Thursday, May 25, 2006

Quilt show ribbons arrived!

I'm so relieved--the ribbons for the quilt show have arrived! The show, Quilt Tulsa 2006: Bits & Pieces, is June 9-10, with a special preview June 8, has taken a chunk of time over the past two years and my husband is going to be relieved to have it over with. :-) I did a fair bit of the design work for it (logo, bookmarks, posters) and part of that was the ribbons.

So here they are:



Click on the pictures for a better view.

In the Bag

I finished dying my Lucy Bag and it's almost felted all the way.


That's my DD in the bag. :-)

I'm going to send it through the washer and dryer one more time, but I wanted to show it off this afternoon.

Here's how it started:


I'll get some different pics tomorrow that will show the size differnce a little better.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bonn doily

This is the first doily I've made from the batch of magazines and patterns that my Aunt Louise sent from Germany. I wanted to "cut my teeth" on a small doily, and I'm quite pleased with it. Start to finish it took about two weeks, although it sat for a few days before I got my act together enough to block it.

Here it is blocking with a million pins:

And here it is, finished! It's relaxing just a bit and the centers of the sides are pulling in just slightly, which is neat.

It's 20" from point to point, and I used size 10 cotton crochet thread with a 2.5mm Addi Turbo circular needle.

I can see more of these in my future--this was a great, fun, fast project.

Dye adventures

Today I mixed up a new batch of dyes and had a good time!

Gillian (DD, 5 years old) helped me with my first project. Unfortunately the color wasn't even close--it's about 5 shades too dark, but that's O.K.--if I don't use the yarn I can always try selling it on eBay. :-)

The first project was three skeins of Alpaca Cloud, which started out as "sunlight," which is actually beige. It's a great color for dying, but I'm trying to help out Kristina, who hated the KnitPicks yarn as it came. The one on the left is close to the original color, and ignore the one on the right; I can't quite get the color balance right for both skeins. There's a more accurate picture below.

And here's the soft yellow I finally ended up with (the one in the front):


That orange-color skein behind the yellow one is more accurate, although they're both just a hair strong compared to the actual skeins. Colors on a monitor are so hard to get exactly right!

That yellow is MUCH closer to what's pictured on the KnitPicks site than the actual yarn.

I think I'm either going to dye the orange a dark red or try selling it on eBay--I'm not sure which yet. :-) I already have my Kiri shawl that's similar to that orange color, although the Kiri has splotches of yellow/gold/red/orange like the dappling of light through leaves.

I'm also dying my Lucy Bag. It's huge and hard to dye, so I decided to spread it out on a trash bag, pour the dye on and play around a little, then roll it up and put it in another black trash bag and leave it in the sun to cook. Since it was only sunny in that part of the yard for about two hours yesterday, I'm going to leave it for most of today as well. I'm going to try to felt it this afternoon, although I don't anticipate it being finished very quickly! The swatch took SIX trips through the washer to felt to the point I wanted it to, but then that was with warm water on regular cycle, just with the regular wash, not hot water.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bad knitting attitude

Actually, my bad attitude today went beyond knitting. I'm feeling stymied and I'm not really sure why, but it came out as "I must FINISH something today!" Yesterday I started a mindless knitting project using ladder yarn that I got on sale, and after about three hours of work yesterday and today I frogged it all. I like it better now, but I feel like I wasted a bunch of time (although I really didn't--I wouldn't have worn the finished item as it was) and I wasn't getting any closer to FINISHING anything.

I have my Lucy Bag that needs to be dyed and felted, and I finally have all the dyes to do it. I just have to mix them up into stock solutions (which I'm not sure my puny brain can handle just now).

Then there's the Mirror Mirror scarf that isn't progressing, probably because I'm not working on it.

And of course there's the Frost Flowers and Leaves Shawl which is languishing in its bag, untouched for months now. I don't know why but I just don't want to work on it. Actually, I DO know: it's the yarn. It's from handpaintedyarn.com's ebay site, and I guess I've been spoiled by KnitPicks yarn because the handpaintedyarn.com (referred to as HPY from here on) yarn is single ply, a bit slubby, and not the best wool, while the KP merino lace yarn is merino, double ply, and very evenly spun. Plus, the variegation in the HPY yarn totally distracts from the lace. Sigh.

Then there are the Christmas stockings which STILL aren't finished. I keep telling myself that I can put those off until Christmas. Besides, if I did manage to finish them they'd probably get lost and not found until after Christmas anyway. At least in their unfinished state I know exactly where they are.

I did manage to finish a baby dress for Rachelle, but it only needed blocking and a button sewn on. I'm also working on the crocheting on a scarf pattern, The Emperor's New Scarf, but I'm not happy with the way the yarn ends are showing on the wrong side. I'm used to being able to weave in ends invisibly, but NOT in this case. Maybe if there was less contrast between the main scarf color and the trim color it'd be easier, but I just don't like it. I don't have any solutions though.

Here it is from the front, which is tres cool, with a shot of the back which is not so cool:


The colors aren't quite right, but you can get the general idea.

