Archive for September, 2006

Knitting my own way

September 23, 2006

While I am by no means an expert knitter, I know a few things. Lately I’ve read and heard things about only joining yarn at the ends of the row. I can see the wisdom in that, when you join yarn, tying a knot to join both pieces, you never where the ugly part of the knot will show up.

So, being very frugal with my yarn, I’m trying this. (Some of these pictures came out fuzzy, but the moment was past and I couldn’t re-take them) –

knitting1.gif

So, left a nice tail, and then got the new yarn, leaving an equal amount of tail, and kept on knitting. Not time to tie yet.

knitting2.gif

Just keep knitting past the ‘hole’. It looks kind of messy. Of course this picture comes out crystal clear. Try not to stretch the yarn at this point. But keep knitting.

knitting3.gif

Then, 3-4 rows past the ‘hole’, gently tie half the knot. Make sure it looks even and invisible on the front and the back.

knitting4.gif

Once you’re satisfied it looks perfect, tie the other half of the knot.

Now, this sweater is nearly finished. I’m on the last half of the second sleeve. This is the first time I’ve done this kind of yarn joining, I don’t know if the knot will continue to stay on the wrong side. Anyone ever done a join like this? I hope I don’t regret it!

Karen

Advertisements

Cooking

September 23, 2006

After nearly 50 years on this earth, I’m finally starting to enjoy cooking. Mike and I do a lot of cooking together, maybe that’s what makes it fun! 🙂

Some of our favotie TV shows are on Food Network – Emeril, 30 Minute Meals, Paula, and our all time favorite – Iron Chef America. We’ve made lots of things from Emeril and 30 Minute Meals. Whether you like Rachel or think she’s a nut… she has a great recipes. I’ve never been able to make them in 30 minutes however!

The other day we saw on one of the shows (can’t remember it) some stuffed french toast. It looked yummy, so we made our own!

The original recipe called for the french toast to be stuffed with banana’s and nuts, but I don’t care for banana’s, so we used some Gala apples, walnuts, brown sugar and butter. Cooked it up a little bit. We used a loaf of French bread and cut it in 1″ slices. Then made another slice in the middle of it, but didn’t go all the way through the bread. We stuffed the apple mixture in there. Then dipped it in beat up eggs, and then into crushed cornflakes and cooked it on the stove in just a little veggie oil.

OH MY GOSH! They were delicious!!!! We got 8 pieces from one loaf of bread, which was more than the three of us could eat.

Really they could be stuffed with anything. The icky banana mixture. Maybe some crushed strawberries with cream cheese. Dried apricots and ricotta. Peaches and cream. I’m getting hungry.

Karen

Messy or quirky?

September 17, 2006

I work messy. The house etc., is reasonably clean. I mean, we do live here. And we live well and full. You can’t do that in a house that looks like a magazine picture. The laundry gets done in time for Mike to wear clean clothes to work. But… I work messy.

I’ve said before, my sewing room is messy. My sewing room and office are one and the same. And they’re both messy!

Is it just me or do you like to peek in windows, at night while you’re driving? Coming home from the store or church, you drive by houses and wonder what it looks like inside. Nearly every window has a the blue glow of a television set. Are the people eating dinner? Will you see them sitting around a table, or eating in front of the tv? Will you see a heartwarming family scene, or something you wish you hadn’t seen? I always wonder how the houses are decorated. What art do they have on the walls? What color are the walls? Drapes or sheets at the windows?

I prefer to think that inside each and every house is a warm loving family spending time together, doing homework, playing the piano, feeding the dog and and cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. This is my fantasy world, don’t mess it up.

So, here’s a peek into the window in my SRO (sewing room office) –

office2-copy.bmp

After I took the picture, I realized I had post-its on my monitor with phone numbers, addresses, passwords… so I erased those.

There must be M&M’s nearby. And Vanilla Diet Pepsi. The Pepsi gets me thru the day. Diet Pepsi and M&M’s, you ask. They balance each other out. It’s Karens logic.

The tv needs to be on, but I don’t watch it. Karens logic again. That’s why Friends is usually on, cause I’ve seen them all, I don’t have to watch them. But I know where the funny parts are, and I can stop to watch those. There are only a few times I turn the tv off – during work phone calls, writing stories and quilt instructions. I need all the concentration I can get at those times.

The good thing about this scene is that it changes daily. But it’s always similar. That picture is the view directly in front of me, this next picture is the view directly to my left –

View One

Technically, this is the sewing room. Which doubles as office when I need it. Yes, it does take drugs to keep me together. They’re prescription, don’t worry.

I do have a nice view of the front yard, filled with bikes and toys and other kid paraphanalia strewn about.

So, back to messy. Directly behind me to my right is a wonderful filing cabinet. But do I turn around and file papers immediately? Are you kidding? I put them in the drawer, right smack dab next to the file cabinet. And when it’s completely full, I file. I tell myself Creative people are quirky and messy. This is one of my quirks.

Karen

Meet my newest grandson….

September 16, 2006

He was born Sept. 13, 2006. 17″ long and 4 lbs 12 oz. Is he the cutest thing or what? 🙂

ryland.JPG

St. Louis kicked butt last night…

September 16, 2006

Something not mentioned before on this blog – I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan! I’m a baby fan, only a year and a half old, but I’m learning!

In all my life, I’ve never had a ‘team’. Never really lived anywhere baseball was huge, or any sport for that matter. Well, lived a little while in Washington state, but never got into baseball for various reasons.

