Knitting Progress

Still working on my two Touchstones but yesterday I blocked my Aeque KAL cowl – one of my Great Loopy Knitting challenge projects and this morning I stitched up the short seam and buried ends.  I used heavier yarn and before blocking I wasn’t sure if (1) I had made it as large as I wanted (2) my garter edging was going to block flat since my gauge is different in that and it usually flips up if I don’t adjust needles size and (3) if the heavier yarn I used would let it drape was nicely as it shows in fingering weight.

It turned out wonderful.  Everything worked and I absolutely love it.

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I would definitely make this pattern again.  It would be a fun way to use up lots of leftovers or mini hanks/swatching hanks — all those little bits and bobs.

I cast on my Plaid is the New Fad Knitting Challenge KAL project last night.  The blue is my main color, my CC1 is the green and my CC2 will be the saffron.  I’m anxious to get to where that third color comes in to play to see how they will all look together.  T

20170917_5hen, since this project really isn’t a good bus knitting project, I decided I needed to start another challenge project – one of the Technical Challenge projects – a project using textured stitches.   Nip was just released today by Fogbound Knits and you know I love Laura’s patterns.   I will be using some Rios from the stash  – the color is Cumparsita.

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My ever changing mind – project update

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My Broody Touchstone is coming along – I had set it aside to work on a cowl but I picked it back up last night and am just about ready to start the final lace section.

One of my Great Knitting Challenge projects is the Aeque cowl.  The knitting is done and I just need to bury ends, block it and seam up a short seam in the back of it.  I’m undecided on this project at this point whether I will like it or not.  Not any issue with the pattern – just perhaps not a style/size I would like for me but there’s always my gifting pile to add to.

Bad outdoor shot – I thought it might be light enough yet to get a decent photo but no – it’s just getting dark too early again.

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I do like the way the colors worked together.   I did use a heavier yarn so that may have affected the drape but will have to wait to see until after it’s blocked.  The one thing I would change from the way the directions are written is when doing the group of rows where the colors start changing — change to the new color after the garter edge when adding in a new color so that the tails aren’t at the outside edge – I think it would work better for the way I add colors/knot/weave in end so that’s just a note to myself. I also forgot to change to a smaller needle size when working the final garter edging.  I know my personal garter stitch gauge is larger than stockinette so the garter edge is flipping up which may or may not resolve with blocking.

This is very easy knitting and knit in an unusual shape so once I get the seam stitched it will be very interesting to see the finished form.

As for changing my mind – well I may need to change one of my Challenge projects because this pattern was recently released True Colors.   Melanie Berg has so many pattern I like but this one I am totally in love with.  But I will wait until I get a few projects off the needles before I decide.

More Loopy Challenge projects

I wanted to get the yarn tubs put back in the closet so decided to pull out more yarn for some of my other Challenge projects.  (If you’re interested in the various Great Loopy Challenges (either sewing or knitting or both) you can find all the information on The Loopy Ewe blog on September 4 – plenty of time to join in on all the fun.)

I pulled these yarns yesterday to make Aeque which is one of the KAL projects.  A cute little cowl that’s supposed to be made with five different colors so it looks gradient colored.  I don’t have any TLE gradients in my stash but I did have these Mrs. Crosby Hat Box yarns.  I’m going to alternate them to make my own blendy look.

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I cast on this one last night so I have a smaller project to take along for bus knitting.

I got this far – about 20 rows into my second color and I was a bit concerned last night that there really wasn’t much different between my first color and my second one and that the second one really wasn’t showing much blue like in the caked form.

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But took it outside in the natural light this morning to get a better look since my living room lights cast a yellowish color and I can see the blue much more.  When I add in the solid blue it may look more like a stripe rather than blended in but that’s okay with me too.  I got quite a bit knit last night and this is a really simple project so should go quickly.  My yarn is sport weight rather than fingering weight so I went up slightly in needle size from the pattern.

I also made my final decision for Plaid is the New Fad and will be using (L2R) Fruhling, Stella Polaris and Saffron.

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I also planned my Showstopper “Change it up” challenge and will be making a fingering weight version of Touchstone (yes I love that pattern and if you knit you really should make one) 🙂 but I’m going to “change it up” and repeat the lace rows across it and not include the wide garter stitch area.  My plan is to use this yarn – it was a Loopy exclusive colorway called Big Box of Crayons.

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I’m all set with plenty of stuff to keep my hands busy, that’s for sure.

Starflowers made

Got my last Starflower for this project made so I can clear up and put away my pile of batiks.   I’ve got the filler triangles cut that need to be added when setting the blocks into rows.

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Santa Incognito

One the Great Loopy Sewing Challenge choices is to make the Timber Lumberjack pattern.

