Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Sunday 19 December 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 My slow stitching is slow going. As most of us who are creatively bent, I have been working on Christmas gifts. The rest of the time I’ve been working on finishes for the Prayers and Squares group I belong to. My slow stitching time has been relegated to the evenings. And some of those evenings I have been so tired that all I can do is vanilla sock knitting, (a highly technical name for knitting plain no pattern
socks). We had a power outage here last weekend which meant knitting by candle light, not ideal conditions for knitting complicated lace sleeves on a sweater. Also not ideal conditions for finding full skeins of sock yarn. I did manage to find a couple of skeins of yarn that I had previously used for socks although I figured there wouldn’t be enough for a full sock. And there wasn’t, so I’ve added in some other yarn to do the toe.

 I think it works, and it has the added bonus of using up leftover yarns. I have enough of the yarn for the toes to do the second sock so the pair will match.

As for that sweater, I do have the first sleeve all finished now and the second sleeve has about 8 of the required 15 inches done so it’s almost there. 

I’ve got a couple of quilty finishes but I will try to do them in a separate post later this week. I’m linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Quilty Catch up

I’m finally getting around to writing that post about all the quilts finishes I’ve had in the last month or so. Some friends and I are doing a UFO challenge and then there have been a few others as well. My chosen quilt for November was very old Disappearing Nine Patch. The block piecing was started way back in 2010. I sewed the blocks together a couple of years ago and then quilted it the spring of 2019 before I sold the long arm. This quit has a twin to it. They are going out as Christmas gifts this year to a couple of boys. I found a good place for taking pictures.... the back of the wood pile. A couple of clamps hold the quilts quite nicely. This one has a fun back to it as well.

I mentioned a while ago that I have joined a group of ladies making quilts for the Prayers and Squares ministry. I’ve been working on some quilts for them. I did up a top using some scraps of mine and sewed them into a 36 patch quilt. It’s been set aside waiting for quilting and the appropriate person. We had a couple of requests lately, one of whom is a child who likes unicorns and purples. One of the ladies in the group picked up this panel in a store and the we brain stormed what to put with it. We decided on pinwheels.

This is another quilt the top of which was donated to our group from the Owen Sound group. It’s been quilted and bound and needs the ties put into it.

The other finish that I’ve had lately is my Summer Kitchen quilt. One of the bedrooms here is minus a door. I hadn’t finished the piecing on the quilt before we moved, so it got sized and designed specifically to cover the doorway. I had some leftover embroidery blocks and also some stars, so I pieced those into the back. I quilted it on my domestic sewing machine and wasn’t that a challenge. It’s the first one I’ve quilted since selling the long arm. These pictures are actually from before it was layered and quilted.The backing fabrics are leftovers from those that were bought for the top. I’m trying to not generate too many more scraps. 

That’s it for my catch up post. Hopefully from here on I will record quilt progress as regularly as hand work progress.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 How did that week go by so fast? I mentioned last Sunday that I had some quilty finishes that I would share later in the week and somehow the week got away from me. I’ll try to do better this week. I want to keep my Sunday posts mostly about hand work. 

I’m making good progress on all my current hand work projects. My socks are almost done. An hour or so today should finish them. I like having a pair always on the go. They are mostly simple mindless knitting, good for late evenings when I don’t want to have to think or pay close attention to what I am doing. This sweater on the other hand, takes thought and concentration to keep track of where I am on the sleeve pattern. But I like the results. It’s slow going, but worth it. I have to tick off every line of the chart as I do it otherwise I will end up totally not knowing where I am at. And then there is my Peppermint Purple stitch along. There are only 5 spaces left to fill and then it is done for the year. As it stands now, I’m not planning on doing any stitch alongs next year. I have other cross stitch pieces that I want to work on that will keep me occupied for most of the winter. But I will wait until this is done before picking them up. I really want to get back at the Harbour Village piece that I started. But I suspect if I set this aside and work on something else, this won’t get finished. So I will exercise a small amount of self discipline. The harbour Village piece has waited this long, so it can wait another month. 

