by Kerrie James


Make It Monday: Mending

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

In a full house of six, there is always something in need of mending, but this past week seemed to be the week of Mending!  In hindsight, I wish I had taken photos of all the items before repair because frankly, I am quite impressed in some of the repairs, if I do say so myself! (all finished pics on Wednesday)


For a few weeks now, I knew that our favorite knitted blanket (gifted by friends in the Monthly Adventures Group) was once again in need of repair.  The last time it was simply a matter of re-sewing blocks to blocks.  This time, however, I had to repair some of the blocks, re-knitting in some cases.  It really was quite an undertaking but by starting early in the morning and taking as many moments as I could throughout the day and into the evening, I was able to finish by bedtime.


Before heading to work the next day, my husband presented me his leather jacket.  He read my puzzled face and promptly turned the jacket inside-out, showing the satin lined sleeve completely torn, frayed and quite a mess.  In his ever constant desire to be helpful , he suggested I simply tuck the frayed parts and sew the rip closed.  I only nodded and he was on his way.  Once he left I examined the tear carefully.  I had no intention of taking his suggestion as it would only create a larger mess later down the road.  


It seemed that I had a few options: (1) tear out the sleeve and replace it, (2) patch the sleeve or (3) re-weave or darn the sleeve.  Since I did not have any satin on hand for either replacing the sleeve or patching the sleeve, I opted to re-weave the torn section of the sleeve.  It truly seemed rather hopeless at first but in the end it looked great, considering.


That very evening, I noticed that my eldest son had torn yet another pair of pants - and new pants no less!  I don't know how he does it but he manages to tear the knees of nearly every pair of pants he owns.  And so, my evening - which was to be set aside for knitting - was now to spent mending pants … again.


The next day I realized I had a project which deadline was drawing near.  My son's piano instructor and wife are expecting twins in December.  Initially I had planned to knit booties, caps and cocoons but found out that their very close friend is a knitter and realized these items may be 'covered'.  I then opted to simply create a care package of spa cloths, organic soap, lotion and Mom-stuff.  So I spent the day stash diving and made several cotton spa cloths to gift and a few to keep.


That evening I did knit a bit but learned that my favorite DPN case is no longer adequate for all my DPNs.  I sorted the DPNs, separating by size and length.  The most used DPNs (0-2.5) were stored in my case, leaving the remaining DPNs homeless.  I went to my Fat Quarter stash, turned on the sewing machine and made a quick DPN case for the longer needles.  It isn't perfect but it does the job!


Sunday night, after my daughter's all-day dress rehearsal for Drama Club, I spent the evening repairing her costume.  The borrowed costume has certainly seen better days, the chiffon sleeves had been torn from cuff to elbow.  It took a few hours but I was able to finish the repair and while not perfect, I did try to make it pretty - though no one from the audience will see it.


Which takes us to Monday, when my youngest showed me his blankie.  The store-bought cotton blanket has thinned terribly over the last few years and the thin binding had come undone.  I spent about an hour ripping the seams to remove the binding completely, and then seamed the edges of the blanket to prevent it from fraying.  I am not sure just yet as to the binding, I think I will let him choose the fabric for it.  In the meantime, I think I need to teach the older kids and the husband how to sew!



Still Crafting a Life

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (2)

Where do I start?  It's been too long since the last blog post.  This week I will try to get back my regular posting schedule (post on Monday, pics on Wednesday and reviews, projects, spy on Friday).


To explain the lapse:  At first simply a matter of life being far busier than usual and then sickness fell on our household.  Then, while not 100%, I still had errands to run and obligation to tend.  Simply not much time for the internet save for a random post via HootSuite (I love that tool!) or most days, just check a few messages here and there.  Finally, this past week, I don't think I had been online at all, except to check my email a few days.


