Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf FO

This is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, pattern by Karen Baumer which is a free pattern from Ravelry.   This is the final item that I made for my friend Kristin for this year's birthday/Christmas gift exchange.  She got all handmade items this year!  This was a fairly enjoyable scarf to knit, the changing yarns made it go more quickly than scarves usually do.  The original pattern called for Noro Silk Garden which has long color repeats, I chose to make it with leftover balls of sock yarn instead.  I chose colors in blue, gray, pink, and burgundy because those are Kristin's favorites.  The pattern knits up at a diagonal which is done by increases and decreases, not by picking up stitches.  The only drawback to using leftover yarn is all the ends I had to weave in at the end.  Yarns included are: Colinette Jitterbug, Dream in Color Smooshy, Dream in Color Starry, Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering, Fiberphile Squooshy sock, Hazel Knits artisan sock, Koigu, Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious, Perchance to Knit Merino Sock, Rio De Le Plata Sock Artista, Socktopus Sokkusu Original,String Theory Caper Sock, Madelinetosh Pashmina and Tosh Sock.  I still have a huge bin of leftover sock yarn so perhaps I will make another for myself at some point.  Kristin was extremely pleased with her scarf as you can see below, she made it look very stylish!  As well as much more cheery looking than I did above!  I really need to smile in pictures - I look quite scary - sorry about that! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tie Front Tote version 3

This is the third version that I have made of this bag and I am pleased that it went fairly quickly this last time.  The fabrics are from Timeless Treasures, the Paris themed fabrics I think I got from Pink Chalk fabrics about a year ago and the blue check was from Creekside Quilting in Clive, Iowa.  The only changes I made this time around were because the fabric was directional so I had to cut it out differently than indicated but that was really no big deal.  I really need to remember when I take a photo of a bag to take some of the inside too!  Oh well.  This was another item that I made for my friend Kristin for birthday/Christmas this year.  I think she liked it.   I picked the fabric because she traveled to Paris a year ago on vacation so I thought she might think it was fun.  I ended up having a ton of fabric leftover so I guess I will make myself something and hope I get to go to France some day! 

I am happy to report that I just was outside and there were some snow flurries!  I love snow, especially this time of year. Last year we were majorly short changed in the snow department I think we only had scoopable snow one time!  Hopefully I don't end up regretting my words, my husband has a house to build yet this winter and they only just started the foundation!  So hopefully decent weather does hold out for a little while yet.  The 10 day forecast looks good at least. 

I am linking up today to Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations.  Next time I have a sewing FO to report I promise to take more photos!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Free Motion Quilting

I spent a nice afternoon working in my sewing room, and attempting to replicate some of the quilting ideas from the book Free Motion Quilting by Angela Walters.  This is a great book and has a lot of great information, I do highly recommend it.  I have only attempted to FMQ a few times before and I am not sure I am using the correct sewing machine foot so my results were less than stellar.  I know I just need to practice but I have never enjoyed practicing things.  I have my two green/tan pot holders basted and ready to quilt, now I just have to decide how I want to do it.  Hopefully I can get it done tomorrow.  I did try a random squares and rectangle quilting that worked pretty well it was just anything with curves that I just couldn't get the hang of.  I am sure that is where the practice comes in and I should probably just keep at it.  Maybe I should get some cheap fabric from JoAnn and make up some small quilt sandwiches with leftover batting and just practice on something that has no purpose.  I could even photograph it for the blog so it would give me something to talk about! 
This is the front and the back of one of the potholders I was working on today.  It is a Wonky log cabin block for the front and the style of the potholder is this tutorial from Oh Fransson!  The second pot holder is the same style but just has 1 inch (finished) stripes for the front. 

I didn't get the UNI hat started today like I wanted but I do have the yarn wound and the pattern picked out so I am going to start in the morning.  Now I am off to bed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lotus Hat FO and knitting/quilting WIP report

This is the Lotus Hat by Uptown Purl, which is offered as a free pattern on Ravelry.  I have the dorkiest expression on my face!  Sorry about that!  I knit this hat for my friend Kristin, to go with her Hawkeye scarf and mittens.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in the Cloak colorway.  I have an enormous head and extremely thick hair and therefore have trouble getting hats to cover my ears, this one fits me wonderfully and I think it would be quite toasty.  I hope to make another for myself to keep so I have recorded my modifications on Ravelry. 

