Friday, September 15, 2017

House Arrest

Okay, not really house arrest, but I've been told by my doctor not to go back to work until after the baby has arrived.

I'd like to say that I'm using the time productively to clean up the house and get things ready but we all know better don't we? I'm under orders to relax in-between doctors office visits and dropping in at various day cares.

I finished all the blocks for my mosaic quilt and I think I've decided on navy blue sashing.


I've flirted with Fall Fairy a bit, concentrating mostly on the upper right hand corner. I'm ALMOST all the way over to the other side. Its slow going since I'm doing the backstitching as I go. I think I'd hate to do it all at the end. I'm going to run out of one of the colors, which surprised me so early in the project, so I'll have to contact Dimensions and get more before I can go much further on this one.


And today I spent a few hours repairing Jack's Dagorhir garb and working on some embroidery for water bottle carriers.

The Last Alliance

House of Valdyr

The Deepwood Rangers

Finally the JYAG afghan is coming along quite nicely. Its only barely big enough for a doll blanket right now so we've got a ways to go.


Tomorrow is the first day I've been off work that I don't have to run to the doctors or meet another appointment so I'm hoping to get a few minor baby prep chores out of the way. What are your weekend plans?


Saturday, September 9, 2017

An Assortment of Crafty Pursuits

 Last weekend was a glorious three day weekend. Happy Labor Day to all, I hope you had a relaxing time! I was able to put a little bit of time into a quilt I've been working on. I now have eight of the twelve blocks completed on my mosaic quilt. This quilt is using the leftover castoffs from my drunkard's path quilt and is done using raw edge applique.


 This week while at work, I unraveled the waffle stitch scarf I had been working on and went with a simpler pattern. This is called the Everybody Scarf and the pattern is available free on Fiber Flux. I think this new pattern suits the yarn much better than the waffle stitch did. It took me about half and hour to get this far, so its a very quick pattern to work up. Currently, its only about four inches wide, so I will probably unravel it again and restart it with a few more columns.


I'm also having a lot of fun continuing with my JAYG afghan project. I took it with me this morning to the hair salon and was able to complete several squares and weaved in most of the ends while waiting for my niece to have her hair done. This picture shows the colors much better than the previous photo.


So labor day has passed, schools are back in session, and the temperature is dropping rapidly. We had a pretty mild summer and the temperature outside is falling to about 50 degrees F every night. I haven't yet had to turn the heat on and I'm resisting doing so, but it probably won't be too much longer.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Harvey in particular hits close to home as my brother's house was flooded and most of his things damaged beyond recovery. He currently only has the clothes he was able to throw in his go bag when he evacuated and has started a modest fundraiser to help replace the necessities. The fundraiser can be found here: Clothing and Personal Effects Fund by Christopher.  Please consider donating to this or one of the other charities assisting in the recovery effort, such as the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Baby Blankets

At the baby shower two weeks ago, we received several beautiful handmade blankets. Two were crocheted and two were quilted, and I was really happy to get them as I love giving handmade blankets to people. 

By my mom

By a lady from church
By my good friend Akkina
By my sister Katie

I'm sure they'll all be well used before too long, thank you to all who took the time to create these for the baby.


Friday, September 1, 2017

It's September!

And just like that, fall is here. September brought with is a 10 degree drop in temperature, making it a cool 54 degrees F on my way to work this morning. August was already very mild so I'm hoping this is not indicative of another unbelievably snowy bitterly cold winter like the one was had a few years ago.

I promised a crafty update and so you shall have a crafty update.

I've been working a bit here and there on my C2C blanket and I hope to finish the main part of the blanket soon. I also found something called Shawl in a Ball by Lion Brand in the Prism colorway on clearance at Walmart and scooped them up. With this yarn, I started another lightweight blanket this past Sunday for something a little different. I'm using Motif #118 from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs with a 4.0mm hook and I'm attempting to do it as a Join as You Go.


Between the crochet and the thank you notes I wrote this weekend, my wrists started hurting again, so I had to set it aside before I wanted to which means I've been working on a cross stitch project instead.

Mini Innocence made its appearance back on my cross stitch stand this week. I was happy to get to discover that the first page isn't entirely background. I'll be stitching some of her wing soon, you can see the beginning of the outline of it in the lower left hand corner.


