Sunday, December 24, 2017

Where did November go???? and then December?

November started with a TRIP! I had a wonderful time traveling to Minneapolis to visit my good friend, Debbie! She and her husband Jim saw to it that I had a wonderful time. They are great hosts!!! Debbie and I are knitting buddies and we have known each other since about 1996(?), well forever.

Even though it was 20 degrees outside(wind-chill of 5) we went to see the outdoor exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. I was so excited to be able to enjoy cold weather and wear my hand knits, I piled them all on at one time. At one point you could hardly see me!!!

After de-icing the plane, in Minneapolis, I arrived home safely to temperatures near to 80! Too funny!!
I came schlepping out of the airport with suitcase, coat, hats, scarves and mittens in my arms. :)

Christmas decorations started going up after Thanksgiving and I was SO HAPPY to see my neighbor put these Peanuts characters up again! I see them everyday when I leave the alley behind my house. They just make me smile.


My friend Renee has blessed me this year, with 2 gifts. First is my little snowman ornament. She and I both exercise and try to stay in shape and good health. 

Love the humor!! Wish it was true though.......

 Then she made the snowman which is on top of the bale of cotton and cotton carders, that sits on my hearth.

I set up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. I knew I would be working at our store for the Christmas rush and decided I would get it up before I started.  So, I did get the tree up and the house decorated, by Thanksgiving. But, I didn't get the ornaments on the tree. On Thanksgiving Day our daughter Rebekah and her family came over and Claire decorated it with some help from her sister, Nicole and her mom. This picture is the center of the very front.
When we were first married, my mom and Mark, the little boy she cared for, made this nativity ornament for me. I always put it at the center front of my tree. Because, that is what Christmas is all about, the birth of Christ. Without realizing it, I did start a tradition. :) Both of my girls do the same on their trees, an ornament picturing the stable is in the center of the front of the tree.

 Christmas presents are all done now and wrapped. Didn't get pictures of some, will try to do that tomorrow(when they are unwrapped).

However, while working I received an order for 2 scarves from a customer. She wanted them to be similar colors. I decided to make this Pioneer Braid Scarf, with some self striping yarn from Red Heart yarns.

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's October?

As I was opening up blogger and getting the pictures ready to post, I realized that it is October. Well, I knew it was October, so don't think I have lost it..... :) It just hadn't sunk in and it is only October 2 and it is 89 degrees outside. 

But, that realization meant that I needed to find a picture for the top of the blog, so I could take the summery one off. Ack! There wasn't a picture ready in my folder. I thought I could take a new photo of an autumn decoration, but that wouldn't work. My holiday decorations are hiding behind some of the Mr's building materials(read heavy) and they need to be moved. Of course, if I leave them there, I guess I could skip Thanksgiving and Christmas too. LOL! No, I don't think so, well maybe. No.

So, I did what all folks do with pictures in file folders, I found one that I could put into my Gimp program, crop and then posted it. Hence the basket of pumpkins. That is my own pattern, written years ago.

This has been a sad day, as the realization of the shooting in Las Vegas has sunk in. I have been praying for the victims and their families, as well as, the first responders and health care professionals who are working tirelessly to take care of those needing care. 

However, I do want to show you some of my current projects. 

This first picture is a Be Simple, it uses sock yarn about 400 yards. I was looking for something to knit with this fabulous Malabrigo sock yarn and Be Simple was it. It is like the Kwoosh, only  with eyelets! I am loving working on this project.

Next is a vest, I think..... I started it about 18 months ago and packed it up to move about a year ago. Unpacked it and left it alone in its basket until about 3 weeks ago. Since I had finished the projects I wanted to finish for the Clear The Needles KAL, I decided to try to finish this. I had only knitted it to just past the first armhole. I have done a lot on it, but the deadline for finishing this was October 1. But, you know, I want to finish it anyway. I not only want to free my needles, but my basket! If I have enough yarn, I think that I may try to add sleeves to it, even if they are short sleeves. All of the yarns, except a solid navy, are handspun yarns from my handspun stash and they are all wool. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hot Rod, Socks and a New Pattern

