My weekly crafty update ~on quilting

Last week I turned my sewing machine on again after 2 weeks of not touching it.

Dancing with the Stars
Still in pieces
Linda Ballard
9/7/2020

I pieced more pieces of Dancing with the Stars so I can make more blocks to fit a queen size quilt. I think I may run out of fabric and I went to Joanns to find something similar and I failed.  It may not be queen size. or, I’ll have to keep hunting.

I do not know why I stopped turning the machine on. It became too hard. My Lowery stand and my big cross stitch frame was in front of my table and the room was just messy enough that I didn’t want to disturb the piles by moving it so I can sew.  That’s not usually something that stops me. In addition, I had enough of a mess on my cutting table that I didn’t want to clean it up so I could cut fabric.  And I was at a perfect stand still in all of my projects. Most WIPs needed something pressed or cut or both before I could move into actually sewing on the machine.  And I didn’t want to press or cut. I wanted to sew.  It’s the kind of motivation or unmotivation -demotivation? – well I was immobilized by my inability to make a decision of what to do next and so did not do anything.  On Labor Day, I finally stopped with the inaction and pressed and put the pieces to Dancing with the Stars under the needle.  🙂

2012 Southern CA
Quilt Run
Area Four
Mystery quilt
3/8/2020

And over the weekend I pulled this quilt from my retreat luggage. I already had the first 2 rows pieced. I sewed all but the final row pieced together. I just ran out of energy and had to call it quits for the week.  I hope to finish the top in the next couple of weeks.

~ keep on quilting!

Melanie

 

My Sock Knitting in 2020

New sock for September
Geeky Girls Knit
5th podiversary

Last week, I finished my most recent socks. The ends have not yet been woven in and I have not yet taken a picture so that will have to wait for another day.  But I picked my new sock project and got it started.  As it’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned here what I do, I’ll go into detail as to what I’ve done.  For the last 2-3 years, around October or November I sit down and pull all the sock patterns and single skein sock yarn, match them up together and kit them up.  The very first year, I pulled all my knit picks Felici. I was part of Knitting Expat’s Sock Clubs (she had 2 that year). So it was easy, every month she had a new sock pattern and I would pick one of my knit picks felici yarn and start knitting.  I still have Felici yarn in my stash. Then that October/November, I printed all my sock patterns that I hadn’t knitted, chose yarn to go with the pattern and stuck them in a project bag with a number.  That first year, I had 15.  At that point I had been purchasing or getting free downloads of sock patterns I loved and I wanted to knit them. It was a shame to keep them in my Ravelry library and never actually knit them. So I made my own little club.  Every month, I would ask Siri to pick a number from 1-15 and I would knit whatever it chose. I do not remember how many socks I knitted that year. While part of the Knitting Expat sock club, I challenged myself to knit each pair within the month so that I could stay on track with each pattern as they were released.  Most of the time I was able to stay on track. Every once in awhile I slipped.  But as long as I knit a few rows (at least 5 sometimes more) every day, then I was able to get the pair done each month.  When I started my own mini club I tried to stay within the monthly challenge. This ended fairly quickly mainly because I now have a ton of socks and not enough drawer space. I even sent a lot with my daughter when she went away to college.  Anyway, I don’t need 12 socks every year so I do not push myself to knit a pair a month.  I think 6 weeks is a good time frame. Any longer and I get bored.  At the end of that first year, I think I had 5 projects remaining from the 15.  Then last November I did the same thing, I still had the 5 projects from the previous year and somehow I had more patterns.  So I kitted up more and I started 2020 with 13 kitted sock projects.  Now I have 5 in my project bin. So I’ve got the 1 I started for September, the 1 I still have to weave the ends in so I must have finished 6. I’m pretty sure I didn’t take pictures of all of them and post it.  I will try to do that one of these days.

I’m currently formulating my plan for next year but I do not have as many sock patterns to knit in Ravelry like I’ve had in the past.  My LYS closed this year and I helped buy all their remaining sock books.  I am thinking about picking one of those books and working my way through it and I’ll probably do that until I’ve gone through all the books.  I’ll let you know what I end up deciding. The end of 2020 can’t come soon enough. I’m done with it. I’m hoping for a better end to the year along with a great 2021.

