Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quilt Progress

I finally finished sewing all the squares together for my son's high school graduation quilt.

The back and front are completely different - his choice.

Front is on the left. (reds)
Back is on the right. (blues)

The front has the raw edges which will be clipped into quarter-inch fringe.

The back looks more like a traditional patchwork quilt. The two diagonal lines I earlier sewed across each square create a diamond pattern across the entire back.

I have finished clipping in one direction (the columns); now I have to clip the other direction (the rows) and around the edges. It took me about 15 minutes to clip each column. When I tried to do two columns (one after the other) my thumb started to go numb and tingly. I guess that means it will take longer to complete cutting the quilt since I will have to do a little bit each day for several weeks instead of finishing it up in just a couple of days.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Circular Net Shawl -- Finished!

It's done! And I like the way it turned out.

Actually the netting part has been done for a few weeks, but the blocking has been on hold while I created a blocking board . But once that was made I actually blocked the netting on Friday and wore it to church on Sunday.

The shawl will open out to a full circle, but when I tried to block it that way, I pulled too hard and snapped the double strand of yarn that held the center loops together. After I re-threaded them onto a doubled, double strand of yarn, I decided to fold it in half and block it that way, thereby putting less strain on the center.

If I were to try it again, and I probably will, I think I will use yarn that is heavier than the lace-weight I used this time and see how it works up with a thicker yarn.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baby Gift Bag

Last week I was busily preparing to attend a baby shower this past weekend.

My standard gift for such events are three tea-towel bibs with ribbing at the neck. I received one years ago and loved it so much that I copied the bib to create my own pattern.

As you can probably tell, they are expecting a boy.

I also zig-zag around the edges of the small circle that is cut out. That creates small wash cloths the baby can hold.

This time also I decided to knit a small sweater and hat to accompany the bibs.

While I was finishing the hat I thought, "It's too bad that I don't have a gift bag to hold all of these items." About that time a light bulb went off in my mind and I knew what I would do -- NET a gift bag!

Of course it was impossible to use one of the bags I had already designed. My brain was already creating a new pattern.

I took the concept Alwen had used for the base of one of her net bags. However, I reversed what she did.

I started from the top of the bag with the handle and ended by decreasing to form the circular (well, actually a pentagon) base for the bag.

What really thrilled me was that the idea actually worked!

The only thing I would change would be to make the handle a couple of inches longer.

The ladies at the baby shower were impressed. One commented that the bag would be great for holding bath toys and another was heard to say, "... and she made everything, including the bag!"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Net Bags for Knitting

A couple of weeks ago, while I was working on my sweater, I got very frustrated. Because the cable pattern is simple and appears once on each sleeve and once on each front and not at all on the back, I decided to try knitting all five sections at one time, from five different balls of yarn on one long circular needle. It was simple until the balls of yarn got tangled. I tried hard to keep the threads straight, but it was not working well.

As I was sitting working on the sweater, I found myself wishing I could run the knitting needle through each ball of yarn to keep it close to the section of the sweater it belonged to, even though I knew that would not work since the needle would interfere with the way the yarn was pulling from the skein.

Then it hit me. A net bag could hold the yarn and slide along the knitting needle right next to the section of the sweater that needed that skein of yarn.

So I took some brown waxed 1 mm cord I had been trying to find a use for and made a plain mesh bag.

When I saw that the idea seemed to work I made a second bag to check my pattern. I placed the yarn for the left front in one bag and the yarn for the right front in the other bag.

I decided that I wanted to try something a bit different for the sleeves.

So I chose some green 1 mm hemp cord I had recently purchased and made another bag. This time I used the eyelet or rose stitch.

Again I made a second bag to check out my pattern. Then I put the yarn for each sleeve into a bag and put the two bags on the circular knitting needle.

Now that I had a bag for the sleeves and the fronts, I thought I needed one to hold the yarn for the back.

For this bag I decided to use some #3 crochet thread. I thought I would try out a new stitch and chose ivy.

When the bag was finished, I placed the yarn for the back into the new bag. Since there is no need for a second bag I guess checking the pattern will have to wait.

So now I have all five skeins of yarn hanging onto my needle.

It may look strange, but it works just fine. No more tangled yarn!

Oh, yes. I have almost net the shawl back to the place where I had to cut off nine rows. I am currently three rows from the end.