Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Weekend Ends....

....and no fun stuff going on here. The cold/flu bug that is going around has caught me. Some people can knit or sew when they're sick. I just don't happen to be one of them. So no new pictures this weekend.

I do have some pictures from a rug hooking retreat I visited last month. This is another fiber art that I'm very interested in. I simply do not have the time right now though. This isn't the latch hook method I remember from my childhood. This is the hand dyed wool, cut your own strips and even design your own pattern kind of rug hooking. This is serious business!

These are framed rugs that have such tremendous detail!
One thing I learned is that even a small piece takes months and months to complete. This one must have taken a year or more!
Look how the placement of the wool and the slight color variations give the sky such texture!
Here is a picture of a portion of the room. I have never seen so much craft related "stuff"! There were stacks and stacks of wool everywhere! I thought I'd taken a picture of a rug in process but I just can't seem to find it.
I hope that you are having a more enjoyable weekend that I am! I have been blog surfing and there are a lot of good things going on in blog land!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lessons Learned & Weekend Update!

This weekend I was able to spend some dedicated time to my fiber addictions. It's really rare that I get more than a couple of hours. First up, I finished up the block from my Egg Money Quilt class and cut out the next 3 blocks and bagged them up. The first block is called Christian Cross.
Then I worked on the little heart blocks from my paper piecing class. After I had done 2 of them, things started going wrong. I got frustrated. 3 partially finished blocks ended up in the trash. I decided to take a break and ended up reading a few blogs and surfed Ravelry. Then I decided to come back and things went well. I'm slow at this and am very happy with having 6 of the 9 blocks needed completed. I used 2 of the fabrics I received from Diane. Can you pick them out?

Lesson Learned: Sometimes you just need to walk away.
Then I cast on for the Cap'n Crunch neckwarmer using some yarn that was handspun as a gift for me from Kim of Palm Valley Fibers. It's a delicious color! Here is where I was when I realized that I should have put in 2 button holes 1.5 inches into the project.
Lesson Learned: It's in my own best interest to read the entire pattern before getting started.
I hope I have enough of this yummy yarn!
I also spent 2 hours sorting out yarn barf (leftovers from the mitts below). In the bathroom (why I set up the ball winder there I have no idea)!

I also finished weaving in the ends of my Fine Cabled Mitts.
Pattern: Fine Cabled Mitts (Ravelry) From Knitspot
Colorway: Black
Needles: US 2
I got everything accomplished that I set out to accomplish except finishing the binding on my first free motion quilting project. More on that later!
You should see my studio/dining room. What a big mess. Then I have a ball winder in the bathroom to take down and a ton of knitting stuff by the bed. Tomorrow night will be all about cleaning! Besides it being Valentines Day (I can't go wrong when I spend the whole day with G), it was a good weekend - when I was quilting, I sat at the table with the window open, the sun shining in, and listened to the sounds of the kids biking, skate boarding, roller blading and walking outside the window. When I was knitting, I was watching a movie with G with a dog at my feet and a dog snuggled between me and G. Doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm Going To Play This Weekend!

My goal this weekend is to have some fun! On the quilting front, I'm going to play with these:
I took a one class beginning paper-piecing class this past week. It's not as hard as I thought but it takes longer than I thought. Fun!

And I'm going to play with these:
I also took class 1 of a 6 week technique class based on this book. I've chosen un-traditional fabrics. First weeks blocks were the Christian Cross and the Rosebud. This is a fantastic book. It gives a bit of history on each block, lists the different names it can be called and the instructions are well laid out. I'm looking forward to learning new skills!

Look at this cute shoe fabric! Isn't it adorable?
On the knitting front (no pictures as it's raining), I'm tired of knitting on just one project. My yarn is not in for my neices sweaters and I just have to work on something than one thing at a time. I also need to weave in the ends of my Fine Cabled Fingerless Mitts.

Happy Valentines Day to you all! I'm spending the day with my honey!

Good Times this Weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Check This Out!

