Friday, April 30, 2021

Nice and Easy


There was way too much project drama this week so yesterday I picked up something that couldn't go wrong.

The slow pace of paper piecing was a good respite from the week's challenges and failures. 

Here is where my new little iron really shone. I love this little thing. It makes me want to iron things and I hate ironing. 

I finished another row on the table runner and am attaching it-nice and easy. After this crazy week, that's going to be my theme for the weekend-nice and easy. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

When Life Hands You Lemons....


The way my crafty karma's been going lately you would have thought I would have had the sense to stay away from the soap making stuff but The Mister went to play golf yesterday and I couldn't resist.  My soap stash is running low and I hate making it in the summer when it's hot. 

I should have let well enough alone when I heard it was going to be in the 80's with high humidity but noooo.....I went ahead and dove in. This wasn't going to be just any batch. It was going to be a BIG batch. 64 ounces to be exact. That fills two of my bigger molds. Remembering how my luck had been going this week I measured everything out especially carefully. I wasn't taking any chances with that much batter.  It was all going perfectly until......

.....I realized that had forgotten to add the fragrance oil. I had bought a pricey lemon essential oil and was dying to try it. It smelled so good. Oh well, there was nothing to do now but mix it all up again ruining the pretty lemon yellow and white swirls and marbling I had spent so much time working on. 

Now I have two identical loaves of plain yellow soap. I suppose it could have been worse. At least my house smelled like fresh squeezed lemonade all day. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wednesday WIPs


After my big knitting adventure I felt I needed a break from the big needles so I picked up an old piecing project I've been working on for a couple of years. My quilting karma was as bad a my knitting karma because only minutes in I made a fatal error in cutting. See the big squares? That's what I needed. See the little squares? I wasted the last of that material cutting out the wrong size. 

To make matters even stupider, I was trying to make the block that I had already made and didn't need. I don't know what I am going to do when I can't blame stuff like this on Covid Brain anymore. 

I hesitate to admit that things got even stupider but after all that I spent a good hour looking for material online that could replace the material that I had wasted. It's from a defunct Connecting Threads kit that uses 1930's repo so I needed something similar.  After all that frantic looking online I found just what I needed-right on the shelf in front of me. 

After all that drama I realized that I didn't need to worry about matching anything because it's supposed to look scrappy.  I think Connecting Threads emptied their shelves of yucky material for this quilt. You can't get uglier fabric than this and this wasn't even the worst of it. 

In spite of all the drama I did get two more blocks made and that included the one I had to sub in the material for. It's the one in the middle and I think it works just fine. All that fuss about nothing. It's the story of my life. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday


I know I've been all wrapped up in finishing the Sweater That Shall Not Be Named this week but I did get some stitching in. I finished the inner square of the Village Quaker and started the cute little village that goes around it. 

I also got another 10 by 10 grid square done on the lawn. Mr. Very Big Goose will soon have a head. 

I was so happy last week that I only had 8 more blocks to go on the squares quilt. I did one more block and now I only have 8 MORE TO GO. I must have miscounted the week before. To say I was dejected is an understatement. 8 more to go. Darn it. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Absolute End


It's done, done, done, done.  I forced myself to crochet all that stupid decorative edging on yesterday. I finished up the ends of 3 audio books that I had started while I did it. It was no fun. I hated every stitch.

Since nothing really went right with this horror of a project it's quite fitting that the clasps I was so excited about wouldn't work. They were too long for the short bands of the placket.  I'll have to keep looking for smaller ones-later. Maybe next winter when I just may be able to look at this thing again. Maybe. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

In Defense of Steeking


I didn't mean to scare anyone away from steeking yesterday. It was definitely user error. I've steeked plenty and only had fails when using the crochet technique which I admit I am terrible at. 

That's where you crochet a chain down each side that you want to cut. When I made my Palette Cardi it was way too big so I steeked it all over and cut away lots of fabric so it would fit. For the most part it worked but I did have some areas that pulled apart later. I admit I am not very good with a hook and I think I just don't have the eye to catch the right threads before I cut.

As long as I use the machine for reinforcement or even hand sewing using the back stitch it all stays in place nicely. 

I wouldn't hesitate to steek again in the future. I just will NEVER trust those crocheted edges again. At least not MY crocheted edges. 

I am very happy to report that those blankety blank sleeves went on without a hitch. Now I have to tackle all that crocheted decorative edging around each sleeve and the front placket. It's slow going and not much fun. I should have it done by next winter. Maybe. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021



We've had a cold snap here complete with frost warnings so what better time to sew those sleeves into Lofoten. I thought....

I was only a few stitches in when my knitting alarm went off.  I was pulling up a lot of unattached yarn but since there were cut steeks on both sides of the seam I just kept on. 

