Craftsy

Hi Friends,

You all may know of Craftsy.com, but they are running a really good special right now.

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I love Craftsy classes.  For $120.00/year, you get unlimited access to classes.  (They also have a monthly charge for $14.99) They are not just for knitting.   This morning,  I’ve been watching a gardening class.  They have painting, photography, cooking, sewing, jewelry, wood working, quilting, etc.   I recently  enjoyed a class on colored pencils.  (Hmmm, I need to check out if they have a class on yarn dying….)

Also when you sign up, you get a FREE knit project including enough yarn to complete the project for FREE!

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I picked the Entwined Blanket (bottom right) in a pretty lavender color to make for my daughter, Lindy, for when she moves into her own place for the first time.   Plus, they offer a $25 coupon for any supplies you may want to buy, in addition to the free kit/yarn you are already receiving.

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This is a really good deal and I wanted to share with my knitter friends.  It’s a cool Spring rainy day today and a perfect day to sit in my creative space and dream of beautiful projects to further enhance my home.   I’m especially looking forward to the gardening classes.    I love the Boho look – natural fibers, lots of fresh green plants and flowers, the tinkling of wind chimes, beautiful textures, splashes of running water, and the fragrant notes of the outdoors.   I love spending time outdoors, particularly in the Spring and Fall. It gets really hot here in Oklahoma in the Summer,  that it  sends you inside for the air conditioning.  My favorite room in my house is the sunroom.   Lots of natural light and plants.

Check out Craftsy.

Have a great day friends!

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday

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Lauren and I went to Stitches, Texas last weekend.  We were so focused on all the booths and pretty yarns that we forgot to take a single picture!   We dumped out  both our loots and took a picture of our treasures.

I’ve had a rough weekend.   Lauren was in a minor car accident.  She and baby are fine.  I was so scared and worried about her that I aggravated an old neck injury of mine and have had a horrible headache for 3 days now.  I thought I’d post some fun pictures of yarn to help me feel better.   Yarn releases feel good endorphins and makes me happy.  Might take my mind off my headache.

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I bought this yarn for Lauren for her birthday along with a pattern for a cowl at L & B Yarn Co in Norman, OK.  The teal is Marisol Ushya (two skeins) and the brown variegated is by Universal Yarns Classic Shades Frenzy. (1 skein).  Love that cowl!  Super cute with jeans.  Tomorrow, we are supposed to get our first bout of fall weather.  Fall is my favorite season; back to school, football, pumpkins, falling leaves, my favorite colors all around, jeans, boots, and cowls…..just love it.

I spent the weekend working on my unfinished projects.  This is my unfinished project basket.  That is the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole.  I started it about 6 years ago.  It just lacks one more row and the fringe.

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This is the Wavy Lace Scarf by Sweaterbabe.  All this one lacked was the fringe.  I love this color!  So pretty!  This is the 4th scarf I’ve made from this pattern.

These adorable fingerless gloves are from the pattern  Trilsea’n, which is Gaelic for “braid”, by Kalurah Hudson that I downloaded from KnitPicks.  Very appropriate for “Outlander” fans.  Speaking of Outlander, is anyone else down in the dumps waiting for Claire and Jamie to finally get back together?  Every episode has been so sad and depressing.  Each episode, I’m like “Come on!  Get back together already!”.

Happy Monday everybody!  I’m already feeling better.

 

Blocking the Aideen Shawl

Lauren asked me what blocking was the other day, so I thought I would share.  I’ve mentioned that blocking is not something that many knitters enjoy.  It is necessary for several types of knitting, especially lace.  I knit the “Aideen” shawl by Dee O’Keefe two years ago when I travelled to Rhinebeck, NY for their annual Sheep and Wool Festival.  If you haven’t been, please put it on your bucket list to go.  New York is absolutely gorgeous in the fall.  My husband has turned his nose up at traveling to the East coast, and he loved it!   It’s an absolutely must do.  Two years later, and I’m finally blocking my shawl!

This is the shawl laid out unblocked.

You soak the garment in water, and the wool/alpaca/fiber blooms.  You get the excess water out by rolling it up in a towel.

This is a blocking mat.  You can get these at your LYS or buy them online.  I purchased two packages from Knit Picks, an online yarn store.  I did not have enough to completely block this out like I should have, so I will need to buy one more package.  The long cardboard contains long wires that you use to help block and then T-pins to pin the garment down.  You will see Max in these pics.  He’s everywhere I am.

