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, November 26, 2007

Let the Snow Fly!!

As you can see-The Adult Tomten is done!!! I struggled to put the finishing touches on over the Thanksgiving Holiday. In between re-doing all the buttonholes, getting called in and having to wait for the blocking to get dry, it finally was ready to wear on Saturday. Just in time to wear to lunch with DKF Carol. After a nice lunch I strongarmed her into going to the park with me to take pictures of my cozy garter stitch wonder. I didn't plan to find the ducks or even to feed them but boy a spare bagel comes in handy when you need a photo-op!! Of course, if you know me very well you will not be suprised to find that I have several things I wished I'd have done differently. I bought the vintage buttons in Houston without the project there with me. So I think the buttons are a bit too big. But there would not have been any smaller vintage buttons in that green to be bought at any cost. So I live with the buttons. I also wish I had made the bind off just a little looser. There are several ways I could have done that and I won't bore you with the possiblilites. I also would have put the first buttonhole about 5 stitches higher but I just couldn't tell when I was knitting on the buttonband. I had almost 300 stitches crowded on a 60" needle so they were bunched up and I was not able to try it on to see my progress. But really, I love this jacket. It is warm, cozy, soft, fits very well and should last forever if I succeed in keeping it away from the moths.

I felt so good when I got to the LYS on Saturday. I was feuled by the Tomten success and was ready to tackle anything. I had an idea of making a colorwork skull hat for Katie for Christmas. It called for black & white fingering weight yarn and that was not to be found. So while I was regrouping I picked up one of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns. In book #3 I found a gorgeous spider motif. It is a one color motif using twisted knits and purls. She used to love spiders so I thought "Make a hat with spider's all the way around" So I bought the book and some DK weight black yarn. When I got home I started a swatch and found the DK to large. I quick pulled out some navy sock yarn and whipped up my wonderful spider. She turned out lovely although just a touch tall for a hat. But I think I can adapt it just a little and shorten in enough to make a nice hat. I decided to make the hat in a light grey Jawoll sock yarn since it will show the pattern better. It will not be the warmest hat but it will be cool. I did decide I must have all the other Barbara Walker books and the sooner the better.

I also had to bring home some more Cascade 220. I bought some to make Fuzzy Feet for me and then just a random color to have on hand when I start to work on my felted rug. I thought I might start the Fuzzy Feet this week but when I printed out the pattern it calls for needles I do not have on hand so those I will order this week.

We have finally really started moving furniture for the pending move. We got rid of our couch at home and brought the apartment couch down to replace it. I sure like it better, makes the living room look bigger. But that is not the only thing I brought home this week. It seems one of my ex neighbors decided it was alright to abandon a little kitten when she moved. When I came home Friday night from work all the usual cats came running for me to pet and feed them. But there was one new suspect. She is a tiny all black, skinny little thing and I could not help but want to rescue her. I figure she may have been hanging out in the garage for at least a week and just eating when and what she could. She was cold and scared but came upstairs willingly and ate like a pig for 2 days. She was fairly skitterish at first but when DKF and then DH came up she didn't freak at all. So then I brought her home thinking that Jack Cat would have her for lunch. He has never liked other pets in the house. But to our amazement, he was the perfect gentleman. He has hardly hissed at her at all and actually will sit near her for quite some time. They have even eaten from the same bowl at the same time. So I guess she is ours for good. I wasn't ready for another pet but sometimes God sends them to you and you just need to be ready to love.

It is another regular work week for me. Plus in the evenings I need to be packing up my apartment so the knitting will probably be slow this week. But I will keep trudging along with the rest of you. Just a few more weeks to finish up Christmas projects then on to something much more exciting. So until next week......knit till you wilt!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Strike Up the Band

Well, here it is almost Thanksgiving and I still have butterflies. This Wood Nymph was keeping company with lots of Sulphers and a few American Beauties. They were all feasting on my basil that is still blooming along with about a million bees. I am still picking tomatos, peppers and herbs but that is all about to come to an abrupt end on Wednesday when we are supposed to have a good hard freeze.The 2nd pic is one to prove that fall is really here. The leaves and berries are all in glorious color.

