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Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

As you may have gathered from my lack of posts, it's been busy here at Santa Central.  Our grand kids and family from Chicago are arriving tomorrow for the holidays, so don't look for any more posts for a while  either!  (In addition, our good computer croaked, leaving us with this one and no ability to add new photos. That complication should be solved soon, we hope.)

By request of our younger daughter, I took a little time out to make a preemie hat and booties for her friends' tiny baby girl who arrived on Nov. 2, weighing only 1 pound 6 ounces. Since then she's more than doubled her weight and appears to be doing quite well although she has a long way to go before she can come home.   This itty bitty angel, whose name is Audrey, needs lots of prayers!

That's it for the photos for now.  Lots of finishes to share, but I need to get to the grocery store.  Have a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2014!

Friday, December 6, 2013

More Stitching and Knitting

Brrr!  It's unusually chilly here in this part of the Pacific Northwest, and it's dark early.  Today the sun set at 4:18 PM! However, the dark and cold makes for good stitching and knitting time.

Have you ever tried the linen stitch? It's different and not too difficult. The free pattern is Quick Slip Cowl and is made with Berroco Brio which is bulky and has a bit of sparkle.

Four of the five alpaca hats are done. Yea!  I will even have enough leftover yarn to make a scarf, I think.  Speaking of leftovers, I've made another cup holder.  That really is a quick project!

My biggest project this week, however, was this recycle task dreamed up by DD#1. She sent the jeans and pattern~~~ It's for a certain someone who loves Tinker Bell.  A quilting friend suggested making a vest from the legs.  We'll see as there are some other projects in the works first.  Boy, these days are flying by! (If you want to see what others are knitting, check out Patchwork Times.)

Oh, and last night we learned that our two group quilts each won third place ribbons, "the dogs" in traditional piecing and "the farm"  in the juvenile division! How fun is that?

My friend Becca of Patina Moon took the photos. Thanks, Becca!  Well, it's time to get back to the needles. (This will be a very busy choir weekend with a rehearsal tomorrow morning and two services  on Sunday.  If you care to tune in, it will be streamed live at 9 and 11 AM PST.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Countdown to Christmas Begins.......

Yikes, it's December third already!  But that is what comes after December second, isn't it? You'd think one of these years I'd get smart and start the holiday projects earlier.  Oh well, there's always the late December, early January birthdays.....   We had a nice, but quiet, Thanksgiving and enjoyed 4 days of "leisure". Sunday night  we topped off the holiday by seeing the 5th Avenue's presentation of Oliver. It was great!  A quilting friend's grandson was among the 48 kids in the cast.  Now I have to find out whether he performed that evening. (He did!)

Last night I actually picked up my embroidery and finished the fence on this block-to-be!  There are quite a few stitching projects waiting in the wings, including one which I have to redo because I messed up on cutting it for a block. Sigh.  I need to be more careful!

If you're looking for a fun and quick project, a cup holder might just fit the bill.  It's a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn also. (My pattern is over 40 stitches and from the Loopy Ewe, but you could use any stitch pattern, I think.) Now, it's time to head off to the UW hospital for an afternoon of knitting with the Antepartum ladies.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Off the Needles (Previously Happy Thanksgiving)

It's been busy around here so far this week.  We had choir last night instead of our usual Thursday practice and also spent the afternoon volunteering at the UW hospital.  The day before we made an unanticipated trip over to Magnolia to help with these two. No wonder time flies, eh?

And I was worried this hat would be too big!  Max's hat looks cute, too, only he didn't hold still long enough for a photo.  Opa managed to slow him down for a little while though. That's his Mariner's hat in case you wondered.

I did manage to finish two more hats from the alpaca stash provided by DD#2.  The color on this one is interesting.

The braid at the bottom of this hat caught my attention when I found this pattern called Watkin. It was a fun knit although I had to modify the pattern to work with this thinner yarn. (If you want to see what others are knitting, check out Patchwork Times.)

OK, so much for my brief respite.  It's back to work.  Hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful day.  It's a good thing to think about your blessings, isn't it?  And a good week to all of you.  Can you even believe it's almost December?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hats Galore!

Last weekend at this time we were on our way to Oregon and a bit of a respite from all the recent busyness.  Time in the car means time to knit, and knit I did.  I finished two Christmas hats plus one more.

There was so much yarn left from the striped hat that I decided to see what would happen if I used both the yarns at once.  I also knit that one from the bottom up instead of the top down. The original pattern is by Cabin Fever (Baby Stocking Cap #115) and includes tips for "jogless" stripes that seemed to work just fine.

The third hat was made with one of the 6 skeins of alpaca yarn that Jill brought me from the alpaca exhibit back at home in Illinois. The yarn was labeled "bulky" but I ended up using a size 8 needle instead of the recommended 10.  I'm still trying to find a hat pattern I like, so stay tuned. If you want to see what others are knitting, check out Patchwork Times.)

