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, August 25, 2008

Audry in Opryland

I almost didn't get to go on this trip. When I suggested it a year ago to a group of on-line friends I figured I would be living near by. It would be an easy drive up and home the same day kind of thing. I had always wanted to go stay at the Opryland Hotel, with its world class gardens and restaraunts but a day trip to see the AQS quilt show would also allowed me to visit without the world class expense. Well a number of my friends thought that sounded like a great time and pretty quickly about 12 ladies made plans to come. A few even bringing husbands. Alas I was stuck in Oklahoma with an unsold house. And not wanting to spend alot of money at this particular time. But my heart really ached to see everyone. I tossed around a few ideas but nothing panned out to keep it affordable. Suddenly I was given the opportunity to back out of another trip I had promised to go on, freeing up just enough bucks to make Nashville a go. It didn't hurt that I had just enough frequent flyer miles to get free transportation. So off I went and everything lived up to expectation. The hotel was amazing, the food was delightful, the quilt show decent and my friends......the very best part of all. At the last minute we did lose a few ladies. One had a sick husband and the other had family coming to visit that could not be altered. But dear friends came all the way from as far as
New York City to the east
and LA to the west.
One even came thru Hurricane Faye to get there.
One of our younger ladies brought her gorgeous 10 month old daughter to charm us old grannys.
There were tons of hugs, lots of sharing, gifts galore and many many pictures taken. And best of all, we already are making plans for our next quilt show get together where hopefully more of our on-line group can make meeting face to face a reality.
I was a good girl at the quilt show. I didn't really need to be bringing home anything else that needs packed and the show itself was not all that huge. It seems the only really unusual thing I dragged back with me was a ferocious summer head cold. I had a sore throat during the week before I left but I didn't think much of it since it never went any further than just that. While I was there I felt perfectly fine but I did not sleep all that well. Not unusual for me even in the finest of hotels. But the second I got on the plane to leave Nashville the sneezing and runny nose started up and only got worse as the trip passed. If the guy in the seat next to me noticed he never said a word. Poor guy, probably is now suffering from same said virus as we speak. Now 4 days later I am finally starting to pull thru with the help of Robitussin and Aleve and I think I will live..
On the knitting frontier-I am merrily knitting on a pair of socks for a friend, almost done with them. The aran cardigan that was to be saddle shoulder has now been deconstructed and is being reknit as a raglan. There is plenty of yarn waiting in the wings as soon as both projects are off the needles.
I am almost afraid to say anything about this---but---we did sign a contract to sell the house right before I went to Nashville. But it is a contingency contract. Meaning they need to sell their house first. Our agent did do us well tho, by writing into the contract that the house can still be shown and if someone wants to put a bid on it they can. Then the first buyers have 72 hrs to decide what they want to do-go ahead and buy right away or pass and let someone else have the house. I really want these folks to get the house. When they walked thru they saw every single flaw that I see in the house and they still loved it. They plan on taking down the panelling, adding a covered back porch, replacing all the windows and eventually redoing the kitchen. So I would never have to feel guilty that I sold the house to someone and down the road they started to see the warts and freckles and come to dislike it as much as we do. So now if everyone would start to say a few prayers that this couple can get their house sold in the next few months so we can finally move on and get our lives settled before winter sets in.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shout it From the Rooftops!!

I am so happy!! Happy, Happy, Happy!! AudryII is finally a FO and I can move onto other things. It only took a few days over 6 months to knit her, but I would not recommend to anyone to work that hard on such a big project. Cause at this point I am not sure I will ever knit another mitered square as long as I live. The final count for AudryII is 784 squares and she is a sveldt 60 X 74 inches. She weighs appox 1568g which means she is the equivilent of almost 16 pairs of socks!! In 6 months!! And I knit 6 actual pairs of socks in this time too!! Oh my-I guess I have kept the sock yarn ecomomy going single handedly for the last half year..
So here are some more pics to enjoy along with the links to see a bigger version if you want to see the detail a bit more. I am still experimenting with the pictures here on blogger. It is a comfort to know that other bloggers have had trouble with using their pics, so I don't feel like quite such a loser!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just a Teaser

I just wanted to come on and do a quick up-date on some projects I have been working on. Cause the next post I make will be all about Audry II. She is that close to being finished. I have the edging done all the way around 3 and a half sides and hope to finish completely tomorrow.

I actually finished up with these socks for Katie a few days ago. They are my very first pair of 2 @ a time, toe-up, short row heel socks. I have to say I am a complete convert now. There may be some unusual times where due to pattern dictates, I may still work in more traditional ways. But I bet a majority will be done this way. The reasons are many, the trials are few. First of all, the socks come out perfectly matched, every time. You don't get second sock syndrome, you won't run out of yarn prematurally and they are easy to tote around with you without fear of losing a DPN. The only trials are that it can feel like you are trying to wrastle an octopus those first few rows of the toes and sometimes the stitches between the heels and bodies stretch when doing them at the same time. But compared to the problems of doing them any other way, these problems pale in comparison. I did send them off to her this week but no word back on if she likes them and if they fit.

