Off the Needles – 2/11/17

Several projects that had been sitting on the needles (and loom) got their finishing touches last night.

dscn6353This is the cowl I wove for the Miss Bab’s Ravelry group February Weave-along project.  I used Miss Babs K2 yarn so it wove up really quickly and is so soft and actually quite light-weight considering it’s a chunky yarn.

After I wove the piece, I overlapped the hem stitched edges about 2″ – just one on top of the other, and zigzagged with my sewing machine right along the hemstitching on the top side  and just straight stitched just inside where the edge on the underside ended. Then just some yarn to stitch the buttons on – there are no buttonholes – the buttons are just decorative and I think a great finishing touch.  Plus I love being able to use the big old coat buttons that Granny saved in her button tin (which was passed down to me).  And, it’s a great way to use those olds buttons since many of the old plastic (or whatever material was used) buttons are not heat resistant like today’s buttons.  Putting them on an item that needs to be ironed can result in the edges of the buttons melting from a hot iron – I learned that the hard way long ago.

While I like it over my coat opened up the full width, I absolutely love it folded in half over my favorite black blouse.  I think it will get worn this way often.

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The color over the black blouse is the true color of the yarn (note in the background of that photo – today I another foggy, rainy, gray day — but it’s much warmer than it’s been so I guess I’ll settle for that).

Then this KISS Cowl came off the needles.  I just needed to finish off the edging on one end so finally did that last night.  This is one of my favorite long color change yarns but it’s also got sections where two colors are twisted together to add another transition look.

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I changed the edges to ribbing from garter stitch on this one to make it fit a little snugger to the neck.

Then, I also finished off this week my Loopy Ewe February Mixer yarn project.   I love the slipped stitch design in this pattern and the cowl is so quick and easy to make.  This color is hard to photograph – the photo of the hank that I posted (scroll down two posts on the blog) is true to color the photos below are not.  Hot pink and a bit of shocking orange blending in. 🙂

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The texture from this pattern may be featured in a new sweater I want to make I love it that much.  Just a little something to add some interest to a plain colored sweater.  I need to do a bit of swatching to see how it will look in my sweater yarn.  But first a few other projects to finish off.  I pulled a couple more older projects out of the baskets as part of my “Year of Finishes” project so they are at the ready if I want a switch from whatever current project I’ve got on the needles — like another KISS Cowl in blues that I should be able to get off the needles today.  Love seeing those finished projects mount up and you can see them all in one place by clicking the knitting button in the sidebar of my blog.

Now to get busy – well I have been – there’s a loaf of bread I mixed up this morning which will sit until tomorrow to make another delicious crusty loaf in the dutch oven, I was cleaning out the freezer as I was putting groceries away and found in the back a ziplock of some peanut butter cookie dough – I forgot I had put some in the freezer so once it thaws there will be some fresh baked cookies to probably take into work Monday; and I had a Cranberry Orange Brioche bread mix in the cupboard from King Arthur Flour I had forgotten about (the things I discover when cleaning out cabinets!) so that is now mixed and rising in a warm oven.  As it was kneading in the mixer, I could sell that orange flavoring and it’s chock full of cranberries so it was making me hungry but it’s going to be several hours before I can do a taste test – drat!

 

 

Striped Hearts

I’m still playing with ideas for my February Fabric Mixer project.  I’ve made a few changes and am liking this one much better.

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and may be making multiples of the block – without those borders – they were just something I was playing with but not good for this project but I didn’t bother to delete them.   Or a heart shaped pillow made using  a single block would be fun too.

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Sunday projects – 2/5/17

The King Arthur Flour website  No-Knead Crusty White Bread  could be my go to bread.  Despite the fact that when I stuck the batch I mixed up yesterday into the oven this  morning that I forgot to slash the top of it, it still came out delicious.  Crusty and chewy on the outside and soft on the inside and now that I’ve replaced my thermometer, I could tell what the internal temp was and this time  it was less dense and moist in the middle than last time without my thermometer and absolutely delicious.  And the recipe couldn’t be eaiser – no milk (which I don’t always have on hand since I don’t drink it); no butter or oil in the recipe – just all dry staples I have in my cupboards on a regular basis.

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I need to see if there’s any cranberries here because there’s one recipe on the KAF website called No-Knead Harvest bread with cranberries, golden raisins and nuts that looks delicious.  Toasted, for breakfast, it sounds like the perfect bread.

The February Loopy Ewe Monthly Mixer project has been announced.  In honor of Valentine’s Day being in February, for yarn and/or fabric projects, you need to pick a project that incorporates hearts or the color red or pink or burgundy.

