Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WIP Wednesday

It's WIP Wednesday, time to show what progress I've made the past week.

I finished the first sleeve on my Beacon Hill cardigan. Perfect length.

Back view. Love the body length as well.

     Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do. I started the second sleeve this morning but I still need to do the button bands and the collar. When I try it on, I love it, but it's been hard to keep myself motivated to keep knitting it. There are a ton of other things I would love to be knitting right now so when I do finish this cardigan, I'll be casting on about 20 things.

This shawl has grown a bit this week, too. 

     And here's a fun, little crochet WIP. These are the first 5 of 22 snowflakes that will be stitched onto a fabric background in the shape of a tree. 

What have you been crafting this week?

Friday, August 26, 2016

2 Finishes for Friday!

      I am very happy to share two finishes today. I've been stopping myself from casting on four new projects to take their place. 

      Here is the Andi cardigan for my daughter before blocking. Buttons were from my stash. I needed 7 but I only had 6 that matched, so we decided on a black one for the top. Might change that someday. Here is my ravelry project page for the cardigan.

      After going through the washer and the dryer, the lace has opened a bit and everything shrunk a little for a better fit. The yarn is 100% cotton so I expect some stretch as she wears it. And we both agree her decision to use the same yarn for the buttonbands and sleeves was a good one. I still have some of each yarn colour left. I'm thinking she needs a striped hat.

The back. Perfect length.

Close-up of the lace and ribbing. 
      It's nice to finish all three Camp Loopy projects again this year. It's also a finish for Very Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL.

      My second finish this week was the neon socks. I thought about gifting them to my sister but I think I'm going to keep them. 

This is closer to their true colour. Neons are surprisingly hard to photograph.

      Now I have to get back to finishing up a few more WIP's so I can cast on a sweater for my older son, another sweater for me and a few pairs of socks. Did you have any finishes this week?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Knits and Quilts

      Somehow it is Wednesday again, so I took some pictures this morning of everything I have been working on the past week. I have a couple finishes to share on Friday and I cast on one new WIP this week. 
       Took some time to iron what I have sewn together for the Patchwork Olympics quilt. I've decided to alter the design a little so it's a bit bigger and I don't have to cut hundreds of 1.5 inch squares. 

       And since I had some quilting mojo back, I bought fabric. From Green Fairy Quilts and their anniversary sale, I picked up some yardage of yellow and dill. I'll be adding some red for a Saskatchewan themed Christmas gift this year. My brother and his family are currently moving there. I'm using the flag as inspiration.

      And I picked up 2 jelly rolls of Just a Speck. Couldn't resist. Hard to decide which pre-cut I wanted but ultimately decided on jelly rolls. Now to find the perfect pattern for them. These might become a quilt for my daughter. I haven't made a quilt for her in years. Or they might become a quilt for the living room that the whole family could enjoy.

     I have 2 full skeins of this yarn (discontinued but used in this sweater) left, but I'm starting with these scraps to make...

     ... a 400m Sprint shawl. I just knit and knit and knit until it's the length I want. Sounds easy to me and a great way to use up leftovers.

And I knit a few more inches of the first Beacon Hill sleeve. Ready to start the sleeve decreases.

       And I found this red scarf at the bottom of my WIP pile. Finally started the second skein this week. Would be nice to get this finished and ready to donate. It's not really this bright. Some yarn is just impossible to get right.

And a sneak peek for Friday Finishes.

What have you been working on this week?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WIP Wednesday

     Mixing it up today, WIP's that don't include the Andi cardigan. I have a couple knitting projects and I spent some time quilting yesterday so there's some quilty WIP's this week, too.

      First, a couple inches of the first sleeve of my Beacon Hill cardigan. I hadn't left myself any notes about where I was in the pattern so I took a guess and started knitting. Then had to rip out 8 rows. Leaving myself notes this time. It would be nice to have this ready by the time the weather cools.

Second neon sock is coming along. 

