Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter Came Crashing Down

My last post talked of how I was holding on to the Autumn season with everything I had. I'm thinking that Mother Nature must have heard me wrong and decided that what I really wanted was Winter to come as fast as possible because within a couple days that is just what happened. Not a nice, calm, beautiful snowstorm, but ice and freezing rain. And it lasted for 3 days:/ Thankfully we never did lose power, thought I don't know how, but it was a blessing as our pellet heater runs on electricity. Here are a few pictures from the storm...

This was a solid sheet of ice and you can see a few branches as they stated crashing down.

This is when it was almost over and it looks like this on all sides of the house. The sound was awful, but thankfully none that hit the house were very big and we had no damage.

I am happy to report that warmer weather is coming back, at least for the time being. I know I can't fight off winter for much longer:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Holding on to Autumn

Hello all!! I don't know about you, but these past few months have just been flying by. It feels like we should just be entering into Autumn, not seeing the end of it. I am determined to hold on to the last few days/weeks with all I have before giving into Christmas mania:) Usually I am excited for the holidays to come, but it seems like it is being pushed on us earlier and earlier every year and I just need things to slow down a bit. I do admit that I started looking at a few Christmas things this past week, but I'm planning on waiting until next week before I really get into it.

So instead of working on Christmas related crafting, I've been working on a couple Autumn(ish) themed projects.

1st is...

These are pumpkin shaped wash cloths and they will be a house warming/Thanksgiving hostess gift for my mother-in-law. I had to look up a couple of the stitch instructions on this, but overall it has been an easy project. I just have a bit to do on the second one, have to figure out how to attach the vine and then weave in all the ends:) The pattern is free at KnitPicks.

The second project is...

Yes, I have an orange thing going on!! This scarf will be for me as I only have one scarf and it was the first knitting project I did. It's fine, but not as pretty as this and I wanted something in a pretty Autumn color:) I am using Heartland by Lion's Brand in colorway Yosemite. This pattern is called Chunky Fir Tree Lace Scarf, and can be found on Ravelry for just over $1.00 USD.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Autumn (or spring) to the fullest!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Well, Hello There

It's been a few months, how are you all doing? We are now a couple months into this school year and I think it's been one of the slowest years yet to feel like we are settling in to a schedule. Partly because of changes in activities for dd, and partly because of dh's crazy schedule. He's been on overtime for about 2 months now, which means he gets up at 3:00 am and would normally get home around 5:00 pm (and then go to bed early so he can get up early:). But this overtime schedule collided with his parent's finding a house in town that they really love. So he has also been spending a few evenings a week and all weekend at the family farm helping his parents pack up, get ready for an auction and moving. It's been a really busy couple of months for him. On top of this, our insurance sent a letter saying they would be out to take pictures of the property for their underwriters. This means that we need the buildings to look kept up or they can drop us from the insurance (they would give us time to make repairs if needed, of course). We knew the house needed painted, so dd and I started scraping and painting a couple weeks ago. Thankfully dh was able to get a couple days off work to help get it finished up. The siding really needs replaced, not just painted as we believe this is the original siding (built in 1920), but paint is going to have to do for now. We really need to replace (and re-wire) the porch light. You tend to ignore things like that until you post a pic on your blog and then it sorta stands out!! :)  
Graci guarding our front porch. She's starting to feel the effects of age (13 years old).

I'm super excited to report that it is starting to feel like Autumn around here!!! We are still having highs in the 80's here and there, but more and more it is cooling off and the leaves are changing. I really love this season:)
Of course, we have to get some Autumn yummy-ness going too. I've not tried the hot apple cider flavor yet, but the pumpkin spice is really good - especially with a bit of pumpkin creamer thrown in, and the hibiscus cranberry tastes like Christmas in a cup - YUMMY!!
As for crafty time, well, I've kinda let it all slide. I did get one knitting project done, and started a couple others, but not much else and almost no stitching. I did start a Christmas Ornie yesterday and I'm hoping to be able to show that to you by the end of the week along with the knitting project I finished. Until then, Happy Autumn!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Finally Some Relief!!