My knitting week was just full of Adult Tomten. I picked up the hood stitches for the 1st time on Tuesday night, ripped it out on Wednesday, picked them up again Wednesday night, ripped again on Thursday.....on infinitum!! I finally made myself do the whole hood getting it done on Saturday night, ripped it all back out on Sunday morning. But finally Sunday I reknit a version that I liked with many modifications on both EZ's and BT's designs. My hood does not have a point in anyway, shudders and apologies to EZ. I made the gusset style hood that I used last year on my DGD's Wonderful Wallabies. I just like the way it lies on the back of the jacket better. I did make decreases on the back of the neck like Brooklyn Tweed and kept the hood fairly fitted to the head. So finally today I picked up the buttonband stitches, hence Strike Up the Band(buttonband). I have 284 stitches on a size 6, 60 cm Addi Turbo and so far have 2 ridges knit. I have made a practice buttonhole peice so I have the buttonholes exactly how I want them. I still have to work up the numbers of where the buttonholes go but that is no big deal for me. I was hoping to have all the knitting done so I could block it starting tomorrow and maybe wear it Saturday when DKF and I go galavanting Saturday. I want to stop in at the yarn store that I bought the yarn at so I can hopefully get some ooh's and aahs. No pictures of the Tomten at this point as it is all squished up on the cable needle and not looking like anything you would recognize.

I also did get some knitting done on the Boring Socks but nothing worth posting a picture of. I am sure I can get them alot more done this week with all the free time I will have over the holiday. I am on call and hanging out alone so except for a good walk and cooking some sort of meal I can knit to my heart's content. It is too bad I do not have the yarn to start Katie's Christmas hat but that is one of the things I plan on buying on our yarn cavort Saturday.

Things are progressing on our move. We get more boxes packed every weekend and more organizing every day. I am looking forward to not working and having more time for all my pursuits but for now I must get going and get my less than exciting housework done and things ready to leave for work in the morning. So my friends, next week...same Bat time...same Bat channel

Monday, November 12, 2007

Into the Hood

Well here I am again. And this week nothing in nature was picture worthy so you get to see one of my favorite quilts that was in the Houston Quilt show. This was by a Japanese quiltmaker and it was phenomenal to look at. This is the kind of quilt maker I want to be when I grow up.

So now you get to see my efforts in the quilting arena. I just finished up with the blocks that go with DQF's Progressive Round Robin project. I am pretty happy with all my efforts. My applique is passable, the little flower blocks are cute and the brown in the 9 patches helps with the colors of the quilt. The flower blocks were made with partial seaming and when your blocks are as small as these that is quite a feat. Then I paper peiced the stem/leaves blocks. I had to draw these out, each one is different so that makes them kind of cool. Then the 9 patches are only 3" finished size so you have to be very careful with your peicing to be accurate. I am sure she will like them and hopefully everything else that the other girls do will go with them for an interesting and beautiful finished quilt.

I also got a decent amount of knitting done over the week. Work was not to crazy and I got to knit on my "really boring sock" not only at lunch but during breaks also. Which meant I was able to get sock #1 done. And I was also able to cast on for sock 2. I will be so ready to knit on something more exciting when these are done. I am thinking-Skull hat for Katie for Christmas and then on to something for Maddie.

So now on to the Tomten. I finished the 2nd sleeve to match the 1st. I messed up somewhere in the counting and the sleeves do not match to the letter but it is not noticable to me when I put it on. It is now time to start the hood. This is where the guidance from above falls short. EZ did hers so much different and Brooklyn Tweed only gives some general information. So here I go, jumping in to the deepend without my floaties!!

So now I must go and try to make a decision on picking up the hood stitches. Hopefully I will get the hood done by the end of next weekend. I have to wait until my new 60" size 6 circular needle gets here before I can work on the buttonband anyway. I also ordered another skein of the green trim Cascade 220 because I was afraid what I have might not be quite enough-CHICKEN!! But I can always use extra Cascade 220 up so no harm done if it ends up not being needed for the Tomten. But for now my fingers are itching to get started and when I am done I have 2 episodes of Dexter to catch up on. See ya'll next week

Monday, November 5, 2007

Life's A Beach

Well-I am back home but not recovered. I am just too old to be away from home for 6 days, overeating, not sleeping well and generally out of my routine. But don't get me wrong-we had a blast and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. My travelling companions were the best, the quilt show and vendors were top notch and the side trip to Galveston went off without a hitch. Tomorrow I head back to work and I am sure by the end of the week I will be back to normal and all will be fine.

