Camp Loopy Sewing Project 3 complete

My virtual summer camp experience is completed.   I just finished putting the last stitches in my binding and took it outside quick for a photo since every time I look outside it seems to be raining – but for the moment the sun was out.  So here’s my Camp Loopy 3 project completed.

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A plan for Dr. Seuss fabrics

After playing with the Back to Basics design, I realized if I make a few changes to it – making it a rectangular quilt rather than the original square design – I should be able to  use that panel of Dr.Seuss book covers I previously showed, dropping them into the same design where the background squares are.

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So first I changed the block size to make them rectangles in EQ.

Then with a little help from the Snipping Tool I was able to save snips of the images of the book covers into my EQ program to see what they would look like.

I still need to do some tweaking and remeasuring to make sure the book covers will fit properly – I have to see if they are all printed evenly – fussy cutting from panels can be tricky some times.   I also didn’t bother to intricately resize the images so some are a bit cut off in the next quilt image but I was only using it for looking at the big picture to see if I liked the idea.  I do – so I think I will end up with two Dr. Seuss quilts (completing my first one as originally planned) rather than using the fabrics together in one quilt.

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Back to Basics Quilt

Back to Basics” that’s what I’m calling this baby quilt since it is such a beginner friendly design which makes use of the “basics” – basic rotary cutter skills, getting that scant 1/4″ seam allowance correct, a bit of strip set piecing – all basic techniques.

bsI was playing with Electric Quilt and wanted to take an existing block and “super size” it to turn that single block into an actual quilt layout.

This is the result.  One super-sized block (called “The Album”) in EQ turned into a quilt.

I will be posting the directions for making this quilt on the blog.  As with all of my free patterns on the blog – you an always find the links to them listed under the PAGES section in the right sidebar under FREE PDF QUILT PATTERNS.  For the time being there is also a button in the right sidebar that contains the links.  Once that button is removed (in a couple of weeks), the links will still be in the free patterns listing.  I’ll be adding the instructions for stitching up for this design to the blog free pattern list on Labor Day weekend.

This one also will contain instructions for a pieced backing fabric for those who wish to use it.

quiltbackThe backing will look like this.   The yardage instructions for the quilt top and binding are separate from the yardage instructions for the pieced backing so you can choose to piece the backing like this or do your own backing however you like.

Click the button in the sidebar (that looks like the quilt design of course) or in the Free PDF Quilt patterns listing find “Back to Basics” to get the link for the download of the yardage and cutting instructions.

Will you be stitching along with me next weekend on this project?It could be a baby quilt, table topper, wall hanging or cut a hole in the center to make a tree skirt; it would look great in lots of different styles of fabrics from baby, to batik, to holiday fabrics (Halloween fabrics with spider webs quilted in the background squares??); or maybe add some applique or embroidery to the background squares – lots of possibilities to adapt a simple design to your own particular taste whether you are a beginner quilt or more advanced.

 

 

 

A whole box of Craftsy-ness

Yarn and fabric goodness arrived yesterday from the Black Friday Craftsy sale I stumbled across last weekend.

20160828_2This is the Geranium colored Cascade Cherub DK.   It’s not rust, it’s not  red more of a dark Salmon I guess I’d call it – anyway I love the color.  I wasn’t sure about this yarn when I ordered it since it’s an acrylic/nylon blend – no wool – so didn’t know if I’d like the feel of it for the sweater I wanted it for (and had a back up plan for a baby blanket since it’s totally low maintenance yarn –  machine wash and  dry).  I haven’t knit a swatch yet to see how it feels knit up and machine washed and dried, but in the hank it feels very lovely and silky so unless that changes when my swatch is blocked, I think it will be totally sweater worthy and having a sweater I can toss in the washer and dryer rather than hand wash and air dry – bonus!

20160828_7Cascade 220 Sport in Doeskin Heather – this one is definitely hand wash and air dry but I think it will be perfect for the Oak Knoll vest I want to make.  I like the “heather” Cascade yarns – although it doesn’t show up in my photo they have a subtle sort of lighter and darker strand that gives it just a bit more oomph than a flat solid color.