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Max is trying to help me, but he’s in my way, playing with the blocking wires.  I had to shut him out of the room to get this done.  He sure is cute though!

This is the shawl laid out and pinned down.  The pattern will tell you the measurements it should be.  You just flatten and pull and push until you get the correct measurements.  I did not have the appropriate space of blocking mats to do this “perfectly”.  The wires are thread through the inner circle, where Max is laying.  The pattern called for more wires to be thread and placed along the edge between the lace and the border.  I did not do this.

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Here is the diagram from the pattern on what it should have looked like.

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You can see mine is kinda wonky compared to the pattern.  I even accidentally missed pinning a few of the picots on the edge of the scarf, but you can’t tell.

Here is the finished product.

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Thank you Lauren for posing for me.  You are absolutely stunning!   Our grandson has a new name.  It was going to be Jack.  Now it’s Luke Scott Mattinson.  I told Lauren he is going to be so cute that she will never put him down.  She promised me should would put him down for a little bit so I could hold him. :-).

This is my oldest son, John, the dad.  Both mom and dad have the cutest dimples.  Luke surely will too.  You never know.

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I hear several people are intimidated by lace projects.  Don’t be.  They are not hard.   It’s only yarn overs and knitting two stitches together.   Not hard at all.

Stitches, Texas

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Stitches,Texas is coming up this weekend in Irving, Texas.  Stitches holds fiber festivals in several states across the country.  I think Chicago used to be the closest one to me.  So when Stitches decided to hold a festival in Texas, I was super excited.  Texas is just next door to Oklahoma.  I was able to attend the very first Stitches in Texas.    I went by myself and had a great time.  I spent a weekend in a hotel and participated in several classes.  I signed up for the whole shebang; dinner, fashion shows, events and prizes.  There were several “single” people so I didn’t feel awkward going by myself.   The catered dinner party had several single people at the table and it was a free for all for seating.   I even participated in a fashion show.

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Barry Kline in a Swing class

This is Barry Kline and he teaches a class about adding some “swing” to knit garments.  I have a bit of a belly, so I like knit garments that have a slight drape and “swing” versus a tight knit around my belly.  I was the model for this vest he designed for the class.  He actually teaches on cruises.   Yes!! There is such a thing as a knitting cruise!  Bucket list.

One of my favorite knitting celebrities is Marly Bird.  She lives in Colorado and designs knit and crochet items and has a podcast that’s called,  “It’s a Yarn Thing”.  I have often been described as real or genuine in regards to my personality.  Marly is too!  That’s why I like her so much.  Very down to earth and doesn’t mind being honest in her endeavors, good or bad.  She’s just charming. Love her.

I was able to take one of her classes about becoming a knitwear designer and how to get started.  Marly is my favorite knitting/crochet personality.   She has some great classes on Craftsy that I recommend.  She is so fun to watch.   I purchased her Plus Size knitting class on Craftsy.   It’s how my mom and I made our duck tape mannequin together.  Some of you may remember that!  You can find it on Youtube here: Mother/Daughter Team Duck Tape Mannequin

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Okay.  I’m sure everybody has had a bad hair day, or a bad makeup day, or whatever.   I saw these pictures after I got home and couldn’t believe how horrible I looked.  For some reason, my hair would not work.  I have curly hair and in high humidity, it kinda goes afro on me and there is nothing to do but put it up.   I hate tight things around my belly.  What the heck happened to my t-shirt?   It must have shrunk from the time I put it on and the time I arrived here.  You can even see the indentation of my belly button my shirt is so tight.   I swear my sweater is navy blue and not purple.  It matches the skirt. The skirt lands just above my knees.  Not sure why it’s nearly down to my ankles here.   I was showing Lauren these pictures and we were having a good laugh about it when I told her I actually wore this same outfit to a job interview!   I got the job, so my outfit couldn’t have looked as bad as it appears in these photos.    Not to mention the alien light bearing down upon my head, preparing to beam me up.

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LOL.   What can you do?  Just laugh about it and be glad I’ve got a photo memento.  Marly looked great!

I’m planning on heading to Stitches Texas in the morning.  I’ll bring back some pictures to show you what it’s like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KnitStars 2.0

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Do you know about KnitStars ?   Shelley Brander of Loops in Tulsa, Oklahoma has developed knitting classes from well-known designers in a video format that you can watch comfortably in your own home.   Wherever actually, as it’s on video and you can watch the video’s anywhere.  The newest KnitStars 2.0 starts next month in October.

