Sunday, May 1, 2011

1st Quarter Report

This baby squirrel appeared one day in February and the little one zigged when he/she should have zagged. It's mother booked it up an oak tree in our backyard, but this little guy started to run up the screen and realized - OOPS! This isn't the way back to my nest. What do I do??? Since it was just frozen there, no doubt in sheer panic because Eddie was on the inside of the screen, just out of the picture, I went out with a towel and carefully removed the baby. Off it went, back to familiar ground. Too cute though! It took a while for Eddie to calm down that day.
Okay, now that you are sucked in by a cute baby squirrel picture, here are my finishes for the 1st Quarter of 2011. Brown "Boyfriend" hat for my brother in Atlanta. (#1 on 2011 list)

Two Purl Ridge scarves in Traveler (DK weight) by Sanguine Gryphon. The blue/purple one was a Dye Pot Luck skein, and the other one was one of their Winter 2010 colorways. (#6 on 2011 list)
Here is my Kilkenny Cowl in Chickadee by Quince and Co. The Lupine color was gorgeous - not totally a purple, but not really a blue either. A memorable finish to this - I bound off the last few stitches as my friend and her husband were pulling up my driveway after flying in from France. This cowl was her October 2010 birthday gift. Done! A bit challenging of a knit, but well worth it. (#2 on 2011 list)
This is a sideways picture of my Boathouse Scallop Scarf. It was knit in the Plucky Knitter's Primo (MCN 75/20/5) Fingering weight yarn in a colorway called Boathouse (blue/green). My first knit with PK Primo and it was divine. Lots more to be knit with this yarn, for sure! (Also #6 on 2011 list)
Honey Cowl in the Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga! (MCN 70/10/10) in their Gold Bug colorway. This is a great pattern to show off a spectacular hand-dyed yarn, and a very easy, mindless pattern too. Free from Madelinetosh's website. (Just for fun!)
After rug camp in January, I came home and finished hooking this piece - Ulysses, a Notforgotten Farm design, and available from Spruce Ridge Farm. It was my project from the 2010 Off The Ocean (January) Rug Camp and was not a very big piece. I am binding it like a quilt with brown wool and one side is done in the picture. (#7 on 2011 list)
Here is another Just Enough Ruffles scarf (doubled over). It was a gift for my DF who lives in California and doesn't do well with wool. So it is in a Cotton/Acrylic mix with a multi-colored fuzzy yarn in the ruffle. This will be her Spring/Summer scarf, because for Christmas, I made her another scarf in a rusty color with some interesting eyelashy yarn in the ruffle. So that's the Fall/Winter scarf. (Not on 2011 list)
Not much stitching got done in the 1st Quarter, but lots of yarn buying for new projects and STASH!!! Here was a wonderful BOX from The Plucky Knitter.
I'll leave you with a few pictures of Eddie at one of his favorite activities - facing down his backyard buddies!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March On

Happy St. Pat's Day! May the road rise up to greet you. . . and a lot of green yarn too!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year/Old News

I haven't been posting because life has just gotten in the way these past few months. I've been Ms. Frequent Flyer - buzzing across the country and then up and down the East Coast several times. It was good to be home for a few weeks in preparation for Christmas - celebrate Christmas - off for a short New Year's trip - and now home to tend to some business and prepare for rug camp in a WHAAAAAT the next week!!!

First, for the New Year, I've joined some of my fellow stitchers and made a list of projects and WIP's (works in progress) that I would like to finish this year. Since I not only do cross stitch, my list includes knitting and rug hooking projects as well. Check out this link to our new blog to see what everyone is planning to work on in 2011. Not sure whether I'll be doing "11 in 2011" or just attempting to finish 15 WIP's. Maybe a combo. Hopefully, I'll get my list up on the blog soon, but here's is the draft list in no particular order or priority:
- knit brown 'boyfriend' hat - gift
- finish Quince &amp: Co. Kilkenny Cowl - gift
- finish blocks for Civil War Tribute Quilt and get top together
- Saturday Sampler blocks - assemble top, get quilted, and bind it
- finish Quince & Co. Osprey cardigan in Pomegranite
- knit another Purl Ridge Scarf in Sanguine Gryphon yarn or Plucky Knitter yarn (from stash)
- finish Ulysses hooked rug
- knit a pair of socks from the toe up
- repro another cross-stitch design
- finish The Primitive Needle's Cape Cod Girls - gift
- finish The Sampler Girl's At Home With Jane Austen - gift
- knit the Moody and Broody Club sweater (Dark and Stormy) in Plucky Knitter yarn
- knit Clockwork scarf in Sanguine Gryphon yarn

Not up to 15 yet, but I've got at least 12 other cross-stitch WIP's in one of my stitching bags, so I can always pull from there as I get a few of the above finished. Also, since I did want to start something on 1/1/11, I stitched part of the border of the 1st Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs. I have one big piece of linen and am planning to stitch all of the designs on it. Of course, this could go on "The List", but certainly not as ONE project, when there are at least 12 separate designs and a few bonus designs. So this was just a "start" for now.

