Spring – maybe – and random ramblings

My computer says its 71 degrees outside – I’m going to have to go see if that is true.  It’s cool in the apartment but I may need to open the door and let some of that fresh air in.

I was off early to the grocery store this morning.  I had planned to be at my parents the middle part of this week but poor Dad threw his back out the beginning of the week and hasn’t been able to do anything let alone drive the 3 hrs or so to come get me so I’ve been puttering the past two days, thinking about closets that could be cleaned out or cabinets that need straightening but opting for knitting or sewing instead.  It is a vacation after all – I wouldn’t want to do too many chores.

So after a trip to the store to get some fresh produce and the essentials like coffee and soda – I started cutting and sewing more pieces to my PatchKats border blocks since earlier this week I dumped a cup of coffee over on the sewing room table – sending a flood across a few stacks of fabric pieces in various assembly stages.  Luckily all the finished blocks were on the design wall and not on the table.  But what a mess.  Then I didn’t look at all those blocks behind me on the design wall and added one piece  before it should have been — ripped about 20 of those back off and I think I’m finally back on the right track.

I did want to get a quilt or two layered this week but that would mean another trip out to go buy batting – and the fabric store at the end of the quickest bus ride doesn’t carry what I really want.  So – heck – check out the Amazon deals (because I also have been needing a new iron for a while since my Rowenta has decided it really doesn’t want to steam) and I now have a couple sizes of batting, some Best Press, and a new purple – yes dark purple – iron that has NO automatic shutoff.  Thank you Rowenta for making one that I don’t have to keep shaking or tipping to turn back on when I’m sewing all afternoon. Yep it’s those little things – in this case a new iron – that makes me happy.

So I hope to finish sewing the PatchKat border blocks and then get the table cleared off from that mess and figure out which quilt tops to get layered and quilted next and maybe spend a day pinbasting several.  Top of my list is my niece’s, Sam’s, wedding quilt which I finally washed the backing for so now need to do some pressing (when my new iron arrives).

But I think I also stumbled across the greatest batting sale ever after I got done placing my order.  I’m sure it’s a typo but heck if it’s listed on Amazon I think they will have to honor it.  So I placed a second order.  Hmmm maybe I need to go clean out one of those closets so I have a place to store all this batting…..

I’ve been busily knitting

DSCN4188I must be about halfway to the armholes on the back of my sweater.  The lace pattern that I’m incorporating from Alenia is quite simple so this is moving along quickly.

Now quickly enough tho since I came across another stitch pattern that I really want to incorporate into a CustomFit sweater – but I will NOT cast on another one until I get some sweaters finished that are on the needles.

But I really like the front of this cardigan which was just released on Ravelry this month.  I think I might like it on a pullover rather than cardigan but we’ll see what happens when I get around to starting it.

and I also found this which I am totally in love with the look of  Mill Wrap – the neck treatment, the way it drapes, I love everything about it except for maybe the hours and hours of knitting that would go into it.  LOL  But it would be a fantastic mindless knitting project.  Wish I could try it on and see if I really like it on me.  If I started it now, maybe by Christmas I’d have it done – I am going to check the yarn boxes to see if there’s enough of anything in there to make it before I put all the yarn back away.

The other little thing that makes me happy — Easter eggs — when I was grabbing some eggs from the coolers at the store they of course had a box of PAAS egg dying tablets right there attached to the outside of the egg door.  I HAD to get some – nothing more fun than brightly colored eggs.  So enough rambling – I’m off to start some eggs on the boil and figure out what’s for dinner tonight.

Design Wall Monday – March 30, 2015

It’s Monday! Okay I know that’s not big news to you but I’m on vacation this week so it seems like Sunday to me.

On one design wall – the pieces to PatchKats BOM border blocks

DSCN4158   On the other wall – the various pieces that are done for Dog Pound Pals and Knitter’s Gifts BOMs and a few little other odd blocks.

I need to find back my stack of dog pound pals and get the pieces for another block cut out so I can work on that this week.  But I’ve got more of those hearts to work on in the meantime.

I did finally decide on which yarn swatch I wanted to use for which sweater, so cast on my CustomFit Cardipalooza KAL sweater last night.

DSCN4179

Good progress has been made on the back – with a lace panel in the center – and I did clean up the pile of yarn mess I had dumped out on the floor looking for my other sweater pieces.

Yarn is now all back in its proper places, knitting baskets have been reorganized, missing pattern page I needed has been located, and  there’s a bag of yarn – some that are left overs from projects or yarn I don’t like for one reason or another or projects I won’t finish – they’ve been culled from my stash.  Next I think I may go through the quilt top boxes – I know there are quilt tops that I don’t care for and will absolutely never get around to quilting – so all those goodies will head off to Good Will.  Time for a bit of a spring clean I think – even if the weather does not necessarily seem to be spring-like. :-)

 

 

Sunday Stash Report and stuff

Ah some progress on the fabric stashbusting front since I can now add in the fabrics for my Moda Challenge quilt.

