Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Red

I have finished up another languishing project. I had the red and white pinwheel squares left another from another quilt that I made (a really really long time ago) and well, they were just bugging me. SO hear we are.... This fabric can stop nagging me now.
This isn't a really good shot but I think that I might like the scrappy back a bit better than the front.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red Socks

I really should be working on my time-sensitive projects, but somehow I don't feel complete unless I have pair of socks on the needles. So, I cast on another pair of socks from Socks From the Toe Up. This is my third pair from this book and I have to say that I love the book. The only problem that I have with kitting socks from patterns in that they are always to wide. I think that it must be my family we must either have narrow feet or like tight socks. I think that I'll add some ribbing to the arch of the foot to snug them up a bit. I got this great red and black hand-dyed yarn from a yarn swap that I signed up for on ravelry.

Casting on these socks has meant that my scrappy blanket has to go on haitus because I am down to only one size 0 needle. I am always breaking this size and really should start ordering them in bulk. It is a good time for a rest thoutgh because I finished row two.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall everyone

No, I am not trying to signal aliens today, on this first day of Fall, I am just trying to cook some dinner. This is usually the time of year that I clean up my solar oven and put it away in the garage to store until next May, but the weather was supposed to be so hot today that I didn't want to cook anything in the house.

What will we be having for dinner on this first day of Fall you ask?

Well, Cauliflower/ Cheddar soup, it might sound weird, but for some reason I love soup in hot weather. I don't really have a recipe for this soup, but I will tell you what is in this pot of soup.

1/2 a sauteed onion (a whole would work, but all I had was a 1/2)
oil for sauteing the onion
3 small potatoes cut up
1 leek chopped
2 small heads of cauliflower
about 2 cups of water

This morning I stuck all that in the solar cooker and and will let it sit their all day.

Right before dinner I will bring it in side and puree all the veggies with a hand blender.
I will then add about a cup of milk (we use skim, but any would do) and cup of shredded cheddar and heat for a couple of minutes then serve.

Veggies that my picky eater will eat.

By the way, as a wrote this post the solar over was at 250 degrees.

I am also happy to report that I have my camera back at home and will be posting some of my finished objects very soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Out on the water

Last weekend our whole family drove down the California coast a bit to the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing. It is a great place to visit, when Lena was little she used to call it the nature zoo because of the wealth of wildlife. Above is a picture of the harbor seals that we shared the launch area with. We also saw brown pelicans, mud crabs, sea otters, sea lions, sea stars, cormerants and others.
My husbands friend, Dean, is a docent at the Slough. He graciously offered to give our family a guided tour. It was great having a tour from a insider, for example, I now know that the Elkhorn Slough is 2nd largest estuary in the state of California. Anyone know the largest?
This was the also the first time that Lena got to steer our canoe. That is not as easy a task as it seems, but she did great.
Not to be out done Sara kept a cheerful smile on her face for the whole 3+ hours we were on the water. That is quite an accomplishment for a 15 year old who had to sit next to her sister then her dad.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm sorry little blog for ignoring you

I just realized that I have not posted anythin to my little blog in a week. Don't think that I have been slacking. I have finished several projects and have been itching to post them, but, well, I forgot my camera at a friends house last friday. I feel as if my right arm has been cut-off this week with out my beloved camera. I broke down and took a few crappy shots with the crappy point and shot camera that the kids use, just so that I could post this quilt that I finished over the weekend.

Thanks you all for your kind words when I posted about this quilt before. I am happy with how it turned out. I ended up doing very little actual quilting because I did not want to distract from the blocks that everyone made. I also don't think that this is the kind of quilt that will see that much washing, so I hope the lack of quilting will be okay.

Here it the square that my own talented daughter made. The pattern is from Sublime Stitching

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Does not work well with others

I volunteered to make a thank you quilt for a friend who gereously gives of her time. I am supplying all the labor and materials. All the other group members needed to do was decorate one square and mail if back to me in the envelope that I supplied. I did not get one square by the deadline. I know the quilt will look great, but I am not sure that I have the temperament to work well with others.
Here is the preliminary layout of the quilt. I don't want it to get too busy and detract from the lovely (and late) square that were contributed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And four days later...

The socks are done. I am pleased to say that these socks were super quick to knit up. I started these sock Friday night and finished them on Tuesday, that is a pretty fast sock project for me. Sheepfeet, yarn is a bit thicker than most sock yarns, so it knits up much faster. The pattern is from Socks from the Toe Up. What I love about his book is that is offers you three different toe cast-ons and three different heels for toe up socks. Which allows me to add some variation to my toe up socks. This pattern is called Serpentine and the color-way of the yarn is called Royalty. These will make a nice gift for someone special. Hubby was a bit out of sorts because he thought that it might might be a violation of our marriage vows for me to make socks for anyone other than him. He seemed to calm down when I showed him the yarn for them next pair of sock that I will be making (for him).

On another note the tiny squares blanket has also made some progress. I am know starting on my second row and still have plenty of sock yarn scraps to keep me going for at least one more row. I just love crazy quilt look of this.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dividing a skein of yarn

I have to say that I always (usually) have a sock on my knitting needles and having finished my latest pair of socks over a week ago (eight days to be exact) I am feeling out of sorts. I just could not decide which sock yarn to knit with. I have two different skeins that were calling to me and I have a rule that I only knit one pair of socks at a time. Well, the Sheepfeet (color Royalty) won the toss and I plan on taking a quite moment this evening to cast on a new pair of socks.
I decided to divide my yarn onto two equal size balls ahead of time since, as usual, I am making toe up socks. Since I don't have one of those fancy gadgets to measure how many yards of yarn you have wound, I have to use my kitchen scale.
Here is how I did it:
I gathered up my supplies:
Ball winder
Skein of yarn
Kitchen scale

I weighed my skein of yarn before started, because even though the skein says that is weighs 100g this one actually weighed 94g. Since it weighs 94g that means that I want to make two balls of 47g each.

Wind the skein as usual. After winding my skein I checked the weight again to be on the safe side. It was still 94g.

Now comes the dividing. Remove the ball from your winder and start winding from the ball you just wound. When you think you are getting close to half-way check the weight of the ball you are winding from. You will likely need to wind a bit, check, wind, check, until you get it just right. Now you just snip the yarn, remove the ball from the winder and re-wind the rest of the yarn into a second ball.
Here is my technique for holding the ball as you are winding from it and also making sure that the yarn comes out smoothly.
Here they are. Now I can knit up my new socks with confidence that they will both be the same size!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

All I want to do is knit tiny squares

I have so many other things to do. Work on two patterns I am writing, finish the quilt I am working on, but all I really want to do is sit and knit tiny little squares out of left-over sock yarn. Each square is using about 3 grams of yarn so it looks like this project will take a while. They are just so easy to knit that it is oddly addicting.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sergered Skirt

I recently finished this skirt for Lena, my daughter. I have made it up ages ago, but needed to sit down and do the hand sewing for the waistband. The two things that I love about this skirt are that I made the whole thing with my serger and that I didn't use a pattern at all. I was really free-form sewing. Since the skirt is so full the only measuring that I had to do was to make sure that the waistband fit.

To make the hem of the skirt I simply rolled the skirt fabric into a tube and stuck it inside the red hem fabric. It make a lovely hem that is finished on both sides. I took a bit of doing to get all that rolled up fabric out after sewing, but I love the results.