Thursday, January 31, 2013

Socks of Today

Bought these SmartWool socks quite a few years ago.  I like them because the are WARM, washable, and charcoal "goes with" most of the clothes I wear.  This brings to three my total sets of wool socks.  I need to stop knitting for other people and knit another pair or three for me!

We enjoyed the grandkids' concert in St. Louis at Christ Church Cathedral, as well as visiting with the family for three days.  Our room at the B & B was huge and had a shower for two in addition to a Jacuzzi tub with waterfall.  We used both.  Can't remember when we last took a shower together.

Several white-outs of snow on the return drive to Grand Rapids, but we are here safely and have recovered Zeke from the doggie prison, and piles of catalogues from the P.O.

Now to pack for the weekend quilting retreat. leaving tomorrow AM.



Good conversations with family
70 degree weather one day!
Safe travel

Friday, January 25, 2013

On the Needles

These socks for my daughter are not progressing very fast.  I have plenty of leftover partial balls from various other sox however, so that's not what's holding me up.  Too many free Kindle books that I need to examine!

Meanwhile I fell into temptation and purchased MORE sock yarn from KnitPicks.

First I selected only two yarns, but then I checked the Clearance items and HAD to get a couple more!  With the idea that socks don'tr need to match, I can buy individual balls and mix them up.

Now what am I going to do with that large hank that is not divided into two balls?  Guess I'll have to loop it over a chair back and wind away by hand.  Or find a friend with a "swifter" --is that what it's called?



Hot shower
Cushy yarn in fun colors
Chorus music running in my head

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Socks of today

These socks go well with khaki pants, so I wear them often.  I made them over four years ago, which shows the yarn from Joanne's is lasting well.
It has been unusually cold here for several days, and the wool socks are a real help for cold feet!

We are leaving for St. Louis on Sunday to be present for a choir concert of our granddaughter's school on Tuesday.  And when we get home I am leaving the very next morning for a quilting retreat.  Therefore I need to be getting the gear ready for both events -- knitting for one car and in St. Louis, and quilting projects for the retreat in the other.



Great to be retired & go places!
Home knit socks for warmth
Blueberries & pineapple

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Birthday

0.3 yards fabric

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Neonatal #3 Red, White, & Blue

Red Arrows, 37" x 37"
2.6 yards of fabric

I finished this one with blue gingham for backing and binding.  That seems to soften the brightness a little. I hope some baby boy will grow up to drag it around behind him through toddlerhood.

Our Guild meets tonight, so I will be delivering this with two others I finished this month.  Also my Secret Sister of last year used the FQs I provided to make three neonatal quilts and gave them to me at our holiday party, so the Butterworth Neonatal Unit gets SIX quilts added to their store tonight. [They care for about 1,000 babies a year.]

Zero degrees this morning!  Really makes for crunchy footsteps, and a dog biting his feet.



"Footcare" trimmed my toenails
Bean and ham soup from Liz for six meals
Some sun with the bitter cold

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Progress & Stash Report

I have added one row of mini-blocks all the way around this top to bring it to a 33" square.  Now to find a small border.

Our Bee met this week, as usual at a fabric store.  Oops! I looked at the sale fabric and purchased 4 yards.  Therefore the stash report took a hit.

FABRIC USAGE:             OUT                     IN        
 This Week:                   -0.0 yards            +4.0 
Year to Date:               -5.8 yards            +10.5 
Net Used for 2013:                                 +4 .7 yards

Guess I had better get the next neonatal quilts finished so I can subtract some yardage.



Australian Open this morning
Chance of snow
Warm house

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cathedral Stars divided

Another stack of blocks [UFO] out of a box and onto the Design Wall yesterday.  Told myself that this does NOT have to be made into a bed-sized quilt, but could find life as another Neonatal quilt.  These are 9" finished, so this would be a 36" square, plus a border = 44".  That's within the size range they want.

But it doesn't "send" me.  Maybe that's why I didn't keep working on it!

