Monday, April 10, 2017

And a New Beginning/ Cozy Memories Blanket-Knit

Yup, I decided to use up some acrylic yarn that had been hanging around my yarn basket for..........a couple of years.  When I first started knitting, without knowing better of the quality and luxury of other fibers, I bought alot of acrylic yarn due to cost. If I had to pick 2 favorite brands from Joanne's or Michael or Hobby Lobby, it would be Hobby Lobby brands, I Love this Yarn and I love this Cotton. Also Caron Simply So Soft, and Lion Brand Hometown. The colors are gorgeous of all the ones if you are making something requiring solids.

However, I do love the Indie Dyed yarns the best and I have quite an accumulation of these as well in my stash.

But something drew me to start on another blanket. I'm still working on the scrap one but I will say I learned some things from it that I should do differently and this intrigued me along with "Robin's Egg" colorway of a Caron Simply So Soft brand as I looked through my stash this week.


This was my progress up until yesterday morning. I have since added 2 more squares on a drive to see my daddy until my shoulder couldnt take the pain anymore.


I'm really enjoying my Springy bee here. This is the only way I enjoy bees though.



I find casting on and connected the squares still a bit challenging but have improved somewhat.


I have a gazillion ends to weave in.


The lighter color gold did not even have the ball band on it in my stash but I am thinking its a Caron Simply So Soft as well.

The darker squares are called Honey/ Simply So Soft/ Caron.

The beautiful springy blue is Caron's colorwary Robin's Egg.

Spring is a time for fresh new colors. I dove into this but have a gazillion other projects including cross stitching projects on the  needles in progress.

I'm about to have shoulder surgery on Wednesday and have heard so many different stories of recovery, which some quite frankly scare me but I think the worse thing is I may not be able to knit or cross stitch for a few weeks.

I'm going to set up my needlework stand and have a project on the ready in the stand so that I may try to tackle left handed stitching only. Even if it's slow, it's something.

Honestly, I think later on knitting will help rehab my hands. We will see.

I wish it was not my dominant arm that will be out of service but I'm thankful I have an arm!

Thank you all for the prayers for my daddy. I went to see him yesterday and he is so much weaker. He just looks in my eyes and sometimes grimaces like he wants to cry. I talk to him, took pictures of me and him when I was about 6 years old and that was the only relief I saw in his face. He looked at me and I could tell by the top of his nose he was smiling inside. 

The situation with him is breaking my brother, my mother, and mine's heart and we again thank you for your much needed prayers and thoughts. Besides burying my son in 1985, this has been the second worst if not the same grief and heartbreak I've ever had. 

I read an Irish saying this week that deeply describes the feeling.

"Losing a father is like losing your umbrella in a storm"


and that my friends is how I feel because my daddy was my rock.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Reasons I Love Abbie


~~~~~~~~ because she will model anything I knit with leftover yarn


~~~~~~~~~~~~~because she just has that face and eyes that tell me she loves me



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~because she never tires of being held even with a needle moving up and down


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~because she will wear anything I finish making


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~because she can totally be the sweetest


~~~~~~~~~~~because she knows what I'm thinking and listens


~~~~~~~~~~and listens more


~~~~~~~~~~~and shows me how comfy home is to her


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~almost too comfy even in an Easter dress


~~~~~~~~~~~~because she is my right hand assistant blogger


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and never misses an opportunity to give me a kissie kiss


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~because she always seeks out the light


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and seeks out the attention matter of factly


~~~~~~~~~~~and even covertly (if that is a word)


