Saturday, 5 August 2017

Quilt number one off the frame

I have a feeling my blog is going to be rather dull for the next weeks now that I have settled into some long term projects, so I apologise for that.  The quilting frame continues to take up a significant portion of the dining room, and my first quilt is now done, washed, binding machined on and being hand-sewn down onto the back in the evenings.

As you can see, I have started with a medium stipple and on this top I was concentrating on reducing my stitch length and trying to get it more consistent. I ordered several packs of wadding from Lady Sew and Sew and they turned up this week, so I've stashed them under the frame ready for the quilts to come.  I'm getting back into the swing of operating the machine and have made several bobbin changes successfully in mid-pass.

I've now loaded quilt number two onto the frame, which is my Stack and Whack Hexagon Stars quilt from some time ago.  I am again stippling but I'm leaving the framed border free for a fancier border pattern.  In a burst of overconfidence, I tried stitching the fancy border freehand which was a disaster, so I am going to have to unpick the mess I made once the quilt is off the frame.  Trying to run before I can walk.  The frame is not easy to freehand with, the carriage is fairly heavy to push around and due to the cracks in my tracks, there are a few places where it hesitates which can be fatal when you are trying to freehand a smooth curve.

This week I finished sewing together the 20 blocks of my handknitted Great American Aran Afghan or GAAA as it's known in the knitting world.  Now I am trying to knit the cabled edging.  The pattern suggests you knit the edging separately and sew it on, which seems a recipe for disaster.  I began by trying to knit it on directly, joining on every alternate row by SSKing into a loop of the afghan.  My first attempt into every loop was too compressed.  My second attempt into alternate loops was too stretched.  I'm now trying to skip one loop in three which is working better but is a pain to do because you have to remember what you did on the previous pick up row.  Knitting the edging separately and sewing it on is starting to look more attractive as an option.  Several people on Ravelry said they knit the edging separately but joined it as they went, sewing it on a few blocks at a time, so I might try that next.

The Bucks Point hexagonal edging continues, I'm getting close to the end of the first of six repeats.  So far (touch wood) it's going fine with minimal reverse lacing, albeit very slowly as I only work on it a few hours each week.

I'm about halfway through the second colour change of my Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim Cowl. Although I like the yarn, I find working with the cotton very tiring on my hands.  I suppose because cotton is a very lifeless fibre and the knitter has to do all the work of pulling the yarn through to make stitches.  I've also started my second Rose Window Hat, this one for myself.

I painted the wallpaper on the outside of the hairdressing salon with sealer, and trimmed the top edges of the box with stained and varnished wood strips.  I've also touched up the paint job Eileen had applied on the front of the box and sealed that as well.  I think the pavement in front of the shop (or sidewalk to North Americans) will be next.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get a bunch of gardening done. I haven't been out there for a long time because it's been so windy and rainy.  The lawn desperately needs mowing and I need to check if my foxglove seedlings are ready to prick out yet.  We're still waiting on Patio Guy to do the patio under the pergola.  He's made two attempts now, once while we were on holiday and once he phoned me at 5:30pm on my way home from work to announce he was coming the next day - he seems to struggle with the concept that I have a job and need time to request leave from my manager, and can't just be available at the drop of a hat.  Now he says he may not be able to come until September.  Meanwhile Shower Guy, who let us down with three week's notice last month on our long-planned installation, now says he is 'definitely' coming in September.  I have no doubt that if they turn up at all, it will be on the same day and probably Patio Guy will be trying to wheelbarrow in materials at the same time as Shower Guy is trying to block the path with scaffolding to get at the connection to the soil pipe.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Congrats on the progress with your quilting. Hope you find a good solution for your afghan edging.

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