Friday, June 27, 2008

Sockotta Mock Cable Socks - progress

All things considered, I'm making lots of progress on this pair of socks! The first was completed yesterday, and of course, I had to start the second just as soon as I had darned in the yarn ends. This pattern is really going quite fast, partially due to the fact that it has fewer stitches in the round and I'm working on size 2 needles, instead of the size 1 that I've been using for the past few, but the sock fits great! In case you missed the earlier post, the pattern can be found here, and is being made with the Sockotta yarn that I was able to find at a local shop.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Janet's Influence

was accepted into the Pacific Northwest Quiltfest that is put on by the Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters (APQ)!!! It is the first time for me, so very exciting!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Checkerboard Stars Finished!

I've been stitchine and writing as fast as I can, and the Checkerboard Stars quilt is now finished, as well as the pattern. You'll be able to find it later today at Gathering Fabric, simply because the shop is less than 2 miles from my home, and then other interested shops will be receiving it as soon as possible.

Checkerboard Stars

I'm coming down the home stretch with only the label and sleeve to go on the quilt back, and then I can take a photo of the finished quilt!

Sockotta Mock Cable Socks

Even though we have so many things going on, there are still those moments that would be wasted while waiting for something or someone, so I've already cast on the first of another pair of socks. I'm using Plymouth Sockotta yarn for this pair, and since the yarn doesn't have much stretch, I searched the web and found a pattern for Lacy Mock Rib Socks that were designed for the Sockotta yarn, and even though I've just started, I'm amazed how stretchy the pattern is coming out so far. It is also an easy pattern to follow, cable look without having to use cable needles, and because the needles are larger than I've been using, it's fast and fun to work on, and I feel like I'm getting more done in those little bits of time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Busy, Busy

Although I've been trying my best to post more frequently, and I've also been trying to only post creative work, instead of family, this post is an infrequent exception. We're going to be having a lot of house guests, starting next Saturday.

The first arrivals will be my husband's brother (the one closer to his age) and his family of five, coming from England. They will be here for two weeks to visit and see the area. My sister-in-law hasn't been to visit us before - not ever, so there will be lots to see, do and chat about. We have been able to visit a few times, but far apart, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again, and meeting their youngest, since he was born after my last visit. (My husband and two of our boys were able to go a couple years ago, so they met him at that time.)

The second wave will be my husband's oldest brother, and his family, also of five (although I hear their daughter may be coming later). This family is moving to our area, and will be staying with us for a while (until their other accomodations are ready).

Usually, I'm able to keep my projects laying around my studio, but with all the visitors coming, and the second family is coming with two cats, I'm busy trying to get everything put away that I think the cat might love to mess with, finish Checkerboard Stars for the quilt shop, and some others that need some finishing before they can be put away (like that wool I had to finish spinning, because I had already pre-drafted it into a wonderful puddle of fiber ready for spinning, and was afraid to move and make a mess of it).

Now I have nothing against cats, love to visit with them when I'm out, but I've never had a cat in my house, not to mention staying at our house, so this is probably going to take some adjusting to. If you have any suggestions for cat-proofing, I'd love to hear them, just leave me a comment. I've only done baby-proofing in the past. I'll return the favor, and sit and look at your blog as soon as everyone has left and I have a chance to sip tea and read blogs.

Sooooooo, if I add our family of five, it looks like there will be 10-15 people in our house for a while, plus two cats when they arrive with their family, I know it will be totally crazy busy here, and between getting ready for them to come, and hosting everyone, busy will be an understatement. I'm afraid my Sun Challenge project for an online group may not get done until after they leave, but I still have hope to get a couple small ones finished and mailed out, but only time will tell, and the clock is ticking.....

Blue Spun Wool

Here's the product of a couple full days worth of spinning (although most was done in small bits of time between other projects), with about half of the second bobbin being spun today, going as fast as I could. The fiber is a multi-merino / silk top in a blue colorway from Kendig Cottage. It looked more blue before it was spun, and since it is only the second time I've spun a multicolored fiber, I had no idea how it would look once it was spun. It still needs to be plied (will be a 2-ply yarn, since I only have these two bobbins), but for now the bobbins will be put back in the bag the fiber came in (this way it will be labeled) and set aside for plying later.

Checkerboard Stars - slow progress

You probably can't see the quilting very well, but I'm trying to let the fabric sing and the quiting just add a bit of texture while holding everything together. Anyway, since I did want to be able to see the holly quilting design (just not too much), I decided that the only thread that would work was the heavy red varigated Valdani thread (now that's a mouthful), and since I know from experience that this thread will work it's way loose if I don't take the time to knot and bury the thread tails. So...... now I'm busy knotting and burying until I'm tired of it, and stippling in between the holly with a red Isacord thread that I thought looked better than my other choices.

