Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feather and Fan Cowl

Since the mitts didn't fit my neighbor, I offered to make her a cowl. I used a cotton/acrylic/wool blend from my reclaimed collection. Maybe with only 10% wool, it wouldn't make her itch.

I do like this pattern. It works up well in a variety of fibers and gauges.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cookie Baking

We had Christmas with the family the Saturday before. This year Cayson was old enough to join in the (now) annual cookie making.

Cayson 1 and a half years old.

Evan shows determination.

"MOM! Look..."

Cayson says Hi.

We gave him a musical Jack-in-the-box for Christmas and every time it *popped* he made this surprised face.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Kittens

Someone did a beautiful job on this counted cross stitch picture. But I found it at the thrift store as part of a very lumpy, misshapen pillow.

I dismantled it, washed and pressed the aida cloth, added borders and gave it a new life.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cup Cozy

I wanted to try the Wildflower Knot knit stitch. I also wanted to try and design my own knitted item.

The pattern has a repeat of 8 sts, plus 7. I knit a swatch to get gauge, measured the cup and multiplied the number of stitches in the gauge by the number of inches I wanted, then adjusted that number to the closest multiple of 8 plus 7. The Wildflower Knot pattern shows so much more when the work is stretched.

I shopped several stores for a Grand mug. But I found out the one I bought wouldn't work because there wasn't any room above the handle for the cozy. I'll know next time!

I took the project to my knitting group, hoping for suggestions on how to make the cozy fit the mug without space above the handle. Nancy suggested I try it one of her mugs. It fit, so she just gave it to me! What a great friend. I added two buttons to close it on the side and it was done.

Reclaimed Fingerless Mitts

I took the lower part of the sleeves off this Shetland wool sweater, it was too felted for anything else, and made fingerless mitts similar to these. Though this time I whip-stitched a hem, rather than picking up the live stitches and knitting ribbing. Quick and easy. 

They turned out to be too snug for my neighbor. Maybe someone with smaller hands will enjoy them.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Turkey Leftovers

My husband and I love turkey left-overs; cold sandwiches, grilled turkey and melted jack cheese sandwiches, omelets, turkey enchiladas. Yum! This year we decided to try turkey pot pie.

It was terrific! A lot of work, but it made two and we've been enjoying every bite. A new favorite.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Baby Booties for Hailey

My niece had her first baby in October. I thought it would be fun to knit something to welcome her.

You can get the free pattern here. It was fun to use Judy's Magic Loop cast-on, so there's no sewing up. I love how you can make three dimensional items just using yarn and knitting needles!

When I was finished, I wondered if I had enough yarn to make another pair someday. The booties took 13 gms of yarn.

I have 14 gms left!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Frosted Rosebuds

I made a quilt for my Mom to match her bedroom decor. We talked about patterns and colors on the phone and I drafted sample layouts in Electric Quilt. It was called Framed Nine patch.

We put color swatches and fabric samples in the mail to each other. Then I ordered the fabrics online. Ordinarily being a blue-green girl, it was fun to work with a different color palette. So pretty.

I could use speed piecing methods to construct the blocks. I made the Nine patch blocks first. I often have to share the ironing board with Spunky.

Here I'm cutting the frames for the Nine patch blocks.

And I used the usual piecing method for the snowball blocks.

It was such a pleasure to work on, it just fell together!

The minute I spread a quilt-in-progress on the floor to measure, Spunky's right there. Cats and quilts, what can you do?

I named it Frosted Rosebuds. It's at the quilter's. I can't wait to see it. Happy 88th Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crosses and Losses - Quilt of Valor

I finished the QoV quilt top the first week of July.

When I shared it at Show n Tell at guild, someone asked me the name of the block. I was surprised I didn’t know. When I got home I looked it up in Maggie Malone’s 1,001 Patchwork Patterns. It’s called Crosses and Losses, a Biblical block that was published in 1931. It’s a renaming of the block Fox and Geese. This pattern was created during the Civil War to represent the standoff for control of Fort Sumter in 1861. I didn’t know if Bobbie knew the block’s history when she chose it for her Quilt of Valor, but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate pattern.

I talked to a local long-arm quilter and asked if she’d be willing to do the machine quilting for me. She was excited to participate in my Quilt of Valor and we talked about quilt designs. I wanted something soft and curved to balance the strong geometrics. She said she’d have it done by the next meeting.

When it came back, I added the finishing touches by creating a label and a matching pillow case for it to travel in.

It felt good to help one of our wounded servicemen or women in some small way.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Touch of Tiffany

We've changed the lamp in the dining room.

And DH installed a dimmer switch, which is a nice feature. It's brighter and I really like the statement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lacto-fermented Foods

I've discovered lacto-fermented foods. Easy, fast and so tasty. It's another great way to preserve food, without a hot water bath in the canner.

Zucchini with Bermuda onion, 
fresh pineapple chutney with Italian parsley and 
purple tomatillo salsa with corn
Lacto-fermented foods, also known as cultured foods, are rich in probiotics that help balance the intestinal flora. This in turn allows food to digest better and our bodies to absorb the nutrients more completely. The following is a quote from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

Besides, they taste so good. I top cottage cheese or yogurt with any one of these for a great snack.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Evening Breeze Lace Tank Finished

I finished the pieces for this tank awhile ago, but I needed to learn crochet in order to finish the neck edge and armholes. I found a terrific tutorial on YouTube. Very Pink Knits showed me everything I needed to know to learn to crochet and work the shell stitch. Yay!

It looks like a cable, but the effect is created by moving increases and decreases. Worked from a pattern called Evening Breeze in Knitter's magazine, 2004.