Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The knitting....

I mentioned last time that there has been some knitting, so here goes.  I've made progress on two pairs of socks.

Stepping Stones in Sensations Bamboo & Ewe, for Mom

Plain socks in Destination Yarn, Vancouver Five Rings colorway
I just started the heel flaps on Mom's socks, and finished the heel turn and started on the gussets of the plain socks.

If you recall, February was for Finishing, so I finished a sweater.

Shalom Cardigan, in Bernat Natural Alpaca Blends

The back

Close-up of the front
The pattern just calls for one color, but I had to add the extra challenge of using two. It was my first sweater, so why make it easy?  It really wasn't that much more difficult and took just under a month to make, which was pretty amazing to me. It seems to take forever to make a pair of socks but using bulky yarn on big needles makes a difference.

"It's not quite big enough yet, Mama."
"I think I look pretty good on this."

 The girls helped a lot with the sweater while I was making it.

Oooo, pretty!

I entered the project in the contest over at Life in Cleveland, and I won a prize! This is a lovely fused glass necklace, and along with it came a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for classes at Crafty Goodness in Lakewood.  I haven't decided what to take, but I'm sure it will be fun.

I think I've been bitten by the sweater bug.  I cast on this one on March 1st.  It's another knit along with some of my friends.  We were supposed to start on Leap Day, but it didn't quite work out.  I'm up to the second button hole, despite not spending much time on it.

February Lady Sweater, in Berroco Vintage, Juniper colorway
And since this is the first day of spring, I plan to start a sweater to go with the socks I started last year on the first day of spring.  The lace pattern looks the same as the socks.

Petal, in Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Tonos Pima Silk

And finally, Emma decided my knitting bag, with my Shalom sweater in it, makes an excellent kitty bed.


Now I'm off to swatch for the new sweater....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quilt camp, February 2012

I went to quilt camp last month.  On the way there, we stopped at Calla Lily for some yarn shopping, because we are multi-craftual.  I had decided beforehand that I needed to make a sweater to go with my Spring Fern socks, and I think I found the perfect yarn for it. 

The colors look closer in real life

From there, we went to Somewhere Sewing, because we all need more fabric.  Hey, "need" is a subjective term, right?  Anyway, the shop has a great selection of fabric and tools and they sell sewing machines, but I think my favorite thing about it is the remnant bin.  Anything you can stuff into a quart size freezer bag for $5.  The owners say they have almost as fun watching us try to fill the bags as we have doing it.  You can fit a LOT of fabric in a quart size bag, if you fold it right.

That's about 3 yards total!

Once we got our retail fix, we settled in to sew.  First, I put together a few pillow cases for my guild. I didn't take a picture of them and kind of wish I'd left at them home, to be honest.  I wish I'd spent more time on other things.

Since February was for finishing, I decided it was finally time to finish up some blocks I made years ago.  They are from a $5 quilt program at Quilts & Kreations. The idea is, you pay $5 for the first block kit. If you bring back the finished block the next month, and sit through a sort presentation about a quilting notion, you get the next kit at no charge.  If you make it every month, you get twelve blocks for five dollars.  If you miss a month, you have to pay for the next kit.  There were three different colorways to choose from, and I picked both the Christmas and batiks. 

I'd done all the blocks, but managed to lose a the two star blocks shown here.  I put together new ones using bits and pieces leftover from the Christmas kits, and some batiks I had in the stash.  I made the little teardrop pieces for the blocks on the left and got the white ones sewn on. Then I partly re-did the Dutchman's Puzzle block on the right.  I had cut the yellow fabric from the kit wrong and replaced it with something I had in my stash at the time.  It was too bright, so I swapped it for this one.

Here are all the blocks. They're in the same locations, so you can see what a difference the colors make. If you look closely, you can see the old yellow in the top left corner of the yellow and green block.  I had the old piece sitting on top to make sure I liked the new one.

I think I know how I'm going to set the Christmas blocks, but I'm hoping to find some of the background fabric to use in the alternate blocks.  There are 180 people in my quilt guild, so I'm hoping someone has some they're willing to part with.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the batiks yet, but I have a couple of ideas.  I have lots of that background fabric, if I decide to use it.

After those were done, I pulled out some community service blocks for the guild and made an extra block to two. That will give me enough to make a two lap-sized quilts.  They will have white sashing and scrappy corner stones, when I get around to putting them together.

And finally, I made a couple of Sister's Choice blocks. They took longer to put together than you might think, since I was making them one at a time. There's lots of  stopping and cutting and pressing involved.  I think next time I work on them, I'll try to do more of an assembly line thing.

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting lately, but this is getting long, so I think I'll save the knitting for the next post.

It's been almost three weeks since I lost Ripley. Thank you to everyone who sent their condolences, in whatever form.  I do appreciate it.

I had the vet's office make an impression of her paw for me.  It was unbaked when I got it, and I thought it would be nice to put her name and dates on it.  So I pulled out my rubber stamps, stamped and baked it.  There's only one problem....

She was born in 1992, not '93.  Thoughts on how to fix this??

I haven't decided what to do with her ashes, but for now they're in the canister they came in, on a shelf in the room where I feed Blue.  Several times since I picked them up, I've found him here when I've gone in to get him.

Not sure I've seen him on that shelf before.  Coincidence??