Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Finishes

Have a few little finishes to share this week.

Crocheted these hats while on vacation. The one on the right I started and finished during our 10 hour trip north. These will be mailed with the other hats I've finished for charity, to Jen for her hat KAL/CAL that finishes next month. I've started knitting a 10th hat and would like to send her 12.

Before we went away, my husband had been complaining about the sad state of our floor cushions. They had become pretty flat since I made them roughly 6 years ago. Bought the 20 inch pillow forms from JoAnn's than made the covers. This is what they looked like after 6 years of being used.

While Floyd napped one afternoon, I ripped open the hand sewn seam. I put in squares of batting on each side and then put extra stuffing between the pillow and the batting. I sewed them shut again and took a picture to compare. Everyone is much happier with them now.

When we were north, my sister gave me an early birthday present. She had made it as a table runner (you can read more about it on her blog here) but I think I'll end up putting it on the wall so I'm going to add some buttons to the snowman. Love it, Sarah, thank you.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Finished Camp Loopy Project for July

We got back Tuesday from 12 days visiting family in Canada. A long but good trip. It was nice to see everyone in one visit. Since it takes us 8-10 hours to drive each way, I had plenty of time to knit/crochet in the car. I also got in some knitting during naps and in the evening. I finished the sweater I was knitting for my niece for Camp Loopy on Tuesday evening after we got home. There were times when I doubted that I would finish in time - like when I started the sleeves but I was able to get the second sleeve done in just over a day!

Daughter modeling the finished sweater before washing. I used a new yarn to me - Cotton Supreme by Universal Yarn. This might become my go to worsted for sweaters. It's soft, didn't pill after washing, great price and it can go in the washer and dryer. The sweater isn't for my daughter, but I used her measurements for the sweater since my niece is close to her size. She said it felt really soft. It was hard to get a good picture of the colour as I didn't make my daughter go outside for pictures, way too hot.

Garter panel going down the arms.

After washing. No pills. You can tell it's been washed but it hasn't shrunk. So relieved last night when I pulled it out of the dryer.

Close to the true colour. It's a very dark, rich purple. You can see it here.

Here is my snowman of leftover yarn. Two partials and 1 full cake.

I have my yarn for August's Camp Loopy project but I still need to wind it. I'll post pictures of it and my progress next week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Knits in Progress

 I started this sweater last week to make sure I knitted a project that used over 600 yards for my July Camp Loopy project and I've made good progress. Pattern is Flax and the sweater will be a gift for a niece this Christmas. Picture above was taken after I finished the first ball of yarn on Saturday.

Not sure if there's much difference in this picture but this is a few inches later. Picture was taken yesterday. I have roughly 7.5 inches left before the bottom ribbing. I think this will definitely use over 600 yards.

Been making progress on my Bradway shawl when I needed a break from the sweater. Still have several sections to knit. I haven't decided whether I am going to keep this or give it as a present. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Couple Finishes for Friday

Last month I finished a little addition for my desk. I bought a mini-charm of  Kate Spain's Daydream at a quilt show last summer and sewed them together some time in the fall. I quilted it earlier this year and finally put binding on it. It currently sits on my desk with a new plant bought a couple weeks ago. It's nice to look up from the computer/ sewing machine and see it there.

Finished mat. 

Another finish in June was finally adding an About Me page to the blog. It only took me 6 years. And it's kind of wordy but I like it. I made some collages using PicMonkey. It was fun to go back through pictures and decide what to include.

Pictures of me and my kids. I guess I'll have to keep changing this one as they grow up but these are some of my favourites.

Some of my quilts that I love. The postage stamp quilt on the left was gifted to my husband's boss when we left Idaho. It was hard to give away. You can read more about it here - I mention in the blog post that we kept it but later changed our minds and gave it away. The middle quilt is my Jelly Roll Bargello which I wrote a tutorial for that can be found here. This quilt is currently on my daughter's bed. The quilt on the right I called a Charmed Log Cabin as the middle is a charm square. I had taken pictures planning on writing a tutorial for it but I never got around to it. Perhaps this fall? You can read more about the quilt here. I still love it and use it.

Knitting texture. Passerine on the left, Wedgewood shawl in the middle and cables from a vest on the right. I think deciding which knitting pictures to include was the hardest.

And some pictures of me. On the left is me knitting on the swing in our backyard. I love knitting out there but don't get to do it very often. Wearing my Flatiron cowl in the middle and my feet in Lake Michigan, September 2013 during our first family vacation as a family of 5.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Camp Loopy Progress : Now I'm knitting a second sweater

I've been making good progress on the sweater for my niece that I am knitting for my July Camp Loopy project.

Last Friday, I finished the first ball a couple inches into the body of the sweater.

On Monday, I finished the second ball when I finished the body. Looks great. Is measuring the right size. One problem - I'm supposed to use 600 yards for my July project and so far I have used just under 360. There's no way I will use over 200 yards for the sleeves.  Good thing I bought enough yarn to make sweaters for her brother and sister at the same time.

Tried it on Floyd for scale.

He didn't enjoy modeling.

Tuesday evening I wound all 5 hanks for the second sweater.

2 of them had knots and decided the yarn label was the perfect place to jot down how many knots each hank had. I'll use this one last since it had 3 knots. I noted that one knot was near the end. 

