Monday, August 27, 2012

ingredients for cuteness

Add a bit of this, and some of this (felt from BenzieBazaar and mohair that i got with the intention of doing a Blythe reroot until I decided that the temporary wig was beyond perfect)

and a half yard of this

to get some super cuteness!  results to come!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

another swoon and a lesson about cotton (and what to do when a CSI van is in front of your house!)

This was a full weekend - I feel like I got a ton done!  (not rebuilding the fence gate, or replacing the curtain rod in the bathroom - you know, that'd be stuff that actually needed to be done!)  On Saturday I got up early and went to the Yellow Springs book fair and farmer's market (both fantastic!) then in the evening I went to a special knit night party at Carrie's house.  I'm super jealous of your fun kitchen, by the way Carrie!  (in case you couldn't tell!)  On Sunday my eyes popped open at 7:20, for some reason, and as usual, my brain started reeling off all the stuff I should get up and do - so i got up and did a bunch of cleaning and little things that needed to be done - that always makes me feel accomplished.  Then in the middle of my cleaning I realized I was hearing a lot of talking outside and I peeked out the front door to be nosy.  Well it was 2 cop cars and a CSI van in front of my house!!  whaaat?  I went out to get the paper, just to see what I could see and it was just 2 cops talking and a couple neighbors down a ways - I went back in, but kept peeking out!  At one point I thought I heard one cop say "blah blah blah blood trail" and I went out and said "uh, i'm sure I'm not supposed to come out here and ask what's going on, but what's going on?" (i'm just basing what i'm supposed to do and not supposed to do on episodes of Law and Order!) and the rest of the conversation went like this:

cop - "one of your neighbors found a gun in your front yard"
me - "you're kidding!!"
cop - "I don't make up stuff like that"
(at this point I look down and see a gun right by my crab apple tree! )
me - "oh my god!"
cop - "yeah, you're our prime suspect! haha!" - I'm pretty sure that was meant to translate as "ok, just take your ass back in the house ma'am" so I did!  oh, I don't think anyone actually said "blood trail" because I didn't see any of that.

They never knocked on the door to ask any questions, after a while they, and the gun, just went away.  Yikes!  Excitement!  Ok Hannah - I may not ride city buses, but I do have guns in my yard so I don't think you can call me "country mouse" anymore! haha!

Anyway, I made some popovers for breakfast and then made another Swoon block:

This is the FIRST one that I made without having to rip anything apart and redo it!  you wouldn't think making a damn quilt block would be rocket science, but I never fail to f*#@ something up!  It's more turquoise-y in normal light, but that's what I get for waiting until 8:00pm to take a picture.  The red is the same gingham that I used to bind the baby quilt.  4 blocks down - i need 9 for the quilt (these are BIG blocks - 24"x24")

Oh, and now for the lesson!  At Carrie's party we were talking about mercerized cotton and wondering just what that meant (guess that's the kind of conversations you get when you have nothing but knitters in a room!) so I googled it and here's the answer from :

Mercerized cotton is cotton which has been treated with sodium hydroxide to bring out certain properties first discovered by John Mercer in 1851. In 1890, Horace Lowe added an additional step to the process, and the British cotton industry began to take an interest in mercerizedcotton, which is available today in a wide range of incarnations from thread to completed garments. When treated properly, mercerized cotton is stronger, smoother, and shinier than regular cotton. In addition, it takes dye more readily so that manufacturers can create rich color saturation in their cottons. The brilliant, lustrous hues of Mercerized cotton can be found in fabric stores, yarn shops, and department stores all over the world.
John Mercer discovered that immersing fibers such as cotton and linen in a caustic soda bath would increase their strength and also allow them to take dye more readily. He patented his fiber work, but the cotton industry did not express very much interest in it. It was Horace Lowe who popularized the process, by discovering that keeping the fibers under tension while they were soaked yielded a more lustrous thread. Mercer's name is presumably given to the process to recognize his important initial discovery, which paved the way to Lowe's refinement of the treatment.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Olga the gimpy bear

I finally stitched up the Huggable Bear last night.  I'm pretty sure I previously mentioned how frustrated I was with running out of yarn once, buying more, then running out before the last leg was finished.  I thought her short leg could sort of be disguised in some way during construction, but apparently I didn't try hard enough!  it's pretty obvious!

