January 31, 2016

Darn it’s damp and dreary and cold outside this last day of January.  I may just have to go back something since having the oven on warms my kitchen/living room up nicely. There’s some  bananas that need to be made into somethin or maybe some homemade English muffin bread.  I’ll contemplate that over brunch (one I figure out what I’m going to eat for that but the coffee is just not enough this a.m.).  🙂

I very nearly have a completed sweater!  I was up into the week hours of the morning and then some seaming my Charlie’s Cardigan and have the neckline edging added.  I just need to go wind another hank of yarn so I can work on the buttonbands today.

20160131_4 And I found the buttons I had bought so I’ll be all set.  Just maybe I’ll have a new sweater to wear tomorrow.

And for those of you who are observant you may have noticed the new button on the right side bar of the blog that looks like this

stars - sew

This is the design I’ll be presenting for the first 2016 QAL.  Click on the button in the sidebar if you want to leave a name suggestion for this design – and see what I said about potential names and leave your suggested name on that page rather than this blog post so they are all in one place.   Additional information can also be found by clicking that button and will be updated with additional info as it becomes available, including start date and yardage, etc.

Hope some of you will be joining me in quilting along on this project.

 

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A quilty plan

Enough cleaning for one day – I can see the sewing room table, and have room to work on it once again, and pretty much all of the floor is clear and the various little piles of fabric put back on the shelves and scraps which were tossed everywhere have had one final toss into the bin.  Tomorrow I just might be able to get in there an finish some machine quilting on a quilt I’ve been working on (or ignoring – depending on how you look at it) forever!

There was a bit of EQ playing last weekend and last night and I think I’ve finally come up with a new quilt design for the blog and my TQP friends.  At the moment I can’t decide if it will be a quilt along or a mystery so I’m not going to show you that design yet.  I still need to decide if I’m going to add any borders on it.

But I also wanted to draw up a quicky quilt design that I plan to use for a layer cake and some additional yardage of a fabric line I’ve got in the stash.  I need to do some figuring and see how the size pieces I’ve drawn work out but I think this design will work with the layer cake and yardage I have.  It’s just randomly colored in  –  not all blocks (the ones with the most pieces to them) will have the same fabrics in them in the same places but they will be same sort of color family since I’m using a Layer Cake.  But I want something where I don’t waste the layer cake pieces by cutting them in odd shapes.

frontporchpress.Or maybe this….

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But I’ll wait until tomorrow to start actually laying out fabrics and seeing how things will work out.   I am hoping to get a bit of stitching done on this tomorrow tho but time to go make some dinner.

Home made pizza is on the menu along with an evening snuggled under a quilt (it’s damp out today and is making it feel colder than it really is)  watching movies and finishing off my sweater sleeve.

On the Knitting Needles – 1/30/16

I’ve been knitting right along on my TLE January Mixer / CF Deep Winter KAL project.  Last Saturday I showed you the front was finished (having previously finished the back) and just had the sleeves left to do.

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Check this out — this is the SECOND sleeve.  I have just about 20 rows left of the sleeve cap and both sleeves will be done.  I’m hoping to get this blocking either tonight or tomorrow.

I also showed you last week the yarn I had gotten to make Jewel Dragon.  Well I couldn’t resist starting it – those arches were just calling to me.  I sooo love this project.

20160130_2 - Copy I started by decided the original solid dark blue yarn was too close to my variegated one and was blending too much.  So I went stash diving and found this “Wild Apple” colored Skein Top Drawer  sock yarn.  Some of my favorite socks are from Skein yarn – it’s one of my favorite yarns and feels so nice.  It ended up being the perfect color to go with the variegated yarn.   One row of 5 arches done and half way through the second.  This is easy to do and the pattern instructions have lots of great photos for those who are visual learners.  It’s not a quick knit, due to how icord is made, but it will be a great project to pick up and put down and now worry about losing my place.  After the first row, I’ve got the pattern memorized.   As I was working on it I kept thinking how pretty it would be to put this design as the cuff of a  sleeve or the bottom of a sweater.  In the meantime, I have set this aside to finish off my sweater.

Then there’s the announcement of TLE Mixer project for February which you can read about on TLE Blog here.   The theme for the month was just perfect for me.  The most recently added pattern to my Ravelry account is Twilight and I had just shown you the photo of the yarn and beads I had gotten for it last week 20160123_11 so it’s definitely from my “short” list to make soon in keeping with the February theme.

I haven’t decided if I’ll do a February Fabric themed project but since there’s not a deadline – I have some time to think about it.

