Saturday, February 9, 2008

Recent Projects

I want to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement after my "funky" post of a few days ago. I'm determined to get myself turned around by keeping busy with projects and the joys of starting new ones and completing old ones. So here are a few pictures of some of the things that have been keeping me busy (and keeping me from feeling "funky") for the past couple weeks.

New Projects

Yesterday I took a quilting class with one of my co-workers (she's an expert quilter and I'm always inspired by the quilts she brings to work to show me). We worked on the Butterfly Blooms (a strip club quilt). I managed to get five squares done during the 3-hour class time.

I really enjoyed this class, which was held at the recently opened Pine Needles Quilt Shop a few miles south of my home. Another surprise at this class was finding out that one my high school classmates works at the quilt shop, so were able to spend some time catching up on friends and family news.

Here's the Sweet Alyssum Shawl I started a couple weeks ago--inspired by Julie's posts about alpaca.

This beautiful yarn is called Shimmer (from KnitPicks) and it's 70% Baby Alpaca and 30% Silk. The color is called "Happy Dance" and I felt compelled to start it during the lowest point of my funk. I looks as though I will be able to knit the entire shawl from this one 440 yard skein. It will look much nicer once it's all done and blocked.

Projects in Progress

Here's the afghan I'm making for Lynne's sister Phyllis. Lynne says her favorite color is blue. It's been nice working on this afghan and keeping my own lap warm on these chilly evenings. The pattern is for a baby afghan, but I use worsted weight yarn and a larger crochet hook and the pattern works up as a nice sized adult afghan.

Completed Projects

Here's a pair of dark red superwash merino wool socks. I washed and dried them with my regular laundry and they came out of the dryer looking great. They are a gift for a special person who's looking forward to a birding festival next weekend....

This is a prayer shawl knitted from a free pattern I found on the Knitting Pattern Central website. The pattern used 2 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn.

Here's a hat (also knitted from a free pattern at Knitting Pattern Central). The pattern uses a plain colored yarn and Noro Kureyon for the contrast. Kureyon is a neat yarn that changes color within the skein, so you get nice color changes in your contrast work without having to change yarns (you can see that the middle design of this pattern changes from orange to blue to purple and that's all in the same strand of yarn).
I modified the pattern by knitting a corrugated ribbing to emphasize the contrasting yarn a little bit more.
I really like the way the top of the hat is patterned.

And even though this isn't a project, I thought you might enjoy seeing this little movie of my old girl, Daisy. The snow stopped and the sun came out along with the high winds blowing all the fresh snow around, but as you can see, it didn't deter Daisy from her backyard explorations. She's still pretty spry for a dog who's going to be 15 years old in April.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed you got so much done with your projects. the knitting pics are so beautiful. The shawls are so intricate, something to keep you warm. Someone special is certainly going to like those socks especially if it's a cold as it is this weekend. That hat is just to cool, the yarn is so interesting. You sure are working at getting out of the funk. All I do is read, I'm working on reading Ken Follett's book "Pillars of the Earth" It's 973 pages and in a week and a half I've read over half of it. It is really hard to lay down it is so interesting. I've read some of his books before, oh I just found out he has a sequel to "Pillars".

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Girl you have been busy. I like the color of the shawl.

I have always thought i might like to quilt. I have a sewing machine but I rarely use it. Do you sew your squares by hand or by machine?
Quilting is a great art form.

Mary said...


I guess there is something wrong on my end because I can't see your photos. I'd love to see Lynne's sister's afghan. I'll come back later and see if I can view the pics.

But I did see old Daisy - spry in the slippery snow and sniffing around for bunnies. My goodness, the snow is whipping around, isn't it?

I'm happy you are feeling better and staying busy.


nina said...

I can't see them either--only the quilt at the top. :-(

But, I'll imagine them beautiful!

Lynne said...

Wow Ruthie! You have been busy! The afghan for Phyllis is just beautiful! She will love it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now about those socks... They sure look warm and comfy! :)

Betty Jane- I reread "Pillars of the Earth" a few weeks ago and am now half way through the sequel "World Without End". They sure are terrific stories.

