Sunday, May 29, 2011

Quilt Camp 2011 - take two

If it's May, I must have gone to quilt camp. Which I did, last weekend. Have I mentioned how much I love quilt camp? I love quilt camp. A whole weekend of uninterrupted sewing time - heaven!

Of course, quilt camp doesn't negate the fact that I'm an idiot. I remembered my clothes, my towels, my bedding and my sewing machine. I forgot my main project bag. I spent an evening packing it, then left it sitting on my sewing room table. Grrr....

However, a couple of the"regulars" were supposed to come down Saturday morning, so I called one of them to beg her to go to my house and get it for me. Thank goodness I'm a long-term idiot and installed a locked key box on the house. I gave her the code and she picked up my bag Friday night. She brought it down Saturday morning, but she didn't stay. That's right, she was sick and instead of telling me "I'm sick and not coming down" on Friday, as she could have done, she delivered my bag to me and went back home. I had no idea she was sick or I wouldn't have even called her. Anyway, thanks to Margaret, I have some things to show you.

I did take an extra project bag with me, so on Friday night, I was able to put this together.

It was a pre-pieced panel that I got on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics last year. I just sewed it to a piece of fleece, turned it right side out and stitched around it along the outside row of blocks.

After that, I was out of sewing projects, so I played with yarn and beads. You might recall that I started a mystery shawl KAL (knit-along) last month. I never got past the first clue, and after watching the posts on Ravelry about it, I decided it wasn't for me. So I frogged it and started a new mystery shawl KAL. I knew I wanted to add beads to my shawl, so I took all the potential beads with me, along with the yarn, and strung all the different beads on the yarn to see how they would look. When I had chosen some, I knit up a little swatch of the first clue with the beads where I wanted them.

Wendy D. Johnson's Summer Mystery Shawlette in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the Tart colorway.

That's actually one repeat of clues 1 and 2. I like the way swatch came out, so I started knitting the actual shawl. I got 4 rows in (plus the 3 setup rows) and decided I didn't like the way I'd done my double decreases in the center. I tried to just drop the offending stitches and fix them, but that didn't work well at all. So I ripped it all out and started over. I'm almost done with the first clue, which ends with first row that only has one bead in it. I want to at least finish that before I post pictures, though. The beads add just a bit of sparkle to the edge without standing out too much.

Anyway, back to quilt camp. Saturday morning, after I got my stuff, I put together a few blocks for my guild's community service group. Then I put this quilt top together.

The blocks were community service kits that I'd made a year or so ago and finally got around to putting together. I'll most likely return the top to the committee to get completed.

Once that was done, I spent the rest of the weekend putting these together.

Fabrics from the Jinny Beyer Rosewood collection

That's a front and side panel of a bag I was kind of hoping to finish. I got the pattern last February and have taken it to quilt camp a few times but never got around to working on it. I did all four pieces - the back and the other side panels look just like these. They take a long time to put together because you have to sew all those lines each time you add a piece, quilting as you go. I also quilted the handle pieces (4 of them). Now I just have to trim these to size, get the bottom finished, put zipper pockets in the lining, and put it all together. Piece of cake, right?

All in all, it was a pretty good quilt camp. When I got home, Max was happy to see me.

"Top of the world, Mama!"

Yes, he's on top of the entertainment center. No, I didn't put him up there.

Once he got down from there, he and Blue camped out on the couch with me.

"We're glad Mama's home."

Hey, for any of you in the Akron area, we went to see the M.C. Escher exhibit at the Akron Art Museum yesterday. It was fabulous! This was supposed to be the last weekend for it, but they extended it for another week. I highly recommend checking it out, his work is truly amazing. I'll have to dig up the picture of the Escher lizard quilt my friends and I made for a baby in the group for next time.

Knitting time!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


As I might have mentioned in the last post, I went to a knitting retreat last weekend. :) A 9-hour trip (each way) and two whole days of knitting. Heaven! I've shared the goodies I brought back with me, now I'll tell you about the knitting I did.

On the way down, I spent a few hours working on these:

Spring Fern Socks in Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, Springtime

I posted a picture of these on Facebook and got some interesting comments. One friend said it looked like the socks have piercings, and another friend's boyfriend thought they were a bikini top.

When we got to Blowing Rock, we checked into the hotel, then went to dinner at the Six Pence Pub. The food was good, and we each got a free glass of champagne in honor of the Royal Wedding. We went back to the hotel and got our goodie bags and I worked on homework for one of my classes.

