Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for a wonderful husband, my three talented children, my great friends back in Texas and the caring and generous new friends in California.

I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely meal that included some pie.

The toss up tomorrow morning will be what to eat for breakfast.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Pair of Socks

We finished our KAL we were doing at the store for toe up socks and I finally finished my second pair.
These are for me.

 The first pair for Jim was a simple 1 x 3 rib so for my pair I wanted to do something different.
I looked through Knitting Stitches by Mary Webb and decided on the miniature plait, an easy pattern just a little tedious. I don't have small feet, I wear a 9 1/2 shoe, so I ran out of yarn.
 I used Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino fingering weight yarn which only has 175 yards in a skein.   I had some left over Madelinetosh fingering weight in my stash that was color compatible so I  used that for the cuffs. I did a slightly larger twisted cable for the cuff.
The socks fit great.
Now I need to figure out what socks to make next.  I'm eyeing a pair in the new Book of Socks by Clara Parkes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blackthorn Double Points

I generally use size 0 needles when knitting socks. I have tried many different company's needles because size 0 needles are very thin and I tend to bend and then split them in half. Lantern Moon, Clover, Darn Pretties and Chaio Goo to name a few.    I purchased a set of size zero 5 inch Signature Needle Arts  double point needles last year and fell in love. I made several pairs of socks with them and they never bent or broke.  Unfortunately when I decided I needed to invest in another pair (they were $10 a needle) I found out that Signature was no longer making 0's which is understandable as they were not made out of the same material as the rest of their needles but I was still bummed. 
I had heard about Blackthorn carbon needles and when I was at Vogue Live in LA they had a booth and I was able to knit with their double points.  They are guaranteed to not break or to lose their point.  For you geeks they are made out of the same carbon fiber composite as the Blackbird Stealth Jet.   At the show they only had 6" so I ordered a set of 5" when I got home. The Blackthorn double points are not cheap but still less then the Signature needles.  Shipping was amazingly quick and free and I have to say I have a new love - don't worry, Jim is still my true love - but in needles these are top dog.

I used them to knit the foot and heel of my second toe up sock and like the slight hold they have on the yarn.

 The points are not as "pointy" as the Signatures but still I had no problem purling three stitches together through the back loop.
My only caution is for those people that have an issue with the sound of fingernails on a blackboard, these might not be for them.  The needles don't make the sound but have the feel of fingernails on a blackboard.
Finishing up on the leg of my socks I have now snapped three more size 1 bamboo double points so I think I am going to add a set of size 1 5" Blackthorn double points to my Christmas list.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hey Kelsey

Kelsey's birthday is in September.  I gifted her a quilt last year for her birthday.  Forward another birthday - she got pillows to go on that quilt to match.  And now I can say the quilt top has been quilted. 

I had hoped to machine quilt it myself.  I even got a new Juki sewing machine for my birthday but was somewhat stymied as to what design to quilt.

While visiting Texas in August I went with Dru Ann to one of her favorite quilt shops, The Needle Niche in Athens, Texas.  They have a couple that does long arm quilting for a very reasonable price and I decided that rather then make Kelsey wait probably another year that they would be the best option for getting her quilt finished.

And finished it is.  I mailed the quilt top, washed quilt batting and fabric for the binding to Dru Ann to take it to the Needle Niche to get quilted.  Letting go was hard but I knew it was the only thing I could do.

And here is the finished quilt in all it's finished glory.

I have signed myself up for another class to help me choose a quilt design for my quilt tops.  There is more machine quilting in the horizon.

Thank you to Charles for the pictures!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Haircut

Millie got her first haircut yesterday.

                                                                 You can see her eyes now.