Sunday, February 26, 2012


Well my restful month has almost come to a close.  I have today off, then work Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday I have a big test for residency (in Emergency Medicine), but I do have Wed afternoon-Friday off.  Then it's just 3 shifts until we leave for TX!

So what did I accomplish this month?  I set some goals for myself and I think I did OK.

1. Pier VIII.  This is a 450 question and answer session that I used to study for my test.  Between December and now I finished ALL 450 questions.  I have the test on Wednesday and am hoping to do better than I did last year (not very good).

2. Alex's Scarf: FINISHED.  I had promised it would be in the mail, it is not.  However, it is downstairs near the mailing envelopes and that is pretty darn close to being in the mail.

3. Lucas's Sweater: Just have one more sleeve, hood and finishing to go.  I'm trading off working on this sweater and the Little Jockey Wrap.  So this sweater is up next and the second sleeve will be going on the needles tonight. (If only there were an episode of Downton Abbey to watch whilst knitting....)  I've made a modification to this pattern - it really PEEVES me having to sew up pieces so I'm knitting the sleeves in the round.  If I were to re-make this sweater I would try to knit the entire bottom in the round up to the arm holes to save myself some grief - but I'll admit that I'm not entirely sure how I would knit the pocket while knitting in the round.

For Non Knitters: Knitting in the Round means basically knitting a tube instead of knitting flat pieces.  Think of all sweaters, hats and sleeves as tubes.  Now, you CAN knit them all flat, then sew up the seem, but this is knitting, not sewing, so this part is less desirable.  To knit in the round also requires only ONE stitch - knitting.  Whereas while knitting flat one must knit across one row, then purl back across the second row. (Like a typewriter - please tell me that people will still get this analogy even though I vaguely remember typewriters and playing with them as a child myself.....)

4. Little Jockey Wrap: as above, this guy is in alternation with Lucas's sweater. There is also only 1 sleeve left to do, then the garter stitch wrap part which shouldn't take too long.

For Non Knitters: this is garter stitch.  It is made by ONLY knitting each row (no purl row).  You still go back and forth like a typewriter.  Please don't ask about doing garter stitch in the round because I still have to look it up each time I do it.

5. Baby Quilt.  Well this one was a doozy!  I got asked to make a baby blanket for friends Josh and Rachael who are due with a little girl anytime now.  (For the record, I offered any combination of knitted items but a quilt was specifically requested.) So I went to the quilt store and bought some fabric (actually the ladies in the quilt store picked out fabric that I didn't really like so when I got home I just made it work.) So I cut out the pieces - oh a list is probably easier:
 Notice that there are NOT close-up pictures of this quilt.  This was on purpose. 

A. Pick out fabric.  Change your mind and come up with a different plan.

B. Pick a pattern.  This was going to be simple squares sewn into a rectangular shape.  Easy Peasy.

C. Cut out pieces.  I have been getting better at using the rotary cutter and more and more of my pieces were actually the right size this time.
D. Sew top together.  Finished top will look like this (above).

E. Decide to quilt the quilt yourself.  Have your husband go to Joann Fabrics to buy quilt batting.  (this part is just funny). (Having a quilt be quilted for you is rather expensive.  In fact, this whole hobby is expensive but don't tell my dad that because my mom has been hiding receipts from him for years....)

F. Have husband remember to bring in quilt batting.  Then set up your QUILT SANDWICH. (The tutorials on that site helped me through the whole process and gave me the gusto to actually attempt this on my own.)

G. Using safety pins, pin together your top, batting and backing.  Look at back and realize it is not flat then start all over again.  Then be happy with the couple of wrinkles and push on.

H. Go to quilting store to buy a WALKING FOOT.  Let them laugh at your Target purchased sewing machine.  Let them gasp when you state you are going to attempt quilting something yourself.  Let them be horrified when you purchase bright purple thread with which to quilt.  LET THEM. And buy your walking foot.  

I. Go home and start quilting!  (In the 1950's cartoons someone would be saying "Now you're ready to start quilting!" Figure out how the walking foot goes on only AFTER you've quilted nearly the entire quilt. Learn about your TENSION problem after you've quilted and ripped out nearly the entire quilt.  By no means actually KNOW what you're doing when you start.  Use YouTube videos for learning each step.  DO NOT ASK FOR HELP - IT IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS.

J. Apply the binding.  Again, I cannot stress enough to you the helpfulness of YouTube when doing all of this.  I would literally stitch a little, then go watch a video, then do some more sewing.  

K. Cut off all the loose strings and fix whatever you can.  

L. Wrap in pretty paper.  For the love of all things holy, DO NOT show this to anyone who remotely knows anything about quilting.  Show it to husbands, non-sewers and random strangers who will compliment you heartily on your efforts. 


No comments:

Post a Comment