Another church quilt finished

Quilt for graduation

Quilt for graduation

A few ladies joined me at church last a few Wednesday’s ago and we finished up the tying of this quilt. The question in Susan Glaspell’s drama, “Trifles,” was something like, “Was she going to quilt it or knot it?” This was asked by the sheriff who thought women’s items were of no use to look at for evidence and they gave the clear motive for the woman hanging her husband as he slept in their bed. I loved that play, but this is getting me off topic. It is just that I cannot look at a quilt without thinking of that play. I just loved reading it with my sophomores. That was the year I always devoted the most time to plays. For some reason it seems they responded to them better at that age.

So, as for the church quilt. It wasn’t quite finished last year when we were out of time for this project. We put this one away and another to finish this year when we got back together. Now we have had a call for donations for gifts for the seniors of the community at an overnight lock in. The small communities in this area have been doing these sort of night to prevent the young people from going out and partying and drinking and getting into car accidents. It is a sad reason they started these programs, but the gesture of sending them off with nice gifts is a nice idea.

Anyway, this is the quilt that we knotted. It was ready to go and all we had to do was stitch the thread through and tie a couple of knots in them. We used heavy crochet thread instead of yarn. It should have been easier, but we found that the sheet on the bottom was almost impenetrable. We have decided no more brand new tight weave sheets. You need a bit larger weave for this project, just a tip for anyone else who might be doing this. This quilt was also a bit different because it wasn’t in blocks. Normally we put the tie in the middle of the block. This time I used a guide and marked the spots to stitch with a pencil. The picture is of the quilt after I washed it to get the markings off. I was pleased that they washed out fairly easily.

This is all for now. I also have posted new on my lucindagardens and lucindalines sites, please stop by for a gander!!

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Next beanie and some leg warmers

With my flapped up beanie off the needles, I figured it was time to start another one. I still haven’t added the strings to the first one so that I can count it as officially completed, but o-well. It has been relegated to the box of items to be completed. I sometimes feel bad for those items, it seems it takes such a long time to reappear from that container.

Next beanie

Next beanie

At this time, I have another beanie with flaps on the needles. This time I combined the flaps with the walking rib pattern along with a few color changes. I hope it turns out as nice as I envisioned it going in. I picked up this new type of yarn a couple of weeks ago. Mostly I bought it because it was the color I needed in a huge skein. After I got it home, I realized how soft it is. Usually acrylic yarn is a little stiff. Not this stuff, it is great, and I think that will make the beanie really nice to the touch.

Leg warmers knit on the board

Leg warmer knit on the board

The project I should be paying more attention to is knitting on the board. I know this is a board for making socks, and that is why the stitches are really so small, but I am trying to do this larger thing for me to use around the house in the winter, but it just seems I am not getting anywhere fast with this. Maybe I was right to put off purchasing this board. I would love to hear what other board knitters feel about making things on the board. I think my biggest problem is not being able to figure out the patterns that well, and so I am a bit hesitant to jump in on some things.

Well Happy knitting to you all!!

Beanie finished, nearly

Finished beanie

Finished beanie

I finally finished, well almost, the beanie with flaps that I have been working on it. It turned out better than I had hoped, but is rather small, so the next one, I will do a few more rounds and take more time to decrease. I am not sure that I will be giving any more away to the team. James found beanies with ear flaps in a catalogue and that is what all of the track athletes are getting for doing the fund raiser. Oh well, good reason to be out of a task, only problem is I just picked up more yarn and have started on my next one. Maybe the younger athletes who weren’t in on the fund raiser will still need a beanie.

Skirt material

Skirt material

I also picked up three types of material last week. We made it to Bismarck a little early for the luncheon and awards ceremony for Jessica. It was a nice time, and I cried a little when they gave her the friends of public employees legislature award. I just kept thinking how proud my mother would be to have seen her give that acceptance speech. It was spot on.

As for the material to the right, I liked the light color, James liked the dark color and I threw the blue and black in for the price. After I got to the checkout, I found out the blue and black is swimsuit material. Oh my, not sure if I am still making a skirt with it. I do need to get on those other two though. I am about tired of the ones that I keep rotating around for Sundays. Hmmmm, perhaps my goal could be the annual meeting the first week of June. Now that might be a plan.

So, what do you have in the works??

Beanie with flaps

Beanie with flaps

Beanie with flaps

My latest project on the needles is a beanie with flaps on. I have had a great time working on it. I have a few more rows to go on it before I can begin to decrease. The colors are maroon and yellow, but sometimes it looks a little more like purple. So far this has generated a bit more interest than some of the others, but I have to date given away three of my other beanies at track practice, so I should hurry with this as my stash is getting a bit lower.

Melting crayons

Crayons turned into circles.

Crayons turned into circles.

For quite sometime I have been wanting to melt down some old crayons to give them purpose again. I always see pins about how this is done, and figured it can’t be that hard. Well, let me tell you those pins that say to use a silicone baking sheet are correct. Do NOT try to do it with paper liners in a metal cupcake pan. I ended up with wax melting through the single layer and had a bit of a time getting the wax out of the bottom of the pan. In fact, I still have some scrubbing to do before I will be comfortable baking food in that pan. I will probably use metal liners the first time I use it just to be safe.

