Finished

I finished crocheting this Ripple afghan before we left Big Canoe in October but it still needed all the ends woven in and I got that done today. It was hard to get a good photo of this colorway and this was my best shot. This isn’t the softest yarn to work with especially after working with the Mandala Ombré yarn but the blanket feels soft enough and has good drape.

  • Pattern – Easy Ripple, found free on Ravelry.
  • Hook size – I
  • Yarn – Caron Jumbo, colorway is Garden Grows
  • Blanket size is about 45 x 48. I would have made it longer but I only had two skeins of this yarn.

I finished the Linen Stitch afghan last night but I still have to weave those ends in and then I can start a new blanket! Today, I started a new quilt. I’ve got Rae here so I decided to go for easy and pulled a Jelly Roll out and started piecing one of my Boxed Squares quilts. It takes just one Jelly Roll and makes a nice lap size quilt.

Another finish

This is my favorite guy hat to knit and it’s free on Ravelry.

  • Pattern – Ross
  • Needle size – 8
  • Yarn – Caron one pound. I’m not sure what the colorway is called but it’s a dark gray or black heather

The turkey masks fit … gobble gobble. I’m helping with Rae’s school again. Just 3 days this week and 3 days next week with Rae and then we will not be seeing the kids until after the holidays or until things improve (they’ve been cautious the last two weeks and not around people without masks and distancing). They are trying on the masks but we didn’t wear masks while they were here. We’ve seen the kids all along and have tried to be careful but it’s just too much to try and continue to track and isolate from them when they’ve been with other family and with the COVID numbers still climbing.

Enjoying my porch

If you’re like me and have moved a lot, you develop a sense of what you really want in a house. While we’re not picky and easily make compromises, I knew that having an outdoor space was at the top of my list when we decided to buy our retirement home here in the North Georgia mountains.

It can be very buggy here in the southeast and I knew that a screen porch would get a lot more use and we made it a priority during the house hunt. I’m enjoying my lunch outside every day …

And now that the sun is setting early … we’re enjoying our sunset happy hours out there too!

So what did I give up? There’s no bathtub in the master bathroom, closet storage space is lacking, and I would have liked one more bedroom on the main level (but I’m happy with 2 bedrooms plus Keith’s office on this level). And the fireplace is a definitely bonus too now that it’s vented and I can actually USE it!

There’s knitting and crochet going on today in between other activities (cleaning, a drive, and porch time!) but no sewing today. The kids are coming tomorrow to bring Rae. I’m helping out with her schooling again this week and then she’s coming one more visit before Thanksgiving before we close ourselves away from everyone with COVID numbers taking off. There won’t be any holiday time with family (and given the rapid increase in COVID cases, probably no time with family for several months) and even for these last two weeks, we’ve talked to Chris and made sure they haven’t been around anyone without precautions. I can’t tell the boys not to spend time with other family but we can control what we do. Stay safe everyone!

Assembled

I started my workday by finishing up masks and these are the last ones I plan to make while we’re here.

I still haven’t decided what I want to piece next – I forgot to bring a couple dies that would have given me several choices so I’m waffling a bit. Since I had sewing time left in my day, I pulled a Quick Strippie that had already been cut out and got that assembled.

And finally, I started another hat. I’ve kind of settled into my routine here – downstairs sewing during the day, with some knitting when I’ve finished my tasks and crocheting upstairs in the evenings. I’m making progress on everything.

L Block Charms

I saw this block variation called an L block so that’s the name I’m going with. This meets my November precut challenge to use charm squares.

About half my fabrics were directional so I had to be a little more thoughtful about block placement BEFORE framing the block and thoughtful about the size of the quilt too because my border fabric is directional and I didn’t want to piece it. Isn’t that a great border fabric? The charms and the border came from Connecting Threads but I’ve had them a while so I don’t expect that they still have them.

I did not use a pattern and am writing up some brief notes which will be available in a day or two on my website if you want to make your own version.

