Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friendship quilts together at last

In a previous post I wrote about the Friendship quilt my friends and I are making. Friend #1's quilt is finished and proudly hanging on her wall. Friend #2 and I are still quilting....but it's such a joy because we're doing Bishop's Fan.

We gathered yesterday for a day of quilting (and a brief trip to #1's LYS). It was a glorious day. Friends, yarn, catching up, beautiful weather, lunch alfresco (and a delicious lunch it was!!), and of course, quilting. And here are, without futher ado, the Friendship quilts.

Friendship quilt #1

Friendship quilt #2 with Jules, the cat. Jules adores #2 and never misses a chance to curl up in one of her quilts. This shot also shows the gorgeous backing of #2's quilt.

Alotta's Friendship quilt

These photos don't really do justice to any of these quilts. Remember, each quilt has identical blocks, with the exception of one that is unique to each quilt. We each chose a different lattice, and #1 and I chose to use setting squares while #2 did not. Each is beautiful; I love all of them. And each is so different, thanks to the lattice, I think. We were going to set up all three quilts on a frame outside yesterday but the day got away from us. Hopefully you can get an idea of their beauty (if I DO say so myself :-) ) from these photos.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And so it begins....

Hard as it may be to believe I have FINALLY started my sockpal's socks!! Yes, it's true, and I have the pictures to prove it. I decided to go with the Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in colorway Mt. Creek in the snowflake pattern. You can check my previous post for pictures of the snowflake pattern. These pictures don't do justice to the absolutely beautiful colorway of this yarn but I hope you can see how the colors glow. This is only one repeat. What do you think? Is this the right yarn for this pattern, or vice versa?

Sockapalooza sock in the making

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How many times can YOU change your mind?

Me, I guess I can change my mind about 50 times a day...when it comes to sock yarn!! And I did it again. Now I've ordered Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in colorway Mt. Creek. Isn't it beautiful? Not that I don't love equally all the many colorways I've already bought, but I don't know...this one really spoke to me this morning.

And now I'm thinking about making Snowflake Lace Socks, Pattern available from Mag Knits, September 2006. Do you think the pattern and the wool are a good fit? I hope so.

Another pattern I was thinking about is Hedera by Cookie A. How is a girl supposed to decide when there are so many beautiful patterns out there?? This sock calls for Rowan soft. Does anyone know if I can substitute the Lorna's Lace Shepherd soft?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A swatching we will go...and the orange blanket...but not in this order!

In an earlier post I mentioned the orange baby blanket I learned to knit on (bad grammar, sorry). Well, here it is in all it's glory. This thing has been through a lot! Went to college with me as a little something to keep me warm, went to preschool with my daughter as something to keep HER warm, and now it lives in my office to once again keep me warm. I wonder if I'll pass it on to my eventual grandchild to keep her/him warm too!! It will probably be the only day-glo baby blanket at preschool!

I never realized how difficult it is to photograph yarn! Well, here is my sockpal yarn balled (not the best ball I've ever wound but it was late at night....) and a swatch for gauge. I adore these dp needles: Lantern Moon #1. This is the first time I've ever knit on something so tiny. What do you think about the colors. My sockpal said she likes saturated colors. The yarn knits up beautifully and I can't wait to finally decide on my pattern and to REALLY get going on the socks.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

And now for something completely different...quilts

I've said that I'm a quilter but you wouldn't know it from anything I've posted to date! Well, that's all going to change right now. About four years ago I was having lunch with a wonderful friend, talking about life and whatnot, and I must have mentioned that I wanted to do something completely different. Now, my friend is a fantastic quilter, and we just happened to be in our local coffee shop that happened to be having an exhibition of quilts, and so she said, why not make a quilt!! This was about 6 months before my daughter was going to be married so I thought, why not make them a wedding quilt present? (Foolish woman!) So we spent many wonderful hours pouring over quilt books for the perfect pattern, shopping for the perfect fabric, and so the saga of the wedding quilt began.

Now, you'd think that I'd be posting pictures of the wedding quilt, wouldn't you? Well, no. I'm jumping ahead a bit here. In the process of making this quilt I met a friend of friend #1, who shall now be called friend #2, and we started gathering at each other's house once a month to work on our respective projects. Long story short: we decided to make a friendship quilt together. We would each end up with our own quilt. We selected the pattern collectively, although I think #2 brought the pattern to us. #1 and #2 both have been quilting for a long time and have built up a considerable stash so I had to start building up my own stash (a dirty job but SOMEBODY's got to do it :) ) and thus began the friendship quilt.

We decided early on that we would use only reproduction fabrics, preferably from the Civil War era, maybe a little before and a little after. We would each make three of the particular bloc, keeping one and sharing the other two. We each chose a different fabric for the shashing between the blocs, and a different backing. Each quilt is assembled according to the whims and preferences of the maker, and each quilt is so beautiful. The elements are all alike, with the exception of one unique bloc in each quilt, but they all look SO different! We are all handquilting using the Bishop's fan pattern.

#1 finished her quilt a while ago as she needed a finished product for the class she was teaching, and #2, a fantastic quilter also, is pretty far along with hers also. Me, I'm lagging behind a bit because I wanted to have at least half of the wedding quilt quilted before I began this one. So, here is the friendship quilt. I hope that I'll be able to share pictures of all three quilts later.

Front of friendship quilt, with basting intact.

Quilt backing.

Bishop's fan hand quilting.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Going in circles...which yarn to pick for my sockpal?

I thought I was home-free. Ordered some beautiful yarn on etsy from SeeJayneKnitYarns. It's beautiful, I love the feel of it, but now I'm worried that my sockpal won't like it. And then there's the matter of a pattern. I've looked through books, put half a forest of sticky posts on innumerable pages, and found what I thought was the perfect lacey pattern...but it's written for a child! Now, I'm a knitter from way back, but I've only made one pair of socks to date. What do *I* know about translating a child's sock pattern into an adult's??? I ask you!!! And then what about the guage?? Am I making too much out of this? Am I obsessing?? Can I even SPELL today?? What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

First ever socks

Here are photos of my first ever socks. Alotta

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

One pair of socks off the needles!

Saints be praised! I have finished my first EVER pair of socks! But don't get excited. These are socks I started back in December 2006 and they're for me. Regia 4 #5439 (75% wool, 25% nylon). Pictures are coming soon...maybe even tonight...if I can figure out how to get them out of my camera and into my computer. Technology is not my strong suit, but knitting sure is. They must be washed and blocked. I'm so thrilled with the way they turned out. So thrilled that I went out and bought yarn for two more pair of socks from Emily at Can't wait to get them in my hands and stroke them.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Waiting...checking mail...for messages, for yarn

Waiting...for the gorgeous yarn I selected for my sock pal's socks to arrive in the mail...waiting...for she who I am knitting socks for to write back...waiting for my sock pal to contact me...waiting to finally start the socks. Tomorrow? I can only hope.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sockapalooza Four and other things

I am so excited to be part of this event! I've been matched with a terrific pal and can't wait to start her socks. I'm inches from finishing my first pair of socks...which make my sock pal's socks pair #2! I have complete and total faith that these socks will...dare I say it...knock her socks off!

With a little help from my daughter I will be posting photos of my very early projects: an ORANGE baby blanket (look, it was 1966!) and an Aran sweater which was actually the first item I finished, second item started! Why not start big I always say!