Saturday, October 29, 2016

Quilt basting party

Back in September, my mom came to visit and we basted a quilt!  I started this quilt back in June, although apparently this is the first time I've blogged about it.  It's a wedding gift (now very belated) for a very dear friend and her husband.  They had a beautiful and fun outdoor wedding in the mountains at the end of June.

I knocked this pattern off from a picture I saw on Pinterest over a year ago.  If I remember right, the quilt I saw was intended to be a fancy Irish chain, but I thought it looked more like a modernized, embellished Double Wedding Ring.

I was not up for making a queen-sized bed quilt, so this quilt is a twin size.  The top finished at about 62" by 92".  I figure it will be perfect for the newlyweds to cuddle under on the couch, or they can use it as a guest bed quilt.

My mom helped me spray-baste the quilt.  It turns out our empty spare bedroom is perfect for quilt-basting.  Since then I've been slowly chipping away at the quilting.  I can't wait to get it done so I can finally send it to our friends (maybe it'll be a combined Christmas and belated wedding gift!).

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bucket hats!

When I started making the Paddington Bear shirt for my nephew, I very quickly decided that he needed a red bucket hat to go with it - just like Paddington wears.  I had already downloaded the free Oliver + S bucket hat pattern, and it was perfect!
Of course I had to make one for my niece, too.  Hers is a yellow floral with brown floral lining.
Both hats are size Medium (3-5 years), even though my niece is almost 3 and my nephew is 15 months - the internet says the hats run small.  From pictures, it looks like the hats fit well and are adorable.

They are fully reversible, and I used this tutorial to finish them without any hand sewing. I hear that the kids like the hats.  Which is good, because the dog didn't like it at all.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Paddington Bear

Early this summer, my sister-in-law and I went and shopped the Hancock's Fabrics closing sale.  She found an adorable Paddington Bear print and asked me to sew another button-up shirt for my nephew, like the one I made for his birthday.  I asked about sizing, and she suggested that a little more room in the shoulders would be nice, so I got to try my first attempt at altering a pattern!  I added a quarter inch to each shoulder seam, as you can see in the picture above, for a total of half an inch of extra width across the shoulders.
Then I sewed up the shirt, just like the last one - except this time I remembered to use Nicole's trick of cutting the collar interfacing into two pieces to make the collar fold extra nicely.

I put the shirt in the mail last weekend, and this morning my sister-in-law sent me a picture of my nephew looking very handsome in his new shirt!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Knitting this Summer


I didn't post much this summer, but I did knit!  I've been working intermittently on my navy shawl, and I knit almost a whole sweater:












I'm excited to have another (hopefully) presentable sweater to wear to work and church.  And I'm worried about running out of yarn.  I started with eight balls of yarn, and I have just under two left.  All I have left to do is the second sleeve and the i-cord edging around the front edges and neckline.  I'm steeling myself for the possibility that I may need to unravel my (machine washed and dried) swatch to finish.  We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Ravellenic Games

I wanted to participate in the Ravellenic Games, but between prepping all my classes, getting settled in the new house, and having lots of sewing projects and knitting WIPs already going, there was no way I was going to do any sort of big project
But we've been talking about replacing our succession of gross kitchen sponges with washable scrubby cloths for a while now, and I had two skeins of cotton yarn in my stash from years and years ago, so Robert encouraged me to knit a few dishcloths.  The first one, up at the top, was fun and easy to knit, although since it has a seam that doesn't stretch, it ended up not being round.  I didn't manage to photograph it until it had already been used.  The second one was a super simple Grandmother's choice washcloth.  It used significantly less yarn than the first one.
The third one is a pattern I made up to try to use up the rest of the cotton yarn.  I started in the center with a turkish cast-on and a 3-stitch garter tab, then picked up three stitches on each side and started knitting in the round.  Then after a little bit I started knitting spiral stripes.  I did that until the red yarn ran out, and then I did a few rounds of garter stitch in blue and finished with a picot bind-off.  I didn't use up all of the blue yarn, but it was getting to be too big.  I also didn't manage to photograph this one until it had been used.

These were definitely a success!  They're not quite as scrubby as the scrubby side of a sponge, but on the whole they work well.  We'll see how they hold up through the washer and dryer, but I'm already planning to make more.  Our new washing machine has a very large capacity and runs best when it is completely full, so we're going to need several of these so we can change them often in between doing laundry.  Also, I have that leftover blue yarn to use up.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Not Tour de Fleece


I didn't do the Tour de Fleece this year ... because I was too busy packing up our apartment and moving!  We moved across the country for my new job, as an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal arts college in the midwest!

Since we got to our new house about ten days ago, we've been busy unpacking our boxes and getting settled in our new house and new town.   But I have been doing some knitting and spinning.  I'm getting close to done with my Hello Yarn singles: (the picture is from before the move)
We've also been doing some gardening.  Because now we have our very own yard!  There was a strawberry patch already established when we moved in, so I've spent some time weeding that.  The strawberry patch takes up half of a large bed alongside the garage.  Our eventual plan is to put in rhubarb in the other half of that bed, but for now it was too late to plant anything but greens, so we weeded it out and planted some kale and broccoli seeds.  It's so exciting to see the little plants coming up!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mending

I learned a new skill last week!  This sock (the first pair I made for Robert) has been sitting in my mending pile for several weeks.  I finally sat down and worked my way through the whole pile so I wouldn't have to move un-mended clothing.  I used this tutorial on how to knit on a patch, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  Next time I would pay more attention and make sure to knit the patch in the same direction as the socks - it didn't occur to me that this would be an issue when I was picking up stitches, but I think that would make it easier to graft the live stitches to the sock at the end of the patch.  I wasn't really thinking and knit this patch in the heel-to-cuff direction, even though the socks were knit cuff down.
The leftover black yarn from these socks is long gone, so I used some of the leftover navy blue from Robert's new socks.  Hopefully the patch will be hidden under his pant leg, so he can continue to wear these as dress socks!