 

On and Off the Needles – 1/23/16

I simply couldn’t link up to  the Friday on the Needles report to Judy’s Patchwork Times last night because I wanted to share the finished front of my sweater and I still had some serious knitting to do to get to that point.  But I made it.  Here’s the front of my Turks and Caicos CF sweater.  (be sure to check out all the other fun projects at Judy’s link).

20160123_7The funny thing was as I was working on this sweater and watching a PBS show they kept talking about being in Turks and Caicos.  I had never given much thought to the name the pattern  had been given but had to “Goggle” it and found it would be a lovely place to visit on a cold winter’s day….

caicos

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful isn’t it?!

So not only is knitting fun – its educational since I now know where and what Turks and Caicos is.

Here’s a close up of the finished lace panel.

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So now just the sleeves left to make – which if I remember right are 3/4 sleeves.   This sweater is my TLE January Mixer knitting project and also is my CF Deep Winter Knitting KAL project.   The Mixer project doesn’t have a set deadline  – the KAL does but it’s not until mid-March so I just might actually have it completed on time….. maybe….. if I don’t get distracted by some other shiney woolly object.

Speaking of The Loopy Ewe Mixer projects — Sheri, owner extraordinaire of TLE,will be doing blog posts  featuring various participants in the Mixer projects.  I’m so honored to be the first one and you can see my Loopy interview here.   This weekend I hope to clean the sewing room so just maybe I can get started on my fabric Mixer project.  You can find the Mixer announcement here – still plenty of time to join in the fun, or join in during a later month.

My Charlie’s cardigan is coming off the blocking mats today (part of the cleaning of the sewing room) but here’s a shot of one of the fronts all blocked out.

I love how the chevron type lace looks in this one.

20160123_2  and a close up of the lace .

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There also was a bit of new yarn that arrived this week from TLE.

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This is what I ordered to try making the Jewel Dragon.   The solid blue is darker than my photo shows so I’m hoping I’ll have enough contrast between the two.  I wanted it to look more like a darker short of shadow between the arcs rather than the really high contrast color in the pattern.  We will see if what is in my mind’s eye will match reality when I start knitting it.  (this project may be the shiney woolly object that leads me astray from my sweater because I really want to start it.)

I also got yarn and beads to make Twilight.    This cowl will probably maybe be a gift for a friend but the color of the yarn and the beads are so me that I may have to keep this one and make a second.

20160123_11But today’s task which I must get to – yes my Christmas tree is still up.  It’s just been sitting prettily in its corner.  My Mom was laughing that I hadn’t taken it down yet.  (I told her I’d have to take it down or pretty soon I’d have to dust all the ornaments.)  Well heck, some people put there’s up at Thanksgiving – a month before Christmas.  I didn’t put mine up that early so I’m enjoying mine a month after Christmas.  (plus I kept forgetting to buy new tissue paper to rewrap ornaments since the old stuff was pretty shot — still haven’t bought the tissue paper but there’s a supply of paper towels so that will work). Need to get that tree down so I can move on to more fun projects

 

 

 

 

Just a quick progress update

There just hasn’t been anything exciting happening around here lately. 🙂

I’ve gotten emails asking if I was going to be doing a quilting BOM pattern this year.  I’m still thinking on things.  There will be a mystery quilt, and some other quilt alongs but a true BOM — there are just no ideas popping into my head so far saying – yes that’s it!!  But I’m still thinking on it.

I have been making progress on my sweater Turks and Caicos which is doing double duty for the CF Deep Winter KAL and also is my The Loopy Ewe January Mixer project.

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The back is done and I’m working on the front – a few inches past the armholes.  Here’s a close up of the lace pattern. This is a really fun knit.

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Sweater progress

I did get my CF Charlie’s Cardigan onto the blocking mats yesterday.

20160117_2The sleeves are drying on a towel on the table. Turned the fans on fronts and back last night so I’m hoping they are dry and I can seam the shoulders and start on the buttonband today.

I also fund my CF Stonington I was working on about this time last year.  Fronts and backs done, first sleeve (after some moving knitting last night) is about ready to start the underarm castoff.20160117_3 The sleeves are a little slower knitting  because the entire length of them is 2 x 2 rib  – I was a bit concerned at first that it looked so skinny compared to my other sweater sleeves but the rib is really stretchy.

I may need to pile all those sweater pieces and a pile of quilts on top of me – I’m not even venturing to the end of the apartment complex to get my mail due to this

7Yeah- does it really matter whether the sun is shining when it’s minus seven outside — I don’t think so.    Glad I don’t have to venture out anywhere today.

 

Afternoon productivity – 1/16/16

I have been busy and now I have a completed pile of all the pieces for my Charlie’s Cardigan.  Just like with quilting, there is a part of knitting that is my least favorite.

