A wicked sense of humor…

that’s what Mother Nature has for sure.   The past two days it has been in the mid 40s and raining.  Except for the ice banks along the sidewalks and parking lots and roads, the snow had disappeared.

Then there was today….. the lightest dusting of snow on the ground when I went to catch the bus to work .

   We closed the office at 4 p.m. today.

  This is the photo I took about 5 p.m. when I got home.    I won’t deny it’s pretty again.  But going from 40 one day and rain, to this and 20 degrees and tomorrow the high is 10 degrees.  If the temps keep cutting themselves in half each day – well I think that needs to stop right now. 

But we’re only supposed to have two days of below zero and single digits/teens before it warms up again.

But getting home an hour earlier than normal, I did sit down and cut out and stitched 3 smore Life Saver blocks.  I’ve got another set of three cut but I’m done sewing for tonight.  

Time to get comfy, put on my jammies and grab a quilt, and sit and knit.  The 3S Shawl is coming along very nicely.  I think I’m really going to love that one.   I just started putting in the random eyelet rows and they look great.  I love a pattern where you can add as many or as few of those rows as you like and just continue until you get the size you like.

Livin’ The Tweet Life

   Many fun and funny names were offered for this design but in the end, I decided to stick with my original name for it.   There were a lot of imaginative (and a few scary) names.  LOL   Some of the names were too similar to names I have given other bird designs I have, some linked it to Valentine’s Day, or a Cardinal – but depending on the fabrics you use, it may not look anything like a cardinal ( did you see my Spotted Crow?) LOL  or be Valentine-ish so I wanted a name a bit more generic.  You of course can name your version whatever you want but this pattern shall henceforth be named “Livin the Tweet Life.”

But I already have my own “Strictly For the Birds” mousepad so the random number generator picked a number between 1 and 102 and the winner of the highly coveted, limited edition mousepad is:

Lucky comment #10 —  Rhonda Goranson!!  (Whew I was glad it didn’t pick number 80 or 90 something so I didn’t have to count that far down the list of comments to figure out the winner. 🙂  So Rhonda, please email me your mailing address at justquiltin@peoplepc.com and your prize will be headed your way soon.

Attention Batik Life Saver Block Swappers……….

Have you mailed your blocks? You still have time. Last date to mail is February 2 –  January has flown by and February 2 is this coming Saturday!!  be sure to get them in the mail by then.  Remember as I’ve said before do NOT send them with delivery confirmation — I work – there’s no one to sign for them so they won’t get delivered.

Also, I posted a while ago this blog post please reread it BEFORE you mail in your blocks to make sure you followed ALL the swap rules.

Just the highlights of that blog post are posted below — these are the most common mistakes  swappers make that get their blocks returned to them.  I hate to return them and no swapper wants them back unswapped, but I can’t stress enough that you need to follow ALL the swap rules whether you agree with them or not.  If your blocks don’t meet those requirements, please do not send them.

  • You used only the required fabrics – Kona black and batiks (no hand dyed) per swap rules.
  • Your seam allowances are all PRESSED OPEN per swap rules
  • Your blocks measure 8.5″ x 8.5″ (not 8.0″ x 8.0″ or 8.0″ x 8.25″). If your blocks are not the correct size they cannot be swapped. Measure each one of your blocks before sending them.
  • Threads are trimmed
  • Mail your swap packages to me no earlier than January 25 and no later than February 2. If you do not mail on or before Feb 2 I will not get your package in time to swap it.

Swap packages are already starting to come in so I’ve gathered a large box to put them all in until everything is here and I need to print my list so I can mark off packages as they arrive.   I will update the Swap Page (find the Page listing in the sidebar under FREE PDF PATTERNS).  That will take you to the swap page.  I will update that page on the Sunday with all the packages that have arrived by that time and then update it again at the end of next week.  So you can check that list  to see whether or not your package is vacationing in my sewing room. 🙂

I’ve still got a few more swap blocks I want to make — some evil sewing elf was messing with my seam allowances and I have a couple blocks that are too small to swap — see I make me follow the swap rules too. LOL  (Besides I bought a couple new batik fqs last weekend that are calling out to be made into blocks) 😉

The Spotted Crow


  I was busy cutting and stitching this afternoon and have my own version  of the bird done — I think I shall call this one The Spotted Crow for very obvious reasons.    I love the circle print.  We’re remodeling at the office and he will look very bright and cheery once my new desk/cubicle is in place and he’s hung on the wall of it.   I did get carried away making some of the border blocks and forgot to reverse the placement in some so I’m going to have to remember to take that part out of the pattern.

There have been some very interesting names posted in the name that bird giveaway.   It’s always so fun to see what everyone else comes up with.  I haven’t picked a winner yet –   one of you has come up with the same name that I orignally thought of   – but will wait another day or two before picking a giveaway winner.

Progress was also made on the knitting front.   I  re-cast on for the 3rd time last night the 3S Shawl — finally on the  right size needles and made a bit of progress on it last night.   The third photo shows the sock I just finished weaving the toe on last night on the sock blocker in the back.  The mate to that one I also cast on last night and got the ribbing started.

