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, July 30, 2007

Whirling Dervish

What a productive week. Kind of like being bitten by a whirling dervish. Not only was work busy but once I got home for my 3 day weekend I have not rested. I finished up with alot of projects and started on several more. First of all I finished up on my Victorian lace socks. I just had to do about 2/3 of the foot to be done and most of that I did Saturday. With a little push thru I finished before noon on Sunday. I wanted to take a pic of the entire pair but it seems I left the 2nd sock in my apartment in the city, or at least I hope that is where it is!! Then I finished up with several quilting projects. I made the last 2 6" blocks I needed for the progressive round robin. These were very easy and I had them done in about 30 minutes. Now the project is ready to turn over to the next person in our rotation. I also whipped up a 12" star block for a dear friend who was not able to participate in our round robin. She had planned on doing a star theme for her quilt done in blues and whites. So when she had to pass on the project we decided to do some blocks for her. I did a Constellation Star in 4 shades of blue & white. It turned out quite well if you ask me!!

My biggest project of the week was totally unexpected. I have been trading Friendship Stars with the Ladies of my online Weight Watchers Group, nicknamed the "Lizzies" I kind of had a plan for how I was going to put them together. I had 22 from my friends and planned on having 22 of my own. I would put them in 4 rows with all the Lizzie blocks in the 2 middle rows and my 2 rows on the outside. Then I would separate them with 6" strips of a fabric that would bring it all together. On Sunday I still needed 5 more blocks of my own and I had all the 1/2 sq triangles already done sitting on the sewing table taking up room. I decided to get those made so I could clean up the table and move on to other projects. So I did that in no time at all. So I decided to maybe start cutting and sewing the strips together. For some reason I was obsessed and I got the whole top sewn together in one afternoon. I am so happy with the colors and set of the quilt and the finished size should be perfect for a winter lap quilt. I will be getting it to the machine quilter in the next month but it will be no rush because cold weather is quite a long way off.

I also managed to start a few new projects. The first and best to talk about is my Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Suprise Jacket. I am making it for the girl next door who is having her 2nd baby, a girl. I found some superwash DK by Colinette called Cadenza. I am using size 7 straight needles and I am about 12 rows into the project. My wrists are bothering me a bit so I can only knit a few rows at a time. I also ordered some solid superwash DK today from KnitPicks so I may not rush so I can add some solid stripes to the sweater randomly as I go. I also cut out a top for DGD #1 out of the Prarie Girl Pattern. I hope to get alot of sewing done on that tonight. That is after I get my last minute gardening done. I am going to be on call this next couple of weekends and will not get to be home alot so I have to get a few really important things done outdoors. DH will water sparingly but he doesn't fertilize or treat for fungus. So after this really busy productive week I doubt I will be as impressive next week but who knows?....

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Great Finish

Happy Monday to All-

I am happy to report that I accomplished 2 great finishes this week. I completely finished off the Peacock baby sweater set. The sweater went together well and even the sleeves which I had doubts about fit well with the sweater. I had quite a bit of craziness this week at work which cut down on my knitting time drastically but I still managed to finish knitting the last sleeve on Friday and blocked them Friday night. I ended up working 7 hours Saturday but I still came home and stitched the sleeves onto the body. I took a big stab in the dark and cast on 110 stitches on DPN's for a hat. I knit the brim in the solid purple 1x1 rib and then switched to the striping yarn for the rest of the hat. I was able to use the lace pattern from the sweater and kept trying it on the baby doll to decide when to do decreases. I am amazed that it came out well and looks great with the sweater. I went shopping on Saturday night and found a little sleeper that went nicely with the set and it rounded out my present well. I found the perfect little gift bag to package it all up in. It has a little pea pod made with sewing buttons on the front with the words "Sweet Pea" which is perfect for this recipient since that is her pet name for the new baby. Just to remind myself-the self striping yarn was Opal sock yarn and the solid was Jawoll. I knit it on size 3 needles switching to 2's to do the button bands. It took about 2 weeks of spare time knitting to get it finished. I think the newborn size should fit a newborn fairly well. The designer must have had real kids to try the patterns on!!
My other finish of the week was reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" In fact I just finished. I could not start until last night when I got home from OKC about 7. I read until midnight which got me about 1/2 way. Today I had some stuff that had to be done and I finally got to read about 6. I finished just a few minutes ago and it is just starting to sink in that the Harry Potter experience is now over forever. Will there ever be a series of books that cause as much excitement? Or encourage kids to want to read? Even Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia ever caused the same furor, probably only because of when in time they were released. Anyway I plan on rereading them all once I retire so I can enjoy them in closer sequence than when I read them before.

