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Thursday, October 29, 2015

I’ve Turned a Corner

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I’ve turned the corner on Treat.  I’m now putting the lace border on the second lower side and binding off at the same time.  By the time I got to this point in the shawl, I had memorized the lace border, which makes working this section pretty fast.  Also, Logan’s toes made it into the photo for your puppy enjoyment.

I realized last night as I was working on this that I haven’t decided what to cast on when it’s finished. I’m hoping to get it finished today and then blocked over the weekend, but in the meantime, I need to think about what’s next!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Loopy Academy, Sewing Edition

I have been waiting to start my sewing projects for Loopy Academy until I finished the quilt top.  I was afraid I’d just work on the smaller sewing projects and ignore the quilt top and it would never get finished.  Now that the quilt is off being quilted (I sent it to Hedgehog Quilting, she did my floral quilt for Camp Loopy in August also), I can get going on my Loopy Academy projects.
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Yesterday, I started out with a plan to do some cutting.  I was going to get my Loopy Academy drawstring bag cut out as well as a Moss skirt.  Things did not go as planned.  I did get the majority of my drawstring bag cut out, but I made a couple of mistakes in the cutting that I then had to figure out how to fix.  I’m making the String Style Backpack With Front Crossover Pockets, and I had already decided to add some hexagon appliqués to the front crossover pockets.  When I realized that my cutting skills yesterday would not be showing up to help me, I decided to stop cutting and get the appliqués positioned instead.  I had basted the hexagon fabrics over some die cut hexagon pieces, so once I had a plan, I popped the die cut hexagon out and glued the fabric section down to the pocket with fabric glue.  The picture above is after I arranged them, but before they were glued down.  (None of the layers were sewn together at this point.)  I also trimmed basting threads before gluing them down (you can see some white threads peeking out if you look closely).

Now that the hexagons are all positioned on the pockets, I’m ready to appliqué them down!  The plan at this point is to machine appliqué them, but I haven’t worked out all the details yet.

Hopefully my cutting skills will come back soon!  I’ve got several more things that need cutting out around here!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

An Upper Body or A Passage to Another Dimension

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This strange looking blue mess is the upper body section of my Princess Fiona pullover.  I’ve just joined the front and back at the underarm, but it’s hard to tell what’s going on at the moment.  Also, as you can see, Max decided to photobomb this morning’s blog post.  His feet make more sense than the blue blob of knitting!

As I was knitting on this over the weekend, before I joined the front and back, it was hanging off the needles and the neckline looked like a donut hole.  At the same time, Max decided he was cold and was trying to make a nest in my lap.  He thought that by climbing through the neck hole, he could find a place that was warmer.  He tried it several times, going both ways, but apparently there wasn’t really a warm spot in the other dimension either.  Max’s understanding of time, space, and general physics is different from mine.  I will give him credit for persistence.  He will keep trying until he gets where he wants to be, whether it’s through the neckline of a sweater in progress or down the sleeve of a jacket I’m wearing.  It does make knitting interesting when I’m trying to knit something Max is trying to use as a portal to another dimension.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Spinning

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I’ve started part of a new spinning project.  This is some Malabrigo Nube in Aguas.  I started with two braids (eight ounces total).  I split each of them four times, lengthwise and then did a tiny bit of redrafting and fluffing, just to make sure the fiber was slipping nicely.  I find Merino can be kind of “sticky” to spin, but this opened it up enough that the spinning is going very smoothly.
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I said I’m just working on part of a new project, because I think I’m going to combine eight ounces each of two more colors of Merino (probably solids) and then ply all three together for a sweater quantity of yarn.  I haven’t quite decided yet whether to pair it with two more greens, or a green and a  gray blue color.  In the meantime, I’ll just keep spinning this.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Borders

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Last night I added borders to the black and gray chevron quilt.  I used mitered corners, although you can’t really tell in the black borders when I take photographs at night.  Trust me, they’re mitered.

I’m sewing the backing together today, and then this will be ready to send off for quilting!

Once this is sent off, I’m going to get started on Loopy Academy Sewing.  I’ve been waiting to finish this quilt first, but I’m looking forward to working on some smaller projects.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Loopy Academy, Pillow

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I’ve gotten a lot farther on my pillow knitting since it was last on the blog.  It moves along pretty quickly even though I’m knitting it pretty tightly for the yarn.  I figured knitting it tightly would keep the pillow form from showing through the stitches and also help the pillow to wear well when it’s being used.  While I feel like throw pillows should be looked at and not used, certain people in this house feel like they should be used, sat on, lain on, and even thrown occasionally.  It’s like living with wild animals around here.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A New Pullover!

