Saturday, July 27, 2013

I am Finally a Continental Knitter!

For years I have wanted to learn how to knit continental style. I could do it, but my finger stuck straight out and got tired quickly, and I could not control the tension.

On Pinterest I saw a knitting technique from KnitFreedom that intrigued me and when I visited the Knit Freedom site I noticed that Liat Gat offered a video class on learning how to knit continental style for $12.95. I signed right up and in 2 weeks I was knitting, holding the yarn in my left hand and picking it with my right!

Gat's videos are great! She gets right to the point, and speaks clearly. She does finger aerobics that really make the difference in getting the method right. (You can watch some of the videos for free on You Tube).

I cannot stand videos that "stall for time" by yapping about what they are going to show while they play with the yarn. I also don't like it when a video has a great method but the audio or video are so poor in quality that it is frustrating to watch. Gat shows you what you came to see and it's over. You can replay it if you wish to see it again.

I won't win any world records with my new knitting speed but it is definitely faster and smoother. I am on my 6th men's hat in 2 1/2 weeks. If you ever wanted to learn this technique spend the $13--it is worth it!

Baci e abbracci

Monday, July 22, 2013

Woo! Finished!

The last of the quilts to give as baby gifts is complete. It is as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Now everything I make is icing. I am still knitting hats and preparing a quilt to take on the trip to hand quilt, but don't feel quite as much pressure.

 I used a 5" wide jelly roll from Moda (the polka dot ombre fabric) and a charm pack of the Malka Dubrowsky fabric.  I still have about 1/2 of the charm pack and a few of the jelly roll strips. The black and white with a gray "ric rac" pattern is 3" squares sewn together basket weave style. (A mistake: I cut the striped fabric vertically instead of horizontally and did not have enough to cut it again the right way. Yes, I make a lot of errors, but they always work out in the end.)

The last quilt was quilted on my old Singer. I used this machine so I would not have to carry my Janome downstairs to use on the dining room table. The Singer was so difficult to use with the walking foot that I have had tendonitis in my right elbow for a couple of weeks now. So I decided--after quilting 25% of this quilt on the Singer--to use my Janome even though the sewing table is small. Much better. I love my Janome.

I decided on really organic lines figuring if I cannot sew straight lines, I should make them very uneven intentionally.

I used pink, orange and red strips for the binding to make the quilt really "girly." 

All three are going to be difficult to part with. The one that I intend to hand quilt is for Mr. R. and I--the first of 8 quilts will be for us to keep!

More pictures--of the knitted gifts--soon. All are very simple but classic.

Baci e abbacci.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sunny in Philadelphia

It is finished!!! I am so happy, it is finished. And it does not look half bad. The quilting is "organic" concentric squares. I don't mind, in fact I may make the quilting even more "organic" the next time. I love the binding. I love stripes, but these colors are perfect. And I took my time attaching the binding so it came out best of all machine sewn binding attempts. For something that was going into the scrap heap, I could not be more pleased and will hate to give it up.

Remember the "before"... I did not follow a store bought pattern correctly and messed up the blocks...


Back (Used the 2 correctly sewn blocks across the back of the quilt)

Close -up of quilting

Corner of quilt with striped binding

Full quilt (approximately 45 x 45 inches)
So what is next? Finish the quilt for the Sunny in Philadelphia recipient's twin. I will be hand basting with tatting thread. I think this is the best method for me right now.

Baci e abbracci and a safe Independence Day holiday.