Friday, March 24, 2017

A tale of two cities...I mean socks...

So it has been a crazy busy week and not much has been accomplished on the crafty front... haven't touched my sewing machine... did a little cross stitch... and did a little knitting... which brings me to the tale of my two cities... socks...

I was knitting away on the Frankensock I showed last week and that got me thinking (always a dangerous thing) about other Blue Moon yarn I had in my house...




So I went looking for wayward Blue Moon yarn  and found this sock...


This one is a Blue Moon Rare Gems...  a yarn with no real name... I put it aside when I thought it was a bit too bright... prior to my cataract surgeries... and somehow now I don't think it is too bright at all... I LOVE it... it bits of neon orange and hot pink and green... so pretty.

Well looking at these socks side by side I noticed something...



I don't really think you can see it in the picture but the Frankensock on the left is noticeably thicker...heavier than the Rare Gems sock on the right. These socks have the exact same number of stitches ...58... but the Frankensock is knitting on a 2.75mm needle and the Rare Gems is knitted on a 2.50 needle.... and I like the feel of the "fabric" on the smaller diameter needle much much more. Who knew that a needle a mere .25mm smaller would make such a difference????

Sooo...... I'm going to unravel the Frankensock and start again... I can hear my friend Linda groaning right now as I type this... she can never understand how I can rip out and start over when I have so much knit already.... but if I'm not happy now, I won't be happy with the finished sock and I enjoy the process of knitting them as much as the product.... and Linda... how many of those teeny tiny, itsy bitsy little leaves/circles/flowers have you redone on that magnum opus quilt you've been working on??? I'm just teasing her and she knows it... admitting something isn't right and fixing it is all part of the whole crafty experience.

Well I've been having my handyman, Dan, do a bunch of projects around my house and my son's house this week... both of our bathrooms needed repainted... we both live in older small houses with tiny bathrooms and inadequate ventilation... I have an exhaust fan which does help a bit but there was still some paint that needed touch up... and he put in a new faucet in my bathroom sink... and a bunch of new overhead lights...I've found some cool fixtures at Costco that are LED... love the look and the light they put out...however as always seems to happen when you work on fixing one project another crops up. An inspection of my water heater lead the conclusion that it needs a look see by a professional plumber... the hard water/calcification/gunk built up on it in less than 5 years is pretty severe. It was suggest about a year ago that I should get a water softener installed but it was going to involve demolition on the ceiling of my basement which was remodeled just 3 years ago... I couldnt' bear to do that at the time... but I think we've come up with a new plan that wouldn't require that ... there will still be some demolition but not the ceiling... having a plumber come tomorrow and another on Tuesday to give me some direction and estimates.  There is always something isn't there???

I'm going to link up to Judy's Patchwork Times On the Needles... hope you have a great weekend ahead... I have more "house" projects to do...

happy knitting -
carol fun

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bird-brained...

So I haven't posted for Slow Sunday Stitching for quite a while as I didn't have anything to show...but today I do have something to show...and I continue to have birds on the brain and in my hoop (if I stitched in a hoop but I don't but somehow that sounds better than in my hand...which makes me think of a squished bird)...see I told you I was bird-brained...LOL


I finished The Christmas Bird by With Thy Needle and Thread...


this is so much prettier in real life... colors are washed out here but its the best I can do with the camera from my phone. I love the color of that background... 35 ct. Chestnut from Weeks Dye Works.. very rich...but that 35 ct. was not easy to stitch.  Don't know what I'm going to do with this. The picture on the chart has it finished as a little pillow...it about 2.75" X 6.125"... I'll think about that.

And this one is almost done...


this is Bluebird Out My Window also by With Thy Needles and Thread.  Just have a few more flowers to do and some scattered little ditsy elements to fill in the background. This is the first piece I've tried stitching since my cataract surgery and I've found I need some Mr. Magoo type magnification... but then I can see the threads ...and if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.

I should be able to finish this tonight and I think I may start this piece...


