Time To Decorate! 🎄

I hope this post finds everyone happy and well, and that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving day with your family and friends.  Our Thanksgiving was just as we hoped, peaceful, relaxing and quiet.  Our enchiladas turned out wonderful and so did my pumpkin pie.  It was perfect in my book, and I am so grateful that I got to spend it with just my hubby.

We started decorating for Christmas and had so much fun. We have gotten rid of most of our Christmas decorations, but kept things that meant the most to us, and had the most memories. I will share it’s hard to think about Christmas when you live in a desert, but some day I hope we live in a place that gets colder, and has snow again. I miss snow!

I love this truck with tree that we got at Lowes.

I made these wool appliqué pieces about  years ago. 

A favorite collection of my hubby - David Frykman pieces 

I want to start making things again for Christmas and think wool appliqué pieces would be fun to think about. I love the wool appliqué candle mat Anne has been working on, and has me thinking about doing one too.  Meantime, I will be starting my 12 Days of Stitchy Ornaments SAL soon and excited that I received my kit in the mail yesterday!

Patterns were printed and the kit is perfect!

This afternoon I will be working on my Tea With Jam and Bread sweater while we watch college football. This sweater is knitting up quickly for me, which makes me happy!

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Thanksgiving 🍁🦃

 

Courtesy of Country Living

Wishing everyone a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving 🍁 

Wednesday WIPs and Baking

It’s the last Wednesday of the month and Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I simply can’t believe how time moves so quickly. I wish I could say the same for my current WIPs, but time seems to have stood still for two of them.

On my needles

My November Socks and my Christmas Socks are at the same spot as they were the last time I shared, so nothing nothing new to show you. But I have great progress on my Tea With Jam and Bread sweater.


I really love how the colors look together!

I will be separating the sleeves today, which means the body should go pretty quickly.  This pattern is super easy but the directions for the yoke could have been written a bit more clearer.  I was grateful that the thread on Ravelry was still available for help. Other than that it has been smooth sailing!

Baking

Yesterday morning I baked two loaves of banana bread and this morning will be pumpkin bread. I love baking this time of year, and often make enough to put in our freezer for later use.


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so in the morning I will be making a pumpkin pie. It’s just me and my husband, so we do not do a traditional dinner, we do homemade enchiladas, Spanish rice and homemade refried beans.I know that might sound odd to some, but again it’s just the two of us and this has become a traditional meal the last few years.

What are you working on this week?  Do you have a traditional Thanksgiving meal that’s become a favorite?

Sunday Bread Making Adventures

Yesterday was a fun day for me and my husband.  We made homemade bread together, something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I made the dough and my hubby baked it on his grill.  We make such a great team and not only was it fun, it was so rewarding.

My hope and wish is to get great at baking bread so we no longer buy it. I want to control what goes into what we eat and not be so reliant on store bought artisan bread. The main ingredients I use are organic and as natural as possible. Besides there isn’t anything better than homemade bread.

Our first bread was two loaves of Rustic Italian. I will share that I used our Cuisinart Bread Machine for the dough, which helps with the kneading that I do not care for or do a great job at.  I cut the finished dough in half and placed it into parchment paper lined Lodge Cast Iron loaf pans.  Hubby baked them for 35 minutes on the grill, which was just right.  The loaves turned out perfect and we sampled a few slices with butter and jam.  Oh my, it was delicious!






Next we made a loaf of Honey Oat Bread. I misread the part of the recipe for shaping the dough before placing it into the Dutch oven, which caused the bread not to slice up perfectly. 

Remove dough to a lightly floured countertop and shape into a rectangle. Take two corners of the dough and fold the rectangle in half. Repeat 3 times.”


With that being said, it is delicious!  I highly recommend this recipe and will definitely make it again. This bread was also baked on the grill for a total of 35 minutes.





I had fun yesterday and enjoyed baking bread with my hubby. I really didn’t do much else, not even knitting.  It was a day of time shared together and I it’s something I want to continue.



A New Cast On … Tea With Jam and Bread

I am so thankful for cooler weather here in the Valley of the Sun.  The last few mornings have been in the high 40s with the daytime temperatures around 80, and I’ve also noticed the breezes are a bit cooler too. I think fall has finally arrived here, and hopefully winter temperatures are just around the corner!

