Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Project Fit For Spring

Remember this yarn? The crazy colors that would have made a splendid pair of socks, but are a bit too bright for something laceweight? I think it's actually looking pretty good. Thanks to Knitty, I found the perfect simple, yet interesting, pattern that shows off the color and mutes it just a bit.

Here is the Lace Ribbon Scarf. It's cruising along and I've made a lot of progress. It's been a hectic week, so it's amazing I have knit a single stitch, but I'm almost halfway through with it! I'm telling myself that the overwhelming green color is what is going to stand out when I'm wearing the scarf, and no one will notice the variety of colors from a distance.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another new project:

I need to dye more yarn. I've knit up the yarn I dyed in January amazingly quickly. Here is the Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark. The yarn is Zephyr 2/18, which I purchased for my veil. I dyed it a lovely peach color and it's going to be beautiful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Scaly Socks

I've also finished my Dragon Socks. These were a pain, but I like the result!

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Sock -- hand-dyed by me (I'm still working on pooling-prevention)
Pattern: Dragon Socks (a variation on Undulating Rib Socks in Favorite Socks)
Needles: Size 1s

For a complete list of issues I had with these socks, see this post. They were a beast to finish, although really the pattern went quickly. I guess I was just distracted!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Time to Start Over:

I have been distracted from knitting recently by my sewing machine. I've pulled it out and set it up, and as Grumperina remarked, it is quite a feat for those of us who live in apartments! Because of this, I've been neglected my knitting needles in favor of my quilt blocks.

I'm happy to say that it looks like the coast is clear for some more knitting! The fabric that came in was perfect, and I was able to finish my flying geese top.

My goal for this project was to be a nice scrap quilt -- not necessarily a perfect work of art. I was playing with colors and values as I combined a whole bunch of different 5" squares of fabric I would not necessarily have bought myself! I also don't have a 1/4" foot on my machine, so I end up eyeing the seam allowance most of the time. I'm usually really accurate and don't have problems, except this time my strips of geese ended up being off a tad. I stuck the ginger sashing in between and that solved the problem! I wanted the flock to be flying randomly, instead of in unison! (We'll think that, anyway, won't we?)

This picture shows most of the quilt -- only one strip of geese is missing from the right side, and then the sashing and border. I did manage to get a better picture of the whole thing, but as my photo set-up (the quilt on the bed, me standing next to it holding out my hand randomly to take pictures) left a lot to be desired it came out too blurry for me to post. You get the idea from this. The method of photography also gives the picture the warped look. I will attest to the fact that the sashing is all at right angles!

I absolutely love the fabric I used for the sashing -- the ginger and the yellow. Originally I was planning on using the ginger as the outer border and the yellow as the inner, but when I saw the nice contrast the ginger provided, I changed my mind.

Surprisingly, the hardest thing about this quilt was making sure it stayed small. I kept on having grand plans to increase the border, and then had to revise each of them when I realized I was coming close to exceeding the size of my batting (45" x 60"). I want to really quilt this one (by machine) and it needed to be a manageable size. Also, that's the size of the batting on my shelf! I succeeded, just barely, and also have enough backing for this. All the parts are purchased, and I'm excited about finishing!

And today after I finished the last seam, I finished off two other knitted projects, too!

Friday, March 14, 2008


I think this is where he spends most of his time when I am at work. Every minute he isn't right next to me he is on this windowsill keeping watch. The other dog can't jump up that high, and so it is a peaceful retreat. He sits here for hours.
As for me, my fabric arrived yesterday. I'm off to wash it now. My weekend has just filled up!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I had some great yarn, and wanted a matchy-matchy set for winter. A scarf, a hat and some mitts. Enter Bainbridge. I started Sunday night. Monday night I was finished.

It probably doesn't look as cute on me. But you get the idea. I think this might be a pattern that works better in a firmer yarn -- maybe I'll try to felt this just a wee bit so that it firms up. I love the way the variegation works with the broken rib pattern.

Pattern: Bainbridge Scarf from

Yarn: School Products Merino-Cashmere, 1 skein (about 150 yards)

Needles: Size 8s

Gauge: about 7 sts/inch, over 144 sts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm on a roll.

