Monday, November 30, 2009

And we're back

Well, a week of family fun kinda took it out of me, but I did manage to get lots of crafting time in. We finished the dress, which was a much bigger undertaking than either of us thought. I did most of the stitching and my sister-in-law pressed like a champ and did lots and lots of trimming and pinning. She also stitched down the ribbon detail around the neckline (I was pretty spent at that point). The result is adorable I think, and a perfect fit to boot! My s-i-l will take some gorgeous pictures with all the right accessories I'm sure. And eventually this will get passed down to my little munchkin, which might be the most exciting part!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Old Friends and New Projects

Now begins that whirlwind time of year. We managed to get a bed set up in the craft room so we can accommodate visitors and my sister-in-law and niece got to test it out this weekend. The boys are off doing what boys do this time of year, so the gals set out to do some shopping. My sister-in-law decided we needed to work on a sewing project of some sort and we ended up getting fabric and a pattern to make a Christmas dress for her daughter (4 years old). We slaved all afternoon yesterday and managed to complete most of the bodice. We chose a somewhat tedious pattern (imho), but it's turning out quite cute I think. They're headed back here today, but grandma will be along to wrangle the kids. Yay! I'm expecting to finish the dress before the day is out. Can't wait to get some pictures!

I did manage to get a little further on my quilt before the welcome interruptions arrived. I might be able to finish the top of the quilt before the week is out. I've got supplies for another project that I can't wait to get started on. Hope you're enjoying some interruptions this week!
P.S. I wore my new skirt yesterday. Such fun.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Raw Apple Cake

I managed to bake something the other day and it's destined to be a family favorite, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

Raw Apple Cake
2 C Sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 C Oil
2 C Flour
2 t Soda
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Salt
3/4 C Walnuts
5 C Chopped unpeeled apples

Mix sugar, eggs and oil (I used butter instead). Mix flour, soda, cinnamon and salt and add to above mixture. Fold in walnuts and unpeeled apples (I peeled mine). Bake in greased and floured 9 x 13-inch cake pan for 1 hour at 325°. Top with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz. Cream cheese
3/4 Stick butter
1 t Vanilla
1 3/4 C Powdered sugar

My mom has made this a few times and left off the frosting. It's delicious that way, but I'm a sucker for cream cheese so I had to give it a whirl. So get rid of those questionable apples you've been hanging onto for too long and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Skirt and Itty Bitty Fun

Saturday I headed down to the not-so-local local yarn shop, Shepherd's Choice (I live in the boondocks, nothing is actually local). Susan made the shop part of her book tour, so I got to say hi and get my book signed and she got to meet Lizzie. Both my mom and sister made it out to the event too. We made sure to get a picture of all of us. My mom is on the left and my sister on the right (just looked at her post title, we must be related). I look like I'm trying to sing the lead in this picture. Not sure why I'm so much farther forward. I guess cuz my arms were full!

The little nugget enjoyed all the attention of course, but was wore out before the end and couldn't keep her eyes open in spite of all the activity around her.
If you're in the Twin Cities you really need to check out Kathy's shop. Her new location is really gorgeous and she's got a complete inventory of Blue Sky and Spud & Cholë. She also carries a line of hand made soaps, lotions and other wonderful items. I love the tea tree and lavender soap and hers is the only lip balm I buy now.

Sunday, I managed to get my skirt hemmed. It still needs a few finishing touches, but it's wearable. I love the kick pleats in back and the hot pink lining. Can't wait to wear it. Now I need to get back to the quilt and maybe some other fun sewing projects for the little one. I better stop typing and get myself to the store for some thread!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The mouse and the elephant should be friends

Well, the Itty Bitty knitting is done (for now). I'm shipping off the last Cat & Mouse with the Lion & Elephant. It's such a relief to be done, but I'll be adding some reversibles to my personal knitting fairly soon. I'm hoping I can steal away some time tomorrow morning to devote to my skirt. I'm so close I can taste it! My afternoon will be occupied with a visit to the LYS to see none other than the illustrious designer whose patterns I've been working up over the past several weeks (I think I've been watching too much Sherlock Holmes on Netflix. I'm starting to talk like him).
The quilt has been on the backburner amidst all this, but I should have some time next week to pick it back up. The next knitting project on the agenda is a design I'm working on for Blue Sky Alpacas fall 2010 collection. Stay tuned for images of my latest pattern, which I hear they'll be posting on their site soon. I'm super excited about it and I think a knitalong may be in store in the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Elephant, No Skirt

The Elephant & Lion Reversible is now complete and I'm doing up a second Cat & Mouse. I didn't end up finishing the skirt and decided to give the knitting projects priority for the week. (Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a bit of time to finish seams and hem in time for Sunday). I did manage to get the skirt fitted though, with the help of my mom. Thanks Mom! I think Mr. Elephant turned out almost as cute as Mr. Lion, but it's hard to compete with that dreadlock-like mane. Well, I'd better get back to it. I'm having company today and have quite a few things to set to rights. I hope your projects are coming together too!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A little distraction

Well, I'm moving along on the elephant (he can't hear or see yet, or touch for that matter, but getting close). I took a little time away from knitting the last couple days to finally start putting together a skirt I cut out a couple weeks ago. I bought the fabric for it last winter I think and never got around to making anything. It's a super dark brown wool-blend with little pink dots. I decided to go with a simple straight skirt (with 2 kick pleats in back) and picked up some hot pink lining to spice it up a bit. The pattern is Simplicity 2475. I'm to the point of fitting now, which means calling in some reinforcements (my mom). Hopefully I'll have a picture of a completed skirt to show in the next day or two. Hopefully...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Lion. Check.

The Lion came together nicely yesterday. I'm moving on the elephant today, but the knitting will be interrupted by a doctor appointment this afternoon. The little plumper has a sixth month checkup (a few weeks late, go figure). I'm dying to know what she weighs... she feels like a bag of bricks lately. How does that happen so fast? Anyway, she enjoyed the lion. I'm sure he tastes about as good as the rest of her toys. I think he turned out super cute. Hope I have enough yarn left to do one of my own. Although, these toys would be great stash busters.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The State of the Quilt (and some other stuff)

The quilt is moving right along (in spite of the fact I haven't worked on it in days). I'm still filling in a few gaps due to a poor counting job on my part. I'm happy with how it is shaping up though. I'm taking a bit of a break from it to finish up a couple more Itty Bitty projects. The Cat & Mouse are traveling with Susan on her book tour right now. I've got lots of pieces to stitch together today, but I think we may have a lion before the day is through.