It's so crazy to think I have been blogging for 10 years now. TEN whole years! You can read my very first post here.
You have been with me through my ups and downs. With me through some of the losses I have suffered with my dear dogs and the joys of bringing new members into our family.
I have also met the most wonderful people while blogging and many of you have become my dearest friends even though some of us are separated by many miles. I am so thankful every single day for these friendships.
I am going to do a fun giveaway as a way of thanking my readers for taking the time out of their day to see what is going on in my little corner of the world.
The giveaway includes one of my big bunny bucket bags, 2 skeins of Airy in the Water Study Colorway and a bar or Snowflake soap. All you need to do is to leave one comment between now and 6 pm (EST) Monday. I will use a random generator to pick the winner.
This is a quick post as I am elbow deep in dyeing and skeining yarn, but remember last week when I told you I was going to get another quilt right on the frame so I wouldn't forget again how to do it? Well here she is. :)
The fabric line is one of my most favorite lines, "The French General" by Moda. It was my first experience with using pre cut fabrics and I made a few mistakes...those darn pinked edges really threw me off, so this is a practice quilt for me and one that I will either cut into pillows or bind and give it to one of my kids who I know will love it, imperfections and all.
The video is set to the music, La Mer and really takes some concentration. It looks very simple but takes a lot of hand control, so I am happy to have this quilt to practice on. As you can see, I'm a bit sloppy still, but with each crank of the frame, I feel a little more confident. Very enjoyable!
Next week I will share some tools that have really helped me with becoming more accurate in my machine piecing along with a few other little tidbits.
Normally I am not a person who does join alongs. Mostly because I know how easily I get distracted and don't want to set myself up to fail. This month however I have joined 2 "join alongs". The yarn above is going to be used for Kirsten Kapur's 2014 Mystery Shawl. Kirsten is using a set of gradients for her shawl. I was going to give dyeing gradients a try, but I had these 5 colors right in front of me that I thought would look nice together, so I went with these. The pattern so far has been fun and easy and having the clues come in spurts makes me think I will get this done..yay! When I come back from the Squam show this weekend, I think I may give dyeing gradients a try, it seems like a fun challenge. If you are in the Squam area on Saturday, stop by and say hi! The art fair is open to the public.
I also joined this AB challenge. Now this one will be a bit more challenging for me. I have modified the sit ups to crunches on the ball to protect my back, which so far has remained comfortable. I think I may have to find a way to modify the leg raises though so they don't pull on that weak area in my back. I'm sure I will be able to find something on you-tube.
So there you have it...I am officially a "joiner" .
Last year when we found out that my son and his wife were expecting a baby, I embarked on a quilt once we knew that it was a little boy that I would be sewing for.
I started quilting many years ago and back then I did all of my quilts completely by hand. I always thought machine quilting was cheating, but I have since found out that it is so much more challenging getting everything square on a sewing machine as the machine is not quite as forgiving as hand stitching, but I love the challenge. This quilt is the first one I have worked on in almost a year, so it was a whole new learning curve again for me. No, the points are not perfect and my long arm stitching could be a bit better, but it was made with love and is finished. All good things, right?
The backing for the quilt is this scrumptiously soft fabric called Minky. It's not the easiest fabric to work with, but I love how soft it is. If there are going to be problems on a machine stitched quilt, it will be on the back, so to be safe I used a soft gray thread. Surprisingly the thread behaved with the backing, which was a very nice surprise indeed. The quilt stitch I used was a very open stipple stitch, which kept the quilt soft and not too dense.
Wanting to tuck a little something extra to make it special for a special little boy I quilted his name in the bottom corner. I really do enjoy working on the long arm machine because it's so easy to be creative, but I know I need to use it a lot more to get more proficient on it. I made sure to load another quilt right on it while I still have the memory of what to do fresh in my mind.
Little baby Finley had his first haircut last week when he turned 6 months old. His dad wouldn't let it be clipped until the Bruin's hockey season came to an end. He loved his little guy's messy hockey hair...haha! It makes me chuckle as my children never had this much hair until they were at least a year old, let alone need a hair cut.
We had Finley here Sunday and Monday while his parents went to wedding, so I had a chance to snap off some pictures. This one is my favorite....babies are just so dear. We really enjoyed having this little guy stay with us!
There’s a time a for joy A time for tears A time we’ll treasure through the years We’ll remember always Graduation day.
What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been. Lot's of family time with birthdays, college kids coming home and graduation for Courtney.
It was just this time of year 4 years ago when we visited The University of New Hampshire with Courtney to see if it was the school for her. To be completely honest, we were really concerned that it was just too big of a school and that she might get swallowed up in the congestion of students. Coming from a small town with a close knit group of friends, we feared that it might be overwhelming for her ADD brain. (she is her mother's daughter)
Once there she quickly realized that a major in Chemistry was not for her and changed that major to Psychology/Elementary Education and started moving in a forward direction. I was amazed at how well she kept herself on track. Even though a number of her high school friends went to UNH with her making the transition a bit easier, she made new friends, who have become her best friends, while still maintaining her old friendships.
