We had a lovely time at the river last week for Thanksgiving and I got to spend a lot of time with my favorite buddy, Ginger.
Every evening we had a beautiful sunset just like this one from the first night. This sight never grows old.
Anne and I had a little bit of craft time. I took some things to cut out for my second set of Christmas postcards (and didn't take any photos) and I decided to take crochet for my other projects. But I had to consider Ginger and her hair. I didn't want dog hair in Chris' blanket or any "solidish" project. So for my first project I tool this scrap blanket. Every time I finish a project I add the leftover yarn to this blanket. I figure that eventually I'll donate this as a pet blanket so a little Ginger hair wouldn't matter. I got aught up on my scrap yarns so this one is in a rest until I make more scraps.
I remembered this yarn and took it with me too. Ginger's hair would blend in perfectly. I bought this to try it out for a wheelchair shawl. It was on deep discount when I bought it and it came in a pack of 3. I did finish a shawl but it's blocking right now so I'll share it with all the pattern info in another post.
But here's the news flash. When I finished the shawl this is all the yarn that was left in one ball! I should have rushed out and purchased some lottery tickets!
Since coming home I've been working in the Christmas postcards and, in the evenings, Chris' blanket. I just started the 4th ball and there's a long way to go! It's about 55" wide and I have 7 more balls to go. This is going to be my winter project and I absolutely love it. The colors in the blanket are much more vibrant than the photo. The camera really washed it out.
Today we will start putting up Christmas decorations and this year that's going to take a lot less time without the beaded ornaments!
Today I'm taking a few minutes to catch up on what's been going on with crochet and loom knitting. I don't have photos of hats that I'm working on. I just have a little project bag that I keep ready to go with yarn and hook to make chemo hats and they are coming along just fine.
My big finish is this blanket that I will donate to be a wheelchair blanket. It's about 29 x 38 and could also be a baby blanket but I decided to make this one a lap blanket for a nursing home or assisted living. It's a self striping yarn but I had an extra cake of the matching solid turquoise and I added it in the turquoise sections to give it more length. The annoying dark spots where the pink and turquoise meet are just the way that the yarn came off the cake. You don't really notice it or the awkward striping when it's in your lap.
The yarn is Caron Baby Cakes that I got on clearance in the Spring. I used 2 of the stripe cakes and about half of the solid turquoise. This is a very soft yarn and really nice to crochet with. I used an I (5.5 mm) hook and the Sedge Stitch. It's perfect for TV watching.
Since my hand has gotten better I haven't been loom knitting as much but I found out that the donation place wanted sleeves for dialysis patients. Well, a sleeve is a lot easier than a hat that required decrease. I started with 28 pegs and did 8 rows of 2x2 rib and then did the body in the Beehive Waffle Stitch and finished off with more ribbing. It's a fun stitch to do and very easy to keep up with. I've got a lot fo 5 and 6 weight yarn specifically for the loom so I'll get another sleeve started soon.
I have 2 projects that I'm started to crochet. One is a blanket made with this beautiful yarn. This is Cascade Cartwheel and it's the same yarn that I used in another wheelchair blanket earlier this year. I liked working with it so much that I bought a bunch of it on sale. I'm going to make a big blanket with this and it will likely be for Chris or gifted.
I had two patterns in mind so I did a messy swatch with one pattern on the bottom and a lacier pattern on the top. Chris preferred the bottom one. He doesn't like holes in his blankets. It's this blanket from BagODay.
I think I cast on 171 stitches and am using a J hook. It does go really fast. I really wanted to get this started because I think there's a possibility that I will need more yarn and I want to find that out soon before I can't get it anymore!
I'm also going to start this duster jacket. When the lighting is good I can work on this and when the lighting isn't so good I can work on the blanket.
I'm also considering starting another wheelchair shawl so that I can feel completely overwhelmed (normal) and feed my daily whims about what to work on.
I had the weekend to myself and I think I got a lot done. Chris is away on his annual hunting trip to Nebraska and is coming home this evening with some turkeys and pheasants for the freezer. While he was away I hunkered down with my audiobooks and got some things done.
The postage stamp quilt binding will be done tomorrow just in time to take to the quilt club meeting for show-and-tell. I still can't believe that I'm actually finishing that project! I need to get a label made later in the week.
In less exciting news, I got 2 of my own veterans quilts quilted. I'll bind these this weekend at our club sewing days. I'll probably be able to also finish the rail fence tops that I started last month. That would be cool. That would give me 4 more finished projects before year end. I'm all about padding the stats.
