September 30, 2017

Goodness tomorrow is the start of October which just doesn’t seem possible.  September was so busy that it just flew by.

I need to finish cleaning the sewing room today along with some other chores.  The blocking mats can come off the sewing table for a while since I finally got my Specked Touchstone off the mats.


I love this shawl (I know – I’ve said that before – several times) but  the pattern, the yarn – a perfect match in my opinion.  I made it larger than the pattern.  I just needed some lovely fall colors outside to take a photo of it and have the specks of color in the yarn show up better but fall is not cooperating here.  It’s been dry so the leaves are just drying up brown and falling off the trees – not turning those gorgeous fall colors that I love.    I love fall weather and the leaves turning color and I’m feeling a bit gipped



My larger version of this turned out with a 110″ wingspan and 22″ deep at widest point.  Can’t wait to wear it.


I’m also working on a test knit for Fogbound Knits (Laura Aylor) – she has so many great shawl patterns.  I love the garter with a bit of lace on this one.  The lace is going to be beautiful once this is blocked out.


The yarn is Shalimar Breathless which is so lovely and soft and will be drapey.  This is going to be so cozy to wear.

In my last blog post I had a photo of some brownish gray yarn I was going to use for a Loopy Knitting Challenge Texture project – scarf.  That project got nixed — I was several inches in and the texture design was not showing up well – I think due to the slight shading in my yarn – and I wasn’t going to continue if it wasn’t going to show the design.  So that yarn went back into the stash.  Actually the test knit above may work for my texture project anyway.

I am however blaming friend Judy for this yarn which is coming my way.  She posted a link to Miss Babs gradients in her Friday knitting report.  I emailed her and told her it was her fault I had ordered some — not that I couldn’t find my way to the Miss Babs site all on my own and not that I didn’t already have some yarn in my cart there but couldn’t decide on colors to go together so hadn’t bought it yet. 🙂  Of course Judy, being the good friend she is, said:

Which set did you order?   It’s ok if you blame me . . I blame you for all kinds of things!  🙂

LOL – no wonder we get along.   Anyway, I had been going back and forth trying to decide what colors I wanted for True Colors.    I don’t know if I missed it last time I was looking for colors or if it’s newer to the website but I found the perfect gradient set with  background color (the larger yank in the gradient image) and then added a few more colors to it to get the number of colors needed for this pattern.  Here’s the colors I will be using.  I’m very excited about starting this one but have several challenge projects (and this one is not one of those) to finish off first.


I also finally figured out my Loopy Sewing Challenge for the Holiday category.  You could pick any holiday and I decided to do Halloween since I remembered this cute simple Halloween wallhanging I had seen and came across the copy I had printed out of it when cleaning in the sewing room last weekend.  I guess it does pay to clean my sewing room once in a while!   The pattern is a freebie on McCall’s Quick Quilts website


Mine will be a bit of a mystery because rather than ordering all Halloween type prints for the background squares, I chose a TLE Orange Mini pack – they contain F8s of orange prints but they are not necessarily the same orange prints as shown in the sample and could be any style fabric.  So I’m anxious to see what fabrics I get in my group.  I did order some Halloween FQs with purples in them to go with the oranges and the gray printed with trick or treaters on it will be the backing.  This will be a quick and fun one to put together.  The bottom row of purple prints are (L2R) Eyeballs, witches hats and the one that looks like diamonds on the right are actually witches hats too.  I’m hoping to get started on this one next weekend.   It would also be a great stash buster project.halloween

On to the chores around here  – laundry is going, my grocery order has been placed or delivery tomorrow, finish loading the dishwasher and then off to the sewing room to finish straightening it up.



Sunday Stitches Synopsis – 9-24-17

Sunday Stitches Synopsis – now say that three times fast! 🙂  I have been busy knitting this week and this weekend and had planned to get the sewing room cleaned this weekend.  So far that hasn’t happened but I think I will head in there shortly and at least get a bit of it straightened away even if I don’t get the whole job done.

I did finish off two knitting projects last night so two things off the needles (which of course means I probably have to cast on a few new things). 🙂

The yarn I showed you last weekend that I wanted to make a Nip cowl (Laura Aylor/Fogbound Knits) from for one of my textured projects for The Great Loopy Knitting Challenge is now a lovely, squishy completed cowl.


