Knitting Weather

According to local news, Georgia is suffering the third worst winter in recorded history. It is not nearly as bad as we have weathered in our lives especially in Maine and North Dakota. I am savoring it for the times the heat and humidity sap the will and strength. Today the rain was so steady, Maggie insisted on us returning home before we walked by our neighbor’s lot, very unusual for her. We tried two other times during the day but she was not having it today and each time we returned we dried her soaking wet self off. It was a great day for knitting.

I have sewn, knitted, or cross-stitched at least five minutes since I last wrote. My completions are complicated by the fact that a lot of my supplies and equipment arImagee still  in storage due to a water emergency after I returned from the National American  Sewing Guild Conference in Washington DC.

I have started the process of framing the cross-stitch. I am lacing it, I had to buy a needle to do the lacing so it is set up waiting for the lacing to be completed. I wanted to finish this blog first.

The other thing I was able to make slow progress on is quilting the quilt for our veteran. I was able to find everything except an echo quilt foot to proceed and I started the stitch in the ditch from the center tonight.  This has made me feel great that I am moving forward on this one and will fill total relief when we complete it. I want to turn out great, it is only the second quilt I have quilted, the first is the one in the header of this blog. I have a lot to learn to become any good.

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This past weekend our Macon Chapter of the American Sewing Guild sewed up snugglies for the NICU at the local hospital, I believe we made 37 all together. I am working at making a pattern that we can post to make these so they will be easier to make for the next time. I think it is a great project that helps these tiny babies develop strength by bouncing their limbs against the sides mimicking the way their limbs bounce against the mom’s womb. It was interesting listening to how they are used by the nursery and why.  I will be putting this on my list to make more of after I finish a few other projects ahead of it.  There is a pile waiting that keeps yelling at me every time I visit the bonus room.  I will explain that project  as I get to it, more later.

As I find supplies and gather them in one place in organizing our home, I find stashes of yarn and found enough to make an afghan, this will be a prayer afghan for a family member ill with stage-4 lymes disease.  IMG_0056[1]This is rows of cables on size 13 needles. The color is called lagoon by Lion Brand Yarn in Homespun. I have finished 3/4s of it in the last week or so and hope to have it complete by next week to send off.

I am hoping to take a lace knitting class in Macon at Creative Knitting and am looking forward to increasing my knitting repertoire.  Until next time, Sew on!

Hope

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Completions Bring Joy

I am feeling pretty joyful. I completed the knitted afghan that I started over forty years go.  This quilt helped me develop confidence in ability to figure out the different patterns. When I started it I only knit the basics; knit then purl making innumerable scarves. I learned in Brownies how to knit from Mrs. Parmalee and then I didn’t have anyone in my life that knit. Ten years later Mrs. Harriet Jones and my Mom became friends and I watched her knit. Because of my interest she gave me scrap yarn, knitting needles and a sampler pattern for afghans. I started this afghan with those supplies and added the black yarn and years of working on these 48 blocks. It is a queen size afghan and was a gift to my brother. Mark received it today in the mail. It was fun putting it in a Space bag and sucking all the air out so I could send it in a small package. Mark's Quilt Completed

I also, completed the basting on the veteran’s quilt and tomorrow will start the quilting process.  This means a search for all the supplies required to put it on the machine. My studio is still in disarray from a water emergency over the summer and a lot of my gear is in a storage facility. So this means a trip over there to search for thread and other equipment. My sewing machines are here in the house just a matter of locating everything that was put in other locations so the floors could be redone;  Fun, fun to be had this upcoming week.Veteran's Quilt Basted

I am almost complete on the DMC Give Thanks cross stitch obtained from the DMC site, http://www.dmc-usa.com/Inspiration/Projects/Cotton-Floss-Cross-Stitching/Give-Thanks-Sampler.aspx but haven’t decided how I want to finish the piece; in a frame or pillow. I will cogitate on that in the next few days. I have to complete the turkey, the right side corn stalks and backstitch the cornstalks. I love the contagiousness of these completions.

Progress on Give Thanks Cross Stitch

Progress on Give Thanks Cross Stitch

To add to all my enjoyment, we had a snowfall in middle Georgia that stayed on the ground, I think we had maybe two inches. Here is a photo after midday of our house.

Snowfall in Middle Georgia!

Snowfall in Middle Georgia!

Until next week, stay warm and safe.

