Sunday, March 1, 2015

YOP Week #35

I missed last week but you didn't miss much! LOL!  The only problem with being strict with myself about "finishing" things is that it gets boring for my blog readers as it's the same old projects.  If I would sit and knit and/or crochet all day I would move ahead faster but I have other fish to fry and most are way ahead in my priority list.  But I do knit on my breaks during the day and I take quite a few at my age and I crochet at night while I watch t.v. or listen to a book on tape.  
On the knitting front, the blanket is coming along really well!  2 weeks ago when I blogged I was just starting block #31 and this week I am just starting block #41 out of 55!  I am seeing a finish off in the distance and being this close there's no chance of me putting it there?

My plans are to finish and then back it with a dark brown "minky" fabric I've had my eye on.
The only problem is I've never lined or backed anything knitted before.  I've seen it done though and it really looks wonderful.  I'm just not sure how?   Pre-wash the fabric to ensure there's no shrinking and leave enough fabric all around (1/2 inch?) to press a hem and then blind stitich all around?  If anyone has done this please tell me as else I will be "winging it".
I've also been slowly catching up with the preemie hats and I'm just finishing up January......
I spent some time organizing them and making a list by month of how many and what type was needed to fulfill my requirement.  Then I woke up this morning and realized it is now March!  I need some more yarn too.  Get a move on, Sam!
Feeling so good about my "stick-to-it-iveness" I found myself needing a little joined a  BAL (blanket along) over at Cherry Heart and actually today is the official start so please go over and join if you feel the urge.  She also has a group on Ravelry for it and all the information including the free pattern is at the above link.  Here's my humble start........the picture is Sandra's hexie blanket called the Weekender and that is exacly what I am doing.  The BAL is for any  blanket you are working on or have set aside and it doesn't have to be her pattern.  It's just a group to encourage us all to finish and/or start those blanket projects.  My plan is to work on my blanket of blocks above during the week and then on the weekends (get it...The Weekender?) I'll work on the hexie blanket.
I ended up doing my first hexie 3 times before I got it right.  The picture above helped tremendously.  I am so poor at following directions and she had a chart also but I haven't learned how to use them...yet.....I think it was one of my YOP skills this year...or it should have been.  Now that I sort of know how to make one maybe I can go back and understand the chart.
I put a big order in to Deramore's as my Stylecraft DK was never a big collection but it will be now!
I'd been saving my "allowance" for awhile now to place an order and it was free shipping to the U.S. even so I felt very "puffed" as my friends in the U.K. say or is it "chuffed"?  Regardless, I am very excited  for it's arrival this coming week and I will share pictures as soon as it arrives!
I'm also learning a new technique today (hopefully) with Cherry Heart's JAYG (join as you go) instructions.  That's why I only have the one hexie done as I need to be spending some time on that technique today.  The only problem with "join as you go" is you have to know your color placement right away where as when you join later you can lay them out and see what arrangement looks best.  I did take a tip from Lucy over at Attic 24 that she does for designing her blankets and their colors.  She wraps some yarn around a clip clothespin (you use the clip to keep the end of the yarn from unraveling) and she marks the number/color of the Stylecraft DK on the end.  I need more clothespins before my yarn arrives this week! LOL!
I hope you all had a great week and Happy March!  We're having snow, sleet and freezing rain today so it's a great day to cozy up and do some handwork.  I have spaghetti sauce simmering and putting a great smell in the air!  Happy Trails!
P.S.  I finished a bunch of books this last week too so stop by tomorrow for "It's Monday, What Are You Reading".  I'll have some reviews and stop by Book Journey who is the hostess of the Monday reading group.  There are hundreds of reviews on her site and Monday's are when her fellow reviewers all link up.  So, if you're wondering what to read next, Sheila will lead you to just the right book!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ahhh....I finally feel like I'm catching up a bit...............

