Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keepin' busy

3 quilts basted and ready for quilting. Top quilt is my Fat Quarter Stars QAL top, middle is a colour challenge quilt for our guild's quilt show (on April 14th and 15th) and the big one at the bottom is my Oh My Stars QAL top. I know how I want to quilt the colour challenge one but the other two I am completely stumped. The Oh My Stars quilt is my March UFO so I would like to finish it this week. 

After two weeks of rainy, snowy, cold weather, the sun finally shone yesterday afternoon and I was able to do a little knitting outside. This is a cardigan for my dad. This picture shows the true colour of the yarn - a dark navy blue.

Here it is inside. Yarn is incredibly frustrating to take pictures of.  This is the body of the cardigan until the bottom of the armholes. I placed it on a piece of waste yarn and after I finish making the sleeves, I'll be adding them to the body and then knitting them all together until the end. I may have to end my yarn diet for this cardigan as I think I will need a skein or two to finish it.

No knitting outside today. The rain is back and it brought its friend hail. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Mail

Being on a fabric and yarn diet this year, I was pretty excited to win a skein of yarn for participating in the sock KAL hosted by Jen of Knitting Like Crazy, last month. The yarn arrived today. It's lovely.

"Burnt Ember". 100% Superwash Merino. It's very soft.

So, I guess I need to wind this and start on a pair of socks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In?

Linking up at Heidi's blog for Friday Night Sew-In. Go here to visit Heidi's blog to see what others did last night.

So I had plans to quilt last night. I had 3 different projects ready for me to work on. Fabric cut waiting to be put together. But I didn't even touch my sewing machine. Thursday evening we made it to the walk-in-clinic 20 minutes before they closed to confirm that our son had pink eye. By the time we picked up the drops and some Hot Wheels for the little guy, it was way past bed time. He had a terrible night. It reminded me of having a newborn and getting up every time he made a sound. He would cry out in his sleep and by yesterday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was sew. And since every drop is a struggle (he needs 4 a day in each eye), I was emotionally exhausted by the time he went to bed last night and just wanted to crash. So my husband and I finally watched the series finally of "Star Trek:Voyager" on netflix and called it a night. But I was able to do some knitting yesterday.

I only had 7 rows left to knit on this shawl before we ran out to the clinic Thursday. I never got back to it that night. Happy to say I was able to finish it Friday and my daughter helped take some pictures this morning. The purple yarn was given to me for Christmas from my son. I ran out and decided to use grey to finish it off.

This shawl is for me to use around the house.

This is the Oaklet shawl and is a free pattern on ravelry.

It still needs to be blocked, which will stretch out the lace in the border.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

QAL Switcheroo

I ended Monday's post with this photo of possible borders for the Oh My Stars QAL quilt top. Since I was thinking about one QAL, I got out the blocks for the Fat Quarter Stars QAL (FQSQAL) as well. I had 2 blocks left to make but looking at the 10 I had, I kind of fell out of love with the project. I had no desire to do the last two blocks and I didn't really want the finished quilt on a bed but on a wall. And while I looked at my two QAL's I noticed something...

... the yellow I was using for one looked good with the other. Here is the yellow that I had been using as the background for the FQSQAL beside the Oh My Stars quilt top. I like it. Debating on putting a square of space fabric in the corners - I think probably not. I cut these at 4 1/2 inches and I am hoping this will be enough of a border.

Closer look. There are dots in the yellow. 

And the orange I had been leaning towards for the Oh My Stars border is now the sashing for the FQSQAL top. I picked the first 9 and made a wall hanging. It is about 46 inches square right now. I don't think I will be adding another border. If I had made the last 2 blocks, I wouldn't have enough orange to sash them, so I'm glad I stopped at 10.

In the corners I used a green from the Frolic fabric line. I had used a brown and a white fat quarter from that line in some of the blocks. I really like the orange with these blocks. Brings out the orange in the fabrics used in some of the blocks. Going to use block #10 and some scraps to make a pieced backing. 

Our landlord is showing our house this afternoon and my tea is done. Time to get off the computer and clean-up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

One Thing, One Week Challenge #11

Last Monday I challenged myself to complete one knitted item and one quilt item. I needed to finish the cardigan for my mother, whose birthday is today - Happy Birthday Mom. And I wanted to finish piecing the blocks for the Oh My Stars QAL and perhaps start putting the quilt top together. I am happy to say I was able to complete both challenges. Go visit Amy's blog to see how everyone else did on their challenges.

I finished the cardigan Saturday night. It's brown yarn with flecks of colour in it, as requested. This is my third attempt. The first two had cables but the yarn didn't look good with cables and after a few inches I ripped out the stitches and started over. This is a plain cardigan and the free pattern can be found here. 

Side view. I think the length in the body will be okay for my mom. Personally I would like it a little longer. I'm afraid the arms will be too long for her, since they are just right on me and she's a bit smaller than me. 

I am happy to cross this off my list, but I'm not very happy with the cardigan. Mom, I've already put your name back on the cardigan queue and you'll be getting another one (no promises when though). 

My mom asked for no buttons, so here are the buttonless button bands which took a lot longer than I thought they were going to take.

But I thought if she wanted to keep it together a pin might work. 