The problem is that I'm down to stippling around the holly in the outer border, and between moving all the tails that are still there (must stop and move them sothey don't end up being quilted in place) , and trying to see the holly quilting (so I don't run over it), it is going slowly - but the quilting will be done soon, hopefully later today, after a few other things are done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Pattern Peddler's

Last month I met The Pattern Peddlers at Quilt Market in Portland, OR, and now I can say that they have picked up nine of my patterns! The nine patterns are: Sunflower Garden, Dragonfly Pond, Wild Waves, Swirling Stars, Harvest Gathering, Stars 'n Stripes, Jewels Table Runner, Floral Trellis Table Runner, and Fantasy Fish. I'm shipping the pattens to them today, so they will have them in their catalog and shop in a box soon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Peach Socks finished!

Now I have another pair of socks to wear! It's amazing how different the self-striping happened from the same dye lot. I wonder if it just depends what point in the stripe that you start with? The pattern is Tumbling Blocks sock pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns, and the yarn is Panda Wool from the same company, that was purchased at the local (sort of - 1.5 hours away) Sewing and Craft Expo.

The new take along sock project I'll be starting will be Cables and Lace socks, which I'm also making in Panda Wool, but in blue and white varigated yarn.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

holly quilting patterns

After playing around in the EQ6 program, I was able to to come up with these holly block and border designs. The designs have been traced onto template material from my local quilt shop, and I've used my sewing machine with a thick topstitch needle to perforate the design so that I can transfer it to dark fabrics with the ultimate quilt pounce. I'm hoping it will also show up on the toile, but if not, I'll probably have to use a purple or blue dissapearing marker.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Day on the road, a little knitting, one border quilted

Here's the progress from about three hours riding in the car. The leg and heel are finished (I prefer to knit shorter socks, as longer ones just get scrunched up or rolled down), so now I'm on my way down the foot.

The peach sock only had a couple new rows added, so it really looks the same.

Ann asked where I got my yarn. The peach was purchased at a huge sewing and craft EXPO that is usually in February at our local fairgrounds, can't remember the vendor, but the yarn is Panda Wool by Crystal Palace Yarn, and the sock pattern is a free one on their website (it is shown in this same color). The burgundy / teal, self-striping yarn was purchased at my local Ben Franklin, and is called Sox by Berroco, and they call the color Liverpool (color number 1474).

Since I'm still deciding how I want to quilt Checkerboard Stars, I've started with a border and a ribbon candy pattern. Right now I'm thinking that feather circles, or circular in the middle, and squared up to take up the block, is going to be on the alternate blocks, but I wasn't able to find my blue dissapearing ink marker, so will have to purchase a new one before marking and quilting. Most of the time I'll just mark circles or veins for feather quides, but since I'm working in 12" blocks, I'm considering marking it first, and if I can't get to the store, I'll probably use Sulky Solvy with the design marked on it. The other design I'm considering is a ring of holly leaves to go with the fabric, so I'm going to spend some time drawing, and see what happens. (The charm of free motion quilting on my home machine is that I can quilt wherever I want, jumping around and following the fabric / thread colors instead of quilting from one end to the other.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Checkerboard Stars - top complete!

Ok, the top is complete, and on to layering and quilting. I'll have to think about the quilting for the blocks on this one, should I go with transparent / blending thread and try to quilt around the fabric designs or maybe feather circles, etc. would be better. It's traditional, so maybe feathers would be best........

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekend knitting

Well, one day turned into two, but the baby orchard that we planted a month or so ago was watered, grassy weeds cleared, and some knitting progress was made. It's probably going to seem like insanity to some of you, but I have three pairs of socks in progress (although one was a forgotten pair, recently found).

This peachy pink pair travel around with me in a section of my purse, so I always have something to work on, although progress is sometimes slower. The yarn is Panda Wool, and it is packaged in smaller amounts that are just right for one of these socks, so I'm not carrying a huge ball of yarn. This weekend, I finished the heel turn, the gusset decreases and am now heading down the foot.

This pair is going faster! The finished sock was begun on the way down to quilt market, after finishing the last pair of socks. On the way home today, the toe was stitched closed and the rib was made for the second. Now it's time to head down the leg in stockinette stitch, as it shows the yarn patterning better.