31 January 2012

A New Knitter's Goals

As I've mentioned, socks have been a
knitting goal of mine for a long time. 
I ended last year by learning to knit in the round;
then I started 2012 off right by taking a sock class.
I think that means things are progressing quite
nicely in the knitting department!

They may look like something Grandma knitted
but, here they are:  my very first socks. 

We were taught these simple bootie-type socks
(that, quite frankly, I'll probably never wear!  I'm not a fan of short socks, nor am I
a fan the big stitches/yarn in socks...but I'm still proud of them!)
but with this knowlege, I can now progress onto
the real thing. 

I'm so excited to work my way
up to something like this:

Block 9 and Other Projects

I'm caught up on the Fat Quarter Stars!
(Or, as I call it, the Scrappy Stars.)

Nothing too special here today.
If I were to do it again, I would make the
background fabric more interesting, applique
something in the middle square or maybe
fussy-cut some sort of fun print for that middle.

I still like it and it will certainly work for my scrappy
little quilt...which, btw, I'm getting
pretty anxious to complete.

Now I actually have to wait for block 9.
And, while I wait, I'm working on my coins.
(top & backing completed)

And getting ready to start that beret.
And having knitting friends over for coffee while
attempting to teach one to knit in the round.
(There is a good reason I did not pursue a career in teaching...!)

I still seem to be avoiding that Very Merry
Christmas quilt.  It's just laying around
in my sewing room, getting in the way. 
I'd love for this will be the week.
I've got to stay on top of my
Winter Stitching List
before gardening season hits.

"Winter."  Bah.  The TREES are budding!
This is NOT a good sign!
Where's my snow???

Fresh Poppy Design

30 January 2012

Market Monday -- Child's Crayon Apron

When I was young, a good friend gave me a
"crayon apron" for my birthday.  If only that friend's
grandmother, who made the apron, had only
known that I would end up keeping it long
 enough for my own girls to use it!

I've since passed that one on but I wanted
to make another for my new Etsy shop,
especially with Easter on the way.

This apron holds 24 crayons and is perfect
for any little girl who loves to color.
(I have no pattern or directions but I'm sure a regular apron pattern
could easily be altered for this if you wanted a little "help".)

I've made several of these in the past for gifts--
gifts that got a lot of use!
Wouldn't it look cute in an Easter basket?

Fresh Poppy Design

Strictly Homemade Tuesday

24 January 2012

One More Star -- Block 8

Adding one more star to the pile:

One more to go and I'm all caught up.
Today has to be a take-it-easy day
(not by choice!)
so I don't think that "catching up" will be today.

23 January 2012

Market Monday

Just two items to show this Market Monday.
(yes, I'm a little late but it is still Monday!)

When I made two lunch bags for Christmas
gifts, I kept thinking they would work well
 for toting a knitting project like socks.   

I put a pocket inside for needles, crochet hook, etc.

Hold yarn inside while knitting.

Outside loop for holding scissors,
mini-cutter or other tool.

Had to go with this fabric for knitting.
(What a wonderful change from those scraps!)

One for the Etsy shop.

One for me.

If I could just tear myself away from the knitting
and quilting, I could get more things made!

20 January 2012

The Scraps Are Always Greener (Rated R: For Violence)

I'm sorry but today's post will be R-Rated.
Lots of violence going on in my sewing room.
You may not want to see what I'm about to show.
It's not for the faint of heart.
If you are a quilter, this could really hurt.

"I...I'd just had enough, you know?"
(Insert the dramatic reality show interview here.  Tears, the works.)
"The scraps--they're always "greener" on everyone
else's blogs!  They all look so fun and cheery!
Mine are from when I was just starting out.
They depress me!
I'd never even been to a quilt shop back then!"

Years of scraps.

All gone in one swoop. 

The evidence thrust--no! Crammed mercilessly
 into this over-sized shopping bag.

(Well, almost.  I pulled out some newer ones and a few for the
the star blocks, etc.  And they'll all be gone, soon, too!
I promise!   I could fit this in a lunch sack!)

But you know what?  It felt REALLY great.
"The occasion for the struggle is the
occasion for the victory!"
 --Fr. Jean d'Elbee

And now maybe my scraps can make someone
else happy.

And I still have my coins.
Actually, I sewed those 3" ones on the left into strips.
Okay, it's going to get hard to watch again, here...

Here is a portion of the Ugly Coin strips from the 
Ugly Scraps That Made It laying on this sage
green thrift-shop find.  Decent quilt fabric but it's
old and faded, especially at the creases--I think I
can cut around most of that.  So tell me, how
horrible would it be to put this all together? 
As far as a "sagey green" goes, it's pretty neutral. 
Not so hot...but this is for practice and will either
be donated or used as a picnic blanket. 

You understand, now, why it was after looking 
at this possibility that I lay in bed last night and
made the decision to kill the scraps.  For good. 
Life is too short.  I'm starting over.  With new ones.
Pretty ones.  That are fun to work with!
It will be a joy to make quilts again!
And I will be proud to display them on
my posts again!
Hail, the conquering hero!
--from lots of things
Ding, dong, the scraps are dead!
--The Munchkins
--Mel Gibson aka William Wallace

19 January 2012

Knitting & Sewing, Sewing and Knitting

Can't seem to make up my mind these days.
Which do I want to do more?  So, I've been doing both. 

