Monday, November 30, 2009

The Good News Is.....

I'm down to 12 WIPS.

The bad news is....

the green shawl is no longer with us.  See all those little bits of yarn that don't seem to be attached to each other?  Well, they aren't.  After my boasting about the first finished repeat last night, I noticed that the yarn had broken off.  No problem--sometimes that can happen when one isn't paying attention.  So I spliced and went on for another row....then there was another break in the yarn, and this one I was positive I hadn't done.  Unwinding, I found another--and there were ends sticking out of the skein in odd places.

When I made the retirement shawl for my mother this summer, I wound the ball too tightly with the ball winder, so I had breakage everywhere--which was totally my own fault, so though I whined a great deal, I was willing to splice over and over to get the project done.  This yarn, however, was in the original skein and call me grouchy, but I just don't enjoy playing "knit the crappy yarn" on a regular basis. 

It's Elann's Baby Lace Merino, and according to Ravelry, I may be the only person ever to have this problem, so that made me feel better--especially since I have quite a bit of it in my stash.  Having a bad skein here & there is probably unavoidable.  As I have said many times in the past, I have had great luck with Elann's yarns and customer service, so I am more than willing to cut them some slack if they have something inferior once in a while.  But then it occurred to me--having a relationship with a company is something of a two-way street, or it should be if we are going to expect more from companies than we have in the past.  What if there were a quality-control issue that they were unaware of?  So, I decided to package all the yarn bits, shawl in progress, and the leftover skein and send it back to Elann.  I bought the yarn more than 2 years ago, so I'd be shocked if they credited my account for it, but on their returns page it says to include the receipt or the order history from their website.  I couldn't figure out how to print just one order, so instead I got my entire order history--going back to 2003.  I stapled all SEVEN pages together and plopped it in the envelope as well as a letter explaining the problem & admitting that I was probably outside their return policy, but that I thought they would want to know about problems--and mentioning that it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they did an exchange.  :)  I don't know--I'd spring for a new ball of yarn for someone with SEVEN PAGES of order history, but I won't be upset if they do nothing. 

However, yarn out of the stash is yarn out of the stash, so tonight I'm down to 12 WIPS, I get to add another 600 yards to the tally, and NOW I'm just two WIPS away from that new yarn for Andy's sweater......

Theo shares my excitement.....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Plan......

As many of you know, my goal for next year is to FINISH 100 projects during the year.  Anyone who is quick with math will note that I will need to average 2 projects a week....which I have probably never really even come close to doing.  But, it is time to unveil my secret weapon......

A freakin' huge number of started projects I have never finished

Yes, there really HAS been a method to my madness all along!  I'm not just a flaky knitter with ADD who can be distracted by beads/new lace/basically anything except what I'm working on.  I have been stockpiling for the point when I would get so frustrated with trying to find yet MORE room for unfinished projects that I would strike out with a mad resolution!

As I write, I can look around at all my well=planned preparations:  Two Rubbermade tubs FULL of sewing projects that have kicked by arse yet to motivate me to complete them, a third tub containing long-languishing knitting WIPS that may date back to the first Bush presidency  a nice selection of knitting projects in advanced stages, and a counted cross stitch project that I will be staying far away from until sometime in 2015 at the earliest because who needs a hobby that is slower than knitting anyway????? 
This weekend, in honor of getting ready for 2010, instead of working on any of the more current projects that could easily be finished, I dragged out

which now has one FULL pattern repeat, which you would be seeing if A) I knew where my camera was right now, and B) if a white chocolate martini on an empty stomach HADN'T sounded like a good idea about 30 minutes ago.  Switching projects might seem like being a total knitting flake to the uninitiated....or the sober....but around here we like to call it knitterly preparation......

Hey, my blog, my rules.......

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things to be NOT So Thankful For In the Knitting World.....

*  Moths

*  The moment your husband finds out you've been storing yarn in the sleeves of one of his unused jackets....

