29 July 2009


I've been meaning to post these pictures all week but have been overly occupied. Here's how I spent my lazy Sunday -
babysitting the sweet angel baby James (and really, could that face be any more angelic??),
and his dog-sister Beretta, who so sweetly offered to model my latest knitting project. I started knitting a blanket two years ago when knitting was still New! and Sparkly! I bought 15 (!!!) skeins of this ecru cotton/wool blend plus a few skeins of coloured yarn to mix in randomly. As a brand new knitter, I picked seed stitch (knit one, purl one) as the stitch I wanted to do. It was easy, alright? Anyway, I got 95% through one skein and was bored and thought I'd alternate this project with others and it got tucked away in a bag and shoved to the back of the closet, never to be heard from again. Since I've been knitting blankets for everyone else, that got me to thinking about this. I pulled it out and started working and I'm bored. Again. Plus I started worrying about what a cotton/wool blanket would do when laundered. So I knitted this little washcloth on Sunday while James was sleeping to do a test run through the wash. I'm happy with the results but I still have to determine what I'm going to do stitch wise. I may just vary my stitches every few rows because 6 feet of ecru seed stitch is enough to make a girl never want to knit again, see?

Here's the other sweet face that has appeared in my house this week -
My 17 year old brother Will is visiting from Southern California. He's a funny kid and we're really enjoying having him here. Plus, the Nintendo Wii is finally getting some use. . .
(Love the matching shorts.)

Apparently the controllers need to be recalibrated every few minutes.
Never had to do that with Atari joysticks.

24 July 2009

The family you get

I'm a very lucky girl. I've been blessed with great family - the one that I was born into and the ones that I've been given along the way. As with every family, I have my share of fruitcakes and redneck cousins but to make up for it, I have much more than my fair share of really stellar related and inherited family. My mom is my best friend in the world - always has been (except for maybe a few minutes when I was 16 when I'm sure she didn't like me as much as I didn't like her). I have two gorgeous, sweet, wonderful brothers of whom I'm so proud and wouldn't trade for all the world. My father is a kind, quiet man who loves me. I have (hopefully someday soon) in-laws that couldn't be better if I'd handpicked them - Scott's family feels like mine. I have another family here in South Carolina who adopted me 5 years ago when I needed it desperately and who have taken care of me in so many ways. For their love and kindness I will be eternally grateful. And then I have the whole, loony California contingent. Which leads me to one person in particular. . .

My cousin Jon is 5 months older than me. He grew up in California and I was in Georgia. It's probably a good thing that he lives on the opposite coast because boy, would we be trouble if we lived any closer. Somehow, Mr. Straightlaced found this fabulous, crazy woman who agreed to marry him. I ADORE this woman. If she weren't my cousin, she be my friend anyway. Over the last few years, and particularly in the last year, we've gotten to be pretty close. They hound me to move to the west coast. I hound them to move east. Ros and I both started sewing about the same time. We've been trading pictures and advice back and forth through email (and one very late night, drunken video chat. . .) I saw this pattern a while back for a knitted headband and I wanted desperately to make it but it required a head with long hair. That ruled me out, but it just screamed Ros to me. After the scarf I made a few posts back, I had the skillz to finally bust this one out. Her fee for this gift was that she had to take a picture. I couldn't have asked for more. . .
She was even sweet enough to wear a scarf and long sleeves just to pretend that it was actually cold enough to be wearing a wool headband in the middle of July. I love her. You can read her blog here - http://algaegirl.blogspot.com/.

And if anyone is interested, the pattern can be found here -

22 July 2009

Be a Tourist

Charleston has this great slogan - "Be a tourist in your own city". When you live in a place like Charleston where there is so much history and so many things to do, you absolutely should go do some silly touristy things. The problem is that you get wrapped up in your life and work and all of the errands you need to run on the weekend that you never actually make time to see these things. That's why visiting family is great. You're forced to go be a tourist. And it's fun! And I loved it! Scott's parents finally came to visit last week (this should make you feel some guilt, Mom of mine). We went on a carriage tour -

(love the way that lady is waving at us), went to the aquarium, toured the Nathan Russell house,

ate WAY too much fried seafood and visited just a couple of antique stores. Dad ran the Cooper River Bridge from Mt Pleasant to Charleston and back. The weekend was jam packed. I was sad to see them go.

14 July 2009

Puppy love

I suppose I should start out by explaining that I wanted a puppy for a very long time. Years in fact. It was never the right time or place to get one. Then along came Scott. He'd wanted a puppy for a very long time too. We even wanted the same kind of dog. We talked about getting a puppy the way some people talk about having a baby. We'd get one, as soon as the time was right. Two Christmases ago, we went home to NC to visit Scott's family. On Christmas Eve, his mom announced that she'd seen an ad in the paper for puppies. They weren't the breed we wanted so I threw out the argument that again, it wasn't the right time. We were far from home. We'd be bringing a brand new puppy into someone else's house. There were already two dogs in his parents' house. How would they react to a new puppy and so on. While I was in the shower getting ready for our day, Scott made the call and a few hours later we were on our way to "just look" at some puppies. We arrived at the breeder and they showed us several but I knew immediately that none of these belonged to us. Then they brought out this teeny tiny little black and tan boy. A different kind of puppy than all the others. My heart stopped. I knew he was the one. The breeders had planned on keeping this little guy (all two pounds of him!) as their own but I begged and pleaded until they let him go home with us. I've never been the same. I was a ruined shell of a woman for this dog. He used to fall asleep on my lap and I would look at Scott with tears in my eyes and blubber on about how much I loved him.

