It was a slow month for me as I only finished 8 books. Some of that was due to the fact that a couple of the books weren't all that good and I think I avoided them by listening to podcasts instead. But let's just recap my favorites. By far, my favorite book of the month was The Reading List. It is a lovely book.
I also loved the most recent installment of the Department Q series, The Shadow Murders; the classic, Stoner; and All The Broken Places. I only read one non-fiction, Breath. It's a health-focused one and very good.
Let me knwo what good books you have read this month. I do put a lot fo your suggestions on my library and Audible wish lists.
If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio - Got 2.5 hours in and realized that I could only remember the names of 2 of the 5 or 6 main characters. Flat and dull.
The Shadow Murders
By Jussi Adler-Olsen, Read By Graeme Malcolm
This book is #9 in the Department Q series. I love this series and I love the characters. Scandinavian authors can dream up some really twisted plots. The books take place in Denmark and Department Q is the cold case unit. The books really need to be read in order so if you are going to give this author a try start with The Keeper of Lost Causes. Several of the books focus on on developing one of the rich characters in the novels.
In this installment, Department Q is assigned a case of a sixty year old woman who has committed suicide. It's not a cold case but their boss is convinced that it's related to a cold case from 1988. They quickly discover that there are a series of murders that have been meticulously timed to occur every 2 years on the birthday of a despot. The murders span over 30 years and another is scheduled to happen soon.
This is the second book that is written to happened during covid lockdowns. I hated the first one because of all of the talk of putting masks on and taking them off. It was tedious. This one is different because it uses the lockdowns to let the detectives and antagonists take advantage of the lockdown situation.
The book does end with a giant cliffhanger that will obviously be the topic of the next book. I usually hate cliffhangers but I didn't mind this one. It really is a separate storyline and sets up the next (and rumored final) book in the series. I can't wait.
By John Williams, Read By Robin Field
This is not a novel about Grateful Dead fans. It was written in 1965 and is considered an American classic....and I agree.
John Stoner was born on a small farm in 1891 and his father was encouraged to send him to the University of Missouri to study agriculture so he could make the farm more successful. He did attend the university but fell in love with literature and ultimately received a PhD in Literature and then took a job teaching at the University. It's a novel about the life of John Stoner and about how we make decisions about our lives and work. It's about campus politics, bad marriages, feeling stuck and making the best of it. It's not exactly profound or moving but it makes you aware of the Stoner moments in our own lives and tradeoffs that we make. It's beautifully written with no wasted words and the narration is right on point.
The book brought forward to me two memories from my college years. One is of the rampant politics and pettiness in academia. I always felt that it rivaled Congress for political shenanigans and the tenure system may benefit professors but it sure doesn't benefit the consumers who pay for the education. I remember quite a number of ineffective professors that I was stuck with because they were tenured. This book exposes campus politics entrenched in the early 1900's. It must be worse now with the amount of corporate money funding academic "research".
I'm going to take a little side step here out of book review mode to tell you a story from my college days because Stoner is the embodiment of this one English professor that I had. Prof Collins was my English Professor one summer session. He was an OK, but uninspired, teacher and all I really remember is that he wore the same two suits all summer. I remarked to a fellow student one day that his wife must hate him. Not that she was responsible for his wardrobe but she sure could have influence over it if she wanted.
During college I worked almost full time at a nice restaurant. It was run by a man named John and his assistant manager, Jackie. Jackie had stunningly beautiful red hair, dressed provocatively and loved doing belly dancing shows for the employees. The dudes loved it. John loved Jackie and it was blatantly obvious that they were having an affair. One day I came to work and there was Jackie sitting in a booth with Prof. Collins and she introduced him to me as her husband. I remarked that I had been in his class the previous summer and then I ran to the kitchen before my shock showed on my face. This book could have been called Collins and been written in the 1980's.
Jackie also kept pet ferrets in the restaurant. Yes, we had rodents in the restaurant intentionally. So many stories!
