Well it didn’t get finished in time for my visitors’ arrival back in the Spring, but it’s finally done now!
Here’s the Layers of Charm Quilt, made using a Whitewashed Cottage layer cake by 3 Sisters for Moda Fabric.
The Layers of Charm Quilt is a free pattern from US fabric retailer Fat Quarter Shop. It requires one layer cake and one charm pack plus additional fabric for backing and binding.
It should have been quite a quick quilt to make, but I had quite a long hiatus between finishing the quilt top and actually quilting it. I have to admit I’m not a fan of the quilting part of the process. I’m never very happy with the outcome and therefore never very motivated to get on with it. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to put my head down and try and get it finished and whilst baby was napping, I managed to get a few blocks quilted and my Mum kindly did the last half dozen for me the next day, just so it was done! I enjoy the binding part and that only took me an evening to get that stitched.
The Whitewashed Cottage fabric collection is quite an old one now but goes perfectly with the colour scheme in my spare room.
So my first make of 2018 is off the needles. With the sudden drop in temperature outside, my baby boy needed some mittens. So I dug out a partly used ball of Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK, some DPNs and cast on. I made up the pattern as I went along. Fortunately I cast on the correct number of stitches to fit him!
The great thing about these is that they were so quick to do. Here’s the pattern:
- Using DK yarn and 3.5mm DPNs, cast on 32 stitches.
- 10 rounds of 1×1 rib.
- Switch to 4mm DPNs.
- Knit 20 rounds.
- Fingertip shaping:
- K2tog tbl, K12, K2tog, K2tog tbl, K12, K2tog
- Knit 1 round
- K2tog tbl, K10, K2tog, K2tog tbl, K10, K2tog
- Knit 1 round
- K2tog tbl, K8, K2tog, K2tog tbl, K8, K2tog
- Knit 1 round
- Use Kitchener stitch to graft the remaining 20 stitches to close up the mitten.
I estimate this would be 6-12 month size.
I finished my Mirabelle quilt this week and overall I’m really pleased with it.
It’s by no means perfect though. There are lots of alignment problems but I think since I started this quilt two years ago, my piecing has become more accurate. The machine quilting isn’t as good as I’d like either. I quilted in the ditch, which was made easier with a dedicated ditch quilting foot, but it’s still more wrinkled that I’d like, especially the horizontal sashing, which you can see in the photo above. Mum seems to get her quilts so smooth when she quilts them.
Things that I learnt whilst making this quilt
- Always piece on the same sewing machine. Failing that, check the accuracy of your sewing/seams as you complete each block. As I made this over the course of many months, I used different sewing machines when piecing. I found that some machines did a more generous ¼ inch seam than others and it wasn’t until I’d done a good number of blocks did I realise that they were coming out at different sizes because the seams weren’t quite the same. I had to remake some and trim down others. If I’d stuck to the same machine, even if the seams were a fraction bigger than they should have been, at least they would have been all the same!
- Press the seams the same way. With the cross pieces in each block and sashing, I pressed some seams away from each other, and some towards each other. Because it is a pale fabric you can see the seams underneath through the top and it doesn’t all look the same.
- Cut all the sashing from the same piece of fabric. Unfortunately all my horizontal sashing pieces were cut from a different piece of plain fabric. It was the same shade of Moda Bella Solids, however it was from a different bolt and the colour is very slightly different. It wasn’t until I’d sewed the whole quilt top together, that I noticed the colour variation. It does annoy me a bit as it looks like it is a bit grubby, but I couldn’t face re-doing it.
If you’d like to make a similar quilt, I’ve written a short tutorial here.
I’ve finally finished the jumper called Drift that I’ve been knitting in Sublime’s Natural Aran yarn. The shade I chose was a new one for this Autumn called Minky – a lovely dusty pink colour.
The pattern is in the The Second Sublime Natural Aran Hand Knit Book (687) and was fairly straight forward to do as it’s basically just 2×2 rib. The cabled ribbed detail on the front had to be done by following a large chart, which I find ok as long as I have a ruler up against each row so that I read it correctly.
