My Nemesis – Windows 10

Windows 10 is messing with me again.  When I got the initial update a year or so ago, it didn’t go as smoothly as for others.  It refused to recognize my original login as being an administrator and totally messed up my EQ program.  The good people at Electric Quilt got me back in business.

Sooo….. when the most recent major update downloaded over the weekend – yep once it finished which took ages (or much longer than I was wanting at least) – once again my EQ wouldn’t open but at least this time I knew what to do to fix it – deactivate and totally uninstall and reinstall.  That actually goes very quickly and I was keeping my fingers cross.

It worked – so just to celebrate that I was back in business I pulled up an old design to play with.  It’s not finished, but I really like the secondary design that the corners of the block makes – the gold and light blue diamond shapes.

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So just a little eye candy for you today.

 

Craftsy Sale

Craftsy is having sale  – which is only good today and tomorrow – for your choice of one class at 50% off.

I opted for another free motion quilting class because there are  always fun tips to pick up.  I really like the format on Craftsy since I can actually seeing someone as they stitch various designs – how they move the fabric, where they are aligning things, etc – the visuals that I can replay really helps me to be able to accomplish them myself.

So this is just a heads up on the sale – you need to go to Craftsy.com,   click the tab at the top for the Craftsy “BLOG”, and then scroll down to the fourth blog post (or at least as of my writing this it was the 4th blog post – it may be farther down if they add more) and on the blog post announce the sale you will find a link to click which will bring up  the classes and show you the sales price.  The only way to get the sale is for each person to go to the blog and click that link.

No affiliation – I just like the Craftsy classes.:-)

Stained Glass Cowl KAL – 9-1-16

20160502_6Remember this KAL starts 0n 9/1/16 if you want to join Judy and I in making this cowl.

I’ve gotten several emails asking about what kind of yarn to use, long color change versus short color change, where to buy it, etc.  I can tell you what yarn I’m using and why, and why a couple of the yarns I was considering in my stash I put aside because I didn’t think they would work well, but I can only comment on yarns that I’ve had personal experience making.  I hate making specific suggestions to anyone else for what they should use because my yarn choices are based on my specific likes — which might not be the same as anyone else’s.

Now that being said, the first thing I do when trying to decide on yarn for a project is read what the pattern designer says on the Rav pattern page and in the pattern.  In this the pattern calls for two colors of a  smooth fingering weight yarn that contrasts well with each other.  Smooth — well that’s pretty self explanatory — if  were a yarn with mohair or other fuzzy texture to it, or a yarn that’s thick and thin, it would distort the colorwork. The designer used Wollmeise.   Then I check the project pages on Rav and see what others have used.  In this case all the projects listed have used/are using Wollmeise.

20160811_5These are what I plan to use.  Good contrast between multicolored and background.  I’ve knit with Wollmeise before – it’s definitely a nice smooth yarn.  It also has longer yardage put ups so two hanks of each color gets me my required yardage.

 

As I was looking at my Wollmeise, I took this photo below.  While the colors look pretty together, there would be places where I would loose the look of the color work because the multicolor stitches would blend right into the background if I chose any of the solid color yarns shown.

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As I was looking through the stash, I was checking out the other color change type yarns I have because I decided I wanted to use a color change yarn to give me a similar effect as on the pattern photo (although there is a very stunning two solid color version on Ravelry that  had me thinking about solids also).

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The red ball middle left, the blue/green behind it and the rainbow to the right of the blue green — those I decided I wouldn’t used (they are  Zauberball Sock or made similar to that) and this is only my person opinion but I don’t like that yarn for socks (it seems too thin to me) and I also thought it was too thin for this project.  The “Lang” labeled one is also similar to Zauberball and a bit thinner strand than I want for this project.

