The cuteness quotient has been pretty high around here lately.  First off, I've been sewing doll clothes and it doesn't get much cuter than that.  I made p.j.'s for Mei-Mei's doll and she had to try them on immediately:


I also made this summer outfit (modeled on my doll):


And this cute little dress:


Unfortunately, I ignored the advice on the last pattern to measure my doll first and found out that she's a little chubster.  The dress is pretty tight and doesn't quite meet in the back.  Live and learn.

I also found this simple pattern while browsing a yarn store in Friday Harbor last week.  I forgot the name of the store, but it's right on Spring Street and is quite nice.  The pattern is amazingly simple – just five garter stitch rectangles.  The pattern instructs you to knit them separately and sew them together.  However, I modified it since I have an aversion to sewing up!  I left the shoulder stitches live and did a three needle bind off, then picked up the sleeve stitches at the shoulder and knit down. That left only the underarm seam to sew.  The pattern goes by the imaginative name of "Encore Worsted 1528", but you can also check under Baby Kimono in Ravelry.


Cute, no?  This will be donated to the charity my sister volunteers for – Eastside Baby Corner down in the Seattle area.  I have a whole bag of Encore to do more.  First I'm making the child sized version for Isobel:


This is known by the even more clever name of "Encore Worsted 1440".   Of course, one for Mei-Mei will follow.

It's amazing that I've even had time to knit.  My calendar has been bursting at the seams lately.  Now that the crush is over, I hope I've come to my senses and stopped overscheduling myself.  But not all of the scheduling was necessarily bad.  I leave you with this last bit of cuteness overload – Mei-Mei in her first ballet lesson:


I didn't know it was possible to have so much pink in one room!

American Girls

Last Wednesday we took Mei-Mei to the American Girl Doll Place for her birthday.  Originally we had planned for Grandpa and Nana to take her, but since Abby wanted to go too, we let Grandpa off the hook.  In all honesty, we figured he'd spend the entire time looking at his watch and thinking, "Are we done yet?"  Since Wednesday was Isobel's first day of school, the timing seemed right for Mei-Mei to have a day of her own.  Abby and I had done a scouting of the AG store previously and picked out the doll we were going to steer Mei-Mei to.   She is still too young for the regular Amercian Girl dolls, so we picked out a pretty brown haired Bitty Twin for her.  We showed it to her on the computer so she would be prepared.  However, showing us her true little opinionated self, she did not want a brown haired doll – she wanted one with yellow hair.

We knew that she would be excited when we got to the store, but she exceeded all our expectations.  When we walked in she started exclaiming, "My doll store!  My doll store!"  Of course everyone in the store stopped and smiled.  I thought we might spend some time looking at all the different dolls, but Mei-Mei would have none of that!  She wanted to find, "My doll – the one with the yellow pigtails."  So we took her over to the Bitty Baby section and she saw her doll.


We found a saleslady who went to the back and brought out her doll and (surprise!) one for Nana too!!  Mei-Mei walked up to the checkout counter with her big box of dolls and stars in her eyes.  After we paid, the saleslady asked if we wanted her to take Mei-Mei's doll out of the box.  Of course, we said yes.  This reaction sparked a collective, "Awwwww!" throughout the store.


I had to wipe a few tears away as Mei-Mei hugged and kissed her new baby.  We then went to the cafe where her new doll was given her own little chair and place setting.  


All the way home Mei-Mei talked to her doll and made her dance and kissed her.  When we got home we had our picture taken together with our dolls.


I'm not sure how successful sewing for Mei-Mei's new dolly will be.  I made a couple of little outfits for her (seen modeled on my doll).



When she came over yesterday she wanted to see the outfits on her doll, but almost immediately asked for her original outfit to be put back on.  Good thing I have my doll to sew for – and to knit.  I've started a Spring Dress:


If Mei-Mei shows any interest, I'll give it to her for her doll.  We did manage to get Grandpa involved at least a little, although we had to sneak this photo.


