Progress Update 10-09-17

Leaves are turning red, orange, and yellow, providing a bright array of colors against deep blue skies and a few green trees. Autumn is definitely here. Temperatures are dropping with a low of 28° F last night. The next round of canning and preserving will commence this afternoon with the picking of rose hips for jelly, tomatoes for tomato sauce, tomatillos for salsa, and peppers to dry. Before DH returned from further north yesterday, he woke to a bit of snow on the car. That explains why the squirrels and chipmunks were scurrying around stuffing their cheeks with last minute bits to store away against winter.

Other than needing to complete more canning, I have been tempted to knit and cross stitch in the warmth of the house, creating more goodies for gifts and decorating. It has also been nice to have a moment here and there to put into crafting.

On September 30, my needle came out and I decided I really wanted to work on my September 1st ornament. With a few hours of stitching, this project was finished, or so I thought:

Project: “Wish Upon A Star” by Wildflower Stitchery & More from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue

Fabric: 14-count light lavender Aida


The fabric is a very light lavender and looks lovely with the called for colors.


The wrinkled fabric was driving me nuts, so this last week I decided to carefully iron the whole project through a towel on the back of the project. Slowly the wrinkles disappeared and I finished ironing them out. When I turned the project over to see how it looked, this was the view I had:


All of the beads and charms were gone. You can see them on the towel at the top of the picture. Apparently the beading thread that I used from a previous kit, disappeared and did not hold the beads on. The wrinkles were gone and so were the beads! So I made sure that there was no melted thread on the project, finished ironing my project, and then re-attached the beads.


Lesson learned: When beading, either wait until project has been ironed before attaching beads, or use a different thread to attach beads. For this project I used the same beading thread AFTER I had completed the ironing. After this mishap, my project was finished again on October 4.

Project #2: “Heartfelt Harvey” by Imaginating Inc. from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue

Fabric: 18-count white Aida scrap

This was to be my September 15 Christmas ornament and was not started until October 3 when I thought I had the other ornament finished. Here is my progress:


October 3 Progress


This ornament has not gone as quickly as the last one and I am finding that I am not particularly fond of stitching a lot of DMC #321.


October 3 – late evening


However, despite not liking a lot of red, I kept at this because I liked the snowman. My progress the next day was here:


October 4 – late evening

At this point, I was able to enjoy the pattern even if I didn’t like the color. Progress has been made since this picture. Over the weekend when DH and I made a quick trip north of here, I finished the boot on the left foot and began putting the outlining in the tree. Hopefully there will be a finish soon and a picture showing said progress.

This leaves me the October 1 and October 15 ornaments to start and finish this month to be caught up. We will see how that goes.

Additionally this weekend, I started, ripped back, and restarted crocheting a baby blanket for a friend at work who is expecting. I have some Bernat Baby Sport yarn in a pastel blue–yes very traditional, but that’s just the way it will be–restarted in a zigzag pattern. So far I am very pleased, but again have no picture. I am sure that there will be another picture before I post next time.

Until later, these are the projects that I am working on this month because I need to catch up on ornaments and finish the baby blanket before baby comes. I still have the two socks that I am working on from the last post that I hope to finish as I need to cast on another pair of socks for a Christmas gift. Plus, plans are moving forward on the Pathfinder event for next March and DH is trying to figure out the best option for our vacation next year. Lots of fun and excitement ahead so keep tuned.

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Recovery & Moving Forward

It seems like forever since I have posted and time has flown by on wings. There is so much to share and yet, not as much crafting as I would like. As they say, you probably want to grab stitching, knitting, or crocheting and something to drink as there is lots to tell you about.

The focus of DH and my lives for the last 3-4 years has been preparing for a five-state Pathfinder Camporee. In our church, we call this a Union Camporee. This is an event that happens once every five years and is rotated/planned by a different conference every time. This year was our year to host and plan for this major event. However, we learned after all of the planning and effort that this is the first time that our conference had planned and hosted this event. It is  probably a major blessing that we did not find this out until after we were midway into the actual hosting of the event.

Two years into the planning of this event, all our plans started unraveling. Our guest speaker pulled out because he could not leave his Conference back East. Every location that we looked at was a resounding “NO!” With a planned for crowd of 1400-3000 Pathfinders and sponsors/staff, we knew we had to go back to God and ask for His guidance because our plans weren’t happening. DH was impressed to call our state’s Chamber of Commerce who immediately helped to find a location. This was only the beginning of watching God perform miracle after  miracle for this event.

