Friday, December 28, 2007

Size Queen

I'm a size queen, what can I say? I started out making quilts of more humble size. But now I wanted something more substantial. Something that would actually cover my bed. Something I could really sleep under. Well, this quilt isn't even as big as I had originally planned... and thank God. Top 5 reasons why I shouldn't make quilts larger than throw/lap size:

1. No room to baste it. Open floor space in apartment isn't as big as a queen size.
2. Basting large quilt on hardwood floor leaves bumps and bruises on the knees. Yes, I need to ice them now.
3. Run out of safety pins. I swear I have thousand's. I could use that quiltak gun I wanted to try, but can't bear the thought on anymore time spent on basting or learning a new basting technique.
4. The quilt back has to be pieced. Unless you buy extra wide fabric, it's not big enough. That was annoying.
5. (TBD)

I'm just being proactive about #5 - I'm leaving it blank for the actual quilting part, which I haven't started yet.

Do you see this ridiculous basting job?!

I had to start out from one corner and move to the other because I couldn't lay the back flat. I had to start using LARGE safety pins because I ran out of the larger ones. And I'm totally going to have a batting-less corner since my quilt top moved along as I was flattening it out. And yes. Yes. I had to start basting on top of a rug because my knees were killing. I can't wait to see how totally f'ed up this back is going to look after I quilt this. It's going to have so many puckers and folds.

I feel driven to madness. I started telling myself to "LEAVE IT! LEAVE IT!" when I wanted to fix that last pucker in the batting.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Interweave Madness

I finished! I finished!! I shouldn't be so surprised, but let's not fool ourselves. There is always a high probability that when we start a project, it turns into a UFO. But, I finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan and Cobblestone Pullover from Interweave Knits' Fall 2007 issue. Big thanks to Eunny and Jared for beautifully written patterns with no mistakes (that I could spy).

The Tangled Yoke Cardigan is for myself. It's a little on the baggy side, but it's comfortable and doesn't look too shabby if I do say so myself. It's a pretty big achievement for me. And it was a nice project to close out 2007. The pattern taught me a lot, and it kind of feels like a culmination of all the knitting I've learned since I picked up those needles for the first time a year and a half ago.

I'll eventually have to figure out how to do a little shaping myself as I'm kind of disproportionately busty. And no, it's nothing to be envious about. I've come to accept what I've been given, but it's been a long road that started with adolescent torment and now still dealing with fitting room debacles.

I loved picking out buttons for the sweater. I almost went with the basic shell button, but I found these great laser-cut floral motif shell buttons at M&J Trimming awhile back and they surprisingly matched very well!

The Cobblestone Pullover is for The Migglesworth. It was one of his Christmas presents so I was excited, and a little shocked I finished it on time. It was a little snug on him (around the chest), but I bought him the iPhone just in case I didn't finished or in this case too tight, so I wasn't too concerned.

But, I've blocked it out a little and it's hanging much better. I ran some hot steam over it, hung it up in the bathroom for a couple of days... tugged on it occasionally to loosen it up. I used Cascade 220 and it was soft while knitting, but the fabric it created was a little dense. In hindsight I should have used size 8's, instead of 7's. The design is simplistic beauty. It is such a blindingly clear pattern, with such cleverness, it reminded me of Elizabeth Zimmermann's designs.

The Migglesworth isn't one for modeling, so I'll have to sneak some shots of him in the sweater.

I've still got a few more days to eek out more 2007 things. Let's see if I can make this vacation truly productive - back to the Log Cabin Quilt!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Letting go... a little

Months ago, I started on a long-term project. A king-sized quilt that would have the same layout as the Log Cabin Quilt in the Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts book.

Well, I just realized I was making the blocks "wrong". The finished blocks were supposed to be square and mine were coming out rectangular. Not even worth explaining, but trust me - I'm stoopid.

So, I worked with the blocks I had pieced so far and reconfigured them. My second realization in this odyssey was that the fabric I was using was so light and whimsical and I was creating this very serious, very linear, very geometric log cabin quilt top. Theoretically, I thought it was going to be a nice juxtaposition. But, I was starting to lose sight of the big picture.

I laid out the blocks in a very symmetrical way, but wanted to let the "chips fall where they may". I put them out randomly only making sure it wasn't UGLY, and sewed them together as is.

I really like how the top turned out. Traditional blocks and layout design. Untraditional fabric and color placement. Yay.

Now for the quilt back, and quilting. Hm.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good Distractions

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend away. The Migglesworth and I planned a quick getaway to Audrey's Farmhouse, a dog-friendly bed & breakfast near New Paltz, NY. Not only was it the absolute friendliest place I had ever been, but it was breathtakingly scenic. I suppose that's one of the greatest things about living in a city: you really appreciate landscape, nature and space. So, on top of the homemade brownies, cookies and 5-course breakfasts I gluttonized, we awoke Sunday morning to the first snow of the season. My absolute favorite season of the year is Winter. Call me crazy, but there's nothing more intricately beautiful than bare trees... and with snow sprinkled on them? It just doesn't get any better.

Brigitte was joined by Dozer a French Bulldog from Brooklyn who was just the sweetest little guy ever. She enjoyed all the attention, the romp in the snow and best of all - warming up in front of the fireplace.

I thought I'd be able to get a lot of knitting done on my cardigan at this country getaway, but with some poor lighting and distractingly good conversation not only did I didn't get much done, but I kinda screwed up one of my cables.

But, I chalked it up to my first time cabling without that cable needle, which by the way is the best thing ever. If you use a cable needle? Throw it away! It's very freeing and makes the whole experience fun and uncumbersome.