I pulled from the stash this bright red/pink/orangey yarn called Candy Love.  It was a custom dyed color for The Loopy Ewe and is a single ply with 20% cashmere so I knew I wanted to make something for around my neck where it would feel so nice and soft and warm.

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I decided on Deborah’s Slip Stitch Cowl.  The lovely yarn will shine through but it has a bit of texture to keep the knitting interesting.  It’s knit on larger than normal needles for this type of yarn so it will be interesting to see how it looks but since I knit a bit loosely, I may go down a size or two.

I may also do the fabric Mixer for February and drew up a quick sketch of what I’m thinking of.  I need to see what fabrics I can find in the stash that might work – since the pattern itself incorporates a “heart,”   I can use any colors I want but will have to see what TLE fabrics I have in the stash.

heartimageI may just make a small wallhanging and do it sort of quilt as you go – stitching through batting and backing as I add each vertical fabric strip.

Stash Report – 2/5/17

I added my woven scarf dscn6344for The Loopy Monthly Mixers to my yarn used totals and the finished projects page which you can find in the sidebar.  Five projects finished since the beginning of the year.  I haven’t added in the yarn yet for the cowl I wove on the loom yesterday since it’s not blocked yet nor buttons added.

But here’s where the numbers stand now:

  • Yarn Purchased Y-T-D:  3473
  • Yarn Used Y-T-D:  3,380 yards
  • Net:  negative 93  yards

Only 93 yards in the whole – not bad.  I have a test  knit nearly finished which will put me in the black even if I couldn’t pass up this one of a kind  hank of Miss Babs Yowza

tracy-yowza-wild-irisI may use this one to weave with too — maybe.  Will have to wait to see it in person to decide what it wants to be but I love the bright colors with the black.

Fabric stash –  no change since last report of 6.5 yards used and none purchased.  Ooops I take that back – the flannel backing for a quilt that was backordered has arrived but I haven’t even taken it out of the package yet and don’t remember how much there is I’ll add it in next week.

 

 

Talk about fast to weave…

My cowl made from Miss Bab’s K2 Peppermint Bark of off the loom the same day it was put on!  What a quick project.  It wasn’t a full length scarf so of course went quicker but I made it about 9″ wide and 41-42″ long.  I only used about half the ball of K2.

This is sort of what it will look like when finished.

20170204_7 It will be sewn into a loop and the buttons will be added just for a bit of fun, not functional.  I want to block it while a flat rectangle before sewing it together.

I have to see how much warp is left on the loom – I think I have enough to make another section using the same yarn.  My office desk trim and locker/shelf units are a very dark gray and the cubicle walls light gray and there’s red accent areas on the walls so I think just a woven square or rectangle of this yarn would look great as decoration on my  wall.

Warped and ready to go

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I have officially begun my weave along project.  I found some Miss Babs Yowza (worsted weight) to use for the warp and K2 (chunky weight) is the weft. I think my plan to make a cowl out of it will work.  It’s super quick to weave with the K2 – especially compared to the last scarf I took off the loom which was fingering weight yarn.  The weaving also looks a bit different because the two yarns aren’t the same weight but I rather like the thinner weft going in and out.  Also I as right – it’s much easier to make sure I don’t beat down the weft too much with the thicker yarn.  So hopefully I’ll get the hang of how hard /closely I need to pack the yarn and be able to do it on thinner yarns as well.

I also managed to do a few loads of laundry, catch up on some computer stuff and mixed up another half batch of King Arthur Flour’s No Knead Crusty White Bread which is rising on the counter. Tomorrow I’ll be able to bake bread.

Also, I’m happy and thrilled to share that the four new quilt patterns that I will have published in magazines this year has increased in number to six new patterns scheduled for publication this year.  🙂  2017 is definitely off to a good start.

On the Needles – 2/4/17

I’ve got nothing too terribly exciting to show for myself this week on the needles — There’s a project nearly done using three hanks of sock yarn on the needles but it’s a test knit I can’t show until the pattern is released so drat – I can’t show you my pretty thing on the needles yet but I have been knitting and knitting.

And that’s about all I’ve been doing – knitting a bit – since that dang cold has had be exhausted all week after laying around all last weekend.  Yesterday I told a co-worker I was simply too tired to walk. LOL  But, this morning I’m feeling a bit more ambitious and do not need to have a Kleenex box permanently attached to me at all times.

Not on the Needles but in a yarny context – I took this scarf off the loom this week to free it up for a Weave Along happening this month.

