Monday, December 31, 2007

On with the sewing (and a knitting plea)

First things first...I am seriously trying to find a copy of Interweave Knits Fall 2007 magazine. It is sold out according to the IK website and it is not a magazine carried at the only bookstore here on island. If anyone has a copy that they no longer want, please email me at mhighfill at I recently subscribed to this magazine (picking up the winter and holiday issues while in Guam), but media mail and magazines take 18 years to arrive. Okay, not 18 years, but I just got my November Martha Stewart Living magazine...yeah sucks.

Okay, on with the sewing goodness...

So, remember when I lamented on and on about my sewing machine and the havoc it was causing me? Good, then I don't need to rehash it. Well (Leah this is for you), as it turns out, I somehow managed to crack and subsequently chip a big hunk of metal off of the thingamajig that the shuttle race fits into. The non-movable, cast metal looking part that holds the shuttle race (but on the top). According to the repair guy, "No fix". English is not his first language. So, I boxed it up and am hoping that there is a Sears around Juneau or another repair person that can fix it for me.

Then, do you remember my obsession with the cutest of the cute Singer sewing machines? Well, when I was at home with Mom in August and September, I scoured eBay, thinking that I would win a little cutie and just load the 80 pound thing into my luggage and bring it home...weight restriction be damned! I have a Silver Elite card for Continental, get out of my way! Anyway, so I won a little cutie. I was over the moon. I could hardly wait. I had visions of setting it up in BFF's basement and sewing my way through insomnia and heartache. It was not meant to be.

I should have known when I saw this as I unwrapped it:

Then I saw this and I was seriously almost in tears:

The machine is not functional and now resides in a closet at my Dad's house. I hope someday to find a good Singer repair person and have them fix it, along with buying a new original green jadeite case. But until then....

Christmas came early! (I got this the week before Christmas)

A Viking Husqvarna Emma!!!

My Aunt in Dallas upgraded to a Viking Husqvarna Designer II SE (the evil one) and sent me her Emma. I am thrilled to bits!

I already love this machine and I haven't even plugged it in yet. I would be lying though if I told you that I wasn't a teensy bit intimidated by it. I have never owned such a nice machine. I am trying to locate a manual for it so I can learn to thread the bobbin. Right now it is threaded with yellow thread (forget something, Aunt Tamie?), so I might just figure out something small to sew up using yellow thread and give her a go. So many projects on the brain...aprons, needle rolls, birthday buntings, quilts...*sigh*

Well, it is New Year's Eve here on Saipan. Baby Tree Hugger is in bed (we are working on weaning and it is going well). DH just brought in a bottle of champagne (maybe to make up for putting in idiotic Nacho Libre in the dvd player?), so I am calling it a night. I will be asleep in prolly 30 minutes. Real exciting around these parts.

I have a few resolutions and reflections, but I will save them for my next post.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, prosperous and happy 2008.



Saturday, December 29, 2007

First Christmas and knitting goodness

Baby Tree Hugger's First Christmas

"You mean we open these now?"

"And I have to wear this thing?"

"Blocks. Mmm, I love blocks."
"Mom! You aren't going to blog this are you?!"
"I love presents from The Land of Nod."

"And I really love my new scoot around."

So, remember that post earlier in the month about the socks of doom? The ones that I didn't really have a pattern for, let alone have any experience in sock knitting? Yeah, they got frogged. Instead, I knit some slippers for said hard to buy for lady. I used this free pattern. 2 skeins of Knit Picks Main Line yarn, a couple of buttons and voila! Slippers. I dare not show you a side view...they really look elvish (as in elf-like, not Elvis-like), but I am hoping that they fit the lady's smaller feet. I can get them on my size 9 clod-hoppers, so we should be good. Lesson learned: How to M1 increase and I suck at making pom-poms. Hence the buttons.

