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, September 24, 2007

Beauty on the Wing

Well this week nature did cooperate. The other evening I just happened to glance out the back door and I saw a fluttering in the garden. At first I thought it would be a Monarch since it is very close to the migration season. But I was happily suprised to see a beautiful unblemished Swallowtail. This one even posed a little for some pictures even tho the light was low and the evening air was cool. I have been watching for him to stop back by but so far no luck. So at least I have these snaps to remind me of his glory.

I did finish up my Tidal Wave socks this week and they are as gorgeous as I hoped they would be. I washed and blocked them and they are so soft and cushy. I can't wait until cooler weather so I can slip them on and enjoy them for real. I started a 2nd pair using Colinette Jitterbug in the Popsicle colorway on Wednesday. I got the ribbing and 3 pattern repeats done easily by the end of the workweek. I knew they would be shockingly bright out of this yarn but I thought what the heck-if nothing else I can wear them to bed. But when I switched to smaller needles further down the leg I did not like how the colors pooled out so I did something I do way to often-frogged them. I will use the yarn for something else, probably for the DGD's who love bright colors.

In just a little while I am going to swatch some yarn I bought late this spring and try to make a final decision which project I will make from it. It is the Autunno yarn from de Ve' in a very nice rich tomato red. I am sure it will be a EZ pattern as I can not get away from her yummy organic designs. Hopefully by next week I will have some progress photos of what ever project it decides to be.

I did get productive in the sewing room. I whipped up a cute skirt out of the same pattern I bought at the Paducah quilt show. I made this one out of 2 contrasting fabrics, 1 for the body of the skirt and the other for the flounce. It turned out so well but it was a little hard to get a picture to show here so you will just have to imagine.

I finally got my invitation to Ravelry and have spent way to much time organizing my finished projects, stash and books. It is a lot of fun and does not replace blogging in any way. I love the way you can cross reference patterns, yarn, books, people, ect. How anyone could have imagined this web site, design it and execute it as well as they have, I can not fathom but thank goodness they have. Now that I have gotten most of my recently current projects in it will not eat up quite as much time as it did this weekend. From now on, any time I put into the website should be entertaining, not work.

I am on call this next weekend so hopefully I will get some real knitting done on whatever my project ends up being. I am also hoping to get in at least one really long walk if the weather cooperates. Also I hope to get to see my good friend Carol since we have not gotten together for some time now. I will not get to many more chances to see her since our move out of state is looming pretty close. So until next week, keep those needles clicking and the brains ticking...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quiet Week on the Prarie

Usually I like to start my weekly blog with a nature shot. But this week nature did not cooperate. Several times the birds were playing joyfully in the sprinkler and the bird bath but even if I snuck out the front door and quietly tried to get pics, the birds scattered as soon as I got even a little close. There were not a lot of butterfly sightings or anything else interesting. The cat wouldn't put on a show and the flowers are tired and saggy. So maybe next week I can get a decent shot of something to show you.

This week was a decent one for my knitting. I managed to get the 1st Tidal Wave sock done with just a few inches of yarn left over. I had to peice together every last bit of yarn I had to make it to the end but they fit and that is all that matters. Loose ends can always be woven in no matter how many there are!! I also got the 2nd sock done just about to the same point that sock 1 was at last week so I am not going to bore you with another picture. By this time next week I should easily have sock 2 done and then I will show you a picture of them together maybe on my feet. I am going to immediately start a new pair in the same pattern, I just have to decide which colorway of Jitterbug I am going to use. 1 colorway is very bright and bold and the other is kind of pink and girly. Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

