Saturday, December 21, 2013

knitting fool

I've been a slug about sewing lately (although that hasn't stopped me from doing a little stash enhancement...)  but I have been knitting up a storm!  Here are a bunch of recent finishes...

 First, another pair of socks.  The are plain vanilla, using Susan B. Anderson's "How I make My Socks" recipe.  The yarn is a Regia "Mosaic" that I bought in London a few years ago.

Next a sweater that I thought I would love, but I don't. The yarn (Lavold's Silky Wool) may be nice for shawls, but I hated the way it looked after blocking -- seemed to grow in all directions -- so I have since put it through the washer and drier at low temperature in an attempt to shrink it back down.  At this point, it all fits pretty well except that the shoulders are huge... and I have broad shoulders! The pattern is also by Lavold, called "Tilia".  Bummer.
Next up, two Pointy Elf Hats for my great-niece and nephew. This is Cascade Jewel Hand-dye, which was great to work with. The pattern was super quick, too.

And last but not least, I'm working ahead for the twins' second birthday in February. This is Mia's sweater, just needing a light blocking and the buttons sewn on.

I have several days off in the near future -- hoping to tidy up the sewing space and actually make some progress on a few fabric projects.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 Cotton Robin?

Calling all Robineers!  

Maybe it's just the cold weather, but I've been thinking about starting up a new round of the Cotton Robin and I'm wondering who might want to join in for the 2014 event?  We would probably have the first block due around February 1 or so...

"Rules" will be pretty much the same, I think, but I'm happy to listen to suggestions. New players are welcome if they have some swapping history and enough experience to work without a pattern!

Details and the 2013 "reveal" can be found at


Friday, November 01, 2013


No excuses for the month-long silence here... I've been watching too much reality TV and trying not to spend a lot of time on the computer at home after being on the computer so much at work.  I have been making things, though!

Last time I posted a picture of the first checkerboard quilt I made from Block Lotto winnings, and promised to finish the second one.  Here it is, already gifted to a new baby girl:

 On the knitting side of things, several finished object to show you.  First is a pair of socks made from Lisa Souza's "Appaloosa" yarn -- part of the sales price went to a wild-horse-rescue organization:

Next, an oddball sweater that I started about 7 years ago. The yoke was originally meant to be patchwork, per the pattern in an old "InKnitter" magazine, and I had all the blocks made but just couldn't "see it" so I used a plain piece of batik.
For some reason I made the sleeves way too short -- hence the big cuffs.  I have plenty of yarn left, so one of these cold evenings I'm going to extend the knitting and maybe get rid of the fabric cuffs altogether.

I didn't want to let the patchwork blocks from the yoke get any "moldier" than they already were, so I designed a setting and whipped up this little quilt -- it measures about 41" square:

That's enough for now -- I'll be back with a couple of other projects and some favorite photos from PIQF before too long!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

greetings and apologies

Greetings from hot and muggy Madison!  We spent yesterday afternoon playing scrabble with my mother-in-law.  At one point, this was my rack of letters:

I won anyway!

And today my email account was hacked for the second time this year, at least. Apologies to anyone who received a spam email from me -- they seemed to get everyone I've ever written to!  And I had just changed my password about 3 days ago.  Maybe it's finally time to switch to a different account?

Saturday, September 07, 2013

things finished and started

I finally finished the first of two checkerboard quilts made from blocks I won on Block Lotto two (or more?) years ago.  I'm hoping to have the second one done by the end of the month, too -- it's a bit girlier and it has a destination...

And I finished a pair of socks that's been languishing since early 2012.  Each sock got done pretty quickly, but there was more than 15 months in between!

Finally, there's been a little Dreambird progress: I've got the pattern down and I like the yarn, but it's still fairly slow.  I'm going to set it aside for a week while I do my annual pilgrimage to the in-laws in Wisconsin -- this requires too much attention to the chart to do well on airplanes and while interacting with (or listening to) relatives!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day Yard Sale

I decided to sign up for Bonnie Hunter's Yard Sale, to try to clear a little space on my shelf...  lots of books and magazines for sale!


