Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Hexagon Project: Blocks 30-32

I haven’t shared an update on The Hexagon Project in a few months. My hand sewing progress slowed for a number of reasons:
  • Life got busy. I typically work on my English paper piecing blocks during my lunch breaks, but I was using that time to run errands or complete other tasks.
  • Just about everyone in our home caught the flu, myself included. Sewing quickly dropped to the bottom of the priority list for the few weeks during our recoveries.
  • As I mentioned in the last update, I was running out of templates again. I found myself sewing slowly in an effort to put off the inevitable cutting of new templates.
Somehow, through all of that, I not only managed to stitch three more EPP hexagon flower blocks, but I also settled in to cut the next batch of 100 card stock hexie templates. It feels like a win!

Three overlapping hand sewn hexagon flower blocks in blues, browns, and purples, on a white background.

I had begun to notice that some blocks weren’t staying flat after pressing. I’ve been more mindful of where I take the stitches and, while my blocks still aren’t completely flat, they’re flatter than they were.

I think the unevenness of my hand-cut card stock templates are also a factor. Sometimes I see gaps or overlaps between the hexies as I prepare the assemble the flower blocks. Such is the nature of a handmade project!

Three overlapping hand sewn hexagon flower blocks lined up horizontally in purples, browns, and blues, on a white background.

With this cutting, I’ve reached the end of my supply of card stock. I spent some time hunting around online and found a set of 600 pre-cut paper hexagon templates that didn’t break the bank. They should be delivered sometime this week — I’m anxious to see how heavy the paper is. If the weight is good, these templates should see me through the rest of my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt, with the added bonus of consistency to the shapes that will help the blocks stay flat.

And with the chore of cutting templates out of the way, I’ll have one less obstacle to sewing the remainder of the blocks.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Not Your Boyfriend's Sweater

As daunting as it may seem, sometimes the best course of action is to scrap everything and start over. I learn this lesson repeatedly in my creative process.

The backstory of my latest project is in my last post, so I won’t rehash it here. Let’s move forward!

Woman standing in front of a white porch rail wearing a hand-knit spring green lace sweater, with leafless trees and brown grass in the background.

For the past month, I’ve been slowly knitting the pattern “Not Your Boyfriend’s Sweater” by Vera Sanon.

The slowness, I might add, was entirely on my end as the pattern is clearly written and works up quickly and easily from the top down with raglan sleeves. I didn’t even have trouble picking up the correct number of stitches for the neckband, which may be a first for me.

For the yarn, I re-used some Cascade Yarns Sierra in the colorway 48 Apple Green. It’s a blend of 80% cotton and 20% merino wool that I think is a good fit for a spring sweater. Happily, the light green color and open leaf-shaped lace stitches also work well for the season.

I’m enjoying the loose, comfortable fit of this pullover. I made the three-quarter length sleeves just the right length that I don’t feel like I need to push them up at all. I can see the potential for making other versions of this sweater by simply changing the lace pattern and the lengths of the sleeves.

Close-up of woman standing in front of a white porch rail wearing a hand-knit spring green lace sweater, with leafless trees in the background.

Although it seems that the previous two patterns I knit with this yarn were a waste of time, they brought me here. I learn a little more with each project that I make (or re-make), in terms of technical skills as well as understanding how I like my clothes to fit on my ever-changing body.

As much as I’d like to be one of those people who just makes a little tweak at the end and everything comes out perfectly, that’s clearly not who I am as a maker. I need to remember this next time I hesitate.

Yes, it’s important to think through various options to make the best choice. But it’s also important to remember that sometimes the best choice is starting over.