A Flurry Of Blankets

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

A few months ago, I reorganised my atelier a little bit, shifting my sewing and painting supplies around.  During that time, I found a large cut of fleece I had purchased a very long time ago to make a blanket with for when we go camping.  That started a flurry of blanket-making, ending with a total of four – two for us humans and two for the furry ones.  I even knitted one of them.

 

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

All the fleece blankets I made are double-layered.  I love cold-weather camping in the High Sierras.  Even with 0F-rated sleeping bags, a little extra warmth is very nice to have during the chilly nights.  This is going to be our camping blanket.  That is, of course, not going to stop me from using it at home dreaming of the camping days.

 

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The second blanket I made was a present for my husband for his birthday.  It’s a Marauder’s Map fleece print I found at JoAnn.  I purchased 3 yards of the fleece, and for the backing I got 3 yards of the snowflakes print.  I used 2.5 yards of each for the blanket. 

 

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Unplanned, it fits the day bed in his home office perfectly.

 

 

 

 

I kept the remnant of the Marauder’s Map fleece for another project.  With the remnant of the snowflake fleece I made a little blanket for the kitties.  As I was attempting to take a photo of it, Charlie showed up and claimed his blanket and I was unable to move him.

 

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

For the fleece blankets – after rounding off the corners with an old CD, I stitched all around the blanket with 1/4″ seam allowance, keeping a large a gap on one side to turn it over.  I clipped the corners, offsetting the top and the bottom pieces.  I think the corners lie a little flatter that way.  I was too lazy to take the serger out.  After turning the blanket, I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to stitch around the edges to give it a nice finish.

 

 

Tutorial for Fleece And Knitted Blankets | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I also made a knitted blanket specially for Charlie.  He loves to sleep on my yellow pullover.  I used the same bulky gauge yarn I used to knit my pullover for his blanket.  I think, it’s a great alternate pattern to the stockinette stitch. 

You will need to cast on (multiples of 4) + 3 stitches.  Alternate these two rows –

Repeat to the last 3 stitches – knit 3, slip 1 with yarn in front.   Knit the last 3 stitches.

Knit 1. Repeat to the last 2 stitches – slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 3.  The last two stitches – slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 1.

 

These are all very easy to make whether you knit or sew, or do both.

 

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am joining monthly linky parties hosted by Archie The Wonder DogMeadow Mist Designs, and Rainbow Hare.

I am also linking up with the weekly linky parties on my Events And Links page.   Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Imaginary Travels

 

 

We have been camping at my favourite campground in the High Sierra mountains for many years now because of the cooler temperatures.  Every year, I think about painting the beautiful mountains that surround the campground.  However, we always end up walking the mountain trails, playing board games, reading and perusing the night sky with my telescope instead.

 

 

 

 

Last time I was feeling too sick to paint en plein air.  So I made a quick sketch in my logbook noting down the colours.  As soon as I felt a little better at home, I finished the painting.

 

 

 

 

Since I was at home, I was tempted to use a wider palette for the painting, but I decided to stick to my travelling paintbox instead.  I wanted to familiarize myself a lot more with my travel palette and switch out colours if needed.

 

I removed the clips that holds the pans in place to be able to fit in 4 more half pans in the middle of the 8-half-pan Fome palette, making it a 12-pan palette.  With the clips missing, the pans were loose.  I glued magnets to the bottom of the pans to keep them in place.  The box is tiny, smaller than a pack of playing cards.  I love that size so much that I have 2 of them.  I got mine at Jerry’s Artarama

 

 

 

 

Since I usually travel during colder times, my palette is a bit on the broody side.  However, if needed,  I can easily mix warm, sunny colours with them as I did for this painting.  I will write a full post on my travel palette one day.

Painting the mountains was a wonderful way to be transported there all over again.

 

 

 

 

Nights are getting cooler around here and I have been knitting again.  I realised that I never showed the hat I had already made before going to Scotland earlier this year. 

I used a pattern called Winter Wish.  It includes both a chart and written instructions, which I prefer.  I added one extra pattern repeat to fit my large head (I am not joking) and a few more rows of the garter stitch rib.  I learned Brioche stitch for this hat; it turned out to be simpler than I had imagined. 

 

Youtube tutorial by Very Pink Knits for Brioche Stitch.

Youtube tutorial by The Unapologetic Knitter for Brioche In the Round.

