Monday, November 30, 2015

FGS 1 of 2

Finished my first Flying Geese sock! So elated! You’d think I’d discovered the new world.

 I've been weaving the ends in as I knit, but MAN, there are still dozens to go.

Fair Isle Sweater Kit

When I was at my friend's house going through her yarn stash and being gifted coned yarn, we came across this sweater kit.

I've only read about these and here was one live and in the flesh! And she GAVE it to me!! She said I was more likely to make it up than she was, she couldn't remember how long it had been in her collection.

These were readily available in the 1960s and 70s, when Fair Isle sweaters were popular. I just Googled it and couldn't even find one on eBay. The wool is 'jumper weight' Shetland wool in a lovely heather green - and no moth holes!. The colorwork  portion is done for you and buttons are included if you want to make the cardigan - and it comes with complete instructions. I guess they figured the colorwork would put knitters off from trying to make one themselves. Some knitters - like me - think that would be the fun and interesting part.

I feel like I own a piece of textile history.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Color Catcher Sheets

Due to the drought in California, we're on restricted water use. In an effort to reduce the number of loads of laundry I do, I've been combining the darks - blues and greens with the reds and oranges and always adding two color catcher laundry sheets. Of course this means I'm going through color catchers a lot faster.

I've been using Shout color catchers for years, but at almost 6 dollars a box, I wondered if there was a better way. I thought I remembered someone at guild talking about making your own, so I Goggled it.

Sure enough, all you need to do is make a solution of water and washing soda - not baking soda - saturate some pre-cut muslin squares, dry them and then use those in your wash. You can read about it here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Napkins

While looking for more star fabric for the border of my current Quilt of Valor, I found more than a yard of a pretty poinsettia print and decided to make napkins.

As I cut them out I realized I've had this fabric for more than 25 years. I bought it at a 40% off after-Christmas sale. What have I been saving it for?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flying Geese Socks Update

I've been plunking along on my Flying Geese Socks (FGS), trying again and again to understand the color work created by short row shaping. Then one day, the unusual method finally clicked and I started turning out contrast triangles.


As I finished each one I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Then I actually found myself wondering what had been so difficult!

Back after heel's been turned

I'm remembering again why knitting is called a brain art.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ladybug Nine Patch

This last summer there was a terrible fire in our area, many, many people lost their homes.

The local quilt guild wants to give a small quilt to all the K-2 graders in the affected area.

 I was glad to give this nine patch quilt to help some child I'll never meet, feel a little more comforted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Autumn Table Runner

This pattern is sometimes called "The Ten-Minute Table Runner", but seriously, this pattern is fast. It took me under an hour.

It's a gift for my Mom for Thanksgiving.

Pin Cushion

I don't have notes in my piecing journal for the LeMoyne Star quilt, but I'm pretty sure I started it more than 15 years ago. The blocks are coming out a lot truer now, than they did back then. So I found a way to use the blocks that aren't accurate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Helping the Humane Society

The last time I visited the cattery at the Humane Society, they asked if I'd be willing to sew for the annual Christmas Craft Boutique fund-raiser. I made almost 30 catnip bags using a variety of prints.

You can tell how affected Spunky is by the catnip, as she sits in the window with her back to us!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Teaching the Next Generation

The grandkids came for a visit this past weekend. Among playing with trains, reading books and eating 'Grandpa's special waffles', I popped into the sewing room to sew the binding on a community quilt.

Evan was captivated, so I suggested he sit in my lap and help me 'drive'. What a joy to share one of my favorite pastimes with him! It brought back memories of sewing with DS1 when he was just a little older.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Finished Fair Isle

Things I learned while making this hat:

Even though I worked the Fair Isle portion with the project turned inside out to lengthen the floats so the stitches wouldn't draw in, the color work still draws in. Next time I want to try knitting the color work part on larger needles; the body of the hat on 5s and the color work on 6s.

The appearance of Fair Isle stitches always improves with a wet block, not just steam blocking.

Acrylic yarn can actually be softened during the wet block by using hair conditioner in the final rinse.