Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


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More Christmas projects

More Christmas projects are underway! I’m very proud how I’m already tackling things and finishing them so early!

This will leave more time for other Christmas ideas, baking and shopping as the season draws near.

Here’s the latest projects — knitted dish clothes. The pattern is here.

I bought the yarn at A Yarn Among Friends in Moundsville, W.VA. Chris and I were in the area last week visiting a friend and vacationing. You can read about that trip in various posts on Small Travels and Musings.

This pair of dish clothes are a set and I’ll make another set just like it.

I bought this yarn to make a pair of socks.

I’ll use “I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks,” by Cindy Guggemos. I’ve used this book to make three pair of the Eyelet Chevron Socks. This time I’m thinking of Crest O’ the Wave Socks or maybe Little Arrowhead Lace Socks.

I haven’t decided if I’ll make a pair for me or make them for a gift.

Also, Nannie told me this week that she bought me a book. She has picked out a sweater in it she wants me to make for her. I’m so honored and excited to do this for her!

Nannie fell and broke her hip last week and will be at a nursing home for up to 3 weeks for rehab. (Prayers would be appreciated.) So I’m not sure when I’ll get the book from her. She wanted to finish looking at the book before she gave it to me. She also said she’d buy the yarn, but I’d rather pick it out with her and pay for it myself.

Hopefully someone will take the book to her and a baby quilt she’s been working on to the nursing home. That way she’ll have some things to keep her busy while she’s there. She’s not dealing with being away from home too well right now.


Shirt ideas

As I said in this post, I’m planning to tackle some easier projects for awhile. I’m burned out from jackets, pants and other detailed projects. I need some quick satisfaction!

Here’s what I’m thinking of tackling. I may not get to them all, though I would like to, especially as Christmas gifts.

These are all from BurdaStyle and the images below belong to them:
Madison — I want a sweater dress to wear this fall and winter and thought I could make this in wool or thick cotton. Any other suggestions? I also wonder how hard it will be to add sleeves. I would want short or cap sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves.

J.J. Blouse — This will be cute with pencil skirts and slacks for the fall. BurdaStyle also has it styled with a long sleeved shirt underneath and that might work to carry it into the winter. I think, maybe, a jacket will work too. (Yes, I know. This looks detailed. I told you I love detailed stuff. It’s hard for me to get away from them!)
Sadie — I would make the tank top, either cowl neck or the plain. I could see this in a fancier knit so that it could be used under jackets and cardigans. I probably would not make the dress. I had one of Chris’ cast-a-side polo shirts, but now I can’t find it. It’s green and soft. It would work perfectly for this.

Natalie — I was thinking of making this as a gift. I really like the seams in the front and the collar. This is one of BurdaStyle’s plus-sized patterns and can be easily adjusted for different sizes. I would love to hear your color combinations for the collar and body of this shirt. BurdaStyle made the collar red on a black shirt.

Ellinor — Another potential Christmas gift. I would even make this for me. It’s nice and simple. Any suggestions? I was thinking a sheer fabric with a colorful ribbon would look nice over tanks and other shirts.

Lydia — This would probably be a Christmas gift. I usually don’t wear long-sleeved T-shirts, unless they have a V-neck collar and maybe a 3/4 length sleeve. I don’t know how to alter the neckline for a V-neck, so this will probably be a gift, if I make it. If anyone knows how to alter the neckline, please let me know.

I’m hoping these will be quick and will be relaxing and enjoyable! Picking out the fabric and notions should be wonderful. If y’all got any fabric and color suggestions, please share!
After I’ve finished off a few, relaxing pieces, I’ve got denim I bought last year and I plan to make jeans. Hopefully I’ll be recharged and ready to tackle them before the end of the year!


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Photos of scarf, sweater and tomato update

One down, one to go
I finished the first of two scarves last night:

This alpaca yarn feels so good and it’s so pretty. It’s going to be hard to turn this loose for Christmas.

Chris said I should buy some more alpaca yarn and make one for myself.

The pattern uses a traditional ripple pattern that is commonly found in afghans. I think it translates beautifully into scarves.

I can’t wait to see how the other scarf turns out. It’s colors are just as pretty.

Photo update
Here’s the sweater all washed and blocked. It’s no where near as stretched out and frumpy as it was last weekend when I completed it.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Green is definitely my color.

I’m also glad I didn’t sew the collar shut. I think I like it open. Do you?

Tomatoes galore!
I canned six more quarts of tomatoes this morning! I can’t believe how many tomatoes we’ve gotten this year.

We didn’t tie the plants up, so many have been lost to rot because they sat on the ground too long or we overlooked them as they hid underneath leaves and stems.

We also had a lot of ants, roly polys (pill bugs) and slugs we had to fight tomatoes for.

I’ve canned 2 quarts of tomatoes with chilies, 17 quarts of diced tomatoes, 1 pint of diced tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa. That is a blessing!

That doesn’t include the quart of basil-garlic tomato sauce we made earlier in the summer to can with the peach chutney disaster (had to throw out all 7 pints because it burned and tasted awful; apple cider vinegar does not substitute for white wine vinegar!) and canned peaches (1 quart).


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Canning tomatoes and sweater update

This weekend I canned 7 quarts of diced tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa, loaded with peppers — jalapenos, a few cayenne, banana peppers (sweet and hot) and some green pepper.

 (All photos by E.A. Seagraves. Do not use without permission.)

One quart didn’t get quite full of tomatoes, so I topped it off with water.

I also finished my sweater! I still need to wash it and block it before I wear it.

The collar is supposed to be stitched together in the front, but I didn’t like it. So I clipped it and decided to let it hang.

The sweater is “Tanglewood Pullover” by Beryl Hiatt and Linden Phelps from the book “Handknit Style II.”

Chris and I also picked out some fabric for some other Christmas present projects and I started crocheting other gifts last night. Here’s the fabric we picked out (not sure why the photo is uploading sideways):



We picked the fabric up from Mountain Plain Fabrics in Hillsville, Va.. It mostly carries quilting material so the selection isn’t that varied as far as fashion fabrics go, but the fabric they do have is beautiful and the staff is incredibly helpful.

I can’t wait to stitch this fabric up and present them at Christmas!
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Here are the knitting book and preserving book for the projects above. I highly recommend both. The sweaters are superb and the Ball canning book is full of useful tips and recipes.

   


Some alpaca yarn for Christmas gifts

I bought two skeins of yarn and a crochet scarf pattern at Peaceful Alpaca Farm, Fancy Gap, Va. See pictures and read about my visit here.

I can’t wait to see how the scarves come out!
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Here’s some crochet and knitting patterns that feature alpaca fiber here:

  


Finished the last (belated) Christmas gift

I finished my final (belated) Christmas gift Saturday night!

I plan to drop these socks in the mail later this week. By this time, my sister, Jamie, may have already forgotten about them. So maybe it’ll be a nice surprise for her later in the week. 🙂

I used the same pattern to make socks for my mom and myself here, and spoke of the book here. I plan to try the other patterns in Cindy Guggemos’ book, but I still recommend this as a beginning sock maker’s guide.

Now I’m working on some fingerless gloves for the hubby. I’m improvising since I couldn’t find a pattern I really liked. More on this later . . . I hope.