Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Digital Cleaning

from Google images
When I see a knitting/quilting pattern that I like, I save it on the computer. If I see a clever idea or tip, I save it on the computer. After years of saving and organizing these patterns and files, it was time to see how many of them still appealed to me.

I've been working on this digital cleaning process for several days, and I'm slowly making progress. I've discovered multiple copies of some patterns. I found patterns that I'm sure gremlins must have saved, because they designs were hideous. One by one, the patterns are previewed and a quick decision made - keep or delete.

The "knitting" files are finished, and I'm moving on to the "quilting" files. From there, I will move to other crafting files. Once the craft files are reduced, I'll tackle the photos, the health files, and . . .

Do you save patterns on your computer? How do you organize them?

Monday, April 22, 2019

Mindless Knitting

Simply Garter Scarf
April 2019
The Simply Garter Scarf reached the 12-inch mark last week during knitting group. I'm slipping the first stitch on each row to get a nice smooth edge. The yarn is striping different than I thought it would, but I still like the colors.

I'm knitting scarf with 40 stitches on size 6 needles. The knit width is approximately 7 inches.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Decisions, Decisions . . .

fabric slivers trimmed from quilt  blocks
April 2019
I did manage to sneak in some sewing time last week, and finished sewing the Tail Feathers blocks.

blocks trimmed, squared, and ready to sew into a quilt top
April 2019
The blocks were placed on my "design floor," and I played with the placement a bit. My quilt consultants (Marilyn, Brenda, and Sheri) helped me to select a layout. Here were the two choices:
Option "A"
Option "B"
Which layout do you like best?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Guacamayo Socks

Guacamayo socks
April 2019
I had hoped to have this pair of socks finished by Easter, but unfortunately, that will probably not happen.

This yarn is a delight to knit - soft and springy, and the colors are fun, too. The brand is "new to me," and if it passes two more tests (in the laundry), I will look for it again in a yarn shop.

In my opinion, sock-worthy yarn must:
       •  be fun to knit
       •  not pill when worn or laundered
       •  not bloom when laundered

Yarn: Araucania Yarn - Huasco Sock (Color # 1006 Guacamayo)
          75% superwah wool, 25% polyamide

Needles: US size 2

Stitch count: 64 stitches

What is your criteria for "sock-worthy" yarn?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sockhead Cowl #2

Sockhead Cowl
April 2019
Sockhead Cowl #2 is off the needles. This project is a great way to use sock yarn to create a cozy cowl, snood, and neck warmer.

Pattern: Sockhead Cowl by Kelly McClure (free on Ravelry)

Needles: US size 6

Yarn: Cascade Yarns - Heritage 150 Paints sock yarn (color #9960)
          75% merino superwash wool, 25% nylon

Monday, April 15, 2019

Getting My Ducks in a Row

image from Google images
Perhaps you noticed that I didn't have any posts last week. I used the time for annual appointments and for getting my "ducks in a row" to update my will, trust, and other important documents.

If you don't have a will, advanced care directive (living will), organ donation authorization, or a trust, I encourage you to seriously consider preparing the documents. Yes, the attorney fees may be considerable, but not having the documents may cost your family more than money - I know from experience. I've been through an ugly struggle twice - once after my mother died and the second after my brother died.

"Things" and money carry different weight with individuals, and those family members you think you know will turn into completely different people when property and money are involved.

Don't risk having an estranged family after your death: get your ducks in a row!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Easter Eggs

April 2019
This sock yarn reminds me of dyeing Easter eggs. I love how it swirls around the cuff and wonder what the yarn will do on the foot section - stripe or pool.

Do you remember using the wax crayon in the egg dyeing kit to write your name or to create designs on the egg before it was dipped in the dye?  Do you still dye eggs for your Easter table?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Slow Progress is Still Progress . . .

twenty-nine blocks ready to sew
March 2019
. . . at least that is what I keep telling myself about the Tail Feathers' blocks. All the pieced sections are finished and ready to sew to the large triangles, so the blocks are closer to being completed.

I had hoped to have the quilt top finished by now, but life got in the way.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Simply Garter

simply garter stitch scarf
March 2019
Garter stitch is a relaxing stitch - nothing to think about - mindless knitting at its finest. I started this simple garter stitch scarf and keep it in my knitting bag for a grab and go project. It's a good project for knitting with friends, as I can gab while I knit.

This skein of sock yarn is non-plied and in some places is more like thin roving than yarn. I determined it was not ideal yarn for socks which is why I decided to knit a simple garter stitch scarf with it.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Binding Preparation

four bindings for Quilts of Valor
March 2019
I received two Quilts of Valor back from a volunteer longarmer on Wednesday and discovered I hadn't prepared the binding when the quilt tops were finished.

