Finished: projects from a whirlwind year

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With everything going on last year, it seems I didn’t get around to posting a couple of projects I finished last year. Better late than never, I say, so here they are from the top:

First, my finished cover for my Quilter’s Planner 2016. When you purchased the planner, you received instructions for how to make a quilted cover. I decided to to for a scrappy look with some fabric from one of my very first quilts. I didn’t put the zippered pocket on the cover because to be completely honest, I haven’t gotten over my fear of zippers, but hope to conquer that sometime soon, and because I just didn’t think I’d use it, so why put myself through the trouble. I actually like the flat look, and it’s nice not to have to break up the angel fabric at a point where it was interesting. Needless to say, that’s the block I designed (complete with tutorial) on the open page in June.

Next up, two pillowcases for the daughters of some good friends. The first, black and white graphic with a pop of red on the inside. The second features fabric from a pen pal in Australia. How can you not love the duck-billed platypuses and the roos?

After finishing the beast I’m taking a break from quilting and have started an Orlane shawl as my lunchtime knitting project. Hopefully I’ll have a finish on that for you soon, but here’s a sneak peak:

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xoxo,

Sandra

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Finished: My 1956 slipstitch knitted shawl

When the poncho craze hit a number of years ago, like a lot of knitters, I hopped on the bandwagon and made a few, but I was never really happy with the triangular shape with the points hanging down the middle.

What I really wanted was a shawl/cape, but preferably one that was long enough to cover my bum, for warmth, as well as a little vanity. I also wanted it to work with some yarn I inherited that I knew wasn’t quite enough to make a complete sweater.

After doing some digging online a few years ago, I found this pattern from the Bernat Handicrafter Book No. 58, “Fast and Fun to Knit Bulkies,” from 1956.

1956 slipstitch capeIsn’t it just darling? It’s also quick, due to the  large gauge (9 stitches = 2 inches), and the pattern is a basic slip stitch that couldn’t be easier.

Since I had enough yarn, I decided to go for one color, rather than the two tone version:

DSC_0017DSC_0018 DSC_0019 DSC_0021I made the buttonholes a stitch smaller than the pattern suggested, since I knew they’d stretch a bit. I also didn’t face the front edges with ribbon as the pattern said to do since it didn’t seem necessary.

Now that I have my stylish new cape, I am ready for fall, my favorite season!

XOXO,
Sandra

 

Finished: Supernova block #2 and my cotton infinity scarf

I have two finishes to share with you today, my second Supernova block and the cotton infinity scarf from last week. Let’s start with the block:

DSC_0011I decided to go a little bolder this time; I also didn’t use Lee’s directions for choosing fabrics but just picked them as I sewed. I’m much happier with the result than with my first block. In fact, since I hadn’t made a duplicate of that block before I sent the first one off to Stephanie, with her blessing I’m going to redo the first one for my quilt.

What’s really cool about the block above is how when you look at it from a distance, the pale yellow fabric creates a kind of halo around the darker colors. I got the idea from some the photos on our Supernova Flickr page.

So, are you ready for the question for August? This time, Stephanie did the honors, and it’s all about making memories:

During this last month of the summer, your assignment is to sit back and think for a minute. Think about your childhood summers …

Our memories make us who we are. They provide us with a sense of self. This month, Stephanie and I invite you to write about your best childhood memories and share them with your partner in the Supernova Friendship Block Swap. You can share one, you can share five — whatever you’re inspired to do.

When you share a memory with a trusted friend, it’s like giving a little gift, a small piece of yourself. These are the gifts that truly allow friendships to deepen and flourish.

I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful blocks and the friendship you’re developing with your partner. Don’t forget to post photos on our Flickr page. Even if you’re not participating in the swap, there’s some wonderful quilty eye-candy to enjoy!

For the scarf, I powered through the rest of the weird shiny polyester string-type yarn I had so I could finish. Let me just say I was glad it was long enough by the time I decided I couldn’t take any more of the yarn’s splitting and slipping. I didn’t even finish the entire skein. I. was. done.