I was going to have photos to go along with this week's WIP report but naturally my camera battery was dead again.  So no photos of the WIP's this week. 

Modern Sampler Quilt - no progress
Rainbow Road table runner - no progress
9 patch lattice baby quilt - no progress

 New projects
Wonky log cabin pot holders and matching dish towels - green/tan fabric
Autumn themed pot holders and matching dish towels

I purchased the towel fabric and cut out 4 towels and hemmed them several months back and I have been planning to make the Fabric Embellished Dish towels that I pinned several months ago.  I finally decided to use some green and tan fabrics that I got from Jo-Ann to make some pot holders and use the scraps to finish two of the towels.  I also have some autumn themed fabric leftover from a project I did last year so I also plan to make autumn themed pot holders and towels.  I hope to have these finished by the end of this week. 

Finished projects
 Tie Front Tote for Kristin (FO post to come)

Ravi cardigan
Barn Raising Quilt
Dark and Stormy cardigan

New projects
Entangled Stitches gloves - this is a pattern by Julia Mueller on Ravelry.  These have been fun to knit so far, they are very intricately cabled gloves that I am excited to wear!  I will get a photo as soon as my camera starts cooperating.  The yarn I am using is The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny bugga in the colorway Sharpshooter Leafhopper that I got from The Loopy Ewe 2 years ago.  They are kind of slow going knitting because they are so detailed. 

Seamless Kimono Baby Sweater - I am knitting this for my friend Kim who is expecting her second baby in December.  The pattern is by Carina Spencer and I purchased it on Ravelry.  I am making a striped version with pink and brown Berroco vintage yarn.

Need to start ASAP
Josh's UNI hat - I found purple and yellow Cascade 220 superwash at Knitted Together in Des Moines yesterday.  Now I need to decide on the pattern and get started.  Hopefully I can start this tomorrow!

Tania's hawkeye apparel - I had some black Cascade 220 in my stash and found the yellow I needed yesterday too.  I will start this project after finishing Josh's UNI hat. 

I am hoping to make a lot of progress with some of these projects over the next few days, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night 2012

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO November 2011
I have been having a quiet night at home working on the baby sweater that I cast on a few days ago and watching the first disc of the tv show Homeland on DVD.  I have been avoiding the news for the most part, I have checked in on CNN a few times to see how things are going.  But I have decided I am going to bed, I would be surprised if things were decided tonight anyway.  I am grateful that I decided to cast my vote absentee since I have been out of town for a few days and only got back tonight.  When I drove past our polling place it was quite busy so I was glad I didn't have to stand in line.  I do pray that our current president gets 4 more years but at this point that is all I can do!  At least there have been no more phone calls this evening!  (Random picture above just because I hate blogging with no photos! We visited there last year and it was beautiful!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cover Up Sewing Machine Cover

I finally finished my sewing machine cover a few weeks ago after having to make several (unplanned!) modifications.  The original pattern (Cover Up) does not have the patchwork panel around the bottom of the machine but it turned out too short!  Since I had plenty of fabric leftover I decided I would rip out the stitching on the sides and add a panel to the bottom.  Then of course it was too long!  So I ended up deciding to remove the panel off one end and cut it shorter.  That was a major mistake!  I should have removed the panel from both ends and trimmed evenly since I had already boxed the corners on the top.  Instead I ended up with one side of the cover way too short and the other side way too long!  So I decided to remove the bottom panel, cut off all the green fabric (leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance) and make new green side panels and sew it all together again.  There are some really bulky seams on the inside but it is lined so they don't show.  I learned a lot from this project, and I am really glad that I almost always buy extra fabric!  I am linking up today with {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Knitter's Remorse!

I don't know how I keep getting myself into this but somehow I just committed myself to knit another pair of Hawkeye mittens as well as a matching scarf by Christmas!  I knit 2 pairs of mittens for last Christmas and had knit a matching striped scarf earlier last year. 

