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Monday, March 31, 2008

My Heart Is Back Home!

A week ago the mail brought a very nice surprise: Linda returned my heart after doing a really nice job of embellishing it. Thanks so much! The heart was relatively bare when I sent it off and looks quite different now. I especially like the seam with all the French knots, and the way she attached the beads on the lace flower. That motif fits just perfectly where she put it! My plan had been to add some beads when I got it did she know that? I may add a touch of color to the lace pieces but mostly I need to decide how best to finish it. Hmmmmm. Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring, where are you?

For the past several days we've had snow showers which are pretty much unheard of here this late in March. Well, yesterday it snowed seriously for several hours much to the shock of our little spring flowers. All this had melted off though by nightfall, and then "wham" it snowed again. The next time we looked out, just past midnight, the yard was covered and our flowering plum had nearly bit the dust. The poor thing just couldn't stand the load and will need to be staked again. Hopefully it will recover as it was planted in memory of my mom in 1980. Apparently March is having the last laugh and leaving like a lion?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Get Well Bear for Keanon

We just had good news this afternoon. Our friends' little grandbaby, who just had open heart surgery on Tuesday, is doing very well and may get to go home soon, maybe even this evening! I must get this bear in the mail. It was a fun knitting project from a kit using Bernat Fur-out yarn and will come with lots of love in the stitching.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

We're not sure whether this is Flopsy, Mopsy, or Peter, but it is one of two bunnies that have been visiting our yard this week and dining on the new spring grass. So, Happy Easter from one of our resident rabbits! (And us, too.)

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, David was making a snowman with his neighborhood friend. And I know his parents and lots of other folks were thinking, "This is spring?"

Sophia's not excited about crawling in the snow, but she is on the move inside....and checking out her stash....of toys!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thinking of You Scarf

I fell in love with this scarf pattern when I saw it on the HeartStrings website; it's called "Thinking of You" and was really fun to knit. According to the pattern, the hearts represent "the bonds of loving friendship and the wavy eyelet ribbing symbolizes the twists and turns of life." The yarn is Princess by Classic Elite. I know I'll make this pattern again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SAL Update

Despite the fact that I've been doing lots of knitting lately, I have made some progress on the Valentine SAL. I just love the way Pam Kellogg incorporates blackwork into her designs. They are definitely challenging to stitch!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What Shadow?

This little guy was kind of late for Groundhog's Day, but greeted us outside our motel as we walked along the Spokane River the other weekend when we went to Spokane. He (she?) had lots of burrows and quickly dove out of sight after Dick took several pictures. If we were in the mountains, we'd say it was a marmot, but along the river, maybe groundhog is correct. They're both supposed to be related according to our animal book!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Scarf and Some Hats

Mary's Scarf
Lately, my stitching projects have been put on hold to do some knitting for gifts. Lots of babies seem to be arriving along with varied birthdays. The scarf is for my sister-in-law and is made from the same Little Flower yarn by Crystal Palace, yet another colorway. The pink and purple hat is #3 from the hat class yarn and the blue variegated is Bunny Hop and has just a touch of angora. It's also by Crystal Palace.
Hat for Baby Miles
I made up the striped pattern on Sophia's hat, and there might even be enough yarn left for a 4th hat, but I need to get busy and work on my project for Jayden who arrived safely about a week ago. Grandma Nancy called us from SLO this past Wednesday, but Dick talked to her and wasn't sure of the exact date.
Sophia's Newest Hat

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's This Tree?

Chocolate is a fruit!
The first time we saw this tree was in the arboretum in Pittsburgh, PA, and this time it was growing happily OUTSIDE at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, which has twenty-five acres of beautiful plants, many of which were blooming.
The Explanation

Friday, March 7, 2008

Can you believe he's already three?

Look at all the snow near Chicago!
It seems like only yesterday that Jill and Michael called to tell us of David's safe arrival, and he has just celebrated his third birthday by visiting their local fire station with his friends! And just last summer, he was joined by Sophia, who at six months thinks he's the best.
Don't I have a cool big brother?
Aren't grandkids just the greatest?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who'd Have Thought?

One Too Many Squares
Here are all the pieces, plus one extra as I discovered, of another toy made of knitted squares. The book Knit a Square & Make a Toy includes directions for 24 different projects that are pretty doable for new knitters. (I've been teaching knitting once a week at the UW hospital to women in the antepartum unit, some of whom have been there for weeks. Just yesterday, for a change, I helped a young lady learn to cross stitch, and she was so happy to have something to help pass the days.)
Loppy Lamb
After a bit of sewing, a little embroidery, and with the help of a couple of bows, I finished Loppy the Lamb, so-named because her ears are a bit lopsided. And once again I learned that I can't count: this time I came up with an extra leg-square. Oh well, she's done, and that should be enough samples at least for a while!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yet Another UFO

Amish Sampler
While rummaging through my many bags of projects, I found two cross stitch UFOs that were really demanding to be completed and have been working on one of them. From Charlene , I got the suggestion to set up a rotation where you work on a section of a project and then switch to another project. This seems to work really well for me, too, and helps keep up my interest and focus. I've been switching between this design, one of Diane Graebner's on 18-count fabric, and the Valentine SAL as well as several knitting projects. And, praise be, some of these things are actually getting completed!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tagged by Debbie

Mount Kilauea
Just the other day, I was tagged by my friend Debbie and asked to tell 6 quirky things about myself. So here goes! And I've included a photo that is probably more interesting than the rest of the stuff: We were on the way to church when Mount St. Helens erupted here in WA in 1980; I was born in Tulsa, OK, but spent my growing up years in Wisconsin; after 9th grade, I canoed with some other girls for several days on the Wisconsin River; I met my husband at a Halloween party 44 years ago; my grandfather directed our church choir in WI; I was privileged to sing with our current church choir at a Mass in the Basilicia San Marcos in Venice; my youngest cousin was born 2 days before I left to teach in Colorado and is 22 years younger than I. OK, that's enough trivia!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My First Heart Swap

Linda's Heart Before
This is Linda's heart that she pieced and partially embellished before she sent it to me. We have both been hesitant to participate in the established swaps at Crazy Quilts for Newbies because we're both beginners, so we created our own swap following the guidelines for the STS swap. Her heart had been languishing in our mail until we returned from vacation, and this week I've been working on it. I'll mail it back tomorrow on the way home from church. Above is the heart as done by Linda.
Linda's Heart After
I had a lot of fun embellishing this heart. Linda had done all the seams, and at first I felt like there wasn't anything for me to do. But after I got started, the ideas kept coming, and here's how it turned out. One thing I learned was that I really like the way the Sassa Lynne Perle Fine gives definition to the stitches that doesn't seem to happen with ordinary embroidery thread. I also like the way variegated thread looks. It was fun to use some of the beads that I bought in Hawaii; it took 3 trips before we "caught" the bead shop actually open! (But it was worth it!) BTW, double clicking on the images shows the most detail.