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Since I finished my Tea Leaves cardigan, I started a new sweater.  This is the Princess Fiona pullover, knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina (yum) in Ink (sigh).  What you’re looking at is the start of the back.  Also, it’s rolling at the moment.  Give me a little more time on it and it will look a lot more interesting in photographs.

The astute among you will notice that it is not in the pink/berry/burgundy tones I’ve been using a lot lately.  It’s blue.  In fact it’s technically a navy blue, which is a color I don’t really wear.  I have one navy thing in my entire closet.  I wear black, not navy.  The problem is, the first time I saw Ink, it took my breath away.  Ink perfectly captures the look of a stroke of a blue ballpoint pen: the dark, almost black sections all the way to the faded, light blue parts where it doesn’t quite lay down enough ink.  It’s all there in this yarn.  I can’t really explain why I reacted the way I did, but I knew I wanted a sweater in Ink.  Now it has begun.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

It’s Getting Bigger!

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I’ve been working on my Treat and it’s getting bigger.  I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first skein, so I started alternating skeins a couple of rows back.  This way, there won’t be a big color jump from one to the other.  Ironically, if you look at the picture, you can see that it started getting darker several inches back - that’s still the first skein.  When you knit with hand dyed yarns, you have to be OK with things like this.  It will all work out in the end!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Almost a Quilt Top!

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I know this photo looks a lot like last Friday’s photo, but if you look closely, you can see that this week, the blocks are sewn together!  I’ve still got to add borders before the top is finished.  Then I have to sew the backing together and it’s off to be quilted!

I’ve had the blocks spread out on the sewing room floor for a week now which means I had to put the child gate up to keep Logan out of the room.  Logan is NOT a good quilting dog.  He moves blocks around, rolls on them, and does Snowplow Nose through the middle of them.  Considering that he’s really a good dog with everything else, I can deal with his quilting issues.  Anyway, since the sewing room is temporarily a Logan free zone, Max has been coming in to play more (he usually gets snarfled by Logan in there and doesn’t have space to explore).  I think Max knows this is a quilt because I caught him trying to climb underneath it for a nap.  He’s also plopped down in the middle of it to keep it from wandering off.

I’m hoping to send this off to Hedgehog Quilting by the end of next week, so I guess I better get out the super long tape measure so I know how long to make the borders!  Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Loopy Academy, Pillow Project

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One of the projects for this semester’s Loopy Academy yarn version is to make a pillow.  I’ve never knit (or crocheted) a pillow before so this is new to me.  I chose the Sea Oak pattern and I’m knitting it in Cascade 220 in a blue green heathered color.  You can see one of the backs and the beginning of the front above.

I’m knitting it tightly so I don’t get show through from the pillow form when it’s stuffed.  I didn’t worry about gauge on this because I’ll knit until the front is square and then just make sure the backs overlap so I can button them closed.  Then I’ll get a pillow form slightly larger than the pillow itself.  Using a larger pillow form makes the pillow good and fluffy.  A larger form will squish into a smaller pillow nicely (unless it’s just way too large), but a smaller form just makes a sad pillow.  It’s looking like my knitting is about 16 inches wide, so I’ll probably get an 18 inch square pillow form.  I’ll get a more precise measurement later though.

On an unrelated note, thanks for all the complements on my cardigan yesterday.  Lissa K. noticed that I’ve been on a pinky, berry colored run lately, and yes that’s true.  I noticed a few years ago as I was looking for something in my finished projects on Ravelry, that I tend to do things in a color range for a while, before moving on to another color.  I’ve got a bunch of gray projects, followed by a bunch of dark, blue green projects, then there are ivory projects, light blue green projects and so on.  This summer and fall have been leaning to the pinks.  I’ve never looked for it in other people’s projects, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t the only one who works in color families for brief periods of time.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Finished!

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I’ve finished my very autumnal Tea Leaves Cardigan.  I actually finished the knitting late on Sunday, but there were ends that had to be woven in, then it needed blocking, and finally I had to add the buttons.  Now it’s finished and ready for a cool, fall day.  It’s knit in Madelinetosh Vintage in the (now discontinued) Grenadine color way.  From a distance, it looks like a muddy plum color, but when you get close, you can see that there’s a lot more going on.
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You can also see the buttons I chose.  The pattern calls for two buttons, but I prefer three, so I adjusted my buttonholes.  I did reknit the button bands because the first ones were just too big.  I also alternated skeins every two rows for both the body and the sleeves to blend the colors better.  I usually do this with hand dyed yarns, and it was really important to do it with this yarn as there’s so much going on in this color.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Something New

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I started a new shawl!  This is Treat, worked in Dream in Color’s Jilly in the Wineberry color way.  This is the first time I’ve used Jilly and it’s very similar to Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino Light.  (Malabrigo’s Mechita is also a fingering weight single, but it’s plumper and bouncier than the other two.)  The color reminds me of Malabrigo’s English Rose, but in a darker, more Autumnal version.

