Friday, July 27, 2012

Insanity abounds

I have been missing in action due to the tight time crunch on the last four projects I mentioned.  I managed to get 90% of the anniversary present for the gentleman of the house done.  It was comlete enough to lay out with a note for him as a surprise.  I just picked it back up to finish a couple days ago after recovering from our vastly enjoyable yet all too short whirl wind visit to Arazona to see family and partake in a baby shower.  The three gifts for the baby shower I managed to make in a insanely short time frame.  I managed to pull off a little bit of a hail mary manuver with two embroidered pictures and a hand knit baby blanket in just under two weeks of work.

I won't contemplate the completely insane fact that I also had the house clean before we left.  I think that was the true miracle in the whole process.

Over the course of the weekend we should have the set up issue for the grown up computer ironed out.  I'm looking forward to having the ability to put up pictures again with out having to just through a ton of flaming hoops again.

-The head Wench

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

belated father's day pt2

We had the Gentleman of the house's brother visiting over father's day weekend.  This is the present I made him since he is a father as well and I'm sure he was missing his little one who was away on a trip with momma.

The kids each picked the colors of the gnomes they wanted to represent them.  Left is little Miss M's, middle is Mr. H's, and the right is Miss B's.  It was nice to bring a smile to a relative's face and a new running joke to the family.

Tomorrow I will take updated pictures of finished (other then needing frames) projects and the new ones that have been lined up.  For anything that will be a present I will put up teaser pictures until after the present has been given.  That way nothing is accidentally leaked.

-The head Wench.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Belated father's day post

Running a little late on this one....

This is what I gave the Gentleman of the house for father's day.  He even took one to work, though I haven't looked to see which one.  He was tickled though. 

We are on a smoothie kick in the house.  Two of the kids are already sick of them.  Three of us are still running strong.  Personally I am drinking at least one a day.  If I have more then one I like to switch things up and make a green smoothie for my lunch.  It is one of the best things when the weather is hot.  Though I have to say that the weather isn't anywhere near as hot here in SoCal as it is in central Illinois where our families are.  With the drought that has hit there it is looking to be a quiet 4th of July, what with the no burn order.  I hate that kind of heat and the kids don't deal with it well, but, I feel so bad for the folks back home.

In the mean time the adult computer might be getting set up, and in the kitchen of all places.  I got frustrated with the tablet and some loading issues while trying to pull up a recipe for dinner and a little less then half jokingly asked the Gentleman if we could set it up at the breakfast bar area.  Only thing missing would be a semi comfy 'bar' stool or some such chair.

In the mean time I am planning presents for our 13th anniversary (in a week), a baby shower (in a little over two weeks), a birthday (in a little over a month), and Christmas (in that order).  So I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!  *wink*

-The head Wench

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More stitching

Here are pictures of the pieces that I am planning on only stitching.  No cheating.  *wink*  All three are again from  I have started the upper left one 'fancy a cuppa' and aim to frame it for hanging in or near my kitchen.  I think steampunk bacon cat will go in the front room that I have dubber the reading room as that is where we have designated as book storage as we gather more book shelves for the massive amount of books each person in the house is collecting.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with the one on the right just yet.

My crafting is slowing right now due to the sheer stress of trying to sleep with the antics of the neighbors and the girls being sick let alone trying to figure out what the new food allergy is that the Gentleman in training now has.  Only time will tell what is going on there.

Long story short trying to craft with out all of your faculties working properly never ends well.  I did get a little progress in today on my tea themed embroidery.  Tonight I will start on my next shawl.  Hopefully I can figure out a place to block and photograph my unconventional ostrich shawl soon.  It looks pretty.

Until then may the sleep fairies visit us all,
-The head Wench.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Here is a quick peek at the colored and ready to stitch pieces that I am working on for Miss B's and Miss M's room.   They really like the colored and outlined look. 

The pieces are (from left to right) sleeping beauty (lower left), Rapunzel (upper left) and the little mermaid.

Things are nuts with my two Miss's fighting colds and my young gentleman fighting a allergic reaction to something.  We are trying to work out just what the trigger is this time.  Neighbors are still loud, though moderated a bit.  And I've just been feeling run down.

-The head Wench.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Worn out

After th visit of the Gentleman's brother, where we were busier then I had expected and had a ton of fun while we were at it, we had new people move in behind us.

