knitting


Dave headed home after the 4th of July and we met up with friends Kristin and Sarah the next week, we really enjoy their company and their great kids.

Thursday we met up with Sarah and kids and did a Dye Along at a ranch outside of Bend. The host, Pam, used to have a shop in Sisters called Baarbaara’s Wild and Wooly, now she has a shop in her ranch with many many tempting things! I bought some yarn from wool sheared from her own and her neighbor’s sheeps!

We had great fun dying our sock yarn! I used chemical dyes, but the girls were able to do their own sock yarn (to be knitted by mommy later) using Koolaid dyes! Thanks Pam for hosting a wonderful morning!!

We went to the Picnic in the Park the Friday before the Sister’s Quilt Show, Alex Anderson was the host and buddy Ricky Tims was there as well. We saw many gorgeous quilts while sitting out in the park with our knitting projects! The kids had a ball playing in the playground with Sarah and Kristin’s kids too, might have fit a little visit in to the Stitching Post as well!

Click to see more photos from Sisters Show...

The  Sister’s Quilt Show was the next day, and of course that day was amazing with many gorgeous quilts!

I haven’t visited some of my favorite shops here in Bend yet, BJ’s and Sew Many Quilts, just pacing myself!! Could it be I have too much already, just don’t need much more? NAAAAAH…

I have finished the first Monkey sock and am working down the leg of the second one, making progress…Here is a photo of the current one in progress, the other finished one is hiding somewhere!

But I am also learning a lot doing my newest project. Selbuvotter gloves, Annemor 18, they are progressing nicely, thanks to good advice and lots of questions to my friend Sarah…

I have also started piecing together my drunkard’s path quilt, but showing you a row of 10 blocks doesn’t sound too exciting to me, so I’ll skip the photo!!

I have probably been doing too much in the heat and the sun and my MS is getting angry with me, so I have to learn to slow down in this heat. It is all a learning curve to me but I am still enjoying the activities and the girls are having fun, river floating trips, swimming pools, festivals, parks…it all makes for a memorable summer! Hope yours is going well!

I have continued working on lots of projects since February, so this might get a bit picture heavy, as usual! I also had a lovely 2 nights away to Rome for my 40th birthday celebration (where I knit a sock at all the big sights to give my gimpy foot a rest and for fun!) and got some lovely gifts I’d love to show as well…

Here is a project I am so glad finally have finished, it is years in the making, my felted knitting bag! Here is the size prefelting:
Bag and Pocket pre-felting
Pattern: Constant Companion

Here is the finished product:
My Felted Bag

I have also been working a lot on some hand piecing projects: my usual, Dear Jane blocks, to finish up the blocks for a lap quilt;
Dear Jane Swap and the last few to do...

a drunkard’s path, made from fabrics and template that Barbara gave me as a lovely present when mom was diagnosed with breast cancer; it is really starting to look nice now! This is from a beautiful quilt we both admired on Supergoof.
Drunkard's Path quilt...coming together nicely so far

and another block that Barbara gave me of an 8 pointed star pattern using Japanese taupes, on it’s own the block isn’t exciting, till you realize the lovely star pattern made when you put four blocks together!
Hand Pieced Star block
8 pointed Star Blocks

I have some of these all in my handbag along with my sewing tin so I can pull something out when I have a few minutes and stitch away. I also keep my sock knitting in the bag…it is amazing what this smallish bag can hold!
Handbag o' crafting!

I have started a pair of the very familiar by now Broadripple socks I have made several times for Katy. I used Cascade Fixation yarn, which is cotton and elastic as she is allergic to wool, poor girl! I am making this pair for myself, as I love the colors and I had to buy some spare yarn when making Katy’s and had enough leftover for a pair for me. Here is the first sock…
Broadripple sock for me and second one just started!

Dave and I had a great trip to Rome for my 40th birthday celebration. It was amazing, we walked everywhere, and had great food as well! Like I said before I took along the sock and the hand piecing in my handbag. Wasn’t as easy to hand piece around Rome, but the sock was dead handy to take out when we were resting in the sun!

Here is the progress at the Colosseum…
Sock at the Colosseum!
A little later in the afternoon at the Spanish Steps… (yes I am strange…I can’t help myself!)
Sock at the Spanish Steps
Heading towards evening at the Trevi Fountain…
Knitting by the Trevi Fountain

A sock tour of Rome…

And here is a collage of a few photos around the city…
Rome 2010

My birthday celebrations lasted for weeks and included a little party with my patchwork group, who instead of giving me a voucher for more fabric (I might have a little more than I need, just a little…they mentioned something about “bringing coal to Newcastle?”) they gave me this beautiful fabric art done by local artist Lynn Kenny.
Lynn Kenney - Washing Line

Katy gave me this lovely tree themed quilt, knowing my admiration of the tree as a graphic and as a symbol…she did it for an exhibit a few years back, but gifted it on to me, isn’t it gorgeous?
Gorgeous Tree Quilt from Katy for my 40th

I also got some gorgeous perfumes and some jewelry from friends and a beautiful Nicholas Mosse pottery bowl…I was very much spoiled this year!

