Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Craft On - Knitting & Stitching

Linking with Nicole at Frontier Dreams

I'm still going slow with the RA acting up, especially in my left wrist, but I am still knitting!! I've been making sure to switch out the knitting with some stitching as that seems to help from getting sore, and of course the amount of time I can spend doing either one isn't as much as I'd like, but it'll get better soon and I'll be back at it in full swing!!

It is FINALLY feeling like autumn around here (as of yesterday- before that it was in the 90's), so I wanted to knit something that feels like 'autumn' to me...
So I worked on this sock:) I am really loving the colors in this yarn, even with the teal and navy blues, it really says 'autumn' to me:)
I am also working on this cute little witch, who wants to be a frog!! This is by Sunflower Diaries and can be found in Just Cross Stitch Mag Halloween issue from this year. I'm stitching it up to be an exchange gift and even though I'm not much of a Halloween person, I just love her:) I'm about done with her, just have a little across the bottom to finish up, her boots and a little back stitching to finish her face and the frog eyes. Then I will make her into a little ornament. Hoping to have her done by Friday as I need to get it mailed off on Monday!!

Well, that is all for now. I'm hoping that my wrist/hands/fingers start cooperating with me so I can get more done!! I have all kinds of projects I want to work on this autumn!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Craft On - I am Addicted

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams and her Crafting On posts:)

I'm not sure if it's because socks are a small project that can tote around easily and get finished (relatively) quickly or what, but I don't see this trend of knitting socks going away anytime soon:)

First off I finished my first Wool-Free yarn sock...
This pattern has you cast on 64 stitches and it is noticeably bigger than the last 2 pair I knit. It fits, but I think it's going to stretch out and be a little too big. However I like that the leg part is longer and the toe has a little decorative stitching to it (I'll show that better when they are both done). Like a good girl, I cast on the second sock - but just barely!!
Because I somehow found myself at Hobby Lobby yesterday and found another colorway of Wool-Free sock yarn that I really like. There is lots of brown/rust/cream with hints of teal and dark blue in it. I decided to follow the pattern again, except to cast on 60 stitches instead of 64 and see if that helps. The other option was to use size 1 needles instead of size 2, but I don't have size 1 right now, so 60 stitches it is!! :) 

For a little fun:

While I was trying to take pictures for this post, I had a some help...
Pumpkin (above) is pretty chill. He looked around and nudged me just a bit to get petted and then sat down close, but out of the camera view.
Jack, on the other hand, is my boy, and he knows it. And he's jealous of anything that comes in between him and me petting him. He nudges, nips, jumps up on me, and uses his claws just enough not to leave a permanent mark, just about anything he can do to get my attention. He was flitting his tail on the yarn ball as I was trying to get it wound back up, nipping at my fingers and bumping my hands with his head as I was taking pictures. I love him though I'm glad he's outdoors or I would never get anything done. Plus I wouldn't be able to breath - we are all pretty allergic to cats, and breathing is important:)

Off to knit more socks!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Craft On - More Socks:)

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams.

I am for-sure hooked on knitting socks!! I finished my daughter's socks...
Used THIS pattern 
And yes, I took this picture in her car. She wanted these for when she went ice skating (I went with her into the city since she had never driven there before) and I hadn't yet taken pictures. So I resorted to this:)

And then I started these...
Using the pattern on the yarn wrapper
These are made with 'no-wool' yarn which has been quite a bit different to work with than the Kroy yarn I made the other two pair with. First off, it is stretchy almost like elastic which means I need to be careful not to pull too much. They are also turning out quite a bit wider than the other pairs, so I'll have to see if they fit right or not. I do like the self striping that it is doing and that while the pattern is really pretty close to what I used before, there is a little difference. I want to keep learning different heel and toe options as well as eventually learn to knit toe-up socks. 

No pattern - just a basic bubble stitch (crochet)
And I decided that this beast needs to get done before it gets cold again. I think I started this afghan before Christmas last year but put it away when it started getting warm. I know I'm more than halfway done with it, but haven't measured it lately.  The colors are almost a perfect match to the socks I'm working on. I gave my daughter a hard time about her black/gray/white socks being a boring color scheme, but I'm thinking that maybe it was better than grey/white/tan :) I like it anyway!!

