Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Knowledge is Art

To all who have asked, I am feeling better. Modern medicine is wonderful, and the drugs aren't bad either. Thanks for you positive thoughts.

I have been working on a tallis for our Rabbi. He will be moving to Poland soon to start as the only full-time Reform Rabbi in the whole country. To mark this occasion, I have been working on a tallis (or prayer shawl) with drawings of local places that have meaning for him on one end, and drawings of important places in Poland on the other. Some people who have heard about this think I am an amazingly gifted artist. Not so, I just know the short cuts. Today is sharing time.

Step One: Take pictures of the buildings (or whatever) that you want to render on fabric. This is a lot easier now that we can use digital and the net to seek out images (even though you are going to change it, use copyright free images, your own pictures should be OK).

Step Two: Use a light table (I bought a child's version for fifty cents at a garage sale).

Step Three: Trace the important lines of your pictures.

Step Four: Tape the tracing on the light table.

Step Five: Tape your fabric (be sure to cut it at least one inch bigger than the finished piece needs to be. Trace the design with a permanent pen (I used a Gelly Roll Pen).

Now all you have to do is sew the fabric into a quilt, or tallis, or blouse, or tote bag, or whatever.

Ta Da! I love glittery fabric. Fortunately, the Rabbi is a glittery kind of guy. Now to go work on Elder Son's Pirate Socks.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brain Cells Are Dying!

As I write this I have a bad cold, pink eye, a sinus infection, and possibly strep throat. Thank goodness the school year is almost over. As a result the knitting, sewing, and even cooking has slowed down to a gasping crawl. I did finish a prayer shawl for the lady who will be leading many of the religious services at our Temple while we make the transition from full-time Rabbi to Student Rabbi, but brain cells are dying and I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I did take a picture as I was working on it (just so I wouldn't forget how we liked the ribbons arranged).

There are a few laws about just how the prayer shawl can be made, but.....brain cells are dying. I am now working on a prayer shawl (can we learn that they are called tallit?) for the full-time Rabbi leaving for Poland in June. Pictures to come. Now back to the herbal tea and tape of "24" finale.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Baaaaby

Last weekend we went to The Big Brother's house in the east to witness New Baby's baptism*. I took along the quilt that matches New Baby's nursery.

This is the quilt that took the fussy cutting. I like it a lot better now that it is quilted and it has the blue binding. Here is New Baby in all his glory. He is six weeks old and looks just like his dad!

The garment he is wearing is the dress his Matenal Grandma wore when she was baptised. Note the cute little booties on his cute little feet. They are from 50 baby Booties to Knit by Zoe Mellor. I love this book! However I did make a few changes (you knew I would, didn't you?). When it is time to pick up the stitches around the top of the bootie foot, I used double pointed needles. The directions say to pick them up on one long needle and I find that my stitches are not perfectly even when I try to turn the corner with a straigt needle. Also the directions say to bind off and sew the seam at the bottom of the foot. As baby feet are sensitive, I grafted the bottom seam and sewed the back of the heel.

Now the real story behind these booties. I knit the first one,and it was way too big and the yarn was way too scratchy! I knit another and Baby's Grandma said the booties needed to be white (I had knit in ecru, because that was what was in the stash). I checked the stash and found some cashmere blend left from The Baby's (my baby, not New Baby) girlfriend's scarf. Eureka! It was white, is was soft and I thought there was just enough to make booties! Yay!

Oops! Ran out of yarn when it was time to knit the sides of the bootie. Quick trip to A C Moores for more yarn. Knit the last bootie while Fifth graders were taking a test! Yay, I'm done and a day early at that. The next morning, just before we were to leave on a three hour drive to Big Brother's I realized that I had skipped the eyelet row for the ribbon ties in booties number two! Argggghhhh! Three hour trip? I can knit a new bootie number two in the car on the way. As you can see, New Baby has both feet warm and cuddly, I didn't even manage to forget the yarn needle, or the ribbon to tie the booties.

*Some of you may be a bit confused. No, Jews do not baptise. I come from a blended family. This means we celebrate (or are at least aware of) both sets of holidays. Jewish holidays are at my house and baptisms and Christmas are at Big Brother's.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This Old House

A few posts ago, I told you about the weighty matter of books and old houses. Yesterday, The Harlot told us about her porch and I promised to post a picture of our falling down porch (slated for repairs in July).

