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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A mostly good day

well, aside from Ian's tantrum this afternoon.   I let him watch one You Tube video of Plants Vs. Zombies as a special treat; he wanted more and even though I'd told him one only before we started he didn't want to accept it.   There was screaming (mostly from him), hitting (also from him) and time spent in his bedroom to let me calm down.   There will be no more You Tube for quite some time.

In other news I got the 10 strips of the quilt finished piecing and pressed them.    First pair are now pinned together ready for sewing tomorrow.

Trampoline arrived in the timeframe I told them I wouldn't be home and was placed on the garage slab which was not where I'd asked them to be placed.

Our new Scope of Works arrived from EQC, they want to reuse the slab, and no mention of our carport as far as I can see despite me showing them photographic proof when they were here that it did in fact exist.   Just waiting to hear from Fix-It as to what we do next on this.

I've made a long overdue appointment for an eye test.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Preparation

Well, we know where and approximately when my family is celebrating Christmas, it's not on the day and it's going to be at a park for a lovely picnic.   
I'm presuming that Christmas day will be at the In-Law's as usual with heaps of food and noise (and for me, knitting to stay sane).     I'm an introvert and find the rather hectic environment there a little trying, not their fault, nor mine, just the way it is.   Thomas and the boys will love it, they all cope much better than I do.   I'll have to check soon what the deal is timewise, and what we need to take as well to both celebrations.

In other preparations we're pretty much sorted for Christmas presents now.  George gets his quilt, Ian is now getting a new trampoline (shared with George of course).  The old one is nowhere near big enough now and the bottom of it is moving when he bounces near the ends.    I managed to get a brand new one off Trademe for a good price, it'll be delivered in the next week and then we just need to put it together and take the old one down.  We've offered that to Thomas' brother as a Christmas present from us to his two youngest.   I know he's seen the offer, but don't know his response yet, hope he does want it as I'm sure his kids would love it.   We hadn't planned on getting a new tramp, but Ian's been using it a heap recently (maybe due to computer ban) and he uses it for grounding himself as well so it's necessary for it to be safe.   The new one is 12' in diameter so much bigger!   There will be a few small items as well for both boys including new swim togs and a watch for Ian as he is envious of George's watch and we're hoping it'll help him learn to tell the time from an analogue face.

I don't think we're getting anything for each other, there's a garage to think about first.   We've had the visit from EQC and a few things they won't do, but they're talking about paying for a new garage the same as the old (like for like) which being a block garage won't be cheap.  We're waiting for the new Scope of Works before anything else happens, at which point we'll likely be making some waves about their intention to reuse the old slab.   I have an email from the council saying any slab must be up to current code, there is no way it is, especially considering our land rating of TC2; we need thicker and stronger foundations, they also need to be higher than our current slab is.

Got the quilt for my brother and his wife started, going much quicker than the last version of this I did
The layout, no sewing done at this point
In the last few days I've got 7 rows sewn together, leaving 3 to go
7 rows ready to press
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get the last 3 rows complete and pressed, then I can sew pairs of rows together.

I've also got more knitting done on my mystery shawl, it's totally different from anything I've done before and I'm surprising myself how much I'm liking it.
Section 3 complete, just starting section 4 (chart 3)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finished Object!

It's finished!  George's quilt is done before it had to be which is great.   Now it gets to go to the Weavers and Spinners Guild to be shown off and to Stitch as well.   My neighbour wants to see it too so if I spot her I'll show it to her.
This is what it looked like earlier this week:
Finished quilting, but not bound
And after 1 day of machine sewing the binding, another day unpicking the first row of stitching that I put in the wrong place and 2 days of handsewing
All bound and complete

The back, love this almost as much as the front!

hanging on the gate.
George likes it but is aware he doesn't get it till 10th December.   We've still got to do birthday invitations for him, we'll go to the movies I think and he gets to invite one friend.

