The days leading up to the holidays are a perfect time for allowing the creative juices to flow.  It’s the lull before the whirlwind that is Christmas. There are no chores out in the garden, Thanksgiving is done, the tree is up and daylight savings is in full effect.  It’s time to indulge in creativity that warms you inside and out.

Time to bake, to simmer delicious soups, to curl up with a good book, to knit, to drink copious amounts of tea, to indulge in some slow handstitching.  The perfect winter creative list.

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Slowing things down is so good and necessary.  During my pre-Christmas pause, I found a sweet pattern that I had to make.  The pattern is from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas called the Jolly Wee Elf.  Churchmouse is the most adorable yarn shop ever.  Located on Bainbridge Island, it is a must-see if you are ever in the Seattle area, even if you aren’t a knitter.

The unique details in this pattern make such a cute little elf.

Jolly Wee Elf 3 Blog

I used Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool in a woodland color theme for this little guy.  Jamieson & Smith have such an awesome array of colors in their 2 ply jumper weight yarn.  I must make him some friends because he looks a little bit lonely all by himself.

Jolly Wee Elf 2 Blog

It is a great project that you can finish in a really short time and is fantastic to use up little scraps of yarn from your stash.  Once I finished his arms following the pattern instructions, it’s like his personality came alive!  The pattern gives instructions for two sizes, I made the smaller of the two.

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It’s January now.  The tree is taken down and the ornaments put away for another year.  But I think I’ll let this Jolly Wee Elf hang out with me a little while longer.  He is warm in his scarf on the snowdrifts.  Yes, we still have snow on the ground!!  So very strange for us west coast folk.

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Indulging in an evening of creative whimsy with this little elf definitely brought a smile to my face 🙂

Jolly Wee Elf Blog

Jolly Wee Elf (Ravelry notes)
Pattern: Jolly Wee Elf by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
Yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2 ply in 202, FC38 and FC12
Needles: Size US 2 / 2.75 mm

** Sharing over on Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Friday **  

Happy New Year dear friends!  I hope your year is filled with plenty of joy, fun and creativity!!

So 2017 is here and it’s time to focus.  While 2016 was a year of tremendous growth both personally and for my family, I sort of lost my way in documenting and sharing the joys, accomplishments and struggles.  While I try to savor the memories of good times and learn from experiences that were tough, I realize that keeping a record is a great way to reflect and improve.  Onward with the new.

Bright Beautiful 8

Speaking of new experiences, out here on the west coast we’ve gotten used to the grey, moody days that are typical of a Vancouver winter. This is a temperate rainforest after all! But this past December has been a first for us since we moved to Vancouver with all. the. snow!!!

Bright Beautiful 2

We decided to brave the frigid outdoors and go for a walk on New Years Day.  10 minutes in and we were racing back to the car dreaming of piping hot soup.  Now I get what the fuss wind chill is all about.  Unless it’s absolutely essential to walk outside, you will find me in hibernation mode!

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I’m seriously longing for milder temperatures and dare I say in a loud whisper… rain!  

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But really, the snow has made this winter feel magical and for the first time ever the Christmas songs we hear on repeat over the holidays have been true.  Winter Wonderland? Check and check!

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I made a few warm and cozy things over the holidays.  They were quick, satisfying projects and kept my fingers toasty 🙂  I’ll share my makes soon.

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Here’s to many magical moments this coming year for all of you ✸

I was asked by Yarn Canada to review some Red Heart Scrubby yarn they sent me.  I have to confess, I have never knit with Red Heart yarn before let alone, a yarn that looked ‘scratchy’.  But, I was ready for the challenge!

As you can see, it says that this yarn is great for dishcloths, right on the ball band.  I wanted to test out that claim.

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I received three different colored balls of Scrubby and I could knit or crochet a simple square with the different colors to test this yarn.  But I wanted something “funner” 🙂  I looked online and found this interesting pattern for a Tawashi.

To make a Tawashi, you knit or crochet a small rectangle on the bias.  You do this by decreasing stitches on one end and increasing them on the other end of alternate rows.  A parallelogram-shaped piece of knitted fabric is the result.  I used a combination of cheerful pink and bright green to knit my first Tawashi.  It went rather quickly on the needles.

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Next, I used this pattern for a more Christmassy-looking Tawashi.

Ta-da!

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I thought that this yarn would be really hard on the hands.  If it can get tough grease and grit off dirty dishes, it can surely shred ones fingers.  But none of that happened and my fingers are intact.  The yarn is very different to the touch, I’ll give you that.  But it doesn’t feel plasticky at all neither does it have that overpowering chemical smell that tends to accompany some acrylic yarns.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Time for the true test.  How does it work on getting dirty dishes clean.  Pretty good actually!  I didn’t have to pre-soak the dishes for ages or use too much elbow grease and they came out looking sparkly clean.

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Verdict :: this is a great yarn for dishcloths.  A cute little stack of these will be a great addition to a gift basket for a housewarming party or Christmas.