I started some filet crochet curtains for my aunt, but after two rows I remember that I hate working with small yarn and small crochet hook for long periods of time and that this is NOT a good project for me right now. Well, maybe "hate" is too strong, but I'm just not in the mood for that kind of project right now.

So (like a crazy woman) since I don't have any projects that are close to finishing, I had some Lion Brand Watercolors yarn, just a single ball, and a bootie pattern that was supposed to use almost one ball.

Perfect, I thought, I'll be able to start and finish something TODAY! And I actually DID manage to do both booties today. No, I'm not trying to announce anything--these will be going to charity.

They really aren't as lopsided as they look in this picture! They are identical but I must have messed with them when I was arranging them because they sure don't look the same!

Now I need to block the knitted doily I did last week so that I can take pictures of it. I haven't blocked something like that before so it might be interesting. Stay tuned for later developments....

Monday, May 15, 2006

Crochet bookmarks

I've been busily making up bookmarks to give to DD's pre-kindergarten teacher and teacher's aid. They both really appreciate hand-made things, so hand-made bookmarks are a logical gift idea for the end of the school year.

These two are variations from the book Three Dozen and One Bookmarks, although I didn't like the final round so I changed it a bit.



The yellow and white one below is also from that book. The rainbow-colored one is a variation on the Mile-A-Minute ones above, just with a different edge treatment.



These next two are the "Quickie Bookmark" from Priscilla Hewitt, which can be found here.


I've really enjoyed these quick projects. Now I just have to decide which ones go to DD's teacher and which go to the teacher's aid. I was hoping to deliver these tomorrow, but I won't have my act together by then. Thursday is the last day of school so I'm running out of time....

World Cup Knitting

Wow, this makes 100 posts to my blog! To celebrate I've joined the World Cup of Knitting.

Well, I had to have SOME excuse to join another knitting race, didn't I? ;-)

So now I've got to decided what project I'm going to do that I can start and finish in 30 days. I'm thinking about a sweater for my daughter. That would be a challenge because I've never made a sweater before. But, it's small (unlike a sweater for me) and would probably be doable in that amount of time.

On the other hand, there are some lace projects calling to me. The question is whether or not I could get any of them finished in the alloted time period.

Decisions, decisions...

Friday, May 12, 2006

I've joined The Amazing Lace

I ran across something in someone's blog (not sure whose at this point) and clicked on it and it led me here. Ah! Lace! I can do that! Quick, sign me up!

Yeah, like I need another project. But wait, this is for a project that I already have planned--no need to add yet another project to my "must make" list! Whoo hoo!!


So as of right now, I'm going to do the Hanging Garden Stole. I've got the yarn and the pattern, the Hanging Garden Lace Stole from Sivia Harding.

Of course I may get sucked into either a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Pi or the Rose of England tablecloth done as a shawl. Decisions are hell! This, of course, is in addition to all the other things I want to do. One of these days I'll give myself a reality check and organize all the projects I want to do and figure out what yarns I actually have and figure out what I can do that would use up those stashed yarns instead of constantly buying more....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shawl pics

A new knitting friend, Delores, very kindly took some pictures of me in my shawls at knitting guild Monday night. I hate looking at pictures of myself, but I'm assuming the beautiful shawls will be the focus. ;-)

Here's the Diamond Fantasy Shawl:

Please ignore the big goofy grin--Rori, Rachelle, and Delores (but mostly Rori) were making fun of me. :-)

I'm not sure I'll wear it pinned in the center like that--I'll probably have it pinned up to one shoulder. Kind of like in the pics below. Kind of. But not exactly, since the Diamond Fantasy is a triangular shawl and the Victorian Lace is a three-quarter shape.

And here's the Victorian Lace Shawl being worn:


That's me during show and tell, with the Diamond Fantasy in the chair on the bottom left and my super-secret sock project #2 (another one I'm testing) on the table on the bottom right. Not like you can actually see anything of the socks, or even tell what they are. That's all I'm going to show until I get the go-ahead to post some good pics though.

The Victorian Lace shawl is reeaaally heavy for a shawl, which makes sense because it's made using worsted-weight yarn. I like it though. I can definitely see myself making a sweater out of that yarn (KnitPick's Wool of the Andes).

The three people who read this blog may have noticed that the progress bars on the right-hand sidebar still say that the Victorian Lace Shawl is 95% completed--that's because I STILL haven't blocked out the bottom edge. It hasn't stopped me from wearing it though, so I'll probably not worry about it until I wash it again. Three cheers for inertia!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Pooped from the party

Well, the party went really well despite getting an inch and a half of rain! It held off until we were done grilling and did the pinata (in the garage, which was the only space with enough clear floor to have candy everywhere and that had a suitable hanging location).

It was very, very loud.

We had 12 kids and probably that many adults, but it was a blast! I'm still not recovered even though it's been more than 48 hours. LOL!! There are dead balloons everywhere. They're not deflated all the way, just pathetically strewn all over the living room, tails strung out behind them.

DD is all ready to have a party again next weekend. And the next weekend. And the next.....