As I was adding the in something definitely didn’t seem right and last time I updated the  State of the Fabric Stash page I added in my net fabric used as the amount purchased YTD.  I knew I hadn’t bought that much new fabric!

I have it straightened out again and the numbers stand at 9 yards purchased YTD, 32.5 yards used, net busted 23.5 yds.  You can see the rest of the information – quilts started, items to top stage and I actually not have a complete finish — at the linked page above.

DSCN4173Speaking of stashes – you know you have too many yarny things in process and yarn items and patterns stashed in too many different, unorganized places when you cannot find the front of a sweater you had finished!  Yes, the search was on for a cotton top I had started last year some time.  I’ve been working on it off and on between Loopy Academy and CF KAL projects and just finished last night the elbow length sleeves I was knitting two at a time.  I had the back of the sweater in one knitting basket, and I’ve even already blocked the back, but the front was not there.  So after searching what I thought were all the logical places, I remembered the brown laundry basket where at some point I had dumped a bunch of random stuff — small items in progress I wasn’t liking and need to rip back and rewind the yarn, yarn that had mysteriously arrived in my mailbox that I hadn’t put in the proper storage containers yet, leftover bits and bobs from other projects, socks in progress, etc — a mish mash of knitting stuff.  So after trying to dig through it and making a tangled mess, I just dumped it all out.  No sweater top there (it was nicely folded and put on the shelf that attaches to the bottom of my new ironing board – I’m not used to having one with a shelf there so didn’t even notice it the first time I checked the sewing room.).  So today’s task — clean up and organize this mess, along with the other new yarn that has come in and also sort through the other various baskets of knitting scattered about the living room and sort of prioritize what I want to work on.   It’s a good day for this type of job since Mother Nature is being a nuisance!!  Gray, gloomy, very windy, low 30s and it’s currently sleeting.

DSCN4174But here is my found sweater.  I need to block the front and sleeves and I’ll be ready to stitch it together.  The first photo shows the true color – sort of aqua easter egg color –

DSCN4176but the second photo shows the lacy stitch a bit better and the bottom of the sleeves and hems of front and back are seed stitch.

I may get this blocked later this week but in the meantime, time to go sort that pile of yarny goodness I dumped on the floor.

Saturday Stuff

As usual I didn’t get to the on the needles post last night.  There’s nothing new off the needles, and nothing new on the needles — at least for the moment — with the exception of some swatches.  I don’t have the names of these yarns right handy but I know they were included in a blog post or two ago.

DSCN4163 The first swatch is a cotton/silk cashmere blend.  It felt a bit thin when I was knitting the swatch with it but it’s amazing what blocking can do to a yarn.  I really like the feel of the blocked fabric.  I’m still debating spring pullover (Folly Cove maybe )or cardi  similar to Alenia which is where the lace pattern is from, except 3/4 sleeves, definitely no belt, and maybe a bit different neckline trim.   Have to wait until the swatch is totally dry so I can measure and weigh it and plug my gauge info into CustomFit to see if I have enough yarn for what I want to do.

DSCN4172

This swatch is also now drying – just finished knitting this one up a short while ago.  It’s cotton with a little alpaca in it and is a chainette construction yarn.  Again, I wasn’t sure I liked the feel of it when knitting the swatch but I think once it’s dried I will like it post-blocking.  It’s hard to see the stitch pattern along the right edge (not the lace but the very edge) – it’s a slip stitch pattern for a button band area that’s knit as the fronts of the sweaters are knit (rather than going back and  picking up stitches and knitting it on).  I rather like the way it’s made so may have to try that on something.  The lace pattern – not totally in love with that tho I like it on the originally pattern I got it from – I think it would look better in a woolier yarn with more elasticity.  If make a pullover out of the first yarn, I may make the cardigan out of this second yarn.

There was also a bit of Wollmeise that arrived this week – I haven’t updated any of the numbers on my knitting stash page since I can’t count that high — just kidding ;-)  I’ll get it updated but enough of a coffee break – back to my laundry, cleaning and figuring out what’s for dinner.

Oh and I did actually get my Moda Challenge quilt in the Because of the Brave fabrics finished and shipped off toTLE yesterday.

DSCN4159

An even dozen…

That’s how many completed PatchKat  border blocks I have up on my design wall this afternoon

DSCN4158Also have the left side of the remaining ones done and on the design wall and have the other half in various stages of completion.

And check out who I spied outside my window yesterday afternoon — it’s take with the camera zoom and through my window and screen so it’s not a clear photo  – it actually looks like something printed on cross stitch fabric –  but….

