November 22nd, 2009 - Fiorella

Way back when, sometime in the fall of 2008, I saw an ad for the new Ella Rae book 14. The ad featured Fiorella, and I immediately knew I wanted to make that sweater. The problem was, I had a really hard time finding the pattern book. This past summer when my parents were visiting, we took a little drive to Charlottesville and happened across Needle Lady. Low and behold, tucked away in a corner was the pattern book. A couple months pass, and I have a pretty new sweater.

Pattern: Fiorella from Ella Rae Book 14
Yarn: Cascade 220 in white, 5.3 balls
Needles: US 7 and 8
Modifications: Knit the small, blocked it out to the medium.

I am really pleased with the result, and I have already worn it once. I really like the texture of the honeycomb stitch. Note though if you are going to knit this, that there is an error in the honeycomb pattern instructions.

I didn't want to knit 70 inches of 1x1 ribbing over 9 stitches (ick) for the belt, so I bought a lovely shawl pin from Nicholas and Felice instead.

I am really glad that I did, as I think it really adds something to the sweater. I may still do the belt, but I am going to use a friends knitting machine if I do.

A big thank you goes out to Buxtonborn on Ravelry, who saved my butt when I ran out of yarn with 9.5 rows of the left front ribbing to go. She was kind enough to send me two more balls of the same dyelot, which I promptly used to finish things up.

A comfy sweater I think I will get a lot of use out of.


November 20th, 2009 - A Cutie Birthday

Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments on my quilt. I have decided that I will use it as a wall hanging in my studio for a little while, and then probably put it into regular use. I learned a lot making it, and it is helping with some other quilting projects I am working on.

On the knitting front, my good friend Jenn's little girl M turned 3 last week, and I wanted to make her a little something to celebrate. While M is plenty rough and tumble, she still likes girly things, so I though a little lacy cardi would suit her (it also helped that it was in her Mom's Ravelry queue!)

Pattern: Helena, by Alison Green Will
Yarn: Microspun, 3 balls
Needles: US 5
Size: Modified 4 year old

Modifications: I knit this in a smaller needle size than the pattern called for so that it would be somewhere between the 2 year and 4 year size. I removed two repeats out of the lace part as I knew it was long enough. Instead of doing ties, I did cute little pearl buttons (I did a k2tog and a YO in the front band for each button hole).

While I don't knit with artificial fibres very often, I wanted this to go in the washer and dryer and take the abuse a 3 year old can throw at it. Hopefully it stands the test of time. It's a super soft yarn, so that didn't hurt either. I love the raglan increases as well.

Apparently there was a "squee" when M opened it, and I got a very sweet thank you drawing in return. Both are the perfect kind of thank you.


November 9th, 2009 - Pride

I know it isn't the most endearing characteristic, but I am so darn proud of this quilt.

The top was made for a beginner quilting class that I took at Old Trinity Schoolhouse Quilts taught by the wonderful Carolyn. It was a fantastic class - we learned all kinds of cutting and piecing tips and techniques, lots about batting, binding and backing, and how to make some blocks appear difficult while being extremely easy to make.

I completely fell in love with the idea of doing a high contrast quilt, and I love the fabrics that I found. I went ahead with colours that don't match anything in my house, and I am so glad that I did.

I think what I love best about this quilt though, is the quilting. Can you see the little lotus type flowers in the 9-patch?

The backing shows off the 9-patch quilting well too.

The Variable Star and Ohio Star blocks have a great curly type pattern that looks different in each type of block.

The red strip in the backing really shows off the quilting.

The border has a feather detail, and the sashing repeats the lotus flower theme.

The Flying Geese have a repeating pattern that fits just perfectly in each one.

Laura and I did all the quilting on her Statler Stitcher, which is seriously the most amazing piece of equipment. I can't believe how accurate and detailed everything is. I finished it off with a label made on Laura's embroidery machine,

and a hand sewn binding.

I just can't get over how happy I am with the results of this quilt. It is so much better than I ever expected it to be. Even TJ was totally impressed. The only dilemma I have now is - do I use it as a wall hanging in my studio, which would look gorgeous, or so I use it as a blanket?

I'm beaming.


November 6th, 2009 - Some New Cards

A few new cards to add to the growing list.

I used embossing powder for both of these cards, which is a relatively new thing for me. It's so much fun! I just have to watch though because the heat gun can curl the paper a little. I also have been using my sewing machine on my cards lately.

This one, for my parents anniversary, has a little bit of glitter and sparkle to make it special.

This one went with the "Happy You're Here" quilt from below. I was happy to see I had some paper that matched it so well.

As always, these have been added to this year's gallery.


November 3rd, 2009 - Things in Threes

Babies are one of those things I believe comes in three's. Or pregnancies anyway. In this case there is a bonus baby (twins!).

Pattern: Good Ole Umbilical Hat from Stitch and Bitch
Yarn: Diamond Luxor 100% cotton
Needles: US8

I really like how much sheen this yarn has, and it is totally washable and dryable which I think is important in a baby gift.

I also decided to make a little shrug for the third gift:

Pattern: Confection Baby Shrug
Yarn: Cotton Ease
Needles: US8

Kindly modeled here by my old Cabbage Patch doll Lina.

Super cute, super easy pattern. And as always, I love the detail on the raglan.

Hopefully the recipients like them as well. Now, onto some more adult sized projects.



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