Friday, February 27, 2015

Colorado Weather


February 20, 2015

I took this photo a week ago on Friday. We had taken the dogs for a walk and then put them in the backyard to play since it was so nice out. I ran to the store for groceries and got fried chicken and fresh bagels in the deli section for our lunch.  This has become a nearly weekly ritual with the dogs; some weeks we eat outside under the pergola and then we hurry indoors as its too cold to linger. But last week, we enjoyed staying outside for a bit. It was so nice out. In the photo above, I am reclined in the chair and Brutus is lying on my lap. Sweet boy. 

Then it started snowing on Saturday and it's been very snowy ever since. We did get a break from additional snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it's been snowing on and off since Thursday. 



February 27, 2015

No picnic under the pergola today. 



The big, overgrown evergreen in the front of the house is rather droopy. 




I love the brilliant blue sky peeking through the pergola. 



And even more, I like the shadows the snow covered pergola makes. 

In Colorado, there is a saying about the weather:  "If you don't like the weather,,, just wait 15 minutes. It will change!"

Top This! Hat Knitting Kit





Check out those cute hats!
 
This is a fun novelty yarn called "Top This" by the company called DMC.  My local yarn shop just had one version in the shop so I bought one "kit".  The kit is a single ball of yarn and a hat topper.  The ball of yarn is wound continuously but the yarn changes from one type of yarn to the next with no knots or breaks in yarn.  You just cast on and knit.  The pattern on the label calls for US Size 9 circular needles (16 inch) and you can make a child size or an adult small size.  For the larger size, you just cast on more stitches and knit more rounds. 



Pretty cute, right?  I made the adult small. It knit up very quickly on US Size 9 needles. The yellow yarn feels like chenille. 
 

I love the topper. It can be easily removed for laundering. 



I took all these photos at the knit shop this past Saturday. Marilyn tried it on and we thought it matched her beautiful shawl quite nicely!
 
The one problem I had with this project was my fear I would run out of yarn knitting the larger size.  When I got to the point in the pattern where I began the decreases for the top portion of the hat, I noticed the pattern said to complete decreases EVERY row.  In most hat patterns I've knit, you complete decreases on one round and then you just knit the next round with no decreases. This results in the hat being a bit longer and the hat tapering in at the top a bit more gently.  As I was knitting,I kept looking at my remaining yarn, concerned I would run out. I did knit a few rounds in the decrease portion with no decreases. Turns out I had PLENTY of yarn left over.  If I were to knit a hat with one of these kids in the future. I would definitely knit one round with no decreases after EACH round WITH decreases for a hat which would be a tad longer.

I found a few more versions on the Internet.  I love the giraffe and the unicorn a lot, but I really want a puppy hat for me!
 



 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Odd Socks


Turns out these oddly colored socks have really grown on me. I love how they turned out!


I finished them up yesterday afternoon. I knew I was coming down with the same cold my son had last week. As soon as the toes were grafted shut, I pulled these buggers on and they kept me toasty warm all light long. 

These are not the greatest photos. Maybe I'll take some better photos another day when I don't have the sniffles. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Strangest color way... EVER!


Plymouth Yarn Company, Inc. Diversity Sock Yarn in the Oasis color way .

Plymouth Yarn Company, Inc. makes a great sock yarn called Diversity. I have made a few pairs already and I just love this yarn.

This color way is called Pizazz. 


I call them my Patriot socks. I am sure you can imagine why.


I also think U.S. Postal Workers should wear these socks. 


Am I right?

Then there is the color way called Palm Pink. 


I was surprised the stripes were not as defined in this color way. I expected them to stripe just like the red, white, and blue/grey colorway, but the stripes were more irregular.  I called these socks my Neopolitan Ice Cream Socks. 


Don't you see it, too?!  Ice cream. 

So now here is the Oasis colorway. 


I see watermelon colors but the black is an unexpected surprise. You will not believe how bizarre this looks knit up!


I am calling these my Ugly Socks? My Really Odd Socks?  I just don't know what to make of this odd colorway.  I never imagined the yarn would stripe this way. I am making the socks two at a time on two sets of double pointed needles to make them matchy-matchy. 

Tell me. If you worked for a yarn company and it was your job to name yarn based upon color and appearance, what name would you put on this yarn's label?  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sewing Class: Foundation Paper Piecing



First Stitches Quilt Shop and Sewing Store
Canon City, Colorado
www.firststitches.com

I am so lucky to have a great quilt shop in town!  I snapped the photo above last summer. The quilt shop is in the cutest little old brick house and is filled to the brim with fabric, notions, sewing machines, and assorted sewing paraphernalia.  I've been eyeing the classes offered at the shop and I signed up for a Paper Piecing class a number of weeks ago. The class was cancelled due to a big snow storm a few weeks back. The class was postponed until today... Valentines Day.


The technique is called Foundation Paper Piecing and the instructor, Faith Wellman, provided the center pieces with words, which were printed on special fabric using an ink jet printer. We had lots of phrases from which to chose.  Everyone in the class (there were five students) picked their own phrase and everyone had a very different color schemes in the fabrics they brought.  I liked every one's finished product better than mine.  There is really an art to selecting fabrics in quilts and projects like this.  I have a lot to learn when it comes to fabric choices.
 
 
This is the backside.

 
A little close up view.  I stitched in the ditch to quilt the object a bit.  I used my new sewing machine for this project. I struggled a bit with my new machine but am still pretty happy with my final product.

 
Oh, I forgot to tell you what this is... it's a Mug Rug!  Cool, right?
 
We all posed for a photo at the end of class.  The building behind us is a called "The Dollhouse".  It's a nice little building behind the quilt shop where classes are held.  It's a great little space.
 
Our instructor, Faith, is both an instructor and designer.  She sells patterns on Craftsy and you can see more of her designs by clicking HERE.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Slowly... but surely: Two at a Time Socks are DONE!



Two at a time socks. I took this photo a week ago while I was waiting for an oil change. 

Slowly but surely, I've been working away on my Magic Loop two at a time socks. 


I finally finished them this past Monday. This technique is really amazing. It was not as straight forward as I anticipated. The heel portion was a bit complicated but I found myself so ridiculously impressed with the cleverness of the person who figured out how to knit socks this way.  I need to cast on another pair soon to help solidify what I learned.



I think I was anxious to finish these. They are a tad short for me so I mailed them off to a friend who I believe has smaller feet than mine. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Magic Loop Sock Knitting


After all the home improvement projects we've done the past few days, I had the pleasure of hanging out at the knit shop yesterday with a bunch of friends. We all  took a class with Robbie and she is teaching us how to knit socks from the top down, two at a time, on one long circular needle. The cable is 40 inches in length.  

I am using some great heavy weight sock yarn by Regia (Design line by Kaffe Fassett).  I often painstakingly line up the designs when using self-striping yarn like this, but today I just cast on with reckless abandon. It was just dumb luck, but it is actually great that the socks are mismatched so I can easily keep track of Sock A versus Sock B as I am learning a new technique. 


I don't know yet if this will become my preferred method of sock knitting. I like to knit socks with double pointed needles; that is the technique I learned first. Whatever the case may be, I sure enjoyed taking the class with a great bunch of ladies.