Rounder/plumper/smoother yarn will make the color work fill in and look more even I think.  The other yarns had possibilities but I’m either using them in other projects or didn’t have enough.  I will say in general that Mini Mochi (the one where you can see the “mochi label and the rainbow one to its right) is one of my favorite color change yarns  that I’ve used in several projects.  The Poem Socks – ball at right with black band – is a longer color change yarn that I can get locally but again, it’s thinner so I would probably not use it for this project.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a long color change yarn – I was looking through my Rav stash to see what else I thought might work — these are possibilities – I really have no idea how they would end up looking in the cowl but I think  (1) the top row – those are are really short color changes so my gut instinct is that it might make the design look too busy but then again – I wouldn’t really know unless I swatched them.  Maybe it would make it look blendy but if the background is a good contrast that could look nice.    I think the bottom row would play along nicely in this design but again – that’s only a guess.

Then there are also gradient yarns  – I think those would look nice in this pattern with the color slowly changing it’s shading.   As to where to buy – that’s up to you.  I generally buy on line because although there are yarn stores in the City or nearby outside the City – they are most definitely not on my bus route so I shop on line.  The yarn photos from my stash are probably all from The Loopy Ewe (and they are the only source for Wollmeise in the US) and where most of my yarn comes from.  I also order from Eat.Sleep.Knit and the Mini Mochi I normally get from Simply Socks Yarn Company.  Fiber Wild, Webs and Jimmy Bean Wool are other shops that I have good luck finding what I want.

All this is a very long way of saying – find something you love to make it in, you may need to swatch or just jump in and take the chance that it will look the way you want – I have no magic way of telling you what will work and what won’t, but in my past experience, if its a project that doesn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, there’s always someone in the family who falls in love with it and wants it, so it’s a winner in the end.

Yarn and Yarn and Yarn… on the needles

Less than a week ago (okay a week ago tomorrow – so not a whole lot less) in my last blog post I posted my “giant swatch” (a/k/a the sweater front that is going to be too big so it needs to be ripped back) and that I was going to use that yarn for.  Well I haven’t ripped that part out but instead grabbed a different ball of that yarn to start on my Staring at Stars sweater.  I made great progress through the week and am now an inch or two below the sleeve split. 20160820_1I must say that since I’m used to knitting my sweaters in pieces and seaming that it really seems a long slog across those rows of the entire body as one but it certainly makes for very simple knitting so far.

I also have added a few rows to my Surf and Sand Tesserino Cowl.20160820_2

I’m probably about half way completed.

And, since I couldn’t work on my sweater yesterday riding the bus (since I was at the sleeve splitting portion and putting stitches on waste yarn while bumping along on the bus is not a great plan), I pulled out my second Summer Camp and now have another section or two completed.

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And then there was an influx of yarn – yep I really needed this.  I fell in love with the colorful Love is Love mini skeins at TLE.  They actually had a scarf kit that included them with some additional “background yarn for the scarf but those sold out quick as a wink.  But I was mostly interested in the mini group so could still get those.  I also got some Mad Tosh and as you can see the speckles in it will go quite well with the bright colored yarns so am working on my plan as to what they want to be.

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and….I just happened to be looking at Craftsy last night to see what was new and they are having a “Black Friday Sale.”  All kinds of kits and supplies on sale.  Well I had to look because sometimes the bargains are too good to pass up.  If there’s fabric used in a kit and I really like the fabric but I don’t like the pattern, I sometimes still get it to use the fabric for what I want, not the pattern that comes in the kit.  Many times they will have backing fabric in 7 or 8 yard pieces and the sale price works out to $5.00/yd — that’s a bargain.  I also look for the discounted Aurifil thread sets.   And yarn – well you know I have to see if there is a bargain there.

So….yes I have an order coming from Craftsy.  On my list of “want to make” CF patterns is Oak Knoll vest – I like the relaxed look of it and the rolled front treatment and I want it in a very neutral color similar to that pattern.  Well I found on sale at Craftsy

doeskin heather cascade 220 sport

Cascade 220 Sport (not superwash) in this lovely Doeskin Heather color which I think will be perfect and at 45% off that makes for a really inexpensive project.

