Friday, January 13, 2017

Knitting and worms (?)

Have I peaked your interest?  

LOL.  I'll get to what I mean in just a second.

Right now I just wanted to share the last couple of knitting projects that I have completed.

Right after the holidays I bought yarn for several projects.  The first one I worked on was the Cotty Fingerless Gloves; and I bought this luscious lavender yarn that I couldn't resist and just had to find a pattern to work up to warrant buying it.  The yarn is Mrs. Crosby yarn and the color is called Monkey Orchid.  It is 75% superwash merino wool, 15% silk and 10% cashmere.. 

Here's my progress.

This is the picot edge.  It was a new stitch for me.

Here is the lace cuff.

This takes me to the beginning of the gusset for the thumb.

Woohoo.....I made a thumb.

.....and here are the finished fingerless mitts.

I think if I were to make these again, I would make a smaller size AND make the thumb just a wee bit shorter.  

My next project that I bought yarn for was for the boot cuffs. 

This was a worsted weight yarn by Feza made in Turkey.  It is a 100% extrafine superwash merino wool.  The color is called Oleaster.

These took no time at all to make.  Very simple.

I made them to compliment the new Sorel boots that I bought.  

and I think they go really well with my fashion boots, too,

Now to the worms that I mentioned.

......LOL.  Not that kind!

Actually,  I went to the sporting goods store to find a WORM BINDER.  I am all about organization; and we as crafters know that if you want to buy something in particular for your craft, it is usually expensive especially if you go to the fabric store, yarn shop, etc.  If you think outside the box, you can usually find something that works well for you from an unconventional setting.

I needed something to store and keep my circular needles more organized.  My sister-in-law said she was looking into worm binders.    

So I looked at a couple and decided to buy this one because not only did it have the plastic sleeves to hold the needles, but it had good sized zippered pockets on the outside to store other little essentials.

Now, being the girly, girl that I am, I didn't want my bag to say anything about Sports, so I removed that tag and when I was in Texas back in November at the Silos, I bought a "patch" from Magnolia and that is what I am going to stitch back in that same spot.  

Also, I needed my "soft" bag to be a little more sturdier so that my needles would not get broken from the weight of something pressing on this bag, so my hubby cut me a piece of plexiglass (actually it is some airplane windshield that my father-in-law had.  He was an airplane mechanic) that will slip into the pocket on one side.  Now I have a sturdy bag.  I should mention here that there were worm binders out there that had firm covers, but you couldn't get more than a business card into the zippered pockets and I didn't want to struggle to get things in and out of them.  

It fits perfectly.

Lots of room in the outside pockets for lots of odds and ends.

I have labeled my sleeves and put my circular needles in their respective places and I am feeling good about being able to easily find whatever circular needle that I may need in the future.  

Remember, not so long ago, I had made a bag to hold ALL my needles, but every time I wanted to find something, I had to take them all out and look for the size.  Now I have a container for my long needles and crochet hooks, a worm binder for my circular needles that are over and above the set that I bought  a year or so ago.  That set only has certain sizes and it never fails that you always need something you don't have on hand.  I love being organized.  

Always think outside the box. .....or worm binder as the case may be.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kon Mari (my quilts)

Don't get too excited.  I didn't get rid of ALL my quilts.

My story starts a couple of months ago when my daughter was reading Marie Kondo's book on  Kon Mari.  If you don't know what that is, you can read about  it here.

My daughter helped me "Kon Mari" my clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.  Nine large black garbage bags full later....oh my....I cringe when I think about that, but it was all for the good....I have a neat walk-in closet, orderly drawers, and found things that I hadn't seen for awhile crammed in amongst other things.  Those nine bags were donated to a good cause and that was a good thing, too.

Now, I haven't followed Kon Mari throughout my whole house as the book suggests, but every once in a while I will go in a cupboard and not be able to find something and the next thing you know, I am pulling it all out, getting rid of over half of the stuff  and returning things to a neat and orderly existence.  It really makes one happy.

Well, I was starting to feel that way about my quilts.  I have a LOT of quilts and I thought of giving some of them to my kids.  I had tried  doing that last year, but as I pulled a quilt out that I thought I could part with...I would look at it and say, "but I really love this one"  and put it back.  I did that with several quilts and decided to keep them all.  Well, in a year, the piles just got bigger with nowhere else to put quilts.

