Friday, May 27, 2016

Dueling socks...

Well this week I have dueling socks on my needles!  My usual pace has me knitting one sock a week but somehow this week I have two socks going and... neither one is done.  Oh well... it has been fun knitting.

The sock on the left is a Frankensock using scraps of Opal yarn... the cuff, heel and toe will be a gray yarn of undetermined origin that I found in my stash.

Think I have enough scraps? Yeah me too!  I wound little 5 gram balls from a big bin of leftover yarn I have. I weigh them on one of those little kitchen scales you can weigh food on... if you are into that sort of thing...but I'm not. Funny aside, my older son who is a prosecuting attorney saw the little scale and asked "why do you have a drug scale?"... obviously his experience with this device is very different from mine.

And while I distinctly remember telling my friend that since I've discovered Frankensocks and ragrug socks I would never knit a pair of socks from just one skein of yarn, this skein snuck into my house and my heart!

This is Opal Hunderwassers in the colorway 2104...oh how I LOVE this skein! (I got it off of ebay and I did just google it and there are few skeins still out there in the internet.)  Varying widths of stripes ... big and little bands of faux Fair Isle... a touch of yellow!  However, while this sock is primarily from one skein I did do some alterations. The creamy white band is much shorter than the skein had it... a bit too much white for me so I broke the yarn and started back with that cute little red faux Fair Isle band. And when I got down to the heel I decided to use a solid creamy white... some older Paton Kroy.  This is very enjoyable knitting... totally mindless.  I think this sock yarn has a definite Frankensock vibe too!  Makes me happy happy happy!

Do you have plans for the holiday weekend?  I have an airport drop off to do and plan to go to Taste of Cincinnati one day and then nothing definite...I'm sure some knitting and cross stitch and sewing will find its way into the weekend... and if the weather cooperates some of it will be done sitting on the front is good!

happy knitting-
carol fun

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Busy, busy, busy...

Oh I have been busy, busy, busy this last week or so... I've been bouncing around from one project to another but I have actually completed a couple of them. First, I've finished my Flower Basket quilt... the pattern is by Live.Love.Sew and you can see it here.

This is an almost free quilt...all of the fabrics except for four blocks came out of my stash... all the rest of the baskets and the sashing and even the back, were fabrics I already owned... for quite some time... I think some of those fabrics are at least 10 years old...maybe older. This flower basket is a well- aged Hoffman... I'm not sure if they are morning glories or petunias... since I have a penchant for petunias we are going to go with petunias. Notice all the cornerstones are different floral fabrics.

And this is one of the new fabrics... pretty dogwood blossoms by Moda... I shall be sleeping in a flower bed!

And I got the borders on the behemoth Hi Again quilt... you can find out about it here.

This finished at 104" square... I had no where to lay it out flat and even having my son and his friend hold it up they couldn't get it totally upright. I took both of these tops to my long arm quilter Terry for her to do her magic on them.  I even made the binding for both of these so I'll be raring to go when I get them back.

And I did a lot of gardening too. I've been waiting not so patiently to have window boxes installed on one side of my house. Here is the front of my house... it sits on a corner lot so I have 2 front yards... the house was designed to have the window box on the left hand side. It is hard to see in this picture but there are brick supports built out of  the house  for it to sit on. I bought new planter boxes for the porch that mimic the shape of the window boxes.  My color scheme is white and pink with accent of purple...wave petunias, geraniums and lobelia.

This is the side of my house...poor bare little windows...

And here is my house with the new window boxes!  The one under the picture window is 92" long...and the other two are about 52" inches long...pretty substantial size. It took my handyman about 4 hours to get them bolted to the side of the house. Then I filled them with potting soil and planted a total of 60 wave petunias in 4 different window boxes. I can't wait for them to fill in and spill over the sides.

This is a close up of the box on the front of the house which I planted about 2 to 3 weeks ago...I'm already seeing some growth but oooohhh it is so hard to wait.

 Additionally the pyramid of potted petunias has gotten plumper... (can you tell I LOVE alliteration!)

