Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frozen in Michigan

Hello Everyone!!

I hope that all of you are staying warm considering that most of the country (with the exception of my sister in California who I'm thinking evil thoughts about as it's warm there) is experiencing some pretty bizarre weather.  Global warming??  I think quite the reverse.  It's been miserable around here - lot of missed school days, subzero temperatures, snow, but the big thing is the miserable cold - days and days of it!!  We've already hit an all time record for snowfall for January and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hit the coldest month on record either.  Spring just can't get here fast enough.  I've barely left the house, but instead of having cabin fever, I've been having crafting fever.

I finished up the Hitchhiker Scarf and I'm really pleased with the way that it finished up.  I was concerned about the yarn, but I love the end result:

Hitch Hiker Scarf
Crystal Palace Salsalito Yarn

And if anyone is interested, the quilt hanging behind it is a Schibbles Pattern called Recess that I made a while ago (and it still has to be quilted).

I also managed to get a couple quilts finished!!  The first one is an older quilt that I started a while ago and then ditched in pursuit of something else (I have a bad tendency of doing that).  But it's finally finished:

Wisdom of the Heart
Sophia Collection Fabric, Windham Fabrics

I'm not sure why the pattern is called Wisdom of the Heart as I don't see hearts in the pattern, but that's the name.  You will also notice my trusty pal, Bailey, waiting for me to turn my back so that he can lay on it!  He thinks that the things that I make are for him!!

I also finished up my Peaks and Valley's quilt:

Peaks and Valleys
Pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting - October 2013 issue
Arcadia Fabric
Pattern and Fabric by Tula Pink

This was really a quick quilt to make - although as usual I dragged my feet with it.  I'm deciding if I should add a border or leave it as is.  The finished quilt in AP&Q didn't have a border, but I'm still on the fence.

Stitching still isn't happening around here - Sigh!!  I think about it, look at the few things that I have on rods, but it's just not calling my name yet.  I seem to still have my knitting mojo going on and have been working on the Rococo Shawl:

Rococo Shawl
Pattern on Ravelry
Crystal Palace Merino 5 

It's growing slowly.  There are a lot of stitches in those rows.  I also started another scarf - the Linen Stitch Scarf - but as you will see there is no picture.  I've been having one problem after another so no picture unless you want to see a tangled mess of yarn.  After three attempts (dropping cast on stitches and not getting them back on right), someone pulling half the row off the needles (I won't mention names), I really got going on it only to discover that something was off on the gauge.  Well, a lesson learned - while I thought I was using the correct needle - and the package said it was the right needle - it wasn't.  Seems that needle companies aren't uniform with their needles, and what I thought was a Size 6 was really a Size 5.  And a trip to the knitting store confirmed this after we tested a half dozen needles.  So advice here - check your needles!  So now I'll cast on again - the darned thing isn't going to defeat me!!

So that's been my January.  Maybe I should be happy that it's been so cold around here and I've stuck around the house more.  The winds are still blowing and the temps are still miserable (all of 14 degrees with a windchill of -4), so I think I'll tackle something else.  Up next - cutting out these lovelies!! 

Left - Vanilla & Blooms w/Fig Tree Breakfast at Tiffany fabric
Right - Nantucket by Minick & Simpson with Midwinter Reds fabric

The Midwinter Reds fabrics seem appropriate for this time of year, don't they?  Vanilla and Blooms makes me think of Spring, so I think I've got some fun quilting time ahead of me.  Maybe it shouldn't warm up after all!  

Hope you're all staying warm and thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comments!  I always love hearing from you!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Almost Four Months to the Day

Hello Dear Friends:

Yep, it's been almost four months to the day since I last posted!  In September it was 90 degrees, and today - well, it's been a crazy few days with huge snowfalls and currently the temperature is 2 degrees! And with the winds whipping like they are, I don't even know what the real feel temperature is.  I don't think that I want to know.  We got at least a foot of snow yesterday and it's still coming down.  Such a difference from when I last posted.   I don't know where the time goes - but I've missed blogging, keeping up with blogs and I'm going to try to be better - promise!

Although to tell the truth, I haven't gotten much done in the past four months - sad, but true!  Not for lack of trying mind you, but for lack of time it seems!  It's been a busy past four months, but I think that things are finally calming down (knock on wood).  It doesn't help that for a month (during the Christmas season, no less)  I was almost flat on my back from the flu, but things are better now.  Seems that I caught a little bit of a bug from a wonderful young man that was sitting next to me on a flight back home from New York in late November.  Nice boy - bad cough - nasty bug. And the bug decided to come home with me!  Figures!