 A couple of weeks ago, we went to an antique car show. We had a great time walking around and looking at "antique" cars. It was funny to think that some of the "antique" cars were built AFTER I was born. :)  Nevertheless, they were fun to see and also, to see the immaculate care and restoration of the cars that the owners take. One of my favorites to see is always seeing the Camaro's from the 1960's.
However, that isn't what I decided to show you. I just was amazed at this lowered Hot Rod! I don't think that I have ever seen a car this low to the ground. Even Jeff's Miata's aren't this low. Truthfully, I was thinking you may actually have to get down on your hands and knees to crawl into it.
Finished my socks! These socks probably have been the quickest socks that I have knit in years! I had decided to knit them on double point needles. When I learned how to knit socks, back in the late 1990's, I had learned on double point needles. When the Magic Loop and Two Socks on Two Circular Needles became popular, I gave them a try. Although it is nice working my socks on them and making two at a time, and working toe up, I was missing my four needles.
I did use only four needles, not five. That is how I learned. My dp's are old, I guess in car terms they are "antiques." I inherited them from my aunt and my mom, so they are metal and came in packs of 4. I just looked and the company, on some of the packets that I have, is named, "Marcia Lynn."
Anyway, I discovered that my suspicions were correct. I knit socks faster on dp's. I guess the fiddling with the circular needles just takes up that much more time and you really don't have to do much adjusting and fiddling with dp's.
I know there are folks that enjoy the process of knitting and I do also, to a point.  BUT if you can finish a project and get another one started, isn't that as much fun?? Finishing and starting!

I just launched this pattern, Springtime Fling, on Ravelry this week. It uses lace weight yarn, larger needles and is worked top down. For the needles you use a smaller size for one row and a larger needle for the next row, then back to the first needle for the 3rd row.
  You alternate needles all the way through the pattern. The smaller needle gives the body that the lace weight needs and the larger gives the shawl/scarf a great airy and lacey feel and look.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Finished Projects and New Pattern

Soooo, this vest has been on the needles for so long, that I really don't know when I started it. LOL! I put January 2016 on my Ravelry project page, but I am not totally sure. It was at least then, maybe 2015.  I joined a Free The Needles KAL with the MySistersKnitter Ravelry group and this is one of my UFO's that I decided HAD to get done.
There isn't a pattern for this vest. I took another vest, which fit well, and measured it. Then did a gauge swatch and the math to make the same size vest. This was a bit tricky, in that I was using a loose gauge and then knitting sideways, so the knitting will stretch and change the gauge.  The vest is long, which I like and it is a bit oversize, but I like that too!
Above is the front, below the back. I did crochet an edging around the neck, down the center front and along the bottom edge. I then added the crocheted lace to the bottom edge.

Another project that I finished, and gave me another set of  emptied needles was the Find Your Fade! I am excited for cooler weather( I know, I live in TX and it is July.... sigh), when I can wrap up in this shawl. It is made from sock weight yarns and feels cozy. Because it is sock weight, I can wear it as a scarf. Here's hoping for a cold winter this year!!

Yarns for both of the above projects were in the stash! I didn't have to buy yarn for either one of them.
Below is a new pattern. It should be listed on Ravelry in the next couple of days. The pattern will include the directions for a larger hand towel, a medium sized hand towel, a trivet(for under a hot pot and a washcloth. These can be a quick gift to make for someone special, or spoil yourself and make them for you! :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, Weaving, Knitting and Sewing!

We were invited to our daughter's home for a July 4th celebration. In thinking about what food items to bring, I remembered another recipe that I found in my mom's favorite cookbook.
When I originally found the recipe, I found the title a little funny, but maybe it is just me. Remember this cookbook was my mom's favorite. She was using it after I was born, until she stopped cooking in about 2015. :) So, it was at least published around 1950 - 1960. This beloved book has no cover and no table of contents, however, the index is paper clipped to some pages. However, there isn't a print year/copyright year, or even publisher.  All that said, the book is really pretty old. (however, I am not old. Haha!) Back to the recipe title: Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese. When I saw that I chuckled, thinking, "how old is this recipe, when the book was published about 60+ years ago and the recipe was considered old then!" Do you find it humorous, too?
The recipe is super easy and my family loves it! When we left our daughter's home, the dish was empty. :) So, I thought that I would share the recipe.
Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese
4 cups cooked macaroni(2 cups dry)cooked according to pkg directions.
2 Tbsp butter, cut in pieces.
1 1/4 cups cubed/grated sharp cheese.
1/2 tsp salt.
1/4 tsp pepper.
2 eggs, beaten.
3 cups milk.
Extra cheese for topping(optional).
Heat oven to 350F. Combine cooked macaroni, butter, cheese and seasonings. Place in greased 2-qt size baking dish. Combine eggs and milk; pour over macaroni. Sprinkle with paprika, buttered cracker/bread crumbs or extra cheese. Bake 40 - 50 minutes. 6 servings.
NOTE: I put the macaroni in a 3-qt size dish, my 2-qt was being used elsewhere. In looking at the picture you may think the dish is too big. Yep, it was, cause Joanne(me) used the wrong size. hahaha!
 Last year, before we moved, I had started weaving the triangle pieces for a wrap/shawl. I had only finished one, when I need to pack up my supplies. Finally, after I had everything unpacked and set up, I  was able to weave the other three triangles needed.  I have a small triangle loom which produces a triangle that has the longest side measuring about 24." 

