Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garden Update #2

After taking in all the advice, I have yanked mystery plants 1 & 2 out of the backyard flower beds -see Garden Update post from last week.  A few others bit the dust too, thanks to a personal visit from my friend Eddie, who is a garden wizard.  I spent 2 hours out there again, missing the Knitter's Picnic, and lugged two trash cans full of weeds out to the curb for garbage pick up tomorrow.  The weather has been beautiful -- not too warm or muggy.  Pulling and tugging weeds is really hard on my hands.  I just don't have the strength in them any more.

I also did not have time to work on my entrelac bag or color my hair but I guess they both can wait.  I'll just have to look at those grey roots for another day.

Tomorrow will be a busy day at work.  I really need to get my mid-year performance review started.  It's due on the 7th and with the holiday coming up there won't be much time to get it done.  Today was the last day for my co-worker Ric on our team.  Next week he starts his new job on another team.  We've worked together for about 7 years and called each other 'Best Friend' almost from the very beginning, partially for a joke.  Our company does an employee survey from time to time and one of the stupid questions is 'do you have a best friend at work?' so we decided, yes, we do have a best friend at work -- each other.  He's Kevin's age and often times that has seemed odd to me.  He's light years ahead of Kevin in so many ways.

I'm also meeting Holly & Mike for dinner tomorrow after work.  I'm looking forward to seeing them and giving them their anniversary gift.  It's still hard to believe they've been married a whole year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Last night at Panera's I made a mistake.  Not my first.  Certainly not my last.  I drank Dr. Pepper with my bowl of Baked Potato Soup.  The soup was delicious so it wasn't that.  I must have had a gazillion MGs of caffeine in me from the pop.  I couldn't sleep.  Tossed and turned.  Turned and tossed.  I kept thinking about all sorts of things and just never fell into a sound sleep.

I'm making up for it tonight.  You should be able to hear me sawing logs in about, oh, 10 minutes.....zzzzzzzzzz.

For the record, tonight at knit group I was careful to choose caffeine free diet Pepsi.  Momma didn't raise no dummy.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Realized I forgot to post this picture of Rae's Yarn Boutique that I took at yesterday's Nuno felting workshop.  It was full of lovely things, including a must have sheep umbrella but one BIG problem -- they were technically CLOSED.  Do you know how hard it is to be in a shop with so many things that you CANNOT buy???  Much worse that those times when you were a kid in a penny candy store and did not have a cent to your name!

Here is the last hat I finished using the Wine Splash shade of Lamb's Pride Bulky.  I washed it with Synthrapol -- wise decision since the sink was full of pinkish red water when I plunged the hat down into the water.
Double D decrease once more:

Here's Noro Hat #2 -- much softer after washing it with a little Head n Shoulders!

And here's a close up of my Nuno felted scarf from yesterday's workshop.  It's a bit denser than I expected but I guess that I'll know better next time and use a bit less fiber on both sides.  It will be a nice winter scarf so that works for me.

One last thing for the day -- as I drove home from knit group tonight a mini-van I had seen on the highway pulled up alongside me as I stopped for a red light.  The gal in the passenger seat motioned to me to roll down my window.  Thinking she needed directions I obliged.  She and the driver both leaned over toward me and asked about my license plate.  They said it was driving them nuts -- they couldn't get the FBR part.  Oh, I said -- it's FIBER as in LVMYFBR.  Ahhhh, they said, thinking it had something to do with a favorite brother (FBR).  Gave me a laugh for the day.  After another tough day at work, I could definitely use it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nuno Felting Workshop

Today I headed to Lansing for a workshop at Rae's Yarn Boutique.  There were five of us, heading to a class just for us!  Sue, Tanya, Adina, Joellen and I rode out together, stopping first at Threadbear Fiber Arts.  Lots of yarn on sale, many empty racks, hmmmm???

After picking up a few skeins of Classic Elite Skye Tweed (I used a skein of this from my stash to bind my rug the other day) for only $3.75/skein :

and a few buttons for hats:
Once we got to Rae's, after a brief detour due to a wrong turn on my part, we were greeted by our teacher Lynn, who helped us get started by choosing a silk scarf, roving, and yarn.  I hadn't tried this technique before so I was listening most intently, taking it all in.  Here are a few shots of my progress.

