Friday, June 30, 2006

Killing Me

You guys are killing me, killing me, with all the log-cabin-ing. The Log Cabin is my favorite quilting pattern and I've loved it since I was a girl. In fact, my first quilt was a log cabin. Red, white, and blue. (Which gives you a big hint that you're gonna see a picture of it in a few days.)

Anyway. About the knitted log cabins killing me. So I went into the deepest recesses of my closet and dug out this:

Log Cabin Blocks. Circa 1999-2000. Noro Kureyon.

I was a newish knitter, with limited funds for yarn. I was also limited to making squares or rectangles. I loved garter stitch. I loooooved Kureyon. I found a library book with a log cabin baby blanket (I think it was by Lily Chin, but don't quote me on that).

Enter the perfect project. Log cabin squares out of Noro Kureyon. I could go to the store and satisfy my yarn urge with one ball of Kureyon. They didn't have to match color combinations or even dyelots. The yarn color usually changed around the same time as the "log" and if it didn't change to my satisfaction, I could spit splice.

I am suprised to find two blocks, as I only remembered making one. From the looks of them, I didn't know much about blocking back then. I guess I lost interest, or didn't know what to with them, or maybe they had just fulfilled their purpose for the time.

I have a hankering to start working on them again. My husband and I just got caught up in 24 this year (I never claim to be on the cutting edge) and have been renting the previous seasons as fast as we can. (We just finished season one, so don't tell me anything.) This feels like it would make good 24 knitting, and a nice break from socks.

I'm not sure I like them as big as the big block, but then again, big blocks mean less blocks, and less sewing together. I guess I'll just get started on the unfinished one and see where it leads. Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

And Another Thing.

Since people have asked, here's the lowdown on the merchandise.

I have several tote bags finished, and they will go on sale in Etsy the morning of July 5th. There may or may not be a few skeins of miscellaneous yarn that I didn't have skeined up in time for the last sale.

I am doing my next dyeing after the holiday, and that yarn will go on sale the morning of July 13th.

I hate setting these dates in stone; you know I have children ages 6, 4, and almost-2. But barring act of God, mother nature, or child, this is my plan.

And you will see no more Shameless Self Promotion from me until those dates.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Feeling Better, Thanks.

Thanks you guys, I feel much better knowing that this has happened to many people. And nobody called me an idiot.

Here's something that really cheered me up this week. We had a Big Event. The tooth that had been dangling for several days now finally lost its foothold.

He lost his bottom teeth last year so I am familiar with the procedure. Try to give them away to the tooth fairy, and he cries. He loves his little teeth and wants to keep them. So this time, we wrote a note:

Dear Tooth Fairy. I lost a tooth. I want to keep it. I just want you to know that. Is it ok that I can keep my tooth? Love Ethan.

I looked at the paper, and (being archivally minded) said: "Oh, Honey, don't you want to get a nice piece of paper? Why are you using that ripped piece?"

He, apparently, had thought this all through, because the reply was "Oh no, she might not be able to carry it if it's a whole piece. Too big."

Alrighty then!

(The Tooth Fairy did write him back a note, letting him know it was ok to keep the teeth, and gave him $1. In case you have this big event to look forward to in your life, learn from my experience. A paper dollar would have been much more practical, as four quarters can crash to the floor, creating a loud clatter at a most inopportune time.)

Speaking of the boy, here's something knitting related:

Meet Trice. I made him in May, to celebrate the end of school.

(I was super pleased to plug in the ole camera for the first time today and find that I had over 200 photos still on the camera. Many that I had already put onto the old computer, but then hadn't taken the time to delete. God Bless not having time to do something properly. )

Trice got a warm welcome from "Squishy". If you don't remember him, he had a little photo op back in November -scroll down about a quarter of the way.

Quite a beloved new member of the family already! Get your own pattern for these super cute dinos here. Thanks Xtreme Knitting!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


My hard drive, that is. Crashed, died, done. I'm feeling a little lost, looking at a borrowed computer with nothing familiar and no photos.

I was in need of getting a new computer anyway, I just kept putting it off. But I was a big idiot and haven't backed up my hard drive for a few months. So I'm mourning the loss of months of family photos and trying to decide if it is worth it to spend big bucks to send the hard drive out to retrieve them.

Also--if you have sent me e-mail in recent weeks (or months--sorry!) that I've been meaning to respond to, please send again, I have lost all that.


You guys really rocked with all your comments and enthusiasm for the new yarn. I feel the love!!!! I was trying to respond personally to all the comments, but again, I have lost everything that was send to me in e-mail so please don't think me rude!

Several people have asked about when I'll be dyeing again. I hope to do a batch every month. The next batch will be bigger--much bigger, and probably done the second week in July. I will put an announcement on the blog a few days before. And if you would like to receive an e-mail reminder, send your e-mail address to emily (at) emilyquilts (dot) com.

And if you've asked about the tote bags.....I have a few done. I also have a few skeins of yarn that wasn't skeined up in time to go on the blog last week, so if I can get the computer sorted out and etsy loaded up you might see that in the next couple of days or weeks.

