Monday, 19 June 2017

May's yarny happenings

Hello there!
We are just back from a short break away and I have a lot to share with you all! Better start with what else I got up to in May...Apart from making sure the Minions were ready on time and putting some stitches into The Wave I managed to squeeze in a few yarny projects. First off I finished knitting Hubbie's Star Trek gloves...



Now I just need to sew some conductive thread (I got mine here ) into the finger tips to make them touch screen compatible and they will be totally finished. I must admit this hit the back burner as the week I completed them a lovely spell of warm summer weather arrived!! Also I got a little distracted by this ball of loveliness that arrived through the mail...


It's a Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel Wolle from the lovely folks at Wool Warehouse and I was totally captivated by it. I snapped a quick pic of it on my phone & then divided it in half... 


Now I already had a pair of socks on the go so I should have been leaving this alone until they were finished but somehow within a few hours of it arriving I found myself casting on... The colorway is 1702 Kleiner Fuchs which is German for Little Fox and the pattern I wanted to try is the Magic Zauberball Stripe Socks pattern. I just couldn't leave these alone, I fell totally in love with the yarn (another new favorite sock yarn!) both in terms of its feel and the colors. Oh the colors!!!!!!  They are so vibrant and jewel like in this colorway - I think I will need to try some other colorways to check if this is common across zauberballs ;-). It is a long gradient yarn constructed with two different colored plies spun together which produces a beautiful mottled effect in the final fabric...


In this photo you can see basically how this sock pattern works - you knit stripes alternating between the two balls you got by splitting your original ball in half. Very simple but oh so effective!! It was quite magical watching the colors unfold and play together. I used a short row heel (great tutorial here) so as to keep the stripes going with as little interruption as possible. I think now I've done a few of these heels I actually find them easier & quicker to work than the heel flap/gusset decreases method, and am now wondering why that method is more commonly used?! So even though I was trying to put these down and work on things I was meant to be doing instead pretty soon I ended up with a new pair of socks! 


I had enough yarn left over to work in with a solid on another pair of socks but so far I have resisted starting them... I must be good - at least until I finish that other pair of socks which were neglected while I had fun with these!
On the subject of "being good" I finished joining all the squares that were already made for Ebee's Flower Square Blanket.... 


I am so enjoying the decorative join on this!


With almost half the blanket completed I gave myself permission to start a Hydrangea Blanket and worked up and down these gorgeous stripes most of the month...


As you can see I have decided to work my stripes in a totally different order to Lucy's beautiful blanket. I loved the photos in Lucy's post where the colors were arranged in a wheel and my first thought was to pick a starting point and then work continuously around the wheel. As I finished my first complete circuit of the wheel Hubbie suggested mirroring them instead, ie go once around the wheel, stop, go back all the way round in the opposite direction, stop, repeat. I loved this idea and here you can see I am just starting the fourth repeat...


The pattern is simple but very soothing to work, lovely long stripes of gentle, soft colors that result in a beautiful squooshie texture. Yup, you guessed it! My new favorite blanket pattern! Partly inspired by this meme I am being good and sewing in the ends every five or six stripes...


Forcing myself to stop and do them in small bunches will pay dividends later when I'm not faced by a whole blanketful! I am planning on doing six repeats of all the colors to get a similar sized blanket to Lucy's and I am part way up the fifth one now. I am saving the rest of this to do as my Wimbledon project when that starts in a couple of weeks and am back to making squares for Ebee's Flower Square Blanket. 
Thank you for visiting me here today, I hope you have a lovely week whatever you are up to!















Sunday, 11 June 2017

Birthday Minions!!

Hello there!
A certain little boy celebrated his fifth birthday at the end of May - and it really doesn't seem so long ago that his Daddy was that age! When we were visiting family (and crafty stores!) in Colorado last year Hubbie spotted a big Minions fabric panel and suggested Little H would love it on his bed. I had already started collecting Minions fabric for a birthday quilt for his younger brother so that gave me all the excuse  reason I needed to buy more so I could make them a quilt each :-) I set to work when we got home & this was ready for Little C's second birthday...


Please excuse the washed out colors, these photos were taken mid November when all we really have is artificial light! The fabrics are not the usual kind of thing I go for (way too modern!) but they seemed to work well with the fun Minions prints...


The pattern, Woodland Wonderland was in a back issue of McCall's Quilting magazine and finished up 38" x 45", just the right size for a little dude to carry round & curl up under. I backed and bound it with part of a plain navy cotton sheet & quilted it with straight diagonal lines using my walking foot...


The look on Little H's face when he saw his brother open his quilt really tugged at my heart, but I knew that his own birthday would come round soon enough. I found this free pattern for the panel we had bought which only needed a little adaptation to work with the fabrics I had left... 


This quilt finished out at 57" x 65", for backing and binding I used more of the navy sheet, and I quilted it out with organic wavy lines using my walking foot again. Then the big day arrived and as he unwrapped it he spotted something familiar..." It's Minions!!!"


Then as it unfolded further "It's HUGE Minions!!!!!" he yelled!


And seeing his little excited face it was all worth while. All the weighing up fabric choices in the stores, washing and ironing fabric when we got home, fiddling around with the pattern, arranging and rearranging all the blocks just so, and the afternoon learning how to use *another* new feature on my new sewing machine in order to make a label for the back of it...




Saturday, 3 June 2017

17 ufos in 2017 - May update

Hello there!
May has been a very busy month here but I did manage to get some stitches in on The Wave, one of my 17 ufos in 2017 projects. Here is where I had gotten up to...


I have discovered as I work through The List that all these projects get abandoned for a reason. In this case it was the chart that was driving me crazy! Printed in three colors some of the symbols are very similar - like $ and S both in blue (at least print one in a different color???!) -  it was also too small for me to comfortably work from. Dear Hubbie came up with a solution. Now he is the tech wizard in this house & I'm not too exactly how he did it but he scanned the chart, made it into a pdf, and put it on my tablet so I can enlarge it to where I can comfortably read it. Oh I can also mark it off  so I can see where I've been like this...


I just tap that little speech bubble & pen icon at the bottom of the page & then use my touch pen to draw over the squares I've stitched. You can alter the opacity of the line you draw and, as you can see, I soon discovered it was easier to work from if you set it to slightly see through rather than completely obliterating the symbols! Once I could see what I was doing I got on a lot better with this stitch although I still have to concentrate on it more than most cross stitch projects which means no watching TV at the same time! This is where I am up to now....


Of the four pages I now have one completely finished and am about 30 squares up from the bottom right hand corner on the second page. Another small bugbear of mine with this is that the fabric was cut much smaller for this kit than I would've cut it myself. This means I am having issues finding a frame or hoop to comfortably work it in, especially when I want to work on the edge of the chart... grrr....  I am determined to get this finished but I'm not sure if I will continue stitching on this in June or bring out another UFO and come back to this later in the year.
Thank you for visiting me here today I hope to be back soon with some of the other projects I have been working on in May. Wishing you a wonderful and creative weekend!