Archive for March, 2013


Hope everyone had a Happy Easter, we had some travel challenges but arrived home this afternoon. Keith generously shared his cold with me and I plan to do nothing tomorrow but lie around ALL day!


Heading home tomorrow but we spent one last day with Chris, Becky, and Rae.


On my needles

The Vortex Shawl is just about done I think. I need to wait until I get home and pick an edging to be sure of how many more rows to knit.



I knew I wouldn’t have much time to sew while we were here but I thought I’d have just enough to assemble this set of HeartStrings blocks. This makes 135 blocks and 3 completed tops toward my 365 block challenge I’m doing this year with HeartStrings.


Back to sewing

I’ve been knitting a bit but I also set up the machine yesterday and started assembling this set of HeartStrings blocks now that our company is gone.


Alone time

It’s snowing here in the north GA mountains and as the last of my company leaves I plan to spend today by the fire with my knitting.




In GA with the kids, Keith’s Mom and sister-in-law and emergency dental work ….. I’ll post some photos in a couple days … Of the family, not the dental work!

What I’m reading

Finished up the last of the HeartStrings blocks and plan to pack them and assemble the top in GA after all our company leaves. It will be hectic until Tuesday afternoon but then we’ll have a few quite days. I’m SOOOO glad I splurged for my birthday last year and bought a sewing machine for there.

Packed some knitting to take along too. The Votex shawl is coming along well and I might even be able to finish it. It’s hard to tell really because I’m not sure how many more rows I have and the rows get longer and longer. I’ve got a couple small projects too just in case.

Your comments were interesting on the question of how much you’d pay for a knitting pattern. I do understand that it takes a lot of time to write, test, and publish a pattern … I’ve not written a knitting pattern but certainly have provided a lot of quilting instructions.

As I said when I responded to several comments, at a certain price point, I’m going to opt to spend my money on a book that has multiple patterns AND one that I can look at before I buy … Or in the case of Amazon, return it if its not what I expected. And speaking of books, a new one arrived today … Knitting on the Edge

In other reading …
My current audiobook is Colonel Roosevelt . I’m really enjoying this one and have enjoyed the two previous ones … I may actually be adapting to listening to a book although it’s reserved just for knitting. I still prefer to read a book myself.

My current Kindle book is The Distant Land of my Father, a novel of Shanghai.

I also bought the book To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come. I’m reading though it and choosing questions I’d like my Mom to answer for me about herself and her family. I email her one a day and so far she’s been really good about answering. I’m already learning things about her that I didn’t know even with having asked her a lot this last year or so since I’ve been working on the family genealogy.

And one last book related item. Overdrive has updated their app and it’s much easier to use. I’m too cheap to buy audiobooks (talk about expensive!!!) so I use Overdrive to borrow them from my local library. They also have lots of ebooks but I share my Kindle books with my Mom and sister so I usually just buy them from Amazon. If you haven’t checked it out, you should!

My binding is done

This is the last quilt needing binding this month – pieced by Paula.


How much would you pay?

I don’t buy quilting patterns and rarely purchase a book or magazine anymore. I’ve got more books here than I need to inspire me and most of the time I just draft my own quilts anyway. I also spend quality time on eBay looking at antique quilts for ideas.

Knitting however is another whole different kettle of fish … I’m amassing quite the collection of books and have even purchased a few shawl patterns online recently. Of course, Ravelry leads you to lots of free patterns also which I’m grateful to the designers for providing. I’m not confident enough to design my own (yet) although I am acquiring stitch dictionaries and have some ideas floating around.

So my question is how much would you pay for a single pattern?

I’ve paid $3 for a couple I found through Ravelry and I thought those were a good value, I paid $6 for this Calla Shawl pattern but only because we saw one at the quilt show in Hampton and I bought yarn to make one for my sister and one for me (or another gift) but otherwise I wouldn’t have paid that much for it.

I love this Lakeshore Shawl but I’m definitely not paying $7 for it.


Do you knit?

I want to make this Prayer Shawl by Cheryl Andrews but don’t have enough different purple yarns … Do knit? Do you have any leftover purple yarn in any weight? Would you be willing to send me some? Each row is self fringed which means that you cut the yarn at the end of the row leaving enough for the fringe and start the next row with another piece. That means even small amounts of yarn can be used. Ribbon and novelty yarns as well as yarns in a range of weights from fingering to bulky can be used.


Setting the HS Stars

Another possibility … For those interested in how I made the stars I posted instructions on the website.


HeartString Stars

Bev coordinates our Maine sew-ins each year and has requested that we help her make star blocks for a quilt for a fundraiser to give back to the American Legion in Yarmouth Maine who allows us to use their log cabin free of charge for the week.

Now you may not know this about me but I NEVER participate in block exchanges because my blocks are always slightly undersized…. As Mary Ellen Hopkins would say, I have my own PPM (personal private measurement) and all my blocks work well together.

I’ve been thinking about how to participate. I wanted to “represent” HeartStrings in my block and have it a little oversized so I could trim it down to 12.5 inches, the requested block size. Luckily this allowed me to play with an idea that I have had for a while to combine liberated stars and strings.

My points aren’t meant to be overly liberated but they float in the square allowing me to trim the block down without cutting off the points and I’m not concerned with them being exactly the same, I eyeballed their placement rather than measured them. I’m not sure if this is what Bev had in mind but I’ve got 4 blocks for her.


I haven’t decided all the details yet, but the quilt I’m thinking of making will be scrappier in the background and will alternate a dark background with a light one. Like the one below, only scrappier. Much scrappier!



I love how different our HeartStrings quilts can look. #4 was pieced by Paula and has sashing between the blocks. Quilted during the night (yes I was up all night) with the pantograph Ebb and Flow, the plan is to get it bound in the next few days before we head out again.


Now I’m going to head to bed and try to get some sleep before my volunteer shift at the library this afternoon.

Finished this weekend

All three of these were bound this weekend.

My HeartStrings quilt and March’s UFO


This HeartStrings was pieced by Beth


This HeartStrings pieced by LauraJean


Happy Birthday Adam!

Can’t believe my baby is 28 and a father himself. Where does the time go?!


My Irish lad and lassie

Photos of both of the kids on St. Patrick’s arrived in my inbox – isn’t technology great?!


Happy St. Patrick’s Parade Day

It’s technically not yet St Patricks day but the parade was downtown today so I’ll wish you happy parade day!


What I’m reading

I haven’t posted my reading material in a while so I’ll catch up.

I’ve been working my way through Donna Leon’s mysteries that take place in Venice, Italy finishing both Suffer the Little Children (2007) and The Girl of His Dreams (2008).

I’m reading Laura Lippman’s novel And When She was Good and finished her novel The Girl in the Green Raincoat.

I just finished the book Reunion: A Search for Ancestors by Ryan Littrell

I’m still listening to audiobooks while knitting although I admit I’m still shocked at how much longer it takes to listen to a book than to read it. Tonight I finished Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian and started listening to The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris.

While I usually enjoy a good biography I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen this one that focused on race issues or should I say the issues of race but it’s read by the author herself who grew up here in Minneapolis and I’m finding it very interesting and enjoyable.

On my needles

I’ve trimmed a quilt, made binding, machine stitched binding, hand stitched binding, and spent an hour making HeartStrings blocks today … Keith and Chesty are upstairs in bed and finally I can sit down with my knitting and relax.

I’ve started the second skein and my Vortex Shawl is coming along. I’m intrigued by circular shawls so I’ve been reading up and just had to order Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac to read about Pi Shawls.

I can’t spread it all out for you because it’s constrained by my circular needle but its looking lovely!