Cub Scouts are Hooked on the Blues

The boys are really having fun in the new pack. The latest adventure was the Scout Night Camp Out at Harbor Yard. We caught a double header with a Scout parade between


Jammin' with Jimi & friends

One of Andy's Cub Scout buddies, Jimi did a presentation for his Disabilities Awareness Belt Loop about a fundraiser he and his mom do to help kids with Special Needs. Jimi talked about his own special needs and his friends with disabilities. Andy decided that he was going to donate the money from the cans and bottles he was saving as part of his recycling achievement would go to Jam 4 Jimi's Friends. After 3 months of collecting cans and bottles from home, the park, the neighborhood and my office, he raised $25! (That is 500 cans and bottles!)

So, this year's Jam was this past Sunday. I took Andy and Ryan while Todd and Colin held down the fort. The boys had a blast in the kids' room. They sang "Ring of Fire" during karaoke, got their faces painted and had a terrific presentation by a couple of Firefighters including a couple of give-aways!

Did I mention there were some guests that came all the way from a Galaxy far- far away?

yes, Todd was jealous! Actually, these guys were from the 501st CTG Troopers.

We had a great time and Andy is starting his collection for next year. If you don't want to deal with returning your cans & bottles (and you live near me) drop me a note and Andy can take them off your hands. His goal for next year is $100 because 25x4 is 100. It is great logic, but none of the 3 months he collected were during softball season.


WIP Wednesday - 3/3/10 Ravelympics wrap-up edition

Mission accomplished!

I combined the techniques of knit and crochet. I started with the Ribs & Lace Tank from IK. Then, I changed the lace to st st and began with a privisional cast on. I Bound the provisional stitches with single crochet and then added the bcrochet lace edge.

I worked the ribing mor or less as written. I did shorten the straps and raise the back. After grafting the straps, I added a crochet trim to the neckline. I then added a full crochet lace sleeve. This yarn has great drape, so it worked out nice.

upon further inspection, I decided the neckline could use some beads for a subtle sparke.

Yarn: Caron Spa
Needles: US 4 &6
Hook: US G

What is next? I have a few stealth deadline projects one down three to go. Two of which should go quickly. The third is OTN now and going pretty quickly. LOVE that chunky yarn ;)


TGIF- 2/26/10

I read this quote in the SESH the other day and thought I'd share it here.

"As we express out gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John F. Kennedy

and what words of grattitude shall I utter here on the blog - and attempt to live by in the real word?

I am grateful to/for the following:
  • hip tosses - sorry Dubs
  • patience
  • clarity
  • reading
  • writing
  • Sudafed PE (wish it was the real stuff tho... damn addicts...)
  • making plans
  • making changes
  • building stuff with the kids
  • creativity
  • "rainbow salad"
  • tea
  • electric dryers (sorry Deb... )
  • quilt square swaps - and swappers!
  • fabric sales
  • road trips past and future
  • bamboo yarn - LOVE it!

It is Derby night tonight - weather permitting - I'll have car and race photos up tomorrow - weather permitting. Wish my boys luck! Oh- my nephews too. thier pack races tomorrow too.


Pinewood Derby 2010- Cars under construction

I realized that putting all of the Pinewood derby pics into one post would be pretty photo-heavy, so I will post the building of the cars as a little tease.
Being an engineer, it was pretty tempting for me to want to tell them how to build their cars, but it is really important that they learn the how and why. The race isn't about winning - though that is the goal. It is about learning and having fun. BUT when there are power tools and xacto knives involved, the adults do need to help them out.
We spent one Saturday googling images of Pinewood Derby cars for ideas. Then, they set to work building the cars... (The grown-ups helped with the power tools and sharp objects.)

Andy (Bear):

Ryan (Wolf):

Colin (Sibling): He had to get in on the action, so we bought him a car kit, helped him put the wheels on and the paint job was ALL him!


WIP Wednesday 2/24/10

I've been busy working on my Ravelympics project. I did a provisional cast-on and bound that with a round of single crochet. details on the hem are on my project page. I continued in st st to the rib. I worked the front as written from there, but I shortened the straps quite a bit. I'm working the back now. I did the shoulder decreases as written, but I didn't divide the back and I am working it higher on the back to accomodate the crochet neckline. I'm going to add crochet sleeves too. I'm considering beading, but as that was not part of my original design, I'm not counting that as part of "completion" for the gold medal.

I tried it on today and I gotta say... I LOVE this yarn!!! it is even softer on!

