Friday, November 30, 2012

On and off the Needles - 11/30/12

I was able to finish this pair of big black socks for my oldest son. This is the 3rd pair I've made. Simple 2 X 2 rib down the leg.

So I felt I deserved a reward for this finish and contemplated casting on one of these new beauties I picked up on Wednesday at Knit On in Newport, Ky.

I've never knitted with the Fame Trend on the left or the Jarbo on the right but I did go to Ravelry and check out what others have made with them and they both  look great.  I'm thinking a shawl with the Fame Trends and socks with the Jarbo. That Opal in the middle will be a pair of lacy or patterned socks and the yellow at the bottom is from jwrayco and may grow up to be socks or a shawl. I haven't decided. I just looked at the tag on this skein and realized it was dyed in Nevada, MO... isn't that the town Judy L used to live in? Its a small world.

But then I remembered I have several socks without mates languishing in my WIP basket and instead I cast on the 2nd sock for this pair.

This is Lorna's Laces  colorway In the Wind and it a plain vanilla stockinette sock - mindless knitting which sounds very relaxing. And in a week or so this should become a great new pair of socks.

Well I have lots of plans for my weekend. I want to finish those Big Stars for Nick and I want to get the binding on my Christmas quilt so I can take it to the guild meeting Monday night.  Hope that you and I both have happy, productive weekends!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, November 29, 2012

All I want for Christmas....

well, I have my two front teeth, but I don't have an 11 foot inflatable reindeer whose head moves back and forth!!

Oh my goodness, I came across this guy at Walmart in the garden center and he immediately captured my heart. Now there really is no justifiable reason for purchasing an 11 foot reindeer except I think it is hilarious. I would love to see this guy in front of my son's house because the scale and proportion would be FUNNY! My son's house is a one story, low slung house and it would tower over the house. My son thinks I'm a bit unstable but not certifiable..... yet.... but maybe in the near future - LOL! I haven't gone and bought one, but I giving it serious thought.

On the sewing front, I've had a change of direction and those soft Fig Tree Marigold blocks have made way for these BIG stars.

Yep, these are just like the Big Debbie Stars but I'm calling these Big Nick Stars for my youngest son. He asked for a new quilt for his bed and picked these blocks and fabrics. Nick rarely asks me to do something quilty for him so I wanted to jump right on this. I'm going to make 9 blocks and do sashing. I want to get this done in time to take it to the guild meeting Monday night so I can pass it off to my long arm quilter, Cass. And there is nothing as motivating as a looming deadline. I should be able to pull it off.

Nick picked all the fabric for this quilt. He chose tone on tone and patterns that were not girly and he did a good job. All the reds and blacks came from my stash. I did have to get some more of that Moda Marbles background but it is another almost free quilt. I like that!

Off to get the last 3 blocks sewn - happy stitching!

carol fun

Monday, November 26, 2012

Take two on Design Wall Monday

I have truly enjoyed this holiday weekend. There was a big tasty meal on Thursday and then lots of stitching, knitting and sewing time. Since I finished the Big Debbie Stars I was looking for a new project and this quilt called out the loudest from its giant ziploc bag. This is the Marigolds pattern by Fig Tree, you can see it here.

I've made mine a bit bigger and this is the first version I put up on my design wall.

I love the fabrics. I used several Fig Tree collections - Buttercup, California Girl and Tapestry. I got all the individual units together late on Friday night and put them on my design wall and went off to bed. When I got up on Saturday and looked at this top with fresh eyes I was surprised that it didn't look like I had pictured it in my mind....all I saw were big red x's! The pretty Marigold flower blocks had been swallowed up by the coral-y red sashing. Definitely not what I wanted.(The picture doesn't really show how strong that coral fabric me it was in your face in real life.)

So after a trip to Fabric Shack in Waynesville for the purchase of some new sashing fabric I had this this is what I was going for - a soft vintage look - and the buttery yellow tone is an added bonus for me. You know how yellow is my favorite color!

I got that upper left corner sewed together. I'm also very happy with the background fabric I used. This is PearlEssence by Galaxy for EE Schenck Company.

Can you see the shimmer of the scrolls? Very pretty. I got this at Fabric Shack too. I may have to go back again (such a hardship -LOL) and see if I can get some more. I hope to have some time to assemble this top this week.

