Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Knitting Finish

cowl doneI finished the cowl and love it.  And I will say that I will love it even more this winter.  I take our dogs out early every morning and I HATE to get out of a warm bed and then have my neck get cold.  So this is going to get a real workout. 

sock startAnd this is my next knitting project.  Doesn’t look like a sock, does it?  The first thing I am having to learn is how to handle 4 double pointed needles all at the same time.  Believe me this is a talent I do not have so I am having to learn it as a “skill.”  Also these are very small needles and a very small yarn.  There will not be a sock any time soon.  Winking smile

Weave almost doneI did get most of the Weave quilt top done.  I sewed the rows 2 at a time and have all but two to sew onto the rest and it will be ready for quilting.

problemSpeaking of quilting, this is the part of my HQ that I think is the offending tension regulator.  So today, in a last ditch effort to fix it myself, I took it all apart.  I found some sticky stuff between two parts so I cleaned it off, shined up everything, and then put it back together.  But I couldn’t test it because a storm came up with thunder and lightening: I will try tomorrow.

wild lawn hunterAnd I just have to share this.  This is DH in his lawn mowing costume.  We live on 5 acres with lots of trees and bushes.  DH has mown out several trails through the woods and this outfit keeps bugs away from him.  I, however, just laugh when I seen him.  And see, even he is laughing.

And that’s what it’s like around here, just a laugh a minute.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Quilting in the South

001My Christmas Cactus is really enjoying it’s summer vacation on the deck.  And see, we are getting new “leaves?”   At first I thought it was blooming again but it is the new leaves that are coming out red but will turn green. 

Eric leavingAnd then I noticed that DH’s car could be seen between the branches as he left for the weekend.  I took several shots but because of all the trees in our yard, this was the best shot I got of him.

cataloging neededWith the house to myself for the weekend I started on projects that I had put off.  The first was to organized my pictures.  Usually I upload pictures when I am going to write a blog and the plan was to immediately put them in  separate folders.  But that seems to not happen and I had pictures from most of 2010, all of 2011 & 2012 and all of this year, too.  What a mess.  But after a lot of work, all of that mess is gone, except, of course, these pics.  Rolling on the floor laughing

almost doneI did do some knitting and am almost finished with my cowl.  I only have 1 1/2 rows to go.

Bad SadieHowever I was stopped by this.  Can you see the problem?  It seems the safe place I put my knitting wasn’t so safe after all.

messed up yarnAnd Sadie just couldn’t resist investigating, while I was gone.  I don’t have another pair of needles and the yarn store isn’t open until Tuesday but I will have a lot to do just getting that yarn back in shape.

As you can see there has been no quilting.  I spent quite a lot of time working on my HQ but nothing I did made the tension better.  The top thread tensioner seems to be seizing up, the thread sticks and then breaks the bobbin thread.  I will be calling HQ help today or tomorrow.

For some reason I couldn’t make myself sew or prepare anything this weekend.  It was as if, if I couldn’t quilt it there was no reason to make it.  However, I know that is silly so I will get back to sewing/quilting soon.

And, since I can’t quilt or knit, I think I will read.  DH brought home a new book for me:  The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).  So it is going to be a good week for me, how about you?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Slow Moving

teapot #12Except for stitching a few weave blocks together, this is the only thing I have gotten done on the quilting front.  This is Teapot #12 from Rhonda.  I don’t have it fused to the foundation yet but that is the easy part.  I still haven’t found the missing teapot so if it doesn’t show up by the beginning of August, I will have to make another so I can begin to plan this wallhanging.  This has been a fun and pretty easy BOM and I have really enjoyed it a lot.

first cableI find it very easy to distract myself from other pursuits with knitting.  I am 11 rows into my cowl and here is my very first cable, ever.  11 more rows and I get to do another: I think there are 3 in this pattern.  I have made lots of mistakes (I either don’t count very well or I can’t follow a pattern) but when it is all done it will keep my neck warm this winter when I take the dogs out early in the morning.  Freezing

Eric & John 7-23-12We had the opportunity to meet DH’s cousin (1st cousin, once removed, I think).  Anyway, we have a very unusual last name so anyone who has it is most certainly closely related.  With several of us on Facebook there has been the opportunity to at least make connections and even to begin to meet the children and grandchildren of the original family that came to the US from Sweden in the early 1900s.  We had a very nice and interesting visit over some great Mexican food with each of the guys filling in blanks in the family history.

