Monthly Archives: April 2013

FO: Scraps n Fats Quilt

Holy shit, I finished it!  Here she is, my first quilt.

Pattern: Scraps n Fat Quilt by Bloom Creek

Fabrics: a kit put together by Connecting Threads using their Sail Away (?) fabrics.

Size: 77″ x 86″  Or that’s what the pattern says.  I might be off a bit.

I used the Warm & Natural Cotton Batting and backed the quilt with the anchor fabric.

Here it is all laid out:

I quilted it using Connecting Threads cotton thread in Silver.  I used an allover stipple in the body of the quilt, and did two rows of loops in the borders.

Here are a few more quilting close-ups:

The stippling was easier than I thought it would be.  There is the occasional sharp angle on my stitching, but not too many.  I thought it would be harder to not cross lines.  I then got kind of cocky and was sure that the border quilting would be really easy too.  I had planned on doing spirals in the borders, but it turns out I am awful with doing large circles.  And following a drawn line was harder than I thought too!  I had to do a fair amount of practice, then some ripping out.

I drew horizontal lines on the border using chalk, breaking the border width down into quarters.  Then I started the loops using the center line as a base line, and using the quarter line as the stopping point for the small loops.  It is like drawing an e, then an l, over and over.  It worked out better when I did it freehand like this than when I tried to draw them all out.  If I do more quilting, I could be tempted to get a pounce pad and a grid stencil to mark my quilts with.

And to finish it off, I made a quilt label.  I wrote the words out using a chalk pencil, then I followed the letters using backstitch.  In the future I might want to learn some other embroidery stitches though.

I haven’t used my quilt yet, but it is already covered in cat hair…  There are definitely things that I need to improve on with my next quilt, but I am over the moon with how this one turned out!  I might take a break before I start another one!

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FO: Cerato Cowl

Thank you for the opinions on my shawl.  I am just going to keep going for it!  At the end of it, if it is too crazy, I will think about overdyeing it or just give it away to someone who likes it.  But onward!

I did finish a quick project.  This was a test knit of a cowl off of the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Cerato Cowl by Nadja of Schneckenstrick.  The pattern will be released on May 1st I think.

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Sunrise, 1 skein.

Needles: US 5 and US9

Start Date: April 16, 2013

Finish Date: April 19, 2013

Notes: I knit the pattern as written, except I ran out of yarn.  My row gauge must be different from the designer’s because my cowl was as tall as it was supposed to be, but I had to stop 7 rounds early.  This didn’t affect the patterning much.  I only have a couple feet of yarn left after that.

Nadja’s cowl was knit in Malabrigo Rios and looks super classy.  Mine is… less so.  I still like it, but it definitely feels like little girl colors.  Though, twice while working on it, on two separate days, people noticed that it matched what I was wearing.  I took a number of me-in-the-bathroom-mirror pictures.  I’ll edit this post in a bit and add one of those photos.  I will try to get some real pics soon though.

Also, the quilt is DONE.  Even the binding and an embroidered label.  I can not wait to get some good pictures of it to show you!!

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Opinions needed!

I’ve started a shawl with some yarn from my stash.  The yarn is Lorna Laces Shepherd Sock in Purple Club.  It has a bunch of different purples in it.  It has been difficult to find a project to knit with it where the yarn doesn’t overpower the pattern.

I’ve had this shawl pattern in my queue for a while.  It’s the Westport Shawl by Sarah Wilson.  Her group on Ravelry (The Sexy Knitter) is doing a KAL right now.  And what I had loved about this shawl was how great it looked in a variegated yarn.

But now that I’ve started this shawl, I’m not so sure.

Part of me still likes it.  I like how the stockinette section looks.  But the lace is pretty garbled.  I don’t want this to be a project that people look at and cluck their tongues and shake their heads about my bad yarn choice.

Thoughts?

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FO: Grown Up Girl

Here’s the sweater that I’ve been working on for the last month.  I am super happy with it!

Ravelry page here.

Pattern: Grown Up Girl by Joji Locatelli

Yarn: fingering weight wool ( I think the Pura Lana Testa) held double from Lanas Naturales in Buenos Aires.  A little more than 400 grams.

Needles: US7

Start Date: March 15, 2013

Finish Date: April 11, 2013

Notes: The only real modification was to omit the ties.  I was very torn about wanting it to belt or not, but I decided to just go with a single button.  I added a few extra rows of short rows on the collar to make it a tiny bit wider.  My upper sleeves are a little tight, and I wouldn’t mind a tiny bit more ease.  I didn’t realize for awhile that it is a bit of a drop shoulder, so I had initially made the sleeves too long and had to rip back a bit.