I decided that I wanted to attach them so that they made the shape below.  I also wanted to crochet lace inserts to be the joining pieces between the triangles and eventually, a lace border around the entire piece. I had used a chunky weight Bernat cotton/acrylic blend for the triangles, and in keeping with the cotton thought, I pulled a cotton yarn off my shelf for the inserts and a cone of rayon yarn for the edging.
The yarn used for the lace inserts was a sport weight and the yarn for the weaving was a chunky weight. The rayon yarn used for the edging was a bit finer, so I doubled it to work with it. I love the different texture that each yarn has brought to the garment. I used a size I(US) aluminum crochet hook for the crochet sections.

Here is the wrap pinned out and blocking. I have crocheted some flowers to embellish it, and should get those stitched on this week.
Next, out of my finished and unloved projects, I pulled this cotton bag, which is lined and even has pockets inside.  I had mistakenly put the wooden handles on in a way that you could hardly get your hand inside the bag to use it! I did try using the bag and it did work, but not conveniently.
So, I tore, well not really, I gently ripped out my knitting and was able to disconnect the handles. I picked up all those free stitches, who were waiting to unravel like little minions and create havoc, and then placed them onto a size 8 (US) needle.
When I decided to fix it, I didn't bother with a before picture, until I had already started to take it apart.

I searched the internet, to try to get some inspiration about how to finish the top of this bag. And came up with some boho/shabby chic ideas.
Using a couple of different yarns, I knitted a top border and then bound off the top. I used the gray cotton yarn and knitted a 5 stitch I-cord for the handle, making it long enough for a cross-body bag. I made a 3 stitch I-cord for the button loop. I also made several fringe/tassel type pieces out of the yarns used, and attached some great beads to them. I attached the fringe to one side of the bag. Then I attached some large sequin type beads to the other side of the front. 
My youngest grandchild is now 2 years old. Her birthday was in June and I decided to make her some summer dresses for her birthday. Here they are! It was a lot of fun sewing these for her and knowing how comfortable and cool they will be for her in her Florida climate.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Picture Hanging, Shabby Chic Curtains and knitting

Every time I move, it takes a while for me to choose the home for all of my pictures. This time was no exception. :) You would think, after 16 different moves, that I would be able to move a bit quicker, but no.  Actually, this time I thought I had made quicker choices and had hung up quite a few pictures, but they just weren't working in their new homes. So, I spent the greater part of this week taking down some of what I had put up and then rehanging them.
Here is what I have come up with.
Above is the dining room. We have my grandfather's clock on the china cabinet and sconces made by my dad on either side. Pictures on the wall are of sheep, which were taken of different American sheep farms and purchased by my hubby and framed by him, just for me. :) I love wool and I love sheep. I love him.  :)

This photo is of the door from the kitchen eating area to the living room. So, you see the brick work of the fireplace and part of the treadle sewing machine. The photo on the brick, is no longer there, but has been moved. Now, to the kitchen wall. I found the two small rectangular trays at Canton First Monday trade days. The round black one, is of Connecticut. If you know me, you are asking yourself, Connecticut???? Why??  My dad was born there and my mom gave that tray to me years ago, so I wouldn't forget where he was born. Hahaha! 

