Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Knitting away ....

I haven't quilted in a bit ... Seems easier to pick up knitting needles than it is to sit at my machine. I could pick up some wool work .... but ..... naw for now!

I still haven't picked up my No Frill's Sweater by Petite knit ... I'm really not in the mood to think ... so simple projects it is.

I knitted two pairs of mittens .. I'm sure you'll recognize the pattern ... Bromont Mitts designed by Dianna Wallaby's for Espace Tricot. This time I used Plymouth yarn Galway Sport ... a burgundy pair


And a Blue pair


Last week, on my trip to Albany I picked up a new book ... Maja's Swedish Mittens by Maja Karlsson ... you know ... to spice things up a bit!


It's a lovely book with lots of different patterns ...

During these unprecedented times .... Creativity is my therapy and sanity ... What's yours?

Hoping you are keeping safe and healthy ....

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The new normal .... for other's anyway! lol

My friend Cheryl sent me this. It is so me! lol


What made me laugh was my favourite brother's reply to my post!


In these insane times .... laughter/humour is a must!

Stay safe and healthy every one ... both physically and emotionally/psychologically! People are doing some crazy stuff!

Hugs to you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St Patrick's day!

Top of the morning to you! Hope you are enjoying a fabulous day!

Finished this little quilt ... a project from my last wool box with Primitive Gatherings. The pattern is called Irish Chain by Lisa Bongean


The instructions called for hand embroidering the shamrock ... but I went with hand dyed wool. They were tiny pieces ... so tiny that it was best I hand embroidered the stem. 

I love how it turned out. Glad to finally have a piece for St Patrick's day. 

What have you been up to?

Catch you all later.  Cheers!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Stop the world, I want to get off ....!

Can someone explain to me what is going on?

On my way back from Albany, I stopped in Plattsburgh to do my weekly grocery shopping and was puzzled to see such a packed parking lot .... unusual for a Monday!

Once inside I was greeted by an empty vegetable section ..... WTF! Not a potato to be had anywhere!

Ok onward to pick up some milk and ..... meat counter bare except for hot sausages!


Not only that but the canned vegetable & legume section were bare and so was the canned broth section ... the frozen vegetable section ... totally empty!


and not a paper product to be had anywhere ...


My experience at Hannafords scared me to death ...

People's carts were filled, over flowing with stuff ...  some had two carts filled .... there was enough food for six (6) months if not more in there!!!! And here I was with my little cart barely filled .... couldn't even get a gallon of organic 1% milk! All out of stock!

Strangely, the beer section was not empty ..... Now that's totally weird!

I'll tell you ... I am more scared of people's present behavior than I am of the virus. Wow!

Stay healthy everyone .... physically and especially emotionally/psychologically!

Cheers!

Friday, March 6, 2020

A first pair knitted ...!

Just completed my first pair of mittens .... The pattern is called Bromont Mitts by Dianna Walla for Espace Tricot

It was easier than I thought. I was a bit worried about the thumb ... but it's a thumbs up! Corny ... I know ... lol

Just love how they turned out! They are so comfy on my hands. I think I'm addicted! lol

What have you been up to?

Catch you all later!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Something new .... !

I started a new knitting project .... No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnit.


I'm stuck at the moment. I cannot seem to figure out the instructions. I have read the pattern both in English and in French .... and I'm still lost! This is a raglan construction with German short rows in the round. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough.

Until then ... this is what the sweater is "suppose" to look like.

(Picture taken from Ravelry).

I'm using Julie Asselin - Leizu Dk yarn which is 90% SW Merino and 10% Silk. It is so soft to the touch. The pattern called for two (2) mohair type yarn ... I just thought I'd be different! ;)

You can find the pattern on Ravelry here. Great knitting site!

What have you been up to?

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you all later!

Friday, February 28, 2020

No idle hands here ....!

Back in December 2019, I started a new knitting project ... Le Massif Scarf by Diane Walla


It was a kit I bought at a local yarn shop in Montreal ... Espace Tricot. I just loved the colours so much that I couldn't resist purchasing the kit! You know how that goes?! lol

I have finally finished it to the desired length. Well, finish is relative ... I still need to block it ... but I'm much too excited to wait until I blocked it to share it with you.

Voila!


I just love how it turned out. The yarn I used is Kelbourne Woolen - Scout ... It's 100% wool from Peru. It is so soft ... and molds my neck oh so nicely.

Of course, I need mittens for this lovely scarf.