Hope your week is fun and productive!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Slow stitching on Sunday

Well Thursday seemed like a Saturday, and then Friday seemed like Sunday, but then Saturday came around again. Sheesh....I'm glad my cell phone tells me what day of the week it actually is. Anyway after the big meal on Thursday I planted myself in my cushy chair and stitched the day away, and this is what I have to show for it.

I "built" a house and started digging a pond -- not bad for no heavy lifting. This is a new sampler by Barbara Ana Designs called "Remember Me". I'm stitching it on a lovely 32 ct. peachy brown piece of R & R Breakfast Blend linen and I'm using Valdani 6 ply floss.

Here's a picture of the completed chart.

I love the quirkiness of this piece - the giant lady, the big flowers and adorable collection of animals. But what really sent me over the moon was the chickens...did you see them in the bottom right and left corners? Cute cute cute!!

Now there are a bunch of other all ready started projects I could be working on but this is the one that is talking to me and I am listening - LOL!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great week ahead.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all the best on this lovely Thanksgiving day!

carol fun

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mr. Gobbles

So do you have all your Thanksgiving prepartions done? No, me neither. I have several dishes I still need to work on and while the spirit is willing right now the flesh is weak and tired. Instead I thought I'd sit down and share my newest Thanksgiving decoration --Mr. Gobbles!

Isn't he adorable? He was a gift from my friend Lois in Nebraska and she has really outdone herself this time. Mr. Gobbles (that's what I named him) stands about 10" tall and is about 10" wide - great proportions, similar to my body type but lets not go into that now. He is going to look wonderful as my centerpiece tomorrow.

Along with Mr. Gobbles Lois sent a cute card with the following verse:

Hip Hip Hooray for Turkey Day

May your stuffing be tasty
And your turkey plump.

May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize.

But most of all my dear friend
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs!

A sentiment we can all embrace.... Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And now I'm trudging back to the kitchen.

carol fun 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Big Debbie Stars on Design Wall Monday

Drum roll please!! Big Debbie Stars!!

By the time I got the sashing on it got too big for my design wall, so this picture has it laying on the floor of my foyer and I'm hanging over the banister to take the shot. Oh I am in love with this quilt! Now this is a free quilt - ALL of the fabrics came from my stash. ALL 91 different Debbie Mumm fabrics! I am so thankful for my stash!

By piecing the sashing strips with 2 fabrics per 24" block I was able to showcase lots of novelties that make me happy!

Button-y vines, holly, Christmas trees, Peace on Earth, kittys and Fall leaves.

Baskets, evergreens, fruit, gingerbread guys, ladybug (this is about the last of this one I have - oh how I wish she'd reprint this one), pumpkins, polka dot chickens, chicken wire and vines.

More dotty chickens, presents, vines, words of friendship, sweet girlfriends, plaid gingerbread guys, tiny buttons, watermelon and letters.

Popcorn garlands and cardinals, the Joy of Quilting (I loved that collection), sprinkles and more buttons.

More sprinkles, sunflowers, cute Christmas words, a dotty doggie, button-y vines and vine-y

Button eyes (from a Raggedy Ann collection), baskets, a dotty kitty, stars, pie and dotty chickens.

And a grand finale of bigger dotty chickens!

It even amazes me how many dotty chickens I have in my stash. Over the years I have made at least 20 quilts exclusively using Debbie Mumm fabrics...and I may have another 20 still on my list of quilts I want to make. However, at the moment I'm going to switch gears and the next quilt I'm working on is using  Moda's Fig Tree fabrics  - soft blues, greens, corals, tans, yellows.   A change of pace.

Hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going smoothly. I'm hitting the grocery store today and Costco tomorrow and with any luck I won't have to go into  a retail establishment until the weekend.

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Slow stitching and revisiting the past on Sunday

My resolve to stitch on one of the many projects I have already started disappeared as soon as the words were out of my mouth. Andy Williams was crooning "It the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in my ear and I threaded up BBD's Merry Christmas.

This one is just going really fast! Now I still have some fill in left and I need to finish spelling Christmas but it is clear that this one will be done very soon. I'm holding out to take it to Joann's this weekend. There is a 60% off plus $20 off coupon that starts on Friday. However I will NOT be going there on Friday - no how, no way!

This was a sweet little band sampler to stitch and it got me thinking of one of the first band samplers I ever did. I learned a lot of lessons from this one.

