On The Needles Friday – August 31, 2012

This week I have more OFF the needles than on the needles.

I finished this Mystery SKAL a couple weeks ago, but finally got a picture of it on my dress mannequin.  Although it’s a blurry picture, and doesn’t do the color justice, it does give a view of what it will look like when worn (if I didn’t have any arms!).

 

This week I finished my bright and fun Cancun shawl.  That’s the colorway of the hand-dyed yarn, not the actual name of the pattern.  I purchased this as a kit at a LYS and it was an easy knit.  A 12 row pattern with rows 11 and 12 as eyelet:

This shawl has not yet been blocked, but I am loving the potential of the drape and ruffle on the edge:

Again, my apologies for the blurriness of the photo’s, there are just some days that I have a bit of shake in my hands and I had to make a decision to quickly snap these pics, or forgo the post due to time constraints this morning.  (In other words I have no idea where my tripod is and didn’t have time to find it!).

Finally on the shawl front, I am still working on my Vermont Leaves shawl.  I’ve signed up to finish this as part of a Labor Day Finish It Up challenge, but upon reading the next 80 or so rows that need done, I am not sure I’ll finish it this weekend:


I also signed up to finish the second sock on my On Hold Socks that have been in hibernation for months now.

 

I may have signed up for a bit more knitting than I’ll accomplish, but I’m going to give it my best shot!

What’s on your needles this weekend?

For more “On The Needles” posts, check out Judy L’s blog and follow the links to others!

 

24 days later

WOW!  It’s been over 3 weeks since I wrote.  Time does apparently fly when you’re having fun.  Or is it that it moves faster as you age?  Or is it just that there’s so much to DO that I forget to take the time to blog?

Either way, it’s been a while!

The chickens are doing well.  We’re getting 7 eggs a day consistently, which is more than we can use so I’ve started selling a few dozen a week.  The difference in fresh eggs is so amazing that I am convinced I’ll have chickens as long as I have the land to raise them on!

Our garden has been going crazy this year!  My new canning shelves are almost full, but I still haven’t put up any fruits, nor enough fruit juices, well besides the strawberry jam and strawberry sauce.  And as you can see I’ve got more potatoes to store today now that they’re dried off from digging (note to self get another storage basket):

Whoops!  I didn’t realize I left my sandals on the chair when I came in from mowing last night!  And it’s time now to re-till the ground, pull some of the plants in the garden, put up the fence to keep the critters out and plant my winter garden.  The winter garden here this year will be mostly greens, beets and peas.

On the knitting front I’ve finished one shawl:

Although I need to re-block it as I didn’t get it shaped quite right.  It’s supposed to be stretch into almost a half circle shape.  And I’ve almost finished a second shawl:

This one was a kit I purchased some time ago when I fell in love with the colors of the hand-dyed yarn in it.  I think I’m going to really like the shape of this one as well, it comes to more of an elongated point on the front edges.

On the quilting front I’m still working away at a few new patterns (to be shown at a later time), and I’ve done quite a bit of custom quilting this summer.  This is a sneak peak at the current customer quilt on the frame:

It’s taken much longer than I anticipated, due to the bending over neck issues and my lack of hydraulics on my machine table to raise it to height.  But it’s coming out pretty well and I’m hoping my customer will love it when it’s finished.

Of course part of what takes away blogging time is always the “normal” stuff….. you know the real job (husband’s company paperwork) and the required job (housework) and in the summer there’s the acre of land with all that weeding!  Who’s idea was it to put in so many flower gardens?  Oh yeah, that one was mine!  LOL

Oh and I’ve revamped part of my design room to allow for a little bit of painting:

And even allowed some time to play with a little bit of silk painting on stretched wire:

And lest you think that in all this I have neglected my spinning wheel, I assure you that I haven’t:

The jumbo bobbin is a silk/merino 2 ply that I struggled with a bit this summer.  It wasn’t the fiber, it was apparently me.  But I’ve gotten it done and moved onto a Merino/Alpaca blend that I carded myself and am now spinning with the lace flyer in the hopes of getting a fine enough 2 ply for another lacework shawl.

So, as you can see, time really does fly when you’re having fun…….and there’s so much to do that occasionally I tend to forget to blog.  Okay, maybe MORE than occasionally!!!  But I always try to make up for it……….even if that means it’s a super-long, photo heavy post!

Happy quilting, spinning, knitting, gardening, painting, or whatever else makes YOUR heart sing!

A blue, two reds, and a light blue

Now that the poison ivy is under control and I’m well rested (gotta love Benadryl and dogs that run through the underbrush in the woods like Cocoa — or not) I thought I’d share ribbons pics from last weekends’ guild show.  I entered 6 quilts into the show, and received 4 ribbons; a blue (1st), two reds (2nds), and a light blue (HM).  And a customer twin quilt set that I quilted for her received Best of Show.

My blue ribbon winner was my “Eyes on New York” tablerunner:

I was especially pleased to see this, as I wrote this as a pattern/workshop at the request of a friend who wanted to learn paper piecing.  And I wrote it to have no curved seams using a foundation method for the block.

 

One of my two red ribbons winners was Prairie Blooms, which was also written as a pattern/workshop to teach hand applique.  I think this is one of my favorite quilts (right now and is subject to change with the next quilt or my whims).


My photo of this is blurry, I struggle with good photo’s without my tripod.  If you want to see a better picture, check out my website.

 

The other red ribbon was on a quilt I did to remember a trip DH and I took in the early years of our marriage.  It was a summer trip to Dryden, Ontario and when I saw this fabric memories came flooding back of the region.

Seeing the red, second place ribbon on this was a thrill especially as I knew as I was quilting it that I was breaking all the “competition” quilting rules.  In other words I have places that are heavily quilted (the curling feathers and micro stippling in the border blocks) and other areas that are barely quilted.  In the picture blocks I only did a  single cross-hatch from corner to corner.  This leaves the blocks puffy while the overall quilt is flat and is not what judges look for in competition.  BUT, I didn’t want to cover up the blocks with a lot of quilting and I didn’t want the shine that using an invisible thread inevitably produces.  I wanted the blocks to be the main focus, pop out and be what DH and I see first.  Again, I made this quilt as a reminder of an early trip in our marriage and it does that perfectly.  I can’t wait to get it hung in the house!

My final ribbon was a light blue (Honorable Mention) on my “Christmas Star Wreath” wall-hanging.

The competition in this category was STIFF!!!!!  There were a lot of small wall-hangings with mixed techniques.  My prior picture of Prairie Blooms was going up against this one in the same category.  While Prairie Blooms has hand applique, this one is done with a turned edge machine technique and was another quilt I designed as a pattern/workshop.  And as it’s mine, I took the time to custom quilt it.

 

Now the confession part, about a month before entry forms were due, I mentioned to a customer/fellow guild member that I had nothing to enter in the show.  Dryden wasn’t finished yet and with my schedule I wasn’t sure it would be and all my other quilts were my quilts for patterns I had written.  At which point she mentioned they were still my quilts and to enter them.  I am pleased that I listened and did enter them as I enjoyed seeing them hung amongst all the other quilts (yes, sometimes guilt still does work on me….occasionally).

 

Being at the show this weekend as a guild member (white glove hostess)  really brought forward my enthusiasm for the art and craft of quilting.  There were lots of inspiring, fun, and unique quilts hung and I remembered just what it is I love about this craft…. the individuality of every single quilt!

 

Happy quilting!