Thursday, December 31, 2015

Oh No Another Mystery KAL!



Sherwood Knits designed by Miriam Pike.
Shawl featuring lace knit from the top down. Pattern recommends Fria laceweight yarn (gradient yarn). 
I have the yarn! And this is a free knit until the pattern is released.
Release Dates
The pattern will be released in 4 increments starting January 1st.
1st pattern clue: January 1st
2nd pattern clue: January 8th
3rd pattern clue: January 15th
4th pattern clue: January 22nd
(Final pattern out sometime in February, once I have enough daylight to photograph the final shawl)
The pattern is a combination of written and charted instructions, but the lace is only charted (with written instructions for the chart, but the lace is not written out).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Want to Learn Something New?

Pattern Writing Series--Wow!  What fun!  An educational blog that will give you pointers on how to design your own quilt pattern!  The series will begin in January 2016.

The series will take you step by step from a quilt design in a sketchbook all the way through to a fully developed quilt pattern.  To make the series less abstract and more practical, I will be demonstrating each step by working through an actual quilt pattern (that will be available as a free pattern at the end of the series).

There is no right way or wrong way to write a quilt pattern, so a number of wonderful pattern designers will be joining me for round table discussions and additional posts to give different perspectives and opinions on the design and writing processes.  With me will be (in alphabetic order) Amy of 13 SpoolsAnne of Springleaf StudiosChrista of Christa QuiltsLorna of Sew Fresh QuiltsSoma of Whims and Fancies, and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl

Some topics that will be included are:
Design
Pattern basics
Text
Math
Illustrations
Testing
Finishing

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Easy Peasy?

An earlier post on slow stitching shouldn't be discussed here, because
I Heart these two patterns!
What a super way to show off handspun yarn, which I have so much of (well, it is perfectly aged folks!)
These two patterns are in my recipe file
oh, okay, I might be slowly knitting away for some time!

Panorama Shawl designed by Kate Lore for Emerald Lotus Fiberarts

Designed by Caitlin ffrench--Simply Brilliance

Monday, December 28, 2015

Colors of the Season!

Whenever we travel or visit interesting places, I like to look for the most colorful
spot in the place.

I like how the light glows through all the colorful pinatas 

Nothing like the brightly painted buildings--look at all the angles

and the tones of the night accent the slowly sinking sun

what can be better than a setting sun over a city?
Nothing compares to the colors that surround you.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Planning!

Already!  I'm planning for January 1, 2016 NOW!
Here are a couple of interesting Knit Alongs that might be fun.


This one is designed by Elizabeth Ravenwood 

These mitts are the January Mystery Mitt KAL for the Fingerless Glove Fanatics Group on Ravelry. The pattern will be free through the month of January, and will be updated weekly with new clues on January 1, 8, 15, and 22. FGF welcomes all who want to participate! Just please don’t post any pictures of a clue in the thread until the next clue has been released.
This pattern combines lace and texture and works best in a solid, tonal, or gradient yarn. It is perfect for that one special skein of fingering weight yarn in your stash.
Beads (optional) add an extra bit of sparkle! You will need only 120 beads for the small/medium size and 136 beads for the medium/large size making it a great way to use up leftover beads from other projects.

Here we have a crochet and knit along!   This is designed by DeviousRose aka Krystalle Diaz
Pattern suitable for beginner knitters wanting to combine the very basics into something more, all intermediate knitters, and advanced knitters as a relatively mindless knit. Crochet version is suitable for comfortable beginners as well as more advanced crocheters looking for a mindless project. You will need to be comfortable either carrying two yarns along the sides of a work or weaving in the ends from the stripes. If you are not, it’s okay. A photo tutorial on carrying the yarn invisibly for stripes is part of the Prologue and will be available on Clue 1 as well.
Sounds like a learning experience to me! 
Happy stitching everyone!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Traditional Boxing Day


Traditional English holiday extends Christmas giving

by David Johnson

Despite its name, Boxing Day, which is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain, has nothing to do with pugilistic competition. Nor is it a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents. While the exact origins of the holiday are obscure, it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the Middle Ages.
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

Church Alms Boxes

Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had rendered a service during the previous year. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others who have helped them.

The Day after Christmas

Boxing Day is December 26, the day after Christmas, and is celebrated in Great Britain and in most areas settled by the English (the U.S. is the major exception), including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Bank Holidays

Boxing Day is just one of the British bank holidays recognized since 1871 that are observed by banks, government offices, and the post office. The others include Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Whitmonday (the day after Pentecost), and the banking holiday on the last Monday in August.