It's not that I haven't given away any quilts.  Each couple received a wedding quilt; all the grands get quilts; baby quilts are made for gifts, but the quilts that I kept were numerous.

So, on Christmas Eve I brought my two daughters and daughter-in-law in to look at eight quilts that I pulled out.  I told them to take a look at them and then I would post pictures and sizes of them and send them the info.  They were to contact me privately as to their top 2-3 favorites in the order that they would want them.  They would each get two if they so wished.  I didn't want them to feel that they had to compete for any of them if they liked the same quilts.

These are the quilts that I offered up.  They range from year 2000 to 2016.

Four-patch posie.

Chinese Coins

Hawaiian Trips

Hidden pinwheels

Rainbow Quilt

Safe Haven

Star Trip

Thimbleberry Village

They really are quite the range of tastes and I felt I knew which ones each of the girls would want.  Boy, was I wrong.

The funny thing is that they sent me their lists and there was not one duplicate.  How can that be?!!!  That made it so easy.  I was sure there would be some overlap and then I would have to make some decisions.

My oldest daughter asked for Hawaiian Trips and Star Trip.  Both of these quilts were bright and feminine.  She said that was because she has three little boys, and she doesn't get much in the way of feminine things at home. 

My youngest daughter took the Four-patch Posie and the Hidden Pinwheels.  I have no idea why.  She is my puzzle.

My daughter-in-law took the Chinese coins and the Thimbleberries Village.  Both of those are opposite ends of the spectrum, so that surprises me, too.  Although she likes contemporary things which I think the black and white one is, the other one is a puzzle.

So, I have to say that I am glad to see my quilts go to my kids now.  Maybe in a couple of years, I will do this again if they are willing.

The other two quilts will go back in the stash and wait their turn....maybe next time.  

This was a good way to give quilts to the family and know they got what they liked.  Just an idea that you might want to try.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas is all packed away....

It's always sad to see all the Christmas decorations get put away; but isn't it funny how the house looks so bare, even though that's the way we live all year long? 

The holidays were really busy for us this year, so I am trying to catch up on some of the things that I accomplished.

So, I thought I would share a quilt that I had finished for a customer (Sherry) just before Christmas.  If I remember correctly, she had started this some time ago for a family member and thought that it was time to get it done and gifted. 

To soften all the hard angles, I used Bauhaus panto.  I think this panto did the trick.  I felt the quilt was a contemporary type quilt and this panto is very modern, too.  

Here are some close ups. 

Here it is completed.  The name of the quilt is Gray Square Scramble from Keepsake Quilting.  

This is the back.  It is black, but didn't show up that way in the picture.  

I used a medium gray So Fine top and bottom and I love the way the stitching showed up on the quilt.  
She got this back in plenty of time to bind it and wrap it.

Hmmm...what to report next?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Back in November

I was posting about a shawl that my sister-in-law and I were going to work on together while we were in Houston for the big quilt show.  We were to at least get it started so that we didn't have to struggle with casting on while on the plane.  

We were going to work on Passeggiata.  

I chose these wool yarns while at a Plucky Knitter extravaganza held at Wool and Honey in Cedar, MI.  The color on the left is called Twill and the one of the right is called Brume.

This is where I got mine to before we left for our trip.  

I had gotten a little further along than I planned and that was because I forgot to change thread colors, so after "tinking" (ripping out/knitting backwards), I felt the need to use up the loose threads and then quit there.  

Of course on our trip, we were so busy and so tired at the end of each day, we never picked up our knitting.  The only time I touched it was on the flight back.

Once home, it really didn't take long to complete.  This was a really easy knit.

This is it after blocking.

In looking back at all my photos to find the progression of this shawl, I was amazed at all the "living" that took place over several months.  I thought I was being a slug this year, but there was a lot of knitting, quilting for myself and others, babysitting, holidays, etc.  So I guess I shouldn't feel bad about not getting more accomplished this year.  

Anyways, here's how I am wearing this shawl.  Not the greatest of pictures, but you get the idea.  

I love it and it is so very warm on chilly days.  

Next time I will be posting about some quilting, so stay tuned.  

Happy New Year

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