Hope

 

 

 

 

 

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Hiccups

Per usual, life has hiccups. Despite these I continue to work toward completion. Work progresses on three projects. I have completed nearly three quarters of the basting on our veteran’s quilt. The challenge here was that some of the blocks were not sewn correctly. I have been repairing them in addition to completing the basting. I want to honor the women that worked on this quilt with us but cannot let the errors stay as it affects the integrity of the quilt. The challenge is to find a creative way to incorporate these blocks into the whole as it is also our thoughts and prayers for the veteran recipient that are incorporated in the blocks that make up this quilt. It is our thoughts as well as our contribution that brings meaning to our work.

While I sat in the hospital last , I used up all of the floss for a cross stitch project. It always amazes me to see a picture take shape in this medium. It reminds me of pixels as I set every stitch into the fabric. I need more skeins of floss to complete and hope the cross stitching part will be completed before next week. This leaves the next task; deciding how to finish it.

The biggest task is finishing the afghan which I have a third of the rows stitched it together.  I worked on this in the hospital as well and most of the stitching was done there waiting for DH to be released. I find working with my hands a great way to deal with stress.

My focus on completions has definitely provided focus and I find myself scheduling time each day to do a little on each project. Despite not finishing any one thing, with each little step forward I feel a sense of accomplishment. It is a great feeling.

Here is Maggie, she keeps me company as I work around the house and ensures I take regular walks. Can you see her pleading with me? Until next time.

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Action Follows Commitment

The commitment to completions this year has propelled me into action this week. I know, only the first week but change only happens if you start. I tell myself that continuously. Despite some strong challenges, DH ill and a water line rupture due to the polar vortex extreme weather, I have been successful at working toward completions this past week.

The first is our neighborhood group veteran’s quilt, I completed the border and made the backing using a leftover quilt block and backing fabric. Next to complete on this is the quilt sandwich. My task for the next week as I typically hand baste the sandwich together before quilting. I am pleased with this progress.

Veteran's Quilt Back

Veteran’s Quilt Back

Another project I worked on is an afghan I started when I was 17. Harriet, an older family friend reignited my interest in knitting by giving me her leftover yarn stash, needles and a sampler afghan pattern. Over the last forty years I have worked on it a little at a time and finished the last block in September. This project has given me confidence to try new things and the internet has only made this more of an actuality. After teaching myself how to crochet by taking a Craftsy course, http://www.craftsy.com, I completed all the crochet borders this week and worked on placing the squares into a pleasing order. Harriet's AfghanI figured out today it is a queen size project and DH’s illness forced me to wait until today to do that portion. I use an I-pad, taking pictures and moving the squares around until I obtained a pleasing arrangement. Next up is putting all the blocks together, a challenge because the gauge was not consistent over the last forty years, (you think!) and finally sending it off to the recipient.

The other task I started this week is taking a Craftsy class (www.craftsy.com), I have numerous classes that I have enrolled in but have not completed. So this week I restarted the Brioche Knitting Class with Nancy Marchant (http://briochestitch.com/brioche/). I am currently stuck on the Italian cast on but know I will eventually figure it out. Here is my single color sample. I would like to complete one class a month. Knitting is portable and doesn’t require a lot of stuff so that is the reason I re-started this class.

Bioche sample

Sewing, knitting , most needlework are my rewards; I enjoy the challenges presented in accomplishing these projects. They have a meditative quality that quiets my mind, soothes the anxieties of the day and satisfies the need to successfully control something, anything in a chaotic world.

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Sew-Hope-Needles Begins

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The genesis of this blog was a comment from a friend suggesting that I have stories to share with my children and grandchildren. I never thought about what I should or would pass on to them and that comment has been spinning around in my thoughts since then. Sew Hope Needles will share the stories about the projects I create and the people for whom I create. And as this is the start of a New Year, I decided to start here and share the goals for this year. My word for 2014, if a single word can express my goal for a year, is “Completion.”

Completing projects, whether it be organizing my house, or finishing needlework of some kind are what I will be committed to this year and I will share some of them with you.  The primary project for this upcoming week is a project started with a group of women from our local chapter of the American Sewing Guild (ASG).  We are using a Bonnie Hunter quilt pattern Virginia Bound from  her book, Scraps and Shirttails. We made the blocks from the scraps of six years worth of community service projects. I enjoy putting this pattern together because it demonstrates that when mixing various innocuous, bland and possibly downright ugly fabrics we make spectacular whole quilts just like life, as when you work together with others, the sum of our strengths make our projects better. I will complete the quilt sandwich and machine quilt it and another from our group will put the binding on it.

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