Friday, August 12, 2016

Stages of Knitting

I have returned to sock knitting.  These are really "leftover" socks but because the yarns are so beautiful, they are making beautiful socks.  I think I am at the point of heels, or just about, and that part always slows me down.

Last week I had to take a few steps backward.  I discovered that the bind-off I had done on the button band was too tight and it kept the band from hanging right.  And it is to be remembered that the band went from the bottom of one front panel, all the way around the neckline to the bottom of the other front panel.  I have no idea how many stitches there were but I got to take them all out and here you see me redoing the bind-off.  I searched through several loose bind-offs and chose the Latvian one.

This mess is a sleeve.  You may remember that I forgot to knit the sleeves on this "all knit at one time" sweater.  So I knit them after the body was done and now I am readying them to be put on the shoulders. 

I had thought to just knit the sleeves onto the body but couldn't figure out how to do it without having a "bump".  So I am currently binding them off, same as the button band, and then I will attach them.

I decided that once I begin sewing the seams of this sweater together it will be time to start on the cowl below.  I am only planning to do the smaller cowl, not the larger one below, but it will look much the same.  I bought the yarn above but have left it in the bag until the sweater is almost completed.  Next week I will put this yarn on the swift and wind it into two balls and begin.  Of course I am going to watch the Very Pink video tutorial one more time, just to familiarize myself with how to do the pattern.  I am really excited as this will be the first fairisle I have done with hand knitting.  Someday I will show some of the things I machine knit several years ago.

Last weekend we had a bunch of family in our house:  two of our children, and their spouses, two grandchildren and their spouses, a granddaughter-in-law, 3 great grandchildren, and 6 dogs (4 are ours).  We had a wonderful time with lots of laughs and quite often 2 and 3 different conversations going on at the same time.  This went on both Saturday and Sunday morning.  Both Eric and I were energized all the way until Monday morning when the energy started to ebb.  It took until Thursday before I got any energy back:  I was really a slug Tuesday and Wednesday. 

One of the things I did work on while I was "just sitting" was to sort through lots of embroidery designs, thinking about what I want to do for Christmas.  Last year, while I was bed bound, I knit washcloths for family members.  This year I want to do something different.  So I have put my thinking cap on and am searching for ideas.  Anyone want to help?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Quilt Fiinish

Only 2 years in the making but this one is finally finished.  I got the quilting done last week but I didn't get the binding on until today.

The quilt is a jelly roll adaptation.  I would sew the 2 1/2" strips together and then every 3 or 4 strips would get a batik piece.  I love the splotches of color amidst all that black and white. 

The quilting came from someone online.  I knew who showed it when I first had it on the frame in September 2014.  But all the time that as gone on in-between has driven that information right out of my brain.  Anyway it is all free motion quilting and fun to do.

While I was quilting I was looking for the binding I remembered preparing.  I hunted and hunted in all the wrong places but after the quilting was done I had an idea and went right to where the strip of binding was resting.  Yesterday I pressed it and wound it into this nifty roll.

Then today I put it in this basket that I bought at a quilt show a couple of years ago.  I love how it rolls off of the spindle and right on to the quilt. The basket is also great for holding those little bits of binding that are leftovers.  Someday they will join together for a fun quilt.

Not only did I have the binding done for two years but also the label.  It is now sewn into the binding and the quilt is done.  It is going to our great granddaughter, Scarlett, who will be 2 in January.  Fortunately this quilt is a full crib size so she will be able to use it well into a twin bed.

Tomorrow we are having a family get together.  There will be at least 14 adults, 3 children, and 6 dogs (4 are ours).  Our son-in-law is doing the cooking and he and our daughter are in charge of the food.  Eric and I have decided we will contribute fresh fruit and a green salad.  This will be the third time this kind of gathering has happened at our house in the last year.  It is always lots of fun: we are all fun people.

