~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ughhhh to OMG Where Have You Been This Past Year…

windows-live-writer I have been having issues with Blogger this past week and I am sure I am not alone in this!!! One of the reasons why I haven’t blogged that much is the excessive amount of time that is wasted trying to get one’s pictures in just the right spot and formatted correctly. I have had difficulties with this since day one with posting on this blog but I had gotten use to the editor and working within the limitations of the program on the Blogger website.
Well this week I was at my whit's end…I spent three hours the other evening trying to get the pictures for my Felted Purse Revisited post in a certain order and arrangement. What transpired was a HORENDOUS mess that continued for several hours with pictures not lining up or not formatting correctly.  You want to talk about being frustrated…it was a darn nightmare!
To prevent myself from going insane and totally losing my mind while working with this new editor, I took periodic breaks to visit some of my favorite blogs. By doing so I stumbled upon a comment left on a post of a fellow blogger and OMG….Hallelujah…I was saved; or more to the point my sanity was saved!
dawn-two on two off In visiting Dawn at Two On, Two Off I came across several of her posts, one of them being “Blogger, You Annoy Me” where she had been having difficulty with the editor as well.  How apropos is that…I was having issues too! As luck would have it beangirl had left a suggestion on Dawn’s “My Sewing Plan for Fall” post. Having spent a ridiculous amount of time that evening I cut and pasted beangirl’s  comment into a word document for later reference and shut down the laptop for the evening. The next afternoon I sat down and ran a search on the Microsoft website and came across the program beangirl suggested and boy is this the ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS and I am sure the prayers of many other fellow bloggers.
You may be asking, “Mimi what is this miraculous program??”  It is called Window’s Live Writer and boy does it work just the nuts! I downloaded it off the website and was up and using it in minutes. WOW is all I have to say about it. No more being frustrated with using Blogger’s online editor!!! Yippie Skippie. Here is Microsoft’s Overview on their product:
Windows Live Writer makes it easy to share your photos and videos on almost any blog service. With Writer, you can preview everything you’re adding to your blog, and see exactly how the fonts, spacing, colors, and images will look, before you publish. It's fast and easy to make photos and videos look great on your blog. You can even create a photo album—just select the style you want and Writer takes care of the rest. Writer is already packed with useful features, but if you like to tinker, there are all sorts of plug-ins you can add to help you do even more.
I have used this for the previous two posts plus this one and it is heaven sent. Everything I put on the page ended up previewing as I wanted. If something isn’t quite right you can quickly correct it. Added bonus when you first start the program it allows you to set up an association with your blog and will import its’ theme/design so that you can work offline. What a time saver!!! It is great…write your post, insert photos and links offline then Publish directly to Blogger from within the program.  I haven’t had time to look at all of its’ features but am satisfied so far with the program. The only thing I’ve noticed is that if you need to work within your blogs design that needs to be done directly in Blogger but other than that using this program has been wonderful.
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with Blogger I would suggest wandering over to the Microsoft website and checking it out to see if your system meets the programs requirements and downloading it. Give it a try you may become a convert like me.windows-live-writer
~Good Luck and Happy Blogging~

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two-at-Once, Toe-Up Socks

Blocked Socks I have finally finished those two-at-once, toe-up  socks that I started in August of 2009.  Nothing like taking over a year to finish one pair of socks!!! Yikes….
What prompted me to finally complete this pair???
It is the desire to participate in the “Through the Loops” 2010 Mystery Sock KAL.  I had every intention of being a participant last year; I had the yarn and had printed off each weeks clue but just couldn’t get myself motivated enough to work on two separate sock patterns at the same time.  This year was going to be different! I promised myself I would have these UFO socks completed prior to the start of the KAL and as luck would have it I have finished this project in time for the reveal of the first clue which will be this coming Friday, October 1st.
The only thing I am missing….some sock yarn.  I wasn’t overly fond of my choice for last years sock; it was cheap and readily available and I do still have it but…I’m desiring something new and softer in texture. I’m thinking a wool blend with Alpaca in a nice autumn color scheme.
How am I going to accomplish this task of finding the elusive sock yarn? Enter DH who has a training conference in Lake Placid on Saturday and it just so happens this is where one of my favorite yarn stores is located.  So…I am thinking I just might tag along for the ride and give Adirondack Yarns a visit to see if I can come across something more in line with my fall state of mind.
TTL Mystery Sock 2010 If you are of a mind to join in the fun here is a link to a discussion on Ravelry with pertinent information about the 2010 Mystery Sock KAL. Wander on over and you will discover that Ravelry  is a free, online community meant for people who love to knit and crochet. You have access to projects, patterns, yarns, discussion groups  along with being able to keep track of your own personal projects, stash, needle inventory, queues, friends and so much more. If you have a love for knitting or crocheting give it a try for I think you will enjoy what you find there!

