Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hi, I'm Country Mouse and I have a "problem" ;cD

I have a bit of an addiction you could say.  Its with all those little papers there in the yarn department of craft stores that have the four most lovely little letters in the world printed on them "f-r-e-e".
In today's world of trying to be financially responsible, those four little letters just call out to me like a siren's call.  I have picked up more patterns than I could possible ever make, but dispite that fact I just keep picking up more.  I've got patterns for sweaters, afghans, socks, baby bibs and sweaters, mittens, you name it.  Not that I don't buy magazines or books, but well, the pictures on these little slips of paper are just too wonderful to pass up, and I am oh so greatful to the companys that make these possible.  I can tell you I plan on making the yoga socks in the bottom right corner, the sweater in the lower left, and at least one of the ripple afghans. At least I know I'll have plenty to keep me busy.  So that's my problem, if you want to call it that, I call it being frugal, and that's not so bad :cD....now if I could just find a better way to organize them than just a folder ;cD

Now on to progress news.  I am moving right along on my short sleeve cable sweater.  Its knitted sideways (meaning cast on is the right sleeve and you work across to the cast off which is the left sleeve) which has been interesting and in its own way challenging.  Actually the biggest challenge is working with an odd shaped sweater hanging from the needles after casting off the right front then working the rest of the way across.  The nice part will be that in the end the only seams will be two long seams that run down either side of the sweater.  Here is my progress up to tonight...
 with right side folded over
laid out flat as it is when I'm working on it.

I have gotten my son's knitted cat finished as well, and he is very happy to have a new kitty to add to his collection...he is a cat person just like mom.  I've gotten 6 of 12 squares outline quilted on the blue and yellow quilt, and I am working on a blue and white charm bracelette, so I am really happy with where I am on my goals for the month.  And I still have almost a week left, so I'm gonna see just how much I can get done.  And I'm already thinking of whay I would like to get done next month.  Like working on the stained glass afghan I saw recently on Knit and Crochet Now ;cD

As for life in general, all has been pretty smooth, so I can't complain.  Would I like to be able to take a month and have no worry about housework, ex issues, work, bills and all that stuff?  Of course I would, but every once in a while I get so much satisfaction from being my own person, getting stuff done, taking care of things.  I know that may sound odd, but after several years of being made to feel I couldn't handle all of that, it makes me feel so good to know that yes, I can.  So even when things get tough, I focus on that and that helps me to get through anything.

Well, I'm going to get on my way, gonna try to get a few more rows done on that sweater :cD  Hope you all have a great day!!  Warmest country wishes!!

Country Mouse 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Strange noises and proof I'm not a math major

There's been a strange noise in my house.  Did you hear that?  It's kind of a humming.  It goes on for a little bit then stops, then starts hums for a bit then stops.  What the heck is it?  Its just my poor, neglected for the last 9 months sewing machine.  Its happily humming along feeling useful once again :cD 
I'm making nice progress on this star quilt.  The top has been done for probably a couple years, patiently waiting for me to baste and quilt it.  It was a $5 quilt block a month my LQS did ages ago.

I finished up the blocks then sent them away for a swap I did with an Internet group I belonged to before my divorce where my partner set them and turned them into a completed top then mailed it back to me.

It then waited for me to go through what I did.  Then the happy day came when I was gifted with almost a whole bolt of cotton fabric I could use for backing.  I got it basted earlier this month and now am quilting away :cD

I am hoping to have at least the quilting on this one done by month's end.  I will probably gift or sell this one.  I love it, but there is no way I can keep all of the quilts I love since I end up falling in love with almost every one I make :cP

Now it has been a while since I have quilted and I do remember the basics, but I have to share this little story...hope you get a giggle out of it.

I joined a challenge posted by an on-line group I belong to where we are going to do a "row by row" quilt.  The first block was posted (they are doing 12 inch blocks) but one of my all time favorite quilts uses 6 inch blocks, so I decided that I wanted to do that size instead.  Looking at the block it is a 4x4 block so I figured "OK, 1 1/2 inch squared instead of 3 inches."  So I cut out the pieces for 3 of the blocks in my first row, then set about sewing the first one together tonight.   I ended up with a pretty nice little square....

