Thursday, October 18, 2007

What I can show

Ok, aside from the super secret sewing I've been doing, I have a few other projects I've been working on. Like most of us, I've usually got more than one project going at a time -- though, at some point the number of in progress works gets a bit much! So, in an effort to reduce the number I've been plugging away at a couple of them.

First up on my list of projects to complete are two knitting projects. I've been able to knit for over 20 years now -- notice I do not say I'm a knitter though. I go in spurts with yarn and sticks. I've made hats, scarves, attempted a blanket and realized I didn't have the patience (then again -- I was 10 at the time -- do any 10 year olds have the patience to knit a blanket?), etc. etc. -- the one thing I haven't made? SOCKS. And, well, with all the socks I've been seeing online (really -- here, here, all over the place, and oh yeah -- it's Socktoberfest!) So, enter some lovely purple yarn (oh my, I'm remembering my whole Donnie and Marie period) and a pretty basic pattern -- and you get this. One sock done and the second one cast on. I need to get back to this -- I might even have a pair of purple socks for Halloween if I get moving!

Next in the knitting love is a scarf -- I found some really cheap inexpensive ribbon yarn at Michael's over the summer and decided I wanted to make a scarf. Large needles -- and knit until your eyes want to pop out of your head. It is a great "I really don't want to have to think about this thing" project. I love the colors in this one -- nice and fall like (though not at all what I would call warm) -- and the only question I have left for it is to fringe or not to fringe. (yes -- I do know I still need to weave in my ends as well) Since the darned thing is 6 ft. long and I'm only 5'4" tall -- um, not sure if it needs the added length the fringe would add. Any opinions?

And finally, back to quilting. I also said awhile ago that I wanted to learn how to hand quilt. I asked my grandmother-in-law for lessons last spring. Um -- her answer was that the needle goes in and out of the fabric. Literally. (Tonya -- feel free to laugh) Which got me thinking -- ya know -- maybe it is that simple. Hmmnn...and really, it's not like it's brain surgery. A wrong move isn't going to mean someone's cerebral cortex is irrevocably damaged. If it's god awful -- well, it's another offering on the altar of motherly love. So, I decided to take the plunge. But what project? It needed to be small (if I was ever going to finish it -- I do know myself), it needed to be quick (if I hated hand quilting -- um, don't want to have another UFO hanging around that I feel obligated to finish someday), it needed to be easy...

Enter a trip to a quilt shop awhile ago (yes, yes, so surprising for me I know) -- and I found the perfect (for me anyway) answer. A mini-whole cloth quilt. With pre-printed quilting designs. Hmmn...fast, easy, inexpensive, I don't have to worry about creating the design, all I have to do is concentrate on making my stitches. Perfect! So, in spare moments of watching TV -- I've been working on it. So far so good -- I'm enjoying it. My stitches aren't perfect by a long shot -- but, I'm learning so that's ok!

I'm working without a hoop and so far I like what I've been doing and don't have any major puckers on the back. I know, it might be easier if I had one but, honestly, I don't like the darned things. I use one for embroidery and for cross stitch when I absolutely have to -- linen is a "have to" for me since I make tight stitches but I always feel like I'm fighting the hoop rather than playing with the stitches! I've also figured out that, yes, a thimble is an absolute must despite the fact that I don't like them and that I need to find a better one than the one I'm using. This is not as easy as it seems -- the one I have is the smallest one I've been able to find -- and it's still a bit too big. ARGHHH. Oh well, here's hoping the one I ordered to try comes in soon. I'm about 3/4 done with this and the only problem now is whether when it's done I keep it -- or if I send it off to live with all of my other first efforts (Hi Mom!).


That's it for now -- three projects that have been getting some minimal attention lately. I still have photos to post about mail (I have a bunch of squishies that came -- at least, when dh finally remembered to give me the mail he had stuck in his car!) but this post is getting to be loooong. So, I will post again soon with photos of the goodies!

14 comments:

Fiona said...

What a good idea - I've looked at cushion cover size wholecloths before now - could be a good way to see if I'm suited to handquilting or not.

michael5000 said...

You know, the only, only thing I actually like about hand quilting is that you get to use the hoop. Makes me feel all Old School. I've heard of other people who prefer going hoopless, though....

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

That sounds like a perfect way for me to have a proper go as well, a wholecloth is a far off dream....we may have to talk!! It looks great, I am proud of you.
I had all that dodgy uploading trouble with my blogiversary photos, which you had better comment on if you are going to win the draw!
I love that gorgeous secret fabric as well, can't wait to see the pics! Tracey

Darlene said...

Jumping into handquilting - way to go, Angela! Relax and enjoy! I want to hand quilt very badly but can't find a thimble that suits me.

Are you ready to jump into hand applique?

Samantha said...

LOVE the sock! Good luck with the hand quilting. I keep meaning to go back to it, but ihate basting so darn much.

Helen said...

PMSL at your Grandmaother IL's defination of hand quilting! Very funny! Something I have been too scared to do though... I'll follow your progress!

Clare said...

Wooo hooo - good one - and hoopless too. I've tried to sew with a hoop, but can't get to grips with it so hoopless I stay. Beautiful stitches. Wish mine looked like that. What size needle are you using?

The Calico Cat said...

Since you asked, no fringe... I am willing to adopt your littel whole cloth quilt. I don't use a hoop either, but I got a Q-snap (A hoop variation that I got at JoAnns) becasue I can't get to the center of the big quilt that I am hand quilting.

comicbooklady said...

I love the purple sock! I find it easier to go hoopless with the smaller projects, too.

gwen said...

So many things to comment on! I can see you getting the sock-knitting bug! The first sock is very pretty. I love knitting socks too. They are so fast and with the beautiful yarn around, it is very difficult to resist. Thanks for sharing the interesting links.
I like hand-quilting too but with a hoop and the fabric very loose in it. I find it practical especially for bigger projects. Your hand-quilting looks really good and I bet that after 10 (!) quilts, your stitches will be so small, you won´t be able to see them anymore!
Take care.

Nan said...

Oooh, I love the purple socks! I think your scarf and your quilting are marvelous! You talented girl, you! I think it's great you are doing the hand quilting, Angela! It's a nice thing to do while curled up on the couch, isn't it?

Rose Marie said...

Those are great socks you have going! Thimble too big - cut a small piece of felt and glue it into the thimble. Gives a bit of cushion and it won't go flying off your finger. Your hand quilting looks darn good to me!

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

Woohoo, hand quilting. See, GIL is right - needle in and out! It is easy, it's not brain surgery. Glad you're enjoying it.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

Wow you are into the knitting - sounds jsut like me last winter. Made the same scarf, learnt to use DPNs and have finished 1 and 1/2 socks! The hand quilting is coming up on my agenda too, as I feel I should hand quilt the hand sewn hexagon quilt if I ever finish it!