At the beginning of the month, bloggers around the world participated in The Great International Stash Busting Giveaway. I participated in as many as I could including the one Diane sponsored on her blog 2fun4u. And guess what?! I won!!! Please excuse the poor pictures but it was dark and I couldn't wait! Loads and loads of Fat Quarters. Gorgeous colors. A notepad with my initial on it - perfect for my handbag, some fabric squares, a great card with a wonderful handwritten note and a Grip It. I have a ruler that is really too wide for me that this will be perfect for! She also sent some cute little heart and lip Valentine's decorations and some silk rose petals! Diane I can't thank you enough!
Here is a rather poor picture of the fat quarters. Diane is so generous!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Casting On, Binding Off

I've cast on for a pair of socks for me! This is the first time I've attempted knitting two socks on one circular (or any other 2 at a time method). So far, I'm enjoying it! I made some progress yesterday as I spent several hours knitting. The pattern is Waving Ribbing (Ravelry link here) by Charlene Schurch...really easy so I can concentrate on learning this method.
I've also finished a couple of projects and while they're not really ready for final pictures, I'm going to post a couple anyways. This is my Mystery Beret (Ravelry link here)blocking on a big plate. It was a fun, easy knit. Not complicated at all.
I also finished my Fine Cabled Fingerless Mitts (Ravelry link here). Here is a picture of just the one as I haven't taken pics of the two of them together and I need to weave in some ends. It's my first cable project and though sometimes the black yarn was a bit difficult to see, it went smoothly. I'll definitely do cables again! We're going to be warm this next week (mid 70's) so I don't think I'm going to get to wear them. Maybe I'll just wear them anyways!
I've picked a sweater to knit up for my nieces this year. I have purchased the pattern and just waiting on yarn. I think I'll probably get started on that in the next few weeks. Right now, the socks are really the only knitting project I have going. Generally, I'll finish a couple of things at the same time and then cast on for several things at the same time. Since the sweater yarn will be coming in soon, I think I'm going to concentrate on the socks for now. Plus I have a lot of quilting homework coming up soon!
This week is going to be a busy week. I have 2 quilting classes. One is a one nighter (paper piecing) and the other is a 6 week class that will teach me a lot of techniques in the one quilt. I'm really looking forward to it! These 2 classes and my knit group this week will then put me out of the house late for 3 nights this week. Plus the full time (and often more) job. I have audit responses due by noon Wednesday, then one on one conversations, test case reviews, etc. Yikes! I have to stop thinking about all that! I hope you all have a great week full of the things you love to do!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Binding - Not So Bad

Two weekends ago I took a binding class. For some reason I felt that I wouldn't like binding. I don't have any experience hand sewing, I'm new to quilting, and after reading a lot of blogs it seems that a lot of quilters put it off.(so how much fun could it be?). Some even pay someone else to do it for them. There also seems to be several methods of binding out there. So I really was expecting that I wouldn't like this part of quilting at all. Or that it would be a frustrating skill to learn.

The class came with a kit so I didn't have to prepare anything. There were quite a few of us and we all had a great time. Kept our instructor really busy but it was fun!

I had to take a few pictures of what to do as it will be a while before I'll have something to bind!
I wonder how this lovely fabric ended up in a binding kit?!
Brown roses on a neon green background!
Here's our instructor, Carolyn Allen, showing us how to join the 2 ends. She made it very simple!
Later that night, G & I curled up and watched the 2 worst movies in history. I worked on finishing up the hand sewing while half paying attention to the TV and was able to finish up. I have room for a lot of improvement but I was happy overall with my first attempt. Carolyn gave me several tips for the hand sewing and that helped a lot. I didn't hate it like I thought I would and surprisingly the hand sewing was soothing. I didn't expect that! Slowly I'm learning all the skills that will enable me complete my quilts start to finish all on my own! I'm truly looking forward to my first finished project!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Winter Walk in the Park....Florida Style!

This morning G and I decided to take the pups for a walk in the park. We know we're fortunate this time of year to live where we live. I think most of you will agree.
Here's a view of the park.
As you can see, it's located on a beautiful river. This river is a bit unusual as it lows to the north.
Here is the view from the park over the river.
It was a beautiful sunny day. It's almost 5pm now and it's still in the mid 60's.

This is Cody, sitting on G's lap.
Kenzie may be 10 pounds but she isn't afraid of anything. Here she is getting a bit too close to the edge. A step or two and she'd be in big trouble!
If you're still reading, this is me holding the 2 pups. No makeup, no contacts, and messy hair. The pups are both shaggy and due for a grooming.
In two months, I'll be complaining about the heat so I'm trying to enjoy the good weather while I can! Happy Sunday!