Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The payoff

There has been a little bit of radio silence here on the blog, but that's only because I've been spending every spare moment working on either my knit-along sweater or my prism quilt. Uh, and trying to buy a house. But nothing big going on :) I am happy to say that because of all this hard work, I've finished the first, made major progress on the second and may have accomplished the third as well. Yay for hard work paying off!  Sorry about the picture, but it's been raining all day and I had to make do with indoor lighting.

My sweater. The lovely Quinn. I can't believe I've finished my first sweater. It fits like a glove, can you believe it? I love the drape, the length, the color (which is much brighter in person), the collar, the sleeves. That last I am relieved about, because I am VERY particular about my sleeves. There are a few things I have learned with this attempt that I will take with me to the next sweater. And yes, there will be a next sweater because I've been bitten by the bug and found out that its not as scary as I thought. Anyway, lessons learned:
  • A swatch is of uber importance. Yes, everyone and anyone who has knit a sweater will tell you this. Listen! It is sooooo important to fit!
  • It takes a long time to finish (at least for me!) but it flies by. Don't be intimidated by how long it may take.
  • The stitch counts they give you? They are important. Especially when you do the shaping. Unfortunately, I cavalierly disregarded the count, and now my shaping is off-center.
  • Go with your gut instincts. And fix your mistakes, before you get too far along. I noticed the whole-row mistake in the lacework in the yoke only a couple rows later, but I kept going, convincing myself it wasn't very noticeable. And you may not even be able to see the mistake, but I do. Every time I look at the sweater. Every. Time.
I'm still pretty happy with the end result and I'm very excited to wear it. My fingers are itching to start another sweater already, but I'm thinking I'll try something a little smaller, maybe? I finished this one in about a month, so that means I could potentially finish 6 more before Christmas...kind of a sick thought, huh?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...repeat

As in lots and lots and lots of stockinette in the round.  Now I am remembering one of the big reasons I have never knit a sweater before! It's a little boring at this point, but there is something to be said for plain ol' stockinette that you can just pick up and knit without having to consult the pattern (or the numerous notes and hash marks scribbled in the margin!) I have split for the sleeves, which wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be, though I did need about half an hour of Googling and a Ravelery group consult. My in-laws were here this weekend, which actually gave me a lot of time to knit, so I am nearing the first body shaping section. As Shannon said in her post, it's a bummer being a size large! If I were an extra small, I would probably knit a lot more sweaters. My progress:

I love the asymmetrical yoke, though I think I will be much happier with it once it's blocked. Hopefully the increases won't be so obvious.

The sheen of this yarn is beautiful. I definitely want to use it for other sweaters.

If there are any more sweaters.

I also started cutting and arranging my Patchwork Prism quilt.

I am liking the way the colors are going together, but I've realized that I really do not have enough different fabrics for the teal ring. It's killing me, because I was really trying not to buy any more fabric for this, but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pick up some more fat quarters. I'm realizing this is truly a scrappy type quilt that looks better with many FQs than just yardage of a few fabrics. Looking at this picture, I also feel the medium blues need to be more...medium. They are looking a little light to me. What do you think? Isn't the lighting in my sewing room, I mean, dining room awful?

And just to show you what we did with Grammy and Papa this weekend:

Strasburg Railroad Engine 475

We trekked the 2 hours down to Strasburg, just outside of Lancaster, PA, to the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. Across the street they have a steam engine and cars restored to their Victorian era splendor, that run to the town of Paradise, PA, on their original timetable. The ride through Amish country was beautiful and Jack was speechless through the whole thing, which I think is a first! Definitely worth the trip.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hiccup fixed.

Ah Blogger. An often painful experience. It seems to have eaten half my post from the other week, so if you were reading my post from yesterday and wondering what in the heck I was talking about, I fixed it. You can now actually see the quilt and the links to the quilt along and pattern. Sorry! (and thanks for letting me know, More Like June!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Picking out prism fabric

Remember the Patchwork Prism quilt along that I mentioned last week? It's in the fabric choosing phase right now and that is the absolute hardest part of quilting for me. I know what I like when I see it, but for some reason, putting colors together just confuses me. Typically, I find a picture that I like - either a photograph or art work, or sometimes even a magazine spread - and pick out the major colors from that to help me choose my fabrics. That isn't really cheating, since I am still picking out fabrics "from scratch" and not just buying a collection that I know goes together. But if you ask me to throw together fabrics for a quilt without a reference, well, I get a little stumped.

When I saw this quilt, my first thought was to copy it. That's what I do a lot of the time. I mean, I see a quilt I like, and I like it. I like everything about it. Why would I want to change it? But I am trying to branch out a bit, be a little more creative. I have lived near the water most of my life (except for the 7 years I spent land locked in the high desert of New Mexico. But we won't talk about that.) and I've always loved all things nautical. I especially love sea glass and I've always wanted to try to make a quilt using the colors of the sea. So I thought, why not make a sea glass quilt?

Alright, so here's what I pulled for the quilt. I'm trying to use as much from the stash as possible, but I did buy some fat quarters to fill in.

Here are the darks, for the very center.

Then the mid blues, with some light blues for the accent hexes.

Here are my teals. I'm a little light on these, and most of them are from a quilt that I cut for but never made. I'm hoping I can make them work.

My greens.

My aquas. I had plenty of these!

My sands.

And a dark brown for the corners.

I'm liking everything together, we'll just have to cut it up and see how it looks in the pattern!