopted him, but hey that was months ago and this little guy is growing beautifully - okay, he's chunking up a bit too much). After all, I'm at the vet clinic every two weeks, and fleas can easily hitch a ride on my jeans. My kitties never go out, so it seems likely they picked them up that way. Or when The Meezer was there two weeks ago? That's possible.

Anyway, he got wormed and Revolutioned, and I got a dose of each to bring home to The Meezer. Yesterday afternoon was pretty quiet, as they recouped from the meds.

So today, The Tonk shared the sewing room with me. I suddenly noticed that he was being quite active, moving from one side of the cutting table/storage unit I created (those two-shelf make-it-yourself-cabinets are set up on 2x4s cut to the proper size, which raised everything up to the proper cutting height for me, but created a channel under the cabinets for things to get lost in...)
Mom, it's under here...
What is dear...?

Or maybe...
it's on this side
Tonk, what are you after?
I won't let it escape...I'll watch both sides

Finally, he could stand it no longer and began chirrup-ing...
It's here, I can see it, I just can't reach it...Help, MOM!

And so I got the yardstick and pushed it underneath, and freed up an empty thread spool, a jingle ball, and the real prize: an aluminum crinkle ball!

Thanks, Mom! This is fun!

So I tossed it and he fetched it and brought it back. I had him running into the livingroom, into the kitchen, and then half-way up the stairs, over and over. At one point his little sides were heaving, he exerted himself so (which is a good thing, as he really is becoming a little porker).

In between I was sewing, by the way, so it wasn't a lot of fun and games for me, but suddenly I heard: nothing...and turned to see:
Oh, NO! Not again, Tonk!

Yes, again, several times he batted it back under and I had to fish it out. Until finally I said, "Enough! You put it there, it stays there..." (That went over like a lead balloon, you know?)
Mom, you know you're going to get it...

(Yes, he does sit up on the folding stool, leaps there from the floor, and that head-tilt is the remnants of his brain injury...the vet said yesterday, "he's such an odd one, he's CUTE!" And I believe he will remain cute all his life because of that tilt and his merry, sunny disposition!).

He did finally lose interest and crash to sleep for a long time under the sewing table.

I managed, today and yesterday, to do 10 loads of laundry (it was time for fall cleaning) in addition to making up orders from the cat show:

This weekend is apparently the black, brown, ivory and red bags (I'm not showing the black/brown bags, because they're already in their shipping boxes, and you've seen them before).

And now? I'm giving myself the night off. Maybe knitting. Maybe I'll just hit the sack early. Because tomorrow? More sewing, as I'm off for Columbus Day! Whoohoo - I *heart* three-day weekends...
(((hugs)))

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I Got Nothin'

Since I'm working on black yarn that sucks up the light and shows nothing (sigh) - that hat is so pretty, and so soft, and the stitch definition is amazing, but I can't show it off because my camera just - well...it just.

So instead, I'll show off two things the camera is friendlier towards:

My sweet Meezer...

And the comical, ever quizzical, Tonk.

See? Aren't you glad you checked out the "nothin'" post today?
Happy Wednesday!
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ten on Tuesday...oh, another one!

This time it's 10 things you love about fall, and since I really do love fall, I think I can play along with this one, too!

1. Cooler temperatures. I am not a summer fan at all, I hate heat and humidity. So I adore not having to run the A/C all the time!
2. The air is crisp and clear - and that means I can walk outside on the Greenway! Saturday, I shared a lovely walk with my WW buddy, and it was delightful to get the exercise without dripping from the heat!
3. It's apple and pumpkin season, and that means it's time for my two favorite low-point treats: Baked Honeycrisp Apples with Maple Sugar Candy (2 points), and Pumpkin Fluff (1 point)!
4. I can turn on the oven again and bake potatoes (usually sweet ones, but sometimes an Idaho!). And roasts...with potatoes and carrots and celery - roasted veggies!
5. Warm woolies - sweaters, and fingerless mitts come out quickly, because someone in our office still runs the A/C and freezes us out...not naming names.
6. I kick into high gear with knitting and sewing items for holiday gifts and for charity.
7. Football is back on TV and once in a blue moon you'll find me catching a Steeler's game and knitting...(shhhh....don't tell anyone!)
8. It's soup season! Out comes the crockpot and away we go with all the recipes I've been collecting with an eye to cooler temps and the need for a wonderful steaming bowl of soup.
9. White pumpkins and purple mums!
10. The Meezer comes back to bed - to burrow underneath the covers, heat-seeker that she is...I miss her in the summer time...I have no idea whether The Tonk will join us or not.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

October? HOW?

I realize that we spent September busily putting together two shows, but I still think it's amazing that October is here already. I even bought a Halloween shirt tonight! Oh, I need to switch to my Halloween Nana Sadie Rose bag, you know? I only carry it for one month every year, but I enjoy every day of that...

I planned to take this weekend off (kinda, sorta) after both of those shows last month, and today spent most of the day with a friend from Weight Watchers. I had an early morning yoga class, then we went down and walked on the Greenway for almost two miles, we went shopping, then had lunch at Panera Bread. After she went on her way to run errands, I shopped a little bit more. I'm looking for things for fall, and a winter coat (haven't found one yet). One of these days, I'll have a full year's wardrobe (I hope!).

Otherwise, I started my cap for Shanti's Mom's hat drive (see the link below). I pulled out some Mission Falls 1824 wool and my bamboo size 7 circulars and I'm making this pattern:

The Marsan Watchcap. I am loving this thing! Besides the fact that I adore Mission Falls 1824 wool (oh do I adore it), it's really working up pretty quickly, in a wonderful twisted rib that's uber cushy. I decided to stick with black, because I have quite a bit of it (from the Log Cabin Blanket that never ends, dontcha know?).

During the week this week, in small snatches of time, I made this set to send off to friend Ellen over at Twinset. She had hoped one day I'd design a fanny-pack-type bag, and this is probably as close as it will get!
This will match the Violette she ordered some time ago...a delightful print that I can't find any longer, of course (what is it with these great fabrics, they disappear faster than good wine at a tasting...?)

She ordered a baglet, too.

Tomorrow Sis-in-law and I are heading to a mall about an hour away to check out some stores we don't have here. We've had this on the agenda since we drove back from National Capital Cat Show, and while we almost decided to go to the Montepelier Fiber Festival (she was interested in the tatting class offered, but they are apparently full), the weather isn't supposed to be the best...

That thing about October? Well, it appears the highs will be in the 50s tomorrow with rain. Yup. "Fall has fell."
*wink*

Friday, October 01, 2010

Handmade Holiday 2010


At the risk of overcommitting (I would never do that, right?), I'm going to aim to participate in this endeavor again this year. If I can make a lot of the things I gift, I'll be delighted - but at the same time, I'll not pass on the commitments I've made to myself, my business, my two employers, well - you know the drill. The promise is, that if I can't make them (and that's a very real possibility, I'll have a safety net - to use local shops for the rest (or small crafters on etsy, because that's a good thing, too!).

After all...with three grandsons and this:

I suppose handmade by Nana is expected?

The problem, of course, is that you won't see much of what I make till I finally get everything gifted, since so many of the people involved read this here blog.

Oh well...food for January's blog posts, right?

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