Monday, March 30, 2015

Finished Pair of Knitted Socks #5

I can't believe it is the end of March and that I've knit 5 pairs of socks already. I think I'll be able to make my goal of knitting 12 pairs this year. But if I get too confident about that something is bound to happen to stop me. I finished my fifth pair on Friday, which are for me. I cast on my sixth pair on Sunday. They will be a gift for my SIL's birthday in May. If I can complete them I'll be thrilled that I was able to give my sister, mom and SIL socks for their birthdays this year. Perhaps a new tradition? I'd like to make them each a pair for Christmas too, but I definitely need to buy some yarn to do that. Good thing April's craft budget is for yarn. And WEBS will be having their anniversary sale that month, too. 
Anyway, onto the socks.
Pattern is Wedge by Cookie A. I mentioned in an earlier post that I've owned the Knit.Sock.Love book for a few years but hadn't knit anything out of it. This pattern is from that book. I hope to make almost all the book patterns, eventually. The only major change I made from the pattern was to do a stockinette toe instead of the garter stitch one and I used bigger needles (size 3).


Yes, they are as bright as they appear in the picture. You can't lose them. 

I wore them yesterday and like the garter heel more than I thought I would.


My only complaint about them is when I put on shoes. The wide garter section on the top of the foot is right where the top of my shoe ends. Not uncomfortable, but it looked a little clumpy. Guess I should have taken a picture. Not a big deal, still love them and will wear them often. 

After I finish the socks for my SIL, I'll be trying something new - knitting slippers and then felting them. I am currently without slippers. I wore through the new slippers I received for Christmas and my slippers from the previous Christmas hit the garbage bin this weekend after we had water back up into the house and they got wet. No way to wash them clean enough that would make me put my feet back in them. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

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

A girl can dream about a place like this, right?

Did you see Anna's giant Gnome?

Margaret Atwood told some Canadian jokes.

Interesting results of a reading habits survey.

A great post with advice about knitting for babies.

And here a couple things I pinned this week:

I think I may have to make us a set of Yard Yahtzee. Maybe my parents need one, too.

A crocheted shawl perfect for Spring.

Friday, March 27, 2015

2 Finishes for Friday

Last Saturday, I finished the Waveland shawl. I blocked it and another shawl on Sunday and was able to get my daughter to take some pictures on Wednesday. 

Waveland shawl wrapped around. It's a nice length but I wish the yarn was a little softer but at least it's not itchy. Waveland was designed by Jen Lucas and can be found in her latest book, Sock Yarn Shawls II. There is currently a KAL going on until next Friday. 

Not wrapped, just hanging to show length. I don't like how it looks this way.

All stretched out. Didn't get the top to block completely straight but close.

Across my back. I really enjoyed knitting a sideways border. The first half seemed to take forever but once I got past the halfway point it went a lot faster. I think that has a lot to do with having the pattern memorized and being able to pick it up and do a few rows when I have a couple minutes. It really got me thinking about designing a shawl of my own. I know the basic design elements of making a shawl, then I could pick a stitch pattern to go along the bottom. We'll see what happens. 

The second shawl I blocked on Sunday, was the Bandwagon shawl, also designed by Jen and is part of her latest ebook full of gradient shawls. I test knit this for her but wasn't allowed to share the finished knit until she published the pattern. She published it last month but I forgot that I hadn't shared mine. I had done a very rough block when it was first done but it needed to be reblocked. I am really enjoying the blocking wires my mom bought me for Christmas. So happy I asked for them since they made a big difference in blocking both shawls.

Bandwagon was my first asymmetrical shawl. After my first blocking the lace hadn't been stretched enough and the shawl felt too short and wouldn't stay where I wanted it. It's longer now and sits a little better. I'm still not completely sold on the shape. I'd rather start with more stitches and do more increases to make it bigger. 
What have you finished this week?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to try and baste a quilt in a small house

Since 2010, we've moved 4 times giving me the opportunity to baste quilts in many different spaces. We've lived in our current home for a year and a half and I hadn't basted a full bed size quilt until this month. And now I know why - there's no room. After finishing the log cabin quilt earlier this month, I wanted to start quilting my Made in Cherry quilt. I had basted the log cabin quilt on a small patch of carpet in the living room, and had to adjust it several times. I tried to do the same thing with the Made  in Cherry quilt but it was just too big. I needed a bigger area where I could spread it all out. This is how I did it.
First, I wasted too much time on the internet while Floyd was napping.