The knitting/crocheting (and stitching as well), has been slow going for the past few days. I have a mild form of RA and the last couple months it has been hitting harder than normal, however it has been mostly my feet/toes that have been affected. But in the last week or so, my left wrist has been really sore. I can still do a bit here and there, just not quite as much. I know it'll pass, which is a huge blessing, so I'll just do what I can for now and wait for it to pass (hopefully not on to the right wrist, but that's usually how it works before it moves on to another area). It seems to get worse during allergy season, and I've also not stuck to my gluten free diet very well. I need to get back on track with that and should be feeling better over-all in a couple of months:) For now, I'll just take it a little more slowly.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Weekend Stitching

I started this post yesterday, but got interrupted and never ended up getting back to it:) I had a nice easy day at home yesterday, which was really nice. You'd think that after 18 years of being a 'stay-at-home' mom I'd be tired of the days I actually get to 'stay-at-home', but I really do enjoy just staying in. And you might be surprised by how few days I've gotten to stay at home during that time:) 

Saturday was one of those days that I had planned to be home, but those plans got changed. My daughter decided she wanted to go into the city with a friend to go ice skating, but she was nervous about driving as she hadn't driven by herself there before. I showed her a map of how to get around the worst of the traffic with the fewest turns so she wouldn't get lost, but in the end she asked if I would go with her. She still drove, I was just there to help. I grew up in that city and it is on the smaller side by comparison to some in nearby states. I think the pop is around 300,000, but when you grow up in an area where a traffic jam means that a combine is blocking the road (or they are moving cattle to a new pasture, or harvest is going on and there are family cars out to feed the farmers), well it's a bit different than she's use to:) Actually she did just fine getting to the ice rink and then to the mall and back home. She really didn't need me, but she felt better that I was there and next time she'll be ready. And I felt better too. At 18 years old, I know there won't be many more times that she'll need to ask for my help in these matters.

Anyway...

When I have been home, I've kept my hands busy, not only with knitting which I'll show off in a day or two, but with stitching as well:) 

I'm SOOOOO close to being done with Spring Snapperland..
by Bent Creek
Just a tiny bit around the side and the words along the bottom!! I want to frame this once it's done, but it may be a while before I can find the right sized frame for a price I'm willing to pay as it's a bit on the long and narrow side. We will see what I can come up with.

I have all of 'Tis the Season Sewing Bag' stitched except for the words...
by Blackbird Designs
I'm still not sure what saying I'm going to use yet. My sister-in-law has a chart that she thought I'd like, hopefully I'll be able to get that from her this week:0)

I made a start on a new project...
Halloween Frog Hat by The Snowflower Diaries (2017 Just Cross Stitch Halloween Mag)
I'm doing the froggy-witch for a Halloween exchange. I think she's super cute;0)  We've not been into Halloween so I didn't have any charts to use for this exchange. I had to go out and buy the new 2017 Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine. Even though I probably won't stitch much more from it, I do like the pumpkin truck chart that is right next to the cute little witch, so I think I'll stitch that one up for myself. 

I also started playing around with the next Wordplay that I will stitch for my mother in law...
by With thy Needle and Thread
I will be making several changes to this chart to suit what my mother in law is wanting. First off, she just wants 'Autumn' with no Halloween theme. October's chart does have a Halloween theme, but also has more 'Autumn' words than any of the others. I *think* I'm going to take the apple tree out of September's Wordplay and put it in place of the witch in this one. I will also take out a couple words like 'witch and crow' and replace them with 'apples and mums'. I've even thought of using the above pumpkin truck and adding it to this piece, but I'm not sure yet. I have a good starting point anyway, so I may get started on this one today!! :) 

I have a bit of errand running to do today - actually thought daughter was going with me, but she woke up with a fever, so back to bed for her. After I get home, I have some housework that needs done, but should have late afternoon/evening for some stitching and/or knitting time. That is always nice:) 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sewing Finishes

and the beginning of a new project!!

