Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I've been laid low by a particularly nasty head cold and have actually taken a sick day. With the arrival of swine flu in our area, we've been encouraged to stay home if we're sick. Not that I needed much encouragement.

Hopefully I'm on the mend and will have something crafty to blog about later in the week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Random

Nancy at Blogging, Near Philadelphia mentioned this afternoon that Blogger seems to have had some sort of hiccup and has reset some commenters to "no-reply." Well, I just checked my profile and that is the case for me, even though I hadn't been in the dashboard for months. You can check your settings by following the directions at Sew Many Ways. Judging by the number of messages I've seen lately about "no-reply" bloggers, this may be the case with many people.

A couple of situations at work have resolved themselves over the past week. I am hoping this will mean less stress for me and that I won't come home from work every day feeling as used up as I have for the past month. So far (two days worth) I've felt a lot better and had more energy.

I have both of the Most Frustrating Socks to the Kitchener stage. The second one was easier than the first, but there were still a couple of places where I had to frog back. No pictures today because it is dark and rainy.

The rain continues. We are under a flash flood watch until tomorrow. The stand pipe is standing and we continually monitor the water levels in the street outside.

Hey, it's Friday! I'm looking forward to some quality time with my sewing machine this weekend. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flash Flood Redux and Design Wall Monday

There has been enough rain.

Yesterday was warm, but rainy. It kept up pretty much all day. Just as we were finishing up our regular Sunday night dinner with my dad, the rain seemed to pick up. We dawdled for a while, waiting for it to subside so I could drive him back to his apartment, but finally because it was getting late we decided to go ahead and go.

Cue the deluge.

By the time we drove to the end of the street, I could barely see the road. It felt a bit like driving into the business end of a fire hose. That lasted for about five minutes, then let up. Just as I was beginning to draw a sigh of relief, the fire hose started up all over again.

My strategy was to drive really slowly and watch the center line in the road. That was working, until we turned on to a side street and the center line just disappeared. I could dimly see the car ahead of me turning the corner where I needed to turn and it looked an awful lot like the water was up to the bottom of the doors of the car. The center line hadn't disappeared--it was just covered in water.

As we turned around in a parking lot I mulled over going back home or trying a different route. I decided to try the different route. Again, the rain let up a bit so I could see where I was going. But, as we got on the street where my dad lives the situation was getting steadily worse. The torrents of rain started again, making visibility nearly impossible, except for the brief snatch of time the wipers cleared the windshield before the streams of rain hit it again.

We made it another block, just to the driveway of the apartment building. Now, running parallel to the road we were on is a drainage ditch. The driveway for the apartment building crosses the ditch, then bends around as you drive toward the front doors. Last night the ditch had flooded. It was impossible to even see where the driveway was because the water covered everything. Just to underscore that, there was a car IN the ditch at a sickening angle. Evidently they had misjudged where the driveway was.

Ahead of me I could just make out cars backing up and trying to turn around to come back towards us--evidently the road had flooded there. To the left was a side street with water flowing down it (toward us!) like a small river.

I opted to turn into the side street and look for a place to safely turn around. We drove out of there very carefully and slowly and picked our way back to my house. My dad spent the night comfortably in a motel near us.


We got nearly 6 inches of rain over the course of the day yesterday. Four inches of that rain happened in the hour I spent trying to drive dad home.

If you think we've had enough, check out the Atlanta area where they've had even more, and their rain is continuing.


Just so you won't think this is turning into a weather blog, there is some quilting content here. I worked on the rail fence quilt Saturday afternoon. I've got all but the center strips put together. Working on this quilt has been fun because I have enjoyed remembering when and where I bought all these fabrics. Some of these are scraps left over from other quilts and some were just pieces I bought because I liked them. It's a good feeling to use up these scraps that have been sitting around in baskets and bins for a good while.

The blocks are 3 1/2 inches. I think I'll have enough of the fabric I'm using for the setting squares to do 12 x 15 blocks. It's possible I may be able to eke out more, but we'll see. I'm going to use another, darker fabric for the outside triangles. With a border this may end up being a small twin size quilt.

I'm participating in Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Check out her blog to see what others have up on their design walls.

Wishing all of you a dry (or at least a flashflood free) week!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Another busy week at work. I've been meaning to post something, but all I have are little random bits and pieces.

I have about 3 inches done on the other Most Frustrating Sock in the World. I didn't take a picture, but just imagine the sock from the last post, only smaller. I haven't had any major problems so far, meaning that I've only had to unknit twice. I'm calling that a success.

My laptop developed some sort of wasting disease. I had, quite literally, worn out the keyboard--the "c" key had fallen off, a couple more were a little wobbly, and the space bar only worked on one side. Then it got very, very slow. The sound was distorted, and videos quit working. AAAAGGGGHHHH! Life without Hulu! The horror! My very able and computer savvy husband found me another laptop and we've moved everything over, except for my Firefox bookmarks, which somehow didn't make the jump. We're going to work on that before the old laptop passes on.

I found the time somehow to get a couple more rows of the rail fence quilt put together, but not enough that it would be worth taking a picture. Hope to work on that this weekend.

I'm taking a yarn dying class tomorrow at the LYS. I'm not too sure what to expect, but it will be fun since I'm doing it with friends.

Everyone else is talking about their cool fall-like weather. Here in Indiana it is cooling down into the 50's at night, but the daytime is still like summer with temperatures into the high 70s and low 80s. It makes for some interesting decisions on what to wear each day.

I'm still hunting for the Sister's Choice directions using a jelly roll. I dunno, maybe I just dreamed it up? If you've seen it anywhere, let me know.

