Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Away With The Fairies!


My new FAL list contains two new items which makes a pleasant change, don't you think?!

The first one is a Sakura shawl, using this beautiful alpaca/silk mix:

Yarn for Sakura shawl


Lynz and I are knitting in tandem (and holding each other's hands through the tricky bits!) in a very informal knit along which, at the moment, has a lovely slow pace to it!  The yarn was found by Lynz at Maple Tree Yarns and was a bit of a bargain as it's no longer going to be stocked - there are a few skeins left in the shop and when it's gone, it's gone!  My yarn is 'Drake' and is gorgeous but hard to photograph, or that's my excuse!

After a slightly sticky start (we had to email the designer for help with a couple of things, most particularly where to do a make one left and where to do a make one right and Leila Raabe* couldn't have been more helpful - she emailed back within a few hours and spelt things out for us and didn't make us feel at all daft.  This is one of the many reasons I love indie designers - not only are their patterns gorgeous (and well tested!) but their pattern support tends to be marvellous!)

* Warning: if you follow this link be prepared to fall in love several times over!  I have already made a mental list of things I want to make!

So far, Lynz and I have done our set-up rows and the first twelve rows of the pattern (I told you we were taking it steady!) and mine looks like this:

Sakura shawl - a start


It doesn't look much yet but I can already see the pattern forming and it's lovely!  I've also learnt two new stitches (a 3 from 1 (where you knit into the stitch two rows below) and SSP) and it's nice to add to my limited knitting repertoire/skills while getting a head start on Christmas presents!


The second new item on my FAL list is a niece for my youngest niece.  She's been in a 'big girl' (i.e. single!) bed for quite a while now (well over a year) but is still waiting for a quilt to go on it.  Her birthday is in July and I've decided that my present to her will be her quilt.  Given that I have less that four months to cut, piece and quilt it, I've designed a very simple quilt so that I have a fighting chance of making my deadline.  It's based on the Stained Quilt by Sarah; I've made a version of this quilt before (find it here but please excuse the shocking photo!) and enjoyed it so much that I'm making it again.  One day I'll make Sarah's original pattern but for now I'm enjoying designing my own blocks, based around the fabric I have/want to use.

The quilt is based around two panels of Butterfly Dance (by Natalie Lymer/Cinderberry Stitches), includes lots of pink fabrics (my pink scrap box is considerably emptier than it was!) and Kona Daffodil for the sashing.  I need 28 15" blocks for the quilt (it has to be large enough to cover the bed from tip to toe, including pillows!) so I've designed seven blocks and am making four of each block.  As I only have eighteen 'fairy' squares (I know they're really butterflies but I can't help but think of this as 'The Fairy Quilt' so I'm calling them fairies!), one each of block designs one to six won't have a fairy square and block seven has been designed to not need them.

I started piecing the block seven designs first, partly because I cut/prepped the blocks in numerical order so these were at the top of the pile and partly because these blocks have the most pieces so I thought it would be nice to get them done at the start and then have the blocks get faster to make from there on in!

So far I've pieced these twelve blocks:

'block 7' blocks
Block seven A, B, C and D
'block 6' blocks
Block six A, B, C and D
'block 5' blocks
Block five A, B, C and D

and I've also pieced block 4D but I'll show you that when its friends are pieced!

I'm hoping to have all the blocks pieced by the end of the first week in May so that I can faff round with the layout and then start sashing and joining them together by mid-May.  Wish me luck!


Speaking of luck...

I won a giveaway over at Stitched in Colour and received six gorgeous yellow FQs from Marmalade Fabrics:

Prize from Stitched In Colour/Marmalade fabrics giveaway
Thank you Rachel and Tammy!


I've finally got round to sorting out my Kona colour card.  I've been wanting to cut it up for quite a while but didn't have all the colours (I missed the 2013 new colours) and found it difficult to find the weight of card that I wanted at a price I was willing to pay (ditto velcro)!  One of the things I bought with the Fat Quarter Shop voucher I won with the FAL last year (beginning of this year?) was a summer 2013 charm pack.  I made my own little cards for the 28 colours I was missing, as well as for the 2014 insert I got from Simply Solids and, while I was at it, I also made a 2013 supplement for a couple of friends who were also lacking those colours:

Kona summer 2013 colour 'supplements'

And now, after a ridiculous amount of velcro (and some mount board from my local stationers), my colour card looks like this:

I finally got round to sorting my colour card!

I can't imagine that the colours will stay in order but just in case I need to know the 'correct' order, I've printed out a list of them to keep at the back of the file:

A list of Kona colours in order, just in case I ever need it!

It proved invaluable when choosing the sashing in the fairy quilt as I could put all the possibilities on various pink fabrics and choose the best, without wondering whether the colours either side were affecting my perception.


Archie is enjoying the mild spring weather:

Fast asleep
He might not look it but he was sound asleep when I took this photo - if you listen carefully you can hear the whiffle which accompanies this state!

Thanks for popping in, I'm off to do a spot of hand quilting (on my hexy quilt) before I go to bed!

11 comments:

  1. love that quilt you are working on, this thin yellow strips really look great!

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  2. Beautiful yellows in your win. Congratulations. Hugs to sweet little Archie, our Molly Brown sleeps with her eyes just like that, and yes, I can hear whiffle (a familiar sound here too).

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  3. loving your fairy quilt blocks, especially the yellow. the kona card.. full tutorial!!! that is so incredibly clever.

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  4. Wonderful so far and it seems that you have been working so quickly on these I'm sure you'll finish in time! The knitting looks great too and my thanks for the Kona squares! They have already been very useful

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  5. I love the yellow with those pinks! I shouldn't be surprised at how stunningly organised your kona chart is!! Amazing! And that knitting looks bonkers hard to me (a non-knitter!). Jxo

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  6. Oh my. That knitting is going to be gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing your finish. Congrats on your win. I believe I saw your name on another win too ; )
    Say hi to Archie!

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  7. Good luck with the knitting- I've n vet got the hang of it and am in awe of people who have!!!! You are very organised on the stained glass- I loved Sarah's too and made one, but just made it up completely with no measuring or planning other than final block size! The kona book looks great, but I was gutted when I ordered more yardage of something (cornflower) as the background for a zigzag quilt, and after piecing could clearly see two different shades of cornflower :-(. Hiya Archie - best place to be! Xxxx

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  8. This is a very pretty quilt. It could certainly be done "freestyle" - basic idea but follow your own block ideas. I like the previous one you made too.

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  9. Your pretty quilt for your niece is progressing rapidly, love the colours ! I can see the knitting is also shaping up well

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  10. I love the colour of your knitted shawl . . it really is special . . and I know your knitting will be too.
    Kona should give you a job. Those cards look awesome!
    Archie IS awesome.

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  11. I can't believe that I clicked through to Maple Leaf and managed to restrain myself! They really do have some lovely yarns on clearance. I also have some lovely yarns in my attic and they've been there for some time!

    Every time I see your fairy quilt I fall a little bit more in love. I can't wait until July for the big reveal.

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