This morning I decided it was time to cast on another sweater, Tea With Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier.  I am still using up my stash yarn, which makes me very happy, and will be using Lion Brand Woolease in Umber, Canyon Sunset(leftover from my Flax Sweater) and Linen (also leftover from my Flax Sweater).  


I will be casting on for the large, and will be starting with the Umber, which will be the main color. I think this pattern will be fairly quick and super easy to knit, and the perfect weight for winter weather here in Phoenix.

What’s on your needles today?

Wednesday WIPs, Socks !

I feel so behind in everything these days but have decided it’s really ok.  After all what I am working on is for me, so why do I put so much pressure on myself to finish things.  I guess for me, I personally want things finished before I start something new but often that doesn’t happen.

I am happy that I have one sock finished and have casted on the mate, and I am hopeful I will have a finished pair soon!  I am making a toe up version of Judy’s Magic Heel Socks and think the mate will go fairly quickly.

Bag by Olivia of This Handmade Life


I am working on the gusset decreases for my November sock, this is still the first sock and not sure when it will be finished but I am lovely the process of knitting it with such beautiful yarn!

Bucket bag by Star Knits

I haven’t started my cross stitch project, but maybe soon.  It might be set aside since next week is Thanksgiving, and I may decide to start working on a few small Christmas cross stitch pieces before starting the SAL for the 12 Days of Stitchy Ornaments. I ordered a kit for this from Treehouse Fiberarts and waiting patiently for it to be shipped.

So what are you working on this week ?



On My Bookshelf: A Finished Book and What’s Next

The Mystery of Mrs. ChristieThe Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book but as I progressed I really found I was enjoying it. What an interesting thought the author had as to the known disappearance of Agatha Christie, one that is a viable possibility based on many writings of others who thought the same thing.


Saturday night I finished The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict. When I started this book I wasn’t sure I would like it simply because of how it was written with chapters alternating between the past and the present but as I progressed it made sense as to why the author did this.  In order to understand the the present you had to understand the past, and alternating between both turned out to be a good thing.  There are many thoughts about the disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926, in including the thought portrayed at the end of the book. Was it amnesia or was it revenge? I think the author truly portrayed the most logical possibility, after all Agatha Christie was the queen of murder mystery novels.




I haven’t quite decided what I want to read next but it either will be Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie, which I am looking forward to seeing the movie that is coming out next year staring Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, or The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston, which is appealing to me right now simply because I love books that include time traveling. 

What have you been reading?


Sunday Musings: Crafting and Knitting

Solitude is creativity's best friend, and solitude is refreshment for our souls.  ~ Naomi Judd


Yesterday I had every intent of starting my stitching project, but that didn’t happen because I decided to paint a few wood pieces that will be used eventually for finished cross stitch pieces. 
The pumpkin and acorn I are from Hobby Lobby and the little paddle stand is from Joanns. 

The photo of the pumpkin doesn’t show to well and makes it look like it’s not completely painted, but I sanded it for a more weathered look and also glued a fall ribbon around the base. I had a lot of fun working on these yesterday and can’t wait to find the right pieces to make for them.

For the pumpkin I want to stitch something for Thanksgiving, such as a turkey or pilgrims.  For the small paddle I have found a cute Christmas cross stitch pattern that will be perfect and for the acorn, I will either stitch a fall or Thanksgiving piece, not sure yet.

As for knitting

I received my Christmas knitting bag from Olivia of This Handmade Life and absolutely love it.  It is just the right size for my sock knitting projects and can even hold a hat or scarf project.


If time permits, I plan to work on my Christmas Socks and should be able to finish up the first sock and cast on the mate.  I also hope to finish the gusset decreases for my November Socks, but that might not happen today. I haven’t been moving to fast with my knitting due to elbow issues, but do want to finish these socks soon!


I still need to ply one more bobbin of my Sleepy Hollow, and the bobbins shown above just need to be skeined. Hopefully I can finish this up before the end of the month.

So many things I want to do and just enough time in the day to do them all.

What’s your plan for today?


Saturday Morning Vibes

We have absolutely nothing planned for the day and decided that is ok. So for me I’m starting my morning off with coffee and sock knitting.  I  am working on my November socks this morning and just picked up the gusset stitches for my heel. I am so in love with this yarn!