I need to go count up how many hanks of yarn I ended up with because it was a good sale and I got lots.  🙂  Every since TLE added the option to their web site to add yarn purchased to the “stash” feature in Ravelry with just the click of a button,  I’ve been pretty good about adding in any yarn purchased elsewhere to keep the Rav stash current.  It does not contain all the yarn purchased prior to TLE adding that feature but it’s a start and I like that when I look at a pattern in Ravelry, it will give me a list of possible yarns already in my stash that will work (and I can see how much of a particular yarn I have “in stock.”) 🙂

The final thing I ordered from the sale was a quilt kit.  I don’t plan to do the pattern as written for the kit — I wanted the fabrics to add to a project I’m already working on.

DSCN4063Remember these blocks – maybe not since I started them in January of last year and they got put aside for some BOM projects.  But I’m ready to get working on them again — this quilt wasn’t planned for anyone in particular so at least I’m not “late” getting it somewhere.

But included in the Craftsy kit was part of a panel with the front covers of the Dr.Seuss books printed on it.  I needed those!

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I can remember reading One Fish Two Fish Red Fish, Are you My Mother?, and Green Eggs and Ham more times than I can count to my younger sister.

How I just need to figure out how to mix these pieces with the block above — or maybe I will just make two quilts instead.  But the kit held some additional fabrics I can mix in as well.

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So I’m going to have to do some measuring and planning with EQ to see what I can come up with.

I had hoped to have my last Camp Loopy quilt all bound this a.m. to show you but alas, I fell asleep way too early last night and didn’t accomplished as much as I hoped.  But, after making some brunch and another cup of coffee, that’s top of my list to finish today since Camp officially concludes the end of this month and I need to get my photo uploaded to get credit for completion.

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass Cowl preparations

Be sure to check out the link up and share the yarn you’ll be using for your Stained Glass Cowl – you can find the link on Judy’s blog post here , where she is still undecided as to what yarn she will use. 🙂

***IMPORTANT*** The “Chart Key” for the color work charts is REVERSED. I thought it looked wrong and checked the comments on Ravelry.  The designer  did say a revision was going to be released but apparently that hasn’t happened yet.  So on the chart key the “black” square symbol is your background color (black or whatever solid looking color) and the “blank” square is your “pretty” color.

I will be using these.  Both are Wollmeise Pure . The dark bluey/almost black  (my background) is Admiral.20160811_5

My foreground is Sultan.   Last night I was bored with my sweater and I thought I’d try the provisional cast on just to see if I could do it without twisting.  The needles I found that were the correct size were only 24″ long.   There’s a reason the designer suggested a longer needle size. LOL   I did get all the stitches on a 24″needle but they would have been packed on too tightly to really want to knit the whole cowl on.    I thought I had ordered needles long ago but all the newest ones I had gotten were still in my basket and no size 3 mm.  So I ordered two new needles so I’ll be all ready.     I also ordered….stitchmarkers.jpg

….well may times I don’t bother with stitch markers and “live dangerously” but not this time.  With as many stitches on the needles as there will be I will be using stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat.  I’d much rather realize I had run amok within one repeat rather than when I get to the end of around and my pattern is off.

I had gathered up all my stitch markers when I did my test run of the provisional cast on  and had about four different kinds I used in order to get enough of them.  However, over time I have decided that I like a particular kind of stitch marker.  I don’t really like the dangly down ones (although I bought many lovely glass ones before I realized that).  Those particular ones are on a very thin plasticy kind of thread and it’s too easy for me to knit them right in to my work without realizing I’ve just gone past a marker.  But TLE just got in the Knitifacts Ringlets I love so I’ve stocked up on those as well.

Oh, and this morning while I was cleaning out a drawer, I found the wrapper for a pair of 3mm  32″ needles — I knew I had bought some!  Oh well – I need at least two sets so I’ll put the ones I ordered to good use.