Crayons in liquid form

Crayons in liquid form

The new crayons that came from my experiment are actually pretty nifty, and I won’t say that I will never try this again, but I will likely buy a silicone pan and designate it only for crayons and use some neat shape like stars or hearts. The pictures in this post are the result of my efforts. It didn’t take long to sort and fill the cups, and the really interesting thing was that the colors melted all together with the different tones separating themselves as they hardened. I thought that was really interesting. The other part that wasn’t so good was the smell that it left in the house. I would not do this when there are children around. This is all I know for today. What have you been up to??

Ana’s pictures

Ana's family on grandma's swing set.

Ana’s family on grandma’s swing set. From left to right there is: Mama, Ana, David, Jaxon and Papa.

Animals

Animals: Left to right, Pig, duck (top) cat (bottom) and rabbit.

I have been posting about my granddaughter Ana’s time with us on my other site: lucindalines, but today I am posting about her here. One of our days together last week, I dug up some scratch paper and a few crayons for her to play. I drew her some really rough looking pictures and let her color them. Paulina thinks I should write her a little book and illustrate it. I learned these drawings from my mother. I wish now I had paid better attention. There were tricks in how the country school teachers in her day taught certain drawing techniques. I learned the pig from my country school teacher and it has always been fun to pass this on to children, whether my own or in schools where I taught. So the pig if you look closely is done by writing a capital E for the nose, an M for the ears and two W’s for the feet. Connect all the letters then stick a lowercase “e” for the tail. I know there was a trick like that for the duck, but I never fully learned it, just that “W” for the wing. I used to do little cats all the time on brooms with witches flying through the night. I was great at Halloween pictures in middle school and high school, maybe that is why Victoria likes that holiday, maybe it is genetic. At any rate, it was fun to have Ana for the week, and hopefully she will stop again and do more of her own pictures for us in the future.

Crocheted edges on fleece blankets

Ana's "Cars" blanket with yellow crochet trim and yellow binding.

Ana’s “Cars” blanket with yellow crochet trim and yellow binding.

David's dinosaur blanket with white crochet trim and blue binding.

David’s dinosaur blanket with white crochet trim and blue binding.

I finally finished the blankets for David and Ana. She has been playing with hers since I trimmed the last thread from it. David’s is all rolled up and waiting for the end of the week when we will see him to give it to him. These were both made with 1 yard pieces that I purchased in the remnant bins. Jaxon’s is actually the smallest of the lot, but is about the best size for him to use as a cape. HA!! You can see the finished products of what I did today. One of Ana’s binding sides is not the best because I used a fairly thin binding. I didn’t realize that I had two different sizes. I didn’t go out and buy anything new, I just used up what I had in the drawer. I bought these bindings for other projects and haven’t ever used them. Hopefully, I can continue getting things accomplished and out of the house as this Lenten season continues. That is my goal for Lent this year, create items with what is in my house and give them away. Hurrah for the items already gone. That would include these three blankets for the grandchildren, a blanket for Paulina, four dish cloths (three for my sisters and one for my aunt) I also have one for my sister-in-law, but haven’t gotten it to her yet, and all of the candles we are using at church, Hurrah for things gone. And the best part is that the entire candle mess has been completed and out of my area. It used to use up two shelves in my cupboard (plus two boxes above the cupboard) and now I have that down to one shelf. Ya!! On what have you been working???

Empty containers

Clean jars. I threw a ball of yarn into one just to show what it can be.

Clean jars. I threw a ball of yarn into one just to show what it can be.

Plastic storage container.

Plastic storage container.

Not much has been completed this week, except the candle mess has been put away. All of the jars that can be have been emptied and the wax has been melted and transferred into candles of various types. I have shown pictures of completed candles with a detailed write-up of how to do it earlier on this blog. Today, I am showing off the cleaned jars that will soon be part of the sorting and storing of the various beads and costume jewelry that I acquired over the years that will need to be converted into something useful in the near future. I don’t have a firm time line, but I am thinking that one to two years is all that I will be giving these items then they will have to be moved on. On the other hand, I know that I can only make so many things in the time allotted, so some things will happen. For now, I am happy that I have cleaned out the candles and that by doing so, the clean jars are now new sources of storage. We also found the yellow organizer this morning when we were digging around for some toys for Ana. No sense for that to hang out empty in a box of old toys when I can make good use of it. This goes back to my frugal motto a few years ago when I decided to “shop at home” before I wrote it on a list and went to the store for anything. This includes the ingredients for supper. By the way, for a story on what toys we found for Ana that story will be posted on lucindalines tomorrow. So, what have you cleaned out lately, and what have you done with the containers???? Share, please.

Jaxon’s blanket

Jaxon's TMNT blanket.

Jaxon’s TMNT blanket.

