Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shanah Tovah to you and your family!

Or Shana Tova, which ever way you want to spell it.  For non-Jews, a good year to you and yours, also.

Busy, busy.  Gotta make the tejes kolacs, the chicken for tonight, neato meatloaf on a bed of potatoes for tomorrow after synagogue.   Pay bills.  ick, boring.  Stuff.

Sister and niece coming this afternoon.  Elder DD joining us tomorrow.

Totally off topic, but then I've never stayed on topic:  here's what Miss P gave her mom for her birthday.  A spa visit!  Now, you may ask yourselves, how does a 9 year old manage that?  She gave her mom a spa visit at home.  Bubble bath, cucumbers on eyes, foot massage and back massage.  How sweet is that?  What a kid!

Gotta run.  Gotta bake.  Thank goodness, a colleague of the Hubs gave him a challah, so I don't need to bake that.

scrapperjen - She really is a wonderful child.  Very caring, very kind.  And her eyes always dance with mischief and fun.  All the grands are wonderful, each in his/her own way.  She received the latest set of doll clothes and especially loved the ones that I'm most fond of.  Whadda kid!

Scrabblequeen - She is that.  More energy that the other 4 put together, and the brain is constantly going.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where I like to live.

Right here in what passes for suburban NJ.  Suburban, my foot.  We are still on top of each other, but less so than some neighboring towns.  I'm a city girl, like being somewhere where I can easily get to a train to take me into New York.  I like having neighbors. I like going for a walk and being able to say hi to someone.  I like having shops, banks, drug stores near me.  I like that I could actually take the train to Madison and walk a few blocks to my doctor's office.  I like living somewhere where there are colleges.  We have 3 within 2 miles. I like all that being in the new York metro area offers me.

I'm sort of urban/suburban, i.e. not cheek to jowl as in Brooklyn or Manhattan.  I like having a nice piece of land which we pretty much ignore, not being gardeners.  Our land acts a a buffer between neighbors, but i can still go outside and see my neighbors.  I would be terrified if I lived in the middle of nowhere. 

I love to take the train.  I can go to NYC on an express and be there in 45 minutes.  Weekend, the locals run, so it takes about 70 minutes.  I sit on the train and knit and daydream.  If I've walked miles in the city, I rest on the ride home.  No traffic problems, no crazy drivers, just pure relaxation.  And then, being a couple of blocks from the rr station, I just walk home.  This is my idea of heaven.  Of course I don't commute; I'm retired, and that commute would get old pretty quickly, but in my working days, I did drive the half hour to work.  Can't say that I liked it, but it worked.  Now I have the luxury of taking a train to wherever.  I like taking the train to my local quilt shop, Aardvark Quilts. It's 2 stations beyond me.  8 minutes, and there I am, in downtown Morris Plains, with a quilt shop, good lunch foods, very very pleasant.

In a pinch, I could take the train to Madison (the next town eastbound) and walk to the Stop and Shop, or to downtown.  That much training I don't do, but the option is there.  The other day, when I went to Aardvark, I chatted with a lady who gave up driving. Got sick and tired of it.  She takes the train or bus everywhere.

So where is this all coming from?  I love to read Judy Laquidara's blog.  She's a delight to read.  Good writing, wonderful quilts (I wanna be her when I grow up), loves to cook, tells great husband stories.  She recently moved to Texas and has hair-raising stories of trying to find a house.  She, unlike me, wants to live out in the middle of nowhere.  The last place she would want is to live is in the metro New York area.  Cool, isn't it?  I could never live out in no-where Texas, and I bet she'd tear her hair out if she had to live in northern New Jersey.  (I specify northern NJ because the shore and the Philly areas are just not the same state.  It's pretty neat to live in a state with low mountains (very low), rivers, parks, cities, the ocean.  But I digress.) 

I guess, when all is said and done, it's wonderful to live in a country where there is so much diversity.  Me with urban areas, Judy with total country, and all that's in between.

And now I'm off to watch The Biggest Loser.  Not that I'm heavy.  I could probably lose 3-4 lbs, but I love watching how these amazing people work so hard and end up so amazingly fit.

Jo - Hi, neighbor!  Thanks for reading my blog.

Ria - South Jersey is like a different state.  Totally different, isn't it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh frabjous day

Calloo callay
I chortle in my joy!

I just finished sewing my first non-mini quilt top!  I"m happily chortling in my joy.  I should be cleaning up this mess of a house, but needed a break, so I finished up the top.

Is it perfect?  What, are you kidding?  I'm glad that it all sort of came together and that I mismatched only about 6 points.  Nope, I'm not redoing those points.  It is what it is.  I've given up perfection.