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 7.41.24 AMThis is Shelley Brander of Loops in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I love that poncho she is wearing.  You can only get that yarn from her store in Tulsa or order online from her store.  The pattern is Andromeda by Heather Nixon and you can find it on Ravelry.   Funny, looking at the pattern on Ravelry, I would have passed.  Looking at the pattern on Shelley, and I fell in love with it.

I enrolled in the first KnitStars 1.0 for around $200.00.   It’s about the same for KnitStars 2.0.  What I like about it so much, is the voyeur aspect of looking into other knitters/designers own homes and studios.  It’s like sitting down with a friend and talking yarn.  Each designer brings you into their yarn space and shows you their knitting place, yarn, projects, and they teach you something about knitting.   Once you enroll, you have access to the video’s forever.

Have you been to a fiber festival?  They have animals (sheep, angora rabbits, alpacas), yarn, fiber, yarn, accessories, yarn, miscellaneous stuff, and more yarn.  They also have well known knitting designers teaching all kinds of different aspects involving fiber.  Not to mention, beads and some jewelry making classes too.  And spinning.  I love them!  It’s a great place to people watch and meet new friends.  KnitStars brings this all to you in your own home, everything except the animals 🙂

Think about it.  Going to Rhinebeck, NY to their Sheep and Wool Festival costs me several thousand dollars – airfair, accomodations, rental car, and that’s before I ever get to the festival.  Stitches in Texas, still costs me gas money to drive back and forth to Texas, accomodatons, food, then the cost of admission. and classes.

KnitStars, for only around $200, brings all of this to you without leaving your home.  They have special patterns, special yarns, special dye lots of special yarns, all for the KnitStars enrollees.  Shelley travels all over the world to bring this one of a kind event to you.  I believe it’s well worth the cost!

Go to Knitstars.com to see the available free videos and patterns while they are still available.  It’s worth investigating for sure!  Here is a list of the teacher/designers from the first KnitStars.  (You can also still purchase this event).

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Hannah made me feel good about my stash.

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Stephen West!  What a fun ball of light and sunshine.   I could watch him all day!   I want him as my new best friend!

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Amy was new to me.  She taught me how to do appropriate gauge for bulky knitting.  Light bulb moment here for me.    Thank you Amy!

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Color, color, color.   I’ve used a lot of Koigu for my BeeKeeper’s Quilt that I’m working on. Learn how all that gorgeous color is made along with ideas on choosing color combinations.

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Meghan reminds me of my D-I-L, Lauren, who is also from Austin.  I enjoyed meeting Meghan too.  I loved the ambiance of Austin, Texas.  She talks about knitting in a hot climate and appropriate yarn choices.

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I’m a little late to the party with meeting Romi Hill.  She seems like the calm tranquil type.  No wonder her shawls are so gorgeous!   Go to Ravelry and look up some of her designs.  She makes amazing shawls.

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Julie is behind Coco Knits.  She is a designer, but she also invents these interesting accessories/tools for knitting.    She reminds me of my mother, actually.  I bet they have similar personalities.

There are a few more knit stars.  They were all great and I watched every video.  You can also participate with a live Q & A session.  I loved watching from my own comfortable recliner.   Go watch the free videos at knitstars.com

 

 

Purls, Puppies, and a Cat

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Max doing a Vanna White imitation showing off my new project.

What a great day of knitting and puppies.  My latest project is the Chevron Fringe Shawl by SOSU – Susanne Sommer.  I love it! I’m enjoying playing with the different yarn combinations and textures.  There is absolutely no ‘purling” involved.  You knit two right side rows then two wrong side rows.  The only thing that I don’t like is the fact that you’re starting a new row every 4th row.  That’s a lot of starting and stopping.   You don’t get into the rhythm of the flow of knitting with the frequent stops and starts.  So it’s taking forever.   I’m a little over half way through, and I’m already wanting to start something else.    I did interrupt this project already with the Joji Mystery knit-a-long.   The end of this month a new knit-a-long starts called “What the Fade?!” by Andrea Mowry, and I’m really tempted to put this aside and jump in this KAL.

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I used a skein of Polaris by Rozetti that has some sequins in it.  I love it!   I like a little glitz but not too much.  Speaking of glitz….I was at our LYS, David’s Yarn, checking out with some clearance yarn that I purchased.  Three of the skeins had some silver tinsel in the yarn.  The checkout girls and I were oohhhhing and ahhhhing over the pretty yarn, and a lady next to me waiting to check out solemnly said, “I would PAY you to keep the glitz out of the yarn.”  Well there, little Eeyore, you just totally dumped on my yarn!  Interesting people we knitters!

