Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stash Enhancement

Over the past couple of weeks I've been doing some stash enhancement. It's been kind of impulsive really. So easy to do. One minute you're walking through the store. Two minutes later you're in your car with a bag. Let's not talk about the mailman.

Two table runner kits. The pattern is for 12 table runners. One for each month of the year. The kits are for July and November. My LQS had samples made. They were cute. It was their fault I could not resist.
One day I was reading a blog and a blogger was sharing her Jennie Bean Halloween Sampler she was working on. It was gorgeous. Two minutes later I realized I'd sent an email to Lois at Elegant Stitch asking if she had everything in stock. Of course she did. It all happened so fast that I really can't be held responsible for this purchase. Michelle's blog is dangerous!
Of course, the specialty threads came with it along with the fabric.
And the JB Pin Tuffet chart came along too. I'm not sure how that happened. It wasn't on the blog I saw. But Lois had it on her web site. That's it - it's her fault.
Of course, I needed the thread and fabric.
A few weeks ago, my knitting friend Caroline (no blog) sold me a skein of the hard to get Wollmeise. This yarn is highly coveted. German. Hand-dyed. This is my third skein. I enjoy looking at it so much that I can't find a pattern that seems to be worthy. I'll hold Caroline responsible for this purchase. She practically dangled the darn skein under my knitting needles.
Wollmeise is known for fantastic colors. This skein is blue with hints of purple. Needless to say, my photography skills are sorely lacking. It's truly a very saturated, intense & gorgeous color.
Lastly, I acquired 2 skeins of Kashmir from my LYS. 65% cashmere and 35% silk. Incredibly soft. I have no idea what I'm going to knit with this either. It was going to be gloves but gloves don't seem to be quite right. I think maybe I did this one all on my own. My memory is a little hazy though.
As you can see, I've been an equal opportunity stasher. I'm not a big fan of yarn diets, or fabric diets, or frankly any kind of diet. But I need to go on one.

Maybe Monday.

Or the Monday after that!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Off the Needles!

I'm so excited!!! See my empty needles?! Tonight while knitting at my LYS, I finished binding off my Dragon Melody Shawl! I'm very happy that this is finished. It's a big project for me and I'm a slow knitter. Now....I need to figure out how to use my new blocking wires and get this baby blocked! I'm counting this as a finished project because it's off the needles.
Here is a picture of our pup Cody. He's afraid of the red light on my camera so it is rare to get a photo of him.
And I can't have a pic of Cody without one of Kenzie. She loves photos but often she photographs as a black blob due to her coloring. She needs to be brushed!
They're sweet pups (most of the time) and we adore them!

Today was a full day of work. Very busy. Here in the US it's not unusual for the day before Thanksgiving to be a partial day of work. Based on the needs of my line of business at work, we worked a full day. There was, however, a different feeling in the air and at the end of the day, everyone seemed to be pretty happy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Choice Made - I Hope!

My new sewing space - a small bedroom - has a new color. For me, it is different. The rest of my house is warm colors and this is a cool one. I don't wear pastels. Something about the color is very calming though. I hope that I don't change my mind! G would not be happy!
Here is another picture with less light.
Saturday, I was convinced I'd have the carpet torn up and laminate laid. Today I'm not so sure. The carpet in there is in good shape. It may have to be converted back to a bedroom one day. Installation is expensive ($500) and Greg really isn't that handy. We'd have to buy a saw actually. I'm still thinking about it.

Furniture color is next. I think I've decided against a Horne cabinet. I can get so much more elsewhere and I really don't need my machine inset. I do know that I want to accent the room with white, black and silver/gray. A black sewing table seems to be too dark to me. I don't think birch or cherry would look right so I'm leaning towards white though I must admit it's not my favorite. It seems to fit the paint color. What do you think? As you can tell, I truly struggle with decorating decisions!

Progress made on Quakers and Quilts. I'm not done with the first chart but will be soon. I'm still enjoying it. LHN Neighborhood is still in the closet. If you're like my friend Jeannine, there is a pecking order for projects. In the closet is not at the top of the hierarchy! Hopefully soon!
Speaking of Jeannine, check out this post on her blog. In our quest to be the perfect knitter, stitcher, quilter, etc we often lose the point. Her post spoke to me & I hope it does to you too!

Happy Stitches!

