Stopping By to Say Hi

As I've mentioned before, this month has been crazy-sauce around here. I just got back from a fabulous beach vacation on the island of St. Croix to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. This was the first vacation we've taken for just the 2 of us in 7 1/2 years, and the most amount of days I've ever been away from my kids. All of us did fine, although we're still scraping off the "rotten" the grandparents left on our kids after spoiling caring for them for 5 days. Here are a few pics from St. Croix:

 I took this pic to remind me that while cars are oriented with the steering wheel on the left like ours here on the mainland (St. Croix is a part of the US Virgin Islands), they drive on the left side of the road...! Hence, DH did all of the driving lol.

I'm sure I'll be chit-chatting all about our trip in an upcoming podcast episode, so stay tuned! In other, more crafty shenanigans, I haven't been doing much sewing but a lot of sketching and art journaling (yes I made that a verb, which I'm sure is grammatically eyeroll-worthy. Sorry Grammar Police!). I keep meaning to do some posts about sketching and art journals so once I'm back from BEA (Book Expo America), I'll get right on that....at my usual 1-2 month time lapse/speed.

Here is one of my recent faves:

Close-up of the face (which is a stencil I added lines and color to):

I'm thinking of pushing myself in June and doing a 15 minute sketch or art journal page every day for the 30 days. I'll admit to not always being the best at seeing these kind of challenges all the way through, but I figure even if I get 10-12 mini projects out of it, no harm no foul, right?

As I mentioned, I'm off to BEA tomorrow, so if you're a book nerd like me, and want to see some of the shenanigans and goings on while I'm there, follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter @craftygardenmom. And even if social media beyond reading blogs isn't your thing, I'll fill you in on it all in an upcoming post and podcast episode.

Off to shake the sand out of my suitcase and change it over from shorts and sundresses to business casual pants and comfortable stand-all-day-and-night shoes (boooo!)

See ya soon!



CGM Podcast Episode #64: Interview with Nell Timmer/Windham Fabrics

Listen to the episode here

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • May is "bring the crazy" month around here!
  • Upcoming travel: work and pleasure
  • Not a whole lot of crafting going on
WIPs/FOs: ...see above. 
  • Short chat about travel knitting:
    • Hitchhiker scarf using Miss Bab's Yowza (see previous post for pic and better explanation of this wonderful yarn!)
Interview with Nell Timmer from Windham Fabrics!
Classic Movie:

with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy

Book Review: slim pickings lately, BUT I did mention these upcoming books:
  •  Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (Oct 2014)
  • Armada by Ernest Cline (Oct 2014)
  • All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner (8/28/14)
Thanks for listening!



What We're Reading This Month

Me: I am headed to BEA (Book Expo America) at the end of this month, and have a lot of advance reading to do before then. So I'm catching up as much as possible!

Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson
(on sale 5/27, I am reading an advance copy)

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
(on sale 10/14, I'm reading an advance copy)

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough
(on sale 8/19, I am reading an advance copy)

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Samantha (age 7):

Bedknobs and Broomsticks by Mary Norton
(we are reading this together)

by Callie Barkley

Maddy (age 3):

 The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

 The Little Red Hen by J.P. Miller 
(Golden Books classic series)

 The Poky Little Puppy by Janette S. Lowrey
 (Golden Books classic series)

What are you and your family reading this month? 



A Finish and a Sheep Show

I finished this scarf last week, but heavy rain kept me from getting good pictures. This is the Wavy Baktus scarf, an adaptation of the original Baktus scarf by Stikkelise.

I cast on this scarf 4/13 and finished about 4/28...a record for me, I think! There was just something about the simplicity of the pattern and the variagation in the yarn that made it very "potato chip" knitting for me.

The yarn is 1 skein of Crazy Zauberball in the IndischRosa colorway. I loved knitting with this yarn, and am so glad I purchased a 2nd ball in the Rainbow colorway to make another scarf. It is very soft and supple to the hand, and the saturation of color throughout the ball is wonderful.

