Monday, 23 October 2017

October stitches

Hello there!
Today I thought I would share with you some of the projects I have been working on since we returned from our trip. Firstly, I spent some happy hours in the sewing room enjoying the seasonal color in my Autumn wallhanging while I sewed. On this project I decided to try out a different fusible than the one I usually use for my applique. I had heard good things about Steam-A-Seam 2 so picked up a packet last year when we were in the States. To see how it compared I used my regular fusible (Heat N Bond Lite) on some of the shapes and the Steam-A Seam 2 on the rest of them. Result? I think I might be a convert! I definitely liked the repositionable aspect of the Steam-A-Seam and, when finally fused, it held better than the other shapes when I left the project sitting for a few weeks. I blanket stitched around some of the applique shapes and I have left some of the Steam-A-Seam ones alone so I can see how well it holds over time. I wouldn't do this on an item that would be going through the laundry but, as I don't have small people throwing food at the walls anymore, this should be fairly safe ;-)


I echo quilted the main panel around the shapes and stitched diagonally across the patchwork blocks. In the green right hand border I used my flexible curve ruler to draw and then stitch a stem for my sunflowers...


Although they had little self adhesive dots on the back I secured the felt sunflowers in place with fabric glue for a more permanent hold (they were another acquisition from Hobby Lobby last year). I used more of the black solid to bind it and added a sleeve to the back so I could hang it on the kitchen wall...


Although I am trying to be good & focus on projects with a deadline (Little C has a birthday coming up & then there's Christmas) two of the knitting patterns I picked up at Yarndale wouldn't sit quietly in the stash & called to me until I gave in & started them both! Last year I knitted up a lovely orangey pinky ball of yarn into a pair of Fruit Salad socks (named after the sweeties ;-)). Pretty much as soon as I started wearing them I had requests for Hubbie to get his own pair but I had had the yarn for a little while and it was now discontinued. Then at Yarndale I spied some Tequila Sunrise sock yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners -perfect! Also on my shopping list for Yarndale was the Simple Rib Sock pattern by Winwick Mum (in fact it was my first purchase of the day!) and I thought this pattern would make perfect Fruit Salad socks for Hubbie. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to try out my new tiny circular needle - it's just 25cm long and a little like knitting with toothpicks! I got used to it pretty soon though and it didn't take long to go from this...


...to this!!


One pair of Simple Rib Fruit Salad socks! I am definitely going to be knitting this pattern again, it was very well written and seemed to whizz along (even for size 12 feet!), I might try it with the contrast heel and toe next time round?
The other pattern that was begging to be started was the Vinter Votter mitten pattern by Anniken Allis. Spurred on by the success of these fingerless mittens last year I had already bought another ball of Baby Crofter 4 ply and a solid shade to coordinate for a pair of mittens for myself. I knitted up a swatch and decided this was the pattern it had been waiting for. I started happily knitting away, trying the mitten on every now and then until I got to the thumb placement round. I had made a slight gauge change to accomodate my skinny wrists but everything was fitting fine so far. I was having so much fun watching the pattern emerge and the colors change but as I approached the shaping at the top I started having this sinking feeling - it was coming up too short from the thumb to the top of the fingers! Hoping I was wrong I kept knitting to the top and then opened up the thumb hole (it's an afterthought thumb) so I could try it on. Nope. Way too short. Apparently my gut knew what my brain had been trying to deny for the past hour. I measured and counted rows, worked and reworked my math and I still don't understand what happened! Yes, my gauge was different from the pattern but I was getting less rows per inch not more so, if anything, it should have made the mitten longer? Well however it worked the end result was that I needed more rows from the thumb hole to the top and this pattern has a bigger size with a different chart so I took a quick photo of my doomed mitten before I pulled it all out...


Now the bigger size was both wider and longer and I really only wanted to add length as the widthwise fit was perfect so I photocopied the chart and cut out some columns and stuck the bits of paper back together. It would add four more stitches to the width but I could live with that. Based on my math from the first mitten I still needed to add a few rows to get the length I wanted so I added some plain rows after the ribbing and moved the thumb placement row down. Also the colors were reversed on this chart with the snowflakes being worked in the background color whereas I wanted mine in the paler color so I wrote that on the chart too. I started over taking notes as I went. This time it fitted fine down the length of my hand so I picked up the thumb stitches and stared getting hopeful of a finished mitten. But it wasn't to be. After 15 rows of the thumb I tried it on and it really was too tight around my thumb to be comfy. I know I won't wear them like this and the only way I know to fix this is to rip it all out back to the thumb placement round and knit more stitches off onto the waste yarn at this point - arrrrgggghhhh! I am trying to be positive about this and think "well I like knitting and this is just more knitting" right? But that's not what I'm feeling about it right now so the mittens have gone into a timeout.
In the meantime another pair of socks has jumped onto my needles! Do you remember that bright orange skein of yarn I bought at Yarndale? Well it was just what I had been looking for for this sock pattern by Maggie Van der Stok. October is my favorite month of the year, where some folks might wish it could be Christmas all year round I would happily settle for twelve months of October :-) I especially love the rich colors of the trees, the crispness in the air, and if we get a blue sky and sunshine to make those colors really glow I am in seventh heaven. Also I have been known to be a tad obsessed with pumpkins and the color orange ;-) So the other night I started winding that orange skein into a center pull ball. Would you like to see my high tech winding gear?


Haha! Yup clothes hangers, pegs, and a cardboard box! I followed the tutorial here with the omission of the lazy susan (I do have one but found it was just as easy to put the box on the gripper mat on the floor and it takes up less space to store my winding gear without it). A little while later I had a yarn pumpkin! 


Yes, I am easily amused... 
I have not attempted toe up socks yet so I'm working these from the cuff down instead (which basically means just reading the charts from the top down) and I'm having great fun watching all the little pumpkins appear. See, easily amused lol ;-) 


Well I am going to go back to my little pumpkins, I hope you have a lovely week however you are spending it!











2 comments:

  1. The Autumn wall hanger finish is beautiful!
    So colourful and many sweet little details, I love it.
    How cool are those socks!! The fruit salad one and the in progress pumpkin one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ingrid I had a lot of fun playing with it! Yes I definitely have a sock addiction, too many cute patterns out there! Hope you are enjoying a lovely autumn and look forward to reading about what you've been up to soon, happy stitching!
      Helen

      Delete

Thank you for your message - I love hearing your comments & ideas!