I am once again behind on updating my blog. Sometimes it honestly feels like I am getting nothing done. Which when I go to put together a post, is clearly not true.
So first up, I participated in my second quilt block swap. This time it was groups of 16. I have just 15 blocks and am awaiting the last one, so this photo are the blocks I sent out. Its a log cabin design with a central red square. It was a great use of remnants from prior quilts in there. You will see my goldfish bargello, my guest quilt and a few other throw backs in you look close.
On the knitting front, I’ve knit up a few pairs of socks and the first of my Christmas gifts, a Santa’s Laundry Line. Yes, I am behind on some gifts while ahead on others. Its just how my brain goes in random directions sometimes I think.
I have managed to get more done on my 365 quilt. As of this morning I’m at July 11th. Which means I could add my light border, but I’m waiting until I finish all of July. There are 32 total blocks including the birthday cake block because my birthday was that month.
Lastly, here is a preview of an advent tree I am making as a gift. The Tree itself is based on a dresden plate type design. Which I am knitting a number of ornaments to hang on it.
This is just laid out flat with lights and button baubles laying on it to give myself an idea of how its coming together. The plan is to tuck the battery pack into a pocket on the backside an thread the light cord through with a button hole behind the tree itself. I have started ornaments, mostly just to get an idea of sizing for my pocket presents that should sit under the tree.
I live in the Pacific Northwest, known for its coffee, apples and lots of rain. So while I was eager to get photos of the rainy day quilt the weather forecast was saying “maybe next week” and I am feeling too impatient for that. So here are a few photos of my finished Rainy Day Quilt built around a couple broken up rows from the 2015 Row by Row with the theme of “water” and the Western Washington Quilt Shop hop with its umbrellas and raindrops special fabric.
While I was working this one up, it reminded me of an old English poem.
The rain, it rains upon the Just, And also on the unjust Fella But Twice as much upon the Just, For the unjust stole the Just’s Umbrella
Unknown (I looked, its been attributed to a wide variety but wasn’t able to pin down the original wit)
Which means I can claim three whole quilts fully finished this year. I have three more ready for quilting, but one of them is my wedding quilt and I’m not 100% ready for tackling that one in my long arming journey although I do think that some of the stippling turned out alright.
Its been yet another busy several weeks going to Kansas and packing up and painting. So I’ve just managed to get my hats of the month KAL caught up to November and a singular pair of boring vanilla socks completed in knitting. But now I’m back and its National Knit a Sweater Month, so I’ve started on a sweater. Let’s hope I get a bit more knit time in this month and can manage to finish it!
It has been quite some time, and while I wish this update was full of a heck of a lot more quilts and knits to show off… its sadly not. I haven’t given up on either of those hobbies; but life has certainly came along and whacked me upside the head with a frying pan full of life happenings. Since my last post I have been back and forth to Kansas about three times helping out my in-laws which is sadly now just a singular in-law who is now living with us. And, since the room she has moved into was the home of many of my hobby supplies, it all got squished into the craft space that houses my sewing machine and frame. I have needed to do some serious reorganization there.
My Rainy Quilt has been sitting on the quilt frame needing to be unburied to get back to finishing it up. I am doing a bit of all over stippling on the non-umbrella and boots blocks, and up to this point it has been coming together. Here’s a couple progress photos from before the room was taken over by all my unorganized stuff.
I did get a bit of a jump on organizing (Thanks past self!) because I had started to bolt my larger fabric lengths onto cardboard magazine backers with some small binder clips. This makes my fabric a bit tidier and fits in both bins and on bookshelves a bit easier. I had a couple display cabinets of dolls that I packed up and repurposed into my yarn and fabric stash cabinets, and the nightstand from the formerly known as guestroom turned out to fit some small bolts on 5×7 backers for roughly fat quarter size fabrics.
I did manage to finish up a couple pairs of socks but I think the last pair took a month and a half! I am trying to catch back up on the hats of the month KAL, currently behind August and September but I did actually start my September hat yesterday so hopefully it won’t take too long. And oh yeah…. holidays are coming!
So everyone keep your fingers crossed that things start smoothing out soon, or everyone is getting gift cards this year!