In mid-February, I finally rejoined Weight Watchers, and as of last week I have lost 22 lbs. I still have a lot left to lose, but I have made some good progress, and have been doing a lot of swimming that must be helping too…add to that the constant activities of two small girls and lack of energy for big quilting projects, and you have my excuse for not keep up very well with this blog. I will try to be better, but hope you don’t delete me out of your blog list even if my posts are sporadic…

I am lucky that my MS has been very much in the background at the moment. Unrelated to the MS, my left foot is finally going to be seen too…the arch has fallen and it has been more and more painful to walk on it the last few years. I tried to lump it in with the MS, but the neurologist insists that this is a totally separate bit of bad luck, having to do with mechanical damage…wear and tear and bad genetics causing the arch to fall, blah! I will be having an operation to remove the damaged tendon in my left foot, replacing it with another tendon in my foot, ewwww! I’ll be on crutches for six weeks.

So next week I will be bringing down some of my sewing room, as Dave and I are moving into the downstairs guest room to save me hopping up and down the stairs all the time (his idea, how thoughtful, kinda makes up for a few of those golf widow moments…maybe 2 of em…) My right foot won’t be in a cast, I can still press the pedal on the machine, lol! I will also prepare a bunch of hand piecing work to keep me out of mischief!

Until next time!

Boy I have really let my blog slip on my priority list! It is coming up on 2 months since I posted last. Again, I have been steadily working on a few little projects, hence finally getting up off my heiney and updating!

We have had a lot of extra time off of school, lots of sub zero weather and ice and one nice day of snow. Here is a collage of our snow day, the girls had a blast!
Collages

I finally finished the pair of broadripple socks I was working on for Kate‘s November birthday :). Yup, you have seen this pattern before, as they are a pattern made for the cotton yarn that I use and they look nice, so have done Katy three pairs!! (One for her 40th bday, one for an exchange and one for this birthday…hope she hasn’t gotten bored with the design yet…next time a new design I promise, though I might make a twin pair of these socks in this pattern for myself!)
Kate's Socks

I finished the hand quilting on my tree of life quilt and love it. I took it on my week-long visit in DC in early December and finished sewing down the binding on the plane.
Tree of Life Wallhanging

I also finished these two blocks which I am making for a Dear Jane themed quilt for President Obama with this Yahoo group. Took me ages to finally sit down and do them, but as of this week they are flying over to the coordinator of the group quilt in Tennessee.
My blocks for the Obama quilt

My lovely friend Barbara sent me a quilt kit she made up for me of a drunkards path quilt, perfect for hand piecing. Again, I brought these for hand work on my DC trip in December and worked on them on the plane, in airports, on trains, and the odd quiet minute on the rest of my trip. I rented a car (a red PT Cruiser is what I ended up with, cute!) and saw different friends for lunch and dinner, I kept moving all the time and had a great time! I was glad though, after all that driving (from Northern VA to North Baltimore) that we had a break coming up from school and we could have lots of lazy mornings!!

Drunkards Path Blocks

I saw two quilting friends, one of whom was my best friend in kindergarten who after receiving a very imperfect quilt from me for her daughter a few years back, took quilting classes and is now the Vice President of her Northern VA quilt guild!!!  Bonnie and I did a bit of shopping (including some really nice Donna Sharp handbags!)… I also got a chance to meet up with Toni in Mt. Airy and did a bit of damage in her quilt shop then went out for the yummiest barbeque I had in a long time!! Here is a pic of us at her shop, I am sporting my new patchwork handbag, lol.
Meeting Toni at Patches

Look at my haul!!
My haul!

I have finally put my ocean waves quilt on my big quilting frame and marked the celtic knot design I wanted in the open muslin spaces. I have put in my first thread and hope to start doing at least one thread a day on the quilt.  I am also working on a red wholecloth little quilt as well…
Ocean Waves on the Quilt Frame
Closeup of Celtic Knot pattern...
Christmas Wholecloth

I am slowly working on a knitted celtic knot designed pocket for my felted bag I have been working on for years now it seems…nearly done with that one…woo hoo!
Felted Bag, starting on two color pocket...

As far as resolutions for 2010 for me, I want to eat more healthily, swim more often, and continue knitting and quilting as often as I can. I am thinking of starting a Baltimore Album style quilt…but still a little scared!!

I was going to wait and post this after the weekend when I plan to finish a bunch of little projects for the girls, but this is getting way too long, so will possibly do another post on Sunday, imagine that!! I am not going to promise anymore about posting more often, I am just going to try!  I am very active on Facebook most days if you wanna see what we’re up to round here, click on the link here and sign up or add me as a friend!

