Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Knitting report

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was determined to get better at knitting.  I want to knit a baby sweater for my great-niece-to-be, and I decided to practice by making a few washcloths.

The first washcloth (pictured above on left) was easy peasy.  I finished it in just a few days and surprised myself with my (relative) speed and accuracy.

I cast on my second washcloth with confidence--confidence which turned out to be sadly premature.  I struggled and struggled with the second washcloth.  I had the pattern down just fine, but somehow I kept ending up with an extra stitch on my needle by the end of the row (and I eventually understood the extra stitch was actually hopping onto the needle at the beginning of the previous row...).  I had to do lots of unraveling.  The plus side of making the mistakes was that I was learning how to fix the mistakes.  I know how to "tink" now, and how to unravel and get my stitches back on the needle so they sit the right way (and when they aren't sitting the right way, I recognize it and know how to fix it).  I also think I figured out how that extra stitch kept magically appearing.

I feel ready to tackle the baby sweater, and I'm hoping to cast on soon. I think the knitting itself will actually be easier than the washcloths because it's mostly in stockinette, and you stitch to a certain length without having to keep track of rows.

Before the knitting, though,  there is first a small matter of a baby quilt for my little great-niece-to-be, which has now become two baby quilts, but that's a story for another post.  (And no, she's not a twin.  It's two quilts for one baby, because I am crazy like that!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Popsicle Weather

I bought some new popsicle molds last week and couldn't wait to try them out.  First up, Fruit Sherbet Pops.  Very tart, but also very refreshing!  I halved the recipe and had enough to fill up 6 molds (with a bit leftover to freeze in a cup for someone to eat with a spoon).  This concoction forms a solid popsicle, but it does melt quickly, so be prepared to eat it fast.

Next up, Fruit and Yogurt Pops.  I modified this recipe a bit.  I halved the recipe, and since I used vanilla yogurt, I omitted the sugar.  A half recipe fills 6 popsicle molds.  I've actually made these twice now.  The first time I used a cup of vanilla yogurt and a cup of blueberries.  This time I did a blueberry/strawberry combo.  Both are very tasty!  They're not super sweet like commercial popsicles, but kind of tangy and yummy.  I'm eager to try a strawberry/banana combo.  My kids' initial reactions were "these don't taste like popsicles."  I replied, "No, they're better!"  Even though the kids don't think the yogurt pops taste like popsicles, they still fought over who got to eat the last one.

Ok, summer, bring on the heat!  We are ready with our tasty homemade treats!

Monday, May 14, 2012

New View

My new back yard.  The play structure went to a new home today.  We'll still be able to visit it (it's at my husband's sister's house), but I feel sad.  That big empty spot in my backyard is further evidence that my children are growing up.  Beginning with birth, parenting is just one long process of letting go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Blackwork is on the wall!

 My blackwork pieces are now framed and on the wall!

 It's always so hard to get photos of framed needlework, but here is one close-up so you can see the matting and the frame.  All four pieces are matted and framed identically.
And to remind you of why I was doing this in the first place, here is a photo of the "before", after I rearranged my furniture, but before I updated my walls:
With the exception of that large photo over the piano, everything hanging on the walls in my living room is either stitched by me, or photographed by me, or painted by a family member.  My home is like a little gallery for my family's artwork.  And I love it that way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For My Friend heart

 Ah, Blogger, how you frustrate me.  I uploaded my photos for this post, expecting them to be in the order reverse of how they are actually appearing.  I don't feel like spending time trying to figure out how to fix it, so just start at the bottom and scroll up for the effect I was hoping to achieve.

I stitched up this little heart this week and am very pleased with it.  It's from the For My Friend booklet by Blackbird Designs.  It's supposed to be a pincushion, but I stuffed it with poly-fil instead of crushed walnuts and added a thread hanger.  This will soon be on its way to a friend in Alabama who is undergoing breast cancer treatments.  I don't think she reads this blog, but if she does happen to see this, well, surprise!  Watch for it in your mailbox!

 Here it is, after stitching was completed, but before I made it into an ornament:
I do hope it spreads a little cheer.