Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I went up to the raspberries the other afternoon and saw some pods growing on the hummingbird vine. They look like pointy, thick green beans but they're pretty dark green with a bit of reddish added. I love the color of the flowers and this summer the hummingbirds have discovered it. Aren't they pretty? I do wish I knew the purpose of the pods.

P.S. We're getting a grand-dog on Friday. Her name's Porter (or it will be once DS & DIL1 get her home). She's a 9-month old mutt and they said she was very ladylike when they met her. Isn't she cute?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walking For Art

Yesterday DS and I walked from Titletown Brewing across the Main St. Bridge to Artstreet, the annual downtown art fair. It was a perfect day for a stroll in the sun and breeze. Lots of people were out, lots of families. A great time was had by all, at least DS and I. I got a pair of souvenir earrings that I'm wearing right now.

Last night I almost finished the Easter Egg Ankle Sock, just one more ribbing round and binding o
ff left to do.

I knitted a row on the Summer Fever Shawl after supper the other night and then realized that I'd done it wrong. Do you know how hard it is to "tink" back a row of lace? It'
s a pain in the needles, that's how hard it is.

I cast on the next Bandwagon Afghan Block. It's #7, which means that I'm on the second half of the afghan. I like the colors of this skein of yarn, even though neither blue nor green are my favorite colors.

And I was finally unable to resist digging out the pattern and US 13 needles and casting on EZ's (Elizabeth Zimmerman, the woman who de-granny-fied knitting in the 50s and is a goddess to many knitters) Ribwarmer out of the UGLY Campsie Wrap I made last winter.

In sewing news, I whipped up a Pocket Monster
the other night from a couple of fat quarters. I think, sadly, that it needs to be made from only one fabric as it is so small. I'll be making more of these once I tweak the pattern to my satisfaction.

Walking back to our cars from Artstreet we passed by some tall vines outside the brewery. They're
hops! See the little pale cones? What else would you grow outside a brewery?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stitching Away!

I didn't knit last weekend. I only sewed. And dived on Saturday with Kevin & Deb, but on Friday and Sunday I sewed. I did other stuff too, like pick tomatoes and do a few chores for Mom, use my coupons at Jo-Ann for fabric and rick rack, but mostly I sewed.

On Friday I made the last skirt I had cut out and ready to go. I like it because it's neutral and not really patterened so it'll go with just about anything.

On Saturday I went diving, two dives, up at the end of Door County. It was a gorgeous day. Gorgeous! The sun shone, the water was warm (mostly) and the company was genial. Days like that remind me why I stay in shape and haul all that heavy gear up and down the basement stairs. I had a blast.

Yesterday I finished the bag I'd started at last weekend's Sew-in at Skully's house,

and turned 3 t-shirts from crew necks into v-necks. Thanks for the tip, DD!

But first I zoomed over to Mom's in the morning to do a few chores for her before her afternoon bridge party--delivered watermelon, filled bird feeders, unearthed wine glasses in the garage, and looked for rick rack in the doll room. I did see this chicken pitcher in her cabinet, when I admired it she told me to take it. I love the dopey look on her face!

Then I dropped a bag of shirts I'd culled out of my overstuffed closet at Goodwill, after that I went to Jo-Ann's to spend the 2 expiring coupons I had in my purse. I found more rick rac
k (I have a secret project I need it for--shhhh),

a bunch of remnants,

some yardage for a skirt and other as yet undecided uses,

and this. I absolutely adore the panicked look on her face. She was only 3
9 cents but I couldn't leave her behind. I usually only buy fish stuff, in fact I bought two fish fridge magnets too, but this chicken... well, I'm calling her Penny after my one grand-chicken who is the bigger of the two but also the biggest scaredy cat.

Friday, August 19, 2011


After not finishing one knitted item in all of July I've finished two in the last two days! Wednesday I wrapped up the foot and toe of Clara Beth's first set of mismatched socks. I could sit and "aw" at them all day. I'm totally impressed with my ability to craft such tiny things--and the cuteness.

Then yesterday it was very quiet at the dive shop so I got all but the last two rows of the last log cabin section of Bandwagon Block #6 finished. I cranked up Netflix after supper last night (I am hooked on watching the entire run of Brothers & Sisters. I know it's nothing but a yuppie soap opera but I'm hoooked. I can't help myself. Will Justin e
ver get a job and get on top of his addictions? Will Kevin ever stop being the most uptight gay man in California? Will Kitty and Robert ever get a baby? It goes on and on, and I am helpless to stop.) and got it finished, even the tails are woven in.

