Monday, June 29, 2015

Kayakers finished!!

Big finish over the weekend!  I'll get to enjoy it for a couple days before I wrap it for my cousin.  Her dad passed away in February,  he was 94 and lived at the lake until the end.   He brings the composition together the eye goes from kayak to kayak and instead of going off the quilt the eye goes to Vernon up to the island  across to the sun and back to the kayaks.  If I would have made this 11 years ago when the fabric was new I don't think it would have looked like this.  Looking forward to a weekend at the lake.  
Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday. --Ann--

Friday, June 26, 2015

On the Needles

 I was sitting outside the other evening finishing another pair of reading mitts, enjoying a beverage in a bottle and after ever sip I had to wipe my hand on my pants before I could resume knitting.  Damp fingers and yarn just don't work.   Hmmm I wonder how these reading mitts would fit on the bottle!?!?? 

It fit like a glove or maybe a sock. With the left over yarn from the pink, blue and purple reading mitts I cast on 44 stitches and knit some ribbing then stockinette then decreased 4 stitches as I started the ribbing at the other end and the bottle sock was born. And only 15 inches of yarn left from those 2 balls of yarn.   Isn't that the greatest feeling using up all the yarn??!?!?

Another pair of socks using left over yarn I'm about ready to start the gusset.  I need a little go project for a road trip to the lake next weekend.  Linking to Judy's OTN.  --Ann--

Thursday, June 25, 2015

FMQ Kayakers

Everything is fused and starting to fall off.  I wonder ??  does fusible have an expiration date?  The stuff I was using was from several years ago and some was coming off the paper backing or maybe my iron was too hot or too cool or too much steam or not enough steam.  Maybe I should read the instructions again, I will next time I buy fusible.  All the black has been stitched around with black thread. The sky is done!   I used a pink and yellow thread and will use the same for the lake but I will use a yellow thread coming out from the sun reflection. I'm just getting warmed up.  Away I go. --Ann--

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kayakers Design Wall

The silhouettes are cut, I must have drawn and cut at least 6 of the smallest kayak before I was happy with it, and and then I traced it wrong on the fusible not once but twice, time to quit for the day and take a walk.  I came back from my walk and fused the background last night and decided to wait with the kayaks and look at them with fresh eyes today.  Now to fuse everything in place, its always tricky to pin parts in place on the design wall and not take the flannel down with it.  An "aha" moment!! tape things!!!! Why don't I place it on a flat surface?!?  well then I would have to clear a flat surface to make room, tape is quicker and slicker and the perspective is better on the wall.  Borders and layering next then the fun begins.  --Ann--

Monday, June 22, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I started yet another quilt over the weekend. My cousin is having a birthday in a couple weeks and we will all be at the lake. A decade or so ago we were in a quilt shop at my request and there were some wall hanging patterns with black silhouette fused appliqué on sunset type fabrics They caught her eye and bought fabric for me she wanted her girls in kayaks on the lake.  So more than a few years later I am getting to work on it.  I enlarged the kayaks on the printer, now I need to tweak the sizes some.    The front kayak should be a little smaller, the kayak in the middle needs a reflection and the smallest should be a little bigger but now I am out of printer ink and I live in a very small town so I will draw and cut and trace onto fusible then cut it out in black.  I can see a lot of horizontal quilting for the sky and water using yellow, orange and black thread. The quilting is going to be fun.  She has probably forgotten all about it so it will be a surprise.  Be inspired at Judy's DWM.  --Ann--