My friend Kristin (who was the recipient of the first pair of Hawkeye mittens and the scarf) was wearing hers today and has requested a set for another friend of hers who is a Hawkeye fan.  I knit the 2nd pair of Hawkeye mittens for my mom and after finishing them I swore no more black and yellow yarn!   Oh well, at least they have had a good response! This is a good (free!) pattern that is available on Ravelry.   I did have a little trouble with the thumbs but ended up winging it and just trying to make the colors match the picture.  The scarf was made by casting on 80 stitches on a short circular needle and knitting in the round for 14 rounds then switching to the other color.  I did 14 black and gold stripes and it was over 6 feet long, not counting the fringe!  It was an extremely boring scarf, so hopefully I can find some good tv shows or something on Netflix Instant watch and knit away! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Liesl sweater

I finished this sweater back in August according to my Ravelry page.  I have not actually worn it yet and I have mixed feelings about it.  The yarn is Sundara Aran Silky merino which is a 50/50 merino and silk blend.  The yarn itself is beautiful but I found it kind of difficult because it grows so much! It seemed small when I was knitting it but once I washed and blocked it, it was much bigger.  I knew this would happen so I did account for it while knitting.  Additionally I had issues with the sleeve pattern.  This was something that a lot of other knitters noted about this pattern.  It is difficult to get the feather and fan stitch pattern to line up correctly.  The only thing that worked for me was to make several attempts, each time starting the feather and fan pattern in a different spot until it lined up correctly.  In the end I am just not sure that I really like this sweater, I may pull it out today and wear it and see if I change my mind about it. 

I was able to cast on my Dark and Stormy cardi last night but that was literally all that I did, I cast on 80 stitches then I went to bed!  Hopefully I have more time to work on it today.  I didn't take a photo of my single row of stitches so here is a photo of the yarn I am using.  (Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein in colorway Fraser)

 I do have a bunch of small projects that I need to be getting done soon, a baby sweater and hat for a friend of mine expecting her second baby next month, a knitted monster for the same friend's 2 year old daughter ( I just had to look at the date of the baby sweater I made for her to remember how old she is!) and a UNI(purple/yellow) striped hat for a friend who is a sophomore there.  Hopefully I can get the yarn for that figured out this weekend, I should have the hat done by the time he comes home for Thanksgiving.  I do have a bit of traveling this weekend so I may cast on the baby sweater to take along, it seems like the most portable knitting since I will probably have to order yarn for the UNI hat.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brandywine Shawlette FO

I haven't posted in over a month!  I didn't really mean to slack off on the blogging but I have been knitting (a lot) and sewing (a little!).  I have finished several knitting projects and the first I will talk about is probably my favorite.  This is the Brandywine Shawlette pattern by Rosemary Hill.  The yarn I used is Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway Rose Smash.  I finished this on September 30 and it was one of the handmade items I gave to my friend Kristin for birthday/christmas when I met up with her in Chicago a couple weeks ago.  I wanted this shawlette to be small, to be worn as a scarf with a jacket so I used one size smaller needle than the pattern recommended.  If I did it again I think I would use the recommended needle size.  It could have been bigger but I think it will work fine and Kristin liked it so that was all that mattered.  This was the first Rosemary Hill pattern that I have knit and I really enjoyed the pattern, it was well written and easy to understand.  FYI- the sweater I am wearing in the picture is my Amelia sweater which is one of my favorites!

I am planning to participate in the NaKniSweMo  KAL on Ravelry this month.  This is a knit a-long where you knit a sweater of at least 50,000 stitches to completion in the month of November.  I am planning on knitting a Dark and Stormy Cardigan with some Miss Babs Yowza that I got at Stitches Midwest in 2011.  I have wound up the first ball and swatched so I am ready to cast on today! 

