Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finished Pair of Socks #3

It feels like I've posted a finished pair of socks almost every week. Makes me feel good and ahead of my plan to make 12 pairs this year. This is the only pair I'll do this year where I already had the first sock done and just needed to make the second. I'm pretty good about casting the second one right away. The socks look different sizes but they aren't really. I used this yarn to make my third or fourth pair of socks ever, but they didn't stay up very well, so I frogged them. I used the leftover yarn that hadn't been knit for the first sock and the second sock uses the frogged yarn which had been washed and was very kinky. 

Not knowing how much yarn I'd be able to selvedge from the old socks, I decided to make these anklet socks. I have a bit of useable yarn leftover but not enough to have made these a lot longer. These will be great during the summer when I want something on my feet but slippers are too hot.

I have some more leftover yarn to turn into socks that may end up being anklets too. Or I'll just combine a bunch of leftovers to get longer socks.

And pair #4? I finished the first sock yesterday and started the second. They're a birthday present for my mom. When they're finished I'll be starting pair #5, which will be for me. I must admit I'm starting to notice a difference in the stash with all this sock knitting. But I've also realized I probably don't have enough yarn for 12 pairs. I think I can fix that. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I read in February

Just like January, I didn't read much this month. I actually read a book this week just so I'd have something to blog about today. Here are the two books I read this month. I feel a reading kick coming on so I should have more next month.

I read Amy Poehler's book last November and really enjoyed it so I thought I'd give Tina Fey's book a try. It was good, not great, but I couldn't put it down once I started and read it in 2 days. Poehler's and Fey's books are different but good in their own ways, each reminding me of their own comedic style. Tina's was more like a real memoir while Amy's was more of a comedy book that happened to tell stories of Amy's life.  I'd recommend both.

I had never heard of this book before but I saw it popping up on lists as a Canadian classic and something hotter than Fifty Shades of Grey (which I haven't read). Again, I read this book in 2 days, finishing it yesterday. My thoughts and feelings about this book are still pretty raw. It was written in the 70's and reminds me of Atwood's "Surfacing", which I love. Describing it makes it sound weird so I won't go into much detail but basically a woman spends a summer on an island doing inventory of a house and ends up having a relationship with the former owner's pet bear. Yeah, you read that right. Somehow, it works and makes sense, but still shocking and feels Canadian. I tried to describe to my American friend what Canadian literature felt like but I couldn't find the words. There's just something about it and I can't believe I've never heard of this book before. 

It also seems that people are talking about this book again, especially the old cover. I like the copy I read that has a painting by Tom Thompson on the cover. I figured the book had to be good if both Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence, 2 giants of Canadian literature, wrote blurbs for the back of the book. I'd recommend "Bear" for adults only.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Quilt in Progress

Last month I shared the beginnings of the log cabin blocks I'm making out of jelly roll strips. I finished putting all 48 together on Sunday and have been playing with the final layout.

There's this dot/ ball design which I kind of like.

Although stripes is good too. And classic.

I also played with an Around the World design. Not sure which I'm going to do yet. It might be one of these designs or something different. Anyone else have any ideas?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Finished Project Bags

Last week I did a little sewing and finished up some project bags that will be mailed this week as gifts, if the weather cooperates - I can't take the toddler out if it's too cold. I used a tutorial by the Purl Bee that can be found here. All the project bags I made are on the small side but I'd like to try a bigger one that could hold a sweater or the beginning of a blanket. I'm going to use an extra pillowcase and try to make a big one this week.

The first bag I made is for me. I've started to get into the practice of doing a demo first, and if it turns out, I get to keep it. My ribbon supply is low so I used a purple and a black ribbon.

This one is a gift. I had just enough white ribbon to do the handles.

Perfect for a skein of yarn or a small project.

These two are for a special someone who celebrates her birthday today. Happy Birthday Sarah. She does more hand quilting/applique than I do and I thought she would like the ruler fabric to carry thread/ needles in.  The green bag holds her birthday socks and some more goodies. They should be headed north by the end of the week.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Little Poem Project

It's been a couple weeks since I've shared any of my little poems. I am still writing them everyday but I've decided not to share a week's worth of poems every Saturday. I'll still share one every now and then but not all of them. Knowing that I won't be sharing them, has changed the poems the last few days. They've become more personal and experimental in form. 

Today, I am sharing a poem I wrote on Tuesday, February 10th. The little poem came to be during yoga class. I am currently taking a Mindful Yoga class which includes three meditations per class, along with yoga postures. It's been an interesting class to take and a good way to get back into yoga after almost 4 years off. During one of the meditations on the 10th, the teacher instructed us to imagine ourselves as a mountain. I've been lucky to see the Rockies and visited Banff and Jasper and loved those mountains. When we lived in Idaho, I saw Moscow "mountain" everyday but none of those felt right. In 2011, our family visited the west coast and we stopped at Mt. Ranier and Mt. St. Helen's and it is the later one that came to mind. And then the poem followed.

This is what I feel like a lot of the time. That I am one moment away from erupting. And not in a good way. Being a stay-at-home mom of three kids, who would like to do more writing, life can be frustrating and sometimes I don't know how I hold it all together. I don't feel like a strong mountain connected to the Earth. I feel like a mountain who has lost it once and is struggling not to do it again.

I couldn't get the poem and image out of my head, even after I wrote it down. So, I'm going to try and make a Mt. St. Helen's painting. 

