Something new on the design wall

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My piles of pieces went from the stacks above to

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Belle Wave blocks on the design wall – 22 blocks to be exact.  There are five rectangles in each block – three rectangles with a like background rectangle at one end and two rectangles that get half background pieces at each end.  My background batik blends into the design wall fabric but there really is background fabric.  I need to cut more rectangles and background squares but since I changed to this quilt pattern I should be able to make every piece that is not a background piece out of a different batik like a charm quilt – especially since now I can use some of the batik layer cakes since I only need one rectangle from each – not multiples like my original quilt plan.

Of course now that I’m only using one rectangle of each set I had previously cut, I think I’ve got plenty of rectangles precut for several quilts now.

Let’s see – only 26 more blocks to make and then I’ll see where I’m at on size and can start moving blocks around to get them were I want them.  Right now they are just on the design wall in no particular order just to keep track of them.  The photo was taken after dark in my sewing room so the colors are not nearly as vivid in the photo as in real life – there are some real eye-popping color combinations.

Back to the bit of knitting…

A couple projects finished since the weekend.

Another DaVinci Cowl for the KAL- which is still ongoing.  This is my sixth one.  It is also my The Loopy Ewe March Mixer project.  And the prior finished DaVinci Cowl I showed a post or two ago was my April Mixer project so I’ve completed the first four monthly mixers this year but haven’t completed any of the sewing ones yet – although I do have a few plan for them.

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DaVinci Cowl #6 – S4-1-17 F4-8-17

The yarn color is Canary Island – very bright and springy looking.

I also finished the KISS Shawl Joyful.  This was a fun knit – I changed up the striped areas just a bit and used all my various colors in the slip stitch colorwork at the top.  This shawl still needs to be blocked.

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KISS Shawl Joyful S-3-21-17 F 4-10-17

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This shawl is also for one of my ESK Yarnathon projects and will earn several badges – one for colorwork, one for having to weave in over a certain number of ends (I think I had 27-28 on this one to weave in but it went super quickly with this thicker yarn)

I’m moving along on my ESK 2nd Quarter KAL project – the fan and feather shawl.

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I’m at just about the half way point so need to find where I put the other two hanks of yarn.

I think this will be very pretty when blocked and the lacy pattern opens up.

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So over 2,000 yards added to my “yards knit” totals.  I’ve been working this evening on a second sock I’d really like to get finished this week.

 

 

A bit of sewing and a bit of knitting..

Yesterday it was a lovely day here – sunny for the most part and warmer than it had been – so I actually got to crack open the door and sewing room window and let some fresh air in.  It was a nice change.

I may actually get around to doing the Spring cleaning I need to do – closets need cleaning out, dusty cob webs vacuumed from the corners of the ceiling – you know, fun stuff like that. Since I’ve taken the week off, it seems a fine time to do it.  Or, you know me, I may just knit and sewing and do a bit of weaving and ignore that stuff.

The groceries were delivered yesterday so I’m planning some baking and cooking — since weeknights I’ve been a bit lax in the cooking department – just grabbing something I can make quickly or heat up.  I’ve been so hungry for asparagus quiche and the price of asparagus has finally come down to a price I will pay for it so that’s on my list of things to make.

In the meantime, yesterday I sewed.   Not on either of the two projects that are top of my list to get finished/started, but a totally different one.  As I was piling up some charm packs to put away in the sewing room another piece of fabric I had recently received was sitting there and it went so well with the charm packs in my hand.

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The white background with the leaves and snail are my background fabric.  I just love that print with all the springy colors in it.

I haven’t decided where I’ll go from here – I need to see how much background I have let but I think this will get turned into a baby blanket and I’ll just add to the top and bottom.

