Monday, January 2, 2012

One Begun, One Finished

When we were in B.C. I mentioned to DDIL that I would like to get to a good fabric store in order to find the elastic I need for the cuffs of Jim's turtleneck tee shirts. I can't get the proper size here in town anymore.  So one morning we went to Fabricana in Coquitlam.  OOOh that was a lovely store!  There was oodles of elastic to choose from.  Then we cruised around a bit and found several nice bolts of knits for his shirts.  It's been getting harder and harder to find good knits for a man's turtleneck shirt.  It seems that fabric manufacturers are concentrating on the enormous market for quilting cottons.  Or perhaps it's just in Red Deer Fabricland that the choice in knits has dwindled so badly.

I was ready to leave, having accomplished more than I came for when DDIL suggested looking at the quilting area.  Up on the wall above the fabrics were several completed projects displayed.  One especially caught our eye--a bright, cheery lap quilt.  She liked it a lot, so I bought a selection of the fabrics used--all fruit prints.  I told her to hope that it would be ready for her birthday this year, that is, next August!

During my very dull week between Christmas and New Year's Day, I started cutting.  It's a simple pattern: Cut two 9 1/2" squares each of 12 different fabrics.  Divide into two piles, one square of each fabric.  Stack four squares together, face sides up.  Cut in half on a slanted line from 7" on one side to 5" on the other side.
Sew the squares together, two different fabrics in each square.  Cut them again, on the other axis.  Sew these together, so each square has four different fabrics.  Now take the other pile of twelve squares and do the same thing, only this time place the fabrics upside down when you cut.

That all was finished quick as could be.  Then I started placing them on my design wall.  I spent hours moving them around, trying to get the seams to go in opposite directions and not meet, trying to keep the colours separated.

Finally I sewed them together in rows, and wouldn't you know it: I flipped one row by mistake and had to rearrange the next row to make up for it.  So in spite of all the careful arranging, there was a certain randomness to it.

It's nice and bright, but I do wish I had bought more of the yellows they had available.  Yellow is just not my colour, but more of it would have improved this quilt.  Now it needs the three borders, first 1/2", second 1 1/2" and third as big as I can manage out of the fabric that I have.

I've showed these socks before, but this morning I put the final touches on them.  I made them for DD#2, but realized that I had knit them with yarn that I bought for myself.  The yarn for her second pair is still in the cupboard.

This pattern is called "Skew" and can be found on the net, probably on Ravelry.  They are toe-up socks, knit on the bias by increasing every other row on one end and decreasing that same row on the other end (the ends being the juncture between the sole and the top of the foot.)  This was an interesting knit, and now that they are finished I find them very comfortable.  The yarn is a 75% wool, 25% nylon from Mary Maxim called "Gemstones."

Because they are basically a flat tube, the heels are knit with short rows, and then grafted together.  The graft here is in the middle of the navy blue "peninsula."

I will have to ask DD#2 is she wants this pair or if she wants to wait for a pair in the yarn she chose.

The "final touches" I referred to consisted of undoing the bind off and adding one stitch for every four in the next to last row.  Doing that creates a bind off that doesn't "bind" when on the leg.  This is a new technique that I picked up from the excellent book, "Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks" by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  Adding those stitches gives just the right amount of elasticity to the bind off row.

1 comment:

  1. My goodness you have been busy!! The quilt is very colourful with all the fruit - it will brighten up anyone's day that is for sure!

    Now those socks are absolutely FABULOUS - I just love the colours and the way that the yarn works itself up the sock to form its own unique pattern! Happy New Year oh ye of great talent!!