Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quilted

Today, my children surprised me with some quilting time. No they weren't good. They had been bad. They had taken out some modeling clay downstairs, a couple days ago - although I just found it today -  and some of it ended up smeared on a table and into the carpet. I guess I need to go downstairs more often or look around when I do laundry. To make sure it was cleaned up properly, I stayed downstairs while they spent over on hour scrubbing the carpet and table getting them clean again. A perfect time to quilt. 
I was able to quilt the baby quilt I made for our little guy. Lines going every which way across the quilt. No plan, except trying to keep the lines straight. I like how it turned out. I used blue thread to pop on all the orange fabrics.





A peak at the back. I used a curtain bought on clearance. Now I just need to trim it and add the binding.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Knits in Progress

Here's what I have on the needles this week... so far.
I cast on the second anklet sock for myself. I finished the heel and am now doing the decreases. This should be done by the end of the week. If I can remain focused.

The Ditto cardigan is coming along. Added just over 20 rows since the last time I showed a picture. No hurry in getting this done, just working on it when I want something mindless to knit. 

Making good progress on the Herbstwald shawl. Did the 3 repeats of chart A that the pattern calls for but think I might do one more since I have plenty of yarn. 

And for some reason I cast on another shawl. This is from the same book as the Herbstwald shawl but is more crescent shape. Called Labyrinth, it will only be about 13 inches deep but long like a scarf. I won this yarn a year ago for participating in a sock KAL by Jen and wanted to use the yarn with one of her patterns. I think this pattern will really show the beauty of the yarn. I have done one repeat of chart A so far with 3 more to go. Then just the border will be left. Should be a nice quick knit - for a shawl.

After realizing all the above projects were for me, I knew I had to start something for someone else. I went through the list of baby patterns yesterday and decided on priority. Today I got out the pattern and yarn for the first one. A newborn cardigan and hat. Since I took this picture this morning I've already completed 15 rows of the cardigan. Looking forward to completing some more baby projects - he's due in 10 weeks!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Couple Finishes and a Little Book Review

Finished the Waving Lace Socks this weekend. These are a gift and I can't wait for them to get to their destination. This pattern was easier than it looks. Very easy to memorize I was able to get these done a lot quicker than I thought I would be able to.

I love the pattern going down the leg.

And continuing onto the foot. They look great in orange, too.

Friday I went through books, my ravelry queue and copied patterns and wrote down all the things I wanted to make for our little guy before he arrives. Most of the list was cardigans and sweaters he would wear this winter but I probably won't have time to knit after he arrives. There were 34 items on the list. I went back through it and eliminated some, and pushed back some that had multiple sizes and kept on ones I loved or only came in newborn-6 months size. It brought the list down to 29. Next up is going through and putting them in priority - is there any patterns I'd regret not making? The hat above was on the list and I was able to make it in one evening. Can you see the little flames? The pattern called for black instead of red, but I didn't have any and hoped this would do. The orange is leftover from the socks I finished.

It's definitely a newborn hat, as you can see it is a little tight on my baby hat model. I am putting it through the washer and dryer and hoping that helps a bit. I guess I need to work on my colourwork tension. I think I might make a bigger version this winter for both the little guy and his big brother.  

Finished this book Saturday evening. "The Fates Will Find Their Way" by Hannah Pittard. It was on the new book shelf at the library when I went last week and it tempted me. When I was finished it did exactly what I love about a good book - it had me thinking about the characters and what happened long after I read it. Little warning that some of the events are a little graphic, a lot of the book deals with teenagers coming of age so there is a bit of them exploring their sexuality.
One of the things I love is that there was no one main character voice. It was told from the view of a group of teenage boys (speaking as a single voice - does that make sense?) as they grew up and how the disappearance of a girl on Halloween when they were in highschool affected the rest of their lives. Some chapters are just what they imagine happened to her that night, where she might have gone and what her life may have been like. It was definitely a great find on the shelf.