DSC_0013On the far left is the Rowan cotton that I began the project with (and that makes up the back side), followed by another Rowan cotton in a slightly lighter weight. Next is the bouclé, and last is the string stuff.

One of the other things I didn’t like about the string stuff was that it showed even the slightest problem in tension. Since cotton doesn’t have the same stretch and bounce that wool does, which is what I typically knit with, this meant there were more issues than I would have liked.

Still, when it’s double-wrapped around my neck, no one will notice.

DSC_0014I mentioned last time that I didn’t anticipate the edges curling knitting stockinette stitch in cotton, but it turned into a happy mistake and make it much easier to hide the ends that I wove in.

I love it when that happens!

XOXO,
Sandra

 

 

WIP Wednesday: cotton infinity scarf

Do you ever have a project that starts out as one thing but ends up as another? That’s what’s happened with my latest knitting project.

DSC_0003I have a bunch of white cotton in my stash, of varying types, and I thought a good way to use it up and do some mindless knitting would be to make a hand towel.

What I didn’t bank on, since I had no idea how much yardage this would take, would be that I would run out of the particular kind I was using (Rowan) just before the finish.

I also stupidly did not believe all the knitters who said stockinette stitch would curl on the edges. I knew it did with wool, I just thought it wouldn’t with something that didn’t have any stretch. Oh, silly me.

After sharing my Pinterest board with a new knitting friend, Kim, at work that had both of us drooling over an infinity scarf on Etsy, I thought to myself, “Why not make an infinity scarf out of the cotton?” It’s always freezing in my office, even during the summer, so I could use it to warm up and not look like an idiot for running my space heater in July.

Yes, I have run the space heater during summer. More times than I care to admit …

DSC_0002I threw in a few rows of garter between the varying skeins, whenever I felt like it. I really enjoy knitting scarves for that reason; you can make up your own pattern on the spot.

The second skein was similar to the first, just a lighter weight. (Unfortunately, not all the skeins in my stash have tags, since many were inherited from my mom.)

Then I moved to a kind of bouclé:

DSC_0004Now I’m using some sort of polyester shiny, silky-like string stuff, only it’s not quite as soft as the real thing:

DSC_0008Best of all is now the curling on the ends will work to my advantage by hiding the back side of the scarf, saving me from making a tube in the round.

DSC_0007I’m about two-thirds of the way done on this, so I probably won’t get to wear it much this year, even though we have warm weather well into October. In any event, I’ll definitely be ready for next year.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

XOXO,
Sandra

A very inspiring award

Just when you least expect it, the nicest thing can happen to you. I was minding my own business last night, watching “The Bachelorette” (try not to judge, even if you really want to) in between bursts of finishing the quilting on my Atomic Apps quilt.

I decide to take a quick look at my mail and saw a message from Erin at Crosstitchery telling me that she’s nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

very-inspiring-bloggerTo say I’m gobsmacked by this doesn’t begin to do my feelings justice. Erin, thank you so much. I am truly humbled by this honor.

There are a few requirements that go along with this nomination:

  1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know that they are nominated.
  5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger that nominated you.

Having had to come up with 25 things for Stephanie and our Supernova Friendship Block Swap, finding seven is easy:

  1. My favorite place on earth is the beach.
  2. On a rainy afternoon, there’s nothing I like better than stretching out on my couch under a blanket with a cuppa and a good book.
  3. My three favorite animals are cats, elephants and whales. Unfortunately, I can only keep one of them.
  4. I love all kinds of music and have sung semi-professionally.
  5. I love old movies. One of my favorites is “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.
  6. I am seriously addicted to oatmeal and eat it for breakfast every morning. Sometimes even for a late night snack as well.
  7. I love the adventure of going to new places. I hope to cross Australia off my bucket list one day.