I have been looking at different quilts, looking for something that I think I would like to make.  I want something that is not too difficult and doesn't involve a lot of fabric cutting.  I still am having difficulty standing unless I am holding on to something.  I saw a quilt in the new Love of Quilting magazine that may be just the thing.  I would only have to buy one focus fabric and then use a bunch of leftover strips and other stash fabrics.  I feel the quilting juices flowing.   Gari

Sunday, July 24, 2016

2014 to 2016

  I put this quilt on the frame in September 2014 and then became sick eventually being diagnosed with cancer (breast and bone). I put in 19 days in the hospital and 6 months of bed rest before I was able to be up. Even with that I have only been able to stand at the frame twice. But today, the second time, I was able to finish the quilting. I started this quilt for our great granddaughter who will be 2 at Christmas. She will be visiting here in two weeks so I am going to try to get her quilt bound and the label on it so she can finally have a quilt from her Nana.
 I still have to put the binding on.  The current problem is that I sewed the binding together, lots of black and white strips, but that was over 18 months ago and I am not quite sure where I put it but I am about to make a concentrated effort to uncover it.
 The quilt is made from a black and white jelly roll and batik scraps.  It was a lot of fun putting it together.  The quilting is free motion and I think it was a pattern that Leah Day showed but I am not really sure.

 I designed the label, obviously in 2014.  I was really surprised to find it last month and have held on to it, carefully, so it would be ready for the finished quilt.  I have been so offended by black and white thinking that this quilt says "there are shades of gray and lots of colors in life" so don't box yourself in.  I still need to add the quilt info into the middle of the circle but it will get done this week.

Please note that this is my cat, sleeping on the deck.  The interesting part is that she is sleeping right outside the studio door.  I took this picture right after I jumped over the cat to get into the studio: I am right inside the door, looking down.  And please note that she is still there and didn't even know that I had been there.  Eric has been taking pictures for Facebook of the "37 places Stubby sleeps on the deck," but this is one that has become a favorite.

I am trying to put in a little more time on the quilting/sewing front.  I have a couple of sewing/embroidery projects I want to do and a few quilt UFOs I would like to finish.  And, of course, I have a couple of BOMs I am WAY behind on.  I don't move as fast as I used to but I seem to have as much piled up to do as always.  I guess I will either keep busy or be frustrated a lot.  We'll just have to wait and see which one takes over.  Gari

Linking to Patchwork Times

Friday, July 22, 2016

Close to Finish

 I am so excited, I am very close to being done with this sweater.  I only have 19 rows left to knit on the back.   

 These are the sleeves and as you can probably tell I have a lot of rows to knit before they are done.  I have been knitting the sleeves in the house and the body in the studio and nothing on a UFO.  I really want to get this done: I did send for yarn for the cowl I want to start so I have to get this project done and done.

No, I am not knitting this sweet child.  He is our youngest grandchild, Gus, and yesterday was his birthday.  He doesn't live close to us and doesn't know us but every time I see that sweet smile I feel kissed.

Our weekend is planned: some knitting, some quilting, some yard work, and some house cleaning.  A little work and a little fun and then the weekend will be over and back we go to knitting, quilting, teaching, cleaning, and a little fun.  We live quite an exciting life.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Completed, Progressing, Next

I got the white hat finished yesterday.  I made it one size smaller but it still is a little big.  The only reason I have been knitting hats is to have something on my head with the hot summer sun beating down on me so size does not really matter.  
It is hard for me to finally believe but the front of this sweater is done.  Now I have to extend the back to match, knit the sleeves, knit the button band, and seam the sides and it will be done.  And I will need to block it.  (Do I block it before or after I seam the sides?)  Of course this means this sweater will not be done this summer (I am a VERY slow knitter) but I will either wear it with a long sleeved pullover or display it on a mannequin.

Now that the hat is finished I am going to start a knitting UFO project.  I have been knitting the sweater in the studio where there are no animals to walk all over me and very few interruptions so I can count the repeats.  In the house I will be knitting socks and probably finishing up sweaters.  I haven't pulled out any of the UFO bags so they will be a surprise to me but I do need to finish things so I can use the project bags for new projects.

