Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lots of goodies

I've been remiss in keeping up this blog, but I haven't been unproductive.  Here's what's in progress:



One lonely little Whirligig block in progress.  Karen from Quilts...etc. has decided to take the plunge and make this quilt, too.  Given how awesome a quilter she is, she'll be done way before I even finish the next row.  Just take a look at her hand quilting and applique.

My Cake Mix quilt is now being assembled.  Top pic is of my placement.  Bottom one is actually sewn together.  I do love these Cake Mixes; it's the way for me to go with half-square triangles.  Perfection and no bias mess.  I ordered Brenda Henning's Triangulations for future HST moments.

One Exploding Block quilt back from the quilter, and now being bound.  I do love hand stitching my binding down.  Can't tell you why, but it is satisfying.


One lace shawl needing a good blocking.  Mostly garter stitch with some easy and interesting lace bands.  Two skeins of sock yarn with leftovers, which will go into Miss P's never-ending mismatched socks.

The boring sleeve from Miss P's yoke sweater in progress.  I sent out a sleeve and the body for her to try on.  She's at least 5'7", so I can't base the fit on my size.  Now the pieces are back and make perfect TV watching knitting.  I'm looking forward to working on the yoke.

A brand new lace shawl from the amazing Anna Victoria.  This one is Mermaid's Lair, and it is a lovely challenge to knit.  I like her charts very much.  I'm not one for written directions, but give me a chart, and I'm a happy camper.  

Yes, the shawl looks like an old rag with a lot of holes.  In actuality, that's what it is:  a piece of knitting with a lot of holes (yarn-over) and decreases.  Wait until it's blocked!  I've stretched out a bit at the top so you can get an idea of who it will be.

And that's all.  Pardon me, now, while I get back to work on any and all of these goodies.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's amazing what a photograph can do

I am playing with the layout for this new quilt.  I'm using my bed with the flannel duvet so that the blocks don't slip (and also because it's easier on my back than the floor).  But even when I stand back, I really can't get the effect of how those blocks interact with each other.  Enter the camera.

This might end up as my final layout.  I do love how I get secondary and even tertiary block interactions.  And now, looking at it, I can see a mistake in the top row.  No matter; nothing is sewn together.  Clearly my seam ripper and I will become close friends if I go this route.  I'm a knitter and knitters rip, so no big deal.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 resolutions

I rarely make New Year's resolutions, mostly because I never follow through on them, but this year I decided to make some.  We shall see if I actually accomplish all of them.  Hah.  Feel free to laugh.

  1. Knit 6 sweaters.  This is not hard and I'll probably make it through.
  2. Knit 6 shawls.  Ditto on this knitting.
  3. Make 6 quilts. Uh huh.  Probably not, but at least I have some sort of goal.
  4. Actually finish 6 quilts, quilting, binding and all.  Meh. Doubtful, but you never know.
First shawl of the year.  Look how far I've gotten since a couple of days ago.  It's remarkably pleasant to knit, even with the endless garter stitch rows.  You can see the swoopy part over on the top right.

The name of the shawl is Frozen Skies, but with my colorway, I think of it as Neapolitan Ice Cream.  There are some nice lace sections, which will look dopey until blocked.  That's just the way for knitted lace:  it needs a firm stretched-out blocking.

The new quilt is proceeding nicely.  I almost have it down-pat, i.e. I rip only every 3rd block.  I have to keep a block in front of me to make sure my pieces go where they should.  I need a name for this.  No ideas.

Photographed on top of the fluffy comforter.  That's why the hills and valleys.  I think this will be the layout I use.  The question is whether I put sashing between the 4-patch blocks.  I think so.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Knitting and quilting

I started a new shawl.  The yoke sweater is on hold until the recipient tries the body and a sleeve, and I'm still working on the other sleeve but that's almost done.  So, a new project is in order.

The design is Frozen Skies by Alla Saenko, and it's a lot of garter plus some lovely lace, so a bit mindless and a bit interesting.