Two weeks ago I did a little sewing for Friday Night Sew-In (hosted by Wendy of Sugarlane Designs on the 3rd Friday of each month), but I didn't get as much done on my projects as I would have liked. So I worked a bit more this past week and finished those projects up!!
The first project is a stitching piece I did for my mother-in-law. This is 'August WordPlay' by With Thy Needle and Thread, but I changed it to 'Summer' instead. I sewed on a backing, put tabs on so it can be hung and filled it with 5 layers of quilt batting to give it a little depth. I made the tabs just a little too small this time. I didn't have the 'Spring' one I made for her so I couldn't remember how long I left the tabs for it. This still works as I hung it on the rod she has, but it was a bit tight. I will have to remember that for the 'Autumn' one that I will be starting to stitch soon:)
This is 'Market Bag' from the Sewing To Sell book by Virginia Lindsey. I made one for myself last month and then my sister-in-law saw it and wanted one as well. I ended up giving her the first one I made because this one wasn't ready last week when I went to visit her. I made one change on this bag that I didn't make on the first one. The bags are to have a 7in boxed bottom, but I felt that took too much of the height away from the bag, so this bag has a 4 in deep boxed bottom. I've already used it once at out farmer's market and I really love this fabric!!
After my sister-in-law decided she wanted a market bag she started talking about wanting a Halloween themed stitching/zipper bag as well. So when I met with her last week we went to a fabric/quilting store and she picked out the cutest fabric!!! I'll make a large zipper project bag and a small zipper notions bag from these fabrics:) I'm pretty excited to see how they turn out!!

Next post *should* be about stitching, and I'm really excited to show off a couple new projects I'm getting ready to start stitching!!

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Craft On - And More Socks

Linking with Nicole at Frontier Dreams.

Well, I think I have officially caught the sock knitting bug!! Last week I finished my first pair and then my daughter asked for a pair of her own, soooo...
Using Kroy sock yarn.
I've finished the first sock and am just starting the heel flap on the second. Using THIS pattern.
Of course one pair of socks on the needles isn't enough, so I cast on another, this time using 'no-wool' yarn and a very similar pattern to the one above.

I got together with my sister-in-law Marianne and another friend last week and we ended up going to a yarn store. Oh, my. I was good and didn't buy anything - for now anyway, but there were SOOOO many sock yarns there!! I'm thinking that's what everyone is going to get for Christmas this year:)

Off to see what others have been Crafting On!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Craft On - Socks, Socks, Socks

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams and her Crafting On link-up.

I didn't get any work done on my Cloud Wrap, but I have been wearing my fingers out working on socks!!!

I finally finished my very first pair of socks!!!
Using THIS pattern (except that I lengthened the leg portion) and Kroy Sock yarn. I'm super happy with these socks:)
My daughter wanted a pair as well, only she wants hers a little shorter than what I made mine. So I'm using the same pattern as above, but leaving the leg length the same as the pattern calls for. I'm ready to start the heal flap on this one.
And then I remembered that I had this yarn in my stash and as it is pretty different than the Kroy yarn, I went off to buy another pair of size 2 dpns and got started using the pattern on the back of the yarn band. The pattern is very similar to the above pattern, but one of the differences is that you are working on 3 needles instead of 4. This makes the yarn pull between needle one and two and try as I might to keep the tension tight, it shows up pretty badly. So I undid what I had done and I'm going to do it on 4 needles, I'll have to switch off by the time I get to the heel flap, but I can do that and I think it'll make for nicer socks. This yarn is almost elastic so it has a very different feel and look to the ones above. We will see which ones I prefer once they are done:)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

FNSI

Linking with Wendy at Sugarlane Designs and her Friday Night Sew In!!

I made a tiny bit of progress for this month's Friday Night Sew In. Usually I sew a little earlier than 'Friday Night' but this week my hubby had all of Friday off of work, and we had some appointments in the morning. So I did a bit here and there on Friday and a little on Saturday morning too. Here is what I got done...
BTW - the Coffee M&M's are gone now:) They are SOOO good!!!

