Friday, April 20, 2018

Latest sock info....

I want to show the next pair in progress...I have such a difficult time doing the ribbed cuff because frankly it is painfully boring and slow.  I have found, though, that if I place pins (or even earrings!) every ten rows then I am just anticipating the "next ten" instead of recounting the rows (50 are required) again and again and......not a bad idea in approaching life...
This ribbing was done today.  I can't remember when I was able to get a ribbed cuff done in a day!  Of course, it is now tomorrow...... :)

Pair #5 for the KnitALong challenge I'm in for 2018...such wonderfully soft merino yarn, like baby-flannel.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Flying Time

Where can the time have gone?
I'm dumbfounded that time has eeked away from me.  It has been over two months since my last posting.  There have been a few reasons for that.

I have also gotten a bit carried away by sock knitting.  Oh, how wonderful this winter that my toes have been toasty.  I'll post  a few pics here...I'm in a sock challenge on FB to do 12 pr. in 2018.

These socks were made for a dear friend.  She gifted me a very generous amount for them!

 A lovely pair of KnitPicks Stroll Tonal pinks.....uber-soft and warm.

 Same yarn, in lavender tones.  Delish.

This fabric has a was an edging for a second pillowcase I made 10-15 yrs ago or longer.  I never finished the set (but have been enjoying the one for ages) so
I decided I wanted to utilize the fabric in one of my bags.  This is a small toiletries bag.  I really like it.

Here is 24 yards of biased binding I had to sew, which I use for the loop on my triangle bags.  I made over 30 triangle bags last weekend. (If you don't know what they look like, see the post of Feb. 25, 2017.)   Most of them have new homes.
Thank you, Laurie and Minnie, for underwriting my supplies.  You know how important it is for me create and keep my hands busy.

On a cold, wintery day fleece rules.

Sometimes a dog's just gotta be a dog.
Faith now has a day job...sort of.  She goes with me to a senior center on Fridays so the seniors can love on her.  She is very patient and gets a LOT of conversation out of the women!

These two dolls came back to me this Christmas. The Kathe Kruse on the left is from 1985 and the Sasha on the right is an anniversary doll, celebrating her creator.  I think she is from the late 80s or early 90s.  Both of these dolls were mine but Brook bought them from me to help finance my move here.  She sent them back this Christmas (bday and Christmas gifts).  I can hardly express how tickled I was.

These are my dog-bone pillows.  The smaller one is for children and the larger for adults.  I made some about 20 yrs. ago...the idea isn't mine.  I love how they keep my arthritis at bay, if I put one between my knees as I sleep (side sleeper).  Amazingly, it is easy to roll over with it still in the knees.  They fit in the oddest and most comfy spaces.

This is a needlepoint canvas I saw online; I originally saw it in the early 80s.  It was about $90 then, without the wool to do the needlepoint.  I recently saw one on ebay and it is much more expensive now.  It always made me feel very serene.  I'm glad I have the pic of it.

Decided today to try painting on switch plates.  99 cents at Ace.
I've had dozens of paints for years.  This is supposed to be hollyhocks.

I adore sheep------especially the smell of wet, CLEAN wool.  (Hearkens back to my spinning days.)  It is the most arresting smell I know.  Lovely, lovely.....very heady.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


In all you do, in all you aspire to, I wish you well.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The. Best. Cornbread. Ever.

On Thanksgiving I was given the delightful treat of homemade cornbread. 
Now I'd had cornbread several times in my childhood.  I don't recall it being a common occurrence; I don't recall anyone in my family particularly fond of it.  I was only interested in any type of honey butter (with my sweet addiction)....and was always disappointed that the bread (which suspiciously resembled a yellow cake when baked) proved to be nonsweet.

Imagine my surprise when I bit into this cornbread.....I never knew cornbread could have REAL CORN in it.  I absolutely love corn but seldom have it, knowing it processes as a sugar.

Still, I will be making this for my birthday instead of cake.  It is THAT good!
Deb gave me the recipe but you can see it is rather skeletal. 

1 can whole corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 Jiffy box  corn muffin mix
1/2 stick butter
1 cup sour cream
350 degrees oven
Mix all, bake 45 minutes, last five minutes add shredded cheese, melt, serve!
I'm going to try mine in a 9x9 glass pan, buttered.
Deb doubles this recipe for family gatherings or potlucks.  She gets requests for it all the time.   