Before I hit the sack I picked up the Summer Fever shawl and knitting a couple rows so I'm all ready to plunge into the next pattern section tonight at FNK
C. I'm sure that it'll be fall by the time I'm done with this but it'll be a lovely autumn accessory and even into winter.

I felt bad that the pictures I posted of the patty pan squash plant the other day looked so bedraggled so I took another one this morning and one of the bl
ossoms too because they look so cheerful. They won't all turn into squashes but that's okay, enough of them will to eat and share with all and sundry.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feeding The Hungry--At Least The Ones At Our Table

August is a lovely month if you have a garden. The tomatoes are ripening, the squash are blooming, and the peppers are plumping up. Our kitchen counter is full of fresh veggies (and a bit of dirt) most days and our suped mowing and turned on the sprinkler yesterday so it's happier now, or at least perkier. (I don't really have a sense of its emotional state.) The patty pan squash up on top of the retaining wall keeps trying to fall off so I'd just shoved the leaves back on. Our suppers are enhanced by all the bounty. Yum. Just, yum. The garden looks a little thirsty here. I'd just finishes back and turned on the soaker hose up there, it's all perked up too. The pale green ones are the patty pans. They're kind of like zucchini but drier and milder. I slice them and saute them with onions. Mmm.

The hummingbird vine's going gangbusters this year, and the hummingbirds have been diligent about checking each and every trumpet for nectar.

Only the foot and toe left to knit of Clara's last mismatched sock. My fingers have been getting numb lately and that's been slowing me down. I'm trying to lay off knitting and mousing a bit. I've been more successful at not knitting.

I ordered this book from Interweave Press. It shows you how to make dresses without a pattern. Naturally they're for people smaller than me but I figure the principles apply to we more generously sized women. A lot of the designs are a bit "over designed" for my taste but I like the simpler silhouettes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sewing & Swimming

Oh, man, did I have a blast yesterday at a sew-in with a couple friends. Once all the gossip was dispensed with (it didn't take that long) crafting began. Cookie had to go back on her pain meds (stupid knees) so she decided not to run a sewing machine. You know how they always tell you not to operate machinery when you're taking narcotics (Skully said they meant stuff like bulldozers but Cookie said she didn't want to take a chance, hee hee) so she brought some beads and made pretties, then after lunch she knitted more on a blanket she's making for the animal shelter. Skully had cut out a bunch of shopping bags to put in her "gifts" box. She sewed one up and then flipped through books about beading and knitting while kibbitzing. She had sent a picture and supplies list of a bag pattern she'd gotten at a quilt shop and that's what I wanted to make. I cut and cut and cut and cut--and cut. Then I ironed on interfacing and got sewing. I love the way the different fabrics go togehter. I'll finish the lining and pockets next week. More pictrures then.

Today was the dive shop's annual Corn Roast up in Ellison Bay at the end of Door County. I, of course forgot to take pictures. The wind was out of the north so Garrett Bay was out, 4 ft. rollers coming in. We went around the corner to Ellison Bay town beach and went in there. It was shallow and stirred up, not much to see, but we saw a bunch of nice sized white bass. We got pushed by waves into the rocky breakwater. It was pretty shallow on the top so we did a little crawling across the rocks. The bad part was that when I got to shore I realized that I'd lost one of my weight pockets. Not the way I wanted to lose 6 pounds, I'm telling you! The corn was, as usual,
outstanding. We were able to bring home a dozen of the leftover ears. That'll be Durwood's job tomorrow, cutting the kernels off the cobs, some to eat and some to freeze.

I stopped over at Mom's the other day and she had the Irish doll dress nearly finished so I took some photos. She does such gorgeous work. I wish you could see the precise stitches and the care she takes. I tell people that Mom's doll clothes are nicer than most people's wedding dresses.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It Always Happens...

