Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Final FO for '08

Merry Christmas to me. After the last minute spate of holiday gift making, I decided to do a little selfish knitting this past weekend. The results - a new pair of Maine Morning Mitts and a big, slouchy tam (of my own design) to match.

You may recognize the yarn. It happens to be the leftovers of Malabrigo from the Tweedy Vest I finished this summer. And I have just a little bit left and am experimenting with squeeking out a tiny neck warmer. It's looking pretty unlikely that I'll have quite enough yarn to finish it but the ol' grey matter is percolating some design options for making it stretch.

However, given the fact that Hockeyman's birthday is tomorrow (yup, he's a New Years Eve baby) and I have a to-do list of epic proportions to get through before his party guests start arriving tomorrow, I think I can officially dub these items as the Final FO's of '08.

Oh, and if you didn't notice it in the photo, it's snowing - again. After all, it is hockey season in Minnesota and my men are up in Hibbing this week for a hockey tournament. So of course there is going to be significant snow fall, just to make driving home an adventure.

Glad I stayed home to knit clean house.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing all of my friends & family the warmest of holiday greetings. God bless us, one and all.

(No animals were harmed in the production of this photograph - although the cats may disagree, citing extreme embarrassment and emotional distress over being forced into jingle bell collars and ridiculous reindeer antler hats. Our official response to their formal complaints of animal cruelty has been, "Suck it up, quit'cher whining and get in the spirit . . . or no Christmas presents for you!" I'll keep you posted on the results of the subsequent lawsuit being filed on their behalf by bleeding heart animal activists.)

Sheesh, like no one's ever been forced to wear ridiculous Christmas items by overly holiday-spirited parents.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blankie knitting . . .

On Friday, I had a panic attack (rather on the order of Sheepish Annie's Hysterical Mind).

Looking at the calendar, I realized this week is the last week of dance/swimming/hockey/girls' club/etc. before the holiday break.

So. Many. Teacher. Gifts. To. Finish.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life After Christmas Carol

I'm tired . . . exhausted . . . Christmas'ed out. I've actually threatened to start playing Easter music, just to get the Christmas Carol songs out of my head. Either that, or some of Hockeyman's head-banger style rock music. Not that Alan Menken's score isn't wonderful but I'm just tuckered out and want the music in my head to go away.

I've spent the last 4 days in sweats, sitting in my recliner, working on the one knitted Christmas gift I'm likely to have time for this year. (That's not counting a couple old projects that were nearing completion well before Christmas Carol kicked in, that I must keep quiet about, since loved one's may check in and spoil the surprise).

This gift, however, is for Dancing Diva and is not a stealth gift . . . at all. After all, she is a "teenager" and her tastes have grown beyond my ability to forecast or match. So when she asked me if I could reproduce this, I gave her the go ahead to pick the yarn herself. In all fairness to PB Teen, I won't be reproducing it exactly like their design.

For one thing, the Stupid Finger still won't tolerate that much knitting with 100% cotton yarn. I can work for a little while on washcloths, then I have to move to something softer, since the ol' digit is still stiff and achey (stupid finger!). So Dancing Diva chose some inexpensive acrylic instead (in massive quantities, I might add - did you see the size of that skein?!?)

In addition, stockinette stitch in acrylic won't lay flat, no matter how much you try to make it. So garter stitch it is. And my version is being made on 10-1/2 needles, so as to give some speed and, incidentally, drapey softness to the whole project.

The thing she liked best about the PB Teen version is the random stripes, so I'll try my best to make my version as random as possible.

Given my level of exhaustion, random would probably be achieved, whether I tried or not.

Random good, counting bad. Now if I could get enough energy to do some laundry, before I run out of sweats.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Photos, Finally

Sorry for the poor photo quality. The lighting was very low on the set and I had to do a little monkeying with the brightness and such to get a little detail.

Photo 1: Middle Class Victorian Woman

Photo 2: Fezziwig Ball Gown

Photo 3: Weathy Victorian Woman

The green shawl and bonnet are used with the Fezziwig Ball Gown in another scene as well. Nothing like multiple-use accessories.

Only comment I have to make - in spite of the corset taking 4" off my waist measurement, the crinoline still makes me look huge! Gah!

No time to post more. The house is a shambles, we have another rehearsal tonight and I have to leave shortly to get Hockeyman to the rink to catch the team bus to tonight's game.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No photos but . . .

The first dress rehearsal came off . . . well, with a few hitches.

First hitch, I forgot the camera, so someone could snap some photos of my costumes in all their glory. I'm hoping tomorrow will go a bit smoother and I'll remember the camera. So stay tuned for photos.

Second hitch, I managed to pull a drawstring out of my Fezziwig dress, leaving me with a repair to be made before tomorrow's dress rehearsal. I was supposed to wear that dress to a promotional performance this evening but had to switch to my Wealthy Victorian Woman costume instead. Not a big deal at all but driving to and from the event in a full crinoline and corset was a bit awkward.

Third hitch, Dancing Diva managed to slip and fall on the stairs in our garage and has a massive bruise forming on her hip. She's finding it difficult to walk and I'm very worried about her ability to perform for the next few days. Time will tell . . .

Obviously, I did manage to finish all the pieces I had on my to do list, although I still want to make some minor alterations to a few things (adding lace to petticoats, making a few alterations to make things fit better, sewing hooks on skirts - that kind of stuff). I also would like to make a jacket for the Middle Class Victorian Woman costume, but won't push it too much this week. If it doesn't get done, I'll cope.

Well, off to fix dinner and do a few chores. The DH is making a valiant effort not to let things fall too far behind but, since he's out in the cold putting up Christmas lights, I should step up and get a few things done, too.

Or I could take a nap. Oh so tempting!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing, Keep that Gal a Sewing . .

No time to chat much but wanted to give a quick update. Five Elf Doublets were delivered on Tuesday and I was free to finish my own costumes.

In 48 hours, we'll be getting ready for our first dress rehearsal and I'm frantically sewing away on the remaining pieces of my costumes.

Here is the corset, minus the seam binding and lace trim on the top and bottom. I figured I can rehearse in the corset without the trimmings but I can't go on stage without some outer garments. So the finishing of this is on hold, temporarily.

I'm currently finishing a blouse. I've yet to finish the crinoline but it only needs a couple more layers of netting and the outer petticoat. I also have a jacket cut out and ready to start.

Last, I'll whip up two skirts. If I have time, I need to make a pinafore for one of the little girls but that will be a big maybe, depending on time.