I am also planning on participating in Blog-vember, meaning that I will blog every day all month.  So, hopefully I can stick to that!  I will hopefully have progress of my Dark and Stormy cardi to report!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday

 I haven't had much sewing time this week but today I started cutting out the prints for my 9 patch lattice baby quilt.  I really started this today so I would have something different to show today for WIP Wednesday!  I have a couple more prints to cut then I will start sewing them together.  The rest of my sewing time I did the quilting on my sewing machine cover that I have been working on.  It is kind of hard to see in the photo below but I did straight line quilting on a 1 inch interval in the green swirly area.  The thread I used was a tan aurifil thread. I also quilted along the seams for the center wonky portions, the thread I used was an off white from Connecting Threads.  Hopefully I can get this finished up tomorrow or Friday.
I do still have the Mod Sampler quilt in progress, I have put all the rows together with the sashing and then I read the directions.  Oops!  Apparently I was supposed to cut the sashing strips lengthwise in order to have 63" long strips, so I had to go find more Kona White before I could continue.  Now I have my strips cut but I haven't gotten any further.  Once I get the previous two projects done I will hopefully make more progress on this quilt. 

We went out of town last weekend on a road trip to Rochester Minnesota.  I actually visited a quilt shop and a knit shop but didn't purchase anything, I just couldn't find anything that really appealed to me.   I did make some decent knitting progress on my Lotus hat, I should have it finished in a day or so.  I also finally got past the yoke section on my Ravi cardigan but forgot to take a photo.  I need to knit a worsted weight sweater next, Sport weight sweaters take forever to knit!  I also have been working on the brandywine shawl, I have 8 repeats done of the main pattern and 6 or 7 left to go depending how many I decide to do. 

Today at the grocery store I came across Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur, so I picked up a bottle and this evening we had a Pumpkin Pie Martini.  I garnished these with pumpkin flavored marshmallows, and they were very tasty! 

Linking up to WIP wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Crafty Book Reviews

Today I am going to review 2 craft books that I have purchased and read recently.  The first is Knitwear Design Workshop.  I had been thinking over the summer about starting to design my own sweaters (and have a Pinterest board with inspiration) so I purchased this book with the hopes that it could help.  However, I really decided after slogging through it that anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker are really more my style.  There is some good info in this book but I found it to be very repetitive and some of it was really elementary.  For example there is actually a chart on converting fractions to decimals in case anyone doesn't know that 1/4 = .25 or 1/2 = .5!  Also, the author knits everything flat and then sews up.  Which is fine but I don't think is necessary in all cases.  There was some good information on different types of necklines and sleeve styles but it was a rather spendy book so I was hoping for something different.  It does have good reviews on Amazon so I am clearly in the minority.

The second book is Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams from Fat Quarterly.   I love this book so much and have found many projects that I would love to make.  There are pillows, quilts, table runners, ornaments, aprons, gift bags and much more.  A lot of them are Christmas themed but there are quite a few fall themed projects and some that could be anytime of year based on fabric choice.  I would really like to make the Home Squash Home wall hanging but in reality probably wouldn't get it done for this season.  We shall see, I may be going fabric shopping this weekend so I might find what I need and start next week. 

Now I need to get started on a hat for my friend's Christmas present, in past years I have knit her a Hawkeye striped scarf and Hawkeye mittens.  This year she is getting a black hat to go along with those, I am using Madelinetosh Vintage in the colorway cloak.  I have not knit with this yarn before but I love Madelinetosh so I am looking forward to it.  I am planning on knitting a Lotus Hat with a few mods to make it slouchy.  So more on that next week! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cover Up WIP Wednesday

 This past week I have been working on a cover for my sewing machine, this is the Cover Up pattern by Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio.  This pattern tells you what measurements to take from your sewing machine to make a custom fit cover.  So far it has been very straightforward.  There are three options, one has a single piece for the middle portion, one has evenly cut strips of different fabrics and I opted for the version with wonky cut strips.  I used a 10" stacker of Good Life by Riley Blake fabrics.  The green swirly fabric is from the same line.  The white is Kona white.  The picture below shows the detail of some of the prints a little better. 

This morning I got the inside portion cut out, basted and now it is ready for me to quilt it.  I will probably straight line quilt it, I don't have much experience with anything else yet.  I am thinking of doing stitch in the ditch for the center portion on each of the individual strips.  I don't have any green thread for the main portion so I am probably going to use a light tan aurifil thread since I want to have this done before the next time I have to go to town.  I will hopefully remember to do a test on a scrap before I start quilting this!  
I have also been working on 2 of my knitting projects, the Ravi Cardigan and the Brandywine shawl.  Neither looks much different than the last time I posted them. I have discovered that if I stay off the internet I actually have time to get all more work done and still have knitting and sewing time during the day!  What a revelation!

