Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Diamonds (50 x 60 ")

I finished another scrappy quilt.  It's very gratifying to use up some small pieces of fabric I knew would play well together.  I had more scraps and considered another border, but this small throw size is perfect.

And low and behold, I have the perfect piece of fleece in just the right size for the backing, so I'll be quilting this one myself.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Free Pattern Friday

This week's free pattern highlight is The Long Beanie by Wooly Wormhead.  Although it's blazing hot in much of the west, the fall will soon be upon us, and hat season will return.  This is also a great time to knit up a few hats for charity.  There's a constant need for hats at programs that serve the homeless, at women's shelters, and at schools with large numbers of impoverished children.  I'll donate my hats to a school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation though the "For the Children of Pine Ridge" group  on Ravelry

I love this pattern because it knits up very quickly in superbulky yarn.  If you don't have this yarn weight in your stash, you can hold 2 strands of worsted together to make gauge.  This pattern fits a range of sizes from child to adult, and you can use up small bits of yarn by knitting stripes.

Although Bunny the Cat doesn't look very impressed by my handiwork, I think these hats will make some children's winter a little warmer. 

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Scrappy Diamonds

I'm on to my next scrappy project, using up some dark reds and golds I'd set aside to use together.  I decided to make a simple one-block quilt and let the colors and fabrics do the work.  

I love half-square triangles.  They're easily constructed and can be set in many different ways.  For this quilt I decided to go with a setting where the darks and lights form alternating diamonds.

I cut 7-inch squares in each color, only because that's what my scraps would yield. 

My tip is to press one of the colors in half along the diagonal--it doesn't matter which color you use, but I chose the lights.  This is the guide line I use to stitch a 1/4 inch seam along each side--no marking needed.  After they're sewn, cut along the pressed line and you get 2 HSTs that can be trimmed to 6.5 inch squares.


So far the top is 36 x 48," but I've got more scraps for the border to make this into a generous-sized throw.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Free Pattern Friday

Edison by Lynn Di Cristina is a newer free pattern that has a lot of positive elements.  It's an easy knit, perfect for visiting or tv watching. 

It also allows you you use three 50 gram balls of fingering or sock yarn in different colors, and I don't know about you, but I have a selection to choose from in my stash.

I used less than a ball of Pace Step (220 yds) in purple, an odd ball of thrift store wool in pink, and about 3/4 of a ball of Nature Spun Fingering in navy.  Because the navy comes in a larger 310-yard skein, I knew I'd have enough for a picot bind off.  This detail is not specified in the pattern, but  I like the addition.

The shawl is large and crescent-shaped which makes for versatile wearing. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blues by the Bay (60 x70)

I finished piecing the blocks and sewing up this quilt top.  I'm calling it Blues by the Bay after a local music festival.  The colors remind me of a summer day near the water: lots of blues and greens and sunny accents.  I think I'll skip the border on this one and send it to Debra for some simple modern quilting.  It'll make for a nice sofa quilt come fall.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Free Pattern Friday

The Age of Brass and Steam is a very popular free pattern on Ravelry.  Over 8,000 projects have been knitted from this pattern, probably because it's a very straight-forward and flexible pattern.  I knit mine from 3 different colored skeins of dk weight alpaca, and the white trim is a bit of angora.  All of these yarns were thrift store finds bought at different times, but the common fiber and weight made me want to use them together in a project.  Instead of counting rows before each eyelet section, I knitted each stockinette portion until the yarn ran out, then I changed colors and did the eyelets.

The pattern is excellent TV knitting as it takes little attention.  It can also be knit in any weight yarn and you can make it as small or large as your yarn allows. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Free Pattern Friday

Here's another spotlight on a free knitting pattern I've used.  Arcadian Shawl is a free pattern on Ravelry that uses 520 yards of worsted weight yarn.  It's a relaxing knit: the stockinette portion is knit at the same time as the simple edging pattern, so it'll keep your interest without testing your concentration too much.   I knit my shawl with four balls of Stitch Nation Alpaca Love, a discontinued yarn I picked up at Tuesday Morning.  You never know what you'll find there, but they often have some good quality yarns at about half off their retail price.  The alpaca makes this shawl especially warm and soft.  This pattern is a keeper.  I like it's classic, elegant design.