I can tell you that I don’t have a graceful, coordinated, sports-minded bone in my body. I trip over lint on the carpet. I run into walls regularly. If something is hurtling towards me at 90 mph, I close my eyes, cover my head with my arms and fall on the ground waiting for it to pass. Not one single place in my brain says, “Oh if only I had a bat!”.

But I have found, since getting married in February 2005 to a HUGE Cardinal fan, (I mean he’s a huge FAN, not a HUGE fan) that I LOVE baseball. I LOVE having a TEAM! I have a Cardinal baseball cap, but it doesn’t look good with my hair so I don’t wear it. I need to get a Cardinal T-shirt.

When I was in Alaska, I told my son I was a baseball fan now, and he just laughed. A lot.

I don’t like football or basketball cause they’re just too fast. I can’t keep up with what’s going on. By the time I figure out what happened, they’re on to another play. Baseball is just my speed. And I like the team! I watch baseball even when Mike isn’t home. I turned off FRIENDS to watch baseball. Yup… I’m hardcore.

Mike is a great mentor. He lets me talk during the game. He answers all my questions. He lets me make fun of players when they deserve it – Cardinal or otherwise. He’s taught me about baseball. The main thing he’s taught me is that it’s fun. Last year we went to 2 games and had the best time. This year, with the new stadium being built, it was near to impossible to get tickets so we’ll wait for next year.

Sometimes I can’t stay up to watch the entire game. I keep falling asleep. No offense Cardinals. But I generally wake up for the bottom of the 9th, and then go back to sleep.

🙂 Karen

p.s. They won 14-4

New restaurant

September 12, 2006

There’s a new restaurant just outside of town. They have Mexican food and ribs! What a combination.

So, we headed out there for lunch today. We opted for the Mexican food, and it was really pretty good. It was decorated with old signs and antiques, old license plates etc. You’ve seen those kind of restaurants. The building looked more like a house than a restaurant, with a wide wrap around porch where you can dine outside. All very nicely landscaped.

As were leaving, we noticed a sign on the wall, part of the decor. I wish I’d had my camera with me. It said,

“Street girls bringing sailors inside must pay for the room in advance”

And there was a smaller sign underneath that saying something to the effect of (I didn’t have my glasses on), “This sign was posted outside a New Orleans hotel….” and some more words I couldn’t read.

Great sign! 🙂

Karen

Yippee… it’s a sewing day!

September 8, 2006

My sewing machine is ready to be picked up! I thought it’d be at least another week, so I’m one happy camper.

I’m going to work on a plan of some kind to acquire another sewing machine. It’s very difficult to find a time when you don’t need it.

My original plan was to take it in for service while I was in Alaska. But those last few days before I left were so busy and frantic… I forgot. I remembered while I was in Alaska.

It’s sewing day! 🙂

Karen

Cutting out pieces

September 6, 2006

Today I’m cutting out lots and lots of pieces for a new quilt. I do like to use templates rather than rotary cutting, I think they are more accurate. Rotary cutting has to be rounded up or down. Templates can be exact. And when I get my sewing machine back, I’ll be ready to go!
I’ve got 4 quilts designed for the December issue. I’m starting early this time. I don’t want to be piecing the day before it’s due at the printers! Besides the quilts I’m designing, there will be some other quilts from 2 other designers. My ultimate goal is to have 12 or so quilt designs per issue.

We’re tossing around the idea of having 6 issues a year, rather than 4. Not right now, but sometime next year. Between the Web Magazine and the Newsletters, combined with the issue we print, we have content for 6 issues. We also have a couple of other projects we’re working on, but not ready to share yet!

Now… we are running a Christmas Special! Buy two gift subscriptions and get one FREE! The discount word is Christmas Special and you can put your 3 addresses in the Additional Information box. Please specify the occasion!!! It’s a great deal – you get to mark off 3 names from your Christmas list at $16 a piece!

All work and no play is supposed to make Karen a dull woman… but what about when your work is fun and seems like play? 🙂 What if your mind is racing in 14 different directions with 562 new projects you want to do? The picking is Hard!

What about your Do-It list? Is it looooooong? Do you think you’ll ever get to the end of it? Mine is so long, but I keep getting ideas for new things.

Karen’s Do-It list:

  • Learn watercolors
  • Learn Chinese cooking
  • Knit more
  • Learn Haute Couture sewing
  • Learn to dye yarn, and learn more about dyeing fabric
  • Recover my dining room chairs
  • Re-learn the piano
  • Listen to more music
  • Do some outdoor decorating on my front porch
  • Write a book
  • Learn to draw cartoons
  • Collect more fabrics
  • Collect more yarn, especially yarn prepared for dyeing

Well that’s enough to share for today. I also have software I want to learn to be proficient in. So much to do, so little time!

Happy Quilting!

Karen

Saturday

September 2, 2006

No progress yet on that Fabric Wall. I look at it though… is that the same thing?

Have you ever taken a block and tried to come up with as many different blocks as you can, while still preserving the partial-integrity of the original block? It can be quite interesting, challenging and FUN! It’s kind of like that word game, where you take a long word with different letters like “Washington” and see how many different words you can come up with, using only the letters in the word.

So, this isn’t a word game… it’s a Quilt Block Game.

I just did these in EQ5. They don’t have to ‘sewable’. You can do whatever you want! You never know what you’ll come up with, and you might hit on that GREAT design you’ve been waiting for! I think most of these could be sewn – one way or another. There might need to be some applique 🙂

If you want to do this, and you want to share, just send me some pics at editor@cottonspice.com and I’ll put them here! It’s a great way to stretch your creativity.

Karen