When I was knitting it, it looked a little small.  The reverse stockinette sections ended mid bust and I wasn’t sure about it.  But it definitely loosened up a bit with blocking.  They are still higher than empire waist, but it works better now.  One thing that I would do differently, would be to make my gathers a little neater.  Those stitches are super big right now, and they would look better if I snugged them up more while I was doing the decreases.

The lace and bobble section on the back and pockets was the most fun.  I get a little bored with too much stockinette.

This was souvenir yarn that I brought back from Buenos Aires a few years ago.  I was happy that I got to use it on a Joji pattern since she lives in B.A.

I think this will get a lot of use!

BTW, I am so close to finished with my quilt.  I am now hand sewing the binding down to the back.  And then I have to make my quilt label…

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Hollywood iPhone pics

I work in Hollywood and it is not a bad area. Lucas met me after work the other day and we had dinner at his favorite Mexican place, Dos Burritos. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a place that we love.

On the way back to the car, we passed these scenes on El Centro Ave. Lucas thinks the theme of this post is: Has Hollywood become the apocalyptic hell scape as envisioned in the Robocop movies?

An ATM outside of a pot dispensary and a tanning salon.

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I had just got an alert that my checking account was compromised, and I definitely never used a machine this shady! I don’t think the photo can even portray how busted this ATM was.

We had to walk around a giant pile of palm fronds. Then I noticed what looking like a bunch of rabbit pellets on the ground. Then we realized they were probably piles of rat poop because the rays live up in the palm trees. Yuck!

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This one isn’t a Hollywood picture. But remember when those Reebok high tops with Velcro at the top were a joke? You know, yesterday? Well now we have the heeled version.

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What the hell is going on?! Full on 80s redux. First we’re bringing back leggings as pants, then floral leggings are back. What is next?! I would hope we would remember how that turned out the last time. I’ll just head things off and get some Mom jeans and some body suit tops. They’ll be back in eventually.

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First Quilt Update!

I’ve been working a fair amount on my quilt.  The top has been done for a couple weeks.  I am critical of all my mistakes and all the squares that don’t line up, but it’s also my first quilt so I am allowing myself some sloppiness.  I am using a cotton batting that would shrink up to 3% with washing, so I decided to pre-wash it.  This was easier said than done, trying to soak a queen size batting in a kitchen sink!

My finished quilt top is about 74″x86″.  I created a two piece backing out of the white anchor fabric that I used in the quilt.  I had read in a book that you should piece the backing in three pieces, with a 1/2 section in the middle and 1/4 sections on the side to avoid having a seam going halfway through the quilt.  I ended up getting a little lazy for that.  I tried to line up the pattern the best that I could.  It isn’t perfect but after quilting shouldn’t be too obvious.

Then I laid it all out and made my quilt sandwich.  The backing, face down, the batting and then my quilt top face up.  I went through and basted it using curved safety pins, starting in the middle.  Books say to put the pins a fist width apart.  My squares are about that size, so I just pinned in the center of each square.

I didn’t think it would take me that long to put all those pins in, but I ended up staying up past 2 am that night to get it all done!

I started the quilting on Wednesday night.  I had done a bit of practicing with my free motion quilting.  I decided to stick with an overall pattern.  And since I’m still learning, I started with a basic stipple.  I’ve made some mistakes, but I am being pretty easy-going about this and haven’t ripped out.

I think I will do a different pattern on the edging, but I’m not sure what yet.  Maybe rows of large spirals.  I might have to mark that out ahead of time.  I don’t really trust my free hand skills.  I need to practice on relaxing while quilting.  My shoulders are up near my ears the whole time and my forearms are getting awfully tired!  But the quilting might be done this weekend!

 

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Lucas’s New Thing

Hi all,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  We went over to a friend’s house and had dinner and watched the first part of The King of Kings (1960).  We left after dessert and intermission.  We already knew how it turned out.  We have been doing a low-sugar thing for Lent this year.  We had to add on a few days because we cheated a little bit.  But Thursday we are back on schedule for sugar!  I need to stop at the store today and pick up some sale Easter candy!

The other day, Lucas got really intrigued with the concept of needle felting.  I showed him my Wool Pets book and he was obsessed!  Four hours later and he finished this:

Cute, right?!  He wanted a giraffe but I didn’t have any giraffe colors and he wanted it to be more colorful.  He gave it to his friend’s daughters and now he needs to make another one.  He is now insisting that needle felting is his new thing.

I need to buy him some packs of fiber for his new hobby.  We’ll see what other cute animals are in our future!

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