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Minions for Christmas

Last night I finished up a Christmas project that’s been sitting on the shelf for a few months. Being the procrastinator that I am I always seem to do these things just before the Christmas deadline.

My little granddaughter has a thing for Minions so when the quilt kit went on sale at Fat Quarter shop I bought it. My oldest son also has a love for all things Minions as well and I’d originally thought of making it for him but the two year old won out. This was a fairly easy kit and once I got my act in gear it took about a week to finish and that only involved one long day of quilting and another of sewing down the binding.






I machine stitched all of the quilt, outlining the main character’s features and clothing. I then did a meander stitch in the orange background fabric surrounding the minions. I stitched along the borders and then for the inside of the yellow border I did another meander stitch but in a different style of curls. I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. It seemed fairly simple but now that it’s done it makes me happy looking at it, maybe it’s all that orange and the smiling Minion faces.



More Hedgehogs.

Thought I’d pop up a picture of the latest (and last I hope) of the hedgehogs that I’ve done. I looked on the camera but can’t find the other ones I did. I made a silver tinsel hedgehog for Christmas then made another green and pink tinsel hedgehog from the King Cole yarn (the best yarn in my opinion). I also made a purple hedgehog from fun fur that I had kicking around. Well it’s an endless cycle because once one grandkid had a hedgehog then the others wanted one as well. I’m hoping that this will be the last of them. I still have the two littlest grandchildren without hedgehogs but I’m hoping since they are so young they won’t notice. I’ve got the possum yarn and teddy bear pattern for them I guess that’s next on the list.

Anyhow here are the last two just for fun.
rainbow and blue hedgehog
Hedgehog pattern courtesy of King Cole yarns. The fun fur has been hanging around in my box forever.


Puppy Quilt

It’s been a while since I’ve last written, I’ve been busy on vacation and with the garden, spinning and finally quilting. My grandson is having his second birthday this Saturday and it’s been a mad scramble to come up with a quilt and get it done on time. Finally tonight the last stitches were sewn into the binding and everything is now done, whew!

The quilt is made up of one layer cake and some additional yardage from the design team – Basic Grey from Moda fabrics. The fabric design is called Max & Whiskers. The quilt pattern is one I’ve done before and blogged here: Hunky Dory Quilt. I lost the pattern so had to refer back to my blog to figure out the pattern from looking at the picture I’d posted (I gave away the quilt). This is one of the reasons I blog – to keep track of projects I’ve done; there have been many times I’ve referred back to my own posts. It’s funny because there have been a couple times where I’ve searched on something and come up with my own blog. Stuff I’ve done and forgotten I’d written about, old age I guess.

When I ordered the fabric for the quilt I didn’t realize the backing fabric was directional. I had four yards that I intended to sew together in two pieces to create a 72″ x 90″ backing piece. Since the puppies needed to go lengthwise I was short material so to compensate I took some of the left over 10″ x 10″ layer cake squares, sewed them together and then sewed them to the top of the backing. It worked out really well because when the quilt is turned down you get to see more squares.

Finally the photos were taken at dusk with a flash so they look a bit off but I was to impatient to wait for morning.

puppy quilt
Twin size quilt, fabric by Basic Grey, Max & Whiskers.

closeup of puppy quilt squares
Close up of some of the puppy/kitten squares.

puppy quilt with top turned down
Quilt on double bed with top turned down.

puppy quilt backing
Additional squares added to the backing to add length.


Happy Thanksgiving

To all my American friends, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
turkey dinner

Ball-Winder Addition

As I was winding some of the bulky yarn I’ve spun it suddenly occurred to me to share this tip on how to extend your ball-winder through use of a toilet paper roll. I actually did think up this all on my own but have since discovered that others use this idea as well. It’s the old thing, if you’ve thought of the idea then sure enough someone else has as well.

What I do is to take a toilet paper roll, cut it in half and then retape the roll around my Knitpicks ball winder. It’s possible there are better winders out there and you don’t need to do this but for $20 I’m happy with the knitpicks winder.

My winder is slightly wider at the bottom than the top so as I go along with the tape I start at the bottom and work my way up to the top putting the tape in pieces around the roll. Keep the roll tight and snug to the plastic core as you do this. If you tape too loosely the roll will spin off as you wind the yarn on. At the top I then put some pieces of tape length-wise going around the circumference. I do this because I’ve found that the yarn can catch on the roll where the groove spirals up. If you use the modified toilet paper roll enough that little ends starts to come unstuck and your fine yarn can catch on it as you wind. Next, cut two slits in the roll opposite each other; you use these to hold your yarn end as you start winding.

