Category Archives: Project Spectrum

Comfort Zones

I have been slowly cleaning up my studio and finishing quilts that have been in the UFO pile for longer than I care to admit. When I first started quilting years ago, I was a member of a quilt guild close to the DC area. This guild was always bringing in national quilters/authors/teachers to not only speak but teach. One of the authors mentioned that as quilters we got tended to stay within our comfort range colorwise and that we sometimes needed to expand our boundaries. I honestly can’t remember who it was but I am thinking that it might have been Jinny Beyer. She was and still is one of the queens of color theory for quilters.

I have never been a fan of browns and yellows or anything in those color families. I have always been funny about what shades of green I liked and would work with as a result. At the time, I tended to work mostly in jewel tones. After hearing this talk and reading one of Jinny Beyer color theory books, I started to experiment with the colors that I worked with. I figured what did I have to lose. If I didn’t like it, I coudl always find some one who did. And since brown was one of those colors I did not like to work with, I made a brown quilt. And I didn’t go small either. The quilt was rather large. I liked the final result but the quilt was never quilted.

I recently pulled that particular quilt out of the pile and decided that it was going to be the next quilt quilted. I bought what I thought would be enough fabric to back what I thought was a queen size quilt. It wasn’t. But I decided that I could trim the borders and maybe make the fabric fit. Well, it turned out the quilt was actually king size. I ended up trimming almost 14 inches off two sides of the quilt and about 10 from the other two sides. The quilt now fits a queen size bed with a generous hang over. I still need to buy another strip of fabric to go with the bright pink I bought. (I am thinking bright lime green or something else that will clash.)

A window on old slave quarters in Frederick

A window on old slave quarters in Frederick

I am not planning on keeping this quilt after it is quilted. Although I like the quilt and the way the colors came out, it is not me. It would end up in the bottom of the blanket chest and never get used. And there are already two quilts in the bottom of that chest that rarely see the light of day uinless it is really freezing outside and I need extra quilts on the bed.

When I look at this quilt top, one name comes to mind every time I see it – Priscilla! She loves browns in all shades. And I know that she can use a nice warm quilt for her bed. And her husband is the reason I picked the bright pink backing fabric. Pink is one of his favorite colors. Strange but that is Mac. And since she already knows that this will be her Christmas present, I can blog about it.

Working on this particular quilt led me to break out of my comfort zone in all areas. Okay, except for clothes that I wear. Certain colors just don’t look good on me. I do this with knitting and quilting all the time now. I don’t have anything that is all yellow or solid brown in any of my stashes. But those colors do show up in variegated yarns.

I am curious as to how many knitters are stuck in their color comfort zone. Have you ever gone through your stash recently and realized that you tend to have lots of the same color just in different tones? I know that I have plenty of greens in my sock yarn stash right now. But that is only because I have pulled out about 6 different skeins to use next. And green is not one of my comfort zone colors. Have you challenged yourself lately? Just curious.


Filed under Project Spectrum, quilt

The Beach

I am back form a fast trip trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am sunburnt and tired. I did avoid the sun and did wear sunscreen but still managed to get sunburnt on the trip down. Yes, I managed to get sunburnt on the car ride down!!! I have tons of photos to edit but am going to take my time doing so. Knitting was done on the car ride down and back. Cobblestone is now at 14 inches and i need to measure it against the tall boy who is still growing to see how long the body needs to be. I also did some work on a ne mini quilt. (No photos of these two projects yet though.)

So enjoy your weekend and these few photos.

Sunset over he Palimco Sound in North Carolina

Sunset over he Palimco Sound in North Carolina

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

Focused on photographing the shells and was surprised by a wave.

Focused on photographing the shells and was surprised by a wave.


Filed under Misc, photography, Project Spectrum

Time for the Beach

I am heading out early tomorrow morning for a few days in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The camera is ready, the batteries are charged, knitting projects picked out, laundry will be done tonight, and books selected. I need to get more a few more SD cards for my camera though. There is no such thing as too much memory for photos. I am hoping to come back with plenty of photos of water, sand, and sunrises and sunsets. (Yes, P, I will get up way early to take a photo or two or three of a sunrise over the ocean.)

So in the meantime enjoy some more of the photos from the photo walk/learning to play with filters session over the weekend. (And the new header is in honor of the current water theme for Project Spectrum.)

Yet another red sunset

Yet another red sunset

This lampost reminds me of the movie Narnia

This lampost reminds me of the movie Narnia

This old garage is now part of an antique mall.

This old garage is now part of an antique mall.


Filed under photography, Project Spectrum

Photo Friday

Today’s photos were taken yesterday and today. Yesterday was dark and dreary and damp. And last weekend I managed to get my hands on some Meyer lemons. They have been a welcome shot of color in my kitchen. Today is overcast with occasional drizzle and more rain on the way. And tonight’s forecast is for more rain and I am supposed to go help out at a burn for a fire class. (Yes, I will be going with camera in hand. Smoke plus rain makes for some interesting shots.) And tomorrow’s forecast is for more rain. But the rain has produced many opportunities to play with the macro lens on the camera. And some of the shots have been perfect for Project Spectrum. And since there is no class again until the 19th, maybe I can finally get knitting again.



