Friday, January 16, 2015

Like eating an elephant.....

One bite at a time!  I have been working diligently for several months on the Master Knitter Level 1.  I mailed my submission off for evaluation this week!  Now for two months to breathe until it comes back with what I need to redo and fix.  It is a daunting task.  I had to look it all over and then just look at the next step.  There is a lot of research and writing involved as well as knitting.  While in the midst of it I had serious doubts I would go on to level 2.  I am now convinced that I should complete the entire program, all three levels.  The research and writing are good for me.  Below are just a few of the 17 swatches I had to submit.

 Take a good look at this vest.  I loved it, she loved it, her Mommy loved it.  It met a horrible demise.  It came up against the dryer and lost.  It was not knit of superwash wool.  Mommy knew it, Daddy did not.  Sigh.  It would fit a teddy bear now.  I cried.  I contacted the dyer, my favorite dyer, to see if I could get more of the yarn and knit another.  It even had Olaf buttons!  It was too cute to wear once.  Elena, from Colour Adventures, was in the midst of dying for a coop, her mother in law was sick, and she had a lot going on.  She put in time to dye some more for me, included it with my coop order, and she didn't charge me!  I cannot say enough good things about her yarn.  The color, the feel, the way it knits up.  She's always been sweet but this was above and beyond.

 It's been a few busy months.  I've been sewing more that knitting but knit a few gifts for a friend and her new baby granddaughter.

 I love the mini swaps in the Itty Bitty group on ravelry.  The requirements for these swaps is one hand made gift, it can be sewn, crocheted, knit, tatted, painted, whatever, and a card.  That's it.  I crocheted a few snowflakes for the last swap before Christmas.  It was fun to get back into crocheting with thread for a bit.  I stiffened them with one part tacky glue and two parts water.  They were stiff enough, or as Goldilocks said when she sat in the baby bear's chair, they were "just right."
 Sewing, sewing, sewing...oh my.  Pjs for all the grandmunchkins, and flannel shirts for the boys and that was the extent of my Christmas sewing and gifts.  I failed miserably on my goals for gifts this year but have a goal to do better next year.  I did get some amazing deals on the flannel and fleece even though I had to go to Joann's twice to get those deals.  One day was flannel sales, the next fleece.  I found Olaf flannel for the girls and took all that was left on the bolt.  It was just enough!
 Shega kept busy right before Christmas knitting a Dr. Who scarf for a friend.  It took her hours and lots of my stash but it was beautiful when she was done and the friend was very happy with it.  He paid her with a Starbucks card (my suggestion) and she was thrilled.  She got a new hot chocolate mug.
 I almost forgot about this.  His older brothers had a Chillman vest for Christmas at his age so it was time he got one.  Unfortunately he will only get to wear it this season.  I made it big enough for this year but not next so I'll be knitting another.  I still love knitting with Sublime yarn.  Yummy!
 The boys' seasonal flannel shirts.  Shirts and I have a love hate relationship.  I love sewing them for the challenge but after all these years they are still that, a challenge.

 This was a very special Christmas gift for me.  My granddaughter, age 13, spent hours coloring this for me and framed it.  It is proudly in the living room where I can see it often.  I cried when I opened it.  What a treasure.  A 13 year old girl would spend her time to make this for me.  I'm crying again.
 Well, the saying goes, "Go Ducks!"  Or not.  It was a phenomenal football season watching the Ducks this year.  I've slowing been enjoying college football more and more and specifically the Ducks.  I watch the Beavers as well but they frustrate me.  We even went to a Beaver's game this year and throughly enjoyed it.  I think my heart is more with the Ducks, always kind of has been.  Since they were in the Rose Bowl and then in the National Championship, I knit my youngest grandson a "Go Ducks" vest.  I've been wanting to use this pattern for years and finally did!  It is going to be a go to for baby showers.  Fast and cute.
What a hodge podge this blog post has been.  It probably wouldn't be if I did it more often but life happens and blog posts take time.  So no apologies, just when it happens, it happens.
I set a few goals for 2015, not resolutions.  I posted them in the ravelry group.  We'll see.  No pressure.  Looking back at 2014 goals was helpful.  I made a few, made dents in a few, and a few never even saw more than the list.  The goals are like life, keep striving.  And with that, I'm off to strive to clean up the sewing table, again.  Can't have a fabric stash.  It's not in me.  So I sew but I enjoy the sewing and the clean sewing room after....for awhile and then another project notion hits and a trip to the fabric store and more sewing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The making of a quiet book

My grandson is two and can count to 13, accurately.  But he doesn't know his colors or shapes.  Time for a quiet book.  I have forgotten how many I've done, at least 10.  I started when my children were small and I think I saw one so developed my own.  My daughter still has hers.  They evolved as grandchildren came along and now with pininterest they have become works of art.  This is not a work of art and it only took me 3 days to make.  I have other hobbies and grandchildren and, to be honest, I don't think Mr. C is going to notice if I sewed and embroidered a lot of details.  Most of the ideas are from pininterest but there weren't patterns for most of them so it involved looked at the picture and drawing it out with the modifications I wanted to make.  So if you want to make one,  head over to pininterest and type in quiet books and browse away.  From reading blogs and looking here are some things I learned:
....use a blanket stitch, it looks more handmade than a zig zag
....I used two layers of muslin.  I wanted more firmness but not the firmness of interfacing.
....felt was my best friend and they even have stitcky back felt I used on the sandcastle because I didn't want to sew the little windows.  I used felt doubled and stitched together for the moveable pieces like the shapes and color circles.
....most of all, it was fun!  

