Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Days like that

The tea cozy obsession continues. Here we go with mitered squares. Good way to use up odds and bobs of yarn.

And the lining is done in seed stitch, literally using up short lengths and ends of the balls.

Good old seed stitch supports such a variety of oddities.

Shiny gold button on the top on this side.

A wild, galloping wooden turtle on this side. Cute lil'feller, ain't he?

Monday was one of those days when I walked in circles trying to get started, and couldn't get plugged into anything. I finally gave up and settled in front of the tube with my knittinng. finished this cozy and got started on a cotton Baby Surprise jacket, using up the half-a ball of this and that in the cotton stash. I watched five hours of CSI re-runs.
On Saturday, DH discovered re-runs of Billy the Exterminator. Billy is an ex-con in the deep south (S.Carolina? Tennessee?/ who has gone into the exterminating business with his dad, mom, and brother. Billy, a skinny blonde guy with jail-house tattoos and a spiked mohawk, dresses like a heavy-metal rocker and talks like Ty Pennington with an entomolgy degree. He uses non-toxic chemical spray, and goes up against these wild-big bugs and critters. Raccoons in the rafters, gators in the fishpond, Cicadia-killer wasps in the day-care playground, rats in the dog pound. (The terriers were really disappointed when Billy trapped all their playmates, but people hate to see rat parts scattered around the pen.) Billy is SO hyperactive. His mom is a flamboyant redhead who runs the office, and his dad is a good old boy, short hair and reasonably fit, but slowing down after he fell off a roof while hunting wasps, and broke his back, then had a heart attack while getting a python out of someone's garage. Billy's brother is just an ordinary guy who does his job and gets on with life. If you happen to run across Billy while you're channel surfing, it's a video version of the good old white trash Twinkie cake -- a shameful pleasure!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

roxie is a nitwit

All this lovely yarn is from Benita at I gave you the wrong e-address earlier and you won't be able to find her at blogspot.

bounty from Benita

Photos up again. Yayyy! Here are the fat quarters Benita sent to me to make comforters for the orphans. Bright and happy and busy and inspirational. I'll get the machine out after July knitting. Dh stopped at an estate sale on his way home from work and found two fleece blankets so I have comforter stuffings again.

And here's the lovely t-shirt Benita tie-dyed for me. "I spin, I weave, I dye." Evidently the romans didn't knit. We loves our t-shirt we does!

And then, my favorite photo model. Doesn't the yarn look lovely against the black velvet coat?

Monday, June 28, 2010

What the problem is

When I post on Blogger, it gets stored in my Google account. Google gives me a gigabyte of storage space for free. Photos take up lots more space than words do, and I think there are different ways to store the photos that use more or less space. Be that as it may, in my 1139(or so) posts, what with all the photos of the trips and the parties and the flowers and quilts and knitting and all, I have used up my free gig. For $5 a year, Google will sell me 20gigabytes of storage. The storage is what makes it possible to go back to previous posts. When did I knit this sweater, sew that quilt, write that poem? What was I doing this week three years ago? Where was I on the night of Friday, February the 29, 2008? I can look it up.

So, today, I figured five bucks a year was worth it, and ponied up. It will take a day or so for the credit card to clear, and then I'll be sharing photos again.

DH and I went to the Eastmoreland garage sale and were sadly disappointed. Leess than half as many houses were participating, and most of the things displayed were baby clothes, toys, and size 4 cocktail dresses. On the plus side, we didn't spend any money.

The weather has turned glorious. It is such a delight to have sunshine with clear air and fresh green leaves. It got clear up to 81 sunday. Woohoo!! Time to get out my sling chair and start blogging from the yard.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

now what?