We didn't end up going on the river last weekend, I don't think either of us was really in the mood to go.  Instead we went to the Quad Cities and checked out Front Street Brewery in Davenport and Bent River Brewery in Moline.  We enjoyed both stops, we shared a sampler tray at both places.  At Front Street Brewery you get a sample of each of their 6 beers.  They were sold out of one of those so they gave us a mix of the stout and the cherry ale that was very tasty.  At Bent River we tried the Paddlewheel Ale, American Wheat, Oatmeal Stout and Strawberry Blond.  We also had dinner at Bent River, I had a chicken cranberry wrap with poppyseed dressing.  In between those 2 stops Pat talked me in to going to the John Deere Pavilion which he enjoyed.  I couldn't argue since he let me go to Jo-Ann's to use my coupons from the coupon commotion flyer!  I got Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen for 50% off.  I also found some green fabric  to make a new cover for my ironing board.  It sort of goes with my sewing machine cover.  I told Pat when I was finished there that I am not going back to Jo-Ann for at least a month so hopefully I can stick to that!  I am committed to recycling the flyers as soon as they come in the mail.  I need to get some things done around here and stop buying supplies for new projects!

I should be back in a day or so with a review of a couple craft books I have read lately, Pretty in Patchwork Holidays and Knitwear Design Workshop.  I am linking up this week to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Randomness on Friday

So, the beginning of September has been incredibly busy this year.  Hopefully, now things might  settle down a bit for awhile but who knows!  I have been trying to at least knit a little bit every day and started a new knitting project.  Why finish something old when there are so many new patterns and yarns to try!  The blob of knitting above will hopefully soon be a Brandywine Shawl.  The yarn I am using is Dream in Color Smooshy in the Rose Smash colorway.  I believe this colorway may have been the first of the Dream in Color Dream Club which was released in August of 2010.  I have knit with Dream in Color Smooshy before and it is always a lovely yarn and the dye job is super (not that you can tell from my crappy photo).  I have just finished with chart A.  I did have to work on this with the tv off, otherwise I kept losing track of my place.  Even then I missed a YO and had to rip back 2 rows. 

 Today a little bit of new fabric came in the mail, most of which I have immediate plans for (rather than just fabric collecting).  Above is a layer cake of Good Life from Riley Blake Designs.  I also got a green swirly fabric that coordinates.  This is destined to make a sewing machine cover so I can finally toss the plastic bag that came with my sewing machine many years ago.  I hope to start this over the weekend if not this afternoon!

This odd collection is destined for my first charity baby quilt.  I have read on many different quilting blogs about a quilt drive called 100 quilts for kids sponsored by Swim Bike Quilt.  So I dug out these fat quarters that I had purchased on a whim and decided they might go together to make a 9 patch lattice quilt.  The quilt drive is on through October 15 so hopefully I will have time to get it together and find a local place to donate it.  It will have a black background fabric and a green binding.  It could come out really crazy looking but I guess we will see! 

I just picked up a half bushel of apples out at a local apple orchard so in between sewing and knitting over the weekend I will be doing some baking.  We also hope to go out in our boat on the Mississippi on Sunday so maybe I will remember to bring the camera. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Craft Room

Yesterday I talked Pat into helping me move my craft room to one of our remodeled rooms.  It still needs some decorating help but this room is going to be so much better for sewing!  The room has much better lighting and several electrical outlets.  The old room was really dark and only had 2 outlets!  I took a few photos from different angles.  I will probably post some different ones once I get it decorated a little better.  But these will do for now.  The picture above is some bookshelves that I moved in from the hallway.  I found that set of 3 jars at Goodwill a few months back and now they hold my selvedges, my buttons and some misc sewing accessories.  The doll on the bottom shelf was made by a friend of the family for me when I was little. 

 The brown cabinet was left at our house by the previous owners and used to be a kitchen pantry.  We moved it upstairs when we remodeled the kitchen and now it holds all of my fabric. 