It continues to rain daily: we have already had 3.5” of rain since Monday.  Where some summers we have crunchy grass, this year we have squishy mud.  It is lots of fun to check the Weather Bug before deciding we can take the dogs out.  But we are enjoying the brilliant shades of green all around us.

DH is going to be out of town again this weekend so I will either get a lot of sewing/quilting done or I will catch up on a lot of reading and knitting.  The puppies are voting for the latter.  Flirt male

Monday, July 22, 2013

Havin’ Fun in the Rainy South

I went out to get the mail Saturday evening and was greeted by this.  Isn’t that beautiful?  God’s promise all over the sky!

weekend rainAnd this is the reason for a reminder of that promise.  We had 2.5” of rain this weekend, added to the 4” we got last weekend and the 1.5” we got during the week.  We get a little bit of sunshine and everyone is out mowing their yards because the grass is growing like crazy.

6 rows sewnNow, my plan for this weekend was to get a lot of quilting done but I am still having thread breakage problems and didn’t get anything done on that front.  I did get 6 rows sewn on the weave quilt.

row 7 startedAnd have started on the 7th.  I really want to get this done this week so I can move on to other things.

first slippersBut I have been bitten by the knitting bug.  These are the first things I tried and had some success.  They are not beautiful but at least you can see they are slippers.

first hatNext I decided to learn how to do circular knitting.  This is my first hat.  I couldn’t find a really simple pattern so I used parts of three and wound up with a “hat”  Cool, huh?

next project startedSo I have started on a third project.  This is going to be a cowl with cables.  As you can see, this knitting thing has taken up a great deal of my time.

green thumbI did take a little time to work on my new green thumb.  The planter is a “plant shop” and I have had it for years but never did anything with it.  Now it is on the deck with these very healthy plants growing wildly and happily. 

book timeAnd then, in my spare time, I have been reading.  I love murder mysteries and DH is really good at supplying them for me.  The funny thing is that this time I would stop reading to do some knitting.  I am really afraid that this knitting thing may take over my crafting time.

So, what will I be doing this week?  Well, I will be sewing, cleaning, and KNITTING.  Who would have thunk it?

Have a great week,  Gari

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happily We Roll Along

chicken backgroundThe quilting has begun  I spent quite awhile just looking at these blocks but finally Saturday morning I worked on this one block.  I decided that the background of the chicken blocks will be a medium meander so it doesn’t draw attention away from the chickens.

chicken headI want the chickens to have a feathered look so I am doing these kind of scallops on the neck and body.  Also I am doing squiggly lines on the comb to simulate wrinkles. 

chicken tail And here I am doing feathers.  I have never done such little feathers but I think they are going pretty well.  I still have this body to finish and then only 11 more chickens to go.  This may take the rest of the month.

1st knit projectAnd especially since I spent almost all day knitting.  I continued to practice for most of the day but then I pulled it all out.  I read this little pattern and began knitting these slippers.  I have half of one done and am not unhappy with what I have so far.  While I was knitting I was watching the Craftsy classes on knitting socks.  I have a long way to go before the socks will be on my needles but I am on my way.

006I did play with my design wall and I think I have these blocks in place.  I actually have to add two more rows and then I will begin sewing the blocks together.  I think I will sew them in blocks of 4 before sewing them all together. 

Besides all this creativity I also took Saturday off and spent the day with my favorite, and only, daughter.  We did a little antique shopping, good eating, and shoe shopping.  All of that during a pretty severe thunderstorm.  We had a great time.

And now it is time to get those pesky housework chores out of the way so I can get back to quilting, knitting, and sewing.  I am planning at least 1 hour every day for each of the above: wonder if I can do it.  Flirt male

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oh, No, Another Hobby?

sock yarn no noI can’t believe I am investing time and money into another hobby but here I am.  I used to knit but then the arthritis in my fingers caused me to stop.  For several years I machine knit, a truly fun hobby, but the company that made my machines stopped producing and my teacher/knitting group disbanded.  To add to that it was at the same time I fell into quilting and it took over my spare time life.  But the knitting bug never quite left and I am trying again because I want to knit socks.  So what you see above is the yarn I got with my Craftsy knitting class.  It is sock yarn and it didn’t take long for me to know that that wasn’t what I should be relearning on. 

ball winderI was delighted to find this in my machine knitting leftovers.  It is a ball wander and I have put it to good use already.  This is after I paid a visit to the new yarn shop that has just opened in our very small town is South Alabama:  Pale Moon Yarns.  One should never visit a yarn shop when one already has a fiber addiction.

orange successAnyway, I bought some orange, of course, DK weight yarn and #10 needles to begin my practice piece.  I have always knit the English way but decided that maybe my hands would do better using the Continental method.  I have to tell you that it is not easy, at 70 years of age, to make that kind of change.  However, I think that I do not hold either the yarn or needles as tightly with this new to me method and thus my hands have not complained as much.  I am still having some difficulty holding on to the yarn coming off the ball but am confident that I will get that figured out  with practice. 