Yeah, a 2 inches too small little square!!  Not thinking that 1 1/2 inches was the finished  size I cut my squares at 1 1/2 inches for the solid blocks and 1 7/8 inches for the HSTs....DUH, there's that thing called a seam allowance I didn't think of :cP  Now be it either temporarily crappy math skills, haste, or just plain being an airhead I just couldn't believe I did that.  I did sit down and figure out the correct size squares I needed to cut and am going to go raid the scrap bin again and give it another go :cD   The quilting is giving me something to do while I'm patiently waiting for February's CAL blocks to be announced and while I am looking for a book of squares so I can get started with another CAL that I joined on Ravelry.   Not that I'm not knitting either....I actually knitted through one whole skein of yarn for my sweater in about 2 days.  I'm really enjoying that project so far.

Well that pretty much sums up most of what's going on here.  We did get the furnace fixed and are all nice and cozy again which is awesome considering we're getting more snow.  Call me crazy, but I do love it.  All white and clean :cD  I'm also doing pretty well on the fitness front.  Nothing wild and crazy, but doing my best to stick with it.  I'm gonna get on my way, and maybe try to get a few more rows done on that sweater :cD  Hope you all have a great one.  Warmest country wishes!!!

Country Mouse

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby, its cold INSIDE!!

Hi all, hope you're all having a great weekend.  Me?  Well.....let me explain my title.

I work weekends.  No big deal.  My Saturday started off as usual, got up, dropped my fiancee off at his job, walked on the treadmill, took care of some things around the house.  All was going pretty well.  So off to work I go.  Fast forward 8 hours....when we get home the house is COLD.  Our furnace had shut off.  We flipped a reset switch and figured it would be fine.  The furnace shut off 2 minutes later.  We flipped the switch again.  Again the furnace shut off 2 minutes later.  And again, and again, and one more time.  Finally we just decided to start a fire in the fireplace, warmed up the house that way then headed off to bed when the fire was out.  Well, we woke up to this....

Yup, that is a crappy picture, and yup that reads 50 degrees!  So we called and got  a repair man here asap.  After looking at the furnace he informed us the induction motor is bad and needs replaced.   Aaaaarrrrggggg!  So since he is unable to get the motor needed until tomorrow morning DF and I are playing camp out in the living room, and the mouselings are having a sleepover at grandma and grandpa's for the night.  I've never been so thankful to have a fireplace in my whole life!!

It hasn't all been bad though.  My mom and dad made a visit and brought me a present.

I am so totally excited!  Its all the yarn I need to make my short sleeve cable sweater.  I'm so glad I had mentioned it to my mom, especially since they never did restock at my local Jo-Anns store    :(  So I have been sitting by the fire working on my sweater tonight.

I also started a second group of blocks for the Ravelry crochet a-long 2011.  I really like these colors, they are just soft white and mellonberry both Red Heart Super Saver yarns.  I am making both the 12 inch and 6 inch blocks for this one.

I also got some quilting started on the blue and yellow quilt.  Yes, I said quilting....now no one faint on me out there.  I will have pictures to share next post.

Well, its getting late in our neck of the woods and everyone has the day off tomorrow so I am gonna head off and rest up for what should be a day full of fun and family.  Hope you all have a great one.  Warmest country wishes!!

Country Mouse

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Some progress already!!

Hi all, I'm finally settling back into a rythm with the kids going back to school .Winter break was over Monday,  YEAH....oh, I mean aaawwwww (that's just in case the kids see that ;cD)  I've had the chance to sit down and make a list of monthly goals for January.  It's not intimidating, and covers a little of everything.  I posted it in the sidebar, and hopefully will be able to cross them all off by month's end.  I actually left one off because I got it done already.  This is the lace bag that I had started a while back.  It sat with the lining pinned in and handles beside it for way too long.  Its just a little one, but it will be great for an afternoon out where I won't need to be carrying too much.

I aslo wanted to share pictures of the scarf and mittens I got done right before Christmas.  The scarf is scraps of worsted weight yarn in a color combo I like to call sugar rush because it makes me think of jars full of candies you would see on a candy store shelf. 

