Friday, August 26, 2011

Scrapbook Progress

Yea!  I finally have made some progress since I have actually felt like working on them again.  The book for 2010 is completely finished and I am in progress on the winter/spring portion of 2011 and scrapping Lil' Misses birthday book (each kidlet has a book of just their birthday's, thanks Gramma for that great idea!).  I am rather proud of myself that I am making progress since I haven't even received the supplies to scrapbook the in progress pages, but that certainly doesn't stop me from designing the layout and printing the pictures!  Now I just need to keep the momentum going and keep caught up with them!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Late Summer Knitting

It has been a pretty cool summer so far making it not terribly difficult to knit this year.  I've been working on a few projects I can't talk about (Christmas gifts are kind of hush-hush you know) but I am working on two things right now that I can talk about.

First up is the Plein Air Tote out of Interweave Knits Fall 2010.  It is a really nice looking pattern and I am using up some basic Fisherman's Wool yarn that I was give for my birthday on this project.  I have changed up a few things, like using smaller needles since I am using worsted rather than aran weight yarn and mixing two colors for the moss sides.  It has been pretty easy to follow so far, I already have both cabled sides and the moss stitch panels all done.  This is one project I fear may end up hibernating for awhile though, since the pattern calls for a sewn lining and I'll need to find some leather handles for it.  Since I am not a fan of thrift shops I am not really sure what I am going to do to find inexpensive handles, maybe I should enlist some of my more thrift store-friendly buddies for help.

My second work in progress is Lil' Misses cardigan for back to school in a few weeks.  She chose the Olearia pattern by Georgie Hallam which I must say is fantastic.  It was definitely a little confusing at first since there are several variations to the cardigan included in the one pattern, so I would suggest to anyone else using the pattern to read through it first as I found I needed to.  The cardigan is being knit with some lovely Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn is the bison colorway, I know, it's not exactly the first color that comes to mind when you think of a 6 year old girl.  However, since we have already bought some new clothes for fall and the one thing they seem to have in common is brown, I though this color made the most sense for a cardigan (I feel like I am knitting with chocolate when I work with it which is a special bonus!).  Plus everyone, even a 6 year old, needs some nice neutral colors in their closet!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Destructo Boy's new quilt

Yes, already finished!  I know, not much of a shock considering what an easy pattern it was but I am still rather pleased with myself.  I am so glad I got my new walking foot for the sewing machine, it worked amazingly well and this would have been impossible to do without it.  I suspect doing the hand stitching for the binding probably took the most time, my thumb is certainly still sore from it!

In case anyone is wondering, the majority of the cute car patterned fabric was made by Hoffman Fabrics, the blue sashing is a generic quilters cotton I picked up from Joann's and the aloha print fabric on the back of the quilt is by a company that I think is out of Hawaii that my local fabric shop carries, unfortunately the name escapes me right now.  I used some polyester batting from Joann's also since I had already washed the fabric and really didn't feel like washing the batting too.  Next time I'll use cotton batting and just wash it all together to get that nice scrunchy look.

I am actually really excited to keep working on quilts, Lil' Miss has already asked when she is getting one.  She may have awhile to wait as I really need to make one out of Mister Vonkysmeed's concert shirts first and I have been wanting one for my bed for quite awhile now.  Then of course I was inspired by The QuiltMaster to make holiday themed wall hanging quilts too, I already have the perfect spot in mind behind the couch.  Great, just what I needed, another addictive hobby!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Place to Knit

This is my new knitting spot and boy is it comfy!  We finally ordered a couple of Sky Chairs after wanting them for years.  There has only been a place to hang them for about 2 years, so I am not that upset we didn't get them sooner, but I sure am glad to have them now!  I have sat in their samples at their booth every time I have gone to a Renaissance Fair for the past 20 or so years and have always wanted one.  Now I have two!  It makes a great spot to relax and knit while the kids are playing in the backyard, and the fact I can turn around in it easily to keep them in view is an extra bonus, makes me much more comfortable with them in the pool.  About my only complaint is the fact I have to kick a child out of my seat whenever I leave it for an instant.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quilt in progress

I cannot believe how fast this thing went together!  Okay, I realize now this was a ridiculously easy pattern, but at least now I understand how quilts go together.  I still need to get the backing fabric, I already have the batting and just received a brand new walking foot in the mail so I can quilt it all together myself.  Now to figure out exactly how I want to quilt this thing, shadow quilting the seams, or just big X's across each square?

Yes, I am already thinking about the next one, which will be a t-shirt quilt of all Mister Vonkysmeed's beloved Oingo Boingo concert shirts.  I should have that done in plenty of time for Christmas and now is a great time to start being on the look out for Day of the Dead fabric for the backing.  So I guess the Big Block quilt pattern was a pretty good introduction to what I will need to do to get that project done!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I think my needles are smoking

Because this cardigan knit up crazy fast!  It took me 13 days from start to finish to make it, usually it takes me at least a month to make a sweater and far more than that when I make mistakes (like my Nantucket Red that took almost a month and a half).

The pattern is Lilas by Hilary Smith Callis, and is a very easy to follow top down raglan sleeve construction.  It seemed kind of odd at first since you are knitting that huge collar first, but as I went along it made more sense to me.  There is very little shaping to this cardigan as it is meant to be more of a casual summer layering piece.  All of this made it great for tv viewing, I just placed stitich markers between the stockinette body of the sweater and the border stitches so I could happily knit while engrossed in catching up with my DVR (mostly Falling Skies which shows a lot of promise to be a great show, here's hoping they keep making it better).  As for changes, I just made the body of the cardigan about 2.5" longer than indicated, yes the pattern is for a cropped sweater but since I am a bit squashed through the body a longer length looks better on me.  I also briefly contemplated making the sleeves 3/4 length but then realized part of the reason I loved the sweater was the great picture of Hilary wearing it over a long sleeve shirt so I followed the pattern exactly in the end (I need to go shopping for long sleeve tees once the stores get their fall collections in, I could wear all my short sleeve cardis this way!). 

For the yarn I picked out Comfy worsted by Knit Picks in the sea foam colorway that was purchased for me as a birthday gift from Chatty-Cathy and Grumpy.  I lurve this yarn!  It's a blend of cotton with acrylic which gives it a bit of stretchiness making it very easy and comfortable to knit with, unlike most cottons.  One of the reviews of this yarn on Ravelry describes it as feeling like your favorite tee shirt that's been washed a million times into comfy softness and that is exactly how it feels!  I will definitely be using this yarn again.

I am looking forward to wearing this sweater again soon, well at least when it starts to cool down again!  I really like the casual look to the floppy collar when the cardigan is left hanging open and that it can be pulled together for added warmth but still looks great.  Another great addition to my growing collection of hand knit cardigans.
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