We headed out Tuesday morning for Houston and immediately I got lost trying to pick up Melissa out where she lives in the Boonies!! But we hooked up and hit the road bright and early. We stopped for lunch outside of Dallas and managed to do some real damage at a great quilt store near by. We stopped for dinner on the north side of the Houston area at a Mexican place that we had also stopped at 2 years ago. The meal was just as awesome as last time so we were pleased.

After a good night's sleep in our hotel, Wednesday morning brought early classes at the show to most of us. I did not have a class at all that day but I played chauffeur to several other of the ladies. I MapQuested yarn shops and picked one out that seemed fairly close to where we were situated. I dragged one of my non-knitting pals with me and she was a great sport. The shop I chose was Yarn 2 Ewe near downtown Houston. The store front was nothing to look at, in fact it did not even look open. But I was determined and went in. Boy am I glad I did. It was the largest, best stocked shop I have ever been in. I was overwhelmed but I managed to buy some great lace yarn and of course, my staple purchase, sock yarn. I did not spend a ton of money but I would definitely be dangerous if that was my own personal LYS!!

Wednesday night was preview night at the quilt show and we managed to run thru and shop like crazy women. Thursday we had more classes on slate. I took a silk screen class in the afternoon which was just an OK experience. I am not sure I will do alot with her method but it was fun to learn. I managed to do most of the rest of my shopping before my class but I still had not really gone in and seen the show. I figured to save that for Saturday.

So Friday I had my side trip to Galveston all planned. I could not convince anyone to go with me but that did not deter me a bit. A while back I Googled "Visit Galveston" and they talked about events coming up in the Bay area. One of those was something that I was not sure I wanted to be around for but I did not remember exactly what that was. Well when I got there it did not take long to figure it out. It was the Texas Biker's rally!! So there were bikes and biker's everywhere and they even had alot of the seawall section closed off. But I headed out to the beaches to the SW of the city and they were clean, wide and quiet. I got to walk for hours in complete peace(Ok, an occasional Harley revving in the distance!!). The weather was to die for, warm, sunny and calm winds. That is the best for beach walking but not for beach combing. They had not had a storm in quite a while so there was very little good shelling to be done. So I just took alot of pics and enjoyed getting my feet wet and sandy. I wish I could have stayed longer but maybe it will be enough to last me till I can go see the dear grandkids and walk the beaches of N Carolina.

Saturday I hit the show with a vengence. I had all the quilts to see and a few odd things to pick up in the vendor area. I was sure I was not going to have enough time to do it all. But the show itself only took a few hours and that was going slow and looking at everything. This year they split the show floor up into vendors on the east and quilts on the west. It flowed so much better and made things easier for the public. The folks who only got to come on Saturday hit the vendors early and the show itself was not all that crowded. As usual there were a few great quilts but I never agree with the judges on who should win the big prizes. My favorite quilts this year were almost all from Japanese artists. None of them looked particularly oriental but instead tended to be fairly traditional in block design but modern in the fabrics and interpretation. There was only one crazy quilt in the show and it was done by Judith Baker Montano with her new fabric and ribbon lines. I was not all that impressed with it at all but then again my history with her probably flavors my reaction. All in all the show was good and the company could not be beat. Since it will probably end up as my last Houston show I was more than happy with our group excursion.

On the knitting front I managed to start a new pair of socks while I was gone. The argyle experience is done for now and maybe forever. Instead I just took some self striping yarn with me and planned on doing a plain jane magic loop sock. I knitted alot in the evening while chatting with the other girls in the room. The magic loop method is now my favorite way to knit socks and I will not hesitate to make more complicated designs this way. But that said...these socks are the most boring ever made. The stripes are large and chunky and the pattern I used for the socks don't have alot of excitement either. But they will be warm and comfortable and will be worn plenty. I didn't take the Tomten with me due to it's large size and bulk but did manage to get some knitting done on the sleeve tonight. I am almost done with the 2nd sleeve and still have to fix the 1st one but maybe by next weekend I can get the hood started. Then I will feel like the end is in sight and I can start to plan a new project.

I guess I better get the rest of my weekend chores squared away. I don't much feel like going back to work tomorrow but maybe that is just what I need to get back into my routine. So while I work on that, the rest of you keep up the creative energy and I will see you next week.