Sunday, April 27, 2008

I just don't think it's meant to be.

I just don't think I'm cut out to do the 2 socks at a time thing. You may have read about my disasterous first attempt yesterday. Well, this morning I dug out my copy of Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham. I wanted to see if she had photo of the 2 socks on needles at the same time while your working on the gussett. There were some great picture showing 1 needle holding both instep stitches and the other needle holding the gussett and heel stitches of both socks. I thought "ahah! so that is what I was doing wrong." I had one side of the magic loop going down the left side of each sock from the middle of the heel (traditional beginning of the round) to the middle of the instep.

So being a trooper I decided to give it another try. Yesterday I had taken sock #2 off before I had round 2 done, so I had to take sock #1 off the magic loop and put #2 on to finish round 2 that way I would be starting both on the same round. I got both socks back on the magic loop and and attempted to do round 3. OMG I spent more time fiddling with moving the stiches along the needles so that I had enough looseness in the back needle than actually spent knitting. I finally decided to pull #2 back off (after finishing round #3) and do them individually. I like the magic loop for knitting just the one sock, but I think if I attempt to do this again, it would be easier with 2 needles. Because it was a nightmare trying to do both on the 1 needle.

I have come to the conclusion that I think I like my DPN's better.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chocolate Skittles?!?!?

Has anyone else tried these? They are yummy! My co-worker Amy split a bag with me. I thought they were supposed to be chocolate covered skittles and didn't really want to try them. But they're not! They are chocolate FLAVORED skittles. There are actually 5 different flavors, but they are all good: Vanilla, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Pudding, S'mores, and Brownie Batter. But she only bought one bag!! Now I must go out and find them myself. :o)

So Busy!

I've been so busy with my new responsibilities at work that I haven't had time to keep my blog updated. I'm loving my new job. I love learning new things, but sometimes it is a bit overwelming.

Anyway, I had a great time at retreat. I finished the backing for my Summer Breeze Quilt (sorry called it Spring Fancy last time by mistake). I had wanted to give it to Deloa to get quilted, but she wasn't there, so I'll have to make other plans. I got the tablecloth cut out for my mom to sew up, just haven't seen her to give it to her. And I started on the pieced sashing for my Lillibets Garden quilt. I got that about half done. I forgot to take my fabric for the 6" breast cancer block with me though. I will have to work on that this week.

I also bought a book/craft light from Carol of Carol's Quilt Cottage in St. Joseph, MI. The light bulb on my sewing machine is to the left of the needle so there is always a slight shadow to the right, which is where you line your fabric up. So I clipped the book/craft light on to my sewing machine and directed the long windy neck down to point on the right side. Amazing, the shadow disappeared. It was really worth the $13 I paid for it.

I am still working on my Crosshatch lace socks (from More Sensational Socks by Charlene Schurch). If you'll remember, I am using the magic loop needle on this project. Well after completing the cuff for Sock #1, I decided to do the cuff on Sock #2 then put them both back on the needle to finish them both at the same time. You know the "2 socks on 2 curved needles" type thing. WELL......Better planned then executed. It went fine for the heal flap, however it soon became a roaring mess when I tried to do both gussets at the same time. First I had trouble trying to figure out how to switch from sock #1 to sock #2 when trying to pick up stitches, so I decided to slip #2 off and finish #1 then Put #2 back on and do it. Well when I put #2 back on the needle, I wasn't paying attention and picked up the wrong end of the needle so that now #1 was on backwards. So then I had to take #1 off, carefully transfering it to bamboo needles and turn it around and carefully transfer it back. I decided that before I start row #2, I should probably look it over and make sure everything is going the right way. I follow around #1 and sure enough when I get done around that one, I should be lined up to start #2. everything looks great. However I have no clue what went wrong. I got so tangled and then discovered that had 1 marker in the wrong spot. I had to tink back part of #1, re-knit it, it still wasn't right, had to tink back again, found that I had I forgot a YO. By the time I got to the end of #1 I decided to pull #2 off and just to the gusset for them 1 at a time. I had just enought time this morning before work to carefully transfer #2 back to the bamboo needles. As I started righting this, wondering where I went wrong, I realized that if I had been smart, I would have gotten out the book that my Hot Cocoa swap pall, Sarah from Nebraska, had sent to me. Then I probably wouldn't have had such a hard time. Sure wish I had brought it along with me today. I also should have taken pictures, so y'all would have realized what a huge mess I made this morning. The one thing I did learn, was how to rip out a part the row beneath the row I was working on to fix a problem. If only I had fixed it correctly though I wouldn't have had to tink back the second time. :o)

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Longer a Peon!

So if I am no longer a peon (pronounced pee-on) at work, does this mean I am now a Pee-er? Or just a second level peon instead of a 3rd level peon?

