Thursday, August 27, 2015

entrelac baby afghan/blanket

I knitted a baby afghan/blanket.  The goal was to get some yarn out of my stash.  The stash is 717 grams or 25.29 oz or about a pound-n-half lighter.  I wanted to use up all the Lion Brand Cupcake, not the greatest yarn in the world to work with.  The cut ends frayed A LOT as I noted in a previous blog post.  Another point of contention was the yarn was rated as worsted (4) and it was barely sport (3).  That was the weight of the yarns I used with the cupcake to get the same gauge.

I used one 6 oz skein of Red Heart Baby Sport (Crayon Print).  That was the variegated.  The rest was the Cupcake (Blueberry and Marshmallow) except for 5 maybe 10 yards of Michael’s Loops and Threads White Sport to get me back to the beginning of the round for the outside border of garter stitch.  I had about 18 inches leftover of the Cupcake Blueberry that I bound-off with left. Yeah!
 The blanket measured 52 inches square after washing and blocking.  A little bit bigger than I wanted/figured but not bad for a first project knitting a bias fabric
This is a close up of the border.  I knit the inside border of garter-stitch 3 time before I got something I liked.  What I did find out though was I had enough of the Cupcake to add an outer-border and bind-off so I guess the experiment in futility wasn't a total bust. ; >)  The Cupcake didn't like being ripped back that much either!

I re-knit the middle border twice.  I started with a 4 x 2 ribbing.  It was okay but nothing to write home about.  So I pulled out the diamond lace pattern for the Tappan Zee sweater and used that.  I got one and a half repeats before I ran out of yarn.  I had to redo the corners, as my idea about working the diamond lace pattern into the corners as I added stitches didn't work out so hot.  I ended up with solid corners.  I bet if I would get out graph paper and chart it, that it would have worked.  Sometimes I have trouble visualizing how to make it work.
While researching how to leave the stitches live when I finished the entrelac, I read a blurb/blurp that said you will need to increase your stitches by a factor of 1.3 to 1.4 to get the fabric to lay flat.  I had to increase by 1.4 to make gauge.  The big holes you see where I added the interior border was not intended.  I was slipping the first stitch so instead of binding-off the stitch I slipped it to the next needle and I think I should have knitted the first stitch when I turned the work to go back for that last row.  I will have to play with it to find out on the next entrelac project.

For a design-it-as-you-go project I think it turned out well.

Hope everyone is having a good day!


Sunday, August 23, 2015


Well, I decided to come up for air and post something on my blog just to let y'all know I haven't abandon it.

Sister Suzy is safely nestled in the other bedroom waiting for the first day of graduate school.  She's a bit nervous after the first day of orientation.  She thinks she may have bitten off more that she can chew.  Which I think is good, in that, she won't go into this complacent.

One hiccup is none of her books is in the university bookstore and the disbursement of student loans isn't until the third day after school starts.  However, she is not the only one and the professors were made aware.  There is some scrabbling in the background to loan some books until everyone has money to get their books ordered and in.

Got a crap load of junk in the dining room I need to go through...hang pictures on walls...quilt racks on the walls...books to put away and such.  Still got a crap load of junk in the storage room in Kansas to get rid of or find a place for here.  But that storage room has a lot less in it than when I rented it in November of 2013.  I hope to have the storage room emptied the next time we head back.  Two years is all the time I want to invest in storing stuff.  Time to let the stuff/junk go or put it to use again.

More later

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Monday, June 15, 2015

ready for sister suzy

I finally got the master bedroom ready for Sister Suzy.  Damn, I hate bunged up knees!  I took down the Vertical blinds that seem to be ubiquitous to Arizona on all windows and doors.  Oh, and patio doors are arcadia doors in Arizona, too.  You get some really puzzled looks when you talk about your patio doors until they make the connection.
Can we say butt ugly!?  I thought we could!  Also, note they do nothing to protect from heat/cold infiltration.  I don't think they had ever been taken down to clean, if the top of the bracket/rail was any indications. It looks like all maintenance did was replace damaged slats as you can see in the different shades of white in the slats.

Any way, this is what I came up with.

I went to Hobby lobby and picked up 5 yards of white flocked drapery lining.  I made a sash/black-out curtain and hung that over the door blocking out any light that might come around the curtain as well as blocking out the cold/heat.  That curtain alone cut the temperature in that room by at least 10 degrees and the A/C isn't cycling as much.  Then I hung the drapes I originally bought for the front room on the rod that the finials screw into but only used one and butted the other end up against the wall.  I used rings on the sash curtain so you can open the curtains and step out the door.  But like a dummy I got the wrong size rings for the drapery rod, so I had to just run the drapes on the rod until I can get the right size rings to finish the project.  This makes the drapes hang a little high in the picture.

