On and Off The Needles

I’ve been trying to play “catch up” on a few projects before Camp Loopy starts next week and I have had some success.

This week I finished off my Zen Pleats Cowl which is my TLE Montly Mixer project for April.

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The theme for the April mixer was to use a pattern from a favorite designer.  I love Stitchnerds Designs (Susan Ashcroft).  Many of her patterns are simple but with great textures (like this one) and all the ones I have made (or have on the needles) are great tv knit of knitting.  Zen Pleats was made in Finito yarn so it is incredibly soft and snuggly.   I may need to start another one of these in a solid color where the texture should really pop for an upcoming gifting opportunity.

After finishing that cowl earlier this week, I pulled out my March Mixer project – Movie Night Socks.  For March you needed to somehow include the letter “M” for Mars.  So you could use a yarn line or color that started with “M”, use a pattern with “M” in it, etc.  I had been a bit concerned by how much yarn the socks were eating up and I was less than half way through the foot so I weight the sock and the yarn that was left and had already used more than half.  I also think I had made the sock a bit too large. Since I wasn’t loving how the sock was turning out anyway, I decided last night to rip it back and find a different project.

Again I went off to look at Stitchnerds patterns checking out what patterns she had that might fit the “M” theme.  And there was “Mistakes – I’ve Made a Few.”   Perfect!  Another simple cowl with a great texture.  The texture won’t be seen well from afar in mine because of all the crazy bright colors in the TLE Exclusive Bebop colorway but the texture should help stop pooling.  The pattern is also written for heavier weight yarn so I’m using my fingering weight doubled.  Don’t know how wide I’ll be able to make the cowl with the yarn I have but time will tell.

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I want it more for the pop of color it will add to a winter coat or plain sweater on a drab winter day (and it will pop let me tell you) than for a “it’s 30 below keep me warm” kind of cowl.

I also have the second sleeve for my green sweater nearly finished – only about a dozen more rows to go.  So lots of knitting in the evenings here this week.

One last photo for now – in between rain storms – the hill outside is again blooming like crazy with what I refer to as the “purple stink flowers”.  :-)  It smells like a perfume factory exploded outside my door and for a person with allergies, that’s most annoying.

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Be-specked

Bjorn Bear has gotten his new spectacles.  I’ve decided he’s going to live in the sewing room so I have him some glasses printed with little HSTs.  The camera doesn’t really like the grid of that print so it looks all blurry.

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I may decide  to trim that outer border down and then add another plain border but will decide that another day.

Bjorn Bear

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Isn’t he cute?  He looks a bit serious though so that will soon be fixed by his trip to the optometrist to get a new pair of “fun” colored glasses.  I haven’t decided on the eyeglasses fabric yet but got my block all done last night.

I also haven’t decided what sort of borders to put around him but I think I will make him into a large throw pillow for the couch so need to pick up a pillow form first to decide how wide the borders need to be.

More quilting progress

No, I have not started stitching down the binding on that last quilt I finished quilting — but will get at it soon.  Today I decided to layer the peacock wall hanging made from my Turkey Tracks block and the free pattern setting I posted for the blog tour.

I found some fabric with peacock heads all over it in the stash to that is what’s on the back of it.  I stitched in the ditch/outline stitched all the colored sections20160521_6 I also meandered all the background fabrics with a two-tone gray thread except those to rectangles that go the width of the wall hanging – I used some purpley variegated thread to put in some meandering feathers.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get the binding cut and added to this one tomorrow – making two projects to hand stitch down binding on.

In the meantime I started on one of my Loopy Ewe Monthly Mixer projects – making a pattern by a favorite designer.

animalsAnd I think I’ve mentioned bought this Craftsy class because I like Elizabeth Hartman’s animals so after debating deer…bear..deer…bear…I decided to start with Bjorn Bear.  Of course I also cut all the main pieces for Bjorn from the opposite fabric  that I planned to use for his  main face color.  Starting like that does not bode well, but I recut the pieces and am back on track.  I’m working from the top down so once I join the ears to the top of the head, I’ll be ready to start on the part below his eyes – muzzle and bottom of head. It’s simple sewing but in some cases a lot of pieces.  Each ear has 10 pieces of fabric — but it’s all stitch and flip corners and simple straight piecing so I’m enjoying building up each section.  the hardest part will be decided what fabric his eyeglasses should be.

And just a heads up – since I noticed this when I was watching the above class today – Craftsy does have a sale going  – 50% off favorite classes.  There’s a free motion quilting one I’ve been contemplating so I may have to go back and look at that one..

 

Very nearly done…

20160515_12   I finally finished off all the quilting and clipped all the threads and got the binding attached.   Just need to pin the binding in place so I can hand stitch I down

 

My photo is taken from a weird angle because that wall hanging behind the couch is hanging straight.:-)

Just maybe by next weekend I’ll have all the binding stitched in place and this one finished off.