Looking at those graduation gowns and caps, I can't help but cry a little. So much emotion tied up in those caps. Our little girl has grown up and I will miss that happy little girl who always gave me a great big smile every morning as she came down the stairs to start her day, but I am so very happy for the new adventures that await this beautiful young woman! We are so proud of her accomplishments!
Spokes on the heavenly wheel Keep rotation constant. Deng Ming~Dao
It's been a little bit since I have stopped by, so I thought I would catch up you. Last week I had a minor health glitch that kept me down for a few days and quiet. I have also spent a lot of time away from the computer working on projects that have been waiting to be finished, so it's all been good.
Pictured above is the little quilt I have been working on for my youngest grandson, Finley. I started it before he was born and now that I have some free time, I was finally able to get the entire top pieced and put together. Of course it has been such a long time since I have used my longarm machine, I had to watch videos on how to load it up for quilting..sheesh! I had hoped to bring it down to him tomorrow as we are heading out for his big brother Jax's birthday party, but I think it would be wise for me to work on a practice quilt first to get the hang of it again.
I've also been working on a wee sweater for him as well and this should be finished and ready to go tomorrow, so there is that at least, right? I want to make one for my other little grandson, Asher, who just turned one this week, but he is pretty sensitive to wool. I just need to find which one of my wools hopefully will not irritate his skin (or use acrylic?..eek!)
On another note, a blog friend of mine started posting Macro May pictures, so I decided to join along with her in taking one Macro picture every day as well. It's been fun playing with my old macro lens again. I forgot just how close this lens can get when used manually (1:1).
I put this particular picture on here today to remind everyone that dandelions are one of a bees first Spring foods, so if you can leave some of those dandelions around for them, I know they will be thankful and it's important to keep our little Bee sisters around pollinating the foods that we eat every single day.
So with that I am off to finish a little sweater. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Wow, I missed the entire week last week. It was one of those busy weeks filled with yarn club mailings, so when the weekend rolled around I was very happy to just kick back and relax.
Saturday we headed down to visit with Courtney. It's hard to believe in just 3 weeks we will be heading back down for her graduation. Yes...her college graduation...yikes! Courtney is going to take a year or so off from school to figure out what she really wants to do before she goes back for her masters. I think it's a good idea...a chance to see what being an adult really means and learning how to budget money before taking on any more debt.
Courtney and 3 of her girl friends are going to be renting an apartment together and they found one that is pretty nice all on their own. She is pretty proud that they figured this all out on their own without parents (even though parents gave some input as to what is important to look for). So, once we got to UNH we took a ride over to the apartment with Courtney and her boyfriend to get a look. They did good! I am pretty proud of her too! Ken and I then took them out to this cool little pizza place nearby called LaFesta. Great concept for a pizza place. She is pretty excited to be living in a small city. Thankfully Dover has cleaned up somewhat over the years.
Sunday was a cold, raw and rainy day, perfect for knitting and watching some cooking shows. I finished the second sleeve of my Dalriada sweater, so now it's on to the back and making some decisions on how to proceed with this sweater. I am pretty sure I am going to tinker with the sweater a bit to hopefully get a good fit for me.
After lunch, Ken and I hopped in the car and went for a ride and somehow ended up at Keepsake Quilting. Hmm...I wonder how that happened..ha! Ken took a nap in the car while I shopped...he is a patient soul. I came out with some lovely grays that will become bag linings. Now that life has settled down a bit I will have more time to devote to sewing...and a little something heading this way will make it even more enjoyable.
That's my weekend in a nutshell. Not too busy and not too boring....just the way I like a weekend to be. I hope you had a nice one too!
Finally they are finished!! Actually, they have been finished for a month or so now, but it took me a little while to get down to see Courtney and give them to her...and take pictures.
Courtney chose the color for these socks last summer and I was going to crank them right out for her. Yah, that didn't happen....if you remember I happily knit away on the first sock only to have this happen.
That first sock was too big for Courtney's long, but slender foot. Knowing I was going to have to knit the same sock 3 times had me putting the socks down. Blech! I have a hard enough time staying interested with a pattern to do it twice, but 3 times was a challenge. After the holidays however, I put my head down and got them done. Actually the pattern is an easy one to remember and enjoyable to knit, which did make getting them finished so much easier. Whew, just in time for Courtney to put them away for next winter..ha!
Wow....how about the weather this weekend? Absolutely gorgeous and warm on Saturday as we headed down to Massachusetts for a full day of Tai Chi. A few of us went to North Andover for a Tai Chi Intensive. I've shared with you in the past that I am basically a shy person until I get to know people, so going to this put me deep into my discomfort zone, but I learned a lot and enjoyed most of the day. It's good to step outside your comfort zone now and then, right?
Sunday was quite cold and we actually had some snow...say whaat??? It was a perfect day to stay inside, sip some coffee infused with a little Sambuca and knit.
I have a new DK weight yarn we are calling Lotus and I have been swatching for Dalriada for a few weeks now. There have been some gauge issues that I had to overcome in order to keep the best fabric for the yarn, which was important to me. I am so fortunate to have a very talented group of knitting friends who were willing to help me over these few weeks to figure a few things out with the pattern and my gauge. I was so happy when it all came together and I was able to spend the raw and cold afternoon knitting row after row of soothing stockinette. The very best way to spend a Sunday afternoon!