Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Knitting project planning

I have been knitting another baby jumper at the moment, this will be a present for my work colleague who is due her first baby in June. I am pleased with this as I started it on knit night on 31st March and I have now completed the back, both fronts and one sleeve. I started the second sleeve at knit night last night. I am pleased at how quickly I have made progress on this and it has been helped by knitting on my lunch breaks at work. I do get some interesting comments from people though!

The reason for the focus on knitting recently is because I have had some problems with my sewing machine, I spoke to my cousin about it over Easter and decided to check it in to the sewing machine shop to be sorted out. They say it might take two weeks.

Therefore I have been knitting and making patchwork more at the moment. I have been using some cotton thread for my quilt which is better than the polyester I was using on holiday, and at the weekend I bought some gutterman hand quilting thread which I am keen to try out.

My sister saw my infinity scarf when I was at my parents for Easter and requested one in purple. So I bought some lovely king Cole 100 percent merino in a lavender colour. However last night I saw some Knitcol trends and thought it was so bright and colourful I am now considering making it in that. 
King Cole - merino
Knitcol trends
I  have also discovered the Rowan knit along and I am going to join this. I was looking at the new rowan wool in the shop at the weekend and heard about it then, having read more about it online I am thinking of buying a few balls this weekend to start it. They are releasing small square patterns every week for about 10weeks. I really like the idea of the small squares and think they will be great to do on my lunch breaks, I just need to think more about what colours, do I go for multicoloured or a colour theme?

So it is safe to say I have lots of things planned I need to make sure I carry on with them, and try not to read about any more things I want to start for a while!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Two cushions, one for people, one for cats.

Following my post from the other day I have also finished a cushion which I actually started about 2 years ago. I have been working on it on and off for ages and I finished it last week.
I really like this cushion and I think the bright colours work really well together.

Liberty hexagon side
Star side

The hexagons were bought in a pack from Liberty of London and they are made from the gorgeous Liberty tana lawn fabric which is so lovely and light. The variety of designs is great and there is a real mix of older and more modern designs in there. Originally I was going to quilt this as well for some quilting practise but then I changed my mind as I was concerned that it would make it too bulky when putting it over the cushion.
On the reverse side I have used fabrics which I would describe as Eastern inspired, they all have a hint of gold or metallic in then and I had some small scraps of each design so though it would be good to use them up. I like the star design the diamonds creates and I chose a white for the edges of the hexagons to create a contrast with the stars. I added a boarder to this side as it was a bit smaller than the hexagon side. I sewed it together with a zip and put it over a cushion I already had.
I am pleased to have finished this and the cushion is very comfy.

The next item I made this winter was a cushion for our two cats. At night they sleep in the kitchen but seem to have grown out of the cushion we bought them. They love sitting on my small quilt which was the first quilt I made, so I thought I would make then a quilted cushion so that we don’t have to keep folding up the other quilt to put in the kitchen.
Floor cushion
Base of floor cushion

Being tested by the new owners!

The top of this is from a book called Love Quilting and Patchwork and they say it is a small sampler quilt. I chose it because I liked how it has 5 different patchwork layouts and the size of the design was a perfect size for my cushion. Once I finished the top I then made the cushion itself by using the instructions for the floor cushion in the Great British Sewing Bee book. I bought some foam for the inside and there is a zip on the bottom so I can wash it if I need to. I made this all on my sewing machine and tried to avoid reverting to hand sewing for the awkward bits.
The cats love this cushion and although then only seem to sit on it at night time they are still using it 4 months on.
I enjoyed trying the different patchwork styles, however I don’t think the fabric I chose is the best to see the contrasts in the patchwork layouts. It would be more striking if it was made in different colours. The fabric I used was a set of 5 or 6 fat quarters I had in complimentary patterns and I had had these for a long time. The base was made from left over fabric from the first quilt as I wanted a thicker hardwearing fabric for the base.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Spring is in the air

For a while I have been trying to get all of my half finished things completed. I did have a large box with all sorts of things in it which I have been sorting through. Getting the items finished feels good and most things did not need much time to complete them.

Today I wanted to show two finished knitted items. I have also updated my ravelry page with photos which I have been meaning to do for a long time.

Baby cardigan
Close up of buttons

I started this cardigan last August, and then stopped it for a few months when I got stuck on part of the pattern. I picked it up again just after Christmas and finished it at the end of January.
This was knitted on 4mm needles except for the button band which was on 3.4mm needles. I used 2 50gram balls of yarn in a white colour. I made the smallest size.
You can see the pattern here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/provence-baby-cardigan
As you can see I did not do the leaf bits. This was a shame as this was what drew me to this design to begin with. However I tried them 5 times and could not work out how to do them, so I decided to make it a plain cardigan, because of the plainness I wanted to buy some cute buttons for it and then I found these teddy bear ones.

Infinity scarf

I started this scarf at the end of January as I wanted a scarf to wear while I was riding my bike, but I did not want the ends of the scarf to get in my way. I knitted this on 5 mm needles and I used some Wendy Mode DK in a pale blue. It used 3 50gram balls. I already had this yarn so it was a good way to get it used up and save money by not having to buy anything new.
I completed this last week, but I was away for 3 weeks and left it here so it would have been finished sooner. I am pleased that I have kept up with making this one, and barely put it down or got distracted! Probably because I really wanted to wear it.
 I found the pattern on ravelry and the link is here. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/annie-11
My knitting is slowly improving, I would like to learn some more complicated techniques and I would love to learn how to knit fairisle designs, or how to do cabling  as I think they are beautiful. I have some lovely Rowan wool which I am trying to find a pattern for it is a rust red colour. I should try to get this started in the summer so it is ready to wear next winter.