Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Angel

I finished stitching my Winter Angel.

 Now I just have to determine how I want to finish it. I am considering making it into a banner. I am also designing angels for the other seasons. I will eventually post the chart for this.
Thank you Steph for the button-band tip and Karen Sue for the info on my mystery needles. Too bad I didn't inherit the patterns for the needles also.

I have managed to sew the shoulder seams and one pocket. I'm a perfectionist so both took some time.

I have cast-on a hat for hubby. 

It is the Wasatch Backcountry Hat that I made for my son. I am using the same yarn but I will need to make it about a half inch deeper.

Joining Ginny for  Yarn Along. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Pop on over to her site to see what others are doing.

I am currently reading Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber on my Kindle.......a Christmas gift from my BIL. 

I borrowed this book from my library's digital catalog. I have been waiting to read this latest Blossom Street Novel. I have greatly enjoyed this series. Debbie Macomber really engages you in the lives of all of her characters and weaves quite a story.
I have also downloaded a few books from the available Kindle books. I am learning to use the gadget.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Now what?

It snowed here again yesterday and is bitterly cold today. It is definitely good weather to catch up on my knitting and cross-stitching.....and dusting, vacuuming, etc. That is if I can do any of that after shoveling an awful lot of snow. Actually, hubby clears most of it with our snow-blower, but I clear the front porch and back deck (for access to our garbage cans) and generally clean up.

I did finish all the major parts of my Barn Jacket! Yay!
 I'm sorry for the really bad picture but the light was poor because of the weather and the time of day.

Now what? 

This is where I knew I would get cold feet. I understand how to finish the pockets and I even think I can sew the shoulder seams.....these are the next 2 steps. Then.......I need to pick up stitches for the button band. Oh my, I have never done this before. Does anyone have any tips for me or any tutorials that could help? I have gotten this far and I really don't want to mess up. 

I thought I would show you a Christmas gift from my kids:

Now I have a place where I can actually find all my knitting needles and know what sizes I have. No more rooting through a plastic box that also contained yarn odds and ends. I love the organization.

Now a question? Does anybody know what the light blue needles are on the bottom left? Here is a close-up picture.
 Each of these has an eye on the right-hand end and they have the words K-tel Knitting printed on them. I inherited these and have no idea what they are used for.

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Pop on over to her site to see what others are up to. 

I am almost finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club. I am really enjoying this book. I like books that explore the relationships between female friends. Kate Jacobs is quite good at drawing you into the story. This is quite an easy read.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

French Onion Bread

There is something about a cold, snowy day that brings out the baker in me.
So last week during the blizzard that blew through our area, I sat down with my cookbooks and found this bread.
French Onion Bread

5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. shortening
1 beaten egg white

In a large mixer bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Combine 2 1/4 cups water and soup mix in a saucepan; simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, shortening, and 1 teaspoon salt; cool well. Add to dry mixture. Beat at low speed with mixer for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Knead dough on a floured surface till smooth (8 - 10 minutes)*. Shape into a ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 hour). Punch down; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Shape into two long loaves, tapering ends. Place on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Slash tops diagonally, 1/4 inch deep. Cover; let rise till double (about 30 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush with mixture of egg white and 1 Tbsp. water. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from baking sheet; cool. Makes 2 loaves.

from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book.  

*Note: I used the dough hook attachment on my mixer to do the kneading.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Crafting goals for 2014

Upon reading the 2014 crafting goals of some of my fellow  bloggers, I decided to take stock of my own.
First I would like to finish stitching my Winter Angel and then post the pattern.
I have actually finished much more than this but have yet to photograph it.
I would like to design and stitch angels for Spring, Summer and Autumn also.

I have an awful lot of WIPs:
I need to finish quilting this Peanut's quilt.

I need to bind my Flying Geese quilt.

I need to finish my Barn Jacket. Look how far I've gotten though.

