Sailor jumper

After the success of my last baby jumper (little matelot sweater), I decided to continue my journey of knitting with another baby jumper. This time, I went for Touch Yarns, a 100% Merino New-Zeeland wool. I chose one of their patterns, a little sailor jumper.

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The first difference from last time was to start with a ribbing (purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, etc..). I was slightly concerned to change thread back and worth for every single stitch, but it wasn’t that hard. I got the hang of it just by watching one or two video on YouTube. You can “admire” my first ribbing:

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I started with the back, which was very similar to the other jumper, so I didn’t need help and did it quite quickly.

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The front was similar but with bigger stripes and some shaping at the collar. I still find it enjoyable and easy and did not require help up to this point. IMG_9631

I now have the sleeves to do, the collar with some buttonholes (this would be challenging) and joining up all the pieces together.

I must admit that I really enjoy knitting and I already dream of all the projects to come.

Does anyone know about good link up parties for knitting? I love sharing my work and seeing what everyone else is working on for quilts, would love to do the same regarding knitting.

Mobile hearts

Don’t you love effective projects that are so easy, they could be done within minutes? Yes, me too.

While walking on the beach nearby my house, we came across a lot of dead wood and I thought it would be great to use some to hang something up in our room.

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Coming back from the walk, I grabbed some leftover batting and fabric that I liked. On the fabric, I traced some heart shapes, sandwiched it with batting and fabric and sew inside the shape. I then simply cut where I traced the heart, leaving row edges.

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In no time, I had this little mobile hearts up on the wall. It’s a great way to display your favourite fabric.

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I’m sure it would look lovely in a little person’s bedroom too.

Linking up with Crazy mum quilt.

Using my Arizona bundle

Small WIP today to let you know my plan for the Arizona line (from April Rhode) that I absolutely adore!

As some of the prints are too pretty to be chopped too small, I found a nice pattern combining different sizes of rectangles. The pattern is from the book 1,2,3 Quilt from (Ellen Luckett Baker). As I have a coordinated solid fat quarter bundle, I think this quilt pattern is perfect. It looks random, but it’s actually very well structured. It combined a repetition of only five different blocks.

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It’s my first time following a proper pattern for a quilt and I thought I may as well doing it seriously. So, I’ve written all the rectangles sizes required on each block to make the cutting process easier. arizonaartgallery

Do you know this feeling of being scared to cut through your beautiful bundle? Well, to make things last longer, I’ve pressed every fat quarter. I thought this was a helpful mental preparation. Ha!

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I’ve now cut all my stripes. It took me quite a while to go through both bundle but I enjoyed it. The only stressful part was that I wasn’t sure to have enough fabric. According to the pattern, I didn’t, but I managed to make it work. Lucky day! Arizonafabric

I was itching to start straight away but I’m waiting for Bria (from The Good Smeller) who wants to join me for this quilt. She will also uses her Arizona fabric and we will do a QAL. I’m not sure if there is an official definition for QAL, for us, it’s just means that we are working on the same quilt at the same time. It will be fun!

If you want to join us please feel free. I’m sure this pattern could be used with many other lovely fabrics.

Linking up with:

WIP Wed

Little matelot sweater

After the success of the scarf (yes my husband wears it on cold days), I was determined to continue my knitting ventures. I wasn’t ready however, to start a new adult item as it took me forever and used a lot of yarn. So I opted for a smaller item: a baby jumper! Small note here: no, mum, I’m not sending you any particular message with this baby jumper.

We have a lot of cute patterns to chose from at the shop I work, I chose a “matelot” jersey from Sublime. It seems a bit daunting but my colleague assures me I was able to do this.

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My colleague helped me every step of the way, I could not have done it without her help. She is such a patient lady. She explained the pattern step by step and even showed me. Sometimes, I had to write notes to “translate” the knitting language into something I could understand.

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I’ve learnt to work in “sequences”. At first I had to write every row I was knitting (1 knit, 1 purl, 1 knit, 1 purl, change colours, etc.). Yes, it is time consuming but I was lost otherwise. I even managed to get it wrong couple of times, so there were some unpicking involve. But, I slowly manage to recognise where I was and I didn’t need to write anything when knitting the back. Progress! IMG_9386I managed to knit all the pieces quicker than the scarf. Shaping the collar and the sleeves wasn’t too bad. In fact, I didn’t even need help for the sleeves. I deserve a gold star, right?

