Monday, May 15, 2017

I'm still here

Just didn't have much to blog about.  But I finished a gorgeous beaded shawl and it's now blocking.

You can only see a bit of this because it's really large for a crescent shawl.  104" X 17".  I'll get the tall Hubz with the large wingspan to hold this when it dries.  The pattern is Each to Each Shawl and I bought a kit (which I never, ever do) from Earthfaire.  I used the Lucas colorway.  The yarn is Freia Ombr√© Fingering weight, and it's 70 merino/30 silk.  Just wonderful to knit with.  So why the kit?  I figured that it was just easier to try out a new yarn for me, plus get matching beads.  Her service is great and I'll buy from her again. 

I find myself uninterested with socks at the moment.  There's always a pair on the needles for mindless, TV knitting, but that's it, at least for now.  What's obsessing me are shawls and scarves.  Lace, lace and more lace, with an interesting new technique for me:  mosaic knitting with lace.  I bought Mosaic and Lace Knits and fell in love with the ideas.  I've done a lot of mosaic and other slip stitch knitting, but never with this complexity.  This is fun and challenging with both knits and purls on the right and wrong sides and the fun of lace, too.  Good stuff.

Yarn is KnitPicks Palette; needle is a size 2, since I'm a loose knitter.  Colors are cream and Bluebell.

Quilting?  I don't remember what that is.  All I want to do is knit.  My poor quilts in progress.  But I'll get back to them and then will not want to knit.  So it goes.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Exploding Blocks and Eve's Temptation

Eve's Temptation finished.  I used KnitPicks Chroma Twist fingering in Red Velvet.  I was fascinated by the color progression.  The first sock is the top one, in the very dark vermillion.  It progressed naturally to the lighter sock.  The yarn is very pleasant to work with.  I like the stitch definition in this yarn; I don't like Stroll yarn because it's too mooshy and my stitches flatten out, but a lot of folks love it.  Not me.

Here are the latest blocks in my Exploding Block quilt.  These things are addictive.

And a close-up of the middle blocks.  Yes, the corners are cut off, but that's the charm of it for me.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Sock and quilt

Here's where I am with the Eve's Temptation socks I started Wed night.  Zooming along is so pleasant.

Progress on my exploding block quilt. 



These are just laid out any which way.  I have too few to make any placement decisions.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Re-engineered

I like the majority of the socks on Sock Madness, but I have a small narrow foot, and the socks rarely fit me.  I can usually give them to the Hubz (if they are massive) or to a daughter.  But I want them for me, too.  So my solution is to re-engineer the patterns so that they are my size.  That's usually pretty simple to do.  (I've been knitting socks for decades). 

I fell in love with the slip-stitch pattern on this pair, and changed the contrasting yarn to something that had been hanging around forever.  This photo is of the original pattern, and the socks are donated to DD#1.

Here's my re-engineered sock, and it fits beautifully.  I do love this pattern and can see it in my arsenal of go-to socks.

It looks blurry, doesn't it?  But that's how the pattern appears.  Here's a close-up.

I finished the pair last night and immediately cast on another pair.  I'm using an old pattern of mine that's still someplace on Ravelry. 

Here's a very blurry photo of it.  Not much to see, and the color is off, but there it is.  It'll be very pretty when finished.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lots of new goodies

I'm back from a long hiatus in which we had a lovely visit from the MN folks, followed by Passover, and now back from all that excitement.

String quilt:

I'm assembling the latest string quilt, this one done in autumnal colors.



I love, love, love making string quilts.  Mindless fun with all that color assemblage. 

Whirligig quilt:

It's slowly coming along.  I did assemble a couple of blocks with all the company, but it was much more fun chatting and doing field trips with them.


And then, because I need a new project like a hole in the head, I have forced myself to make another exploding block quilt.  I made one of these as an I Spy quilt for little Benjamin (who is now 4 and not so little and never stops talking).  I'm using 2 different layer cakes plus some odd and end charm squares, and I'm using Civil War-ish colors, not my usual at all.  I generally eschew reproduction prints; I like bright and lively, but last year I fell in love with some fabric lines and bought a few layer cakes (all on sale, of course).  I'm thinking this might be a perfect winter quilt.  At any rate, I'm enjoying stepping out of my usual fabric choices.

Here's Benjamin's quilt, made in 2014.

I'm out of the competition with Sock Madness:  company and Passover did me in, but it doesn't bother me.  I have so many projects in my head, and anyhow, I get all the patterns from SM, so I can make at my leisure and can fit the socks to my foot.  All good.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finished the socks!