There are 11 different varieties of Proven Winner petunias...the bigger pots have 2 plants each in them and the smaller pots just have one. I am so happy with this display... it is a lot like buying fat quarters you can afford to indulge in lots of different colors!

Well I hope the burst of productivity continues for a while. I never ever run out of things I want to do. I've got two different sock projects on my needles and I've been switching back and forth between 2 different cross stitch project ... stay tuned for updates on them in the next few days.

Hope you are getting things done too!
happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, May 20, 2016

Adventures in sock knitting...

Hello everyone... well another week is whizzing by and while I've gotten some things done other projects are languishing...oh well... as Scarlett said, "tomorrow is another day".   One of the projects I did work on was another Frankensock... this one only using Blue Moon Fibers Socks that Rock yarn...

This is one of those projects where first I LOVED it... then I was kinda hmmmm... and then I HATED it but I kept on knitting ...and then I came back to hmmm... and ended up at I LIKE it... I may even LOVE it.  The jury is out till the second sock is done.

I used about 15 different BMF STR in this sock... I wish I could remember all the names of the different yarns... I do remember Sunshine Superman, Count Cluckula, Farmhouse, Fire on the Mountain, Citrine, Sugar Pie, and one of my absolute favorites Crabby McHappypants!!!

In knitting these socks I usually join a new yarn by tying a knot with the old and the new yarn but about halfway down the foot I discovered another way to join yarn. I found it here on Jen Hagen's Instagram feed.  Go look at what she has done... she catches the tail of the new yarn into the back of the last 8 stitches of the old yarn, then she catches the tail of the old yarn in the first 8 stitches of the new yarn... no knot... no ends to weave in... pretty cool!  I did this joining method for the last 4 or 5 yarns I used in the BMF STR sock and I'm using it in my new sock.

These are all Opal leftovers... I LOVE Opal yarn too...(yes I am very fickle I LOVE LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of things...LOL) . The thing I LOVE most about Opal yarn is when it does that faux Fair Isle thing like that blue and white part of this sock.  I spent some time the other day winding 5 gram balls of some of my Opal leftovers... I now see that I need to somehow secure the ends of the little balls as what I now have is a big mess...ugh! (Update to say I've corralled all the loose ends with rubber bands and it make me happy!)

And as I was typing this post the mailman rang my doorbell and this lovely package appeared...

A gorgeous pouch to keep my yarn project in ... love those bright colors... this was a gift from Dar of Dar's Patchwork Garden and I do LOVE IT!!! Thank you so much Dar... it wasn't necessary... but I do appreciate it.  Blogging friends are so special!.

On the gardening front things are looking good... my rose bushes are just FULL of buds and some have opened...

These are a deep peach that fades to yellow... so pretty! I know I should clip off some of the buds so the resulting ones get bigger but I just HATE to do it... I want every rose!!! And I always dither as whether to leave them on the bush or cut them and bring them inside. Right now I'm leaving them as several neighbors commented on how they enjoy seeing them too... isn't that a nice thing to say? And on the petunia front four more petunias came home with me...

I put them into little pots and tucked them in here and there... oh this is getting addicting but SO MUCH FUN!! See those pink packs to the left side of the pic... those are Wave petunias... LOTS of Wave petunias. My handyman Dan is suppose to come on Sunday and hang my new window boxes and I am ready to plant!!!! I will show some before and after shots as I think it is going to be quite a nice addition to my house.

Well off to run some errands and maybe get some more crafty stuff done.. there is quilting and cross stitching calling my name... have a great weekend!

happy knitting -
carol fun

Monday, May 16, 2016

Quality time with my sewing machine...

It was a lovely weekend... I was able to spend quality time in my sewing room and I got lots I didn't get everything done that I should but when you see what distracted me you'll understand why I didn't get the borders on the behemoth top...

So this was the distraction... isn't it pretty???

I only need one more block for my Flower Basket quilt from Live.Love.Sew. I love these BIG blocks ... they finish 16". I made a couple more blocks with my vintage Hoffman prints like this one with wisteria...

and this one with roses...I LOVE roses...and as an aside, the rose bushes in my yard are full of buds and some are just opening. I'm going to cut some today before the deer chow down on them.