Shadows of Pecan Hollow
By Caroline Frost, Read (poorly) by Alex McKenna
I've got some real mixed feelings about this one.
In 1970 Kit walker ran away from her horrible home and ended up being cared for (groomed) by Manny Romero. In the beginning he was kind to her but eventually, of course, it turned into a somewhat captive relationship and they became knows as the Texaco Twosome for their series of gas station robberies across Texas.
Eventually they robbed one to many places and Manny was caught while Kit got away. Manny was jailed and, at 19, Kit tried to forge a new life for herself in Pecan Hollow with an Aunt she had never met. In 1990 Manny is out of prison and shows up in Pecan Hollow professing to be a new man, making nice with the townspeople and trying to get Kit back.
I believe that this is Frost's first novel and it has that feel to it but the basic storyline is pretty good. The profanity and vulgarity is over the top but I think that's a common crutch for new authors. It relies on shock value as added depth to the storyline. I'm no prude and my language is anything but clean and some things in this book were over-the-top and unnecessary even to me. There are also decisions that characters make that just don't make any sense but are used to further the plot. The whole thing felt like she had a good solid beginning and ending but the middle was a labor to write.
The worst thing about the book was the narration. I hope the author didn't select this narrator because she made all of these Texas characters sound decrepit and ignorant. Frankly, it was a bit offensive and very distracting. She also mispronounced so many words so badly that it was jarring. You hear a nonsensical word and have to stop to think about what word she actually meant. If you want to give this book a try, get in in paper form and read it yourself.
By Nick Pirog, Read By Johnny Heller
Apparently Nick Pirog was an early adopter to the eBook publishing scene and has been very successful with it. This is the first book in a 5+ book Thomas Prescott series. I found it on Audible as a deal with the first 4 together as one book. I'm not sure I'll listen to the other 3.
Thomas Prescott is a retired detective who helped solve a series of serial murders the previous October. He's been trying to get himself to read the Eight In October book about the murders and is avoiding meeting the author. The killer, Trystan Grayer, was dubbed "The MAINEiac". Prescott has never felt that Trystan was the real killer and that starts to be proven right when someone close to Thomas is murdered starting off a chain of new murders.
It's actually an interesting plot but the writing is a mess. First off, the Prescott character is hard to take serious. He's in the middle of a series of murders of women close to him and he's stupidly focused on ogling women, talking about his penis and, frankly, not focusing on the actual murders and protecting the potential victims. He gets a good amount of sex and sleep while women are dying. The FBI is supposedly heavily involved but basically leave the case up to him and they aren't even capable of being protection teams for the targeted victims. The boorish behavior of Prescott is something might expect in a book written in the 1960's but not one written in 2004. His behavior is inexcusable.
The ending had a big twist but even that was too convoluted for me to stomach. This book needed a serious editor for sure. I don't recommend it but I see that the subsequent books in the series have much better review so one day I might give book 2 a try.....but not anytime soon.
The Reading List
By Sara Nisha Adams, Read by a cast
After the last two books I felt I was due for a good one and Saint George delivered!
The Reading List is a lovely book written for those of us who can't live without books.
Mukesh is a widower living in West London and he's quite lost after the death of his wife. He's close with his daughters but not an integrated-life kind of close. He has his weekly routines and watches nature documentaries in the evenings. He worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who spends all of her time alone and reading.
Aleisha is a recent graduate reluctantly spending her last summer before university working in a library. One day she finds a piece of paper in the back of To Kill A Mockingbird. It's a list of books to read. Her home life is incredibly stressful and her job is dull so she decides to read the books on the list. One day Mukesh comes into the library and she uses the list to recommend books to him.
Each section of the book is loosely based on one of the novels on the list: Rebecca, The Kite Runner, The Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Beloved, and A Suitable Boy. I personally haven't read Beloved or A Suitable Boy. The Audible version of A Suitable Boy is massively abridged and Beloved is (by the reviews) horribly narrated by Toni Morrison. Apparently she narrates all of her own books, generally a bad idea.
