Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shawl Knitting update

I just love knitting in the evenings.  You know that already...  

A couple of weeks ago, I started this Diving In Shawl.   I pick away at it.  No pressure, because it's only to wear this winter.  I've made great progress knitting only an hour in the evenings...  I would say another week or so of knitting and it will be done.     This is a free form pattern.  There was no instruction on how to include stripes, or how many stripes.  It was more of a recipe, than an actual pattern.   It's an asymmetrical shawl.  Very simple.  I think I'm going to love the shape.   You make all the decisions on where to make stripes or do color changes.  Great for knitting with left over yarn.    I'm using Paint Box Simply DK with size 4 mm needles.      



 I've been knitting a long time, and I love learning new techniques. In particular, the modified garter stitch in this pattern was new to me.    I made the block of many stripes using the modified garter.   The benefit of the modification is that the stripes look the same from the front or back of the shawl.   I tried just a regular garter in the single brown stripe, and you can definitely tell the difference between front and back.  Neat.    I would have never understood how to do the modified garter just by reading.  You need to read each word of the instruction, then actually knit it....and by the time I had several rows knit, I realized the difference.  




But that's all the knitting on this shawl for now.  
I'm on vacation... yippee.
Stay tuned, I'll be back in a couple of weeks.. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A New Wallet to Travel

It's time to change wallets.  

My favorite wallet is showing signs of wear.   It's been two years that I was carrying it.   So, in preparation for my trip, I've cleaned out my wallet and put the necessary things back in my new cork wallet.  I made it last spring and had been using it as a sample in my classes.   


  It's brown and it goes with everything.  It has a bit of a different style front that will show off the stitching.   The batiks on the interior are fun and kind of wild.    I found it a bit tricky to sew with, but I may have been too cautious by using no iron and no pins.   


Over time, I am interested to see how this new new cork fabric wears.  


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Purity Rolls for the kids

In a little flurry of visits from our kids before we head out on our Baltic adventure, I decided to make minestrone soup and home made rolls for lunch.    The house smells wonderful.  

Just look at these....    I just love my old Purity cookbook from the '70's.    
I know some will ask, so here is the recipe..    It says makes 4 dozen, but
if you want large rolls like these, it will only make 2 dozen.  



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sewing but Not Quite Quilting

It's been sort of a funny summer sewing wise.  I can't seem to settle down and get into a large quilt project.    I've been enjoying some knitting, and working on using up some of my fabric stash in various ways.    Have a look..
Saw this great Fabric at Country Crafts and Curtains last week.  
Aurora wants all things Paris in her bedroom.  
I've bought her a few little things, 
and now she will have a Paris themed pillowcase
for her Bed.  She's coming up later this week and will
use it while spending some time with us.

.
using Atkinson Designs, pattern, Stowaway, Aurora now has
a pencil sized case to put her school pens, tape erasers etc.
It's made out of the leftover piece of Paris fabric from
her pillowcase.  


This fall, my grand daughter Emily will be doing some fundraising
 for a school trip. I thought I would help out and make
 a few things.  To start here are 14 simple zipped pencil
case pouches.  I hope to make more things as time goes on.



It's yours truly.   I've always said that I never make myself clothes.
But I was intrigued by this pattern by the So Sew Easy folks.
This is a wrap top pattern. Besides the pdf instructions,
there was an online video.  I didn't mind making it.  I actually like it.
I think I'll make another.   So it's a good lesson for me.
Never Say Never


Does this pillow look bohemian.   I made a cover for a large pillow for
my granddaughter Jessica's dorm room at Dalhousie University
in Halifax this year.  She has a great
wall hanging that this will go perfectly with.


A screen bag for my yarn stash.   I cleaned out my yarn stash last year
only to find myself with a heap of new yarn stash.  This bag will
hold it nicely.   I'm making a rule.   Once this bag is full, I must knit, or
get rid of some yarn before more yarn comes in.