I started by laying out the bubble wrap, bubble side down, then laid out the wisps of wool roving in one direction, lengthwise.

Next I carefully placed the silk scarf on top of the tufts of roving and added squiggles of wool yarn and then more roving to cover.

Next we sprinkled soapy water on top, patted it down a bit and then placed another layer of bubble wrap on top, rolling it up tightly.  I massaged the roll for a few minutes, changed directions, skootched in the edges and finished by throwing the scarf on the table for about 10 minutes.  When I was done I had this:

We were all busy working on our scarves.  Here's Sue and Joellen~

And Tanya and Adina, with Lynn instructing ~

Lynn snapped a picture of the five of us modeling our fabulous Nuno scarves :

We were all happy with our results but couldn't leave fast enough -- we were all starving!  Our final stop was dinner at El Azteco -- so delicious!!  See for yourself:

My dinner:

and my Margarita:
Ok, so it is  empty -- what's your point??!  Can't wait to go back for more.

It's getting late so I better save some pictures for tomorrow.  It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday.  I am really glad I took the workshop.  What a novel concept -- we actually went home with a finished item!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Busy Saturday

Just like I said yesterday, I had plenty of errands to do today.  First I ran a couple of loads of laundry and while stuff was drying I tackled the quilt guild membership renewal checks.  After zipping over to Comerica Bank and depositing a boat load of money I decided to use up one of my Groupon certificates at Ewe-Nique Knits.  I bought 3 more skeins of the Wine Splash shade of Lamb's Pride Bulky to be used to make a felted bag.  I'll try to take a picture of the hat I finished earlier this week using that yarn.  I really like the variety of wine shades in it.  I also showed my hooked rug to the ladies in the shop -- they loved it! 

Next I was off to Right off the Sheep, again to show the rug to the gals there and pick up some yarn for a bag for myself!  Kevin had given me a gift certificate for my birthday and I finally decided I want to make the felted entrelac bag they've all been working on there.  I've worked on it most of the evening and even though I haven't made a lot of progress I'm enjoying it -- pictures in tomorrow's post.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm heading to Lansing to Rae's Yarn Boutique for a Nuno felting workshop with four friends.  I've been interested in learning this technique for a while and now that the workshop fee is only $25, including the supplies, I can't pass it up.  I'm taking my camera and hopefully I'll something to show you tomorrow night.

Friday, June 25, 2010

News Flash ------

To all BSKG readers and other knitting fans:

Sam the Ram (shown here, knit by Harriet for the Sneaky Sheep Swap for Tanya)

is now available in pattern form from Marr Haven in Allegan.  Posted on Barb's blog a few hours ago, here the link to THE pattern.  If you're a fan of sheep or related to one who is (Joyce)  you simply must get this dahling!

ETA -- I just ordered mine, you better put your order in fast!!!!!!!!!!

Garden Update

After a long day at work I really enjoy working in my flower beds.  It truly is therapeutic.  Out front I have Speedwell starting to bloom ~~
I knew I needed to snap a picture of it soon because the bees just LOVE this stuff.  I can hardly weed once they start hanging out.  And speaking of bees look what greeted me in the side flower bed ~~

I know it sounds dumb, but does anyone know just exactly what kind of bee this is?  Here's another shot ~

And what's this hovering bee called??
I must have slept through that part of biology.

Here's a bit more from the side flower bed.  Lots of Lamb's Ears, Lavender (so wonderfully fragrant!!), and one lonely Coneflower so far.

And finally here are a few of the beautiful Hostas that my friend Eddie gave me ~~

OK, so that's it for the stuff in my yard that I can identify.  Here's where I need some help.  Does anyone recognize this stuff?  Weed?  Not?  Keep/Go?

Mystery Plant #1??
Close up of Mystery Plant #1

Mystery Plant #2 ???

If anyone can help I Kevin would be extremely grateful as he thinks I need to 'do something' with these plants.

Tomorrow I have plenty of errands to run so it's a good thing I worked in my flower beds tonight.  Plus, I think I heard we're expecting rain tomorrow. Yippee -- no watering needed from me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Digging a Hole

Tonight I spent a couple of hours after work in my flower beds.  I had zipped over to Home Depot to get some potting soil for my tomato plant and wound up bringing home a few perennials to go in the beds.  Seems like I can always use a few more flowers.