What I've been up to this past month:


I always try to make time for knitting.  I've finished two pairs of socks for SKA's October challenge, finished my Quasi-Mystery Tam and have started a mystery shawl by Pat Shaw.  I am currently knitting a third pair of socks for the October challenge as well as a pair for the November challenge. (photos on Wednesday)


I found making time for sewing to be a tad more challenging.  The Monthly Adventures group was started at Christmas time and so, the Christmas/Holiday swap is a big one.  I had to make a GCD (Gift Containment Device) - last year was a stocking, this year I made basket.  I knew I needed something large (to contain the gifts!) but also wanted something on the utilitarian side.  Aside from some seams not matching up, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. (photos on Wednesday)


And of course, shopping must get done.  One of the items on my list of things to purchase was a pound of Lavender.  I became dizzy with the options out there and ultimately settled on ordering from a small farm based in Washington state, Scented Lavender Farm.  I am utterly shocked at how quickly my order arrived, less than a week - unheard of for military mail! (In my experiences, anyhow).  


This next week I will have to make several sachets for storing my yarns and fibers and other stored items in need of protection of moths and carpet beetles.  How do you store your valuable yarns, fibers and made items for long term storage?


Another item in need of attention this past week was to order a new piece for one of my ball winders.  I am embarrassed to say that I have more than one but my favorite one is a U-nitt Jumbo Ball winder.  I am able to wind nearly 500 gr of yarn into one cake! (sometimes joining is required)  Of all my winders, this is the only winder able to handle the 300 gr Wollmeise Lace in one winding. (ok, I may need to take break from time to time)  The pigtail or yarn guide had been broken by my youngest son.  Try as I might, I was not able to repair it myself and so, wrote the U-nitt company, asking if I would be able to purchase the piece.  What excellent customer service! Within 24 hours a message was sent, asking for my mailing address so that  a new piece can be sent!  


There really has been so much going on here and this post is already quite long.  I will leave you with some great titles I've perused this past month:


Sew the Perfect Gift: 25 Handmade Projects from Top Designers

 Just in time for the holidays!  This book is filled with sewing ideas for gifting, ranging in Easy to Intermediate projects.  I've already marked two items - time to whip out the sewing machine (again)!


Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In

A great idea for a book if ever there was one!  Focused on the crafting community and the transition from DIY to Craftivism - the act of crafting from the heart to better the community and/or make a statement.  Yarn bombing, sewn grocery bags, charity crafting, crafting for the sake of the Three R's (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) and crafting to raise awareness are all covered subjects with included projects.  


Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters

If there is one thing many knitters shy away from, it would be finishing.  I myself recall the first pair of socks I knitted in worsted weight yarn.  I had no idea how to Kitchener and let the socks sit for weeks before finally attempting the task.  This book covers all aspects of finishing and would be a useful addition to your library.


The Knitter's Book of Socks

Less of a focus on design and more on sock knitting with a purpose.  Clara breaks down sock yarns and to an almost scientific detail, educating knitters as to how certain yarns behave due to fiber content and ply.  Several patterns accompany this book by well known designers such as Cookie A, Nancy Bush, Cat Bordhi and others.





Pick Four: Easy Fabric Choices for Great Quilts

I really love the concept of this particular book.  Picking colors and fabrics can sometimes be overwhelming.  This book shows you how to keep it simple: select four fabrics and go!  


Quilting Those Flirty 30's

The quilts in this book are nostalgic, gorgeous and inspiring.  I've never been one for applique work but this book certainly has me considering it!


Another Bite of Schnibbles

A great collection of traditional quilts made of 10" blocks, with clear instructions for piecing and layout.  


Urban Country Quilts: 15 Projects for the Home

A nice collection of quilts and pillows of modern, oversized design.  As with all Martingale quilting books, instructions for piecing and layout are very clear.


Slash Your Stash: Scrap Quilts from McCall's Quilting

Fun, traditional and seasonal quilting projects all created with your scrap stash! 






Review for You

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (6)

As you might have noticed, I took a little blog break these past two weeks.  Not that I should have, I have several posts back logged but I really did need a break from the computer... I do that from time to time.

Anyhow, I am back with a week of reviews for you!  Today: Square Needles.

A few years ago, when the Kollage Square knitting needles were released, I did not bite and thought the square shape was simply a gimmick to sell a knitter another set of needles.  I did read about the supposed benefits but simply didn't believe the square shape could make such a difference.  In fact, it seemed reasonable to me that they would cause more pain.

This past year, several knitters from Sock Knitter's Anonymous touted the Kollage Squares, declaring that the square shape really did work.  After considering the sources, I thought it was about time I tried a pair for myself.  I ordered three sizes from Paradise Fibers and waited for arrival.