~~~~~~~~~~because she enjoys the sunshine


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and the night time


~~~~~~~~~~~~~and will travel with her love as well to share with others


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Wisdom--When Waiting is the Right Thing


You can open the rosebud, but will spoil the flower...............


Everything is meant to be in God's time. Every one of us probably have been through many life situations that we ask why to God about and do not understand at all how long and for what reason a certain struggle is for. I know I have and I'm not alone amongst my friends through my life.

As I get older, I've accepted more that we may never know the answer to why something happens or even why not our prayers are answered. This morning in my devotional the statement above was mentioned for the purpose of inducing thought for the day.

Such a short phrase but a great analysis of the fact when we wait for God's time and not our own, we will one day, even if in Heaven, see the reason why. We shouldn't try to hurry God's will. I know I'm one to blame and often wonder why answers to prayers are so long or even sometimes, no.
However the older I get I do see the wisdom in the wait.

In the following  compare the word "flowers"  and substitute for  "people",

  • Flowers that are forced open will not last as long as flowers that are allowed to open naturally.Why? Because you're interfering with the natural order of things.
  • Not all types of flowers can be forced open. 
  • Some flowers take a long time to open even when you force them   
  • Flowers that are harvested too early, such as roses, have extremely tight buds that may never open. Make sure the color of the flower is visible on every bud and that there is some space between the petals.

Doesn't that really change the perception when using that as an analogy for people and situations?

Just thought I would write a little encouragement today and hope you have a great Thursday today.
Mine started out real early as usual, cooking some eggs and toast and having 2 cups of coffee.
Then on to reading and writing while my mind is in it's early stages of fresh awakening.
My quiet time is in the morning. Ironically when I was much younger, it was at night, really late about midnight.

Things change, life changes. Some change is actually good. Are you resistant to change or go with the flow kind of person?  There is no right or wrong answer. We are all different in our own way which actually makes the world a bit of a better place most of the time if with good intentions.


HIS WAY
God bade me go when I would stay
('Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
Across the path where I stood.
He bade me stay when I would go;
"Thy will be done," I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone,
A serpent with a mangled head.
No more I ask the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He doth know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
--The Sunday School Times

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sweet Easter Sampler Freebie Pattern--Renamed and Reloved


                                                                      

Sweet Easter Sampler
copyright 2013   
designed by Feathers in the Nest


Here's a free Easter freebie that I had on the blog a couple of years ago. I'm sharing again as I stumble upon it looking for a few of the many I designed.  I can't believe Easter is almost here!!! However, our Dogwood trees are budding now here in the North Georgia mountains.


I actually have many other designs I made on my previous computer that took a crash. I have to take it to a local guy to get fixed and retrieved as my cross stitching and designing bug still grabs my heart sometimes.

I hope you had a Sweet Saturday. In the next week, I will be fiddling through my stitching stash. I'm in the mood for cross stitching or picking up one of the many WIPs I have. Thank goodness for Mighty Brite magnifier standing floor lamps!

I think when the weather starts to look like Spring, I want to put down some of my knitting and work on cross stitch samplers. SPRING ones! Although I've added another 2 squares today while watching movies with Mr. Darcy.

So, I thought I would share this little design again if you are interested in a cute quick stitch!

If you stitch this one up, message me or leave a comment, and I'll show a pic on the blog.


Till later,
Jennifer

Friday, March 24, 2017

Slow and Steady Project--Cozy Memories Blanket

Progress~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I actually have a few more squares finished since these pics have been taken but I thought I would share my very slow progress. I've really enjoyed reaching into my leftover DK basket and having a sense of accomplishment with each square.



I had many ends to weave in, so I decided to do that as I go.



They are not all perfect but measure approximately 3.5 inches each


I have no idea how big I want this to be. I think I have a long way to go before I think about it too!

Of course, in my dreams I would like it to cover a good portion of a double bed.
That would take years. 😄

Update on daddy:

Spent 3 days with dad this week. He had developed pneumonia, spiking a temp of 103 on Sunday night. He is doing a bit better and my brother made a visual chart with letters on a clear plexiglass 16 x 20 set up like this:

A  B  C  D
E  F  G  H
         I  J  K  L  M  N
        O  P  Q  R  S  T
           U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Each letter is in caps and in a block. The vowels are put on the ends for ease.  He can only communicate with nods yes or no.
With this he has followed well with spelling words out with the use of this chart with only staring at the letter until we align it on the opposite side and point. It's actually very unique and I think my brother did a great job at making it. Very clever.
While he is quadraplegic and has a trach, this is about the only way we can communicate. The therapist has talked to me and my brother about trying next week to use something to help with his trach. 