I didn’t give you all of the steps when I showed you Paulina’s blanket, so I thought I would show off a few more of the pieces as I do up Jaxon’s. First off the final wrapped up product. Victoria seemed to think that he would prefer the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pattern to the Cars one. I guess that means David or Ana will get the Cars one. Maybe David will be good with the dinosaurs. I think those would be nice for him. So to get the blanket to tie up in a neat bow, I laid it out and folded it in half the long way, twice. Next I rolled it up and tied it with a sating ribbon. I will show him how to do this, but not so sure it will happen after he opens it. It is not very large, but just about right to wrap up a small boy standing in his wrestling singlet and maybe shivering. It is actually about the perfect size for a cape. Ha!!

Crochet the edges

Crochet the edges

So, here is where it starts. I forgot to do it with the TMNT fleece, so am showing it with the Cars one. I find that you can crochet only on two sides, at least that is what I do. Two sides are really stretchy and the other two are stiffer, so I crochet the stiffer sides and bind the stretchy ones. Here is the crochet business. Using a thin yarn and small needle that is pointy, I put in a double crochet. Sometimes I am not able to get the hook through the fleece, so a little poke with the long end of the seam ripper works well. I didn’t trim off this one quite as far as I should have, but I was looking for the extra length, and it isn’t that critical to have the edge off.

First stitch of the binding.

First stitch of the binding.

For Jaxon’s blanket, I wanted a thinner binding, but black like Paulina’s. Since I had some left over from her project, I decided to split it. This worked very well and gave me enough, the only thing was that I had to do a little ironing. I began by sewing the opened binding to the right side of the fleece. I made a seem of about 1/8 of an inch. It was narrow, but secure.

Pressed edge

Pressed edge

Next I laid it out on the ironing board and steamed it open. Since I had split it there was no pressed seam to fold it over, so I had to turn the binding over at about another 1/8 inch and press it. Then I turned that under along the fleece and pressed it down.

Final stitches

Final stitches

To finish it up, I went back to the machine and with a zigzag stitch sewed the binding down. It was great how it caught on both sides. I did a simple fold under on the edges, nothing fancy. I am sure good quilters could figure out how to make a fancy edge at the end, but this was fine for me. I was more concerned on it being secure so that little hands wont be able to pull it apart, so I did forward and backward at the ends a few times.

On the needles

Three of my four projects

Three of my four projects

My inability to focus on one thing at a time is really coming forward in my knitting lately. I currently have four projects going. I blame part of it on how different projects affect my hands, but in reality the issue is getting bored with an easy stitch. The project that is easiest and the one I should finish and get it over with is the yellow scarf. I am working this on size 15 needles with two strands of yarn in a stocking net stitch. It really takes no thought at all to do, so sadly I find it rather boring. I also have not figured out where it is going, so there is no hurry to get it finished. I took the picture on my cutting board so you can see the current length.

Close up of the loom piece.

Close up of the loom piece and the second ear flap is started. I will post that pattern when it looks more like a cap.

The other projects shown in the picture above include the first flap of a maroon beanie. I am super excited about that project because it is something new for me to learn and will be a challenge. The other project is a loom knitting. I have a closer look at that. I am just doing a tube as a test piece and am trying to see if different wraps cause stitches to look differently, so far I think I have found one that is slightly different, but for now I am using a simple “e” wrap and seeing where this goes. I am thinking it might end up as a leg warmer. Hmmm that means I will probably need a second one.

Dishcloth in progress and finished.

Dishcloth in progress and finished.

At the beginning I did say four projects and only showed you three. I had sort of forgotten that the fourth one is already off the needles and I will start a new one of them soon. I have been working on seeing how many dish cloths you can make from a spool of cotton yarn. Here is what I have been doing in that area. I actually took the one on the needles off and started over with one of the “cast on 4 and do the yarn over increase and decrease” Those are more interesting to do that the simple “knit the edges with stocking net in the middle.” Why is it I can’t just do the easy? Now if I could just figure out the patterns for a sock, I might have a challenge. No, please don’t try to help me, I have to figure this out for myself, and watching the rest of you knit via what you post on our blogs is starting to sink in. I will post when I finally get it.

TMNT fleece

TMNT fleece

In the meantime, I believe that the knitting needles will have to go to bed for a few days. I have a grandson who is in need of a grandma blanket for his sixth birthday. I plan to crochet the stiff edges and bind the stretchy edges of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fleece that I picked up just before Christmas. I will confess that I originally picked up this print for David, but I think he will be better with a different one. Jaxon is a bit more of a Ninja at this time. He has started little kids wrestling and is now experiencing leg cramps and sore muscles and tired body, and we all love it. No better way to channel a willful busy child than with an activity. As a coach, I can’t stress how much I think a good (mind I mean well run and not over the top pushy) athletic program is for young people. If run properly it can give them a challenge and purpose, and in some cases a method to pull themselves out of a dismal situation. OK, enough of my preaching for the day. Have a Happy Crafty Day!, and please share with us what is on your needles.