Sunday, June 22, 2008

Made in the U.S.A.

I don't always read the Sunday comics but today it was the first section of the paper that I read and I'm so glad. "Family Circus" was great!.....

Billy said... "Know what? My pants were made in Thailand, and my shirt was made in Mexico. I bet we don't have any clothes made in the U.S." His sister said, "Wrong, Billy! I know this sweater was made in this country 'cause I watched Grandma knit it!".

Wow! That's so cool! Another great reason to knit! As if there weren't enough great reasons already!

It seems like there isn't much of anything in stores these days that's made anywhere but China, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, etc. I'm happy for those people to have jobs but what about jobs here? I've been hearing of more and more mills and factories closing in America...some that had been existence for generations...and production of fabrics and other goods are now being done in China. As a result, I wonder if a lot of skills will be lost in America. That's a sad and scary thought. It's exciting when I find something that's been made here in America or somewhere like Canada or Europe. I hope we don't lose that completely.

I think I'll go do some knitting now and make something in the U.S.A.!!! :-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's in the bag!

I finished my knitting case/bag yesterday...all but a buckle, button or bow to hold it closed. It's holding most of my needles...except for the ones that are tied up in projects that my daughter and I are doing. I was even able to fit my circular needles as well as stitch markers, holders and counters. I tried storing the circular needles without their cases but realized I needed the cases to know the lengths and some don't have sizes marked on the needles. Plus, they were a little wild and crazy without their cases to coral them. Luckily I made the pockets wide enough that I'm able o fit the circulars in their cases and double them up. I think that it will hold all of my needles with room to spare.

Here it is open.

The top folds down to hold the needles in.

Like this....

Then it rolls up to keep all my needles safe and secure.

I'm pretty happy with it. It's just a lot bigger when it's rolled up than I had expected. But, it will do what I wanted it to do...hold all my needles and stuff to take on trips in the RV and be available for any wonderful yarns I can't pass up on my yarn store adventures. That way I can spend my money on pretty yarns and not more needles. :)

I've seen cases in yarn stores with crazy high prices on them...some close to $100!! I can't afford that. I think it's pretty cool that I was able to make this with scraps from a quilt I made last year, felt that worked for batting, and some antique lace that I had. The only thing I had to buy for this was red thread.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pretty Colors!

Last month I found some yarn that I couldn't resist. It's a yarn that I've looked at for years and always thought I'd buy some...someday. But, now they have new colors that are so pretty and the price is amazing...only $1.69 at Michael's. It's Lily's "Sugar 'N Cream" cotton. I love cotton!

I bought a few colors and immediately started knitting some wash cloths. You can see them here. They're simple, but I think that makes them really nice. And, they're fun to make. I decided they would make great gifts. That gave me an excuse to buy more....and more! These are some of the colors that I picked up this last week when they were on sale for only $1. I can make two wash cloths with one, two ounce ball. That makes them a very affordable gift. I plan to add some nice soaps and such and I think they'll be great. It's a gift I'd love to receive. I just finished up two more last night in a variagated blue for my mom.

At one of the Michael's stores I was in last week I found big, 14 ounce balls of "Sugar 'N Cream" in different colors that were also really pretty. They had two that I especially liked. I just got this one for now. It's called "Cupcake". And, with my coupon it was only $4! I plan to make a shopping bag or two out of this. Isn't the color beautiful?! I love it!

Have a wonderful, colorful, yarn filled weekend! :- )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Card Crafting

Still busy. Still having fun. Still crafing. Today my daughter and I are crafting cards for some special days coming up. They always seem to come in groups. This time we need to make four father's day cards and two birthday cards. And, I may be crafting but knitting is always on my you can see with this card I'm making for my mom for her birthday. It was fun. I took a couple of toothpicks, filed the ends a bit and glued on some beads. I used some of my favorite warping cotton (I love it for dish towels) to knit a few rows (not easy to do with toothpicks!) and I made a couple hanks of yarn for the basket. I just have to come up with something clever to write on the inside. With the card I'm giving her some hand knitted wash cloths and a bottle of "Soul Soother Shower Gel" that smells reallllly good.

We're working on a card for my mother-in-law that's shaped like a bottle of wine. We're going to make a label that's special for her. The gift it will go with is a little flag and stand to put out by her patio that says "Wine a Bit", "You'll Feel Better". Perfect for her because she loves to have a glass of wine just about every night. And, she loves to have little cutesy things in her yard.