I also made some design process on the Christmas postcards. I do a tree themed one every year and I think I'm going to have trees made from these hand painted silk fabrics on a dark burgundy background.
My friend Anne gave me this red sparkly fabric to make a doll outfit with. There's tons of it so I'm feeling a card featuring a stocking with white felt as the cuff.
You might remember this reject from last year. It might get resurrected. This morning I have to go to the doctor to have blood drawn so I may go to the Joann that's nearby and see if I can find a wide plaid ribbon that could be sewn to the side and I might have 2 tree-themed cards this year, which is not a problem at all. While I'm in that neighborhood I'm going to visit my brother to take him some shirts that I dyed for him.
I also have to deal with this. Remember when I made the cheer outfit? I followed the directions and used her hook size but I crochet really tight and ALWAYS have to go up a hook size. I should have done that for this project. It's supposed to be American Girl, not American Hooker.
I think I've fixed it. I made both pieces over again using an H hook and I added 1 extra row to the skirt. The extra row was an accident but it can't hurt. Poor little AG, she must be really cold in that first outfit.
While I was working on the AG outfit I was using yarn from Dollar Tree, Joann and Hobby Lobby. It made me wonder which of the "bargain" yarns hold up best. Since there's nothing I like better than a good research project I've decided to do a test. I'm going to make 4 swatches from each brand of yarn. 1 set will be control, 1 will be machine cold gentle wash and flat dry, 1 will be machine cold gentle wash and tumble dry and 1 will be machine hot wash and tumble dry. I'll each set in laundry bags and run them with my laundry and I'm going to do it 4 times. I want to see how each brand holds up and which ones pill or if all of them are basically the same. That will tell me how to label the donation things that I make and give me some guidance on what yarns to buy in the future.
So far I've made swatches of I Love This Yarn, Premier Just Yarn, Premier Just Active and Big Twist.
I'm also going to swatch Premier Basix, Lion Brand Pound of Love, Red Heart, Mainstay and maybe Caron One Pound. If I get motivated I'll go to Hobby Lobby and get some of their house brand one-pounder. I think that will cover it for the bargain yarns. I'm not going to order anything that I can't get locally, this project is already a little out of control.
This one is going to take a few weeks. My focus this week needs to be Christmas cards.
I didn't post yesterday because Wednesday was dyeing day and Thursday was errand day so I just didn't get a lot done.
I can report that I'm 53% done with the binding on the postage stamp quilt! I basically stitch 3 lengths of thread every day.
Since the ornament closet is empty I set off on a little bit of reorganizing (mostly of the yarn stash) and that led to some much-needed reorganization of the office/shop. It
In that process I FINALLY hung this quilt that my friend, Marcy, made for me. It's absolutely perfect on the gray walls of the office! I love it and I'll see it every day when I'm packing orders.
I've got the longarm fired up again and I'm starting with 2 of my own veterans quilts. I should have these done this weekend.
I'm making good progress on this blanket. I haven't decided if I'm going to donate this one as a baby quilt or as a wheelchair quilt. I think it's going to be a little big for a baby quilt but it would work fine for either. Another week or so and this one will be wrapped.
So it's time to think about new projects and here's one of them. Lion Brand recently had a sitewide 35% off sale and I picked up this kit. I love a duster coat so what's not to love about a duster sweater. Mary Ann said that this yarn was really soft and nice to work with so it seemed like I should give it a try. I made a swatch last night to motivate myself to finish the blanket.
Another project that I bought yarn for is this blanket. I wanted a granny square format project as my next car project. I realized this summer that blankets are way too hot and bulky to work on in the car. I made one really bad sample block just to make sure I'm happy with the colors. I did a lot wrong in this one but I know what's wrong and I know I'll be able to make the blocks. I got this book used from Thriftbooks and I think it was less than $10.
I don't know when we will take our next road trip but I'm ready!
Today we have some repairs being done at the house and then I have to go get more soda ash for dyeing. I'll do some more binding and maybe get one of the veterans quilts quilted.
I hope you have a great weekend.
First I'll report that I'm now 13% done with my postage stamp binding. I've even turned a corner! A little progress every day will get me there.
But today is all about yarny talk. I picked that up from one of the YouTube channels that I follow. Pamela has a nice channel and she opens by inviting listeners in for some "good ol' yarny talk". She's also Southern so that's a bonus. I've used 2 of her patterns so far for a pocket shawl and the cheer leader doll outfit.
