Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Irish Hiking Scarf

I made this scarf in March. It is a free pattern from www.helloyarn.com - very nice and easy pattern to make, don't be intimidated by the cables. These are my 1st cables ever and they weren't as hard as I was thinking they would be!
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I got my yarn from Knit Picks - 5 skeins of Terra Cotton Shine Worsted (60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal). The skeins are small (50 grams/75 yards each), but I only paid $2.49 each. If you haven't tried this yarn - oh, it is soooo soft!!! Maybe not super warm, but just perfect for a fall or spring day. I want to make this scarf again in another color - but first I have a few other knitting projects (yarn on hand to use) to knit.

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There are 2 things yet to be done on this scarf... just to "fix" minor issues - thanks to my SIL (an excellent knitter) for her solutions! 1st - the yarn ends don't like to stay woven in and keep popping out. My SIL recommended that I take regular sewing thread the same color as the yarn, tie the ends together and "weave/sew" more. The 2nd thing is that I don't like how the ends are ripple-ing. My SIL recommended crocheting a little border at the top and bottom to stabilize them. Nothing major - just little things that I notice - not that these little things have kept me from wearing my new scarf!

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Since I finished this scarf I haven't started a new knitting project and I am a bit at odds about that. I am a fairly slow knitter and many days my fingers hurt too much to knit, but I do find it relaxing as long as I just do a few rows here and there. And I do love to wear this scarf. Did I mention how soft it is yet??? I have a skein of cashmere and 2 skeins of sock yarn, plus yarn for a little jacket - just got to settle down and start something. Then again - I always could just pull out the sweater that I started YEARS ago and finish the last few rows needed for the sleeves. Oh but wait - that would mean that I would need to get the tape measure, measure a sweater that I like the sleeve length on, compare that measurement to what I have knit so far, figure out a little bit of math... sigh - so there sits my sweater, almost finished. Well, maybe, just maybe I will find the tape measure tonight, but right now I am off to go pick dandelions with my son!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finished Again!

* Purple Strings Again 62" X 87 1/2"
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Anyone remember this one - I finished it in November. Then I decided to "re-arrange" things a bit (oh, just change the direction of the strips, among other things - easy peasy right?) and got to work with my seam ripper. I'll tell you right now - I hardly ever ever rip. Honestly. See this quilt? I made it in March of 2006 and as soon as I sewed that 4th block down on the right - I KNEW the piece was wrong. Did I rip? Just 1 little seam. Nope, I did not. So why I ever thought I was going to rip out rows and rows on a scrappy string quilt (which doesn't even really have a "pattern" anyway!) is just beyond me. But that was the plan - back in November.
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I started to rip and then ripped some more. And then shoved it into the closet... until today, cooped up inside due to rain I started poking around in that closet. I spread everything back out on the floor and took a look. And then decided it would be so much easier just to put it back together again the way I had it instead of trying to re-orient the quilt. You know what? Sometimes it is easier to start over than to try to fix. Which is why I hardly ever rip in the first place - I usually will just let my mistake be and keep right on going. And as an afterthought - this quilt really doesn't need to be "fixed". It won't fit my queen bed, like I had originally wanted, but it fits a twin just fine... and you all know that is a good size for a couch snuggle quilt too, right?
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So, Purple Strings is finished. Again. And I even have a BIG enough piece of fabric for the backing. Here is a close up of my little anchor block, the funny frogs on the outside edge - see you CAN successfully use lime green in a purple quilt! and if you look closely - the very top fabric is from a sun dress I made my Mom in maybe... 1985? Scrap bins are amazing things, yes? Oh the memories!
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I plan on binding the top and bottom with lime green and the outside edges with dark purple.
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And, yup - I think I did use up almost all my purple/pink/blue scraps! That leaves yellow/brown/green/reds in the scrap bin. Hmmm.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bathroom sinks

