Remember my previous contemplation of a Christmas quilt project? While I may have been quiet about the project here on the blog, it has been something I've been thinking about a lot the past few months since that post. My search for the perfect pattern took me a lot longer than I anticipated. I kept finding myself drawn to adorable scrappy star patterns ... but when I took a long, hard look at the fabrics I wanted to feature, I realized I wouldn't be happy chopping these prints up into tiny pieces. They are just too large of prints for complicated, scrappy patterns (at least for me!). So once I embraced that this quilt would be more simple than scrappy, things started flowing again. It wasn't until I had layed out my fabric on the floor in the above photo that it hit me--a subway tile pattern!
Here's my progress on the top so far. Large subway tile-esque panels, separated by strips of hot pink. It's a very pink and lime green Christmas quilt--perfect for a little girl! I'm not stressing about getting it done in time for Christmas eve this year .... I could surprise myself and have a big spurt of quilting energy this weekend and finish it ... or not! We'll see!
Continuing the charity knitting update ... in addition to toys, I challenged myself to knitting as many scarves as possible from my stash. This one is a fabulous feza scarf! I had forgotten how much I enjoy the joys of knitting a scarf length-wise, in garter stitch. If you are looking for a last-minute knitted gift now that we are practically in the 11th hour, this pattern could easily be adapted for other yarns. Unfortunately, I don't have photographic evidence of the five other scarves I finished.
And that catches me up on my charity knitting from November! I hadn't done this much charity knitting in one stretch, ever. I've always enjoyed charity knitting, but this time the extra challenge of only knitting from my stash yarn seemed to amplify the gratification. I felt doubly good while knitting--good about knitting something nice for someone who really deserves it, and good about getting some old yarn finally out of my growing-out-of-control stash!
More charity knitting! This is my second Rebecca Danger toy pattern, Maddox. I'm becoming a big fan of Rebecca's work! Such well written patterns! This was another speedy knit, as far as toys go. My only tweak to the pattern was ignoring the instructions to turn the body inside out to do a three-needle bind off to close the top of the head. Instead, I used my favorite grafting instructions, an alternative to kitchener stitch that I learned in a Knitting Daily column back when Sandi Wiseheart was the editor (here's a link to the column with details of the method). I love, love, love this grafting technique. For whatever reason, kitchener stitch looks awful when I attempt it--but this method turns out perfect everytime!
Pattern: Maddox the Mischievious Monster
Yarn: Red Heart (one skein completed three monster bodies and two arms--I had to dip into another skein to make the four remaining arms)
Needles: Size 6 dpn's
I love, love, love the end result! I will definitely be making more of these--they may become my go-to baby shower/big sister/big brother baby gift! What finished objects do you have to show off today? Don't forget to check out the others at Tami's Amis!
One of the many charity projects I knit up in November were some toys for the children of women seeking shelter at our local domestic violence shelter. I wanted a quick knit, something fast and easy, but cute and huggable. The "owls two ways" pattern fit the bill perfectly! I did, however, upsize it significantly. The pattern is essentially knitting a bag/purse in the round, from the base up--except when you sew the top shut, you create a cute owl shape. The pattern knit as written creates tiny, miniature owls. So I uppped the initial cast on to approximately 20 stitches or so to create a more adequate toy size.
Pattern: Owls Two Ways
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun (one owl used only a third of the skein, I estimate you could squeeze three owls from one skein)
Needles: Size 9 dpn's
I ended up making the owls two different ways. The blue-winged owl used black safety eyes and fabric glue to attach the nose and wings. The purple owl used more rustic wooden button eyes and the wings are embroidered onto the owl. I love the white felt/safety eyes, but feel like the blue-winged owl could use some embroidered details. So if I make another owl, I'll end up combining these two different approaches!
I was about to start this post with a comment about how November disappeared on me, but frankly so is December! (under two weeks until Christmas?!?! gulp!) November ended up turning into my own personal charity knit-a-thon, which I'll be posting about next. What have I been up to this month? Getting the Christmas book advent calendar started again (my favorite new-to-me Christmas tradition!) ...
.... decking the halls ...
... and hanging the stockings with care! Aren't these great? My grandma knit these for my two kiddos ... they crack me up because they are sooo long. Much more generous in size than the ones she knit for us growing up! Santa has his work cut out for him filling them up, that's for sure!
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