Did I give you this hat? (& first mittens)

Today I took a break from house work and finished up a Christmas gift and finished the second of my first pair of mittens.  I’ve known since I found the pattern just what yarn I wanted to use to try out making mittens.  It was this sage and white that would be kind on me, and was a nice soft wear.  I’d had the ball saved up for awhile… from when I made this hat and was learning about cabling and decreases:

A Beanie or Tuque… depending on where you live.

Now I know I gave someone I know this hat… but for the life of me I can’t remember whom specifically, it was either Calvin, or Al, or Mary or Dad.  So if any of you are reading this…. I have some mittens!

Kittenless Mittens

Now, to start with I didn’t find dpns in size 4 at the local hardware shop… (yes I live in a town of the size and age where you can purchase knitting needles from the hardware store) so I did pick up some size 3, which is slightly smaller and knit the smallest size.  Turns out… These mittens seem a bit bigger in a few places so my next pair will need a different pattern… ah well! But they do have the advantage of being ambidextrous.

At some point some enterprising homemaker devised the one fool proof method for ensuring that a kid wouldn’t ever lose their mittens.   No it wasn’t the elastic with clips on both ends, that turn frigid cold and packed with snow at the most inconvenient of times.  It was the long rope cord connecting mitten A to mitten B.

Almost as old as that, is the pattern I used to make my first mittens.  Apparently this is a pattern from Eleanor Roosevelt’s knitting patterns, and you can find it at knitty.com. 

Anyway… if I did give you that hat and you’d like the mittens, let me know.  And if you want a cord linking your mittens together… I have just a little bit more of that yarn!

Quilt Three: A Fiery Cracker

So awhile back my local quilt shop closed, and it was such a sad day for me.  The owner, Mary, was one of those generous and kind founts of knowledge who seemed to be excited about your project and offered truly helpful tips and ideas to complete it.   So I went to visit her during her closing sale and lament her loss and wish her well.  And while I was there I did purchase a couple things, including a fine selection of orange fabrics, because I have a friend and I just knew she liked Orange.  That was July 16th.

Selected fabrics. The blue was bought separately. And my favorite out of them all was the orange with gold swirls… that’s the one I picked out first.

Now I did ask her what her husband’s favorite color was, and was told that it was blue, so that would work out well for me.. a nice complimentary color even if I didn’t go the same shade as his absolute favorite.  And so a few days later, while we were out seeing The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX on the week it opened (July 21st to be exact) the conversation came up again… and she says to us “Orange isn’t really my favorite color”  O.O!!!

But since she has misled me all this time and she does actually like orange and somewhat collect things with orange, and because I’d already bought the fabric… she’s getting an orange quilt!  And just to give her a bit of a giggle…. I immortalized that very quote on her quilt tag!

So I finally finished that quilt yesterday.  And by finished that means I don’t actually have a 100% done photo, because as I was heading upstairs to get the quilt tag after stitching down the binding while watching X-Files… Ben announced to me that he had invited us and our friends to go out to dinner.  So here’s the closest to done I have from that morning with the binding all pinned down and ready for sewn down:

Cracker Blocks arranged in a 4 color woven pattern.

The design is called a cracker quilt.  I found several people that think that this is the eating cracker related, but from what I’ve read and the design elements I believe its more a Gift Cracker related.  Where the cracker design you see is a combination of the two long colored bars capped by their matching triangles in the first square and continues into the same colored triangles of the next square forming the gift cracker shape.

For my quilting, I did stitch in the ditch outlining the diamond shape of each orange square, and the inner blue rectangles, and then I did a couple variations of echo quilting on my blue squares:

A bit of a detail photo

I learned many new things while making this one… things like when you are making points, you should stitch your seam just behind the prior stitches and not through those stitches to get the best results.  And my two dark oranges… don’t photo and look so disparate as I thought they would.    For those of you that like such things… here’s a link to the gallery of in progress photos.