and it's still raining! I apologize to all residents of central Virginia. I knew it was bad luck to wash 2 cars on the same day and here's my punishment. Before I explain this photo know that our house is perched , basically, on a cliff so that grassy edge you see there is actually a drop and I'm taking this photo from the second story. So there's absolutely no chance of water getting anywhere near our house. The black line should be the edge of our property but you can see here why we call that area the flood plain.
Here's one edge of the property. Both side property lines are basically drainage ditches that are often dry. Not today! We actually have a waterfall.
I actually hate drenching steady rainstorms like this. It reminds me too much of the rain that we got in 1972 from Hurricane Agnes when our neighborhood was flooded. It rained heavy and for hours. There were fears of the dam breaking so they had to open the flood gates and it surely flooded. We got 2 - 3 feet of water in our basement and an entire beach full of sand dumped in our backyard. What was a little 15 foot wide creek behind our house turned into a river about 200 yards wide. It was miserable and I have hated steady heavy rainfall ever since. I can't sleep through it, I have to wear earplugs. It's the reason that I always will try to live on a hill. Give me a thunderstorm any day. I sleep like a baby during thunderstorms.
Plus we have satellite internet and TV and it's been hit and miss for 2 days. I was finally able to get in to do this post. The weather should be clearing up later today. Virginia is definitely not in a drought this year. Chris, my personal climatologist, says that we have received about 160% of our annual average rainfall this year. I believe it because the yard has been a mud pit all year. I'm glad my hobbies are mostly inside!
Yesterday was dyeing day so I didn't get a ton of time at my hobbies but now that the quilt is done I'm back to the crochet. Let me just say again that I LOVE this Lion Brand Mandala Ombre yard. I'm almost at the end of the first of 4 balls. I'll be able to put a border on this one.
Here's my first Spirograph design on the floor cloths. I've done more but it was raining too hard to go out and get photos. More to come on this project.
My main goal today is to get the last 2 veterans quilts quilted. We have quilt club sewing days tomorrow and Saturday so I'll take the finished veteran quilts to the owners for binding. Most of them will be at sewing tomorrow or the meeting Tuesday.
This is my biggest blanket to date coming in at about 40 x 55. I determine the size of the blanket I make by how much yarn I have. I don't like to have leftover yarn.
This one is made with Caron Jumbo Yarn, 2 balls in the color Easter Basket. I do not really love the effect of the color changing with this particular yarn. I think something more subtle like Baby Rainbow would have been better. I doubt if I would use this yarn again. It does crochet up really nice, no splitting, but it's a little stiff for my taste. But it's quite warm which will be nice on winter evenings for someone.
This is my car travel pattern because it's so easy. I put it against some yellow fabric so you can see. It's simply double crochet and chain stitches. It's done in sets of 6 stitches with a 3 row repeat. I don't remember where the pattern came from. I seem to have it memorized now since I'm already on my 3rd one.
What saved this blanket, in my opinion, is the white border. It calmed it down a little. I first did SC around the edge in the main yarn and then switched to the white. I had intended to do one more round of white double crochet but ran out of yarn. That meant that it was finished! Crab stitch in the Caron yarn completed it and made the white border look like it really was meant to be on the blanket.
With it now all done with the border I'm a lot happier with it. I'm itching to start another one but now I need to focus on the binding of the giant quilt first. I'll hold the crochet project out as a reward for finishing the binding.
I'll have a contest winner post later today. I wrote this post Sunday evening so I hadn't drawn winners yet.
Well, we did it! We hiked the Alum Cave trail to Mount Leconte in the Great Smokies! When we visited the Smokies in June we only hiked to Alum Cave and have regretted chickening out of the rest of he hike ever since. We just had to go back and give it another try. It was at least 10 miles, over 3000 feet in elevation change and it took abut 7 hours. It was brutal but so worth it. The views along the way were breathtaking. We weren't even terribly sore the next day but we did mostly a driving tour that day except for the short (but steep) hike to Clingman's Dome so we could get this photo of Mount Leconte. The Great Smokies are beautiful and are particularly beautiful in Autumn but boy there are A LOT OF PEOPLE! I thought Acadia was crowded. It's nothing compared to the popularity of the Great Smokies. GS is so much bigger and loads more people live within a short drive so it's completely understandable. We saw license plates from New Hampshire to Texas to Wisconsin. It's a real treasure to have it so close by. Of course we have the Shenandoah even closer so we are pretty blessed with parks here in Virginia.
We were only there for a few nights so I didn't take any sewing with me. I had this car crochet project left from the trip to Maine. This pattern is so perfect for working on in the car. I make these blanket as big as the amount of yarn that I have. This yarn is a Caron yarn and I DO NOT LIKE IT. It's too stiff. I guess I'm spoiled by Hobby Lobby yarn. It's so much softer and nicer. But I had 2 big balls of it and it's made a blanket for a 4 or 5 year old. I bought some white to make a border that I hope will give it a little calmer personality.
The blanket isn't quite as ugly as it looks in this photo. I don't think the lighting or the green carpet did it any favors. I'll have a better photo when it's done.
