Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The past few days.

Since my last post on Friday, I've been keeping myself pretty busy. I wish there were some finishes but just a lot of progress. On Friday I finished cutting ALL the fabrics for the Oh My Stars QAL. I developed a blister by the end of it but it is nice to have it done. Since I ran out of white, my son and I decided to use black for some of the stars (this quilt will be for him). The white background will be paired with the blue star fabrics and the blue planet fabric. The black background will be paired with yellow star fabrics (there are 4 shades of yellow and 5 or 6 blue). Some star blocks are being completely replaced with the black solar system fabric seen in the top left of the picture. No borders cut yet. I will wait until it is all pieced and then decide.

Was able to get 1 black and yellow star done. I am hoping with all the pieces cut I can get in the groove one afternoon and put a big dent into the number of blocks needed. Today?

Yesterday I finished quilting my January UFO. Need to add the binding and hanging sleeve today.

I started quilting this quilt yesterday too. I thought I wanted straight lines but after I did a few I decided I didn't like it. Will spend a few hours with the seam ripper to take out what I did yesterday. Think it will end up getting a free-motion stippling all over it instead. Oh well. My husband offered to rip the stitches out for me. I know I have a second seam ripper around here somewhere... maybe I should find it today.

I really want to make this, but put the pockets on the inside. Today?

Making progress on my mom's cardigan. Have about 6-7 more inches before the back is done. Currently decreasing to make the armholes.

This past weekend were the finals of the Australian Open (tennis for those who may not know). The woman's started at 12:30am PST on Friday Night and the man's was at 12:30amPST Saturday night. I stayed up for both of them and this is what I worked on to help keep myself awake (didn't work for the men's final as it went to 6:40am - although I woke up and saw the end). This is an easy shawl that will have a lace border. Using the same yarn from the Molly scarf I made last week. My son gave me 2 skeins of it for Christmas. Hoping I have enough to finish this. Pattern can be found on ravelry.

Made progress on the sock during gymnastics on Saturday. Have about an inch left before I start decreasing for the toe.

Hopefully I will have my January UFO done by tomorrow and maybe another finish or 2 for Friday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finish It Up Friday

No quilt finishes this week, but I have 2 yarn finishes.

First is the cardigan I knit for my son's birthday. Finished it Monday - on his birthday. I shared some pictures in yesterday's post, too.

Here he is wearing it while opening presents. This is probably the best picture of the actual colour. It is quiet dark but he loves it.

Here is another yarn finish. A purple scarf ready for a niece.

And which niece? Well one named Molly of course. As soon as I found this pattern I knew I had to make it for her and when she asked for a purple scarf for her birthday it was meant to be. You can find the pattern on ravelry. It is crocheted and works up very fast. I think I am going to make one for myself.

On Thursday, I sat at my sewing machine for the first time since last Friday. Here's what I was able to accomplish. I am now caught up on the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts. Here are blocks 8 and 9. Only 3 left!

And I've been wanting to start the Oh My Stars QAL but hadn't found the time. I made my first star yesterday and cut enough fabric to make another 17 (today maybe?). I cut all the background pieces and discovered I didn't have enough for the whole quilt. I bought this fabric a few years ago from I don't know where so I will be getting creative and hope it turns out. My son helped me decide what to do since this quilt will be for him. As soon as we decided to name him Nova I've been saving star fabrics knowing one day I would make him a star quilt. 

I also pieced this top yesterday. My daughter gave me most of the fabric for Christmas. I had to add 2 fat quarters and the white from my stash. I will be using 2 green fat quarters from her as the border. As you might be able to tell the kids were up first today and don't have school. The living room floor is covered in hot wheels and lego - I figured it was easier to lay the quilt on top than ask them to clean it up to take the picture this morning.

And last but not least... I ironed the letters on my January UFO. Just needs to be quilted. I'll reveal the top once it's finished since there is a story that goes with it. (Inspired by Elizabeth's Billboard Quilt, found here.)

Hopefully next week I'll have some quilt finishes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Yarn of a Week

It seems my week has been full of yarn. Have wanted to sit at my sewing machine but haven't. Finished my son's cardigan on Monday - his birthday. He asked that I not put a zipper, as he wants to use it as a housecoat right now. It does meet in the middle so maybe when it warms up a bit I'll add a zipper so he can use this as a coat. It looks better with a smile.

There we go. He loved it and wore it while he opened the rest of his presents. He's happy that it has pockets and even though the hood is a little small, he says he likes it that way.