 These white cabinets were headed to the burn pile after a kitchen remodel that Pat did a year or 2 ago.  I cleaned them up and they work great for now.  The glass front cabinet holds my yarn storage - I should get a closer up photo of that!  All of my new yarn is held in here and I have one tub of leftover yarn but that is it on yarn stash!  I hope to use the empty wall on the right for a design wall eventually.
 This table was my Christmas present from Pat last year.  The cabinet on the left is another one from the kitchen remodel and Pat built a book case for the other side (which holds all my magazines and some patterns) and made a top.  My mom got me the cutting mat on the top.  This table will work so much better now that I can walk all the way around it. 
You can't really see my sewing machine here but this is my sewing table.  I am hoping to get a different table pretty soon but this works for now.  I am hoping to find a small comfy chair to put in here somewhere so I can hang out in here and knit and watch TV sometimes. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Catch Up!

Sorry for the unintended blog absence over the last week!  I left home last Saturday intending to buy a new laptop and took our old laptop along.  Long story short I left the old laptop to get "fixed" and brought home a new laptop that didn't actually work.  So for several days we had no computer access at all.  Since we got the old one back and a working new one a couple days ago I have been transferring files and trying to correct some issues that were caused by the "fixing".  Anyway, now we are back on track and I have a lovely new laptop that works great.  

I had quite a bit of free time when I had no internet access so I have been doing some baking and a lot of preserving.  The picture above are of the Ganachaud flute bread from the Local Breads book by Daniel Leader.  These turned out pretty well I think for the first attempt.  They have a bit of a different flavor because they have a small amount of corn flour in them.  

These are homemade oreos from a recipe that I printed off the internet a long time ago and I am not sure of the source.  They were quite tasty and pretty simple to make.  I will be making these again. 

I don't have any photos but I have added a lot of produce to the pantry over the last few weeks since I last reported my preserving progress.  My mother-in-law gave me a huge box of home grown grapes on Thursday so I made grape jelly and 11 quarts of grape juice over Thursday and Friday.  Below is my list for 2012.  I could use some more tomatoes, my tomatoes haven't been producing much and now I think they have the blight so I probably won't get much more. 
 (New items in italics)

13 - quarts of dill pickles
3 - 1/2 pints of blackberry syrup
3 - 1/2 pints of strawberry syrup
6 - pints of strawberry lemonade syrup
5 - 1/2 pints of lemony strawberry jam
2 - pints of lemony strawberry jam
1 - quart of blackberry brandy
1 - pint of blackberry brandy (I used one full bottle of Korbel brandy)
14 - pints salsa
7 - pints sweet pickles
5 - quarts tomato juice 
11 - quarts grape juice
3 1/2 - pints grape jelly

1 - gallon bag of strawberries
2 - gallon bags of blackberries + 1 gallon bag blackberries = 3 gallons total
10 - 10 oz bags of corn + 9 10oz bags = 19 10 oz bags total 
1 - gallon bag of greenbeans
1 - 30 oz container diced tomatoes
1 - 15 oz container diced tomatoes
40 cubes basil pesto
1 - pint blueberries
2 - 1 lb bags peaches 

2 dehydrators full - parsley
3 dehydrators full - basil
2 sheets cherry tomatoes

Now I have a photo for my mom, she always wants to see Oscar so here you go Mom!  I am not sure how he finds this pose comfortable but he was quite sound asleep!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fabric Friday - Flea Market Fancy Edition

 I finally decided to get some Flea Market Fancy fabric for myself, these were on sale for $5 a yard at Pink Castle Fabrics last week.  I have been thinking about these for a long time and I couldn't pass up that price.  I did end up getting a few more prints elsewhere because the first shop was sold out.  Those haven't come yet, I thought perhaps today but they did not appear.  I have been thinking about what to do with these, and I can't decide if I should do something really modern with them or perhaps go a more traditional route.  I have seen some cute quilts on Pinterest that use these fabrics so I do have some good sources of inspiration.