Hurricane Season 2020

Seriously? I’m not sure if it’s good luck or bad luck that we’re not home but Tropical Storm ETA is passing through Tampa now. I’ve been receiving warnings all day … high winds, rain, flooding, tornadoes… it’s very worrisome when you’re not home to keep an eye on things. I know the power went out earlier because the electric company robo called me and I knew it was back on too because they called me later in the day.

This is a replay from a couple weeks ago when we were home in Tampa and Zeta came through Big Canoe as a tropical storm causing lots of downed trees and power outages. Luckily, Keith had a neighbor’s phone number and was able to text and ask if everything was OK at the house here.

I’m hoping we’re as lucky in Tampa as we were up here a couple weeks ago and don’t end up with any damage. I’ll text a couple neighbors in the morning to check.

Off my needles

This yarn comes in cute color ways but I just don’t like how it works up as well as I do other yarns. It’s an acrylic which makes it easy care but it doesn’t have the elasticity I like and find even in other acrylic yarns. I still have several skeins of it and I will use them but I don’t think I’ll be buying more of it and I think I’ll stick to basic fold up cuff hats for the rest of it.

November’s Precut Challenge

The precut this month is Charm Squares. I don’t use them unless it comes up in the challenge but I do seem to collect a few here and there. These are the quilts I’ve done the last couple times they’ve been pulled out of the hat and I’ve liked how they all turned out.

The squares I decided to use this time had prints I didn’t want to cut and after looking around for ideas, I ended up combining several ideas into this … as you can see it’s not assembled yet but I did sew all the blocks today. I had to think a bit because half the blocks were directional and couldn’t be rotated but I think they’re all turned the right way. It looks a bit jumbled right now but I think I’m going to like it.

I did happen to have some of this print from the same line in stash and always intended to use it with the charm packs so it will be the outer border.

I love handwork

I don’t usually do a lot of hand sewing other than stitching bindings down but I really enjoy handwork. I guess it’s why I like to knit and crochet too but I haven’t devoted much time to hand quilting over the years. I’ve finished a few with traditional hand quilting years ago and a few with the big stitch technique in the last few years. I’ve enjoyed picking it back up in the last few weeks and I’ve finished another doll quilt. The quilting is simple – a diamond shaped crosshatching. I finished the binding after snapping this shot but I still need wash the diagonal line marks out.

While I’ve been stitching on this I’ve been listening to an audio book by Craig Johnson, the Longmire series was based on these books and I enjoyed viewing it a while back on Netflix. The book I’m reading now is taking place near Devil’s Tower and in Rapid City and it’s fun to listen to a story that takes place somewhere I’ve visited. Our trip to South Dakota (with a quick visit to Devil’s Tower) in 2009 was one of our favorite family vacations.

EDIT: here’s the photo of the finished doll quilt now that it’s bound and washed to remove the marks for my stitching lines.

Take a drive with me

We intended to visit Amicalola State park today but when we arrived there was a line of cars waiting to get in and you know by now that we don’t do crowds and won’t be for a long while with COVID case numbers and hospitalizations rapidly rising and the deaths not far behind them. So we decided we’d stay in the car and drive around a little. We did stop at one of the orchard’s briefly for some hot apple cider (to go).

I can be a nervous passenger on curvy mountain roads especially when Keith is sightseeing AND driving but I managed to enjoy the beauty surrounding us and he managed to control his irritation every time I gasped or grabbed the handgrip above the door!

It’s hard to capture the mountain view’s we drove by from the car but I tried. This view looks toward Big Canoe and our house.

More curvy mountain roads – I have too many beautiful photos to share.

Driving down our street on the way home. The house is on a quiet cul de sac and the driveway on the left is ours. I love the tree canopy on our street.

And another shot of the backyard as we got out of the car.

I hope you found some joy today too. I was relieved to hear the election news today but know that the months and years to come will be difficult – we are a deeply divided nation but at least I have some hope now instead of despair.