Please note the ragged edges where once there stood an intricate porch rail. That fell off during an ice storm two years ago. The whole house is old and The Husband has many skills (a wonderful tomato-beef stir fry among them) but he is not a handy man and my skills lean more towards the decorative.

This is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, who was president when the house was built. I stared at that large blank space for three years until I figured out what to put up.

On another note, some of you may remember the trouble I had posting pictures. As you can see, my learning curve is a backwards L. I don't get it...I don't get it ....Ah Ha! I can do this and this and this....I have tried to add some links and it's not going all that well. Yesterday I tried to send you to Aunt Dimity and we all got nowhere. I will try again and if we get nowhere, check the comments and I will post the address there.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Random Monday

I have seen a lot of random days in Blogland so here is a Random Monday.


I have been trying to catch up on the baking (with two large, not-quite-teenagers in the house this is harder than you might think). Yesterday was Elder Son's birthday and he wanted a Boston Cream Pie, but that was gone by this morning so I baked some Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe on the back of the bag) for The Baby to have something special for a snack during his AP test tomorrow. Then I made some Snickerdoodles (from the Fanny Farmer Baking Book) because....well....I wanted them. I had some bad bread (it didn't raise properly) in the freezer and I finally got around to making a bread pudding (from Moosewood Desserts). Russian Apple Bread Pudding. Mmmmmmm!

As you can see it didn't even last long enough to get a picture of the whole thing. Even The Husband liked it enough to suggest that the next time I make it I use no sugar (rather than the quarter cup in it) and some sort of sugar-free fruit stuff on the top. The Husband has to avoid sugar and rarely eats the dessert goodies from our kitchen. That he would like this recipe again (even with the changes) means it's a real keeper.


I have been knitting on a pair of booties for New Baby.
These are the Lace and Diamond booties from Zoe Mellor's "50 Baby Booties".
Yarn is Knitpicks Shine

I have been reading the Aunt Dimity series of mysteries. You must read these! At first I just enjoyed the stories and wished I could be a lucky as Laurie (the main character). The more I read them, though, the more I feel that we should all be so lucky as to have an Aunt Dimity.


Next time I make the bread pudding, I will add a little almond flavoring and less sugar.
Next time I make these booties I will use double pointed needles when I pick up the stitches around the foot (maybe work in the round) and use Kitchner stitch to sew up the sole of the bootie.
Why can't I be Aunt Dimity? (Besides the fact that she was rich and lived in England and had no children or husband). She's a wonderful, loving, caring, and thoughtful person. The main character in her books is slowly learning to care about her community. Maybe if each of us just tries to see that a** in the loud car as a person, we can have a ripple effect. What do ya think? Hmmm?

Love your family (even if it's the family you choose, rather than the family you inherited), find your bliss, keep knitting.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

And we're back!

Several posts back, I promised quilts. Folks, are you in luck (assuming you like this sort of thing). Not only quilts, but knitting. Herewith: Quilt One:

It is a large central square with nine-patch blocks all around. It is quilted in a simple cross-hatch pattern. The husband didn't like it until it was quilted, then it "looks a lot better". Now, Quilt Two:

This is a Noah's Ark quilt (could you guess?). It is based on a Debbie Mumm wall hanging pattern and I had to add some extra animals to bring the design to a baby quilt size (note: Mrs. Noah!). Everyone is happy with it. I had fun making it and the person who asked me to make it was pleased with the colors. Win, win!

Now for the knitting: I was working on a pair of Jaywalkers but they look all lumpy and odd to me:

Maybe it's just me. Should I make another knowing that it took about a month just to knit this one? Or should I frog it and try another pattern. Decisions, decisions. While making up my mind, I have put the last few stitches on a thread and have been working on these:

Yes! The pirate's socks from hello yarns. This is what Elder Son wants for his birthday (well, one thing. He would also like a car of his own, a college fund, and world peace). I just checked and he wears size "13 maybe a 14, Mom". The yarn is Lang Yarn's Jawoll. I am using Clover bamboo DPs in size 0. Yep! Love those tiny little stitches on tiny little needles. Back to the socks!