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’m continuing on with my current slow stitches, my Anisia Sweater and the Peppermint Purple 2021 stitch along. I had to set the sweater aside for a few days while I waited for the yarn shop up here to be open. I broke the needle size that I needed for the bottom ribbing on a Saturday evening and the shop was closed Sunday and Monday. And of course I couldn’t have nothing to knit on while I waited, so I started a pair of socks. I got to the store to buy the needles I needed and got the bottom ribbing done so it was then time to start the sleeves. And as much as I searched everywhere, I couldn’t find the needle sizes in double pointed that I needed for the sleeves. So back to the store I went for double pointed needles. I managed to find in my needle stash every size except for the ones I needed. I don’t know if I had them and lost them or never had them to begin with.  Anyhow, all is good again. I am thankful for a local yarn shop that is well stocked and only 5 minutes away. It is called Knitting Three Together. So here is the sweater with the sleeves started and the body finished. For the socks I grabbed a ball of wool from my stash that had all kinds of fun bright colours to counter act a bit the very dark grey days we’ve been having lately. And then the stitch along project is here. 

I have yet to do this week’s square. That is on my to do list for part of today’s stitching. I’d rather not fall behind again if I can help it.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

I actually have some quilty stuff to talk about, but I’ll do a separate post about that later this week.

Sunday 31 October 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 The good thing about slow stitching is that it is slow and relaxing. The bad thing about slow stitching is that it is slow and progress from week to week can be difficult to see. I picked up my Peppermint Purple blackwork stitch along and am two weeks from being caught up. I love the looks of this and it will look fabulous framed and on my wall so I want to stick to it. Each week on Wednesday there is a new square or rectangle released. My plan from here on is to try and get it done each Wednesday rather than fall behind again. For the next two weeks I will do the new release and one of the squares from October. 

I am mostly concentrating on knitting this Anisia Sweater. 

It is a very challenging knit requiring quite a lot of concentration. I am enjoying the challenge, but at the same time I am looking forward to finishing the yoke and separating off the sleeves and doing some fast and easy stockinette stitch. According to the sweater pattern, part of the yoke design continues down the sleeves. I will decide when I get to the sleeves whether or not I will do that.

I have joined a small group of ladies up here in Muskoka who are forming a Prayers and Squares group. Thank you to Carol, who reads my blog and saw that we had moved here and suggested my name to them. It’s a small group and given my introverted nature, that is a good thing. They meet in a church which is a 30 minute drive from home here. What a glorious and beautiful drive it is too! Although I may change my mind about that should I end up caught in a snow squall sometime this winter. I took a couple of boxes of fabric with me last Monday, leftovers from my fussy cutting obsession from 5 or 6 years ago. The ladies had a grand time teasing me about turning perfectly good fabric into swiss cheese. I had a great time laughing along with them. I am looking forward to seeing those fabrics get new life into new quilts rather than being stuck in  boxes.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’m a little late in writing and posting this today. We had the family down for a visit in our little space this afternoon, so of course that took precedence. Funny how we can all live in the same house but not actually see each other all at once all that often. 

I’m working on multiple slow projects lately, getting some further along and others finished.  

I’ve finished the scrap sock yarn scarf that I was making for my husband, but unfortunately don’t have a picture of it. Once I finished that I decided that I needed to make myself a Muskoka winter hat. I found a pattern that combines worsened weight and and bulky weight yarn knitted together to make a double layered hat. It’s called Heartfelt Hat. Here’s the outside where the bulky yarn shows the gold colour. And then the inside with the gold carried behind the rest of the yarns, making it the very warm and thick hat. My husband says it looks like cheeseies on the inside. It was a very quick knit. I have some yarn left over so I may make myself a pair of thrummed mitts with it.

In addition to the hat I’ve been working on my Peppermint Purple stitch along. I’m caught up into the month of September now.

And then I’m working on the beginnings of a new sweater. It’s by a new to me designer. The sweater is called Anisia. It doesn’t look like much at the moment. It is very challenging. I love all of her designs and the texture she achieves in her knitting. There may be more of her patterns in my future.

That’s it for today. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 3 October 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 Six friends and I are doing a UFO challenge. We made our lists and started on October 1st. I actually started one on my own in September and then some friends expressed a wish to join in with me. We are posting our projects on Facebook. I have actually made up 2 lists. One is quilts that need finishing or at least a certain amount of progress. The second list is for hand work projects. All of my quilting projects and most of my hand work projects were put into boxes and stored away while we were in the process of packing and staging and moving and then getting settled here. So it is time to pull them out and get to working on them again.  I think I will make the lists and put them on a side bar of my blog somewhere, but in the meantime, I have them stored on my phone. October’s number is 3. For my hand work project that was my Peppermint Purple 2021 blackwork Stitch Along. I chose that one on purpose because I wanted to get it caught up. I don’t want it to languish into a UFO. Once it is caught up it will only take an hour or so per week to do the weekly release. At this point I am working on August. I’m choosing my own colours out of my DMC floss stash.

