A new sweater

No, before you ask, I have not yet finished my Customfit Caripalooza /Loopy Groupy Wollmeise KAL sweater.  But soon….  Just one side left to seam and the do the neck edging.

But in the meantime, I needed some easy “riding the bus” knitting so on Sunday cast on my next Customfit sweater.

20140415_1It’s it a pretty springy/summery blue – called Ocean.  I’m several inches in and I do have to say all stockinette stitch may be boring but easy for a take-along project.  It has seed stitch edging on the bottom – this is the back so all stockinette since I’m just adding a front center panel with a stitch pattern on it.  So the rest of it will be a bit more exciting to knit but might as well get the boring part done first.


And doesn’t every one have golf tee fabric (under the sweater) lying around their house? :-)  I was pulling some fabrics out of the stash – it’s the 10th anniversary year of the women’s golf outing I donate quilts to and I was thinking of making a lap quilt using some of the leftovers from past years — the golf tees being one of those fabrics.  It will go well with the Loralie golf ladies fabric I got – I must have been going to use it for a backing of one of the quilts but never did (or I bought scads of it because I have a lot left), I think there’s even some golf ball fabric left over too and found some of the leftover pink ribbons so now I have to give some thought on whether I want to pull them all together into a project or if I’ll save it as a project for next year since I’m quickly running out of time.

I found one quilt top to use for the auction in the stash and maybe another one so I just need to get busy and get reacquainted with that new sewing machine that has been patiently waiting to get quilting.

Oh, and despite the fact that it is mid April — I woke up to snow and ice the last two mornings.  I am very displeased with Mother Nature! :-(

Back on the Wall

20140413_2 This photo looks very similar to the last — I’ve got the blocks back in their original  order with the help of the photo.  I don’t think I would have every gotten them going correctly otherwise.  There was only one problem — I’m missing one measly little triangle.  Drat.  I went though the purple stash stack, pulled out a bag I knew had bright-colored scraps and went through that but not a bit of that fabric to be found — or any of these fabrics except for lots more flamingos.  I did find the purple piece on the lower left which would be similar in color tone but I know it will bug me if I put in just that one piece.  The purple – tho it looks solid in the photos, looks like tiny  cookie sprinkles in many colors have been dumped on it.

I decided it will be far less annoying to me if I take out the other single triangle in the bottom row and put in flamingo triangles in those two spots.  Or I could take out basically half a block all along the bottom of the design so it ends a bit higher but that sounds like a whole lot of work.  Will have to see what I think when I get that far.

The Puzzlement has been solved!

I spent most of yesterday looking through CDs to try to find the photo I knew I had taken of the blocks laid out properly that I showed in the last blog post.  The CDs are labeled poorly, like they say EQ or they say Quilt Photos, or they say Misc.    These are not necessarily helpful hints.

I never did find the photo I was looking for yesterday and I got sidetracked on a different project and the day got away from me (as explained below) but this morning I got to thinking, maybe it was “real photograph” – yes some of you will remember those – you know, in the olden days before digital cameras and scanners and printers that could print photos at home or at least before “I” got a digital camera).

Anyway, I have one album full of quilt photos so I started flipping through and lo and behold!!

spinning penguin tumbing blocksThere it is.  I knew I had to get the color sequence going right in order to get the partial blocks that fill out the piece in properly but I just couldn’t remember  how they went.  I’m going to get this all laid back out on the design wall and it’s not coming down until it’s stitched together.


There are so many quilted items in that photo album I had forgotten about since many were made as gifts or given away, many were donated to charitable causes, some were sold, and a whole lot went to family members and a few select friends.  Yes – it took a long time before I actually had a quilt I kept for MY bed and I still only have one (tho there are several tops needing quilting that are slated for my bed).

So all that brought along the idea that got me sidetracked yesterday — pulling photos off the badly identified CDs to save and upload into slideshows so I have them all in one place.

The easiest way for me to do this (and not use up all the space on this blog), was to create two new blogs.  This is the only blog that actual blog posts will be made to.  The other two are just to hold the slideshows of the photos I gather from cds and scan and save from the actual printed photos.  So all the chatter will be here and will still include quilting stuff and knitting stuff and whatever else and the other two blogs are just for a bit of eye candy and a way to gather everything together in one place so if you should have a question about one of the photos (which I may or may not be able to help with since some of these go back a long way and remembering  materials, patterns, etc. may not possible)  you will need to post your comment/question on this blog since I have the comments  turned off on those other two blogs.   Right now, there’s no real organization to the photos but once I get them all collected, there will be.