I have made progress on my Modern Sampler quilt!  I could not believe how long it took me to come up with the layout shown above.  It took me several attempts over a couple of days to get this figured out.  Somehow I never realized until I was laying it out that I had used 2 blues, 2 greens, 1 red and 1 yellow.  So I was trying to make sure that the red and yellow were somewhat evenly spaced out around the quilt to break up the blue and green but also make sure I didn't repeat 2 colors right next to each other.  This afternoon I got the top three rows sewn together with some white sashing before I had to stop for the day.  It is always good to stop on a good note, it makes me look forward to the next time.  I was working on this while re-watching Ally McBeal on Netflix Instant.  I like to watch something I have seen before while sewing so it doesn't matter if I miss something.

This evening while watching tv with Pat I finally finished Liesl!  I am hoping it hasn't turned out too big.  I still need to block it, weave in a few ends and find some buttons.  Now I am on to planning new projects.  I found out today that my friend Kristin's sister is having a baby girl in December so I am thinking I need to knit a baby sweater.  I knit her first daughter Olivia a tiny little Baby Surprise jacket so I need to come up with something else.  I have been browsing baby sweaters on Ravelry and have a few options favorited.

I think Pat and I are going to check out the Front Street Brewery in Davenport this weekend and I am planning a trip to the farmers market.  Otherwise I think it will be a fairly quiet weekend so hopefully I will get some more work done on my quilt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Knitting

I have added a few WIP's to the knitting rotation in the last week.  Above are the first 6 squares plus part of a seventh of my Barn Raising Quilt from the book Knitalong.  The pattern uses leftover sock yarn, of which I have a ton!  So far I have used Dream in color Smooshy twice, String Theory Caper sock twice, Hazel Knits Artisan sock, and Fannie's Farm House fingering.  The current square is Squoosh Fiber Arts Ultra Sock.  I am using a Size 2 Knit Picks Nickle plated needle for all the squares.  Hopefully the slight variation in size due to the differences in the yarn will block out.  I have a long way to go on this project!  
The second WIP is the Ravi Cardigan, pattern by Carol Feller.  The yarn for this is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Medium Weight colorway Oregon Red Clover Honey.  This pattern is worked top down but starts by working the yoke sideways in shortrows then picking up and knitting down the body.  I really need to get going on this one, it will be a great fall sweater. 

I have also been working on Liesl, this sweater has become the bane of my existence!  Other people have knit this bulky weight, short sleeve, lace sweater in 4 days!  I have been working on it since April!  Argh!  I don't even think I like it anymore but I must proceed.  I am part way done with the last sleeve then I plan to add a few more repeats to the body to make it a tad longer.  It must be done before this time next week or I may murder the sweater! 

I have also been working on one other project but it is secret knitting as it is a Christmas gift for a friend of mine so no pics of that for now.   Before anyone thinks I am really ambitious to be starting Christmas knitting in August I am actually seeing this friend in October for our yearly get together so I am not really being an over achiever. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

State Fair Wrap Up

On Saturday Pat and I headed to Des Moines for a short weekend trip.  The State Fair was our objective for Sunday so Saturday afternoon we went shopping around town.  To appease Pat we first went to Bass Pro Shop in Altoona.  Then we headed to Creekside Quilting for some fabric shopping (Pat stayed in the car).  Next up was Penzey's and then the brand new Whole Foods.  We found the most delicious dark chocolate and sea salt caramels at Whole Foods.  They are ridiculously good!  We overdid it at Penzeys and Whole Foods so opted to skip Trader Joe's this trip.  Someday we are going to live somewhere that has these shops so we don't have to incorporate them into our travel plans!  We ended our day at Jethro's BBQ new location in Waukee.  I had a very tasty beer from New Belgium brewery called Red Hoptober. 

Bright and early Sunday morning we headed for the fair grounds.  We like to go early before it gets really busy.  We managed to luck out and get free street parking not too far from the entrance.  We started out at the Varied Industries building and split a cinnamon roll for breakfast along with some coffee flavored water.  After exploring the various booths downstairs we made our way upstairs to the Fabric and Threads area.  I had never found this area before but this year I made sure to look up where it was before going to the fair.  I wasn't sure if it would be cool to take pictures so I didn't but I wish I had!  There were some beautiful projects there.  It was largely quilting with some knitting and other stitchy crafts.  The knitting was very nicely displayed and there were some patterns I recognized.  I am thinking about perhaps entering in the future.  I also saw latch hook rugs that were really intriguing.  One in particular had a field scene with wooly sheep!  I had never seen rugs like that before but I think I should check it out in the future. 

