Last fall, while the cousins were cleaning out my aunts house, I dug up some of the sweet pea roots she had growing on the side of her house.  She was moving.  Sweet pea’s are my birth flower and I wanted an everlasting memory of my aunt.

It was late fall. It was a last minute impulse, so I wasn’t really careful about what I was doing.  I  planted the roots in my flower garden with the hopes that they would grow.  In the spring, I saw some small growth. I was excited and hoped they would fill in over time. I was thinking years.Sweet Pea

That shows you what I know.  They must be a very hearty plant.  They are growing  like wild fire.  I’m so excited and happy.

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Now I will always have something to remember my aunt by.  It also reminds me to call her every time I see them.

C

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TSNEM July 2016

For the month of July, I picked up knitting again.  I have knit before.  It has been a while.  So why is it new?  I tried socks on circular needles. I have never knit sock or used a circular needle.

A friend of mine is a wonderful knitter. She loaned me a book on “Socks From The Toe Up.”Scks from the toe up

I went to a local yarn store and purchased some yummy blue washable wool yarn and two circular needles.  Me being me thought I would be able to take that hank of yarn and easily turn it into ball. Boy was I wrong.  If you have never done this, please ask for assistance.  I spent 4 – 5 hours unraveling the mess I made of that yarn.

Following the instruction for Judy’s Magic Cast-On, it took me 4 -5 tries to get the appropriate number of stitches cast on the needles.  Then it took another 4 -5 tries to knit the first row.  I was able to knit up to the heal turn. But not without issues. I kept dropping stitches. Somehow added a stitch.  But now I need help figuring out the instructions.

I reached out to my friend Katie again. She guided me through the instructions on how to complete the heel turn and the heel flap. It is a little tricky. The pattern I am following calls for a slip stitch heel.  I have never worked a slip stitch pattern.  I like the way it looks.  The reasoning behind using the slip stitch is to give more strength and thickness to the back of the heel for better wear.

With help from the internet and YouTube videos, I finished off with a Russian Bind Off. I was hoping this would not be too tight as I have large calves, but it is a bit tight. I’m glad I didn’t make the sock too tall.  Does anyone know how to loosen the bind off?

Now to start the other sock.

C

Update: I took out most of the bind off.  I proceeded with binding off again. This time I used a larger needle. Now it’s much better.

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TSNEM – June 2016

Yeah, I know. It’s July. But I finished my June project a little late. June was a heavy craft. This is not something I generally do. I work mostly in fabric. But I did have an idea.

This past winter, I kept picking up coats and jackets. My husband and I have gotten into the habit of throwing our coats on the sofa or treadmill, even tough we have a perfectly good closet. We needed a coat rack of some sort.

I didn’t want one that stood in the corner. I wanted it somewhat hidden.  The stairs to the basement is just to the side of the back door. So I decided to have something on the wall as you go down stairs.  I wanted also to use items I had in the house.

I found a nice piece of oak that my husband was using as a shelf in the basement. He said I could use it. Sanded it down, stained it, finished it with two coats of poly. Ain’t it pretty!

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A few years ago, I purchased these fleur de lis curtain tie backs.  I thought these would make great hooks. My husband drilled 4 holes for the hooks and counter sunk the back for the screws.  He also pre-drilled the holes for the hanging screws. I used a little nail polish for thread lock so they won’t come loose.

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It took use a few tries to find the wall studs. But we did. It’s nice and secure.

I love way it came out. I can’t wait to use it this winter. It will be nice not having the coats and jackets lying around everywhere.

C

FAL2016 3rd Quarter

I have two quilts plan to finish this quarter. One is from last quarter. I got the borders done but didn’t get it quilted. I have been washing the backing but can’t get it to stop bleeding. I have found a tutorial on pre-washing that I have used. It has been to hot to boil that much water.

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The second quilt is for my great niece Anna. It was for when she was born. She’s 2 now and expecting a sister any day now. Again I got stuck on a border. I feel it’s need another one. Just haven’t found the right one in my stash. I guess I need to go shopping.

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Now to figure out how to quilt these.

C

Again, I didn’t finish all of my 2nd quarter goals.  But I probably wouldn’t have gotten any of them done if it were not for this challenge. I did finish the binding from the 1st quarter though.

