Jul 31, 2015

Pi in 4.5 months

That pi shawl was a lot of round-and-round. It was great TV knitting and for a while was small enough to be travel knitting. Then, once bound off and blocked, I finally got to measure it and it's 4 feet in diameter. None of us realized it was going to be that big, and I'm glad. It's awesome getting a size surprise like that when you're knitting something that doesn't have to fit like a garment does.

Husband takes one look at it laid out on the bed and says, "Holy crap. How are you gonna wear that thing? Is it a cape? Can I be a superhero? Knitting Man. Haha!" Droll. He doesn't knit.

I've had SOOOOOO many people ask me how I'm going to wear a big circle. It's not a table doily. It's a shawl. I will bundle up in this shawl and be the warmest person ever, right there in the dead of winter. I will fold it in half and then wrap it around like you would any scarf. It'll be awesome. I'll post a picture to prove it in the winter. There's no way I'm trying it out this summer. Just knitting on it was almost too much for this heat. Almost.

I hope it's dry by the time I go to bed.

Now, for those of you who are wondering why it's called a pi shawl, here's the lowdown:  using pi and its relationship with circle radius as a guide, Elizabeth Zimmerman published this pattern in the Knitter's Almanac. It's a matter of doubling your stitch count after 6, 12, 24 and 48 rounds. Then you just keep knitting until you don't want to any more, throw a border on if you wish (yeah, just throw it on while your stitch count is 576 - such a breeze!), and bind off. And Andy's your uncle. Or maybe Bob is, but not for me.

I can see knitting another of these in the future, but with more patterning throughout.


Jul 20, 2015

on the topic of knitting

Yes, I still do that. Knitting.

I've just bound off these socks:

They're a fairly basic eyelet pattern by Wendy Johnson. You can find it on ravelry.com if you're so inclined.

I did two at once, as usual, using the magic loop method. When one is done, the other is done within minutes. No second-sock-itis for me.

I cast on at the toes because I don't like to guess whether I'll have enough yarn. I do Judy's Magic Cast-on. You don't have to know who Judy is. I've never met her. Just Google it.

I did afterthought heels. They're my go-to heel now because I don't knit enough socks to remember all the steps to increasing, gusset and flap without referring to a pattern. Plus, if I want, I can do the heel in a different colour using the afterthought method. Rad.

I'm nearing the end of the Pi shawl. I have 576 stitches on the needle (yes, I counted) and I'm working Pattern 1 from the Knitter's Almanac, which is also where the shawl formula is. I won't say pattern because it's really not like any pattern you'd purchase from such a famous person today. It's like how my Nan gave me her recipe for curried shrimp - there's no way I could make it the same as she does (which is what I want) without really explicit measurements and instructions.

Anyway, here's a photo just 'cause:

It has been a little hot for turning the iron on lately, so quilt progress is pretty slow. More on that later.


Jul 16, 2015

square 1

I've been to Sisters, Oregon for the annual outdoor quilt show and I saw over 1300 quilts hanging. That's a lot!! They were everywhere. With the beauty of the interweb, I knew I could find photos any time I wanted by googling 'sisters quilt 2015' or something like it, so I didn't take a lot of photos. Here are the three I took: one that is meticulously constructed and two fun ones.

Meticulous. Beautiful. I couldn't stop staring.

Day of the Dead. I went back to the store for that fabric a while ago and by then it was sold out. Darn it!

Uh huh. Thank you very much.

And then I came back home and continued cutting and cutting and cutting. Imagine 56 fussy-cut centers with two sets of borders each ... Eight pieces for each one. A few have three sets of borders and a few have one or none, but it really is close to 450 cuttings. Oy.

When my pile started getting teetery, I decided to take a break from cutting and get to some sewing. The result is Square 1.

See what I did there? I totally fibbed. That's was Square 2. The reason I took a break from cutting is below, which was actually Square 1. It was a pain in the earhole because the dummy who cut the middle square (they won't all be squares in this quilt) cut it at 6.25 inches. For those of you playing along, there isn't an easy way to do 12.5 - 6.25 and then divide that in half. I like quarter-inches. So I devised a plan to short-cut half the first border ... And then I forgot the plan I devised (within mere seconds) and cut the lengths so that they went on opposite sides. Of course that turned it into a rectangle, right? Right. So this little gem got set aside while Square 2 was finished first. Having Square 2 then prove that I am, in fact, good at math, I returned to Square 1 and tacked on a bit of fabric on the short side. I made a conscious decision to not unpick to fix this one. It'll be a quirky quilt. Can't you tell by the Jeeps? Wait til you see the rest of the fabrics!

This is Dave's quilt. It will be queen size and it will join us on camping trips. He's looking forward to it. Let's remember that not only are there 400+ pieces to cut, but there are also 400+ pieces to sew and iron. It'll be a while.


Jul 15, 2015

I'm in!

See my previous post - I either had enough friends sign up, or the requisite amount of time had passed. I'm playing around and figuring things out and it's such a cool site. I don't know of anything else like it, so if you're interested in easily designing your quilts before you start cutting, without a ton of google image searching, this is the thing.

I've already provided two pieces of feedback and it sounds like both will be addressed. It's good to know that there's a keenly interested development team behind this site.

Go, Patternjam.com!!

I'll actually post some pictures of my playing-around once I get something I like. I blew the first thing away thinking it was an 'undo' button when it was actually a 'reset' button. I won't do that again!


Jul 7, 2015

interesting new website

I was just reading a fellow quilter's blog and she had a whole post about Pattern Jam. (She's kinda famous ... she's teaching at QuiltCon.)

I signed up on Pattern Jam and I can't wait to get designing. It looks super easy based on what the famous one posted (there's a video above if you want to check it out). However, it looks like they're just collecting beta testers at the moment because I can't get past the sharing screen.

If you follow this link, you can sign up for the early access as well - WEEEEEE!