I took the sewing machine out and haven't really gotten my knitting focus back since. I think I need a couple of quick projects that are satisfying -- none of the ones I currently have are doing it for me. Then I lost two needles from the sock I have been carrying around for the past few months, while the sock was in my bag. (I have no idea where the needles are, but was able to save the sock.) It was time for a knitting bag within my bag. That thing is cavernous.

I used this tutorial to piece it together, and fat quarters in my (now substantial) fabric stash. The only modification I made was to make a pouch -- 12" x 16" -- by sewing 3 sides together. Then I quilted the pouch with batting instead of interfacing. This eliminated most of the seams inside. I was going to put bias tape on the corners, but decided against it at the end.

Then I realized the ice pack I carry with my lunch would be more effective if I held the to-be-cooled food NEAR it. So I made another one.

(Please excuse the zipper stitching. I wasn't aiming for beauty on these -- just functionality. There, at least, I succeeded.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Five Inch Squares

A long time ago, about 2 years ago, I ordered many, many 5" square pieces of quilting fabric from ebay. The prints were ok, and there were colors I wouldn't have dreamed of picking up on my own.

Then I forgot about them and let them sit on my shelf. Until last week.

I've been pondering the idea of a quilt with flying geese on it. I knew I had seen an easy way to piece these blocks on Simply Quilts (yes, I do watch craft television...) and found this tutorial. Great -- except my blocks were 5" squares, and the measurements wouldn't allow me to make 4 flying geese blocks from 2 squares. I fiddled with the measurements and came up with 2.5" small squares and 4.5" large squares, which result in a 1.5 x 3" finished block.

I mixed and matched squares of color with a loose idea of a theme. I divided the pile up into lighter and darker squares. Then I tried to match a dark green with a light yellow or blue (the adjacent colors in the color wheel). A red block would be matched with purple or orange, a blue matched with green or purple, etc.

Here are the blocks, which will be the center portion of the quilt. There are nine rows and each row measures about 2.75'. I have already ordered some great solid fabric to set between the rows of geese and I have a border waiting, ready for the next step.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The Tangled Yoke wasn't all I finished the third week in February.

I finished the top of this quilt two years ago, basted it promptly, and attempted to hand-quilt it. Hand quilting is not my thing, so I tied it. Wow -- on a quilt this size, the ties take a long, long time to finish. I used leftover sock yarn for the them and it was a perfect match. I guess I have a definite palette preference, especially when it comes to greens. I think there are at least 4 more pairs of socks waiting to be knit that are a very similar shade of green in my stash!

Then off to get the binding fabric -- I opted for a dark calico. This was my first time making my own bias tape from fabric and I must say, I really liked the process. The print adds just a touch of color that is great.
Could I have finished on a better date? (Well, maybe if I was into quilting in 2002). I decided I was going to put 2/20 even if it wasn't the real date. Turns out it was the real date I sewed the patch on.

Pattern from: 101 Fabulous Rotary Cut Quilts

Paths and Stiles patch, approximately 80" x 86"

Started November, 2005

Completed February 20, 2008.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I completed the Tangled Yoke within three days after the last entry. By completed, I mean finished the yoke, the buttonbands and wove in the ends.

Then I went and chose buttons. I sewed them on carefully.

I blocked the sweater, tried it on, and the buttonband gaped, even though I was careful to put a
button on the largest part of the chest. (I read somewhere that this is a good way to stop that problem.) I think this happened because I did not double my button band, only the neck.

So I went to the fabric store and bought some grosgrain ribbon.

The problem was -- if not perfectly solved -- resolved.

I have never added any woven material to my knits before. I was a bit skeptical, but the band definitely needed stiffening. I briefly considered ripping out my cast-off and knitting a double band, but that just seemed ridiculous after I had sewn the buttons on.

(I never noticed before how long my arms must be -- I lengthened the body of this pattern substantially for my measurements, and the arms even moreso. I think this sweater looks rather disproportional flat! It fits perfectly, though.)


Tangled Yoke from Fall 2007 Interweave Knits

Rowan Felted Tweed Color 039, Crush (discontinued) -- just under 7 balls

Began January 2008, completed February 2008.

After this knit, I did not touch a knitting needle for two weeks. (Ok, maybe 2 inches of a project, but no more than that.)

I was too distracted.