I’m going to turn my lumberjack into Santa in disguise – he’s tending pine trees in the off season to make sure there will be some good Christmas trees when the are needed.  It will be a fun Winter wallhanging but not too Christmassy.

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I didn’t really see a plaid I liked for his shirt so decided to go with the black and red circle print which is reminiscent of peppermint candies. The black is for his pants.  I thought I might use the red ribbon stripe (which I got for accents and binding) for his pants (reminds me of all those UW Madison students I saw last Friday dressed for the Badger football game in their wide striped red and white bib overalls).  But I’m making the smaller of the two sizes of the project and I don’t think the stripe will work well in the size pieces that need to be cut.  I think the button band down the front of his shirt will be striped and his hat.  And I think I might have some snowflake shaped buttons for his shirt.

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Now I just need to decide which background fabric I want to use (and which I actually have enough of).   I plan to get started on this later this week.

I also finished planning an couple other Challenge knitting projects before I put all the yarn back in the closet this morning.

More on those later – I have a quilt block to finish sewing so I can clear all the sewing stuff back out of my living room.

 

 

Knitting Report – 9-9-17

I was going to do this report last night and hook up to Judy’s blog but I totally forgot.   check out the links there to see what others are knitting on.

I’m about half way done with my first project for The Great Loopy Knitting Challenge.

And guess what – photos!   I was sidetracked last night trying to download the new camera software and get things operational and finally accomplished that.

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I’m using a needle size one size smaller than the pattern calls for mostly because I couldn’t find an empty need the correct size.  It may make this slightly smaller and more dense but this is to go with my winter coat so slightly denser (tighter knit) is not a bad thing to block out wind and keep my neck warm.   I like the pooling ovals that are occurring through out the garter sections.  The colors in that yarn go very well with my slate patio table too! 🙂

And the new camera seems to take much better close up shots than my old one (or maybe I just had a lucky photo taking day) but look at that stitch definition and the colors are true to life.  The lace bits will open up more with blocking.

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Then I was taking photos of various groups of Wollmeise trying to figure out what combination I want to use for Plaid is the New Fad,  Love the bright colors in the original pattern version.

I have some bright red Tulpe I had planned to use but when I went searching in the stash I also found some other options.  These are ones I’m considering right now, I think I’ve decided but I just pulled a bunch of colors out at random and need to make sure that the group I select isn’t splitting up a group that I bought for sweater purposes.

I’ve  got one or two more possible combinations I just thought of to check out before making a decision and then getting all the yarn put away again.

 

 

 

The Great Loopy Challenges

You know (if you have read my blog before) that one of my favorite online shops for both yarn and fabric is The Loopy Ewe.  I just finished off Camp Loopy projects, I’ve done several semesters of Loopy Academy in the past, Loopy Monthly Mixers, quarterly KAL projects etc.  TLE is always coming up with something fun.

In place of Monthly Mixers, there will be The Great Loopy Knitting Challenges and the Great Loopy Sewing Challenges.  If you’ve ever watched The Great British Baking Show,y you know there are Signature Challenges, Technical Challenges etc.  Well TLE has Signature Challenges, Technical Challenges and Show Stopper Challenges too so you can do one challenge, two or all six and earn points for The Loopy Reward Shop.  All the info for the first group of challenges, which run from now thru December 31, can be found on TLE blog here.

I don’t plan on doing Loopy Academy and love the fact that with these challenges (like the Mixers of the past) you can use yarn/fabric you previously purchased from TLE or use newly purchased from TLE and several of the challenge projects/patterns were already on my list to make which works out great.

So I “think” I plan on doing a couple of both knitting and sewing.  The current plan, which is always subject to change:

Signature Challenge – I’ll probably do both challenges.

broodybantams  I want to use my Broody Bantam yarn to make another version of Touchstone by Laura Aylor which fits into the “Hot Right Now/In the News” category.

My winter coat, which I bought on sale at the end of the season last year so has never been worn, is the rusty color of this yarn so this one will be to go with that coat.

The KAL for the Signature Challenge is Aeque which I had planned to make anyway so that’s perfect too!  I had planned to use some Finito yarn in my stash – just need to see if I have 5 colors to go together or if I need to repeat a color in one of the sections.

The Plaid is the New Fad pattern was already in my queue to make  and since it’s a Shopstopper KAL pattern that works out great.  I got a hank of lovely reddish Wollmeise below) to go with two other colors in my stash to make this.

That’s all I’ve decided on so far for knitting although I think  there’s a pattern I may make for the Technical Challenge too.

For the Sewing Challenges:

loopy challenges

 

Timber! is a pattern for the QAL Technical challenge.  Mine is going to be Santa in disguise.  The dotted fabric is actually red and white peppermint candy print, black overalls (because Mrs. Claus does not let Santa wear red ones year round), the stripe will be for his hat and binding, and the rest of the fabrics will come from my TLE fabric stash.

