Monday, September 28, 2009

Change of Habit

Here's something you won't see often on my blog.....


There's a bit of a change of habit around here as I'm working with a single threaded needle right now. Knitting is only serving as my portable, travel project. Gasp.

But I popped this picture up here just to have a picture - and to link you to this funny.

Something to give you a chuckle this Monday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

S.W.A.D. Socks

Sheer Will And Determination. It worked. I now have a pair of socks the same size and not too dissimilar in looks. The fabric is still dense but that is not the fault of the last-ditch effort to save them. I should have used a size larger needle and fewer stitches.

Curiously enough the free pattern included on the inside of the ball band directed me to do this very thing. With size 3 needles instead of size 2 and with 56 stitches instead of 64, I just might have saved myself a few days, a headache, and wound up with softer socks. Go Figure.

But this experiment was definitely worth the time and trouble. Sometime in the future on a more serious project and one perhaps with a greater investment in yarn, I might need to cut off some edge either to shorten or to lengthen.

Stubbornly continuing

At one point I had one whole sock and 3/4 of another. Now I have two partial socks.

Top down? Toe up? Why settle for one or the other when you can have both?

You can see on sock 2 on the right where I took up again - the striping sequence begins going in the opposite direction.

I'm just thankful I have plenty of dpns.

"If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning." unknown

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paging Dr. Frog

I'm pretty sure this whole sock business will end badly but who among us has not courted misery and heartache at one time?

You can see that I have almost half of the foot left to knit and no yarn.

I know the best thing to do would be put them away, forget them, and later, frog them, but I can't seem to.......yet.

I've found a knitty article that tells me how to capture a row before frogging and I think I will try that first.

I will, of course, have to do this on both socks if I want the legs to be the same length. Oy!

Later that same evening.....

the cuff has been snipped off and instead of wasting valuable knitting time by ripping out the yarn, I decided to join and begin knitting the foot directly from the detached top. Yep, I just put that cuff right on my foot and it unwinds as I knit.

[It is said the camera adds 10 lbs. Mine apparently adds them to the thigh.]

And if this kind of sock knitting isn't keeping you entertained enough, perhaps you'd more enjoying seeing someone knit SEVEN pair at once on one really LONG circular needle. That's right a pair for each day of the week on ONE needle.

PS: if this works (BIG if), you can bet I'm buying myself some really YUMMY sock yarn for my next pair.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boring Socks

<-------Here is the reason why I don't like to have a stash.

I've said before, stash yarn just makes me anxious and makes me feel like I can't buy yarn. Who wants to feel like that?!

In late August I started these with an old ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripes. I had run across this on sale - and probably early on in my sock knitting history before I had seen, and fell in love with, truly yummy yarn.

I couldn't justify running out and buying yummy yarn for plain socks, so I cast on for this pair and planned to share the knitting with a friend who wants to learn to knit socks.

That plan has been postponed so I'm now just trying to crank them out and be done with this yarn. The only problem is that I deeply dislike them. The yarn is too thick, the fabric not soft enough, the plain stockinette too plain. NOTHING about these socks make me happy. And to add insult to injury, I think I may run out of yarn. Grrr.

added later: I'm sure I'm going to run out of yarn. I have a bit that I cut off in order to get the striping to match which I'll use, but I still doubt it will be enough. Is there no end to the cruelty of this sock?

Applause for Applique

This is "The Pleasures of Pomegranates & Poinsettias" by Sandra Gilreath of Bonaire, GA.

I am not alone in liking this quilt as it won a Judges' Recognition award and Show Sponsors' award. And deservedly so, wouldn't you say?

Sandra based it on "Holly Threads" from Need'l Love.

I especially loved the sampler background fabric and the many greens in the holly leaves.

Just lovely and finely quilted as well.

ETA: all applique is needle turned and quilting was done free motion on a home machine. Nice.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hawaiian Shirts

This is a close-up of part of a quilt entitled "Hawaiian Shirts for the Menehune" created by Betty Gay White, Marietta, GA and in the East Cobb Quilt Guild's 12th biennial quilt show.

What a happy quilt! I loved it; the design, the fabrics, the layout. I didn't get a picture of the corner squares, but they featured hula dancers! The sashing, background, and border fabrics came from Hawaii. Isn't that sashing great?

According to the exhibit booklet the quilter had great fun hunting for miniature tropical prints for the shirts. I think that is what amazed me so much - that she was able to find prints in scale and that the shirts looked so real. Well they are, really as they had tiny plackets and Barbie-sized buttons. Check out that pink flamingo shirt above. Fabulous!

I smile every time I look at this quilt.

8/4/12: edited post to correct name of quilt maker to Betty Gay White.  Her daughter very kindly left me a comment to correct. 

Thank you, Lisa.  It was fun to come again and look at all these fabulous shirts!  Your Mother did such a fantastic job on this quilt.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quilt Show

Another weekend, another needlework exhibit. This time it was the East Cobb Quilters' Guild 12th biennial quilt show.