We've been having a super hot summer this year. Temps that normally don't hit until August have been with us through most of July. We've had 100+ degree days more than I'd like to remember with other days very close to that (though we did have a few nice days here and there:). Yesterday and today have been very nice however, and it has prompted me to get out for a couple walks and get some pictures of our place and some of the critters running around here:)

Yesterday the kitties were out playing...
The gray one above is Mouser, the calico is Lily and the torte below is Tulip. They are all sisters. 
Whacha doing? 

And the horse was not out!! If there is even just a sprinkle this horse wants to be in the barn!!

And then there are the gardens...

Growing a new variety of 'tomato' 😂

Today I ventured down the driveway and took a very squishy walk down the road as we got a little over an inch of much needed rain. Maybe a bit too much all at once...
This little guy might look miserable, but he really loves running around in the rain and mud:)

Towards 'town'...
A peak towards our pasture...
And a pretty little spot on the other side of a bridge...

I've been getting a little knitting done as well...

This is Celes by Jared Flood. I really love working this pattern and the fingering weight baby llama yarn is really nice to knit with:)

Along with the walking about and knitting, I've also been doing a little yoga this week. I am loving the Yoga Studio app!! 

What have you been up to this week? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A knitting update

As I said yesterday, an update on my knitting...

I've managed to carve out some time this summer, between the barn chores and gardening to do a bit of knitting, even starting a couple projects even though I had decided I would wait;) But what is the fun in waiting when there are SOOO many projects that are just begging to be knitted? :) So here are the main projects I have been working on..

First off, I have a finish!! I made Tanya Marie Willis Anderson's (aka The Sampler Girl) Anne's Imagination Cowl. It was very easy to make and very pretty too.

Next is the Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood. I love this project, partly because of the simplicity of the pattern but also because of the bamboo and silk yarn. It is super soft and will be very warm this winter. I am sitting at 90% done now, hoping to get this done early next month.
I started another of Jared Flood's designs just yesterday. This one is called Celes. It has quite a few design elements that I've never done before so the going is pretty slow (like, I just ripped it back to the beginning - again!!). It has a provisional cast on, will need the use of the Kitchener stitch to graft the two halves together and then I will pick up stitches to do the boarder around the whole thing. I've learned not to panic too much about new stitches and techniques and to take them one at a time as they come, and to heavily rely on You Tube to help:) I've been working on the Guernsey Wrap since January, I'm pretty sure this one will take at least as long to complete!! And yes, the yarn color is very close to the one above, just a bit more green. I can't help myself, it's the color I keep going to for everything. My phone case is pretty close to it too!!
And then there's this one. The original idea of this one comes from The Sampler Girl's Captain's Row. Except I'm changing it a bit, so it won't really look like her design, but the main pattern will be hers. This will be a head scarf, or a head band, what ever you want to call it. I'm not sure exactly what it will look like yet as I'm kind of playing with it as I go. It's kind of fun as this is the first design that will be partly mine and it's simple enough for me not to get stressed over if it doesn't work out:)
Did you see that cute bowl a couple pictures up? I found this bowl at Walmart and started putting my knitting and stitching bits and bobs in it. It works well to hold counters, place markers and scissors. But I decided to use it to hold my yarn for the Celes project. I know a yarn bowl would probably work better, but they are kind of expensive and I'd rather spend my money on yarn:)

Of course I have other projects that I work on a little here and a little there, not to mention stitching projects, but this is what I've mostly been focused on. Oh, and then there is yarn coming in the mail, hopefully tomorrow, so we'll see how those projects fit in;) What are you all working on?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What is this???

A post from me??? Yes it is! What a different kind of summer this has been!! Dd has been gone just about as much as she's been home and all the things I *thought* I'd get done with all that free time hasn't hardly been touched.

