Sunday, October 23, 2016
Otherwise here's what I've been up to:
1. More Taryn's blocks were sewn. I can't wait to hand quilt this one.
2. There was some actual weather here this month. It's unusual for us to get any kind of storminess in October, but the rain has been a welcome relief from the dry dusty heat.
3. The herbs I picked back in August are dried and I plan on putting them into little jars and giving some away for Christmas. Need to find some cute labels.
4. I followed a couple of different tutorials for a zippered pouch to make a large project bag and a small notions bag. I used some Japanese fabric from my stash and a floral from Rifle Paper Co.
You can find the instructions at Noodlehead and Jedicraftgirl. I haven't fiddled with zippers in quite a while, but I managed to survive the trauma of installing 2 of them. Now I want to make a few more of these bags as gifts.
5. Just finished reading Uprooted, which was good but just missed being really good by something that I can't put my finger on. Maybe the POV it was written in, or character development, I don't know, but if you've read it I 'd love to hear your thoughts. The yarn is Quince and Co. Osprey in Carrie's Yellow. I'm thinking of adding yarny embroidery to the ends of the scarf I'm making. Not sure how that's going to work on garter stitch, I think stockinette might be better, but it's worth a try.
Until next time!
Monday, October 10, 2016
I'm still working on my nine patch quilt, and a crocheted blanket, but am itching to cast on the next knitting project, which will either be another shawl or a hat. I ordered some yarn to make an Arika too, but maybe I'll wait until it arrives and finish up the quilt first.
The last two pictures are of a notions bag, which is made out of some kind of recycled vinyl, and is virtually indestructible. I love that aqua sewing machine. The fabric was bought at my local fabric store which I just heard is going out of business at the end of the year. That puts the next closest fabric shop about 45 minutes away. Bummer.
Hope you all have a good week. I have NOTHING going on this week, first time in a long time, except an appointment to get the septic tank pumped on Friday, which is kind of crappy hahaha. That's how exciting my life is.
Friday, September 16, 2016
That charcoal fabric would have been great as a tunic or dress, but because I cut it up I now have twelve 8" squares and a small amount of yardage. That means I can make a very short top with 12 pockets. Sounds about right.
I'm using the neat ripple pattern by Lucy at Attic 24. The pattern is so incredibly easy that I regularly screw it up every 2nd or 3rd row. I have ripped back at least half of this blanket so far. Mistakes happen when you're not paying attention and you're crocheting at the speed of sound, light, or how fast I run when being chased by a mad dog.
And finally, after seeing so many mini quilts on Instagram by Temecula Quilt Co., I impulsively bought the online pattern, Taryn's Baskets, downloaded, printed, dove into my fabric, cut, pressed and in just under a couple of hours had completed two 5" squares. The seam ripper is working overtime on this one. My points are finishing too close to the edge, and most will have the tips cut off when I add the setting squares. Grrrr. Taking apart 1 1/2" squares is not one of my strengths. Buying things online apparently is.
Here's to learning by our mistakes. Cheers :)
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Farmhouse shawl. It's a very relaxing knit, nothing too challenging for a newbie knitter like me. I have this month to finish it up as it doesn't cool down properly here until October and I'm looking forward to wearing it.
My oldest daughter teaches 3rd grade, and in the morning she hands out "warm-ups", half sheets of paper with a few math problems or vocabulary words. Something quick to occupy the class while they settle in. My crafting lately has consisted of warm -ups. It's been a while since I've flung myself headlong into a pile of fabric to make a large quilt, and that's okay. When I'm ready I'll know it.
Lately it's been all about smallish makes, portable knitting or crochet. Easy projects to keep my crafty muscles flexed, requiring minimal mess or time on my part. Like the long pincushion above. I always wanted one to lay at the base of my sewing machine, so I whipped this one up with scraps of bark cloth, linen and Liberty fabric. When the middle daughter came back from a visit to the State Fair this summer, she proudly presented me with a small bag of wool from the sheep shearing. It still had dirt and sticks in it. I swear my kids get me. Anyway I stuffed it into the pincushion, so now it has extra magical powers.
There is an abundance of rosemary, thyme and sage in my garden right now, so I cut the plants back real hard and have them drying upstairs in the loft on pieces of paper towel. I always save small glass spice jars and those have been cleaned and ready to fill with this years herbs. Then I ordered lavender, wormwood (repels moths), dried orange peel and mint from Mountain Rose herbs to blend with my rosemary. To this I added sweet orange essential oil, and I stuffed the concoction into sachets made with vintage cotton and some recycled linen from an old skirt of mine. There's a tutorial on Purl Bee if you want to make some for yourself. I cut into some Liberty fat quarters, and those will be sewn next.
