Friday, January 27, 2012

My Night on the Town!

Let me just preempt this with "I really appreciate my husband after this evening"
Last night, Thursday, my husband took the kids to the RC track in Broken Arrow. Totally fine, daddy time and all that. They were basically "out" for dinner. So I thought I'd get a salad from Mazzio's pizza and grab some cinnamon sticks for the fam, since I would be back around evening snack time.
I also wanted to swing by Maurice's to get some pants. I've heard that they have great fits. Well, after trying on about 10 pairs, I can agree on the fit, except the rise, and wash and cut of the leg were not for me!! Plus the tag was $79. But buy a top and bottom, get 50% off one item (the cheaper one, I can assure you!). I tried on dresses, slacks, tops, oh man, what fun! And the sales girl was so nice. But I left with nothing.
I go to Mazzio's to get my salad bar. LOVE their salad bar! And I was hungry!!! So I placed my order, salad bar to go, cinnamon sticks and a plain pizza. Got my order number, and filled my container. Yum!! They were very busy, behind in orders, so I planned on eating my salad while I waited. Just as I sat down, a girl brought out two boxes to me, one big, one smaller. I said, "that was fast! Thank you!" handed her my order number, got up and left. Awkwardly. I had two pizza boxes, a salad container, and two drinks!! Plus my wallet and keys! Its a miracle I made it without spilling anything. And the surly teenagers out side the door didn't open it for me, or say anything to me as I shimmied past with my arms full. This is where I would appreciate my husband!!!  He would have at LEAST gotten the door for me, and held the drinks as I balanced the pizzas to unlock the car door. At least!
Kids and Dad were home, repeat the balancing act into the house. I sat down to eat (finally!) and here they come, "what do you have? we are hungry!" Matt opens the top box (cinnamon sticks??) and it was a personal sausage pizza!! And the second box was a sausage calzone! Arrrgh! Pepperoni and sausage are too spicy for my kids. :-( Soooooo, somebody probably got fired last night. But luckily, I got two little containers of chocolate mousse stuff and the kids ate that.
And then the cat had a leaky butt. Poor guy, but he is better today. I have to shampoo the carpet and sofa, thanks George!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Knit Pumpkin, FREE PATTERN!!

Hello, hello!
I have been lacking a post since I've quit my day job and have a lot less free time. Yes, you read that right.
So, to make it up to you, I am posting this palm-sized pumpkin pattern for free! The subscribers here deserve more free patterns from me, so I will give another away closer to Christmas which will make a fast last minute gift, PROMISE!!
I rarely use patterns, and that is why I can confidently post these here without worry of copyright infringement! But now you do, LOL!!
I ask that you make these as gifts, or for your own decorations please. I am in my thirties and haven't gotten to the "aw, heck, I'm hangin it up, do what you want" phase yet. It would kill me if you could buy a steak dinner off of my pattern when I can only buy burgers.
So here goes:
Worsted weight yarn in that ugly orange, or another suitable shade
Worsted weight yarn in a coordinating green (for stem)
I used cheap "crap/craft" yarn, the scratchy stuff, since I'm not wearing these!!
US size 4 or 5 needles straight or **circular depending on your preference
Fiber Fill
Tapestry needle
Gauge: Not important, a tight fabric is needed to mask the white stuffing

