Why, you ask, would I have chosen the cookie monster cables for my very first knitting project when normal people learn to knit scarves, then felt bags, then socks, and THEN attempt a sweater? I’m posting some pics here of my first quilt. Maybe this will explain how insane I am. I don’t seem to be able to just get a pattern for anything and follow that. I’m really an outside-the-box kind of gal. Patterns are never what I want. When I use them, it’s merely for launching purposes.
The bug quilts came about during my 3rd pregnancy. Knowing that after the baby was born, our girls would be sharing a room and bed, I went looking for something fun to decorate it with. I decided I really liked the loud colors (lemon, rasberry, lime, orange, etc.) and wanted a bug theme. There were several ready-made bug comforters out there, but none quite what I wanted (read in between the lines…none were quite loud enough!) So I thought to myself, “self, you know how to sew, surely you can figure out how to quilt” I got out my sketch pad, colored pencils, and graph paper and set out to make matching quilts for my girls. After I got the tops put together, I realized I didn’t really know how to “quilt” all the layers together. I took it into my local quilt shop to see if they could help me out. I distinctly remember their stunned faces:
“THIS is what you did for your FIRST quilt?????!!!!!”
Anyway, after 16 months (give me a break, I had 3 kids under 4 yrs old at the time!) both quilts were done. The only differences are the blocks in the center are personalized to each girl: monkey for Olivia, grumpy bug for Zoe (ohh, you have to know her!) and Zoe’s is smaller b/c I didn’t realize HOW small it would be. Doing Olivia’s second I decided to add a border and make it bigger. I’ve always meant to go back and add the border to Zoe’s…maybe it’ll be a nice graduation present or something (she’s 5…do you think I have time?)
This is the yummy alpaca sweater I made for Kevin for Christmas. The yarn feels so wonderful, but the project hit some hitches. This is the first sweater I’ve completed (still working on Cookie monster cables, even though I started it first). There are a couple of obvious places where I did the wrong stitch.
Then there is the unexpected “stretch” factor. I knit (is that the past tense?) this on size 11 needles. It went very fast, but b/c of the loose-ness of the stitch, the arms stretch out when you put it on. I’m going to attempt a technique my knitting teacher in college used to make shoulder seams to try and counteract this stretching….as soon as I can get to the sewing machine in my studio!!!
Here’s the technique….Place pins perpindicular to the seam on either end of the shoulder seam. Then wrap yarn around these pins in a figure 8 pattern, cinching up the seam to the measurement you want. Then sew with a sewing machine zig zag stitch to secure.
Hope it works.
I also found out 2 things about alpaca AFTER I had the whole thing done. 1) it sheds, and 2) it’s heavy.
I’m not sure if Kevin will ever actually where this or not, but it was fun to make. I think I’ll try a similar pattern to this next time in wool and a slightly smaller needle.
These are actual, current pictures of my “studio”. We moved in to this house over a month ago and I can’t seem to find the time to get down to this room and get everything put somewhere. I’m really trying to go through all the boxes we’ve had in storage and get rid of as many things as possible. That, and the daily needs of the other 4 people who live in my house have really put a hamper on getting this project done.
I recently checked out a book from the library “Where Women Create”
This is are really neat look at well know artists, quilters, etc and their studio space. There is a quote in the book that really hit home with me:
“It is both rejuvenating and inspiring to have a special place where I don’t have to explain myself, accommodate others, or accomplish something – where I can just lose myself …making something with my hands.”
I really miss my own space and can’t wait to have this done. My wonderful friend Kelley is home this week from college and is supposed to come over and watch the munchkins for me so I can get some work done, but it’s a blizzard out right now, so I don’t know if she’ll be able to make it over or not.
Oh, here’s what the room outside my studio looks like, which is what I have to get done first before I can get the studio done.I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have found a house where I have my own space. I’m really ready to be able to use it.
I just had FOUR fillings put in this morning. Figuring that I couldn’t eat anything, I stopped by Pikes Perk to get a yummy strawberry fusion smoothie after dropping Zoe off at kindergarten. My lips are numb……so I can’t close them all the way to suck on the straw! I’m sitting here right now eating a smoothie with a spoon. Lame.
I’ve got several posts to put up in the next few days. We moved 3 weeks ago into a new house and directly I came down with the FLU. Flue sucks. Next year I’m getting a flu shot if I have to tackle some old person to get it! Then after the flu, I got bronchitus (sp?). Needless to say, not a whole lot of unpacking or blogging has been going on around here. Hopefully it’ll all get done soon.