Thursday, May 26, 2016

Me and My Crafts

 This has been a week of transition.  With the completion of the Gentle Rain shell I had to find other outlets for my "creative" talent.  I have focused on sock knitting because I already had two pair in process but they had been abandoned as the shell got closer to completion.  There is something about finishing that compels me to focus on the goal.  Anyway, these striped socks are now up to the heel and I am half way through one.  I really like doing the FLK heel but always have to watch the videos and cannot do them without the written directions. 
Once I have seen the videos I wonder why I couldn't remember and it is really easy to knit away.  My only problem this week has been that Eric is still on vacation and every time I go to the studio he arrives within 20 minuets saying "break time" or "lets go to lunch somewhere" and I find it hard to get things done.  But according to the calendar summer classes begin next week and I will have 4 mornings a week .... Yay!
 Almost as soon as I got my shell done this sweater was demoed on Very Pink Knits YouTube.  Well, not really demoed, more like talked about.  Anyway, it is a lace pattern and done differently, all one piece.  The pattern is free so I printed it out and practiced and practiced until I felt I could follow the chart: no written pattern which is the only way I have knit until now.  Then I sent for the yarn.

Isn't it pretty?  And it is so soft.  And it isn't in a ball, ready to knit.  It has to be wound into a ball.  I have a skein that I tried to wind without a swift, that thing below, and it isn't pretty what happened to it.  It is still a terrible mess that I need to work on. 

 Anyway, I moaned and whined and complained until hubby, who really loves me, ordered the above swift.  So now I need to get the older yarn off of the ball winder so I can use it with the swift to wind that beautiful yarn into balls, ready to knit into that beautiful cardigan.  I bought enough yarn to make it longer as I don't like things that cut me off at the waiste.
While working on applique I spend quite a lot of time auditioning thread.  With each thread change I will have several spools of thread lying on the piece while trying to find just the right shade to either match or compliment the fabric.  I am very lucky, over the almost 20 years of quilting and machine embroidery I have collected a plethora of thread.  However it does take some time to go through it all to find just the right one.  Poor me!

 I did finish the machine applique on Block 1 of Esther Aliu's Sweet 16 Mystery Quilt.  It really isn't as bumpty as it looks.  It is lying on what will be the background fabric but all 10 blocks will be appliqued onto just one large piece of fabric so that has to wait.  There is a stand foot and a knob on the top but I am going to wait until I have all the blocks before adding those adjoining pieces.

I am really looking forward to this weekend.  We will be going to the beach to spend time with our great grandson and his mother (to bad our grandson has to work).  We always have a fun time with this section of our family and as they will be moving back to Colorado next winter we want to spend as much time with them as we can.  I hope you all have as good a time as we plan to.  Gari

I am linking with Patchwork Times for more knitting inspiration.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Knitting and Maybe Cleaning

And I had to share this little owl.  I ran into it in Walmart in the children's department: it is the perfect size for a socks project bag.  Just shows that you have to keep your eyes open no matter where you are.

I think it has been years since I won anything but recently I hit the jackpot.  I won these items from Julie at The Crafty Quilter.  My winnings included a quilt pattern, a Moda charm pack and a beautiful fabric necklace made by Julie.  I was excited when she told me I had won but way more excited when I opened the package.  Thank you, Julie.

People who have been reading my blog for some time know that I became quite ill last summer.  But really it started several month before, we just didn't realize what was happening.  This picture really shows how long it has been since I was up and going: this quilt was put on the frame in September, 2014.  I was whizzing right along and then two things happened: The machine started snapping the thread and I was unable to stand long enough to deal with it.  So this is where the quilt is now and I have quilted about 3 rows and have 2 to go.  I should have it done this month but the next two pictures will show why that may not happen.

This is my ironing board.  Both ends are piled with fabrics from three or four different projects.  With just that little space I have not been able to do much and am easily frustrated when I try.  My goal this week is to clear this off so I can begin to be quilting productive again.

However there is one other problem.  Under all of this, accumulated over the last several months, is my 3' x 5' cutting table.  My current plan is to put everything here into a laundry basket so I can work on the table and then work from the basket to put things away.  During my illness I would come to work, get things out and then be overwhelmed either by the mess or my lack of energy and just leave the area.  My husband offered to clean it up but I was afraid I would never find anything so I am going to work at it a little at a time.

My studio is a 3 room mobile office divided into a quilting room, a sewing room, and a prep/knitting room.  All of the rooms need work but I think that if I can get these areas up and running I can deal with whatever else needs to be done.  At least that is my plan.

I am very fortunate.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer that has moved into my entire skeletal system.  We thought it was a death sentence but with medication I appear to be MUCH better than I was and am able to do most of what I was doing before I knew I was sick.  God has been so very good to me and I hope to be able to use the time given to me wisely.  Gari

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On The Needles 5/4/16

This is on the needles right now.  It is Gentle Rain from the Love of Knitting magazine.  I have both the front and back done and they are seamed together.  I don't know if you can see but I have started picking up stitches around the neckline so I can start garter stitching it. 

It was really funny last week when I started picking up stitches.   I got a little way around and then I decided I didn't know if I was doing it right.  So I took a little time to watch 3 different YouTube videos and discovered that I was doing it the same as all three.  So this week I will be picking up the rest of the stitches and knitting the neckline in the round.

I wanted to show the lace panel again: it shows so much better when it is hugging "her" hips.  This was my first attempt at anything lace and also the first time I have knit with a "slub" yarn.  And, it is cotton and something, again something new to me. 

I have started a new pair of socks but there is nothing to look at when all I have is a little tip of the toes.  But it was all my two at a time sock knitting that allowed me to knit the front and back of the above sweater at the same time.  I guess it is all coming together.

Now I better get busy and get that sweater/shell done so I have a finish this month that is not a mug rug.  And I have lots of BOM blocks to complete/start, most leftover from last year.  Anyone want to come over and clean up my studio so I can work in there?