Monday, December 26, 2016

Finishes and more...

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. We hosted a large celebration yesterday and have been doing a lot of relaxing today.


My first finish is a basket liner. Our youngest grandson, age 2,  needed a basket/bin for his music stuff. We couldn't find a bin that looked childish so I made a liner to help this one look like his. 


Have I mentioned that a friend gifted me her stash? Well, she did! I was able to sort through and only keep what I thought I'd use which was quite a bit! So I'll continue working on my  clean-out-this-stash project...  

The  grandsons that live nearby came to make cookies right before Christmas. For the first time, we also made a gingerbread house. I 'glued' the house together the day before and they did the rest.

I thought I'd have to help but the 9-year-old did most of the frosting with the 7-year-old helping some. Everyone including the 2-year-old decorated and sampled the candy.


I have a few knitting finishes. The first is a Cabled Winter Headband. I used Cascade Yarns Cash Vero that I found in my stash. Yes, I have a yarn stash too!

The button is cherry wood.

Next is a hat. When I bought the yarn at Knit Circus in Madison, Wisconsin, the girl said it was enough to make an adult hat with the pattern Barley by Tin Can Knits. I tried making a hat but I didn’t have enough yarn. So I found the recommended pattern and began knitting the adult hat but ran out of yarn. Then I made the child's hat and had just enough. I wonder if my skein was the actual length that it was labelled. In any event, our youngest grandson likes his new hat!

And last is a hat that does fit me. The pattern Chunky Gansey Cap by Bonnie Marie Burns is a fast, easy knit. I used Jagger Spun Mousam Falls yarn and love my Gansey Hat.


One of my Christmas gifts was the Bernina ruler foot and ruler set. I was able to play for a while today.  One of these days, I'll have another finish to share.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pepto Pink

Pepto Pink is done! This is another donation quilt from my  clean-out-this-stash project. The original quilt made from these prints was for our oldest granddaughter. Then there were a couple more quilts that used some of the fabrics. Of course I kept all of the scraps. By adding some pink and green, I have finally used all of these fabrics.

When I started this quilt and grabbed one piece of pink from my stash, I commented something about Pepto Bismo and the quilt was named. I know many girls that would love this quilt with the pink, the hearts and the flowers.

The back is light pink with white dots. I used Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this quilt. The FMQ motif is 3 large loops like flower petals with echoing.

The binding is from my stash - it had all of the right colors.  The batting is Dream Cotton which is my favorite. The quilt is 49.5" by 49.5"

The quilt has been laundered and I love the texture. I just added it to my donation pile which is small but growing...

Friday, December 9, 2016


We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
-Winston S. Churchill

At Thanksgiving time, grandson Griffin asked me why I make quilts to donate. I gave him an answer I thought a 6-year-old  could understand. However, to be honest, I'm really not sure how to explain why I donate. It is just what I do. It feels good. I want to give back. I enjoy giving. I want to help. I want to make a difference. It is my work at this point in my life. I am blessed to be in good health and blessed to have enough time and resources to share.  

“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.”  
-Ben Carson

A couple of weeks ago, the five local children who lost their home in a fire finally got their new quilts. We've been trying to get together for a couple of months. Sorry no pictures because I didn't have parental permission. The older three girls came and picked out quilts for themselves and their younger brother and sister. It was easy to tell when they saw quilts they loved. It was a fun time.

Yesterday we were in Madison, Wisconsin, at American Family Children's Hospital aka University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital. I think this now is an annual Christmas trip for us.

We delivered 15 quilts. As we entered the building carrying our pile of quilts, many people saw the quilts and gave us big smiles. The workers at the desk were so excited. As we were leaving, one of the valet guys came over to shake my hand and say thank you. It was fun. I felt like I was making a difference.

When I was hand quilting my very first quilt, our youngest son sat near me, covered with part of the quilt, and said he could feel the love and the hugs in that quilt. I pray that the recipients of my quilts can feel the love and hugs in their quilts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sweater and Ear Warmer done...

The ear warmer was easy - just a simple knit. I wanted a simple red band. The yarn is Zitron Gobi that was leftover from another project. 

The Horseshoe Cable Headband pattern by Sarah Gettel is free on Ravelry. I didn't have enough yarn to crochet around the edges but it will work fine.

Now Ray's sweater was another story. The knitting was easy - I began it last January and finished knitting in the spring about the time we were leaving on our Northeastern trip. I set it aside - all that was needed was sewing the pieces together, picking up stitches and knitting the crew neck. I decided over a week ago to get it done. 

I reread the directions which were minimal - “Sew sleeve saddles to front and back, adjusting length of back neck saddle strips to fit smoothly into neckline by adding or removing rows as needed.” The saddles on the sleeves were strange and I tried to work them into the back neck - isn't that what the instructions said? They were weird but I persevered. I picked up the neck stitches and finished the sweater.

When Ray tried it on, I hated the fit of the sleeves and the places where the saddles turned to the top of the shoulders were not even. So... I frogged the crew neck and the seams. I had an idea - only because I've been a seamstress for years. This idea did not come from any knitting experience.

I made those funny pieces of the sleeve saddles longer and created a yoke going across the back of the sweater. I used a kitchener stitch to fasten the two together. Then I sewed the seams again - all went together very well. I picked up stitches and knit the crew neck again and finally had a sweater that looked pretty good.

This is the back. The yoke piece is not even an inch wide. Now that right angle that you see on the left matches the one on the front of the sweater.

The pattern is Men's Cabled Pullover by Mona Schmidt. I think I made the sleeves a bit long - I will take care of that. I think if I block this again that all will be well. I can also remove a little of the fullness in the sleeves.

 I used Cascade 220 Superwash yarn which is 100% wool.

As happy as I/we are with the finished sweater, I'm hesitant to recommend this pattern. My experience was frustrating and I think the entire sweater would have been frogged without my seamstress knowledge. The instructions for finishing were rather incomplete. The good part is that I figured it out!

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Scrappy Stars Quilt, Mariner's Daughter Socks are done!

I bought this quilt as a kit a number of years ago. The flannels in the kit caught my eye - I loved the colors. So at a retreat this fall, I finally made the top. Now the quilt is finished! The pattern is Kwik Scrappy Star.

It is not very big - just 37" X 45" but very snuggly. The batting is Dream Cotton and the top and back are both flannel. 

I used Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this donation quilt. I attempted to free motion the Jester Hat motif. I'm almost dyslexic with that design - I'm not sure why. Sometimes it looked okay!

While working on my  clean-out-this-stash project, I decide to make another larger quilt with this pattern. The pattern is pieced like Buggy Barn patterns - not my favorite way of piecing but  I liked the outcome. The other quilt is in the pile of 15 waiting to be pinned and quilted. They quietly wait for me which I greatly appreciate!
I also finished my Mariner's Daughter Socks. I used Ann Budd's Knitting Socks book and am happy with the results. 

The yarn is Lichen and Lace 80/20 sock yarn from New Brunswick. I purchased the yarn at The Mariner's Daughter in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on our trip last spring/summer.

I am blocking a sweater for Ray and a headband/earwarmer fro me. I'll take pictures when they are done. 


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