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In the meantime I change my mind yet again on the wedding quilt I need to get started on.  I was not looking forward to cutting and marking and sewing a gazillion stitch and flip corners on all the rectangles I had cut – boring.  But then I remembered a pattern I had seen on Craftsy for the Belle Wave Lap Quilt.  I of course will be making it much larger but the rectangles I cut – although larger – will work just fine and no flip and stitch corners.  Since I only cut four rectangles of each batik fabric, I plan to just mix them all up rather than making individual blocks of 5 rectangles like the pattern calls for.  It will just be a riot of color across my quilt.

I’ll save the “bit of knitting” and my  finishes for later – I need to get busy around here. 🙂

April 1, 2017 – Denise’s Snowy Day

No, Denise’s Snowy Day is not a horrible April Fool’s joke being played on me by Mother Nature snowing on me (tho April is not always without snow here). The sun is shining

here, it’s in the 50s outside – much better than the rain we’ve been having.  I’m being a bit lazy tho and having a bit of a movie marathon this afternoon and maybe knitting.

Denise’s Snowy Day is the  name of my Loopy Legend reward yarn for 2016 which recently came in at The Loopy Ewe (and you could get your own Denise’s Snow Day yarn here) 🙂  There are some really stunning Legend colors this time around.

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Some of you may remember my past yarns – this is the third time I’ve achieved Loopy Legend status (not sure that’s a good thing) but it’s part of the reward program at The Loopy Ewe.  Once achieved you send an inspiration photo and then yarn is dyed based on the colors in your inspiration photo.   This time the Loopy Legends are being dyed by Dream in Color and it’s a nice large 600 yard hank.

This was the inspiration photo I sent in.  The bright blue sky – the blue gray shadows on the show and the gray/green tree trunks – love it all. It’s always a surprise when you see how the dyers interpreted the colors into yarn.  I was hoping it wasn’t too much white and there’s virtually no white at all in the yarn – it turned out so pretty!  Shades of blue, with a hint of very light green and gray.

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I got my free hank, ordered a few more, and although I should have enough for a sweater, I ordered one more to make absolute sure since I don’t know what kind of sweater I plan to make yet.  Or I may need some matching socks.

In my prior blog post I showed you the yarn, in hank form, opened up and caked, for the next DaVinci Cowl I planned to make.  The KAL started today in Mary-Ann Lammers Designs on Ravelry and runs all month.  I started my first one early (which is actually the 5th DaVinci Cowl I have made) earlier in the week and cast it off last night.  I used DK yarn so it’s not as wide as some others I ‘ve made.  Half way through the middle I intentionally caused the colors to shift a bit – I like how that turned out.

So in the wee hours of the morning as I was watching movies, I cast on another on in bright springy /easter egg colors.  The color is Canary Island and it’s SweetGeorgia bulletproof sock yarn.  I didn’t notice until right now looking at the label that it is a mix of 50% merino 20% nylon and also contains 15% kid mohair and 15% silk.  It feels nice but without looking I wouldn’t have realized there was mohair or silk in it.

I’m just a bit farther along than in the photo – and the bright colors are fun to see start to pool.  In addition to the KAL – this will also be my March TLE Monthly Mixer project – where the theme is  Spring Break.

I also had put aside the crochet project I was working on – didn’t want to make my wrists 20170312_4

sore.  But I think I’m about half done with the strips for the second braid so want to get that finished (and claim my ESK badge for that).

The 1st Quarter ended for ESK Yarnathon, so new badges have been released and the 2nd Quaterly KAL has started.  For that project I’m making a feather and fan stitch warp in these lovely silky yarns.    Many projects on my needles to say the least — but keeps me out of trouble!

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

I spent a large part of the day  in yarn — finishing up the straightening up, organizing, moving from one storage container to another, putting storage containers back where they belong, ripping out some projects I know I will never want to finish, ripping out some projects I don’t know why I started in the first place, rewinding yarn, and putting projects into bags so everything is all together and not getting wound around each other in my knitting baskets for WIP.

