Pool!

Pool

My parents surprised the kids on Father’s Day with a new kiddie pool for the backyard.  It’s all set up and filled, and the kids are now in summer bliss!

And what is better than swimming on a hot summer day?  Swimming with friends, of course!  And having a picnic all at the same time!

Picnic

I think we’ll be spending many warm summer day like today:  the kids in the pool, the laundry drying on the clothesline, and me nearby on a quilt with my knitting and a plate full of good food for snacking and a glass of herbal sweet tea.

Izzy and Mama

Happy Summer Friends!

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Co-op Pick-Up

Produce in June

This is our small weekly summer produce share for the week.  We also picked up a bottle of Trader’s Point yogurt, our monthly local Amish butter, our local raw cheese order, and our Frontier order – all from our co-op.

I know I’ve said this before, but I adore our co-op!  Shopping from home with mainly local organic farms at wholesale prices and picking it up just a few miles away is so wonderful!

Quilt Along: Basting and Quilting

DSCF8867

I thought I was officially one week behind when I didn’t get a chance at all last week to baste the quilt together.  I looked for opportunities for the kids to be occupied in their own play long enough for me to ensure a clean and swept kitchen floor to spread out, tape, and pin the three layers of the quilt together.  It takes 1-2 hours from start to finish.  The opportunity never came, so I made the best of things by knitting in the small snippets of time that were blessed upon me.

Well, I finally got the chance this afternoon, shortly after lunch and seized it!  Everything is ironed, pinned, and awaiting quilting.  And then I discovered that two weeks have been allotted for this phase of the quilt along and I’m not behind after all!  Yay!

So, now I get to focus solely on quilting this week.  I was thinking that I would try free-motion quilting.  It seems like fun and it’s yet another aspect of sewing that I’ve never attempted.  The picture is my practice effort and I’m not too sure about purposefully doing that to the quilt at this point in time.  That seems a bit scary.  I’m going to give myself a few more practice sessions, put in a new needle, and try it with the good thread and see what it looks like before making any final decisions.  The discussion groups say it’s all about practice and that you’ll hardly notice the harsher edges after the quilt has been washed and fluffed.

Happy Father’s Day!

Father's Day Fish!

We took James fishing at a local park for Father’s Day and within 2 minutes of getting Alex set up with a fishing pole, he caught a good size catfish.  It was about the length of Alex’s forearm, so really quite a large catch for him!  And his Daddy couldn’t have been prouder!

Happy Father’s Day!

Lace Scarf is DONE!

Lace Scarf

I had grand plans for this small project at the beginning of the year.  Last year, I learned to knit socks and this year, it was to be lace.  I bought a couple skeins of lace weight yarn, not realizing how much yardage you get on a single skein and set out to find a good introductory lace pattern.

I decided on using the free fishtail lace scarf pattern using some beautiful alpaca yarn from the LYS.  It was my first time knitting with alpaca as well.

Naive me thought I would be able to knit something as simple as a scarf in just a month’s time.  LOL!  I made good progress during January and after only a few repeats of the pattern had it committed to memory.  I didn’t have straight needles in the correct size, but I had 16” circulars, so I cast on using those.

I only worked a couple rows at a time in February.  I found the circular needles difficult to work on so I put some temporary caps on two DPNs of the same size and continued.  Mental note to self, spend the money on the correct needles to save your sanity (seriously $5 and I probably could have avoided a few headaches!)

In March, I kept loosing stitches and having to rip out 3-4 rows at a time to get back to the correct number of stitches in pattern.  Then, the silly thing fell behind my dresser.  I wasn’t handling all that backwards knitting very well, so I thought it best to leave it hidden behind the dresser for awhile.

It remained hidden, but not forgotten for all of April.

I dug it out in the middle of May and reclaimed the correct amount of stitches.  I also dug out some needle cap thingies that help to keep the stitches on the needles when you set the work-in-progress down.  It solved my lost stitch problem, who knew!?

Wanting to start accumulating some lovely homemade gifts for Christmas, I decided it was time to finish this project up by the end of June, and I did just that last night!  Yippee!

What to knit next?  Maybe a few baby items or a couple of hats for Christmas giving?

Quilt Along: Week 4 – part 2

I finished sewing the quilt blocks together and I’m left with this beautiful quilt top!  I’m really so happy with it!

Quilt Top

Just like Dana instructed on her blog, I used the pressed seams to help guide the piecing together and produced mostly perfect corners where each block meets.  Wow, who knew the simple act of ironing a seam can do so much!?

Quilt Top and IzzyQuilt Top and Jackson

I just realized that this quilt will likely be finished before the Fourth of July and with it’s colors, it’s going to be awfully hard to not spread out such a festive quilt to cuddle up with those I love to watch fireworks.  Must remember that this is a Christmas present and repeat it over and over to myself.


Quilt Along: Week 4 – part 1

Izzy and Quilt

I finally got the living picked up and swept so I was comfortable with working on the floor.  I even got the children to play in the playroom for a bit while I attempted to layout the pieces of the quilt… well, until I got caught anyway.

Izzy could not contain her excitement when she saw all the quilt blocks on the floor and absolutely had to run in circles on it for at least 15-20 minutes while carrying her doll.  She was too cute and I saw no harm in letting her have her fun.

I wasn’t convinced of my fabric and color choices until I saw the the top pieced together yesterday.  I’m really happy with how it’s coming together.  I don’t think that there’s too much of any one color and it seems fairly balanced.

Now comes the fun part of sewing the blocks together.  I’m working on that today.