Last Saturday I sat here at the laptop uploading a book on CD so I could fong it over to the iPod, knitting while I waited. At suppertime I scooped up the yarn and needles and put them into the project bag. I didn't knit after supper. The next morning while making the bed I nearly stepped on one of the needles, so I carried it into the kitchen along with my reading glasses. You understand that I was semi-awake at the time. I was sure that I'd set it on the table but then I couldn't find it. I looked under the Sunday paper, checked the floor and the chair. No needle. I looked around on the coffee table where my knitting is spread out. I looked into the baby sock project bag and the other bags around. No needle. It wasn't down between the cushions. It wasn't anywhere in the hall. I tidied around because DS & DIL1 were coming to supper. Didn't find the needle. All week I was annoyed that I couldn't find it. I took each project to work with me one day at a time carefully removing each one from the bag. No needle. Today after work I stopped at the yarn shop and bought a new set of size 4 DPNs. Tonight I sat on the couch and pulled out the ankle sock I've got on the needles. Glancing into the bag I saw the crochet hook I keep in there--and this. I swear I'd looked in that bag. Had taken out everything and yet there was that needle. I knew that all I needed to do was buy a new set and the missing one would appear. Sheesh.

I finished the heel of the Easter Egg Ankle sock and now I'm going to knit an inch of leg before starting the cuff. I've never knitted an ankle sock toe-up with a short row heel, and of course the pattern's written cuff-down with a heel flap and gusset, so I'm kind of knitting blind. But I like the colors and the way it's turning out.

I got the first of the "mismatched" baby socks finished the other day and cast on sock #4 on Tuesday while waiting for Durwood's doctor to show up. (His pneumonia's getting better
but won't be all better for another 6 weeks. He'll have another CT scan then to make sure all is well. Good news!) For some reason this sock seems to be taking a lot longer. I'd better rev up my knitting or Clara Beth's feet will outgrow the socks before she even gets to wear them!

When DS & DIL1
came for supper last Sunday we made the most delicious pork kabobs and zucchini salad from the Weight Watchers Points Plus cookbook. It sure didn't taste like "diet" food. It had clementine quarters and onions with the pork cubes and the grilled oranges were really good. We made it all disappear. I'm ready to cook my way from cover to cover--and I ordered another plan cookbook from Amazon and that's got scads of yummy looking recipes. They look so good I'm considering asking Durwood if I can cook a night or two a week just to make them.

You have to see my latest skirt. It's gauze but not see-through and so comfy. I wore it on Monday with my green tee shirt and looked nice (if I do say so myself). Of course I dropped a teensy bit of supper on my "shelf" so I had to take it down to the laundry and stain stick it. I buy a
gel stain removing stick at Hancock Fabrics that I just love. You smear it on the stain, let it sit a while, and then wash as usual. It's great at taking out greasy spots. One of these days I'm going to eat a meal and not get it on my. I look good in everything I eat. Har.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Two Steps Forward & One Step Back

I'm trying to concentrate on finishing something, anything. I realized that I didn't finish one thing, one item, not even one afghan block in all of July. Somthing must be done. So just this week I finished Clara's First Socks--and cast on another sock, because really who can resist knitting tiny, self-striping socks? You only cast on 24 stitches. You only knit 2" of leg, then 10 rows of heel flap, pick up 6 gusset stitches (6!!), and then knit 3" of foot. I knit the leg of the next one during the City Band concert the other night. That's one hour, folks, with time out for enjoying the music and clapping. Anyway, seeing how darned cute the first pair turned out, I decided to knit one, just one, of a couple more colorways of that same yarn so that Clara will have a pair for formal occasions, but have some mismatched onesies for casual days--and Knitting Nights where she'll see her Auntie Barbara who also never wears "pairs" of socks.

Sticking with feet, I put this ankle sock away knowing that I royally screwed up the short row heel and didn't want to deal with it up at The Clearing.
Yesterday I took the baby socks out of my bag and put the Easter Egg Ankle Sock in so that when Skully came to the shop to knit for a couple hours I'd have moral support when I frogged the heel and picked up all those stitches to start the heel again. I have a lot less trouble ripping and picking up if I've got someone to talk to me while I do it. If I pay too much attention to what my needles are doing I get frustrated and screw it up, so thanks for your chatter yesterday, Skully.

I've been beavering away at the Summer Fever Shawl now that I have the corrected pattern. I'm liking this 80% cotton/20% wool yarn and the cool gray green and cream color. It goes fast on size US10 needles too.