She started out the summer helping with VBS which took up her mornings for a week. Then the next week she went to work for a local farmer family and she was gone most of every day. Two weeks later she left to be a councilor at 4-H camp and I thought I'd have 4 days to myself then, but hubby came down ill and stayed home for two days and on his 2nd day home we got a call from camp that dd was sick as well. So we went up and brought her home. A couple weeks after that she started an apprentice program at a zoo an hour away so she has been staying with her grandparents' during the week and coming home on the weekends. This is the 3rd and final week of that. Next week is the 4-H Fair, so there is lots to get ready for that (actually I think this year she won't be taking as much as normal). On top of all this we finally found her a horse last weekend!!
She has been waiting for this since we moved out here 8 years ago:) She is so excited, but was only home for two days before she had to leave again. We weren't really ready to bring a horse home as we need to do some work to the barn stall, fencing, and a few other things, but hubby and I have been working hard to get things done. Dd wants to be home so bad so she can help with everything, but I think there will still be plenty to do this weekend when she gets back;) We are hoping everything will be set up by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, the corral has plenty of grass and is a safe place for Phantom to be. He is a gentle horse and loves to be around people. Dd rode him a couple times last weekend even trying bareback which he handle beautifully. 

I still need to learn a lot about horses as I have the least amount of experience of all of us around horses. I got a crash course on putting on a halter on Tuesday though. It was a horribly hot and humid day and by late afternoon/early evening it just felt like the weather could turn bad. I had been watching the radar and knew a storm was coming our way, but I never expected this...
Yep, that there is a tornado. I've only ever seen one other and it was much smaller. I will admit I panicked a bit (or a lot as I was home alone and didn't know how far away it was or how fast it was coming). It turned out to be quite a ways off and even though it was coming our way, it was a very slow moving storm and it dissipated before it got anywhere near us. We did get some rain and a little hail, which the horse didn't like at all, but we got him in the barn and calmed down and he handled my wrapping the halter around his neck (instead of putting it on right, which I did figure out later) just fine.  Hoping that doesn't happen again for a long time!! 

I've been doing a bit of knitting and stitching as well when I have some down time and have a little to show off which I will do tomorrow. I didn't post new goals/projects this month because I have so many that I'm working on that I thought I'd take a break from that this month, but I ended up casting on two new projects just this week and ordering yarn/patterns for two more! What am I thinking?!?!? -That it is fun, that's what I'm thinking;) Anyway, I'll update you on all of that tomorrow and maybe next week I'll do a garden post as that is coming along nicely too. Hope everyone is having a happy and productive summer (or winter depending on where you live:).

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July

Happy Independence Day, America!!

Chart from Heart of America - Little House Needleworks 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Reprieve?

Not sure that's what I'd call this, but it *might* be an improvement:)

After stitching a bit more on 'Horses in the Night' (and complaining the whole time) dd agreed that she might be able to find a horse chart she and I could agree on. I should have guessed it would be a Heaven and Earth Design that she chose, one that is even bigger than the one I had been doing, but at least the charting on it is better. So here is where I got with 'Horses in the Night'...
Thankfully this pic shows the colors better. All purple/blue-purple. And there are about 7 shades of it just in this little area. I didn't count stitches, but I think this is close to 250 stitches, 2 threads over one on 18ct fabric. I don't think I'll throw this away yet, just in case, but I'm happy to not be working on it anymore!!

And the little I got done last night on 'War Pony'...
This is ONE shade of blue, so far, one thread over one on 28ct fabric and is close to 400 stitches. So much easier to stitch since there isn't as much confetti stitching (there will be on parts of the horse and the grass, but it's not all over the chart). There are over 250,000 stitches on this chart, I figure if I can stitch 400 stitches EVERY SINGLE DAY I can have this done in 2 years, in time for dd's high school graduation!! hahahahaha!?!?!  Okay, maybe I should be looking at having this done for her college graduation? :) I'll do what I can and see where that takes me. I sure hope she will still like horses then!! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Crochet Madness!!

I put the finishing touches on the last of 3 crochet projects I had going and I am so excited to have some finished things to show off!! I've been more into knitting at the moment, but find it takes me so much more time to knit a project than to crochet. I like the end result of knitting better in most cases, but a girl's got to have a finished project to show off every now and then - and an excuse to start new projects!!

