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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Magic Stars

Small log cabin quilt

You might remember back in August I sent two quilt tops to be quilted - one king size and one throw size.  I got them back, all quilted, late last week!  I immediately sat down and got them trimmed up and sewed the binding on both quilts, then I started turning it to the back and finishing it by hand.  I'm still working on the king size one, but I finished the throw size quilt!

Small log cabin quilt

I asked for 100% cotton batting for both quilts because I like the way it breathes, I like the way it feels, and I like what it does when you wash it.  Above, you can see a photo of the center of the quilt as it was when I got it back.  The quilting is visible, but it's still pretty smooth.  You can't feel it in the photo, but it was kind of stiff and didn't have very much drape.

Small log cabin quilt

After washing, the quilting has much more depth, the stars in the pattern are much more visible, and the quilt has amazing softness and drape.  This is because when you wash it the first time, the batting shrinks a tiny bit.  All of my fabrics were prewashed before I started piecing the top, and before I prepared the backings.  They had already done their shrinking, but when the batting shrinks, it pulls the fabrics along with it.  You get much more depth in the quilting and the whole hand of the quilt changes into something that wraps around you when pull it over you.

In this quilt, the stars being more visible was a happy surprise.  I had asked Sheryl (from Hedgehog Quilting) to use the Midnight Sparkle pattern to quilt both of these.  She had it but had never used it.  The stars are actually stitched twice, so they have a double layer of thread and stand out a bit from the swirling background.  Once the quilt was washed, they popped a little bit more.  I don't think they distract from the quilting or the different fabrics, they're just another layer on top of all the rest and I just love the way they add to the finished look!

I'm about halfway around the hand stitching on the king size quilt and hope to get it finished this week!

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Still With The Stockinette

V neck Boxy

I've been knitting away, or actually, around and around.  I've finished the second front since I last showed you my V Neck Boxy, and I've joined the fronts to the back below the underarms.  I'm literally knitting in circles.  It's not the most exciting thing, but it is good TV knitting and I can knit it while I watch the Aggies play football.  (I've started watching football, only Texas A&M and whoever they're playing, but I'm watching football.  It has really confused Mickael.  It's good to keep him on his toes.)

I haven't measured in a while, but I'm probably about halfway between the underarms to the hem.  I'm almost finished with the second skein now so I think I'll have enough yarn to do long sleeves.  The pattern has 3/4 length sleeves, and while those are fine and I do like them, for some reason I've been thinking of full length sleeves for this sweater.  I'll have to see what I've got left when the body is finished.

Have a great weekend!  I'll be knitting this and watching the game Saturday night!

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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Shifting Gears With Socks

The other day I was all set to blog about a pair of socks I'd started.  I had chosen the Decathlon Sock pattern and was working them in Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Raining Cats and Dogs.  I was just about to start writing the blog post when I realized that I didn't want to knit those exact socks in that yarn.  What I wanted to do was knit a pair of footie type socks with that yarn and use the stitch pattern for the instep.  I don't exactly know where this inspiration came from, but I knew 100% that this was the right choice.  

At that point, knowing that later I would be frogging what I was about to blog and restarting something completely different, there was really no point in blogging it in the first place.  So I didn't.  But I'm here now.

Sock

This is my new footie sock with the Decathlon Sock stitch pattern (AKA garter rib).  I worked a few rounds of ribbing, did a heel flap and heel turn, and started the stitch pattern on the instep as I decreased the gusset stitches on the sole.  Easy peasy!  I don't know why I decided I didn't want full length socks with this combination, but here we are!  Sometimes the yarn tells you what it wants to be.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Brace For Stockinette!

VNeck Boxy

There's going to be a lot of it!  I've started a V Neck Boxy pullover and I'm almost through with the upper body.  I've just got the left front to do, then I join the fronts and back and start going around and around and around!  I'm hoping to get to this point in the next few days.  Being a Boxy, it's oversized, so that combined with fingering weight yarn means lots and lots of stockinette stitch.  Fortunately, I don't mind this kind of thing.

I'm knitting this as part of a Flash Craft A Long ESK is hosting and I have until the end of October to finish it.  I had planned to make this at some point, so when they announced the FCAL and I looked at my yarn stash, I decided, why not?  I'm knitting this in Queensland Collection Kathmandu Fingering in Color 02 Smoky Gray.  I used this same color in the Kathmandu Aran weight last year for my Recoleta cardigan and fell in love with the yarn then.  The fingering weight is just as nice, only making a lighter weight fabric.  I think this sweater will be great for fall and winter around here, and the neutral color will get a lot of use.  A gray sweater is always a good idea in my closet!


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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

I finished my little Just In Case It's Freakishly Warm Again on Christmas Day Sweater!  Since that's kind of a mouthful, I've been calling it Christmas Lights, since that's what the knitted fabric reminds me of - pictures of Christmas Lights, particularly when the lights aren't in focus.  This is knit in Malabrigo Mechita in Atomic and Hollyhock.