Pattern for a market bag cut out, sides sewn together, and handles pinned and sewn together. If this looks JUST like the one I did last month, that's because it is:) I showed my market bag to my sister in law and she wanted one as well:)

I also cut my 'Summer' Wordplay (With Thy Needle and Thread) stitched piece to size, ironed on the interfacing and went through my fabric stash to find a suitable backing fabric...
A good start for these two projects anyway. I was hoping to get both done this weekend but I think I'll have time to pull them back out this week and finish them up. Maybe I'll have finished projects for a 'Finish It Friday' post:)

Off to see what everyone else was working on!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Stitching Progress

I've really had a good summer in the way of crafting this year. Lots of knitting and stitching going on:) I usually have a lull in my desire to create during the beginning of the summer, but didn't fall into that this year, which I'm really happy about:)

I'm currently working on two different projects. First is 'Tis the Season Sewing Bag' by Blackbird Designs...
Love the colors on this and that it will become a bag when I'm done!! Have I ever mentioned just how much I love bags?!?!? HA!! 

And I've been working on Spring Snapperland by Bent Creek...


I really love this one too. I have charts for the whole set and only have the Autumn one done. Can't wait until they are all done. 

Honestly, spring stitching is not what I'm in the mood for right now. Autumn stitching is just calling my name!! But I really don't need to start a new project, and really, really don't need another project for myself. I do have the 'Autumn' Wordplay from With Thy Needle and Thread that I need to get started for my mother-in-law. *Picture of Summer and Spring*  But that is going to take a bit of time SO... I planned an exchange project on a Facebook pg I'm on so that I can indulge in another Autumn project, and not feel guilty for starting something else.:) Hehehe!! I haven't done an exchange for a while, so I'm pretty excited about it. Not sure yet what I'm going to stitch but maybe something from the Autumn Splendor charts by Brenda Gervias (With Thy Needle and Thread), I haven't decided which one yet.

Tomorrow is the monthly 'Friday Night Sew In' with Wendy at Sugarlane Designs. I need to decide what I'm going to sew on. My sister-in-law wants a market bag like I made HERE, and I need to sew up the Summer Wordplay for my mother-in-law, so those are probably the projects I will focus on. I should have pictures up of my progress by Saturday:) 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Craft On - 1,2...3??

Linking with Nicole from Frontier Dreams

I didn't get around to posting last week. Daughter got her wisdom teeth out on Monday (all 5 of them!!!), and then I had a 4-H event on Tuesday afternoon into late evening. Most of the rest of the week was nice and quiet and I have gotten quite a bit of knitting done!!!

First off, here is where I am on the second sock...
Yes, I said SECOND, although it arguably could be called the third sock. RECAP: I originally made a sock using THIS pattern, but thought it too short on the leg, so I left it as is and made another sock, but made it longer. (And if I'm being totally honest here, I got about half way on that one twice before finally finishing it). And now I'm working on the match for what will be my first knitted pair of socks!!!
My daughter tried on the very first sock I made - the shorter one- and decided it was the perfect length to wear with her skates. 'Perfect!!!', you would say, 'just go and get one more ball of yarn and then you'd have another pair!!'  Well that would be perfect except for two things. My local Hobby Lobby no longer sells that colorway. That's not too big of a deal though, maybe they have it in the next town over, or I could probably order it if needed. The clincher? She hates pink!?!? So I took a picture of the yarn available at Hobby Lobby and this is what she chose...
Yes, of all the pretty colors she wanted black and white. Well, it does go with her white skates anyway. Now I am ready to start a new pair as soon as I finish the last sock, and truth-be-told, I probably would have already cast on except I only have one set of size 2 dpns. :)
I've also been working on my Cloud Wrap. This really is going to be the lightest/softest wrap ever. I'm loving working with this baby alpaca lace yarn!! It's going to be slow going from here on out as I'm just about to the widest part of it. It is going to be a bit smaller than the design as I'm using size 4 needles instead of size 5. I wanted the lace to be a bit tighter than it would have been. Super excited to see this one finished!!!