But it's good enough.  Indeed, it's more than good enough.  Needs a bit of better pressing, that's for sure.  And if you look towards the bottom, some of those long rectangular blocks seemed skewed.  I think that's the pressing.  And you can see this horizontal line just toward the bottom, but that's pressing, I'm pretty sure.  Anyhow, when it's quilted, all the quilting will take care of the wonkiness.  Not that I have any idea on how to quilt it.  This much I know:  I'm hand doing it.  Or else sending it out.

There.  See the wonkiness?  Oh, don't look.  Just enjoy the frabjousness of it all.

Happy dance.  Chortling with joy.  Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay!

And now back to the mess.  If I ever get this house straightened up, I'm so NOT ever going to let it get this bad again.

Chortle, chortle, gleeful chortle.

Thanks to Lewis Carroll for Jabberwocky.  'Twas brillig and I sewed a quilt top.

merrilymarylee - I'm still chortling, although now I'm finding a lot more messiness, or wonkieness

Scrabblequeen - Calloo, Callay!  What should I do next?  Decisions!

CarolynJean - It was a "mimsy" moment.

scrapperjen - Thanks.  I saw a d9p done so that you didn't have to match any points at all.  That is now on my to-do list.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Something that I can actually show you:  a brand-new, hot-off-the needles dolls shawl.  A shawl with great possibilities for a people shawl.  People shawls start with the same numbers and then grow and grow.  So a doll shawl is a wonderful place to play.

A mere .6 oz!  Enough left over for a pair of socks for me!  Or another shawl or a sweater or a hat.  Is this not fun?

Embiggen to see it large.

Happy weekend.  It's only drizzling after yesterday's downpour.  Drizzle is good.

CarolynJean - It's a great way to try out patterns.  You never know if one of these little guys is going to grow up to be an adult shawl.

Scrabblequeen - We'll be glad to send you a bit of rain.  We're all pretty waterlogged at the moment.  There are the most amazing fungi springing up in my grass.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy me

I have been sewing up a storm of doll clothing and working on my disappearing 9 patch, too.  And knitting a bunch of projects also. 

First of all, the girls:

Ignore the way they are looking up.  They are rolling their eyes at the constant photography, plus Miss Tish on the left looks 3 sheets to the wind the way she is lollying around.  Plus she's showing a bit too much leg.  She really is a shameless hussy.  I'm not thrilled with how her stand up collar top came out.  I have plenty of fabric, so I might make another top.  Or not.

Here are the 2 well-behaved girls.  Notice that they are upright.  Barefoot, of course.  They don't do shoes.

I started a shawl in a matching yarn for the cutie on the left. Did about 1/2 inch so far, but I think it's too open, so I'm switching needles from a 4 to a 3. No pics, because what can you see with a teensy bit of shawl showing? Not much. Different shaping, so it might become a little prototype for an adult shawl.

Also on the knitting needles with no pics because they are boring: 2nd sock for His Royal Hubbo. Men's socks go on forever. Good TV knitting. Working my way on the mitered border of the Modified Cardigan. Took me 4 tries to get the shaping right on the 2nd miter. Just didn't want to sink into my head, I guess. And then, I want to knit me a pair of socks out of this amazing 75/25 SW Falkland merino/nylon I just bought. Great hand. I might actually put in a more compicated pattern than what I've been doing.

And the quilt! Here's a pic of how it's coming along. I rather like it. It's bright and cheery, and not subtle in the least, but I think it would be brilliant to cuddle under such pretty colors in the middle of winter.

 By the way, the shawl behind the girls is my Avira Shawl, pattern available on Ravelry.  I thought the color fit in nicely with the center doll.

And that's the story, Morning Glory.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And the last dress is

This one. Made from a batik I found somewhere and I have enough leftover for something, maybe a top. Or maybe I'll just cut up into squares for a scrappy quilt.

I'm still pulling fabric for the Rose Collection.  I love having stash.  And I was bad because I did buy a wee bit of fabric on sale.  So far I think I have made a teensy dent in the collection.  But it is such fun decided what to make and what fabric to use.

If anyone had told me that I would love sewing, I would have hit them over the head with the machine.  It's a treat to have 2 crafts going on simultaneously.  The crochet is languishing, and I haven't stitched in maybe 10 years, but now I'm looking at floss and the mind is thinking.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thanks, ladies.  Yep, it's time to do some warm knitting, especially considering that it was about 59 today, and I was really chilly.  So, I suppose the girls are chilly, too.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A new dress for a blurry doll.