The rest of my knitting time has been taken up with new dyeing experiments. I have a sweater project planned to start as soon as I finish up a few quick UFO's. This pattern calls for 8 different colors and I wanted them all to be from my natural dyes. So I did 4 cochineal, 1 very pale pink, the main color-a deeper pink, a true red and a maroon. To get the deep maroon I overdyed with black walnut. What a pretty color in real life. The camera just does not do it justice. Then I did a brown with the same walnut and a lighter brown came from a 2nd go round with the dyestock. Then to get cream I just threw 100g into an almost totally exhausted dyepot. It just changed the color enough to say it is no longer white. I still needed 1 more color and I was planning to do green. Early in the season I got a nice green using my black hollyhock blossoms. So I had been collecting for awhile and holding the blooms in the frig til I got enough to dye 80g or so. Imagine my suprise when this time, under what I thought were identical circumstances, I got a lovely purple gray color out of black hollyhocks. But it really looks good with my other colors so maybe Mother Nature intended for me to get this color so my sweater would look great!! But honestly I think the difference may be the temps that the blossoms grew in. The green came from early season blooms when we were still only hitting the 80's most days. The purple came from much later season blooms when the temps had been in the upper 90's and 100's for days. So in a few weeks, when I am done with my aran cardigan and have a pair of socks started for a friend-I get to start said new sweater. I can not wait!! Even tho I am knitting a long sleeved sweater in fingering weight which means it will not be a fast project. And except for the stripes on the front it will be a boring knit, all stockinette. But those colors will make up for the tedium and I expect I will love wearing this sweater for many years to come. As usual the pic below will not show the colors as well as I would like but it kind of gives you the idea.

I also have been running some small dyeing experiments and have actually started a real notebook. More on that soon as I am doing the notebook in a way that I think I can post each page right on here except for the actual yarn sample. Will have to think that one thru just a bit more.

So next post you should be able to see Audry. Except I promised her I would take her to Nashville and take her picture somewhere glorious in the hotel gardens. So you will get to see her once again amongst the beauty of the flowers and fauna that grace the Opryland Hotel when I get back in a few weeks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Just Fluttering Thru

I have been busy as a bee with my knitting and for the most part staying out of trouble. I finished up with the 2nd pair of short socks for Katie just yesterday and have not bothered to take pics yet but probably should before they go in the mail. But my biggest news is that the body of Audry II is finished!!!! Praise be to the knitting gods cause if I had to knit one more mitered square I think I would end it all. But the little icord border that Shelly Kang put on hers in 3 days?? Well I think mine will take just a tad longer, maybe 3 weeks?? I am not sure why she was able to get hers done so fast. She mentions that she flew thru the parts where she had used a provisional cast on. I had 2 short segments where I had live stitches and I found those to be the slowest going. So I am glad I did not do more provisional cast-on and stuck to cable cast on for those edges. Another stumbling block for me was just figuring out the best way to do an applied icord for this project and finally after many false starts, decided to do mine with 4 stitches, knitting the 1st each time thru the back of the stitch, slipping the 4th, knitting a stitch up from the edge, and passing the slip stitch over. Oh and working from the back side. But then after finally getting about 6" done I decided I did not like the yarn color I chose. So I took almost a whole afternoon to dye a skein of yarn that I thought would work. It was quite a labor intensive dye job and until I was finally able to knit in onto the edge, I was not sure it was even going to work. But again, the knitting gods blessed me with the perfect yarn and I am finally off to the races. So next post I should have a picture of AudryII and maybe I can finally call her a FO!! Oh-And get this. My DH who never says a lot about any of my projects-let alone compliment one of them-actually told me it was way to pretty to be a regular old afghan!!!! I almost fainted when he said that. But a regular old afghan is what she is and I can't wait until it is cool enough to use her for the first time.

I have gotten started on dyeing my new cone of fingering weight yarn for a sweater project I will be starting soon. Today I did cochineal and along with dyeing my fingers red, I got 2 shades of pink and 2 almost identical skeins of rich true red. One of these needs to be maroon so I am thinking of overdyeing it lightly with walnut which is the darkest brown I have access to. I think if I just give it a hint of the walnut it will be different enough from the true red to work in the sweater. This weekend I plan on doing the browns, using the walnut extract, the aged pecan hulls I picked up at Ft. Sill and coffee. I need a cream so I think that I can get that using the spent pecan dyestock. Then I am going to do a dark green using some black hollyhock blossoms I have been squirreling away for weeks now in the fridge. Then I will be ready to start knitting. Well-except I promised myself to finish the aran cardigan first.......darn those pesky WIP's that hang around and haunt you.
Everything else is "same old-same old". The house is still up for sale with very few lookers. The weather is unbearably hot, Dh is a grouch because of both and I need a vacation. Which leads to my upcoming trip to the Nashville Quilt show. I am excited not just to see old friends and new but to stay at the one hotel in the whole US I have always wanted to stay at. I am staying at the Grand Old Opry hotel and convention center. I probably have the 1 room furthest away from everything but I am OK with that. I will put on my walking shoes and walk every single step of the gardens and atriums and probably take a million pictures. AudryII is going with me so she can have her picture taken one last time at some place really really cool. And I sure hope the weather is a tad bit better than here-oh hell it just has to be.. Til next time-stay cool and stay crafty!!