In the meantime, I started a project and realized I truly needed a needle tip, US 15, which I did not have.  Knowing that KnitPicks and KnitPro needles are one in the same, I chose to order KnitPro from a local source for faster shipping.  In my search, I discovered that KnitPro had released Cubics (also Cubix, depending on the distributor), a laminated birch wood, square knitting needle.  Since I had just ordered the Kollage needles, I thought this would be a great opportunity to compare and review both needles.  With out further wait:

Kollage Square

Made of: Coated Aluminum

Types available / Sizes available:

Straights / 10" in US 0 - 10 (2,00 - 6,00 mm), including half sizes.

DPNs / 5", 6", 7" in US 0 - 8 (2,00 - 5,00 mm), including half sizes.

Circulars,available in both soft and firm cables / 9", 16", 24", 32", 40" in US 0 - 10 (2,00 - 6,00 mm), including half sizes.

Crochet / US A - M (2,00 - 9,00 mm).

Impressions:  I'm a sucker at first impressions.  Like a child on his birthday, I love all the new shiny toys.  It takes a few hours to a few days for the novelty to wear off before I can usually give an honest assessment. 

I like the feel of the Kollage needles, slick but not too slick.  The metal seems to warm to my hand, never feeling cold or uncomfortable. (for your information, it has been quite cold here in Germany, we've even turned on the heat a few nights!) 

I find the tips to be on the blunt side, which I did find troublesome with certain yarns (Trekking XXL) but for nice round types (Wollmeise, Bugga!), the bluntness did not seem to be an issue.

KnitPro Cubics

Made of: Stained and Laminated Birch wood

Types available / Sizes available:


Straights / 10", 12" in 3,50 - 8,00 mm

DPNs / 6", 8" in 2,00 - 8,00 mm

Circulars, fixed / 16", 24", 32", 40", 47", 60" in 3,00 - 8,00 mm 

Circulars, interchangeable/  in 4,00 - 8,00 mm 

Crochet / not available


Impressions: As noted above, I'm a sucker for shiny, pretty things.  These needles are gorgeous.  The deep rich color of the wood just beckons to be touched.  I cast on one set 2,00 mm for a pair of socks and size 4,00 mm for a sweater swatch. 

The Cubics needles are light and smooth.  I paid close attention to the drag, a pet peeve of mine in terms of wood-type needles, and found that neither the Merino/Silk blend nor the Lambswool/Cashmere blend stopped up on the needle shaft. 

The tips are nice and sharp but not so much so that I feared stabbing myself, however, I am partial to sharp tips.


Now for the big question.  Did the square needles make any difference?  Were they easier on my hands than traditional round needles?  Were my stitches more uniform?

At first, I did not notice any difference in the square-type needles being any easier on my hands than the round needles.  I felt I was just knitting away happily.  Then I put down a project knitted on square needles and picked up a project on round needles (Signature DPNs).  The first round went by alright but by the second round I had noticed several things. 

First, my hands were gripping the round needles far tighter than they had gripped the square needles;  Something I've done for a very long time and just accepted as my personal knitting style. 

Second, since gripping the round needles so tightly, my hands grew fatigued faster. 

Third, as one with both Chronic Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia, I found great pain creeping into my hands, something I had ignored all my knitting life but realized that while knitting with the square needles, I did not feel this usual pain.

It seems fairly obvious to me that the square needles are indeed easier on the hands than the round needles... but why? 

I practiced knitting with both the round and square needles to discover an interesting (to me) tid bit.  The square needles, having flat sides, are stable in the hand, requiring very little applied pressure to knit.  The round needles, I found, are not stable and roll down the thumb, which must be why I hold them so tightly, creating fatigue and pain in my fingers, hands and wrists.  It is quite possible that these nuances apply only to my hand and style of knitting but I do urge you to find out for yourself.

Finally, I can not say that my stitches were more uniform, as I am a firm tensioned knitter.  I think someone who is a loose to moderate tensioned knitter would be better suited to give an opinion on this point.


Posted on October 4, 2011 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Since I missed Monday's post and tomorrow is Wednesday, I thought I'd make a combination post, hope you don't mind!