However I regret to inform you that is no longer a FREE quilt... I was up at Fabric Shack and was seduced by these new fabrics...

Flowers that look cross stitched... I was powerless to resist!

And this Moda dogwood print... so pretty!

In fact so pretty I also got some of the smaller scale print too!

I plan to make each of 25 of the cornerstones a different floral fabric from my stash... lots of unfolding, cutting an refolding but it will be worth it!

And here is the behemoth top that still needs borders!!!!

81 blocks for a giant sized Hi Again quilt for my son and daughter in law!  At the moment it is already over 90 some inches and with the borders it will top 100" square. I have a seamless back and a king size batt waiting in the wings so I can take this to Terry my long arm quilter ASAP.

I hope that this week will give me time to finish up both of these quilts...and maybe start something new! So many quilts I want to make... so many quilts!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lizzie Kate time on Slow Stitching Sunday...

It has been a very good week for cross stitching... I attribute this to the fact that except for my PBS British shows - Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridge - there hasn't been a thing on TV to watch.  I listened to some baseball this week... the way my beloved Cincinnati Reds are playing it is easier to just listen than to watch. And here are the fruits of my labor...

This is the May installment on the new Yearbook series from Lizzie Kate ... there is a cute little shovel charm to attach  too!  This finished about 2.5 X 4.25" on 32 count ...the linen has is a peachy color but I couldn't get it to show in the picture.   The chart is a two -fer ...

May and June come together. I'll be starting June later this week I think.

And I made a lot of progress on my  Lizzie Kate Summer Alphabet...

The little blocks don't look that wonky in real life... I think I skewed them a bit when I ironed this piece for its picture. I really enjoy doing the frames and the letters. What slows me down are the little pictorial blocks. They are cute but I don't like stitching them as much as the letters.

My favorite detail so far is the little bee on the letter C...

I gave it a little stinger too!

Well it has been a very productive weekend in the sewing department too... check back tomorrow... I have new blocks on my design wall and I got the 81 blocks of my Hi Again top for my son and daughter-in-law sewn together... yeah!  Now to get the borders on and get it off to Terry to quilt.

So the weekend is coming to a close... my son and DIL weren't available for dinner so my younger son and I did carry out Italian... yummy... now I'm full and I think I'll get comfy in my chair and stitch some more while I watch my British shows on is good!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Where does the week go????

I start every week thinking I've got so much time to get things done... and then whoosh... the week is over. I've worked a little on knitting, a little on cards, a little on sewing and a pretty good chunk of time on cross stitch which I'll show tomorrow...promise!

But right now I want to show my latest knitting finish... another pair of ragrug socks that has a definite Frankensock vibe... I'll explain what I mean after you look at them...

I knit these alternating Drops Fabel 162 and deep turquoise yarn with Wisdom Yarns Pix in Citrus Slide... you can see them here and here.  I love how the different stripe sequences played out and I got chunks of striped patterns which give these socks the look of scrappy Frankensocks.   I am currently totally besotted with knitting scrappy socks. I started a Pinterest board called Frankensocks which you can see here...  and lots of inspiration from Instagram which you can see here and here.  You don't have to be on Instagram to look at the pretty pictures... just type in a hashtag like #sockknitting and be prepared to lose an hour or two or three... LOL!

Now it is the middle of May and one would think that sock wearing weather is over but one would be wrong... very very wrong... it is only 48 degrees as I type this and I am cold...and to add to the ambience it is gray and rainy... ugh...

On the other hand yesterday was be-youuuu-ti-ful and I potted up a pyramid of petunias...

Six different varieties of Proven Winners petunias in 6 different ceramic pots... from the top we have Honey, on the middle shelf left to right we have Holy Moly and Violet Star Charm, and on the bottom shelf again left to right we have Picasso in  Blue, Lemon Slice and Pink Star Charm.  You can click on any of the names and see bigger pictures of these pretty posies. I LOVE petunias and this is a way I can indulge in lots of different varieties.  At the moment my favs are Lemon Slice and Holy Moly...what a great name for a petunia! These are all new to the big box kinda garden centers this year... last year I think all of these were only available at nurseries... do you remember driving all over hell's half acre looking for Lemon Slice petunias??? I got all of these at my local Meijer's  store in Loveland.  They had  more varieties and I might go back and get a few more. I find them as irresistible as a skein of sock yarn or a fat quarter.