*  Knitting a sweater as a surprise gift and mailing it off in time for a birthday, only to hear "Oh, I didn't like it" from the recipient

*  Moths

*  A rash fit of optimism that persuaded you to cast on a shawl on size ZERO needles

*  Really fabulous clearance yarn when one is "Cold Sheeping"

*  Discovering that the two sweater patterns that have given you the most trouble are from the same designer and you weren't paying enough attention after the FIRST attempt at her psychotic designs to avoid the SECOND attempt

*  Frogging anything made of mohair

*  Frogging in general

*  Moths

*  Forgetting that your purse has velcro until AFTER you have put your nice cashmere-blend knitting project inside the purse

*  Managing to lose your favorite cable needle in a freak lawn mowing incident

*  Second sock syndrome

*  Moths

*  The inability to knit in one's sleep

*  Anything one knit in the 1970s or early 80s

*  Moths

*  The gray hairs one gets from the first attempt at steeking

*  The first attempt at steeking

*  Gray hair in general

*  Discovering after hours and hours of knitting that you really hate the design of the mystery shawl you're making

*  Moths

*  Discontinued yarn

*  Deciding to knit up the really terrible yarn in your stash rather than just donating it or throwing it away

*  Patterns that are 20% short on their yardage estimates, even if one is getting gauge

*  Finding out the hard way that yarn can indeed be wound too tightly with a ball winder

*  That whether or not you intend it to, all untreated wool can felt

*  Forgetting to check the reviews on Ravelry before spending 3 hours trying to figure out why the pattern isn't working

*  Yarn that sheds more than your pets

*  Large chain stores that discontinue the beads you want to use the moment you walk out the door after purchasing not quite enough of the darn things, then ignoring your frantic emails offering to pay exorbitant prices if they will help you locate more of the damn beads so you won't have to redo the entire beaded bands

*  That New Project Euphoria never lasts as long as the project does

*  Moths

*  People who don't say "thank you" for gifts, which stinks in general, but gets proportionately worse the longer one has spent making the gift

*  That there isn't a second Franklin book yet

*  That one has been mostly just messing around on Finishing Friday and hasn't actually finished a single thing.........

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things To Be Thankful For in the Knitting World

*  Express shipping

*  Circular needles.  Not that I don't prefer dpns for socks and such, but could you imagine doing a pi shawl with 15 pointy sticks?  ***shudder***

*  Ravelry--bless them!

The squashability of yarn, which makes one's stash easier to hide in say, the arms of a jacket that your husband never wears anyway.  Not that I would ever do that, of course.....

*  Knitting friends who completely understand that one could talk all day every day about knitting

*  Tetanus shots--those of us who have managed to impale ourselves with small knitting needles understand this one

*  That airlines have finally realized that a knitter allowed her knitting needles on a flight is much less dangerous than a knitter denied knitting for 6 straight hours

*  Husbands who like handknit sweaters, especially if they are relatively small in circumference.  If you ever see a large man wearing a hand-knit cabled sweater, there is no surer sign that his wife is very, very devoted.....or is curled up at home in a little ball muttering "50-inch chest....50 inch chest...what was I thinking??????"

*  Mohair yarn, which covers up the fact that no knitted item ever leaves this house without cat hair.  Some people believe everything I knit is made from mohair.....

*  Do-overs!  Not that frogging is much fun, but how many other things in life do you get a second chance at?

*  That a knitted gift cannot tell the recipient how much swearing was involved in making it

*  That if watching football on Thanksgiving is a national tradition, a knitting holiday can't be far behind......

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

13 And Counting!

With the kimono shawl finished, I am down to 13 WIPS....or 3 away from meeting the Double Dog Dare Challenge.  I have THREE projects that are really, really, REALLY close to being finished:

Fleur, which is down to sewing on the beaded band, and doing beaded neckband & cuffs--exactly where it has been for the last year.....

The alpaca sweater which needs a sleeve cap & some seams and a few buttons and I could actually be WEARING the darn thing.....

and one of the cutest baby sweaters EVER, which needs seams and maybe the neckband and one buttonband.  ALL of them could probably be wrapped up with 2 weeks of serious application. And what am I doing with myself?

