Thursday, April 19, 2018

We Want The Cup!!

 She’s just so damn cute!!! Go Bruins!!!

Large Tote

I was fiddling around with the Bella bag pattern.  The pattern calls for fusible foam which isn’t cheap so instead I used quilt batting and quilted the tops and bottom pieces. Using batting in addition to a base fabric on the top of the pattern was a mistake.  It made rolling the top down to secure the bag very difficult and bunchy.  So then I played around with the it and turned it into a tote bag. Added tabs to attach some store bought black faux leather handles.  So without ever rolling the bag down like the Bella bag, this bag is BIG!!  Oh I almost forgot. I also added 3 magnet snaps to keep the bag closed.  So the next time I make the Bella bag I’ll try just quilting the bottom piece and not the top.  I really like the sheep fabric and if you look close, the purple is in a stockinette stitch pattern :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Autumn Chicken and Vegetables

 Made this tonight in the Instant Pot. It was okay.  It needs something to jazz it up but I’m getting a 9 on the scale of 1 to 10 from my resident food critic :)

Here’s the link:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Yarn Dyeing Class

I signed up to take a yarn dyeing class at one of my favorite yarn shops (Mother of Purl) in Freeport, Maine.  The shop is about 2 1/2 hours from my house but it’s worth the ride.  Most of the yarn shops near me have gone out of business or they just don’t have interesting classes.  The local shops will have open knit where you pay to sit at a table and knit with other people and they have someone there to help you if you need help but I never need help so I don’t see the point of paying to knit.  That money could buy yarn :). Webs is about 2 hours from me and I keep an eye on their class schedule because they have some good classes and really good teachers there too. I attended a Nora Gaughan design lecture there once that was really interesting.  I’ll admit most of that design talk was over my head but it was fascinating to get into the head of a well known designer and I love the look of most of her stuff.  I also took a guernsey class there with Beth Brown Reinsel that was amazing!!  Beth is an fabulous teacher and I came away from that class learning a lot!!

So when I saw the yarn dyeing class I signed up.  I thought winter will be over by then so weather won’t be a problem.  What a fool :). I debated just getting up early and leaving for Maine the day of the class or going the night ahead of time.  Glad I went up the night ahead of time because Saturday night into Sunday morning we had more ice and sleet.  I also managed to pop into Camp Wool in Kennebunk on the way up and popped into Cottonweeds Quilt shop in Freeport Saturday evening before the Bruins game :). Woke up Sunday morning at the hotel and could hear people in the parking lot scraping ice off their windshields.  Thankfully once I got done scraping, I only had to drive less than 1/10 of a mile to the yarn shop. :). By the time the class was over, the roads were good....slicked up once I got back into Massachusetts and we’ve had more snow and ice last night too. I’ve got about 3” of global warming to shovel on the back deck :). All in all the timing of the crap weather was perfect :).

The class was wicked FUN.  I think I may have caught the yarn dyeing bug.  (Sure because you don’t see enough stunning yarn out there dyed by other people :)) The teacher Susan is co owner of the shop. Nice nice lady and she has her own yarn dyeing company Blue Moon.  I think I may even have a skein of her yarn in my stash.

So we learned watercolor effects and speckles.  I had no specific colors in mind really. The other students seemed to have a particular look they were going for.  I was just winging it :). We were going to dye 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn and I vaguely thought I might try for a grello :) Yellow and gray mix.  It didn’t turn out gray and yellow but I was happy with it anyway :). The lady next to me Kristen dyed STUNNING colors. I’ll post a pic of hers and mine. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. We’re following each other now in IG. :).

The class took a lot of the mystery of yarn dyeing away.  It’s not the rocket science I thought it might be. :).  Last night I found myself looking at yarn dyeing I need another textile fiber-y hobby? In two weeks a friend and I are going to Maryland Sheep and Wool and meeting up with some other knitty friends there including ladies that went on the Ireland knitting tour with me.  I may be paying attention to the yarn dyeing booths more than I have before :).

Happy knitting :)

So not Grello :)
Above is Kristn’s.  I love her middle yarn!!
These are mine.  The 3 inches of global warming and sleet and ice make a nice back drop :).   The middle one in the basket pictures is my favorite.  My first two were rather subdued compared to everyone else’s so I slathered more dye into the mix of the teal one :). I can’t wait to knit these up but I have no idea what I’m going to make out of them yet. :).

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Project Bag

Finished another knitting project bag using the Bella pattern.  The pattern calls for fusible foam but that’s a bit pricey so I’m playing with another bag using batting instead and quilting the entire bag.  Pics soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“Arcade” sweater by Isabell Kraemer

This is the fastest sweater I’ve ever knitted.  I started it on March 27th and finished it on April 8th.  I have to admit I caught the crud and pretty much did nothing but knit, cough and blow my nose for a week straight :). The yarn is Brown Sheep Prairie Spun Dk.  I love it and it’s made in America!
The sweater pattern is Arcade by Isabell Kraemer.  It’s a top down seamless sweater.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Stitches United

So my husband and I went to the Stitches United Show this Sunday.  It’s a combination quilt show and knitting show.  It was just okay.  You know something to do while we’re still waiting for winter to be officially over.  Next year it’s going to be in Georgia instead of Connecticut and that’s okay with me.  Attendance appeared to be really low.  We’re talking the extreme opposite end of the spectrum when compared to NY Sheep and Wool.  At NYS&W you couldn’t get into a booth with all the humanity packed in there.  At Stitches United for the most part I was the only one in any given booth.  I’m not sure why attendance is low.  It was like that last year when I went with friends.  It’s a lovely facility.  The vendor selection was okay even if some of the vendors were a little bit pushy and hovered over you the entire time you were in their booth.  I saw one nice display of a cowl necked long pullover sweater.  Asked the vendor where the pattern was for it but it turns out they’d rather sell you nothing if you aren’t willing to spend $230.00 on a sweater kit. So I bought nothing from that booth.  You know how at some of these big events you can’t even find a place to sit down to grab a bite to eat. This event you could sit at a table for 8 all by yourself.  No lines for food or bathrooms or to pay anywhere.  Two “pussy hats” were on display so we just walk right by those booths.  :)

My husband is a retired Marine (30 plus years in the Corps).  He still looks like a Marine.  He probably always will.  He’s your basic alpha male looking guy. Thank God because the skinny jean, man bun delicate looking alternatives in my opinion are not appealing.  After years of being stationed overseas without me, he is quite happy to go anywhere with me.  He actually likes going to these events with me and he’s a really good person for me to ask for second opinions on colors, pattern, etc.   I’ve trained him well :). I lost track of how many times a strange woman would come up to him and say things like “I bet you’re having a really wonderful time.” (Sarcasm) or “Hey aren’t you lost? Shouldn’t you be at the golf show next door?”  These idiot women just assume any man attending a fiber event is completely miserable and ready to slit their own throats in order to escape.  Profile much?  Leap to wrong conclusions often? It’s annoying and he’s too nice to say “Yes I like being with my wife. Why doesn’t your husband want to hang out with you?”  I’m half tempted to say “Yeah he doesn’t let me out of the house alone.  I can’t buy anything without his permission.  He also tells me who I can vote for which is why I didn’t vote for Hillary.” :)  So I’m thinking maybe the next knitting event we go to, I dress him up like Stephen West so these bimbo broads leave him the hell alone :).

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Another Bella Project Bag

Finished the smaller version of the ‘Bella” project bag by Midcoast Cottage Designs.  This one is more sock project size. The larger one I made earlier is sweater size.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Paint Night

Went to one of those Paint Night bars tonight.  I’d been wanting to go to one of them for a while.  Today I got an email from one of the local paint bars that they were running a special so I went to check their schedule. The painting I really liked was on the calendar for tonight :) There was no Bruins game tonight so I figured what the heck, let’s go :). The only advice friends who had done this before gave me was “drink wine” and the painting will turn out great.  We had such a good time (only one glass of wine).  I have little to no artistic ability.  I can refinish and paint a dresser or help paint the dining room but that’s about it.  We were like two monkeys with a paint brush :). Mine is the multi-color llama and the husband’s is the orange one which he named Larry the Llama :)


Friday, March 9, 2018

Andrea Mowry Sheltered Poncho

When a friend and I were at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, I saw this pattern made up in one of the booths.  Fortunately the sample was high on a shelf and I could see it from outside the booth and knew I just had to fight and claw my way into that booth LOL :). The lady let me try it on. Loved it and bought the kit. The yarn is Studio Donegal 2 ply from Ireland.  I found a source for the yarn in the US for additional projects. Loved the yarn. It blocks great and softens by a lot after the first soaking.