20170131_3 I’m going to try to get some better photos outside this weekend but it’s so dang windy right now it wouldn’t work.   The yarn is one of the Loopy Legend yarns from TLE and just happens to be friend Judy’s colorway called – My Favorite Quilt.

I used the yarn for both warp and weft and it knit up sort of plaid (but the camera does not like to focus in on plaid so it looks a bit woozy).

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There is a Weave Along on the Miss Bab’s Ravelry group for the month of February.  I did have plans to make a scarf but as I was in the sewing room (which is once again a horrible mess – a pretty much constant state of being for that room) I spied this hank of Miss Babs K2 laying not where it belonged.

20170204_5It’ a chunky yarn and I’m thinking about weaving it so I can make a cowl out of it if I can find something to use for the warp that will be a good color with it.  I have a habit of beating the weft into place too much so it makes the scarfs, etc stiff.  I think if I try it with this heavier yarn I will be able to see more easily that I’m not packing it in to tightly.  I’m still thinking on this cowl plan but I want to get the loom ready later today to get started.  The color is Peppermint Bark.

This yarn recently came in (but was purchased before the end of last year as part of TLE 3-monthly Warm Woolies Club packages).  This yarn is from the January package and is a DK weight single silky targhee from Blue Moon and it’s a big hank!  Nearly 700 yards.   Haven’t decided what I’ll do with it yet.

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No Knead Crusty White Bread

All I can say is Yum… This is the bread I told you about yesterday that I mixed up and then put in the fridge.  Took it out this morning and shaped into a ball.

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Let come to room temperature (about 2 hrs)  and slash the the top.

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And it turns into this lovely crusty bread

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Just popped my taste test pieces into the toaster and it was delicious.

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That is about as ambitious as I’ve been today.  I worked a bit on the scarf on the loom since Miss Babs Weave A-long starts soon so I need to get the current project finished and off the loom but I think it’s time for a nap.

Those pesky germs

Those sick (as in sneezing, coughing, etc) people at the office and actually on my bus ride home –  I noticed the other night there was a lot of coughing going on as I tried to pull my head down lower into my coat collar and breathe through my scarf to try to avoid those germs. LOL  It didn’t work – since Wed. last week I noticed my throat was a bit scratchy but not sore, by Friday morning I had a very deep raspy voice and by late that afternoon the sneezing started.  But it could be worse – and hopefully won’t get much worse.  But with the really cold weather we have had and then the switch to warmer (for us), damper foggy weather – it’s cold and cough season for sure.

I spent last night and today lying low.  Finally about 2:30 this afternoon I decided to get out of my flannel jammies (mostly because I wanted to toss them in with a load of wash I was doing)  and decided to stitch a few quilt blocks together.  I needed to do something because all day up to that point I’d knit a row or two, doze off, wake up, knit a row or two, etc.  I probably needed the sleep but if I want to sleep tonight that had to stop.  And I was getting tired of restarting the same movie I kept falling asleep watching.

So, I got the last three vertical rows of my Gift Tags quilt blocks sewn.

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Next I need to cut the vertical sashing that goes between the rows but I think I’m done sewing for today.

While I was waiting for the coffee pot to finish filling this morning I quickly mixed up a new bread recipe.  Another one from the King Arthur Flour website called No Knead Crusty White Bread.  I made half a recipe to make sure I actually like it (and because I don’t have a dough pail or bowl large enough to let the full recipe rise).  Hopefully I’ll like the flavor because I like the fact that you can make it and leave the dough in the fridge for up to 7 days.  It says it should taste more sourdough-like if you leave it for 7 days.  So you could use part of it to make a loaf and leave the rest until the following weekend to make another – that would be handy.   And it takes about 5 minutes to dump the few ingredients in and get it mixed up to start with so really quick and easy.   So tomorrow I’ll bake it and try out my new bread lame for slashing the slits in the top and my new instant read thermometer.

 

 

And inside….

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Finally cool enough to cut into.  I knew I hadn’t eaten lunch yet for a reason – I was waiting for a taste test of this and it is delicious.  Chewy crust (which I love) and tender inside.  I was concerned I might not have baked it long enough but its great.  But I did just order a new instant read thermometer (since I broke my prior one) so I will know that it’s the right temp inside and also a bread lame since I need something sharper than my knives.

And an update on my Lilac Fields (Fern Garden Pattern) sweater. I’ve been working on several projects so this one got set aside for a while but I’ve managed to make a bit more progress on one of the fronts.

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