Just to let you know what I am rambling on, I get the news yesterday that I have been promoted to Production/Purchasing Manager. I now have 2 employees working for me. If you will remember, I was given purchasing job when our former Purchasing Manager was diagnosed with a brain tumor. By default I started covering the production side too, since no one really addressed that and the production employees kept coming to me with questions and stuff to order. My new boss told me today that he has been getting quite a few compliments on the work I have been doing since I started in Feb.

Never really wanted to be a supervisor, but I think I will do fine at it. Currently I will be getting a small raise, while business is still slow, but once everyone is back to full time, I will be getting more.

Although I will still be doing most of my front office duties also. I.e. some quotes, sales orders, invoicing, commissions, accounting end of month rev. reports, daily bank deposit. God, when I write it all down like that it amazes me how much stuff I have absorbed from the many positions have been eliminated over the 12.5 years that I have been working here. Syscon is a small family owned business. If I remember correctly when I started there were 3 sales support people for 4 salesman and there were 3 people in accounting plus the controller, and another person who did HR in the front office. Now, we have 2 salesmen, 2 support staff (includes me) and 1 accountant/controller. One of the owners does the HR part-time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Retreat is this Weekend!

I can't wait. Spring quilt retreat is this weekend. I feel like things have been so hectic in my life the last couple of weeks that I really need a break. I even went so far as to contact the Saturday Med-Point worker (Rachel) to see if she would work my shift this Sunday and I would work hers next weekend. She agreed saying it would be nice to have a whole weekend off. Yeah! So now I won't have to leave at 11:30 on Sunday and can stay to 2 along with everyone else.

I have a list of things I want to get done this weekend. Why is it that the list is always too long. It never fails I always take too many things with me, but then again, what happens if I only took 1 project and really did not feel like working on it? Then I would be far from home and twiddling my thumbs. Or be tempted to go to the LQS and buy stuff for a new project. So really, I guess I do it to save my pocket book right?!? Nah!

So this time I am planning on working on the following items:

1. Spring Fancy Summer Quilt - I have completely finished piecing the top, but I thought I would use my leftovers to piece the back. I've never done a quilt with a scrap-fabric backing. Once I'm done with it, I am going to give it to Deloa Jones to take home with her and have machine quilted. I have been wanting to get another top quilted and this way, I take stuff to retreat, but come home lighter. Instead of using batting though I am going to use a single piece of white fabric. That way the quilt will be lighter and I can use it as a summer quilt.
2. 6" breast cancer block in pink/white/black for the River Bend Quilt Guild
3. Lillibet's Garden BOM - I have goal to get this completely done, there is just too much applique. But I would like to get all the shashing pieced and sew it into managable sections so that I can start planning the machine applique.
4. Cut out a reversible table runner pattern for my Mom.
5. Temple Gardians - Taking the applique blocks incase I decide to sit/sew and visit.
6. $2 Roll of nickles - for when we play Left Right Center. It is a super funny dice game that we always play on Saturday night; Late.

I know I had something else on my list, but can't remember it right now. I must remember to print out my 'retreat cheat sheet' tomorrow, so that I make sure I don't forget the silly stuff like needles for the sewing machine or towels or underwear (which I did one year!)

I am on the Saturday Dinner crew and we are going to be have crock pot soups. I'm making potato and April is making an Italian Vegie. Then we will have homemade rolls, salad and of course a dessert. You know I never have dessert at home, but at retreat we always have dessert with every meal.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another UFO Done!

I'm talking quilting here. I just have been in a sewing mood lately when I get home after work. Although I have been knitting on my Cross hatch lace sock when I get together with my knitting friends.

I finished my 2007 Thangles Buck-a-block quilt last night. I first mentioned it in Oct 2007. It was a block of the month program where you paid $1 per block. It is approximately a twin size quilt; 83 x 70 I think.

I also finished the first Block from my Temple Guardians Block of the Month quilt. Ok, it is only 99% done, since I have to finish appliquéing the eye, but I haven't quite found the right shade of blue for the eyes. My Charlie had blue eyes, so that's the color I want for my quilt. I am looking for a blue batik I think, so the colors will have a little bit of depth and variety.

And yes, I am hand appliquéing the blocks for this quilt. It has been slow going, because I was doing so much knitting over the winter. I think I started on this block in January and it is really not a large block. I finally figured out I was more apt to work on them it I only carried 1 block with me at a time instead of carrying all of them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Boy What a Weekend!

Saturday was a pretty eventful day.

The weather BEAUTIFUL for once; 60's, sunny, warm - need I say more?