Maud said...

beautiful knitting and quilt pictures! And send my greetings to Daisy, nice movements for a 15 years old!

Jayne said...

Love all your projects Ruthie and am in awe of your knitting/quilting talents! Sweet, sweet Daisy... how peaceful the sound with all your chimes in the background.

loribird said...

Holy Heck you've been a busy lady! I love the quilt squares - now there's something I've always admired but never started... The knitting is quite nice too, I'm particularly taken with the "Happy Dance" shawl and the hat - what great colors!

Richard said...

A woman of many talents. Love the quilt.

Ruth said...

Ruthie, I don't know how you fit everything you do into a day! You are so gifted and generous. I received the beautiful scarf you sent me for completing the birding quiz this Friday. I will treasure it! It is long an warm enough to use as a shawl (I hate wearing hats). It is awfully cold here but I will be cozy tomorrow.

barefoot gardener said...

I have something for you at my blog. Come on over and collect! :)

Mary said...

Ahhhh! Now I can see them! Your projects are so cool - I love the colors, Ruthie. The afghan for Lynne's sister is a soft and beautiful blue. She'll love it.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I read a book this weekend too: The Knitting Circle, a fictional novel that revolves around knitting as therapy (now I can justify spending more time knitting). I'll have to add that Ken Follett book to my request list at the library.

Hi Lisa,
The quilt will be done by machine. When I finally get all the blocks sewn together, I will have my friend from work (who I took the class with) quilt it on her big quilting machine. I still like knitting better--it's much more portable!

Hi Mare,
Glad you finally got the pictures. Blogger didn't want to download them yesterday when I did this post.
I just finished Phyllis's afghan while watching Nature on PBS this evening--it's in the washer right now!

Hi Nina,
I hope you get a chance to see the pictures....Blogger can be kind of tempermental at times!

Hi Lynne,
I hope Phyllis will love the afghan too. It's so warm and I loved those colors too.
The socks are meant to go over another pair and will keep your feet extra warm inside your boots.

Hi Maud,
The quilt class was fun and I found out after cutting the strips for the 25 square wall hanging that I had a lot of fabric left over, so cut the rest of the strips yesterday afternoon and now have enough to make a bed-sized quilt! But with twice as many squares to sew, now it will take me a lot longer to complete!

Hi Jayne,
And I am in awe of your singing, child raising and nursing talents! It's a good thing we all have our special talents.
My outside chime really got a workout this weekend with all the high winds we had--I can hear it in the house even with the windows closed!

Hi Loribird,
I used to do lots of sewing but have gotten away from it. I think quilting is alot harder than knitting (and not as easy to rip out your mistakes either). But it's fun to work on a different project every so often.

Hi Richard,
Wait till that quilt is done....there are so many beautiful colors in it.

Hi Ruth,
I'm glad your scarf arrived and that you like it. It should be nice and warm even with the lacy design. Our weatherman is predicting a high above zero tomorrow, so hopefully your cold snap won't last too long either.

Hi Barefoot,
Thanks.....I'll be over shortly!

Susan Gets Native said...

Wait a minute...."strip club quilts"? Do strippers need quilts?

: )
Love the socks...and the hat....and the afghan...and the shawl...I can crochet, but knitting scares me.

Marsha said...

You are a woman of many talents...the knitting always impressed me and now the quilt - WOW! Great job...daisy is cute :-)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Susan,
There are all sort of jokes about the strip club quilters. I'm resisting the urge to participate with my local strip club :-)

I taught a beginning knitting class once and one of my students was a crocheter. She reluctantly admitted to me that she really didn't enjoy knitting at all and I told her that's OK. They really are two very different crafts.

Hi Marsha,
I'm much better at knitting than quilting, but I loved the colors of this quilt and it was fun taking the class with my friend from work.
(I think Daisy is cute too!)

Meggie said...

Hey Ruthie: Your knitting is gorgeous. I LOVE the socks! I got a handknit pair for Christmas a few years ago and they are the best! The blue afghan and hat are lovely. Daisy sure does well for a gal of 15 years.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Cool stuff. Looks like you're working your way through those half-completed projects you blogged about a while back!

Robin at Bumblebee