Well I hope the weather is nicer in your neck of the woods... I'm staying indoors today... got some sewing to do... and some more knitting...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women who work hard every day of the year... a day in your honor is well deserved!  And to celebrate this occasion I plan to indulge in a little stitching and knitting before I attend dinner at my older son's house... he's grilling steaks and I made pasta salad, marinated tomatoes and deviled eggs for accompaniment... I did that yesterday so I can take it easy today... and isn't the the essence of motherhood... we strive to make the world of our children a better place even on our day off!

And on the stitching front much has been accomplished... I finished Prairie Schooler's July...

I can't believe I have one of these done ahead of time...yeah!  I plan to finish it and display it like Priscilla did... you can see it here on her blog.  And I am continuing my personal Mother's Day tradition of starting a new piece of cross stitch... guilt free... no thoughts of all the other WIPs I have.

This year I chose Summer Alphabet by Lizzie Kate... I've already stitched Winter, Spring and Fall in this series ... I don't know why it took me this long to get around to Summer.

And here is my start... one block... I'm using DMC and the linen is a 32 ct. Wichelt called Sun Shower... a lovely yellow. I do enjoy Lizzie Kate pieces... easy to stitch and I particularly like the samplers in this series. Each letter is a different font and a different border ... certainly keeps my interest.

Also I got some happy mail this week... a sweet piece of cross stitch from Terry of Terry's Treasures...

Terry said her Mom did the cross stitch and Terry did the finishing... I will treasure this gift!  Thanks Terry and your Mom too!

So I have several hours to sit and stitch... if it warms up I'll go out and sit on the porch... hope you are having a lovely day!

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super mom - No Cape on Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finally getting around to making a post...

So.... I went to my quilt guild meeting on Monday night and a couple of friends asked when I was going to update my blog... and then another friend called and asked the same thing... so I've been sufficiently poked and prodded and I'm putting up some a new post... hope you are proud of me... I certainly am...LOL!

I've made four more of the blocks from the pattern Flower Basket by Live.Love.Sew... you can find the pattern here.

I'm having fun with these as I've used several of these prints in quilts and waaay back when I sewed clothes I made dresses from some of these fabrics.  Here are some close ups...

Little lavender flowers...



Geraniums... I made a dress with this fabric and I think it is still languishing
 in the back of my closet.

And here are this week's production with last week's production... halfway there!

Big Dude was carrying out his inspection duties and was not to be hurried... this is going to be a pretty quilt... I have to find another tone on tone white for the sashing strips and then I'm going to make the corner stones each from a different floral fabric.  That would put 41 different floral fabrics into this quilt...sweet!  So far all of these fabrics are Hoffman (at least I think they are)  but I may stray from this manufacturer as there are some other prints in my stash that I'd like to use too. And I have a Moda or two  that would be lovely additions... so much pretty fabric... I am blessed. The only issue I'm having with this quilt is that it does take a good size chunk of fabric, after all they are BIG blocks - 16" finished. At lot of my stash of these florals are bits and pieces and twice now I've cut out a block only to be short one 4.5" square... darn it!

Well it is already Wednesday and I don't know where the time goes to...I've gotten some outdoor jobs done. Cleaned off my patio and spray painted several flower boxes. I've planted 3 small flower boxes and I'm awaiting the arrival of  a large flower box to be installed below my living room window. My handyman suggested last Fall that flower boxes on the side of my house would be a nice addition to the one on  the front of my house. My house sits on a corner so I sort of have 2 front yards. I think the addition of 3 more window boxes will be dynamite. I'll take some before and after pictures. I'm hoping he can install them in about 2 weeks. I've already decided what to plant in them... pink and white wave petunias with either sweet potato vine or creeping jenny as accents...simple but I'm hoping it will look wonderful.

happy stitching-
carol fun