Afghan finished, also quilt top

There was a lot of frogging going on with the last stranded color band, but I did it! I also knit the two side bands. The blanket is done.

There we go, finished!

And now for some artistic shots. This is before blocking. I do like how the reverse side of the stranded color work looks. Hopefully no baby toes get caught there. I’m not going to worry about it.

I checked the yarn label, it said hand wash only. So I did. Soaking in a tub with a packet of Tide traveling soap. That is what I have on hand. I do need to order some more Soak. There soap is better.

Laying it out on towels in the shade. I hand patted it into shape, then left to dry.

A close up of a corner. In general, the stitches have relaxed into place, which is what blocking does. It is still very nice and soft. Once I give her the Afghan, I’ll be sure to get a picture of her on it. Now, on to finishing the quilt.

Since Einav means grape, I need some grapes on her quilt. I used misty fuse and just did raw edge appliqué.

Building up the grapes, darkest colors on the bottom.

Finished with the grapes. Standing back and taking a picture, the leaf just doesn’t stand out enough.

That was an easy fix, I just added some more leaves, in brighter green.

Quilt top finished! Now to quilt. I had to order some more cotton batting. I have wool batting, but for some reason I feel cotton will be better for a baby quilt. Not sure why.

Now, I need to figure out what stuffed animal she gets. Her brother has a cat.

Getting closer to some finishes

Still a lot of knitting and quilting going on.

To the untrained eye, this looks no different from the last picture I shared. The difference is I started the second border.

I am very impatient, I want to finish this already. So I’ve been knitting the border while watching You Tube or even reading online. Not a good idea. Of course I’ve been making a lot of mistakes

I discovered a mistake a few rows back. Tried to work within the small area and weave the correct stitches back up. Not a good idea, especially in stranded knitting. I realized that quickly, so here I am, I’ve frogged a few rows and am painstakingly picking up the stitches. Lucky for me, the yarn holds it’s definition, so I didn’t have too much of a problem picking up the stitches. My problem was, I did this to myself twice, I was in such a hurry.

I played yarn chicken and lost. You can see the small tail, you can also see all that I have left to bind off. Part of me wishes it had happened a few rows earlier, so I added yarn at the end here, but the good thing is this. I then had to pick up stitches along the edge for the edge border.

Here we are, most of the afghan finished, just need to pick up stitches and knit the two side borders. I really should have stopped and rested here, but no, I had to push on.

Had to take a break, my wrist and hand were hurting. A good night sleep has helped. This is Southwick yarn from Valley Yarns, the Webs yarn company. It’s cotton and bamboo. Very nice and soft and not too heavy.

And now, onto the quilt, don’t these eggplants look perfect as inspiration for the quilt! Didn’t buy them, I don’t think they taste any different, but they sure are beautiful.

I love making scrappy quilts with a purpose. I do plan out each block. It is very much based on the blocks around it. This one is super scrappy, some fabrics repeat, but only a few. I could go on with this one for a long time. My plan was to do four by four blocks.

Once I got to three by four I realize this is a good size for a baby. So as much as I’ve loved making these blocks, its’ time to move on. I’m not done with the quilt top. I want to appliqué a bunch of grapes on here.

So I downloaded some images. I really like the one on the right. The shape of the grapes is natural. I don’t think it will become an exact copy, but who knows, this is pretty perfect for my design idea.

Here is an idea for embroidery on the back label. I’ve been following Mary Corbets blog forever, but a friend noticed this and sent it to me. I might eliminate the wheat.

Look who moved into the neighborhood! A Cooper Hawk. Sorry the image is fuzzy, I was in my car and this guy was sitting on the fence by the driveway. I was able to roll down my window and take the picture, of course I’ve cropped it. So it is a little fuzzy. I was wondering if he was going to go after the hummingbirds. They are still around, one jackass has taken control and won’t let anyone near the feeder. And yet, I still see the little guy scaring away the others. If there are rats or mice around the house I hope the hawk is feasting away.

Red, White and Blue… and white

A year ago I bought a clothes rack for $15 on Amazon. When it arrived I felt it was smaller than what I wanted. I was too lazy to ship it back, these days that costs a lot of money. So I stuck it in the back of a closet. Today I decided to pull it out. It won’t fit a full size quilt, but I can drape quilts over it in an artistic manner.

We have a holiday party in Dec, I can even use this as a coatrack!

It folds down to this size. Which is fine for me to store. Luckily I have plenty of storage space.

First I pulled out my latest finish, the red and white.

View from the back.

Then I added the blue and white I finished last year. I’m sort of on a journey to make traditional quilts not so traditional. Red and White, blue and white, very traditional colors.