Friday, June 19, 2015

On the needles Reading Mitts

 I have had inquiries about the yarn I have been using for the reading mitts and requests for the pattern so............different labels but it is the same yarn Knitcol by Adriafil, an Italian  DK yarn that is 100% merino super wash, the colors are just by number no names, bummer.  Color names are always fun to read and I always wonder what influenced their names.  For this yarn I am using US size 3 or 3.25 mm circular needles.
I cast on 48 stitches from each ball using the long tail cast on.  I have  made these with 44 stitches. Those are very snug on my hands, I usually buy medium size garden gloves just for size comparison.  For fingerling yarn I used 2.75mm needles and cast on 52 or 56 stitches always a multiple of 4 so I can do a 2 by 2 ribbing (k2, p2)  I would  cast on more (60 or 64) for larger hands.
 Cast on the stitches then turn the needles over and count off half the stitches (24), bend the cable and pull through so you have half the stitches on the front needle and half on the cable, working yarn (the yellow) is on the cable and should be in the back. Make sure that your stitches are not twisted and knit 2, purl 2 to the end pull the needle around and knit the other side. I have knit all the way around the first reading mitt, the beginning and end are joined.
 Count off half the stitches again and pull the cable through so half the stitches are on the front needle and  half are on the back with the working yarn (green), make sure stitches are not twisted and knit 2, purl 2 again.  Cast on stitches should now be joined in a circle for the cuff.
 Continue knitting the ribbing in the round. I place a marker so I know which mitt I started first, the end of each round is when your needles are in this position with the marker on the left.
 Sometimes it is nice to knit without keeping track of a tape measure so I knit ribbing until it is about there on my thumb.  Then knit 3 - 5 rounds of stockinette  before starting the thumb gusset.  I knit 4 rounds.
 For the thumb gusset: knit to the last 3 stitches place a marker I like to knit in front and knit in back of the next two stitches so that I have the purl bump to identify what row I am knitting. There are now 5 stitches after the marker. Knit 2 more rounds then increase (kf and b) the first stitch after the marker and the second to last stitch. The purl stitches are one stitch in on each side of the thumb gusset. Continue increasing every 3rd row until there are 19 or 21 stitches in the thumb gusset.  19 for smaller mitts and 21 for medium, 23 or 25 for larger mitts.
The first pair of reading mitts I knit had an inch and a half of stockinette before beginning the thumb gusset and increased every other row. Then I knit a pair of gloves that had the 3rd row increase and I liked the gradual longer gusset for the thumb better so that is how I have been knitting gloves and reading mitts.
There are now 21 stitches in the thumb gusset,  knit to the marker and remove, then slid stitches to waste yarn or ribbon, with the backward loop cast 3 stitches onto the front needle to replace the 3 that went into the beginning of the thumb gusset.  Continue knitting about an inch until stockinette stitches reach the base of the index finger then knit 6 to 8 rows or more of 2 by 2 ribbing, depending how long you want them.  Bind off in pattern by lifting first stitch over the second.
 Slide gusset stitches to DPNs and pick up 5 stitches over the gap. Most directions say pick up the same number as were used to begin the thumb gusset; 3 in this case but I always had big holes on either side so I pick up 2 extra stitches then knit 2 together to get rid of them.

Knit stockinette around and knit 2 together  twice in the thumb crotch.  I will knit the last stitch (black) in the thumb with the first (grey) newly cast on stitch together then knit 3 stitches, then knit the last (grey) cast on stitch with the first (purple) stitch on the next needle, I think that closes the holes.  Decrease 2 stitches the next 2 round until there are 20 stitches on the DPNs. Knit 3 or 5 rows to just below the thumb joint.  Begin 2x2 ribbing for 4 - 6 rows and cast off in pattern by lifting first stitch over the second.

See no big holes on either side of the thumb.

Do the second thumb just like the first, pull up the crotch stitches in the thumb and weave in the ends.

Flash back to my youth and 4-H mode here but a very wise woman told me a few decades ago when giving a demonstration or illustrated talk to assume that your audience knows nothing about your topic a tutorial is similar to a  4-H demonstration only I didn't have to make posters.

Pattern in a nut shell, just the facts:

Cast on 48 stitches or a multiple of 4 depending on the size of needles and yarn
knit 2x2 ribbing about the length of your thumb for the cuff
knit 3-5 rows
begin thumb gusset, place marker before the last 3 stitches increase 2 stitches every 3rd round until you have 19-21 stitches
move thumb stitches to waste yarn 
cast on 3 stitches continue knitting to base of index finger
2x2 ribbing 6 or more rounds  cast off
move thumb stitches to DPNs pick up 5 stitches in the thumb crotch
K2tog  2 times in the thumb crotch 3 rounds until you have 20 stitches or 16 for smaller mitts
knit 3-5 rounds to just below thumb joint
2x2 ribbing 4-6 rounds cast off.

