Thursday, July 11, 2019


If I knew how to add audio to my posts, you would have that Animotion song in your head for the rest of the day. Oops I looked up a link and now it is in my head. Click this link if you're curious, but at your own peril.

I currently have two crafty obsessions. I recently wrote about one--the bright stars on black quilt. I have finished quilting all 18 of the centre stars. While working on them, it became obvious that I would have to stitch around the border stars as well.

Outlining the outside seemed obvious, but I wasn't sure what to do in the centre square. I drew an eight-pointed star in the same shape as the centre stars, but it was too complicated. Then I tried a square
and an eight-pointed star which matches the border stars instead of the centre ones.
I went ahead and stitched them. I was impatient to stitch and wanted to see what it would really look like--not just a drawing. I put both examples on Insta for an informal poll and the general consensus agreed with my eventual conclusion--the simple square was best.

But no, I didn't bother to take out the stitched star. I left it. Since then I have stitched the stars along two and half sides and have added a few different centres here and there. Mostly different star shapes.

It's been fun choosing floss to match the stars. I've taken to choosing for a whole side at once while the floss is out. Then I can put it all away for a while.
This project has taken over my couch, coffee table and two side tables (one holds supplies and the other supports the quilt in front of me). These little stars are so addictive. They don't take long and I am compelled to start the next one once one is finished.

Before this quilt, I was obsessed with a knitting project. I had it with me yesterday for a car ride and it's just as compelling despite my quilting break. I'm working on the Boxy Tee from this year's Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting. You can see a picture here with my first two swatches:
It's made with two strands held together. You start with two of the same colour and then switch out one strand for another colour. Then after a few rows, you work with two strands of the second colour. Et cetera. This gives a quick and dirty blend from one colour to the next. If you chose two similar colours (like the pink and peach in the magazine picture above) the blend is more subtle.

Most of why I love this design is the colours they used but I wasn't going to buy the yarn for this project. I have lots of lace weight yarn ravelled from sweaters and left over from other projects and wanted to see what I could do with my existing stash. Above you can see my first two swatches. The yarns were too thick in the top one so I rejected those. A few in the second one were acceptable but some didn't work because of their fibre content.

I narrowed to the yarns that would work and did a swatch to find the right needle size.
I was still on the fence about whether the project was worth doing--would I wear it once it was done? I didn't really think so. But I continued because I still wanted to pursue the experiment. I calculated yardage and assigned colours to the pattern's A, B, C, and D designations. This was my first start:
I didn't like it. The colours weren't really blending. It would look better from a distance (how most people would see a shirt I'm wearing, after all) but I didn't like it so I took it out.

New plan. I narrowed the colours further and put them in an order I thought would aid the blending:
and started again.
I didn't like the way the pattern blended the colours, so I tried a different blend pattern from the pink to the blue, and a third blend from light blue to dark blue. I didn't like the blue blend, so I took it out and did it again like the pink/blue blend.
I wanted a variety in the blends so I wrote up ways to do it over 30 rows, 26 rows and 19 rows. I then wrote up a whole new stripe/blend pattern for each piece, how many rows to do of each colour and which blend pattern to use from each colour to the next.
This is the first piece, the right side of the back. I still wasn't sure if this would be a wearable piece, but I knew there was no stopping now.

In the second piece (left back), I switched the starting point in the colour sequence and added a pop of lime:
When they're sewn together, it will look something like this:
When I took these pictures, I was this far on the third piece (right front):
but by this writing, I'm almost done this piece too. For this one, I switched up the colour sequence (a little).

By now I know I'm going to finish the piece and even if I don't like how it looks on me, I'll wear it. The cashmere, wool, and silk of these yarns are making a wonderful light fluffy magical fabric. It will be a dream to wear.

One thing these projects have in common is changing colours over the piece. This is a big reason why it's so compelling. Everyone knows a striped garment is faster to knit than a solid one. You push yourself to finish and/or start the next stripe and before you know it, you've knit a whole lot.

May I suggest?

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I Say! or at least I did once...