Together, these two are a patriotic duo.

My granddaughters quilt is growing rapidly. It was fun to photograph it on this rack.

I mentioned in a previous post how grape colors were the basis of the quilt. Of course I’m not being literal and only using these colors. But if you look at the quilt, you will see black, red, purple, different shades of green as well as yellow. This is what color inspiration is all about. So no blue, no turquoise or brown. although clearly grapes grow on vines that have brown.

The grape colored baby blanket is growing. I’m at the easy stage, just plain old stockinette. Then I’ll repeat the border and add two garter borders along the edges. She will have it long before it gets cold.

Did I mention that I am not washing the red and white (one of these days I’ll come up with a name and a label)? I used some of these fabrics in another quilt, I didn’t pre-wash and they bled. So This quilt will not be washed. Unfortunately I got an oil smudge, I think it might have been from the sewing machine. Anyway, Thank God for good friends. Ruth told me to spot remove it. I even have Grandmas spot remover, which is what she recommended.

It worked beautifully!! Hallelujah!

Birthday

Time really flies, grandson #4 just turned two.

He is all about EIEIO, or Old MacDonald. Perfect theme for a birthday.

Proud Dads even found the perfect shirt, Oink Baa Moo, I’m 2!

Cousins and friends help celebrate.

Yumm! What a great birthday cake. I have to say, Ralphs makes amazing cakes, especially birthday cakes.

Cousins having fun in the tree house.

I just love this image, aunt helping Eyal swing, while her own son is swinging the bars like a true pro.

I couldn’t wait, I had to share my gift!

HIs expression is priceless. Wow, look at that.

A close expression of the bear.

Let’s look at the camera! I am sure he will love this at nursery school. I am also sure he will have the best sleeping bag out of all of the kids.

Another family picture. Yoch with his dads and two kids. Btw, her hair is just getting redder all the time.

Busy making things for new granddaughter.

Thank God I finished the red and white quilt. I’ve been busy making things for Einav.

First, fitted crib sheets. The pink umbrellas are for her, the yellow animals are for her brother. It’s not just about her.

I was at Michael Levines’ and I saw this fabric. Those look like mountain goats to me, so I had to get that fabric for Eyal. Btw, I’m very concerned about Michael Levines. They aren’t doing well. The shut down the home decorating store across the street. The main store just doesn’t feel right. They used to have a monthly flyer – a different sale every day. Now it’s just 20% across the board. They still have nice fabrics, but… Something felt very off. It appeared to me that there is less fabric. Even in the quilting cotton section, there were some empty shelves. I hope they aren’t going out of business, but.. I don’t know. It just didn’t feel right.

I went to Michael Levines’ rather than Candy’s because I thought they’d have a larger selection of cuddle fabric and double gauze. They didn’t, I’m very pleased with this pale pink and delicate print. But that was about all the choice I had. These blankets are easy to make and so wonderful. Eyal has two and he uses them all the time.

How cute is this fabric? It is so much fun sewing for girls.

So, here is the pile for Einav, crib sheet, soft blanket and something called a Swaddelini. Over a year ago I heard a podcast with the woman who invited this thing. Most newborns love to be wrapped very tighty in a swaddle. Most come loose quickly. This is a knit item that doesn’t come loose and grows with the child. I kept the info about this in the back of my mind. As soon as we got home, I placed my order. I’ll have to get reports to see if they use it and if it helps. She is beginning to get fussy, as all babies do by the time they are two weeks old.

I also started knitting a blanket. This is a cotton/bamboo yarn, so it won’t be very warm, but I just can’t knit with wool right now. I had just finished that sweater, and yes, while knitting it I was sweating.

Soon I’ll be done with the first border, most of the blanket is just stockinette, then the same border again. The yarn is very soft and comfortable to knit with.

At the farmers market, I took pictures of grapes. This will be the basis of my color scheme for the quilt I am planning. I have some ideas of how I’ll go about with this quilt.

It is so wonderful being busy making items for a granddaughter!

My red and white quilt is done!!!

It’s been over 9 months since I started this quilt. Of course I can blame the sewing machine table fiasco for the length of time it took to finish this. I didn’t want to start quilting until I had the large table. So it sat and sat.

I am thrilled with the result. I started with an oval mariners compass pattern from Judy Mathison, that was paper pieced. I really loved Edyta Sitar’s Alaska quilt. So I took elements from there as well.