Happy knitting and linking to Judy's On the Needles. --Ann--

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Out of the Cupboard

I haven't done an "out of the cupboard" post for a long time. This tiny quilt has been hiding between quilts in the cupboard . Its about 12 inches by 8 inches, from way back in my miniature phase when I first started quilting. All the large quilts I made back then were pieced in workshop classes. The stash was limited, it fit in a boot box and my space was limited but I had the need to quilt so I made miniatures. I made quite a few but I was involved with a craft group that had an annual sale so I sold all but this one. It was pieced with 1/8 inch seams and I hand quilted it. My bias corners are rounded because I didn't know how to pivot and fold for a nice square corner. 1989 is written on the back. --Ann--

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Another Travel Bag

 I liked the faux leather that I used on this (click) bag so much that I made another travel bag. This is an Amy Butler pattern and I have had fabric and zipper for it for a couple years. I deviated from my original plan which I had pretty much forgotten and used the new fabrics which looked wonderful with the navy stripe that I have had for years. I made it an inch wider than the pattern.  The faux leather fabric handles were thick enough that it was difficult to pin so I taped the handles in place and sewed.  I also used my little red clips for holding some parts in place. 

  I added a strap for my pull handle.
 I wanted a soft sided bag so I quilted the the front and back panels and the base I did use the super stiff fusible interfacing in the base so the bottom shouldn't sag and a lot of steam to get it to stick.  I'm ready to go somewhere. --Ann--

Monday, June 15, 2015

Design wall Monday

My grand thoughts of getting lots done on this quilt were side tracked by hubby wanting/needing to paint the house once he gets an idea in his head he is like a train, there is no stopping him. Tuesday was too hot to paint, close to 100 here he didn't even go the the golf course.  I sewed the flying geese then pressed them and put some possibilities up for the next rows. I think the mountain lion fabric is too busy and light, maybe I should do stars with the mountain lion in the center of just one or two stars?!?  Wednesday we painted the front of the house until the sun came over the house. Hubby borrowed the big scaffolding with the push me pull me axels. I didn't follow his directions very well. Which direction is back when we are both holding the tongue at each end of the contraption???? I thought it was time to make lunch. Thursday we finished above the garage and since it was overcast we worked on the south side of the house then moved around to the east. Darling son came over to move the scaffolding because he is really smart and know exactly how to move the tires to get it up close to the house with no cussing. He is such a dear. This quilt is for him.  Friday we started on the east side of the house on the scaffolding then I said I was not going to work in the sun so I went to the north side of the garage, by early afternoon I was working in the shade on the east side of the house and then we were done. Yippee!!! All the flowers around the house were sacrificed in the name of safety and speed, the peonies were just about done blooming, the hollyhocks were a couple weeks away from blooming but they might just make a come back by late August, they are almost like a weed. Looking forward to a creative artsy week since HD went fishing.  Linking to Judy's Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.  --Ann--

Friday, June 12, 2015

On the needles

More reading mitts completely finished. I bought two balls of the self striping yarn thinking one ball might not be enough for one pair will it looks like one ball is more than enough. I cast on 44 stitches for the first pair of pink and lavender mitts then started another pair also with 44 stitches then decided there would be more than enough yarn for a larger pair with 48 stitches so I started knitting from the other end of the ball and wouldn't you know the color repeat was the same so I have one pair with matching stripes. next week I may go back to knitting socks or start a sweater. linking to Judy's OTN. --Ann--

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


My new travel bag, it was a chore to make but I do like the way it turned out. Reading independent designer instructions is so different than reading directions from the major pattern companies or maybe its the quality of illustrations that throws me because I am a very visual person.  I read and re read the instructions and sometimes I would fold them up and do it my way.  The dark brown is a faux leather knit fabric, I sewed it with a teflon coated stretch needle and only broke a couple needles in the process. It is interfaced with peltex a very stiff non woven fusible interfacing so the bag stands up on its own. I added a strap for my luggage pull handle and also added the zipper on the top. The original pattern was an open bag. It will hold my small purse, camera, sketching tools and all the other necessities. --Ann--