Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Still Alive. I Think.

This blogging thing has gotten way off track. Part of it is that I hate to blog without picture content, and I can never find the camera when I need it. Well, that's not always true, but getting pictures done and uploaded is my biggest obstacle. I'll try to stick a couple of random ones in, just so I feel like I've done my bloggerly duty.

Life pretty much feels out of control right now. We have a wedding gown, we have a mother-of-the-bride dress, we have the reception hall, we have a cake ordered. So now we have to order the flowers, then knuckle down for the really big job, which is the food for the reception. We're not doing a full-blown dinner, so it will be finger foods like little sandwiches and such, and bite-size dessert thingys. It's mostly a matter of deciding what we'll have, asking friends to help out with the making of everything, then figuring out how and when to get it all to the reception hall. Now I know why people have these things catered, but it's not in our budget.

On the needlework front, since this blog is supposed to be about how I'm finishing UFOs (hush--I can hear the snorts of derision from here), I have three projects that I am focusing on at the moment. One is a Jo Sharp cabled cardigan that I originally planned to make almost knee-length. It may end up being hip-length as called for in the pattern. I do need to set some limits for myself! Another is a needlepoint pillow from Ewe & Eye & Friends, which I'm doing for my bedroom. Said bedroom is on the list for repainting and decorating after The Wedding, so I want to finish a few things for the decor. Third project is a pair of socks. How could I not have a pair of socks in the works??

Why three projects? Why not just work on one at a time? Well, the cardigan takes a lot of concentration and marking off rows, because I'm doing two different cables while increasing. I have to have silence while I work on that (which is why progress is so slow and it will not be knee-length!) The needlepoint is mindless and can be done while I listen to the TV or any other hideous yammering going on around me. But that's not portable, so the socks are the portable mindless project. See, there is a method to my madness, at least in the needlework department.

I figure the house will be trashed until at least a few weeks after the wedding, because Missy is starting to go through the boxes that have been stored in our basement. The boxes contain what we moved out of her house during her divorce, so she's figuring out what she has in the way of kitchenware and dishes and such. Those boxes are stacking up around the edges of various rooms. In other rooms, decorations and tiered dessert plates are piling up, awaiting The Big Day. So we hit the middles of the rooms with the vaccuum cleaner, clean the bathroom occasionally, and keep the dishes and laundry done. Otherwise, housework is not at the top of the priority list.

So that's the life for the moment. Maybe next time I'll have pictures of the three projects. And I'm planning another giveaway, so stay tuned. Speaking of is a picture of something else I'm trying to focus on right now, not very successfully:

Ah, my lovely violin. The brief moments I spend with it are not enough, but I'm trying to do at least a little every day. The goal is to finish the 2nd Suzuki book by the end of May, and I'm about halfway through it. So I need to get off the computer and start working on those scales and etudes! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's All About the Dress

I have lots of catching up to do since my last post. I'm still sick, so that's part of the reason for neglecting the blog. I don't know what this is that's hanging on so long, but I'm sick of coughing. From what I hear, though, so many people have the same thing, and it takes forever to go away. I've been sick for a solid month, and it's getting a bit old. Especially as I'd planned to go back to ballet class when the studio reopened after the holiday break. Instead I sit here trying to cough up a lung and getting fatter by the minute. The fried-egg sandwiches that have suddenly become an obsession haven't helped.

First things first. I showed you the proposal pic earlier. Here's the response:

Tee hee. Isn't that too cute!!
Next up, due to the demands of Daniele and Jessica, we have pictures of the knitted Wedding Dress in progress:

See, I told you it wasn't much to look at.

Hope sprang eternal that it wouldn't look like a gray rag once it was spread out over a crinoline, perhaps with a pale pink or blue underskirt, but the more I knitted, the more I worried. For one thing, it took me an hour and a half to knit one round of 2400 stitches, and those stitches had to be doubled after twelve inches. I realized that I was seriously going to have to do nothing but knit for the next three months, and there was no guarantee that this thing would look good.
So Saturday, when we went to the bridal shop to pick out bridesmaids' dresses, which we had left way too late so they have to be rushed (for an extra fee, of course), we bought a wedding dress.

That was SO not in the budget, but you should see how she looks in it. It's a FairyTale Princess dress, without being over the top. When she stepped into it, pulled it up, and got it zipped, the bridesmaids all screamed. I kid you not. The owner of the shop said she was going to hire them as professional squealers for the fitting rooms. She was sooooo beautiful. The color is perfect for her. It's deeper than ivory--the tag calls it gold, but it's not a blazing gold that you might first think of. I think of it more as a dark champagne, and it has the most beautiful silver trim. It's taffeta, which makes the color even better than shiny satin would.  I would love to show you a picture, but since The Fiance checks in here occasionally, you'll have to wait for the actual wedding pictures. (Neener, neener, Douglas!!) I think they'll be better than the pictures on the retailer's website anyway, because you can't see the true color and the sheen of the fabric. I can't wait 'til she starts down that aisle!! And I'm so happy that she'll get to wear the dress of her dreams. She's earned it.

So now this leaves me free to knit whatever I want. Or I don't have to knit--I can work on a quilt, or my needlepoint, or I can just sit and watch eight straight hours of DVR'd "Law & Order" episodes! Oh, the freedom! But what am I going to do with 10,000 yards of cashmere/merino/viscose blend laceweight yarn?

I do feel bad (sort of, kind of, in a way) because many of my fellow Plurkers and Ravelers were looking forward to seeing the finished knitted dress. I think I might have persevered if it hadn't been for the color. It was just too gray. That's what happens when you order yarn online sometimes. You can't be sure of the exact color. Well, cheer up. Maybe I'll put some of it up as a blog giveaway. It could make a lovely shawl. Just not a wedding dress.

While I'm throwing pictures in, here's what I decided to put in the giant Mason jar:

That's merely a fraction of the roving I have stashed, but it sure looks cool in the jar! (Maybe that will be today's project--spinning!)
And here's a pic of the Manspun yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago:

I think you can faintly see the twinkly bits in it, and it has a cool, crunchy feel. I've had to pry it out of Missy's hands a couple of times. She tried to trade me a couple of balls of Plymouth Boku for it. Now, really. Boku?? I don't think so. I haven't decided what this will become yet. I just pet it now and then. It's a little over 200 yards, so I'm thinking maybe a pair of Fetching mitts?  Ideas, anyone?

So, to wind up, we are all about weddings here at this house. April 11th isn't far away, and we still are trying to sort out the food, dishes, tablecloths, punch, music, flowers, cake, and the other ninety-bazillion details of the whole thing. (Plus we have to figure out how to pay for it all. Do you think a PayPal "Donate" button on this blog would be approprate??) There probably will be very little knitting or finishing content here for the next few months!

I leave you with pictures of Rugrat helping Mommy with the handmade invitations:


You have to hold your mouth just right, you know...