Second, I made an awesome track for Floyd to play with while I basted. I even put it in the hallway so we'd be close together and could still see and talk to each other. 


Third, I pushed the table and chairs as far as I could get them, opening up the dining room floor.

Fourth, I tried to get everything to lay flat but then I remembered how much I hated basting on floors as the back just keeps slipping. So, I tossed it aside in disgust to go pick my older son up from school because having three kids in the house makes it easier.

Fifth, I gave up and let Floyd "help" me. Here he is inspecting the box of pins.

Sixth, I finished basting with only one teeny, tiny pin left that I never use but for some reason can't throw out. On the floor is the basted quilt. Or a mostly basted quilt. I didn't have enough pins so I focused on basting the centre star with a few pins in the yellow sections just to keep them out my way. I'm going to be quilting the centre first anyway. 
Finally, I apologized to my kids for all the swearing and ranting I did while basting. Next time I will move living room furniture - I find it easier to baste on carpet. And I guess I need more pins if I do another big quilt. I've also considered giving away all my fabric and never quilting again. 



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Knits in Progress

I've made a bit of progress on some of my knitting projects. I finished the Waveland shawl on Saturday and have blocked it. Just need to take some pictures of it. Here's what else I've been working on.

I have finished 2 repeats of the striped section of the Sunburst shawl. The colours are richer than they appear here - it's red, purple and blue. I think I have the lace section memorized now so it's just a matter of finding time to knit it.

And since I finished one thing, I had to cast on another. I started the Sierra scarf, also from Sock Yarn Shawls II. There's no way I will be able to complete this before the KAL is over next Friday but I've been wanting to start this since I first saw the pattern months ago. This is one lace repeat. I wanted to see if I like the yarn with this pattern and I think I do. Will do one more repeat before I decide for sure.

And I finally started the second Wedge sock. Had a little delay when Floyd pulled all the needles out but I was able to pick up all the stitches and continue. The sock is what I work on while Floyd is awake. The other two need more attention and have to wait for when Floyd is sleeping.
What are you working on?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

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

I think this shirt is going on my wish list.

This is for you, mom. Maybe you should move to Oregon.

I think this knitting stitch would make a great cowl. 


Makes me want to knit a Pi shawl.

And things I've pinned this week:


I think I have some nieces, nephews and kids who need this hat.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Crocheted Finishes

Last year, I decided to join the Fresh Stitches Kit Club. Stacey was about to go on partial maternity leave and there wouldn't be any new sign ups until this July. I've received two so far with the third one on it's way. 
November's was a leaf. It came with eyes but I decided to leave them off. I was happy with the red yarn I received with the pattern. I'm not sure what to do with it. I planned on making more but haven't got around to it yet. Perhaps I'll make some with my red yarn scraps and create a Canada's Day garland. Or not.

January's pattern was a snowman. Stacey did a post about him this week. My smile came off a little crooked - those little safety eyes are really hard to put on.

The bonus was a pattern to make him a little hat. 

I'm enjoying these little creations but I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to stay part of the club.  It's probably cheaper for me to just buy the patterns I like once they become available to everyone. But it's really nice to receive something crafty in the mail every other month. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

36 hours of Shawl Progress

I finished the body of the Waveland shawl Tuesday evening and started the border. The border is worked sideways which is the first time I have knit a border like this. The rows are fast but there are a lot of rows to do - over 400. 

Got a few more rows done while watching Wednesday's Canada Reads debates.

More progress Wednesday evening before supper.

A lot more progress by the time I went to bed on Wednesday.

Think I might have hit the halfway point while watching the final Canada Reads debate on Thursday. If I hadn't spent nap times writing/editing this week I think I would be done. Should be able to finish it this weekend and block it early next week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My favourite knitting spot.

Last year I had to wait until the end of March before I could knit outside on our porch swing. This Sunday I spent 45 minutes on the swing knitting, reading and just enjoying the sunshine. It was great. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Finished Quilt

After a quick trip to Jo-Ann's on Saturday to pick up thread and an hour or so at the sewing machine Sunday, I finished the log cabin quilt. I was even able to get my daughter to help me take some pictures.

Love it!
It measures 50 x 70 and is for a twin size bed. My mom requested Christmasy quilts for two double beds and a twin bed. She doesn't want them to be big, just an extra layer to go on top of the comforter that would already be on the bed. I used cotton batting which is thin and light. I love how bright this quilt is and how quickly it went together.