Today's yarny talk starts with finishing a second Divine hat. I love making this hat. It goes so fast. This is the second one with this yarn. I made the first one with J (body) and H (brim) hooks. I made this one with I and 7 and it fits me better. Both will be donated to a breast cancer oncologist office. I had a good bit of yarn left over but not enough to make a 3rd hat. I remembered this shawl that I made in August from the same yarn so I pulled it out and added 3 rows to the bottom. All that was left was that tiny bit of yarn and I'm cool with that.
I really hate leftover yarn and always look for something to do with it. Fortunately, in this case, I had not delivered the shawl to the donation center yet.
My next chemo hat is this one. I bought 3 balls of this yarn at the Hobby Lobby clearance in June. I think I paid about $1.50 for each skein! These are going to make some classy hats. I have the same yarn in some bright colors for more playful hats. The yarn is soooo soft that I think they will be perfect chemo hats. The oncologist office is near my doctor's office. I'll be seeing her in late November to follow up on some tests so I'm going to see how many hats I can complete by then.
(Side note, I got my first set of labs back today and all I can say is "Yay vitamin D"! If only I had knows about vitamin D years ago I could have solved so many problems so much earlier.)
Back to yarn.
Do you remember when I started doing crochet and I said "I'm not going to stash yarn". Yeah, I didn't really believe it either. Our fabric stashes are really valuable especially when we need something quick to finish off a project. Well, that works in yarn too and I do have space, soooooo......I buy clearance yarn.
This blanket 36 x 49 and made with Premier Serenity Chunky yarn. I planned it for a dialysis patient blanket and I wasn't exactly sure how big of a blanket I could get from the 11 balls of yarn that I had. Like all of my yarn, I bought it on clearance from somewhere. Corner to corner is so perfect for this kind of blanket because it makes a really squishy blanket and crochets up really, really fast. it also makes it easy to size as I go. I started in one corner and kept increasing both sides until I used 4 balls of yarn, then I went straight up (increasing only on one side) until I had 4 balls left. Genius right? Yes, indeed, if it had actually worked. Take a look at the upper right corner.
See how much extra gray marl there is there? That's not Serenity Chunky yarn . I had no intention of buying another ball online to finish it. That one ball might have cost more than all the other balls combined.....it was that much on sale.
Off to my stash to get some white and gray worsted weight. I figured I could blend white and gray and that it would work well enough.
Then I found this Bernat twist and it was PERFECT! I don't even remember buying it but I'm guessing it came for Joann. I think I paid about $1.20 for it. I remember going in there once and bringing out a whole bag of yarn for about $20.
That was all the justification I needed to take advantage of a big sale at Lion Brand. They had a lot of yarns about 70% off. I put a ton of it in my cart and then reduced it to enough for 2 blankets and 2 wheelchair shawls. The next week they had a general 35% off so I bought yarn for 2 specific projects that I wanted to do for myself. One is a blanket done is squares for a travel project and the other is a sweater/duster jacket.
I'll take a moment now to comment on Lion Brand customer service. The first order arrived yesterday and there were 3 balls of yarn missing. I emailed them around noon and received a shipping notice for the missing yarn within 2 hours! That's great customer service right there.
When I went out to pick up my sewing machine Tuesday I took the opportunity to drop off this box of donations to From The Heart. It has 2 dialysis blankets, 1 wheel chair blanket, 2 wheelchair shawls, a baby hat and 24 walker caddies. I also included some yarn that I didn't like working with. It's a yarn that most people love and they were thrilled to get a donation of new yarn. They have a big yarn wall where people can get free yarn to make items. That's another reason that I don't mind my yarn stash, I can always donate unused yarn there and they really appreciate new yarn and yarn in quantities to make whole projects.
While I was there I was talking to them about stuff that they need and they showed me dialysis sleeves. The patients can't wear sleeves so they like to have knitted or crocheted "tubes" that have ribbing on both ends that the patient can slide up their exposed arm while getting treatment.
I had already decided that I really didn't enjoy making scarves and hats on the loom and they get soooo many hats and scarves that I didn't thing they needed more. These sleeves seem like a great idea so I got one started last night.
A while back I watched this video for the beehive waffle stitch and this seemed like a good project to use it. So far, so good and it goes pretty fast.
I have to loom knit for a few days because my hands need a crochet break.
Today Chris leaves for a golf weekend trip so I have 4 days alone! By Monday the ornaments will be packed and ready for delivery sometime soon. I also hope to get a lot of that binding done. I'm taking Mom to her eye doctor appointment tomorrow so I'll have a little bit of crochet time too.