I left off last time with my quilt frame top plate having just arrived and assembled, the imminent start of the next sock madness round, and a fast approaching road trip departure to a memorial. So let’s start where I did… with my first “quilt” set up on the frame to give it a trial run. I chose to try it out on a simple triangle pattern fabric that I planned to use like a cheater quilt. Straight lines are pretty easy with a walking foot, and on the horizontal left to right or right to left, I found the frame just as easy and perhaps even more efficient. However, I struggle with angled lines. With a walking foot I’d have turned my fabric’s orientation and it would have been all straight. But on the frame I was attempting to drive free form at an angle. Some lines turned out more wavy than others. But overall the start to finish on a throw size quilt was significantly shorter and took me about one day.
On my machine I get about six inches of depth before needing to roll up the quilt, which on this fabric was about two triangles high. This seems like a good reasonable amount and I’m eagerly looking forward to the next quilt…. which I think is to be the Bargello flag because July is coming.
In the hats department… we have arrived at June, which will be the sixth hat in the series, so here’s an overview of the first five.
The next round of sock madness happened just after I got my pink quilt off the frame and before I could sew the binding down on the back side. It was an instarsia harlequin single stitch sock, so lots of fiddly tails. Personally I think if you knit a sock pattern that devotes a section to how to manage 17 yarn threads, you can no longer say you are a beginner knitter.
I managed to finish my pair at the charge stop in Clearwater, Minnesota. It was raining. My finished posts are primarily laid out on my seat, and I had to hunch over. The things we do in the spirit of competition! They took me five calendar days, but one of those days I was driving across most of Montana which hardly counts. I sewed the binding on my quilt down and started another pair for my patient husband between rounds from my new magazine subscription.
The next round (still ongoing) started on the 29th with me needing to hand wind up my skein of yarn. They have beaded embroidery embellishment after you finish knitting, and alas after a few delays for me, I am out of the competition, but have managed to get one sock knitted.
But wait! There’s more! (Sorry… couldn’t help myself there) I also managed to finish my big monogamous knitting project and can now reveal it in some of its glory. I managed to finish and bind off right under my auntie’s nose and then found a sneaky place to block it a bit. Honestly I am mildy disappointed I didn’t bring it home to block it again to get the last of the bunched bits flattened out but based on how things have worked out.. I might not have been able to block it for awhile yet and this way she got it as an early birthday surprise.
If you look closely, the new cone is slightly different on the edges, but I am calling that a design element. This is the Tannenzpfen/Fir Cone pattern by Herbert Niebling. Its 405 rounds, and I knit mine on 000 needles and it came out about four feet square-ish.
Whew! That was quite a bit. But there is more coming up this month. I’m debating if I may do at least some of the quilt shop hop this year which is happening this month. And strawberries and raspberries should be ripening for picking soon too. And of course… new month… new hat to knit. Until then… socks, socks, and more socks.
For this update I am presenting some awkwardly taken photos in handknit hat and scarf, some pretty awesome Sock Madness qualifier socks and a whole laundry basket of quilting plans.
I live in the Pacific Northwest. It rains here. Quite a lot in the Spring and Fall. So much so that last spring at the end of a particularly rainy week, I pulled out of the garage and noticing it was just misting and thought aloud “well at least its not raining.” This means overcast days and also they get pretty short on the winter end of the year, so lots of photos when I finish end up at far less than ideal lighting. So in today’s less than grand photos… I bring you my March hat, knit up in the remnants of my Harvest sweater yarn.
You may recall my sweater was a lovely shade of chestnut brown with splashes of a lovely teal. And while this hat is knit with the exact same yarn, this photo is taken at 9PM in the dark and I was trying to be a bit creative with the mirrors.
Next up, I picked out a deceptively simple garter stitch short row scarf. I started in January with the goal of using up the 90% skein of Cascade worsted and at least one skein of some Liberty Wool I was gifted back far enough I put it in my Ravelry stash in 2013.
I ended up running out of the Cascade and had to sub due to availability of BLACK yarn of all things… and only used one skein of the Liberty Wool, but I love how it hugs the neck and transitions through the color changes. Sadly most of the color changes are hidden behind the fold.
