Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grrr, quilting

The fuse on my short temper has disappeared completely with pregnancy. I'm really pissed off about a parking ticket that the campus police won't repeal, but they were nice enough to repeal my husbands parking ticket, which he got for the same reason as me. Grrr.

I am off the knitting kick for a little while and back into a sewing kick, particularly a quilt top that I started when my little girl was only a few months old. It's a lone star with applique flowers and vines around the edge. I had to rip out most of the applique I did because, well it sucked. Now after a little more brainstorming and research I started working on the applique again. I just might finish it in twenty years.

This all got started off with a kick to make place mats for me. I have an iris fetish when it comes to my kitchen and dining area. Every thing is violet, blue and green, iris colors. So, I got on the quilting software and came up with this....

Pretty.... of course, I should probably work on some of my UFO quilts before starting new projects. That and I really can't afford the quilt shop right now and I don't have any batiks in my stash that quite match the colors I want.

I also have been working on and off on machine quilting this Star Sampler quilt for my mom....
Almost every block is a variation of the Evening Star, but I did eventually run out of ways to vary this pattern, so I had to throw some other star patterns in.
It was hand pieced and I originally planned on hand quilting the whole thing, but I would also like her to have it before she dies. (Not that she is going to, but it would take me fifty years to hand quilt this cause I'm so slow)
Instead I decided to ruin it with my questionable free hand machine quilting skill. I only have about 6 blocks plus the sashing and the border to quilt though and then I'm ready to bind and be done with this thing. I doubt I will have the ambition or the time but I could be done by Christmas. I still am not sure what quilting pattern to do on the sashing and the border which are only 2 inches wide. This quilt is truly a sampler though and the quilting patterns, although mostly feather based motifs with a stippled background, but I think the sashing is too narrow for a decent feather motif. Oh the challenges of being creative.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's been almost a month, sorry

I didn't really abandon my post, I have been crazy busy with summer and getting back to work/school. First an announcement:

For all of you charity knitter's out there that haven't heard, knit a red scarf for the red scarf project for the Orphan Foundation of America which gives these scarfs to college bound foster kids. For more information go to OFA's red scarf site.

On my own sob story front, my fantastic lovable adorable English Pointer has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and its severe enough that it he will probably be crippled in a few years. For those of you who don't know, canine hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that affects almost all breeds of dogs, especially large breeds. As the dog is growing the hip joint doesn't form right, usually the socket part doesn't form a socket like it should. This causes pain in of itself, but the debilitating part of the disease is the arthritis that forms as the dog ages. Right now selective breeding of dogs with good hips is the only way to prevent this disease, but even dogs with good hips will occasionally have puppies with bad hips and so is the case with Copper. Both parents are part of a very carefully controlled breeding program by a renowned English Pointer Kennel and this is the first time either parent has had offspring with this disease.

Copper on his first day home.

Right now we are looking into a surgery for him called Triple Pelvic Ostectomy where the hip joint is remodeled. It would be a rough recovery, but the success rate is around 90% and dogs usually return to a completely normal active lifestyle. Because he wants to be such an active dog (born to run and hunt) we are hoping that he is a good candidate. Of course everything is expensive, so if he can get the surgery I will be making up mad amounts of stitch markers and hand spun and hand dyed yarn for sale on Etsy. All profit will go in a special account for his surgery. More on that if he qualifies for the surgery.

Copper as of now, sitting in the typical dysplasic posture.

I have been getting some knitting in. I have been a little bored with socks lately so when Vogue Knitting showed up in the mailbox with those awesome mittens on the front cover, I couldn't help myself but get into the mittens. As long as I live in Louisiana I will never have a need for them, but I plan on getting back to a state that has seasons, particularly one with winter. I really miss playing in the snow... I digress. I had spun up some fingering weight merino from one of the hand dyed rovings I did, and I added beads when I plied it. The yarn is super soft but turned out a little more woolen than I would have hoped for originally but works great for the mittens I ended up doing. Inspired by Vogue and using Ann Budd's book "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" I knitted up some mittens with a simple cable pattern.

I think everyone will be getting mittens for Christmas, or at least those who live in a state where they would need them. I also started on the Druid Mittens from Vogue's cover using Pagewood farms Denali. I should have used a lighter color, mine is a little bit dark for the pattern, but it's turning out well. Denali is an interesting yarn and follows the trends that Koigu started with their tightly twisted two ply yarn. Denali is three ply, but has a lot of the same texture that is seen with Koigu.

I really like the saddle closing that this pattern uses versuses the standard decrease seen in simpler mitten patterns. It was a little loose and I might try a different approach on the right mitten though, (for those of you who are knitting this pattern I will let you know how that goes).

Off I go to be anti-productive in another way, or maybe something that I actually need to do...