Although I love my wooly yarns and wooly blends, there are a couple acrylic yarns and acrylic blends that are very nice to knit with (not the acrylic I used to knit slippers and mittens out of when I was young that squeeked). :-)  I haven’t tried Cascade Cherub DK but I bought a bunch of that in this lovely geranium color.

cascade cherub dkDepending on what and who I’m knitting for – sometimes I need something that can just be tossed in the washer and dryer rather than hand washing and air drying — especially with baby/kids stuff.  And at $1.65 a ball, it’s definitely worth trying.

I did also get a fabric kit because I specifically wanted the fabric (not the quilt pattern) to go with a project I’m working on but I’ll save that for the next quilty update.

Now to go check out some recipies and see what to do for dinner – I have some Three Cheese Asparagus ravioli – the pasta is spinach and then stuffed with the asparagus/cheese.  So I need to decide if I’m going to put some sort of sauce on it or maybe just  tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese.  I may need to go start some homemade French bread to go with it! Yum.

Huge swatch?

Is it a swatch? Or is it part of an A-line sweater I’ve been working on?  Well, it might as well be a swatch because as I’ve been knitting the last 2 or three inches I’ve been thinking – hmmm this looks awfully long and a bit too wide. A-line is one thing but swimming in stockinette is another…

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well I wouldn’t exactly be swimming but I’ve decided it definitely has more ease at the bottom than I need.   But, more importantly, the day I did the measurements for this one I must have  got a bit carried away with how long I wanted it too.  I’m not to the armholes yet – have a couple more inches to go – and it’s already longer than I think I will like.  So, I’ll be doing some tweaking to my Customfit measurement set for A-lines since I want A-line, but not swingy extra fabric around the bottom.   So you know what that means – all that lovely knitting will get ripped back.

It all works out okay tho (at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself as I rip all that back) because I decided I wanted the A-line sweater in a lighter weight yarn (fingering – so even more stitches to be knitting in stockinette) and this yarn – Classic Elite Soft Linen (DK) will be used to make Staring at the Stars.

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I got the pattern back in June when it was original released and keep going back and forth as to just use the design at the bottom of the sweater on a CF version or make it as is.  Top down raglan sweaters usually don’t work for me but in looking at the various measurements/sizing on this one, it may work out okay and there are some little design elements in the raglan that I like which I wouldn’t be able to duplicate in CF.

I usually have a hard time matching someone else’s gauge (which is why I prefer CustomFit) but I did get gauge on the needle size in the pattern so I’m taking that as a good omen.  It knits up more open than the “giant swatch” (f/k/a a sweater front) above which was done with needles two sizes smaller – but I like the feel of the swatch and it should have a nice drape so time will tell if it will work out.  But, nothing ventured nothing gained and it’s just yarn.

 

 

Where did Saturday go?

It’s just after 6 p.m. and I can’t believe it’s that late in the day already.  I think I may need to call the pizza people to bring me dinner since I clearly didn’t plan ahead.

I did finish today the quilting on my Camp Loopy project 3 quilt.  The binding is attached and clipped in place so I can hand sew that down tonight.  I actually pulled out a second quilt top to layer so I would have it ready to quilt (I’m in a machine quilting mood) but found the perfect fabric for the backing and simply had to order it.

I also figured out what my TLE August Mixer projects will be.  For August, both knitting and sewing projects are to be “Olympic-related” or “use the colors of the Rio countryside.”

When I ordered my backing fabric (mentioned above – which by the way is Crayola printed fabric – white background with crayons all over – for my Coloring Outside the Lines crayon quilt), I also ordered three fabrics that will represent my Rio countryside colors.

I cannot find back the photo which originally made me pick my Rio inspiration colors – it was of the city and a shot with lovely blue sky and water and a whole cluster of buildings with terra cotta colored roofs.   umbrellas - fabricThis photo sort of shows those same colors – tho the umbrellas a more red but it’s just “color inspiration” after all. Here’s the fabrics I ordered.augustmixerfab

 

 

I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll make with them – and I want to see the print in person and decide what other colors I want to bring into the project – but this will be my starting place.

