small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Going Green

Everything surrounding me is so green right now. We have had buckets of rain, and milder temps so all our plants and flowers have really perked up. Even though I had promised myself to not buy any flowering plants this year, focusing on edibles instead, I just could not resist having just a few jewels to spice up my life. So I decided to fill some pots to sit on the front steps. And then that led to putting a few things in the flower bed next to the front walk. And that led to........and so on and so forth!! Oh well, I am addicted to flowers. Always have been, always will be. But I have refrained from doing any new planting beds. I am going to be a good girl and wait for my landscaping plans to be finished. Ok, exception for the dye garden. But that is over in the north 40 and is not included in the landscaping design. So here are a few pics of the brightness that is my front porch right now. Never mind the dirty shoes lying in the back of the photo. They are the down side of all the rain and muck we have been dealing with due to a bit too much rain.

These 2 pictures are out in an existing flower bed. The Oakleaf Hydrangeas were already planted when we moved in. I didn't think I would really like them that much. The snowball type hydrangeas are much more my speed. But once they started blooming I found them to be quite beautiful. The snowball type will be planted at some point but until then these will keep my appetite saited. The lily is one I planted last winter from really really cheap sale bulbs. I have quite a few up but this is the first one to come into bloom.
Now onto knitting. I have been busy. The buttercup sweater is well under way using Hempathy yarn. This yarn is a finer gauge blend of cotton and hemp. While knitting it does tend to split a little. This is due to it being 2 play and the fibers being too smooth to grab between the plys. But really it has been easy to knit with and is supposed to age wonderfully. The pattern has been a joy after that project I did. I am about 1/2 way done and I think it will end up being an awesome summer sweater when I am done. Of course I have not tried it on at all yet. Maybe today. I have to run a peice of yarn thru all the stitches and take it off its needle to do that which is why it has already been tried on a dozen times. But it would be foolish to keep going if something is out of kilter, right?? Anyway, here are a few pics of my green buttercup.

Now onto some rather sad news. I never in a million years thought I would ever have to say this. About this couple. Ever. But here goes. My daughter and son-in-law are in the process of getting a divorce. I think way too many deployments, to much time apart, ect have just finally did them in. I think she saw this coming for quite awhile and was why she was so adamant that she go back to school and get her nursing degree. The fact that she now finallyhas her degree is completely coincedental that all this is happening right now. They just bought a house in New Hampshire and went into that hoping they could make a new start and bring back the love that they used to share. But instead it got worse. Way worse. So she is now going to move back to North Carolina and work in a hospital that she did many of her clinical rotations in. She will be taking the girls. Son in law in no way could care for them with the job assignment he is starting right now. But they vow to stay friendly and get thru this with as little impact on the granddaughters as possible. The only good news out of all this is that we get to have the girls soon and keep them til school starts. We have long wished for them to be the age and the circumstances be right to come spend the summer with us. Just wish it had not been these circumstances. But they should be arriving in a few weeks and so many of my posts will be about them. And that does make me happy. If I can just put the rest out of my mind and temporarily forget that 2 more people are involved and they have their own pain to deal with.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

FiFi Finally Fini!!

So here I am a week late with posting. I just didn't have that much to say. It was all about Fifi and she just would not get dry from her blocking in the damp rainy cool weather we had last week. But finally the sun broke thru the clouds, the temperatures climbed and my wonderful Fifi finally became camera ready. Well, except for a picture of the sweater actually on me. Cause that would mean I would have to stay out of the garden all day, shower and clean up and then get someone to snap a picture. But I promise, this sweater does look quite good on me, if I have to say so myself.

So on to the next project. In fact I have several in the immediate queue. Our local LYS recently had an anniversary sale. So I happily went on in to participate. I fully intended to buy something summery to knit since I feel like I am really going to enjoy wearing Fifi. But I just did not find a pattern ahead of time that I liked very much. Sure didn't want to make Fifi again anytime soon. So I ended up buying a bunch of Cascade 220 to make the Faerie Ring Cardigan. This is a free pattern on Ravelry and there will soon be a knit along starting for her. She is a quite beautiful cabled hooded coat/jacket that I will make great use of this next fall and winter. The color I ended up getting was not that exciting, but by default, cause it was one of the few colors they had 10 skeins of the same dye lot. But then I got home and was cruising Ravelry again and came across a nice summer top pattern that I really liked. And it was free. Alot better than the $6.50 I paid for the Fifi pattern that was so horribly written. So now I am in love with Buttercup. The yarn that is called for is Elizabeth Lavold Hempathy. I have long wanted to try using hemp. It is a great renewable fiber that is supposed to keep getting better with age. It has a long history of being a great useable fiber. But did you know that they can not even grow hemp in the US?? Cause it is the same plant as marijuana, except it does not have the chemicals that make it a hallucinagenic drug. But the silly US of A can not figure out how to have it be the important agricultural crop that it is(it has a trillion great useages) without messing up their ability to track the illegal growing of marijuana. Maybe they should just ease the stupid restrictions on marijuana?? Just a thought, not something I would march on Washington for, LOL!! But anyway, after that regression, back to the story. So I looked on line and found plenty of sources for Hempathy but at almost 8$ a ball I was not so sure I was interested. But luckily I found a vendor on ebay, that I have used and loved before, and she had it for $5.00 a ball. Sure, last years colors, but hey, I am always a step out of fashion anyway!! So hopefully I can start tonight. Hempathy is one of those great yarns that already comes in a useable ball!! Whoppee for me!!