Does it bother you when you fall behind on even your basic household tasks?  It does me and I'm talking basic here not immaculate (in my dreams).  The weather has me running to Walmart in-between storms whether I want to or not.  So yesterday I went to get supplies and today I stayed home and got "caught up"....a bit.
I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen,cleaned the litter box, watered the plants, fed the birds, ironed and there's a supper ready and a dessert and while I ironed I listened to an audio book.  How seldom it is anymore that I can mulit-task so it felt good and although I like ironed items...ironing is boring in and of itself. 
I also printed off some directions for a new BAL ...a "blanket along" being hosted by Sandra who is the hostess of the blog Cherry Heart which has the most gorgeous crochet.  She is having a BAL for any blanket you are currently working on, an old WIP that you've set aside or a new one you want to start.  Sandra will be working on her Weekender Blanket made of crocheted hexies.  She is providing the pattern free of charge and has the colors she is using all published in case you want to use her colors.  The yarn she uses mostly is Stylecraft DK yarn found at Deramores and we all love that yarn because there are 68 colors!!!! Plus it is the best acrylic I've found and it is on sale until the end of February and free shipping to the U.S. even though they are located in the U.K.  I have received packages from them faster than I have some companies located here in the U.S.  If you go there be sure and click on U.S.A. at the top to get U.S. prices in dollars else it will be in lbs which is fine for my friends in the U.K. but not so much for us stateside! LOL!
So, I am organizing my Stylecraft and getting ready to place an order!  I think it is on sale at 15% off if I'm not mistaken and it's already a reasonably priced yarn.  Thank you, Deramores!
Lucy of Attic 24 showed how she wrapped her colors of Stylecraft around clip type clothespins and wrote the color on the end of the pin so she could use them when she was designing a new blanket.  I'm going to do the same thing...........
 Here's what I have so far..............I'll be working on this tonight so I will know what colors I have and be ready to place an order tomorrow.  I'm still working on my knitted blanket and I have 16 blocks left but "The Weekender" will be my weekend project and there is a Cherry Heart group on Ravelry too.  I'm excited!
If you are the least bit interested you should join in.  Everyone is so supportive in the group and Sandra couldn't be nicer or more welcoming.  She also has tutorials on her blog for projects and stitches.  I printed off her JAYG (join as you go) instructions as that is how I want to join the hexies on my blanket. (50% less ends to weave in).
Well...supper's ready and I am hungry!  Kielbasa, fresh asparagus and a "fan" potato
YUMMO!  And Grey's Anatomy is on t.v.
I hope you had a great day!
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Well, blow me down and call me Dusty!

What a much for my long cozy winter.  I went to blog on Sunday and the dog (Nitty, think big, think Rottweiler) and I were playing and she leaped up and her head came into contact with my nose and I saw stars.  I fell back on the bed sure that it was broken and the pain...eye chihuahua!  Finally, it eased a bit and I sat up and then the blood started running out...big time!  It is not broken but Sunday was not my best day.  I tried to blog Monday for "It's Monday What Are You Reading" and couldn't access my email and still can't for some unknown reason and by the time I got back around to blogging it was suppertime.  I'm tired, disheartened, and  weary but..........I will "carry on" as the Brits say so here is some bits and pieces of my week so far...or last week.  I can't might have been that knock on the noggin or have I always been this way?
 It snowed..............

 and then there was freezing rain (thank you Lord for keeping the power on!).....
everyone was cold and hungry around here.........
We stayed inside for most of it and cuddled up....except when the girls needed out or to feed our feathered friends........
Nitty and I are going gray at the same time! LOL!
Annie has to have a blanket she gets so cold..........
and Grace is the only one that actually likes having her picture taken.
The ice stuck around for a few days making going anywhere pretty dangerous so we hunkered down.....
I had picked up some Pepperidge Farm Caramel Pecan rolls in the refrigerator section at the store when I went last week so I baked those  up.............
yuck.....the filling looked like the rolls threw up and it tasted almost as bad.  The plastic packet the filling came in said brown sugar but it tasted like prune.  I looked at the ingredient list and there were no prunes in them but there were a whole lot of chemical names I couldn't pronounce.  I was really disappointed as Pepperidge Farm was always good or used to be.  I would not recommend them at all.
Maybe I've just gotten so far away from "processed" "chemical laden" food that it's really awful tasting to me now.....and that's a good thing!
I finally got out to the store yesterday and got some milk, and birdseed and potatoes....a big 10 lb bag for the same price they had listed for a 5 pound bag.  I always wash up my vegetables and fruits when I get them home that way they're ready to use and I don't have to wash them before I use them except berries.  You don't want to wash berries until just before you use them or they'll get moldy and spoil faster.
They also had a few items marked down for quick sale........$1.11 for all this asparagus.....
and I got 2 green peppers for .25 each.
The other night I dreamt of a caramel apple cake with salted caramel icing on it.  So, I searched for a 
recipe and I found one!   HERE
It's a Paula Dean recipe so I was a little suspicious...........she uses lots of sugar and IMHO overdoes it..............but I always follow a recipe to the letter the first time I make it....

I was right.....very sweet!  It's a good cake and heavy with fresh apple pieces and lots of nuts but way too much sugar....I'll make it again but just an 8 inch square pan and LOTS less sugar, Paula! 
That's all the news for now....I am knitting and crocheting and hoping to get some sewing done here pretty soon too. 
Happy Trails!

Oh!  P.S.  For some reason the storm took down my clothes pole....or was it those deer?  I told you it was a strange week!