Meanwhile, if I'm laying low for awhile, it's because of the hard drive mess. I'm trying to take it in stride and learn my lesson, but it does kind of suck.

In summary, sorry for the lack of photos and content! Next time, cheerier post and pictures of....something. Guaranteed!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn

Welcome to my Big Announcement!

You know, when somebody blogs "I have a big announcement" it means one of two things. They're pregnant. Or, they're selling their yarn on the internet.

Well, I've had three c-sections and I believe I am done in that department. But, in a way, this is sort of my "baby". Please welcome:

Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn.

This is something I've wanted to do for about a year now, dye yarn and offer it up for sale. It just wasn't in the cards for me last year with the schedule I had with the kids. But I've been researching the best sock yarns and dyeing a lot of yarn for myself (hee hee-you may have noticed.)

I've dyed fabric for over ten years for my quilts using professional Procion MX dyes. I love to dye bright, saturated colors. It was only natural that I use that experience to get exactly what I wanted in yarn--only using professional acid dyes.

I intend to offer three weights of sock yarn--light, medium and heavy. What you see below is all dyed in the medium weight--I could only buy so much yarn for the first batch, so I chose my favorite. You will love it, it is extrememly high quality, 100% merino wool, superwash, with a nice twist and a beautiful sheen.

All skeins are $23.00 for 110 gms/350 yds: enough for one pair of socks. Shipping is $4.05 USPS priority mail for up to three skeins. Insurance is optional, at your request. I welcome international orders, but I haven't checked into shipping rates/methods, so bear with me and give me time to do that.

I accept checks or paypal--paypal is preferred and will get your yarn shipped out right away. Checks I will wait to receive before I mail the yarn.

If you want to purchase, e-mail me:

emily (at) emilyquilts (dot) com

Please be as specific as possible about the color name and amount, so I can back to you quickly. I intend to move all this over to an etsy shop in the next couple of weeks, so as not to clog up the blog with all this yarn. (There are so many pictures that it is taking me three posts to load them all, be sure to check out all three posts below!)

Here's the yarn--thanks for looking!

Color: Iris Garden
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Glade
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Summer Salad
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

*Continued in post below*

Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn--Part 2

Color: June Wedding
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Weekend Getaway
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Fresh Air
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
Two available

Color: Country Club
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
Two available

*Continued in post below*

Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn--Part 3

Color: Starry Night
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Summer in the City
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Handsome Park Ranger
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

Color: Lilly P.
100% Merino Wool--Superwash
100 gms/350 yards, makes a pair of socks
-Sold Out-

E-mail me: emily(at)emilyquilts(dot)com

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

sew? i knit!

Another something-along!

I love the idea of this one: sew? i knit!

It's a bunch of knitters who sew too. Every round there is a theme. June/July it's a blouse. I didn't sign up for the first two rounds, but I happened to make the same thing they were making, just by coincidence (April it was a skirt, which I made, and May it was a bag, which I made....eleven). So, I figured I needed to get in on this action.

I sew a lot of my clothes but usually it's just a quick and dirty project, nothing special, just plain twill pants or a new black skirt, and it never makes it to the blog.

Here's a blouse I made last month, just before the sew-along started, so it doesn't count. But I'm basing the next one on this pattern, so I thought I'd show it anyway.

Burda pattern 2561, Robert Kaufman pimatex cotton, about 2.25 yards. I got the fabric at Hancock's of Paducah while I was there for the quilt show. It makes a great shirting fabric.

I plan to use the basic body pattern for the next one, but I'm going to leave off the collar and make a sort of ruffle instead (?) and make it short sleeved.

Here is a the fabric for the next one:

Meanwhile, if you're in the market for some sock yarn, stay tuned:

Yarn for sale tomorrow.

And maybe some tote bags. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Piles and Staring

I was struck yesterday morning by the post "Projects in Waiting" on one of my favorite blogs, Soulemama. It's a post about works in progress, really, about the piles of projects.

I think most of you know or can guess that I'm mainly a project--as opposed to "process"-- person. I knit/quilt/sew an object because I want to have it. I do love the process too, of course, or I wouldn't do it. But I don't usually think too hard about the process. Or revel in the nuances of the process.

So, when I see a pile, to me, it is: "stuff I need to do". Now I have another take. A pile as: potential. A thing of beauty. Maybe even an object, in and of itself.

(Okay, so I feel a little goofy and sheepish just writing it!)

And there's also the point she made, that had never occurred to me, that once an idea becomes a pile--that is, the fabric put with the pattern or the trim, the quilt fabric bundled together, the yarn with the needles and the pattern--all of it together, waiting it's turn, it is much more likely to become an object, and not just live forever as an idea.

Here is a pile on my floor right now. It's a bunch of fabric layered with batting to become tote bags. With some, I have a person in mind, and some I will offer up for sale on the blog next week. I'm considering opening an etsy shop, or might just put them on the blog and see what happens.

