Towels and such

This past week I have been embroidering kitchen towels.  It is boring work, and I try to do other things while the machine is stitching.  As most people who do machine embroidery know, as soon as you leave the room, the machine will have an “issue”.  Other than running out of bobbin thread, I’ve been “lucky”.  I am making towels and other small things for the craft fair I am going to sell at this month.

This fair is held at the local high school and it is an opportunity for me to get my quilts and quilting seen in the community.  I don’t have high hopes for making a large profit, but I may be surprised.  I like to have a selection of items that are in the 10 to 25 dollar range, and my quilts will be there too.  For this fair I think I will leave the larger ones at home, just bring the personal sized and baby quilts.  I’ve made a bunch of fabric bags too, and I think I’ll sew up a few lavender sachet bags to make everything smell good.

On the quilting front, I quilted a few things.  The Floating Bubbles quilt and the Summer wreath.  I also finished quilting my Fancy Forest quilt.  I used a wood grain digital quilt pattern.  The thread I chose was two spools of Superior Perfect Quilter in the color camouflage, there was a small amount gone from one spool, so about 550 yards together.  Plenty of thread, I thought, nope.  I ran out when about 80% of the quilt was stitched.  I think Perfect Quilter thread was discontinued about 5 or 6 years ago.  I scoured the internet, found some, but not the right color way.  Camouflage is a mix of beige, light green and a very light brown.  It was blending so well with the greenish Essex Linen background too.  I went back to my thread drawer and found one spool of PQ in tans and beiges.  It would have to do, and you know, unless I point it out, no one would notice.  I’m not sure how I want to bind this quilt, I have a bunch of left over colorful scraps, but I can’t remember if the kit included extra fabric for binding.

Last, but not least, this guy turned one year old yesterday.  There was much celebration and a McDonalds hamburger was involved 🙂IMG_3014

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

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Knitted gifts

Last week I sent a box of knitted goodies to my son and his girlfriend.  They live in Boston, so hats and scarves become daily wear soon.  I sent 2 ear warmers, 2 hats, and a cowl.  They were received with much appreciation.

This week I started knitting my first pair of Latvian mittens “Blooming Lattice” .  I only had to frog them once, as I had unknowingly dropped a stitch right before the second Latvian braid row.  There was no way to pick it up and thread it through the purled braid.  The braid rows are easy once you get the hang of creating floats with purls on the right side of your work.  I have finished the right one up to picking up the stitches for the thumb.  The picture below is from Knit picks.

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I am finding mittens more fun than socks, maybe its the lack of heal turning or the colorwork.  I have a book of fun looking eye fooling/bending patterned socks called “Op-Art Socks” by Stephanie van der Linden.  But before I venture there, I have a booklet of pretty mittens “Woodland Winter Mittens” by  Kerin Dimeter-Laurence (pictured below) and the recently purchased yarn in colors to make them all.  More Christmas gifts, for special people 🙂50985220

Can you see how each is a different scene, and how the left and right continue into each other?  There is a bright color way too, which is what I purchased from Knit Picks, on sale of course.

I have been knitting along on my Gård shawl too.  I finally made it to the patterned section.  It requires a bit more concentration and counting than the plain garter ridge, but I’m excited to see the pattern develop.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for The Knitting report.  As usual, she has another project recommendation for my wish list, she talks about how her knitting group “inspires” her next projects too.

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Gravity, it’s for real!

Really finished that is.  I’m pleased with the way it turned out.  Lots of pictures too, click on them to make them larger.

It is a large quilt, about 96″ x 96″.  In the quilting of it I wanted to maintain the graphic angular aspects of the design.  There is very little free hand work, it’s all templates, rulers and digital crisp-ness.  I also only used two colors of thread, a gray variegated King Tut called Pumice for the outer diamonds and a neutral color of So Fine (#7007) for the inner.  I originally wanted to use Superior Monopoly, but didn’t have the patience to figure out the tension settings for my machine.  The digital designs are from Wasatch Quilting and a few came with my software.  Each design had to be sized and placed on the quilt top and stitched out.  I became quite proficient at it by the end of stitching this quilt.  Now that it is bound and neatly folded, it will be making its way to Boston, for my eldest son’s bed.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” this Friday.  This quilt is done and I’m excited to get to my next big project.

Pix of Six

I finished my “Familiar” shawl last night.  This is the last of the Shawl Society II shawl KAL.  If you had asked me seven months ago if I would want to knit a shawl a month for the next six, I probably would have said no.  But this was fun, the patterns were well written in easy to follow format.  I used stash yarn for 5 of the six, that’s always a plus. The cost was minimal, 6 patterns for less than 20.00 is a bargain.  Plus the camaraderie of the chat threads on Ravelry was fun too.

I got my order from Knit Picks the other day.  I’m torn between starting the Latvian mitten kit or a beaded shawl. Or I could finish the Stråle sweater, as it is getting a bit chilly now and having the sweater in my lap is warming while I knit.  I am still knitting the Gård shawl, I think I have about 20 more rows of the ridged garter stitch, then it’s on to the patterned part.  I am enjoying the softness of the yarn (Tynd by Woolfolk) and the resulting fabric is soft and drape-y enough for a cozy shawl.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for knitting report today.

