Sunday, January 31, 2016

Boot cuffs & Country Cozy afghan [Crochet]

Seriously??  It's been two weeks since I last posted?  How on earth does that happen?  Honestly!  Today marks the end of January -- does time EVER slow back down???  I most definitely feel like it's a constant 'go-go-go' around here. 
Amongst the 'go-go-go' of yesterday, we fit in some time to shop for some much-needed jeans and boots for Cassie.  Having some left over yarn from the double-braided cowl, a quick Boot Cuff pattern was searched out on Ravelry in order to add some fun accessorizing to Cassie's outfit.

The pattern was written to have the ribbed portion at the top, but it was hugging her leg very nicely.  So, we elected to add another 2 rows of sc, the second row being a decreasing row, and now... she has two different ways to wear this boot cuff.  Score. :)

Friday night, I actually DID elect to stay home instead of venturing on the one-hour drive to see Cassie's basketball game.    Candace had BB practice until 4:45, and Caitlyn was having a friend say over for the night.  Therefore, once dinner was eaten and cleaned up, the feet were propped up on the ottoman, a movie was put in the player, and I relaxed with the Country Cozy afghan!

Fitting in hair appointments is kind of a laughable thing.  But Cassie has been quietly begging for a cut;  her hair had been getting quite shaggy.  SO..... OUT came the scissors Thursday evening, and I had a go at it.  THANKFULLY, we both were happy with the results.  Hair crisis averted!  Whew....

Next weekend, we're back to BB tournaments; nothing new there.  To be fair, looking through pictures on the phone, I guess I should admit to having some down-time while at the tournaments.  It's simply not the same as having down-time at home, though.  ;) 

I don't know about y'all, but..... have you noticed the extra moments of light in the evening????  5:36PM the other night, and there was still a fair amount of light coming from the horizon :D

No quilting or sewing going on around here;  just some crochet from time to time as it fits.  We're one week down of the new/final semester of the school year;  not quite the home-stretch yet (*LAUGH!!!*), but that dreaded Senioritis is starting to infect a few of our kiddos.  Ruh-roh, Shaggy!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Double Layer Braided Cowl [Crochet]

The morning began with a Soaping Sunday, making up a batch of hot-process yogurt soap, fragranced with Pomegranate, and as I was measuring out the oils, I received a text from a coworker via Facebook....

Is this something you could do? And if so, could you make one for me? I'd pay for the supplies and your time!{Double Layer Braided Cowl}
So, as soon as the soap was in the crockpot cooking, I read over the pattern to determine the difficulty.  Parts of the pattern weren't written using standard crochet terms, so I was confused for a few moments, but realized it was simply asking for Front-Loop HDC and Back-Loop HDC.
A response was sent to my friend, requesting she pick out the yarn and quoting a price.  An hour later, she responded that she was out shopping and found the yarn!  LOL.  
Since she seemed eager, and I really didn't have much going on today, another message was sent letting her know that if she was able to drop off the yarn, I'd be able to get a start on the cowl this afternoon....

The first layer took about 1 1/2 hours; I hadn't anticipated it would work up quite that quick.

And then the second layer just ended up working itself out during the next couple of hours. :D  

I truly had no intentions of finishing this up today, but it felt good to have a bit of motivation in the form of a new, fairly quick, project!

I'm not a big scarf wearer, HOWEVER, I like how this one lays on the neckline with ZERO bulk in the back.   My coworker is also pleasantly surprised that I worked it up so quickly :D

Happy Sunday.  Tomorrow, back to the grind.  Many of my classes have Semester Finals this week, so.... I'm hoping my week should be fairly relaxed (even if the students' week isn't)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Soaping Sunday, RSC 15 & some quilt reparing

The lard-rendering crockpot was emptied and turned off last night at 11:00;  four quart jars were filled and cooled overnight...

...never having rendered lard before, waking up to this picture was kinda fun!  Pie crusts recipes were sought out and discussed, however, the first use of the lard was reserved for a new soap recipe to try!

Tropical Vacation, hot process soap will spend the night in the mold seeing I didn't make it up until mid-afternoon.

The 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge had me teaming up with Andee (The Modern Diary).  She pieced up Bonnie K. Hunter's "Betty's Choice" blocks (shown below) while I designed up a simple connector block; each of us creating two blocks per month;  one to keep and one to share.  A final block (aqua) was pieced today to round out my collection to a dozen.  I can't wait to see these blocks play together!