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Two Decades

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter.
Many happy returns of the day----I wish you well.

Monday, December 4, 2017

To a Safe Place

     I am flying high------after an amazing morning.  I did a ton of errands and was on my way to the hospital (lab tests).  I needed to get gas first so went to my credit union for the ATM.
     As I was putting in my code I heard a "whoosh" sort of like the sound of a waterfall...then looked up and saw that my engine was smokin' something fierce.  I turned the car off and tried to end the transaction----in my panic I think I determined that wasn't possible so I finished the transaction and noticed a vehicle behind me.
     I turned the car back on and drove about 20 feet to the back of the parking lot.  I turned it off and fought tears...pretty much, without fail, I have had car trouble in safe places.  I realized I was fifteen minutes away from having been on a state road in the middle of nowhere. 
     I called my mechanic from my cellphone and left a message.  I then took everything with me that I was going to take to the hospital and went into the credit union.  A lovely perk of a small town is that I know a lot of people in businesses; the manager drove me the mile home.  By the time I got into the apartment I was downright giddy.  If I could have, I would have fallen to the floor and kissed the carpet (ewww).  I was so happy to be in my own home, happy dog to greet me, my bills in the mail and safe and snug.
     I often think about how far-reaching God's love is.  I am more than content with how protective of my safety He is...and will rest there.

My mechanic and his wife went to the credit union, IN A LIGHTNING STORM, and checked out the car.  When they'd come to my place first I gave him some cash for antifreeze, which is what I lost in the ATM line.
When they returned with my car the wife handed me the change----"just a hose that came loose, all it needed was antifreeze....."
So I wanted to kiss the carpet again.  The God I serve-----is amazing!!

I spoke with my friend (mechanic's wife) the next morning, thanking them again for their incredible help. She chuckled and said, "well I have a story that made my family's hair stand on end.  When I went to give you the change back, and you said keep it,
when I got back in the car I counted it.
Earlier in the week my husband and I found some great deals on little things for the girls for Christmas.  We are leaving for a trip as a family, and I told the Lord that I was dipping into the travel money to buy these little things, and that I would have to rely on Him to replace the money.
When I counted the cash you gave me it was the same amount I had spend."

God is the ultimate economist.  Yowza.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Starting Over

     I've just ripped out half a knitted sock.  It was a very hard decision for me; I know the hours it took to knit as far as I did.  However, it became clear that the sock would be looser than I like.  So I took a deep breath and ripped it out.
     Now I am happy; I've started over and feel like I set things aright. In my early decades this would have been torture for me.  In my perfectionism I would have groused and grumbled until I was passed the point from which I had to  originally rip out. 
    I am content with starting over, knowing that the choice to fix it was good.  Not worrying that the original choice had been off.
    I wish I'd learned this earlier in life in regards to relationships.  The chance to start over in any area of life, profound or inconsequential, is a gift indeed.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Post Thanksgiving

Again I find myself so busy that I am neglecting my writing.  Poor blog.

Recurring health issues have made this a hard autumn; I am blown away by the sustaining power of God.  Even during this time I have been creating, socks again though at first stitch with kicking and (silent) screaming.  As with all things craftsy, I am not motivated UNTIL I am motivated....once I got the second fuschia sock done I was in full swing again!  Here are my latest two pair, though another pair slipped itself in there and was sent off to Minnie.  :)

This is Judy Decker's Cast On.  YouTube has several vids on this but I use only the one from Judy herself.  It makes for no seam at the toe which feels heavenly when cozied around the foot.

Increases until the alloted stitches to go around the foot comfortably.

First fuchsia sock done.....Stroll Merino Sock yarn from KnitPicks.

Cat Bordhi's Smooth as Tomato heel---of course YouTube-----most of my sock pattern creation came from Cat's eBook on socks.....the heel is not the normal short-row technique.  I've had to watch it a dozen times before I could do it without referring to it.  Much of that is because I'm on a sock-frenzy and do it a few times a week now.  :)

Opal Sock yarn----this was a love/hate relationship the whole way.  I love the colors, I hated how scratchy it felt.  It was counter-intuitive for me to plod through the knitting-----I am a very tactile person----but surprisingly enough I've found that they are not really scratchy on my feet.  WooHoo!  Maybe there is more Opal in my future!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Finished room, chair pads, Jesus, knitted doll,and Dear Daughter's quilt

I have been a busy bee the last while.  Finally have the Civil War quilt done and on the bed.  Didn't want it fullsize because I want to be able to launder it in my own washer.
I am really happy with it; it completed my themed room to my liking.

