On the Needles – 10/25/14

A day late but better late than never.  It had been a long week and getting on the computer last night was just not going to happen – I had had enough of staring at a computer screen.  I woke up yesterday morning right before my alarm and I had been dreaming that I was scanning and saving piles of papers at work— that’s what I had spent the majority of the day before that doing — couldn’t escape it even when I was sleeping! LOL  More of it yesterday but the most time consuming step is done and I can see a bit more of my desk. ;-)

Anyway, I grabbed a few things this morning and stood outside on the patio in my pjs to get some photos that show the more accurate colors of the yarns for a change.

First up – I got some oh so lovely yarn last week from Juliespins.   I’ve bought yarn of hers from The Loopy Ewe in the past, but she also does “unclubs” thru her Ravelry group (Juliespins).  While many indie dyers do yarn clubs in which you pay a certain amount and on some schedule (monthly or bi monthly or whatever) you receive a new yarn, (sometimes you know what it will be sometimes it’s a surprise), for  Julie’s  “unclub” she posts the yarns she is offering and you then tell her how many you want so they are all then dyed and shipped off to you. You know what you’re getting and each unclub is a one time deal – nothing further to sign up for more like “I’m dying a bunch of these special colors  – do you want any and how much”. :-)

When I saw the Euro Fingering Aleppo Pepper I knew I needed that lovely red – and I needed a whole SQ of it.

DSCN3898It’s 100% SW Merino  with over 800 yards on a hank. The hi-lights and lo-lights of red in that swatch are even more pretty in person.   I’ve already got a sweater pattern picked out for this where its lovely drape should be perfect.  But it will have to wait its  turn because at the moment I’m working on another fingering weight sweater – Featherweight – must get that one done first.  The other hank is Happy Trails in her Silky 445 line (half silk half merino).  It has gorgeous fall colors and I specifically bought that to make a cowl to go with the sweater I plan to make.

Speaking of Featherweight.  I liked the look of that design in genera and always kept going back to it on Ravelry to check it out but there were a couple of things I would have wanted to change if I made it.  I’m definitely not a cropped sweater wearer so it definitely would need to be longer.  Also I’m not a raglan sleeve fan nor a top down fan so that pretty much sums up why I hadn’t gotten around to making one.  But enter Amy Herzog’s CustomFit program, and the Featherweight  sweater designer who revamped her design specifically for CustomFit users and voila –  it was revamped with all the features I like — bottom-up construction,  set in sleeves, and seaming; and I can easily make it longer in Customfit.  It will automatically adjust any shaping to where I specifically need it and spit out a pattern totally adjusted just for me.  Can’t get any better than that. :-)

So because I needed another KAL like a whole in the head — you know I jumped in and joined the Featherweight KAL. (It sort of replaces my CustomFit Fall Sweater KAL — the yarn I was using was not showing my cables in that sweater so I decided to frog that one and use that yarn for a different pattern.)  I pulled tubs of yarn out from under the bed to see what choices I had — yes! actually using stash yarn can you believe it?!  I know I won’t be done by the end of the KAL – fingering weight sweater in a longer cardigan length in my size is a whole lot of knitting!  But I’m off to a great start and it’s excellent no-mind bus knitting.  I cast on this past Tuesday and once I got past all that k1 p1 ribbing, I’ve been moving along pretty well.

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This photos is about the most true to color I can get.  The yarn is Cascade Heritage Silk and it has a bit of a sheen so it doesn’t want to photograph well.  The  color is called Blood Orange.  This is going to be a soft, snuggly light sweater. And heck I’ve got about 7″ knit so far.

DSCN3903Lastly, here’s the front of another sweater which I pick up, put aside, pick up again.  This had been my bus knitting sweater but I need to bind off the neck and finish the shoulders so I need to pay a bit more attention.  I hope to get that done this weekend so I can cast on the sleeves for my bus knitting and maybe get this one finished off soon.

After I make some brunch and toss in a load of laundry, my plan is to put in a couple movies, snuggle in on the couch and knit for a while.

Spooktacular Blocks

The sewing table is cleared off – that really was my main goal in the sewing room so that I could swap out the Spooktacular Halloween Swap Blocks.  Swapping is done and they’ll get mailed back out later this the week of October 27.