The socks I started last week are from the Geeky Girls Knit podcast. I haven’t watched it in awhile so I’m out of date with them. But when I was watching, they were a mother-daughter team. They were based in Edinburgh when I started watching them but then moved to the Pacific North West.  It’s been a few years since I got this kit and it was sitting waiting for me to get to it.  One of the reasons why I love doing my socks this way is because it means that I will knit the things I want to knit, even when I forget about it.

~Happy knitting to my knitter friends out there.

Melanie

 

 

My weekly crafty update

With the new month, I have new things.  But this week saw me enjoying the following:

A Stitch in Time, I got another diagonal done.

A Stitch In Time
Aimee Stewart
Heaven and Earth Designs
25 Count, 1×1
9/5/2020

With my cross stitch, I use the tiny decision app to pick what to work on. This time it chose A Stitch In Time. I love working on this but I need young eyes so I primarily work on it in the morning or early evenings when the light is good.  Once I finish a diagonal then the tiny decision app picks my next project.  Because we started a new month this last week, I got to start a new project. This is a new thing I’m doing.  I have a lot of patterns and kits sitting around waiting for me to do.  By a lot, I mean probably about 65.  Some of them are all kitted up and some of them are not.  Anyway, I was watching something on YouTube and from something someone said, the idea of dying with all these unstitched projects made me sad. For some reason I wasn’t sad if I had a ton of WIPs. I was sad to not have stitched on these projects.  For quilting, and knitting, I can only have so many WIPs going on.  It seems once I have more than a certain number, I get twitchy and anxious.  I don’t know why. I guess my brain can’t take that many WIPs for those kinds of projects.  I realized that this is not the case with cross stitch.  Cross stitch takes forever for me. Mainly because I love big projects like full coverage Heaven and Earth Designs.  One of those working all the time, will take me over 3 years to do. So if I wait until one is done before starting another, it would take forever to get through and stitch all the projects I have.  So I decided it doesn’t matter how many I have going on. I get so much joy stitching on the projects that I love that I decided to start a new project each month.

 

September new start
Too Glam to Give a Damn
14 count, 4×1
9/5/2020

Too Glam to Give a Damn
14 count, 4×1
9/5/2020

For September, my new start is Too Glam to Give a Damn.  Luckily it’s a small one. I picked this in August and took the month to go through my stash, pick fabric and pull floss.  In this case, I also purchased floss from Joanns.  It’s pretty much called for colors with the exception of Kreinik gold. You don’t see it here as I’ve not stitched anything with the gold yet but I could not find Kreinik gold anywhere.  And I didn’t want to buy it from amazon.  So I just used the DMC gold in a skein.  The fabric is mystery fabric. I believe I won this from a giveaway from the Hobbies Up To Here podcast gals a year or so ago.  It’s perfect for this dragon fly.

New Start for October
Ariadne
Heaven and Earth Designs
No details yet
9/5/2020

And on September 1, I asked Siri to pick a number from 1-65 and it picked my October start, Ariadne. I will take the month of September to kit it up.  Because it’s a Heaven and Earth Design and full coverage, it will take a lot of Floss. I believe it’s around 98 colors.  But I will not kit up the whole thing, I’ll just buy the floss I need for the first two diagonals.  Even though I’m only buying floss for the first two diagonals, it’s important I buy all the floss for a particular color.  For example, let’s say I need 3 skeins of DMC 333 (which is a beautiful purple, if my memory is correct), I will buy all 3 skeins now even though I will not need all of the skeins in the first 2 diagonals.  The reason is because I will want to make sure all 3 skeins come from the same dyelot.  I’ve seen a lot of flosstubers (cross stitch channels on YouTube) try to match skeins and then you’ll see a line from where the old skein was next to the new skein.  With DMC, it’s not that big of a problem as long as you are working on the project in the same time frame.  But given that this will probably take me years to complete, I wouldn’t want to grab a skein 10 years from now because even DMC colors change from time to time. Most cross stitch patterns that I’ve seen usually indicate how many skeins you’ll need.  If your pattern does not, then you’ll probably just need 1.

~happy stitching.