It turns out that Picassa Web has been storing my photos as I post them to blogger and I have evidently used up my storage space so I can no longer post photos. But - I never intended to save them all. Can't I go in and edit? Can't I just post photos and let them vanish into the ether? does this mean I will some day run out of text storage space as well? I just never stopped to think that all these saved posts need to be saved Somewhere. So I'm considering buying the 7 Gig program, but that, too is finite. Then what? If only I could edit, this would be a lot easier. Pictures of flowers? Out. Pictures of completed projects? Keep. Sunrises from the front porch? keep one or two - out with the rest. That ought to thin things down by a few megs.

Nope, sorry. This is the start of the apocalypse. The free ride is over and the shit is hitting the fan. Oil will kill all life in the oceans, then the earth's crust will sink into the empty space, causing cataclysmic earthquakes and flooding the entire Mississippi basin with tarballs. And then things will start to get ugly.

That's the problem with an active imagination. You never know for sure where it's going to run off to.

I have pictures of the t-shirt that Benita custom dyed for me. I bought it as a reward for myself when I broke the 180 lb barrier. Benita tie-died it pink. It says on the chest, "I spin, I weave, I dye" in latin. DH tells me to thank Benita for including the translation in subtext.

I have pictures of the charming fat quarters she tucked into the package because she knows they will go to good use in comforters for the orphans. And they will - except for the pink water-color one that will become a table napkin. But the kids playing on the swing set, and the doll colthes print, and the french poodles on purple ground, oh, and the shoes on yellow, and the green vines on yellow - all vivid and fun for kids comforters. Yes, they will go to excellent use!

And finally, i got a photo of the yarn I just finished for her. she wants a picture of the skein. I'll have to get the skein winder going, but I did take a nice photo of the ball of yarn . . .

So, until I can get this photo thing straightened out, look for some longer posts from me. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Oh, I went to the bookstore at the mall to get a guide to Washington DC so DH and i can start planning next year's trip. And as I passed the makeup store, I realized I could use a new eyebrow pencil, and after that, things are kind of a blur, but I came out with stuff I don't remember buying and evidently I went on to Christopher and banks because I have a darling t-shirt that originally cost 17.90 and the sales receipt says $5.99.

Note to self: do not buy makeup until you have worn it a few hours. It turned yellow on me. I sure hope they take it back without a fight, because I ain't paying to look severely jaundiced.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Benita ( is selling some rovings online, and asked for a few test spinners. Well, I gots nothing but time right now, so I held up my hand. She sent me five different rovings in 1 oz baggies, and I put away all the sewing stuff. (It took me over an hour to get the scraps organized and boxed up. And oh, how the cats hated it.)

So I got out the spinning wheel. I don't know what kind of wheel it is. I got it at an estate sale

and it works just swell.

The first baggie I opened was the darkest - some espresso-colored from a sheep named Ukelele. It was the sheep's name that decided me.

I understand that there is a process called pre-drafting which sort of opens up the rovings. I've never pre-drafted. I just spin off the roving as it sits. And I don't know if I'm doing a z twist or an s twist. I just know that it turns out nice soft yarn and it makes me happpy.

This being "on call" for the summer is - um - it's hard to get myself organized without an externally imposed framework and schedule. I lose track of what day it is. I've started gaining weight (Oh NO!) because I'm close to the food. And when I leave the house, I buy things. Igotta take myself in hand and be a grown-up. Starting Monday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

using up a few more strips

More of those pink strips going to good use, along with the
fleece throw I got at the grocery store.
The color is really strange her. The whole thing is much pinker.

So while I was trying to get a decent photo, (this looks tes sub-aquaeous) Fly came along to help. Everything always is better with a kitty.