As for some old news - one of my trips took me to New Mexico in October - flying in on the very weekend that the Taos Wool Festival was taking place. Somehow, I convinced my husband that we had to spend a day in Taos before heading for Los Alamos for a week where he was going to attend a training class at the National Labs. It was a typical - gorgeous day and wonderful WOOLY event. Here are a few of my pictures.

Felted hats and mohair locks!


Sheep! (some already shorn)
Yarn! (and mountains)
MY yarn and roving!

We went on to stay in Los Alamos and this is the Post Office there in the middle of town. Just loved it! During the Manhattan Project days, there was only a P.O. Box in Sante Fe for Los Alamos, but as the place grew and the secret got out, they got their own Post Office. I believe their first Post Office was a small wooden structure, then it was replaced. This building is across the street from Starbucks, or should I say that they other way around??? Ha-Ha!  But it was nice to sit outside with a Caramel Macchiotto and a piece of Pumpkin Bread and enjoy the view.

Speaking of views, here is a shot of one of the canyon walls with ruins at Bandelier National Monument - one of my most favorite places in New Mexico. I got to visit twice during the week we stayed at nearby Los Alamos. It can easily be done as a day-trip from Sante Fe, which we have done in the past.

Here is a shot of the canyon floor with the main area of ruins - the site of an ancient multi-storied complex - in the shade, which is now believed to have been used more for storage of food stuffs and animals, rather than for living purposes. So much history is concentrated in this canyon!

Well, the New Year has started and I've already finished the first item on my list - the brown boyfriend hat which is going off to one of my brothers - YEAH! so hopefully all of you will consider an "11 in 2011" and be working on your lists in between LIFE. Here's to keeping busy, but not frantic!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tropical Storm Day

While it was raining the other day, I started this post - pulling pictures. Now, the rain is gone and it's left a bit cooler weather - YEAH!!! So, here are some FO's (finished objects) from the recent past. It's difficult to put anything on the floor to photograph it without a cat checking it out and plopping down on it. So here is Little Eddie, not really so "Little" anymore, on a Mara shawl that was made for DF Judy and was sent off to her at the beginning of September. It's GREEN, so it's good!

Below is a small flag which was the first project of the Bread and Butter Society (a club using Kay Englund reproduction fabric). It was fun to do something small and get it quilted and bound in a few days! I've got the second project cut and partially sewn. Will have to finish it up later this month.

This was the September Sampler Saturday block done in nice purple batiks.

This is yet another Just Enough Ruffles scarf. May have to keep this one for myself!

Here is the Little House Needleworks design that I stitched, framed, and gifted in August to DF JH in honor of her and her sweetheart's 30th wedding anniversary. I adapted the pattern a bit by adding their initials and the 30, and also used yellow instead of the called for red for the berries and heart because JH is a blue/yellow person. DF Mel did a great post about our fabulous birthday celebration and this is pictured among the gifts on the table.

I had some Malabrigo Aquarella (bulky thick/thin) yarn in the Solis colorway sitting around so I decided to do a circular scarf/cowl. This was a very quick knit on size 17 needles, I think. I purposely twisted the stitches on the first row before joining the row to knit in the round. This put a twist in the piece so when it's doubled up to be a cowl it lays nicely. It just so happened that when I went down to my LYS to leave it on the WALL of Malabrigo as a sample, they had a display form set up that had a wonderful necklace made of ladder yarn that matched my knitted piece. So how perfect was that???? for picture taking???? I wrote up the pattern, which is just the twist at the beginning and all worked in seed stitch, and left it at Knit or Knot for any takers. They have a good supply of this yarn and are always looking for ideas on how to use it.

It's OCTOBER already!!! Here's hoping we can get thru it without any more or very little tropical weather activity. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to cooler weather. I want to experience some PRONTO!!! Where is my Star Trek Transporter???

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Kind of Labor Day Picnic! (inside)

Since we decided to stay home for the Labor Day weekend and not travel, my husband and I went for a little day trip to Vero Beach on Friday before the long weekend. We wanted to have lunch at one of our fav restaurants, The Ocean Grill, and also hit the newly opened Fresh Market, a fabulous gourmet-style grocery store. I took a few pictures of the Ocean Grill so you can see why we like it. It's a noteworthly building right on the beach in Vero. I love all the wrought iron work that is on the walls and hanging around (lamps) and the mix of stained glass and pecky cypress walls and ceilings. A red and white striped awning welcomes you to the restaurant, with the beach just beyond. In the first room off to the left is a HUGE Florida Highwayman painting, then on to the next room, with a ginormous domed wrought iron piece hanging over a very large round table.

More stained glass and a wonderful lamp hanging from the ceiling. Another fabulous stained glass piece with tropical fish above windows that separate dining rooms.

And my favorite stained glass oval that is set high above one of the main dining areas. The windows beyond the standing wait staff look out on the beach and the ocean. It's wonderful to be able to snag a window table, but there are lots of great other tables where you can not only see the water and beach, but enjoy the interiors as well.

