Before my curtain frustrations get the best of me, I thought I’d share a few knitted projects that I’ve recently finshed up. My friend Kristina had been admiring the poncho that I knitted for myself earlier this year and asked me to make her one. It’s a really easy pattern to do, but I was only so-so pleased with the way hers turned out:

Kristina's Poncho

The main thing that disappointed me about it was the neck. The last one I did I used size 9 needles for the neck, only because when I started it, it was the closest needle that I had to what the pattern called for (size 13). I had been in a hurry to start, and in the end, I think that was a better move anyway. The new poncho’s collar is floppy and won’t hold shape. I just think it could have been a bit better, had I used different needles.
What I am happy with, however, is this:
Dimond Lace Scarf

I used the Dimond Lace scarf pattern that Laural at Thimble wrote (thank you!!). I made a few minor changes to the pattern, but nothing major. I hadn’t done any work with knitting in a lace pattern before, but I ended up being really impressed with how easy and quickly the scarf came together. I’m giving this one to my mother-in-law for Christmas, so I hope she likes as much as I do.

More Felting

After doing a couple of felting projects this year, I’m still not sure what I think about them. I like the idea that I can knit a project together very quickly (and sloppily) and then just by running it through the washer, have something totally new. But it just seems like a way to get out of working hard on something and having it look nice in the end because you actually did a good job on it.
Anyway, this is my second of these felted bags. I made another one this summer for a friend’s birthday, but for some reason I think hers turned out better. I think that after awhile, the whole process of making it started to annoy me. (I’m just a big grump too–that probably has to do with part of it!)
Either way, I think I’ll be taking a break from felting knits for awhile.

Sockage

In preperation for fall (which I’m grumply doing) I have knitted my first pair of socks. They’re certainly not perfect, but since I’m really not a very experienced knitter I’m okay with the way they turned out. For some reason I’ve been in the mood to do a lot more knitting this past week than quilting…hmmm, I wonder why.

Despite being a perfect weather week to work on quilting, I’ve done nothing but knit since Monday. I finshed my felted bag (not really mine, it’s actually a belated birthday gift for my friend, Kate) in less than five days, since it was pretty much the only thing I did this week. It turned out great though!

Birthday Bag

(See my pretty lilies in the back? I did gardening this week too!)
I bought enough black wool to make one for myself too–mine will have pink stripes instead though. I need to have a knitting break for a few days first.
To anyone concerned that I’ve gone over to the knitting darkside for good though: it’s just easier to tote a knitting project to my work this summer (I have a lot of downtime there) instead of the queen sized quilt in progress. Sometimes (and I’m sure there are a lot of quilters who agree with me) I just have to take a break from my big projects, since they do consume so much of my time. I don’t have to have the wedding quilt finished until October 8th (and then you both are getting MARRIED, Laura and Steve!!!) and I just don’t feel like I should burn myself out on it!
No way will I ever give up the quilting.

Since it’s been 85 degrees and over for what feels like forever, I’ve been knitting instead of quilting lately. The nice thing about knitting is that unlike quilting, I can have a major project finished in a couple of weeks if I put my mind to it. It’s just impossible to do that with quilting. To keep myself busy, I made this poncho:

Knit Poncho

While I was working on it, Ben asked why I would ever want to work on a sweater on a 90 degree day in June. At the time, my answer was that it was too hot to sew, and that I was making it to wear in the fall. Unfortunatly, I want to wear it now, despite being so hot that I would die while wearing it.
And until the heat breaks a little more, I’m going to be doing more knitting. My friend gave me a pattern for a bag that she’s already made, and I’m going to make one for myself and one for a friend’s birthday. For Kate’s I’m using a dark gray and bright blue wool.
Felted Bag Yarn

I’m excited to get the first one started, but I really do want to get back to my quilting too (the hot weather is supposed to get better by Wednesday–yay!). But, being that this is primarly a quilting blog (and since I like to write about quilting and not other random things) I’ve been slow on the news this last month. I’d rather have quality things to say about my blog’s topic, rather than blathering junk. Some people may have more interesting lives, or have the ablity to make their lives seem that way, but I’m just not about that here. So please don’t give up on my blog, friends, I just haven’t had anything too interesting to say lately! :)

I’ve been really into bags and purses lately, and it’s been taking up a lot of the time when it’s been too warm to quilt. I’ve wanted to try felting for quite awhile now, and a couple of weeks ago I finally picked up some wool yarn. In typical Sarah style, I started knitting (without any clue) until I thought I had a decent bag. Turns out on this one, I did pretty well:

Felted Purse

I’ve been excited to have several compliments on it at work. (Does that mean it’s not a piece of crap?) I’m pleased with it at least.
Also this week my friend Kate sent me this awsome bag:
Cirrus Bag

To explain: we call each other Cirrus and Nimbus because we’re like that. No one else gets it, but I think the bag is so cool! She ordered it from a company called Neighborhoodies that sells custom made bags, shirts, sweatshirts and other fun things. I think it’s an awsome idea.
Off to quilt before bedtime tonight.

I’m not allowing myself to do anymore knitting for awhile. When I start knitting something, it’s the only thing I do…ever. I finished my poncho this past weekend, and when I brought it to my crafty girls group this week, people were amazed that I had it done already. THAT’S BECAUSE I’VE DONE NOTHING ELSE SINCE I STARTED IT! I’m not fast, I just have no life. But it is finished, and it’s nice to wear around the house.

