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Wife and mother who has occasional fits of creativity!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quilting, Sewing and Knitting Round-Up

Hey there!

There has been a lot of projects going on here since my last post. Boy it's been a long time...I am anxious to document what I have done right here.

I sandwiched and pinned my quilt:

There was lots of SEWING-

And then I started knitting:

There was the SOCK SUMMIT:

And now I am crocheting a ripple afghan, working on 3 cardigans, and have some new sock yarn that I can't wait to use. It is Mossay from Socks That Rock- lightweight. haven't decided if they will be more Zombie socks or Absinthe socks, i am not sure if I have the patience to practice another toe up (not like starting circular ribbing doesn't take patience, I just don't have to read carefully to get going. it's a simple matter of "How many stitches? Got it. What kind of ribbing? Got it. Get going!" The toe up really was easy so perhaps I will read it out sometime soon because I really do like the Absinthe Socks and the point is to build a new skill with every sock. I learned a lot of techniques in Laurel Coombs' Choosing Among Choices class at the Sock Summit, includung an elastic sewn cast off for toe ups, short row heels and hiding the wraps, also two needle cast on for toe ups. I did use that for Wendy's toe up pattern. I have a whole lot of socks to make but a sock break is OK since I have so many projects that are not finished at this point.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ye Olde Quilt Top

Well, I am finally working a little more on the quilt top I pieced BEFORE I was pregnant with Jack. I cut and stitched all of these Dresden Plate wedges by hand on the oil tanker Rob was working on back in 1998. I sailed with them from LA to Portland, taking about 4 days. This is the closest I have been to a cruise, ever! Anyway, there was no rotary cutter, just a template. No sewing machine, just needles and thread. The only machine sewing that has gone into this quilt so far is the stitching done after these pictures, putting the white blocks together. I also took off these too-small circles (my middles were too wide and the raw edges of the wedges showed, not a good look. So I sucked it up and tore off all of the appliques I had completed, then I went and found a rusty red I liked. I also found a light sage-y green I need to do the center of the flowers and the vines that will encircle the borders. The green I had was more blue- boy, colors have come a long way, I couldn't find a hip green to save my life way back when! I would have done an apple green but none of those looked right with my other colors, this one was the best choice even if it isn't quite as exciting as I would have wanted. It was REALLY hard to decide, and I consider myself good with color sense. I really admire people with those definite and exact color editing skills. Anyway, here are a few shots for you to enjoy.

I am quite aware I am not knitting. I am almost ready again, got a little frustrated with the sock knitting, I tried a monkey but I don't know, the yarn was uninspiring or the fit was uncertain, I just got discouraged. I do hit a wall on things. Then I did nothing but Facebook and that was a huge time suck, so I rarely post on that anymore. It is always so extreme with me, pick one thing up, get really attached and rigid, use the energy up for it completely until I figuratively wad it in a ball and toss it in a mental wastebasket. Then many months later I will lovingly fish it out and smooth the wrinkles. I will try and complete my Monkey's before vacation, because I am attending the Sock Summit in Portland and I want to feel excited and inspired. I want to be in the perfect state of craft for that...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Progress Report: Week 2

I cranked out a pair of socks for Thomas. Lion Brand Magic Stripes, in a basic sock pattern. In hind sight I could have done 4 more stitches for a more roomy fit, but they will soon be replaced and likely be waiting for Nicholas soon, who won't mind the pink accents. I am going to try and destash as much as possible so if the kids get girly socks they can take 'em or leave them. I am nearly halfway through my Brach's Rib and Cable Socks, I think they are pretty cute and the first one feels like it is going to be yummy comfortable. That is about all I know right now, it is time to continue with a laundry quest and progress on the second sock. I am undecided, listening for which project is calling me right now. It will either be my Ribbon Trim Cardigan, the Central Park Hoodie or the Gathered Pullover. I didn't know I was a Viral Knitter until I checked out the group. Either I am really stream of consciousness-ish, or I have really good taste and so does everyone else. I did an informal experiment, I started to check people on Ravelry out who looked like they know what they are doing. Darned if 8 out of 10 of the 50 or so I checked of them had at least one pair of Jaywalkers, at least one Clapotis, among other things that we have all done. So I am not the only Viral KNitter out there, I think there is a little bit in all of us!! I have quite a few projects that I have not put up yet, I am thinking about putting up my geometric purses, I will have to put together the second one and analyze it to figure out how I did it!! Ooh, I'll have to do that! Laundry can wait...bye!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Here I am, bristling with an energy that typically happens for everyone at the start of a New Year. I think it is more of an "Oh shit, time is passing, I had better get my ass in gear" kind of reaction. But I do have some completed projects:

My February Lady Sweater, done in Manos Del Uruguay Wool, color #29 (teal). I don't ususally go for teal, this wool was a gift from my fairy godmother quite a few years ago, and it has definitely grown on me. I finally found a suitable project for it, hooray! I love the sweater, it was just challenging enough to keep me interested. I made it in size small, and I did 20 pattern repeats for the body and 17 for the sleeves. In hindsight I should have done 2 or 3 more, but I plan to stretch the sleeves more the next time I block it. The experience of my first bath and blocking was all I could survive, I ended up getting frantic because the dammed thing was so wet after so many towels and so many hours on the drying rack that I ended up putting it in the dryer on low for about 20 minutes, and that took out a lot of the moisture but also shrank and puffed it a little.

