Monday, December 31, 2007

Making progress

Seems I'm making some progress in certain areas that had been woefully neglected in the recent past. Getting things organized is creating some sense of order and well-being that I've missed. Good way to end this year and start a new one!

Up first is an update on the Waving Lace Sock. I've finished the first sock and have cast on for the second. These may or may not be ready for the recipient to take these home on Thursday - I'm not making any promises.

Notice the project list over there <----- on the left? Well, the next project isn't anywhere on the list. I looked at all the quilting projects in the baskets on my shelves and decided I felt like piecing something that was already started but put on the back burner. So I grabbed one of the bins containing UFOs and found "Mary's Own".

I had started piecing this quilt several years ago (2004?) but only had 2 blocks done and only part of the others cut. I had run out of one of the fabrics and the quilt shop had to order more. By the time it came in, I had lost interest in the project and had put it aside. I know you can't see much of it from the picture - those are my strips ready to pieced together. The quilt was designed and named for me by Marcia Hohn over at Quilters Cache. I'm a pattern tester for her and she knew I loved neutrals. Thus this pattern was born. Check out my blocks from the link on the second page of the pattern.

One of the items I insisted on having when I moved up to the attic room was a design wall. Mine is a 4' x 6' piece of wall foam insulation covered with a flannel sheet. This is what is pasted on it today:

More UFOs! Not that I'll do any of these any time soon, but it is better than an empty wall. From left to right -
- Blue/Yellow star design that was the product of a class at Houston Quilt Festival 3 or 4 years ago. I can't remember the instructor - that is how forgettable this class was!
- Tessellating Star quilt top from a class with Liz Porter of Fons and Porter also from 3 or 4 years ago. The top is done, just needs quilting but I didn't know what pattern I wanted to use. So staring at this for a couple of weeks has given me time to decide how I want to quilt the top.
- Accidental Landscape - Beaches - small wall hanging from a Houston Quilt Festival class this year with Karen Eckmeier. I also know how I want to quilt it, but just have to do it :)

I've also been cataloging my yarn stash over on Ravelry. Since the site is still in private beta, you can't seen the fruits of my efforts unless you are a member. Suffice it to say that I have so far yarn for 98 pairs of socks and I'm not even done cataloging them yet! If you are a member, look me up under Denebir.

Till later ~~ Dene

Friday, December 28, 2007

More waving

One of my favorite classic movies "I Remember Mama" was on TBS last night and this gave me an opportunity to make significant progress on the Waving Lace socks for Joan. I've now turned the heel and am working my way down the instep. I've stretched the sock out so that the lace is visible. (As always, click to embiggen)In the mail today was a future project - counted cross stitch Santas from The Prairie Schooler. I ordered the patterns, canvas and floss from ABC Stitch Therapy and received wonderful service. I'm not sure when I'll fit this project in but hopefully can get at least the 2007 Schooler Santa done by next Christmas.
I spent most of the day cleaning up my old iMac computer that has a full hard drive. I moved all the podcast subscriptions over to the MacBook and deleted a bunch of email. The drive is still at 90% so I have some more archiving to do. Also on my 'clean' list today was my sewing area. This is in advance of a sewing blitz that I hope to start soon to finish up some 'almost done' projects.

Till later ~~ Dene

Thursday, December 27, 2007

:::: Waving :::::

My current project: Waving Lace Sock

This is the sock that I promised to make Joan as part of the gift exchange with my church's small group. I took a bag of yarn to the party and allowed her to pick out what she wanted. She choose a pinkish Regia Bamboo sock yarn and left the pattern up to me. I had trouble selecting a pattern that would show against the busy-ness of the yarn.

(as always - click to embiggen)
Sock Pattern: Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn A. Clark. Found in Favorite Socks from Interweave.
Yarn: Regia Bamboo Color 1065
Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) bamboo
So far, I've knit the sock as written with the scalloped edging. The yarn is lovely and has a nice sheen. It is a bit 'splitty' but not bad at all. I hope to have these completed by January 3rd.

till later ~~ Dene

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It was a Merry Christmas

A very blessed Christmas occurred in our home this year. With a frantic few days trying to get everything ready with very little time, it turned out to be a good time.