Next thought: separate the two blocks.

Each set needs one more block [and a little larger borders eventually].   Still not super satisfied with the look.
So I tried another arrangement:

I like the Jacob's Ladder blocks with one row turned.  The zigzag look appeals to me.  I constructed one more block, and I'm going to keep that one.

I will have to keep imagining what could go in the middle of the blue stars -- maybe a reverse colored star, or a yellow star?

More work to be done, starting with sewing the Jacob's Ladder blocks together!



Cleaning crew is here
Day with no appointments
Knitting socks book awaits me at the library

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday's socks

Handknit socks that I am wearing today because I am also wearing a rosy red turtleneck and the colors match.  Also because it is a cold day and wool socks are great at keeping my feet warm.

I made these two years ago.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Too much Red!

The bookcase of fabric I intend to "straighten" this month includes my red fabrics, both three boxes and a pile on the floor.  I came to the realization that I need to straighten the contents of the boxes to make more room, and that means FINALLY cutting the smaller pieces up.

I've just started, and trying to remember any rules I've had in the past.

 I know 2" and 2.5" strips and squares are useable, and I already have containers for those.

Larger sizes are confusing me at the moment.
Save, as is, anything FQ and bigger.
10.5" strips can be made into backings.
But between 9" and 3", I don't know what to do.

At least I do know that I have too much red fabric to use up in any reasonable amount of time.  Guess I'd better make a lot of red backings for quilts!



SOME progress being made.
Am recovered from yesterday's eye injections
One small step on tax preparation

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ragged Bull's Eye #2

Got these blocks together and then added two narrow borders.  I kept squinting at the possible yellow outer border and thinking it really distracted from the center by being sooo bright.  I have chosen these darker fabrics because they are a little bit interesting, but the middle remains as the MOST interesting part of the top.  Haven't gotten them sewn on yet, football and Downton Abbey are calling me this evening.

Stash Report:
6.5 yards added this week for Sami's graduation quilt.  Total for the year: +0.7 yards.



Hot shower
Light snow falling
Fresh bag of potato chips

Friday, January 11, 2013

On the Needles this Friday

I have started the next pair of socks from leftover yarn.  The toes are different from each other, then a stripe of white, and now on to two remnants of the same green yarn.  The green might get me through the sock heels.  Then on to another yarn. [I have lots of choices!]



The internet and other bloggers
Homemade bread dipped in olive oil
Exercise bicycle at home

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Leftovers" socks

Finished Charlie's socks made from leftovers of yarn from previous socks.  They actually look quite a bit like a "pair" because I switched the yarns back an forth between the two socks.  I threw in a few lines of color to keep up my own interest.

He tried them on last night and they are a tad short on the leg.  So I am changing the "preferred length" statistic on his card to 9 inches from 8 inches.

As she left after Christmas I offered to make a pair for my daughter.  She said there was no need for them to "match", so my next knitting project is to make her two socks different from each other.

[Non-knitters should know that the designs on these socks are built into the purchased yarn by changes of color and spots.  I don't do anything to make the designs, I just keep knitting!  Great looks for little effort.]



Pecan sandies
Breakfast with friends
Leftover yarn!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No patience

I couldn't stand looking at these blocks with two blank spaces from across the room. [See former post.]

I KNOW I threw away all the extra circle pieces months ago, so I decided to try adding a couple of squares.  The circles are all  in HALF pieces, so I made the square as half pieces also, not quartered.  I don't think many observers will notice.

I'm now trying out the yellow on the right for a possible border.  This is all darker than the photo looks, and it will be a neonatal quilt, so the yellow is intended to brighten it up a bit.

I have two of my four goals for January completed, and that means the two that are left are not my favorites.  During my start on the "reorganization of one bookcase", these blocks appeared causing a cessation of reorganization and an immediate tangent.  Now I HAVE to work on getting them off the Design Wall before next Monday, right?

