Tuesday, January 29, 2008

B is for...

There are so many good things for this letter I couldn't do just one. If I had to pick just one though - it would definitley be my Bailey dog!


My best buddy Bailey has been my boy for 8 years now. He just had a birthday too on January 21st - Happy Birthday Bailey buddy! (like my B alliteration?!)

I also have some more B's for you...

All these photos were taken with a new Nikon lense that John rented for me. Did you know you could rent lenses? I sure didn't. It's a great way to try out a new lense and see if you like before you invest an obscene amount of money in actually purchasing one! He got it from rentglass.com. They have both Nikon and Canon lenses. I got a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro for those of you who may be interested. It's basically for taking really close up and personal pictures.

Here are some B inspired photos:

A closeup of the Brick on my house:


I love how you can see every grain of sand in the grout.

My favorite summertime flower, Black-eyed susans, still look pretty cool in the winter:

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Even the shadows look great:

B is for Black Eyed Susan Shadows

These shadows have bee on my mind recently. I keep thinking about how great a black and white drawing of them would look. Now I just have to actually sit down and try to draw it!

Another B in my life is Baltimore.

Last weekend my friends Erin and her cowboy, Jen (jeekeehoo) and I went to Baltimore's Visionary Arts Museum. It was a fun day spent looking at sculptures, paintings and mosaics. There was even an exhibition of some of the secrets sent to Post Secret.

Outside there was a crazy tree made up of crystals and mirrors. I like to call it the Bling Bling tree:

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It was a great day spent in a great city.

Visionary Arts Museum

And for those of you here for the knitting... I have a Beginning shot of my Diamond Fantasty Shawl (ok that B was cheating just a bit!):

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

I'm using my own handspun for this baby and I love the way it's coming out so far.
Have a great week!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Liberty Socks

I should have posted about my latest socks a while ago - but I was busy working in DC all week. May I present my Liberty Socks!

Liberty Socks

Pattern: Basic cuff down sock
Yarn: My own handspun
Roving: Mama E's Cyberfiber Merino Tencel in the
Needles: Size 3 DPNs

I starting knitting these socks while I was in Philly a few weeks ago. I was sitting on a bench in front of the Liberty Bell and Sarah and I were enjoying the view. Plain socks were just the ticket for enjoying the day.

Liberty Socks

Liberty Socks

This is the first object I have ever knit from my own handspun. I have to say I am hooked! I started the Diamond Fantasy Shawl last week with some other handspun.
Pics of that hopefully coming soon!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I am so in love with this hat! I love the pattern, the yarn, the fit, everything. I'm not usually a hat wearing kind of gal, but the combo of bone chilling weather and this awesome pattern won me over.

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Pattern: Koolhaas by BrooklynTweed
Yarn: Malabrigo (mmmmm - yummy!)
Needles: Size 6 and 8 DPNs
Alterations: None

I taught myself how to cable without a cable needle for this hat. It was so much easier than using a cable needle since this entire hat is made up of little 1x1 cables.


I highly recommend this pattern for a quick and yet satisfying knit!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Hats hats everywhere

I have a few finished objects to share with you this week! It's colder than cold here lately - so I have had hats on the brain!

First up (and the first finished object of this year) is a simple ribbed hat for John.

Ribbed Cap

Pattern: Christmas Emergency Hat by Jenny Dolan
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky
Needles: Size 10 DNPs
Alterations: Instead of knitting it with three strands of worsted weight yarn held together - I just used one strand of bulky yarn.

Ribbed cap

My mom was visiting a few weeks ago and she wanted me to show her how to knit (again). I had tried to teach her once before and she started a purse, but was getting "bored" with it and wanted something smaller and easier. So I thought a simple basic hat was just the ticket. I got her started on hers and I started this one at the same time, and she was on a roll for a while, but then alas... it was also too boring for her.

"I want to see some progress!" she says. So while I finished my little ribbed hat on my own that evening, she got her "progress fast knit fix" all right. I gave her some size 35 needles and Lion Brand Thick and Quick and she was off!

Yeah... she had about a foot done in like an hour. She was thrilled! Go mom! I wish I had a photo to brag on her some more!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A is for...


One of my goals for 2008 is to do more art.

I used to draw and paint all the time when I was younger. Knitting and sewing have taken up a great deal of my life, but I still need to stop and remember my painting and drawing.

My mom got me a watercolor a day calendar for Christmas. At first I thought it was kind of corny - but we painted a few together and I really like how they came out.


The kit has a differnet watercolor every day. Some are famous paintings, while others are original drawings for the calendar. Each page is basically a rough line drawing of the image. The kit also comes with 5 watercolors (blue, yellow, red, green and black) with which to paint.

It was challenging to get the right color at times and I found myself thinking back to my elementary school color wheel to help me mix the paints to get the right colors!

Here's a closer look are two of my favorites:


The calendar also shows a sample completed work photo for ideas on what colors to use etc.