After leaving that building we found The Dominator from the tv show Storm Chasers which Pat loves.  It was pretty cool and I managed to convince Pat to pose for a picture. 

Next we ventured over to the livestock buildings to see if I could find any cute animals.  We were in the sheep barn during the angora goat show so I got some pictures of the goats in their pens before going out to be judged.  They were very interested in what was going on in the ring so it was difficult to get them to look at the camera but I got a few good shots.  These goats are so cute!

The llama show was the night before and I couldn't find where the llamas were being kept or they might have all gone home so I got these pics at the avenue of breeds.  Their was one llama with a baby and one alpaca with a baby.  The alpaca baby was being shy but they were all very cute!
alpaca and baby

llama and baby
After getting a super lunch of corn dogs we headed to the Cultural Center because I had something on reserve at Willow Avenue Pottery .  I had seen these little llamas on Facebook and I thought I needed one, I have heard that people sometimes use llamas as guard animals for flocks of sheep so I got a llama to guard my stash!
So after more exploring, viewing the world's largest chocolate moose, eating some good food and some really questionable fried pickles we headed for home.  We were grateful to get home before it started thunder storming, it even hailed!  Fortunately the garden seems to be ok, the hail wasn't very big but it did come down for a long time. 

I will be back tomorrow with a recipe review and canning update.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinterest project

I love Pinterest, I have pinned so many different pictures and have gotten a lot of great ideas over there.  I pinned this picture quite a while ago and Pat finally got around to making it for me.  It is made from different sizes of pvc tubing and attached with double sided stick tape.  I am so happy with how this turned out and how well it works!  Previously these were just piled in the bottom of my cabinet and always getting tangled up.  I used to have a holder that hung on the wall but I like to put things away and also this bathroom doesn't have a lot of wall space.  So this is one Pinterest project that actually got completed.  I recently saw a pin that said something like - pinterest ought to have another button that says 'completed' and when you click it you get a round of applause.  Sounds like a good idea to me!  I love to check things off lists so that would be even more incentive! 

Speaking of lists I totally failed on my goals from last week's WIP wednesday post.  I did get the vest finished but hardly worked on the Liesl sweater at all.  My Stitch quilt made negative progress when I decided to remove the sashing from the blocks I had done and cut them all down to 8" square  rather than put sashing on and then cut them down to size.  It seemed like too much of a waste of fabric to me.  Fortunately I didn't have too much done on the sashing.  Now I am in the market for an 8" square ruler to use, hopefully I can make it to Jo-Ann fabric this weekend, I have a 50% off coupon! 

I am working on gathering some fabric for a autumn themed wall quilt, I got a few pieces yesterday at Susan's Calico Creations in Fulton.  We are planning on going to Des Moines this weekend to go the fair so hopefully I can go to Creekside Quilting in Urbandale to finish gathering up what I need. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ravellenic Gold!

I finished the vest at 530 pm on Sunday so I got my "Colorwork Cross Country" medal button for my sidebar.  This was the Nederland Vest from Knitscene Fall 2008.  Most of the yarn is Cascade 220 except the dark blue which is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes worsted.  I used my size 7 Signature needles and size 5 Nickle knitpicks needles for the ribbing.  I had original planned to use purple and natural along with the two different greens but I am glad I went with the two shades of blue instead.  The portion above the colorwork is a little too big - which is why I am only showing a side shot.  I am not sure how to fix it.  This was my first colorwork garment so I think it turned out ok all things considered.  I did learn some good tips from the Craftsy class I am taking.  I am looking forward to getting some yarn for that vest and starting it later this fall. 

I do have two other sweaters currently on the needles but I am starting to think about what I want to do next.  I have been thinking about using some sock yarn to make a vest similar to this one.  It would be good to continue to clear out the sock yarn stash.  I also have some Berroco Blackstone Tweed that I have been trying to figure out what to do with.  I really should finish the two sweaters I have on the needles before I start anything new so I can change my mind several times before I am ready to cast on!