March 30, 2007

Time to Start Thinking About Summer

These are the two tank projects I'm eager to get started on. The one on the left is from last summer's Interweave Knits issue and the one on the right is from the color issue of Knit.1. If my tank turns out well, I would really like to sew a skirt using the pattern shown. I'm doing the Interweave Knits tank in the Bamboo yarn called for and for the other I bought some Lion Brand cotton yarn.

Today's mail also brought the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting. I just quickly paged through it but I can't say as there were a lot of projects that jumped out at me as "must knits". Somehow I just can't see myself walking into work (or anywhere in my town) in the dress on the cover even though I think it's a pretty combination of lace knitting. What do you think?

I drove down to my sister's tonight because I'm going to Nancy's tomorrow for a stitch in and I'm really looking forward to seeing her. It's been waaaay to long. I brought my camera so hopefully I will remember to actually use it! And I hope to get down to Ewe'll Love It to get my cable needles and possibly this book.

March 29, 2007

Another Good Mail Day

I had two packages waiting for me when I got home tonight. One had these in it: two more pairs of Brittany 5" DPNs I ordered from Patternworks. One pair is for me and the other will be part of a gift that will include at least one skein of the yarn at the left. More yummy Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR lighweight in Thistle and Terra Firma. It will be hard to give one of those skeins away!

Now that I have another full pair of #1 DPNs, I can (theoretically atleast) work on two different pairs of socks at the same time. Now I just need the extra time to fit that in!

Here is a progress pick of my Blue Moon Sock Club sock. I'm itching to start the heel but I need a few more rows of the ribbing to make the fit right. I also need to get some cable needles which won't happen until the weekend when I hope to visit here. I haven't been in this LYS since it moved across Main Street to it's latest location so I'm looking forward to that.

March 27, 2007

Sounds Like a Stitch A Long

Well, it seems that there are enough of us interested to have an official SAL for the Stitcher's Wallet from the March issue of The Gift of Stitching magazine. Sue, Joanie, Debby and I will all be starting the project once everyone has received their materials. Anyone else want to join us?

I did not get a lot of stitching done over the weekend but I did find out that one of the exchanges I was working on made it to the birthday girl in Germany. This is what I stitched for one of the ladies in my Yahoo group. It's from the February issue of The Gift of Stitching. I was pleased with how it turned out and the recipient seemed to like it.
This weekend I finally fired Jemima up and took her for a test sew. It went so well I got out my border strips for my Turning 20 quilt, sewed them up and then sewed them on! My quilt top is now done. Now I just need to find a large enough flat surface to lay it out and measure it (with the help of a second pair of hands) to figure out how much fabric and batting I need. A friend and work is going to help me with this very soon I hope. I will try to remember to take a picture when it's all spread out.
I also made some progress on my Blue Moon STR sock. I have about an inch to an inch and half left to go on the foot and then I'll be ready to tackle the heel. I'm really happy with the way this is turning out and can't wait to work on it again! And I wound two different yarns into balls for summer tank style tops - one from an issue of Interweave Knits and one from an issue of Knit.1 magazine. I've got to do my gauge swatches but am anxious to get started on something other than a sock!

March 23, 2007

Sock Progress

This afternoon I took a picture of my very slooooow progress on my Blue Moon STR Sock Club socks. I am hoping to get more time into these next week but with exchange stitching going on, they get the short end of the stick when it comes to time.

The color is not true as the yarn is grey/greenish in real life.

It seemsthat I've persuaded Red to join in on an SAL for the Stitcher's Wallet from the March issue of The Gift of Stitching. We will be waiting until Red gets her supplies but anyone else want to join us?


March 22, 2007

Mail Call from Australia!

Yesterday my fabrics and accessories arrived for the Stitcher's Wallet project in the March issue of The Gift of Stitching. I ordered it through Stitches and Spice and I'm so glad I did. Naomi sent the linen and muslin to complete the wallet as well as the two little wooden thread winders and some wooden thread rings. I can definitely see myself ordering more of their fabrics as I love the color and feel. I immediately got out the Flower Thread I ordered to see how it looked on the fabric. I am really looking forward to starting this project.
Tonight was my S&B night at the quilt shop. I actually came home without purchasing anything and I made a bit more project on my STR Inside Out sock which I will show you tomorrow and I finished the front of an exchange piece and started on the back. I will not be showing you that until it arrives at it's intended destination next month.
TGIF tomorrow and it's payday!