Later I plan to start my cross stitch project that I shared yesterday and think I might sit outside on our patio for that. It’s supposed in the 70s until later this afternoon, so perfect for being outside and it also will give me the opportunity to think about the herbs I want to pick up at Lowes next Saturday to start potting for our container garden area.


Our cucumbers are going nuts and are full of blooms but I am fearful the nighttime temperatures may start getting to cool for them to make. Fingers crossed that we at least get a couple. 

I just bought the latest issue of Healing Herbs, a special publication from Hobby Farms magazine and I have started reading Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Foret.  I want to start incorporating more herbs and spices into our meals.  Both my husband and I love flavorful dishes, and this will not only help enhance the taste of our meals but be good for our health too.  So the herbs I am planning to pot will be both for cooking and for tea.  I am rather excited about it and can’t wait to have my fresh herbs again. If anyone is interested, Rosalee has a podcast too and has had many interesting episodes on the benefits of herbs, spices and more.

That’s about it for me today. What are you doing today ?

Holiday Stitching Time! 🎄

It’s that time of year for me that I want to make lots of fun things for the holidays. While I am still knitting, I also plan to be stitching.

I am starting a new cross stitch project this weekend, Thankful Thoughts by Annalee Waite.  I am using my pattern from the December 2017 issue of Just CrossStitch but you can also purchase the pattern online. Last Friday I purchased all the DMC floss colors needed and will be using my stash of 14 count Aida in gray.

This week I also decided to try something fun and will be joining the 12 Days of Stitchy Ornaments stitch along hosted by Erica Arndt of Erica Made.  This SAL starts December 1st with photos shared underneath the hashtag on Instagram as #12daysofstitchtyornaments. You can also check out her YouTube video published on October 28th, link here, to learn more about the stitch along. I have also decided to order the floss kit from Treehouse Fiberarts and will be looking for the 3” hoops for finishing. This will be a fun project!

Courtesy of Erica Arndt of Erica Made

I have even thought about doing Erica’s 12 Days of Quilty Ornaments too, the ornaments are just as adorable as the cross stitch ones! I have bought the pattern and just bought the fabric kit from Catching Stitches.

Courtesy of Erica Arndt of Erica Made

I am excited about these projects and can’t wait to start them.  I also have a few other stitching projects I am thinking about too, but for now this will be enough to get me started.

Are you working on any fun holiday stitching projects?

Veterans Day


Thank you to all the men and women who have served to keep us safe and to preserve our freedom. God bless America 🇺🇸 

A Stitching Finish 🍁

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”—William Arthur Ward

I love quick projects, especially when it comes to cross stitching.  In the recent newsletter from Primrose Cottages Stitches, there was a free Thanksgiving pattern designed by Lindsey Weight that I wanted to stitch this past weekend, and I did!



This was a one day stitch project that I started early Sunday morning and finished Sunday evening.  This morning I added the finishing touches.  The pumpkin is from Hobby Lobby. I mounted my finished piece onto a fabric covered piece of sticky board, then glued ribbon on at the top and bottom.  I really love how it turned out.

What did you work on this past weekend?

Finished Project and Fun Acquisitions

 

Pattern is Happy Halloween by Primrose Cottage Stitches

Better late than never but it’s all finished! Yesterday I bought an unfinished wood frame from Michaels that I painted black and added a touch of metallic to give it a bit of shine and then sanded around the edges for a slight distressed look.   


Once the paint was all dry, I glued on an 8”x 8” piece of Tim Holtz fabric in Wicked, glued black trim around the inside edge of the frame to give it a more finished look and also used the same trim for a hanger.  I just noticed my piece isn’t quite centered but I love it and think it will be great for next year.


Today at Hobby Lobby I picked up a few pieces that I will be using for Thanksgiving and Christmas cross stitch projects, plus two kits.  Christmas and Thanksgiving items were 50% off, so that made me very happy.


I love this truck!


These will be for cross stitch pieces. I better get stitching!

Isn’t this wheel barrow

I’m getting ready to to start my first Thanksgiving stitching project, a free pattern that was included in my recent Primrose Cottage Stitches newsletter. My fabric is ready and I have all my thread colors collected, time to start stitching!

What are you working on today?

Inspiration !