I settled on this picture which is from 1979, a year before it's eruption. I might do a second one from after the eruption but I'm going to try this one first.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Monday's Work in Progress...

... is Friday's finish. I finished the Zuzu shawl on Tuesday. Love how the short rows at the top made some interesting stripes.

I blocked it on Wednesday and used my new blocking wires for the first time. A lot easier than using a bunch of pins.

Since my kids are home this week, I had my daughter take some pictures yesterday. It was cold so we took them quickly.

Best picture we got of it stretched out before we got too cold and went back inside to warm up.

I reblocked the Hurricane cowl that I made last month on Wednesday as well, and really stretched it. Now it can wrap around my neck twice. Very warm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Second Pair of Socks Finished

Last week I finished my second pair of socks for the year. These ones are for me. They're extra long as I knit until I ran out of yarn. 

Love the stripes. The colours remind me of stained glass windows. They are basic toe-up socks.

It's been a while since I finished a pair of socks for myself so I am loving these. Think I have worn them 3 times in a week. 

I am currently finishing up a pair of anklet socks for myself and then I'll cast on a pair for my mom (if she wants some for her birthday) and then another pair for myself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Finished Quilt

Here is one of the finishes I have to share this week. The pattern is Rebel Flock. The blue and yellow were cut for a different quilt but I ended up not using them. I had to take them apart from how I had sewn them and then pieced the hst squares together for this quilt. This pattern has been on my to-make list for a while and I'm so happy to have it finished and hanging in our bedroom. 

You can see the quilting on the green triangles in this picture. I quilted everything except the purple fabrics, which helps them pop. My husband commented that the blue and yellow is close to the University of Michigan colours but I didn't mean to make a U of M quilt (he currently works there).

Quilting is easier to see on the back. This is the quilting in the yellow and blue triangles. All free-motioned.

Had to make the bed for this picture (you can read more about the quilt on the bed, here). Very happy to wake up to this quilt on the wall every morning.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Knit in Progress - Zuzu shawl

I have four finishes to share this week, but thought I'd post 1 of 4 knits in progress (that somehow are all for me) first.

I was delighted to receive my copy of Jen Lucas's second book "Sock-Yarn Shawls II" last week. I've made several from her first book. Herbstwald here, Wedgewood here, Labyrinth here.

I was even lucky enough to have Jen sign it.

I cast on Zuzu the day I received the book and used some of the yarn I bought for myself during the holidays.

I took this picture this weekend. I've finished the lace part and am onto the garter stitch section. Looking forward to finishing it this week and using my new blocking wires to make this shawl shine. Then I'll have to cast on another shawl from the book as there's a KAL going on in the Knitting Like Crazy ravelry group right now. Some people are already on their 3rd! I hope to get Zuzu and 2 more done before the KAL ends on April 3rd. And knit all of them using yarn from my stash. You can read more information about the KAL on Jen's blog here.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

Here are some of the interesting, crafty things I found on the internet this week. Enjoy.

Some free knitting patterns released this week. A  cowl. And a rose, perhaps to make for your Valentine?

And if knitting isn't your thing, maybe you can sew something for your Valentine.

I'm trying to resist this Quilt-Along.

I made a set of these a few years ago for a niece. Think Floyd might need a set.

This looks like a great idea for those who love yarn. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Little Poem Project - January 31-February 6

For me, February is the most difficult month. Especially when I have a little one that keeps me inside. I think the little poems are starting to show how hard it is to stay positive through all these cold days trapped inside. I love snow and winter but I am looking forward to Spring and spending hours outside.

Saturday, January 31st.

Sunday, February 1st.

Monday, February 2nd.

Tuesday, February 3rd.

Wednesday, February 4th.

Thursday, February 5th.

Friday, February 6th.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Using up Stash

With 2 snow days and a burst blood vessel on my right palm I haven't done much knitting or writing this past week. I have been quilting though and using up my stash which feels good.
I had the blue and green squares leftover from a baby quilt I made several years ago. I also had some cream squares cut for a different project that never happened. Lucky for me they fit together. During a toddler nap I played and came up with this layout and it became...

... this mini quilt. Not sure if I'm going to keep this one or not after it's quilted. It might end up being a gift.

I still had some leftover so I played some more and the squares became...

.... this and then...

... this. I think I'm going to add a border before quilting. This I will keep.

And I've sewn some 3 inch squares together and into rows for a charity quilt. This is 30 inches long so far and 60 inches wide. I am aiming for it to be 80 inches long. I have enough squares cut to get to around 50 inches long but then I'll need to cut more 3 inch squares.

This is the only knitting I've done this week. It's the Parallel Lives pattern found here and is free for a limited time. Fingering weight yarn. It's slow going but feels lovely in my hands while working on it. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Finished pair of Socks #1

On Saturday, I finished knitting the first pair of socks for 2015. 11 more pairs to go. Yarn is Knit Picks Felici yarn and knit as plain toe-up socks. These are a gift and will be heading north soon. And since it's been a while since I finished a pair, I took a few photos.

I thought about trying to match up the stripes but decided against it. On the second sock (which is the left one in this picture), I forgot how I had cast-off the first one. It was a little tight but I couldn't remember what I did wrong. About an hour later it came to me and I undid the cast off and redid it. Much better.

Slightly too big for me.

I put them in the washer and dryer earlier this week. They were really stretched coming out of the washer but went back to the right size after drying. Whew! 

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