This book is all about the power of books to educate and heal and the potential of libraries to build communities. It's lovely.
By James Grippando, Read By Christine Larkin
Kate Gamble is a law student, aspiring playwright and daughter of the CEO of Buck Technologies, a big data firm with big ties to the CIA. Kate has written a play about the Nazi's use of census data and early punch card technology to identify and control the Jewish population. She has supposedly written this play to explore her mother's loss of purpose. In the midst of all of this her mother commits suicide by jumping off her balcony.
Problem #1 - No director is ever going to put on a play about IBM's involvement with the Nazis. A documentary for TV maybe, but not a play. It's a stupid storyline.
Problem #2 - Her mother is an alcoholic and not at all tied to Germany, the plight of the Jews or anything else for that matter.
So she wants to be either a lawyer or a playwright but she takes a job at her father's company. Hmmmm
On her first day of work she runs into Patrick Battle, a boy that she used to babysit. He accidentally tells her of a secret program at the office called, seriously, Naivety. Also, her ex-boyfriend works for the DOJ and they are doing a cybersecurity audit at Buck and he's leading the audit.
When Patrick disappears and it appears that he is being held hostage, Kate takes the lead to go to Columbia and negotiate his return.
Problem #3 - We are to believe that an employee of a company that's under a DOJ audit and is a large client of the CIA is going to be allowed to fly off to Columbia to negotiate with a hostage taker. I don't think so.
While the Big Data underlying story is not only believable I think we've learned enough over the past few years to know that it's all true. The storylines around it are way to simplistic. Oh, and the hostage taker (working for a government that likes balloons) is working alone. Nope.
This is the second Grippando book that I've read and both were way over the top for me.
All The Broken Places
By John Boyne, Read By Kristen Atherton and Helen Lloyd
This book reminds me a little of A Gentleman In Moscow, one of my all time favorite books. Gretel Fernsby isn't as sympathetic as Count Rostov and the stories are quite different, but both books stay with you and make you think about what you might do in similar situations.
Gretel Fernsby is 91 years old and lives in an upscale mansion block (condos to Americans) in London. She has lived there for decades along with her neighbor, and good friend, Heidi. A new family is moving into the flat below her and she's not excited about the change. They have a young son, Henry, and eventually Gretel can't help but to build a friendship with the boy. She starts to realize that the boy and his mother are being abused. She wants to help them but realizes that getting involved may expose her own hidden past.
Gretel escaped Nazi Germany at the age of 12. Her father was commandant of one of the extermination camps. She and her mother escaped to France where they were discovered and brutalized. After her mother's death she made her way to Australia and eventually to London, changing her name each time looking for a new identity.
The story moves back and forth in time between her past and preset. Now, at 91, she faces a difficult decision that may expose her past which would have implications on her own family.
I've never read anything by John Boyne before and I now know that this is actually the sequel to he most popular book, Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. The story from that book is referenced in this book but I think that they can be read stand-alone. I will read more of Boyne's books for sure.
By James Nestor, Read By James Nestor
This one is for those of you, like me, who are interested with natural methods of healing. James Nestor had a myriad of health issues including sleep apnea and, being a journalist, he set out on a long exploratory journey to try to solve them. That research resulted in a fascinating book about how we breathe incorrectly and how to fix it. He delves into the evolution of the human skull as a result of changes in our diets over hundred of years and how that affected our nasal passages in a negative way. He interviews several people doing very interesting research into breathing and he participated in some very uncomfortable clinical trials. The book ends with some excellent breathing exercises, most of which can be found in meditation apps and YouTube videos.
At the end, he did cure his sleep apnea and learned that he can control his blood pressure to a significant degree by changing his breathing. The one major lesson is to avoid mouth breathing at all times.
People who might be interested in this book include people with sleep disorders, anxiety, autoimmune issues, ADHD and other behavioral problems and hypertension.
