Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weaving on the Cricket Loom with Lion Brand Homespun

I've been giving my little Cricket loom a workout, trying out various yarns and yarn pairings.  While I do this, as you can see, I'm binge watching The Good Wife on Hulu.   I used to watch the series before, but I recently caught up on the episodes I'd missed, and now I'm watching it from the beginning.  The characters are great, and there are some very quirky minor characters.

Here are some of the yarns I've been playing with.   When you weave with them, novelty yarns transform into something altogether amazing.

 These two scarves use novelty yarns in combination with some conventional yarns.

This scarf combines a patterned sock yarn warp with a solid black weft that alternates with more self-striping sock yarn.  I love the vertical shots of white in this scarf.

One discovery has been what a joy it is to weave with Lion Brand Homespun.  It's readily available, and inexpensive (especially bought on sale or with a coupon).  One caveat is that once cut, it unravels like crazy, so have your anti-fray product ready.

I wove this scarf with a 5 dent heddle and with Homespun in the both the warp and weft.  I threw in a few passes of sparkle yarn at the beginning and end--it's too scratchy to be around your neck.  The finished scarf is incredibly squishy.  Yes, that's an official weaving term.  It's soft and velvety.  Mmm, I can't wait to make the next one.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I feel so clever this year.  I starting my holiday handmade gifts early, and so now I'm almost finished and plan to relax and make goodies for myself until the end of the year.

I've added a few more dishtowels to my gift pile.  I embellished plain dishtowels with fabric and coordinating trims, and made matching potholders.

This set is especially fun.  The white rick rack adds a little polish.  These are quick gifts to make and they use up odd bits of fabric and trim.  And who couldn't use some nice new dishtowels to brighten up their kitchen? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Finish Line

I've crossed the finish line with some projects.  First, these fun embroidered dishtowels.  These will be a gift for a former square dancer I know.  I love the vintage design of the patterns. 

There's a whole series of these dancers, but I decided two was plenty, though I personally would like a set a days-of-the-week dishtowels for myself.  They may be on the horizon, and I've gathered a lot of potential designs on Pintrest.

I finished yet another  Easy Ripple Afghan--this one's my fourth.  This one has a more controlled color palette, just 3 colors, and I used up a stash of Lion Wool-Ease, which is a nice acrylic and wool blend.  This will also go into my gift pile, as the holidays are coming.

For myself, I knitted up this super-bulky weight cardigan, Taiga.  I used worsted weight yarn held double and got a usable gauge, and I also used stash yarn.  This is a substantial jacket-weight garment, and it knit up pretty quickly with the heavy yarn.  I also got to use some of my stash of metal buttons.  It was fun to do the color work design in the middle of the sweater.  Again, in a bulky yarn, it pretty much flew off the needles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dish Towels

I've been embroidering dishcloths.  I look at them not only as something to dry the dishes with, but as kitchen art.  So I'm working on a pair with square dancers.  Pintrest is a great source of vintage embroidery motifs.

I trace the designs on water soluble stabilizer--make sure to draw on the smooth side.  If you draw on the bumpy side it takes forever to dry.  Machine baste the stabilizer to your fabric and stitch away.  When you're done, throw the towel in the wash and it comes out completely.

Here's a finished pair.  These I embroidered with big chunky stitches, while the square dancers are done with 2 strands of floss and small stitches because the design is more detailed.

Another idea from Pintrest: I cut up a vintage tablecloth into quarters.  Three were trimmed with rick rack and seam binding from my vintage stash.  The fourth has a big hole it in, so it goes back into the drawer until another idea strikes.

They're the perfect size.  On number 3 I realized a loop on one corner could be handy. 

A Few Pictures of My Trip to Spain

Michael and I were very blessed to visit southern Spain recently for two weeks.  Here are a few pictures.  As you can see, there was a lot of creative inspiration.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Early Fall Garden Album

Here are some snapshots of scenes in my tiny garden.  Shawl pattern: The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia, free on Ravelry.  Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted in Stonechat, and 1 skein of Elsebeth Lavold Favorite Wool in oxblood.

A moth whose wings form its own autumnal shawl.

Smokey the cat.

Some red lettuce gone to seed.

More lettuce growing.

Escargot with your kale anyone?

Suz, who I tagged in the Around the World Blog Hop will be posting once her technical problems are solved.

I'll be off line for a couple of weeks.  See you on the rebound.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Nineties Called and They Want Their Sweater Back

I've been saving this horribly out-of-date sweater for awhile.  It's so out of style Louie the cat can't look at it without wincing. 

It's not flattering on me, but the fiber is wonderful, mostly lambswool and angora.

I decided to make it into a cardigan.  I won't repeat the instructions, because I've written them up here.

I'll just show you the pictures of the steps.

Unlike in my 2010 tutorial, I cut the fabric on the straight of grain this time.  I figured it would be okay since it wasn't going to go over any curves.

I can't tell you how much I've been wearing this sweater now.  It's very cozy and much more flattering.