If you haven't heard or read about it yet, check out Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs blog. She's creating a different free motion quilting design for each day of the year. Good instructions with great videos.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Is it Monday already?

We spent the weekend taking care of some family business, so there was very little time left over for crafting. In fact, my design wall looks just about the same as it did last Monday; I've finished a couple more strips of the rail fence blocks, but not enough to show any real progress, so I'll spare you another design wall photo.

I did work on this sock. Oh boy, did I work. This is the one that narrowly missed being thrown out the window last weekend. The yarn is incredibly slippery and splitty. Loose a stitch on this, and you'll find yourself frogging back row after row trying to catch it.

For every completed stitch you see in the picture, I've probably knit three or four. The leg has been pulled back and reknit at various stages three or four times. I did the heel four times. The heel gusset has been redone three times, once because of an incredibly bone-headed mistake I made, but the other times were due to stitches that simply dropped themselves and then started a race back to the beginning. It's virtually impossible to pick up a dropped stitch because the yarn is so splitty. I even dug out my size 0 needles in an attempt to pick up stitches and it still didn't work.

I've never had this many problems with yarn before.

On the other hand, the yarn is soft without being too fuzzy. I love the colors and how they are playing out. I love, love, love the pattern I chose: Roundabout Socks by TheYarnarian. It's an incredibly easy, clear pattern with only one pattern row (the other is a knit row) and it makes that lovely spiral.

Can you tell I'm psyching myself up to get the second sock done?


I have a request. Several days ago whilst reading around the quilting blogs, I came across someone's directions for making Sister's Choice blocks using a jelly roll. I know that Bonnie at Quiltville has a really good tutorial for the block using scraps, but I would love to find those directions for the jelly roll again. If you've seen it, could you send me the link? I'd really appreciate it, since I have a jelly roll which would be perfect for it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Eighth Anniversary

This morning as we talked about the date in my little third grade math group, I tried to explain the significance of September 11. The principal had called for a special moment of silence to commemorate the tragedy and the kids didn't really understand. As we talked, one girl piped up and said 2001 was the year she was born. The others all realized they were tiny babies when the attack occurred. Their main concern was whether any planes would crash into our school, so we talked that one through.

I remember that I was administering a state-wide achievement test to another group of third graders that morning. When we stopped for a rest break, the maintenance man told me that a plane had hit a building in New York City. I immediately thought of a story I had read about a small plane hitting the Empire State Building back in the '40's. But, when we broke again an hour or so later, he told me that another plane had hit the other tower, and I realized that something dreadful was happening.

It was like that all morning. Testing, taking a break, and finding out another piece of the horrible news. By lunch time some parents were coming to school to take their children home. Everyone was terribly worried, but we went on with our day in order to keep the students from becoming scared. Hearing about the events in disconnected bits over the course of the day was very hard--it wasn't until I got home that afternoon and I was able to watch the news for myself that the enormity of what had happened hit me.

We found out later that the brother of a colleague of ours had been in one of the planes that hit the Trade Center.

Today my thoughts go out to her and to the others who lost loved ones in that vicious attack.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What I Did on My Labor Day Weekend

I had big plans. Oh my, yes. I had sewing projects I was going to work on, projects I was going to finish, things to do. Big plans.

Instead, I could barely get myself off the couch. Tired, draggy, pooped out, that was me this weekend.

I did start a sock, but the yarn was being very contrary--splitty and slippery, so I gave up on that before I tossed it out the window. Which I was sorely tempted to do.

I started browsing through Ravelry just to see what was new and I came across a nice simple scarf pattern using yarn I already have. If you remember this post from last year, I made a couple of entrelac scarves, one for my sister and one for me, each in a different color. I happened to have a couple of skeins, one from each project, left over. It's Plymouth Boku, a wool-silk blend with luscious colors. One is a colorway called Autumn, all orange, pink, brown, and jade. The other is called Ocean, with blues, greens, purples, and teals.

This scarf calls for 2 skeins in 2 different colors. It's all garter stitch. Knit 2 rows of one, knit 2 rows of the other. Just the thing for vegging out with a bunch of movies over a long holiday weekend. I love how the colors seem to alternately glow and fade and then glow again as the scarf grows longer. I'll probably have enough to get 40", which is short for a scraf, but garter stitch tends to stretch, so it'll be okay.

Things seem to be settling down this week as we get into a routine we can live with. Maybe I'll be able to find some time to get into the sewing room.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Been Knitting

As you can see, there's been some sock knitting going on around here. I've been working on these four pairs (plus another pair which didn't make it into the photo session) since the weather turned warmer last spring. There isn't much rush to finish woolen socks when the temperature is hovering in the high 80's.

I don't suffer from second sock syndrome, but I do put off doing the Kitchener stitch until there is no alternative, such as needing the last two needles holding the final stitches on one sock to start a new sock. As a result, I seem to have acquired multiple sets of size 1 knitting needles. The Kitchener isn't hard, but neither is vacuuming the living room* or cleaning out the refrigerator. They are all just chores I procrastinate on for as long as possible.

You can also see that I love self-striping yarns. When I start out to buy sock yarn I tell myself to get something plain so that I can try one of the beautiful lacy patterns I see all over the internet and in knitting magazines, but then I see all those lovely colors twined together into one skein and my resolve vanishes. You just never know how the colors are going to play out, and that makes the knitting a lot of fun.

*About vacuuming the living room? Let's just ignore the dusty floor there in the picture. I'll get around to it sometime today. Right after I Kitchener the pastel sock, 'kay?