Friday, November 20, 2009


I have hard time with color selection. Even with paint. My husband painted our bedroom 3 times. In one year. In all fairness, I told him the first time when he'd had 1/2 a wall painted that I didn't like it. He didn't believe me. Let's just say he listens now! So when I went to the store to find paint for my sewing space, it was not something I was looking forward to. I called him on the way home and told him that I'd picked out 4 samples but was already feeling like they weren't quite right. I asked him to go and pick some samples of colors he thought I might like - that maybe he could pick out something that I would love. As always, he was more than willing to help.

Here is the pile of samples. There is actually one missing. As you can tell, he wants to paint this room once and he isn't taking any chances!
Here is what the room looked like when I came home last Friday night. I wanted something different from the rest of the house. Our bedroom is a golden brown/tan color, the dining room is green, a bathroom is brown and J's room is an indigo blue. Our living room is neutral with a butterscotch accent wall in the living room. I've made a selection and a picture will be coming soon! It's a different choice and was surprisingly unexpected. G keeps asking me if I'm sure I like it.
The other side of the room. The colors aren't true but you get the idea. The room does have a very small walk in closet which will be great for storage.
The room is very small. It goes along with the rest of my house which is only 1600 square feet. C had picked out gray with one red wall when it was his bedroom. I liked it - a lot - but wanted something of my own. I'm not thrilled with the ceiling fan but I do live in Florida and ceiling fans are necessary. So it will stay. As far as flooring goes, carpet is not ideal for a sewing room. I'm battling whether or not to spend the money and get it replaced since the room is empty. It's the holidays though and it's an expensive time of year. On the other hand, if I don't do it now it will be a pain to do it later if we have to move everything. If I do it now, what do I put down? It is a bedroom and I like carpet in bedrooms. So much to think about!
There are many more decisions to be made! Hopefully they will be easier!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Squash House Mail & Quakers and Quilts Start

I've started Quakers and Quilts. Progress is slow but I'm enjoying it! I'm about 1/2 way through the first page of the chart. I'm using the called for fabric and thread. Fun!
Last week, I won a contest that Candace of Squash House Quilts was having. Yesterday my package arrived. Full of goodies! Can you guess what is missing from the photo? Chocolate of course! Everyone knows that chocolate is the most necessary of all food groups, right?!

My photos are not the best so please forgive me. It gets dark too early for this blogger to take pictures after work. I didn't want to wait until the weekend to share.
Candace is so generous. She sent a jelly roll and charm pack of Rouenneries fabric. I love red and I'm going to enjoy this fabric! I'd been looking at it online.
She also sent these adorable little salt and pepper shakers! Perfect!
And a pattern for Christmas!
Candace, thank you so much for your generosity! I love it all!

It's kind of freaking me out that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is just around the corner. I've got to get organized and get busy. Time does seem to fly and another holiday season is upon us. I'm going to try and address Christmas cards (if I can remember to pull them out) and start making lists soon. What does "soon" mean? Probably not soon enough. Does everyone else promise themselves that they'll get it together next year and when next year rolls around they're not any better off? Please tell me I'm not alone! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Few Days of Vacation

Where did the last couple of days of vacation go? Vacation time just seems to breeze by. It wasn't a productive few days at home but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The only thing I did remotely quilting related was to get these 2 projects ready for quilting and pull the binding fabrics. I never even pulled my machine out. It's still packed in the travel bag from my last class.
A couple of weeks ago, I attempted Swirl Quilting from Green Fairy Quilts. She made it looks so easy! I always have trouble with round shapes looking round. Loads of practice needed (and maybe a bit more breathing)! Check out her video though because it really is cute. I'm going to keep at this and hopefully improve!
Saturday was KnitWitz's 5th birthday so I spent most of the day in the shop. The day was so busy that there was literally no more room to sit and knit! It was wonderful to spend the day with knitty friends. Happy Birthday Knitwitz!
I'm making progress on my Dragon Melody Shawl (Ravelry link here)....about 180 rows to go in the bind off. Considering that the bind off is over 1100 rows, I'm close to getting done and I'm ready for it! Stitching is coming along albeit slowly. I've been in a reading mood lately so I've been doing more of that and less of other things. I'm not really giving much in the way of handmade gifts for the holiday this year so there isn't any pressure for me to finish anything. It enables me to really enjoy the process of quilting, knitting, and stitching. I love the finished products but the process itself is very satisfying to me and I'm glad I get to enjoy it without feeling the pressure to just get it done. It's a good thing too because if I was all about the finished products, I'd surely be disappointed! There isn't much getting finished these days!

Happy Stitches!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It Wasn't All Good...