He does get frustrated and tired sometimes and we respect that and let him rest.

One of my cousins came to visit and my brother, my cousin, and myself sat around daddy's bed talking about alot of things we did together when we were very young. I could tell my daddy enjoyed that alot. My brother and I talk to him about things we used to do as kids and he can't smile but he can nod and roll his eyes and sometimes, maybe it's me, I can see a smile in his eyes. He does say with his mouth I love you and of course, we say alot of I love yous to each other. 

Thank you for the prayers and the positive thoughts sent out way. It really means alot to all of us.

On the writing homefront, I have got more accomplished in writing a book.
It's a devotional for medical professionals. I'm learning a new program actually on a new computer.
I like the lightness of the MacPro and indeed find writing at his bedside one of my best creative writing spots while he is napping.
Due to copyright, I cannot give out the name of the book as of yet but in time, I will.
I have a publisher that connects with me from time to time and is very interested in the final product.

Not too unlike my knitting, I can find times in which I can write more than others.


Find What Makes Your Heart Sing!

Jennifer

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cozy Memories Blanket Start-DK weight

A rugged start; Having that been said, I am LOVING the mindless knitting of the mitered squares!

I listened to many tutorials when I finished this DK square for how to align and attach them as I go.
The ones that spoke to me most is in two parts on You Tube:

the first

the second

both by Simply Maur Crafting. I think she did the most thorough and simplest explanation of making a mitered square and joining to another.

However, my second square I joined, the pink one, looks bad on edges because I was doing what she suggested by knitting through the back loop on the end of every row and slipping the first as if to purl at the beginning of each row. I'm sure my technique is wrong and I am going back to listen to these videos again because my edges are not clean. I'm hoping by joining the next squares it will help this.

I have no  pattern of colors at all just using my leftovers of DK yarn. Here are some of them.

I modified the pattern on Ravelry by Kemper Wray to CO 32 stitches/ putting my marker after stitch 16. I reduced number of stitches to still yield a 3 in square but with DK.
The rest of her pattern I followed exactly and is FREE.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-coziest-memory



I found out when I finished the light green one with sock yarn that although the finish is gorgeous, realistically I had WAY more DK leftovers than sock yarn so I went with making a DK weight blanket. And for right now, I need to use up what I have.


this is the right side as noted by my progress keeper to remind me.


you can see my wobbly edges I hope to fix when casting on the next square.


Of course the first block is made with 2 yarns, one in Lake Shore Bluff by Lorna Laces/ DK, and the other is all wool DMC miniskein.
The second block is DK weight but is made with a more drapey and flexable yarn. It is from my LYS from a couple of years ago. I made a shawl in it but I can't remember the name or content of it. I do know it's DK, I think combo of Merino wool, silk blend.


I was happy about the actual join side to the square. It took me 3 tries to get it right and I think it will improve the more I do it. 
Well, this is definitely a work in progress and will be a memory blanket, hopefully for the process of knitting it. That part has been enjoyable.
I am trying to attach and knit one square a day.

This will give me time to knit other projects in between. So this is a slow burn kind of project.

Have a peaceful Sunday,

Jennifer

Monday, March 6, 2017

Starting a Cozy Memories Blanket--The Mitered Square Knit


So, I've had this on my mind for so long, going through knitting podcasts that I love to watch and admiring the mitered square and the results of many of those together!

I really wanted to use sock yarn leftovers for this blanket. However, I have much more DK weight yarn than fingering weight/sock weight yarn. So this is my first sock yarn/fingering weight square.

I decided to start this pattern on Ravelry.

Using #2 DPNs (actually Boyes aluminum)

Yarn for this square is the one from the sage color in my last shawl (I have yet to block).

I know many people will laugh probably but I'm feeling very satisfied with memorizing this little pattern and can see why  it's been the hype for some time now.

I actually had some wooden DPNS from Knittters Pride and started this on a drive down to see my daddy (as the passenger) which gives me a good 3.5 hours of knitting time.
I felt like the Knitter's Pride was dragging so much PLUS they were just a wee bit too short for my comfort from one row to the next.

So after many sighs, I asked Mr. Darcy if he knew the next town that had a Walmart and he graciously took me in and I got the last #2 aluminum needles DPNs left!!

I thought at first with really inexpensive needles  that  these may not work well but be a temporary fix.  Ironically, these are PERFECT! The best 2.97 spent ever.

I think this will be a great little project to work on for each square in between other projects.
The fun part I'm sure is casting on for the next square...........and then the next.......

I hope you are enjoying a new project on your needles this week too!

Till later,
Jennifer

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Binding Off a Shawl in Picot Lace with Pink Merino Wool Fingering Weight Yarn

Picot Bind off or Cast off is particularly pretty on some shawls or garments. I decided for contrast to add a picot bind off. This is my second time I have done one so it's taking me a little bitty while it seems.

There are several free written instructions on the internet and Ravelry, You Tube videos, etc.  to create different "peaks" in the lace but the one I chose is:


