Friday, September 25, 2015

Free Pattern Friday: Velvet Morning

I'm working on the cardigan Velvet Morning by Knitted Bliss JC, a free patten from Knitty, the on-line magazine.  The stranded cardigan is knitted from Aran weight yarn, so I'm using Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool for the background, and some fairly random balls of contrasting stash yarns for the rest.  It's a very satisfying, non-fussy knit for a stranded project, and I'm looking forward to having a heavy sweater jacket for the winter.

I got this good photo of my progress so far, because even though I got gauge in stockinette with the background color, the stranded work was looking a little small.  I put the project on a strand of waste yarn, soaked and blocked it, and was relieved to find that the size is coming out perfectly.  I would've hated to have had to find a skinnier person to give this sweater to.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


A friend of mine just became a grandmother, so I decided to knit a little sweater for the new baby.  The pattern, The Garter Yoke Baby Cardi by Jennifer Hoel, is available free on Ravelry.  It's a great, straightforward pattern, made fancy by some lady bug buttons that I think came from Debra. 

But then I started think, don't I have some lady bug fabric?

Sure enough, I did.

This adorable Reversible Sundress, pattern by Sew Baby, which I bought at JoAnn Fabrics,  sews up really easily.  The dress and lining are each one pattern piece, and the bloomers are made from 2 pieces.  It sews up in an hour or so.

The sweater is now an outfit.  Sometimes projects develop a life of their own and snowball into something a bit bigger than expected.  But I knew I was saving that lady bug fabric for a reason.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

X and Plus quilt

I've gone back to work for the new school year, so I'll be returning to my spotty pattern of posting.  In the meantime, I've started a fun quilt using the popular X and Plus block.  I've gone through my scraps and stash and I'm using some bright clear colors and black and white.  I'm also incorporating some text prints I've recently collected.  I look forward to sitting down and fussy cutting and sewing a couple of blocks when I have a bit of free time.

The dimensions I'm using:  The center piece is 2" x 5", and the small squares are all 2", including the squares that are halved for form triangles.  The black and white corner squares are 3.5".

Here's a few of my favorite blocks so far:

I finished my Diamonds quilt, and it's bound and waiting for cooler weather.

I used every inch of the fleece remnant I picked for the back.  I had to add a small strip of coordinating cotton to cover the printed selvage edge.

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.