Monday, August 29, 2011

vine lace vest

I purchased some green cotton classic yarn about 2 years ago from a clearance table in a yarn shop in Lancaster, PA.  It's been waiting for the right pattern/project/time to come along and call its name.  At the beginning of July, Maggie was playing basketball in a tournament at Penn State and I figured I'd have a lot of knitting time in between games - so I pulled the pattern for the vine lace vest and loaded up my clearance yarn in my knitting bag and we headed to State College, PA.  I think I knit 2 rows the entire week....
It was a start however and I continued working on it throughout the summer. It became my traveling summer project.  It went to State College, Pennsylvania, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Hershey, Pennsylvania as well as several lakes and swimming pools.  My biggest dilemma was that I only had 4 skeins and I knew I was going to be pushing it to have enough yardage.  But in the end it all worked out.....I added some extra length to the body and omitted the ribbing on the sleeves. 
This is a great pattern for those of you who like very little seaming.  It is knit in one piece starting with the back and then splitting off for working each front side. 
When you are done with knitting the body, you seam the sides and pick up for the front bands and arm bands.  It's a freebie on Classic Elite's Website which makes it even better!

Here's my knitty gritty:
Pattern: Vines Lace Vest
Needles: sizes 6 and 9
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, 4 skeins
Size: Medium
Modifications:  I added an extra 3 inches to the length of the vest.  I also seamed the armholes up a little more than the pattern indicated.  I left off the ribbing around each arm. 
Thanks to Maggie my crazy photographer...there's a reason all of these photos are headless.  In most of the photos I looked like this or goofier!   She gets me laughing so hard....
*** Thanks to everyone who checked in with me here regarding our week of weirdness.  We definitely felt the earthquake but everyone was safe and no damage was done. Irene blew through here on Saturday night and left a mess of leaves, sticks and branches in the yard...but thankfully that was all.  I hope this finds everyone safe and sound.   Here's to a week of sunshine and clear skies!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

right around the corner

I've got some recently finished projects to share....soon.  Really, they are just around the corner and if I could just turn that corner, I'd get them posted.  But we're switching gears and heading into our school time routine and for some reason that just seems to stall me out.  It's all part of easing into the new routine.  Eventually I'll get moving again and when I do, I'll show you what I've finished up.    In the meantime, I'll leave you with some photos of our summer's end.....
[Kristyn came to visit. Whoo Hoo! We had a wonderful time catching up and making new memories- here we are heading out to dinner and to see the movie The Help]
[beautiful veggies from Kristyn's mom and dad ~ Thanks Jo Ellen and Howard. 
We've gobbled them all up!]
[John Samuel and Connor scootering down the street~ John Samuel was thrilled to have Connor here!]
[boys in shopping carts at the fabric store....a new project was in the works]

[a day at Greenbrier lake, playing and paddling]
[measuring and cutting...sewing, measuring and more measuring]
[tubing on Lake Meade....that's Maggie and her friend, Michelle]
[sunset on the lake and a very wonderful summer]
So, that's how we've been wrapping up our summer days.....I hope your summer is ending on a beautiful note as well and that you turn the corner into autumn with plenty of grace! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

to market, to market and home with more bags

I have an overabundance of plastic grocery bags....they are like rabbits.  Despite the fact that I grocery shop with reusable bags, I somehow still end up with a plethora of plastic ones.  I actually like to have some of them on hand for wastebasket liners and for bagging up things here and there. So I've been stuffing them in a bigger bag and keeping them in our laundry room. They started to take over my space.  I am certain that they were planning a coup.   They looked unassuming, but I could tell...they needed to be dealt with.  So I did.
 I made this adorable grocery bag holder.  It has elastic at the bottom so you can pull out one bag at a time.  It has a great big opening at the top for stuffing in more bags.  And it holds a lot of bags.  Whatever it doesn't hold, I've decided I don't need to keep.  I'll take them back to the store and recycle them at those big bin. 
I also like it because it's make out of cute fabric and it makes me smile.  It was super easy to make and because it's quilted, it seems to be pretty sturdy.  I didn't quilt mine quite as fancy as the tutorial suggested, but I like how it turned out.
 I used this tutorial (thanks AnneMarie!)  and made it from material that I had on hand.  I think it would make a pretty nice a practical, kind of way.  Not sure that a grocery bag holder has the same appeal as a piece of jewelry or a candle does in a gift giving situation, but still.  Since I was ambivalent about the gift-ability of the bag holder, I only made one.  for me. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

flubber fun

Looking for something fun to do the other night, John Samuel and I found ourselves in the kitchen looking for specific ingredients.  I didn't have enough cornstarch to make play dough.  We were all out of heavy cream, so homemade ice cream was out.  Then I remembered one of the girls having brought home some flubber from science class one time. 
We googled the directions and were on our way in no time concocting and discovering.  We used this video and got perfect results the first time. (it helps that I use the borax for our laundry detergent....that's the only odd ingredient involved)  
This was the perfect activity for my creative boy....he played for a long time with the flubber and was delighted to show his sisters when they returned home.  (they were pretty impressed) And although it looks really was quite contained and relatively 'clean'. 
We just used regular old dollar store glue and added some food coloring before mixing.  The trick is having two with borax and water and the other with glue, food coloring and water.  You pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture and after some mixing....voila!!
We're already planning on a repeat performance when Connor's so much fun! 
If you're looking for a fast, fun project that keeps you out of the heat...I highly recommend flubber.  Even the name is fun!
....and his daddy discovered that when stored in a small can be squished around to make totally cool sounds that boys will especially enjoy!