Filed under eye candy, garden, Project Spectrum

Hot Hot Hot

It is officially too hot to try and knit in Maryland right now. It was 85 at 9:30 last night. It was already 90 this morning by 9 am. And the outdoor thermometer is reading 99 degrees and the sensor is still in the shade. And we will not discuss the humidity levels. But lets just say my hair is super curly today.

Apparently August is UFO August. And I am willing to try and finish up a few UFOs that are laying around. The one item that may not get finished by the end of the month is my sweater. I have both sleeves done but am working on the body. I need to look up the pattern info and post it. But a heavy sweater on my lap in August even with a/c is not a fun thing. The goal will be to finish up some of the socks on the needles.

Some of the socks that I hope to finish off include my Sockapoolza Socks. I am on the leg of sock #2 and within a matter of inches of them being done. I still have sock #1 on the needles but that is simply to make sure they turn out the same.


Another pair that I hope to get off the needles is a pair that I am making out of Twisted’s Lunar color way way. The colors are blacks, grays, and white. And I am loving the way the colors are striping. I am on the leg of sock one but need to start sock #2.

I also have my Monkey’s still on the needles. I am on the foot of sock #1 which means the end is in sight. Since I normally do toe-up, this sock is taking me a bit longer. Plus I am using dpns!!!! I have discovered that I need another set of size 1 dpns in a short length since I am not minding the dpns.

I also need to finish up my Hogwarts socks since I am late on them. I also am hoping to get my Inside Out socks done. These were the first shipment in this year’s Rockin Sock Club. There a number of people who had problems with these socks especially the legs. But I am having no problems with them. And I am really liking the pattern.

One very good thing about Ravelry is that you are forced to look at your stash and your UFOs. And I am finding yarns in my stash that need to find a new home. For right now, these yarns are only listed up on my Ravelry page but I will create a separate page for them here after I get everything photographed. But more about them later.

For now, I am going to go and get some more water to drink and try and stay cool and finish reading the latest Nora Roberts’s book High Noon.

Now playing: Anuna – Pie Jesu
via FoxyTunes


Filed under garden, Misc, Project Spectrum, Socks

Sock Progress Finally

Okay, maybe the heat has turned my mind into mush but I just haven’t really felt like knitting socks lately. Okay Priscilla, close your mouth because I know that you have been feeling the same way. It is hot when you do not want to knit even socks.

But I have been working on socks just very slowly. Carnival week and the heat that week took a toll on my. And of course, the fact that it is blackberry season doesn’t help. I am up way to early every other day to pick blackberries. Yesterday, the grand total was 20 pints of blackberries!!!! And I didn’t even pick all of the ripe ones. I have been freezing the bulk of what I pick so far. I only keep out a few pint baskets for a select group of friends who are unable to pick their own. I am planning on making blackberry jam once the weather cools down. Jams will make great Christmas presents. (I am going to pick blueberries this weekend and freeze them for jam as well.)

But I have been working on socks for the summer of socks. My Monkey socks do not count since they were started prior to the start of Summer of Socks. But my Sockapoolza 4 socks do count. I am working on both socks at once so that they match. I have turned the heel for both of them so I am in the home stretch for them. Legs are easy; I will just knit until I run out of yarn or get bored – which ever comes first.


I do have another pair (or two) started for the Summer of Socks but I forgot to pull them out and take their photos. One advantage to using my mint bed as a photo prop is that the socks do smell good afterwards. I need to get busy and add more of the sock yarn stash to Ravelry so photos of the other socks should be up soon. One huge advantage of going through the stash is that I am really giving all of the yarn a hard look and not just the sock yarns. I either need to start knitting up some of the sweater yarn or get rid of it is what I have decided. Decisions, decisions.


Filed under Misc, Project Spectrum, Socks

Proof that I Knit

Okay, it is proof that I knit something other than socks. I am taking a very short break form socks until the Summer of Socks starts tomorrow. Although I do need to prep one thing tonight. Since I do most of my socks toe up, I normally have 2 or 3 dpns with my crocheted provisional cast on in my sock tool bag. And right now, I have exactly zero prepared dpns. I like having them ready to go so I can start when I am ready. So I will be be prepping a few dpns tonight. Sock yarn will not touch these needles until tomorrow.

I feel in love with the Wisp pattern in the new Knitty and I was surprised to find that I had a skein of Kid Silk Haze in my stash. One of the benefits of Ravelry is that I have been spending some time in my stash. Since this is a yarn that I have never used and given that I am not a huge fan of mohair, I decided to give the yarn a try. I have cast on for Wisp and will doing it using only one skein of the yarn. I have decided to make a change to the pattern though. I am not doing the eyelets along the long sides of the scarf. I may do this pattern again and will see how the pattern looks finished first. So far so good. I had to frog once and changed my needles to something with a sharper point but I am now in the third repeat.