I hope you are having a great holiday weekend. I had the offer from a family member of help with house stuff tomorrow but I turned it down in favor of a mental health day. I plan to do many crafty things and a few necessary chores here and there and generally keep things quiet and relaxed.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Third Annual Deepwood Ascension Festival Prizes


We've had an insanely busy couple of weeks around here, with last Saturday being the baby shower (my mom popped in last minute as a surprise!) and just yesterday was the Deepwood Ascension Festival, our major Dagorhir event of the year. My To-Do list keeps growing longer instead of shorter as I only have five weeks before the baby is due.

I spent the last week writing thank you notes and working on the prizes and cooking for the event.

I put together two grand prize belt flags for the tourney awards and three water bottle carriers for the gold raffle at the end.




Akkina arranged a menu of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, rolls, and a vegetarian dish and did a fabulous job coordinating the whole thing.

Jack and Morric put together four laser engraved leather belt flags for tourney prizes.


I didn't get a chance to take any photos as I was short on sleep and really only stayed long enough to help with serving food and clean up but I know people took photos

Today was a day OFF! After the insanity of the last few weeks, Jack and I both needed a day to sleep and recharge. I did some crochet, some cross stitch, a couple minor chores, and took a nap. I'll post again soon with crafty & baby shower updates (I received some beautiful handmade blankets that I'm dying to share) and with some photos of the event when I acquire them.

Friday, August 11, 2017

World Cross Stitch Day

I found out yesterday that we now have an official World Cross Stitch Day and it took place TODAY! I celebrated by neglecting my to do list after work today and settling in for an evening of stitchy goodness.

Before World Cross Stitch Day

At the end of World Cross Stitch Day
I was able to cross off about 700 stitches today, which means my needle was really smoking. I also somehow managed to throw together a quick lasagna for dinner. Pro Tip: Use leftover spaghetti sauce and no boil noodles for the easiest lasagna ever.

All in all it was a pretty relaxing evening. I might turn it into World Cross Stitch Weekend :) :) :)


Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Weekend Away and a Weekend at Home

Last weekend was Rivendell's Third Siege of Imladris. Jack was originally going without me but I had a rough week at work and was going to take Friday off anyway to get our garbage disposal installed, so I decided last minute to join him. It was a weekend camping event but we stayed in a hotel in deference to my doctor's request, as she didn't want me sleeping on an air mattress at seven months pregnant.

I'm afraid that I didn't think to take pictures, but if you check out Elsea's Photography on Facebook,  there are close to a thousand photos from Siege available to view. This is one of Elsea's and is posted with permission.
Copyright Elsea's Photography, used with permission

Along the way, I finished off the most recent scarf and hat combo. This was a bulky yarn that is super soft and kind of curly and hard to crochet because the stitches are so hard to see.


I spent the weekend crocheting, cross stitching, and relaxing. It was really nice to get away. We didn't get any souvenirs from the vendors but I found this t-shirt set online while we were gone and couldn't resist ordering it for Jack and Baby. Its a sixth month sized onsie, so it will be a little while before they can wear them. 


Today was spent at home. I had planned to spend the day in my sewing room relaxing but somehow that just didn't pan out. I worked on editing embroidery files we'll need for our Deepwoods III event coming up at the end of August, so I'll be sharing some finished sewing projects soon. I did some easy chores around the house that needed to get done, a little crochet, and a little cross stitch.



Tomorrow the plan is church and a little laundry and on Monday I'll finally get my new garbage disposal installed. Finally. It was supposed to be installed last Friday as scheduled, but the basics is the plumbing company showed up a day before they said they would and didn't bother to call me to ask why I wasn't home. So I waited for four hours for them to show up last Friday before calling them and reading them the riot act. Their answer was "We'll reschedule you, just take another vacation day because we only schedule this between 8 am an noon." Ummm...nope. I hired a different company to come out after work on Monday and I'll be thrilled to finally get this recalled garbage disposal thing finished up.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Crochet Cables

 Greetings again! The last two weeks have been filled with all kinds of undesired tasks, reducing my craft time to almost nothing. I did however manage to sneak in a few minutes here and there, starting a new scarf using the new Red Heart Super Saver Stripes in Cool Stripes. This is the umpteenth attempt to learn cables and finally a successful one. I do like how the stripes are working out and will probably look into a few different colors of this yarn in the future. This yarn is a little coarse but I think it will be durable and the colors are very vibrant. The pattern I'm using is one I found on Ravelry. It is simply called "Cable Scarf by Laura Cracknell" and can be found here. Cables are a yarn eater but I'm hoping I have enough yarn for a matching hat.


