Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, God Jul, Joyeux Noel

Aside from some small gifts, I've never done much Christmas quilting.  This year I did--even if it's just a good sized wall hanging [for our front door].

If I were to do it over, I would have just appliqued the script--except for the Gloria in Excelsis Deo--It was stitched four or five times with Fil-Tec Glide thread, and I like how it turned out.  But the other phrases would probably have been better if they were appliqued.

I combined some very traditional feather borders with more modern fills.  All the work was done on my vintage treadled Necchi.

I hope all who read this are enjoying a happy, blessed Christmas season.

Happy quiltmaking....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Knitting Socks...and Wearing Them Out

I knit my first pair of socks five or six years ago.
Today this pair wore out. They were probably the third pair I made--and my only all violet pair.  I'll have to check my stash for more violet yarn.

I think this was one of two pair I made with Tofutsies yarn.  I do have more skeins of Tofutsies, but, clearly, I'm going to have to reinforce the toes next time.  Wondering what other knitters use to reinforce toes [and heels?].

If I hadn't just placed an order with Knit Picks,  I'd be sorely tempted to order even more  yarn.

I don't know if it's worth the effort to try to re-knit these toes with left over yarn.

Undoubtedly, part of the reason these wore out so quickly was because when I first began knitting socks, I knew nothing about negative ease.

Ah, well.

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting...and merry making....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Is A-Comin'

Sweet College Girl gasped when she walked into our home.

 I've been looking for an acceptable "skinny tree" for years.  I found this one on sale at Target.  Then I spent hours last weekend rearranging furniture and decorating it.
(The angel on top of the tree is not tipsy--bad camera angle.)

I also made some adjustments to our fireplace mantel.  I purchased the Welcome sign months (years) ago, planning to place it above the clock, only to discover there was not enough room.  Last weekend it occurred to me that I could just mount it on the front of the mantel. I love these pitchers so much that I just couldn't bring myself to replace them with Christmasy stuff, so the urns with winter branches will have to do--along with a teeny-tiny band of clay angels from Central America.

One of the things I love about putting up a Christmas tree is the collection of memories that accompany the ornaments.
 The fish came from China on my first visit there.  The ornament on the right was purchased in Gallup when I first lived there about 25 years ago.  And the snowman, finished in 1977, was my first attempt at counted cross-stitch, actually begun about five years earlier.  I remember asking myself at the time why I ever thought counted cross stitch would be fun.  Of course, the lesson was that one should not learn to do it by stitching a white snowman on 22-count hardinger.  By the time the ornament was finished, I'd stitched many, many other projects!

 These cloisonne ornaments are part of a set of three--I wish had had many more.

 And this sweet little bird nest has adorned trees for close to 30 years.  It was a gift from Mrs. Chandler when I lived in Cleveland, Tennessee.

 This little snow guy was just too heavy to hang on the tree, so he's standing nearby.  He looks like he's ready to give someone a hug! (The extra ornament hangers and light bulbs are in the porcelain box.)

Cozy corner for knitting and reading.  I may hide the cords with another basket or something.

Despite how laden the tree is, I actually couldn't find the box of ornaments we used last time, so these were picked out of several boxes.  I used to put up several trees--when I had a much bigger house.  This may be the only one we put up this year.

Reminder:  This is the time of year to buy remote switches that can be used year round.  I purchased two, but one won't connect properly, so I'm hoping they'll still have some when I try to exchange it.

I hope  your holiday preparations and activities are going well.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, etc.,

Friday, December 6, 2013

On the Needles--and Shocking Weather

My cobalt blue scarf went from this ...

to this....
It became clear that it was just too wide--and it looked like I might run out of yarn, so I ripped it out, cast on half as many stitches, and started over.

I've also done some test swatches from some knitting worsted that, hopefully, will become my own legwarmers.  Haven't decided on a pattern yet.  (I added just a few stitches to the sweater that will not be done by Christmas.)

The news here, as in much of the rest of the country, has been the weather.  (I do realize I sound like an old farmer.)

Last week I picked up this new shovel.  Pricey, perhaps, but oh, my, does it ever take the work out of shovelling.

I also had to pick up new boots--so these must be in honor of my dad and grandpa too.  Great tread, warmer than the ones they wore, and, best of all, there's no manure in sight!
 The clerk who sold me the shovel warned me that snow can get very heavy and that it's a big shovel.  I assured him that I can choose how much snow to put it in at once.  Yesterday I shoveled my driveway and that of a couple of neighbor ladies--several times.  There is no way I could have done that without an ergonomic shovel--and I love the double handles.

I watched the temperature plummet last night--it was 0.9 F when I went to bed; it was -9 when I went out to shovel and warm the car this morning.  I went a little over ten miles, called work, and came back home.  Later today I learned that the overnight low was -17%.  I don't much like it when our little town sets records--or, in this case, has the lowest a.m. temperature in the state.  The trade-off was that the trees were gorgeous--and it appears it was all hoar frost rather than ice--but I didn't take any pictures.--Too preoccupied with not freezing and with staying safe.  How long 'til spring?

I'm going to try to link to Judy L's On the Needles linky for this week.

Happy quiltmaking,...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Knitting Off the Needles

This girl...

 came home for Thanksgiving.  Today after church we visited a friend in the hospital, enjoyed soup in bread bowls for lunch--and she enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa, but passed on the specially made marshmallows, before we headed back to her college.

I managed to finish knitting her legwarmers before she went back.

 She agreed to model them for photos.  I just combined a variety of patterns so I wouldn't get too bored.
She's happy with the colors she chose.  I just hope she actually wears them so her legs stay warm!

This is her bookshelf.  Her notebooks have to be placed in the order of her classes.  She amazes me.

She has two weeks before she gets to come home.  I have to say she's changed a lot since leaving for college.

Happy quiltmaking,...
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