Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

I happen to know that these cute little Chubby Chirps are planning on sneaking into my children's Easter baskets tomorrow morning.  They turned out so cute and were quick to knit.  I used sock yarn so that they would be small.  In fact I'd say they are Easter egg sized.  I filled them with lentils (and topped them off with fiber fill) to give them some weight and help them stand on their own. 
I used some of the polymer clay button eyes that I made last week for my "Oink".  I especially love the blue eyes.  They look so real and are perfect for this little guy.
I made the polymer clay covered eggs several years ago and I just love them.  A few are even made by my children.  The silver and green one under the blue eyed chirp was made by my daughter from metallic clay just squashed onto the egg and smoothed (and then sanded and buffed by me).  The mica in the clay gives it wonderful color shifts in the light.  These are made over blown out hen eggs.  Polymer Clay Daily had a post this week about some of the most beautiful clay eggs I have ever seen! 

And these eggs are perfect for darning socks!

I finished knitting my log cabin squares!  I decided to do 4 x 6 = 24 squares.  Each one took a little over 1 1/2 hours to complete.  I've started to sew them together and decided to use mattress stitch which is working great.  I can use any color to seam them and it doesn't show.  I plan to do an applied I-cord edging in white.

We have two soccer games this morning and then a neighborhood Easter egg hunt this afternoon.  My daughter's Sunday school class is having a flash light Easter egg hunt tomorrow night.  Sounds like fun! 

Have a great Easter. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I just finished a cute new toy pattern called "Oink".

It is a free pattern from Spud & Chloe written by Susan B. Anderson.  I have knitted several of Susan's patterns and just love them so I knew right away that I needed to make this one.  He turned out so cute.  He has a "Pinky" high bounce ball in his tummy so that adds some nice weight to him and some bounce if he gets tossed.  I was able to knit him in just a couple of hours while watching a movie with my family.  Embroidering the face always intimidates me.  I'm not sure why because it always turns out OK but the eyes really give an animal it's character.  I guess I don't want to make my sweet little creation look angry or sad.  So, as I do quite often, I decided to make polymer clay button eyes.
I used tiny little button shank blanks (the three little silver things in the center of the tile) and added clay.  White for the back ground (thin white circles are wrapped over the edges to the back of the shank) and two thin slices of a pink bulls eye cane for the eye.  I added a tiny black ball of clay for the center.  The finished "Oink" eyes are in the lower left corner of the tile.  It looked so great that I decided to go ahead and make up a few more pairs of eyes to have on hand for future projects.  I looked through my huge collection of canes and found some great choices. 
I really like the spirals.  They give a little bit of a dizzy appearance.  The blue pair on the top row is from an eye cane so they should look the most realistic.  The flowers will work well too. I used a pair like the orange flowers on my Tiny Turkey I knitted last November (another Susan B. Anderson pattern).

And I am still knitting away on various squares. 
After finishing my first Mitered Crosses square using Noro Silk Garden Sock for the cross and Knit Picks Bare Sock yarn as the back ground, I decided that the finer Knit Picks yarn would make the whole blanket a little too stretchy between the crosses of a finished blanket.  I had a tiny little ball of Silk Garden Sock in the neutral color so I used that on my second square and of course, I just love it.  So, I decided to go ahead and place an order for more.  So, while I'm waiting for that to arrive in the mail, I'm concentrating on my log cabin squares right now.

The current count for the Barn Raising squares is 14.  And the count for the Log Cabin squares is 13.

I helped to proctor for TCAP testing (Tennessee Comprehensive Achievement Program) this week in my children's school so I had at least six hours of uninterrupted knitting time to work on my log cabin squares.  It was great!  Add in a softball game yesterday afternoon and soccer practice this evening and I should make some good progress.  I'm aiming for 18 log cabin squares and then I'll see if that will be big enough for a lap blanket.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Squares

I've been working away on my log cabin squares.
I decided to continue with the Barn Raising squares too because I really liked them and they are a little more portable then the log cabin squares - 1 skein of yarn vs. 6 skeins of yarn in my knitting bag.  The Barn Raising squares really are addicting.  So much so that I have made twice as many of them then the log cabin squares which I need to finish first.  I have decided that the perfect time to give this to my Mother-in-law is for my husband's birthday on May 5.  After all, he would not be celebrating a birthday if it were not for the labors of his mother! So I really need to start spending more time with those log cabins.

But the Mitered Crosses Blanket gets in the way again. 
Ann (over at Mason Dixon Knitting) has tripped me up with a contest.  They have now sold nearly 2000 copies of their Mitered Crosses Blanket Pattern.  And to encourage more knitters to start their blankets, Ann has put up a wonderful bag of goodies that she actually won from Bliss Yarns which is her local yarn shop.  It is also my local yarn shop so it would be great fun to win!  So I looked through my meager collection of Noro leftovers and found a skein and a half of Noro Silk Garden Sock for the center crosses.  I also had a skein of Knit Picks sock yarn in Bare for the back ground color.  So I have almost finished my first block and it really is a great, fun pattern.  I have uploaded my photo to Ravelry so I am officially entered into the contest. 

My daughter has a softball game after school followed by a soccer practice and then I'm spending the evening attending a Stroke and Turn clinic for the upcoming swim team season.  So that means lots of knitting time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Parthenon

We decided to visit the Parthenon in Nashville last week while we were on spring break.
 My niece had been studying the Parthenon and Athena and she really wanted to see the huge 41 foot statue of Athena which stands inside the Parthenon.  We live just south of Nashville and I have seen the outside of the Parthenon many many times but we have never taken the time to take a tour and we really enjoyed it.  I have always none that the Parthenon in Nashville is the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens.  Here are some very interesting facts that we learn during our visit:

  • The Parthenon was built for the Centennial Expo in 1897.
  • The Centennial Expo commemorated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's statehood.
  • The Parthenon was chosen as the main building at the Expo because Tennessee used to be known as the Athens of the South.  It is now better known as Music City thanks to the Grand Ole Opry.
  • It was the first of 36 buildings built for the Expo.  They were all built to be temporary.  The other buildings were torn down (two were moved) but the people of Nashville did not want the Parthenon to be torn down.
  • The original structure was plaster, wood and brick.  It remained for 23 years before something more permanent needed to replace the badly deteriorating building.
  • The materials were replaced beginning in 1920 (over 11 years) with permanent materials (concrete).  The building was restored  in the 1990's.
  • In 1990, they began the construction of Athena.  The Parthenon in Ancient Greece was originally built (@450 BC) to house the statue of Athena but the statue disappeared long ago.  The original Athena was made of Ivory and Gold.
 The Athena is covered in over 8 pounds of gold leaf.  She holds a statue of Nike in her hand.
This pictures shows the size of the columns and the aggregate concrete construction.
While we were learning about the history of this building and the Expo in 1897 I began to imagine that my great great grandparents must have visited the building and possibly the Expo.
They lived about 80 miles from Nashville in 1897 but moved to Nashville in 1904 for about 10 years while My gggrandfather served as the Comptroller for the Treasury for the State of Tennessee. 
This is a photo of my great grandparents who were married in 1904 so I'm sure they also may have visited the Parthenon and picnicked in Centennial park.