Great variety of fabrics and blocks.  Here are some of them – just stuck up on the design walls in no particular order:

DSCN3886  and here are some more

DSCN3885  I’m going to have to find the storage tub that has the past Halloween swap blocks I’ve done.  Those are all appliqued and pieced and they had to be Halloween objects (as opposed to using Halloween fabrics)  — ghosts and monsters and witches and candy etc.   And then I can decide what I want to do with them all.

Thanks to the swappers who sent in these blocks — your packages will be appearing in a mailbox near you in the not too distant future.

Apples and Cinnamon…. the smell of Fall

Is anything better than the smell of something backing with cinnamon in it?   Maybe if it is apples and cinnamon together.

DSCN3878 Not a great photo – muffins never really look great in my photos but these are pretty darn tasty.  I tried a new recipe – looking for one that was a bit healthier than the recipe I usually use that might not add up  too badly on Weight Watcher points. – this one has no oil or butter and also has oatmeal in it.

The recipe I used is here.  However, in looking up the link again, I realized I left one ingredient out  – and it definitely (in my opinion) doesn’t need it.   I totally missed the white sugar listing and I don’t think it needs it at all – especially if you are sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top of them (which I did).

I only added the brown sugar and I used skim milk – because I don’t really like milk but will drink skim if its mixed in something like a smoothy – so it’s the only kind that might be in my fridge.  Most of the “healthy” baked items I’ve tried I haven’t liked – the texture was wrong or they just had no flavor –  but these I will definitely make again when I’m looking for a baked treat.

 

Heel has been turned on my Socktoberfest sock — the yarn has now gone to skinny stripes for the sole of the foot.

DSCN3880It’s on to tackling the sewing room and getting that closet back in order since there has not been any more leaks since they did some caulking in the bathroom above my closet.  Hopefully they solved the problem but I think I’ll throw the plastic drop cloth back over the  tubs stored in that side of the closet.

A refill of the coffee cup (and put those muffins in the freezer so I’m not tempted to go nab another one) and let the cleaning commence – as soon as I find a “movie to clean to” to pop in.

 

Swap Blocks done

A relaxing afternoon spent in my sewing room and my swap block sets are now complete.  Here’s the last set.

DSCN3875  There’s two different center fabrics among the four blocks.  I didn’t have enough of either  and was using up scraps. On is all over candy corn print and the other is candy corn also but in the shape of stars.

Jack-o-lantern stars

It’s been a busy morning.  A couple loads of laundry have been done, hopped the bus to the grocery store so supplies are restocked, and have been busy stitching on my Spooktacular Halloween Block Swap blocks.

I just finished off a set of these Jack-o-lantern stars.

DSCN3874  The ghosties and pumpkins around the blocks are just a Photoshop picture frame but they were so cute I had to add them.  And I love the spider web in the upper left corner of the picture frame with the spider hanging down  It would be a great embellishment to embroider on a Halloween quilt – I’ll have to keep that in mind.

 

I need to decide one more block design to make.  My original plans did not include me running out of printer ink (which I still haven’t gotten to the proper store to get more) so I’ve nixed the paper piecing blocks I was going to make since I can’t print them.  So time to open up EQ and peruse the block libraries to see what I might like to make.  Then finally, after several weeks of it being scattered about the sewing room, I can pack up the Halloween fabrics for a while.

 

 

On the Needles – Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

SPOILER ALERT — IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN CAMP LOOPY – THE FABRIC VERSION – AND HAVEN’T RECEIVED YOUR CAMP REWARD FABRIC AND DON’T WANT TO SEE IT BEFORE IT ARRIVES THEN……

STEP

AWAY

FROM

THE  COMPUTER !!  :-)

It’s farther down in this blog post.  But first things first — to the knitting needles and what’s on them ….or what’s on some of them that I’m currently working on.

DSCN3870 My Socktoberfest socks — they have been pushed aside the last week or so because I needed to finish a gift, but I think tonight I will pick them back up and just maybe get at least a heel on this first one.  The yarn has gone from sort of circling the sock in stripes to pooling  like a big splotch of grape juice.  I like it and it will be interest to see what happens has the heel is made and stitch counts change.

