Block #1 is Done!

How long has it been since I made a quilt block? Weeks! I’m afraid to even think about how long it’s been since I made a whole quilt . . start to finish. The star blocks for this quilt are not going to be a problem but I was a bit concerned about the Meadow Flower block. I went ahead and made one block to be sure all my planning and re-drawing was going to work and it did!

Meadow Flower Block

Meadow Flower Block

Now I will begin building the block components so progress will appear to be going slowly but I’m hoping to spend more time in the sewing room.

I will write the pattern for this but it’s going to be in the “cheat sheet” format – one or two pages, not a whole lot of detail but something an experienced beginner should be able to do with no problems. Since this Meadow Flower block worked out, this will be an easy, but a bit time consuming quilt. It takes some pinning and fiddling to get all those little yellow points to match up.

I made a pdf for the flower to be paper pieced but on my printer, I struggled to get it to print at the exact right size. We all know that just a little bit off can add up to a whole lot off over several blocks.

Here’s what I need . . a couple of you who will test that Meadow Flower block for me! I want you to paper piece most of it. I don’t care what colors you use. Here’s what I will need for testers to do:

  • Be able to receive and print a pdf document. It takes 4 sheets to make one block.
  • I will send you (via snail mail) a sheet that I have printed directly from EQ and you can overlay one over the other and make sure what you’re printing is exactly the same size as what I send you.
  • Report back to me if you have any problems with getting the pieces to print the correct size.
  • Report back to me if you have any problems getting your block to finish at 12-1/2″.
  • Report back to me if you have any problems/suggestions with the instructions.
  • Have all this done within a couple of weeks of receiving the printed pattern page (which I will mail out tomorrow).

If you’re willing to do this, please send me an email and I’ll get back with you.

Grocery Shopping Is About To Change

In our little town, grocery shopping is about to change and there’s not much that could happen around here that would make me any happier.  I’ve moaned and complained about Kroger since we got here, though I’m not sure what I would be doing if we didn’t have it. While googling, trying to find out when our Aldi is going to open, I found this article about our Kroger. I’m not sure how much of it is embellished (such as . . whether the Kroger building predates the forming of Brown County . . but a whole lot of what they say is fact. I suppose it isn’t unlike most corporate owned grocery stores these days in that a few of the people are nice and helpful, but many are downright rude and lazy. I was hoping our new manager would turn things around and I’m afraid things are going the wrong direction. There’s rarely a time when I go in there that I’m not trying to track down someone to see if they have more of something because the shelves are empty — pears, onions, cucumbers . . things a grocery store should always have. I will not miss Kroger and once our new stores open, I can’t see a reason to ever go back to that store. I hate saying that because I understand no business stays in business without customer support but Kroger has totally lost my support. I feel kinda bad for the new manager because no matter what they do in there, with two new grocery stores opening, Kroger’s numbers are not going to look good on paper and I know how all corporations come down on management when that happens . . even when it’s totally out of their control. Here’s a funny (or not so funny example).  At one retail establishment (no names mentioned here!), one year the store had very little snow and the next year, it snowed so much. Every time they got the parking lot cleaned, it snowed again. That year the manager was in hot water because the cost of snow removal was up something like 500% from the previous year. Some managers are good but controlling the snow fall . . could be a bit much to expect.

We have a new United, which I think may be part of the Albertson’s network, that is scheduled to open in June. My understanding is they will have a real butcher (vs. getting all the meat in pre-packaged) and a deli where you can sit down and eat. I’d be real happy if they had fresh seafood but that’s probably asking for too much.

I’m most excited about Aldi. I’m so excited that when I’m out, I ride by there and try to peek in the windows to see what’s going on. They say they’re opening “Spring, 2015″.  Hey .. it’s Spring, 2015! Open up! Let me in!

Last week I was by there and they had concrete trucks out front pouring ramps and things . . I couldn’t sneak up and peek in the windows. Their website has Grand Openings listed up to April 19 and Brownwood is not listed but sometimes those places open and then the Grand Opening happens a few weeks later.  No matter when they open . . we’re closer to that date than we were 2 months ago so I’ll have to be patient.

The End of Q1, 2015

There was a lot of knitting going on in the first quarter. It’s probably my most productive knitting quarter of the year . . it’s cold and often icy outside. There’s not much I can do except stay inside. There were new gimmicks fun ideas at both my favorite knitting shops. At The Loopy Ewe, there’s Loopy Academy’s second semester. I finished a hat and felted mittens and will hopefully finish my cowl in the next week or so.

Eat, Sleep, Knit started 2015 off with a really long fun year long program. At first, it seemed overwhelming but after I got it all sorted out in my head, it’s quite motivating. One of the best parts is that we can use yarn we already have, so long as it was purchased from ESK.

Pixelated Pullover

Pixelated Pullover

I didn’t know they were doing this but they chose three of the KAL projects, which happened to be #1 – 3, for the main ESK projects, and which purely by accident happened to be three I did this quarter, and they’re allowing voting on them. The winner gets a $20 ESK gift certificate. I’m not saying vote for me but check out the colorwork projects. Right now, my  Pixelated Pullover sweater is in first place at the moment and you can see all the colorwork projects that are in the running here. You click on “agree” to cast your vote. I also submitted my Sandpiper Shawl but it isn’t near the top of the vote getters. There are some beautiful shawls in there. By the way, I did send my shawl off as gift and it should be arriving tomorrow so now I need to make another one for me!

Of the 12 Knit Alongs, I finished and submitted 5:

  • KAL #1 – Colorwork
  • KAL #2 – Headgear
  • KAL #3 – Shawls
  • KAL #7 – Socks
  • KAL #12 – Chunky Knits

I’m so close to being finished with KAL #11 – Felting. The knitting on that one should be finished today or tomorrow and then it will have to be felted.

Tomorrow we should find out if ESK is going to go in order and choose #4 – 6 as their featured second quarter projects. If they go in order, the next ones are:

  • KAL #4 – Hitofude Cardigan – I have the yarn for that and am anxious to get started. Maybe today I’ll swatch for that. It’s going to take a bit of pattern adjustment so I have to do some math and think about it before I get started.
  • KAL #5 – No Sleeves! – This one doesn’t excite me but I’m going to do it just so I can say I did them all. Maybe I’ll make it for Nicole or maybe I’ll make it so I can wear it under something. There are three (I think there were three) patterns that we can choose from.
  • KAL #6 – Mitered Squares – This one also doesn’t thrill me but I’m going to make a small blanket for Addie to keep in their car. Or, it may be a doll blanket. We’ll see how far I get with it.

ESK also has 12 badges per quarter that you can earn. Whatever you don’t earn carries on and it can be earned later in the year. I got 9 of those done. One is Special Delivery Badge where you order yarn on your birthday and since I haven’t had that yet this year, I couldn’t do it. Another is the Longhaul Badge and that’s to finish something that’s been started for at least 9 months. I’ll finish my Kynance Cove sweater . . some day. The third is Accidental Moebius which I also haven’t done and actually, hope I don’t do but I probably will. 

I’m also hoping to do a test knit for Laura Aylor which will count as KAL #9, which is Sweater Free-For-All. The second quarter will be a busy one, especially considering the garden work .. and a few other things going on around here. No idle hands at my house!  :)