Working on the baby sweater I cast on THE DAY BEFORE the Double Dog Dare Challenge began.  I have finished the back, and am zipping along on the front

but it still isn't as far along as any of the more "matured" WIPS.  The upside is that I am about to finish off another skein of yarn

but as this is just a Red Heart fingering acrylic I'm going to guess I didn't ever add it to my Ravelry stash, so it wouldn't be in that 128,000 number either.  I'll have to double check, but I notice I haven't been all that excited about 'fessing up to the cheap acrylic yarns roaming through my stash.  It's not that one can't knit with whatever yarn one wants to, but who really wants to proclaim to the knitting world that there's some clearance hot-pink Fun Fur lurking at the bottom of the stash? that there's anything wrong with that........

And, my sidekick and I have started decorating for Christmas.

We're starting early because it's a big house and a pretty exhausting job--as you can see.  It's now exactly one year since Theo was hit, and his fur has finally all grown back.  His bad leg is still a bit straighter than the other, and he regularly props his back end against walls or doors, but he's still been able to catch an unfortunate number of voles and birds, so he seems willing to overlook it.  After this past year he has the unfortunate impression that I exist solely to entertain him--and one can hardly blame him all things considered.  I monitor when he can go out...he monitors when I can sleep--we have become quite interconnected this year.  Oddly, in spite of all the medications I gave him, I am so firmly established as MOST FAVORITE HUMAN that some days he will only consent to hang out with Andy if I have actually left the house.  I guess the bond forged when you have to help a cat pee is a very, very strong one........

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Neno Award!

A couple weeks ago, Qutecowgirl tagged me with the Neno Award:

The Neno’s Award Rules and Regulations:

1. As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Aside from obviously missing that "as soon as you receive it part," I always like these (even though I'm about 5 behind right now).  I especially like this one because it is so amazingly positive.  So, why do I love blogging?

Because of the people I meet through it.

I wish Blogger would let me respond directly to all the comments--or I knew how to make it do so--because so many of them make me laugh out loud, or just give my day a lift.  Sometimes my blog friends have great ideas which they graciously share, sometimes they just help get me through insane projects, and sometimes it just saves Andy from having to hear about my knitting all the time.  I know there have been studies about the rise in hate groups because of the anonymity of internet, but there has also been a rise in a supportive, friendly, terrific knitting group as well.

So, passing it on to others who love blogging (and who didn't do this a month ago when it was actually sent out:

and anyone else who would like to play along.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


You might have been wondering where I have been for the last few days of my crafting week, and the answer would be getting my arse kicked by:

That's right--the kimono shawl, which upuntil this week has been a pretty well behaved project.  Being a gracious and loving knitter, I was willing to overlook the insane amount of time it was taking to finish.  After all, good things come to she who waits.....or so I've been told because being a very impatient person, I have never really tried that theory out.  But THEN it had the temerity to force me to cast off FIVE TIMES before it stopped puckering.

Okay, you can't really see it, but it was there.  This is a picture of the 4th cast-off using a needle two sizes larger than the 4 I was working with, and it STILL pulled the lace too tight.  On the 5th try, I made every stitch so large that I think Theo could have jumped through the darn things, and finally, finally FINALLY have a finished object!

AND I'm down to 13 WIPs for the Double Dog Dare challenge.

AND I got to add 1375 yards of yarn to the yarn used tally.....the thrill of which was slightly mitigated by finding out that I had never actually added this yarn (or the several other hanks of it) to my Ravelry stash, so that 128,000 is actually even lower than I thought, which takes a bit of the fun out of this

My yarn and blocking wires from Elann!!!!!

It actually arrived on Monday, but I have been trying hard to ignore its existence while trying to finish everything else, but you gotta love's service.  I actually received the yarn BEFORE I received the email saying it had shipped--it was that fast.  AND they understand knitters, because this was stamped on the box:

A year without yarn........"extremely urgent" would be an understatement. 

And of course, the yarn is quite fabulous and very soft

so I'll be picking out the 3 fastest-to-finish WIPs for the Double Dog Dare Challenge so I can dive into this lovely stuff, but probably not tonight as my little sidekick and I have some dishes to do

and the fall decorations to put away

so we can start putting up the Christmas stuff.  YAY!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There May Have Been A Few Victory Laps......

Washed, stretched (because it turns out that among its many other bizarre qualities is a tendency to pucker right after being washed), ironed, and de-furred, the finished bridesmaid's quilt:

So far I have even managed to keep the cats off of it and only laid it out for pictures when I knew they were both snoozing in another room.  

