Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chemistry quilt part 7


I have a long way to go, but this is the easiest part.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chemistry Quilt Part 6

No pix.   I was in a hurry last night, and the quilting doesn't show well on the aqua, anyway.  I cut the binding last night--I'll be folding, ironing, and attaching it tonight!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chemistry Quilt Part 5

I got a quarter of the aqua quilted!

It's hard to see--you can actually see it better here than in real life.  I guess I matched the thread well enough.

I got an invitation to her baby shower last night.  I'm not going because we live in different states, but now I know what the craft project is supposed to be and where she's registered so I can send a decoy gift.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chemistry Quilt Part 4

Okay, all of the squares are quilted.  I have to do the aqua parts, which should be simpler since I won't have to start and stop and turn the quilt so much.  And then bind it!  And mail it!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Chemistry Quilt Part 3

I got all the blocks assembled!

It's hard to tell the scale here.  It's big.  Not T-shirt quilt big, but between a normal lap quilt and a twin.  The blocks are fifteen inches across (three five-inch squares).

I have a little bit of aqua left and I feel like it needs a narrow border.  I'm not wild about leaving the half-blocks floating in aqua, but I also think it feels a little crowded and off-scale.  I can't do much--a couple of inches--without buying more aqua, which I don't want to do as I have way too much scrap fabric already.

I don't know.  I guess I'll go home and cut a strip tonight to stick up there and see how it looks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chemistry Quilt Part 2

I went to three or four different shops (OK, all the shops in my area) on Saturday looking for counterpane fabric for the chemistry quilt.  Too blue, too green, too pale, too intense, too dark, too bright, too busy, too organic, etc.  None of them worked.  I finally went to the other Hancock's in Conroe, which sometimes has a better selection than the one nearer to me, and they had a nice aqua with wobbly pinstripes.  It's not what I had hoped for, but if you don't see the ideal I had in my head, it looks good.  I was hoping for tone-on-tone squares or baby blocks or something more crystalline, but . . . whatever.  The color is dead-on and it's at least not a plain solid.

Going together quickly:

Sorry, the design wall is in the upstairs hallway so I can't take a good straight-on picture.  I'll have to do that on the clothesline or something when I have the top all sewn together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lap, formerly baby, quilt

This was going to be a baby quilt for a friend but, of course, it will be too big.  You get more use out of lap quilts, anyway, right? 

Mom teaches chemistry.

I haven't chosen the counterpane fabric yet.  I originally thought Creamsicle orange but might lean toward aqua.  Probably a tone-on-tone print since the blocks are big (the finished nine patches are 15 inches square)--that much solid color would be pretty boring.

Christmas gift reveal!

At long last!

The Godzilla of T-shirt quilts (seriously, it's over 100 x 100.  It's huge):

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas gift - death by anticipation

OMG the neverending Christmas gift ended last night but we haven't actually done Christmas yet.  Futhermore, my brother and SIL are supposed to be flying in from the upper Midwest, so who knows.  We might end up doing Christmas at Easter at this rate.

Up next is a baby quilt for a friend.  At least I can post pictures of that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Basic mitts knitting pattern

I think I finally have this worked out.

            You can get two pairs out of a skein of Patons Classic Wool (210 yards/100 grams per skein) if you make the cuffs a little short.  This is a great project for using up scrap yarn as long as it’s all the same gauge.

Yarn: Any Aran-weight (worsted weight, #4) yarn.
Needles: US2 and/or US3 double-points, four of each.  This makes a snug mitt with a tight fabric.  If you’d like a looser, stretchier, knit, use US3 and/or US4 needles.  The smaller needle size is optional if you want it for the ribbing, but it’s not necessary.

Size extra-small/small/medium/large/extra-large:
            Using either set of needles, cast on 28/32/36/40/44 stitches, using a long-tail cast on or any cast on with a similar degree of elasticity. 
Divide among three needles: 10-10-8/10-10-12/12-12-12/14-12-14/14-14-16

            Knit in 2/2 rib for 15/15/20/20/25 rows, or however long you want the cuff to be.  The cuff will come up to the heel of the hand.  Extra-small sizes might want to use a 1/1 rib for better snugness.