So, after planning and replanning with God in charge, we hosted this event two weekends ago. Our final count of attendees was 1436. The weekend was spent on honors, spiritual meetings, listening to testimonies, and lots of fun activities. We were blessed to have the gentleman who created the Blacksmithing Honor call us and offer to teach approximately 250 Pathfinders and staff how to make two simple objects. Additionally we had the #1 female blacksmith in world offer to join us and help teach and share her testimony.  Other teachers taught Gold Prospecting, Dutch Oven Cooking, Orienteering, and an honor on the Life of Jesus.  Pathfinders went ziplining during the day and again at night. Our guest speaker for the weekend spoke to us on how to “Pray Like Daniel”. It was a truly inspiring weekend that culminated in an altar call on Saturday evening followed by a retiring of a US flag, which many of our attendees had never seen before.

As a result of last minute planning, travel to the location and making this event happen, no crafting happened for over a month. This was truly worth it though. Sleep the final two weeks was no more than six hours a night and usually only three. Still, we were blessed to have plenty of energy and patience as well as incredible support from our colleagues in the other conferences.

So where am I with crafting? No ornaments were stitched in September. The plan is to stitch two beginning the 1st of October and another two beginning the 15th of October. This will hopefully catch me back up. Everything is kitted and ready to go.

A little over one week ago, I finally was able to pull out my knitting and knit a few rows of DS’s sock while waiting for recall work to be done on my car. It was the first time that I was able to stitch and not fall asleep immediately. After coming home and having DS try on the sock, I kept plugging away at this project whenever I had a chance as I was close starting the toe. A week ago tomorrow, I took the sock with me to meet a friend for coffee. We had a wonderful visit and I knitted more over the course of last weekend. And last night, I grafted the toe of the first sock and cast on the second one. I had to cast on four times before the tail was the right length. I hope that I have enough yarn for the second sock as DS’s feet are not small. Sock #2 will be put in my bag to take with me in the morning when the car has a front end alignment.


Edit: It turned out that not only did I need a front end alignment because the right “toe” was way out of alignment, but the tired they complained to me about was fixing to separate. Bad news: When one tire on an all-wheel vehicle has problems, you can’t just replace two tires and go on. An alignment and four tires later, I will be stitching and knitting from stash and/or considering picking up extra shifts at work. A few more rounds were stitched on the ribbing of the second sock beyond what is showing above. This was done while I was waiting as a way to cope with the unexpected expense that now has to be budgeted for.

Last  night I worked on the foot of DH’s Roobois sock #1. This one is harder to take with me as I am using a brown nylon thread with the fingering weight Palette yarn to reinforce the heel, foot, and toes. It is good to be knitting again. I am not sure where I was when I last took a picture of this sock but here is where I am now.


I am using the same pattern as the above pair because DH and DS both like how these fit. You can see that the leg and heel are done and I am happy to say that the gusset is also done. I am now back to the 70-72 socks for the foot and other than the nylon thread that I am adding for reinforcement, I can zip along pretty mindlessly.

It was a real challenge to not be able to take time to knit or stitch because of so many other demands on my time. However, things are looking up. Sunday evening or Monday morning I will begin working on ornaments again. I have started taking time to watch Flosstube to help me get back in the “groove.”

Lastly and sadly with no pictures, tomatoes were processed into tomato sauce and canned last night. The garden has been giving us cucumbers which we have enjoyed, and the tomatoes are finally ripening. These are great sauce/paste tomatoes and make a sauce that is almost as thick as applesauce. With DH’s help, I was able to can 6 quarts and almost 1 pint. We also picked the last couple of cucumbers for the season and three bell peppers. These are all from Heritage plants and are simply delicious. I am hoping next year we can get these same kind again. We also have 5 cantelopes that we hope will finish growing as well as more tomatoes, hot peppers, and a lot of tomatillos. I am told that the tomatillos cannot be harvested until after the first freeze. Then I will turn them into mole. With temperatures flirting with the idea of low to mid-50s for highs this next week and lows in the mid- to high 30s we will have to cover the tomatoes and peppers until they ripen.