Complete change of subject:
Owl butter dish
Some time ago our DIL sent me this owl butter dish.  She has been great at finding unique owls and this was no exception.  It has sat on the counter, unused, because we have been using tub butter and because DH does not like the butter to be left out (I do because I like soft butter).  Recently I bought light stick butter and just this week put in in this little beauty.

Oh look it worksAnd it works GREAT!  I have had toast almost every morning just so I could use it.  However, I have noticed that she and DS have not been doing so much antiquing since their daughter (see header picture) was born last Dec.  Do you think that is the end of my great owl gifts?

I did get the rest of the Weave blocks sewn but have not decided on an arrangement, yet.  That will probably be one of my weekend projects. 

As for today, I am determined to begin quilting on the Funky Chickens.  I have been avoiding that room because I am afraid of messing up my beautiful quilt top.  Of course, this is not going to work so I did pick out the thread yesterday.  I will need to wind several bobbins this morning so I can begin quilting “ready or not.”  Oh, my……………

Monday, July 8, 2013

Design Wall and Musings

odd layoutThis is what is on my Design Wall this morning.  They are blocks from the Aunt Reen Jelly Roll Sew Along.  What you see is not the layout Doreen planed but one I kind of stumbled on.

weave layoutThis is the weave pattern.  It is much more organized that what I currently have on the wall.  I still don’t know how I will sew her together but since I still have several blocks to complete, I have a little time to decide.

almost blocksThese are the last of the blocks parts that still need to be sewn.  The only sewing I did over the four day weekend was on these blocks and it again proved that I get tired of sewing the same thing over and over.  But today I will finish these so I can have the whole set on the wall and then I will move to something else, for a while.

Fish #7I did take a break from seam stitching to put this month’s fish together.  He is a little more subdued than some of the others but I see him as a camouflage fish.

owl 5And I also put Owl #5 together.  It is a little hard to see his outline on the background fabric but he will show up better when he is stitched down later.

Later today I hope to get to the last teapot BOM and perhaps to be able to cut out the ornaments for the Deck-ade The Halls Quilt Along.

Our son and daughter-in-law have been on a vacation in Teaton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Elsa and Mom at Old FaithfulTodd & Elsa 7-1-13 Teton National Park 2
We have followed them through pictures and loved seeing the three of them having so much fun seeing a whole new place. 

 And it has been nostalgic, too.  When our son was 6 months old, the same age as his daughter, we went on a two month camping trip from  IL to OR/WA/CA.  And we had a 6 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and this son with his twin sister.  We had a great time then, just as they are having a great time now.  It is such fun to see our children enjoying each other and the world around them.  And I love the digital age that allows them to share with many pictures.  Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A New Project

where it came fromA few weeks ago I found this blog and she was just beginning a Jelly Roll Sew Along.  At the time I was working on other projects and couldn’t join in the fun.

jelly roll ready to cutBut this week I was ready and started.  I have had this jelly roll for over a year, so long I can’t remember where I got it.  I don’t think I bought it because I didn’t like what I saw on the outside.  But I think I really like several of the fabrics in this line, which is probably no longer available.

pieces ready to sew I spent most of Monday and Tuesday afternoons cutting rectangles and squares from all of the jelly roll and 24 background squares.  I believe I have said how much I don’t like the cutting fabric part of quilting.

magnets as weightsOne of the neat things that I learned while cutting all of that fabric.  I have these long magnets that I use on my quilt frame and I just now figured out that I can use them on this large cutting ruler so both it and the fabric stays still.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

first seamHere are a bunch of rectangles stitched to squares.  But, oh, my, there are so many more to go.

trial setting  I put a few of the 6” blocks on the wall to see what this quilt is going to look like and I am pleased.  I guess that I will keep cutting and sewing.

I forgot to take pictures but I have prepped this months Fish and Owl BOM blocks.  Maybe tomorrow, before going to our daughter’s for BBQ ribs, I will work on fabric selection for them.  

Have a great 4th
and celebrate our Freedom