Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

 Oops, somehow I forgot to write my blog for the last half of December.  I guess it is because DH has been on Christmas break and he has been making plans for us.  Once the Nutcracker was done he completed finals week and then we went to the movies, twice Christmas week seeing The Hobbit and Night at the Museum.    We enjoyed both, each for very different reasons.

Owl back packHere is one of the owls I got this Christmas, from DS#3 & DDIL.  It is a backpack but around here it is going to be a knitting bag.  I am enjoying it so much: I have it hanging on the lamp next to my living room chair.

IMG_3908The other owl I got is this one.  He is about 9” tall and has a battery operated light.  I currently have him sitting by the fireplace where I can see him while I am watching TV.  This one came from DD.  The fun came because she was able to spend Christmas Eve with us so got to see me open it.   With  3 of our 4 children living in different states this was the first time in a long time we had one with us for Christmas Eve.  We even made her pass out the gifts.  Winking smile

This is the picture of the rest of our gifts that I put on Facebook Christmas Day.  We really have some fun family members.

This week saw us back at the movie theater watching Into the Woods.  We had seen the stage version several years ago and I didn’t much care for it but the movie was GREAT.  Not only is it an interesting interpretation of 4 fairy tales but the music and voices were tremendous.  Now we will settle down for a few weeks but plan to see Cinderella for our anniversary in mid-January.  Funny how that keeps coming around.

better than half way  I did get this little afghan done but haven’t gotten a picture yet.  I’m still trying to decide if I want to put fringe on it or not.

2014-12-29 004And I have begun stitching the parts to my heavy cardigan together.  I have the sleeves attached and have half of one sewn together.  I plan to work more on it tomorrow morning cuz it has gotten quite chilly here so I want to begin wearing it.

The owner of our local yarn shop has begun dying yarn to sell in her shop.  Today I went to see some of her recent work but it was still damp so not yet ready for sale.  But while there I found a skein of some bulky she had died earlier so I bought it and have started a hat.

Now we just have to see if we can stay up until midnight (not likely).  We haven’t made it to midnight for several years and yet the New Year seems to come anyway.  So HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all.   Gari

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hot Hook

better than half wayI am so excited.  My Tunisian crocheted afghan is a little more than half way done.   And it has gotten easier and easier: this means that I am going a little faster than when I first started.  Staci suggested stopping, when that larger section is done, to do a cross stitch name.  However, I can’t decide if I want to do a name or not so I will probably wait until I have the afghan done and blocked and by then maybe I will have decided what I want to do.


next projectAnd I have decided what my next knitting project is going to be.  This is the cowl Judy just showed.  I have found that my neck really likes being warm when I am out in the winter and this cowl pattern looks great and will provide me a terrific challenge (new stitch and cables).

I still have to get back to knitting on my short sleeved cardigan, right after the afghan is finished.

Gus' throwI have been doing some sewing.  I made this twin sized throw.  It took me over a year to find the red fabric so I was very excited to be getting this project donel

GI step 1And I did get some Step 1 blocks done for Grand Illusion.  I still have to make parts for many more of these but I think that I will devote this weekend to Step 2 (Step 3 comes out tomorrow so I don’t want to fall much more behind. 

Drosselmeyer returns (as he has every year since 1982) in Nutcracker performances Dec 11-14 in the Dixon Center on the LBWCC campus in Andalusia AL.   A great show as always!One of the reasons I think I will be able to get a lot done this weekend is that DH is again dancing in the Nutcracker: he is Drosselmeyer and does not really dance but since he has been doing this for over 35 years he does make an impression with his entrance: children remember him all year long and recognize him when they see him out and about.  They have already done a school children’s matinee and now have two evening performances as well as a Sunday matinee.  See why I will have some studio time?

I hope you will have time to work on your projects as well as checking out what others are accomplishing  over at Patchwork TimesGari

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Little Cutting and Sewing

52 unitsGiven that I have done very little on the quilting front, I am very excited to have begun Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion Mystery.  These are the beginning units.  I cut 2 1/2” strips with the GO, laid out the strips right sides together  and then cross cut with the Easy Angle Ruler.

GI unitsHere are 20 of the 52 units I completed.  My current plan is to make 140 of these units before completing the Broken Dishes units.  Of course I find that I can’t go on right now because I seem to not have the bright yellow fabric I knew I had laid out for this project.  I searched my fabric stash and seem to not have any bright yellow so I guess I will have to visit the three fabric shops that are close by.  And of course I already know that as soon as I buy more fabric I will find what I already have.  Sarcastic smile  Meanwhile I will finish the HSTs and cut the black squares so I can be ready to finish step 1.

And of course, I haven’t forgotten that step 2 came out Friday so if I have some time I will try to get started on that also.

I am almost to the halfway point in the Tunisian crocheted afghan and hope to have it done before the end of the month.

As you can see I have a pretty full plate that also includes  doing some embroidery for a couple of gift projects that will not be going to anyone soon and a quilt that has been on the frame since June and needs to be finished.