       Inspired by my sister's pictures, I joined in on the Patchwork Olympics. Lucky for me, I already had 4.5 and 2.5 inch squares cut so I was able to spend a lot of time sewing yesterday. I might have enough to make 2 quilt tops. You can find more info here.

       And I've been experimenting with an easier way to make a wedding ring quilt. Inspired by this pattern at the Moda Bakeshop, I came up with the above quilt. I used a curved ruler I bought years ago with a wedding ring quilt guide. I made one quilt with it and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since. Nice to find another use for it.

     The raw edges of the curves are exposed. I'm thinking next time I'll iron down the edge before sewing it on the background. I wish I had more of the above fabric to make it bigger. I plan on experimenting with the technique a bit. I've always wanted a wedding ring quilt for my bed but the thought of piecing a bunch of little pieces doesn't appeal to me and I've struggled to sew curves that look good. This might be a way to make one a little bit easier. We'll see.

Monday, August 15, 2016

We've Got Sleeves!

      A late Monday post to update my progress on the Andi cardigan. I finished the second sleeve this morning, took some pictures and finally found some time after supper, to write this quick blog post. It seems Olympics and potty training the little guy really eat up my blogging time. Good thing both Olympics and potty training are going well so I don't mind.

       When my daughter picked the colours seafoam and dusty rose for the sleeves, I had my doubts. Even seeing all the colours in person, I wasn't so sure. But once I started knitting the sleeves, I liked them. She decided to stick to the pattern and have 3/4 length sleeves.

      I got her to laugh about something here and got a good shot. There's enough of the green and pink yarn leftover that she has requested that I knit the buttonbands those colours. Collar will be gray. Should be interesting. I did block it this afternoon, as the pattern suggested, so it should be easier to pick up the stitches. However, it might take forever to dry. To keep me busy, I took my Beacon Hill cardigan out of hibernation. We'll see if I can keep my sleeve mojo going. 

What are you crafting while watching Olympics? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I have two WIP's to share this week.

      I finished the body of the Andi cardigan for my daughter. I made the smallest size even though she measures between it and the next size up (there's a 5 inch difference between sizes). My gauge is a little off so that helps. The body ended up longer than it was suppose to be but my daughter is happy with the length. And if I was making it for myself, I'd want it this length as well. The original has the bottom meet the top of the hips, while mine goes to the bottom of her butt. Now I get to start the sleeves. 

      And I finally cast on the second neon sock. It's fun to knit while watching Olympics. If it wasn't for the Andi cardigan, I'd be at the heel.

       What are you working on this week? I'm starting to get the quilting itch again but I think I need the weather to cool down a bit first.

Monday, August 8, 2016

What I Read in June and July

     Not really sure what happened to July but here we are in the second week of August. I'm a little behind in posting what I've been reading. There's been a good little mix the past two months. Don't think I'll be doing much reading this month with the Olympics on. Here's what I read in June and July.
June bookmark. Reading was nicely spread out.

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church
      I loved the first half of this book. The last half... not so much. It's been two months since I finished reading this novel, but I know I disliked how rushed the second half was. The novel follows Meridan Wallace. At the beginning, it is 1941, she is 17 and starting a degree in ornithology at the University of Chicago. She falls in love with a professor who is recruited to Los Alamos. Eventually they are married and she moves there. The first half of the book is about their first years being married and living in Los Alamos and the secrecy of creating the bomb. This was great. Meridan didn't really fit in. It showed how she struggled and eventually made a friend. Then after spending half a book on a few years, it starts jumping forward, years at a time. She has an affair, experiments with drugs, decides to leave her husband, then doesn't, and ends up forming a group to mentor young women. The last half tries to do too much (in my opinion), I missed the detail of the first half. As a writer, I wonder if an editor had something to do with it. Perhaps the book was longer and the author was asked to shorten it. Or it was short and they asked her to add more. Either way, the two don't seem to fit together. However, there was one line I enjoyed so much I wrote it down to share here: "Maybe I couldn't acknowledge that my mother could be fearful, so great was my need to siphon strength from her." (page 126). Isn't that a great line? 