DSCN4156

yes! it is the first Robin of the season I’ve spied and he was one really fat one and very busy yanking worms up out of the yard.

I think he may be regretting being here today tho – I just opened the door to see what it was like outside and brrr – very crispy air in the 30s and chance of some mixed snow/freezing rain possible by morning.

Dinner has been ordered to be delivered – no cooking for me tonight – and I’ve got the binding stitched down on my challenge quilt and just have to whip stitch down the bottom of the handing sleeve and label.

On the Needles Report

I forgot about On the Needles yesterday.  Not much exciting to report – I’m finally on the sleeves of my CF Deep Winter KAL sweater but since the deadline for the KAL was this past week, I didn’t make it – which only means I’m not eligible for prizes.

DSCN4152It’s hard to tell but the sleeve is all two by two rib so it’s a bit slower going but certainly not hard.  It does make the sleeve look a bit skinny tho but it is very stretchy.  I’ll continue to work on these sleeves but it’s time for the Spring Cardipalooza KAL and that one I have a far better chance of getting done timely.  Plus, I really am tired of dark colors and heavy sweaters so knitting on something more spring like will at least make it seem like the season is coming sooner.  Plus, since I’ve got my Loopy Academy projects done, I’ll have a couple months at least where I’m not trying to get multiple things done by a deadline.   So winter sweaters to the back burner and bring on the spring ones.

I do have yarn ordered  for my Cardipalooza – I haven’t decided what sort of design I want to use yet.  I know I want 3/4 length sleeves and rounded neck rather than fee – either scoop or crew neck – but I’m trying to decide if I want a little lace on it or what.  So I’ve spent too much time searching Ravelry and adding patterns to my queue so I can go back and perhaps decide which bits or bobs I want to incorporate into my sweater from them.

Here’s some in the running:

Anthea  – I love the bobbles and bit of lace along the hem.  I would make longer and was debating if I really wanted those bobbles and lace going around my hips – may not be the most attractive placement but then my hips are what they are and I’m only looking to please myself – still debating and may need to swatch them with the yarn I’ve chosen to see if there’s enough stitch definition with it.

Cinnamon  I’ve loved this one since I first stumbled across it.

Madrigal  – Another pretty lace pattern

Sweet as Candy  — actually I’m leaning towards incorporating the lace pattern from this one and I love the little rolled collar on it.

But until I get around to swatching yarn, no decisions will be made.

What I do know is my cardipalooza sweater will be in one of two yarns – depending on how I like the swatches – both of which are much more pastel looking than I normally wear but time for a bit of a change.

berroccomaya-lagoonchainette-85pima-15babyalpaca-worstedOnce choice is Berroco Maya – I’ve been wanting to try a chainette constructed yarn and this one is 85% pima cotton and 15% baby alpaca.   The color is Lagoon.

My other choice is Lotus Yarns Autumn Wind which is 90% cotton and 10%cashmere.  The color is sky and is more blue than purple.lotusyarnssky 90cotton-10cashmereDK

As  for the state of the knitting stash – nothing new  finished and nothing new added….so far…..

Enough dreaming of new sweaters – I’ve got some sewing to get done!

PatchKats BOM

The March installment download is now available for download – click PatchKats quilt image in sidebar to get to project page.

Here’s what my finished Ribboned Heart blocks will look like.

DSCN4148 The colors aren’t quite true in the photo but pretty close.

 

DSCN4149And here’s all the rest of my border pieces.  There are lots of Stitch & Flip corners to add this month and my suggestion is to make sure to draw the diagonal lines on the back of those squares.  I sometimes get lazy and eyeball them instead of drawing the lines but they are never as accurate since when you stitch the diagonal lines, you really should be stitching a thread or so away from that diagonal line and not directly on it to account for the fabric taken up in the seam. It may seem like such a small amount  but it can really make a difference as to how your blocks turn out.

As you can see from my little piles of pieces, I have many seams to be pressing open before I go on to the next step so I’ll be heating up that iron soon.

My only challenge with these pieces – when I was working the other night I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my background fabric – it has a light dot print on it and I had to redo several pieces that I flipped the background wrong way around on.

Feel free to share photos of your fabric choices or blocks in progress for this project through the Justquiltin Flickr group.  The link to the Flickr group is also found in the sidebar of the blog.

Where have the last few days gone?

Well I know where – this cruddy cough / cold/ croup stuff has had me not doing much.  I was sick all weekend and worse on Mon and Tues so stayed home from work.  So much for being caught up on things before I took last Friday off.  Oh well  – it could be worse.

I did manage last weekend to get the rest of the quilting done on my Diamond Formation quilt and the binding is just waiting to be stitched down and the bottom of the hanging sleeve tacked down.  I need to get that finished off by the end of next week.