My friend Eddie was kind enough to dig up some Hostas in his wonderful flower garden and gift them to me.  I found the perfect spots for them and I hope they will flourish.  I also planted some anemones after weeding out more Snow on the Mountain - bleh!  I was sweating like a pig out there tonight.  I'm not used to manual labor.

Now that I'm inside and cleaned up, I decided to finish another hat.  My fingers are pretty darn sore from the yard work.  Time for some ibuprofen and a good night's sleep.  If all goes well, I'll take some picture tomorrow of the new plants.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Intentions

I intended to give a full report of last night's Chicken gathering but there's a wicked thunderstorm coming (I can hear the thunder so I know the weatherman got it right this time!).

Instead I'll just say that the reason I've gotten as late a start as I did in writing this tonight is that I was busy attempting to make the label to go on the back of my newly finished rug.
  • First I tried hand writing on duck cloth -- couldn't write small enough.
  • Second, I tried printing on the duck cloth by running it through the printer -- started out OK but got stuck.  Good thing I had helped my Mom with her paper jam a few months ago -- that way I knew how to extract the fabric.
  • Third I dug out my photo transfer paper and tried that -- too light to show up on the fabric.
So I went back to plan A and carefully wrote out, albeit abbreviated, my sentiments.  Next up is sewing it onto the back of the rug and then the big presentation -- voila!

That's it for tonight -- heading off so I don't end up frying my computer a la lightening.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Odd Chick Out

Do you ever feel like you're the odd chick (or guy) out?  As if you don't fit in or people are conspiring against you? Really?  Me too!

In my office there's a co-worker who seems to get some odd sort of happiness out of making me look bad by throwing me under the bus.  Instead of sharing knowledge they just derive a perverse pleasure out of busting my chops.  I've been giving this person the silent treatment but I'm sure I can't keep this up for six months.  Isn't it tough to turn the other cheek sometimes?

I finished another hat today, Noro #2.  Again, I feel like the odd knitter out -- everyone raves about Noro Kureyon but I just don't get it.  Sure the colorways are beautiful but that's all negated by the rough hand, the crazy knots, and the over spun qualities.  Don't get me started on how when the yarn breaks they just knot if up with no thought to color continuity.  Of course, you have no idea whatsoever how many knots are in the skein until you get knitting.  Argh!  Today I ran out of yarn -- certainly wasn't the yardage they claim.  I'm knitting up the Noro that I have and that's it!  There -- how's that for dealing with the situation?!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Done, Done, Diddley Done

Friday night we had a humdinger of a storm roll through.  A lot of folks lost their power and one woman was killed when she drove into a tree that had fallen across the road.  I was glad to be tucked in my house but I tried and tried to photograph the lightening.  Better luck next time but this is as good as I got ~~

You can see a bit of lightening in the upper left hand corner.  This shot was taken at about 10:00 PM and the lightening had illuminated the sky.

Phew!!  I have finally finished the hooked rug I've been working on for years.  I got some great information from my friend Kate yesterday and today I went to work. 

I found the perfect combination of yarn:  Classic Elite Skye Tweed and Cascade 220 Heathers in grey.

Since it was a bit unwieldy I laid it on the sofa and pulled a chair up to it to get a comfortable position.  I use the word comfortable loosely.  That's the sofa fabric in the lower portion of the above photo.

I finished blocking it tonight and it's resting on top of the washer and dryer.  Tomorrow I'll make a label for it and get it sewn on before I give it away.  Now I know you're asking yourself  'So what's this masterpiece look like?'  Not so fast my sweet ones.  The big reveal will come once it has found its way to it's rightful owners.  (Yes, plural).

