Adult Surprise 2/3 Finished

I was not prepared for how much more unwieldy the Adult Surprise would be than the Baby Surprise. It didn’t take long to shift from a 24-inch loop to 60. But I have made progress from the bit in my earlier post: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/take-two-already/

I’d not noticed when planning the pattern that the increase “half” is 9 rows fewer than the decrease portion. While I hadn’t planned an exact mirror image on the second part, I’d intended the blues to be the same size and the “other” stripes to be about the same size. The plan was in my head, not drawn. Luckily I started to make reverse color notes and saw what was happening. So I didn’t just run out of space, but began several truncated stripes. I don’t think it will be noticeable in the finished product.

I’m a bit concerned that the finished product will be gaudy. I’d wanted stripes for two reasons: to use up leftover yarns and to accent the right angles. It will do that.

At the rate I’m knitting, and if there are no squirrels, it should be finished in a week or two.

The Stretching Art and Tradition project that I sketched here ( https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/11/19/another-beginning/ ) has been postponed a year. So that won’t intrude.

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Take Two, Already

So I started two swatches. One yarn looked smaller but the stitch count was the same. So I did measurements and math and cast on.

The main color will be blue. I have 10 balls left from this afghan.

That’s a lot of leftover, but I remember having no clue how much I’d need and not wanting to chance running out. The other leftovers are from a sampler afghan I made in a class that presented a different technique each month.

My favorite blocks:

Fair Isle
Counterpane

I also have some left from a sweater I made and a sweater a friend made and contributed. No photos of those sweaters.

So swatch finished, measurements taken, directions read, math done and rechecked, I’m ready to cast on 322 stitches. And I get this far.

Something made me stop and count stitches. Uh oh. The sleeve section was fine but the back was already 10 stitches fewer than I should have after about 10 more double decreases. I considered doing single decreases on the sleeve side till it was down to where it needed to be. The area was underarm, so the lack of right angle might not matter. But if it turned out that it mattered, I could rip out later.

But I wimped out and decided not to take a chance. I reread the directions and redid the math. This time I figured I needed to cast on 366 stitches. (Yes I had checked my math before. Apparently I’d made the same error when checking. This time I couldn’t get the old number, so I’ll never know what I did wrong. At any rate, I now am this far.

Is knitting and reknitting a way to get double money’s worth out of yarn?

ETA I don’t have enough to add for another post—knitting process isn’t as interesting to post about as quilting process. So for Scrap Happy visitors, here is the link to Kate’s post with links to other scrap posts.

https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/scraphappy-january-5/

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Voila!

Well, it really is a little sweater! But first the “blob.”

See the indent in the lower right? That is the front neck and it gets rotated up.

Here’s the back view.

Surprisingly, one error in marking increases and decreases fixed all the problems in the first try. https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/the-skeptics-win-the-first-round/?preview=true

In the previous post I’d mentioned changing color on the wrong side so I got the divided line where it would show on the right side. And I wondered if I could make it look intentional. I think I did.

And here it is, all ends woven in and shoulder seams sewn. This design is for a baby with strong taste, who doesn’t want to dress like a baby.

The Complete Surprise book does more than clarify instructions. There are photographs explaining stitches and charts to help with design. It is so thoroughly explained that the end result is no longer much of a surprise. And if you like line-by-line instructions, they are there too.

It offers variations in size and feature. It explains the geometry and sizing. So I think I’ll make me one.

Let’s see. I am to cast on the desired width + 6 times the arm width times gauge. I guess I can’t avoid knitting a swatch.

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The Return of BSJ

Plan A had been to do some quilting, but books got in the way. Then I finished Christmas knitting and had some leftovers. So it was time to return to the Baby Surprise Jacket. Here it is a little under halfway.

You can’t see much—24-inch circular bunches it up. The side showing is supposed to be the right side. I changed yarn on the wrong side so got the extra line. Then decided to do all changes that way to make it look on purpose. Don’t think anyone will be fooled.

Moving the marker to the center worked wonders. Now the double decreases do what seems intuitive: one stitch off each sleeve and one off the body each time. I’m at the more stitch-counting part now, and the count keeps coming out correct. Soon we’ll know if the more complete instructions work better. I think they will.

Scrap Happy day will be here on the 15th, so I’ll mention that the brown and dark blue are scraps. The light blue is new; I wanted to be sure to have enough of the unifying color. Cheating again. I know I have left overs of more colors, but of course I can’t find them now. I’d wanted a more multicolored look. Maybe another time.

Starting December you can see more Scrappy projects linked at https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

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Another Beginning

So the T Quilt doesn’t have a deadline after all. (Plans had changed when I wasn’t paying attention. ) There is no rush for the baby quilt. What better time than now to start something new?

Stretching Art and Tradition is coming up early next year. This year’s entry is being held to show next year, but we have also been given a theme for next year: When One Door Closes. (Wonder where that came from. )

This time the size requirement has changed to 24 inches by 36. A little easier than the old 18 x 36. So I started thinking. As you will remember, I prefer more abstract design, and that makes following a theme sometimes challenging. Also I have some Japanese kimono silk that I’d like to use; working with silk would be the new technique.

