Thursday, March 30, 2006

March who knows

I just saw where I did not have the pictures of the latest cabled clutch on the blog. So here are a couple of pics showing you the second one blocking. This is the one done accidentally on size one needles but it stretched out nicely and now all future clutches will be on size ones. Incidentally, that is also what I got gauge with and posted about earlier. Sigh ... should have trusted the gauge ..... live and learn. Well, hopefully learn!

Correction, ONE pic, as I emailed myself the wrong pic this morning. I'll try to remember to send the picture of the progress on the THIRD blush clutch to myself here at work when I get home tonight. Of course, that requires remembering to email myself an email to remind myself to send myself the correct pic. As my husband says"Tough to get old" and as an online friend says "my brain wipes itself at midnight, I will remember nothing tomorrow and start fresh" I butchered that quote but you get the idea.

And now to somehow remember to call the bead shop and order the beads for the clutches. I had the order all ready then remembered that blush might not be the color for the other four cluthces. The Pashmina in bleached white is whisking its way to me as I type and soon I will be able to make up four clutches from that color.

Okay lator gators ~denise/deBrat
aka grandma Brattie as of 12/7/05 (Phil)
aka mother-in-law as of 08/18/06 (Derek)
aka empty nester as of August '06 (N Caelum)

March 29th more quilt pics

So I am still working on the second triangle and for some reason I do not have a picture of when I had added just pieces 26 and 27. Subconciously I probably did not want to waste the digital time on it to only have added two pieces. I have got to get my behind in gear if I want this to be finished in time for the wedding. I am leaning very strongly toward hand quilting this entire thing and to doing tons, alot, mega amounts, plenty, hand-hurting-amounts of trapunto work on the quilt. I may even do some shadow trapunto in the center Hawaiian applique'd butterflies abound ( my pattern see to give it some more gentle coloring. Remember I have intentionally not done the details to the butterflies while I decide exactly what it needs to balance it with all the color involved in the triangles I am adding to the outside of it.

So here is the pic of the progress a of yesterday. I am also planning to "stuff" the grapes with fiberfill to give them some depth and so that is why I stopped where I did yesterday. Before I added the grapes on top of those in this picture and closed them up, thus not allowing me to put a wee bit of fiberfill in them. Tonight's pic will have fiberfill in the grapes and hopefully bunches more of the bunch of grapes. Or should it be a group of grapes? No, it is a cluster of grapes.

Have a blessing filled day ~denise/de-brat

March 27th

On Monday I was able to add pieces 17-19 and 22-25. Slowly it is taking shape.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ultimate Search for the ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

So my eldest son is getting married August 18th, 2006. Considering I do not have anything much to do for the wedding I am busy busy busy.
~I am making the wonderful couple a hand appliqued' quilt for a gift and hoping to hand quilt it too.
~I am knitting cabled clutches out of cashmere for the attendants and others involved in the wedding.

You can follow the antics regarding the two above sagas at

Around this I have been searching for the perfect, or better stated, ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom dress. What a project this alone has turned out to be. I had my heart set on one through Dillard's but none of the stores have it in stock and I just don't care to order one online in the hopes it will be the right size, right color, right... me dress.

So occassionally when the mood hits me I start surfing the internet while at work. Today's searching yielded nothing in the way of the ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom dress, but I did manage to have a few chuckles and one out loud laugh! Gratefully, only one student was in the lab at the time so no dirty looks ensued after the loud laugh.

See I was scrolling down the page of thumbnail gown pictures looking for something to jump out and bite me ..... you get really good at scrolling quickly to move on faster to the next place on the internet that will yield you no results for the ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom dress. So anyway, I'm scrolling down the page and suddenly the next thumbnail pic is of the umm well the ummmm undergarments to wear for .... well certainly not for the Ultimate-MOTHER-of-the-groom! It was a bustier, garters and stockings (not the Christmas variety either, but lovely lacey topped sheer ones) and the ummmm panties? Panties looked more like the size of a bit of bathroom tissue that falls on the floor when it is the raggedy edged beginning of the roll that is not cooperating than anything in my unmentionables drawer. I'm really glad that it was not a "rear" view of the outfit as I'm sure it would have caused reddening of my cheeks in embarrassment thinking of my "other" cheeks being revealed.

Anyway, let me run and see if I can find the link for the site again as you just have to see it to understand what caused me to "forget" myself and where I was at that time (very quiet student computer lab) :)

hope that link works for you.

