Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mission accomplished; moving on

Yesterday I delivered six blankets to St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Trenton, NJ, where Project Linus of Mercer County was packaging up donations to send to Christian Aid Ministries for Haiti Earthquake Relief: A small but successful start to the crafting outreach experiment. I could not be more pleased.

Next up will be caps for chemotherapy patients. I'm looking forward to greater participation in this effort because the project is small and quick and the deadline will not need to be so stringent. I need to do some research on where caps are needed and what types of caps are desired, so between that and the impending quilting-with-kindergarten afternoon I'll be doing this Friday (did I not tell you about that? Surely it's worth a post of its own) it will be a week or two before I can officially announce the chemo caps plan. Until then -- a sweater to knit, a quilt to sew, some soup on the stove -- my work is cut out!

Monday, February 15, 2010

No-Sew Fleece Blanket

As K's contribution to the Blankets for Haiti project, we picked a No-Sew Fleece Blanket. Of the many instructions we found on the web for this type of blanket, we thought these were clearest and made the nicest-looking finished product. A friend and I cut the two layers of fleece to size and snipped the fringe, and then the three of us got to work on the knotting.

The result was a cozy throw that K is proud to donate to a Haitian child in need. And "maybe could we make one for me, too?"

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Guinea pig mattress -- Adobe glitch

For those of you in Guinea Pig world who may be trying to get at my Guinea Pig Mattress Tutorial and having trouble, I'm told that there seems to be a bug in the latest version of the Adobe software. Turns out that you can load the PDF just fine when you click on it, but you can't *see* the PDF in some browsers until you *resize* the browser screen. It's not a disaster, and I'm sure Adobe will get it cleared up soon -- but it's been confusing to more than one person, and I want the instructions to be available to anyone who'd like to use them, so I thought I'd mention the fix for it here. Happy sewing!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On my needles: Snowbound edition

Several of the yarn stores near me had Super Bowl Sales this weekend -- but they might as well have been Blizzard Sales, given what the weather has been doing. I snapped up several sweaters' worth of super bulky yarn, which is my weight of choice despite the fact that most of the patterns I see call for worsted or DK weight yarn. I think I'm going to need to learn how to design my own sweaters because of this, but I've been listening to the Knit Picks Podcasts quite a bit lately, and Kelley Petkun's ramblings have given me enough inspiration that I kind of think that might not be a totally hopeless undertaking.

I got the light turquoise Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed at Woolplay in Haddonfield, and I originally intended to use it with a second strand of teal, but that turned out to be a bit too chunky. So I started the Berkshire Pullover (yes, another one) with the intention to stripe the teal and turquoise, but chickened out, and now I'm working on a solid turquoise pullover which I'm very happy with. The label calls for a size 10.5 needle for 3 sts/in., but I'm using a size 13 and getting a much larger gauge and a soft, stretchy fabric. I think if I had a size 11 I'd have tried those, but it started snowing and all. And the idea was to make a light, airy version of the Violet Bearegarde -- which I love but can't wear very much because it's so incredibly dense -- and that's working for me.

I still have my socks on the needles; they'll be my out-and-about project; and I am joining the Mitten Knit-A-Long on Knit Picks (where I will be knitting with pretty red Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky yarn instead of the recommended worsted, of course) -- I need to pick up my 32" size 9 circulars to knit them with the Magic Loop method, a first for me! I will want to be starting the white ribbed sweater too, and I have picked up the alpaca "cashmere" unisex knock-around sweater again. So many projects to keep track of! Not to mention additions to my stash that I haven't even mentioned! I have some serious labeling and prioritizing to do.

I am also itching to get back into the studio now that the sun is shining and it is not so all-blasted cold. I have added some gorgeous vintage bedsheets and chenille to my collection that cry out to become something beautiful, and D has put up an inspiration wire for me to fill, and my Amy Butler quilt cries out to me, and my fabric stash is begging to be sorted and reorganized for Spring (yes, Spring!)

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