Sunday, December 19, 2010

The SUNDAY Before Xmas

I have been busy scurrying around town. Drove out to an industrial area to buy welding wires. Read on line somewhere that they are stainless steel and about 36" long and can be used to block lace. Since I have been knitting shawls like crazy since I finished my Prairie Schooler ABC, I needed blocking wires. 

To block the shawls and scarves, I put them in my top load washer--one at a time--and each time soaked them for about 20 minutes in cold water. Then I put each one on the spin cycle. After that I have inserted the welding wires along each side--2 per side--3 along the top--and t-pinned them into my carpet under the pool table in the family room. You want to stretch them a lot in order to show off the "lace" pattern.

This is the shawl that I made for my oldest daughter, Katie. I purchased the yarn at Joanne's. It is a multi colored boucle. Am making the same shawl in a different color way for my other daughter, Linda. This is a very easy pattern called LaLa's Simple Shawl.

This is part of a scarf that I made last winter. I think I will give it to my sister-in-law. Last winter I did not know about blocking so I pinned it to the carpet over an old mattress pad this morning to block it. Really shows off the patterns.

This is the same shawl as above but in a different yarn. I made it for my mom who at 89 is pretty tiny now a days. She doesn't like dark colors. This pattern is so terrific because you can end it at any length or when you run out of yarn--very versatile and mindless to knit.

STRIP TWIST—Finally got this quilt on the wall to photograph. It is a pattern from (lots of free scrappy quilt patterns) and is not really put together on point. Just looks that way. I have made this quilt twice before (with lots of reds.) Finished this top last year, but I had not quilted it. Used a wonderful swirl pattern. Added the keyboard borders at each end to make it twin sized.

 One year I stitched these pre-finished little purses for my sampler group for Christmas. I love bargello.

In 1999 I was asked to design an ornament for the White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room. This is the photo of a duplicate that I made. My husband and I traveled to DC and were able to attend the reception for those who had stitched/made ornaments that year. The theme was "Our National Heritage." It was a wonderful experience. I designed my ornament so that it would stand out on that huge tree--and it did even though it was placed quite high on the tree. The decorations at the White House that year were lovely. We flew out to DC and then traveled to Williamsburg as I said to my husband that I could not be that close to Williamsburg at Christmas and not go there to see the decorations. He took lots of photos for me and we had a great time as early December is not a big attendance month and the weather was great. We then drove up to Alexandria and stayed there enjoying the stores and restaurants. DC was void of many tourists so we had the museums to ourselves. I had heard that in previous years the first lady would serve tea and cookies to the "tree artists" but Hillary was no where to be seen...

I knitted what seemed like a million of these huge stockings many years ago. I had purchased at least one kit of each design and then made more with the extra yarn.

I used to go with my neighbor Donna to her church on a Saturday where a former member drove in from Valparaiso, Indiana, to help us make baskets. We had a wonderful time and made quite a few different shapes. Then her children got bigger, and she became too involved with their activities to come up here. Sigh. It was so much fun. This is my Christmas card basket.

This little ornament was stitched on green congress cloth in a class with Shay Pendray at my ANG guild. Shay is the host of the only stitching show on TV and also hosts a knitting show.

I took this class from my friend Joan McAuley at my Fox Valley EGA guild. It is all pulled thread which I love to stitch. We covered our own buttons (holly berries.)

This tiny ornament has one of those buttons inside that plays a tune. 
As I recall, mine plays "Silver Bells." It is stitched with perle cotton on aida cloth--very easy.

This was supposed to be a scissor fob, but I hate scissor fobs swaying when I am trying to make an essential cut of my thread, etc. So I designated him for my tree. He was a free pattern and I can't remember where I found it.

Well, I have to go and dig up some lunch. My friend Bev is coming over this afternoon to finish quilting her doggy quilt, and I have more projects to begin/finish. Could use another 2 weeks before Xmas!! Spent the day with my mom yesterday and we visited both my daughters and shopped a bit. Since there's nothing terrific on TV, Bill and I are rewatching NYPD Blue from a set we have. We can't remember much from years ago about each episode, but think the acting is quite good compared to what is now on TV—and the actors look so young! I am knitting on the shawl for Linda every night during the show. Next I have a bunny to knit for grandson, Ryan. It's from a pattern that I saw on Knit & Crochet Today TV show. Small and cute. I downloaded it from their website. 
Talk soon. --Nancy

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