Sunday, January 27, 2019

Week 4 | Le Vesinet + Cogwheel

Week 4 | Le Vesinet + Cogwheel

Annetta | So... About my square this week, I hate it. It was my fastest and easiest square to crochet thus far, but it really was not a favorite. I had to make so many of those triple trebles or whatever they are called and making more then 5 in a row is a big no no for me. For one reason or another, they turn out very floppy at the top of the stitch and it's just painful for me to make them. There came a point in my week where I need to work on the square, but after only a few stitches I threw the project aside and picked up my beloved knitting. Also, the last square I crochet was my favorite so far and this one was nowhere near as beautiful. I also found out I added the wrong shade of color that I had for another project. Somehow I mixed the colors and projects up, but I'm sure I can work that minor detail out. I really hope that my square next week will be a good one, one that I will actually really enjoy spending three hours a day crocheting.

Favorite moment of the week: This week was a tough one for me. I didn't really have a favorite moment, but the moments where I got to sit down in a quiet house to work on my Springtime Bandit shawl that I'm knitting with the local Slovak knitters. Those moments were also made better with a cup of tea or my coffee.

Stephanie | This week has been something else. The days just got away from me and now I am sitting here fighting a cold--thank you public school germs. So I wanted an easier block for this week as I have tons of sinus pressure, just picking out a block became quite the chore. I felt this Cogwheel (also known as Prairie Queen) block seemed simple enough. The example in the book showed a white fabric with a contrasting watercolor-ish print. I thought my floral on white would blend nicely. Now that the block is together, I wish I had picked something with more of a contrast, the pattern just doesn't show through as sharply as it should. Oh well, I really loved the floral fabric though, so pretty! The block came together pretty easy, but took longer that I had anticipated. Trying to square up the 4-square blocks while keeping the seam centered was quite the struggle for me, but once I was able to get my head around the problem, it all made sense. My tiny girl has loved helping me with my sewing, and Kitton loves to sleep on all my supplies. I think my favorite block from January was the Octagon.

Favorite moment of the week: My favorite thing about this week has been getting plans together for our garden. We moved 1 greenhouse around the property and set up another little one for seed starts. We planned out which crops we want to grow this season and have mapped out where they each will grow in the fields. I am currently pricing out different seed companies and the materials needed. We also bought some toy storage from Ikea for the kids, we finally were able to unpack some of their boxes from the move and get their rooms all organized. We also got a new bunk-bed and took down the baby crib for the last time.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Week 3 | Denna + Octagon

Week 3 |  Octagon and Denna

Stephanie | My pattern this week is called Octagon. I really liked this pattern and it was easy to put together as it consists of a few half square triangles (HST). The description of this pattern says to keep with the same color family, and the example used pink/red/purple hues. I liked that combination and keep with that same look. Making HST is simple, this pattern however said to make the original square an inch larger than the completed triangle square, and I had to trim off nearly an inch of extra fabric to keep with proper sizing. This made me a bit irritated as that led to a lot of wasted fabric. Now I know to change my original cuts when making other HST in the future. I guess this would be fine when trying out HST for the first time, so you have enough wiggle room when you trim them to size, but since I have tried making them once before, I knew what to expect and kept my seam allowance tight, so cutting lots of pretty and expensive fabric was painful. Luckily this was just 1 block and not an entire quilt top.

Favorite part of the week: This week was a bit harder for me. We've hit the 2nd week of school and we are not bouncing happily out of bed when the alarms go least I am not. I'm tired! There was not enough coffee for this week and nothing real exciting happened. We all have gotten a kick out of watching the new show The Masked Singer, we each have our favorites and have fun trying to guess who each singer is. This is the reward after getting all homework done. 

Annetta | After working on two other squares I would have to say that the week 3 square Denna has been my favorite pattern so far. This pattern isn't as busy as the other two but uses all the colors almost equally. I loved how the square was constructed. To me, it wasn't difficult at all, but it does look harder then it really is. It's got a perfect play with squares and circles all in one. Working on the crochet squares it takes me a while because I am making this huge 10" square with just a single string of yarn and a hook. On average I spend about 5-10 hrs on each square a week. After three weeks though I can see how I am getting a little bit faster and am able to manage my time between work, family and my other projects. What has been your favorite square? 

