Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Whew! I'm exhausted!

We just got back from an incredible trip to Philadelphia.


Here's a Memorial Day Appropriate photo from the trip.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Park, Philadelphia.

Kinda creepy walking around so many unmarked graves.

Chunky thought it was kind of thoughtless to be walking all around them...but then we explained it was even more thoughtless to go digging them up and was easier just to consecrate the whole area instead.

More less solemn pictures to follow when I have a moment!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just Give Me Something To Blog About!

Due to:
a) a tragic yarn atrocity here in our neck of the non-existent woods; and

b) the fact that it's starting to get hot out again (Bah! Give me the snow drifts of February any day!) I haven't been doing too much knitting.

However I have been doing some sewing!

I think I picked this style dress because I saw my now ex-boss wearing this type of dress and I really dug it.

The style?

A shirt dress.

Oh my waspy little waist!

The details:

Pattern: 4/2010 Shirt Dress #116 by BurdaStyle

Fabric: Some hot pink seer sucker from

Notes: Oh where to start!

This is the second BurdaStyle pattern I've sewn. The first one had seam allowances built into the pattern. This one did not. (Most of the BurdaStyle patterns don't seem to have seams..ha ha!). I compensated for this buy cutting for a size larger than I needed and using mainly 1/2 seams except on the side seams where I used a 5/8" seam.

It's not bad. A bit bulkier than I'd like but shifty and cool. I think the general fit stays true to the original pattern.

The only problem with sewing it the way I sewed it were the bust darts.


They're a little too low. Ah well. It's not like the girls are getting perkier in their old age!

Some of the things I learned doing this pattern were how to sew a yoke on a shirt. I used this tutorial to figure it out since I find Burda patterns (all two of them that I've done!) kind of scant with the instructions.

And I got more practice sewing a stand collar. This is the fourth shirt-collared item I've made and this is my best collar yet!


One of the things I didn't like about this pattern was the fact that it neglected to tell you that it's actually a pattern for a shirt AND a shirt dress. So there are options for long sleeves. That took me a minute to figure out.

Additionally, there's no pattern piece for the belt. They show it on the layout diagram, but it's not there.

Not a big deal though. It's a belt.

Overall I gotta say I love this dress!


Finally I'd like to give a shout out to my lovely assistant Moochie--


Who kept the floor warm for me while I finished this!!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gray Brown Sunday

It's raining. And stinky here in lovely Nueva Jersey.

On Friday night/Saturday morning I was jarred out of my sleep by our doorbell being frantically rang.

I wasn't about to answer it. Mainly because it could have been crazy drunk people from across the street and I didn't feel like putting pants on. Mainly the latter.

On Saturday morning we discovered why.

Allegedly the daycare center two doors down from us flushed a mop head (swiffer???) causing the sewer lines to back up and flood about eight houses with raw sewage in their basements.

The house to the left of us got it bad and so did the house to the right of us. If you go outside or crack the windows, it smells like what I imagine a Brazilian shanty town would smell like.

And just like a Brazilian shanty town, the neighbors to the right of us, while they were waiting for the cleaning crew to extract their shit-laden belongings from the basement (note to self, when we purchase a house use basement only for tornado shelter purposes, not storage), the decided to start dumping sewage by the bucket load into the gutter in front of their house--and thus in front of ours.



At least Brazilian shanty town residents have abject poverty as a legitimate reason for living in poorly sanitized conditions. Not supreme ignorance and apparent common sense retardation.

Aside from the stank wafting from all angles--we were luckily pretty much untouched by the back up. I think because Basement Neighbor lives in the basement so it's a finished basement. I also heard that Upstairs Neighbors had some shit squirt out of their dishwasher when they tried to run it Saturday. We luckily had none of that happen to us.

Since it was raining and the stink and the rain confined us pretty much indoors, I took the opportunity to whip out my annual summer skirt.


It's my standard bias skirt from McCalls's pattern 2255. I made a skirt from that patter in 2009, 2010, and now 2011.

This year though I went with 100% rayon.

The print is a Kaffe Fassett for Rowan called "Asian Circles." I got it on sale from


Dr. Mad Scientist thinks it would be great paired with a coconut bra and roasted pig.

Whatever, I like it and it will be wonderful to wear when the weather gets up to 90 degrees.

Which, I gotta say am glad it wasn't this weekend when the brown tide came rolling in!!!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011


I love weekends that I'm not obligated to do anything.

I had one of those two weeks ago and so Chunky and I hit up the annual Newark Public Library Book Sale.

They didn't have as great a selection in the craft and hobby section as they have had in the past.

I almost didn't buy anything.

I contemplated buying this:


But I'm not as into crochet as I am knitting (only because I can't follow a crochet pattern to save my life!).

However, when I flipped open this book and saw this:


I figured I'd spend the $2 to buy it!

I haven't been able to find out much on Annette Feldman, but hey--$2.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to head back to my regularly scheduled lazy weekend!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It Was Bound To Happen

Have you seen this article about a study they did that says the average woman turns into her mother at age 32.

Well I'm right on target it would seem.

