Monday, July 26, 2010

Shawl Progress and a Sewing FO

This weekend, I put in some serious crafting time. My Swallowtail Shawl (shawl #5 of 2010) was in hibernation for months, but resurfaced a few weeks ago. I'm now working my first nupp row (by the way, nupps really are annoying, but I'm hoping they get easier).

Progress: Swallowtail Shawl

I'm further along than this photo shows, but I wanted to get a picture before I lost daylight yesterday.

Additionally, on Saturday I decided to make myself a pincushion to match my sewing room. My current pincushion is heart-shaped (it's pretty ugly and generic) and came from Joann's when I first picked up sewing again. After a couple of crafting hours, here is my result.

Pincushion

I used scraps from the pillows I made Rhonda last month. The Deer Valley line by Joel Dewberry is one of my favorites.

Detail on pincushion

I love the little triangles, which are from a charm square I've had forever. When I first started sewing again, I bought a box of charm squares on eBay, which I never really used, but I've pulled some of my favorites for scrappy use. I like the black contrast stitching as well. I used bamboo stuffing, but next time, I think I'll add some beans or beads to give it a little more weight. I've also read that walnut shells are a good natural additive. It feels sturdy as is, though.

FO: Red + aqua pincushion

I love it, and I'm hoping to make more.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Slowly progressing

This quilt is such a big project, and my free time is somewhat sporadic. The result is that I don't feel as if I'm moving very quickly through this process.

Planning

The bright side is that I'm nearly done with my nine-patch squares. The next step is cutting my solid suares and then sewing together the top. I picked some coordinating thread colors that I'm contemplating for the top-stitching. My solid top squares will be gray (either Kona medium gray or coal). For the binding, I'm planning to use Kona Daffodil or Bubble Gum (seen in the picture above).

Does anyone have an opinion on the binding and/or thread color? I may use more than one thread color, since I sort of love them all! I may use one within the squares, and then use the other on the binding.

Dreaming of the next one

I'm already dreaming of my second quilt, using these orange and blue fabrics. Ithink I'll wait to dig into it, as two giant unfinished quilting projects would just be too much. It's fun to plan, though!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Progress: Pebble

Whimsy Knits Handspun

This handspun, purchased from Whimsy Knits, didn't stay in the stash very long. I bought it originally for a hat or scarf, but after seeing the Pebble vest (inspired by Cobblestone), I knew it would be my next gift to Oliver, Elliott's nephew. He's about four months old now, and he'll be visiting Texas for the first time this month. I'm excited to see him again. I'm hoping he hasn't grown too much, so that he can fit into this vest! This is a DK weight yarn, which is what the pattern calls for. I didn't add any width, but I added about 12 rows to the length.

Progress: Pebble

I'm a few inches past this picture, and I plan to start the straps tonight. This yarn has Shetland in it, and my plan, should I run out, is to purchase a skein of Jamieson's yarn to finish. At this point, I'm pretty sure that won't be necessary, but it never hurts to be prepared.

If it doesn't fit the little guy, I'll knit another in worsted weight while he's in Texas, and I'll save this one for another baby gift.

Buttons have not been selected yet. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stash Enhancement: Yarn Edition

Sadly, ClumsyKnitter's store, Flocks of Yarn, is closing. It's for a good reason, so it's only half sad! If you haven't already checked out her sale, do so quickly. She's still got some great yarn for sale.

I already did my part, by buying these goodies:

Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant
Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant

Natural Dye Sock "Angel"
Natural Dye Studio Angel Sock in Apple

There were a lot of other items I wanted to put in my cart, but I refrained, since I've got quite a stash already living at my house.

I was also recently lucky enough to score a skein of the coveted Plcky Knitter's MCN (that's merino cashmere nylon) blend sock yarn, in the gorgeous Nautical Mile colorway.

Plucky Knitter MCN

Honestly, I found the color a bit difficult to photograph, so I'm not sure this picture does it justice. Just in case, here's the link to show you Plucky's picture:http://www.etsy.com/transaction/30584329

It's really lovely stuff!

I have been knitting, and I actually have an FO to share; I'm just not too happy with my pictures, so I'm waiting for some sunshine. It could be a long wait, since July in Houston basically equates to rain every day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First blocks done!

Although my weekend didn't allow for much sewing, I've got about ten squares fully finished. Only eleventy billion to go!

Progress: First Quilt

I actually finished more than ten, but some of the blocks are a bit smaller than the required 8" X 8". I will either use them for the back, or for some matching pillows. Or maybe I'll share them. I'm not sure yet. I do love how they're turning out, though. I'm still on the fence about the solid squares and binding. I'm leaning towards Kona Medium Gray for the solid squares. I've got about two yards of it, which should be enough for the front. The back and binding are still up for debate.

First quilt blocks

It's exciting to have a large project in front of me, and I savor each minute I get to spend on it. It's a good ting, too; I've got a lot of minutes ahead.

I spent most of the weekend with my family, and I got to hold this little cutie:

DSC_1016

This is Dixie (that's Jill holding her), my uncle's newest German Shorthair Pointer. Just look at that freckled belly!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The deep end

After dreaming and thinking about quilts for months, I decided to take the plunge and just start one. There are so many inspiring quilters to learn from; my blog roll and flickr friends list has been growing. To start the process, I made a list of all the fabrics I've got, and arranged them by color. I could probably make nine quilts with what I have on hand. I'll have to remember to share a picture of my fabric stash; it sort of grew when I wasn't looking.

First quilt: in progress

I compiled two groups of fabrics that I wanted to use right away, and then picked one to start. My color combination is pink, gray and yellow. I'm using one of Oh, Frannson's free patterns, but I'm modifying it to be bigger, and thus using additional fabrics/yardage. It's the Nine-Patch pattern. I won't be following the pattern for the back, but instead using large scraps from some of fabric used for the patch blocks on the back. I cut all of my strips of fabric on Sunday, and I've been sewed like crazy last night. I've got most of the strips sewn together, but have yet to cut any into the smaller strips.

First quilt: in progress

It's fun to have such a big project ahead of me.

In knitting news, I'm planning to cast on for a pair of anklet socks this weekend, but I haven't knit a stitch all week!

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