Friday, January 30, 2009

finished objects and decisions

I have finished my drop stitch scarf. It matches mittens I made last year. And have some leftover yarn that might become a hat, but since I'm not really a hat person, I'm not in a big hurry for that. I should measure and weigh the yarn (ala Yarn harlot) and make sure I have enough.
I also finished a sock, which doesn't quite fit me.
Finishing this project though brought up the issue of what do I knit next? The problem being that I have about 50 things I'd like to knit RIGHT NOW, and choosing is the issue. My first thought was--ooh ask the blog. Then ooh ask facebook. Then I thought more about it and realized that it was really between the Central Park Hoodie and the dollar and a half cardigan. Both of which I'll have to buy yarn for. But then! I made a decision. The dollar and a half cardigan it is.

But then came a whole slew of decisions:
What size to make. My measurement is 36, there is a 36.25 size, but that doesn't leave much ease. The next size up is 41, which is a lot of ease. I think it looks better with less ease, but I don't know if I'd like it with less ease.
What color to make. I have decided to use Cotlin (I figure it will cost approx $31!)and I like the colors: coffee, nightfall, kholrabi, linen and glacier. I can see pros and cons about all of them. I'm leaning towards coffee, but I'm feeling like maybe that's just because it is brown in the pattern (and actually I have not seen one in another color on ravelry that I've especially liked--except maybe linen).

Ok maybe not a whole slew, just those two.
But then what should I start while I'm waiting for the yarn? Because I know I'll have to wait. And also, I want some other sock yarn from knit picks, and that would bring my total up to $42 and so I might as well get to $50 and get free shipping. It is a slippery slope here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

rule of thirds

I finished my sweater! And it is still sweater weather. That has to be a first for me. Also, I noted that according to ravelry, it only took me a month to knit this. Go me! However, I am a bad self-photographer, so my only picture so far is a bit blurry.
purple hoodie
It does fit, but it was a little snug for my taste. Also, I could have made the sleeves a tad bit longer so I guess that means no dryer for that sweater. But all in all it fits well, better than the first sweater I made from that yarn.
Specs? Well I used Berrocco Touche in Easter egg--roughly 11 skeins--maybe 12, US size 6 needle and the pattern is from Knitting pure and simple, the neck down hooded tunic.

I got a bad case of starter-itis after finishing that and began these:
From left to right--swallowtail shawl, drop stitch scarf, and a sock.
If you like your yarn more artsy--I also took this picture for a photo group I belong to on flickr:
I decided that I needed to pick up my goal of doing a big lace project when the girls were in school, so I started this swallowtail shawl out of the yarn I had started and then frogged from a different lace project. It is a knitpicks bare that I dyed. So far, I got it started and then haven't had the concentration time to work on it.

The sock is for traveling, just a basic toe-up using some lana grossa melenweit. I'm excited about it because I am using my new sox stix. Also the yarn is making me unbelievably happy with the frequent color changes. Every week I get to spend at least 45 minutes on it while I wait for my daughters to do their "exercise" class. I signed them up so they could run and not worry about frostbite. So far they love it and I sit in the stands, knit and wonder if I am too old to flirt with the "coach" who runs it (he must be all of 25).

The scarf, is your basic product oriented project. I need a wider scarf for these cold winter days. Probably given that I'm working on three things, I'll have it done in time for spring. It is a briar rose Sonoma, that I made mittens out of last year. So I'll have matching stuff. Maybe I'll have enough left over for a hat too.

Of course I started those, then got all the Christmas presents from my mom and ended up with about 40 things I want to make now now now. Plus a gift certificate to Knit picks, which I have had a blast dreaming about spending. It isn't for much, but I figure I can make the Central Park hoodie OR the dollar and a half cardigan for about $25 of my own money.

I guess I'll be doing some really happy knitting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Other plans

First of all I want to say a big wow and a big thanks to people that commented both here and to me in chat about finding ways to get that elusive Laurel Burch fabric.
I'm slowly making peace with the idea that perhaps the idea I had is not the actual quilt that will get made. There is a reason i like to know about babies well before their due dates after all. I kind of plod along at this.
I did get asked what the "plan" was and thought I'd share with you what it was. See, I'm a big fan of M'Liss Rae Hawley and her fat quarter books and my mother in law has one that I don't seem to have (although how I missed it as I have all the others and whoo looks like she's got a purse book coming out soon--well I'll never know) and in it there is a quilt that is perfect for showcasing a print in a fabric. You can see M'Liss's version on her flickr page. I was going to put those butterflies in the center block. To do that I'd need at least twice what I have and probably more if I "fussy cut." There was already debate in the house about fussy cutting, as I'm a better "fussy sewer" than cutter.
It isn't to say that that won't eventually be the quilt. Laurel Burch has a fabric line out now called the secret jungle and the animals there are really cute. I didn't want to buy a lot of fabric--instead I wanted to use up some stash--but we'll see. I seem to have used up a good deal of my really bright fabric.
I also have a huge number of Aunt grace 1930s fat quarters, and while they look more babyish than I usually like to do for a baby quilt, I do think they are sweet.
Then again, I see something like this by M'Liss and I think--hmm maybe this one. So you just never know, and at least II'll still have my butterflies to look at (or wow sell on ebay because man--they are going for twice what I paid for this.)

