Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Knitting...Lots of Projects in the Works

Spring is here!  After about two weeks of off and on rain everything looks beautiful again in Kansas City!  Last weekend I cut a few branches off the Royal Raindrops Crabapple trees in our backyard.  They only lasted for a couple days in the vase but I loved how they brightened up my messy studio table.  (In case you are wondering, I purchased the vase at IKEA in March 2017.)

Cuttings from our crabapple trees.
We've been working on a lot of projects at our house this past month...knitting, sewing, woodworking, gardening...and more.  Something about spring arriving really gets us motivated to do projects and make things!

For about two weeks I have been working on a chunky cable blanket design.  First I did a test knit using some leftover yarn.  It's Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in 'Glacier'.  I love using this leftover skein over and over for testing out pattern ideas because it's one of my favorite colors...and the lighter color really shows off the pattern details well as the design comes together.

Test knitting with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick 'Glacier'.
After I established a plan for this big chunky cable blanket I cast on with the dark gray yarn I picked for the blanket. The photo below is from last weekend when I was working on this big blanket. I finished knitting the blanket yesterday...so watch for an announcement about this pattern in the next couple of weeks.  (It takes a while to finish the final steps...block the blanket, let it dry, photograph the blanket and finish all the details writing the pattern...and then the pattern can be published!)

  

I love how the pink Crabapple blossoms look with the rich dark gray yarn! The yarn is Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'Chicago Charcoal'.  This yarn is incredibly soft and I love how it worked with this chunky cable blanket design.  More details coming soon!

A few weeks ago my in house woodworking team (husband & daughter) built a headboard for the guest room at our house. They painted it a medium/dark gray....Sherwin Williams 'Software'...and it looks fabulous next to the white bedding (from IKEA).  I love how my Westport Blanket adds texture to the room!  (And...that's my Peace Pillow knitting pattern adding a comforting message.  The design includes felt applique letters.)

Westport Blanket knitting pattern - along with new headboard!
When my daughter was on spring break we pulled out the sewing machine and dug through all the fabric in the house and made a big stack of dinner napkins.  We love how they turned out and the assorted fabric patterns remind us of past projects.  And...we're using a lot fewer paper napkins!

We used the directions from this Craftsy tutorial.  Learning to do the mitered corners was the trickiest part of this project but my daughter figured that out!

Homemade dinner napkins made with stash fabric.
It took a lot of hours to make this stack of napkins!  The first challenge was finding stash fabric with big enough sections to cut 18" x 18" squares for each napkin.  We washed, dried and ironed all of the fabric because some had been stored in plastic bins for a long time. We wanted it all to smell fresh and clean.  Then we cut fabric, marked fold lines, sewed the tricky little corners for a professional border (this part took a little practice), used a knitting needle to poke out the corners carefully, ironed folds again and sewed down the final edges.

Marking fold lines.

A knitting needle is helpful for adjusting the corner seams.

All of the fabric was from our stash - leftover from quilting, sewing class projects, etc.
We worked on this project for several days!  It was a fun project to do together and the finished napkins look really cheery at dinner time.

Earlier this week I stopped in at Yarn Shop & More....a LYS in Overland Park, Kansas.  This cute shop is located in Downtown Overland Park....or some call it "Old OP".  It's a quaint, small town feeling shopping district in a suburb of Kansas City.  Yarn Shop & More has a beautiful assortment of yarns!  It's fun to step in the door and see the yarns arranged by color on the shelves...like a rainbow...

Yarn Shop & More in Overland Park, Kansas

Even though the bright colors were very tempting, I ended up purchasing a lovely neutral colored yarn by Blue Sky Fibers...it's Organic Cotton Worsted in the color 'Drift'.

Blue Sky Fibers - Organic Cotton Worsted in 'Drift'
I splurged on this gorgeous yarn to knit a blanket for our house. I tested a few stitches with the yarn and I fell in love with how it looks in a simple garter stitch.  So...this new blanket design will definitely have a wide garter stitch border...


Look for more photos on this project in a future post. :)

Thanks so much for reading.  Hope you have a fabulous day!

Happy spring!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio