Thursday, July 20, 2017

Missing and Inaction

I have been missing in action for the last 3 months.  Missing, yes, with almost no action during all that time.  I did a one week medication mistake that threw me for a loop (really dumb mistake on my part) but then for the next 2 1/2 months I just sat, doing nothing, and being quite comfortable that way.  I even stopped going to the studio or going out to eat.  Slowly I started to regain strength and do a little.  I surprised DH one day when I suggested we go out to eat: he was so excited.  So I am still kind of weak but seem to be getting back to doing some things.


The first thing I worked on was this scarf.  I had started it months ago with the leftover yarn from the sweater I have knitted but still not sewn together (it is 95 outside so I don't need a heavy sweater yet).  Anyway, I started with small needles but then decided I liked the bulky better so knit with size 10.  Then I decided to take out the beginning part done on size 7 needles.  Did you know that it is really hard to rip out backwards?  Well, it really is.  I had to pull the yard through each stitch which took a really long time.  I finally got it all out and then reknit the first part to match the rest.  I toyed with the idea of this being a cowl but bound the ends off anyway.



Then yesterday I decided to sew a fabric bowl.  11 years ago I bound the cloths cord with fabric but kind of fell out of interest in sewing this thing together.  When I moved back to AL I brought the cord with me and hid it under the sewing table.  I could still kind of see it but just ignored it.  So I crawled under the table and pulled this covered cord out and began stitching.  Of course I made a mistake right off the bat.


I set my stitching up so that the "bowl" was building up inside the machine's throat.  You probably can't tell but I did round up the edges and decided that this was going to be a "plate".  I have started another one, going in the right direction, but ran out of time so I will get back to you with my progress.


This morning I  replanted my grandma's Christmas cactus.  My grandma died when I was 12 years old.  She was a hand quilter who frequently quilted other people's quilts to earn an income.  I was told that this cactus is a cutting from her's.  When I got it it only had 3 ribs but look at it now.  It has been a house plant so I figure it will have to have some adjustment time out on the deck. 


It has joined my other  plants and is enjoying the warm soft breeze.  When I decided to take this picture I included the little pot it is has been living in.  I imagine she is experiencing culture shock.

I don't do a lot every day.  I seem to wear out after only a short time and frequently it takes a day or two to recuperate.  But it really is nice to be at least a little productive again.  Please come back and check on me. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Leftover Yarn

What do you do with leftover yarn?  I have some from other projects, not enough for any project I am looking at but still filling my stash bins.  So, when I finished knitting the pieces for my sweater (still not sewn together) I decided I needed a hat to go with it.

But I still had yarn left over.  So this is the beginning of a scarf.  I am making up the pattern but it is pretty much mindless knitting. That will give me time to figure out what I want to start next.  I know I want to knit a pair of socks (bright orange) but I need to go through a couple of books and web sites to find something challenging as my second project.

We have been dog sitting our daughter's 6 month old doxie puppy: she has been here for 10 days.  I am exhausted.  Our three doxies were not thrilled with her but she finally won them over and got two of them to play with her.  Anyway, our daughter just got back from her vacation and both she and her puppy, Dallas, were very happy to see each other.  They have now gone home and all is quiet in our little home.  But I have to say it was fun playing with a puppy again. 

Happy knitting, Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blocks To Put Together

 It sometimes seems that I am only knitting. But in-between knitting times, I sew.  I have these four blocks completed and at least two more to cut up and resew.  I do have to confess that I have not really planned how this quilt will layout but I do like the blocks and am looking forward to whatever I decide to do with them.

Additionally I have these 5 machine embroidery blocks with 5 more still on the machine, waiting to be sewn.  I think I may be putting the two sets of blocks together as a baby quilt.

Of course before I can put this top together I will need to finish quilting the baby quilt that is currently on the quilting frame.  I hope to finish it this week: what a joy that will be.

During the time I was really sick a lot of my quilting supplies were piled up in front of my design wall.  I am trying to figure out what is in that really big pile and where I can put that stuff so I an use my design wall.  I will need it when I get all these blocks done and ready to go.

So, now I have a plan, I think, and I just need to figure out how to make it work.  Wish me luck.... Gari

Linking to Patchwork Times



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Almost Finish and Start

 I have finished all the parts for my sweater.  Because this sweater is so long I am pretty sure it will take some time before it is completed.  However it is a pretty heavy sweater so I won't need it until next winter which is a long ways away.

 This is a shot of the sleeve pinned on the armhole: it is not sewn together so it may look funny but you get the idea of how it will look once I stitch it together.  And you can see the back piece up there, too.  My plan was to clear off the dining table last Tuesday, when hubby was off teaching, and begin the stitching process.  I, however, fell into procrastinating mode, and found other things to do.  Maybe I will get to it this Tuesday.  And then again, as I said, winter is a long way away.

I did start a new project, one that will take me, again, until next winter.  This is the start of a Tunisian Crochet/Knit baby afghan.  I was going to start a pair of socks and got some yarn out but since I always knit two at a time I have to also get the stuff out to rewind the yarn into two equal balls: what a pain.  And it hasn't happened yet.

I guess that is my hint to me to get off the computer and get busy.  Oh, speaking of the computer, Microsoft did a secret update to my computer and messed it up royally.  I tried to go back but it refused to undo the update.  So I did something else which wiped out all my programs.  I still had my files but not the programs to see them.  So I contacted the Microsoft help desk and she was able to at least restore my Word.  Now I just need to hunt up all the disks for the other programs I use all the time.  Not a happy time but at least it is keeping me occupied.  HA! HA!

Have a wonderful weekend,  Gari   

Linking with Patchwork Times 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Start of Design Wall

Saturday I started some machine embroidery for the first time in several months.  I had found that I was having trouble using the hoops that came with my machine so I ordered the Snap Hoops, magnetic hoops that fit my Babylock machine.  According to the advertisement these hoops are supposed to be easier than the ones that come with the machine.  However, I looked them up on the Designs in Machine Embroidery web page and the cover says they are 4X stronger than the original magnetic hoops.  Do you know what 4X stronger means?  It means that it is almost impossible to pull them apart.  And no instructions came with the hoops and no videos to show how to work with them.  I did see a video on the magazine's web page but she is demoing the original 1X strength hoops, which would be no sweat to use.  But the 4X stronger takes everything I've got to pull the two parts apart.  I have searched YouTube for videos of the 4X hoops but so far have not found one that does a real demo of how to place and unplace the two parts with ease.  I guess I will just have to work at figuring out how to make this work.

I also started a pieced block to go with the embroidery but I stitched one of the rows upside down and had to unstitch so I didn't take a picture of that.  I am stitching and embroidering all at the same time (I sit between the two machines) and it gets a little confusing.  The problem is that even with the mistake, I am having so much fun.

Meanwhile I have finished all the parts for my sweater.  This is a shot of the sleeve pinned on the armhole: it is not sewn together so it may look funny but you get the idea of how it will look once I stitch it together.  And you can see the back piece up there, too.  My plan is to clear off the dining table Tuesday, when hubby is off teaching, and begin the stitching process. 

Because this sweater is so long I am pretty sure it will take some time before it is completed.  However it is a pretty heavy sweater so I won't need it until next winter which is a long ways away.

I have been so focused on this sweater that I haven't been doing any other knitting.  I got some yarn out yesterday but since I always knit two at a time I have to also get the stuff out to rewind the yarn into two equal balls: what a pain. 

And, for some couple relief, hubby and I went to see Beauty and the Beast yesterday.  What a beautiful movie.  We saw it in 3D and we did have to laugh when something got thrown or shot at us and we both jumped.

So, now I am off to the studio to cut some fabric for two more embroidered blocks, rescue the botched block and cut up another for re-sewing into the shape I want.  Then, if I still have the strength, I will wind yarn and start a new pair of socks.  And maybe an organizing fairy will come in and straighten up the cutting table, ironing board, and one of the sewing machine tables.  That would be such a help.  😏 

I hope everyone has a great week:   Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mini Quilt-Mug Rug


I want so badly to get back into quilting but every time I start to cut fabric I quickly tire and return to knitting.  Well, I saw this on Quilting Digest (SuzysSitcom.com) and knew I could make that in no time and feel that I was at least quilting something.  There it was shown as a pot holder but because of it's size, I saw a mug rug.

I keep my batik scraps separate from my other fabric scraps so I got to dive into the batiks and play.  Of course I had to iron the wrong window piece onto the wrong fabric and then HUNT for a replacement, but it wouldn't be a Gari project without at least one wrong ironing attempt.  But then, after that it was smooth sailing and I quickly completed my new mug rug and have a finish for March.  I may just have to specialize in mug rugs to have finishes from now on.  😄

And I am very happy to share my newest acquisition, a conduction "hot plate."  I have covered my stove with a large cutting board surface and needed something to cook on.  I have wanted to try this type of cooking and now was a great time.  It is really fun to learn to have specific temperatures rather than "low-med-high" with no real idea of what they really mean.  Anyway, yesterday we had company for brunch (oldest son and daughter-in-law) and I made scrambled eggs.  I remembered Bobby Flay, one of my favorite chefs, saying to cook them on a low heat (which I always have) but now I had to decide what actual temp was considered low.  I must have guessed right as the eggs turned out great. I only have two pans that work on this (and a whole oven full of what won't) so I guess I will be looking for some new pans as well as the knives I need.  Being a new cook is getting expensive.

And now we are off to a Museum Exhibition of Quilts.  I am excited to see if this will ramp up my energy for quilting.  I sure hope so, I've got a lot of fabric to use up.  Gari



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Progress & Spring

My blue sweater is coming along nicely.  Pictured are the two fronts.  I also have the sleeves done, I think.  I still have the last row to do but I want to check the length before I bind them off.  I am working on the back but after all of these stitches, it seems like it is taking forever.  Every other row is k1, p1, k1, p1, and my hand gets really tired.  I only have about 8" of the back completed so it's a good thing winter is a long way off.


I took this picture last week.  I thought it was funny that there were a couple of fully finished leaves on the bare branches.  I decided that the tree put these out kind of like scouts to test to see if it was going to be warm enough to leaf out.  It must have worked because now all of those branches have little leaves and are spewing pollen all over the place.  I am not allergic to the pollen but many of the people around here are and are really suffering.



And then there is this Christmas cactus.  It seems to be really confused.  But I congratulated it on the beautiful flower, which I am willing to enjoy any time of the year.

Last week we celebrated DH's birthday.  I had given him a Lone Ranger Lionel train set for Christmas so for his birthday I took him to a "train store" and let him pick what he would like as an addition to his set-up.  Then later in the week our daughter took us for a post-birthday dinner and then back to the train store to get a little more.  After he gets these parts set in place I will try to get a picture of his new toys.

DH is on Spring Break this week.  It will be nice to have him home every day.  We will be doing some furniture moving and then rewarding ourselves by going to see Beauty and the Beast.  I'm sure we will come up with other things to do but knitting and sewing will still be in my daily plans.

Linking to Patchwork Times