Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm Not Ready!

No matter how many times it happens, winter still arrives before I am ready. This year, I've had my snow tires on for over a month, before the snow came on Monday, but my boots were no where to be found. Most people around here have the opposite problem. Of course, it is kind of understandable. Last week it was +10C (59F) and yesterday it was -10C (14F). Now the boots have been found, and the weather is expected to go back to the plus side on the weekend, so I won't need them for another week or so.

All this does, is remind me that Christmas is on the way. So I finished the socks.

They match! This is always good, although I must try to make a pair that are not suppose to match.

I pieced my table runner.

I ended up making it one strip longer, so now it is runner length instead of placemat length. The length of these runner is, of course, determined by the width of the stripe in the print.

Next up, some quilting!

Sometimes, things don't come out quite the way you envision. I found a pattern for a cowl, covered with celtic knots. I was asked for something in blues or purple. I had some yarn in that range. so I cast one and went to work.

After about 8 rows, I realized that the pattern was lost in the variegation of the yarn. However, I really liked the wool, so I am on to plan B.

This will be a scarf and the pattern plays on the variegation to give texture to the work. I am liking this much better. Now I need to find a yarn to make the cowl in.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

'Tis the Season

First off: for everyone who wonders how I could foster 142 cats and kittens to date, check out this video.
Kitten Therapy

Now, back to my week.  It is time to start on some Christmas gifts. If you are on my list, close your eyes.

A friend came over, yesterday, and we cut out a couple more table runners. Here is mine, with some assembly still required. I may add another piece to the centre, since it is only about 24" long.

I started a new pair of socks and they are coming nicely.

So far, they are pretty much identical. It is always a challenge to see how close to the same I can make the self striping yarn socks. These are a rather masculine Knit 6 Purl 2 rib.

And in my spare time, I have been playing puppy games with Doug.

Such a sweet boy, it is a wonder I get anything done.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Handmade Tag

Followers of this blog may have figured out that I love to make bags. I currently have one in progress.

I think it would be awesome to have a bit of bling to hang from the strap. Something like this.

There is a contest right now, over at Emmaline Bags, and you can win two of these gorgeous bag tags to tell the world your bag is hand made. Something to be proud of.

Drop over to Emmaline Bags and see if you can win the other set of tags (I want one set for me!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Retreat 2014

Throwing caution to the wind, I left Doug and Dolly with my husband, and set off to the Nav Centre in Cornwall for a weekend of quilting till we wilted.

This was the view from my room in the residence.

Of course, sunrise was about the only chance I had to see this view of the St. Lawrence River, because I was in the sewing room from about 9 AM until 11 PM.

However, it wasn't a total hardship. The staff delivered snacks.

I got lots of work done.

I made 4 pillowcases for the Warm Hands Network, to send to children in the Canadian north.
The red fabric has Inukshuks, and the blue has snowflakes. The two at the top are for a boy and girl aged 14, the lower left is for a girl aged 4 and the lower right is for a girl aged 9.

I made a new design of 60 degree table runner.
And I got a start on a bag, based on the Trail Tote from Noodlehead.
I will tell more, when I am finished.

Others at the retreat did some fun things.

A good time was had by all!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A New Puppy

We are currently kitten-less, so we decided it was a good time to introduce a new puppy into our household. We have been talking about this for awhile, and when we saw this sweetheart on the web, it seemed like a good fit.

Meet Doug (or Dug) . We haven't agreed on the spelling yet, but we think the name is perfect.

If asked, we say his breed is "farm". He is 10 months old, and he worships Dolly.

Note the family resemblance. They have the same colour eyes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Not Rocket Science

Last night, a friend was here, to get some knitting help. She is starting a new shawl, and she needed a bit of  ''encouragement" to get it started. She did a great job on the garter stitch tab that begins the pattern and was starting into the body. As she was trying to figure out what the pattern was telling her to do, I heard her say to herself, "Come on, this is not rocket science!"

I have been thinking about this. In my younger days, I actually studied rocket science. The mathematics of rocket science is fairly advanced, but there are some physical laws that govern it, an agreed vocabulary, and set of conventions that allow engineers in many different places to understand each others work.

Knitting, on the other hand, is not always that simple. There are regional differences in how things are done. There can be more then one way to knit the stitches to get the same results. To make a left leaning decrease, a pattern may ask you to slip, slip, knit, or slip one, knit one, pass the slip stitch over, or knit two stitches together, through the back loop. All will serve the same function, making a left leaning decrease, and when the sock is finished, it is hard to tell which one was used.
In the case of the shawl pattern, the passage confusing my friend was "knit to marker,m1r, SM, k1, SM, m1l". I don't blame her for being confused. M is used both the mean the marker and to indicate where an increase is required.
I helped her understand, and she finished the row, and did a few more. The shawl is going to be awesome!
No, Michelle, it's not rocket science. Sometimes, it's even harder to understand.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Since there is often snow on the ground here, by the time our southern neighbours celebrate Thanksgiving, I can understand why ours is in October.

Things have been fairly quiet around Arts and Socks. Dolly started our weekend off with a bang, by having a close and personal encounter with a skunk in our backyard. Now, I would think that a bright girl, who has had a skunk encounter before, would have sense enough to run the other way, instead of running up to the skunk, barking! Now, every time we leave the house, we are sniffing our clothes and shoes and wondering if they smell, since our noses can no longer smell anything.

My "grandcat" Mike is spending the weekend, while his people are away. He is having a bit of a problem trying to decide where he would like to have his personal "spot".

Here he is trying out my antique Singer machine.

He is a big boy, and I think he decided that the sewing machine cabinet was a bit small for his liking.

So here he is, trying out the top of the bookcase.

Much roomier! We put a blanket up there for him.

I have been making a pair of yoga socks. Since I couldn't find a pattern I liked, I combined some ideas from other patterns.
Michelle kindly modeled them for me, at Knit Knight.

I can't guarantee they are both the same, because I didn't take very good notes on the first sock and had to try and count my rows from the first for the second.  The Knit Knight ladies liked them, so I guess they will do.