Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fiber Weekend

It's noon on Sunday and it's already been a great weekend. Yarnover was yesterday and today I've been quilting.

Yarnover is the annual gathering -workshop/vendor marketplace put on by the MN Knitter's Guild. Its all volunteers who do an incredible job of organizing everything and getting the top teachers in the knitting field. My 2 teachers for the day were Romi Hill and Amy Singer, editor of Knitty. Romi taught lace surgery and Amy taught a class on putting your best foot forward when making submissions on your designs to magazines. Both were great classes and I have a lot to think about.

Beside the classes and seeing friends, there were vendors. Lots of vendors. It was yarn to the left

Yarn to the right

Yarn pretty much everywhere.

Not only yarn and other fiber goodies everywhere - Lila and Claudine came to visit with everyone.

This morning I decided it was time to get the borders on the quilt top and get the backing started.  I had a bit of a problem.Back when Chief first joined the "family" he discovered quilting. He wanted to be so helpful but it created a few problems - hard to quilt around a kitty.

Time passed. I qult quilting, got Bert and now, Bert has discovered the joys of helping me quilt.

Problem is - again, its a bit hard to quilt with a kitty holding down the quilt top. But, we made it through and the top now has borders. On to the backing. I decided to use the leftover strips of material from the front a make a truly scrappy quilt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Little Pieces

About a month ago I said I needed a new quilt for my bedroom. A week or so after that I went to a shop closing sale and bought a couple kits. I don't usually do kits but the price was way too good. So, I started working on one of the kits. It will be perfect for the guest bedroom. Simple Shoofly pattern with borders and very scrappy looking.

Well, I'm getting it done between life and making totebag/purses. I finally have enough done to take a few pictures.

Still needs a few borders and, of course, quilting it all together but at least the blocks and sashing are complete so I can see what it will look like.

Interesting thing about quilting - you seem to be sewing little pieces together forever and getting nowhere. This quilt is 35 blocks. Each of those blocks are 13 pieces. Then there's the sashing - a strip between each block and a little square at the corner of each sashing. All in all a lot of seaming that just makes a pile of blocks and some strips. Then suddenly you start seaming the sashing to the blocks and the blocks to each other and you have rows. Then the rows go together and a few more seams and suddenly its a quilt top. There's 7 rows so once I got to that point it took less time to get all the rows together then it took to make a block.

Sometimes life is like that, you work on something forever and seem to get nowhere. Then, one day it all falls into place and your life becomes a finished quilt top instead of a bunch of little blocks. But its still fun to work on the little pieces and blocks so I try to remember to enjoy every part of my life, not just the finished "product".

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Little of this - Little of that

Where to begin... I don't have a full blog post on any topic but many things have happened the past week or so that I had to quick post a couple things.

  • I almost have my latest quilt top completed. It's 35 Shoo fly blocks with sashing and borders. When I get it done, I get a picture during the day because pictures at night with flash just aren't working.

  • I finished a new tote bag and took a seriously bad picture of it. It's out of 3 different upholstery materials with a pleat in the front. There's pockets on the sides for phone or whatever and pockets on the inside (which is lined). I love it but, as I said the picture is seriously bad. The gold/tan color is close but the pleat and background colors are shades of medium dusty green (really - not kidding!)
Chief offered to pose with the bag for size comparison

  • Yesterday was the end of an era. The boss at work that (I feel safe to say) everyone had major problems with, ceased to be employed at our company - he is "pursuing other opportunities outside the company". I'll just leave it at that other than to say we are all breathing easier and I've seen more smiles in the past 24 hours than the past several months.

  • My cousin's daughter was gracious enough to announce a reason to get the knitting back on track - Layla is about to become a big sister. He/she is to arrive in October so it will be a wonderful time for lots of baby sweaters and of course Layla will need some toddler fiber goodness spread to her also. Layla's mom is a great mom and my cousin is a wonderful grandma so this new family member is guaranteed to be another special wee one.

  • In 2 weeks is Yarnover. I'm taking a couple classes - one on lace surgery and one on getting your designs ready to send to publishers. My lace homework is ready to go but I need to go through the boxes of finished knit items and grab some of my designs that I've never finished writing up an maybe I'll get some good pointers on writing proposals.

Monday, April 2, 2012

It all Started 5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today I decided to start a blog. I had been reading some knitting blogs and thought it would be fun to do. I hadn't had a community to "hang out with" since Compuserve quit having their Machine Knitting forum and Ravelry wasn't around yet. The only way I knew of to talk to knitters on line was through the blog world.

The fall before (2006) I had moved my parents into two new places - Mom into a senior assisted living apartment and Dad into Memory Care. I had moved myself and the cats into the current house, the house I grew up in and well, life was a bit crazy.

Now for a sad confession. I mentioned 2 items I had recently knit in the first blog post. A sweater in Cascade 220 which needed to be pieced together and one clog which needed a partner and then the clogs would be felted. The sweater was put together and I decided there was too much yarn in the underarm so I was going to redo that part. It's still sitting in a bag waiting to be reworked. Then there's the clog. The 2nd was knit but I never got around to felting them. I really need to get around to finishing these 2 things because seriously, it's been 5 years!!!

It's been 5 years of family changes, Mom & Dad are no longer with us. Mom's sister is gone. Now my other Aunt is in the hospital with some health issues which we're all hoping she returns to health soon. My sister-in-law had a bout with the big C and came through with flying colors. But mostly the family changes have been good ones. Layla joined the family and is a beautiful, cheerful little girl. My other cousin's kids have grown into incredible young adults with the world waiting to see what wonderful things they do. My godson is indepenent, handsome and has a great girlfriend. My little family of Chief and Bert are happy and healthy.

I've met many new friends through Ravelry and traveled to visit some of them. All in all its been a good 5 years. I doubt some of the people I've met and experiences I've had would have happened if I hadn't started the blog and opened myself to the possibilities of computer friends. So, thank you for reading and sharing comments. Let's see what the next 5 years bring. We'll just keep hanging out here for now.