it’s been so long!

The past two months have just flown by!  We finally got the house ready to be listed and it’s been on the MLS for a couple of weeks now.  No visits from prospective buyers yet, but August is notoriously slow for home sales.  We have an open house scheduled in early September, so hopefully we’ll get some traffic then.  If not, I may have to put an ad on my cat!

The first weekend I wasn’t doing house projects, I finished my mom’s birthday quilt.

I hope she likes it, it’s a smallish lap-size and I tried it out while hand-stitching the binding – worked well for me!

This was my first time to use polyester batting and I really like it!  I used hi-loft and it gives the quilt a nice poofy, bouncy feel.

Knitting has really fallen by the wayside.  Everything I was working on requires constant pattern referral and/or charts, and I’ve given up the loveseat to SB while he recuperates from bunion surgery.  I’ve been sitting in the arm chair, which isn’t large enough for me and my papers.  He’s 3+ weeks post-op, though, so I think it’s about time I reclaimed the loveseat!  I have been spinning though, and will post yarny pictures soon.

Ciao for now!

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finished

With two unfinished quilts, of course I took the supplies to begin an entirely new quilt with me on vacation!

Pattern:  Made in Cherry, resized to be 60×60

Fabrics:  Hodgepodge of all pink and orange fabrics in my stash, with solid Kona magenta and Denyse Schmidt prints for the back

My lovely niece requested an orange and purple quilt during my last visit home (I haven’t lived there in 25 years, but Indiana will always be “home”).  I asked if I could incorporate pink and she said yes, and I was hot on it.  I’m so proud of her.  She’s spending six months as an intern at Disney as part of a college credit program and if you knew Syd, you’d know this is the perfect job/experience for her!  She’s always been a Disney princess!  (and I mean that in the best way)

***

Posting will probably be even less frequent than normal because we’ve decided to put our house on the market!  Which is exciting and full of possibilities, but also a TON of work!  So far I have painted the den and my son’s room, had the antique bathtub reglazed (why oh why didn’t I do this before?  It’s gorgeous!), cleaned my closet, boxed up all my yarn (!!!) and most of my fiber, together with a ton of other things we don’t use on a daily basis.  Yesterday I stripped and cleaned the deck and we moved an armoire, china cabinet, large chair, dresser, and many boxes and tubs into storage.  Have to make the house appear larger, you know!  This weekend I’ll be restaining the deck (if the weather cooperates), and I still have a bazillion other projects to do.  So much so that even thinking about it wears me out!  But it’ll all be worth it if it helps our house sell quickly and for the most money.

I will still be doing some crafting to maintain my sanity; I need to finish my mom’s b’day quilt and the only knitting readily accessible is all the unfinished projects that have been languishing!  Yes, I purposely planned that so I would be forced to finish up some things.  I’ll let you know if it works.  ;o)

 

 

FOs

Seems a finishing frenzy has struck at my house!

First I finished the upcoming birthday boy quilt:

and the back:

I quilted this before I got all brave with free motion quilting, so it’s meandering wavy lines using my walking foot.

Then I finished the quilt mountain!

Again, I quilted the main section of the top with wavy lines, but knew I needed something different for the plain sides – that’s when I decided to try my hand at free motion quilting.  Unfortunately, I didn’t allow for fabric shrinkage when I planned how much fabric to add to make the quilt queen-sized…I simply didn’t think about it.

It *barely* fits our bed!  Live and learn!  (btw – making this quilt required, for my enjoyment, purchasing a new bedskirt and new pillow shams, which I found for $12.99 each at Home Goods!  I couldn’t believe it, bed skirts were at least $45 everywhere else I looked.  Love a good bargain!)  I’ve made the bed every day since finishing the quilt.

I’ve also finished some small knitting projects – two pair of socks.

These flew off the needles.  I got the yarn (Trekking, old colorway) at the Destin Spin-In and love it.  I’d like a sweater from this yarn, actually.

Some say it’s manly, but I like it too!

Jaywalkers, from another yarn I got at the spin-in – String Theory Colorworks Continnuum in the Chlorobium Tepidum colorway.  Let me tell you, knitting these was addictive!  That little bit of cashmere (10%) goes a long way, the yarn was bouncy and soft and scrumptious.

And, that’s all the FOs, folks!  For now.  I have finally put together a quilt sandwich with this top from September 2010 and I’ve either lost the binding or never made it in the first place.  I think simple quilting lines and a black and white striped binding are called for.

quilting season

As the weather gets warmer, my sewing machine starts calling.  I’m still knitting and spinning (and have piles of yarn and several FOs to photograph), but lately my daydreams have been all about fabric and patterns.  Yesterday, I finished my first quilt of the year!

 

The pattern is Bob from the Fat Quarterly Solids issue, designed by the uber-talented Chawne.  Everything she touches is gold, I swear, and she is an enabler of the highest order.  She just finds the best stuff!

Bob was a lot of fun to make, and a good pattern for someone new to quilting like me.  I pieced the top in one day and things came together perfectly for the first half of the quilt, but towards the bottom the corners don’t match up, so I probably would have done better to split the work over a couple of days.  But perfection isn’t my goal so I’m not going to stress about it!

 

I used fabric from two fat quarter sets of Kona solids in warm and cool greens.  In retrospect, I might like it better if I’d stuck to either the warm or the cool palette, but what’s done is done and I’m sure it’ll be well-loved.