Forgive my brevity, but must get back to the sewing machine. Ta-ta.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let the race begin!

Ten days until Christmas Carol opens . . .
Six scheduled rehearsals left . . .
Three of them dress rehearsals . . .
Nineteen costume pieces done . . .
Eleven costume pieces yet to complete . . .

Yup, stress levels are high here at Christmas Carol Costume Central.

Latest FO . . .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let the Dancing in the Streets Commence!

I'm deep in the last minute world of A Christmas Carol technical work. Hours of costuming, set work and everything else that goes into a large production is keeping me from posting about all the exciting things that are going on around here.

However, I did have to let my friends know that Hockeyman has completed his try-outs for the High School hockey team and received word today.

He has earned a spot on the J.V. squad!

He has worked so hard all these years on improving his skills with making the H.S. team as his long term goal. I am thrilled that he has had this dream come true and will keep you posted as to how the season progresses.

Woot! I'm now returning to my regularly scheduled happy dancing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Victorian Unmentionables

While I would never show a picture of modern undergarments in a post, doesn't it seem like an ironic twist that I should be posting photographs and details about Victorian undergarments? Especially considering the almost absurd level of modesty and decorum exercised during the Victorian Era.

One of my favorite scenes in "Meet Me in St. Louis" is when Majorie Main's character, Katie the Maid, was shaking a pair of freeze-dried bloomers in Rose Smith's (Lucille Bremer) face - outside in the yard, no less. Rose's shame and embarrassment is funny to me. Totally cracks me up every time. Yet if someone started shaking a push-up bra in my face in public - oi!

Yet, here we are with a progress shot of Victorian Unmentionables going out into the public domain. Weird, huh?!

This is the corded petticoat that took FOREVER to sew. There are 24 corded pin tucks in it. Forgive the rather rumpled appearance but I had just dipped it in liquid starch yesterday and am just getting ready to finish the rather complicated pressing process today.

Next, I will need to dampen the petticoat, roll and wrap it in plastic wrap and put it outside for a few hours. Then it will be ready to steam press into crisp, voluminous fullness. While very time consuming, I'm hoping the stiffness of the starched cords will keep the rest of the costume from tangling around my knees and ankles. And allow me to slip through the rather tight spots behind the scenes, where hoops would be extremely difficult to maneuver.

You'll notice the deep yoke on the corded petticoat. I am actually constructing a full crinoline on this base piece, so I have basted guidelines into the yoke, to which additional layers of gathered netting ruffles and muslin petticoats will be attached. It will take a few more hours to complete but the end is in sight on this complicated piece of VU.

This morning, I worked on a pair of pantalets. A little hand sewing and some added closures, and that VU will be off the list as well.

That just leaves the corset. I'm hoping to get that finished by the end of the weekend, so I can start the actual outer costume pieces next week. In the meantime, I will start practicing some of the scenes in the Fezziwig dress, just to get used to moving around in a full-length dress.

After all this complicated VU stuff, construction the rest of the actual outer garments will be a piece of cake.

I hope!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fezziwig Ball Dress Done

"The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day."

Well, that accounts for the lousy photos in today's post. I was so looking forward to donning the finished Fezziwig Ball Costume to do some in situ shots but the weather just wouldn't cooperate.

Being the immediate gratification kind of gal I am, I decided to post some bad photos of the dress on a hanger, rather than no photos at all. That way, when I finally do get a beautiful day when I can model the dress in all it's glory, you'll all gasp and wonder if it is the same dress at all.

Initially, I felt the dress by itself would be very bland, so I found some silky gold fabric to make the sash. That had triggered the idea to use some ecru lace around the neck. Not being content to just buy lace, I hunted through all the magazines until I discovered this little pattern. Though I would have preferred to have the lace flat all the way around, there is a drawstring around the neck to take up the fullness of the neckline. (All in all, a good design choice when I'll be gallivanting all over the stage in this thing.) But it made the lace gather as well.

From a distance, no one will see the lace detail anyway. It just makes me feel pretty and talented to have it on the dress. And there is something to be said for boosting one's confidence in this manner, when you have to perform on stage.

As you can see at the bottom of the dress, the lining shows. This is because the original pattern has a slight train. I left this on for now but plan on trying this costume in the dance number long before opening night. If the train interferes with the dancing, it will be removed. I will have no mercy (although it really is much prettier with the little train).

This morning, I started constructing the crinoline I'll be wearing under my WVW costume. At the moment, I'm cording a petticoat. Very time consuming but will be more authentic than going without any skirt support. The hoop skirts in the production are going on the younger girls (and frankly, I would look like a house in a hoop skirt). I'll be adding multiple layers to the crinoline, as recommended by Demode. I have yards of netting cut out, as I do sections of ruffles and petticoats. Also waiting in line is the corset (I'm a little intimidated by this one, because it requires some careful fitting) and some pantalets.

Once the crinoline is finished, I'll use the finished circumference to design the skirt to go over it. The corset will also need to be finished before I start the pattern drafting for the blouse and jacket. No sense in fitting it to my natural form when I'll be squeezed and tucked a bit by the corset. (Not much, mind you, just enough to smooth the ol' silhouette a bit. Still gotta be able to breathe to sing, you know.)

On the knitting front, I'm still working on the shawl. I started at the point and have been increasing my way up the thing and have gotten to the point where the rows take FOREVER. I want this to be a very generous, large shawl, though, and will persevere until it suits me.

Or I just can't stand it anymore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crochet Lace Obsession

I've rediscovered my passion for crochet in my hunt for Victorian accessories and trims. Pictured are the cuff length lace for the "Wealthy Victorian Woman" or WVW costume. Not shown is the long section that will be used on the bodice.

After starting the blocking for A Christmas Carol, I've found that I'll need a minimum of 2 costumes. Three would be ideal, though. First, I need a WVW costume for the opening scene in the Royal Exchange.

Also needed is either a "Middle Class Victorian Woman" (or MCVW) costume for the street scenes, or at least accessories that will tone down the WVW costume. What I do about this costume depends on how much sewing time I have after finishing the WVW and LRERW costumes and when I figure out if I have enough time between scenes to do a full costume change or not. There is only one very short scene between my first and second stage appearances, so I suspect it would be a very quick change - oi.

Lastly, I need a "Late Regency or Early Romantic Woman" (LRERW) costume for the Christmas Past Fezziwig Ball scene.