I finally finished that first pesky sleeve and I am about halfway done with the second. No frogging so far....I've probably jinxed myself now.

I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading?

I am still reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I really do like the book, but I think I will be reading this for quite a while as I am trying to concentrate on my crafts whenever I have some free time.

Speaking of which, here are some more ideas that are in the 2014 pipeline:

Knit a hat for hubby.

Have my son's quilt quilted and then bind it (need to save a little for that). I will share a picture of that quilt shortly.

 Finish cutting the fabric for and then stitch up a bargello table runner.

Complete a stamped cross-stitch started by my mom.

Crochet a dress for a craft bear that doesn't have anything to wear for the winter.

Knit a vest and another infinity scarf. 

Oh my goodness, I am exhausted already and there are so many more projects I would like to start and complete.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow and Doilies

We had a blizzard here last week!
Here is the view of my back yard.
This is out my front door.
  My son's flight to California was cancelled. He couldn't leave until two days later so he had the privilege of using the snow blower.
Did he really think we would let him miss out on some snow while he visited?
How do you store your Christmas decorations? This is just one of many plastic storage bins that I have filled with Christmas stuff.
I slip an index card with the contents down the side of each box facing out. This way, not only can I see which box I want to empty next when I am decorating, but it greatly helps when putting everything back after Christmas. No more trying to fit items in willy-nilly.
As you can see, I have made revisions along the way as to what goes in which box.
Marie Ann over at The Crooked Yarn is actively crocheting doilies so I decided to look at my collection. I have made a few myself with mixed results possibly because I have a whole bunch of inherited thread much of which is unlabeled.
I made the doily below a couple of years ago.
 There are a few mistakes that I can see easily, but I don't think most people would see them. I think it looks quite pretty on my dining table now that it has been blocked.
Along with the thread that I inherited from my husband's grandmother, I also received the pattern books you see below.

I would love to make this one someday.
I'm not sure I have the patience or skill to try this but maybe someday.
Here are a couple of doilies that I inherited from my own Wisconsin grandmother. I believe she made them, but I really don't know for sure.
 They are three different sizes and the middle one has a couple of stains.
These are quite delicate and intricate.....or at least to me they are intricate.

I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along once again. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading?
I am still slowly working on the first sleeve of my Barn Jacket. Since my son was home a while into the new year, I didn't spend much time working on it. Maybe by next week I will have the first sleeve done and the second one cast on.

I have been looking through Ree Drummond's A Year of Holidays, not really reading.  

This was a Christmas gift from my mom. I always like to get books as gifts because you can always keep them. Mom usually writes something inside the cover of each book also.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Gifts 2013 and a Happy New Year Yarn Along

Happy New Year!!!

This year I decided that some hand-made gifts would be appropriate for my family as that is what this blog is all about. I started out simply by making plastic canvas coaster sets for each of my children. 

 This set was made for my daughter. I have made this pattern before and my daughter has always liked it.  

The set below was made for my son. I went through a few revisions of this design as I wanted to make sure they would be masculine enough for him. 


I was quite pleased with the result. The center star is actually a dark teal with black and grey surrounding.

My daughter also received the Richmond Lace Infinity Scarf.

I used Patons Kroy Socks yarn in Chambray Colors. The yarn is a little thicker than what is recommended so the scarf came out somewhat wider and I needed two skeins to get the correct length. My daughter is quite happy with it and did not immediately realize it was hand-made. Perfect.

My son received this Wasatch Backcountry Hat for Christmas.

I used Caron Simply Soft in Charcoal Heather and Grey Heather. I think I may make another in the opposing colorway for my husband but I will have to make it longer because when he tried it on to model it for me it was too small for him.

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Stop on by her site to see what others are crafting and reading.

I have just finished reading The Shell Seekers.  I don't know why it took me so long to read as I found the story quite interesting and looked forward to learning about each character. Next I am planning to read The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.

Thanks for stopping by!