I made a few scarves using a narrow hemmer foot.
Hemmed all 4 sides of light chiffon type fabric.
I made skinny ones, and big shawl size ones.
They will be good to take on our trip that is coming up soon.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cowl Done, and on to the Shawlette

It seems odd to be knitting winter wear in the summer, but I'm loving sitting on my porch knitting up a few rows/rounds.    This Spiral Eyelet cowl was a delight to knit with the Paint Box Simply DK. The 4 stitch sequence was easy to remember.  I loved the cast off technique which was new to me.  It's called the elastic cast-off.   I like how it has a slight stretch.

I'm contemplating how to block the cowl.  I will research later on how the best way to do it is.

I thought I'd share this next project that I've already started.  It's the Dive In Recipe Shawl.  The author says that this two-color shawl is more of a recipe rather than an exact pattern.   I like the idea of the skinny stripes and the technique is neat.   I'm using two colors of the Paint Box Simply DK.  Cream and the Medium Brown.  (Many thanks LoveKnitting.com)

This shawl will take me longer to knit of course, because it's a bigger project.  I'm looking forward to see how this turns out.

And just so you know, I haven't abandoned my sewing totally this summer.  Stay tuned and in a few days I'll show you some of the things that I've been sewing.




Monday, July 24, 2017

Hard to find Knitting Needles


When I started to knit the little bunnies, one of the sizes of straight knitting needles I needed was a 2.50 mm.   It's quite small.  Turns out they are harder to find than you might think.   While popular in the UK, they are not that popular here, and non-existent in the USA.  Even look at my needle gauge, there's no size for 2.5 mm.  So I ordered mine online.  The only length they had was 14 inches long.   Now these little bunnies have many parts, and the most stitches that I cast on is 30 or 35.  So 14" needles is way overkill.    I really want the 10" ones if they can be had.     
It just so happens that the dollar store here had some 2.5 mm needles. I bought a set and tasked my husband to shorten them.    All he was able to do was cut them off, but had no way to save the ends.   He suggested I glue a bead on the end.   Brilliant... I did, and now I have a set of short 2.5 mm needles that fit in my little needle case.   


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Knitting a Scarf

I have had fun this past week (or two) doing research on Ravelry.   It's hard to know when to stop researching, and start knitting.   I have found at least 15 perfect projects that I want to knit and my must-knit list has grown exponentially.  But my research this week was intended to find projects to use my gifted-to-me Paint Box Yarns.   I want to knit a shawl type of scarf.  I'm down to 6 or 7 choices.   I'm in a delema, rectangle, or triangular.   I can't seem to make a decision.


While I ponder my delema, I decided that I really need to stop researching, and start knitting.  I'll start with a cowl.  I've been wanting to do a spiral cowl for a while, so this was an easy decision.   I chose this Spiral Eyelet Cowl pattern because the spiral is clear and not complicated.  But, after reading the pattern, I could not understand how that spiral design could happen/develop with the two-row repeat.  I thought for sure it would be a 10-row repeat.  How does the eyelet spiral?

Well, I just started to cast on, and I figured once I start knitting, I'll figure it out.    I still haven't figured it out, even after knitting 5 repeats of the two rows.  But I am liking the look and it's easy to knit while watching TV.  The Paint Box Simply DK yarn is very soft and is perfect weight for my size 4 mm 24"circular needles.   I will definitely get this cowl done out of one of the 100 gram balls of the Simply DK.   I hope to have a shawl/scarf decision made by the end of the week.

Stay Tuned and Happy Stitching..




Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bunny Sweater - Adding Buttons

I really enjoyed my knitting in the park experience this week.   Aurora had a great time at the park with the day camp folks.  During all this, I sat slightly in the shade and worked away at the little sweater for the Bunny.   I never realized how bright light can make knitting so much more pleasurable.   



The little bunny sweater is done.   The final step is to sew on three little buttons.   The hard part is to choose a button color.      White, black, yellow, green or orange.     What would you pick? 


Monday, July 10, 2017

Knitting with Paint Box DK cotton

When I saw this fine cotton yarn, I knew exactly what I was going to knit.   This little piebald bunny, that I knit this spring, needs new clothes.  

She needs a red dress and a light green sweater.    The dress pattern and the sweater pattern calls for cotton DK yarn.   I've never tried the cotton DK before, so now is a good chance.