This is Season of Flowers by Eileen Bennett of The Sampler House. If you look at the sampler in the link you'll see that my sampler is missing the last large floral band - gorgeous marigolds. And why would anyone leave off these lovely flowers? Because one can not count! I totally misjudged how far down to start this piece and was fearful that I wouldn't even be able to complete the verse. I just squeezed it in.

This sampler has many decorative stitch bands - long arm crossed, four sided stitch, Montenagrin and Queen stitches. Lots and lots of Queen stitches!

I love how they look but boy do they take a lot of time and attention.

Well, I think I'll spend some time this evening finishing up Merry Christmas. My motivation is there is another new sampler which arrived in my mailbox this week and it too has a siren song -- not as catchy as Andy Williams but compelling just the same.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, November 16, 2012

Off and on the needles

Lately I've been able to knit about one sock a week. Most weeks I knit easy stockinette socks, but this week I decided I needed to do a patterned sock for a change - a lacy sock - and this is what I knit.

The pattern is Helen Socks by Verybusymonkey and you can find it on Ravelry here.
I used Cascade Heritage yarn. The color combined with lace pattern was hard to photograph, but it is a dark hunter green. The lace would probably show up better in a lighter color but this is what it is.

Now in photographing this sock and trying it on I noticed that I made several mistakes. The lace is only a 4 row repeat and rows 2 and 4 are just knit, but sometimes I didn't read my knitting correctly and there are boo boos.... and they are going to stay that way. I figure even if I ripped it out and reknit there is no guarantee that I wouldn't make the same errors again just in different places. These are busy enough I don't think anyone is going to notice... and if you are looking at my feet that closely you probably have other issues I don't want to know about.

I have started the mate to this sock - cause I love the color and the yarn- it is very squishy (that's a technical term you know - LOL). Also, I've got the leg knit on another pair of big black socks for my son. And there is a new shawl I want to start and numerous other projects I've been piddling with... life is good!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I have some prep work for the Thanksgiving feast I want to take care of and then I want to spend the rest of the weekend doing something crafty.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Something wooly on Wednesday

I finished knitting this shawl a while ago,but I only got it blocked last week. I really don't like to block, but boy what a difference it makes.

This pattern is Shaelyn - you can find it here on Ravelry. I've knitted this pattern 3 or 4 times and I know I'll knit it again. It is an easy lace pattern.

The yarn is Noro Taiyo. I love the colors of Noro but the thick and thin part is annoying.

The weather has turned colder and I have 3 more shawls that need to be blocked. Hopefully the chance to wear them will motivate me to get them blocked.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Star Filled Wall on Design Wall Monday

I got in some quality sewing time Saturday evening and finished all nine of these BIG star blocks!

I am very happy with these blocks and I hope that today I'll have time to cut some sashing strips and do the snowball corners to make the Shoo Fly blocks in between the stars.

I'm really enjoying these vintage Debbie Mumm fabrics - a tossed alphabet and big buttons....

little buttons and cardinals!

Debbie really does novelties well. I found that the Debbie Mumm fabrics I love the best are the older ones printed by South Seas Imports. The ones that were at Joanns weren't the same quality in my opinion. My friend Stephie tipped me off that there is a new line of DM and they had it at my favorite quilt shop, Fabric Shack. I went up last week and got yardage of 2 different beiges for background and a swirly red print that would be a great border.

Years ago I made A LOT of quilts with DM fabrics. I did Stack 'n Whack quilts, and seasonal quilts and I Spy quilts. I have a pile of them and I still love them all.

Hope you have a great week-
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some slow stitching on Sunday with results

I've been taking it easy today. I went out and did a little shopping with my son and found a great picture for his living room and a toaster for the kitchen. Although he really didn't want to go into Bed, Bath & Beyond (some nonsense about it being emasculating - sheesh - such drama) - he was happy with his purchases. Then I spent the afternoon in my stitching chair and I finished this -- Sarah's Garden by With Thy Needle and Thread.

I will be referring to this sampler as Carol's Garden as I changed her hair and eye color to reflect me and I changed a lot of the other flosses too. Oh well, that is a stitcher's prerogative and I'm happy with my take on this sampler.

As I was finishing up I came to the realization that this sampler is missing something. Scroll back up and look at the first picture - do you see it?

The J, the Q and the U are missing! Now if I had noticed this before I was done I would have done some rearranging and worked them in, but it is too late now. I'm going to take this to Joann's this week to be framed. There is a lovely 60% off coupon I can use.