Melanie

 

 

Update on my 2020 Crafty Plans, August

I wrote about my 2020 Crafty goals here for quilting… and here for cross stitch… and here for knitting and here for everything else

My quilting goals and updates-

  1. Staycation – in the quilt queue.
  2. Good Fortune – in the quilt queue.
  3. Glam Clam – in the quilt queue.
  4. Scrappy Stars – I started putting the sashing on…
    1. Update: I need more fabric for the sashing and I put an order in for more. It’s Moda Grunge Paper Grey so it’s fairly easy to get.
  5. Area One Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – in the quilt queue.
  6. Area Four Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – Right before the pandemic started I went to the first retreat of the year. At the retreat I was able to lay out all the blocks and decide how to put them together. All I have to do is put them together.
    1. Update: I pieced the first 2 rows together.
  7. Dancing with the Stars by Linda Ballard – At the same retreat I finished some of the blocks for this and realized I didn’t have any more of the white. I believe I pulled it for another project and never replaced it. I’ve since bought more white fabric and can start working on this again.
    1. Update: my daughter claimed this quilt and decided she wanted it to be a Queen so I figured out how many more blocks I need to make. I started cutting and piecing them together so I’ve done a bit.
  8. Radiant Jewel Quilt by Kimberly Einmo – this came on after the start of the year and all the blocks are done. I’m saving this for my next retreat so I have a design wall to place blocks along with quilty friends to help me try out different positions. Last month, my note said that I’m working on the border blocks but I don’t remember what this is. So, I don’t know if I still need to do this, if it was done or what. In my head, I’m done and this is on hold for the next retreat (whenever that may be).

Pictures for you:

  1. Scrappy Stars – I should take a new picture with the sashing I’ve picked so you can see how it is going but I don’t have a good place to put it with good lighting.  Hopefully that will change soon.
    Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
    3/6/2020
  2. Area Four Mystery Quilt – First 2 rows are pieced.
    2012 Southern CA
    Quilt Run
    Area Four
    Mystery quilt
    3/8/2020
  3. Dancing with the Stars – start working on this again

    Dancing with the Stars
    Linda Ballard
    8/2020

  4. Gardenvale – which is what I’m calling my current WIP..
        1. Gardenvale
          by Moda
          7/12/2020

  5. Allietare –  Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2015 – Clue 1
  6. Area Three Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilters Run – This is kitted up and I haven’t even looked at the instructions.

Now for Cross Stitch:

  1. Mama’s Bukid – Finished this! Goal was met for this one.
    Mama’s Bukid
    It’s finish!
    3/22/2020
  2. Gamer – Finish 6 pages. I finished 3 pages the last 3 months and I’m working on page 4 for the year.  I still do not think I’ll get 6 pages done for 2020 but I’m happy with my progress.
    Gamer Nouveau
    03/2020

6/30/2020

Gamer Nouveau
08/2020

Gamer Nouveau
08/2020

 

  1. A Stitch in Time – My goal is to work on this each month and I have been. I love working on this project but it is very slow. There is a lot of confetti everywhere and it’s slow going on this one.
    A Stitch In Time
    03/2020

    A Stitch In Time
    6/30/2020

    A Stitch In Time
    8/2020

  2. A Kiss for Snowman – I have not worked on this at all. This is my travel project but I haven’t been travelling so I haven’t done anything with it. I think what I will do is add this to my rotation and during the same week work on Gamer at the same time. I can do that because this is held in had while All the other projects are on frames.
  3. Mirabilia Titania – Added a new project to the rotation. Now that Mama’s Bukid is done, I decided to add another project to my rotation. This one is not nearly as complex as Gamer or A Stitch in Time as it is not full coverage and is not heavy on the confetti. There is beading and some back stitch but I think this is certainly doable. I feel like with Gamer and A Stitch in Time, having a small one like A Kiss for Snowman and this Mira will help me see movement when projects like A Stitch in Time go so slowly.

Titania – 5/25/2020

Titania
Mirabilia
6/30/2020

 

Craft on my friends.

