Friday, March 28, 2014

Surrounding myself with yarn !

Another week has flown by. My sainted Grandma told me that time moves faster the older you get and I believe her now. The weather has vacillated between Winter and Spring. The sun is shining right now and they are predicting 70 for Monday. Yippee! Here in Cincinnati Monday is the opening day of baseball season and it is an unofficial holiday around here. We have a big parade before the game,and the ball park is always sold out. Adults and kids play hooky to participate in the festivities and to me it is the true beginning of Spring. Now I'm not real sure of the Cincinnati Reds chances this year. Lots of injuries already and we play St.Louis 6 times in April. Could be a rough start but oh I do love watching baseball. Go Reds!

So on the crafty front, I did finish a pair of socks. This is Blue Moon Socks that Rock Lightweight in the color Sunshine Superman. You can see their selection of yarns here. This colorway was available last Christmas but I don't see it listed now.

And when I finished those I picked up this skein. This is Regia Design Line Garden Effects by Kristin Nichols. You can find it here.

I thought about doing pattern on this pair and tried out one but after about 10 rounds I saw it just didn't show up. I frogged back to the cuff and left in the row of purls that the pattern had started with. I went on to randomly put in a row of purls. It adds a little interest.

But my biggest yarn project this week has been organizing my stash. When I moved in 5 months ago I had done a little sorting but I knew I needed to do a better job. So I went and got more of the Sterlite latch box containers I love - you can see them here - and here - I got mine at Walmart. And I sorted and organized and this is the result as it resides in  a basement storage room.

Each box has a label (a post it note) attached to the inside to tell me what is in the box.
I know is it hard to see in the picture but the top box says "amazing" the yarn I used for all those cowls I did this winter. And the bottom box has a assortment of yarns - Opal, Kauni, and  my stash of chunky yarns - Rowan, Malabrigo Rios, etc.

Sorting was eye opening as I've forgotten about a lot of this yarn and I have some very nice skeins. I really need to knit from my stash more.

And here you can see how the Dude was helping out. Inspecting is an important part of the job. All those bins are sitting atop an old dresser that belonged to my sainted Grandma. It wouldn't fit in any of the rooms upstairs but I can't bear to part with it.

Have a great weekend!

Happy knitting-
carol fun

Monday, March 24, 2014

Polka dots, checks and stripes on Design Wall Monday

Oh my goodness, a whole week has past since I last posted. A week that started off with such promise. Monday the weather was gorgeous and I was full of energy and helped my youngest son complete a project for school. So glad I did as by Tuesday evening I felt like carp. I rallied on Thursday with the promise of a dinner at Cheesecake Factory and an evening with my quilty lady friends. Cheesecake has remarkable restorative powers, dontcha know -LOL! But Friday and Saturday found me sacked out on the sofa with absolutely no energy. I was so happy to be what passes for normal on Sunday. I couldn't wait to get into my sewing studio and play with some fabrics.

This is the beginning of my Schnibble for March. It is called Hook and you can see the pattern here. Instead of using charm packs I'm using my stash and making each star out of 2 different fabrics. My criteria for fabric selection has been polka dots, checks and stripes - all together - yikes!

I'm also adding yellow with those background triangles. I always like that look in a 60 degree block quilt. Carrie has come up with another winning pattern in Hook. Here's a bit of a close up.

And to make cutting the triangles easier I am using my newest toy. The Matilda's Own 15" rotating cutting mat.  I am really loving this baby.

I got it here at Fat Quarter Shop. I had seen something similar from Lori Holt in pink but I'm not a pink gal and this one, while more expensive, is larger. Also Matilda was my sainted Grandma's middle name so it makes me smile when I see that on the mat.

So I'm hoping that this week will not be a repeat of last week and that feeling great on Monday isn't followed by a week of feeling carpy.  Keeping my fingers crossed, although  it is hard to sew that way.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Flying by with some Slow Stitching on Sunday

Yesterday Spring was teasing us with sunshine and 60 degree temperatures. Today Winter is taunting up with clouds, wind and 30 degree temperatures with a threat of snow -ugh! So combat the grayness of this day I'm stitching on this piece.

I started this last Wednesday when I wasn't feeling great and the weather outside was pretty much a carbon copy of today (do kids today know what a carbon copy was? oh I'm feeling old) Anyway I found this piece here on Pinterest.

I have my misgivings about this as it is on a Russian language site and I know that lots of the stuff there is pirated. So I spent several hours trying to find this graph somewhere, anywhere in the great vast internet with no success. If anyone knows where I can purchase a copy please let me know.

