Sunday, June 15, 2014

Butterflies and Besties...

January 2014 found me thinking of the year ahead and also thankful of the year that had just ended.  My best friend, Rita, was going to turn 60 in June of 2014.  I contemplated in January what to make special for her.  A quilt!  What kind, I asked.  Why something from a Tula Pink Collection, of course.

The Butterfly quilt.  How appropriate.  Appropriate because there have been many times that Rita and I have lifted each other up over the past 32 years of friendship.  Many many many times.  I ordered the kit and contacted my longarm quilter, Michelle of Heart and Soul  quilts, gave her the dimensions, etc. and it was decided I needed to have it finished and mailed to her by April 15.  Seemed doable.

Kit comes in from Tula Pink, with fabrics and approx a booklet of instructions.  I can be easily overwhelmed - like looking at a booklet with so many directions and blocks.  But I took it one page at a time and it was so easy.  Her instructions were in great detail.  My only complaint would be the specific fabrics used in the Sample quilt were not identified in the booklet.  They were just light, dark, etc. So I printed a copy of a picture of the Butterfly quilt and marked it myself.  I wanted it exactly as the Sample from Tula Pink.  They did have to substitute some material in the same line and I decided one piece needed to be darker - just like in the picture.  So I went to my quilt shop and purchased grape colored fabric for those particular blocks.  Worked great.

I sewed on it almost every single night.  I would finish the blocks per the instructions and put them in ziploc baggies with the name of the block on the front.  It was truly a fun and relaxing quilt to sew.  Love Tula Pink!

This is hands down the largest quilt I have ever sewn.  And the heaviest.  However, as everyone knows, life sometimes gets in the way of your best laid plans.  So the plans I had in my head to give it to Rita went poof!  I ended up mailing it to her last week and she loves it! Every single stitch was made with love...  

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Accessories and ....

Hiya Hiya has introduced Single Point Adapters.  These versatile attachments for your 4" or 5" Interchangeable needle tips are great.  Attach one and you have a straight needle.  Add a Panda Cable Stopper and you have a functional straight needle, all for a low cost. Shown below with the optional purchase of a Panda Cable Stopper.
Next up, Hiya Hiya KnitSaver Interchangeable Cables, in both Small (US 2-8) and Large (US9-15) for your interchangeable needle tips. Lifelines are a fabulous way to protect your stitches while knitting complicated lace patterns.

Looking for a small gift for that special friend/family member who loves to knit?  Check out all the wonderful and unique accessories offered at The Yarn Grove.

I have been knitting and have finished two shawls; however, I have yet to block them.  My least favorite thing to do but the most rewarding, once it's all said and done.  Coming up next on my needles will be another Shipwreck Shawl.  One of my all time favorite patterns.  Amazingly a quick knit.  My hold up currently are the holidays and another gift I need to finish.

I have been going to a knitting group on Wednesdays at our local Barnes and Noble.  It is a fun group and after several years, there have been deep friendships formed. It was only fitting that when one of our dear friends found out she was battling her illness once again, it was decided by one to knit her a shawl.  Another friend became the drill sergeant.  She found the Stephen West Kenzie pattern and chose Madelinetosh Sport Weight yarn and started the drill.  Believe me, it was knit with so much love, but she made sure we kept it going. It worked out perfectly that each one of us knit a stripe. We then passed a journal with it, put a strand of our yarn color that we knit and wrote her a message.  Within 3 weeks, this extra large shawl was done.  We all met on a Wednesday night at our friend's place, scrumptious appetizers, love and laughter and presented her with this shawl.  I'm so glad we did.

I been sewing and quilting.  Baby quilt - done.  Small gifties for Christmas - done.
The colors are much prettier in person.  

Love. Peace. Laughter to each of you this holiday season.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Life is short.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Some of this and a lot of that...