~Melanie

Cross Stitch: HAEDs

Tsuru Kame
Artwork by: Haruyo Morita
Heaven and Earth Designs

HAED is Heaven and Earth Designs. Sometimes referred to as HAEDs for the plural version. If you are familiar with HAEDs, you’ll know this is another sort of crazy. Just like how I adore big quilts I enjoy big cross stitch. HAEDs are full coverage projects that can have over 100 different colors. This is the first HAED I ever bought and I bought a paper copy. Later Pattern Keeper came to be and I bought the PDF version so I could add it to PK. I’m still on the first page and probably at the 5th diagonal.  I’m in no rush to finish this project.  I believe I started this in December 2018 when I was up north visiting with family. It’s in a hoop so it was relatively portable.

Tsuru Kame
Designer: Haruyo Morita
Heaven and Earth Designs
8/18/2020

Like my other HAEDs or full coverage pieces I am stitching on the diagonal using the park method.  I have recently stopped doing the waste method because the floss hanging off were driving me a bit insane. ok. Not insane but it wasn’t cute and I didn’t like it. I’m slowly removing the waste floss as I get to them and eventually all the floss left will be parked floss. This is on 25 count, 1×1.
I’ve been using an app on my phone called the Tiny Decisions app. If you watch Flosstube this isn’t new and a bunch of people use this when they don’t have a plan or can’t decide what to do next or want to work on projects at the spur of the moment without having to FEEL like working on it.  Anyway I have 8 started projects and I generally only work on about 4 of them during my rotation. Well I’ve been sad about not working on the others. And was a bit bored with my rotation. I wanted to work on something but didn’t know what.  So I entered all the projects onto my Tiny Decisions app and Tsuru Kame was the first project it selected.  My goal is to work on each project until I finish the diagonal. There are some projects that I don’t actually work on the diagonal so I’ll have to figure out those projects appropriately when I get to them.  But for now, here’s Tsuru Kame with another diagonal done. It took about 3-4 days to get through it.
~Happy Stitching!
Melanie

Finished Socks 2020

Here are some of the finished socks I’ve completed.
I do not think I’ve posted them yet so it’s not legit until it’s posted. 🙂

 

This was a sock blank. And it was the part left over after I’d already knitted a pair of socks before. I can’t remember when – probably a year or two ago.  So these have been in my stash waiting. And I knit and knit and knit in the round knitting what we call vanilla socks.

I was knitting the second sock of this pair:

This also came from a sock blank. If you do not know what a sock blank is, it’s yarn already knitted up into a rectangle. The dyer goes in and dyes it and it’s very pretty. You do not know how it will knit up because they colors get all jumbled together.  I normally knit both socks (of a pair) at the same time, but with a sock blank you can’t do that.  So I had knit the first of the honey bee sock some time ago. It was a bit difficult for me so when it came time to do the second pair I decided I needed a break.  When I picked it up, I need to knit a second sock at the same time since I was used to doing two at a time. I knit the blue/green sock blank at the same time. For the blue/green one, I just knit it into a tube until I knit all of that yarn.  When I finished, I cut it in half.  I used a contrasting yarn to do the toes (except the first one), heels and cuff.  I used the afterthought heel method I think, for those how know, using the kirby worby technique.  I may be getting the words wrong.  I do not like doing the afterthought heel method but I like being able to knit knit knit and then putting a heel in afterwards. Especially if you don’t know if this is going to be for me or someone else.  It’s also helpful to keep the yarn going and picking where to put the heel in, which is most helpful when you are knitting stripes.

And in June, I finished these socks:

Spattergroit
Designer: Knotty Gnome
Yarn: Cascade 220
6/2020

Spattergroit
Designer: Knotty Gnome
Yarn: Cascade 220
6/2020

I knit these two up, two at a time.  I did about 2-3 rows a day except weekends.  I love how these came out.

~keep on knitting!

Melanie

 

Update on my 2020 Crafty Plans, July

I wrote about my 2020 Crafty goals here for quilting… and here for cross stitch… and here for knitting and here for everything else

My quilting goals and updates-

  1. Staycation – in the quilt queue.
  2. Good Fortune – in the quilt queue.
  3. Glam Clam – in the quilt queue.
  4. Scrappy Stars – I started putting the sashing on…
  5. Area One Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – I finished this top!!! 🙂 and it’s now in the quilt queue.
  6. Area Four Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilt Run – Right before the pandemic started I went to the first retreat of the year. At the retreat I was able to lay out all the blocks and decide how to put them together. All I have to do is put them together.
    1. Update: I haven’t touched this since then.
  7. Dancing with the Stars – At the same retreat I finished some of the blocks for this and realized I didn’t have any more of the white. I believe I pulled it for another project and never replaced it. I’ve since bought more white fabric and can start working on this again.
    1. Update: I haven’t touched this since then.