So here are the 3 crocheted projects that have recently been finished...

Lady's Peaked Cap
I made this for my dd, and the only thing she ended up liking about it was the colors:) Actually that's what I didn't like about it, so that sounds about right, lol!! This is my first time making a hat and neither one of us knew what to expect as to the fit, etc. Still it was an easy pattern and didn't take too long, I will be giving a different pattern a try next time.

Pretty Ripple Baby Blanket
Sorry, the colors got a little washed out in this pic. The month of May was a mostly rainy (and gloriously cool) month and I had a hard time getting any kind of decent light in the house. This was made for a friend of my hubby's 2nd child. They decided not to find out the sex of the baby, but like more of the blue/greens/traditionally male colors even for a girl. My hubby's friend picked the colors and didn't tell his wife I was making it (I had made one for their first child as well), so this was a surprise for her. Her baby wasn't due until this week, but she had their daughter, 3 weeks early, so this wasn't quite ready in time. Thankfully, baby and mom are doing well:)

South Bay Shawlette
This is the first shawl I've every made and I love it!! I even got to use it a little last month, which is very odd and rare here in Kansas where we can very easily be in the 90's in May, but we even had a low in the 30's this year!! I did extend this pattern so that it was quite a bit bigger than the original since I'm not a 'shawlette sized' girl:) And I didn't add the boarder because I liked the scalloped edge of one of the rounds in the pattern. Now that it is in the 90's it'll get put away until Autumn arrives.

So a very productive month as far as crocheting goes anyway. Now if I can be as productive with knitting this month, that would make me very happy!!

BTW, all the above projects are from free patterns found on Ravelry, so go have a look if you are interested!! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Update and New Starts

Last month ended up being pretty quite on the blogging front for me. I tend to get that way this time of the year. All the busy-ness of the end of the school year/beginning of Spring, makes me what to hide away and be quite when I get the chance. But now all that busy-ness is done and we have Summer ahead of us I feel like I can come out of my shell and start having fun with the blog again. This year I will actually be spending a bit of the Summer on my own. Dd has a few activities that will have her gone for a few days here and a few days there, so there will be much less running around and (hopefully) much more stitching/knitting time for me!! That sounds like a very enjoyable Summer:)

I have manage to keep my hands busy though, so lets see what I've been up to and what will be new on the needles for this month...


Stitching has been taking a bit of a back seat to knitting/crocheting and I don't see that changing in the near future, but I did get a bit done. First is the progress I made on my May 1st start...
Not much, but I have loved stitching this. The colors are great and the pattern is easy and fun:)

I also made some progress on my YOTA project, but didn't update it last month. I've finished the big tree, both birds, a little of the alphabet and all the inside boarder for the Birds of a Feather Mystery SAL (With Thy Needle and Thread). I will be putting this away for a little while so I can work on 'Horses in the Night' for my dd. It's been a long time since I've worked on it - and I think I only have around 100 stitches in it, because I really dislike this pattern...
This pattern is going to be so time consuming and I really hate that the background has so little definition in it, even the black horse gets a bit lost in the pattern. Dd spent a lot of time looking at horse patterns though, and this is the one she liked best and I have been putting it off for a long time, so I need to get back to it, like it or not!! :)

I even have a finish for May. This is A Tisket, ATasket, from Black Bird Designs...
BBD was my stitching group's designer of the month for our exchange block project. I don't do many of the exchanges, but this one was easy as I have lots of BBD charts:)

And for my new June project...
Heaven and Nature Sing by With Thy Needle and Thread. I love the deer and bird in this piece, but I'm not so happy with the angle, a bit too prim for my taste. So I'm going to leave her out and bring the deer/bird over a bit. Mine will turn out smaller and I think work as an Ornie pretty well.

I also have a patriotic exchange I am signed up to do, but I haven't decided on what to stitch yet. I really need to dig through my stash and get it figured out!!


The last knitting update I gave I was halfway done with this bag...
and I really haven't gotten a whole lot further. I feel like I've been knitting a lot, but most of my projects are in the stage where it doesn't look much different from the last updates, so I won't post them right now.