It's July.  The 6th to be exact.  Wow.  I've started thinking of gifts to make for some of my peeps for Christmas.  Yesterday I went to get a fabric fix at Intown Quilters and what a fix it was.  I bought 3 quilt kits (2 Halloween for wall hangings for my boys) and one for myself of Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller (this one is going to be a challenge, one I look forward to).  18 fat quarters to make Yellow Brick Road in some funky fun colors.  This one is earmarked for my 87 yo mom who is visually impaired but would be able to enjoy these brights. (these were photographed on my ironing board so the other blue/olive retro flowers you see are just the cover of my board.)

On the knitting front, I have two projects going.  Both just shawlettes which I love knitting.  I just recently blocked this 100% Wolles Creation Cotton yarn and what a fun yarn it is to knit with.  I wasn't so sure when I first started which is why I stuck to a simple garter stitch pattern.  But while it is a tiny, very loose 4-ply cotton strand, I never split not one stitch.  Loved it so much I bought two more color ways.  This is a light weight scarf and soft as ever.  Her yarn is so popular now that you have to contact her to special order.  Doesn't take long at all.  LOVE IT.  Already have worn this a dozen times.

My plan today is to fiddle with this kit I bought 2 years ago.  Saw it on a blog, don't remember which one, and she was selling these kits.  I bought one.  It is called Funky Peppermint Table Runner and is a Christmas table runner.  Loved it, bought it, and I hope to start it today.  We'll see.  Lots of pages of instructions and also paper piecing which always takes me a while to get started!

On The Yarn Grove side of things, all is great.  Hiya Hiya SHARPs continue to sell like gangbusters.  I encourage all who are on the fence about trying a Hiya Hiya SHARP to purchase one SHARP interchangeable tip, either 4" or 5" and one interchangeable cable (in several lengths) and give them a try.  While having a whole set is great, it's not necessary if you don't knit with some of the sizes that come in the 2 different sets.  Coming soon are some new SNIPs, ever so popular.

It's been a rainy 4th of July here in GA so I think it is the perfect day for sewing.  I won't even give one thought to the GA corn that I bought to put up this week or the baby English cukes I bought from a farmer to make pickles.  Maybe tomorrow for those...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stitches South

Stitches South was just here in GA - April 11 through April 14, 2013.  I was able to scoot over there on Sunday, the 14th.  Usually I spend a couple of days there but it did not work out for me this year.

It was awesome as always.  Something happens to my senses when I get around that much fiber, yarn and beauty.  I walked through 3 times before making any purchases.  I was in complete control - even though I usually am armed with a list of projects and yarn ideas for these projects prior to attending.  I had not had the chance to do that.

In the photo, left side - Madelintosh Meriono Light in Stargazing.  Possibly for a Spectra .  Next up Lang Jawoll Magic in Rainbow and also in a blue/green mix.  Something in my Ravelry queue but I can't remember.  Love this yarn.

In the back, a Yarn Pop project case.  Love owls , love this bag.  I will eventually get the larger one with a shoulder strap but for now, this works great.  In the front from Lovin' Knits , this glorious ball of Freia handpaints ombre yarn.  This was kitted with a shawl pattern from KnitWhits.  Not sure if I will keep the yarn for this pattern, but couldn't resist.

The cream color yarn and pattern in the right rear is Shibui Staccato and Shibui Silk Cloud.  The pattern is Shibui Mix which is an ethereal shawl.  I will use Shibui Staccato but instead of Silk Cloud, I bought Habu Textiles Silk and Stainless Steel.  This "yarn" makes the shawl look like it is really floating.  I saw it knit up as a sample at Cast On Cottage booth and it is stunning.

Then last but not least, Miss Babs in Pewter (photo does not show the beauty of this gray)Yummy Sock and Baby yarn along with Yummy Toes in Naples.  This will become Leftie .  I saw several of these knit up in different booths and there are endless options to knitting this shawl.  Did not see one I didn't like.

So there is my Stitches South, summed up.  And I was able to meet up with several of you !

Off the needles - Little Shells (Ravelry)- knit up in Shibui Staccato and Shibui Silk Cloud.  Yes, I love this yarn.  One strand each, held together.  My mother claimed this one.

That's it for now!  Happy knitting, sewing, or just plain craftin'.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pandas are here from Hiya Hiya!