After the seam is sewn you go over it with a decorative crocheted edge to neaten it up. That's when things went horribly wrong. That wasn't the raw edge of the steek I was pulling up....the body around the cut was UNRAVELING. I had used the crochet technique for the armholes and it was all coming apart.  I was beside myself in anguish. I could see all those years of work going right down the drain. 

Everything I did made it worse. Then I remembered that Arne and Carlos said they only steek and seam their sweaters on the machine. The directions for this pattern said NOT to use the machine but what the heck. I was willing to try anything at this point. I reinforced every cut seam by zig zaging over them twice-especially the part that was unraveling and then I just cut it away. 

I have no idea if I saved it. It was way too much drama at this point and I needed a clear head to continue so I packed the pieces away for another day....and took a nap. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

A Big Adventure


We were off yesterday to do something we haven't done in over a year.

Who would have ever thought I'd be this excited about going into a grocery store?

Picking out my own veggies was heaven. We still have 4 days until our 2 week vaccination waiting period is up but we have a lot of confidence in our little mom and pop grocery down the street. They've been delivering our groceries all this time and not one of their employees has caught Covid. They must be doing something right.

It was a quick trip in a mostly empty store during the late afternoon lull. The Mister needs to work on his social distancing before I turn him loose in there by himself. I'm sure he was getting the stink eye from some folks before I quietly nudged him away. He needs to learn patience to wait his turn in the aisles. 

I am so glad not to have to do big two week orders anymore. BC-before Covid we shopped almost everyday for fresh fruits and veggies. We are not going back to that anytime soon but running in for just a few things a couple of times a week is going to be such a big improvement over the drudgery of planning things so far in advance and trying to keep things fresh. Hallelujah.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Baker's Joy

Amazon got it here in a flash. We've got our own little fleet of Prime trucks now and everything shows up pretty much the next day. I have no idea how they do it. 

I followed a recipe I found on the Nordic Ware website. It was for a chocolate orange cake. 

The recipe called for a blood orange but this is all I had. 

The spray worked like a charm. It came out without a hitch. Not a crumb was left behind. 

I didn't have much on hand to use as a glaze so I just heated up a can of chocolate frosting and poured it over the top. The recipe was meh....but the cake looked amazing. Any recipe ideas for a decent bundt out there? I need some direction. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday WIPs


The Mister went off to play golf again yesterday so Pup and I hit the road solo. It was too nice a day to stay home. I've logged more couch time in the post jab #2 week than I have in probably forever and I just didn't feel like anymore of it. 

It was a beautiful day, sunny and calm. I am sad to say that the boat I was lobbying The Mister to buy is gone. I watched it change hands on Saturday. Sigh.....

What I really wanted to do was make a cake but after watching all the Nordic Ware tutorials I realized I needed some of this. They do not recommend Pam as it will gum up your pan and I've never had any luck greasing and flouring a pan especially fancy ones. I've got this three pack winging its way from Amazon as we speak. I hope it's here today.

After a week of couch time I do have a lot of knitting to show off. Festive Doodle is nearing the bottom hem. I've got only 10 more rows of colorwork to do before the ribbing.

I have made peace with the naughty cable project and am enjoying it very much. As a rule I'm not fond of cables but this is just enough to be a challenge without being a chore. 

The socks are all at various stages. I don't think I will have an April finish but that's not a problem. I am way ahead of schedule this year for Christmas gifting. Once The Mister and I get the all clear to get out of here I foresee lots of car knitting in my future. One week from today should be the day. I can't wait. I've got a long list of errands that need seeing to and a kitchen to remodel. Argh.....I can honestly say I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the idea of freedom. I have no idea where to start. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Let Them Eat Cake


The family got this photo texted to us the other day. DIL had made one spectacular cake that we all ooohed and aaaahed over.

I commented that I had no idea how anyone ever got a cake like that out in one piece from one of those fancy pans. I remember vividly the great bundt disaster of 2018. That's when I gave my cheap old fancy pans to the charity shop. 

Well....look what showed up in the mail today. DIL sent me one of those really fancy non-stick pans. The Mister never got a birthday cake because it was the day after our jabs and no one was feeling up to cake but lookout-I'm going to be going cake crazy in the very near future.

Monday, April 19, 2021

No Sew Sunday


I was feeling more like my old self yesterday than I have in a while but I still didn't have the will to turn my new coffee themed fabric into an apron. I love my criss cross tea themed apron but it's rather light colored so I went looking for something that could stand some daily slops and these two caught my eye. They are from Connecting Threads.

Speaking of not sewing, look at Daughter's new quilted coat. 

She has been trying to get a quilted coat from the Honeybea shop forever and found this pricey look alike online from a New York shop. If you don't know what Honeybea is it is worth a look. It's a Canadian designer who takes vintage quilts and crocheted items and makes one of a kind coats and accessories from them. They sell like hotcakes and getting one is near impossible. Who knew there was such a market for things like this? Not me.