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have a finished pair of socks by next week to show off!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Puttering Around

Most of the time when I post to my blog it has to do with knitting, stitching or sewing. But I do other things as well. Today I'm going to show a few things I've been up to this summer:)
One of the things my daughter entered into the county fair was this Country Apple Fritter Bread. It filled the whole house with apple/cinnamon-y goodness. Since I'm (mostly) gluten free, we don't usually bake in this house. I know there are ways around it, however most often the results just aren't what I had in mind, and I'm not a baker, so we just usually skip the baking. But this smelled SOOO good, I just had to give it a try the day after. All I did different was to substitute Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gf flour for the flour it called for and it turned out really good. It was a bit too moist, so if you try it as a gf recipe, maybe add a bit more flour or a little less milk. Another reason we avoid baking in this house??? It was gone the same day I baked it. I had to force myself not to finish it off before anyone else got home!! :)
In the past I volunteered as a community leader with 4-H (meaning I was the adult leader for our club for 4 years). Last year I handed that off to a couple families in our club, but I am still one of the adult leaders for the 4-H Jr. Leaders group. This is a group of 12 year olds and up that help with several of the county events. Every year they put on a dance at the fair. All ages of kids can come and dance the evening away, they provide a DJ and snacks. The Jr. Leaders do most of the dancing, but the little kids have lots of fun too. I get to be one of the chaperones, and it is so fun watching the kids dance and be silly:) Above is my daughter dancing with one of the little girls. This little girl is also in the MOPs class that my daughter volunteers with so they know each other pretty well:)
From the road looking into our property. The only place where water runs through - though it's all dried up now:)
From the road right in front of our property - my favorite tree:)
I've taken some pictures on my walks. We live in the wide open country with farm ground and a few pastures all around us. Beyond the few trees we have on our property (soon to be more as we are letting a small area grow without cutting them down), it's hard to find much other than wheat/corn/milo/bean fields to look at. Earlier this summer we got quite a bit of nice rain, so it was a least a pretty green. Now it's dried up a bit, but if you look hard you can still find the beauty in it:)
From my walk yesterday - the fields beyond are fallow right now, but there are some pretty wildflowers along the road.

Our little house.
 
Right now there's not much color outside, so I decided to take a couple of tea bottles that we have be drinking like crazy and make use of them. These are fake flowers, but they bring a bit of color into the house:)

It's time for my to run now, I'm meeting my sister-in-law at a small independent bookstore and cafe for some stitching time:) It'll be fun!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Craft On - A New Start

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams and her Crafting On blog hop.

After finishing my Tidal Sands Cowl last week, I went back and forth on whether I should start a new project or pull out an old one. Of course starting a new one won out!!

I went through and found the softest yarn I had and lo and behold, it was already packed away with the pattern I bought it to go with!!
I'm working on Cloud Wrap from Helen at Curious Handmade, knit with Knit Pick's Alpaca Cloud lace weight in colorway 'Anna'. This yarn is so very soft made from 100% baby alpaca. So far the wrap is a triangle of stockinette stitch with garter stitch edging, but I'm getting ready to start adding the star stitch.
I also played around with the sock I was making. If you remember I made one using THIS pattern. On the second sock I decided to make a couple changes. First I wanted the leg part longer, and I also added a few stitches to make it wider. Everything was going well until I got to the heel turn and I couldn't figure out how to make the extra stitches work. After quite a lot of time trying to figure things out, I tried on the first sock I made, decided that I still wanted the leg section longer but I really didn't need it to be bigger around, so I took it all apart and started over, again. I am happy with the change and excited to get this one done so I can make a matching sock and MAYBE actually have my first pair of knitted socks by the time the weather changes!?!? HAHAHA

Now I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to this week:)

Friday, July 28, 2017

County Fair

We survived another county fair. This year we were treated to temps as high as 107!! Thankfully, with our daughter fully driving on her own now, I didn't have to spend much time in that nasty weather, but one or the other of us was up at the fair every day of it this year. I do have to say that we are very spoiled in comparison to many during county fair time. Since we live in the county that hosts our state's fair, we get to use their facilities for our county fair:) The main building we use for everything other than animals is air conditioned and rather large. We host as many activities in there as possible. However, our county fair is mainly just 4-Her's and the general public rarely gets involved. Since our county hosts the state fair, they don't put money into the county fair, that all comes from 4-H and donations. So there are no rides, concerts (unless you count karaoke night!!), fair food vendors or any of the things you may associate with a fair.