We talked about getting another puppy someday, a little friend for Roscoe. I thought we'd wait a year or two. I wanted to love my little man all on his own. Get to know him. Have some bonding time. After 4 months of having Roscoe, Scott started fishing around for another dog. We looked online, trying to decide what we'd get next. I was trying to stall the whole process because having one un-housebroken little one in the house was about all I could handle, especially since I work from home and was spending a good portion of my day cleaning up messes. Then Scott found a tiny dachshund girl online with a little broken tail. How can you not fall in love with that immediately? So we made some calls and that weekend, we were a two puppy house.

I can't imagine a day without them. I can't imagine why it took me so long to take the plunge and have these two little balls of insanity in my life. I love them more than I can say. I love them like they're my kids. And because I'm so crazy nuts for them, I stitch little pictures. And yes, those are little likenesses of us on the puppies. Try not to judge. . .

10 July 2009

Just what I needed

What does every girl need when it's summertime in Charleston and the thermometer hovers in the 90s and the humidity makes it feel like you're wading through water? A wool scarf, of course!
I didn't watch much TV for several years and then I fall in love with a TV fool. I get antsy if I sit on the couch moving nothing but my eyes for several hours. Not that knitting counts as a physical activity of course, but at least I feel like I'm doing something productive while I'm watching Lost/American Idol/NBCs Thursday night lineup/all the Bravo reality shows I can stand.

I bought tons of this beautiful handpainted Koigu KPPPM wool a few years ago to make a blanket that still isn't quite finished. (Spending months knitting a very elaborate beautiful wool blanket and living in a house with puppies with nails and teeth seemed a pointless exercise, at least until they got a little older.) Some of the colours didn't quite seem to fit so they've been put aside. I got itching to use some about a month ago when I found them squished in my stash but I couldn't knit anything else until the baby blankets were finished. This scarf has been my TV project for the last few weeks. It's really lovely. I learned how to do short rows finally and I love the look. I'm not sure if I'm keeping it yet or passing it along, especially since I've spotted another orphaned skein in a different colourway that I may like better. . . I'm such a fickle girl.

(BTW, congratulations are not in order. It's just a really unflattering shirt and I didn't realize how unflattering until I saw these pictures. Scott assures me that is cuter than it looks here but I think it's destined for the Goodwill pile.)

09 July 2009

Our new toy

I've been mostly unhappy with the quality of the pictures I've been getting from my old camera. It's a fine little point and shoot jobby - great if you're going to Disneyland for the day and you want to take pictures of your wacky cousins on the teacups - but not so great for taking pictures of most other things. Everything just felt flat. And I was reading a book by another blogger and she waxed poetic about her camera and about how we should all take pictures every day because you never knew when you were going to get THE shot. With my old camera, I was never going to get THE shot. So Scott and I started doing a little research and went to look at cameras last weekend. I wanted to buy one right away. Mr Sensible (because God knows I need someone to talk me back from the ledge sometimes) said that we should go home and do a bit more research. I pouted. I kicked things. Maybe I cried a little bit. And last night, he gave in and we are now the proud owners of a lovely Nikon D60 DSLR. I have lots and lots to learn about how to operate this baby and I think Scott and I will have the flash vs. no flash battle for days to come, but I'm so much happier already. And who were the subjects of our first pictures? Hmmmm. Can't imagine. . .

05 July 2009

First steps

This is meant to be a horrible tease for someone. (That means you, Garden Girl. That's what you get for calling to tell me about everything you're seeing in Half Moon Bay. . .) This is how I've spent most of my day. I know it doesn't look like much, but you're looking at 197 pieces of cut fabric - the majority of the top of my first quilt. I won't be able to post much about its progress because the recipient is the most loyal reader of this here little blog and she wants a surprise. So with the exception of the boy and the puppies, the rest of the world will have to wait right along with her. :)

And more "I'm a real quilter" feelings going on in my heart. I took the advice of many quilting bloggers that I follow and actually split up each portion of the quilt into individual bags so that I can keep them all straight and they stay clean. Of course, those of you who know me would be surprised that I would do anything less given how crazy anal retentive I am about stuff. AND I actually broke down and ordered a huge, expensive ruler that will make my life with this project (and hopefully many more to come given the expense) much easier. I'm very excited. Maybe I can sneak little peeks along the way without exposing too much.

(Love you Mom. You can call to tell me about HMB anytime.)