On the heels of success... THIS

I was feeling pretty darn confident in my knitting skills, especially after successfully completing a nice-looking, well-fitting sweater. So when I found a cute, easy looking pattern to make some slippers with some yarn from my stash, I thought "no sweat". It was knitting up pretty quickly, as I expected. The sole was the right size, all was well. So why in the world, when I believe I followed the pattern correctly, does it look like THIS?!

When finished, it is supposed to look like this:

A little cosmetic surgery

We're going to a Rock Cats (minor league) baseball game on Saturday w/ people from Hubby's work, and they gave us two t-shirts to wear.... in size XL. Not wanting to be swallowed alive by my clothing, I performed a little bit of cosmetic surgery on it. Knowing how to sew, and the basics of garment construction, really comes in handy! I also altered Hubby's tee, since he is also far from an XL.

It was pretty easy to do! Take a t-shirt that fits you well, and lay it on top of the big one as a template. Cut around the body of the shirt (approximating where the armholes go) giving about half an inch extra on each side for seams, and an extra inch at the bottom hem. Take the newly cut off huge sleeves and cut the seams to open them flat. You'll want to make the sleeve about the same size/ length as the sleeves on your template tee, so do a measurement (plus half inch) to see how much you'll cut off the top (at the shoulder seam). Lay the opened up giant tee sort of on top of the opened up sleeve, the shoulder seam of the shirt where the shoulder seam of the sleeve will be. Trace the shape of the armhole onto the sleeve, cutting the rounded top to match the shirt armhole's shape, and cutting off whatever is required from each side of the sleeve. Sew the sleeve to each armhole, right sides together. Sew the sides together, right sides together. Trim extra fabric at the seams. While still inside-out, sew the hem up about one inch. Done! Easy! Sure, it would look a bit more professional on the inside if I had a serger, but so what? Who's going to be looking at my inside seams?



My first sweater... FINISHED!

Huzzah! It is finished! My very first sweater! And it fits! Success! For some reason the color in the photos looks a little gray-ish, but in person it is a lovely plum.


Gardening is "sow" fun!

The plants and seeds are in the ground! First some compost was added to the soil, and then worked in with a pitchfork. We had a nice rain last night, so hopefully it was beneficial!

Garden Planning

Yesterday Hubby and I stopped at our local Home Depot and picked up a few planters to get our garden started. We got chives, parsley, zucchini squash (which we'll return... it'll just end up taking up way to much room in our little plot), Tabasco peppers, sweet basil, oregano, cilantro seeds, and a marigold to help keep away some bugs. I found a neat website called plangarden.com that helps you create a garden plan and track your garden activities (planting, harvesting, etc.) and it offers a 45 day free trial, with no need to provide any credit card info that you'd have to cancel after the 45 days... you decide at the end whether you want to subscribe or not. If you don't, you can still see the garden you created, you just can't make changes. Here is the garden plan I've created:

Planting starts this evening! :-)

If only I could have chickens, too...

I am very happy to announce we have just acquired a garden! Huzzah! Right across the road from our apartment complex there is a community garden I've had my eye on ever since I moved here. I found out some info about it online and emailed to see if there were any plots available. Well, there weren't. Until now! A spot opened up, and they wrote back to me and asked if I wanted it. I'm excited! I know almost nothing about gardening, so it'll be a fun thing to learn. There are already two little tomato plants growing in my plot, and I plan on adding some lettuce and who knows what else! I want to be able to pick fresh veggies all summer long! Maybe that's ambitious, but so what? It's worth a shot! Anyone out there with a green thumb have any suggestions or tips?

My plot:

Drip.... drip.... drip....

It goes without saying that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free home! Luckily, because we live in an apartment, maintenance issues are taken care of for us. The latest? Check out the new gaping hole in our ceiling!

The air conditioning pipes up in the ceiling had been dripping through our ceiling, so yesterday they cut out a chunk of the ceiling so they can fix it. The plastic thingy you see is temporarily covering the hole until they come back with the parts they'll need to finish the job. It's got a little hole through which the water continues to drip (down into a pail on the floor).

On the bright side, we also have a new, awesome dishwasher! The old one (and I mean REALLY old) was a disgrace, and didn't work at all. They approved a new dishwasher for us, and ta-da! The very next day we have a brand new, energy-saving, super quiet dishwasher! Yay!

This little piggy...

Thanks to my hubby for sending me this amigurumi tutorial video, I gave it a shot and successfully crocheted my first adorable little thing-a-ma-bobs! First I made a little orange ball (use your imagination... no photo) and filled it with fiberfill, catnip, and a little bell, and Casper LOVES his new toy!

Not being satisfied with a mere sphere, I used some leftover peach yarn from my lace scarf and improvised this cute little piggy! Complete with little snout, sequin/beaded eyes, teeny legs, and a curly tail. I just made it up as I went along.

Strawberry picking!

We've had unseasonably warm weather so far this spring (except for today... brrr!), causing the strawberries to ripen earlier than usual. We drove over to Pell Farm in Somers to pick some fresh, yummy strawberries! I'm thinking some tarts or pies are called for.

Not to brag, but...

Ok, so this is kind of the opposite of bragging. I'd have to be a completely narcissistic nutcase to brag about THIS:

You're probably thinking "A potholder? You're posting about making a potholder? Well woop-dee-doo!" I know, I know, a masterpiece it's not. However, it's the first thing I've crocheted since my freshman year of college, when my friend Julia taught me a basic stitch that I used to make an afghan. I don't even know what stitch it was, either. Yesterday I took a Crochet 101 class at JoAnn, and I learned to chain, single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet, and what I used on my afghan was definitely none of the above. Oh well! The important thing is, that after all of these years, it hasn't fallen apart, and my cats have all loved to make their beds on it. This potholder I made won't be going into my Crafting Hall of Fame, but I'm kind of proud of it because I was able to pick up crochet again pretty quickly and easily. I'm still completely partial to knitting, but now at least I have try something different when I want to! I also adore amigurumi, those cute little Japanese crocheted (or sometimes knitted) stuffed animals: 

I'd love to try some sometime!

My first sweater.... continued

My sweater is coming along quite well, I'm very happy to say! I think it'll actually look like a real sweater! I've done the back part and the two sleeves:

Knitting this sweater was also recently made even more fun and special; my dear hubby surprised me with a beautiful set of rosewood interchangeable needles! They are so fantastic! It includes needles from size 4-11, with cables in 16", 24", and 32" lengths. It also includes adapters to combine for longer lengths, along with stoppers for the ends. Right now I'm knitting using the size 10s made into straight flexi-needles, which I'm enjoying much more than the aluminum needles I was using before. I found them rather slippery to knit with.

I've started a little bit of the front left panel now, which follows a more intricate pattern and includes beads. Here's a little preview:



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