Friday, November 02, 2018

Birds in the Air Blocks

I've been collecting the cut aways from half-square triangle units for decades. I had a shoe box full. I decided it was time to see if I could make something out of them and took it to quilt retreat.

This is what I came up with. I generally had enough of each color combination to make a Birds in the Air block. They finish at 3 1/2". How many was I going to make? I didn't have any idea. I just sorted, grouped, pieced and added to the pile. I like the play of light and dark. But the collection had sat so long, I'd fallen out of love with most of the fabrics. This is as far as I got while on retreat. I thought I'd finish it at home.

But I've completely stalled. It's been on the design wall for more than a month. I decided I like the square layout better, and I won't have to make that many more blocks before I can piece the top. But if I don't love it, why finish it?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Knitting for the Red Scarf Project

I've been collecting red yarns for almost a year, in hopes of knitting a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project. What a great opportunity to practice machine knitting at the same time.

I wish I'd taken a picture of the basketful of red yarn in different shades and varying textures. There were 10 yarns all together and each one showed me what it would look like machine knit. Fun!

I hand-ribbed the stitches in a 1x1 pattern. I learned that ribbing narrows the scarf, so my carefully planned 7" wide scarf finished more like 5 1/2", which is just under the requested 6" the Project would like. Maybe they won't measure. 😉

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Adult's Machine Knit Hat

This hat is similar to the child's MK hat, except I tried to decrease the number of stitches near the crown so there'd be less bunching. I didn't know what I was doing, and created a row of eyelets instead. More skill building took place. It took three sittings, instead of the months it would've taken me if I'd knit it by hand.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Child's Machine Knit Hat

I decided to try to make a child's hat on the knitting machine. I'm still figuring things out and sometimes it's slow going, but the fun keeps me interested. I thought I'd use some of this tapestry wool from my collection.

Playing with stripes of color added interest.

I made a rolled brim, which was easy. I haven't learned to rib yet. It's cute, but it turns out the yarn isn't very soft.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Casting on Two at a Time Socks

Since the Atwood cardigan for Frank didn't turn out, I offered to make him socks. "Sure." He's getting used to me trying to foist knitting on him. 😊

Green, of course. The variegated yarn was originally yellow, orange and green, that I over dyed. I don't quite have enough, so I'll knit the heels and toes in a solid sage green.

ETA: Wouldn't you know it? I got gauge with the variegated yarn but didn't swatch the solid yarn. I got this far and the yarns don't play well together. I can tell the socks are going to be too baggy. Argh! Never assume yarns are the same without doing a gauge sample. Time to rip.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Baby Afghan

It's finished! And what a fun knit. I often think I don't like knitting with bulky yarn on large needles (size 10 1/2), but this was very enjoyable.

ETA: Once our new grandson was born, I shipped to my son and DIL. She said her Mom loved holding Caulder in 'it's buttery softness'. From one knitter to another, that was nice to hear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Savannah Nights Wall Hanging

I finished another UFO from my quilt friend's collection. When the project came to me, it contained strips and pieces, which I made into sixteen patch blocks. Then I decided on a layout and chose fabrics for the set triangles and borders.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Barn Quilts are Art

Squee! This is my birthday gift.

Ever since we bought our own house, I've wanted one of these barn quilts. There's a funny backstory to this. Nathan asked if I wanted anything special to mark my 60th birthday. I talked about this Mariner's Compass quilt block, that had been on my wish list for five years. "Okay, I'll see what I can do."

Later I told my husband about our conversation. "So Nathan's going to get me the Mariner's Compass block to mark my 60th birthday" Frank quietly replied, "But I already got you the Mariner's Compass block to mark your 60th birthday..." ((big hug around the neck)) Thank you sweetie!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Welcome Caulder Logan

It's a boy! Boys run in my husband's family, so we would've been truly surprised if it had been a girl. Mother and baby are doing well.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Slipper Socks for DS1

I originally started these for anyone visiting our home, but then decided I wanted Nathan to have them. While they were visiting this fall, I had him try on the one that was finished. He loved it! He said, "It's so squishy soft!" It's fun to knit for others when they're so enthusiastic.

The next time we were together, they were finished. When he put both of them on, he was gleeful and did a little impromptu two-step in the kitchen. "They're great! They don't slip. Thanks!" I was one happy knitter.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Sweater that Almost Was

Started March 2017.
Chose a different pattern stitch for the sleeves due to hand pain, November 2017.

First fitting, February 2018. Found out it was too small. Plans to enlarge existing pieces begun.

Second fitting, June 2018. Still snug across the shoulders, but maybe adding the second widened front will help.

Third fitting, August 2018. Found it really wasn't possible to make a medium into a large.

So after more than a year of knitting and reworking, we talked it over and decided it was time to rip. Instead of frustration, I felt a wonderful sense of relief. If you're interested, you can read the whole back story starting here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Garden in Bloom

DH visited the community garden with me and captured the season's blossoms, bees and butterflies.

Love in the Mist
Cosmos and buckeye butterfly
Garden spinner
Butternut squash blossom

Yarrow in bloom
Sunflower and honey bees
Budding yarrow
Miniature roses
Small sunflower

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wool Toothbrush Rug Finish

You might remember this project from a couple of years ago. Kelly's encouragement to "Keep going, it looks good! It'll flatten out as it gets bigger", helped me to keep going when I had my doubts about it turning out.

This round of gold was supposed to be the same as the second round, but I ran short. I was moving along at a nice pace and didn't want to stop, so I found some upholstery fabric that was a close color match. It was a little stiff to work with compared to the wool, but I was glad to keep going.

July 6

August 10

I've put it in front of the ironing board. It's nice and cushy and makes standing at the ironing board less tiring.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Hand Painted Yarn

Debbie invited me to try some hand painted yarn dyeing. Three of us got together at her house, with natural wool yarn ready for painting.

We used acid dyes, here the yarn is soaking in water with citric acid.

We mixed small batches of dye in plastic squeeze bottles. I like this picture, it looks like "A Dyer's Still Life."

We didn't feel real confident at first so I just started painting.

It was easy and fun!

After the color was the way I wanted, I rolled the yarn in plastic wrap and heated it in the microwave. These are cooling in the sink before the rinse. We called them yarn sausages.


Debbie painting.

Debbie's yarn in the rinse.

Sharon painting.

Sharon's yarn in the rinse.

My yarn after it dried. Love it! I have no idea what it'll look like as knitted fabric, but that's part of the fun. I think I'll call it Ocean Song.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sampling a Favorite Sweater

I really like this sweater, but it's acrylic and not very warm. I wondered if I could recreate it; not that my Fair Isle knitting skills are up to the task  yet, but...

Using a graphics program I made a grid and square by square duplicated what I saw. It was tricky, because the sweater's yarn isn't smooth, so some times shapes weren't distinct. I learned something about creating the repeat too. That was a challenge.

Then I chose yarn from my collection that seemed to be a good match.  It was fun to discover I had some of each color already on hand. I haven't swatched it yet, but the colors do inspire.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Table Runner

I'm still occasionally working on UFOs from a quilting friend who is no longer sewing. This came from a Ziploc bag full of strips and pieces without any clear indication of what she had in mind, so I turned them into a table runner.

These aren't colors I would ever think to work with, but I sure like the way it looks. It's fun to work outside my usual color palette once in a while.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Opportunity Quilt Update

We had another sew day for the 2019 quilt guild op quilt. Two of us sewed the lattice strips on the blocks and then the rows into the top. Then I took it home to add the borders

First border.

Final border. I have to say I like it better than I thought I would.