February 21, 2007

The Post(wo)man Cometh

Oh my goodness, look at what deliciousness landed on my doorstep yesterday! It is my swap with Ruth in South Africa! We did a swap: Irish yarn for South African shwe shwe fabric. It was postmarked December 1, and we'd given it up for missing, so I was over the moon to see it arrive. It is so beautiful, thank you so much!!

I also had this beautiful artwork arrive from another exotic locale, from Jo in New Zealand. I wish I had half your talent for embroidery. It is beautiful!!

My socks are done...I still have lots to learn about them...have found a nicer cast on to use, have learned how to graft after my failed attempts here, and I've realized that worsted weight socks are great to learn with, but I think lighter sock yarn is on the cards for future pairs...something I can wear with shoes!! All in all I am still happy with my fraternal twin pair of socks, my first ones of many I am sure... I can feel the addiction growing...

Here is another pillow I started and finished today, I love how fast these go together... This is for... Holly how did you guess? Sister of the infamous Conor, Aine's best buddy from Waterford, who we are off to visit tomorrow. Better pack up some knitting for the trip...and maybe my apple core quilt hand piecing...

February 13, 2007

A New Convert

She is not a convert to knitting, she has been doing that for a while, and her mom is a wonderful knitter too... But I showed her my blog a while back and she has been bitten by the desire to show her knitters life online. This is Kathleen...a new friend here in Ballina...she lives across the street and our kids get on great, so it is a wonderful excuse for an afternoon here and there of knitting. (okay...many afternoons, lol! and sometimes we even look up to see what the kids are doing!)

I decided to knit myself something! After our visit in Limerick to meet Debbie Bliss, who spent a generous amount of time actually putting on us many of the sweaters from her latest books, I fell in love with this sweater from her newest line of dreamy soft "pure cotton" yarn. She was sooooooo nice and spent a lot of time talking to us, very cool!! Of course, I bought two books and 18 balls of Pure Cotton, lol, to make this sweater.

Barbara generously sent me a lovely Tilda stitchery this week, and I have dived into the world of redwork, well....pinkwork... How do you stitchers out there do the small curves for lettering and such...outline and stem stitch don't seem to be easy around tight corners. I used backstitch, but is there another good stitch out there???

My next quilt is definitely a quilt for Aisling as she is nearing 3 and need her own quilt from momma!! I also plan to make more name pillows in the next few weeks...

More soon, but go over and say hi to Kathleen, she is a knitter, but I can feel her weakening towards fabric...might get her quilting soon, she already has a start on a pillow for her son Daniel...

February 6, 2007

"Bliss"ful Day Planned for Tomorrow

Debbie Bliss, knitting guru and author, will be in our little old tiny yarn shop in Limerick tomorrow, so my other knitting obsessed friend Kathleen and I will be making a little trek with our Debbie Bliss books to be signed (and no doubt buying at least one more... she does some nice stuff!) we are hoping for freebies, lol, but any excuse to buy some more Aran tweed or baby cashmerino...or maybe that Noro...or...too bad they have NO sock yarn...have to tell them it is a new trend to watch out for!!

Kathleen's wonderful mom is going to watch the kids so we have a chance to get into town and back out again without major time pressure. Aine is going to a friend's house to play after school as well, and she is really looking forward to that as well.
I finished the wallhanging top tonight, it is about 26 inches square...have to decide whether to hand or machine quilt it.

Last Wednesday at my Patchwork group, I had the ladies help me pin baste my flannel quilt I finally pulled out of storage... Over the weekend I finished quilting it with an allover large has 10 inch flannel blocks on the back and will go to my aunt in Oregon... I am happy with the way it turned out! Just need to sew down that binding now...

Next on the agenda: the other sock!! a baby quilt...quilting the Valentines quilt...etc etc etc..

People sometimes ask me how I get so much done with 2 small girls, and I guess it is probably because I let other things slide...not important things, like looking after the girls...but I am not the most amazing housekeeper... the house usually looks tidy, but the bathrooms might not have been done as often as they should and the dust bunnies take over from time to time. I am still trying to learn balance. My eating has been very bad in the last 2 years, and I have gained a lot of weight back...maybe when I step back and make a real effort to get more balance with crafting, housework and with exercise and health, I might be able to get to a more healthy place again! I hope so. I am making small steps in the last weeks, getting more routines in place that are working for housekeeping, and that has helped my productivity with quilting and knitting in the evenings.

February 2, 2007

Getting Stuff Done...

Working on a few things here and there over the last week... I finally finished the crazy quilt block for our round robin. I decided that I wanted to do a celtic motif in each person's block but the original one I did was so time consuming that I decided to do a spiral symbol found on the Newgrange passage tombs here in Ireland... This is what I found about its meaning:
The Triskele is used to symbolize the cycles of life with in the three fold, or three spheres of influnce in the material world. The three spheres (Land, Sea and Sky)represents the three aspects of the material world that are contained in every object. Each aspect ever flowing outward and always returning to the point from which it started. This symbol is also used to symbolize the Druidic Threefold Sister Goddess: Fotla/Eiru/ Banba. Ireland, or Erin, is named after Eriu. It also symbolizes the Wiccan Threefold Mother Goddess: Maiden/Mother/ Crone.The Triskele was a representation of the importance of the number three.
I also got to work on an update for the girl's room. I took an old single bed duvet and split it in half and sewed them shut again...then used some sheets to make some duvet covers with Dora for little Aisling (ashling) and Tinkerbell for Aine (onya).
They love them and it is so much nicer than the stacks of blankets we had been using!
My final show and tell are the Aran hat and booties I made for a friends son who arrived in November. Sorry those are so late coming...

I have layered up an old UFO from last year, a flannel quilt, and have another hat on the needles, plus the heart appliques prepped for my wallhanging, so no shortage of projects to keep me going... like two kids don't wear me out enough, lol, but I need my quilting and knitting for relaxation, it is my therapy after long hectic days!!