My Own Website

Have I ever mentioned that I am married to a computer geek? If I hadn’t, let me tell you now. I am married to a computer programmer. He’s a consultant for Arris Systems in KOP (King of Prussia for those not in the Philly area).

So, when I have told family members in the past that I have a blog and an Etsy store, they automatically assumed that the Husband set it up. I’ve actually fought with people who wouldn’t believe when I said, “No, no I did it all by myself”.

So, why am I telling you this? Because, today I set up my own website using Google Pages. No help from the husband, I did this all myself. I’m awfully proud even though it’s rudimentary at best. I still have 9 more patterns to upload onto the site, but I couldn’t wait to tell someone.

The pic on the front I created in PowerPoint to showcase all my 14 designs. I borrowed (stole!) the idea from Tracie. Thanks!

The “Buy Now” links on my website are from Payloadz. I learned about this company through the Designer’s group in Ravelry. Payloadz works in cooperation with Paypal so designers like me can offer downloadable patterns. For the icing on the top, the service is free until you start selling over $100/month. How great is that?

The Best Baseball Game I’ve ever been to

WOW! I am so glad I took the day off yesterday to attend the last Phillies game in the 4-game series against the Mets. It was amazing to be there. It was hands down the best baseball game I’ve ever been to.

Our Seats

It wasn’t a playoff game. It wasn’t a World Series game. So, why was it so good? Let me set the stage for you.

Coming up to this series, the Phillies knew they had to win. If we lost the series against the Mets, we would be out of the running for the playoffs. At the start of the series, we were sitting 7 games behind the Mets in our league. Thankfully, we won the first 3 games against the Mets. Thus, the Mets were desperate to save at least one game from the series.

The game was moved from a night game to a day game. Start time was 1:05 pm EST. The crows was 42.5K with approx 40:60 ratio of Mets fans to Phillies fans. To my right was my husband. To my left was a very nice, but very boisterous Mets fan.

And so the game started. The Phillies took a quick lead thanks to the homeruns from Howard, Rowand, and Patty (Pat Burrell). By the bottom of the 3rd inning, we were winning 5 to nothing and had retired their pitcher. No way the Mets come back from such a deficite.

Top of the 4th, the Mets score 3 and in so doing retired our pitcher. Top of the 5th rolls around and the Mets score 2 to tie the game. We gave up our entire lead! Ack! Throughout this entire comeback, the Mets fans are chanting Let’s Go Mets. We’re having a dickens of a time Booing them down.

Bottom of the 5th, the Phillies come back and score 3 runs off of 4 hits. That silenced the Mets fans. We’re winning again. Phillies fans are chanting “Sweep … Sweep … Sweep!”.

No runs are scored in the next 2 innings. Then comes the 8th inning. Pitching started to fall apart for us. Condrey is having trouble throwing a strike. Gotay starts the rally off by walking. Then, Alou walks. We start churning through the bull pen. First comes Alfonseca, but that only made things worse. He got booed off the mound by the Phillie fans after giving up the lead to the Mets. Then, we bring in Mesa. Phillie fans hold their breath; this is the same Mesa we booed out of town a few years ago when he could no longer save a game to save his life. He let one run in that truth be told was a run credited to Alfonseca. Mesa shut it down after that, but the top of the inning closes with the Mets winning 10 to 8.

Bottom of the 8th, Phillies come up. We manage to tack on 1 run thanks to Patty’s home run against one of the best closers, Wags (Billy Wagner).

Then comes the 9th, the Mets fans are cheering for their team. They get booed down. Then, Phills fans start up their cheers of Let’s Go Phillies and Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!

Flash Gordon trots in while Queen’s music plays on the loud speakers. He gives us fans a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom of the 9th, now it’s our turn to bat. Worthy (Jason Werth) gets on base with a single. He steals 2nd. Then, he steals 3rd! Ishmael (Iguchi) hits a single and brings Worthy home, tying the game! It’s 10-10. Mets walk Jimmy (!!) to invoke a double play opportunity, but next up is Chutly (Chase Utley), the best 2nd baseman in the entire league this year. In true Chutley fashion, he hits a single and wins the game!

So, do you understand now? Back and forth the game went. I have my boisterous fan on one side rooting for the Mets. Hubby & I are rooting for the Phills … of course! The crowd was electric. The game was highly fought for. There were some amazing defense plays. You should have seen the ball Worthy caught at the warning track. Then, there were all the home runs plus all the hits. I was exhausted by the end of the game. My hands hurt; my throat hurt; and my head hurt. What a great game! Hats go off to both our Fighting Phills and to the Mets.

So what did I knit on the way to and fro the game? I can’t show you. I was working on the Mystery Project again. So, instead I’ll show you the center piece for Baby Flick’s quilt that I stitched together last night.

Sore Wrist, but Worth It

My wrist is sore from knitting constantly the past 2 days. I knit on the drive to and fro the baseball game on Sunday.

Then, I knit on the train ride to and fro Center City yesterday. Plus, let’s not forget the hour and a half of waiting for the darn train to just show up. So, I knit to keep myself from going spastic. I can only take so much of sitting and waiting. So much = approx 5 minutes. I have the patience of a tasmanian devil when it comes to waiting.