The mittens are knitted from a pattern in Simply Knitting Magazine, and made out of Caron's Simply Soft Eco in Ocean.  I have to admit the pattern threw me for a little bit of a loop...it had a couple lines that made no sense to me, but I just kind of figured out my own parts of the patten.  They worked up quite quickly too. I personally love mittens, especially when I'm running, so I can see me making several pairs but maybe from a different pattern. 

I'm eager to get back to quilting as well.  A couple months ago when we were visiting with  my fiencee's aunt she looked at me and said "hey, I've got something for you."  She left the room and returned with this....

It's a nice cotton, not sure how many yards but its several,  and will be perfect for backing a few quilts.  So now I have backing, I have a couple packaged battings and thread, now I just have to pick which quilt I'm going to baste first :cD

I joined a crochet-along on Ravelry this year too.  We are doing one block a month, and there is an optional filler.  Now, although the filler block is really pretty I don't know that I'm going to give it a try just yet.  There is lots of talk about fixing this line, or reworking that part so I may pick another square and come back to the chosen filler square later.  The main monthly square, however, is done.  The instructions are clear, and well written.  I chose to use a pink, brown, soft white color scheme for mine...

Finally, I would like to share a picture of my next sweater project.  It is the Short Sleeve Cable Sweater published in Knit n Style.  I am making it in Red Heart Eco-Ways Lichen.

 The only downside to this project so far is that I bought the yarn during Jo-Anns big yarn sale.  There was only one skein, but figuring since the yarn is a no dye lot yarn I would just pick more up later.  Well, I purchased that skein during the first day of the sale, and they still have not restocked the yarn, not that I know of anyway, and I've checked back several times.  I have to say I'm really dissapointed that they have not done so.  They know that they are having a sale, that things will probably sell, and even when an associate told me "Oh, they just restocked today." this particular yarn bin still sat empty.  Lots and lots of other yarns, just no more of this one.  Oh well, I do have my mom checking the Jo-Anns in her neck of the woods, and I'm sure they'll restock eventually.  I'm just dissapointed that I'm unable to take advantage of the sale price :(

I've been doing well with my wellness goals so far too.  I know its still early in the year, but I know of many people who have given up on their resolutions in this short of a time.  Hopefully I can keep the momentum going :cD

Well, I am off to choose a quilt to baste, get in a run, and get some housework done on my last day off before a long work weekend.  I hope you all find a little time to do the things you love today.  Warmest country wishes!!

Country Mouse

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year....looking to the future

Hi all, I hope you all had a great holiday season!  Ours was great, busy, but great!  I wanted to show a picture of a couple of the projects I got finished up before we rang in the new year here.  First is a crochet hat.  Its a really simple design, and I just love the colors.  I made it out of Red Heart (love the hard wearing-ness for things that will be worn a lot) in Mellonberry.
And a teeny-tiny tiger I made for my DD.  I may have to make another since he didn't take too much yarn and ended up so darn cute ;cD

I also got a pair of mittens made up from an extra skein of Simply Soft that I had as well as started a new sweater, but don't have pictures yet.  Why?  Cause I don't have my camera battery charged up yet.  Yup, I got a camera for Christmas and am so excited to start sharing better pictures!!!  *super big smile*  So I will get that all ready to go so I can share those pictures next post.

So with the new year I have been thinking about how I want to improve my life and myself and have come up with a bit of a plan.  One of my goals for this year is to focus on myself both health-wise and emotionally.  After thinking about the past couple years I realized I really let myself go and need to try to spend time taking care of myself so I can better take care of those around me.  I have started a second blog (OK, restarted but anyway) you can visit if you feel so inclined.  I am using it to keep track of my fitness over the year.  On the crafting front, I am also going to focus on being a little more rounded in the projects I work on.  I am going to try to get a little done each month on knitting, crocheting, quilting and jewelry making.  I know the way I am and that I have a hard time working on things I may have set aside, but I need to make an effort to make progress on those things. I am also going to try to be more consistent with my blogging.  I love to write, and have several journals partially filled and think to myself  "I should blog this" but never get around to getting the computer out.  So I am going to try to be better about do that as well.

I know this is a bit of a shorter post, but I have to get going since I do have to work today.  This is a busy week in the service industry.  So I am going to get going.  I hope you all have a wonderful day!!  Warmest country wishes!!