In quilting – it’s the layering and pinbasting of a quilt.  I procrastinate forever doing that and once I get started, I always wonder why I procrastinate so much.  (Maybe it’s because my sewing table is usually a mess so I have to tidy all that up before I can start layering a quilt on it.)

The same sort of step in the process of knitting is my nemesis too.  It’s the blocking.  Once I get started it doesn’t take long so I don’t know why I procrastinate on that too.  However, I’m seeing a familiar thread (no pun intended) running through these tasks – I block on the sewing room table too.  I sometimes move the block boards to the floor once it’s all pinned down but I usually do the pinning on the table since my knees just don’t like crawling around on the floor or trying to reach things if I put the blocking mats on the bed.

Here’s what my sewing table looks like.  It’s been worse – the tub of yarn can go back it eh closet and my little step stool can get put away and the featherweight put in the closet – half the battle.  But I am going to deal with this mess soon and get my sweater laid out on the blocking mats tonight.

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The sweater is in the sink for a soak with some “Soak”- I love using Soak for my hand knits, makes them feel nice and you don’t need to rinse it out.  After I finish getting dinner started, I’ll get to pinbasting.

I’m the meantime, I just took the second pan of Mexican Wedding Cake cookies out of the oven – and after having a taste test, declared them delicious.  I stuck the rest of the dough in the fridge to bake at some other time since I needed to get my Chicken Chablis and baked potatoes into the oven.  Yum, one of my favorite dinners.

Tonight I need to sort through these containers…20160116_8

One of them should have my Stonington sweater in it (which I started for the CustomFit Deep Winter KAL last year so I want to see where I left off.  I think I was on the first sleeve.  Also need to see what else might be tucked away in the bottom of those baskets.

Oh and guess who came to visit the feeder this afternoon — Stumpy was back!  He brought along a friend who had a fully, regular length tail to eat with him so at least he’s not an outcast with that short stubby tail.

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And the more I look at those tree panels, the more they are growing on me.  I still would have liked them more like the image but they are still pretty cool.   Dang I wish I would have brought those other fabrics home last night that go with them….oh well….I have plenty to keep me busy without playing with that project yet.

The “tree” panels

Okay so remember I order one, a couple, several, multiples of this tree panel since I wanted to use a couple in a wedding quilt top and then maybe pillowcases and then maybe keep some to use for quickly gifts – just quilt and make a wall hanging out of them – or whatever else I can think of to do with them?

Well the first batch of 3 I ordered arrived yesterday.    They will work fine for what I want but I’m a little disappointed.

genesisLoneTreeThis is the image that was on the Nancy’s Notions website.  What I particularly liked about it was all those colors melding together at the bottom – the fuchsia, purples and aquas  and the brighter greens in the trees – sort of a springy/summery feel.

Here’s the panels  – that area clearly looks different – as a matter of fact all the colors are much darker.

20160116_1The panels are still pretty – they will work for what I want – but I think the image on the website is of the original artwork that this fabric is based on and not the actual yardage – which is very misleading to say the least.

We’ll see how it looks when I lay out all the other fabrics I bought to go with these next to them.  They’re still sitting at the office since last night I was off to “Broadway” and didn’t want to tote them along with me since I met a friend for dinner downtown first.

The Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast opened here last night at the Overture Center and my employer offers staff a “buy one get one free” ticket deal each year for any of the performances at the Overture.  A wonderful added perk.  One of the partner’s wives coordinates and she does an absolutely fantastic job.  I placed  my order with her for the tickets months and months ago and never really looked at where the seats were, tho I knew they would be pretty good seats.   When the usherette led us to third row from the stage just two or three seats off center stage – WHOA!  I’ve never been quite that up close and personal before.  Fantastic seats!  Plus we got to sit next to a princess who was about 5 or 6 years old – wearing her Tiara and yes, her princess costume.  When I told her I was jealous she had a tiara her mom said they were selling them in the lobby.  Dang!  I totally missed that or I might have had to buy one for me! But I didn’t wear my princess costume so it probably would have looked out of place. 🙂 Lots of kids as well as adults of all ages in the audience and the little princess next to us was very happy when we handed over the long tinselly streams that were shot out over the front rows of the audience at a certain point to her to keep.  It was a fun evening.

On the Needles – 1-16-16

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Here’s the pile of my Charlie’s Cardigan pieces.  That piece in front is the second sleeve and I’m working on the sleeve cap so it won’t be long (hopefully later this morning since my current plan for today is to go snuggle under a quilt in my chair, coffee cup full of my favorite coffee, movie on tv and knit.   The temps have taken a dive again for the weekend so snuggle inside is where I plan to stay.  Hopefully I can get this on the blocking boards this weekend and get back to working on my Loopy January Mixer sweater.