I have started the LRERW costume. It is going to be a very simple Regency-style dress, in a dark olive green color, with a gold colored sash and ecru lace trim. The goal of this dress is to quietly fade into a muted background, against which Emily (Scrooge's love interest) will shine in her brighter, more brilliant costume.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention terms like Regency or Victorian, here are some links that show the transition from Regency (1797-1825ish), to Romantic (1825-1845), to Early Victorian (1837-1860). Since Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843, most productions are costumed in the late 1840's/1850's time period. Our production is more in the 1860 time period. Depending on how far back you put the "past", you can end up in either the Regency or Romantic period. Frankly, these are some of my favorite costuming time periods. There is a lot of political and social reasons for the changes in fashion during this time and it makes for a fascinating historical study . . .

Okay, the History Geek in me is showing. Better stop before I put you all to sleep.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm running out of clever titles

With all the updates here at Costume Central, it's hard to come up with new headings. Bear with me if I get boring and repetitive.

However, here is the latest installment in the ongoing sewing saga. Two little bonnets for two sweet little girls.

I have to admit, these took more time than the dresses. All the trim needed be be hand sewn, including a wire around the brims to stiffen them, which were then covered with braid. Very futzy, putzy work but the result turned out to be worth it. My fingers are a bit raw, though. Gotta find my favorite leather thimble before I make my own bonnet. Ouch!

I also finished the petticoats and bloomers for the girls. Everything the girls need are finished now, so I'm on to my own costumes.

On that front, I did manage to finish my chemise and have cut out one of the three dresses I need for my characters. I also whipped up a little more crocheted lace to trim one of my dresses (I haven't decided which one yet) and have finished the drawstring bag. Next post, I'll show the finished bag in all it's glory and maybe even a little bit of lace.

Gotta charge the camera, first, though. Seems Hockeyman has found a new passion and he keeps using up the memory card and battery of our digital camera. Hmmm, guess what he wants for Christmas . . .

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Costume frenzy continues . . .

Progress is occurring, in little bits of time, here and there. Most importantly, today's sewing had to be scheduled around voting. Fortunately, it only took only 45 minutes to get in and out of my local polling place. Even waiting until 10:00 am, which was supposed to be the least busy time, there was still quite a line. You know I thought ahead and brought a knitting project along and managed to knock off a few rows while waiting in line.

When I got home, I was able to finish the cape for Bubba's dress. She absolutely loves the color of the dress and cape together and is enamored with the rosettes I added to the ribbons. Add the Mary Jane shoes, white tights, and (eventually) some crinolines
underneath, then give everything a good pressing and and I think we have a winner.

While in the cape-making mood, I whipped up Peeps little cape. I have to admit that the pattern I adapted for them was one of the quickest little projects. The serger was ideal for getting the two layers stitched together and then a quick turn and press job and I had a cape. Throw on a little bias tape around the neckline, some braided trim around the edges and some ribbon ties with extra florish and, voila, we have Victorian Capes.

I also managed to get the zipper in Peeps dress as
well. I still need to put a row of buttons down the front of Peeps dress, but all in all, I think we can call this project done as well.

Next on the list is petticoats (with a bit of crinoline to add width) and little bloomers for each of the girls. Those should be really quick projects, given my recent speed training in the ol' bloomer making department. Then I'll be working on my own costumes at full speed. We just started blocking movements this week and I should have a fuller understanding of my character by the weekend.

If you all see some signs of fire from the Twin Cities SW metro area, don't worry. It'll just me be smokin' through the ol' costume to-do list.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Christmas Carol Costumes Part 2

Sewing has taken over my life. I spent more than 20 hours sewing this past weekend. Unfortunately, most of it was spent on shortening dance costumes for an entire performance company. These were, bar none, the hardest alterations I've ever done. The fabric was a thin, slippery satin, which would not crease, no matter how much you pressed it. After much experimentation, I figured out how to use the rolled hem foot on my machine to make a narrow turned hem. I am so glad to have those off my "to do" list.

In my "spare" time, I managed to finish Bubba's dress for A Christmas Carol. I still have a zipper to install on Peeps dress, then petticoats, bloomers, capes and bonnets to make for each of them. All in all, I'm very pleased with the progress I've made, even though I still have a lot to sew.

Well, the grindstone is still spinning and my nose needs to get back on it. Ta-ta from costume central.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Progress Report

Another Victorian accessory to check off the list. Here is a crocheted bit of lace I am using to embellish Bubba's costume with.

Again, I found this simple lace pattern in an old McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazine. However, I have done some Internet searches and found some interesting websites online.

One of the more fascinating is The Antique Pattern Library. What a wonderful resource for old patterns. Of course, deciphering the old patterns take a bit of know how . . . or just guts to guess and make it up as you go. I've only scratched the surface of the patterns available here but, believe me, I'm going to be spending much more time browsing through this resource, after Christmas Carol.

As for this weekend's agenda, I'm assembly line sewing the two little girl dresses at the moment. Both bodices are done and I'm busy assembling the skirts. I'm hoping to polish off these two dresses today. I have a little work to do for the dance studio as well (17 costumes to shorten and hem - ugggh), then I will be off and running on my own costume pieces.

As for my Not-So-Mini-Me, I still haven't figured out how to get it onto a stand but I haven't given up on her. More to follow . . .

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Great Costuming Experiement

Trust me, this really isn't a Halloween post. Especially since we don't actually celebrate Halloween in our home. However, the kids had a hey day yesterday, suggesting that I stay in this crazy get-up and hand out candy in my new "mummy" get-up.

That would be somewhat problematic, since I couldn't sit down or use the bathroom in this get up.

No, this was actually a grand experiment to see if I could make my own "Not-So-Mini-Me" duct tape dressmakers dummy.

One of the handicaps I've labored under for years is the lack of a dressmakers dummy to use in my costume construction endeavors. Being a short, full-figured gal, traditional patterns never fit properly without extensive redrafting. And with the publication of the cast list and knowledge that I'd soon be making Early Victorian costumes for myself, I decided that this obstacles had to be addressed and remedied, if I was to have any success designing and constructing a Lorraine Original Victorian Masterpiece.

Hence, in the early morning hours yesterday, I began to wrap myself in white duct tape. It was not long before I realized that this was not a solo job and I enlisted the help of Hockeyman and Bubba to help mummify me. After a couple hours, we were finally able to remove the full body wrapping and I now have a partially completed dummy in my basement. Once I pick up a little more batting (I completely underestimated how much stuffing NSMM actually hold - guess a diet isn't such a bad idea) and find a way to mount NSMM on a stand, I will actually be able to do some draping and fitting.

