Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Birthday gifts done-early!

My daughter turns 10 on Friday. 10! Anyway, she asked for a cardigan and since it's trying to be nice outside I figured a warm cardigan isn't something she would need right now. I went for this lace, short-sleeved cardigan that will come to just above her waist. Something for a chilly morning or cool evening. I think she'll like it. I used some leftover baby sport yarn so it is soft and light. I might need to make more of these for some of my 7 nieces. You can find the free pattern here.

I also knitted up this little hat for her. I used leftover baby sport weight yarn again, so this hat is more of a fashion statement than something that will keep her warm. She's a bit of a girly girl but she also requested "punk rock" and "skull" stuff for her birthday. I think this will do.

Close-up of the beaded skull. I think this was my first time knitting with beads and I think it went ok. If I made this again I would knit  a round after the border before starting the beading since the first row of beads doesn't sit as nicely as the others. You can find the free pattern here.

Now that I have these 2 gifts done with a few days to go before her birthday I'm not sure what to do with myself. Should I try to make her something else? Work on gifts for my 2 nieces who also have birthdays in June? Or work on something for myself? Or perhaps even quilt?

Well, of course self-knitting won. I started these socks Wednesday during my daughter's piano lessons. None of the above projects were really portable at the time and I wanted something easy to work on. I worked on them some more yesterday after I finished the skull cap.

I've also made some progress on my cabled cardigan. This pattern is from the book "Contemporary Irish Knits". It's a lovely book. I don't own it, yet, but copied this one pattern when I got it out of the library.

First pattern repeat is finished and I've started the second. You can see by the slight curve at the top that I have also started the waist decreases. I have 3 more waist decrease rows to do then I'll set it aside and work on other projects

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend progress

While watching "Pride and Prejudice" Saturday night and "Sense and Sensibility" on Sunday night, I was able to get a lot done on the cardigan for myself. Finished the 4 inches of ribbing and started the cable pattern. This is the first 14 rows of the pattern. There are 36 rows in the pattern that is repeated the length of the cardigan. I really need to set it aside and finish the gifts for my daughter's birthday. Maybe after I finish the first pattern repeat.

Despite my best intentions, no quilting was done this weekend. I moved it down to the dining room table this morning and I hope to get some work done on my May UFO today and tomorrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In?

I know last night was Friday Night Sew-In but not much happened here. While we have waited to hear about my husband's next job, I haven't felt like quilting. Yesterday, he was offered a job (and once contracts are signed we'll say where - sorry mom) and we are all feeling better. So I didn't touch my sewing machine yesterday as I was busy planning and trying to find us a new place to live but I hope to this weekend. My husband is out of town until Tuesday and plans are to get some quilting done after the kids go to sleep. Although one night is devoted to "Pride and Prejudice" (the mini-series with Colin Firth not the movie version). I like to watch all 6 episodes in 1 night when my husband goes out of town. 

The only crafting I did yesterday was casting on a cardigan for myself. On my Thursday post I showed 3 bags holding 3 projects that I wanted to start for myself. I decided on the slightly warmer cardigan with short sleeves. It will have cables and I figure I probably won't finish it until late summer/early fall which will be the perfect weather for it. I got 7 rows of the ribbing done yesterday. And that's it.

I also showed the beginning of this cardigan for my daughter. I worked on it Thursday and was able to add a few pattern repeats. The pattern is real easy to memorize and can be found here.

Hopefully others got more done last night than I did. Visit Bobbi's blog this month to see what others did last night.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Still Here

Haven't been in blogging frame of mind lately. We are currently waiting to hear where we will be moving this summer and my mind has been distracted with what-if's. I tried to focus on writing last week and added over 8,000 words to the novel I started during NaNoWriMo in November but have struggled to write much this week. My son made his first visit to a hospital (he was born at home) for his first stitches on Sunday. He got 3 on his forehead so he's been getting extra cuddles this week. 
I can't seem to focus on quilting so I've been doing a lot of knitting and have a few finishes and a couple starts to share. Might try to get my quilting mojo back tomorrow with Friday Night Sew-In. Sign up here if you are interested in joining.

