In May I was able to take a class from Carolyn Friedlander about [foundation] paper piecing at Modern Domestic. The pattern/project for class was Carolyn’s Aerial quilt pattern. As written it can be a table topper, a wall hanging, a throw or a full/queen bed quilt. I love when pattern writers take the time to give us multiple quilt sizes (and their yardage requirements). The class happened the day after I got back in town from a week+ trip. Before the trip I pulled some fabric possibilities, but I forgot to finalize my decision until I arrived home the night before class (I left myself no time to start second guess, or shop obsessively for the “perfect” pieces). With my sister’s help I settled on the blue & grey selection and I love every piece that I choose (most purchased just because). I even tossed in a couple “my precious” pieces.
I did a couple b&w shots to help me with value variation and started piecing. I think I finished two blocks during class.
The week after class I was super excited about the project and worked on a block a night for a few nights. Then I had 5 out of the 6 blocks needed and it languished. I finished that 6th block over the weekend. But I’m not sure it should be a wall hanging anymore.
Should it be a table runner for my new rectangular table?
A wall hanging? Or should I make 30 more blocks so it can be a throw? Do I attempt to bed-size it?
I never bought the border fabric, so while that is an undecided factor, it opens up possibilities instead of limiting them due to fabric quantity. I estimate that if I cut up the rest of the fabric (I cut one to two strips from each print initially) I need about one more yard to have enough for 30 more blocks. But I found that last block sort of tedious to make (there is one seam I find myself ripping and redoing 2-3 times per block). What if I hate making them after a few more blocks? Does it really work for my house? Do I just want to be done with the project? What sort of end project will I find most functional in my home?
On my cutting table: a stack of fabrics waiting to be turned into a quilt-back, a yellow skirt waiting to be hemmed and a grey skirt waiting to be put back together. Both skirts hit my crafty to-do list back in January, but with Me-Made-May 2013 just around the corner (which I haven’t actually signed up for yet) I’m feeling a crunch.
Perfect is the enemy of done. Done is better than perfect. Except most of the time when I try to remind myself of this fact, I transpose the two words and say to myself, “perfect is better than done.” Seriously, nine times out of ten. I try to think of this often as I set about quilting (maybe an odd choice, since sometimes quilting seems so focused on perfect 1/4″ seams and perfect points and corners) so when I was reading over the PMQG Madrona Road challenge, incorporate a word into your quilt, this idea of imperfection came to me. I don’t play with letters much in quilting; but I settled on imperfect for my word. I sketched a few things out (all too literal) but then got the itch to make Tula Pink’s raindrop quilt from her new book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.
Well, except for the fact that I had 7 fat eights, so clearly I wasn’t getting a whole quilt. And then there was the tricky matter of bad formatting in the e-book that I had borrowed from the library, the list of fabric amounts and fabric cuts had some sort of bug, causing the numbers with fractions to be smushed together. I could have converted from the given metric measurements but I had another idea. Imperfect. Following the basic construction I decided that I would work on being imperfect in my quilting. Not quite improv, but close.
And so I started cutting rectangles. I wasn’t ready to abandon my rotary cutter and ruler, but I did not measure, simply used the guides to keep things square (baby steps). I placed those rectangles on my small design wall.
And then I realized that I only had 1 yard of grey for my background – so I had to think smaller. I settled on one raindrop out of each fabric.
There was a moment of crazy, when I thought 1″ squares were a good idea (I sewed two and then realized my error, so those tiny grey bits have gone to the scrap bin – ignore the crazy of keeping 1″ squares of fabric).
And eventually I got stuck. The puddles (not part of the original inspiration piece but I had these thin strips of fabric and puddles seemed appropriate) were proving a little troublesome. I’ve messed with them a little more since this photo, but nothing has struck me as right.
And so it sits – for the past week. Which wouldn’t be too bad, but I feel like I can’t work on other projects until I get this top done. Oh, and there is that little thing called a deadline if I want to enter it in the larger Modern Quilt Guild’s Madrona Road challenge. I need to refocus on my word, imperfect, and get a move on it.
Lovely lighting in my home around 5 pm yesterday… I finally spent some quality time with my blackberry cozy sweater. I’ve been stuck on this sleeve since December, mostly because I refocused on a making christmas gifts.
First I knit a couple of inches and discovered that my new skein was visibly different. So I ripped that out as well as a few inches of the body of the sweater. I restarted the sleeve alternating rounds with the body yarn and the new skein. The color has been fixed but around 4 inches in I realize that my gauge has changed (from 4.33 sts/inch to 4.5 sts/inch). I decided to plod on anyway and cross my fingers that it will wash out. Yesterday I finally made it through all of my decreases and a good bit of the ‘work plain’ portion of the sleeve. Only today I count my stitches before starting my decreases for the ribbed cuff and discover my stitch count is off. Now I’m very tempted to rip the whole sleeve and try again. But I also really thought I’d be wearing this sweater by now and I’m not ready to stomach that sort of set back.