As my hands were still painful while knitting, I checked some hand positions on Youtube and found a wrapping system that works well for me. I’m so thankful to all the people out there who takes the time to post videos on basic things like that.

IMG_9461Joining all the pieces together was way harder than I thought it would be.The back is coming on top of the front panel and joining them at the right place wasn’t so straight forward. The collar was also quite tricky, we had to unpick four times! I love this type of collar though, and my colleague said it would be easy to go through a baby’s big head.

Et voila:
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I’m so proud of it. I didn’t know I was capable of doing that, this little jumper is super cute!

I was surprise on how each extremity rolls itself up. What would you do? I’ve heard of using a damp towel and lots of steam from an iron. It didn’t seems to work that well for me though. Do you have any tips?

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I really enjoyed making this garment, it was much more exciting than the scarf. I would love to do this pattern again, being more independent this time and relying less on my colleague. But for now, I’m excited to build up my skills and I’m choosing another pattern to learn new tricks. So, stay tuned for more knitting projects.

PS: If you want to visit my colleague, her name is Shirley and she blogs at Don’t wait to create. She shares her knitting and quilting projects. Say Hi from me :-)
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Knitting Details:
Yarn: Naturally loyal 100% wool, 8ply
Shade: Green (947) and cream (901)
Needles: 4mm, plus 3,75mm for the collar and sleeves
Pattern: Sublime matelot sweater (code 6013)
What I learnt: The purl stitch, alternating two colours, working in sequences, following a pattern, adding stitches to a stitch-holder, picking up stitches from a cast off row (I needed help for that), shaping collar and sleeves, sewing a garment together
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Linking up with Crazy mum quilt

Meadow brick update and FMQ practice

I’m so excited to show you my progress on the Meadow brick wall quilt. When designing the quilt top, I wanted to free motion quilt every single bricks with a different design. As I never done free motion quilting before it was going to be a great exercise for me to learn but it also was a very daunting task.

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On instagram, I took part in a daily free motion challenged organised by Sandi. Sandi went to a class with Angela Walters and she wanted to apply the 10 mins rules. Basically, Angela had told them to practice FMQ everyday, even if it was 10 mins. I thought it was a good idea to test some designs and simply experience the movement with the needle speed. Everyone who wanted to take part had to use the #dailyfmq on instagram. I didn’t do it everyday but I must say that it was the perfect exercise to get me started. It definitely gave me enough confidence to start a bigger project. Thanks again Sandi!

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I first had to bast my quilt, quite a challenge as it is bigger than my dining table but I had no other way to do it. At the end, it wasn’t to much of a hassle, I basted the quilt in two different stages.

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In addition to the basting pins, I’ve included a straight quilting line within each sashing border.IMG_9399

Then the fun part started. I previously did my homework and drew some designs ideas on a notebook. I had to find 66 different ideas that I could manage (I’m just a beginner) on free motion quilting. I didn’t exactly planned each design for each block but it was very useful to flick through my ideas when doing the quilting. From time to time, I layer the quilt on the floor to have a bigger picture of how it looked. IMG_9411

This was the setting that work best for me: threads and bobbins (yes, I matched all my threads), designs idea on paper, tins to put my safety-pins as I work through the blocks, phone to update instagram (;-), needle to buried all my threads, thread cutter, tweezers (I found it useful to bring treads up) and quick unpick (because you always need on of those close to your machine, right?).

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I need to mentioned that I only unpicked when I had thread issue NOT when my lines weren’t straight enough or my curves not curvy enough. Yes, my quilt isn’t perfect, but I can live with that and I still love it so much!

Even though my designs aren’t perfect, I loved them so much. Sometimes, I didn’t even use a particular design but just followed the pattern on the fabric. It looked lovely:

IMG_9438It took me 4 entire days to finish the quilting. Can you imagine that? And when I say 4 days, it is really 4 days: I don’t have children to take care of or a busy social life to attend. Gosh, 4 days! I think, changing threads and burying tails (start + ends) was very time-consuming (but definitely worthwhile though).

I’ll show you more designs when my quilt is completed. For now, I’m doing the binding. Hope I can share more pictures with you soon. 
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Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I won the second prize on the instagram challenge and will receive Angela Walter’s books!!! Yes, all of them!! I’m so excited as I was borrowing her book “Free motion Quilting” from the library and thought it was very useful. Angela was so sweet during the challenge and commented on a lot of pictures. I always did a happy dance when she liked my free motion quilting progress.

Linking up with:

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