Five.

This post is titled Five today. Just Five. ‘Cause, once again, I’m too late for Five on Friday. {Sigh}. I’m almost too late for Five on Saturday. I have a good excuse though — there’s been major cleaning going on around here and it’s a lot of work. Anyway, here are a few things for your weekend:

1. Last weekend I went to see SweetiePie and we ventured off to Ikea. Here’s a tip — don’t go to Ikea on a Saturday that’s remotely close to Christmas. It was worth it though, look at the cute wrapping paper we found!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

2. We’ve been having a big clean out at work. We’re soon going to be squishing from 4 big buildings into 2, so there’s a big purge in the works. (Happily I’m not going to go into my “Who in the *&(% came up with the honeycomb cubicle concept that’s causing 70% of American companies to follow each other over the cliff?” rant. Because there IS a rant and it’s a BIG one.) There’s a community book table for the clean out, and one day, this old Kaffe knitting book showed up. I nabbed it, but I already have a copy, so I thought one of you might like it. It’s free if you’re willing to pay the postage. Just leave a comment telling me you want it. It looks like it could be sent as media mail for around $4.00 in the states.

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

3. Not much to report on the Aunts’ Quilt this week. I’m still making fabric choices for month 2. In the meantime, check out the great tutorial that Meredithe has posted for a no waste method of creating the flying geese pieces that we need for the pieced blocks.  Thanks Meredithe!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

4. The weather in parts of the states last week was awful! I like winter, so I don’t usually complain about the cold, but, according to the weather channel,  “These 20 U.S. Cities Are Allowed To Complain About The Cold”. We came in at number 10 which is really surprising to me. Surely there are much colder cities north of us? We even beat out Detroit and Cleveland.  And we’re only one rank lower than Buffalo — What???  That’s pretty impressive — we’re in the top 10.  I’ll try not to take advantage of our new found privilege this winter, but at least you know, if i do complain … it’s well deserved!  (Also, if you are my children, please note:  There IS more that one skyscraper in your po-dunkey hometown!)

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

5. On that note, the Scruffster would like to tell you to stay warm and get some rest. Especially if you’re an American preparing for Thanksgiving this week!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

XOXO,
Anna

The Aunts’ Quilt — Month 1

Hello out there.  How are all you little Auntlets doing?  We’re done with month one — did you all make the deadline?  I finished my blocks about two weeks ago and had big plans to work ahead on next month’s assignment, but it didn’t happen.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Anyway, it’s been a lot of fun — I love this project so far.  Several of you Auntlets have completed your first month too — Congratulations.  It’s worth taking a peek at those links in my sidebar — some of the Auntlets are sharing their blocks as they finish them.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Don’t worry if you’re an Auntlet with a slow start.  We’re not on a strict schedule.  I’m not going to beat you or publicly shame you if you don’t keep up.   Although, I would like you to consider that one problem might be that you aren’t snacking enough while you sew.  Chocolate is always good to fortify a girl.  And Cookies (ok, biscuits for those of you down under) are a must.  I’ve decided I’m going to have to have a cookie of the month.  This month it’s definitely been Rice Krispy Cookies.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

And now, on to the next month’s assignment. It’s going to be tougher to keep up — the holidays are looming!

XOXO,
Anna

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The lovely people at Stitch Craft Create are having a Handmade Christmas Decorations blog hop and they very kindly asked me if I’d like to participate. There are four fun Christmas books in the blog hop — we were each allowed to choose one special book that we’d like to review. I think it’s funny that most of us, so far have chosen this beautiful book, Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas has over 120 projects in more than 150 pages.  My favorite thing about this book is that it is full of ideas for a simple holiday season, and many of the projects are meant to be done with children and other family members — and that’s what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?

There are so many topics in this book, it’s hard to even know where to start to tell you about it.  The author has thought of everything for your holidays — here’s a list of some of the chapter titles:  Preparing for Christmas, For the Birds, Perfect Presents, For Little Hands, Almost Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Tasty Presents, Sweet Christmas, Wrapped with Love, The Scent of Christmas and Cakes Galore.

Some of my favorite ideas are all of the paper and nature crafts,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

the many food gift ideas,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

lots of gift wrap ideas (eeek!  a yoyo!),

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

and a whole section of advent calendars, just to name a few.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

And then, there are super simple ideas that you don’t really even need instructions for, but you need the book to give you the cool idea.  Look, a snow heart.  I love it.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The photography in the book is beautiful.  Snow.  (Snow!)  Children.  It makes you even feel like you’re in Scandinavia.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Probably my favorite section in the book is the section on gifts to make (’cause you know,  I like to make things.)  There are lots of projects with great instructions.  I decided to try out the instructions for a knitted hot pad.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

This was a simple, quick project and you can change it up a little and make it your own. I chose to add the little bake tag. I think these hotpads would make really cute Christmas gifts. (Oh, and just so you aren’t confused by the scale of the hotpad, those aren’t full-size utensils there. But, it is a generous sized hot pad!)

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

To see more clips from this book and three other fun holiday craft books, go check out all the other posts in the blog hop — details and a list of the the other bloggers taking part can be found here. If you’re interested in this book you can find it here in the Handmade Christmas Shop. If you sign up to the Stitch Craft & Create newsletter you can also download a selection of free ebooks.
If you’re a new customer you can click here and use the code SCC525 to get a £5 discount on your first order over £25.

