Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Got in some sewing time and was able to assemble this part of my Soho Chic Ziggurat quilt! This is how it photographs under the fluorescent lights in my basement...

and here it is on the floor of my living room next to the big picture window. I had hoped for more natural light but as soon as I was ready to take this picture the sun went behind the clouds.

That background is so hard to capture. I called it acid pea green the other day. It some light it looks more mustard-y and in other light it looks more chartreuse. It does look good up in the living room which is where it will reside once I get it done.

Another look a the background in different locations - here is the basement...

and here it is in the living room.

As the cliche goes, it is what it is, and I'm good with that. Now to measure and get the borders on. Perhaps a project for after dinner. I need to work on something that will go more smoothly than this day has gone.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced -- go look around - lots of cool stuff!

Warning - rant of tired mom ahead...feel free to exit now.  Okay, I think a lot of you  know that I have an adult son with Aspergers. He's pretty high functioning in some areas but as most people with autism his skill set is uneven. In fact if I had to describe him in one word "uneven" would be at the top of the list. College classes started Monday and he takes a couple of classes each semester. He attends the class and then I add a lot of time, attention and hand holding at home for him to complete the work. Monday started okay, Tuesday wasn't bad, but today the wheels got loose on the cart. He totally misread what the homework assignment was for his class today. In fairness, he said that at least a third of the class misread it too. I looked it over again as I did when he was doing the homework, and I still would have interpreted it the same way my son did. This makes me annoyed that this instructor, of an English Composition class, didn't write a clearer description of the assignment and wouldn't give him any credit for the work he did do.

Now, you're probably thinking this isn't a big deal, but it is for him. He has now started off on the wrong foot. He has blown the first assignment of the entire semester. It is easier to build success on success than on failure. He doesn't have a ton of confidence in his abilities and navigating these classes is a struggle for him. I know that the instructor has no clue about this, nor would I expect her to. This is our problem, but at the moment I'm tired of fighting these battles. It is one of those days when I question why we are doing what we are doing and I know there isn't a definitive answer. I remind myself, as I remind my son, things will look better tomorrow or the day after and right now I'm looking forward to Friday.

Gonna go sew at bit -

carol fun

Monday, August 25, 2014

Soho Chic Ziggurat on Design Wall Monday

Oh I am so entranced with this new start - the pattern is Windspinner by Prairie Grass Patterns which you can see here, and the fabric is Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais and you can see the whole collection here.

I told myself I would just put one block together to see how it looked but I couldn't stop at one. I love the palette of this collection - olive, teal, chocolate, plum - so yummy! The background fabric can best be described as chartreuse or acid pea soup green - it kinda puts your teeth on edge when you see it. Not your ordinary background choice but it called my name.

And while I was putting these strips on my design wall the word "ziggurat" popped into my head. I had a vague memory of it being a stair step kinda design and according to the great authority Wikipedia it is defined as "having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels". I think that is a pretty good description of this design.

My favorite fabric in this Soho Chic collection is this large scale print - simply gorgeous! Love those big plum blossoms, the olive green swirly leaves, the teal flowers and those tiny pops of orange.

My plan is for a 2" border of the teal and then a nice swath of the large scale floral.

This week looks like it may have some quantity as well as quality sewing time in it. As of this morning I have no appointment on my calendar for the entire week! Now my son does start college classes but that is a manageable schedule of dropping off and picking up. And the weather continues to be hazy, hot and humid - perfect for hunkering down in my basement sewing studio with the AC and fans cranked up!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Modern Charm Pack Cherry on WIP Wednesday

I was really liking this Charm Pack Cherry quilt as I was sewing these batiks. But then I got all the rows together and I felt it still needed something... a border! I knew I didn't have enough of the turquoise batik to do an unpieced border and then inspiration struck - I could add squares and rectangles of the batiks  I used in the center of the quilt and extend the design. Now I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I think it looks quite arty and modern!

Sorry again about the color of this picture - I just can't get it right when I try to get the whole quilt in the shot.

