Happy Easter

Happy Easter.   It’s a drizzly dreary day here weather wise but I’ve spent the afternoon sewing and watching movies.  The snow and ice we got a few days ago is long gone.  Now we just need a bit of sunshine to brighten things up – literally.cross

But gray and rainy days are good for knitting and sewing.  I’ve got nearly  a dozen or more Barn Dane blocks  about half done and my swatch for my sweater has dried.20160327_1.JPG

I did decide that the bobbles don’t show up as well in this blend yarn – they are sort of flat – so am going to switch to a different pattern for this yarn and use the Lente pattern with some fatter rounder yarn that keeps the bobbles plumped and round.

I’ve decided to make a sweater similar to Hedwig.   I think it will look nice in this yarn with the simple lace design in the pattern.

I also finished the back of my sleeveless top to go under my striped sweater last night so I can start on the color-blocked front.   Time to plug in another movie and cast on.


Lazy Saturday

I thought about cleaning out some closets today, doing laundry, scrubbing floors…. and then I thought …I’ll just stay in my jammies and sew… so that’s mostly what I’ve done today.

I got sixteen more Barn Dance blocks finished today.  20160326_1


The colors in these are brighter than they appear  – one of the lightbulbs in the sewing room has burnt out and it’s a dreary sort of day outside so not a good day  to take photos or to be without a replacement bulb.  (yep all those new bulbs that say they are supposed to last for five years or seven years – I think they are counting those years in dog years or something because I’ve never had one last longer than any normal lightbulb).

But I digress….

So here’s all the blocks I’ve got pieced so far20160326_2

If I make the same amount number of each type of six inch block (ones using only one colored fabric and the others using two colored fabrics) I think I’m done now with the one colored fabrics group but need to double check  and then count up how many two colored block sets I have cut out that are ready to sew.


Look what the postman left a my door today – speedy delivery from Webs this time.  It usually takes longer to get here.  The yarn is a bit more greenish than my photo looks – hopefully when I get the swatch done I can get a shot of it in natural light.  But there will be some swatching going on this evening.

Now I couldn’t pass these up at the store yesterday because they were just too funny.   A friend at work and I are both Peeps lovers so I had to pick us up each some peeps on a stick (I “might” have already eaten mine).  So if you like Peeps (and I realize there are many people who don’t – crazy right?) LOL there’s nothing better than a “Peeps Kabob”.  Especially good for those people who can’t decide what color Peeps they want to buy. 🙂





After the storm

Apparently the rain/sleet/snow storm of yesterday stopped about the time I got home because there wasn’t much snow when I walked out the door to a beautiful sunny morning.  Blindingly so because every tree and shrub and road sign was covered in a layer of ice that glinted.  So it was a drippy day as everything was melting.

Worked until noon when our office closed today and had lunch with a friend and ran a few errands.  When I got home I had big plans to do some knitting and then get some more of my Barn Dance blocks made.

Well, I did a little bit of knitting and then woke up about 3 hours later from a nap – apparently I was too snuggly and warm under that quilt. I hate it when I nap – a good waste of an afternoon off work but I couldn’t fall asleep last night so guess I caught up today.

So after an influx of caffine, I did get some more pieces of Barn Dance cut.

20160325_2I just need to square up my HSTs and cut the strips into the side sections and I’ll be ready to get them assembled.  But that will wait until tomorrow.


These are for the blocks that are all one colored fabric; I’ve got a bunch of pieces cut but not sewn yet for the ones that use one fabric for the HSTs and a second colored fabric for the side pieces.

Once I get all of these stitched up I’ll have to tally them up to see how many more I need to make.


As for what’s on the needles this week – I don’t have a photo because it just doesn’t look like much.   I’m working on the back of my slate colored sleeveless shell – I’m working on the armhole decreases and it seems to go really quickly once I get to that part so hope to be able to cast on the front of the shell which will at least be more interesting since I’m going to use the leftovers from the unbalanced striped cardigan


which are shown in this photo (except I don’t think I used that very dark brown on the left in my sweater), to  some color blocking on the front.

