Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Springtime Colors

Not much stitching going on here these days, but I'm slowly knitting this scarf, the free pattern is Different Breeze by Sachiko Uemura.

The yarn is a discontinued long color change single by Loops and Threads.

But if you want to see some real eye candy, here are the step-grands, smiling after their Easter egg hunt in our back yard. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I've got the layout for my butterfly quilt.  This design is inspired by one I saw in Glenna Hailey's book Sugar Sack Quilts, which features more modern-looking design for vintage and reproduction fabrics.  I really wanted to minimize the white backgrounds in the applique blocks, and to add some primary colors to the pastels.  White and light-colored bed covers just don't fit in my cat-enriched life.

I'm cutting down the blocks and then bordering them with contrasting prints.

The butterfly blocks are 9.5" finished, and the sashing is 1" finished.  It's been fun to cut prints into large triangles by bisecting 16.75" blocks.  I had a stack of fat quarters, but sadly, a lot  of them were smaller than the 16.75" I needed.

...So I got to buy some half yards, which also will allow me to add more variation to the prints.  As soon as I can set aside more time, I'll finish the cutting and designing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Looms are Better Than One.

I'd been thinking about adding a small loom to my tools for a long time.  My original loom, an Ashford Rigid Heddle loom, is 24" wide, the perfect width for towels and shawls.  You can make narrower projects on it too, though it's a pain to stretch across that frame if you don't need to.

I though about getting a Sampleit Loom, or a Cricket.  But I couldn't justify adding one more thing to the supplies I currently have.  Then, one day on Ravelry, someone posted a practically new used 10" Cricket for sale at a price I couldn't refuse.  It included all the heddles, 5, 8, 10 and 12 dpi, and lots of shuttles.  This smaller loom is easier to warp and it's perfect for scarves and for experimenting with warps and with fancy weaves I have yet to try.

So now I have the Cricket.  That's a sheet of paper inside the frame, so you can see the size.  To keep the karmic balance in my stash, and to make space in the Closet of Doom, I passed one of my old Singer sewing machines to a friend who needed one. 

This scarf, made with some fingering weight yarns, was a fast and easy getting-to-know-you project.  Now that I've given my back yard its Spring spruce up, I have fantasies of sitting out there and weaving with the Cricket.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wheel of Fortune (63 x 63)

What a relief to finally finish sewing this top.  The poor thing has been on my design wall in pieces for so long that some of the fabrics are starting to fade.  It needed a quick finish, and Spring break came just in time.

It's pressed and ready for quilting, which Debra (thanks Debra!) has volunteered to do.

I found this great flannel on clearance at JoAnn's for the backing.  I hadn't looked in awhile, so I was shocked to see that their quilter's fabrics are now $15.00 a yard.  Wowza.

I'm now turning my attention to these hand appliqued blocks that have been taking up space for a few years.  I've got a drawer full of 30s reproduction fabrics to go with them, and I think I've settled on a non-traditional setting design.  Another UFO may bite the dust.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mondo Zig Zag Blanket (58 x 64")

 When you get a really bad cold, bad enough to stay in bed for a few days, you'll have time to work on you big crochet blanket.

The cats will cheer you on and keep you company while you do another row between coughs.

When the cold turns into bronchitis, you'll have time to crochet three or four rounds around the edges.  The cat will be so impressed.

When all's said and done, you'll have a nice blanket to lay with on the couch while binge watching episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford on Netflix.   

The free pattern is the Easy Ripple Afghan, and the yarn is vintage acrylic donated to me by my aunt.  I'm hoping that along with the antibiotics, it's a recipe for a cure.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The End of the Red Sweater Saga

I finished the red sweater, and I've been wearing it a lot.  It's very cozy and warm, and the pop of bright color is an added bonus.  It's amazing what I can accomplish when I practice project monogamy.

I wore my sweater several times on a recent conference trip to Seattle.  What a fun city.  It's been hard to come back to the old grind here at home. 

I will be popping in and out as things have gotten pretty busy at work.  I'm looking forward to the end of the term, when I hope to have more free time. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sweater Update

With a few missteps (like having to re-knit the end of one sleeve because it was too short) I've made good progress with my sweater.  I've re-engineered the pattern, so I wasn't exactly sure that knitting the front bands separately and sewing them on would give me the results I wanted, but it worked perfectly.

I've got both sleeves and both front bands knitted up.  The bottom is still on the needles so I can add length and make this sweater reach at least the top of my thighs, if not longer.  I tried it on, and it looks great.  I think I will be able to finish this one soon.