Saturday, September 03, 2011

Finished Objects

Summer is coming to an end. I had a great time hanging out with my kids, and got some good knitting done as well. 

First off, I did the Westknits Mystery Shawl. Thank goodness I chose fantastic yarn, because the pattern could have been designed by a 2 year old. Not sure why I finished it at all, but the yarn and colors make it. 

See my girl hanging out in the background?

Also finally finished these socks, the pattern is Cusp by Cookie A. I vow never to knit a Cookie pattern again, waaaay too much work for socks. They look fantastic in the end, but my energy could have been better used on a sweater. 

Happy Labor Day weekend. Now for some fall knitting!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally Finished

This project was sleeping on Ravelry for the past three years! Yes, I began this one nearly four years ago. Its the first large lace shawl that I have ever completed. The yarn is fabulous, Camelspin from Handmaiden, and its super soft. I was a little concerned about how the color would turn out, if the lace pattern would be hard to see with all of the tone variations, but its fantastic. 

and close up

Its Icarus, by Miriam Felton, a well written pattern. Highly recommended. It feels so good to get that one on my finished list.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

While perusing Ravelry yesterday, I came across this pattern and immediately fell in love. Since I just finished my Icarus shawl (its blocking, photos to come), its time for a new project. My only problem is which color to make. I went shopping in my stash and came up with these combinations.

First the pattern

Now the choices:

The Blue Version

On the left is a Knitwitches yarn in Purple, and on the right is also Knitwitches in blue.

The Pinky Red Version

On the left is Dream in Color Starry in Punky Fuscia, it has sparkle in it. Not sure if that will be distracting. On the right is Malabrigo in Rayon Vert. It is not exactly a solid, but has many of the same colors as the Noro in the center.

The Pinky Green Version

On the left is Wollemeise, which I have been dying to use, but think it might be a bit too bright. On the right is Dream in Color Smooshy in Happy Forest (I used this color to make the February Lady Sweater)

The Red one

This was my original choice. It is one of the Spirit Trail club colors. I love it, but think it might be too red.

I am leaning toward the Blue Version with the blue, or the Pinky Red with the Malabrigo. Would love to do the Red.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Little Bundle

Estella gave me the idea to make this for my friend Alexcia at Make and Mingle. Its from the fantastic book One Skein, by Leigh Radford.  

The yarn is Spud and Chloe Sweater, a favorite of Alexcia. I embellished with a little flower made of some Moda precuts that I cut into circles, and hot glued down.

Isn't it cute! Can't wait to see that little one wearing it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Projects Abound

Its been pretty quiet here lately, but that doesn't mean that I've been completely idle. The Crochet Club project has gone by the wayside. I think that Jane is a fantastic teacher, and a technical expert. As for the design aspect of this project, it seems to be an afterthought. I think that there are a few others out there that agree. I've decided not to finish the project as per the pattern, but to make cushions out of what I made the first couple of months, and use the rest of the yarn to finish them. 
The weather is warming up, and other crafts have taken the forefront in my crafty world. I've done some sewing. Excuse the photo quality on this one, but it was not taken in the best lighting.

Its the Amy Butler Barcelona A-line skirt. I got the fabric last year at Make and Mingle, and finally finished it. I love it so much that I just did another one, which is waiting to be hemmed.
Next was a little cosmetic bag for me

and one for my sister

Then this weekend, I had the honor of taking a class in Dying with Trish from Tanglewood Fiber Creations at Westport Yarns. I've taken some dying classes before, but I am in love with the colors that Trish uses, and was hoping to get some tips from her. I even brought along some fiber to try. 

I think the thing I was most happy about was that it didn't felt! I can't wait to spin it and see what happens. 
Last but not least is the yarn

So as you can see, crafty things have been happening over here. I've just been a little lax about writing about them!

Friday, April 08, 2011

What I've been up to

Not much actually. I feel like nothing is getting accomplished around here. I got fed up with the Crochet Club blanket this month, and was going to skip it altogether. I was given a bit of encouragement by my knitting group, and have at least finished part of it.
I did the corner squares, and this center piece. Each one is beautiful on its own, but doesn't seem to match up at all. I decided to go for it, since it is a mystery blanket. I am hoping that in the end, it will all make sense. 

Still not sure, but next months pattern is almost upon us. Just a week to go. 
This one was super boring, but looks nice finished. I still have to make one more. I am praying for something other than single crochet next month. (Double Crochet to the UK people)

So many ends to weave in! 
I needed a break from this project, and decided to do a little sewing yesterday. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

with a little surprise inside

I'm definitely taking this to Florida next week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Party

Wanted to share some of the photos from our little chicken party at knitting group today. Most of them are Jennifers, six are Lori's, and three are mine. It was so much fun!

