Handspun Rye Socks

Here are my handspun Rye socks, finished on a day that looked like spring finally gave winter the ol’ boot. And then it snowed two inches this morning, because clearly we need more snow.

Handspun Rye Socks

Rye is a free pattern from The Simple Collection, and it made for a quick, easy knit.

Handspun Rye Socks

The yarn is Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino, spun 2-ply during my time in Oklahoma. I love seeing the colors transition and blend, and I am especially fond of that bright yellow stripe across one foot. When I spin, I dislike plying colors opposite each other on the color wheel (for example, plying green with purple) because it muddies the colors, but I really like the effect with complimentary colors.

Handspun Rye Socks

I did have an issue with pesky ladders on the first sock, but I mostly solved that by moving stitches between needles during the garter stitch section to break up where the break between needles happened. It was a little tedious at first, but I got into a rhythm by the second sock. This might be a pattern better suited to being knitted on one or two circular needles so that the breaks can happen in the stockinette section instead of the garter stitch section.

Handspun Rye Socks

Knitting notes (stitch counts, etc) can be found on my Ravelry page.

Quilting Away

Still working on Spring Stripes II. After a non-quilty weekend, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I managed to get nearly another row of blocks done last night, after troubleshooting some tension issues. I’m making things up on the fly and learning why one should quilt from the middle to the edges.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I have some bumpy spots, for sure, but I think that they will become less obvious after a wash and a crinkle in the dryer.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I’m hoping to maybe even finish this by the weekend. I know, it’s a long shot, but I feel like I have some momentum with this! Now, what color should I use for binding? I was thinking orange!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Busting a (Quilting) Move

A few days ago, when I wrote my ALYOF and Q2 Finish Along goals, the world was a bright and shiny place full of weekends and time and possibility. Of course I would get three quilts quilted and one quilt entirely finished in three months. Of course! And that pair of socks on the needles? Done! And those books I’m reading? Read! And those dinners I need to cook? Totally doable!

I tend to dream big, and that’s OK, because all this stuff is fun, relaxing, free-time type business for me. And there aren’t really issues if I don’t finish things on my self-imposed deadlines.

But I’m about to add another project into the mix, Colette’s Crepe dress, sewn bee-style with fabulous friends from college (hi Anna!) to figure it out together. It has been a long time since I’ve sewn a garment and the fitting of the bodice is making me nervous, especially after reading through Gertie’s Sewalong. It all seems very doable, but I would really like the finished garment to fit and be flattering and be wear-to-workable.

Spring Stripes II

With that in mind, I busted a move on quilting Spring Stripes II. The goal is to do a different pattern in every stripe (or only duplicate patterns across stripe sections, not within a stripe section).

Spring Stripes II quilting

So far, I quilted seven different patterns: spirals, orange peels, figure 8s, flowers and leaves, bubbles, flame-like “zippling” (to use Leah Day’s term), and round-corner boxes. I think the flowers and leaves are my favorite; I may use it to quilt Fortunate Granny!

Spring Stripes II quilting

None of the patterns are “perfect,” especially not the orange peels. But I’m breaking out of my stipple rut and I’m pleased with the results so far.

Ironing Board Cover

A couple weeks ago, I started noticing how gross my ironing board cover was getting. I’ve had the board since college; I believe it was a cheapo Target find. It’s moved from dorm to apartment, shoved under beds and in closets, and hung out next to a perpetually open window on a busy road for a couple summers.

Old ironing board cover

It’s stained, faded, and I never liked the fabric to begin with. I tried washing the cover a couple of weeks ago, which helped with the dirty factor, but I couldn’t get the foam seated to my satisfaction.

Several weeks ago, Rachel at Stitched in Color posted on refurbishing her ironing board and linked to her brief tutorial here. This idea has been percolating in the back of my mind until finally I decided to take the plunge. I picked out a old and fraying sacrificial towel, ordered a whack of Dowry Twill Bouquet in Navy, and got to it last night when the fabric arrived.

Nice, new ironing board cover

Nice, right? I didn’t trace anything, just laid out the towel and cut 1.5″ away from the edge around the board, and then laid out the fabric and cut 3″ away from the edge.

Drawstring casing with felled seam

I had a length of bias tape in my stash, which I attached with a felled seam. The bias tape made a nice drawstring casing, through which I ran a length of cord. I didn’t staple the cover to my board because I like the idea of being able to remove it for washing and also because I don’t own a staple gun. Here’s how it looks from the back side.

Back side of drawstring casing, old towel as pad

The cord cinches the cover on tightly, but when I want to wash the towel and the cover, it will be easy to remove.

Drawstring casing

From start to finish, this took about three RuPaul’s Drag Race episodes (what’s that, a little over 2 hours?). And when my husband saw it this morning and I told him that I had made it last night, his response was, “Wow, you made that?”

Here’s to a spoosh of spring sprucing of my sewing space! And to sibilant sentences! What are you doing to spruce your space for spring?

Spring Quilting Goals

I have big plans for this spring: I want to become a more confident quilter. I’ve quilted both on a home sewing machine and on a longarm at a studio, but I haven’t strayed far beyond basic stipple, straight line, or loopy line. I’m taking Leah Day’s Craftsy class, which is really encouraging me to move beyond those three techniques and also mix different patterns in one top.