Yet, I am pleased to say all that knitting paid off. My Big Dipper Scarf is completed! As you may recall, this scarf was knit for EtsyFAST’s August Celestial Challenge. However, I won’t be selling the scarf in my Etsy store. There are 3 mistakes in the pattern. I have no desire to rip out 6 inches of knitting to fix any of these mistakes. Nor am I willing to mark the scarf down in price. So instead, I have decided to keep it for me. It will make a perfect biking scarf in the winter. It is extra thick thanks to the double knitting technique, so it should keep me warm when the 20F winds are whipping against me. Besides, I’m worth it and I don’t rightly care about the silly mistakes!

I should have completed more knitting over the weekend though. Saturday was also supposed to spent traveling to and fro a Phillies game. But, the weather was so stifling that we called it off. Instead, I stayed home (inside!) and started on my baby quilt. I finished the middle square. Can you tell what letter it is?

While working on my quilt, Jake waited patiently (his patience is about on par with mine) while I finished cutting all the squares out. Which is a nice way of saying that Jake whined constantly until I got up and took him outside. It spoils him, but I can’t help myself. He’s so darn cute!

Little to Show For

I’ve been knitting several hours every day. Yet, I feel like I am not making any progress on my Big Dipper Scarf. I am convinced that after I knit several rows someone comes behind me and rips out the very same rows. It’s downright wicked behavior. If I catch who’s doing it, I’m going to draw and quarter them!

So, I need some quilting advice.

I was so proud of myself for attaching the binding fabric.

OK, I’ll admit it: I cheated. I went to Wal-mart and bought the pre-made quilting binding strips. It matched my quilt fabric perfectly and it saved me from having to make binding strips. I was sold! I attached it the same way I would have it the strips were home-made. I left the binding folded in half, lined up the open ends with the quilt edge and stitched with a 1/4 seam.

What is the problem you ask? Well, as you can see there is not enough fabric to wrap over the 1/4 seam and attach to the back. I don’t know what to do. Do I rip it all out? What is the proper way to attach it?

Onto the good news of the day:

  • I sold my 1st pattern on The Knitting Vault.
  • I am now listed as a designer on Ravelry. I have only added information on my Lucky Drawstring Purse and my Vase Cozy. I hope to add more patterns next week.
  • My entire weekend is going to be spent watching baseball. I am attending the Phillies games on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Naturally Spun sent me a picture of the Christmas Yarn. You see it here laid out to dry. The dye has set and it will be ready to spin soon. The amazing part of the spinning process is that she will be doing all of it on a drop spindle! I told her that she had the patience of a saint.

Pretty Yarn Pictures

Tracie had wished me lots of yarn for my birthday. Her dedication of then calling my MIL to have her send the wished yarn is really touching. How else do you explain the box I yarn I opened yesterday from my MIL?

Can you tell what yarn it is?

I think a closer pic is in order.

5 skeins of Manos del Uruguay! Woo!

Included with the yarn were 2 books from Jil Eaton. After a year of Hubby insisting that I could NOT under any circumstances dress Jake in clothes, he’s starting to cave. He saw the pic of the Cabled Sweater design in Jil’s Top Dog Knits and thought it would be a fun way to showcase one of my cable designs. I can’t wait to complete the 4 projects that are on the needles now so I can start on Jake’s 1st sweater. 1st of many, if I get my way! And about that 4th project, I can’t wait to tell you about it.

To recap:
Project #1: Mystery Project
Project #2: Big Dipper Scarf
Project #3: AWHF Shawl

So, what is Project #4? …………………………………. A Christmas Tree Skirt!

3 types of yarn will be used in the skirt:

  • 100% wool in plain white
  • SinFlex by London Yarns in Partita (sparkly green)
  • Hand-dyed & Hand-spun natural fibers from Naturally Spun

Here is a pic of the recently dyed yarn. Isn’t it lovely?

For more pictures and an explanation of the dyeing procedure, please visit Naturally Spun’s Blog.

I’ll post more pictures of Naturally Spun’s yarn once she starts spinning it.

Jersey Shore

On the 2.5 hour drive down to Seaside Heights, I knit on my Mystery Project, the one that is being submitted for publication. There are some people who can’t knit and drink alcohol at the same time. There are others who don’t recommend knitting while tired. I apparantly can’t knit and talk at the same time. Half of what I knit on the drive to Seaside Heights had to be ripped out because I missed 2 rows in the repeat. It wasn’t a mistake that only a fellow knitter would notice. It was the kind of mistake a child could pick out. Mutter.

I do have good news to share about my Mystery Project. My MIL found more yarn for it! What a sigh of relief. I can stop biting my nails now and just relax. I’ll have more than enough yarn to finish now.

As promised, here are some pictures of the trip.

Me playing Bubble Hockey with Hubby (Hubby took pic)

The view from the Sky Ride

A swarm of seagulls picking up tossed pizza crust

Over the weekend, I made some progress on the Big Dipper Scarf. It is now 15 inches long. I only have 45 more inches to knit.

