Thursday, January 22, 2009

This and That

This lingering cold has advanced to constant sneezing which has pretty much eaten into my needlework time. So, I've been devoting the last couple of days to cleaning, sorting and organizing my craft areas. Ok.. got WAY too much stuff. Even my PIGS (Projects In Grocery Sacks) take 2 Rubbermaid Roughneck containers. They don't all fit. Hmm.. Maybe I should stop magazine subscriptions to halt the new ideas? Dunno. I am definitely making some pillowcases however.

I have continued to progress on the 2 color stripe afghan in between sneezing fits. I'll post an update photo at the end of the month. In the afternoon, when I sneeze the least, I've also been working on finishing part 1 of a 3 part swap. My appliqued iris's look so good! I'm putting the final petals on all 6 blocks, perhaps finishing today. I have a goal to mail out by Saturday, but we'll just have to see. Starting to think what to do for part 2. Do I do another applique? A dragonfly or two would be quite wonderful if I have the right combo of fabrics. Do I have the time, however? Dunno. However, since this is for my Mom, maybe I should go that extra mile? The little voice in me is saying yes, yes, but the other, more pragmatic voice would remind me that I still have my Dad and brother's quilts to start.

It's looking like the sock I made in my sock class is going to be too small. I suspected that when reading the book since the pattern is designed for someone who wears a size 8 (I wear a 10w). Short woman, big feet. I don't want to restart until I get this swap done, but I'm glad I didn't go too far and now I have a fair sized swatch to figure out just how many stitches I have to add.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Took a class this morning at All About Yarn in Coon Rapids on knitting 2 socks on 2 circular needles. Here is my progress so far this evening. I'm using Classic Worsted Tapestry by Universal Yarns on size 5 Turbo circulars. I'm getting 5 stitches to the inch (yes, I'm a loose knitter). Tomorrow, I'll check to see how this gauge is fitting to see if I should continue knitting the 'standard basic sock' or rip back and start over with a few extra stitches. I'm not thrilled with my beginning (have some laddering), but if it fits, I'm not inclined to rip back the whole thing. However, I wanted to feel comfortable enough with this new process before considering ripping back. I love this yarn. It's a machine washable worsted and feels really nice to knit. The book used in the class is Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham. If you want to learn this method, this is the book to get. Well illustrated photos and step by step to get you going. Unlike the video I bought, you can use any type of heel with this method.

Sock Progress

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Law

Get ready folks. All you people who make donations of hats and blankets, or sell those cute little bibs at craft sales are about to get bitten. As of Feb. 10, your donation may be thrown out or your little business on Etsy closed. The law goes into effect that requires that you test for lead or phthalates if your product is intended for a child under 12. While a notice has been made that small sellers COULD sell without testing, you are still responsible and can be fined thousands of dollars if your product is found to test above a certain level. The only exemption is for second-hand clothing sold through thrift stores. No exceptions for granny making baby cardigans to sell to supplement her meager Social Security or yarn purchases. My sister, a maker of doll clothing, is selling out her stock but that won't make up for the many dollars currently invested in fabric intended for next year's craft sales. I'm not even going to bother to donate the two baby sweaters I made - I don't want them thrown out. So, I'll save them for a future baby shower. I don't know what I will do with the fabric intended for a child's donation quilt for an auction for our hospital. There is no way I can test each fabric dye to find out if it is lead and phthalates free. Maybe trade it with a mom who is making it for her own kid and isn't picky as the fabrics are too childish for a teenager.

Been Sick

I've been sick with a miserable cold most of the last week. Pretty much all I've done is work on getting some swaps done and sent out. Finished the Puss in the Corner swap which was pictured in a previous entry. Also did the blades for the Dresden Plate Swap.
Dresden Plate swap

I am also working on a 3 part swap. The first is an appliqued block. The one I chose is an Iris and based on a 1930s pattern. This was my example block. I'm using some darker purples for the final blocks because the light purple doesn't stand out well from the light blue background. I have the greenery done on 2 blocks now and hope to have everything done by early next week. I am a beginner at applique and my points are still not what I would want. Inner points are terrible.
No knitting at all this week although I hope to start on the Rambling Rows afghan to use up Homespun yarn. Crochet has been limited to the 2 color stripe afghan. I've used up 2 skeins of yarn now and it continues to advance while watching Desperate Housewives (season 3 now).

All work has temporarily stopped on the Mystery Quilt. I'll pick it up again on Monday. I need to do a lot of catch up due to being sick AND not running errands because it so darn cold. It was 23 below when I got up this a.m. although it was only 12 below when I ran 3 errands.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Steps 4 and 5

Having problems with printer, so printed out steps 4 and 5 of Bonnie's mystery at the library. Decided to work out of order (easiest first, natch), so I'm already done with step 5. I hope to finish step 4 today AND buy some new batteries for my camera, so you may see it before the end of today, but more likely tomorrow.

I have the awful cold that is going around. Although I'm not terribly sick, I'm really worn down and don't expect to accomplish much over the next day or two. I had planned to spend much of the weekend working on my applique swap blocks, but I prefer not to cough spittle on something I'm going to be mailing to someone else, so I think that will wait.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Step 3 Is Done!

Finished step 3 on Bonnie's Mystery quilt last night. Lots and lots of cute little pink and white 9 patches. Moving on to next step.

Step 3 Mystery quilt

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Step 2 Done - Whew!

I finished step 2 finally. Lots of piddly work, but it looks good and I'm done. Bonnie's instructions say I needed 1 yard of brown, but it was actually 1 1/2 yards so I needed a second. Oh well, should have gone with the larger yardage in the first place. Both look great. On to step 3!
Step 2 Mystery

Friday, January 02, 2009

Crafting in the New Year

I am having terrible internet problems that will likely occur until something gets fixed next week.

In the meantime, I have been crocheting and quilting. My current crochet project is a one-piece using woolease. I love the textures.
Striped Blue afghan

For quilting, I've been working on Bonnies' mystery that began New Year's Eve Day at I've finished step one and here's a photo of those little blocks.
Step 1 mystery quilt
Finally, I did the first block for my QATW 2009 BOM. Here it is!
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