As you can see I paid no attention to the date - just picked the images I liked best. I look forward to more painting and drawing this year. I bought some quality ink pens while I was in Philly a few weeks ago - and I can't wait to try an ink and watercolor project I have in mind. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

This year we didn't get a big Christmas tree. We didn't even bring down our ornaments or decorate much of anything actually. With John being weak and unable to lift heavy things, there was no way I was going to be able to bring all the boxes down from our high storage units by myself. So we were going to make do without a Christmas tree this year.

But... it's not Christmas without a tree!!!

So I went to Lowes and bought a little blue spruce tree that you can plant in the yard! It was very cute :)

Here it is all decorated for Christmas. John and I had fun making paper origami cranes to hang on it along with the dollar store box 'o ornaments :)

Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

I think it came out looking pretty good for a last minute purchase! I finally got around to planting it this past weekend.

Can you see it?

Find the Christmas Tree


Let me help - here's a closeup:

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It's soooo tiny! I think it may only 2 feet tall.

I hope it actually grows :)

Bailey and Hurley were very excited at the prospect of digging in the dirt. Here they are waiting patiently (yeah right!) for me to hook them up to their leashes.

Bailey and Hurley guard the door

I tied them up to a tree near where I was working and they did surprisingly well!

Here's Hurley at full alert:


Have a great day!

PS - I finished my Koolhaas hat - but I still need to take pictures. I LOVE it!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Long overdue Thanks!!

I have been a bad bad blogger and forgot to thank my lovely friends for some gifts I received for my birthday (back in December!)

I got Birthday presents!

Sarah made me this cute Velma purse from an Amy Butler pattern. I love the fabric she chose too.

Gift from Sarah

Birthday present
Coleen gave me some cool roving from the beach! She also got me a bookmark.

Birthday Present!

Can you see what's on the bookmark? It's a tiny spinning wheel! How cute is that!

Gift from Coleen

Nicol made me the cutest mittens out of Trekking:

Now they are mittens:

Now their Mittens

Now they are fingerless mitts:

Now their Fingerless Mitts

Isn't that awesome? Convertible mitts!

Convertible mitts

Not only did she make me these awesome mitts, she included all these little treasures as well...

Birthday gift from Nicol

Look at this awesome fabric stack. It's from Nancy's Quilt shop that I got to visit in Las vegas - it has everything you could ever want in a fabric shop. Actually it was even featured in Quilt Sampler magazine.

Fabric from Nicol

She also sent me these awesome earrings that I have worn almost every day since I got them.

Earrings from Nicol

Happy Birthday to me - Thanks friends!

In other gifting news, I participated in the Handmade Ornament swap this year. My partner was Marti and she sent the most awesome package!

Package of goodies from the swap
After a disaster where her dog ate the first package she had prepared, she recreated it and sent it a little after Christmas - but I still love it. The ornaments are too cute - and she even put in some Sea Silk! *Sigh* I'm spoiled :)

Handmade Ornaments

I know the knitting content has been sparse lately - but that doens't mean I'm not working on stuff!! Here's some of my WIP's.

Ariann is still eating yarn, but I swear it's almost done!
Ariann in progress

I started the Koolhaas hat with some Malabrigo - I love this pattern so much!
Koolhaas in progress

I'm also working on several pairs of socks. So hopefully some finished objects coming soon!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Destination: Philadelphia!

I grew up in Eastern PA - about an hour from Philly and an hour from New York. Believe it or not - I rarely ever got to Philly. My parents took me to New York City all the time - for shows, day trips, shopping, Rockefeller Center, Central park, museums etc. I loved visiting NY. I am now discovering the other city that I grew up near - Philadelphia.

I went to Philly on Sunday to meet up with Sarah. She lives in RI now (boo hoo!) but was in Philly for work - so I thought - Hey!! That's only an hour and a half drive from Baltimore! Soon enough - the date was set - we'd meet in Philly and shop around Fabric Row near South Street and 4th.

Unfortunately - almost all the fabric shops were closed on Sunday :( But we did get to one yarn shop - Sophie's Yarns. It was a cute shop with some beautiful yarns. We didn't buy anything (nothing jumped out at us), but had fun looking around.

Shopping in Philly

Lunch was heavenly :) We had cheese steaks at Jim's Steaks. There's nothing like a good Philly cheese steak!! In Baltimore - they think a cheese steak means mayo, lettuce and tomato on top of the steak - so not what a cheese steak should be! It needs to be cheese whiz, steak and onions - period! I may not have visited Philly all that much growing up - but the Philly style cheese steak was definitely part of my childhood. I still remember going to Greasy Dicks (a.k.a Richard's Drive-In) and ordering a nice juicy cheese steak with pirogies.... yum!

Another stop was Pearl art supplies. I got some dye for yarn and some ink pens. I will fill you in more about the dye soon - I going to try an overdying experiment on some yarn I got.

After our shopping and eating adventures - we headed over to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed walking around, taking photos and even did a bit of sock knitting on a nearby bench.

Independence Hall and Liberty bell

Here I am trying (unsuccesfully) to take a picture of us with Independence hall behind. Just use your imagination :)

Sarah and Jody

Later we hung out and knit some more and then had sushi at a nearby restaurant. Thanks for a great day Sarah!!