We've also been working on Pinewood Derby cars this week too. Weigh in was yesterday. Race day is Friday. I'll have a full recap including the race results and the making of the cars, but here is a sneak peek.
Yup... Colin is getting in on the sibling race action! He'll be a pro by the time he is a scout.


TGIF 2/19/10

  • getting my TGIFs in on Friday (even if I did miss WIP wed)

  • applying engineering to scouting

  • applying engineering to knitting

  • tempting offers

  • deadlines (I like the motivation)

  • Advil Cold and Sinus

  • time and talent that brings me treasure.

  • goat cheese and salmon wraps

  • a cup of tea (ok- pot or five) and a good book

  • a sense of humor

  • Humility

  • oh yeah... ROADTRIP!!! going to Northampton MA on Sunday.


Jar Block for the QOTM Group

  • Jar- 10.5"x5.5"- your choice - I think it will be more fun to see what you all come up with to put in the jars than to try to stick to a theme, so be creative!
  • Lid- 1.5"x3"- should read as black
  • Background - should read as cream/off white - 4- 1 7/8" squares, 2- 1.5"x2" strips, 2- 1"x11.5" strips, 1- 1.5"x6.5" strip

Step 1: making the jar.

  • mark each 1 7/8" square along the diagonal on the wrong side.
  • make another mark 1/2" closer to the corner.
  • line up a square on each corner
  • sew on the lines
  • trim the square between the seams and press open.
  • you will have created the jar and 4 half-square triangles. I would love it if you could send the HSTs with your blocks. I'd like to use them in the border.

Step 2: Assemble the Lid.

  • sew the two 1.5"x2" strips to the "lid" piece
  • attach lid to jar.

Step 3: add bacground strips.
  • Sew the 1" wide strips to the sides of the jar
  • Sew the 1.5"x6.5" strip to the top of the block.
  • there is no bottom strip.
  • the block should measure 6.5"x12.5" (finished block is 6"x12")

The finished quilt will be rows of the jar blocks with a horizontal only sashing to give the appearance of sitting on a shelf.

TGI did it again

So, I've been sick this week. Last night I came home from work, crawled into bed with a book and stayed there until a few hours ago. I did put the book down to cast on and knit a few rounds. I'm not about to let a little respitory distress knock me out of Olympic competition! (Ravelink to my "event"). If you aren't a Raveler, then just trust that it all makes sense and it is't the cold medicine talking.

on to the grattitude:
  • coupons for FREE stuff
  • Caron SPA yarn - very cuddly!
  • seam rippers
  • Albuterol and Mucinex
  • Tea... tea fixes everything!
  • Todd letting me be sick.
  • snow days
  • being missed
  • Food for thought.
  • fondue


WIP Wednesday - 2/10/10

Mother Nature's WIP of the day as seen from my living room.

I'm sick and a bit light headed, so I'm not sure if I posted this or not, but once I finish the stuff for the show, I'm going to get started on my T-shirt quilt. I've had these letters in a storage bin for about 10 years now. I think they will be happier as a quilt...

Speaking of the show... "Stairway to Serenity" is 100% DONE!
The quilting is a combination of stitch-in-the-ditch and echo quilting. I stitched in the ditch along the edges of the blue steps as well as the border strips. I echoed the steps at the same width as the individual strips through the field of the quilt. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

this is for another BOTM project - this one is a swap. the block has a mate, but it is in time out until I am feeling a little better - or at least have some patience...
The only knitting I did so far this week is swatch for the Ravelympics. boring. I'll have WIP shot next week - two days until cast-on!


TGIF - er S! 2/6/10

so, I got busy yesterday, but I am still grateful this week.

  • Costco...LOVE that place! Igot some great deals too
  • being able to buy the necessities and not sweating it.
  • chocolate fondue
  • fact and crap and random trivia
  • knowing how to calculate a simple volume without looing like a total fucktard.
  • clarity
  • sanity
  • antici-
  • quilting
  • knitting
  • knitters and quilters
  • pation
  • my kitty the hunter (even if he does play with his catch in my bedat 3 am!)


WIP Wed 2/3/10

I've made progress on the serenity quilt - it is quilted and waiting to be bound. Without a good camera and good lighting, it is hard to see, so I'll post finished pictures later.