The first idea I had was an overall 9-patch structure composed of 9 9-patch blocks, each adding one more light square (well, rectangle and an odd size at that).

The idea turned out to be more interesting conceptually than visually. So I shifted to a grid of 4-inch squares with a dark to light movement. First try

I plan all the light squares to be the silk with fabric manipulation for variety and the dark to be one shade of dark, varied textures (velvet, cotton, satin, corduroy) and maybe different close hues ( brown, purple, black).

Not sure I like the clump of four, though the idea was to have it reappear after being blocked. Again the visual interest may not equal the conceptual. So I tried again.

I’m liking it better but not committed to it. Stay tuned.

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Leaders/Enders Progress—and Scrap Happy

Another project I worked on during the virtual retreat was attaching 4-patch blocks to their alternate blocks for their last round as leaders/enders. These 2-inch squares have been leaders and enders for forever—at least 2 years, maybe 3. Of course their use had been interrupted by two other leader/ender projects: Star Kissed https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/star-kissed-1-is-finished/ and Irish Star https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/irish-star-2-top-finished/

After this step was finished at the retreat, it was time for them to graduate and become a project. So after a while, I laid them out and did a bit of rearranging so that fabrics that drew attention to themselves were somewhat spaced. Then sewed.

36 x 36

It won’t make it to this year’s Toy and Joy, but the fire fighters need the quilts (and quilts get delivered) all year. Usually a fire fighter representative picks a dramatically large batch up at the December meeting, but with Covid and virtual meetings quilts had to be dropped off early November. It will just not get to the guild’s total, and that’s not the end of the world. It will augment next year’s.

This top is made 100% from scraps. There were only threads remaining after I cut the 72 squares for the alternate blocks. If you like Scrappy projects, check out Kate’s blog and follow links that are there. https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

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T-for-Terry Top and Back

And the top is finished.

You can hardly tell that the final border is made of squares, and that was the plan. If there had been enough fabric it would have been a plain strip of the same batik that is in the center block.

I like the narrow brown border, but it didn’t solve the balance issue. And I see why not. The area between the two narrow borders functions visually as a unit. Even though that had been my intent, I’d not made the next step to think balance. Rather I’d used the 2, 3, 4 inch units to figure the next. (Interestingly, I’d treated the middle two as one, but I didn’t carry that concept through. ) So a 9-inch outer border might have worked, or a 6 if I had had enough fabric. And a use for a larger quilt. I was aiming for something near 40 x 60, and it is 46 x 64. ( Do I get extra credit for a palindrome measurement?)

Put on your sunglasses for the back. Are you ready?

The bright is the rest of the fabric in the alternating squares of the final border on the front. When I use only 2 fabrics on a back and have enough fabric, I like to use the “zipper” strip to join them. I think it looks more like I designed it than that I ran out of fabric. And it doesn’t add much construction time.

Tomorrow the quilt gets sandwiched.

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Almost

This was supposed to be the post that said, Top finished. But I laid the last border out and am not sure.

My first thought was that the problem was that the two last borders should not be the same size. If so, I can only learn not to do that again and just finish it up. My second thought was that the blending shades had gotten boring. Interestingly, it looks better in the photo than in real life. The photo has more value contrast.

I am thinking of a narrow brown border before the final one. We’ll see. ( I already have to fudge the length so adding a half-inch border wouldn’t be a problem. )

Meanwhile I am happy with the strip of one-inch squares.

The first layout for that border was a disappointment. I did my usual construction of apparent randomness, and it just looked messy and busy. Chaotic even. (Sorry, I didn’t document it. ) Then I got the idea of matching the previous row, tried it, and liked it. I matched all but the light pink; otherwise, too much pink in spots.

A note about color. Last summer in her color class on Academy of Quilting, Elizabeth Barton mentioned that using cool and warm variations of a color gave a piece added depth. The batik already had that feature, my pink scraps came in orangish and purplish. So I tried it and like it.

I’ll be working on the top tomorrow so I can consider using any early suggestions. Later suggestions will be mentally useful to consider. They just won’t make it to this quilt.

ETA audition of brown

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T-Quilt Progress

Most of my time at the virtual retreat was spent on the HSTs for the T-for-Terry quilt last worked on in May ( https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/back-to-the-t-for-terry-quilt/ )

T-for Terry

Making and trimming HSTs is boring, so it is a good task for working while chatting. You can see the numbers weren’t right for the top and bottom. I tried to solve that with the center square. Looks kinda clunky. Then I got an idea.

A 1 x 2 flying-goose block to the rescue. (Once I’d thought of it, I wondered why it took so long—it seemed so obvious!)

For the remainder, Plan A was two more 4-inch borders, but the challenge is the measurements don’t divide by 4 evenly. Normally a 1-inch spacer would do the trick, but that is not the look I want. Pondering possibilities.

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Turkey in the Straw

Continue reading

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