Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Socks for Linden

I finished another pair of socks and sent them off to my niece in Philadelphia, hoping that she will make good use of them this fall and winter.

I made my go to simple sock pattern that works great for me, but added a single cable up the front and back of each sock.

I love the fall colors of this gorgeous yarn I purchased while on vacation in Montana this  September.

I've recently switched from using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel to making a gusset slip stitch heel. I like the look of it and think it fits better, too.

I'm always searching for a new toe to try, but I guess if it ain't broke, why fix it? Right?

A two by two ribbing is also my go-to. I work toe up, so the ribbing is the last to do before another pair is off the needles.

Here is proof that Linden liked the socks. How gorgeous are my little great-nieces and nephew? Ages 9, 6 and 3, I sure wish they lived closer so we could see them more often and they could play with my grandkids.

Sock Stats:
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot hand-painted yarn in the Azalea colorway
          60% Superwash Wool 25% Mohair 15% Nylon
Pattern: My own Stockinette Simple Sock pattern with a gusseted slip stitch heel
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets size US 1 24" circular

Friday, October 13, 2017

I Love Fall and a Pumpkin Quilt

It's no surprise that fall is my favorite season. I think this is true for most people. The milder temperatures and gorgeous color associated with the season are very comforting. But, fall eludes Southern Californians. By "milder temperatures" we mean it's not 100'F! We have to go north or east to really see fall color but we can pretend by surrounding ourselves with pumpkins, fall colors, seasonal foods like soup and stews and cozy quilts.

This pumpkin quilt pattern by Allison Harris is the perfect fall quilt. I purchased a fabric bundle kit from SewLux because I did not have enough orange fabrics in my stash. Chrissy did a great job coordinating the orange, brown and green fabrics. I also purchased the background from SewLux. 

For the quilting I resorted to my go to squiggles and swirls and threw in some seasonal words, leaves and pumpkins. I have gotten very comfortable with the quilting process but know that my skills can always improve. The best way to learn is just do it and embrace your mistakes.
I think this quilt represents my first successful all machine binding. It's not perfect but I am getting better at it. 

For the backing fabric I used a print from Cotton&Steel's Lil Monsters collection. I even incorporated a little strip of the selvage into the label.

For the photo shoot I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch but then I saw one of the local grocery stores had a big pumpkin display in the front of their store, so I took advantage of the free location and snapped away. This proved to be a good idea since I did not need to worry about people running through the background.

This quilt has already gotten a lot of cuddles and has a permanent (seasonal) place on the sofa. My friend, Pam, who is my daughter-in-law's mom, told my DIL to steal it when I wasn't looking :-))

My grandson in his pumpkin jammies was too tired to smile for the camera but this photo is adorable, none the less.

I had enough fabric remaining from the quilt to make three table runners, one for me and two to give as gifts to quilty friends. I just added a few more orange fabrics from stash and ended up with three table runners each measuring approximately 16"x58". For each table runner I used Essex yarn dyed linen in the Flax colorway. I used a different background on each one and quilted each one a little differently.

This last table runner is for me. I tried a double sided binding for the first time and I love it. It is a little more time consuming but I love the way it turned out. 

Quilt Stats:
Pattern-Pumpkins by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabric-Assorted orange, green and brown fabrics purchased as a kit from SewLux
Background Fabric-Moda Crossweave in Graphite
Backing-Party in Grey Lil Monsters collection by Cotton and Steel
Binding-Green from the kit
Quilting-by me on my Bernina 820
Thread-Pieced with Aurifil 50wt. and quilted with Aurifil 50wt.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Socks That Martha Ate

About six weeks ago I came home to find that Martha, my sweet Labradoodle, had gotten into a bag of yarn and shredded it all over our family room. It was over $100 worth of yarn that I had planned to knit several pairs of socks.  I couldn't be mad with her; look at that sweet face; I was angry with myself for not moving the yarn to a safer location.

I decided I wanted to make our daughter-in-law a pair of socks for her birthday, so I began knitting a pair of socks using three different yarns and using the "fade" method to blend the yarns when changing from one yarn to the other. 

I took this project with me on vacation and would knit each night as we sat in the bar and watched the sunset  at our hotel in Grand Teton National Park.

When we arrived home I only had the leg to finish on the second sock. We decided to run out for a quick dinner one evening and, as we always do since the "yarn incident", I picked everything up and put it on the counter, out of Martha's reach (so I thought).

We were gone less than an hour, but that was plenty of time for her to somehow get the knitting bag off the counter and completely destroy the toe and most of the foot of one of the socks. I was so angry and she knew it! We didn't look at each other for two days!

Luckily, Hue Loco still carried the pink yarn and I was able to order it and get it in time to finish the socks for Briana.

I gifted them to her yesterday and was so pleased to know I was able to repair and continue making these socks for her. They turned out beautifully and she really liked them. Because one sock ended up being knit toe up and the other was finished top down the toes look a little different but once they are on her feet I have no doubt I am the only one who would know.

I finished the toe with a kitchener stitch, which I am finally understanding and love how pretty this toe looks. I might be a new convert to knitting top down socks.

I started knitting gusset, slip stitch heels instead of the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I like the look of it a little more.

These socks will make a perfect fall staple for Briana. The colors are so pretty.

And thus ends the story of The Socks That Martha Ate!