Are you working on your Socktoberfest Challenge socks?  Remember photos due November 1 to join in the giveaway.

 

I also pulled out of the magical bottomless knitting basket (at least it seems bottomless), a simple scarf.   The pattern is called Oh, Helen.

DSCN3871 It’s super easy.  My photo does not do the pattern nor the yarn colors justice.  I’m going to have to try to get a daylight shot – gorgeous fall colors which you know are my favorite.  And I love that you get slanted ends on the scarf but you don’t increase stitches or anything to do it.  Cast on your stitches and just knit and as the pattern says, they magically appear.  Even if you never bought a pattern from Ravelry, there are so many great free ones you could knit forever.  This has a little open lacy pattern but I need to block it when it’s done to get it to show up.  But great mindless knitting (or bus knitting).

 

 

There was a little bit of fabric that arrived this week – this I actually ordered from the Loopy Ewe – a few fall colors to add to some I already have for a fall wall hanging.

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I nearly forgot what I bought them for until I walked into my messy sewing room and found the rest of the pile I set aside to go with them.  Whew! I’d hate to think I was randomly  buying fabric. ;-)

But here’s what arrived as a surprise.   The Camp Loopy Fabric Camp Reward Fabric.

DSCN3864  Custom designed Loopy fabric!  How cute is that! I already have a plan, using the Camp logos from the camps I’ve participated in – knitting as well as fabric – and another photo or two that would be perfect, some block along a “camp” theme, and there are other camp badges and buttons when you reach certain reward levels (let’s not mention that I just emailed Sheri today my inspiration photo for reaching Loopy Legend level and there will be a yarn color combination dyed as that reward based on the photo) — so I will have spots to attach all the buttons and badges too.  Need to restock the printer ink before I can start on that project.

Did you know…..

that earlier this week was I Love Yarn Day?   I didn’t realize there was such a day but then there is a day for practically everything.  There was some yarn purchasing – just not on that day – but more on that later.

My week, and the last couple weeks, were mostly made up of  “I’m too dang busy days.”  You know things are out of control when the extended deadline for Quiltmaker 100 Blocks upcoming issues is pending and about a week before I finally just email them to let them know I won’t be sending a submission for that issue.  Dang!  way too busy when it cuts into things like that!  My  brain was on overload I think and  the creative part was just not coming up with any great applique block ideas and rather than continuing to drive myself crazy trying to come up with something, and then still having to get it quickly stitched up and in the mail, I decided something had to give and that was one of the things.

I also decided today that the laundry was one of those things I simply wasn’t going to bother with today – Sunday’s are for fun and I still have clean clothes to wear so why bother. ;-)

So what a I doing?  A bit of puttering here and there.  I’ve cut out another set of Halloween Swap Blocks which I’m stitching on.

I found this pumpkin print I really love – large scale – so here’s what I ‘m doing with it.

DSCN3852  Just simple stars.  I think I have changed my mind on all but one block that I’m making for this swap.  I was going to make a couple that were paper pieced and when I was going to print the patterns out today, I remembered my print is out of ink.  Oh well, I don’t really love making paper pieced blocks anyway.  So I’ve been search in EQ for some other block designs to use for the fabrics I really want to use.

Halloween Block Swappers – I’ve now received all the swap packages that are going to be sent so hopefully next weekend I’ll do the swapping and then get them back in the mail.  Can’t wait to take a peak at everyone’s blocks – I haven’t even had a chance to do that yet.

I’ve also been working knitting away on a scarf on my way to and from work — broke down bus one morning halfway to work gave me an extra 20 minutes of knitting time — sometimes a broke down bus isn’t a bad thing! LOL

Here’s it is – I’m a little disappointed with the yarn — only half of the balls have the dark purple wider swatch of color in them — the other two don’t.

DSCN3857Not a huge deal – I just really loved that dark purple in there.   It was some yarn I got on sale through Craftsy and although the ball band says “Colors will vary within ball due to striping effect”, they didn’t bother to list that in the information about the yarn – which would have been helpful.  The sun is washing the colors out just a little bit — they are definitely very bright!  I’m nearly done and then will add some fringe to the ends.  It looks like a really deep rip stitch but not a single purl stitch to be found in that scarf which makes the knitting of it go very quickly – especially with bulky yarn and larger needles.