While I have been working on this, I have been plugged into the i-pod. DH loaded his favorites on along with my favorites. So I'll be listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing lovesongs, then the next song is Marty Robbins with "Ghost Riders in the Sky", followed by Irish Rovers with some sea chanty, then Vivaldi, then some bright Samba tune . . . I just love it! I am one of those annoying people that sings along with the i-pod, or even shaking my shoulders and arms and trilling, "Aribah!" Good thing I do this while I'm all alone. I'd be one of those folks on the bus mall that you wonder about. Of course, you could stick in a set of earplugs and act quite, quite crazy, and people would carefully look the other way. I might try it some doay if i get terribly bored.

pink biscuit

Another case of tearing strips, sewing them end to end, and letting them fall where they may. I have run out of batting, so I made a biscuit quilt. You layer the front and back with a miscellaneous fabric and leave the seams exposed on one side (So your sewing machine is hammering through six layers of fabric for each seam. ) Here's the seamy side. I still have to clip all the seams into little fringeys and run the whole thing through the wash and dryer to fluff the seams. I used a king-sized sheet on this side to make a double-size quilt.

And here's the strippy side. Pink and more pink. The color doesn't really come through all that well. It's feminine and flowery and pink and lavender.

And there is a lot more of the strips left over. I saw a 50x60 inch fleece blanket at the grocery store for $2.99. I may make a slight investment to use up the end of it all.

With all this sewing, I have managed to reduce the stash by about half an applebox's worth of fabric. That leaves 4 and a half to go. It's the batting problem that holds me back. I COULD make more biscuit quilts, but they're heavier and not as warm. We'll see how the fenzy goes. Benita said she was sending me more fat quarters. I may get re-invigorated.

And this weekend is the annual Eastmoreland Garage Sale. It's a huge, neighborhood wide series of garage sales, in a neighborhood where people redecorate a different room in the house every year whether it needs it or not. These are folks who take up and drop hobbies as easily as you and I go through paperback books. There are a few dedicated quilter among the crew, and lots of dabblers. I got 6 yards of Christmas green cotton for $2 last year. That works out to about 30 cents a yard. It's hard to deny such bargains. And there are always the tea cups and the table linens, a set of king-sized sheets for a dollar (masses of yardage for sewing!), queen-size clothes from ladies who have lost weight, and there's a knitter who occasionally purges her stash ( entire bags of white superwash wool because she decided that afghan would be too boring to knit.) Should we keep an eye out for anything for you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

blue comforter

My supervisor felt this one needed the special inspection. she wound up so involved in her work that she became a purrito.

Monochromatic fabrics torn into 6" wide strips, joined randomly end to end, then seamed the long way any way they fall. I am inordinately pleased with this one.

And on the other side, odds and ends used up in fun.

Lulu shows up

Lulu Naughty Lamb has shown up in Southern California. Visit Willow's blog for the latest update.

Sorry I've been off the bloglines this weekend. I just got my head stuck into the sewing, and any spare attention went to DH. Friday night we went out to a Greek restaurant in the nearby suburb of Sellwood, and had a fabulous dinner with friends and their eldest son. We have known them for about 10 years, and it has been a treat to watch their boys grow up. The eldest is a charming, self-possessed young man now. Father of the year belongs to RW. He and MJ are raising responsible, intelligent adults.

Saturday night DH and I went to Lisa's Solstice party. Yes, it was outdoors (and in the garage) and yes, it was chilly and it rained a little, but we're living in Western Oregon, and we know that summer doesn't really start untill after July 4th, so we wore long underwear and coats and hats and heavy socks and had a grand time! Lisa always makes sure the kids have lots to do, with sidewalk chalk and a freshly power-washed driveway, and goodie bags with things like super balls and bubbles and crazy straws. The girls all played with the bubbles in front of a standing fan, and the boys all played with the bonfire. In another couple of years, the boys will be old enough to notice the girls, and the goodie bags will be harder to fill.

I've just about finished another quilt. Photos tomorrow. Actually, I'm not making quilts. I'm making pieced and tied comforters. Much quicker, and a bit warmer, if not quite as sturdy as a proper quilted quilt. Two more to go.

Happy first day of summer! We might get up to 62F today, and it's entirely possible that it won't rain. Woohoo - the best day of the week!!