Little House Needleworks "Needlework ABC's"... I got this as a kit and while I'm happy with the threads and the chart I'm not sure I like the linen that came with it... 32 ct. Confederate Gray by Weeks Dye Works... it is a nice color but the linen is real soft (I prefer stiff linen) and the weave seems very loose. This piece will finish 2 3/8" wide by 19 3/8" long and I think a loose weave will be difficult to get framed straight... I think I'll look in my stash and see what I may have... I think I still have some pale grey evenweave... I LOVE the motifs on this piece... the house, the flowers, the needle, the thread, the scissors and that cute stitcher at the bottom... she may get a different colored dress...just saying ... maybe something gold-y yellow and perhaps her hair will get a bit more auburn/red... some personalization on my part...LOL!

Along with the Bluebird out my Window, I hoping for some sunshine out my window...last week was gray and cold... tomorrow they are promising 60...hope they are right... my daffodils are hanging in there and I've seen some of my hyacinths poking up and something bloomed in my rose bed but I'm not sure what it is and I know that I'm the one that planted the bulbs...they kinda look like irises but they are only about 6" tall... maybe I did plant those...oh the memory ain't what it use to be... but the flowers are pretty!!

Well dinner is in the crockpot... beef tips in gravy to serve over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream... should be yummy... hope you are having a lovely relaxing Sunday... I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow...

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bad blogger... rant on DST... tale of the scale...

Today I offer a trifecta of tales...

Okay... first thing first...I'm a bad bad blogger... I didn't mean to be away so long (but then does anyone really mean to not post for 2 weeks?)... but life got in the way...nothing dramatic ...just life.
I had my second cataract surgery and it went well, except the first time I didn't remember a thing. This time they gave me a different anesthesia and I was "there" for the procedure... heard a boring conversation about the anesthesiologist's son's soccer team... I liked it better the first time... ignorance is bliss.

On the plus side, my vision has never been better in my life... on the minus side, my vision has never been better in my life and I can see stuff I NEVER noticed before!!! Like dust on the furniture... and woodwork that needs cleaning and painting ... and floors that could use to see a mop... and a shower that is no where as clean and white as I thought it was....yuck!!! So I've been spending time with a dust cloth/mop/rag/vacuum cleaner/paper towels/bleach/cleaning products... you get the picture... and it ain't a pretty one. Glad this isn't a big house...

And since I didn't post last week I missed my chance for my semi-annual rant against Daylight Saving Time... nothing has changed  my opinion from last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that... I STILL HATE IT!!!!  Just leave the time alone... it will stay lighter later all on its own... and I won't be nearly as crabby as I am from losing that hour... do you have any idea how much chocolate it takes to make me chill out over that hour??? A LOT of chocolate!! LOL

So lets move on to more enjoyable pursuits... like socks! Here is the last pair I did with the sock yarn from my Opal Advent Calendar...


This time I took 4 of the mini skeins and divided each of them in half. Then I knit each half until I ran out of that skein and I started another. I've finally figured out that to make a pair of socks with Opal yarn I need 28 grams  per sock... the little skeins weighed 15 grams... half of 15 is 7-ish grams ...hey you know math is not my forte... so 4 half skeins will make a sock. I glad I'm documenting this info on the blog so I can find it later... as, it has taken me numerous pairs of Opal socks to figure this out.

Now armed with the amazing discovery on my part I figured I could apply this information to making other scrappy socks. I thought about breaking out my bin of Opal sock yarn and making a mountain of mini skeins but then I thought that a change of pace from Opal sock yarn would be nice... I was thinking waaaay too much here.

Instead I liberated my Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn from it's bin...



 and made little mini bobbins of colorful yarn....


 I was so proud of my math skills, as I determined that I wanted to use 5 different colors in each sock... so that meant I needed about 5  to 6 grams of each color, right??? 28 divided by 5 equals 5.6...so I'm in the ball park, right???  I was able to use my newest toy... a little bitty scale...


isn't it cute?? My older son, the prosecutor, pointed out that these scales are primarily used to measure drugs....ummm... not me...LOL!!   Yarn...only yarn.... so off I went winding, winding winding.... I cast on this new Frakensock and I barely got the cuff knitted...oh something is wrong here ... I should be able to get waaay farther than this on 5/6 grams of yarn... on an Opal sock I was able to do the cuff and another inch and a half or so...

At this point I reweighed the Opal sock... 28 grams... and then I went and got a Blue Moon sock... a whopping 55 grams!!!!  The Blue Moon yarn weighs almost twice what the Opal does... yikes!!! Need to wind more yarn bobbins right away... and I did!  Thank goodness for my little scale and the tale it told...

