Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Last Savor Saturday of 2016

I watch TheQuiltShow online and on a recent episode they talked about using panel quilts effectively.
It reminded me of a 10 year old fail I had tucked away!
Out it came and even though I had made mucho mistakes, I knew how to draw my 'plan' to scale now and get the blocks to fit around the center panel.
While I only trimmed, ripped apart mistakes and made new blocks, I now know what I am doing and success is only a few stitches away! 
 I didn't get all the blocks done before the new year, I made it halfway and will continue making a block or two until I have all 25 done for a wallhanging for next year's season!
 The end is near for the quilting on the lighthouse quilt and I will be loading that Scandinavian top in no time!  (See it waiting its turn in the background?!)
 This is the painting for December-all I have to do is the background and it will be done soon, too.
I am going to use a very light blue and sprinkle it with Kosher salt to form white spots to simulate snow!  Stay tuned!
 I haven't done much spinning lately but it patiently waits for me.....this is some FL Gulf Native on the bobbin.  I had to rescue my neat roving ball the other day when one of the cats was declaring war upon it!  I think I will be moving the spinner to the livingroom for the winter to entice me to sit and spin by the fire!
 The last pair of socks on the needles for the year!  Almost done but not quite....I did manage to complete 24 pairs this year, though!
This is how I am savoring my New Year's knitting , my kitties and at home!
Bill is sleeping in his recliner!  I am very thankful for the past year-for the pleasant moments and the challenges.  I am looking forward to the new year;  I am filled with hope for a good future!

Since you are reading this post, I know we are connected in some way;  
I wish you a very happy New Year
 and  leave you with a quote from the apostle Paul 
who had plenty of reasons to complain but instead gave us this verse-

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

A Birthday Friday!

This is what I knit on the way to meet Matthew, Ashley and Will and Ethan to celebrate Ethan's first birthday at a pre-opening of the St Augustine Aquarium!
I used to have a whole bunch of these sweaters for the bear I made but through the years, the wool has lost its luster!
I can't find my notes for making the pattern top down but it is working out so far! 
 We woke up to a very chilly and windy Florida day.  I know all you northerners will scoff at our fussing but the 51F day really threw us since it was 80 the day before!  This has a really great story behind the idea for this new attraction and we wish them the best.  The real opening isn't until April but they have a tank you can pay to snorkel and swim with the butterfly fish...'s a terrible pic but you get the idea.  We stood and watched the fish swimming by and then Will saw a blue one and yelled, "There's Dory!"  Too cute.
No swimming with these guys but you can pay to feed them!  These are nurse sharks and it is really neat to see them up close and admire their muscles and see the fin break surface just like 'real' sharks!
We stopped a passerby to snap this family shot!
See the boys in their matching hats?!
They are so cute!
We were really bundled up for us!
We went to the nearby outlet mall because they have a wonderful NY style pizza-just what we needed to warm us up.
Ethan knew just what to do with his presents (Christmas taught him well!)
Will did wonderfully letting Ethan have the spotlight.
Sweet boys. 
 Very cute cake and Ethan knew just what to do with it-

 ...grab a handful and eat it!
And once home , I had a cup of hot cocoa to warm up and then began the hat for Eli because the yarn came in the mail and I didn't want it to get old........

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Just a Few Stitches

 Bible cover take 2 -  I love the color of this one!
 The walking foot sure makes the quilting lines a cinch!
 After putting away all the Christmas decorations, I needed a bit of a perk in the family room-nothing like a very quick pillow cover to do just that!
This is the fastest way to make a pillow cover there is-no zipper or hand sewing!
I use the tri-fold method;  cut the width of the fabric by the pillow length plus one inch.
You just hem the two selvedges, fold the pillow in thirds so that the overall width is now the size of the pillow form and stitch across the top and the bottom.  (No need to leave an opening  to turn because the hemmed section allows you to turn it right side out!  Brilliant!)
I turn it right side out, poke out the corners and press and for an added touch, stitch around the whole perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance for a faux piping.
This is so simple, you can make some for every season or whenever you need a perk in the room!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nutting Stone* Socks

 Yes!  I finally have the pattern worked out where I like what it is doing with the stripes and with the look.  (This is a variation to the Nutkin Sock Pattern)
I have finished the center V all the way to the end of the pattern stitches while beginning the legs of the next inverted V.
This picture was taken under extreme conditions:
 Here are a few outtakes...
This is the grab and run with everything attached to her....
 This is the pounce #2 attempt....
This is the innocent kitten look after a scolding for biting the wooden needle tip!
Yes, she got a big hug after these pictures!!!
*The Nutting Stone is the name of rocks used by Native Americans to break nuts-they were favorite rocks which were used often and saved because they were a good fit and comfortable to the hand.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Treasure Hunting

