Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Almost finished!

With my crochet afghan, that is! I completed the crochet part today. This is a real monster of a blanket...its about 90" wide and 100" long! It really grew out of control. Hree is the story: I had a lot of leftover yarn when I finished my 100 hats, you know, those short pieces that are left over. Well, I decided that I would make myself a little lap blanket in scrappy colors with those leftovers. Of course I haven't crocheted since I was about 10 years old. No matter, its not that hard. I looked at a couple things online to make sure I was doing it right, so I felt okay.

I sat down and started chaining, with the chain laying over my lap so that I could figure the size. After a while it seemed maybe big enough, but maybe I should add a little bit more so that it will cover me a bit more. So finally I decided it was long enough, 200 stitches, and I started single crocheting like a madwoman. About 20 rows later I held it up to look at it, and I was SHOCKED to see how wide it 90 inches. LOL. By that time, I had spent a long time working on it, so I wasn't going to rip it out. Soon I realized that I wasn't going to have nearly enough yarn. Mom and my aunt supplied me with some of their ends and pieces, but still, not enough variety to keep me happy. So Thing One and I went out to Walmart and bought about 20 more skeins of yarns in various colors. So much for busting the yarn stash! This was all 4 weekends ago.

I've been crocheting ever has been a great mindless thing for me to do. Now it is all stitched, the big thing I have to do is weave in all those ends, and there are a ton of them since I changed colors every two rows or so. I'm pretty pleased with it, as long as I don't look at the sides very much...the sides are very very wobbly...I decreased and increased stitches on the sides all over the place. I'm okay with that though, next time I'll work on improving that.

Now both of my kids want me to make a lap size one for them. I have a feeling I'll need to go yarn shopping again.

I'll share a picture after I get all the ends woven in.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Miracle of Miracles!

Not only am I blogging, but I've also been sewing!!

On Thursday, before I left for the shop hop, I decided that I needed to sew, so naturally I started a new project. Bonnie's String X pattern was calling to me. I pieced all the string section for the quilt. Actually I needed 48, but I made 72, so the quilt either will be larger, or I'll make two. The string sections still need to be trimmed to size and have the triangles added, but I was so happy to sit and sew for a few hours. I'll probably use the yellow with white polka dots fabric that is in the picture for the background triangles in the quilt.

The 2007 Vermont Shop Hop

This past weekend was the second weekend of the Vermont Shop Hop. Thing Two and I went to 4 of the shops on the Thursday before St. Patricks day, but had to cut our trip short because of the impending snowstorm, so Friday/Sat/Sun this weekend we finished our trip to the remaining 10 shops on the list. We drove around the state of Vermont to places we had never been before, we spent way too much money, we ate too much junk food and we wasted a bunch of time waiting for AAA and a locksmith to help us with a minor bit of car trouble, but we had a LOT of fun.

At each shop on the Shop Hop, we got a pattern to make the "Seasons of Vermont" quilt, pictured here in the version made by the ladies at The Thread Connection in Middlebury Vermont:

The shops in the hop were a mixed bag: several I had been to before, many I've never even heard of. Some were definitely worth the trip, others not so much so. Of course being the obsessed quilter that I am, anytime I'm in any of these towns, I'd go back to any of the shops!

I was particularly impressed with a couple of them:

The Quilted Lily in Johnson, Vermont is in a really cute little town and has a lot of more modern/contemporary fabrics. Instead of displaying the fat quarters all folded up, the fat quarter displays there had each fat quarter hanging on separate little clip...really great for those BIG prints, you could see the pattern without having to unfold it and mess up the display.

Country Treasures in Chester is a great shop...she has more fabric than most any other shop I've been in in a long time. This shop was not new to me, it has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I'm looking forward to going there in May for a weekend retreat/class with one of my local quiting groups. We'll be sewing at the shop all weekend and staying at the Inn next door. More on that later.

Also, I can't say enough about the fabulous ladies working at Sew Many Treasures in Williston (they don't have a website for me to share with you). We had a little bit of car trouble while we were there...I had to call AAA who couldn't help me because we needed a locksmith (no I didn't lock my keys in the car, the ignition system locked up because of the security system or something). Between when I realized I had a problem and the locksmith finally arrived, Thing Two and I spent 5 hours at this particular quilt shop: in the shop, in the car, in the parking lot, back in the store, etc etc. Thing Two, being 4 years old was a bit hyperactive and unhappy about being in one place. The ladies at this shop made sure we were comfortable, had something to eat and drink, a place to sit etc. And of course because we were there so long, I kept looking around the store and buying more and more things. LOL.

Now if I can just win myself one of the great prizes for completing the journey to all 14 shops I'll be thrilled! The big prizes are: 1. a featherweight 2. a $20 gift certificate to each of the 14 stores, 3. and 4. gift baskets of goodies and fabrics and lastly, 5. a free class, free admission and some goodies from the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Springtime in Vermont

Springtime in Vermont means one thing: maple sugaring. This weekend in Vermont was the weekend where most all of the sugar houses are open to the public...the sap is running, the sugar houses are boiling the sap into syrup and people are welcome to come in and see how the syrup is made and hopefully purchase some at the same time.

Thing Two and I were in Vermont for the weekend doing the Vermont Shop Hop, so of course we stopped at Dakin farms and checked out the sugar house, bought some syrup and cheese and had a few samples.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lost Sheep

Okay, So I've been like Little Bo Peeps Lost Sheep...I've been really busy with real life, so I haven't been blogging. Hopefully things are calming down here now and I'll be able to post more regularly.

I just lost a post...I was trying to add the pictures to my pillowcase tutorial and the whole post disappeared. How Bizarre. Well, I'll try to add it again, but not today.

Last weekend I was supposed to participate in the Vermont Shop Hop, 14 shops in Vermont. I did manage to get to 4 of them, but the weather was bad, and I had to come back to Connecticut about 3 days early. I'm leaving tonight for Vermont again, and hope to visit the other 10 shops over the next 4 days. Hopefully I'll have a report about it next week when I get back home.

Since my last post, I've done absolutely no quilting at all. However, I have managed to do some knitting (I finished my 100 hats on the knifty knitter), and some crocheting. I've been using all my leftover yard stash (and some newly purchased) to make the afghan you see pictured here...I'm about 3/4 of the way is pretty much queen sized I think. When you look at the picture, ignore all the yarn ends that need to be woven into the stitches.