I've got another WIP that I keep forgetting to post.

leftover sock yarns crocheted in blocks to form strips. The strips will be bordered and bound in a neutral. My Grammy used to make similar afghans with her scraps.I have one and I love picking out things like the yarn she used for a sweater for me or the shirt on my doll or a dress on another doll etc.. this one will be going for quite some time. Guess I'll just have to knit more socks!

Speaking of Grammy, Alice is modeling my finished prayer shawl.
Glad to have that one off the needles. It is pretty and soft and I hope it brings comfort to the recipient.

Speaking of prayer shawls...

I've made some progress on Urchins and Limpets. See that unfinished motif? That would be where I ran out of the green. I had a decision to make -buy more green or remove the whole row. I didn't think it would have been long enough with one less row, so I'll be getting more green tomorrow. Right now I'm ignoring all of those ends that need to be finished.

Next up is some swatching for the Ravelympics.

This is Caron Spa - bamboo and something synthetic. Feels nice and I would expect it to have anice drape. It is DK and the pattern calls for worsted wt. so swatching and math will be key here.


TGIF 1/29/10

I had a pretty amazing week. Lots to be grateful for.

  • perfect and elegant timing.
  • "Mr.Conductor" for being really useful
  • my HP
  • prayer knitting and crocheting
  • pedicures
  • time for myself
  • finishing what I start
  • taking the next step - a leap of faith
  • being right
  • being missed
  • being needed
  • being wanted
  • desires
  • desire to grow
  • courage to change
  • being a "girl"


WIP Wednesday 1/27/10

As you can see above I finished my latest pair of socks for ME! very comfy too.

I'm sitll knitting away on the prayer shawl. It looks a lot like the last picture, just longer. I'm sooooo bored with it. Prayer shawls are generally simple and repetive to facilitate prayer - which is completely logical. However, there is a fineline between simple and boring. It is hardto focus on the medetation when you are sick of looking at the same damn thing. next up is another attempt at urchins and limpets in a basic acrylic (I know..) from my stash.

These are the latest blocks for the QAL on Ravelry. I only used 2 fabrics instead of 10 because I wanted to continue to highlight each fabric as I use it. I made teh secondsquare the opposite of the first and it will go on the back ofthe quilt. I also did somemore quilting on the first strip. I'll take a picture of that in better light with a better camera when it is done. I ran out of thread.


TGIF 1/22/10

  • weekends
  • lists of lists
  • checking off my to-do lists
  • B&J "shots"
  • remembering to put the tea bag in the tea
  • laughing about it when I don't
  • wii Bakugan for the distraction
  • squirrel
  • is ADD contagious?
  • sock yarn and stash yarn
  • people that listen
  • people that follow directions
  • coworkers that treat me professionally
  • weeknds


I swore I'd NEVER do it....

but I did. I signed up for Twitter. Don't ask me why. You can catch the latest tweets of follow me from the sidebar. I've also added links to subscribe to the RSS feeds for the blog.

Please PLEASE,my belved blog readers (BBRs henceforth) promise me that you will not let me get too mundane with my tweets. Comment, email,IM, text or tweet if I get crazy. I'll try to keep them interesting.


WIP - 1/20/10

It is late, but it is still Wednesday. I spent so much time working on the quilt and making with Andy that I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done. I have actually been busy at work too - which is good. The socks look pretty much the same as last week. I have the prayer shawl on US17s and that seems to be working out well. About 25% complete.

While I was sewing, designed drafted and pieced this square for the guild's block challenge quilt. the committee will piece the squares into a quilt top. Everyone who made a square will have a chance at winning the top. I decided to make our summer home - Brown Gables. I think this block will be a precursor to a wall hanging for Brown Gables.


One Saturday in the Sewing Room

Todd took Ryan to his belt test this morning and he is now a blue belt! While they were out and Colin played with his Cars, Andy and I played in the sewing room.

First, we made so- called "brag vests" for their Scouting patches. Ryan let me make his. thanks. I printed out this pattern. I bought some of the quilters Tru Grid and ironed it onto heavy weight sew in interfacing. I transferred the grid from the paper pattern and cut out the fabric one. Andy traced the edges with chalk, cut it out and sewed the shoulder seams. I had to help with the grommets - they were tough. All that was left was to thread the lace and sew on the patches!

Next we got to work on his Hungary Caterpillar quilt. He wants to show it in the guild quilt show. He finished the last two blocks, bordered the squares and assembled the top. I showed him how to spray baste the quilt sandwich. I need to get some more thread and some more time alone with Andy to quilt it. I'm going to show him how to quilt by machine and by hand. I need to track down some more of the Eric Carle fabric for the binding. I don't think I have enough left. Here it is ready to be quilted!