This morning as I sit drinking my coffee and catching up on blogs I follow, one particular blog post has really inspired me, and that’s Amy’s post over on A.M. Pine - Hearth Ridge Reflections.  It’s about writing your own memoir, writing down those memories that tend to slip away as we get older.

I journal every day but it’s not memories I write about, it’s more about every day life and gratitude.  Sometimes my husband and I sit and talk about childhood memories, memories of when we first met, our early years of marriage and memories from over the years.  These are memories we both cherish that I need to preserve and write down before they slip away. 

The thought about writing down memories has also brought out typewritten memories that my Grandmother wrote, they aren’t brilliantly written and there are a ton of typing errors, but it was her memories of being a young girl, getting married and having children. I cherish them, along with her typewritten sermons and thoughts about God.  My Grandmother definitely loved God and her writings about God are so wonderful to read.

Not only have these typewritten pages have given me a glimpse into my Grandmother’s life, but have brought back my memory of going over to my Grandmother’s house and coming into the kitchen to see her at the kitchen table typing and remembering my Mom asking what she was doing. I was only about 6 years old at that time but when I see these pages, all those hidden and cataloged memories come back, and I can remember her getting up to get coffee for her and my mom, and cookies for me. Such happy memories.

I need to find a good journal, or notebook, to write all these memories down in before they are lost in time.  And I believe Amy says it very well …

“I must write to remember, keeping my life moments alive. I have these memories that only I can save from slipping away forever.” - Amy Pine

Thank you Amy for the inspiration today, I definitely will be starting my own memoir.



On My Bookshelf: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

I finished reading Hallowe’en Party last Sunday, the day of Halloween and reading enjoyed this book. But of course I enjoy reading just about everything Agatha Christie has written and look forward to re-reading a few of my favorites in the near future.  

For a special treat, my husband and I even watched Hallowe’en Party, Season 12 of Hercule Poirot with David Suchet, on BritBox and we both loved it. I will say too, it was pretty darn close to the book too.


I have now started reading The Mystery of Mrs. Christie this week and even though I’m only 54 pages into the book, so far I am enjoying it. I do find it a little challenging of each chapter alternating between past and present, but I understand the author’s intent and will get use to it as I read. After all to fully understand the depth of the story, you need to understand what happened in the past.

Synopsis From Goodreads…

Marie Benedict, the beloved New York Timesbestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, uncovers the untold story of Agatha Christie’s mysterious eleven day disappearance.

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car — strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away. 

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story. 

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators? 

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.
 


I look forward to reading this book and will share my thoughts when I have finished it.

What are you currently reading?

Wednesday WIPs: It’s All About The Socks

I just can’t seem to get into the mood for sweater knitting too much so I’ve decided to work on socks, and cross stitching too but I’ll save that for another post.  Today is all about socks.

I had great intentions of making the By The Seine River socks but decided against it and ripped what I knitted back to the cuff.  I love the yarn, it’s squishy soft and the colors are scrumptious.  For some reason I just don’t want “fussy”, just simple so I’m making a pair of vanilla cuff down socks.



In my stash I pulled out a skein of West Yorkshire Spinners Sparkle in the color Fairy Lights and love this blend of yarn !  This yarn is a blend of 40% Wool, 35% Bluefaced Leicester, 23% Nylon, and 2% Polyester. It’s knitting up lovely and the self-patterning of the yarn is fun.


I am honestly thinking about casting on another pair of socks using the yarn I shared ages agoHobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Authentic Hand-Dyed in the color Shibori Blue.  These will be plain vanilla too, and maybe some day I will do something other than plain vanilla socks but for now this is my gig.

What’s on your needles this week?

Hello November!

 


"The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday Musings: Happy Halloween

 

Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” - Edgar Allen Poe

It’s the last day of October and only 55 days until Christmas. I simply cannot believe how quickly this month flew by and here we are, Halloween!

I actually was able to complete my Happy Halloween piece last night and now just need to decide how I want to display it.  I love the way a lot of cross stitchers use checked fabric and ripped fabric ribbon for finishing.  I want to do something like that too, but not sure if I want it in a box frame, a display of sorts or as a pillow. I really love how it turned out and so happy that I had just enough of my Weeks Dyeworks in Onyx (for the stitches in black) for this piece… I only had an inch left after finishing.


