WIP Wednesday: Hexa-ghan

There are two projects I am actively working on right now. The first is an afghan I started in early October for my niece, Kori.

hexagons!

hexagons!

The pattern is aptly named “Hexa-ghan,” as it consists of hexagons knitted together. I am using a very soft acrylic yarn for this. I already had white, so I found a bright teal and darker blue-green to accompany it.

three joins

three joins

One beautiful aspect of this design is that the hexagons are knitted onto each other instead of knit separately and joined together at the end. This allows for easy customization. I’m knitting this blanket from the center out and intend to keep working until I use up all the yarn!

So far, I’ve knit 12 hexagons. In the photo below, the left-most white piece is my center, and I’m working around that. Once I finish this round of hexagons, I’m going to start working to create a more rectangular shape.

2014-10-28_Knit-WIP_kori-hexaghan (7) - Copy (1024x768)

12 down, how many to go?

I’m hoping to remedy the curling edge with a crochet edging or something once I’ve got the size I want. I haven’t made any solid decisions on that yet, though.


The other project that is still not complete is the set of stockings I’ve knit. All of the knitting and applique work is done, but I want to stitch a square of fabric inside the stocking to hide the back of the applique work. I was not careful to run long threads through the knitting or under the applique, so they show inside, and I worry little fingers or goodies will get caught on these threads and rip them or distort the embroidery. This shouldn’t take long to do, I just have to get to it!

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WIP Wednesday

I have not done a WIP post in a long time! I have one very old project and one new, exciting project on the needles. I still have not finished the Melisandre socks I started back in, erm, March. The sad thing is they are very nearly done–I think I only lack an inch or two on the leg of the second sock, plus the cuff. I hope to finish them by the end of the year.

However, if I complete my new, exciting project by its fuzzy, self-imposed due date (end of November), then I just might get the socks done soon after.

Speaking of the new, exciting project, here’s a little peek.

progress...

progress…

This is a pattern I’m designing (and I say that loosely because I don’t have intentions of publishing it or anything), and I’m working out the kinks as I go, so I’m not ready to say too much about it just yet. My hands are nearly buzzing with excitement to work on this, but I can’t now because I snapped one of my needles. I have another set of tips ordered (nickel-plated, this time!), and I am hoping they will get here soon. It’s really cruddy to just get going on a new, exciting project only to have something like this happen that forced you to put it down.

Maybe I should work on those socks while I wait for my new needle  tips to arrive…

She Quilts: WHQ Planning

I told you there would be a more detailed post coming about the Walnut Hill Quilt. 😉

Before diving in with my good fabrics, I decided to work up a few test squares in order to get comfortable with the pattern and find any possible difficult areas. I made test squares using solid yellow and green fabrics (the yellow is leftover from JJ & Hilary’s Wedding Quilt and the green is a fabric I bought in the remnants bin a while ago). I figured they would make great pot holders for a new kitchen I might have soon. I’ve always wanted to decorate a kitchen in green and yellow. So I made these:

practice squares

practice squares

If you are as observant as I think you are, you will notice that one of these is particularly different from the other two. Yes, you see it–the block at the top of the photo is the correct block. I discovered during my next two attempts that it is quite easy to stitch the wrong color to the center triangle piece. I decided to leave them wonky because, after all, they would just be pot holders, right? I will probably make at least one more to have a good set, especially if I do get to decorate a new kitchen soon. I’m thinking I would do another correct square and then one with solid yellow in the middle.

I was glad to discover that little tendency on my practice squares, and I was very careful not to make that mistake with my good fabrics. So far, I haven’t. These blocks also gave me a chance to practice lining up seams and getting crisp, neat corners. I don’t think I have made a single perfect square yet, but all 6 of my finished blocks are above decent, I think. I have been particular about ripping seams when the intersections turn out too wonky.

If you remember, I originally intended to have three different blocks–three pairs of fabrics. Upon further day-dreaming, I realized the quilt would not look as scrappy and patchy as I had hoped. To remedy, I decided to make 6 different blocks. I have one of each completed. Here they are, in slide show format:

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The quilt requires 165 squares in the proportion of 11 x 15 squares. It is my intention to assign each of these blocks a number, 1 through 6, in a particular order. The first row of blocks will be numbers 1-6, then 1-5 (to get the 11 blocks I need across). The second row will be number 6, then numbers 1-6, then 1-4; the third row will begin with 5 and 6, then 1-6, then 1-3… Do you see a pattern? Essentially, like blocks will align to create diagonals in the quilt that will be subtle, but will provide some order amid the chaos of busy fabrics and patchy blocks.

Every couple of days, I set out these blocks and try to figure out how I want to order them, how I will assign them numbers. And each time, I get an arrangement I like and think, “Yes, this looks nice.” And then the next time I pull them out, I frown at my previous arrangement, play with them some more, and get a new arrangement that I am certain is better than the last. I hesitate to share today’s ordering with you, as I’m sure I’ll have to update it in just a few days. I figure I have plenty of time to decide on how to order them, though, so I’m not letting it bother me. I will need 28 of each of blocks 1-3 and 27 of each of blocks 4-6. I plan to make 27 of each, and once I settle on an order, make 1 more of each of the first 3 blocks.

