Didn’t have the will power

With the knitting WIP list so scaled down, and sewing an impossibility (visiting friend is sleeping on the floor in there) I just couldn’t stop myself from casting on a new project.

image

Volt, by Grace Anna Farrow, in Silk Gloss lace from Knit Purl.  It is a very simple pattern with just a little moving of stitch markers on the knit rows.  Mindless knitting, but with an beautiful result.

The perfect project for Olympics watching!

Finishing weekend

July has been a very barren month for fiber crafting!  We started the kitchen remodel on the fifth of July (post to come), and I didn’t touch a needle or fiber again for weeks.  But this weekend was a long scheduled finishing weekend with my knitting friends, and I finally got my hands on some yarn at least.

We all dug out unfinished projects and got to work.  Many, many ends were sewn in to complete already knitted projects.  Here are the three I did – a green handspun cowl, a lace crescent handspun shawl, and a color blocked red, white and black scarf that was my lunch knitting project at work.

Just as many projects that had lost their appeal were frogged and the yarn recovered.

We all had sweaters (and even one dress!) that needed seaming and just a bit of detail work.  Projects that had been in bins and under beds for years were pulled out to see the light of day.  Some died in the frog pile, some were put on the road to actual wearable garment.

Sadly, some of the projects had not survived the moths.

image

Elizabeth Zimmerman played as an accompaniment.  I love the way she talks about knitting!  “Fraught” one moment, easy peasy for all in the next.  With the occasional cat wandering through.

IMG_20160729_155711621_HDR

Some of the work took place at Coin Toss, a microbrewery, because seaming always goes smoother with cider and beer.  (Despite what that picture makes it look like, there was no inebriated stitching.)

I got the collar knitted and most of the seaming done on a cabled cardigan I started in 2012.  One sleeve left to attach and a zipper to buy.  I also sewed in the ends on the three projects shown above, and gave away an almost finished white lace shawl (started in 2009!) to a friend who was going to knit one for a wedding and now only has to finish the border of mine.

image

We had so much fun and were so productive that we are going to make it a quarterly event.  Next time is in October in Seattle.

And it helped with my list of knitting WIPs, though not a dramatic dent as I hadn’t put the finished-knitting-but-still-with-loose-ends on the list.  Here’s where the knitting now stands:

  • Fingerless gloves – finished
  • Red sweater – my oldest WIP, knit years ago, it just needs a crocheted edging and buttons, but will it even fit now?
  • Blue Urban Aran sweaterUpdate: collar done, seaming almost complete, need to buy zipper
  • Shawl in Tosh blues – frog, find a better contrast yarn and restart
  • Pink handspun slippers– frogged and yarn returned to stash
  • D’s cupcake– frogged
  • Daily temperature scarf– felting has begun – remaining yarn returned to stash
  • Novelty scarf on giant needles– frogged and yarn donated
  • Orange sweater– frogged and yarn donated
  • Blue-gray socks–  finished and given away
  • Ladybug sweater– frogged and yarn returned to stash
  • Aeolian shawlgiven away for Leslie M. to finish as a wedding shawl
  • New Start: –Blooming shawl in green silk – frogged – I couldn’t face all that thread like yarn. It is put away for when I start craving delicate lace knitting again

It is really hard to not start up a new project.  I don’t think I’ve ever had so few knitting projects in the WIP pile!  Still more destruction than construction, mind you, but still a lot removed from the to-do list, which is a relief.

I even got a little done on the only project on the crocheting WIP list.  My son’s monster now has weird flappy ears.  Just eyes left to do, as soon as I find where I put the white felt.

IMG_20160730_124652929

Now I really need to get cracking on the sewing front!

 

Fireworks, family, and fingerless mittens

I hope all the Americans out there had a happy, safe Fourth.  No chair cushions were burnt on my deck this year – something I couldn’t say last year – so ours was declared a success.

image

Some of the Christensen-Wiessman-Harrold-Krumms

My mom and my sister with her two oldest kids came over for a barbecue.  Inbetween the hot dogs and hamburgers we played a loud and occasional violent game of beanbag bowling.

It started small and calm with grandma and my boys on the deck.  Then grandma started cheating, someone decided that we should throw from the deck to the lawn below, nerf guns got involved, and pretty soon small children were trying to retrieve beanbags from the roof.  It is all fun until someone is kicked in the head.

Luckily, cake and fireworks put an end to the game before anyone was irrevocably injured. It is a sad fact that the fireworks at our house were safer than the beanbag game.

And of course, there was knitting.  I put a few more rows on the blooming shawl, but also managed a long overdue finish.

In 2012 I started knitting a pair of socks during a school testing period where I had to be in the library with the students but had nothing to do all day every day but sit quietly while they worked.  When the testing was done, I put the single almost finished sock away and forgot about it. A long while – years – later, I pulled it out and took it along as my camping trip project.  But with the first sock finally done, I didn’t like the fit and ripped back to turn it into a fingerless mitt.  Then it and its mate languished again, just needing thumbs, until I dug them out yesterday and took the 20 minutes they needed to be finished.

Except I still didn’t like them.  The yarn doesn’t appeal and the pooling on the finger portion really bugged me.  So, while the beanbag/nerf war raged, I left them to soak in a dye pot.  I added more navy dye than I intended, so now they are a mainly solid color, still drying out.  But they are, four+ years later, finally done.

imageOr they were, until I discovered this:

imageApparently a moth got to them before I did.  So they will be starting out their new life as Mom’s early morning pickleball gloves with a darn in them.  An unloved project from its earliest days.  But at least I can cross them off the WIP list!

