Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October 31

Baby K and I went to a potluck at our church. We did a little bit of trick-or-treating in the parking lot.

The end of Socktoberfest 2007:

Yep, that's about where I started. I saw pictures of someone else's socks using this yarn and my were awful in comparison. I figured it was better to start over than have a finished mess. Better luck next year!

Here is my latest idea for the challenge fabric I got at MQS back in June. I'm thinking of using Ricky Tims' "Caveman Quilting" techniques to piece the focal fabric into a checkerboard background.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Almost to the end...

This is the progress on my Socktoberfest sock. I'll consider it successful if I finish one of the pair by Wednesday! I'm thinking it needs about two more inches of color, and then half an inch or so of black ribbing to match the heel and toe.

Unfortunately, I am not completely happy with the way the yarn is knitting up. It's 100% superwash merino, very lightweight. I made a feeble attempt at swatching and got 8stitches to the inch on US 2 dpns. As I started knitting the toe, it seemed large, so I switched to US 1s for most of the foot. It fits, but I think I am stretching the yarn too much, which of course distorts the fabric. So, for the leg, I went back to US 2s. I have some modifications in mind for the second sock...perhaps re-reading the Yarn Harlot's generic recipe would help! I'd rather not frog this one, but we'll see when I get done with sock #2. I should have plenty of yarn, which is a small blessing :-)

Another contributing factor is the length of each color. You can see how the black kind of lines up in sections, but the orange and purple are always single rows, which lets the other stitches show up too much, if that makes sense to anyone!

Oh, and to make matters worse, I have huge holes where the short row heels join back to the main sock! grrrr. I know there are suggestions online for preventing that...more research before sock #2!

Edit: Ravelry is wonderful! I did a quick search for the yarn, and someone else was making socks with it. I much preferred hers, of course! So, it looks like my Halloween socks will wait ANOTHER year. I need to rip these out, find a matching weight solid yarn for the heels and toes, and start again on size 1 needles. Oh joy. I think I will dig into a Rockin Sock Club kit instead ;-) Obviously, I am not ready to venture out on my own into the wild world of sock design!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I got a commission to make a quilt...and I have complete design control, how cool is that?!? I want something fairly simple, so I thought of a Trip Around the World - easy cutting and basic straight seams. It's due to the customer in January, which gives me time over Christmas vacation to work on it. Yay - fabric shopping with someone else's money, does it get any better??

And here's the munchkin, just a short while before a nasty ear infection struck. Yep, we've been to the doctor today and have the antibiotics to prove it! It seems like we are making WEEKLY visits, ugh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekly Post

My school had a half-day vacation and Baby K was happily playing at daycare, so I came home and quilted - Yay for me! This quilt has a combination of applique, paper piecing and regular piecing. I used a variety of designs - echo around the applique, meandering, scrolls, etc. Here's a sampling:
Here is Baby K with her favorite toy these days - a wooden spoon. No need to shop the expensive specialty stores, just hit the tupperware aisle at the grocery store!

Soctoberfest update...I am about halfway up the leg on the first Halloween sock. Pictures when sock #1 is done!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Design Challenge

Judy recently issued a design challenge. I had such fun playing with the Arkansas Crossroads block!

I started with blue, my favorite color:

I decided to try an offcenter design, soemthing a little different:

Then, I rotated the blocks and came up with tic-tact-toe. Since it also looks like hugs-n-kisses (XOXO) I changed the color scheme to pink:Finally, I decided to play with a scrappy color scheme. I put the blocks on point and added a piano key border. There is a thin inner border so the main design "floats."

I love how the variations emerge when you rotate the blocks. It's like the many layouts of log cabins, such fun to play with! You lose some of that with sashing, which is why none of these designs use sashing.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Primary SOCKtoberfest Project

I bought this SOCKtoberfest yarn from Scout last year, and I finally cast on with it! I am using plain black for the heels and toes. I decided on plain stockinette stitches because A) it's faster, so they might be done in time for Halloween, and 2) I want to enjoy the colors in the yarn! So far, it's knitting up with small varigation, not really even enough to call stripes.

And, it started as a true MONSTER project, perfect for Halloween! Totally my fault, because I was rushing to get the skein wound into balls before we left for church yesterday morning. B was busy with Baby K, and it turned into a nasty tangle. I fought with it for a bit, then decided to do the dasterdly deed and cut off the first cake. Then I realized a stray loop got caught around the base of my yarn winder. *&%#$!!!! I had to cut that too. Then I started over. hahahaha. It was even MORE of a tangled mess! It took me 3 HOURS yesterday afternoon to hand-wind and untangle the yarn. But, now I'm on my way with simple knitting.

Here's the little angel, fresh from her first solid night's sleep. Yes, we were over-indulgent parents and got up at 2am every night to feed her - until 3 days ago, when I finally put my foot down. I told B. he was NOT ALLOWED to get out of bed no matter what. The first two nights I had to sit with her for a while when she woke up and cried, but last night she slept for 8 hours uninterrupted. YAY!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

1st SOCKtoberfest Finish

Presenting my Firebirds...

They were the June installment of the Rockin Sock Club. I added the picot edge, and my new Sketchers shoes, which I bought especially to show off handknit socks. They do rather well, don't ya think?

Next up...Socktoberfest yarn!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Into the black hole

I got my Ravelry invitation! I am "andimc13" if you want to add me as a friend. I joined the Arizona Knitters and Socks that Rawk groups so far.

For the non-knitters out there, Ravelry is a brilliant online community database site, where I can upload photos and details of my yarn stash, works-in-progress, UFOs, needles, books, etc. Projects are cross-referenced by pattern and yarn, so you can get inspiration for that yarn you love but have no idea what to use it for, and see how patterns are working up for all the other knitters in the universe. Basically, it's a "myspace" for knitters!

For the quilters, it seems like Ricky Tims is trying to create a similar community with his Quilt Show forum. Has anyone joined? I thought about subscribing to the online broadcast, but haven't had time so far. Please let me know if you have watched and what you think of it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Piecing Playtime

I finished my whitework quilt - woo-hoo! The binding is attached and just needs to be stitched down. Next up is a customer quilt that has a deadline of October 23rd...luckily there are some school holidays coming up when Baby K will be at daycare. Since I'm paying for the time, she can go play and I'll quilt for a few hours.

Before I put my little machine away for a while, I decided to piece a few blocks. I was exploring Bonnie's free patterns a while back, and the Boxy Stars caught my eye. They go together very quickly with 2.5 inch strips.

I didn't sew the blue block together, because I think I'd rather have all the sections use different fabric. I will be controlling the color combos, though...I have a hard time with totally scrappy designs.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's SOCKtober!

Here sits Solstice Slip #2, my first goal for the month of SOCKtober:

I measured SS#1, and I really got tired fast, LOL - only 3.25 inches of the leg before I start the picot edge!

I actually got a halfway decent picture of the whitework quilt I'm working on. This is the center medallion design. There are radiating lines and more feathers for an outer border. A little more stippling and then it gets a rinse to erase the blue marker.

Fianlly, here is Baby K, enthralled with a leftover beach toy. I think the original intent was to shape sand castles, but she likes putting Legos in it and basically carrying it around. She can get up in her rocker all by herself, then she looks over and grins when I tell her to sit in the chair properly. Typical mom fear of her tumbling over and getting a nasty bump!