Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Week Lost, Sort Of

Sometime each spring, I seem to get laid low with a plague of some sort. This week, it struck. I am on the mend now, and it is a good thing, because it is my Quilt Retreat weekend.

While feeling sorry for myself, I finished a knitting UFO.

This is the Eyre of Romance Jane Shawl.

My Ravelry project page says that I started it in April of last year, I am not sure how it ended up in hibernation, but it was the perfect project for when one's head is feeling fluffy.

Today, I was feeling better, so I started getting my projects ready for retreat.

I have been busy fusing interfacing onto fabric pieces. It is much easier, at home. I am out of interfacing now, so I am not sure what else I will take.

Spring is still creeping into our yard. The overnight temperatures are still near zero.

The forsythia is in bloom.

We have flowers in the sunniest parts of the yard.

Doug doesn't understand why we don't let him play (dig) in the flowers.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Another Trip Around the Block

My friend Zeinab asked if I would block a shawl for her. I met Zeinab 3 years ago, when I was asked to teach a group of mothers and daughters, who wanted to learn knitting. Zeinab had knit as a child, but hadn't for a long time and now wanted to learn some new things. Three years later, the group is usually only the adults, though the daughters know they are still welcome, and the adults have become good friends.

It has leaves around the edge. and perfect picture for Earth Day. As you can see, it is about 6 ft. wide. Lovely, soft and cozy.

I was playing in my fabric, yesterday.
This is a wine carrier. I used a turorial found here. It is a birthday gift for someone who doesn't usually read the blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Polaris - March Bag of the Month

Spring seems to be here to stay, so I was able to take my pictures outside, today. Not a snow bank in sight.

I liked the look of Polaris, when I saw the pattern. However, I followed the pattern, mostly as written, and I struggled with it.  However, after stitching and restitching the lining ( a total of 4 times) I am going to declare it done!

You can see that it is a small bag. I am pretty sure that all my "stuff" wouldn't fit into it.

I fussy cut the fabric for the front and that back, so they are identical. I am pleased with how the colours are all going together. Not bad for stash diving.

This bag was made entirely from my stash. I didn't purchase anything, specifically for this bag.

The inside, with a zipper pocket, credit card slots and a slip pocket. The credit card slots are the only modification I made and I used this tutorial.

I think if I make this one again, I would add a couple of inches to each dimension, and use fusible fleece instead of Soft and Stable foam. I think I might also either make smaller piping or leave it off altogether.

The pattern is part of the Bag of the Month Club patterns. The individual patterns will be available for sale, after the end of the program in June.

Now, a couple of Spring pictures.

I think my forsythia is going to bloom by the weekend, if the weather stays warm.

My grandcat, Alby, has a touch of spring fever, I think. Either that, or his dad has been letting him watch Spiderman.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Good Week

Sometimes, I feel like I am getting nowhere and some weeks, I have a bunch of finishes. This week has been a week of finishes. I even have the taxes finished.

On Saturday, I finished my Princess Charlotte Bonnet.
Yesterday, I finished the lace socks I have been working on all winter.
My Polaris Bag, which is the Marc Bag of the Month needs only some hand sewing on the lining and the strap attached. The strap was make very early in the process.

And the icing on the week, Crocuses!

We had snow on Monday morning, and these appeared in the side yard, today.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Some Random Pictures

Today, I have a collection of kind of random pictures.

First up, the Princess Charlotte Bonnet.

When Princess Charlotte wore a bonnet similar to this, home from the Hospital, there was a question in knitting circle as to whether she was wearing it upside down.

My intrepid helper, Bear, offered to help settle this argument. 

As Princess Charlotte wore her bonnet

Side View

The other way
Side View
The bonnet is very cute, no matter how you wear it.

Next pictures: What is it?
I discovered this, in a bag of attachments that came with my 75 year old Singer sewing machine.

It is a small metal object, with a slightly offset point and a tiny hook. I took it to my church quilt group, and one of them knew.

It is a needle threader for the sewing machine needle. I should have guessed that.

Next up: How did I do that?

This is my regular sewing machine needle. I heard one of those metal on metal noises you don't want to hear from your machine, and the point of the needle was stuck in the bag I was sewing, while the shaft was bent at a right angle. I will try not to do that again.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Around the "Block" Again

The problem with blocking a shawl, is that there are a bunch of other tasks that need to be done, before a shawl can be blocked. First and foremost, one needs a clean sink. And while one is cleaning the sink, might as well clean the rest of the bathroom... I think you can see where this goes.

So, my bathroom is spotless, now, and my Fracture shawl has had a spa treatment and spent the night, restrained on the blocking boards.

I think the next time I see them, I need to invest in another set of boards. I could really have used another 2 feet of foam to block on for this shawl.

I freed the shawl from its bonds, this morning, and took some pictures while there was still a bit of sun.

One point escaped its pin, so it looks a bit stunted. It just adds to the handcrafted appearance, right? If I remember, I might fix it the next time I am blocking something.

A closeup of the lace. The shawl is a wool and silk blend, in lace weight and it feels like a wisp of smoke now that it's finished. I like the pattern, it was very well written and she even included blocking instructions at the end.

The pattern is Fracture by Clare Slade. The yarn is Cascade Yarns Forest Hills. My shawl used about 540 m.

I needed something simple for my next project, so I am knitting a Princess Charlotte Bonnet.

It is coming nicely. I remembered a video I had seen a few weeks ago, showing how to use a piece of waste yarn to make it easier to pick up stitches. Of course, I didn't remember until part way in.

My Polaris Bag is progressing, slowly. I completed the lining.

Completed Lining
Inside of the Future Bag
I have the piping on the exterior pieces.
Thanks to Bethany for her great tutorial on piping. It saved me a lot of grief.

The next part involves attaching the sides to the exterior. I think I am avoiding that part! There is snow on the way, so I might have time this afternoon to give the next part a try.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fracture Finished

I finished Fracture, the mystery knit along I've been working on since the beginning of March.

By the time I was done, there were about 530 stitches on my needle. The cast off took forever! I am still regretting having used a variegated yarn. I might have to do it again, in something more solid.

However, it is a very pretty knit, and I manged to finish it only a week late. It is in dire need of a serious blocking, but I couldn't resist posting a picture to show I had finished.