Sunday, February 24, 2019

Some Quilting, Some Knitting, Some Cats

Honestly, it's a miracle that I have any crafting to share at all. I have six IEP meetings in the next two weeks -- I know a few of you know how insane that is. But those six weather days really put me behind, and now it's catch-up time.

I worked quite a bit at home yesterday, and I was planning to work again today, but around 10 this morning my mom called. She'd fallen, so Keith and I went to the hospital with her. Luckily there were no broken bones, but she has some nasty bruises.

I have been focusing more on quilting than knitting lately. For one thing, I'm trying to stay on track with my Collage Cat (Pattern: Purrfect). I have finished cutting out all the little pieces and fusing them onto the base.
Next I have to cut it out, put it on a background and free-motion stitch the cat. My free-motion skills are not very developed, so I think a very busy piece like this is perfect. I'm hoping the stitches won't show too much!

I've been hand sewing and embroidering brightly colored art quilts that make me happy. This is my favorite so far:
It's called "Fractured" because it's made of fractured circles. The only part that's done by machine is the binding.

I went to my LYS with a non-knitting friend, who picked out these gorgeous yarns for me to make hat from. I'm going to improvise a Fair Isle design. I'll probably throw in some white to make it work.
My adorable gran-kitty (i.e. Rachel's cat) was neutered last week. She is not enjoying wearing a cone at all.
It has been cold and wet all weekend. During my breaks from working yesterday, I had a cup of tea and did some reading. I am both reading and listening to Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum because there is so much to absorb.
During my trip to Eastern Europe last summer, I realized how little I knew about the Soviet era, and I am enjoying this book -- though it doesn't seem quite right to enjoy a book about such a grim subject. It is terrifying to learn how quickly countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia fell under totalitarian rule. I wonder if Americans would vote differently if they knew more history?

Kola and Nagi know how to make the most of a winter weekend:
Snow is predicted for four of the next seven days. It has been a long time since we had a real winter like this. And speaking of snow, our school days will be seven minutes longer starting tomorrow to make up for all those weather days. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

This Post Is Brought To You By Kola

Maybe she is going stir-crazy from all the snow, although that would be strange in a house cat. Or maybe she is just crazy! Either way, Kola has been quite entertaining today as snow continues to blanket Wisconsin. She puts herself in the oddest positions.
I am glad that it is snowing on the weekend because we can't afford to lose any more school days. Making up the six days we missed is going to be painful enough. We are going to have some long days going forward.
The view from our front porch.
Because this is perfect weather for casting on, I decided to start a second Free Your Fade. I wear my first one a lot, so I decided to make another. I've started with Wonderland Yarns Mary Ann in Victorian China (isn't that a great name?) and eventually I'll fade to Twisted Owl in Razz-Ma-Tazz.
A number of you asked about Ruth's Risters. The pattern is not on Ravelry. She gives it away free when you buy the yarn from her. You can email her at
Kola definitely approves of my Rambling Rows Afghan. At first, I thought it was a mistake to use two different colorways, but as it has gotten larger, I like the contrast. As you can tell, I have a long way to go.
Keith and I don't do Valentine's Day, but a student who graduated in June of last year popped into school with this:
That jar is filled with chocolate Kisses, which I am not sharing!

And one last photo of Kola, who seems to be wondering why we keep waking her up from her nap to scratch her head.
It looks like the snow is slowing down, so tomorrow should be a school day!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Always Catching Up

It seems like I am always catching up, both with my blog posting and reading. You would think that I'd have tons of blog time with all this cold weather, but there is always something to do. You know how that is! It's a busy time for special ed teachers. February through April is always IEP season, so I've been working quite a bit.

My main knitting has been two projects that go back to the knitting retreat I went to a few weeks ago.  An older lady named Ruth always vends at this retreat, and I fell in love with her original pattern: Ruth's Risters. The first hand is about done:
 The mitts are made with two strands of Knit One Crochet Too Soxx Appeal. This yarn was discontinued a few years ago. Ruth loves it so much that when she heard they were discontinuing it, she bought all the remaining stock from the manufacturer! I find the yarn is a big hard on my hands, but the finished mitts are cozy and soft.

Ruth also stocks a lot of Cottage Creation patterns. Do you know about this Iowa designer? She is especially well known for The Wonderful Wallaby. I haven't made that pattern, but I love her Babies and Bears Sweater. I had never seen The Rambling Rows afghan before and it was love at first sight.

When I looked through the projects on Ravelry, the ones I really loved were made with Noro Silk Garden. Can you imagine the cost of a Noro afghan? Me, neither. One of the ladies at the retreat suggested that I substitute Plymouth Gina, which turned out to be ingenious:
Last weekend, I took a sewing class with my mother-in-law, where we learned how make fabric collages. I chose a cat pattern, Purrfect:
Is that fun or what? Cutting out all those pieces takes some time, but I like handwork, so I don't mind. It's bigger than it looks, so it is going to be a challenge to quilt it.

So, I'll leave you with a real cat. Kola just loves bathroom fixtures.
And yes, we know we need to update this bathroom. It has the original pink fixtures from when the house was built in 1955.