I also started a baby blanket for a friend who is pregnant. She is still just a little bit pregnant so I have plenty of time to finish the baby blanket as in at least six months. One of my LYSs is having their anniversary sale so I picked up some Encore and started the Ribbons Baby Blanket pattern from Fiber Trends. It is a super simple pattern and actually goes pretty fast. I am almost at the end of the first skein and ready to start the second. I may have to pick up some more Encore in a Project Spectrum colorway and knit a second one. I chose a color that is good for when you are not sure whether the baby is a boy or girl for the first one. Maybe I can do one in a chunky weight and give it to my youngest nephew for Christmas…. I have yet to make him a quilt but a knitted afghan would be the same thing. p6190002.jpg


Filed under Project Spectrum, Projects

The Heat is Here

Summer arrived a few weeks early. And two of the 3 Hs of Maryland summer’s are here already – heat and humidity. The haze hasn’t been seen yet. I did spend part of Saturday as one of two people at a sit and knit. I came home with a new book but I am going to be sending it on to some one who can really use it to knit for her kids. So that is all I will saw about the new book. But it is a really good book for children’s knitting.


I also went over to a friend’s house Saturday night for a party. It was supposed to be a BYOB but I of course brought some food. I made a bruschetta/tomato salad right before I went over. My friend was trying out some new recipes on everyone. Everyone loved the food and we just sat around on her back porch and enjoyed ourselves. (The recipe for the bruschetta is over on the recipe page in case you want to try it.)

I spend most of Sunday over at the same friend’s house on the back porch knitting. Her husband had made some plans for Father’s Day so she and I just sat on her back porch and knit together. She managed to get a pair baby socks knitted and finished. Her daughter kept checking our progress by popping in and out of the house. For some reason, a three year old had better sense than we did by staying in the air conditioning. But it was actually pretty nice on the porch so we stayed. We later took a walk around down town Frederick where she lives. So instead of knitting photos, I will leave you with some interesting photos that I took yesterday evening.


Filed under garden, Misc, Project Spectrum

More Socks Finished

Okay, the Kermit socks have been done for a bit but I haven’t posted them. I hope their new owner likes them. They are pair #7 for the year.


Pair #8 is called My Hands are Purple socks. The yarn is also from Tess Designer Yarns. I think the color is Peach Melba. The water was purple instantly when they first hit the water. It took three washings and a soak with white vinegar before the water was pretty clear. There was only a slight tint of purple to the water after the vinegar rinse.


And yes, I did start a new pair of sock already. And see if you can guess the pattern. It is a very addictive pattern. And I love the yarn. And very strange for me, I am actually doing them top down.



Filed under Bloomin' Feet, Project Spectrum, Socks

Kermit Visits Some Green

Okay, Kermit wanted to go out and play on Sunday which was Earth Day. And I did let him. But first another FO in Project Spectrum colors. This time around pinks!!! The yarn is Rock Star from Sunshine Yarns. The pattern is my plain generic toe-up sock with a picot cuff. I have had the one finished since last month but I just finished the mate.


And since I finished my no-thinking required socks I did start another pair. Okay, I already had another one started. When I cleaned up my stash, I found several skeins where I had wound them into center pull balls but no labels. Or I had started a pair and frogged them and the yarn was in two balls. So I am trying to use them up as my no-thinking required sock yarns. No photos yet of the new nameless socks. (But the yarn is STR!!!)

And I have received yet more goodies from swaps again. First of all, I received my scarf from ISE 4 already. Technically it isn’t a scarf but a shawl. I said I was up for surprises. And Yuju sent me a lovely purple shawl. I am not sure of the yarn but it is a lovely deep purple and soft. The pattern reminds me of the Flower Basket Lace Shawl from Fiver Trends. It does look really pretty against the green of the grass. (Correction – I have been told that the pattern is the Swallow Tail pattern from the Fall 2006 issue of IK.)


I also received my yarn from the Earth Day Swap hosted by Moraie over at moraie knitting. We were supposed to send our partner eco-friendly yarns. And she sent me some yarn that I have been wanting to try. I love Fleece Artist sock yarn in the first place but I have yet to try the Sea Wool sock yarn. She sent me a skein of it. I am not sure of the color name but the colors are pinks and greens. I think it might be Rose Garden. She also sent me four skeins of Classic Elite’s Bam Boo which is a 100% bamboo yarn in a dark peacock. She also sent me the Flower Basket Shawl pattern and some chocolate. The chocolate is the Endangered Species chocolate which is some of the best chocolate out there.


Now for Kermit. The first sock is almost done. I have one more repeat to do before I call them done. I will do a picot bind-off on the sock. Than I can start the first one. The one comment from my LYS was how many batteries does the sock take. So I guess the socks are a little bright. Kermit is brighter than the grass even. I am hoping to have these done in time. If nothing else, I will be very close.



Filed under Bloomin' Feet, Project Spectrum, Socks, Swaps