I finished my airplane-ride-to-Charlotte knitting project! As in I DIDN’T just throw the half/completed project on a shelf to finish at a later date!
Ready to wear.
Except, it is 104° outside.
I am a slow knitter, so it’s just as well. If I’d waited until it actually was cold to start, who know’s if I’d finish it before Spring! On that note, ANYONE who wants to give handmade gifts over the holidays should probably start now (if you haven’t already). That way you wont get crazy overwhelmed come December!
This is a nice, easy to remember pattern… so it’s a great project for travel! Knitting needles are OK to carry on to a plane, and the supplies are not too cumbersome. I love the look of chunky knitting, which is great because it make the project finish up fast!
Cast on 40 stitches
Knit 4 rows in stockinette stitch. Increase 1 stitch. Knit 4 rows in stockinette stitch
Repeat ** until you have 50 stitches on your needle.
I’ve broken it down here (with YouTube tutorials) for knitters like me that need to be reminded of the basics from time to time!
2 skeins* of Super Bulky Yarn (Pictured is Lion Brand Hometown USA in Dallas Grey)
Size 13 Knitting Needles
Large Tapestry Needle **
*Depending on your gauge, maybe you could complete this project with 1 skien.
I needed yarn from a second for the last few rows, to have enough yarn to stitch the seam, and to weave in the ends.
** I did not have a needle big enough for the bulky yarn, so I used a crochet hook to weave the seam together. It worked fine, but probably took 3x longer than if I’d just used a needle.
Cast on 40 stitches
I like the Long-Tail Cast-On method. It reminds me of a sling-shot.
Knit 4 rows in stockinette stitch.
This means knit the 1st row, pearl the 2nd row, knit the third row, pearl the 4th row.
Increase 1 stitch. Knit 4 rows in stockinette stitch
You are adding 1 stitch to the beginning of the 5th row. This is where a YouTube demonstration comes in handy (starts at 25second mark).
Then just continue knitting 4 rows of stockinette.
Repeat ** until you have 50 stitches on your needle.
You will increase again at the start of the 9th, 13, 17, 21… etc row and continue knitting in stockinette.
Stop when you hit 50 stitches on your needle (aka the end of the 40th row).
This is how you get your work off your needles.
This bound off edge will end up being the bottom of your cowl.
Stockinette knits naturally want to roll, so if the edge doesn’t look perfect, no one will know!
The edges you are sewing together are the sides that were never on the needles (aka NOT the cast on/bind off edges).
Here, a mattress stitch looks great! It’s practically invisible from the front.
This is where a tapestry needle with a big eye would come in handy!
That’s it! Now you are all set with a pretty Cowl for when the weather gets chilly!
Let me know if you’ve had any success with other Chunky Knit patterns! I’ll be sure to add them to my Pinterest board!
I saw the NASA booth at the 39th International Quilt Festival in Nov 2013, and this video of Astronaut Karen Nyberg asking for quilt squares to add to the one she made while on the International Space Station.
So I figured 10 months to make an 9.5” quilt block would be a piece of cake! Of course, I left everything to the last minute and Priority Mailed my block in the week of the deadline.
I thought all of the blocks would be made into one super record-breaking quilt! But when I arrived at the International Quilt Festival 2014, I found that the 2,200+ blocks were assembled into 28 72”x90” quilts. Makes sense, and made for a much more manageable way to display the work of Quilters from around the world.
It was a beautiful exhibit to walk through… but my heart began to sink when I realized there were 4 huge notebooks of quilt squares to flip though. Squares that were not the correct dimensions or were received after the deadline. Did I measure right!? Was my block mailed in time?!
Luckily, I found my block on the 26th quilt I looked at! It was on the bottom row of the quilt, so I sat on the floor to get a picture with it.
HUGE BONUS: I found out in-route to the Festival that Astronaut Karen Nyberg was going to make an appearance! Had I known in advance, I would have worn a nicer shirt. Being able to meet here really completed this entire experience!
I made sure to take a picture off all 28 of the Star themed quilts… in thoughts to mash them together into a photo of one SUPER QUILT like I had originally thought it would be.
Now I am realizing that 1) Many of the 2,200 contributors could not make it to Houston to see the Display in person and 2) Professional photos of the quilts are not available online quite yet. I thought they be posted as soon as the festival started… but now it may be a week or 2 until Quilts.com gets the online. And that is an eternity to the Quilters who want to see their block!
So to help out, here are the pictures I took of the Astronomical Quilts. They are taken with a point-and-shoot camera, but hopefully are clear enough for quilters to find their blocks!
Did you know that September has been “National Sewing Month” since 1982? It started with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan, declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”
What a great opportunity to share one of my more recent home-sewing creations (beyond my typical quilts).