I did manage to get the Progressive round robin blocks finished!! I already had 2 pinwheel blocks done last week. It was a block I made years ago in a 5" size and I remember it being quite easy. Trouble is I needed it to be a 6" block and that was not so easy. But I finally found a solution that wasted a little fabric but it worked perfectly and I whipped up another 2. Then I was stumped on what else to do. I still had a requirement to do one more 12" block worth. I cruised the website Quilters Cache and found a paper peiced Chicken block. The description of the block size was "around 8"!! I am not used to that kind of description and did not know what to expect. But I printed out the patterns and got started. It had been awhile since I paper peiced and it took some re-learning needed to be done. But finally I managed to get the block peiced and indeed the block was an odd size. Mine turned out 7.75" X 8.25 Now that is not an easy size to do anything with. I was already to start another one and adjust the size as I went. But I finally decided to put some wide borders on and make it a 12.5" block. So each side ended up a different fabric/color and then I trimmed it down slightly assymetrically on purpose. When I put all the blocks up (mine and Colleen's) they seemed less busy than I expected-Thank goodness!! Hopefully the other people in my rotation can look at all the blocks and come up with something even more to bring them all together even more.

I think I will cut it short tonight and get some last minute housework done. I am not even going to try to predict what I am going to get done this week. That way I will not disappoint myself when I fall slightly short. Sometimes I need to focus on what I do get done instead of what I didn't!! See you all next week....

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Walk in the Park

Today I decided to go back to the walking park in town and try to get some pics of the Prarie Dogs and other wildlife. It was really gray outside and trying to rain so the colors are not so intense as usual but still beautiful. The prarie dogs were not as cooperative as I thought they would be after watching them on my walk last week. I guess they saw the camera and got shy!!

I had my first 3 day weekend in quite some time. I thought I could get so much done but as usual my list only has a few thing crossed off. Most of my time was spent buying, setting up and getting used to my new laptop!! It was a long over due purchase and will eventually make my life so much easier. But the learning curve is steep and getting every thing where it should be has been time consuming. There are several programs on Windows Vista that I am not sure I like. Picasa2 is a program that organizes pics and in some ways I like it but when it comes to using Blogger it is a pain. We will see what happens after I get a little more used to it. I need to reload my old photo editing software to see if it works on Vista. Either that or I will get Adobe Photoshop which will really have a steep learning curve!!

One of the things I got to this week was a new sock project. I have been wanting to start the Tidal Wave Sock pattern put out by Tofutsies by way of good knitting friend Carol. The pattern is free if you purchase some Tofutsies yarn but I have yet to do that. I wanted to use my new Claudia's handpainted Fingering weight yarn in the Blue Terracotta colorway. My first ball was only 44 grams, a bit short of the 50 I am supposed to get. I have found this to be very common with her yarn, more so than other handpainted brands. But once I started knitting I was in love with the project. I started the ribbing on 2's and continued for 2 repeats before being able to try them on my foot. They were plenty big enough so I switched to 1's to knit the remaining sock. This is such a easy pattern to knit and this yarn is so nice to knit with. I got alot done in a little time and should be able to finish sock #1 this week. I am so in love with this pattern I may immediately knit the same pattern in one of the Colinette Jitterbug yarns I have lying around. Once again I made the heel flap a little narrower and longer than usual and it fits my foot very well. My only hope is that I don't run out of yarn before finishing the sock.

The other project I worked on this weekend was the gift card book for DGD #2's birthday. When I asked her what she wanted she mentioned a remote control dinosaur that is on the shelf at Target. As soon as I saw it last weekend I knew it was "her" all the way. And grandma would have just bought it right there and then but it was huge! So I bought a gift card so she can go and pick it up herself and save the postage. But grandma could not just send a generic gift card in a store bought card. I had it in my head to decorate a box or something to stick the card in, something she could save for awhile. At Michael's I found a blank gift card book and all I had to do was decorate it. I bought some chip board accents awhile back intending it to be for her birthday card and I put those to use. I searched thru all my old pics and found one of her that showed her playful side-a clown nose and big glasses!!! Perfect for a birthday project. So here is my final product and I am pretty satisfied. It could always be better if I had access to unlimited scrapbooking supplies. But then again a simple birthday card can turn into a major expense that way quickly. More than a remote control dinosaur!!