Christmas Lights

I made a few changes to the pattern (Lounging Top, Fingering).  I didn't measure the lower body in time, so there are no short rows and instead of a garter stitch edging, I did ribbing.  Then I went back to the arm holes (which I had just worked in Stockinette, not in the edging as the pattern directed) and picked up and knit a little bit for a tiny sleeve.  I edged the sleeves and neckline using the more solid Hollyhock colorway, working a scalloped crochet edging. 

I'm very happy with this little top and I think it will work well for anytime it's freakishly warm, but I still want to feel like I'm dressed for Fall and Winter.  Texas is funny that way sometimes!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

There's A Reason For This

Caleb has been moved into his apartment and is settling into it, the campus, and College Station.  The Stunt Noodle kitty was quite a hit and he has enough blankets to be ready to build a blanket fort at a moment's notice.  Mickael and I are settling into a quieter house, although Mr. Noodle is taking up some of the slack by walking around screaming, looking for Caleb.  (He's seen Caleb go to school before.  He knows this happens.  He still always walks around looking for him, starting in the obvious places, and then looking behind doors and under furniture, just in case.)

I've been working on a sweater to fill a gap in my wardrobe that I didn't know I had until Christmas of 2021.  Let me explain.  This past Christmas we woke up to 80 degree temperatures.  Living in in Texas, we all have clothes for these temperatures, but it was Christmas day.  None of us had clothes for that kind of heat that were Christmas appropriate, and while we were running the air conditioner, no one would have been comfortable in long sleeves or sweaters.  Mickael and Caleb and the rest of the men didn't worry about it, they just put on short sleeve polo shirts and went on with their day.  I tried on four or five different things, and at this point I don't remember what I ended up wearing, but figuring out what to wear was difficult.  When our guests arrived for Christmas dinner, I found out that Mom, my Mother-in-Law, and my Sister-In-Law all had exactly the same problem!

Atomic Lounging Top

I realized that I needed a short sleeved sweater so I could look Christmas Festive while not dying of heat stroke at the same time.  This is the reason for this sweater.  I won't only wear it for Christmas, but I'll be ready if we have another Christmas heat wave.  The pattern is the Lounging Top and I'm knitting it in Malabrigo Mechita in Atomic.  The knitted fabric reminds me of photos of Christmas lights that are blurred and out of focus.  The fade from dark to light is just the different part of the hand dyed skeins.  I think it's going to get dark again towards the lower body.  I might add some little sleeves (I'll see how it looks once I'm finished) and I've got a contrast solid I plan to use for the neckline and sleeve edging, so I haven't been working the sleeve edges as the pattern directs - I've kept them in stockinette.

I'm past the upper body where the short rows, neck and armhole shaping are, so I'm just knitting around and around in circles.  Not the most exciting knitting, but it's exactly what my brain needs right now.

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Thursday, August 18, 2022

One More Blanket

Flannel quilt for Caleb

Earlier this Summer, when I decided to make Caleb a crocheted throw, I decided to make him a throw sized quilt as well.  I planned a super simple design and I thought flannel would be perfect for it.  I used the Mammoth Flannels from Robert Kaufman for his quilt because they come in a huge range of plaids and solids, and they're really thick, substantial flannels.  (This is the same flannel line that I chose to back the king size log cabin quilt I showed you a couple of weeks ago.)

Flannel quilt for Caleb

As far as the quilt design goes, I didn't make quilt blocks, but just used the width of fabric (once I had removed the selvedges) to figure out how long I wanted the center section.  Then I added the striped mitered borders.  I used maroon and cream (I feel like you might have seen this color combination before?) for the inner borders and then added a wide border of the gray and the finished quilt top reminds me of vintage football and rugby uniforms.

Flannel quilt for Caleb

At this point I sent the quilt and backing (more flannel, a black and gray plaid this time) to the longarm quilter to be quilted.  I asked her for a watery looking quilting design as a nod to his Oceanography major, and we ended up picking one called Undertow.  It reminds me of whirlpools as well as raindrops on a lake or ocean.  When I sent it to her, I wasn't sure if I would get it back before he left for school, but it arrived Tuesday morning.  I had already made the binding, so after trimming up the quilt I was able to get the binding sewn onto the front side before lunchtime.  By bedtime Tuesday night I had hand stitched the binding over the edge, on the back side and it was finished!  I got these photos and yesterday he walked around with the quilt draped over his head and wrapped around himself most of the day.  He has declared that it is just the right amount of cozy.

The finished quilt is bigger than the crocheted throw, but I figure the crocheted throw will be useful at his desk chair since it should be small enough not to get caught in the wheels while the quilt can be used on his bed for naps, or either one could be used on the sofa.  However he decides to use them, he'll have enough to make a nice blanket fort too!

Have a great weekend!  I've got to get everything gathered up and packed so we can haul it down to College Station in a few days.  I've got sticky note lists all over the house right now!

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