Cast on 37 sts. I use the long tail cast on to have that tail to run through and cinch up the top later.
Knit in P2 K3 rib pattern, starting with P2, and ending with P2 (these 2 extra stitches are for the seam) Continue in rib pattern as established for 3 1/2 inches or so.
Don't bind off, and run doubled green yarn (about an arm's length) through these stitches . Slip the needle out, and pull the stitches together, leaving the smallest hole you can manage without breaking the yarn (if you do, I recommend  ripping that last row, and cinching up those stitches). Aim for a pencil point opening. Tie a double knot.
Now that you have the orange pumpkin off of the needles, its time to seam. I use the mattress stitch, here is a link to directions: mattress stitch
Stuff the pumpkin just enough to fill it out. You don't want to stuff it till it's firm, or it will stretch the stitches too much, and white will show through. If you have another method of camouflaging this, be my guest (and share!!).
Run the tail through the cast on stitches and cinch up the same as the bottom, except don't knot it just yet.
Shape the pumpkin: loosen the end and push the filling to round it out, then knot.
You now have a cute orange ball!! Eee!
Now, thread the green threads and pass through the pumpkin, to the other end. You can make your pumpkin more squatty by pulling this tighter, being careful not to lose the knot inside the pumpkin. I place my tapestry needle under the know, and pull the strands. When you have the height you want, knot these green ends to the cast on tail.
You now have  one orange strand, and four green strands at the top of the pumpkin. Pass the orange yarn back down through the pumpkin, pull out somewhere on the lower hemisphere, and trim.
Using the longest green strand there is, form a slip knot. Cast on 5-10 stitches using the e cast on method, and cast off. Weave end back through this tendril tightening it back close to the pumpkin.
With the remaining three strands of green, use the same cast-on method and cast on 2 or 3 stitches. Knit in garter for as many rows as you can, and slip the end through the last row, weave in ends.

 I hope you have a Great Day!!!!
Keep your kids safe this Halloween,
Mama Leen

Friday, May 20, 2011

Knitting through Time

I was lucky enough to be gifted with a lady's knitting needles by her thoughtful son a year or so ago. Along with the needles were little knitting tools. An assortment of tiny skinny double pointed needles (very scary looking to me!) stitch markers, insanely small crochet hooks (also scary to me), a few yellowed pages of patterns, and a small black notebook, probably 1 in by 2.5 inches. It has only one or two handwritten (copied I suspect) patterns in pencil. One is a pattern for baby booties. I am going to start a blog post about this project here. I have some lovely yarn on the way, and the book safely with it's friends. 
The way I came about this knitting kit is very odd, to say the least. The man, Alvin, gave this kit to his friend, my brother Dave, to give to his sister (Me) because he heard I took up knitting. Well, how pleased was I?? I take anything knitting related, my passion for this "hobby" has not waned from the start! It is almost three years since I taught myself to knit and I am just as consumed as I ever was. But anyway, back to the knitting kit. I've never met the woman, and only her son, Alvin, a few times. Alvin is older, maybe 60? It's hard to tell because he is an alcoholic, and has aged considerably. I have just learned that the mother, the owner of this kit has dementia. How sad. Her younger son has moved her to California, to retire peacefully from life.
So with that melancholy note, I start this project... 
The pattern is written in knitting shorthand. Letters and order that only a knitter can 'see'. There is no sketch, just the description for the booties. The other pattern is for a top-hat style hat, complete with a sketch. How charming!! I will delve further into that later. For now, its the booties. 
I wonder what they'll look like?
I wonder what size they will turn out to be?
I wonder where she got the pattern?
I wonder who will receive these booties?
I wonder how many I'll make!!

Much Love,
Mama Leen 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Raffle Time!

It is getting down to the deadline to come up with the deposit on the shop. So here is the final leg of the shop fund-raising!
Raffle tickets are $10 each. Print Form
Deadline is midnight Thursday May 12th, drawing will be Saturday.
Prize includes two hand made bolsters sewn from upholstery fabric valued at $24, a huge dark brown throw with gift tag valued at $40, a very nice heavy picture frame, a hand made wine bottle cozy, tri-fold organizer valued at $24, and a zippered pouch valued at $20! That's over a hundred dollars of goodies!! Perfect Grad gift, House Warming gift, or just more stuff to pad your nest! Take a peek!

This event is so important to get the shop off the ground. I have 4 extremely talented ladies that have put their faith in me, and I want to help them, and my self succeed! I will ship this prize to anywhere, so do not let your location deter you from entering! Thank you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh my gaw, you guys!!

