Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Needlework Tuesday - How to repair a mis-placed front post triple crochet stitch

I made a very obvious mistake in my Sophie's Universe afghan and I couldn't leave it.  It had to be fixed.  I was too far past it to rip back, but it had to be fixed.  This week I have a photo tutorial on how to fix such a mistake.  The left leg of the stitch is correct and the right leg is attached to the light blue instead of the purple.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you

 The wrong stitch needs to be cut, unravelled, pulled to the back of the work and securely fastened. Study this stitch carefully before doing anything.  Note where the yarns come through from the back of the project.  I am working on the right leg of the light teal stitch.  There are two loops of the yarn that go under and previous light blue triple crochet.  Only cut one of these threads.  You want as much yarn as possible left for working in on the back.
 After unravelling, I have a couple of inches to work with. Thread a large blunt needle with one end and work it to the back, going into the fabric exactly where it comes out to the front.  Then do the same for the other end.  If the ends are long enough to work in securely, then do so, if they aren't , then tie them off with same coloured sewing thread, then work the ends in. There is nothing wrong with using sewing thread to secure your project.  If you match the colours, no one will ever notice unless you point it out.
I need to make a front post standing triple crochet.  wrap the yarn around the hook 4 times.  Only three show in the photo as the other is hiding under the purple stitch.  One wrap is a yarn holder, the next is for the loop that would normally already be existing on the hook and the next two are the start of the triple stitch.  Insert the hook under the previous stitch.  Wrap the yarn on the hook and pull through.
 There are now 5 wraps on the hook. Proceed as for a normal triple crochet.
 Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the first two loops. Repeat twice.
 The triple crochet is now finished.  The working loop is right next to the hook, the loop further back is just there to hold the yarn in place at the start of the stitch.
The working end of the yarn can now but cut, but leave a couple of inches for working with.  Use a blunt needle to pull the ends to the back.  Work each end separately as they go through at different points.  Fasten off securely at the back of the work.
My correction is now complete, and no one will ever know except for those who read it here.

I'll admit that I was feeling a bit anxious before I snipped the yarn, but I had thought through the process and knew that it would work.  No worries right.   Once I had the errant stitch unravelled, there really was no threat of any other stitches coming loose.   I did nudge and push at the nearby stitches and they were quite secure.  Made me feel much better about the whole process.  In the future, I'll try and be more observant as I'm stitching, but since I mostly knit and crochet while watching tv, more mistakes are bound to happen.  Oh well, not the worst things in life.  I do these for my own enjoyment, not to be hung in an art gallery nor do I sell them.  They are good enough for me and my family.

I hope that you have found this mini tutorial helpful.

I won't ask you to post photos of your needlework mistakes, we all need some privacy.  Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Killing Floor by Lee Child

I loved every minute of this audio book.  I listened at each opportunity and frequently found myself walking longer each day so I could listen to an additional chapter or three.

Killing Floor is the first book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.  Jack finds himself in Margrave, Georgia enjoying a quiet breakfast washed down with the best cup of coffe when the police show up, guns drawn, and arrest him.  He is accused of a brutal murder that took place the previous night.  Now it's up to Jack to find the real murderer in order to prove his innocence. 

Jack is ex-military. One of those guys that you can count on.  At critical plot moments, I found myself  yelling out loud and cheering for him. Not a good thing when hyou are reading in public. I can't decide which supporting characters I loved most, the Harvard educated Detective Findley or Sergeant Roscoe, a blossoming love interest to Jack.  The two old guys in the barber shop added warmth to a town that needed something real and not the phoney cheerfulness that excessive amounts of money can buy.

This book was read by Dick Hill.  He has the most amazing voice.  He has been named a "Golden Voice" and "Voice of the Century" by Audiofile magazine.  If I didn't know better, I would insist that James Earl Jones spoke the dialogue of Detective Findley.  The audio book is from Brilliance Audio, runs 15 hours unabridged.

Cover image courtesy of Brilliance Audio

Jack Reacher Series
  1.  Killing Floor
  2. Die Trying
  3. Trip Wire
  4. Running Blind  (The Visitor  - UK title)
  5. Echo Burning
  6. Without Fail
  7. Persuader
  8. The Enemy
  9. One Shot
  10. The Hard Way
  11. Bad Luck and Trouble
  12. Nothing To Lose
  13. Gone Tomorrow
  14. 61 Hours
  15. Worth Dying For
  16. The Affair
  17.  A Wanted Man
  18. Never Go Back
  19. Personal
  20. Make Me

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Needlework Tuesday - Readers are so Encouraging

Today I'd like to start my post by thanking all my weekly readers. Just knowing that you come to visit each Tuesday to see what I've been stitching during the past week encourages me to work on my numerous projects. Without this nudge, I am sure that I would get no where near as much accomplished.  Your thoughtful comments make us feel like friends and if it weren't a question of distance, I'd be having tea with many of you and we could stitch together on a regular basis.  Since that isn't likely to change, I'll be back here most Tuesdays to share with you, and I appreciate that some of you choose to link up with Needlework Tuesday and share.

 Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you

 I've been working along on my Sophie's Universe .  I have almost finished the rounds of week 4.  While looking at it, I noticed that I made a mistake back quite a few rows.  Oops.  I have figured out how to fix it  without ripping back, but haven't been brave enough.  Next week I plan to feature a pictorial of the repair.
Close up of the 'corner'

Piecing on my one block wonder is at the 2/3 point (60 of 90 blocks).  It's still a surprise as I press open each block.  No two are the same yet.   Hubby and I are both looking forward to arranging and re-arranging these blocks.

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current Needlework post.  I invite you to also add links to your One Block Wonder quilt, or a post about your Sophie's Universe.  #sophiesUniverse

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Tent City by Kelly Van Hull

A plague of locusts has destroyed  the world's crops leading to devastating food shortages.  So many people have died that the very survival of the human race is in doubt.  On the eve of the establishment of safety camps for young people, Dani and her little brother Brody, flee their home seeking safety in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The two can't possibly survive without the help of several other teens.  Kit has been Dani's friend for years, while others such as Bentley, Jack and Callie are new friends.  Together, they form a cohesive group with many strengths.

I enjoyed reading this story and felt that much of it was quite plausible.  Yes, older teens could be sent off on their own to survive, some being more capable than others.  Their banding together seemed a natural response to their situation.

The setting of the Black Hills is practically a magical place to me.  I know it only from the Beatles song "Rocky Raccoon".  It is a vast, under-populated area with lots of hiding places. A great place to hide.

 Were the locusts a natural occurrence or a biblical plague.  Religion does play a role in this story, though not in a persuasive way, rather as the belief/practise of a segment of the characters.  It is yet to be told how much of a role it truly plays in the development of the plot or if it really is just and excuse for men to behave badly.

I look forward to this story continuing in the next book Red River.

Thanks to author Kelly Van Hull for use of the cover image.

Friday, 20 March 2015

First Nations Friday - Circles by Ruby Standing Deer

First Nations/Aboriginal Friday is an occasional post where I review books written by First Nations Authors.  ( in Canada we refer to our founding peoples as First Nations)

Regardless of the time period or the culture, it is not always straightforward for a boy to become a man.  Even before he was born, others knew that Feather Floating in Water was destined for great deeds.  He would lead his, and many other peoples to a new and safe land.  He was not left alone to achieve this; he had the wisdom of several elders and the words of his ancestors and spirit guides to teach him. 

This story is set around 1500 in an un-stated North American location.  For most of the story I pondered which tribe these people might be and where they lived.  After I finished reading, I finally realized that it didn't really matter; it wasn't a narrative of a specific tribe, rather that of a way of life and of a belief system that could be applied to many peoples. 

The Band of Fish People are peaceful.  Their way of life shows respect for the animals that provide for them.  Through his dreams, Feather Floating in Water, learns that he must lead his tribe and others that will come to follow him to a new land.  His belief in the ways of his people is strong and he trusts that the elders and those that have come before will guide him.  I was impressed with how Ms. Standing Deer conveyed this belief system and made it feel real to me.  She had me carefully reading the words of the ancestors.

While it took me a few chapters to get into the gentle tone of the book, but the closing chapters, I was totally involved with the characters and was fearing for their continued safety.  This is a gently told story which was a good reprieve from the business of my everyday life.

This story should appeal to a wide audience from chapter reading grade school children on up to seniors.

To begin reading now, a sample of the opening chapters is available at Ruby's website.

Thanks to author Ruby Standing Deer for use of the cover image.  

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Natural Causes by James Oswald

I was captivated by this story from the opening pages and read it through in two days amid other obligations. 

Detective Inspector Anthony McLean is out walking and happens upon a police call.  He enters the premise and finds himself at the gruesome murder scene of a prominent citizen.  The next morning he is called to the site of a very different murder, one that occurred over fifty years ago, and this one clearly appears to have been the result of a perverse ritual.  True evil is afoot.

Aided in the pursuit of the murderers are a stellar set of character whom I hope to encounter in future books in this series.  Angus Cadwallader the pathologist, Grumpy Bob and DC Stuart McBride round out Tony's co-workers.

While reading this mystery within a mystery, I quickly figured out the basics of what happened and kept calling aloud, "I knew it" though I had to keep reading to find out the details.  I like the character of Tony and I felt bad for the sorrows of his life.  I found myself rooting for him in solving these cases.

Inspector McLean Series:

1 Natural Causes
2 The Book of Souls
3 The Hangman's Song
4 Dead Men's Bones
5 Prayer for the Dead
Thanks to Penguin Books for use of the cover image.
website for author James Oswald

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Needlework Tuesday - Merrily Stitching Along

 Sorry I missed you all last week.  I started a new project and was totally carried away with it.  According to my sister, anyone who loves crochet is working on their Sophie's Universe Afghan.  she practically insisted that I start one as well.  After a few weeks of dithering on colours, I decided I would work with whatever I had on hand.  This is a free pattern that has been designed by Dedri at the blog Look At What I Made.   It is complex looking afghan, but she has so fully explained and photographed each step, that so far I have only had to rip it back a few times.  By breaking it down row by row, it is a doable project. This first photo shows Week 1 rows.  There will be twenty weeks of instruction.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you

Sophie's Universe Week 2
This photo shows Sophie's Universe to the end of Week 3. Dedri even tells you in the instructions when to expect the project to ripple and always reassures that it will flatten out once again.  The last round shown was crab stitch, which resulted in some rippling, most of which I flattened for the photo.  In Week 4 we are squaring up the centre medallion.  I have a few of the rows complete, but you'll have to wait for photos.

