Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Berroco Link Yarn ~ Have you tried it yet?

Neither have I, but I am so excited to sink my size 35 knitting needles into my new skein of it! If you haven't heard of it yet, keep on reading!

Here it is! My very own skein/hank/ball/bundle or whatever you want to call it of Berroco's new Link yarn! Doesn't it look just scrumptious? It is made of 50% wool and 50% acrylic and is just as soft as butter.

This yarn is so thick that it calls for size 50 knitting needles! Just so you know, size 50 is about as big in cross-section as a quarter! HUGE! But the pattern I am making with this ball of yarn calls for size 50's smaller cousin, size 35!

Here's a picture of a size 8 knitting needle in this yummy new Link yarn. Looks a little lost there! I'll be starting a quick project with this yarn tomorrow morning when I meet some friends for coffee and some needlework, so you can count on some pictures very soon!

If you are interested in trying this fun new yarn, take a peek over at Noble Knits where you can find it in some lovely color combinations, and always with free shipping and excellent service. I love to recommend businesses that have treated me well, and Noble Knits is one of them. They will treat you well too!

Now back to my Christmas sewing...time's running out!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting Ready...

It's that time of year. Time to wrap up the gardens and look ahead to winter. So yesterday while it was still dry outside and not too cold, and with the help of my two favorite little workers, we raked all the huge piles of leaves over the hill in our backyard and harvested the last of our plentiful carrot crop and a few stray onions. The ground will be frozen here very soon, and since we have raised gardens, we cannot harvest in the winter since we can't keep them warm. Take a look at our final harvest...

It's a pretty picture, but the smell was unbelievable! You should have smelled the wonderful, fragrant smell of these carrots and onions fresh from the garden. So different from what you get in the store! It took me forever to scrub all these carrots, but now we have stored them all away in the veg drawers to use as needed over the next few months. Some will be served with Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night, some will be cut up and put in the pot when I cook the turkey bones for broth, some will be chopped up for turkey dumpling stew over the weekend, some will be grated for my husband's birthday carrot cake next week, some will be steamed for various dinner side dishes, and perhaps some will just be cut up and munched for snacks. However they are served, they are so delicious!

And this is what I did today - four batches of Christmas jellies! Aren't they pretty? The first two rows are White Grape Cherry and the back two rows are Red Grape. These will be used as gifts for teachers, friends, visitors and of course our wonderful neighbors who frequently drive their snow plow up our driveway saving my husband hours of shoveling!

No needlework was done today, but after dinner and the usual bedtime routine, I plan to sit in my cozy chair with my latest crochet project and stitch up another color section of this scrap afghan I'm working on. Sounds like the perfect evening to me!

I hope all of you here in the US enjoy a wonderful day of Thanksgiving with and for family, friends and good food. I'll be back soon with an update on my Fandango Cartwheels quilt top and another project that is long overdue but must be finished soon and mailed out for Christmas! Wish me luck!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

And the Winner is...

Samantha from Confessions of a Twin Mom! And what did she win, you ask? Well this is my official 800th post here at Hooked On Needles, and Samantha is the winner of my little celebration giveaway that I posted recently! I've already been in touch with her and will send her prize out very soon. Congratulations to Samantha and many thanks to all of you who joined in the celebration and entered my giveaway! We should do it again soon, don't you think? Perhaps a little Christmas celebration will be in order, after we celebrate Thanksgiving of course!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fandango Cartwheels Quilt ~ Coming Along!

This is post number 799 here at Hooked on Needles! Do you know what that means? I think it means I had a lot to say about needlework over the past 3 1/2 years! It also means that the winner of my Fall Giveaway will be announced on my very next post, number 800! So if you haven't entered yet, click over HERE and follow the rules. They're easy, I promise!

Then come back here and check out my progress on the Fandango Cartwheels quilt I've been working on...I just love it!

Fandango Cartwheels Quilt ~ Coming Along!Aren't these fabrics just fabulous?

Fandango Cartwheels Quilt ~ Coming Along!Couldn't you picture this quilt draped over the back of a cozy couch in a Florida room or covering a twin size bed in a very up-to-date girl's bedroom?

