Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scrapbag Explosion

Over the Thanksgiving Day vacation I finished two scrappy tops.  These will go to Debra, who will quilt and donate them to an organization that works with children whose parents are incarcerated.

This first quilt started as blocks made from the leftovers of another scrap quilt.  It's pretty pathetic that scrap quilts produce more scraps, but that's the way it is. 

I'd made several of these star blocks when I saw this faux applique block fabric by Kaffe Fassett on line.  It was the answer to my prayers.  Combining the stars with the floral blocks allowed me to finish this quilt in no time flat.  I had really gotten tired of those stars.  The piano key border allowed me to use up a stack of odds and ends.

Miraculously, the scrap supply is still plentiful, and I paired up some novelty squares and made this quick top.  Plain and simple, sometimes I need a quilt like this just to cleanse my creative palate.

I seem to be clearing the decks for the end of the year.  I've got two unfinished Madonna pieces that I'd like to see finished by the end of next month, so I've got a bit of hand work waiting for me.  In the new year I'm planning to participate in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project and Sharon B's Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge, both starting in January.  I'm looking at these as a chance to work on some long-deferred projects that have been simmering for awhile. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Knitting With Vintage Yarns

I knew it was going to be a good thrift store day when I spotted the plastic pitcher full of older knitting needles.  I am completely outfitted in the needle department, so I rounded the corner to the spot where they keep the yarn, and for $2.50 (it was half price day) I picked up this vintage vest kit, compete with pattern, yarn, and even the plastic rings to make covered buttons.  This is a special find.  The kit has been stored in its original plastic bag so the yarn is clean and the labels are intact.  The pictures of the patterns you can knit from this kit may be the most charming part of the whole package.

I'm not sure that I'll use the yarn to knit myself a pink mohair vest.  I feel like there should be an age limit for wearing pink mohair, and that the cut-off is about 25, but maybe I'll change my mind.  I can easily use the yarn for weaving with a coordinating more sturdy yarn in the warp, or maybe I'll knit a shawl or cowl.  There's plenty of yarn to make something special so that this yarn can finally live up to its full potential. 

I happen to be knitting myself a vest right now from some vintage wool I bought on eBay a few years ago. I'm almost done knitting the back.  I love this gold color (which is more accurately rendered in the photo below).  Yes, it's that 70s harvest gold, but I've had to stop myself more than once from buying sweaters this color in the store, so I know it's in style again.  Knowing I have this yarn has made me resist buying a gold sweater, and now I've cast on this free vest pattern from Lion yarn  to put this loveliness to use.

I knit with vintage yarn because of the savings over buying brand new, plus there's the satisfaction of using something that another knitter loved and saved, but never quite got around to using.

I do buy new yarn too, of course.  I knit this fun scarf for my friend Bernadette's birthday gift.  Over the summer we got together in Ashland, Oregon for a few days, and she told me in advance that she would take to The Websters, one of the best yarn stores ever.  The place definitely lived up to its reputation. 

 I bought a few skeins of my favorite Noro yarn, and some coordinating harvest gold yarn, which I mixed into Shizuku, a free pattern on Ravelry by Angela Tong.

The pattern is fun to knit as well as fun looking.  The little leaves/dangley things are easy to knit, and the famous Noro color changes keep me knitting to see what's next.

I guess I've been in a harvest gold mood for awhile.  Well, that's fall for you.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...