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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knitting and Spinning - Not So Much

Not a lot of knitting or spinning going on right now, but I did finally ply the Loop batt that has been on the bobbins for months.

I finished my KP Comfy blanket in blues.  I tried a crocheted border on it in Planetarium but did not like.  I ripped that out, wove in my ends and called it done. 

I cast on a pair of tube socks in Perchance to Knit Tarnished Rainbow.

Stitch Crazy April

Cross Stitching has been dominating my stitching time.  I have two finishes and lots of progress on some of my wips. 

I have been asked about my frames and gridding on YouTube and Instagram so I thought I would post a detailed answer here. I have gone through several frames and hoops since I picked up cross stitching again.

I have tried:

1.    Qsnaps = excellent tension, easy to keep the fabric tight while stitching,
 2.   wooden scroll frames from F.A. Edmunds = did not like, cannot keep the fabric tight,
 3.   Susan Bates plastic Hooplas = works well enough, have to keep re-doing the fabric
 4.  Jennoop stand = excellent tension but very awkward to get to the back for tying off threads
 5.  Morgan no slip hoops = the absolute best hoop I have tried.

I have a Millennium frame on order and I just received a snap on frame from Pelagiya on Etsy. I will review them when I have tried them for awhile.

For gridding I recommend watching this video.

Stitching Mae on YouTube is the person I learned from. I use the pens she suggested, Clover and DMC water soluble or erasable marking pens. I use one of my blocking tiles to pen the fabric on as I count out the 10 stitch blocks. Mae is also the person that enabled me to try the Millennium frame.

Feel free to see my cross stitch shenanigans on You Tube.

Someone had also asked about parking threads. This is the method I use.

Heaven and Earth Designs is having another sale so I bought a third Aimee Stewart Chart pack, The Fantastic Voyage

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Madness

I am nearing the end of my Comfy Blanket in the various blues.  I have 2 1/2 balls of the main colors left to knit.  Then I will put a border all around it.  I don't know what to do about the colorwork mittens I have on the needles.  Now that the deadline for the Knitting Blooms knit along has passed I am not really interested in finishing them.  I think I will mark them as hybernating in Ravelry.

I have received my prizes from two of the "alongs" I completed earlier this year.

My prize for the Knitting Blooms Spinuary spin along.  Really cool Bobbins Up storage bobbins.
 My prize from the KnitRunDig Clear the Decks knit along.  A beautiful skein of Serenknitty sock yarn.

I pieced a backing for the Fus Ro Dah quilt and ordered black batting.  I am ready to spray baste them all together and start quilting.  I bought a pack of 10" squares of Kona Cotton and just sewed them in strips to make this backing for the Skyrim pixel quilt.

I have mostly been focused on cross stitching lately though. I started watching the stitching videos on You Tube. Through those videos I discovered some wonderful cross stitch designers, and I also picked up some more pattern charts from my favorite Etsy shops.  

The Big Bang Theory from Wee Little Stitches.

The Big Bang Theory from Pattern Porn.

I chose an epic cross stitch project from Heaven and Earth Designs.
The Treasure Hunt Bookshelf designed by Aimee Stewart.
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I am almost finished stitching this little gift as well. The Pinball Machine.

Lastly, I have not delved into the game Thief as I had planned. The game glitched on me and when I downloaded the fix I also downloaded the DLC for Don't Starve. Crazy changes in Reign of the Giants for Don't Starve. I have only survived 30 days. Hopefully I can put the cross stitch down long enough to complete the first heist in Thief this weekend.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is February Already?

So much has gone on since my last post.

I finally plyed the Corriedale Cross in Copper.  I ended up with 312 yards of a 2-ply - approx. worsted weight.
I completed the final squares for the Block of the Month 2012 Craftsy class and auditioned my tentative layout.

image image image
I completed another free Craftsy class, Pictures to Pixels Quilt with Caro Sheridan. I chose a pixelated image of the Bethesda dragon icon for Skyrim. It was surprisingly quick and easy to sew. The tedious work was done at the start; charting the image and calculating units and yardage.  I am calling this my Fus Roh Dah Quilt.

Both quilts need to have their backing prepared for basting to the batting and tops.  I am going to spray baste them with 505 Spray Adhesive and safety pins.   I am going to machine quilt both of them. The BOM 2012 is going to be quilted block by block and then joined with sashing. The Fus Roh Dah quilt is going to be quilted in one piece, it measures 50" x 83". I will start both by stitching in the ditch, then I will decide where to go from there. I purchased an even walking foot and an embroidery/darning foot for my sewing machine. I have a Singer Confidence 7470, which also comes with quilting stitches and many embroidery stitches.  I have not decided if I will stitch the binding by hand or machine. I watched the Gourmet Quilters video on machine binding and I really liked the end result. But it will be several weeks before I get to that step, so I will decide later.