Viral Chickens

About a week or so ago, I was checking out Friends Activity on Ravelry, as you do. I noticed that one of my friends was looking at this pattern for Chicken Egg Cozies. I thought they were so cute, that I send the link to Jennifer thinking that she might like them. What I didn't know was that it was to become an obsession not only with her, but with my entire knitting group. I believe that several others are making them as we speak. I am hoping that we can get them all together tomorrow at our weekly meet-up. 

I'm not sure what it is about them, Jennifer says that they are "Happy". That's true, but I just can't stop thinking of the name "Chicken Egg Cozy". Its just hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing when I was sewing them up, the shape is perfect.   

Here is my little crowd

Don't you love the little combs on top of their heads. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Non Knitting 

Every year since I was about 11 years old, I have baked Hamantashen on the Jewish holiday of Purim. I've never been very religious, and its quite a minor holiday as well. For me its just a good excuse to make the cookies. I received this recipe from a woman that worked with my father ages ago. I've never really eaten another Hamantashen as this one is so good, it uses almond extract in the dough. 

This year, my youngest daughter announced that she wants to be a Chef when she grows up. Go her! We baked these together, prune and apricot.

Strangely, Lola doesn't look very interested

Thank you to Ruby Bernstein if you happen to read this, your recipe lives on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Field Trip...again

My knitting group is such a wonderful bunch of women. Not only are they all great knitters, but they like to venture out and see whats going on in the knitting world. Did I mention that they are all super nice, and fun as well! 

Today we took a short ride up to Knit New Haven. I had visited about a month ago, and thought it would be fun for the group to go for the morning. It reminds me so much of Stash. The owners, June, Julia, and Linda are always there, ready to help you find what you need or  just talk about knitting, spinning, or anything fiber related.  There is a big table in the middle of the shop, inviting you to sit down and knit, sort of like another yarn shop I remember very well. 

I have been in a little bit of a slump the past week. The Crochet Club installment for this month has me baffled. The photos of the finished product are not what I was expecting, so I've decided to wait a while before I begin. My Cusp sock is in limbo after a mistake that made me unpick 10 rounds on size 2mm/US0 needles. I am in need of a new project. Ta Da!

Its Cormorant by Norah Gaughan. I've been eyeing it on Ravelry for a while. It calls for Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a yarn that I've been wanting to use again. A perfect solution to my doldrums. I'm using Salt and Pepper, 6207. Let the swatching begin!

While we were there, Jennifer continued her quest to make a Cluck of Chickens

They are Chicken Egg Cozies, can you stand it. I can't wait to see them finished. 

Here we are with our purchases

Don't forget lunch at Judies if you are in New Haven. They have the most fabulous bread, and its still warm when you buy it. Yum!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time Out

The past couple of weeks my knitting and crochet projects haven't been the most fun. I was frantically working on my Crochet Club for this month. This month focused on beading, which was beyond boring! It was tons of work, all in single crochet (of double for those of you in the UK). It was driving me crazy, but I finally forced myself to finish so that I could get a week away from it before the next installment arrives. Here are a few photos of some pieces so far. 

I think its going to be fantastic when its finished, but I can't say that I am entirely enjoying it. I guess my first love is knitting, and its taking me away from that, and I'm not happy!

My other project, the Cusp sock isn't going well either. I made a big mistake along the way, and had to unpick a bunch of rounds. That is when I decided to do a quilting project. 

Maybe I was inspired by last weekend, or maybe it was the fact that I have had this quilt since November waiting to go in the spare room. Back in November I went to a sample sale at Denyse Schmidts studio. I am a big fan, and grabbed a bargain. The problem was that it was a $350 quilt that I got for $75. The matching pillow shams were $65 each, and I needed three, so I decided to make my own. I ordered matching solid fabric, which has been sitting around since December. When all of my other projects got annoying, it was time to break out the sewing machine. 

First of all, I got to try out the new quilting extension table that I bought last year

Here I am trying out my new Walking Foot

I wanted to make them in the spirit of Denyse Schmidt, nothing would be exactly square, and the quilting didn't have to be straight. Basically the idea was for it to be all wonky (one of my fave British expressions).  Here is one after quilting. 

and here is the finished product, on the bed

I think there is going to be more quilting in my future. Back to knitting for the weekend though.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Two Seconds of Fame

This weekend is the Fabric and Fabrications Quilt Exhibit at the Southport Congregational Church. I went last year with Jennifer and Lisa. Unfortunately, Jennifer is away, so it was just Lisa and myself this year. This is the ninth year of the exhibit, and it features over 150 quilts. They never use a quilt twice, so thats about 1000 quilts that have been shown so far. Some of them date back to the 1800's, and most are hand quilted and/or embroidered. Even if you don't like some of the designs, you can appreciate the work that went into these works of art. 

