Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Basket Full of Daisies

I did it! I have completed 152 Daisy Squares! As you can see in the picture above there are still two more to finish, but I want to figure out the layout of the squares before I finish those and possibly a couple more to round the design. I want to see which background color I might need to add to. I have included a couple of pics with layout possibilities. Any favorites? I think I know which one I like best. I will be crocheting all the squares together with white yarn and then using white for a border also.

Here is an update on my Halloween cross-stitch. All I have left to do is the backstitching. I am going to make this into a pillow. I will post a picture of the finished product. I already have the fabric purchased. It looks like the white background got a little soiled. Do any of you have tips to clean this? The area that is dirty will be covered by fabric but I don't want to just cover it up.

I think I may put the border on a hand towel for the powder room. I always like to have some holiday towels available and I don't have any for Halloween.

~" 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 Things.


I am joining Ginny in her Yarn Along, so along with all of the crafting, I am in the middle of reading The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. This book is a history-based fictional novel following the lives of some survivors of the Titanic soon after they arrived in the United States. This is really a riveting read. The author explores the tragedy through the eyes of Tess, a dressmaker, who interacts not only with a sailor from the ship but also the privileged survivors and the press. Fascinating. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hooks, books and sticks!

~" 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 Things
I am joining Ginny in her Yarn Along and I would have to amend that quote to include cross-stitch, crochet and quilting among my favorite things.
This week for the Yarn Along, I decided to show you an afghan my 86 year-old mom is knitting for my 24 year-old son.

It is #10 Comfy from Leisure Arts' Big Book of Quick Knits. She is using Vanna's Choice yarn in Barley. The second photo shows the true color. Mom is using only one strand of yarn as she found the double strand too difficult to work with. As a result she has adjusted the stitch count to obtain the right width. I think it is quite beautiful. Mom is about halfway done with it now and looking forward to finishing it as she also wants to knit an afghan for my daughter. They are her only grandchildren.

I am also updating the progress I made on the hand warmers from here. As you can see I have finished knitting one navy hand warmer. The picture includes the teal pair I made for myself last winter. I just have to get started on the second navy one. The pattern is quite easy for a beginner knitter like me, with no increases or decreases.

I am just finishing reading Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber. I had to hold back tears while reading the first chapter, but the book has lightened up since then. As usual, the interpersonal relationships are quite interesting and this is a quick read. I would probably be finished with it by now but I have been trying to work on all my various projects so that I actually have something new to post.

I am still working on my Daisy Squares from here. I was able to finish several on the car ride to and from Wilkes-Barre, PA. I think I will need 140 square and currently have 120. Soooo close. Hubby and I have a few free hotel nights banked so we decided to go to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Hubby loves horse-racing and the casino is a bonus. We had a great couple of days with good food and break-even gambling. Couldn't ask for more.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thankful for Air Conditioning and Yarn Along

It is sweltering here on Long Island, so I am very thankful that we have central air-conditioning in my home. When hubby and I bought our cape-cod style house 26 years ago, it came with central air-conditioning that successfully cooled the first floor (and basement) but not the upstairs. Ten years ago we turned our house into a colonial style home and expanded the air-conditioning. I don't think I could ever do without it. With the temps in the high 90s for the second time this summer, I am extremely thankful for the cool oasis.

Some knitting to show you this week for the Yarn Along with Ginny. Feel free to join us. It is incentive to keep the WIPs going and interesting to see what other bloggers are making and reading.

I recently cast on my second pair of hand warmers from here. I made a pair for myself last winter. This pair will be for my daughter. I just began knitting this past year, although I tried it many years ago. So far I have knitted a pair of these hand warmers and a scarf. I need to practice as I would like to tackle a sweater this fall/winter. I also included my latest daisy square installment from My Rose Valley. As you can see I have added a yellow background to the mix.
I just finished reading First Comes Love by Whitney Lyles.  The book is about a couple, Cate and Ethan, their quest to get pregnant, a family member's wedding plans and the pregnancies of Cate's friends. The writing is crisp and the story line definitely moves along. This was a good summer read, but as a 50-something the subject matter is a little young for me. I won't have to deal with this until my own kids are getting married and having children.