This poor crochet blanket keeps getting put on the back burner. Yesterday I wrongly thought that I’ve shared all of my WIPs.
I started this back in 2005, put it down for two years, made a few more squares in 2007 and finally finished the squares in 2011. Then I realized that my gauge changed (or maybe I picked up the wrong hook during my push to finish the last of the squares). I also missed one square and duplicated another.
At first these mistakes got me down, but then I realized, the intended baby just turned six and her sister is two, maybe two doll blankets would be just the thing and so I tossed out the original layout.
But I still have to block all these squares and I’d like to find some 1/2″ gingham to aid me in that process.
That is what I keep telling myself anyway. I mean a hat with an uncomfortable lining probably would get worn just as much as a non-existent hat.
This summer I spied a sales bin full of soft wool-blend pastels. There was a bright pink, that made me think of a little girl I love and so I decided to knit her a hat. Of course I had to knit her sister a hat too, how could I not, but not too matchy, because that seems sort of insensitive. And until she is old enough to tell me her color preference, she gets my second favorite combo turquoise and lime green (it doesn’t scream girly quite like pink and purple do, but still decided girly – because making girly stuff is such fun when it doesn’t involve ruffles).
I knew the perfect pattern, Blue Sky Alpacas Polka Dot Hat Set (or the Rav link). Nevermind that the hat is meant for an adult and a different yarn. Different gauge, different size, oh and while I’m at it I’ll change the top shaping too…still I liked the polkadot density and $5 seemed like a decent price to pay to avoid trial and error to figure that bit out. I thought, it should go quickly. And it did, sort of. The first 3/4 of the hat took mere days, except it turned out to be a great big swatch (how big? like 22″ x 5″ big). Ribbet, ribbet, rip-it. The second hat took a week and then it sat, waiting for a lining. Picking up 100+ stitches has a way of grinding progress to a halt. Nevermind, I’ll cast-on for the second hat (I call that pretend progress). Luckily the second hat had only one little hiccup, quickly remedied by the LYS.
Gah, Another nearly another 100 stitches to pick up. Why didn’t I just take the time to figure out double-knitting? Oh well, too late. See the pink lifeline? I think I’m on my 3rd rip of the decreases, first the lining was too big, then it was too small..
So that Knitty Xback tank I was knitting. I almost finished. And that is where it ends (it doesn't look half-bad from the front)I had to determine the proper strap length, connect the straps and weave in the ends.
But it didn't seem worth it for a fit like this (there is a number of inchese of fabric between the strap on the back):
It does help a little to know that many people had a similar problem. Last I remember (granted it has been a while) my gauge was correct, but apparently this yarn had more stretch than the yarn used by the pattern designer. I will probably try the project again someday. I don't know if I will use the same yarn. And I will definitely check gauge more often AND try on the progress. Other knitters recommended waist shaping, that also sounds like a good idea just as soon as I figure out how to do that.
Okay I don’t have that many WIP… I think there are 10:
- crochet shawl
- crochet baby blanket (intended recipient is now 1)
- knit scarf
- knit tank top (actually I haven’t started yet)
- crochet water bottle holder
- crochet purse (actually I just need to block, steam and find embellishments)
- knit doll blanket (I wonder if the requestor is even still interested)
- knit scarf (I might give up on this project)
- knit one skein baby hat, haven’t started but the baby isn’t due until October and it is one skein
- knit xback tank top
Then there are all the projects in my head that I want to do. Like some National Knit Crochet a Sweater Year (I can’t remember how they abbreviated it) sweater. I haven’t even picked a pattern or yarn for that so I don’t think it will happen. I know I know, two tanks tops would be one sweater…but I fell in love with this bamboo/cotton yarn blend (Katia bamboo and saw this pattern book with a tank top that looks a lot like my favorite tank top, Louisa Harding yarns Beachcomber Bay Design Collection) so that went on the list. And I already had ribbon yarn for the X back tank (from Knitty) that I found for 50% off at Michael’s (I thought wow a knitted object for only $15 worth of yarn, cool).
So I started Xback back in April. I got thru 2 1/2 skiens in about two weeks, then I thought, this doesn’t look right and discovered that it was like twice the width I needed it to be, so I ripped it (plus I had screwed upn the seed stitch pattern). Then I had to rewind the balls (didn’t know that I should do this on spools at the time), then I started over. It is now August and I’m on skein 4. I’m at the part where I have to split it to make the v-neck and I’m a little scared. But I should just jump in and finish. It will probably go quickly and today is a good knitting day if I ignore everything else on that to do list.