The names says all you need to know about the inspiration for this new gradient. Just imagine relaxing by your favorite lake or pond at sunset. You might even imagine your bare feet on the grass and your favorite beverage in your hand. That's where my mind was when I thought up Lakeside. I think it would make a great background for an art quilt but I'm also seeing it as a quilt border with the gold at the center of each side moving toward the blue in the corners. That would make a quilt really glow.
One day recently I got side-tracked down an internet rabbit hole and found myself spending a lot of time looking at photos of the Northern Lights and lamenting that I had never seen them. I'm not sure I'll ever have the opportunity to see the either. I thought that if I can't go see them then I'll just make my own, and I did. I'm not sure if this will work for someone who has seen them in real life but I like the end result and it was fun to play with Aurora.
Gradients Back in Stock
I've got two gradients back in stock for you this week. First, there's Amethyst, which has supplanted all others to become the most popular gradient of the past 12 months. (I do get one right on occasion!) There's also Oasis which meets the need for very bright, cool colors.
Fabric of the Week
With Oasis providing the bright cool colors I wanted to offer a special on some bright, warm colors. Imperial Dragon Gradient is 20% off through Sunday.
It was quite the creative and making weekend! On Friday, Mom, Kim and I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. The quilts were better this year than last year and I actually took photos this time. I might share them but I really only took photos of specific things that interested me like quilting techniques or design ideas. The photos would seem really random to anyone else.
The Covid years really decimated a lot of vendors so overall the show is smaller than it was in 2019 and earlier. I expect that many had just decided that it was as good an excuse as any to finally retire. There used to be an Indian (from India) woman with a business called Handloom Batik that no longer comes to this show. She was my favorite vendor but it looks like she is only doing a couple shows that are more local to her now. I am sure that over time the show will once again fill every corner of the convention center floor. As it is there was plenty to see and lots of opportunities to spend money!
There was one interesting new vendor this year called Legit Kits. They have big foundation pieced pictorial quilts with wonderful designs. I wanted either the big eagle or raven quilt but I wasn't sure what I'd do with the finished quilt in once I was done. I left the show empty handed but couldn't get them out of my mind. At home I perused the website and found this smaller pattern for a Goldfinch and ordered it. You can get full kits or just patterns. I believe the kits use Kona solids but you know that there's no way that I'm going to use solid fabrics for my quilt. As soon as I saw this one I knew that my Jenny Lake Gradient would be perfect for the background pieces. I'm excited to get the pattern and get started.
I didn't buy any fabric (or anything else at the show) and I didn't need to because I had just received new fabric in the mail this week! The new Paula Nadelstern fabrics are finally in the stores and I ordered mine a couple of weeks ago. I just love those dots! I could the best price at Hancock's of Paducah.
Saturday morning I got busy finishing up the placemats and I love how they turned out. These started with 4 embroideries that a friend did for me over 10 years ago. I added and sunprinted fabric (the blue streaky) and a screen printed batik. The napkins are some thrifted napkins that I overdyed and screen printed with the bird.
Here are all 4 embroideries. I can't wait to see which family member chooses this set when we are at the beach in May.
I already have another set of fabrics selected for the next set but I'm going to make a few more of the little lap quilt tops first before I make more placemats.
Mom and I talked on Friday about visiting my brother on Sunday so I thought I'd get these doll dresses made up for Ella. They have actually been cut out for a while and, let me tell you, they are kind of a pain to make. That keyhole opening is awfully fiddly. They are supposed to have elastic at the waist but my elastic was kind of dead. I improvised with a casing and a tie which I like better anyway. The casing on the green dress is actually red-purple, not black as it looks.
When making this one, I got the bodice all done and ready to attach to the skirt and noticed that I had cut through the bottom of the bodice. It had to have happened when I cut it out because there are 2 cuts mirroring each other. Well, I was so sick of these dresses by that point that there's no way I was going to remake it. By then I had put the ric rack on the hem of the skirt so I added some to the bodice to cover the cuts. Once the purple sash was added the cuts in the fabric were very secure. These aren't going to be washed so it will be fine.
