Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New camp stool

Originally uploaded by katymac79

I received a new stool in trade for the portion of sewing that I did on Lars and Mary's spoked round. It was made by Mary's dad and I LOVE it!!! It is solid maple and I know it will serve me well for many years to come.

Look how comfortable and happy I am!

(photo borrowed from Mary's flickr account)

Monday, September 22, 2008


I think it is the starting of Fall that makes me think of things to keep my feet warm. I spend most of the summer without socks and putting on that first pair when the weather starts to get cool is a trigger that I need to get busy.

I started and completed 2 pairs of socks over the last 2 weeks. I have wool in my stash for 2 more pair (that I can think of off hand, there is probably more), but I'm still mulling over what patterns to use with the yarn. Both skeins were hand dyed by friends and I love the colors and I think that plain stockinette won't do.

It's hard to fit in knitting with all of the projects I want to complete in the house. The kitchen finally got painted this weekend and I LOVE it. The color is exactly what I wanted. Now I head onto the Living Room tonight to paint the feature wall. Once that is done we can start hanging pictures and put more things away. I'm hoping we have guests this weekend (our first for overnight!) and I want to have the DR more put together, boxes moved to the garage or out of the house, pictures on the walls, and the new exaust fan installed in the bathroom. I think that is a reasonable list for the week. I also need to clean before they arrive, but that won't be too hard.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Big Knit

If you are looking for something to do with leftover sock yarn, consider joining me for the Big Knit and knit little hats for Innocent Drink bottles.

There are 3 patterns on the website and they start by casting on 28 stitches and the hats can be as fancy or plain as you like. A basic knitter could finish a plain hat in an hour, probably less. Finished hats get sent to England and if you want, I will happily bundle all the hats together to save postage. I'm thinking I could whip up a half dozen in an evening. Their goal is to collect 500,000 hats, which will raise 50 pence per hat to help elderly people afford heat during the winter.

I'd like to see a company in the US do something like this too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Northshield Monkeys

Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
I love how this yarn is knitting up. The colorway is "Covered in Bees" and it is made by Tara from the Dyeing Arts in NE. The pattern is Monkey by Cookie A.

I knit the heel flap, turned the heel and started on the gusset shaping on the first sock at the MN Knitters Guild meeting last night. It was so much fun to see all of the State Fair entries.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Felici yarn

Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
I finished my socks at Coronation. I used Felici from Knit Picks in the Provence colorway. I used the pattern for the Lichen Ribbed sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage socks. I had to pay attention on the decreases for the toe and the heel shaping, but other wise it was a very easy knit. The yarn does all the work so I didn't need any fancy stitches covering it up.

I started a pair of baby socks during morning court and finished them on the ride home. (Teffen I'll get your needle back to you at business meeting). The socks should fit a 6-15 month.

I really love this yarn!

When your friends really know you

You get THIS for a house warming!

That was a fantastic surprise from Chris and family! I can hardly wait to use it and I do need to put down some quarter round along the baseboard in the Dining Room. Fantastic! (FYI, this is an air compressor and it totally rocks and I have wanted one for years!)

We went to Coronation on Saturday and it was a lot of fun, a ways to drive (and Koa drove the whole way!!!), but the group was very nice and really went all out for the event. I'm hoping that I have A & R convinced to use our new guest room and come stay with us for Rose Tourney in a couple of weeks.

Sunday was rainy so I was not able to work on the projects I wanted to, so I stayed inside and worked some more on the kicthen walls. P worked on his game room downstairs. He put up shelves in the closet and started unpacking some of the boxes. I finished steaming off the rest of the wallpaper, sanded some of the spots that I had patched, and started patching other spots. I'm hoping to have a coat of primer up by the end of the week.

Today should be dry so I should be able to stain the new boards for the fence and replace the gate. I'll work on the kitchen some more once it gets too dark outside.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wall paper and fencing

I didn't go to knitting last night. Instead I stayed at home and worked on some projects around the house.

There was an old icky undercabinet light next to the stove that was hardwired. I wanted to replace it with a newer light, but the one I had was a plug in. I found a conversion kit at Lowes which is wired in and provides 2 plugs and a switch. I found the switch on the panel to turn off the power (marked "dishwasher", we will need to relabel the entire box), disconnected the old fixture (saving for the garage), wired the conversion, mounted the new fixture and plugged everything in and turned on the power. Everything works and the new fixture has a night light, which is a lovely feature.

I bought new undercabinet lights for other areas in the kitchen and they string together, which cuts down on cords. They are going under the cabinet to the left of the fridge.

I spent the evening steaming off more wallpaper. I have a very small amount left to do behind the fridge and near the basement door and then I start prepping the walls, sanding, priming and then finally paint. I'm still going back and forth on the color. The test pot I picked up at Lowes is very pretty in the can, but rather blah on the walls. I think I'm going to end up with my first choice from Home Depot. I'm toying with the idea of painting an accent wall in the living room, a rich chocolate brown. I'm thinking this would be really nice on the wall with the fireplace and would offset the light colored brick, but we will see what P thinks. I placed his griffin above the mantel and it looks really nice. Perfect spot for it and I bought heavy duty hangers so I can hang it safetly.

Wednesday I started repairs on the fence, specifically the gate. There are about 5 boards that needed to be replaced and it's fortunate that I work at a company where I can get barn wood rather easily. I removed 1 broken board on the side fence and reattached the stringers to the posts using some galvanized screws. I removed the bolts holding the hinge for the gate and removed the gate closing hardware (which really wasn't in the best shape). I replaced the broken board on the gate and squared up the gate with a couple of angle brackets. It's still a bit wonky, but I think it's the best I will be able to do, it is much better than it was. I removed the broken board on the fence that the gate latches to and replaced it. I picked up a small can of stain on the way home from Ace and I'm going to satin the replacement boards before reattaching the hardware. I couldn't do that last night because of the rain, which is unfortunate. It will have to wait for Sunday. I found more material at work that I can use to replace the other broken boards and I will rip that to width this afternoon.

