Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bread and Blanket

I've been so busy getting ready for Thanksgiving!  The girl arrived yesterday, and the boy comes home tonight.  My husband's birthday is tomorrow.  The Internet/phone lines have been up and down like a dog on a football, and I will be lucky to get this post done without getting kicked off in mid sentence. I am now having conversations with an elderly man who is sharing our phone line and it's kind of hilarious.  I'm getting to know the phone numbers coming across on the caller ID that belong to him, so we don't answer.  I'm sure he's been plenty entertained by listening to our phone conversations. Hopefully all should be fixed by Friday and then I can resume visiting blogs and Pinterest.

I finished the Modern Alchemy blanket, made entirely of Paton's classic wool that I had in the cupboard.  I'm trying to beat my yarn stash into submission without buying any more, at least until the end of the year.  A few things about this pattern I really liked....
It was fast!  Kind of like a ripple, you can watch t.v. and be hooking without looking, yo.
The pattern creates a scalloped bottom and top edge, as well as smooth sides. I didn't feel a border was necessary to finish it off.
I love the ridges it creates.  It looks rather accordion like, which stretches as you snuggle under it.
I crocheted 8 rows per color, which used up almost the entire ball, and threw in a couple of extra skinny cream colored rows.
Feeling full of myself after the blanket finish, I attempted this bread the other day, and it was so good I was lucky to get a picture before we devoured it.  You're supposed to wait and let it cool for an hour after taking it from the oven.  Ha!  We started slicing off the ends well before that, slathering on the butter, completely ignoring the fact that it was supposed to be served with soup for dinner.  Oh well.

We get our new little puppy this weekend.  Since I was the last to put in a deposit, I get the last pick of the litter.  So we have to wait for everyone else to make their choice.  It's like waiting for the bread all over again.  I went to check out the dogs, you know, make sure they didn't have 3 legs and 4 eyeballs, but of course they were all cute.  Really have you ever seen an ugly 8 week old lab puppy?
So it's turning out to be a very exciting week here at Pieceful.  Hope yours is just as fun.
Have a great Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I is for Indulgence

This weekend is turning out to be so very satisfying.  Not only is the weather still bright and pretty (And soo dry. No rain yet.  I'm turning into a mummy here!), but I'm lazily indulging myself in a few treats.
I've been slowly adding to my collection of Berroco Vintage yarn, and finally got down to the business of winding the skeins into balls.  I have no clue what I'm going to make, but it's fun to imagine and just play with it.

I made a Tea Time trivet out of scraps, and now I'm thinking I should have another in Christmas colors.  I love the little felted wool balls on the corners.

I bought a new cookbook yesterday.  Even though I have an Amazon wish list full of books I would like for Christmas, this is the season for cooking and I want need it now.

And later I'm going shopping.  Not for clothes, makeup, shoes, yarn, fabric or food.  But for one of these....................

                                                          (source Pinterest)

Could you just kiss that face!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Star attraction

I'm making another attempt at English Paper Piecing, this time using the diamond template.  In a box under my work table there are half dozen or so hexagon flowers still waiting to be turned into something, but for the moment this has caught my eye.  I was looking for a project to use up my Hope Valley fabric, then started to read that book and the next thing you know I'm cutting out paper diamonds and stitching fabric shapes by hand.  I figure the hexagons were just practice, preparing me for a Star of Bethlehem quilt.  This time around I'm gluing the fabric to the paper.  I usually hand baste with needle and thread, but the glue stick is a huge time saver!  I also load up about 4 needles at a time on my spool of thread.  I had never heard of this before, and it's one of those tricks that make you want to smack your forehead and wonder why you never thought of it.
Simply pull one needle to the front, push the others back toward the spool, until you have about 18 inches or so in between.  Cut the thread in front of the remaining needles, and you have a threaded needle all ready to go, with more waiting as you need them. Kind of humbling isn't it?
Anyway the book is about a young Quaker girl from England who comes to America with her sister. Quilting and the Underground Railroad are the background themes here, and the author often emphasizes the differences between the English paper piecing quilts, and the applique quilts done in America.  When I started reading the story, I didn't know it had anything to do with quilting, so it was a nice surprise. It also got me whipped up for a few days of searching the web and Pinterest  for fun facts on EPP, and Star of Bethlehem patterns. Yeah I'm a dork.
The crochet blanket is almost done, just need to add a couple of more stripes.  I'm using mostly Paton's worsted wool with my H hook.  The pattern is from Lions Brand and you can find it here.  I added more chains to make it wider (multiple of 7 plus 1), and I worked into the loop created by the chains in the pattern, NOT the chains themselves, which goes a lot faster.  I saw several people on Ravelry did the same thing.
Did you notice they are really pushing Christmas this year?  I guess we have fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the stores aren't wasting any time.  I swear I saw my first Christmas commercial on Halloween. There is holiday music on the radio and in the department stores. I'm not ready for this.  I just got out my Thanksgiving decorations, and am enjoying the fall weather.  Here are a few pieces of my turkey collection. 
We have been hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of the family for almost 20 years, and I've had plenty of time to add to my collection while browsing thrift stores and flea markets.  Some have been given to me as gifts. I especially like the ones that are also vases.  I fill them with flowers and set them on the counters in the bathrooms.  I don't usually collect anything besides books and fabric, but these only come out once a year so they are fun to unwrap and spread around the house.
Anyone else hosting Thanksgiving?