March 21, 2007

Knitting Bookaliciousness

Here in New England, we have these stores called Christmast Tree Shops. If you've ever seen their commercials or been inside them, you will know the phrase "Don't you just love a bargain... doot, doot, doot." The "doots" are my version of the singalong part at the end. The stores are filled with just about everything at very low prices and it's impossible to go in with a list and stick to it. There is something about the prices (or the air) in a Christmas Tree shop that is irresistible. I've bought more things in there that I "don't need" than I care to think about.

Well, I was browsing through the Knitpicks website the other day and hit their new books and clearance section and the above picture is what happened (minus the dog!). I bought not one new knitting book but 5 all for $68 with free shipping. My main interest was the No Sheep For You by Amy Singer of Knitty fame but I ended up with Knitted Babes by Claire Garland, Knitting Loves Crochet by Candi Jensen, Knit by Janine Flew and Greetings from Knit Cafe by Suzan Mischer. I just couldn't resist! Many of them were better than 30% off. Hence the segue of "Don't You Just Love a Bargain...doot doot doot!

They arrived yesterday and I've barely had a chance to page through them but I'm quite content that I'll have lots of future projects - if I ever find the time! I don't know who I would ever knit the dolls for as my nieces are past that age but I just couldn't resist. I've picked up the book so many times and not bought it but I gave in. I'm sure I will find someone to give the dolls to - or maybe I'll just keep them for myself!

PS to Cowboy's former mom - as you can see in the photo, he's doing well. It will be a year next month that he came home with me and while it's been frustrating at times - Jack Russell Terrorist situations - I'm happy and I think he is too. Thanks for stopping by!

March 19, 2007

Weekend's Work

I didn't get any stitching done this weekend because I spent every free minute working on finishing my baby blanket. Yesterday evening at about 8:00 I finished the last color round and wove in all the ends. Today we had a surprise baby shower at work for the expectant mother but I'm waiting to give her the blanket until her family shower on Sunday. My hands are killing me but I'm pretty proud of the accomplishment! I hope she likes it. The colors in the photo aren't that great but in person I'm really happy with the color combination.
Tonight I will be doing some exchange stitching - finishing the front of one piece and possibly starting on the back. I need to choose something to stitch for a birthday in April and I'm having the hardest time. The recipient is a VERY talented seamstress and stitcher and I think that's what's holding me back. Maybe I will look through my charts again to see if something sings to be stitched.

Hope you had a good Monday!

March 14, 2007

The Magic of a Glass of Wine

As I'm sure many of you know, a good glass of wine can work wonders in many, many situations. This photo is an example of what a good glass of chardonnay can help a newbie knitter accomplish! Of course ripping out and repeating MANY times was also a part of the equation but I firmly believe the glass of wine I sat down with last night boosted my determination to master the art of a toe up sock. This is my toe and I'm very proud of my accomplishment. So proud in fact I considered going no farther but I do believe I will press on. This is the toe of my first 2007 Socks That Rock Club Club pattern called Inside Out using the Monsoon colorway that came with the kit. It's going to be a very challenging pattern for me as the leg involves real cables - a technique I have not tried before as well. Stay tuned!

There was some cross stitching done prior to the accomplishment of this knitting feat but I can't show it because.... it's an exchange piece!
Happy Wednesday and cheers to a fast moving downward slide to the weekend. I'm off to finish a glass of wine! :-)

March 12, 2007

Sunday Stitching

I decided that I needed a day to stitch for myself since so much of what I've been working on lately has been for others. Yesterday I picked up my CHS Dainty House wren and put a fair amount of work in it. I also worked a bit on it tonight - it's hard to put down once I get started. I so love the colors in this piece. I worked on the finishing the tree including the leaves and the large bird at the top left as well as some small motifs. I will put this down until next Sunday as I started an exchange piece and I've been working on my friend's baby blanket.

Thanks for all the nice comments about my "other" stitching. I've managed to grow my baby blanket by almost 2 more repeats of the pattern. I have about 1 and a half left to go so I think I can stay on track for finishing it by the 19th. I have to say I'm enjoying the crocheting part. I also plan to start my Monsoon socks this week. The pattern is a toe up process which is new for me and I'm trying to follow the directions. I found some helpful instructions on Knitty but I think I need to practice a bit more before I get it to work properly!

March 9, 2007

Stitches of a Different Sort

First off, thanks to all who have visited and commented on my blog. I appreciate you stopping by, especially since I've not been blogging much lately. I'm also trying to catch up on my regular reading of blogs but I have so many listed in my favorites that I can't read every one every day! I'm trying a rotation with those so hopefully I will be staying caught up with everything that is going on. One can only hope right?

