Archive for the ‘Mother-in-law’ Category

Organizing Tons of Fabric

In Mother-in-law, Sewing on December 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Thanks to my mother-in-law’s generosity and amazing good luck, the guest bedroom/sewing room is in major need of an overhaul. This is the before shot:

The trash bags piled high on the bed are filled with fabric and notions. My MIL received the goldmine from a coworker who was moving to London. She didn’t want to pay the enormous shipping fees to send it overseas and would my MIL want it? “Heck yeah” answered my MIL as would any sane woman answer!

My current system of stacking the fabric in the china cabinet won’t work; there’s not enough room.

Enter plan b.

Plan b involves shuffling the bookcases, buying a new bookcase, and reorganizing my current stash of fabric and notions. It also involves finishing the rag quilt before I open the bags of fabric. I know me. If I open the bags first, Elly might have to wait another year before she sees her quilt.

Sin Committed

In Mother-in-law on January 31, 2009 at 11:28 pm

I feel like the naughty child who broke her favorite toy after being repeatedly warned that she had to be careful. [insert heavy sigh here] I sorrowfully admit that I did not take care of my hand knitted items correctly and should not be allowed to receive anymore.

Do you remember those lovely hand knitted socks my MIL made me for Christmas?

(They are the green ones on the far right).

Well, truth be told they were a little bit big for my feet. I didn’t say a word, but my MIL noticed right away when she stopped by the day after Christmas for brunch. During our last visit to Dan’s grandmother’s house (my MIL’s mother), Gran let the cat out of the bag that my MIL was fast away knitting me a smaller pair. Truly, she’s the best.

But, I digress. I was trying to explain why I shouldn’t be given hand knitted socks again.

My MIL advised me that I could machine wash the socks, but that they needed to air dry lying flat. Basically, they were made from superwash wool. I’m a knitter; I understood perfectly.

Today was laundry day. I bet you know where this is going.

Oh, yes, I did the worst thing possible to these socks. After washing them in a load of other clothes, I grabbed everything out of the washer and tossed it into the dryer. Socks and all. I set the dryer for medium heat and walked away.

While pulling the clothes out of the dryer, I spotted the socks. My heart sank. I knew exactly what I had done wrong. I ran upstairs to try them on. The ribbed band was much tighter than I remembered. [I think I might have moaned at that point.] Determined to see if I could even get them onto my feet, I tugged the ribbed band over my heel.

Wonders of wonders. The socks fit perfectly now!

I don’t think this redeems me though. Maybe if I ate bread and butter for a week and knitted only with acrylic yarn. Maybe then.

PS. Don’t you love the pink bunny flannel pajamas my 5-year-old niece picked out for me?

Meet Maria and her Diamond Dish Scarf

In Dishcloths, Mother-in-law, Sewing on November 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm

It came yesterday!

It’s an adjustable dress form! I’ve wanted a dress form for years, but (1) could never find one that had my exact measurements and (2) could never find one that was reasonably priced. The beauty of this dress form is that you can adjust the bust, waist and hips to your exact measurements. I found it on Amazon of all places with free shipping.

I named her Maria. I didn’t like the idea of having two Marie’s in the house. That would have been weird.

Maria is sporting a skirt that I made for myself a few years ago as well as a sweater made for me by my MIL. The sweater was crocheted and given to me as a Christmas present. It’s so warm and fits me perfectly as Maria so kindly proved.

Note to my MIL: I removed the buttons because – to be frank – they wouldn’t all button this year. Dan isn’t the only one gaining weight from my cooking. Yet, I really love the sweater like this. Thank you!

In knitting news, I finished the scarf I had been working on.

Of course, I had Maria model it for me. She doesn’t fidget quite as much as I do when standing in front of a camera.

Since it was such a simple design, I am offering it as a free download.

My Wonderful MIL and an Award

In Mother-in-law on September 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm

I had just started writing this post up on Friday of last week when my internet connection died. Comcast stopped by this morning to fix everything. It took them close to an hour, but the deed is done. I am ALIVE once again! Woo.