DH and I are talking about our vacation for next year. We're thinking of visiting Washington DC and the Smithsonian Museum. Any suggestions? Where, for heaven's sake should we stay? I want to see the Fashion wing, we both want to do the Air and Space museum, and the Jefferson Monument and the Vietnam Memorial. and as long as we're on the East Coast, it would be fun to see some of you nice folks face to face if we can manage it. We're looking at early to mid-May.

Friday, June 18, 2010

and more quilts

Amy, dear girl, here's the last of the Garfield and Odie prints. And was it you who gave me the sleepy moon and stars? It was just what I needed for borders.

On the other side, we have some sofa pillow covers which match a sofa we no longer have. Now, instead of sitting forlornly in the fabrics box, they are going to see service as the back side of a crib quilt. ************************
(Curse you, Blogger. Why can't I get the text to line up with the proper photos?)

******************************************* MJ gave me a whole buncha fat quarters for my birthday (squeee!) and some of them are SO charming! The clothes in this print are wayy too tiny to cut out and use, but the idea is just adorable.

And all these happy children are playing so nicely amidst the tape measures. They're really dear, and the nice 1930s sort of reds and greens go so beautifully together.

But damn, it was a lot cuter up close.

And there are still 3 more quilts in my head struggling to be born. It seems I have litters of quilts. Quilts like piggies, books like elephants. Different gestations and numbers of births.

I was up a pound at weigh-in but, after a kniitter's party, I count a one pound gain a roaring success. And besides, the walking is burning away inches. Muscle weighs more than fat, so next week I should do really welll.

Oh, and I figured out a way to keep motivated for the walking. I'm going to go down to the mall before it opens and check out the stores. That should be interesting enough to keep me going, and if I get there early enough, there won't be any place open to take my money.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The frenzy frenzes on

This side looks a bit washed out, but it's not a camera problem. Soft, muted gray, mauve, and a gentle rosey print combined with white for a delicate, feminine side.
And speaking of delicate, feminine sides, the neighbor's little female cat is going through her first heat. She's hanging around our house all day long, rolling, calling, and presenting her pretty fluffy fanny, begging for Fly to come out and play. Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places! On the other hand, he's a sure bet for safe sex. Abstinence is the safest.
Here's the other side. I had just wayyyy too much fun with this one. Benita called my quilts uninhibited. I am flattered beyond words!!
And the sewing continues. More photos tomorrow.
  1. (Walked two miles today. Don't think I can afford to walk past JoAnnes' too many more times this week. Those 99 cent fat quarters are so hard to resist!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sewing frenzy

I have gotten the sewing bug again. Burning through the stash to make blankies for International Medical Teams to deliver to orphanages in Mexico, Africa and Romania.

Really, I don't sew that well, but I have SUCH fun playing with the colors! And I love the thought that I can help keep someone warm.

One side -

and the other.

Everything is always better with a kitty. Fly likes to supervise. Pepper spends most of the day hoping to snatch bobbins, then playing mad games of cat-hockey with them.

And by the way, Here's the other of the two china cabinets I got from TY. Isn't it purty?

There are a series of slots along the front of the center shelf. I thought they were for wine glasses, but they're not big enough. I couldn't figure what in the world they were for. I went to bed puzzling over it and woke up with the answer. They're for spoons!

And I have just enough to fill every slot. My father's mother had 8 silver collector's spoon, engraved with the names of places she had lived or experienced memorable events. I know that she came through Ellis Island when her family imigrated from Norway, so
that explains the spoon from New York. Grandma spent much of her girlhood in Hudson Wisconsin and has a spoon engraved "Hudson". The spoon from Washington would be where she met and married great grandpa. There's a spoon engraved with "Sand Point," and another with "Idaho". Dad was born in Sand Point Idaho. I don't know the connection with Iowa, nor do I know anything about the spoon with the silve teapot on the handle, or the one with the flat bowl. so there are mysteries in my china hutch. (Now I have to keep them polished. How often do you polish YOUR mysteries?)