If Sister Suzy wants it darker in her room, I will go back to Hobby Lobby to get the black drapery lining fabric and make another curtain.  She has a security light just outside her patio door shining on the mailboxes and courtyard.  It really lights up that room and the balcony.

Well I'm going to be off line for a month or so while I'm back in Kansas getting Sister Suzy and visiting family.

Y'all hold the fort down and don't have too much fun!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

learning something new

I learned something new while avoiding cleaning and rearranging the bedrooms.

I think I may have found what I want to do with this yarn. 

I started Frankie Brown's Ten Stitch Blanket but I couldn't get the corners square. I did stumble upon a you-tube tutorial from Very Pink Knits that explained what I was probably doing wrong with the corners. Of course, that was after I had given up, ripped it all out and moved on to another pattern.

The next pattern tried was Lion Brand's Mud Cloth Inspired Afghan.  This was an intarsia pattern with 50 bazillion little balls of yarn.  I got maybe the first section knitted before I gave up because ever few rows you had to stop and untangle all those little skeins of yarn so you could knit some more.  This yarn frays really bad so it was a real mess.  Maybe in a sturdier yarn.  And I have a quilt designed in the lay-out!

Then I thought about the Edith Shawl by Lion Brand as an afghan but realized I would be dealing with 12 skeins of yarn.  Less than the Mud Cloth afghan but still not what I wanted to get involved with. The other problem was the lace I was getting didn't look so hot.  Maybe a simpler lace pattern.

So I pulled out the lace pattern from my Tappan Zee sweater and started with that.  Knit one repeat in blue and one in white.  Nope, not what I wanted.  Because I was stacking one diamond repeat on top of another, I was creating a secondary diamond half blue-half white. Yuck!

Then I was searching Ravelry for things knitted with Lion Brand's Cupcake Yarn and found a couple of entrelac projects.  I liked what I saw and I have always wanted to learn how to knit entrelac.  So why not?  I would be knitting one color at a time.  Kewl! 

So I search for you-tube tutorials and found several.  The most helpful were the tutorials put up by iknitwithcatfur.
part 1  and   part 2.

I did use Eunny Jang's suggestion to slip the first stitch of the every row as it made picking up stitches a whole lot easier on the foundation row.  The other thing I noticed was everybody's cast-on row was too tight, including Eunny Jang's.  So I played around with a couple of ideas for stretchy cast-ons and decided on a provisional cast-on.  If I need to make the afghan bigger/longer I have a place to add equally when I run out of the cupcake yarn.  If not, I think Jeny's stretchy cast-off will give it equal stretch at both ends.

One other thing, to keep the fraying under control, I remembered what you do with nylon rope to keep it from unraveling.  You use a flame to melt the ends.  Guess what, it works!  Just don't shake the end to put out the flame or you have molten plastic sticking to your skin.  Blow out the flame and let it cool before touching.  We won't discuss how many times I did this before I remember to blow out the end.  Okay!

Well, I need to empty and move a dresser. : >(
Or I could just go knit some more. : >)

Y'all have a good day!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

quilts Mother and I collaborated on

I found some pictures of quilts Mother and I collaborated on and I am playing with Hubby's computer to see if I can up-load them.  Guess what, I think it is going to work!
This is the last embroidered quilt Mom and I made together.  This quilt is for a friend of my younger sister.  Tricia and my sister went to high school together.  Mom and Dad kind of finished raising her, the hugs and encouragement when she needed it and the lecture/boot when she need that too.  If Mom called, as she became frailer Tricia was right there to help Mom when we couldn't get to her.  As a token of Mother's appreciation for Tricia's time and trouble, Mom wanted to make her a quilt.  My sister helped with color selection for the embroidery floss and borders.  I suggested the flying geese sashing to tie all the different blocks and colors together.  The great part was having Tricia help to pick out the fabrics because Tricia didn't know the quilt was for her.  She was just having fun playing with fabric!

As I was researching how to make flying geese, I discovered the symbolism of the background as being the sky.  I had originally planned to make the background scrappy too.  So my 'ah moment' was to turn the background into blue and make all the corner squares green for fields.  I thought it pulled the quilt together quite nicely so did everyone else.  The original idea for the border didn't work once I had the main body done.  So a trip to the quilt shop with it laid out on the floor in the classroom auditioning fabric culminated with me calling my sister and asking her to come help.  Boy, does it ever help to have someone who has had some art/color training!  She didn't have any trouble pulling the hand-dyed fabric for the outside border off the shelf.  I looked at it, but it was expensive...and I was spending Mom's money.  The inside border took a little more trial and error to get the right shade of green for it.  Tricia was so overwhelmed she cried when Mom gave it to her.
Mom's being silly in this one!  She likes having her picture taken about as well as I do!