Here is a small example of some embroidery. Keep in mind that this is only one square of not one, but two matching quilts. 

This is a bit farther away

The best part of the day, aside from the lovely lunch that the ladies put on, was the fact that Lisa and I were the subject of several photographers. We appeared in not one, but two articles today.

The first from the Fairfield Patch. You can scroll through the photos to find us after you read the article, or here we are


The quilt we are in front of was one of our favorites, a modern quilt done by several different people in the same style. 

Then we appeared in the CT Post along with this photo. Don't we look mesmerized. 


If you can't make it today as its getting a little late, try not to miss this fantastic exhibit next year. Who knows, maybe you can enter one of your own quilts, they are always on the lookout!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Make and Mingle

About a year ago, through the Westport Young Womens League, I discovered a hidden treasure in Fairfield called Make and Mingle. I'm pretty positive that I've mentioned it before. I tell everyone about them! Its a shop dedicated to all things crafty. There are fantastic fabrics from all of my favorite designers, sewing classes, ribbons, buttons, hand made items, the list just goes on. Anyway, I was over there a while back talking with Alexcia, the lovely and super creative owner about my favorite subject...yarn and fiber....what else! She mentioned that she was thinking of ordering the new Amy Butler yarn as it would go well with the fabric that she already stocks. Being a knitter herself, she wanted have some yarn around the shop.  

Here it is, the colors are lovely.

Its called Amy Butler Belle Organic DK, 50% wool and 50% cotton. 

I used it to make a pair of  Saarjtes Booties. They are awaiting buttons from Alexcia. I'll be bringing them over today. 

If you are interested in knitting classes at M&M, you can contact Alexcia. I'll be the teacher!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Too many projects, too little time

I definitely have too many projects going on right now. I don't know which one to work on first, so I have been working on each a little at a time. Yesterday, I did some spinning, knitting, and crochet all in one day. I started off by stringing the remainder of the beads onto the yarn for the last piece for the Crochet Club. I knit booties for the display at Make and Mingle. As soon as I sew them up, there will be photos. The rest of the time was spent spinning my yummy Polworth top from Spirit Trail Fiberworks.

At first I was having a bit of a fight with this stuff. I looked around on the internet, and discovered that this fiber is supposed to be easy to work with, softer than Merino. I'd say that the first portion of the bobbin is not going to be great, I was pulling way too hard to draft. Then I discovered that if I fluffed it up a lot, and took it in small pieces, it drafts like a dream. I am making a worsted yarn using the Short Draw, or Inchworm method.

I am convinced that spinning to music helps, currently addicted to The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. It won Album of the Year at the Grammys, and it was much deserved! Check it out, its amazing!

Excuse my slippers on the floor! I had to get my daughter to take the photo. Here is a closeup of the color. Its going to be a beautiful semi-solid of sea blues.

May I also add how much I am enjoying my Woolee Winder. I bought it at Rhinebeck this past October. It's so nice not to have to stop all the time to adjust the yarn on the bobbin. Everything winds on so evenly, and the bobbins are larger than the ones that came with my wheel. The guys over there are super nice as well. This was a great addition to my wheel!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vermont Yarn Crawl

Went to Vermont for a few days this week. I don't ski, have tried, but its not going to happen. I have an unnatural fear of heights, and anything related to speed. I always say that I don't do anything where I have to strap something on my feet and slide. Anyway, I set out to find yarn and fiber. The first day in Rutland, I found a fantastic and friendly shop called Green Mountain Fibers. I had a great morning hanging out with Sandy. They had some lovely local yarn, and of course, I couldn't stop myself from buying a hat kit from Green Mountain Spinnery. I didn't get a chance to take photos from the inside of their shop, but I love these sheep over the top of the entrance!

Notice the palm trees behind them! So cute!

The next day was a stop at Six Loose Ladies and Friends in Proctorsville, near Ludlow. I had stopped there on the last ski trip. What I didn't realize is that their shop is a Not for Profit. It is run by Fiber Arts in Vermont, and the ladies all volunteer their time. They sell lots of local yarns, and items made by local crafts people. The ladies are super friendly, offering me tea. I stayed for the entire morning, happily knitting my sock. This was my vantage point.

Lastly, I am moving along on the Crochet Club for this month. I finished two of these.

I want to take a break now, as I have until the 15th of March, and am nearly done for the month. I am going to concentrate on spinning my fiber, and another craft that I am about to begin. Hopefully by my next post!