She was up partying 'till the wee hours of the morning and is a but blurry even at 4:30 in the afternoon.  I keep telling her that she has to get her act together. But does she?  Noooo.  Cavorting around at all hours in some of the toniest bars in Manhattan.  Stayed out so late that she missed her train home.  Good thing her aunt doesn't live too far away.  And that's why she's blurry. Me?  I went to sleep at around midnight, for once had a good night's snooze, and am not in the least blurry.

Scrabblequeen - She finally sobered up. I took away her clothes to mail them to Miss P, and now she's nekkid and embarrassed.

scrapperjen - The dolls are pretty much nekkid again. So now I'll have to start sewing the fall collection for Miss Rose. I'm telling you, there is no rest for the wicked here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm so good, I can hardly stand myself.

I haven't bought a single piece of fabric this week.  Not to worry though, or feel sorry for me, I have a bit of fabric and some books in the mail.  I have to make room in the fabric tub before I can buy any more.

Look at this combo that I got a few weeks ago for a certain ballerina in the family.  Isn't it darling?  I'm thinking a sweet little 2 fabric dress with the little flowers as the bodice, and the ballet shoes as the skirt, and maybe a jacket out of the ballet slippers, too.

There there is this fabric combination.  A little top out of the solid, and a jumper from the floral, and wouldn't it be fun to do a bit of embroidery over the flowers?  Maybe a bit of blanket stitching around one of the inner circles.  Or French knots.  I haven't stitched in maybe 10 years, and the urge is growing.

Knitting news:  Just to prove that I'm knitting something other than mystery shawls, here's what I just started this afternoon.  It's going to be the Mitered Cardigan from Knit one, knit all.  At this rate, it'll be finished sometime in the next year or two.  The yarn is Rowan's Felted Tweed, and I'm loving the woolliness of it.  I've wanted to knit something in it for a long time, and then I saw this sweater, and I love anything by Elizabeth Zimmermann, so the time is right.

And you know I cannot resist some lace, so here's a play bit of knitting.  It might turn into a shawl or it might get frogged.  I don't know.  I can't tell yet if I like the pattern, even stretching out the sample.  It's fun; what do I care.

Mommie news:  I went to the doc yesterday with a UTI, and talked to him about my mom and how very frail she was.  He asked if she was eating, and I said yes.  Her aide cuts up her food, or anyone wandering by also cuts up the food, and then she eats.  I actually got weepy with him, and believe me, I rarely cry.  I guess I'm i the letting-go process.

scrapperjen  and Scrabblequeen- Weepy is helpful for me.  What I love is the connection between her and her great-granddaughter.  It's just charming to see.  Thanks for all your words of support; they help so much.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The girls, yet again.

It's nice and toasty here in northern NJ, but the girls are getting ready for fall weather.

Yep, the sleeves on the left hand doll are a trifle too long.  So it goes.  I'm not ripping.  I do enough ripping, as in totally messing up one of the sleeves.  Besides, that outfit it going to MN, where she'll need all the warmth she can get.  The fabric on the top is a Kona cotton, and it is beyond wonderful.  I love this stuff with a passion.  The skirt and trim are a pretty fabric I found on  Bought them before I swore I wasn't buying any more fabric.

The cutie on the right is wearing a dress from a stunning batik I bought at The City Quilter, and for the life of me, I can't remember where I got the jacket fabric.

Here's the dress all by itself and with the Shawl To Go doll shawl.  I think she's quite elegant, myself.  These are heading to Minnesota, also.  Miss P is going to score big on doll clothing, but don't feel sorry for Miss Rose.  She gets the next batch.

Patterns are by Joan Hinds.  I do like sewing her designs.  Can't say I like setting in sleeves, but hey, dolls do not live by sleeveless garments alone.

Miss Penny and Miss Rose have different color senses, and it's such fun for me because I get to indulge in all sorts of fabric choices.

If I were a good Gram, I'd make the kids jeans, but I really don't like sewing on heavy denim, and chambray just doesn't cut it.  So, dorky pants are what the dolls get.  Hey, if the pants are too dumb, the kids can always use them as jammie pants.  That works just fine.

Knitting, knitting, and more knitting:  Can't show you a single thing because they are all mysteries.  But I can tell you that I'm so loving knitting on lace yarn again.  Just wait until you see what's coming next in the Light and Dark Lace Club!  Just wait.  And don't cry to me if you don't join and then have to wait for the pattern.  This one is my favorite; oh, they are all my favorites.   And the dimensions are approx 42 x 104!  This is not a little shawlette. I have to finalize my yarn colors, but I will tell you that for once, they are not pastels.  We have a bit of medium colorways here.  Well, fall is coming up, and I need more color.