This pattern makes a shawl that’s completely reversible!  It took me a bit to figure out what was going on, but now that my hands understand the repeat, I can work on it without the chart, so it can be a portable project!

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Ready to Sew Together

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Do you remember all those half square triangles I made?  Well, I’ve made all the blocks from them!  I laid them out yesterday and while I have a few blocks I want to swap around, I’ll be sewing them together this weekend.

When I cut my fabrics I sorted the grays into a light pile and a dark pile.  It wasn’t very scientific, I just went with my gut.  In fact the darkest grays in the light pile could have easily gone into the dark pile, and the lightest grays of the dark pile could have been lights.  When I went to sew the blocks together, I used the light grays on the left half of the block and the dark grays on the right half.  As you can see with all the blocks laid out together, it gives kind of a three dimensional look to my chevrons.  I wasn’t exactly sure if it would work out until I started laying out blocks into rows, but I’m really happy that it did!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I’ve got some sewing to do!

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Thursday, October 08, 2015

A Sleeve is Born

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I've finally started knitting the sleeves on my Tea Leaves Cardigan.  Actually, just the first sleeve at this point.  I’m still alternating skeins as I work.  When I was knitting the yoke, I stopped before I ran out of yarn on these earlier balls.  Then I divided them in half by weight so I’d have some for each sleeve.  This way the earlier skeins in the sweater will also be at the top of the sleeves.

I still haven’t blocked the front bands because I realized that if there’s a problem, they’re too big, which means that I can frog them later and re-use the yarn for the second version and still be fine.  I decided to get the sleeves done first, then I’ll see what’s going on with the front bands later.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Finished!

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I finished the Raspberry Mohair Bias Loop!  As soon as the temperatures drop around here, I’m ready to stay warm!  I did have to wear a jacket on last Friday’s run, but the mornings are a little warmer this week.
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In case you were wondering what these look like when they’re worn, here’s a modeled shot.  The loop is long enough that you can double it so that it snuggles up against your neck more.  It could also hold your ears back doubled up that way, if they’re soft and floppy.
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Oh, and remember how I mentioned how one skein of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud is perfect for these?  This is what I have left after all the knitting and Kitchener Stitching is finished.  I used almost every bit of the skein!

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging now.  I haven’t cast on for a third one - yet.  (Actually, it would be a third one this fall, it would be my fifth total Mohair Bias Loop.  I wonder how many of these I’d have to make before it would be a problem?)

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Monday, October 05, 2015

Bear With Me

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I’ve got less than 10 inches of knitting left on this loop, so if the blog will humor me, I’m going to keep going on this until it’s finished.  I hope to get it finished today, but Mondays are crazy around here, so it might get finished tomorrow instead.  I’m so close to being finished, it seems silly to work on anything else right now!

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Oops! I Did It Again!

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I warned you that it would probably happen, and it did - I started another Mohair Bias Loop!  This is also ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud, but in Raspberry this time around.  I’ve gotten about 10 inches or so knit already.  Once again, it’s proving to be the perfect project to work on during the day in the little breaks of homeschooling.

The good news for you here at the blog is that these work up pretty quickly, so you won’t be looking at it forever.  The bad news is that I have yarn for three more of these in the stash.  You’ve been warned.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Finished!

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Last night I finished my Smoke Ring!  The best part?  Max slept through the Kitchener stitch portion of the finishing.  It’s not too difficult to Kitchener stitch with this kind of yarn once you figure out how to keep it from tangling up in its own fuzz.  The problem is that you’re joining such a wide section (as compared to the toe of a sock), so your yarn tail is very long, and it takes over an hour.  That’s a lot for a cat to sleep through.
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This is the Mohair Bias Loop, knit in ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud in the Tar color way.  Tar is not quite black, it’s a dark charcoal.  (I think Abyss is the true black color in this line.)  I used all but a couple of feet of the skein of yarn.  At 330 yards, it’s like the yarn is made for this pattern.  There are some other yarns that are also brushed kid mohair around a silk core, like Rowan’s Kid Silk Haze, but they need more than one ball of yarn to make a loop.

I can’t get over how fast this project went.  I’ve got another skein of Silk Cloud upstairs in the stash, so I might just cast on for another one of these later today!

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