Saturday morning I took a Beads and Cables class with Antje Gillingham. She wrote the books I use for knitting two socks at a time on two circular needles, so I was very excited to take the class. I'm sorry to say that the class project is already frogged. It was a headband, and I don't really wear headbands, but mostly the yarn I got in class wasn't speaking to me. I took a picture of it before I ripped it out.

See what I mean? Who put these colors together?

Colorblind yarn designers aside, I enjoyed the class. I learned a new provisional cast-on that is a lot easier than trying to knit into the bump on the back of a crochet chain. I also just really liked Antje. She was a lot of fun.

She signed my books for me

She also designed the mystery socks I've been working on, so I took them with me for show and tell. I only had the beads and cables part done with I got there, but I since I got back, I added the first repeat of the latest clue.

Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Golden Glow

After a delicious lunch, I had an entrelac class with Miss Babs and started this little hat for a friend who has a baby due in September. I worked on it on the trip home and finished it Thursday. Can you tell my friend's DH is an Ohio State fan?

Simplified Ashlar Cap in Miss Babs sport wt, Sandi's Red and Luna Granite

Sunday morning's class was Fair Isle with Nancy Shroyer. I was a little nervous about this one, because it required holding one yarn in my right hand as usual, and another yarn in my left hand. I had tried holding my yarn in my left hand before and failed miserably. This time, it worked!! I started this headband, which I finished on Tuesday. I'm still not much of a headband wearer, but this one I decided to keep, even if I don't wear it.

Pattern by Nancy Shroyer, Mission Falls DK superwash yarn

When I wasn't working on class projects, and when my brain needed some rest, I worked on my CHRISTMAS! socks.

They scream Christmas, don't they?

In keeping with my lucky streak this year, I won the Pamper Me basket at work on Friday! This is just a sampling of what was in it.


There were also two more pairs of flip-flops, four washcloths, more Mary Kay products, a book, a bamboo beach mat, and probably some other things I've forgotten. I shared the spoils with my coworkers and gave the Satin Hands kit to my mom for Mother's Day.

Friday evening I did some shopping after work. While I was in the store there was a torrential downpour, so bad I couldn't see the cars in the parking lot. When I got out to my car, I found this:

Yep, hail

Emma says:

"I'm glad I was safe inside. Princesses don't like water."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thanks, I needed that

The weather here has been really crappy lately. Lots of gray, rainy weather. I had water from the storm sewer back up into my basement (nothing damaged), and a week ago we had 67 mph wind gusts overnight. I swear I thought either my roof was going to blow off, or the tree in my back yard was going to come through it. Neither happened, thankfully.

So Friday morning, three of us hopped in my friend's car and drove here:

The Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock, NC

As you can see the weather was MUCH better there.

No gray skies or rain here

And there were lots of ducks - none of which were swimming in my basement.

We went there for the Unwind Getaway and had a great time! We each took a three classes, which I'll get to next time. This post is all about the loot.

Everyone got a goodie bag on Friday when we checked in.

Yarn, patterns, Addi circular needle, coupons and a mug from a local potter

Everyone got a door prize, and I got an extra one for being one of the newest knitters.

More yarn and a Port-A-Pocket bag

A long-distance member of our knitting group lives in NC, so she and a friend of hers drove over on Sunday afternoon for some shopping and dinner. There were yarn, pattern and tool purchases, both from the teachers at the getaway (Miss Babs, Kitchen Sink Dyeworks, Fairie Knits, Nancy's Knit Knacks and Antje Gillingham) and the local yarn shop.

There might be another sweater's worth on the way from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks

Boy, I have a lot of knitting to do....

We also supported the local non-fiber-y businesses.

Traditions Pottery, local preserves, and a pair of earrings

Here's a closer look at the earrings. I got them at a local gallery and we all thought they kind of looked liked knitting needles and yarn, in an abstract kind of way. :)

I LOVE these!

When we weren't in class, shopping or eating, we were knitting and listening to programs about knitting. There was also a fashion show on Sunday night. Did I mention we had a great time? You might be able to tell from this:

Photo shamelessly stolen from C since I didn't take any

We drove home Monday, back to cold, rainy weather. On the plus side, the yarn I won last month was waiting for me when I got home.

Miss Babs sport weight in Luna Granite colorway

Also waiting for me? Some of my favorite furry people [this is an old picture - I was too lazy to take a new one].

"Miss Ali took excellent care of us while you were gone, Mama!"

Next time, class details and other knitting progress.