Thursday, February 28, 2013

Showing my socks

Today I'm sporting another simple stockinette pair of socks in one of my favorite brands of yarn - Opal.

I love how Opal comes up with interesting color combinations and mix of patterns and stripes. You can see that these socks are fraternal twins. I followed my "normal" modus operandi. After knitting the first sock I took the remaining yarn, and I rewound it so that the pattern would reverse and the socks would not match. I like how the green in this yarn looks a bit like trees or or maybe a waterfall - okay maybe that's the yarn fumes talking - LOL!

Check out the Patchwork Times to see what  socks other people are wearing today.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 25, 2013

Almost finished on Design Wall Monday

This weekend included some quality sewing time and I finished all 36 of my Scrappy Trip blocks!

Now I still have to sew them all together but I know that will be fun because as I assemble this top I'll get to look at some of my favorite novelty prints like this adorable sock monkey...

and this polka dot pony...

and this cool sewing machine - I love that lime green color...

and this cute cat...

and one of my favorite Richard Scarry characters - Mr. Pig chasing his hat...

and driving in his pickle car...

I can't wait to get this one to the quilter. Hope your week has some sewing time too!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, February 22, 2013

What's on the needles?

So on Wednesday I finished up this sock...

This is Blue Moon Fiber Co. Socks that Rock in the Supercolourfraglistic colorway. These colors are so vivid - that turquoise glows. And I had every intention of casting on the 2nd sock when Judy posted about color pooling and showed her sock in the Into the Whirled Pakokku yarn "Fierce and Fearless". Well I had purchased this same colorway and I HAD to cast it on. Here is side one.

and side two...

Oh my goodness! This is EXACTLY the kind of pooling and flashing I was hoping for. Now when I first saw Judy's sock I assumed she has cast on 60 stitches like she had for her "Bigger on the Inside" pair. I cast on 60 stitches and knit about an inch, and it was apparent that I wasn't going to get the pooling, instead I was getting the stripe pattern. Grrrr... not what I want. So then I actually read Judy's post (instead of just looking at the pretty pictures) and saw that she had cast on 64 stitches. I didn't want to redo the cuff so I just added 4 stitches to the first knit round and what do you know... I got pooling! Yippee! It just blew my mind how much difference 4 extra stitches per round could make.

Which got the little hamster wheels in my brain spinning. I wondered if doing 64 stitches with the "Vampires of Venice" colorway I finished up last week would have resulted in more pooling and less striping. Here are the results of this little experiment. On the left is the sock done with 60 stitches and on the right the 64 stitch version.

Side one...

and side two..

Now there seems to be more pooling happening in the 64 stitch version sock. However as I approached the heel turn I could see that the yarn was reverting to the stripe pattern again. So I would say that this experiment is marginally successful in obtaining more pooling with more stitches. But in the end the yarn does its thing, and stripes reappear. As I stated yesterday, you don't have a lot of control and the way the yarn is dyed strongly influences the pattern.

So this poses another question. Could I dye yarn that will be more likely to pool? I am definitely going to try to do this when the weather warms up. I think the key will be to rewind the skeins into longer skeins and then dye them. I think that shorter bands of colors in close proximity will get the pooling effect when they "stack" up as you knit. I can't wait to see if this works - boy I wish Spring would get here.

Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead of you. If you've gotten snowed on, I hope it melts very soon. I'm planning a quiet stay home weekend. I got enough strips cut to finish the blocks for my Scrappy Trips blocks. I've got some cross stitch projects that are calling my name and of course there is plenty of sock yarn to be knit.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm back and I'm showing my socks!

Hello there -- long time no post -- and no real reason why -- just not getting much done around here. I'm glad that today I do have something to talk about... socks I made years ago but they are nice and warm on this blustery day.

This yarn is from Blue Moon Fibers Socks that Rock but I don't remember what this color is called. You can check out their selection here. I really love the way the colors on these socks pool and flash and it shows that you really have to go with the flow. And making matching socks is probably impossible. I cast on the exact same number of stitches on both socks - 60 stitches and I used the exact same needles - 2.75. Both socks started similarly but after I turned the heel the foot turned out totally different.  I like the pattern on the sock on my right foot better - more flashing and pooling.

Judy L was talking about pooling yarns here. Check back tomorrow and I'll show you a little experiment I did trying to make a sock yarn pool more. I was only minimally successful but it did satisfy my curiosity and made me realize that I am not a spatial thinker - oh well!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, February 15, 2013

What's on the needles?

Okay so this week has been filled with unpleasant tasks such as cleaning and sorting and organizing and recycling and pitching the flotsam and jetsam that has accumulated in this house over the past 20 years. I have a new found appreciation of trash bags that don't split and plastic storage containers with tight fitting snapped on lids. Lots of stuff has left the house but there is still lots to go through. That said I didn't get much crafty done this week. Some evenings I was too tired to do any more that a row or two of knitting. However I did get this pair of socks completed -- Into the Whirled yarn in the Vampires of Venice colorway. You can see it here at the Loopy Ewe site.

The socks on the right is the first one I knit and you can see the pooling at that occurred as I started it. As it progressed the pattern became a stripy one and the continued on the second sock too.