There were two adjustments I had to make though. The armholes weren’t big enough. When I tried it on it was just too tight, so I had to make them bigger than the pattern suggested. I also changed the neckline. The neck shaping in the pattern is such that it gets higher in the middle so felt like it was almost choking me and it was also a bit tight to get my head through and I don’t have a particularly big head! I don’t like anything tight up against my neck, so I changed the shaping completely so that was higher at the shoulders and made the neck opening larger.I’m much happier with it now and will hopefully get lots of wear out of it this winter, although it is so mild at the moment, I’m not sure it’ll ever be cold enough!
A friend of ours turned 40 yesterday and my husband suggested that as a present, I knit our friend a beanie and beard! His business means he spends most of his day outdoors, so the idea is that it will keep him warm – chin and all!!
The beanie hat part was knitted with some Rowan Cocoon that I had in my stash and the pattern I used was the Cozy Ribbed Hat from Ravelry. It was quick to knit and looked a good shape when worn.
The beard was knitted in some red Sirdar Funky Fox and I used the Rather Fun Knitted Beard pattern from Ravelry. I don’t particularly enjoy knitting with eyelash yarns, but it was fine to do.
I then attached a piece of cocoon through each end of the beard and tied it to the inside of the beanie, so our friend could remove the beard and still wear a nice beanie after the initial laughs!
It was nice to complete a project within a week!
Now it’s back to the poncho. I thought it was nearly finished but I think it needs to be bigger still.
I’ve not really been in the mood for knitting at all. At the last knit and natter I did about 10 rows of a swatch and that was it! Granted I was quite busy helping other people, but it just wasn’t happening.
However I’ve been itching to do some sewing. My own sewing machine is still at my parents house, so last week I set up one of our Elna demo machines that are on display in our shop and had a go at making this cushion during quiet moments.
The pattern is a freebie from the Janome USA site and you can download it here.
I used a Moda Aspen Frost mini charm pack for the small squares, a fat quarter of Moda Bella Solids in white, a fat quarter of the Figgy Pudding collection that Mum had in her stash, and a quarter of a metre of Makower Green spraytime fabric.
This cushion is going on display in the shop, but I might make another one for at home. I think I will try and collect my sewing machine from Mum and Dad’s this evening, so I can get on with some more sewing. I need to crack on with the Raining Cats and Dogs quilt!
I decided that as I don’t have much room in my new house for anything, especially a large stash of wool and fabric, that I ought to start using some up.
I have a couple of skeins of Fleece Artist Slubby Blue yarn and I recently turned one of them into this cowl:
I found the pattern on Ravelry. It’s called Rainbow Twist Cowl. I love the way you can just enter an amount of yarn into the pattern search and it will show you all the patterns that would be suitable to do!
I’m not sure that it looks as good as the one pictured on Rav but I’m sure I’ll be wearing it this winter. Now I need to think what to do with the other skein!
I just realised that I haven’t posted about the cardigan I knitted in Rico’s new Fashion Summer Print yarn.
The yarn is a cotton tape yarn and the cardigan was knitted on 8mm needles, so it was a really quick knit. It take a bit of brain work to figure out how to do the knot, but a friend at knit and natter understood and showed me. Once I understood, it was very simple!
The pattern is Rico Compact Idea 159 and the yarn is Rico Fashion Summer Print.
I finished this jumper in January (just in time for my birthday) but forgot to blog about it. It is called Chablis from Rowan’s Parisian Nights book and is knitted in Kidsilk Haze with a bit of Rowan Fine Lace for the lacy stripes. The stripes have beads in them too, which was a new challenge for me. I’d not knitted in beads before. I wasn’t looking forward to threading them all on to start with, but it wasn’t too bad actually and didn’t take as long as I thought. I quite fancy another bead project sometime.
I’ve worn it a few times now. I do wonder if I should have made it a slightly longer, but it’s not too bad really and looks nice with my little cordroy skirt.
(Apologies for the photo – I should have made sure the hem was lying flat)
I kept a knitting project at my fiancé’s house for the weekends that I stay with him. A small sock project would be good, I thought. Little did I know how long it would take me to knit these socks for him. I just don’t do much knitting at his house!
But I finally got these finished and gave them to him at the weekend.
I wasn’t sure I could make them a matching pair, but it turns out I would have had enough yarn to start the second sock at the same point in the pattern repeat. I would also do the toe a bit differently for him. It is a bit pointy.
But they are done, they fit him and he’s now asked for another pair, this time in some chunky wool with a cabled pattern which he can wear as slipper socks!