Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Sweater is Started and Yarn Along!

~" Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? " ~ Ginny at Small ThingsI am joining Ginny's Yarn Along. Feel free to check out her site and peek in on what others are knitting/crocheting and reading.
Well, I did it. I cast on the sweater I am making for me. I have even managed to knit the lacy-look border and am now into the body of the sweater. Yay!

 I am also about to start working on Little House Needleworks' "Through the Woods". I don't think it will be finished by Christmas as there are so many other WIPs right now.

I have just barely started reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Stitching, knitting, tutoring and fall cleaning (read window washing) are taking up my reading time and I haven't been in the mood at bed-time.
A trip to my local cross-stitch store netted these:

The dark fabric is for the Little House Needleworks pattern. The pattern in the back is quite large and will take quite some time. I can't show you the whole pattern as it will be a future (very far in the future) gift. I haven't even bought the fabric or floss for it yet.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Scary Cat Towel

Here is the Scary Cat Towel counted cross-stitch chart I promised. This is the companion to the Scary Cat pillow that you can see here.
This is stitched on a Charles Craft 14 count Velour Guest towel.  

Scary Cat Towel Chart
(Click to enlarge, then right click on the picture below, then either "save as" or  "print" as you normally would.). 
Two strand of floss were used throughout except where indicated.
Black - DMC 310
White - DMC White
Orange - DMC 971
Green  -  DMC 907
The cat's eyes and teeth are outlined in one strand of black. This was also used to outline the pumpkins and the "checkerboard". The whiskers use one strand of white.
Happy Stitching!
Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Long Island Fair Deliveries Completed.

This weekend and next: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is the Long Island Fair. There are ribbons to be won, food to be eaten, crafts to be bought and games to be played for the children and lots more. Of course, you can also see an old-time style baseball game. I will be sharing pictures after I go next weekend.
Here are my fair entries!
These are the three needlework entries. Below is my culinary entry: Citrus Tea Loaves.

You can find the recipe here. I left off the glaze for the fair delivery as it would have melted in anyway.
Wish me luck in possibly winning a ribbon!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I made a swatch!

Well I did it! I knitted a swatch and happily my gauge is on track. My width is perfect, my length is a little long but I am not concerned about that. Thanks for all the swatching tips. I haven't started the sweater yet but I will get there soon. Baby steps.

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along. In that vein, I made a trip to the library at the end of last week. Although I love Nora Roberts' books, I really can not get into the J.D. Robb book I have been trying to read. So, I have returned it to my daughter and I took out these. I love the Debbie Macomber knitting book that I borrowed. Since I wasn't a knitter until recently I never paid attention to this series. Now I am obsessed. I think I may read the Alice Hoffman book first. I hope it catches my attention.
I finished my coasters. Now I want to make a small holder for them. I think I might make another set too. I want to use some different colors and maybe a different pattern.

I have made good progress on my Scary Cat hand-towel. I think I've figured out how I can post the pattern. It should be coming soon. Thanks so much to my computer savvy hubby. I don't know what I would do without him. I know I frustrate him often with my computer knowledge ..... or lack thereof. Although I have to admit that I have mastered the blogging mostly on my own. Yay for me!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Can I Really Knit a Sweater?

May we never forget!

~" Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? " ~ Ginny at Small ThingsI am joining Ginny's Yarn Along. Feel free to check out her site and peek in on what others are knitting/crocheting and reading.
 My Daisy Square Afghan is finished. You can see it here. So the question now is what can I share for the Yarn Along? Well here is the yarn I just bought to make myself a sweater.

I can't believe I am going to attempt this. Just the thought of casting on is daunting right now. I know I should make a swatch for gauge but I have never done that. I think I will be checking the internet for insight. Does anyone have any tips for me?
 I am going to attempt the short version of the Updated Barn Jacket found Leisure Arts' Today's Knit Fashions.
A longish car ride last Friday prompted me to start making these coasters.

I needed something small that I could quickly pull together for the car. I always have some plastic canvas on hand and of course there are always little balls of yarn in my yarn stash. I have made these coasters a couple of times now. I love them because I can throw them in the wash when they get dirty and then just let them air dry. The pattern is from the January/February 1992 Country Woman magazine. I have also charted my own versions a few times. They are made on 7 mesh plastic canvas and are 25 bars wide x 25 bars high. Sometimes I also use fabric glue to attach a square of felt to the back.
I am still reading Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb. Now that summer is basically over and my thoughts are turning to fall cleaning, my reading is slowing down. I am enjoying the book so far, but I'm just reading maybe a chapter each night before bed.

See this little guy below.

He is eating a leftover bagel that we threw in our back yard for the wildlife (birds and squirrels).
 Oops, he caught me taking his picture from my living room and decided to hide the rest of the bagel in my flowers. I hope he's not saving it for winter!
Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Lemon-Berry Crumb Cake

Every September I bake something with blueberries for my mother-in-law's birthday. This year I reverted to a recipe I have had for many years. MIL loved it so I baked another to show you and to share with my mom.

Non-stick cooking spray                            2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour                              2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Combine the 1 cup flour and the baking powder; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat the 1/4 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 3/4 cup sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add reserved flour mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle with blueberries.

3. In a small bowl combine remaining flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over berries. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm or cooled. Makes 9 servings.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Two Finishes!

 I did it! I am ready for the Long Island Fair!

As you can see I updated my header photo to reflect the coming fall season. In this photo you can see the cross-stitch sampler that I am entering in the fair. It is one of my own designs.
I completed the Daisy Square Afghan on Thursday. I crocheted one row of single crochet all around outside edge. On the next row I did a single crochet, chained 4, skipped the next 3 stitches and then a single crochet all the way around.

I was mulling the idea of then making some sort of shell in the chain 4 space but my daughter thought the simple chain loops complemented the afghan and I agreed. Hence, I am done and I am very pleased with the finished product. You can find the pattern for the Daisy Squares here.

After helping my daughter move into her apartment on Friday, I needed some "me" time on Saturday. So I spent the day in my "sewing room", a nook in the basement, and completed my Scary Cat pillow. It took me most of the day. First, because I couldn't decide on the fabric placement and then because I measured incorrectly twice! I hate having to use the seam ripper so much. After a snack break I returned to sew on the piping and backing. I think it looks great!

Now I can concentrate on the complementary hand towel that I am making. It should be finished in no time.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Almost There!

I thought I would share with you some pictures from Hershey Gardens. This was the last stop on our small vacation last week and it was either cloudy or raining when these pictures were taken. Nonetheless, the flowers and butterflies were beautiful.

The sinus infection I mentioned last week has greatly limited the amount of crafting I have been doing. I am almost finished with my Daisy Squares Afghan though. I have connected all the rows of squares and completed one row of single crochet all around the outside edge.

Now I need to determine what kind of border I want to use. I am considering three options: one or two more rows of single crochet, a shell or a picot border.  Any thoughts on what would look best? I will show you the finished product asap. I need to work quickly as the Long Island Fair delivery dates are only a couple of weeks away.
I still have to finish the Scary Cat Pillow also.
I am joining Ginny's Yarn Along and will start reading Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb in the coming week, I think. School starts today for most districts on Long Island and my tutoring will be starting next week already. My daughter will be starting her new job in Connecticut next week also. She will be moving to her own apartment later this week. We are well and truly empty nesters now.
Thanks for stopping by.