It’s a great easy to memorize stitch pattern that makes a lovely texture.  Because of my gauge with this yarn, mine came out in the middle sizewise between the single loop and double loop choices of the pattern which is perfect for me.  Single loops I like looser than most people and double loops tend to feel bulky to me so reminiscent of the three bears story – this size is “just right” for me.  About 30″ in circumference  (15″ laid flat) and 11″ high.

My first Touchstone  another Laura Aylor/Fogbound Knits  pattern is off the needles and will hit the blocking mats later this afternoon.  I absolutely love this one.  This one I made large than the pattern since I loved the yarn so much.  It’s going to be wonderful to wrap around my neck, head and shoulders when the winter winds come blowing.


My second Touchstone, which is another Loopy Knitting Challenge project, will be smaller than my first (knit according to pattern) and is coming right along too.


And I also pulled out this yarn  (well I did free up two sets of needles last night!) to make another Loopy Challenge Texture project.


This scarf calls to be since I am a quilter too and the texture pattern at the ends of the scarf look like an orange peel design.


The color is porcini and is kind of a mushroomy color – it looks more brown in some lights and more grayish in others  and  BMFA Gaea Sport.

Now off to the sewing room to put things away and clear some space.  I want to start cutting my first Loopy Sewing Challenge project later this week.




Knitting Progress

Still working on my two Touchstones but yesterday I blocked my Aeque KAL cowl – one of my Great Loopy Knitting challenge projects and this morning I stitched up the short seam and buried ends.  I used heavier yarn and before blocking I wasn’t sure if (1) I had made it as large as I wanted (2) my garter edging was going to block flat since my gauge is different in that and it usually flips up if I don’t adjust needles size and (3) if the heavier yarn I used would let it drape was nicely as it shows in fingering weight.

It turned out wonderful.  Everything worked and I absolutely love it.



I would definitely make this pattern again.  It would be a fun way to use up lots of leftovers or mini hanks/swatching hanks — all those little bits and bobs.

I cast on my Plaid is the New Fad Knitting Challenge KAL project last night.  The blue is my main color, my CC1 is the green and my CC2 will be the saffron.  I’m anxious to get to where that third color comes in to play to see how they will all look together.  T

20170917_5hen, since this project really isn’t a good bus knitting project, I decided I needed to start another challenge project – one of the Technical Challenge projects – a project using textured stitches.   Nip was just released today by Fogbound Knits and you know I love Laura’s patterns.   I will be using some Rios from the stash  – the color is Cumparsita.




My ever changing mind – project update


My Broody Touchstone is coming along – I had set it aside to work on a cowl but I picked it back up last night and am just about ready to start the final lace section.

One of my Great Knitting Challenge projects is the Aeque cowl.  The knitting is done and I just need to bury ends, block it and seam up a short seam in the back of it.  I’m undecided on this project at this point whether I will like it or not.  Not any issue with the pattern – just perhaps not a style/size I would like for me but there’s always my gifting pile to add to.

Bad outdoor shot – I thought it might be light enough yet to get a decent photo but no – it’s just getting dark too early again.


I do like the way the colors worked together.   I did use a heavier yarn so that may have affected the drape but will have to wait to see until after it’s blocked.  The one thing I would change from the way the directions are written is when doing the group of rows where the colors start changing — change to the new color after the garter edge when adding in a new color so that the tails aren’t at the outside edge – I think it would work better for the way I add colors/knot/weave in end so that’s just a note to myself. I also forgot to change to a smaller needle size when working the final garter edging.  I know my personal garter stitch gauge is larger than stockinette so the garter edge is flipping up which may or may not resolve with blocking.

This is very easy knitting and knit in an unusual shape so once I get the seam stitched it will be very interesting to see the finished form.

As for changing my mind – well I may need to change one of my Challenge projects because this pattern was recently released True Colors.   Melanie Berg has so many pattern I like but this one I am totally in love with.  But I will wait until I get a few projects off the needles before I decide.

More Loopy Challenge projects

I wanted to get the yarn tubs put back in the closet so decided to pull out more yarn for some of my other Challenge projects.  (If you’re interested in the various Great Loopy Challenges (either sewing or knitting or both) you can find all the information on The Loopy Ewe blog on September 4 – plenty of time to join in on all the fun.)

