small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

What an eventful week. I was so fortunate to get to go to the Paducah Quilt Show and meet up with many of my wonderful on-line friends. Some of these ladies I had met before briefly and many others I was meeting for the very first time. But it only took a matter of seconds for us to all feel like we had known each other a lifetime.

I was lucky enough to have a travelling companion to keep me awake on the journey. I met up with Jan Coleman from Midwest City, Ok and we rode together and shared our room once we got there. We stopped in Tulsa on the way and I did major damage at Loops, a yarn store in a very nice section of town. I bought all the Claudia's Handpainted lace weight yarn they had in the Hyacinth color way for a shawl I plan on making. 2 of the skeins felt very heavy compared to the others. They were supposed to be 50 g but a few weighed slightly less (45-48g) and then 1 weighed 73g and 1 weighed 83g!!! I am still slightly short on yardage for the shawl I want to make but I may be able to fudge and leave off a pattern or something to get me by.
We stopped at a little quilt shop in rural Missouri and got our quilt shopping started and then on to Paducah. We got there Tuesday within a few minutes of almost all the rest of our crew. We checked into the cabins which were awesome and got unpacked. We went immediately to Hancock's of Paducah, very different from your local Hancock's. The store was overwhelming but I still managed to buy some polkadot fabric from some of the most organized staff in the whole entire world. How else could they serve the masses that descend on them during the quilt show? We then went to eat and get a little more relaxed before hitting the hay and getting ready for the show the next day.

The Paducah quilt show is in the downtown area of Paducah right next to the banks of the Ohio River. The show is spread out over quite an area and you must be pretty healthy to do all the walking required to see it all. But I outdid myself. I walked 23 blocks on way to go to a yarn store!!! When I got there I found it to be nice but I didn't really get bitten by any one particular yarn so I defaulted to sock yarn. I bought 2 skeins of Louet sock yarn in a pretty spring colorway. Then I walked 23 blocks back!! I had planned on staying around the show until about 6 but gave in at 4 and we met and went to dinner. Then we relaxed in our cabins and refueled for the next day.

The 2nd day I hung around the cabin for quite awhile and then I finally went into town and went to the NAQS Museum. It was a gorgeous building right by the river and filled with amazing quilts. I expected more historical quilts but their current exhibit was mixed with lots of contemporary quilts which I do not always like that much. But still they were masterpeices. The light in the museum is very subdued to protect the quilts and it took my eyes forever to adjust but it was worth it. I then went and finished checking out all the vendors. To my amazement there was not 1 single bead vendor-how dear they?? I did buy some very nice silk kimona fabric and about 1 million fat quarters9lots and lots of dots) but no beads-how sad!! That night we had a great get together in 1 of the cabins and did some show and tell, lots of laughing and a little wine drinking. We got some great photos of the group and got to know those we hadn't spent much time with yet.

The last day at the show I walked down the street(again) for a lace demo and show. I bought a tatting book I have always wanted and some new tatting thread from Belgium called Venus. I ate lunch at the Catholic Church, Chicken & stuffing casserole and all the fixings. The churches did a great job of making plate lunches thru the week and I will hunt them down the next time instead of restaurants. I hiked thru the show and vendors one more time and then headed back to the cabin. We had a great celebration in honor of JanC's birthday. Debbie our guide and guru managed to order the cutest cake and picked it up without Jan suspecting anything!! We finished up with our visiting and got a good nights sleep before heading out the next morning.

My trip home was uneventful but I just struggled to stay awake and alert. I ate everything in sight to try and find what I needed, sugar, fat, caffeine & protein but it was not until Jan offered to sing to keep me awake that I perked up!! I delivered her home to Midwest City and headed out for the the ponderosa myself. DH & DKitty were glad to see me and I was glad to see them. I now have most of my purchases put away and am rested enough to handle going back to work tomorrow. It is my sincerest wish that we get to do another get together in the future and that more of us get to come. I am still amazed to find how this many women could come together over weight watching and quilting over the internet and stick together as long as we have. Lizzie's Forever!!!! This is way better than any college Sorority would have ever been. PS-additional pics are available for viewing in my Snapfish album:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Packing For Paducah!!

It's finally the last day before hitting the road. Tomorrow morning I go pick up Jan in Midwest City and head out to Paducah. We are going thru Tulsa and plan on stopping to do some shopping. Then on as far as we feel like it and stopping for the night. Then on to the Kentucky Dam Village where we will stay for the quilt show. I have never been to the Paducah Quilt show and don't know what to expect but I am sure I will be pleasantly suprized. I will be taking lots of pictures of the girls-oh and the quilts. Plus shopping, shopping, shopping. Some people say that quilt shows don't have enough quilts lately but I am fine with more vendors!!

