Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grey sweater progress

My mom brought me the circular needle that I couldn't find locally, so after I finished the second sleeve, I could start on the body!  I know it's going to go a lot slower now that I've got such a larger circumference to go around.  The sleeves just zipped by! 

Now I'm thinking I might try to whip up a drawstring carrying bag for this project.  The tin bucket I'm storing it in now is cute, but it doesn't hold the skeins of yarn I haven't gotten to yet, and it's not good for taking it out of the house.  I've got two really cute 30's style fat quarters that I think would work really well ...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Embossed Leaf Socks

According to my UFO list, I started these socks in April, but I don't think I've blogged about them yet.  The pattern is from Interweave's Favorite Socks book, but so far I've made a few modifications.  The pattern says to break the yarn at the end of the heel turn, but that didn't seem very sensible to me, so I just continued in the normal sock-knitting way.  Also, the toe pattern is pretty strange.  I think it's a round toe, but it's got some purl stitches in it, which is very non-standard.  So far I'm going with what it says, but I'm a little apprehensive that I won't like it and I'll have to pick it all out and do a more normal toe. 

This is just the first sock, and right now it's taking a back seat to the many other projects I've got going on right now, but I think I'm going to make some progress on it this week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nøstepind - a Robert project

 While my mom and I were working on our quilt tops last weekend, Robert was inspired to work on a project, too.  He had almost finished my nøstepind a few weeks ago, and just needed to buy sandpaper to give it the finishing touches.  So he went and bought the sandpaper, and smoothed and polished the wood.  The handle was still a little bit too long, so he whittled the end off, and left a sweet signature on the bottom:
Then he gave it two coats of oil, and it was done!  I think it's quite wonderful, and I've already used it to wind yarn for my sweater.  Also, I gave back my mom's little Danish nøstepind that she had loaned us as a model.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fickle Nickels!

My mom visited this past weekend, and we did So Many Things!  We each finished a lap-sized quilt top!  At the Quilt festival last year, we each bought a "Fickle Nickel" bundle and pattern.  The bundles consisted of 5 different one-yard cuts of fabric, and the patterns use them to make the top and binding of a lap quilt.  Here's mine:

The quilts were pretty easy, and definitely beginner-friendly, since there aren't very many corners to match.  I appreciated that, since I'm not very good at that.  When I was in middle and high school and we were part of a mother-daughter quilting group, my mom pinned all my seams for me, so I never really learned how to match corners.  I was glad to be able to pick my mom's brain about how to match them for a quilt where it didn't really matter (all of my matched corners were four of the same fabric, so it's very difficult to see that they are in many cases pretty far off.)

The only problem was that the pattern really requires 44-45" of usable fabric width, and it just so happened that the fabric I chose for the binding only had 40" of usable width.  I had no idea this was going to be a problem until after I had cut all of the fabric strips (including the binding), sewn the strip sets, and was cross-cutting them into smaller units.  I just didn't have enough of that one particular fabric.  After I had used just about every square inch of the tiny green check,  I was still short.  I ended up having to piece the ends of some of the strip sets together and put a bunch of selvedges in seam allowances, and I was still short.  This is why there is one little square of the outer border in the middle of the quilt, and why the inner border has corner squares.  I had to adapt the pattern.  My mom also had this issue, although not as badly as I did.  She got away with just having one or two pieced squares of the same fabric.

All in all, though, I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was great as a piecing skills refresher.  I'm eager to trade quilt patterns with mom and make another, although next time I will almost certainly plan a scrappy binding (there were enough leftovers to cut at least one width of fabric binding strip from each of the other fabrics) to avoid fabric shortage issues.

Also, I LOVE my 1/4 inch piecing foot!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Starting a new skirt

This past weekend I started a new skirt.  I have an old damask-print skirt that I got my senior year of high school, and it was my very favorite skirt all through college.  Needless to say, by the time I got to grad school it was pretty much worn out.  So I was overjoyed when I was browsing at JoAnn one day many months ago, and I saw a damask print that pretty well approximates the print on my old skirt, and I decided to try to recreate it. 

I'm using another variation of the pattern I used for my first brown skirt, McCall's 5591, but I had to adapt it to make the skirt less full, since the original pattern pieces are too wide to fit across grain, but this print is definitely directional, so that won't work.  Also, my old skirt has a ruffle at the bottom of the lining which I'm planning to re-use, so I want the new skirt to be about the same fullness as the old one so the proportions work out. 

So far, I've cut out the outer skirt pieces, the pockets, and the yoke pieces.  I've Ironed the white fabric for the lining, but I need to adjust the skirt pattern pieces for that and cut them out.  I stopped at JoAnn on my way home today and bought the zipper, but I forgot to get embellishing braid for the seam between the yoke and the skirt.  I still need to cut out the interfacing for the yoke, and, of course, sew it all together!