Another present was this crocheted granny square throw. Made from 4 cones of Peaches N Cream cotton yarn. 2 in Ecru, 2 in Peppercorn ombre. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I started the granny squares 2 years ago, then started seaming them together and got thoroughly fed up with the seaming and put it aside. I decided that this would be the year that it got finished.
Simple granny squares, with a single crochet border (twice around). Easy peasy. Anyone want some left over granny squares? I have a handful of them and nothing planned for them. Let me know.
Another day, another Ball Band Dishcloth. This is for the knit along on Ravelry. I need to make a pile of these things by April.

As if that weren't enough, I started a sweater for Baby Tree Hugger. It is from the Not So Baby Yoda free pattern. I am using Berocco Touche in a green apple color. I actually did a gauge swatch on this and am crossing my fingers that it fits him for a few months since we will need in for our trip to Japan in a few months.

The back is complete in one day. I started on the left front side now and a bit nervous when it comes to the right just says to reverse for shaping. Keep your fingers crossed that I do it right!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Vacation

The blog has been on vacay for a while...due to my MIL being here. She is now safely home in Illinois and the blogging will resume. Hopefully.

We took her to Guam for a few days and saw the sights there. Then we did lots of sightseeing and beach-going around Saipan.

Baby Tree Hugger at the museum at American Memorial Park. He is so cute, he picks up phones and says, "Ello?"

Baby Tree Hugger toddling around at Suicide Cliff.
We went to the Zoo. It was much better than I anticipated. And they give a local discount.

And a free bag of popcorn to give to the animals. They have a pig there that is so catches the popcorn that you throw to it. Well, you kind of have to aim for it's mouth.

We also went on a dinner cruise.
Baby Tree Hugger got to drive.
And then was serenaded by the entertainer. Seriously, he sang the ABC song to him. Okay, the other kid listened as well. We went on the Stars and Stripes Dinner Cruise. Honestly, it totally blows the other dinner cruise that we have been on out of the water. I highly recommend checking out the Stars and Stripes. The food is catered by the Fiesta Hotel and the boat itself is very lovely.

We hauled our cookies down (and then back up) the 100+ stairs at The Grotto.

Baby Tree Hugger got a helmet to wear when he is on the back of Papa's bike. He likes it. Really.Wing Beach was enjoyed by everyone

We ate like Kings the whole time that MIL was here. A sampling:
Chamorro Village (Guam)
Rotary Sushi (Guam)
Cold Stone Ice Cream (Guam)
Jamaican Grill (Guam)
Spicy Thai Noodle (Saipan)
Wild Bills (Saipan)
Aqua Resort Christmas Eve Buffet (Saipan)
BBQ at the Ranch (Saipan)
Garapan Street Market (Saipan)
Taste of India (Saipan)
Aqua Resort Happy Hour by the pool (Saipan)

I will post about Baby Tree Hugger's first Christmas in the next post. Along with lots of knitty goodness.

I have eleventy hundred emails to catch up on...gotta go.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah started a couple of days ago, and I am tardy in wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah. Today, baby tree hugger was playing around with a coconut dish and sparked my memory. I wonder if he wants a yarmulke?


He has started taking off on his own lately. He will be holding on to something and just let go and fly across the room. (Please don't mind the case of beer in the living room, that is DH's idea of a baby gym.)

He is also climbing on the furniture. I about had a heart attack when I found him doing this:

Christmas packages are being sent. I finally finished the "tween shawl". It is super soft and hopefully good size for her.

The package being sent to the family (minus some edible delights):

I received a package from Granny the other day that broke me down. Mom gave her a stack of dishcloths a couple of months before she died (That's where I get the dishcloth obsession from, thanks Mom!), and told Granny to give them out at Christmas. Granny sent me two of them with a touching note. I don't think that I will ever use these cloths for dishes.

Mom always called the jewel toned yarn "Grateful Dead Bear" yarn, knowing my affinity for the Dead Bears. I am thrilled that I got one in my favorite yarn colorway.