However, I still think she's quite cute, gimpy or not!  And she's very huggable!  I tried to not stuff her too much so she'd be squishy.  I decided to name her Olga after a girl on an episode of Little House on the Prairie who also had a short leg and wasn't able to play with the other kids until Michael Landon made her a built up shoe.  So touching!  Right now I have the bow horribly straight pinned into her head - i just needed something to make her look girly.  I'm thinking maybe she needs a scarf or something too.  who knows.  maybe the bow is enough.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the results show

I had a great day with my mom yesterday - antiquing and flea marketing for her birthday.  Somehow she bought nothing, but did have a great time!  She LOVED her hot pads (and of course could not be talked into actually using them - she'll display them and never let a pan bottom touch them!) She also loved the Rahn's bagels - she bought us a little chunk of aged white cheddar from an amish shop and we at that and a bagel for lunch.  We shopped the outside vendors at Caesar's Creek flea market.  meh. a little junky.  However, I did score some vintage cookbooks (the little paperback kind that I love) for 50 cents each, and this amazing Pyrex casserole in a color and pattern that I don't have yet!  I only paid $4!!  the vendor had it marked $5.50 and my mom asked if she'd take $4 - it wasn't even the price that was making me hem and haw - it was the fact that I have so many casserole dishes already!  but $4 is amazing!   

Then we shopped some place across the street that had several outbuildings and signs that said "flea market" but it was kind of the equivalent of shopping in somebody's garage.  nothing good there.  So we went into Waynesville.  That little lady has some real stamina, let me tell you!!  We met at 10am and I didn't get home until a little after 6pm!  In Waynesville I picked up another little cookbook, a delicious cup of lemonade from the Hammel House, and a set of 5 of these glasses!  Glasses tend to be slippery little fish when they're wet and soapy and we break a fair amount of them, so when I see fun ones like these and the price is right, I pick them up!

And finally, on a different note, but also under the "results" category, the english muffins!  They came out looking just like english muffins should!  however, the insides aren't filled with nooks and crannies - just bread.  "a fine crumb" as the bakers would call it - however, they're delicious and are still great toasted and spread with butter or jam for breakfast!  I'd have cut one open to take a picture, but I already had breakfast and didn't time it well!  I still highly recommend the recipe - it was probably something I did - maybe I should try a longer third rise to really build up some bubbles next time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

vacation from worky

(whenever I think the words "vacation day from work" i immediately have the song that Homer sang to Marge when he got sent on a business trip for the nuclear plant "oh Margie, you came and you brought me a turkey, on my vacation from worky!"  I know you don't care - I just didn't want you to think I made a typo in the post title!)

I took a vacation day today.  Tomorrow is my mom's birthday and we're going to the Ceasar's creek flea market because neither of us have been there, and it's where she wanted to go.  We might also go into Waynesville - expecially if the flea market turns out to be a dud.  Even if we spend hours there, she'll probably still want to do more - she's got a lot of stamina!

Anyway, I've been struggling to figure out what to get her for her birthday - unfortunately I didn't realize how close her birthday was until it was really close!  i always like to make her something and July just went by so fast that it was August before I knew it and there just isn't much time to make anything.  I have no idea why I spent so much time and energy wracking my brain for what I could knit in a week - knitting anything would be the slowest way to make a gift!  I decided a hat would be do-able, but then I settled on a dk weight cabled number.  sheesh.  And to make matters worse, I got all the way through the ribbing and then struggled with the first couple rows of the cables, only to find out that I'd *#$*@d up the ribbing by not reading the pattern right!  My friend Carrie ripped the whole thing back (because she loves ripping out other people's stuff!) and I started over.  At some point, probably on Tuesday, I just said "to hell with this - it's not going to be finished by Friday night!" so I quit rushing and decided it'd be a great Christmas gift!

I did think of something quicker finally - some embroidered pot holders!  I haven't made anything for her with my embroidery machine yet, and it seemed fitting since it was a gift from her!  I got a pattern for some cute root vegetables and used some fabric that was left over from her kitchen valance for the borders.  I think she'll love 'em!

I'm betting she'll say "well why didn't it outline right?" but I'll have to explain that's how the design is supposed to be - sort of sketchy!

I went to the 2nd Street Market this morning to get her a dozen bagels from Rahn's Bread because she loves bagels!  then I found a Burro's Tail plant at the Wegerzyn booth and got her that too.  Unfortunately, while buying that I fell in love with this Philodendron and got it for myself.  I put it in a big pot in my sewing room.  Look at how the new growth is RED!  beautiful!

Also, on my vacation day, while I have time for things like letting bread rise three times, I'm making english muffins for the first time!  The recipe is from my new favorite food blog - Budget Bytes.  She has amazing stuff - check it out!  Let's hope these turn out nice and craggy with lots of nooks and crannies!