Not on my goal list but something I’ve been working on a lot the last few months is Radiant Jewel Quilt by Kimberly Einmo. I’ve got all the blocks A and blocks B done. I’m working on the border blocks.

 

  1. Scrappy Stars – Just pick something and move forward on this
    Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
    3/6/2020
  2. Area Four Mystery Quilt – piece all the blocks together and figure out if you want a border or not.
    2012 Southern CA
    Quilt Run
    Area Four
    Mystery quilt
    3/8/2020
  3. Dancing with the Stars – start working on this again now that I’ve got more white fabric.
    Dancing with the Stars
    Linda Ballard
    3/8/2020
  4. Radiant Jewel Quilt by Kimberly Einmo – I’ve actually been working on this quilt a lot and I’m putting the blocks together. I get held up when it’s time to press but I am getting pretty far on this project.
  5. Gardenvale – which is what I’m calling my current WIP..
        1. Gardenvale
          by Moda
          7/12/2020

  6. Allietare –  Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2015 – Clue 1
  7. Area Three Mystery Quilt from 2012 SoCal Quilters Run – This is kitted up and I haven’t even looked at the instructions.

Now for Cross Stitch:

  1. Mama’s Bukid – Finished this! Goal was met for this one.
    Mama’s Bukid
    It’s finish!
    3/22/2020
  2. Gamer – Finish 6 pages. I finished 2 pages the last 3 months and I’m working on page 3 for the year.  I still do not think I’ll get 6 pages done for 2020 but I’m happy with my progress.
    Gamer Nouveau
    03/2020

6/30/2020

I got a lot done this last quarter and maybe if I continue at this current pace I’ll be able to finish up the row.  I don’t know though, it’s a lot of stitching and I don’t want to burn myself out. I still love working on this piece but in June I was doing 100 stitches a day and I do not think I’ll be able to keep up the pace another month.

  1. A Stitch in Time – My goal is to work on this each month and I have been. I love working on this project but it is very slow. There is a lot of confetti everywhere and it’s slow going on this one.
    A Stitch In Time
    03/2020

    A Stitch In Time
    6/30/2020

    I finished a page on this and I also love working on it.  But this is 25 count and my eyes can work on it at certain times of the day. So I work a bit in the mornings when I’m able to.

  2. A Kiss for Snowman – I have not worked on this at all. This is my travel project but I haven’t been travelling so I haven’t done anything with it. I think what I will do is add this to my rotation and during the same week work on Gamer at the same time. I can do that because this is held in had while All the other projects are on frames.
  3. Mirabilia Titania – Added a new project to the rotation. Now that Mama’s Bukid is done, I decided to add another project to my rotation. This one is not nearly as complex as Gamer or A Stitch in Time as it is not full coverage and is not heavy on the confetti. There is beading and some back stitch but I think this is certainly doable. I feel like with Gamer and A Stitch in Time, having a small one like A Kiss for Snowman and this Mira will help me see movement when projects like A Stitch in Time go so slowly.

Titania – 5/25/2020

I do not have an updated picture for this. I’ll have to take one the next time I pull it out.

I’ll have to update you on the knitting and other crafts another time as this post is too long and it’s giving me a headache. 🙂

Craft on my friends.

~Melanie

My newest WIP

I had a mini charm pack of Moda’s Gardenvale. I started putting them together into 4-patches and then pieced the 4-patches together. Even though the line is from 2015 I found a charm pack and some yardage. I put a thin border around the mini’s and then used the charm squares. It’s coming along. I’m going to set these aside for now and make some blocks with the fabric I have. I’m thinking 6.5 inch squares…

I am loving how this is coming out. The mini charms were in a scrap bin I’m using up and I finally broke it open.

Keep quilting,

Melanie