Fandango Cartwheels Quilt ~ Coming Along!I absolutely cannot wait to get this all sewn up and loaded on the long arm machine! I have a nice selection of yardage to piece together for the backing, so it will be almost like a reversible quilt when it's finished!

Turkey dumpling stew is almost ready, so I best be moving along. Be sure to enter my own giveaway HERE and also the one over at The Girl Creative for a chance at a $25 shopping spree in my Etsy shop. They will both be ending soon!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!

Do you have a handwork project that you work on in the evenings when you finally sit down to relax? Mine is usually some kind of knit or crochet project, and this is my latest finish, just in time for the cold weather...

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!It's a scrappy afghan made with leftover Red Heart worsted weight yarn from other projects. When I recently cleaned out my sewing room and destashed lots of fabric and yarn, this is some of the yarn I had left. I had started this scrappy afghan last spring just to use up what I had left from the first Reflections afghan I made. Then I had to stop working on it because the weather had warmed up, making crocheting much too hot to be enjoyable. When the cool weather returned, I had found more Red Heart that needed a home, so I started adding one color at a time until I had used up lots more leftovers!

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!The woven stitch, shown HERE, HERE and HERE, is one of my very favorite stitches to use for a crocheted afghan, and that is what I used on this one.

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!This picture reminds me of mint chocolate chip...YUM!

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!Doesn't that look like a bundle of cozy?

My 2011 Scrap Afghan in Crocheted Woven Stitch ~ Complete!This afghan measures 42 inches wide by 60 inches long, is machine wash and dry, and has already been listed in my Etsy shop for sale. Think handmade for Christmas this year! And support your local crafters! Speaking of local, if you are local to me and interested in this or any other item in my shop, please let me know and I'll deliver, saving you shipping charges!

And speaking of shopping, have you signed up for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to my shop? Click over to The Girl Creative and follow the rules for your chance to win, then get working on that Christmas shopping!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fandango Cartwheel Quilt in progress

Today is quite different here in New England than it was two weeks ago when we had that huge snow storm. It was actually warm and sunny when we went out to watch our youngest play her last soccer game of the season. Strange weather, but you know what they say about weather in New England...if you don't like it, just wait a minute!

Anyway, I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time in my sewing room this past week and I wanted to show you what I'm working on right now. It's a Moda Bake Shop quilt pattern called Cartwheels Quilt and I am using Kate Spain's Fandango fabric line. Here's a peek at the beginning...

I was lucky enough to win a Fandango jelly roll in a giveaway a while back, and then I found some cuts of Fandango yardage on clearance, and then I discovered this fun pattern over at the bake shop and that was that!

Most of the yardage will be used for a pieced back to this quilt, but I will save out one of them for the binding. I haven't decided which one yet.

Laying out all the strips is so much fun. I love to see each of the fabrics and discover how many prints there are in each color family and if there are any repeats.

As far as I could tell, each strip in this Fandango jelly roll was different! That's a lot of fabric designs!

Since taking these pictures, I have actually completed all the blocks and laid them out so next time I'll show pictures of my progress to date.

If you haven't signed up for my two giveaways yet, you might want to go HERE and HERE to do that. Make sure you follow the rules in each one so your entries will count!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!

This giveaway is now closed. Click HERE to see who the lucky winner is. Thanks to all who entered!

Today is 11/11/11 which I think is pretty cool. It's also fall here in New England, which I love. It's my very favorite season. And it's Veteran's Day here in the United States, so let's all take a moment to remember all those who have served this great country, which would include quite a few people in my family and I'm sure yours as well. And coming up soon here at Hooked on Needles, my 800th post will be published! Wow! 800! Whew! I think it's time for me to thank my readers for stopping by and seeing what's going on in my little corner of the world, whether it's every day or just every now and then. I do appreciate your visits, your comments and your friendships. So take a look at the little package I've put together...

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!Just a little collection of goodies that you might enjoy having, with a fall-ish sort of theme.

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!Three half-yard cuts of lovely fall fabric from a line called Fall Back In Time by one of my very favorite fabric designers, Sandy Gervais. She designs for Moda and I love every one of her fabrics!