I've been dying (not dyeing) to share this project for 2 months.
Earlier this year I stumbled on the Lost Souls Shawl somewhere on the internet. I believe it was THE project to make in 2014. As soon as I saw it I knew that I had to make it for my best friend for Christmas. She's totally batty for skulls. It makes shopping for her really easy. I was worried that this would be too advanced for me but I gave it a try and found that it was relatively easy.
It's basically a 14 row repeat and mistakes are easy to hide and compensate for in the next row. I probably started this in March and finished it just before we left for vacation in August. Anne's step-daughter is getting married this weekend so I knew that I needed to give it to Anne so she could wear it to the wedding.
Here are the specifics:
Lost Souls Pattern on Ravelry - it's free!
Video tutorial by Jonna Martinez
Video tutorial by Fiber Spider
The yarn I used is Goshen by Valley Yarns. Valley Yarns is the house broad for Webs. It's a cotton/rayon/silk blend and it's lovely. It was wonderful to work with. The shawl is heavy because of the cotton but it's not too heavy and it's really soft and comfy.
She had a few minutes Saturday so we met up at Wegmans so I could give it to her. She was VERY happy and I can't wait to see a photo of her with it on this weekend.
Also this weekend I got the machine sewing done on the postage stamp binding and made progress on my other crochet projects. I'll have photos of those things for Wednesday.
I don't have a lot to update today on the creative front. My college roommate and I decided this summer that we needed to go back to Virginia Tech for a football game and we decided to take out Moms with us. We left Friday, stayed in Roanoke (because hotel rates in Blacksburg on game weekend were insane) and drove into Blacksburg Saturday morning. We had a great time driving around to see our old apartment and dorm building and visiting other sites around campus. We had some light rain in the morning but you can see that the clouds moved out in time for kickoff at 3:30. Then the Hokies proceeded to get their butts kicked. That was no surprise but I was glad that we all got to experience Enter Sandman before kickoff. We had a late dinner back in Roanoke Saturday night and then home Sunday. I got home in time for NFL games at 1:00 and proceeded to put my feet up and relaxed the rest of the day.
I always take a travel project with me and I finished this Divine Hat in the hotel Friday night. I followed the instructions and used a J hook for the hat and H for the brim. It seems a little big so for the second one I'm going to use an I for the body and 7 for the brim. I made a shawl from this yarn last month and I like it a lot. It's possible that I can get 3 hats from this one ball. These will be hats for chemo patients. But after these are done I'll switch back to Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. FLB is incredibly soft.
When I'm crocheting in front of the TV I switch between projects. Working on this blanket with the bulky yarn is really fast but I think it's harder on my hands. I only have 4 balls left and 1 ball only does 4 or 5 long rows. I figure this one has reached it's max length and I'll start doing short rows on both sides. I think this will finish to about 36 x 48. That's a fine lap size I think. It's incredibly warm and occasionally induces a hot flash.
That's when I switch to this lighter weight project. Yesterday I added the last 2 color sections. I think I got the second wide aqua section done just before I left Friday. I am liking the effect of the wide aqua sections and I think this will make a nice wheelchair blanket. I only have a few cakes of self striping yarn in my stash and that's good. I might be kind of over it for a while. After this I'm pretty sure the next blanket I make will be another gingham using 3 solid colors.
Before I left I also finished another walker caddy. These are fast to sew and I have then set up at a machine so I can work on them in small bits of time. I'm going to try to get them finished and out of the way by the weekend. This one has one of the embroidery pieces as a patch pocket on one side and a large pocket on the other. The ties are positioned at the top of the big pocket to add more stability and support for the pockets.
For anyone wanting to make these I recommend just looking online for patterns. I don't really know if mine are right or not. I found a couple of online patterns and adjusted them for the fabric that I had.
Before I get into today's post I just wanted to mention that I got a lot of questions about the fusible batting tape. I will be doing a longer post to answer all of those questions in a couple of days when I can pull some batting sample out to show just how I use it.
I sort of feel like I didn't get much done this weekend but as I think back on it I was sure busy! Friday and Saturday were sewing days. I worked on one of my veterans quilt kits but, honestly, none of us got much done. We were distracted by preparations for a quilt exhibit coming up this week. Our county has a new museum and they had a couple of months that were unscheduled and they desperately needed something. Our sponsor at the Parks and Rec department suggested a quilt exhibit. Three of our members have done an amazing job with the coordinator to pull it together in about 2 weeks! That has to be some sort of record. We will get a preview of it Thursday and I'll try to get some photos.