Here's the sock so far....



I love the colors of Blue Moon yarn and I ADORE the names they give them... starting with the cuff this sock includes Crabby McHappypants... Fire on the Mountain...Azure Malachite... and  I'm just starting Chickabiddy... this is definitely a Frankensock!!!

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times today for "What's on your needles?"... this sock will be a great project for waiting in the car knitting... and I might just cast on another new project... this cowl...


my friend Cathy was wearing the one she knit last night and it is soooo PRETTY... it is called the Orchid Cowl and it is a free pattern on Ravelry that you can see here.  Need to go root through my stash for a nice skein of something with cashmere in it... that would feel so good around my neck...

Hope you have some nice weekend plans... today my son's friend is hanging out here... tomorrow we have a wedding to attend... and on Sunday I think my older son and his wife are coming for dinner...and I'll try to squeeze in some kniting/stitching/sewing... sounds like  a pretty nice weekend!

happy knitting-
carol fun




Monday, February 27, 2017

Defying Mother Nature...


Last week the weather was glorious... I even shaved my legs and worn sandals one day!  This week is starting gray and yuckky... but I'm not going to let Mother Nature get me down...I'm making tulips... GIANT BRIGHTLY COLORED TULIPS!!!!


So far I've completed this dozen...


and this one of a kind aqua tulip...


There is very little aqua in any of the American Jane collections... as far as I can find it is just these 6 prints... I am very fond of the square in the bottom center of the tulip...those cats are sweet... the collection from several years ago  was called Fairy Tale Friends.

I've been pushing myself to think outside the box where the color of the leaves are concerned and I've made red leaves and blue leaves and yellow leaves along with the traditional green leaves... and I may have just enough fabric to do one tulip with aqua leaves...oooohhhh   very trendy....LOL!

I like the 30's vibe of the American Jane fabrics and that there are always some novelties to play with...for example....


there's a gingerbread boy making a run for it in the upper left corner of this tulip.


And paper doll clothes appear in this minty green designer tulip with the pink leaves... very Spring-y!


Bees, and old fashioned items like cursive penmanship and a rotary phone are included in this ginormous tulip.

And of course my favorite motif... CHICKENS....



in 2 different colorways... so cute!

So I have 13 sewn and 17 to go...and they are ALL cut out!!!!


Now to find time to sew... at the moment I'm waiting for my furnace guy to come and figure out what is wrong with the furnace... I have heat...thank goodness, but the water pump thingy keeps cycling over and over and over and over ...and well I'm not a repair guy but even I know that isn't right.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to have my left eye cataract surgery... I'll be happy to see approximately the same out of both eyes... and then to figure out if I can get by with just reading glasses or do I still need prescription lenses... I'm okay either way...and after that I have a bit of a double vision problem that needs to be corrected. It comes and goes and it  is mostly when I focus really far away but it is annoying... now I can rectify the situation by closing one eye so maybe I should go for a pirate look and just say "aye mateys" a lot... probably not a long term solution. There is always something isn't there?

Hope you have a good week...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 20, 2017

Making stuff on Monday....

Happy Presidents' Day...although I prefer the schedule of my youth that gave you 2 holidays in February... Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday... it made a short month even shorter and during the Winter that is a good thing.

Well, I find myself wrapped up in projects that have me making blocks ...which will become quilts... someday... the the future...and I'm liking that a lot!

First, last week's assignment for the Three Dandelions QAL, from Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.

Block 11: Pound Sign... this shows how old school I am... most people today would call this a hashtag... whenever I see it I think pound sign...sigh... I'm getting old (notice I said getting old, not I'm old... I'm still delusional)



Block 12:  Flower Cross... not  an imaginative title... I can see why Tula didn't name each block...


I'm still loving the Momo fabrics... I'm actually a little ahead on this project as I didn't know if I would be able to see well enough to sew with only one eye corrected ...but I'm doing okay...and you know how it is... as soon as I think I can't do something or go somewhere, well, I just GOTTA do it!