I got the 2 mini’s quilted, but I haven’t finished the binding. I know they are small and wouldn’t take long. I just need to make the squares to put in the corners for a hanging rod. I promise, I’ll do it this week.  They are cute though.

I also finish the generous lap quilt. I had fun quilting it. I put some straight line quilting in the red plaid, floral designs in the squares, curls in the background and leaf feathers in the blue plaid. I like the way it came out.  I have had this for a while. It’s Thimbleberry’s fabric from way back.  I even had some Thimbleberry flannel for the back and binding.

The last one I didn’t get quilted. I had a hard time figuring out the borders. I almost gave up. So I went back through my stash and found the solid blue. It was exactly what I was looking for. Now to quilt it. I have the backing. I just need to decide how to quilt it. I have a few ideas. I just need to decide.20160702_140611

What do you think? How would you quilt it?

C

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Hike in a Skirt

Over this past winter, I attended a lecture on hiking in winter.  The lecturer stated she always hikes in a skirt. Even in the winter. She just wears a base layer or two under the skirt.  I was intrigued with the idea of wearing a skirt but didn’t want to spend the money on something I might not like.  I had a pair of hiking paints that I was planning on shortening, so I refashioned it into a skirt instead.

The pant has some holes near the hem, so refashioning them was a given.  First was removing all the inseam stitches, which took while.

Once the seam was removed, I laid the pants flat, aligning the outer seams. Using my rotary cutter, I cut off the legs.  Then straightened the remaining leg, cutting off the crotch arch.  Using the cut off leg sections, I filled in the area between the legs.  First marking the cutoff leg to fit the area, then adding a seam allowance.

I hemmed the new skirt using a multi-step zigzag.  And wa-la, I have a skirt.  I have worn it a few times while hiking. I love it.  It makes peeing in the woods much easier.

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I’m such a fashion plate while hiking. Comfort is the name of the game. Me before heading up the Smarts Mountain.

The only issue is modesty.  I have since made a pair of shorts/underwear to wear under my skirt. I will show you those in a future post.

What do you think? Would you hike in a skirt?

C

TSNEM April 2016

April’s category is edible crafts.  When I think of an edible craft, I think of sweets.  I really did not want something sweet in my house.  It is only myself and my husband. We both work from home. The opportunity to give any sweets away is slim.  I already make chicken jerky for my pups, so I looked for a recipe to make a different treat for them.

A couple of year ago there was a scare with some of the imported dog treats.  There is less regulations when it comes to pet food than is for people food.  So I started making my own chicken jerky for my pups. So for April, I decided to make a different treat. I got so into making the treats I forgot to take pictures.

20160428_085000First came the research. There are tons of recipes available. Choosing one was difficult. If your pet has allergies, you can alter recipes according to the specific allergy.  This is the recipe I settled on http://bakeatmidnite.com/pumpkin-oat-dog-biscuits/.  I did add dried parsley flakes.  Parsley is good for bad breath.

I didn’t make them any special shape. The pups don’t care.  They love them.  I brought the new treats on a hike. Maggie ate through the bag to get at them.  So I would say they are a hit.

The chicken jerky is easy to make.  The hardest part is slicing the chicken up.  These are good for hiking as the pups need protein while hiking.

Chicken jerky for pups

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  • 1 chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Dried parsley

Set the oven on warm – 200°

Oil a sheet of aluminum foil. I just pour a bit of oil on the foil then spread it around with a paper towel.  You don’t need a lot of oil. Just enough to grease the foil so the chicken won’t stick. It still sticks a little, but it helps.

Slice the chicken into ¼ thick pieces and place them on the foil in a single layer. They don’t need a lot of space between the pieces but they should not touch.  Sprinkle with the parsley.  I sprinkle generously.

Place is the oven. This is the tricky part. It may be helpful to use a cookie sheet to transfer the chicken laden foil to the oven.  Bake for 6 – 8 hours, or until dry and crispy. Turning once half way through.

I store them in a zip bag in the refrigerator.  I don’t know how long they will keep. Because they don’t last long in my house.

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of my pups hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Let me know if you try a treat recipe and how your pup liked it.

C

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