Next in line was Grumperina's Jaywalker socks, in Opal Magic, color #18. I loved this pattern, it was my third attempt or so to get these going and I finally got it right. It did take a lot longer than I thought, the first one was ripped and tinked so many times that I wondered when I would get anywhere on it at all! I made many mistakes keeping track of the pattern rows and the knit even rows. I cannot be trusted to hit a clicker avery time I make a round, so I have to simply keep looking at where I am and hope I didn't miss a row in there! So now that they are done, I have not just the cosiest socks I own, but also the best fitting ones. The colorway I have decided definitely fits into the funky sock category and was not picked for it's color coordinating merits. I don't have a lot of things that these go with but thank goodness I have brown shoes with pink trim to wear them with! I tried to get a picture of that up, but got an error message!

My next project: Brach's Candy Socks. I have been in love with this yarn ever since I saw them on Knitting Iris' blog and many others, probably at least two yeas ago. So I did a little researching and found out the yarn has been re-released! So I am doing a Rib and Cable sock by Nancy Bush, with a Louet Gems heel in cream to keep the pattern a little more organized. I don't know if that was the right decision yet, but I guess I will see!

I have made ONE New Year's resolution: I am going back to Flylady.

I think that will make my life work a lot better. I have some other resolutions that are really past resolutions that I may have gotten lazy about. Dress the kids cuter, cook more, keep the house cleaner. Be more social (ie, send cards, keep in touch, have people over, etc.). I have been consumed in guilt about not being very good at these things, yet bemoan the way I lack good feelings in this area. I guess when you throw turning forty into that, you start thinking that this is pretty much the way you live your life and that if you don't really try and change it, the change won't magically happen on it's own. So, I am motivated to create the environment to promote the improvement. Hence, a cleaner house and get to feeling brighter on the inside, too.

I have some ideas on what I would like to knit, too.

More socks, for the boys and Rob, too. Many, many socks.

Ribbon Trim Cardigan, from Blue Sky Alpacas. I have the yarn, it is an ultralight Sportweight called Lavish, and I am doing a little swatching for it here and there. I guess I need to suck it up and do a full sized one because all of the tiny ones are decieving me. I hate swatching!! But I am starting to realize that I MUST, or none of this is even worth it.

Norwegian Mittens from the Knitter's Almanac. That has to be the BEST knitting book, I just got it, it's only $8, it's tiny and chockablock full of Elizabeth Zimmerman's brain. I just love it.

More cute socks for me, especially knee socks. I want something wonderful to peek out of my boot tops.

Central Park Hoodie, out of a bright blue Tahki Donegal Tweed. I made the entire Debbie Bliss Blissful jacket out of it, and I couldn't figure out the collar. I am not yet up to collars that roll. Not my skill set yet. I erred on another sweater's collar that way and I think I got so pissed I donated it. Man, I should have frogged it, I was only in partial knit mode and did not even consider that. Anyway, I have a real hankering for this hoodie.

Stardust, with Karabella Gossamer. I started an ugly shawl and thanks to Ravelry found something beautiful to do with the yarn instead!

Solitaire Arm Warmers, from Rebecca 28.

Kelly Cardigan, from Simple Knits, in Rowan Kidsilk Haze, color 600 (a misty lilac). A knitalong with Susan (I think she is making black!), when we are both ready.

Well, I think I have January covered! JUST KIDDING! This is stuff I plan do with my stash only. It is going to be a lean year with me staying home, I am looking forward to it. It is a good time to be resourceful as much as I would gladly give many dollars to companies I would like to keep around. Most of my friends know that I do not shop at Walmart, and I am not a huge fan of Costco. How does that justify my support of Target? I don't do the Costco thing mainly becasue I never found a compelling reason to buy stuff there. Walmart is just crappy all the way around from their stategies of decimating small businesses around their locations, to taking advantage of their workers, which contributes to a nation of people that has settled too cheap for working conditions, pay and representation. It upsets me greatly and people justify it because they want cheap prices. I am sorry, I won't ever set foot in there for any reason. I won't even buy their clothes at thrift stores! I don't think Target has ever stooped this low for price. Really people, do we need to shop this much? We are such consumers, I love the phases of my life where I have been the most simple. Purchases might cost a little more but are carefully considered, bought less often, and expected to last a long time. Own less stuff, take better care of it. I am starting to sound like Jerry Maguire's manifesto here, but I love being in that place. Letting go of the endless cycle of wanting. As long as I have my good coffee. I have my limits and the fuel to stand up to them.

Happy New Year to All. I wish you all peaceful hearts.