Friday, August 19, 2011

Knitting blocks

In a previous entry "Best Find for a New Knitter", I told you about a book I ordered from Crafter's Choice program. The book, Simple Knitting, shows how to make several types of knitted patterns. I want to make about 4 or 5 of each type mainly to practice them over and over again, but also to use in a knitting block afghan. I think if I do it in two yarn colors it will add even more detail.

I found two colors I really like and think will show the pattern details the best.
I think the green and gray will be nice together. I want to make several of each pattern and do so in both colors, so it will probably be 4 or 6 of each pattern.

It will be great practice for me and in the end make a really cool afghan for my living room (when I have my own place again). I won't actually start this project, I THINK, until I have the baby blanket done. I don't need another reason to slack on finishing that blanket!

Quilting project, found border

I think i found what I want to do the border in:
Don't you think it will be a nice contrast to these:

I found the shade of green I want to do the back fabric in, and it will also be the edging for the front.

I think over all it will help complete it and allow the 8 squares to really stand out. I'm happy with it. What do you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Best Find for a new Knitter

I belong to a book club called Crafter's Choice (check out the website of the same name) and they discount crafting books: scrapbooking, cards, knitting, cooking, painting, quilting, sewing, so on. I saw this book and thought it sounded like it might be a good idea for me. Its called Simple Knitting by Erika Knight.

(Simple Knitting, copyright 2010)
(Check out her website at for books, and projects and all kinds of fun stuff)

Anyway I got it in the mail the other day and I seriously LOVE this book. I meantioned in the previous entry that I was a begginer knitter and this book is a MUST HAVE for all newbie to knitting. It breaks down 24 different types of stitches and tells you how to create them. Here are some examples:

(Simple Knitting, copyright 2010)

(Simple Knitting, copyright 2010)

(Simple Knitting, copyright 2010)

(Simple Knitting, copyright 2010)
I'm going to make squares of each type (like she has) and just keep practicing them over and over until I get better at them. Plus if I make enough of the squares I can make a neat little afgan out of them.

The book also shows you how to seam things together in several ways. It breaks down how to read directions and to add or subtract based on what you want to use. It gives you all kinds of data on knitting and I LOVE IT! I feel like a little kid on Christmas and I have just gotten the greatest gift ever. (even though I am SO paying for this! hahaha)
Erika Knight has a few other books out and I seriously am considering hunting them down, but for right now I just want to get to practicing... once I finish the baby blanket, or I might never finish!

Little helper

My family loves pets. We have just about always had a dog, which is no different now since we have Lucy. However, we have ALWAYS had cats and not just one. Normally we have several at once. Mom, myself, and my brother Scott are more attached to cats. The cats seem to be just as attached to us as we are to them. (as I type this Stue, our black and white cat, is walking behind my head and now sitting between my legs purring like crazy.)
Stue has a love of people's heads. He likes to sleep ontop of your head and clean you when you try to move. its nice in the winter because it keeps you both warm. Now because there is yarn in the house the cats go nuts when they see it. (Mom is currently stuggling with Grace because she is trying to attach the yarn as she is crocheting.)
Mom is in the process of trying to sort and caterogies her yarn in the sewing room. She emptied her knitting basket and as son as she did Stue took over....

 He is happiest when surrounded by things... so he got buried by yarn shortly thereafter. He also loves to fetch/chase rolls of socks. He goes NUTS if you throw one down the stairs. Its hilarious. ...ah now he is curled up against my neck and snoring, while Grace is trying to kill my toes.... oh how I love our cats.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Never ending baby blanket

One of my friends was going to have a baby and she wanted it to be a surprise, so she wanted general items. This is rather hard to do now days. It seems the world is content to deal with boy or girl and nothing inbetween. Since I am a lover of all things thrift I went to the ARC stores and got her about 10 items that would be great for a boy or girl. I wanted to add a little something personal to the gifts, so I started knitting a baby blanket.

Now I started knitting about a year ago and I have done mostly scarves for myself and one for a friend (which I believe I posted on here). I recently tried a jacket for my new cousin Liam and it turned out pretty well, but it took me 6 months because I'm still new at it. This blanket has taken me WAY longer and its only about half way finished! I wasn't able to give it to her at the shower, so I had planned to give it to her when they baby was born, which has already happened. (She had a little girl.) SO my NEW plan is to give it to them at Christmas. (Christ almighty it better be done by then!)

