Wednesday, January 23, 2019


I made a thing!

Wait, back up. First, I bought a thing. 

This is a lovely double pointed needle set that I found in Fengari while we were out in Half Moon Bay for a run. Well technically it was after the run, obviously, but nonetheless it was an unplanned trip to the yarn store. Honestly, what do you do for your cool down? Doesn't everyone shop on Main? 

I had gotten a set of driftwood circular needles from this company to work on my Starchart hat not long ago and loved working with them. Seeing a set of dpns that are not at all the same size as any I already own (well maybe with one or two exceptions) made my eyes sparkle. They had to come home with me. 

And of course once home, they had to find a project. I finished my mosaic crochet piece a couple days ago (more on that to come), so I wanted to start something chunky and simple that I could take with me to work on at the horse show this week. Weeeeell. I ended up starting AND finishing it last night. Instead of working on it at the horse show I guess I'll be wearing it!

I had this beautifully variegated chunky yarn in the stash already and found it extremely pleasant to work with in making this hat. The pattern is dead simple and got me through both the women's and the men's quarter final matches at the Australian Open yesterday. Between that and the bright colors that match the colors of what I'm seeing around the tournament, it has become the Aussie hat. 

Pattern: Swirly Smooshy Chunky Beanie, free on Ravelry (my Ravelry page)
Yarn: Loops & Threads Facets in 'peridot'
Needles: US 13
Size: medium fits my 22ish inch head

Sunday, January 20, 2019

stitching progress

Playoff football and grand slam tennis might seem like odd bedfellows for a Victorian cross stitch sampler, but there you go. I've been making steady progress on this since I got going on it in November.

I took a break from it for the enormous bucket of holiday knitting I ended up doing this year, and it has been nice to pick it up again. I am almost done with the last items on the shelves and after that it's the actual shelf, some trailing ivy, and a LOT of backstitching to come. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

mosaic crochet

I had so much fun with my last project using a Caron cake that I'm starting another one. While it is tempting to take all three skeins I bought and make that fabulous shawl three times, I decided to try something else. I'm not certain how I found this pattern on Ravelry, but mosaic crochet is a technique I've never done before and it looks like self striping yarn with long color changes will do the trick nicely. The resulting fabric is certainly very striking with this color combination and it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

I'm finding that it takes a little bit of attention to get the first side done (it is worked in the round), but once I get the idea of that row's pattern I don't have to read the instructions anymore. It's been really good early morning and late evening handwork for the past couple of days. It's starting to grow a little more slowly as the rounds get longer... I'm excited to see the finished square and to decide how to finish it. Right now I'm thinking pillow cover if it is smaller or maybe adding more yarn in this pinky peachy color family if it is almost big enough to be a throw once the colorful cake is done. We'll see!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

poulet quilt top

Well I guess I really was excited to work on that new quilt! I found myself on a quilt-venture from mid morning to mid afternoon today. And it was fun.

Dave is going to visit some friends who are expecting, and he wanted me to make them a baby quilt from us. What a compliment, thanks hubby! After some perusing around on the great world wide web  for "chicken quilt" (chickens are part of an ongoing joke with these friends) I found a quilt I really liked on a blog called Quilty Love (link). The whole thing is chickens! The original and easy to follow tutorial she used for the block was at another blog (here), but I link the first quilt as well because it was the bright colors and fresh setting that really caught my eye and inspired me to make it.

We pulled fabrics together a couple of days ago and in the process of moving my supplies from closet to cabinet we also found some leftover blocks from an old project that seemed like the perfect fit. We're going for primary-ish colors. Dave really liked that bird print at the top right for the backing, so I pulled in one print with similar colors for the front and that also made that orange and turquoise nine patch fit in better, so it got added in too.

The cutting didn't take very long, which was good because it's my least favorite part, nor did it really take up that much fabric. With the largest piece for each block being 5.5" x 6.5", this is a great project for leftover odds and ends. I have no idea what the exact color name for the background I chose is, but I'm sure it's a Kona solid and it is off white. I happened to have a bunch of it on hand; thanks, past self! 

The blocks came together surprisingly quickly, and before I knew it I had a flock of chickens on my hands. I really liked the simple construction - just a few seams and a nice big piece to show off fun prints. Also, the design is just so cute. I feel like each chicken has its own attitude. Being able to freehand cut the combs is part of it, but also the way they are standing they're just proud little chickens. So fun. 

I hemmed and hawed over the quilt layout for a while. I wasn't certain how big I wanted it to be. In the end I figured eight chickens plus the four other blocks was enough if I used wider than usual sashing. This decision was helped along by just throwing the blocks on the floor and moving them around until I was happy. I thought to myself "hmm how big are those gaps? maybe i'll just make my sashing that wide." They were about 3" and the overall size with all the blocks spread out seemed big enough so I went with that. Then the next question was to square or not to square? The orphan blocks are 8" squares, but the chickens are 7x8". I thought about adding a strip of background on the bottom of each chicken to square them up but then decided it would be less annoying to trim the patch blocks down to 7x8". 

I deliberately chose to make the longest piece of sashing the horizontal ones and to piece the vertical ones in order to emphasize the slight rectangle-ness of the blocks. I also set the directional fabrics in the patch blocks to be stretched horizontally as well. I really love the way it turned out! The squat little chickens and their patchwork friends look very hip and modern despite the traditional setting. I liked the way the inspiration quilt looked being completely chickens, but I really think those orphan blocks found a great home in this quilt and give it that extra bit of quirk that I love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Welcome 2019! The past year was one of many knits, a lot of yarn stash busting, and a little bit of quilt making. I've got my eyes set on more knitting (of course) and also hoping to get a lot more sewing in. We rearranged some things in our office and now I get to stare at all of this potential whenever I am in here. 

I can feel the creative juices getting going on fabric again, and I already have prints pulled for a new quilt project. I need to finish my medallion quilt (sandwich, quilt, and bind) and I have a french braid quilt in progress that I'll pick up again as well, but I'm not going to be strict about finishing them if I'm excited about starting something new. Here's to a crafty year ahead!