So what to stitch now? I should pick up the Quaker Diamonds piece but I kitted up Blackbird Designs Merry Christmas and it has been humming that Andy Williams classic "Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" which I find irresistible. I know I could finish this little sampler before the holidays. I really would love to do the bigger BBD piece Christmas Garden. I have the pattern and all the flosses and I'm pretty sure there is a piece of linen in my stash that is large enough but I don't think there is enough time to finish it before this Christmas. It may be a good one to start after the holidays.

Tomorrow is a free day for our household - no one has work or school. I'm planning to slap a coat of paint on the sofa table in my son's basement and do a little sewing. Hope you had a good weekend.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, November 9, 2012

On and Off the Needles

Well I was able to knit a "sole" mate for a solitary single sock this week and a new pair has been created!

Plain vanilla stockinette where the yarn does all the work. This yarn is DROPS Fabel and I got it here at Nordic Mart. This yarn is a good value, knits up nicely and you can machine wash and dry it so they make great socks to gift. The colorway on this pair is 153p TexMex.

I started another pair of socks for me using a simple lace pattern. They are knitting up quickly so I should have one to show next Friday. And I'm going to start another pair of socks for my son. Instead of big black and boring I may be able to do big brown and a bit less boring, as he bought a new suit that is a lovely shade of brown. Hey I am thrilled for a bit of variety - LOL! Now I understand he has to dress conservatively for work. He may have one of the few jobs left in this world where a suit and tie is required everyday. There is no "casual Friday" in Municipal Court Land.

And I got an email from my local yarn shop, Lambikins Hideaway telling me that they were having a sale and ALL yarn was 20% off. Now who could pass that up? (Do not tell me if you could - LOL - I do not have that kind of willpower) Anyway a nice selection came home with me.

From left to right - the pinky/purple is Dream in Color called Ruby River. This skein has cashmere in it - so soft! In the middle is Madelinetosh sock yarn in Pool. My friend Cathy was knitting socks with this the other evening and they are gorgeous. And 2 balls of Regia Design Line "Garden Effects" in the Herb Garden colorway. I love the mix of colors in this one - shades of olive, a deep purple, a bit of turquoise and a dash of pumpkin. I'm thinking maybe doing Skyp socks with this yarn.

I'm looking forward to the weekend - it is a 3 day one for both of my sons - no work or school. I'm hoping to sew and knit and stitch. And I want to get up the energy to paint a piece of unassembled IKEA furniture - this piece - that has been languishing in my son's basement for a while. He's finally decided where he want to put it and I think he's picked a paint color. First is needs a coat or two of primer so he can make up his mind while I'm slapping that on. I figured it would be easier to paint unassembled and after I'm done he can put it together.

So I hope that you have a lovely weekend and don't forget to thank a Veteran for their sacrifice - I shudder to think where we'd be without these brave men and women.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Millennium Stars

Sheesh - I know I'm always saying how time flies but even I'm surprised that it has been a week since I posted anything. I've been busy but I haven't really done anything that was blog worthy. I made some big blue boring pillow covers for my son's house, and I hemmed some beige boring cargo pants for my younger son, and hemmed some brown boring suit pants for my older sone, and I painted a boring white mailbox. Yawn......

However I do have something to share that does seem blog worthy - my completed Millennium Stars quilt!

Here it is on my son's bed in his new house. It looks great with the deep blue walls and the black furniture. The quilt is a generous queen size. I'm really pleased with the way the colors gradate across the quilt and how the white background seems to light up this room.

Here's a close up of the stars and the quilting. Every star in this quilt is a different fabric and every one of them has some sort of metallic decoration. I collected Hoffman Fabrics for quite a while to get this stash.

I took this quilt to show n' tell at my guild meeting on Monday and realized that I had to have started this quilt at least 10 to 12 years ago as there is a block that says "2000 Millennium". My son loves the quilt and says it looks like I made it just for this room... which would make me quite prescient a decade ago. Too bad I didn't have the vision to buy Apple stock too - LOL!

Well I hope to get some fun crafty stuff accomplished some time soon. My design wall hasn't changed in a week, I'm almost done with a sock and I want to finish up the Sara's Garden cross stitch sampler I'm working on. Here's hoping you are having a productive week!

Happy stitching-
carol fun