Whew, all that has tuckered me out so I think I will take a breather and knit a little on the sweater that I have ignored for the last week.  While I’m at that why don’t you click on over to Patchwork Times as see what other’s are up to.   Gari

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Hook, Two Needles, and the Fun is On

IMG_3889Who is this?  Gari returning from the land of silence.  It seems that I wasn’t getting much done so there was nothing to write about.  Then I decided I better figure out a way to get on the stick and thus this picture was born. 

So, what is this? This is me crocheting.  I watched Staci’s video on the afghan stitch and remembered when I tried it many, many years ago.  I had written instructions and NEVER could figure out how to do it.  One viewing of the video and it was clear as glass.  So here is the beginning of a baby afghan.  I would be making a baby quilt but right now I can’t stand for long periods so cutting fabric and/or quilting is not happening here for a while.

I did finish the sleep socks DH asked me to knit him.

And they seem to be working, don’t they? 

And this is our nature study photo for today.  DH pointed out this perfect spider web made on the lip of a bucket.  Can you see it?

Here is a chot from a different angle.  I love the way the sun glinted in a perfect circle with the tiny spider as part of the circle.

I am going to see my doctor in January and then maybe we will find a way to fix my hips and I will be fully back in quilting business.  Meanwhile I am going to spend this weekend and next week trying to catch up on Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion Mystery, perhaps a smaller version than hers.  Wish me luck.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Needles Still Clicking

crop sweaterI am pleased to show my progress on the cropped sweater, which is not going to be cropped.  I have a long way to go to get to the bottom so I may be at this for quite a while.  I am looking at the sleeves to see if I can do the in the round rather than flat.  I’m still shying away from seaming.

I did sign up for a Craftsy class that has a lesson on seaming.  I have viewed it once and will be looking at it again next week so I can finish off my completed cardigan.  Those pieces have been hanging around for a few weeks now and really need to get together.

sleep socksMeanwhile I have been somewhat diverted by a new project, sleep socks requested by DH.  He has not asked for anything knitted so I was excited to be able to do these for him.  The pattern is from Very Pink.  I did make a change in the toes.   She called for the provisional cast on but I really like Judy’s Magic Cast on better.  I just can’t seem to do a good job with the provisional so I chose to do it differently.  The heels are done with short rowing.  Now all I have left to do is get the leg part long enough.  On my socks I like the leg to stop shortly after the ankle but DH wants a long leg so it is 2 x 2 rib for several more rows.  I should have these done before the next freeze hits here.

taco soupFor our below freezing evening this week I made  crock pot taco soup.  Every time I make it it is different according to what ingredients I have on hand and every time it turns out great.  And it was perfect on a 25F night.

white Christmas CactusAnd lastly my white Christmas Cactus is really blooming.  Last year I got nothing but this year it is covered by buds and this one open double flower.  So I guess we are already started decorating for Christmas.

Today I begin my 10 days of DH 24/7.  He is retired but continues to teach 3-5 classes a semester.  However they get Thanksgiving week off and then 3 weeks off around Christmas.  This means that we will be having a lot of 1 on 1 time:  whoopee!  I guess it’s that level of excitement that has kept us together for almost 54 years.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody and keep warm.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


sewnMy design wall does not change much these days but I am beginning to sew my blocks together.  By this time next week I hope to have several more together and maybe even a flimsy.

moving stuffI spent several days moving furniture out of this area while I prepared to move 3 white bookshelves in.

bookcase through the doorwayThen I emptied a bookshelf in the room next door and began moving it into the cutting and knitting room.  You may notice that there is not a lot of wiggle room to slide this piece of furniture through.

narrow passageAnd the space didn’t get any bigger as we moved along.  I should explain that I had by this time moved all my fabric stash out of the former storage areas so it was filling the cutting table, a couple of laundry baskets, and an executive office chair …… with some overflowing.

started filling-tabel half cleared  I finally got that shelving unit in place while DH built two more new sets and all three were finally in the room on Friday.  The began the task of putting the fabric on the shelves.  You may be able to see that I have uncovered almost half of the cutting table.

so farAnd I am slowly filling up all the space.  I put all the batiks in the first section.  Oh, my,they almost glow.  The rest are being filled with quilter’s cotton.  Every time I move from room to room I try to carry a small pile of fabric. 

At the rate I am going I should have it all on the shelves by 2015,  that is if Bonnie Hunter’s mystery doesn’t take up all my time in December.  Winking smile  But really, I still have about 5 shelves worth of fabric still sitting in the other room, waiting for me to make bunches of trips so I guess I better get busy. 

As usual I am linking with Patchwork Times.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lots of Needles

still in partsThis is a picture of my temporary failure.  I have been unable to figure out how to mattress stitch the sleeves onto the body of the sweater I had hoped to have done by the end of October.  I have tried several times but pulled the yarn out when the sides didn’t come together right.