As for my first provisional cast on — there are links at the end of the pattern to two different kinds and I have used both in the past and I think it’s just a matter of personal preference.  My general cast on for pretty much everything I don’t use a tubular cast on for is a long tail cast on.  I hadn’t done a crocheted one in a while so that was the one I tested the shorter needles with – and it was fine.   But I know from past experience that I can do the long-tail provisional cast on more quickly and easily and its easier for me to tell if it’s twisted or not before joining.  Again – just my personal preference.  Using a longer needle also helps when you are joining in the round – you can spread out your stitches more and see if they are twisted or not – when I had them scrunched up on that small needle it was impossible to tell.

I am looking forward to starting this project and using my favorite way to do stranded knitting without floats across the back.   I learned watching this video on The Philosopher’s Wool website.  I’ve posted the link before but it totally changed my dislike of color work to loving to do it.  And being able to knit it with one color in each hand keeps things from getting tangled.   I used this method to make this cowl.

cowl_mediumI have to laugh when I rewatched the video and she’s showing right-handed knitters how their left finger might not want to cooperate at first.  Mine was definitely like that but just a little concentrated practice and I corrected that.

Okay – enough rambling about this project for today – I have a quilt binding I have to finish on my last Camp Loopy project before I run out of time.  The end of the month, and end of this year’s Camp Loopy, is fast approaching.

On the Needles – August 26, 2016

I’ve been working on several projects this week.  I’m knitting on my Staring at Stars but had a set back.  As I was sliding stitches along my needles I didn’t notice that I was sliding some yarn overs to the wrong side of a stitch marker.  In the end it meant the neat little double set of eyelet rows that goes down the side area of the sweater were sort of zig zaging back and forth rather than making a nice line.  It bugged me.

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Nearly that whole ball of yarn – okay maybe only more than half that ball of yarn –  in the photo was already knit so a few inches backwards but I’ve fixed my problem and am moving along again.  This was getting a bit large to tote with me for bus knitting so I’ve also been adding a few more sections to my second Summer Camp.

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There will definitely be an influx of yarn in the next few days.  The sale yarn I order from Craftsy should be arriving and I ordered yarn for Counter Current, Laura Aylor’s Summer’s End Mystery KAL shawl.  It’s another shawl designed for a gradient set, and I so enjoyed making last year’s gradient MKAL.  Don’t know that I’ll get started on it September 1 — I ended up ordering more yarn than the pattern called for to get the correct yardage for each color since I was ordering gradient sets from a place other than where specific sets were on sale for the pattern, so I may wait until after it is revealed to decide if it’s something I can make a bit larger and use more of my yarn.

marinatedyarns_smooth_sailing_gradient_mediumThese are from Marinated Yarns – someone I haven’t purchased from before but that has lovely colors I’ve admired, so decided to give this set a try – it’s called Smooth Sailing.

Speaking of September 1 – don’t forget Judy and I are starting the Stained Glass Cowl KAL that day.  Click the image of the cowl in the sidebar and it will take you to a page where I have links to the past blog posts on Judy’s blog and mine where we talk about this KAL.

Judy will be posting a link up button on her blog tomorrow so all those participating can share photos of the yarn they will be using.  That way we’ll also know who is going to be knitting along with us on this project.  You can check out her post about the KAL from today here.

Hmmm… who picked a September 1 start date anyway??  That’s a Thursday … I’ll be at work and Judy can tell her hubby to eat out for lunch while she happily knits away — no fair!  🙂  Okay – I can’t blame her for picking the date and really I’m just kidding — this is a low key, no rush, knit at your own pace KAL.  It’s just always fun when people KAL on the same project and you see all the different results with all the different yarns and colors people use so I hope you’ll join us.

 

 

My Nemesis – Windows 10

Windows 10 is messing with me again.  When I got the initial update a year or so ago, it didn’t go as smoothly as for others.  It refused to recognize my original login as being an administrator and totally messed up my EQ program.  The good people at Electric Quilt got me back in business.

Sooo….. when the most recent major update downloaded over the weekend – yep once it finished which took ages (or much longer than I was wanting at least) – once again my EQ wouldn’t open but at least this time I knew what to do to fix it – deactivate and totally uninstall and reinstall.  That actually goes very quickly and I was keeping my fingers cross.

It worked – so just to celebrate that I was back in business I pulled up an old design to play with.  It’s not finished, but I really like the secondary design that the corners of the block makes – the gold and light blue diamond shapes.