I pulled these yarns yesterday to make Aeque which is one of the KAL projects.  A cute little cowl that’s supposed to be made with five different colors so it looks gradient colored.  I don’t have any TLE gradients in my stash but I did have these Mrs. Crosby Hat Box yarns.  I’m going to alternate them to make my own blendy look.


I cast on this one last night so I have a smaller project to take along for bus knitting.

I got this far – about 20 rows into my second color and I was a bit concerned last night that there really wasn’t much different between my first color and my second one and that the second one really wasn’t showing much blue like in the caked form.


But took it outside in the natural light this morning to get a better look since my living room lights cast a yellowish color and I can see the blue much more.  When I add in the solid blue it may look more like a stripe rather than blended in but that’s okay with me too.  I got quite a bit knit last night and this is a really simple project so should go quickly.  My yarn is sport weight rather than fingering weight so I went up slightly in needle size from the pattern.

I also made my final decision for Plaid is the New Fad and will be using (L2R) Fruhling, Stella Polaris and Saffron.


I also planned my Showstopper “Change it up” challenge and will be making a fingering weight version of Touchstone (yes I love that pattern and if you knit you really should make one) 🙂 but I’m going to “change it up” and repeat the lace rows across it and not include the wide garter stitch area.  My plan is to use this yarn – it was a Loopy exclusive colorway called Big Box of Crayons.


I’m all set with plenty of stuff to keep my hands busy, that’s for sure.

Starflowers made

Got my last Starflower for this project made so I can clear up and put away my pile of batiks.   I’ve got the filler triangles cut that need to be added when setting the blocks into rows.


Santa Incognito

One the Great Loopy Sewing Challenge choices is to make the Timber Lumberjack pattern.

I’m going to turn my lumberjack into Santa in disguise – he’s tending pine trees in the off season to make sure there will be some good Christmas trees when the are needed.  It will be a fun Winter wallhanging but not too Christmassy.


I didn’t really see a plaid I liked for his shirt so decided to go with the black and red circle print which is reminiscent of peppermint candies. The black is for his pants.  I thought I might use the red ribbon stripe (which I got for accents and binding) for his pants (reminds me of all those UW Madison students I saw last Friday dressed for the Badger football game in their wide striped red and white bib overalls).  But I’m making the smaller of the two sizes of the project and I don’t think the stripe will work well in the size pieces that need to be cut.  I think the button band down the front of his shirt will be striped and his hat.  And I think I might have some snowflake shaped buttons for his shirt.


Now I just need to decide which background fabric I want to use (and which I actually have enough of).   I plan to get started on this later this week.

I also finished planning an couple other Challenge knitting projects before I put all the yarn back in the closet this morning.

More on those later – I have a quilt block to finish sewing so I can clear all the sewing stuff back out of my living room.



Knitting Report – 9-9-17

I was going to do this report last night and hook up to Judy’s blog but I totally forgot.   check out the links there to see what others are knitting on.

I’m about half way done with my first project for The Great Loopy Knitting Challenge.

And guess what – photos!   I was sidetracked last night trying to download the new camera software and get things operational and finally accomplished that.


I’m using a needle size one size smaller than the pattern calls for mostly because I couldn’t find an empty need the correct size.  It may make this slightly smaller and more dense but this is to go with my winter coat so slightly denser (tighter knit) is not a bad thing to block out wind and keep my neck warm.   I like the pooling ovals that are occurring through out the garter sections.  The colors in that yarn go very well with my slate patio table too! 🙂

And the new camera seems to take much better close up shots than my old one (or maybe I just had a lucky photo taking day) but look at that stitch definition and the colors are true to life.  The lace bits will open up more with blocking.


Then I was taking photos of various groups of Wollmeise trying to figure out what combination I want to use for Plaid is the New Fad,  Love the bright colors in the original pattern version.

I have some bright red Tulpe I had planned to use but when I went searching in the stash I also found some other options.  These are ones I’m considering right now, I think I’ve decided but I just pulled a bunch of colors out at random and need to make sure that the group I select isn’t splitting up a group that I bought for sweater purposes.

