Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Trip (with Photos)

Well, I'm back in Suburbia once more. Browerville, MN, where I was staying, is a cute little town located in Central Minnesota. Not a lot of stores. However, with encroachment from Brainerd, it might change over time. But, right now, it's just the right size and has most of what one needs. The best thing about Browerville downtown is Steve's Market. They provide homemade sausages and other meats which are very yummy! The sausages grill wonderfully. Oh, and did I mention that I grilled for the first time as well!? Yes, it's probably a no-brainer using a gas grill, but I never figured it out before. I give credit to my sister for teaching me the finer points of grilling.
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First, for you sock knitters, here's my sock progress just before I did the heels. I'll be working on socks this weekend, so perhaps much more progress. Heel turn went fine. Now on to the gusset. This is the view from my sister's front porch about 30 feet away. Duck weeds and cattails and it looks very picturesque. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Here is my completed top from Mystery #18. I really like this one. I plan to quilt it using freehand leaves. This is a twin sized quilt and includes fabric from "In the Beginning" as well as Kaufman.
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The long awaited finish of my parent's anniversary quilt. I started this in May 2005 with the intention of completing the top prior to my parents' 50th anniversary last year. I just didn't have the space to lay this out to figure out how to finish it. Yes, well, some things are easier for others. Anyway, top is done now. Although I have planned to tie it, I may quilt it using the method where you only put in 1/3 of the batting at a time to reduce bulk. This is a queen sized quilt that is otherwise just too difficult to do in my home machine. We'll see. I want to finish this during the Summer. The pattern is Pine Trees from Lynnette Jensen of Thimbleberries. All the fabrics are from several lines from Thimbleberries.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Managed to get a couple of quilt tops done! Finished Mystery #18! It looks so bright and cheerful. Also finished my Thimbleberries quilt. I'll post complete photos this weekend. On and off working on my socks. Turned heels on both so far.

One disadvantage of rural America. Way too many bugs. Ticks. Mosquitoes. Horseflies that bite. Ick. Then there's this small, green beetle that seems to seek me out. It doesn't seem to do anything, but makes me feel like I have creepy crawlies all over me. Ticks. I hate ticks. I haven't had a tick on me in decades and got on me yesterday (I can hear my sister laughing at me). Anyway, Nature should just stay away from me while I'm outside. I'm trying to knit, for Pete's sake.

On the plus side, I had a wondrous view of a firefly convention. It was 1 a.m. (yeah, I don't sleep well) and they were everywhere! Wow, that was really cool. Never saw that before. In addition, I've never seen so many dragonflies in one place also. I wonder if it has to do with the neighbor growing a field of alfalfa? Don't know, but they are keen to see.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Housesitting and Projects

I'm housesitting at my sister's and having a good, relaxing time with the kitties. Unfortunately, I can't provide photos easily. My sister and BIL live in Central Minnesota, right in the middle of lake country. They were disgruntled with my fishing pole (button reel with expandable pole), so taught me how to fish with a REAL fishing pole. We practiced for awhile then. I went out fishing 10 minutes after they left on Friday and caught my very first Northern Pike on only the 4th throw. Need I say lunch?

Spent the weekend working on Mystery Quilt #18 from I did run into a snag, but should finish the quilt top today. I love the diamond border, but it sure wasn't easy to sew! I think I'd like to include it on a future project, so will research easier ways for me to do it (probably cheater corners or paper piecing...who knows).

Sew, for the rest of today, I'll be finishing up the Mystery, then start working on one of the quilting projects I brought with me. The weather is so great though (and mosquitoless in the daytime), I'm spending a lot of time outdoors knitting and hopefully will have a completed pair of socks by the end of the week!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Out Of Town Almost

I was planning to go out of town this evening to housesit for my sister and BIL, but had the exciting experience of a tie rod breaking in the middle of busy traffic. So, I'll be home at least another day. More than that and trip might not go forward. So, for tonight, rather than unpacking everything, I'm just going to work on socks.

The Minnesota Quilters Show is this weekend in St. Cloud, MN. Due to the car trouble, I have now axed it on my plans, but if you are interested, here's a link to their web site.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Leaf Swap Blocks

I've been working hard yesterday and today trying to finish my Maple Leaf swap blocks. I think they came out very nicely. Here's a photo of each of the 4 colors I am sending (3 different cream backgrounds). Now, the advantage of the pattern is that each and every square is guaranteed to be 3.5 inches before sewing together the final block. The gal at Quiltaholics does biannual Mystery Quilts, so has to have things very exacting. Lots of fussy work. I would normally just use an Easy Angle. Would have been done a week ago. But, I'm a team player, so just followed the instructions as given. Below the photo is a link to the pattern that we used.
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Speaking of Quiltaholics, she has a Mystery Quilt going on next weekend. I have to select some fabric from my stash and fill-in, if necessary, to participate. This one also uses the TriRecs tools. Last time I used them was for a Mystery Quilt 2 years ago! I rarely join Mystery Quilts, but I've liked the results of most of Deb's quilts, so once again, I'm participating. If you are interested and have nothing planned for next weekend, feel free to join us.