I spent some time at the cemetery visiting my Dad, as did many others today.  I took a chair and my knitting and sat and talked to him for a while.  He didn't answer out loud but I'm sure I heard him keeping up his end of the conversation.  So glad to have gotten through this day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rug Update

I'm getting closer to finishing my hooked rug.  My friend Kate came over today to show me how she's been binding a rug that will become a pillow before too long.  I just need to decide what color yarn I want to use to whip stitch  the rug.  I picked up some cotton cording at Haberman Fabrics today and tomorrow I will get rolling on the binding.  I'm still waffling on the yarn colors so I'm going to sleep on it and get started first thing tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow will be a sad day for me.  It's the first Father's Day without my Dad.  You just can't escape the commercials on TV or radio reminding you to remember your Dad.  Like I need help.  I'll make a trip out to the cemetery and maybe I'll take some knitting and stay a bit, if it's not too hot or muggy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Knitting and Biking

For the longest time I wanted to be able to purl using the Continental method when I knit.  I tried and tried but it was always awkward and my gauge was completely off.  But then, one day I was doing it and I've been doing it that way ever since.  It happened without warning -- I looked down and like magic, I was doing it.

Today I was thinking about it and I likened it to learning to ride a bike when the training wheels first come off.  Oh sure, I fell a time or two but I got the gravel washed out of my boo-boos and got right back on again.  Before I knew it I was whipping along on my bike, riding for miles and miles without the benefit of training wheels.

Like most things in life that you think you just cannot do, some day it will work for you.  And you'll smile because deep down, you knew you'd get it eventually.

Do I Need a Jacket???

Wondering how to dress for the weather?  Click on the new button on the left "Do I Need A Jacket?" and type your zip code in the search box.  Next, choose your nearby airport and you will get the latest weather info plus it will tell you whether or not you need a jacket.  Pretty good website, kind of like Do I Need an that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On My List

I don't think I could have squeezed one more project into today's schedule.  Besides working a full day I came home to a laundry list of things to do.  Let's see how I did:
  1. Make Dad's famous Mac & Cheese Casserole -- done, a bottle of beer to wash it down, too
  2. Sew zigzag stitching around perimeter of newly finished rug -- done, three times around for good measure
  3. Make Flannel Shirt Pillow for co-worker Martha's daughter -- done, used 16" down pillow -- sweet!
  4. Update Treasurer's spreadsheet for GLHQ -- done, much cussing, ranting, and raving, but done
  5. Wash load of towels -- the dryer bell just went off
  6. Lastly -- Go to bed -- don't have to tell me twice!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What in the World

Some days you think your life is rolling along fairly well.  It just takes seeing someone else's misfortune to confirm it for you.

Today at work I was glancing out the window, high above the parking lot.  At the perimeter of the lot I caught sight of an Iron Mountain storage delivery truck, making its way across the far reaches of the lot.  I looked back at my computer screen for just a moment and when I looked out the window again, the truck was stopped in it's tracks.  Not sure how it happened but this guy managed to mow down a light pole, complete with the concrete support pillar.  The pillar was wedged under the front grill of the truck.  Luckily the wayward light pole did not come crashing down on anyone's car.

See -- I told you my life is going pretty well.  But (there's often a 'but') we found out today that another co-worker is leaving for a different team so we'll be really short-handed.  We're meeting tomorrow to figure out how to distribute his workload.

Maybe my life isn't going quite as well as I would like.................

Monday, June 14, 2010

Calling all local readers.....

.....Oh I so hope you signed up with when I told you about them on June 3rd, because today's side deal is $25 worth of knitting supplies for $10 at Ewe-Nique Knits!!!  As of 12:15 pm, 47 people have taken advantage of the offer.  Count me in!

ETA -- As of 11:00 PM they have had 99 people take advantage of this offer.  2 days left for you to get in on it too!

***Another update -- You still have 1 day left to take advantage of this super discount offer.  As of 10:00 PM on 6/15 -- 229 coupons have been purchased!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Falling out of Love

Have you ever worked so hard, for so long, on something that when it's finally done, you feel a let down?  I finished hooking the last possible loop in a rug that I started so long ago I don't remember when.  I loved the design, carefully chose the hand dyed wool, cut up the strips and placed them in my Ziploc bag carrier.  I worked on it for hours at a time but months between the sessions.  Unfortunately I had fallen madly in love with knitting and the rug hooking that had piqued my interest when my love for quilting waned, was sadly cast aside.

Oh I tried to re-kindle the love.  I'd pick it up from time to time but just couldn't get there.  Rug hooking really causes my thumbs to ache and I get a stinging, sharp pain in my shoulders that radiates up my neck.  Thank goodness for ibuprofen and my Homedic hand held massager.

