Needle, thread & yarn end of November

Off and on I have regretted never learning to knit or crochet. Any sewing has been basically self-taught, though, and given all of the videos and tutorials on the Net I thought to check and see if there were some videos in regards to knitting on You Tube.  Yes there were.

I didn’t watch any, but knowing that they were available, I picked up some knitting needles at Walmart and a small skein of yarn when I was there for dog food and other basics. I also picked up a crochet hook.

Well, once I started to run through the videos it was amazing. If you knit, you will laugh. If you don’t knit…well, first you have to make a slip knot. There must be 20 different ways to do just that. Next you have to ‘cast on’. I couldn’t stay with the lady who had every fingernail painted differently and moved on to another. This method has you wrapping the yarn around your hand, finger and thumb …and doing some complicated dance with them, and once I nailed that down I cast on about 40 stitches. Go Me!

Next I wanted to try the other method which uses the two needles.  I figured that I’d better learn that since I’d be using two needles for the knit stitch. Two hours later I was beserk. I’d been sorting through videos and personalities…some moved too fast, some didn’t have the best camera shots, etc. Still when I found a few that I could understand, I couldn’t do it. The stitches just kept slipping off. I felt so clumsy!

Finally it dawned on me that I was using long skinny slippery metal needles and almost every video had wooden or bamboo ones. I had not seen those in Walmart, so I ended up going to JoAnn Fabrics for some.  I purchased a thin set and a slightly thicker set.  I had to drop everything and get there before Black Friday and all the craziness, too.

They are easier to use but it all still feels incredibly awkward. I must be the slowest learner on the planet.  I have no major goals other than learning to knit a scarf or something simple but for the moment, I am just casting on to the one needle, then trying to master the knit stitch to transfer over the other needle.  I am just learning to get comfortable with these needles and yarn.  I had some yarn here that I tie quilts with. I also purchased a small skein of a very thin yarn, and then a bulkier wool yarn. After I transfer about 30 stitches back and forth, I simply unravel and plan to do it again in the next practice session.

Here’s the thin yarn. When I used the bulky wool one it felt so different to work with!

yarn

Aside from this,  prior to Thanksgiving I quilted a bit, and managed to paper piece another starflower for the spools quilt center.

2nd starflower EPP

Two more little baskets for the ‘Whimsy’ quilt:

2 basket blocks

Then, I don’t know if you read the post or remember, but I did a post about winning the sewing machine at The Blogger’s Quilt Festival ( Here )   On the same day, a very nice offer was in my email from Susan over at Desert Sky Quilts, and I mentioned that in the post as well. ” Susan was offering to send me some reproduction era fabric scraps and pieces for a quilt that I wanted to make.”

Well, no sewing machine yet but the day before Thanksgiving, Susan’s package arrived and I was just amazed! While I knew that she’d mailed it, and that she’d been cutting out fabric when she had a spare moment here and there, I didn’t expect this wonderful variety! What a sweet and generous person she is.

Take a look :

fabric pile from susan 1

Wait, there’s more. I couldn’t fit all of it into one picture.

fabrics from susan 2

Hold on…not done yet!! :)

fabric pile from susan 3

I had expressed a desire to start an old-fashioned dark sort of quilt…I showed a few spool blocks that I was starting with, and mentioned that I did not have a lot of stash for this sort of thing but would try to work with what I had and build the stash a bit here and there with sale fabrics or something…Susan the Stash Angel just offered out of the blue and the kindness of her heart.

Thank you Susan. You made my day the day that you offered…and certainly made my day when this wonderful variety showed up in the mail! :)

While I do want to get a few Christmas decorations up, for Slow Sunday stitching, I cut into Susan’s gift a bit on Saturday for the 3rd starflower and can work on appliqueing it, and perhaps begin another one.

3rd starflower

While I’d started it on Saturday, all thoughts of finishing it went out the window when little Koopa arrived with my youngest son. After a play session with my dogs outdoors and then more play in the house,  he’s tuckered out in this picture and enjoying a bone. Needle, thread and yarn fall by the wayside when a puppy shows up! :) Look at those paws. He is going to be huge.

Koopa and bone

You might also enjoy : 5 Christmastime Randoms  or Merry Christmas Cookies Day  or Vintage Appliances 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts / Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / Freshly Pieced / French Country Cottage

Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast

On the Monday prior to Thanksgiving we had a second warm day giving us a break from the bitter cold that we had experienced earlier in the week. Thank goodness because I think that I have had to run my heat more this November than in the last ten years here. So that small two day break was welcome.

The sunrise was glorious that morning, but I was too occupied with the grandkids to catch any photos. Later on, the wind was very strong…we had gusts of 50 mph. or more all afternoon. I had a lot of roof shingles in my yard!

I did get out there to catch some pre-sunset photos :

sunset 2

sunset 3

sunset

My oldest is home from St. Louis for Thanksgiving week. He is staying with my middle son ( I have 3 ) since the spare bed there is more comfortable than my couch.  On Thanksgiving, I cooked my turkey early, then made gravy, and took it down there for turkey / gravy sandwiches at lunchtime.

Later on they had friends over and the menu consisted of ribs, cornbread, salad, sweet potato fries and then one of the guys was frying up some deer meat…it tasted delicious! My youngest brought his little puppy over and I enjoyed playing fetch with him…he’d chase the ball clear across the room and end up sliding on the slippery floor in the end; too cute.

This was not the ‘real’ Thanksgiving dinner…that will be on Friday.

On Friday some 20+ people will gather for a traditional dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and so on…my son plans to wrap his turkey in bacon, then fry up the bacon to use with collard greens.

The oldest is making the stuffing. He says this is the best stuffing recipe he’s ever had. I am looking forward to trying it. He had several loaves of Italian bread cut up and drying. I know that the recipe has red peppers, onions, sausage, celery, basil and oregano and cooking wine…we made broth for it from the turkey neck and giblets yesterday. Not sure if there is anything else in the recipe but I’ll find out later.

I still have half of my own turkey meat here, ( after using some for those hot sandwiches-w-gravy yesterday ) and that will go towards a few pot pies and soup over the weekend. I think that I look forward to the soup more than anything. As soon as the meat’s off my turkey all of those bones and bits go into a pot for the first stage of broth-making. I did that yesterday.  This morning I’ll skim the fat off of the top and go on to the second stage with the vegetables and later on some rice or noodles.

And the other wonderful thing about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie for breakfast. I am not sure if any of you do that but I love it :)

If you haven’t made pot pies in awhile I posted a recipe on Wednesday; it’s  tried and true, and best of all, easy! :)