And I do have a new project I want to start.
This is called a Tesserino Cowl offered by Louet.  I watched a tutorial video on Very Pink and think I can do it.  I love cowls to keep my neck warm in the winter and this one looks like it will do the job.  But I can't start it until I get at least 2 UFOs finished.

We are expecting to have a quiet weekend so maybe I will be able to get a lot of knitting (and quilting?) done.  Have a great weekend everybody,   GARI

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sweet 16 and My Christmas Cactus Farm

 The above are parts of Block 2 of Esther Aliu's Sweet 16 BOM.  I am only four months behind but this is my attempt to try to catch up. 

 This is a picture of the five blocks we have gotten so far.  I completed the first one (top left) and the above parts are part of the second one (lower left).  But look at all the bits and pieces that go into the next three.  As I see it I will be able to use a lot of the scraps that I keep "just in case."  I have the long tan parts fused together and just need to fuse them to the "cake" base.  I have the pink frosting fabric picked out and the pink and white cream topping also.  I should have this done by the weekend and then I will be starting on Block 3 (top right)  Hubby is really looking forward to that one because of his love of donuts.

Over three years ago I bought a Christmas Cactus at Walmart.  I anticipated that it would die before Spring as some had done previously.  It, however, not only lived but thrived.  It lived in the bathroom during the winter but out on the deck the rest of the year.

So the next year I went to Walmart and bought a second one.  And this one has done equally well.  And in fact this year the "leaves" are getting bigger and thicker.  I am so proud of them.  The first one blooms bright pink and the second white.  And the both of them bloom both at Christmas and again in the Spring.

But last year I was still pretty weak and unable to shop at Walmart so there was no new plant to keep the streak alive.

Imagine my surprise and excitement when my sister told me that she had been given a cutting from our Grandma's plant.  I have nothing from my father's family so when my brother in law got a cutting from their plant for me I was overjoyed. 

This pot is only 1 1/2" high (I can't remember where I got it) and it seemed just the right size to root my new cactus.  I have it sitting in the bathroom window but move it when the sun shines directly on it and then put it back for indirect sunlight.  When we get roots she will be replanted and take her place on the deck.  Makes me smile.

We usually live a very quiet life but we seem to have several family members planning to visit next month.  Last year we had a family reunion here for the Iron Bowl football game (Alabama vs. Auburn).  I didn't do anything except smile at everyone but I really enjoyed having all my children here.  Next month we are looking forward to distant cousins and possibly even my sister and brother in law.  Additionally our granddaughter and her family will be here and we are hoping that a grandson and his family will be able to be here, too.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Of course after they all go hubs and I will have to take a 3 day nap.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Finish

I finished my hat.  And I like it so much I am going to make another in white/blue. 

When I was at this point I was supposed to begin decreasing.  The problem I encountered was that eventually my cable was too long for the number of stitches.  I wasn't worried as I had began my sock knitting on double pointed needles so off I went to find the right sized DPNs, except I didn't have the right size. 

Well, that sure didn't deter me, I just used what I had.  It did not take long before I had completed all of the decreases and pulled the remaining stitches together and the major part of the hat was done.  Then it was time to pick up stitches for the "floppy" brim and finish the hat
When I was getting ready to start a new row on my Spring Bloom sweater I noticed the colors lined up on the needle.  Isn't that a beautiful rainbow?  And the colors in this picture are true.

 This is where I have progressed to.  It's really funny how short this looks without the bottom band and being blocked.  I still have a lot to do on this so I was really happy to have the hat done for a June finish.

 I did laugh as I put this on the mannequin.  It is a male one and it occurred to me that I might need to bring a female one into the studio if I am going to knit garments. 

And this was a surprise today.  I received this beautiful hand made owl mug from our son and daughter-in-law.  I love well done hand made items and this fits that criteria.  Thank you Jessica and Todd, thank you, thank you.

And now, I hope everyone in the US has a great and safe July 4th.  And I would that everyone would take time to appreciate living in a free country and see it as a real privilege.  Gari

I will be linking with Patchwork Times.