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.
Yesterday was mostly about shopping and packing and today will be more of the same. But in the evenings this week I have had some crochet time.
I'm halfway through this project. It's the blanket stitch using Lion Brand Mandala yarn, 2 balls. That little bit of white is left over from a previous project so I just tied it on here in the middle to use it up. I obviously won't finish this before I go so I'll take it to work on and finish up while we are away.
I got the car project started. You can't really see the holes created by the filet crochet stitch but, trust me, they are there. It's not going to be the prettiest blanket ever but it will look better as it gets bigger. All that matters is that I have something to do for the 16 hours in the car over the next 2 days and this will be perfect. I've not used this yarn before but it's really easy to crochet and it's quite soft.
I'm so excited that I've learned to do foundation double crochet! My chain row is always too tight so being able to to a foundation row of stitches really helps.
I've downloaded my blog app to my phone so I'm going to try to post at least a photo each day while we're away. If all goes well there will be a lot of sewing progress. Now I'm off to start playing Trunk Tetris with the packing.
Isn't that the way it always goes? I promise that I'm still working on them one at a time but I needed to plan a few for the vacation. I'll have 16 hours in the car and, as I've mentioned before, my marriage is strongest when I'm occupied in the car. We've picked our audiobook so with a crochet project Chris will be able to drive in peace. He never lets me drive, which is fine because I really don't like driving his car. It's got a big blind spot for this short person. It used to be my car but after the third near-miss I bought myself something else. His car is the "fancy" car so it's the road trip car. I used to do the blanket stitching on the vintage flowers for my travel project but those are (thankfully) done and crochet is easier because the stitches are so much bigger.
But first here my 10th finish for the year! This is the biggest blanket so far at 38 x 48. It's 110 stitches wide and all double crochet. The patterning is 3 rows variegated, 1 navy, 3 variegated, 1 navy, 3 variegated, 7 teal. I could see making it again but with better color choices.
I think it would be a great toddler blanket. Since I donate most of these blankets I'm going to try to make a few larger ones for small kids. It didn't turn out quite like I envisioned but I do like it. I had enough navy to do two rows of double crochet for the border. As with quilting, the border made all the difference. The yarn is I love That Yarn from Hobby Lobby and I really overbought. I have enough to use for a granny square afghan....later.
Next I'm working on this. The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala and the stitch is blanket stitch. It's basically a copy of this blanket that I made in February. I can almost do this in my sleep! When I made the first one I had a ball of yarn leftover so I bought another so I could use it up. Now I know that these blankets take only 2 balls of Mandala.
When we took our trip to the Great Smokies in June I took this blanket project to work on. It was perfect for the car so I bought more yarn to make another just like it, although this one will likely be a bit bigger just because I have more yarn. This will be the northbound project.
The southbound project is probably going to be this blanket from Daisy Farm Crafts. I really like their patterns. They are well written and pretty simple. They have great video tutorials too. I'll probably take at least one more set of yarn because these do come together quickly.
I hope there's room in the car for my clothes!
After 15 years of owning a longarm I finally did the one things that I knew would happen eventually. I ripped a hole in a quilt by accidentally putting the needle down as I moved the machine to the other side of a quilt.
Yesterday was dyeing day but I finished early and had time to get this veterans quilt loaded and could have started quilting. But after I got it basted on I was moving the sewing head from one side to the other to change the bobbin and accidentally hit the needle down button and I ripped a hole in the quilt!
I've been luck because this hasn't ever happened to me in 15 years. I knew it would get me one day but I'm happy that it was one of my own quilts.
Luckily it didn't rip the backing at all so i was able to repair it with it still basted. The rip was on the white and red fabrics. I had some leftover white so I patched it with a little hand stitching and slipped it under the seam. For the red I fused a little patch of another red fabric under the rip and whip stitched it together through both layers. I finished it off with a little Fray Check. From a foot away you can't even see it. I'll put it back on the machine this afternoon after my clay shooting lesson this morning. I hope I don't melt in the heat.
On the crochet front my blanket is coming right along. It will eventually have 4 sections of turquoise and 4 of the variegated. I think I will finish it off with a navy border. I do like working with the Hobby Lobby yarn. I expect it's a lot like Red Heart.
My plans for the weekend are to stay inside and stay cool. I want to start planning my vacation sewing projects, get this veterans quilt done and maybe get the flower quilt back on the frame for the last of the quilting.
Yesterday was a day for running errands. I must have stopped at 10 places but I got pretty much everything I need for a while. Apparently along the way I also picked up a nail or something because my tire pressure light went out as I got near home. I identified the offender and Chris has offered to take care of it for me this morning.
Even with errands I still had some time for quilting and I finished the last row of cross-hatching. I only have the last border to do before I start in the posy blocks. I'm pretty sure this is going to be a a boring quilt but I'm going with it and my goal is to just finish it. Hopefully the border will be done today and then I'm going to take it off the frame and do a few veterans quilts before I commence with the flowers.
I've been crocheting and listening to books in the evenings. I think this one is going to be more of a little boy's quilt instead of a baby quilt. I bought way too much yarn for this one! I'm not thrilled with it but with a navy blue border I think it's going to look just fine.