Here is the glitzy yarn I purchased: Any one of my young 20 something daughters would love to wear a cowl made out of this.  It’s a real rich and lush reddish brown.

On to the puppies.  Our neighbors came over today to play with the pups.  Our house is always full of dogs, puppies, a cat or two, babies, grandchildren, grown children; it’s really pretty fantastic.

Check out Max, the cat in the middle of everything.  He’s in with the puppies because HE wants to be in with the pups.  He is literally “part of the pack”.  He is always in the middle of anything that’s going on.  He’s such a great cat.  I’m really in love with the little guy.

You’ve got to be leaving my page today with a happy heart!  Sometimes it’s just the small things that make life great.  Check out those smiles, even the dogs are smiling.

Mexico Cover-up aka Yarn Substitution Mishap.

Have you ever made something you absolutely love but made a horrible mistake?  Let me tell you about mine!  I made this as a swim suit cover up to wear on a vacation to Playa de Carmen, Mexico.  It’s a cardigan called Clair de Lune by Carol Sunday.  You will have to use your imagination to  see this as a cover-up.  I will not be modeling in a swim suit!  As you can see, it’s a beautiful lace cardigan, and can be worn without a swim suit.  Although, imagine with a beach bag, big floppy sun hat, daiquiri in hand, and an ocean view!

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You will not see any mistakes, but I have to tell you about them.  Hopefully, you will learn  from mine.  The yarn is a Blue Heron yarn made with cotton and rayon.  I don’t remember exactly which Blue Heron yarn I used.  I am not the best with yarn substitutions.  It was the right color and correct weight, but definitely not the right fiber for what I had in mind.  You do not want to mix moisture with rayon!  This is not blocked either.  It’s lace and would look so much better blocked, but it’s huge when blocked.  I put this baby in the washer and dryer!  I wear it right out of the dryer

While in Mexico, I was careful not to get this wet.  The moisture from my wet bathing suit and the rayon/cotton blend made this stretch and drag the ground.  The back was down to my knees and the tips in the front were like a wedding train.  Ooops!   Christine, THE best sister-in-law ever, told me I should wear it everyday, sagging or not, it’s so pretty.

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The lace edging here is what needs to be blocked.  Alas, I will not be blocking this.  I think it’s pretty as it is anyway.

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I fell in love with the colors of this yarn.  Can you see the shifting tones of lapis lazuli and teal?  It reminds me of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  I have great memories of the fun we had in Mexico with my siblings-in-law.  They invited us down there to stay in their time share vacation spot, Sandos, in Playa de Carmen, Mexico.   Every time I wear this, I am reminded of the beauty of Mexico and the great friends I love.  One of the perks of knitting something particular for a special occasion.

You can find Carol Sunday on Ravelry.  She has her own website with many gorgeous patterns and has her own yarn line.   I have purchased a kit from her that is on my list to make.  It’s a scarf/stole/wrap called High Country.  I purchased her yarn that goes with the kit.  No more yarn substitution mistakes for me!

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High Country by Carol Sunday

Joji Mystery Knit-a-Long

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Lauren, my daughter-in-law

This is my latest accomplishment.  It’s a wrap/shawl.  It is designed by Joji Locatelli and her pattern is available on Ravelry.  What is a mystery knit-a-long you ask?  It’s a pattern that is released in stages and you don’t know the design.  It’s a mystery.  I think about 4,000 people signed up to knit this pretty shawl.  A clue (part of the pattern) is released about once a week until the full pattern is done.

She is pregnant with Jack, our grandson, and is married to my oldest son, John.  I had her pose with Poppy to demonstrate what a lovely shawl this is for a breastfeeding mother.

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She is so beautiful!

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Thank you Rodan & Fields Lash Boost for pretty long lashes.

 

Check out the pattern on Ravelry.  Like I said, about 4,000+ people joined this knit-a-long from all over the globe.  There are many different color combinations.  You pick 5 colors you like, and you have your shawl.

This wrap is made from Madeline Tosh Merino Light, which is $20 something per skein of yarn.  That’s about a $100 investment in a wrap.  I was not ready to invest $100 in a wrap I had no idea what it looked like.  I waited until the first 2 weeks were accomplished before I committed.  Joji is a beloved designer with lots of well loved designs.  Many people committed because it was a Joji design and knew it would be beautiful.

I’m getting ready to do another Knit-a-long by Andrea Mowry called “What the Fade”.   Find her on Ravelry.