Now, I can finally tell you about the fantastic package my MIL sent to me for my birthday. She apologized for it being late … but when you see what she got me, you’ll see why I didn’t care one iota that it was late. I was just so happy to have received such an amazing present. Really, everybody should have a MIL like mine.

My MIL made both the card and the purse. The card is stamped and then hand-colored. The purse was knitted and felted. You can’t see, because I took a lousy picture of it, but it has really long straps. It’ll be a great purse for going bike riding with.

Next in the package was a pattern book … for aprons!

You see, my MIL reads my blog. She found this book the day after I wrote the post about loving aprons and joining the apron swap. I’ve already picked out my favorite pattern and hope to sew it up soon.

Speaking of my MIL reading my blog, Dan will complain to me sometimes that he can’t tell his mother anything new and interesting about our lives; she knows everything already from my blog. Of course, I just laugh at him.

The best part about the package was the llama fleece.

From Spinning

Oh my gosh, it’s so SOFT. It’s even softer than the alpaca that I have. Wow.
It also has an unusually long staple – compared to the alpaca and romney that I am currently spinning.

From Spinning

Thank you so much, Mom (and Tim too)!

About that award I mentioned in the title, well, Susan from KnittingAlone bestowed a Brilliant Blog Award unto me.

I’m so honored. Thank you!

Since I read so many blogs and it is difficult to just choose 7 blogs to pass this award onto, I will follow in Susan’s footsteps. I will tag the 7 bloggers who recently commented on my blog. In no particular order:

Vicki of Knitting Dragonflies
Loren of Musings at Windyridge
Mandy of Sew Spun
Lisa of Purling Along to Stitch-dom

Nancy of Nancy’s Arts, Crafts and Favorites
Carly of Knitting and Sewing and all forms of Procrastination
Nan of Nannybird’s Crafts

Bees and Yarn

In garden, Happy Marriage Lace, Knitting UFOs, Mother-in-law on April 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Yesterday was Earth Day. So, of course, I had to plant something … anything. I chose to plant my new Columbine flower seeds. My original plan was to plant them underneath Henry’s tree (an Eastern Red bud tree given to the woman who used to live here by her son Henry).


While uprooting the few weeds, I noticed that there were several holes in the ground. My first thought was that a mole had taken refuge underneath the tree.

Miffed with his/her real estate choices, I started to fill a hole in next to the hosta plant, since the tunnel was causing it to lean over. That is when I realized it wasn’t a mole’s tunnel. Instead of frantic digging, I heard buzzing. Then, I saw a bee enter one of the other tunnels. I admit, I started to get a bit nervous. Normally, if you tamper with a bee’s hive, it gets a bit irritable. Yet, these bees did not.

It seems poignant that on Earth Day I learned something new about Mother Nature. Ground bees or mining bees are solitary. They are harmless to humans and extremely beneficial to the environment (my garden). So, I plan to do absolutely nothing about them. Even Dan, who is deathly allergic to bees, asked me if I knew how to invite them back next year. Alas, I don’t.

Rather than spend the day eradicating bees from my yard, I finished a new lace design instead.

The design is based upon the picture. I translated the Chinese symbol, which means ‘happy marriage’ to the best of my knowledge, into yarnovers and decreases.

My only problem is that I can’t decide what yarn to use to try out my new design. I have pulled out almost everything from my stash. I narrowed it down to the two skeins you see sitting on the red table. The vibrant red is sheep’s wool by Briggs n Little. This truly reflects the color used in the picture. My devil’s advocate would note that the feel of the red yarn is a bit course. The other skein was given to me by my wonderful MIL. She purchased the yarn at a fair in Maine. It is hand dyed and hand spun. It’s softer than Jake’s lovely fur. So, naturally, I am leaning toward using the sumptuous yarn. I hesitate because my MIL instructed me to use the yarn to make something wonderful. A lace pattern that I will probably never use, except as a centerpiece for our dining room, doesn’t constitute as “something wonderful”.