Now onto my quilty challenge. I finished all the star blocks for the Oh My Stars QAL and put the quilt top together. By the time I was done yesterday it was too dark outside for pictures and it is too yucky outside this morning so crappy indoor pictures it is. Sorry. 

I am in love with this quilt. Here it is lying on our bed but it will soon be on my son's. I am also hoping to put this in our quilt guild's show next month if my son will let me. He doesn't want it to go.

I had to replace some of the stars with space fabric since I ran out of background fabric. I'm glad I did because I really like it.

Still need to add borders. Trying to decide which fabric to use. Any thoughts? 

I hope to decide on the borders this week and have them ready by Friday for this month's Friday Night Sew-In. Go to Heidi's blog to sign-up.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Finish It Up Friday

Linking up again today at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday. Thanks to Amanda Jean for giving the motivation every week to have something done for a Friday post. Sometimes the week goes by and I feel I have nothing to show for it. These Friday posts really help me focus on what I've done this week and what I need to get done this weekend and next week.

One last scarf for my niece. This is the fourth scarf I've made her for her birthday. None of them are really meant to be warm, more an accessory she can wear all day - as requested. You can see the other scarves here, here and here.

Turned a pair of pants into shorts for my son. I have 4 more pairs of pants waiting for me to decide whether I am going to patch them or turn them into shorts. It's my goal this weekend to get them off my sewing table.

Here is the little pant ripper eating his after school snack yesterday. The weather has been beautiful here and I spent 2 hours on Sunday and 2 hours yesterday sitting outside and knitting. I am hoping to do the same today once the sun hits the back of the house. I spent most of my time outside working on my mom's cardigan. Her birthday is this coming Monday. So how close am I to being done?

I finished the left and right fronts on the weekend.

Finished the first sleeve yesterday and cast on the second. Finishing the second sleeve today - before lunch? - and then hopefully putting it together tonight. I'd like to have it in the mail tomorrow so wish me luck.

Took a little knitting break last night and finally did some quilting. 9 more blocks for the Oh My Stars QAL. I have 14 small blocks left and then I can start piecing the top together. 

I have also been working on the Mystery shawl hosted by Jen of Knitting Like Crazy on ravelry. She just released the second clue today so it isn't too late to join (the pattern is free). This is as far as I was able to get this week. Chart A, Chart B and then Chart A again of the lace pattern. I need to do Chart B, Chart A and Chart B again before I can move onto today's clue.... Chart C, done one time. Once I get my mom's cardigan done I think I'll be able to catch up this week.

Oh... and I read 2 novels this week. Maybe the cardigan would be in the mail by now if I didn't have my nose in a book so much? I finished the above book yesterday and I recommend it. It's a bit of a mystery, but also the story of a woman coming into her own after a divorce. I found my copy at the local library - I love the "New Books" shelf. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Week of Finishes

This week was one of those weeks where a lot was completed, so sit back and enjoy.

Monday: I finished the vest for my BIL. His birthday is this coming Monday but I didn't get to the post office until Wednesday so it is going to be a little late. I used the same pattern that I used for my brother's vest but omitted the cables on the front. Hope it fits.

Tuesday: I finished the socks for my mom. I made these as part of a knit-along on ravelry in February. Everyone who finished and posted a picture by the 29th was entered into a drawing for a skein of sock yarn and guess who won - that's right, ME! I am very excited to see the yarn as I put myself on a yarn AND fabric diet this year. I haven't bought any and have been working completely from my both my yarn and fabric stash this year. It feels good to see space open up on the shelves but it's been difficult.

My favourite part of any sock, the heel and gussett. It was the hardest part of sock knitting to learn but I love it now.

Wednesday: finished a hat and scarf set for my niece whose birthday is later this month. She asked for "fashion" scarves (she's turning 11). I already made her one and I admit that this set is a little more practical and less fashionable but I thought she might like the purple yarn. 

Better view of the hat. It is a free crochet pattern that you can find here. The scarf I made up on my own - just a bunch of half double crochet rows until I ran out of yarn and did a row of single crochets around the whole scarf in blue

Thursday: another scarf for my niece that is definitely "fashionable". Another free crochet pattern that can be found here.

I also finished the last 6 star blocks that use blue and white fabric for the Oh My Stars QAL. Have about 24 to make with yellow stars and black background fabric. Then I can start putting the quilt top together. There are 64 star blocks in the above picture.

Today is the beginning of a mystery shawl KAL on ravelry. Hosted by Jen of Knitting Like Crazy (she also hosted the sock KAL in February that I finished on Tuesday). If you're on ravelry go and check it out. It's free and uses sock/ fingering weight yarn. I am using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal sock yarn in Canopy.

And look mom, I haven't forgotten about your cardigan. I cast on the left front this week and have been making some good progress on it. Hopefully I'll have the cardigan done by your birthday so it will definitely be late but at least it will be done. Sorry.

And my sister, Sarah Vee of Sew Joy Creations, finished something this week - her first eBook! You can buy it in her etsy shop for just $1.38. In the eBook she guides you on creating different fabric palettes for quilts by using products in your house - she uses a box of tea in one of her examples. I'm going to give it a try this weekend and see what I come up with. You can get her eBook here.
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