I did a lot of ruler work on this quilt. The thread kept breaking. I know this has to do with moving in one particular direction. At some point I slowed down and that helped. But often when the thread broke, I’d just start again. Also, turns out that the white fabric I used wasn’t pure white. You know what they say about choosing White House paint… So the back and border are a brighter white. Oh well, that is just how it is.

Here and there I’d get a birds nest with the red thread on the back. That happened when I just rethread and started quilting without pulling the bobbin thread through to the top. Oh well. Once again, this quilt is for me. I’m not anxious to put it in shows. It is quite stunning and I’m not looking for perfection.

I am very pleased with the quilting. It was a lot of work, ruler work isn’t easy, but I love the results.

Here you can see some ruler work both on the red and on the large white area. There is also plenty of free motion quilting. Moving the quilt rapidly in all directions certainly prevents thread breakage. I also realized, don’t get too creative, repetition of pattern is very pleasing to the eye.

A white backing is lovely, it also shows all the mistakes.

I just love the quilting in this section. the squiggles, the circles, even the ruler work outlining the red patches. It came through here.

Fitting the oval into the overall pattern was a challenge. I just went for it, and it worked out beautifully.

While sewing on the binding, I looked up at the mirror across the room, had to take a picture of course.

Artistic photo. I used wool batting, I love the puffiness of the quilt. I still need to embroider a label. Basically, this is done, I’ll probably make Einav a quilt before I get around to labeling this one. I won’t be washing this one. I didn’t prewash the reds, some are old and from donations, they will probably bleed. So no washing.

And now, onto a quilt for Einav.

I have to finish a lot of projects…

With the arrival of a new granddaughter, I have a list of things to make here quilt, a knitted afghan, a stuffed animal. But first I want to finish projects I’m working on. I don’t want to set them aside.

First done is this sweater. Right off the needles. Before being blocked.

A more artsy picture, you can see how the ribbing is funky and the knitting isn’t smooth.

An artistic shot. You can see some of the reverse side of the FairIsle, nice smooth and loose.

I tried the sweater on before blocking. I didn’t even notice that the cuff is turned up. It is really hot and here I am outside with a wool sweater.

Fixed the cuff, but you can see how ‘unfinished’ this looks. Sort of like what happens if you sew a garment and don’t iron each seam as you go.

The sweater has soaked, I have laid it out flat and pushed it into shape. No need for pins here, this isn’t lace that needs to be stretched out to show the pattern.

Mostly dry. Everything is much smoother, the ribbing isn’t rolling up, the I-cord on the neck line is lying flat.

Sorry about the dumb, there is a tie on this dress and it is poking through. Everything about the sweaters smoother, more relaxed. I am so happy with the results.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve knit a pullover. The last few sweaters I knit didn’t please me all that much. I probably chose poorly designed patterns. I’m sorry this photo has my shoulders in the sun, but boy was it hot and I wanted it off quickly. The short rows really allow the back of the sweater to fit nicely. No, I’m not anxious for cold weather, I am still loving summer, but when it cools I will love wearing this.

Life’s big changes

Life changes in an instant, this time a good instant. I had been babysitting Eyal, his dads’ got home and I left. Half an hour later, a phone call. They had just heard from their adoption agency – a woman was having a c-section and chose them, could they come up to NorCal right now??? Not at that moment but the next morning they could. They asked me to come along to with what would very soon become big brother.

Early in the morning at the airport, sorry, part of the picture is blurry. This is the last picture of a family three.

Big helper! That is just my bag, next to it, the carseat for the new infant. Along with a lot of other crap. As soon as we got to the hospital, the two of them ran upstairs, I walked the neighborhood with Eyal. We weren’t sure if we’d be allowed up. Mother’s choice. Within 40 minutes, we were upstairs and there I am, holding my newest granddaughter.

Healthy, small, beautiful and a redhead! Just like one of her fathers.

There were even moments of open eyes.

Big brother meeting new baby sister. Sorry about the booger under his nose, I’ll blame all the excitement. Yes, it was cleaned off quickly.

First picture with family of four!!!

And with Savta (grandma) in the picture as well.

She is sooo tiny! This newborn stage doesn’t last long.

Eyal and I didn’t spend too much time at the hospital. We went to playgrounds, the hotel pool, the library and the supermarket. I love these carts, later I saw one that was like a firetruck. Oh well, pink is now a big part of their new family.

The Dads’ got a room in the hospital so they could stay with her. Eyal and I had a room together in a hotel. He was so good and well behaved. Really the only meltdown was at the TSA line on the way home. He expressed what all of us in line were feeling. I love it that we were recipients of one of those hats that ladies knit for the preemies. No, thank God, she isn’t preemie, but they had a hat and she got one. Pink of course!