I only finished 2 projects this week. First of all I finally got the Horcrux socks finished. These were made with a pattern from my Six Sock Knit Along in about 3 weeks. I used Regia Bamboo color that I bought from Carol's Knit Studio back before Christmas on size 1 DPN's. The basic stitch count was 60 which was about right for the yarn and needles. They are short socks and hopefully perfect for the in between weather we get every spring. I am still not happy with my cast on for socks. I tried long tail for one sock and knitted on for the other. The long tail was slightly to tight around the top and the knitted on was kind of floppy. I will keep trying until I get it right.

My other project just took a day but I love it. It is too bad my husband can not focus the new camera well as the picture is not the best. Once again I cropped out my face!! I made the Hanging Vines necklace out of the lasted Bead & Button magazine. It took 4mm bicone crystals, size 6 seed beads & size 11 seed beads. If I were to make it again the size 11's would be delicas. The precise shape of them just makes things work out better especially when doing the peyote stitch bar. I wouldn't mind if the size 6's could be a little more regularly shaped too. The necklace is beautiful but it doesn't always want to lie flat on my neck but I love it overall. I want to make it in at least 1 more color combo. Maybe I will try another thread when stringing it to see if I get a firmer end product.
I started book #4 of the Outlander series. Jamie & Claire have been thru more trauma & tragedy than any 2 people could humanly survive and still they keep throwing each other down and having their way with each other. Drums of Autumn have Jamie & Claire in early America living on his Aunt's plantation. The story promises to have daughter Brianna jumping back in time to join them. I am taking my book with me to read on vacation but it remains to be seen how much I can read while visiting with my Lizzies and sipping wine on the porch of our cottages. Til next week-CrazyAnn

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not much Going on

For once I do not have much in the way of finished projects. I did do 3 more washcloths this week but I did not figure anyone was that bored that they wanted to see those!! I did finish my first "Last Horcrux" sock and got to the heel on sock #2. Of course they are short socks so they worked up quickly. Hopefully I can finish sock #2 before I go to Paducah next week.

I did get more yarn bought when I stopped in at Carol's Knit Studio in OKC. I was set on buying more Misti Alpaca to make a sweater just like the one I just finished. But of course my eye drifted to a beautiful red Merino called "Autunno" by "Di-Ve" out of Italy. I think Carol said it was imported by Cascade. Carol said it was worsted weight but it looks like heavy worsted to me. I have yet to get it out and swatch it-maybe next weekend. She had a hat knit in this exact yarn and it was so slightly variegated-not at all stripey. I will be knitting it this spring and summer and then having to wait til winter to wear it-Wahhhhhhh!!!
One week to go till my trip to Paducah and to meet lots of Lizzies(my Weight Watcher's on-line friends). The quilt show will be a blast with lots of shopping, visiting, relaxing, food and drink!! We plan on stopping on the way at Loop's in Tulsa for yarn and at one quilt shop to yet be determined. I plan on looking for beads mostly and of course polka dot fabric for my next sane quilt project. Other than that I am mostly going for the Lizzie get-togeather!!
I finished the 3rd book in the Outlander series "Voyager" and have started book 4 "Drums of Autumn". Clair and Jamie are supposed to be in their late 40's now which was old back in those days but they sure do get it on alot still!! I do not dare tell DH about that part of the story or he will get jealous!! Until next week-Let's hope it stays warm and the sun shines once in awhile.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Done At Last, Done At Last-Thank God I Am Done At Last!!

I am finally finished with my sweater. It is so worth the effort and the wait. I am wearing it today on what may very well be the last chilly day of spring(one can only hope!). There are only a few things I will be changing on my next effort which will be as soon as I can get to Carol's Knit Studio for more Misty Alpaca. Next time I will be using a solid. The varigated has always shown up better in the pics than in real life but still it bugs me a little. Secondly I will change the neck just a little. I seriously need a size 5 Addi Turbo in a much shorter length so that when I get to where the neck narrows up then I can switch and I won't end up stretching out my stitches like I did on this one. Also I will start the neck itself just a little lower and do some short row shaping to raise the back neck and lower the front just a little. Other than that I am so happy with this perfectly soft, custom fitted dream of a sweater. PS-I love the cabling I did up the sleeve decreases although next time I may do the decrease stitch 1 stitch in from the cable instead of right next to the purl stitch.