Other than that, I haven’t accomplished much.  My deep winter CustomFit KAL sweater did not get done by the end of the KAL but that’s okay.  I’m hoping that soon it would be to warm to wear it anyway – we’ve had some nice days but then temps drop again.  So it may  get set aside for a little while to work on something else because……

It’s CustomFit Cardipalooza time!   I’m thinking spring, I’m thinking cotton or at least cotton blend sweater, I’m thinking springy colored sweater rather than dark purple deep winter KAL sweater, I’m thinking three quarter length sleeves, I’m thinking crew neck, perhaps a bit of lace up the front or perhaps not… in other words, I’m thinking new sweater yarn is needed!  I’ve done so good only ordering for Loopy Academy so far but I really want a spring sweater so need to do some checking out of yarn.  There is an extra credit project you can do for Loopy Academy but I’m going to pass on that and concentrate on my sweater instead.

I do love Charlie’s Cardigan but I have some wooly yarn that I think I’ll use for that one at some point in the future.  So a bit of Ravelry searching is in order I think to decide what I might want to make.  Who knows – maybe I’ll even knit a pink sweater! Okay, the cold medicine has probably not made me go that crazy yet!  But maybe a pastel color….

Quilting quilting and more quilting

DSCN4144 It’s nearly 9 p.m. and I’ve been in the sewing room since about 9 a.m.!  I’ve been slowly quilting along on Diamond Formation.

My initial plan was to outline stitch the flying geese and do a bit of meandering where the figures are and the plain center fabric.  And after getting all that done, I decided that the background fabric on the flying geese should have a bit of stitch on them too so went back and filled in meandering around them.  The plain fabric around the very center flying geese has some stars quilted into them too.

Now I did get a break or two in there – finally ate some lunch about 2 p.m. and stuck one baking stone’s worth of cookies (about a dozen) in the oven and then realized I was out of powdered sugar to coat the cookies with when done so stuck the rest of the dough in the freezer.    All that is left to quilt is the final border which shouldn’t take long – but will wait until tomorrow.  Binding is cut and stitched together, it just needs to be pressed and I have to make a hanging sleeve yet (I hate making/adding hanging sleeves).

And that reminds me I brought home a wall hanging that had been hanging on the outside of a large cubicle wall at the office and was going to put it up in my living room.

DSCN3744I do love the fabrics in this one.  I had forgotten until I looked at it last night thinking dang I have to put a hanging sleeve on it, that Yes, I actually did plan ahead when I made that one and there is a hanging sleeve attached to it. So I was going to slide it on the hanging rod and decide which wall I wanted to put it up on but hmmm… although the hanging rod is sew on the top, no one stitched down the bottom edge.  Oops!  guess I’ll add that to my list  for one night this week to get that finished off.

Since lunch was at 2 p.m. that must be 9 p.m. is dinner time right?  I think a bowl of buttered popcorn and a swig off the cough medicine bottle – a well-rounded meal.

I’m hoping to bind off the neck edging on my vest tonight and start on the armhole edging.  I did finish off the second front of my purple sweater and cast on one of the sleeves.

On the Needles – Friday the 13th of March 2015

I just realized it’s “Friday the 13th”.  Maybe that’s why I seem doomed that every time I take a day off work I end  up not feeling well (no, it’s not cause I miss work that much!).  I started coughing Wednesday night a bit, last night more and yeah, while I don’t feel crappy I’ve definitely got some cough/throat thing going on — but then I’ve been lucky since any given day for the last couple weeks we’ve had multiple people out sick from the office.   But then perhaps if I get some ice cream when I go to the grocery store, it will cure me.  Well I can pretend!

Anyway – it’s On the Needles Day and I have a new finished project – started Wednesday night and bound off this morning while sipping my coffee and hanging out in my jammies – a perfect Friday morning off (despite that cough).

Marshmallow Fluff pattern was my Loopy Academy Semester 2 Slip Stitch project.

marshmallowfluffslipstitchproject Since I was using bulky yarn (not as heavy as the yarn in the pattern), I used smaller needles and cast on more stitches.  It’s a very quick and easy knit.  My version of it is called Tundra Cowl since I used The Fibre Company’s Tundra yarn — which I love.  This color is Glacier.  It feels wonderful and I’m debating getting more for a sweater/jacket I want to make.  I have just enough left to do some swatching to see if it will work (or more importantly just how many hanks of yarn I need since it doesn’t take long to knit through  a hank of bulky yarn).   I generally wouldn’t wear bulky yarn sweaters but I may make an exception since I like this one so much.

So the Stash Knitting page has been updated to add in this yarn and then I added it to the knit tally also.  So to date, 5176 yards knit;  a mere 1620 added to the stash (which has all be knit since it was for loopy academy projects), and seven completed projects to date.  I’m hoping to add my vest to that finished list by next week.