WIP Wednesday – On My Needles

Right now I have a couple of fun things on my needles.  First is my Love of Spiders shawl, which is from a pattern by Melanie Berg, using custom dyed Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock … all in fun kits from Little Skein in the Big Wool. I am absolutely obsessed with this shawl and how deceptively easy the slipped stitch pattern is.

Spider WIP 3

Even though this is not a difficult shawl, I do have to refer to the pattern and pay attention to what I’m doing.  When I’m on the go or don’t feel like concentrating, I’ve been working on my Garter Goodness, which is another shawl by westknits.

GG First Color 1

This is a simple garter stitch pattern with yarn over increases separating the sections.  The real fun in this shawl is adding color after color and seeing how well they play together.  It is also absolutely HUGE.

GG Third Color 1

It’s nice to have a project to suit every mood!

Raveling here and here.

Sunday Stash No. 25

My favorite Houston yarn shop closed last year, so I’ve been trying to find a replacement, but the only other shops are in the suburbs.  I had a little time this past weekend, so I took a little trip west of town to Yarntopia.

Sweet Georgia Deep Cove 3

While the shop was quite small, it was packed full of familiar yarns, such as Malabrigo and Manos del Uruguay.

Sweet Georgia Deep Cove 1

One of the best parts of going to your LYS is getting to feel the yarn and discovering something new.  For that reason, I picked out two skeins of Sweet Georgia Trinity Worsted.  I had heard the name floating around, but hadn’t yet seen or purchased any.

Sweet Georgia Deep Cove 4

This particular yarn is a blend of merino, cashmere and silk, so it’s basically irresistible once it’s in your hands.  And the color is absolutely amazing in person, a lovely mix of blues and greens.

Sweet Georgia Deep Cove 2

The photos don’t do the color justice!  Now I’m on the hunt for just the right project for this special yarn.

Stashed here.

{Finished} Baby Bear Hat

Recently, my go-to baby gift has been a hat paired with a onesie.  I made this cute baby bear hat for my cousin who was having her third baby right before Christmas.

Baby Bear Hat

Since the baby’s gender was a surprise, I had a hard time auditioning yarn.  Then I decided to combine a bulky yarn with a fingering weight yarn to create this marled look.  I think it matches the woodland creatures on the onesie perfectly.  And trust me, he looked adorable in it over the holidays!

Baby Bear Hat 2

This was also the first time I tried the magic loop method.  I am a convert – it is great for small, circular projects and avoiding DPNs.

Baby Bear Hat 3

Onesie from Janie and Jack.

Raveled here.

{Finished} The Doodler

Hello, 2016!  It seems I entirely missed 2015 on the blog, but here’s a quick recap: it was all about knitting.  I decided to learn just before the start of the year and it has quickly taken over for me.  I’ve made several baby hats and cowls, but the project I am most proud of is my Doodler.

2016 01 - Final Doodler 1

The Doodler was Westknits2015 Mystery Knit Along.  That means that, other than suggestions about yarn weights and color schemes, we were totally in the dark about what we were making.  I decided to do it because I really wanted to learn more complicated techniques and challenge myself.

 

2016 01 - Doodler Progress 1

You can imagine that I felt quite challenged indeed when this tiny little wing is what I started knitting after following the instructions for Clue 1. Mind. Blown.

2016 01 - Doodler Progress 2

It had quickly grown into a very large wing by the time we were done with Clue 1!  Clue 2 was a jump headfirst into cables – something I probably would have been very scared to try, but were actually not that complicated.

2016 01 - Doodler Progress 3

At this point I was actually quite stumped – the project was completely off the needles!  But Clue 3 had us pick up the I-Cord along the wing and do a series of increases and decreases to form a wavy border.

2016 01 - Doodler Progress 4

Clue 4 gave us a lot of options, but in the end I chose the simplest and finished off with a contrasting I-Cord, which I thought was best for my (relatively neutral) color scheme.  If I did this shawl again, I would choose punchier colors, add contrasting stripes to the wavy border and pick one of the more complex bind offs, just to make it different from what I have already done.

2016 01 - Final Doodler 3

Even though it was a “mystery,” doing this KAL was a great way to learn because there were a lot of experienced knitters helping in the Ravelry group.  As of right now, 3,398 Ravelers are making this shawl!

2016 01 - Final Doodler 2

This project was a lot of work (and crying and ripping back), but it taught me that I can follow a pattern (even when I don’t fully understand it), that I can do short rows, yarn overs, seamless I-Cord, cable, pick up stitches and fix my mistakes.  Needless to say it was a big boost to my knitting self-esteem and I am really stunned by the finished product.