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!A printed copy of my very own Awesome Fall Table Runner pattern so you can make an awesome table runner to dress up your Thanksgiving table. But if you don't win and still want to make one, you can purchase the PDF version of the pattern over there in my Etsy shop for only $5.00 and have it on your computer within 24 hours, but usually sooner! There is also one finished table runner for sale there too, so if you want one and don't want to make it, grab it quick!

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!And this lovely little sewing pouch with a pin cushion and little pockets built right into the inside of it. It also comes with a little matching needle book to keep your needles safe.

Fall 2011 ~ 800th Post Celebration!Doesn't it remind you of an old fashioned fancy little purse? I think it would be a very elegant way to carry your sewing supplies!

So that's what I'm offering for this little celebration giveaway, and whatever else I decide to include before I close up the package and mail it off to the lucky winner.

Here's what you have to do to win: Just hop on over to my Etsy shop and add it to your favorites. Or stop in and visit my Facebook page and "Like" it. Then come back here and leave a separate comment for each one you do so you can get credit for each one. I'll check, so if your name on Etsy or Facebook is different than your profile, please let me know in your comment.

I will announce the winner on my 800th post which should be coming up in the next week or so, and I will email the winner, so make sure your email address is available too.

And don't forget to stop in over at The Girl Creative and enter to win a $25 shopping spree in my Etsy shop!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm having a Giveaway!

But it's not here! Hop on over to The Girl Creative and check out the giveaway she is having. You could win a $25 shopping spree for my Etsy shop! Go, go, go! I'll be back soon with my own fall/800th post giveaway and progress on my current quilting and crochet projects.

See you soon!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Organizing patterns ~ Using Vertical Space

There is only so much space to put things and only so many places to store things, so when it comes to organizing our creative space, we have to be creative too! I have some cereal box and paper bag patterns for a few items that I make now and then, and up until now, they have always been stored flat, between other flat things, in the hopes that they would not get messed up and become unusable. But after my recent major clean-up and reorganization of my sewing space, I no longer have the table that used to take up one end of my sewing room. This change took away a lot of my horizontal storage space, but also caused me to have to put things away as I finish with them! That's a good thing! So here's my solution for storing flat things...

Organizing patterns ~ Using Vertical SpaceIt's a cafe curtain rod suspended by two Christmas stocking hangers, with shower curtain hangers holding the patterns! My sewing room is in our basement where there is a ledge built around the top of the foundation of the house. I can't reach it to use it as storage space, so I have some decorative items there and then this big blank wall behind my new ironing board. I was considering attaching a large piece of peg board, but I really didn't want to cover the wall with peg board, and I didn't want to drill holes in the wall. So since all the Christmas stuff is out in the stores already, I found a set of stocking hangers that are weighted and are made to sit on a mantle with the little hook thing hanging over the edge for the stocking. I picked up a set of these for $6, and a curtain rod to match those I used to hang my quilts, and put them together for my new pattern hanging solution! The rings I used are from the bath section of the store, and are actually shower curtain hangers that work exactly like the smaller hinged rings you might find at an office supply store to keep papers together.

Organizing patterns ~ Using Vertical SpaceThe pattern I made for the hand embroidered Christmas stockings is cut from a used cereal box. I punched a hole into the corner of each pattern piece and put them all on one ring, and did the same for the other patterns I have made. The tea cozy pattern is cut out of a brown grocery bag, and the two apron patterns are cut out of a roll of white craft paper I acquired from some long forgotten source years ago!

Organizing patterns ~ Using Vertical SpaceThe two Christmas stockings that are still waiting to be delivered are hanging on their own ring too.

So this is my creative and seasonally appropriate solution for storing items that I don't use every day, but items that need to stay safe and flat. I always have a little step ladder handy to reach things in a hurry, so when I need to use something off my hanger, I just hop up and reach over and take the whole curtain rod down to get what I need off of it, then pop it back onto the stocking hangers. I imagine a few other items will end up on rings of their own over time, until all four feet of the curtain rod are full.

Have you discovered a clever way to use your vertical space? Please share it in a comment below. It might help someone you don't even know out of a current storage pickle!

Happy Stitching!

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