Except just a busy life. The  MS has been fairly minor symptoms, and even my worse symptoms I have had since February didn’t compare to what got me diagnosed back in the hospital. I consider myself lucky. I have to learn to pace myself and I do get tired more easily if I push myself, but in the scheme of things I am grateful. I am still swimming but have struggled with my eating and am disappointed in myself because of that, I will be realistic and won’t try to lose weight over the holiday, but just keep maintaining…The new year and my 40th birthday approaching in  March I hope will spur me on to get fit again, it has been years now since I was slim and trim and I miss it!

Why haven’t I posted in the last few months? The busy social lives of my kids, lack of energy when they are in bed… I have gotten quite a few projects moved forward and one very important one conceived and finished and loved since my last post…

My most special project I did was when I learned that my aunt’s partner Ann lost her son in Afghanistan October 3. I felt the need to make a comfort quilt for her in memory of her son Aaron but wanted one I could reasonably finish before she and my aunt arrived for a two week visit in November. I remembered a heart block I had done using 1 inch blocks and translated the 1 inch blocks into 5 inch blocks, asked her favorite colors, and came up with this:

Ann's Memory quilt for Aaron

I did a meander pattern for the quilting and quilted in words that my aunt sent me that described Aaron along with the meandering. I think she liked the surprise of finding the words about her son in the quilt.

Here is a photo of the label I but on the back.
Label for Ann's Memory Quilt

I have also been working on a pair of socks for a certain friend who has already received 2 similar pairs (I am afraid to change the pattern since they fit her well!) This is her second pair of birthday socks, though these ones will be late, I am aiming for Christmas!

More Sock Knitting...

This final project is one I finished piecing years ago it seems now, and pick up from time to time. I am doing freehand baptist fans on it and like the way it is looking. Not too much longer for this one, I hope!
Freehand Baptist Fans Tree of Life Wallhanging

I have finally put up my quilting frame again and have my ocean wave quilt on it. I will show some photos of that one soon, as well as the start of machine quilting on a simple quilt I did for our guest room… I really  hope to get back into a rhythm of posting more often again.

For all my fellow Americans, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I plan on roasting a chicken and making a mini Thanksgiving for the girls and me tomorrow while DH is away on travel for work. A boy in Aine’s class has an American dad and he has generously offered me a can of imported jellied cranberry sauce for the meal since I didn’t get some for this year, woo hoo!!

More soon…or sooner than this time anyway!!

We are going on holiday to Portugal for 10 days but wanted to show you the quilt I did for the wedding we are going to there…I still need to sew the binding on, but the wedding is a week and a bit away so should be fine!
Wedding Quilt...piecing and quilting done...binding and label to go...

I also got this beautiful pinkeep in time for the 4th of July holidays. Thank you so much Barbara for thinking of me.
Gorgeous Pinkeep from Barbara

We had a display at the local Brian Boru festival of all our quilts… My quilt has been going on tour!
Killaloe Brian Boru Festival Art Trail Window - Quilts!

And here is my latest knitting…some Fetching gloves and a Drop Stitch Scarf started with the beautiful Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend yarn that Weronica sent me. Thank you so much again, I love the color and the feel of this yarn!!
Fetching Gloves and Drop Stitch scarf

I’ve got the binding on the quilt, a freehand fan quilting project (my tree quilt wallhanging from last year!) and two knitting project for 10 days, think I won’t have any chance of running out of projects, especially since one is my second try at lace knitting a shawl…that will take ages!!

I had an amazing time on my whirlwind trip to Sweden and London!

On the way over to Sweden I met up with my friend Celine, a fellow quilter. She fed me a very yummy lunch and let me play with her very cute kids! I also went bearing a few gifts, some batiks for Celine, a few little baby vests/onesies for her little girl and a little sheep stuffie for her little boy. Thanks Celine for the lovely afternoon!
Celine and Family and me
Gifties for Baby Charlotte
Barbara and her DH were great hosts. Barbara and I did lots of shopping at craft/quilt
and knitting shops! Look at my loot :)
Lots o Goodies from Sweden
Some great Japanese taupes
I love the wooden spools with the ribbons, I bought them just to look at, lol, but can put the ribbon to use eventually too, with cards or sewing… I found some gorgeous Japanese taupe fabrics and clever zippers by the yard with different cute zipper pulls. Barbara swears by zippers sold this way, you can make them whatever length you need and are much less daunting than the standard zippers to work with. I did that zipper pencil case in the picture in about 10 minutes, so easy! The little plastic bird is part of a set of clothespins I bought for my laundry line! They will make me smile each time I hang out the laundry…
Swedish Yarns for some Fingerless Mitts
gloves
Look at this gorgeous Swedish yarn I bought to make some fingerless gloves from a pattern the shop did…here are my yarns and her is the photo of the gloves…Barbara will help me translate the Swedish instructions, lol!
Goodies from Sweden Part 2
Barbara decided I needed to learn how to do some lace knitting, so I have succumbed, and bought a beautiful skein of Swedish/Estonian yarn to make the Japanese Feather and Fan shawl. You can see the yarn there in the pic above but it is hard to see…I should have taken a photo before I prepped it for knitting. In the pic is also some cute linen/cotton material with deer and Viking runes to remind me of Sweden, more ribbons and other cute stuff I got, including my standard tea towel I always bring home!