Here are some close-ups of some of the squares and rectangles I added to the border strips and the color is truer.

I still need to sew the borders on, but that shouldn't take too long. I cannot wait to get this one off to the long arm quilter!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced today. Check out all the inspiration!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, August 18, 2014

Change of weather, change of pace on Design Wall Monday

EDITED - added picture of quilt top - scroll down - thanks!

Last week the weather was wonderful - cool temperatures overnight, low humidity, a nice breeze all day long. I had the windows open and it was like San Diego weather... in Ohio... in August! A total fluke! This week is starting hazy, hot, humid and rainy- yeah, that is the Ohio weather I know... I don't like it but I know it. And while last week had me thinking about chrysanthemums and pumpkins, this week I have frozen smoothies on the brain to cool down.

I broke open two charm packs of Pat Sloan's batik collection, One for Me, and One for You and paired it with a cool turquoise batik I just picked up from Fabric Shack. Love that store!

The color is in the photo is off but the best I could get last night in my studio. I made 16 BIG nine patch blocks which will be the foundation for a Charm Pack Cherry quilt. You can find the pattern for free
here on Jolly Jabber.

And here it is sliced but not yet sewn together... I'm LOVING it!

Now these pictures show the true colors of these fabrics. I did add some pieces from my stash as that turquoise batik was very similar to some of the fabrics in the Pat Sloan collection.

I need to slice these BIG blocks in half and then shuffle and sew them back together. Nice easy sewing which it exactly what I'm craving right now. I had hoped that the two weeks my son had off between the summer and fall sessions of classes would give us a lot of down time but it filled up way too much. This week has 1 lunch and 2 dinner engagements for me, a lunch and a dinner engagement for my son, a hair cut appointment, a basement repair issue that needs to be dealt with and a trip to an anime convention which has me providing transportation. Its going to be busy, busy, busy. The more I have to run around the more I just want to stay home and sew!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 15, 2014

A finish, a start, a WIP and a "little" bit of new yarn

Well, it has been a semi-productive week around here. After being a no show on Monday,  Tom, my contractor, was here Tuesday AND Wednesday and got several projects completed. I actually think I've run out of things I want him to do... for now. I have one more BIG project in the back of my mind but that won't be till next year. Having him in and out of the house, had me knitting as it was easy to pick up and put down and here's what I have to show for my time.

A finished pair of socks. I'm not sure why I picked this pair to work...oh wait...I do know why I picked up this pair instead of those lovely turquoise ones I'm so entranced with. It is because the yarn for the second sock for this pair was sitting in a basket by my chair, and the second skein for the turquoise sock was waaaaay downstairs in the storage room (a bit of an over dramatization as this is a little house) and I was too lazy to walk downstairs and release it from its storage bin. I have no clue what yarn this is. I did a K3, P1 for the leg and for some reason I tried to match the stripes. I NEVER match stripes and this pair reminded why I don't. Things were going okay until I got to the heel and pink part seemed a bit longer in the 2nd sock than in the first. I finagled and fudged and then just gave in kept knitting. I won't be trying to match stripes again.

And I finish always calls for another start. Again I should have hauled my butt downstairs and gotten the turquoise DROPS yarn, but if I had gone downstairs I would have been sucked into a conversation with Tom and any work downstairs would have stopped. I love my contractor, he is a great guy but he isn't able to talk and work at the same time. Instead there was this skein of Opal Schafpate 5 colorway 7251 perched on the top of my yarn basket and I cast it on.

You don't see a lot of yarn with peach tones and that lavendar-y blue with the bit of olive are very pretty. Plain vanilla sock, you can see the yarn here.

I watched a couple of disappointing baseball games this week, my beloved Cincinnati Reds versus the Boston Red Socks - and I was happy to have accomplished something on my Pamuya shawl as the Reds didn't accomplish much at all. I've knit about 3 more inches and I'm almost done with the first skein of the Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. I'm not sure how big this is going to be as it is a slow knit for me and at this moment I can't locate the second skein I bought...I think this may be a sign.