After finishing the pattern and starting to bind off, first cast on 2 stitches on the left hand needle using the backwards loop method.

Then knit 2 stitches, taking the 1st stitch over the 2nd stitch as in regular bind off, leaving one remaining stitch on the right needle.

Proceed knitting the next stitch, then take the stitch over the one knit again leaving one on the right hand needle.

Continue until a total of 4 stitches are bound off. 

Then, put the 4th stitch back over to the left needle and repeat with backwards loop cast on 2 stitches, and continue.



This shawl is of course not blocked yet with lace blockers. Can't wait to block this out!


It's already pretty big. And Pretty Basic. That's the name of the pattern on Ravelry for free here


Here is my progress so far:


at the half-way point of casting off




I have enjoyed this pattern a great deal. Although the colors in the first pics are off a bit, you can see the true color in the last pic.


I can't wait to use my new knitting wires for lace shawls!!!

Got those on Amazon HERE





And this last pic is the real color reference!   

My previous Fuji 8200 just cannot pull the close ups and color for me
so Mr. Darcy is going to show me how to use his FANCY camera tonight~~~~~ YAY!
I need it because I'm hoping to get some items in my Etsy shop real soon and also to blog with better pictures.


My heart is wanting to cross stitch something again real soon but..........I also want to cast on another project. Two loves of mine, wish I could do both at the very same time.

Stitching is good for the soul. It just is. I think anything on the needles helps me every day.

I had an MRI today on my shoulder as I am having a rotator cuff issue after a fall in November.
And the funny thing was I took my project bag with me and the man giving me instructions said to me as I was clinging to my work, "mam you will need to put that in this locker while you are getting the test done".

Of course I knew that! BUT.....but.....but.........."let me get to the end of the row, ok?"😃

Am I the only one that says that? Mr. Darcy now says, "when you get to the end of the row,.......then........whatever

I had to look back and laugh at myself on the way home.

We are having some wicked thunderstorms here right now. Methinks it's best to get off this computer and real soon!

What's on your needles today?


Till later,

Jennifer

Monday, February 27, 2017

Update on My Father's Needs

Update:

any updates about my father and his illness which is catastrophic to our family will be here:

 https://www.gofundme.com/jimmys-medical-fundwestnile-virus


I hope you will spread the word to churches, organizations, friends, family for help.
I am not one to ask for monetary help but I hope that this will help us be able meet his needs during this illness.

Thank you for all your supportive messages and comments. They do mean the world to me.

On the knitting front, I am casting off of the shawl from the previous post in a picot bind off which seems to be taking forever!  I can't wait to soak it and stretch it out to dry using my new lace long knitting wires. More on this to come with pictures.



Thankfully,

Jennifer


Friday, February 17, 2017

Almost Finished with Pretty Basic Shawl--free pattern


Almost to bind off now!!!!!!  I love knitting this shawl. Pretty Basic by Janina Kallio is a great free pattern on Ravelry that has enough interest for detail but not too hard for some TV knitting rows as well.

Yarn---- (Pink speckle)  The Homespun House (Molly in Germany)
colorway In Bloom/ from my stash since last February 2016 Valentines colorway
It is a fingering weight of 100% merino

The light green/sage yarn is from stash from about a year ago of which I had in mind to work with this particular pink yarn for contrast. You can find it here: https://www.yarn.com/products/manos-del-uruguay-alegria

in the colorway Celery, fingering weight 

I'm using a number 5 Addi turbo lace circular needles (my favorite)


my handy little notions pouch from my LYS


You can see the flecks of green in the pink yarn.








One thing different I'm doing this year is keeping/making a knitting journal. I know that Ravelry has a place to record but I'm liking to write my own including a little piece of each of the yarns used in it for remembrance.

I also added to my T pins for blocking a set of blocking wires. I found those on Amazon. I will be using this while blocking the project above and post on progress/review.




I hope  you had a great Valentine's Day!
I certainly did. I got an absolutely gorgeous bouquet of roses in my favorite colors and a caring husband for close conversation and sharing a meal.

This morning I am so grateful for all the things I have been blessed with. I count knitting and cross stitching and any expressive form of art a gift from God. To take a pause out of my day to remember that God made me with His own handiwork is amazing. 

Do you have some special things you treasure in your stitching stash?

What makes them special to you?

I am finishing a shawl called Pretty Basic by Janina Kallio on Ravelry. It is a free pattern and is simply that which the title says. However, there is room for modifying the pattern and is even encouraged by the designer. I like to have choices like that. 

I'm about to bind off. My goal for finishing this was Valentines Day but didn't quite meet that goal.
But I've cut myself a little slack knowing I have other things going on in my life that need attending and also I wanted to make sure it was "just right".

You know, God made sure we were "just right" when he made us and God has prepared us to do good works. He prepared this in advance!!!!

He has a plan for our life just as we have plans on how we want to knit up or stitch up a pattern..
The result is a beautiful work and is worth the extra time we spend to making it "just right".

As you go through your day, keep this verse in your heart. It will encourage you to know that your Maker already has a design of which we should take no worry but just have the commitment to follow through.


Enjoy your day!

Jennifer

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