I was surprised the scan from an actual printed photograph  turned out so well – the image above was scanned on my printer and actually looks better than the original photo so scanning them all shouldn’t be bad.

So, you will see two new buttons in the side bar – Justknittin and JustquiltinQuilts.  Justknittin has — yes you’ve probably guessed it — all the knitting photos.  If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you’ve probably seen many of those photos.  I knit when I was younger and through high school but then pretty much stopped knitting other than keeping everyone in mittens.   Funny, not long ago my Mom asked what made me pick up knitting again.  It was socks!  (so I think I have to blame it on friend Judy) LOL Her socks were so fun and pretty and with my big feet, store-bought socks were simply horrible.   I just looked back on the blog and I ordered my first sock yarn exactly five years ago tomorrow (and did blame Judy on that blog post! LOL)  (oh gosh and look at what a yarn stash I’ve accumulated in those five years – let’s block that part out of our minds shall we!!) ;-)  and the other thing I told Mom, was the yarns.  Oh the wonderful yarns — not the plain acrylic (I’m not knocking acrylic — it was the only thing readily available at that time — remember, the time before the internet and online shops and I grew up in a village of 530 people and the closest store that “might” have yarn was Pamida or Ben Franklin) and all of those were about a half hour away at least.   But now, the blends, the colors, the hand dyers — so many wonderful choices makes knitting so much more fun.    But I digress.

As I was scanning the above image, I decided I might as well fill up the scanner bed so just for fun, here’s the other photos that were in that album page which will be added to the  JustquiltinQuilts blog – yep, you guessed it – that’s where you’ll find the slide show of the quilts.

snippet flowers 2 snippet flowers 1 attack of the holiday elves - last year

Two Snippet quilts and then a photo from the final year that I made a crazy amount of Christmas Elves.  I thought I’d never want to see another one of them in my life (and I don’t unless I go to someone’s house who still has one since I never kept one for myself).


Okay – enough of memory lane – grab a cup of coffee and check out the blog slideshows when you have nothing more exciting to do.


I’m off to see if I can get those blocks arranged on the design wall and then to finish sewing my Cardipalooza sweater.  I finished the sleeves Fri nite, blocked them, stitched them in last night and stitched one side seam so just have to finish the other side seam and then I can work on the front edge trim— nearly completed.



It’s a puzzlement…

Ever since friend Judy started showing photos of her One Block Wonder quilt she’s working on – it got be thinking about a Stack ‘n Whack quilt that is in the stack waiting to be quilted, and another design that was in a baggie – blocks made but not sewn into rows.

As I was in the sewing room looking for something tonight, I came across the baggie of those blocks.

20140411_6  Here they are in all their blocks and bits.  Now the puzzlement is, I can’t remember how it went together. LOL     I know I actually took a photo of it before I took it off the design wall but finding that photo – well that will not be a quick task.  I’ll have to see if I still have the book here.  They make sort of three dimensional looking blocks but I can’t remember where my partial blocks went to get the colors turning correctly.

I was thinking I might use this wall hanging as one of the fundraiser projects I need to make.  They always like it when I give them one with fun fabric in it.    And what is more fun than spinning flamingos???   Well spinning flamingos wearing sunglasses of course! ;-)   I’ll have to think more on this one in the light of day.

20140411_7 20140411_8

On the Needles, Friday, April 11, 2014

My Cardipalooza Customfit Cardi maybe just might show up in next week’s report as finished!

20140411_4Have I mentioned how nicely the Wollmeise DK knits up – it’s really nice to work with.

The elbow length sleeves just have two rows I think of decreases left to do.  I plan to get those finished off and get them soaking and blocking tonight.

The other sweater pieces are already blocked so I can start seaming them tonight and maybe work on the front bands.

And have I mentioned how much I like seaming — yes I know that’s a bit weird but it’s so fun to see it all come together and very relaxing (at least so far on the projects I’ve done).

And have I mentioned how great I thought the Craftsy Class “Seaming Handknits by Chris Blysma” is.  I wholeheartedly recommend it – it has so much information and I think it’s on sale this weekend if you are interested.

