Tuesday, July 31, 2018

So Grey

In line with a challenge on Kathy B's blog, 
I am posting this photo of the sock progress
in black and white!
I have turned the heel and am ready to start the leg portion in the rib of choice, K3, P1.
This rib produces a leg that looks like stockinette with the hug of a rib so it stays up!
I hope to have the leg completed in a few days!
Can you guess what color this Crepe Myrtle bloom really is?

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Box of Pieces!

 I managed to cut ALL the pieces to make the newest quilt, Starry Splendor.
I had a nice system going after a bit-a dozen FQ's met their match!
Has anyone used the new Frixion pens while quilting?
The many diagonal lines needed to stitch the flying geese segments
are drawn with this pen; 
as I iron the finished section, the pen lines disappear.
The pens also draw nicely without scooching the fabric under the straight edge.
I am going to set out all the pieces on the design wall so when I have a few minutes ,
I will be able to grab a block and piece it bit by bit!  
The colors need to be all set out so I don't end up 
with some combinations that are not pleasing! 
 It's better to plan ahead so there are no negative surprises!
As usual, I prefer a bit of organized chaos!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

TDF Grand Finale

 The chair is being put away, the machine oiled and cleaned for a while-
at least until I dye the pound of Masham wool and the linen-my next ambitions lined up. 
 Last year, I didn't bother trying to fit in the Tour de Fleece at all 
 but I am glad I at least participated this year.
  I enjoyed checking out all of the other skeins in my Ravelry group, too.
So here is this year's resulting skeins-
1,241 yards of 2-ply yarn!
(Compared to year's past when I spun more than a mile of yarn, I still executed a good showing!)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Two by Two

I took an afternoon to cut out all the background pieces for this quilt and the binding .
I then cut out a few of the fat quarters for the 'star in the star' blocks.  
And after a little of piecing, I finally have something going on the design wall again!
I was sad to see an blank space there each time I passed through the studio!
And in odd moments, I completed the two bobbins of Hampshire wool;
let the plying begin!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Olive Summer Tank

And we have a summer tank-fresh off the knitting machine and ribbing by hand knitting.
Lovely tail shot by OJ!
The yarn is I đź’“Cotton yarn from Hobby Lobby, 3 skeins.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fiber Work

This is the roving of Bare Stroll sock yarn from KnitPicks which I dyed.
  It turned out well spun finely (thinly) for a real sock yarn..
I took a long time to spin this-all week but I am pleased with the final skein.
This is what I am spinning next;  Hamshire wool roving, another down breed so it is very different from the above fiber!  Both of these balls of roving are the same weight;  one is loosely pulled and stretched to open the fiber up. 
After both packing and dyeing and drying compacts the fiber and it spins more easily if it is fluffed up again.
I am through the first bump of wool and onto the second-this spins much more quickly and easily than the Merino.
I also took a bit of an interlude to spin a sample of Navajo Churro roving.
This is the wool that the Cowichan Sweaters were  (are?) made of-

for example.
The yarn reminds me of the Lopi yarn we can buy today.
(kind of hairy, not real soft wool)
Now I can say I spun it--check!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Tale of Two Bindings

 The frog quilt has taken its final leap!  
 The quilting lines are a loose meander of a dragonfly in flight!  
The double layers of fabric on the darker background blocks caused the machine to rebel
 but the stitches look good and it is all done!
This one will go to the hospital donation pile.
 The binding is also on the LeMoyne Star Rainbow quilt. 
It wasn't so difficult to execute the actual sewing but the size of the quilt did give me pause.
Hauling back and forth to stitch the curves on such a big and heavy quilt made me 
remember why I usually work on small quilts now!  
Enough grumbling!
The quilt is finished and it is very pretty and pleasing to me!  
It is the sized for a queen bed.
I started this quilt last year in January so it has been a long-term project that is now complete!
This one will stay with me for a while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Peaceful Place

 I chose a new place to sit and knit today while the boys were at their visit today.
It is Ravine Garden State Park;
I wanted to check this out because I haven't been here for four years.
I didn't walk too far-remembering that as far as I went, I would have to return!
 Plenty of visitors have walked through here-since 1774! 
 Amazing thought.
 I love arches and doorways.... so I enjoyed walking through several tall and impressive ones.
 Doesn't this look inviting!  
I walked to the end of this path and sat at the bench just to the left of the walkway.
 This made me laugh-watch out for branches and fallen trees....
we had 3" of rain and damaging winds yesterday but things were in good shape here.
 This was my pretty view as I sat on the bench.....a little waterfall made a very pretty sound
 while I seamed the pieces I made on the knitting machine.  
And this is looking back the way I had walked. 
 Isn't it pleasing? The sky threatened rain but it held off and I was able to seam both sides of the sweater and even turn up the hem on the front and back.
I will have  a finished sweater to show you tomorrow!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Sock Happening

 The sock is moving along;   the colors are working up like a ikat weaving!
 It was hard to pick which was going to be the front or the sole of the foot!
I ended up picking the one with brown coloring for the top of the foot-
it will be cool to see what the second sock will look like!!!! 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

F is for Frog

 I put the frog quilt onto the frame 
and took it right back off to add a narrow blue border all around!
Back on the frame it is being quilted in a dragonfly panto.

