Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rainbow Quilt

I had the idea to make it a rainbow that subtly changed colors diagonally across the quilt. It was a lot more of a challenge than I thought it would be to find the fabrics in my stash to make my idea work. And I am happy to say that the quilt is all stash. Feels good! There was a lot of trial and error. A lot of laying things out and stepping back to see if it flowed or if a color stuck out like a sore thumb. In the end I think I accomplished what I set out to do.


For the back I wanted to do another rainbow and having the color gradate in one line was a whole lot easier.



I decided to do what Jacquie calls organic quilting. About halfway through quilting this I was doubting. Not the look but for how long it was taking. I made it take longer by having some of my lines go in the other direction. But I love the finished look of it and in the end I am happy that I suffered through.








I chose a black and white check for the binding. This was a no brainer choice for this quilt. I knew I just had to do black and white. This fabric is great in small doses. When I laid it out to cut the binding strips it was making me dizzy!




Finished it off with a TLC Stitches label and it feels good to have another finished quilt.


I decided to add the Follower option on the right side of my blog. I really appreciate that you take the time to read my blog and comment. It makes my day and is so fun for me. I want to be able to do giveaways for my readers so I added that so that I know who you are. If you read my blog through google reader or bloglines (or any other method) make sure to sign up as a Follower too so that you can be included in some giveaways I am planning.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Round Robin

Are you quilters sick of seeing my knitting yet? If so this post is for you...

The first round of our quilt guild's round robin is coming to a close. I am handing this off to Susan tonight. The center is Ada's block and she did a Dresden plate in 1930's reproduction fabrics. Luckily I have some of those in my stash. So I used the white and some of her '30s fabrics along with lots of my own.




I am excited about what I came up with for her quilt. I love all the scrappy 9 patches. And it was a really natural way to introduce a lot more fabric without it looking wrong. Putting them on point and making the border fit the block was tricky. Ada had stitched in black around the Dresden plate and I wanted to bring that black out so I put a half inch black border in between her block and my 9 patch strips. I think it adds a lot.



Ada's Dresden plate square is 16" and now with my border it is 25 1/2". Our borders are not supposed to be more than 6" which I didn't take into consideration until after I had finished it and was measuring. Whew! Mine are 5".


Round robins are fun, not only because you get to see what everyone has done along the way with each other's quilts, but you also get to see later what they did after your border. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone does with this quilt that frankly, I have become attached to.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Swirl Socks

On Saturday we met at my LYS for another sock club and started a new sock. But first we pulled out our finished socks we worked on the previous month. It was so much fun to see everyone's finished socks or almost finished socks. I loved seeing the same pattern done in lots of different sock yarns.




I really enjoyed this pattern. I thought it was really fun to knit and I love the look of the spiraling stitches. The instep was a bit tricky but with some tips from our instructor, Jeannie, I got the concept of how the stitch pattern was "moving". The designer also does a nice job in the book at explaining what the pattern is doing and what to watch for.



I love how they feel on my feet. Koigu is a very nice yarn with a tight ply. I love the colors in this yarn too. I have knit with Koigu before and had the socks stretch quite a bit so I am hoping that knitting on a smaller needle size, which I did with these socks, will solve that problem.


Pattern: Rainbow Swirl by Ann McClure from the book Sock Club
Needles: size 1 (2.25mm)
Yarn: Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino

Here is the next sock we will be making this month. It is called Reina and it is also from the Sock Club book. I finished my Swirl Socks earlier in the week so I cast on these before our class. I like to knit my socks with DPNs (double pointed needles) and I am very susceptible to second sock syndrome so I get both socks started and I knit on them both regularly. I always pick up the one that isn't as far along and that way they are always both progressing.


This pattern is very beautiful and so I picked a solid colored heathered yarn to show it off. I have been surprised at how quickly these socks are coming along. I seem to always feel that way when I knit sock patterns from a chart. I think I spend more time at each sitting because I like to see the pattern form.

What can I say? I am totally addicted to knitting socks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My First Lace Shawl

I started knitting this shawl about a year ago. I thought it would be nice to have a shawl for Spring. But it wasn't done in time for Spring so I thought it would be a nice shawl for Summer. At some point I stopped knitting it because I couldn't decide if I should start knitting the border or not. If I started the border that would mean that I was deciding that the shawl would be big enough and I could finish it. But it is hard to tell when it is on the needles and before it is blocked how big it is going to be. So I stuck it in a bag and put it on a shelf in my closet so that I wouldn't have to make that decision.



