Friday, July 31, 2009

A Tisket A Tasket, I made a Basket!

You've got to be kidding me! This is going to turn into a basket?
Amazingly they did!
Thanks to a lot of patient help from our wonderful teacher, Marielle.

Yesterday some friends and I went to another friend's house to make baskets. She is an expert weaver and her baskets are beautiful. All three of us started out with the same bottom - and all three baskets came out entirely different! What fun! After we finished the weaving, we dipped them in a solution of brewed crushed walnuts and the result was amazing!

We were even treated to grilled chicken for lunch and there was lots of chocolate available to counteract any frustration we might have encountered! It was a really fun day. I think I will be making more baskets....maybe!

I have to admit that basket weaving, at least for me, is not as relaxing as knitting. I finished my stash bag which was inspired by one I saw on Colorjoy's blog. I used small balls of leftover Noro in different color combinations combined with a strand of solid yarn, and just knit until I ran out of one or the other and then added another color. I love the way it came out! There is really no pattern but basically:

CO 40 sts on size 8 needles.

Row 1: Sl 1 K1 across,

Row 2: K

Repeat these two rows until the piece measure about 20" long and then BO.

Fold the bag in half and sew the side seams. Of course you can make it any size you want by increasing or decreasing the amount of stitches CO and the number of rows knit. This bag is

10 x 10.

For the braid, cut 18 lengths of yarn about twice as long as you need for the handle, braid them using 3 sets of 6 strands, leaving enough loose yarn for the tassels at the beginning and end of the braid - and then sew it up the sides of the bag leaving the middle part of the braid for the handle. After I took the pictures I added a crocheted loop and button to the middle of the bag so it can be closed. You can see that each side of the bag is different - that's what I love about it!

I think I've finally found a great way to use up all of those little balls of yarn that I have been saving up!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Although it poured all the way from Maine to Boston - the sky cleared when we reached Fenway Park.

Great Seats! That's DH in the blue sirt, and my blue bag next to him - well that's me!

3-1 Boston, top of the 9th,
two outs, Pap loads the bases, full count - STRIKE OUT! I Never had a doubt in my mind!

The Win! Thank you Red Sox (and Peninsula Ed Techs) for a dream come true!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some knitting updates

This is a KAL I am working on for one of our Whoduknit books called Murder Most Crafty. It's a collection of mysteries with different craft themes and directions for a project at the end of each story. In one of the stories the project was beaded socks, but for our KAL we decided to do a scarf instead. It's a little bit hard to see the beads on this yarn - (click on it to enlarge) but they do sparkle and I am liking it very much. The yarn is handpainted Zen Yarn Garden sock yarn (fingering weight). The pattern is here . The beads are from Earthfaire.
Also in progress is a stash bag knit from all those little odds and ends of yarn I have leftover. It's loosely based on this bag on Colorjoy's blog.

No FOs to show this week! Tomorrow we are headed to Boston and Fenway Park to see the Red Sox break their losing streak and win their game against Baltimore! We'll be brining along raincoats and umbrellas and hoping for the best as far as the weather is concerned!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family Reunion

A little fog and rain couldn't put a damper on the fun this past weekend as three families from New Jersey drove up to Maine to join us at the Bluff House Inn. After everyone had arrived and were settled in their rooms, we had a big barbeque with ribs, brochettes, chicken, pulled pork, and salads to go with them. Saturday morning dawned rainy and foggy - but the bravest family members went out on the lobster boat to see how they are caught. They arrived back at the Inn, soaked, but in good spirits! Then we all headed across the road and down a very muddy, dirt road, to DD's lake house for lunch, fishing, boating, waverunning, and what we did most of all - sitting around chatting. And who cares if it's raining - you get wet in the water anyway, don't you? Then back to the Inn for a lobster feast - way more lobsters than even this large group could eat. Sunday morning - and here comes the sun! Plans for leaving early to head back to NJ were cancelled as everyone went back out to the lake for more fun - this time in the sun. There were floatplane rides for everyone, more fishing, boating, waterskiing, tubing, swimming, and eating of course.

Here are a few pictures. There are more on Facebook (where I am Jane Donnelly Vdoviak).

At the Bluff House Inn

Let These lobsters live!

""The Pet Parade

Luba & Diana on the waverunner!

Tubing - hang on Georgie!

A beautiful day for a plane ride along the coast!
(Continued in the next post)

Family Reunion (2)

At the Bluff House Inn (you may recognize these people Linda)

Showing the folks from NJ how lobsters are caught.

Catching dinner!

The chief cook (my DH) and bottlewasher (DD)

Here are a few photos. There are more on facebook (where I am Jane Donnelly Vdoviak)

Friday, July 17, 2009

My new motto

Purloined from Robi on my Whoduknit Group - I just love this and have to share it with all of you!

Read Slowly, Knit Calmly, and Smile Often
Don't you love it!
Guests have begun arriving for our reunion weekend - and the weather is not going to cooperate! But I will repeat my mantra (above) all weekend and stay calm!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And the Winner is..............

Thanks so much to all of you who entered my contest and shared your employment stories with me. I really enjoyed reading them all. Wish you all could win! But the random number generator picked just one - and that was DANIELLE! Congratulations Danielle! E-mail me and let me know which gift certificate you would like to have.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

Wow - 17 days since retirement - were has the time gone? The days are flying by! This is the second day in a least a month that we have been awakened by the sun and it sure feels good.

