Fades

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I’ve finally finished an official “Fade” type pattern!  Yay me!  I’ve made a fade type shawl with my previous shawl “Dotted Rays”  by Stephen West.   I was creative and made the Fade on my own.   This is “Free Your Fade” by Andrea Mowry.   It’s an easy knit.  Guess what?   I made it with my own hand dyed yarn!  Yay me again!

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This takes 3 skeins of yarn in different color combinations.  I made this in my Fingering Singles yarn in Pink, Circus, and Lake House.  I’m going to make a moody, dark one next.

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I’m working every day on my new hand dyed yarn business.  Currently, I’m stocking my “store” on Etsy.  You are sure to find me under “A chick that knitz.”   I’ve got 27 different color ways listed.  I have about 50 total to load.  Once I have all my colors listed, I’m going to have a grand opening sale and everything will be 30% off for the opening.  So go look around if you would like, but remember to wait for the official opening for 30% off everything!  I love a good sale!  (It’s taken me a week to photograph and load 27 colors, it may take another week to load the rest).

I will also have my own “shop” on the web.  I will get that up and running once I’ve loaded up Etsy.  Since I’m brand spanking new with my yarn business, I figured that would help introduce my yarn to people.

It Spring Y’all!  Yay!  My nose sure knows!  I’m allergic to cedar and every other kind of tree known to mankind.  I’m basically allergic to March.  I don’t know how they work, but I have a Himalayan Salt Lamp near my bed and it helps with my allergies.  It doesn’t cure them, but it helps.  I notice a difference when I don’t have it on anyway.

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Max enjoying the long grass before Len gets the mower out for the first time this season.

I’m in-between projects right now.  My fingers are itching to work on something!  I’m looking for a particular project.  When I officially open my store and have the grand opening, I’m going to do a “KAL. Knit-a-Long” and I’m looking for that project.  I want to showcase my yarns and showcase a Fade type pattern.

Happy Sunday!

 

Tammy – A Chick That Knitz

 

Dotted Rays Shawl

Hello!   Happy Birthday to me!  Happy Valentine’s to everybody!

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This is the Dotted Rays Shawl by Stephen West. I love it!  It’s one of my favorites.  It’s an easy and relaxing knit.  The first three stitches are a provisional cast on and that’s the hardest part of the pattern.   Once you pass that, you are in easy breezy land!  It’s garter stitch the rest of the way with a few yarn overs for the “dots”.

I used my own yarn from A Chick That Knitz in the color-way Romantic Robin.  I made it a fade.  There are many ways you can use yarn color to make it your own.  Browse all the beautiful shawls here on Ravelry

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I’ve started a YouTube channel for A Chick That Knitz and a friend and follower sent me a huge box of presents to celebrate my new studio.  I made this for her.  It’s some of the first yarn I’ve dyed and it’s made of Worsted weight Superwash Merino Wool.  I will have my shop open this Spring.  That’s another plus, you can use worsted weight yarn instead of the fine fingering yarn (you can use that also) so the shawl knits up relatively fast.

I also want to show off some of Amanda’s cookies.  Amanda is Lauren’s mother that lives in Texas.

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They are so cute!

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Look at those on the right with the coconut!  Beautiful!

I highly recommend taking some cookie decorating classes on Blueprint (formerly Craftsy).  Neither of us could have done this without it.  I bet there are some free tutorials on YouTube regarding “Flood icing” .   They will teach you how to get this beautiful icing for cookies.  It’s powdered sugar, water, and a secret ingredient called meringue powder.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I think I will make some cookies myself.  I had to stop making them so much because I was eating them all!  They are so good, you can’t have just one cookie.

Have a fantastic week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tammy

 

Welcome to the Dye Studio

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Hello!  I’ve been working hard at starting my own hand-dyed yarn business.  My studio is complete!  I’ve taken over the garage!  I have to have a comfortable space for my family to hang out with me in the studio.  My “family” consists of my husband, grown children, grandchildren, 5 dogs and one cat, Max!  The dog beds are coming.  We’re buying another carpet to fill in the other half of the garage.  We want a clean spot for our grand baby to sit down on the floor and play.  The garage floor is dirty, hence, the carpets.  The color of the carpet is perfect!  It hides all the dye spots I spill on it and it cleans nicely with a carpet cleaner.

