Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Finishes - 2 Shawls

I could blather on about how busy life is, but I'm sure that is true for everyone, so here's two finished shawls that have been waiting to be shared. I have socks and a cardigan and a cowl to share too, but I'll save them for another post.

I finished knitting this shawl over a month ago. It's a Hogmanay shawl. Another great pattern by Jen of Jen Lucas Designs. I wanted to use all the yarn so I did two extra pattern repeats. The yarn is super soft after blocking and feels great. Yarn can be found here - colourway was special for The Loopy Ewe.

Wonderful drape.

The ground was still wet, so I slung it over a bush for a detail picture. Love how much this opened up after blocking. The magic of lace.

The second shawl I have to share today, is the Branching Out shawl by Tin Can Knits. For a large shawl (used over 700 yards), I knit it up in less than 3 weeks. I knew I was going to run out of red, so I added some white stripes at the end. Gives a kind of Canadian/ Christmas feel to it. 

It's nice and big, which is what my mother requested. The yarn says it is fingering, but I have tried it for several fingering weight projects and it never gets gauge. This pattern called for lace weight yarn and the yarn was perfect. It can be found at Michael's here. It was soft during knitting and stayed soft after. No pilling. I'd recommend it for lace weight projects.

This is how I usually wear shawls. It fits nice and feels warm, even for thin yarn.

This is how my mother likes to wear her shawls and she'll be happy to see she can easily tie it. 

And a picture of the lovely lace. A very addictive knit that I was ready to start again as soon as I was done this one. But I need to finish some WIP's first.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WIP Wednesday

Another week has flown by. This week is crazy busy here with meetings and assisting (twice) at my youngest's preschool. But I've been pretty good at resisting Spring Startitis and focusing on WIP's instead. There are about 4 things I want to start knitting NOW but so far... I haven't. I even went to a meeting with sock yarn and needles in purse, planning to start a pair of socks but didn't. I need to finish some projects before I even let myself start a pair of socks.

Saturday evening I started the right sleeve of my Cocoa cardigan. Finished it Monday and started the second sleeve later that day. Making good progress on them. Just have button bands to add and then it will be blocked. The knitting doesn't look great due to the yarn being frogged yarn. It had been my Beacon Hill cardigan that I just didn't love. I should have washed the yarn to unkink it before knitting this cardigan but I didn't. This will block out, right? And the armholes were on waste yarn for so long, it left a kink  that you can kind of see, especially on the left sleeve. This cardigan will need 16 buttons (there's four on each cuff) and I'm thinking of treating myself to these lovely buttons.

On the weekend I finished making the Scrappy Bento Box block quarters and starting sewing those quarters into halves. Still have to sew over 100 more halves together but I'm trying not to think about how many steps are left to get these charity quilts finished. There will be enough blocks to make two twin size quilts.

And I finished the Branching Out shawl. It is currently soaking in it's bath while I type this and will be blocked this afternoon. Hope to have modeled shots to share on Friday.

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WIP Wednesday

This past week, I've focused on just two WIP's. One knitting, one quilting. 

The Branching Out shawl is growing. Have 30 rows left, but there are over 300 stitches on the needles, so it takes a little while to knit each row now. 

Close up of the smaller lace. The yarn is so soft and squishy. (It's a cheap, Super fine yarn from Michael's, I bought to try out. Curious how it will stand up to washing and being worn but it's been lovely to knit with).

For my quilting WIP, I've been working on the Scrappy Bento Box blocks. Adding the last piece to the 280 block sections before I start sewing them into 70 blocks. In the basket are ones sewn together, waiting to be ironed.

And the iron came out last night after the kids went to bed. Nice stack of quilt block pieces.

And I joined Studio MME's Super Stitcher club. Hope this becomes a WIP and then finish soon.

What have you been working on this week?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Finish - A Christmas Quilt

Happy to share another finished quilt today. This one was going to be donated but... I like it too much and am keeping it. Don't tell my husband. 

A nice, scrappy quilt using the Scrappy Bento Box tutorial and almost all of my Christmas scraps. 

Back is a bit of yardage and some leftovers.

Quilted with red thread and free-motion stippling.

One of the reasons I'm keeping it is because I used so many fabrics that I love and can't part with. Including several pictured above. 

This green with trees. I only had a little bit of it and it is all in this quilt. I'm keeping it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday and the Women's March

A couple WIP's to share today. And in honor of International Women's Day, I'm finally sharing pictures from the Women's March in January. 