St. Stephen's Martyrdom

The Feast of St. Stephen also takes place on December 26. St. Stephen was one of the seven original deacons of the Christian Church who were ordained by the Apostles to care for widows and the poor. For the success of his preaching and his devotion to Christ, St. Stephen was stoned to death by a mob. As he died, he begged God not to punish his killers.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas!



"Unto us, a child is born!"  
I present to you this lovely, inspiring painting by 
Jenedy Paige.   Please read her story of how she
came to paint this baby picture.

I think about the swaddling cloth--as a weaver and spinner,
I wonder, did Mary need to spin the linen for this cloth to wrap her baby?
Did she need to weave the bands to embroidery?  
And what thread did she use to stitch her symbols?  Was it linen also?
Hand dyed with indigo?  
So many questions to answer.
I have the book by archaeologist, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, 
and now we read with interest the story of the birth of
a Saviour!



To you and yours


Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24--And All is Quiet!

In our household on this day, we gather as a family for the evening dinner.  Some had to work most of the day, but we come together to share this peaceful end to a busy day.


We will snuggle up in our beds and began a restful night 
anticipating the arrival of Santa

Here's to you and your family
a blessed Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

16 To Read in 2016 Winter

Okay, I'm thinking about the holidays--but, I get to thinking about what I want to read
this winter after the hectic holiday has gone.
I don't want to get those winter time blues!

Here is a listing of delicious books to devour this winter!
I have placed a couple on my list as gifts from family--

Sugar and Soul has the listing!  I'm already eyeing my first read--"Letters of Skye". 
I've read "11-23-63"--Interesting as all of Stephen King books are.
What will you read this winter?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Craze--Homemade Laundry Butter!

I know we are all more conscious about our soaps for body and laundry; so, in that vein here is the new craze for you to investigate.  I don't have the time or energy to dive into making my own laundry butter now--but, it's on the list of things to do in 2016!
I Believe I Can Fry  has a recipe for this Butter

Custer Cottage  another blog about whipping up the good stuff

Budget 101 and frequent asked questions.


and a video to get you in the spirit of whipping up some butter for your use!

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Not Just For Old Ladies!

A recent article from Health Cure Corner made my day!  The title was "Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally



“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” – Elizabeth Zimmermann
My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.
Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.
While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.
She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.
“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.
There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.
“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 8 of 24...........................................

My advent knitting.
I'm so far behind!  
I know this will not be completed by Christmas, but
I'm chugging along and loving every stitch I make

I searched through my fibers and found this handspun cotton-- !
It's so soft and easy to knit--two ply.  The pattern is designed by Tricia Weatherston, on Ravelry.
It is cables and lace stitches--I'm learning  new techniques too!
Someday I will show off my Advent scarf!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Seeing Stars! And Snowflakes!


Oh how I like to use Origami to make small items!
I think these are the greatest decorations around....
Stars--Stars--Stars.
Homemade Gifts Made Easy has the perfect video
and photo display to show you how easy it is to fold these stars.

And then I found this super duper video on how to make fabric
snowflakes!  I know--fabric! snowflakes!  I have made paper snowflakes
many times, and there are plenty of examples on Pinterest
But, fabric snowflakes are just as easy to make!
and there is still time left to decorate the house with
these magical snowflakes!  plus I can use up my
fabric stash!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Add to January List............................

                                                                     
Just Crafty Enough has an interesting Knit Along coming in January--Skills needed to make this mitten are knitting in the round, stranded color work, picking up stitches, increasing and decreasing and kitchener stitch.  Sounds like a winner--small project with several techniques.

And if you are a quilter--join in on this Row by Row Block of the Month--each month's pattern
is free till the next month comes out.  if you do each month, you'll be ready for 2016
Christmas! 
2016 is already beginning to look like a good year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

12 Days of Giving

12 Days of Christmas
Who loves surprises and a little something free for the holidays? We sure do! So we crafted a special advent calendar to bring you a surprise every day... One accessory pattern will be free for each of the 12 days of Christmas!

Each day we'll unwrap the featured pattern on the bloginstagram,facebook, and twitter, so follow us on your favorite social spot.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anniversary--Of Sorts

Today is an anniversary--it's a day we want to forget, but somehow, even after so many years, we still remember this date--December 16, 1976!  I know it's been 39 years--We Still Remember when this day rolls around.

It was a beautiful day--kids off to school on time; me planning a Christmas luncheon for my friends at our house.  It was going to be a festive beginning to our holiday season--table was set, decorations were in place--there was no tree, as we planned to leave soon to spend days with family in North Missouri.

And then, it happen--I heard a funny noise coming from the living room--put my head in to see what it was--NO way--flames were shooting up from the sofa onto the drapery into the ceiling!  How could this occur!  Run, to do not Walk to the door and yell to my neighbor to call fire department--we are a rural community, so it was volunteer--it seemed like it took hours for them to arrive; although, I know it wasn't that long!  Neighbors came, friends arrived, husband and his fellow workers arrived--nothing could be done--all was lost, even the car.  This was so sudden, there is not time to think--what to grab--just take yourself outside.