The socks in the front — well they are all the ones I was digging through in the “single sock” box that need mates.  There are 13 of them — just may be I’ll get them all mated up by the end of the year tho I need to spend some time finding back the patterns I used and figuring out what size needles I used since I didn’t necessarily follow what the pattern said for needle size or number of stitches to cast on.  But that’s a job for another day.

  Remember the 3-2-1 cake I was going to try that I previously posted about — horrible – absolutely horrible in my opinion.  Blech! and then I had two dried cake mixes mixed together and what to do about them since I didn’t really just want to waste them.  I added some melted butter to some of the mix to make it a crumbly mixtured – patted it in the bottom of a pan as crust, used frozen raspberries and added surgar and cornstarch to them and dumped that in on the crust, and sprinkled the remaining cake/butter crumb mixure on top.   It turned out pretty darn good.

I had a list of tasks yesterday I wanted to try to get done today and all of them, except two bindings I wanted to get hand stitched have been done so it’s been a very productive weekend.

Running Amuck

Yes – stashbusting – don’t make me laugh — I seem to totally be going the opposite way of “busting” to “total enhancement”.  But it’s early –  best to do the damage now while there’s still time to turn it around right? LOL

The fabrics I posted yesterday after my shopping spree for the City Streets fabrics  (and a few other fat quarters) totaled 9 yards in. I did get backings for two lap quilts ready to go so that was 8 yards out.  I’m still in the black tho by three yards!

Used this Week: 8.0 yards
Used year to Date: 23.0 yards
Added this Week: 9.0 yards
Added Year to Date: 20.0 yards
Net Used for 2013: 3.0 yards

Since I finally cleaned off the sewing table last night there’s a much better chance  I just might get one or two of those quilts layered to start quilting and finish the other one that’s partially quilted.


It’s not to late to enter the name this project giveaway.  But in order to be eligible for the giveaway, you must leave your comment on the original blog post from yesterday where this image was first shown. 😉

Much to do today so must get busy.

More batik lifesaver blocks

 I spent the late afternoon stitching on batik swap blocks that I had in various stages of assembly — only problem is I must not have been paying attention the day I was stitiching on them last week because they are a tad smaller when I got them done than the 8.5″ they are supposed to be.  So not good enough to swap but I’ll use them in my own project.  The two and a half rows on the right side (which is actually the bottom of my design wall but I forgot to rotate the photo) are the latest ones added.

I need to go through and measure all  of them again and make a “to swap” pile and  a “keep” pile so I can see if I have the number I want to swap after I pull out all the ones that turned out a bit small.  The photo is really washed out — my design wall is very bright  with all these blocks at the moment.

Now to fold that laundry.

Strictly for the Birds – February Design

Here’s the final design for the February Strictly for the Birds design.

 Now the problem is it needs a name and sometimes the names just jump out at me and sometimes, like now, not.  I do have one name but I think you can come up with better ones and it means a chance at a giveaway – what’s not to like about that.

So what would you name this design?  The best names (in  my opinion) have nothing to do with the colors used or the types of fabric used since everyone envisions the project in their own favorite colors or types of fabric.  So Batik Budgie– probably not the best name. LOL 

Anyway, if I chose the name you suggest to use for this pattern design, you will win one of those highly coveted (at least by me) 😉  Strictly for the Birds Mousepads that looks like the button in the sidebar.

Remember — all info, updates, pattern downloads while they are available — can be found by clicking the Strictly For The Birds button in the sidebar.


26 Days…..

Isn’t that the name of a movie??  Yes it’s been 26 days into 2013 and I’ve been oh so good only buying yarn for the Loopy Ewe 1st Quarter Challenge and buying ONLY that one hank for that project.  But I think I may have transferred my yarn shopping addiction back to the fabric shopping addiction.

In the first 26 days of January I added to the fabric stash three separate times.  The first was fabric I had purchased prior to the end of the year but didn’t arrive until 2013.  Then there was a second order of a few yards and now, well while I was out for breakfast with a friend she asked if I had any other errands to run.  I told her I had a hankerin for some fabric. LOL  So we stopped by the LQS.  They are always happy to see me — I don’t think it’s a bad thing that all the staff are now able to remember my name. VBG  Or that they ask me ” what are you in need of today — fabric or yarn or both”.  That’s simply good customer service – the personal touch.   I think I my have to change my tactics — instead of the Stashbusting Reports at  Judy’s each Sunday, I may have to retitle mine “Denise Attempts to Break Even” — attempting to use all the new fabrics I add so they don’t end up in the stash at the end of the year. LOL 

But!   Yes there’s always a “but” followed but a well reasoned justification (read as “excuse”).  BUT, I had that City Streets design stuck in my head and I knew after coloring it in in batiks that batiks was what I really wanted to use for it.  I also know that in the batiks in my stash I mostly have just fat quarters or half yards  – I never buy them in more yardage unless it’s for a specific project because if I’m doing anything batik, it’s usually block swaps where scrappy or variety is best (hence the many fat quarters) but no larger yardage.   So I HAD to buy batiks.  And I even bought them in colors that — although not truly “pink” but more dark fuschia, the quilt will be a pinky/fuschia and green quilt and may just be one of the ones I donate to the Komen golf outing fund raiser and batik quilts do well at their silent auction.  