I love this quilt. We had hung this quilt on another wall when we moved into the house. It wasn't receiving enough light to do it justice. So it was moved over the weekend and now it can be seen.
On the opposite wall from the quilt, I hung these three folk art type farm pictures, more sheep.

So, here I step out onto a limb. :) I took down blinds. I am not a fan of blinds, especially in the dust bowl that Texas can be. I have been looking at curtain ideas on Pinterest and in magazines. Then I  thought,  "I have linens, that I can hang at my windows." So, here is my attempt at the Shabby Chic look for curtains. Only thing purchased were the rods. After the hours it takes to make trips to many stores and then not finding my rods, I ended up having to order them on-line. It took 5 minutes to order them on line and they were delivered two days later.......

I love hanging towels and thought that I would make some for myself using my stash cotton yarns! This is my first one.
Above is my new pattern, named Springtime Fling. I have knit it a couple of times, sold the selling rights to Fiberlady for their Hemp Fine yarn. But, I also plan to list it for sale on Ravelry soon!!
'til next time, Be Blessed and have Good Days!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Crochet English Cottage Tea Cozy

When my friend, Sharon, was moving away to another state, I decided that I wanted to make something for her. We had often gotten together for tea and I thought this would be a good opportunity to make a tea cozy! I have always want to make one that looked like a house.

I went to Ravelry and found this pattern. I loved the house and decided to purchase that pattern and the knitted pattern as well.

Also, I decided to use stash yarn.  I still have shelves and shelves of yarn.......
Sharon's was a teal house, with a tan roof. Teal/aqua are her favorite colors. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of her cozy!

BUT, I decided to make a cozy for me too. It isn't as if I don't have the yarn for it. hahaha!

 Here is the first attempt at my cozy. First you crochet two rectangle pieces and then I did the embroidery. After the embroidered embellishments are finished, you then attach the rectangles at the top and crochet the roof.
When I was done with the roof, I didn't really like it. I didn't like the color, actually. So, I ripped out the roof and started over with a silver gray yarn.  Picture below.

I also added some more flowers to the front.  The pattern called for the windows to be worked in intarsia. I did that for Sharon's, but decided to make them separate and then stitch them onto my cozy.
The roof is different too. I decided rather than a round roof, I wanted it to look more authentic, like an actual house roof. What I have is a wonky roof, but I love the character it adds! :D

This is the back of the house. It has to have a back door and flowers too. I used a green yarn to attach the bottom of the two rectangle.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dunkin' Donuts and Finished Project!

Our new home is close to a Dunkin' Donuts! I have fond childhood memories of Dunkin Donuts. To me, as a child, they were a coffee shop that sold donuts! As a family, we didn't really eat a lot of donuts for breakfast, they were more of a dessert item, so Dunkin Donuts was open all day. You would see people in there all day, taking a coffee break and eating a donut.
Now they have sandwiches too and in some areas they have ice cream.
Once in a while you can find us in there eating a breakfast sandwich, drinking coffee and a having a donut for dessert.  :)
Do you ever look up and notice lamps in restaurants? I have started doing that. Here is one of the many in our Dunkin Donuts!  
An orange donut! Cute!
I have finally finished a knitting project! I am still knitting from stash. This yarn is some Madelinetosh yarn that I purchased at DFW Fiberfest several years ago. The pattern is my original pattern, named Nicole. Here is the link to it on Ravelry.

Here is an ongoing project, that I do need to get back to. It is called Two Way Wrap Cardigan. Here is the link on Ravelry. I am using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted Weight.
You start by knitting a giant square and then fold it and pick up stitches for the sleeves. I do have the square done(Even though you don't see it in the picture). Now I need to fold it and pick up the sleeves. Then I will have to knit the collar.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Caramel Cookies Recipe

I love cookies! I have been having some fun going through my mom's recipes. One of the items I brought home with me, from her house, was her old cookbook. It is the book that I remember her using the most while I was growing up. I found this cookie recipe in that book. I am sorry, the title of the book escapes my memory and the book is so well used, that the covers are missing!! :)
Caramel Nut Slices
 1/2 cup soft shortening(I used butter)
1 cup brown sugar(packed)
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 finely chopped nuts(I wasn't in the mood for nuts and left them out)
Mix shortening(butter), sugar, and egg thoroughly. Sift together and stir in flour, salt, baking soda. Blend in nuts.
Form into two log shaped rolls, 2 "  in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper, or parchment paper,  and chill overnight. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut slices 1/8" thick; place a little apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set but not hard. About 6 doz cookies.
Note: I didn't use the nuts and cut my cookies a little thicker. I ended up with 4 doz cookies.
Hope you enjoy these as much as we have!!!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Galveston and Knitting

