Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Knitting for the Winter

Finishing the mystery quilt top apparently took all my quilting energy for a while, so I have just been knitting for two little girls, Miss Yellow

and Miss Purple,

these too for her,

and for their mother Silver Darling.

The brilliant colours of our Autumn are almost gone, and almost composted too already.

Remember this view from May, when the forest around our place was cleared so the trees can grow better, and Mr K. asked if he could clear away some trees they had cut down? 

Well, they were happy to say yes, and so he did some harvesting, and now there is this nice pile of logs seasoning and waiting for further sawing so we can burn them in our fireplace, not this Winter but the next one, and maybe some years after that too.

Today was the first day with ice on the ground at places all day long, and even the shallow parts of the ponds had a thin ice cover. Visiting swans were there together with the usual ducks, they must stay until the cygnets have learned to master their wings for the migration.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Mystery Quilt top Finished

As I mentioned earlier, I was having problems with my mystery quilt dimensions. For a slim, tall man I wanted the quilt to be clearly longer than it was wide, and Kaaren's design kept the difference at 4" only. Therefore I decided to add my own row to both ends, and a 1" solid border to frame it.

I had enough 2" squares in my sorted scraps, so I made 4-patches in blues and reds with white.
After adding another thin brown border all around it was time to use the French Braid snake. It was just the required length +3"!

For the 4 ½" cornerstones I designed a tree block, and finally added a 3" border in the  same blue fabric as in the cornerstones around the houses.

I'm pleased with the size of the quilt now, and therefore I'm not going to add the 6½" final border with Prairie Points but stopping here.

I delivered the baby hats this week, and now my evening project has been knitting these just so,

and these for two little very well behaving boys

who are grandchildren to my big brother. He had a big birthday party and I gave him this Bear Paw quilt you already know from my exhibition last Spring. On his fishing trips to Alaska he has seen bears, so I thought the pattern would be perfect for him. Not to mention that I wanted to make some bear paw blocks.

This has been a good Autumn, with not too much rain and some really wonderful sunny days, like this two weeks ago

but now the same trees have shed most of their leaves, and we are having real frost of -5C on clear nights.

These trees are aspens, the birches are almost bare already. All flowers have been cut down, Ericas replace them for the winter.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

French Braid

Back to working on the Mystery QAL. The French Braid was a very slow process, no chain sewing at all. I needed over 240", six meters and some.

I decided to make one huge snake so nothing gets wasted when I cut the ends straight. I'm going to add my personal touch to the quilt at this stage to make it a little longer so I don't know yet what length the braid is going to me in my quilt.

I have added some new fabrics to the mix but am still keeping my palette limited to the colours I have already used.

The Nature's palette is adding shades of yellow and brown and reducing the greens to minimum.

Ligularia Dentata. We moved these from the old garden of my FIL this Summer to replace the rose bushes which didn't like this place in the shadow of the house. Now the roses grow in front of the house and these handsome beauties obviously have found their place here.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

End of Tour de Baby Hat

 The cyclists have reached their destination and so has my knitting. There is still one hat on the needles, but

66 hats are here, all ready to be delivered to the maternity ward for new babies. Some of my hats ended up rather large so I decided to take them to the Red Cross collection point where they take donations for the refugees who come to our cold country with so little. Winter clothes are needed, and anything for little babies.

Our grandson has naturally grown out of the white outfit I knitted before he was born, so I made him a new set. The hat covers the ears and forehead, the size is for right now so I can see myself knitting a Winter version very soon. The mittens are without thumbs, but the next pair must be with thumbs so he can hold his shovel or make his first snowballs. The socks are once again train socks (if you click the link, you find the English translation of the pattern, and the story behind the socks).

I made him two bibs too now that he is eating delicious food with a spoon.

September means often the beginning of new classes or hobbies, for me too. I'm taking a class in yarn techniques, just once a month for an evening. Last week we started with Bavarian crochet. With the big holes this will be no good as a potholder, but when it grows a little, it could be a nice dishcloth.

For dessert a picture of my flower box in August to remind of the Summer that is clearly ending.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Flying Geese, Dresden Plates and more hats for babies

After a lot of cutting and sewing, all 88 geese are flying in a nice formation around the houses of this mystery quilt I'm making after Kaaren's design.

The corners have blue Dresden Plates appliquéd on yellow table cloth (really, this was a self-made tablecloth for a Summer party some years ago).

I like trying new blocks in a small scale, like just four Dresdens. I only have made a Dresden plate block once before in my life, when I made a bag after Stephanie's pattern.

Then of course I have been knitting. The broadcast from the Vuelta is usually just a little over an hour so these baby hats are not strictly Grand Tour hats. I simply like to keep my hands busy when I'm watching something not too demanding or interesting on TV, and so there are 11 new hats for my bag to be taken to the maternity ward. I try to make them for every taste, for boys and girls, small heads and bigger ones. It is fun to try out new patterns, and I happened to develop a new one too: the white hat in the middle was going to be 2 tog, yarn over, purl 1 but I started accidentally with ssk, yarn over, purl 1 and so the zig zag pattern is softer than 

in this yellow one in the middle of the front row. Oh, I see these make together already 21, my goal for the Vuelta. I still have some yarn left, and the Vuelta ends on this coming Sunday.

Maybe 70 hats instead of the intended 63 would make a nicer number?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Building houses, knitting hats

Last month Kaaren of The Painted Quilt started a new Mystery Quilt-Along. As soon as I saw her house blocks I knew I was going to sew this quilt some day. As it happens, the new project left all nice quilts on my list behind and here I am, with steps 1 and two done and step 3 on my cutting table.

Like almost always, I'm using old shirts as my main fabrics. Here the brown sashings are unused fabric, and the red plaid of the outer border is a leftover piece of  something I have bought for a backing.

Last weekend the last of the grand cycling tours, Vuelta a Espana started, and so did the last stage of my knitting project for the maternity ward babies at the local hospital. My personal goal is to finish 63 baby hats in all by the end of the Vuelta, one for each cycling day of the three tours.

The weather is still warm but we can feel the Summer is ending. After the exceptionally cold June and not warm at all July we had some lovely warm and sunny weeks in August. Now we have thunder and rainy days, but sometimes the sun comes out too.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Strawberry season continues

It seems like ages since my last post here, and I felt like I hadn't finished anything after the large quilt top. Then I noticed that I haven't shown you this needle book  I stitched for a dear friend for her birthday this Summer.

The wool strawberry is filled with emery to keep her needles sharp.

Our tiny strawberries give us a handful of ripe berries every day now. We have finally got Summer weather, just the most perfect sunny days with a fresh wind reminding of the Autumn just behind the corner.

On a sunny day about two weeks ago our DD Kaija was married. After the ceremony and lunch we helped to arrange the food on plates and in bowls to be served to the younger guests in the evening. The couple looked so happy! And therefore I'm so happy for them.

My morning glory has grown. The large blue flowers really only open for the morning.

This morning there was a lot of dew on the roses. The nights are getting cold, only about 5C, but I love the daytime 21C more than really hot days.