Of course the coffee breaks got longer as the day went on, and I was distracted by other chores like laundry and cleaning a kitchen cabinet or two.  Even made a good dinner.

In the mean time, as you know I am prone to do, I changed my mind about the yarn for my DaVinci Cowl KAL project.  As I was sorting yarn, I found back the BMFASTA DK weight yarn in one of TLE exclusive colorways – One Color Steeped Step at a Time.  I bought that specifically to make a heavier weight pooling cowl so  pulled that out.

Yes there really is pink in that hank – it’s just sitting in the top photo not showing any of it.  I don’t know why I have so much yarn with pink in it since to I don’t care for pink but I do like the way it looks with the teals, grays and darker colors in this one.   I’ve cracked my “DaVinci Code” and figured out how any stitches I want to cast on.   I think this one I’ll do the edges a bit different than the garter edges of the past ones I’ve made.  I’m going to use a controlled curl (that’s what I call it) where you knit a couple rows stockinette stitch and then a row or rib.  The stockinette edge curls up and sort of looks like I-cord, but it stops curling at the ribbed row.

I have one more basket of yarn projects to sort through but think I’ve done enough tidying for today and will just go knit for the rest of the night instead.

March 25, 2017

This have been really busy and I can’t believe March is winding it’s way to a close.  Stayed up very late knitting (and then ripping back what I had been knitting on because I screwed it up) and have been rather lazy all morning puttering with a few things.  Plus it’s a rainy dreary gray cold day so one of those days that just seem perfect for getting comfy and knitting and watching movies all day or sewing and watching movies all day (notice I didn’t mention cleaning, laundry, etc.).  But some cleaning is in order (while I try to decide whether I want to knit or sew and what project I want to work on).

The DaVinci Cowl KAL starts April 1  and I’m trying to decide which of these two yarns I want to use.

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The yarn is Into The Whirled and the color is called Martini & Rossi and when it’s caked it looks like this

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The other yarn I’m considering is the same kind but the color is Fierce & Flawless. 20170323_3 I forgot to take a photo of it spread out before I wound it.

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The yellow is a bit bright in this one but the various shades of purples and rosey reds are very pretty.  I’m leaning towards this one — dreary day means knitting with bright springy colors is more fun.

I also made some progress on the baby sweater I was working on.

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And then there’s the KISS Shawl Joyful   I’m working on – the original is done in one accent color and an ombre yarn but I wasn’t finding an ombre I liked so decided to just do the various sections in different colored yarns.   With all my other projects on smallish size needles, this one moves along fairly quickly since it’s aran yarn and larger needles.

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With all these projects on the needles, along with a couple more, it’s easy to find one to work on depending on what I’m doing  (wanting to have to follow pattern instructions line for line or no-mind easy knitting to take along on the bus ride etc).

 

 

The Rest of the Rectangles

Last weekend I cut these  (34 sets of 4 like rectangles = 136 rectangles)

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and today I cut these – 135 sets of 4 like rectangles =540 rectangles)

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Actually I cut a few more than I needed but I actually kept things fairly neat and tidy.   Normally I would have just tossed the leftovers, pieces to go back in the stash, scraps, etc. all in a pile on the floor.

 

However, check out the tidy area next to where I’m working.  The nicely folded stack of larger pieces to go back in the stash – the clear plastic zipper pouch holding the scraps to keep and the leftover schnibbles (well except for one or two) all in the wastebasket.20170319_1

 

Much nicer than have to clean it all up at the end.

Next up I have tons of background squares to cut – two for every rectangle cut – but I’m going to alternate cutting those with piecing a group after I cut them so as to break up the monotony.

Sunny Sunday

Sleet and freezing rain when I walked out of the house yesterday and today, our last round of snow is nearly melted and it’s close to 50 degrees.  Crazy weather but I love seeing the sun and having it warmer than it has been.

Today I’ve been puttering around with various cleaning projects and laundry.  Need to finish cleaning out the fridge before my grocery order arrives later this after noon but took a break to get some more batik fabrics ready to cut rectangles from.