Now that those horrible photos are behind us… onto the Sock Madness Qualifier round! The designer of these beauties is more typically submitting later round socks, last year was the three color Lampropeltis, but she writes in a way that if you just jump in with trust they are clear. I actually chose one of her designs as my third pair ever. My first pair were vanilla stockinette and I thought they were the most boring things ever. My second set was a KAL pair which taught me that socks don’t have to be boring. I mostly avoid boring socks.
And in quilting news; I have placed an order for a smaller frame that should fit my machine for quilting! I decided letting my quilting projects pile up without getting to the actual quilting part was kind of sad. So today I went and bought some backing fabrics for my future quilts and here’s the previews of some future projects. There is also my wedding quilt but no photos of that one yet.
So its sock season… expect more socks and eventually some quilt frame assembly and hopefully some finished quilts!
That’s right this post is all about bulking out and… oh no, its about having to fix mistakes, which in sewing involves the seam ripper and I had some ripping adventures on this latest project! You may recall the yellow and green fabric from a post back in January where I finally decided what it was going to become. I picked a pattern called Ruby Reflections in a post holiday sale and while I didn’t have quite enough to do a full pattern, I was able to scale it down one step with what fabric I had (plus a wee bit to supplement the yellow that I was lucky enough to find on ebay) leaving me with what should be enough of the green for the binding so all I need for this one is some backing! But along the way I had one row where I apparently turned the blocks 90 degrees and that one row I seamed together the wrong side so there was plenty of seams to pull apart and redo, but some of the corners seamed together into some practically perfect points.
I’ve discovered that just about the time I’m starting to get that confidence and mental motion of “I’m totally nailing this! I am going to finish this up so fast and nicely!” then here comes reality with a humility check roll. But my determination stat is pretty high so… I’ve finished this quilt top! All 84 blocks in one month and coming out at approximately 67 inches square.
At the end of January I got most of my backing/binding and border fabric for the Rainy Day Quilt, so here’s an updated version of that quilt top. I want to do something a bit fun on the back of this one since its already a bit of a hashed together front.
In the knitting department I finished my first socks of 2021, a pair of Fifteens, which is a warm up pattern for Sock Madness and a celebration of their Fifteenth year! And I completed the February Hat. I did quite a bit of a knitted gift as well, but as per my usual, I don’t post gifts until they are given or under special circumstances.
With Sock Madness starting up next month… expect more socks coming soon! (And the March Hat too!)
Yesterday I was talking with a good friend about reservations at our respective pools and how it might be a bit easier now because the Resolutioners seem to have already tapered off. Resolutioners are those people that start out their new year with the absolute best intentions. Every year when they show up; I am happy to see them and really hope they stick with their goals. Invariably a few weeks go by and the majority of them stop showing up. While I’m glad that it might be a bit easier to get a reservation, or less sharing of space (in non-Covid times) its a little bit telling about human nature. I can’t say why the first time they didn’t come when they had every intention of doing so because there are so very many reasons. Maybe it was just too early or they overdid the last visit or they had another commitment come up or they missed the alarm. The reason doesn’t matter, but it tends to trip this train of thought that may not even be fully realized but tells our brains that it was ok to skip once, so its ok to skip again.. and again.. and again. OR that if you missed that one time, well then its a complete and utter failure so its best to give up the whole idea.
We have those thoughts in crafting too. Projects that get partially done and then something didn’t go exactly as planned and so we banish it to places we call things like “the naughty pile” with all the glorious good intentions of someday. One of my more recent projects is from the realm of the naughty pile it went on the naughty pile all the way back in 2017! I fell a bit hard for a felted duffle bag that the original is lovely and gradient colored rainbow designs. I went slightly easier with some harvesty multi colors on a denim blue background. Then I felted it.. and I kind of overdid the felting so some of the shaping and stitch definition was lost. Hence.. the naughty pile.
I had already bought all the feet and snaps and handles. I even had a lovely burgundy micro suede type fabric suitable for lining. (That insists on photographing as bright red) Well it only took about 3 years, but I decided having all the materials and not finishing this project was rather high up on the silly scale and finally assembled it into an actual bag. Its a fuzzy felted weekender size duffle that while I probably owe an apology for my failings to the designer is a functional item, and more importantly… is done.
I also test knit a sweater that I am eager to share with everyone once the pattern is published. (ETA some time in March) And my January hat… which based on comments and how the original sizing was turning out I added a half repeat to, but kept the great crown decrease design.