A bit of time was spent organizing up my 'piles' around the sewing area, and an old "FIX-ME-UP-SOMEDAY" quilt has me inspired.
This Blue Hearts was one of my first quilts made in the early 2000s, and is begging for some mending.

The quilt was only tied with buttons & yarn in a few locations; clearly this was created LONG before I knew about the method and idea of actually QUILTING the layers together! 

It has been loved and wore in, certainly!  A poly batting had been used, a simple muslin backing -- it was such a snuggler!!!!

....and falling apart at the seams from its use.  
I've already separated the layers and stitched up the seams that were falling apart.  I'm planning to play around with the quilting, branching out with some custom quilting rather than a pantograph.  It'll be a good piece to practice with.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A lot of Basketball - A little crochet

The day started as a typical Saturday morning during the month of January for the Skattebo clan.  Caitlyn's first tournament game of the day began at 10:10 in a town about 30 miles away (south), so we were actually able to have a relaxing morning, allowing the girls to sleep until 8:00.  

Once we arrived on-site, Candace said..."Hey, we were just here last night!"

Yup.  Cassie's HS JV game was in the same town; same gym...

The Country Cozy crochet afghan was taken along, and a few rows were completed between plays and games.  
However, halfway through Caitlyn's second game, we had to skitter off to the NEXT BB tournament, 35 minutes away (east), for Candace's FIRST ever game.  Thankfully, a close friend was able to 'mother' Caitlyn for the rest of the tournament;  it takes a village, right?!

The fifth grade team is low on numbers this year, so Candace was asked to suit up as a fourth grader to help out.  Being the youngest of three sisters, she DEFINITELY is living up to be the stereotypical 'little-sister-gym-rat;'  the one who has been on the sidelines, watching for all these years.  And now, she's ready to play!  Her nerves were apparent, but she settled in nicely with the teammates and had a blast.  And as it should be with most parents, I simply LOVE watching m'girls, win or lose.

Our Laker girls!  
(and goofy Daddy-o)

The coldest day/night of winter is upon us... We're due east of Siren...
5pm update with the weather moving east.... ;/

Therefore, now that we're home, we're hunkered down for the rest of the weekend.
Tonight's excitement.....?
Renderin' some pig fat for lard ;)

Tomorrow's excitement....?  HOPEFULLY, some quilting!

Happy Saturday everyone

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Country Cozy afghan progress [Crochet]

Coming home from school today with an EMPTY schoolbag, and only one of the girls needing to be taxi'd into and back from town for basketball practice, I was feeling a bit motivated to head downstairs to work on some quilting.   However, by the time dinner was served, cleaned up, and Caitlyn driven off to practice, interest had been lost in heading downstairs to the sewing cubby.  Besides, the temps are dropping, and the basement has a lingering chill!

However, I pulled out the Country Cozy afghan that had been started........ *shrug*..... SOMETIME last year.  At first I thought the pattern needed to be searched out again, but when I simply looked back at the repeating pattern in my stitches, I was able to determine the pattern and added another few rows this evening.

 I'm vowing at this moment NOT to start any new afghan projects until I clear out some of my UFOs and WIPs!  ;)  

The current view of the floor next to my rocker glider....
* A lil' lapghan ripple UFO using up some left over earth-tones...
* a king size manghan ripple UFO is underneath that...
* a neutral granny ripple WIP was started in mid-December one day when I received a bag of yarn from my MIL
* a crochet rug WIP that I started last week in hopes to gift it to my brother for his new house

.... and the view just to the back of my rocker glider...
* a bag of yarn for the king size manghan
* a bag of yarn for my ongoing scrapghan that rests on my ottoman footrest
* another bag of yarn that holds the earth-tone left overs for my ripple afghan

It's time to finish off a project or two!  The Country Cozy afghan isn't expected to finish as a large project;  it should end up being a nice lapghan, or a nice couch throw.

Our lil' lady celebrated her 10th birthday Monday evening!
One of her gifts was a latch-hook rug set of a treble clef;  she's been working on it a little bit for each of the past two nights.  She's loving it so far, and she's advanced to the bottom part of the clef just moments ago -- she's excited to add the new yarn colors!!!!!

