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Friday, March 8, 2019

Socks for Hubby

I finished a pair of socks for hubby who picked out the colours on his own. He is not into indie dyed wool or anything showy; just warm and comfortable were his criteria. Set loose in the yarn store, he chose Regia 4-ply grey with maroon contrast, perhaps something like his great-grandfather would have worn! Which is what his photograph intended to portray with everything in the photo (except the socks) dating to c. 1900. He’s quite happy with how everything turned out.

He liked them so much that he requested another pair.  I made them with the left over wool from his first pair - just the opposite colors.  I used Susan B Anderson's socks for men pattern.  Turkish cast on, toe up socks, short row heel on 2.25 mm ChiaoGoo circular needles - my go to method for socks.  I also do a little something to avoid the annoying hole that sometimes appears when you join the finished heel stitches to the instep stitches.  Socks are enjoyable to knit -  I can knit them fairly quickly; they don't take much yarn and they are functional and appreciated by the recipient. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Starburst Blossom

I enjoyed the PEI MQG mystery quilt so much that I made a second one for the local Victoria's Quilts group.  I changed the layout a bit and had to cut off a few points to have it the proper size for the groups size requirements.

Colors worked well together.  There was a lot of piecing but I had fun assembling each block and putting together the quilt top.  

I tried some different quilting designs this time using echo stitching for the inside and outside of squares and a more curved design for the other blocks.  

It's always a challenge to quilt this on my domestic Bernina.  It's about as big a size (50 x 70) that I can maneuver.   The nice part about using my machine is that the BSR makes the quilt stitches even.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Joy of Long-arm Quilting

Over the past couple of years,  I have had the delightful opportunity to use the long-arm quilt machine at Happy Wife Quilting.  Jen, who runs the home-based shop, guided me through each step.  

The initial set-up requires accuracy to make sure the quilt top is straight.  Once you are ready, you follow a pantograph for the design.  It takes a bit of practice to follow the design with the laser light, but with a few tips from Jen, I managed to quilt 3 large scrappy quilts, several other large quilts and a baby quilt.  Not all at the same time, mind you.:)

Happy Wife Quilting's New Long Arm

I really enjoyed using the long arm.  It was a very zen-like mode once I got into the swing of things.  Long-arm quilting gives the quilts such a quality finished look.
Some quilts that I long-arm quilted at Jen's were approximately 90 x 90 inches and took about 5 hours from setup to finish. The smaller sizes were finished in a few hours.

The binding was sewn on at home with my walking foot and then the excess batting and backing were trimmed away. 

My quilts are always finished by hand sewing the binding around the edges.  The label is applied at this time as well.  

Long-arm quilting - love it!!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Socks 2018

When I first started knitting over 40 years ago, I made  a few sweaters. I put the needles down for many years to pursue my teaching career and raise my 3 children.   Just recently I returned to knitting. It was a whole new world!

Aside from the new needles and independent yarn dyers that have blossomed, a plethora of knitting activities had emerged along with acronyms - KAL, WIP, UFL, BFL, etc.  What the heck!!  Now maybe some of you are familiar with these terms, but I had never heard of them before.  I needed to do some research just to work my way through them.  

Another interesting occurrence is that shawls had sprung into the limelight.  It seems there are many designers creating new shawl patterns and plenty of people knitting them as well.  And the yarns, don't get me started.  They combine such a variety of wool from sheep, yaks, goats, alpacas and more, that they put the yarns of yore to shame. 

All I can say is it's a wonderful and exciting new world for knitters.  

And this brings me to something else I discovered - knitted Christmas socks.  Yes, that's right.  People knit socks for the Christmas season and some knit more than one pair - many more.  I didn't really know such a thing existed, but after viewing various knitting podcast - and there are numerous ones out there -  and discovering this knitted Christmas sock phenomenon, I was hooked.   I found the perfect self-striping yarn at a LYS (local yarn store) .   It's made in England by West Yorkshire Spinners.  The color is Fairy Lights and it's so cute.  I paired it with their Cayenne Pepper for the contrast toes, heels, and cuffs. The yarn is a combination of BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) wool and nylon.  Really nice to knit. Also, bought their Chocolate Lime yarn for next year's pair.  I'm hooked.  I can see this becoming a tradition. 😊

Monday, December 17, 2018

Personalized Knitted Christmas Ornaments

So along with all the Christmas ornaments that I blogged about in my last post, I also made personalized ones for the grandchildren and great nieces and nephews.  With a bit a pattern adaptation,  I was able to knit each name on half the ball as well as a couple of designs on the other side to complete it.  Some letters shape better than others when knitting stitches.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Knitted Christmas Ornaments

This year I have been knitting Christmas ornaments.  They are just the right size project to get on my needles. They vary in design and I can finish them in a good amount of time.

These are Nordic patterns designed by Arne and Carlos.  

They are knit with 100% Peruvian Highland wool and filled with wool roving.  As they are handmade, no two are exactly the same - each is unique.

Hopefully these will adorn the families' Christmas trees for years to come.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Project Bags

Don't know what it is, but I love sewing these project bags.   When fabric catches my eye, I feel the need to make a bag out of it :) I'm calling this one Hudson Red because that's the name of the multicolor fabric.  Reminiscent of Hudson Bay's colours.  The red bottom is Kona Rich Red.  I'll be making more of these in other colors.
Hudson Red

  If I need a bigger project bag, I make adjustments to the pattern.  Sometimes I'll make a drawstring bag, instead of the zipper.  But, I generally prefer zippered ones.

Spring Drawstring

I quilt the exterior of most bags.
Woolly Red
Scrappy Correspondence

Sometimes I make a scrappy exterior with leftover fabric from my stash.

 All in all, a fun and useful sewing activity.