To start, if you haven't yet heard, the Quasi-Mystery Tam KAL has begun.  All details can be found in the dyod*Studio Ravelry group.  If you do not belong to Ravelry and would still like to knit along, please send me a PM.


As always, life is busy here, I've been knitting when I can.  I aim to knit at least 6 pair of (adult) socks between now and next fall, so I am taking the Sock Knitter's Anonymous Sockdown Challenge 'serious' for once.  I finished my September's challenge and have cast on for October's challenge.  I plan to knit my Kananaskis pattern for my DH and am using Trekking XXL. 

September Sockdown Complete


I've also been working on a scarf for the KnitPicks website and there is still so much writing to do for designs worked a year or more ago - In fact, the Quasi-Mystery Tam is one of those designs! 

Between knitting and domestic duties, I've found time to make some delicious chocolates.  I had ordered some silicone candy molds from Amazon in several shapes, these were the favorites:



Making the chocolates was a lot of fun and, while they are not perfect, the kids loved them and they tasted great!

I haven't done any sort of sewing since I finished the summer skirt.  As for spinning, I've filled a bobbin about one half full of the Targhee and still have quite a lot of spinning ahead of me.  I have discovered a few new-to-me books and items, however.  I will not review all of them today but this one especially captured my attention:

Wendy Knits Lace by Wendy D. Johnson

ISBN: 978-0-307-58667-4

2011 Potter Craft

Since Wendy is most known for her well-loved toe-up sock designs and books, I was very curious to discover where this particular book would take us.  It seemed perfectly plausible that the book would be all about knitting shawls with sock weight yarn.  And yet, it isn't.

What it is full of are a very well balanced selection of knitting patterns, all containing lace.  Shawls, yes, but also gloves, a pullover, cardigan, cowls, mitts, mittens, hats, a camisole and of course, socks, 21 patterns in all.

True Love Stole

Vintage Kneesocks

For those intimidated by lace, this book would be a great introduction.  Start with simple lace trimmed gloves, work your way towards a lace tam and then tackle a lace shawl.  Patternwise, there truly is something for every knitter.  My favorite?  I am rather in love with the Seashell Cami:

Seashell Cami

Make It Monday

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (70)

A little late on this post but still, I've made it!


First, I'd like to make an announcement.  Next week is my birthday and to celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway.  Answer the Knitter's Meme (below) in the comments below to be entered for a chance to win one of three 'surprises'.  Contest will close 00:01 CET 27 Sept 2011, at which time I will conduct a random drawing.  



Hand cream?

Round or flat?



Coffee or tea?

ML, 2 circ or DPNs?

Tight or loose?

Semi or variegated?

Top down or bottom up?  

Pick or throw?

Paper or PDF?

Sharp or blunt?  

Ball or cake?

Back to Make It Monday:

Over this past week I managed to wrap up a few loose ends.  I still have many more projects to finish of course, but I'm happy with the current accomplishments (no photos today):


- Both Abalones finished!  Some initial photos were taken but I need to get out sometime this week to get some better, more professional (ha!) shots.

- I actually finished the summer skirt, it is fully lined and looks great but ... I relied too much on my dress form and so, fit is not quite what it should be.  I will have to remove the yoke and adjust the waist just a bit by way of deeper darts along the back.

- This past week I also managed to make a few loaves of bread, both white and sourdoguh, but never thought to take photos.  I plan to do some more baking and breadmaking this week so I will try to take photos then

- If you haven't heard, The cowl pattern, Weinstock was released this past week.  My samples are worked in Malabrigo Rios but this pattern will lend itself well to any hand-dyed or variegated yarn.

- I did get out and take some photos this past week.  I wanted to get some shots of my darling daughter but I had to make it playful so as to get her cooperation.  I told her I had to shoot some knits (In fact, I did but not the knits we took along) and she went into creative director/model mode.  She is awesome and every day I am in awe of the wonderful young woman she has become.  x






Make It Monday

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (2)

I was not successful in getting a post out this past weekend but you know what they say about life and all.  I will be posting an addition to last week's Focus Friday, elaborating for wheel-type specific needs.  Until then, let's see what I have been up to this past week!