Did I mention how much more slowly it is to double knit? I feel like the Little Engine That Could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

I also made a sleeve for the Chili Pepper quilt and attached the binding to the front of the quilt. The rest has to be done by hand: the attaching of the binding to the back of the quilt and the attaching of the sleeve to the back of the quilt. As the quilt is “virtually done”, I can move onto the baby quilt. Woo!

First Pattern on The Knitting Vault

My knitting pattern for the Lucky Drawstring Purse can be found at both my Etsy store and at The Knitting Vault.

Have you heard of the Knitting Vault? It is a collection of Knitting and Crochet patterns. All the patterns are searchable by Designer, Category, Yarn Weight, Skill Level, and Keywords. I am pleased as punch to be a part of such a collection.

Regarding my submission for the August Challenge by EtsyFAST, Tracie was right! The beads are supposed to resemble the Big Dipper. When it is all said and done, it will be a Big Dipper Scarf. And it will be a very warm scarf at that, thanks to the double knitting.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Hubby down at the Jersey Shore. We had a lovely time bouncing from arcade to arcade, playing air hockey, bubble hockey and skeeball. I’ll post pictures on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

The August Challenge by EtsyFAST

EtsyFAST challenged all its members this month to create fiber art items with a celestial theme.

I have cast on for my contribution.

Can you tell what it is?

Hubby guessed right, but I told him in advance what it was going to be. So, I don’t think that counts.

As you can see from the back-side, it is being knitted with a technique called double knitting. I love this technique because both sides look the same. On the flip side, it takes twice as long to knit an inch than it would if I would just knit it “plain”. Well, I suppose that is what I get for trying to be fancy. Hopefully, I’ll get it finished before this month is out.

More knitting news: I am steadily working on my Mystery project. Because I am certain to run out of yarn before I finish, I have the Best MIL in the World hunting down more yarn. You see, I purchased the yarn from her favorite store in Maine. And I can’t find it down here. I’ve looked everywhere – even on the web! Ackk! So I called her in a panic (I don’t sound panicky, do I?) and she said she wouldn’t mind tracking it down. It would give her an excuse to go yarn shopping. I think she’s wonderful!

Thank You So Much for the Birthday Wishes

It was a wonderful birthday. All the dishes I dirtied while making the cupcakes were left in the sink Friday night. On Saturday morning (my b-day), I awoke to find them still there (no green elves in my house apparently). Not wanting to start my birthday off by washing dishes, I decided to take Jake for his morning walk instead. I came back to find my husband washing the dishes. No, he didn’t just shove them all into the dishwasher. He was actually washing them by hand. You see, folks, his jobs around the house consist of killing bugs, taking the trash out, hanging my many pictures, cutting the grass and operating the air conditioner. The cleaning of the kitchen belongs to the cook. Thus, it was a lovely surprise!

So instead of cleaning the kitchen, I got to go play in the garden. The other rose bush is saved from the evil mower!

Afterwards, I started to prepare for dinner: ham, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. Can I pass along a cooking trick to you that I just tested out? Like most others, I tend to buy pre-cooked hams that just require warming. During the last 20 minutes or so, one is recommended to baste the ham with a brown sugar mixture. If you have kids visiting or time is of the essence, try this: baste the ham with molasses instead. The kids can help out with this one. Just hand them an old paintbrush that has never seen paint or anything else equally toxic, and have them dip into in molasses and then paint it onto the ham. It’s fun and easy! Plus, my husband was raving about how good it tasted.

Birthday Presents: Hubby got me a bike rack and tote to carry all my purchases back home. The only trouble is I can’t get it to fit on my bike. Typically, it would be attached to the bike seat pole, but I have to have my seat almost at the lowest position in order to reach the pedals (Oh, the joy of being short). Thus, there isn’t enough length of the pole to attach the rack to. I’ll drag it up to my trusty bike shop and see if they can’t advise me on what to do next.

My dear friend got me a Craft Tote. Isn’t it cute? It holds all my sewing notions.

The next day I went to visit my Aunt and Uncle. They spoiled me with a homemade dinner: roasted chicken, spaghetti, Italian bread, and green beans. It was very good. The chicken was the best though. And because they know how much I love to bake, they gave me 2 cookbooks and a huge tub of flour. (They had picked up a 25 pound of flour from Sam’s Club and then didn’t know what to do with it all. I go through 10 pounds in a month so I was happy to take some off of their hands).

The only bad thing that happened was poor Jake came down with an ear infection. I started him on the ear drops and wipes yesterday and, as you can see, he is feeling much better today. He’ll have to endure a few more days of treatment though. It takes both of us to get him to cooperate with the ear drops for he tries to bury his head in your lap.

So, all in all, it was a wonderful weekend and a wonderful birthday.

Thank you to all for your warm wishes!

Happy Birthday to Me

I made butter pecan cupcakes for my brithday today. They are supposed to taste like my favorite ice cream. Jake thought they smelled delicious, but gladly settled for a Greenie.

Hope your weekend is filled with fun and good food too!