So after 2 hours of searching and scrolling I am back where I started. Or perhaps, even further back then I started, as I have negated even more sites, more dresses, more colors, more prices (the only one that met the "possibility of applying for said ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom dress position was $795 - on sale even-), and more frustrations.

All in all, it is still an enjoyable process and makes me appreciate more the "parts" the others are playing in the wedding and all of the "checklists" they must have for this special occassion. Mine is so simple.
1) Show up one week before the wedding.
2) Have a dress for the wedding.

.....hmmmmm but what about the rehearsal dinner? Will I be able to "dress" for that occassion in something more my style? Or will jeans be the going attire and I will have to now go on the ULTIMATE-pair-of-jeans-for-whatever size I may be by then. Less than 20 pounds to go for what size I'd be happy to be, closer to 30 pounds to go for the size I'd dreamt of being again. And probably 10 pounds to the size I may actually arrive at :)

No wonder making my dress is sounding more and more feasible.... but searching for the ULTIMATE-Mother-of-the-Groom-pattern to make is yet another day's tale.....


maybe with the money I save designing and making my own UMOG dress I can invest in the lovely thumbnail undergarments show at the above shop if they come in larger than thumbnail size!

Minor adjustment thoughts on the UMOG dress search:
I am amazed at the number of gowns with sheer inserts over various body parts that show up in the formal dresses/gowns categories that I click on during my search for the UMOG dress. This particular one has a sheer/see-thru area of the dress I had not quite seen before.

Okay what if? My creative writing teacher in High School told us to keep a file card box of "what if" statements and brief ideas. So what if..... the sheer panel was also a stretchy see-thru material... it sure would provide a place for my "no-I'm-not-pregnant" belly to go. But perhaps the bride would be up-looked on this one?

Probably more later as I continue to search and search

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Update for March 21 & 22 & 23

March 23rd I managed to put pieces 10-16, 20 & 21 on. It is really starting to shape up. I had plenty of time to work on more but I had neglected to check how many pieces I had prepared for today. Tomorrow is a big exam in the two labs so I will be unable to work on it then. I hope to remember to bring the other skein of pashmina with me and work on the next two purses.

March 22nd, not much done but here is a pic!
Pieces #3-9 today all tiny ones!

And here is the reason I got little done on the wedding quilt, the first WOBQ (Women of the bible quilt) block is done! Hand pieced of course.

March 21 st
The WOBQ (Women of the Bible Quilt) block for week #36 Miss Eliza for studying Elizabeth. I had pieced this much and then decided to get something done on the wedding quilt today. I will finish this tomorrow. The center fabric is part of the state flower collection by Northcutt. I think I am missing a couple of the pieces so will have to make do with what I have. Each flower has more than one state affliated with it. Or at least a good deal of them do. I am sooo glad I resisted the State Bird Collection of fabrics when they followed this line.

I finished piece #1 and piece #2 today on the second triangle for the wedding quilt. progress pic...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday the 16th

Lots to report but suffice it to say that the 1st triangle is DONE! Well technically it needs some little lines of embroidery thread put on it for detail. Here are pics of.... the finished triangle.... 1/4 of the quilt ....... close up of the iris and it's offending to small looking right side because the bottom large piece had to be skewed to the left to cover up a raw edge of a previous piece. It is like the one or two threads on each block difference in size caused by seam allowance and how it exponentially expands to be a big deal across the whole quilt top. By the time I had been off-just-a-bit several times in the lay out of the individual pieces things started to go screwy for the whole layout or raw edges would not be covered.

Much was learned during this first one that has 85 pieces. the next one is block #2 in the book Applique' in bloom by Gabrielle Swain. Going to hopefully work on that today. I have to see if one of those teeny tiny little irons and my 5" flip and press will allow me to get the freezer paper pieces on it... here's hoping.
finished triangle 3:55 pm 3/16/06 finished tracing block #2 at 5:15pm same day onto the clear vinyl.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wednesday's progress

Okay so I got to do more on the block then I thought was possible due to even more problems with the updates in the lab. I am typing this from work on Thursday and we are hoping that the latest try will work. Good news for the wedding quilt though so I could have more time working on the triangle. See the fuchsias being added on the far right of the block? That is the beginning of the 2nd fuchsia pinned on there.

The more I look at the Iris the more I see how skewed the one piece looks. I could take it back and put in one slightly larger to balance it a bit, but using a Dear Jane phrase coined by Brenda Papadakis, "Done is better than perfect". She then instructs you to give it a kiss and put it aside while you go on to the next one. Here is the link to Brenda's site.