Today, I have an hour to knit in the bright sunshine in a park.  This is a totally different spot for me to knit, but I'm looking forward.   See, Miss Aurora is visiting and she's attending a morning craft camp and I'll be nearby starting my little bunny sweater.   I'm anxious to see how much I can get done at the park.







Friday, July 7, 2017

Where do you Love Knitting?

LoveKnitting.com thought they'd like to work with me by sponsoring some of my knitting.  It's the best kind of partnership.   They provide the yarn and I knit what ever I want to!!   Awesome!    I didn't know what yarns they were sending me so waited until I received the yarn to research what I would knit.

Well, I received the yarn and was I ever delighted!   The yarn is the Paintbox brand.  I've seen it advertised but never had the opportunity to use it.  They are two different lighter weights of yarn.  One is 5 shades fine DK cotton yarn and I know what I'm going to knit with it.  I'll share in a few days once I get started.  

The other is 5 shades of 100 gram Double Knitting (DK), that use a size 4 mm knitting needle. That's my favorite size needle.   

I do have a few small things on my knitting to-do list, but I've been having fun searching through Ravelry's and Loveknitting.com's patterns, for projects that would be perfect.   I've got it narrowed down to a poncho, shawl or shawlette.    I have a dozen patterns flagged.   Now, from that dozen, it's a matter of looking at the patterns to make sure there's nothing too complicated.    I'll narrow it down to my top three soon.   

For now, have a look at these yummy skeins of yarn.   In a couple of days, I'll share my top three shawl designs, and ultimately the one I've chosen.  

Thanks Loveknitting.com for making my summer knitting more interesting.  

Stay tuned...


PS: I Love Knitting on the couch while watching TV.    Where do you Love Knitting?




Friday, June 2, 2017

My Sweet Garden

Last fall my husband and brother in law built this sweet garden for me in our back yard.  It's about 10 x 12' and is U shaped.  The little walkway in the center will give me access to the three sides of the garden.  The mesh fencing is intended to keep out most of the big critters, like deer and raccoons that we have visiting on a regular basis.  


We've been working at it for the past few weeks to get the soil prepared and planted.  First came flower planters that flank the gate.   Then came the veggies.  There's yellow and green pole beans and regular bush beans, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, beets and a zucchini.  My husband bought me a new set of small gardening tools and put a hook right on the rail so the tools are there when I need them.   I've visited every garden center looking for seeds, set plants, flowers, fertilizer and nice plant pots.  Sometimes successful, sometimes not.

Now that it's done, every morning I visit to see if anything is up yet.   So far, the swollen green and yellow beans are starting to peek through.   Also the romaine is coming up.     I can see that those will have to be thinned.   And I pulled my first weed.  

I know that I'm just going to love spending the summer with my garden.   

.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This Land is Your Land

Earlier this week I finished a Row by Row for Diane at Country Crafts and Curtains.   This is her third year participating in the Row by Row Experience.   

This summer's theme is "On The Go".   Since it is Canada's 150 year, Diane wanted to incorporate the Canada theme.  

I took this picture as I was about half done machine quilting the row.  Quilting sure makes a difference, don't you think.   I loved doing this row and I'm looking forward to seeing the row in many RxR quilts.  

To look at the finished row, read out Diane's blog here..




Monday, May 22, 2017

Come for Tea!

Well, if you are coming to my house anytime soon, I'll be insisting on serving you tea.    Not because I like tea, which I do, but because I want to show off my cute garden tea cozy!  

I finished this tea cozy to take as a sample of what what else you can do with the flowers technique in my Secret Garden bag class at Quilt Canada.  

I know this is an odd shape for a tea cozy, but it fits my favorite Paderno teapot, which is kind of a different shape.   More taller than stout if you know what I mean.  


And while I was at it, I made a couple of pouches using the same techniques.   You have seen these before.   So quick and easy to make using up your colorful scraps.   



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Love Cookies

For a family wedding shower this past weekend, I made these cookies without the help of my grandkids.  I had fun just the same..

I start out with a great sugar cookie recipe and cut out square cookies.  Bake and Cool.   Then using royal icing, I make a square around each cookie.  
Then add the word love.  


After the first few cookies, the need for perfect lettering fades away.  


And how about a few wedding dress cookies.  
These were wrapped these in cello bags so so the bridal party kids could take them home.    