Scrap blobs

I really need to figure out a better name for this project.

It started on a day I was feeling uninspired by my current projects and the scraps were overflowing, so I created this block from my littlest scraps bin.

image

It is fun just playing randomly with a mess of scraps. And a real trip down memory lane of all the previous quilts that produced these scraps!

image

Weeks later, I made another one.

image

They hung in the closet for a long while.  Then when I made my WIP list, I started thinking about them again. But what they should become escaped me.

I sketched out a few possibilities.

image

My favorite of those was the middle one in the bottom row.  But I’d nearly finished a third blob by then, and it was going to be a bigger quilt than I wanted with that design. The blobs blocks are around 21-22″ and I want them to float apart, not be too crowded together.

image

 

So I think it will be a combo of the top drawing and that middle one.  No white blobs, but a flatter division between the top and bottom sections, with some baby blobs thrown in.

So far it looks like this:

image

It it doesn’t really show in the pictures, but the background fabric is also a mix of white-on-white and white-on-cream fabrics.

The sew-and-whack-and-sew randomness of the process makes a change from the precision of the Oceans quilt, so I’ll be going back and forth between the two for a while.

 

Update – WIPs

I’m revisiting my WIP list from early June to keep myself on track.

image

Knitting

A lot of frogging has greatly reduced this list.

  • Fingerless gloves – just the thumbs left to do
  • Red sweater – my oldest WIP, knit years ago, it just needs a crocheted edging and buttons, but will it even fit now?
  • Blue cable sweater – sew pieces together, do collar and add zipper
  • Shawl in Tosh blues – frog, find a better contrast yarn and restart
  • Pink handspun slippers – frogged and yarn returned to stash
  • D’s cupcake – frogged
  • Daily temperature scarf – felting has begun – remaining yarn returned to stash
  • Novelty scarf on giant needles – frogged and yarn donated
  • Orange sweater – frogged and yarn donated
  • Blue-gray socks –  finished and given away
  • Ladybug sweater – frogged and yarn returned to stash
  • New Start: – Blooming shawl in green silk (I just couldn’t stop myself from casting on.  This will be a slow project as the lace yarn is thread like and silk requires extra care to avoid runs.)

image

Weaving

  • Rug – partially warped

Spinning

27 lbs. of fiber in the stash to be spun!   In progress list:

Crochet

  • J’s monster red monster – needs appendages and a face

Needle punch

  • Sheep in a field – needs field

Sewing

  • Three knit shirt conversions to tunics
  • Mom’s backpack purse – the pieces are cut out
  • Floor pillows – I’ve started combining the upholstery samples into fabric
  • Embroidered circles that need to be sewn into a pillow cover
  • Paper pieced snowflake that needs to be finished to become a pillow

Embroidery

  • Black work sampler – barely started and needs to be abandoned because my eyesight just isn’t up to it
  • Wild flowers – doesn’t need a lot to finish, but I couldn’t decide on how to do the blue flowers
  • Undersea scene – just a few more sea creatures needed

image

Mini quilts

  • Octopus – finished and given to Haley!
  • Mountains and flowers – I don’t love it, but it is also very close to done, so just do it already!
  • City and trees – needs more embellishment, but the majority is done

image

Quilts

  • Scrap in a box – top finished, needs back, quilting and binding
  • Scrappy stars around the corner – top finished, needs back, quilting and binding
  • Red and white Xs – top finished, needs back, quilting and binding
    • Update – backing pieced
  • Floral diamonds – top finished, needs back, quilting and binding
  • Wonky scrap stars – top finished, needs back, quilting and binding
  • Strings table runner – a couple more blocks needed
  • Oceans QAL – half the blocks done
    • Updatefinished two blocks, two more to do before putting top together
  • Tiny scraps block blobs (I need a better name for this one!)
    • Update – decided on layout, created third blob, started putting together top background
  • D’s Pokemon quilt – abandoned in the fabric pile state – he decided he wants the Oceans quilt to be his instead

 

Summing up:

10 items crossed off the list, 1 new start

Most of my progress was destruction rather than construction and in the knitting part of the list, but there has been some progress on the quilting front as well. A good start considering it was the busy end of the school year (checked in 8000+ textbooks!) and we went on a week long coastal vacation.

July is the start of the kitchen remodel, but I still hope to achieve more on the sewing front.

 

Socks by the sea

This morning we had to leave the little cabin on the ocean and head home to reality and remodeling and chores and kids in camps.  But before we left I took one more mist soaked walk along the beach, and I sewed together the last toe on the socks I have been knitting.

And then I handed them to my cousin, who they fit much better than me.

image

I think the color works for the beach.  Blue and gray and black, like the windy, rainy day we had on Thursday. Obviously not when this picture was taken.  We were incredibly lucky weather-wise for a week on the central Oregon coast.  But there was that day, when the sky and the sea and the sand all went dark.

image

I thought there would be much more fiber related activity on this trip.  I dragged my spinning wheel and three different fibers along, and two other knitting projects, sure that I would need choices.  But the socks were all that happened.  Beach walks and tidal pools and whale watches and ice cream trips all called more strongly.  As they should on a family trip!

image

So, just these socks.  Kiertoradalla socks, size medium, in Cascade Heritage Paints yarn.  The only mod I made was the heel, which I did as always in eye of partridge stitch.  They fit my cousin’s size 7 feet perfectly.  My wide 8 1/2s would need a size large in this pattern.

image

I think they blend with the colors of the rocky coastline as well.

image

image