Mother Nature can be so cruel

It’s been a warmer than average winter, and less snowy than average, and we’ve had a week or two of 40 and 50 temps, sunshine, it looked like spring was on it’s way.

Then today….. I woke up to ice hanging on the trees, school  closings in the area.  I walked out the door this morning, to lightening, and alternating rain and sleet since the temps were hovering right around freezing.   Then later in the day the winds picked up and the snow started, still mixed with sleet.  It was dang cold when I left work trying to shield myself with my umbrella from the pelting snow/ice.  And… I needed to make a stop at the transfer point to hop off and run a quick errand. Drat.  But the snow had let up a bit.

Then when I came back out to the transfer point the snow had picked up again and the winds at that spot (on a hill out in the open) were nasty.  I was glad to see my bus pull up.  By the time I got to my stop, the sun was trying to come out – it was the brightest it had been all day, and the snow had stopped.  It looked like we had never had such a nasty day..well except for all the trees covered in ice, the many electric trucks on the way home that were fixing power lines (luckily no problem with mine) and every street sign that has a cute little line of about 2-3″ icicles almost evenly spaced all along the bottom edge.  It looks like they all have fringe on them.   It’s March, it’s Wisconsin, and it’s to be expected but it was not so nice to be out in.  Hopefully tomorrow when I head out to the bus it will all be melted…. maybe.

So to counteract the winter blahs, I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of cardigan I want to make for the Amy Herzog Designs Cardipalooza KAL.


It can be a CustomFit pattern or it can be any of Amy’s non-CF designs.   You can see more works in progress in her Ravelry group but I see so many great sweaters there it’s hard to decide what I want to make.  I have two cardigans that are CF designs that I want to finish during this Cardipalooza (yes you can finish one already in progress – it’s all about the knitting during Cardipalooza time so doesn’t matter if you’ve already started one).    But I happened upon a great deal on some yarn – the color says spring to me so I’m planning my new cardigan.

classiceliteyarnssoftlinen-citrine_medium  The yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Soft Linen in Citrine colorway. It’s a linen, wool and alpaca blend and I got it for a third of it’s normal cost so I got lots of it and am thinking a cardigan and a sleeveless shell to go under it.   And I think I have decided on the pattern.  I was going to make a plain cardigan but then I saw Lente.  It’s moved up to #1 in my Ravelry queue. I love the bobbles and lace pattern on the front.  If you go to the pattern link you will also see it as a picot edge all along the edges which is the perfect finishing touch.


Now I just have to wait for the yarn to arrive so I can start swatching.  So I’m going to go crawl under a quilt, forget that it’s nasty and cold outside, and knit on my sleeveless shell that will go with my striped cotton sweater.  I still haven’t blocked the sweater – but I started the shell and have the back nearly done to the armholes.

A few blocks finished

I’ve been doing boring chores around pattern writing today.  But as I was hopping up and down from the computer to do things, I dyed a few of these.

Is one every too old to dye Easter eggs?  I certainly don’t think so.    It’s much more fun to pull out a brightly colored egg to eat than a plain old white one.


And I did get just a few of the 6.5″ Barn Dance blocks done.

20160320_5 I have a lot more of these to make but I had forgotten a large stack of 10″ batik squares I had gotten from Hoffman Fabrics.  I can follow the “using strip instructions” rather than cutting individual pieces and strips from the 10″ squares are exactly enough to get the pieces cut from them I need.  And since I’ve got about a 4″ high stack of 10″ squares, that’s a whole lot of blocks I can make.  The hard part is deciding which ones to use.  I only need another 32 more blocks in this size. 🙂  They don’t look very small in the photo above but here they are next to the 12″ blocks.


Bigger on the Inside

While I was waiting for my grocery delivery man this morning, I was printing some quilt design templates for a pattern I need to write up, and then I started playing with this design.  It’s National Quilting Day after all – what better excuse to ignore a bit of the cleaning and do something quilt-related.   (Although I was most disappointed with my local PBS station who is doing pledge drive right now but didn’t have the good sense to have any quilt shows on for NQD!)