The weather last week had cooled down tremendously and I couldn't think of anything more appropriate for dinner than fresh made chicken soup.

The weather is also beckoning my fiber stash from it's plastic storage bins.  Thursday evening I spent a significant amount of time going through those fibers to decide which I would spin this season.  It was a toss up between red and black Cashmere/Merino and autumnal jewel toned (is that a thing?) Targhee.  Considering I had not yet spun Targhee, this batch of wool won out.

I then spent about 30 minutes fluffing and splitting the roving into manageable sections and finally, spinning one strip, just to get a feel for the fiber.  I find that it spins quite nicely and is also very soft and loft.  My test spin was worsted but I think I will spin another length woolen to see which I prefer.  And, in an effort to stop spinning aimlessly, I want to put some thought into what exactly I will do with the yarn once finished!

Having two Abalone samples to work, I had hoped to have both finished by today.  Instead, I have 1 3/4 finished.. not bad, really!  I am hoping to get the second shawl finished by Wednesday now, to include blocking, etc so that I have time to take photos and finally ship it all off to KnitPicks. Everything has gone off without a hitch save for one issue.  One skein was riddled with not only knots but also weak areas.  Most of these spots I had cut and spliced before or during knitting.  Wanting to see the bright side to everything, I thought I would use this opportunity to use several different splicing techniques.  At the time, I thought it was a great idea... you know what they say about hindsight.

Many of the joins are hardly, if at all, noticeable.  The only join that I could easily spot was the braided join but that was with my sense of touch only, I could not see the join whatsoever.  It was time to soak the shawl in preparation for blocking.  Into the water it went, soak, then lift and - 'No!' 

The weight of the water had helped along a broken end and stitches were falling fast.  I immediately and gingerly squeezed out as much water as I could and inspected the area.  It seemed the weak join was a spit splice, which usually is a great join but I suppose I had not felted that particular spot very well, or it was due to the silk content of the yarn.  It mattered not, I still had a hole in my wet shawl.  I ran to my project table and grabbed the few yards remaining of the project yarn, a darning needle and a crochet hook.  I worked the dropped stitches back up to their proper places and began to weave the dry yarn through the wet yarn.  I will not lie, it was a mess.

I decided that the best thing to do would be to continue blocking, hope for the best and address further issues once the shawl was dried - that and have a cup of tea and maybe even a cookie.  The next day, I adored the shawl, trying so hard to not look at the aforementioned spot but who was I kidding?  It looked horrible.  I tried as best I could to fix the spot but again, it seemed nothing could be done except to ignore it.  The strangest thing of all is that the spot causing all the issue is two rows below where the joined yarn was!  I can not for the life of me understand it.  Is it possible that over only two stitches my tension eased up considerably and then went back to normal?  Because that is what it looks like.  At first, from the right side, I thought the spot was the join and in need of tightening.  Try as I might, there seems to be nothing I can do.  It looks as though I won't be send *this* one off after all.

No Pics Just Yet

When I am not working on the two Abalone shawls, I have been working on my September Sock Down Challenge for the Sock Knitter's Annonymous group in Ravelry.  Last week I posted photos of the yarn I initially dyed for use in the Sacre du Printemps sock and, as you may recall, gauge was an issue.  I did manage to find a sport weight cashmere blended yarn in my stash and once again, took to the dye pot. 

I find it quite interesting how the same dye recipe resulted in two different tones.  The only differences I can think of are the differences in fiber content, the differences in twist and finally, I admit, I did (accidentally) add extra citric acid to the first dye job but I am not sure if this would have affected the color quite so much.  The first yarn is tightly twisted and compact while the second is light and lofty.  In any case, the second yarn is near perfect in gauge and is making quite the comfy sock.

And when I am not working on those projects, (of course, you do realize I mean in my free time), I have been continuing my studio/stash cull and also preparing for holiday knitting, to include a sweater for myself.  Yes, a sweater.  In cleaning the stash I realized how much sweater quantity yarns I have and depsite my desire to tone up a bit, I likely won't.  So I may as well accept this fact and go ahead and make a sweater.  Though to be honest, I am planning a 'comfy', yet light, tweed sweater to accommodate or flatter any shifts is body shape.