Here's a close-up of the stained glass oval we enjoyed from our table while feasting on clams steamed in garlic and wine, a ceasar salad topped with sauted bay scallops, and FRENCH fried shrimp (not sure why they designated the shrimp as "french" fried, but the fried oysters on the menu, which they were out of, as just fried??? Whatever they want to call them, the fried shrimp were pretty close to a few of my fav shrimp-eatin' places, only you got fewer shrimp, but they were bigger.) Of course we finished the meal with a piece of key lime pie, which we've found to be one of the best key lime pies we've had, soaked graham cracker crumb crust and all.

On to a visit to Fresh Market, a new store for Vero Beach, and the closest Fresh Market to us now. I always hit Fresh Market when I am in Jacksonville. So I loaded up on another bag of their Pumpkin Spice coffee (which I had just found at the Jax FM), a loaf of their 12 Grain Pumpernickle bread, a jar of their Blueberry Jam, and a pound of large-sized freshly caught Florida White Shrimp. It was a nice way to start a long weekend, and we were so glad that we went because we found out that the Ocean Grill was starting a two-week employee vacation and would be closed beginning Labor Day! So we had our OG fix for a while.

Be sure to click on the Ocean Grill link above to see their intro which shows a night-time shuttle launch and turn up your speakers to hear the ocean!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Done, Done, Done!

In between watching the cats take on the wildlife that somehow "wanders" on to the back porch, I've been able to get a few things done, done, done! The hundreds of half-square triangles from last month's Civil War Tribute blocks are still on my sewing table, but they have been piled high so as not to get in the way of this month's blocks and sewing. Here are this month's blocks and they are, done, done, done, and done! Four 12-1/2 inch blocks with 65 pieces in each. Bad picture, but I love the pink and chocolate (brown) fabrics used in these and that's probably why they got finished. They also got finished because I am not working on last month's blocks!!! AND am avoiding doing some stitching on a piece that must be completed soon!!! Doesn't everybody do that???

Here is the Saturday Sampler block that I whipped up the day after getting the new fabric packet several weeks ago and the first reason to pile up the evil CWT half-square triangles. The batiks for these SS blocks have been pretty and fun to work with. Besides only having to do ONE of these blocks a month, there are way less than 65 pieces in each block! Thank goodness.

 Otherwise, I've been knitting a lot. I have been taken in by Ravelry (an online community for knitters, those who crochet, and fiber enthusiasts) and probably spend more time looking around on there then actually knitting. BAAAAAd - - - BAAAAAAd!!! But I did find this scarf that I am addicted to: Just Enough Ruffles. Of course I've knit it in my fav yarn Malabrigo Worsted at least 3 times. It's shown here in the Plena colorway. Another JER scarf is down at my LYS hanging on their WALL of Malabrigo to seduce other knitters to this yarn. I've also knit a few more scarves using this pattern in other yarns which will be given away as gifts. So no photos of those right now, sorry.
This is my Travelling Woman shawl, also a pattern found on Ravelry. I used the Malabrigo Sock yarn in Tiziano Red. I thought the lace pattern was pretty easy and the first half of it is very mindless. I still need to block it out.
 Another super quick project that I finished last week is the Cullin Cowl in Quince and Co.'s Puffin yarn, Peacock colorway. Puffin is their single ply bulky yarn that I used with #15 needles. I've got a small stash of each of the four yarns that Quince and Co. has put out so far and they are all pretty soft and nice to knit with. Even though I really love a lot of the hand-dyed and variegated colored yarns that are out there, QandCo.'s solid colorways are very nice and very enticing!
Lastly, I completed my Knit Along sweater two weeks before the deadline of July 31st. Thrilled about that! Thanks to some coaxing from several friends, I got through the 3/4 length sleeves, found a few buttons I liked, and got a picture sent in. Unfortunately, I didn't win the drawing for the basket of Classic Elite yarn that was the incentive to finish up. But now I'll have something to keep the cool air off me when I need to - if the blasting heat ever goes away - maybe in 3 or so months.
When loading these pictures up for this entry, I came across a bunch that were related to a trip I took to Tallahassee a few months ago. I'll try to get those up soon. Okay, now I guess I better get to that stitching project I've been avoiding and MUST get done! LOL!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bermuda Triangles???

Help! I've been remiss in posting because I've been lost in the sea of these hundreds of half-square triangles. I was getting behind with my Civil War Tribute blocks, so in June I decided I better make my way up to the Jam Patch and spend a few hours cutting out the blocks for that month. Most of the time, the cutting process is THE work. Fortunately, I was successful in getting almost everything cut that was needed for the 8 blocks. Then home to start sewing. . . and sewing. . . and sewing. . . Weeks later, with my head barely above sea level, 256 half-square triangles are complete - some ironed open, some not yet. Then they all have to be trimmed to 1-13/16ths! Think it's going to be another few weeks for these blocks to get done because these are the BIG half-sqaure triangles in the blocks. There are another 14 hst's in each block that are in the center area. 14 x 8 = 112  I guess I better suit up with a life preserver next time I hit my sewing room for a session. HaHa!
But in the meantime, I did get my Sampler Saturday block done. These blocks are pretty easy and only take an hour or less to do. So at least SOMETHING has been accomplished!