I am thinking of knitting the Mitered Cardigan pattern from Knit One Knit All.  It's calling me.  Garter stitch for pure delightful mindless knitting.  Skinny yarn, too.  6 sts/inch.  Just my speed.  And I really need cardigans.  I think a visit to the Stitching Bee is in order tomorrow.

Kitten With a Whiplash   - My resident guy person, AKA the Hubbo, really likes these doll outfits.  It makes me giggle, but he really appreciates them.  And he doesn't laugh at me either, well not to my face or else I'd deck him!  
And the girls like being barefoot because otherwise, I'd spend all my money on shoes and not on fabric.  So barefoot they are.  Whoa, is barefoot a bad word?  My serious giggle of the day.  I can't write "bare" in my blog?  The blog police are going to get me?  I love it; I really love it.  X-rated blog because she wrote "barefoot".. You have made my day.  I may never stop chortling over this.

Monday, September 12, 2011

How come?

I'm terrified of using my gorgeous new stash for quilts?  Huh?  I'm perfectly happy to cut for doll clothing, but touching the fabric for a real quilt?  Ack!  At least with knitting I can always frog, and I do, constantly.  But how can you frog if you've cut the fabric?

And that's enough blogging for the century.  3 posts in one day is a bit much.  I'll probably have nothing to say for a month or two.

My mom.

I had lunch with my mom today.  She's so old, almost 97, and fragile, and tiny and frail, and I'm sitting here typing this with tears running down my face because I miss the Mommie of old.  I would so love to have last year's Mommie.  She's gone way downhill in the last few months.  Still in good spirits and eats well (if the folks cut up her food, which they do), and certainly knows who I am, who the Hubs is, and who Penny is.  She knows my sister and our kids, but The Hubs, Miss P and I are the ones who seem to most resonate with her.  Funny how that is.  She's clearly got a connection to her 9 year old granddaughter.  And I give Pen full credit for that.  That child is so sweet and kind and gentle with old folks.  She's a marvel.  Could be because she has ancient great grandparents.  On her dad's side, she has her great grandma and Leonard, who is about 102.  and on my side she has my mom.  But little kids are often impatient with or don't uncomfortable with elderly folks.  Not this kid.

But I do miss my mom of last year.  Of last winter.  And I wonder how long she'll be with us.  The beauty of blogland is that I can write this, where I would not cry in front of friends or relatives.  I rarely cry.  But because you are all anonymous, I can let go here.  Funny thing, no?  I don't have to do the tower of strength thing here.  If we passed each other on the street, you wouldn't know who I am.

The sweetest thing my mom says to me with every visit, well, when she's awake, is "I love you."  I'm so fortunate to have her. '

Scrabblequeen - That's my relationship with my mom, too.  I've fought with her from 13 to forever, and I've never won an argument.  Ever. She used to tell me that the day I won a battle with her, she's be in her grave.  How I would dearly love to have an argument with her now.  Still, to have your mother for 67 years is wonderful, and I'll take what I have.

Grace - I was at the doctor's today with a UTI, and I just had to talk to him about my mom.  He's also her doctor, and he really understands her issues.  He told me that 2 things would get her:  an infection, or she would stop eating.  She's still eating, but is so frail that any infection would probably do her in.  He was so kind and understanding.  He's not a geriatrician; she's his oldest patient, but he knows old people.  Great guy, indeed.

Repaired breakfast

I made 2 sweet breads the other day, each one half of the dough.  Both rolled out and one smeared with lekvar, and the other with a bit of melted butter and cinnamon and sugar.  Scarfed down the lekvar bread.  Froze the cinnamon one.

Defrosted the cinnamon bread on Saturday, and today attempted to consume the last little bit of it.  Stale, really stale.

Here I am with a lovely cup of ctc Assam tea and stale cinnamon bread.  However, I had a brilliant idea:  I would dunk the bits of bread into the tea.  Hey, they were almost as stale as a cracker.  Guess what?  The bread is delicious.  Whadda woman!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today I have to share my 9/11 memories.  They are as alive for me as if they just happened.

10 years ago, I was driving to work.  It was a glorious September day; the sun was shining, the trees were still green, the kind of day that made you happy to be alive.  I'm not a big organized religion person, although I am most definitely Jewish and love my religion very much.  I pray, but not asking for things, but in gratitude for whatever I want to be thankful for. I'm rarely in synagogue, because I'm not a group person, but I have a relationship with G-d that is at the core of my being.  So, on 9/11/01, I was driving along 124 in New Jersey and thanking G-d for such a beautiful day and for me being able to appreciate it.

