Saturday, February 26, 2011

Insert Clever Title Here

No cookie of the week this weekend. It's Summer Knitcircus cookie recipe weekend. No reveal yet!

But I did get a chance to do some sewing with Toni.

I wanted to try out Toni's zipper foot and challenge her a bit with a type of fabric that used to give The Beast fits (but let's be honest, EVERY fabric gave The Beast fits!).

Inspired by this tutorial, some scrap oilcloth I had in my stash, and some zippers I ordered from Etsy in a rainbow of colors, I made a couple of bags.

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Holy beer battered cat fritters, how incredible is my machine?!

Toni has a wonderful zipper foot that was a breeze to snap in and out. And she sewed through the oil cloth like it was butter!

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Not sure what this weird plant was growing on the chain link fence at the park. Everything else is brown and dead because it's February in New Jersey. It made for a great photo shoot background though.

They're not like the ones in the tutorial, they're smaller as I only had 7" zippers. (And I didn't follow the tutorial 100%).

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And I felt they needed some jazzy zipper pulls.

They're not lined or anything fancy...

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But you can toss some odds and ends in there and they'll serve their purpose.

I'm going to keep the white one and the black and pink one I believe is going to go into the Christmas present shoebox.

Is that wrong to be making Christmas presents in February? Ha ha!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Galoshes and Gloves

Day One of life at Shyster, Shafter, Conniver & Dodge's New Jersey offices post-flooding is done.

I was able to corral my shit into one emptyish (one of the attorneys who was displaced is in there now) office where I feel confident it won't be messed with.

I've been relocated just a mere 28 steps away from my desk to the cubicle of a pregnant coworker out on disability/maternity leave. Thank goodness for unprotected sex.

It's not too bad. I do miss my fellow cubicleconians though. I still sit next to them, but on the other side of them. Ha ha!

I got in at 9:30 a.m. and was working on normal work by 11:00 a.m. Somehow though by 4 p.m. they told us we could go home. I guess it was too much to ask the staff to work an already abbreviated day. I guess the smell of the wet carpet glue is getting to people. I've got a cold. I can't really smell it. And I've got a buttload of work that isn't finishing itself. So I stayed till five.

The lack of air circulation there is awful though. The fug of all those humans in one space and no air moving aside from the dehumidfiers makes me sweat in places I only knew I had in July and August when it's 95 degrees and 95% humidity out.

Whatever. Dr. Mad Scientist has to remind me that not everyone is me. So I'll spare you the rant about how my coworkers aren't like me.

Instead I'll show you my most recent FO.

Before I could cast on with my new Yarn Crawl yarn, I had to finish these.

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Pattern: Ringwood Gloves

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Sock, Color: Mixed Berries

Needles: US2

Notes: Where to start? First off I made these using sock yarn and US2 needles. The pattern calls for a DK and size 6 needles. I didn't really want gloves that thick.

Second, I sorta read the pattern wrong. I thought the designer effed up with the directions for the second (right) glove. So to "correct" it, I reversed the knitting order of the left glove.

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Woah. Look at the pinkish cast to this photo. Cool. Low camera battery!

As a result, my wrist flaps both open in the same direction.

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Meh. No biggie.

I think that's all the mods I made. It was a pretty easy pattern. Knitting 8 fingers and two thumbs is boring and not very inspiring, but overall I give this pattern a thumbs up.

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And lest you think I'm not a real knitter--I will leave you with the obligatory gloved/mittened hand cupping a cup of tea/coffee that all the cool kids do with their glove/mitten photo shoots.

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You know, because I always drink tea and coffee in a mug outside in the cold.

Ha ha!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Comfort Posts

We've got a delayed opening this morning.

To help air out the place a bit more I guess.

So I'll turn to the next "happy" picture.

The cookies I baked this weekend.

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M&M Cookies.

Just take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and substitute M&Ms for chocolate chips.

Hmmm...now to kill another hour.

Seems like there's something I could be doing right now that I complain I have no time to do because I'm always working, but for the life of me, I can't remember.

I'm sure it will come to me as I wade to my desk.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Look At the Pretty Yarn

I'm off work today.

But I had to go to Moochie's daycare to pay the week's daycare because although I put the check in his lunchbox Friday, I forgot to take it out and put it in the drop box.

On my way back home this morning from the office, I grabbed my cell phone, which, if you know me, I hardly use. It's for Dr. Mad Scientist and Kid-Calls only. I.e., "Honey, can I ask you to pick up the kids because I'm running late?" or "Mrs. Bezzie, Chunky just blew chunks in the classroom, you need to come pick him up."

No one every calls me. Which is fine. I've got a drug dealer pay as you go stupid-phone that just makes and receives calls. I hardly ever look at it when it's the weekend because I don't have to.

But for some reason I pulled it out of my purse on the way home from dropping off the Mooch payment this morning.

And there was a voicemail.

From work.

A pipe had burst and the office administrator called to tell me my desk had "extensive damage" and suggested I might want to come in to check things out before Tuesday.