What did we do besides knit, you say?  Well, we spent one night in Portland and woke up to this lovely rainbow.  We shopped at 3 yarn shops and 2 quilt stores.  And we went to Cannon Beach where, despite the rain and wind, had a nice time relaxing.

We had a fabulous view of Haystack Rock from our 3rd floor window. This seagull had high hopes of being invited in or at least fed, but we were hard-hearted and just took his picture.

It was so windy that we only ventured down to the beach once at low tide. Can you see all the starfish and barnacles?  Normally they are way under water.

When we got back home, this Christmas cactus was blooming and reminding me that the holidays are fast approaching.  Lots to do, that's for sure!  What happened to October and November?  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Family Fun!

This past weekend was a special one because all three of our adult children were in Seattle, and that is a rare occurrence.  Jill was here from Chicago and spent the majority of her time getting acquainted with Stella and Max.

Mommy Jill left these three behind, but it looks like they had fun anyhow with the big-leaf maple leaves we sent from Seattle. Can you believe those dry leaves survived the mailing?

As always, Max and I had to catch up on our reading. He loves books, any and all!

He was also quite pleased with his new mittens until he realized it's hard to build anything while wearing them.

In the midst of it all, I managed to finish this hat. Check off one Christmas project! Yay!

And now the challenge is,  as this weekend approaches, to find something to do that will top the past one! Any ideas?
PS ~Check out Patchwork Times to see what others are knitting, and if you like quilts, see my last post.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lots of Quilt Show Photos!

Block Party Quilters had their annual show this past weekend, and I have a few photos from my morning there. As you can see there were lots of quilts to see.

 I seem to gravitate to the quilts that include some embroidery, however, I didn't find a single Crazy Quilt. This is one of Lynette Anderson's designs which I love.

 Besides embroidery and cute buttons, the squirrel, bunny, owl, and fox were appliqued, in wool, I think.

Aren't the flowers fun?

This interesting quilt was mostly Bible verses.

All that printing must have taken a lot of time and patience to embroider!

I really liked the alphabet on this part.

Our quilt group had two quilts displayed that we all worked on. (My block is the the dog with the pink collar.) We plan to donate this quilt to the Humane Society auction. The pattern is called
"Gone to the Dogs," but I don't remember the designer.

This quilt was my idea from a pack of blocks I purchased in Minnesota.  We all had fun choosing the fabrics.

My block was this one. This quilt will be given to someone at the local Ronald MacDonald house.

Linda from our group had several quilts on display. This lovely one was made for her friend using the friend's mother's antique hankies.  If you double click on it, you might be able to see her pretty embroidery.  Each basket is different, too.

Linda is very good at applique and piecing also as you can see on this quilt! Isn't it cute?

  I hope one of her quilts won an award!

 Isn't this an amazing example of applique?  I don't know who did this one.  Next time I'll follow Deborah's idea and also photograph the information.

The 3-dimensional flowers were so pretty!

I love anything red and white!

Never before had I seen Dresden Plates combined with something else like these stars.

This small quilt has interesting colors and some fun embroidery.

A great fall quilt, don't you think?
So, there you have it, lots of photos from a fun show. The one thing I forgot to photograph was the most unique item at the show, and it didn't have anything to do with quilts at all! A very friendly gentleman was demonstrating his restored antique sock knitting machine; I had no idea there was such a thing, but it must work pretty well because he had lots of pairs of socks for sale. Check the link, so you can see that it looked rather  like a meat grinder!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Ramblings ~~~

I just got home from a morning at the Block Party Quilters' annual show.  Becca and I went together, and we ran into a few others from my quilt group.  Pictures to follow soon. Meanwhile, here's what was on my needles a few days ago.  Since then that pair of mitts is done,  and a second pair in a different color is on its way.  The pattern, a fun and interesting one,
is Point Reyes from the Classic Elite newsletter a while ago.  The mate of the little mitten is one of what's on my needles right now. Check out Patchwork Times to see what others are knitting today.

These Christmas stockings were finished and turned in. Our group along with some others makes the needed 88 stockings each year that are filled and hung on  the door of each family's room at the local Ronald MacDonald House.

Not long ago on a foggy morning, I looked out our second story window and thought my eyes were tricking me. A very crafty and determined spider had spent who knows how long spinning its web way up high. It was only just barely attached to the string from a plant on the patio below that ran up to the second floor.  Don't you wish you could weave like that?

For those of you who've been holding their breath, wondering what Daniel and Sophia wore on Halloween. Here's the answer: (Rumor has it they wore different outfits for their school parties but no photos to prove it!)

Back when we were in Illinois a few weeks ago, Dick and I made our teaching debut in David's classroom.  I read part of a story about the Wright brothers

and Dick talked to the kids about how airplanes fly.  Everyone then had a lot of fun trying to fly their paper airplanes out in the hallway.  One plane went 34 feet!

Ginger could care less about all this.  Ah, the life of a cat!