Fine, you talked me out of it. I’ll cast on with the true-red.

PS. Doesn’t everybody keep a Tigger on their work desk?

Visit from my MIL and other updates

In Mother-in-law on February 18, 2008 at 11:57 am
No, she didn’t pop in unannounced over the weekend. She lives in Maine. It’s virtually impossible for her to pop in for a visit to her son’s house in Pennsylvania without making some advanced planning. It’s a good thing too; I don’t think I would have been good company yesterday. I was under the weather and still don’t feel 100% today.

Alright, I’m going to get to the point here. …. My MIL has been visiting my blog.

I’m tickled pink that she has been stopping by and sneaking a peak into my knitting WIPs and ramblings. Yet, all of a sudden, I have a desire to run around and clean everything. Except, this is a blog. There are no closets to shove things into. So, instead I have been fretting. I keep thinking that I said something awful about her son lately. I haven’t, have I?

OK. I went back and read a few posts and couldn’t find anything negative written about Dan. I feel better.

So, let me tell you what I am knitting now that the Ode to Quilting afghan is completed. I have started knitting the 3rd tie in my Christmas Tree Skirt. If you remember, I made myself a schedule to knit one tie each month until all 9 ties were finished and sewn together. Since one project is never enough, I am also knitting on my mystery project. Why is it a mystery? Well, I would like to submit it to a magazine once completed. Rules state that you can’t post pictures anywhere prior to the publication.

Other bits of good news, yesterday I received my prize from EtsyGreetings. They were running several contests as a way to celebrate their 1st blog-versary. I won the 7th contest.

I received 8 cards and a stack of business cards of other EtsyGreeting card sellers. My favorite card is the one in front, a Christmas card by BBesigns. The snowman is painted in water colors and then adhered to a stack of homemade papers.

Other contest news: I won’t know if I won the Lion Brand Yarn Slideshow Contest until February 27th. Thank you to everyone who stopped by! I truly appreciate it.

Pretty Yarn Pictures

In Christmas Tree Skirt, Mother-in-law on August 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

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.

The August Challenge by EtsyFAST

In EtsyFAST Challenges, Mother-in-law on August 16, 2007 at 11:23 am

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!

A Gift from My Mother-in-law

In Mother-in-law, stash on May 29, 2007 at 3:17 pm

I have the best Mother-in-law in the world!

She came down to visit this week and brought me a gift: a whole tote of yarn from her stash.

Here it is all spread out.

Pink wool from Briggs and Little:
Lucky her, she is only one hour away from the Canada border. So, she slips across at least once a year to restock her wool supply.

6 balls of brown wool and one ball of white wool – vendor unknown

5 balls of brown wool:
This was a gift to my MIL from her MIL. It is very soft wool. It is also hand spun.

Several skeins of bright pink wool from Knit Picks. I will have to make this into a sweater … or a skirt … for my neice. She just LOVES this color.

Lastly, my MIL’s favorite find. She purchased this from a local fiber fair in Maine. The wool is hand dyed and hand spun. It is super soft. She was hesitant to give it up, but didn’t want it to sit in her stash unused for another year. I wound it up into balls as soon as I got home. It isn’t enough to make a sweater out, but it will be perfect for a shrug or a hat/scarf combo or a lampshade cozy.

Then, after gathering up all this yarn for me, she trolled through my blog and noticed that my balls of yarn were still done in the old fashioned style. In other words, I still wind them by hand. Insisting that she isn’t going to buy any more wool for quite some time (I give her 3 months before she caves) and that she has wound her entire stash into yarn cakes, she gave me her ball winder. Boy, oh boy, I can never go back to winding yarn by hand. I am converted! It took me 3 minutes to wind a ball of yarn. 3 minutes! Before it would take me at least 15 minutes even with my trusty umbrella.

My MIL made me swear that I would keep this yarn free from dirt and far away from those pesky _oths. Just to put her mind at ease, I took a picture of the yarn back in the tote, safe and sound in my cedar closet.

Thanks, Mom!


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