I'm getting close to being done knitting my hooded sweater too. I forgot just how much knitting is involved in the hood. I've used up all the yarn from the old project, so I guess my sweater will be a little stripey as I incorporate the "extra" yarn I had from that project. Or maybe after 2 or 3 washings you won't be able to tell. I guess we'll just see.
We have a big cold front moving in here in Michigan and just this morning I was saying--I think I need a wider scarf. And I started a sock to carry around. I better hurry and get that hood finished, or I'll be putting it aside until spring to work on all the other things that catch my attention.

Oooh shiny!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Well I went and did it, I found myself a plan for this next baby quilt. I love this plan. I am totally into this plan. Sadly this plan involves at least a 1/2 yard of this fabric.
fabric butterfly
I have a fat quarter, for those of you not in quilter jargon, this means I have half of a half yard. It is a Laurel Burch, from her "flying colors collection" and it is discontinued. I was thinking that if I found any of the colorways, I'd replace the turquoise.
I have been to the local quilt store. I've called the big one in the next town over. I even called one "up north." I think the store I used to go to in Port Huron might be a good lead since I've seen very discontinued fabrics there but I didn't want to call them, that seems desperate. Not that calling my mother in law who is visiting Shipshewana and demanding she scour Yoder's department store and Lolly's isn't desperate. Or hitting ebay and discovering that I can get a yard (although not turquioise) for a minimum bid of 10.95 plus shipping. If I win that is.

I think I just need a new plan. I think it might be time to let go of this idea. Which is really too bad, I did so like those butterflies.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

how does one start?

Anytime I think about making a baby quilt, I'm reminded of the conundrum that I always have with sewing projects. Which comes first, the pattern or the material?
For some reason, I don't really agonize over this as much with knitting. I see a pattern I like and I look for a yarn that will work or I see a yarn I like and I search for a pattern. But with sewing, well... let's just say that getting started is often the hardest part for me.

When I made the first quilt for my cousin, I saw a pattern in a book and knew that I needed to make it. Both my cousin and her husband are artists and art teachers, and I thought they needed something that screamed ART. And this fit the bill. I went through my fabric stash and found about 1/2 of what I needed. (Let's just say that my fabric stash has some of the same problems my yarn stash does--it lacks reds). The end result was:
britt quilt

It was a lot more fiddly than any quilt I've made since my kids were born. In fact, I completely shut down when it came time to arrange the blocks, there were so many pieces that I turned it over to my husband.

This time, I want to do something that is artistic and colorful but I don't think I want to do something with 40 gazillion pieces.

So, I dug out my trusty fat quarter quilt books. I've done almost every quilt in the first book. And nothing is really screaming out at me to repeat.

I've made two from the second book, and there are others I'd like to make, but nothing is jumping out at me.

And I'm really feeling uninspired by the final book that I own. I can't explain why, but even the cover quilt, that I originally wanted to make so badly that I bought the book, is not interesting me.

I thought maybe that I needed to start with fabrics, and work that way. I guess I'm just feeling unmotivated because even my stash is not inspiring me. In fact, I opened one box that I know isn't full of Christmas fabrics, but that's all that was on top and I got disgusted with the idea of digging through the box, and so I gave up. I think what I need to do is get everything out and play with the fabrics, and perhaps that will lend itself to a pattern. But maybe not, because I'm being a bit picky on this because I really feel like I outdid myself on her first quilt.

More later on this I'm sure.

Monday, January 05, 2009

back to blogging

You would think that I would have a finished object to show you. Especially given I haven't updated since Dec 20th. I guess I do, but it isn't a knitted object.
I decided that I needed some new pjs back in October, but it was only over this break that I actually broke out the pattern I bought and sat down with the serger and got them done. I've had this flannel forever. If you can't see well in the picture, it has turtles, dragonflies and ducks. I have a lot of turtle fabrics, because we used to have a much beloved pet turtle (she died a few years ago) and seem to have acquired quite the turtle collection. I still have another large swath of turtle flannel, and so may end up with more turtle pjs. I think though my next pair of pjs will be a "scrappy pair as I have a bunch of flannel pieces just large enough for perhaps 1/4 of a pair of pants.

We ended up not traveling to Illinois. So I never got to start my socks. Instead I spent the entire school vacation knitting on the top down sweater. Unlike on most days, I even found a great deal of time to knit during the day. And as you can see it is almost done.

Actually, it is closer than that to be done, because I took that picture before I spent another hour on it yesterday. Unlike the first sweater I knit from this pattern, I did not try it on until I was done with the body. Even though I had checked gauge carefully and picked a size that I knew would fit me, I was still amazed to discover that it fit.

I am holding myself back from starting anything else until it is done, but man it is hard, because I got yarn for Christmas. And I had some projects I wanted to start before that. And! And! I got a gift certificate to my favorite LYS.
So, I'm not sure what will be up next. I have 2 pairs of socks I want to knit, I'd like to do another sweater soon and I have a baby quilt to make for my cousin. The baby quilt deserves its own entry, and so in order to keep myself from taking another big break, I'll stop there.