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I quickly cut a piece roughly larger than the size I will need and then ironed them all.  Now that they are ironed I’m ready to start cutting.  No idea how many different fabrics are in there but it’s about a 8-10″ high stack.  And there’s still more batiks to choose from in the stash but I will see how many more sets of rectangles I need after all these are cut.

I worked for a while yesterday on my Long-Haul Badge project for the ESK Yarnathon – once I unburied it.  I started this back in 2014 or a different ESK KAL but it got pushed aside by other projects.

 

 

 

The Long -Haul badge is for a project you’ve been working on for at least 9 months so started in 2014 definitely qualifies.   This is my Autumn Leaves Stole and it doesn’t look like a lot on the needles but it will be so lovely once it is blocked and the lacy portions are opened up.  And I love this yarn – Madtosh Firewood – with all its many shades of browns and golds and oranges.   Now the bad thing was when I was trying to figure out where I left off on it, I realized I had made an error leaving out several rows so ended up ripping it back to this point — it was about twice as long but the mistake would have bothered me once it was blocked open.

 

I also cast on a cute baby sweater.  The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres and the color is Budgie — pretty easter egg blue with specks of other colors.

I think I’m going to like the way this sweater is made. I dislike knitting sleeves in the round and prefer to seam them and this pattern has you make the sleeve to the underarm separately and knit flat, and then when you get to a certain point I the bottom up sweater, you join them in.  So they are seamed but you don’t have to set in the top.  The sleeve on the left is done – waiting on a stitch holder till it gets joined to the sweater – and the other one is closed to being done.

I love the way this yarn is knitting up and was thinking it would be great to make a light weight cardigan out of — and then thought do I really want to make a sweater for me on size 2.5 needles – likely not. 🙂

 

Cutting the Batiks – Design Wall Monday 3/13/17

I don’t have anything new on the design wall to show but I spent part of yesterday cutting batik rectangles for a new quilt.   I’m cutting four rectangles from each fabric.  I’ve barely gotten started

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In the photo are 33 different sets of pieces –   133 rectangles total.  I think I figured out that if I made every set a different fabric I need to cut 125 more sets of rectangles.  Are there 125 different batiks in the stash? — only time will tell.  If I could cut a set out of 10″ squares – then I’d be golden thanks to all the ones I’ve been given by Hoffman Fabrics but they aren’t big enough to get a full set out of.  I will see how many I can get before I need to start cutting duplicates- which will be just fine since this quilt is just going to be a riot of colors.  I’m not even thinking ahead to the number of squares of background fabric I need to cut to go with all these– Yikes.

What I’m not looking forward to is pulling all the rest of the batiks out of the stash to cut a section out of — you know how messy I can be and I just cleaned up the sewing room!  But I’m hoping to be diligent in cutting a stack and then putting them back where they belong right away and not just dump them on the floor and move on….. STOP LAUGHING!…it could happen.

 

A bit of crocheting

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I know how to crochet – nothing fancy but can do many of the basic stitches.  However, I seldom do because the twisting movements can bother my wrist.  But, since there’s a “Happy Hooker” badge in the ESK Yarnathon, I was looking for a simple pattern that would qualify for the yardage requirement, etc.   I remembered this pattern which I thought was rather unique – the Double Layered Braided Cowl.    What a fun looking item that would make a great accessory.   20170311_2

So I grabbed some Aran weight yarn and found my crochet hooks.  The yarn is Hedgehog Fibers and the colorway is Salty Tales. Since it’s mostly gray I wasn’t sure how those few specks of colors where and here would knit up but I like it (which is good since I have this same yarn in a different colorway).  So started on it last night.  I decided to make my braids longer than the pattern called for since I wanted it to hang a bit lower but you could make it any length.  Got the first section crocheted, braided, and then finished the end.

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Just need to make the second section.