April 29, 2007

Stitcher's Wallet SAL

Joanie, Sue, Debby and I started our SAL for the Stitcher's Wallet from the March issue of The Gift of Stitching on Friday. This is a photo of my progress. I ordered the fabric from Stitches and Spice in Australia and I love, love, love it. It's quite thick and a pleasure to work with. I am also really liking the Flower Thread floss. It is a single strand product and really gives nice coverage on this 32ct. fabric. I can definitely see myself using this fiber in the future! I am trying to limit my stitching on this piece to Friday's as I have a lot of other projects going on but I think it's going to be tough to resit!

April 24, 2007

Weekend Work

With some really nice spring weather this weekend, I turned off the heat and opened up all my windows and started some major spring cleaning. I was so motivated on Saturday that I finally sat down and cut out and sewed some panels to hide the storage underneath my butcherblock countertop. This "island" is on wheels and sits next to my stove.

As my house is 87 years old this year, the kitchen is a bit of an awkward space. The previous owners made this rolling island to add much needed counter space.

I used the same fabric that I bought at Walmart last summer that I made kitchen curtains out of. I still have a lot left and I'm planning to sew matching seat covers for the two chairs that I use to eat in the kitchen. This hides the clutter of my "liquor cabinet" and dog stuff that I store under the counter top. I'm pretty pleased with the end result of a weekend's work.

As you can see from this photo taken when I first looked at my house, Casa Pearl has come a long way!

April 23, 2007

Birthday Exchange Received

I heard over the weekend that my friend Kathy received the birthday exchange package I sent her so it's now safe to share photos. Kathy is a fantastic stitcher and finisher so I was really concerned about my finishing coming out presentable. In typical fashion, I made one slight goof that I didn't realize until the very end. It's not that big of a deal but I meant to have the scissors attach on the side opposite of where they ended up! Oh well, Kathy was happy with the end result and I sent her some Blue Moon STR sock yarn and a cool pattern so I'm sure she'll be another sockaholic before too long! LOL
I have one more exchange that should have reached it's recipient but she was out of town this weekend. I'm hoping I will be notified she got it and then I'll share it.
I hope you had a good weekend - we had a fabulous spring weather weekend and today it was supposed to be in the 80s!! Definitely a fluke for Maine in April but I'll take it. I was very productive over the weekend and put Jemima to work but for some reason I can get my camera to upload the photos I took. I hope to figure that out and I'll share my results tomorrow!

April 18, 2007

Thanks for the kind comments!

Thanks everyone for your nice comments about my sock. I'm really pleased with the fit and have already started the second sock. I really hope the second one goes faster than the first one!

With all the sock knitting I've been doing lately (seems that's all I'm knitting these days) I was thinking I would really like to have a needle holder for my dpns. I've seen a lot of really fabulous ones in various online knitting shops but I really don't want to shell out that kind of money. So I'm going to make my own using this pattern from the first Stitch n Bitch book and this Amy Butler fabric I bought two years ago for this very pattern. However, I think I'm going to modify it to fit my dpns and then sew one for my straight needles later on. There is some math involved in reducing the pattern so this may take awhile! LOL Stay tuned!

April 16, 2007

April 12, 2007

Bad Knitting Mojo

There's been some bad knitting mojo going around lately resulting in some finishes that didn't turn out quite as planned and some reverse knitting. Last night the bad knitting mojo turned up at my house when I decided that after almost two cable repeats it was safe to try on my sock and see how it was fitting with the cabling. Well guess what? I couldn't get it over my heel because the instep was too tightly knit. Mind you the pattern calls for knitting it on 0 or 00 or even 000 dpns. I knit mine using 1s which is what I got guage with. Major angst ensued as I sat and contemplated all I had accomplished..... and what it meant.

So on my lunch hour today, this sock on the left has become this sock on the right. I ripped back to just before the start of the first cable. I tried it on when I got home and I can now slide it on completely. I have been considering putting it aside and casting on something new but I've decided to hang in there and start the leg again with #2s. But first I'm going to put in a lifeline in case I need to go up another needle size. Ugh, all that time lost. At this rate these socks will never be done!
I sure hope the bad knitting mojo moves on to someone else's house. Although I really don't wish it on anyone personally. By the way, the snow plow just went by. :0(

April 11, 2007

Hello Spring??? Hello? Hello?