Anyway – I love those optical designs that make things look different than they truly are.  this one is colored in so you see a circular looking design.  It looks like it has curves but it doesn’t.  I dislike having to come up with quilt names but this one came easily — Bigger on the Inside — because it IS bigger on the inside.  (And yes, I am a long time Dr. Who fan so that name was not hard to come up with and those who are Who fans will understand.) ; -)   It’s just the same block (quarter square triangle square in a square)  that changes size and gets stretched across a grid pattern.

bigger on the inside

This one I could actually see making for myself – I keep thinking of ways to use that batik stash now I just need to stop coming up with new plans and actually get to cutting and sewing on them.  I was just thinking this design might also make an interested Christmas tree skirt design.

Speaking of this to cut and sew – all these lovelies were added to the stash.  I am determined to make a quilt large enough for my bed.  (The only large quilt I kept for myself is not large enough for the type of mattress I have so it doesn’t reach on the sides to the top of the bedskirt – I hate that.)   I have several projects to work on first so this one will go on the back burner I think.


I love those shades of yellow – and what is better than yellow and gray together.  And see, I even thru in some pinks and another group has sort of a light blueish/green background that is pretty close to the color of my bedroom furniture.  I’m not sure what design I’ll use but it will be a simple one to just let these lovely fabrics show themselves off – especially the gorgeously paisleys.  I think I pulled fabrics from 3 or 4 different fabric lines for this project.


Last but not least – my new Loopy tote bag which came along for the ride with the fabric.  TLE showed it with all the various pins and participation badges on it that they’ve used over the years.  What I great idea to show them off all in one spot.  I collected some of the ones I have which were close at hand – some stuck on the bulletin board in my sewing room and some in the button bin since I really wasn’t sure what to do with them.  So I’ll have to see if there are any more lurking anywhere around here.


But what could be better than a nice big project bag (it even zippers at the top which I really like) to do double duty and house all those buttons and badges.

Okay – seriously going to get busy now.  I’ve printed all my templates and other stuff I need to start writing up a pattern for a Hoffman California Fabric coming out at spring market since that is first and foremost on my must do list for this weekend, while I try to figure out what’s for dinner.  The upside of having just received the grocery delivery – many good things to choose from.  It’s cold (so much for wearing just a sweater to work the beginning of last week – there were snowflakes out there today) and I think that roast I bought, along with some carrots and potatoes and onions roasting with it — that may be the winner.  Plus leftovers which would be a bonus for later in the week.

What’s in the works

I need to sort through the various knitting projects on the needles, see where I’m at on them, and figure out what I want to finish first.  I’ve got piles of sweater pieces that I think are ready to be blocked – or maybe already have been and are awaiting seaming.  So I picked up the pile of knitting stuff scattered in several places – put them in a laundry basket to sort through later today.

In the meantime, I finished the second sleeve on for my Denise Unbalanced cardigan.  I had some of all the colors left over and decided I wanted to make a sleeveless top to go under the cardigan as a twinset.  I plan to do some wider color blocking but didn’t know if I had enough let.  So generated a new Cutstomfit pattern for that top and I was able to find some more of the same yarn in one of the colors I had used and picked up another color just because I liked it.   After they arrived, I came across some more of the Stone color – I had more left than I thought I just hadn’t kept it all together – so the stuff on the needles below is the start of the back of the sleeveless top.  Only the front will have the color blocking on it.