I've never knitted mittens, so this is all so new to me; a learning process. The yarn I used for the mittens is by Rauma Ullvarefabrikk - Rauma Garn - Finull PT2 - 100% wool from Norway ... also soft to the touch.

I'm really enjoying getting back into knitting ... something I was into in my early 20's. So much as changed ... like 4" double pointed needles! Great for knitting the thumb! lol

What have you been up to? Hope you are enjoying your creative endeavors!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy St Valentine's day!

A day not just for lovers .... It's a day to celebrate love amongst friends, neighbour, co-workers .... a day that serves as a reminder that love is all that matters. Alright, no more mushing stuff! lol

On to quilting!

I decided that I would work on my January wool box from Primitive Gatherings. The project was perfect for today!

So, I got stitchin'!


Which soon turned into this.


And in no time I had a cute little quilt to decorate my home for this holiday!


I just love how it turned out. 

Hoping you have a wonderful day of love! Enjoy celebrating with loved ones!

Catch you all later! Cheers!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Snow ... Snow .... Snow!

I love snow .... as long as everyone is safe, I enjoy a snow storm. Today, we are having a huge snow storm. So much snow that I couldn't get to work! Oh ... shucks!

We presently have over a foot of snow and it's still falling!


They are forecasting up to 18 inch!


A great day to get some projects done!

Catch you all later!

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pizza party .....!

Last Sunday, I invited some friends over for a pizza party! What fun and I didn't have to cook! They make their own pizza so if they don't like what they're eating, it's on them! lol

The beauty of this dough is that you can "retard" the dough. That is, slow down the rate of fermentation by placing it in the refrigerator after an hour of fermentation; to be enjoyed at a later date

I made a batch dough, divided into six (6) 250g portions and threw one in the fridge while the others were in the proofer.

 Pulled it out of the fridge on Wednesday for a pizza lunch. Ohhh, looks kind of strange!


Shaped it into a nice round pizza and cooked it.

However, I still need practice using a peel ... Somehow it just doesn't slide off like in the movies! lol

It's a heart pizza!


It was delicious! Yummy lunch!

Hum ... would that be considered a left over? lol

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Wool Box surprise ....!

I subscribed to a bi monthly (every other month) wool box from Primitive Gatherings. I figured, who doesn't like a surprise! I enjoy working with wool and Primitive Gatherings designs ... win win situation!

The surprise comes in a lovely box.
Not to ruin the surprise, I'll show you the second box I received.
Lots of fun stuff to work on.

Fast forward to today ..... I am about to receive the January box and I haven't touched the three (3) boxes I've already received.

Goodness, perhaps I ought to do something about it. So, to calm the practical me, I started the main project that was in the November box ... Winter in Wisconsin
Such a cute wool mat!

What have you been up to?

Thanks for stopping by. Catch you all later!

Knit whit!

A while back I posted about a sweater I was going to knit for myself.

Well, I found this cute yarn shop in Montreal called Espace Tricot, which is where I purchase the perfect yarn for this project ... an ethically sourced yarn from France. It's lovely to the touch!

It had been quite sometime since I had knitted and was amazed at how the sweater construction had changed. When I knitted many moons ago, I did it in five (5) pieces ... today, it's done in one piece. How cool is that?
The part I disliked the most about knitting was stitching the pieces together ... what an incentive to start knitting again! lol

I have completed the body and sleeves of the sweater and now, I don't know if I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Keep in mind that it hasn't been blocked and I still need to stitch the collar and pockets.
I would have liked a looser fitting sweater ... this is more of a fitted sweater. It fits nicely, just not loose.

Before I take it apart, I will ponder on it for a bit. Perhaps I need to completely finish it before I even think of doing the drastic!

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day! Cheers1

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Beauty all around ...!

As evident from my lack of blog post throughout 2018 and 2019, I did not get a lot of quilting projects done. As a matter of fact, the quilt Beauty All Around just sat there. I had blogged about the machine quilting back in October 2018, as part of my "UFO Completion" project .... and there it sat, untouched.

Heck, I even forgot to blog about its completion!

In early 2019, I did gather the energy to actually sew the binding on.
And, manage to get a bit of the binding hand sewn ... 
But there it sat for quite some time until ... I picked it back up in July 2019
I was determined to mark this project "done". Seriously, wasn't it time I finally completed this quilt. I was so close. I cranked up the a/c ... like who wants a warm quilt on their lap in the middle of summer ... and got stitchin'.