As promised, here is a picture of the start of my baby blanket that will be a gift for a co-worker. It's her first baby and she's in her early20s so I hope she won't mind a hand made gift. I also plan to get her something from her baby registry but wanted to make something for her as well. I think she will like it. The blanket is being made out of Lion Brand Cotton Ease which I have to say I really like. It's very soft. The colors are Taupe (darker brown/grey), Stone (lighter grey), Lake and Lime. I really like how the color combination is turning out.

The other "stitched" item is a pair of socks for my older sister in Ohio. Her birthday is on the 19th and she requested a pair of socks at Christmas so hopefully she will get a bit of wear out of them before spring arrives for sure. This is some Spunky Eclectic Sport weight yarn I had in my stash. The color is called Mojave - I thought it would be appropriate for my sister as she loves the desert of New Mexico.

March 8, 2007

Colder Than a Witch's Patootie

No offense to any wiccans who may read this post title but it is so unbelievably cold here. Right now it's 1 degree. And it's sure to go lower - if it goes below 0 by midnight - which I'm thinking is a distinct possibility - we will have set another record for coldest day in March. I am still sitting in my jeans and long johns after walking the dog. I may just sleep in this ensemble as I don't want to have to change and I'll be needing it for tomorrow morning's walk! LOL I'm sooooo ready for spring.

Thankfully, this package was waiting for me when I got home from work. It is the Ginnie Thompson Flower Threads for the Stitcher's Wallet in the March issue of The Gift of Stitching. I really like the colors and the thread is very soft. I've never worked with Flower Thread before but I think I'm going to enjoy it - only one ply so no separating strands. Now I just have to wait for my order from Stitches & Spice to arrive and I'll be all set to start the project. Hopefully, I will have completed my next two exchange pieces and can start something new with a relatively clear conscience.
Tonight I started crocheting a baby gift for someone at work. With tons of help from my friends in my stitch and bitch group, and much pulling out, I finally got the hang of the pattern and am motoring along. I am hoping to complete it by the 19th which is one of the shower dates. The other is the 25th so I should be able to have it done for that day if I miss the 19th. I will show you my progress on that tomorrow evening.

Can you believe three posts in one week? Maybe I've got my blogging mojo back. :-)

March 6, 2007

Rockin Sock Club

This is a really bad photo but I just don't have the energy to find
better lighting at the moment. My love affair with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Sock Yarn led me to sign up for their 2007 Rockin Sock Club. This was waiting on my porch for me yesterday. It's my official binder complete with a pin, a bumper sticker, a small skein of yarn and a lovely skein of their medium weight yarn in a color called Monsoon which is a yummy greeney grey color. They have the best sock yarn in my opinion. The binder included some wonderful goodies including some information about the foot, a cool pattern I can't wait to try my hand at and a guide to measuring and keeping track of the foot size of those near and dear to you. However, I think I will be knitting all of this year's sock patterns only for myself - I've been like the cobbler's kids with no shoes - knitting socks for everyone else but me.

On a side note, today was the most wicked freaking cold day of the year - minus 18 degrees with the wind chill when I walked Cowboy this morning and what a wind it was. My eyes water and I can't even feel the moisture until it's run all the way down to my mouth. Ugh! My cheeks have yet to thaw out and the pup and I came back in about 15 minutes ago. Evidently he has no internal thermometer because he's ready to go out in anything! Anyone want to adopt a dog?

Jemima still isn't out of the box because I've been just too tired to tackle that chore. I'm off to lay on the couch amd read a magazine. I wish you a warm and cozy evening!

March 5, 2007

I finally gave in

My state tax refund arrived last week and today I spent a very good chunk of it on this:
Her name is Jemima and she's a Janome Jem Platinum 720. I had been resisting the lure of a new machine ever since I started going to Thursday night S&Bs two years ago. I finally gave in today. Yesterday my machine "broke" and when I took it in it was going to be at lest $50 to fix. I've had the machine for at least 12 years and the owner of the quilt shop asked me if I loved sewing with it. The answer was no, I hated it and that's when I let myself give in to Jemima. She's much, much lighter than my old Necchi and I know I'm going to be very happy I bought her. I expect to be turning out a lot better finishing items and other things with this new beauty!

I did manage to do some UFO stitching yesterday since I couldn't work on putting together the outside of my quilt. Here's a photo of my progress on H is for Horse from my CHS Alphabet piece.

I've also updated my blog template as you may have noticed. I know a lot of people are migrating to Wordpress but I'm not ready to switch yet. I am wondering if people are having issues with leaving comments? You will have to let me know!

Here's a photo of the pup from about a month ago. He's so spoiled isn't he? He was three years old sometime last month. We still have some issues to work on but I'm still really glad I fell for him. He's the love of my life!

Is anyone going to Celebration of Needlework in Nashua besides Carol, Jo, Red and me?