Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hurry! Last Day of Project Spectrum

Ever since Aug. 1, I planned to put up a post about the last triad of Project Spectrum ... here I am late as usual.

My participation in PS this summer did lag. I was busy with the new house and had some deadline knitting. I did finish these Monkey socks in Aug.


And I was inspired to shop for PS colors!

Here is some orange Dream in Color sock yarn:


And some purple Malabrigo lace:


And here's an actual purple craft that I made, but it was about four or five Septembers ago:


This was my second quilt and the first that didn't use matchy-matchy fabrics. My mom let me raid her fabric closet and helped me decide what size to cut the strips. I love this quilt! It's a large lap size, big enough to cover me and my legs, even my feet! (I hate it when lap blankets are too short to go all the way around the feet: dude, that's where I get cold!) The colors still thrill me. I am not really a purple person, but every so many years I just crave it. Purple doesn't really flatter me so I rarely wear it. Maybe that's why I was so drawn to it with this quilt. I didn't have enough purple in my life? That must explain the purple malabrigo, above. I am quite certain it will not look good on me, but I had to have that color instead of the blue or green that is pretty on me.

The quilt is a basic strip quilt construction. I remember carefully planning out which strips would go where. I bought the light and dark purple batiks from a wonderful quilt shop in the Milwaukee area.

For the actual quilting, I tried freehand on my mom's machine for the first time and I totally sucked big time. There are lots of very sharp turns instead of the lovely loops, but I got better as I went along.

I have not quilted or sewn anything for a long time, but this is inspiring me to get out my machine, a Bernina! I got it a very basic model (it doesn't do all the fancy embroidery) for Christmas in 2004. It's a wonderful machine and it deserves to be used. L and I started Yellow Brick Road quilts in 2005 but didn't get past the cutting out stage. We need to set a date to work on them!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Still Knit

I just don't blog ... as often as I'd like. First the pictures:

Finished Monkeys:
Yarn: C*eye*ber Fiber purchased at Stitches East 06.
I started these socks in May! The first sock took me about two months. The second, about a week. In my defense, betweent the time I started and finished that first sock, I also bought a house, painted, removed carpet and wallpaper from and refinished wood floors from said house, packed, moved and then unpacked. Also, I got distracted by trying to finish this in time for my mom's b-day in July.

My creation

I didn't finish for the b-day deadline, and then almost finished for the Aug. vacation deadline. I had about 20 border stitches left, but I didn't have a way to block on vacation. So I got it done for the Sept. trip.
The pattern is the Half Pi Shawl from Rosie Knits. I did a few extra yarn over rows, made it a bit longer and added the border, which is from a different shawl altogether. The border is from a pattern in the book Knitter's Stash. The yarn is unknown from A Good Yarn in Fell's Point.

Mom loved it and is planning to bring to Hawaii in Dec. when she accompanies me on a work trip.

Also, in August, I whipped up this shawl for my mother-in-law.


She gave me the yarn for Christmas last year. So the shawl will be her Christmas gift this year. The yarn was a bunch of different kinds of yarn all tied together. She really liked the yarn, so I think she'll like the shawl. It was actually a really fun knit. I liked seeing what yarn would come next. I actually brought this to stitch n bitch with Heather and Sarah who gave me the great idea to add beads to the ends so it will look intentional that they are not woven in. I wasn't sure what to do about them. First of all, the yarn was all attached with knots and it is so open that weaving wouldn't work. And I just didn't want to weave in that many ends! But I knew if I didn't find a way to artfully deal with them, my MIL would wear the shawl and some snarky knitter would comment about the ends (snarky knitters, no, never!). I was actually a bit aprehensive about bringing the shawl to the snitch n bitch b/c horror! novelty yarn! But I wanted advice so I said, screw it. And they were nice! Didn't sneer at all! :)

Would I make this shawl again? Maybe. If someone else wanted one as a gift, I might do it. It was a nice break after socks and last. Such a FAST knit. And one Christmas gift done! That is the best part.

I had grand plans of blogging from last week's work trip, but I couldn't bear to turn on the computer in the evenings in my hotel room.

Instead, I did a bit of shopping. Got some of the new Lane Bryant jeans. I like! I think I am red. Or yellow, whatever the middle color is. The new sizing is super lameo. Like by calling them 1-7 or whater, we're going to forget that we're really a 14 or above? Eh... they make my ass look great and that is all I really care about. Plus they are long. Almost too long.

I had dinner with my dear friend V, her husband and baby girl. V lived across the hall from me in my dorm freshman year. Her daughter is so cute! She didn't want to eat much while I was there, except for the donut holes that were dessert. At one point she had one in each hand. V told her to put one back, so she bit one and put that one back! What a smartie! :)

And I went to Lakeside Fibers, which is a wonderful yarn store in Madison, Wis. First, it is huge: there are three big rooms full of yarn. Second, it has almost every major yarn and tons of selection in the different fibers. You know how some LYS have just one kind of cotton in the summer? Lakeside has several, plus bamboo and of course wool.

Third, it has the great cafe overlooking Lake Menona. I had my dinner there Wed. night and then knit for an hour or so. There was a class going on at the same time and I think a stitch n bitch too. I really should go every time I am in town. I only bought one small skein of Manos cotton stria in brown. I already had 8 skeins. Lakeside had just one and I thought I should get it to give me a bit more yardage.

I restrained myself because, well, I realy don't need to buy yarn. And b/c Friday started the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival. And Friday after work, I had to drive from Madison to Milwaukee, conveniently going right by the fairgrounds where the festival was. I did make a short detour. It is not nearly as big as MDS&W but the sellers were all new to me. I was good in that I only bought from one booth, Michigan- (I think) based Briar Rose... but it was a fairly big purchase. The yarn in the Totally Autumn pattern from the new Knitty is Briar Rose. They had beautiful colorways and lots of different weights and fibers. I got some alpaca, merino, silk that is heaven! The owner I also ordered some Grandma's Blessing (superwash sportweight merino). They didn't have enough of the color that I wanted, so the owner had me pick my favorite skein and is going to dye up more of it for me! How cool is that. I was really impressed by the yarn, the owners, the samples, the booth, everything.

There was another Michigan shop that had some very tempting alpaca wool blends but not enough in the color that I wanted and.

So that was a big yarny detour!

The rest of the trip was fun too: I attended a wedding on Sat. for one of high school/college friends. We were roommates senior year in a bat-invested third floor flat. Our other roommate, and one of my best friends, A came down from Minneapolis w/ her husband too. I had so much fun seeing them. The wedding was lovely and really simple. It was at a park. One of our HS/college friends got ordained online to marry them! She was great. The bride's mother is an interior designer so the park building was really lovely inside. They made dozens of paper cranes to hang from the ceiling, had paper latterns strung. The bride's father made small bud vases for the tables, which were also the party favors! It was really, really lovely.

And Sat. was also my baby brother's 18th birthday. He was at an all-day volleyball tournament, so we celebrated with brunch at home Sunday morning.

I can't believe I squeezed all that in to a Tue-Sun. trip!