I am now on a hunt for a good video that will show how to attach the sleeves for an almost seamless seam.  Know of one?

new sweater startedMeanwhile I have started a new sweater. It’s a free pattern from from Lion Brand Yarns and called a Cropped Raglan Sweater.  I saw it in a video tutorial by  This is a top down sweater with the sleeves built in.  Like Staci and Very Pink Knits, I plan to lengthen the body and sleeves, crop tops do not look good on me.

yarn label This is the yarn I am using.  I bought it last summer and wound all the balls today so I am ready to get this one completed. I hope! 

On Monday I will be sharing what I have been doing other than knitting, and it isn’t even quilting.  But I have been busy and I have been using my time wisely. 

Meanwhile I am linking with Judy’s On the Needles post on Friday.  And after you check out the creations linked to her post, have a great weekend!  Gari

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Progress (?)

16 patchesMy design wall is pretty much the same today as it was last week.  I have sewn a couple more sets for blocks and have even sewn one block together.

unsewnI decided I needed to begin cutting up the chenille.

block sewnAnd that led me to decide that I needed to sew one block together to get a true measurement and then began cutting.  I only have a few of the chenille blocks cut but we are well on our way to seeing a quilt top.

I have been really slow on the quilting front both because I have been knitting a lot and I have ALL of my fabric on the cutting table, chairs, and the floor waiting for the new shelves to be built.  We did buy two sets of shelving, I already had one almost ready to move into the studio, so I hope that sometime next week I will be able to get at least some of the fabric off the cutting table and clear some work space.

I did spend some time collecting fabrics for the Bonnie Hunter New Year’s mystery.  I changed the colors a bit and next week I will share what I am planning to use: I can’t get a picture until I can lay it out on the cutting table.  Disappointed smile

Monday I will be without a car as mine has to go to the “car hospital.”  One day last week I got in the car and there were lights on the dash I had not seen before.  As we were going down the road, and discussing what those lights might mean, I tried to engage the cruise and nothing happened.  I figured a fuse had blown but it turned out a “sensor” had died and needed to be replaced.  It also had to be shipped to the parts department.  It arrived late Friday and will be installed tomorrow.  I will be glad to get it fixed as I really like having the cruise working and I love having the car available.

Meanwhile Monday morning will be spent cleaning and maybe even taking some time to watch one of the Craftsy classes I have purchased.

As usual I will be linking with Patchwork Times and I expect you to check in there to see what everyone there has been working on. Winking smile  Then have a great, fun and creative week.  Gari

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Finish, An Almost Finish, and a Beginning

sleeves done & new socksI almost have a sweater: the sleeves are done and ready to be put on.  And, like with almost everything I do, I am stalling because I am afraid it won’t look good.  But I know I can’t just have two sleeves lying around like loose body parts so I guess I will be sewing them on the body this weekend.

And also there in the picture is the yarn for my next socks.

small startI guess this is a pretty small start but you have to start somewhere and here I have the cast-on and the set-up row for the toes.  I have been using larger needles for the last couple of weeks so my hands are having to adjust to how small these are.  Always a challenge.

pockets almost doneI started working on the pockets and have them almost ready, also.  You know, I may just have a sweater before the end of the month.

doneBut while I wait on that finish I must show today’s finish.  These are the softest socks I have made.  They are the only reason I am looking forward to cooler weather.  Be right back

morning napNow, if anyone is looking for good help around the house I can recommend these two.  This was the scene when I got out of the shower earlier this week.  I guess they got tired of waiting for me.  And they didn’t even make up the bed!

My plans for the weekend are to finish my pockets and begin mattress stitching the sweater parts together.  I also plan on buying two bookcases as part of my new wall of fabric:  I must get all that fabric off of the cutting table so I can get going on quilting projects.

And I hope your plans are to check out other people’s knitting projects over at Patchwork Times.    Gari

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creativity is Happening

16 patchesMy Design Wall continues to grow at a slow pace but grow it does.  These are still now sewn together: they are sewn in sets of two only.  I decided to not sew the full blocks together until I have as many as I need and I have them moved around as much as needed to be balanced. 

IMG_3807I still have these to sew together and I will be cutting more black on white and, as I start refolding my stash to put it in it’s new shelves, I may cut more of the brighter fabrics as I think I am going to need more of these blocks.

chinnele #2I have decided that I am going to pair the above blocks with this chenille.  I bought this bedspread several months ago to use in a quilt but right now I am thinking “jacket.”  That means that I have to make at least three to four yards of “fabric” for jacket pieces.  I may be at this for quite some time.  Be right back

upcoming redworkI am also working on an embroidery project.  This is my test piece but the real one (1 of 10) will be red work. 

I am also hoping to do a couple of new embroidered t-shirts.  I sometimes forget how much I enjoy embroidery but right now I am kind of wanting something new to wear.  Laughing out loud

rain forest  This afternoon we had RAIN.  I posted on Facebook that it looked like we were living in a rain forest.  And right now we are waiting for a really big storm to come through.  It should get here later tonight, after we go to bed, so I am hoping that I will sleep right through it. 

Of course I am still knitting but I will report on my progress (and there has been some) on Friday. 

Have a great week and be sure to drop in on Judy to see all the beautiful work others have been doing.