Monday, July 30, 2007

Project Spectrum Update

June and July were really busy with my move, so crafting was neglected. Thus, I did not create anything in red, black or metallics.

But, I did come across this pillow that I made a few years ago and it fits perfectly! So, I have something to show, even if it is an old project.


I was reallly into sewing before I dove into knitting. It started in 2002 when I made my first real quilt, and then really picked up in 2003 after I broke up with a boyfriend. Though I have sewed off and on since I was a kid. My mom is Quilter. I capitalize it for emphasis. She made her first quilt in 1976, the year I was born. I still have it, though it's in pieces. It was the bicentennial and there was a revival of traditional crafts, including quilting.

The sound of her Bernina zooming along was almost constant during my childhood. She's made hundreds of quilts, for every family member at least once (and not just me or my brothers, but my aunts, uncles, 50-some cousins), for friends and relatives of friends, plus charity raffles. She even made a quilt for a coworker of mine whose house burned down. She had a cupboard full of baby quilts ready before any of us were even married!

It was only a matter of time until I got the sewing bug too.

When it did, my aunt gave me her old Singer and I went to work making her a pillow. I figured since she gave me the machine, then the first item sewed on it should be a thank you for her.

I decided on red to match her family room. And Mom let me "shop" in her fabric closet. I pulled out tons of red and black fabrics, and decided to sew strips. So, I cut and sewed the strips into a larger fabric. Then decided to cut that piece into four triangles, which I sewed together to make a square, which became the pillows face. I wish I had a photo, but this was years ago when I didn't have a digital camera and I didn't photograph my projects.

Well, I had so much red and black strips that I made two more pillows. One I gave to a friend and I kept the one, above.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mom's Shawl

This has been claiming most of my knitting time. I am on a deadline!

It's a super simple knit. But w/ more than 500 stitches per row, I takes me 45 minutes to knit one.

At the Columbia Knitting Meet-up last Wed. night, I did two rows and I was there from 7:00 until after 9:00! (By the way, this group, through, is really fun! I've wanted to check it out for many months, and finally did last week. I know there are a lot of knitting groups in Columbia (at least three!), but if you are looking to knit on Wed. night, check them out. They meet at Borders. They are a very friendly and fun group of women. I will be back ... though not every week because Columbia is a bit far.)

G and I have been watching the Sopranos, courtesy of Blockbuster Total Access. I'd never seen an episode until a few weeks ago. Never. I thought it would be too violent for me, but so far it hasn't been to bad. I am really enjoying it. But it's a bit frustrating to watch an entire episode and only knit one freaking row!

Still, the shawl is growing:


I leave for vacation with my family on Friday and need to have it blocked and ready to give!

A Better Monkey

I am slugging along on a new Monkey sock. I actually started this back in May, right after I posted about my first Monkey attempt. I am using C*eye*ber Fiber in the Riverbed colorway, purchased at the Cloverhill booth at Stitches East 2006. I couldn't be more pleased with how the yarn and pattern are working together.


I originally picked the Monkey pattern by Cookie A. to be my first
non-ribbed sock because I was looking for a pattern that worked well
with a variegated sock yarn. It seems that many of the intricate sock
patterns look best in a solid yarn. So, in my Web searching, I stumbled
across the Monkey and right in the pattern intro, Cookie says she
designed to flatter a hand-dyed variegated Canadian yarn. Perfect, I
thought! And in the C*eye*ber Fiber, I found the perfect match.

I didn't like the pooling on the Tess yarn in the Monkey. I do love the
Tess yarn though, both the color and the way it feels. It is a joy to
hold and work with. I definitely want more sometime soon. I know I'll
find a better pattern for the Tess yarn.


But the Monkey pattern is so much fun and I wanted it to be the star. I could
have continued w/ the Tess version, but I knit slow, especially socks. Yes, I could have just started a new pair and left the old pair hanging, an abandoned work in progress. I haven't thoroughly thought through myWIP philosophy, but I tend to have fewer projects going, two or three, in various stages of completion and difficulty. I don't like having something sit, neglected, for many months at a time. It's like need to file (hello house paperwork, I'm looking at you) or organizing the linen closet
(which I NEED to do since we unpacked after the move. I just sort of threw everything in and the unorganized state of it drives me crazy just thinking about it!).

I will ignore the filing and the organizing until I just can't anymore. But I never really forget about it. It silently nags at me. But I don't expect to enjoy these tasks when I do them, though I do get joy out of completing them. But knitting is different. I do get joy from it and I don't want it to nag me. Because then it feels like chore.

So, even though I didn't completely frog my first Monkey, I am not planning to go back to it. I left it in tact, though off the needles, because, hey, unraveling cuts
into my precious knitting time!

So, while I started this in May, I am only just a few pattern repeats into the foot. It's been a bit neglected as I race to finish the Half Pi Shawl for my mother. In a
week I am off to Wisconsin and Michigan for a family vacation and I'll give it to her then. I'm almost there. The Monkey will surely beaccompanying me and will gets lots of attention while I sit on the Lake Michigan banks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Where I've Been

June was very busy. I did some knitting, but mostly I was working on changing this:


to this:

And this:

to this:

We removed wallpaper, painted, removed carpet and refreshed the wood floors.

We bought some nice curtains at Ikea and this weekend I'll work on hemming them.

Next post will have knitting content, promise!