Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday - This and That

Just thought I'd do a post about this and that....a few different things going on lately.

It's been a very hot summer here.  So, I've been staying in a lot to avoid the heat.  I haven't accomplished as much as I'd planned due to lack of motivation in this heat and being stuck inside.  But, I have done a few things...

I knitted up a washcloth and scrubbie with some pretty, tan, Sugar N Cream yarn I had.  I love the results of this washcloth pattern.  It's simple but so nice.  It lays very nicely with great edges and corners.  It's the "Copycat Dishcloth" pattern from Ravelry and it's free.  The scrubbie pattern is also free and it's called, "Tribble".  I have a big, glass jar on our master bathroom counter that I have several shades of off-white and beige, hand knit washcloths in along with cotton balls and q-tips.  It's handy and the washcloths look so good in there.  They're very nice to use too.  Soft and pretty!

We bought a long dining room table a while back and I collected some chairs to go with it.  I just finished up some custom cushions for four of them.  I used fabric I got years ago for almost nothing...a whole bolt of it!  I still have lots left.   There are two antique chairs that I need to create cushions for too.  All the chairs will be sanded down and painted black.  I think it's going to look great when it's all done.  We just need cooler weather so we can go out in the garage to work on them.

My dad had a couple doctor appointments yesterday.  One was a bit stressful because he was going to get the results on tests to see if he has lung cancer.  I wanted to be with him for something this big...just in case.  Although, we felt it probably wasn't and we were hoping for the best.  My mom was being her usual, difficult self (Alzheimer's) and wouldn't allow me into the room but we got her to go for letting my daughter in.  I hated for my daughter to be in that position, just in case it was bad news.  But, she wanted to do it to support grandpa and to hear what was going on for my brother and I.  She even recorded it for us.  She's awesome! was good news...he doesn't have cancer.  He has fluid in his lungs but it's probably due to his heart condition and some of the meds he's on.  Whew!  Afterward, we went out to lunch.  We've been trying to do that about once a week or so.  It's been very nice.

When we got home in the early afternoon, the temp in my car said 113 degrees!  Ugh!  We had a nice surprise shortly after that when it started pouring rain.  It dumped hard and rained for at least half an hour.  It cooled things off and gave the plants nice cool shower that I bet they loved.  My daughter's kitty, Sonora, was a little scared by the rain because it was so loud.  When it calmed down a bit, she enjoyed looking out the window and watching it.  So cute!

I've been meaning to put together a picture-full post to introduce a new (last December) member of our family but I just haven't gotten around to it.  I wanted to put a lot of photos on the post and all my photos are all backed up and I literally have thousands and thousands of photos (not just her) that I'd have to go through to find the greatest ones of her, download them back to my laptop, and then upload to the blog.  A big job!  So, I'll just go ahead and introduce her now.  That way I can continue to post pics and not get further behind on what the intro post would have.  

Here she is...our adorable Siamese named, "Sky".  She's my hubby's kitty and she is awesome!  She's so sweet, loving, fun, funny, playful, and she loves being with us almost constantly.  She's adorable!  We love her so much!  Here she is laying next to me while I crocheted one time this week...

It's been a long and difficult adjustment for Penelope to have another cat but she's finally becoming herself again...almost.  Here she is rolling on a rug this morning.  She's actually playing, roaming around the house more, and being loving again.  It's been tough for her and for me to see her not being her wonderful self.  So, it's wonderful to be getting her back.

Sky came over to see what Penelope was up to.  She's not used to seeing Penelope play and be the cat she was.

Our cats are still separated from my daughter's cat as they get to know one another.  Although, my daughter's cat is a very confident cat who's not afraid of much of anything and can be aggressive. So, we're not sure when or if we'll ever let them be together.  For now, they're just getting to know one another through a screen door we put at the hall near my daughter's room.  We don't love having a door there but it keeps the cats safe.  We switch back and forth with who gets to run around the house.  We either let Sonora out for a while while our cats hang out together in our large master bedroom and bathroom.  Or, our cats come out while Sonora gets to stay in her part of the house where my daughter's room, bathroom, hall, and craft room are.  They're very happy wherever they are.  They're all wonderful cats in their own ways.  We love them all so much!

The screen door we used is one we finished up that we'd started when we lived at our old house and had llamas.  All it needed was some color, stain, varnish, assembly, and screen.  Hubby made a frame for it to fit in the arch and ta-da!...a solution for our cat conundrum.

I finished spinning up a ball of roving this week.  I'm letting it sit for a bit before I Navajo ply it.