Blue Poncho

And now, since I’m no longer letting myself start any new knitting projects, I’ve actually gotten some work finished on my new wedding quilt. Today I sewed three finished blocks together. That was a big accomplishment. For months, I only had one actual block completly done. Now I can start to see just what the top is really going to look like:
Blue Poncho

It needs to be ironed pretty bad right now, but I’d like to wait and do that when I get a strip of six blocks done before I do that work. I’m real pleased with how it’s starting to look. Now if I can just get a lot of work finished with it this weekend when we’re on our 12 hour trip to North Carolina. As long as it doesn’t make me carsick, I should do pretty well!

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time working on projects, but lately, none of it’s been my quilting. I’ll get to that in just a bit. First though, I figured since I’ve been so stalled out my quilting, I’d at least profile some of the work that I could be doing instead. Shortly after I started the Wedding Spectaularrr quilt almost two years ago, I decided that I wanted to make myself a quilt in the same pattern, but in different colors. I got several stars done, but after I started piecing the top of Wedding Spectaularrr together, I put it away, and I haven’t worked on it much since.

Texas Star Quilt

As usual, it’s one of those projects that just doesn’t get attention because it doesn’t have priority over the quilts that are going to be gifts. I stopped working on this one, because I needed to devote all of my attention to finishing Wedding Spectaularrr. But until I get an extra moment for quilting, it sits in a basket, waiting for me to get bored with whatever else I’m working on for the minute.
In the meantime though, I’ve been knitting. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–I really don’t like knitting that much, but there’s something about it that makes me need to do it. It’s not that I hate it, and don’t have fun with it, but it’s not nearly as fun as quilting is to me. But despite that statement, I’ve been busy. Last week I threw together this:
Purple Hat

I found the pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn website. They actually have some pretty good patterns there. I thought this one was really simple–I finished it in only a couple of hours, and that’s pretty good for me.
And then finally, although I had started (and intended to finish) a knitted poncho a few weeks ago, I abandoned it and started a new one in better colors.
Better-Colored Poncho

I’m not giving up on this one now, and it’s also partially to blame on why I’ve not done any quilting yet this week. Ben and I are driving to North Carolina for a friend’s wedding reception (in simpler terms, it’s a hog roast) and I’d like to wear it to that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it actually turns out!

I had been thinking last week about how much fun I have when my friends that quilt or knit meet up and do our things together. Maybe it was part inspiration from the Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation book that Ben gave me for Christmas, and maybe it’s a little of just wanting to see my friends more often, but starting tonight we have a crafty girls group. We decided that it wasn’t going to be just a quilt or knit-specific group, since most of us do more than one of them. I’m excited though for everyone to get here–it should be a lot of fun.
I am finding it frustrating though, that it never seems that I’m able to get a project done lately. I guess it’s that I’ve started things that all take more than just a couple of days to finish (and in some cases, no less than months). But I have been busy. I started knitting a poncho (not really because I wanted a poncho, but more because I’m trying to learn how to actually use patterns to knit… it’s not going extremely well right now). I doubt I’ll use it for much more than around the house wear when I finish it.

Puke Color Poncho

I’ve also been trying to get through as much the wedding quilt for our friends Laura and Steve. The blocks are getting bigger, and when you lay them out, you can start to see what the pattern is going to look like:
It's Starting To Look Like A Quilt!

It’s making me itchy to finish the rest of the blocks so that I can sew the whole thing together. But hand piecing 30 blocks with 81 squares in each takes up a lot of time. It’ll be worth it in the end though. Here’s still what’s left to be sewn together:
I've Still Got That Much To Sew???

And with all of that going on, I finally got some pictures from the Wedding Spectacularrr quilt printed up, and I’m working on scrapbooking them in my quilt book. I’m not a huge fan of scrapbooking, and it kinda drives me crazy since it takes so long to make one page nice, but I figure that I worked so hard on the quilt, I might as well take the time to make a history of it.
Wedding Spectacularrr.... On Paper

The computer is finally back to normal again, and I have pictures to prove that I have actually been working! The current wedding quilt is coming along so nicely right now. I got a ton of piecing done this weekend when Ben and I were stuck in the house being sickies (which I still am). I keep looking at my bag of squares to sew and thinking just how much I have to go, even with all of the fabric not cut yet. It took me over a year to do the Wedding Spectacularrrr quilt, and this one’s got a lot more piecing and quilting than that one did. As of this Friday, the 8th, I have exactly one year.

Long Way To Go

There’s a lot more to do, isn’t there?
But during the time when I’m not working on that, I’ve been keeping myself busy with the knitting. I finally finished the blue scarf that I ripped out and started again, and I’ve also started a fuzzy orange one. I love the color orange, and have no idea when I’ll ever use an orange scarf, but it’s fun anyway.
Blue Scarf

and….
Pumpkin Orange Scarf

If nothing else, I’ll be able to wear that one for Halloween.
And finally, after several weeks of stress, I finally recieved my new quilt rack. Finally! I’m really happy with it too, but I found out, that there really wasn’t a good place to put it in my house. Its location is still somewhat to be determined, but for now its sitting at the end of the hallway, just inside our office.
It's A Quilt Rack...FINALLY!

The green quilt on the front is the first I ever made, for my now husband as a high school graduation present. It took me a year and a half into his time at college to actually finish it. The one behind it is a quilt titled “Bloom,” made by my Granny. She’s the recipient of the blue, yellow and green quilt I’m working on. Which, by the way, is still causing me major stress and headaches, since I still haven’t decided how to finish quilting it. I figured some time away from it would help me.
Whew! That was a long post!