February 28, 2010

Getting Carried Away

This morning Wes suggested we walk to Fremont to see the Sunday Market and maybe get some lunch. Once we were there we decided to keep walking to Ballard to visit the library and try the Sunday fried chicken dinner at The Hi-Life. In all we walked 4.5 miles! I'm surprised the kids didn't complain more. The fried chicken was amazing, by the way. And so much food. We have enough for lunches for tomorrow.

My quilting has taken a similar route. I started with the crazy little squares but I didn't feel like cutting the sashing. Then I started a Sparks Baby Quilt. I made all the blocks but didn't feel like cutting the sashing. So I started cutting fabric for another quilt. This one is inspired by a pattern from Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in the Sun. I'm trying to use all the fabrics I already have for these projects. I just don't think I have the right mix for this one. I've also discovered that I really like mid-range value fabrics. I'm talking about color depth here not savings. I don't have many very light or very dark fabrics. I like stuff right in the middle. The pattern I'm trying to put together is made from half-square triangles. They need a dark side and a light side. Mine just look kind of meh. So I sucked it up and cut the sashing for the crazy blocks. I calculated the yardage based on 2" sashing then I cut 2.5". I realized my mistake as I noticed I was running out of fabric. I'll pick some more up tomorrow. I haven't taken any pictures other than this really crappy one of the Sparks blocks. It was just for my own reference.



I think this one might get filed in my Excessively Scrappy drawer. It's kind of cute though.

Also, if any fabric gurus are out there, do you know what this fabric is? I got a fat quarter who knows where who knows when. But I just love it. It makes me smile. I would love to know what line it is from.

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February 26, 2010

Scraps for Sanity

My left hand still hurts. My right hand hurts now from doing everything one-handed. My appointment with the hand specialist got canceled. I needed something to do. So I started to make scrappy quilt blocks. They're kind of addictive.



This isn't even all of them. I've made 29 so far. When my older son got home from school and saw me at the sewing machine he said, "Uh...aren't you supposed to resting?"
"Well," I said, "I did spend several hours on the couch today with an ice pack.
"And then you cracked?"
He really knows me so well.

Yes, I cracked. The needlepoint/embroidery was making my right hand hurt. So I started sewing. Very easy on the hands. I put my leg-lift bar thing on my machine so I can raise and lower the presser foot hands-free. I grab two scraps and stitch. I chain-pieced so I just kept grabbing two and stitching over and over. Then I cut them apart and pressed, trimmed a bit if necessary then started again with the larger pieced putting them together. Repeated endlessly. It was mindless and very satisfying. Now I have all these blocks. I got a little fabric to make sashing but I will wait on that. Holding the ruler firmly and pressing hard with my rotary cutter is too hard on my hands.

So in the meantime...more scraps!



I made four 12.5" blocks (based on this tutorial) just using odds and ends. So much fun. The results is a little chaotic and crazy. I don't care. I really enjoyed making it.

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February 25, 2010

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Anyone for a swim?









Better get our your wool roving, crochet hook and suede boots. You'll be beach-ready in no time.

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February 23, 2010

Doubleknit #33

Vogue Knitting Preview

I really must not be feeling well because I kind of like it! The 360° is up too.

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February 21, 2010

Stitching For Sanity

Sorry to be so quiet. My hand is still very sore. I have it in a splint, am resting it as much as I can stand, am icing it and taking anti-inflammitories. I have an appointment to see a hand specialist on Friday. I have not knit a stitch in nearly a week. It makes me sad. The long-draw spinning I did last week was fun but I don't have any other roving and I don't want to waste nicely prepared top with messy long-draw spinning.

So to keep my sanity I've been doing a little stitching.





These are from Jenny Hart's Stitch-it Kit. (Geez, I guess it's discontinued because someone is selling it for $195!! Excuse me, my eyes just fell out of my head. What the hell? Jenny has a new book, Embroidered Effects, which is also great, and her Sublime Stitching Craft Pad is only $5.18 right now.) I love her style. I ironed this image on to a dishcloth back in the summer of '07.

I also pulled out an old needlepoint book I've always loved but never used, Needlework Animals by Elizabeth Bradley which can also be had for a song these days.



N for narwhal. It's just slightly over 6" square. I can stitch--slowly--with one hand. It's diverting and fun but it's not knitting.

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February 18, 2010

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Ah, the plight of the male model.

















Just trying to decide which to make for Wes first, the floor-length sweater-dress or the corseted wrap-front.

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February 17, 2010

Damn

Diagnosis: de Quervain's Disease. I've been referred to a hand specialist.

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Pringle of Scotland

This video has been around for a few weeks but I only just watched it. Very silly stuff.

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February 16, 2010

Spinning for Sanity

So my arm is still really hurting. I went to knitting last night and tried to take it easy. I came home early. We all wanted to watch some Olympics coverage but I could not cope with just sitting in front of the TV doing nothing. Honestly, how do non-knitters do that? So I had Wes help me bring my wheel upstairs and did some long-draw spinning. It didn't hurt my arm and I spun 7 oz of mystery wool/mohair/whatever from Dawn's Custom Carding. I had it all plied before bed.