Now at the time I started this no one knew what she was having, so I picked what I thought was a very general stripe yarn. I thought it would be good for a boy and still fit a girl. Ironically now that I look at it I think it fits a girl more, but hey who cares cause she had one! (thank you!)

I have already gone through one ball of yarn and about half way through the second one. I have a third in my knitting bag, so I seriously hope that is all I need. Originally when I started this I thought I would only need two (not a good thought on my part), but I went with smaller needles so I screwed myself a little there. The yarn I picked is still available at several stores, but the dye lot is not the same, so the ball I'm on now is the wrong dye lot. I figure if its in the middle it will look more like I planned it to be a slightly different shade. The bottom and top part are the same dye lot, so I should be ok to make it work out.

(you can see Stue lying next to me ready to attach any stray yarn... which I oh so love... NOT)

The first ball made great stripes, but the second one seems to be making misplaced stripes. I must have done it differently when I started the first one, but I honestly don't remember doing anything special. At this point I will chalk it up to it being the middle section and it just gets to be a bit odd. I will have to work harder on the last one to make it be more striped again.

I work on it for about 30 minutes to an hour each morning before work. Some nights I work on it to help me relax and sleep. On my days off I still work on it in the morning, but thats about it. I tend to work on other projects, as I currently have several going. I love how I do that to myself. Silly me!

vibrant quilt project update

With the help of my mother and her quilting supplies, I was able to get MOST of the squares cut out.

I had wanted to do 10inch squares, but since the fabric shrunk a lot more than we thought, I ended up with 9 inch squares. (Well I cut out 9 1/2 inch on each side to allow for sewing.)

I had to cut down two sides to get straight edges and that limited me even more. Sometimes it was just a tiny bit, but other times one side would be so streched out that I lost alot in order to get a straight edge.

The cutting wasn't too bad until the last 7 or so. Then it was a back challenge. I said I cut out MOST of my squares. I calculated it and I need 12 down (to go from top of the bed to the bottom) and 8 across (side to side, not including the border which will make it the length I want on both sides), so that means I need 96. I was able to get 64 from what I had.

There were 8 strips of fabric in each package and I had 4 packages. I now need to get 2 more packages, wash them, iron them, and then cut them out. This is the part of quilting that is NOT so fun for me. Time consuming for me.
The bunch does look so good together. I can't wait to start getting it all together.

I need to hurry up and get the next two packages because they were on clearance when I got them. I found the perfect border fabric too. I will have to try and get a shot of it today and upload it. Oh and this is the blue I originally forgot to picture.

I love the detail on this one.

Anyway I have to get ready for work now. I can't wait for another day off to get some work done on this!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moment of Zen

Grace wanted the sunlight and to be near me while I was making jewerly.... so she feel asleep in my tool box. The box is no more than 12 x 10 and she is sleeping on pliers, needlenose, bent pliers, crimpers, and a few other random tools.

The power of the sun.

vibrant quilt project

I will be starting a new quilt project. I wanted something vintage, but also something that would look cottage/country. I think I found the perfect combo in a precut package I found at work.



There is another print in light blue, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I will have to do that later. I'm happy that they all work so well together. I might make the border either a purple or a light green. I'm leaning more towards purple since it would be more contrasting. Any ideas?

It will have 10 inch squares and a border about 7inches wide. The backside will be one solid color (I think... haven't desided if I also want to do the backside.) The colors are very vibrant, but have a soothing cottage country feel. I think it will turn out pretty good when I get done. I don't know how to do all the super fancy detail quilting work, so I might just skip that part and do ribbon ties to secure the quilt and batting together.

Anyway I washed and pressed the fabric being used, so I need to do the cutting and sewing. I haven't gotten the border fabric yet, but I know what I am going to use. I just want to be sure of the size before I get it.

I thought you might want to take a look. I got the idea from a magazine called Perfect for Precuts from Better Home and Gardens Special Interest Publications.  It one of the several ones I picked up from Border's going out of business sale.  (40% off of Magazines is too much to pass up!) The article is called "Sew Easy" from designer Anna Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.

 Well I'm off to get cutting! Let me know what you think!