On the Needles

Late as usual with this post.  By the time I get home on Friday nights I’ve had enough of computers so seldom turn it on at home that night.  Plus, as I posted earlier I did a restart of my Stained Glass Cowl with a different yarn and wanted to have something to show.

Of course what I have to show is that I goofed!   I didn’t notice until I spread part of the stitches out to take this photo that I skipped a row.  Dang!  But it is now a design element and I’m not ripping back to correct it. Some of the stitches look a bit lopsided in the photo but that all straightens itself out in the blocking.  I do like the bright blue against the dark.

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When I restarted this project I cast on for a slightly shorter cowl – I think I left off about three repeats of the pattern.

I’m getting closer to finishing my second Summer Camp shawl but forgot to take a photo.  And I’m still plugging along on my Staring at Stars cardigan.   And I am really itching to cast on the Laura Aylor Summer Mystery KAL.

My lovely gradient sets have arrived.  Looking forward to trying out this yarn since I’ve never used it before.

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And as an added surprise the dyer tossed in several mini skeins of her yarn.  Aren’t these pretty as well.

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I’m thinking I’ll use them for a little colorwork on a baby sweater I want to make or some other project where a little pop of color is needed.

Speaking of color — look at these lovely colors that arrived for me yesterday.  A belated birthday gift from a friend (and fellow quilter) out in California.

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I love the Jaybird quilt patterns and have the specific ruler that’s needed to make this pattern and look at all the lovely Moda Grunge (a favorite of mine) fabrics she sent along.  I can’t wait to start on this one and also put some of the new free motion quilting designs to use from some Craftsy classes I have.

 

Back to Basics – as promised

As promised – I just uploaded the rest of the instructions for the Back to Basics quilt.

bsAs with all my free pdf patterns, you can find it by going to the PAGES section in the right side bar and scrolling down to FREE PDF QUILT PATTERNS and finding the quilt name in the list.

You can also find the pattern link for a limited time by clicking the button in the blog sidebar  that looks like the quilt but eventually that button will disappear but the pattern will still be available in the PAGES listing.

I really do like the color combination in the quilt image so I may have to do some shopping to find those shades of fabrics to make one just like it.  Super quick and easy to make.

 

 

Stained Glass Cowl KAL

Are you joining Judy and me in the Stained Glass Cowl KAL that starts today?  It’s not too late to join in.

I cast on mine a couple nights ago and have probably about 15 rows done.  But – the reason I know it’s not too late to cast on (other than we had planned today as the start date) is because I’m probably going to start over on mine tonight. :-)   I’m not loving my yarn choice.

I love all the colors in this yarn.

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But I’m just not loving how it’s knitting up in the cowl. I love the sort of “blendy-ness” of the colors the designer used in hers.  Shades of blue and green that over all look “cohesive” for lack of a better word.

Mine looks too “splotchy” to me.  I think because there are so many different colors in it it breaks it up too much. Also there’s a section of really dark purplish blue that disappears into my background entirely so in spots it looks like I missed doing the colorwork.

Here’s what I mean

The photos above are of sections that are about 5″ long or so.  There’s sections that are mostly orange, and sections mostly blue, and sections with all the colors but in five inch increments around the cowl, I’m not loving that look.

So a new plan was hatched as I was riding the bus home.  I also really like the projects in Ravelry that used just two solid colors.  So I’ve added a third yarn into my mix.

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Stellar Polaris – the blue in front – matches the blue in the multicolor.  So I’m going to do the outside colorwork in   that blue and my dark – which is a blueish black – and then when I get to the “inside” of the cowl with sort of the argyle-ish looking pattern, I’ll use the multicolored yarn with the dark there.  I think the design pattern on the inside of the cowl will work better with the multicolored yarn.

I also want to see exactly how long my original look is when I take it off the needles.  I don’t really like double looping cowls around my neck and I want to make sure it’s not too long to wear as a single loop – since I’m tall – maybe not – but I may take out a couple repeats when I redo it to get a better length for me.

So off to rip out my work I go.  Am I looking forward to casting on all those stitches again – not necessarily but it’s just yarn and I love to knit so I’d much rather start over than work on something like this and not love my finished project.

On the plus side – my new order of stitch markers came today so I can get rid of the dangly ones I was currently using. I already knit one of those little buggers right into my cowl and had to cut it out  — so now I can use all the same type of little rings without dangles and not hanging on thin black cords that blend in with my yarn.

So after I make myself a sandwich (where’s the maid when you need one), get in some comfy clothes and settle onto the couch for a night of knitting – I’ll get restarted on this project.

 

 

 

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.