As I mentioned, we went to a Christmas dinner on Thursday 12/20 at a friend's house. This is a creche they had set up in their bedroom - I just love the innocence and the execution of the scene in clay.

For the gift exchange, I offered one gift of a Yankee Candle in the Jack Frost scent and also a certificate for one pair of hand knit socks. The socks were snatched up quickly! I received a most unusual and wonderful gift of a reindeer made from turkey wishbones and wool roving. I'll take a picture soon. I love it! The pies turned out OK - the lemon was a bit bland (need to add rind next time) but all was eaten.

Friday I spent getting the cards out and Saturday we went shopping and put up the tree. The cats approved and have since started the demolition :) Below is our lilac-point Birman, Tia, pretending to be a present.

Midnight candlelight mass was wonderful this year with spectacular music and fellowship. It is my favorite service of the year at church (Good Shepherd Episcopal, Tomball).

Christmas was very relaxed despite all the cooking. Brooke (my son's significant other) was ill and they delayed coming over until about 11am. This is the latest we have ever opened gifts as the kids usually are up at dawn wanting to tear into them. My son was so funny when he opened the unexpected helicopter toy - he was just like a child. It was all fun - I even got a Nintendo DS which was on my wish list. Got to love a son who shares your gadget-itis.

Dinner was fine with ham, sweet potatoes, and the required noo-noos and krinkies (Mac & Cheese with French fried onions). Heaven help me if I don't serve this every holiday!

I'm hoping you and your loved ones had a super holiday. I'm busy finishing a few knit projects and starting socks!

till later ~~ Dene

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let them eat PIE!

I'm going to a Christmas party tonight with a group of 5 couples and I'm to bring the dessert. Normally, I'm a great dessert maker but lately I've had to modify my recipes to cut the sugar out and I'm finding it difficult to get the same results.

So I give you:
The Christmas Pies

On the left is the mandatory (at least according to my husband) Cherry Pie and on the right is a Lemon Meringue. I found the recipe for both over on the Splenda site. I have my doubts about the lemon but we shall see.

The bags hold the goodies for the gift exchange which is the first year we have done this. Should be interesting. I'll reveal contents tomorrow in case there are wayward eyes looking in.

For my first day unemployed, it was busy. I started the day at church for morning prayer and then did lots of errands including the post office (BIG surprise - no lines!), grocery and Vets. I know .. really good blog content there. The best thing was the hour I lounged while listening to the latest This American Life. Life goes on and the sky didn't fall in today. So all is good.

till later ~~ dene

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Are you bored yet?"

This was a question a co-worker asked me 10 minutes after I signed off from my job for the last time this afternoon. I'm still giggling and also tearing up. This was a hard decision and I'm still not 100% convinced it was the right one. After you have been with a company for over 9 years, it is just hard.

As I enter unemployment/retirement, I don't know what is ahead of me. For the first time in many, many years, I don't know what I'll do tomorrow. Well, I sort of - I need to get Christmas packages sent, make pies for a party tomorrow night and do some housework (watch out cats - that litter box is going to be scrubbed!). But the pressure of effecting the bottom line of a company is now off my shoulders and that sort of feels good.

So, here is to waking up at whatever time I want to tomorrow! No more client calls at 7:30am :) Wait - I have morning prayer at 7:30am - *sigh*

till later ~~ Dene

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wow - I created something!

Not much but at least I worked with some fabric :) This cute folded star ornament was super simple and great for scraps! Pattern is on the second page of the Folded Fat Quarter Stars found on the Acorn Hill Quilts site (middle of free pattern page).

There is a button on each side so they can be reversed. I can see making more of these for the tree and I have tons of scraps!

And I feel sane making these .. LOL!

till later ~~ Dene

Sanity pending

December 19th it will commence :) Reason? My last day on my job is the 18th.

More to come later but I've been making lists of projects I want to do in my head for when I have the luxury to decide my activities during the day.

till later ~~ Dene