As it turned out, we didn't go visit anyway but I'm ready whenever we do.
I didn't quilt on Becky's quilt but I got the backing loaded and have the batting draped over the frame to get the wrinkles out of it. I might get it basted today if I don't spend too much time outside weeding and prepping beds for my annual mulching exercise.
This week's inspiration is a big one, literally! Rachel Derstine made these two commission pieces for a client. She used custom dyed versions of Barrier Island and Sugar Maple Gradients. They were dyed lengthwise on 10' pieces. She even sent several photos to share.
This photo really shows off the beautiful quilting that finished off these pieces. You can read all about the making of this quilt on Rachel's blog.
For sharing, Rachel received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
Every year at the May family beach vacation I try to bring a handmade gift for everyone. I've done tie dye beach towels, coiled coaster sets, fused glass dishes, dyed beach totes and last year it was slumped wine bottles. I don't really plan to make gifts and no one expects them, but you know that I get on kicks to make things and once I start I want to make a lot of whatever it is. My family is a good place to distribute all of the stuff I make. They feel obligated and won't say no! When I made the fish placemats a couple of weeks ago I made for for my nephew. Then I remembered that I already have 2 sets of placemats in the "gift closet" and that, with a few more sets, placemats could be the beach gift for this year. I do love making them and I have a box of overdyed napkins that need to be used too.
The next set is going to be based on 4 bird embroideries that a friend stitched for me over 10 years ago. It's crazy how much stuff like this I have in my stash! Don't laugh, I know that you have these things in your stash too! I even had 4 turquoise dyed napkins in the napkin stash that can go with the birds. I started by pulling a bunch of fabrics that might work with the embroideries.
When I make placemats they have to be simple. I do not allow myself to agonize over them and I limit my design thinking time. Placemats, like postcards, are meant to be fun and they certainly aren't going to be subjected to any design judging. For these I started with a dark frame and then a painted fabric that has a "sky" feel to me. Next I really wanted to use the batik on the right because it's so close to the embroidered fabric but it looks so dull and bland. I really needed to bring that dark jade frame color to the batik.
Screen printing might fix that.
I need a color that comes close to matching this dark jade fabric.
That will do. I love mixing dyes and paints!
A little bird on the corner of the napkins will make them look more like a set.
I found a twig screen to do an all over print on the fabric and I think this is going to work great as the final fabric in these placemats. It doesn't matter that the printing is a little messy because the fabric will be cut into strips. I'll be working on these again this weekend.
Today I'll be crocheting with with the Ashland From The Heart Stitchers group. I started a new shawl when I finished the green blanket. This will come together a lot faster than the blanket. I made a shawl a while back with this "pattern". I kind of made it up as I went along and didn't write down any notes. Of course I liked it and now I'm trying to re-create it with notes.
Tomorrow is the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. I'm looking forward to getting even more inspiration and ideas for projects that I don't have time for.
I got the binding on the 4 lap quilts so I can deliver them to Beth, the From The Heart contact, tomorrow. These quilts finish at 27 x 36. It's the size the asked for for a children's cancer camp and I hope this small size is really what they need. They are fun little quilts to make and I'm so happy to be using up these fabrics and lots of batting scraps. This makes 8 finished ones and I have 7 more ready for quilting. The goal is to make 30 because that's how many batting pieces that I have and it will use all of a bin of dye testing fat quarters.
I used this set of quilts to practice what I'm learning in the Blooming Botanicals class. This is the first flower and leaf motif that I practiced. I made the flowers big on this one. It was also nice to use some pink thread from my stash. I never have the opportunity to use pink in my own quilting and certainly not for the veterans quilts. I'm using the thread stash too!
There are two quilts in pink and purple. I practiced a daisy and wavy leaf on this one.