When we went to Galveston last month, I took some photo's of things we saw and places we have visited so I decided to share some of them here.
As we drove out of our hotel parking lot, this was the first thing we saw! These beautifully painted homes. We saw a lot of homes painted in these and other pretty colors. What a joy and inspiration of colors!
We have been going to Galveston since 1991, but this is the first time we visited the Moody Mansion. It is an amazing home and was a great experience getting to see the inside. We didn't get to tour all 28,000 square feet of it, but we did get to see 2 of the 4 floors. This structure not only made it through Hurricane Ike, but made it through the horrific hurricane in 1900. Yes, it sustained some damage, but it was all repairable.

This picture, below, is of the bathtub in the master bathroom. The silver colored container was the gas hot water heater, so they had hot water to take their baths, or showers!! I had never seen a hot water heater like this before, have you?

One of our favorite things to do in Galveston is to walk along The Strand. Little shops and boutiques, as well as some eateries, line the street. We love to go browsing and to also buy some homemade fudge in the confectionary.


Our hotel room view was spectacular! It was windy when I took this picture and had actually been raining. So, the surf was a bit rougher than it normally is. The amusement park in the back ground, is built on a pier over the water..... It is actually the site where a hotel used to be built. The hotel was on a pier, out over the water and in that same location. During Hurricane Ike, it and the pier were damaged so much, that they had to be torn down.

My KNITTING!! I have finished my Kwoosh! I love it. The yarn looks beautiful and was a joy to work with.
I love how the automatic striping design worked in this project.

One thing that I realized when I finished, was that there wasn't one knot in the skein of yarn. It is very hard these days, to find a yarn that doesn't have a knot somewhere in the skein! Many thanks to Schachenmayr the producer of Regia -The Sock Wool, for producing a wonderful yarn.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Happenings and Knitting

Hello February and hello 2017!
We have had an eventful end to 2016 and I am still catching up! Maybe that is how life will be for a while, playing catch up.  But, I am catching up and that is a good thing, I  think.....

First off, last summer we decided to down size our home and move closer to work. So, we listed our house in the woods and it sold quickly. Then, we went on a hunt for a new home.  Wow! Talk about an emotional roller coaster..... There is a housing shortage in north Texas, so it was difficult to actually get a house.  We found plenty of houses, and we put in many offers on different homes, but there were usually at least 5 offers on the same house. The sellers don't take the first offer in this current market, but look at the offers and then decide which one they like the most. Great for the seller, but not so easy on the buyer. Our realtor actually told us to get prepared to make offers on more than one house at a time! We didn't actually have to do that, because we finally "won" this house. :)

We actually lost this house twice, before our offer was accepted! We love our new home and Jeff's commute is so short, that he calls to tell me he is on his way home and as I say ok and we hang up, he is here!

While going through the move out of the woods, we went into a hotel. It was our home for several weeks, before we could get into our new home, and I did have a chance to knit!! These socks are finished, but here is the picture of them in progress. I love these new socks! I knit them from the toe up and used the magic loop technique, instead of double point needles.

 My birthday was in January, and this year Jeff decided to take me to Galveston for my gift!!!! I love Galveston and I love the beach. It was a great trip and a wonderful gift. We left late on a Tuesday evening. We drove down I45 all the way onto Galveston Island.  Before we arrived in Galveston we had to drive through Houston.  When we made it to Houston, it was dark and this was our view of the city as we arrived and drove through. Isn't it gorgeous, lit up against the cloudy sky with the moon poking through?
A friend of mine was able to take a trip to Austria this fall and when she returned, she brought a gift to me!!! What do you buy a knitter and crocheter? Yarn! I love this yarn. I did start a pair of socks, but after talking to my friend Debbie, she suggested a Kwoosh which is a free pattern on Ravelry. You can click on the word Kwoosh and see the pattern. It is a scarf, and I am less likely to wear out the precious yarn wearing it as a scarf, as opposed to socks.