 

Stash Control

When you become a knitter, you also become a yarn aficionado.  When I started knitting, my dear husband, who likes to dote on me, would say, “Let’s go to the yarn store and I’ll get you some yarn.”    He is so generous with me!   I would just go buy pretty yarn.  As I’ve learned and progressed in my knitting adventures, I learned how to buy yarn better.  Now when I buy yarn, I have an idea of what it will make and how much of it I need.

I am also a bargain hunter.  I know I’m going to use the yarn someday.  Yarn can be expensive!  I like to go to the bargain bins.  I often stock up when LYS and Online stores have their end of season sales.  Also, yarn companies will discontinue yarns and you can get good deals on the discontinued yarns.   Just make sure you have an idea in mind and know about how much you need to purchase, because, if you run short, there is no more.

I ran across a garage sale where a retired yarn store owner was selling her last remnants of yarn.   I think I spent about  $500 for $4,000.00 worth of yarn!   I really stocked up then.  She had the good stuff,  lots of Malabrigo.  So, after 7 years of knitting and yarn collecting, I have a large stash.

Here is where I store my yarn.

Fingering and DK collection

This is my expensive fingering collection.  I have a project planned for each skein!

This is my Worsted and Bulky collection.

You may be thinking that I need a psychiatrist at this point.  You may be right.

You want to keep your yarn away from dust and bugs, like moths.  I love yarn and think it’s beautiful.  I like to show it off and look at it.  That is why I keep it in glass cabinets.  I also add cedar balls, to keep safe from moths.  I have them organized by weight.  Fingering, DK, Worsted, and Bulky.

I also have my yarn categorized on Ravelry.  You can list your yarn on Ravelry and search patterns that would work with the yarn in your stash.  Love that feature!  It seems like a lot of work, but I highly recommend, categorizing on Ravelry.  Who wouldn’t like to organize and play with soft, squishy, colorful yarn?

My cabinets come from garage sales and estate sales.  I bargain hunt for everything!  I found a lawyer’s bookshelf yesterday for only $50.00.  I have no place to put it and I don’t need anymore yarn, so I passed.   A lawyer’s bookshelf is a bookshelf with glass doors on each shelf.  Excellent for storing yarn.  See, I do have SOME self-control.

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Lawyer’s Bookshelf

Some people store their yarn in plastic Rubbermaid boxes.  I want to look at my yarn and display it.

I do not collect anything; no plates, no Precious Moments, no glass or silverware or dishes, or dolls,  I collect yarn.  When I travel, we stop at the Local Yarn Stores (LYS) and I buy a skein or two as a souvenir on our trips.   It’s always something I can use.

Ravelry has an App called Stash 2 Go and it has a Local Yarn Store finder program.  Anywhere you are, you can pick ” Find Local Yarn Stores”, and Viola!, all the nearest yarn stores pup up.  Len and I have come across some fun adventures following the LYS app on Stash To Go.

Enjoy your yarn.  We have a short life here on this planet and do what makes you happy. Yarn makes me happy.

 

 

Beekeeper’s Quilt and Cuteness Overload

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This is Max, the newest addition to our home.  We picked him up at a pet adoption at Pet Smart.  What a personality!  My husband doesn’t like cats at all.  He sure likes Max!  Everyone does.  He greets you at the door when you come home.  He follows you around the house.  He is affectionate and wants to lay by you or on you.

My daughter-in-law, Lauren, found my stash of Hexagons for my BeeKeeper’s Quilt by Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits.  When I showed her a photo of what they were supposed to become, she excitedly sat down and counted them for me.  You need 385 hexipuffs and I had 387.  That’s when Max insisted on getting in the basket with the Hexipuffs.

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This is Lauren, with my grandson, Jack, and our new kitty, Max.  Can you believe I have not knit a single thing for my grandson yet?!   I have time.  Lauren knits and crochets too.  How lucky am I to get a daughter that likes yarn projects?!

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Maybe I can get Lauren to come over and tie Hexipuffs together with me and Max.   She may be able to resist me, but she’s getting pretty darn attached to Max!  I bet I can bribe her!

The Beekeeper’s Quilt is pretty popular.  Ravelry has numerous photos of finished projects.   All are stunning.  Ravelry is a website for knitters and crocheters.  It’s a necessity if you want to knit or crochet.     Ravelry deserves it’s own blog page.  For now, sign up and look around.

I’ll be back to show how to put it together and how our’s turns out.  Enjoy the cuteness overload with Max.