But my trip was great nonetheless (I visited Purl Soho and City Quilter among quite a few other places) and I came home with a some really unneeded stash from both them (although we all need stash right?), but also came home with a wonderful surprise!  My wonderful surprise was acquired at a Tag Sale on Long Island.  Now I've always heard of Tag Sales and equate them to what we call Estate Sales here, although things are taken a step further there.  Like sell the contents of the home - everything that you can remove from it - doors, windows, floors, kitchen cupboards - and then tear the house down.  Why? Because the owners are bored with the house!  Must be nice to have money, right?  And the antiques! OMG, are there a lot of them!!  I plan on going again in the summer with my van and loading up! Anyway, my Sister and her SIL's are avid Tag Sale shoppers and they dragged me out in the wee hours to stand in line at a Tag Sale (in 20 degree weather for a good hour) as my one SIL was eyeing a dresser.  Well, thank goodness she did that as we were 2, 3, and 4 in line.  And what did I find?  There were a lot of wonderful things, but one was this sampler:

She's Charlotte Kinsley, Aged 7, stitched in the year of 1800!!  I can't tell you how thrilled I was to come across her!  Poor Charlotte needs a little bit of work.  I need to take her out of the frame and unmount her (a scary proposition) and then I received the name of a person at The Henry Ford that I'm going to have look at her.  See about cleaning her up and whatever else I can find out about her.  I've been trying to track down her information, but haven't come up with anything yet.  From what I understand she's a New York Sampler in the federal/biblical genre, but need to get that confirmed.  It appears to be though by referencing Betty Ring's two volume set of books on samplers.   I'm anxious to look at the back of her to see what colors were actually used as I think that I would like to chart her sometime down the road.  From this picture it's hard to tell, but there are a lot of pinks that are faded, but I should be able to see them better when I look at the other side.

As far as getting things done in the past four months, I haven't had one finish!  Well, I had one and I'll show that in a minute.  I've had a lot of starts though.  After I finished off Mary Gail, I was kind of at a loss as to what to do.  Don't we all go through that?  Have tons of stash and then don't know what to work on?  But I decided to start on Jane Atkinson:

Jane Atkinson
The Scarlett Letter
DMC threads and mystery fabric

I worked on some quilting and managed to knock out blocks on some of the BOM's that I've had around here:

These blocks are for four different BOM's that I've been working on over time - Civil War Tribute, Women's Voices Civil War Quilt, Harvest Song and one other BOM whose name escapes me right now.  Tells me I have too many things that I need to finish if I can't remember the names of them!  LOL

And just because I love confusion and also a new project, I started on Tula Pink's Peaks & Valley's quilt:

And have a few blocks done:

I got about this far before I went to New York, and then came down with the flu two days after I got home and somehow working all that over one wording on Jane and messing around with quilt blocks just didn't appeal to me.  What did appeal to me for some reason was knitting and crocheting.  I started an afghan for my daughter:

Flowers in a Row
Free pattern on Red Heart Yarns

Then I started a Wiggle Wrap and actually finished it:

Kauni Wiggle Wrap
Done in two color ways
On Ravelry

A little closer shot:

This shawl was so much fun to work on!  And loved, loved the yarn!!  It was the perfect thing to work on when I wasn't feeling well.  Sit in a chair with a cup of tea, a blanket over you and the TV on a good movie - doesn't get much better than that!!  Although I think that I ended up falling asleep more than I knit for most of those days.  And I never sit during the day, so I almost felt like I was getting away with a crime doing that!  The shawl needs to be blocked, but I'd almost like to make another one in another color way.  Well, maybe not - this shawl has been called the Never-Ending Shawl by a lot of people, but it was so fun to watch the colors emerge and I have another project using similar yarn in the knitting queue!

From there I went to the Hitch Hiker scarf:

Hitch Hiker Scarf
Sausilito Yarn by Crystal Palace Yarns
On Ravelry

This one is so much fun also, although I still have quite a ways to go.  I'm about half way by the number of "teeth" at the side, but it increases in size as you knit it width-wise so I still have a ways to go.

Then if this wasn't enough, I decided that I needed to start something for New Year's, so instead of one project, I started two:

Mary Gibson
Haslemere Museum
done in a variety of silks - mainly AVAS

And then the Rococo Shawl:

Rococo Shawl
Merino 5 yarn by Crystal Palace
on Ravelry

So there you have it.  The last four months of my life in review.  At least with the crafty side of things. There is more, but I'll save that for another time!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment if you do.  I have missed blogging, not only because I feel that I've missed so much, but also that I love to use my blog as kind of a diary of the things that I do over time.  It's fun to look back over the pictures and see what you finished or didn't finish during a year (in my case, what I didn't finish!).    I hope to get a little better about posting and commenting in this new year. Sometimes it's hard though with so much going on.  I never realized that a 16 year old daughter could be so much work.  And also, on a more serious note, my FIL was diagnosed with bladder cancer a few months back so that has been a big concern.  He's gone through treatment and we're now waiting for the results. Prayers for him would be much appreciated.

Hope that you're surviving the cold where you are.  I understand that a great portion of the US is shivering in their boots right now!!  Good reason to stay inside and stitch!!  Or knit!  Or quilt!!