Ok, I know I'm in my 30's, but I still act like an excited teenager (more often than my husband is comfortable with)!
I put a deposit down yesterday......for....a......RETAIL STORE!!!
Oh yes, my friends, I will be opening a "Hand-Made Boutique" in Claremore, OK. We will be presenting unique hand made items to gift, or keep for yourself! I am obsessed with the look I want on the inside. It will be a coat of paint, and a LOT of wooden trim!! Here's one thing I want to decorate with: this!
And another: this!
I am going over there on Friday to measure the rooms.  I am so thrilled to offer a steady craft-fair to people who can appreciate one-of-a-kind items. I want to teach Claremore this acronym: OOAK
And thanks to Etsy, I have boundless resources to upcoming trends. And I can bring them to my area!
I will take before and after pictures as I fill up!
But until then, I am in full production mode to MAKE MONEY at my Mother's Day craft fair for the remodel. And deposit. And the utilities. And the office supplies. Oh my gawd, what did I do??

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April is My Birthday Month!! ~spinning in happy cirlcles!!!~

April is my favorite  month. Spring is my favorite season! But not for the simple fact it contains my birthday. I love spring because the daffodils poke through snow sometimes. Sometimes they poke through mud,  like lotus blossoms. It gets lighter earlier, and gets darker later. The wind blows, and the temperature is mild, sometimes sweaty. But then there's the wind to dry your sweat. Wonderful cycle!
I'd like to alert you to some feel-good opportunities that I am involved in. First off, I am participating in an on-line auction to help a couple who is adopting give some aid in their cause. You can read about it here.  I have promised to donate a shrug, a baby cardigan and a beret. There will be many other things to bid on, so please check it out!
The second thing has a little more story to it. My daughter has been buzzing around the house. Doing laundry, dishes, feeding the dog and cat. Taking the trash out.... oh my goodness. Now you may ask, "why?". And when I tell you she is 7 years old, and weighs 60lbs you may ask, "how??" can she lug full baskets of laundry, shimmy up counters to put away plates. Sling a 13 gallon bag of trash into the trash bin? Well she wants to earn MONEY. That may make you curious. "Will I get money for this?" she asks me. Over and over. 
"Well sure!" I reply. "What, pray tell, are you going to utilize your earned funds for, my dear child?" (I do sometimes talk like this to her....keeps her mind hopping. Or convinces her I'm weird- either way, that suits me fine)  
Here is her reply. "I want to buy pajamas for kids who need them." 
It was like that poem that talks about "your heart go walking around outside of your body." [Elizabeth Stone]
Well, I was floored to say the least. There is a program on that allows you to send new pajamas and books to kids who don't have them. It touched her heart, and I want to help her. Don't you??
LL has a blog, it's ""
And I am going to set up a PayPal button for donations. We will then purchase pajamas, and ship them. I will post receipts to keep this legit, if you have qualms. And it will be tax deductible. We will conduct this for the month of April. And we will do it again on her birthday month, June.
Please, if you have some money sitting in your PayPal that isn't quite enough to buy that yarn, or jewelry, or little pretty you want on Etsy, would you consider donating it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I love Spring!

I spent Sunday afternoon with my family at the park. It was sunny, mild, and breezy! 
 My children of course wanted to swing. There are only two at this little park, so when the kids jumped off and went exploring, I nabbed a swing for myself! I had forgotten what the sunshine felt like. It was fantastic. I leaned all the way back, let my head hang in the breeze, and just chilled. Swaying just ever so slightly. Aaaahhhh... I could just feel my blood pressure dropping. The sun, the children laughing, the breeze, the weightlessness. Just heaven!
 Here are my winter-pale legs! Soon to be tan legs, due to knitting outside this summer. Speaking of knitting, on Saturday I started a baby cardigan from some gorgeous berry red cotton yarn. Here is how far I got on it...
It's finished now. It will fit a 2T little girl. There is a little mother-of-pearl button on the back of the neck to close the opening. I need to add my shop tag, and this little cutie will be ready to sell! I enjoyed making this, and have devised a "Mommy" version in my head. It is something I would love to wear, so I am sure it will be enjoyed by some other lovely lady. I have just started a little boy version, and when I got home from the grocery store, I composed this little arrangement! Something felt familiar when I unpacked the strawberries and grapes....

Have A Great Day!

P.S. They were YUMMY!!