And then a teeny tiny "little" bit of yarn landed on my front porch. I was a bit surprised as I don't have a clear memory of placing this order. I'm thinking that I loaded up my virtual shopping cart and when I got up from my laptop that was sitting next to Big Dude to go to the bathroom, he rolled over and hit submit. A plausible series of events... right???

Anyway I now have a lovely stash of solid sock yarn... 13 skeins of DROPS Fabel, you can see it here. This is nice yarn for a nice price - $4 a skein. I want to make more scrappy socks and most of my left over yarns are variegated or stripey and I think the solids will mix nicely with them.

So much yarn, so little time... but so MUCH fun!
happy knitting-
carol fun

Monday, August 11, 2014

Entering the DANGER ZONE on Design Wall Monday

So there wasn't as much sewing time in my weekend as I would have liked....but then is there ever enough sewing time? Right now I have all of the block rows and sashing rows assembled.

The bottom two rows are sewn with the sashing - 2/5 of the way there - 40% - not too bad. I do like this Topiary Tiles pattern and I'm really digging the Avant Garden fabric -it makes me think of the 70's - all kinda hippie and cool - LOL!

As for the cornerstones, all I can say was "what was I thinking?" oh yeah, I wasn't thinking. Making them with random quarter square triangles is a great look but a pain in the butt to assemble. Lots of pinning, sewing, ripping, re-pinning, re-sewing... you get the idea.

And this quilt has definitely entered the DANGER ZONE. That is the place where I can see what the total quilt is going to look like. Much of the assembly has been completed and I am painfully aware of the difficulties I am going to encounter in sewing it together. This is the time where it is in great jeopardy of being taken off the design wall and put into a plastic bin. The DANGER ZONE where projects turn into UFOs...

trying hard...NOT...TO...LET...THAT...HAPPEN...argghhhhh!!!

Those cornerstones are fussy and I got another hare brained idea that when I cut that dotty fabric for the border I should cut it so that the dots form a scallop around the edge. Oh it will look cool but it is going to be another fussy task. At least I realized that I'm not going to even attempt to miter the corners of this top, but I haven't decided what is going to go in the corners yet. Maybe blocks like the Topiary Tile pattern but smaller scale or the easy way would be cornerstones - maybe solid ones out of the yellow grunge I used for the sashing or maybe GIANT quarter square triangles. If there is a way to make it more difficult I will find it! LOL

These blocks are looking good!

Well this Monday is not starting well, my contractor said he'd be here today... this morning even... but it is now pushing noon and no sign of him. Big sigh! He's suppose to do some repair work on my son's house and I have to be around to let him in and I've got another project for him here which I wasn't in a hurry for but he said he's take care of it now. I do really like my contractor but it seems to be the norm that they have no concept of time. He does GREAT work, he's trustworthy, his prices are reasonable, but he is always running behind and spreading himself too thin. After all the work he's done at my house and my son's house I don't want to look for another contractor, so I will hang in there... but not without a little grousing.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I'm going nuts!!!

So life has me going nuts on several different fronts. First, is the border on my BBD Feast of Friendship sampler. I was determined to get the border completed on this piece before I stitched any further. (Ignore that waviness - I didn't smooth it out before I took the picture.)

There are 35 of these little acorns, each stitched in two different colors of floss that are oh so similar, yet different. Good thing they are cute!

And the BIG blue house has needed some re-painting. I started stitching with the called for flosses: Crescent Colors Blue Corn and Gentle Arts Tin Bucket and Uniform Blue. But it wasn't coming out as a blue house... it was a gray house with hints of blue... not the beyoootiful blue behemoth on the cover of the chart. Soooooo, I ripped out what I had stitched and switched to a trio of DMC blues that were more to my liking - 930, 931 and 924. To compensate for the lack of variation in the flosses I'm stitching bit and blobs randomly as I'm hoping for a blotchy look, kinda like peeling paint.