Tonight we leave for Bemidji to attend Coronation, but we will be returning Saturday. I want to get a lot done on Sunday and I hope the weather cooperates.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ms Fix-it

Went to IKEA for breakfast and shopping on Sunday. I Just missed the free coffee half hour, oh well.
P and I had noticed that we no longer had a good place to store the onions and potatoes in the new kitchen. In the old place we used hanging baskets and there is no place to do that in the new space. The large cabinet to the right of the stove had a less than adequate use of space so I remedied that by installing 2 wire baskets. I had to shim up the sides of the cabinet to make the space the correct width for the basket, but it worked. Now we have a proper place for the potatoes, onions and bread. Fabulous!

I picked up a mat for the front door and baskets and drawer organizers for the main bathroom. It was a successful trip.

I think the rest of the kitchen items were gone over and we now have a hefty box of SCA feast items that would work for a raffle and a number of boxes that will be for Good Will. I still need to finish steaming off the wallpaper in the kitchen and if the knitters don't come over tonight I may just do that.

Saturday I re-arranged the shelves in the guest/ library and unpacked all of the books. That was a lot of work, but the space really looks great and is super functional! I'm thinking I might want a chair in there eventually. A nice comfy chair to sit and read in, or knit, or sew, or simply decompress. I loved the Lunna easy chair. It was so comfy and instantly put me in the mood to read or nap. The choice of colors is not fantastic, but the grey-brown wasn't a bad choice. It's not a priority right now.

I've started going through the pictures and deciding which room will get what. I suggested that we put the griffin above the fireplace and I think P likes that idea. I think it will be a very elegant focal point for the room. We are trying to pick a date for our housewarming. My only requirement is that the kitchen is painted and the boxes are gone, so not for a couple of weeks at least.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Arietta sweater

arietta back
Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
I finally started this sweater and I have been moving along on it. I think I got the design under controll so it's just a process of continued knitting.

The design is made using a mosaic technique. It's interesting and unusual. The pattern is Arietta, which was published in Spring 2007 of Knitty. The designer is Barbara Gregory, who was kind enough to share her stash with me so I could have enough yarn to make this sweater. (Have I mentioned my love for Ravelry?).

I'm using Knit Picks Shine Sport, which is fabulous! I'm about half way through the back and I love how it looks. It should fit perfectly!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tulip baby sweater

I finished the Tulip Baby Sweater in the Sweet Baby Boy colorway on Monday. The recipient is possibly coming into the world as I type this. I purchased the kit from Coldwater Colaborative, which is part of the combined yarn shop in downtown St. Paul. I really hope that they have managed to do business despite the riots from the RNC.

I think the sweater turned out really cute and I love the colors. I had plenty of yarn left over, which makes me think that I knit far too tight. I used the leftover to make a very cute hat, which should fit the kid until he/she is a year at least. The sweater is supposed to fit 6-9 months. I love the Dream in Color yarns, the variegated color from the hand dyeing really adds to the overall effect. Just wicked sweet!

I picked up the Arietta sweater last night and worked a few more rows of the back. I finished the waist shaping and 1 repeat of the pattern (40 rows). So far I really like it.
Edit: The recipient was born at 1 am CST 9/5 and is a girl. I would put this sweater on a girl.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A whole lot of worry for nothing...

Final walk through of the duplex was yesterday and she barely looked at anything. She declared that everything "looked great" and we would get "our full deposit back". I feel really foolish that I spent so much time cleaning everything, but they had a list I was supposed to follow and I followed it. I have a feeling that most places are not left clean and empty.

I pointed out all the items that they really need to attend to: the broken grout and tile in the full bath, the water stains in the closet below the full bath, the black mold in the basement, the downspout that's pulled away from the house, the flooring that's coming up in the Kitchen and DR, the cabinets that are falling apart. I honestly doubt that anything will happen other than painting and new carpet, but you never know.

It does not matter cause we are out of there. The keys are turned in and we await our deposit check. Time to close that chapter.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Liquor cabinet unpacked

The built in shelves in the DR works great to store the alcohol and the cookbooks. Some of the larger cookbooks were regulated to the cubbards in the base of the shelves, and some may find their way to the library when it is put together. It looks very nice and will serve well for entertaining. I may re-think having my computer station in there, but we will see.

There is still a sea of boxes but more and more of them are empty as we are putting things away at a furious pace. I finally found the mattress pad and sheets for our bed so we moved from the camp bed in the library to our bed in the Master bedroom last night. I hate to say it but I slept better on the camp bed.

Now I am working on window treatments. I unpacked the sheers that were in the LR and they will work great for the windows in the new LR. The roman shades for the bedroom are divided to provide shade for the library and the garb room (I'll need to make another one to even it out but for a now a roll shade works). The curtains that came with the Master BR are still up, but they need to be hemmed and cleaned. I purchased a small pot of paint to test for the kitchen. I'll see how it looks when it goes up, but I think it might be too light.

P spent most of Sunday and some of Monday organizing the garage. It is really coming along. I spent those days unpacking more boxes and working on the garden. We finished up the duplex on Saturday and I dug up my plants to transplant them to the ne house. Sunday night E and I did this. I also created a new planting bed that will eventually be for herbs. Currently it has the bee balm, lavendar, dyanthus, and flax. The perennial beds got a well needed trimming and we cleared an area away from the garage by a foot. Better for the stucco to breath. I have plans for the bushes out front and the trees and the raised garden next to the garage.