I did buy some things recently that I have to talk about. Last week I went to Guthrie and bought a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's "The Opinionated Knitter" I finally got some time to really read it this weekend and I was completely blown away by EZ!! She is my idol. Not only because she was a genius knitter but she lived her life in a way that I only wish I could. The stories she tells in this book make me realize that she was up there with the likes of Amelia Earhart and Florence Nightengale. She was not afraid of anything and forged ahead where no woman had gone before. She loved her husband, children, pets and her craft of knitting. And she wanted others to love it too. I would recommend this book to anyone who knits not just for the patterns but for the wisdom she imparts. I also bought some yarn to make the baby suprise jacket that is in the book. It is a Colinette hand dyed in a DK weight. I have some socks to finish up but by next weekend I ought to be able to get started. I am anxious to see how this mysterious jacket knits up with this beautiful hand dyed yarn.

Well I am tired from to much reading and not enough weekend. So until next time.....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Almost Salsa

The weather has finally turned Summer!! And with the heat comes harvest. When I came home from work this week I found that I had about 15 ripe tomatos, 1 yellow bell pepper and a very small jalapeno. I kept trying to figure out what I could make for dinner to use up all that produce. Suddenly it dawned on me to make Salsa. Hubby loves Salsa, I love Salsa, everybody loves Salsa. So I made Salsa. It was pretty easy except for chopping the hot peppers really really little. And then not touching your eyes or mucous membranes for the rest of the day with the fingers that chopped those peppers. It will probably take all week to eat this batch of salsa and by then I will have enough more tomatos to make at least this much again. Hope we don't get sick of salsa by the end of the summer!!

The weekend went by fast. Of course I did not get all of the things done on my to-do list. Saturday was spent with my dear Scrappy Ladies at the vo-tech. We are supposed to work on quilting projects but Carol and I usually end up bringing knitting. I had both of the fronts of the girl baby sweater set done so I took the yarn to do the back. After getting about 5 rows done and ripping it all back out because I can't count when I am distracted, I got the back started. I managed to finish it Sunday and got the first sleeve started. Today I sewed the body together and finished the 1st sleeve. Since the yarn I used is a sock yarn that includes yarn to re-inforce the heels and toes, I used that yarn to sew the body together. What a nice seam with the slightly smaller guage yarn. Now I wish all yarn came like that. Now just 1 more sleeve, both button bands and the neck edging. Of course I still have to find a hat and booties to knit to go with the sweater then off to the recipient before her baby shower.

This week I had the opportunity to run up to Guthrie to the yarn store up there. It is the shop that has been around the longes. The name of the shop is "Sealed with a Kiss" It is run by a lady from my past in Lawton. I remember her but she has never acted like she remembers me!! I ended up buying 4 more balls of sock yarn. 2 of Opal, 1 solid 1 patterned. Then I had to have 2 more balls of Colinette Jitterbug!! I had a project in mind for the Jitterbug but I am going to shelve that and use it for socks. The reason for that is the book that I bought while I was there. I mentioned wanting the pattern for the Baby Suprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. She graciously sold me "The Opinionated Knitter" (for 30$ of course!!). I thought I could just use the Jitterbug for the newborn size but once home I realized that she wrote the pattern for a yarn that knits up 6 stitches to the inch. Now this is not a pattern that you can just recalculate especially if you have never knit it before. So I searched the internet and found another variety of Colinette that should knit up with that guage and I will order some to try the Baby Suprize Jacket at another time.

Hubby and I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tonight. It was pretty good. Much better than the last movie. Now I am all ready for the book which arrives on Saturday. Of course I am in the City until Sunday cause I am on call. But once I get home I will hit the book with much ferocity. And no one better give the story away before I get to it myself. And no promises on what I will get done next weekend other than reading...................

Monday, July 9, 2007

I hope everybody has had a good week-I have. Last Tuesday we were on our last MRI patient that had to have anesthesia with several walky-talky outpatients to go. Then the holiday for the 4th was to start. Well on that last anesthesia patient the scanner decides to die before even finishing up the exam. We got enough for the scan to be read but barely. When the service guys came in they determined that the worst possible part was fried and at the worst possible time, righ before the 2 days holiday that GE was taking. SO with the prospect of not scanning until Monday I volunteered to go home for the rest of the week. I had PTO's to burn and projects to work on. And I never take a stay at home vacation so I was excited at the prospect. I did end up getting alot done. I kind of had a game plan and I stuck to it some. So some stuff on my list got done and some did not. Some stuff not on my list got done instead like making major headway in my sewing room with the packing and organizing. But I did not get Maddie's top cut out. I did get 1 of my RR blocks made and all my current FS stars sewn togeather.