And last week,  I stumbled upon the FQS Jolly Jabber Patchwork  Quilt Along... which you can see here. On the 15th of each month the pattern is released for an adorable 5" finished block. The plan is to make 6 of each block and at the end of the year you'd have 72 blocks to make a quilt with.

So, first thing I considered is what collection/designer to use... my crafty OCD insists on a plan... I perused my stash and found 3 layer cakes from Elizabeth Hartman... 2 are the Rhoda Ruth collection and 1 is Paintbox Basics... I love both of these collections ...and I found yardage of a cute multi-color speckly  fabric for background... I'm all set.

I started with January, Souvenir of Friendship and quickly made 6 adorable little blocks... and then I stumbled on a bigger version of this block (I know I should be black and blue from all the stumbling I'm doing...LOL) ... check this blog out... Out of the Blue Quilts... she made bigger versions of the blocks. Well when I first saw them she hadn't posted the dimensions of the bigger blocks and I assumed she had simply doubled the size to 10"... so I figured it out myself. If you go to her blog you can see that she has made them 12" ... but I'm sticking with my 10" size...here are my Souvenir of Friendship blocks...


if you bigify the pic you can see some of the cute prints in these collections... that big block has limey green foxes and the yellow one has giraffes.. too cute!

And here is my second month of blocks, Diamond Pane...


I see X blocks or if you turn your head sideways I see bows... hey at least I don't see dead people...LOL!

Anyway since I worked out the math...and it actually works... I'll give you my dimensions to make the 10" versions.

Souvenir of Friendship

Background:
A -  2.5" x 2.5"            Cut 8

Print:
B - 2.5" x 6.5"             Cut 2
C - 2.5" x 4.5"             Cut 4
D - 2.5" x 2.5"             Cut 3

Now you can't get this entire block from one 10" square...you will be short one 2.5" square. I picked a print that I had 2 squares of but you could also just use another fabric for the last square and put it in the middle of the block.


Diamond Pane

Background:
A -  5" x  5"               Cut 2
B - 2.5" x 4.5"           Cut 4

Print:
C - 5" x  5"                Cut 2
D - 2.5" x 2.5"           Cut 1

Now, when I made the HSTs for this block I started with the 5"squares... drew a diagonal .. sew a very scant quarter inch seam on either side of the diagonal ... cut on the line...opened it up and trimmed the blocks down to 4.5" square. You don't have a lot to trim off, but by only cutting the square 5" to begin with you can get this out of one 10" square.

I'd like to come up with at layout that uses both sizes of blocks in the same quilt... I have a couple of ideas already, so I'll see where this ends up later in the year.

And if that wasn't enough to play with I was alerted by my friend Laurey to look at this quilt by Lori Holt...




 on this blog... Why Not Sew.... OMG... GIANT TULIPS!!!!   I want a bed size quilt of these beauties.... and I want it NOW!!!!  Okay, deep breath... I decided to use my well aged stash of American Jane fabrics and I have my first block done...



I love the folk art quality of this block and the fact that not all of the leaves are green...the fact that I made the first block with blue leaves is a big deal for me... normally I wouldn't think of doing that... but I like the look... a lot!!!  My calculations have me making 30 blocks and with sashing and a border it should be large enough for my bed....now how quickly can I get the other 29 done??? Hopefully before my interest wanes... or they'll end up in a plastic bin like the last bunch of tulip blocks... but they will see the light of day in the end... of that I'm sure.

Sooooo... I'm off to cut some more tulip blocks... and watch the sun set out my living room window... it has been another be - yooo - ti - ful day... a good day for growing more tulips...LOL!

I'm linking up to day with Love, Laugh Quilt's Making Monday... and Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday... I haven't done that for a while...and it feels really good!

happy stitching-
carol fun


Friday, February 17, 2017

Socks, sight, Spring and Sister Ida....not in that order...

It is a glorious day outside... sunny, a little breezy and temperature of 65 degrees...in February ...in Ohio... what is going on???  This isn't the Ohio I grew up in... with temps like this (a forecast of almost 70 for Monday and a 60 day outlook of above normal temps) I'm going to have to  return the snowmen decor to their plastic bins and break out the Spring stuff...I've never put my snowmen away before March but it may happen this year. I'm not complaining... I LOVE the sunshine... makes me want to work in my flowers, but it is waaaay too soon for planting... around here I've always stuck with the date of don't put stuff in the ground till Mother's Day

The last  couple of weeks have given me lots of sitting around waiting time and that has translated into 2 finished pairs of socks. This is the first pair, basking in the sun...



wider stripes done with some of the mini skeins from my Opal Advent Calender and some tonal Drops Fabel from Nordic Mart which you can see here.