I'm using Machete Shoppe yarn, bought at Winterberries, a lovely new NJ yarn shop.  Colors are Winterberry and Santeria.  Size 5 needle.  The colors remind me of Neapolitan ice cream with strawberries, pistachio nuts and a bit of chocolate.

On the quilting front, I've assembled 3 blocks just because I need to see what this thing is going to look like.

Here's what I discovered while sewing the first one together:  there is a spot where way too many seams come together, and my sewing machine is not happy there.  Tried 2 blocks with much cursing.  With the 3rd block, I opened the seams instead of the usual turn to one side, and it worked much nicer.  Sometimes,  the Yarnarian just has to use some ingenuity.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Some layouts

The donkey work continues, but it is very pleasant to do.

So I started to play around with possible layouts.  It's amazing just how many ideas there are.  In no particular order, here they are:

Just looking at them now, I think I like #3 and the last one the most.  It's funny how a photograph gives me a better idea of how they will look

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

More HSTs

I know.  So what?  A little pile of half-square triangles, but they are so cute, and I keep playing with them.  More to come today, I hope.

Knitting news:  I finished the body of Miss P's yoke sweater, and have about 2/3 of a sleeve done.  The safety pins on the side are where I have increased the sleeve. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

The sewing urge is back.

I started an exploding block quilt last April, and finally finished it on Fri and sent it off to the quilter.  Forgot to take a photo, but it is very pretty.   Here's what I posted back in the spring.

And now I've started something new.  This is a Tula Pink layer cake (can't figure out the name since it's not on the label), but it doesn't matter.  Anything by Tula Pink is delicious.

Just a little idea of what's going to happen.  5" and 2.5" blocks coming together somehow.  I'm using Cake Mix Recipe 2 from Miss Rosie, and it is so easy and pleasant to stitch.  You brilliant quilters out there may scoff, but a woman who cannot sew a 1/4' seam (forget "scant") is in love with this.  Of course I'll have to sew them together and there goes all the careful work previously done, but at least I'm starting out with the right dimensions.

I have no idea yet on how I'm going to assemble them.  There are 6 ideas on the package, and I can play around with anything I like, but that's a way off.

And a happy piece of news:  The temp right now in my part of NJ is 23 deg, and will go up to 27 deg.  Finally!  It feels almost balmy outside.  Whoo hoo.  Maybe the cold snap is finally done!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Stargazing Shawl unblobbed

Blocked and ready to wear!

This was impossible to photograph.  The neck starts off with a deep purple and bits of brown, and the bottom of the shawl is green with bits of tan.  My camera will not get it right.  So that's why these pics are going to look different as I played with light, location and background.

These first pictures were taken on my dining room table on top of the white table protector.  No external light, just whatever the camera wanted.

This on is on the porch floor and is probably the most accurate although the floor is a very dark wood color. 

Same porch but on the table which gets full sunlight and on top of a white cardboard.

Well, you get the idea somewhat.  It's much prettier than I can photograph. 

Fingering weight sparkly wool and delightful to knit.

Monday, January 1, 2018

the lace blob and other goodies

This is the Stargazing Shawl by Anna Victoria, a lovely December MKAL.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

Why does it look so awful?  Because it is unblocked, and lace looks like a blobby rag until you give it a good wash and block.  But wait until you see it later on!

New on the needles is a yoke sweater for Miss P.  I made her lots of sweaters when she was a little kid, but she really hasn't been interested in sweaters for years, now.  Socks, yes.  Sweaters?  No.  Until I sent out a yoke sweater for her mom.  Hmmm.  That's a neat sweater.  I might want one.  Given that she lives in the Frozen Northland, a warm woolly sweater might be useful.  I'm making another Afmaeli sweater.  Same width but much much longer.  I'm 5'1" on a tall day; she's 5'7" with a bit of growth left.  However, she tried on her mom's sweater (yep, it was mine, but DD liked it, and you know how that goes) and it fits very well in the width and yoke.  So much longer in the body and sleeves, but given that it's worsted, it knits up quickly. 

I started this 2 days ago, and have 6.5"done already.

The actual color is much more like the rib.  The body is that exact yarn, but the light makes it weird.


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