Last Thursday I started the Branching Out shawl by Tin Can Knits. I was on row 33 when I realized my stitch count was wrong because I forgot to knit row 15. Time for a little frogging. I was able to pick the stitches back up at row 14 and didn't have to start from the beginning, which was nice.

It is kind of addictive. You can see with the lace design why I didn't notice until row 33 that I was missing a row. 

Slightly closer look. 

I'm still a little stuffed up from the cold I had last week, but I had a burst of energy Friday and sewed up this little pile. Part of some Scrappy Bento Box blocks. Aiming to make 2 twin size quilts. I need 280 block pieces to be combined into 70 blocks. I counted after sewing the above and realized I needed to cut a lot more pieces. This weekend I cut over 200 more squares and rectangles.

Yesterday, I was able to sew together some more. All 280 three piece blocks have been sewn together (on the right) and I started adding the next size (sewing on 3.5 inch squares, on the left). After the kids went to bed last night, the iron and I enjoyed some tv and the blocks were ironed. I admit, I don't often iron quilt blocks until they are complete, but I think it's easier with scrap quilts to iron each step so I can see what fabrics I've used at a glance.

Spent some time at my sewing machine this morning. This is how I left it when I went to pick the youngest up from preschool. Hoping to get some more piecing done this afternoon/evening.

And FINALLY, some pictures from the Women's March on January 21st. Not sure how I didn't post these earlier but today seems like a good day to post them. 
One of four hats done.

All four.

Ready to March. (Complete sidenote - It was so hot for a January day!)

Meeting up with the group. There were over 11,000 of us. Some Marchers were already at the University (the end point) before some even started marching. Great turn out. I know several people who attended but didn't see any of them, there was just so many.

Man in a pussyhat serving free hotdogs and water. 

I loved this sign - especially since it was the day after the inauguration.

On campus.

Walking towards the Diag, where the speeches were. 

It was really amazing to March that day with my daughter. We aren't American and he truly isn't our president, but we felt it was necessary to March. Maybe I didn't post the pictures before because I have struggled to find the words to describe that day and what it meant. Like many, it was my first real protest, and after, I struggled to return to normal life, to just make, blog, write. It all seemed incredibly pointless. Some days, I still feel that way. What is the point of blogging? knitting? quilting? writing? when there is a much bigger need to fight in this country. To stand up against what some of those in power are trying to do or have done. For a while, I felt sad. But I have come to a sort of balance. I can only do so much. I have a family that needs me to be get off the couch and cook dinner, but also to talk at the dinner table about what is going on and why it's wrong. Or where there is hope. Because there is hope. There will always be hope. Which is why we will win. Eventually. Persist. Resist.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Finish It Up Friday - A Quilt!

Happy to share another finished quilt today. I hoped to have a second quilt finished but I've spent the last couple days fighting a nasty cold and looking after a 3 year old battling the same thing. Not much quilting has been getting done, but lots of movies have been watched (I think we've watched "Cars" three days in a row!) Anyway, here's the quilt I finished last weekend.

Another quilt for charity that used up a lot of scraps. Pattern based on the Patchwork Olympics quilt but I made it larger and didn't include the tiny squares. I had no desire to cut hundreds of tiny squares.

My mom (who will be donating the quilt) gave me this sheet last year. I was really tempted to keep it, but decided to use it as a backing instead. This is my first time using a bedsheet as backing. It's a heavy cotton so I hope it wears well. 

A closer look at the back and the front.

Machine quilted straight lines diagonally. Nice and mindless, it finished up quicker than I thought it would. 

What did you finish this week?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WIP Wednesday

I've made lots of progress with several projects this past week, so let's get to the pictures.

I'm doing Sarah Fielke's Block-of-the-Month this year. The first clue was released at the end of January, with the second clue released yesterday. So far I've been able to keep up. Above is my finished clue #1. I had to add 4 wedges to get my circle to lie flat, but other than that, it's as the pattern suggests.

Tiny stitches on the back. Wedge circle is attached with fabric glue (for now), but all the stems were hand appliqu├ęd. Store-bought bias but I'll be making my own bias for clue #2. It's nice to be learning these new techniques a little bit at a time.

Today I got started on clue #2. Using Sarah's technique for making circles. You can see her YouTube video about it here.

About halfway done the foot of the second sock.

Ended up starting a new shawl last week after a conversation with my mom about her birthday later this month.

Finished the body of my Cocoa Cardigan

Tried to have the three year old take a picture of it on me but not quite what I wanted.

Daughter took one for me once she got home from school. Love the fit. Now to knit some sleeves.

What have you been up to this week?

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