Monday, May 28, 2012

A Quilt for Lil' Miss

I finally got around to picking out fabrics for Lil' Miss to have her very own quilt.  Since I already made one for Destructo-boy she needed one too, plus her bedding is getting kind of sad looking and needs to be freshened up.  I found a great collection of prints from Michael Miller Fabrics called 'It's a girl thing" that called out to me.  I wasn't sure at first if it was too sophisticated for her but after consulting with a few friends at our Memorial weekend bbq I was convinced that it was something she would enjoy now and could grow into.  Because who really wants to make a quilt that after a few years the child says 'But Mom, princess ballerinas are for babies!', yeah, not me so more grown up fabrics it is for this quilt.

I wasn't even sure what kind of quilt pattern to make at first, I wanted something interesting but not too complicated for a novice quilter like myself.  I've done 2 quilts now that are essentially large squares with other fabrics used as sashing around them and want to move on and work with some piecing in the squares.  I searched for some nine patch quilt tutorials (we read the Little House books together and there were several times she wrote about them working on their  nine patch quilts) and came across this great tutorial on the blog Oh, Fransson! for a crazy nine patch lattice quilt.  Yes, it is for a baby quilt, but doubling the size of the quilt results in finished measurements really close to a full size quilt so I'll be doing this one doubled.  I am pretty excited and can't wait for the fabrics to arrive so I can start cutting out and sewing them up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A book review: The Knitters Curiosity Cabinet

After loving everything in Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen and really enjoying knitting two of the patterns already, of course I had to get her newest volume of patterns, The Knitters Curiosity Cabinet in spite of not being even close to finishing the patterns in her first book.  Taking her inspiration from the collections of the Victorian era middle class that inspired vintage botanical prints, she created 10 different paired patterns for socks and a coordinating accessory piece.  As of right now all I have is the e-book, with the physical book due to arrive in another month or two, but what I have is beautiful and impressive in and of itself.

I love how she begins the book with a history of curiosity cabinets detailing their evolution along with photographic examples of them.  It serves as giving a sense of how she came about with the creation of the patterns and explains how the patterns in the book relate to one another resulting in a very cohesive selection of knitting patterns.  The photos of the patterns are all charmingly taken in the location a library from the looks of it.  Each pattern is photographed beautifully with both close up images of the stitch pattern and a full shot of the knitted piece being worn.

As to the patterns themselves, they are well laid out and easy to follow.  Each pair of patterns are accompanied by an inspirational botanical print and a brief description of the plant in the image along with describing what exactly served as the inspiration for the stitch patterns created.  The patterns are charted, which I prefer, and if you don't know how to follow charts I strongly suggest you learn as it is so much easier to work then following written instructions!  An improvement over Silk Road Socks layout was that as opposed to just having a a master stitch key at the beginning of the book, there is also a stitch key included with each pattern listing just the stitches used for that pattern.  This will make using the book while knitting each pattern much easier as all relevant information is right there on one page, instead of forcing the knitter to flip back and forth to check the chart symbols.

In closing, I am delighted with this book as not only does it have a wide selection of patterns I can't wait to cast on, but it is a lovely book in and of itself.  Available in e-book form now through or it's own site The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, available in print form late spring or summer of this year, 2012.  There will also be Knit-A-Longs for the book in her group on Ravelry beginning in July 2012.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gettin' my crochet on.

After promised for who knows how long I finally ordered the yarn, bought the pattern, and got started on a blankie for Destructo-boy.  I had long admired the Babbette blanket but the thought of making a huge blankie out of fingering weight yarn made me want to weep.  So after checking the numerous projects that have been made with that pattern I decided it would work just fine with worsted weight yarn.  Then the conundrum of finding just the right colors of yarn in a washable fiber.  Knit Picks to the rescue!  They recently came out with their very first selection of acrylic yarn, perfect for a grubby little kiddo.

I am a little overwhelmed at the amount of squares that need to be made for this blanket, but it will look so cute when finished I think it's worth it.  Now I just need to figure out how to relax and not worry overmuch about the colors used in each square.  I don't want it to be too heavy on one color and light on others, but don't really want to stress about it either.  Regardless it is coming along nicely and it a nice change of pace from the knitting that normally takes up all my time.  When it is done I think it'll look great, that's just a long time from now I fear!
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