Purrfect petals

With Bunnies, and Butterflies, and Birds, Oh My! complete, I had a box empty. And you know what that means …

I get to start a new quilt project! I also want to make both of my niece’s a quilt for their birthdays, and since Rowan’s is up first in June, there’s no time like the present to get started on it!

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I’ve had this Riley Blake “Meow” Layer Cake kicking around for a while, and the colours are perfect for Rowan. I settled on the Flower Girl quilt, and got to work.

img_5012I pulled out the fabrics that would create the most contrast, and dug through the stash for a nice yellow fabric for the centres and got cutting.

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Mom, ever the Queen of Gadgets, gave me this little template that sticks to your machine, allowing you to sew HSTs, and snowball squares without drawing lines. It saves a lot of time.

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An afternoon of chain piecing saw all my petals completed. Now I just have to sew them into flowers. But let’s save that for another day!

FO & Pattern Release: Fake It As You Make It

Thank you for all your lovely comments about our yarn. It actually wasn’t a very hard decision for us, which shows it was definitely time.

But as promised, I’m still knitting and designing…. and here’s the proof!

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I give you the Fake It As You Make It sock! And it’s a freebie!

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While it looks complicated, it’s an exceedingly simple sock thanks to the use of slip stitches. Unlike stranded colourwork, with this pattern you’re only using one colour at a time.

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It’s also a great way to use up part balls of yarn. And while I’ve made mine ankle length, they can be knit to any length you like.  I’ve also inlcuded instructions to make them in man size!

The colour combinations for this are endless, but for the best effect, I suggest going with yarns that have a high contrast. One of the yarns can also be very crazy if the other is very calm.

I can’t wait to see what combos you come up with!

All good things come to an end

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As you know, I’m a woman of many hobbies. And sometimes it can get overwhelming. With the addition of quilting to my repertoire,  there’s definitely been less time to do it all.

One of the things that I’ve really let slide is the yarn shop. It actually started when Stella went kaput. The dye studio was up at Mom’s and without a car it was difficult getting up there to dye.

Then Mom got bit by the quilting bug, and wanted to turn the dye studio into a quilting studio. So the dye stuff came to live with me. Then that same bug bit me, and while the dyes are just down in the basement, trying to carve out time to keep the shop updated with fresh skeins just hasn’t worked out.

Mom and I opened the shop in the summer of 2009, after I bought a dye kit on a whim.  The shop grew quickly, and thanks to all of you, we had a nice little following. But it was never more than a hobby for us. It made just enough money to feed our own knitting habits (patterns, tools, etc). And we always said, when it wasn’t fun any more, we’d stop doing it. We didn’t want it to become work.

And while I do still like dying yarn, trying to make sure the shop has fresh yarn on a regular basis feels more like and obligation than fun.

So my friends… I’ve shuttered the etsy shop. I’ll still continue to knit and design and blog. And the facebook page will stay up so keep you up-to-date on my design work.

I will probably still dye a little too – but just for personal things.

We had a good run and it was a blast! And we couldn’t have done it without you!

ONWARD AND UPWARD!

FO: Carbeth Cardigan

Here she is!

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My completed Carbeth Cardigan. And I absolutely love it. I fell in love with the original pullover version, though I rarely wear pullovers, so I was thrilled when she came out with a cardigan version.

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I’m not entirely sure why I love it so much… it’s a very simple design. I think it’s the wide raglan and that big stand up collar. I just love the way it looks.

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It’s supposed to be worn with about 4 inches of positive ease, so I really should have one up a size, but as I mentioned before, I am slowly losing weight. This way, it fits me fine with no ease, but will still look alright when there is some ease in there.

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While I prefer to wear it partially unbuttoned, it doesn’t look too bad buttoned all the way.  And about those buttons… you guys voted overwhelmingly for the silver hearts… and I did go with them at first. But once I had a few of them sewn on, it was evident that they were just too heavy even for this one. I probably could have reinforced the band with some ribbon, but I wasn’t in the mood for that much effort… so wood buttons it was! I think they do the trick.

The yarn I used was Knitpicks Chroma Twist Bulky. It’s my first time knitting with a Knitpicks yarn and I was more than happy with it. It was soft and lovely to knit with, and I love the way the gradient stripes knit up in the garment. It does have a touch of itch, but nothing unbearable. I don’t normally knit bulky garments for myself, but we’re in the middle of a deep freeze right now, so that extra thickness is coming in handy!

 

 

Oh my stars!

During the week, I finished up the last of the Marseilles Star blocks and took them for a little layout test run.

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While they do look quite nice on my red bed sheet, there will be plain white blocks in between (and I’m hoping I can convince Mom to try out some of her fancy quilting rulers on them).

This isn’t the final layout either. I actually made 14 blocks, so I’m going to play with things a bit and see if I can find one that uses all 14. If not, I might incorporate  the extra in the back.

I’m going to rummage around the stash and see if I have something for a nice border too. If not, I’ll have to make a trip to Lens…. oh the hardship!

Ice rocker

I’ve talked before about Miss Rowan’s ability on the blades. Well I’ve just got to share her latest adventure….

Last weekend, while we were all hunkered down waiting out the storm – she was tearing up the ice to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Sadly, WordPress won’t let me share the video unless I upgrade, so you’ll have to sing the song yourself, and imagine how cute and awesome she was.

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Her moves netted her a silver. This kid amazes me more every day!