The garden is going well. Once the rains finally slowed down and the soil warmed up. I now have in most of my green beans. 2 full rows of white half runner, 1 row of bush beans, 1 row of Christmas limas and soon to be 1/2 row of purple yard long beans for fun. I also have in 10 tomatos of various sorts. Most I started from seed myself and 2 I bought. My seedlings are a bit small so I chickened out and bought 2 from the nursery to get me some earlier tomatoes. There are 18 peppers. And the same goes for them. They were really small so I bought 6 different plants to give me a jump start on the season. Some folks buy all their transplants at the nursery but my gosh, good plants are now close to $5.00 a pop!! Next year my seedlings will be much better off when time to plant. I will be setting up a light stand and starting those babies way earlier in the year. I also have in 5 summer squashes, 4 winter squashes, 4 cucumbers, 8 different sweet melons, 4 brussel sprout plants and there are still a few things to get in the ground in the next few days. We are starting to harvest lettuce, radishes and herbs out of the herb bed. I keep intending to take a picture of the herb bed now that I got it mulched and it looks so pretty. Maybe next post, OK??

Guess I better get a move on. If I want to be able to knit tonight, I need to get my housework done and the rest of the yard work started. Dinner is leftovers.. And BTW-DH is going to be gone for the next 5 days!! So I am gloriously left to my own devices, wishes and desires. Sleep when I want, eat when I want, go where I want................I have at least one frivolous trip planned involving antiques!! See ya next time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Yeah-like I don't know you all have long since forgotten me. But I have a reason. A good solid reason. Well, at least I think it is. The blame entirely falls on the shoulders of my picture hosting site. I have been using Nikon's for some time now. I found the ease of loading pictures onto the blog was so much easier from there. But for way over a month the site has been giving me fits. So today I sat down and restored my computer to a date long before I remembered having the problem. That did nothing to fix my problem. I messed with some internet preference options. Again nothing. So I guess for now I will go back to using blogger to post pictures. Maybe it has gotten easier since I messed with it last.

The trip to Disney is long since over. It has been long enough to forget the bone gripping fatigue you get keeping up with an 8 & 9 year old on vacation in Florida. Long enough to forget the lack of sleep from constantly changing hotels(even tho some of those beds were to die for)!! Long enough to forget how big a fit a tired 9 year old can throw when she gets very very frustrated. But luckily, not to long ago to remember the joy in seeing their faces after almost a year, the excitement of hitting the beaches for the first time this season, the look of wonder in seeing Disney World and Cinderella's castle for the first time, the exhilaration of riding the big roller coasters with them and last but not least of all, the immense love we feel for these granddaughters of ours.

Now the Disney World experience is one most people should experience at least once in their lives. But for us, it will be once and only once. We were not enchanted overall, nor were the girls. Yes, they had a great time. But it wasn't the Disney experience that really did it for them. Plainly and clearly, they just love thrill rides. We could have easily gone to a good 6 Flags and been done with it. Maybe they were just not the right age. Maybe a little younger would have been the perfect time. They didn't care for the crowds that much but they were amazingly patient if they thought the long lines would lead to a heart stopping, jaw dropping, stomach churning joy ride. They never wanted to spend much time or money looking for souveniers and were pretty reasonable about snacks and meals. In contrast though, they loved all 3 beaches we decided to visit. We spent a day each at St Augustine, Daytona and Amelia Island. All 3 were very different experiences and all most enjoyable. Grandma just wishes the beach combing would have been a little bit better while we were there.

Since returning from Florida I have been quite busy with my gardening, knitting and even my quilting. Outside the weather is slowly warming. But at least every few days we get hit with torrential rains that want to flood out the garden. So I am still holding off on putting my tomato, pepper and squash plants in the ground. Someday soon we will turn the corner and start to dry out just a little. On the knitting needles is a cute little cotton sweater that has given me fits. For reals. The pattern is Fifi, found on Ravelry. It is a cropped length, cap sleeved, cabled little fitted tee that has a bit of sex appeal. Yes, even a granny wants a little bit of that. But the pattern is written so badly. At first I thought it was just me. But I promise, seriously, that this is not me. I took a lot of time to carefully go word by word thru the first half of the sweater. It is knit top down, raglan style and I knit all the way past the arm hole divides and into the lower bodice before I totally ripped it all out and started over. If you knit as the pattern reads your cables will not line up at all like the picture. And making sense of where the short rows should go is nearly impossible. And how the short rows are to be accomplished is not all that well thought out. So I decided to take what I learned from what I had tried to knit, look at the picture to get the cable placement right, readjust the short row idea and now I have a gorgeous little number to show off. I went with the pattern recommendation on the yarn and that is one thing that was right on the money. They used Rowan's Calmer. A bit pricey but hands down the best cotton I have ever worked with. I may never want to try anything else after being spoiled by this great fiber. Anyway, hopefully pictures of a finished object will appear next post. Which I intend to be next week......I want to be back on a regular posting schedule pictures or no pictures.

As far as the quilting goes, I have not so much been sewing, but organizing the studio again. I never really got everything unpacked and put away. I had yet to decide on or find bookcases or something to use as a cutting table. But I think that is finally all underway and I will post more on it as it progresses.

But alas, dinner is on the stove. The yard needs some weedeating now that it has slightly dried out from this morning's deluge. And I still have a repeat and a half to finish up with today's knitting quota. So I leave you now and hope to see you again in a week.....But before I go, just a few funnies....

The Girls Clowning Around

The Cows after the Storm