Knit Meter

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas Knitting for Me

This year I decided not to get a yarn Advent calendar, although I enjoyed opening yarn packages every day last year, I did not enjoy the pressure I put on myself to knit them every day and to use up all the yarn.

However, I still wanted some fun knitting for Advent so I joined a mystery knit along and purchased a surprise yarn packet to go with it. I could have used leftover yarns and when I first started the knitting I did question myself as to why I did not but I am really pleased with how they all went together. I started this when we were on vacation and thought I could easily knit another at the same time as the clues were every other day. But when we got home and back to reality, I’m glad I had not started another.

At various times I was behind but did manage to finish the little fellow on the 24th.



The skeins were 20 grams each and I have plenty left over but I have plans for them in the new year.

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Bit of Christmas Sewing

This was the only handmade gifts this year. When I visited quilt shop in New Hampshire last year, so much I could have bought but didn’t. I did buy off cuts from fabric cut into jelly roll strips, I purchased two for 99c each.

I started the first one last year and made a jelly roll race quilt and added borders. Then the grandchildren went away for Christmas; now I had a whole year to work on them. So what did I do? Left it to the last minute to decide that the grandchildren would get quilts this year. My excuse for the delay was that COVID hit early in the year and there was no way I was going to Jo-Ann’s to purchase the extra fabric required. This thought stopped me entirely from starting the second quilt.

Having made the first quilt as a jelly race, I wanted the second quilt to be different as the strips were the same. I found a pattern for a star quilt using 2-½ inch strips. The down side of this was that as the strips were from left over cuts, not every strip was the same size. The advantage of making things for children is they don’t care how well something is made. Just if they like it and if it is comfortable.

I forced myself to Jo-Ann’s – twice in fact. Purchased two sets of fabric for backing and three sets for borders. The left over strips were used for the binding. I had plenty of batting in stash. Luckily it was batting that did not require a lot of quilting so I was able to minimally quilt these. (The weekend before Christmas.) I have decided that I no longer wish to hand sew bindings onto quilts. With these I sewed them to the back and then folded over to the front and sewed close to the fold line. I think the look is fine and much sturdier than hand sewn.

I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the backing fabric for one quilt but as I had fabric left over from the border I added that.





The children love them; although I think they prefer the back to the front. Oh well. I enjoyed making them.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

I Knitted Some Lights

This is not my idea; I saw it on Instagram, taking a string of lights, knitting them into a rhombus and then hanging them on the wall. The hardest part of this was finding strings of lights that were long enough. Although not my favourite place to order from, I found some on Amazon. Needles were easy as I have plenty of straight needles.



I cast on 20 stitches (e loop) and then just knitted until I ran out off lights. (I started with more than 20 stitches and just dropped a few at the end of the first row. I wish I hadn’t done that as I have two lights that are not part of the shape. The finished size is about 11” x 7”. Every row is knit but it is not smooth knitting so I worked just a few rows each day, overall it took about a week.



I’m not really sure what I think about them. Obviously I thought it was a fun idea, but I didn’t enjoy the knitting part and I’m not sure what I think about the finished item. My granddaughter loves the colours, my grandson thinks it’s odd. Rather than use as a Christmas decoration I think this would be fun to hang in a craft space or room.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

I Sewed Something

Although I haven’t shown any sewing for a while doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any going on. With grandchildren learning at home my time for sewing has been reduced but after I finished the year quilt, I sewed a quilt top. I don’t have any pictures of the completed top and I am not at home to take one but here is a photo of the quilt in progress. All the fabric used is leftovers but I will have to purchase some fabric for the backing.



Now for my favourite to date sew. My granddaughter is supposed to wear a school t-shirt on Fridays but she is a dress girl and did not like having to do that. I said I could turn it into a dress if she wanted. That never happened but she didn’t forget what I had said. We were going through my fabric to see what she liked and there was a piece of fabric that she had chosen that had not been used.


The next thing I know Dad and granddaughter give me this so I can turn it into a dress with the fabric. The size was fine for wearing as a t-shirt but not as a dress if you want to showcase the unicorn and the fabric. I debated getting the same t-shirt in a smaller size and if this wasn’t the time of COVID I would have done. 


The body of the t-shirt needed to be shorter, so that meant cutting top and bottom and the width of the shirt needed to be reduced. These cuts also meant I had to adjust the armholes. First I made a paper template from the t-shirt of the sleeves and neckline then I cut the bottom of the t-shirt to just under the design. I cut closer to the design than I had intended despite working out seam allowances etc. Next the sleeves were cut off and the neck re-cut and bound. The pink fabric for the binding was a stretch fabric I had been given and kept even though I didn’t know what I would use it for. (It has been the lining in at least one bag.) And then came danger! Not only did I use my serger to sew the side seams. I had the blade in place to cut as I sewed. Sleeves were bound and the top was finished.

The skirt was simple. Two pieces of fabric seamed, hemmed and gathered. But how to join to the top? For some reason I did not want to join cotton fabric directly to the t-shirt and I did not want exposed seams. Once again the pink material came in handy. I cut four pieces the width of the shirt plus seam allowances and made two circles. The skirt pieces were gathered to fit the circle and placed between the two pieces. Then I sewed the right side of the top to the right side of the band. On the inside I was going to hand sew the band to the inside to enclose all the raw edges. But I did not feel like doing that and wondered how well it would stand up in all the machine washing. In the end I zigzagged from the right side and that worked well.

What have I learnt from this? I can make things without a commercial pattern. It might have been easier to have purchased a pattern to use for the top part of the dress. Don’t cut the neck opening as wide. Cut the waistband wider so that it is easier to cover the raw seams.

Having finished it I was still worried that my granddaughter wouldn’t like it. After all I didn’t know what she was envisioning and the t-shirt part was now quite different. 

But she loved it and had to wear it every day.