To knit this scarf you need to be able to knit, purl, yarn over (YO), knit or purl 2 together, knit or purl into the front or back loop. All simple stitches to do, easy to find video tutorials on them. The pattern is also very simple to memorize, and that's coming from someone who admits her short-term memory is for shit, LOL.

On Saturday, Samantha and I attended the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. She was so excited, because I'd signed her up for a beginner's "Quick to Knit" class. The instructor was very nice and patient, and had already cast on and knit several rows on each student's knitting needles.

This way they could jump right in with the knitting, and get a sense of accomplishment after just a few rows. I liked this because Sam gets frustrated very easily when she can't do something right the first time, and learning to cast on and then knit can take awhile to learn. However, now that she's caught the knitting bug and I've had to cast on new stitches for her about 50 times since Saturday, I'll be teaching her how to cast on herself very soon!


This wasn't the first year I've been to MD Sheep & Wool so I didn't take many pictures of the sheep, but I did enjoy the yarn bombing of the trees and fence as you entered/exited the fairgrounds.

The purple tree was Sam's favorite, of course!

I also didn't buy very much, was more of a window shopper. I think since I'm a slow knitter and work mostly on 1 project at a time, I feel my stash is at a good point for what I'm going to knit between now and next year's festival. Funny how I can apply this philosophy to my knitting, not my sewing.

I couldn't resist finally buying a skein of the "famous" Miss Bab's Yarn...and by the length of her line to check out, I use famous not so jokingly. Her booth was packed, but it was in a good corner location with a wide opening so a lot of people could fit in. I decided on this huge skein of Yowza-Whatta Skein! 100% Superwash Merino "Hand-Painted" in the Nosturtiums colorway. I love the vibrabcy of the oranges, yellows, and hints of green in this skein. It's enough to make a Hitchhiker scarf, and I plan to cast it on soon. It feels (and smells) so good, I can't wait to knit with it. As many people who saw me holding just 1 skein in line said, I'm sure I'll be back for more next year!

Hope you have a great week!




Outlander Blocks & Free Patterns

Friends, I am so excited to start sharing the patterns for my Outlander blocks with you! As many of you know, I am a long-time fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I can remember listening to all 25+ cassette tapes of the first book as I traveled between my place in Virginia, to my parents house in Connecticut, and back. I think the "cassette tapes" is a good indication of how long ago THAT journey was. 

When I pulled into my parking space after the return trip my neighbor saw me crying uncontrollably, and kept asking what was wrong?!?! I tried explaining to her I was only weeping because of what had happened to Jamie, how much I loved him and Claire, how she had to read this awesome book....I don't think my tears "sold" the book to her that day, but after so many years talking up this series, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had to convince others with a soggy "no, really (blubber-blubber) you should (sniffle-sniffle) definitely read these books!" appeal.

After finding Fandom in Stitches through Daisy, and seeing the incredible fan-related blocks over there, I've wanted to start an Outlander "fan" quilt. With the upcoming TV series, I felt this was the perfect time to get going on a set of blocks that could be used in any size quilt. I'll tell you up front, while I don't have a finished quilt or layout in mind yet, the blocks I'll be posting over the next few months will all be about 8-12" square and able to be trimmed down at least 1-2" to meet the size you'll need for a final quilt.

I am also a fuser (I do fusible, not hand, applique), particularly when it comes to quilt design. I love the simplicity and speed fusible applique allows. My patterns can be adapted to traditional needle-turn applique or embroidery though, so you go with how you like to make them!

Here's block 1, based on the cover of the first book, Outlander.

Here's the original paperback book cover:

 Here's block 2, based on the second book, Dragonfly in Amber:

Here is the book cover:

I've left my blocks plain for now, with the intention of adding embellishment (machine quilting, beading, embroidery...anything goes!) later, when I pull all the blocks together for the final quilt. 

Both patterns are in pdf format and available to download here on my blog, and also over at Fandom in Stitches (5/2/14):

Click here for Block 1.
Click here for Block 2.

I hope you like these first 2 blocks in the series! There are definitely more Outlander blocks to come, so watch this space for those and more Outlander-related news.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...