So now the main work is complete.  Next is a serious blocking to get the edges to behave and then the binding.  This all needs to be done by next weekend.  No more delays.  I spent over 16 hours just this weekend on the hooking.  I can't begin to count up the hours spent over the last few years on it.  But the end is near and I'm awfully relieved.

Now I can go back to my regularly scheduled knitting!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Special Maid Service

Thanks to the folks at I've found a great service available to women battling any kind of cancer. If you know of someone in this situation and they live in the US or Canada check out Cleaning for a    After reading all about this wonderful service you can click on the Locations tab and determine if it's available in your area.  I will keep it in mind, just in case.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jarbo Hat #4

Tonight I finished knitting another hat from the last of the four skeins of Jarbo Raggi Print wool that I've bought over the last couple of weeks.  I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn -- the change of color really made the projects interesting.  I think there's enough left of each of them to make a preemie hat, someday.

This photo of the hat in progress doesn't really show the true colors ~~

It makes a nice Fair Isle pattern, don't you think?

And of course, another double D cast off ~~

Well, that's all the knitting I'm doing until I finish a rug I'm working on.  That should be enough motivation to get me to finally complete this rug that I started about 3 years ago.  Sad but true.

Last Night's Guild Meeting

Last night's meeting was so full of fun, crazy stuff.  There were many quilts shown, some from a project called 'Will Sew', where quilters revealed an unfinished project at the September meeting that other pledged 'fat quarters' toward if they were completed by last night's meeting.  Some succeeded and some fell short.  Here are a few that were finished.

Joyce's super cozy flannel project that I showed you in earlier blog posts ~~

Sue's wall hanging using African print fabrics purchased several years ago at the Chicago Quilt Festival we went to on our last Chicken road trip ~~

Mary's fabulous Baltimore Album quilt, adapted from a Jeana Kimball pattern ~~

Each year the guild members make a quilt as a group to give to the out-going president.  Sorry to say I could only snap a picture of  Lynne's quilt on this table ~~

Yesterday I told you about a quilt for a pool boy --well here is the quilt top made by Karen to thank the man who did a lot of free work on her pool last summer ~~

Here's a quilt that my friend Judy admired from across the room so I made sure I got a picture ~~

And one last shot from Show N Tell of this Japanese inspired wall hanging ~~

So that's it for this guild year.  On to new speakers and programs for next year.  It's always fun to look forward to seeing everyone again after the Summer break and getting caught up on what's new in the lives and their craft rooms!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

GLHQ Meeting

It was another wacky day on the bus to and from work.  This morning I had a church youth minister for a bus driver.  He had very interesting stories which he shared with the four of us but it was a bit too deep for 6:30 am.  The ride home felt like we were on a magnet and we kept getting cut off all the way home -- wonder how frequently they have those brakes inspected on busses???  The final act was a landscaping panel truck that cut across Main Street -- so close we should have hit him.  I think I saw that same truck on my way to the quilt guild meeting tonight!

The meeting was a flurry of activity with chatter, food, and quilts abound.  Without further ado, here is the raffle quilt ticket being drawn by our oldest senior member, Merry, using the raffle drum I borrowed from my neighbor, the Royal Canadian Legion Hall, ~~

and the winner is Karen, who sold 100 tickets for the cause ~~

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, tonight we had the reveal for our Blue & White Challenge quilts.
First up, quilt #1 (on the left) by our out-going president Lynne won an honorable mention~~

My friend Kathy's quilt, #16 (near the bottom),  also won an honorable mention ~~

Cathy's quilt, #3, won third prize ~~
She used a lot of the fabrics I  would have used, if I'd just gotten off my duff and done it.

Next up is the second prize winner, Nancy, whose quilt #15 was very traditional yet whimsical ~~

And the winner of this year's challenge was Jaime -- who wasn't even there to hear the wonderful praise ~~
Jaime won $125 for her efforts!

Here are some of the other entries that I enjoyed seeing ~~

And my friend Sue's Rice Bowls (or is it Tea Cups??) quilt from Kaffe Fassett ~~

It really was a fun night and I have more pictures to share, especially one about a pool boy, but that will have to wait for tomorrow.  Time for me to get some shut eye!