After the shower, not one cookie left, except for the bride cookies.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rainy days bring spring flowers

How about all these spring flowers.  The rain brought them...  Sorta...

This weeks rainy weather gave me some extra time in the sewing room.  It was a great chance to cut out fusible flowers for a class next month.  They will be the flowers for the Secret Garden Bag.    I'm just itching to make a few class samples using them.  Watch for them next week.  


Friday, May 5, 2017

Getting ready for Quilt Canada

I'm getting excited about teaching at quilt Canada next month.    I'm almost already.    I am thinking of all the extra things I might need while away.   One thing that came to mind is that I will have classroom assistants for each of my four classes.   I'll make little "Canada" themed pouches to use as thank you gifts.  


The pouches start out with piecing scraps together to make a strip.    Add a strip of plain fabric on top.    Then stitch curves on the plain fabric.  On my older Pfaff sewing machine, I have a cute maple leaf stitch that is just perfect for the 150 Canada celebrations..  The red thread is used to stitch a few maple leaves.  Then I add my label and finish off the zipped pouch.    I just love them....



What are these pouches good for, you ask.    Well, anything small I guess.    
Your rotary cutter, or your good collection of special pens..






Monday, May 1, 2017

Corked!!

I've been preparing to go to Nova Scotia for a week.   I didn't want to start anything new until after I got home.  

With it being a drizzly day, and not much planned, I thought I'd cut out a project so I could work on it when I get home.     Well, one thing lead to another, and I am almost finished.

It's cork fabric.    I bought it while in the states over the winter.  It's quite expensive so I thought I'd try a small project with it.    It's a bit difficult to work with since you are not supposed to iron it or pin it.   I used wonderclips ...

And here it is.     It's not quite done.   I haven't figured out how to make the strap.  I'm thinking on it.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

I'm Home

You know the saying, there's nothing like your own bed after travelling.   Well, that is so true, but even more, There's nothing like your own sewing room and your stash.

I've been home almost two weeks, and believe it or not, I've been sewing up a storm.   I made new curtains for my living room.   I've been sorting through my stash to make samples for the classes I have coming up this spring.

And on the quilty side,  I've made a couple of wallets this week.   The dark one will be going to the Miramichi quilt guild later this week.  My friend Geraldine will pick it up to take to guild.  Their class is full, but it'll be nice if they get to see what they are going to make.    

And you might recognize the busy print on the lower wallet..  It's one of the fabrics in the CQA Trend-Tex Challenge.    Since I was on a wallet making kick this week, I decided to make a wallet out of my challenge fabrics.  That will be going to Toronto for the annual fund-raising Auction.

Ahh, it's good to be home.






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

But before I Go..I needed to Sew

Just thinking about packing up my sewing machine this week gave me the heebee jeebees.  I've made the mistake of packing up too soon before.  So  I thought, I should get one or two of my small projects on my to-do list done.

The first project was simply to add a zipper to a large wide-open bag.  It was started a few weeks ago and was waiting until I found the right color purse zipper.  So that was a quick finish.     This is a gift for my friend Brenda and I'll give it to her when I get home later next week.


Next, are a batch of pencil cases.  To make the fronts of the pouches, I used up batik scraps, added some simple stitching to a plain light fabric, and then added my label.  When the fronts were done, I put them together using my standard simple pencil case pattern.    All they need now are  cute little beaded zipper pulls.


It was fun to sew the continuous random lines on the long
plain strip.  





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When it's time to go, it's time to go.

The weather in Florida has been exceptional this winter.  We have had so much fun here in the community and it seems like we were busier than ever.  

We loved having some visitors this year.  The best was having my grand kids were here for March break. Besides suntanning and swimming, we played shuffle board, went for dance lessons, went bowling with the big balls, and we can't forget the afternoon milkshakes.  They loved having their own transportation around the community.   Everyone here has a golf cart.  It's a large community.   It would take 30 minutes to walk to the pool.  So the carts are a must here.

They also loved just going on the lanai in the mornings with their breakfast.  Feeling the warm morning sun on their face was so welcome.  The kids want to live here, but it's too bad for them.  To live here, you need to be of a certain age.  But you can visit all you want..  

