Of course, when November opens with a snowstorm -- and when another happens two weeks later -- and then the temps drop below -20 C (-26 C with the Wind Chill)...I've been hunkered down with my kitties, and Christmas handwork has begun in earnest.
One of my cousins "back East" is expecting his first grand-baby sometime in December, so a crib quilt is under construction. When I asked Grandma-to-be what colours Mom-and-Dad-to-be would like, she replied, "Well, S is rather fond of black. In fact, it took some persuading to keep her from wearing it to her wedding!"
Ahem. Well. "So..." I replied, "How about black and white with a touch of red?" G-to-be smiled. Good!
I turned to a favourite "old" (not vintage) pattern: Magic Tiles from Kathleen Bissett. When I first began to quilt almost twenty years ago now (!), this pattern was all the rage for a while. I believe it was the fore-runner of 'Stack 'n' Whack' and that sort of thing -- where you slice and dice your fabric and re-arrange it to come up with wonderful combinations of colour and shape. I made a good half-dozen of these, and it remains a staple in my pattern repertoire. This time I am making it a bit smaller -- nine blocks instead of twelve, and I haven't decided on a border yet. This is in part due to the fact that it's been a bit tougher to find enough variety in fabric -- and no, I didn't have much BW&R in my stash!
So...nine blocks it is, with grey sashing ("grout"), thanks to my friend C for that inspiration. Here's the stack of 'em on my cutting table, awaiting the last cut and shift:
It wouldn't be Christmas around here without some knitting. In addition to the mittens under construction, there will be a pair of thick-and-quick neck warmers for my neighbours (who keep my sidewalks and driveway blown out every winter, often more than once!) and a hat for a Certain Young Lady who's fond of my son. Then there's a ruffle scarf that's been requested by my dear Sis...and perhaps some slippers...
So Pookie's been helping me decide patterns and yarns:
I won't say any more that that, because some of the recipients actually read this blog!
With all these starts, there have been a few finishes. "Posh Poppies" goes in the mail today. All three aprons for the Dec. 1 Open House and Tea at the Mirror & District Museum have been assembled; there's just a wee bit of hand-stitching to do at each waistband. And my 15" x 15" piece for the current theme, "Connected", needs just a bit of tacking at the edging, plus a label and sleeve. All will be revealed on that front at the deadline, November 30.
With Hanukkah just over a week away, I also managed to finish the wee "Gelt Bag" -- a free pattern from DMC, using their Metallics Light Effects floss. This floss is a bit tricky to work with, but as long as you keep the lengths short, you can tame it! The pattern calls for a pre-made bag, but not having time to mail order one (this is a shop sample and it's late as it is!) I made my own from 14-count Aida cloth, a wee it of lace and some ribbon. If I were to make another, I'd do the design before assembly, as it's rather a challenge to stitch with your hand inside a little sack!
In other finishes, there were two Mont Blanc hats completed for the store last week -- but that darned Bravo Mezzo yarn wouldn't quit, so I made up these:
|Maine Morning Mitts|
The Knitter's Book of Yarn
And this preemie-sized cap -- with still a bit of the white left over -- a "loaves and fishes" moment!
And that's all my news for this WIP Wednesday. I'm hooking up with The Needle and Thread Network...and going off to finish those Magic Tiles blocks!