I wasn’t sure what size to make.  Oversized projects always do that to me.  I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a tent.  I ended up making the medium.  I did the cowl neck without the hood at first but it was really really wide on me so I ripped it out. After 3 tries, I came up with a turtleneck I really liked.  I reduced the number of stitches by about 1/3 on the initial neck stitch pickup.  I also had the stockinette stitch facing to the wrong side so it would flip out for the turtleneck and be showing on the right side when worn.  Started it sometime in February and even while working on other project managed to finish it in less than a month.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gigantic Socks Finally Done

These are for my husband.  He’s got size 12 feet so I always have to get two balls of yarn for a pair of socks for him.  It feels like they take forever to get from the heel turn to the toe.  This yarn is discontinued but it’s Regia 6 Fadig sport weight.  I love the brown and blue combo.  If I made him socks out of fingering, I’d still be at it.  He’d probably wear them out quick.  He seems to go through them on the sole under his heel.  Finished them up yesterday while we were in the middle of another snow storm.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Project bag and Tote

 Finished up a tote and project bag this weekend.  The tote is made out of Outlander themed fabric.  Originally I was going to make a quilt out of it but I didn’t have enough of the natural fabric that came with the collection so Plan B was to turn the squares into a tote.  I used a McCall’s pattern M5543. The only modification was I made the handles 5” longer.  I longarm quilted the exterior so there is an extra layer of oxnaburg fabric in my bag in addition to batting.

Below is a knitting project bag. I found the pattern at Cottonweeds Quilt shop in Freeport, Maine last week. Liked it because there isn’t a zipper in this one.  I’m terrible at sewing in zippers.  The pattern for this bag is Bella’s Project Bag by Midcoast Cottage Designs.  The bottom is lined with sew in foam.  This is the big version of the bag.  I’m currently working on the smaller version.  Picture soon.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Shepard’s Pie Soup

Did a test run on a recipe I might cook on St. Paddy’s Day for a dinner party.  It turned out really good.  I don’t have one of those pasty gadgets that shoot out dough in a pretty manner so I just used a plastic bag and squished out the potatoes to be baked and then placed on top of the soup.  

Here’s the link to the recipe:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cozy Up With The Stitchin Sisters Shawl

I did the mystery KAL with the Cozy Up With The Stitchin Sisters.  The pattern is called “My Sister’s Shawl”.  I gave it to my friend Danna.  The colors I picked would look great with her coloring. The Joji MKAL I struggled to keep up with. This one the pace was more do-able for people who have other things to do besides knit.

Julie’s Birthday Present

Almost forgot to post this.  I think Julie follows my blog so I didn’t want her to see it before it arrived.  She loves purple :).

Another Leftie Shawl and a matching copy cat version of the C.C. Hat.

Another Highland Shawl

So now I have the points memorized finally :) I’ve made this pattern often enough, it was about time :). It’s taking me a lot less time to do now. Finished this one with 4 extra center repeats in less than 5 days.  Yarn is Northampton from Webs. It’s the left over yarn from the green sweater I made this past summer.  Giving it away to one of my FB friends on Thursday and it goes in the mail on Friday.  Now back to work on the Sheltered Poncho.  Hoping to have that done by the end of next week :)

Getting ready for a St. Paddy’s Day dinner the menu planning steps right now.  Maybe a small corned beef and cabbage to satisfy the traditionalists but I prefer to branch out to other Irish recipes......probably going to include the Fish Pie Recipe the chef at the South Aran House on the Aran Islands gave us on the was incredible.....and I never thought I’d like something named Fish Pie.

PS Found another fitness studio that has barre classes.  I’m hitting the barre scene three times a week now :).

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Another UFO bites the dust :)

Finished this Friday.  It’s based on a Bonnie Hunter “Virginia Bound” pattern but much smaller.  I just got sick of making the blocks and called it quits after I had nine blocks.  Good enough...time to move on. It’s approx. 55” big enough for a table runner on the dining room table.  Still have a bag of homespuns and primitives but I’ll find something else to do with them.

Spent a lovely day at SPA knitting event in Freeport, Maine yesterday with my friend Holly.  It’s a small event but fun.  No classes or just bring your knitting or spinning and hang out in any of the public areas in the hotel.  Spontaneous “classes” may or may not set themselves up and it’s all very laid back.  Afterwards we went to one of my favorite yarn shops “Mother of Purl” in Freeport, Maine. They have expanded and have amazing store samples. Sweaters to just die for.  Our heads are spinning with so many ideas.  Hit a local quilt shop “Cottonweeds” which used to be right next to Mother of Purl but they moved down the road and expanded too! Lovely store. Holly had never been in a quilt shop and she was impressed.   We found a really cool and easy looking project bag zipper :). I’m deficient in zipper sewing skills...always looks like a monkey did it but I can do a parachute hook which this pattern calls for :). Can’t wait to make these soon hopefully.  My friend Holly is vegan so I always let her pick the restaurant.  She always picks unusual and interesting ones. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know what some of the stuff on the menu even is sometimes.  I had a great grilled chicken salad and managed to lose another lb. yesterday despite our stop to the bakery that sells vegan donuts :). So yeah any day where you can buy yarn,  lose weight and eat a donut too is a good day :)

PS The Pure Barre exercise classes are going great.  The studio I go to only offers classes Wed. And Saturday so I found another place to a third class on I guess I can say I’m hitting the “barre” scene :).