The Pandas have arrived and they are absolutely adorable and fun.  These are the Point Protectors for your needles.  Small set of Pandas fit US 0- US8 and Large set of Pandas fit US 9- US15.  I am told the Cable stoppers are still in the work for the interchangeable needle sets, but they have not been released as of yet.

I have also started carrying select Clover accessories such as Chibi, Wonder Clips (which are terrific for knitting, quilting or even scrapbooking) and more.

Large Panda is on the left and Small Panda on the right.  Also arrived at The Yarn Grove are some new accessory cases from Hiya Hiya.  Lots of fun stuff!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Well, once again, Hiya Hiya did it just right.  Their new release of 4" and 5" Interchangeable tips in Large SHARPs US 9-15 are fabulous.  They arrived here just in time to ship before Christmas holiday.  Currently, the only color the cases are available in are teal.  I am currently using a US 9 SHARPs and love love love them! 
I also had on order Large SHARPs Interchangeable tips as well but because of the shipping schedule, I had to put that order on hold.  I did not have time to put those items on The Yarn Grove.  I do expect all sizes that Hiya Hiya North America has in stock for the individual 4" and 5" tips sometime the first full week of January. 

I sent three of those quilt tops I had shown in a previous blog to my longarm quilter and they turned out wonderfully.  These 2 photos do not do them justice because I am not a good photographer.  The David Butler - Parson Gray - Curious Nature quilt was everyone's favorite.  It went to my son.  Even my husband commented that it was the best quilt I had ever done.  I have enough fabric left to make another one.  Love love love this one. 

The Batik quilt came out equally as well - just very bright. The Pickle dish, not shown, is already on my side of the bed!

In my knitting world, I have another Little Shells on the sticks. I'm using 2 different weight yarns, held together.  One is 100% alpaca and the other mohair/silk blend, both from Shibui yarns.  Scrumptious.  In a cream color. 

Wishing you and yours Peace. Love. Laughter in 2013.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Affliction, affection, attention, whatever its name...

I have finished my Color Affection shawl.  I have called it everything but its right name as have several in my Noble Knitters knitting group.  Love this shawl.  For anyone knitting one, I highly recommend a stretchy bindoff.  My bind off was too tight so I have to tink back, reknit a couple of rows and bind off with a stretchy one.  It worked like a charm.  This shawl has already seen lots of wear.  Great for wrapping around your shoulders and hitting the pavement. Mine was made with Miss Babs in 3 different colorways which I purchased at Stitches South.

In The Yarn Grove news, Hiya Hiya SHARPs continue to be a very hot seller in both fixed circulars and interchangeables.  Love love love them. I am currently fully stocked in all the interchangeable cables as well.  Time to be thinking of gifts for others as well as yourself.  I still have no updated news on when the Hiya Hiya LARGE interchangeable SHARP sets will be available.  I'll continue to keep you all posted as my list grows and grows of customers wanting these.
My sewing machine has been going full steam ahead. Last year I made each of my grandboys a Halloween quilt and this year decided to make them a Charlie Brown Christmas quilt.  Now that I have 3 grandboys, two, who are brothers, will have to share.  I bought these as a kit from my local quilt shop Intown Quilters and let me just say, the pattern was a challenge for me.  Lots of measuring and I even had to enlist hubby for his math skills.
Once the tops were assembled, I decided to stich in the ditch on the actual "film" strip and begin my jaunt into Free Motion Quilting.  Why?  Because I had just sent 3 rather large quilts to my longarm quilter and I know they will cost a small fortune.  2 are gifts and I will show when I get them back in 2 weeks.  Anyway, on to my first Free Motion quilting projects. I first watched a youtube video and read a lot of info from my machine workbooks.  Finally I just dove in it and while it took me a little while to try to get the stitches even, I was happy with the look.  I think my next one will be perhaps a pattern that I draw on the quilt and follow it.  I had virtually no puckering on the back because I used 505 spray to sandwich together.  Worked like a charm.  No gunk on my needle or fabric either.

The only thing left is to embroidery my quilt tags for my babies and I'll be done.  You know the holidays are creeping up on us rather rapidly...  Scary stuff....