While I was hanging the quilt on the fence I spotted an iris down the driveway
Can't remember the name, Sultan's something or other.  Glorious though.
Not got a lot of knitting done due to concentrating on the quilt.   I'm hoping to get section 2 of the KAL shawl done today now though and hopefully get started on David and Karen's quilt again tomorrow.   A few rows have been done on the travel sock, but it's only going slowly.  The rest of the knitting and spinning is on hold till the second quilt is complete, oh and there may be another sock to do as a test-knit, it'll be for Thomas which will give him 3 pairs; might be his Christmas present even if it's not quite ready in time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

100 Day Hustle Update

1. Knit Breakwater Jersey for me - cast on, neck complete, but on hold for a KAL
2. George's quilt - dragon fabric arrived today - Almost finished, just a little FMQ in the border, then will trim and bind and it'll be done
3. Make my dress for summer - not even started
4. Polarfleece Vest for Thomas -
not started
5. Finish knitted vest for Ian
- also on hold due to KAL and urgent quilts
6. Put all sewing (not quilting) fabric into spreadsheet - more of this done, still quite a bit to go
7.  Finish CPH - on hold while doing KAL
8. Our quilt - sigh, been bumped down the list
9. Make Thomas more socks - on hold for KAL
10. Make me more socks, including travel socks which are now up to the heel flap. - first sock complete, 18 rows off heel flap on second

2 new things to add
1. swim bags for next term - found a bag that will do the job!
2. shorts for George- not started due to quilts

Doesn't really look like much has happened, does it?   However this list was put in place with no real concept as to how long it takes to quilt a whole single bed sized quilt and without knowing I'd get sucked into a shawl KAL.

I think I need to revise the list, everything on it still needs doing, but I'm going to be more realistic with what actually will get done in the next 50 days.

1.  Complete George's quilt - this will happen by the end of this week at the latest
2.  Get David and Karen's quilt cut out, pieced, quilted and bound before Christmas
3.  Make fudge for presents for teachers and teacher aides.
4.  Finish Travelling Sock 
5.  Frau Holle KAL shawl - last clue is out 20th December so this one may be a stretch
6. Get my dress toile at least started

Hopefully I'll get the others worked on after Christmas, I'd really love to pare that list down to manageable proportions.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Fireworks and quilting

We had a bit of fireworks on Saturday night for Guyfawkes, the boys loved it!  We've still got half of the box to go,which we'll do next Saturday.
This week I've been concentrating on George's quilt, I'm about 1/3 of the way through the free motion quilting of the main part of the quilt, hoping to get the other 2/3 done by Tuesday, then another couple of days until I get the border done as well.
Each block will be done the same as this one.

Detail shot
The story I'm telling with the quilting is the dragon in a cave by the seaside, hence the pebbly rock in front of the cave, the swirls of the sand after the tide has gone out, the waves as it comes back in and the gentle waves further out on the sea.   The charcoal squares have either branches or roots to suggest the vegetation around the area.   My quilting definitely isn't as good as I'd like, but considering this is the first time I've done FMQ on a full sized quilt I'm pretty happy.

I've also been working on the mystery shawl and so far it's just stocking stitch, but I do have beads for it now.  The beads have changed simply because the green of the previous lot was too blue based and the bronze I couldn't get more of, so here we have the new one I've chosen:
They'll blend nicely, maybe I'll go with a contrast next time.
I also had some yarn arrive today, it's taken a while and now the project I bought it for has been cast on in a different yarn, but here's Trail Socks by Handmaiden Yarns in the Raven colourway.

It's beautiful
And I'll leave you with some beautiful examples of what's happening in my garden
Paeony, surrounded by lots of weeds

George's Lamb's Ear plant.

Hosta showing snail damage with rain drops

Very nicely scented rose

Black iris, my favourite

Another iris with a visitor, I love honeybees.

Aquilegia with a bumble bee visitor

A favourite pair of clematis

Sweet peas, I have no idea where they came from, I never planted them but they smell divine!

Friday, November 02, 2012

I did quilting!

I got all the ditching done on George's quilt today, tomorrow I'll stitch round the edge of the border to keep that in place and then I can start doing some free motion quilting.   I'm pretty happy with how it went, the spray baste did a wonderful job, no layers moved around and there are no puckers on the back at all!
My yarn arrived for the Frau Holle Mystery KAL today, I've already cast on as it started this morning.  
Which beads should I use?   I need more than I have, but not sure if I should go green or bronze.
I'm leaning bronze I think, possibly because they're available from a bead shop in biking range, but I do rather like the contrast too; never used contrast beads before.

Tomorrow is the beginning of my next weekend as a sole parent as Thomas is off to Judo.   Hope it goes well, Ian has the birthday party in the afternoon and I'm thinking George and I can head off to the storage unit together for the painting gear.   I'll also get more done on the quilt and maybe even some spinning or knitting.   Though I should really do something about cleaning the kitchen floor.....

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