I had a Bridal Shower to attend for my friend Teresa. She is getting married on May 10th (only 33 days away). I got up early and made a Veggie Pizza, Iced Tea, and Cowboy Caviar to take to the party. I even did the dishes, put a pot roast in the slow cooker and copied 2 recipes off for the Bride-to-Be. Not to mention running to the store to get some last minute items that I had forgotten. Talk about a productive morning! I had meant to get to Teresa's Mom's house by 12:30, but I was an hour late, because I decided to do a little pampering. I painted my toes and actually wore make-up. I reserve make-up for special occasions only. Mostly I don't bother with it, but since this was a bridal shower I went ahead and slathered it on. I'm glad I did, because after the shower, 8 of us went out for the Bachelorette Party(Me, Teresa, her mom Judy, her FMIL Vivian, the MOH Amy, 2 BM's Leslie and Michelle, her SIL Denise). Teresa, decided we should do an impromptu bridal shower, so that no one would have time to plan anything risque. We went for Margarita's at Hacienda and then to Club Landing for some dancing. I had never been there, and was worried that it was a dive. Actually it was a really nice place. They had a live band playing for the evening. It was called Blammo and they were playing rock songs from the 70's, 80's and 90's. Yeah rock music that I actually recognize and enjoy! Of course I left my digital camera at home, so sorry there are no pictures for me to put up.

I had a really good time. Teresa and Amy were drinking these electric blue drinks called something like Adios MotherF#$@er. They were a form of long island iced tea. I tried a sip and wow was that strong. I was not surprised to hear that it contained 7 different alcohols. Me I stuck with soda. I'm not much of a drinker and had already had margaritas before we got to Club Landing. I really would not have wanted to be either Teresa or Amy the next day. They each had at least 3 of those, maybe a little more.

I didn't get back to my house until almost 3AM. Then I had to work on Sunday. Not that it was hard day, but I would much rather have been napping on the sofa.

I still haven't quite made up for all the lost sleep though. This week is going to be a busy one. I started back to Fitness USA last night. I have really been slacking for the last month since my membership ran out at Pinnacle. I had a really good workout last night and the personal trainer was really good about my desire to do weight training instead of the eliptical/stair stepper/treadmill/aerobics stuff that they always push. My upper thighs and my stomach muscles are kind of sore today, but it's a good sore. I feel like I have accomplished something.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


NO Not Me!!

But my big brother Ray turned 40 today.

Happy Birthday Ray!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bowling and Sewing

Yeah I know the 2 don't really go together but that's how I occupied myself last night. Lest you think I am really multi-talented, I must confess that I didn't do them both at the same time.

I met up with Lily and her young friend Paulie (9) last night at the AMF Bowling Alley in Mishawaka. They have $1 Tuesdays. Almost everything is $1; bowling, hot dogs, pop, beer. Shoe rental is $3.75, but everything else is pretty cheap. I wasn't really enthused about going at first. I was having an "I hate the world and everyone in it day" (Aka PMS) and didn't really feel like going. But I hadn't seen Lily in a while and we had to cancel the last couple of bowling nights because she was sick. I did have a good time once I got there. I am a terrible bowler, but that's OK since so are Lily and Paulie. We played 3 games, I won one. The only downside to the night was that I ate too much junk food. I had some onion rings, a hot dog and 2 hot wings. And boy does it show on my face today that I ate too much deep fried food last night; Zits galore. I did find out that you can bring in your own snacks and they don't say anything. So next time, I will bring my own stuff.

Then I went home and sewed on a bag that I had started the night before. Last May, when I was in Georgia I bought a pattern for a mesh bag called Screen Play, designed by Nancy Ota. It is a tote bag made using window/pet screen. I had only seen the pet screen in black, but when I was at Sweet Home Quilt Co. in Conyers, GA they had some in HOT PINK. I loved it and just had to have it. Of course then the stuff sat around for almost a year before I did anything with it. Does that happen to other people too? So I dug out the pattern and the screen on Monday night. Then it took me an hour to find the right combination of fabrics to sew on my Hot Pink Screen. I made few changes: mine is a little taller than the pattern called for and I used belt webbing for the handle instead of mesh. I thought it would feel softer. Here it is:

And another picture with a picture of the pattern front included, so you can see what it looked like.

Here is a close up of the inside seams. This is the first time, that I have had any success with the 'pre-made' bias tape. It was used to cover up the raw edges of the seams.

The funny thing is that when I bought this pattern last year, my Mom and I thought it would be fun to make some for our Georgia/San Antonia family. I wanted to try the pattern out first, but when we found the perfect fabric in Kentucky on our way home we decide we had to have it. I went ahead and bought a whole role of the black pet screen at Lowe's to go along with our Mexican Loteria (bingo) fabric. Now that I have tried out the pattern, we have to start cutting out the fabric and screen to make 10 more totes I think. It won't be as hard as you think though, because they will all be identical. Can you say "assembly line" sewing?