I’ve  got one or two more possible combinations I just thought of to check out before making a decision and then getting all the yarn put away again.




The Great Loopy Challenges

You know (if you have read my blog before) that one of my favorite online shops for both yarn and fabric is The Loopy Ewe.  I just finished off Camp Loopy projects, I’ve done several semesters of Loopy Academy in the past, Loopy Monthly Mixers, quarterly KAL projects etc.  TLE is always coming up with something fun.

In place of Monthly Mixers, there will be The Great Loopy Knitting Challenges and the Great Loopy Sewing Challenges.  If you’ve ever watched The Great British Baking Show,y you know there are Signature Challenges, Technical Challenges etc.  Well TLE has Signature Challenges, Technical Challenges and Show Stopper Challenges too so you can do one challenge, two or all six and earn points for The Loopy Reward Shop.  All the info for the first group of challenges, which run from now thru December 31, can be found on TLE blog here.

I don’t plan on doing Loopy Academy and love the fact that with these challenges (like the Mixers of the past) you can use yarn/fabric you previously purchased from TLE or use newly purchased from TLE and several of the challenge projects/patterns were already on my list to make which works out great.

So I “think” I plan on doing a couple of both knitting and sewing.  The current plan, which is always subject to change:

Signature Challenge – I’ll probably do both challenges.

broodybantams  I want to use my Broody Bantam yarn to make another version of Touchstone by Laura Aylor which fits into the “Hot Right Now/In the News” category.

My winter coat, which I bought on sale at the end of the season last year so has never been worn, is the rusty color of this yarn so this one will be to go with that coat.

The KAL for the Signature Challenge is Aeque which I had planned to make anyway so that’s perfect too!  I had planned to use some Finito yarn in my stash – just need to see if I have 5 colors to go together or if I need to repeat a color in one of the sections.

The Plaid is the New Fad pattern was already in my queue to make  and since it’s a Shopstopper KAL pattern that works out great.  I got a hank of lovely reddish Wollmeise below) to go with two other colors in my stash to make this.

That’s all I’ve decided on so far for knitting although I think  there’s a pattern I may make for the Technical Challenge too.

For the Sewing Challenges:

loopy challenges


Timber! is a pattern for the QAL Technical challenge.  Mine is going to be Santa in disguise.  The dotted fabric is actually red and white peppermint candy print, black overalls (because Mrs. Claus does not let Santa wear red ones year round), the stripe will be for his hat and binding, and the rest of the fabrics will come from my TLE fabric stash.


The Showstopper Challenge QAL project is to make a project using 20 blocks from The Splendid Sampler book.  I got this book as a birthday gift and have been wanting to work on a project from it and so many cute blocks to choose from.

Now that I’ve frittered away the afternoon looking at projects and planning… guess I’ll go wind that Broody Bantam.  I’m nearly done with my first version of Touchstone so I’ll be ready to start on the “Broody” version soon.




One more….and then what?


Just one more starflower hexie to put together and I will have enough large hexies to make a quilt for my bed.  Once that block is finished I’ll fill in the missing triangles where rows come together and get the rows all stitched together.   I have a bunch more starflower blocks (not turned into hexie) to use for some other project (wallhanging, table mat, tree skirt (actually I do think I’m going to use this idea for my tree skirt out of the Christmas ornament fabric I previously bought) or maybe another quilt – who knows.

It’s a dreary gray holiday day here but great for a sewing day.  I had originally planned to do some closet cleaning among other chores this weekend – hmmm… don’t think that will be happening tho I really do need to start straightening the sewing room back up  since I’m sewing in a different room due to lack of clear table space in the sewing room) 🙂  But first, on to that last block after I make some lemon bars to take into the office tomorrow.

And did you know that today (Labor Day) you can watch free classes all day on Craftsy??  No affiliation other than I have enjoyed and learned much from Craftsy classes.  I started watching (well listening mostly) earlier this morning as I was sewing with some free motion quilting playing on the computer in the background, then switched to a King Arthur flour bread baking class, and now am watching a knitting class – stranded, braids, steeks, etc. It’s a great way to preview a class that you were thinking of buying and see if  you really want to purchase it and a great way to sample various teachers techniques and styles.