I did free-motion over all the red and green and left the white squares unquilted. I hope to wash it today so it will become soft and comfy and less stiff.

The back. I found 4 yards of this blue at a thrift shop for $4. Got to love that, too. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

Here are some of the fun and interesting things I found on the internet this week. Enjoy.

Ever want to run a B & B in Maine? Write an amazing essay and you could win one.

Another great person inspiring me to make more for charity.

I totally want to do this, but I don't have the space to hold all the WIP's.

The best news of the week so I'm posting two articles about it. Here's the second one. Pity it will be out just after my birthday. Perhaps someone will pre-order it for me as a gift?

I thought I'd start putting in links to some of the items I've pinned on pinterest this week.

Here are some neat pincushions.

I like the use of solids in this table runner.

Looks like a good tutorial on how to put fabric lining in your knits.

A great block to use up scraps.



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Quilting?

A half finished quilt and an empty spool of thread can only mean one thing, I need to go to Jo-Ann's to buy some more thread.

I quilted all the red stripes with red thread but ran out of green while quilting the green stripes. Fingers are crossed that they have more of the same green when I go to Jo-Ann's this weekend.

Floyd thinks it's good as is but I think he should wait until it's finished and all the pins are out.
Anyone else trying to get some quilting done this weekend?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Knits in Progress

I'm slowly making my way through several knitting projects. I also cast on two new ones this week. I  should say, I ONLY cast on two new ones this week. I was very tempted to cast on more.

I finished the first Wedge sock. I ran out of yarn and had to use some leftover yarn to finish the toe (the burgundy tip). Luckily, these socks are so colorful the toe doesn't really stand out as being different.

I also decided to do my usual top down toe instead of the one written in the pattern. I just like the look and feel of a stockinette toe over a garter stitch one. I plan to cast on the second sock this weekend.

Making progress on the Sunburst shawl. I am in the first striped section which has me juggling three balls of yarn. It's not easy to work on this one while Floyd is awake since he often grabs one of the balls of yarn and runs off with it. All three balls are currently attached to the shawl so it just pulls the knitting from my hands and /or unwinds lots of yarn. This will become a nap time project until I get to the next garter section.

Here's a close up of the detail.

And since I needed a mindless knit, I cast on the Waveland shawl. I put a stitch marker (bright orange thing in the middle) on the right side so I remember to increase on that side. Once I got over 100 stitches I put in 2 small stitch markers, which you can barely see in the photo above. Between these 2 markers are 100 stitches. Now I only have to count the stitches outside those markers which is good because I have to increase to over 200 stitches.

And after seeing some finished pictures of the Fogliame cardigan, I bought the pattern and cast on yesterday. There are a lot of increases going on at different times so I wrote down when to increase on little sticky notes. There is a KAL going on right now if you're interested.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Finished Pair of Socks #4

Here they are, my fourth pair of knitted socks this year. 
These are on their way north for my mom's birthday - which is today, Happy Birthday Mom!

Top down but the stripes are opposite. One sock was knit as I frogged a shawl that wasn't working for me (too short). The other sock was knit using leftover yarn from  a pair of socks I knit a few years ago. I like that they obviously match but there's also something different about them. Think I might do reverse order stripes more often.

This was my first pair of top down socks in a while and I forgot how much I enjoy this construction. 

I love gussets. They're my favourite part of a knitted sock.

And these ones look good.

The day I finished this pair, I was wearing the second pair of socks that I ever knit and was able to compare. No holes in the new pair. 

Hope you like your new socks mom. Sorry we couldn't make it up for your birthday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More Finished Project Bags

Last week I finished up even more project bags using this great tutorial. You can see the other bags I made, here and here.

I think I'm going to keep the one on the left and the one on the right will be used to gift a present in a couple months.

I found a child's skirt from the Liberty of London clothing line that Target had a couple years ago at a thrift shop. Yeah, I was thrilled to get the skirt for about $1. I was able to turn it into 2 bags which I'm going to keep for now. I already have a project in the bigger one. You can see knitting needles sticking out the top.

And here is my attempt at using a pillow case for a project bag. The size is nice but the handles are really long.

It will be great to hold a bigger project, such as a sweater or the beginnings of an afghan. I hope to start a sweater before the end of March and this bag will get used then.

Floyd liked running around with what was left of the ribbon.

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