Wednesday, October 19, 2016

knit your library, vol. 19

So this is a project that has been hibernating since January ... because I realized my gauge was totally off. Looking at the pattern now, nine months later, I realized I was using a needle size that was larger than the pattern called for. Well, duh! So I ripped back and started over with the right needles. And then I got to the thumb gusset and couldn't deny that the whole thing was way too big. So I ripped again. Fingers crossed that third time will be the charm! I have to admit, I have high hopes for this pattern because I really like this idea as a way to show off the oodles of self-striping sock yarn I have and LOVE. And I've had this pattern in my library since Christmas last year, so it's high time I actually made it. It's a little big, but the pattern calls for a liner so I think it'll work out.

And in other, "picking up ancient WIPs" news, I decided to pick up this bad boy again. This is a simple, striped garter stitch cowl knit on the diagonal. I love patterns like this, and thought it would be a cute way to knit up some of my Malabrigo stash. This project I started in August, but had been intending to make since last winter. So not as bad as the mittens in terms of time on the needles, lol!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Christmas quilt DOS = DONE

Sooo ... this one took me longer than planned. I was looking back at old photos, and found photos of my progress piecing together this quilt top back in March. Oops. I know I finished the top later that spring. Labor Day weekend I finished quilting it .... and now more than a month later it has a binding! The one positive? This hands down is my best job machine quilting a binding. So I don't forget for later purposes: I cut 3" strips for my binding, attached with 1/4" seam allowance like I would if hand sewing, and then slowly topstitched as close to the "ditch" as possible around. Worked like a charm!

This quilt was also my first "pieced" backing. I was economical and used leftover scraps to extend my flat sheet I was using as my backing fabric. I am actively ignoring the imperfections. The places where I have puckers and folds. Next time I'm going to try using spray adhesive and some other tricks I've read about for avoiding those problems. A walking foot would probably help too. Until then, I'm reminding myself of all the cultures that purposely craft with mistakes in their work.

Ta da! Christmas come early in this bedroom! Next up ... a king-sized Christmas quilt for my bed???

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

what I knit this summer

Is it horrible to be catching up on summer knitting blogging in October?? Sigh. Between work, normal fall mayhem, and counting thousands of Box Tops as the "Box Tops Lady" for my daughter's school, the poor blog-o has been severely neglected. But it would be a crime to not show you this finished project--this is my finished Pure Joy shawl that I worked on while we trekked to Ship Island in July.  It didn't take long to finish--this one I wrapped up on August 2nd and was seriously a JOY to knit. I would make hundreds of these just for the joy of knitting them, but the only thing holding me back is my failure to really wear shawls/scarves. I'm more of a cowl kinda girl. 

Also finished this summer, but never blogged:

My first ever pair of toe-up socks with a heel flap! (definitely my new favorite way to knit socks! and a Love Your Library project too! double win!)

And a fun pair of fingerless gloves that I'll need to wait at least another three months to wear, lol.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Boo! Where did September go?? That's what's scaring me these days, not these adorable bats! I've had this bat pattern in my "must knit someday" list for at least four years. Now that we're well into October, we're in full-on Halloween fever in our household and I decided it was time to knit a pair of these cuties!

Pattern: Boo the Bat by Anna Hrachovec (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Parrot (12 grams for one bat), Caron Simply Soft in Black for wings (also approx. 12 grams for one bat)
Needles: size 5
Mods: NONE! I've always loved Anna's adorable patterns, and they work up sooo quickly. This may inspire another temporary toy-knitting craze for me!

Monday, August 22, 2016


In between first days of school, updating course syllabi, waiting in carpool, and in general "back to school" mania, I have been knitting despite the quiet on this page! I've been working on clearing the needles of some WIPs (which I'll post about later this week), and doing my own mini hat-a-thon for the month.

These hats will go to local homeless/temporarily displaced children in our local school district. Last year my knitting guild made 140 hats. We're sitting at about 30ish now, so it's time to get cracking! I've finished eight so far. Expect to see many, many more!

I'm mostly using my favorite pattern, chunkeanie, and also double stranding worsted weight yarn using my free double dutch hat pattern as well. Knitting with bulky weight makes it go soooo much faster!

With any luck, I'll quickly see the bottom of a storage tub I filled with acrylic yarns in my stash specifically for this project!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

summer of spraypaint -- project dos

Okay, so I have been dying to try this new spraypaint since I read about in my magazines. Sea glass?!?! Yes please! When we finished a Pace salsa, I thought "hmmm ... that's not a bad vase shape." Perfect for my first trial!

And the verdict? LOVE! It really is the perfect amount of translucence. I will for sure be using this spraypaint again!

Friday, July 29, 2016

summer of spraypaint--project uno

Long time readers may vaguely recall this dresser ... we spray painted it "ballet pink" and attached cute wood animals on the drawers for one little girl's baby nursery a long time ago ... and after more than five years, it was looking shabby. Note the crayon, and missing felt from some of the poor animals' features ...

It was high time for a "big girl" makeover for this dresser. We wanted to keep the pink top and sides (and only paint the drawers), so I picked colors that coordinated. I found a very similar pink (ballet pink was no longer in stock at my local sources), a nice purple and pulled my old can of turquoise spraypaint leftover from this project out of storage.

This was a multiple day process, with nine drawers to update. I used a flat head screwdriver to loosen and "pop" the animals off each drawer, and then an exacto knife to remove glue and the bar code sticker I failed to remove prior to attaching each animal (lesson learned--the sticker stuck the most to the drawer!). Did half one day, then finished the rest on another. I tried using wood putty and sanding to even out the "holes" from the removed paint, but that was only moderately successful. The surfaces were still pretty bumpy if you looked close after painting.

What to do? Vinyl removable wall stickers from Walmart to the rescue! These are strategically placed to hide my flaws. Love, love, love how this turned out--and so does my big girl! This is the first of many spraypaint projects I've been working on this summer, so be prepared for more to come ...