 

The Showstopper Challenge QAL project is to make a project using 20 blocks from The Splendid Sampler book.  I got this book as a birthday gift and have been wanting to work on a project from it and so many cute blocks to choose from.

Now that I’ve frittered away the afternoon looking at projects and planning… guess I’ll go wind that Broody Bantam.  I’m nearly done with my first version of Touchstone so I’ll be ready to start on the “Broody” version soon.

 

 

 

One more….and then what?

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Just one more starflower hexie to put together and I will have enough large hexies to make a quilt for my bed.  Once that block is finished I’ll fill in the missing triangles where rows come together and get the rows all stitched together.   I have a bunch more starflower blocks (not turned into hexie) to use for some other project (wallhanging, table mat, tree skirt (actually I do think I’m going to use this idea for my tree skirt out of the Christmas ornament fabric I previously bought) or maybe another quilt – who knows.

It’s a dreary gray holiday day here but great for a sewing day.  I had originally planned to do some closet cleaning among other chores this weekend – hmmm… don’t think that will be happening tho I really do need to start straightening the sewing room back up  since I’m sewing in a different room due to lack of clear table space in the sewing room) 🙂  But first, on to that last block after I make some lemon bars to take into the office tomorrow.

And did you know that today (Labor Day) you can watch free classes all day on Craftsy??  No affiliation other than I have enjoyed and learned much from Craftsy classes.  I started watching (well listening mostly) earlier this morning as I was sewing with some free motion quilting playing on the computer in the background, then switched to a King Arthur flour bread baking class, and now am watching a knitting class – stranded, braids, steeks, etc. It’s a great way to preview a class that you were thinking of buying and see if  you really want to purchase it and a great way to sample various teachers techniques and styles.

 

Last chance

You know how it is when you’ve bought a replacement for something and before tossing the item you are replacing, you decide to “try it one last time” before tossing it in the trash…. yep, I plugged the old camera in to see if it would charge so I could get the photos off of it and it did.     I know it won’t last – it couldn’t possibly of fully charged and there’s some other issues so I’m glad I’ve got a new one coming but in the meantime – photos of my Starflowers so far.

Originally I was going to set them together like this.

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They would interlock into each other and not be set in straight rows – there would be one triangle of background fabric in between where the starflowers join to each other.

But to get a straight outside edge around the quilt I’d have to make lots of extra quilts and some would end up being 3/4 blocks, some 1/4 blocks around the edges and I just don’t think I’d like the finished higgeldy-piggeldy look of it.

So decided to turn each star flower into a hexagon with background triangle and various green fabrics like this:

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Then I can set them together in rows and create straight edges around the outside by filling in with a few triangles — totally workable plan.   These are gigantic blocks if you consider the whole hexagon shape a block (which I do) that measure 37″ across the middle  horizontally which means they must be about 33″ high.

I’ve got the individual blocks for the first two rows down (the missing block in the second row I placement for two green/background areas so need to rip those our and switch around).

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I’m still debating on the yellow green – I like the fabric but need to go look at it on the design wall again.  It shows no where near it’s true color in the photo so need to check it  and see if I still like it or want to  switch those two pieces out before I go any further.  I do kind of like the pop of difference in the photo even if it doesn’t look like the real color there so may just carry on with them.

And I’m also happy that all these Y-seams and bias edges are playing so nicely together.  I’m really enjoying working on this one the pieces are all setting together easily (well except those backwards sections but that was operator error.)

 

 

Touchstone Progress

My Touchstone is coming along very nicely – and quickly.  I’m at the point in the photo below where I would just knit a few more garter rows and bind off if I were exactly following the pattern.  It looks a bit odd scrunched up on the needles but it is turning out so pretty.

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But I’m going to be making mine larger since I’ve got one more hank of this yarn and want to use every last bit.   I’m going to add a few garter rows and then go back the adding lace sections since I’m not really sure how quickly I’ll go thru that last hank since the rows are much longer.

But have I mentioned how much I love this yarn?  Okay…. maybe I have once or ten times….

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And that’s probably the last you’ll hear from me this lovely three day weekend.  I’ve got many projects planned – after some cleaning today I came up with a plan to set my starflower quilt blocks together – I have photos on the camera that I  bought the new cord for and clearly the cord was not the only issue because the camera is kaput and I can’t get at those photos.  How the heck am I supposed to operate without a camera?    Oh well – that one saw a lot of use and abuse – new one won’t arrive until Tuesday so I’ll be busy doing stuff until then and hopefully have some finished projects – or further along projects – to show you by next weekend.

I so love three day weekends……..