We went to the local Farmers market, look at the size of the watermelon! It is purely coincidence that he is wearing his watermelon shirt. Right now this is his favorite fruit.

We made it home safely, traveling with a 3 day old, that is an experience. She was so good. Not everyone noticed her, those who did wondered if I was carrying a doll. It is so rare to see a newborn, especially at airports.

Here she is! One week old, she is eating, pooping and sleeping so well. So she’ll fill out those chicken legs. Also, in week, she will exit the blob stage, at two weeks babies start with issues, hopefully no colic, but more crying.

Oh, her name, she has a name! Einav Danielle. A- Nov – as in the start of the word novice. Emphasis on the second syllable. She is named for my grandmother Arlene, who was also a red head. Einav means grape in Hebrew, which connects in other ways to the families. My crazy maiden name Lozowick might mean branch of the vine, that is what Israeli relatives told us when they Hebraicized that name. My last name Kabaker could be a derivation of Inn keeper, so we’ve been told. So the grape is filling. Danielle is in honor of Yoch’s father who passed away years ago.

Now, to revel in another grandchild and thank God for all my blessings.

Knitting and sewing

My poor quilt has been languishing again. Mostly because of the sleeping bag.

I need to get my head back into this project, this is the longest it’s ever taken me to get a quilt done. Since I put this down, I figure it is easy to pick up some garment sewing.

I put one one of the skirts I made. The other is the same simple pattern, but it is in the laundry right now.

A while later I took another picture, yup, cotton gets wrinkled.

Skirts are very easy to sew and not easy to find in the stores. Yes, I enjoy shopping for clothes as well as making them. The other day someone commented on how cute this skirt is. I think part of the reason is that one can’t find a skirt like this in any store. I’ll be honest, I shop the TJ max and Nordstrom Rack type stores, and they carry skirts, but never something like this.

I knew when I bought this shirt that it would probably be too big and boxy, and it is. But it is made out of linen, I am such a sucker for linen. I love wearing it, it really is the most comfortable fabric in hot weather. Looking at this picture I see how boxy it is, way too boxy. Not flattering at all. Even if the color does look ok on me.

So I went inside and served the side seams. Still boxy, but better, I’m not swimming in a tent. Also, I now use my phone as a remote control and I’m trying to figure out how to use it without the phone being front and center in the picture.

At least in this image, the phone blends in with the background.

Look how cute this fabric is, old fashioned floral, but look closely, there are bees! I love the bees!

Last time I showed you my knitting progress, I was finishing up the yoke. Since then I’ve knit the whole body. I just didn’t take pictures.

This pattern uses short rows to make the back higher than the front. I love that. I’m sure the sweater will fit nicely.

A number of friends have commented on the color choices. It is unique. I love the green.

If I wear wool tights with the cotton yellow skirt, I’ll be able to wear this sweater with the skirt. We shall see, they would look very nice together.

A sleeping bag

I can’t believe that Eyal is about to turn two. Where does the time go? He is also moving on from day care to Nursery School, yes there will be a component of day care as well. He will be napping there and needs to bring his own sleeping bag and pillow.

I had just gotten an email about this new pattern. I have enjoyed Melly’s patterns before, mostly toys. So why not, give it a try.

Since Eyal means mountain goat in Hebrew, I went looking for goat fabric. I found some!! It was the end of the bolt, but I was going to make it work!

One of the first things I did was make the ears. The pattern is ok, I think she is writing it for people who don’t really know how to sew that well.

There was a lot of appliqué, I used the buttonhole stitch on the sewing machine. One thing I didn’t understand from the picture and took me a while to realize is that the face is on the bottom of the bag, so when the bag is put together, the kids’ head is on the face.

It is a mummy style back, Eyal will need to crawl in. I decided to make that a little easier for him.

I left some of the side open and put a large button, it can either be closed or not.

I put his name on the back. I love how the ears peek over the top.

The name is appliquéd as well, I ironed on a tiny label with my name. I need to get larger labels. Last time I ordered I got ‘clothing labels’. oh well.

Hanging out.

I made a matching pillowcase. As you can see, I only had enough of the goat fabric left for them to run perpendicular to the pillow case. Hey, at least they are there.

Here is a better view of the side opening with pillow case. I think it will make it just so much easier to use. I like this better than a zipper.

Since I’ve been on an animal kick, it wa nice to showcase them together. The elephant stays here, even though I think all the grandkids would want him.

The pillow case functions as a bag for the sleeping bag. It will up to his dads to get him a pillow. I know his will be the best sleeping bag in the whole school. I rarely sell my work, but boy do I love having it out in the world with people I love.