On Saturday, we'll be attending a potluck party. I'm going to make pasta salad. I love pasta salad, but DH doesn't, and there's no way to make just a little pasta salad. so this is a big deal for me. There's still a few more things to get for the salad. Monday, I walked to the nearby grocery, half a mile there and half a mile home over fairly level ground, to pick up some Italian frozen veggies. Today, I walked to the next nearest grocery store, a mile away, downhill. I picked up a bottle of Italian salad dressing and then-- well, there's a JoAnne's in the same shopping center. And they had fabrics for $1.50 a yard. I wound up carrying $15 worth of fabrics a mile up the hill. Yay me!! (So much for using up the stash. )
Tomorrow, I plan to walk to the store and get some summer squash. Thursday, It's cherry tomatoes. Friday, I'm going to park a mile away from Weight Watchers and walk to and from. Heaven only knows How I'll motivate myself next week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The calla lillies are in bloom

The untamed, barely controlled weed patch that we jokingly refer to as our front yard is producing right on schedule. Calla lillies obviously survive on complete neglect, because it's been 16 years we have lived here and all we have ever done is appreciate them when they bloom.

The weather has gotten drier and warmer. On Saturday, DH and I parked a mile away from the store that advertised Hood strawberries and walked along a street lined with gracious old homes, which transitioned into charming little boutiques and antique shops. There's a shop that specializes in stockings! SockDreams. Now, if I ever need a pair of thigh-high hose with playing cards printed on them, or a pair of red and white striped hose, or lime-green anklets with fuschia ruffles, I know where to go. Am I too old for orange fishnets?
The walk to and from the store was lovely. OK, DH would much rather have been on his bike, but he was a good sport about it all. the store had sold out of Hoods, so we bought Albions. /they're sweet and tasty, but they're not Hoods. I'm such a strawberry snob. It'll be three or four more days before the Hoods are really ready to eat because the cold and the rain made them watery and blah. But in about three days, I'm gonna feast!
On Sunday, we hiked down to the farmer's market (a mile and a half, all down hill) bought more strawberries, walked over to Sully's and got there just as they were closing. (1 PM on sundays. Now we know.) Then we hiked a mile and a half home - uphill all the way. And DH was carrying a bag full of produce - the hero! It was warm and sunny with a nice breeze. We couldn't have gotten a better day for a walk if we had ordered it from a catalog!
Today - no work. I am on call for the summer. I'm hearing about layoffs and hours being cut all over the campus. So more people are going to community college, and there will be fewer people available to help them. Ah, the fiscal ebb and flow!
So my plans for the day include a little one mile hike to get some exercise, then initiating sewing frenzy. Wish me quilting luck.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June knitters

Dahhling! I'm so glad you could make it! Come in and sit anywhere you like.

Tea? It's oolong today. Or coffee? the last of the Kona. Or there's hot water and herbal teas or would you prefer some juice?

The deviled eggs are made with dry mustard. They have a bit of a kick to them. I put dried cranberries in my spotted owl cookies along with the raisins. And please try one of these sinful maple cream sandwiches. I'll just eat them all if you don't.

Even the gingerbread cake is pleased to see you. (Thanks for the idea, Rose Red!)

Maggie brought a fabulous fruit salad with cherries and grapes and nuts and all sorts of yummy bits.

Pat told us about a book she's reading that suggests we consider our lives a story we are writing and start making it turn out the way we like. What would make a better story? It really got us talking. Lynn pointed out that sometimes the story's not about us. MJ suggested that it's involved with our innate search for meaning. And we were off and running!!

The cozies kept the pots so hot that the handles were too hot to hold. We wound up using the cozies as potholders as well. And after three hours on the table, the hot water pot was still scalding. We went through three posts of black tea in the same ammount of time. Oh My we had fun!

Friday, June 11, 2010

We're setting with mugs and placemats this week. the rains have made the strawberries too late for a strawberry orgy, so I thought I'd go a bit casual.
Janette, if you cantake a break from the move, you can sit here. A cup from Oz and a chook for a napkin ring.