            If you knit the ribbing on the smaller needles, switch to the larger needles for the body of the mitt (if you knit the ribbing on your larger needles, just keep going).

            Knit all (stockinette) for 4/5/5/6/6 rounds.

 Begin increase rounds:
            First increase:
Round 1:
            Needle 1: Knit to last two stitches, knit 1 front and back, place marker, knit 1
            Needle 2: Knit to last stitch, place marker, knit 1 front and back
            Needle 3: Knit all
Round 2: Knit all

            All subsequent increases:
Round 1:
            Needle 1: Knit to last stitch before marker, knit 1 front and back, slip marker, knit 1
            Needle 2: Knit to marker, slip marker, knit 1 front and back, knit to end of needle
            Needle 3: Knit all
Round 2: Knit all

            Repeat these two rounds 5/6/6/7/7 times, totaling 38/44/48/54/58 stitches on the three needles.  You should still have 8/12/12/14/16 stitches on Needle 3.

            On the next round after the last Round 2, knit to the marker, remove the marker, and place the next 10/10/12/12/14 stitches on waste yarn (that is, the yarn between the two stitch markers).  These will become the thumb.  Join the mitt back into a round after you remove the second marker by drawing the active yarn (the yarn leading to the skein) tightly across, bypassing the stitches you set aside for the thumb, to close the gap, and then continuing to knit the rest of the round. 
            There will now be 28/32/36/40/44 stitches on your needles, just like there were when you started.  Redistribute them among the needles so that they are in the starting format, or at least about even, for ease of knitting.
            Knit all for 8/9/10/11/12 rounds, or until the mitt is about an inch shorter than you want.  This part doesn’t need to be precise; how long you make them is up to you.  You will want to keep track of how many rounds you knit, though, so you can make the second mitt to match.
            Change back to US2 needles and knit in 2/2 rib (or 1/1 if you were using that) for 8/9/10/11/12 rounds, or until the ribbing is as wide as you want.  Bind off using Jeni’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which can be found in demonstrations on YouTube.  If you can’t find it: Knit 1, wrap the yarn over the needle from back to front (moving the yarn towards you over the top of the needle; this is an inverted yarn-over); knit 1, then pass both the yarn-over and the first stitch over the second stitch.  Inverted yarn-over, knit 1, pass yarn-over and previous stitch over, etc.  I hope that made sense!

For the thumb:
            Knit the stitches on the waste yarn back onto your US3 needles.  Pick up a minimum of 6/6/4/6/6 stitches across the gap where you joined the hand back into a round, totaling 16/16/16/20/20 stitches for the thumb.  If you need to pick up more stitches to prevent gaping, do so but then knit two together in the crotch between the hand and the thumb as many times as needed to achieve the stitch totals given above.  You need a stitch total that is divisible by 4 so that the 2/2 ribbing will work, and you need to take up enough stitches so that the thumb isn’t too big. 
            Distribute stitches among three needles and knit all for 5 rounds, or as long as you wish (small sizes might want 4, larger sizes might want 6, etc.  It depends on how much of your thumb you want covered.  (Five rounds plus the ribbing below falls just below the middle joint of my thumb in a size medium mitt.)  Change to smaller needles if you’re using them and knit in rib for 5/6/6/7/7 rounds, or until the thumb ribbing is as wide as you want.  Bind off.  Do not use the Surprisingly Stretchy bind-off as it is not needed here and will make the thumb opening too large.

            Weave in the ends.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas, ongoing

Still working on the top-secret Christmas gift.  I have a lot of vacation time stacked up so I'm actually taking days off of work to work on this.  I got a lot done this weekend--the hardest part is almost finished--but still have a long way to go.  I'm going to Austin next weekend to see the Bottle Rockets, too, which will cut into my sewing time, but they don't come to Texas much so . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part VI Final thoughts

Pix later.

So I could get way too used to this dress.  How old is too old to dress like Holly Hobbie?  Can I pull it off a little longer if I mix in at least a few subtle prints?

1) The yoke is technically my size but feels a big large.  The measurements were on the fence so I went ahead and graded up because so many of these 1970's patterns are tight through the shoulders.  I can go back and grade down again.  And close up the neck a little bit.