In short we went from not sleeping much due to wanting to get as much time in with our awesome relation to nt sleeping much due to the new neighbor literally blasting their television at all hours of the night.  (I am seriously hoping that this morning's round of blasted kid's shows at 7am was a one time thing)

Needless to say both of those things have kept me from getting in here to post.  I have tons of pictures stacking up and screaming at me to show them off.  Between the yarn, the trip to the tar pits and my burst of embroidery...  I have a serious back log!  I am hoping to start getting caught up as soon as possible.  I just don't trust myself right this second to either not throw the computer through a window due to the round about way to get pictures on the blog or to not start swearing up a blue streak about the last four days with the new neighbors.

Please cross your fingers that a good night's sleep visits the Gentleman of the house and myself, otherwise it might start getting ugly.

-The head Wench

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scattered and distracted

It has been a busy week preparing for the visit of the Gentleman of the house's brother. (He'll be here is a couple of hours if the flights are kind to him.)  Add to that Father's day is on Sunday.  Between the cleaning and crafting with the kids I have been slow to take pictures.

The party starts tomorrow with the day off for my Gentleman, and pleasant company of his brother who is staying with us for several days.  Saturday we will also have a couple other relatives here to visit!  We are so excited, the kids started bouncing about over it all yesterday.

Yarn pictures will start tomorrow now that my mind can relax.  Tonight I have the promised picture of the giveaway yarn that is going into a little shawl for me.

The evenings cool off quite a bit so my shawls that would normally be packed away by now if we were still in Illinois are getting put to good use.

Sunday I will start putting up embroidery photos since joint issues are causing me to take things slower with my knitting.

-The head Wench.

Monday, June 11, 2012


OK as it stands the only running computer at the moment is the kids computer.  Four people trying to hammer out their own time on said computer doesn't work very well between school and fun to be had on it.

So I am testing out how writing from the tablet works.  I have been using it for many other things like meal planning and the web browsing that entails.  I can't imagine that writing blog posts from the tablet in the  relative peace and quiet of my room can be all that hard.  

Seems life has conspired to make it so that there is no easy way to do this from the tablet.  After four days of wrestling with the issue it will be night time posting for me until either the parental computer is up an running or the feud between the tablet and blogger is settled.

Recent news is that of all the giveaways, that hosted for their big giveaway day they do towards the end of May, I came out with a big box of yarn from the wonderful super friendly Meghann at the blog everyday miracles.  If picture posting runs with out a hitch today I will start posting pictures of the lovely stash she sent my way.  I started a shawl last night with the ball of Lion Brand sock-ease (in the rock candy colorway).  I have dubbed it the unconventional ostrich as it is being knit bottom up in a ostrich lace pattern I love.  With the grays, browns, and yellow it kind of looks like a ostrich who thinks they are a canary.  I get a giggle (or five) from the mental picture.

In the mean time I will leave you with a picture of two things from my new yard.

The first flower on the smallest of the banana trees in the yard.

The second is something I have dubbed Sarlacc's second cousin.  (the critter in the middle of the dessert that Jabba the Hut feeds people to.)  I'm waiting for the tentacles to show up.  Though that commentary causes a mountain of laughter from the gentleman in training.  He is such a scifi geek.

-The head Wench.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Holy cow!

There was the insanity with the move.  The back and forth as to if there was something wrong with the computers.  (yes, all of them!)  And then some changes with blogger I thought I had lost my blog only to find out I hadn't.

Long story short the drive went well.  Things are settling in well.  And I am going to start blogging again.  (nowt hat I know I still have a blinking blog.  *facepalm*)

We won't talk about my Gmail account getting hacked, and how I couldn't report it due to the report issues page not working.  Nor will we talk about the dog being on the fritz while the cat (oddly enough for once) isn't.

-The head Wench.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The insanity of moving.....

Also known as 'Help I'm loosing brain cells!'

I will confess.  I.  Hate.  Moving.

Seriously end of story.

Only right now the family is facing one of the biggest moves and changes in any of our lives.  Out I think the Gentleman of the house gets a pass since when he was a teen he and his family moved from Arizona to Illinois.  That is a big change.  Though he wasn't in charge of it, he was along for the ride in a sense.

I have to admit to never living more then an hour away from the city I was raised in.  Ever.

I've visited a hand full of other states and had the pleasure of seeing the Atlantic ocean once.

Now we are five weeks away from moving from Illinois to California.  This is a huge thing.  Just trying to research and make heads or tails of various laws there has been a bit of an eye opener.  (Gerbils are on the prohibited list, luckily we don't own one...)

It kind of hurts that I have only had the spare brain cells to work on a pattern with a one row repeat.

My Faucett scarf is light enough that it won't be obsolete in California, and it would be a *very* light if not mostly decorative scarf in a normal Illinois winter.  It is honestly a super easy one row repeat.