I tried to follow Judith MacKenzie McCuin's advice for worsted--under-spin the singles and over-ply it. This yarn came out fairly dense though since I was spinning more for sanity than for style.

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February 15, 2010

IK Preview, Spring 2010

It went up while I was gone. But just in case you haven't seen it yet, here it is.

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Madrona 2010

Fair Isle Yoke Design with Janine Bajus



Nature's Palette with Jill Laski



The Pleasures of Spinning a Fleece: Down Breeds



Our booth

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February 14, 2010

Wounded

Madrona was great as always. I have photos from all of my classes and will try to get them up soon. My left wrist has been sore for the last few days. I thought it was from working on big, heavy Girasole. Today it got extremely painful and my lower arm started to swell quite a bit. I have been icing it and taking Ibuprofen to deal with the pain and swelling. I think this may kill any chance of competing in Ravelympics for me which is too bad.

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February 10, 2010

Madrona Fiber Arts

Hi all. I'm in Tacoma at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. I may not have a chance to do a Thursday this week so I hope you'll forgive me.

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February 9, 2010

Grey Garments



You've seen the original, right?

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Muppet Fun

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February 7, 2010

Spring Sprang

I know most of you are buried under snowdrifts and all cold but Seattle has been crazy warm this year. We never saw even a hint of snow and now it's spring. Yesterday it was 60° and my older son and I went for a long walk with the dog. There were crocuses and cherry blossoms popping up everywhere. So weird!

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Scrunched

Younger son is still sick. We saw a doctor today to confirm that he doesn't have strep or an ear infection. But still feverish and sore throat and definitely not happy. I am feeling much better than on Friday but still not 100% either.

But that gave me a lot of time to work on Girasole.



I have 640 stitches in aran-weight wool on a 32" circular. It's slowed my knitting to a crawl. I had to make a run to the shop today and get myself a 60" circular. It should make things start moving better, literally.

I also realized that I need to swatch to be ready to cast on for the Ravelympics next week. I'm going to make Lloie's Cardigan in Felted Tweed. I'm changing the shaping and the colors. I'm going to simplify the color scheme to just a main color, yoke background and yoke foreground color. It's very subtle and quiet and I like it very much.



I've never knit with Felted Tweed before and I suspect I will need to go down many needle sizes. I started a swatch last night that just kept getting wider and wider and wider. I ripped it out and have started on fewer stitches on a US3.

Madrona is in just a few days. I really crept up on me this year. I'll be there Wednesday through Sunday, setting up our booth and taking classes. I'm looking forward to seeing friends, spinning, knitting and relaxing.

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February 5, 2010

Sick Ward

I have been to more doctors' appointments in the last month than I have in the last several years. It turns out that I have high blood pressure and a chronic small sinus infection that's been around for years. I'm on all kinds of medication right now and none of them are making me feel any better. In fact, they may be making me feel worse. Today is my day off and I'm joined by my younger son who has a slight fever and a little cold. He is currently very upset with me because I found him in his room last night at 12:15(!) playing on his Nintendo DS! It's been confiscated. The little sneak...

All this feeling crummy has given me a lot of knitting time. I started Girasole on Monday night. I'm using Rowanspun Aran I bought over four years ago. I kept thinking I'd use it for a sweater. I might have. But it's making a lovely Girasole blanket. And I definitely have enough to finish the project.

Right now it looks like some kind of sea creature.




This pattern is working up really quickly. All of these shawls I've been working on lately have been such pleasant, effortless knitting. I love lace knitting.

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February 4, 2010

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

This week I found a very good lesson in fashion styling. Here is a design from the upcoming V*gue Knitting.



This tunic is styled as a breezy, elegant summer top.

Here it is (at 5:45) in the TNNA fashion show styled like an ice dancer's costume.



Plus does anyone else see the face of an old knight in the torso? It's reminds me of this Don Quixote illusion painting.



It's not just me, right?

PS The tunic just before this one is by Project Runway contestant Gordana Gelhausen.

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February 3, 2010

Bertha Lace Shawl




Pattern: Bertha Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Mystery Shetland/Kauni-ish yarn, 105 grams, 500(?) yards
Needles: US6 Addi Turbo Lace
Notes: I made the the medium size of the Textured Trellis Lace Border Shawl. The pattern three variations on the shawl in three sizes. The instructions are excellent and the charts are clear and easy to follow. Now my only regret is not to have continued the Spider Lace for longer. But at least I didn't run out of yarn on this one!

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February 2, 2010

Wow, Now That is Bitchy

For once I'm not the one doing the insane ranting. There is someone out in blogland who does not like my Thursday posts and has taken it upon himself to leave insulting comments, allegedly from me, on the blogs of people who do like my Thursday posts. Once again someone tries to tell me that I am rude by being really rude. So, long story short, if there is a nasty comment on your blog (that is misspelled and/or is missing punctuation) it's probably not from me. Please block that IP address. Sorry and thanks.

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Bertha's Blocking



And Girasole has begun!

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February 1, 2010

Unhappy Hipsters Knit

If you haven't seen Unhappy Hipsters you need to head over there right now for a good chuckle. Plus there's knitting!

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