      In the middle of June, I had a mini Buffy binge. Some of Season 10 arrived at our library so all other reading was set aside. I won't give any spoilers but there were a lot of references to the TV series in the 3 graphic novels I read, which was nice.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer : New Rules - Season 10, Volume 1
This is an inside picture due to an interlibrary loan sticker over the front cover.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I Wish - Season 10, Volume 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Love Dares You - Season 10, Volume 3
It's always a good issue when Spike is central to the plot.

Happy Family by Tracy Barone
      This novel revolves around Cheri Matzner - her strange birth, her adoption, parts of her childhood and what her life is like as a 40 year old. An enjoyable, interesting read. I'd recommend it but I don't know what else to say about it. Good writing. 

The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes
      This novel is about Abbey Lahey who is a super stressed mother/ wife/ publicist. After falling and hitting her head, she wakes up as Abbey Van Holt, married to the rich guy who asked her out once several years ago but she had said no. Now she is living the life if she had said yes to that date. Unlike most novels with this theme, Abbey remembers her old life and although she enjoys some of the perks of having wealth, she misses her old life. She tries to find ways to go back, but does she? A good read. I'm glad it changed up the theme a bit, allowing Abbey to keep all her old memories and really know the difference between the two worlds she experienced.

Now July. A little less reading. 

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
      Of the all the books by Mary Kay Andrews that I've read this summer, this one might be my favourite. Probably because I also like home renovation shows. Dempsey takes refuge in her father's hometown after a political scandal. She spends time fixing up the family's homestead while figuring out what she wants to do with her life. Of course she falls in love and there are several mishaps but overall enjoyable.

Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
       Now this is probably the Mary Kay Andrews novel I liked the least. The storyline is just too unbelievable. I think this is an early novel by Andrews and I don't think her ability to plot a novel is as good as in her more recent novels. Maybe a great beach read or for a lazy weekend otherwise, forget it.

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
      This is the second time I've borrowed this novel from the library. I was able to finish it this time. It was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. I started seeing it on a lot of must-read lists which, I have to admit, makes me not want to read it. I tend to resist overly popular works (Haven't seen Titanic or read Harry Potter). However, this was good ( I know, I know, maybe things are popular for a reason). This novel is about Alice who was working part-time, starts a new full-time job after her husband leaves his and starts his own law firm. She struggles to balance her home life now that she works so much. There was a lot about this book that I related too. It even brought me to tears when one of Alice's parents die. After all the ups and downs, Alice finds a path she is happy with. A happy ending that felt earned. Highly recommend.

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
       Would make a great beach read.  Follows movie location scout, Greer, as she takes over a small town to make the lastest blockbuster. Of course falling in love and having many mishaps along the way. Nice and predictable.

Spider-Woman: Baby Talk
      My husband thought I should read this one. Who knew Superheroes have babies? A fun read. Of course she has to fight Aliens just before giving birth, and right after giving birth, but it's all good in the end. A fun, quick read.

      What have you been reading? Would love some recommendations. I'll have a bit more reading time this fall and am ready for something awesome. Or maybe I'll just read all the Margaret Atwood books I haven't read yet.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Finishes!

I have a couple finishes to share today. 

       First, is my Filament scarf. This was my July Camp Loopy project and had to use 600 yards. I definitely did that. I have a little ball of each colour leftover. I finished it last Friday and I haven't blocked it yet. It currently measures around 70 inches long but will stretch. I added an extra 8 stitches to help eat up the yarn so it's a little wider than the 7 inches the pattern says. Above I have it wrapped once around my neck.

     And here's a picture to show it's length (and our sad garden that needs some rain). Yarn used was Cascade Heritage sock in the plum and steel colourways. This scarf will be going to a niece for Christmas.