And have I mentioned more yarn arrived this week?? :-)  But before I get to that and what it’s done to my “knit from the stash” numbers :-(

I posted this photo earlier in the week but wanted to include it again for the On the Needles report … my sister’s Sunny Days Top complete!

20140409_10   So since I finished this, and added the yarn to my yards knit total, I have now knit 6,073 yards so far this year (well I’ve knit more because I reknit part of my sweater multiple times! LOL  but I’m counting finished project yardage).  And, with the lastest yarn additions this week, which you will see below, my yardage in for the year is 22,512 yards (gulp!). Considering I knit 20,100 or so yards all of last year, I need to knit faster I think. LOL  Actually, I figured out that if I divided last year’s total knit by 12 months, and then figured that monthly total for 4.5 months so far this year, I’m pretty much on track with last year’s totals so when I get my sweater finished, I’ll be ahead of the monthly totals.  Not that it matters, that’s just your trivia information for this Friday. :-) (It’s been a long busy week at work and I’m a little punch drunk from looking at lots of papers and bills and files…oh my! — so will be glad it just sit and knit tonight.)

Anyway, yes I know you’re waiting to see what yarn wandered into my home…..


First the hand spun yarn for a gift.



And then more Bamboo Pop — this is the same brand I used for my sister’s top and I love it.  I hope it wears well because it feels wonderful and knits up so nicely.

20140409_13  I got “Ocean” colorway for my next Customfit top, which I may need to cast on tonight now that I think about it because seaming that darker green sweater will be much easier by the light of day coming in my window  (yes, any excuse to start a new project) or I may wind the yarn and cast on the handspun project. I’m anxious to see if it stripes or now it looks in a Quaker Yarn Stretcher.

Anyway, the most recent Box of Fun contained my Denise’s Mandarin Duck Loopy Legends yarn. :-) Here again is the inspiration photo I sent them to come up with the yarn.

canard-mandarin-620x295  And here is the actual yarn, tho you really need to check it out on the Loopy Ewe website because my photo was taken in not great light and then the flash overpowered it – it’s so much prettier in real life.


Yes, this last box of fun really upped the tally of yarn added in.  Okay – I need to go get busy knitting, enough typing. :-)


New Quilt Patterns

My latest designs for Hoffman California Fabrics are now available on their website for download.   Maple Lane  fabric collection pattern is available in both  quilt size and as a table runner.

The “Ornaments and Baubles” design  for the Pear Tree Greetings fabric line (which has lovely partridges in the main focus fabric) is very simple piecing – especially since the outer border is a stripe-printed fabric not a zillion little rectangles all sewn together!

Maple Lane Black quilt - Coming Spring 2014

Maple Lane Black quilt – Coming Spring 2014

Male Lane Cream - Coming Spring 2014

Male Lane Cream – Coming Spring 2014

Maple Lane Black - Coming Spril 2014

Maple Lane Black – Coming Spril 2014

Maple Lane - coming Spring 2014

Maple Lane – coming Spring 2014

Pear Tree Greetings - Baubles and Balls - coming Spring 2014

Pear Tree Greetings – Baubles and Balls – coming Spring 2014

Pear Tree Greetings - Coming Spring 2014

Pear Tree Greetings – Coming Spring 2014



Box of Fun #1 (and a bit more)

Today I received my first Box of Fun – the order I placed before my Loopy Legend yarn was available.   It’s the yarn I wanted for a top for me — summer short sleeved (or maybe elbow length – can’t remember what I put into the Customfit pattern off the top of my had) pullover.  Fairly plain except for a panel of this stitch up the center front of the sweater

20140406_5  I swatched the stitch with leftovers from my sister’s top since I’m using the same kind of yarn for my sweater.


Can’t wait to get started on it – I’m been knitting mostly on darker colors so it was a nice change to work with this strawberry yarn for my sister’s top and I got  this pretty blue called Ocean for my sweater.  I forgot I had also ordered some stitch markers along with that order – that was before I found the lovely glass ones I also ordered from an Etsy shop.  I’m always loosing stitch markers, they occasionally go flinging across the room or I have to search the chair cushions for them but I think many get sucked up in the vacuum before I realize they were on the floor.   I will have a good supply on hand.