Here's a close up of how the colors played out - plum, forest green, chocolate brown, turquoise

And the mailman dropped off some new squishy goodies yesterday - perfect timing. I cast this pair on last night. This is Blue Moon Fibers Socks that Rock in the Supercolourfragilistic colorway. You can check it out along with lots of other great colorways here.

This is what the skein looked like when it arrived. Such gorgeous colors - burnt' orange, peach yellow, a touch of lime, burgundy, teal and a flash of turquoise.

 I opened up the skein to see how this was dyed. Big Dude was happy to assist in the inspection and found it suitable.

I'm glad I remembered to take pictures of the skein in this state so when I go to do some yarn dyeing this spring I'll be able to see the arrangement of colors and I'll know how it knit up.

I'm sticking with the 60 stitch plain vanilla stockinette socks. I think most patterns done with this yarn would just get lost. This yarn is a joy to knit with. It is nice and round and has a wonderful sheen. I've got several pairs of socks that use Blue Moon Fibers. This yarn doesn't have any nylon in it and I normally steer clear of yarns without a bit of nylon for socks but I made an exception for this yarn because it is just soooo pretty and I adore the names they give to there colorways.

I apologize for not responding to all the lovely commments you've left this week. I will catch up this weekend.

Don't forget to check Judy's blog the Patchwork Times to see what others have been up to this week.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 11, 2013

Novelties abound on Design Wall Monday

There definitely wasn't enough sewing time in my weekend, but that's my own doing as I worked on cleaning out our storage room. We've been in this house for 20 years and lots has gone into the storage room but not much has left. I'm trying to rectify that situation and it is taking time. However I did give myself a little fun time on Saturday as I cut out some pieces for my Wiggly Whimsey quilt - its a Moda Bake Shop pattern and you can see it here. Terry at Terry's Treasures is doing a SAL and I couldn't resist joining in.

I've got 2 rows done which I think has me on track. It is hard to tell from a distance but this is my background fabric. It is a Benartex and I had it in my stash although it is a fairly recent addition - nevertheless I'm considering it to be "free" fabric. (Yes I know I'm delusional, just nod your head and play along.)

Now this quilt uses a pack of charm squares and if made that way you could sew this baby up in an afternoon. Yet you know that I am taking a different path. There are 148 2" finished squares that would come from the charm pack. Instead I am fussy cutting 148 different 2" finished squares from my stash - which we all know is totally free fabric. (Again nod your head -- good job!) Here are some I sewed together.

Of course we have the obligatory polka dot chicken...

and fried chicken legs...

a piece of my beloved Elvis fabric...

a pink Princess phone that I would have killed for when I was 16...

a happy yellow robot...

a startled mummy...

a cat wearing a plaid jacket and reading a book... (and this isn't the strangest one I have so far - LOL!)

a pirate...

a pig eating pepperoni pizza...

a sweet little boy...

and an ant juggling blueberries on a picnic tablecloth... okay, this may be the strangest one so far!

I think you can clearly see that I am having a ball with my novelties. I've only gone through about 1/4 of my stash so far and I can't wait to see what else I can find. Now if I can only resist bringing some new novelties into the house. Oh the temptation is sooooo strong. Just this weekend while doing some online browsing I found vintage cars, a food truck, a typewriter, mermaids, bicycles, a golf cart, a matryoskha doll, bright colored sewing machines and dinosaurs. I think I'm toast - LOL!

Don't forget to check all the other cool design walls today on Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, February 8, 2013

What's on my needles?

Last Friday evening I finished up the BIG navy socks for my son. I was itching to cast on some of my new yarn from The Loopy Ewe, but I didn't have time to get to it until late on Monday. However, I did make some great progress this week....

This is Vampires of Venice colorway from Into the Whirled's Pakoku sock yarn. You can find it here. And coincidentally Judy posted earlier this week that she was also casting on a sock with her Into the Whirled yarn. She was using a different colorway that appears to be sold out at this time - too bad - it is very pretty. Anyway we were both intrigued as to how this yarn would knit up. It was advertised to pool, flash and stripe depending on the pattern. Well Judy was casting on 60 stitches on 2.25 mm needles and I cast on 60 stitches with 2.75mm needles. It will be interesting to see her results.

That said I love the pooling I got at the top of the first sock, but as I kinda expected as I got further along the yarn settled into a striping pattern even though there are the exact same number of stitches on the leg as on the foot! It is very nice and I love the colors of this yarn - plum, chocolate brown, turquoise, forest green - I'd just love it more if it pooled more. I really want that splotchy look. But I'll take it as it comes. I think knitting with yarn like this is comparable to making a Stack N Whack quilt. You know it is going to be pretty, you just don't know exactly what you are going to end up with until you are done.

Don't forget to check out all the pretty stuff others have on their needles on the Patchwork Times blog.