Lest you think Isobel was ignored, Grandpa made her a treasure map and she got to dig for buried treasure in our yard – complete with pirate hat!


The total haul was $9.00 in change, which the girls will split and put in their piggy banks.

On a more somber tone, I can't let the day pass without remembering 9/11.  There has been a lot of backlash because of all the constant media coverage during the past week.  But I don't think we should let the media's trivialization of the event cause us to forget what was truly a terrible event for the entire country – not just New York, Pennsyvlania or Washington, D.C.  It affected all of us. However, I think my pastor's words are really relevant here, so I will leave you with his quote:

"As we gather here today, let us do so in celebration and fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the one who has died that we might live and be free from sin and its death.  If fear of death causes us only to mourn and cower in our sadness, fear will have won.  But thanks be to God in Christ Jesus we need not be afraid.  Let us then live as free people in the Lord and take every opportunity to rejoice together."  

All Over the Map

Last weekend my friends and I went to the Pacific West Quilt Show in Tacoma.  What an inspiring trip!  There were so many stunning quilts.  Unfortunately, although I took a lot of pictures, I can't show them to you because of very express copyright laws.  So you'll have to take my word for it.  One of the things my friends and I discussed was that for many of the quilts, especially the prize winners, the makers most likely were very single minded.  In all probability they did not divide their time amongst many interests like we do!  I believe I have the ability to actually get into a juried show like this – after all, I've done it twice at the AQS show in Paducah.  But lately it just seems as if I'm all over the map on my hobbies!

I did get inspired by this quilt in the merchant mall:


I've always loved hand applique and one of my quilts that was juried into AQS was an applique quilt.  However, I've been frustrated at doing some of the more complicated designs.  This particular designer was doing demos of her technique and I was so impressed that I snapped up her DVD, some tools and a pattern.  Although I'm not quite ready to tackle her complicated pattern yet, I came home and started over on a simpler design that I had been working on:


I am so much more pleased with the quality of my workmanship using her techniques.  Yesterday I spent a large portion of the day making the little narrow bias stems, but believe I now have enough for the whole quilt.  Next up is to cut out a squillion little leaves.

Not that knitting is taking a back seat.  I've been working on my cabled cardigan, but it is slow going.  The body is done all in one piece up to the armholes and the honeycomb pattern is kicking my butt!  On the pattern rows, every single stitch is cabled and by the end of the row, my hands are aching.  I have one more repeat to go and then I can get to the more fun cables!


btw – before any of you comment that my cables are crossed the wrong way – they are not.  I double checked to be sure after taking this picture.  It's just an optical illusion caused by the shadows in the photo.  It did give me pause for a moment when I saw it!

I do have one FO – I finished my sister's Hedera socks.  They have already been gifted and worn.


And just to prove I am all over the map, I have started not one, but three! new pairs of socks.  In my defense (?) they all serve different purposes.  The first pair are simple rib socks for car knitting, the second are Funny Valentine socks for the new Solid Socks group I joined on Ravlery (seems to be a nice drama-free group), and the third, Twisted Flower, are in my quest to knit up every sock in Cookie A.'s Knit Sock Love book.  All three socks are out of Cascade Heritage, which is becoming my standard "go-to" sock yarn.




And just to add to the "all over the map" thing, I am becoming obsessed with making doll clothes.  So far this is my only accomplishment:


We are taking Mei-Mei to the American Girl Doll store for her birthday to get her a Bitty Twin.  I have a feeling Nana may come home with one too – after all, I do need a fit model, right?  I don't want to make too many little clothes until I know they fit.  I never sewed doll clothes as a child, so I feel as if I'm having another chance at childhood.  Possibly the fact that I'm applying for Social Security has something to do with that!

I'll leave you with my last "all over the map" accomplishment.  This page was one of the top picks of the month at Scrapper's Guide.  I was SO honored!


Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.  My niece is coming up from Seattle and then we're going down to Snohomish for a holiday brunch with the family.  Our weather is looking to be absolutely glorious for our last few weeks of summer.