2) Need darts in the back of the neck.

3) I need to go back and put one more hook and eye in the back yoke. 

4) It could be shorter.  I may not shorten this one, but just as a general thing, it would look OK shorter.

All easy things to change, though, for the next time around.  It looks a lot better than the green dress.  It's much less baggy.  Kind of a neo-Edwardian tea gown.

Monday, November 23, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part V


This dress took me forever!

I went with hooks and eyes in the back in the hope they would snag on my hair less than buttons do:

 . . . and closed:

It doesn't look like much without a body.  New pix later:

Monday, November 16, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part IV

I finally made some progress yesterday!  I still don't have it done, but I'm closer.

I got the waist tabs on.  This will be a pullover dress with a bisected waistband that buttons at the sides.

(This is the back.  It will have hooks and eyes in the back yoke.)

And I got the flounce on  I still need to bind the flounce seam, but that doesn't take long:

So . . . sleeves, flounce seam, seam finishes, hooks and eyes.

Monday, November 9, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part III

This is taking me forever!

Hemming the flounce.  Finally.  I trimmed the binding on the lace out after I sewed it in but before I finished off the bias tape, to reduce bulk and make it less stiff.  I hope the lace doesn't pull out--we'll see.  This dress is taking me way too long for such a simple project.

I got very little done this weekend.  Saturday, I went to the second annual Festival of Texas Fiddling at Burton.  Well, sort of at Burton--at the La Bahia Turn Verein on 237, just off of 290.  It rained all morning, though, and then it was cold.  I hope they got enough of a turn-out that they can do it again next year because the musicians were terrific.

Flickr set. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

American Pharoah

Charlotte's had a sale this weekend so I got my annual horsey Christmas ornament.  This year was all about American Pharoah: Ornament, Stablemate, and Trad model.

They must have just gotten the Pharoah stuff in because they had six or eight Trad models and a big pile of Stablemates and ornaments.  It was a busy weekend, too.

I haven't settled on a name for this guy yet.  It kind of depends on whether or not I make him a son or grandson (through Firebird) of Rob Roy, I guess, or find an outside pedigree for him.  I think all my bay Thoroughbreds are a bit too related.

I need to take a picture, but I got the buckskin jumping pony, too.  They're calling it a Connemara but it definitely isn't.  Mine will probably end up being a mixed sport pony.  Somebody suggested Gotland but I don't think he's substantial enough, and he doesn't really look like a Welsh B.  I wish they would use that dappled buckskin paint job on a bunch of other models, though; he's gorgeous.

Monday, October 26, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part II

Okay, back to work on this.  I'm actually a bit surprised to see that I started it this month and not last--I'm not quite as far behind as I thought I was. 

I cut all the pieces last night except for the sleeves, which have classic giant, overly-tall Seventies puff caps that I won't be using.  I was dreading futzing with those but then I realized I can probably use the sleeves I already re-drew for the green dress instead. 

I have literally just scraps left.  It took all four yards and I had to shorten the body pieces by 3 1/2 inches to get them onto the fabric. 

Gothic quarter-circle skirt, done


This wasn't difficult as a concept but it was a ton of work, physically.  It turns out that the sweep on this is about 3 1/2 yards, which sounds OK until you have to pleat seven yards of ruffle onto it.  I'm embarrassed to admit how exhausting that was.

It's heavy, too, but I think it would do any gothic Lolita proud:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gothic quarter-circle skirt

The black lace for the prairie dress is supposed to be delivered today.  Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I started another quarter-circle skirt.  I originally meant for this to be a regular dirndl and the curved pieces and hem flounce mean I need to go get another piece of fabric to cut the last quarter of the skirt and a few more strips for the ruffle.  It's Moda Morris Apprentice Art Nouveau print in gray and black:

With some black lace I got secondhand (I think.  I might have to use the other lace if there isn't enough of this):

Mispickel was impossible last night.  She's not actually sleeping here.  She was doing the mullet cat: Innocently "asleep" in front, tail twitching furiously in back.

I made the waistband lining and will make the pockets out of solid black to save scrap for the black quilt: