Saturday, February 27, 2010

Toggle button scarf

We live in the part of the country that has been snowbound for a week now. During the Winter Olympics, I joined Raveolympics 2010 to try to complete the Kai Sweater for William from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits book.

The book was a gift from a neighbor while I was pregnant and I'm excited to finally have the chance to knit something from it. I decided to make the Kai sweater in a summer weight, but with all the snow, I've put William's lightweight sweater aside for the moment to complete a quick scarf he can wear today when I take him for a sled ride.

This was a stash-busting scarf, using up some more Caron Bliss yarn and some Moda Dea washable wool in chocolate brown. The combination of the two together is really nice - luxurious softness and warmth and strength.
Here it is as modeled by bear while William naps. Can't wait to see it on the little guy!

I held the two yarns together and cast on 12 stitches. Then I knit it all in garter stitch. To place the button hole, I bound off two stitches in the middle of the scarf. On the next row I knit one in front and in back of the two stitches in the middle of the scarf to bring the stitches count back up to 12 (from 10 for the button hole). Very simple! I wish I'd made myself one.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flamingo scarf

My daughter really needed a new scarf and after returning from the white sands of Florida to the white snows of upstate New York, it seemed especially important. Inspired by a small group of flamingos I saw flying off the coast of St. Pete's Beach in various shades of pink, this is her flamingo scarf.

It is knit with two strands held together, both from leftover skeins that needed to be used up. One yarn is 100% cotton from Lily Yarns, the Sugar 'n Cream in strawberry. This is a variegated yarn that reminds me of the color variations in flamingos. The other yarn is Caron's Bliss in Cotton Candy, a supersoft blend that's hard to stop rubbing on your cheek (it's that soft!). I knit the scarf loosely in simple garter stitch, and with the two yarns held together, it made a great texture that I hadn't expected to like so much. When I asked Savannah if she liked it, she asked me if I would make her a blanket with the same yarn combination. And then she asked to sleep with it, which she did.

Unfortunately, this scarf was a stash-buster so I don't have any more yarn left! Although I'm not sure what I'd think of a bright pink blankie lying around the house. I'm already looking forward to the next project where I knit two yarns together and end up with a completely new outcome. The surprise is what makes it fun and unique.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First quilt

How old do you think you have to be to learn how to quilt? My five-year-old daughter recently took a two morning class offered by a local quilter and learned to make her first quilt from a drawing she brought to class. What do you imagine a sweet girl of five would want to quilt - a flower, a heart, a pony, something for her dolls perhaps? Not my daughter.

She only wanted to quilt the Jolly Roger, a pirate's pride and joy to hoist the colors right before attacking another ship ripe for plunder...argh! She cut out the fabric pieces herself and had some help sewing them in place although she was seated in front of the sewing machine for that part. She didn't handle the iron thank goodness but everything she did herself or had some help doing herself. I'm impressed! I'm not sure if my first quilt at 20 something came out that well.

At least for all her pirate plundering ambitions she can still say "Thank you" sweetly by helping me make the quilted card she designed. This card is to thank the patient lady who taught her how to make her first quilt.  There is always room for another quilter in the house.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New and blue redux

Once was not enough. After ALL of my laundry was clean, I found two more white dishtowels that seemed naked after embellishing their sisters. So I used up some of my last blue scraps of china blue fabric getting these fit for my kitchen.

Up close this one is my favorite spots because by chance the scrap square matched the fabric below it exactly - the circle is complete. From far away, I still prefer the plain single fabric towel best.

Next perhaps I'll patch together a pair of oven mitts.