Now to decide what I want to start stitching next, but want something easy, small and quick.  So I may start my newly acquired Litte House Needlesworks Fall Series. I love the colors in these designs and they are so small and sweet.

Courtesy of Little House Needleworks

I really don’t have much else going on at the moment.  I do plan to work on my socks that I casted on Thursday but feel this project will be better suited for working during my work week.  While I want to find a cardigan to cast on, I have out that on hold to give myself a slight break from the repetitive nature of knitting.  Socks are ok, but when I get into knitting sweaters, I tend to over do things and my elbows become very sore.

What are you up to today?

Friday Finished Object: 🎄Christmas Socks

 Today I am sharing my finished pair of Christmas Socks…


I started these socks on September 17th and finished them on October 26th. Normally it doesn’t take that long for me to make socks but I was knitting other things, so they didn’t get as much knitting love.

Here’s the particulars:

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply, 75% Wool/25% Nylon, 437 yards

Color:  Candycane

Needles: Addi Sock Rockets 16” circulars US size 1 1/2 and Knitters Pride 10” for knitting in the round from the heel up.

Pattern: I used my own vanilla toe up sock recipe 

They fit well and my husband says they look like Elf socks.  While I enjoyed knitting them, I did find the yarn liked to split periodically , which I did not care for but other than that I’m quite happy with how they turned out.

Do you have anything finished this week?


A Fall Inspired Cast On

When I think of fall, I think of warmth, cozy and beautiful colors found in the changing leaves.  I love every aspect of fall and I am so grateful that cooler weather has once again arrived here in Phoenix.

Yesterday afternoon I cast on a new sock project using my stash of Less Traveled Yarn (local Arizona yarn dyer) in the color Monsoon.  Just look at these colors!!  There’s a mix of rusty orange, tan, light brown and a hint of blue.  I really do love this skein and to me, it says “fall”.



The pattern I cast on is called By The Seine River by Dona Knits (a free Ravelry download).  I have knitted this pattern before and absolutely loved it and thought it would a perfect compliment to my yarn.  I was right, it is ! 


I am content to have just one project on my needles while I still search for the right cardigan pattern.  Sometimes I like the simplicity of one project at a time.

What are you making this week ?

Wednesday WIPs: Just Spinning !

It’s been a very long time since I’ve found myself with no knitting works in progress, I mean there’s absolutely nothing on my needles!  I am trying to figure out what I want to knit next, which  I know will be a cardigan and most likely another pair of socks but for now I simply cannot find any patterns that are just “grabbing” my attention, especially for cardigans.  Socks are pretty easy for me but cardigans and sweaters take me a while to decide on what I want to make. 

I’m looking for cozy right now without a lot of fluff, if that makes sense.  I really like the finished cardigan Amber just shared on her video podcast, A Lovely Yarn, which is the Georgetown cardigan by Hannah Fettig and while I’m contemplating this pattern for my next cast on, it has to be the right project for the yarn I want to use from my stash, which is Noro Akari.  I will keep looking today and decide, I mean really it shouldn’t be this hard!

Meanwhile,  I will work on my spinning, which really is the best WIP for me right now as I’m two plying my second bobbin and should start plying the third bobbin this weekend.



I really love the colors in this handspun and can’t wait to see the amount of yardage I get from all three bobbins once plied.  I am noticing that two-plying is giving me a heavy fingering to sport weight right now, which is what I was hoping for.

Later this week I share my finished Christmas socks, which I completed yesterday.  They definitely will be a fun pair to wear in December.

What are you working on today ?  

Any fun WIPs ?

Pondering Mixed With A Bit of Knitting

 


This morning as I sit here enjoying my coffee and knitting, I am realizing this is in fact the last project on my needles and I honestly don’t know what I want to really cast on next.  After this pair of socks are finished I might just take the rest of the week off from knitting and concentrate on finishing up my Sleepy Hollow that I am currently plying. I still think I may cast on the Felix Sweater that I mentioned on Sunday, but still not quite sure yet that is what I want to work on at this very moment.

I am also catching up on my blog reading, and as I read Katies and Caroles blog posts today, it made me think of choosing a “word” in January that I can dive into and has me pondering what word I would choose.  Words are powerful and can often shape our paths profoundly. I have a lot of “words” floating around in my head and if I decide to start this challenge in January, it will be interesting to see what word I will choose.

Enjoy your day!