That is, I hope . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life will never be the same . . .

Well, it is official . . . there is now a teen driver in the house. Hockeyman just took and passed his test and now has a learner's permit.

Gah! I'm just not old enough to have a teenager with a permit.

And to add to the maternal distress around here, my "baby" turned 8 this week. Somehow, the idea that my little Snicklefritz (also known as Peeps) is now in second grade and growing up WAAAAYYY too fast hit me a bit hard this week. It would not be an understatement to say that I've spent a significant amount of time this week feeling a bit farklempt.

In brighter news, the beaded wristlets are done and blocking as I type. I knit these from black sock yarn I had in my stash, on size 0 needles. The pattern was from the February 1988 McCall's Needlework & Crafts magazine.

I've also designed and am knitting a coordinating drawstring bag. I'm leaving the beads off but plan to line it with a bright satin fabric, so that the color will be revealed through the lace pattern. I'm very excited about the bag but you'll have to wait until it's finished and blocking before I'll photograph it.

I can never get the details to show up when I photograph black yarn. I hope you can get an idea how cute these really are without a stunning photo.

Otherwise, you'll just have to come to the show and look at them in person during the meet & greet after the performance.

Yes, that was a blatant plug for the show. Go to cvft dotorg for ticket info.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christmas Carol Costumes Part 1

Because of bad timing, I was not able to use my four day weekend last week for sewing costumes. CVFT's intrepid costumer had not had her meeting with the production staff and, thus, could not provide me with details for period, color or social standing for any of my family's characters.

Not one to be put off, though, I did take some time to research and search for Victorian accessories. Fortunately, I have an extensive library of old McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazines for the 80's and early 90's. It was my favorite craft magazine of all time and I literally wept when they ceased publication. I treasure my collection and enjoyed my weekend skimming through them to find the perfect accessories for my costume.

As a result, I found a pattern for and was able to make the pictured snood over the weekend. Here it is, blocked in all its lacy glory. I am in the process of threading the elastic through the double crocheted border. Once I get my hair piece put together, I'll hopefully be able to provide a in situ snapshot.

In the meantime, I'm deep in the process of making beaded, knitted mitts. Stay tuned for more from Costume Central.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey, Teach revealed

As promised, here is a photo of Hey, Teach! in all it's wearable glory. I found some simple teal buttons to finish it off and wore it all day Monday.

I have to say this is my new favorite sweater. Having short sleeves, it is a little less warm than Samus, my other favorite sweater. It is going to be ideal for this in between fall weather.

(Edited to add: Guinifer, I used the Rowan Yorkshire Tweed I bought at Knit Wits when they were closing)

For those who are keeping track of my dramatic pursuits, the cast list for A Christmas Carol - The Broadway Musical is out and all the ladies here at Chez Dramatique were cast. I am a chorus member and will appear in numerous scenes. The two little girls are both in the Angel Chorus and the "Christmas Show" audience. And Dancing Diva was cast as a tap-dancing soldier. Needless to say, we're all thrilled and excited to get started on yet another wonderful CVFT show.

Stay tuned for costuming updates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

FO Friday

It just goes to show that occasionally I can make a deadline, even a self-imposed one.

I just finished the ribbing on Hey, Teach this morning and just need to go shopping for some special buttons to make this cute little number even more delightful. I have to say that I managed to get this sweater to fit like a dream. But not without some thought.

I knew I needed to add additional length to the upper bodice of the sweater, considering my rather ample bustline would require a few extra inches to make the empire waist shaping actually sit where it should sit. This made it necessary to lengthen the lower half as well, to keep the proportion between the two halves correct. I added an extra inch to the sleeve length as well, just to make sure it hit my arm in the right spot.

All in all, it turned out so lovely, I can't wait to add the buttons and wear it. Alas, I have to work all weekend long at the ice cream shop, so the trip for new buttons will have to wait a few days. Thus, you all will have to wait for a shot of it on moi for a few more days as well.

I hope you can stand the strain of waiting . . .

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

An FO (sort of)

Well, Quilters closed on Sunday after a very successful run. I brought home all the costumes and managed to get everything cleaned on Monday and will return the costumes to the storage facilities on Wednesday.

Not that we're going to have a moment to breathe around here, though. Auditions started last night for the CVFT production of A Christmas Carol - The Broadway Musical. Once the cast is set, I'll be back on costume duty as I go back to just being a helper to the regular costumer.

Due to an unforeseen complication, I never did get out front to photograph the costumes. Because of my natural tendency to step in where ever help might be needed, I ended up working back stage. While I didn't think much of it at the time, I actually ended up being listed in the program as "Assistant Stage Manager" and was given a (gasp) head set.

I guess in theater circles, being given a head set is a high honor, reserved only for those intrepid souls who are willing to work behind the scenes for years, without fanfare or kudos, before being rewarded with the ultimate sign of trustworthiness - the illustrious head set.

Trust me, I am not mocking the vaunted traditions of theater but I was completely kerflummoxed when people started explaining what an honor I'd been accorded. Frankly, I was just available in a crunch and came by the head set by default. However, once I realized the enormity of the position, I rose to the challenge and did my utmost to live up to the noble auspices of the head set.

That being said, I was only able to photograph costumes from the wings. Most of the shots were too poorly lit or at bad angles, so these two will have to suffice to show the blogging world I was indeed busy costuming (and assistant stage managing) over the past weeks, instead of maintaining any sort of regular blogging schedule.

In knitting news, the sweater I started recently is progressing nicely. I chose Hey Teach from knitty.com as the pattern and am using the green tweed yarn I picked up on clearance this summer. I've finished the back and both fronts and have started both sleeves. Since the pattern has very short sleeves, I'm still hoping to finish knitting it this week - before the cast list for A Christmas Carol comes out and the whole costume whirlwind starts again.

While I remain optimistic, I don't suggest anyone hold their breath because you know my history of wishful thinking.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finish line in sight

Well, I delivered the rest of the costumes last night. I only have one more pinafore to make and elastic to put in the last pair of bloomers and I'm done with the costumes for the latest Chaska Valley Family Theater show, Quilters - The Musical.

Hopefully, with the dress rehearsal tomorrow, I'll have some photos to show. Not that all the work I've done over the past few weeks will show, since I had to make about 10 pairs of bloomers and 9 petticoats. Why all the effort for undergarments? Well, these ladies tend to be dancing, jumping rope, flopping down on the stage and generally flashing glimpses of dainties from time to time. Not intentionally but you know how stuff happens sometimes. Fortunately, our director was savvy enough to recognize the potential for disaster and all the ladies are well protected from embarrassment during the show, not to mention adding to the the historical accuracy of the costumes with the said garments. Guess I should take pride in a job well-done, although the audience may not realize how much it took to keep the "Family" part of the CVFT name intact.

