Hooked on Needles

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fandango Zig Zag Quilt Top ~ Finally Finished!

Here is one more quilting post before I must immerse myself into my studies once again! This one is the Fandango Zig Zag Quilt top that I started working on at the end of last summer and had hoped to finish before beginning school, but didn't. Then I promised myself that I would finish it on my winter break, which I did, but only just! I guess 18 hours to spare isn't cutting it quite as closely as I could have, but at least I got it done and I love how it turned out. Now if I could only spend some time on the long arm machine, I could have five quilts ready to bind and go! But one thing at a time, right? So here's the newly finished quilt top...

Isn't that fun? It's no secret I'm in love with Moda pre-cuts and jelly rolls are so versatile. This quilt top required one jelly roll, some yardage of the solid background fabric and the nifty 60 degree triangle ruler I bought last summer and showed HERE.

This fabric, shown in the center of this picture, is what I chose for the backing which will also have some of the leftover triangles pieced into it, and the red stripe fabric which you can pick out a few pictures above will be the binding. I just love the reds that Kate Spain uses in her fabric lines, so I like to feature them in the backings and bindings if I can.

So now I must put all this aside for a while again and study for my first Microbiology quiz which will be on Tuesday. This class is so interesting and I just love the professor. We got to look at bacteria under the microscope today, which is just so amazing and next week we'll start making our own slides of cool stuff to look at! Anatomy & Physiology starts tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to that class too. So I'll pop in every now and then if I have something of note to share, but remember that all my posts, videos and information, as well as my Etsy shop are always available for you to read and refer to for help or ideas or gifts. And of course I do check my email frequently so if you have any questions, please feel free to write. I'll be back again in May!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paper Embroidery Project ~ Finished!

Microbiology started today and I think this course will be another winner! So before I get too overwhelmed with studying, I wanted to show you the finished paper embroidery project that I started over the winter break. Keep reading for some pictures of the event all set up and ready for guests to arrive, and some close-ups of the finished favors...

First a few pictures of the 40 bookmarks I made as favors for each of our staff members who were invited to this luncheon...

...and a close-up...

...and another picture...

...and one more just because I love all the fresh and happy colors!

We set up tables in the gymnasium for dining and food service with fresh flowers, bright colored napkins, cheerful colored fabrics...

...and each place setting had one of the embroidered bookmarks to take home...

...and we used those partitions in the background to shrink the big gym space a little and decorated them with photos of flowers that were taken mostly by our PTO president who helped me with this event, and a few by me. The teachers will get to enjoy those pictures in the teacher's room or in their classrooms if they want them. The colored fabric squares are Kona solids that I picked up at Joann's and they have been washed and added to my fabric stash, like I needed six more yards of fabric in my stash, but I have no doubt they will be used eventually! And really, who doesn't love a nice selection of Kona solids to choose from when it comes time to pick a solid for a project?

So that is the end of my paper embroidery project. If you are interested in trying paper embroidery yourself, I can highly recommend Stitching Cards for a great source of patterns for all occasions and ideas on how to use them.

I have one more thing to show from my winter break, the one thing I had promised myself I would finish before classes started again. I put it off until yesterday and actually finished it, so I am very excited to be able to show it off finally. That will be next, and then it might be quiet on here for a while until my classes are over in May. But don't be too surprised if I pop in every now and then for a quick update on my Homespun Blocks Afghan or some other little odd project I decide to pick up!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Temperature Scarf Knit or Crochet Project idea from Bernat

Just a week ago our temperatures here were close to 60 degrees, quite warm for a January day in New England. Today we were close to single digits...brrrr! In the summer, we get up into the 90s and humid which is not at all comfortable. Have you ever thought about documenting a year of weather in a knitted or crocheted scarf or blanket? Check this out...

Don't you just love the color combinations you find on some weather maps? What in the world could this have to do with knitting and crocheting? Keep reading!

Bernat offers lots of great ideas for knitting and crocheting on their website. If you haven't signed up for their free patterns and ideas, I'd highly recommend it if only for the inspiration you can get from seeing what other people are doing! Just today they introduced their Temperature Scarf Crochet or Knit Along! The idea is to assign colors to temperature ranges and then knit or crochet a row or two each day in the color that goes with the appropriate temperature of each day for a whole year. This would be a great way to use up leftover or stash yarns, or a great excuse to try out some new yarns!

