Friday, February 25, 2011

Fairy Godmother Blessings

Hello Fairy Godmothers!

You know how the stories go: at your birth your Fairy Godmothers bless you with talents and gifts that help you to become the woman you will one day be.  I know this might be a little out there (but I'm a little out there, so it works), but if you'd like to participate, I thought it would be fun for each of us to write a little blessing for Baby Girl.  Gift her with beauty, smarts, luxurious hair, perfect feet, even temperament, whatever! 

Maybe something you know that you yourself are gifted with?  (For me that would be stunning looks and the ability to do calculus.  OK, I only have one of those things, and it's not the looks!)

Maybe something you always wished you had?  (Again, for me, another 4" in height, for sure.)

Whatever the case, leave your blessing in the comments section below (so other people can see them and not duplicate) by March.  On the day of the shower, I'd like to get pictures of everyone and will put them together with our blessings in a photo book like this.  Amanda will have a great story to read her daughter, letter her know just how special she is.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


In the last week I have signed up for both the Master Knitter Level I the Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches & Techniques certifications.  I received the MKLI instructions first and, being impatient, dove right it.  I tried the first swatch and it was a humiliating experience.  I had no idea I was such a crappy knitter.  My purling is WAY bigger than my knitting  resulting in atrocious ribbing and hideous selvages.  Dammit.

That being the case, I put the damn thing aside and picked up the MACST material.  Success!  Ten of the 47 swatches are done and I don't think I will have any problems completing the rest this week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maven Watch

On a regular basis, there will be be some object or thing that I simply MUST have.  It's never anything from a specific advertisement or called-out by name in a magazine or website - it's just sort of something that bubbles up from my subconscious.  It's also always something that's not quite yet available in stores.

I have had two things that on my maven mind for the last couple of months and in the last week I found them both!  They are both throw-backs to my college days in the early 1990s.  I know this style coming back around based on what I saw on runways last fall, but I didn't consciously recognize that period as inspiration for my latest shopping until I had both items in hand and put them on together.

I used to have a pair of above-the-ankle, combat-style, black, leather, Steve Madden boots.  These boots were my absolute favorites for the longest time because a) I found them brand new at Goodwill for $3, b) they were tough-looking but still feminine enough to wear with skirts and c) did NOT have a side zip (I'm a Luddite when it comes to laced boots - go old school or go home).  I finally wore these boots to death about two years ago and replaced them with a classic, knee-high, round-toed boot.  The new boots were fine and I wore them quite a bit, but there was just something missing.  I've been looking for something to replace my dearly departed Steve Maddens for the last 6 months and I finally found these lovely Dr. Marten Diva Darcie boots.

Shortly after I started looking for my boots, I started thinking about matte, red lipstick.  I loved that look from my youth and immediately started the search.  It took two months of perusing every local drugstore chain, but two nights ago I finally found a display for the new Revlon Matte Lipstick (I'm cheap about my makeup - I get sick of colors too quickly to drop a ton of money).  I bought the darkest shade available and it is absolutely perfect.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hard Knock Mitts

I held on to this yarn for a long time before doing anything with it. Unfortunately it’s now discontinued. I love the shabby, retro color scheme. I got 1 inch into the first mitt when I started singing “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie, hence the pattern name. To test drive your new mitts: rat your hair up, smear some dirt on your face, kick dirty laundry around the house and knock over a few mop buckets.

One size, approximately women’s medium

Arm ribbing circumference: 7.5” (19 cm), un-stretched
Knuckle ribbing circumference: 6” (15 sm), un-stretched
Total length: 11.5” (29 cm)

Moda Dea “Sassy Stripes” [100% acrylic; 152 yds per 1.76 oz skein; DK/8-ply]; color: Crayon; 2 skeins
Note: This yarn is discontinued, but is still available on ebay. I think any sock yarn would work, but check your gauge.

(4) US #5 double-pointed needles
Note: always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below – every knitter's gauge is unique

Yarn needle

20 stitches/30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round

Mitt Arm

CO on 48 stitches. Distribute evenly on 3 needles and join, being careful not to twist. Place marker for beginning of round.

Work 6 rounds of k1p1 ribbing.

Knit 11 rounds even.
Decrease round: [k to last 2 stitches on needle, k2tog] x 3, 45 stitches remain.

Repeat last 12 rounds 4 x more, 33 stitches remain.

Thumb Gusset
Increase round: M1, k1, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k3, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k5, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k7, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k9, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k11, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k13, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even.

Increase round: M1, k15, m1, k to end of round.
Knit 1 round even, 49 stitches total with 17 thumb gusset stitches.

Mitt Hand
Before starting next round, place first 17 stitches on waste yarn for thumb gusset.

Rejoin round and k 6 rounds even, 32 stitches.
Work 6 rounds of k1p1 ribbing.

Bind off loosely.

Place thumb gusset stitches on three double-pointed needles.

Join yarn and knit one round, picking up 1 stitch between beginning and end of gusset at the intersection of the mitt hand, 18 stitches.

Knit 2 rounds even.
Work 4 rounds of k1p1 ribbing.

Bind off loosely.

Make second mitt the same as the first. Weave in ends.