For the knitting project – there was a cowl pattern I had started that was perfect and since I started the cowl putting the colors in the reverse order I really wanted them, I ripped it back (okay I cut the yarn since I wasn’t very far into it and just restarted since I didn’t want to untangle it as I ripped back the two colors).  Anyway, when I saw the Tesserino Cowl it reminded me of a photo of  Copa Cabana Beach where Olympic volleyball was taking place. Here’s the photo of the beach – does the rock area this side of the sand remind you of anything – like maybe the cowl design….

cowl -rio inspiration photo

and here’s my restart on this cowl last night.

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Today’s progress

A bit of knitting, a bit of sewing, a bit of laundry  – but I don’t plan to overdo the cleaning today since it is my last day of vacation.:-)

First the knitting – hot off the needles is my Camp Loopy 3 project – Endless Road.  I’ve got somewhere between 1,100 and 1,200 yards in it.  Those last rows and bind off did seem endless let me tell you.  My photos don’t do it justice.  It’s overcast outside by weirdly bright and glarey so I need to try to get some better photos on another day.  But here it is

20160812_8It’s a nice big wrap.

20160812_10So all my camp knitting projects are finished.

In the meantime, last night I cast on my second Summer Camp shawl  – for me these are more “scarfs” than shawl size but will be so cozy wrapped around the neck come weather that is not like a sauna outside – not that I’m wishing away the summer weather – just the humidity.

Anyway, here’s how the start of Summer Camp is looking.

 

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The green in the solid is a really good match for one of the greens in the multicolored and I’m really liking how these two yarns are playing together — but then since I love green, how could I not love it.  I had originally intended to put this one away as a gift but I may be rethinking that idea because this one may need to stay with me.

 

I’ve also been busy this afternoon working on my final Camp Loopy sewing project.

Got the quilt layered and now have all the sashing quilted and a couple of the blocks.

20160812_14I had this great backing fabric in the stash.  It is actually a wider than normal fabric –one of those that appears at the holidays for making table cloths hence the 60″ width.  It is also a much better quality than many of those table cloth width fabrics are so I bought a bunch of it several years ago at the end of the season sale when it was really inexpensive.  It was perfect for backing of this project since it was about 4″ wider than my quilt top so no seaming involved.  Gotta love that when it happens.

Had to stop and wind another bobbin but I was checking out the back and was admiring the stitches — not that they are perfect – I was doing free motion straight lines and they have a bit of a wobble here and here but I’m okay with that.  I didn’t want to turn all those corners using the walking foot – so opted for free motion.  But the actual stitches – my old machine that I quilted on always had tension issues so I was constantly battling either the top thread popping through to the bottom or vice versa.  I’m using a cream colored thread on the backing to match the fabric but most of the stitching in the photo above is done with a dark green thread for the top.  Not a hint of that thread popping thru to the bottom and not a hint of the cream coming thru to the top.  I’ve never had to adjust the tension of this machine since I ordered it in February 2014.  Best purchase I ever made and definitely time to stop starting new projects and concentrate on getting the huge pile of tops waiting to be quilted done.  (okay – maybe not start as many new projects since you know starting none will never happen)

Okay – coffee break over and time to get back to bobbin winding.

 

 

A basket full of yarn

20160811_1On the agenda for today was cleaning up the sewing room so once my batting arrived from Amazon today, I would have space to layer my Camp Loopy quilt.

Well I did do that but among the mess in that room were some tubs of yarn I had pulled out.  Since I was going to look for some yarn for a project, I decided to gather all the yarn I have stuffed in baskets and bags and places in the living room where it got stowed, and put it in the actual storage tubs and tidy the works in progress since I had knocked over that basket.  Well it’s after 6 p.m. and all yarn carefully stowed where it should be, WIPs are in bags in a basket and things are much more orderly.  The batting has also just arrived so don’t know that I’ll start layering the quilt tonight.

But – I have planned out my next couple of knitting projects (I’m nearly finished with my over 800 yard final Camp Loopy knitting project) and since I was digging through yarn, pulled what I needed and spent a good amount of time getting most of it wound.