Next on the sewing agenda is to get more batting for my blue and white quilt so I can get that done in time for the show.


TGIF - 1/15/10

Seems like death and disease is all around this week. It is times like this, when it is hard to see the good that around us that we need to take a close look at the blessings we do have.

  • home
  • heat
  • health
  • clean, healthy food and water
  • new tools
  • new toys (not as cool as your Kathy!)
  • simple solutions
  • fellowship
  • serenity (most of the time).
  • programming
  • York Pieces
  • rotissere chicken from S&S
  • "king" Ryan
  • Mo's
  • hot tea on a cold morning
  • 40 degree weather!
  • spending money on me and not feeling guilty (almost).
  • being able to help (I hope) even a little bit.


WIP Wednesday 1/13/10

My FO of the week wasn't even on the radar last week.

It is a chemo cap in some Homespun leftovers. (I think the rest of this skein was some sort of bag.) I went into a bit of the background yesterday, but the pattern is Braid-Edge Cap. I really liked the pattern. I did this on the size 8s and followed the directions for the smaller size, which gives a bigger hat with the bigger yarn and needles. As is always the case with gage, YMMV. I enjoyed this knit it was interesting enough to be fun but not complicated enough to be frustrating. The only thing I would do change if I were to do it again is to do a provisional cast on and graft the beginning to the end. Sure, a kitchner would be more work, but I'd rather have a grafted seam than a sewn one for a chemo cap - or any cap fpr that matter.
I've been attempting to replenish my Prayer Shawl supply to donate to the Church. First, I started Urchins and Limpets. LOVE the pattern. I did not love the yarn choice I made. Homespun. See for yourself.

I've got leftovers of sage and white in my stash. I may use those. I may pick up a couple of small skeins in other colors. I may not. I'm not ready to return to this one right this minute. What I am working on is the Shawl Ministry Prayer Shawl from the book Knitting for Peace (Christmas gift from Mom). Homespun again. I used the US 11s as suggested by the pattern, but the stitch pattern was just lost in this yarn. I went up to a US17. Mostly because I love working with this particular set of needles. smooth, soft and warm. I frogged out about 6 inches and started over.I'm on row 3. Not much to see. Pictures next week.
I've made progress on my socks. Heels are turned and I'm on the way up the leg.

Simple 4x2 rib, but I decided to stick alternating cables in the middle of each color band. Why? Well, why not? I just wanted something to break up the monotony. I made 4 pairs of basic rib socks for my guys for Christmas and varrying the rib repeat did little to hold my attention.


A negative times a negative is a poitive

One of my goals for the new year (notice I didn't use the "R" word) is to be more positive - or at least to try to focus on the positive aspects of a situation. When life gives me lemons, I'll put them in my tea.

Some examples:
  • I was EXHAUSTED on Saturday but we had a great date night on Friday.
  • We ran out of heating oil last night but that last tank lasted us 11 months!
  • My job has a lot of down time but I get to knit.

Some situations are harder to see the gifts God has given me hidden in them.

My friend's husband passed away and it is so tragic I can barely comprehend it. Where is the gift there? For one, it has given me reason to be thankful for what I have and particularly the blessing of the last year. Each day we have together is a blessing to be cherished. It has also given me the opportunity to share my gift of knitting to bring her some measure of comfort in such a difficult time.

Along those line, I had another opportunity to give the gift of yarn this week. Another friend asked me to knit a cap for a family member who is just beginning chemo treatment. While I take no joy in anyone's illness, it is my pleasure to knit a cap for her. I'm throwing in a prayer shawl too. Both were lovingly knit with prayers of comfort, strength and health.

I had knit the two wraps for my Church's Prayer Shawl Ministry some time ago and was planning on dropping them off at the rectory this week. Looks like I'll have to replenish them first. That of course give me the opportunity to use up some of the yarn I have taking up space in my girl cave, try new patterns and do something I enjoy. In fact, making those shawls and that cap is just as healing for me as I intend it to be for the recipient. The patterns are simple and repetitive perfect for my own time of prayer and medetation. I often refer to my prayer shawls as "yarn rosary".

Now, how do I put a poitive spin on all of this laundry I need to put away, toys all over the living room and stacks of dirty dishes. Oh yes, we have plenty of clothes, food and enough leftover for way too many toys. Yes, we are blessed - not lucky.


