Monday, February 28, 2011

Pre-Op Jitters

I machine stitched the jagged reinforcements for the front steek but totally lack the courage to do the cutting today. Tomorrow. Maybe.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hat Failure

Laying about, my chevron hat looks just fine.

From the back it looks a little strange and from the front I look like...well, I don't know what I look like but I don't like it. It's a nice enough hat, but not on me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh Baby!

Shelby's sweater and booties are done but it seems Shelby isn't. I am happy to say I beat the stork.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yet Another Knit Night

My group of knitting co-workers met again this Wednesday at our usual cafe. There was food and there was wine.

In spite of the wine, I managed to get a few rows on my Modern Lodge Pullover.

There were lots of adorable knitted toys to play with tonight.

This is a lobster to be.
The knitted toy craze has not infected me yet but I do have a knit gnome kit whose time may have come.

Here is a Fake Isle whose owner fretted all night about it being too small. I hope it is not abandoned. I really want to see how those colors turn out.

The newbie knitter was ready to learn to transfer stitches from needle to needle and there were lots of helping hands to show her how.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quilting Bee Part 2

We ended our first session with no idea how we were going to finish the thing. No matter what we tried, the machine was turning the layers into an ugly mess. Hand quilting was looking like our only option.

I took it all home and dug around the stash room until I located my old quilting materials. I found my hoop, one needle and a very small amount of quilting thread left on a very old spool.

I had no marking pens or chalk so I used a roll of masking tape to mark some lines following the seams and tried to remember how to get the needle to do what it is supposed to do. It is not the finest quilting job in the world but it is not turning out too badly. I have to admit I am enjoying it. Coincidentally, the new Connecting Threads catalog showed up in the mailbox today and I am sorely tempted now to start a project of my very own.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quilting Bee Part 1

Saturday night was supposed to be a family get together to help Daddio get his latest quilt project finished. The wind was fierce that morning and I went out to find my car in a sorry state thanks to a giant tree limb that took up residence in my front seat. Jeesh.

When I finally settled down and got to work, all those little pieces Daddio and I had been putting together turned into a nice little quilt top thanks to Little Sister's piecing expertise.

Daddio had enough confidence to put on the straight borders.

Here is Little Sister, who is fresh from hand surgery (notice the bandage on the right hand) smoothing down the top as we begin to struggle with figuring out a method of machine quilting this thing. Nothing was working. It was all bunching and puckering under the foot of my cheap little machine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All That's Left

My Classic Lines Cardigan is technically still a pullover. In order to finish it, I need to cut the front steek, pick up the front bands and finally sew down the bottom hem. I have my fingers crossed that it fits once it is opened up. I tried it on as is and it is a little snug which to most people would mean it is a perfect fit. I like things big and baggy and this sweater certainly is none of that. I love it though. The colors make me happy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Acquaintance, New Love

It took a long time for me to warm up to my Turkish spindle from Knit Picks. I was very critical of it at first. I put it in a very long time out and only recently picked it up again. Unlike my first clumsy tries, this time my head and hands took to it immediately. I have to admit that I think I love it. I used it in my lap like some whirly bird support spindle and it just spun on forever. As for all those bad things I may have said before-never mind.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet Relief

Looking up at the trees, I noticed tiny buds starting to appear.

That means a lot to little Louise. She is one of the outside kitties who prefers to spend her time hiding under sheds and log piles than to sleep on our nice soft couch next to the wood stove. It has been a long cold winter full of worry and fretting on my part as I tried to keep our kitty colony as safe and warm as possible-with very little cooperation on their part.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Outdoor Spin of 2011

It was 77 degrees here yesterday. They are calling for snow on Tuesday so I just had to drag the Traveler out on the deck for a few minutes to spin in the sun. I am spinning some Merino locks but I can't remember why. I bought the raw wool last summer. I am sure I had a good reason and maybe later on it'll come to me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something New

I want to make this.

So I ordered this.

It is Lion Brand's Amazing in the Ruby colorway. I have been coveting it in my local craft store but at $7 a skein is was too pricey for me to consider buying enough (9 balls) to make an entire sweater out of. Joanne's online offered it for $4 last week with free shipping. I broke the bank but I had to have it. The psychedelic Modern Lodge Pullover, shown above in the Wildflower colorway, is so me. It's also turning out to be a great Knit Night project. It is just miles and miles of simple back and forth stockinette stitch so I can run my mouth all night and not have to go home and pull it all out to fix my boo boos.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Knit Night

I always come home from Knit Night with a bad case of yarn envy. My friends are always working on more interesting things than I am. Here are some socks in Bernat's new Mosaic. The colors are spectacular.

Someone else was trying out my Knit Pick's Turkish spindle but I should have taken a photo of her Fake Isle hat instead. She used Red Heart in camouflage and it is gorgeous. I have to get some.

This is a pair of Tracey Ullman's Sailor Pants-to-be in Cotton-Ease. I want a pair but my butt talked me out of it. Cotton-Ease feels amazing by the way. I want some of it too.