Pieces of Gravity

I finally finished quilting my Gravity quilt.  It is to my liking, in fact, it turned out better than I thought it would.  It took many hours of quilting as well.  One of these days I will keep track of the time spent for such an undertaking as this was.  I started the top in January 2016 as a block of the month.  I finished the it back in February of this year.  Each of the outer diamonds is quilted with a digitized pattern.  Each of those designs had to be placed and stitched out (read as “lots of stops and starts”).  The inner colorful pieced diamonds are mostly hand guided with rulers and templates.  I did use digitized circles and pearl lines, as I wanted them to be round and circular.  I used two colors of thread, one with variegated grays -a Superior King Tut, and the rest is done with Superior Microquilter in a light gray.  This thread color (7007) blended very well with all the colors.  Once I bury all the threads and bind this behemoth, I’ll get a better set of pictures to show off.

Getting back to the gravity pieces.  The JayBird Gravity Quilt pattern book has an extra pillow pattern in the back to use up some of the colorful scraps you are left with after making the top.  I decided to cut up all the scraps into 2 1/2 inch equilateral triangles.  Many more than the pillow top pattern requires, more like a small quilt.  I think I would like to sew them together in a random color way.  But then I look at the pillow pattern and I like the way the color families are spread out from the center.  This is where the triangles are resting for now.

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This past weekend was PIQF.  I went on Thursday to see the quilts and Sunday to shop.  The quilts were varied as always, many were extravagantly quilted.  The best in show quilt, Eternal Beauty, by Sherry Reynolds was a masterwork of thread and fabric.  You can see more of it at The Quilt Show daily blog.

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I particularly enjoyed the Lion King exhibit sponsored by Cherrywood Fabrics.  There were so many variations and techniques to see and ask “how did they do that?”.  There were many (18) traveling collections/exhibits too.  It seemed to me that the international section was a bit smaller this year than in years past.  There were only four from Japan, but Australia, Germany and South Africa were well represented.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Knitting

I have been knitting two projects this week.  I started the last Shawl Society shawl, “Familiar” and I have been mindlessly making progress on my Gård shawl.

The Familiar shawl I am using an older stash yarn from Jo Sharp called Silkroad, its a wool/silk/cashmere blend.  I’m worried I am not going to have enough of it to finish, as I only have one and a half balls of it left.  I thought that maybe I had another ball in my stash somewhere, I looked through all the odds and ends, none to be found.  While digging through my stash, I decided to take inventory.  I wrote it all out on paper and one of these days I ‘m going to make a spreadsheet.

This past week I ordered some yarn too (before the inventory).  Knit-Picks had a sale on some of their Stroll yarn and Chroma twist I got one of each, for future shawls and a mitten kit that looked cute.  They were also giving away a free pattern for a shawlette called Caterpillar.  It’s still up, Free Patterns on their site, with a few others too.

I have had extra time to knit this week as we are all staying inside as much as possible.  The horrible wild fires in Napa county are creating smoke that gets blown down here on the peninsula.  It smells like a campfire outside and the haze is bad, visibility is reduced to a few miles.  I can’t imagine how terrible it must be just an hour and a half away.  We have friends that don’t know if their home is still standing.   What can you say?

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for the Knitting Report this week.

Gård

I’ve been knitting away on my Gård shawl for a week or so.  Its sort of mindless knitting, a ridged garter stitch made up of four rows, one of which is a purl row.  Forty eight rows of this then about seventy five more of pattern. I think I mentioned in a previous post that it is 404 stitches long, the final row count is about 125, so thats about 50,000 total stitches. Sigh, I hope my mom likes it.

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The final pattern for the Shawl Society II came out yesterday.  It’s pretty, uses bulky weight yarn and some cabling.  I like it, I can use stash yarn and it’ll be a quick knit.  My hands are itching with start-itis.

I haven’t purchased any yarn or patterns this week.  Although the temptation has been hard to resist.  I have gotten better at adding them to my Ravelry favorites, than my stash.  Recently I reorganized my fabric stash closet to make room for my yarn stash.  I got rid of the plastic stacking drawers that held my fabric and replaced them with some ELFA wire basket drawers. This consolidated the fabric enough to put the two ELFA units of yarn in the closet too.  I could probably fit another set of drawers in, but the closet has sliding doors, and there is that dead space in the middle.  It’s nice to have my stashes in the same room now, no more going downstairs to look for yarn.  One of these days I’ll go through my yarn stash and make a spread sheet, but just getting it into a more accessible spot is good for now.

One thing that I did buy was a Fleegle bead needle.  I know I have a pattern, yarn and beads all ready to go in my stash.  The last beaded scarf I made had you put all the beads on the yarn first.  That wasn’t very much fun, plus the working yarn had to go through all those beads.  Judy, at Patchwork times is knitting a beautiful shawl with beads.  I’m going to add that project to my Ravelry to-do list too.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for the Knitting report this week.