Friday, July 19, 2019

Crazy About Yarn

On Monday I shared my Awaiting Fulfillment Socks. Today, I'm going to share the sock yarn I bought to be ready for that sock knitting machine.
I discovered that Knit Picks was offering their Summer 2019 Felici at 20% off. How could I not invest in the new collection of striping yarns? I added two of those to my shopping cart, then started adding Stroll Sock in solids for contrast heels and toes. I think Knit Picks changes their Felici colors once or twice a year, so if you see one you like you should pick up a couple balls while they are available.
There is also one set of Stroll Gradient Duo in there. I couldn't resist picking one of those up because it is on sale. I'm so glad I added those solids. I have so many more options! If you haven't tried Felici, or Stroll Sock, I recommend you give it a try. It is very soft for a reasonably priced sock yarn. Note: these are all 50 gram balls so make sure you buy enough!
I went through the packing list and sorted everything. Such a great collection! I should see if I have any other Felici hiding around here and add it to the big box of sock knitting. Everyone might want to expect socks for winter solstice.

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Knit Picks Fixed Circular Sock Knitting Needle Set (appropriate for magic loop sock knitting)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Crochet Madness

I fear this might become a regular thing. Last week I shared my Cakes Two to Tango Shawl and this week I get to share the finished shawl.
This is where I left off last week. I worked on it a little every day.  It's a really quick project if you're an experienced crocheter.
I was a little concerned when I hit the white section of both cakes at the same time. I think at least one of these sections was supposed to a color and there was some failure at the factory. That doesn't bother me so much as it is still a finished object and will keep someone warm.
Two 150 gram cakes made a generous shawl.
It's a simple enough project to keep your hands busy when you're doing other things, like watching television.
Bundled up around your neck it should keep off a winter chill. The fabric is soft and has great drape.
This is my next pairing. If I keep going, I can finish several way before winter comes. Colors: Sirens and Harpy.

Find the pattern on Ravelry: Cakes Two to Tango

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Crochet hooks: Clover Crochet Hook Set (10 hooks)
Lion Brand Mandala is available on Amazon, though you might be able to find it cheaper locally.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Awaiting Fulfillment Socks

On May 6th, after returning from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I decided I wanted a circular sock knitting machine. I wanted one enough to do serious internet research, select my machine, and lay down the substantial amount of money required to buy a high-precision machine. What I wasn't expecting -- in this Amazon-will-have-that-to-your-door-tomorrow world -- was the long lead time. I'll talk about that experience when my circular sock knitting machine ships and arrives at my door. Until then, I decided I would hand knit some socks with the same stitch count as the cylinder I ordered so I would be ready for a comparison. What I learned is that you can hand knit more than a single pair of socks while waiting for that sock knitting machine to ship, even if you don't knit very fast. Anyway, this post is really about the socks, not the machine.
Because I was experimenting with socks that I will try to replicate on the circular sock knitting machine, I chose the Trust Toe Up Sock. This is a free pattern on Ravelry. I don't know that I've knit many socks from the toe up and my prior experience with the afterthought heel wasn't positive. But, I was going to give it a go -- for science!
I cast on from the toes on May 27th. This was my take-along project from then until last weekend when I got to finishing the afterthought heels and weaving in those ends.
I knit while waiting for Sunday breakfast. 
I knit while riding in the car. 
I knit while waiting for a doctor's appointment. 
I knit while drinking coffee. That piece of red yarn is where the afterthought heel goes. 
And in the car. 
I added a 1 by 1 ribbing cuff. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off, but I didn't do the right stitch for the purls. I'm not bothered by this; I still have wearable socks. Then it was time to pick up those afterthought heels.
It wasn't difficult, even if it was a little stressful. Closing up the possible holes at the corners was the most challenging. I did use a YouTube video by The Chilly Dog to help me along. 
I used the Kitchener Stitch cheat sheet from the Tricksy Knitter to finish off those afterthought heels. No matter how many times I use this stitch I refer back to this cheat sheet to stay on track. This isn't the point at which I want to fail. 
After what seemed like forever, I was finished.
There you have it, a pair of finished socks. Time to knit: almost seven weeks; 48 days. And I'm still waiting for that circular sock knitting machine to ship. I have learned that I will likely use the knitting machine to knit the monotonous part of sock knitting, the endless rows of stockinette and then finish off with afterthought heels and toes in a contrasting, or coordinating color. That way I will still have projects that are easy to carry with me. 

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Sock Yarn
Pattern: Trust Toe Up Sock
Kitchener Stitch cheat sheet from the Tricksy Knitter
Afterthought heel: The Chilly Dog
Bind-Off: Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Knit Picks Fixed Circular Sock Knitting Needle Set (appropriate for magic loop sock knitting)
Knitter's Pride medium sock blocker

Friday, July 12, 2019

Charity Quilting

A couple more quilts pieced by Mary for Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
And another by Mary. She makes panels so much more interesting than a panel tries to be.
This is the stack of quilts I have ready to go back for binding.

You can support Quilts for Kids by shopping through Amazon Smile. I don't earn anything from this link. This link lets your purchases support Quilts for Kids through Amazon. I don't add affiliate links to my charity quit posts on purpose. 

Here is the EpochConverter for 2019.