The pattern I was trying to write is on hold until the drive to California, due to the sheer lack of free grey matter on my part right now.  I think it says something that I was two balls of yarn into it before I realized I was using needles that were two sizes two small.

Posting will be touch and go for now.  My intent is to get a post up at least once a week, maybe two, though we will see what happens.

-The head Wench.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The secret world of Arrietty

We went to see a movie today.  And, what a lovely movie it was!

The secret world of Arrietty is a sweet, happy and kind of sad movie.  As usual Studio Ghibli did a wonderful job putting together not only a beautiful looking movie, but, a good story for all ages.

If you have kids or enjoy a well detailed story.  I seriously encourage you to check out this movie, or, any of the wonderful movies that Hayo Miyazaki and studio Ghibli have put out so far.  For a short list there is always My neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, Porco Rosso, and Sprited away.  all are wonderful movies that are great to watch at any age.

-The head Wench

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's the little things...

It is those little things that everyone holds dear.  It is those little things that bring joys and smiles to a child's face.  Today I had the pleasure of doing a small repair job I had been wracking my brain to find an answer to.  It brought a huge smile to Miss B's face when I surprised her with the result.

As you can see in the picture below the pin of her fan had not only broken but had managed to be horribly bent in more then one place.  This had happened before she bought it and lay hidden until after she had paid for it.  Enter one unhappy child who I reassured I would find a way to fix the broken item.  I told myself that there had to be a way to not only fix it, but, to make it better then when she had bought it.

The one end of the pin (left side in the picture) had been connected to the ring that the tassel was tied to.  That was all that had been holding the whole thing together.  Also as a note the 'ring' the tassel was tied to was flat and the cut edges hadn't been smoothed at all.  The edge of the tassel where it had been tied to the 'ring' was a little worse for wear, though still working.  It will last a lot longer on it's new ring.

I started with a piece of 18 gauge (maybe 20 gauge?) I had left over from Christmas crafting.  It is just a hair smaller then the size of the holes though the pieces of the fan, but, not so small that everything wobbles about.  I folded it at both ends for a test run on the fit.  It worked like a charm so I started to work on making a loop of one end and folding the other end so I wouldn't have to worry about edges catching on everything or the whole thing coming loose.

Once everything was set I tied the tassel onto it's new ring.

The slightly frayed edge of the cord is ever so very slightly visible.  Luckily with no more rough edges to rub against the cord will last a lot longer.

Not the pretties of wire work that I have done.  But, taking into consideration the tight area and odd angles I was working with, while wishing that I had a extra pair of hands, I think it turned out alright.

It's smooth and flat to keep anything pointy from snagging clothes or any other fabric.

And the final working product.  I should have tried to catch a picture of the huge smile Miss B had when I called her down to my work area to surprise her with this.  She has been waiting quite a while for me to figure this problem out and inspiration had hit while I was cleaning my craft area.  I wisely hit the iron while it was hot.  I can catch up on craft area cleaning tomorrow.  The very happy Miss B was so very worth the lost time.

-The head Wench

Friday, February 10, 2012

Project supply drop off!

The fates are being kind to me for the moment.  I think they are taking pity on me for all the insanity that is going on in my life right now.  At least one can hope, right?

On such a gray and gloomy day the mailman knocked on the door.  I feel sorry for him having to be out in such nasty weather.  The sky can't decide if it should be dropping ice pellets, snow or rain so it seems to think it should dump all the above at once.

At top is lava heather, left is serrano, and right is deep waters and pearlescent

All three are luscious yarns that are soft as can be!  Lava heather and serrano are both machine washable, so bonus points there.

Serrano is going into a project that I am making at the request of my Aunt.  She needs to give a special gift.  And I get to have fun stretching my wings with writing a pattern.  Win, win!

Lava heather is going into my first adult sized sweater.  I've made kid size sweaters for gifts.  Now I am going to spoil myself.  The pattern practical procrastination is the one I settled on.  It is a nice simple pull over in a raglan style.  I love raglan!  No seams!  Perfect for me as I *hate* seaming knit items.  At least anything larger then a knit toy.  Seaming anything large drives me batty.

Deep waters and pearlescent are going into a nice part fashionable and part practical (in a mild winter) scarf for myself.  I have been drooling over the Faucett scarf in the latest issue of knitty!  So, that is the scarf that I am doing.  I love knitty and if you are a knitter who hasn't heard of it you should go and explore the free patterns.  :)

Top is a pair of new 32" cables, middle is a set of cable connectors, and at the bottom is a pair of 60" cables.