I stopped by the apartment to let the boys know where I was going and headed off to work on my day off.

Ugh. What a war zone.

This week is going to be a Nightmare. Especially since Big Boss's office was untouched. He's going to expect me to work like normal, when a virtual water bomb went off at my desk and where can they relocated me to? They have no idea yet. Nice!

Anyway at least my weekend was nice!

I met up with Chris and we did a little bit of the Northern New Jersey Yarn Crawl.

We started at our old favorite, Angelfire Studios where I bought these lovely skeins.

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That's some Spud and Chloe sock yarn. I've already cast on. This yarn was just what I needed to restart my sock mojo.

We then ventured on to a store that was new to both of us--The Blue Purl in Madison.

Very nice shop. Spacious and a generous offering of standard and not-so standard yarn brands.

I fell in love with a store sample knit up by the baby yarn. Fell in love so hard I bought the pattern book AND the recommended yarn.

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I was hooked because all the patterns in the book are up to seven-year-old sizes.

I really wanted to buy the blue yarn you see the sweater knit in there, but alas the store only had three balls--not four as a Moochie-next-winter-sized sweater would take. The clerks sold me on the greeny-blue color instead.

Plus--they even noticed when I was checking out that the four balls I had picked out were different dye lots and replaced them with four of the same dye lots from the back room.

It was a great day and I had a lot of fun hanging with Chris (without a little man of some shape or size tagging along!).

Lord knows I'm going to need all the pretty yarn to keep me sane this upcoming week!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toni & Bezzie Get To Know Each Other

This past weekend I made my inaugural project on Toni Janome, my new sewing machine.

Good news: Toni handles like a dream. She's quiet. She doesn't bounce around the table. When her bobbin is less than half full she doesn't throw a hissy fit.

Bad news: The neighbors probably think I'm having an affair because literally I would exclaim with sheer delight "Ohhh Toni!!!!"

On to the fruits of my experimentation with Toni this weekend.

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Pattern: McCall's 2094

Fabric: Some 100% quilting cotton I picked up on my bi-annual trip to Joann's here in New Jersey (which is sorely lacking in fabric stores that don't suck).

Mods: Even though Toni makes three one-step buttonholes (purrrrrr!), I haven't tried the buttonhole feature yet. I really enjoy the look of my beloved snaps.

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I wasn't too jazzed about this simple calico when I bought it, but I'm totally in love with the color now!

I also didn't use interfacing in the collar. Oooo! I didn't want an over-stiff collar. Plus I'm running low on interfacing and see aforementioned the comment about lack of decent fabric stores in Northern New Jersey that aren't a 45 minute drive away.

The collar isn't the greatest. But it could be worse.

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It came out really 1970's butterfly. I think because now that I look at the pattern envelope, I should have put a snap closer to the top. What can I say? I'm a sucker for some good pseudo-cleave.

The only thing differently I think I might have done was shorten the sleeves a bit. I think a half inch to an inch off of them would have been nice.

Overall--great pattern and a great cherry popper for me and Toni. I have plans to make a plain version of this blouse.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

I sort of forgot to make valentines for Moochie's class.

Oops.

And Chunky informs me that in 3rd grade bringing Valentines is optional.

Good enough for me!

For Chunky's party I had to bring in two bags of potato chips. The story behind those potato chips is a blog post in and of it's own.

For Moochie's party I signed up to bring cookies. To be honest, I was just going to send him in with a bunch of storebought Valentine sugar cookies.

But guess what was NOT at the grocery store?

Valentine sugar cookies.

They had gobs of mini Valentine cupcakes. But no cookies.

It sounds bad, but I really wanted to send Mooch in with those big thick cakey sugar cookies that you find at the store.*

So when I couldn't find them, I set off to make them.

There are many recipes out there for "store bought sugar cookies" but I settled on this one.

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Oh yeaaaaah. Great recipe.

They're big and fat and soft.

I'm really not a sugar cookie fan, but these are delicious!

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Just like the storebought ones!

Happy Valentine's Day if you're into that kind of thing!



*Why didn't I just make them in the first place, you're probably asking. Schools these day are all skittish about homemade treats--allergies, the plague, iron filings, etc. I like to avoid bringing homemade treats when possible.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wieners!

Moochie! Put your hand in this hat and pull out a number!

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But Moooooom! I want to look out the window instead!!!

Fine Mooch. You have fun with the window. Hey, Chunkster, can you pull a number out of this hat for me?

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Sigh. Ok, Mom. Whatever. But I'm not putting down my DS to do it.

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Hey wait a minute! If Big Brother is doing it, I need to be doing it too!

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Here you go Mom, here's your number!

So the winners of the Spring 2011 pattern collection of Knitcircus are:

Ellie and Jennifer (Yarnknita)

And the winner of the year's subscription to Knitcircus is:

Poops* for her entry of Gabriela Antonia Castigliano. Or Toni for short.

