Intro to projects, where am I?

15. quilt for Mom — Still at the idea stage, but I know I want it to be patriotic in nature, because Mom loves it.
16. potholders — Found fabric and have quilted one experimentally. Haven’t done binding yet, but once I’ve got one done, I’ll cut out in large quantities.
17. jewelbox quilt — Currently on hold. I got distracted by quilt classes.
18. preemie sleeper for charity/friends; also need to make a hat — Finished and gave one to friends, not sure if she got to wear it. Finished the second one except for closures. Will find out if they want to give it to the hospital or find someone to give it to directly. Started knitting a preemie hat as an experiment with yarn.
19. bags — Working on the crazy quilting handwork of the pocket that I want to put on the current bag. Almost done there. Bought material for another one, with strong interfacing. Will see if that works.
20. yellow dress (muslin first! since the batik dress showed that the sizing is not perfect) — have cut the muslin; in the meantime, undid the batik dress in order to make it fit better. It was just too large to wear. Still sewing it back up.
21. winter dresses — Asked for suggestions on Pattern Review and got several. Bought one, but haven’t done anything else yet
22. spinning for grey sweater — doing other spinning in the meantime. Plied and wound up in hanks some of it. Also have spinning for brown sweater, but not ready to work on it yet. The grey sweater spinning is practice. Plus got some batts from Grafton Fibers that I’ve been playing with, as well as as some from a nearby fiber shop so I can experiment with other breeds of sheep and my hand spindle (Bought a Bosworth at MS&W; really like its weight).
23. Celtic blackwork pattern — Won’t even start that until closer to done on Castle cross-stitch. But have moved on to the dragon stitching.
24. wristwarmers with leftover yarn from springtime hat (I need to tell you about that one too.) — shawl idea didn’t work out, but still using the same stitch pattern; sitting in WIP basket. It just wasn’t exciting me. Maybe give up on this one?
25. possibilities for leftovers — did some baby bootees with leftover yarn from #28. Log cabin knitting from MD Knitting strikes me as a good possibility.
26. purplish brown cardigan w/very special yarn — decided I didn’t like the pattern I’d chosen, so holding off until I find one or design one.
27. Lochinver sweater — Started that this month, pretty much as soon as I finished the Irish Diamond Shawl. I knew it was next and I’d already done all my swatching.
28. new baby sweater — Finished that one in a month. Did I tell you about it? Clearly I need to backtrack on that one. It was also something of an experiment.
29. prayer shawl #2 — Changed the pattern again; doing regular blocks of stockinette in framework of garter. Looks much better with this yarn.
30. Quilt wall hanging — Feathered Star that is approximately 48″ square (I think), product of a class I took in pursuance of my yearly goals to improve my skills. I’m going to make it into a wall hanging for the dining room area, where I have a lovely bare space from removing an ancient and non-working intercom/radio system (my house was built in the ’60’s/’70’s) that I took out and patched. (With some help, since it was the first time I’d done that.)
31. Evergreen quilt — Second class I took. Going to make myself a quilt for my bedroom; twin-size bed. Evergreen pattern from new book that came out just this year, called French Braid Quilts. I got part of a braid done, but haven’t picked it up since the class, due to lack of time and focus at home.
32. Started one of the linen hand towels (Mesh Grid, I think) in Mason-Dixon Knitting as a test for knitting with linen yarn. Not so bad, although not a profound pleasure.
33. Next lace shawl, already contemplating the Garden Shawl or Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting, Sampler Shawl from Folk Shawls, or Leaf Lace Shawl from Karabella Yarns (old? not on their website). Already have at least two possible yarns to use, maybe a third. Having a hard time finding what I want for the Peacock Feathers shawl, so that one will probably wait. Anyone know where to find laceweight silk or silk/wool blend with shimmery blue/purple/green peacock colors? I’d hate to do it in non-peacock colors. And for this shawl, I’ll go against the “don’t use variegated yarns on lace shawls” rule that I follow. It’s just cries out for those shades.
34. Socks with Koigu yarn.

Anyway, that’s the progress report.

Sometimes I surprise myself when I realize how much I’m working on.

Time to go work on something.

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New achievement

This weekend I achieved a first. What dazzling skill did I conquer? (Well, “conquer” in the beginner sense.)

Canning!

For the first time in my life, I canned tomatoes all by my lonesome. Actually, I think it’s the first time I canned tomatoes at all. Previous canning adventures with friends were for jam/preserves, cherry, blueberry, and peach — not all at once.

It was ever so slightly sweaty work. If AC didn’t exist — I don’t know how we survived. I mean, I don’t even use the AC that heavily compared to some, since I’m cold-blooded and am comfortable at slightly warmer temps. But when you’re boiling water on the stove for over an hour and a half…

Anyway, as I read through the book once again and dealt with the dangers of botulism, I realized that if I wanted to do this on any kind of large scale with vegetables, I was going to have to buy a pressure canner, not just a boiling water canner. Of course, those are more expensive. A comparably sized pressure canner is $80.00 or more (high quality ones are considerably more), whereas a boiling water canner is $20 or less.

The pressure canner needs to go on the Xmas list.

This whole canning adventures is part of my attempts to eat local, not just in summer, but all year long. I won’t be able to achieve it completely, but every little bit helps. To me, it’s a combination of responsible stewardship of the earth, and direct benefits of health and taste to me. Decreasing my footprint on the earth when I don’t need to be that wasteful is, well, important to me.

Anyway, that’s the philosophy for the day. Canning is one more step on the road to eating locally more than 50% of the time, which is the first basic goal; although how I’m going to quantify 50% I’m not sure yet.

I’m baaaaaackkkkkk!

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, coming back to my blog, I mean. So let me start off by saying — I offer no excuses and no promises. I blog when I want to, for myself. And now I’m ready to return.

So what do I want to talk about? A finished object!!!

This month I finally finished the Irish Diamond Shawl!!! This is major. It was a long project, being my first lace knitting and a fairly large shawl. I hope to post a picture once I get them developed (once again the lack of digital camera annoys me; it is moving up in the need to buy list). I have received several compliments and am very pleased. So much so that I am already starting the process of selecting the next lace project. But I’ll come back and talk about these things later; right now I do need to work.