Now while I will readily admit I’m pretty much a yarn snob – I love yarns with cashmere and silk blended in them – it also costs a small fortune if you are not a size 10 to make a sweater out of those types of yarns.  So it’s so great to find a yarn that is a mere pittance in comparision and gives results I like and for a cotton acrylic blend I like the feel of this.  I’m not necessarily fond of 100% cottons but this blend feels like cotton but the acrylic makes it  – well I don’t know what it makes it except it makes it more to my liking – feels nice and hot as hard on the hands to knit with.  When I did my swatch for this sweater I washed (soaked in the sink) and then tossed it in the dryer.  It came out feeling nice and my stitch gauge/rows didn’t change a bit.  Hoorah – a sweater I don’t have to find a place to layout on towels to dry.   🙂  Now the down fall is the yarn was discontinued for a second time (yes it was resurrected once before) so  it’s hard to find – or find in more than one or two balls of a single color or in a color I would even want  but I recently found these


The limey green is the same color as I used in the stripes of the Unbalanced sweater but I found enough of it, along with a bit of the blue, that I can make another sweater mainly green with the blue as accent color.  Maybe a pullover with blue in the bust to shoulder area and a stripe on the sleeve cuffs.  Anyway I was happy to find some that would work with the yardage I needed.

My socks are slowly moving along — I had a sore knuckle for a few days last weekand I don’t know if it was from spending several hours knitting on these socks holding the smaller needles or from something else (although I vaguely remember whacking my hand into a cabinet or something)  anyway I could barely use one finger for a day or two so I had to set these aside for a bit.  Fingers are back to normal so I can carry on.

As you can see there is a bit of pooling going on sole of the foot.  I didn’t think this yarn would pool but I forgot about the fact that the sole of the sock doesn’t have the texture pattern that the top of the foot does – blue and darker colors on the bottom and the top is mostly the light colors.  It will be interesting to see what happens when I get to that point on the second sock.

Happy National Quilting Day!

Will you be quilting today?   I usually try to put out a free little pattern in honor of National Quilting Day but it snuck up on me this year.  However, you can find a couple past NQD projects still available if you check the listing of file downloads available.

One of the very first ones I did was Tools of the Trade which was designed for a yahoo quilting group.

Here’s the EQ image of it. This one is just the EQ download file (so you must have EQ6 or EQ7 to download it);the rest are all pdf files.


And here is my finished version of it.

1001050006It’s simple but still one of my favorites.  I love the big quilting needle in the upper right border and the blue thread that is “quilted” (appliqued) in that border.   The border fabric is one of my favorites – all kinds of buttons with some metallic glitz thrown in and metallic thread used to embroider the pins in the pincushion with bead heads.   I haven’t had that one up and hanging for a while – I may have to go get it out.

The 2012 design was the NQD Five Square Quilt.


And here’s my version of it …. hmmm can’t remember if that one was ever quilted or not – will have to check into that.


Stacked Spools was 2010


and 2011 was Stepping Stones


I’ll be working on quilting-related things later today.  I’ve got a new pattern to write up for Hoffman California Fabrics.

I’ve got a bit of tidying up to finish in the sewing room since I was rearranging things in there last weekend.

I’ve want to get the latest posted Barn Dance blocks cut so I can start stitching on them.

But I need to get started on some other chores first and just remembered I need to take some photos since I haven’t shown what’s on the Needles this week and there’s some lovely fabric I ordered for a bed quilt for ME, yes I said ME, that has arrived.   And I know you’ll be shocked and amazed when you see there’s some “pink” in some of those fabrics.  I think my dislike of the color pink is on the wane since I’m knitting a pink sweater and now I’ve bought some pink fabric. 🙂  So I’ll show you those later.



So easily distracted

Well heck – my coffee break continues (tho I did stop to make some brownies and clean up the kitchen) as I was thinking maybe when I cut the batik pieces for my Barn Dance blocks, I could cut pieces for a second quilt too.  Since I’m going to be cutting from lots of different fabrics, why not make the most of it while I’m making a mess with all those fabrics before putting them away.

I still haven’t come up with a final plan for the second project I plan to cut, but these are contenders.  Now I really AM going to go finish straightening up in the sewing room so that when I do finalize a plan, I can actually get to cutting on it

Okay ….. after I finish my coffee and brownie fresh from the oven…

mosaic no 15mosaic no 18

A bit more EQ7 diversion

Still cleaning the sewing room – but I think I’m actually going to get to cutting my strips for the Barn Dance 6″ blocks in just a bit.  Stopped for a coffee break and now it’s time to get back to work.  But during that coffee break – was playing with these designs.