But, there is always good that comes from a disaster..........................................we had so many friends and strangers who came to our rescue.  People showed up with food, clothes, hugs and greetings to assist anyway they could.  There is a blessing sometimes that we are not aware of till many years down the road.  Yes, it is an anniversary, one that I always remember as the greatest gift of all--friends helping friends; strangers helping strangers--we may have lost all our personal possessions, we gained so much more in knowing there is a world of good!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Free Gift!

Did you ever want to make mittens like these?  Well, I have!  In fact, there is a free--yes
FREE pattern waiting just for you and me--here................
Happy stitching!



Monday, December 14, 2015

S L O W S T I T C H I N G.....................................................


There is a Slow Stitching Movement going on!  And Of Course!  I'm
Slow to find it!

I am definitely a slow stitcher, whether it be knitting, quilting, weaving
or stitching--so I'm very much a candidate for this 
movement.

How will this movement help me?  I'm slowly going to find out....................

Sunday, December 13, 2015

JOY!

It is said that a picture is worth a 1000 words!
I agree.............
These photos bring me 
Joy!
and a sense of the reason for the season!





Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hurry, Hurry, Don't Delay

Yes, hurry and don't delay--downloading this lovely shawl pattern!  It's free, in Beta form, till December 16, 2015.  You can also sign up for another free shawl pattern.
This 'confetti' yarn adds a special touch to this shawl is hand dyed by
fiber artist Rhichard Devrieze

Aroha Knits --Nakahi Shawl is still in Beta testing so sign up
for their newsletter to see if there are any errors.
The paid pattern will be on Ravelry at a future date.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fire! One of the Four Elements!

Fiddleknits is offering another one of the four elements shawl patterns.
I really do enjoy knitting her patterns.  We have already done Water, Air, Earth.
Fire will begin end of January, but right now you can grab Fire free of charge
through Ravelry.
It will most likely be a humdinger of a shawl!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Basket Balls With Mizuhiki

Mizuhiki is a traditional Japanese paper cord that come in many colors and is often tied in elaborate knots as decoration for gifts, especially money wrappers. Cords come in many colors, in shiny mylar foil, wrapped in silk thread, or simply painted. It is said that Samurai used Mizuhiki to tie their topknots. The cords are 36” long and you can discover many ways to use them. Our favorite way to use Mizuhiki is to gather 3 or 5 cords to tie up gift packages. A simple square knot holds the cords in place, and you can even thread the ends back through the center knot to create simple and elegant designs.


Here are my Mizuhiki cords and what I have made with them.

Mizuhiki comes in many colors

Some sparkly
Here is the beginning of a 'basket ball'--I learned this technique
from the master basket maker of all time--sorry she doesn't have a 
website; but, if you are interested in these 'basket balls'
leave me a message and I'll get you to Lynn!


There are many design weavings you can do with these wonderful flexible cords!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12 Days--So Behind!

Yes, I'm so behind!  12 days of small quilt blocks seems so easy--just one little block--it measures less than 3"--and only one a day!  What could be better?
Temecula Quilt Company has featured a small quilt block the past
9 days--so I'm playing catch-up.
There are so many little quilt ideas on their website!
Shoofly

Logcabin

Pinwheel 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Journey...............................

As Advent season has begun, I'm will pause each day to reflect on the reason for the season.  During this time, I'm following along with Alive Now.  And this daily journey uses a camera--what a perfect way to make a journal of your life during Advent!


Through the dark of night, we journey to a bright tomorrow.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Attack on Pearl Harbor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II
Attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes view.jpg
The attack on Pearl Harbor[nb 4] was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, in the United States Territory of Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II.
Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan planned in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. There were near-simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held PhilippinesGuam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in MalayaSingapore, and Hong Kong.[13] The attacks - from troop landings at Kota Bharu, Malaya, to the air attacks ranging geographically from Hong Kong to Pearl Harbor - took place over seven hours.[13][
The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time.[14] The base was attacked by 353[15] Japanese fighter planesbombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.[15] All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship,[nb 5] and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.[17] Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.
The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United Statesdeclared war on Japan.[18] Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been fading since the German attack on France in 1940,[19] disappeared. Clandestine support of the United Kingdom (e.g., theNeutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.
From the 1950s, several writers alleged that parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may have let it happen (or even encouraged it) with the aim of bringing America into war.[20][21] However, this advance-knowledge conspiracy theory is rejected by mainstream historians.[22][nb 6]
There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy". Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged by the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime.[24][25]