Now this isn't an easy graph to follow. I printed it out and I'm pretty sure if I try to enlarge it, it will only get fuzzier. So I'm making do with the blurry copy I have. I love the colors of this butterfly, and normally they aren't on my radar of motifs I gravitate toward. I think the bright colors are an antidote to the weather and I need it, heck we all need it.

So yesterday I splurged on a big pot of pansies at Costco. So pretty,about 5 different varieties in one pot. But I made a mistake, a BIG mistake. I left them outside last night and this morning about 95% of the pot was GONE!!! At first I thought it was the wind that blew the blooms off but with closer inspection I saw they had been eaten. I suspect it was the deer as we have a ton of them and you don't think they would be so numerous in a neighborhood with small yards and houses close together, very near a business area with lots of traffic. And yet the neighborhood is called Deer Park - one should pay attention to these clues. The daffodils I planted are up about 2 inches. Hopefully they won't be too tasty. I need to do more research on plants that deer don't like. I have a feeling the like pretty much everything - darn it.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sock it to me

While I was vegging on Wednesday and Thursday I did a bit of sock knitting. I love sock knitting. It is relaxing and mindless when I'm using self striping yarn and just doing a basic stockinette sock.
                   knit knit knit knit knit knit...very calming.

So I was able to finish this pair using the Opal Ambiente yarn. I used colorway 1860 - you can see all the colorways here. No repeat of stripe pattern - I like that!

This pair has only 52 stitches on 3.25 needles. I may go down another couple of stitches on the next pair. It is tighter than the first pair and after I wear and wash them I'll reevaluate.

So since I finished that pair I had to cast on another pair. I always have a sock on the needles ready to pick up at any time. This yarn is from Blue Moon you can see their yarns here. The colorway is called Sunshine Superman. I love the clever names they give their yarns. I got it around Christmas time and it isn't on their website right now. They change the yarns they dye during the year, so it may be available again later.

I love how there is some pooling at the top of the sock, then it goes into a barber pole stripe effect and there will probably be some more pooling around the ankle as I knit the heel turn/gusset area.

Happy knitting -

carol fun

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another finish

Well on Tuesday I was a ball of fire and got a ton of things done, one of which was the binding on this quilt.

The pattern is Charm Pack Cherry. You can get it here free from Fat Quarter Shop. Now mine is bigger as I had 3 charm packs of this Circa 1934 collection and the pattern only calls for two. Either way I think it is a great looking quilt and it is fast fast fast to stitch up.

I had it quilted by Terry Finnerty of the Walking Needle - here is her Facebook page- and she was fast fast fast getting it quilted. I love this panto but I forgot to ask what it is called. Oh well, she'll know when I need it again.

My youngest son loves this quilt and it now resides at the foot of the bed.

Wednesday was the day that wasn't - woke up feeling yucky, achy and tired - stayed home all day - did nothing. Today is better, still tired but not achy and got a few things done. I'm hoping to get enough energy this weekend to do a couple of projects around the house, have to see how that pans out.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, March 10, 2014

A flurry of finishes

Well I hadn't planned on not posting for a week, but somehow the days just got away from me. I did want to thank everyone for their kind comments about my new flock. It seems like they made a lot of you laugh just like they did with me.

Now there is nothing on my design wall this Monday except of bits of loose thread. All the sewing I've done in the past couple of days has been of the mending variety (not blog worthy) and of the quilting and binding variety - which is blog worthy I think.

So I said I was going to drag Spring into my house the beginning of March and I have.

First I finished up this piece - a simple table runner done with a pack of the 2 1/2" Candy Squares of the Mimi collection by Chez Moi and some Basic Grey Grunge background fabric.

The pattern was from a LQS and the runner measures 14" wide. I made my longer so it hangs over both edges of my table. I wanted to get this done first because my table looked so bare without a runner and I wanted to play with quilting this in a wavy line design.

I like how it turned out and it gave me an idea of how I wanted to quilt this quilt. The pattern is Layer Cake Lemonade from Fat Quarter Shop. It is free and you can find it here. The fabrics are Sphere from the Zen Chic collection which you can see here.

I traded out the yellow that was in the collection for some pops of orange as the recipient of this quilt prefers that combination. I did the wavy line quilting but I criss crossed the lines randomly and to me it looks like waves. I like that.

I used a turquoise variegated thread on the top and a turquoise Aurifil on the bottom. You can see the quilting a bit better here in this picture of the back. I love that back fabric too.

Now quilting and binding these two pieces gave me a new appreciation for long arm quilting. By the time I got done with these two projects (which were not that big) the muscles in my neck were in knots and I looked and felt like Quasimodo. I spent Sunday afternoon vegging with the heating pad wrapped around my shoulders - not fun.