Started the second sweater yesterday and am working on the yoke. Lots of stitch markers being put to use. Green is the beginning of the round. Garter section is between the blue markers and the red markers remind me to do the raglan increases. Both sweaters are the pattern Flax. A free pattern from Tin Can Knits

Information about August's project came out yesterday and requires 800 yards. I was going to make a cardigan for my daughter but I can't decide on a pattern. Need to get my order in today so the yarn will arrive before we go away on vacation. Also after winding all that yarn, I've convinced myself that I need a yarn swift - using the back of my mini ironing board is no longer convenient. There's one on sale at Knit Picks.... guess I'm doing a little shopping today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Quilt WIP

I spent some time at my sewing machine Saturday and finished the Flying Geese quilt top for my mom. I forget how short I was of the green holly fabric. I knew I had cut another green to be used but I thought just a few blocks would need it. Turns out I was 12 triangles short.

Yeah, I don't think this is going to work.

The second green isn't as bright as it is seems but I still had to take the quilt apart to fix it.

Good thing for me, I had Wimbledon to watch for the 90 minutes it took me to rip everything apart. First I separated all the rows. Then I separated all the blocks in the last row.

I took the holly green off 6 blocks, and the second green off the other 6 blocks. Then I sewed the triangles back on so the greens of each block matched. Then I separated the other 2 green rows so I could put the second green blocks all over the quilt. Finally, I sewed all the rows back together.

Much better. Not perfect but good enough.

I've since cut the border pieces and sewed them on last night. I have backing fabrics picked out which I hope to iron today and piece together. I plan to baste either tomorrow or Friday and start quilting it this weekend.

Linking up at Lee's for WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What I Read in June

I read an interesting mix of books last month. I started several more that I didn't like and returned to the library. My mother visited and returned 2 of my Margaret Atwood books so I can finally read them. My plans had been to make this a Margaret Atwood summer, but so far I haven't read any. My mom also read one of the books I had out from the library in the 2 days she was here. Guess I know where my love of books comes from. 

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
This was a reread for me but my daughter and I both read it as part of our Mother-Daughter book club. This was one of my favourite books growing up and I wanted to know if it held up. It did. I remembered most of what happened and it was fun to discuss how expectations for women have changed in the past 100 years with my daughter. She enjoyed it, too. If you haven't read it before a basic summary is: Valancy is a young woman in her late 20's, living with her mother and aunt and is expected to be an old maid. Her extended family teases and makes jokes about her. She goes to see a doctor and is told that she has less than a year to live so she decides to do what she wants. She moves out to take care of an old friend who is dying and marries without telling her family. Of course the diagnosis ends being wrong and a happy ending for Valancy follows.

Blood Lyrics by Katie Ford
A collection of poems. I should have written down my thoughts after I read it. I enjoyed most of the poems but some were better than others. I think poetry, and a person's reaction to it, are very personal so I don't know if I'd ever recommend a book of poetry. I enjoyed this one and others might as well. 

Recipes for a Beautiful Life : A Memoir in Stories by Rebecca Barry
If I had to pick a favourite from last month, this would be it. Read over a few days, I really liked this one. The book is journal entries of the author as her and her family move to the country so she can write her next novel and her husband can start a magazine. Off course nothing goes right. The house is a money pit, they have a second kid, the economy crashes and her second novel is a dud. I related to the author so much, even though we are very different people. I identified with her struggle as a mother and a writer and trying to balance the two. And fitting into a new town. I've moved several times, both as a child and since I've been married and I know what it's like to get to know a new town and new people all too well. The part that sticks out in my mind, is when her sister comes to town (she lives on the west coast, they live on the east), they all go see a therapist and get all their issues out before they spend time together. I love this idea but would never do it with my family. I think there are lots of people who would enjoy this book: moms, creatives, people who enjoy reading memoirs and anyone who wants to try something new. 

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
This is one of those read in a day books. Done by the author of "The Red Tent", (I finally watched that miniseries in June. Meh. Well done but just left me angry with how women were, and are, treated). This book is narrated by the 85 year old Boston Girl, Addie, to her granddaughter in 1985. It looks back at her childhood and how she met her husband. Her parents and older sister immigrated from Russia and Addie was born in the U.S.A. Like most of Diamant's characters, they are Jewish, and I find it interesting to learn more about the Jewish religion/culture when I read her books. It was enjoyable and I'd recommend it. It reminded me of "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Laurence and "The Stone Diaries" by Carol Shields.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Graphic novel. My husband read it first and thought the rest of us might like it, so we all read it. I really enjoyed the story and the drawings were great. It's nice to read a graphic novel that isn't graphic with violence or sexy women. It started as an online comic and you can find it here. If there are more Nimona books in the future, I would definitely read them. It doesn't take long to read, so if you're looking for a quick read and enjoy battles between good and evil, you might like this.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lots of Knits in Progress.

The needles have been very busy over here since I started 2 new projects this week. I cast on my Camp Loopy project yesterday and made such good progress that I cast on a new shawl today. July feels like it will be long with lots of knitting time. I don't know what happened to June other than it's over. 

I thank Wimbledon for giving me big chunks of knitting time during the day and the kids keeping themselves and each other busy. We have no plans this week so we've spent a lot of time on our butts watching tv, reading and knitting.

Here I am as of earlier today. I have just a few rows left before I separate the body and the sleeves. Look at the first ball of yarn - it's almost done! The Flax pattern is free and can be found here.

Shannon released a new pattern, Bradway, on Monday and I couldn't resist. She used three colours. I went through the stash since I refuse to buy more yarn (I have enough yarn to make 8 sweaters and several pairs of socks - time to get some knitting done!) and got out several balls of Cascade 220 Superwash leftover from other projects and decided to make a rainbowish shawl. I don't have purple and I'm not sure if I'm going to use red. I'm deciding which colour to use next as I go.

I wound the second hank of yarn for my Low Tide cardigan earlier this week.

I made a little progress on it between Camp Loopy projects. I'm hoping the sweater for July's Camp Loopy keeps knitting up fast so I'll have more time to knit it this month.

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