I came across a plastic tool I purchased several years ago from a local (and now gone) quilt shop.  It's the end of a toothbrush with a hole in it, with the other end tapered.  It looks like a giant needle which in essence it is.
If you do a Google or YouTube search for "toothbrush rag rugs" you will find instructions.  I made four chair pads in a week.
I did say addicting, didn't I?

I am thrilled to have done these pads in the same Civil War repro fabrics as the quilt.  I think they help finish the room.  Yes, my chair pads are playing musical chairs.  I move things around all the time.

Here is the finished look, sort of.....have other items on wall to balance out the height of the piece on the far right.  That one was done by my gr grandmother or my gr aunt.
No one knows for sure. It is hardanger, and my mother framed it and hung it in her home for many years.
There are many sentimental items in this photo; the room makes me happy and is so peaceful.  Mission accomplished.

I have a dear friend in CA, my former hair stylist, with whom I've remained in close contact.  We go back about 25 years.  Her birthday was in October and I found this charted pattern online.  It has over 20,000 stitches in it.  I started at the nose and really enjoyed watching Christ's face emerge.  It was a really pleasant piece to work on.
She knows it's coming.

I found this style of doll on Pinterest about a year ago.  I wrote out a pattern and made one for Brook for her birthday (Dec. 3) and asked her, in May, if she wanted it early.  Send it on! was her cry.  Off to CA it went.
Imagine our chagrin when the little doll never showed up.  As far as we can tell it WAS delivered but was probably pinched from Brook's porch. Ugh.  What a lot of work the doll was.  I didn't have the heart to make another one...until last week.  I played around with the idea and before I could stop myself, there I was knitting another one.  I love her shoes (which are crocheted then sewn on) because her feet are covered and the shoes can't get lost.

When Dear Daughter was seven, she sewed the squares inside this little beauty by hand.  I marked the seams at 1/4" and she diligently tackled it----and expertly, I might add---and then I put it away "to be quilted some day."
Okay, that day came a dozen years later------this is just smaller than crib size, and is put away with other items that have been saved for her "someday."

Final note for this post....I saw this on a church marque this week:
The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let go.
Hear, hear.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Milkshake after wisdom teeth removal

I came across this and thought it was really precious. Yes, the teen is hysterical-----comedically as well as dramatically----but her timing is impeccable, even with anesthesia withdrawal.

Dear Daughter had 8 teeth pulled at one appointment in 2013 but I don't remember any conversation on the way home.  Strong, silent type, she.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Suffering Faith

I don't know if she is really suffering much, but her human-mom is suffering for her.

Faith had surgery on two aggressive cysts on Monday.  The one on her tail was especially problematic in surgery since she has little extra skin to suture.  She needs to be seen a few more times by vet to change her bandage but she is faring pretty well.

She spends most of the day out of the collar (as long as I have an eagle eye on her).

Thank you, dear friend, for making this surgery possible.  You know who you are.

Right after we got home----zombie sweetie

She doesn't protest but she is not fond of the collar

Last week Miss Cheeky jumped up on my belly and wouldn't look me in the eye---she knew better...

Middle of the night several weeks ago----she loves to sleep on her back.  She is the Queen of "play dead" dogs...

She knows she is supposed to sleep in her bed (on my bed) but she sneaks out.  Again, she refuses to look at me when she is naughty.  Diva, diva, diva.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wool Strawberries and Mona Lisa

     I asked Brook if she had any spare wool fabric in pinks and reds.  She graciously sent me several pieces, the results shown here.  Man, these are really addicting, especially putting in all of the little floss stitches.....I plan to make more but they really hurt my thumbs.  HOWEVER----NOTHING stuffs like wool.  It really is a dream.

Michele sent me a glasses case she bought at the Louvre in Paris.  She told me to hold it up to my face and take a picture.  Normally I am the goober, but I couldn't get what she wanted me to do.
The minute I walked into the bathroom I "got it"....and here are the results. She is a goober after my own heart.
One of my gr. nieces fanning herself with Mona L.