Here is a pretty project that I have had on the burner for a few weeks. First I had to order the crystal beads from the internet and wait for them to come in. Then I had to find Delica's I wanted to use. Luckily I found some at Hobby Lobby on sale that worked perfectly. Then I could not find the right thread!! Finally I seemed to have everything-no wait-I could not find my Thread Heaven to pretreat the Nymo. But I made it anyway and except for being a little big on my wrist and the toggle is slightly to long for my taste I love it. The pictures don't do it justice -it sparkles so wonderfully. It has kind of a victorian feel to it although with different beads it could take on all kinds of moods. I learned a lot of things about beading I did not know such as the peyote stitch and following beading diagrams. I will use Thread Heaven next time or use the alternative thread suggested which I think was Fireline. I will make the toggle only 8 stitches long instead of 10. I also understand the pattern now so hopefully I will not make the same little mistakes I made early on in the project. I will also work on a better surface than my lap and not spill the beads several times!!! I also worked on my Last Horcrux socks a bit this week and am now well into the foot. I have tried them on and they look pretty good although I would have liked them a little taller. I should have made the ribbing after the lightening bolts a little longer. I don't like the way the dutch heel fits my foot. It is too narrow and the decreases are under my heel not along the edge. I love the yarn I used tho as it has so much color but none of it pools or stripes at all. Off my feet the socks don't take a great picture as the ribbing draws in and the lace does not but I did not have anyone to take the picture of my foot when I had it on!! These will be summer socks but I need to find the right shoes to show them off!!

The rest of my week was occupied by work, work and more work. I stayed late 2 nights out of 4 and came home dog tired each and every day. The weather has been dreary and cold. Thank goodness I still had my winter walking appearal at hand cause I needed it every day. I am still in the middle of "Voyager". I will probably finish this weekend, just in time to use my extra 15% off at Barnes & Noble for book 4. I also have 2 free movie passes so I may go to Bricktown and see a movie or 2. I am on call so I have plenty of time to kill. At least once I go buy the rest of my spring plants, go buy more beads, more yarn, more...more...more...!!!! Till next week then...

Monday, April 2, 2007

Knitting up a Storm!!

This was my fun project of the week. It is a fairly small washcloth called Garterlac which I found on a blog written by a guy knitter. Here is the link for the actual page that the PDF file is on. I will also add his blog to my links list. This washcloth was easy although it took a lot of counting to get started and the washcloth never looks "right" until the very end. You just have to trust the pattern. I never found a single error in the pattern and never felt lost in the pattern once I started. I will be making others for myself but probably won't use this as my Marine washcloth as it is more time consuming. I will be testing it out myself this week to see if the smaller size is still good enough to get washed with.

My other knitting for the week was also productive. I got the sleeves onto the circular needles with the body. I have gotten about 1.5" more knitted. You can not see it well but I am knitting a cable between the raglan decreases. I think this is going to be a nice touch. The color on screen still screams out at me and I am not seeing that in the real thing. I probably wouldn't make another sweater out of this handdyed again but would definitely make one out of their plain alpaca. The sock is the April/May edition of the KAL called the "Last Horrucks"-a reference from the Harry Potter series. The pattern looks like lightening bolts. The yarn I am using is Regia Bamboo which is 40% woll, 45% bamboo and 15% acrylic. The pattern is very stretchy so I only had to cast on 60 stitches on size 1 needles. I am at the point in the pattern where I should be starting the heel but I think I may make the ribbing a little longer before starting that. These have been fun although you really have to count in the pattern section. I had to rip out more than once because I was not all that focused!!

My other projects did not get done this weekend. I went and finished buying the beads for my braclet but they did not have the thread it called for. I have some in my apartment in OKC so I will bring some home and work on it next weekend. I did not get my DH's birthday card made-I still need some supplies which I will try to pick up after work next week. I did get 4 tomatos planted, 3 peppers and some herbs. I did get alot of weeds pulled and got in good walks all 3 mornings.
I got a little read this week-work just got in the way!! Claire has just gone back to Scotland and met up with the older Jamie. She was overjoyed to find that he never remarried and they promptly reconsumated their union. She brought him pictures of their daughter thru time so he could see. Wonder what he thought of seeing photographes for the first time?

I am leaving you with this pic of DH and the cat sleeping the other night waiting for me to come to bed. I rarely get a good pic of DH but I get to see him like this alot!!