Well the kids are gone now and the countdown is on. Most everyone's visitors are gone too and the conversations around the community are about who is leaving when and how long their drives are.  Now not everyone leaves, the majority of our friends are leaving.   Each year, my circle of friends gets a bit wider.   Most are sewers or quilters and I haven't even left year and can't wait to see them next year again.

Even with all that fun and community, I am now looking forward to coming home. I have a busy spring planned and I'm chomping at the it to get back in my sewing room.  I have all kinds of projects swimming around in my head.  I think I should start making some lists.  That way, I won't wake up in the middle of the night with things to add to my virtual list.

See you all in a few weeks.

  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bunnies, Bunnies, Bunnies

I finished a medium size Open Wide bag yesterday. I thought it would be a good bag to tote my bunnies for show and tell at quilting tomorrow afternoon.   But I guess I should have made the larger bag.   Seven sets of floppy ears are just to many for the medium size bag.   teehee..

Also, I love it when I can re-use something that I have done before.   Here's the story... See, I plan to give a bunny as a gift to the girl who organized the quilt show here in the community.   For weeks now, she just goes gaga every time she sees my bunnies.   She really wants one for her adult daughter who has all kinds of quirky things.

I haven't told her that I'm giving her a bunny yet.   I wanted to make sure I had enough yarn to  make extras.  And I now know that I do.  So it will be a surprise for her.  I will give it to her in the last few days that I'm here, before heading north.   Now, how will I present it to her.   I need a gift box.  I know, I can make one...

I tried a bunny in my wallet box for size and Voila..it fit's perfectly. No adjustment to the size is needed at all.   Yippee.  All I need is a nice piece of tissue to wrap the bunny in and a ribbon for the outside.

So, if you want to make your own box for a bunny, you can use my wallet box tutorial which can be found here...




Saturday, March 4, 2017

It's a Blue Binding


The blue binding won out.   Thanks to everyone who offered up their opinion.  

After watching a Bethony Nemish video about machine quilting little sprays of feathers, puff balls and swirleys.   i decided I had to try.  She made it look so easy.  I thought I can do that.   For my practice,  I whipped up this simple runner.    She made it look so easy.  It's not as easy as she made it look.  😀  Maybe with a little practice I will get the hang of it.  



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

White or Blue - That is the Question!

I whipped up this little table runner this week.  It only took about an hour to free motion quilt it.     Now the question is to bind in white or bind in blue.  Here I've auditioned the blue binding...  I can do either.... My intent was to bind in blue, but I quite like the fresh white look...      What do you think?



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lake Ashton Community Quilt show 2017

The organizers were flying blind on this little show.  Never done one before here in the community.   They only had the venue for a day.  They had no budget.  So they organized the day long event.  The setup, the collection of the quilts etc, the hanging of the quilts, the exhibition was from 1 pm to 4 pm, and the take down.   It was amazing and everything went like clockwork.

There were over 300 visitors from our community.  We, the quilters were hostesses and spent the afternoon talking to visitors and answering questions.  I was impressed and very pleased to have participated.  

Let me show you a few pictures.

Show Stopper!!!   A brilliant applique quilt by Marilyn from Ontario
This quilt took her two years to applique.

Applique detail.



Such precise work.  I just can't imagine.

More detail

Fun Christmas projects.
A fun kitty quilt by Lowleen from PEI

Three wall hangings.  
Many works in this show were by
Snowbirding Canadians like me.  

A Cross Stitch and fall table runner

A stunning sampler Cross Stitch.
Look at the framing mat.  It was painted to coordinate
with the stitchery.  Very inspiring
but hard to photograph under glass..

The Venue was the ballroom.   We had loads of  visitors.

This quilt was made in the '70's  by the mom of one of the members.
It covered a queen size bed.  It was stunning.

Love the Geometric design.  Carol from Montreal made this.
Hand quilted...  Beautiful

Beautiful Cross Stitch by Elsie...  Three Cats Guarding.
Hard to photograph under glass.  It's stunning..

Look to came for a Visit.  Was great
to see you Lucy and Elsie!

Joanne made this traditional pattern,  Love the colors.

Joan  made this from a Kit she bought from AQS.