Friday, October 27, 2017

The Joys of Autumn

I was not able to get a post up last week. We had driven up to Salt Lake to baby sit our 2 young granddaughters while their parents were out of town. Oh my. Lovely girls but I forgot how much work it is to take care of an almost 2 year old and a 4 year old. I was lucky to get the dishes done!

Baby hats
While riding in the car I like to knit. I am bored with dishrags, so I switched over to baby hats. Easy pattern, great car driving project. It is a 5-6 hour drive to Salt Lake, so I got a lot of knitting done. Now I have a couple of hats ready for the next new babies to arrive.
Mom's yarn
I had a bunch of yellow and pink yarn that came from my late Mother's stash. It feels good to use it up.
Brass and steam
I had a bag full of shawls and a couple of cowls that needed blocked. I decided to block one a day and was able to get them all done in about 10 days (took a couple of days off) We then went up the trail near our home and took some glamour shots. I did not photograph the cowls. First up is The Age of Brass and Steam. Rav project page
Hemp Shawl
Next up is a triangle shawl that I knit using some cool Hemp yarn that a friend gifted me. Just a simple triangle pattern that I made up as I knit. Rav project page.
I loved knitting this one! It is the Croc-a-tail Scarf pattern by Jessie Ksanznak. Link to my rav page.
I used some wonderful handspun yarn by Karen of Gift of Grace. Right now her shop is empty of most of her yarn, but she is doing a shop update soon, I believe on November 1st. She also does custom spins.
Simple blue
Another fun, fast knit! Blue is my favorite color.  Painted Hills is the pattern. Link to rav page.
Another fun knit! I had a bit of trouble with the start of the pattern, the designer is not a native English speaker and so some of the instructions were a bit unclear to me. Once I got the idea of how the increases worked, it all made sense. This is a huge shawl! Rav project page.
And the grand finale of my blocking pile! A design by SusannaIC. I love this shawl! It is very large, like a cape size on me. I started off using a larger needle and so it just grew like a weed! It is beaded. Rav project page.
I am still working on my swap blocks from last post. Hope to have those finished this week. So my only finishes are my knitting and blocking. Nice to get that bag of shawls blocked!

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Amanda Jean

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Catching up

One of the quilt groups that I had belonged to in California swaps blocks every month. Each year has a pattern and color/theme and this year's blocks are strip pieced blocks. Since I am so far away and can't attend meetings I do a year's worth and mail them off to a friend. I usually try to get them there early spring, not happening this year. As long as they get there before the December meeting, my friend can catch me up.  I did participate in the swap last year and wrote about it in this post.

string block
I thought I need to square to 7" (over-sized for the recipient to be able to square all her blocks to the same size) and made about 4 blocks. Then I found out most were squaring to 7-1/2", so I decided I would just keep those and then went to the larger size.
4 blocks
My four smaller blocks. I love the design!
one batch
I have one month's worth done, and most of a second. Each batch features a block for each swapper and a block for the "Pot". Sometimes there is one winner and sometimes two. Depends on how many blocks are in the pot. I have won the pot a couple of times.
I pulled strips from my scrap bags. I sort my scraps according to size. I have bags of strips in various widths and also boxes of squares cut from scraps. No matter how many strips or squares you use up, they still keep multiplying! I tried to keep the strips sorted a bit on my sewing table. That lasted for about 15 minutes. Oh well. I work better in chaos.
in progress
I have several blocks in progress. I will start another one so that I can go iron the seams.
ready to trim

removing paper
I found that if I fold the paper back and then tear it away using That Purple Thang it really comes off easily! Since the seams are all side to side it is an easy chore. I have been tearing right after trimming each block.
Grand Canyon
We drove down to the Grand Canyon last week. Oh it was lovely!  I had only been there once before, when I was 4 years old. Since it is day trip from here, we will be going back frequently!

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Home sweet home!

We were away from home for over a month. We had sketchy internet most of the time, so I was not able to get a blog post up.  Trying to catch up and get back into a normal routine. Our first stop was at the family cabin at Bear Lake. Very relaxing and peaceful.

Grand Teton National Park
Next up was 2 days at Grand Teton National Park. There was a lot of smoke in the air from the ragging wildfires in the western USA. We could barely see the mountains through the smoke. The second day was a bit better, but still smokey. I had accidentally hit the date stamp on my camera.  Wish I could figure out how to erase it off the photographs from that day.
Old Faithful
Our next stop was Yellowstone National Park! We stayed 4 nights there. OMG! It was fabulous! Still some smoke in the air, but it did dwindle each day. This has been on our list forever. It was the first National Park in the USA.  We saw Old Faithful!
Sapphire Pool 
This was one of my favorite features! The colors were incredible! It looks like a cool pool, but is really a very hot spring.
Bear Lake
We took 2 days camped at two different lakes on the way back to the family cabin. We stayed for 4 or five days there before closing it up for the Winter. Sweetie dropped me off in Layton on his way home. The Utah Quilt Guild has an annual Fest every year and I love to attend with all my buddies. I did not teach this year, taking a year off.
The Amazing Race
I took two classes.  A design class from Joe Cunningham. Which I will show next post. And then a team class, The Amazing Race. Sandy and I did this class last year and it was fun! So we decided to do it again.  You work as a team and end with two quilts. In between the steps you have to do challenges. Which is to make a couple of blocks from a kit. The blocks will be used in donation quilts. I still need to get the borders on my pineapple!
Design Wall
After I got home I decided it was time to finally install the design wall in my new sewing room. To test it out I put up a batch of swap blocks that I had trimmed at Quilt Fest the week before.  Looks like it works!

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