Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It Could Happen!

So in spite of Theo's help,
the quilt is progressing and the decorative stitching is almost done!!!!!
I don't know if you can see this, but there are only two rows of solid blocks still needing decorative stitching--and they aren't even the longest ones!  Whoo hoo!  And since I've found a way to get Theo off of the quilt while I'm trying to sew
I really could finish it this week!!!!!!!!!

(Unless Theo catches on to my strategy first, that is......)

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Swear This Isn't My Fault!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/7069612/Prince-of-Wales-leading-wool-fashion-comeback.html


Unless the drop in the English wool market really did start 2 1/2 years ago...........like when I stopped buying wool......................................

Hang On To Your Hats......Er, Needles......

All the actual quilting has been finished without a single swear word.  
Now normally I would know better than to provoke the Quilting Gods by uttering such an obvious boast, but I've already been flattened by them this morning, so I have been properly chastised already.  Now I'm doing the decorative stitching on the red & green squares, and just did one in the wrong direction and had to pick the entire thing out, so the Toni-Quilting equilibrium has been reestablished.  Still--there could be a finished quilt THIS WEEK!  I thought I should prepare you, just in case the shock might be too much for anyone....

There is a calendar hanging in my sewing room, which I see every day, and finally it occurred to me that March is almost over.  (I'm quick with these things....).  In December, I started a sweater for Andy's birthday--which is in July. In one of my deeper, more insightful moments, I have just realized........

The sweater will only be finished in time if I actually work on it.....

Pretty profound, huh?  So, yesterday I finished up the back of the sweater

and in spite of having changed the pattern to add 4 rows of ribbing to the bottom, it's STILL curling!
I don't know whether to be really annoyed or to admire its determination.  I'll hope blocking discourages it a bit.  I don't think Andy would really enjoy a little "frill" on the back of his sweater.

I cast on for the front--which I would be showing you a picture of if Blogger would cooperate.  It keeps adding those little your-picture-would-be-here-if-it-had-loaded squares, but no actual picture.  Oh well--it looks like half of the back.  I thought about casting on both pieces at the same time because then if I mess up at least I mess up symmetrically, but since that is a bit slower and July is coming up, I decided to take the more risky route--'cause that always works out sooooooo well for me in knitting..............

Saturday, March 27, 2010

News Flash!!!!

Ms. Sutton jumped out of bed early today, excited to start work on the quilt again today, because yesterday went so well for her.


Will the aliens who took the REAL Ms. Sutton please return her?  Er.....just as soon as she finishes this quilt??????

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Exactly "Finishing" Friday.....

....but definitely a "progress" Friday.

First,
the attack of the coasters!!!  Here they ALL are--in their little desperately-trying-to-rack-up-projects glory.

Now....what did I do today?
Remember this quilt from.........well, not recently?  I thought it was time to get at least one of the quilt tops at least a little closer to being finished.  Not to mention
someone really likes quilting.

First, we added the green pieces to the two remaining sides--

(first managing to sew the strips into right angles before the caffeine kicked in)
then we cut out the backing (and just in case you were wondering, that was an extremely crooked cut), but there is BIG news!
Look at that!!!!!! NO BIG FREAKIN' PUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah.......kicking some quilting but & taking names!!!!!!!!  Well, until
It seems that the Quilting Gods are both fierce and fast.  Smugness over the lack of puckers will automatically qualify you for problems combining decorative stitching and a walking foot.  It turns out that this is the one and only time that changing the sewing speed really does matter.  Still, the overall effect is nice
Theo decided to stand guard just in case the Quilting Gods decided to strike again
.......or at least until there was some clean laundry in need of furring
which is an important step here at Chateau Sutton-Goar.  Not to mention, it gave me a chance to take some pictures:
 I think I want to repeat the decorative stitching on the plain squares
to add a little interest.  At first I was just going to do the green squares, but I think it would look better to do the red as well, which will take more time, but the stitch-in-the-ditch quilting of the squares is just over half finished already, so this could actually be finished at the next Finishing Friday.  Provided, you know, that I actually work on it.......

Maybe it's time for a little incentive.........

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No!!!!!!!!!!! No More Coasters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay--I now have 5 sets of Christmas coasters:  4 sets of 6 and 1 set of 4 because that's how it came out when I cut them.  I have some leftovers that can be made into rectangular packages, but I've had enough!!!!  28 of these coasters is enough for any sane person......or relatively sane, depending on how you want to look at this whole "100 Projects in a Year" thing. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

19!

Okay, knitting will always be my first love, but when I need a cheap, meaningless fling

sewing is pretty hard to beat.  I'm up to 3 sets of finished coasters & probably 2 more in progress.  The fact that I should be at 25 projects by March 31 to stay on track and I'm only on project 19 might have something to do with this sudden fascination.....

To be fair, the ostrich plume scarf is getting some attention:
I used the ostrich plume stitch pattern once for a mohair shawl, and it is gorgeous, if I do say so myself.  Ostrich plumes is a lot like feather & fan (a series of yarn overs compensated by a bunch of decreases) except that it regularly shifts the pattern over and then back, rather than remaining in columns like feather & fan, such as on this from a blanket I did a year ago:
or the reverse stockinette rows that may or may not be on feather & fan. 

Now that I have contributed to the world-wide knitting pattern confusion, I'd probably better get back out to the garden.......

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Lesson Learned

NOTE TO SELF:  Do not attempt to sew before your morning coffee.  When you only discover you've stabbed yourself with the needle because the thread is bloody, you're not fully awake yet.

Monday, March 22, 2010

18

We have a beaded cowl!!!!!!

