Making Blankets

I can be lazy so I tend to like the self striping yarns that are available today rather than buying a bunch of solids and weaving in a ton of ends. I’ve made a ton of blankets over the last couple years (37 of them!) and found some yarn/pattern combinations that I really like too.

You know of my new found love of the Mandala Ombré yarns when paired with the Linen Stitch.

I’ve used a ton of the Caron Big Cake yarn in the last couple years and have tons of it yet to use. My favorite two patterns for it so far are the Easy Ripple and the somewhat fancier Woodland Ripple.

The Lion Brand Big Scoop yarn looks great with the Blanket Stitch pattern. This yarn comes in variegated colorways too but for this pattern I like the single color ones … I’ve done a pink blanket and a yellow blanket and I have blue yarn waiting. It comes in a green too so I’m sure I’ll eventually make one of these in that color too.

And I’m thrilled because I’ve finally found the perfect pattern for the Caron Cotton cake yarn. I’ve made at least 3 other blankets with this yarn and I’ve liked them all OK but I’m LOVING this yarn with the Shell Stitch Blanket. I’ve got a fair amount of it at home and I’m thinking most of it will probably end up being used with this pattern.

And that’s probably more than you want to know about my crochet blankets!

Chairs

I recently saw a question about the best chair for sewing in one of the groups I occasionally follow and thought I’d share my favorite chair. Over the years I’ve sewn in a number of chairs starting with a basic dining room chair and several different office chairs but my favorite is this chair I ordered from Amazon. I have two of them that I bought for my sewing room in Tampa. It’s leather, it swivels, you can raise and lower the seat, and it does not have arms.

I checked the price at the link above and it has gone up quite a bit in the two and a half years since I bought my second one. I paid $105 for mine. When I needed a sewing chair for Big Canoe, that was the first one I went looking for but it was unavailable. I ordered another office chair that had all the same features EXCEPT it’s cloth and not leather … not the best choice with all the strings but it will work for now. I think I need one of those animal hair brushes to see if I can clean them off.

You can see I’ve made progress on the Granny Square quilt in the background. I had several comments about it and people seemed confused, thinking it was a different quilt than the one on the Twisted Irish Chain class handout I’d shared. Nope, it’s the same quilt. Just a simple square alternated with a 9 patch block and it’s the placement of the squares in the 9 patch that create the pattern.

Finally!

I mentioned last week I have my routine here at Big Canoe … at least for now. During the day I sew downstairs, knitting on my hats when I take breaks and in the evenings I work on my crochet blankets upstairs. Today, I started a new quilt and this evening a new blanket. Tomorrow, I’ll start a new hat. Progress is being made all around not that it was easy getting this blanket started.

Last night I tried several different patterns and hook sizes for this Caron Cotton Cake yarn and nothing worked. I now have two other patterns I’m anxious to try with other yarns, but they weren’t right for this one. At one point I had two different projects on different skeins trying to decide between them and I frogged a couple false starts too.

Tonight I went with a shell pattern and I think it’s going to work.

Finished

I finished knitting another hat today.

Rae looked through my hat yarn when she was here and picked out a couple skeins she liked so I’ll start on a hat for her next.

Granny Squares

I changed my mind about the quilt I was going to start this morning but I used the fabric from Connecting Threads kit I had pulled last night. I have an annual membership to Craftsy that I’m debating whether to continue or not. When they were selling fabric (under the names Craftsy and BluPrint) an annual membership got you free shipping which made it very worthwhile for me. I do view class segments when I’m looking for something specific in quilting, crochet, or knitting so it can be a good resource but I have yet to watch a class from start to finish and I’ve done only a project or two from any of them. BUT just because I don’t actually watch the entire class or do the projects, it doesn’t mean I’m not learning or gaining ideas to incorporate in my own projects. So, as I said, I’m still debating whether I’ll renew next year.

One benefit of annual membership is you get credits to “buy” classes that you’ll own forever even if you decide to not renew the annual membership. I was looking for classes today to use the 6 credits I have that will expire at the end of the year and I found this Twisted Irish Chain class. I really liked one of the projects in the class so I used one of my credits for it.

And so this morning, I decided to use my “kit” fabric to make the Granny Squares quilt. I should have taken a bit more time to plan how I was going to use my fabric but I did a few quick calculations and started cutting. I had to change the plan because I didn’t have enough fabric to do a borderless quilt and because the stash is in Tampa, I had limited options for additions but that’s OK. I’m happy enough with the adjusted plan and have made a good start on piecing the 9 patch blocks after laying it all out and snapping this photo. It’s a good pattern for fat quarters so I’m sure I’ll be using it again too.

Finished

This is the Linen Stitch blanket that I started on Election night … we may still be waiting for the certification of the election results but the blanket is done. I used a pattern that came with one of my BluPrint kits but you could Google linen stitch crochet blanket and find patterns or look at this post of mine where I linked to a couple patterns.

  • Pattern – Linen Stitch Blanket from a Bluprint kit
  • Yarn – Mandala Ombré, colorway is Mantra
  • Hook size – I
  • I used about 5 and 2/3 skeins and my blanket measures about 40 x 46

I love the texture of this stitch!

I fixed it

So my mistake from yesterday was just that I had mixed up two squares as I sewed the blocks together and I did not like how the resulting three blocks were looking in this row. That green block in the 3rd row was supposed to be one block to the left.

And now that I’ve picked out a bunch of partial seams and resewn them, I’m happier with this one.

Tuesday

So, I did fix my error today and I’ll post another photo of the Boxed Squares quilt tomorrow.

We saw deer in the yard daily this past summer and it’s less frequent now but I still glance up from my sewing now and then and see a visitor. Rae got to see this one this morning too. She gets as excited about the deer as I do.

Her classes involve a number of video calls and she’s good about keeping up with the time (she sets an Alexa alarm for a couple minutes before she’s supposed to sign on). Her last class usually ends around 1:15 and she continues to work until 2:30. I sew most of the day, stopping to help her as needed and after her video calls, I usually sit in the room with her while she’s finishing her assignments. Finn likes to come down and sit with us too. That’s my current hat project in my lap.

We take short breaks during the day doing some yoga and when we’re done with school for the day, Rae’s always happy to go outside and sit on the swing … it was the one thing she told us she hoped the new house had when we were house hunting. She looked so grown up sitting out there today.

Assembled

The boxed squares top is finished…. or is it? I flipped two blocks when I was sewing it together and didn’t notice. I guess that happens when there are lots of interruptions.

This was how it was supposed to be sewn …

I might just take off the top row and flip two blocks around or I might not …. but I think it bothers me enough to take it off.