After finishing my son's cardigan I turned to the next cardigan in my queue. My mother asked for brown yarn with flecks of colour in it. Here is my swatch. Isn't it lovely? After going through some patterns with my mom, she seemed to like cables and I was willing. However you can't see the cables in this yarn. I tried 2 different patterns. One with lots of cables, one with just a couple and the cables are totally lost in the yarn and if I am going to do cables, I want to be able to see them. Since third time seems to be the charm with cardigans for me, I have started the cardigan again but with no cables and just letting the yarn enjoy the spotlight. Fingers crossed.

My niece asked for a purple or turquoise scarf. Even though her birthday isn't until the end of March, I started it. It's a quick pattern (I actually finished it last night but it's too overcast today to take pictures so you're getting an in progress shot). I really like it (might have to make one for myself). I know it's hard to see in the picture but I want there to be some surprises when she receives it.

And I've been working on this sock, even when I'm not watching the kids do gymnastics. These socks will be a gift and were relaxing to work on as I finished up my son's cardigan. I never thought I would think of sock knitting as relaxing but I really enjoy it.

Now, I am off to do some sewing... finally.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In

Here is my Friday Night Sew-In results post, finally. It's been a little crazy here as my son turns 6 on Monday and is having his birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Here is what I was able to accomplish. Go visit Bobbi to see what everyone else got done last night.

My son and I put together 144 lego wheels. He is having a lego party.

We also made this birthday bunting for the fireplace.

I was able to sneak away to the sewing machine for a little bit. I pieced block 7 of the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts.

I cut out blocks 8 and 9 and started piecing block 8 before I had to stop and do other things.

My son also helped me decide on the layout for these quilt blocks. Here they are all lined up in their rows waiting to be put together.

My son's birthday present. I finished knitting the hood last night (not pictured) and started sewing in ends. Sleeves, fronts and back are all attached and sewed the left sleeve seam. Still need to do the side seams, right sleeve seam, add the hood and do the pocket and button bands. I can totally get that done by Monday and host a birthday party here tomorrow, right?
Anyway... cake is in the oven, still have the house to clean. I'm glad birthdays only come once a year and that I only have 2 kids.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Couple New Projects

I know, I know... I have several things that need to be completed and I really shouldn't be starting anything else. I had to start these though. These are my gymnastic socks. I need a small, easy project to work on while my kids have gymnastics on Saturday morning and all my other projects are too big or too complicated. These are going to be basic socks, no fancy pattern and fit easily into my purse. Not sure if these will be for me or a gift. I really like the colour of the yarn and would like to keep them. 

I made 2 ticker tape blocks. I am using 2 solid black layer cakes and my green and blue scraps. They are the two scrap bins overflowing. I might throw in a couple purple blocks to mix it up a bit. Am really liking these blocks and will add to them when I just want to sew but don't have anything in the piecing stage. I am hoping to have all the blocks done by the end of the year and having this as a UFO to complete in 2013. Takes the pressure off.

A reminder that this Friday is Friday Night Sew-In. You can sign up at Bobbi's this month, here. Not sure what I am going to be working on. I still need to finish the cardigan for my son's birthday (which is Monday). I finished the first sleeve yesterday and am working on the second sleeve today. Then I just have the hood and piecing it all together. Need to decide whether I am going to use buttons or a zipper (I know he would prefer zipper). We'll see what happens.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Challenge Met!

Amy hosted another One thing, One Week Challenge and I decided last Monday that I would challenge myself to finally finish my December UFO. And I did.

It just covers the top of our double bed so it should be good for a twin. I still need to wash it and then I will be donating it. 

It took less than 3 hours on Friday afternoon to free-motion over the whole top. Kicking myself for taking so long to just do it. Thanks for the push Amy.

I kept it scrappy on the back and binding as well. I used leftover bindings from other quilts to do this one.

Been working on other projects this week too. My little guy turns 6 a week from today so I have been busy trying to finish his cardigan in time. Got the back finished.

And the left front. The right front was finished last night and I cast on the first sleeve. Have the second sleeve and hood left to knit and then piece them all together. I think I will be able to finish this on time.

Got some time in on my January UFO. Working on a quilt inspired by Elizabeth's billboard quilt, which you can find here. This week I finished making my scrappy blocks...

... and turned them into letters. 

I also completed 98 blocks needed for a spring quilt. Most of these fabrics my daughter gave me for Christmas. I added the white and 2 fat quarters from my stash. Looking forward to playing with them this week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Works in Progress

Here's what I am tackling this month.