£5 Off £25 at Stitch Craft Create with Offer Code SCC525

It’s been fun to see what books and projects the other bloggers have selected this month — and we’re only halfway through the blog hop!

XOXO,
Anna

Socks

Winston and Teddy would like to thank you for all of your fun comments about their pictures.  Me too.  You’re all so sweet!

It’s been just your average week here in ThimbleannaLand — nothing much exciting happened as another week sped by, hurtling us into the Holiday Abyss.  I managed to order some yarn for a Christmas project — I hope it gets here in a hurry.  With nothing really accomplished this week (I did manage to clean the pantry and do a lot of filing, but there’s not much picture worthy in those activities), I thought I’d show you some socks I finished a few months ago.

Do you remember this Downton Abbey sock yarn that I bought almost two years ago?  (Oh my gosh, that made me think about dates.  It will soon be Twenty Fifteen.  I think I feel sick.)

Thimbleanna: Yarn

On my way out the door for my trip to Australia, I grabbed this yarn so that I’d have something to knit on the airplane.  And Boy, is there a LOT of airplane knitting time on the way to Australia.  Especially if you’re sitting next to the row of crying babies on one side and someone who was coughing and blowing her nose (poor thing) for the whole trip on the other side.  Knit.  Knit.  Knit.  It makes the time pass more quickly.  By the time we landed, I’d almost turned the heels on a pair of socks.

Thimbleanna: Socks

Then, we had more airplane time within Australia.  And Kellie’s children were so intrigued about what I was knitting, that I knew I really needed to finish these socks before I left to return home.  I wanted them to be able to see how those tubes hanging on the needle would become a pair of socks.  I knit a lot and managed to finish the socks the day before my trip ended.  Just in time to take advantage of Jessie who happily provided International Sock Modeling Services.

Thimbleanna: Socks

The pattern is the Mockery Sock pattern that is available as a free Ravelry download.  The yarn is by Lorna’s Laces.  And, in true Lorna’s Laces fashion, there was some pooling on top of the ankle, but it wasn’t too bad.

Thimbleanna: Socks

Jessie’s feet aren’t as big as mine, so those socks are a little big for her, but I thought she did a great job modeling.  Plus, we had a lot of fun crawling around on the rocks in the blazing sun.  As I mentioned in my Australia posts, is was about 40 degrees C (just over 100 F) every day in Kakadu.  Jessie was a great sport to put wool socks on in the heat.  We took pictures in a hurry!

Thimbleanna: Socks

I hope you’re having a good weekend.  These Downton Abbey socks are going to be put to good use here this week — we’re expecting a blast of cold air!  If you are too, I hope you can stay warm!

XOXO,
Anna

Dogs and Balloons

Ohmygosh you guys.  I’m sure this isn’t news to anyone, but it’s November.  Already.  I’ve been cruising along thinking that I won’t be making much for Christmas this year, and then last night I remembered a gift that I really want to make.  I had a mild panic attack when I realized that there are only 50 days to make a project that’s going to take some calculating and work.  Ouch!

Anyway, while I slowly breathe in and breathe out to calm myself … I had some questions about the picture I posted of Winston the other day, so I thought I’d try and answer them.  Our little picture taking adventure all started when MyDadLovesMeBestSister asked me if I’d take some senior pictures of CuteNiece2.  We’d all been thinking about what we wanted to do, and at the last minute, I suggested that we grab the dog and some goggles that I gave CrazyBIL last year for Christmas and see what happened.  We ended up with this fun picture of a girl, her car and her dog.

Thimbleanna: Senior Pics

I love that picture!  (Oh, and hey — while we’re on her pictures — CuteNiece2 went to all the work to become a certified Yoga instructor last year.  Hey all you yogis out there –can you do this pose???  My arms hurt just looking at it!)

Thimbleanna: Yoga

Anyway, back to the dog pictures.  The next week Winston came to visit and we thought we’d try to get some more fun goggle pictures.  (For those of you having trouble keeping up (ha!), Teddy is 4 years old and belongs to MyDadLovesMeBestSister and Winston is 1 year old and belongs to TheFirstChild and SweetiePie.  They’re both F1 Goldendoodles.)  So, we put the dogs where all dogs love to be, near a fire hydrant.  With balloons and goggles.  (Teddy on the left, Winston on the right.)

Thimbleanna: Teddy

Winston did NOT want to wear those goggles.  Like the senior photo, we tried the dogs in the car.  First with both dogs in the front seat.  That definitely wasn’t working.  However, we did get proof that Winston would wear the googles over his eyes for a minute or two.  Teddy on the left, Winston on the right.

Thimbleanna: Dogs

This was my favorite dog photo that afternoon.  Both dogs happy.  Teddy driving his good buddy around for the day.  (And by the way, it wasn’t totally ridiculous to get balloons for the dogs — they were both celebrating their birthdays that week!)

Thimbleanna: Dogs

Hopefully, dogs in goggles with balloons brightened your day a little.
Btw, how are you Auntlets (that’s what I’m going to call you if you’re participating in the Aunts’ Quiltalong!) coming with your quilts?  Have you made a good start?  I’m almost done with my assignment this month.  Plus, I made a list of those of you participating over there in my sidebar.  I KNOW I’ve left some of you out.  I know for sure that I’ve forgotten one of you — I can see your e-mail but I can’t find it and I can’t remember your name.  I’m SO sorry.  PLEASE e-mail me and remind me and I’ll add you to the list.

XOXO,
Anna