Third basic hat.  Try #3...because I seem to have to go
at things 3 times before I get it right, I guess. 

I bought this yarn several years ago on mark-down.
It didn't even have a label so I don't even know
what it is!  Need to do a burn-test.

Curses on these metal dpns.  My bamboo ones are on the sock!
Fyi, if you're learning, buy wood ones!

I have 2 more blocks to show and another almost finished.

I'm curious:  is there a such thing as "too scrappy"? 
What was I thinking with these fabrics?  I thought about 
re-doing it but when I put it with the rest, it was kind of a
nice little variation with the rest of the colors.  This is my first "cathedral"
and I wasn't real sure what was going on.  The points aren't great,
that's for sure (that bottom one looks worse in the pic, tho). 

Here's another one that I didn't really know where I was at till I was
done, and it went together in kind of an odd way.  I'm not real experienced
with triangles and their placement so I was kind of guessing--you'll
see the bottom of the middle square doesn't quite meet at the points. 
But, I'm leaving it.  In some ways, it was a fun block and now that
 I know what I'm doing, I think a whole quilt of them would be pretty but...
I just don't like having to cut out pattern pieces.  I'm more of a
rotary cutter/strip-piecing kinda girl but it was nice to try something
different, I guess.

Side note:  If you are a follower with a blog and have noticed I am not
a follower of yours, please let me know.  I'm starting to realize that I've missed
some--I would love make sure you are all on my reading list!

17 January 2012

Seeing Stars: Inspirational Pics!

Is it me or are the stars really out this year?

Tutorial from Amber of Little Bit BIased
A Little Bit Biased (psst--giveaway going on!)

A Little Bit Biased
 (These are sooooo pretty and fun!)
Maybe I'm just being drawn to them right now?
But, don't you think we should "run" with our
inspirations before they fade?

Fluffy Sheep Quilting
(Cutest puppy fabric ever!  And I'm a cat-chick!)

I just realized that it was always the star quilts that I was
drawn to from little on so I guess so. 
Though, I do remember a butterfly
quilt that my great aunt made that I loooved.
Thirties fabrics, black embroidery antennae.  I've watched for that particular pattern
my whole life and not seen it.  I think she just made it up.  Of course, I was very young
so I couldn't even draw it out exactly--I just know I haven't found it yet.

Here's another reminder that I still want to make
 a quilt with those wonky stars:

Blueberry Patch

I'd kill to have Cathy's "background" for displaying
quilts, btw!  Wonder if I could get the dh to build
me one...

Oh Fransson: Sparkle Punch Quilt-Along

I thought I'd throw my 5 on Picnik and get
an idea of how they look together so far.

I should've waited till I got a sixth made
but I've never had any patience.
I think I need to start thinking of sashing.
What color???

16 January 2012

Fettishes: Blocks and Socks!

 Two more scrappy blocks completed.

This first one was rather time-consuming
but it turned out pretty well.  I actually wish I'd
chosen some prettier fabrics because it turned
out so well!  But it's all about scraps here.

After that first one, this one flew together!  And
now, I'm caught up through November for the
Fat Quarter Scrappy Stars Quilt Along.

The sock class was great--easier than I expected.  
I'm already done with my homework and
may even jump ahead.  Socks!  I'm knitting socks!
Of course, these are very basic but I've already
picked up some sock yarn and have been thumbing
through patterns.

Maybe I get overly-excited about knitting?
I just love it, though, and I've signed up for the next
class which is for gloves--finger or fingerless. 

I'm hooked.  Completely.
The beret got put on hold while I "warmed up" 
for my class on another basic hat.
I had no idea the yarn would look
so cool when knitted up--but, I'll have to get a pic

15 January 2012

Market Monday & A Thread Giveaway

Welcome to Market Monday. 
My weekly motivation to get lots done!

Firstly, I now have my very own Etsy store,
up and running though I still need to list more
 of my items.  And, though I have plenty of ideas
already, I'm always on the hunt for more.  

This was a big move for me but it's
been so fun, I don't know why I waited!

  I completed 8 more phone cozies and will
be listing them in my etsy shop as soon as I
 can take some better pictures in the daylight.

Two (not pictured) should arrive in Texas by Tuesday.

From the beautiful Dublin comes a thread
giveaway over at Patchwork Delights. 
And who couldn't use more thread!?
Please let her know I sent you.  :o)
Side-note:  I just may be heading back to Dublin this fall. 
Of course this time I'll be going back as a knitter so I'll have to
bring an extra suitcase JUST for yarn!

I've been pretty remiss in noting my blog hitting
the "100 Followers" mark but I've been very excited
about it.  I'm so jumping-up-and-down happy about
every single one of you that are here!!!
I'm thinking you all deserve a "giveaway"! 
Stay tuned...
Stay tuned also for the scrappy blocks I
completed this past week, too.
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