I was able to purchase 2 coordinating “Fat Quarters” of fabric and the matching Velcro at Wal-Mart. The only other supplies you’d really need are thread, fabric scissors and a sewing machine. A small quilting ruler can be used to check that all of your seams are consistent.
Crazy Little Projects has some great step-by-step photos. They came in handy when I was inspecting my finished project. The arrows below show some little bunch parts where the top flaps meet the body of they pouch. Since I am a crazy perfectionist, it bothered me that they were not laying completely flat.
But then I closely examined the original tutorial, and her example seemed to have little bunches too. So I stopped worrying and happily gave to to my cousin as a very-belated baby shower gift! I’ve been told it is very handy size and nicer than ones you see in the stores. Which makes me happy! Even if they are just being polite!
BONUS: After baby is out of the diaper/wipes stage, it will still make a nifty carrier for various essentials… like pens and pencils… or coupons… or snacks.
Because it was made completely from fabric I ALREADY OWNED.
Yes, over 30 fabrics from my stash, including a randomly large amount of light purple.
I really wanted to make a “practice” quilt. Especially after several friends and co-workers asked me sew a t-shirt quilt for them. I still feel like I’m at an advanced beginner level when it come to quilts. And the only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, PRACTICE!
For me, it is just as impressive that this quilt top went from an idea in my head to a finished top in under a month. (My T shirt Quilt blocks remained un-assembled for a YEAR-ish… but in my defense I was desperately searching for just the right shade of blue for the border).
June 23, 2013:
Thinks “I have some free time alone, why don’t I re-organize my fabric stash.” Organized just by color isn’t good enough?
Lifts 2 huge boxes and several shopping bags of fabric (<--- workout for the day)
Hours later, sits amongst piles sorted by sizes ranging from 3 yards to little squares the size of a matchbook, wondering why I though this would be a good idea. Granted, I was watching a movie at the same time.
Knew that, if I could find enough scraps big enough, I could make a quilt like I saw in Quilters World magazine (like this one), though it might wind up looking very chaotic.
Noticed pile-o-big-scraps had a lot of floral prints.
Leaves piles of fabric on the (sheet covered) floor and goes to sleep. Hopes dog doesn’t pee on them in the night.
June 24, 2013:
Pick out all of the floral pieces. Measure them against 4.5”x8.5” template made out of a cranker box to see if they’d work.
Cut rectangles out of florals, creating yet another pile of big scraps.
Re-count floral rectangles way to many times to make sure there are 35 total.
Pack small scraps into plastic boxes. Bag larger pieces and strips. Leave on the ground because I got distracted doing something else.
Work for 8 days straight. I rarely get anything done during the work week.
July 3, 2013:
Wash, dry, iron purple fabric.
Celebrate 4th of July with the neighborhood. Snow cones, watermelon and fireworks!
Cut purple fabric into 8.5” strips.
Realize the last strip cut was 7.5” Curse silently to self.
Do mental math and careful cutting to get correct number of pieces from remaining strips.
July 4, 2013:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA
Sew purple pieces to floral pieces.
Realize some floral pieces are 1/4” too short. Dig though piles to find coordinating scrap to attach to end. No one will ever know
Completes 35 blocks. Knows one should measure each block and trim them to the size of the smallest block.
Does not measure the blocks. Decides to wing it.
Goes back to work for 1 day. Seriously. A 1 day work week!
July 6, 2013:
Puts floor fabric bags in large plastic totes.
After rest of the family goes to sleep, decides to lay out squares and decide placement.
Too lazy to change the channel on the TV. A cat “whisperer” show is on Animal Planet. I am not a cat person.
Lay blocks 5×7. Photograph. Analyze color placement and rearranges.
Repeat 5 times.
Start attaching some blocks together.
Gets tired, and sick of watching miss-behaving cats. Stacks blocks and goes to bed.
July 7, 2013
Lay out quilt again. Continue assembling blocks.
Remembers why you’re supposed to trim all blocks to the same size. Some 1/4” seam are more like 1/8” seems.
But I must go on.
Stitch, Reverse, Stitch again over the smaller seems. For strength. I hope.
Again, too lazy to change the TV channel. Watches end of Terminator 3, Resident Evil (3?), and the beginning of a Star Trek TNG movie. Thanks SiFi Network.
FINISHES quilt top! Relieved wonky seams will be trapped inside the quilt sandwich. NO ONE WILL KNOW!
And that is my quilt top adventure! Ever quilt is a learning experience. This one definitely taught me the importance of accurate measuring, both when cutting fabric and when comparing blocks.
This is also a sentimental quilt for me. Most of the fabrics in my collection were given to me by my late Grandma. She had a lot of scraps donated to her over the years. I am so happy to finally be putting them to good use.