Today I also got out early after a "meeting" that allowed me to stop at Wannabead There I was able to choose the beads for the wedding attendant's purses and decided it needed a small little drop something on it too. These little clutches are getting up there in price. If I was making for me I would have chosen something at JoAnn's or Michaels but these are a one day only event that I want to be very special for the Bride to gift to the attendants and for them to remember that day by. Because of the quantity of beads needed for each purse (46+46+30+2 per purse and the 30 figure is saving 90 beads per purse, because the instructions tell you to put 4 at each cable and I will be putting a single bead in the center of it instead) and the lovely items I chose for the "drop somethings" they will have to be ordered. I'll take pics as soon as I get the first one completed.

Tuesday the triangle progress

As you can see here I am moving right along on the first triangle. I might actually have been able to start the next one this week but the updates on the computers in the labs during their spring break are not going well.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunday-the blocking/Monday revelation

Well I finally blocked the first purse knitted section and it was easily blocked to the 5 1/2" x 12" And today, Monday the second skein of Pashmina arrived, so now I only have to wait on the slow boat from wherever to arrive with more blush Pashmina to make the rest of them after that.

I took it to work today,Monday to sew up the edges and found out that first you add the beads, then you form the lining, then you add the lining/yarn to the handles. sigh and guess what the ONLY day the bead shop up where I work is closed is Mondays. more sighing I can't stop tomorrow night because I am getting my haircut. I do NOT like this new style he gave me and I am going to talk him into returning to the really cute bob type I love that shows off all the naturally-curly-hair that older age has graced with me once more. And how anal is this? I intend to take periodic pictures of my haircut so I can let him know exactly HOW LONG I want it cut previous to the wedding so it will be just right for the big day. I guess that is not anal it is just plain VAIN :(

Also, paying attention to the dye-job to make sure it is the right color/growth too for the wedding. The intention is to go up there the week before the wedding and I need it to be perfect for that night and I need it to be good to great for all the stuff the week before.

I am also searching for a mother of the groom dress. Alas, this task is hopeless! I found one I adore but can't find it in person at Dillard's to try on. I think I am going to be stuck making one because I will get the dress I like, in the size I need in a coordinating-with-the-mother-of-the-groom color too! The second choice I found (both online) was um cough cough sputter choke choke $2,200! yikes! Surely I can make one for less than that and even make a mistake or two and have to buy fabric for it more than once.... pray for me.... I am in weight vs looks (i think of myself as still 25) vs budget mode on this. I refuse to wear one of those matronly jackets over a lovely dress just because I am the MOTHER of the groom..... anyone else feel that way?

But getting back to my original point.....After the haircut, I get a massage! My first since mid-December. I am sooo happy. So because the bead shop was not open tonight I am going to look through my stash of beads (very very small stash) to see if anything is "one tube size 8 beads" and if I have enough to make at least 4 of them the same. heavy sighing now.....

And while I'm going through the bead stash I thought I would also check out what is left of the fancy fabric stash to see if anything is appropriate to use as the linings.

As to the progress of the first triangle today I only got to work on it 4 1/2 hours today because I actually had "work" to do at work today :) Updates on the computers during college Spring Break. Even more work there tomorrow.

Here is a picture ... three stems on the right side added and some of the camellia petals added. It would be so nice to finish this tomorrow but not looking good for that. I may even work on it a bit tonight to "help" it along.

Have wonderful evening all....oh wait! I also got a nice compliment from a sometimes quilter student who loved the fabric I used for the vase. So nice to have confirmation of that. I think it is the perfect fabric too!
stitches to all be thee knitted or be thee quilted,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Friday's progress

It feels like a lot of progress when I'm working on it but when I count up how few pieces are done in a single day... well, there is a long way to go yet.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

1st purse bound off!

So today i bound off the first of the purses! It measures only 11 1/2" before blocking in length and barely 4" wide but has plenty of stretch to block easily to the 5 1/2" needed in width. it looks like a lovely scarf but who could afford to make themselves a scarf at $55 a skein? Not me. Thought the second skein arrived today but it was the Carol Armstrong quilting books I won on eBay. Wild Birds and Quilting with Carol Armstrong. Tomorrow I will work on the quilt again at work as A) I NEED to and B) I don't want to cast on another one of the purses until I see that this one blocks up right. Oh and the last pic is a fake one fo the piece folded in half with the handles next to it. a little larger than I would have prefered but more practical perhaps?

have a grand day and here are the pics!

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The unveiling of the special handles for the purses

Here is a pic of the progress as of 030706 with the silver handles with it.

and here is a picture of my progress after being at work today the 8th. I took a couple of days off of working on the applique block/triangle. I'm going to be sorry I know but sometimes you just need to move to something new feeling?

