Sunday, October 23, 2016

Block 40: Water Turn

It has been a few weeks since Kim and I finished this block--Block #41 is the Water Turn:
All those flying geese pieces (the ones with the red and green triangles) were a lot to fit into a 6" block! But I think I got the seams pretty flat and all my points are showing. I like the soft pallet with just a touch of red to stand out.

After I had the flying geese made and was sewing them together into pairs, I noticed that I sewed one of them with the green fabric wrong side out. Even though I had already trimmed the "flippy corner", I thought I could undo the hand stitching and sew the pieces on the right way. So I did so and it went ok.

But then when I went to put the pair together, the green fabric was wrong side out. I thought I looked over all of them when I discovered the first wrong one to see if there were any more to fix, but there it was. I just fixed the second one the same as the first, but honestly I'm still not sure if I missed the second mistake piece when I looked them over or if I took apart the first piece and sewed it back together wrong again!!

Here are all of the blocks done so far:
Only four more blue spaces left to fill!
Here is Kim's block:
Her colours are bolder--I love the dark blue with the gold yellow.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Do I Still Knit?

It seems it's been all quilting around here. Do I still knit? Well, not much lately. I haven't had the oomph to dig into a new project. My cashmere Trimmings needs to be ripped out and recalculated and I just don't want to. I have enough socks that I didn't just want to start a new pair just for the sake of having something going.

Or did I?

When I took my trip over Labor Day weekend, I realized I really had to have a knitting project along because taking only my nine patch project was asking for trouble. What if I ran into an insurmountable snag? What if my hand/finger/wrist got sore and I couldn't keep sewing? And I needed a project I could more easily do while sitting and talking with people. So I told myself to just pick a sock yarn and do one of the patterns in my Ravelry queue that I want to make and just haven't found time for. So that's what I did!

I grabbed a ball of sock yarn in lovely fall tones,
Blue Face Leicester sock by Fleece Artist
I never did figure out the colourway.
and I picked a pattern from the queue:
Roosimine by Caoua Coffee
Here is part of the description from the pattern:
The color pattern of these socks is neither achieved by an intarsia nor an embroidery method. It’s done by simply weaving in the contrast colored yarn between the stitches while knitting a plain stockinette sock with the main color. In Estonian knitting, this technique is called ‘roosimine’ (which means ‘rose’) and the corresponding patterns are called ‘roositud’ patterns. Traditionally, it’s used on mittens and socks and most roositud patterns are quite geometrical and done in a set of bright primary colors.
I've been intrigued with this technique for a while and thought it was a good time to try it out. I would knit the socks according to my own method during the trip and when I got home, I could do the last part of the sock with the colourwork. (I was knitting them from the toe up, in case you were confused about how that would work.)

That might have been a problem, to not bring the pattern with me. But I didn't know that yet...

So I happily knit away on my sock. I got it started in the week before the trip because there's nothing worse than thinking you have everything you need and then finding out your gauge is all wrong and you need a different set of needles.

I did, in fact, have to start the sock over after doing the first toe because they were far too wide. But with the information gained from the first frogged toe, I could start the sock again...
Doesn't it look like it's sticking
its tongue out at me!?
I knit on it quite a bit during the weekend and got quite far. I did a short-row toe, knit the foot with a gusset, did my typical short-row/heel flap hybrid heel and then started up the leg doing increases to keep the stocking stitch sock well-fitted.

It was nice to have needles in my hands again, to knit each stitch, picking up new yarn on the right needle and dropping the old stitch off the left needle. The yarn felt good sliding between my fingers. The colours were pleasing and the fabric I was knitting had that right amount of heft and squish and depth. Very different from the cotton fabrics I had been handling while sewing.

When I got home, I realized I had created a problem. Thinking I was ready to add some colourwork in the last few inches of the leg, when I looked at the pattern again I saw that the pattern extended the length of the entire leg. 

So I put the sock aside and resigned myself to ripping back to the heel and doing this pattern that I wanted to do.

But the poor sock sat in its travel bag for weeks and weeks.
I thought about pulling it out (and then pulling it out) but had no desire to do so.

That's when I had a moment of enlightenment and realized that I didn't have to make the Roosimine sock if I didn't want to. I could make a plain, well-fitting sock and be happy with that. So that is what I will do.

Here's where the first sock is:
The line going up the leg marks where the increases were made. I am deciding whether to add a little more length before starting the ribbed cuff. (I do like tall socks.) I should weigh the yarn first, though, and make sure I won't use more than half.

Welcome back, knitting. I have missed you.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Block 39: Wooly Sheep

Well, with a title like that, there's no surprise in what you're going to see. The week's block is a rather rotund (wooly) sheep. I guess that's good for the fall since this would be the time sheep are growing in their full coats.

I couldn't resist using a cute lamb fabric I had, so my sheep is purple. I did just read about a farmer dyeing all his sheep orange in an attempt to stop thieves. I'm not sure if it worked.
There were a lot of parts and pieces to this block. There are no symmetric repeating parts so every piece you made was unique. Even the two ears were different as one had the sheep body as the background and the other was against the body and the background fabric.

Once the block was pieced, I did pull out my embroidery floss and got the embroidery done right away. (Yay, me!) And while I was at it, I finished two other blocks that still needed embroidery--the seeds on the pear block and the eye on the mother hen block. (I didn't even notice the later block needed embroidery at the time I made it. Thank goodness for sisters.)

And here is the virtual layout of all the blocks so far:
It's looking almost done, isn't it!
And here is Kim's block:
She stayed with a more realistically coloured sheep, green/brown ground and blue sky all around. we both went with grey for the face. I'm sure because we grew up with black faced sheep.

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...