I might have ordered some yarn yesterday…. I happened up on this pattern, Jewel Dragon, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  I find it very intriguing, love the “scales” look, and tho it may be a bit fiddly, it doesn’t look too difficult and here are great photos of the process in the pattern to help.

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The photo is taken from my printed pattern so does not do it justice and has a glare – go to the pattern on Ravelry and check out the gorgeous photos of it.    Well by the end of the day, after looking through my Ravelry stash (Did you know The Loopy Ewe now has a way to click a link on your order confirmations in your TLE account and automatically add photos of your yarn to your stash page on Ravelry – very cool and easy.  It’s not entire stash, just TLE yarns and a couple others that came in recently that I remembered to take the photo of, and I don’t know if I’ll ever take photos of all the yarn I’ve bought elsewhere stashed in the closet and upload them into the stash, but when looking to see if I might have yarn for a particular project it makes it so much easier – and I can see a yarn and it gives me ideas of what I might want to make with it .)  Here’s the mini (literally) peek at my stash page.  You can sort of all kinds of key words to filter what you’re looking at – love this.stash But I digress — the long and the short of it is I didn’t have the right kind of yarn to create that all over blend of various colors in the arches of the scarf. So these two have been ordered for the scarf.   mechitaI’m hoping the “solid” one is dark enough to have enough contrast from the multicolored one.   Can’t wait to give Jewel Dragon a try.

I’ve also had my eye on a cowl pattern (that I’m thinking of making as a gift) that has a bit of beading on it so ordered this Madelinetosh yarn resinand found matching beads. The yarn color is called Resin  and the pattern for the cowl is Twilight.

 

 

Another wedding quilt

No I haven’t gotten lost – I’ve just been out of town and then busy with things other than being on the computer.  Mostly busy knitting – although I don’t have any photos for you today.  I did get the back of one sweater knit this week and have started on the front.  New needles have come in (I broke a cable -it was the hard plastic kind and it didn’t like the cold weather) so I can get back to working on the sleeves of my other cardigan.   Well no photos of finished projects but yes, I did actually order some yarn 😉

Before the end of the year I had ordered some Yowza from Miss Babs gratitude sale which arrived.  I love those big oversized hanks of yarn.  I had ordered Obsidian obsidianA nice black with a bit of shading in it but it didn’t go as well as I liked with the other yarn I had wanted to use it with.   But then earlier this week I saw this

sealifeSea Life Yowza – I had nearly ordered this once before and I thought how nice the Obsidian would look with it.  On my list of sweaters I want to make is Seguin or something similar. I don’t think I want striped sleeves – maybe just a strip or two at the cuff – but yes I had to order the Sea Life because it’s just so pretty.  Whether in that pattern or something else – I plan to use them together in a sweater.

 

Clearly yarn and fabric stash busting is not going as well as could be since I also ordered fabric. 🙂

I seriously need to finish the wedding quilt which has now made the 1 year anniversary mark.  My goal is to get it finished off before the end of February – I just haven’t had time to spend a day machine quilting in a while so it’s lingered.  But I just found out I need to get started on another wedding quilt – in the hopes of actually having it timely done this fall.

I had a new fabric line I recently saw in mind but I had no clue what I would do with it.  It’s the Robert Kaufmann Enchanted Pines line available at The Loopy Ewe and the colors/prints look gorgeous.  But, I needed to come up with a plan before ordering any.

Then yesterday I found this

genesisLoneTree

Isn’t that gorgeous!  It’s a fabric panel and the colors and trees go perfectly with the Enchanted Pines line of fabrics so these have been ordered.

projectplannerIt’s going to be a simple design – I have a vague plan.  I have three of the panels coming and I want to sort of stagger them across the quilt top and then just use simple strips or rectangles or ….well I don’t know yet but when it’s done hopefully it will showcase the panels and just be lots of lovely colors around them.    I also have another plan brewing to use just one of the panels in the quilt and use the other two turned sideways to make into pillowcases.  If you cock your head to the left to look at the panel sideways – to me the darkest tree trunk looks like land with trees and sky above and the reflection of the trees in water below so they may work well as pillowcases too.

Going to have to wait until I can spread all these fabrics out to decide what I really want to do with them but they will be lovely to work with.  And I may need to order another panel or two for me to keep – it would be so pretty just machine quilted and binding added to use as a wall hanging  and make quicky gifts too.  But I need to get that other quilt finished so I can play with these fabrics.