They are forecasting 4-8 more inches of snow starting tomorrow into Friday and more again on Sunday. Today it was probably close to 50 and the pup and I were able to take a walk with me wearing just a sweatshirt. Go figure. So much for spring in Maine. I knew we would pay when it was in the 50s in December.

To try and cheer myself up that spring is actually going to come, I dug out this little Lizzie Kate freebie I stitched last year. I had finished it up to the point of hand sewing the opening closed and then it got stalled. Last night I sewed up the opening and made the tassles and tonight I sewed them on the pillow. It's quite cute and I will put it somewhere prominent in the hopes it will ward off more snow.

Tonight I had some sad news in my inbox - my local scrapbook store is going out of business. The woman who owns it is going to have to declare bankruptcy and may even lose her home. In the email she wrote that it was her dream to own the store but it just wasn't profitable in the year and half that she was the owner. So sad to see someone's dream come to an end. She is of course selling off her merchandise but it seems so awful to take advantage of someone else's misfortune. I have mixed emotions about going in to buy anything even though it might lessen her debt load.

April 9, 2007

Sock Update

I've been slowly but surely working along on my Blue Moon Sock Club sock. I've finally gotten to the cabling part on the leg and here is my progress so far. When I was in New Hampshire last weekend, I bought Cables Untangled which I found very helpful. The author uses a DPN for her cables and I am doing that as well. I think having a larger needle to work with for my first time doing cables is helpful although it does make it a bit awkward to manage all those DPNs! This book has some really nice projects in it that I plan to try. And she did a great job including drawings of how the needles and stitches look as well as a very good glossary and instructions for reading the different kinds of cable patterns. A bit pricey but worth the money.

Here is a not very great close up of the cables. My camera doesn't have a zoom lens but the color is pretty true in the photos as I caught the last bit of sunshine after getting home and walking the dog.
Hope you had a great Monday!

April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Although looking out the window and being outside today, I'm not convinced it's April. After waking up to 10 inches of snow on Thursday morning, the ground is still pretty covered with snow and it's cold. It was probably in the low to mid thirties today but the wind gave it a wind chill in the 20s. Lovely weather for wearing Easter finery - not!

I stayed in Maine as I was just down at my sister's last weekend. I am glad I didn't make the trip as it was a very productive weekend from a finishing and exchange point. I can't show you pictures yet but I completed the finishing on my April birthday exchange gift and my color exchange piece. I tried to take my time with the finishing - lots of hand sewing and gluing. Despite that I did make a rather large and silly error which I will point out when I know the projects have been received. They are all wrapped and packaged up and ready to go to the post office tomorrow. I'm happy dancing because those are the last exchange gifts I need to think about until November which means stitching time for me! Hopefully that will translate into some finished UFOs and some new starts too!

I also managed to complete one round of cabling on my STR Inside Out sock but didn't get photos in the daylight so I will try to do that tomorrow to show you my progress.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Easter holiday!

April 2, 2007

Saturday Stitch In and Sunday UFO Progress

Saturday I went to a stitch in at my friend Nancy's in Massachusetts. We hadn't seen each other since CATS in September so it was really nice to be able to visit. She had quite the full house - 5 other stitchers besides me and it was nice to get together with a large group and see what everyone is working on. I was finally able to give Nancy her birthday gift from December and she gave me this fabulous framed piece as my Christmas gift. I absolutely love it and it will go next to another stitched gift she made me.

While at Nancy's I was able to finish the stitching on an exchange gift - Yippee and then I got out my CHS Dainty House Wren and got some progress made on that. I also focused on this piece Sunday as it was UFO Sunday with my yahoo group. I'm really happy with the progress and I expect to be able to finish the stitching on this by the end of the month. Maybe even the finishing too!
I was also able to finish the heel of my sock but forgot to take a photo. Next up is the cabling on the leg but I will talk about that tomorrow. Hope you had a great Monday!