Good Luck

Have you gotten one of those "Forward this in the next 7 minutes and you'll have good luck" emails? Of course, if you don't, something aweful is about to happen, right? Yeah, right. I've never been one to actually think for a moment that Microsoft of Disney will make me rich by forwarding an email. sending on a seies of sentimental pictures will not bring me love, joy or wealth. Clicking on the "delete" button will not ruin my life, buisiness, home or bank account.

What did get me thinknig was the whole sentiment of "Good Luck". There was a time when I used to wonder why I had such bad luck. Why did bad things keep Happening to me? What did I do to deserve this sort of "bad lcuk". Now, the truth is, I don't believe in "luck" - I have faith. People talk about the "Luck of the Irish" and clearly know nothing about Irish history. The people of my ancestry had faith - not luck.
I have a faith in my God that if I stop talking and listen, I will hear the ansers that I need - even if they aren't what I want. I have faith that the bad times aren't punishment, but preparation. I have faith that my God has a plan for me. That plan requires no luck - only faith.
This isn't to say that I am going to sit back and let life happen to me. Quite to opposite. God helps those who help themselves, right? I have been given all of the tools that I need, but I need to take them out of the toolbox and build my life myself.
Luck is for those who lack faith.


TGIF 1/8/10

  • under armor
  • layers, layer, layers!
  • confidence
  • ability
  • humor
  • kicking on doors (really.. that was a good thing!
  • knowing how to replace a doorknob.
  • Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake
  • life gives you lemons... put them in your tea!
  • the convention this w/e
  • buying stuff for ME! (and "window shopping" for me too)
  • sticks and string and time to knit
  • creativity
  • flexability (figurative - not literal - unfortunatley)
  • serenity to accept that I cannot change the weather, the courage to go to work anyway and the wisdom to wear lots of layers!


The war on Take Out

The other night I made steak, salmon, sweet potato fries and green beans - all fresh (and on sale). Todd ate the steak. I had everything else. The boys went to bed hungry and complaining.

Whenever I ask "what would you like for dinner?" the answer is something like this
  • McDonalds
  • Pizza
  • Taco Bell
  • Chinese
  • Can we go to the Diner?
UGH!!!! This mom has had it with food out of a bag or box. It isn't healthy OR cheap to eat like that. Dinner has been too "Convenient" lately and we've all gotten used to it.

I put a moratorium on junk food and take out. NO MORE! school snacks are fruit and veggies. I may even go back to hot lunch on Fridays only.

I may even reward them for good behavior (in a month) with a trip to the Diner.


WIP wednesday 1/6/10

This is actually an FO now, but I wanted to show you the WIP photos. The pattern is from Knitting Cables on the GO and is actually for fingerles mitts. I decided early on that I wnted my fingers to be warm too. Might have been that day the wind chill was -2 and I was standing on the tracks where it was probably more like -6. I devised a decrease method that sorked out well and they fit great. Notes on the decreases are here.

as I was about to start the thumb gussets, I realized that the stitch markers and stitch holders I normally have on me were stolen. It occured to me that I had plenty of paperclips in the office!

talk about a multipurpose tool! they worked great as markers, then I just slipped the thumb stitches on when the gussets were complete. The original pattern also called for an open thumb as well. The instructions are here.

I've cast on some socks for me next. It is my basic toe-up sock pattern with a 2x4 rib. I'm adding alternating cable twists just to make it interesting. Kim gifted me with the yarn (5th Avenue Socksation) and another ball for her BUT her feet are in WI, so I need her to send me a tracing so I know how big to make them. I'll start hers as soon as I know what size they want to be.

I am now thinking about the Ravelympics again - what shall I make? I'm thinking that I may re-work this pattern with a crochet lace. Need to chose yarn and so far, I'm thinking Cotton Ease.


TGIF - 1/1/10

a new year, a new decade, a new laptop... yet the kids are having the same old argument over LEGO Star Wars on the Wii. There is still so much to be grateful for.
  • New traditions
  • New friends
  • a NYE party without a house full of drunks.
  • Hope
  • strength
  • Joy
  • New pack
  • being open to change
  • health care
  • dental too.
  • yarn
  • detachment
  • ingenuity
  • love
  • a good book and a cup of tea.
  • a challenge - or twenty
  • learning to listen
  • the circle - smaller but better
  • bracelet bling (materialistic I know - but I deserve it!)
  • a bear, a wolf and a monkey