Monday, April 30, 2012

Murder on the Rocks (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries No. 1) - Karen MacInerney

Summary from GoodReads: Trading Texas heat for Maine's tangy salt air, Natalie Barnes risked it all to buy the Gray Whale Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. She adores whipping up her signature blueberry coffee cake and killer cranberry scones for her guests. But when her guests start turning up dead, the police and most of the townspeople think Natalie has added murder to the mix.

Now, Natalie must get cooking to solve the mystery and find the true killer before she loses the Gray Whale Inn. Or her life...

Natalie runs the Gray Whale Inn for her first season.  Then Bernard Katz comes to the area to purchase the land next to her to build an enormous luxury style resort on Cranberry Island in Maine.  After the town approved the purchase and development on this land, people wind up dead and Natalie is the one to find them.  Can Natalie clear her name and find the real killer?  Will she be able to save her inn?

I really enjoyed this book!  I found it very easy to read and to get into.  I read it in three day!  The characters are believable and totally reflect the small town feel of everyone knowing everyone's business.  I'd love to read more of this series soon!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deep Purple and Yellow Dishcloths

Here are my first dishcloths that are not made from scraps:

#1 - Primary Color - Yellow

#2 - Primary Color - Purple

#3 - Both Together

I love this pattern!  It is easy to memorize and to work through.  I made these the past few nights while watching the Godfather Collection on Blu-Ray.  I've never seen these movies and we came across the collection in Wal-Mart this weekend and grabbed it.

Pattern: Blue Banana Dishcloth by Chrissy Gardiner from Lion Brand Yarn: Just Gifts
Yarn: Peaches N' Creme #49 - Deep Purple & #10 - Yellow
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Tailor-Made Bride - Karen Witemeyer

Summary from GoodReads: When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!

Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with Coventry, Texas's new dressmaker. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?
Hannah Richards receives the deed to a builing in Convetry from a wealthy client and makes the move to this unknown town to start her dream as a dressmaker.  Her work has been seen by some as a little excessive and even too flambouyant for the people here.  She meets JT as she gets off the train and he helps her bring her stuff to the shop and helps her with a few things.  He is a very rough and reserved man with a hard exterior.  She meets his sister Cordelia and they become instant friends.  Cordelia asks Hannah to make her a special dress for the Founder's Day festival to help get noticed by a man.  In the process, Cordelia changes her looks and works out to lose some weight with Hannah's assistance.  Will she win the heart of a man?  Does Hannah start having feelings for JT?  What will become of both relationships?

This is the first book written by Karen Witemeyer.  I never would have guessed that.  I really enjoyed the story and the time period.  I could almost see the people, stores and dresses in my head thanks to her carefully descriptive words.  I felt like I was there too.  I cannot wait to read more from Ms. Witemeyer and even more historical romance books.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Scrap HDC Cloths

Okay, I promise that these are my last scrap dishcloths.  Here they are:


I did have a few super small balls of left over cotton yarn that may have made one dishcloth but I threw it away.  I could not be bothered with all those yarn changes.

Pattern: HDC Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Leftover Scraps from Prior Projects
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Monday, April 23, 2012

One Last Scrap Ribbed Dishcloths

Okay, I promise that this is my last scrap ribbed dishcloth!!!  Here it is:

I have just a small amount left that I decided to crochet a couple more scrap dishcloths so I can quickly make something and start using some new yarn!

Pattern: Designer Dishtowel: Blue Dishcloth
Yarn: Assorted Leftovers from Prior Projects
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Scrap Ribbed Dishcloths

Here are some more scrap ribbed dishcloths:

#1 - Rainbow & Blue

#2 - Feels Like Water

#3 - Pinks

#4 - Purples

Okay, my stash of scrap cotton yarn is just about gone, I just enough to make a few more scrap ribbed dishcloths and then I can use some full skeins of cotton yarn and make matching sets of dishcloths again.

Pattern: Designer Dishtowel: Blue Dishcloth
Yarn: Assorted Scrap of Cotton Yarn from Prior Projects
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Friday, April 13, 2012

Into the Free: A Novel - Julie Cantrell

Summary from GoodReads: Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle. In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.  For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key which unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family’s longstanding cycle of madness and abuse. Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

This was a wonderful story about taking your own life into your own hands.  It showed me that you can do or become anything you want no matter what others think of you.  Millie lived a life filled with abuse, loneliness, depression and poverty.  At a young age, she learned how to care for her mother who battled depression and was frequently beaten by her abusive husband.  When she gets beaten so bad that she turns to others for help, she discovers the secrets her mother has been keeping.  When she asks her mother about some of them, she decides to see the rodeo where her father worked and to see how they lived.

Millie was confronted with encounters with the gypsies, learning the rodeo life, dealing with the loss of her parents, being disowned by her grandparents and learning to live with another family.  From all these changes and tragedies in her life, Millie grows up very fast.  Will she eventually learn how to trust or love anyone?  Can she make a better life for herself than what her mother had?  Will the secrets of her mother's past help her to learn more about herself?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pastel Blue One Skein Baby Blanket

Here is my first crocheted baby blanket:

This is for a friend of the family that is having a baby boy.  This pattern is so easy to memorize and to work with while watching TV.  I altered the border from the pattern.  I did a round of single crochet and then a round of double crochet and finished with another single crochet border.  I am not a fan of the picot border, especially for a baby boy.  I am very pleased with how this came out!

Pattern: One Skein Baby Blanket by Caron Yarn
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in Pastel Blue
Hook: US Size J

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scrap Ribbed Dishcloths

I am still working on reducing my collection of scrap cotton yarn.  This time I am making ribbed dishcloths.  Here they are:

#1 - Light Blue

#2 - Pink

#3 - Tan

#4 - Brights

This is my favorite knitted dishcloth pattern.  It is easy to do while watch TV and it has a tight weave for better cleaning.

Pattern: Designer Dishtowel: Blue Dishcloth
Yarn: Lots of Scraps from Prior Dishcloth Projects
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Friday, April 6, 2012

Nathan's Maddox

This one is for Nathan:

When we saw these three kids over the summer, they saw me knitting a Maddox and asked for one. I am trying to get these done before Memorial Day when we are planning to see them again.

Pattern: Maddox the Mischievous Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Banana Berry
Needles: US Size 5 on 47" Cables

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jake's Maddox

This one is for Jake:

When we saw these three kids over the summer, they saw me knitting a Maddox and asked for one. I am trying to get these done before Memorial Day when we are planning to see them again.

Pattern: Maddox the Mischievous Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 220 Wool #7818 - Royal
Needles: US Size 5 on 47" Cables

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Choice - Suzanne Woods Fischer

Summary from GoodReads: With a vibrant, fresh style Suzanne Woods Fisher brings readers into the world of a young Amish woman torn between following the man she loves--or joining the community of faith that sustains her, even as she questions some of the decisions of her elders. Her choice begins a torrent of change for her and her family, including a marriage of convenience to silent Daniel Miller. Both bring broken hearts into their arrangement--and secrets that have been held too long. Filled with gentle romance, The Choice opens the world of the Amish--their strong communities, their simple life, and their willingness to put each other first. Combined with Fisher's exceptional gift for character development, this novel, the first in a series, is a welcome reminder that it is never too late to find your way back to God.

Carrie is confronted with several choices throughout this book.  It begins with having to choose between leaving the Amish community go with Sol, to marrying Daniel, to raising her brother Andy.  Her life is full of many choices that could each have an impact on the rest of her life and her families.  This book showed me that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  We may not agree with it, or even understand His it, but it is how it shall be.