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So just a little eye candy for you today.

 

Craftsy Sale

Craftsy is having sale  – which is only good today and tomorrow – for your choice of one class at 50% off.

I opted for another free motion quilting class because there are  always fun tips to pick up.  I really like the format on Craftsy since I can actually seeing someone as they stitch various designs – how they move the fabric, where they are aligning things, etc – the visuals that I can replay really helps me to be able to accomplish them myself.

So this is just a heads up on the sale – you need to go to Craftsy.com,   click the tab at the top for the Craftsy “BLOG”, and then scroll down to the fourth blog post (or at least as of my writing this it was the 4th blog post – it may be farther down if they add more) and on the blog post announce the sale you will find a link to click which will bring up  the classes and show you the sales price.  The only way to get the sale is for each person to go to the blog and click that link.

No affiliation – I just like the Craftsy classes. 🙂

Stained Glass Cowl KAL – 9-1-16

20160502_6Remember this KAL starts 0n 9/1/16 if you want to join Judy and I in making this cowl.

I’ve gotten several emails asking about what kind of yarn to use, long color change versus short color change, where to buy it, etc.  I can tell you what yarn I’m using and why, and why a couple of the yarns I was considering in my stash I put aside because I didn’t think they would work well, but I can only comment on yarns that I’ve had personal experience making.  I hate making specific suggestions to anyone else for what they should use because my yarn choices are based on my specific likes — which might not be the same as anyone else’s.

Now that being said, the first thing I do when trying to decide on yarn for a project is read what the pattern designer says on the Rav pattern page and in the pattern.  In this the pattern calls for two colors of a  smooth fingering weight yarn that contrasts well with each other.  Smooth — well that’s pretty self explanatory — if  were a yarn with mohair or other fuzzy texture to it, or a yarn that’s thick and thin, it would distort the colorwork. The designer used Wollmeise.   Then I check the project pages on Rav and see what others have used.  In this case all the projects listed have used/are using Wollmeise.

20160811_5These are what I plan to use.  Good contrast between multicolored and background.  I’ve knit with Wollmeise before – it’s definitely a nice smooth yarn.  It also has longer yardage put ups so two hanks of each color gets me my required yardage.

 

As I was looking at my Wollmeise, I took this photo below.  While the colors look pretty together, there would be places where I would loose the look of the color work because the multicolor stitches would blend right into the background if I chose any of the solid color yarns shown.

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As I was looking through the stash, I was checking out the other color change type yarns I have because I decided I wanted to use a color change yarn to give me a similar effect as on the pattern photo (although there is a very stunning two solid color version on Ravelry that  had me thinking about solids also).

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The red ball middle left, the blue/green behind it and the rainbow to the right of the blue green — those I decided I wouldn’t used (they are  Zauberball Sock or made similar to that) and this is only my person opinion but I don’t like that yarn for socks (it seems too thin to me) and I also thought it was too thin for this project.  The “Lang” labeled one is also similar to Zauberball and a bit thinner strand than I want for this project.

Rounder/plumper/smoother yarn will make the color work fill in and look more even I think.  The other yarns had possibilities but I’m either using them in other projects or didn’t have enough.  I will say in general that Mini Mochi (the one where you can see the “mochi label and the rainbow one to its right) is one of my favorite color change yarns  that I’ve used in several projects.  The Poem Socks – ball at right with black band – is a longer color change yarn that I can get locally but again, it’s thinner so I would probably not use it for this project.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a long color change yarn – I was looking through my Rav stash to see what else I thought might work — these are possibilities – I really have no idea how they would end up looking in the cowl but I think  (1) the top row – those are are really short color changes so my gut instinct is that it might make the design look too busy but then again – I wouldn’t really know unless I swatched them.  Maybe it would make it look blendy but if the background is a good contrast that could look nice.    I think the bottom row would play along nicely in this design but again – that’s only a guess.

