Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


...and the living is easy indeed. That is, if you spend all nine weeks of it in Indiana, enjoying the farm life. And cool breezes at night. Let's just pretend like 98% humidity and 98 degree days don't come before those nights. Look at how happy our little ones were to be there, basking in the love, and humor, that is Family. Here Lucy and Lily harass Grandpa Kellie, with some help from Cousin Cali.
See that horse? Her name is now Colt, or maybe Scarlett, we are not sure, but she used to be SmudgePot (Steve's family is REALLY into race horses, or race horsing, I am not sure of the term. I spent about five minutes at a track one time and felt like I needed to bathe in Lysol. Not that I am passing judgement. I just like yarn. And when I say "just", I mean pretty much "only"). SmudgePot was also known as "The Band-Aid Horse". Sounds like a work of fiction out of 1969 San Francisco, but it just means that Cali's mama, Carrie (Stephen's little sister) used to cover, and we do mean cover, this poor horse with every bandage in the house. You can still see the dirty goo of Band-Aid residue in a circle (what were those particular ones for, anyway?) under poor Colt's eyeball. Good to see just how family heirlooms are passed down through the generations. Awe.

In other traditional news, Lily follows in her dad's footsteps by showing pigs at the 4-H fair. A guy at Steve's work said, "Like a dog show? Only with pigs?" You've got it. Lily earned awards and money, including one 9th place, three 4th place showings, and one FIRST (yeah, Lily). We are most proud of the 9th place, as she was the only one representing the vast Stephen family clan not to get LAST place that night (the practice night, the one with the "bad" pigs). Yes, it's only because she beat out her cousin, but it still counts.

Lucy, finding a way to participate without getting "icky", entered the sewing category and won blue ribbons for the skirt and shirt shown here, and a Champion ribbon for her technique journal, which is highly detailed and way too informative for a newby. Ahem...."Nerd".
Ikea fabrics put to ingenious uses, Japanese and Amy Butler patterns. Great job Lucy, and thanks to all of the grandmothers who stepped in when JDub decided to stay in Arizona.

Have we hinted enough to our favorite grandparents that ALPACAS are needed in this farm family? Just look how cute, and they don't go to the slaughter house at the end. Just saying....

Steve spent a fantastic week in the Hoosier state learning to be SASsy, just like the magazine. Computer nerds will get this, but it really doesn't matter. What he did learn is that cheap vodka and Sunny D "tastes like high school". Now, the guy who said this OBVIOUSLY did not go to high school with us. There was only Tang when we were kids. That's what she said!!!!

The only other thing he managed to do was to take this picture at Charley's house when he was waiting for Charley to show up. Is it a transplant from our Indy garden? Steve says no, but that gigantic hosta in the back (not pictured) sure was. Thanks to Charisse for that one. I'm not one to usually go on and on about hostas (I've heard that they bore some people), but MAN, that was some hosta. Too bad there's no picture. I'm sure we've got some. We LOVED that hosta. We neglected our toddlers to nurture that thing.

Hey, bored yet? Well, here's the darn knitting content. Another splendid felted bag courtesy of Steve. For JDub's big First Time 29. Complete with dog chain.

And yes, it's Lopi. Lopi Lite, you know. And no, no pattern. Just some short rows and Steve's short attention span.

About a week before Lucy's birthday she casually mentioned her "dream birthday sweater" in a phone call to me (Mom). She even had the color names memorized (Fixation, #4545 Coral and #6185 Fuchsia), and was very detailed in the requested shaping. And all I had to do was go into full Martha Mode and shop for the yarn, whip it out, get it mailed, and have it in Indiana in time for the big "Wild West" birthday party (also, no photos). Did I do it? Do you even need to ask?

She looks much cooler in Steve's gift, a preppy and perfect silk belt, one of his crazy "knit into itself" designs out of Adrienne Vittadini yarn. Pearls and a tie. Can we say "80's"?

Lucky you, pattern coming soon. Really!

Oh, I missed those girls. Every night as I ate a pint of ice cream and watched cartoons I wished they were there to beg me to share, or at least to bring me a clean spoon sometimes. Jeez. I worried about them, being so far away, in the land of crazed relatives,

cold and alone, reading Harry Potter without me. To solve one problem, that of "perceived cold", I made them each a cotton hat. Lucy's is actually cotton, silk, and rayon, but don't get me started. The label says "Zaffiro Madil, made in Italy", and I don't know what that means at all. I just like the yarn, here in the color Orange Sorbet, #211. It may be a new summer staple. Wool just seemed too hot for the summer. If you can imagine. Yes, I said "Cotton!"

To accommodate Lily's gigantic, ever-growing feet, I made a short pair of socks with the leftover yarn from Lucy's hat and a ball of Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton (with bamboo). She has worn them twice, they have been laundered, and look as good as new. I like me that yarn.

For my own feet, I made a little pair out of Misti alpaca. I had this grand idea that using cotton again (Fixation, surprise, surprise) for the toes, heels, and cuffs would make them "summer socks". Bad idea. My feet have never been hotter. Except, maybe, when I decided to use that red possum yarn for socks. I think that day my feet caught on fire.

The little button detail was inspired by something Illanna thought of doing, but didn't. I think it still counts as stealing, so I'm giving her credit for it right here and now.

And I also gave her mittens. Special, two-of-a-kind mittens. I used most of a chart from Terri Shea's new "Selbuvotter" book (buy it now), and some of my own nonsense added to the cuffs and my own strange way of making mittens. Schoolhouse Press strikes again. Thank you, Terri. You have made me love wool again. Really. Suddenly, I hate socks. And I can at least find a reason to wear socks in Arizona (our floors are so dirty that we are moving this week. Really). What will I ever do with all of these mittens?

These are made from my own yarn. The darker green is a mixture of merino and tencel that I spun a month ago (or it could be six months ago, I am horrible at this record keeping thing. Steve says I should say "this calendar thing". But that is just plain mean, no matter how true. Not to get too far off subject, and stop me if you've heard this one, but I am always trying to write "1987" on checks. Did I have my first checkbook then or something?). Anyway, the other, lighter, yarn is two shades of merino that I plied together; one was light blue, the other, light green. Fascinating. Oh, and I felted them for warmth.

I added the red wing for a good journey (my own personal bird omen), and wrote a little about the history of bird omens for Illanna. Did we say that they were a going-away present? They were. The first thing that I wrote down when Illanna broke the news that she was moving to New York, in seven days, was that "her bright presence can't leave a hole". And I still feel that way. Almost a full week later. And if she says what I think she's gonna say in response to that, all the better.

Love you, dear.


Coming Soon - Episode 3 - Revenge of the Stitched (really!)

Hosta la vista, Baby.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Craft Gossip

There is an article about our website and the Strap pattern over at the felting section of Check it out here. It is interesting that they chose that pattern, as I plan to have a variation on it in the next LGStitched episode.
Coming Soon - Knited gifts, Episode 3 - Revenge of the Stitched.