Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nuptial Shawl - Q3 FAL

My Nuptial Shawl - A Q3 Finish!

My (not-so) little brother got married recently, and I found the dress early on, but knew I'd want something to wear over my shoulders.  On my quest for a shawl pattern, I stumbled across the Echo Flower Shawl in a ravelry thread discussing the best free patterns that people would have paid for. Perfect!

It was wonderfully written, easy to memorize once you got the first bit of each row going.  And, the shawlette used less than a skein of Malabrigo Silkpaca.  I am so pleased with it!

It's also a wonderful example of the magic of blocking.
 I'm out of unwed siblings, so I guess I need to be taken somewhere fancy so I can wear it again.

This is project 2 of 10 on my Q3 Finish Along List!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ulitmate Scrap Buster: The Rag Rug - Q3 FAL

I've been using this rug in front of my washing machine for a few weeks now, and I love it!  It's cushy without being too nubby, and doesn't travel as much as I thought it might.  Feels great to cross this one off my Finish-a-Long list!

A Brief How To:
To begin, I cut 1" strips from pieces of quilting cotton that I knew I wouldn't use.  Most came from mixed lots I bought at the thrift store, scrap bags purchased at local quilt shops, cottons of questionable quality from the remnant bin, stiff-as-a-board 70's calicoes, you name it.  The beauty of this rug is that no fabric is too ugly, and all of the patterns are obscured in the finished product.  

I joined the strips on my sewing machine using this method from crazy mom quilts, to not have a million tails to weave in later.  I must be a slow ball winder, though, because rolling them was taking me forever.  So, after finishing the first ball, I dumped the next batch (in one unclipped chain) directly from the sewing machine into a bucket, and clipped the strips as I used them.  Since they were all loops joined end-to-end, no tangles!

My bucket of joined strips.

To make an oval rug, I chained just over 20 with the biggest hook I had, a US P-15 (10mm..)  I single crocheted back to the start, and then increased on the ends to go back down the opposite side.  Increasing was more art than science, but I tried to do at least 4-6 on each end, varying the spacing as I went along.  

At first, I carefully counted stitches between the increases, but about halfway through, I switched to using Clover clips to mark where I'd put them (and where I was planning on putting them.)  

At one point, the straight edges looked like they were pulling in a little, so I increased there.  Big mistake.  It made it wavy, and I had to go back and pull it out.  If you use this method, keep the increases around the curves on the ends!

When I ran out of scraps, I wove the tail ends through with my hook, and stretched it into shape a bit.

I weighed a yard of quilting cotton to get an idea of how much fabric was in this thing.  A yard was around 6 ounces (I weighed a couple, they varied from 5.7 to 6.2), and my rug was 45.  

Which means I've got about 7.5 YARDS of scraps in it. 

I had planned to use it in my sewing room under my ironing board, but figured it would get quickly buried in there.  I spend most of my time here, anyway, folding, pulling rocks out of pockets, musing over what in the world could have caused a stain like that, etc..  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and now it doubles as a welcome mat for the sewing room, which is just through that door.

Happy Friday!

This is project 1 of 10 on my Q3 Finish Along List!