On the knitting front, well, I have a new sweater on the needles and it's going quickly but you'll just have to wait a little longer for a glimpse. After all, life is still racketing along at a breath-taking pace around here.

Oh, and I caught a cold. Figures . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life Interrupted

Can life interrupt itself? Because I feel like I have no life of my own but the reason is LIFE.

Too confusing? Well, let me explain. The past two weeks have been a nightmare of scheduling "issues" that have had me breathless and exhausted beyond normal.

During the day, I homeschool 4 kids. Not horrifically difficult but I do have a 7 year old with some attention issues. Ergo, I have to sit in the room where she watches her videos and does her work text pages to frequently remind her to stay focused. She is a very bright student but she lacks focus for mundane things like grammar, phonics, math, spelling and Heritage studies.

Fortunately, I get lots of knitting or reading time in during those times when she needs me to sit with her.

The other three kids are pretty independent, requiring only minimal supervision during the day. A few questions, correcting a few papers, etc. are the most interaction they require to fulfill their daily school work.

Unfortunately, with two teenagers in the house, there is a bit of drama that tends to unfold on a daily basis. This includes battles over who gets the shower first, which shower whom gets and figuring out why on earth we're out of shampoo AGAIN when I just bought some a few days ago. (Shampoo hoarding is an undiagnosed syndrome that seems to be reaching epidemic proportions in my home). Then my expertise in the negotiations/peace-making realm are put to the test as two teen-agers battle over who gets which t.v./DVD player today. Although they have each been assigned their own, permanent a.v. system for use, there seems to be the feeling that this should be re-negotiated on a daily basis.

I could go on and on about the epic battles that take place between two strong-willed teenagers but I won't. Needless to say, these power struggles are never ending but a quick phone call to DH usually results in a clear winner - DAD.

The rest of my school day is spent checking up on everyone's work, household chores, bills, projects and other necessary activities that keep a roof over our head (albeit not always that clean), food on the table (okay, so I use a lot of pre-packaged stuff) and the creditors at bay.

Now, that's the normal stuff.

For the not so normal stuff: I'm currently costume mistress for a local production of "Quilters - The Musical." Guess all that work for Beauty and the Beast last winter set me up for more calls on my talents as a costumer. Not that I mind but I guess I didn't take into account WHEN the bulk of the work would happen and have been a bit unprepared for the added stress of the beginning of the school year and costuming a show at the same time.

Add to that a serious case of tendonitis in my right elbow from scooping ice cream all summer. Makes normal activities just a bit more painful than usual.

To top it all off, our first homeschool academy classes are tomorrow and I'm not quite as prepared for "Embellishing Ready-to-Wear" as I hoped to be. While I have the first lesson sort of planned out in my head, that's as far as I've gotten in my preparations for the class. Oh well, since these kids are supposed to be designing their own one-of-a-kind fashions, we can all just wing it together.

And of course, we have dance, hockey, swimming, Awana, Quilter's rehearsals, and occasional homeschool meetings in the evenings. Just to round off the insane schedule I managed to create this year.

So, if the posts continue to be a bit scarce, hang in there. I haven't forgotten. I've probably just been flattened by the steamroller of LIFE - again.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another drive-by FO post

Home just in time for bed (after a very busy day, of course) but I couldn't resist popping in to show off today's FO.

The Tweedy vest was a web only pattern from the fall/winter 2005 issue of Knitscene Magazine. Alas, the pattern is no longer available online. Mine was made with Malabrigo Seleccion Privada K, which I picked up on sale at Coldwater this summer. The colors just happen to be the local school colors and I plan on wearing this vest to hockey games. Woot!

I love how the pattern worked up. The neckline was a mental challenge because it used short-rows to make the front of the ribbing deeper than the back of the ribbing. Unusual but I think I like it. I'm considering making another one out of the green tweed yarn I recently added to the stash.

BTW, this isn't the only FO of the week. Dancing Diva's ballet shrug is also finished but I haven't managed to snag a photo of her wearing it yet. Stay tuned for an update. Soon, I hope.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Drive-by Posting

Just a quick update, since I'm still doing the crazy, headless chicken dance around here.

Tropical Punch socks are done, done, done! LOVE them, mostly because I mastered the whole spiral knitting thing. Although there are a couple errors, so I cannot say the socks are completely jogless, I'm very pleased with the whole technique.

Well, off to the pool with the little girls. Time for P.E., doncha' know.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Homeschool Co-op class prep

With autumn rapidly approaching, I've been doing some planning for the fall classes at our homeschool co-op. This term, I've been tapped to teach a class on embellishing ready-to-wear.

Just to test some of the patterns in this book, I put Dancing Diva to work transforming some men's t-shirts I picked up on the clearance racks at the local Target. On the seat, you can see the t-shirt as it originally looked. Across the back of the chair is the new look created by Dancing Diva. She used 2 t-shirts to make this camisole with braided straps.

Pretty cute, if you ask me.

In kitty news, we've noticed a new Harley behavior that has us rolling on the floor, laughing.

I'm not quite sure what the appeal is under there, but the kids sure get a kick out of watching him crawl around under the rug.

In knitting news, I've cast on a new pair of socks.

Just for a portable project . . . really. I am going to finish more UFO's, honest. I just had to have something I could do while waiting for kids. Truly, that's the real reason.

I am using the leftovers of the 3 yarns I hand-dyed a few years ago to make a striped pair of socks. What is really exciting about this is I figured out how to spiral knit in the round, so that there are no jogs between stripes.

It is utterly fascinating to me how someone figured this one out. For a very detailed description of how this works, check out Grumperina's great tutorial.
It did take me 3 tries to get it going and I do have one mistake in them but they are so colorful and vibrant, I doubt anyone but me will ever notice the goof.
I am doing a simple 1x1 ribbing for the sock, with plain stockinette on the sole.

Between the extra knitting time at various appointments and kids' activities, not to mention the heavier yarn, this project is going fast.

Oh, and I'll get right on those UFO's, too. Maybe . . .

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic challenge

Being a bit of a non-conformist, instead of joining the Ravelry challenge or any of the other Olympic challenges that happen to be going, I made the decision to challenge myself to finish as many UFO's and WIP's during the games as possible.

