Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shorty Socks Done!

Finished my sister's shorty version of my Fur Cuffed Socks. I did hers using ONE skein of Vanna's Choice yarn plus some eyelash yarn from the yarn store.

Shortie Fur Cuffed Socks

My greatest help for adapting the Fur Cuffed Socks pattern at Lion Brand yarns was the generic toe up pattern at www.knotanotherhat.typepad.com. In addition, I needed to stop the foot about 3 1/2 inches shy of the heel AND take out 4 stitches in the heel on the first purl. Otherwise, the heel was just too dumpy.

First, I will say that I really don't like acrylic socks. They feel kindof plasticky to me. However, my sis can't wear wool, so went with the flow. Bernat and others have put out some non-wool yarns at low cost. They also feel nice, so I bought some to give it a whirl. My sis has had a LOT of problems getting socks that don't cut her in the ankle, so more sockmaking is likely in my future for her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

National Quilting Day Stuff

Lots of things were worked on yesterday. I spent most of the day taming the hoard, by folding fabric. Ok.. at this point, I MUST agree that folding fabric using your ruler really does take up less space. I chose to use my 24x8.5 inch ruler because it fits my Rubbermaid bins as well as the storage cabinet where I just put all the Halloween fabric. Fabric Folding Tutorial

Yesterday, March 20, was National Quilting Day. One of the challenges on my board was to clean up and organize the thread box! Mine is always a mess because I have too much thread. I haven't yet used down the thread that I bought when a quilt shop went out of business, but I'm getting there! I have all different sizes, but mostly all cotton. I have a handful of Coats and Clark and some specialty threads such as silk.
Thread Mess
Here's the thread all organized. It all fit in and the cover closes, but not completely. In the glass bowl (a former candy dish), I keep thread and incidentals for the current project(s). In the larger round container, I have thread used for hand projects such as silk and hand quilting cotton, plus a few metallics. About once a year, I get all the partial spools together and use them up in a scrap quilt top.
Thread Organized
Progress on the Waterfall Quilt. Here's what it is looking like a few days ago. It's about 1/2 quilted.
Waterfall Quilt prorgress
Close up of quilting. As you can see, I did echo quilting around the diamonds. The dark green areas are done with a wave meander (sharp instead of smooth meander), the green is done with a regular meander and the yellow is bubbles. I put off quilting this quilt for ages because I couldn't decide how to quilt it. Then I was going to do leaves, but find I just don't have the skill to put leaves in these narrow sections. I like the bubbles though. Cool. I give credit for the method to Leah Day, who gave me tips. See her Free Motion Quilting videos!
Waterfall Closeup

Tonight, I'm recording both Pacific (HBO) and two episodes of Life (Discovery), so I'll be knitting on my short fur cuffed socks. I've completed the red part on one sock and just started the gusset on the other. I hope to get the red section done tonight. Once I get this pair done, I'll be working on my UFO socks.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

So Much Done!?

I have to say that I've been doing so much better progressing on things lately. I think I've finished more items already in 2010 than all last year. Of course, many of these projects were in progress during 2009, but still. 2008-2009 was just a bad year for me due to all this coughing stuff going on and feeling plain worn out.

Knitting: Currently working part time on 3 alternating projects. I started my Kitty Pi Bed. I'm on about the 9th round. It's weird knitting 3 yarns together, but going well. I'll be thrilled when I can switch from the double pointed needles to the circs. My second project is the Buffy potholder, left over from the Ravelympics. I have to sit at the table to work on this project, so don't work on it as much. Still. Should finish this coming week. My third project is a UFO. I started these On Hold Socks last September. Finished one sock and then got stuck because something was arwy with the heel. Not really understanding heels and unwilling to spend hours ripping back and being unable to figure out where I was, I set it aside. Now that I GET heels, it was a lot easier to fix. I have finished the heel and about an inch up the ankle now. I expect to finish soon. I think I will avoid starting new yarn over patterns for awhile and stick with intarsia and knit/purl combination.

Crochet: I plan to just focus on finishing the ladybug afghan now. It is pretty close to done and a little focus will finish it. All the squares are done. I have sewn most of the ladybug bodies on. I have to redo many of the wings and then sew on the dots, but that is coming along. I started working on the daisies last week.

Quilting: I'm trying to stick with 1 hour a day because I really need to do a lot of organizing. I am currently quilting the Waterfall quilt. If I can get my shirt cut this weekend, I can then also start putting together the top sections for the Pirate Quilt which will quilted in sections and then, later assembled. My LQS has a re-grand opening, so I'm off to that in a few minutes.

Cross-Stitch: Set up materials to do a couple of little projects from one of Donna Kooler's christmas cross-stitch books. I wanted to do 5 of them and then can post the book either on Ebay or Paperbackswap.

Tall Ships Quilt is Done!

Finally, I'm able to post my completed quilt (finished Monday). I started Tall Ships in 1993. Due to really bad tension and quilting problems with my machine, I needed to take out all the quilting. Yep. Took a while mostly because most seam rippers couldn't get those tiny stitches out without damaging the fabric. The winner was the Clover Seam Ripper - slips under even the tiniest of stitches.

I did meander stitching in the background (an Alexander Henry fabric called "Starry Night" based on Van Gogh). The hull is outline stitched and I left the sails free. Border done in filler shell stitches. Looks really great (see 2nd photo). The idea for the border stitches came from 365 Filler Stitches blog (See link under Quilting Links in my sidebar)

So, I have finished my 2nd oldest UFO!!

Tall ShipsTall Ships Edge