On the knitting front I finished the 1st of the baby sweaters I need to make. This is the only one for a boy. It is for the sweetest ICU doctor who is having a baby soon. I still need to make a hat but I will put that off because I have a looming deadline for a girls sweater. I really love this little sweater although my pictures do not do it justice. I need to buy a cheap baby doll to be my model since none of the babies I knit for are close by (or even born!) Things I learned on this project was intarsia-there is a strip knit up the back of the sweater in this technique. I also figured out that I could use my sleeve ham to help sew the sleeve into the sweater. I basically divided the body of the sweater and the sleeve into equal 4ths and marked with pins. Then I put the sleeve ham thru the armholes of the sweater. Then I could place the pins placed on the sleeve edge up to the corresponding body pin. I could then anchor the work with more pins and merrily go about sewing the edges togeather. I thought it was slicker than snot myself. And I got the best looking sewn in sleeves I have ever gotten. This was on a small baby sweater but I bet it would work just as well on larger projects although you may have to sub divide the peices more. Or I may look for a larger tailor's ham to use. Any firm padded curved surface that will fit in the armhole should do fine. Pattern was Devan, from Bee's Knee's Knits although I downloaded the "Knitty " version. The yarn I used was Colinette Jitterbug. It was the first time I have used it and I am absolutely in love with it. The hand-dyed yarn has such a nice smooth feel to it for being 100% wool and it is treated to be washed since it is actually sock yarn. The dark cranberry colorway was only very subtly variegated. But the blue had lots of different colors running thru it including some of the cranberry. The colors only ran for 5-6 stitches each time with lots of blue between. I can never tell how hand painted yarns will knit up but this is one time I was thrilled with the result. I will definitely use Jitterbug again and hopefully soon.

I had alot of trouble with my arm this weekend. I can't decide whether I messed it up pulling weeds in the garden or cutting thru 6 layers of cardstock with my rotary cutter. But it cut down on my knitting due to the pain. I have taken quite a bit of Aleve and taken care to not overdo and it is finally getting better!! Getting old is hell!! I also felt pretty ancient when I went to buy a new phone this week. It took me 2 days to get it set up and of course I have not even come close to using all its features yet. All I wanted was a phone and of course it has a camera and a MP3 player. But I actually came close to buying an iPhone. I got to mess with it at the store and it was easy to use and had so much stuff on it. But a smart person does not buy brand new technology. One gives it a chance to have the bugs worked out so maybe next time!!

Once again it is time to post my goals for the next week. I hope to be well along with baby sweater #2, I mean well along. And I want to get at least 1 or 2 more RR blocks made. I would love to have Maddie's top cut out and maybe partially sewn. But we will see how it plays out and I will let you know next time........
See Eileen-here's my head!!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wow!!-Is that the sun I see?

The clouds have finally parted after 17 straight days of rain. It rained so much that we had flooding that caused roads to be closed down. In fact it took me an extra 1 1/2 hrs to get home Friday night as they detoured me thru the wild life refuge and then the only road back was slower than anything due to the increased traffic. Besides it is the road to all the casinos and nothing keeps folks from gambling on Friday night.

Remember last week when I listed what I wanted to get done this week. Well... drum roll please.....I got it all done and then some!! I finished my shawl on Saturday and blocked it that day and the next. I got to take it off the blocking board this morning and see how it really looks on me. But I had to wait for hubby to come home to get a pic of it on me. And for some reason he is not all that good with my camera and I am not pleased with the pictures. Maybe I should have someone else model it and I could take the pictures. So here are the final stats. I started it sometime in early May after buying the yarn on our trip to Paducah. It is Claudia's handpainted fingering weight in a colorway named "Hyacinth". It was purchased at Loops in Tulsa and the pattern is from "Victorian Lace Today". The main panel was knit on a size 6 Addi Turbo Circular and the border was done on size 7 DPN's. The only problems encountered was learning the hard way that you have to slip the 1st stitch on every row in the main panel. And then when knitting the border on thru these slipped stitches you must count very very accurately. I also had problems with my provisional cast-on. I should have used a very smooth yarn to allow for the stitches to pull out smoothly. And honestly I am not sure if the provisional yarn ever really pulled out since I took it out 1 stitch at a time. I used the crochet type of provisional cast on and next time I will try another method to see if I can find a better way. But I love my shawl and will be keeping it on my bedroom chair in my apartment in the city since that is where I sit and read/knit at night.

I also got my 2nd victorian lace sock on the needles. In fact I am almost down to the heel. I expected to get one front done on my baby sweater project and I got both fronts and a large part of the back. I finished my skirt and even got a few FS stars knocked out. I almost forgot I needed to put togeather a box for my Scrappy Ladies Progressive quilt project but I threw that togeather at the last minute too.

For next week I need to work diligently on the baby sweater project. I found out that I need a 2nd baby set by the end of the month and a 3rd by August. I am having trouble finding the yarn I want for the next 2 sets which will be for girls. I am enjoying the Colinette Jitterbug I bought for the boy set but can not find similar for girls. I am going to go try Carol's Knit Studio since I know they have a decent selection of Opal which has self striping and solids which are necessary for this project. I did not get any pics of the progress on the sweater as it has not been blocked and the peices are rolled up and not very attractive at the moment.

The garden is producing a little again. Actually the rome tomatos may come on strong this week as there are quite a few pinky ones now. The peppers are starting to bloom again and hopefully setting. We were finally able to mow and weed eat so the yard looks a little better although the grass is not as healthy as it should be after being under water for so long.

No reading this week as I am taking a break until Harry comes out in 3 weeks. I tried to pre-order today but am having trouble with Barnes & I think my email provider blocked their emails and now I am email hell!! Till next week then......