Besides the actual novel, this book drew me in because of it's pages. I hope the picture shows that they aren't cut evenly and there's something about this tactile aspect to the book that I really like. I hate to admit but the feel of a book in my hands increases (or decreases) my enjoyment of it. If I get a hardcover book the first thing I do is take the book jacket off, I hate having to deal with it. My copy of "Fugitive Pieces" by Anne Michaels also has pages like this and might have been the first time I really noticed pages cut like this in a book.  If (or should I saw when?) I publish a book I'll have to remember these pages and try to have them for my novel.

And here is how the book tempted me. They used the words "kaleidoscopically", "disembodied plural voice of the boys"  and "Told in haunting, percussive prose" on the inside book jacket. How could I not read this? I'm just glad the novel lived up to the book jacket's description :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Socks, books and some other stuff

Finished the first Waving Lace sock.

Turned out to be an easy pattern to memorize.

Close-up. So pretty.

I started the second sock before I forgot the pattern. Done the leg and heel, just need to do the gusset and foot.

When I needed a break from the lace, I started a little pair of socks for me. Using yarn leftover from the Creekwood shawl. I have several little skeins of leftover yarn from socks that I hope to make several pairs of these.

Ordered 2 knitting books for myself. The Sock-Yarn Shawls book is by Jen Lucas of Knitting Like Crazy. I've done several of her patterns, including the Creekwood shawl and the faux cable socks. It was nice to support a designer I'm familiar with.

Jen is hosting a knit-along to go along with her book. All you have to do is knit one of the shawls from the book between February 11th and March 22nd and post a picture of the finished shawl in the ravelry group. I decided to do the Herbstwald shawl. I was able to knit the set up rows and the first repeat of chart A while "watching" the State of the Union last night. Lovely.

I crocheted this little bag in a day last week. Every November my father collects coats at his church and then gives them away to those who need them. This year, someone left a bag of yarn and he brought it home for me. Most of the yarn didn't have labels so I assume most of it is acrylic. These four yarns seemed to be the same and went well together. I started at the bottom and crocheted until I ran out of yarn and added the next ball. I used this pattern. This picture shows the colours the best.

Looking inside.

Hope this shows how small it is. Will probably go to a child. Not sure who yet. 

I haven't done much writing but I've been doing a little reading about writing. Although I don't have have ADHD I found the ADHD book helpful with tips on how to organize my time. With our little one coming in 11 weeks, I need to start thinking what the rest of this year will look like for writing time. "The Writer's Compass" explains a way of organizing a story in seven steps which should be helpful for when I will only have nap times and other short breaks to get anything done. Part of me feels like I should be writing now but I won't have time to do much reading after the baby. And my brain just doesn't feel up to juggling the details of a story right now anyway. Which is probably why I checked out 2 novels and a knitting book from the library today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Some finishes and a few works in progress

Finished embroidery for one of my nieces.

Finished another hat for our baby boy.

I used leftover yarn from the Creekwood shawl. 

Cast on a pair of socks for a gift. This is where I was Monday morning.

I am now done the heel and most of the foot. Probably one more pattern repeat of 20 rows before I start the toe. It's hard to see the pattern but it's the socks from the front of the book.
This is one of four pairs of socks I'd like to make before the baby comes. 3 of them will be gifts and one for me. I have 12 weeks until his due date so I better get going. I might have to cast on the other two intended as gifts before I finish these ones - one will be plain, the other will have a pattern.

Blanket for the baby boy. Since his nickname is Pickles I decided to make him a green blanket. I already had the dark green in my stash. At first I thought it looked too much like a turtle shell and thought about ripping it out but I kept going and I'm glad I did.  I'm just going to keep going until it is as long as I'd like it. It's about 12 inches so far.

Started a cardigan for myself. It will have short sleeves and I'd really like it done by April.


Finished Creekwood Shawl. This pattern is currently on sale on ravelry if you're interested. I'm so happy that I added the extra cable repeats.

Wrapped around.

All stretched out.

Detail. I am really happy with this shawl and how light it feels.

And I finished putting the quilt top for the baby together. Now I need to baste and quilt it.

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