Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finish in February

One of my knitting friends decided that February is for Finishing. I took a look at the list of of my projects on the right and decided that might not be a bad idea.  Especially since I have a Quilt Camp weekend coming up in a couple of weeks.  The idea is that we work on the projects we already have going and not start anything new. 

I already had plans for a couple of new Knit-Alongs, including starting a pair of Christmas socks at a Super Bowl party and a February Lady sweater on Leap Day. But despite wanting to cast on at least three more sweaters and a pair of socks, I'm not going to start any new projects (other than those two) during the month of February.  And after the Super Bowl, I'll put the new socks in timeout for the rest of the month.

I plan to concentrate on these knitting projects:

A Shalom sweater that I conveniently started last night, purple Stepping Stones socks for my mom, and a pair of plain socks in Destination Yarn's limited edition Vancouver Five Rings yarn.

I'm almost to the heel on the plain socks, so I'm pretty sure I can finish them this month, if I work on them regularly. 

The purple socks are pretty quick knits and I would like to get them done before Mom's birthday in April.  That's definitely doable, if not the end of February.

The sweater is short-sleeved and knit in bulky yarn, so it should go quickly and be a nice change from socks.

I plan to take these quilting projects with me to quilt camp:

The pile on the left is enough blue/green/purple scrap quilt parts to make at least one bed-sized quilt, if not two.  On the right is a small blue/black and bright batik quilt. And of course, there's the neverending Dear Jane quilt.

The only one of these projects I actually think I can finish is the batik quilt top, but I hope to get at least a couple of Dear Jane blocks done and get all of the scrap units sewn, if not squared up.

Meanwhile, I've finished a couple of things.  I was asked to make a sketch pad case and this is what I came up with:

Closed - the ties might need to be shortened a bit
Imagine a sketch book on the right.

I layered the brown fabric over a piece of stiff interfacing that was cut to size and stitched the elastic across it.  I marked the elastic at 1" intervals, but sewed them 3/4" apart, so it would hold the pencils without distorting the case.  The mesh pocket was a bit of a challenge.  I stuck the mesh onto a piece of water soluble stabilizer to keep it from stretching and sewed in the zipper.  Then I drew a rectangle the size I wanted on a piece of tear-away stabilizer (thank goodness for my machine embroidery supplies).  I stitched the mesh to that, with little side puckers to make it roomier.  Then I added pieces of hem tape along the sides to cover the mesh.  Once that was done, I got rid of the stabilizers and stitched it to the inside case.  I double-folded some strips of the brown fabric for the ties and pinned them to the sides.  Then I layered another piece of fabric and interfacing on top of the inner piece and sewed most of the way around, leaving an opening at the bottom to turn it right side out.  Once it was trimmed and turned right side out, I hand stitched the opening closed, and sewed the two lines to mark the spine.  The interfacing was a little wavy from being folded, so I ironed it a bit, then laid it out flat and weighed it down for a few days.  It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it.  I hope the recipient is.

I also finished my gold mystery socks.

They're pretty comfy

I love the beads in the center of the cables on top 
And I started another pair of socks.  These are a knit-along,too, but they won't be getting much attention for a while.

In other news, Max has a thing for the alpaca/acrylic blend yarn I'm using for my Shalom Sweater.

"Mmmm..... alpaca......"

I bought an alpaca's worth of yarn from my favorite farm's Fiber CSA.  I have a feeling I'm going to have to keep it locked up.