Well it is almost Spring again so I pulled it out and decided that I was just going to finish it. I found that I had left it right at the place in the pattern where I could start the border or knit another repeat. So I knit the border. I was enjoying knitting on this shawl so much that I was a little disappointed that ten rows later I was done with the shawl. At the same time I thought about how I could have done those ten rows a year ago!




Then I got to experience the magic of blocking. Wow! It sure makes a difference. It opens up the knitting so much and you can see the pattern so much better. And it was good to know that I need a whole lot more T-pins if I ever want to block a shawl again.



I am thankful that my daughter did the modeling for the photo shoot. It looks so good on her. I think it will make its debut at church on Sunday. Hopefully I can wear it as well as she does.



Yarn: Pagewood Farms in the Army Girl colorway (fingering weight yarn)
Needles: Size 8
Mods: I did quite a few more repeats so that the shawl would be bigger.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Doll Quilt Celebration

I have been stalking the mail carrier for the last week anxiously awaiting a package. I was so excited to find it in my mailbox yesterday. I love the anticipation of getting a little quilt made just for me from the Doll Quilt Swap. I love the thought of someone secretly reading my blog and coming up with something I would love. And Lisa sure did come up with something I love!


It is so cute, so cheerful, so fresh, so beautiful! I love the black with polka dots cake stand. I love the simplicity of the design with the echo quilting. Love that striped binding. Love the cake topper with the cascading flowers. What a great use of fabrics! And I think Lisa even hand stitched little beads along the ribbon that trims the cake. Wow!


Yep, I have a lot of love for this little quilt. But I think best of all I got a cake that I get to enjoy and it isn't going to make me gain any weight. Lisa calls it the Celebration Quilt and I can use it for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I think I am going to start celebrating my love of quilting by hanging this up near my sewing area. As soon as I get it back from my daughter who hung it in her room. I admit it looks great on her green wall but she will have to enjoy it downstairs on my yellow wall. Thanks so much, Lisa! I am one happy swapper!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sock Club


My LYS is having a Sock Club where we are knitting a pair of socks every month. Our teacher, Jeannie, has chosen this book for most of the socks we will be knitting.


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It has a lot of great patterns and I am really excited about getting together with friends every month and starting the same project. Our teacher had cast on for this sock three different times with three different yarns to find one that you could see the pattern of the sock. I was very choosy with my yarn knowing this. I picked out this pretty Koigu sock yarn in yellows and greens. I figured it would be perfect for this pattern.


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As I knit the cuff it was looking great but when I got into the leg of the sock the colors started to pool, and not in a good way. All the
light seafoam green and peachy yellow were on one side…


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…and all the green darker green and yellow were on the other. So ugly! And who knew what the second sock would end up looking like. So I frogged it.


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I ended up picking out another beautiful Koigu in pinks and purples and cast on. I knit with bated breath. I was happy to see that a ways into the leg I was safe. No ugly pooling!


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Here is the other side of the sock, looks good too.


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I cast on the second sock and the color is working out well on that one too. It is going to be so fun to see how everyone’s socks turned out later this month!


I have always wanted to make a rainbow quilt and I am really excited about what I am going to make. I want to use these fabrics pictured below. I’m not sure yet on all of them (too much white in some of those reds) and need to find some more of some colors as well.

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I want to have the color gradate across the quilt diagonally with a white background. I really want to use all stash for this so I am going to have to dig deep to find fabric that will work.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic Sock

No, I didn't make a mistake with the title of this post. Sock. As in singular. Actually not even a whole sock. Yep, this is how far I got in sixteen days. Fair isle is slow going but not that slow. I also worked on my Schnibble quilt, started another pair of socks for a Sock Club I joined (more about that another time), and was busy with life. I have no regrets about choosing this for my Olympic project. I have wanted to try fair isle for so long that this was a great way to just do it. I am so happy that I got through the dreaded short row heel and that it turned out looking like it is supposed to. Yay!


And for my first time trying fair isle the stitches are pretty even and the sock actually fits me. Double yay!


Thanks for all your support and encouragement. I hope you aren't too disappointed that they aren't both done. It would have been nice but probably not totally realistic. I will continue to work on them and someday (hopefully sooner than later) show you a finished pair.
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