That's okay though, it really stays focused on the kids' work throughout the year. This year our daughter took in foods, arts and crafts, photos and did a speech for the first time at the fair. She also helped her friend during the horse show since her friend took 2 horses and needed someone to hold one and to help with tack. That was the 107 degree day and I was VERY happy that I didn't need to be there:)

Our daughter's main focus each year is art and photography. This year she got a purple for...
Spray Paint Art. At our last State Fair she found a guy doing spray paint art and bought a picture from him. His was way more detailed, but she wanted to see what she could do as well. This one was maybe her 6th or 7th try with it. She'll take this one to state fair in the open class art category.
And a black and white photo. She's been wanting to play with black and white for a while now. This photo was a last min idea she had based off an art picture she saw online. I love the 'LOVE' with the laces:) She will take this to state fair in the 4-H division.

She is 18 this year, and most 4-Her's stop once they graduate high school but she won't age out until next year, so she can join for one more year if she likes. I think she's decided that if her friend does, she will too. So we may have one more year of county fair before us, we will see:)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Craft On - It's Finally Finished!!!

Linking with Nicole at Frontier Dreams and her Crafting On blog hop.

It has been a dark and stormy morning folks, and I wished that meant that we were actually getting some of the rain that is surrounding us, or that it was going to cool off some, but no. It only means that it is a really crappy day for taking pictures!! :) So these aren't going to be real great, but I didn't want to wait any longer to post my latest knitty finish...
Tried the first photo in the camper since it has lots of windows.
This is Tidal Sands Cowl by Anne Hanson. I knit it in Knit Picks's Stroll Tweed (65% Merino, 25% Nylon, 10% Donegal Tweed) in the Oyster Heather colorway. This yarn was so nice to knit with. It is super soft and I'm really loving the tweed aspect of it:)
Showing off the texture
The only real problem I had with this is that my cast on edge is a lot looser than my bind off edge. No one will notice that when I'm wearing it, but it's something that I want to work on in the future.
I really hate selfies, and I'm not real good at figuring out how to wear scarves and such, but since it was a 'cool' 85 degrees out (and that was at 9:00 am, we are heading for 102 today :-0 !!) I thought I'd try it on.

Now I'm off to scramble through my stash. I was thinking of working on my socks, but now I'm thinking I need to start a new project. We will see what I come up with!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

FNSI - Running Behind

Linking up with at Sunshine Quilting and her Friday Night Sew In party.

And yes, It's Monday now, but I did sew on Friday this time:) I just haven't had a chance to sit down at the computer since then to blog about it. It's county fair week for us, and this year our daughter needed to be at the fairgrounds every day. She didn't even enter that many things, and she doesn't do any animals (except for helping her friend with the horse show), it just worked out that way this year. More about the fair later this week..

As for my sewing, I worked on a market bag (from the book - Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay) that I started last month, but made a mistake on it and didn't get it fixed until now...
The mistake was that those flowers should be facing up. I cut the fabric as directed, but it was printed in such a way that the flowers would have been sideways on the bag once finished. The pattern calls for you to measure a rectangle of fabric, fold it several times and then all you need to cut out is the handles. That means less sewing, but I don't think they meant for you to use a direction-ally printed fabric. So I needed to cut it out a different way, which required sewing along the bottom seam instead of having a fold there, but after that it worked just fine.
The lighting in my kitchen is bad, so the coloring is a bit off, but can you see the heart shaped mess in the pattern directions? Yeah, this one stretched my sewing abilities a bit, but ended up not being so bad. I had one point that I didn't quite understand what they were talking about, but once I figured that out, it was pretty easy.
And I love how it turned out. I didn't quite get the bottom of the bag in the picture, but it has a flat bottom that should work really well for a farmer's market bag!! I'm super excited to use it this weekend:)