Granny also sent a hanging towel that she (Granny) made. She didn't make the towel, she crocheted the top . Amazing thing is that she crochets these tops without a pattern. She does them for every holiday.Peace.

Makes Sense

I really enjoy reading everything about the wives of Henry VIII. So, when I saw this quiz on another blog, I had to do it.

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury

Anne of Cleves got the shaft for sure. But at least she got to keep her head.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

About to pee my pants!

I love Ravelry. Did I ever tell you that? Oh, I did. And you are tired of hearing about it? Sorry. I just can't get over how awesome the site is. It is knitter's & crocheter's dream come true. If you knit or crochet, I highly recommend signing up for it. It is free, currently in beta testing, but will be soon open for everyone without signing up.

Anyway, about 20 days ago, I signed up to get the progress bar thingies that you see over to the left (scroll down). I couldn't figure out how in the eff to get the html code to work and after getting more frustrated than a one legged pirate in an ass kicking contest, I gave up. My online time is precious and quite limited. The topic was opened again today, so I looked at the thread to see if there were new tips. There were!

And there the are (the progress bars). Yippee, I am so freaking excited, I can't hardly stand it. If you are on Ravelry (be my friend, I am mhighfill), you can click the name of the project and whoosh, be transported to the Ravelry page.



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Losing my mind...(or) Only 21 days until Christmas!

I love Christmas. I love the whole plan-like-there-is-no-tomorrow-thinking-you-can-turn-into-SuperWoman-and-get-everything-done-deal.
That is what I do every year (except last year). The other day I was making out the Christmas card list...I know, I know, "real" tree huggers don't send out Christmas cards. I married a tree hugger, I never claimed to be the tree hugger of the family. Anyway, I came to the monumental decision that I am going to whittle the Christmas card list down next year. Those that haven't sent us a card in two years are off of the list. Does anyone else do this? Why continue to send a card to someone that isn't going to reciprocate? Our cards are done, stamped and ready to go out. Have you seen the new Christmas stamps "Holiday Knits"? Love them! I bought 3 books today.

This year's Christmas cards are a mish-mosh of the past 5 years worth of cards. I usually end up with 10 or so leftover cards every year, and when Mom died, I found 5 or 6 boxes of cards that she had bought on sale. So, the ones going out this year are being cleared out so we don't have to schlep them around anymore.

I went through the received cards from the past couple of years. I had a purpose. I was looking for Mom's last Christmas card that she sent to us. I found it and it is now on my nightstand where I can see it everyday.

As I was having my Christmas card list epiphany, I also decided that my gift list was too ambitious. I adore the idea of a hand-made Christmas, but I should have started long ago. Like February. We have a few people on our list that are near impossible to buy for and I always feel like the present that we select isn't quite *it*. This year, I wanted to make something for everyone and that is just crazy at this point not going to work.

So, what would any sane woman do? Why, she would start knitting a pair of socks for a gift. Mind you, said mentally sound woman has never knit a pair of socks before, but that didn't intimidate her. No siree. And is she following a specific pattern? Nah, she is winging it...borrowing from here and there. This is a recipe for disaster, y'all. Plus, she looks like she is wrestling a porcupine with all of those needles ready to fly out at any moment. The cable scarf is sitting in the bag, neglected *sob*. I love the cable scarf, but it isn't intended for a Christmas present. These socks are going to someone that is very hard to buy for. I say "socks"...plural. If nothing else, I am optimistic.

This is what it looks like when set down while knitting...

But at least she is still knitting dishcloths! This is another ball band cloth, only I modified it to be a bit smaller in width. I hate big cloths. It is about 6x6, which is perfect in my opinion. Only 2 more to go, then the rest will just be bonuses!

MIL arrives in 5 days from now!!!! Yay!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Dave Matthews Band - Christmas Song

NaBloPMo is over and I still have blogging on the mind. This is my favorite Christmas song. Did I ever tell you that I adore Dave Matthews? I do.
Listen to the lyrics, wonderful story.