My daughter bought me these fabrics for Christmas. Picked a fat quarter friendly pattern, washed and ironed fabrics and began cutting. Not sure what I was thinking starting this. I picked a relatively simple pattern so my daughter could help me piece it. Plans: to have it cut by next Monday so she can help piece on her day off from school.

Pieced the first 12 blocks of the Prayer Flag lap quilt UFO. This needs to be done by June so I am working on it when I can. I really like these blocks and fabric.

My January UFO - Billboard quilt inspired by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson!. Fabrics are all ironed. Need to make some more scrap blocks to cut my letters from. I plan to fuse my letters onto the quilt instead of piecing them into the quilt. Need to get working on this.

My December UFO has been basted for.... a few weeks? It's starting to get in the way. I signed up for Amy's One Week, One Thing Challenge and plan to have this finished by next Monday.

Other works in progress.
Look familiar? I posted a similar photo a couple weeks ago of a cardigan I'm making for my son. Well, when I divided the cardigan for the back and two sides it was obvious that it was too big. So, as I took it apart I cast it on again using smaller needles and omitted the cables at the button band to save time. This is my second attempt. Divided it again for the back and two sides - this one is also too big. ugh. I'm convinced that the yarn and pattern won't work together so...

I cast on a third attempt but in a different pattern. Pieces are all done separately and then sewn together. So far the back looks promising. It's smaller than the second try and I was able to measure it on my son's back and it looks good. Third times the charm, right?
If he hadn't purposely asked for a cardigan with hood and pockets, in yarn with lots of blues, I would have given up long ago. His birthday is on the 23rd and I aiming to have it done by then. No cables to slow me down. Wish me luck.

And not to neglect making something for my daughter. She goes to free Renaissance dance lessons after school on Monday and Tuesday. The teacher decided they are good enough to do performances so you know what that means - an outfit. All she has to have is a black skirt and white tights (school is providing the shirts). Do you know how hard it is to find a plain black skirt for a girl? Even a dress with a black bottom that I could make into a skirt? Next to impossible in our little town. 

After 4 stores I gave up and bought this. It is a woman's large sundress on clearance from Wal-Mart. I am hoping to cut this up and make her a skirt.

I figured for $2 it was worth a shot. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

First Finishes of 2012

Horse purse for my niece. Her birthday is Saturday and I have yet to mail this - tomorrow? She took horse riding lessons last summer and enjoyed them and thought she might like this.

Another ribbon tree. Keeping this one, too. I purposely used just ribbon with snowflakes and non-Christmasy colours so I could leave it on the mantle for January and maybe February. This was on my list of things to do in December but didn't get finished.

Hat and scarf for myself. Started the scarf on Christmas Eve. There was no point working on gifts that weren't going to be completed in time so I started something for myself. I crocheted a long chain, single crocheted 1 row then repeated with single crochet rows but only working in the back loop, which gave the scarf a ribbing look. For the hat I used a pattern from my knitting day calendar for 2011.

I used almost 3 skeins. They were all different dye lots and you could tell. The two that were the closest I used in the scarf. I used the third for the hat. While I was knitting the hat I thought of giving these to my sister for her birthday next month. I had shown her the scarf at Christmas and she liked it and is more comfortable in brights than I am. However, when I finished it, I just couldn't part with it. I have only needed the hat so far. The scarf is pretty warm.

I used what I had leftover to make my sister a set of nesting baskets instead. If you compare the yellow you can see some of the colour difference - the inner one has bright yellow, while the outer basket is more of a mustard yellow.

They aren't too big but I think she'll enjoy them. What should I put inside the smallest one, Sarah? fabric? buttons? thread? knitted socks?

Finally finished the vest for my brother. This took a lot longer than I thought but I love it. It turned out really well. I am putting it through the washer and dryer to block since that is how I intended it to be cared for. I want to make sure it doesn't fall apart.

I love the cable pattern. It's a lot of cabling though. I went through my favourites of ravelry and actually deleted some that were all cabled on the front. I need a break. That being said the cardigan I started for my mother has cables. Not as many as this, so I'll finish it and then take a cable break.

What really surprised me was the time needed to do the ribbing at the neck and armholes. Each armhole took about 90 minutes and the neck took me most of Sunday afternoon.

Glad to have some finishes this year - although you will notice that there aren't any quilt finishes. I have a bunch of quilt projects in the works, but that is a post of its own -  maybe later today or tomorrow. I have 3 knitting projects beside me waiting to be cast on. 2 are birthday gifts and 1 for me. Sounds fair, right? I need more hours in a day.
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