So that is my progress. 🙂 I like gazing at the completed blocks, day-dreaming about the finished quilt. Nate is quite excited that I am making a quilt for us. I hope to have it finished by the onset of next winter.

WIP Wednesday: Hills, Shells, and Sherbet

As it’s Wednesday and as I’ve got a few projects going now, I thought I’d do a WIP Wednesday post.

First up is the progress on my Walnut Hill Quilt. I have 6 squares completed. Here are the pictures–you’ll have to wait for more details in another post.

squares 1 & 2

squares 1 & 2

squares 3 & 4

squares 3 & 4

squares 5 & 6

squares 5 & 6

I have also made headway on that cross-stitch project from about a decade ago that I recently found. I am currently stitching the water at the top, then will do the back-stitching and be done!

progression

progression

Finally, I have a new project I started yesterday (well, restarted yesterday). It is a baby blanket for my SIL who is due in April. I’ve improvised this simple checkerboard or basket-weave design with a garter stitch border. This stitch pattern makes the blanket fully reversible. The yarn is a sport-weight acrylic I found that is fun and bright and reminds me of rainbow sherbet. I’m holding the yarn double, and the blanket is coming out nicely squish-able, as a baby blanket ought to be. I’ve completed the bottom border and two repeats of the checkerboard design.

sherbet progress

sherbet progress

checkerboard

checkerboard

I’m taking this project this weekend as my traveling WIP. We will be on the road for approximately 26 hours over a 3-day span, so I hope to make good progress on this blanket. I’ve nick-named the project (in my head, at least) Carolyn Sherbet.

She Quilts: WHQ Progress

I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to start a quilt for our bed. I ordered the fabrics online from fabrics.com. I found this really nice line of quilting cottons called “Walnut Hill Farm” that had a charming country look, so I chose 6 of those fabrics. And since I love the name of the fabric line so much, I’m calling this new quilt “Walnut Hill Quilt” (hence WHQ in the title of this post). Since this isn’t a gift quilt, I can share my progress with you.

The fabric came in yesterday, and I am so pleased with all of it. I can already tell the quality is better than what I used in my last quilt. These fabrics were actually a bit cheaper than last time because I bought them during the (last few hours of the) fabric.com winter sale. Last night, I pre-washed all but the backing and border fabrics and pressed them. Here is the whole lot of fabrics:

WHQ fabric selection

WHQ fabric selection

I chose three primarily green fabrics and three primarily blue fabrics. There are two pairs of identical prints in different colors. I hoped this would lend some continuity to the quilt top. Here are the color groups a little closer (and fuzzier, sorry!):

WHQ greens

WHQ greens

These fabrics are named, from left to right: Dandelions green, Hilltop green, and Josie green.

WHQ blues

WHQ blues

(Sorry the middle blue is upside-down!) The names of these, left to right, are: Dandelions yellow, Hilltop blue, and Music blue. I’m not sure why the last is named Music–there is not a single music note on it! It is just covered in the alphabet printed in a very pretty scroll-font. Maybe it is named for the font..

I have paired them into 3 pairs. I have to make 165 blocks, so I will need 55 of each pair. This means that at any juncture of 4 blocks, 2 will be the same colors. I’m hoping I can orient the blocks in such a way as to put matching-colored blocks diagonal in any given juncture of four. We’ll see if it works out that way, though. I didn’t want to choose too many fabrics because I thought the quilt would look too busy, and to be honest, I couldn’t find any others I loved as much as these. So, here are the pairs:

WHQ pair 1

WHQ pair 1

WHQ pair 2

WHQ pair 2

WHQ pair 3

WHQ pair 3

You can probably tell that I didn’t want to pair identical prints together (both hilltops or both dandelions), and I wanted to pair more solid-colored fabrics (such as Music) with less-colored fabrics (like Hilltop).

The backing fabric is a light cream/tan color with vines printed in white, called “Vines natural” (very creative on the name there!). It doesn’t belong to the same fabric line, but I thought it would make a simple back that could take all the quilting from the front and not look too busy. I really loved one that was printed with butterflies, but thought Nate would appreciate the less feminine vines. The border fabric for the front of the quilt is a darker tan that I think goes well with the top fabrics from the Walnut Hill line. It is a basic Kona muslin.

WHQ backing & border

WHQ backing & border

I tried to go in a neutral direction with this quilt. We currently have a store-bought quilt that is covered in pink and purple embroidered flowers. Of course, Nate is quite tolerant, but since making my own quilt gives me the unique opportunity to pick prints (selection is much larger, I mean), I thought I’d stay away from heavy florals and traditionally feminine color combinations. I wanted to incorporate green, as our sheets are green, and I didn’t want to buy new sheets to match the new quilt. I really love green and pink together, in floral prints, but decided against it. I still got a bit of floral in there (the Dandelion fabrics are, technically, floral prints). When I took all the fabrics out of the box yesterday and requested Nate’s opinion, he said, “I’d sleep under those.” Ah, a husband’s approval. 🙂

There are the fabrics–I’d love your opinions, although I don’t think I’d change anything. Heh. I hope to share more about the design soon. I would like to start piecing this in the next day or two, but I want to make a practice block with some other fabric first, before I cut into these beauties. 🙂