Barbara’s husband let me borrow his car and I got to drive around Sweden with Barbara, looking at a beautiful old village called Sigtuna and a lovely bigger town called Uppsala. We also went into Stockholm for the day. Here are a few photos of the sights we saw…
april-2009

After a great week at Barbara’s, I headed for the weekend to stay with Katy. As always, I had a great relaxing time, crafting, computering and watching movies…there may have been a little bacardi sipping of an evening as well… I managed to finish up a lot of my crafting projects I had been working on at Barbara’s. Here are some  photos of the Dear Jane blocks I left for Katy.
Dear Jane Block for Katy - Papa's Star

This is the progress I made on a felted bag I am knitting.
Progress on Constant Companion felted bag

We went to see Wicked on the Saturday night before I headed home again. FANTASTIC!!! I loved the music and the story was great. We had the standby/understudy doing the role and she was amazing, so good! Can only imagine how great the star must be if the understudy is so excellent. Here is Miss Katy posing in front of the theater :).
Wicked!

I started my injections yesterday for the MS, so far no issues, yay! I was sad the day before I started, as I don’t take any medicine at all barely pop pills unless I have a very bad cold/flu and now I will always be on medication, end of an era…but so far things are going fine.

I have gotten great packages in the mail from Paula and from Vicki, and a gorgeous handmade needle book from a friend here in Ireland, but they deserve another post, so hope to do that tomorrow!

If you made it to the end of this post, you have great stamina, and thanks for visiting!

Folk Art Easter quilt top
It is a day late for Easter and it is only a top, but heck, I am working at a slower pace these days, trying to enjoy my crafts and not guilting myself if I don’t finish thing by a self-assigned deadline!  It is very naive/imperfect/primitive and drawn by hand from motifs I have liked from other quilts and folk art… I like it, but how should I quilt it?

Katy's Socks DONE!
And look, Katy‘s socks are finally done!! We did a little swap and she finished 2 cross stitch samplers for me before I got her socks done. Here is a package I got from her that shows the latest cute sampler she sent me, another part of the inspiration for my quilt! She also added some cool cut-outs in pretty papers for me to use in card making, so nice!
DSCN3143
I also did a few quick baby onesies for a friend who we visited last week…forgot to take a photo of the onesies before I packed them up in their cute little gift basket…
Baby Vests for Fionn
When I got out of hospital I was surfing blogs as I always do, and came across a link to The Vintage Pearl. She hand stamps these lovely necklaces, and Dave got this for me as a mother’s day pressie. Isn’t it lovely?
New Necklace

I also finally finished the quilting on my cousins quilt, it is designed for a specific room to match the colors in there and fit an area behind her sofa. I did a Missouri Star for her since she lives in St. Louis, the blue border is great, has the words family, friendship, love…very appropriate… and I even quilted some shamrocks into it, lol! The colors are based on a Navajo blanket she had in her room. Hope you like it Col!!
Col's Quilt DONE!

LOSER UPDATE: I am up to 181.2, which means I am still down 10 lbs despite my side track with my hospital stay and MS diagnosis. I hope you fellow losers can be patient with me, as I still plan on really joining back in the next few weeks, but am not quite  ready yet.

I am going on a trip next week to visit Barbara and Katy, I can’t wait!! A week without the girls with crafting, shopping, sightseeing in Stockholm and a show (Wicked!) in London’s West End. A bit of mommy recharging time, just what the doctor ordered. And the doc told me to wait till returning from the trip to start my injections…something I am not looking forward to, but will use it as a line in the sand for starting my healthier eating regime, trying to cut out as much processed food as I can, i.e. junk food, my favorite stuff!!

And just because I don’t have enough photos in this post, here are several more of the girls.  Mommy did a bit of bunny crafting with the girls and our little neighbor one day, I find these masks slightly disturbing, but the girls had a great time making me make lots of stuff for them, lol!
DSCN3129
Here is the one decent photo I got of the girls doing their easter egg hunt Easter morning.
Easter Morning Egg Hunt
And finally, my big girl Aine learned how to swim and ride her bike last week, all within days of each other…here is the biker girl!
DSCN3110

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