Monday, November 26, 2007

long, relaxing weekend

Well, Jon and I had a wonderful weekend...the kind of weekend that makes us wish that we had more vacation days so that we could have more four day weekends to enjoy. We did lots of visiting with family and friends and we balanced it out by hanging out at home enjoying our newly decorated Christmas tree, working on little projects and watching movies.



I had lots of time to work on the granny square blanket and I'm really hoping that it will be finished by Saturday. I've got six out of the twelve rows assembled and now I just need to make up a few extra squares because the size I had originally planned for it was too small.





And...I'm still cranking out these little stitchettes. I've got 6 more to go before I can start on the quilt.





Sam Skates





Izzie on Ice



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ula's Umbrella and Granny Squares



I'm still cranking away at these stitchettes for my patchwork quilt. This time I finished up Ula's Umbrella from the Spring collection.





And, I have been cranking away at these granny squares here and there. Luckily, they get a few hours of my attention every Thursday night at my knit/crochet group so the project has been progressing at a steady pace. I am finished with about half of the squares for the afghan and only have to add the last round to the other half and single crochet them together (oh, and I also need to sew the ends in...ugh!). Here's to hoping this holiday weekend will give me some extra time to finish this project up (or maybe I'm just in denial about how long this is actually going to take...)



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Parker's Purchases

Well, I've been cranking away at these stitchettes, hoping to finish all 16 by the end of this year. Ever since seeing this doll quilt made with four of the stitchettes, I've wanted to make a quilt featuring all 16 of the stitchettes (four for each season). I discovered the quilt on the cover of the new Kaffe Fassett book, Quilts in the Sun, and I plan on using it to feature the 16 stitchettes. If all goes well, the quilt should be 60" x 60" and feature 16 different 15" squares, each with a stitchette in the center. I'm not exactly sure of the color scheme for the bordering fabric, but I've been adding and subtracting fabric from my shopping cart when I have time (virtual window shopping, I guess?).



Here's another finished stitchette for the quilt: Parker's Purchases





Friday, November 16, 2007

Anna Angles



another stitchette from wee wonderfuls (only 10 more to go!)



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

happy things



a cheery gerbera daisy from Jon





a finished stitchette from wee wonderfuls





a set of matryoshka dolls from my friend, Erica



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nikko & yuzu mitsu



This cold, chilly and rainy weather today is reminding me of our day trip to Nikko, Japan. We had one of those days that just didn't go as planned. We got up up before dawn to take the Shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo. Once we arrived in Tokyo, we missed the first train to Nikko and had to wait three hours for the second train. The second train wasn't an express train so it took us 5 hours to get from Tokyo to Nikko. Once we arrived in Nikko, we couldn't figure out where to take a bus to get to the Tosho-Go Shrine. When we finally did find the bus, we arrived at the Shrine 30 minutes before it closed. We forked over the cash and tried to run around and see as much of it as we could. We thought we'd be able to see it for the full 30 minutes, but they blocked off the interior of the shrine and the burial grounds 15 minutes before closing. The ironic part of the whole day is that it took us 12 hours to reach the shrine, but we only got to see it for 15 minutes before closing time. Oh well...every trip always has the one day filled with letdowns, right? We had a good sense of humor throughout the day and kept laughing about how it was the worst day ever and that with our luck we'd never be able to leave the city.











Nikko is set in the mountains and the scenery surrounding the shrine was beautiful. We liked the change in landscape from the flatter parts of Japan that we had seen during the other parts of our vacation. The shrine was so ornate and beautiful. We especially loved the moss covered lanterns - Jon is now obsessed with growing moss in our backyard and in his bonsai plants. The moss was especially pretty because it was raining and it looked so green and bright and vibrant.





the sacred cat carving





the entrance to the burial grounds









The best part of the day was discovering this little store that sold a delicious hot drink made from yuzu, called Yuzu Mitsu. It tastes like a warm citrusy, honey drink and it's always nice to drink on a cold day. I have no idea where we'll find any in the States to replenish our supply, but I did find another substitute for it at Trader Joe's this afternoon. It's a Citron Honey spread that's made with Yuzu and the flavor is very similar to the Yuzu drink, but with a marmalade aftertaste. I'm glad that we caved and bought a bottle of the drink to bring home with us because everytime we pull the bottle out for another drink, it always takes me back to that rainy day in Nikko.



Wednesday, November 7, 2007

new yarn, new project, old house



We've had a crazy little week around our house lately but fortunately things should be back to normal by Sunday. I'm off to Indianapolis for a convention tomorrow and Jon is filling up his social calendar while I'm away. Now I'm jealous that he gets to hang out with his friends while I have to work. I know, poor me...right?





I've been planning out my next knitting project (nevermind all of those other projects that I haven't finished). I'm going to attempt to knit a new hat for Jon (key word: attempt). This is my first time knitting anything that is not a rectangle, so I'm trying to understand how the whole circular needle or double pointed needle thing works. I've been watching tutorial videos on knittinghelp.com, so hopefully I can figure this out on my own. Our plan is for me to make him the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed from the Interweave Knits Holiday issue. The cabling on it and the crown has such a neat design. I bought some really soft yarn for the hat last night: Berroco Pure Merino in Storm. It is so soft and almost feels as soft as the Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn that everyone raves about. I'm pretty sure these Berroco Merino yarns that I've been using have solved our my wool-is-too-scratchy dilemna. My new circular needles are ready to go and now I've just got to wind the yarn into center pull balls.





And on a totally unrelated note...we've officially had our house for one year! I just pulled out our mortgage papers to see when our closing date was and it was just today. Man am I glad that we're not moving again this year or painting or installing blinds or making 101 trips to IKEA, Lowes and Home Depot for things we didn't know we needed. It's been a fun year in this house and Jon and I have enjoyed turning this place into our home.