When you have a little person in tow- you have the opportunity to see lots and lots of public bathrooms in your travels. As far as being clean - I don't think you can beat an Irving gas station - especially those Blue Canoe ones. Besides the fact that there is almost always fresh coffee on! I do limit my coffee on a road trip - opting for water instead - but you know, sometimes a fresh cup of coffee just hits the spot. Irving excels at having clean restrooms and the truck stops even have extra facilities for truckers which I am sure they appreciate.
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This is a photo from a Wal-Mart bathroom. These are the new sinks that seem to be going in at many public restrooms and they are very nice for 2 reasons... 1st off - by expanding the size of the sink basin and eliminating the huge countertop - Little Boy manages to keep his sleeves/jacket front reasonable dry while washing his hands. Many times I have to change his fleece jacket when we get back to the car after a trip in to a bathroom. Not that it is really the sink users fault that there is water everywhere - most bathrooms have those super high powered air dryers now without a paper towel in sight - so how is one to wipe up the water that spashes onto the counter in the first place? LB is pretty sensitive to the noise - those super high powered ones, yikes! so we don't even use them - I usually have paper towels in my bag and if I don't - we pat down our hair with our wet hands.

The 2nd great thing about this sink - it has a little black sensor - wave your hands in front of it and out comes the water. Turns off automatically. A great water saver, I am sure, but also very nice that you don't have to touch a faucet that may not be so clean after washing your hands.
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As usual - I had to pick Little Boy up so he could reach the soap dispenser, which you can see is up above his head in the photo. It would be nice if they started installing these things a tad bit lower. But at least the sink is nice!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Perfect Day














What makes a perfect day? The other day was a day much like any other day (day-off at least) of my life. Nothing exciting. Nothing unusual. But it just seemed to flow, you know?

I enjoy my morning coffee and a bagel with garden cream cheese. Mmm. Quickly browse the internet. Morning cuddle with my son. Make the bed. Vacume (something that always makes my son pick-up his toys!). Mop. Clean the bathroom. (I like the smell of a clean house!) I putter around my office, getting a few things done that need doing while my son plays with his trains. Laundry tossed in. Lovely noon meal - DH is a good cook! Dishes done. Switch laundry over. Play outdoors. While it is still cold, the sun is out and my husband and I sit in the sun, drink tea and just enjoy watching our son play (ok, so actually we are re-charging our batteries after racing around the yard giving our son wheelbarrow rides!). We go and take some photos - I am teaching my son how to use the "big" camera. I sew a bit (while Little Boy creates a new Lego creation). Fold and put away the laundry. We eat again. Do the dishes. We watch some TV together (Scooby Doo). Bath time. Bed time. A beautiful child sleeping. Quiet couple time. A good sleep.

Nothing special, but everything so special. I took this photo. My perfect day.

Sunday Stash Report


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Field of Flowers progress - 70 1/2" X 79" and ready for borders! It looks wider than long in the photo, but that is just the angle - once I have borders on I will be able to get a "hanging" photo but I don't want those ba-zillion outside seams to pop just for the sake of a photo.

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Scrappy Bargello - a free pattern at http://www.quiltville.com/. Very easy. Great stash buster. I used lots and lots of odd ball fat quarters (brights and whacky prints!) plus a fair amount of older fabrics from my stash, especially a big assortment of medium valued fabrics that I always pass over when looking for contrast. It was a hard quilt for me to finish though - I did not expect it to take so long to sew together! Sew, sew, sew! But I kept at it - pinning and sewing slowly but surely. And finally - I was so close to being done, how could I not finish the 6th stratta? I think I might have enough black for a narrow inner border and will probably have to buy fabric for the outer border... I will have to take a look. I am leaning toward simple borders since the inside is so busy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crochet a rug!

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One of my sisters bought TONS of selvage from some fabric mill. And look what she makes out of it - rugs! With a jumbo crochet hook. They are so super soft and cushy. I just HAD to take some photos to share!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scrappy bargello progress


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Only 1 stratta left to go! My BIG field of colorful flowers quilt for Little Boy. Each time I put it down on the floor - I lay it out differently - so there really is no "plan".
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Flowers are for picking!
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Little Boy picks flowers for me. I'm a lucky Momma!




Quilt pattern from http://www.quiltville.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flying Truck & Tractors


As usual, I found the driving part of the trip long (the Canada/Cape Cod route), but we did see some interesting things along the way! The flying truck & tractors is on Route 9 in Maine - near the Calais end (Route 9 can seem endless, but is beautiful with lots of hills, rocks, mountain views, old farmhouses, etc.). The farmers are burning the fields and you can see the smoke in the tractor photo. A good portion of the fields are already done but we saw some good fires as we drove by.
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So - now onward to the unpacking and getting re-organized after being gone for the past few weeks! More photos and news to come.