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Given that this yarn is textured, a stitch pattern other than garter stitch or stockinette, isn’t going to show up. Also, if you make a mistake while you are knitting/crocheting, chances are no one will see it so just keep soldiering on and don’t attempt to rip out your work.  This yarn is definitely fudge-friendly and can hide a multitude of errors 🙂

Celebrate handmade with these cute Tawashi scrubbies!

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This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Yarn Canada. Skeins were received for review purposes. Views expressed here are my own.

All the blocks for my son’s Mexico Quilt are done.  Hooray!

Road To Mexico 1

I love the combination of the golds, blues and greys and this is going to make a great quilt once it’s done.  Haha, that’s the kicker… once it’s done!
Road To Mexico 3

Given the massive size of each block in this quilt, it should be super speedy. Sadly, speed is not my speed!!  So witty, right?!

Road To Mexico 2

Wait there’s more.

Ta-da!  Zinger block in the mix!

Road To Mexico 5

My son wanted me to add some weird stuff (his words) and we tried different combinations… a solid, a really dark charcoal, a green.  Nothing really did it for us.  Then he pulled out this deep red fabric from the pile of contenders and we placed it with the other fabrics.  Squinted at it, stared at the pile some more and thought it might work.

I don’t know if this will be a good idea or not.  I’ll put these blocks together and then decide if it works overall or just looks odd.

Road To Mexico 4

Oh, I’ll keep my seam ripper handy just in case 😉

**Joining the linky party fun over at Sew Fresh Quilts**

Disclaimer:

The interwebs ate my post from this morning… eyeroll, so I’m having to do a re-post.  Gah!

Apologies if you’ve read this stuff before and you’re looking at it again!

Here’s Take 2…

I finished something!  Say whaaat!!

Surf's Up 2

Yeah, it’s true!  The socks that were on my needles are done, done, done.  Let’s totally not dwell on the fact that I began them ermm… last December.  LOL!!

Surf's Up 1

These socks are for the hubster and I had him try them on after I was done casting off the last stitch. The reaction I got from him was, “groooooaaaaan”!  I’ll take that as a good sign.  These are the first pair of handknit socks he has ever worn.  Shame on me for taking so long to knit him a pair!  But, we won’t dwell on that either.

Here they are all set for a nice long bath before they get mauled into shape.

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I don’t have the right size sock blockers, but the ones I do have should work to even out the stitches and also produce a sort of sock shape.  Stripes are so much fun to knit and I just love this self striping yarn.  Easy peasy!  I’ll share all the details about this project once they’re blocked and the tails are woven in.

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Handknit socks, they are the best!!

It’s nice to ease into some sort of regular programming these days.  What better way that to showcase a work in progress for WIP Wednesday.

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We’ve had a few scary trips to the ER with the little one being ill this September.  It’s always harder when your kids are sick.

But she’s fine now and almost completely recovered!  She’s a bubbly little thing and it was sad to see her so sick and weak.  But that’s in the past and she’s back to her old self now 🙂

Our September calendar is covered in scribbles and notes, but that’s how everyone’s back-to-school schedule is, right?  Right?!  I’ve knit a total of 2 rounds on my sock this month, hah!  So, in the evenings, when I have a few precious moments I’ve been sitting with my glue pen sticking things!  These paper pieced diamonds are just the ticket.

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I dug out my scraps and cut them about 1/4 inch larger than my diamond paper template on all sides. I’m thinking I’ll use these low volume prints for the center.

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Won’t be too long if I keep this sticky situation going.  I’m hoping I’ll have enough diamonds to turn this into a sunburst (starburst??) pattern and make a mini quilt.  The double whammy with this project has been bustin’ them scraps in the process.

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I’ve needed something enjoyable and mindless like this to offset the busy days.  I think I’ll keep that sock close by too 🙂

** Linking up today at Let’s Bee Social **

Well, hello there!  Did you have a good summer?  I had a great summer and although I didn’t intend it, I took an extended break from blogging and crafting.  I wanted to catch up with my blog friends and even document my summer shenanigans here, but the past few months just whizzed by and here we are… September!

September always feels like the New Year to me!  With the carefree days of summer behind us and the kids back in school, it’s time to turn the page and start afresh!  Oh yes, the only downside is that I’ve had to turn my morning alarm back on, LOL!

My daughter and I had a glorious summer away visiting family and friends in India.  I haven’t been back there for a few years and this was my first time going back without the hubster and our son, so it was really interesting!  A girls only vacation!!

When in India… 🇮🇳👸🏻 #incredibleindia #summerfun #indiadiaries #nammabengaluru #mydesiprincess

A photo posted by Preeti Verghese (@preetiverghese) on

Being by ourselves on vacation didn’t stop us from having so many adventures and we enjoyed every moment.  I was skeptical at first about traveling this extensively all over South India by ourselves.  But my hesitations were unfounded.  In this digital age where information about anything is literally available in your back pocket, traveling can be hassle free.  I found that if I planned ahead and did some research via travel forums and blogs, I didn’t have to waste time having to map out our daily agenda which made things less stressful.  Would I do this again… absolutely!  Although, doing it as a family would quadruple the fun level!!