The third quilt is turquoise and pink and I practiced an oak leaf with a flower with a dogwood-like petal. On this one I added side view flowers and buds.
For the last one I did a corner to corner leaf motif. This one went really fast.
I hope there are 4 children who will love these little quilts.
Now I'm going to take a break to make a new set of placemats and quilt a quilt for a friend. Then I'll be back to the lap quilts.
I'm linking up to Midweek Makers
New Stash Pack
I'm going to the beach in a few weeks and I'm hoping for a lot of warm sunshine. It's a gamble to bet on March weather in the Southeast US but I thought that if I dyed some sunshine that I might manifest some lovely warm weather for my vacation. Do you think it will work?
If not, there's still some lovely new fabric in the shop for you! Sun Kissed is a new Stash Pack in shades of golds and yellows, all the warm colors of the sun. Not a fan of yellow? There are lots of other Stash Packs to choose from in the shop.
Every Stash Pack has 10 fat eighths of fabrics in a variety of color combinations and color texture. I love them for scrappy style quilts but I think most people use them for elements in art quilts. You can use them any way you want!
Each Stash Pack has 5 streaky fabrics and 5 mottled fabrics. Here are larger views of 6 of the fabrics. The fabrics you receive will not look exactly like these but they will be these colors and general textures. I dye 2 yards of each fabric in the collection and the nature of dyeing fabric like this means that there's lots of variety over that 2 yards. Each fat eighth is a gem on it's own. There are so many possibilities for fussy cutting applique or landscape elements.
Chocolate Bonbon is Back!
Chocolate Bonbon was a my one-time gradients from a couple of years ago but it's now back by special request. As my blog readers know, I am taking an outstanding machine quilting class from Bethanne Nemesh. If you are a machine quilter (longarm or sit-down) and are looking for really good online classes check out her digital class offerings. I'm taking Blooming Botanicals right now and took Freehand Feathers over a year ago. I've learned more from her than any previous longarm instructor, online or in person. She offers a few on demand classes and one is called Sweet Tooth and she asked if I had a gradient that might work for it. Well there's nothing better for a Sweet Tooth than a Chocolate Bonbon so it's back in the shop for you and her students. You can see all of Bethanne's classes here.
Fabric of the Week
Let's get back to the important work of manifesting good beach karma by having the Helios Gradient on sale this week. This lovely warm gradient is perfect for sunrise/sunset backgrounds for your art quilts and it's 20% off through Sunday.
When I left off last week I was starting to make some hats with the leftover blanket yarn. I ran it double with another 4 weight yarn to make it equivalent with a bulky weight. This has become my go to masculine winter hat for donation. I ran out of the green (halleluiah) on the third hat and I found some leftover brown to finish it off. I got one medium and 2 large hats and they will go in a bag for donation next winter.
We had our sewing retreat days with our quilt club Friday and Saturday and I made great progress on a new veterans quilt. I have half of the blocks made so I'll get this one wrapped up next month and another one started. I really like this pattern a lot. The blocks are made as 9-patches and they are all made the same. The pattern comes in by setting every other block upside down.
All of the half square triangle blocks are sewn and sorted into 9-patch sets so the rest of the sewing should go pretty quickly next month.
Saturday evening I put together another of the little lap quilts. I thought this would be too obnoxiously bright but I actually like it a lot. A friend gave me some vintage Laurel Burch fabrics to use for backing for more of the little lap quilts. These bright fabrics will look great on the Laurel Burch fabric.
Yesterday I finished quilting these 4 lap quilts. I used these to practice my botanical motifs from the quilting class I'm taking. I got the quilts trimmed and the binding cut so I should be able to get these 4 little quilts done pretty quickly. When they are done I'll show some close ups of the quilting motifs. I'm trying to pick pretty backing fabrics for these quilts so that if the kids don't like the front of the quilts they can flip it over and use the pretty backside as the front.