 

 

 

 

The hat kept me toasty warm on the cold and windy days in Scotland.  I even lent it to my husband as he got sick half-way through our visit.  He liked it so much that he requested I make one for him as well.  The hat I had made for him was not quite as warm as this one.

You have heard me say, warm knits always make me think of faraway places.  Can’t wait to cast one for him.

 

I will link up on Janine’s Wool On Sundays, it has been awhile.

 

 

 

 

I made progress with the alphabet series painting.  B took a long time to think of all the details I wanted to include.  My sketchbook travels with me and I within it.  I am now ready to ink and watercolour it.  Can you guess what it is?

 

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Dreaming Into The Night

Astrophotography Orion Nebula in Orion Constellation | Whims And Fancies

 

 

After a long gap due to being sick, I stepped outside under the night sky last week with my telescope.  My books and the night sky were two stable things in my life as a child.  Orion was the first constellation I learned about and he promptly became my friend.  I would chat away with this imposing figure in the winter sky and that continues even now.  His visit every year gets me excited about winter.  I intended to capture starlight from the Orion Nebula before I have to say goodbye to my starry friend.

 

 

Pleiades Star Cluster | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Astrophotography is a very time-consuming process which requires taking many a photo of the same object over a long span of time.  I wrapped myself up with many layers of clothing for a long, cold night outside.  Unfortunately, the wind had plans of its own, nudging my telescope around by being overtly playful that night.  After 45 minutes and only 4 good photos, I decided to stop and continue on another night.  I spent rest of the time enjoying being outside under the stars, dreaming of being a little closer to them.

 

 

Orange Maine Coon Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My husband loves to spoil this boy by feeding him extra portions of kitty food.   He was an extremely happy boy that day, full of extra food.  I gave him the Union Jack pillow, and we shared the castle quilt to stay warm together.  He purred and dreamed beside me while I knitted into the night.

 

 

Socks Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Lulled into a peaceful state with the gentle purring of my cat, it didn’t take long for me to start dreaming as well.  Ever since I was a child, I wanted to travel more than anything.  Knitting warm woolens always makes me specially dream of the North.  Basking in new travel plans in my head, I worked toward finishing my very first pair of knitted socks.  These are keeping my perpetually cold feet wonderfully warm.

 

 

Dreams Are The Touchstones Of Our Characters Thoreau - Dreaming Into The Night | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Afterwards, while flipping through an old book, I found this tucked inside.   I assumed it came with the book until I realised the rubber stamps used on this were mine!  I have no recollection of when I made this.  I suppose such is the nature of dreams.

We don’t remember all of them, but some occasionally surface to remind us to continue to dream, reach for the stars and hope for change.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

Walking In Warm Woolens

California Wine Country Morning Sunlit Tree Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Last Wednesday morning I was up around 3:30 AM to view the lunar eclipse.  I was mostly outside until the total eclipse finished, shortly after 6:00 AM.  After being in the crisp, cold morning air for so long, I was too awake to go back to bed.  My husband was up with me.  So once the first rays of daylight started showing across the eastern sky, we put our hiking boots on and hit the trail.

 

The frosty ground was lazily lit up by the morning sun, turning it dazzling white.  As the frost slowly melted, the ground was filled with myriad sparkling diamond-bright water droplets.

 

 

California Wine Country Mustard Flowers Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The yellow mustard flowers were peeking through the bare grape vines.

 

 

Menelaos Fingerless Mittens Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It was cold, so I got to wear my new mitts.  I made them using the Menelaos pattern.  The pattern has the design only on the back side of the hand, but I wrapped the design around on the palm side as well. I used my own thumb technique too.  The pattern is very easy to follow and makes very cosy mitts.

 

 

Hat And Fingerless Mitts Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My husband quite often drops by the local yarn store to pick up small surprises for me.  I made the Paragon Toque with the red yarn that he got for me, but there wasn’t enough to make a set of matching mitts.  He and the proprietor of the shop picked out the grey yarn for me.  I was a little sceptical at first, but I love the set now.  They kept me warm all throughout the hike.

 

 

California Wine Country Morning Fog Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The valley was filled with morning fog, looking like a white sea.  This is the turning point of our hike.  Needless to say, we were extremely tired from waking up that early and after such a long hike, but…what a view!!  I love our local parks!

 

-Soma

 

Related Links –

Photos of the January 2018 Lunar Eclipse
Paragon Toque Pattern
Menelaos Mitts Pattern

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.