Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One more baby quilt....

I have a bunch of nieces and nephews, many of whom are at that stage of life where babies seem to appear. Of course they need quilts. Who doesn't? The latest is for Margaret....

She is getting a Kitty-Cat quilt. I don't always use patterns, but I was having a hard time deciding what to make for her. I came across this one going through stuff on my shelf, and I thought it would do fine.

I used pastels -- also something I don't usually do. More often, I opt for bright colors. But this quilt wanted to be soft and sweet.

Margaret has an older brother. Big brothers need presents, too. I like to give books, and wanted something that went along with the cat theme. I found the perfect one this weekend at Barnes and Noble...Kitten's First Full Moon. The kitten reminded me so much of my nephew!

Monday, March 21, 2011

It'll get done sometime!

Deadlines are hard sometimes -- I wanted to do a quilt for my brother's 50th birthday. At least I finished it in the same month, so I suppose it's not all that bad....

I like to make quilts with variable size blocks. They're fun to do for special occasions. And it's not as hard as it may look -- sort of like fitting a puzzle together. I make the blocks in multiples of 3 inches -- 3X3, 6X6, 9X9, 3X18 6X12, etc. I get most of what I want and lay it all out on the floor, and fill in with odds and ends as I need to. I like the way this one came out -- I hope my brother does too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

There can't ever be enough fingerless mitts....

When the muse strikes, you gotta go with it. I was inspired by a stitch pattern found in a new book I just purchased: The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe. I need to stop buying pattern books since I have enough books and magazines sitting around to keepme busy for 10 years. But this is a reference book, so I rationalized -- and so it came home with me.

I also had most of two balls of Wool Bam Boo left over from other projects, one in pink and one in blue. And of course I had to get some more yarn to go with them, because they certainly wouldn't look good together....

I really like color work -- Fair Isle or stranded knitting is so pretty, but it drives my crazy switching back and forth. I just have to practice more, but haven't been inspired to do so. Mosaic patterns are fun -- you're only using one strand of yarn at a time, so it's not as fiddly as Fair Isle. These work up very quickly in DK weight yarn.

You can find Gilly Bean available as a free Ravelry download:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One and Two ...

It feels great to finish knitting something. You get to the last bind off, weave in your ends and TA-DA! Finis! The end. Ooops, I forgot. Sometimes knitting one something isn't enough. Sometimes you need two somethings -- two mitts, two socks.... before you know it, you have SECOND SOCK (or mitt) SYNDROME!

It seems like I was beginning to have a collection of one of things. I decided I had to start finishing stuff before casting on any more pair projects! I made a pair of Scrollwork Socks by Veronique Avery. These were in the latest issue of the St. Denis booklet, and my boss at Stitches with Style in Newark DE needed some shop samples. This was a great pattern -- I used Aslan Trends Santa Fe, which I fell in love with. It was more of a sport weight yarn, and the socks seemed to fly right off the needles....

There's only one sock in the photo because the other one is at the shop. I completed the first one and gave it to my boss right away, but it took a bit to get around to the second one. There really are two socks in existence now, I promise. I also recently published a new mitt pattern, Fluffy Knitter Mitts, which is available for free on Ravelry:


I was so excited to have a new design, I never finished the second mitt. SO I finished that one last night, too! Go me!

I still have only one of the Fingerless Glove Fanatics Mystery Mitt done, but I have to think about the picot hem. Not sure if I want to frog it and replace it with a boring straight edge or not....

And to celebrate getting two pairs of things done, I cast on this morning for a not-pair project -- Two Tone Tawashi. Stitches with Style is doing a "Washcloth Club" KAL with a new pattern selected every month. I liked this month's pattern, but the sample -- made with worsted weight -- seemed a bit on the small side. I found some Jeanee Chunky in the sale bin and used that. You can see the size is nice!

And I finished up my design for the Novemeber Designer KAL in the FGF: SOCK group on Ravelry. And I did make TWO so I have a pair. But I can't show you --- it's a SEKRIT!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Thanks to prodding from Sonny Boy ("Mom, could you make a case for my Kindle?") and after three failed prototypes (what's the matter with me, it's really not that hard) I have come up with a nice case for a Kindle that does not cost $35 +. Can't help it, I'm cheap.

This is an envelope style that you can slip your Kindle into. I made two sizes, one for the Kindle alone (which Sonny Boy has) and one that would fit mine, which has a skin and is just a wee bit larger. I used two quilted layers to provide a little more cushioning, so that it will be protected if you throw it in a purse or briefcase. It will not stand up to a nuclear attack, but in that case, your Kindle will be the least of your worries.

10" X 16 " of outer fabric, lining, and 2 pieces of batting
5" piece of velcro to coordinate with outer fabric

1. Quilt outer fabric to one piece of batting. Quilt the lining fabric to the other piece of batting. I use a random stipple, but you could do whatever floats your boat.

2. For the Kindle without the skin, trim outer fabric to 9" X 15". Trim lining a hair smaller -- like 8-7/8" X 14-7/8". This will help the lining to turn under better, so it doesn't peek out to the right side.

3. For the Kindle with a skin, trim the outer quilted fabric to 9.5" X 15.5", and the quilted lining to 9-3/8" X 15-3/8".

4. If you trim the batting away from the corners on all pieces, it will make nicer corners, since there won't be so much bulk. I just separate the batting from the fabric, and remove stitches if necessary. I then just cut off a little corner triangle a little past where you will turn the corner when stitching.

5. With right sides together, stitch all the way around using a 1/4" seam. And yes, of course you must leave an opening to turn right sides out. I placed this on one of the short sides.

6. Turn right sides out and PRESS PRESS PRESS. Then stitch all the way around close to the edge. Be careful over the opening, and make sure your edges are turned under even and nice and you won't need to do any hand sewing.

7. Position the soft loop side of the velcro on the lining top flap, something like 1/2" from the edge and centered. Stitch it to the flap.

8. The hook side of the velcro will go on the outer side. Fold your pocket about 5" up and slip your kindle in to see where the best placement will be. Be careful with any pinning since your Kindle is inside and you don't want to scratch it. Stitch.

9. With the pocket folded up 5" and right sides out, stitch the pocket through all layers. Do some extra back and forth stitching at the top since this will be stressed the most. You probably don't want to have to mend this. There are other things to do besides mending if you can help it.

Huzzah! You're done. Throw your kindle into your bag. Or go read an e-book.