Out front we also have our wild roses that have lots of rosehips on them. Even though they are red, I am waiting for the first hard freeze before picking them and turning them into rose hip jelly. We are either almost out or fully out of this jelly and so it will be nice to make some again.

If you have stuck with me this long, thank you for your patience and for the limited pictures. Thank you also to each one of you who has been patient while we worked through the large Camporee and all that entailed. We are pleased that it is over and that we won’t have to plan it for 15-20 years. There is a good chance we will be retired by then. 😉

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Update 8-19-17

Three weeks is better than before! It has been a busy three weeks and the next three to four weeks promise to be even busier. Keeping up with goals will be a REAL challenge since we are coming into the last bit of time before the big Camporee mid-September. Crafting has become especially precious right now as a stress-relief and I am thankful that I kitted up ornaments ahead.

First of all let’s look at the goals for August:

  • Start and finish Merry 2008 by Glory Bee ornament with a change to 2017. Finished in two days (August 1-2) – 20170803_135408This is from the 2008 Christmas ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch. The only change was using 14-count fiddler’s cloth instead of the called-for fabric.
  • Start and finish Oriental Splendor by Cindy Valentine Designs ornament. – Finished in 5 days (August 15-19) – This is also from the 2008 Christmas ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch. Changes are: Changed the color of the fabric to white because that is what I had; changed the color of the DMC Pearl Cotton #8 to #823 instead of #347 as that is what I could get locally and after using, I definitely prefer it given color change I made with fabric; and I am only doing the stitching for one side of the ornament. I will be putting together with Christmas fabric on the back when I turn it into a FFO (fully-finished object). After completing the satin stitch stars, I started on the four-sided squares around and realized my stitch count was off. I chose not to pull them out as I had already pulled the first one out twice, so adjustments were made to the count. However, I am pleased with the finish and also am very pleased with the color changes both for my budget and the look.20170819_133543
  • Start DS’s stocking–fabric is on floor stand, threads are pulled, but haven’t stopped to start it. – Started on August 3, but no picture to show. I am working on the middle section and am enjoying fitting it in here and there.
  • Knit more on Lacy Knit Top. – No progress since August 2, but with second ornament finished I may be able to slip in some work on it.
  • Knit more on Earl Grey socks in Knit Picks Chroma Fog Bank colorway for DS. – No progress, however I have to take one vehicle in for check and repair and one in for two new tires this next week and since this is my carry project in my purse, I should get some work done on these.
  • Knit more on Earl Grey socks in Knit Picks Palette Rooibos colorway for DH (yes, I started these too when the yarn came in with my Knit Picks order). – Progress on the first one and I am now past the heel and gusset and have started the foot. I hope to get sock #1 done soon and the second one on the needles before Camporee.
  • Start DH’s hummingbirds–the fabric was added to my PB03 order. – Fabric received and all the DMC and Kreinik in, but no start. This probably won’t be started until after Camporee or later.

September Goals:

  • Start and finish Wish Upon a Star by Wildflower Stitchery & More.
  • Start and finish Heartfelt Harvey by Imaginating, Inc.
  • Continue stitching on DS’s stocking.
  • Continue knitting on Earl Grey socks in Knit Picks Chroma Fog Bank colorway for DS.
  • Continue knitting on Earl Grey socks in Knit Picks Palette Rooibos colorway for DH.
  • Continue knitting on Lacy Knit Top.
  • Sew two knitting bags – one for a gift and one for me.
  • Get through Camporee.

There may be other things to add, but all things considered, this is really all I can imagine working on and quite frankly, more than I think that I will get to.

Both DS and DD start college this week, DS for the first time and DD continuing. Schedules will change and studying will commence, but I will no longer be homeschooling. This has caused me to be grateful for Camporee and crafting. Both are still at home for now and I am still chauffeuring them to and from  until one or both get their own vehicles. Not planning for school feels strange after twelve years, however I am considering planning on going back myself a year from now. This gives me time to complete obligations already in progress and put plans into place.

The garden continues to produce cucumbers and there are peppers and tomatoes growing as well as a cantaloupe starting to grow. We have picked one or two of the squashes and the strawberries are putting out runners. I hope to move them to the main raised garden for winter when we get the rest of the dirt/compost added after Camporee. As you can notice Camporee is our focus for now as this is a huge event that we are in charge of and we really want everything to go well. Please wish us luck and if you pray, keep us in your prayers as we work through this event for youth in our church.

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