Ginny made some here, and sold them in her shop. They lasted all of about 5 seconds and sold out. I wasn't quick enough to buy any, so figured I might as well make my own. Done.
Monday, August 15, 2016
I used Knit Picks organic cotton worsted which was amazingly soft, not anything like the kitchen twine I've struggled with when making dishcloths. The pattern was free over on byHaafner, and there's a handy little chart you can print off if you like that sort of thing. I found it helpful, although it was easy enough to memorize once you made a few squares. All the details are on my Ravelry page.
There hasn't been much sewing going on around here. I broke down and bought a quilting hoop and a nimble thimble and am trying my best to hand quilt, but it's slow. The leather nimble thimbles are a great idea, but I seem to be in between sizes. The medium was too big and kept slipping off. When it finally flew across the couch and hit the dog, I decided to order a small. Now that one is too tight. This is a bit like Goldilocks testing out the beds.
I bought some goodies in Portland at Knit Purl and have started knitting the Farmhouse shawl, and it's so fun! Probably another reason why the quilting has taken a back seat.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Anyway, now I can get back to my WIPs and relax a bit. Obsession over.
Monday, July 11, 2016
I finished 5 squares on my popcorn stitch blanket so far. I know the picture is only showing 4, but it was hard to photograph an odd number, so you get the idea. I'm hoping to make a few more on the train.
I had some help from the dog going through my scrap bin to make several nine patch blocks. I want to set them on point but I'm having a difficult time deciding on a background color. Usually I reach for a cream color (safe), but I feel like all my quilts are starting to look the same. I might need to take a chance on this one and branch out of my comfort zone.
Lastly I'm making a linen project bag to take on the train, and I decided to work a cross stitch motif on the front, found in Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion book. Since she lives in Portland, I thought it would be a fun reminder of my upcoming trip. Have a great week wherever you are!
Friday, July 1, 2016
A row of sunflowers towers above my tomato plants, casting shade where I do not want it, but I don't have the heart to rip them out. I tried to grow sunflowers from seed last year, but they didn't take hold very well, so I guess they showed me who's boss by moving themselves to a different part of the garden that they like much better.
The compost pile is now bursting with spaghetti squash. I must have thrown the remnants of a cooked squash in there at some point. The long vines have crashed through the wire farm fencing and were last seen marching eastward across the pasture.
And speaking of pasture, some kind of wild, pale blue flower has sprouted out there, along with yellow mustard, all courtesy of the additional rain from last winter.
Now onto the fun stuff. A few years back, I saw a yarny blanket that made me swoon, and set out to make one of my own. I crocheted 6, twenty round granny squares and sewed them together, ending up with a blanket roughly 40x60 inches. It's been sitting for ages waiting on those ends to be weaved in, and I'm so happy it's finally done!
Saturday, June 25, 2016
I tell you what, my 50 something body can't take too much more of this moving and packing, especially since the weather is hovering around 100 degrees or higher for the next 5 days.
Ah summer, how I want to love you here in Northern California, but I want to experience you in Alaska, or Maine, where I imagine a light sweater is needed when the sun goes down, people eat supper outside, and you can still wear long pants and shirts with sleeves in them.
There have been beautiful sunsets here though, and the grasses have dried to that rich California gold color. I get to pick wild blackberries on my morning walks, make fresh lemonade from the lemons off my tree and float on a raft in the pool looking up at a sky so blue it makes you ache inside.
All that kind of makes up for the upper lip and boob sweat, the constant hum of the AC, and the inability to do anything outside between lunch time and 9:00pm without melting your face off.
Enough complaining about the weather. Guess what? I finally joined the Instagram crowd (I resisted for a long time). I still prefer blogging because I love the written word, the stories, the connection. It's quicker to post something on Instagram, a nice picture, two sentences punctuated by a dozen emoji's and you're done. But man you can really get sucked into the looking and spend hours of time on there! I'm just figuring out how to navigate around and so far it's been fun. I don't have too many posts up yet, but if you want to visit, I'm at lifeofreilly58.
In between the packing I'm grateful this week for some quiet moments to practice my knitting, and continue sewing more of my drunkards path blocks. I've been able to build up a nice little pile so far. However this is looking to be a 3 year quilt, as I started these blocks last year and it doesn't appear I'll be finishing any time this year.
Anyone got a summer project started? Besides my white crocheted blanket, I've been itching to try some embroidery and I have 2 new books to read. I'm down for anything really, as long as it doesn't involve packing tape and a truck :)