First things first – for those joining Judy and I as we do a KAL for Stained Glass Cowl starting September 1, check out Judy’s latest post which shows some of the yarn/colors she’s considering here.  At the bottom of that basket in the photo above are my choices for the yarn I will be using.  Both colors are Wollmeise Pure and the multicolored is called Sultan and the navy is Admiral.  Here’s what it looks like caked versus in the hank.

20160811_5The interesting thing is the Admiral – especially in the hank – shows two distinct shades of navy – one darker than the other.  The flash enhances that because to the naked eye, it looks pretty much one color.  I had to look very closely to see there was more than one shade of blue so it will be interesting to see how that looks knit up.

Now I just need to find where I put the new needle I bought for this and see how many stitch markers I have free to gather for this project.

In the front of the basket photo are these two cakes of yarn.

20160811_11I’m going to make another Summer Camp shawl – it’s such a fun and so easy pattern and I may need to have an extra on hand for last might gift giving – tho green is one of my favorite colors so this one may be mine as well! :-)  I went  stash diving for these.  The multicolor is Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn and the color is Blooming Gale.  That one came from TLE  4 or 5 years ago – they don’t carry that line anymore.  The green is “sprout” and is  Shalimar Zoe Sock – that’s been around a while too but not sure where it came from.

 

Also in the top of the basket are several smaller cakes of yarn – which might remind you of watermelon colors. :-)  The ones in the plastic bags are additional shades to go with the ones I have wound.   I’m going to make Night Market by Laura Aylor and stripe it so it looks like watermelon slices with seeds.

I also have a couple sweaters in the works I keep picking up and putting down in between the other projects.  These projects should all help keep me out of trouble after Camp Loopy ends and I have more waiting in the wings since I bagged up groups of yarn for specific projects once these are finished.

 

July Yarn Mixer Finished

This was so fun to make!

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The criteria for The Loopy Ewe July Mixer yarn project was to make something with cotton yarn.  Well that left things pretty wide open but since I had a lot of larger projects on the needles, plus Camp Loopy projects to work on, I wanted a smaller project.  Knitted dish clothes are not really my thing but I did a search on Ravelry, narrowed to cotton yarn, to see what it came up with.   One of those things was knitted and crocheted jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, etc.

Perfect – I love those multistring, multibeaded necklaces and although I don’t crochet much since it tends to bother my wrists, this would not entail long periods of crocheting.  So then the hunt was on for beads and things to add to my necklace.

Lower right image is of the  four tubes of size 6/0 seed beads  from TLE and above that are the stitch markers from TLE I added to the necklace as well (stitch markers on a knitter’s necklace – perfect don’t you think!)   But I knew I also wanted to add larger beads which TLE doesn’t carry so off to Etsy.    (You can see the round stitch markers in the outer strand below.)20160811_2

The rest of the beads pictured above came from Bohemian Findings.  The 2nd image from the left on top – with the shell in the bead supply photo – is cultured sea glass and I didn’t use those in this necklace because they were more blue and everything else in my necklace was more aqua (so those will be used in another necklace).   I do love their cultured sea glass and the rectangular pieces in the lower left were the perfect color to go with my beads.

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I looked at several free Ravelry patterns to get an idea of how they were made  – Bead Happy Necklace, Understatement Necklace (I liked the little clusters on this one and used all the same size beads to make my clusters rather than one larger bead and two smaller as in the pattern), and Crocheted Beaded Necklace (I like the way all the strands are gathered together in the back and then wrapped).

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So started stringing my beads on for one strand and just winged it as I went.  If you can crochet a chain stitch, you can crochet a beaded necklace.  Even if you’ve never crocheted, it’s easy enough to learn how to chain.  I like the way the larger glass beads add a bit of weight to the strand too.   Started and finished in one night.

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Borders are on

Got the sashing strips finished and added on some scrappy borders using nearly every last scrap of the fabrics I had bought for this project.

Just enough left over that I was able to cut the binding strips – at least I think I have enough cut.  I was going to get it layered but darn — no batting large enough.  I knew I was supposed to check that last week.  So placed my Amazon order and it will be here Thursday.  I guess tomorrow that gives me time to clean up the sewing room and work on some other things.

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