I’m still working on that scarf too. It’s gotten too long now to photograph all along the length. Another 12 inches or so might finish it. I’m discovering that yarn scraps are very much like fabric scraps. They never seem to go away no matter how much I use.

We’re heading out for a drive along Highway 60 into Algonquin Park today to see the changing colours of the leaves. The Provincial Park website says they are at 100% colour change now. It should be glorious. 

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 My only slow stitching is the knitting I’m doing on the scarf using up my leftover fingering weight yarns. It now measures about 35 inches long. The pattern calls for the finished scarf to be 90 inches long, so I’ve a ways to go yet. My husband has expressed an interest in this scarf so it will go to him when done. That will also dictate further colour choices. I’ll avoid obvious pinks since he isn’t fond of those. Some of the yarns did a fun self swirl type colour pooling pattern. I have more of those that I can try to evenly dive down the length of the scarf.

I finished a quilt this past week. There has been a break in the rain and the wind so I was able to get out and get a few pictures. Here’s the finished quilt. And here’s a close up of a corner showing the diagonally printed striped binding. I still have all kinds of diagonally striped fabrics in my stash, enough to finish the rest of the quilts that are hanging around here needing finishing.

Some friends and I are doing a UFO challenge starting in October. I hope it gives some incentive to get some things finished that have been hanging around for a long time now. 

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 19 September 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 All my slow stitching time is continuing to be taken up with knitting. I finished the last of the socks I wanted to do for Christmas gifts. I was unsure about this red yarn when I started, but they turned out really well. I’m quite happy with the way they match.

After those were done I pulled out a small blanket that I started a number of years ago that only needed about 6 inches knitted to finish it. It has a really fun technique that took advantage of some hand dyed yarns and some of them ended up with some fun colour pooling. It’s all sewn together and the ends woven in. It’s perfect for keeping my feet warm.

After that I dug in my bins of sock yarn and pulled out all kinds of leftovers from various sock and sweater knitting projects. This is going to be a very long tube scarf. It’s just beginning. It will show off some of the self striping and patterning yarns I have left as well. It’s from this pattern called Alliteration and it is a free Ravelry download. It is a very basic and mindless knit, perfect for keeping my hands busy in the car or while watching some Miss Marple mysteries.

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I am continuing with my sock knitting marathon, determined to get them done before I pick up anything else. This is the last pair that I want to do for Christmas gifts and it should be done this week, as long as I don’t get side tracked. When I first started on this pair of socks the pattern in the yarn wasn’t very evident. It was only when I got down to the heal of the first sock that I could see that there was a definite pattern/striping effect. Finding the matching starting point for the second sock was a bit of a challenge and involved pulling quite a lot of yarn out to find the right spot. I hope I have enough left to finish or I’ll end up having to splice in the stuff I pulled out.

There isn’t a whole lot else happening in our little world right now. It’s a gorgeous day, so there may be a walk happening. I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday 9 September 2021

Muskoka Living

 I’m going to try and do some posts about our new life up here in the gorgeous Muskoka region of Ontario. I’d like to think I could do weekly posts about it but I’m not sure that is realistic. Nor do I think I’ll have all that much to share that is interesting weekly, but we’ll see where it goes. Now that our grand daughter Abbie is in school that gives me time to do a few things that I’ve been researching lately, but didn’t have the time to try. One of them is making soap. I’ve been watching youtube videos and reading up on it since before we moved, but obviously didn’t have the time or storage space to do it. I have ordered some supplies for it so as soon as I get them.... there is a supplier right here in Huntsville.... I’ll get some made and talk about how it went.