Voila .... completed!
Can you imagine being so close and yet just letting sit there. Well, I'm glad I finally said enough is enough and got it done.

Sometimes we forget why we set a project aside ... for me I let life get in the way. I've also come to understand that when life gets challenging, it's important to not forget what makes us happy ... and for me creativity is my happy place. When I create, whether is is writing or quilting, it provides a place of sanity, a peaceful space. I hope you have found your place of sanity during your challenging times ... that's when it's the most crucial ... regaining a sense of peace during times of unrest.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your creative outlet whatever it may be! Cheers!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I made pizza .... From scratch!

I've been re-watching some baking classes I purchased from Craftsy. I though it was high time I practice what I have been learning.

I used the pizza dough recipe from Richard Miscovich's book From the Wood-Fired Oven
I love cookbooks ... more particularly, cookbooks that are personal ... that have a story to tell ... For me the recipes are somewhat secondary .... I just love to learn about other people's passion. I do not have a wood-fired oven but I do have an electrical oven that works amazingly. 

The recipe I used had a five (5) hour bulk fermentation (yes I used my handy dandy proofer) and let me tell you it makes all the difference in taste. I also used an autolyse ... meaning I incorporated the yeast and salt at a later time.

The toppings .... whatever I had in my fridge ... so it became a vegetable pizza!

The result .... Voila!
It looks a tad wonky on the right because .... let's just say I need to practice using a peel! No, it did not roll off the peel like in the movies! lol

Here is a side view ... check out that crust!
OMG, it was delicious .... whipped out the butter and ate the crust!

I have learned that the trick to a perfectly cooked pizza is a high oven temperature and a bread/pizza stone. I purchase my stone at King Arthur Flour (one of my favourite stores). It was a tad more expensive than other places but the stone is made in the USA and I didn't have to worry about any strange chemicals used to fabricate the stone.

Contrary from what most people think, bread/pizza or any other type of baking from scratch is really not that complicated .... and the results are out of this world.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace. Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Technology and my old Bernina 180 .....!

I remember buying an embroidery machine many many moons ago thinking I wanted to get into machine embroidery. So I purchased a Bernina Artista 180 ..... Yea, this is going way back.


I even purchased the fancy dandy Bernina Embroidery software Designer Plus Version 5. I mean ... I was going to get into it.

Well, I didn't. I found I needed to babysit the machine because .... every time I walked away something happened and a mess needed to be fixed. So, I started to use it mainly for making labels.

This fancy dandy embroidery software was back in the days of Microsoft XP. We're going way back and since I only use it for labels, why upgrade to the latest version .... Right?

Fast forward to today, this technology is considered archaic .... ancient .... but I still would like to use it. My old Compaq Evo N800C laptop that is programed to function with this machine is also archaic ... We're talking like ..... over 18 years old ... but it still functions well and has an amazing screen resolution. It was "top of the line" way back when I purchased it.

As you might have guessed, things are starting to fall apart ... like the USB ports. Back then it was all parallel ports .... so I need to use a USB to parallel port adapter.


I only have two (2) USB ports in the back of the laptop. And now, one of the USB ports on old faithful no longer works. I need two (2) ports for machine embroidery ... one for the USB to parallel mechanism and one for the software dongle.

I tried figuring the COM port on another newer laptop that still runs on XP but I could not get it to work. The driver software was no longer available for the Belkin USB to parallel port mechanism.

I seriously thought I would need to say goodby to machine embroidery .... I could not justify buying a new embroidery machine just for labels ....

I did a search for a USB hub that would work with Microsoft XP. Found this little baby ....

Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub .... why not give it a try. Seriously, what do I have to lose?

Well, wouldn't you know it it works!


Now I have access to four (4) USB ports .... and check this out! It's in direct communication with the machine!


OMG ... I'm stitching


I am such an happy camper .... I can still use my old Bernina 180 for embroidery along with Old Faithful.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace and I do hope this post helps someone in the same situation I was in.

Catch you all later!  Cheers!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A new project .....

A colleague at work became a grand mother for the first time. What better excuse to get the creative quilting juices flowing?!

I gathered all of my 1930's (feedsack) reproduction fabrics and became inspired to create ... the friendship star.


Which then turned into this ....


Time to fire up Penelope for the first time. I was a bit nervous not having played with her for so long ....  It was like riding a bicycle lol


It all came back to me.


What a great day it was! The quilt is machine quilted and the binding is ready to be hand stitched.

So glad Penelope is back in my life.

What have you been up to?
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