After I trimmed the quilts, I searched through the bin of backing scraps to find appropriate fabric for binding. The middle bundles will be used for the two recent quilts. The blue binding will be used for quilts still in the planning stage.

Hopefully, today I'll have the motivation to sew the binding on the two QOV.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Addictive Knitting

closeup of three hanging kitchen towels
March 2019
Once I finished two hanging kitchen towels for Marilyn, I began knitting more towels with my cotton yarn stash, and it seems that I cannot stop. One towel quickly led to five towels, and I'll probably continue knitting the towels and put them in the finished project box for future gifting.

The pattern (Leftover Dishtowel) produces a nicely textured fabric, and it makes for ideal TV knitting and a perfect gift for neighbors, family, or friends.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Crazy Socks - revisited

March 2019
The socks are mismatched and wild, but I love them.

Ribbed Cuff socks (64 sts)

Needles: US size 2

Yarn: Zauberball Crazy (color #1564)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tail Feather Blocks

sewing blocks for Tail Feathers quilt
March 2019
Even though my interest in sewing has been diminished in recent weeks, I am slowly creating the units to complete the Tail Feathers blocks. I usually make one block and tape it to the wall by my machine, so I reduce the chances of sewing the pieces together incorrectly. As of Sunday afternoon, the pieced corners for ten of the required blocks are finished.

The pins on the completed block are marking the direction that I need to press the seams.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sockhead Cowl #2

Sockhead Cowl
March 2019
Knitting from the stash continues - this time a skein of Cascade 150 Prints (75% super wash merino and 25% nylon). Who knows why I purchased this skein of dark yarn, but it's being knit into a Sockhead Cowl and will be donated next winter to a local shelter. The yarn has a nice spring to it and is a delight to knit. The bonus: the label states it is a 150 gram skein, but when I weighed it, it was actually 155 grams, which will result in a longer cowl.

I have several other dark-colored skeins that I'll knit into scarves, etc. for the shelter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Knitting the Stash

kitchen towel
March 2019
I seem to have found my knitting mojo, and I am working to reduce my yarn stash. I have no idea where I purchased this super size (4 oz.) of Sugar and Cream, but it will make a nice hanging kitchen towel.

The cotton stash is now contained in ONE basket. If I can manage that with the sock yarn, I will be a happy knitter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Preparing a Kit

fabric cut and ready to sew
March 2019
February 2018, Judy M. donated fabrics to make Quilts of Valor (QOV). I've been hanging on to the Fat Quarters (FQ) until I found a pattern that I liked.

Last month, Karin H. posted a quilt she made for a young man who is battling leukemia - Chris' Quilt. using the Tail Feathers pattern. I loved the pattern and knew it would make a wonderful QOV and would be perfect for Judy's FQs.

I ordered the Tail Feathers pattern and pressed the FQs. Then my sewing mojo took flight to parts unknown. The fabrics patiently waited on the top of the pressing board until yesterday when I cut the pieces and prepared a kit for the lap quilt size - 60.5 x 72.5 inches. The pattern includes sizes for Crib, Lap, Twin, and Queen sizes.

Now, I need to turn on my sewing machine and get busy making the units and blocks for this QOV before my sewing mojo decides to go on another extended vacation.

Monday, March 18, 2019

On the Home Stretch

March 2019
Once I finish the gusset (indicated by the removable marker), I know I'm on the home stretch. This sock should be finished by the end of the week.

Even though, they are knit from the same ball of Zauberball Crazy yarn, these socks are mismatched, yet colorful and fun.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Specialty Yarn

knit cowl
March 2019
Several years ago when I was knitting Oddball Baby Blankets, one of the other knitters sent me a skein of speciality yarn - 50% Yak down and 50% Cormo. I've been saving the yarn for something special, but recently I decided it was time to use the skein.

I used the Simple yet Effective pattern by Tin Can Knits (Ravelry link). Since I had only 150 yards of yarn, I cast on for the close-fitting cowl. The pattern calls for 200 yards of DK weight yarn, so my cowl is three inches shorter in height.

The cast on edge is shown on the right and flips over naturally, so the photo doesn't show that the cowl is nearly seven inches high. I altered the bind off section (shown at left) because I was running short of yarn. This edge lays flat and does not flip. If I knit the pattern again, I will shorten the first stockinette section on the cast on edge to seven rows instead of the required 12 between the garter ridges.

My finished cowl is 20 inches in circumference and 7 inches high. Even though it is shorter than the one in the pattern, it is the perfect height for my neck.

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