So along with this sampler driving me nuts, I'm dealing with some family issues that have me bouncing back and forth between being madder than a wet polka dot chicken, to being dumbfounded by the clueless requests of certain people regarding my older son's wedding next Spring. I think I'll concentrate on more cross stitch today to preserve my sanity.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 8, 2014

Is there a for socks?

Six solitary socks searching for solemates...

Ummmm... I think these guys need a membership in for socks! LOL It seem that some one has a bit of a problem with commitment. Now, I'm not pointing fingers, but I probably should. And in keeping with the current societal situation of not accepting blame for anything, I'm putting the burden on the yarn. It is just too darn pretty! I can't help that my head is turned by the newest pretty skein - its not my fault! Yeah, I'm not buying that excuse either.

So lets get a profile on this cast of characters. First we have two lovely patterned socks each knit with Serenity yarn from Joanns. The pink one is a No purl Monkey sock and the green one is a Sunday Swing sock. If you click on the pattern names it will take you to the links for the patterns, they are both free.

Next we have a pair of cousins. The earth tone one on the left is Regia Kaffe Fasset Design Line yarn. The yellow one is knit with Blue Moon Socks that Rock in the Lemonmellow colorway. They were both knit from the Carolina pattern, another free one you can find here.

And last but not least we have a lovely turquoise blue plain vanilla sock knit with DROPS Fabel in the 677p colorway which is keeping company with a  olive green and pink sock of mysterious origins as I have no clue what yarn this is.

Now while you are shaking your head and thinking that is a lot of mateless socks, I have to inform you that the situation is actually even worse than it appears here. I know for a fact there are several more single solitary socks  hiding out in my storage room in their own little ziploc bags who are too shy to show their faces, along with knitter who seems to has absolutely no shame or guilt in producing more UFOs. Remember what I said a couple of weeks ago? I believe that it is important for your creativity to have UFOs, and I excel at producing them. I didn't tell you a story - LOL!

So for next week I am challenging myself to find/knit a mate for just one of these solitary socks. Which one would you pick? Right now I'm kinda smitten with that DROPS Fabel blue one. It is the easiest pattern and I love the colors and stripe-yness. Although that mysterious green and pink one has quite the siren call too. And there is always the chance that another skein could catch my eye... it has happened before... lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of times!

happy knitting-
carol fun

Monday, August 4, 2014

Growing my Avant Garden on Design Wall Monday

Oh I am having a very good time with this Avant Garden collection of fabric and this pattern, Topiary Tiles, is working out nicely to show off the big scale prints. The block is easy to assemble and I have all the pieces cut so I can sit and pick and choose combinations - some kinda matchy, others that I'm not sure what I was thinking. And I always worry that when I get to the last block or two the fabrics I'll have left will clash terribly. Oh well, I think the crazy combinations I put together on purpose will balance out those last stragglers - at least I hope so!

And what a difference this sashing makes -- sooooooo much better than the stuff I picked last Monday- what was I thinking? Glad I came to my senses. It was so busy it was making me a bit dizzy - not good.

Twenty blocks done and 5 more to go.... and I think 8 more cornerstones. I went with my idea of making the cornerstones from quarter square triangles.

I mixed them up, just trying to keep from repeating any fabric twice in the same square.

I really like the blue in this collection.

One last look as I left my sewing room... I like it a lot!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, August 1, 2014

What is it about Noro yarn...

that is so intoxicating? I swear this yarn gives off some sort of fumes that hypnotizes you. I have been knitting on this shawl all week long!

The shawl pattern in Pamuya and you can see it here on Ravelry. Well written pattern with stitch counts for the end of each section to keep you on track.

I love the serendipity of how the drop stitch section of the pattern ended up in that light beige run of the yarn.

Now after all that praise I must admit that this yarn is hard on my hands. They've been achy after a evening session with this shawl.  I think I need to take a break and knit on some socks... any of the 4 or 5 or 6 pairs of half knitted socks I can see from my easy chair would be fine - LOL!

happy knitting-
carol fun