Did you notice the background?!
Empty!
I need to cut out and get some fabric on the design wall...
I'm pretty empty mentally, too.  Blank breeds blank.
 I did finish the front and back of the summer tank in olive cotton .
The fourth try gave stellar results on the knitting machine!
I slogged through some seaming. 
 I hope to get some more done when I am not seeing double too late at night!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Picking up the Pace

 I used my circle template to draw in all the arcs I need to turn the border on this quilt
 into a scalloped edge.
  I put a piece of masking tape on the place I used to mark the depth
 so I didn't worry about making one too short!
After drawing them all around to make sure I wouldn't run into any problems,
I then began cutting them out with my scissors.  
The binding steps are next!
As it so often happens, I had to buy some more yarn to make the scrap afghan!
I really liked the pop of color from the warm colors, coral and fuschia, 
and of course, the periwinkle blue!
I can pick up the pace on this work again!c

Try #3 is going the best yet for that knitting machine sweater!
(no photo-it would look the same to you!)
It is going to fast and problem-free now,
I'm giddy!
I hope to have a finished summer tank soon!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Call Me Crazy

 What a long day Thursday was for us!  
It was early visit day which always adds busy to the schedule but this time, I had to stop for lab work, then pick the boys up and meet Bill to shop for a rug to match the new furniture.
It only took two stores but we found just the right one!
It's amazing how light and clean the 'new' room now looks!!!!
 The boys have zoomed their trucks across it-giving it their approval!
Not long after we moved all the furniture back into place, it was time for little guy to take a nap
 and for Boy Wonder and I to head to the doctor's 
so he could have his check-up so he can be ready for school to start! 
 (it's only a few weeks away here! )  

After we came home, we all piled back into the car to head to a 'deal' I found on Craig'sList ....
 ....for a fancy , schmancy knitting machine.  
It will take me a year to get proficient with all this model can do! 
 It knits in the round (hats, mittens, socks, etc!), it knits in Fair Isle, lace and rib to name a few!
It has all the accessories available with this model and plenty of YouTube support!
Stay tuned for more on this adventure!

The boys did great with the long car drive (so did Bill)
because we picked up the buy very south of us,
in fact, in Dee's old stomping ground!
We arrived home, emptied the car, put on pj's and stretched out on the new rug and couch for a good wind down and then headed for bed!
What a day....sweet, successful and satisfying in every way!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Not Sitting Around

 We are making a big change in the family room-out with the old dark brown couch and love seat
and in with the nice light colored furniture! 
 My brother and sister-in-law passed this down to us 
since they have some new furniture.  
We will purchase a new rug now to match; 
 I want a light turquoise tweed-ish one but will have to settle for what I can find, I know that!  Exciting to have an upgrade!
 So there wasn't much time for this but I did work through a few color changes of the roving!
And after I put the boys to sleep tonight, I worked on try #2.
I think I am trying a new attempt tomorrow...I have an idea!  
This is an hour's work.
  A small investment really when compared to knitting by hand.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

 A victory dance transpired when I pulled the LeMoyne Star quilt off the frame!
Now to cut the scalloped borders-I will use the circle template and the rotary cutter 
AFTER 
I draw the lines with an air erasable marker! 
 The finish line is close!
 There was quite a different dance when I pulled the back of the summer tank 
off the knitting machine! 
 I had been feeling that 'knitter's intuition' for quite a while telling me it was too big;
when off and laying on the floor,
 I could see that it would fit a size 44" bust but not mine.
I will say, I learned how to do all kinds of trouble-shooting during this exercise and I survived!
 I read the appropriate chapter in this new book  once again
 (it is for hand knitters but still applies for what I am doing) .
 If you want to really up your game for knitting garments that fit, invest in this book!  
You will be designing in no time or at least have a better understanding of where you need
to tweak the pattern you knit!
I made a new instruction sheet-I will be tackling the summer tank again soon!!!!
I might me on my knees but not down for the count!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Give it a Try

 I am trying to make a summer tank on the knitting machine;
a maiden voyage! 
 After a few false start, it moved right along-even with decreases happening for waist shaping!
I made a swatch first-no skipping this step when you are working on the knitting machine!
After a ton of counting, and averaging, I found my gauge. 
And then the work began!  
The math wasn't hard but there was a lot to think about!
I hope I have all the bugs worked out for this but if not,
 it is pretty easy to rip out and try again.
I am going to conquer this!

Squares at Work!

 I was up for an hour yesterday so I puttered at cutting up some blocks.  I pieced a few to see ho it worked out and it is just as it...