 

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I’m having so much fun!  I have wanted to have a yarn store for many years now.  The reality of it was just not something we honestly wanted, myself or my husband.  I’m what’s called an extroverted introvert.  I know!  Crazy!  How can you be both?  You can be!  My introvert side doesn’t want to actually go to a yarn store every day and hang out there.  I’ve never “hung out” at the yarn store.  I prefer to be at home, in comfort, with a fridge full of food and snacks, and lots of movies at my fingertips.  Although, I think it’s a great idea and a great place to meet fiber friends.  I love hospitality and am pretty good at it.  I would be a great yarn store owner.   I realized it was just a fantasy and nothing would ever come out of it.

Then I lost my job.  I left of my own free will, but I was pushed out.  I was a little heartbroken to be honest.  It was a blessing!  I’m very loyal.  I had to be pushed out to leave, or I would still be there today.  Sometimes, disasters are blessings in disguise!!!

It’s taken me almost a year since I left the work force to figure this out, but I’ve figured it out!  I CAN own a yarn store!  I LOVE YARN!  Have you seen my stash? ( It’s on an article here on my blog, search “stash” and it will come up. ) I’ve started up my own hand-dyed yarn business!  I create and color the yarn and will sell it on-line and at various trade shows.  I LOVE the trade shows!  My husband and I take vacations with a plan to visit yarn stores and fiber mills.  They are the spots along the way to our destination.  Now, we can go to trade shows, set up my little trade show store, sell yarn, and travel!  Hot diggity dog!!

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I looove it!  Isn’t there a song “I’m in love with my car!” by Queen?  I haven’t heard it but hey… “I’m in love with my yarn!”

You’ve met my daughters.  They will be there to help along the way!  What a great family business!  I can also include my husband.  He loves to socialize!  He and my son are currently planning, designing, and building me an electric skein winder/swift.  That might become a thing in itself for my son.  We can sell those too!

I’m the type that needs a plan and a goal.  I’m still young for “retirement”.  Now, I have a direction for my energy and it’s the best direction!

I’m making a cropped little cardigan in this beautiful sunshine yellow to wear with my sundresses this summer.

I’ve also started a YouTube channel to journal about starting this business, connect with other dyers and fiber lovers,  and promote my yarns.  I’m new at this and learning from scratch so they aren’t great yet, but, they are entertaining!

I’m in the research and development phase of the business.  I’m gathering base yarns from various sources to find out which I like best and want to represent “A Chick That Knitz”.  I’ve heard several indie dyers say they don’t know or care what the yarn looks like knitted up.  It’s the artistic process they like and how it looks in a skein.  Well, I’ve bought a $32.00 skein of hand-dyed yarn and it’s pretty in the skein but ugly knit up.  I am a chick that knits after all , so it is important to me, that the yarn looks pretty in all its forms; skein, to ball, to knit project.

Take care and I will be back soon with an on-line store  grand opening!

One more thing!  Knitters, Crocheters, Yarn lovers, please feel free to give me any input on what you like and don’t like about hand-dyed yarns.  I’m here to please and would really like to know your thoughts.

Take care and don’t forget, Valentine’s Day is close!

Tammy

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Aussiedoodle puppy hanging out with me in the studio.

Girl’s Night in the Yarn Studio

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We had a spontaneous girl’s night in my new yarn studio.  Lauren and Lindy came over to hang out and we painted our first skeins of yarn in the studio!    Lauren knits and crochets and has a love for yarn.  Lindy now has an appreciation for the art of hand-dyed yarn!     (She is an amazing artist!  I hope this reawakens a spark of creativity for her!). Lindy was pretty surprised at how much fun she had.  She is really good with watercolors, so I can see why she loved this so much.

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Look how proud she is!

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We were playing.

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We can’t forget Max!  He is still helping me pose my yarn!

We ended our night eating Mexican bowls at Fuzzy’s along with a margarita.  It was a great spontaneous night with my girls.  We all had a great time.  The girls were tickled pink with their own creations and are eager to cast-on.

On a side note – this would be a great craft to do with your kids.  The math you use is ratio and proportion and would be a great lesson to teach the kids.   They can see math used in a fun creative way.  You need to figure how much dye to use per weight of yarn.  You can also teach fractions with diluting  colors.     Just an idea 🙂

Happy Knitting Friends!

