On pins and needles

December 23rd and I am anxiously waiting for my children to get here.  Of course, they have not even left Napa yet but they’ll be leaving soon.  I try not to look at the weather reports showing snow and promising a couple feet of snow.  We’re not really used to the snow but I am quickly getting there.  However, the kids don’t do much driving in it in fair weather Napa Valley. As you can imagine there is a stark difference between there and here in Reno, NV.

I think you get the idea.

So I wait…..and worry….

I will be so happy when they are here.

Finished Projects

I am pretty stoked about my recent activity in stitching. I have finished two projects. The first one is a knitted in Caron Cakes  in purple hues.  I found out about Caron Cakes through The Crochet Crowd. The pattern is on the site as well but I found it on the band of the Caron Cakes I bought. Two skeins is all it took and it was really enjoyable to make.  If you would like to give it a try you can find the pattern here Triangle Shawl. Very easy even if you are a beginning knitter.

 

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Another project I finished was a crochet Corner to Corner throw. I used some Red Heart yarn that was my mom’s. She had an abundance of it so I thought that it would be great for this.  It was a little more advanced but not by much.  If you know how to chain, single crochet and double crochet you’ll do well with this.

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As you can see I had a “shades of purple” thing going on.  Something I discovered about my unfinished (now finished) projects.  Both were at the halfway point when I put them down.  Hmmm….. a pattern I see here.  Pun intended!  What was nice though is that because they both were basically corner to corner when I picked them up to finish them I was on the decreasing end of things so they finished up pretty quick. I’m pretty please with the end result and with myself for actually finishing some things up.

However, in a previous post I talked about Crafter’s Math  which if you have read that you know I’m not very good at math.  So…I have started a new project. Of course!  I won’t say what it is but will post a picture or two after Christmas as it is a gift.

Time to sign off and go to the window to check for the kids again. Safe travels to all who are traveling this holiday and to those who moms are waiting on.

happy-holidays

With love from your stitching friend ~Tracy

 

 

 

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New Beginnings

I have been thinking a lot lately about new beginnings.  The last couple months have seen a lot of new beginnings, fresh starts, etc from the people I love.  A big one for myself involved moving from California to Nevada.  Two weeks in and I know it was meant to be.  I’ve been through some “fresh starts” only to find out it wasn’t everything I thought is should be.  This is different.  It feels comfortable, natural and wonderful. Everything leading to this moment just fell into place so easily.  It was truly amazing.  I’m not the only one who has had some new beginnings.  My son has graduated from fire academy and has accepted a position in another city.  His boyfriend also accepted a position with a major company in California. Now they have a home together.  Some big changes for those two right there. My oldest has a new apartment, new routines and is doing so well. I am so happy for her.  My youngest of the three graduated from high school in June and will start college this month in Nevada.  Big changes!  I, myself, started a new job at the university here.  That was a hard one for me.  I left Napa to move to Reno to be with my fiance, but in the process had to leave some people that left indelible footprints on my heart from my previous job. And  I left behind family and friends that I really enjoy being with. I will find ways to keep in touch with everyone but am happy to say after one week at my new position I know I work with a great bunch of people.

What got me started thinking of new beginnings is a crochet project I’m working on.  My daughter’s friend Michael and his wife are expecting their first baby. Big, wonderful new beginning for them. We have known Michael for many years so I thought I would make a baby blanket for the little guy, Baby G. I started knitting one in a really pretty mint green but then on one of the many drives between Napa and Reno during the move I decided to go in a different direction.  Michael and his wife are huge Dodger fans.  So, I put the mint green blanket aside and picked up some white and royal blue Caron Simply Soft yarn to make a star blanket.

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It is the Crochet Star Afghan from The Crochet Crowd.  I have been following them on Facebook and they really have a wonderful variety of patterns. This one you can make any size you like.  So, beyond a baby blanket it could be made big enough for an adult. I’m enjoying this pattern. After about five rows I didn’t need to look at a pattern anymore so this has been a nice project while watching the Olympics.

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And so it grows.  The yarn is so soft and I really like how the star is turning out.  A star blanket for the little star of their lives.  Baby G is due in September so I have some time but am hoping to finish it up this week. That way my daughter can take it to the baby shower.

New beginnings, big changes, fresh starts…  We have them throughout our lives. Some seem scary at first but end up being some of the best things in our lives.  I hope your new beginnings are filled with excitement and growth!

Keep on stitching through it all!

Tracy

 

Birthday Crochet Afghan

Just got back from a weekend in Reno.  My friend Lori cooks at the Genoa Cowboy Festival every year.  She’s told me so much about it I just had to finally make the trip and go with her.  She belongs to a Dutch Oven group in Reno. The whole group had an area where they cooked and offered samples to people who came to the festival.  So many talented cooks and really fabulous food.  Lori even got me to make an apple pie in a Dutch Oven.  Wasn’t really sure how or if it would work but it did turn out nice.  I was super pleased and the pie was gone in minutes.  I got a lot of nice comments on it and am planning on going again next year.