With a little over a month left of being 32, my latest creation is this:


A real honest to god quilt! Just like Mom would make! (Although hers would be better...).

Ok, well it's like a wall hanging/baby sized quilt.


Remember that jelly roll I teased about?

This is what it became.

Partially inspired by the Amish quilts my mom used to make back in the day and knottygnome's wonky-quilt obsession (I tried to make this wonky, but I think it looks more "sloppy chic" than wonky), I decided to use the jelly roll to make my take on what I believe is called an "Amish Roman Shade" pattern.

In keeping with the Amish tradition of intentionally effing up one piece of the quilt (because they believe only God can make perfect things--or at least that's the word on the street as to why they do this) I quilted one black triangle in white thread.


Um, yeah, totally intentional *cough.*

Overall I am HIGHLY impressed with Toni Janome and her ability to quilt. She went through the layers like a hot knife through butter. I am very satisfied with my purchase of a DC3050. I wanted a machine that could sew clothing and quilts with no problems--and she does.

The Beast would have had a seizure as soon as I tried to stitch the first stitch on this quilt.

I had to wash this quilt after I was done with it to, for reasons to be discussed later. Normally I'm not into the crinkly-quilted look for decorative quilts--but I'm a convert now!


Two thumbs up!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great Minds

So did you happen to see Turtlegirl's Zebra Socks?

The cool mismatched stripey socks she made for her mom?

I laughed when I saw them--for the socks I finished last week bear a striking resemblance.


The details--

Pattern: Nothing fancy, just my own.

Yarn: Spud & Chole Fine--80% wool/20% silk (purrrr!)

Needles: US 2

Notes: When I saw the skein of yellow sitting next to the skein of purple at the yarn store, I instantly thought of Mrs. Zimmerman.

No, no, not Elizabeth Zimmerman--Florence Zimmerman. While kids today read Harry Potter, I cut my teeth on John Bellairs books. Mrs. Zimmerman was a witch who had an affinity for purple. She had a magical cane that glowed yellow and purple in its knob when she was battling the evil dead.

I always think of Mrs. Zimmerman when I see dark purple and bright yellow together. Not LSU, not the Vikings...


My favorite part has to be the contrasting toes and heels.

They look good in scuffed mary janes too.


Can't wait to wear them next winter.

Before I leave--a pair of teasers of sorts.

First, the most incredible brownie I've ever made.


And it's NOT because of how it tastes (which isn't half bad actually). More on the story behind the brownie later.

Finally, another FO of the non-knitted variety to show you.


I'm so happy with the outcome (I love my Toni Janome!)

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

I Am Doubly Gratified


Happy Mothers' Day!

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Monday, May 02, 2011

The World Needs More Cookies

It's been a weird day for those of us on the East Coast who don't watch TV at night.

I think there's enough people who are thinking like I am so I'll save my finger strength for blogging about less controversial things like the cookie of the week.

Hawaiian Cookies

Hawaiian cookies!

I know I've blogged about these probably twice before, but they're soooo good! Ha ha! They're number two on Chunky's list of favorite cookies. (Plain old chocolate chip is number one.)

I've recently developed a new obsession--cookie plates.

As we have a serious lack of thriftstores in North Jersey and I'm hesitant to garage sale (for reasons I can't blog about yet) I've been scouring the internets for interesting little teacup saucers or dessert plates. The trick is finding interesting ones that aren't really expensive.

Hawaiian Cookies

This little blue saucer is a ubiquitous Fiestaware saucer.

I've never technically seen Hawaii, but I imagine the water and/or sky might look like that saucer.

In the mood for more cookies? It's a Knitcircus kind of week! New issue on Wednesday! The cookie this issue is another one that's on Chunky's top 10 list!

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Lazy Weekend

I wish last weekend I could have been more productive, but I was catching my breath from the Grandma and Grandpa Mad Scientist visit.

This weekend hasn't been too bad though.

It has been beautiful weather, so I started on the outdoor portion of this year's 2011 Pot Garden.


The plants that are to the right are not mine. Those are Basement Neighbor's. He's redoing the scheme of his garden this year. He always buys baby plants.

I'm old fashioned and believe in growing them from the seed if you can. However, I realize not everyone can do that and they have to adopt plants from their local garden store instead.

Today I focused on planting my mutant seed potatoes.

Remember them? Here's what they looked like today when I pulled them out of the back of that dark corner of a cupboard they had been lurking in right before I stuck them in the ground,



We'll see what happens. I'll do what I did last year--every other week or so layering on a bit of compost on top of them to get a higher yield of taters.

These are the grand-taters of the grocery store potato I planted in May 2007 on the back steps of Squirrel Gables.

Chunky wanted in on the action this year as well. In that yellow pot he planted some beans he harvested from some of the bean plants that Basement Neighbor wasn't able to get to and they dried out on the vine.

Assuming the squirrels don't yoink his bean sprouts, I think he should be pretty successful with them.

Chunky wasn't the only one who wanted to get in on the gardening action.

Mr. Mooch was quite content to scoop dirt in and out of Basement Neighbor's wheelbarrow.



So what did you do with your weekend?

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