Monday, 21 May 2012

First big project done and dusted!

Finally finished the James L Brett Tunic, unfortunately I've now lost a full inch off my chest and it's a bit big, but it will do perfectly for winter and feels lovely and warm!  Rather than the Monsoon wool suggested I used Ella Rae's Amity Heathers in colour #130, it's a 75% acrylic 25% wool mix 200 yards / 182 metres to the 100g ball, and is nice both to the touch and to knit with.  I must admit the back was a bit of a drag, it's stocking stitch all the way down, but I'm very proud!  This was my first go at sewing seams and after three restarts I got the hang of doing them with very little visible join whilst leaving no holes.  The pattern did assume a bit of knowledge and I had a hissy fit at my poor 'I only do purl and knit' husband while trying to figure out the making up instructions.  I love the colour and despite the trauma am currently starting the tension swatch for my next project, a Wendy Skye rib and lace waistcoat in my favourite yarn, James C Brett's Woodlander DK in L5, it's a bracken coloured brown and blue yarn I used to make my mum's Christmas present, a Winter Haven lace pattern scarf.  Next time I'm at my mum's I'll take a photo.  Big thanks go to my 8 year old for the photo, good picture!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Evie's quilt winging its way to Kelso

Well smug at having finished Evie's quilt and got it off before she's no longer a little baby!  I'm really pleased with the finished result, the pattern works well and is really colourful.  I'm now confident with my paper piecing and ready to launch myself onto a bigger slow growing project, beginning to put together pieces from my scrap bag and Caitlin's outgrown but much loved clothes.

Once I'd done the piecing, using Superior's fine strong Masterpiece thread, I got some cute baby dinosaur printed fleece from Letham Craft Shop near Forfar, and basted the two together using 505 spray.  I'm not sure I'll ever go back to traditional basting, it's so much easier!  In contrast to my usual method I bound the quilt before quilting as the quilting wasn't going to be directional or move the top much.  I usually do continuous binding but went for butted / knife edge binding this time and it was mostly fine, I had to unpick one edge where it hadn't caught the fleece and patchwork properly.

I found a nice old fashioned font online and reduced it to a single line.  I drew Es and Rs, Evie's initials, onto the hexagons using a green Frixion marker and hand quilted them.  Frixion markers disappear under heat and vanished beautifully after ironing, I also washed the quilt to make sure it wasn't going to come back.  To quilt I used a favourite quilting thread, Superior's King Tut in Mummies.  This is a thread I've used for several baby quilts and has a lovely repeat of pastel yellow, blue and pink.  I did originally try my hand at free machine quilting but wasn't happy with the result so unpicked and went for hand quilting, which gave a really lovely line.

So finally back to the knitting.  Between this and having lost over a stone after taking control of my eating and exercise, and becoming stronger and more flexible during yoga, it's been a good week.  Now all we need is for the weather to cooperate, here in Scotland seedlings are still having to be in the school bottle greenhouse, we might run out of space soon!