Me with my finished pie.

The apple pie itself

This is how it was baked.  Cast iron pot with coals underneath and on the lid to give the effect of being cooked in an oven.  It took longer than baking it in a kitchen oven but turned out just as nice.  
While I was there I took the opportunity to give Lori a birthday present I made for her.

This last month I took a break from finishing up projects to make her an afghan for her birthday.  I used  Red Heart yarn.  Some of it came from my yarn stash that included some that her mom gave me about a year ago.  It is in Heather Gray, Burgundy and White.  I didn’t have a pattern but just did it granny square (rectangle actually) style.  It was came together really quick and I like how it turned out.  Cool mornings and evenings I hope will be a little warmer with this. She really liked it.

Next Saturday I’m going to take my mom to Needle In The Haystack in Alameda so we can get more fibers for our needle-points.  Then I can get back to working on those.  In the meantime I’m going to make some socks.  I came across some sock yarn in my stash and thought that would be a nice diversion from finishing up projects.
Hope you are working on some great handcrafts.  Would love to know what you like to do and what you are working on.  Feel free to comment or pass this blog on to someone who loves needle-crafts as well.
Stitch on my friends!

Cable blanket for Heather

Tonight I finished up a blanket I’ve been working on for my oldest daughter.  Done in cable stitch it was a joy to make.  I used Lion Brand Chunky in gray and it turned out just wonderful.  It’s smaller than anticipated but because of the weight I’m thinking it’s going to stretch out some.  A link for the pattern is in my previous post entitled Project Finish UP.  It’s a great cable pattern that someone who is fairly new to knitting could do.  Even with the ease of the pattern I think it’s got an impressive look to it because of how wide the cables are.  The cables were worked over 12 stitches which made it a bit trying at times to keep the first six stitches on the cable needle while I knitted the second six stitches but it can be done.  The pattern does instruct you to make it in panels but I don’t like doing seams so I just knitted them all together.  Glad I did.  Anyway, here it is:

I like it : )  I hope she will too.  I’ve laid it out on her bed as I’ll already be in bed tonight when she gets home (5am comes early for me) but wanted her to have it now.  
Stitch on my friends!!
Tracy

Finished Projects

My last post talked about the basket of unfinished projects I have.  Many unfinished projects.  I’m till working on the blanket for my oldest daughter.  In fact I even took it with me to my youngest daughter’s drumline competition this weekend and got a lot done.  One more competition and I should have it finished.  Just kidding.  I’d love to finish it up by the end of the week.
However, I did take a break and my 25% off coupon for Michael’s craft store and got some of the things I need in order to finish some of these projects.  So coupon and list in hand I got what I needed to finish a few of the smaller projects.  Such as this:

I made this for my youngest daughter who is a huge Dr. Who fan the Christmas before last.  It’s supposed to depict the Tardis in a worm hole at the beginning of each episode. I got the idea from someone on Ravelry I think.  It’s a crocheted hexegon that is worked with both colors at the same time but not together.  Not sure that makes sense but I do like the way it turned out and would probably make another one but in different colors again some time. It ended up about 4 1/2 feet across.  After I was done I wished I had added some red in there someplace but I do like the effect.  The Tardis is made from felt sort of like doing paper piecing for scrapbooking.  The reason this has been a project to finish is that shortly after Christmas the Tardis started coming off.  So…. brainy me…took the iron to it hoping to get the fuseable webbing I used to stick better.  Well, the Tardis promptly melted and I ended up with an unfinished blanket and messy iron.  Finally, it is finished.  
The other project I finished was three counted cross-stitch pieces that just needed frames.  They are from a book my mom got me years and years ago.  I had asked my youngest daughter which ones she would like (she was about 4 years old at the time) These are the three she chose.  I really enjoyed stitching them and was so excited to get them in frames. And so they sat for about 10 years in  a bag.  I found them when I was sorting through projects and this last weekend Sonnie (my daughter) and I went shopping for frames.  She’s got a good eye for bargains and found these for 50% off.  And, I think they work really well with the stitched pieces.  Plus, I’m happy she still wanted them in her bedroom at 16 years of age.

I’m so happy to have them framed and now feel even more inspired to get some more projects completed.  I did buy embroidery floss to finish the Father Christmas blanket and Halloween counted-cross stitch so I am ready for those next.  I also got the fabric and pillow form to finish the pillow that Sonnie latch hooked when she was a little girl.
As always, keep on stitching!!!
Tracy