Here are my blogging nominations (in no particular order):

  1. Tallgrass Prairie Studio
  2. Late Night Quilter
  3. House on Hill Road
  4. Buzy Day
  5. Christa Quilts
  6. From the Blue Chair
  7. Wasn’t Quilt in a Day
  8. Wombat Quilts
  9. Cross Stitch Bobobitch Mononitch
  10. Simplify
  11. Lollyquiltz
  12. CraftyPod
  13. Don’t Call Me Betsy
  14. Freshly Pieced
  15. Film in the Fridge

I hope you’ll check out these other great blogs. They are definitely where I get daily inspiration!

XOXO,
Sandra

Finished: striped garter stitch not-so-baby blanket

After quite a few nights watching TV, along with a few relaxing weekend mornings, I’ve finally finished my striped garter stitch blanket.

3-9-14Finishing at 49×53 inches, I think it makes for a nice baby blanket, one that can grow with a child. It could also go to a toddler or slightly older child at that size.

What’s even better to me is that it used up the rest of my washable wool stash, not to mention I feel great about another finish!

I plan to donate it to Project Linus, who gives quilts/blankets to ill and/or traumatized children of all ages, from infant to teen. I’m sure it will find a good home, and I hope it brings a great deal of comfort. It was definitely made with love.

3-9-14aXOXO,
Sandra

WIP: striped garter-stitch blanket

Just a quick post to show you where I am on my striped garter-stitch blanket. I must admit, I’ve been enjoying working on this in the evenings after a long day at work.

2-15-14I’ve got about 4-5 skeins of yarn left, so when this is done in the next couple of weeks (hopefully), it should be a nice lap blanket for someone. I’m also going to use it try my hand at Portuguese knitting. Have you ever heard of this method or tried it? You can see  a video demonstration here.

It looks pretty cool, and after a quick attempt, I think I want to do more of it. Basically, how it works is you wear a special pin on your left shoulder that looks like a safety pin with a hook on the end. Apparently, this helps with the tension.

You can also wrap the yarn around your neck, which is what I did just to try it.

For right-handed throwers, like myself, you still hold the yarn in your right hand (over your middle finger) but the way you make the stitch is similar to left-handed or Continental knitting. The major benefit is less moving, so less strain on your body over time.

And, I dearly hope and pray as I look at the mountains of yarn in my stash, you get faster!

I’m going to give it a go this week; I’ll let you know how I do.

XOXO,
Sandra

 

An unexpected turn of events

DSC_0001 DSC_0002There’s a winter wonderland going on outside in my neck of the woods today, which has given me a welcome day off! I hope to get some sewing in or maybe a little bit of work on my striped garter-stitch baby blanket:

DSC_0004Of course, it’s far more realistic that there’ll be a lot of shoveling in my future …

Hope you’re staying warm wherever you are.

XOXO,
Sandra

 

Easy striped garter blanket

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after a nasty cold and the resulting lethargy took me out for the remainder of 2013. When I wasn’t asleep or staring like a zombie at the television, I did manage to start a new baby blanket for charity. Take a look:

DSC_0002I decided to make this blanket larger than my last one, but still small enough for a baby or toddler. I got the idea from one I saw on Pinterest, made by LaLaKa and found on her Etsy store. I’ll admit, what particularly interested me was that all I had to do was knit, which was the perfect mindless project for my infirmed state of the past few weeks.

For my color choices, I’m using what left of my washable wool/acrylic stash, the result of which I hope will read neither boy nor girl, though I suppose most people would consider the dark rose color more girly. You can see the color change from dark to light blue a little better in this shot:

DSC_0002aThe pattern is quite simple, I cast on 200 stitches and knit every row until the skein runs out, then I change color. My gauge is between 4.5 and 5 sts per inch on size 8 needles. After the white there’ll be a little bit of yellow, and I’ll eventually work my way back to the darker blue to give the blanket some symmetry. Here’s a closer look:

DSC_0003aThe yarns have been in my stash for quite awhile, and a couple of the skeins are missing labels, but it’s mostly Emu Superwash and Brunswick Yarns Wintuk Orlon for the darker blue. Definitely easy knit and easy care.

It’s also a perfect activity for the below-zero temps my outdoor thermometer shows today!

DSC_0003Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful holiday; thanks so much for stopping by.

XOXO,
Sandra