 

Tammy

 

Mrs. Crosby’s Dye Workshop

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Lauren and I attended this dye workshop and had a great time.  Amanda Jarvis is the artist behind Mrs. Crosby’s yarns, based in Chicago.  SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss), in Guthrie, Oklahoma, hosted the class.

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Keely is a fabulous host!  She loves to cook gourmet food.  Her hors d’oeuvre’s are always interesting.  Not to mention, she serves wine and last night, she also served frozen margarita’s, and strawberry margarita’s.  I know after 2 glasses of wine, I was feeling pretty good, and having a fun relaxed time.

The beginning of the class, everyone is quiet, and doesn’t know anybody.  People are being polite and using their best manners.  Start drinking some wine, playing in the colors, and by the time the class is nearly over, everybody has their hands all over each other’s yarn,” ooooohing’ and ‘awwwwing’.  Personalities start to open up, you start chatting and laughing with the classmates next and near to you.  It turns into a fun time.

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Len asked me how my class went.  I told him, “I was with my people – my tribe.”  lol.  It’s true though!

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I’ve been gathering supplies at garage sales to dye yarn; large pots, measuring cups, teaspoons, heat sources.  It’s so messy, I don’t want to do it in the house.  I’ve been waiting for cooler weather, so we can do it in the garage.  We used a microwave as the heat source in this class.

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This is Lauren’s yarn.; teal and grey and some olive.

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My yarn; olive, purple, and pink.

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I was so excited about my yarn, I made some fingerless gloves with it.

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I like them.  If you have an opportunity to attend a yarn dyeing class, I highly recommend it!  We both had a great time.  We both are really happy with our yarn.  We’re also excited to get playing with dying some yarn this fall.

Silk Garden Fingerless Gloves is the pattern I used for these super easy gloves.

 

Happy Knitting Friends!

Tammy

 

Yarn Stores in Taos, NM

In years past, we’ve used the app Stash2Go from Ravelry to find local yarn shops while on a road trip.  It makes for some surprising little side adventures on our trips.  This year, we came across the yarn stores during our explorations of the town.  Our first stop was at Vortex Yarns in Taos, New Mexico.

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Vortex Yarns

They had this cute clothes line stretched out in front of the store with various handmade fiber items.  My husband, Len, found it right off!  Great idea!  It’s such a surprising treat for me when we come across a yarn store!  It’s like finding a hidden gem in a video game. (Yes, I’m a Zelda fan from playing video games with my kids when they were little. #90’s)

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The shop is close to downtown and all the shops.  It was beautiful weather.  Hot in Oklahoma is so different from “hot” elsewhere.  I thinks it’s due to our humidity.  You step outside in Oklahoma on a 90 something degree hot day and you start sweating immediately.  The heat can almost be suffocating here.   It was 90 something degrees in Taos and still comfortable.

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Having a blog and sharing your life on the internet can be intimidating.  Blogging has pushed me to come out of my shell and challenge the shy parts of me to quit being so shy!  Walking up to strangers and asking to share a piece of them for myself is hard.  I’ve really had to work on “getting over my self.”  These ladies were so nice and friendly!  I was comfortable the moment I walked in to the store.

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Max  and my stash from Vortex Yarns

Here is my “treasure” from Vortex Yarns.  I plan on making the The Aspyn by Melissa Schaschwary.  I’ve been eyeing those faux fur pom-poms for a while now.  Love the colors and the different textures.

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After stopping at the rock store to see what gems we could find for our grandkids, we came across this surprise!  Mooncat Fiber!  Another yarn store.

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What a charming place to find a yarn store.  Now, I had been here before.  It was very familiar to me as I entered the courtyard.  A few years ago, on another road trip, we were following the app Stash2go, and were led here.  Isn’t that cool?!  See why following the app and exploring the local yarn shops is fun.  Look what gems you find.

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They had a beautiful sample of colorful shawls and handmade knits.  It’s just screaming come over here and touch me!

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This is a charming shop with good range of local and regional yarns.  Everything was beautiful.

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Cathy Book, owner. http://www.mooncatfiber.com

Cathy was very warm and welcoming too.  I know she’s getting to look forward to a visit to Rhinebeck, NY this year!   I’m a bit jealous.

I had such fun.  It’s really nice to visit with other people that enjoy yarn and the fiber arts as much as I do.  Look how happy we all look.  I want to thank these beautiful women for giving me and my blog the time of day.  You made for a fun day in Taos, NM.