I'm amazed that this photo shows so few people on the exhibit floor. This was taken from the upper level vendor area after Mother and I had been all around and viewed the quilts. Perhaps many had left for lunch. When we arrived the parking area was full and we parked off in an adjacent lot. When we hit the exhibit floor it was packed and there were always at least 3 or more people in each cubicle.

I took several pictures of quilts which were my favorites and made NO notes as I was doing so. Consequently, I came home and spent a LONG time enlarging photos that had ribbons so I could try to read them and painstakenly reading through the exhibit booklet and matching pictures to descriptions.

Then as I was starting this post I see that Blogger is using some new deal with picture uploads in conjunction with Picasa. I wonder, since this work isn't mine, is it OK for me post pictures? [who actually reads all the fine print in that long Terms of Agreement?]

One of the best parts of the show? Well that would most definitely be my friend, Kay, vintage sewing machine enthusiast, demonstrating on her 1917 White Rotary machine (with the machine manual on display).

While talking to folks about machines and quilting, she was piecing a quilt that will eventually go her brother. Every time I saw her, she had a crowd around. Once a teacher; always a teacher.

It is always a treat to see Kay!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunshine & Shadows Shawl

Pattern: Sunshine & Shawdows Shawl
from "Knitting Lace Triangles" by Evelyn A. Clark

Yarn: Cascade Alpaca Lace
color #1409 : Caribbean Heather
437 yds/50 gr. - 1 skein

Needles: Size 4

I hit a few snags with this one but all, I repeat all, were of my own making. The charts and directions in Evelyn's book are perfect. {I love Evelyn!}

This time I used her recipe for a three motif shawl. The body alternates between a basic leaf motif and a more open medallion motif. The shawl ends with a repeat of the ripple lace chart. Ordinarily you would then proceed right into the edging, but I still had enough yarn left so I put one more medallion repeat. I thought of the leaf as the shadow and the medallion as the sunshine, so this way I was insuring more sunshine than shadows for the wearer.

The color of the yarn is lovely and I can't seem to capture it well in pictures. I'd love to find a merino or wool/silk yarn in this lovely heathery shade. The alpaca is wonderfully soft, but sometimes I think the fuzziness obscures some of the stitch definition.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted

Saturday was a beautiful late summer day, and blessedly not too hot, as I headed over to Roswell's Bulloch Hall to view an sampler exhibit presented by the Magnolia Sampler Guild.

This Greek Revival mansion was the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, mother of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., 26th President of the United States.

Almost 150 stitched pieces were on display, including some antique pieces, many stitched reproductions, and some lovely stitching accessories - all displayed among the period furnishings.

Reproducing antique samplers has never really been my particular stringplay interest, but I enjoy seeing almost any kind of needlework well done and this group excels. I'm always impressed at the complexity and the fine detail of the pieces. The one photo here doesn't really do the exhibit justice, it was just a quick one made in the upstairs sewing room which was devoted to patriotic pieces.

I left out for Roswell really dreading the drive and the Saturday traffic, but as I exited the exhibit, I was conscious of such a feeling of calmness, relaxation, and peace. I was so glad I went.

Before getting back in my car, I took a quick walk through the adjacent garden.

And among the notes I made in my exhibit brochure was this verse I copied from one of the samplers:

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted
that it may return the better to thinking.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Box of Chocolates

I just got an e-mail from Mary saying she had received an award
and was passing along to me -to also pass along if I chose.

Pam (the person who started this award) says:

In my best southern accent, I would like to say that I have been thinking about a new award and what I would like it to say. People are like Forrest Gump said ” Life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re gonna get. You can see this box of chocolates is filled with different and unique candies and just like the chocolates we are all different and unique people. We are the same in that we all have common ingredients that make us more a like than not. Except for the frosting, which represents our personalities, we are indeed very similar on the inside.”

And of course there are rules:

1. That you must pass this award to others.

2. Link back to me when you have passed them forward.

3. Write a nice post about this award.

4. You must read this award with a southern accent. I call it southern day where we all have to speak with a southern accent. I know that will be hard for some of you, but for the rest of us, we will be fine. So now, ya’ll just enjoy this little ol’ award and have fun with it.

5. And of course let your folks know that they have a nice award waiting for them.

Since I am Southern, I naturally read everything with a Southern accent and for the record I often say ya'll and don't think it is in the least eccentric or unusual, but I never say little ol'.

One of the first blogs I found was Wendy's and it was through her Summer of Lace group way back in 2005 that I 'met' Mary who encouraged me to start blogging and it has opened up a whole new world to me. I've learned so much, especially about knitting and dyeing yarn. I've found tutorials and patterns that bloggers have shared. I've laughed at funny stories and been touched by others. I've gotten to see places where bloggers live and visit. I regularly visit Finland, Norway, France, and Scotland. I found out about Knitty and Ravelry through blogs. It has been lots of fun.