With that in mind, goal number one: finally finish Spring Stripes II. Here is the most recent picture of it.
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Friends, that picture is nearly two years old. And I’ve never taken a picture of the completed top, because I’m a bad blogger, but it looks just like Spring Stripes I but with the warmer colors from Lotta Jansdotter’s ECHO collection. I’m planning to use a different FMQ technique for every stripe. This is my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for April.

My ButtonGoal number two: quilt and bind Fortunate Granny. Again, I have the back finished. I haven’t yet decided how this one will be quilted, but I’m thinking maybe an orange peel pattern in the blocks and a filler in the background.

Fortunate Granny top

Goal three: Requilt Foxes out my Window, because it has to be done and I’ve been putting it off for a while.

Fox Field Design Roll

Stretch goal four: Finish the Craftsy mystery quilt with Tula Pink’s Fox Field. I’m way not sure if I’ll make this by the end of June; that’s why it is a stretch goal!

Those are my four main quilty WIPs for this quarter, and my ducks are in enough of a row for me to participate in the 2014 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!

FAL-2014-Button

Finished Neptune!

Finished Neptune!

Neptune is finished finished finished! I’m so very pleased with this quilt. I’ve seen my sewing skills improve over the course of making it – things like accurate piecing, matching points and corners, and general confidence.

Back of Neptune

Every time I get in bed, the corner flips back to reveal the happy frolicking kitties on the Lizzy House fabric, and I smile. I think it is very important to smile before you go to bed; this kitty fabric was therefore a very wise decision.

Neptune on the bed

Yes, to get this shot, I was standing on top of our dresser, holding the camera as far back as I could. I wish it were just a smidge longer on the the sides, as I’m a complete blanket hog, but I love it, it is done, and it really brightens up our room. My husband, he of beige and navy bedding, walked in while I was taking this, took a long look, and then told me that I make him less boring. That’s winning, I suppose.

And I finished my Lovely Year of Finishes goal!

My Button

Stats
Size: 72″ × 90″
Pattern: Sugar Block Club 2013, Traveling Star, assorted blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival
Quilting: All over stipple on my Juki
Fabric: Kona Poseidon bundle + a few extra Kona solids in pink, purple, blue, and yellow for the front and Lizzy House Catnap on the back

North Star

After finishing those nice green socks, I busted a move on the Neptune sampler quilt. I finished the last block, North Star.

February 2013 Sugar Block

Then got down to making the 30 plain blocks that sit between fancy blocks (my husband calls them “button” blocks – I think he’s been playing too much Minecraft). They’re done and now I’m trimming everything to be 12.5″ square. I’m hoping to finish the top this weekend!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Green, Green Almondine

My green, green Almondine socks, begun last fall, are finished! Here’s how they looked as of yesterday morning.

Almondine Progress

Not bad. Sidenote: The color of these socks is a lot lighter than in the pic above; it was inside and darkish when I took that. At that point, only 1.5 repeats and a toe to knit, which I finished up last night!

Finished Green Almondine

After the size issues I had with the first sock, I knit the other at 70 stitches, and it is still plenty stretchy, and I had plenty of yarn to complete the second sock.

Finished Green Almondine

As always, Anne Hanson’s pattern is clear, well-written, and offers several sizes. The lace panel is a 10 stitch repeat that is pretty logical – I memorized it fairly quickly.

Finished Green Almondine

This leaves me with nothing on the needles a conundrum. What should I cast on next? I’ve gotten holes in a couple of my pairs of handknit socks recently (it’s been a long, cold winter, yo) so clearly I need more socks.

Do I CO Primavera in this orange handspun?

Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino Roving

Another pair of Sleepy Hollows in this gorgeous chartreuse (omg cashmere)?

Ball & Skein Sophia

Or something else entirely? What do you think?

To Finish In March

I’ve been wanting to participate in A Lovely Year of Finishes at Fiber of All Sorts for a couple of months now, but my ducks just haven’t seemed to get neatly in a row. January was a month of alternating travel and sickness, February was All Olympics and knitting (tune in this weekend to see a sock FO!), but March will be the month I finish my Quilt of Poseidon. If I end up calling it that. It’s a mashup of 12″ squares from the 2013 Sugar Block Club, Vintage Quilt Revival, and I think a couple of other sources, laid out using the Sampler Quilt On-Point pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival.

So that’s the plan. Here’s a small, dark, blurry phone shot of the progress:

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According to the running document I keep of my projects, I’ve completed 19/20 blocks. I have fabric and paper piecing templates cut for that last block (the pesky February Block from the Sugar Block Club, for those of you keeping a running tally) and I have the fabric for the simple repeating blocks, the binding, and the back, which will be the delicious Kitty Dreams and Butterflies prints from Lizzy House’s Catnap.

Catnap fabric!

Delicious. Also, my husband picked it out all by himself, and who am I to argue with that level of fabric selecting genius?

I will finish this in March. I will, I will, I will. I want this on our bed by the time the snow melts!

Linking up with the March Goal Setting Party!
A Lovely Year of Finishes