Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Year End Wrap Up


First a bit of sewing………….

My daughter pointed out that Mug Rugs are all the rage in blog-land.  She knows that quilting is not favorite type of sewing but thought I might like these as they are a quicker project than doing an entire quilt (which is true – but these are smaller pieces and still take quite a bit of time).

This was my first attempt, a quilt block known as Cathedral Windows, sewn mostly by hand.  There are no insulation layers in this block.  It’s actually a pretty cool pattern – the idea is to use a lightweight background like batiste and then holding it up so that light shows through you achieve a stained glass effect.


I wanted to make a gift for my awesome fellow GSLKG Board members and these Mug Rugs are the result of that effort.  Whenever I attempt quilting I fail in choosing prints that contrast enough to see the various pieces, but they still turned out cute and useful.




Next up is a robe made with a pile fabric from JoAnn’s, an imitation of the fabric known as Minky.  This fabric was not fun to sew even with a walking foot and basting.  It took three attempts to insert the zipper and in the end I did a hand-picked zipper. It was not easy to find a fuschia color separating zipper but I was able to order one from Purl Soho.  They provided great service and I wouldn’t hesitate to order from Purl Soho in the future.


For Christmas I ordered a set of bamboo crochet hooks for Jess and wanted to make a case to go with them.  I wanted to make one similar to this one by Lantern Moon but similar in fabric/look to Vera Bradley products.

Lantern Moon Turquoise Zip Crochet Hook Case Holder

The first version did not work out the way I envisioned and it ended in the garbage can.  The issue was with the zipper – how to make it zip all the way around yet lay flat when it's opened.  The key is that the zipper needs to extend beyond the juncture at the spine.  To stiffen the case I used a layer of plastic canvas between two layers of light weight batting.

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On to the Knitting…………

The last time I was in NC with Emily and family her socks kept sliding off.  I looked and looked for socks that I thought would fit her better and then it dawned on me that I could make custom socks (DUH!). These five pair were done with leftover sock yarns. Hope they fit!


Many months ago I promised my son-in-law a more practical pair of socks than the fair isle version I did for him previously.  I worked the first sock and then set it aside for six months or so.  Finally got the motivation to work the second sock in time for their after Christmas visit.  Not sure that he will have much use for wool socks in Florida but he liked that they were a perfect fit.

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo, 80 stitches, Size 0 and 1 needles, toe-up, short row heel worked over 44 stitches, stitch pattern Knit 7/Purl 3 rib.

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Ruffle yarns were all the rage toward the end of 2011 and I just had to make one.  It’s simply garter stitch (knit every row) using the holes in the edge of the flat wide ribbon type yarn as the stitches.   Truthfully the knitting wasn’t much fun; I did undo the skein and wound it flat around a toilet paper core and also worked purlwise as Brooke suggested but it was still a tedious knit although the result is a fun looking scarf.

Katia Triana from Kirkwood Knittery.  Don’t remember how many stitches I used but it wasn’t very many and the needle size really makes no difference.


Currently I’m working on ‘Blathnat’ socks, a mystery knit-a-long by Irish Girlie Knits;  it’s fun to occasionally follow someone else’s instructions.  Working the project in sections as the clues are published makes it enjoyable in that the socks are completed a portion at a time.  I’m working one sock from each end of the skein.  In the photo below the one on the left is the first clue portion and I’ve finished the second clue in the sock on the right.  I’m using the 72 stitch version until a couple inches from the ankle and then decreasing to follow the 64 stitch size for the remainder.  Also I am working an additional repeat as I like my sock legs  longer than the pattern instructions.  The yarn (Studio June Starstruck from The Loopy Ewe) is very glittery; it has quite a bit of fuzzy and thick/thin areas.

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I’m also working on the ‘Mitered Cardigan’ from the recent book ‘Knit One Knit All’ published by Schoolhouse Press.  This is a great book of patterns by the knitting guru of all time - Elizabeth Zimmerman.  She often wrote that garter stitch was her favorite and according to information from Schoolhouse Press she always wanted to write a book based on garter stitch designs.  After EZ’s death her grandson put together this new book sometimes working from sketchy notes.  There are several designs in the book that I would like to make including the Chambered Nautilus Tam, the Zigzag Jacket and Sideways Gloves. 

The Mitered Sweater calls for 6 sts per inch sport weight yarn; naturally I have had to recalculate the instructions since I decided to use worsted weight Ella Rae Classic from Little Knits that I had in my stash.  First the band is worked in garter stitch beginning at the bottom front,  up the front, around the neck, down the opposite front, along the bottom and then grafted together.  The sweater is filled in with stockinette and then stitches are picked up and the sleeves are worked down to the cuff. 

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Recently I finished this project which is my own design and appropriately named ‘RobynHood’.  I used Naturelle 8 ply DK 100% New Zealand Wool.  The front band was knit vertically in garter stitch then stitches picked up along the length of the band and the cape/shawl was then worked sideways in garter stitch short rows; there are 39 sections per half. The two halves were grafted together at the center back.  Then stitches were picked up at the neckline to knit the hood. The edging is an 8 row stitch pattern known as Godmother’s Edging.   After blocking I added the buttons.  I love how it turned out - it is quite warm and cozy.

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Finally – I have to share a few photos of our adorable Granddaughter celebrating her first birthday……..


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