This project would also be a great way to showcase your favorite knit or crochet stitches in each section. If you need inspiration for some new stitches, check out my knit and crochet links for videos and patterns of lots of different stitches.

I'd love to know if you decide to jump in to this fun year-long project!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Knitted Leftover Poems Wool Scarf

Since I had almost a whole skein of lovely wool yarn leftover after making my "one-skein" collar that I showed the other day, I decided to use it up on a small knitted scarf. Here are some pictures of it...

I used a simple design of small garter stitch sections alternating with larger stockinette sections, which produces those bumpy rings every few inches.

This yarn is so warm and cozy, and the colors are just so rich and beautiful. I was very happy working with it and so pleased with the results of these two projects.

Can you say COZY?

The scarf measures only about 48 inches in length, very short for a scarf, so it would be good for someone who is smaller or shorter or doesn't like much bulk. It also naturally wants to curl up into a tube as a result of the stitches I used, so when it is flattened out, the width measures about four inches, but curled up into a tube it is only about one and a half inches wide. This scarf would also make a lovely accessory to wear on the outside of a coat since it is not very long.

This pretty wool scarf will be making an appearance over in my Etsy shop very soon for the ridiculous price of only $30, mainly because of its small size and the fact that I used leftover yarn from another project to make it! So it's a good deal for me and a good deal for whoever buys it! I love a win/win situation!

Today was a snow day here so my kids and I spent the day in front of that nice fire you see in the background of the scarf pictures. I crocheted on my Homespun Blocks afghan, they played and read and colored. A lovely day off for all of us! I hope you had a great day too!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Homespun Blocks Crocheted Afghan

Winter in New England is the perfect time to work on a big cozy crocheted afghan, so last fall I took advantage of a great sale on Lion Brand Homespun yarn for an easy afghan pattern to keep my lap warm this winter. It has been slow going though, mostly because of the hours I spent studying biology and writing papers and working out math problems instead of sitting in my cozy chair all evening with my yarn and hook! But that's ok, because when I actually did get to sit in my cozy chair and crochet, I really enjoyed it!

Here's my progress so far...

I just love how the color blocks line up on the diagonal in this pattern. As you can see, it is worked in strips, changing colors every 14 rows. When all the strips are complete, I will sew them together using the long tails I left at the beginning and end of each section of color.

Since taking these pictures yesterday, I have finished that fourth strip and have started the next one, so it's over half way finished now. My afghan will end up larger than the one in the pattern because I added one row and one column more than the pattern called for. I like afghans to be a bit bigger than a throw, so I figure other people do too! This one will most likely end up in my Etsy shop when it is finished, so if you love what you see, let me know and you can have first dibs on it when it is ready to go!

Next up, I'll show you my finished paper embroidery project for the special event on Friday at the wonderful little school my children go to. And that might be it for a while because school starts up again next Tuesday with my first Microbiology class. I'm very excited about it, but I do miss all my handwork and blogging and keeping up with what all of you are doing out there. It's all good though! I have my crocheting to work on when time permits and lots of things to look forward to when school is over!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Knitted Wool Collar

Only one week left of my winter break, so I better get busy showing off what I have done recently. First I'd like to share this warm and cozy knitted wool collar that I made...

The pattern can be found over at Noble Knits as well as the yarn. It's called Rachel's Slow Curve Collar and it uses the short row knitting technique to get that lovely curl at the top. The suggested yarn is Wisdom's Poems Chunky yarn which is what I used in the Ultraviolet colorway. I just love how it turned out! It is so cozy and warm, and does not add any bulk under my winter coat because it is just a collar! This project only took me about three evenings to complete so it is a great project for instant gratification!

One note I must share with you is that the pattern calls for one skein of the Poems chunky yarn, so I ordered one skein with the pattern. When I ran out of yarn, I still had the last three rows to finish, so I had to order another skein and wait for it to arrive. Luckily Noble Knits has super fast service, so I was finishing this project just a few days later.

I picked up that awesome shawl pin from my local yarn shop, The Merry Weaver, right here in Leominster.

Next up will be my paper embroidery project that I showed last week only now it's all finished! And then a crocheted afghan that is coming along slowly, but finally starting to look like something worth showing off!

Happy Stitching!

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