I've been busy planning our family reunion that will take place next weekend. My DD and I have all sorts of fun things planned! DH is doing the cooking on Friday night, and her DH is providing the lobsters for Saturday night. We have the Bluff House Inn booked for the weekend- take a look - isn't it pretty? All we need is for the sun to stick around. My DD's lake house is just across the street (and down a long dirt road) from the Inn, where we'll go for swimming, boating, fishing, etc. We're also planning a lobster boat ride where passengers can help haul in their own lobsters for dinner. We have 17 people coming up from New Jersey, one (my oldest son) coming from Texas, and of course all of our family here in Maine.

I always have time for some knitting though. I made this mitered towel from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, which I've been wanting to make ever since I first saw it. It's also a free pattern on Ravelry. I'm planning to make more of these. It took almost a whole ball of Peaches & Cream for the light blue and a little bit of navy blue for the top. I still have to sew the button on.

Also always time for reading. I just finished Murder Most Crafty - quick fun read. I'm now reading Hounding the Pavement, by Judi McCoy, which Cindi sent me. It's about a dog walker who can talk to and understand the dogs she walks. Of course they are going to solve a murder - I'm sure of it! It's a cute story.
I'm also listening to Altogether Dead by Charlaine Harris - another book in the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Mystery series. I got hooked on this series when we read Dead Until Dark as one of our Whoduknit monthly books. It's different for sure!
Hope the sun is shining wherever you are too!

Monday, July 06, 2009

How do you organize your stash?

I spent the morning organizing some of my stash. A lot of this is partial skeins of yarn left over from projects. I have a big plastic tote that I usually put them in, but can never find what I am looking for. I'm trying to organize them in plastic bags according to weight , type of yarn, etc. Of course I don't always know what kind of yarn it is - so I have a mystery - bag too. I thought I had a bag to actually (gasp) throw away. It's full of small little balls of yarn that are not possible big enough to make anything out of .....or are they? How about a mystery ball where I just start winding them all together, into a big ball, thick, thin, wool, cotton, acrylic, whatever, and then just start knitting a scarf or something out of it? Okay - that goes back into the tote. I'll get to that scarf as soon as I finish the 100 or so things I have in my Ravelry queue.

I do have one FO to show - this is a cute little purse I couldn't resist.

It's called Twitterpated

And I did use up one of those partial skeins of some kind of black wool, and lined it with some red & black flannel material (another stash, but I don't want to talk about it!)

I still have to decide on a handle or straps for it. I think I'll probably just do an i-cord strap.

I also think it needs a red flower or something on the front of it - what do you think?

And, as a reward for all of my hard work - look what I found in my mailbox this morning - these pretty stitch markers from Aunt Kathy. (not really my Aunt Kathy - that's her blog name). I think I might have won them in a contest but I can't remember! Thank you Kathy - I love them!
Don't forget to enter my contest (below)!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Retirement Contest- time to pay it forward

I've received so many gifts and good wishes on my retirement from my blogger friends - it's time to give back!
As I look back on my career in education I have many, many, memories - enough to fill a book (which I just may do!). But before going into education I did have some other 'memorable' jobs.
My first, besides babysitting, was during my senior year in high school. I worked at BB Rider Frigidaire in Clifton, NJ. after school and Saturday mornings. BB Rider was an authorized Frigidaire repair and most of the time I spent there was filing work orders. This was where I learned to hate filing! But, on Saturday mornings I got to answer the phone and take service calls. That was the fun part. A refrigerator that was not running was a priority, but a dishwasher was not - try to explain that to the lady who did not know what to do with all the dirty dishes in her sink! After High School I worked temp jobs during college vacations. That meant I would get a call in the morning telling me where I would be working that day, or that week. The most memorable temp. job that I had was at Maxwell House Coffee in Hoboken NJ - I filled in there for a couple of weeks and rode the train in from Clifton. You could smell the coffee from blocks away and we had free coffee and donuts all day long. This was where I was working when I heard the news that JFK had been assassinated.
After I married, I moved to Washington D.C. with my sailor husband, and got a civil service job at the Pentagon - the five sided puzzle palace on the Potomac was indeed a puzzle to me and I often got lost in its hallways. It was also the cushiest job I ever had. I worked for an Admiral who traveled a lot, and while he was away I knit - I made afghans for everyone! My most important job there was to get him and his golfing buddies a good tee time at the Army/Navy Country Club. The next 13 years were spent at home raising my kids - and yes, that is the most challenging and most rewarding job in the world. I went back to work when my youngest son was in 2nd grade - in the same school that my children attended, so I wasn't far away from them. Well, if you read my blog, you know the rest - I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching my own grandchildren when they started school. And after, let's see, starting from my first job - that would be.....48 years? I am officially retired. that I've made you read my life story - here is the contest! Leave me a comment telling me something about your work career, whether it be in or out of the home - something memorable, something funny, something disastrous - whatever. The contest will run for two weeks, and on July 14 I'll choose a winner.

The prize represents my two passions - reading and knitting and my wish to share these passions with you! It is a $25 gift certificate to Knitpicks, or a $25 gift certificate to - your choice.