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Cast on again!

The picture with the red row counter on the needles is the first cast on in pattern for the purses on size 1 needles.

So today I cast on again for the lovely Best Friends Purses for the wedding .
I decided that I could easily block to 5" from the 4" I was getting on the gently spread out on the needle and done in the actual pattern on the size 1 but not that extra 1/2" so today I cast on on size 2 needles and did 1 1/2 repeats of the pattern rows. This will look more like the actual purses in the pattern link above after being blocked I think. Here is the picture of the two next to each other. size ones on the right size twos on the left. the left is slightly larger than on the ones so I"m going to knit a complete one, or until I have to work off the skein that the ones were from and still attached to and make sure I am happy with it in that size.

Now I only have to hope that I can still get two purses out of one skein. As it is so hard to find in the first place I do NOT wish it to get less than stated in the pattern.
The one on the right (ones) was cast on at work, and worked on at my mammo yesterday. The one on the left (twos) what I got done at work today. I took an Outlook Email class and an Outlook Calendar class at work today which took me to lunch and then I had to sit and surf the internet in the Lab itself because they were doing tech support phone coverage from my desk today from noon-2 pm. Sigh, such is the life of a paper in the printers babysitter.

I did get to be a student's hero today when I explained what the instructions were saying for him to do to submit his test anwers/homework asssignment online using our network.

have a grand and glorious night and a better tomorrow

March 06, 2006 applique progress report

Real quick because I do not wish to be late to the posh job that allows me to work on all of this stuff for the wedding at work and get paid the funds that will allow me to go to the wedding etc......
This is what I got to yesterday on the first triangle of flowers for the quilt .... it is really shaping up and looking like something, eh?

The purses for attendants

Sometimes brilliant ideas should be banned from my brain cells. I saw this cute little knitted clutch pattern at called Best Friends, and got the idea that if the bride-to-be was so inclined I could make these for her attendants and she could present her "attendant's" gift to them in it. Assuming she was planning to give them a piece of jewelry like I thought was still the going thing to do.

Well Jen jumped on them! She loved them! See how brilliant i can be? Well, little did I know that waiting until you could afford the $48 a skein of Joseph Galler Pashmina would be my downfall. See the problem comes from the fact that is a very popular online site for a great free knitting magazine. So everywhere I went trying to get the Pashmina in Blush (the color that will make the apple green attendant's dresses "POP" and also the color used in the pattern online) I ran into the same answer. We have every color of Pashmina except the Blush. Sigh, a day late and a couple hundred dollars short has new meaning to me now.

Finally, I found a place with just one skein in stock... SEND IT! Dyelot matters not to me! (I can see another post coming after I find out that indeed I will not get the two promised clutches from one skein of yarn, can't you?) So I receive one skein in the mail last Wednesday and cast on for the gauge swatch on thursday at work.... three swatches until I got gauge. Now why do you have to do gauge swatch in stockinette and the pattern is a cable clutch? WELL, I got gauge alright in size 1 circs versus the size 3 circs recommended in the pattern.

Cast on, I do for the actual clutch body and go to town..... and soon I am just all excited. These will go very quickly, tis an easy repeat to recall, and then.... I get this......

Well it is a bit hard to see but my only idea of my mistake is unintentional short-rows and those are hard enough to achieve when trying to form the heels of socks...... So as these for for gifts from another person to yet third persons I rip back and cast on again...... and get this.............

Blurry yes, but it is indeed a different swatch, see the short row looking mistake is now to the right instead of to the left?
So .... yes I cast on again! And am knitting merrily along some while at the hospital awaiting the pleasure of my mammogram (long other story maybe some day because we all want to share the pain) and realise this is NOT looking big enough to fill the area suggested by the lovely silver metal clasp handles that came in on Friday of last week during all the mistakes...... Sure enough measure it up and it is only 4" wide. This piece should be blocked to 5 1/2" well I might get 5 out of it but will Pashmina hold a stretched block of over 25% of it's beginning size? mayhaps not?

So what am I doing about it? I decided to continue to knit this piece and see if when I get to about 5 or six repeats it actually fills in a bit better. After all, I got gauge so it must be right, right?

Hope all of you have a lovely day and hug your loved ones today .....

denise / de-Brat recovering from extremely sad news yesterday regarding people I did a commission huppah/quilt for in 2003 for their wedding.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

030106 progress on the first triangle block

Here it is with the vinyl overlay so you can get a small feel for what it will be like once i add all the flowers.
As of March 1, 2006