It's good for me to read people who can think about the process and verbalize it so well. Once I recognize these unconcious acts and integrate them into my understanding and it makes the process richer.

It's like the time there was a conversation on the quiltart list, years ago, about "staring". Someone mentioned that they had a realization how much time they spent in that trance-like state, just gazing at their quilt in progress, and many people chimed in. Some about how they recognized what a valuable and necessary part of the design process this was, some people laughing about how they had never thought of it like that before. I never realized that I even did it, that I spent so much time doing it, or how very important it was.

Here is a quilt that's been on my design wall, untouched, since December. If you've read my blog that long, you might recognize that it is the one I had on my wall when I did my demonstration for the PBS people.

As my close friends know, I just haven't been in the frame of mind to make quilts this year. It's been a very full year with all three kids at home the majority of the time. I always struggle with balancing my passion for making things, and daydreaming about potential projects with being in the here and now and the world of the kids. Now that I have a son that is six, and I've learned firsthand that it goes by fast, I've really slowed down (ok--are some of you laughing right now? I have.) and put the quilting on hold this year for the sake of my sanity.

So, not much physical quilting. But I have done some staring. And after six months of staring at this quilt, I realized the reason I haven't been motivated to continue with it. The scale is wrong. The quilt is too big for the design. It is (was) about 65" square, I went to Kinko's yesterday and reduced it to approx. 50" square. Much better. Will get going on this again in the next week or so.

Maybe after I get through that pile of tote bags...

Friday, June 09, 2006


Today I had the delight of having two girlfriends over for a quickie lunch and show-and-tell. Adult conversation! We just blurt everything so quickly to get it all in.

Here's Melody with her new sweater, she is doing the same pattern as my black raglan except, not really. The same in that she cast on the number of stitches that the pattern said. From then on, she's doing her own thing! She's a wild and crazy one, that Mel.

We oohed and ahhed over her pile, fresh from Tuesday Morning. That's right, Tuesday morning. It's not just for Cotton-Ease, anymore.

I showed them the stash of sock yarn I've been dyeing. More oohing. More aaahing.

Laura has a new fabric line, it should be in the stores now. If you haven't seen it yet, go check out her blog.

Cute whimsical fabrics that immediately made me think "tote bags, and little girl clothes!"
She made up a sample to put in her booth for quilt market, and now that she's done with it--guess who it goes to?!

Thank you Laura! She put it on after you left and insisted on wearing it to the library this afternoon, even though we took in the waistband a few inches and were still holding it together with a safety pin.

Everybody needs a little show-and-tell now and then.

Thank God for girlfriends.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lots O Socks

Since school is out, most afternoons I'm outside with the kids. While they're running through the sprinkler, I'm either puttering around pulling weeds or--gee--guess what.

I've made a tiny progress on the red linen tank. A few people asked which issue the pattern is from. It's Interweave Knits Spring '03 (same issue as my Remembering Honey sweater-talk about getting your money's worth!)

But mostly, I've given into the wave of summer sock knitting. What's not to love, mindless, portable, and not big and hot.

I've advanced about an inch on my Trekking sock since Saturday:

Finished this sock I cast on Saturday, from my own hand dyed sock yarn, Red, royal blue, cream, pale yellow, denim blue and teal--it's pure summer in a skein.

Almost finished with this sock from more of my hand-dyed--mostly denim blue with some shots of black, grey, and grey-purple:

Cast on this sock from more hand dyed (pale periwinkle with aqua):

Cast on another sock from deep blue hand dyed, shot through with purple:

And, in spite of a page long list of future sweater projects, I was so enamored with the periwinkle sock yarn that I cast on a lace shawl. This is night-time-no-kids knitting, for sure. I've already tried it, and it doesn't make the cut for outdoor-watching-3-kids-with-water knitting. But with all those sock going on, I just had a need for "thinking knitting". It's the Flower Basket shawl from IK, Fall 04.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Adventures of the Trekkings

A few of my local knit-buds, Carla, Jodee and Lydia, convinced me to join in Margene's summer knit-along Trek With Me. I have been dubbed the official spokesperson, since I am the only blogger. Jodee is the organizer, Carla--the enabler, and Lydia, the finder of all rare and exquisite Trekking colorways.

Under the guidance of Jodee, we met in the park this weekend to officially cast on. We admired each other's Trekkings. We examined the various props-I mean-equipment. Sun hat, walking stick, etc. Then, being moms, we did what all moms do before a big trek. Make sure everyone has had a potty break.

There are all our little Trekkings, lined up and ready.

The colors are, (girls you may have to correct me on this, I hope I get it right) from top to bottom:109 blues, 108 denim blues plus multicolor, 105 reds, 71 dark blues, 135 bright pastels, 133 pastel pinks, 69 browns, 107 green/red/khaki multi, ? number oranges, and ? number navy with multicolor.

You may notice that there are 10 skeins and only 4 of us. Some of us are ambitious. Not naming any names at this point.

Here we are casting on. From left to right: Jodee, me, Lydia, and Carla.

Let the summer of sock knitting begin!