I tried to document my adventures over on Instagram, hence the phone pics.  Are you on Instagram? I’m preetiverghese over there, look for me and say hi 🙂  I’d love to catch up with you too!

For my trip, I packed some crafty supplies in my suitcase – some knitting and some hand sewing.  But I never even unpacked them!  That’s ok.  There was no deadline to get things done and I was totally fine with that.

With the approaching cooler days ahead, there will be plenty of time and reasons to stay indoors and get creative 🙂  I’m also looking forward to getting back into reading!  My ever growing To-Read list is getting ridiculous!!

I’m hoping to get the Mexico quilt finished this month and I’m almost done with a pair of stripey socks.  Also, I’m half way through a slow summer mystery with the lovable Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  It’s a good way get the creative juices flowing amidst a packed schedule that comes with a start of a new school year!

Did you travel over the summer?  What’s on your crafty list for fall?  Any good books on your nightstand??

Talk soon xo

Turns out that, This bundle + This pattern = Perfect Match.

Wander 1

Remember how I blogged about this gorgeous bundle of fabric in blues and golds that recently landed in my stashed? I had the Mexico Quilt pattern in mind for this awesomeness but didn’t think I would be able to pull it off.  The pattern, as envisioned by the designer, has you use one print for an entire column of blocks.  However, I am known to color outside the lines 😉

I decided to go the scrappy route and use different prints for each block.
Progress 1

Well… when I read the cutting directions for the blocks, I thought I was seeing things.  The pieces you cut initially are HUGE!  To try things out, I decided that I would make only one block to begin with and see how it works out.
Progress 2

Oh.  My.  Stars.

Mexico Quilt Block 1.1

What a gorgeous block, I absolutely love it!!!  This oversized block will be joined by a few more shortly and before you know it, I’ll have a whole quilt top done.

Money shot, ahh, I love it so!

Mexico Quilt Block 1.2

** Linking up with Finish It Friday **

While I’ve been sort of AWOL with family visiting and volunteering responsibilities and the crazy schedules of spring term, I haven’t stopped adding to stash!

Wander 1

This lovely geometric bundle hopped into my shopping bag and now it’s slated to become something new.  The prints are bold, modern and I adore the clean lines.  Totally up my alley!

Wander 2

These are from Joel Dewberry’s line Wander for Free Spirit. I love the golds and the blues paired with the cool greys. This line also has raspberry reds and teals, but I stuck to this palette with a certain 17-year-old in mind!  After I made a quilt for his sister, I think my firstborn needs one too.  He loves anything that is Aztec inspired, so this fabric pull is meant to be 🙂

Wander 3

I’ve finished piecing my Modern Arithmetic (WIP pics coming soon) and cleared up my work space.  So it’s only right that my clean table be cluttered up again with some sunshiny chaos!

So… which pattern to pick?  Why is this always the hardest part!!

Wander 4

For a while, I’ve had my eye on a gorgeous quilt by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches.  She wrote a quilt pattern called the Mexico Quilt. I’m thinking this will be my plan for this bundle… well, sort of.  Instead of columns of single prints, I’m going “semi” scrappy.  I think.  Maybe.

Wander 5

I’d better begin cutting this up, before I change my mind!

**Joining the linky party fun over at Sew Fresh Quilts**

Actually typing up a blog post as opposed to formulating a post in my head is always a good thing!  And, there’s no time like the present to hit publish, right?

I’ve got a few small finishes that I haven’t yet shared on the blog so here’s my #LaterPost about these.

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Two of these FOs were made as Christmas presents so they have long since been gifted to the recipients and were received with delight!

First up is this table runner made using mini squares from the Wintergreen line by 3 Sisters for Moda Fabrics. Granny squares against a creamy background was my plan for this runner.  My go to quilting design – the “wiggle” and a green binding finished this gift.

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I love the texture of the wiggle 🙂

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I also had a bunch of leftover 4 patches from a previous project in this fun Christmas print called In From The Cold by Kate Spain.  Half the work was already done, I just sewed the 4 patches all together with a bright red border all around.  You can’t tell from the pictures but the red fabric has stick figure snowmen <3

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I quilted this one with concentric curves – so fun!

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Then, I added a simple envelope backing and bound it with the same bright red.  Stuffed a pillow inside and another Christmas present was ready to be wrapped and gifted.

I also finished my second Binding Kit, this time in Bonnie & Camille prints (those sail boats, though!!)

Daysail Binding Kit 1

It turned out just as cute as my first binding kit.

Daysail Binding Kit 2

I’m thinking that this will become a great little notions pouch for my knitting supplies :: stitch markers, measuring tape etc.

Daysail Binding Kit 3

Three little finishes and one large WIP… my Arithmetic Quilt 🙂

Process 4

I see signs of spring everywhere with green shoots pushing up out of the ground.  Snowdrops bowing their sweet little heads and crocuses and daffodils and all sorts of other prettiness too!  I hope you’re having a lovely February 🙂

** Linking up at Finish It Friday and Whoop Whoop Fridays **