Next on my reading radar is Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber. This is one book of the Blossom Street series that I have yet to read. I am so looking forward to immersing myself in this book. I strongly recommend reading this series starting with The Shop on Blossom Street. I love the way Debbie Macomber writes. I know her books are classified as romance novels but the character relationships are so rich, especially the multigenerational female friends and relatives. I laugh and cry and thoroughly enjoy all of her books. I'm going to bring this book on our trip to the Poconos. I always like to read or craft in the car. I will probably have the bag of daisy squares and knitting with me too.

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yarn Along: An Armful of Daisies

Do you ever spend so much time crocheting that when you try to put down your hook you can't? That is what happened to me the other night so I needed to take a day off from crocheting. I have still made some good progress, as you can see by the stacks of daisies below. I have actually managed to make 5 more since this picture was taken.

I have joined Ginny's Yarn Along, so yarn work must be accompanied by reading. Of course it is summer, so reading is a must any way.
I am about to start reading First Comes Love by Whitney Lyles. This is the last book that I picked up from the library exchange. I will need to make a library trip later this week to stock up on reading selections.
I just finished High Meadow by Joan Wolf. This is a novel that is probably considered a romance but certainly touched on some deeper topics and emotions. I will definitely be looking for some more of this author's books.
Here is my most recently finished crochet project .

It is a baby blanket for the daughter of my daughter's former soccer trainer and his wife. Here are some close-ups.

The pattern is from a small baby blanket pamphlet that I have had for many years. It called for worsted weight yarn, but I used Bernat Softee baby weight yarn. The feel of this yarn is exquisite. I had to add on one extra repeat of the colors to get the proper length. I felt the lighter weight was better for the spring/summer. This was such an easy pattern to work. I loved working with all the color changes. I was able to mark my progress by the stripes which makes any project seem to go faster.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cross-stitch update

I thought I would give you an update on my Halloween cross-stitch. Did you guess the holiday the last time you saw this? There is an awful lot of black to stitch. It gets monotonous sometimes so I am always switching to the orange, green or yellow. I leave white until the end if possible so it doesn't get dirty.

I am not sure why, but I have had to do an awful lot of frogging on this design. See the little pumpkin on the upper left, well I was busy stitching the pumpkin on the lower left when I realized they didn't line up. Wouldn't you know the top pumpkin, which was basically finished except for backstitching, was one stitch too far right. Also had to remove the entire right ear of the cat because I was one stitch off. Ugh, I rarely have this much trouble with patterns, and this one is my own!
Hope to finish this soon. Then I will be making it into a pillow.

Want to wish my hubby a Happy 28th Anniversary! Wow, how time flies. Hubby was trimming some bushes in our back yard this week and a poorly placed rust-colored lily got in the way (someday I need to move it). Since he couldn't avoid cutting it, he added two other light orange lilies and put them in a pot. So pretty.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Birthday to the United States of America! I know there are many great countries around the world, but I am very proud to be a citizen of the USA. Just wanted to share with you my decorations for the 4th. We didn't have our flag out when this picture was taken.

The hoop I made many years ago from a pattern given to me by a home-economics teacher I used to work with. I will share the pattern with all of you in a future post. The towels are also several years old. 

The counted cross-stitch pattern is from Country Handcrafts magazine, Summer 1992. Yes, I still have the copy. I love to go through my old craft magazines. Here is a close-up of the towels.
Enjoy the holiday!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Yarn Along

Hi there everyone!
So my plan to crochet 5+ Daisy Squares is going fairly well though it has just been 5 each day. I have 25 made as you can see below. Added a periwinkle background that I had in my stash. Think I will need about 140 squares for the size blanket I want to make. Not sure I have enough of the background colors that I bought, but I might just raid my yarn stash. Some of it has been around a long time. 
Just finished reading Murder by Serpents by Barbara Graham. This was an easy read murder mystery that kept me entertained but not in a suspenseful way. I enjoyed it. Next on my reading list is High Meadow by Joan Wolf. I just love sitting on my deck in the summer reading a book with a glass of iced tea by my side.
It is Christmas in July around here. Well it has been Christmas for a while, as I am trying to finish the hand quilting on the Peanuts Christmas quilt I made for my daughter last year.  This is from a kit I found in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. Just had to buy it for her when I saw it. Here she is showing off the quilt top Christmas morning. I would like to have it quilted by this Christmas at least.
It is now sitting on my little quilt frame, or sometimes on my small lap quilt frame.
I outlined all the snow in the cartoon borders.

Now I am working on stitching a string of Christmas lights in the red and green borders. No picture of that yet. I just got started on it. Back to crafting now.
Thanks for stopping by!