Thursday, December 31, 2020

Projects Completed in 2020

In order of completion. Click text for related blog posts.

Old Kentucky Quilt remake

Plaidish Quilt

Mug Rug

Sock Dash socks

Summer Dreams top

Circular Knitting Needle case

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall Footwear

It may be "sweater weather" (it is!!), but fall also means it's time to pull out those warm knitted socks. Especially those I haven't had a chance to wear yet!!

My sock production has dropped a lot for a lot of reasons, and I have been plugging along on these socks since last November. But here is proof that if you keep plugging, eventually you get done:
These socks were made from a ball of Cherry Tree Hill Yarn Supersock DK
I got at a resale back in 2015 for $10. At the time, that was about half of what a new ball of sock yarn would cost. It was later identified as the colorway African Grey. (Thank you, Ravelry! Knowing the color name doesn't at all change the yarn or how much I like it, but I still love to know!)

You can see it sat in my stash for a while and I think I picked it up because I needed something to take on the go and this ball was easy and available.

It's a weird combinations of colours and I was hoping the colour runs were a little longer, but no matter. I used a slip stitch pattern to break up the variegation, but it turns out the colour runs were so short that they wouldn't have pooled like most variegated yarns do.
On the right is the bottom of the sock where I didn't do the pattern and you can see the stripes. On the left is the slip stitch pattern (every fourth row: K2, bring yarn to the front, slip 2, move yarn back; repeat). Turns out I actually like the stripes better! But again, no matter.

I knit them toe up making up the pattern on the fly. I made a gusset of increases every other row for a total of 24 stitches.
I did a short-row heel turn and heel flap in stocking stitch. Continued the slip stitch pattern all around the leg, and finished with a 2x2 rib with Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.
I finished the knitting in June. I blocked them sometime in August. And now I got to the pictures in September. Once again, plugging along gets it some point.

I've been looking at these socks hanging on the blockers for the last month or more wondering if I really need another pair of socks. But when the first chilly day came along last week, I slipped them on with pleasure! :)

Project Stats
Started: 3 Nov '19
Finished: 16 Jun '20
Pattern: of my own making: slip stitch pattern, toe up, short row toe, gusset, heel flap, 2x2 rib
Materials: Cherry Tree Hill Yarn Supersock DK (African Grey), 78 g ($10)
Ravelry project page: link

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Summer Dreams Top: Some Crochet Fun

I've been following more crochet accounts on Instagram and when I saw the Summer Dreams Tops come up on the designer designsbykey's feed, I loved it right away!

I pulled out some raveled yarn that I had and started swatching. The first swatch on the left below was with a 2-ply raw silk. I got gauge but I didn't like the feel of the fabric. Working with two strands that weren't spun together made it difficult too.

So I added a wool/angora blend and worked with both yarns at once. That swatch is on the right.
It also got gauge but the fabric was a lot better in the hand. And I thought the pattern would show up better with a denser fabric. And, believe it or not, adding two loose strands of wool/angora made it easier to work with. I guess the wool helps to keep all the strands together.

This is really the only in-progress photo I have:
It was taken the day after I started the project. The project was a good combination of mindless and interesting, not over too fast but not taking too long.

After the main body was knit, I blocked it before seaming.
Blocking first makes it easier to seam. Since I don't do a lot of crochet, I figured I should make it as easy as I could on myself!

Once seamed, you add a few rows of single crochet for the waistband:
And some more single crochet around the neck to support the edges of the wide opening:
The sleeves didn't need any extra trimming as they ended with two rows of half-double crochet.
And here's an overall view:
It has huge wide sleeves and I love them.
The combination of wool blend with a holey fabric is good for warm weather. (Maybe not hot weather!)
It's a simple shape that makes a fantastic garment.
This piece is made with "regular" crochet stitches that even a beginner crocheter should know. I did learn a new trick with the cast on--the Foundation Half Double Crochet. You form the stitches as you go instead of making a billion chain stitches and trying to stitch into them for the first row.
The pattern should come with a warning though: door knobs, drawer pulls, and handles are hazardous to your health, liable to catch in a hole and stop you short!!
The structure of the garment isn't really obvious during normal postures; it just looks like a loose flowy garment. I do like how it hugs at the waist. I feel like it gives the garment structure and keeps it from wearing like a big cape.