I've wanted to play a musical instrument for a very long time.  I tried piano lessons a couple times but didn't stick with it.  It was difficult to memorize all the notes and play different things with each hand from the two different lines on the music.  I've been thinking that something with just one line of music would be more practical to start with.  In my search, the ukulele has been suggested several times.  I finally decided to go for it when I found this great ukulele that not only is cute but has a wonderful sound...not so shoe-box-like as so many are.  It even came with an adorable bag!  So far, it's going well and I'm even enjoying practicing.  There are challenges with learning the many chords and the different rhythms but I'm enjoying it.  I find myself wanting to practice.  Wow!  Maybe, hopefully, I'll have a different answer someday to a question I'm often asked when people see my daughter masterfully play the harp...  "where does she get her talent? you or your husband play anything?"  My answer is usually...."um...I play the radio".  My daughter and I have a goal to eventually play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" together (harp and ukulele).  We found a beautiful rendition of it on YouTube that gave me the last push I needed to buy my uke and go for it.

Maybe I should have made this post yesterday and called it "Wordy Wednesday".  lol  Now that it's all put together, I realize I could have made several posts.  Oh well.  It's done now.  I hope you enjoy it.  And, if you stuck it out to the end...thank you! :-)

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tiny Airedale

I finished up a project that has been in the works for quite some time.  A few years, actually.  It's a tiny, needle felted Airedale.  I'm not quite sure why I'd set it aside without finishing it but here she is.  my tiny, 3 1/2" little cutie...

I feel like she still needs something but I can't quite figure out what it is.  So, I've decided she's finished...unless I come up with any ideas on what might make her better.

A little red collar might be cute.

I love her ears and her adorable little behind.

I'm naming her Salsa after our dear, sweet Airedale that passed away recently.

This is number 34 in my create 52 challenge.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Coachella Top

I've been knitting for years but haven't moved much beyond scarves, hats, and simple things.  Except an occasional pair of socks.  I've been wanting to venture into knitting clothing...sweaters, vests, tops, etc.  The fear of not understanding the pattern and spending lots of time on something that has a high likelihood of looking bad and/or not fitting has kept me from that venture.  Yeah....there was a vest years ago.  It was a simple pattern with v-neck and a cable down the front.  It was made with a double strand of yarn.  It was ok and I think I wore it once or twice.  But, I used yarn that pilled up really bad on the sides after only wearing it that little bit of time.  I made another vest years later that was actually looking great.  But, silly me, I noticed a couple spots along the v-neck ribbing that had holes.  They were small and I could have just stitched them closed from the inside and had a finished vest.  But, no....I felt the need to rip out the ribbing to learn what I did wrong and do it better.  It didn't work as planned and I couldn't get the ribbing knitted on a second time to look right...the count and other stuff kept going wonky.  The vest was a little large anyway and I ended up ripping it out.

I'm trying again to go for it but with baby steps.  I decided to try a tank top.  The one I decided on was a pattern I'd tried before.  It had gone well the first time but I'd made it a size or two too big and ripped it out.  I figured it would be a good pattern to use again since I'd had some success with it before.  I thought that if I got this one right and could actually wear it that it would be a great stepping stone to knitting more clothing.  

I did it!  Here it Coachella top (a free pattern on Ravelry)... 

I love the back of it.

The pattern is basically a tube with a rolled edge on the top, two arm holes, and a little bit of shaping.  It calls for two sizes of needles.  I used size 6 and 8 circulars.  The smaller ones are for the rolled edge on top and for a rolled edge at the bottom.  I had to re-do the bottom of mine because the smaller needles and the twisted stitches used for the rolled edge made it too tight to fit and it didn't have any stretch.  I ripped back and made a 2x2 rib with the larger needles.  It fits fine now.  If I use this pattern again, I'll use the larger needles at the top too.  I think it will lay a little nicer that way.  I made mine in the x-small size.  I'm not sure how it will be if there's any shrinkage but it's fine now.  I normally wear size small tops but the small size of the pattern was too big last time.  I've read notes from other knitters on Ravelry that say it ran large for them too.

I got a little worried half way through that I might not have enough yarn.  I went to find more but couldn't.  Luckily, I was able to finish it with what I had.  There were just a couple yards left.  It took four balls of Sugar N Cream in the "Pebble Beach" colorway.  I love this color way SO much and I'm bummed that I can't find anymore.  It seems to have been a limited color but I sure wish they'd keep making it.  It's one of the prettiest colorways they've made.  At least I got some while it was in the store and enough to make something cool with it.