Vacation with my honey was great...but not everything about it was good. There was what is now being called "The Little House Neighborhood Disaster of 2009". I'll not give details - maybe later. The photo below tells it all.
I'm truly not sick about this. I have not, however, started stitching this again. I will. Probably soon. Just not right now. While I'm not sick about this, I'm also not ready to start this over again either right now. Yes, I need to start completely over.

After a couple of days I pulled out Quakers and Quilts. Looked at it. ...for a while. And then picked up the needle. No pictures as yet but hopefully soon.
Aren't these little balls of Valdani cute?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Relaxed and Refreshed!

G & I got back late last night from a few days in the Smoky Mountains. We had a great time...not as much hiking as we would have liked as the weather turned rainy. This is the third November that we've taken this trip. Here's some pics of the cabin we rented:
This is the best part and the main criteria of a place we stay - a fireplace in the bedroom. I get so cold and this really helps. This year was much warmer until the last couple of days when it was raining. Those days were spent reading, knitting, stitching and just hanging out with each other. It was nice to relax and recharge.
This shows why the Smoky Mountains are called the Smoky Mountains.

I just love evergreens!
This park is one of my favorite places to be!
I'm off today and tomorrow as well. C moved out while we were gone - it is time for him to have his own space. He's accomplished what he intended when he moved back 4 years ago. I'm going to use his room as a space of my own. I need to get paint picked out and the room ready for painting. Everything after that will move slowly with the holidays coming. I don't have a space plan for the room but am excited about moving out of the dining room! Ideas about space planning and organization will greatly be appreciated! In the meantime, I'm going to use the next two days to do what I call "piddle". To me that means doing a whole lot of the things I want to do sprinkled in with a little bit of what I have to do or should do. Gotta keep that relaxed and refreshed feeling as long as I can, right?!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sometimes I Actually Finish Something!

Here's my finished project from my weekend class! It's small but it's DONE! I think I'm going to use it for my double pointed knitting needles. It would also be a good makeup case, notions bag, etc. It's very versatile. Make it a bit longer and you could store a curling iron in it. I find classes very rewarding and will continue to take them.
Here is a close up of the button I sewed on in seconds with my machine.
Progress on Little House Neighborhood has been slow. I did decide to stitch the fence in the window color but I'm still figuring out a darker color for the chimney. I really didn't want to show my progress as my linen is so wrinkled. I've not stitched on a frame yet. Pictures I've seen of projects on frames always show a crisp unwrinkled linen. The wrinkles make this look messy. If you stitch, do you use a frame? Do you find them easy to use? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
G & I will be taking a few days away for ourselves. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it. Work has been ramped up busy the past couple of months and we've both been busy. My knitting and stitching are ready to go as are several books (including trail books) and my hiking shoes. It's going to be a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of our daily life! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Bunch of Firsts

Saturday I had a "Quick Start" class at my Bernina dealer. The class is designed to show us some of the feet that come with the Bernina and what they do. Here's the class from my viewpoint. It was a 5.5 hour class and I did a lot of things for the very first time.
I used my walking foot with the guide for the first time.
I put in a zipper for the first time that didn't look like crap. It actually works too. Bonus!!!
I used a decorative stitch on my new machine for the first time.
Top stitching! Easier than it looks!
Buttonholes! This was in practice fabric. Pretty painless and I can get the same size over and over again without stress. My machine will actually sew on buttons too! In seconds!
Ok...buttonholes aren't my favorite. But I'll do them again and I'll use the skills I learned in this class over and over again. The best part of the class is that I actually ended up with a finished project. Yes, I finished something!!! Pictures coming later in the week when I have pics!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Picking Out Stitches

I unsew in quilting, tink back in knitting and now I'm picking out stitches in stitching. Why should I be surprised? :) When I stitched the fence, I realized there just was not enough contrast between the color of the house and the fence. The photo below shows the fence before I picked it out. I'm going to look for something darker or just use the whitish color that was used in windows. I'm really enjoying this project and stitch a bit every day. Like my other fiber interests, I find it very soothing - which is exactly what I need after a hectic day at work.
I saw a piece I fell in love with on a blog. Within 1 minute found an online shop that has the chart, fabric and thread pack that was dyed for the project. Email sent - took about 30 seconds. Plus a pin keep, base and the associated fabric and thread (of course). The retailer emailed me back and they have it all except the base which is on order from market. I thought "this is so easy". This is very unlike me! Someone. Stop. Me.

I need to go check my lottery tickets!