Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pink Hot flash cowl

I am supposed to be working on my big projects but this just slipped in there.  You know how that goes.
 This was made with Patons Silenzio chunky, a wool, alpaca, acrylic mix.  Which means when I wear it I'll be sweating and scratching at the same time.  It doesn't get REALLY cold here in Northern Cal., scarves and cowls are more of a fashion statement than a necessity.  I've never made a cowl nor worn one so I wanted to try it.  The pattern is Convertible Cowl found here.  It can be made deeper, to reach up and over your head, but around my neck is enough, thank you very much.  In fact, I can't wait to wear this and have one of my mind numbing, make-up melting hot flashes that seem to be the norm lately.  It will probably happen while standing in line at the post office or Target and I will have to start stripping in public.  At least it's easy to whip on and off.  On second thought, maybe I should just give it as a present.  I feel hot just looking at it.
Pretty color eh?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summertime blues

I love this simple scarf pattern by Joyful Abode.  You can make it as wide or as long as you want.  For this one I  crocheted 4 shells across and used up one skein of Cascade Pacific in multi #508 with a J hook and some cat hair from my sofa. (ha ha :) cat hair optional)  I'm thinking about making these for Christmas presents.  I know.  I said the C word.  Is it too early?

Around this time of year I just become tired of summer heat.  September is around the corner and that means fall decorating!!  My most favorite time of the year!  I love the colors, the crisp air, apples, pumpkins, walnuts, cinnamon, cider, falling leaves and tucking in the garden for the winter.  Outdoor chores slow down and I can spend the time sewing a quilt on my lap while a stew simmers and bread bakes.  Mmmmm. Can't wait.
Since the Pottery Barn catalog came yesterday displaying their Autumn goodness, that means we must be getting close!

I pulled out one little quilt from my closet in anticipation of the upcoming season....

Hurry Fall!  I lovelovelove you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Design wall update

Here's what's on my design wall this week.  I'm almost done with the embroidery.  Just one more little farm animal left (ducks).

At the same time, I'm working on some crochet blocks, weaving ends, blocking and so on. The colors are bright and happy.
If you live on the east coast, did you feel the earthquake today?  Amazing!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why Granny! What big squares you have!

Finally finished my giant granny square.  Thank you to Angie for hosting this CAL!  I really enjoyed making my blanket.  In fact I just saw one here that is being made with variegated yarn that I may put into my "wants" list.
Here it is hanging on the bannister next to my Liberated Log Cabin quilt.

I love the border Angie suggested.  It came out kind of ruffly. I used Cotton Ease which is a cotton/acrylic blend, with an H hook and it measures about 53 inches across. Now if the weather will just cool down so I can sit under it!
 Once the blanket was done I headed off for some thrift store shopping. Lookee what I found......
Skirt $4, woven bag with bamboo handles, $3.  I actually bought the bag just so I could use the handles in another project.  This king size pillow case was a dollar.
 I decided it needed to be made into something else right away.  So I sewed up the sides and added a bit of trim.....
 And some handles.....
 Now I have a cute project bag! So instead of this....
I now have a bag big enough for my blanket projects! I like this waaay better. For a dollar!
Thanks for stopping by today!  I'm now going outside to clean out the chicken coop and pick up the dog poop from the backyard before it gets too hot.  Jealous?  Smelly chores today!  I'd much rather be sewing. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hudson Bay Hexagon