I have one more swap to finish, and I'm caught up. I had to pull out about 5 inches of shawl. Went wrong somewhere, so hopefull can get that fixed this time around. I also need to get cracking on my socks again for the Sock A Long. Busy, busy, busy...when am I going to mow the lawn?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Here's an important reminder. Back up your digital photo files! Do it this week! Don't be the person who discovers that she has lost all her photos of her 2 year old (who is now 5). Remember, when your hard drive fails, which it will, you will either lose everything not backed up or have to pay a lot to have someone try to recover what you lost. Currently, I'm going through my files to purge that which is unworthy of data bytes. Then, I'm backing up to both a removable HD and disc since either potentially can be corrupted. I'll admit, I only back up files about once per quarter. I may have to do so more often and get more things off the computer as it takes so darn long for the Ad Aware and virus checkers to run! Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Still working on the shawl. I'm up to 137 stitches and something has gone awry. I seem to be dropping stitches somewhere and will have to pull out about 6 inches worth of knitting to figure it out. My slope became a stairstep. Not good.

Also received my order from Maggie's Crochet. Yes, another ladybug afghan!! Also bought a bunch of patterns that are just fun such as more afghans, toilet toppers and a rug. Doing a couple of rows everyday on the Winnie The Pooh afghan as well (I have added a link in the sidebar that includes the graph). Tomorrow, I have to spend a while working on my car and figuring out what projects to take for housesitting. Yes, I get to take care of the kitty herd again, but only for a week (and another week in August). At least one quilt will be quilted. I'll also be going to the Minnesota Quilt Show, held in St. Cloud, next week as well. I will likely go on Friday since there is a lecture I'd like to attend.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Disney Out-Of-Print

I've been working steadily on my sock project. I've finished the leg of one sock and hopefully will complete the other tonight.
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According to the Newsletter from (Maggie is my favorite crochet designer-do look at her site if you love making afghans), Disney is not renewing their contract with Leisure Arts. This means that if you want any of the Leisure Art's Disney book/booklet products, be they knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch or sewing, now is the time to get them. This includes the Mickey, Princess and Winnie The Pooh collections. Our local Hancock's and Joann's quit stocking most of the Disney books more than a year ago, so availability may be limited to online sources. I'm still debating whether to get the Pooh pillows (crocheted) book. No kids really to make them for, so I may give that a pass. I did get the Disney Princess Afghans mostly because I wanted to know how to do that lovely ruffled edging that was featured. I plan to make one of these for my cousin's daughter. Please note that the images are included in the cross-stitch Princess book (more easily available) and can be done in either Afghan Stitch or single crochet.

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Example from book of afghan with ruffle.

I also purchased 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders book. My old edgings book was for thread crochet and oftentimes the patterns just didn't work for me on a large project.
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Friday, June 02, 2006

Startupitis Has Stuck Again!

Yes, folks, as though I don't already have enough projects, I started a couple more!

First, I have wanted to make socks and just keep putting it off. So, I joined a SockALong for June. We are all making the same sock (see button on sidebar). Me, having lots of experience with UFOs, followed the suggestion of starting both socks at the same time. I happen to have plenty of size 2 and 3 needles for doing sweater cuffs. I've finished the ribbing on both socks and expect to work about an hour most days to complete this task.
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My second new start is a MOEZ afghan using a Winnie the Pooh graph. The MOEZ hook is a large mm, long wooden afghan hook manufactured by a guy in Oklahoma. The stitch is Tunisian Stitch which results in an evenweave making it easy to do patterns from cross-stitch graphs. However, you do the graph within the afghan, not cross-stitch it after the fact. After a few bad starts, my fabric now looks like the photos. Here's part of my 10 rows prior to starting the actual graph.
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Yes, I did finish something. Here are the examples of the finished swap blocks for the 1930s Churn Dash Swap. All done and ready to package up and mail. I'm still working on the Maple Leaf swap. I need to cut more fabric, but by the time I get to it, it is later in the day and my sunlight is gone.
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I am also working regularly on the shawl. I'm up to 115 stitches now. Still going strong.
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