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December 2008



Overwhelmed and Under-Blogged

Written by , Posted in Blog, Holidaze, Knitting, Photography, Startitis

I have a new camera, finally, that I don’t yet know how to use properly; my knitting has been even more flighty than usual — lots of picking up, putting down, casting on, ripping out; but nothing of any particular substance to report.

In desperation, I may have gone Stephanie’s way and resorted to the Noro striped scarf to soothe my needles.

I took that from my lap on our way down South to visit family over Thanskgiving.
I’ve started some alpaca mitts for myself, but those are getting ripped because I was improvising and I don’t like the first one; TSH still wants a skully scarf and has now added a pair of mitts to the request list; I still haven’t finished A Real Sweater in years, and it’s now winter here in D.C. (or close enough to, in temperature) and I, the knitter, have nothing I’ve made myself to wear to keep warm. Rediculous.


And thus, what we have here is not a whole lot of fodder for the blog, save for my own blatherings about nothing in particular.

Everybody on the planet seems to be getting pregnant right now, which is making me yearn even more strongly for another baby. My husband and I are somewhat at odds on the subject, as he’s been through this several times already, whereas Sophie is my only and I’ve always wanted two children. (though I cannot give you a rational set of reasons why that is, really.)


Speaking of Miss Plum, her birthday is on Monday the 15th, so we’re spending Sunday having a day just for her. She gets to pick what meals she’d like, we’re taking her to see Madagascar 2, and then on Monday she’ll have a party at her daycare with her friends. Then later in January, when folks have better availability, we’ll try to have a wee tea party for she and her friends from outside daycare. An unbirthday mad-hatter party, I think. 🙂

What are your holiday plans? Have you got any?



March 2008



Stitching the Core

Written by , Posted in kitties, Photography, Quilting

This got much wordier than I originally intended, so advance apologies. 🙂

Over the years (which makes me sound like I mean more than the 10-odd I’m actually referring to), I have surfed about through eBay, thrift stores, antique shops and yard sales, snapping up anything vaguely quilt-related that was scrappy, included feedsack fabrics, and/or was under $50. While I love quilting, quilts, applique and the other assorted needlearts, I find that piecing the sorts of quilts I love most (see above re: scrappy, feedsacks, etc.) is not my favorite part of the process. The actual quilting, however, IS, being the same sort of soothing repetitive hand motion that knitting brings to the table.

(That brown and white print in the upper right hand corner is one of my favourite fabrics in this quilt top)

Generally, because I have my hands into so many different crafty pursuits and only so many minutes in a day in which I might indulge them, I have machine quilted most of my own projects. All the while, though, I have been stashing away quilt tops found here and about, and got it into my head that while machine quilting would be faster, what I really wanted was to hand quilt them.

(This shot was an accident, but I love it — my current camera is not an SLR, so getting this kind of depth of field on purpose can be sort of a crapshoot.)

Certainly my blog presence in 2007 — or rather, the lack thereof — is an excellent demonstration of roads paved with intentions galore, so what with one thing and another, I never seemed to get around to these beauties.

Cleaning up my creative space most recently, however, seems to have triggered the impetus needed to get my hands into the quilts at long last. The quilt in these photos was an eBay purchase, a 1930’s apple core charm quilt that I got for under $25, WITH shipping. How can you walk away from that?

(I have a thing for that cherries fabric. It was the first core I quilted because it kept catching my eye.)

As a legacy from my mother and gifts from my Dad, I have several options for quilting frames; the largest of these, a Grace company frame that was my mother’s, is still in pieces in our garage, yet another casualty of good intentions but no actual activity. However, my dad and stepmom — knowing that I love the needlearts and being thoughtful — brought me a floor-standing quilt frame some time ago that they found at a church sale. (along with a box of quilting fabric squares that I need to show you another time.)

I found, however, that the floor stand made me lean forward in a way that hurt my back, and I tired very quickly. So I removed the hoop from the stand, and found it was much easier to quilt when I held the whole thing in my lap. The hoop that came with the floor stand, however, was too large for me to reach all the fabric in a given hooping.

(Brutus is “helping”.)

Here is what I’ve learned about hand quilting in your lap that I didn’t know before — when choosing a hoop for hand quilting, the entire hoop needs to fit between your elbow and your fingertips, if you lay it on your arm, so that you know you can easily reach all the fabric in the hoop at any given time. Sure, it means you reposition the hoop fairly frequently, but this is much less of an annoyance than I expected it might be. (Note to self: take picture of the hoop thing.) Ultimately I ended up purchasing a simple wooden hoop, 16″ size, and it is working perfectly with much greater comfort than anything else I’ve tried so far.

 (About two minutes after the last photo)

You will note that behind Brutus there it is grey and rainy. While our temps here have been very spring-like, it caused some interesting weather patterns to blast through last night, creating a state of minor anxiety in our house as to whether or not there was a tornado in our backyard. (The answer was, ” sort of” — it didn’t touch down and lasted about a minute. But it was still scary for an area that doesn’t typically get swirly weather.)



December 2007



Movin’ Right Along

Written by , Posted in Blog, Holidaze, Miscellaneous, Photography, Spinning

~dugga dun, dugga dun~ Footloose and fancy free!

All I need now is Fozzie and a Studebaker.

I managed to get the rotating header images up to 14 for now; every one of the header bars include photos (or in most cases, mega-crops of photos) that I’ve taken myself, of places I’ve been, projects I’ve done, etcetera. I hope as time goes on that I can keep adding to the inventory up there. I am inordinately pleased with the sit-and-click satisfaction, seeing the banner changing all the time. I like this much better than one static header.

Holiday preparations continue apace here at GeekCentral. The upcoming weekend is Shopping Weekend, but it’s also the weekend my dad, newly retired to North Carolina, will be here visiting a sick friend and filling in to play the organ at said friend’s church. He’s staying at our house for the first time, and I am in full-on panic-cleaning mode — or rather I would be, I guess, if I hadn’t become utterly obsessed with the WordPress blog upgrade I’m busily using as Procrastination Tool Numero Uno.

Once the kinks start really getting worked out around here and I can post images without breaking the fragile new threads of this here blog, I hope to show you the tragedy of last week, when my beloved Clotho (that’s my Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel, for anybody who didn’t know) took damage in the form of a chip out of the wheel rim. She seems to be okay, if a bit cosmetically lowered, but I’m hoping maybe I can find a way to fix it.

What are you folks up to, in terms of holiday prep? (if any?) I continue to read with awe, admiration, and not a little envy as Amanda Soule talks about their family’s winter preparations. I’m also spending a fair portion of time surfing over at Etsy, and the other item of considerable research and discussion for me right now is Steampunk, specifically as it relates to costuming. (I won’t be offended if you have to go look it up — I’d never heard of it until a few weeks ago, and Googling the term is what sparked the costuming style obsession.)