Does anyone have one of these? I love Hudson Bay blankets, they remind me of when I was a kid in Canada.  Everyone had at least one of these thick wool blankets in their home.  I've been wanting one, but they are so expensive now, so I thought about knitting or crocheting a similar version.  Then I saw this pattern,
African flower hexagon found on Heidi Bears blog.  I know there are a few patterns out there for this motif, but honestly this one grabbed me by the short hairs and wont let go.
That tray was an antique store purchase from a few years ago.  I kept going back to the store over and over and it was still there every time.  Calling me.  To bring it home.  Forever.  It was a bit pricey so I ignored it. Until the store said it was going out of business. Uh oh.  Mine now.
I'm using Wool-Ease yarn because the colors came close to the original blanket.  They are Cranberry, Gold, Black, Avocado and Fisherman.  I'm still trying to like the avocado green (can we say 1970's?) but overall I think it looks nice together.  Speaking of colors, how about a different version of the same block?
I increased the starting chain from 5 to 6, and then made 8 center flower petals instead of 6.  After that I just kept adding rows to make this......
and the back....

My first crochet pillow. YAY!
Thank you for stopping by today! Hope you have a good week.  I love to hear from you, so don't be shy, and leave a comment!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

There is some light at the end of the project tunnel

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a nice summery weekend.  I know the south half of our country is suffering under the heat waves, and I really feel for you.  We usually bake here in the central valley in August, but this year seems to be mild. It's a blessing to leave all the windows open at night and feel the effects of the Delta breeze.  This weekend was very productive for me, the menfolk being off to a two day baseball tournament, and no other plans were made.  I finished up my baby shower gifts well ahead of schedule and now the pressure is gone and I can move on to other yarny things.  Here is the baby quilt done in a simple strip pattern.

The back was pieced with a blue Kona solid from my stash and I used a black and white stripe for the binding.   This is a great pattern to show off fabric you don't want to cut into little pieces.  Just use the width of the fabric and cut them as long as you like.

With the leftover material, I made some baby bibs.  I used a  striped flannel on the back, so they are reversible.  I got the cute pattern over here.

I also finished my half granny shawl, which my daughter graciously agreed to model.  Since she just got a new haircut, it worked out perfect.

I used one skein of madelinetosh merino light with a K hook.  It blocked out very nicely, and I loved it so much I ordered another color.  I could make this again and again!  I have more to show regarding african flower hexagon madness which has got a hold on me, but I will leave you with a suprise from my garden.
Last years morning glory seeds sprouted into my zucchini plant.  I love it when that happens!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Floss news

If you like embroidery, get on over to We love French Knots, by Bari J.  It's a new blog with how to videos and beautiful embroidery work.  You will want to run out and buy some floss.  I did.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home Alone

Tonight is one of those rare occasions when I am home all by myself for dinner.  (Happy dance) I don't have to cook a regular meal and it's quiet.  I usually live under a circus tent with lots of people coming and going, baseball tournaments and practices looming during the week, and I never know how many are going to end up at the dinner table.  Even though the girls have moved out, they drop by on their way to and fro somewhere, with a basket of laundry and a " Hi Mom! what's for dinner?"
I went to the grocery store today and brought home one of these.  For me.
Now I've eaten a lot of artichokes in my day, but this one was a monster. It was huge and I only made one.  For me.  Here is how I do it.  I trim off the pointy ends of the leaves, wash it and simmer in about  4 inches of water, to which I add, garlic, and a splash of olive oil and vinegar.  I don't know why I add the oil and vinegar, except I think it's supposed to make the leaves more tender.  That's how my Mom taught me and you don't mess with the Mom.  No really, it just tastes good so I'm not changing it.  Simmer for about 45 min. This one simmered for 5 hours 'cause it was so big.  Ha ha. Just kidding.

Keep the lid on unless you're taking a picture of a giant vegetable for your blog.
Did you know that almost all artichokes for the U.S. are grown right here in California, and they are a perennial of the Sunflower family? They were brought over by French immigrants, and are one of the oldest foods around.  They are also delicious!  And now the big question.  What do you dip yours in? Mayonnaise or butter?
We all like butter, except for my husband.  We have been married almost 20 years and I still forget to put the mayo on the table for him when I make them.  He needs to come over to the butter camp.  Sooo good!
And now for dessert.........

Eye candy.  More on this next time.  Bon Appetit!