 I need to get some cars for the garage so Mr. C can drive on his roads.

 I also need to get some finger puppets for the train windows.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whoosh went November....

The grandmunchkins are keeping us busy busy busy and loving every minute of it.  Volleyball matches, wrestling matches, gymnastics, tae kwon do, Wednesday night children's program, church.  Not a lot of time to knit and sew but I finished up a few more things.  I am doing level 1 of the Master Knitter's Program and about ready to submit it to the committee. But in between the intensity of that, there has been some "fun" knitting.        Below is a hodge podge of November and photo intensive!                                           
 I finished this vest in May.  I took some pictures and stacked it away for fall.  I finally got modeled shots!  I love this vest, the yarn, the fit, the design, the buttons!  Olaf buttons, what's not to love?  It's the Rays of Gold vest by Elena Nodel and the details are on my ravelry page.

 I picked up my cross stitch again a few months ago but these are the only things I've finished and they were sent away to my swap partner for the Advent swap.  I have to do some more for our Christmas decorations.  Next year.  No time this year.  I learned a few things since the finished article is not what I would have liked but I ran out of time.  I should have made the hearts bigger so I had a bigger seam allowance to work with for starters.

All things Frozen are a hit and so why not Olaf pancakes?  We don't get pancakes during the week since I don't like to send kids to school sugared up so they are a huge treat on non school days.
 As I said, we've been going going going to grandmunchkin events.  Like volleyball matches....
 and gymnastics.  This little gymnast finished level 1!
 And cheerleading classes.
 For the first time our grandmunchkins that attend the same church we do were part of the worship team.  We were SO proud of them.  They sang, they stood still and quiet when not singing.
 No school November is the phrase around  here.  They are more no school days than school days so we have actitivities planned or we have hyper bored kids.  My sweet husband took the week off to spend with the kids as well.  Activities for this "no school November" included cleaning the roof and making cinnamon rolls.  Even the youngest learned to knead bread!

 Thanksgiving this year was 3 generations!  How special and wonderful.  No gathering of my side of the family would be complete without a rousing game of Aggravation!  It's more about who you can send back than who wins!

 Thanksgiving weekend ended in downtown for Holly Jolly Days.  Our grandson's tae kwon do school escorted Santa's train in and then put on a play of "Frozen".  It was wonderful!
 And as this face shows, it was throughly enjoyed.
Speaking of holly jolly...I have a stack of fabric waiting to be sewn into pjs and shirts and books and wrapped. A future blog post will be sewing heavy!  And a whole lot of Frozen.  I snagged the last of the Olaf flannel and then there's our tree...see you soon.  I hope.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tricks and Treats

October flew by in a flash and with the end of October comes Halloween.  In an effort to be different, I knit up some treats for some of the grandmunchkins.  There wasn't enough time to hit them all but several in the past have gotten something when others haven't so I think it's pretty fair.  A few in the IBK group in ravelry knit up a "Patch" in a fall swap and he was just too cute to resist.  So several found there way onto my needles and then in to two little girls' hands.  

                                           Patch number 1
 While I was on a toy splurge, I knit up the chicken and chicks from Spud and Chloe farm set for my Advent SP.  I think Susan B. Anderson is a genus.  This hen and her chicks were so fun to knit and the bottom of the hen is open so her chicks can scoot under her and keep warm.
                                                       Patch number 2
Did you know October is National Bat month?  It is!  So a granddaughter and grandson got a bat in lieu of a Patch.  The Audobon society brought bats into our granddaughter's classroom and she found them fascinating.  Who wouldn't?
And then it was time for tricks and treats!  We were so blessed this year that 8 of our 10 grandmunchkins knocked on our door for treats!  We had a biker chick, Freddy Kruger, a rock star, Dorothy, Elsa, Wolverine, Captain America, and "momas" (Thomas the Train)

The months of September and October are Advent swap knitting months.  I joined at the last minute not wanting to miss the fun.  There were several required knits, one being mice.  I knit the mice from Itty Bitty Nursery.  So cute and fun.  And I hated to send them away since they looked so cute in the teacup.
I got back into some cross stitch for the swap too.  I'm not thrilled with the finishing of the ornaments but very happy with the cross stitch.

One more bat off the needles since one of my swap partners loves bats!
And a  snowman cloth too.
The swap packages are in the mail so it's time to turn on the Christmas knitting.  Since the knitting is for children that don't read blogs I'll be sharing.