I'm thrilled to have finally finished the thing, and I love the colors.....and my friend is going to be totally and completely surprised when she receives it, being three and a half years later and everything....but I can't say that I'm overly pleased with it.  I made the border too large--even with the embroidery, the back is a different shade of blue than the front because I didn't write down what I bought in the first place and "looks like the same color" is not the same thing as "IS the same color," and the embroidery pattern looped a bit in the back even though the design is one I bought from the sewing machine's manufacturer and for the price should be @*$&% perfect, and now that whole pucker thing.....

---but I am choosing to move on.  Get over it.  Rejoice in its "doneness."  Embrace the 9 yards added to the fabric tally for the year.  Celebrate the dedication that it takes to work on something for THREE AND A HALF YEARS.  Recognize the personal growth that can only be gained through an AFLO (another f------g learning opportunity).  Enjoy that second glass of wine.  Possibly enjoy the third if I don't let it go......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crafting Marathon - Day Two

THE QUILT IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

If I knew how to make it do it, my blog would be playing the theme from "Rocky" right now.......

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crafting Marathon - Day One

I have 5 days, so after dropping Andy off at the airport and running a few errands to make sure I actually had some food this week, my sidekick and I settled down to some serious crafting.

First, we flattened out the cool home-decorating material

though getting the pattern cut out proved a bit more difficult than I had planned....

I did manage to work around Theo without cutting his tail, but a small amount of fur was lost....

though as his winter coat is truly in now, it's pretty hard to tell.  Mercifully, Theo decided to leave the room while I spray-basted the pieces and the batting together

but he was back for the sewing

Honestly, if he could ever learn to operate the sewing machine without me, I think my status as Most Favorite Human would be in jeopardy.

What are we making, you might ask?


I still want to add braid or trim to the openings of each one, and I'm pretty pleased with the small braid here

but I'm thinking some sort of black decorative cord would look pretty sharp on one or two. 

Overall, I'm so pleased with these that I honestly wish I had done 10 instead of 5, but this will get us through our immediate fall gift needs.  I'll have to check a couple craft stores to see what sort of things they have to put in the mouths of the cornucopias, but overall, I'm VERY pleased and......

2 yards of material go up on the fabric tally!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let The Crafting Marathon Begin!

Tomorrow Andy leaves for a week for business, and I will be embarking on a crafting marathon (and obviously a week of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as cooking is no part of my plan).  I have some gifts to finish, but I am really, really, REALLY hoping to finish both the quilt AND the kimono shawl while he's gone.  And, of course, I'm also hoping that the cats don't think I have been abandoned and feel the need to shower me with vermin gifts as they usually do when Andy is gone.  It's really cold here now, so even if they have the intention to do so, I'm hoping all the potential "gifts" have either flown south for the winter or are hibernating.  We haven't decided exactly what this says about the cats' interpretation of what Andy does around here.  Do they think he normally keeps me supplied with mice & birds, or are they trying to bribe me to let him come back or to keep him away?  Theo sulks if I'm gone for any length of time, but he doesn't bring Andy anything.  Being "Most Favorite Human" is not always a perk, but hopefully I can distract Theo with some major sewing this week.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finishing Friday & Embracing a Technicality

After much debate and hoping everyone else would think the same way, I decided that the yarn for Andy's sweater is actually overdue from my allotted purchases from January 1, 2009 and had already been "allowed" so it wouldn't be cheating.  So.......THERE IS YARN ON ITS WAY TO MY HOUSE!!!!

Being no fool--or at least not one right at that moment, I was flying through Elann's ordering process before I could be seduced by any other yarns so quickly that I didn't double-check the address and had to email them after I placed the order to explain that the address they had on file was no longer correct.  (And having a post office box where yarn can be sent so your husband won't see is a bad, bad idea....that isn't why I had one, but it's a bad idea nonetheless) I did allow a set of blocking wires, but I had been looking for a set so that was a little less of an impulse buy than one might think.  AND THERE IS YARN ON ITS WAY TO MY HOUSE!!!!

Since I am 4 WIPs away from being able to cast on the new yarn, the kimono shawl and I spent some time together first thing yesterday morning

which Theo only sort-of found acceptable.  But when the bridesmaid quilt came out

he was all over it.  I'm glad he likes sewing and everything, but I do have fantasies about giving gifts that are totally free from cat hair just once in my life.

I got 2 more sides embroidered, some of the binding sewn on, and

this morning I have the last side in the embroidery machine.  I still have some of the binding to stitch down, and then I have to do something about the open ends that the embroidery design has left on each side, but I think it could actually be done next week!!!  Watch for 9 yards (my estimate, of course, but I think it's probably close) being added to the "fabric used up" tally.  Technically, I think I should get another 50 yards just for finishing a 3 1/2 year old quilting project, but I don't want to get too smug.  I still have one more to do.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

That Was Not Funny

So, remember last January 1 when the yarn Andy had picked out for his next sweater and which I was going to order on that day, had sold out?  Remember yesterday when I said I had resolved not to buy any yarn until January 1, 2011?

Guess what?

For the first time ALL YEAR Elann has their Highland Donegal in Licorice--the color Andy wants.


Guess this proves those knitting gods DO have a sense of humor--albeit a very sadistic one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


After time, mature reflection, and a white chocolate martini, I have decided that checking the size of my stash was a GOOD thing (so you guys are totally off the hook).  If I buy NO MORE YARN and knit furiously for the next 13 months, I could perhaps be below 100,000 yards of yarn in my stash by 2011.

This is exciting.

Granted, 28,000 yards of yarn would be a lot to knit in one year, but my Ravelry account doesn't reflect yarn as being "used up" until the project is actually finished.  So, if I finish up a couple more WIPS by the end of the year--and several more next year--I may knock 4,000 yards off that total pretty quickly.  So....

I am NOT buying yarn at the end of the year.  I will, however, be picking out some sort of reward/bribe for myself, though I haven't decided what exactly.  It needs to be something good--maybe something I wouldn't normally buy for myself.....

In the meantime, the kimono shawl is "zipping" along as much as lace ever "zips" and I just finished the 20th repeat and have 6 left....and not quite 3 weeks left in the month.  Even if it wasn't the designated project this month, the fact that it's going to knock about 1200 yards of laceweight off my tally makes me positively quiver with excitement!  Or is that the white chocolate martini.....?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh My!

So, in deciding whether or not to buy yarn at the end of the year or do another year of Cold Sheeping OR do both, some helpful person--whom I will eventually be forgiving--suggested I reexamine my stash to see where I was at. 

According to Ravelry, I have 674 balls of yarn and 128,777 or 73 MILES of yarn in my stash.

Oh my....

Granted, some of that yarn is involved in my 14 wips, and Ravelry really doesn't account for yarn used until a project is finished....but there is also still some yarn that isn't on Ravelry, so they probably even out. 

Part of me, of course, would argue that as it's my hobby and something I enjoy, why not just go ahead and have a really large stash and to heck with the cold sheeping.  Generally, I would be of that opinion, but the fabric and yarn stash has become a bit of a space problem.  I have it all crammed INTO the sewing room, but sometime I'd like to be able to put the doors back onto the closet and perhaps be able to walk around freely in there.

So....I think I am going to reward myself with something OTHER than fabric or knitting before going on my THIRD year of Cold Sheeping, but I might reserve the right to make one yarn purchase if things get too hard.  Two full years without buying any yarn????????

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finishing Friday

In spite of all Mr. Sparky's attempts, I did actually finish the pajamas on Friday

in spite of the pattern being a bit off--the way they had the pieces laid out for the medium was just impossible--I even got out the ruler & did the math--but luckily I had extra material this time, so I still got pajamas.

Yesterday I finished a fleece blanket for winter

though I might add our names to it later, or maybe a few beads or something.  BUT, I have now used over 60 yards of material this year.  Whoo hoo!!!!!

