Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still wool-sock weather

I don't always blog about the socks I am knitting - here are some of the pairs I knit over the winter.  The bottom ones (purple) my friend knit for me.  All of these are my favorite socks.  I also knit 2 pairs for my son, 1 pair for my DH, 1 pair for a gift this coming Christmas and I currently am working on a brown pair as another gift. 
Happy Feet yarn - so warm, soft, cushiony!  I highly recommend it!  That is the dark pair on the top left.  The cuff has a fancier than usual twisted stitch and I ribbed K2, P2 down to the toe.
Kroy yarn - well, it is Kroy.  I have always thought Kroy was the best until I tried Happy Feet.  Kroy feels a bit more like you are wearing wool socks.  You feel it - but just a tiny bit.  Kroy socks are the blue/teal stripped ones and the autumn-y, subtle stripped ones.  My favorite rib - K3, P1.  Works up much faster than K2, P2.  Again, I ribbed down to the toe.
The solid brown pair I think is Reynolds yarn.  Love, love this yarn, so nice to work with!  Except the skeins run a bit on the small size hence the shorter leg on this pair.  What was I thinking when I started K1, P1 and kept that up for the entire sock - ribbing down to the toe, I have no idea!
The purple pair that my friend knit for me as a gift - Opal yarn.  I really think Opal is the itchiest out of all these pairs, but it is a nice warm pair of socks.  My friend ribs just the top and then switches to a knit stitch all the way around.
So here it is almost July 1 and I am STILL wearing wool socks most days.  Yes, the temperature has been staying in the mid-50's.  Brrrr. Just TRY growing tomato plants in this weather.  Well, that is my excuse and I am sticking with it!  Only just yesterday did it start to warm up. And today it is even warmer so I have on my summer socks.  Can I dare hope that the coming days are going to be warmer than the weather we have been having?  Well, in anycase, I think I am pretty well prepared in the warm sock department!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quilt Group Day

I really enjoy my quilt group and try to get to the Thursday morning meetings, as my schedule allows.  This past Thursday alot of members were working on making squares for our new group quilt.  It is just a 6" square sliced in 1/2 diagonally and the narrow strip is a 1 1/2" strip.  We are alternating light and dark center strips to get that lattice effect.  I really like this one!  We are making this quilt to raffle to help support our quilting group.  We donate money to the church where we meet to help pay the utilities, etc.   There are other expenses as well.  Last year we made a 9 patch and made over $300 on the tickets.  Next year will be our bi-annual quilt show and that always helps raise funds too.
I didn't sew.  I brought my knitting and am working on another pair of socks.  It is more like a quilt, knitting, handwork group.  It doesn't really matter what you are working on - the thing that we like is getting together to visit.  We have snack and coffee after a while too.  There are some mighty good cooks in our group!
I have to share this recent finish of a fellow quilter!  There are another 2-3 rows you can't see, but this should give you an idea.  These blocks were sewn by the quilter's sister many, many years ago.  This is all hand appliqued and hand quilted - as so many quilts in my area still are.  Beautiful!  And this is a lucky quilt because a few weeks ago where it was in the basement sewing area - the sump pump failed during a heavy rain storm.  The basement was flooded.  We were all worried about this quilt - down in that flooded basement still on the frame.  But look - it was not damaged.  Phew!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Maple Leaf Logs Quilt

It is hard to believe that I started this quilt the end of November, 2009.  I was in Austria and my husband had just come home from the hospital after having a 6.6 pound cancerous tumor removed.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  DH continues to be in good health and life continues to be busy, and this quilt top got put by the wayside.
I stopped working on it in Austria because I wanted 1 more row of blocks for extra length... and all my fabric was in Canada.  I really like my toes to be covered!  So, it got packed up and moved back here with me last summer, but I arrived at the height of my busy season and hit the ground running.  I had thought for sure that I would be able to work on them in the fall, but you may remember I had a flood in my house and the fall was spent doing renovation work.  Ah, incidentally - these blocks are laid out on my new maple floor!  And then it was heading into winter and I was on the Cape.
But it is a rainy day in early June now - can't scrape paint, work on the windows or in the garden.  So, I got it all out last night and proceeded to start making a big mess!  I guess that is how a quilt will eventually get finished - a little bit at a time.  But - I am on a mission to get wrapped up so I can get re-organized.  
Sewing takes up so much room!  Unlike my small little knitting bag that always seems to have a pair of socks on the go tucked in there.  I have knit quiet a few pairs of socks over the past winter... here is the latest pair that just came off the needles - 100% pure merino wool and oh, so soft!  The skein is a bit on the short side so I buy 3 - 2 in the main color, one for the stripes and the toes once the main color runs out.  These are my very favorite method K2, P2 for 2" and then switch to K3, P1 - rib all the way down to the toe.  The K3, P1 works up waaaay faster than K2, P2 all the way.  Trust me!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Spring Arrives Fast!

Spring is such a busy time of year for me!  I am so busy doing, doing, doing that I just don't have time to sit down and write about everything.  But - I've been taking photos.  Every chance I get I run outside and snap some photos of the flowers growing like crazy, the birds, the renovations that always seem to go hand-in-hand with Spring.  I love Spring!  Busy, busy - that is me.  The other day I sat down at my desk and just thought I would put my head down on my arms for a few moments to rest my eyes - and when I woke up I had huge crease marks all across my forehead!  No telling how long I was snoozing away.
A large flock of goldfinches entertained me for about 2 weeks before they moved onward in their northern migration.  They sure are bright this time of year!
And everything is growing so fast!  My rhubarb plant on May 3:
And my rhubarb plant on May 30:

I have all my flower baskets planted - as soon as they are a bit more established I will move them to the front veranda.  Oops - messy photo, but hey, at least I am trying!

My new hosta bed - this is a shaded weedy patch that I have neglected for the past few years, but this spring I moved a bunch of hostas over here and have now added some impatiens and salvia.  Way over to the far right is oregeno, thyme and some kale.  The front ends of either side have small bushes.  I think this new bed is going to be a huge improvement!
Speaking of improvements...  my new decking on the veranda (whooo-hoo!).  Yes, the very same veranda the hanging baskets will be moved over to.
And a new roof over my bedroom!
Plus my business is up and running for another season and that keeps me hopping.  I never complain about that though - you never can complain about business and I would welcome more!  I can sleep all winter, right?  Yup - it is a busy time of year around here!