The radio was on, as usual, and I was listening to my favorite classical music station.  And then the music was interrupted and on came the news.  At that point I was stopped at a light.  And I was in a state of disbelief.  What, the Twin Towers had been attacked?  No.  Not possible.  But this is the radio station of the New York Times; they don't play tricks on listeners.  So the light changed and I drove on, and as I made my way under a bridge, the news continued and I started to cry.  And pray.  And hope.  I can remember it as if it were today.

All those innocent people.  Those poor folks on the planes.  The firefighters.  The horror.  And all because some bastards want to destroy the US in the name of their G-d.  Folks, there are many paths to G-d for many people.  And none of them demand that innocent lives be destroyed.  G-d didn't create us to have us destroy each other in His/Her name.  People go to battle and say that G-d will grant them victory. That's how battles are decided.  Right.  Uh huh. By G-d choosing one side or another. Would G-d really do that?  We ate of the Tree of Knowledge, and this is now our responsibility to be humane.  We were created in G-d's image, and now we take that image and destroy it.   And G-d weeps because people use Her/His name in vain to destroy G-d's creation. 

There is nothing else to say.  May G-d, who made us, keep us safe and secure in our homes.  May G-d. who loves us, never have to weep again at the deaths of innocents.  May there be peace among the nations, and may the lion and the lamb lie down together, and may all humanity say Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nope, not me.

I will NOT look at more fabric. I will stay away from quilt shops and Joanne's. I will NOT look at Hawthorne Threads, or E-Quilter, or Fat Quarter Shop. I will not even think of checking out Charmpacksplus, or Green Fairy Quilts or or Fabric Depot or Hancock's of Paducah or Missouri Star Quilt or anyplace else. I will stay away from Etsy fabric shops. I will NOT buy anything any more!  I will not add any more online shops to my list.  I will behave as a responsible adult.

You believe that? Sigh. I have an entire tub plus innumerable zip lock bags of fabric. I need Fabric Anonymous. I'm not looking, you bad enablers. Did you read that? No fabric for me any more.  And forget responsibility.  I'm 67; I don't have to act as an adult any more.  I will be a curmudgeon.  and not buy any more fabric.  Did you hear me?  No more!

Did you notice that innumerable has 2 "n" and only one "m"? I do love spell check; it's like recommendation. That one has 2 "m". why? The English language is such fun to spell. Good thing that I love it dearly. Wouldn't want to have any other language as my mother tongue.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shawl To Go

I was happily futzing around with sock yarn and making the beginnings of a shawl when it occurred to me that doll shawls start off with the same numbers as people shawls! Now I get to have lots of fun with very little work, and can make all sorts of cutie designs and now worry that people will find them too fussy or silly or whatever. The dolls don't care; I can assure you of that.

BTW, if you think I'm going off the deep end with all this doll clothing stuff, guess what? It is such fun. They garments go quickly, almost instant gratification, and I get to play. If knitting and crocheting and sewing can't be play, then what's the point of it all. So, go find a cute doll at a garage sale. If you are embarrassed to buy it, tell folks that the doll is for your niece, daughter, grand, whatever. And then you too can have all this fun.

Shawl To Go: a wherever and whenever shawl. Pretty functional, ties around the back if you wish so that those ends don't end up in your soup or kneading bowl. Or you can wear it in a number of other ways.

And here she is with her buddy, who is also wearing new duds.

Scrabblequeen - Sometimes I'm so smart I scare myself. Finished objects, indeed! I think I might do another one tonight.
Wall-to-wall books - Isn't it adorable?  Now I want to do more and more.  My grands are the beneficiaries of all this doll madness.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alive and well.

Yep, I'm back to whatever passes for normal around here.  Thanks for all your good wishes; they helped a lot.

We survived Irene very well.  Lucky for us, there are no rivers nearby, we are a good hour from the coast, and the Hubbo The Great had 2 pumps going plus his bilge pump, so the flood at the top of the driveway did not cause damage.  Don't even ask why it floods there; we don't know.  We called in 3 folks to give us estimates and tell us what to do.  Big joke.  We hired one, and we're still waiting and waiting to hear from him.  This was about 2 months ago!  Good thing we didn't give a deposit.

Off to sew.  I finished a cutie patootie shawl for the dolls, and I'm also doing a neato sweater for them.  I'll post pics when the light is better.

Happy September to you all!


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