Toni Janome. A total Boobie Bar Jersey Girl name. I can't wait to start sewing thongs on her!

Winners, please email me at rkbezzie @ gmail . com (delete the spaces) and I'll pass your email address on to Jaala at Knitcircus to hook you up with your prizes.

Thank you all for entering--it was hard to pick just one grand prize winner!

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Don't worry, you're all winners in Moochie's world (where ALLLLL the numbers get drawn!).



* I'm linking to Poops's old blog. The 2.0 version is uncut and racier and not suitable for children under the age of 13 without the presence of an adult.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Watch This Space

Thanks to all who entered the Name the Sewing Machine contest for knitalicious Knitcircus prizes!

I've picked the name I liked the most.

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Your sewing machine is cool, but does it have a little pink nose?

Now I just have to orchestrate the random winner drawing.

Seeing as my mini-assistant has gone to bed for the night, winners will be announced tomorrow night.

Stay tuned!

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Whoopie!!!

I heard this story on my way home from picking the boys up from school/daycare the other night.

And of course I had to make them.

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Admittedly mine are not the traditional hamburger-sized whoopie pies.

I've made 'em in the past, but I had to make them again. And I wanted to make some for the office because I prefer to call them Moon Pies and the attorneys I sit next to were joking they should start a "Moon Law" practice group within the firm.

But I ran out of cocoa.

Bummer for them.

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Remember! There's still time to enter the sewing maching naming contest to win either a year's subscription to Knitcircus or the Spring 2011 collection of patterns! Contest is open till 5:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time (do the math! Ha ha!)

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Friday, February 04, 2011

At The Office Where The Papers Grow She Takes A Break

Ok kids, the week is OVER!

Thank freaking goodness! I'm up to my eyeballs in paper and just general crap at work.

And now for the unveiling.

My new sewing machine!

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It's a Janome DC3050.

Nope. I didn't test drive it at the store.

I just effing bought it.

Why?

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CLEAR BOBBIN WINDOW! Swoon!

I think one review of my old sewing machine, the Beast, I found online summed it up well:

Sewing with this machine is like baking a Thanksgiving dinner with an Easy Bake Oven.

So you see, anything would be a step up from that.

So there you have it.

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A million frivolous stitches!

I love it.

Now I just need to find time to play with it!!! By the time I get home from work I'm wiped out.

Speaking of work--it's time for part two of this post if you've made it this far.

It's time for YOU to work.

But there's a reward in it.

But first the work.

I want to solicit your ideas for a name for this new machine.

I can't guarantee I'll use it--you know how it goes--sometimes pets/kids just name themselves. But I know you guys will come up with something clever.

The reward?

For the most original name that tickles my fancy (or loads my bobbin) you will get a one year subscription to Knitcircus.

And in the interest of sharing the love I'll give away to two random winners each a Knitcircus Spring 2011 pattern set. These winners will be picked by my lovely assistants Mooch and Chunky or a random number generator--depending on the general mood of my assistants at the time of the drawing!

All you have to do is leave your name suggestion in the comments section.

Contest ends Monday at 5:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter!

ETA: Well kids, I can't catch a break. The machine is defective. I can't even turn it on. The culprit is the power cord. The metal piece inside is misshapen and I can't get it to connect to the machine. Keep the names coming though. At least I'm enjoying them, even though I can't enjoy my machine.

ETA #2: Problem fixed!!! I was able to reshape the metal piece inside the end of the power cord that connects to the machine. Bad news is that I now need a new size 3 DPN. Thank god I don't have expensive taste in knitting needles and it was just a Susan Bates I ruined.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Exciting Things

I'm kind of exhausted right now.

While I love this weather, juggling snow days, early dismissals, and late openings is quite exhausting when you work a full time job. Especially when the coworkers you have who perhaps live even closer to the office than you do, call out when there's one flake forecast.

And somehow they still end up getting to take more vacation than me. Ponderous.

It's also exhausting going to work, school and daycare in this weather.

The snow and ice is not so bad to drive in, it's exhausting to drive with OTHER PEOPLE driving around in it. Or double parking in it. Or jaywalking in the dark in it. Or jogging uphill backwards in the middle of the road in the dark in it.

But today was a rare day that I was home before 7 and as a reward, you get some bloggage and some sneak peakery!

First up--it's Groundhog Day, but more importantly, it's Knitcircus day!!

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You know how it is, you're coming off the post-holiday-knit-for-everyone-and-their-mother letdown. You're not sure what to knit next because you've been so focused on everyone else--why not something for yourself? Or hell, someone other than your Great Aunt Matilda that you only see once a year at Christmastime.

So screw that furry disease vector groundhog and get something springy on your needles.

Or hell, bake a cookie or two!

Stay tuned for a promo Knitcircus giveaway...I'm just formulating a cool way to make you earn your chance to win! Muhahahaha!

Also stay tuned for the big reveal of the contents of this box:

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Iz could tellz yuz but denz idz haf to killz youze with myz lazer eyez!

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