I actually finished the body of the first afghan while we were in Gatlinburg so we had to make a quick stop on the way out of town so I could start another for the car ride home. This yarn is going to make a much prettier blanket and I got some dark pink for a border. It will be put away for the next car trip.
Before we left I posted about this gingham blanket that I started. Well it turns out that I'm really allergic to this yarn. I was having all kinds of allergy problems that week. It took a few days but I eventually realized that it was this yarn. It's acrylic so it shouldn't be a problem but it's likely a dye or finish. Could be anything. I'll find someone to give this yarn too. I'm happy to do that anyway because I think this yarn is too stiff too, like the Caron yarn above. I'll go get some Hobby Lobby yarn to make another one. I do like the technique a lot.
I had to go to Michaels to find the right white that would go with the first blanket so while I was there I picked up more yarn so I can finish this blanket.
My plan is to finish the big blanket above and then do the binding on Kim's quilt before I get back to any other crochet projects. That quilt is so big that it's probably going to take a month to stitch down that binding!
This week I'm going to get Mom's quilt loaded and maybe quilted and finish up my test spirograph floor cloth so I can get started on the real ones. I've also got to get some plans together for my Christmas postcards. I'm getting a very late start on those!
First, thank you all for your lovely comments yesterday on Kim's quilt. I am really pleased with how it looks on the bed. I didn't like it all that much on the frame but I like it a lot better now. Maybe this afternoon I can get it trimmed.
Last night I finally finished this little crochet project. I started it while we were on vacation in August and worked on it a little at a time in the evenings. The main body is shell stitch and I used 2 balls of Lion Brand Mandala in the color Gnome. If I had started it out wider I would not have needed to do the border. I like to do these Mandala blankets with a color meeting in the middle and gradating out to the edges. The center should have been yellow/gold/orange/red/orange/gold/yellow. But when I got to the first yellow I realized that the blanket was going to be too narrow (or too long depending on your perspective). So I made the center yellow and wound off the other colors to use on a border. I think it worked out fairly well.
Next up I will start on a gingham blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts. I'll share more after I get started.
I've also made a little progress on my test floor cloth. One side was painted with flat paint and the other was painted with semi-gloss. The semi-gloss (this side) worked much better so now I know what kind of paint to buy for the "real" ones. this one will be a real one too. I'm going to keep drawing on it and make it into a rug too. I'll gift it to someone. I think it's going to be pretty cool!
Today I have a clay shooting lesson and then will run some errands. This afternoon I need to get the prize packs together for next week's drawings and get Kim's quilt trimmed and ready for binding.
I didn't accomplish a lot yesterday. The morning was exercise and chores and the afternoon was training to be an elections officer. I've been wanting to do this for a while and with covid and this particular elections I figured that they might need more staff. They are doubling staff on our county precincts this year! They have had early voting going on for a couple of week. With that and absentee ballots, about 20% of our registered voters have voted already. Should be an interesting day on November 3.
I did have a little time yesterday morning to work on the practice floor mat. I learned that for the real floor cloths that I want semi-gloss or satin finish paint so that the pen will mover more smoothly. This paint was eggshell and it's a little grabby for the giant black Sharpie that I'm using. But I still LLOOOOOVVEE how it's looking! Much of these edges will be folded under so some of the design will be cut off. That's exactly the effect that I wanted.
I've been taking some free online classes in the evenings. I'm on a Jane Austin class now (don't love the lecturer but it's still interesting). While listening I do get in some crochet. I finished the body of this blanket and now I have these bits of yarn left over to possibly add to the border. Usually when I make blankets with the Mandala yarn I use it all in the body of the blanket but as I got toward the end of the first ball I realized that this blanket was going to be proportionally too long or too narrow, depending on your perspective. I decided to stop with the yellow in the center and to wind off the oranges and red. I don't know how it will look to add these colors to the border but I'm going to give it a try. If I don't like it I can undo it. I started with SC of the fuchsia and HDC of the yellow. Next I'll add the gold and then orange. If I don't like it I can undo it back to the yellow and call that row the finish. We'll see.
In other crochet news my friend sent me this pic of her grandson with his blanket that I made earlier this year. This baby is only 2 weeks old and never had the typical raw newborn look. He cam out looking a month old!
Today is dyeing day and I feel more stash packs coming on!
Yesterday was dyeing day and I was too tired to do much of anything after that so today I'll just share a crochet update. In the evenings I'm taking a free online Weatern Philosophy class and I crochet while watching the videos. This stitch is so easy that I barely have to pay attention and can focus on the class.
My original plan was to have no borders but I realized when I got to the yellow in the first ball that the blanket would be a little out of proportion. It was going to be too long. I decided to wind off the oranges and reds from both balls and use them for a border. It will not take me very long now to get the body finished.
Today I have a shooting lesson (sporting clays) and then I'll get started on the next set of blocks for Summer Sunset.