Perhaps it was a little less rebellion and a bit more guilt about the state of my UFO pile but, nevertheless, I just couldn't cast on something new without feeling like a flibbertygibbet or a gad-about.

In that quest, I've managed to finish two pairs of socks since the Olympics have started. Both were part of the Year In Socks challenge and now I am only 2 months behind in socks. While I'm on a UFO finishing quest for the duration of the Olympics, I have already selected yarn and am going through patterns so that I can cast on the July challenge as soon as the Olympics are over. I'm also mulling over the August and September rules and making some plans. The idea of finishing 7 pairs of socks in 5 months is certainly intimidating but doable.

Kinda like the women's gymnastics all around competition last night. While Nastia and Shawn seemed to be getting the short end of the scoring stick in the first two rounds (what the h*** was up with that???), they still managed to stay focused and win the gold and silver. WTG, girls!

Anyway, I'm well on my way to finishing Dancing Diva's ballet shrug and my new hockey vest, so stay tuned for updates on more UFO elimination rounds in the week to come.

Go, USA!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sick computers and other complications

It's been a long week - a very long week. I've had a very sick computer with multiple viruses, no ability to upload photos due to increased security measures I can't alter at the moment, and an sudden increase in activities children require transportation to and from, which has kept me out of the house and away from my poor, languishing PC.

Needless to say, I have lots to blog about but no TIME or PHOTOS.

Bear with me, friends, while we work out our technical difficulties.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's a sad day. I just got news about Knit Wits in Chanhassen closing this past week. While out and about this afternoon, I popped in for a look-see.

It was very pitiful to see the empty windows and the half-empty shelves. It's just another sign of a faltering economy, I'm sure, but one that hits me a bit more personally. I'm going to miss Mary and her shop, without a doubt.

On the nicer side of things, I did snag 12 skeins of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran yarn in the most delicious shade of blue-green at 40% off. I have more than enough for a twin sweater set. I also picked up a couple magazines I missed getting in the spring and a new book at a discount as well.

Now, I just need some free time and cooler weather so I can get back to a more regular knitting schedule. Which I have a feeling might be sooner than I realize.

Can you believe July is almost over already???

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What a week!

It has been a whirlwind this week. Dancing Diva had her intensive dance camp and auditions for the performance companies this week, as well a performance at River City Days this weekend.

Hockeyman had a scrimmage and 3 tournament hockey games with the high school players this week, as well as a shooting camp, Rock 'n Roll camp and Music Technology classes.

Bubba and Peeps both had swimming lessons.

And I have had to transport all of the above to all their activities, as well as working at the ice cream shop and helping hubby finish the Garage. The first photo shows how everything was before we started.

This is where we are this morning. I've spent several days putting 2 coats of paint on the walls and ceiling. Today, hubby is planning on installing peg board and rearranging the shelves and workbench.

We've been on a deadline on the painting and such because we are trying to arrange for delivery of some free cabinets that a friend is giving to my Mom. As you might remember, her home in Cedar Rapids was flooded and she is in the process of trying to rebuild. A very special friend had a kitchen's worth of barely used cabinets and an electric stove she has donated to the rebuilding process for my mother. They are in a time crunch because of contractors coming in to start work tomorrow, meaning the cabinets need to be out of the way today, which has put us in a time crunch to finish the garage and make room for them.

All that to say that I am still here, just running around like the proverbial headless chicken. As much as I was looking forward to summer and some time off the "normal routine", I'm now just as eagerly looking forward to school starting and the return to a "normal routine."

At least I had time for fiber arts during the school year. Meh!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still here

I'm still around and kicking . . . or scooping, as the case may be. This is the busiest season for the ice cream shop, so I'm working lots and lots of extra hours. The positive, saving lots of $$$ for expenses this fall (including a little yarn shopping, I hope). The negative, little crafting time.

I have been plugging away at a pair of socks as an anniversary gift for hubby. We celebrated 21 years of marriage this week but the increased work schedule prevented me from finishing the socks before the big day. I'm turning the heels right now and am heading into the cuffs, so hopefully, hubby will have a new pair of socks by Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a beautiful summer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Snug Rug Bugs

Yup, I think I'm going to have some extra door stops hanging out in front of the door when I finally finish the new rug. They can't even wait until it's finished to sleep on it.

Not much new around here. I've been working lots of hours at the ice cream shop and still battling some soreness and swelling in both hands. Ergo, little progress on fiber arts.

On the plus side, I've been reading lots of light novels this summer. It's been years since I spent balmy hours with my nose buried in books and I'm thoroughly enjoying my summer as a bum. When I'm not scooping ice cream, that is.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Slow but steady

I've decided to focus my "HOME" craft time to finishing up the rug for the entry way. This has become a high priority because the rug I have been using has finally disintegrated in the wash.

We've struggled with finding a rug for this area because the bottom of the stairs impinges on the area that a normal sized rug would cover. So for the past 8 years, I've been using a rug that is far too small for the space while hunting for the "perfect" replacement.

Alas, I have not been able to find anything that we like that will actually fit in the space.

To compound the problem, cash is a bit low at the moment. So, I came up with the brilliant solution of making a custom sized rug, using fabric from my stash, costing me next to nothing to create. Anyway, as you can see, I am making slow but steady progress on the rug.

The first picture is the size of the rug as of early Monday morning. Fortunately, this is a no-brainer type project. Since it is my first toothbrush rug, there are a few flaws. Initially, I didn't have the whole increasing thing down very well, so the middle is a bit denser than the subsequent rows. That makes the center pooch out a bit but I'm hoping with a good washing and stern blocking, the finished rug will be smooth enough for the front door to pass over without snagging and catching.

The second photo is of the rug progress as of this morning. Not bad for 24 hours, I'd say.

Of course, both cats are utterly fascinated by the new rug. Koda is constantly trying to curl up on it while I'm working on it. I've had to get a bit stern with her, which has led to an injured sense of martyrdom on her part and significant guilt on mine. She was less that pleased when I shooed her away during the photo shoot, as you can see by the flash of floofy tail in the second photo. Trust me, there was a definite cold shoulder being presented to me as I attempted to get a decent shot of the rug.

To exacerbate matters, now that Harley has discovered the joys of this rug as a scratch pad/sleep mat, I have an epic battle of the sexes going on over possession of the rug when I'm not working on it. As you can see in the third photo, Harley obviously won this round, as Koda is relegated to the corner. I doubt that is going to improve her mood today.

It is clear to me that I'll need to make two toothbrush cat mats as soon as the rug is done. That is, unless I make this one so large, they can manage to share it later.