I pieced an extra strip for the back and used Hancock’s Wendover solid in Gravel, since a gray backing was requested.  Wendover is a little lighter than the Kona cotton, but very nice to work with (and it was on sale!).

I hope the boy likes it!

busybusy

And distracted – I have so many things I want to do all at once!

I did finish a couple of things, here’s one:

Roniroos by Suvi Simola – cute pattern, fun to knit, horrible name (makes me think of Underoos), need to buy a top to wear under for proper finished object photos!  Also need colder weather – it’s in the mid 60s today.  Sigh.

Encouraged by Blogless Lynn, I started working on the fringe of my Lady Eleanor scarf/stole, that has been sitting in the abandoned WIP stack since 2008!

Cutting fringe?  Easy.  Tying fringe? Tiring and a PITA.  I finished 2/3 of the first side and quit.

This WIP is now Mack’s favorite place to sleep.

There has been spinning —

Around 800 yards of polwarth dyed by the fabulous Adrian, a fiber club offering but I don’t remember the month.  Chain-plied to make the most of the beautiful colors.

I’ve also been playing with my hand cards.  This fiber (BFL/silk) is another Hello Yarn club offering that I separated out by color, carded and spun:

I’ve been thinking of doing this for awhile.  Yes, it results in small skeins, but it’s perfect for colorwork and while I love the look of a multi-colored skein as much as the next person, the project options are limited.  At least in my world.  This is all part of keeping in mind the question:  Will I actually use/knit/wear this?

Finishing these spinning projects cleared off most of my bobbins – just in time for the January Spin-In in Destin!  Tonni and I are headed out early in the morning for several days of spinning and hanging out with fiber peeps, I can’t wait!  I’m bringing my handcards and multi-dyed roving and plan to come home with lots of little skeinlets!

That is…if I don’t get distracted…

everything in sight

The title refers to how I’ve been eating – oof!  Terribly, and too much, and now that my pants are uncomfortably tight I need to get myself back to the gym and back to my salads!

It also refers to what I want to knit.  Quite simply – everything in sight!  But I am determined to be more mindful in my knitting, not just cast on willy-nilly.  I have criteria that needs to be met:

  • Is this appropriate for my climate?  This is a big one for me, as I love warm, wooly sweaters that don’t get worn in our 75 degree winters.
  • Is it a style that will look good on my body type?  The boobs pose a particular problem with some patterns.
  • Is it something I will actually wear, why exactly do I want to knit this?  Often I’m attracted to a pattern because it uses a technique I want to learn, or even because I like the color of the yarn used in the original design!  If it’s gray, it’s an automatic favorite.

I have a few sweaters that need to be finished – blocked, buttons sewn on, etc. that will provide more discussion on my criteria, but in the meantime I have been knitting…

Cowls!  I’ve gone cowl crazy!!!

Infinitude Scarf, knit in white Berroco Ultra Alpaca that has been languishing in my stock for YEARS.  I had four skeins, I kept thinking that I needed to knit one thing with all the skeins because 800 yards is enough for a vest at least, and I finally said enough is enough – knit with it already! It’s super soft and drapes really well – only mod I made was to knit seed stitch sections instead of purl sections.

A Very Braidy Cowl, which was oh so fun to knit.  The pattern was great, mine is longer because I wanted to use up as much of the yarn as possible.  It’s Sublime Angora Merino and it is LUSH.

You can see the lushness a little better in this work-in-progress shot.  God, I love this yarn.  It’s been discontinued, of course.

The black cowl is the Destroyed Cowl and it won’t get its own photo until it’s blocked.  Love it, but stockinette ROLLS like a mutha and also I screwed up the kitchener join so only one side is “destroyed” properly.  Kinda disappointed because it’s probably the one I’d get the most wear out of, since it’s black…  I’m considering knitting another one but in garter stitch, and with sock yarn, but doubled, so the destroyed strands really stand out.

Just thoughts…

I had a Organization Victory this weekend!!!  I’ve often lamented about our small small house and the current state of my various stashes.  When I started buying quilting fabric, I had to appropriate a couple of bookshelves from my son’s room and the fabric was precariously balanced on them, looking sloppy and getting dusty.  On Saturday I bopped into the local antique store to look for a tall bookshelf and found this:

It’s a repro lawyer’s bookcase, and each shelf is a unit that stacks on top of the shelf below it.  I’ve been looking at this bookcase for about a year, they used to have a red and a blue one but the blue one is what was left.  I hated to spend the money (especially when one of my goals this year is to be fiscally responsible), but I also believe that when you find the PERFECT solution – you should jump on it.

It now holds all my fabric AND all my craft books AND

my quilting WIPs!  My goal is to finish up those WIPs and get all that stuff stacked to the left in the bookcase!  I was able to move THREE bookshelves out of the bedroom as a result of buying this bookcase, which I consider a major victory in physical and mental de-cluttering!

Huzzah!

meet Karl

Have I ever told you about my husband’s menagerie?  I think a few menagerie members have appeared on the blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever outed his collection to the public at large.

And I’m not going to out it now, but I am going to show the newest member.

Meet Kiwi Karl.

The week of SB’s birthday, he told me how excited he was to meet the new menagerie member that was sure to arrive in time to celebrate his birthday!  That same day, Deep Fall Knitty came out and once I saw the Kiwi pattern, well, I knew what I had to do.

I cast on this bad boy Wednesday morning and finished him Friday afternoon.  Great pattern, simple to knit, used sock leftovers!

Karl now hangs out with the rest of the menagerie.  He fits right in.