Then there are also gradient yarns  – I think those would look nice in this pattern with the color slowly changing it’s shading.   As to where to buy – that’s up to you.  I generally buy on line because although there are yarn stores in the City or nearby outside the City – they are most definitely not on my bus route so I shop on line.  The yarn photos from my stash are probably all from The Loopy Ewe (and they are the only source for Wollmeise in the US) and where most of my yarn comes from.  I also order from Eat.Sleep.Knit and the Mini Mochi I normally get from Simply Socks Yarn Company.  Fiber Wild, Webs and Jimmy Bean Wool are other shops that I have good luck finding what I want.

All this is a very long way of saying – find something you love to make it in, you may need to swatch or just jump in and take the chance that it will look the way you want – I have no magic way of telling you what will work and what won’t, but in my past experience, if its a project that doesn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, there’s always someone in the family who falls in love with it and wants it, so it’s a winner in the end.

Yarn and Yarn and Yarn… on the needles

Less than a week ago (okay a week ago tomorrow – so not a whole lot less) in my last blog post I posted my “giant swatch” (a/k/a the sweater front that is going to be too big so it needs to be ripped back) and that I was going to use that yarn for.  Well I haven’t ripped that part out but instead grabbed a different ball of that yarn to start on my Staring at Stars sweater.  I made great progress through the week and am now an inch or two below the sleeve split. 20160820_1I must say that since I’m used to knitting my sweaters in pieces and seaming that it really seems a long slog across those rows of the entire body as one but it certainly makes for very simple knitting so far.

I also have added a few rows to my Surf and Sand Tesserino Cowl.20160820_2

I’m probably about half way completed.

And, since I couldn’t work on my sweater yesterday riding the bus (since I was at the sleeve splitting portion and putting stitches on waste yarn while bumping along on the bus is not a great plan), I pulled out my second Summer Camp and now have another section or two completed.

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And then there was an influx of yarn – yep I really needed this.  I fell in love with the colorful Love is Love mini skeins at TLE.  They actually had a scarf kit that included them with some additional “background yarn for the scarf but those sold out quick as a wink.  But I was mostly interested in the mini group so could still get those.  I also got some Mad Tosh and as you can see the speckles in it will go quite well with the bright colored yarns so am working on my plan as to what they want to be.

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and….I just happened to be looking at Craftsy last night to see what was new and they are having a “Black Friday Sale.”  All kinds of kits and supplies on sale.  Well I had to look because sometimes the bargains are too good to pass up.  If there’s fabric used in a kit and I really like the fabric but I don’t like the pattern, I sometimes still get it to use the fabric for what I want, not the pattern that comes in the kit.  Many times they will have backing fabric in 7 or 8 yard pieces and the sale price works out to $5.00/yd — that’s a bargain.  I also look for the discounted Aurifil thread sets.   And yarn – well you know I have to see if there is a bargain there.

So….yes I have an order coming from Craftsy.  On my list of “want to make” CF patterns is Oak Knoll vest – I like the relaxed look of it and the rolled front treatment and I want it in a very neutral color similar to that pattern.  Well I found on sale at Craftsy

doeskin heather cascade 220 sport

Cascade 220 Sport (not superwash) in this lovely Doeskin Heather color which I think will be perfect and at 45% off that makes for a really inexpensive project.

Although I love my wooly yarns and wooly blends, there are a couple acrylic yarns and acrylic blends that are very nice to knit with (not the acrylic I used to knit slippers and mittens out of when I was young that squeeked). 🙂  I haven’t tried Cascade Cherub DK but I bought a bunch of that in this lovely geranium color.

cascade cherub dkDepending on what and who I’m knitting for – sometimes I need something that can just be tossed in the washer and dryer rather than hand washing and air drying — especially with baby/kids stuff.  And at $1.65 a ball, it’s definitely worth trying.

I did also get a fabric kit because I specifically wanted the fabric (not the quilt pattern) to go with a project I’m working on but I’ll save that for the next quilty update.

Now to go check out some recipies and see what to do for dinner – I have some Three Cheese Asparagus ravioli – the pasta is spinach and then stuffed with the asparagus/cheese.  So I need to decide if I’m going to put some sort of sauce on it or maybe just  tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese.  I may need to go start some homemade French bread to go with it! Yum.