I do have a couple new projects though. I started this next one just because I couldn't stop myself;) and it will work with a KAL I joined (*side note... On a previous post I noted that I'd never joined a KAL, I should have kept it that way since I've now joined 5!!! I did make sure that most of the projects I currently have going will work for at least a couple of them so that I don't have to start too many new projects!!*) ...
I'm having a little issue with the Strangling Vine Scarf. It should be a lacey scarf and so far you can't see the lacey pattern in mine. I'm liking how the yarn is showing off the wavy-ness of the pattern, though I was hoping that there would be more purple in it, and so far it has only shown up on the bottom rows. I can't decide if I should change needle sizes (do I go up a size?) or keep going and hope that when I block it things will be better.

And then there is my new June start, except that I started it a few days before June because I was really excited about it!!

This is Anne's Imagination Cowl by The Sampler Girl. For the stitchers that read my blog, you may recognize The Sampler Girl as a cross-stitch designer, and she IS!! I didn't know that she also designed knitting patterns too!! What a great find:) And I love this cowl, and the yarn - it is soooo soft!! This is really proving to be a quick, easy and very fun pattern, so I'm hoping it'll knit up in no time.


I actually got the most done with crochet this past month. I had several projects that were so close to being done and once I get buttons on a hat I was making, I will have finished off 3 projects!! I'll post an update on those later this week so I can show them all off at once.

For a new project I actually took apart a knitted bag I was going to make and am going to crochet it instead. I had a comment on the last post that suggested crocheting would be much faster and easier and I am sure she is right. The knitting is fun, but takes so much time and I really want some project bags done, so I will do crochet and see if I can't get a few done. Here are the colors of the first...
I'm kind of doing my own thing with this bag. I want to do a star (or daisy) stitch with the blue yarn, so I wanted to the pattern with the gray yarn not to stand out too much. I've chosen to do a new stitch for me...the wattle stitch (found directions HERE) for the gray yarn. I think this will go together well, but we will see:)

That's it for now, hoping to be back in a couples days to show of my crochet projects. Have a great day!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Some Birthday Shopping

Last Saturday was my birthday (May 16th) and I had a day of shopping planned with my sister-in-law. We were going to go to our (semi) local needlework store and then to a couple of yarn stores as well as go out to lunch together. Unfortunately my car decided to start having some issues. I guess at 255,000 miles it was due to have a couple 'sick' days, but I was a bit upset it decided to do it on my birthday!! No problem, we just rescheduled and we were able to get out and have a fun day yesterday.

So what did I end up with? First I will say that while I love stitching, knitting has become a strong competitor for taking up a good deal of my free time. So while I did do a bit of both stitching and yarn shopping, the yarn defiantly took most of my allotted birthday money:)

My (small) stitching haul:
A freebie from Lizzie Kate that the LNS had sitting by their register, Pin Feathers chart from With Thy Needle and Thread and a piece of linen for it, linen and threads for two other projects I will be working on soon.

And the yarn:
The purple and grey sock yarn (Berroco Comfort Sock) will be for THIS SCARF pattern, the blue alpaca sport weight (Frog Tree) will be for THIS SCARF, and the teal baby llama lace weight (Queensland Collection) is undecided right now. I had another scarf idea for it, but I'm thinking maybe a shawl instead. I bought almost 1000 yards of it (it is SOOOOO soft and squishy!!) so I think I will be fine doing a bigger project with it. I forgot to include the size 2 and size 4 straight needles that I bought as well.

You may wonder WHY 2 more scarves (or you may be a scarf addict and completely understand already:). Well, I've never been one to wear scarves, but after making my first (LINK- from the old blog) I really started liking them so I've wanted to make another in a prettier and lighter weight pattern. The other reason is that I've recently discovered KALs (knit-alongs) and have joined in on two. The first by My Sister's Knitter is dedicated to any crocheted or knitted items that you are making for yourself. Better yet if it's a WIP and you need some motivation to get it completed. This KAL/CAL runs from May 15 - July 15 and all you have to do is join her Ravelry group. The other is from Suburban Stitcher and is dedicated to all knitted things that can be worn around your neck. There are prizes to be won on this one for how many yards you knit or if you use any of the sponsor's patterns or accessories. It runs from June 1st - the end of August and you can join in at her Ravelry group HERE.