;)  Another yarn monster in the making ??

Now I KNOW I said NO NEW crochet projects...... 
.... but in ALL SERIOUSNESS, my brother legitimately has requested a pair of shorts similar to this.  He plays in an annual golf tournament that awards a "donkey prize," and I guess he's hopeful a pair of these FASHIONABLE SHORTS could guarantee a victory!  *snort*

I DO aim to please!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Thirty-Six & Stars Scrapalooza

Having finished off Celtic Solstice and Cathedral Stars this week, the quilting mojo was still flowing, so I loaded up Thirty Six that had been waiting on the to-do pile for a few years, having been started back in July, 2011.

The Feather-Me pantograph was used in order to give this quilt a feminine touch, using Aurifil thread, as always :)

Bobbin thread ran out just shy of finishing, but I had had my fill last night, so everything was shut down for a relaxing evening in front of the TV with the family, counting down to the New Year. (although, I drifted off around 11:00)....

This morning, the quilting was finished up, resulting in a complete size of about 66" square.

Feather Me pantograph

THEN, with the time hovering right around noon, I figured why NOT load up yet another quilt!?!?!?
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014 found myself and Kevin the Quilter teaming up to create some complementary blocks;  my version resulted in Stars Scrapalooza, inspired heavily by Bonnie's Wonky Star block.
Both Kevin and I pieced up two each of our blocks, with the plan of keeping one and sharing the other with each other.  Kevin's design is still "Top Secret" -- I so excited to see what he comes up with.

My design incorporated some scrappy wonky stars as the cornerstones in my sashing units, continuing the overall theme of wonky stars.  Kevin's blocks are AMAZINGLY done, using a crumb-technique for much of his blocks!
"Fascination" pantograph by Lorien Quilting
I took this opportunity to test out a new quilting pantograph that had been set aside after a panto-mania I went through a year or so ago.  

A few hours of quilting later, another (almost) finish is added to the pile.  A soft knit backing was used, and it behaved quite nicely; I had been worried it would stretch a bit too much. 

The pantograph is quite 'linear' looking, but it quilted up quickly, didn't use a heavy amount of thread, and is QUITE forgiving.   The quilt measures 51" x 71" -- a GREAT size for a throw snuggler or for a little girl to enjoy on her bed.  I'm really quite pleased with the fun brightness!

Wrapping up four quilting tasks this week, ONE of them being a 110x110 King size, is definitely leaving me feeling quite accomplished.  My back isn't even that sore :D

So NOW.........
in the event that Bonnie's latest Allietare mystery reveal knocked me off my seat from yet ANOTHER show stopper design.....
... maybe I could pull some fabrics from the shelves... to just percolate for awhile while a sand-n-sea inspiration unfolds...

2015 Running Log

2015 Running Log
Totals:  24.92 miles
Quiet year ... :(

9/2/15: 1.84 miles (11:10/mile)
8/31/05: 2.00 miles (11:21/mile)
8/30/15: 1.83 miles (10:48/mile)
8/30/15: 2.08 miles (11:27/mile)
8/26/15: 1.82 miles (12:14/mile)
7/29/15:  2.01 miles (11:35/mile) R/W
7/28/15: 2.01 miles (11:36/mile) R/W
3/15/15: 2.00 miles (11:36/mile)
3/10/15: 1.83 miles (10:59/mile)
3/8/15: 1.80 miles (10:56/mile)
1/25/15: 1.65 miles (11:45/mile)
1/8/15: 2.00 miles (12:18/mile)
1/2/15: 2.05 miles (12:11/mile)

Cathedral Stars - a finish

New Year's Eve day was spent putting the finishing touches on Cathedral Stars for our school's band raffle coming up in February.  

Measuring at 87" square, it most definitely wouldn't be considered a chair snuggler throw, although, after some breaking-in, it has the potential :)  

Cathedral Stars is a pattern designed by the amazing Bonnie K. Hunter [free pattern link]
This was quilted with the 7" overall feather pantograph from Golden Thread's Dot-to-Dot quilting book, using Aurifil 50wt (#2314) thread as both top and bobbin. 

This is the second raffle quilt I've created using this pattern;  Bonnie knows how to design show-stoppers!