The pajamas are just in time, as it's gotten quite cold here.  The cats no longer want to go outdoors, so they have to find new ways to amuse themselves.  Calisto has taken up yoga

and Theo greatly amused the piano tuner on Friday by hopping up on the piano bench and playing some of the keys to watch the hammers hit the strings once the front of the piano was removed.  I've had my grandmother's piano for quite some time, but Andy refinished it this year, so it is finally in the house.  Calisto seems unimpressed, but Theo might be musical.  When I play, he likes to sit on the bench beside me.  Maybe I'll teach him to turn pages?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meet Mr. Sparky

Mr. Sparky has been part of the Chateau Sutton-Goar household for about 3 years, but until the last couple days, we were unaware of the tricks Mr. Sparky can do.  He started off his show by setting off the smoke alarms in the house TWICE, though we're still not completely clear how as there was no visible smoke or steam pouring out of him.  I thought perhaps there was something clogging his "pores," so I ran some vinegar through him to remove any mineral deposits, at which time I was introduced to a new trick--constant beeping and flashing of lights and screen.  It had a pretty decent rhythm, so this might have been the musical portion of the evening.  When unplugged and plugged in again, he introduced his next trick--a constant clicking & flashing of lights, sort of like a festive timebomb--then finished the entire act by setting off the smoke alarms again. 

As we seriously hate to hold anyone back from his or her true calling, Mr. Sparky has been invited to take his act on the road, and Chateau Sutton-Goar will be adopting another less entertaining iron with perhaps fewer aspirations of greatness.......

Thursday, November 5, 2009


To summarize how MY day went......did you know it was possible to set the smoke alarm off while ironing?????

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Let The Yarn Lust Begin!

So, there are 57 days left in the year.....which means I can buy yarn in 58 days.  Of course, since I have only used up 57 skeins of yarn so far this year, there hasn't been much of a dent in the stash overall, so the question is.........

Do I Continue Cold Sheeping in 2010?

I'd like to say I have grown & matured enough to be trusted with the option of buying yarn without going on a total free-for-all with the Visa, but I'd like to be taller too, and that hasn't happened either.

My original plan was to buy yarn for one sweater each for Andy & I, then go back to cold sheep, but that little naggy voice in the back of my mind that is always SUCH a kill-joy has nicely reminded me that I still haven't finished the Kauni cardigan, which was my reward yarn for LAST year.  I'll probably just Beginend up ignoring Little Miss Buzz-Kill, but that does raise an interesting point.

Before I started the FIRST year of Cold Sheeping, I bought--well, and insane amount of yarn to be honest--and part of it was the yarn for the January Aran, which I just finished this year.  To start the SECOND year of Cold Sheeping, I bought the yarn for the Kauni Cardigan, which I will hopefully finish next year.  So maybe I'm just taking longer than I think. 

So that means I could buy yarn, right? 

Monday, November 2, 2009

So If You Think I Have Been Sitting Back Resting On My Laurels...... would be absolutely correct.  Since the costumes turned out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself, I have been taking it a bit easy on the crafting front.  However, one can only rest on one's "laurels" so long before one's "laurels" get sore, so......

meet the November Project of the Month.  Flannel pajamas!  How amazingly appropriate, don't you think?  There may have been a little peaking when drawing out of the project bin, but a project is a project.  The fabric is washed & I'm in the process of ironing it now.  In general, I love having a front-loading washing machine, but it can really turn long pieces of fabric into some serious knots.

Not forgetting about my Double Dog Dare challenge, the Kimono Shawl has moved to the forefront

The alpaca cardigan is super-close to being done, but I'm going to set that aside for just a little bit to see if I can channel the momentum to finish this project within November.  There are supposed to be 26 pattern repeats on the shawl, and I have done 16.  I think 10 in one month is a reasonable goal, and if I push myself, I could perhaps finish BOTH WIPS this month! 

See, I am getting much more reasonable as I get older.  There was a time when I would have believed I could finish all 14 of the remaining WIPS in one month......

Like, back in January perhaps......?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And The Finished Costumes.....

They are done, finished, and have been worn!!!!!  (And without losing any parts of Andy's costume even)  The finished pirate look:

And I finally wore the Dorothy costume I finished last year:

Complete with the basket, Toto,

"Witchy Water" for any Wicked Witch-type emergencies, a bottle of poppy killer, and

a travel guide, because Dorothy probably learned her lesson about being prepared after that first trip to Oz.

We attended a fabulous party last night--getting home around 1:00 AM, so today I'm feeling more like Cinderella's pumpkin than anything Dorothy.  A good day for some knitting......