Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas stitching

I put the last stitches in this morning, Christmas Eve. By next year it will be pressed and framed, but my goal was accomplished. I made a couple of changes to the borders to make it a cohesive piece. I eliminated the candy cane borders at the top of each row and instead ran it up and down the sides and bottom as an outer border. I also stitched the evergreen boughs only twice between the three rows. I really like how it turned out. Thanks to all the members of Stitching Santa's Village Together for sharing your progress and encouragement.

I also finished knitting a couple of cowels in time for gift giving. This one went to my sweet Mother in Law to match a jacket we got for her.




Friday, December 20, 2013

Have a Texas Merry Christmas

When I saw Blackbird Designs' "Never Far Apart", I knew I had to adapt it for my girl who was away for her first semester in college.

I made a copy of the pattern and then drew my alternate designs right over it to ensure they would be the correct size. I improvised a longhorn and the University of Texas iconic tower from photographs. I found the patterns for the tiny squirrel, butterfly and dog (to represent Lola waiting impatiently at home for her best friend) from a Quaker sampler pattern I have yet to stitch. I also customized the colors, shading the house to match our own home and picking up tones of UT orange in the flowers and other design elements. I changed the tree to a palm tree to represent South Texas. Finally, I backed it in UT fabric - thank you UT licensing program.

Ellen took the stocking back to her dorm at Thanksgiving, before I had the chance to take a proper photo, but from this you can see that she very festively thumbtacked it to her dorm room wall.






Wednesday, December 18, 2013

She's crafty!

Thanks to a really sweet young lady at an Austin Hobby Lobby, Ellen is now a one-woman sock-making sweatshop.


She optimistically stocked up on yarn before even opening the box to the Kitcraze circular knitting machine.


Once figuring out the little trick in threading the machine, she was off and running. She took great delight in comparing her 3 minutes of cranking to my 30 minutes of swatching a new yarn.




I have a feeling there are going to be socks at each gift-giving occasion this year!





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Into the Great White North

My grown up college girl needed some winter accessories as she made her way to school in the “great white north” (aka Austin, Texas). This yarn matched her coat and was squishy, thus the garter stitch cowl and crochet headband with ginormous flower was born.

Of course no photo shoot in our house would be complete without also modeling it on poor Lola.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wearwithall Stole update

My stole has grown so much! Over the weekend I started my 4th of 9 colors. It was definitely an ambitious project for a (sorta) beginning knitter, but I'd rather put time into something I absoluely love even if it takes several months.

The rows are accumulating so much faster now that I don't struggle with my yarn tension, fumbling with the needles, etc. I'm hoping some good blocking smooths out some of that first color that was pretty tough going!


I have some airport time this week, so I've optimistically wound my 5th color of yarn in anticipation.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Celtic Solstice

I am one of hundreds of people joining in on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice. I love the bright, clear colors, and with my husband and I both having Irish ancestry, it was a natural.


My quilting bee did a fabric exchange to freshen up our stashes prior to clue one being released. This is a picture of the first set of fabrics.



I forget to get a picture of the second set, except for the nutty zucchini fabric.

I had a couple of stumbling blocks with clue one. I thought my 60 degree triangle ruler would work, but it did not make the same block size. I've been making the blocks using the templates while the tri-rec rulers are on order.


Clue two does not use triangles - Yea!!! I was busy busting out some cheverons yesterday. I hope to have a big chunk of time to work on it this coming weekend.





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The little engine that could

This blog title composed by my daughter when I told her I had completed 30 of the 36 blocks I need for this Karen Stone quilt. I've been working on it off and on for about six years.



I was on quite a streak this fall when I dug into some new color combinations.




Now it's on the back burner again while I join in on the new Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

Who knows? 2014 could be its year yet!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Belated pumpkins

Is it too late to show photos of Thanksgiving pumpkins? No? Good! I've got some photos that I haven't shared on the blog yet, even though the actual pumpkins have long gone to live elsewhere.


I've been getting together with the same group of friends since 1990. We used to play bunko, now we just sort of eat. Sometimes we gift each other things for no reason at all. Whenever I have the perfect storm of time/energy/ideas/supplies, I like to give them handmade things. Because I love these women and you should only give handmade things to people you love. Especially people who, whenever you give them something, talk about the previous things you've given them that they still love. Even when those things are crochet rocks.



Anyway, the perfect storm of wool, a quickly downloaded pattern to replace the one I had filed someplace 'very safe' and a quiet Saturday with no errands to run all came together and each friend got an embellished woolen pumpkin filled with crushed walnut shells. (And one for me makes four)



(Do the pumpkins photographed against the leaf-stewn brick remind you of those gorgous wedding photos of the bride and groom juxtaposed against a graffiti wall? No? Just me?)