Now this next quilt makes me so happy. It started life about 2 to 3 years ago as the Jelly & Jam pattern from Fig Tree Quilts which you can see here. Notice my block doesn't look like their block. It took me two years to notice that, and well, actually I didn't notice it, it was pointed out to my by my BFF Stephie. I think this block is properly called a double pinwheel. It certainly does give an allusion of motion. Oh, if you do this pattern check out this update I just found on Fig Tree's site here. I found this out for myself as the blocks didn't finish the size the pattern gave. I ended up having to square mine up to around 7" to make them come out the same. Wish I had seen this before - oh well.

The fabrics in this quilt are an old collection from Kate Spain called Verna. It had yellow and tulips and snowdrops and I couldn't resist. This quilt just lights up the room and I LOVE IT!

Terry Finnerty of The Walking Needle quilted this - her Facebook page is here. I picked a new panto she had which is a scroll-y vine-y design and she stitched it in a lovely yellow thread.

So that is my flurry of finishes for today. Sure beat snow flurries, although I heard that is a possibility on Wednesday. I'm not going to think about it. Right now it is sunny and 60 and I heard distinctly Spring-y sounds outside my house...birds were singing and I heard a leaf blower and the guy across the street just started his Harley. I like those sounds.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A flock of my own!

So the other day the mailman left a large squishy envelope on my porch. I saw from the return address it was from my friend Lois in Nebraska.  I thought she had sent me yarn or  made something for me - how cool is that? Well I had no idea what I was going to find when I opened that envelope.

First these two guys dropped out -- oh my goodness how cute are they?

And then the rest of the contents of the envelope spilled out -- OH MY GOODNESS!!!!

I laughed my butt off (oh I wish that was more than a figure of speech - LOL)! And I laughed and laughed and laughed. So many cute cute chickens! A WHOLE FLOCK!!! I think my favorite might be this one .

Those silky purple "feathers" are hard to resist! Thank you Lois -- I love each and every one of them! I'm thinking of using the first two chicken in a display in my kitchen and I want to make a garland out of the others to decorate my sewing studio. How can you not smile when you see these gals? I can't.

And I added some more poultry to my home with this outdoor stack of chickens.

It is a smaller scale rendition of the metal chicken stack I have in my sewing studio. I got the metal ones online about a year ago and didn't want to put them outside for fear they would rust. I picked up this stack which is wooden at Joanns last week. I need to spray them with some polyurethane to prolong their life as the icicles hanging from their tails isn't helping them.

Hope you are having a good day!

carol fun

Monday, March 3, 2014

Squirrel!!!! on Design Wall Monday

Well this quilt was no where on my list of things I should do, but I couldn't resist the siren call of the Charm Pack Cherry pattern. You can see the free pattern here.

Now my version is larger because for some reason I had 3 charm packs of this older collection from Cosmo Cricket called Circa 1934.
This is the fabric...

and this is my quilt...

I used a Basic Grey Grunge fabric instead of another set of charm squares. I LOVE the Grunge collection and this one is a tomato-y red with splotches of olive and tan.

My youngest son has taken a shine to this quilt which is unusual for him, and I am happy to make it for his room. These are the colors in his attic studio. He likes it because the fabrics aren't girly. I was pleased to find that one of the charm squares included a message that I don't think he saw but I am so happy to include in this quilt. Do you see it?

The typewriter has a word balloon that says "I Love You" -- perfect!

Well we didn't get the foot of snow that they predicted but we did get enough for it to me a messy morning commute. I didn't have to go out but my oldest son had to get downtown for work. Ugh... we are all soooooo tired of winter. I hope this is the last gasp.

Happy stitching-

carol fun

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dragging Spring inside on Slow Stitching Sunday

I was able to stitch a few more frames on my Lizzie Kate Spring Alphabet. It has been a busy running kinda week and I didn't expect that. Excuse the wrinkles and the grayness of the picture - it is a gray day outside.

I do love the little vignettes that are tucked into these samplers -- that basket will get some colored eggs, love the heart and key and those yellow galoshes are adorable!

In my continuing pursuit to drag Spring into my home no matter what Mother Nature has in mind I purchased these beauties yesterday at the grocery. The first daffodils I've seen this year!

I'm hoping that the 120 or so daffodil bulbs I planted will get a chance to show their stuff soon. However, today is not that day. It is gray and it has been icy and as I type this I can see snow out the window. Now the weather terrorists have backed off their original forecasts of up to a foot of snow, so that is good. Right now they are saying maybe only 1 to 3 inches, which sounds much better. Do you think they do this on purpose? Tell us we are going to get buried and then at the last minute revise their forecast and we are happy we only got a couple of inches. I'm focusing on the end of the week -- I saw mid 40's in the forecast. Now just need to get through the snow, ice and sub-freezing days this week.

Happy stitching-
carol fun