Well that is about all my week brought to pass. Well except for the beautiful Hawk that landed on our back fence on Saturday. He was there to try and catch his dinner out of the honeysuckle. All the little sparrows that come to feed off my feeders hang out in the dense honeysuckle vines and the hawk just thought it was a smorgesborg all set up for him. But after I got in a couple of very quick shots he flew off without any supper-at least I think!! I was in awe at his sheer size and majesty even tho he would have snatched up any stray pets I might have had in the back yard. Well this week I am not going to promise any finished projects for next weekend and we will just see what comes to pass. As always-knit on friends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nature's Beauty Times 2

Just when I thought I would not have a great picture to start my blog for the week, nautre gives me a perfect subject. About 7p.m. tonight it was just barely misting and I was complaining we needed more rain. All at once my DH tells me that there is a beautiful double rainbow out and I grab my camera and the tripod and head outdoors. I did not have time to really get the settings on the camera right for the situation but I still think these are pretty impressive. The rainbows were both complete arcs but that would have taken a fish eye lens to capture in total. These were the best rainbows I can ever remember seeing and I have seen many in my day. It lasted for almost 20 minutes and had all the neighbors out oohing and aahing. Now if we could just get that rain I think we need!!

I managed to finish several knitting projects this week. The first would be my Scottish Wave socks. Unfortunately the end result was dissappointing. All during knitting of the 2nd leg I kept checking to see if the stripes were lining up the same and they seemed to be just perfect. But then the foot of the 2nd sock was not looking at all like the 1st. When I was finally done I took the socks outside to photograph and I realized the socks really didn't match at all. The greens were quite different and the amount of purple in each was vastly different. I took the socks into the shop I bought the yarn at and they said they got alot of complaints about the dyelots not being true. The owner gave me a 25% discount on my purchase that day and I managed to bring home some nice Claudia's Handpaint Fingering weight for a new pair of socks. I plan on making the Tofutsies "Tidal Wave" socks after seeing my GF's. They are very pretty socks and I think they will look good in the colorway I picked. Hopefully by next week I will have pic to show of the new socks. I am not sure I will ever post a pic of my finished Scottish Wave socks but beleive me I will still wear them even if it is only around the house and to bed.

The 2nd project I finished up over the week was the 2nd Baby Suprise Jacket. I did this one in the same Colinette Cadenza in a grey colorway with reds, blues and greens mixed in. I made the stripes out of some Jaeger "Matchmaker" which has been discontinued to my dismay. I am quite happy with the final product although I still have some room for improvement in my next attemp. I made some notes on my copy of the pattern of things I liked and things I want to rethink next time out. This BSJ is for my new neighbor in my apartment. I need to get some more yarn and get started on a 3rd BSJ soon but first I really need to get some of my stash knitted up into something maybe for me me me....

I really didn't get any sewing done this week since I was up in the city for work for the entire week and weekend. I got to the quilt store early in the week since I felt the weekend might be a washout due to being called in and I was right. I got called in twice on Saturday so I didn't get much of any shopping done over the weekend. I found some more fabric to go with the Progressive Round Robin and a few more random FQ's for quilt seeds. I did get every thing washed, ironed, folded and put away but that is about all. I was searching for some decent dinosaur fabric for birthday PJ's for DGD#2 but I guess dinosaurs are out right now and I could not find anything to suite me. Oh well-I always have that kind of luck being way behind the fashion trend!!
I am so ready for a easy week. Work has been a bear all September but now that all my co-workers will be at work it should ease up. Maybe next week I can get some more projects posted and actually post to the Zimmermaniac blog that I found. I can not beleive I did not know about the blog specifically made for Elizabeth Zimmerman's fans and their projects. I spent many a moment checking that out this week and I hope to be a contributor soon.....