Monday, July 30, 2007

Cape Cod Part I

I had the best weekend! I went to visit Sarah in Cape Cod - Falmouth to be specific. Her parent's place is so cute! I loved it!

Here were my hosts:

The Murph:
The Murph!

and Morgan and Caleb
Morgan and Caleb

Oh yeah - Sarah was there too!

I was up there Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and left Sunday. We did so many awesome things - I think the only way I'll be able to fit it all in is to post about one day at a time!

Well - you get one and a half days today...

I arrived Thursday around 5 and was greeted at the airport by Sarah and Stacey! How awesome is that - I got to see Stacey again!

We went out for dinner and had lobster rolls.... mmmmm!!! So good. Unfortunately Stacey couldn't stay long - so we soon headed back to Sarah's place - via a short tour of Providence RI.

All the houses on the Cape are so adorable! I love the wooden shingles and painted trim. They all have the most beautiful manicured lawns too. For example... how cute is her house?!

Sarah's house

The back yard was just as great as the front...

Sarah's House

I didn't get to meet her parents - but they are gardening masters! They have all kinds of gorgeous flowers everywhere ...


And her dad keeps an extensive Bonsai garden. This is only HALF of his collection...


We got to spend the entire day on Friday in her backyard dying in the sunshine.

Sarah ordered us some Louet yarn and Jaquard dyes. It was so nice to dye quality yarn! There's nothing wrong with Knit Picks - but let me tell you... there is definitely a difference!! Once you dye with Louet - you can never go back!

We ordered double skeins thinking we'd just divide them before we started dying. Then we thought about it for a second... we don't call each other "knitting twins" for no reason... we always seems to love the same colors. So - why not dye the double skeins and then divide them up later? Brilliant!

We loved each other's creations of course. Here are some of our colors:

Yarn Creations

Yarn Portrait

Yarn with Hydragea

Fresh Yarn

Drying Yarn

After our day of dying - Sarah took me out for Clam strips - yum!! I've never had such amazing clams.

Tomorrow.... we travel to Provincetown! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Denyse Schmidt quilting

I recently purchased an amazing book by Denyse Schmidt called Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects

It has so many wonderful quilting projects inside. I made one last week and I love it!! I made the Mix-It-Up Cocktail Coasters.

Quilted Coasters

It was so easy and fun to mix and match and colors.

Quilted Coasters

Quilted Coasters

I chose six different fabrics for the front - layered them and cut the pieces at random widths. I then sandwiched some quilt batting inside and used a solid color print for the back. A few quick steps later and I had these gorgeous coasters!

Quilted Coasters

The quilting process just makes them look so professional. I can see myself making lots of these - perfect christmas gifts!!

Quilted Coasters

This book has lots of other little projects in addition to some really gorgeous modern quilts. I highly recommend it if you are thinking about getting into quilting! These coaster were a great little project and don't require the commitment that a full quilt does.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Orleans Style

Hello from the Big Easy!

This is my third day of work and the earliest I've been back to my hotel room yet - so I decided I had to post my latest adventures - yeah!!

I arrived Sunday night and I've been working hard - but luckily I have also been able to do quite a bit of sightseeing. Monday after a VERY long day at work - we ate dinner at Emerils restaurant.

The food was just amazing - I had paella that was just full of HUGE portions of scallops, shrimp, mussels, sausage and chicken. The scallops were three inches in diameter!! Yum!!

After work on Tuesday we headed to Riverwalk - a mall along the banks of the Mississippi River. We then strolled through the French Quarter and had a great dinner and ($1 Margaritas which I so needed after another long day!!) at Cafe Maspero. I had some tasty Jambalaya. After dinner - we had to get some of those famous beignets at the world famous Cafe due Monde

Cafe du Monde

The powdered sugar on these things was at least an inch thick!!

Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde is at the corner of Jackson Square - this square is at the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I love all the wrought iron balconies with vines and flowers hanging down on sides of the square.

Jackson Square

At one end sits Saint Louis Cathedral.

Jackson Square

We were lucky enough to be there at sunset.

Jackson Square

Here's my co-worker LaSonya and I in front of the cathedral.
Jackson Square

Wandering further through the French Quarter - we of course had to go Bourbon Street. It was surprisingly tame - but then again it was a Tuesday night. We did see some interesting sights, crazy T-shirts, lots of beer, daquairies, hurricanes, and even clowns on stilts! Here are some of the views:

sites from new orleans
New Orleans sites

We even saw the trolley speed by on the walk back to our hotel.

Today - we took a drive through the lower 9th Ward - the part of New Orleans that experienced some of the worse devastation from Hurrican Katrina almost two years ago. It was extremely sad and sobering to see how much damage is still there and how much is still left to do. Most of the homes in this area - were completely swept away by the surge from the levy break. There were just concrete slabs on many lots, sometimes the front steps remained - sometimes nothing remained. It was amazing how much pride some of the owners still took in their empty lots. Many were mowed and manicured - while others like this one... were even more thoughtfully decorated.


I thought this lot where someone planted a field of sunflowers was such a powerful representation of the hope, rebirth and renewal that is going on in New Orleans. It really made my day to see this gorgeous site.


After this lovely site - we had dinner at a local "greasy spoon" called Praline Connection. We had alligator sausage as our appetizer...

Alligator sausage

followed by some great Cajun homecooking. I had stuffed peppers with collard greens, macaroni and cheese and a side of hot corn bread.... it was so delicious!

I also got to walk around part of the French Quarter after we ate and I snapped a few pictures of the gorgeous homes and architectural details that are everywhere down here.