My handspun yarn I ordered also arrived today – it is for a gift that I need to whip up fairly quickly.  Aren’t the colors in it gorgeous!  They are a little bit darker than the photo shows – it’s 50% merino and 50% tencel so it has a pretty sheen to it and the color is called Summer Tropics from Kitty Grrlz.    I plan to make another Quaker Yarn Stretcher rav_linkshawl with it.  The one I made for me was with Kitty Grrlz hand spun also and  I just love it.

Now check this out — I’m so keeping my fingers crossed it fits my sister because I think it turned out so very cute.  Renee’s Sunny Days Toprav_link is blocked and ready to send off in the mail.   I don’t think the amount of yarn used in that top is going to offset the incoming yarn on my Knit from the Stash tally ;-)  But!  My Customfit Cardipalooza / Loopy Groupy Wollmeise KAL sweater is nearing completion which will help with the numbers (a bit anyway).  I’m working both sleeves at the same time and I’m more than half done — so glad they are only elbow length and not long sleeves!



Mandarin Duck

No, that’s not what’s on the dinner menu (nothing that exciting for dinner here).

But remember this photo of a Mandarin Duck I posted before the end of the year?

canard-mandarin-620x295  I had made it to the Loopy Legend status at The Loopy Ewe and needed to send them an inspiration photo to have my Loopy Legend yarn  dyed after.


I got an email from friend Judy today that said “Is that you? The Mandarin Duck??”

Is she calling me a duck?? LOL – but I knew exactly what she was talking about because right below her email was the Loopy Groupie advance notice of today’s yarny updates at the shop.

You can see Denise’s Mandarin Duck  at that link.  I need to ask Sheri if I can post a copy of their photo of the yarn - but I had the photo side by side with the duck on my screen and Lorna’s Laces, who does the dying, did a great job matching up the colors.

So after seeing Judy’s email, I  HAD to go and quickly order 1 or 2 or 5 hanks of it for my stash. :-)   Hmmmm wonder what that Mandarin Duck yarn wants to become……



Once again I am not accomplishing all the things I planned to do today and it’s already nearly 1:30 p.m.  I must get busy.

I must NOT shop Etsy stores for some of the most gorgeous little knit stitch markers that I might have had to order some for me and some as gifts.

I most NOT shop another Etsy store where I love the handspun yarns she makes.

I must NOT create more Customfit project patterns when I need to finish the one I’m working on.

I must NOT order the yarn from TLE that I want for said Customfit project pattern that I just swatched and created the pattern for.

Oh well – I guess I have accomplished quite a bit since I did manage to do all those things along with going out for breakfast and doing some grocery shopping.  :-)

But all fun must come to an end (at least according to my checkbook!).  Time for a smoothie, toss in the last load of laundry (since I actually did remember to buy laundry detergent), and then first on the agenda – do the seams of my sister’s top so I can soak it and block it since the blocking boards are already taking up the sewing room table.  But first a trip out to the dumpsters and I don’t think I’ve retrieved the mail at all this week.   The sun is shining, it’s fairly warm (about 50) so not a bad day to go for a little stroll.

(or I may need to stroll into my yarn stash and see what I can find for this shawl  (Ravelry Link) I just love the stripes in it.



Blocking knits

I’ve gotten several emails asking how I block my sweaters.    I am no expert by any means.  There’s lots of articles, blog posts, tutorials, etc. on the web, in magazines and books.  So you have to pick what works for you.    Since the first sweater I made was a Customfit design by Amy Herzog, I followed her blocking method which worked wonderfully.  So that’s how I did my second sweater.

You can find Amy’s blog post about blocking here .  Main take away – make sure your wet pieces don’t stretch -handle very carefully and as little as possible, pin strategic measurements to your schematic measurements but let the sides alone.

20140406_2 The first photo is the one I posted yesterday of my sweater blocking.  I’ve got the places pinned out per my schematic.  But if you look along the sides – of the sweater it looks sort of lumpy and uneven along the edge — part of that is where the waist is pinned out to the correct size but the rest is because it looks like there’s a bit too much fabric because it’s wet.  If I were to pin all that out until it was nice and even, my sweater would be way too long.  You just sort of pat those areas out so they look good and wait to see what happens.


Now look at the second photo take this morning when the sweater is dry.  All that rippley edge is gone because this yarn shrinks slightly as it dries.


Time to head out for breakfast with a friend!