Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too much!

My little pink shawl started out to be a small project. Pretty simple garter stitch body and the ruffle seemed mostly unchallenging. Well, all that is true. Except - there will be over 2000 stitches on my 3mm needles!
And this fine yarn just goes on and on. I was confident there was enough until the ruffle started looking so big. There will be enough, I think. I did decide against the beads.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


It took just one quilt block to get my imagination started again. Here is the first quilt block: Eccentric Star. I hope to do at least 6 for the swap. The photo color is as true as I could get it but the purple isn't quite right. There are two different shades which I hoped would reflect in the tweedy bits. This was great fun.

And I have learned this lesson: my style is very non-realistic and I love bright colors. A lot of primitive rugs are not so bright with earth colors which are definitely not my favorite. I have to try to remember this next time I'm trying to get too much realism in my hooking and my colors.

The snow has stopped and the last little bit has melted away. But the big foot from overnight remains. I shall just have to hook on my new enterprise this afternoon. This is a butterfly fantasy which will be auctioned off as a fundraiser. Onward!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fashion file

The other day I was given a stack of those sewing magazines that are linked to the pattern companies. Plus a couple of recent issues of Threads - none older than summer '07. I could feel my sewing fingers itching to get at fabric and start making clothes. I haven't sewn for myself in a lot of years. Lifestyles change and I haven't needed to have a lot of clothes. So, I sewed a few things for the little girls I knew and dressed some dolls. These were small projects and helped me retain the skills I had learned.
But now, oh, wow! There are fabulous fabrics and lovely patterns. AND, so many are available in plus sizes. I always figure I'll lose weight and then I'll get some clothes. But, the stuff on the racks is never as nice (or just what you want) as those you could make yourself. Maybe, I'll get some patterns. Although fabric may have to wait a bit - that stash is pretty big. If nothing works, maybe it's time to give it away and start over LOL
The next trick would be to find the time. I could probably eliminate a couple of TV shows - not a lot worth watching at the moment. Dreaming, as usual...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I think I have definitely overdone the mug cozies. I have now done 14 and that's enough for anyone. Especially someone like me who craves variety. I did get some variations by playing around with patterns and yarns. But, the mug cozies are way too small to get a good pattern going. Tea cozies provide more scope for exploring pattern and design in a small (but useful) project. The latest batch for mugs will be sold to raise funds for seniors' programs at Mollie Nye House. February is kitchen month for craft projects sold. The Aran tea and mug cozy will eventually make its way to eBay for sale.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rug struggle

This is the first time I've ever had to put a rug on hold. I'm having issues with hooking the heron and I think some distance is needed. One of the things I have to work on is a balance between realism and impressionism. I'm not very good at either and that makes finding something in the middle difficult. I love to include birds and animals in my hooking projects but they are never without problems. Usually, I get it eventually and so it will be with this one.
But for now I'm moving on to some quilt square designs. These are for a swap which should be fun. They are unfinished and once we have received all our squares can be joined together to make a larger sampler rug.
So, for now, I happy to plan some new stuff.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Winter garden

This was how the Beauty berry looked yesterday morning. And then, it was gone in the fine mist of rain. The snow, I mean not the shrub. I noticed this morning that there are fat green buds on the forsythia. Now that doesn't necessarily mean spring will come soon but it does raise the spirits. Just dreaming of the bright yellow flowers can raise the level of the cloud layer by inches.

A tour of the garden at this time of year is quite interesting. All looks brown and quite dead - from a distance. But, up close, the sword ferns are showing tight, pale green fiddle heads. In a sea of dark brow magnolia leaves are sturdy bright green sprouts of oriental poppies. Under the lilac, is a Lenten Rose (hellebore) bursting to show off its flowers. This will be it's first year to bloom since being purchased at a local garage sale two years ago.

The day is cold for a tour and I didn't want to linger. I could see , though, how much work will need to be done. Funny, how, I can see it now when nothing really is urgent. But when all that growth begins in the spring, I don't want to change anything.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hidden assets

Finally, there are doors on this cupboard. It all started in August with a sight-seeing trip to IKEA : before I knew it all my rug-hooking wool was nestled happily in large wire baskets. My quilt fabric stash was tidily put away and my workroom was so-o serene. But it still looked very cosy and colorful because there were no doors on the storage unit. They were back-ordered. After waiting patiently for a phone call, we became fearful that the doors had gone out of production or something. But, the truth was worse: they'd cancelled our order! Policy after 30 days - no one told us.

Cut to the chase: we found the doors, had them delivered and hung them on Saturday morning. They do a great job of hiding everything but are not nearly as soft and warm-looking as the baskets of wool. I will get used to the look - eventually.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stash trick

You know how when you have a stash of knitting yarn - or anything else - it can grow beyond the one basket you were planning to keep all your yarn in? Well, I passed that stage about 30 years ago but...I had this great idea. The order-out-of-chaos part of my brain thought that maybe Ravelry had potential as a yarn inventory manager. What if I took photos of my stash yarns (probably grouped by type or fiber) and the quantities of each yarn in the group. Then I could put them away in their various hiding places. Before closing the lid, I would indicate in the Ravelry notes where I had put this group of yarns, ie. in the ginger jar or under the bed.

Could it work? Or would it just jam up the stash lists for everyone else?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Read & rip

My Knitter's mag fell through the letter slot this morning...I'm always so excited to see what's new. But, I was a wee bit disappointed with the styles on offer this time. Reminded me of the late 80's when there were a lot of unwearable styles being designed. Or at least not wearable by anyone I might know. This is not usually the case, so I'm hoping it's a temporary thing. Heck, I only get it for the articles, right?

On the plus side, I did manage to get down to ripping apart several wool garments that had been collected over the last month. Such beautiful colors! I do still have to felt them.

I know there is a rug hooking goddess. The latest rug in progress needed some lovely gray-blue for the heron...and it just appeared when I needed it. And a sweater, too - my favorite material for hooking.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Foliage Hat

I can't believe how many people have knit this hat. It is a great pattern. My only complaint is that every time I pull it down over my ears it slides off again. Either I have low-slung ears or my head's too big. Yeah That's it...big head.

So, instead of moaning about it, I have some yarn left and I will just add on to the ribbing. Lucky for me the hat was knit from the top down. I hate frogging a cast-on edge.


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