It is, however, not a mobius strip.  It is a cowl with a full twist in it.  Now, of course, that makes sense.  For it to have become a mobius strip, I would have needed to manage to have the top edge meet up with the bottom one when I joined them.  So.....I have a rather bizarre knitted object....which can't be blocked in the normal method.

Oops.  Time for a bit of ironing bit by bit

and the finished object:
It's still rather pretty, and there are some purplish beads on it that just don't show up in pictures, but it isn't exactly what I had in mind.  BUT--the March Project of the Month is officially done!!!!

Not to waste any time, my sidekick and I moved on to the ostrich plumes scarf,
(some of us more literally than others)
See that tiny bit of scarf sticking out by his ear?  Yeah--that would be the scarf I was going to work on.  He's such a helper.

Part of me really wants to pull out another project bag and dive in, but I think I'm going to make a couple more sets of coasters while the material is out.  Janet had a great suggestion about using a twin needle to stitch the ribbon down, which would be great. 

Project number 18 done!!!!!!!  82 to go!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

16 And 17!!!!!

Yesterday afternoon I got an idea for Christmas coasters.  So, digging out some Christmas material & some white felt, I stuck them together with quilting basting spray to make them easier to cut out as a set
--as well as using a feline weight just in case--
I cut out four and a half inch squares from the layers

then drew chalk lines 2 1/4-inches from the edges.
Then, cutting 4 1/2-inch pieces of 1/4-inch ribbon, I sewed them over the lines for the present's ribbons,
then stitched 1/4-inch from the edge, clipped the edges with pinking sheers, and added a bow in thinner ribbon, and....
Christmas present coasters!  I made two sets of 6, which I think will be really cute in a bag with some hot tea or coffee. And after this first one, I even managed to make them all so that the snowmen are right-side up.  I'm quick that way....:)

Cowl?  What cowl?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm Back!!!!

This week's Craft Boot Camp was tons of fun.  We made curtains

monogrammed pocket squares
a wooden Christmas tree
and there was even knitting--though amazingly I have no pictures of it.  We had a great time, though I think we were all pretty exhausted by the end.
 And look what they brought for me:
 Yarn and yarn dye!!!!!!!  I haven't ever dyed my own yarn--aside from the random accidental coffee stain here and there--so I'm quite excited.  And it's NEW YARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the March Project of the Month has been getting a little attention today
I'm liking the idea, but there are some things I'll change in the next version.  But it's knitting, lace, and beads.  How bad could it possibly be?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let the Craft Marathon Begin!!!!

We have friends arriving for a visit today, and we are planning a whirlwind crafting spree!  I promise to take lots of pictures!!!  (And write up the pattern for the new scarf--I'm REALLY pleased with how it's looking)

Cheers!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The New Portable Project

The new scarf is really coming along nicely
I'm using Alpaca Cloud yarn and using the Ostrich Plumes pattern, and the slight fuzziness of the yarn works really well with the delicate pattern.  Or I think it does.  It's framed by a seed stitch border just to stop it from rolling like crazy, but the bottom is only 6 rows, so it's short enough to allow the pattern to pull the entire scarf edge into a scallop. 

MAYBE--if I continue to like how it's looking--I'll show some sort of dedication to this & finish it in the next couple weeks........?  Stranger things have happened after all.  Like the cleaning of the sewing room................................

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fifteen!

Project number 15 is done!!!!!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, technically, I need to have 25 done by the end of March to stay on target, but there are a large number of WIPS languishing stockpiled, so I think I can catch up. 

I've been really restless since the Ravelympics.  Apparently 15 days of knitting on just one project was quite stifling, so I have started YET ANOTHER scarf
(not that the beaded one is even remotely close to being done) because I needed something easy & portable....and because I have the crafting attention span of a gnat.  Possibly a gnat with ADD. 

Even though it was Finishing Friday, I really haven't done much crafting.  I've continued my cleaning binge (I thought you could probably take my word for it on the newly-clean toilets rather than posting pictures), and Theo and I took a break for a little piano practice
which in Kitty World is right up there with sewing.  Maybe above it, now that he knows about the piano bench with a lid.........

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ta Da!!!!!

Yep, that's BARE FLOOR you're looking at there, folks.

You guessed it.  I have been cleaning--or taming--the sewing room.   See?
Er....well, you might have to take my word for it that the closet looks better than it did.  Not that this is the entire stash or anything.  If there is ever a day when my ENTIRE stash fits into this closet, there will probably just be a big picture of an open bottle of champagne on the blog.  BUT, the feltable yarn has now been able to fit into the closet, so all the cold sheeping is FINALLY making a difference.  Had I not been buying fabric steadily the entire time, you might even be able to see the difference.....

My sidekick did agree to hang out with me for most of the cleaning
though he's a bit peeved that there was no actual sewing.  He's probably just thankful it wasn't more knitting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

14 And Closing In On 15!

The white scarf is done:

and I've almost finished the next pair of pajamas:
having just the sleeve & bottom hems to do.  I was going to wait to post until it was done, but yesterday I was waiting until the scarf was done to post, and you can see how well THAT worked out for me.  The pants are already done, and I have used this pattern before to make a pair of flannel pajamas that are probably my favorites ever.  Because of the long tunic top, I thought they might be nice in a really lightweight material, so I'm using some I bought on clearance at Joanns.  I thought it best not to invest a lot of money in this idea just in case I prove myself to be really freakin' wrong about that idea.  I'm getting better at working with material that slides around.  Yesterday there was so little swearing happening that Theo found it safe enough to join me
though I can't say that I have exactly reached HIS level of calmness.....