Stitchery in my absence...ancestry

VERY hard to believe that it has been almost two months since I posted last.

No reason for it except busy, busy hands and mind!  I will attempt to show and briefly explain my doings...

Michele and her family went to Europe for several weeks this summer.

We had been talking about quilts and I decided to surprise myself and see if I could prepare a top piece before her return.  Here is the result, made from Civil War repro fabrics.  I've been collecting CW fabrics for 20+ years.  This will make a good coverlet for my bed.
I love the "double pinks" (which I believe during the era meant dyed twice)
Well this really got my creative juices flowing.  I have always been enamored with the 1850-1870 period, and wondered what I could do to make my bedroom look more like that time period.  Mind you, I have had no theme in my bedroom for over ten years....since we moved here.  So "designing" my room, on an exceptionally tight budget, became my summer/autumn goal.
First, I found about 18 frames at a local thrift store.  I then designed the stitcheries to fit the frames.  That saved a ton of money.  Ten years ago someone gave me a sweater box of DMC floss; again, a huge savings there.

Several years ago I designed a cross-stitch sampler with my father's gr grandmother's name on it.  I decided to go through the genealogy papers my mom had given me (go Mom!!) and came up with many  names and dates.  So far I can only go back with certainty to 1833.  It is my desire to get back to the 1700s if at all possible.
Here is the first sampler I designed...

Unfortunately, Eliza (which is probably short for Elizabeth)
wasn't listed in a census with her maiden name----this is her married name.
Time takes it's toll on everyone----I find I need reading glasses to do 28 ct. evenweave work.  I stitch over two threads; so the end result is about the same as 14 ct.  I don't need the OTT light if I am working in the daylight.
Here is the second stitchery.  What makes this one especially nice is that I have a newspaper clipping with her picture from her 80s.
First, I did the stitchery on ivory evenweave (HobbyLobby).  Next, I placed it on parchment paper and spritzed it with coffee----weak at first but then I continued to add coffee to the spray bottle.  In all honesty I think it is too dark, but it does give an interesting look. 
Coffee dyeing drying 

Caroline died in the influenza circa 1918; my grandmother (Emma) was only12 at the time and had a 2 year old sister, Louise.  I don't know how old Emma was when her father (Mr. Bingham?) died.
Emma and Louise went with Mr.Zane (Louise's father) to Morris St. in Philly to live with Caroline's family. When Emma married my grandfather, Louise went to live with them until her marriage. Emma named her firstborn Louise, after her sister.  Louise is my mother. (Go Mom!!)
Stina Jonson Karnell is oddly enough buried 15 miles from me along with her husband (Albert) and children.  Albert was a pastor in a local church.  I've been able to locate the family plot as well as the church.  The church is an abandoned building in a scary part of that town.  I am fortunate to have Stina's maiden name.
Their son Almer was a pastor in Philadelphia (and also New Jersey--possibly Conneticut?).  He was married to Minnie Mathisen,who I'm stitching now.  She was an amazing woman. More about her when her stitchery is done.... 
Emma Nissen is Caroline's mother.  We believe her married name is Schmid, though census' list her as Schmidt and Schmid.  My mother remembers the family and the house on Morris St.
Mary Burns Cotney is my mother's grandmother on her father's side
I think it goes like this:
Mary Hiller Smith
had Anna(Annie)
who had Mary
who had John (and Anna, and Francis)
who had Louise
who had me, Mary Ann
I was named after Mary Burns Cotney and her daughter Anna
So it was
(skip a generation)
Mary Ann
Doesn't mean much to anyone else but me. :) 
Ellen Flanagan Cotney shares the same birthday as one of my brothers...her mother was Ellen Flanagan married to Joseph Flanagan. 

Still on the lookout for era-specific items, I found this at a local yard sale.
It is crystal and weighs about 7 lbs....and cost $5.

I try to stay ahead of designing patterns so that I always have another one ready to start...I am continuing on in my research so I can continue designing.  Once the quilting is done, then I will show my "WORK IN PROGRESS" finished bedroom.

This is what I often do when designing a pattern---I split my screen so I can watch a YouTube or a DVD, cuz I work better with sound in the I'm on a Sherlock Holmes audio book kick------about 40 hours of listening!  I did these 6 stitcheries in four weeks-----about 6-8 hours a day.