House of White Birches – Scrap Quilting Made Easy -- $5

Fons and Porter – Quick Quilts From the Heart –$ 5

Judy Martin – Scrap Quilts -- $5

Jane Townswick – Easy Machine Quilting -- $5

Pat Margaret and Donna Slusser -- Round Robin Quilts -- $6

Debbie Caffrey -- Another Can of Worms -- $8

Carleen Parlato and Victoria Stuart -- Dazzling Stars -- $5

Carole Fure -- Surprising Designs -- $5

Marie-Christine Flocard and Cosabeth Parriaud -- Provence Quilts and Cuisine --

Leni Wiener -- 3-Fabric Quilts -- $7

Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood -- Foundation Borders -- $8

Debbie Bowles -- Cutting Curves from Straight Pieces -- $8

Jane Townswick -- Artful Applique the Easy Way -- $6

Electric Quilt -- EQ5 Design Cookbook and EQ5 Drawing -- both for $5

I have a bunch of "Vintage" knit, crochet, and cross-stitch patterns -- let me know if you're interested and I will send you a list -- $1-2 each


Magazines -- all in good/very good condition except as noted - $1.25 each or 6 for $6.00. (Note
that my post office will not allow magazines to be sent by media mail, even if
they are old and the advertisements are out of date!)

Quiltmania Magazine -- #88 March 2012

Quilter's Newsletter:
- #320 March 2000
- #333 June 2001
- #336 October 2001
- #360 March 2004
- #361 April 2004
- #362 May 2004
- #363 June 2004
- #365 September 2004
- #366 October 2004
- #367 November 2004
- #369 January 2005
- #371 April 2005 (this one has some tears)
- #390 March 2007
- #391 April 2007
- #401 April 2008  (this one is a bit creased)
- #402 May 2008
- #403 June 2008
- #404 July 2008
- #405 Sept 2008
- #407 Dec 2008


- #95 January 2004
- #112 November 2006
- #122 July 2008
- #130 Nov 2009

prices do not include shipping; I will take check, money order, or
paypal funded by a checking account
Thanks for looking (and shopping)!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

a better feather, and other stuff

I did a little yarn shopping yesterday and then power-knit through three episodes of "Orange is the New Black" (I am SO hooked on that show -- only three more to go!) So now I have a feather that will actually turn into a shawl:

The background is Cascade Heritage Silk, which is lovely to knit with, and the feather is Viking Nordys, which has a little more "halo" than I really wanted but has a nice feel to it.  I've got the hang of the short rows (and with the Cascade I can actually see where they are...) so it's looking a lot better!

In other news, I put together a little tote last week from a Quilter's Dream pattern called "Santa Barbara".  I wish I'd paid attention to the size description before starting out, or I would have made it just a little bigger -- but I'm quite happy with it.

 Finally, you haven't seen Bucky for a while so I thought it was time for an update: He's old and cranky.  Looks like one of those geezers whose butt has gotten thin and his pants are too big!  This morning the bed was made (more or less) and there was a magazine in the middle waiting to be put away.  The whole expanse of bed, but...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Finally, a feather

After knitting and ripping for nearly a week, I finally finished my first feather for the dreambird shawl.  I don't really like anything about it!  The black lace yarn is splitty and hard to knit with. Maybe my eyes are just too old for black yarn?  And the Noro sock yarn is just crazy -- it varies from the thickness of DK-weight to the thickness of a single sewing thread, which makes me wonder whether the shawl will just disintegrate at some point in the not-too-distant future.

And the lengthy instructions are bizarre!  Thankfully, someone condensed it all down into a simple list of the 70 rows for each feather, and then Denise posted her idea for a chart -- that ended up saving me!

So... now that I feel like I understand the process, I guess I have to go find some yarn that will make it all worthwhile...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Day with Rayna

 Sad to say, I had never actually heard of Rayna Gillman before a month ago... but when my guild advertised a workshop with her to transform fabrics that we didn't like or just weren't excited by, I had to sign up!  I have a few of those in my cupboard.

 I had never used a silkscreen before, had some rubbing plates but didn't really know what to do with them, and decided a day getting dirty might be fun.  And it was, aside from my back hurting after standing on a hard floor for 6 hours!

 Here are my results -- the techniques include silkscreen, stencils, stamping, rubbing plates and other textures.  I already have plans for projects with a couple of these.


 If you have a chance to take a class with Rayna, I highly recommend it!  She's informative and instructive without being domineering about "the one right way to do it" as some teachers are.

The Dreambird Knit-along

Judy is hosting a Deambird Shawl Knit-along over at Patchwork Times, and I've decided to join.  I made one test feather out of scrap yarn, and then started my "real" shawl last night.  It went fine for a while but I was probably knitting past my bedtime 'cause I goofed up somewhere and tinked most of it this morning...  The instructions are a bit daunting the first couple of times, and my yarn tangles like crazy!