Since I finished my mittens for Loopy Academy, I decided I wanted more of them since they fit so nicely.  I was able to find in a local store some Berroco Blackstone Tweed yarn (which the original pattern was shown in on Ravelry) and since it was on sale, decided to try some.  It’s a blend of wool, mohair and angora.   The one that I’ve started knitting on in the photo is more dark taupe than the gray it appears to me I the photo – with aqua,purple, yellow, green flecks for the tweedy look.  The other dark reddish color is gorgeous too.

DSCN3856I also found a beautiful shawl pin that I couldn’t pass up – but forgot to take a photo of it – I’ll save that for another day.  It will go beautifully with several of my shawls/scarfs. Oh and there’s another scarf on the needles too — my sweaters were getting too far along to want to be dragging them back and forth on the bus so I had to switch to some other bus riding projects.  Plus my Socktoberfest socks – one sock is nearly ready to start the heel flap but I’ve hit a snag – I broke a needle and of course have no more in that particular size so need to put it on my shopping list so I can continue.

The rest of today may possibly be spent watching movies and knitting.  But first, I need to go decide whether I need to make some apple crisp or some baked apples.  I’m thinking baked apples if I have raisins here because I’m not so sure there’s any butter here for the apple crisp.  My Aunt has apple trees and my parents were visiting here so when they stopped here yesterday to take me out for a late breakfast, they brought a bag of Macs along for me – and my kitchen smells like apples every time I walk by – yum.

Bellissima Collection

Go to hoffmanfabrics.com to download my latest quilt design for their Bellissima Collection.  Super simple and perfect for those large prints in your fabric collections.    Colorways in Granite, Orchid and Jade.

You can see images of other patterns I’ve designed for Hoffman California Fabrics by clicking the button in the sidebar.

Bellissima in Granite

Belissima in Granite

Bellissima in Jade

Bellissima in Jade

Bellissima in Lilac

Bellissima in Orchid

On and Off the Needles

 

Loopy Academy 2014 Semester 1 Northanger Abby Mittens

Loopy Academy 2014 Semester 1
Northanger Abby Mittens

 

 

 

Better late than never – here’s my Friday Saturday On the Needles Update:

First – I showed these previously on the blog but I just love them – Loopy Academy Mittens completed.  Link to the pattern if you are interested is in my previous blog post.  Or simply search Ravelry for Northanger Abbey.

Then here is the progress so far on my Socktoberfest Challenge Socks.  Can’t wait to see how these turn out since it has sort of gone from stripes to pooling.

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And as I was working on the second pair of mittens (same pattern as the Loopy Academy ones), I glanced over at the “knitting in waiting” basket and realized one of the cowls I am working on matches the mitten color quite nicely.

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Loopy Academy 1st Semester projects complete

Loopy Academy 2014 Semester 1 Northanger Abby Mittens

Loopy Academy 2014 Semester 1
Northanger Abby Mittens

My Northanger Abby Mittens are complete!  I’ve got to say these are the best fitting mittens I think I’ve ever made – and I’ve made a lot of mittens.  I love the simple cable ridges that extend from the ribbing.  I already cast on a second pair.  I think I might need some to match each coat/jacket for fall and winter. I highly recommend this pattern.   So all my Loopy Academy 2014 1st Semester projects are now finished

Here’s a progress photo on my Socktoberfest socks.  Altho I started over because my first yarn choice needs to be used for a plain jane sock (it was totally hiding any patterning)  and I cast them on too large — starting over was good because I love the way this yarn is turning out as I knit it.  It starts out sort of striping.    This photo was taken  last weekend after my first night of knitting on them.  I’m now nearly ready to start the heel.  Once I got past this point, the yarn started to pool more but I love the shades of blue and purple — looks like someone spilled grape juice on them. LOL  I updated my knit from the stash totals and well, I’ve knit about half as much as I’ve added — could be worse!  (and will be unless I get some larger projects finished since I found a absolutely gorgeous red yarn and had to order a sweater’s worth.  But I must get back to work on the sweaters on the needles because once that yarn is here I’ll want to start on it.

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