     My other finish was a scrappy pair of anklet socks for me. Used up several leftover bits with these. Of course I have enough leftovers to make a few pairs of regular sized socks. I also looked through my stash this week and I have enough yarn to make a dozen pair of socks, without the leftovers. Eek. Time to get knitting or my mom won't buy me any yarn for Christmas.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WIP Wednesday

       Only 1 WIP to share this week (but I have 2 finishes to share on Friday!). August 1st was the beginning of Very Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL and the last month of Camp Loopy. Lucky for me, I'm knitting a cardigan for Camp Loopy so I can do both. 
     I'm knitting the Andi cardigan, designed by Kristen TenDyke. My daughter, Calliope, helped picked the colours (Dusk, Seafoam and Dusty Rose) and wind the yarn. It's nice to be knitting with worsted weight yarn after knitting a scarf with fingering weight yarn last month.  

      I've knit over 7 inches and am enjoying the lace and ribbing pattern. I think I even have the pattern memorized. Its been a such a fun knit that I haven't been able to work on anything else.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Show

      The local quilt guild had their quilt show this weekend. When we first lived in Michigan (2004-2010), I was a member and librarian for the guild. I had quilts in their 2006 and 2008 shows. It is a non-juried show, just an opportunity for guild members to share what they've been working on. There are also shops to buy from. There were definitely fewer stores this year. My daughter, Calliope, and I went Sunday. Enjoy the pictures. You can see pictures from the last show (2014) here. I took pictures of all the info cards so I know who made each quilt, however no links to their blogs or instagram feeds as that information was not given.

Trapped Vase of Flowers by Anne Sloan. Quilted by Bethany Heyworth.

Tumbling Charms by Kim Leugers. Quilted by Elisabeth Galea.

Burgoyne Surrounded by Ellen Wilson. Quilted by Crystal Smythe.

Starry Starry Night. Made and quilted by Anne Sloan.

Loved some of the props they had up between quilts.

Gypsy Whimsy made and quilted by Marilyn Knepp. 

Key Lime Pie made by Glenna Schweitzer. Quilted by Crystal Smythe.

Gingerbread Square made by Norma Mossburg. Quilted by Marilyn Lange.

The neat thing about this quilt was that it was embroidered and then coloured.

Forever made and quilted by Debbie Grifka.

Happy Strip Star. Made by Lori Rhode. Doesn't say who quilted it.

Dresden Plates. Unknown maker, bought at a flea market. Quilted by Gwendolyn Louis. 
I voted this my viewer's choice. 

Songbirds in my yard. Made by Ruth LaCoe. Quilted by Rose Marquardt.

Felted Red Poppy. Made and quilted by Linda R. Larsen. 

This had to be seen in person to appreciate the texture.

China Trip Memento. Made by Slice of Life Quilters. Quilted by Michelle Mitchell.
      The group of quilters enlarged a photograph and cut it into 6 pieces. Each member made a quilt based on their piece of the picture, which were then joined together to make the whole quilt. Neat idea.

Dreaming Bargello. Made by Susan Borchert. Quilted by Kim Heath.
Calliope voted this as her Viewer's Choice.

A Bee for Thee. Made and quilted by Barb Kilburn.

     A beautiful cathedral windows quilt reminded me that this pattern is on my must make list. Not sure who made this. It is the volunteer quilt for the guild. If you volunteer in any way with the guild, your name is put in for the raffle of this quilt. Maybe I need to rejoin?

Another picture of it because I loved it so much.

      And here is what I came home with. I didn't end up buying anything from any of the actual stores. Fabric is so expensive and I don't quilt enough to justify the cost. However, the guild had a table of fabrics leftover from their members only garage sale (which would have taken place during the July meeting a couple weeks ago). I filled a bag for $10. Definite theme in what I picked, except for the Christmas fabric which is begging to be made into gift bags.

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