Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sophie's Toes Fashion Show

Hey Friends!

It was so busy in August with the start of school that I never gave a report on Stitches Midwest.  I was a vendor there for my third year, and the nicest thing about doing a show several times is getting to know the customers. 

I had several people stop in my booth wearing their Sophie's Toes creations, and I wanted to share the handwork of these talented ladies! 

I am so thrilled when someone wears something to a show that they have made with my yarn.  I know that when I pick out a garment to wear to a knitting event, I pick out one of my bestest, most favorite things, so I know that these ladies love these F.O.s and I'm so happy that I could be a part of it!

First up, we have Mary Ellen, looking so pretty in her Wingspan made with a Magic Ball in Monet's Garden.  That color was popular last year--I actually had three customers the first day all wearing shawls from Monet's Garden, and all different! 
Next came the talented Gwen, who used two different Magic Balls for her Gee's Bend baby blanket adaptation.  She used Hollyhocks and Pastel Baby.  So cute! 

Phyllis is a friend with whom I knit on a regular basis, and let me tell you, Phyllis is a master.  Phyllis is Knitting Yoda.  I wish I had a closer photo of this shawl, made with a six pack and an extra skein (the dark purple at the edge is an extra skein).  She rocked Stitches in this masterpiece.

And just when everyone was totally dragging on Sunday, in steps the lively and effervescent Karen, with her (Go Blackhawks!) shawl made with a Six-Pack.  The pattern came from the book Sock Yarn Shawls by Jen Lucas, which is on my to-do list, because apparently all the patterns are for shawls made of sock yarn (why, how convenient!) and many of them are possible to adjust to the amount of yarn that you have, which I love.  Who doesn't want to use up every last bit of hand-dyed goodness?

Also, (according to our Karen) the author gives very good instructions about how to adjust them--add extra rows in section x--for example, which takes all the math and science out of figuring out how to do it and lets your brain do other things.  Like remember to pick up your kids from school.

So in case you haven't checked it out lately, I added a thread on the Sophie's Toes Ravelry group just for Magic Ball finished projects, and another for Six-Pack finished projects.  Please check it out and post your own finished lovelies! 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Back to School-Back to Quilts

Hello Friends!  It's back to school time!  Here are my Happy Campers ready on their first day.  Mr. Eighth Grade is slightly less happy than the girls, mostly because he now has to share his super-cool middle school with Little Sister.  But they all love their classes and teachers and that makes it much easier for me to be excited for them and shift my priorities from summery activities back to dyeing and quilting.

Yes.  I know.  They are growing up.  Ethan passed me up in height this spring which was extremely bittersweet.  Molly is closing in fast (grew 5 inches last year!) and she will probably pass me up by Christmas.  Anyway, before I start getting too wistful, let's move on to the quilts....

I have three quilts in what we'll call the "active phase".  So, this is not counting anything that has fallen to the back of the closet and been forgotten ("dormant phase"), or the piles of fabric which are waiting to be cut ("planning phase").

Here's the one you saw last spring, the tiny crosses out of the Liberty of London Lifestyle collection (Bloomsbury collection):

Draped over the table, you can get a better sense of how small the blocks are.  Even here, you can only see about half of the quilt. 

I have the backing ready and have just been avoiding the basting process.  When I got it out last week to photograph it for the blog I have to admit I was a little surprised that it looked so cheery to me.  I was a little afraid that I would always associate this quilt with a difficult winter but I think I've shaken off those feelings and am ready to tackle this with a renewed spirit. 

Okay.  Next!

I started this next quilt in May.  I actually started this quilt on my birthday (my birthday is in the second week of May which means it always falls on, or around, Mother's Day which is a total rip-off especially this year when my birthday was on Saturday and Mother's Day was on Sunday so by Sunday they were totally OVER me and I decided to go out and buy myself a present and not to mention it was a super busy weekend with end-of-school stuff and I could really have written an entire blog post on this and aren't you so glad I didn't!)

Did I mention, I made one block the morning of my birthday. 

And I continued to make more blocks throughout the summer, in moments here and there.

And little by little, it has become a finished quilt top.  I vacillate between being thrifty and using up fabric that I already have for the back, and wanting the back to be as beautiful as the front.  It is really hard to find the sweet spot of back as beautiful as the front using fabric I already have.  I really become in danger of taking this quilt off the wall and folding it up and putting it aside so I can start my next quilt top, and letting it sit in my studio untouched for months (see tiny crosses, quilt, above).  So I need to start pulling some fabric out of my closet and see what I have and make a decision. 

Project Number Two, check.  And now last, but most awesome, in my totally biased opinion. 

I preface this with complete shame that this project spent time in "dormant" phase. 

When Ethan was ten (see: teenager-who-is-now-taller-than-me, above), he went through a phase where he drew elaborate Star Wars battle scenes that I really loved.

 That summer, I gave him a project to make me 12 masterpieces.  I ironed white fabric to freezer paper and gave him a zillion sharpies.   I was thrilled with the results but due to Lord-knows-what they got set aside for awhile and then accidently misplaced to the depths of the closet.

Last spring I found them and ordered the fabric for the sashing and backing.  Then there was the hold up of the perfect grey (has to match the light saber) being mysteriously out of stock everywhere I looked.  Now I finally have the grey in hand, and my little artist has the promise of getting his quilt this fall.