Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Ready for New Projects

It always looks prettier in the skein, doesn't it? But if I don't wind the yarn into balls, I'll never have socks, so it'll have to go through this awkward middle stage.

Two days after taking that picture, I'm thinking the awkward stage won't last long...

Looking at everyone else's pretty yarn pictures sometimes makes me suspect that I'm the only knitter out there who doesn't use a ball winder. I bought one years ago, when Knit Picks came out with their own line of knitting accessories. The swift gets used now and then, depending on what brands of yarn I'm knitting with and whether it even comes in skeins that need to be wound. I think I've used the ball winder twice.

I just don't get the love for center-pull cakes of yarn. There are probably some skills I'm missing that would have made mine turn out better, but wrapping it into balls works just fine and doesn't require making room in my sewing corner for another piece of equipment.

How about you -- do you use a ball winder?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fort Rock Homestead Museum {Part 1}

Last week, the family took a road trip to the Fort Rock Homestead Museum in Central Oregon and I fell in love with every antique quilt in the place. 

I love reading about the era, and I definitely love reading about the quilts, but I never ever would have made it as a homesteader. Just listening to the wind whistle through the walls of these little houses was intimidating enough for me.

This kitchen confirmed my fears that I've messed up my children. One wanted to know why there was so much new stuff in a museum. I guess when Great Grandma owned an antique mall and Mom loves the thrift shops, the line between "new" and "old" gets really blurred.

Every one one of the five houses had embroidery and quilts to drool over. There wasn't a lot of information given about the houses and their contents so I'm guessing this was all donated to the historical society by different sources, and that a lot of  the quilts are, although old, newer than the houses themselves.

Can you imagine what that view must have been like in winter? The house has been moved to its current location, but I'm guessing the desert outside was pretty much the same.

I really wanted to see what was inside of that sewing machine case. The top seems way too short for any machine I've ever seen and the pedal is definitely different... Anyone know what one of these looks like inside?

Even the doctor's office had a frayed quilt on the bed.

I'm going to split this into two posts  because there are so many pictures.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Lack of Landmarks

The hardest thing about this project, other than the "large" chart that isn't large, is that there aren't landmarks to help me keep track of where I am. With the houses I used to stitch, there were windows and walls and spots that let me say "Yes, this is where I'm supposed to be." Even the landscapes had tree branches here and there.

So far this project has given me nothing but clouds and -- finally -- a bit of the horizon. I can't begin to tell you how much that blue line helped me out once I reached it.

On Monday, a reader commented about how I mark my cloth before stitching. Those are grid lines basted every ten stitches to match the lines on the printed chart. Before someone taught me how to do those lines, I messed up and abandoned more projects than I want to admit. Look at cross-stitching pictures on instagram and you'll find much prettier ways to do it.

The lines make it easier to match where I am on my fabric to where I am on the chart and even if they don't always keep me from making mistakes, they help me fix them. On this part of this project, I'm more likely to add an extra stitch of peach than to do a bunch of unstitching to make that spot yellow.

When I'm done, I'll just snip the grid lines and pull them loose. The fist few times I was terrified that they'd be stuck there forever, but I've never had a problem removing them.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sock Yarn Sampler #4

I couldn't narrow it down to six skeins this time, so I wound up with ten. That's after trimming my choices down...

Every three months or so, I've been going through my yarn stash and putting together a sampler of what I think I'll be knitting until it's time to do it again. For the previous samplers, I've tried to include a mix of long buried stash along with the new stuff, but when I was paring down my choices I wound up with mostly newer stuff. And that's okay. I used up some really old stash from the last samplers and it'll all balance out in the end. Or not.

Here's the before and after of sampler #3. Two more inches of ribbing and I'll have that seventh pair finished. For someone who wasn't trying to finish all of the yarn in the case, I sure came close to actually accomplishing it.

 Right now, my biggest problem is that I want to cast on with absolutely everything right this second.


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