Happy Knitting,

Tammy

Craftsy

Hi Friends,

You all may know of Craftsy.com, but they are running a really good special right now.

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I love Craftsy classes.  For $120.00/year, you get unlimited access to classes.  (They also have a monthly charge for $14.99) They are not just for knitting.   This morning,  I’ve been watching a gardening class.  They have painting, photography, cooking, sewing, jewelry, wood working, quilting, etc.   I recently  enjoyed a class on colored pencils.  (Hmmm, I need to check out if they have a class on yarn dying….)

Also when you sign up, you get a FREE knit project including enough yarn to complete the project for FREE!

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I picked the Entwined Blanket (bottom right) in a pretty lavender color to make for my daughter, Lindy, for when she moves into her own place for the first time.   Plus, they offer a $25 coupon for any supplies you may want to buy, in addition to the free kit/yarn you are already receiving.

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This is a really good deal and I wanted to share with my knitter friends.  It’s a cool Spring rainy day today and a perfect day to sit in my creative space and dream of beautiful projects to further enhance my home.   I’m especially looking forward to the gardening classes.    I love the Boho look – natural fibers, lots of fresh green plants and flowers, the tinkling of wind chimes, beautiful textures, splashes of running water, and the fragrant notes of the outdoors.   I love spending time outdoors, particularly in the Spring and Fall. It gets really hot here in Oklahoma in the Summer,  that it  sends you inside for the air conditioning.  My favorite room in my house is the sunroom.   Lots of natural light and plants.

Check out Craftsy.

Have a great day friends!

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday

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Lauren and I went to Stitches, Texas last weekend.  We were so focused on all the booths and pretty yarns that we forgot to take a single picture!   We dumped out  both our loots and took a picture of our treasures.

I’ve had a rough weekend.   Lauren was in a minor car accident.  She and baby are fine.  I was so scared and worried about her that I aggravated an old neck injury of mine and have had a horrible headache for 3 days now.  I thought I’d post some fun pictures of yarn to help me feel better.   Yarn releases feel good endorphins and makes me happy.  Might take my mind off my headache.

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I bought this yarn for Lauren for her birthday along with a pattern for a cowl at L & B Yarn Co in Norman, OK.  The teal is Marisol Ushya (two skeins) and the brown variegated is by Universal Yarns Classic Shades Frenzy. (1 skein).  Love that cowl!  Super cute with jeans.  Tomorrow, we are supposed to get our first bout of fall weather.  Fall is my favorite season; back to school, football, pumpkins, falling leaves, my favorite colors all around, jeans, boots, and cowls…..just love it.

I spent the weekend working on my unfinished projects.  This is my unfinished project basket.  That is the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole.  I started it about 6 years ago.  It just lacks one more row and the fringe.

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This is the Wavy Lace Scarf by Sweaterbabe.  All this one lacked was the fringe.  I love this color!  So pretty!  This is the 4th scarf I’ve made from this pattern.

These adorable fingerless gloves are from the pattern  Trilsea’n, which is Gaelic for “braid”, by Kalurah Hudson that I downloaded from KnitPicks.  Very appropriate for “Outlander” fans.  Speaking of Outlander, is anyone else down in the dumps waiting for Claire and Jamie to finally get back together?  Every episode has been so sad and depressing.  Each episode, I’m like “Come on!  Get back together already!”.

Happy Monday everybody!  I’m already feeling better.

 

Blocking the Aideen Shawl

Lauren asked me what blocking was the other day, so I thought I would share.  I’ve mentioned that blocking is not something that many knitters enjoy.  It is necessary for several types of knitting, especially lace.  I knit the “Aideen” shawl by Dee O’Keefe two years ago when I travelled to Rhinebeck, NY for their annual Sheep and Wool Festival.  If you haven’t been, please put it on your bucket list to go.  New York is absolutely gorgeous in the fall.  My husband has turned his nose up at traveling to the East coast, and he loved it!   It’s an absolutely must do.  Two years later, and I’m finally blocking my shawl!

This is the shawl laid out unblocked.

You soak the garment in water, and the wool/alpaca/fiber blooms.  You get the excess water out by rolling it up in a towel.