Meanwhile Handiman Dan finished his work today, so we now have:
 working lights in three places,
 a better shower hose,
a working doorknob on the sewing room [keeps    visiting dogs out of my pristine work area],
a bathroom cabinet door that will stay closed,
a functioning thermostat and
a new storm door in the basement.
All good.  And a good contact for future needs.



My massage therapist
The Public Library
Cough drops

Monday, January 7, 2013

Design Wall Monday

More Ragged Bullseye blocks for a neonatal quilt.  I have already sewn a set together when on retreat in November.  Thinking about whether to make two or add these to the others for a larger quilt top.



Made it to and through exercise class today
Handiman Dan on his way to fixing a long list of house problems
Downton Abbey, Season III started

Friday, January 4, 2013

What's on the Needles

Still progressing on the socks for Charlie, lower sock shows the charcoal heel.  I'm working my way up the ankle.  Looks like I have about another 2 inches to go.

One of my goals for this month is to straighten up ONE bookcase of fabric.  Today I rearranged two shelves.  One was all plastic bags and WonderUnder , which was removed to a different location.  That allowed me to move some "flimsies" onto that shelf.  Baby steps, baby steps.



Christmas card came from Atsuko! Now we have her address!!
After a night of coughing, I was able to sleep in the morning
New med for arthritis seems to be helping hips
Last bites of the delicious Christmas ham

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Two in a Row

36 Confetti blocks
36" x 36"

Today I managed to finish my second UFO into a neonatal quilt.  The confetti blocks were already sewn together and I decided on no border to go with the no sashing.

I looked for a kid friendly backing fabric in  the stash and found this fun winter print --a lot of rabbits enjoying cold weather sports.

Layered it, pin-basted, machine quilted in the ditch and on the diagonal, chose red, star dotted fabric for the binding to go with both sides, and now it is in the wash.  Yippee!

I am so delighted with getting TWO finishes this early in the month.  Of course, that is largely because I have had nothing else taking much time these two days.  The week will change tomorrow.



Breakfast with dear friends
Joann's coupons got me cheap batting
Charlie grilled luscious pork chops

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Start as you mean to go on

Striped Triangles
39" x 39"

This was a UFO, at the "flimsy" or finished top, stage.  And with today's work it is now a finished neonatal quilt.  Before company came to watch football I found backing fabric [chickens!],
cut the batting, pin basted, and machine quilted it lightly.

Later I made the binding, applied it to the back and folded it over to the front for machine sewing down.

I feel great that I finished a project on the first day of the year, even to getting it washed and dried!


2013 Goals

Here I was several years ago getting instructed on handling my new car.  No new car on this January 1, but a new year that I need to "handle", or at least get a handle on!  I have been cogitating on this subject, and here are the results.

Quilting GOALS (not resolutions):

1] Finish/dispose of/repurpose HALF of the UFOs in the cupboard.  How many are there?  I asked, and I currently have seen 28.  So half will mean slightly more than one a month through the year.

2] Finish THREE of these UFOs into neonatal quilts by the March Guild meeting when they are collected.  Continue with more through the year.

3] Finish at least THREE quilts for Margaret's Hope Chest.

4] Secret Sister gift must be made of her 6 FQs by the December bee meeting.

5] Make the Christmas duvet cover into an actual quilt by next Christmas.

6] Do something FUN!

Now I can see that #2 and #3 can be done with the UFOs in #1, and I might even find that some of those are FUN.

Judy Laquidara asked us to list FOUR things that we are planning to accomplish in the month of January.  Good way to get started on the long list for the whole year.  So here are my four for January:

1) Finish Striped Triangles neonatal quilt/ UFO.
2) Quilt and bind one more neonatal UFO
3) Finish QAYG and bind Carolina Crossroads
4) Reorganize ONE bookcase of fabric

Now I need to print this off and put it somewhere I will see it every day!



Only two meals today
Jumbo shrimp
Playing "Follow the Star" [family Christmas game]