Tuesday, August 31, 2010

End of August

While most people are panicking about the end of August signifying the end of summer, I am breathing a sigh of relief. This summer has been so abominably hot and unbearable, and I am pining for cooler days (and nights).


I finished up this woolen vest, and I am anxious to wear it! It's a handspun blend of 3 Southern Cross Fibers (“Deep Thought” - Oatmeal BFL, “Homeward” - Falkland, “Desert Sky” - Polwarth)with a wee bit of Cascade 200 and unknown wool to finish off the collar and sleeve edges. I knit this completely in the round and steeked it, which I really feel is the way to go with things like this - so fast! So fun! That daring edge of CUTTING your knitting! It's delightfully squishy.

And then I kept knitting.....

Better Lit Legwarmers :)

I've been wanting to make the Fresco Legwarmers for ages, and when I got my order of the new Quince & Co "Chickadee" yarn I figured it was finally time to cast on. With a few mods for color, and then again for almost-running-out-of-yarn (whoops!), these legwarmers FLEW off the needles. The Quince yarn is wonderfully plump and squishy, and made for a lovely fabric on both US3s and US5s. The stitch definition is wonderful and even - and this is all before blocking!

And I've kept up the quilting, but with a twist:

Big Stupid New Ideas

This is a test square (18" - for a pillowcase) using origami crease patterns. I recently saw the documentary "Between the Folds" which is all about origami and the people who make it. Many of the crease patterns for some of the more complex pieces can be found, and I loved how they looked, so decided to try my hand at translating that to a quilt. This is The Garden Spider. I'm going to try out a few more pillow cases before going big and making a full-sized quilt!

Here it is being sewn:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Actual FOs. Yes. Believe It Or Not.



The bird quilt, completed. Just needs a delicate wash and dry, and I'll get some big pictures.

I ended up handquilting the entire thing - I figured I had already put so much time and care into it, a little hand-quilting wouldn't kill me. I didn't use a frame or hoop. I quilted just inside each of the bird squares, and created similar squares in the side panels. I also echo quilted around each bird so there was more stability to the sandwich - the bird squares are each 9.5" and they needed to be quilted down a bit more in the centers.

State Birds - Echo

I've also been test-knitting a bit - I knit this lovely, simple, fast, beautiful shawl for Kirsten Kapur of Throughtheloops:

Roma Testing

This the Roma Shawl pattern. I knit it up on some merino/silk sock yarn from Nakedly Knitting, with Koigu KPPPM for the bottom detail and edging. This pattern is delightful - easily memorized, quick, and lovely. This shawl has a GREAT drape to it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


And then, 3 years after it started, the State Birds Quilt was.....

All 29 Birds

...NEAR finished.

Okay, so I finished the birds - 29 of them! The embroidery took So long! But finally, finally, 29 birds done. Many states share birds, and DC is included in there as well. Since I've had 3 years to think about the layout of this quilt, 29 actually worked better for me than 28 - I decided to do a 5x5 centerpiece, with bands on the side and the remaining 4 birds on the corners. With sashing:

Bird Quilt Top, Opened Up

The actual piecework of this quilt top? Including trip to fabric store for fabric and batt and all that? ONE DAY. Yeah, after 3 years of embroidery, things are moving pretty quickly.

I decided to handquilt it - this is a BEAR of a quilt, at around 76" square, and I couldn't really deal with the thought of throwing it all through the machine. Also, each bird panel is about 10" square, so there would have to be some quilting around the birds. I decided to echo-quilt around each of the birds. yes, I know, it's not quite around "the birds" as I am including any foliage they are on. And this had me worried - would the other side be too blobby? would it be weird? I decided to go with a rather small, busy, floral print for the backing in order to hide most of the quilting and blobbiness.

As it stands now: 80% of the handquilting done on the top, hoping to finish tomorrow and add binding. This thing *may* be done by the end of the week!