 For many years now, I have wanted a metal detector.
Bill surprised me with this complete package and I was thrilled!
We used to live on an 1830's farm in central NY and I was sure we were walking on all kinds of treasures.
 On my first foray here in my own backyard, I got used to the different tones and signals and uncovered these treasures!
This home had a fishing camp here in the 1930's so the potential for coins and buttons was possible.
It was also common practice to bury your trash so I could hope for something from those piles.
What I learned is that our soil (sand) is also iron rich (hence, the orange tendencies that affects our laundry!)  But I did find things and it was very exciting!
The pipe is iron used for plumbing long ago, the middle item is a link of chain and a partial one attached and the find on the right is a fancy hinge!
That one I will save and make a collection of things for a shadow box display!  
Bill did a great job of finding a powerful detector at the lightest weight possible so I could actually use it!  (a  good way to encourage PT for my weary muscles!)
I lasted for one hour of walking, swinging the detector and shoveling my little holes and refilling them so the lawn guy won't scold!
I can't wait to sweep over all our property and then on to my parents!
(and playgrounds, parks and lots of old homes after I get *permission!)
*FL has very strict treasure hunting laws and most state parks do not allow detecting!  Kill joys one and all.   I will have to check for rules for most of my own localities before I take off or my fines will outweigh my treasures! Yikes!)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day 2016

 Bill and I got up early for our Christmas-we laughed at the mess we made with just the two of us but it was a very festive time with just the two of us!
 After church we headed north a bit to share the middle of the day with Matthew and Ashley and family.
We had a wonderful afternoon of food and conversation, laugh and grandkids! 
 By evening I was pretty tired but little Lena had missed us all day and couldn't wait to play....sigh.
I'm tweaking a pattern so it looks like I want...this is try #3 and I ripped it out also but #4 looks good on paper so I hope to be able to report success tomorrow!  It was a perfect day!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve!

I've wanted this for some time and with a birthday Amazon card from my sis, it's now mine! 
 It even has an inner pocket to hold all the non-chart pages!
It was quite handy to finish a cut hat for Ella.
I want to make one to  match her younger brother, too, but it will only match in style not in color!
It is a very fun pattern with tons of sizes!
(The Striped Aviator pattern) 
 Red and green abounds in the yard!
Turks cap.

           And with nothing on the needles that is enticing me right now-I made a new Bible cover!
                                     It's time to go and watch 'It's a Wonderful Life!'d
                                                          Merry Christmas all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Catching Up!

I saw this clever wall hanging with 25 blocks in red and white to make in December.
Of course, I forgot about it until yesterday and decided I was going to make them and sew them together by the end of the month.
They are small blocks, only 4 1/2" now, so that means a lot of small pieces!
I am putting it together differently than designed so it is a good mental exercise, too.
I enjoyed putting a block or two together in between normal things for the day!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dropped Out!

  I celebrated my birthday this week.  I designated it a complete day of rest.
I laid in my recliner and watched old movies, Star Wars episodes and some Shakespeare!
It was a perfect day!
When she wasn't eating yarn and needles, she took naps by me!
Aren't these beauties?!   
 The whole front porch is blooming!  Every little branch or leaf that fell off during the year, Bill stuffs into the nearest plant.  Almost all of them have become little hitchhikers and they are all blooming!

 I finished painting my cardinal and hung it up in the gallery (hall).

 Yesterday I also stopped whining and entered the kitchen for some baking! 
 It's awful to want Christmas cookies but not feel like making them!
 I got the job done and have enjoyed the nibbling throughout the day!
I don't know about you but we have a loose rule about cats on the dining room table.
We are usually pretty forgiving of the kittens but once grown they are supposed to not hang out there.
Bill didn't like the kitten on the table but she comes up to be near me when I eat or have laptop time.
This is my idea of a compromise!
The kitten isn't ON the table, she is on her own special mat which just happens to be on the table.
Bill agreed that is was a compromise!
He has mellowed in his advancing years!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Love in All Sizes

 Happiness is getting a visit from a friend for your birthday because the pkg of yarn just arrived and she couldn't wait to bring it to you even though it was early!
 And you break your lifelong rule of saving all gifts until your actual birthday because SHE couldn't wait!
And then you cast right on for a shawl because you can.
And the friendship is such a gift, you can't stop smiling!
(shawl pattern is Lionberry)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Family Gathering

The Ghazal Cowl in my handspun/dyed Cormo wool is complete~ 
If you have never felt this particular wool, you are missing something great!
It is very soft and yet holds it's shape well.  The pattern was fun to knit and easy to memorize;  a good combination.  I varied the pattern repeat to my liking.  I worked this in a DK yarn on #7 needles over 43 stitches.  
 It measures 11" wide and 36" long after blocking.  It hangs nicely around the neck.
The cowl is going in a pkg to my sister who lives up north in the deep freeze!
We went to a birthday party for Will who turned 4 this week! 
 The weather was perfect in the low 80's;  the kids like hanging the pinata as much as they did trying to destroy it for the candy!
The sky was spectacular on the way home!


The first Helical striped sock is finished--the yarn is from Webs, their Valley Yarns Huntington in Arctic and Chocolate colors.  Perfection...