I also finished my borders on my Warmth in our Stars Quilt. I decided to do piano keys with mini-log cabin style corners. I bought backing for it and borders/backing for the raindrops quilt too!
I started a simple scarf but promptly ran out of black worsted yarn (of all things!) but instead of frogging it or naughty piling it… I just bought more yarn.
Speaking of more yarn… the Sock Madness Materials list got posted so it was time for the annual checking in with the fingering weight stash and see if we have enough. I dunno… what do you think?
I managed to sort out a few possible combinations between them and the beads. There is apparently a three color sock and multiple two colors and several scraps and beads. These may be tossed entirely out the window when the pattern actually comes out but here’s a few of my current ideas that may come to a post near you.
Like how could I not use that title for my recap post. I am as I frequently am.. rather behind on my blog posts. It has been a not great year, but then I think that’s also true for a number of people. Though all the home time did mean I finished or moved along several crafting projects.
On the quilting front I did pretty good. I’ve discovered I greatly enjoy the piecing part more than the quilting part though. I found a backing for my Anniversary quilt top, Quilted my Contours kit, Made a Rainy quilt top, a Patriotic Bargello Flag top, and coming in hot of the machine a Warmth in our Stars is just needing some borders.
Obviously I kept knitting… I did finish all of my Stash busting projects which included four sweaters! My November one was a lace weight lace cardigan and means I finished out my Neighborhood Fiber Company Sweater club from 2017 yarns. I finished 20 pairs of socks! And managed to squeeze in 3 scarves, 2 hats a pair of mittens and a shawl! I knit over 14,506 yards which is well over 8 miles!
In retrospect with it all laid out its a bit impressive. Just the same I’d rather have had more sunshine and less craft time.
I”ll be back soon (I hope!) for my plans that are still brewing for 2021.
Sometimes you just have to take life as it comes at you. Sometimes its big things, and sometimes its just annoying things, and sometimes it feels like all the things all at the same time. This year has devolved a bit into one of those years for me. And while it might not be the most healthy approach to dealing with it, I tend to fall back on to just getting things done. They don’t have to be perfect but they need to move into the done pile and can’t linger in the projects in progress that weighs like an obligation.
So there I was approaching the end of July still working on my socks from June and sweater from May with a pair of socks still yet unstarted for my actual July project and… I ran out of yarn on the second toe. So I made the choice to sub in a scrap bit of yarn on toe two. Its ok, the socks are functional. I still chased down a matching scrap from a fellow Raveler but in the mean time… its ok the toes don’t match. They are done and beautiful.
I also managed to finish up the sweater AND the two pair of Anniversary socks. The sweater is my second one out of the stash of vintage black crepe yarn I picked up at a thrift store. It doesn’t photograph so well and it could use some buttons but again… its done!
I really like being able to finish things and not have them linger. So I also finished up the quilting on my Contours quilt kit, which I’d had pin basted for about six months and just didn’t feel very confident in my abilities on the quilting it kind of fancy. So I quilted it with scribbles and wavy lines and enjoyed every minute of the binding even if the quilting wasn’t so grand.
Now personally I am having a significant number of feelings about patriotism these days. But I came up with the idea for this quilt top back when I had more optimism as a thank you for some friends of ours that sometimes invite us to their July 4th celebrations. The final dimensions ended up at a very optimistic 54 x 40.
And once again… look at all the things we got done because we just needed a tick in the win column and it didn’t matter that the toes didn’t match.
In 2019 I managed to finish 2 quilts (3rd is ready for quilting and a fourth has the top done), as well as 3 sweaters and 2 shawls. Seen here for the first time is the late finish on my NakniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month) Anne of Cleves sweater joined by my other large projects of the year.
Back before 2014 I swore I’d never be a sock knitter because the second sock every was just sooooo boring. Well… I finished 11 pair last year. ¬.¬
There were a few other notable projects worth mentioning also… I tackled one of my oldest stashed yarns (recorded in Ravelry during the great yarn stash recording of 2013) by knitting it into a drop leaf scarf! I made my first yarn bowl and my first tea cozy.
There was quite a bit of travel for me this year and one larger unfinished gift that ate into my craft time, so overall I am rather pleased with how it all sorted out.