I can't show any of the the dad's day cards cuz there's a chance that hubby/dad might see them on here. We still have a couple more cards to design and make for Grandpas.

The background of this picture and of several other pictures I've posted in the past is the coffee table in our family room. It has handpainted flowers on the top and it seems to work out great for posing projects for pictures. I didn't think of that when we bought it. It was just a cheap table with the right colors. I liked it when we bought it. I love it now. :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Wow! This week has flown by so quickly. This is my daughter's first week of summer break and we've been so busy. I hope the whole summer doesn't go by this quickly. But I do hope it continues to be so fun and productive. We've been exercising every morning. Yay for us! That's a great accomplishment! We've also been busy sewing, knitting, and finishing up various little projects. The picture above is of some chenille rugs we wove earlier this year and I finally finished the edges of them and softened them up in the washer and drier. My daughter wove the one with pink for her room. It' looks great alongside her bed. It matches the many pillows and quilts she has. The green one is one that I wove for our bathroom. I've made quite a few. They make great mats for stepping on outside the shower. I've made longer ones too that are great for towels.

I'm really enjoying all the things we've been doing but I haven't been able to knit as much as I'd like. The days are entirely too short!!! None the less...I have gotten some done on my Crescendo Shawl. The pattern calls for size 13 needles which are entirely too large for the yarn I'm using. I started out with size 8 needles, a size that seemed perfect for the yarn, and I increased the amount of stitches to make up the difference to make it wide enough. I was excited that I was able to do it but it seemed a bit tight and was curling up a lot. The texture wasn't showing up as well as it could have with the dark blue I was using either. So, I tried size 10 needles with another color that I have of the same yarn and it looked a lot better. So, I decided to make it with this yarn and 10's. The texture shows up a lot better and it's sooooo soft (alpacca). It's not colorful but there are times when this color (or lack of) will work out great. It looks a lot better in person than in the picture. I'm having so much fun knitting this. And...I haven't used a single lifeline! Maybe I shouldn't say that. lol But, so far so good. I'm doing fine with the pattern. Yay!!!

I got a chance to work on my knitting needle case yesterday and it's coming along. I'm trying to figure out how I want to quilt it right now and I hope to have it done soon.

We have a busy weekend ahead. My daughter has SAT's in the morning. And, hubby is doing "Ride Around the Bear" tomorrow on his bike. It sounds crazy but he's really looking forward to it. It starts in Redlands and goes up the mountain to Big Bear, around the lake, and back down to Redlands. I think it's around 120 miles. He rode it a few years ago and loved it. I was amazed when he called me around 1:00 or 2:00 and said he was finished. Incredible! It would take me forever!!! I can't imagine climbing that mountain...especially in one day!!! While I wait for them I'll get time to knit! Fun!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

BAT Truck

I'm back on my BAT bike (Bicycle As Transportation) but this time I've got a BAT truck (trailer) to help me carry stuff. I'm calling it a BAT truck because it looks like a little stake bed truck and it's more fun to say than BAT trailer. We bought this trailer about 18 years ago from Toys R Us to use for hauling stuff around. It was cheap and it worked out great for groceries and trips to the beach to haul an ice chest, chairs and other stuff. A couple years later we strapped our baby daughter's car seat into it and took her for rides until we got her a better kid trailer. This trailer has rarely been used since. We didn't want to get rid of it cuz it's pretty cool. We pulled it out last year to haul our dog around on bike rides at the beach and stuff. She liked it so much that hubby added a carpeted platform for her to be more comfortable. This weekend he added the side rails. It even has a little storage compartment. So cool!

This morning my daughter and I took it out for a BAT trip to the grocery store. Notice in the picture above what we would have taken otherwise...a gas guzzling Yukon XL. We have that to haul the harp around and to pull our camping trailer on vacation - but it's my regular vehicle too. I don't drive much but the gas prices really hurt. So just one trip to the grocery store probably saves about $4. Not bad. Especially if we make a habit of this. And it feels so great to do something like this without using gas.

Here's a picture of it loaded with groceries at a stop at the park to get a drink of water.

This is my daughter taking a turn at riding it home, pulling the load, saying, "I think I can...I think I can". lol We were joking that we're the lil BAT bikers that could! lol It's a little harder with the load but we did it! If we keep it up we'll definitely get stronger.

We used our Trader Joe's insulated bag for the cold stuff and re-used paper grocery bags for the other stuff.