Hope everyone in the Northeast comes through the snow storm okay. The weekend weather in Ohio is rainy but seasonal temperatures. Yesterday we had sunny and 50 and it teases you into thinking that Spring will be here any mintue. And then you wake up the next morning and remember that it is only the beginning of February and there is still plenty of time for it to be winter.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Showing my Socks

Now that I'm getting into the routine of "showing my socks" on Thursdays, I'm putting an extra bit of thought into my sockware selection. Today I picked this pair...

and yes that is Big Dude's tail in the picture. He was a bit clingy this morning. Anyway I have lots of socks made with self-striping yarns. I LOVE LOVE LOVE self-striping yarns. This particular yarn is DROPS Fabel from Nordic Mart. You can find it here. This colorway is Candy Mix. I am particularly fond of the chartreuse olive-y green stripe and the fuchsia stripe and the hint of orange. A great color combo that I wouldn't have thought of.

This yarn is inexpensive and you can machine wash/tumble dry. Very easy care. Also I went out of my way to NOT match the stripes. After knitting the first sock, I took the ball for the second sock and rewound it so the stripe pattern was reversed from the first ball. Fraternal twin socks!

Do you match your socks to your outfit? I confess I do. Today I'm wearing a turtleneck in that same chartreuse olive-y green color. I always like to coordinate my socks to my outfit. I blame this OCD tic on the fact that for 12 years of my life I wore a uniform to school every day. Twelve years of white blouses (mostly with Peter Pan collars - I still love them!) and a jumper or skirt in some boring shade of navy or grey or a combination of both! YUCK! These outfits were accessorized with a sweater or blazer, again navy or gray, and knee socks in navy or grey. In high school I rebelled and wore socks that were green - I got a detention. Somehow nuns don't have a well developed fashion sense.... which should have been very apparent to me since they only wore the same black and white clothing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sheesh I was clueless.

Anyway to this day I feel the need to coordinate my colored clothing. The fact that I have very little grey in my wardrobe reflects on how I associate the color with school uniforms. I tolerate navy because denim jeans are mostly navy. But I do have a soft spot for white blouses. There is a nice selection of white tops in my closet. And to cap off my high school years, I along with several other girls, burned my school uniform - a grey plaid pleated wool skirt that I HATED - prior to our graduation day. Hey, other gals were burning bras back then  - the '70s were happening! LOL!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, February 4, 2013

A little snowman on Design Wall Monday

We got a bit of snow this weekend. No where near the 3 inches they forecast, more like less than an inch. Nevertheless I thought I'd play with the snow idea and I stitched up this sweet snow guy.

This is a pattern from Buttermilk Basin and you can see that my color palette differs significantly from the pattern.

In real life the white felt is sparkly, just like real snow. And my snowflakes are flocked buttons that I cut the shanks off and used hot melt glue to attach. The button on his body are beads and they cast a shadow. I used wool felt for all of the design and I used my machine blanket stitch to applique it

Now this yellow 8" X 8" piece is mounted on the 12" X 12" base and it hangs on a little wire table stand. The pattern for the base layer calls for it to be crazy quilt pieced and embellished with decorative embroidery stitches. I took an easier path and made the base from a crazy quilt Mary Engelbreit piece of fabric. I've purchased another pattern in this BOM series and it will be easy to change the center for a different seasonal design.

Now my Scrappy Trips quilt increased by another 4 blocks. I love this barn raising style. I think I'm going to call this quilt my "Three Ring Circus" quilt since I should get 3 concentric rings of the black fabric with this arrangement.

Some of the novelties I added this week include more chickens and cutlery...

These sweet girls... my youngest son thinks the one with glasses looks like me.  Oh he flatters me...LOL!

And these cute robots...

As always hope springs eternal that this week will have a significant amount of quality sewing time. However there are also several cleaning and purging projects on my agenda too. I will never ever ever ever ever run out of things to do.

Don't forget to look here to check out other design wall on the Patchwork Times.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's on my needles?

My needles have been clicking away this week and I have a couple of things to show for my efforts. First another pair of BIG socks for my son. These are not black, even though they look that way in the picture. They are in fact navy.... dark navy....okay, really almost black. But since the ball band said they were navy I can delude myself into thinking I'm knitting a variety of colors for him. This yarn is Knitpicks Stroll.

And because I wasn't very successful in deluding myself that navy is significantly different that black I cast on a colorful sock for me. The pattern is Monkey by Cookie A. You can find it here for free. The yarn is a lovely dusty pink - Deborah Norville's Serenity - I picked it up at Joanns.

Then \yesterday this arrived on my doorstep... a Box of Fun.. from The Loopy Ewe.

Aren't these yummy? From left to right - the white is Cascade Heritage, the yellow is Loopy Ewe's Solid series. I'm planning on using these two for a Cladonia shawl. You can check it out here. I've made this one before an I love this pattern. The next two are from Into the Whirled. The dark one is called Vampires of Venice and yellow pink-y one is called Fierce and Flawless. You can see them here.

I purchased the Into the Whirled because the description said "the color combinations provide a distinct repeat that will stripe/pool/stack/flash depending on your pattern and gauge. You know I'm hoping for lots of pooling and flashing.

The weather forecast last night called for snow - accumulating snow -for the weekend. Perfect stay inside and knit and sew weather. However I am skeptical since last week they also predicted accumulating snow and it wasn't even a dusting!

Have a great weekend-
happy stitching!
carol fun