2019 Charity Quilt Count: 42

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Crochet Madness

Sometimes I get a crazy idea to go to one of the big box stores and buy yarn for a crochet project. I say crazy, because I have plenty of yarn. I don't need to buy any more.
I discovered that the local A.C. Moore had Lion Brand Mandala yarn on sale: 3 cakes for $10. I couldn't resist. I bought more than a couple colors. 
What was I going to make with those cakes? Well, a shawl, or six.
I have been meaning to try a pattern on Ravelry called Cakes Two to Tango. Two contrasting, self-striping yarns come together to make a big impact.
I'm not sure my first pairing was perfect, but it still packs a punch.
I'm using the colors Fairy (pink on the right) and Serpent (yellow on the left). I think the two cakes will make a generous size triangle shawl. I really like this project and I'm sure I'll be making more and not just because I still have yarn. Maybe I should try this pattern as a poncho!

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Crochet hooks: Clover Crochet Hook Set (10 hooks)
Lion Brand Mandala is available on Amazon, too.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Desk Upgrade

My IKEA desk has been collecting things for a while now. One of the downsides to this desk is that sometimes I wills spend entirely too much time sitting. I decided it was time to upgrade to a felxible workstation where I could sit or stand. I did some poking around and settled on the FlexiSpot Standing Desk.
I opted for the VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount for my monitors. This was the part that took the longest to assemble. It includes cable management which is always great. The FlexiSpot Standing Desk was mostly assembled when it arrived. I do recommend two people to carry the desk and get it set up.
Overall, I'm really happy with the desk and the set-up. I chose this desk because I don't want to sacrifice my desktop work-space. I like that space for writing, reading, or crafting. The desk raises and lowers smoothly, latches safely in place, and now I can sit or stand while working at my desk. The last addition was the Anti Fatigue Standing Mat to compensate for the laminate flooring.

Supplies (affiliate links):
FlexiSpot Standing Desk
VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount
Anti Fatigue Standing Mat

Friday, July 5, 2019

Charity Quilting

I picked up so many quilts at the last Annapolis Quilts for Kids meeting. I am taking some time off this week, so I should be able to work through some of them. This one got some waves and swirls to keep with the underwater theme.
And you can never go wrong with a meander.

You can support Quilts for Kids by shopping through Amazon Smile. I don't earn anything from this link. This link lets your purchases support Quilts for Kids through Amazon. I don't add affiliate links to my charity quit posts on purpose. 

Here is the EpochConverter for 2019.

2019 Charity Quilt Count: 40

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Lucky Wallet

I picked up this cute little wallet pattern from Michelle Patterns a couple weeks ago. Yesterday I grabbed some fabric, designed a simple embroidery and got cutting. 
This was a quick project and a great use of scraps, even all the pieces of interfacing were leftovers from some other project. I see a scrappy version of this wallet using the quilt-as-you-go method. So many options. 
I used coordinating Kam Snaps to close the flap.

PatternTwo Pocket Wallet from Michelle Patterns.

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Creative Grids 6.5" x 24.5" Rectangle

Monday, July 1, 2019

Custom Embroidery

Darling Husband asked for some patches for a live action role-playing game he was participating in on Saturday. He found the art and I worked up the design in my embroidery design software.
Using materials I had on-hand, I stitched the design onto white felt. Since he would be handing these out to the other members of his faction at the game, I covered the stitching with fusible interfacing and used hot glue to attach the pin backs.
I sewed patches onto his coveralls and matching t-shirt. Little details like this can make gamers happy. 
Then, I just had to clean up the super-sized mess I made getting to the finished product.

Tools and Supplies (affiliate links):
Fiskars Rotary Cutter
Fiskars Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat
Fiskars 8-inch scissors
Fiskars 4-inch Curved Craft Scissors
Dritz Large Seam Ripper (because sometimes there are mistakes)
Magna-Glide bobbins
Stanley Glue Gun (mine is likely 20 years old, this looks like a suitable replacement)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Charity Quilting

I really filled up my bag at the last Annapolis Quilts for Kids. I think I counted 12 or 13 quilts.
These little quilts are quick to quilt and make a big impact on the children who receive them.
You can support Quilts for Kids by shopping through Amazon Smile. I don't earn anything from this link. This link lets your purchases support Quilts for Kids through Amazon. I don't add affiliate links to my charity quit posts on purpose. I think I'll start including this link in future posts.

Here is the EpochConverter for 2019.

2019 Charity Quilt Count: 38

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Crochet Starburst Poncho

 I shared the beginnings of the Starburst Poncho in early June. 
I've been slowly working on it and finished it on Saturday. 
It wasn't quite a poncho after the first full Caron Big Cake, so kept going. 
And going. 
 When I couldn't finish another row, I bound off an called it done. This is no small poncho. With four points, it can be worn with two points in the front and two in the back.
Or, center opposite points in the front and the back. I think this is way I would prefer to wear it. It is a great big monster of a poncho and a thing of beauty.

If you are more of a shawl person, I used the Starburst Shawl design from Fiber Spider to create the poncho. Fiber Spider's YouTube tutorials are great for visual learners.

Tools and supplies (affiliate links):
Crochet hooks: Clover Crochet Hook Set (10 hooks)
Caron Big Cakes Self Striping Yarn