Here is a picture of my inspiration shawl (I DID NOT MAKE THIS ONE! It's by "CrochetKnitLady" on Ravelry)

and here is the yarn I'm using: Noro Kureyon Sock and Cascade Alpaca Lace

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

This is most of my spam email for that 24 hours (I deleted the stock alerts and the sunglasses ads)

Here are a few tips for the spammers:
 - I do not need any of the drugs you're advertising
 - I do not have a penis
 - I'm not into watches and wear one as rarely as possible
 - I'm happily married to a man

"Could See Monster Rally Soon" -- is that a stock market rally, an erection, or something to do with big trucks?  I'm not going to find out...

Friday, August 09, 2013

something new...

My sister is a glass artist, among other things, and has gifted us with several amazing plates over the last few years.  So when I came upon a "groupon" deal for an introductory glass fusing class I decided to give it a try just to better understand what she was doing.  

The class was a week ago.  We cut and assembled our projects
and then the staff would fire it twice in the kiln for us over the next few days. I went by the studio this morning to pick up my plate...

Not perfect (damn, those triangles are hard to cut freehand!) but fun.  Now I'm eligible to go and use their "open studio" so next time my sis is up visiting we might just have to go and play a bit.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yes I am still here...

I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth lately, or at least the face of the blogosphere...  in fact, I've been sewing a little, knitting, reading more, and of course, still working!

Two things did get finished recently, though...

For some reason I jumped into TWO mystery shawl knit-alongs at the beginning of June -- totally crazy to think I'd keep up with both! I ended up keeping up with neither...   but one is was finished a week or two ago, and the other is close.    This is the one from Wendy Knits -- it's a sport-weight Malabrigo yarn
And, a quilt got finished, too. This is going to be a gift for a friend's son who is going off to college next month.  It's from a pattern that I found here on the Moda Bake Shop Blog.  This is in his school colors and used a surprising amount of blue scraps! (You can start the maze in the top right corner and follow it to the bottom left corner.)

Next up -- maybe working on an old UFO or two. Not feeling too motivated by any of them, but I'm hoping one catches my attention soon.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Cotton Robin is Revealed!

This is always an exciting moment -- all the round robins are "home" (except for one that is sadly taking an extended vacation between Ontario and Auckland...)  and you can see all the results at the Cotton Robin blog.

But first -- here is my own quilt for your viewing pleasure:

 I started out with something pretty simple from the book Modern Blocks and some Kaffe Fassett prints

 And this was the fabulous quilt that came home to me

It has 3-dimensional flowers, a few prairie point accents, and some wonderful quilting!

Now go check out the rest of the quilts!

Monday, May 20, 2013

the coastal scene

Just a couple of photos from yesterday's wanderings...

We were lucky enough to be in town for Rockaway's annual Kite Festival. In addition to choreographed kite-flying exhibitions (who knew? kite-flying with music!) there was a section of single-string giants:

Then down the coast to Newport, where we found these lazy guys sunning themselves:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

in rapid succession

After getting pretty much nothing done for quite a while, I managed to rally myself to finish (and start!) a few things in the last couple of weeks.

First, I quilted up this  baby quilt from last year's rainbow challenge -- it's about 36" square and will go to the guild's collection to be donated to a local charity

Then I finished this little one called "Midnight Moths" -- most of the blocks came from a birthday swap this February and I'm so happy to have finished it up so quickly!
 This is called a Wingspan Scarf -- pattern on Ravelry, of course -- that was a really quick knit out of some very cool sock yarn
 Here's a close-up of the yarn.  It's knit in decreasing triangles and the pattern is very easy.
 And for something new -- the son of one of my business partners is graduating high school this year, and all my (real or imagined) nieces and nephews get a quilt when they graduate.  Since this kid is an athlete, I'm actually making a quilt in his college colors. It doesn't have a lot of contrast, but I think that's fine for an 18-year-old male!
 The pattern is "A Charming Maze" from the Moda Bakeshop blog.  The photo is the first two sections out of nine.  I'm using up a ton of blue scraps and small ends on this one!  (it really is square at the corners, it's just that I can't take a square photo...)

Off to Portland and the Oregon coast for a while.  We're expecting some rainy weather and a lot of reading and handwork in between the times when it's reasonable to venture outdoors.