Monday I finished the mate for the stripe socks. These were made using leftovers from other socks I have knitted. I still have a little bit of each colour left over. Might use them to make some barbie clothes.

Started this as a gift for a teacher and then changed my mind and we got her something else. I love the yarn and the colours and since it is sock weight yarn it is nice and light. However, I don't know what to do with it now. If my sister doesn't claim it (I don't think there's anyone else in my family who would wear this), then I am going to unravel it and use the yarn for something else - I may have the pattern picked already:)

Close-up. This used short rows and wrapped stitches which was actually fun (sorry if you don't know what this sentence is talking about). It's the Pinkerton Shawl and was in an issue of Interweave Knits.

Last night I finished a second Boneyard Shawl (free pattern on ravelry). This is a gift for a teacher. The 3rd grade teacher volunteers her time to teach English Country dances (think dances you see in Jane Austen movies). My daughter is in the group and they have done 2 performances this spring. I thought she deserved something for all the time she has put in.

Those were all my finishes. Now onto my starts. My daughter turns 10 in about 2 weeks! She's a bit of a girly girl but said she wanted something with a skull on it. So a pink hat with a skull in silver beads it is. This is also a free pattern.

She had also requested a cardigan. I decided on a simple short-sleeve cardigan with an easy lace pattern. If I actually focused on it, I think it would knit up fast. I am using a baby-sport weight yarn so if should be nice and light for cool days.

And these 3 bags? They hold the projects I really want to work on. And they're all for me - I know, selfish. 2 of them are cardigans made out of sock yarn, perfect for when you need just a little something. The other is a slightly heavier yarn but has short sleeves. I haven't started any of them yet but I really, really want to. If I make some progress on the things for my daughter I'll let myself start one. But which one? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What to do next

On Friday I finished the cardigan for my dad whose birthday is today - Happy Birthday Dad! I bought buttons on Saturday and put them on Sunday. My daughter then helped model it. A little big for her...

... but it seems to fit the two of us. 

Here it is, getting ready to be packed up. I know he'll receive this just in time for summer but when the weather cools this fall, I know he'll enjoy it.

I didn't have to buy another skein of the yarn so my yarn diet is still going strong. This is all I had left at the end - I should have put something beside it for scale but I can fit the leftover yarn in the palm of my hand and make a fist around it, so it isn't very much.

My crafting slowed on Sunday due to a wasp sting that caused my right arm to go completely numb. It was an interesting feeling and I woke up Monday morning with all the feeling back but the muscles really sore. Keeping it moving helped so I finished the last 16 of the blocks for Luke's quilt and got them all ironed.

I got the first 4 columns put together Monday and the last 4 yesterday. Just need to finish piecing the back, then I can start basting and quilting it. I had thought of doing something fancy but now I am leaning towards straight lines as the fabrics make the quilt feel really busy already.

I am also battling a strong case of Startitis with both quilts and knitting. There are about 4 quilts I would like to start NOW. I ironed the fabrics for one of them but not sure if I am going to let myself start it or not.

I did start this shawl as a thank you for one of the teachers. She has been teaching my daughter and a few other students old English dances 2 days a week after school, for free, for most of the school year. They had a performance on Saturday and have another one this Saturday. I think she deserves a little something. This is the Boneyard shawl that I have made once already

I used yarn overs for the increases this time which give the middle and sides these lines of holes. It's knitting up quickly. I just cast it on, on Monday.

Here is my UFO for May. I didn't even touch the one for April. (What happened to April by the way? How did it get to be May?) I have the middle section all quilted and I started adding the first side panel when I got frustrated with it last year and put it aside. I got it out yesterday, fixed what ticked me off and am committed to finishing it this month. If I finish this and Luke's quilt this month I will have 5 UFO's finished. I really don't need to start any more projects but there are a couple things I would like to make my daughter who turns 10 in a month (she requested a cardigan) and I have 2 nieces with birthdays in June that will need gifts as well. And somewhere in all these projects I would like to read a couple books and work on my own writing. The list of to-do's for May is making me feel exhausted. Maybe I'll go take a nap and then call my dad to wish him Happy Birthday instead.
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