Cross Stitching
I have made tremendous progress on my Three Billy Goats Gruff cross-stitch.  

I am on block 12-of-16 on the lap throw. I have decided to put a border on it in the colorway Planetarium.  I'm getting anxious to get this project off the needles.
I finished sock 1 of the Mojo Light pattern.  This yarn is gorgeous.  I still need to cast on sock 2.

In other news, I am the proud winner of the KnitRunDig Podcast Clear the Decks 2013 KAL. Woot Woot!!!!   On the downside, my backing of The Knit Companion for Android via Kickstarter was for naught.  They did not reach their minimum goal sadly. 

I have just completed a Sherlock marathon and will be starting a Game of Thrones marathon.  My season three DVD set just arrived.  The Olympics have been kind of meh. I have not been listening to my audiobooks since the Olympics started.  When I finish the Game of Thrones marathon I will resume listening to Inkspell.   I am reading The Casual Vacancy on the Kindle, it feels like it is taking forever.  I am sure that is because I don't get much reading time.

I am going to try to get a blog post up weekly so they won't be so long.  I have so much going on that I forget to blog most weeks.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stripping for 10 1/2 Inches

I seem to have stalled on my colorwork mittens and my spinning.  This guy needs a thumb.

I did however do lots of stripping and started on the 10 1/2 blocks for the Kite Flight Quilt kit I purchased from Craftsy.  I also completed 4 more Block of the Month 2012 class blocks.

The bottom two blocks were done using English paper piecing. I used the Neimeyer technique I found on You Tube. It worked wonderfully. I don't think more intricate pieced patterns would be much fun, but large ones like these were a breeze.
Last but not least. I finally started my Three Billy Goats Gruff cross stitch from the Prairie School.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Blocks

I completed a few more blocks for the Block of the Month 2012 Quilt.  The Wonky Log Cabin came out a little too wonky.  The angles did not line up and there are puckers.  I don't like the block enough to redo it.  The envelope block will replace this one in the 20 block scheme.  I ordered the batting.  I only have 8 more blocks to sew.  I also ordered the Dresden tool.  I started to go with the cardboard cutout, but I love the Dresden plate blocks and would like to make an entire quilt in that pattern so I went ahead and invested in the template.

Octagon Block

Greek Cross Block

Log Cabin Block

Wonky Log Cabin Block - fail

I need to try to squeeze in some more spinning. Now that I have a plan for the solid/semi-solids I am spinning, I want to get them done.
Gale's Art Coffee BFL

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Busy Weekend

Busy weekend.  Lots of chores, and sports - Boo Niners, Boo Serena, yay for athletes that made the Olympic ski teams.  I finished some more spinning and plying.  I am hatching an idea for the solid colored handspun yarns I am making, the striped handspun sweater from KnittySpin (http://knitty.com/ISSUEw12/KSPATTlessismore.php).

Abstract Fibers BFL in Red

Alchemy Fibre Arts Superwash Merino in SWM548 and SWM572  Not for the sweater, but still pretty.

Carly & Ewe CorrieX in Copper

I finally assembled the mug rugs and sewing machine cover I cut out last week. I love them, and I am using them already. I appliqued the machine cover, which was tedious, but I like the end result.

I made noticeable progress on the Aqueduct Mittens I recently cast on.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Paper Piecing Oy!

I completed the next two blocks in the Craftsy BOM 2012 class.  The technique was English Paper Piecing; not a fan.  I did not enjoy the process of making the templates, basting the fabric to them, or sewing the hexagons together.  The cutting was the easiest step - for a change.

Also, the square in the class was just two rows of hexagons in a row on the background fabric.  I did not like that at all.  One of the previous students made a flower instead, I quite liked that and copied the idea.

I am making progress on the Arm Candy sweater.  I have completed the first series of decreases for the waist shaping.

I found this block in a book.  I am going to make one for my quilt.  I am sure there will be a block that I will want to replace with something more my taste.  This block reminds me of the Griffin and Sabine books my friend Alison sent me when she lived in England.

I finished spinning the CorrieX from Carly & Ewe. Very rustic.  The singles on the Woolee Winder bobbin look so neat and pristine.  The regular bobbin looks fuller and fluffier.