Welcome to Tuesday (that really feels like a Monday)!
What could possibly help this dire situation? Reliving the weekend thanks to Carole and her 10 on Tuesday request:
10 Things You Did This Weekend
The weekend arrived a bit early here, Steve only had to work a half a day on Friday. Summer arrived in full force as well, with temperatures into the 90’s here. But, all in all it was a great weekend with a full spectrum of things to do.
We finished a garden bed that we had been working on expanding this month. Whew!
It was also a weekend of discovery – that is discovery in muscles I did not know – or forgot – I had!
There were plenty of cocktails – thank you Blackberry Brambles, Frose’s, Shrubarb (Thanks Vicki for this FANTASTIC new word!!) coolers, and even a beer or two.
The grill got the maximum amount of possible usage for burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled asparagus! There was also Lobster Ravioli, which was not grilled but so delicious!
In moments of respite from the maximum heat and humidity, there was sewing. Specifically, 100 Acts of Sewing, Dress No. 1 in a lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen that I got from Spool in Pittsburgh. Bonus points were achieved in making and installing the best bias tape I have made and stitched in to date!
There was some spinning – I finished up spinning and plying the ITW batt that I got last year from Maryland Sheep and Wool – I love how it turned out – 400 yards of heavy fingering weight yarn. I almost finished the Shetland done for my sweater project. I just have a tiny bit of spinning to finish and then plying can begin.
There was knitting…I finished sock number one from Carole’s Picot Socks. I LOVE it! Sock number two will be cast on shortly. I also began my Summer Wish List of those WIPs I want to get done this summer – starting with Indigo Cones. Sitting and knitting under the pergola is really lovely, just sayin’.
There was reading – I finished Ann Cleeves White Nights and it was excellent! I thought it was much better than book number one, and I will definitely be continuing with this series this summer! Which is good, because I need a book set in another country for my Book Bingo card! I started The Goldfinch, and within a few pages I was enthralled. This book will be hard to put down – this is a very good thing because as everyone has reminded me this book has over 700 pages!
There was a spectacular Happy Hour under the pergola on Friday!
There was time spent just enjoying that it was the weekend, with deep gratitude that it was not over yet on Sunday night.
There was time spent in meditation and reflection of what the holiday really means, beyond a long holiday weekend, and being filled with profound thankfulness to those willing to serve and give their lives in defense of freedom.
So, tell me – what was your favorite part of your weekend?
I have been watching with great interest some hand stitching in my Instagram feed, particularly from David of Southern Cross Fibre and Vicki knitorious. They are each hand stitching on different projects that are equally beautiful. Vicki’s Alabama Chanin inspired stitching is incredibly gorgeous and I am very intrigued by this method of slow stitching. David, however, has taken to a field that I have some experience with, although I did not do any hand piecing as he is doing, and his results are absolutely stunning.
Why does this all interest me so much? Well, early in the 1990’s I was an avid quilter. Okay, maybe not avid, perhaps it is better to say that I was a member of a Quilting Group of avid quilters who had been quilting together for years before they invited me (the novice) to join them. The group met weekly throughout the year, working on one large quilt that they would enter into the Tulip Time Quilt Show. The most challenging quilt that I worked on with them was this hand appliqued flower quilt. Each block was hand appliqued and then the blocks were machine assembled. However, the best part, for me, happened once the quilt was carefully stitched into the quilting frame. Then the quilting could begin! Those were quite simply the best times, with all of us sitting around the quilt, carefully stitching the fabric in front of us. The key was to never be able to tell where one quilter’s stitches began and another ended. I look at this quilt today and to my eye there is no difference in any of the quilting at all. And if these stitches could talk, what stories they could tell about the joys, the heartaches, the struggles, and the lives of the quilters. This quilt took a good number of months to complete with the end goal being to sell it and start the process all over again. My then husband surprised me and bought it at the quilt show, which might have been one of the nicest things he ever did. The quilt won a ribbon at the quilt show, but it holds far greater meaning for me in the memories of all the stitches it contains, worked by the women I grew to love dearly. It is a vivid reminder of all we shared together.
I just loved sitting around the quilt with those ladies, stitching and talking every week but, all too soon my house was filled with children and getting to quilting became a challenge, especially with a spouse who traveled most of the time. Sadly, I soon became far too busy to quilt and working on a large quilt at home was not very “child friendly”. I did continue quilting for a couple of years at home in the evenings when the kids were tucked away in bed and I managed to make several miniature quilts, some of which even won some awards as well!
I love the basket quilt, pictured above, that hangs over the back of a tiny, hand-made wooden chair with the well-loved Raggedy Ann of my youth.
But, my favorite is this Autumn Leaves quilt that I made (and subsequently had framed to hang on my wall.)
I think often of those ladies that I quilted with and learned from, and while many of them are no longer here; the things I learned from them have not left me.
There are days that I really miss quilting, but then I am reminded of the lack of space we have, and, more importantly – my lack of time. It is nice though, that the slow stitch movement is shining light on the forgotten art of hand quilting and sewing. And, I hope they are never forgotten!
We had a bit of a wonky weekend – Steve had a work function Friday and Saturday, so there was no usual Happy Hour. It made for weekend that did not feel like a weekend at all, but I did get some reading and knitting done.
Drinking: Iced Coffee – warmer weather makes me very glad because I really love iced coffee to start my day.
Watching: Game of Thrones (along with the rest of the world, I am sure!) and Call the Midwives. Two shows that are the exact opposite of each other, and I love them both!
Contemplating: The Me Made May phenomena – I consider myself a serial maker. I have been a maker as long as I can remember but, do I need a month to point that out to the world around me (or at least my Instagram feed!) I don’t want to take any of the wind out of the sails about those participating, but I think that helping new makers along their way is the approach I would rather take. So, I am going to commit to fostering new makers in their journey and there is a group at my church who want to learn to knit so I am going to help them. Hopefully, by the end of May there will be a new flock of knitters in the Pittsburgh area!
Knitting: Socks, Pincha, and using some stash to knit along with Simone (OwlCat Designs) in her wedding shawl knit-along.
Cooking: All things asparagus – and it is so good! Grilled, roasted, in stir fry, and I am going to try this recipe for Asparagus Pizza!
Anticipating: Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! Steve and I are going for the day on Saturday (he is thrilled beyond believe, I assure you!!) I will try to foster his excitement during the week so that he enjoys himself (oh the food! and the sheep!) I might challenge him to a little photo contest, which I am sure he will win!
Planting: Our “safe to plant date” is Mother’s day, so I will be getting more plants in the garden very soon! I have been watching Mr. Knitspot expand his garden beds with great interest. Gardening and the expansion of the garden is one area that Steve and I are in complete agreement on!
That is all I have for this list filled Monday, but tell me – what “right now” thing are you loving?