New Orleans home

New Orleans Architecture

I look forward to the rest of the week - I hope the work side goes ok so we can continue our nightly forays into the New Orleans culture!

Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Hi everyone! I've been MIA for a while - so I figured I better post something before I leave for a week! I'm going on a business trip to New Orleans next week and probably won't have a chance to post.

I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has send well wishes!! I am feeling somewhat better - although the itching is pretty constant. I think the rash itself is going down - so that's progress at least! I really appreciate everyone's concern! It's the first time I've ever gotten poison ivy and man did I have a bad reaction!

I am still so excited about the mystery stole and I'l about a quarter done with clue 3 - I am taking it with me - so hopefully I'll stay on track! I am also taking my top down raglan for mindless knitting and of course - several socks :)

Anyway - I hope everyone has a great week... and since I just can't stand to post without at least one picture.... here you go!!

The latest blooms in my yard:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Stitchy McItchy reporting in... I've been miserable all weekend with a severe case of Poison Ivy. This truly sucks because it means I haven't been spinning as much as I would like to.

I did do a little though - I mean it would take a LOT not to try out my new baby. Here is my first handspun on my very own wheel!

Blue Handspun

The roving was actually a gift - thanks Jolene!

Blue handspun

I decided I need some more 'stash' just in case.... So I headed over to Cloverhill and got me some Mama-E goodness!

New Mama E Roving

Isn't it luscious! It's Mama-E's merino tencel blend. Love the color! I got some oil too - just to make sure everything stays nice and smooth.

I met up with Amie over there and she also brought me a virtual spinning smorgasboard!! She brought me a sampling of all kinds of fiber, mohair, cotton, flax, mohair locks and some wool from a sheep at the Philadelphia zoo! You're the best Amie!!! Thanks!!! I can't wait to try it all.

In the mean time - what's a girl to do when she's laying in bed covered in Calamine lotion laying nakid in bed with the ceiling fan on high? (Ok - TMI)... Why - Knit lace of course! Here's my mystery stole with clue 2 completed. I finished it in one day - since I had nothing else to do to keep my mind off the itching - I worked on this on Saturday.

Mystery Stole 3 - clue 2 done

Mystery Stole 3 - clue 2 done

Mystery Stole 3 - clue 2 done

I did go to the doctor today and got a course of steriods and some Zyrtec. I hope it goes away soon!

Friday, July 06, 2007

My new baby is here!

She came yesterday in a big huge box....

My new Majacraft Suzie Pro

All packed up nice and snug...

My Majacraft has arrived!

There were lots of pieces to put together

Spindels and parts


But finally - she was whole!
May I present - my new wheel - the Majacraft Suzie Pro!


Isn't she gorgeous? I have been spinning on her non stop since she arrived. I'll share some pictures of her labors soon - but I want to get a little more done first - can't stop to take photos or blog - must spin!!!!

Good thing I finished clue 1 of the mystery stole before she came!

Mystery Stole

I really like it so far:
July 003
Mystery Stole

Now,... you think I'll get to clue 2 any time soon?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

No beach for me :(

I had to cancel my beach trip - Javaman is sick :(

I think he's being a but of a baby - but oh well.

I did have fun yesterday *not* going to see the fireworks with some friends. We drove over - got out of the car - started walking toward the area - and then all of a sudden the clouds opened and it rained and rained and rained. There was also a tornado watch and thunderstorm warning for the area the rest of the night...

So we did what any reasonable knitters would - we went back to Coleen's house and knit and watched a movie! It was a fun night - even if we didn't see the fireworks.

Hope you all had a great 4th!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Kutztown Folk Festival

It was an old fashioned weekend. The 'fam' and I headed up to PA to visit my parents and go to the Kutztown Folk Festival. It's become a tradition for us to go every year.

They have great PA Dutch food, exhibits and rides for the kids....

There was a cool game that we watched for a while - where two people are trying to shoot water balloons at each other with a sling shot - it was quite amusing :)

Kutztown 097

There was also a petting zoo with the cutest animals ever!! Even Hurley enjoyed meeting the animals - there's one picture in this mosaic where he's sniffing a pony. He's probably thinking 'that is one big dog!'

Click on any picture to see it full size.

Kutztown Folk Festival Animals

I even managed to find the one booth that had spinning and weaving!
I dragged Java man over and made him wait while I ooed and aahed all the handspun fibery goodness.

Kutztown 001

Then... I saw the weirdest thing.

Now - don't freak out when you see this ok?

The faint of heart may not want to look.

In the booth - the same booth that was selling handspun WOOL mind you...

I saw this:

Kutztown 004

Click it to make it bigger if you are so inclined...

I'll wait....

They are handknit socks... Made out of Acrylic!!!!!!

Now - I'm not a total yarn snob. I have acrylic in my stash. There is a time and a place for acrylic. Socks are never EVER supposed to be made of acrylic in my opinion.

OK - end of vent...

Deep breaths...

Let's move on to some more fiber related goodness - the quilts!

There's also a huge quilting show and contest during the festival and let me tell you - there are A LOT of entries! All the quilts entered are also available for purchase with the winning quilts being auctioned off at the end.

Here's this year's winner.

Kutztown 112

And the runners up...
Kutztown 114

And a whole bunch of others...
Kutztown 109

Most were very traditional - not many - if any - were modern, but they were still very beautiful.

Another typical sight were Hex signs.

Hex Signs

I saved the best for last. Not only did they have all this great artsy goodness - they also had just about every kind of tractor, engine, plow, and farm tool ever made.

Kutztown 130

Kutztown 120

What's not to love!

We're off to the beach for the 4th of July holiday - so I want to wish everyone a great week - be safe and watch lots of fireworks!!