Monday, September 29, 2014

Design Wall Monday

This was on my design wall a month or so ago. It was a wedding gift so I wanted to keep it a surprise. It is just a nine patch with alternating navy squares very simple but also very dramatic with the bold contrasting colors.
 The wedding was last weekend now I can post the pics. I just free motion quilted spirals in and out of the solid blocks and loops in the nine patches. Check out the quilts at Judy'a DWM. --Ann--

Friday, September 26, 2014

On the Needles

A road trip last weekend took me to Minnesota, and I was 15 miles away from home when I remembered the camera, the hardwood trees are just beginning to change color there were a few brilliant red maples and bright orange oaks. The next couple weeks will be full blown color. The ash trees in South Dakota are turning yellow. I found a yarn shop and bought some more yarn. The small balls are for a scarf and mitts for a new boiled wool jacket and darling daughter picked out some sock yarn. The dark blue socks are too dark to knit while I am in the car especially if I am wearing sunglasses. So I worked on the orange pair that were started early last spring and the camouflage. Its nice to have something to work on no matter where I sit. I need to concentrate on one pair so I can move on to more colorful yarn. linking to Judy's OTN --Ann--

Monday, September 15, 2014

design wall Monday

 Sometimes I pin quilts that I am ready to quilt to my design wall and draw imaginary lines in my head on the quilt until I figure out how to quilt it. I did the same scroll as in this click starting in the corner square then into the center of the snail block and out with a simple feather. This turned out to be baby steps to more fru fru on the next snail trail quilt. and this one just called for more fru fru.
 I went into each snail with a long curve then did feathers on the way out then an echo line to get to the next starting point. I could stitch half of each row of blocks in a continuous line then back again. Finish the binding next then dig out fabric for the next quilt. check out everyone's current project at Patchwork Times.--Ann--

Friday, September 12, 2014

On and off the needles

 I did some serious knitting this week. See my face froze in its serious look. The sleeves of this sweater finally were finished. I say finally because I kept cutting my yarn to keep my stripes about the same as the body of the sweater. I am very pleased with the way it fits and feels.
My guys were fishing for the week so I had son's dog. The nice days we sat outside with coffee, I knit she played with her soccer ball. I even have tan lines on my feet. Then we had 3 days of cold and rain. I put on my wool sweater and socks rather than turn on the furnace and knit some more.
The sunlight does wonders for the color of the trekking yarn I'm almost ready to start the gusset.
 I knit the Age of Brass and Steam kerchief larger with 2 strands of Regia lace. That knit really fast on large needles. Darling daughter was also home we watched movies and she got a refresher on knitting her texting mitts. She'll finish those when the guys go hunting and we have another girls weekend.
The sun is shining now but is still chilly out check out the knitting at Judy's On the Needles. Smiling now--Ann--

Friday, September 5, 2014

On the Needles

I have made progress on these socks with the Swedish garn. I had comments on how complicated the pattern was so I graphed it to show how simple it really is, the dots are purl stitches and the blank squares on the graph are knit. The challenge is purling 4 in a row my fingers want to do a 2 by 2 ribbing. I'm getting better at counting 1, 2, 1, 2 ,3,4, 1, 2,1,2,3,4.................

I have also had comments and questions about the heel. I think this heel is the easiest, written instructions on the Feegle heel and a video by Liat Gat. Almost everything I have learned about knitting in the last two years I have learned from watching youtube videos.

I finished the gusset of these socks, there are 58 stitches, I placed a marker at the center of each.

Knit 2 stitches past the marker,
Decrease one stitch by doing a slip slip knit
then knit one more
that stitch is very important
There are no wrap and turns with this heel.  
That stitch puts the working yarn on the right needle.
Turn work slip that knit stitch onto the right needle and purl 2 stitches past the marker
Purl 2 together and purl 1 more that stitch is very important don't forget
Turn work slip that stitch and knit
see the gap
when you get to the gap slip slip knit 
 slip the stitch on the right of the gap and  slip the stitch on the left of the gap, close the gap with a knit

knit one more stitch
Turn. slip stitch

Continue by purling back to the gap
see the gaps on each side of the heel

no counting just knit or purl to the gap and close the gap with a decrease, knit or purl one more

repeat those 2 rows until until all stitches have been knit.

 End with a knit row. There will still be some purl row stitches that need to be decreased but you will decrease those when you are knitting in the round again. If you knit across and end on a slip slip knit as your last stitch before continuing to the second heel there will be a hole in your sock. After turning the second heel continue knitting in the round. Decrease on the right and left side of the heel until there are the same number of stitches as before you started the gusset (30 stitches for this pair of socks). If I am knitting a pattern I begin the pattern after I am done with all the decrease stitches. Click the links above for more instruction and video. Mornings are getting chilly here how many days until I put on my wool socks.
Time to start knitting Christmas gifts. This is a Trekking yarn, no color name but it is navy with lots of subtle color variation green, purple, and blue wonderful dark color for guy socks. I'm doing  2 rows of k2 p2 then 2 rows of knit and repeat those 4 rows. Happy knitting and linking to Judy's OTN. --Ann--

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Out of the Cupboard

Last week I showed a quilt my Grandmother made that has been my source of  inspiration. I began collecting quilt fabrics in the early 1980's even though I had never taken a class but I did study the quilt magazines. I just liked the pretty prints and colors. I made this quilt in 1987 in my first quilt class. We used the instructions by Blanche and Helen Young from their book Trip Around the World Quilts. Everyone cut 3 1/2 inch strips just like the book said to do, I wanted mine to be closer to my Grandmother's quilt so I cut 2 1/2 inch strips. The strips were marked and sewn together into a stair step pyramid then cut again, mine 2 1/2 inches wide and repositioned similar to the way a bargello quilt is sewn. I sewed most of the quilt top that day. Wow I was hooked on strip piecing.  I finished the top and wanted it on my bed so bad that I tied it with pearl cotton. My mother gave me a wool quilt bat from a woolen mill. It had cheese cloth on one side and was thicker in the middle than on the sides. I tied all the knots on the back side because I didn't like the strings on the front. I thought I might hand quilt it one day or a couple winters when I am an old lady and rather than turn the thermostat up to to 78 degrees I will put on my wool sweater or two and get out my hoop  and drape this over my legs and feet and hand quilt............. Just a look back to my quilt beginnings.--Ann--

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Snail Trail finish

 I have been stewing over how to quilt the snail trail quilts and have pages of graph paper with quilting scribbles. My approach had been sketching on each square block when I shifted my attention to the intersection of the four blocks with the four out stretched arms as the starting point the scroll emerged with lines of quilting reaching into the center of each snail block. It also worked out to be a continuous line of quilting. So much easier than lots of starts and stops. I am very pleased with the end result. Now the stewing continues as I figure out how to quilt the two other snail trail quilts with a continuous line. What is the challenge if I do them all the same!?!! ~~ Ann~~

Monday, September 1, 2014

Design Wall Monday

About a year ago I saw this arrangement of nine patches and squares at Laundry Basket Quilts. I love the simplicity of these blocks. Sewing nine patches is mindless, the arranging of the blocks is where my brain perks up to create visual movement.  I was working with fat quarters so even my background fabric was limited. A random scattering of background blocks was messy looking so I grouped them in diagonal rows. The nine patches were sewn from 2 inch strips and the alternating blocks are 5 inches. Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and be inspired.--Ann--