Of course, being able to open the front door with two cats sprawling all over the new rug may create a whole new problem . . . not to mention the whole cat hair on the rug thing, too.

How come seemingly brilliant solutions come with so many problems?

(BTW, to answer Guinifer's question, pointe shoes are not as expensive as skates, generally under $100. But they do require specialized fitting and need to be replaced at least once a year, so this annual trip to St. Paul can definitely be added to the overall expense of dance. Ugggh!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dribs and Drabs

Once again, the insane pace of life around here has left me bereft of any coherent blog fodder. Instead of torturing a few disjointed issues into a semi-logical format, I'll just use the old bullet points to catch up on a few things around here.

  • I've been a bit of a fiber arts butterfly of late, knitting a bit here, weaving a rug there, petting yarn and hunting out sock patterns in spare moments. Ergo, a little progress on a lot of things but nothing worthing of photography.

  • Even if I wanted to post a photo, I'm having problems with uploading photos. DH changed some security settings and I've had to jump through hoops and play with settings to be able to post photos. While I'm getting pretty good at making adjustments quickly, the software just won't let me do anything with it today.

  • Would that be considered a bad software day?

  • I've been working lots of extra hours at the ice cream shop this week. A temporary crisis has made it difficult for my boss to be in the shop in the evenings, so I've been there every night but Tuesday this week. And it will probably continue into next week as well.

  • At least I'm socking away some extra money to cover gas expenses for awhile.

  • But I'm tired. Really tired.

  • I've developed a serious obsession with the idea of creating a fairy garden in our landscape. The initial idea came from Fiberit but a quick internet search yielded inspiring sites like this. Being the d0-it-yourself kinda gal I am, I am anxious to give miniature building a try.

  • It's time for pointe shoe shopping again. Dancing Diva managed to break the shank in one of her shoes and with pointe class every week this summer, she needs a new pair, pronto. So off we go to St. Paul today.

  • I like ballet shoe stores. I'm actually looking forward to it. Guess it's a case of vicarious living through a child.

  • I've finally been able to leave the splint off the Stupid Finger. I still have to be very careful not to twist caps or lids with my left hand or put any pressure on the side of the SF but it is gradually getting better.

  • Fortunately, I can type, since there is no pain using the finger straight forward or down.

  • It still looks terrible, the knuckle being very large and discolored yet. Stupid, Fat, Ugly Finger!

Well, that's about it. Of course, there's a whole bunch more about hockey camps, upcoming camping trips, the flood damage situation in Iowa and stuff but I'm all bullet-pointed out.

Ta-ta, time to go flit among the tutus.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confessions of a Scooper

It has been a crazy, strenuous couple of weeks around here. It has been difficult to get to the fiber arts and garden work is of the maintenance type that really doesn't make for interesting blog fodder. Weeding, watering, removing dead trees, putting up barriers against bunnies who insist on treating MY vegetable garden as their own personal salad bar and general upkeep has been the routine. The flowers are all blooming and the landscaping is nearly at it's peak in color right now but I'm just a little burned out on the whole garden thing right now.

What's more, the job has ended up taking up far more time than I first anticipated. Initially, my schedule was supposed to be Sundays and one Saturday a month. However, The Boss, enjoying her first taste of freedom from the 78 hour work weeks she's endured for the past few years, has called me in repeatedly for extra hours.

Frankly, with gas prices as high as they are, I'm taking all the extra hours I can squeeze in for now, knowing that summer is the high season for ice cream shops and the hours will decrease dramatically in a couple of months. But, glory be, this is hard work.

Sunday was my first 9 hour shift and by Monday morning, both hands and both feet were aching and swollen. All that scooping and serving ice cream takes a toll on the ol' extremities. Needless to say, it is taking a toll on the knitting again, although I'm trying to knit a couple rows a day, just to keep the ol' digits in fightin' form.

So, no garden or fiber photos today. And I think I need a nap.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Eureka! She's Knitting!

Granted, it is a bit slower than my normal pace but I'm back to knitting on Hockey Tweedy Vest. I get an occasional twinge when I get too excited and start speeding along but for the most part, it is relatively pain free.

I am so excited, I'm drooling over sock patterns and yarn, anxious to get back at the whole Year in Socks thing but waiting a bit longer to tackle the finer needles and yarn. In the meantime, I'm still dancing and woooting around here.

Until I have something really photo worthy, knit-wise, here is a picture Hockeyman took that he color altered and manipulated on the computer. Hey, if the hockey career doesn't work out . . .

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

God is SO Good!

I just got off the phone with my Mom. They were able to return to their neighborhood today and the damage was far less than anyone anticipated. My sister's home lost a portion of the foundation and the main level flooring will all need to be replaced but she has already been able to line up trustworthy contractors who can repair the foundation and help with the flooring issues. Her renter had stayed for an additional day after she and her daughter evacuated and managed to move most of her valuables to the upper level of the home, so she lost very few of her possessions.

My Mom's home only ended up with a few inches of water on the main floor and her flooring appears to be salvageable. Most of her antiques look as though they will also be fixable. Although there will still be quite a bit of clean-up needed, she has received an offer of a place to stay until her home is inhabitable.

This is amazing because just last night the sheriff who talked to Mary on the perimeter of the flood zone told her that most of the homes in her area were going to have to be condemned and she was devastated. What a joyful thing it was to find out today that her home and Mom's were not nearly as damaged as others in that area and they could rebuild.

I plan on spending some time doing happy dances and whooping at unpredictable intervals tonight. Woot, cha cha cha!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A slow return to knitting . . .

It was one of those mornings when I arose before the roosters. It was about 3 am today and, knowing I'd need to go back to sleep at some point or risk being accused of being a zombie this afternoon and being neutralized by some concerned citizen with a bullet to the head. Or a pie to the face.

So, rather than take a walk or do anything particularly stimulating, I chose to turn on TCM and watch Fiddler on the Room and try to knit. I cannot say that it was an unqualified success. I managed to knit 1 and 1/2 rounds on the May Year In Socks installment before deciding that the fine yarn and small needles were a little too hard on the Stupid Finger. However, it did give me some hope that I could perhaps knit on something softer and on bigger needles very soon. I am planning to give Tweedy vest a try very soon. (BTW, I did manage to doze back off around 6 am for another hour of sleep - guess I'll be safe from gun-toting, zombie hunters this afternoon.)

