Friday, July 29, 2005


When it's 105 degrees outside I feel like going swimming, I don't feel like knitting. I have made a few more afghan squares, just to be able to say that I did knit something this week.

I like the feel of the bamboo needles I got to replace the old Balenes that broke last week. They feel so pleasant in my hands while knitting that I am sure I'd be knitting up a storm with them if we weren't having such an icky heatwave. I'm sure the toddler agrees, since he grabs the needles at every opportunity. When challenged he shouts, 'Mine!' and tries to make a getaway with his booty. I have yet to meet a little boy who doesn't develop a fascination with knitting needles at first sight. They become drumsticks, swords and archaeology tools in their imaginative hands.

Speaking of imaginations, the person who came up with these little visors made of craft foam is a truly creative person. I would never have thought about turning a child's sun visor into a turtle. The toddler just loves it, and he doesn't even know what a turtle is. We found this at our local Joann's. It's a fine little hat to wear to the pool since water doesn't damage it and most importantly it floats and is easy to retrieve.

I have been admiring some patterns for crocheted afghans. I have no idea why, since afghans are the last thing I want to use in this heat, but I seem to be getting a hankering to crochet one. So, I may begin planning one. Maybe.

I will be making some stitch markers this week, but I won't be able to post pictures of them for a while in order to keep them secret from my swap buddies. Don't you just love surprises?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Too Hot to Knit

It's much too hot to knit with much enthusiasm, but I have made a few more afghan squares. I find this green a very boring color to knit with for some reason, but find the pink more pleasant and interesting. I don't know why. Maybe it's just because I like this particular pink better than than this particular green.

I broke a needle while knitting one of those green squares. While knitting 2 stitches together, my left needle suddenly snapped, leaving 3 shards of Balene stuck in my knitting for me to fish out. I guess after 15 years they start losing some of their flexibility. This has been a bad year for needle breakage-and it isn't over yet!

This heat is making more than just the people wilt, we're having to take extra care to keep the garden in good shape. Some things are showing signs of sunburn and we'll have to give the area a bit more shade in addition to the extra waterings.

The tomatoes seem to be happy with the heat, though. Here you see the first tomatoes from our patio garden. These little darlings came from one cherry tomato plant. That one plant promises to keep us supplied with all the salad tomatoes we can eat for the next few months.

According to the weather report we won't be getting any relief from the heat until Sunday, when the temperature will come down to the 90's, but we can expect a return to triple digits soon after.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Stitch Marker Swap Questionnaire

Yes, I've joined the Stitch Marker Swap. I can't wait to play with beads and wire again, and use up some of my bead stash to boot.

Here are my answers to the questionnaire. I hope my swap buddies find them helpful.

Q. Do you prefer shorter or more dangling type of markers?
A. I don't have a preference.

Q. Is there any kind of markers that you would absolutely NOT want to recieve?
A. Hmmm, I can't think of any kind of stitch marker that could possibly be offensive.

Q. Colors you like most?
A. My favorite colors are in the purple-to-blue range, but I also enjoy jewel tones, the subtle colors of natural materials and fun metallics.

Q. Colors you like least?
A. The decorator colors from the 70's, you know, avocado green, burnt orange, harvest gold and the like; but I have to admit there are times when I enjoy using them, like when I'm doing autumn scrapbook pages.

Q. Would you prefer markers for smaller or larger sized needles?
A. Most of the knitting I do is with worsted weight or finer yarn, so I'd have to say smaller sized markers would be more practical for me.

Q. Do you want your sender to reveal themselves when they've shipped or at a later date? How would you like to find out if at all?
A. I don't really have a preference here either, although I do want to find out eventually. I wouldn't mind waiting until the end of the 3-month swap period for a big reveal on the swap website.

Q. Anything that you like your sender to know that would be helpful for them.
A. I have very eclectic taste and enjoy many different things. I particularly enjoy different ethnic styles. I just love handmade things and will enjoy just about anything you care to make.

Catching Up with BackTack

We've been taking turns coming down with stomach 'flu around here and I have gotten a bit behind on my posts.

I have both sent and received my BackTack packages for round 2.

This is the BackTack project I sent to my buddy in Texas. I made a tote bag using that Simplicity pattern I posted about previously, a pair of apple-shaped pin cushions (pattern here) and a needles and notions pouch.

Here you can see the inside of the pouch stuffed with sample needles and notions. It will hold 10" straight knitting needles, double pointed needles and circular needles as well as measuring devices, snips, tapestry or sewing needles, buttons and other embellishments. It zips all the way around to hold everything securely. I hope my buddy enjoys it!

Here is the notions roll I received from my buddy, isn't it pretty?

What a great little sewing kit, so handy to have around and toss into a tote bag along with whatever project I'm taking with me! Best of all, it's my favorite color, purple. Thank you BackTack Buddy!

Apple Pincushions Pattern

This pattern will make pincushions shaped like an apple half and an apple wedge. I've used acrylic felt to make mine, but they would be cute made in calico too. My half apple measures about 4 inches across, but you can reduce or enlarge the pattern to make a different size. Just remember-the smaller it is, the more difficult it will be to sew together.

Instructions: For each type of cushion, cut 1 flesh piece, 1 skin piece, one seed and 2 leaves.

Pin the flesh and skin pieces wrong sides together aligning the top and bottom points. Sew together using blanket stitch (being careful to ease in the fullness along the outer curve of the skin on the apple half) leaving an opening for stuffing. Stuff the cushion firmly and finish sewing until the opening is closed. Position seed and leaves where desired and tack in place.

Click on photo to see full size pattern for printing.