This week is a busy week so the only goal I'm setting is to get these 4 quilts bound by Thursday. Sometimes someone from From The Heart comes to our stitching group and she's happy to take the donated items back to HQ. If I can get them done and she attends it will save me a 45 minute round trip.
How cute is that?
This was a Christmas gift that I only got to deliver last week so it's been waiting a very long time to share.
Way back in September I found these pins on Etsy and I had to get them for my best friend. They are stupid expensive for sewing pins but totally affordable for decoration! They aren't technically great pins anyway so decoration is the only way to go. Either way, I had to have them. When they arrived I knew that I needed to figure out a way to present them and that had to be a pin cushion. I shopped all over Etsy for days and, in the end, found one that I absolutely loved. It was over $50 so I needed to make one instead.
I found the pewter salt cellar and I was off and running with an idea.
I thought I wanted red velvet but I didn't have any but then I found this button sun print in my stash. It was perfect.
I cut a 7 1/2" circle from the red and from a base fabric and gathered a large wad of stuffing. It took some trial and error to get just the right size.
Eventually I ended up with a stuffing ball that looked about right in the bowl.
I sewed up the bottom really tight and then added the button cover and hot glued the whole thing in the bowl of the salt cellar. There's a ton of glue holding this thing together.
I felt like it needed some sort of black trim and since the fabric is a button print it only seemed right to make the trim from black buttons. It was quite fiddly to sew these buttons together so that the edges of the buttons touched perfectly with no gaps. That was probably the hardest part of the entire evolution.
One more stick of hot glue and I was ready to add the pins.
My friend loved it and I'm happy to finally be able to share it. This project was so much fun to make.
The purpose of this blanket was to use up to skeins of Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn and that's what I did. I admit that after making it I like the yarn better but there's something really daunting about these giant skeins of yarn. I prefer smaller skeins although I know that the price is best on the larger skeins.
How do I know the price is better on the giant skeins? Well, I sat down earlier this week and did the math. I looked up as many of the "everyday" yarns as I could think of and calculated a price per yard. I calculated both the base price and also the most common sale prices. This chart is sorted by the sale price. There are a lot of these that I have never used but the cost analysis was an interesting exercise. For other "specialty" yarns like cakes, anti-pilling and blends, I consider a price of less than .02 per yard to be a good deal and that's how I handle toe barrage of "great deal" emails that I get every day. I did order a skein go the Herrschners Worsted 8. The price is really good and they have tons of colors. I hope I like working with it and that it washes well.
This blanket will be donated to From The Heart, probably for a chemo or dialysis patient.
Here are all of the specifics:
Blanket finished size: 47 x 52 (It's a little too wide, I should have made it closer to the size of this one but I made it wider because I thought I had more yarn. I wish it was closer to 40 x 60 but it will be fine as it is.)
Pattern: Sober Granny by Christa of The Secret Yarnery - she has excellent tutorials and patterns, did not do the border
J (6 mm) hook, but probably should have used a K
Cast on 35 sets of 4 + 2 (30 would have been optimal)
Crochet alternating 7 rows in dark green and 9 rows in light green, beginning and ending in dark green. I quit when I ran out of dark green.
CH3, 2 DC in 1st SC from previous row
* SC in CH2 space from previous row, 3 DC in SC from previous row*
SC in last CH2 space
The pattern makes great texture and it's nice mindless stitching.
I want all of this yarn gone so I took the leftover dark green and added it to this scrappy blanket that will either be a wheelchair blanket or pet blanket, depending on it's ugliness factor when it's done. I actually think it looks kind of fun at this point.
I have more of the light green left so I'm doubling it up with some tan yarn and making some men's winter beanies to stock up for next year. This pattern goes really fast so I should have the green yarn finished off by Monday.
Tomorrow and Saturday are sewing days with quilt club so I'll be starting a new veterans quilt. Today I have lots of computer work to do but I hope to get a little quilting practice in this afternoon. But it's also sunny and warm so the outside is calling....
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.