I didn't post yesterday because I didn't accomplish anything except for the weekly fabric dyeing on Wednesday. I did a little bit of crochet Wednesday evening while I watch a lecture in a free online class I'm taking but that's about it. But I made up for all that yesterday.
It rained all day here so I had nothing to do but sew. I started by getting the next 4 blocks of my Summer Sunset quilt started. It doesn't look like much but that's over an hour's worth of work there!
But I spent most of the afternoon quilting on the flower quilt. It's now called Kim's Garden since I finally know who I'm making it for. I have 2 more rows of pink blocks plus the bottom border pink blocks to do and then I can start on the yellow blocks. The yellow ones will have a different fill pattern. The end is in sight on this one!
This is where I am on the current crochet project. I'm at a point where I need to decide if it's going to have a border or not. If not, it will be a rectangle shape. With a border it will be closer to square. If I do a border I will probably have the bright yellow as the center and use the orange and pink as the border. This shell stitch goes really fast.
Expect more of the same on Monday. These are my 3 projects for the weekend and, in my little world, the weekend starts today!.
Yesterday was dyeing day and all I had energy to do in the evening was to crochet so it seemed a good time to get my THREE crochet projects out for a review. Remember when it was going to be one project at a time? Well here we go with another hobby of unfinished projects.
You knew it was only a matter of time, right?
First up is the car project. The drive to Maine is 16+ hours total and I have to have a car project so I picked up the yarn at Michaels. I prefer working with a bigger yarn and hook in a moving vehicle. I'll tell you now that this yarn easy to crochet with but I don't like it. Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn is softer. I might wash this after I finish to see if that softens it up some. But I'm going to keep going to use all the yarn so this will be more of a toddler size. I do not really like how the yarn looks but a white or pink border will help it tremendously.
I bought 2 skeins on the same day and didn't pay attention and you can see here that the second skein has a darker pink. Well we were in the middle of Pennsylvania and I didn't have anything else to work on so I just kept going. Hopefully the eventual recipient won't notice. I know that the people who receive our quilts mostly don't notice our quilting mistakes so I have some hope for this blanket.
The second WIP is this project. I started it in Maine after I finished another blanket. See how the pattern calls for 3 balls of yarn? I bought 4 "just in case".
Well I finished the first ball and had the sudden realization that 4 balls wasn't going to cut it! I went back to do some research and discovered that this yarn comes in different yardage balls depending on the seller. I'll go to Michaels tomorrow to see if they have more in this color. If not I'll probably by some ivory or white to blend in with it. I've also heard complaints about how this yarn behaves after washing so I might just wash this sample first and make sure that it comes through that process OK. Has anyone else worked with this stuff and have and advice?
So, I put that aside and started this little blanket using the shell stitch and my other favorite yarn, Mandala. There shouldn't be any surprise with this one. We're contemplating another short trip in October so I'll save the big blanket for that (or another) car ride.
More COVID research
Like many of you, I'm still doing lots of research COVID. Honestly, most of my research now is on immune system strengthening, instead of COVID, and that brings me to today's recommendation.
This video from DrBeen Medical Lectures, discusses the latest research on Vitamin D and COVID. He's done a great job of consolidating all of the current information on vitamin D in this one lecture and it's really worth watching.
All of DRBeen's lectures are really good and worth investing some time on his YouTube channel. Another really good one is this interview with Dr. Zelenko. He's a GP in Brooklyn who was one of the earliest primary care physicians treating COVID and he had great success. He talks about the protocol in detail and the backlash he received for sharing his successful treatment program. If you think COCID hasn't been totally politicized you might feel otherwise after watching these videos.
Here's a link to Dr. Zelenko's prophylaxis protocol. It will look a lot like the MATH+ protocol that I shared a few weeks ago.
Our friend left today as we decided that it would be a good day to rest although I did eventually take a long walk just in the neighborhood. I decided to get the computer out for this post. I'll use the mobile app but it's really crap. Hopefully my spelling is better on this post.
I've been working on this blanket a little each day and now it's done! The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in color Narnia and I used 2 balls. It's the second blanket I've made in this color. I used the crochet blanket stitch and I think I chained 115 stitches. Next time I'd make it a little bit narrower, maybe something in the 90's.
I'm making good progress on the flying geese veterans quilt. All the blocks are done and I expect to have it finished tomorrow. Chris will be gone all day tomorrow on a fishing trip so after a long kayak in the lake I'll have the day to myself to finish this and maybe start the last set of veterans quilts. They are very simple rail fence blocks.
I also started a swatch for my next baby blanket. I'm trying to decide on the best hook size. The pattern is this one from Daisy Farm Crafts. I do love that website. The patterns are accurate and clear and the videos are excellent. I think working with this yarn is going to be interesting.
Another day in paradise!
Actually it rained all day yesterday but we makers don't mind that. I got started on the next pair of veterans quilts and made some great progress. I only have 6 sheets of triangles left to stitch and I've already started cutting and pressing.
I made some more crochet progress while I've been waiting for the weather to warm up today. This little blanket will be done soon.
It's 67 now so I'm off to paddle around the lake for a bit.
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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.