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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini-vacation finish

I took last Friday, Monday, and today off as a mini-vacation. I stayed at home and played video games most of Friday-Sunday. I had a blast playing my new LEGO City Undercover, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and a little Mario Kart 8 (yes, I'm apparently as attention-deficit with video games as I am with all the other things I do). Oh, and CC and I played a little Resident Evil 6, since we can play that co-op offline. :)

Then yesterday I decided to work some more on High Cotton. I got all of the pieced blocks put together yesterday afternoon while listening to an audiobook.

I laid out my solid blocks for the border, but didn't get to piecing those to the quilt until this morning. And here is the finished quilt top!

Now I just need to piece the backing together and get it ready to take to my favorite long-arm quilter. I'm so excited to have this one close to being finished because it's a gift for my Dad. He won't need it for a few more months, but I've been wanting to make him a quilt of his own for a while, and when I saw this one in Kim Diehl's book, Simple Comforts, I thought it would be perfect for him.

Putting those blocks high up on the design wall is not as difficult as it used to be - I still tend to use my left arm more than my right, but I'm getting better with the right one. I'm just over 5 months post-surgery now and the shoulder is getting a little better each week that passes. Which reminds me, it's time to go do my exercises!

Monday, July 21, 2014

CC's new scarf

So, I made it over to Haus of Yarn Saturday and picked up another skein of the Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single in Bronze Age. I picked up a few other skeins of yarn for gifts I plan to make. I was knitting on one of my current projects Sunday, and CC looked over and said, "That doesn't look like a scarf..." so I put it down, pulled out the yarn for his new scarf and started to work. I had presented him with a couple of options, and he chose the Falling Water Scarf. I finished one repeat of the pattern Sunday, and started (but didn't finish) another repeat tonight.

I think it's going to be a handsome scarf. It has the look of cabling without the cables, and the pattern is actually quite easy as long as I keep up with where I am (thus the stitch markers and a post it note on my pattern). I decided to knit four repeats instead of three.

I've also been eyeing some fancy stitch markers. I know that most are not very expensive, but I also know that I have some beads that I thought would look pretty as such, and I really should do something with them instead of leaving them in a box. So I found a do-it-yourself tutorial on making stitch markers and ran to get a few supplies that I was missing (mainly, the head pins and mini toggles). I made nine of them in a little over an hour. They might be too long for some projects, but I bet they'll be just fine for others.

The ones on the top have little frosted plastic trumpet beads that I got from Beadbox (Janet Coles Beads, no longer in business, sadly). They had some very beautiful beads, and the most wonderful catalogs. Several friends and I would just sit and drool over them, imagining what we might order if we'd won the lottery. They had some very beautiful beads, and I really liked the jewelry models in their catalogs and her Book of Beads. I still have a few leftover beads, so I'm sure I'll be making a few more stitch markers in the future.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New yarn stash

I dropped by the Haus of Yarn yesterday and (even though I haven't finished current works in progress) picked up some new yarn for future projects.

Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Freia Ombré Lace in Vertigo

I am planning to make either a scarf or a shawl with Freia Vertigo. I love the colors and the gradation and can't wait to see how it works up. It's a wool / nylon blend.

Shibui Knits Sock in Sand

Shibui Knits Sock yarn is discontinued, but I love it so much, and I'm glad they still had a few skeins of it. I made three scarves, one for each of my nieces and I also made a scarf for myself from this yarn in 2009. This color is much more subtle, so I think it will show off a patterned scarf very nicely. It's 100% superwash merino wool.

Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single in Bronze Age

Serenity Silk Single is a merino, cashmere, and silk blend, and it is so yummy. I plan to make the Eyelet Lace Shawl with it. CC saw it and commented that it would make a great scarf for him too. Hmmm... looks like I'll be heading back over to Haus of Yarn for another skein... :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The start of my V-neck tunic

Back in May I tried to do a little crochet, thinking that it wouldn't be too difficult. I quickly learned that it used muscles that weren't ready for that type of work, and put it down knowing that I would come back when I was ready. This was how far I had gotten.

Since that time, I have gotten it back out, put it back away, gotten it back out, and put it back away. I have made very slow progress on it. But today I was able to actually crochet several new rows, and here is my current progress.

It is coming along!

I hope that it will turn out nicely. The yarn is 100% cotton, which can be heavy. I almost wish I had picked an acrylic / wool blend or something with a little bit of a halo because that's how the model looks to me in the photo. This is a closeup, and there is definitely no fuzziness to the yarn, which is the recommended Patons Grace.

I am definitely enjoying working on it now, so it will go into the "rotation" of projects I have in progress. If I get ambitious, I might finish it before next Winter ends. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finished kerchiefs

Ta-da! The green one is finished, as is the arco iris one. I love them both and want to make more, more, more shawls and kerchiefs. All I need is time. And about 3 more pairs of arms. :)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

A little framing

I haven't gotten any cross stitch finishes framed in a while, but we recently chose two pieces to have framed, and I am very happy with the results.

This is Arabian Woman

And here is the needlepoint "Diamond Delight VI"

I am looking forward to hanging them on the walls in our new house, finally, along with the rest of my cross-stitch and needlepoint. We are going to unpack the rest of the framed pieces and begin hanging them over the next few days.

Friday, July 04, 2014

As promised, cross stitch!

I have been working on Chatelaine's Desert Landscapes Mandala off and on since the last progress photo (mostly off due to the surgery), but I recently got it back out and finally finished the very top rectangular panel. That is part of part 4. Part 3 is still not finished because I haven't finished the feathers in the corners yet. Will try to complete one corner the next time I work on this.

A closeup of the top panel:

And a shot of the whole thing so far:

I sewed up those last ten blocks for High Cotton and put some of them up on the design wall. This is half of the quilt. I'll just need to use the other blocks to make the bottom half. Actually, I need to pull out the solid squares and arrange them around the outside before I start piecing the blocks into rows. Since everything is already cut, I should be able to work on this pretty easily to get it put together. I like how the new colors give it a little punch.

Stilts made it her job to ensure I ahem can't overdo...

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Confession time

I had brunch with my girlfriends Tuesday, and we were sharing some of our latest projects with each other when I confessed to them that I just wasn't in love with my Celtic Solstice quilt. I LOVE the individual fabrics, I just don't love them all together the way they are - they just are too bright for me. I showed them a picture of it on my design wall, and told them I was going to go ahead and finish it, but then I'd decide who I was going to give it to. That's when Ariel said she would take it - not only would she take it, but she would take it as is and finish it too! She might have asked me what size socks I wear also (she knits too). :)

I feel very good about giving her the quilt to finish and love - it definitely fits her way more than me (she loves bright and bold). So I came home and took it down off my design wall and folded up the layers for her to finish piecing. I am marking it "finished." This was my first Bonnie Hunter mystery, and I doubt it will be my last. I still enjoy seeing others' versions of the quilt, and it was definitely not a bad experience. I will remember the lessons learned when I start the next quilt. And sometimes it's about that - the lessons you learn - and not about finishing.

Then I started putting up some other blocks on the wall (High Cotton). I wanted to see where the holes are, which colors are missing. I have about 9 or 10 more blocks to make and then it can start going together. I took a photo of about half the blocks I have currently pieced.

Basically I decided on a red, a reddish-orange, an orange, and two yellows.

I am looking forward to the holiday weekend. My co-worker is on vacation for a week, so I'm covering for both of us, and was pretty steadily busy today (maybe some customers will take a vacation day tomorrow!). I am still working on my stamina, but getting better. I plan to start doing some walking again also, thinking that will help my energy level.