Moving on to the next round.  No knitting or English paper piecing tomorrow, too many aches in my hands, wrists, etc, etc.


The "curly" ribbing on the top is on purpose.  This is a toe-up sock, and that bit of extra bind-off makes it fit so well.

First sock

I finished the first sock of this round of Sock Madness and started the second one yesterday.  I estimate I'll be done on Fri.  In the past, I was able to knit a complex pair of socks in 2.5 days, but that was really pushing it.  This year, my body wants me to slow down.  I have to listen to my fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.  Don't really want to, but it makes sense.  So these will be a 5-day pair of socks.  And then I will rest!


Isn't that a cute heel?  I love the pattern and I may use it on a hat or a pair of mittens.  It's pretty toasty. As usual, the sock is big on me.  Not bad in the circumference, but too long.  I have to follow the pattern exactly.  I'll still wear them, even though they bunch up a little in the heel.

OK, lots of knitting today.  No errands, no lunch out (bummer), just knit, knit, knit.  Make pizza dough and bake bread, but that's it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sock Madness 11 in progress

Here we go, the first round of Sock Madness.  This one is so pretty to knit with a lot of neat techniques.


I'm on the 5th fastest team, which means I have to knit my little fingers to pieces.  My right thumb is already complaining.  Don't know how far I'll get this year because family is coming to visit in a couple of weeks.  So if a pattern drops then, well, I'd rather play with the little guy and chat with Miss P and hang out with DD and SIL.  So, we shall see.

Monday, March 20, 2017

You know what today is!

First day of spring.  It's time for the annual spring poem.  Brace yourselves.  Here we go:

The annual spring poem
High up, over the tops
Of the feathery grasses, the grasshoppers hop.
They won't eat their suppers,
They will not obey
Their grasshopper mothers and fathers who say:
"Listen my children, this must be stopped.
Now is the time your last hop should be hopped.
So come eat your suppers and go to your beds."
But the little grasshoppers just shake their green heads.
"No, no," the naughty ones say.
"All we have time to do now is to play.
If we are hungry we'll nip at a fly,
Or nibble a blueberry as we go by.
But not now. Now we must hop.
And no one, but no one can make us stop."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Finished!

My red log cabin is quilted (not by me), bound, washed, dried and crinkled!  I used 2 color catchers, but still got a teeny bit of red on one of the logs.  It's not bothering me very much.  You have to look for it.  (And it's not in any of these pictures).  The next time I wash it, I'll use color catchers again.




Monday, March 13, 2017

First row done and a name


I have a name:  Whirligig.  We have one in our back yard that spins in the wind, and at night is lit up by LED lights.  I just love it.  The spinning blades on this block remind me of that whirligig. 


The indentation on the second row is where the partial block will come.  And of course, there will be partial ones on the top.  I'm planning on a border or two.  We'll see; there's a long way to go.

Latest blocks.




I'm not sure about this last one; that's a pretty striking coral/orange, but I think if I incorporate it into at least 3-5 more blocks, it should work out.  If not, then it can become a coaster.


Friday, March 10, 2017

49 blocks

That's how many I've made so far.  I can get 1-2 done most days.  This is slow stitching at its slowest, but it is very enjoyable.

I'm planning on 10 blocks/row, with side fill-in blocks on the odd rows.  Probably 11 rows in total, and then the top and bottom fill-in blocks.  I work on it just about every day, but when Sock Madness patterns come out, then I put the quilt aside.  Right how I have 8 blocks joined for the first two rows, and a couple on the third row, just to play with it a bit.  I decide each block's placement as I go along.  This is how I like to work:  a minimum of organization and a maximum of serendipity.



And here's the quilt in progress.


Click on the photos to get the best view.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Three more

The latest blocks for Valse Brillante.  I took a few days off to do my 1st sock for Sock Madness 11.  Finished them this morning, and now I'm back to English paper piecing. 




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Still more

The latest blocks plus the first 2 rows in progress:






I'm glad I've started joining them.  The thought of doing this all when I've finished the individual blocks is daunting.  I have over 40 blocks done, so I have plenty of choices about what gets joined next. 

At first I thought of 11 blocks/row, but now I'm thinking 10 plus a border or even 2 of them.  Not sure, but it doesn't matter at this point.  I can always add another row before I sew on a border.  At any rate, I don't think this will be finished before July.  It's very slow work.  Very very enjoyable, but it does take a lot of time.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lots of hexies

6 new blocks for Valse Brillante.






And more joined blocks.

Nothing happening on the knitting front.  Sock Madness 11 starts on Wed, so I'm resting my knitting wrists and hands.


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