I was also pleased to get the living room floor cleaned up so that I could take a photo of my progress on my C2C blanket. I've lost count of how many skeins I've used but I *think* I'm on skein 12 or 13.


Its well more than half done if you don't count the border, and I have a few more skeins on hand. Its also getting too big to travel easily, as it approaches the size of my queen mattress.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Slow Weekend Stitching

You would have thought that a four day weekend last week (thank you Independence Day) would have been fun and relaxing but it really wasn't. 

In the last month or so, anything that could break down and need expensive repairs or replacements has broken down and the culmination of this was my clothes dryer last Tuesday. It was a second hand dryer that we picked up a few years ago on the cheap at a used appliance repair store. A quick check of the model number showed it was thirteen years old with a life expectancy of ten years. I spent a chunk of July 4th in the laundromat, drying all the clothes that I had washed earlier that day and the rest of it shopping for a new dryer.

The upside of spending all that time in a laundromat is that I was able to make good headway on one of the hats I've been working on, and so I now present the latest hat and scarf combo. I actually really hate the colors of this yarn but was aiming for something that would appeal more to men for donation hats and scarves. I think in the future I'll stick to dark solids, like burgundy, brown, and blue, you know, colors that won't make me grit my teeth while working with them. Oy vey, I still have about 400 yards of this stuff to use up but I may just donate what is left to my church. The yarn is Herschnerr's Worsted 8 and I don't think they even sell this color any more.


When I purchased this yarn, I also picked up another variegated called "spice," a teal, and a sage green. I think its possible that I ordered the ugliest variegated that they had. I have learned my lesson.

In the meantime, I also had a page finish on Waiting by Tilton Crafts.


Magnificent Wizard has also been seeing some love lately.


I'm considering starting a sweater for myself. I'd like to make either the Overcast Sweater or the Hooded Sweater. Both patterns are by Maz Kwok of BeACrafter.com. They take similar amounts of DK weight yarn, so I've been spending my lunch breaks browsing yarn sites looking for the *perfect* yarn. I haven't settled on anything yet but it will come to me eventually. I'm also torn between buying some nice yarn so that I want to wear it when done or cheap yarn since its my first time attempting a sweater. Suggestions?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Post Ragnarok Update

Ragnarok is over and everyone made it home safely. There were a few injuries but nothing serious. Now begins the long clean up process.

Here is Jack wearing the new surcoat that I made him and showing off his first place Smithy award for the sword he entered into the Arts and Sciences competition.

 
Me, I didn't get as much crafting done as I had hoped while he was gone. I still had to work all week and I also tackled some cleaning and home improvement projects, the biggest of which was recaulking the tub and faucet. I'm rather proud of that one, I must confess. I think I did a fantastic job for an amateur.

But I did do a little on The Princess and the Dragon, starting the second page, and a little on Tiger Chilling Out.



The rest of this week will likely be spent cleaning up, doing Ragnarok laundry, unpacking the trailer, sorting and storing camping equipment, and restoring the house back to state that no longer looks post apocalyptic.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Couple WIPs and A New Start

I've been quiet but not idle. In the past couple of weeks I've finished a stack of linen garb in a frantic pre-Ragnarok rush (two shirts, two pairs of pants, three hoods, and one surcoat). We've sorted the camping equipment, packed up the truck and the trailer.

Once we finished the Ragnarok prep I turned my attention to cleaning up the house and a little bit of cross stitch. The cross stitch has made more progress than the house cleaning. I completed page 1 of The Princess and the Dragon by Charting Creations.



I worked a bit on Tiger Chilling Out by Dimensions and made it all the way to the bottom of the first page of the this project!


I even started my Ragnarok Consolation Project, and of course discovered that I somehow missed one of the colors that I need for the first page. I think I'll be able to salvage it from another project but I haven't checked yet. I'm stitching this on 28 count black lugana, making my super-bright LED magnifying lamp a necessity. I also have this pattern in paper format rather than PDF, making it a little bit more tedious to stitch - ninja stitches are definitely making themselves known.



I've got more cleaning tomorrow and a lot of laundry to do, but I hope to get back in my sewing room and maybe work on my quilts for a bit. I've got a few quilts that just need borders and if I get borders on them there will be three quilts that need to be quilted. Finally, weekend plans include some quality time with my niece. What are your plans for the weekend?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Weekend on Mackinac Island

 Jack had a work-related trip up to Mackinac Island this weekend, so I took a couple days off and joined him. We drove up to Frankenmuth on Wednesday night and enjoyed a chicken dinner at Zehnders. On Thursday we continued up to Mackinaw City where we picked up an otter shirt for me from a local t-shirt shop and some books for Baby from Enchanted Knights, the medieval store.