Sewing has been in the form of mending still... it seems that just when I think I'm finished, someone tosses a pair of pants in need of hemming or repair.  I hope this trend ends soon so I can finish my blocks and make a house shift.  Send positive, energy inducing vibes my way!

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Make It Monday

Posted on September 5, 2011 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (4)

With the start of school this past week, life has certainly been busy.  Still, I managed to squeeze in some time to spruce up my spinning wheels and even do a little crafting. 

September also begins the Sock Knitter's Annonymous calendar, for which I am knitting Sacre du Printemps by Caoua Coffee.  The challenge for this month is to knit in the color chartreuse.  Being I did not have sock weight yarn in said color I had decided to dye some myself, using some natural Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash as a base.  I absolutely love the results.

I knitted as far as the heel (my swatch for a toe up sock) and realized that my gauge is far greater than for what the pattern calls, 9 sts/in vs. 7 sts/in.  Since this yarn does not contain nylon, I am not willing to adjust the gauge and so, I am left to decide whether or not to adjust the stitch pattern to suit my needs (and yarn) or to simply use a sport weight yarn.  I am giving it a few days to both stash dive for sport weight and create a new chart.

I have also been knitting two samples of my Abalone shawl pattern for the KnitPicks website.  One sample uses Gloss fingering weight, which I have used several times since it was released.  The second sample uses the delicious Andean Treasure, a sport/DK weight yarn.  I am hoping to have both samples done by next week with photos following soon after.  Wish me luck!

On the sewing front, I seem to have been mending a lot of clothing lately.  This next week I will be tailoring clothes to better fit my daughter and middle son.  I also hope to sew some more quilt blocks and finish the summer skirt, of course summer is now over.  This was realized by my daughter who exclaimed, "It's baking time!"  So yesterday we baked a chocolate layer cake.  

Book Review: Quilting

 Scrap-Basket Sensations: More Great Quilts from 2 1/2" Strips (That Patchwork Place)

As the title states, this book is all about creating quilts using 2 1/2" strips from Jelly Rolls, Bali Pops and also true scraps.  Kim notes that anything 2 1/2" square or larger will work, offering great advice and clearly illustrated diagrams beginning on page 7. I personally found Kim's advice for sorting and storing the 2 1/2" (page 9) strips quite helpful.  Basic quilt making instructions begin on page 11 and continue to page 17.  From page 18 onward are instructions for 18 beautiful quilts:

  • Town Square, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 63 1/2" x 63 1/2"
  • Flowers for Nana, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 56 1/2" x 66 1/2"
  • Tool Shed, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 54 1/2" x 62 1/2"
  • Lake Cabin, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 71 1/2" x 71 1/2"
  • Over and Under, 12" x 12" blocks, finished measurements: 61 1/2" x 61 1/2"
  • Nova, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 61 1/2" x 77 1/2"
  • Blessing from the Hollow, 14" x 14" blocks, finished measurements: 52 1/2" x 66 1/2"
  • Summer Daze, 12" x 12" blocks, finished measurements: 61 1/2" x 61 1/2"
  • Blues Crossing, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 51 1/2" x 63 1/2"
  • Scrap Basket Paddle Wheel, 11" x 11" blocks, finished measurements: 63 1/2" x 76 1/2"
  • Island Chain, 4" x 4" blocks, finished measurements: 53 1/2" x 64 3/4"
  • Tipsy Baskets, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 53 1/2" x 61 1/2"
  • Sparkler, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 59 1/2" x 59 1/2"
  • Flower Baskets, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 64 1/2" x 64 1/2"
  • Bali Breeze, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 48 1/2" x 60 1/2"
  • Picnic, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 48 1/2" x 60 1/2"
  • Northern Comfort, 8" x 8" blocks, finished measurements: 62 1/2" x 62 1/2"
  • Twinkle, 6" x 6" blocks, finished measurements: 49 1/2" x 61 1/2"

One thing I'd like to note is that despite the lightness of this book, the instructions are very clear and include wonderful diagrams for each quilt, to include cutting and piecing information.  Another point I appreciate is that each and every quilt is of substantial size.  Initially I had expected to see many baby/crib sized quilts and was very happy to learn otherwise.  Within the pattern title is a descriptive box where Kim also comments on the fabrics used within the sample pictured.  For example, Kim notes that the quilt featured on the cover (Picnic) used contemporary prints while another quilt (Over and Under) utilized bright large scale prints as a dramatic contrast to the white background.