Adding the roll to the winder does two things. One, it extends the length of the winder so you can make larger ‘neater’ yarn cakes, this is handy for thicker yarn. Two, I find the grooves on the Knitpicks winder don’t hold my yarn that well so I’m always fiddling to try and make the end catch.

Ball winder with toilet roll
Ball winder with toilet roll addition.

Bulky yarn on ball winder
Bulky yarn wound on ball winder.

cake of yarn compared to ball winder
Size of yarn cake compared to the regular ball winder height.

Hope this post is helpful to you.

I’m off…

I’m off to Italy for 19 days. I have a couple things to blog about when I get back, one is my new spinning wheel and the other is about some wool fleece I washed up, until then Ciao baby!


Yarn, lots and lots of it.

I haven’t done any knitting the last couple of days but I have been playing around with yarn and roving. The first photo shows some rolags that I made using the piece of carding cloth I have that’s waiting to be made into a blending board.

Blue & white J&S rollags.jpeg
Rollags made from blue and white shetland wool top from Jamieson & Smith.

blue skies yarn from shetland white and colbalt
Fingering weight yarn spun on my Ashford spindle.

Next I brought up an old box of yarn from the basement looking for another project that I’d started but not finished many years ago.

white buffalo sweater
White Buffalo Yarn sweater.

After looking at this project I realized there were some leftover balls of yarn in the same box so I thought that I would try and find some room in my large tote for them. My tote has all my acrylic leftovers in it along with a few whole balls of yarn as well. Mostly it was a mess so I thought that if I wound all the balls into layer cakes I’d make more room for the new/old balls.

unwound stash yarn
Messy yarn.

stash yarn cakes
Bin partially filled with layer cakes. Filled it to the top by the time I’d finished winding the above yarn.

After winding all the yarn in the bin, I discovered that I didn’t have any extra room than before I’d started so all I can say is that I wasted an afternoon but I do have a tidy tote bin full of layer cakes. I just have to find somewhere else to stash the other balls.


They’re gone…

I’m hosting a ufo (unfinished object) KAL/CAL (Knit along and crochet along) this month in one of my Ravelry groups and the idea is to finish up any projects that have been lying around. Part of the KAL could be ripping out a ufo that’s never going to be finished. I have a couple of ufo’s hanging around waiting to be knit but I also have some that weren’t going to be finished so today I sat down in front of the TV and the ripping out commenced. I have to admit it wasn’t a chore since I used the ball winder to help speed things up.

First up a coat that I knit the back and one front of. I actually have a blog post somewhere way back when on this project but I grew to hate the way the patterns of the yarn came out and then the colour itself.

long coat ufo
Sean Sheep – Cairns

frogged coat yarn

The next project was a kit I bought on sale at Chapters and it was supposed to be a crocheted baby dress but I never finished on time so it is now frogged as well.

baby dress ufo
Lion Brand – Wool Ease.

frogged baby dress yarn

Now all I have to do is to decide whether or not I want to keep the yarn or give it away. I might try to crochet one square of the multi-coloured and see if it works out otherwise I’ll try and find a home for it.


Spindle Spinning.

I’ve been having fun playing with the wool top that I bought from Jamieson and Smith and I’ve spun up a few skeins worth – very small skeins worth, lol. This stuff is fantastic and just glides along so it’s possible to get some even singles out of it even for a beginner like me.

Here are some photos:

spindle natural
J&S natural.

single ply
Single ply before washing and plying.

unwinding setup
Unwinding setup. It didn’t work that well so I made a ball of the two plys but I didn’t like that either so now I just take the toilet paper roll and join the two ends and ply that at the same time.

first and second skeins J&S natural 2012
1st and 2nd skeins. The second skein is thinner spun.

1st skein
My first true skein with J&S.

second skein washed
Second skein washed.

black top
J&S natural black, actually so dark brown it looks black.

J&S grey top
J&S grey top on spindle.

J&S grey 2-ply before washing
Plied grey J&S skein before washing.

grey 2-ply dried
Grey skein after drying. The yarn shrinks a bit and gets crumply/springy.

Starting to soak
Starting to soak.

shrinking in water
Shrinking in hot water.

Charlie needs a new winter hat so grandma had to try her hand at knitting one so here it is. Hopefully it will fit.

knit hat for Charlie
Random worsted weight yarn knit with various 4.5 mm needles.

Merry Christmas 2012 and a Happy New Year

Just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the joys and blessings that this time of year brings. I’d also like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may you all keep safe and find happiness.

God bless,