Then it was onto the ferry and across the lake to Mackinac Island. It was our first time staying on the island, as we have always stayed on the mainland and ferried across for the day before. Jack had to do work stuff on Friday and Saturday mornings but the rest of the time he was free and we went exploring. We saw Fort Mackinac, took a carriage tour, ate some decent food, picked up a couple souvenirs, and generally relaxed and had a good time.

The view from the Fort, about halfway up.
The weather was mostly mild with a hearty breeze so it was the perfect time to go. We stayed at Mission Point Resort, which is on Main Street but about a 15 minute walk outside of downtown proper.

The lighthouse in the middle is Round Island Lighthouse which was first built in 1895 and is now a historical landmark. Round Island is an uninhabited island just south of Mackinac and is part of the Hiawatha National Forest.

One windy evening from a bench just outside the hotel
Its a good 4.5 hour drive to Mackinac, so of course I took along a bag full of crafty projects. I started a new something (not sure whether it will be a very small blanket or a very large tote bag) out of the last of the yarn from my Grandmother. This yarn is so old it has stickers from a store that went out of business about 15 years ago and I think the yarn itself is much older than that.


This is my first Join-As-You-Go experiment and I'm happy with how its going so far.

I also spent some time cross stitching while Jack was at his conference.

Friday morning's relaxing stitching time.
Today we headed back, stopping of course at the Cheese Haus in Frankenmuth on the way home to get our favorite cheese spread.

On a slightly different topic, since I can't go to Ragnarok this year, Jack bought me the fabric and floss to go with a pattern he gifted me for Christmas last year, with the caveat that I can't start it until Ragnarok. You'll be seeing a new project soon.


Well, its getting late and I'm tired and I sadly have to go back to work tomorrow. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Wascally Wabbit

 Meet Rascal, the friendly neighborhood bunny rabbit that visits in the morning. We must be on the same schedule, because I see him as I'm leaving for work a few times a week. I personally think he likes eating all the dandelions in my yard and I'm more than happy to let him have them.


Well, I've been trying to get into the Ragnarok groove but I seem to be lacking motivation. I did eventually digitize the Baline Cross and and working on a new surcoat for Jack.



Also working on Waiting by Tilton Crafts here and there. I've ALMOST finished a page.


I suppose I should go clean something, since we have friends coming over tomorrow to stay overnight. Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Where Did the Month Go?

Yes it really has been a month since I've posted o_O

So what's new?

Well, I spent the first week of May in Milwaukee for work training. I had big plans to stitch or crochet my heart out in the evenings. Sadly, the lighting in the hotel room was subpar and it was more trouble that it was worth. I did acquire a couple skeins of fluffy yarn while there, which turned out to be very difficult to crochet because of the twists in the yarn. The solution was a much larger hook and a very simple pattern. Double crochet all the way, with a color change every five rows to keep it interesting.


I've also finished a scarf I started in January, started a matching hat, worked a bit on the C2C rainbow blanket, and completely ignored my Sophie's Universe. I'll post more photos of those projects before too long.

The following couple of weeks after my training were filled with chores catch-up from being gone for a week, Mother's day festivities, gobs and gobs of laundry, a round of spring colds, attempts to get moving on prepping for Ragnarok, and planning and actually cooking a few meals. I even attempted to make a paleo homemade pasta a couple nights ago. It was an abject failure - the dough just didn't want to stick together properly.

I've discovered an Aldi's a couple miles from work and along with it, the joys of purchasing excellent produce at half the cost of my regular store. I even branched out and picked up some dairy, which I'm a bit skeptical about as we've had bad luck with off-brand cheese and sour cream.

In between all that I did manage to work on a couple cross stitch projects.

Waiting by Tilton Crafts has seen a fair amount of love recently.

Before
Current
As has my tiger, who now has the beginning of a nose.

Before
Current 
So that's about it for now. In addition to Ragnarok, Jack has a work trip coming up to Mackinac Island and I took a couple days off to accompany him. Its entirely possible that I will be getting quite a lot of crafting done in the car trip there and back, an approximately five hour drive. I've never had the pleasure of staying on the island before, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Let me know what you've been up to in the last month - share a link to your blog/instagram page if you'd like!