Of the many quilting books available, I think you will find this one a steal as each design is wonderful and workable.

Rating:  ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽

Make It Monday

Posted on August 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Instead of WIPs and FOs of the week, this is more or less WIPs and FOs from this past summer and so, longer than future installment (you've been warned!):

Some of you may remember the quilted sewing machine cover, I could not make up my mind as to how to place the blocks.  Ultimately I decided to keep it simple:

Overall, I like the way it came out.  I used an old maternity shirt (the brown bits) as well as long, long forgotten remnants from projects past.  I decided to keep the top quilting on the front and back very simple while following the curves of the vine pattern for the side panels.  I did make this cover slightly larger than necessary as I plan to purchase a new sewing machine this year so that my daughter will have her sewing machine again!

One of my long-term goals is to create my own wardrobe or in the very least, base pieces.  There are many reasons for this goal, the first and most encouraging being that finding clothing to fit my 5'2" curvy frame is rather challenging.  Customization is a necessity and so, instead of simply altering everything, why not start from scratch?! 

I had planned to start and finish three pieces during the summer.  My children, however, had other plans, commandeering our table most days and nights with their own projects.  I was truly lucky to have only gotten this far:

I first had to draft  a new pattern block since my last block from 2003 is no longer sufficient.  I was surprised to learn just how much my body has changed in the past 7 years.  No longer thin and sporty but curvy and feminine.  This realization was cause to truly clean out my closet, getting rid of anything that did not fit.  Needless to say, my daughter and her friends had very little school shopping to do after shopping my closet.  Two years ago, this would have made me so sad and depressed but I've found closure and I have to admit, the challenge of creating a new wardrobe is not only motivating but also exciting.

Finishing or ripping UFOs is yet another goal I've created for myself.  I had a rather large Rubbermaid box full of projects long forgotten.  It was time to sit with each project and be honest as to why I started it and whether or not I would finish it.  Most projects were ripped for reasons such as 'startitis', fad, KAL/CAL, etc.  In the end, I found the projects kept (to finish) are projects I had started because it was planned or my 'type' (socks, lace, etc).  I learned that while community is important, I had often started projects I was not passionate about simply because the Jonses were doing the same project.

One UFO which had been put off simply because my youngest was far too interested in what was going on was a spinning project.  If you spin and have young children, you understand.  I had finally finished spinning the South Cross Fibers Polwarth in the Cairins colorway.  One hank is 3 ply, another is 2 ply and still, I have singles still on the bobbin which I will Andean ply. 

Now the focus (creative-wise) is to finish up the current WIPs and get some older designs written out for publishing this Fall.  I'd really like to kick up my photography, editing and graphic skills a few notches and so, am hoping to take a class or two as well.  Busy, Busy - and I wouldn't have it any other way!



WIP(s) - Work(s) In Progress
UFO(s) - Unfinished Object(s)
FO(s) - Finished Object(s)
KAL/CAL(s) - Knit/Crochet Along(s)

Focus Friday

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (1)

In an effort to post regularly and regain/engage my audience, I am planning to post on the following schedule:


Make It Monday


This category will encompass anything I've made or am working on during the week.  All creative outlets are covered: sewing, knitting, pattern making, spinning, weaving, knit  design, cooking, baking, kid crafts, re-purposing, jewelry making, photography and paper crafts.  I will also include new items which I hope to add to my list of interests, such as gardening and metal work, as well as long neglected favorites such as drawing.  


Wordless Wednesday


With hope, this category will push me beyond my comfort zones in Photography. Photographs might be of works in progress, family, food, nature, singular objects or architecture.  I won't add any text other than the title, date and subject.


Focus Friday


This category is something of a catch-all.  Here I may write about a specific technique, conduct a book or product review or bring attention to something new and wonderful.  


As always, I and this site are a continuing work in progress.  I thank you for and appreciate your audience.  Please feel free to leave a comment or send a message.


Up next week:  My WIPs and FOs plus a book review or two!

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