Favorite part of the week: This one is easy because since my son has started school we haven't had much time together as a family expect on the weekends. This time, my favorite part was going on a long family walk in the woods. It was pretty icy while we climbed up the forest and even one time my son went sliding down the hill on his bottom. At first, it was an accident, but the next 5 times after that were not. Our walk/hike was only 2 miles, but in the ice and snow that was enough to last us all day. Like always I added a couple of images from my favorite part of the week at the bottom.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Week 2 | Stretched 9 Patch + Spiro Star

 Week 2 | Stretched 9 Patch and Spiro Star

Annetta | I both love and dislike this weeks pattern. I want to try this pattern in other colors and give myself a chance to fix the mistake I see. The square challenged my tension. It was an easy project for the most part, but turning a circular flower into a square was tough. My square still wants to be a circle. I realized too late what was happening and didn't have time to rip back to fix it. I am hoping that when it's all sewn together the square will eventually even out. It's also amazing what a crochet hook can design with a simple string. When I put, my now two, finished squares together I see a lot of light blue and mint. It's hard not to rethink my color choices because it's too late.

Favorite part of the week:
My son and I had birthdays this week. He was on the 10th and I came on the 11th. celebrating our birthdays was the best part of my week. There was lots of eating out, cakes and presents, but there were no birthday songs because they don't do that in Slovakia. My son is growing up and I am turning older. 

Stephanie | This week I picked the Stretched 9 Patch pattern. This was a chaotic week for us, with my husband in Colorado for work, and my oldest going off to public school for the first time, I wanted something on the easy side that wouldn't cause any unnecessary stress for myself. I didn't want to have to think too much or fiddle around a lot, I needed simple. This pattern came together very similar to Week 1, so for anyone who is sewing along, this will be familiar. This block is only 2 colors. Color 1 cuts as 2 parts, the main center square at 6.5" and the 4 corner squares at 3.5". Color 2 is cut into 4 strips at 6.5" x 3.5".  As in week 1, sew a corner block to the top and bottom of 2 strips. Take the remaining 2 strips and sew them to the top and bottom of the main center block. Then sew those 3 columns together, remember to match up seams. Seam allowance at 1/4 inch.

Favorite part of the week: My favorite part of this week was when I picked up my daughter from her very first day of public school (4th grade) she tells me it was the best day ever and wants to continue with it next year. We have home-schooled since Kindergarten and we were both so nervous about this new adventure, but I felt it was the right choice this year to switch to public school for both my older girls. They and dad protested and so we stuck with home school again this year. My oldest and I just clashed too much with each other for it to be successful for us. She finally agreed to give public school a try for the remainder of this year knowing we would reevaluate for next school year come summer. So that first day when she was so happy and excited and certain that this is the path for her, I felt so happy, relieved, and validated that this was the right choice for us.  I also took down all Christmas decor and added a new little table to my sewing spot - yay!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Week 1 | Winter Cottage + Framed Windmill

Week 1 Pattern: Winter Cottage + Framed Windmill

Stephanie | I worked on the 'Framed Windmill' pattern. This block requires 4 colors. This block consists of 2 different strips of fabric measuring 18 x 2 1/2", sewn together, then cut into (4) -4 1/2 blocks. Rotate the cut squares to make the 'Windmill' pattern. Sew all 4 blocks together. Using a 3rd color, cut (4) 8 1/2 x 2 1/2" strips. The 4th color is (4) squares at 2 1/2". Attach 2 squares to the top and bottom of 2 strips. Then sew the 2 remaining strips to the top and bottom of the windmill block. Finally attach the strip + square combo to the left and right of the windmill block, making sure to match seams. The seam allowance is 1/4" throughout. I liked this pattern, it was easy and came together quickly. The pattern in the book had a striped and solid print fabric for the main windmill block, I liked the striped fabric, I felt it added to the movement of a windmill, so I kept with that look.

My favorite part of this week:  Just getting things started, we talked about kicking up A Year to Inspire again for a while, so it feels good that we are here again. I also started a daily Bible study which will take me through the Bible in its entirety through the whole year. And, my oldest will start attending public school this week. We have done home-school so far, and it just hasn't been working for us. I feel this is the right move for her, she needs to have her independence away from the home, to make new friends, and most importantly, to have a teacher who isn't mom. So its been a crazy week trying to prepare for all these new changes, and getting on schedule and making sure all things are in order, but its all for very good things!  

Annetta | This weeks square was called 'Winter Cottage'. We have a week to finish our projects and this one did take a week to do, it also didn't help that it was a week full of holidays! I am a knitter and not a crocheter, but found this particular pattern to be fairly easy to do. I love how big the square ended up being, a whole 10" by 10". I need to crochet this square two more times per the blanket instructions but will do that later in our project. The place I seem to do most of my crochet work is at my desk in between my work breaks. I was very pleased with how the colours worked out together too. I'm looking forward to the colour combination of my next square and compare them.

For this week my favourite moment was when it snowed! I love snow like really love it. My favourite part about it is when it gets really deep you can hear the snowfall and the sound is so beautiful. It snowed about 4" this week and in some moments it felt like a blizzard. Most of the snow melted yesterday as it warmed up, but then froze again overnight. We are supposed to get snow all week and I am not complaining. Slovakia usually doesn't get this amount of snow.

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