Back to my Two-at-Once, Toe-Up socks…
Pattern:  Two at Once, Toe-Up Socks by Kelley Petkun (this pattern is available on Knit Picks)
Yarn: Knit Picks Simple Stripes (discontinued)  or any Fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi)
Quantity: (2) 50g balls
Needles: (2) US 3 - 3.25 mm circular knitting needles
I wanted to try the technique of using (2) circular knitting needles to knit both of your socks on at once and this was the pattern and yarn I had chosen to give this technique a try. Socks on Circular Needles
Needles: (2) Size 3, 24" circular needles and two balls of sock yarn. Each sock requires a ball of its own to use this technique.
My thoughts on the pattern, it was fairly easy being as I have knitted socks previously on dp needles. Knitting both socks at once was rewarding at the end being as they were both complete at the same time. I didn't particularly like how the heel came out in the final product and would probably adjust that in the future being as I have a rather large foot for a lady (12.5N) and the direction were meant for a medium foot.
When knitting my socks it took me approximately an hour per color band so I completed the socks in 21 hours.  I made them a little longer than the pattern Finished Socks Scrunched called for being as I wanted to have them "scrunched" as well as being able to cuff them if I wanted to.  I finished the socks by placing them on “sock-blockers” and sprits with some luke-warm water and allowed them to dry. It isn’t necessary to block your socks but it does give them a more finished look.
Would I knit these again?
Not too sure on that one; I'd have to give this technique another try but am leaning more towards sticking with the dp needles.  Not a fan of the toe-up method, top of the sock doesn't have as much of a give as if you knitted from the cuff down, but still a fun project to complete. Give it a try you may find you like it!
Ravelry Member: mimiohs

Monday, September 27, 2010

Felted Purse Revisited

 Completed Felted Purse

Just a quick post on the completion of one of my latest projects; after having knit this purse for my daughter and her two college friends I finally had the opportunity to make one for myself.  I used “The Pink Lady” pattern by “Designs by Shelley” knit in Lamb’s Pride Worsted Wool in Royal Purple Flutter (M-270) and Kiwi (M-191). I previously posted about this pattern in Felted Purse~Pink Lady.

As always I feel a bag is not complete unless it is lined so I went through my stash and unearthed a silk crepe-back purple satin that had been used for a formal gown I made for myself for a wedding at the St. Regis in New York City. I knew saving those scarps from the gown would come in handy one day!

The finishing touch…a beautiful handcrafted glass button.

An enjoyable project to knit as well as sew!!






 Before Felting After Felting

           Before Felting                                  After Felting

Installing Magnetic Clasp  Right side of clasp

                 Installing Magnetic Clasp                                            Right Side

Layering Lining for Inside Pocket  Strap, Tab, Front  & Back Lining

      Layering Lining for Inside Pocket                        Strap, Tab, Front & Back Lining

  Felted Purse with Lining Pieces Hand Sewing Lining to Purse

         Felted Purse with Lining Pieces                         Hand Sewing Lining into Purse

 Handcrafted Glass Button  Finished Project

              Handcrafted Glass Button                                  Finished Project


                                                            Happy Sewing :-D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer's Bounty

Fall is upon us here in the Northeast even though today calls for sunny skies and 70 – 80 degree temperatures.  Many of us have taken advantage of a fairly nice summer to put up the fruits and vegetables from our gardens.  For those of us that don’t have gardens road-side farm stands offer numerous varieties of produce as well as great selections.  With this abundance from nature DH and I took the opportunity to include a little canning/freezing in with our regular pursuits; mine being sewing and knitting, his being woodworking. We didn’t accomplish as much as we had hoped for but there is always next year! We did put up strawberry, blueberry and mixed berry jams. Still on the list to be made are peach jam and orange marmalade.  We rediscovered an old family recipe for Winchester Sauce and canned 18 pints of that along with spaghetti sauce.  Of course there is always the never ending supply of zucchini which we froze along with 15 pounds of blueberries that were picked at a local farm. Up next a visit to the orchard to pick apples which means applesauce and canned spiced apples, DD’s favorite!!!  Hoping you are taking advantage of the Summer's Bounty and getting out there and enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
Hoping you have a wonderful Fall season!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where have I been as of late? ”There and Back Again…”

DH and myself on Day 1...The Journey Begins

But mine was not the fantasy journey the likes of Bilbo Baggins in “A Hobbits Tale” running into the dragon, Smaug from the Lonely Mountain...

...my “There” turned out to be Ketchikan, Alaska and driving through the mountain ranges of the American and Canadian Rockies bumping into bear, elk, moose and other interesting wildlife, beautiful scenery and fascinating people along the way via an extended 26-day road trip. In essence this was a fantasy trip that slowly became reality as we progressed across the country and on into Canada.

For your enjoyment here a few pictures of the sights along the way. 

Glacier National Park, Montana

Columbia Icefield
Jasper National Park of Canada

Elk foraging along the way.

Ward's Cove
Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Harbor
Ketchikan, Alaska

DH & DD at Settlers Cove
Ketchikan, Alaska

DH, DD & Moi
Totem Bight Clan House
Ketchikan, Alaska

~Happy Sewing~
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