We even tried our best to convert a newbie. Here she is using the cable cast on to learn how to snag a loop. I hope we didn't scare her away.

Here I am with my latest project that I will post more about tomorrow. It is amazing. Really. Amazing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I can't sew a straight seem on my sewing machine OR weave a straight line on my loom. I wish I could think of something to blame this on but I can't think of a single good reason or excuse. The white horizontal line on the plaid is actually pretty straight (for me) in the photo. You should see what is rolled up out of sight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Small Diversion

I can't knit all day so from time to time I pick up an even smaller needle. I have 3 samplers going at the moment and 2 waiting in the wings. When it comes to cross stitch, I have a very bad habit of starting things that I quickly lose interest in. I don't even pretend that I am going to finish them anymore.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Finding coordinating Valentine's Day material was even harder than finding Christmas material that worked together so I had to make do with solid contrasts once again. I really wanted eyelet lace for the pocket trim but Walmart was out of it so I ended up with jumbo rick rack when I should have just left well enough alone. This creation is a bit dopey in my humble opinion, but it will do for scrubbing dishes and cleaning up whatever horrible messes I come upon and in this house, suddenly over run with lots of naughty animals. There is no shortage in the yucky poo department these days.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Man Versus Machine

Daddio has had enough of hand piecing all of his quilts. I let him borrow my new machine to take for a test drive.

He's has an idea that begins here.

And ends up somewhere around here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hang in There Baby!

Mama's having contractions and I have a long way to go before this is done. Baby Shelby better stay put for a least a few more weeks!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Chevron Hat

My crafting life has shifted into slow motion these days. I have a wicked case of the winter blues. It is my first winter of being home all day and I have to say that is not nearly as much fun as it sounded this time last year. Yes, it is nice not to have to jump in a cold car and drive an hour in the dark to a place that stressed me to the point of collapse-but being home doing the same thing day in and day out has it's own stresses. I can't seem to claim very much of my time for myself anymore. Every living thing in my household is suddenly demanding and overwhelming. It seems my empathy chip is just too big for its own good. Sigh.
Goodness. What a pity party. Sounds like I need a spring tonic ( or a gin and tonic) and some fresh air. If I can just hold out for a few more weeks the blessed outdoors will be available to escape into once again. Until then, I am slowly working on pretty little things like my Chevron Hat to pass the time. My chain plied hand spun is turning out nicer than expected so at least when I can find the time to get there- all is well in Knitville at the moment.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Knit Night Two

The second gathering of our newly formed yarn gang began with some dinner-lamb to be exact. I didn't eat it but it sure smelled good.

The Show and Tell session left me speechless and determined to have one of these bags for myself. I bought the materials to make one years ago. I am digging it out of my stash purgatory tomorrow.

My former spinning student has been happily spindling away since our last lesson 8 months ago. She managed, to my great surprise, to make a giant ball of gorgeous lace weight out of some BFL top I gave her last year. She spun this on a giant Ashford boat anchor. I can't believe it. I told her it's time that wool became a little shawl and sent her to look up Ysolda on Ravelry.

It was a nearly perfect night until I went out to the car and found it covered in snow. The 1 and 1/2 hour white knuckle ride home on ice covered highways was the stuff nightmares are made of. Damn weather people. They haven't got it right once this year.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Almost Bright Idea

The wildly variegated wool I had leftover from my chain plying experiment needed something to do so I thought about tearing it up and reordering the colors to give me longer color repeats for another go at wheel chain plying.

This is a typical strand and you can see the random changes of color only last a few inches.

I picked apart the different colors and began to spin them one color at a time.

This is the teal blue sections spun together and until now I didn't realize how many variations within the colors I would get. It is not exactly what I hoped for but it is sure to keep me interested for a while.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maybe a Hat to Be

My first chain-plied-on-the-wheel Merino is dry and I'm thinking I like it even though it is a bit wonky in places. You can see the areas that look over spun and lumpy. I have a hard time controlling the twist and pulling up the single at the same time so things can get out of of whack. I haven't quite figured how to pull it back and fix it once it happens so I am left with the tangled bits. Having the lovely colors intact though is worth the trouble.

Now to weigh and swatch it to see what I have to work with. I want to turn it into this chevron patterned hat-minus the goofy cape thingy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Really Done Deal

Daughter's clogs dried overnight on the air vent. Mine took days to dry just sitting out in the open. They don't look any worse for wear for having been subjected to forced air from the heat pump so from now on this will be the way to go. I didn't even stuff them and they look fine. She will have to stretch them out and decide which is right and left. Until they mold to your feet they feel a bit funny to walk around in but after that they are shear heaven. Especially when you add a really fat pair of handspun socks. Mmmmm...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Fun in the Tub

The green felted clogs had their bath today.

After about a half hour they still looked like this. I was getting worried.

Another half hour of splishing and splashing started to give me some results.

Thirty more minutes later they were drying on the air vent while being guarded by a watch cat. Gracie was taking her job very seriously.