This is a blocking mat.  You can get these at your LYS or buy them online.  I purchased two packages from Knit Picks, an online yarn store.  I did not have enough to completely block this out like I should have, so I will need to buy one more package.  The long cardboard contains long wires that you use to help block and then T-pins to pin the garment down.  You will see Max in these pics.  He’s everywhere I am.

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Max is trying to help me, but he’s in my way, playing with the blocking wires.  I had to shut him out of the room to get this done.  He sure is cute though!

This is the shawl laid out and pinned down.  The pattern will tell you the measurements it should be.  You just flatten and pull and push until you get the correct measurements.  I did not have the appropriate space of blocking mats to do this “perfectly”.  The wires are thread through the inner circle, where Max is laying.  The pattern called for more wires to be thread and placed along the edge between the lace and the border.  I did not do this.

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Here is the diagram from the pattern on what it should have looked like.

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You can see mine is kinda wonky compared to the pattern.  I even accidentally missed pinning a few of the picots on the edge of the scarf, but you can’t tell.

Here is the finished product.

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Thank you Lauren for posing for me.  You are absolutely stunning!   Our grandson has a new name.  It was going to be Jack.  Now it’s Luke Scott Mattinson.  I told Lauren he is going to be so cute that she will never put him down.  She promised me should would put him down for a little bit so I could hold him. :-).

This is my oldest son, John, the dad.  Both mom and dad have the cutest dimples.  Luke surely will too.  You never know.

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I hear several people are intimidated by lace projects.  Don’t be.  They are not hard.   It’s only yarn overs and knitting two stitches together.   Not hard at all.

Stitches, Texas

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Stitches,Texas is coming up this weekend in Irving, Texas.  Stitches holds fiber festivals in several states across the country.  I think Chicago used to be the closest one to me.  So when Stitches decided to hold a festival in Texas, I was super excited.  Texas is just next door to Oklahoma.  I was able to attend the very first Stitches in Texas.    I went by myself and had a great time.  I spent a weekend in a hotel and participated in several classes.  I signed up for the whole shebang; dinner, fashion shows, events and prizes.  There were several “single” people so I didn’t feel awkward going by myself.   The catered dinner party had several single people at the table and it was a free for all for seating.   I even participated in a fashion show.

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Barry Kline in a Swing class

This is Barry Kline and he teaches a class about adding some “swing” to knit garments.  I have a bit of a belly, so I like knit garments that have a slight drape and “swing” versus a tight knit around my belly.  I was the model for this vest he designed for the class.  He actually teaches on cruises.   Yes!! There is such a thing as a knitting cruise!  Bucket list.

One of my favorite knitting celebrities is Marly Bird.  She lives in Colorado and designs knit and crochet items and has a podcast that’s called,  “It’s a Yarn Thing”.  I have often been described as real or genuine in regards to my personality.  Marly is too!  That’s why I like her so much.  Very down to earth and doesn’t mind being honest in her endeavors, good or bad.  She’s just charming. Love her.

I was able to take one of her classes about becoming a knitwear designer and how to get started.  Marly is my favorite knitting/crochet personality.   She has some great classes on Craftsy that I recommend.  She is so fun to watch.   I purchased her Plus Size knitting class on Craftsy.   It’s how my mom and I made our duck tape mannequin together.  Some of you may remember that!  You can find it on Youtube here: Mother/Daughter Team Duck Tape Mannequin

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Okay.  I’m sure everybody has had a bad hair day, or a bad makeup day, or whatever.   I saw these pictures after I got home and couldn’t believe how horrible I looked.  For some reason, my hair would not work.  I have curly hair and in high humidity, it kinda goes afro on me and there is nothing to do but put it up.   I hate tight things around my belly.  What the heck happened to my t-shirt?   It must have shrunk from the time I put it on and the time I arrived here.  You can even see the indentation of my belly button my shirt is so tight.   I swear my sweater is navy blue and not purple.  It matches the skirt. The skirt lands just above my knees.  Not sure why it’s nearly down to my ankles here.   I was showing Lauren these pictures and we were having a good laugh about it when I told her I actually wore this same outfit to a job interview!   I got the job, so my outfit couldn’t have looked as bad as it appears in these photos.    Not to mention the alien light bearing down upon my head, preparing to beam me up.

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LOL.   What can you do?  Just laugh about it and be glad I’ve got a photo memento.  Marly looked great!

I’m planning on heading to Stitches Texas in the morning.  I’ll bring back some pictures to show you what it’s like.