I also spent a lot of time trying different configurations for the ornament storage. I think I have it all worked out but I had to pick everything up to do my fabric ironing yesterday. I'll get this all back out this afternoon (after my physical appointment). I've told myself that I can't buy any yarn or fabric or any other craft supply until the ornaments are delivered to my SIL.
It was also a football weekend so that means mostly crochet and this is why I'm cheering in the title of this post. The cheer outfit for Ella is done! These are to colors of her cheer outfit. I used this pattern.
I like that pattern because it has all the accessories including shoes! I'm sure I was reading her shoe pattern wrong because I couldn't get it to work but I found a shoe video tutorial on YouTube that I followed for the stitches and used the pattern for the color placement.
The pattern even includes a scrunchie and pompons! This small stuff is hard to crochet! I didn't do a perfect job of it but I think it will be good enough. Now I'm going back to blankets for a while! Blankets are much easier.
Yesterday was a very long day in the dye studio. I started at noon and didn't finish until after 8 but I got a lot done! Needless to say, I didn't do anything else yesterday. After I was done I looked at my crochet bags but settled on picking up a book....a real book, not an audio one. I finished my latest audiobook while I was dyeing.
Today I thought I'd take a moment to catch up on what I've been doing in crochet this past week and some other things I want to do today.
The big blanket is moving along pretty quickly. That's the benefit of bulky yarn (Serenity Premier). I'm on the 5th ball of 10. It's as wide as I want so the rest will be straight up until I get it as long as I want. I'm happy to use this yearn but I'm learning that I don't love bulky yarn. It's really tough on my hands. But, it sure does crochet up fast!
I'm working on a few doll things for Ella. On the right is the top of a cheerleader outfit. The pattern has some shoes too but I couldn't get them to work out for me. So I went to Youtube and found the pattern for the boots. I'm going to alter the boot pattern to make the cheer shoes. I also need a skirt.
The purse is for another outfit all together.
My third project is this blanket. It was intended to be a baby quilt but I don't love the colors for a baby quilt. If I use just the 2 cakes of the stripe it will be perfect baby quilt size but I can make it longer by using the matching pale teal to make those stripes much wider. With that it can be a wheelchair blanket. I'll can add more of the pale teal as a border. I do like trying to use all the yarn.
I'm really being drawn to making the dialysis and wheelchair blankets. They are about the same size as a baby blanket but there are a ton more color options which makes them more interesting to make.
I plan to finish these blocks today. It should only take about an hour. Then I can start putting together that stack of walker caddies.
I went out Tuesday and got all the stuff I need for the ornament storage boxes so Ill start on these today too.
I did not get too terribly distracted this weekend and stayed focused on the postage stamp quilt. I'm getting so close now that I'm going to have to start thinking of a name.
Look, you can see the end! You can also see all the chalk that I drew all over this quilt. No worries, this one will get a good soaking when it's done. I made this before I knew how to handle bleeding fabric.
The yellow line marks the last row that I quilted. I thought I might finish it yesterday but football started so I had to come upstairs to watch games and iron.
I also made this hat yesterday. When we had lunch with my cousin recently she mentioned that she walks in the morning so I decided to make a hat for her. The pattern is a combination of a couple of BagODay patterns (Youtube). I'm including the basic pattern for myself. I don't expect anyone else to understand it.
Starting with 12 DC in a magic ring or chain loop
Round 2: 2 DC in ever stitch (24 DC)
Round 3: 1 DC in 1st stitch, 2 DC in next stitch, repeat (36 sts)
Round 4: 1 DC, 1 DC, 2DC (48 stis)
Round 5: 1DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC (60 sts)
Round 6: 1 DC in every stitch
Round 7: 1SC, 1DC, alternating all around
Round 8: 1 DC in the previous SC, 1SC in previous DC
Repeat 7 & 8 for 9 rows
Next round DC in every stitch
FPDC, BPDC in alternating stitches for 2 rows to make a rib
FBSC, BPSC in alternating stitches for the last row.
The skein of yarn was 115 yards and I had only a few yards left over. Perfect. The hat fits me really well so I might make one for myself.
I know that this hat doesn't look particularly impressive in the first photo but look what happens when light hits it! My cousin walks in the morning when it's dark so I thought a hat made of reflective yarn would be cool to have. It's Lion Brand Basic Stitch Reflective. I don't think it's available anymore but I'm sure someone has a reflective yarn.
(Yes, there is a little spot at the top that doesn't have the reflective fiber around it. )
This week I will get the quilting on the postage stamp quilt done!
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.