Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A New Project

I am travelling in a couple of weeks.  I decided that I needed a new purse and wallet.

I dipped into my stash and found some Tula Pink for the wallet.

It has cute foxes and bright colours, but it has a problem. For the wallet, I need a strip the entire width of this fat quarter and about one fox high.

If I put my ruler exactly under the first fox, the next one is up about 1/4". As I move across, it gets worse.

It is almost an inch out by the end of the strip. That will look terrible on the outside of a wallet. I think this piece will become fussy cut pockets.

Time for another dive.

My other favourite fabric designer is Laurel Birch.  I have been hoarding this piece forever, and I think it is time it became a wallet.

I have some of the complimentary fabric, and some polka dots that are in the right range. I like the look so far. Just another bunch of pieces to cut, and interfacing for everything, then I can start to sew.

Meanwhile, after finishing the SHAWL, I needed something more soothing.

It is another Baby Surprise Jacket, for another baby newly born. The yarn is Snuggly by Sirdar. The colours aren't my usual, but I like the combination.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Journey of 1001 Nights

Last August, for reasons I no longer remember, I challenged my friend Cheryl to knit a newly released pattern, 1001 Nights by Anne-Lise Maigaard. 

I had knit her Alberta pattern, in 2016, and it was lovely. A LOT of work, but I loved it when it was finished.

This one took a tad longer, especially after I got to the point where I needed to get onto some Christmas knitting, and put it aside for a few weeks. I didn't pick it up again, until two weeks ago. I put a concerted effort into it, and now it is finished. It took me about 350 nights.

I was going to photograph it, hung from the fence, to show you the full size, but the Virginia Creeper has taken over the fence. I need to get my machete out.

There are 2251 beads, according to the pattern. I think I used a few more, if you count the ones lost in the couch cushions.

The yarn is Drops Lace, an alpaca and silk blend. The shawl feels as light as a spider web.

The beads are so tiny, it is hard to see them except in the closeups. I skipped the fancy cast off edge, because I just wanted the shawl done.

Look at those tiny beads, sparkling in the sun, yesterday

When I knit a shawl like this, the comments usually talk about wearing it on special occasions. I agree. It should be worn on Casual Friday, Monday, because it is Monday, basically, any day that needs to be made special.

This picture is for Jean in NZ, lover of gingers.

This is Momo, the latest guest at the Arts and Socks Kitty Spa. Momo is here to recover from hip surgery. Note the catfood all over his cone. He doesn't quite have the hang of cones, yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Since the blog is called Arts and Socks, I feel that socks should make an occasional appearance. I started these socks, so I would have something to knit while working the election.

The yarn is Stitch Please Sapphire Label, in Psychedelic Onyx.  I love the colour, and they are for me!

As I was nearing the end of the second sock, I happened across an article on sock toes from Kate Atherley.

I was intrigued, so I decided to give some of her suggestions a try.

The sock on the left is my usual toe, the sock on the right incorporates Kate's suggestions. The second toe does look smoother.

I started the toe decreases at the beginning of the sole stitches, instead of the middle, and I didn't do the setup stitches for the toe grafting. I must write this in my book, so I remember.

Although they look alike, the socks are not identical twins. The yarn was a self striping yarn that has two skeins dyed together, to make it easier to match the stripes, but I didn't set up my heel correctly to centre the rib on the instep on the first sock. I corrected that on the second, but I don' imagine anyone will notice.

This morning, we had toddler cardinals in our yard, taking flying lessons. I caught a picture of one, although they are very skittish at this age.

 Cute, isn't he/she? We have two families of Cardinals that visit our yard. I expect the parents are happy that the dogs keep the yard free of neighbouring cats, so their babies can take flight lessons safely.

BTW, the 1001 Nights shawl is finished. It is awaiting a dunk in the hot tub! Since that means some house cleaning is required, I hope to show it later this week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Couple of Throwbacks

Some years ago, before I began blogging, we went on self guided tour of the west. We went to Saskatchewan and Alberta. We swam in a saltwater lake, we climbed mountains. It was all wonderful.

As a souvenir of the trip, I bought a quilt kit at The Sugar Pine Company in Canmore, Alberta. I was a new quilter, and the quilt was probably way out of my league, and it sat, in my sewing room for months. When I finally finished it, I loved it. I still do.

First, the inspiration.

This is Lake Louise. The man in the picture is assembling an alpine horn, to play across the lake. We heard that he was travelling around the world, trying to play his horn in as many mountain locations as he could.

And this is my quilt. It turned out quite well considering I had no idea what I was doing. I kept going to the local quilt store to buy another tread to match the fabric. It is free motion quilted, something I had never done before. The kit was by Castilleja Cotton. It is a testimony to their designs that it turned out so well.

As souvenirs go, I think it was pretty special.

Meanwhile, I resurrected my 1001 Nights Shawl. I started it at the end of august, last year, so I am determined to finish it before a year has completely passed.

I have 4 more rows to go, then some 900 stitches to cast off. The pattern suggests a crocheted picot, beaded edge, but that isn't happening. I don't think it needs any more beads. After I block it, I will do a closeup, of the beads. There are over 1000.