So thank you, Mary, for the chocolate. I'd like to share it with:

Kay - a local friend I'm privileged to see in real life and a vintage sewing machine enthusiast
Sheri - a knitter I met when The Yarn Harlot spoke in Atlanta
Jolene - a young and very talented Canadian who has recently corresponded
Denise - whom I don't really know at all, but who knits lots of great socks and has a fun blog
Katherine - amazingly talented and with a world of good stories

Friday, September 11, 2009

String makes the news

String can be simple stuff sometimes and I know it can sure keep me occupied and, ocassionally, frustrated.

Used in all manner of ways, lowly and lofty.

Thursday it made the news when archaeologists digging in a cave in the Eurasian country of Georgia (the other Georgia) found flax fibers more than 30,000 years old along with evidence that they had been knotted and dyed.

Retired professor Elizabeth Barber, author of a book on prehistoric textiles, has a hypothesis that "plain old string was a powerful technology, which helped people weather the last ice age".

"It totally revolutionized what they could do," she says. "On a very simple basis, think of the fact you can tie things up in packages so you can carry more. You can put out nets and snares to catch more game so you can eat better."
Or, if you're me, you can amuse and frustrate yourself. Often with the same project.

I bound off the lace triangle too tightly on one side. I still soaked and blocked it and later when I could face it, I unpicked the bind off and did it over. It is much better now. Whew.

I have a new lace piece planned, but in the meantime, for travel knitting, I've started a Fickle Fingers scarf out of an extra ball of yarn I had hanging around unused.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Library Heaven

I think I've mentioned before how much I love the library. Whenever I go out of town, if there's time and the library is open, I like to visit other libraries.

I would never want to move to a town that had a library I didn't like. For example, Asheville, NC had lots of wonderful yarn shops and is near the John C. Campbell Folk School, but I didn't particularly care for their large, main public library.

However, the Blount County Public Library would be reason enough to move to Maryville, TN.
It is filled with natural light, has groups of upholstered seating all throughout the space as well as many study carrels, has a nearby park and walking area, and even has a cafe inside. Yes, you can purchase coffee and a snack and enjoy it while you read! Wonderful. It is also within walking distance of a yarn shop.

And, speaking of books, I ran across a blog which chronicles all the forgotten bookmarks left behind in used books.

......did I really title that last post 'betrayal'? Don't let me mislead you. I most certainly did not think the designer had betrayed me. All crazy mistakes were clearly my fault and mine alone.
Soon after that post, I managed to stitch-by-stitch UNknit my way back out of the edging where I had veered off pattern, and stitch it again correctly.

Now I'm finally binding off. All is well. Well, almost all.

The M&Ms are gone. : (

"Experience is that wonderful thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." Franklin P. Jones

Monday, September 7, 2009


I had really thought I'd be finished with this lace triangle today. This morning I was even composing the blog entry in my head. Perhaps that was the problem! Obviously I should have been paying closer attention to the knitting instead!

That mess you see is four rows painfully tinked back stitch by painful stitch.

I'm not even sure I've backed up enough. I need to count and assess the situation.

But I'm nothing if not an optimist as I contemplate my next project. I'm just sure nothing will go wrong with it. : )

"You always pass failure on the way to success." Mickey Rooney

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fall is coming

Gathered on my walk today.

Leaves have started to fall as well.

Will not think about The Rake yet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Three-Day Weekend!

Friday afternoon.
A long weekend stretching before me.
Nothing that has to be done.

Oh, and a new bag of M&Ms.
The Cool Ghoul's Mix.

That's me. A Cool Ghoul!

Hope you have a good Labor Day weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Garden and Gun

I have neither and really both are about equally unlikely to show up here on the cul-de-sac. Neither of my thumbs are green.

Garden & Gun* is a new periodical for the Soul of the New South. I've never been particularly fond of the term "New South", but that's not the topic here today.

My daughter grabbed this free tote bag for me; a very nice, natural burlap one, because she knows I can never have too many bags. Smart girl. And thoughtful. I'm quite fond of her. As she said when handing it over, she knew I could do something about the logo on the front.

Yeah. Don't want to be toting around some bag with GUN on the front.

Soon it came to me just what I'd do.

Last week, browsing around blogs, I spotted some Little Golden Book fabric. It looked just like the inside cover of the books.

I immediately e-mailed Kay to see if she had spotted any around town at the quilt shops. She had and pointed me in the right direction and soon I had a yard of my very own.

So I dug out some buttons from the button tin (a 25-cent yard sale find) and covered over the logo, then I measured and sewed a lining, with a handy pocket, of course. I'm good to go!

Oh, and I removed the velcro closures at the top. Velcro is a very handy invention but it is not yarn friendly and I might want to carry around a knitting project in this bag someday.

*Katherine, if you read this, there's a link here to Pat Conroy discussing his new book "South of Broad"