And this is the second pair I finished, also taking a nap in the sun...


these are even prettier in person... the blues and corals remind me a sunset in the desert...ohhhh I'm am waxing poetic here...LOL  I used 4 different mini-skeins from the Opal Advent Calender. I have had sooooo much fun with that calendar...can't wait to do it again...and I had a thought to take my Opal stash and make little mini balls myself to play with.... that could keep me occupied until next year's calendar arrives!

I've cast on one last pair of socks from the Opal Advent Calendar...the last 4 pretty skeins...there are 3 skeins that I think are butt ugly and they are being banished to the basement storage room.

As for my sight... WOW... it has been 3 days since I had the cataract surgery on my right eye and I am stunned how well I can see. My distance vision without glasses is unbelievable... I have NEVER seen this well in my entire life!!!  I've worn glasses....thick glasses... since the 5th grade. Conceptually I knew trees had leaves but I had never seen them...they were just big brown sticks with balls of green at the top.

I went to parochial schools and back in the olden days the nuns had the shorter kids sit up front (and I was ALWAYS a shorter kid...actually THE shortest kid in class)... in 5th grade the boys in the class were holy terrors and Sister Ida moved them to the front of the room and since I was a "good" kid I got moved to the back. That's when I realized I couldn't see the blackboard. Now I find it interesting that Sister Ida, who in retrospect had many psychopathic personality traits , did me a favor....who knows how long I would have gone on without seeing well?  Remember this was the late 50's ...no one did in-school eye exams and you don't know what you don't see.

As for Sister Ida...OMG... she was tiny but the meanest nun I ever came across...she would torture us with homework assignments that were impossible, even when parents tried to help us with them . Her favorite punishment was to diagram an enormously long sentence and you'd have to do it over and over and over  and over every night till she declared it 100 percent correct. My friend, Wanda's mother was a high school English teacher and she tried to help us out and Sister Ida would still mark the sentence incorrect.

To my dying day I will have this mental picture of Sister Ida..short, belligerent, in a full wimple (Benedictine order of nuns) with a bit of a 2 day shadow of beard...really... she obviously had some hormone issues which perhaps accounted for her classroom behavior...she was a screamer and always had a ruler in her hand... yikes.  Thank goodness I also had some sweet nuns too...to keep me from being totally scarred for life...

Anyway... back to my vision... I am totally surprised how well I can see. Now I'm going to have to use reading glasses for close work, but I can see to drive without glasses!!! I can't wait to get my left eye done...end of February. Right now my vision is kinda wonky as I need my glasses for my left eye but not for the right eye. I had Costco poke the right lens out of an old pair of glasses and I use them sometimes, but I find myself more and more walking around with no glasses on.... my face feels naked!!!

Well I hope you have a lovely 3 day weekend... I've got no big plans and that suits me just fine. Perhaps a little sewing and a little knitting and a little napping in the sun...

happy  knitting...

carol fun

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Just checking in...






Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers... I had the first cataract surgery at noon today... it's almost 7pm now and I can tell that I can see better in my eye wearing no glasses...however it is still real blurry and my eye is still super dilated. I go back tomorrow for a follow up appointment. .

The surgery was painless and all I remember is seeing splotches of pretty colors and being told they were done. The worse part was the 90 minutes I had to lay there waiting for the numbing and dilating  meds to work. They had a blood pressure cuff on one arm and  a pulse oximeter on my other hand so I couldn't even knit!!! I am so ADHD that my hands are almost always occupied doing something... I DON'T just sit and do nothing anytime...my son brought me home and stayed a while so I would rest... but as soon as he left I did get out the knitting. It is just socks so it is easy and it makes me feel better. I do have my feet up along with a nice cup of tea!

Now the work is to keep track of the meds... 3 different drops which I need to take 4 times a day ... I made a chart to keep track as I will never remember otherwise.

Thanks again for all the good wishes!

hugs
carol fun