I tried doing my own yogurt in my instant pot last week. It worked and tasted good, but it was a bit runny, so that is on my to do list for today to try again, along with some organizing that is ongoing in our little space.
When we first moved up here at the end of May I took advantage of the southern facing porch and lawn area to do some planting. I kept it small and inexpensive for this year knowing that there was going to be a new roof going on at some point. All of it, except for the tomatoes were started from seed. I tried using grow bags which seem to have worked quite well. We have quite a good crop of tomatoes, five bags which all look like this. I hope there is enough time left in the growing season for them to ripen up. If not, I’ve found a recipe for green tomato salsa. There are some annuals giving us lots of colour, cosmos and zinnias and a few sunflowers. There is also a pot of calendulas. In my research about soaps I found out that calendula flowers can be used to give a mild and soothing bar of body soap, so I will be using some of these flowers for that. I did up a couple of pots of perennials from seed as well, some gallardia and some shasta daisies. I wanted to do some rudbeckia, but the instructions said it would do best if the seeds were chilled for a time first, so I will leave those for this winter/spring. There is a lovely area right here that would make a great perennial garden although it badly needs weeding and digging. However it is directly under where shingles will be falling when the roof is done so it will have to wait until after that. I might put the gallardia and the daisies into the ground in a temporary spot and move them into this area come spring.

Indoors we are quite cosy. We have a great supply of firewood to keep us warm using our very efficient wood stove. That stack of wood is three deep in front of that wall. It’s right outside our door. Yes, there is central heating, but nothing beats a wood fire for being warm during what may be very long winters. Scott has his comfy recliner beside his painting station and I have mine beside some shelves that will eventually hold all my crafting/knitting/stitching supplies.

 Both of us have a great view looking out the big sliding glass doors. There is a tree down by the road that is just beginning to turn colour. That’s all for now.

Sunday 5 September 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 My cross stitching continues to be set aside while I indulge in a sock knitting binge. I have completed two more pairs of socks since my last post. The pair using the yarn that Gail gave me for my birthday is done. And then I decided that while I was on a sock knitting roll I’d continue with some for Christmas gifts. I have a blue pair done and have started on a red pair. After knitting all those fingering weight sweaters in the last few years, socks now go really quickly. The blue pair were done in a week. It helps that I always use the same pattern and have it mostly memorized. The only time I have to consult the pattern now is for turning the heel. We went on a day trip to North Bay on Thursday which gave me knitting time in the car. And that feels so strange, to say that North Bay is a day trip. It’s only an hour away from where we now are.

I am planning on getting back into a little bit of quilting this month..... how did it get to be September so fast, by the way? Anyhow, I have made up a list of quilting UFO’s that I want to make progress on. I did a list of ten. While on a FaceTime call the other night with Gail, I asked her to pick a number between 1-10. She picked number 7 which is my Flower Boxes quilt. It needs to be trimmed and bound. I started this sometime in the spring of 2020 and finished the quilting of it on my long arm in June of 2020 before I sold the long arm. Since then it has sat waiting for me to have time to finish it. Our grand daughter starts school this week, so blocks of time have now become available. This coming week I’ll get a large table set up so I can lay it out and trim it. After that making the binding and sewing it on is easy.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I have stalled out on my cross stitching for the moment. Our grand daughter went to a day camp a few weeks ago and while there she picked up a virus..... likely just a cold. She generously shared it with me. No one else got sick which is why it was likely just a cold virus. Anyhow, as usual when I get a cold I end up with a sinus infection and on antibiotics. All is better now though and I’m back to feeling like my normal self again. So instead of cross stitching which takes concentration and focus and counting, none of which I was up to, I worked on some knitting. I finished a pair of socks that have been on the go for at least a couple of years. 

My friend Gail stopped by briefly on their way home from a cottage vacation to drop off a birthday gift for me. We were supposed to go visit them while they were at the cottage, but that cold virus had other ideas and no one else wanted it to be shared. She gave me a skein of sock yarn which was the incentive to get that other pair finished. This is the yarn. It is dyed such a way as to automatically give an interesting striping design while being knitted. I love this type of sock yarn. It is so much fun to see the design emerge while knitting.So much fun in fact that I finished the first sock in record time... 4 days. And then I started the second sock, thinking that I would continue on and get them both done in a week. But I seem to have stalled. But that’s ok, it was a let's see if I can do it sort of thing rather than a necessity. The yarn is made by a company called Schachenmayr with the brand name Regia. They have a large selection of colours and striping designs available in most good yarn stores and certainly online should any of you have an interest in making fun socks.

I’m going to link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then check out what the rest of the slow stitchers are up to.