Alwen, didn't you fall in love with this plate? And the mug is a sort of pale malachite shade - a nice complement to the pearly grey napkin.

Heide, your napkin ring is mother of pearl because you have three little pearls to mother. And a mug I bought at a local craft fair because I just had to have it. You know how that goes.

Amy, Greens and terrible tom-cats for you.

Benita, a hand-woven placemat and salvaged silver fork napkin ring.

Tim, Even if you don't knit, you're welcome to sit in. A little exotica for the newly retired, soon to be ramblin' man.

Knit-tech, the Chinese dragon mug because it' s bold and strong, just like you.

Lucia, I remembered your elegant french cats for a not-so-crazy cat lady.
Dave, this one's for you -hand knitted and felted napkin ring with decorative buttons,and a hand-sewn napkin(By LG - thanks again!). For Meister handverk!
The gingerbread's baked, the oatmeal cookies are cooling, I bought a package of maple-syrup cream sandwich cookies because I love them and when else can I get away with it? Maggie is bringing fruit salad, and the eggs peeled nicely, so we have deviled eggs. Made with dry mustard. A qualified success. I may make a few cheese sandwiches just to stretch things out a bit. Other than that, we won't have a thing to eat.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This odd little thing is the latest tea-cozy. Lots of pleats creating thermal pockets to keep the pot hot. And boy does it work! The looks need some work, though. More research and development is required.

Behind the tea cozy is Mt. Washmore. I folded and put away laundry for about an hour today. One of the many benefits of the monthly knitters' tea is the fact that I have to do at least the basic house work before the guests arrive. You can't enjoy your fruit salad if you have to scale Mt. Washmore to get to it.

So the table is set and tomorrow, after Weight Watchers' I get to go into baking frenzy. Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

1130 posts and counting.

Sometimes there's rain, and sometimes there's sun. Ben likes the sunny times.
A cat, a chair, a window, sunshine - got it right for once!

I have been shifting furniture all day today. Here is the bulk of my stash, waiting to get put away. These clear plastic salad boxes don't make the best use of the available space, but I can instantly see what I have.

Which is what inspired the tea-cozy frenzy. This bizzarre thing will be an uber-cozy. Photos tomorrow.
Now it's time to put the china hutch up on top of the sideboard, and I'm not strong enough to lift my half of it that high. So DH and I are waiting for the borrower neighbor to get home and give us a hand. He borrows our lawn mower when his runs out of gas and he doesn't have enough cash to fill it up again. And returns ours empty. He owes us.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


First shot at a cozy made with mitered squares is not what I had anticipated. The squares were too big, and that altered the whole design. Time to re-size and go for it again. 23 stitches on a side is about 1/3 too big. 15 stitches on a side should be a lot easier to work with. I have a lot oAnd f tea pots with a bail handle (Asian style bamboo handles.) As well as a number of "Brown Betty" style pots, so I prefer the total-cover cozies. This kind, with handle and spout protruding, let the tea cool too soon unless you are pouring lots of tea really fast. If you make a pot of tea to sip all afternoon, a total-cover cozy keeps it hot till you drain the pot.

Monday, June 07, 2010


On sunday, I did my best vegetable imitations.
Not so much a pepper, though. More of a baked squash.

Or even a wilted asparagus. It rained. I cleaned the litter boxes, emptied the garbage, changed the sheets, and did some serious power lounging and competitive quality napping. Finished off the first season of "The Tudors" and almost finished off a tea cozy.
Today is my last scheduled Monday of work. After Tuesday, I'll be on call all summer. Write on!!
Ladies' Knitting and Tea Meeting will be here on Saturday. I'll be setting the table with placemats and mugs - more casual this month. So, what colors shall I set for you? We'll have gingerbread with lemon curd and yogurt cheese, oatmeal rum-raisin cookies, deviled eggs or egg salad sandwiches, depending on how the eggs peel, fruit salad, tea, coffee, maybe scones. Y'all come!