(there – was that enough justification?)  

Oh – you noticed those FQs on the right of the photo too?  Well the top are for a bird block for next month and the bottom batiks are for more lifesaver batik swap blocks — so see I have a purpose for the too (hmmm but buying the batiks does sort of go against the fact that I just said I have a supply of batik fat quarters so just pretend they are not in the photo) VBG   What can I say?  I just had a hankerin for fabric!

I got the shawl I pulled out of the UFO stash and posted about yesterday ripped back and restarted on the 3S Shawl pattern (also posted yesterday) and grabbed the smallest needle size I had here in circular needles but after knitting a dozen or more rows decided it was still to big a size – not that it wouldn’t be pretty a bit more open but with this soft yarn, I wanted a smaller needle size so while I was at the LQS, picked up the correct size needle and did not even look at the yarn (good thing the needle rack is right at the beginning when you enter their yarny area).

So I’ve got that shawl to restart again on the smaller needle size, a sock to weave the toe and cast on the 2nd sock, more batik swap blocks to make, fabrics to wash, and I may just have to start stitching on a bird block.   Now I told myself I was going to get all the knitting stuff I’ve scattered around the last week or so put away.  Books, magazines, patterns, and unfinished projects I was digging through – they need to go back to their hidey holes out of sight instead of covering the whole couch.  The sewing room table needs to be cleared off and the sewing room closet reshuffled so I can get the christmas tree/decoration tubs in the very farthest end and move the quilt tops/swap blocks storage tub to the front so I can get at them. There’s also two wallhangings tossed over the couch that have been waiting for months now to have their bindings hand stitched down.

So those are my weekend chores I hope to get done — we’ll see if I’ve accomplished all of them (or any of them) come Sunday night since right now sitting and knitting sounds like the perfect way to spend the entire rest of the day!

On the Needles — Friday 1/25/13

This is what’s on the needles at the moment — and as soon as I get off the computer it will be ripped back off the needles. 

It’s one of the UFKs (unfinished knitys) and the original pattern I was using was a plain large  shawl with some eyelets along the bottom.  After I started I decided I really didn’t want a big shawl out of this yarn — I want more of a shawlette that I can wrap around my neck a couple times.  So I came across the 3S Shawl  pattern and it is exactly what I was envisioning!   Still a super simple knit, still has the eyelets, but the shape is what I was wanting.  And it’s a free pattern – bonus! 🙂

Now as for the yarn — I’ve said about other yarns I’ve knit with that they were so lovely and soft but none – no not one of those other brands can match this one.  It’s light as air as you knit with it and the softness is phenomenal.  It’s Sireno which is 50% silk / 50% merino and 675 yards on a hank.  This color is called Tiffany.    I can’t remember where I bought it.  I know I bought it online but I think I just came across a really great sale on it somewhere I had never shopped before.  I have a second hank, with even more yardage on it, in burgundy and other fall colors.  But it is just the most wonderful feeling yarn and will feel and drape so nicely made up as the 3S Shawl.

Looking for a new project to start — heck knit along with me on the 3S Shawl — it doesn’t take much yarn, the pattern is free, go dig in that stash and cast on. LOL  I do have to go see if I have the right size needles but if not, I’ll just choose the size close to the size listed — it’s really not going to matter that much.

   This is also coming off the needles this weekend – but not because I’m ripping it out.  I just need to weave the toe and the first SKYP sock from the No-seeum Camp Loopy colorway will be done.

It’s a hat

Remember the Loopy Ewe first quarter challenge project – the scarf I made but it was too small so I ripped it out.  Well it’s now a hat – of course a cabled hat  – so I can decide which photo I want to submit for the challenge.  Here are some really lousy photos of it. LOL  I’ll have to take a picture in real daylight, perhaps even on a real head!

 Its the Mondo Cable Cap by Bonne Marie Burns which you can find on Ravelry.

Now I don’t like wearing hats but since the temps have been about zero when I’ve been leaving the house in the morning, I decided I did need a hat at least for those horribly cold days.  This one is stretchy, light weight but warm and it doesn’t give me “hat head” or “static hair.” LOL

Here’s a photo of the top where all the cables come together which is really pretty. Check out the photos on Ravelry tho cause mine don’t do it justice.  It was a really quick knit – I think I started it Monday afternoon and finished it Tuesday night.  And with only 3 cable twists, it’s not real fiddly to do the cables.     Another finish to add to my Stitcks ‘n Strings list — I need to update that page on the weekend before I forget which things got finished.

I’m still plodding along on a pair of socks – about 2″ to go on the foot of the first one – and knitting on the Greta vest.