This quilt was for my sister.  The embroidered blocks are lilacs and dragonflies.  I decided it needed to be set together with some kind of lattice sashing.  There are two colors of green.  The blue patches are the same fabric as the border believe it or not and the on-point cornerstones are a deep purple.  I had to hand-sew the points to the border to get them to come out right.  There were 50 billion little pieces to this sashing.  I was surprised I didn't have more problems setting it together.
This one went to my older brother and his wife.  The embroidered blocks are Jack Dempsey rose blocks.  As my sister and I were trying to find fabric to set this quilt together with, one of the ladies who worked at the quilt shop said, if it were her, she would eliminate some of the excess white around the edges.  The light bulb went off for us and we changed up the layout.  Then, as I am wont-to-do, I changed it even further after I got home and started playing around with the idea.  I ripped and resewed several spots because I was having trouble getting it to lay smooth with no puckers.  There were a few spots I ended up hand sewing to get it right.

Yeah, a blog post from some pictures I found while cleaning out and rearranging closets!  And yes, I'm avoiding the mess, why do you ask? LOL

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

just checking in

Just checking in, been having all kinds of computer problems.  Took my tower into Best Buy and they tell me my motherboard is dying although the funky sound is coming from the hard drive.  I got on Hubby's computer and sent an e-mail to his brother-in-law because I decided they were full of it.  However, I will have to stop calling them names after he e-mailed back and said it is a good possibility that something on the motherboard isn't working right and not feeding the correct power to the hard-drive.

So, I've got to dig through all of Hubby's computer stuff and see if there is a spare motherboard lying around.  Find all the disks for the software and if I have the right ones.  I'm also looking at just moving my hard-drive to his computer.  Then running both hard-drives from his, but I will need all the software before I start and his computer needs to be upgraded to Windows 7 cause his still has XP on it.  Also, he has some sort of exotic motherboard that is specifically for re-mastering music and videos and the standard stuff isn't always compatible.  Ah, for the days of our old KLH 286 with plug-n-play.

Don't have much to report on the quilting front.  I have two quilts started and with the blocks about half quilted.  I have lost interest in both.  Come to think of it, I have three quilts started and laying around. Sigh!

I haven't started cleaning out the second bedroom.  I need to get a move on it as I am heading to Kansas the middle of June to load Sister Suzy up to bring her out here with as much stuff as possible.  I would love to rent a truck and empty the storage room and my sister's garage but I may not have the funds to do it. Another sigh!

On another front, I'm beginning to think I may be allergic to corn. (Sister and oldest daughter are/were allergic to corn.)  I've been watching my caloric intake in an effort to take some strain off my knees.  I had a bowl of popcorn about a week ago and overnight gained five pounds.  (I gain 2 to 5 pounds if I have any dairy.)  It has taken me a week to get most of that weight back off.  If that (being allergic to corn) is true, I will probably need to drop peas and soy from my diet as they are/were both allergic to those items, also.  Double sigh!

Well enough grousing!  There are lots of good things going on, too.  Even if it's nothing more than John Bradford's, "there, but for the grace of God, goes I."

Y'all have a good day!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

latest additions to my summer wardrobe

Here are the two latest additions my summer wardrobe.
The pink print is your standard V-neckline with one important change.  I bring the point of the 'V' up about an inch, as I really don't like exposing my cleavage.  My last name isn't Kardashian, so leaving nothing to the imagination, just isn't my thing.  Something my dear sainted mother pointed out when I was 13-14 was, if you wanted to be treated like a lady, look like one and act like one.  It rang a bell, along with, you are responsible for any child you procreate until that child is 18.   Do you remember how old 18-year olds were when you were 13-14?  E-gads, they were almost as ancient as my parents!  LOL  And did you know that a V-neckline has a slight curve to it?  I didn't until I took that pattern making seminar.
The green Hawaiian print's neckline was inspired by a pattern I saw when I was making sure I was spelling Butterick correctly last week.  That was pretty easy to do.  I took the front opening for the slit-neckline and using the lid off the rice storage container as a template I drew a slight curve on the facing.  Then I laid it down on the front of the shirt matched up the neck line and sewed it on leaving about two inches unsewn so I could attach the back facing and sew up the shoulder seams before finishing the rest of the shirt.
I am reorganizing and cleaning the kitchen so I maybe off-line for a while.  I need to make room for Sister Suzy moving in with her stuff in July.

I hope everyone is having a good day!