Honestly if I can't finish up the last big Christmas project, with the cables and cable connectors so I can give it to my dad then I am a lost cause.  At least these are brand new cables so they shouldn't die in the middle of my knitting.  And if they do knitpicks is *very* good (and super fast) at replacing things.  I have only had trouble with one thing in the years I have been ordering from them and they were very nice about it all and very easy to work with.

This is the start of the arm warmers I and making for Miss M.

Miss M has a nervous habit.  She has a spot on her arm that she pinches and picks at when things get nuts.  Well life is very nuts here right now so she is having issues and needs mental barrier. She likes to wear short sleeve shirts so I am making her a pair of super soft arm warmers to cover her arms as she won't mess with her arms when they are covered.  I am using a ball of left over yarn from the finger-less mitts I made my niece little Miss K for Christmas.  The yarn is sprinkle heather which is a lovely blue purple, though in this picture it comes off more of a pink purple.  I'm planning on making a pair of clips so that I can fasten these to her short sleeves so they don't slide down.  They will be finger less mitt style on the hand end so they won't be super easy to slide up.  I decided to use a mock cable rib for the main knitted area to give it some visual interest.  So far Miss M is thrill to watch the progress.

-The head Wench

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Of flubs and owls.

As promised last time first up is my latest flub.  Having killed the longest of my circular cables (that was on it's last leg as it was) while trying to finish up some late Christmas knitting, I was in a bit of  a bind with a lace weight shawl I had started for myself.  It was all rolling along smoothly, with plenty of space to spare on the needles, until I hit the edging.  That is what you see jam packed on my one, in fact the shortest of my cables, circular needle.  Luckily I should have the new and much longer cables here by Saturday if the package tracking is correct.

Honestly, when a pattern says that there will be a butt load of stitches involved take it as a possible understatement.

I am really looking forward to getting this off the needles and into the blocking stage.  For a couple of reasons.  The first being that there will be no work getting done in the room that I end up blocking this piece in for about 24-48 hours!  (I'm terrible, but it has been nuts here so having one less thing on my list for that time would be a god send right now. *wink*)  Second I enjoy a challenge and finding unconventional answers when I don't have the normal items I would need on hand.  My understanding is that this is going to be the biggest shawl I have blocked yet.  With the blocking supplies I have at this time I didn't have the ability to block what is currently my biggest shawl the 'normal' way.  Pinning it out didn't happen with that one and I'm not holding my breath on it happening with this one if it is the same size or bigger.  Luckily I have plenty of blocking wires and nice long lengths of scrap acrylic yarn to make a room look like a technicolor spider on crack has gone postal in order to shape this shawl.  It worked last time.  I doubt that it wouldn't work this time.  

I have a fun side project that I am working out the details on.  I know that instead of it being knit top down like every other pattern I have seen that it will be knit bottom up.  It lets me work some of my sock knitting knowledge into yet another project.  Knitting it in the round is a given, no way I would change that.  I have pretty much figured out what stitch pattern I will be using for an area that needs to be tighter then the rest with out loosing the stitch count. (see the double owls v1.0 below) And I am looking forward to the challenge of finally writing a pattern down. It really needed to happen sooner rather than later.  Now I just need to decide on the edge treatment for the top.

Big O little o what begins with O?  This is a slightly modified cable pattern from my big book of cables.  Currently I am calling it Double Owls.  If you look close it looks like a big owl cuddling a little owl.  :)

Originally it was a toss up between this basket weave style cable pattern and what became the double owls. When it comes to baby items, I'll go with cute cuddly owls.

-The head Wench.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Second whitest day this winter!

Camera issue has been fixed!  I can properly blog again!  Now if life would just let me catch my breath.

Until then lovely pictures from my yard after waking up to the beautiful to look (and not so much to drive in) effects of a freezing fog.

Fuzzy frost on my butterfly bush.

A lovely display on some cat tails (at least that is what we call them) by the front garden.

A nice foggy view across the shared backyard.

Fuzzy raspberry cane.

I really liked how this shot of the frost on the mulberry tree turned out.

Some super fuzzy morning glory vines on the back garden fence.

Then of course as I was getting ready to go in a red bellied (not a clue why it has that name since the belly isn't red at all!) wood pecker flew into the tree int he back yarn raising Cain!

So I decided to test the new photography toy's limits and oblige the wood pecker with some pictures.  Not too bad for a tablet.  *wink*

For some better pictures and more information about my bossy visitor I would suggest you look over here,

Tomorrow I'll show off my latest flub.  Over stuffing a circular needle.  Which means I get to start testing stitch patterns for a baby sleep sack pattern I need to write.  

-The head Wench.