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About Me:I'm a geeky, happy, sewing-obsessed wife, mother and crafter. I'm an American living happily in the UK with my lovely husband and tween daughter. I create handmade handbags, quilts, and other accessories. I love writing my blog and publishing craft tutorials, and I also write quilt and bag patterns. If you're looking to be featured or want other information, email me at jennaexcell(@)gmail.com
Category Archives: Works in Progress
Hello!! I’ve been intending to start incorporating my knitting into my blog posts, but as you guys know I haven’t been feeling that great lately. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a bit better, and I’ve even been sewing and knitting a bit too. (I’ll do a full blog post on my mood soon – it’s no good showing only the bad on here!)
So. Finished product first because I’m so pleased with them!
These are from the Narrow Lake Mitts pattern by Katie White Designs. ($5) This is actually my second pair, and the pair I most prefer as the others grew too much and are a bit big now. I LOVE this pattern – it’s fun, it’s interesting and the mitts look so impressive!
The thumb detail is so clever. Ok, Modifications: First of all, I used a sport/baby weight yarn for this instead of the DK weight called for. My first pair was DK weight and as I said, they’re kinda big now. (I wear fingerless gloves ALL the time in the winter, and if they’re baggy they get in the way of knitting and typing, etc.) I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (available at Abakhan for £4.79) The yarn is very soft, and one 50g ball was just enough to do the pair, so they’re a good value too. I haven’t blocked them yet, so we’ll see how it goes. Also, I used a 3.5mm needle for the entire glove, not just for the ribbing. They’re VERY stetchy and that helped it stay snug. And I did my favourite all purl bind off.
Obviously these are a WIP. It’s from the Merletto Mitts pattern by Jody McKinley. (FREE!!) I’m using Fyberspates 4 ply (Sheila’s sock). And since my sister doesn’t read my blog (that I know of), I feel pretty safe telling you this story: My sister lives in IL in the big ol’ house we grew up in, and it’s freaking cold in winter. So I thought, I’ll make her some pretty fingerless gloves to keep her hands warm for Xmas. So I ordered the yarn and got started. Fast forward to Texas: I’m knitting them at the table and my sister sits down. I pass over the finished one and casually ask her what she thinks of it. I really should’ve thought this through better – I guess I was thinking that if I adore them in cold weather, everyone would feel the same… Instead she declares that she’s never seen the point in fingerless gloves. Either you’re wearing gloves or you’re not. Oops!
And in an effort to be honest, I’ll also share the boo boo with you. The lesson I learned from this is NEVER work on lace while attempting to have a conversation. I didn’t notice it until it was much, much too late, so this pair will be a little quirky. Mods: I am using 2.25mm needles for this instead of the 2.75 and they’re STILL huge. If I was doing it again, I’d cast on about 5 or 10 fewer stitches for the back (which is just stockingette anyway so it doesn’t matter.).
I’m doing the BFF cowl by Ysolda Teague and tiny owl knits (FREE!) with my wonderful friend Bonnie. Again, I’m using Fyberspates. Can you tell how much I love Fyberspates yarn? Bonnie is doing hers in a deep purple colour, and I’m doing mine using Ysolda’s Sugar Mice colour. It’s lovely! I don’t have any Mods for this pattern. But I did kinda mess up a tiny bit:
Oops! I accidentally slipped WYIF instead of WYIB! Think it matters? Should I undo it? Bonnie, what do you think? Would you be appalled to get this in the post??
So that’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully next week I’ll have more of that cowl done, and maybe even a start on a cardigan for winter. (Again with the Fyberspates! LOL) I’d love to hear about what you’ve been working on!
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© J C Excell, 2012
Woohoo! My first Mug Rug from the swap arrived yesterday and it is gorgeous! Becky from Sew Sane Jane sent it from Illinois, not very far away from where I grew up – and she teaches at the junior college where I got my Associate’s Degree. Small world, eh?
This is just the back! Isn’t it lovely – I really love the purple flashes in it, paired with the charcoal gray it really stands out.
And here’s the front. Oh man, it’s so fab that when Little Geek came home from school she was immediately trying to hustle me into giving it to her. Yeah right.
Here’s a closer look at the quilting, which is simple and so, so effective to show off the design.
Thank you Becky!!! You can see what I sent her over on her blog.
And now for the bad news: I am really struggling with my latest quilt, and it frustrates me so much I want to cry. The rows REFUSE to line up properly! And I know I cut everything correctly because I went back and measured them again. The sashing rectangles (cream) are supposed to line up exactly to the blocks, but they are too short. Way too short. Like looks-like-a-clown-made-it too short.
I’ve been swearing, stretching, steaming, and I’m still going a bit crazy over it. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to stretch your fabric like that, but what can I do? I can’t take the whole damn quilt apart, can I? (NO. I will NOT sit with a seam ripper for 2 days.)
If you have any advice, please share it!
And last but not least, here are two funny pictures for you. The first is one I took in 2005 at Marwell Zoo, next to the bat house. (Oh my goddess, that place smells. Even outside it stinks.)
And here’s one I took over the weekend when we went back. Ha Ha, isn’t that funny? Look how much she’s grown? And isn’t funny how Buzz does the same pose in every picture, even when they’re 6 years apart! LOL!