Warm Wishes Gift Tags

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The pattern for the Warm Wishes Gift Tags design is now available on the free download page on the Hoffman California Fabrics website.  The black circles on the gift tags could be appliqued but in this case it is written for black buttons to be added.  Simple design that shows off those larger print fabrics.

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I had kind of forgotten about this pattern since I think I was working on it last Christmas season but the fabrics for the Warm Wishes fabric line should start showing up in shops very soon.

Tossed on the Breeze is another quilt available on the Hoffman website for their Frosted Fall fabric collection.

FF12 - this isFF 8 with some blocks redrawn to get rid of clumps

Tossed on the Breeze

Keepsake Quilting also requested a similar version of this quilt – done in batiks – which will be available as a kit soon also.

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Keepsake Quilting Tossed on the Breeze Kits

 

 

Barn Dance -final installment

barn    The final installment of Barn Dance is now available.   I haven’t started sewing my blocks together yet but soon – need to finish off a couple other projects first.

The pattern instructions will remain available but the button in the side bar  for the QAL will eventually be taken off the blog.  You can find all free patterns under the PAGES section in the right side of the blog so even if the button is gone, you’ll find the link to the page there.

Zen Pleats

Now that I’ve selected a different April TLE Mixer project, I am cruising right along on it (maybe it’s that “Zen” thing – knitting is very zen-like).

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And that Finito yarn – I have many yarns I like a lot but I think this one may be my favorite.  It feels so soft and squishy and is great for cowls and scarfs since it’s so soft and cuddly against your skin.   I also like the way the colors are sort of striping in a spiral effect.

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A dreary and chilly day in May here but at least it is not raining – at the moment anyway.  Today I keep hopping between projects and chores.  I decided I was really losing interest in the chores so maybe tomorrow.:-)

I now have three of the four sides of the wide borders on the Asian fabric quilt quilted.  All my bobbins ran out again so taking a wrist and back break before winding up what will hopefully be the last batch of bobbins and finish off that last side.

Last night I was checking out the status of my Loopy Monthly Mixer projects.  I’m not doing knitting and sewing mixer projects for every month.  A couple of them so far I plan to do both, but like for May, I’m only going to be doing a sewing project.   I have a couple mixer projects done, but I need to finish that Asian quilt because I have sewing mixer projects waiting to be quilted.

For April I had planned to do both knitting and sewing mixers.  I know what I’m doing for my sewing mixer  – I love Elizabeth Hartman’s animals.  And who can resist an animal in glasses?!

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I haven’t decided between the deer or bear yet, but eventually I’m sure I’ll make both. Added bonus that when I happened to be seeing what new classes were at Craftsy, it was on sale.

I changed my mine multiple times and started and restarted and switched patterns on the April knitting mixer.  I ended up working on a lace weight shawl and I’m just not loving it.  I decided last night that that was not what I wanted to make.  I haven’t ripped it off the needles yet – I may finish it eventually but not as a mixer.  I’m just not fond of working with lace weight yarn.   So I decided to pick a new project with different yarn.  I knew I wanted to use some Malabrigo Finito yarn I had purchased not long ago – so incredibly soft against your skin that I knew I needed another Finito cowl (I have one other one out of Finito yarn which is my favorite cowl that I wear a lot – That Nice Stitch.  So I decided to go back to the same designer (Susan Ashcroft – Stitchnerds Designs on Rav) of the That Nice Stitch pattern to find a new cowl pattern to make.

So this yarn 20160514_5

will become a cowl called Zen Pleats.   It’s written for different yarn weights so you can make it out of all kinds of yarn and totally super easy stitch pattern and weird the way the edges seem to pleat up as it’s on the needles  from that simple stitch pattern.   I cast it on earlier today and got one full repeat done and I think I’m going to love it.

 

 

On the Needles – May 13, 2016

Heck I didn’t even realize it was “Friday the 13th” today until just now. How many times have I looked at or typed the date today….duh!

On needles, off needles, blocked and ready to wear, blocked and deciding what it should be – I have all those categories going on here.

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I had hoped to have both sleeves finished for the green sweater.  Well there is one, but the other is still on my needles but hopefully will be finished before I go to bed.  I just got past the first two rows of underarm decreases so just the sleeve cap to go.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted the sleeves to end at my elbow or be longer.  I think these will end up being about 3/4 sleeves or just a tad shorter when all is said and done.

My blocked swatch I was knitting up last week.  Love the look of this yarn but need to figure out that it wants to be.  It will probably wait tho until after Camp Loopy.20160513_2

And I finally got photos of my February Monthly Mixer for TLE.   It’s a cowl called Twilight.  A little bit of lace and a little bit of beads – really easy.

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And the TML yarn is such a gorgeous rich brown called Resin.  Love the color.

Check out patchworktimes.com so see what others have on the needles.