It's already been a lot of fun seeing what everyone is working on/planning for these KALs and now that I have some yarn I can start posting my plans as well:)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

One Side Down, One to Go

I have been working hard to get things off my needles and hooks this past week. Now if I can just stop casting on new projects I would feel like I'm getting somewhere!!

I have been mostly focusing on making bags lately, to hold all my projects. I have been using plastic Walmart and Hobby Lobby bags to hold everything, but I want something prettier than this...
The first bag I'm working on is my new knitting project for May. Here is a pic from the beginning...

Project from 'The Knitter's Year' by Debbie Bliss
I just finished the first side (with some changes on how the handle will be) and have one side left to go...
Umm, and lots and lots of ends to tuck in!!! That part might take longer than the knitting!! I also plan to line this bag so that any knitting needles or crochet hooks I store inside won't poke through. 

I'm super excited about the next couple of bags I have planned as well...
Some are already cast on and a couple need to wait their turn. So far all the bags I've started or am ready to start have been knitted, but I would like to try to crochet and maybe sew up a few others as well. Goodness knows I have enough projects going to fill them all!! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Turtle Trot - May 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing, restful weekend, and that those who are mothers had a very Happy Mother's Day. Above is a basket of flowers I bought for my mom - cat not included;) Hubby got his mom a plant as well as she loves to garden:)
Yesterday was also the posting day for the Turtle Trot SAL. At the beginning of the year we all choose 10 projects that we wanted to make sure to make some progress on during the year. For me it was out of many, many projects:)
This month I was able to work on one of my chosen projects. The before progress...
 And the after...
This is Flower and Bird Sewing Roll from Chessie and Me. I've almost got the first of the two panels done now. I have one thread color issue that is going to hold me up a bit until I figure it out. I changed out the color of fabric (the first photo being more true to color) and because of that the yellow-y thread they used for the tulip flower won't work. I'm not sure what I'm going to use yet, but I will continue on with this once I've figured that out:)  Until then I will move on to the next project and have fun with it for a while!! Happy Stitching!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Gardening - Take 1

We've had an unusual Spring this year in that it's stayed nice and cool for much longer than normal. We've had a few days here and there that have gotten pretty warm, even sorta hot, but all-in-all it's been a very nice Spring.

So I decided that it was time to get into the garden and get things growing!! First we needed some plants. I heard through a Facebook post that some FFA members a few towns away was having a sale of some tomato plants and cucumber they had grown and thought it would be good to support them. Then we headed to our favorite local greenhouse and got the pepper plants...
Then I needed to clean up the garden plot. Last year we decided to abandon the big garden area we had (around 100ft by 50ft or so). It was a LOT to take care of and the soil is hard and very weedy. We build 2 4x8 raised beds instead. Now this really limits how much we can grow, we had hoped to be able to add a couple more raised beds this year, but that didn't happen, but it is much easier to take care of...

Yes, it was quite a mess from the Autumn/Winter seasons!! I took a shovel to the outer edges and chopped, chopped, chopped away until it was all clean and nice again. I don't know how I didn't get this little guy while I was doing all the chopping...
He got lucky, I saw him just in time, and since he tried to go deeper into the weeds I was trying to get rid of, I picked him up and moved him to a safer place. Hopefully he'll come back and eat lots of bugs for me!! :)

We got the garden planted that same day too, but the sun wouldn't cooperate and the pictures turned out really bad so I took some this morning...
 Dying tomatoes
Dying cucumbers
As you can see the tomatoes and cucumbers aren't doing so well. Between being transplanted and the winds we've been having, I'm pretty sure we will be buying some new plants and starting over again. we have some rough weather moving in this weekend, so I think we'll wait until next week:)
Maybe by next weekend (my birthday weekend!!!) I'll have some pictures of the new plants:)