I know that teal looks a little out of place in this blanket but if you look closely at the variegated yarn you can see that it has teal in it. That's how this particular color palette came to be. It's really soft so I expect that the colors will be forgiven.
Now about COVID. I may have mentioned that I've been obsessively researching COVID information since all this business started in March. At the very beginning they were saying that we were doing lockdown to flatten the curve. No one ever said that we would be able to reduce the spread, they just wanted to delay the spread until they had treatment options. Now I know that different people have different opinions about lockdown, school closures, business closures, etc. I'm not going to get into that.
I don't like operating from a position of fear. I like to figure out the worst case scenario and prepare for it, therefore, I wanted to assume that I would eventually get it and figure out what I could do to best prepare myself for it and I thought I'd share some of that information with you, in case you are interested.
I don't listen to any news sources. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is biased and they make loads more money the more fearful that we are. As a result we are getting a ton of bad data, bad research and bad statistics. I started looking for medical sources for some real information. I found a Youtube channel for Dr Mobeen Sayed, it's called DRbeen Medical Lectures and it holds a wealth of information. There are DOZENS of lectures there specific to COVID. He is a medical doctor and he had an online medical business providing continuing education credits for medical professionals. During COVID they decided to make all lectures related to COVID available free to the public.
My "research" actually started with our family medical doctor who recommended that we take Selenium. Dr Sayed (He goes by Dr Been in the videos) actually has a video explaining how Selenium works to fight specifically this virus. After watching that we are continuing with our selenium supplements.
Next he has had several videos explaining how Vitamin D works in the immune system to help prevent the cytokine storm. That is the information that led me to reading The Optimal Dose book that I mentioned several weeks ago. I am following the directions of the book and have realized a lot physical of benefits from it. It's a very high dose so research for yourself if you are interested.
Another lecture that was interesting is this one in Statins. Researchers have documented that people on statins have less of an issue with cytokine storm and this video explains why.
Lately he has been able to get interviews with several people from hospitals and drug researchers exploring different therapies for the illness. One that he talks about a lot is called MATH+ and was developed at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. They have had a great deal of success with their protocol that uses steroids in the advanced stages of the disease. They have recommended treatments for prophylaxis and home treatment of mild symptoms and you can get that information here.
Short form PDF
Long form PDF
Dr Marik, who developed the protocol did an interview with Dr Sayed and it was easy to understand for us non-medical types. I was impressed that Dr Marek sat down at 9 at night and did an hour and a half talk with Dr Sayed. You can watch it here.
I'm not recommending one thing or another. I'm just sharing information that I've found that seems to be unbiased and solid. I have every expectation to be exposed to this virus and my goal is to have my immune system prepared for it or even just for next year's flu.
I've been working on starting this project all week. I shared this photo a couple of days ago. It was my swatch for this blanket. I started the blanket and realized that changing yarn every row was more work than I wanted to do for a donation blanket.
Then I found this pattern that looked fun. It has a new-to-me stitch called the Herringbone Stitch. I got it started and got 7 rows in. I love the stitch and like how the color is going to look but I decided that this stitch is making a blanket that is too heavy. So I'm unraveling this and will start again. I'm going to do straight double crochet but use the stripe repeat from the pattern. That should make a blanket that's a little lighter. I will come back to the herringbone stitch at some point for another project, I enjoy doing it.
Yesterday I spent a few quality hours with the Direct TV repair guy. He was very nice so I gave him a postcard to give to his wife. While I was rummaging in the sewing room for something else I found a little stack of leftover hand dyed fabrics. I sewed them to some postcard bases and will work on doing something with these this weekend in between quilting sessions.
I started this blanket to work on in the car ride to and from The Great Smoky Mountains. It was a perfect project because the yarn (Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn) is kind of chunky and the pattern (filet crochet) was really simple.
The pattern is worked in sets of 12 stitches (plus 1). I cast on 121. If I was to make it again I'd probably do 109 stitches. I used every inch of 3 skeins of the variegated and added the border in some leftover white from another project. I finished it with Crab Stitch in the variegated.
The pattern for the border is:
1 row of DC in ever stitch (there are 2 DC for each row in the blanket)
1 row of alternating DC and chain
1 row of DC in every stitch
1 row of Crab stitch
I did block this blanket. Just getting it wet for blocking made it even softer. This yarn is sooooo easy to crochet and they have a bazillion colors at Hobby Lobby. With frequent sales, this yarn is also very budget friendly.
This blanket is going to be gifted to the daughter of a friend for a baby girl coming in September.
I like the look and effect of the Crab Stitch border so much that I know I'll use it on lots of blankets going forward.
I'm casting on 2 new projects and this is the first one. This one will be good for taking to quilt club meetings or for working on in the car. This is Lion Brand Mandala yarn. It's the first yarn I ever picked up and it's still one of my favorites. There are so many colorways to choose from and simple stitches work great so the color changes in the yarn can do all of the work. It makes a very soft blanket.
This is a swatch that I'm working on for the second one. I really like this pattern but it's going to have a color change EVERY ROW so I'm not sure that I'm going to actually do this one. I don't want to work that hard. I'll figure it out this week and make a final decision.
I'm really enjoying my evening crochet session. It's so relaxing to put on my audiobook and play with yarn for a bit. Last night I dropped off 5 blankets with a friend. She has donation destinations for them.
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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.