Friday Finish - Bonnie Lass Quilt

Bonnie Lass was one of the quilts in Jen Kingwell's Quilt Lovely that I knew immediately I wanted to make.  (Glitter was the other, but it's a much slower paced project).  I probably started cutting my scraps back in June for this quilt.  My goal was just to throw everything into the mix.  I was never a "scrappy" quilter, I'm far too buttoned-up for that, but I just fell in love with Kingwell's style and couldn't help but give it a try.
I was so thrilled with the happy, colourful result I decided to take a little walk around the town and take some interesting photos for the blog.  I think more than a few people were baffled as to why we were taking pictures of a quilt in the street!  I was quick enough to capture the old lady on the bike doing a double take!
While I was contentedly hacking away at my stash, I got a little carried away and ended up with almost twice the amount of blocks needed to make the 59x67" lap quilt!  So, I decided to make two.  The first one was gifted to our nanny Annalisa, who, in fairness, earned it with all the hours of ironing the blocks she put in!  I was working back then so I'd chain piece at night and she would iron them all open the next day during nap time.  She might also have mentioned how much she loved it a few hundred times, so it seemed obviously it needed to be hers.
I tried wool batting for the first time, and backed it with a lovely silver grey piece of minky that I bought last summer (from this lovely shop).  It was my first time using wool, and I loved the fluffy loft.  The second quilt, which will be ours, is currently waiting to be quilted.
Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday...
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A Winter Quilt for Baby Pietro

We went down to Rome for a week just after Christmas, and so I thought I'd take the opportunity to make a winter quilt for our friends' little boy, who is just shy of 6 months.  Although we have had a strangely, (and sadly if you think about the implications) warm winter, a quilt with wool batting and flannel backing is still a great thing to have when you go out for a stroll during the winter months.
I was inspired by Jolene's blue and green scrappy quilts, so I decided to go for a simple aqua and low volume colour scheme.  I had the blue flannel ducks in my stash, so although their red scarves kinda sorta clash with the front, I thought it would still make a cozy backing.
I absolutely love the fluffiness that wool batting gives a quilt (I use Hobbs Tuscany Collection).  I don't know why it took me so long to try it.  Silk batting is great for warmth too, but its lower loft isn't as satisfying as wool!
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Friday Finish - Baby H's Birthday Quilt

This might seem like an abundance of photos for a simple patchwork baby quilt, but that's just because I don't have a ton to say about it.  My friend's nephew is turning one and so I picked some pretty colours and whipped up a quilt.  From start to finish it took me two days, which is super fast for me.  When I added the binding and the backing I started to worry it was too much orange, but I think it'll be ok.  I think the parents will appreciate non-traditional colours.
As usual for baby quilts, I fussy cut some of the squares to add a little "I spy" element.  I also made a freehand paper pieced "H" to personalize it.
It's now on it's way across the ocean to Canada.  I hope they like it.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts...
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A Cowl and Hat set for Olivia

I hate to brag, but how cute is this kid?  After the mountain of cowls I made for friends and family this Christmas, Olivia wanted her own.  I pulled out a few balls of yarn and she chose this pretty Malabrigo worsted in Bobby Blue.  I made her the cowl one evening and then the hat the next day.  This is the first pom pom I've ever made and I am smitten!  I think a few pom pom bunnies are in order this Easter!
Some details: For the cowl I cast on 80 stitches, and 90 for the hat, following this pattern.  Super easy, and really cute.  I can't wait to make more of these cowl and hat sets for the little people in my life.
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WIP Wednesday - Linen stitch cowl

These two skeins of amazingly soft Mista Alpaca Hand Painted Chunky were an impulse purchase at my mother's local yarn store in Ontario last month.  I bought it with a different cowl pattern in mind, but a few days ago I realized that the short 1-2" lengths of colour lent themselves perfectly to the linen stitch.  So, without a pattern, I cast on.  My plan is to knit it to the length where it wraps around my neck twice, and then join seamlessly using the provisional cast on I started with.  (Learned how to do that here - what did we DO before youtube??).
This yarn is so soft and gorgeous I can't wait to finish this cowl and wear it!
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Friday Finishes - Clothes for the kid

Got a lot of little finishes to show you this week!  I quit that awful job and so have been enjoying my time as a stay at home mom to a little one who goes to preschool 9-3:30.  I haven't had this much time to sew alone since I was pregnant!  It's been wonderful.
First up was a pair of Mini Hudson pants.  She's 3, so I made the size 3.  The sweatshirt material was nice and thick, which helps because they are a bit too big.  I went down to a size 2 for the next pair (the green stripes).  (I bought the white fabric from The Sweet Mercerie, an online shop based in Portugal.  I have a hard time finding nice fabric here (as evidenced by the green stripe fabric above!), so finding a well-stocked shop within Europe is handy, since I don't have to pay customs.)
I also used a Mccall's pattern (M6224) that I bought last year in Canada to finally whip her up a pair of pajama pants.  For some reason the sizing was huge - I made her a 1 year size!  I'm currently making her the robe (in matching pink whale fleece!) that I cut as a size 3 so I hope she is able to wear it without tripping this year.  Next week we are off to visit my family again (for a month!) so a nice warm robe will be very important for those chilly Ontario mornings.
Lastly, I made her a Bimaa sweater with the leftover green stripe knit.  I've had this pattern for a while too, (I'm kind of an impulse pattern buyer!), but now that she's potty trained and therefore out of onesies it was time to use it.  I really like the shirt, (made the cowl version), the three neckline/hoodie options, and the pattern was well written with photos so it would be easy for a beginner to use as well.  The only thing I'll change for the next time is to attach the wrist ribbing after the arms are sewn up, so that the seams are tucked nicely inside.  (The pattern makes you attach the ribbing first and then sew up and down the arms and body.)  I was obsessed with lining up all the stripes - but I think it makes a huge difference in the finish of the garment - even if it is for a three year old.
I've also been sewing for myself, but haven't had hubs around to take some pics yet.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!
Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts...

The WIP that wasn't

I found this really beautiful shawl pattern a few weeks ago - Texelle - and I couldn't stop myself from buying the pattern and immediately ordering the same yarn (Madelinetosh DK in calligraphy).  It was the week of my birthday, so it was completely justifiable as a little "self gift".  I've long admired things knit in this colorway, and it's just as beautiful in real life as it is on the internet.
Unfortunately I have to say the pattern could have benefited from more stitch counts.  They're mentioned at the beginning but quickly disappear, leaving non-expert shawl knitters with no way to check that they're doing things right!
To make things even more precarious, I took it upon myself to change the type of increase, as I don't really like the large holes that yarn-over increases make.  I knew it was risky, but I wanted to try.
After I took the above pictures, I realized that I had made a big mistake with the "spine" of the shawl.  I got so carried away garter stitching in the first part that I forgot to purl the back of the middle stitches so that it would be stockinette the whole way down the front.  (You know how good knitters talk about "mindless knitting".  Yeah, I really need to engage my mind when I knit.  I'm obviously not good enough to knit mindlessly yet!!)
Last night I undid that stitch all the way down to the bottom, (this lovely lady convinced me it was easy as pie), but this didn't help things look better.  The hard fact is, I just chose the wrong type of increase.  After some discussion with my expert knitter friend Nicole, (re: me pleading with her to tell me it wouldn't be noticeable once the shawl was completed and not to rip it all out!), I knew what I had to do.  I ripped the sucker out.
And so, the shawl you see above is no more.  But I will rebuild her, better than ever!  And with the smallest yo increases I can manage!!
Thanks for sharing my pain!
Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday...

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