2016 01 - Final Doodler 4

I’m also thrilled with my color combination.  Despite all the craziness going on in this shawl, it’s actually pretty wearable and I’ve already worn it – to work!

2016 01 - Final Doodler 5

Raveled here.

HMQG Traveling Scrap Jar

Someone in HMQG recently had the good sense to stuff a commercial sized mayonnaise jar full of scraps and give it – and an item made from the fabric – away at the meeting as a door prize.  Then the winner brings a finished item the next month.

Scrap Jar Swap_01

I won this adorable mini Swoon from Katie, who is new to quilting and already so good, and I made this mini scrap vomit.

Scrap Jar Swap_02

I love the back of my mini, too.

Scrap Jar Swap_03

Can’t wait to find out who won as I couldn’t go to the meeting!

{Finished} HMQG Row Robin

One of the first swaps/challenges we did for HMQG was a row robin.  Each of us started a row and then passed the quilt around the guild for members to make a coordinating row.

HMQG Row Robin_18

My row is the top, then we have Fi, Sean, Bry, Liz, Amy, Jen and Beth — with a little Coco mixed in!

HMQG Row Robin_05

I asked for red and aqua star/pinwheel blocks and some kind of symmetry in the row.

HMQG Row Robin_08

I love what people came up with!

HMQG Row Robin_09

It had been so long since I’d pulled out the rows that I had almost forgotten who did which row, so I asked Pam to quilt our names into it!  Do you see Amy?

HMQG Row Robin_10

And Beth?

HMQG Row Robin_11

As always, Pam did an incredible job on the quilting.  I asked her to do these cool hook flowers that she did on a quilt for Patty for her market booth.

HMQG Row Robin_19

We backed it in a grey she had on hand and she quilted it with a really subtle light grey thread.  She also used a wool batting, so the quilting really pops!

HMQG Row Robin_13

Most of the binding is the red bias stripe from April Showers, but I also tossed in a corner of aqua pindots — also a Bonnie & Camille!

HMQG Row Robin_14

It’s kind of like candy!

HMQG Row Robin_02

This quilt ended up really narrow and long — about 70″ x 120″ so I think it will be perfect for sharing on the couch.

HMQG Row Robin_12

So glad one of my oldest WIPs is done — I can’t wait to use it!

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Linking to Finish it Up Friday!

{Finished} Sherbet Pips Apple Core Quilt

This is a long post about a quilt that truly only came about thanks to Instagram and my fun friends there.

Apple Core Quilt_05

110 weeks ago I posted a gender neutral fabric bundle  and asked for suggestions for a suitable pattern. Michonne suggested Christina’s Retro Flowers Pattern and Katy immediately agreed.

Apple Core Quilt_06

I was a little intimidated of the curved piecing, so I immediately ran to Joann to see if I could find a drunkard’s path ruler.

Apple Core Quilt_07

They didn’t have one and, in my excitement, I came home with an apple core ruler instead and immediately cut up a Sherbet Pips Charm Pack.

Apple Core Quilt_09

If you have more common sense than I did at the time you may be thinking to yourself that with a drunkard’s path block you sew one curve and then revert to straight lines, whereas an apple core quilt just becomes an unmanageable mess of undulating and never ending curves, so why practice the easier one with the harder?

Apple Core Quilt_10

And you would be right.

Apple Core Quilt_11

As soon as I started piecing I realized that I had created a monster for myself, but not only did I move forward — I decided to make the piece larger.

Apple Core Quilt_12

In order to do that, I tried to purchase an additional charm pack from Amanda, who didn’t have one in stock and instead sent me one from her stash!  So now not only had I been challenged by two IG friends, I’d basically stolen fabric from another.  I had to finish this quilt and it had to be super cute.

Apple Core Quilt_13

I made it as big as I could with the two charm packs, added a couple of borders (which I never do) using white and the extra charm pack pieces, made a super cute backing and then I debated how to quilt it.

Apple Core Quilt_14

I actually started quilting it, but it didn’t quite seem right so it sat basted for two years.

Apple Core Quilt_15

I pulled it out recently thinking I was halfway done with the quilting. When I realized that I had only done one line half the length of the quilt, I emailed Pam and asked her to longarm it.

Apple Core Quilt_16

Guys, I will never let something linger when instead it could be longarmed!  Having this quilt done is the best!

Apple Core Quilt_18

Pam quilted it with a pink, variegated Aurifil thread.  We chose hook flowers in the apple core section…

Apple Core Quilt_19

… and feathers, scallops and loops in the various borders.

Apple Core Quilt_24

Instead of sitting in the to-be-quilted pile, this is now in the to-be-enjoyed pile!

Apple Core Quilt_26

Thanks to my friends for the encouragement and inspiration!

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Linking to Finish it Up Friday!