One thing that is also hindering the return to knitting is the achiness of the good hand. The good news is, I got the job at the local ice cream shop, It's Just Perfect. The bad news is I've been putting in a lot of hours training for the position. Who knew scooping ice cream could be so strenuous! I am sure that I will adapt to the stresses of the job soon enough but it is a bit frustrating to come home and be too sore to craft.

Ergo, there is nothing new to show in the fiber arts department. But my garden is definitely starting to come alive with color. This shot is if the Veronica that is along side the garage. All this sprung from 3 small plants put there 8 years ago. It spreads with abandon and I've transplanted much of it to other areas of the garden. You just gotta love a plant that just keeps filling in and spreading out like this one.

Now if I could just bring myself to go weed the vegetable garden. Yuck. Do you suppose the Stupid Finger is enough reason to pawn this job off on the kidlets?

Friday, June 13, 2008


Just when things seem a bit depressing (stupid finger and flooding), you get a present in the mail. The lastest Woolgirl Sock club installment just arrived.

I won't spoil the surprise for others . . . yet. But I LOVE the yarn and pattern.

Now if the Stupid Finger would hurry up and get better so I can knit some socks.

Changes in the wind

It has been an eventful few days. Some of it good, some of it horrible. My head is a bit discombobulated by it all and I can't seem to put a flowing, coherent blog post together. So to borrow a technique from Sheepish Annie, I think I'll just let bullet points do the organizing for me.

  • In an effort to come up with a little cash to pay for gas and/or a few
    payments toward a new car (my van is on its last legs wheels), I applied for a part-time job at a local ice cream shop. It's taken a few weeks but I finally had an interview yesterday and I'm fairly certain that I may have the job. I find out today.

  • Because I'm struggling with this whole "no knitting" aspect of having broken my finger, I have been prowling around the ol' craft room trying to find something new and exciting that wouldn't put any stress on the left hand. I ended up pulling out this booklet and some fabric from my stash and starting a rug for the front entry. It fits the bill as a "do no harm" project for the stupid left hand. We'll have to wait and see if I like the finished project enough to actually use it in the entryway.

  • I spent a few panicky hours last night trying to get in touch with my mom. You see, her home is on the fringe of the 500 year flood area of Cedar Rapids and the news about the flooding has been so dire that I was very much afraid for her and my sister. Unfortunately, when I did get through, I learned that they had been evacuated and their homes are under water right now. It is such a shock, since they came through the '93 floods with very little damage (a little water in the basement). But this flood has exceeded any in recorded history and their homes are anticipated to be complete losses.

  • As a result, I fully expect to make a trip or two down to Iowa in the next few weeks to help with the aftermath of this tragedy. Starting a new job and having kids in so many activities is going to make it extremely problematic but it will just have to be done.

  • I'm a little concerned about the broken finger hindering my ability to be as much help as I normally would be able to. Stupid finger.

  • There has been some question about how I managed to break the stupid finger. Well, it's not terribly interesting. On the one hot day we had on vacation, I decided to swim with Peeps. We were just stepping into the pool on the stairs and I slipped. I'm not even sure what I jammed my hand into because when I slipped, I knocked little Peeps down and my first concern was pulling her up and out of the pool to make sure she was okay. Only after setting her back on her feet and apologizing profusely for knocking her down, and watching her paddle away, did I realize how badly I'd hurt my hand. While the finger looked straight and it didn't seem to be broken, the immediate swelling and bruising made it clear that this was going to take some time to get over. Little did I know that it really was broken.

  • I've never had a broken bone before. It didn't hurt as much as I thought a broken bone would hurt, so I wasn't really too concerned. Until Mrs. Doctor's Wife gave me a little gentle rebuke, that is.

  • I guess I can't brag about not having ever broken a bone any more.

Well, that's a sample of the craziness of my life this week. Who knows what the rest of the month will look like. For now, I'll just spend some extra time in prayer for my family in Iowa and everyone else who has been impacted by this tragic flood.

In the meantime, here are some volunteer Johnny Jump Ups that appeared in my garden. Even in the midst of uncertain times, there is beauty to comfort us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yup - it's broken - kind of

After being gently chided by a close friend (who is also a doctor's wife) about not seeing a doctor about my finger, I finally capitulated and went in for an x-ray.

I have what is called an avulsion fracture. While the doctor did not tell me to do anything different than what I've already been doing (buddy taping and complete immobilization), she did give me a time frame for healing (at least 4 to 6 weeks). It's good in that I can continue to demand coerce ask for help from the kids with chores that require two hands for at least a month. It's lousy in that I'm not allowed to return to knitting or other two-handed crafty endeavors for the same amount of time.

Guess I won't be joining any bowling leagues this summer either. Gah!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Camping by faith

Faith can be a life saver - honestly. This last week is a great case in point.

Initially, we were scheduled to go to Kansas City. My hubby went to college there and has wanted to go visit friends and show off his alma mater to the kidlets. However, a week before we were to leave, he came to me with grave reservations about that trip. He didn't feel he had anything to base it on but his gut was telling him not to go to Kansas.

Since I knew how important it was that he pay attention to such promptings (he's had them before), I suggested several other campgrounds in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. After some research, he settled on one I hadn't even suggested in Hayward, Wisconsin, and the reservations were made and we were off.

It wasn't until we were back to civilization with television and weather news that we realized what a close shave we had. After hearing about the devastation from flooding, tornados and other weather-related issues in Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, I am convinced that it was God talking to hubby. The weather up in Hayward, WI was cool and misty but the few showers we endured were nothing compared to those further south. What a blessing to enjoy a calm vacation in such a beautiful setting without all the chaos that severe weather would have created. Whew!

In knitting news, I did manage to finish the back of the Tweedy Hockey Vest in the Malabrigo I recently purchased before injuring my left hand. The front is cast on and a few inches along but will have to wait a few more days. While the swelling has gone down a little, I still can't grip much with the left hand. While the middle finger took the brunt of the force, all the fingers of that hand are stiff and sore.

I did bring my spinning wheel out and plan to try some spinning tonight but in the meantime, I resurrected an ancient UFO from my needlepoint phase of 15 years ago and am gingerly stitching away on it until I can return to quilting and knitting. I only have the roof, sky and band for the recipient's name left. I can't imagine why I stopped working on this Christmas stocking when I was so close to completion but, alas, I did. Hopefully, it will be just enough work to keep me busy until I'm back to full knitting strength.

Well, we're off to a full day of music camp, dance camp, play dates, an orthodontist appointment and an emergency homeschool support group meeting.

And I thought things were going to slow down for the summer. Oi!