Project Stats
: 3 Aug '20
Finished: 12 Aug '20
Pattern: Summer Dreams Top by Designs by Key [These two are Rav links.]
Materials: Silk raveled from a VJ Petites sweater, 253g/968y, and wool/angora blend from a MC Carroll sweater, 195g/956y, held together throughout.
Ravelry project page: link

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Plaidish Quilt has been Finished; Now Blogged

If you're keeping track, you'll know I titled my May 22 post "Close to a Finish" and then never mentioned the project again!

Well, I did finished the project soon after, and even took pictures. But then, you know, life.

So without any further delay, here is my finished Plaidish quilt:
Final measurements are 62x79".

The simple quilting follows the piecing and gives a good texture without competing with the design.
It's kind of the obvious choice, but it works.
A couple more shots from when it was hanging:

I've mentioned that the binding was a juvenile novelty print but it was so narrow, you can hardly tell.

I'll repeat myself by saying again how much fun this pattern was. Give it a try! (Details and link below.)
The pattern has stuck in my head and I often think about how to do a one or three colour version. It's fun to see different versions pop up on Instagram. (Check out #plaidishquilt.)

Here's a picture of the quilt on my (queen size) bed:
It generously covers the top, but isn't wide enough to hang over the edge.

Project summary
Started: July 30, 2019
Finished: May 24, 2020
Size: 62"x79"
Almost 100% scraps with a few pieces from fat quarters.
Cotton batting.
Walking foot quilting on my Viking Sapphire.
All blog posts about this quilt: link

Saturday, August 29, 2020


I've written about doing the calligraphy drills with the Happy Ever Crafter in January. Since then I have continued to follow her and some other lettering accounts and try out some projects of my own.

Here was a card I sent to a friend.
We were having a conversation about looking back and seeing all the things you could have done better. But isn't that just a sign that you are not that person anymore? The card itself was blank except for the bird printed on it. I bought a set with the bird in four or five colours and really like them.

I came across this verse in some reading and it struck me as a good verse to put on a card to hang.
Obviously, I'm still learning, but I did like the was the word "God" came out!

I also have been doing envelopes. I started with simple calligraphy on the name and a fun font for the address. I hadn't learned any capital letters, so the first way I stepped up my game was to fancify the first letters of the names.

Then I tried bounce lettering:
I can't say I'm a fan (or very good at it!)

Then I started trying to add some flourishes.
And look! Capital letters!!
I downloaded the free "majuscule" sample sheet from the Happy Ever Crafter and tried some capital letters following her examples.

Then add some more flourishes:
A bit much maybe?

I liked the following composition better. I liked how the flourishes joined different letters.
I mean, the "y" into the "x" into the "t" -- brilliant, right?

I continue to do the banner style. I like this too.
I started to add a "please deliver to" line for fun.

But then sometimes I ran out of room!
So I had to put the zipcode on the bottom end.

Following more examples on Instagram, I created this composition:
This design inspired by the Happy Ever Crafter's
holiday wreath examples on her Dec 9, 2019 post.
and then this one:
I had a lot of fun doing those. I do the whole thing in pencil first so there's no commitment! Then it's just a matter of drawing on the lines.

And sometimes something like this happens:
to keep me humble!! :)

I also played with some floral letter forms:
The flower itself was drawn after the example in a tutorial guessed it...the Happy Ever Crafter.
For the first one, I did it completely in pencil and then traced it. After that I was a braver and did it straight in marker. At first the flowers and the leaves were done with the same size marker, and later I did the flowers in the small marker and the leaves with the extra-small marker. For all of these, I printed the letter on paper, put it under the page I was working on, and then used the shape that showed through to tell me where I could and couldn't draw. This gets pretty zen.

Also, I put my initials on all of them. Can you find them?!

And finally, I recently sent birthday cards to triplets, and of course I couldn't make all their envelopes the same!

A slanted banner:
I ran out of room on the top for the "please" and was feeling bad. Then I realized I could put it on the bottom. Problem solved!

Some calligraphy and a larger font for the address:
I have to say capital "F"s and "T"s have been my nemesis. I have never liked them and certainly never liked how they turned out when I tried them. I studied some of the samples in the free sample book linked above and was able to pull these off. Not bad.

And finally:
I saw another example on Instagram with the address fit into the inside circle of the wreath and had to try it. I was slightly worried that this would come back for extra postage because it needed to be hand cancelled or that it would be delayed, but it went through just fine. Yay, USPS!

May I suggest?

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