 I have continued to work on the octagons for my one block quilt.  I'm about half way done.  Hubby keeps sneaking into the room to rearrange them.  He is convinced that he can mathematically determine the best layout for the blocks.  It makes me smile when he gets very serious and starts telling me his theory of how that would work.
I suspect that I am not unusual in have many unfinished projects.  I am a terrific idea person.  Fantastic at starting things, but not so great at getting them finished.  I can't recall when I cut these boxers out, but thankfully they are now finished in time for daughter's birthday tomorrow.  Whether I get the other two pairs completed tonight....

I was thinking last evening that I needed a new carry around knitting project. Not that I don't already have two afghans on the go, oops, make that three, there is one hiding in the basement, oh wait, make that four, there is one in the dining room with all the blocks complete and waiting to be sewn together.  See what I mean, too many unfinished projects.

Do you have an unfinished project that is sitting there and bugging you every day.   I don't have just one, I have several sitting on my dining room table.  If I clear the table, then they'll get put away unfinished and stay that way for goodness knows how long.  After I finish the boxers (that are sitting on that same table) I'm going to pick another off the table and get it done.  Do you have a plan for attacking the UFOs.  Share  it in the comments, you just might help me and my readers complete one of their projects.

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tangled Thursday - Time to give Zopfe a try

I can't believe how quickly the past two weeks have flown by.  It seems I was just playing with colours on a tile and now Carolien has a new challenge for us.  She wants us to use Zopfe in  a drawing.  Here's what she had to say:
I would love to see how you use Zöpfe in a drawing. I really love the look of it, but the outcome is never what I would like it to be when I draw it. Like it doesn't like playing with the other tangles I choose. lol. So I've been wanting to explore it further, this seemed like an excellent time for that :)

This wasn't and easy nor natural one for me either.  I gave it a couple of tries, and while I feel better about the later ones, it's still not sitting comfortably with me.  The one in the centre was my first attempt, the one on the right, my second, and the multiple ones on the left, my third.  By the third try I was getting the hang of it.   At first I missed that the ends of the strokes were supposed to lay on top of each other.

Welcome to Tangled Thursday.  A few of my online friends have joined me in an occasional Zentangle challenge.  We'll take turns choosing a theme which I'll post here on my blog.  At that time, I'll add Mister Linky and invite you to add a link to your drawing using that them.  I'll leave the linky open till the next challenge is posted, usually two weeks. Any one who participates could be contacted to decide our next challenge.

 All are welcome to join in the fun.  If you are new to Zentangles, then visit the website for a complete explanation and all sorts of online resources.  I'm also a big fan of TanglePatterns

A bookmark featuring the tangle Zopfe

 I'm still not sure about Zopfe, though it did go better on this tile.  I'll need to try it again on a smaller scale. Perhaps my base line was just to big making it hard for me to control the lines in the next step.  I have added teardrops, pokeleaf and a very poor rendition of Mumsy.

it was barely warm enough to stand outside on Sunday evening and capture the sunset.  It was such a lovely shade of pink.

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your post about Zopfe.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Needlework Tuesday - One ball projects--- almost

 I must applaud the weather, it has done everything in it's power this past week to keep me inside and wanting to knit.  It's been cold.  We are near the point where the thermometer hasn't gone above freezing in about 40 days, which is nearing a record. 

I stared this hat for hubby last week, but ran out of wool.  the shop didn't have any more of that colour nor did any other nearby shops.  i decided that stripes would work.  Hubby is very happy with his hat.  It snugs down over his forehead and ears and will keep him very warm.
 Due to the edge technique, the ear flaps actually curl around the ears.  Pattern and wool details are in last week's post.

  Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.
 While I was waiting to get to the shop for additional wool for the hat, I finished up this cowl for myself.   My long coat is a teal colour and this will match perfectly.
 Just a little tease of the mystery project I am working on  It is so warm and cuddly, almost to warm to have sitting on my lap while stitching.  I'm at the half way point.
I've finished the next lesson in my colour theory class.  The first block shows split complementary: yellow-green, red, violet.  The second shows triadic colours: yellow-green, blue-violet and red-orange.  The third block features tetradic colours: yellow-green, blue, red-violet and orange.  I used these same colours in the embroidery shown below.   the blocks are 6 1/2 inches  and the embroidery is about 4 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall.

Do you embroider?  Do you have a recommendation for a stitch book?  I know there are lots of stitch instructions available online, but I want a book in hand to browse through and find new stitches.  It would be most helpful if it also includes instructions for left handed stitchers.

I'd love to see what you are working on, Mister Linky is waiting below.